- Who would ever own such a vile creature?
Sometimes an author wants to write about a fluffy suffering, but is doesn't like writing about good fluffies suffering injustice. The obvious solution to the quandary is to make the suffering fluffy a detestable and loathsome creature, thus creating the Hellgremlin fluffy cliche, also known as the asshole fluffy or the stubborn smarty. As the name suggests, the hellgremlin fluffy is a meta term for a fluffy so innately evil and vile that no reasonable person would ever consider owning one as a pet. Unlike the spoiled domestic fluffy or even the feral Smarty, the hellgremlin is not a product of its environment, rather, it is innately evil, and can only be civilized by the most strict discipline, if at all. The hellgremlin is not a subspecies, but rather, a cliche or trope.
Typically, hellgremlins will be very demanding, destructive, and violent toward any creature it can over power (aka, other fluffies, including if not especially its own offspring). Additionally, the hellgremlin will typically lack the fragility and cowardice of fluffies, having superhuman endurance and willpower, so that it can endure almost limitless suffering without repenting of its evil ways. Often, but not always, hellgremlins are Smarties.
Although canon does vary from author to author, it is asserted by some that making the typical fluffy a hellgremlin violates hivecanon, for the simple reason that one would own a fluffy if the vast majority were hellgremlins.
The Pet TestEdit
The "Pet Test" is a method for quickly determining if fluffies in a given headcanon are hellgremlins, or merely more bratty than in another headcanon. The Pet Test asks, "Would a typical fluffy in an author's headcanon make a plausible pet under favorable circumstances? The test applies to an entire headcanon or in-universe, rather than a particular fluffy. Individual fluffies in a headcanon act like hellgremlins without violating hivecanon. Likewise, feral fluffies can exhibit hellgremlin-like behaviors, especially when feral for several generations, without violating the hivecanon.
The Feral CorollaryEdit
The "feral Corollary" extends to the pet test to feral fluffies. The Feral Corollary asks, assuming that domestic fluffies past the pest test, "Do the behavioral changes in feral fluffies versus domestic fluffy behavior increase the chances of survival of a fluffy and its offspring?" Behaviors such as stealing from other fluffies or oppressing low ranking herd members would be consistent with the Feral Corollary. Likewise, foal favoritism increases the chances that at least some of the litter will survive to adulthood, and more importantly, be healthy enough to continue the bloodline. However, self-destructive behaviors, like yard invasions, threatening humans, or foal rape would fail the Feral Corollary test.
Types of HellgremlinsEdit
The hellgremlin fluffy often occurs in the following settings:
- A Wild Smarty Appears The prototypical hellgremlin, the lawn-invading Smarty is a feral fluffy who appears out of nowhere, often with a gang of Toughies, and proceeds to threaten the human main character, often attacking the human's domestic fluffy in the process. In addition to invading lawns, these Smarties occasionally invade houses, entering through pet doors or other means.
- Rapid-onset Hellgremlinitis Also known as "Smarty syndrome," this type of domestic fluffy with become a raging hellgremlin with minimal warning signs and instantaneous transition. "Smarty babbehs" typically fall into this category.
- Worstest Mummahs Besides self-styled Smarties, the fluffy mummahs are the most common type of hellgremmlin. A Worstest mummah will show extreme foal favoritism, in addition to being demanding. The worstest mummah can be feral or domestic, and if feral, the bad babbeh will someone live long enough for the human main character to white-knight it.
Typical Hellgremlin Behaviors and CharacteristicsEdit
- Gratuitous Rape A typical hellgremlin smarty would have access to any mare in his herd if we wanted. So, naturally, he will we spend him time invading yards to rape domestic mares, and foals, and stallions.
- Gratuitious Violence A reasonable smarty would attempt to bring any able-bodied fluffy into its herd, so naturally, a hellgremlin smarty will react violently to any fluffy it finds, even and especially high value ones. A hellgremlin smarty will typically try to rape domestic mares and stomp foals for one reason, especially expensive ones.
- Absurd Overconfidence A hellgremlin smarty will often try to launch violent yard-invasions, because it worked so well last time he tried it. A hellgremlin is not only stupid (like all fluffies), but is overconfident to the point of being literally suicidal.
- Because the Plot Demands it A fluffy could end the life of a newborn foal with one good stomp to the head. But for some reason, the hellgremlin mummah will keep the martyr babbeh alive for long enough for some human to come by and white-knight it. Likewise, a domestic fluffy will declare himself to be a "Smarty" because reasons, with little to no buildup.
- More Hit Points than the Tarrasque By the hivecanon, fluffies are so fragile that they are broken by all. The hellgremlin fluffy, however, can take almost limitless abuse without breaking physically or mentally, and typically has a better will save than level 30 Paladin.
Causes of HellgremlinsEdit
The hellgremlin is in part, caused by genre rot. Because a story about and average fluffy doing average things would be boring, exceptionally ill behaved fluffies are disproportionately represented in artwork and literature. This causes those new to the genre to assume that the ill behaved fluffy is typical, and so, their fluffy characters become even more ill-behaved. Over time, those fluffies become the new normal, and the cycle continues. Even older authors tend toward writing worse behaved fluffies, to keep pace with the consensus of the genre.
However, the chief cause of hellgremlins is the "justified abuse" story. Most authors in the sub-genre tend toward abuse/sadbox, but also tend to dislike injustice and are hesitant to portray the main human character as an unredeemable villain. The hellgremlin fluffy allows the human abuser-character to become an anti-hero of sorts: no longer is he harassing innocent creatures for the lutz, he becomes the avenger of the martyr babbeh and the smiter of the foal-eating lawn-invading sociopathic Smarty.
The hellgremlin is most often found in authors who are in the center of the abuse-vs-hugbox spectrum. Hugboxers tend to write likable fluffies for obvious reasons. However, that on the far-abuse side also tend to avoid hellgremlins. As they tend to write stories in which even good fluffies suffer, they have no need to make their fluffies unlikable. Ginger Fig's fluffies, to use an example, are almost raging Mary-Sue's by modern standards.
Hellgremlin Vs. SmartyEdit
Although Smarties often exhibit hellgremlin-like behaviors, not all Smarties are hellgremlins. If a Smarty is gradually corrupted over time, and dulled to cruelty by demands of feral life, it is not a hellgremlin. However, a fluffy who randomly catches "Smarty Syndrome" and suddenly turns into a crap-spraying sociopath for little or no apparent reason is a hellgremlin.
Likewise a Smarty-babbeh is not necessarily a hellgremlin if its behavior is due excessive maternal favoritism, rather than an inherent tendency toward "Smartiness." The same can be said for other forms of bratty fluffies: if the brattiness is due to experiences or upbringing, the bratty fluffy is not a hellgremlin, if, on the otherhand, the fluffy is hard-wired to be an insufferable brat, it is a hellgremlin.
Bad Mummahs: Hellgremlins or Not?Edit
There is some controversy as to rather a bad mummah is typically a hellgremlin. According to the hivecanon, fluffies were never intended to breed in a domestic setting, so a fluffy breeding outside of a controlled environment is arguably an "unfavorable" condition. Therefore, fluffy mummahs can be raging bitch-demons without technically failing the "Pet Test". Often, a bad mummah is more of an example of bad owner setting himself up to fail by gross negligence, rather than the mare becoming a hellgremlin.
The Hellgremlin's OppositeEdit
If its possible to make a fluffy that is too evil, in theory, it is also possible to create a fluffy that is too nice. However, the hellgremlin does not have a perfect mirror-image opposite. The stupidity and fragility of fluffies generally means that, even when acting with good intentions, fluffies tend to ruin things. The hellgremlin's opposite, therefore, is not so much too good, but rather, too intelligent or too physically powerful.
The term used for an over powered fluffy is a Mary Sue often rendered as "Gary Stu" or "Marty Stu" for a male character. The term "Mary Sue" is a common term in fan-fiction, applied to overpowered characters that are often author-inserts. Related to the Mary Sue is the OC, which stands for "original character." In the fluffy community, the term "OC" often refers to a person's "pet" character who often does little or nothing, and is excessively special.
Criticism of the Term "Hellgremlin"Edit
Some people object to the concept on the "Hellgremlin" trope on the grounds that it attempts to impose a uniform canon on the fluffy community. Others object to the term because it is currently (as of August 2016), largely limited to 8chan, and only rarely appears on fluffybooru.