In a world where the complex and multifaceted characters from our beloved Tiny Toon Adventures have all been whittled down to a single trait each by the new fandom, Buster and Babs are an almost completely forgotten vague suggestion whom once were considered to be the stars of the show, Plucky is an anvil magnet and nothing more, Hamton is that boring waste of space who positively without exception must stay away from Fifi La Fume at all costs, and Elmyra? Why she's that character who committed the unpardonable sin at the end of "Out of Odor" of course. What more do you need to know about her?
Well within the confines of the Caligulaic compound known as the Tiny Toon Adventures section of Fanfiction.net, locked deep within the post apocalyptic cult den of Furball. Elmyra is routinely beaten to a bloody pulp by order of the bandaged tailed one. That is, when she's not being painted as Hitler II: The Revenge.(she still get's beaten to a bloody pulp, but sometimes the writer will make her EVIL
first, in order to "justify" the act.
) Could Elmyra be annoying at times? Is Dom Deluise portly? You better believe she could be intrusive and grating at certain points. But I feel that Ellie's good moments outshine her bad, I mean, I can't count the number of times she's made me smile. Especially when she was used as an instrument of justice against the antagonist of the given cartoon that week.
Then there are those few episodes, which mainly came later in the series' run, that began to show Elmyra in a different light. One completely foreign to the portrayal of her appearances during the first half of Tiny Toon Adventures. Writers began to take Elmyra, a character whom had displayed a complete disconnect from reality and lived in her own little world, full of smiles and sunshine, and dropped her into situations that forced her to confront the all too cynical and cruel real world that lay just beyond the boundaries of her sweet natured bubble. One of the first instances of this was in "Prom-ise Her Anything"(an episode that is numbered as one of the earliest in season one, but in reality was one of the very last season one episodes to be written and produced) where Montana Max finally breaks it through to her that he can't stand her and that she is nothing to him. The whole scene is awkward and difficult to watch(on purpose of course) No background music is played during the majority of Monty's verbal run down, it's a "you could hear a pin drop" sort of thing. This was really only the beginning, as the writing team found other ways of garnering sympathy for the red headed knuckle nob.
"Can't Buy Me Love" is essentially a condensed parody of the 1954 novel entitled "The Bad Seed". The antagonist even shares the first name of the titular character of said novel. Rhoda Queen is the new girl on the block having just moved into town, right next door to Elmyra. She immediately begins to take advantage of Elmyra's sweet nature in every way imaginable, all the while treating her and her belongings like crap. Elmyra constantly complies with Rhoda's ridiculous demands due to a combination of her own lack of observational skills and fear of possibly losing one of the only "friends" she's ever had.(and let's face it, Elmyra hasn't had many of those.) Elmyra begins to wake up when Rhoda starts flirting with Montana Max right in front of her.
This is where "Can't Buy Me Love" begins to fascinate me. Monty can't stand Rhoda, despite the fact that she shares some of the exact same personality quirks as he does. I always found that interesting. Monty can't usually see how much of a selfish jerk he himself is, but is angered by other people who are a reflection of him. It brings a new lair of depth to "Citizen Max" does it not?.....maybe?
The highlight for me however, is what finally gets Elmyra to stand up to Rhoda, which is that she tries to take Furball away from her and claim him as her own. This episode reveals that Furball is the most precious thing on God's green earth to Elmyra, and that losing him is the one line she won't allow to be crossed. You'd be hard pressed to find anything about that on Fanfiction.Net! Furball actually wants to stay with Elmyra too, after Elmyra tells Rhoda off, they both give her the raspberry together.
Seeing Furball and Elmyra united as the result of a common threat is an enthralling concept. To show that deep down, this gangly alley cat and his clingy, flea brained owner actually love each other made for one heck of a character study, even if it only lasts for a couple of minutes. Like so many other things TTA did, I wish they'd explored this more. Imagine an episode dealing with Elmyra coping with a missing Furball. I often wonder what she's doing during those episodes where Furball is out trying to survive in the streets. I think you could get a really compelling episode out of that, with a tear jerker ending.
Unfortunately, the ending to "Can't Buy Me Love" does kind of put a damper on the magnificent scenes that came before it. Having Elmyra go right back to being Rhoda's pawn leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I wish they hadn't ended it on such lack luster note. Oh well, it's okay Ellie, we still love yuh......well some of us anyway.