Friday Funny – Brony

20 07 2012

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Today we have perhaps our finest Friday Funny to date: The Brony.

We just found out about this phenomenon yesterday thanks to our keeper of all things pop culture bizarre, our East San Gabriel Valley bureau chief.

People younger than 40 probably remember the popular children’s franchise, My Little Pony. It was a classic cartoon/toy retail success, with the feedback loop of the cartoon inspiring the toys (small, colorful plastic ponies with wild hair colors), and the toys helping to popularize the show.

Being of the male persuasion, I can’t say that I was a big fan, but my female contemporaries certainly were.

The franchize has been revived as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And this time, in addition to little girls, the show’s producers found an unlikely secondary fanbase: Bronies.

Wikipedia defines Bronies as “older fans, typically males from 18 to 35” who may or may not watch the show “ironically.”

Yeah.

Evidently birthed on 4Chan (a message board notable for spawning other incredible memes such as LOLcats, “Chocolate Rain,” and others, as well as the Project Chanology protest against Scientology, and for being a gathering place for the hacktivist group Anonymous), the meme picked up momentum and developed into a movement in its own right.

The Bronies’ self-adopted mascot character from the show is a mentally challenged pony who initially didn’t have a name, as she was a background filler character. Wikipedia notes,

“In the first episode, a background pegasus pony is shown in one scene with a cross-eyed stare, the result of an overlooked animator’s joke.  The 4chan boards quickly dubbed the character “Derpy Hooves” and created a more detailed personality for her despite having minimal on-screen time. Faust responded to the fans, and the production team has kept the “Derpy” character with the cross-eyed look starting with “Feeling Pinkie Keen”, where the team incorporated her into a slapstick sight gag.  The character has since become a mascot of the fandom.”

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You’ve gotta love the caption on Wikipedia for the image above:

” “Derpy” (right) is berated by Rainbow Dash (left) from the episode “The Last Roundup”. Though appearing on the show before as part of sight gags, this episode as initially aired stated her name stated and gave her speaking lines. Some portions of the fandom felt her appearance and actions were negative reflections of mentally disabled persons, and Hasbro altered subsequent airing that removed her name, altered the voice, and reduced the degree to which “Derpy’s” eyes crossed.”

Lest one believe that this is an internet-only fad driven by faceless crazies on 4Chan, we present perhaps one of the oddest fan conventions you could possibly attend:  BronyCon.

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Notice that the presumably full-grown man in the right side of the foreground in the image above is sporting a pony tail on the seat of his jeans.

Who could resist the urge to mingle with like-minded people like this?

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As you can see, there are as many female weirdos as male ones, including this chick:

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Apparently Derpy has inspired another class of memes centered around the retarded pronunciation of random words.  You have to read some of them multiple times in order to understand them, if they can be understood at all. Here are some examples:

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Let’s face it – there has to be a few of these guys who are thinking this:

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