“Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City” Is a Queer Romcom Don’t @ Me

I recently revisited the 1981 smash hit Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City, and was both shocked and delighted to discover that it’s what made me gay. The way I remembered it, Strawberry Shortcake hopped aboard a butterfly and made the trip to Big Apple City to face off in a televised bake off in Times Pear against the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak. The Purple Pieman employed various nefarious machinations to sabotage our sweet heroine’s chances at victory, but ultimately she emerged victorious through the power of friendship and fresh produce!

Isn’t talent something other people let you know you have? All you can do is keep working. Use what feels right. Throw away the rest.

What I didn’t realize the four hundred and fifty-five thousand times I watched this movie as a child is that it’s actually a romantic comedy celebrating the love between Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom, whose first encounter in Sentimental Park rivals the New York City rom-com meet-cute gold standards perpetually set forth by by Meg Ryan.

Do you miss Richard?

No, I haven’t thought about him all day.

Watch as an earnest country girl struggles to find her way in the big city until she meets a Spinach Village artist who teaches her to believe in the power of her dreams. Observe as they take a turn about the park singing, “What’s your name / How’d you do? / You’re alone / I am too.” Attend for a moment as Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom clasp hands and declare, “From now on, we’re a we.” Look upon them as they foil the Pieman’s conspiracies to keep Strawberry Shortcake from reaching the bake off, and marvel when Strawberry wins and comes to the conclusion that she’s just a country girl at heart.

What a strange girl you are. Flung from space.

Behold Orange Blossom follow her sweetheart home to begin a new adventure, together, in Strawberryland, the queerest little fruit patch in America.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 872 articles for us.

16 Comments

  1. As someone who has never seen Strawberry Shortcake in her life (I was very much a late 80s Care Bear person, except they always made me cry because they loved sooo much and my heart would explode)– This was so trippy! And I loved it! And now I will be spending the rest of the day daydreaming about Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom’s epic love story

    <3

  2. They got Pupcake the dog and Custard the cat together, but it turned out Orange is allergic so they live with Strawberry.

    They live in separate houses because it’s kinda hard to combine a giant orange and a giant strawberry into a normal fruit shaped house, y’know?

  3. I thought I loved this movie when I was kid because it took place in Big Apple City and I lived in New York. I now realize what a baby queer I really was!

    Also, I thought my love of British women in suits with glasses was because of Sue Perkins. I now realize it was T.N. Honey all along.

  4. Babysitting comes with so many “Oh so fun” perks. Like watching hour after hour of the new Strawberry Shortcake with a 4 year old. I used to avoid boredom by imagining fictional lesbian relationships between the characters…

    But now, I know better 🙂

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