The Eternal Triangle
This page isn't meant to stir up controversy, but rather to show the multiplicity of opinions in the Great Debate. In fact, I think you'll be surprised at the range of opinions. This comes from Usenet, and I've edited the original text plus I took out the individuals' e-mails just in case
Date: 1992-03-02 22:17:59 PST Greetings and salivations, fellow net.readers!
The following messages discuss the flirting, dating, and speculating on Gadget’s social attitude, especially in the love department.
From: VGR (Craig Pell)
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1992 23:01:42 EST
Subject: Gadget (yeah, again!)
>I felt that she had simply lost her social skills because she had lived alone for a year since her father died. Juan also mentioned that he thought she was just steadily treating them as good friends and nothing else.
I would agree completely with Juan [Lara]. It seems fairly clear that she isn’t aware of the social nuances and hints that come her way. And she is intensive (or “focused,” officially :-) ), enough that she isn’t paying attention to many things while she’s working. Aren’t all artists that way?
I have not observed Gadget “dealing” with the ‘munks passes. She ignored them quite well, but this goes back to my previous paragraph. The only times I have ever seen Gadget aware of anyone’s passes was (1) the start of “Parental Discretion Retired” and (2) at the carnival in “Seer No Evil,” when Chip offers to win her a prize, and even this could easily be interpreted as friendship only. As for the former instance, I have argued before that her reaction to Chip’s making eyes at her was a device, to be used as reference later when Cheddarhead Charlie makes a pass at her, to show his usurping of all of Chip’s Ranger roles.
Oh, and of course there’s “Catteries Not Included,” but this was the first episode, after all --- and I say that not just because I heard it was but because it was pretty obvious --- and they were introducing the situation.
I certainly am of the opinion that Gadget has no idea that either ‘munk is as serious as they actually are. Everything that has gone on seems to indicate that she thinks they’re close friends, and flirt with her to make her feel better. And their seriousness may be overlooked due to the obvious manner in which they always compete, even (especially?) for things they have no real use or desire for --- which would easily explain her interpretation of their behavior in “Pavlov.” The way she saw it, they were, as she said, just “showing off.” They do that all the time anyway, no? (Not that it fills up the show, I admit.) Whew ... just call me the Gadgetologist :-) .
From: COLLIN MCCULLEY
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 15:33 EST
Subject: hi ho
>The only times I have ever seen Gadget aware of anyone’s passes was the
> start of “Parental Discretion Retired” and at the carnival in
>“Seer No Evil,” and “Catteries Not Included,”
Don’t forget the end of “Gadget Goes Hawaiian” where she purposefully ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other -- I think she knows full well what’s going on here. BTW -- this gag is also in “Two chips and a miss” , where Clarice ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other. Makes you think that the old C&D was required watching for the producers of CDRR.
From: Stephanie da Silva
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 1:33:31 CST
>The only times I have ever seen Gadget aware of anyone’s passes was the start of “Parental Discretion Retired” and “Seer No Evil,” and “Catteries Not Included,”
Gadget flirts all the time. I’ve never made a list, but I’m sure most of the incidents of this have been brought up. She not only flirts with Chip in the beginning of PDR, but also later on with Monty’s father. And she flirts with the dog in the pound in “To the Rescue.” I thought it was cause the writers wanted her to have some girlish traits on occasion and being demure is definitely a feminine trait.
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 08:39:30 EST
Subject: Re: hi ho
>The only times I have ever seen Gadget aware of anyone’s passes was the start of “Parental Discretion Retired” and at the carnival in “Seer No Evil,” and “Catteries Not Included,” Don’t forget the end of “Gadget Goes Hawaiian” where she purposefully ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other --this gag is also in “Two chips and a miss”, where Clarice ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other.
Didn’t you know that Chip & Dale’s rivalry over Gadget is *based* on Clarice?
Anyway, I think that initially, Gadget *did not* realize what was going on, but realized it eventually and made her decision. She has kept it quiet because to announce choosing either Chip *or* Dale would literally destroy the rangers, because the left out ‘munk would probably quit or resign. There are plenty of clues for her decision.
1) Chip has her picture, Dale Doesn’t. (Pavlov)
2) Chip has successfully got Gadget out on a date ... TO a drive-in, no less (Good times Bat Times), while Dale failed (Pavlov).
3) Dale tricked Gadget and made her look like a fool (Kiwi’s Big Adventure). If there is anything we know about Gadget its she hates being made a fool of. (check her reactions to it in Cola Cult and Dirty Rotten Diapers). When Gadget blows her top, she really blows her top. Dale lost any chance of ever ‘winning’ in that adventure.
4) At the end of ‘Good Times, Bat Times’, Chip appeared to be about to propose to Gadget, and Gadget was *smiling* about it. When Dale swooped down, Gadget looks *disappointed*.
These are the strongest clues I can think of initially. It basically boils down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
From: Brian Myers
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 20:13:45 PST
>I certainly am of the opinion that Gadget has no idea that either ‘munk is as serious as they actually are
I don’t think there’s any way she could have gone through that entire episode without realizing there was something more than regular friendship. Well, ok, I suppose it could be the case if in reality they actually were only competing. It seems there is evidence to support both sides of this. The real problem here is that the topic was usually incidental in the series so the topic was never explored in enough depth to make a solid decision. I guess this is just one of those things where it must be up to the individual to make his/her own decisions.
Don’t forget the end of “Gadget Goes Hawaiian” where she purposefully ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other --
Oooo, good example. I didn’t think of that one.
Actually, this gag has been done in all sorts of different shows.
From: Peter da Silva
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 7:42:02 CST
If I were Gadget I’d go for Chip, myself. Gadget and Dale would be like juggling nitro and plutonium...
From: COLLIN MCCULLEY
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1992 11:13 EST
Subject: many replies
>Didn’t you know that Chip & Dale’s rivalry over Gadget is *based* on Clarice?
Makes sense, but I wasn’t sure. Is this a real fact?
>These are the strongest clues I can think of initially. It basically boils
>down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
You make a strong case. I always thought Dale should get Foxglove anyway. (Just a healthy *defensive* posture)
From: Stephanie da Silva
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 13:54:15 CST
Subject: Spring Fever
David: Chip has successfully got Gadget out on a date (Good times Bat Times)
Oh, I wouldn’t say that. Chip usually sits in the front seat of the Ranger Wing/Plane. I think he was just taking advantage of the situation.
David: At the end of ‘Good Times, Bat Times’ Chip appeared to be about to propose to Gadget....
David: When Dale swooped down, Gadget looks *disappointed*.
She looked surprised, to me. If someone swooped down on you unexpectedly, wouldn’t you be surprised?
David: It basically boils down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
Nah. She’s too independent to be tied down. But she does date Sparky on occasion.
From: Major Matt Mason
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 15:36:17 EST
Subject: My $.02...
Chip/Dale/Gadget: A friend and I were speculating on a ‘C&D RR Babies’ show; I wisecracked, ‘Yeah, one of the kids is gonna be half mouse and the other one half bat!’ We both got a good laugh from that one.
From: Steven J. Edwards
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 15:36:42 EST
Chip as (secret) victor
I really doubt the conclusion that Chip has won Gadget’s affections. Gadget is perceptive enough to understand that Chip has an extremely delicate ego; the evidence for this comes from his nearly maniacal desire to lead in all situations and his near continuous anxiety.
Notice that he hardly ever smiles, perhaps just once per episode. Remember how in some episodes (e.g., “Parental Discretion Retired” and “Double-O Chipmunk”, he manages to hold a grudge through nearly the entire show. Chip also shows a lot of irrational irritation about Dale’s minor shortcomings, and even resorts to insults and a little violence (conking Dale on the head) to “prove” his point.
He has received a photograph and an occasional smooch from Gadget only because she feels a little sorry for him and because she doesn’t want his repressed despondence to injure the professional working relationship of the rangers.
Dale, on the other hand, has a much healthier mental view about his world model. An occasional setback does little to discourage him, and he is nearly always enjoying himself. He seems to have achieved a good state of self-adjustment and this is reflected in his optimistic approach to most problems.
No, Chip is no victor; more likely he is just a victim of his own insecurity.
From: VGR (Craig Pell)
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 19:21:39 EST
Subject: Gadget, Becky (picking up on a pattern?)
>Gadget flirts all the time. She not only flirts with Chip in the beginning of PDR, but also later on with Monty’s father. And she flirts with the dog in the pound in “To the Rescue.” I thought it was cause the writers wanted her to have some girlish traits on occasion and being demure is definitely a feminine trait.
I don’t believe that Gadget consciously flirts ever. She reacts to what she likes, granted, but she is not orchestrating any flirting. If she were she’d probably do a considerably better job.
She is *not* flirting with Cheddarhead Charlie! She’s flattered. That’s [sic] all. Don’tcha think she would have done more than blush for a second if she were “flirting”? As for Frenchie of the P.U. in the pound, I think it was Frenchie who did the flirting (and the chipmunks the coveting). Again, she was flattered. Does the fact that she doesn’t mind constitute flirting?
>I think that initially, Gadget *did not* realize what was going on, but realized it eventually and made her decision.
This is possible. But I still maintain that she has no idea how truly serious they are.
>These are the strongest clues I can think of initially. It basically boils
>down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
Sorry, but this is the classic seeing-what-you-want-to-see syndrome. No, Chip is not favored by Gadget. Not at all! I know it seems like it. But that is only because Chip tries harder! A little analysis will show that if Dale did the same things he would get the same results. (It’s very possible that Dale had never *asked* for a picture of her. It’s also less possible that Chip would lie, having obtained the picture from Monty). So I offer some counter-evidence:
1) Gadget kissed Dale way back in “Double ‘O Chipmunk,” while Chip waited until “Dirty Rotten Diapers.” In fact, Dale was kissing Gadget all the way back in “Catteries Not Included.” Proof of my above hypothesis about trying harder, and of my opinion that Gadget doesn’t flirt, just reacts positively.
2) Chip never got Gadget for a date. Maybe you noticed that *all* the Rangers --- not just Dale --- were ruining Chip’s romantic intentions. Note also that Gadget didn’t mind, and in fact was slightly shocked at Chip’s mistreatment of Dale. This “date” was no more intimate than Dale’s sharing the back seat of the Rangermobile with Gadget in “Pavlov” (just why did she happen to sit back there that day? Hmmmmmm...).
3) Yeah, Gadget was mad at Dale for using her. But she knows that Dale does that kind of thing. And it’s not as if she’s never been mad at Chip --- especially for abusing Dale (as if Dale can’t take care of himself).
4) I hate to bring this up, since it’s evidence that she is aware of at least Dale’s affections ... but recall her line in “Dale Beside Himself”: “Come sit by me.” Actually this could be construed as a pity offer. Or not.
5) Propose? Propose *something*, admittedly. I expected at the end of “Bat Times” that Chip was merely going to reveal his feelings. Sure, Gadget was smiling—she always smiles, practically. It was pretty obvious she had no idea what he was thinking of saying. Disappointed? Well, he left while they were talking. Disappointed she was, but not exactly crestfallen.
6) How ‘bout her sympathy in “Double ‘O Chipmunk”? Crying for him, no less. ‘Course, she cried when she thought Chip was dead. So I’d say that about puts the ‘munks equal.
7) Chip never saw the physical contact that Dale had to “endure” in “S.S. Drainpipe,” when he and Gadget are pretending to wrestle and fight. OTOH I suspect Chip would have a tendency to exhibit more respect for her than Dale would, though it’s not applicable in “S.S. Drainpipe.”
Don’t be surprised if I recall more evidence... :-)
Date: Sat, 29 Feb 1992 17:20:37 HST
Subject: Re: Chip, Dale & Gadget
Reply-To: Dana Uehara
Brian: An interesting thing here was that it seemed Dale was harder hit than anyone else by Chip’s “death”.
Well, yeah, but don’t forget that Chip and Dale were buddies long before Gadget arrived on the scene (the first couple of episodes from “To The Rescue”). Assuming that these two had a best-buddy relationship since they were younger, it’s not really that much of a surprise that Dale was the hardest hit by Chip’s apparent death.
Brian: For the record I’d have to say that Gadget knows she really doesn’t want to be with either of the ‘munks. Now if only the ‘munks can be convinced.
Sometimes it seems they take the hint (they’re not *always* fighting over her), and other times it seems like they haven’t learned a thing. But whether or not they do get the hint(s), it’s still an interesting concept to explore.
I kind of agree that Gadget probably wouldn’t get hitched with Chip, but if she had to choose between the two, it would almost definitely be Chip. Somehow, though, it seems like Gadget would prefer someone that was a mixture of the two.
From: brian myers
Date: Sat, 29 Feb 92 12:18:30 PST
You know, this very discussion is what led to the list. This is the first thing Juan [Lara] and I discussed after we made the initial contact. I don’t know whether to feel nostalgic or deja-vu.
dowalker>2) Chip has successfully got Gadget out on a date ... TO a drive-in, no less (Good times Bat Times), while Dale failed (Pavlov).
Here you’re referring to Dale’s attempt to take Gadget on a picnic and the opening of GTBT where they’re at the drive in, right? One common factor of the two is that all the rangers ended up going on both outings. If Dale’s picnic was a failure, so was Chip’s drive in.
dowalker>At the end of ‘Good Times, Bat Times’ Chip appeared to be about to propose to Gadget, and Gadget was *smiling* about it.
It certainly could be construed that way, but somehow I just don’t think he was going to propose marriage. Maybe “proposition” would be a better word. I got the feeling he was just going to confess his undying-everlasting-love-etc-etc.
dowalker>These are the strongest clues I can think of initially. It basically boils down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
I agree that she wouldn’t choose Dale for reasons I’ve stated many times to Juan. But I’m not really convinced she’d pick Chip over say, a more available Sparky. Wait ‘till Juan gets into this and you’ll see some reasons why she hasn’t shouldn’t choose Chip.
VGR>It was pretty obvious she had no idea what he was thinking of saying.
Well I don’t know about that.
VGR>‘Course, she cried when she thought Chip was dead.
An interesting thing here was that it seemed Dale was harder hit than anyone else by Chip’s “death”. For the record I’d have to say that Gadget knows she really doesn’t want to be with either of the ‘munks. Now if only the ‘munks can be convinced.
From: Juan F Lara
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 20:23:33 EST
Subject: Thoughts on Gadget Hackwrench
Well, here are my thoughts on Gadget.
-> Social Skills <-
Well, Gadget’s awkwardness and flakiness troubled me for a long time. I have an explanation why somewhere below. But this explanation of her character is a better way to look at her. Tad tried hard to make Gadget, not absent minded, but extremely focused. She has tunnel vision when she’s working on something. I like this conception of her character. It emphasizes her science-oriented mind, and gives her personality some depth.
CM: Don’t forget the end of “Gadget goes hawaiian” where she purposefully ducks both of them and they end up kissing each other.
Did she “purposely” duck them? I thought she was just going to get something and she ducked at just the convenient moment. She didn’t seem to have the slightest idea they were going to kiss her. At least that’s what I thought Monty’s line “That’s our Gadget” was supposed to mean.
-> Beauty and the Beasts :-) <-
BDM: I don’t think there’s any way she could have gone through that entire episode without realizing there was something more than regular friendship.
I just can’t imagine that either. Granted she’s had little contact with boys, but after the extended period of time she’s lived with them I just can’t imagine that she hadn’t caught on to what they have in mind, yet.
And besides, a lot of times the munks grab Gadget’s hands or arms when they make a play for her attention. You can’t get more explicit than that without transcending the boundaries of a “family” show. :-) What always bothered me, though, was the dumb look that Gadget usually has when this happens. Sometimes the munks’ actions are downright harassment, and you’d think that Gadget would have more self-respect than to put up with it. But she almost never seems to protest, which is a shame.
BDM: Juan also mentioned that he thought she was just steadily treating them as good friends and nothing else.
Well, I have no impression that Gadget has any serious feelings for the munks. Whether her mind is preoccupied with Gadgetry instead, or whether the munks’ antics simply revolt her, I don’t see her wanting a relationship with either of them.
DW: At the end of ‘Good Times, Bat Times’, Chip appeared to be about to propose to Gadget, and Gadget was *smiling* about it.
“Propose?” That I seriously doubt, since I don’t think Chip’s feelings for her have progressed to that point.
From the munks’ antics, I’d say that they don’t want any serious relationship. All they really want from her is just her attention. I’m sure they entertain lustful thoughts of her all the time (most people on this net probably do, too. ;-), but if Gadget ever actually reacted to their attention, I bet they’d run away scared. They’re kids when it comes to relationships, and I doubt that they could provide any fulfillment for Gadget. That scene in “Good Times, Bat Times” though seems to indicate that Chip wants to start something more serious with her, but I don’t know.
BDM: You know this very discussion, is what led to our list. This is the first thing Juan and I discussed after we made the initial contact. I don’t know weather to feel nostalgic or deja-vu.
It makes me feel very nostalgic, mainly because it’s exactly a year this month that Brian and I first started talking. And Gadget was the main motivation to start reading r.a.a., and my first big posting was my entry into the Gadget-munks debate. Megazone might remember it as I made references to one of his postings in mine, call him “Mr. Forsythe”.
Basically, I complained about a general lack of positive scientist characters in cartoondom. Scientist characters were usually geeky bumblers who apart from their science duties didn’t have much else to except serve as comic relief. Woman scientists, in keeping with the stereotype that women are scientifically illiterate, were either unheard of or took the form of mutant space-cadets such as Jeanette in “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.
That’s why Gadget was such a very amazing character for me. Here was a female character with a “mind-bashingly high I.Q.” in science, and a female who wasn’t designed to look like a geek. Moreover, she has that “intense focus” on her work that was mentioned. One scene from the premiere that I like was when Gadget builds chairs for the Rangers. Here we see her gadgetry as her personal art, and means of self-expression.
In gadgetry, she finds personal fulfillment and satisfaction. She makes a full person out of herself via her creativity in her inventing, which is truly a breakthrough for a female character. This is what I like about Gadget.
And that’s what I didn’t like about the Chip-Dale rivalry. This rivalry reminded me of how female characters are usually defined by their boyfriends. She is such-and-such’s boyfriend, and therefore she is. But Gadget doesn’t need to be someone’s girlfriend to define herself. So I regarded any movement in the rivalry as potentially ruinous for Gadget, and that if she did become someone’s girlfriend, she’d be nothing but someone’s girlfriend. All that innovation would be lost. I also dismissed Gadget’s flakiness as old scientist clichés that have no place here, and hoped that they would de-emphasize this.
In hindsight, I think my views were too dogmatic. They didn’t allow any room for Gadget’s flakiness, and I basically saw any instant of Gadget’s flakiness as a backward step in her character development. I also suppose that these views made me look scornfully at any instant of Gadget flirting. I think that ultimately, I wanted Gadget to be something she wasn’t. The characterization of her provides a better way to regard her flakiness.
DW: These are the strongest clues I can think of initially. It basically boils down to Gadget has Chosen. Her Choice is Chip.
In many episodes, I’ve noticed, too, that the writers seem to have a bias for Chip over Dale. You pointed out many examples. I suppose the writers have this inclination because Chip is the show’s nominal “lead”, and the “lead” always gets the girl, doesn’t he?
I also wonder if the producers were hoping to save some money in that in any love scene between Chip and Gadget, they’d have to pay for only one voice. (Tress :-). Hmm. It must be curious to stage a love scene with yourself. :-)
But I find it a little hard to believe that Gadget would get serious with someone who has a personality like Chip’s. Stephen has also listed some characteristics of Chip like his short temper, delicate ego, and general abrasiveness. I can’t imagine Gadget willing to put up with all of this in order to go with Chip. So, I agree with Stephen that any favoritism that Gadget shows for Chip is only not to antagonize him.
But I could see Tammy still persevering to win Chip’s heart, and her indefatigable persistence wearing the poor sap down for him to submit. That would make a good episode.
-> Zipper. The True Suitor? <-
Note of interest: When RR started, they thought Zipper would steal the show because he was so cute. But when it came time to write scripts it became hard to give him anything to do because of his relative weakness and lack of a voice.
Well, Zipper is my second favorite character, next to Gadget. Many people have remarked that Zipper’s the bravest Ranger, and the one who puts up with the most physical harm. Zipper is also very humble and respectful of his friends, which is in marked contrast to the munks. They did a good job characterizing him, even without a voice. :-)
In fact, I ultimately decided that Zipper should be the Ranger that Gadget could fall in love with. His courage, humbleness, and general good nature, these are the characteristics that I think Gadget would value. His humbleness in particular means that he doesn’t have a big ego that would get in the way of Gadget’s engineering pursuits. And I could see Zipper giving Gadget all the enthusiasm and support that she’d want in her inventing.
I came up with this sketchy scenario for a Gadget-Zipper romance. We’d have a case during which Chip and Dale, as always, are one-upping themselves in trying to be the hero and making all those passes at Gadget. But here we see Gadget showing signs that she’s getting finally fed up with all this harassment.
The case, for a reason I haven’t thought up of, yet, obliges Gadget and Zipper to work together a lot. Actually, Gadget and Zipper have often been paired off in episodes like “The Luck Stops Here”. Gadget’s and Zipper’s personalities prove very compatible, and Gadget’s time with Zipper provides an oasis from the munks. Ultimately, I see one scene where Gadget finally reaches the last straw and lashes out at the munks, running away from them.
Later on, she accidentally stumbles onto Zipper, knocking some things over. They stare at each other, and smile, somewhat self-consciously. They really start to feel something between them, even with the species difference. They approach one another, and then they kiss. It’s a small kiss, with some nervousness on both parts, but it’s a very loving and romantic kiss.
Of course, in this scenario, I’m flatly ignoring the species difference, applying a philosophy that love is an abstract quality that renders virtually all physical characteristics irrelevant. Brian says this isn’t the right attitude, since the mammal-insect difference has to play some role. Oh, well.
I’m curious at the least to hear whatever can be said on a Gadget-Zipper romance.