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I like Mary Sues. There, I said it. I like them in the same way I like velvet paintings of Mexican kids with giant eyes, plastic animals on the front lawn, and Joan Collins. They cater to my camp addiction, and I cannot thank those thousands of girls out there who project an idealized version of themselves into another writers’ book/movie/comic verse to wreak havoc with character’s love lives and copyright issues enough.
I myself was guilty of much Mary-Sue-ing back in the peak of my Goth “please God somebody love me and stop making fun of me already” phase. (Damned junior high…) And because of this I know the void that Mary Sue-ing can fill. I also now know, via my own and my sister’s RPG experiences, how prolonged exposure to Mary Sues has an effect on one’s mood not unlike the effect of being forced to eat chicken noodle soup mixed with Pepsi while watching the abysmal Disney remake of Annie .
It is because of this intense dislike combined with attraction—like a bug to the zapper—I have decided to take the main elements of a Mary Sue and break them down here, as a basic guide for all those who may for some reason (I don’t know, maybe you’re headless or something) might have trouble deciding whether your fictional character or that of your friend’s is, in fact, a Mary Sue. There’s no shame in it, unless you’re particularly annoying.
Let’s start this shindig, shall we?


Physical
☺ The skin of a Mary Sue is usually described as milky, creamy, or porcelain. The colour of which varies, but a pale white is most common. It isn’t unusual to find a “light dusting” of freckles across the cheek and nose.
☺ Speaking of noses, the facial features of a typical Mary Sue are described as “doll like”, having giant eyes, a small snubbed nose, and a full mouth. Essentially, all you’d have to do is be able to remove her feet and you’d have a Bratz Doll.
☺ Hair is usually very long. Waist-length, sometimes curly, always very thick and luxurious. Seems as if the Victorian ideal of crowning glory has not yet been evicted from our genetic makeup. Colour-wise, auburn, black, and platinum blond are common colours, although it’s not unusual to find a Mary Sue with an unusual hair colour such as pink or purple.
☺ No Mary Sue worth her impossibly perfect salt has normal eyes. Purple, clear blue, jade green, liquid amber, fiery red- whatever. The point is her eyes, no matter what their weird-ass colour, are freakishly bright and impossibly saturated with colour. This makes them impossible to ignore and commands attention from even the most apathetic fellow character.
☺ Figures are petite or tall enough to make a runway show (you say model; I say genetic mutant—tomato, to-mah-to.) An emphasis is placed on a perfect torso: full breasts, small waists, and curvy hips. Sometimes there’s a note how their figures are unlike the “starved” figures valued by society, although in my experience the only people who like girls built like little boys (e.g., Kate Moss) are 12 year olds and pedophiles. We have a crack team of scientists investigating this phenomenon.
☺ There may be a note about super-powers such as physical strength or being a vampire of some such jazz. A lot of times this comes in handy when they’re abused as a plot device and they don’t want their pretty faces ruined. I mean, it may just be my inner pimp talking, but if I have beef with someone as amazingly physically perfect as most Mary-Sues, I’d say fuck all to tying them up and waiting to be annihilated and just cut up their face.
I can’t believe I just said that.



Personality
☺ Mary-Sues come in two very distinct types:
 The Bitch: This girl is misunderstood by every other living creature in the known universe (which, depending on the fanfic/RPG, can be huge). Chances are she is victimized at school; has a history of abandonment (you’re an orphan, nobody loves you. Except for Angelina Jolie); sexual, emotional, and physical abuse; psychological torture; or saw her parents get bloodily murdered by space aliens or werewolves. It’s usually all of them. Because of her melodramatic past and constant state of alienation, she’s a stark raving bitch who usually has a vendetta against a race/character prevalent in her book/movie/comic verse. Also, she tends not to take too kindly on other female characters.
(I repeat, you’re an orphan).
 Heart of Gold: though her background is as invariably as traumatic as that of “The Bitch”, the Heart of Gold Mary Sue deals with it by becoming as  sickly sweet as high-fructose corn syrup. Think Belle from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.
 I know I said two. I lied. There is a variation on the Heart of Gold, which I count as part of the former but my associates probably will not. Therefore, in my mind, telling you there were two types was not a lie.
Anywho, the variant in question is the “zany” Mary Sue. She’s not always a Mary Sue, but when she is, she falls under the Heart of Gold category. This girl behaves like an anime character in serious need of Ritalin (that is, in even more need of it than regular anime characters). She likes to blurt random “funny” phrases and will take on random, unexplained, and wholly unfortunate speech affectations in an effort to be funny-cute that usually fails horribly. Think animal sidekick material, but a girl.



Talents/Abilities
☺ ALL MARY SUES SING. There is absolutely no deviation to this rule. They can sing like an operatic soprano (failing that, many settle for Amy Lee or one of the Celtic Women) naturally whereas operatic soprano’s put years of training and practice behind their voice. And not only can they sing, they do sing. Every bloody chance they get.
☺ Mary Sues are generally bilingual. As well as being able to speak English, many also speak French, Latin, Elvish, or Japanese. Some can communicate with animals as well.
☺ Communicating with ghosts is also possible, as many Mary Sues are also psychics. Psychics who are infallibly right about everything they see/hear/predict, although they are rarely believed.
☺ Swordplay, gunplay, marital arts, or other such ways of seriously hurting others are sometimes taken up as hobbies by those Mary Sues with a vendetta wedged between their belts and their sculpted waists.
☺ Poetry and art are other common fields of interest to Mary Sues, because they are usually good at it and utilize it as another way to exorcise their angsty inner demons.



The Mary Sue in Love
☺ Although the hero of the story (and, more often than not, the villains, sidekicks, and any living thing with a y chromosome) invariably falls head-over-heels for the Mary Sue within a paragraph of their meeting, the Mary Sue generally refuses to fall in love back.
☺ In fact, she may be downright horrible to the sad sap, with the excuse that “he is a man, men have hurt me” and/ or “he is a werewolf/vampire/ Capulet/ space monkey and it was a werewolf/vampire/Capulet/ space monkey who killed my family.” in tow.
☺ Another explanation for this is that the Mary Sue is one of the bitchy persuasion and she is too strong for love. She may butt heads with the hero because of her devil-may-care (read: tactless) attitude.
☺ It is to be noted that many Mary Sues possess the power to make the hero and/or other characters of the book/movie/comic verse to act totally out of character, and to change many a set thing in the world where the hero lives (e.g., bringing back the dead. I am ashamed to admit that I’m guilty of this. I’m sorry. But I had such a thing for Marv. Goddamnit. None of you will ever be subjected to my bad fanfic based on the deceased member of Frank Miller’s arsenal. It makes me want to brush my teeth every time I think of it.)



Family Matters
 As I said, numerous times before, many Mary Sues are orphans. Some are left to wander the streets on their own at an older age. Some are babies left on the doorsteps of immortal heroes (lemme elucidate: Mary Sue A is left on the doorstop of Legolas. He helps raise her, and when she’s a teenager he falls in love with her. I’m a tad disturbed how often this theme pops up, if only because when it does, the hero usually doesn’t look much older than Mary Sue A. Seems as if The Thornbirds is another story ingrained in our psyche at birth. Not saying this is bad. Just saying it’s disturbing how often this happens in fanfic world.)
 Those Mary Sue authors who decide to give their character a family oft play the “long lost cousin/ sister/daughter” card. Unfortunately, they are often the long lost cousin/sister/ daughter to a character in the book/movie/comic verse that has never, in the history of their respective world, had a cousin/sister/ daughter, no matter how long lost they may be. (Oh boy, I need to cool it on the forward slash. That’s a hard paragraph to read.)
 If the Mary Sue is one of the rare ones who decided not to mess with a book/movie/comic verse that isn’t theirs and is not an orphan (read: she has a family like a normal person) chances are they are neglected and abused by their parent, parents, or other biological guardian. I’m beginning to think that having a Mary Sue who had a relatively normal childhood (I don’t mean idyllic, I think you could get whooped once or twice for stealing a bag of gummi bears and still be an ok person) and a fairly stable home situation somewhere out there are nonexistent.
 Note: no Mary Sue is a parent. Period. Ever. Maybe, at the end of their story/ RPG, they become preggers by the hero, but you never see their little demon spawn grow up.
An outline about the perennial blight on the flowers of fanfiction and independant prose--the Mary Sue.

I do admit, I have (as we all have) at one point or another, been guilty of Mary-Sue-ing. That doesn't make those who are addicted to creating Mary-Sues less annoying.

Cheers kids!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconharmonymelodytobi:
HarmonyMelodyTobi Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
somebody tell me why i forgot to favourite this the first time i saw this!
Reply
:iconchibitarded:
chibitarded Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
xD
You described them perfectly!

The whole time I was reading this I was thinking:
"No, I haven't done that...No. No. No. No. N- Well...maybe that, just a little. No (ect)"

I kind of felt special : D
I've come a VERY long way from being a mary-sue.
*used to be a very bad one*
The only thing I think I've done up there ^ Is the parent thing. My original character, Darith, her parents were sent to be executed to for a crime they did, four years ahead of time. She was given over to her father's best friend's family, where she grew up from there thinking that they were her actual family. Thus growing up a happy, smiling kid. Until about the age of nine, her 'dad' Cid is like: "I'm not really your dad" and Darith's reply is: "Okay...can I still call you dad though?" "Sure."

After that little incident, she starts to follow the plot of the actual story that made me create her. Hint the word "follow" not "becomes apart of the plot and screws everything to make it fit her ways but somehow everything ends the same exact way as the original plot plus a pregnant oc
". I don't fully throw her into the plot, more like sitting her along the outskirts and she does her little thing and her own story from there. She still has to attend school and stuff.

Her personality: It’s hard to describe her…she’s kind of in the middle? She not mean, but she’s not wholly, angelical nice-y nice-y. AND, she does have a freckle like cluster, thing on her left cheek bone…I just can’t add them onto her when I draw her because of her fringe. The same for her eyes. They’re a russet-like color…and she has one black speck in her left eye’s iris.

Anyhow. Darith is very flat chested :/ fo shizzle (why did I just put fo shizzle?) No joke. She doesn't really have any curves for that matter...and she's 5'5". Speaking of curves and such: Darith's love life. She doesn't fall in love with any of the original characters. In fact, I’m still debating on whether to throw her with another original character of mine who’s (or was) her childhood friend. So, who knows. She could end up loveless.
(AND SHE STILL HAS HER VIRGINITY! BD I’m proud of her. Aaaaand, she can’t sing for nothing. She sounds like a bird getting strangled when she does. No one has told her of this yet)

So, yeah. I’m sorry for this very long, boring comment. I guess my ego flared a little bit on my ‘achievement’ xD If you read this whole thing…Thank you! I usually have a lot to say. So thank you for your time and you did a wonderful job!
:iconepicbadge1plz::iconepicbadge2plz:
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:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2009
I'm very happy you enjoyed this! And I think we all at least start out Mary-Sueing like mad, it helps people begin writing.

It's wonderful that you have accepted your previous Mary-Sues as well as moved on and created a very not-Mary-Sue. (I have my own stable of very Mary-sueish characters, who thankfully only see the light of day when I need someone to abuse in stories...).

Cheers luv!
Reply
:iconphantomcat93:
Phantomcat93 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist
I have a few Mary sues myself! They're epic!:headbang:
Reply
:iconlombiegurl:
LoMbIeGuRl Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Student Artist
does scream singing make a mary sue?

8D just asking..
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009
Sure! (I have no idea. But why not? We love Mary Sues, no?)
Reply
:iconlombiegurl:
LoMbIeGuRl Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009  Student Artist
LOL! YES I DO!!!

lol, arent they supposed to have Angelic stupid voices?

I hate angelic ones..

i love the ones that SCREAM and claw at peoples skulls.

Lets go witch hunting for Sues ne?
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
I don't know how angelic sopranos actually are. I have a few freinds who (bless them) can sing, as sopranos no less, and the shrillness of some of those notes is certainly far from heavenly...
Let's go! *grabs butterfly net*
Reply
:iconlombiegurl:
LoMbIeGuRl Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Student Artist
YEAHH!!! *grabs shot gun* can we kill them too?
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
Uhm...well, if you wish...
Reply
:iconlombiegurl:
LoMbIeGuRl Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009  Student Artist
okay :D
Reply
:iconvitamin-water-love:
Vitamin-Water-Love Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2008   Photographer
I loved that, so much. I put my character to the mary sue litmus test and she passed with flying colors.... but now I'm having 2nd thoughts ahah.

You're a great writer. =D
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2008
Why thank you!
Reply
:iconmasterplanner:
MasterPlanner Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
I took one of those quizzes to determine whether or not your oc is a Mary Sue...and my best-known OC, Octavia Jones, turned out to be an "Irredeemable Sue" :doh:

Fortunately my newest OC Virginia Shelley, is not a Mary Sue at all :D
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008
LOL there's no shame in Marysueing. I love them, I really do. I have a couple of them myself.
Reply
:iconmasterplanner:
MasterPlanner Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
:iconyesyesyesplz: Sometimes campy and cheesy is a good thing!
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2008
It is always a good thing! LOL! :D
Reply
:iconkage-kunoichi:
kage-kunoichi Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Made my day! Thank you SO much! :)
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008
:D! I'm glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconkittykitty911:
Kittykitty911 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008
xDD Im wondering if my character is borderline-sue. Kekeke... but this made me laugh sooo hard anyway. kudos.
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2008
Thanks :) It was entirely my intention to entertain!
Reply
:icondreamerswork:
dreamerswork Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2007
Lol -compares fav character- Blah...she has a lot of those traits but slightly different, like what if shes a bitch simply because thats her personality trait and has no traumatic past to speak of? Or at least one that she can't remember and therefore to her never happened?
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2007
Hey, it's just ageneral outline...lol....
Reply
:icondirewolf689:
Direwolf689 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2007
I've always loved this :)
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2007
I knows~:)
Reply
:icondorkanese:
dorkanese Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2007
Who hasn't had a Mary-Sue? Goodness.
And you've got them down cold.
Reply
:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2007
I know. LMFAO. Oh the sweetness of it all...
Reply
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