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Pinky and the Brain (fantheories.fandom.com)
249 points by gscott 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 80 comments

Sorry I know this is off topic, but I must post the obligatory Pinky and the Brain from Postmodern Jukebox with the original voice actors in the background. [1]

[1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqMs9WsJg2k

I love how we come full circle with this YT comment...

"Anybody else ever realized that Pinky is the Genius and Brain is the one that is Insane? I mean, Brain is always coming up with completely implausible plans that have no chance of actually working, and Pinky always finds a way to help his friend out without destroying his delusions and get them both safely back in the lab before they're discovered." - Sarah Coleman

The YT video was great to see, thank you for sharing.

I see Pinky and the Brain. I upvote. I see Postmodern Jukebox. I upvote.

Thanks for the smile to start off my Monday.

That's hilariously enjoyable

> Shockingly, Pinky was the one who ultimately answered the question correctly, and it's also shown that Pinky can read, whereas the Brain can barely write his own name.

Pinky doesn't answer the final question:


And I think the way Brain wrote his name was a parody of how Jeopardy guests can get extravagant with their signatures.

Perhaps more interesting is, in that episode, one of Pinky's few lines is "in the words of..." and it gets cut off when Brain flicks him away. The complete sentence might have been something quite intelligent.

Brain’s plans fail because of his hubris and confidence. They’re always very grandiose, and he cannot accept that they’re flawed. He is delusional to a ridiculous degree. Pinky is a willing and suportive participant, even if he knows failure is assured. He is directly enabling the delusion.

Ignoring how intelligent they may or may not be individually, they’re both pretty insane or bored!

This is probably a good format for “intelligence is an imaginary construct, not a quantifiable fact”.

I’ve always thought about it as: every tool you have, your shadow has that tool also. If you’re convincing, you can convince yourself. If you’re cynical, you’ll be quietly cynical about your own capacity in the world too.

Any reality distortion fields we project outwards have ourselves at the epicentre.

I've noticed a similar dichotomy...the harder you are on yourself, the less compassion you have for other people.

Reminds me of my favorite fiction conspiracy theory: https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWars/comments/3qvj6w/theory_jar...

Oh, thats neat. Its basically saying Jar Jar is the evil counterpart of Yoda, hiding his true abilities behind a cute appearance.

Robot Chicken thought the same ;) [0]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Uc84U04Sk

Instead of that which would have been awesome and retconned Jar Jar from embarrassing into a great story of our times…

We instead got the first movie redone, and two pretty poor follow ups with grrrrrr fake teeth being the series rock bottom. Ugh, that plot hole of a light speed weapon, the force can’t bring someone back to life but let’s do it like three times, whatever. I’ve forgotten more about the last trilogy than the prequals.

It takes away from the other films as well by cheapening the force and the ability to wield it. Luke barely manages to lift some rocks after a lot of training montage, Rei lifts heaps of rocks without formal training. I don't think there's many people that liked the sequels. I can't believe they went in with those gung-ho, without the story fleshed out already. I mean the stakes were incredibly high, billions in revenue for the foreseeable future.

It's telling that the secondary things - Rogue One, Mandalorian - are fan favorites instead.

To be fair, Rey turned out to be the grand-daughter of one of the strongest Sith lords of all time. She was probably naturally strong in the force (like Anakin for example). I enjoyed the sequels (but I also enjoy most movies because my super power is the ability to turn off my brain and not over think things).

Star Wars is impossible to enjoy without a very generous suspension of disbelief, which is why I was practically offended by TLJ. It away full of cynical rug pulls that not only failed to reward, but actively punished, that suspension of disbelief. The first movie hinted at Rey's parents being somebody relevant, and the second movie doubles down on it, only to reveal that Rey was a "nobody" after all. It's like a magician making your $20 bill disappear and it never comes back.

Even if Rey was naturally gifted - the whole idea of her being the granddaughter of a sith lord did not feel like a natural thing. The exposition was horrible. It was as if Rey was a souped up Luke again instead of being Rey. And the audience is not stupid as they thought. The Mandolorian writers must have seen those movies and laughed as they cooked up a potential Star Wars classic.

> I mean the stakes were incredibly high, billions in revenue for the foreseeable future.

That's exactly why the first sequel movie (EpVII: TFA) was so timid; I'm sure it was the most de-risked thing the writers and execs could think of—just a re-skin of the original.

> cheapening the force and the ability to wield it… It's telling that the secondary things - Rogue One, Mandalorian - are fan favorites instead.

Star Wars suffers from power and stakes creep: Death Star I is a planet-killer; DS2 kills planets and ships: Starkiller Base is a multi-planet killer; every ship in the Exegol fleet is a planet-killer. Force abilities are another example.

The Force co-opts any story it touches into one about destiny. And sometimes that's not appropriate, as in tales about rebel troopers or backwater mercenaries. As much as I adored The Child and was excited about Luke's cameo, I'm really glad those two things exited the show, hopefully resetting the stakes at a lower level.

There are tons of ways to write a story involving the force that doesn't boil down to destiny or power creep. Jedi are essentially swordsmen / samurai / ronin characters; and not every swordsman needs to be in a hero villain pair.

And there's plenty of fun stuff in the EU (Luke's Jedi academy, the force blocking Ysalamari lizards, Sith Holocrons, etc.) that could have been used to write a solid force-centric plot.

Though as you say the writers were too timid to do anything really interesting with it.

I think all the EU things you just mentioned are their own versions of Force scope/power creep. The Sith Holocrons are very deeply implicated in some of the power creep in the EU. The lizards were added to fight a power creep in one book and then became their own obstacle that in turn caused new power creep in a later book. Luke's Jedi Academy turned out some OP members no better/worse than what the Disney era sequels did with Kylo Ren.

The EU definitely isn't a great example for avoiding Force power creep, either. I'm not sure Star Wars has a good example.

(In general I'm not sure much of fandom anywhere has a good long term cure for power creep: the stakes inflation race is a huge problem in almost every similar franchise, too. Avatar: TLA saw its own stakes inflation over the seasons and between the shows. DBZ is a classic case where stakes inflation just gets baked into the manga/anime's formats and assumed as a given for every storyline that follows. Comics both DC and Marvel have long struggled with it and their properties in other media such as films have done nothing but inherit it. And so forth…)

> Luke barely manages to lift some rocks after a lot of training montage...

He also manages to guide a proton torpedo into the Death Star after just a couple hours chat with Obi-Wan.

Rey is also on an island that hosted the first Jedi Temple and where Yoda's Force ghost can physically manifest. Much in Star Wars requires suspension of disbelief; is it insane to think maybe the Jedi originally trained somewhere where the Force is naturally stronger?

For the Rey vs Luke thing I took it to mean they had different strengths. Rey is physically strong, while Luke is more foresight strong. We never see Rey pull off finesse moves like the Death Star shot.

Star Wars has lost me. I loved 4,5,6, and I found 1,2,3 at least exciting to see the story arc closed up. But what came afterwards was pretty much unwatchable. I went to the cinema for Rogue One even, but dont remember a single plot-line. Thats pretty unusual for me, since I uslally remember storylines from movies I watched many years ago. But this stuff just didnt leave any impression at all.

Conventional wisdom says the prequel trilogy was a good story, poorly executed, while the sequel trilogy was a poor story, well executed.

I would call it a poor story, well, executed.

I'm in your camp too on the Skywalker saga, though I really like Rogue One; definitely worth a rewatch. It's a bit scattered (perhaps a result of the massive pre-release re-edit to which it was apparently subjected) but it has its moments, including possibly the best Star Wars space battle set to film, as well as a visceral depiction of Vader's terrifying power.

To be fair that "light speed weapon" scene was incredibly awesome to watch (and "hear"). If I remember anything from that trilogy ... it is that scene.

Ridiculous that the entire movie was basically a setup for one scene that admittedly looked cool, but also made no sense in the context of the universe. Can't believe they let someone like that steer an American cultural icon into the ground.

> Can't believe they let someone like that

I assume you're referring to Rian Johnson - I wouldn't lay the blame all on him - he's clearly capable of making great fun movies. I think the fact that the new trilogy is an incohesive mess is entirely the fault of Disney as a whole not knowing what they wanted to do with it. I'd also lay a ton of the blame at JJ Abraham's feet - the man loves to set up a mystery but seemingly doesn't ever know the answer himself. Rian certainly made some interesting choices, but I can't help but think that it's because he had no roadmap for what was supposed to happen and no one was there to tell him no.

He asked JJ to make changes to TFA to set up his vision for TLJ. JJ certainly shares blame (TROS was garbage and everybody knows it, including JJ), and the flaws you describe are accurate. But this was RJ's movie, given to him by the executives at Disney, with no interference to speak of. How can you not blame the man with the smoking gun?

> He asked JJ to make changes to TFA to set up his vision for TLJ.

Do you have articles about that? I hadn't heard about it. It's also surprising considering that JJ didn't do the same back to him, especially with the whole "no, her lineage IS special" thing. Weird power dynamics.

> How can you not blame the man with the smoking gun?

Because it was all garbage? Honestly, if they'd continued on TLJ's path, I think it would have been a better ending than what actually happened. Maybe they would have changed Star Wars instead of just rehashing the exact same thing again.


I agree it was all trash, and honestly, as much as I resent TLJ, it would have been a better trilogy if they went down the shit path that RJ sent them down. JJ didn't even try.

Unfortunately, by the third movie, Lucas didn't have to listen when other people said no (or nobody told him no anyway), and the quality plumetted.

It doesn't take a lot to ignore the junk in Return. But the prequels are crap between a lack of interesting story, lack of interesting characters, lack of interesting sets. Somehow character are in the desert of wherever, but aren't hot and there's no sand movement at all. The only way to make those movies interesting is to try to convince others that JarJar is the phantom menance, and that Chewbacca owns the falcon and is just letting the humans borrow it.

Let's say nothing about the holiday special.

Given how far Lucas had run the vessel aground, anything Disney does is fair game.

I was tremendously disappointed in the prequels. With time, I think I've seen that the underlying story was actually quite good. A talented youth is insidiously corrupted under the nose of an older brother figure whose trust blinds him. It all leads up to a climactic battle where the mentor disfigures his student and leaves him for dead. The galactic politics are actually really intriguing if you bother to get a sense for what's happening.

Unfortunately, it's all derailed by very clumsy writing, poor acting direction, and shoddy editing, to say nothing of overwrought expectations.

At least that's my take. I still don't love the prequels, but I can see and appreciate the underlying story that was attempted to be told. "The bones are good" as they say.

I don't think the sequels will age so well.

The Ewoks were supposed to be wookies originally I heard somewhere. IMO would have fundamentally fixed the movie. Cutification was simply a money grab.

> Can't believe they let someone like that steer an American cultural icon into the ground.

Yeah, how dare they let Steven Spielberg make Indiana Jones 4 and George Lucas make Star Wars 1-3.

Bad movies is one thing. Willful fuckery is another. I recognize it because I engage in it, too. But I try not to do it to things that are sacred to other people.

In my headcanon, the light speed weapon explains why even though we're obviously descended from one of the races in the setting, we don't have spaceships or force powers - once one person got the idea they could use a ship as a suicide nuke, everyone did it, until the only survivors literally had to flee the galaxy and stop using advanced technology.

If one views the entire nine-series arc as the story of the fall of a golden age, the last three are actually fairly appropriate, if badly executed.

> the only survivors literally had to flee the galaxy and stop using advanced technology

Han Solo enjoyed his new career as a combat archeologist.


My headcanon is that the maneuver was just a lot harder to accomplish than it's depicted. Distance from other ships, residual shield levels, etc. allow it to be possible but unlikely. They threw in a line in episode 9 that it was 1/million (kind of like the Death Star kill shot). I think it makes the Holdo character more interesting if she has some sort of force intuition or just advanced analytical/risk-taking skills to actually pull it off.

I was under the impression the Holdo maneuver was just basic projectile physics: huge projectile with huge velocity. I guess the in-universe explanation isn't that simple.

> that plot hole of a light speed weapon

Ugh indeed. A ghastly suicide scene in a Disney film, bizarrely glorified and so unbecoming, it was the last thing I expected.

If they had to persist with this plot device, it would've been way more appropriate if Leia rocked up with a SOLO autopilot control box:

"Commander, that's not how we do things here."

"General, I..."

"Step aside and lemme wire this thing in will ya? Warm up that transporter in bay 12, we need to bust outta here before this thing fires."

> We instead got the first movie redone, and two pretty poor follow ups with grrrrrr fake teeth

What do you mean? What fake teeth? Could you elaborate?


It was their ham fisted way to show she would turn bad. Sharp teeth and a hisssss. Because we all know being evil changes your teeth so you can consist on your new diet of tearing the raw flesh directly from your enemies.

They wanted this https://i.redd.it/sftg7bb41eu01.jpg but dirty wouldn’t cut it, needed more, sharp and pointy, because everything in the new movies was made blunt force obvious for “mass appeal”.

The whole movie lacked any sort of grace.

And let’s not even approach getting started on Finn.

Warner Bros hit animation out of the park in the 90s. Animaniacs is a classic with writing that I still get in my 30s, and we got Pinky and The Brain spun-off from there, but Freakazoid for me was the underrated pinnacle, the writing team's habits given steroids and methamphetamine.

Ricardo Montalbán excellently sent himself up in Freakazoid.

"Because he tasks me! He tasks me! 'round the moons of Snivia, I chuckle at thee. Beyond the Corpian clouds I chuckle more at thee. Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins! Kirk, old friend, I... Oh, sorry. [He fixes his tie.] Good-bye."

I think most of it was due to Steven Spielberg´s influence. I remember Tiny Toons blowing my mind during that time as well. Most of those amazing cartoons (Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, Tiny Toons and Freakazoid) had Spielberg's influence.

I thought this was made pretty clear in the theme song's lyrics?

"They're Pinky and The Brain - Yes Pinky and The Brain - One is a genius - The other's insane"

Brain is clearly made out to be insane (in the cartoon sense), which leaves Pinky as the genius. QED, right?

This comment and the replies seem to be rationalisation. It's clear even from the opening Pinky is supposed to be shown as an insane fool (It shows the Pinky dancing in what looks like a Straitjacket when the theme sings "The other is insane"). The reason The Brain's schemes don't work out is because it's a comedy cartoon for children, not that the mouse acting like the idiot is secretly a genius.

It's a nice fan theory but I don't think it holds up.

also in general English style if you say there is X and Y and one is an A and other a B, it is common that the property A refers to X and the property B to Y as they occupy the same positions in the statement. However one can also be structuring things in this ambiguous manner for artistic reasons.

Or because brain rhymes with insane...

Of course that's what they want you to think!

Right, that was clear to me and I never saw an episode only heard the theme song... it's very clearly insanity to try to take over the world and also being cagey about which one is insane it's again obvious it's not that the one whose name would imply it.

Indeed. Besides, you dont even need the lyrics to infer who is insane. The only major goal in life being world domination is enough proof in my book...

I mean, I always thought that was intended as part of the format: of course you’re supposed to assume that Brain = smart, and be surprised and amused when that turns out wrong.

I've been in heated debates about this, and it's good to see the case for my point of view stated plainly and with supporting evidence.

heated debates!? As in literally multiple full on arguments? I've argued a lot of dumb stuff before but could never imagine a discussion about a much loved kids cartoon getting heated. Let alone repeatedly.

Sorry, mate!

To extend it, the "genius or insane?" trope comes from both being pretty much defined as to be indexed on things others can't see. The main difference is, genius reveals things that we realize afterward were always there, and insanity is mostly failing to cohere the perspective into something others can see as well.

Brain is also made to represent what a child imagines as "smart." Pinky as the genius does make the cartoon adventures more rich though.

> Pinky is the Genius And The Brain is Insane

Isn't this partly the main joke of the series? If the Brain was such a genius, one of his plans would surely work.

The link neglects to mention that the game-show was called "Gyp-Parody," and is one of the best Jeopardy knock-offs ever made.

My personal favorite is the one where the Brain assumes the identity of country singer Bubba-Bo-Bob-Brain.

In the recent new season on Hulu there was an episode where Brain's future self arrived and wanted to kill Pinky for allegedly secretly sabotaging Brain's plans all along.

Some episodes could be interpreted that way, with Pinky screwing things up on purpose, but Brain clearly screws up himself much of the time.

I love how this page is randomly on Hacker News

Pinky, is that you?

I think so Brain, but what about the other letters? Narf!

My boys and I intuited this the very first time we saw the show. "Which one is which?" we wondered. And then saw how Pinky was consistently the 'smarter' one.

There is a reference to them in the Laundry Files book series [1].

[1] https://www.goodreads.com/series/50764-laundry-files

This is probably one of my favorite fan theories out there, because I loved the show as a kid and I think it is probably what the writers had in mind as a joke.

Another fan theory I'm a bit of a fan of that I've seen only once or twice online (and the creators allude to it strongly in an interview) is that Rick from Rick and Morty is Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory as an old man.

This was always my assumption. Narf.

Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, sayonaraman, but if Pinocchio were carved out of bacon it wouldn't be the same story, would it?


If I need a console or error log message to search for to debug I always use that - super easy to find and strip out when the debugging is done, and if it makes it to production I know exactly who is at fault.




In the intro song and video, it is made pretty clear that pinky is the insane one.

I actually think both of them are insane geniuses.

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