My mother is getting married today! In honor and respect of this, I have written a post about weddings in some popular cartoons.
Weddings are great! They are happy, festive events that bring people together. The same is true for TV shows. In TV, weddings are useful plot devices that bring together a lot of characters to interact in a way they don’t usually (if at all). This can create interesting and unique situations, as well as drama. While weddings are happy events, they can also be high stress. We’ve all heard horror stories about bridezillas or crazy family members. The same can be true in TV (probably more so).
When thinking about this post and brainstorming cartoon weddings, a few came to mind right away. The first, Ruby & Sapphire of Steven Universe, who married over the summer. There’s also Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig from Adventure Time, who married in 2014. Finally, there have been two weddings in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Princess Cadence & Shining Armor in 2012 and Matilda & Cranky Doodle Donkey in a 100th episode special in 2015.
(Note: I’m looking at episodes where the wedding is a main focus of the plot.)
All four weddings approach the big day differently and use the event in different ways.
Adventure Time 5×44 “Apple Wedding”
(Aired: Jan. 13, 2014)
In this episode, secondary character Tree Trunks (an elderly mini green elephant) and Mr. Pig (a pig who typically walks on his two back legs) get married. In typical Adventure Time fashion, this wedding is used for random comedic effect and is the least stable of all the relationships discussed in this post. It satirically demonstrates how weddings can become incredibly selfish events. At this wedding, everyone has a selfish agenda that has little to do with the wedding itself. In the end, it becomes clear that weddings are about two people coming together to celebrate their love for each other. That supersedes anything else and has the ability to bring everyone together in the end.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 2×25-26 “A Canterlot Wedding”
(Aired: Apr. 21, 2012)
This episode served as a two part season finale for season 2. The previous season had ended with a single episode in which the characters go to a party that had been referenced throughout the season. They go to the party and shenanigans ensue but they learn a valuable lesson. This episode is significantly more dramatic and has an impact on future episodes.
We are introduced to new characters including, Princess Cadence (one of the initial three rulers of their homeland, Equestria), Shining Armor (Captain of the Guard at the castle and brother to protagonist, Twilight Sparkle), as well as a new villain who reappears more than once throughout the series.
Here, the wedding ups the drama because it means that multiple characters are about to become family. It also brings together a huge portion of the cast, allowing for higher tensions as well as more characters involved in what occurs.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 5×9 “Slice of Life”
(Aired: Jun. 13, 2015)
I LOVE this episode! It is truly one of my favorites. It is MLP:FiM’s 100th episode and focuses on background or secondary characters. Two characters, Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda, were brought together after a long separation in a previous episode of a prior season. There is very little impact moving forward, and the main protagonists (known as the “Mane Six” by fans) only appear peripherally.
This episode is a lot of fun because it looks at characters that have previously only appeared in the background, some of whom never had speaking parts. It is really an episode dedicated to the rabid fanbase, however. For example, one background character somehow developed a huge backstory as a spy thanks to fanworks. This is made canon in this episode.
Here, a wedding is used to demonstrate how the actions of one character can carry over as well as bring together characters that are not typically seen together. The wedding plot point is used to highlight how these events bring people together and looks at the comedic mishaps can occur, but how ultimately weddings are happy events.
Steven Universe 5×23-24 “Reunited”
(Aired: Jul. 6, 2018)
This special event concluded a number of plot lines.
*SPOILER WARNING* Scroll to skip
In this 22 minute episode, Ruby and Sapphire get married and reform Garnet after a longterm separation. Following the wedding, Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond arrive to awaken the Cluster, a geo-weapon that Steven helped to bubble during season 3. This episode also brings together not only the residents of Beach City, but a number of gems, including Bismuth (who returned in the previous episode) and marks the return of Lapis Lazuli. During the attack, Steven reveals some important truths to the Diamonds while Beach City enacts its emergency plan, something discussed at length in previous episodes. “Reunited” demonstrates how weddings can bring people together and be happy events, as well as the more dramatic aspects. Because weddings are a way to bring so many people together, they are also useful for tying up plot threads. Another episode aired after this to follow up and help set up the next season, which was officially renewed last weekend for 32 episodes. Of all the weddings listed in this post, this one has perhaps the greatest significance and impact.
Weddings are Special Events. They carry huge emotional weight and bring people together. They bring out the best and worst in people, have the potential to be the perfect start to a ‘happily ever after’ or be complete disasters. This is why they are so useful as major plot points. You wouldn’t think weddings would be taken so seriously in children’s programming, but they are treated as the emotionally charged, life-changing events that they are in real life. The couples above are all very different, and they each go through there own unique challenges. However, at the end of the day, each couple finds strength in their relationship and each other setting an example we can all hope to follow.