OriginEditAlert viewers of the show noticed a googly-eyed Pegasus mare in the series' first episode, standing in the background in the crowd at Twilight Sparkle's welcoming party. After the image was captured and posted on 4chan's comics and cartoons board /co/, fans began speculating of the nature of this odd pony. The name she was given, Derpy Hooves, is derived from the slang term "derp", which is associated with someone who behaves in a silly manner and is often connected with crossed eyes.
Wall eyesEditDerpy was one of several background ponies chosen from a palette and placed in the scenes on the whim of layout artists. At first, her face wasn't supposed to be visible in that particular scene, but a later layout change uncovered it. Jayson Thiessen, the supervising director of the show, stated that he noticed and was amused by her expression. Since Hasbro had already given the episode a green light, he didn't order fixing Derpy's eyes. Thiessen relayed in a Q&A that he was so delighted after discovering popularity of Derpy that he requested altering Derpy's eyes in all episodes that hadn't been sent to the Hub yet.
NameEditFaust has acknowledged the fan following of Derpy early on. Before the name Derpy was used by the production crew, Faust stated that in one of the unaired episodes at the time, Winter Wrap Up, there is a mention of a "featherbrained" Pegasus named Ditzy Doo whose appearance is never established on-screen and if Ditzy should make an appearance, the show may assign Derpy's design to her. Faust later stated that "it sounds like [the name has] finally landed on 'Derpy Hooves'".
The character is called "Derpy" on-screen in The Last Roundup, detailed below. The episode's writer noted that the character's name in the script was originally Ditzy Doo, and she was requested to change the name to Derpy as a "tip of the hat" to the fans. Lauren Faust notes in her Bronies Documentary interview that she imagined Derpy as a "Harpo Marx kind of character who didn't speak and who no one really called out by name", leaving her mysterious and "a blank slate for the fans."
Even though background ponies typically have no official names, when Derpy was still a background pony an animator from the Philippine studio working on the show said that Derpy was nicknamed Stoneface, Bubbles, Bubblehead and Ditzy by the crew. Thiessen later relayed that the Canadian crew has adopted the name Derpy. Amy Keating Rogers sang her original rendition of the song "Smile, Smile, Smile" at Bronycon 2012, in which Pinkie Pie speaks to Derpy and calls her Derpy Doo.
According to IDW comics editor Bobby Curnow on June 21, 2014, "Derpy isn't the official name, there is no official name".
Charity auctionEditLauren Faust participated in a charity auction for the 2011 Japan relief effort by donating several of her My Little Pony Friendship is Magic production sketches. In addition to sketches drawn in 2008, she drew a new sketch of Derpy which sold for 2,151 USD. The character was explicitly called Derpy Hooves by the auctioneer.
Merchandising and promotional materialEditOfficially licensed apparel sporting Derpy was first made available on August 2011 at the online store WeLoveFine, though the store carries fan-designs which refer to various characters by various fan-given names. More designs were later made available on WeLoveFine and at Hot Topic retail stores. She is also featured on the Comic Con 2011 promotional poster.
Derpy is featured in her Nightmare Night paper bags costume in the Castle Creator flash game, with the file name for her asset containing the word "Derpy". A December 2011 update to the game contained another Derpy asset, wearing a reindeer cap and a red nose, this time with its file name containing the phrase "DH_definitely_canon". The day Hearth's Warming Eve aired, The Hub's Facebook page posted a message encouraging readers to "spot fan favorite Derpy" in the episode.
After Derpy's name was removed from The Last Roundup, Hasbro has not put the name Derpy in merchandise, but they have put "Muffins" instead. Both the IDW comics and the mobile game feature Derpy, but she is not directly named. On December 2012, Hot Topic listed a hoodie of Derpy under the name Ditzy Doo while alluding to the Derpy controversy in its description.
A special edition Fashion Style toy of Derpy titled "2012 Special Edition Pony" doesn't name the pony on the product packaging or in publicity material. It was sold exclusively at the 2012 Comic-Con convention, Hasbro's My Little Pony Fair convention and the Toy Shop website; the item went out of stock on the website the same day it was put on sale. Muffins appear as decoration on the box and serve as the "0" in 2012.
Derpy's head is featured inside of Princess Celestia's cutie mark on the cover of one edition of the My Little Pony Giant Coloring and Activity Book and poking her head out of a house in the background on another.
A special Derpy tin containing trading cards including a Derpy promo card became available at Hot Topic in April of 2013. The promo card does not feature Derpy's name. A brushable Derpy toy, part of the Favorites Collectible toy series, was displayed at New York Toy Fair 2013. On the back of the packaging, she is not named but instead a muffin symbol is shown to represent Derpy.
Series 2 of Enterplay's trading cards includes a card featuring Derpy, #40. The card does not refer to her by any name and the back of the card includes the description "Dispersing pesky thunderclouds isn't the only job this mare has tried her hoof at. Everypony knows that whether the obstacle is snow or rain, heat of day of gloom of night - or even an army of changelings - she'll make sure your package is delivered on time! Relaxing while off the clock, this pegasus enjoys spending time with Golden Harvest and her other friends. Pretty much the rest of her time is dedicated to muffins; mmmm, muffins..." The initials of each sentence form "DERP", alluding to the origin of her name. The card lists her likes as "Nightmare Night; Spectating; Muffins, of course" and groups her with Berryshine/Berry Punch, Sweetie Drops/Bon Bon and Lyra Heartstrings.
In Gaia Online, her name is given as "Ditzy Doo" and her description is "Accidentally went north to get the southern birds!", which is a reference to the mention of that name in Winter Wrap Up. Artist milkbun, an official staff member of Gaia Online, stated Ditzy Doo was the official name given to them by Hasbro.
A limited edition 2013 San Diego Comic-Con MIMOBOT designer USB flash drive of her, though on Mimoco's website is only referred to as "Fan Favorite" and "Fan Favorite Pony".
An adult wig's packaging lists her name as "Muffins" with a trademark symbol.
A July 2, 2014 Pony Poem image posted by the official Facebook page of Gameloft's mobile game refers to her as "Derpy Hooves" in a poem attributed to "Scott H."; the accompanying text of the post itself initially used the name "Derpy" but within two hours was edited to instead simply use the term "her".
Depiction in the seriesEdit
As a background ponyEditDerpy first appears in the first episode of the series in the background of several scenes and, as noted above, makes her googly-eyed appearance at Twilight Sparkle's welcoming party.
She is mentioned by Rainbowshine and Rainbow Dash during Winter Wrap Up, using the name "Ditzy Doo", for flying the wrong direction for the second year running, trying to fetch the migrating birds back to Ponyville.
Derpy can be seen throughout the season trotting through a park, helping with storm preparations, participating in the Running of the Leaves, visiting Ponyville's market and more. She is one of the ponies in the crowd who admires Pinkie Pie's "baked bads" in Applebuck Season. The shot pans over the crowd and Derpy, Minuette, and Sea Swirl all mouth the line "Mmmmm...muffins" at approximately the same time. Derpy appears with intentionally crossed eyes in Feeling Pinkie Keen; when Twilight spies on Pinkie Pie, a series of objects falls on her head: a flower pot, an anvil, a cart of hay and finally a piano. A camera pan reveals that the items were dropped by Derpy and Sunshower Raindrops, who are hovering next to a movers' truck. In Green Isn't Your Color, she is heard gasping in shock at Fluttershy's catwalk antics.
There are three characters that are identical to Derpy with exception of their hair color in Winter Wrap Up and one more in The Cutie Mark Chronicles. The latter appears alongside Derpy in crowd shots and has orange hair, while the former three appear in the musical sequences and have either red, pale blue, or light purple hair. Background ponies often appear throughout episodes with slight color variations, particularly in crowd shots, and some ponies share the same character design with different color schemes.
As a scripted characterEditDerpy appears in nineteen episodes of season one as a background character. For season two, she has gained a scripted-character status rather than an arbitrary background pony and she is considered a "Where's Waldo"-type challenge for the fans.
In the remastered version of the opening sequence that is first used in Lesson Zero, she appears in the top window of the first train car.
She is one of the ponies under the effects of Twilight Sparkle's spell on her doll, Smarty Pants, in Lesson Zero. When Princess Celestia removes the spell from everyone, Derpy finds herself fighting with the Mayor]] and returns to her derped-face self. In the photo on the right her face is the same face shown in the very first episode of season one.Derpy is dressed in several brown paper bags in Luna Eclipsed and participates in Applejack's apple bob activity during Nightmare Night with Golden Harvest. However, while bobbing for apples, she accidentally pulls the plug, causing all the water in the bob to go down the drain.
She makes a brief cameo in Sisterhooves Social among the crowd listening to Granny Smith's announcement. In The Cutie Pox, a wall-eyed Pegasus filly with the same color scheme as Derpy appears briefly for one shot in the schoolyard, with most of her body obscured by Apple Bloom and another filly. Derpy makes a brief appearance in the doorway to Fluttershy's chicken coop in May the Best Pet Win!, an episode otherwise devoid of background ponies.Derpy appears briefly in The Mysterious Mare Do Well among the crowd cheering after Rainbow Dash saves the old folks falling on the balcony. She appears in Sweet and Elite along with many other ponies during a shot in the song Becoming Popular, wearing the same paper bag that was part of her costume in Luna Eclipsed, in addition to a pearl necklace. She pops out of a well in between Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops in Secret of My Excess. She rides the train to Canterlot in Hearth's Warming Eve. Later, she pops out from behind the curtain to wave at the audience before the show. She walks away sad afterwards when Cherry Fizzy stops her. At the end of the episode, she talks in the background with Amethyst Star.
She appears frequently throughout the musical sequence The Flim Flam Brothers in the episode The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, as well as in the crowd watching the competition. She appears in Hearts and Hooves Day in three village shots, one standing next to an unknown filly and twice standing next to Dr. Hooves on the bridge. In A Friend in Deed, she appears twice, first flying upside down in the snow globe Pinkie Pie finds in Cranky Doodle Donkey's things and the second time by a stand in Ponyville square with two other ponies.
In Putting Your Hoof Down, she first appears in the market scene approaching the asparagus stand while bearing muffin-sealed saddlebags, where she reacts to the stall holder's lack of asparagus. Later, she appears in the crowd at Iron Will's seminar.Derpy appears quite frequently in Hurricane Fluttershy, which is the episode featuring her longest screen time outside of The Last Roundup. She first appears at the beginning reading a flyer that Rainbow Dash dropped with only one of her eyes, the other looking elsewhere, and again as part of the ponies participating in the Wing Speed testing and she is part of the tornado team led by Rainbow Dash. Derpy appears again in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2 at three different times in the crowd of ponies; The first time when Queen Chrysalis talks to Princess Cadance, the second time when she watches the bride enter and the third time when the wedded pair is about to leave. Her eyes are derped in her first appearance, normal in her second appearance and only one of her eyes is clearly visible in her third appearance.
Derpy does not appear in most of season three, appearing in The Crystal Empire and Magic Duel briefly. She returns in Magical Mystery Cure with five appearances, the first being on a bridge during the opening song, the second being flying through the air with other Pegasi in a "Blue Angels" style formation. Her third appearance is peeking out under the legs of another pony and winking to the camera, similar to most of her appearances in season 2 in which she was a "hidden" Easter egg. Her last two appearances are at the beginning of Life in Equestria and shortly after the main ponies are walking together to the balcony.
After a lengthy absence throughout season four, Derpy appears again in Rainbow Falls. When Rainbow Dash fakes getting injured, Fluttershy and Bulk Biceps fill her spot on the Ponyville relay team with Derpy. She remains silent throughout the episode and is never referred to by name. Her appearance after such a long absence was intentional on the show writers' part to keep her return a surprise.
She can be found a few times in Pinkie Pride, first following Cheese Sandwich, helping put up decorations, sticking her face into a chocolate fountain and engaging in a staring contest with Cheese Sandwich's rubber chicken, Boneless. She is also seen as a filly in Cheese's flashback song.
In Simple Ways, Derpy appears briefly with a different tail style and cutie mark.
She appears in Equestria Games where she is on the Airsprinters with Thunderlane and "Helia".
In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, she is one of the pegasi whose flight is taken away from her by Lord Tirek. In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, she receives it back from the rainbowfied mane six. She's also the first in line to come to Princess Twilight's new castle.
Derpy has her first significant speaking role in The Last Roundup. The scene starts with Rainbow Dash getting the tip of her tail singed by a lightning bolt, coming from a gray storm cloud that Derpy is bouncing on. Dash tells her, "Now, careful, Derpy. You don't wanna do any more damage than you've already done", pointing to the broken and crashing roof of the Ponyville town hall. Derpy replies, "I just don't know what went wrong", and shocks herself from another bolt of lightning from the cloud she's bouncing on. She flies by Rainbow Dash and compliments her work, but bumps into a pillar behind her and sends it hurtling to the ground. Rainbow Dash tries to stop it but she smashes through the floor with the pillar. Derpy sticks her head in the hole asking if Rainbow Dash is okay and asks if there's anything she can do to help, but Rainbow Dash flies up and tells her to sit there and do nothing. When Derpy sits down in response, the floor below her starts to crack and she falls through, grabbing Rainbow Dash and pulling her down along for the ride. When Mayor Mare gives her speech in honor of Applejack, Derpy sticks out of the hole in the broken floor and cheers for Applejack, but she lets go and falls down once again. Her eyes are crossed through the majority of the scene.
ProductionEditDerpy is voiced by Tabitha St. Germain in both cuts of the episode. Germain was not aware at the time that Derpy is female and voiced her "with a neighbor's son in mind." The episode was storyboarded by Sabrina Alberghetti and Nicole Wang. Alberghetti was reminded of herself in the portrayal of Derpy as an "accident-prone klutz". Derpy was originally named "Ditzy" in the episode's production and was portrayed as "ditzy" by the writer, Amy Keating Rogers. Rogers was requested to rename the pony to "Derpy" as a "tip of the hat" to fans.
The episode was removed from iTunes a week after its release and put back up on 24 February 2012, with Derpy's scene altered: a few words are omitted from the dialog, in particular Rainbow Dash does not name Derpy, Derpy's voice is different and more feminine and Derpy's eyes are not as acutely crossed in a few of the shots in the scene. This alteration does not appear in The Friendship Express DVD. An April 14, 2012 rerun of the episode on the Hub uses the altered scene, but the closed captions were not adjusted. The episode available on Netflix also uses the edited scene, as does the Complete Season 2 DVD Release.
The decision to alter the character was made by Hasbro or The Hub, in response to emails complaining about the character's portrayal and the word "Derpy", both of which have been taken as offensive to people with disabilities.
In the French, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian and Japanese broadcasts of The Last Roundup, she is still called "Derpy" by Rainbow Dash. Additionally, the Japanese dub credits her as "ダーピー" in the credits, which translates to "Derpy". Finally, in the European Spanish version, the voice credits afterwards credit her as "Derpy", although her name is not spoken by Rainbow Dash.
In the Hungarian dub, Derpy is voiced by a male voice actor.
Depiction in filmsEdit
My Little Pony Equestria GirlsEdit
Derpy has a brief cameo in My Little Pony Equestria Girls in human form. She appears twice in the cafeteria during the Equestria Girls song sequence: once in the lower right-hand corner, holding a brown envelope with a blush on her face, and again in the upper left, wall-eyed, dancing and holding a muffin. She also appears during the movie's closing credits, again with her trademark eyes and muffin, dancing.
Equestria Girls: Rainbow RocksEdit
The human version of Derpy is seen in a band playing the musical saw.
Perfect Day for FunEdit
In the My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks animated short Perfect Day for Fun!, Derpy briefly appears dancing during the Rainbooms' concert.
Depiction in other mediaEdit
Derpy appears in the IDW comics as a minor character. In E3 and cover A of comic 9, she carries a mailbag labeled "Local #1701" in the former and "Union #1701" in the latter. Her makeshift home is shown in comic 10, shown to be a broken chrysalis with a mailbox designated "D. Hooves". On comic 18 Friendship is Magic Issue #18, page 12, an alternate version of Derpy, wearing glasses, holding a book and with her eyes not derped, is shown in a stained glass window labeled "Wisdom". This alternate Derpy also appears on cover A of comic 19.
In the chapter books Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell and Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity, Derpy briefly appears but is not addressed by name. She also has a line of dialogue in each, but in the latter her speech is muffled.
Derpy is a non-playable character in the My Little Pony Gameloft My Little Pony mobile game, usually called "the pony in the box", she is called "Derpy" in the Gameloft friends list if the player's age is set to 9 or under --> who hides under a box at random locations and gives the player bits and occasionally gems when tapped; the text of quests involving her suggests she is well-liked by the other characters and they will go out of their way to interact with her after she is uncovered.