Today marks the 34th birthday of, arguably, the most important creation of the previous century. After penicillin, marshmallow fluff, and Ann Jillian’s innovation of the bowl cut (note: this is the part where I’ve lost anyone under the age of 37): She-Ra, Princess of Power.
As was the case with many creations of the 1980s, She-Ra’s genesis came from a bunch of people trying to make more money. Mattel and Filmation, having earned hundreds of millions off the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon, respectively, wanted to extend the franchise. Research indicated that girls liked He-Man as much as boys (duh, but this was the '80s), so the two companies decided to create a toy line and series targeted to girls. Thus was born She-Ra, He-Man’s twin sister.
She-Ra was introduced in a 1985 theatrical movie with He-Man called Secret of the Sword, with her TV show premiering shortly after. The program ran two seasons, for a total of 93 episodes.
In celebration of her 34th birthday, here are 34 reasons why the She-Ra franchise is the best:
She had the best transformation sequence ever
"For the honor of Greyskull" is a unifying battle cry around the world.
Her horse is fancy
Spirit (who becomes Swift Wind) is kind of a cross between if a dandy and a nobleman became a horse.
Melendy Britt voiced her
No one could have done a better job. Also, Melendy Britt is the greatest name ever. Here she is with Captain Stubing.
She-Ra and all the other characters from the show consistently inspire some brilliant cosplay. Case in point: this competition from 2016's Power Con.
Adora never smelled bad
Adora wore the same outfit every day yet never smelled bad.
Her friends' names are on the nose
We've got Frosta (who controls ice), Netossa (throws nets), Spinerella (spins really fast), Mermista (a mermaid), Castaspella (a magician), Angella (a woman with wings). Subtly is overrated.
Pat Sajak talked about her
Observe this piece of bonkers performance art from the 1985 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade introduced by Pat Sajak.
J. Michael Straczynki wrote Season 1 episodes
We are 100% confident that his later work on Babylon 5, Sense8 and The Amazing Spider-Man was influenced by She-Ra. Okay, maybe not. But still, it's cool.
The Crystal Castle in the TV show and the playset from the toyline look NOTHING alike and no one ever really seemed to care.
It DGAF Part 2
Castaspella's figure from the toyline and her outfit from the show look nothing alike.
This music video
Is she French or just weird?
She-Ra is more powerful than He-Man
They are equals in strength, yes, but She-Ra can ALSO communicate with animals and her sword can turn into other weapons.
In all toy packaging, She-Ra's archenemy Catra was described as a "jealous beauty." This is an amazing description, so amazing that friends and I almost started a band called "Jealous Beauty" in college.
Shadow Weaver was legitimately terrifying. She also smoked no less than three packs a day.
Hands down one of the best costumes ever.
She helped create this
If the franchise didn't exist, this amazing piece of the Murder She Wrote and She-Ra mash-up would never exist. You can get Murder She-Ra items here.
Madame Razz was a completely ineffectual magician who called everyone "dearie" and whose best friend is a broom. Despite being from an alien planet, she sounded like she was from Canarsie.
Everyone had bizarre sensory perception
Despite looking exactly alike, no one on the show could figure out She-Ra and Adora were the same person.
It had an amazing opening sequence
There are hundreds of thousands of people that can recite this entire monologue by memory.
She-Ra screwed with gender norms
The action figures had stylable hair and changeable outfits (like "girls' toys"), yet had action features and poseability (like "boys' toys"). This was a total mindf*ck for stores, who didn't know whether to put them in the boys' or girls' aisle. A small chink in the armor of traditional gender norms.
I can guilt trip my mom
On the above note, thanks to She-Ra, I can totally guilt trip my mom sometimes because she wouldn't let me buy the toys as a kid because they were in the "girls' aisle."
She Made a 2018 Comeback
If you are not watching the Netflix show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, you should be. Showrunner Noelle Stevenson and her team have done an amazing job of paying proper homage and keeping the DNA that made the '80s She-Ra show wonderful, while creating a fresh, contemporary take on Etheria that stands on its own. For real, go watch it if you haven't.
Xuxa sang about her
1980s Brazilian superstar Xuxa created this epic song about She-Ra and released it as a single. I have no idea what she's saying but I've listened to this 13 times. I'm also obsessed with the girl with the mullet at 4:33.
Bow's Sense of Style
Bow had a porn 'stache and dressed as if a drag queen and a colorblind six-year-old mind melded. Not pictured here is his harp!
The modern toy line is great
Masters of the Universe Classics is a line Mattel released starting in 2008. It offers new, updated figures of classic characters with amazing design and articulation. They've released all the She-Ra characters and they are stunning.
Catra always sounds super psyched
Catra (jealous beauty!) always sounded like what would happen if you gave Eartha Kitt some helium and mainlined caffeine into her bloodstream.
Double Trouble was an action figure that never made it into the cartoon. She had the ability to convince The Horde she was evil because she could convincingly give resting bitch face.
She inspires awesome fan art
There is an unbelievable amount of amazing She-Ra art on DeviantArt, which you should go check out (especially the work of Nate Baertsch, who did the Mermista picture you see here).
An unusual sense of fashion
The '80s toy line came with additional outfits called "Fantastic Fashions." They were absolutely bonkers. I'll paypal $50 to anyone that recreates these and takes a picture. (P.S. make sure to check out AZ 80's Girl's amazing YouTube channel.)
Yes, there've been multiple entries about the voices of characters, but Scorpia's takes the cake. She sounds like a drunk trucker named Earl.
There was a musical about her
She-Ra was at the center of of the 1987 Masters of the Universe Power Tour, which was a live action musical experience. Here, a Donny Osmond wannabe dressed like he's just off the Mamma Mia tour sings about She-Ra's birth!
Frosta was always horny
Frosta was seriously always trying to get in He-Man's pants (loincloth).
She-Ra was a hero
She-Ra was self-reliant, kind, and fought for those who couldn't fight for themselves. Her sex was never an issue; in fact, it was rarely even mentioned. I don't like describing her as a "female" hero because it puts the focus on a characteristic that never defined her. She's a hero, plain and simple.
That's something the millions of once-little boys and girls that watched her have known for 34 years.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.