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