A really long psychoanalysis of the Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls, from the popular 1990’s cartoon show The Powerpuff Girls, suffer
from five mental disorders; Multiple-Personality Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,
Paranoia Schizophrenia, Paranoid Personality Disorder and Depersonality.
The three Girls—Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup—are actually all fractions of one host
personality, whose name is unknown to the audience, but for conveniences sake we will
call her Brenda. The cause for the development of Multiple-Personality Disorder in
Brenda originates from bullying in early childhood by her older brother, whose actual
character is unknown to the audience, but is manifested in Brenda’s hallucinations as
Mojo Jojo, the Girls’ greatest nemesis.
The three personalities are:
· Bubbles: She is the “cute” little girl. She has large blue eyes and blond hair tied into
small pigtails. She symbolizes the innocence and playfulness of Brenda as a child. She is
naïve and submissive, and also tends to cry a lot. However, at rare times, she will become
uncontrollably aggressive; symbolizing Brenda’s pent up frustrations of wanting to retaliate
back at her brother. However, the majority of those frustrations are manifested in Buttercup.
· Blossom: She is the “smart and stable” girl. She has brown eyes and long orange
hair. She symbolizes the girl that Brenda wanted to be; mature, level-headed, and witty.
She acts as an “ego” by trying to find compromises in situations by mediating between the
desires of Brenda’s id and superego, which are not manifested in Brenda’s world.
· Buttercup: She is the “tough” girl. She has green eyes and short black hair. She
symbolizes Brenda’s thoughts of retaliation against her brother. Buttercup is violent,
reckless and stubborn. She is also very sharp with her tongue. However, there is another
side of her that is deeply caring for those she loves (the other two personalities), but the
majority of those feelings are manifested in Bubbles.
The three personalities of the Girls and Brenda are all parts of the same person; the
Girls are Brenda, and Brenda is the girls. They all experience the same hallucinations,
but the Girls do much of the actual action, and Brenda is more of a watcher (an effect
of Depersonalization, which I will talk about later).
Mojo Jojo takes the form of a black monkey with a hat over the dome of his
skull, in which the brain is visible. Mojo Jojo was created first by Professor Utonium,
the father figure in the hallucinations. The Powerpuff Girls were created afterwards.
Mojo Jojo and the Powerpuff Girls are related; they share one “creator”. In reality,
their “creator”, “Professor Utonium”, is their father. The relationship between the Girls
and Mojo Jojo is, in fact, siblinghood. In The Powerpuff Girls, the Girls are constantly
battling Mojo Jojo. Brenda experiences hallucinations of battling “Mojo Jojo” as a result
of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that developed from being bullied by her older
brother. The trauma of always having to fight or defend herself from her brother
manifests itself in this way. Mojo Jojo later reveals that he is jealous of the love that
Professor Utonium gives the Powerpuff Girls, implying that Brenda was abused by her
older brother because of his jealousy. All the other villains shown in the show are
manifestations of the abuse Brenda suffered, becoming her “inner demons”.
Paranoia Schizophrenia is characterized by auditory, tactile, olfactory and visual
hallucinations. In this case, all three personalities of Brenda suffer severely from
these hallucinations; they have completely detached from reality. (All of the
hallucinations also point to a clue that Brenda was very young when the bullying
happened. The Powerpuff Girls are all stuck in the body of young girls, and all the
villains they come across look like animated dolls or toys). In addition to this, there
does not seem to be a day in the life of the Powerpuff Girls that there is not somebody
attacking or plotting to destroy the city. The Mayor constantly calls the Girls to save
the “city” (a manifestation of Brenda’s mind). The Mayor is actually the manifestation
of Brenda’s feelings of danger whenever her older brother is nearby, which calls out
the three Girls’ personalities to defend Brenda’s fragile self. The Girls are not
necessarily always consciously worried about someone or something attacking their
“city”, but the fact that the “Mayor” calls nearly every single day shows the underlying
anxiety that Brenda feels. Most of the hallucinations that Brenda/the Girls experience
take their essence from flashbacks of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which are
incredibly and horrifically mutated to form the entirely new world inside her head.
Sufferers of Paranoia Schizophrenia also experience delusions; in this case, Brenda/the Girls
are all superheroes in their city. This allows Brenda to feel as if she is worth something in
her world, because the constant emotional/physical abuse her brother dealt her must have
severely cracked her self-esteem so that she was no able to function in real life (and possibly
suffer from some sort of social phobia).
Another disorder that Brenda/the Girls suffer from is Paranoid Personality Disorder. As
stated before, the feelings of anxiety that Brenda feels about being attacked by her older
brother are not always conscious. The paranoia that the Girls feel is also not immediately
obvious to the audience, but is in a deeper issue. Brenda/the Girls are always, constantly,
stuck in their world. Brenda is too afraid of the real world to come out of her fantasy world,
where she and her other personalities are heroes in her town, where she has special powers
to effectively beat down and wipe out all enemies who try to oppose her. Not only is she
afraid of reality but she is afraid of what adults will do to her. She does not and can not take
the idea of being locked into a hospital for the rest of her life, so she created the imaginary
world to shield her from reality. This is an extreme form of Paranoid Personality Disorder,
and is so severe because of her other mental disorders.
The last disorder that Brenda suffers from is Depersonalization. During the entire duration
of the show, you do not see Brenda. You only see the three personalities. This is because
the entire Powerpuff Girls series is from Brenda’s point of view. She is showing the audience
what she sees; she sees “herself”, manifested in the three personalities of the Powerpuff Girls.
It is herself that feels all the bliss, joy, rage and sadness that the Girls experience, but she
cannot actually feel it for herself. Depersonalization is the feeling that one is watching themselves
on a movie screen. Brenda feels as if she is watching herself on a movie screen, and that is
how the story of the three girls is shown to us.
The true story of the Powerpuff Girls is a much more cruel reality than what children can take.
The story of Brenda tells the audience of her childhood trauma and her insane delusions/hallucinations.
It shows the world what it is like to be inside the head of one suffering from severe schizophrenia,
split-personality disorder, as well as other mental disorders. It is truly a great series and should be
seen by other age groups for analyzing, not just the young children of America.