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"Why Brain? What are we going to do tomorrow night?"
— Pinky

Pinky is one of the two major protagonists in the Pinky and the Brain segments seen in both Animaniacs shows, as well as its spinoff shows. Pinky is an open-minded, often nonsensical lab mouse and the assistant and roommate of The Brain, who often blames Pinky for the failure of his plans.

He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.

Appearance

Pinky is a tall, anthropomorphic white-furred mouse; in the Animaniacs reboot, his fur is more off-white. He has large ears, a red nose, and pink skin on his paws and straight tail. He has two protruding front teeth, and blue eyes. He also has three tufts of fur atop his head as a distinguishing feature.

In the original Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain spin-off, Pinky is two years old.[1] By the 2020 Animaniacs revival, he is three.[2]

Personality

Described in the intro as "insane," Pinky is both eagerly optimistic and entirely oblivious to most everything happening around him. He is often very unfocused, naive, and forgetful, as well as friendly, open-minded and loyal. He is almost always happy and hyperactive, and seems to live in his own little world inside his head. He has a huge but unconventional imagination, often leading those around him to not understand what he's talking about; his lack of focus also prevents him from realizing how many of the things he says and does would seem random.[3] His scatter-brained personality often helps him stay optimistic in times of trouble, though it can also get him into worse situations– for instance, he often finds himself chewing electrical wires or unable to remember to breathe.

Lab report on Pinky

Despite Brain's belief that Pinky is a complete idiot, Pinky does excel in his own unique forms of intelligence; he can name all the world's cheeses, including which country produces each type, and has a large knowledge of popular culture (being television in the original shows and internet sensations and webseries in the reboot). While his social skills are lacking, he often finds himself the more popular one of the duo, very quickly making friends or allies who are intrigued by his strange way of thinking. In "The Pink Candidate," he also showed himself to be a fair and honest leader, and "Welcome to the Jungle" showcased that Pinky is very quick to adapt and improvise in unusual circumstances. There have also been cases where Pinky has used his unique ideas to almost overtake the world faster than Brain, such as "Pinky's Plan" and "Pinky's Turn," only for Brain to accidentally ruin the attempt.

Pinky enjoys sensations that others would find painful, such as when Brain bops him on the head, or running into glass,[4][5] though he also has other, less dangerous repetitive movements he enjoys, such as bouncing, running on their hamster wheel, and dancing. Most notably, there are several "nonsense" words that he often repeats or throws into conversations; in "The Pinky P.O.V.", it is shown that he visualizes these words appearing in thin air as he speaks them. His most prominent word is "Narf," though he also often uses "Poit," "Troz" and "Fiddlely-posh," uses "Egad" as an exclamation, and will say "Zort" as a giveaway for when he is lying.[6] He also has pica,[7] which means he often eats items generally considered inedible.

Pinky tends to fall in love easily, and usually with someone unexpected as regarded by society, such as Phar Fignewton (a horse, and his recurring girlfriend), a sea lion named Winnie, a pig named Penny, Brain's monster creation Drusilla, an octopus, or a sock puppet.

Quite often, he dresses and acts in a gender non-comforming way, often dressing in drag either for one of his and Brain's plans or simply because he wants to. He also enjoys playing with makeup and wearing fancy dresses. He shows no dislike for being referred to by "she/her" pronouns and in fact at one point says he has dreamed of being "the most beautiful human woman on the planet."[2]

Pinky also may have some form of psychic powers; in the episode "Fly," a distracted Pinky makes several pieces of fruit float with his mind. When asked how he does this, Pinky simply responds that it "comes and goes." He may also have regenerative abilities, as in another episode he suggests that he grew his leg back.

His established character has changed a few times; in "That Smarts," Pinky temporarily became a genius like Brain, only for Pinky's new intelligence to cause a strain on their friendship after Pinky began pointing out all of the problems in his roommate's plans. He is also noted to be considerably ruder in Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, with Brain referring to him as a "hindrance with an attitude."[8]

Relationship with Brain

Brain and the Pinky

Pinky has a strong bond with his cagemate Brain, and thinks of him as his best friend. He is often very excited to help Brain with his ideas, even though he doesn't have an emotional stake in the idea of world domination, and does his best to help. Series creator Tom Ruegger has said, "Pinky's plans are really to hang out with Brain, have some fun, do something silly tonight about taking over the world and then get another food pellet."[9] Though his assistance often causes disaster, in other times he notices a plan's problem before Brain does, only to not be listened to. Pinky's excessive joy and distracted consciousness often annoy Brain, who constantly berates him or uses him for slapstick gags; while Pinky admits he's bothered by the insults, he actually enjoys the physical pain,[4] which is shown to be true as he seems impervious to any kind of torture[10] and sometimes actively seeks out activities that could prove harmful to others.[5] For his part, Brain is also very attached to Pinky, though his dislike of showing emotions prevents this side of him from being seen often. He has, however, been in great distress when Pinky is in danger,[11][12] and literally went to hell and back for him.[10] They are very loyal to each other despite their odd dynamic, and Pinky often functions as a moral compass for Brain, whether Brain likes it or not.

The awkward dinner date, from the episode "Brain's Night Off"

While not directly stated in as many words, is also heavily implied that he harbors romantic feelings for Brain, as he often says vaguely flirtatious things towards his roommate, and several times has been portrayed as his spouse/partner during one of their plans[13] or, in some cases, a full sketch.[14][15] In "Brain's Night Off," the two of them go out to dinner on what seems to be a date, and Pinky has often fantasized about or paralleled acting as a housewife.[16][17][15] The pair have also stood in for love interests in multiple parodies, such as North by Northwest,[4] Run Lola Run[6]  and The Graduate.[7]

The two of them had a genetically-cloned child together, Romy, and an episode entitled after their relationship name, "Brinky," in which Romy refers to him and Brain as his "two dads." In one of the Pinky and the Brain comics, Pinky became upset and jealous when Brain wouldn't let him play as Romy's mother.

History

Past

Young Pinky, "Leggo My Ego"

Contradictory information has been given about Pinky's past on multiple occasions, as well as whether or not his segments' events happen in-canon or if he and Brain are simply actors; or even a mix of both.

Pinky seems to have been born in a pet shop called Totally Pets. He had two parents, as well as a sister named Sis, who was an empty spool of thread. He was later sold to Acme Labs to be used as a lab mouse.[18] He was relatively young when this happened, as he has been seen as an infant in the lab,[19] the Animaniacs reboot shows him as a child being used for a cheese test,[20] and he mentions the scientists using a hand-puppet to imitate his father, a practice usually used for baby animals.[7] Whether in reference to these fake lab parents, a poor relationship with his biological parents, issue of him being separated from them too early, or some other unknown reason, Pinky seems to have familial issues, often remarking on how he would like to make a parental figure proud or how something rude being said reminded him of his mother or father.

Young Pinky doing experiments, "Roadent Trip"

Supposedly around September 9, 1995[21], Pinky was then selected for Project BRAIN (Biological Recombinant Algorithmic Intelligence Nexus), in which he was put through the gene splicer with fellow lab mouse Brain; he was chosen for the experiment due to his unusually energetic behavior and "lower-than-average performance" in intelligence tests. Pinky was the first of the two to (accidentally) name himself, causing Brain to realize his new mental capacity. After Pinky accidentally electrocuted Brain, the scientists presumed that Pinky had become smarter (due to his ability to say "Narf") and Brain dumber, but left Brain with Pinky to keep him company. The project was cancelled after Brain bit a manager, but the two were kept together, and Pinky accidentally gave him the idea to take over the world, saying that then he could make everyone "wear very shiny pants."[22]

Animaniacs

Pinky and the Brain in Animaniacs.

Pinky and the Brain were given their own major segment in the show Animaniacs, featuring their adventures to take over the world. Their segment would later prove so popular that they received their own spin-off show, with several elements established in Animaniacs becoming a staple of the series.

Pinky was established as Brain's dim-witted assistant, excited to help Brain and make his friend happy and a bit less concerned with the actual goal of taking over the world. The night's plan will typically be foiled either by some accidental move of Pinky's or by a mistake of Brain's that Pinky notices. Brain will often ask Pinky what he is pondering, to which Pinky responds with something inane; at the same time, Pinky will consistently ask Brain what they will be doing tonight or tomorrow night, to which Brain will always respond that they are going to take over the world.

The mice were featured in several segments taking place during different time periods, though their usual setting was still Acme Labs, and they occasionally appeared in crossover segments with the other Animaniacs characters. In "Animaniacs Stew", Pinky was placed with Rita, who promptly ate him, though he didn't seem to mind, and he was later paired with Ralph T. Guard in "Pinky and the Ralph," in which they ended up stuck in a looped conversation of what they should do that night.

Pinky and the Brain in Wakko's Wish.

After receiving their spinoff, the mice appeared in Animaniacs segments less frequently, though they still had several cameos. The episode "A Hard Day's Warners," the Warner siblings used Pinky and the Brain's popularity as a distraction in order to escape several rabid fans at a convention.

They returned for the finale film Wakko's Wish, in which both mice lived in the town of Acme Falls. Pinky, while in love with the pharmacist's horse Pharfignewton, assists Brain as they attempt to reach the Wishing Star. After the Warners retake the throne, they appoint Brain their royal advisor and Pinky the royal stablehand.

Pinky and the Brain

Pinky in Pinky and the Brain.

After the incredible success of Pinky and the Brain's segment on Animaniacs, the two mice were given their own spinoff show. Like the previous show, each episode focuses on one of their attempts to take over the world, though they now have an extended runtime and their own recurring characters.

Though the show was mainly episodic, a few recurring plot points appeared, such as slightly clarifying the Acme Labs Gene Splicer and its effects on the mice. A few plotlines followed with supporting characters, such as Snowball, Brain's ex-friend who attempted to steal Pinky simply to spite him. Even following this, Pinky didn't seem to understand Snowball and Brain's antagonism towards each other.

This show also features the first instances of Pinky showing an unexpected competence, almost taking over the world twice[23][24] and being able to adapt to the wilderness within minutes.[11]

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain

After the destruction of Acme Labs, Pinky and the Brain escape the burned remains and end up on the run from Wally Faust, a parody of Christopher Walken. After fleeing several labs, they ended up trapped inside a pet store, and were accidentally purchased by Elmyra Duff. Pinky and the Brain end up living in Elmyra's bedroom, while Brain continues to attempt world domination.

As of the 2020 Animaniacs reboot, this series of events is non-canon, likely due to the fact the fans, cast and crew heavily disliked the show.

Animaniacs Reboot

Pinky and the Brain returned to Animaniacs for its 2020 reboot; their absence in the last twenty-two years was explained away as Brain inventing the internet and Pinky undergoing rigorous psycho-therapy, which was quickly undone. The mice continue their plans to take over the world from Acme Labs, with Pinky still happy to help despite his lack of interest in world domination. Pinky's pop culture interests have shifted from television to internet shows. As such, Pinky understands more of the internet than Brain, and has his own TubeSpace and Chatstagram channels with three million subscribers.

Pinky in the Animaniacs revival

Pinky's luck in contrast to Brain's failures is pointed out explicitly in several episodes, with several antagonists deciding that Pinky must be the real supervillain due to Brain's continued failures. This also includes a Future Brain, who believes that Pinky intentionally sabotaged all of his plans and attempts to persuade Brain to abandon him; however, Brain refuses, calling Pinky his loyal assistant.[12] Pinky, for his part, does show his loyalty to Brain throughout the show, such as reliving the same day on repeat until he could save him.[6] Pinky also manages to express unhappiness with Brain after his friend forgot his birthday for a month, but accepted his apology, as "that's what friends do."[25]

Pinky and the Brain gain a new antagonist, Julia, who was genetically altered by Brain  before going insane from his manipulations and running away. She also attempts to take over the world, as well as cause problems for the two mice, though she seems to be more indifferent to Pinky than Brain, whom she hates.

In a possible dig at Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, a recurring joke involves the two mice attempting to add a new mouse named Egwind to their friend group, only for Egwind to be comedically killed off, to their indifference.

Appearances





Quotes

Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of quotes related to Pinky

Voices

Pinky was voiced in the original English recordings by Rob Paulsen.

  • Albanian: Ilir Muhametaj[26]
  • Czech: Vítězslav Bouchner (ČT1), Martin Sobotka (VHS)
  • French: Vincent Violette
  • German: Uwe Buschken
  • Hebrew: Avi Hadash
  • Japanese: Hideyuki Umezu
  • Portuguese (Brazilian): Alexandre Moreno
  • Portuguese (European): Paulo B.
  • Romanian: Florian Silaghi
  • Russian: Yuriy Malyarov (STS)
  • Spanish: Frank Carreño
  • Greek: Χάρης Γρηγορόπουλος

Trivia

In-Universe

  • His birthday is given in the reboot as March 11;[25] he shares this date with his voice actor, Rob Paulsen.
  • Pinky knows all the lyrics to "Yakko's World;"[27][28] this is likely another voice actor-related in-joke, as Rob Paulsen also voices Yakko Warner.

General

  • Pinky is modeled after Eddie Fitzgerald, a writer and director for Tiny Toon Adventures.
    • When Tom Ruegger was working for Tiny Toons, his office was next to Fitzgerald and Tom Minton's, and he would often overhear their conversations. Minton would talk in a low voice and Fitzgerald would often randomly interject with words like "NARF!" and "EGAD!"
    • In one episode of Tiny Toons, Fitzgerald was credited as "Guy who says 'Narf'".
  • When asked to describe Pinky in one word, Rob Paulsen referred to him as "Narfy."[29]

Gallery

Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of images related to Pinky

Sources

  1. Episode 8 (PATB): A Pinky and the Brain Christmas
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode 19 (Reboot): Yakko's Big Idea/Mouse Congeniality/Rejected Animaniacs Characters
  3. Episode 58 (PATB): The Pinky P.O.V./The Really Great Dictator/Brain Food
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode 9 (PATB): Snowball
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 61 (PATB): Brainwashed Part 3 - Wash Harder
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Episode 16 (Reboot): Rug of War/Run Pinky Run/The Hamburg Tickler
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Episode 25 (Reboot): Warner's Ark/The Apology/Narf Over Troubled Water/The Warner's Vault
  8. My Fair Brainy!
  9. Mel - Is Pinky the Real Genius of 'Pinky and the Brain'? Their Creator Weighs In
  10. 10.0 10.1 Episode 42 (PATB): A Pinky and the Brain Halloween
  11. 11.0 11.1 Episode 19 (PATB): Welcome to the Jungle
  12. 12.0 12.1 Episode 9 (Reboot): Here Comes Treble/That's Not the Issue/Future Brain/The Incredible Gnome in People's Mouths
  13. Episode 33: Cartoons in Wakko's Body/Noah's Lark/The Big Kiss/Hiccup
  14. Episode 21A and C (Reboot): "Wakkiver Twist"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Episode 15 (Reboot): Please Submit/The Flawed Couple/Everyday Safety
  16. Episode 2 (PATB): Of Mouse And Man
  17. Pinky's Dream House
  18. Episode 53 (PATB): The Family That Poits Together, Narfs Together
  19. Episode 44B (PATB): "Leggo My Ego"
  20. Episode 13B (Reboot) "Roadent Trip"
  21. The exact date varies
  22. Episode 64 (PATB): A Legendary Tail/Project B.R.A.I.N.
  23. Episode 31 (PATB): All You Need Is Narf/Pinky's Plan
  24. Episode 54 (PATB): Pinky's Turn/Your Friend: Global Domination
  25. 25.0 25.1 Episode 20 (Reboot): Yakko Amakko/The Longest Word/Happy Narfday!/Magna Cartoon
  26. AlbanianDubs - Ilir Muhametaj
  27. Episode 13 (PATB): The Third Mouse/The Visit
  28. Squeeze Play
  29. ANIMANIACS cast Q&A + SAT, JAN 16TH (2021) | 1PM PT, 4PM ET
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