Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Pippi Longstocking

Go To
Pippi Longstocking and friends
"It's surely best for little children to live an orderly life, especially if they can order it themselves."
Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking (or Pippi Långstrump) began as a series of children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. They have since been adapted into multiple films and television series. The series is regarded as a classic of Swedish literature and the character has become a cultural icon.

The stories all revolve around the adventures of the eccentric young heroine Pippi. Her mother died when she was just a baby, so her sailor father, Captain Efraim Longstocking, raised her as he travelled the world on the seas. When he was blown overboard in a storm Pippi was convinced that her father had survived and would one day come looking for her, so she moved into an old house note (called Villa Villekulla) in a little Swedish village to wait for him. Besides a pet monkey named Mr Nilsson and a horse named nothing at all, Pippi lives alone, takes care of herself and keeps a suitcase full of gold pieces to pay for anything she might need. She quickly befriends her neighbors Tommy and Annika, who are both very normal kids in a very normal family. Pippi herself is highly unconventional, assertive, and inhumanly strong, quite able to lift her horse one-handed without difficulty. She can also be instantly recognized by her distinctive red braids that stick straight out on either side of her head.


At first Pippi's adventures are confined to the town she lives in and include her rescuing other kids from trouble, clashing with adults who underestimate her, and generally doing whatever she pleases with no regard for social norms. She later travels with her friends to the tropical island where her father rules as king, having more exotic adventures there before returning home. By the end of the series pretty much everyone in the town comes to accept Pippi the way she is and nobody bothers to make her do anything she doesn't want to. This is okay because although she refuses to go to school or be put in an orphanage, and behaves very badly at times, Pippi is a good kid who really just wants to have fun.

The Pippi Longstocking books have been adapted for TV and cinema several times, the first being in 1949. The adaptation that is probably most widely known is the 1969 TV series (a Swedish-West German co-production) written by Lindgren herself and starring Inger Nilsson as the titular character, which was also re-edited into four feature films. There is also an American live-action film from 1988 (produced by Columbia Pictures and starring Tami Erin) and a Canadian-German-Swedish animated adaptation (co-produced by Nelvana and starring Melissa Altro) from 1997.


Pippi Longstocking provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Played with in the film Pippi on the Run. where it becomes a Running Gag: Throughout the film, Pippi pulls off increasingly impossible things, only for Tommy or Annika to point out that what she's doing is impossible — upon which Pippi will agree that yes, it probably is, and then never do that particular thing again. Gloriously subverted in the climax, when Pippi rides a broomstick like a witch, and Tommy and Annika once again point out that this is impossible — but then Pippi cries "It's not impossible to me! I can do everything!" and continues her triumphant flight. (In the American dub, her line is: "You may know that the broom can't fly, but the broom doesn't know it!", making it a straighter example of the trope.)
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the 1988 film, Pippi is sent to a dreary orphanage after one of her escapades results in her, Tommy and Annika nearly drowning, and living there breaks her spirit until she meets an eccentric man who restores her optimism.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The 1969 Swedish TV series and its related films take everything that was good about the books and crank it Up to Eleven, while removing just about everything that didn't work or was just pointless filler, resulting in a much tighter story structure that still left room for a fair amount of the spontaneous wackiness and surreal dialogue that are Pippi's trademarks. It's helped tremendously by tight scriptwriting and good actors (Inger Nilsson in the title role being the most prominent example). Lindgren herself was highly involved with this particular production, which explains why it's so much closer to the spirit of the books than its many successors.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The 1969 Swedish TV series had Pippi going to the South Seas—not to visit her father's island, but to rescue him from pirates.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Mrs. Prysselius in the 1997 animated film and series. The original Prysselius from the 1969 TV series was not an antagonist; she was extremely silly, slightly annoying and completely incapable of seeing the value of anything non-conventional, but she was always well-meaning and genuinely wanted what was best for Pippi. The animated version, while still not much of a villain, is a lot more openly antagonistic and borders on being a Control Freak; her goal seems to be to get Pippi (and, really everyone else) to behave and conform and do as she's told, and is prepared to employ some rather dubious methods in order to reach her goals.
    • Likewise, Tommy and Annika's father in the 1988 film takes on a more antagonistic role. In all other incarnations he's a fairly minor character who seldom appears but doesn't seem to have any problems with Pippi. In New Adventures, played by Dennis Dugan, he's a parody of the Standard '50s Father who is a Nervous Wreck and disapproves of Pippi's free spirit and lets himself be tricked by the villains into taking an active role in getting her into the local orphanage as soon as possible.
    • Subverted for Bengt the bully in the 1997 TV series, Bengt is still a bully in the animated TV series, but he might be a bigger menace than his past incarnations.
      • Past incarnations of Bengt were usually just limited to annoying, making fun of, and bothering potential victims, but Bengt in the 1997 TV series is not above being a sore loser and planning a sabotage against Pippi during a ski race (teaming up with the Jerkass, misogynistic registrar- who thinks little girls can't ski and refuses to register Pippi into the race - to delay Pippi and when that fails, he resorts to attempting to bury Pippi in an avalanche).
  • Adults Are Useless: Played straight most of the time, but there are some notable exceptions. The local school teacher always treats Pippi kindly and is very patient with her bad behavior. Tommy and Annika's parents are like this, too, to the point that they trust Pippi with their children's lives. Then there's Pippi's father, who is just as unusual as she is and allows her to keep living the way she wants to.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In New Adventures, Tommy and Annika's reaction to Pippi playing the orphanage children is that their father would disapprove.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Swedish policemen were indeed armed with swords at the time the book was published. Until the 1960s, in fact.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Subverted. Pippi has inherited her Super Strength from her father, so you'd expect him to be the only one stronger than her... but no, she's actually (somewhat) stronger than even him.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The 1998 animated TV series, which is set in a quaint-looking village adhering to 1940s customs and architecture, but also contains dissonant elements to this (in episode 3, a couple with modern attire and a convertible which appears to be from at least The '80s play a pivotal role in the episode searching for a house in the village), muddying the possibility of the show being set in any particular time period.
  • Animated Adaptation: The only studio to attempt it so far is Nelvana, the same producers of Care Bears. It started in 1997 as a film musical, then spun off into a 26-episode TV series that aired throughout the following year.
  • Animation Bump: While the 1997 film has generally decent animation, the quality suddenly takes an upturn during the song "A Bowler and a New Gold Tooth", utilizing more fluent motion, ambitious cinematography and unusual lighting techniques than the rest of the film.
  • Anachronism Stew: The 1997 animated film and its accompanying TV series often tread into this (courtesy of their Ambiguous Time Period setting), but Blom and Dunder-Karlsson's (or Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson in the 90s iterations) "I Want" Song "A Bowler and a New Gold Tooth" from the 1997 film in particular stands out as an example of this. During the number, there's even a brief shot with Thunder-Karlsson (in his and Bloom's fantasy, but still) dressed as a Manhattan hobo from The '80s. As imagined by a fairly dim-witted criminal most likely having spent his entire life living in a quaint 1940s-style village.
  • Art Evolution: The illustrator, Louis S. Glanzman, steadily gets better with each book.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Horses don't belong on verandas, or anyplace else with steps they could trip on.
  • Ascended Extra: The two burglars, Blom and Dunder-Karlsson, only appear in one chapter in the original books, but go on to become major recurring characters in the 1969 TV series and later adaptations. Likewise, Kling and Klang, the two police officers were nameless minor characters in the books and got names and larger roles in the TV series. Same with Willie, Bengt and his lackeys who all only appeared in one chapter in the book series, now make at least three appearances in the 1998 animated series.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The owner in the 1998 series episode "Pippi Trains Some Animals - and Their Owner" regularly mistreats his animals, and is about to whip his horse when Pippi intervenes. He learns his lesson by episode's end.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The episode "Pippi Meets a Master Criminal" starts with Dunder-Karlsson stealing Pippi's gold and spending it on jewelry. It turns out Dunder-Karlsson is dreaming the whole thing.
  • Berserk Button: Pippi doesn't like it when people abuse their animals or bully those that are smaller and weaker. She can also get very upset if Tommy or Annika are in serious danger.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Pippi is very sweet and nice, if a little strange, but if her Berserk Button is pressed, she makes GOOD use of her Super Strength.
  • Blatant Lies: Pippi is not the most truthful of people, though most of her lies are generally just to amuse herself and her friends. Occasionally people catch on to the fact that she tends to tell stories and refuse to believe her when she's telling the truth. Usually this will result in pain and humiliation for them, while Pippi just shrugs and informs them that she doesn't always lie.
  • Blithe Spirit: Pippi is this to the people of the town in general, but particularly Tommy and Annika.
  • Book Dumb: Pippi can't spell and thinks math is a waste of time, but she's smart enough to know how to cook her own meals and frequently outsmarts adults who should know better. She also has a good grasp of geography, having sailed the seven seas with her father and visited several countries.
  • Bully Hunter: Any bully — child or adult — running afoul of Pippi will be subject to her phenomenal strength, usually with a heavy dose of humiliation added to the mix.
  • Canon Foreigner: Mrs. Prysselius doesn't appear in the original books, but after her introduction in the 1969 Swedish TV series has been in every later adaptation. She is pretty much an amalgamation of all the concerned women from the books who disapproved of Pippi living alone, given a name and a much larger role.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': The Christmas special of the animated series, where Thunder-Karlsson and Bloom want to go to prison, simply because it's the closest thing they have to a home. Sadly, they can't get in trouble because of too much Christmas spirit, even when they commit what they feel must be the ultimate crime: stealing candy from a baby.
  • Character Exaggeration: One of the good examples with Tommy and Annika in the 1969 TV series and its related films — in the books, while they do have some individual traits, they're mostly played up as contrasts to Pippi. In the series and films (particularly the last, Pippi on the Run), their individual traits come across much more strongly: Tommy as the cheerful, easygoing older brother, Annika as the emotional, sensible younger sister.
  • Cheap Gold Coins: Nobody seems especially willing to point out the value of Pippi's gold currency to her. Of course, a normal grocer in her village might not actually have enough money in their registers to give change (nor would Pippi want to take those filthy coins).
  • Children Voicing Children: Pippi, Tommy and Annika are voiced by young actors in the 1997 animated film and series: Melissa Altro (Pippi) was fifteen at the time, and Noah Reid (Tommy) was ten.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Pippi flies on a broom at the end of Pippi on the Run.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pippi.
    • She is first encountered walking backwards so that she doesn't have to make the effort to turn around to go back where she came from. (Though quite possibly, she was doing it deliberately to catch the other kids' attention.)
    • Her reaction to an ad asking "Are you suffering from freckles?" is to march inside the store and answer "No, I'm not suffering." (She has loads of freckles but likes them.)
    • Her only reason for wanting to go to school is because otherwise, she'll never get to go on holiday from school.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Pippi about her father. She tells children seemingly fantastic stories about him being a seafarer who survived a ship wreck and became a king of the natives on a South Sea island. All of it is true.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Pippi on her superhuman strength: If you are terribly strong you must be terribly nice.
  • Composite Character: Mrs. Prysselius is essentially all the "concerned aunts" who wants Pippi in the orphanage rolled up into one character. She never appeared in the original books, at least not with that name, but after she was introduced in the 1969 TV series she's become such a vital and recognized part of the franchise that she makes it in to pretty much every other adaptation.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the 1988 film, Dan Blackhart wants to acquire the Villa Villekulla for real estate, even resorting to demolishing it and trying to send Pippi to the children's home.
  • Cuckoosnarker: As quirky as she is, Pippi can demonstrate very sharp wit at times. This is her reaction when the two policeman came to take her to an orphanage:
    "Is this the girl who has moved into Villa Villekulla?" asked one of the policemen.
    "Quite the contrary," said Pippi. "This is a tiny little auntie who lives on the third floor at the other end of the town."
  • Cultural Translation: The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking changed the main setting to Rocksby, a small town on the American East Coast.
  • Cute Bruiser: Pippi has not only defeated bullies, police officers, robbers and dangerous animals, but in one of the films, she took down an entire gang of fully armed pirates!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pippi; see Cuckoosnarker.
  • Depending on the Writer: In the 1998 series, Mrs. Prysselius jumps from Control Freak to occasional nicer attributes but this depends on the episode.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ephraim Longstocking, who was blown overboard in a storm. He managed to swim ashore and was rescued by friendly natives. His character is based on historical ship's master Carl Petersson.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The Nelvana animated film provides one during Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson's "I Want" Song.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • The main theme song of the 1969 TV series is performed by Inger Nilsson, Pippi's voice actress.
    • The opening theme of the 1997 animated series, "What Shall I Do Today?", is performed by Melissa Altro.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Pippi Långstrump in Swedish to Pippi Longstocking in English. "Långstrump" is the Swedish word for "Longstocking".
    • Some miscellaneous things and people gets this as well in certain adaptations.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Sir/Mr. Nilsson.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In the cartoon episode "Pippi Saves the Old Folks Home", Officers Kling and Klang say two little kids were exploring the building that would be the senior citizens' new home when the landslide hit it and the Chairman of the Town Council says it's impossible because there were no little kids nearby... except for his.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Pippi once, on a whim, drank a cocktail of "meduseen (sic)" from the local pharmacy, including several bottles marked "For External Use Only". She seemed to be just fine in the next chapter. And don't forget her literal nail soup (a Swedish expression similar to Stone Soup).
  • Failed a Spot Check: The pirates in the film adaptation of Pippi in the South Seas keep failing to notice Pippi, Annika and Tommy several times when they are fairly close by, almost to the point of being a Running Gag.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Pippi's long stockings never match.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: The tomboyish Pippi subverts this trope; her approach to cooking is somewhat slapdash and eccentric, but as is frequently demonstrated, the results tend to be quite delicious.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Tommy and Annika in the 1969 TV series are often heard as voice-over narrators when exposition needs to be delivered. On very rare occasions, they'd even directly address the camera to explain something — in the first episode, when Tommy and Annika introduce themselves and their family to the viewer through their regular voice-over narration, and then as they leave their house to run for school, Annika stops in front of the camera and tells the audience: "This is our house!"
  • Fiery Redhead: Not in a bad way though.
  • Formally Named Pet: Mr Nilsson the monkey.
  • The Gadfly: Occasionally, she'll annoy random people for seemingly no other reason than that it's funny. For the most part, though, her worst insults and most annoying behavior are directed towards overly-strict or pompous authority figures, bullies and villains.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: In the cartoon episode "Pippi Entertains Two Burglars", the burglars are so tired of Pippi's "entertainment" that, when she says she's got a surprise for them, they flee in fear and never learn the surprise was a gold coin for each of them.
  • Gender Flip: Miss Rosenbloom from the third book is adapted into the 1997 TV series as Mr. Rosenbloom.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Part of Pippi's signature look involves two braided pigtails sticking out on sides of her head.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: In the film Pippi on the Run, Tommy and Annika's clothes are eaten by cows while they're swimming with Pippi, leaving them in their underpants until Pippi can get them some gunnysacks to wear. Pippi avoids trouble because she always swims fully clothed.
  • Grand Finale: The book "Pippie in the South Seas" serves as one. It ends with Pippi and the kids returning back to Sweden in January, where Pippi holds a belated Christmas celebration for them since Tommy and Annika missed the official celebration. They all decide they don't want to grow up, so Pippi gives them "pills" that look like peas, to ensure they'll stay kids forever. When Tommy and Annika head home and tuck into bed, they watch outside their window until Pippi's light turns off. They agree that even if the pills are just peas, they'll stay friends with Pippi forever.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche:
    • In the 1997 TV series episode, "Pippi Enters the Big Race", Pippi enters a ski race as a representative of her village and despite some blatant delays from the Jerkass, misogynistic registrar, she quickly catches up to second place, but Bengt the bully- who is envious of Pippi being the representative (and also helped the registrar delay Pippi)- isn't happy and gets the idea to cause an avalanche, hoping that Pippi would get buried by it. After finding an ideal spot to cause an avalanche and sarcastically commenting that causing an avalanche would be a shame, Bengt lets the lead skier go through and when Pippi comes by, he blows into a trumpet, only for the sound come out muffled, Bengt sees that Pippi is almost through and tries again, but with the same result. As Pippi makes it across, Bengt looks inside the trumpet, sees that it's been clogged with one of Mr. Nilsson's bananas, and screams, triggering the avalanche he wanted, only that the avalanche threatens to bury ''him'' and not Pippi.
    • And as a double whammy, Bengt commented earlier that not even Pippi could ski through an avalanche, but a later episode, "Pippi Finds a Mysterious Footprint", would show that Pippi can in fact ski through an avalanche, even briefly riding on top of it as if she was surfing on a wave.
  • The Hedonist: Pippi shows traces of this - however, she's not portrayed as a strawman, she's just a standard kid who naturally does whatever makes them happy.
  • Heroic Fire Rescue: Occurs in the 1988 film The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking where Pippi tries to rescue the orphanage children from the burning building.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In the 1997 TV series episode "Pippi Goes to School - Or Does She?", Bengt snatches Willie's backpack and empties its contents. Among which is a piece of blubber that Willie brought to show the class, he tricks Bengt into stealing it, claiming it's a special Northern treat for the class. Later, when Bengt eats the blubber, it tastes awful and apparently upsets his stomach.
  • I Can See My House from Here: When Pippi climbs a tree to save kids from a falling building in "Pippi Saves the Old Folks Home", she says she can see Villa Villekulla from there and the camera is in an angle that confirms it to the viewers.
  • Idiot Houdini: The incompetent carpenter from the "Pippi and the Carpenter" (1997 TV series) never gets the idea that he's carelessly destroying personal belongings and property (doesn't help that no one seems to be willing to break the news to him).
  • Ignored Expert: In the cartoon episode "Pippi Saves the Old Folks Home", one of the senior citizens used to work near a hill and brings it up to explain how he knows it's not a good place to build the Old Folks' new home. The Town Council ignores him and a landslide destroys the new building before anyone moves in.
  • Imagine Spot: The 1998 animated TV series is full of them, largely due to Pippi's tall tales.
  • Improbable Hair Style: People trying to cosplay as Pippi inevitably have trouble with her gravity-defying red braids. The actress in the original Pippi TV adaptation had wire braided into her hair to keep it in place. Now that's an Improbable Hair Style.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Blom and Dunder-Karlsson, who become Those Two Bad Guys in most of the adaptations.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kling and Klang are. After all, they are only doing their duty.
  • Karma Houdini: Frequently in the 1997 TV film and animated series.
    • Mrs. Prysselius at the end of the 1997 film, she escapes unscathed for the extreme methods- threatening to have the police fired, recruiting felons, outright kidnapping- that she took just to have Pippi put in the children's home.
      • Subverted in the spin-off TV series, in which Mrs. Prysselius is not as antagonistic, but unlike her film counterpart, she gets Laser-Guided Karma in episodes in which she has an antagonistic role.
    • Downplayed with Jim and Buck from the third book and the 1997 TV series, even though they're humiliated by Pippi in the end, they still face no action from the law for their attempts to steal the pearls of Kurrekurredutt Island.
    • The registrar of the ski race from the eighth episode of the 1997 TV series (see below at Straw Misogynist), gets no comeuppance for attempting to make Pippi lose by purposely stalling, and has the nerve to call her win disgraceful at the end, and is likely free to ruin other women's chances of winning the ski race.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: For most of the Jim and Buck arc in the South Seas book, Pippi is toying with them as Buck tries to climb the cliff where the kids are with pearls. She distracts Buck by talking to him as he's clinging for dear life and pokes him in the stomach when he actually makes it, ensuring that he falls multiple times. Then Buck takes her horse hostage, threatening to kill him unless Pippi brings pearls. Cue Pippi coming down from the cliff, with no pearls in hand and a look of pure Tranquil Fury. She soundly thrashes both of the men and scares them off the island. Don't threaten Pippi's pets.
  • Lighter and Softer: The original version of the first book (published after Lindgren's death under the title Ur-Pippi, or "proto-Pippi") was notably more absurd, anarchistic and at times macabre, with more physical violence and a notably more obnoxious and confrontational Pippi. The final version of the book is more toned down, Pippi becoming kinder, gentler, more nurturing and even more emotional; her worst behavior now generally used as a reaction to other people treating her or her friends badly first.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Pippi manages to combine this with being a Cloudcuckoolander and Genki Girl. She is, not surprisingly, at her snarkiest when confronting too-strict or unfair adults who object to her non-conformist way of life.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: These go back as far as 1949, but the most famous ones are the 1969 Swedish TV series and the 1988 American film. Then, early in January 2010, it was announced that a new American film is being planned.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Pippi for Tommy and Annika, though obviously without the romantic angle.
  • Minor Living Alone: Pippi lives alone with a horse and a monkey. At times, the adults in the town want to help or assist her, but she prefers to take care of herself most of the time.
  • Missing Mom: Pippi's mother died when she was a child. Pippi imagines her as an angel in Heaven who watches over her.
  • Motor Mouth: Pippi routinely lapses into longwinded, nonsensical speech, especially when she's telling tall tales or dealing with a stuffy adult.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • Two burglars attempt to rob Pippi, who naturally wipes the floor with them. The chapter ended with them having a Spot of Tea with her... somehow.
    • Jim and Buck think that Pippi is just a brat when she holes up with the kids in a cliff with a lot of pearls that they use for marbles and rations for a month. When they take her horse hostage, she shows them why it was a bad idea.
  • The Münchausen: Most of the stories Pippi comes out with are actually lies. Though as Tommy points out to Annika, they aren't bad lies since you can tell she's making things up.
    • She claims to have learned to lie from her trip to the Congo... which is probably also made up.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The “Scrubbing Day” sequence in the 1988 film.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: There is nothing about her physique or musculature that looks out of the ordinary for a girl her age, but that doesn't stop Pippi from performing absurd feats of strength like lifting a horse with one arm. She once won a wrestling match against a circus strongman who can bend iron bars in half.
    • Ephraim has Super Strength of his own, but is still only as strong (and perhaps even a little bit weaker) than Pippi despite being physically larger than her.
  • Naughty Is Good: Pippi, though she's more playfully mischievous than truly naughty. Also, her best friends are well-behaved children.
  • The New Adventures: Used by the 1988 film The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Subverted, since its actually a new adaptation of the story rather then her actual "New Adventures".
  • Nice to the Waiter: Zigzagged; Pippi is generous with her gold coins, food, and time but she gets insulted if someone tries to give her loose change. Even when two cops chase her down to force her to go into a children's home, she forcibly boots them out of her house and then gives them cookies. The reason why all the kids like her is that she buys out a candy shop's wares for them, and gives them treats when a woman shames them during random exams.
  • No Name Given: In the books, Pippi's horse is simply called 'the horse', though certain film and video adaptations have named him either "Old Man", "Lilla Gubben" (affectionate Swedish for "Little old man") or "Alfonzo".
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Pippi has two unusual pets. Subverted in that they're really just a normal monkey and horse.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The aforementioned 1988 film "New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking".
  • Obviously Evil: In the 1997 animated film, Mrs. Prysselius is the Big Bad who wants to send Pippi Longstocking off to a children's home. The lengths she goes to just to have Pippi put in the children's home are undoubtedly questionable. The only reason she relents at the end is because now that Pippi's father returned, that just took away her only justification for her goal, and had no choice but to fake a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Kling and Klang have gotten this trait in the Animated Adaptation; while played more sympathetically than many versions of the trope, they still tend to spend so much time filling out forms and discussing what forms to fill out that they seldom get anything done.
  • One-Book Author: For The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking:
    • Tami Erin had her only major starring role in this film. Erin would later go on to appear in minor roles for television series as well as independent films while maintaining a steady career as a fashion designer and model.
    • This was also Cory Crow's only foray into acting as Annika, as she hasn't been involved in acting since.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • If Pippi is generally angry, watch out! She will thrash you without another word. This tends to happen if adults threaten Tommy and Annika, Mr. Nillson, or her horse.
    • One of the very few times Pippi has actually cried is when a shark nearly ate Tommy in the South Seas. Pippi immediately jumped into the water and thrashed the shark, scaring it into swimming away. Then once Tommy and she were out of the ocean, she hugged him and started crying. She denied that it was because Tommy nearly died, but her excuse comes off as more Blatant Lies.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Most of the 1998 series is adventure/comedy but "Pippi Meets the White Lady" comes off as something of an Out of Holiday Episode, being aired in September.
  • Overly Long Name: Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking, in the English translation.
    • In the original Swedish: Pippilotta Victualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump.
  • Parental Abandonment: Pippi has a father, but he's away at sea a lot (and in the first book is missing after having been blown overboard in a storm). Fortunately, Pippi is financially self-sufficient and very resourceful.
  • Pirate:
    • Even though the books, TV shows and films all take place sometime in the 20th century, there's plenty of these guys running around in Pippi's universe — and 17th century film pirates, not the modern kind.
    • She even states at one point that she wants to be a pirate when she grows up. Somewhat justified by the fact that her father is a wealthy sea captain in the books, but whether he's really a pirate is unclear.
    • Her suitcase full of gold coins makes you think of a pirate's hoard.
    • The Pippi on the South Seas film adaptation follows Pippi and her friends traveling to an island of pirates to rescue her father.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Played straight in the books; two policemen come to try and take Pippi to a Children's Home since she is a minor living on her own. She avoids them and humiliates them by trapping them on the roof since they said she'd have to give up her monkey and horse. They decide to leave with the cookies she gave them and tells the town that Pippi is happier staying where she is.
    • Played straight in most adaptations; Kling and Klang from the 1997 animated film in particular embody this trope, being easily distracted from their work, actually having to be told to do something to get on with it, and even letting two criminals loose out of sheer gullibility.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: You'd think a child with superhuman strength and a complete disregard for rules would be indiscriminately violent or even murderous, but she only gets into relatively innocent mischief. She was more rebellious in the original version of the book, which was published after Lindgren's death. It was given the title Ur-Pippi.
  • Rules of Orphan Economics: Type 1 for Pippi. It's nice to have a bottomless suitcase full of gold coins, isn't it?
    • In the 1969 TV series she does at one point run out of money, conveniently at the time when her long-lost (and rich) father comes to find her, turning it into a Type 2 situation. This is based on the tail end of the book Pippi Goes on Board, where as the Hoptoad pulls away from the dock her dad throws her a new suitcase full of money. It lands in the water, but she jumps in and retrieves it... but unlike the TV series, the book never states whether Pippi had actually run out of money before that.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Pippi's usual outfit in the books, complete with mismatched socks.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Tommy and Pippi.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Despite certain Seinfeld characters having no idea who she is and think she's got something to do with Adolf Hitler, she actually provided examples of this trope long before any of them were ever on TV.
  • Single-Minded Twins: While not actually twins, Tommy and Annika often display hints of this in the books, having similar if not identical reactions to things and often sharing spoken lines — though not played completely straight, as there are occasional hints of differences between them, Tommy being more upbeat and easygoing, while Annika is more pessimistic and anxious. The 1969 TV series and films take these individual traits and makes them clearer, completely averting the trope.
  • Slasher Smile: Playing Freeze-Frame Bonus with the 1998 series usually results in a terrifying look on Pippi's face.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted — the Child Welfare Board do take interest, and in the 1969 TV series (and later adaptations) well-meaning Mrs. Prysselius visits often and makes repeated attempts at getting Pippi to an orphanage, but Pippi prefers to continue living on her own and makes this very clear.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Mr. Nilsson and Alfonzo in the 1988 adaptation.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: During the Jim and Buck arc, it's mentioned by Pippi and the narrator that the men could fish for the pearls themselves while the adults are away from the island. While it wouldn't be easy, it'd be simpler than what actually happens. Jim and Buck opt for deciding to lie to the kids that they want to buy their "marbles" from them and try to negotiate with Pippi. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Stepford Smiler: Well, sort of. While there's no doubt that on the whole, Pippi is genuinely happy, there are the occasional, usually very subtle hints that she isn't quite as carefree as she pretends to be, and that at least some of her wackiness is a coping mechanism. It's mostly visible on the few occasions when she gets visibly upset or sad about something, and then moments later brushes it off, usually with a snarky comment or doing something spontaneously bizarre. Two instances stand out here, which are among the very few times we actually see Pippi genuinely crying:
    • While on an outing with Tommy and Annika's school class, Pippi is pretending to be a nasty troll who chases the other children when she finds a dead bird on the ground. She stops playing and spends seveal minutes crying over the bird, lamenting how she wishes she could bring it back to life. Then, as the other children try to comfort her, she quickly shrugs it off and goes straight back into the game, playfully snarling at them that she's a troll and is going to eat them all.
    • Possibly the strongest hint here is in the book Pippi in the South Seas, which is one of the times we actually see Pippi seriously crying — Tommy is almost eaten by a shark, but Pippi saves him, after which the narrative notes she behaves "very strangely", hugging Tommy tightly and then breaking down in tears. When the other children, a little startled by this uncharacteristic behavior, ask if she's crying because Tommy almost died, she answers rather crossly that she's crying because that poor shark didn't get any breakfast.
    • There's also an episode in the 1969 TV series that also illustrates her tendency to shove away unpleasant thoughts and bury them in wackiness and snark, though she doesn't actually cry this time: After having been at a tea party at Tommy and Annika's house, and quite shocked the adults there with her behavior, she's walking back home in a bit of a miserable mode and remembering the lecture she received about how she needs to act more "ladylike" and her mother wouldn't have wanted her to behave like she does. She's clearly hurt over this, explaining to her dead mother (whom she imagines as an angel watching over her) that she didn't mean to upset anyone, but everything just went wrong no matter what she did, and maybe she should start behaving more so she might actually grow up to be a proper lady like everyone seems to want her to... but then she hardens, declaring to her mother that she's not going to be a proper lady anyway, she's going to be a pirate! She starts loudly singing a pirate shanty and dancing cheerfully down the road.
  • Stout Strength: Pippi's father, Captain Efraim Longstocking.
  • Straw Misogynist: This franchise has its own examples of misogynists.
    • The "fine" gentleman from the first chapter of the third book and the 1997 TV series episode "Pippi Doesn't Sell Her House", who believes women don't understand business and can easily con a house from one.
    • Additionally, the registrar from "Pippi Enters the Big Race" (1997 TV series); as for him, the mere thought of a little girl entering, let alone winning a ski race, is disgraceful.
  • Super-Strong Child: The only adult who ever comes close to Pippi in strength is her own father, whom she probably inherited it from.
    • To give you an idea of how strong her father is, he once, in a contest with Pippi, lifted the combined weight of 5 burly sailor men over his head supported by a wooden plank. Already impressive, but Pippi topped him by taking those same 5 men and adding the weight of her horse and her two best friends sitting on said horse! And what was her father's response to being soundly beaten? To laugh heartily and proclaim "That's my daughter!"
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Generally every adults feel this towards Kling and Klang in the 1997 film and animated series, with the most prominent being Mrs. Prysselius.
  • Tall Tale: Pippi tells these all the time.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Blom and Dunder-Karlsson, the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain duo who try and fail to steal Pippi's money. She ends up feeding them and giving them some gold coins anyway, showing they only had to ask. While they only appear in one chapter of the original books, they get increased roles and become this; though they're much too bumbling to be threatening in any way.
    • Jim and Buck, the bandits from the Pippi in the South Seas book are a slightly more malicious and threatening version of this, even willing to hurt or kill Pippi, though Pippi handles them with ease.
  • Those Two Guys: Kling and Klang, the policemen. Again, not really in the book, where they're only in one chapter, but in the adaptations they're pretty much this trope.
  • Title Theme Tune: From the 1988 movie:
    "Pippi Longstocking is coming into your town..."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Pippi and Annika.
  • Tomboy Princess: After her father is made the king of Kurrekurredutt Island, Pippi becomes a princess by default. Doubles as Modest Royalty since she discourages her subjects from bowing to her and prefers to be treated as one of them.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Pippi is very generous with her gold pieces and never seems to run out.
  • Unfortunate Names: In many languages, Pippi is a childish way to say "piss", which is why her name is changed to Fifi in the French adaptation, Peppi in Russia and Finland, Bilbi in Israel, etc.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In the 1997 TV series episode, "Pippi Saves the Old Folk's Home", the town's arrogant chairman is still unwilling to fix up the old folk's home even after Pippi saved his kids from a collapsing building (which was his failed replacement for the original old folk's home). It's only after his wife threatens him that he gives in.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Anyone who grew up with the 1997 animated film but not the subsequent animated series will find Thunder-Karlsson and the schoolteacher radically different. The replacement for Mrs. Prysselius is actually remarkably similar to Catherine O'Hara.
  • What Does She See in Him?: The woman in a pink suit from the 1997 TV series episode, "Pippi Doesn't Sell Her House". She is the girlfriend to the episode's main antagonist, who is a blatant sexist, hates children and treats her like a slave. However, unlike him, she is nice and friendly with children, especially Pippi. It's a wonder why she hasn't dumped him already.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: The kids on the South Sea island use the pearls that are naturally cultivated to play marbles. Pippi defends them on these grounds, asking Jim and Buck why they want to take kids' toys away from them, even if Jim lied about wanting to buy them.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bengt and his gang.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Most of the major villains see no issue with putting Pippi and her friends in life-threatening situations. Unfortunately for them, Pippi is willing to fight back.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: In the cartoon episode "Pippi Enters the Big Race", the registrar tries to prevent Pippi from entering the race by pointing out she doesn't meet the minimum height requirement. Pippi's pigtails go up on their own when she gets measured, allowing her to meet the requirement.
  • Youthful Freckles: And proud of them, thank you very much!


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: