Webcomic: Phoebe And Her Unicorn
aka: Heavenly Nostrils
Phoebe and Her Unicorn
is a Web Comic
by Dana Simpson
, and made its debut as Heavenly Nostrils
on Go Comics.com
in April 2012. In January 2015, the comic assumed its present title.
It begins when 9-year-old Phoebe skips a rock across a pond and accidentally hits a unicorn
in the face. Freed from her own reflection, the unicorn — named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils — gives Phoebe one wish. After her impractical wishesnote
are denied, Phoebe decides on making Marigold her best friend. But can a vain mythical beast and a nine-year-old daydreamer really forge a connection?
- Adorkable: Phoebe's mom geeking out over art supplies.
- Alpha Bitch: Dakota.
- Argument of Contradictions: On whether Phoebe picks her nose.
- Awesome McCoolname: Marigold Heavenly Nostrils.
Phoebe: "That's the best name I've ever heard."
Marigold: "Yes it is!"
- Bland-Name Product/Captain Ersatz: You can bet there was going to be a Shout-Out to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (see Fictional Counterpart below for more).
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Marigold frequently understands human expressions literally, much to her confusion.
- Bowdlerization: The book collection has some dialogue in the first few strips edited from the web version. Most notably, a reference Phoebe makes to Bono and a reference Marigold makes to the PATRIOT Act are removed.
- Care Bear Stare: Marigold gives Dakota a literal box of happiness for her birthday, to make up for spoiling Dakota's big entrance with the Shield of Boringness.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Marigold is right most the time, because she says so.
- Catchphrase: Marigold cheers "UNICORN!" whenever she does something awesome... which is fairly frequently.
- Cheated Angle: No matter which way Marigold is turned, the upper part of her mane is always behind her horn.
- Culture Clash: Pops up every now and then.
- Cute and Psycho: Sue, Phoebe's bunk mate from summer camp, casually tells Phoebe that she's glad she's not a clarinet player because then she doesn't have to kill her in a jealous rage if she was better than her.
- Deadpan Snarker: Max, lampshaded here. Word of God is that he's based on the same person as Ozy.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Phoebe's dad tells her a joke about binary trees, then sees fit to explain a little. Unimpressed, Phoebe tells Marigold, "My dad speaks 'nerd.'"
- Dynamic Entry/Diving Save: Mare of Action Marigold bravely protects Phoebe... from a dodgeball.
- Embarrassing Middle Name / Unfortunate Name: Florence Unfortunate Nostrils. So called because she sneezes spiders.
- Phoebe isn't so fond of her middle name, Grizelda.
- The Faceless: Lord Splendid Humility, whose unmatched modesty requires that he never allows anyone to see him. His horn protrudes from his hiding place.
- Fictional Counterpart: Aside from Phoebe's "Pastel Unicorns" toys (see My Little Phony, below), there's the cartoon Robots That Are Totally Also Cars, the video game Talking Animals, and the TV fantasy series Thrones of Ermagard.
- A Girl And Her X: The X being a unicorn.
- Humans Are Ugly: Marigold invokes this from time to time.
Marigold: "What is a tiny bit of extra pink in a sea of fleshy human disgustingness?"
Phoebe: "Remember what I said about knowing when to stop talking?"
- I Have This Friend: Phoebe says this to Marigold when fishing for ideas of what to get her for Christmas.
- Insane Troll Logic: Marigold is not above using this, either. Case in point...
- Insufferable Genius: Marigold from time to time, though it seems to be a species trait.
Marigold: "Unicorns invented music. We decided one day that only one thing could make us even more wondrous than we were already."
Marigold: "A soundtrack!"
- Interspecies Romance: Marigold has developed feelings for Ringo, the camp lake monster. Possibly one-sided, as he seems simply confused about the whole concept.
- It's All About Me: Flashback Marigold's active inner life is simply a Doom-comic-esque repetition of "ME ME ME ME ME".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her narcissism and ego (see above), Marigold really does care about Phoebe as a friend.
- Large Ham: Marigold, now and again. Also when Dakota tries to out-act Phoebe in the audition for the school play:
Dakota: "Choke on that, Unicorn girl."
Phoebe: "On what, the scenery?"
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted with Phoebe, but Marigold always seems to wear the same burgundy scarf (and matching Eighties-style leg warmers) in cold weather.
- Little Professor Dialog:
- In this strip Phoebe uses the words "appalling" and "semiautobiographical."
- In a spelling bee, she correctly spells "appoggiatura" — but she was actually asked to spell "hat".
- Major General Song: "I am the very model of a modern magic unicorn...."
- Metaphor Is My Middle Name: In an early strip, Phoebe claims "Danger" is her middle name. It's actually Grizelda.
- Mind over Matter: Marigold sometimes manipulates things with her horn magic to make up for her lack of fingers.
- Ms. Exposition: Lampshaded here.
- My Little Phony: Phoebe is a fan of the cartoon Pastel Unicorns and has a bunch of the toys. In a few strips (like on March 17, 2013 and on August 11, 2013) she discusses recent plot developments from the show, and they're barely-veiled references to actual episodes of Friendship Is Magic.
- Narcissist: Marigold, big time. Seems to be a common unicorn trait as well.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: UNICORN!
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Sue.
Sue: "I should warn you, I'm sorta weird."
- On Second Thought: Marigold's initial reaction to Phoebe wishing the unicorn would be her best friend is "Or maybe... um, some gold?"
- Our Dragons Are Different: Todd the candy dragon. He breathes candy (with wrappers!) and can hork up ice-cream.
- Our Goblins Are Different: They are basically civilized, but goblin language appears to consist only of "BLAART." Marigold still understands it from context. They also disrupt electronics by laughing.
- Painting the Medium: Marigold can tell Phoebe's not pronouncing The Shield of Boringness in a properly dramatic fashion because of the font being used.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The male goblin who impersonates Dakota, both online and around the house, simply dons a wig (and eventually clothes) and holds a sign saying "Litl gerl." Evidently, Dakota's own mom falls for it (or possibly thinks it's an improvement).
- Placebo Effect: Phoebe and Marigold experience strange effects when they swipe some coffee, but it turns out to be decaf.
- Post-Modern Magik: Marigold can use unicorn magic to send and receive text messages with Phoebe's cell phone.
- Prehensile Hair: Dakota's, once she gets the magical kind.
- Rapid Hair Growth: The July 16, 2012 strip shows how beholding the glory of Marigold can undo baldheadedness for Dakota.
- Really 700 Years Old: Marigold claims she's old enough to have seen "oceans become forests become deserts".
- Releasing from the Promise: Phoebe released Marigold from her wish as a Christmas gift. Marigold's response:
Marigold: "It is all right that I still want to, though, is it not?"
- Shaking the Rump: The strip where Marigold performs "The Dance of the Glittering Hindquarters".
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Phoebe has Dakota.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: When Marigold sees her reflection, she is trapped staring, sometimes for days.
- Spoof Aesop:
Phoebe: "I now understand that hair is far more important than pencil toppers."
Dakota: "That's a stupid moral."
Phoebe: "At least it's not a cliche."
- This Is Reality: Phoebe lets her hair down, causing a younger girl not to recognize her. Phoebe explains that unlike a cartoon character, she doesn't have to look the same all the time.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Even Marigold can get embarrassed, as when caught singing spontaneously.
- Unicorn: Marigold's design resembles the medieval description of a unicorn, rather than looking like a mere horse with a horn.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Justified in-universe. See Weirdness Censor below for details.
- We Are as Mayflies: Implied then subverted by Marigold.
- Weirdness Censor: The class doesn't react much to seeing a live unicorn during show and tell. Marigold says it's because of the "Shield of Boringness," a bit of magic that lets unicorns live undisturbed.
- Also explains why Phoebe's parents didn't freak out the first time they had a unicorn over for dinner. Marigold explains that she gradually cranked the "Shield of Boringness" down to "Shield of Humoring a Child", and eventually to "Shield of Eyebrow-Raising Novelty". The only major consequence was that Phoebe's mom insisted on painting a portrait of Marigold.
- What Are Records?: Phoebe isn't sure what "records" are. Or a "radio". "I'm old" is Marigold's reaction in both cases.
- Youthful Freckles: Phoebe.