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Fridge / The Berenstain Bears

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Why do Mama Bear and Papa Bear occasionally switch the voices of reason? Because they each have a different Berserk Button; Mama Bear tends to get angry as a homemaker when her cleaning and items get messed up, or when the same happens to another parent, especially when it could be avoided by Brother and Sister getting along better. For Papa Bear, he's more concerned with home repairs, being the main breadwinner as a lumberjack, making sure the kids are keeping up with school as well as staying safe, and with maintaining a good image. Thus he gets angry when trouble comes to his kids' school, like with the dress code fiasco, and when Brother comes home with terrible grades. It's also why he gets heavy-handed when Sister asks why talking to strangers is bad, and reads her the Berenstain Bear version of Chicken Little so that for most of the next day she is terrified of every person she doesn't know.
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  • Queenie is a Lovable Alpha Bitch rather than a mean one, as shown when as Innocently Insensitive she excludes Sister Bear from getting soft ice-cream with her posse, and Too Tall for all his bullying has standards, sometimes even forming an Enemy Mine with Brother and Sister Bear. Why is that? In the Berenstain Bear community, with minor exceptions like the Beary Bubby trend, most adults fall into the Reasonable Authority Figure slant, and their kids tend to follow suit. They may not agree all the time, like Miss Glitch and Farmer Ben about tobacco, but they each are willing to listen to the other's point of view and not resort to violence or sound byte facts. Also in the case of the dress code debate, the principal returns and points out that the debate was a large social experiment, which revealed surprising results, and allowed him to make a decision about casual Fridays for the school. It makes a difference when people are willing to listen. Also, in the Christmas story Mama Bear tells sister that being good and being perfect aren't the same thing, meaning that when Sister make mistakes, they aren't held against her or stay with her for life.
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  • In general, the whole premise of bears being this world's equivalent of humans. Bears are very similar to humans in some ways, namely omnivory, intelligence, and even bipedalism.

Fridge Horror

  • In one of The Berenstain Bears picture-books, Sister Bear is threatened by, and later punches, a girl who's bullying her at school. The bully physically assaults Sister Bear off-screen (the book opens with Sister coming home in tears with her clothes and fur dirty, her bow ripped, and God knows what else), is later seen throwing rocks at a baby bird, while the two are waiting for the principal the bully is shown crying and admitting that her parents will probably hit her if they find out what she did, which causes Sister to think she must get hit a lot at home so that's why she bullies people...put it all together and what do you get?
    Sister: Mama, guess what? That Tuffy who's been picking on me? Turns out her parents abuse her. That must be why she's a bully.
    Mama: Oh, what a relief! I thought she was just a bad cub. Do you want vegetable soup or lasagna for dinner?
    • The book did mention that Tuffy got therapy, but the parents don't. At least not in that picture book.
    • No mention of the image showing Sister imagining all the things she wanted to do to Tuffy when she was going home after being beat up? To reiterate: We see her in a tank, with a morning star, in a bomber plane with a bomb under it, on a horse with a javelin, her in superhero pose, all facing the same direction. Okay, now, most kids would likely just imagine the bully being humiliated. Sister imagines Tuffy about to be killed in so many different, horrific, and painful ways. Not so nice and innocent, now is she? Oh, and in case you forgot: She's thinking all this because she got beat up by Tuffy, whose initial crime was to lob rocks at a bird.
      • Well, she IS about five.
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    • Do most 5-year-olds think about killing the bully in so many gruesome, horrific ways? Do they even know that most of the things we saw her imagine can and ARE lethal if used on someone else? The implication here is that she knows exactly what those things could do to Tuffy, and is imagining each and every one of them bearing down on her.
      • Hasn't everyone fantasized about bombing someone at some point? She probably sees that sort of thing on TV, and would never actually do it.
      • To answer the above question, though? Yes. Children are, to quote from Peter Pan, "gay and innocent and heartless"; imagining killing a bully is actually pretty normal at that age.
      • Also, kids don't tend to think of that sort of thing in terms of gore, killing, or anything of the sort. Think about the cartoons...when Wile E. Coyote got blown up by ridiculously overpowered weapons, he was fine. Blackened and a little shocked, but not even really hurt. Daffy duck gets shot in the face at point blank range and all that happens is his beak flips around his face. So kids that small have that sort of view on tanks and bombs.
  • In The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day (a prequel to the rest of the series), Mama and Papa and Small Bear (as he was called at that point before Sister was born) are pictured moving into their new tree house, and their new neighbors who are rabbits, squirrels, frogs, etc are coming to greet them. Later on, though, these animals are depicted as ordinary beasts. Brother and Sister get a pet dog, the bear family are shown eating chicken, and Farmer Ben is raising sheep and pigs.
  • In one of the newer books, a family of pandas bears come to live in the town the series is set in. Papa Bear begins to hate them. Now this begins the Aesop where he learns to not judge people by their fur color, but think about it. Before this book, most if not all the characters living in the town were grizzly bears. Makes one wonder how long Papa's held this belief of "they're [non-grizzlies] not even real bears" and just never had the opportunity to show it until now? To amplify it further, where did he learn to hate non-grizzly bears? One source could have been from his own parents, aka the lovable Grandmother and Grandfather Bears that we love so much. Whether intentionally or unknowingly, they instilled the distrust into their son and it wasn't until this book that it finally came out.
  • In some of the newer books, Christianity and the Bible get pushed. If the Bible exists in this world, who/what mauled the kids who made fun of Elisha's baldness?
    • Mountain lions maybe? Or some other kind of large cat? It could even have been wolves or some sort of canine. Anything with the right size and sharp enough teeth and claws could fit the bill.
  • In the chapter book where the Grizzlys and the Bears are fighting, Papa's ill-thought-out crusade to convince all Bears to boycott anything owned by Squire Grizzly comes off as nutty and a bit goofy in-universe and out. Then Brother and Sister get to school and see Too Tall and Queenie in a bitter spat; the trouble quickly escalates to every kid in school trying to rip each other to pieces. And to make matters worse, Lizzy, who as a Bruin may or may not actually have anything to do with the ancient grudge fueling the whole mess, can be seen in the illustration of the fight, flat on the ground with a "What did I do?" look on her face. Given that most of the other cubs in the shot appear to be older than her, it's a wonder she's not more hurt.
  • In some episodes of the 1985 cartoon, Queen Nectar's bees sting Papa for trying to steal their Wild Wild Honey and this is followed by Mama or the cubs pulling out the bees' stingers from him. If you know your entomology, this would mean a lot of bees have given up their lives to protect their honey.
  • In the book "Forget Their Manners", Papa is shown doing extra chores as punishments for forgetting his manners. One of the chores he shown doing is beating two rugs. Looking back at Mama Bear's Politeness Plan for the family, beating rugs was the penalty for Pushing/Shoving. Considering that earlier in the book Papa is shown shouting and banging his fist on a table, it's disturbing to consider that Papa might have serious anger issues.

Fridge Logic

  • What kind of insane parents would name their kids Brother & Sister?
    • Futhermore, what kind of insane grandparents would name their kids Mama & Papa?
      • Even worse, the youngest member of the Bear family is named Honey, not Baby or something like that, giving Sister & Brother no excuse for their names.


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