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You Spoony Bard! is a quote from Final Fantasy IV, and is one of the most well-known and recognized quotes in the entire Final Fantasy series. Famous for its outright silliness and used as an example of poor translations, it has even entered popular culture and been referenced outside the Final Fantasy fandom. The line itself is spoken by Tellah as an insult to Edward Chris von Muir.
In Final Fantasy IV, Tellah is on a journey to Damcyan to recover his daughter, Anna, who eloped to the kingdom with a bard (Edward in disguise) against Tellah's wishes. Upon Tellah, Cecil, and Rydia arriving at Damcyan, the castle is bombed by the Red Wings airship fleet. In the castle's throne room, the three find Anna lying mortally wounded, when the bard steps into the room. Tellah flies into a rage and attacks him, during which time he shouts various insults, including, "You spoony bard!"
The original English translation of Final Fantasy IV for the SNES is often misattributed to Ted Woolsey. Woolsey is well-known for his work translating Final Fantasy VI, where similar silly and nonsensical lines, such as "son of a submariner!" were used. However, the translation of Final Fantasy IV was actually credited to Kaoru Moriyama, K. Okahisa, and H. Takahashi. The word "spoony" means "enamored in a silly or sentimental way". Thus, Tellah's usage of the word to refer to Edward is actually apt at describing Edward's actual character, but the term is considered archaic, and Tellah's use of such a mild insult given his anger is somewhat unlikely, Tellah's impression of Edward up to this point was of a lout who manipulated his daughter, not of a somebody who is naive and blinded by their emotions.
The line has become so well-known, it has been kept in all the remakes of Final Fantasy IV when most of the rest of the script has been retranslated. In the Nintendo DS release, "Tom Retranslattery" in the Developer's Office comments on the line being kept after re-translation: "The Sand Ruby wasn't a ruby and the Twin Harp, as it were, was no harp at all. Turns out the bard really was spoony though - we checked!"
Various other Final Fantasy titles reference the line as well:
- In Final Fantasy IV The Complete Collection, in Edward's Tale in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Tellah calls out "Can't even tell that, you spoony bard?" to Edward when his spirit appears to him in Kaipo.
- In Final Fantasy X, after the Warrior Monks have taken over guard duties in Luca, a man wearing a green tunic walks around in the circle area with egresses to the stairs and the cafe (where the little girl with the red balloon is). He says that he asked out a Warrior Monk girl in the cafe, but she called him a "spoony bard".
- In Final Fantasy XI, during the quest "The Pickpocket", speaking to Rodaillece in Northern San d'Oria will reveal that the thief called him a "spoony bard".
- In Final Fantasy XII in Rabanastre, just outside Migelo's Sundries, a Bangaa talks of his seeq friend counting things (originally cobblestones). However, at one point in the game he says this: "My friend says that o'er 430 revelers came through the Southern Plaza during the big fete! But even if you count the bards... 'Course, he could be countin' the spoony bards, too. That would be another matter altogether".
- Wiegraf Folles utters "No spoony bard could spin a sweeter tale!" during the battle at Fovoham Windflats in Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions.
- There also exists an errand called "The Spoony Bard" in Final Fantasy Tactics where the player characters must deliver letters between Edward the bard and Anna.
- In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Kefka says "I've decided to help that spoony bard", in reference to assisting Kuja, albeit more in terms of exposing his Chaos affiliations as revenge for Kuja breaking Kefka's control over Terra.
- The NPC for the Bard quests in Final Fantasy XIV says "Call me a spoony bard, but..."
Outside Final FantasyEdit
Though it is largely an in-joke to fans, numerous other references to the line have sprung up in popular culture.
- In the English version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations the Judge exclaims, "I-I'm a spoon!? I'm no spoony bard, I'll have you know!" during the Bridge to the Turnabout episode. The translator, Alexander O. Smith, who also translated a few Final Fantasy games, has stated in an interview that he tries to sneak "spoony bard" in all the games he translates.
- The webcomic Adventurers!, which parodies the tropes and genre conventions of JRPGs including Final Fantasy, has a character almost call the resident bard a spoony bard in this strip. The use of the term spoony as a curse word then becomes a running gag.
- Notable internet video game and movie reviewer Noah Antwiler uses the name "The Spoony One", and calls his website The Spoony Experiment. Antwiler has stated that the name is taken from his Dungeons & Dragons bard character "Tandem the Spoony" who was named after Edward and the Final Fantasy IV line.
- The video game music group The Spoony Bards is named after the catchphrase.
- In the fan-translated Musashi no Bouken (The Adventures of Musashi), a soothsayer's assistant asks "Where is that spoony bard? He's dreamy..."
- In the English version of Trinity Universe, Kanata tries to figure out what a Prinny is and asks, "Then can you demonstrate any special skills? Like, fire a sexy beam, use magic on spoony bards, or... like... eat worlds?"
- In the popular Internet game AdventureQuest, a Thug in the Assassin class training quests can sometimes call the player a "spoony zard", referencing this quote, as well as a race of enemies within the game.
- On the website TVTropes, the trope Quirky Bard, referring to the bard being a weak class in many RPGs, was formerly named "Spoony Bard", and depicts Tellah shouting the quote at Edward.
- In Kingdom Rush: Frontiers during the final battle, the main antagonist will shout various insults at the player, including, "You spoony bard!"
The following is a transcript of the conversation in the original Super Famicom release of Final Fantasy IV.
- original: きさま あの時の吟遊詩人！ きさまのせいでアンナは！
- literal: You, the bard from that time! By your fault Anna was...! (The word used for both instances of "you" is "kisama," the single rudest way to say "you" in Japanese. Because of its harshness, "kisama" is somewhat akin to "you bastard" or "you son of a bitch" in English.)
- SNES: You're the bard! You did this to her!
- original: きさま よくも娘を・・・・
- literal: You, how could you, to my daughter... (Again, "kisama" is used for "you.")
- SNES: You swindler!
- original: ちがうんです！
- literal: It's not like that!
- SNES: Please! Listen!
- original: なにがちがうと いうのだ！
- literal: How could it not be!?
- SNES: You spoony bard!
The dialogue was considerably shortened for all subsequent releases of Final Fantasy IV - Tellah cries "You spoony bard!" at the beginning of the cinematic battle with Edward, rather than at the end. The rest of the fight proceeds much as the original Japanese dialogue in the SNES release.