Created By: Goldfritha on December 16, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on December 24, 2012
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Bluebird Of Happiness

A bluebird symbolizes happiness.

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Feeling blue? Don't! Look, there's a bluebird perched there!

Perhaps it's because they're a shade of Heavenly Blue, but bluebirds are symbols of happiness -- and this indeed, covers several entirely different species of songbirds, as long as they have blue feathers.

A common plot is to go on The Quest for one only to return home empty-handed and find it was already there. (Outlining the Aesop that home is where you will find happiness is optional.) Besides this MacGuffin status, they can also be local color, but because of the symbolism, they are seldom the Loyal Animal Companion.

Examples

Film -- Animated

Film -- Live Action
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Maid Marion encounters a "happy little bluebird" as she sings about finding her true love.
    "Oof! That happy little bluebird has left a happy little doo-doo on your hand."
  • The Sesame Street film Follow That Bird subverts this. The captured Big Bird, painted blue by the Sleaze Brothers, is anything but happy.
  • The English dub of Sadko has "Sinbad" searching for the Bluebird of Happiness to bring joy to his homeland. He finds a magical bird, but it only brings sleep with its song, not happiness, resulting in the classic "happiness was home all along" ending.
  • (500) Days of Summer homages this during a (rather hilarious) scene where Tom is having a musical-like fantasy of victorious happiness after the first time he has sex with Summer. People in the street smile and shake his hand as they congratulate him, dancing in joyous celebration, and a little animated bluebird lands on his finger.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Eddie's return to the bright and cheerful Toontown has little bluebirds chirping greetings.

Literature
  • Parodied in Hogfather, when the Cheerful Fairy manifests with the Blue Bird of Happiness on her shoulder. It's a blue chicken.
  • In the book and movie of K-PAX, prot exhorts his fellow asylum inmates to find the "blue bird of happiness," and they eventually glimpse a literal one.

Live-Action TV
  • Klinger from M*A*S*H once went for it in Flowery Insults: "May the Bluebird of Happiness leave a surprise in your orange juice!"

Music
  • The vocaloid song "Desert Bluebird" by mothy is about two sibling going to search for a bluebird that can grant any wish, in a world After the End, destroyed by (apparently) a nuclear war, As it turns out they DO find the bluebird but it was in an old nuclear base, the radiation makes the older sister die, and the younger brother wishes to the bird to revive her, it does, and then dissapears the song end with the sibling saying that they should rebuild the world with their own hands
  • There was a hit song in 1934 called "The Bluebird of Happiness" which, according to The Other Wiki, is probably the origin of the American phrase (though the concept is much older in Europe).
  • The lyrics of the They Might Be Giants song "Birdhouse in Your Soul", by John Linnell, include the phrase "blue bird of friendliness."

Newspaper Comic
  • The Far Side had one strip where a man is abandoned by the Bluebird of Happiness, and is instead visited by the Chicken of Despair.
  • There was a Pearls Before Swine Sunday comic where Pig receives a visit from the Bluebird of Happiness, which makes Pig really happy since he never received a visit from such a bird. Subverted afterwards, when it turns out that the Bluebird actually had the wrong address, because he held the directions upside-down, and was really looking for Joseph C. Skalabonsky, so he flies away, leaving Pig sad and alone once again.

Theater

Video Games
  • There's a level with a "red bird of happiness" in Super Mario Sunshine.
  • * Tokimeki Memorial 2 has, among its numerous Image Songs, one called "Aoi Tori" (Blue Bird). It's a Kaori Yae image song, in which the blue bird is the symbol of the main protagonist, who came into Kaori's wounded heart, telling her she's not alone, and bringing her happiness and love.
  • The Earthbound theme song "Pollyanna" has the following verse:
    I believe there'll come a day
    Maybe it will be tomorrow.
    When the blue bird flies away
    All we have to do is follow (it).
    I believe a dream can still come true,
    Why shouldn't I believe the same in you?

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • December 16, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
  • December 17, 2012
    JonnyB
    • In Robin Hood Men In Tights, Maid Marion encounters a "happy little bluebird" as she sings about finding her true love.
      "Oof! That happy little bluebird has left a happy little doo-doo on your hand."
    • Snow White sings to one.
      • Shrek parodies this, having Fiona sing to one... causing it to explode.
  • December 17, 2012
    CaveCat
    • There was a Pearls Before Swine Sunday comic where Pig receives a visit from the Bluebird of Happiness, which makes Pig really happy since he never received a visit from such a bird. Subverted afterwards, when it turns out that the Bluebird actually had the wrong address, because he held the directions upside-down, and was really looking for Joseph C. Skalabonsky, so he flies away, leaving Pig sad and alone once again.
  • December 17, 2012
    MisterTimor
  • December 17, 2012
    SharleeD
    • Parodied in Hogfather, when the Cheerful Fairy manifests with the Blue Bird of Happiness on her shoulder. It's a blue chicken.
  • December 17, 2012
    Doryna
    Film:
    • The Sesame Street film Follow That Bird subverts this. The captured Big Bird, painted blue by the Sleaze Brothers, is anything but happy.
    • The English dub of Sadko has "Sinbad" searching for the Bluebird of Happiness to bring joy to his homeland. He finds a magical bird, but it only brings sleep with its song, not happiness, resulting in the classic "happiness was home all along" ending.
  • December 17, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Five Hundred Days Of Summer homages this during a (rather hilarious) scene where Tom is having a musical-like fantasy of victorious happiness after the first time he has sex with Summer. People in the street smile and shake his hand as they congratulate him, dancing in joyous celebration, and a little animated bluebird lands on his finger.
  • December 19, 2012
    voxhumana3327
    In the book and movie of K-PAX, prot exhorts his fellow asylum inmates to find the "blue bird of happiness," and they eventually glimpse a literal one.
  • December 20, 2012
    Kelnius
    Parodied in American Dad, in Season 5 Episode "In Country Club" where, in one scene, Francine sees a little birdy. She immediately perks up when it starts singing, and the two begin a whistling duet. Then Roger appears and tells her he plans to eat it, after it's been tortured and drowned in alcohol (twice) in accordance with a harsh recipe. A recipe he wants Francine to enact.
  • December 20, 2012
    RoseBride
    The vocaloid song "Desert Bluebird" by Mothy is about two sibling going to search for a bluebird that can grant any wish, in a world After The End, destroyed by (apparently) a nuclear war, As it turns out they DO find the bluebird but it was in an old nuclear base, the radiation makes the older sister die, and the younger brother wishes to the bird to revive her, it does, and then dissapears the song end with the sibling saying that they should rebuild the world with their own hands
  • December 20, 2012
    Sackett
    Isn't Theatre.The Blue Bird (1908) the source of this trope?
  • December 21, 2012
    AceNoctali
    Video game example

    • Tokimeki Memorial 2 has, among its numerous Image Songs, one called "Aoi Tori" (Blue Bird). It's a Kaori Yae image song, in which the blue bird is the symbol of the main protagonist, who came into Kaori's wounded heart, telling her she's not alone, and bringing her happiness and love.
  • December 21, 2012
    JAF1970
  • December 22, 2012
    AceNoctali
    Another video game example:

    • The Earthbound theme song "Pollyanna" has the following verse:
      I believe there'll come a day
      Maybe it will be tomorrow.
      When the blue bird flies away
      All we have to do is follow (it).
      I believe a dream can still come true,
      Why shouldn't I believe the same in you?
  • December 23, 2012
    JonnyB
    • There was a hit song in 1934 called "The Bluebird of Happiness" which, according to The Other Wiki, is probably the origin of the American phrase (though the concept is much older in Europe).

    • A scene in "The Rescuers" uses the bluebird as a symbol of "faith ... you see from afar."

    • The lyrics of the They Might Be Giants song "Birdhouse in Your Soul", by John Linnell, include the phrase "blue bird of friendliness."

    • In some Native American folklore, the bluebird is associated with the rising sun.
  • December 23, 2012
    lakingsif
    ^^The song "The Bluebird of Happiness" was originally composed by Sandor Harmati in 1934.

    The Other Wiki also gives us this, with the following examples listed:
    • A popular American song of 1934, "Bluebird of Happiness" by Sandor Harmati and Edward Heyman, was recorded twice by Jan Peerce and also by Art Mooney and His Orchestra. That song is probably the origin of the American phrase "the bluebird of happiness," which is also mentioned in the film K-Pax and alluded to in the song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from the "Wizard of Oz."
    • In the film Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, the Sleaze Brothers kidnap Big Bird and press him into service in their fun fair, where he is painted blue and billed as the Blue Bird of Happiness. In a witty play on the polysemy of the word "blue," Big Bird sings the mournful song"No Wonder I'm So Blue."
    • A scene in the Disney film "The Rescuers" uses the bluebird as a symbol of "faith ... you see from afar."
    • The lyrics of the They Might Be Giants song Birdhouse in Your Soul, by John Linnell, include the phrase "blue bird of friendliness."
    • The bluebird is mentioned at the end of the 1968 Beatles movie Yellow Submarine, when the leader of the Blue Meanie claims that his "cousin is the bluebird of happiness".

    There's Zippity Doo Dah and the aforementioned allusion to it in The Wizard Of Oz' "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".
  • December 23, 2012
    Doryna
    Um, we've got two Sadko entries now. Perhaps a merge?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=rjdlj62ek2ba5ua4f38lnvry&trope=BluebirdOfHappiness