Well what do you know? This week, we get to a couple that the show actually acknowledges. Mr. and Mrs. Cake are two of my favorite characters, and are a perfect example of the show not only doing something familiar very well, but they’re also an excellent jumping off point for a discussion of one of the most unique aspects of the MLP universe.
So what do we know from cannon? Mr. Carrot Cake and Mr. Cup Cake (one of the very few married couples in Equestria) are the owners of Sugar Cube Corner, the bakery located in Ponyville that looks like a gingerbread house designed by Frank Gehry while drunk.
They’re Pinkie Pie’s employer, landlord, and seem to be her guardians in either an official or unofficial capacity. In season 2, Mrs. Cup Cake gave birth to two foals; Pound Cake (a Pegasus) and Pumpkin Cake (a unicorn). Since then, all four members of the Cake family have been relegated to cameos and the background. Mrs. Cake is voiced by Tabitha St. Germain (as if we needed another reason to lover her), and Mr. Cake is voiced by Brian Drummond whose most notable role is the voice of Vegeta in the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z.
As far as fan canon, there isn’t a lot there. There’s no fan made characteristics out there like Lyra being into humans, and most of the fan stuff concerns either how they met each other, or their future raising the young cakes.
So what is it that I love about these two? I think the best way to describe is that they are a wonderful couple. One of the things that the show has always been hesitant about is the idea of relationships. Sure, we’ve got Cadence and Shining Armor, but we’ve barely seen them interact. We saw them at their wedding and when they were fending off Sombra’s attack, but other than that their interactions with each other have been more or less nonexistent. The one episode where we see both of them in much less dire (or idyllic) circumstances is Games Ponies Play, where they don’t share a single scene together. This also applies to any of the couples we’ve seen in the show, of which there maybe 2 other with lines. The Cakes are the only one’s we’ve been able to see interact on an everyday basis. We see them taking care of their kids, running their business, get worried, be happy, and through it all, we can see that they are perfect for each other. I don’t doubt Cadence and Shining Armor’s love for each other, but we’ve only seen them in extreme situations where any issues they have would have been put aside. Dishes left in the sink doesn’t really matter when a tyrannical dictator is about to take over your kingdom, but those dishes are gonna be an issue more often than having to fight for the survival of your people. We may not get a lot of screen time with the cakes, but they’re always happy and working together, and what they are doing is what you’d expect from their day to day life. Not only that, but they’re both older than most of the other characters in the show, so there’s clearly a long history there. It’d be interesting to see if the show will flesh these characters out in the future, considering how unique they are in what we’ve seen from the show, which gets me to my next point.
Something about the Cakes that’s interesting to note is the fact that they are unique in Equestria, because they are cliche. Think about how different My Little Pony is compared to almost any other children’s show. In MLP, the traditional family (I’m using the term as shorthand for a child being raised or being in contact with their birth parents) is almost completely absent in this universe. Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Scootaloo (all pegasi) have no family that we’ve seen.
The apple family is raised by Granny Smith, and it’s been implied that their parents have died. We see Pinkie Pie’s, Twilight’s, and Rarity’s parents in brief cameos but none of them have been fleshed out in any significant way. In fact, Twilight has a much closer relationship with Princess Celestia than with her own parents, at least from what we’ve seen in the show. So why is it that we get mostly non-traditional families? The fact that the mane 6 are independent is probably the biggest factor. It’s refreshing to have a show aimed at kids that stars adults (or close to adults) who truly handle their problems on their own. At lot of shows will have the kids realize what the right thing to do is, but they tend to cop out when it comes to having them deal with the issue. An unspecific example would be standing up to a bully, and then having the teachers take care to ensure that the bully gets punished. A similar situation in MLP was when Iron Will was confronting Fluttershy. No one else came to take care of Iron Will for her, she just had to stand her ground. This teaches kids that, in certain situations, just knowing the right thing to do isn’t enough. You have to follow through do what you can to correct what you’ve done wrong, which is going to be a lot harder than just realizing why what you did wasn’t the right thing to do. So yes, one of the masterstrokes of this series is the freedom that these characters have to go wherever they want, do whatever they want, and take full responsibility for the mistakes they made. That being said, I feel there is still a great deal of potential being wasted.
The thing is that the show has acknowledged that at least half of these characters DO have parents, but don’t use them in the show. I see this as a waste because if there’s one thing that the show does right, it’s taking what people expect from it and turn it on its head. Lauren Faust, when discussing the age of the Mane 6, explained that she didn’t want the show to focus on school and parents like most shows aimed at the young girl audience.
While I agree that the show is better for not focusing on what every other show is doing, it still seems useless to have these characters exist, and not have them do anything. As I said previously, the Mane 6 are independent so any story involving them with their parents is going to be much different than the kinds of stories we see in most kids shows. An adult’s relationship with their parents is a lot different than the kind of relationship that a child has with them, which is why I wish the show would explore this angle more considering the fact that we’re teased their existence on occasion. How do Twilight’s parents feel about her becoming an alicorn princess? Moving to Ponyville three years ago? Being an element of harmony? Twilight (as far as we can tell from the show) has a much deeper relationship with Princess Celestia, so how do they feel about being second best in her life? That’s a fantastic episode right there! It’ll at least give Celestia a chance to show some vulnerability, or even doubt, over the way she’s more or less controlled every aspect of Twilight’s life since she was a child.
So what else is there to say about the Cakes? There are the two kids, Pumpkin and Pound Cake, who’ve probably had more screen time than their parents because of the episode Baby Cakes. There’s not a lot to say about them considering they’re just babies. I am curious if MLP will pull a Simpsons and age THEM up without aging any of the other characters.
Anything else to say about them? Not really. As far as the show is concerned, they’re only a step above background characters because of their role in Pinkie Pie’s life. We don’t see them often enough to determine how deep her relationship between them goes and we haven’t seen the circumstances that led to her staying with them. It’s been said that in season 4, we will be getting an episode where Pinkie Pie’s sisters (Limestone and Marble) will be visiting Ponyville, so hopefully that will give the writers a chance to explain the history between the Cake and Pie families. Aside from that, there probably won’t be many chances to explore these characters, given that the writers don’t focus on already established side characters too often (I’m guessing we won’t be hearing much from the Pie sisters after their episode). Still, there was enough great characterization in the little bits we’ve seen of them that allowed the fans to create some really fantastic content. Kudos to the Cakes, Equestria’s best parents, and number one married couple!
A Sweet Taste of Cake by The Descendant
Wow. Top ten fan fics of ALL time. This is a story of how these two met, the challenges they faced, and the love they shared that helped them through their darkest moments. The framing device of the two of them building a gingerbread house works perfectly, and the story overall is a truly wondrous thing to behold. The story also gives us a believable back story on how Pinkie Pie ended up with the Cakes, and cements the kind of relationship the two have with the hyperactive mare to a degree that the show hasn’t bothered to explore. Is it sappy at times? Yeah. Is there at least one too many coincidences? Yep. Everything else though is just amazing, and is totally worth your time.
Slice of Pony Life by Egophiliac
Egophiliac has been references in every Equestria Uncovered so far, and for good reason. Her stuff is always amazing, and this tumblr is her greatest achievement so far (Yes, even better than Inconvenient Trixie). The basic idea is that we’re following the Cakes (and Pinkie Pie) about seven years in the future. It has a very classic comic strip feel, a la Calvin and Hobbes or the Peanuts. The artwork is amazing, and the style allows the characters to be very expressive which only adds to the humor. If I had a complain, it’s that it updates quite slowly, but when you’ve got something this good I can understand taking your time with it.
Once again, we find ourselves at the end of another Equestria Uncovered. Think I’m crazy? It’s highly probable. Let me know what you think in the comments! Have a suggestion for what I should do next? Let me know that as well!
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