Talk:Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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Good article Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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March 3, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
April 6, 2015 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Current status: Good article
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Merging Goldilocks and the Three Bears into The Three Bears[edit]

Since the original story did not involve Goldilocks for nearly 70 years, and both articles on WP are virtually identical, I say we eliminate the Goldilocks article and have it redirect to The Three Bears. --Kitch 03:16, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

And possibly longer. Definite merge. But I'm not sure which way. "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" has the advantage of being more distinctive. Goldfritha 02:31, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with merge, and since it seems as though Goldilocks is a later addition to original Three Bears story, that the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" entry should be merged into this "The Three Bears" entry as originally suggested. Papaverite 22:03, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Merge is underway. Goldfritha 17:30, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

The article claims "there is no record of the story preceding Southey's publication in 1837", but one of the references at the bottom, namely, mentions a version from 1831 and backs that up with a reference to a book: ISBN 0195202198. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:23, 4 January 2007

I'm not understanding the reason for the move. The story is known today as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", not "The Story of the Three Bears." Viriditas (talk) 12:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Grimm brothers reference[edit]

I'm missing a source for this statement, since I cannot seem to find either a German equivalent (and I think the Grimm brothers collected only/mainly German fairy tales), or any other source referencing "The Three Bears" as being part of the Grimm collection. Ub 20:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

No statement that the Grimm brothers collected the story of the Three Bears is found in the article, which says "Often considered . . . it actually . . . ." Perhaps a better wording for this awkward sentence would be, "It is not, though it is sometimes presumed to be, a Grimm . . . ; it actually first saw print . . . ." This too sounds awkward. EdK 23:49, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Goldilocks economy[edit]

There is another reference to goldilocks at financial & investment literature. Some one could explain the mean of "Goldilocks economy of the late 1990"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The story has nothing to do with bears or as the person wrote in the plot... privacy. It is about the economy. A Goldilocks Economy is neither "Hot or Cold." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

As explained in the article Goldilocks economy, the term is a modern reference to the story, which is not "about" the economy. It's just a humorous name for an economy that is neither too "hot" (unsustainable growth, usually linked with inflation) nor too "cold" (low economic growth, usually leading to high unemployment), but "just right", like the third bowl of porridge in the story. Snarkibartfast (talk) 23:34, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

NO ONE CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Reference Conflict[edit]

One of the photos has a caption claiming it to be from 1927, while there is this reference saying that the picture is from 1919 book. See: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:17, 26 May 2007

Goldilocks in Pop Culture[edit]

Goldilocks is one of fables Comic characters she is villain "With great good skills" how tray to kill snow white and she have affair with the young bear and blue beard —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

Recent changes have tremendously improved this article, though I'm puzzled that the definitive reference - Ober, Warren. The Story of the Three Bears: The Evolution of an International Classic. - doesn't appear to have been consulted; indeed, the title was dropped from the earlier list of references. Despite this, many thanks for an improved article. EdK (talk) 18:57, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I'm trying to get hold of that source. It's something of a specialty publication and not readily available. In spite of the fact that the article has been developed without Ober, I think it can pass GA without it. The essentials, the major aspects (and then some) are covered from some very potent experts in fairy & folk lore and children's lit like the Opies and Maria Tatar, a dean of humanities and Folklore Chair at Harvard. ItsLassieTime (talk) 17:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the improvements you've made to the article are outstanding! Continued best wishes! EdK (talk) 21:05, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I've found the Ober book and will see what can be worked into the article. But nothing right away because it's a GAN. ItsLassieTime (talk) 23:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Rule of three[edit]

I saw the rule of three discussed on the GA review, and I found a source discussing it in relation to this story.

  • Booker, Christopher (2005). "The Rule of Three". The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 229–232. 

Not quite sure how to fit it into the present article, though. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:17, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

That's a great source and the info could easily be incorporated. I'll let the main article editor take care of it, considering how much work they have already put into it. --Midnightdreary (talk) 19:47, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Getting this to WP:FA[edit]

I've been thinking about trying to get this article to Featured status, which should be relatively easy since it's already GA. However, two problems jump out at me that would likely need to be solved. First, the Origins section should be restructured further; specifically, the information about "Scrapefoot" should be integrated into the main section, perhaps near the top. I haven't yet figured out how to best do that. Secondly, Cultural resonance should look less like a trivia section. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that last point is now pretty well fixed. The first point is still looking tricky. PSWG1920 (talk) 07:42, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


Just read the section on interpretations, I am sorry to say that it's why most academia has no truck nowadays...

the story may not solve Oedipal issues or sibling rivalry as Bettelheim believes "Cinderella" does, it establishes the importance of respecting the property of others and the consequences of meddling with it. Bettelheim may have missed the anal aspect of the tale that would make it helpful to the child's personality development

hUh?? What a load of twaddle? Big words, no substance and little understanding.

     In the academic world, too little bullshit is just as
     inappropriate as too much bullshit.  The proper amount of 
     bullshit is juuuuuust riiiiiight. (talk) 15:26, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

When was Goldilocks introduced?[edit]

The article says: The tale experienced two significant changes during its early publication history. Southey's elderly antagonist morphed into a pretty little girl called Goldilocks, and his three male bears became Father, Mother, and Baby Bear. Morphed? Can't you write less fuzzily? It isn't at all clear from this whether Southey's version contained Goldilocks (and that happens to be precisely the information I'm looking for). —Preceding unsigned comment added by JO 24 (talkcontribs) 00:01, 12 June 2010 (UTC)


How is Goldilocks, or the old woman for that matter, an "antagonist"? This is needlessly artificial. Goldilocks is clearly the protagonist. --dab (𒁳) 09:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

No, she's the antagonist because she's guilty of home invasion. The Bears didn't invite her or know her. She entered the home of strangers, ate their food and slept in their beds and upon their return, fled the scene. In fact, I remember more recent re-tellings (in Timon & Pumbaa, for example), where the story ends with Goldilocks being arrested for breaking and entering. User:coq87rouge —Preceding undated comment added 21:38, 10 March 2012 (UTC).

Major Plot Inconsistencies[edit]

The bears take a walk because their porridge is too hot, right? Goldilocks walks in and starts enjoying the buffet. The Papa Bear's porridge is in a big bowl and is still to hot - fine. The Mama Bear's porridge is in a medium bowl and is too cold - plausible. The Baby Bear's porridge is in a wee little bowl and is just right. Huh? How could his porridge be warmer that Mama Bear's if they were poured at the same time? This premise (which is key to the story) defies immutable laws of physics! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:50, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

YOU know, you are absolutely on the ball. From my memory, I had thought that it was Muma Bear's porridge (and chair and bed) which was "just right". But looking the story in internet sites, they all have Baby Bear's as the "Goldilock's option". The writers felt a need to make the optimal choice for Goldilocks the one which was prepared for Baby Bear, another child. It would be entirely logical that Mama Bear's porridge, chair and bed would be "in-between" in temperature, size, and softness respectively, and so right for Goldilocks. It's just irrational to have it the way it is now, and I don't see how childrend can benefit being taught absolute crap like this! Would we teach them that 1 + 1 = 3? No, we would not. So, let us stop rotting their minds with this guff!! I'm seething with indignation. Myles325a (talk) 03:07, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

The fallacy in interpretation is that "Baby Bear" is tiny, a baby. Rather, Baby Bear is a healthy, growing late adolescent bear, already larger than his mother, but not the size of his huge father. From this understanding comes the appreciation that the chair, porridge, and bed are the correct size or temperature for Goldilocks. She represents the golden haired Nordic ideal which hirsuit, successful middle class types wish for their sons. She, distressed and hungry, imposes upon the Ursus family, but they forgive her, recognizing what her reproductive potential could bring to their lineage. The conclusion is vague, reflecting the difficulties inherent in bi- speciism. The tale falls in a spectrum between little Red Ridinghood, a fashionable brunette, who interrogates the shifty Wolf character until rescued by a muscular redneck type woodsman, and Cinderella, a delivery story, populated with evil family, princes, fairies, and designer shoes. Only Goldilocks pulls herself out of the jam based on her force of personality and, of course, beauty. Screenplay to follow. Boomerdudeok — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boomerdudeok (talkcontribs) 01:13, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

published in[edit]

Hi, not sure why but under the "published in" section it just says the doctor, shouldn't this be a date? and if so could someone add in the correct date? Thanks. -- (talk) 14:29, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The Doctor _ was the title of the short story & essay collection in which "The Three Bears" was published in 1837; publish date is listed four lines below the 'published in' line of the info-box. EdK (talk) 01:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

FA status[edit]

To SeeSpot Run: please enlighten me – in your quest to make this article a FA, what good does it do to delete images and text, some of it with ref. citations? I can understanding finding and removing a dead link, removing unsourced text if it is damaging the article, and so forth; however, you've made several edits with which I do not agree: I will revert them unless you can explain them here, thank you. – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 20:47, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The material was removed because it focused on spoofs and parodies, not true dramatic adaptations of the original tale. One was a song. WP wants dramatic adaptations like plays, operas, musicals, etc. The article is about the original tale, not about spoofs and parodies or songs. If we accept these parodies it will be necessary to accept parodies of every novel or story written, which isn't feasible. The article was overwhelmed with images and removing one superfluous image does no damage to the article. I don't think these deletions should be returned. It's impossible to know if some (like the Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons) are faithful dramatic adaptaitons or parodies. Best that they be removed for that reason. SeeSpot Run (talk) 23:25, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Please show a policy or guideline that supports your edits, that supports what you say above that WP wants only dramatic adaptations but no parodies or songs. Also, please show why it is okay to remove content that is reliably sourced. Articles on novels and stories, even people, include parodies and songs all over WP, so why not in this article? The article was not by any means "overwhelmed" with images - heck, you only rm'd two images. I don't think any of your edits I cited above are good ones, nor do I think the removal of the Disney and WB content is a good idea, either. – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 14:03, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Any editor is free to remove uncited material. I've removed much. An article about a fictional work needs only to focus on the original work. Editors are not required to develop sections on adaptations, allusions, etc. It appears to me that you are unfamiliar with the MOS and Writing about fiction Please read these guidelines. SeeSpot Run (talk) 20:19, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Oh, I'm pretty familiar with those project pages, so please cite the exact passages that allow what you are doing to this GA. You seem to be sluffing me off like I haven't been around for more than six years. Please don't do that again, and if you don't respond soon, I will probably revert all or some of your recent edits again! – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 09:45, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry! You will have to track down the relevant MOS passages yourself. Please remember this does not concern the content of the article but only WP policies, guidelines, and procedures. Any editor worth his salt knows that uncited material can be removed at any time by anyone. And that is something editors discover for themselves by reading the MOS and other guidelines. I'm convinced you know little of WP guidelines. No one would be soooo busy about something so insignificant. I've looked at your user page and it seems to me that you are a busy little bee high schooler intent on throwing your misguided weight artound. "Do what I say or I will destroy you!" This is an online encyclopedia, not some fictional sci-fi universe. You need to assert your authority because you "have been around for more than six years" and you know everyting. Please refrain from returning any uncited material to the article until I notify the Admins. I think you have effectively dashed this article's chance of going to FA. I'll remove the entire article. Thanks for nothing! SeeSpot Run (talk) 17:51, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I am unsure why you have removed for the second time the image File:Goldilocks Batten 1890.jpg. It is provably in the public domain, per the new material I added at the file description page. -- Diannaa (talk) 19:07, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not a free image. Additionally, we have a Batten illustration in the article and the deleted image is of no consequence. SeeSpot Run (talk) 19:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
That image is from 1890. It's in the public domain. Liz Read! Talk! 20:13, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that, as an alternative to, this deletion the content might have been given a title change to something like "Story elements in popular culture". GregKaye 08:18, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • User:Paine Ellsworth, sorry, but I agree with most of those edits--in fact, I wonder how the article kept its GA status with so much unverified and apparently trivial material. Drmies (talk) 03:28, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I've reverted a lot of vandalism in this article, so perhaps I'm being too protective of it. I smile at the editor's rant above, because I've just accused editors involved with another article of much the same things. That editor wears the policies and guidelines as if they were guns. Uncited material should not be removed immediately unless it is damaging, for example to a person in a BLP article. That is what {{CN}} is for. That editor also seems misguided in other ways, such as knowledge of images and such. Hopefully, we'll both come out of this having learned something. Thank you for your input, Greg, Diannaa and Drmies! Joy and happiness to you and to SeeSpot Run as well! – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 15:32, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks but no happiness today--just another working day, another day closer to death. Yes, cn tags serve a purpose, but at some point (I don't know when this was removed, what "immediately" was here, etc.) uncited material becomes an obstacle, and it's not just in BLPs that editors can validly claim it ought to be removed. In a GA there is no valid reason for uncited and possibly trivial material: the better solution (certainly with a GA), for the article and for the reader, is to remove it and possibly discuss it on the talk page. I prefer quality on the front and discussion on the back--but that's just me. Happy days, Drmies (talk) 18:00, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
To Drmies: That is an interesting first sentence. I would ask that you consider the empowering virtue of gratitude in your life. Add thankfulness and gratitude for all the good things in your life, and you may find that you'll have little time for negativity. You might even turn those complacent feelings into positive ones, for example, I am very thankful for editor SeeSpot Run both for wise comments in the move discussion and for comments above, whether I agree with them or not. And I am grateful for this opportunity to give you what I hope you will accept as delicious food for thought. There must be many things in your life and lifetime for which you are grateful, and the more grateful you allow yourself to be, the more happiness will replace any negativity. It's a powerful thing – gratefulness – there's only one thing I know that's more powerful. Best of everything to you and yours! – Paine 16:35, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 6 April 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. I seriously weighed Paine Ellsworth's concerns about the title of the Southey story. But as it stands, the article is about a fairy tale and its variations; Southey's story is only one aspect of that. There could be a split at some point, but for now, the title will be what has been demonstrated to be the most common name for modern readers. --BDD (talk) 18:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The Story of the Three BearsGoldilocks and the Three Bears – As per WP:AT. The title forgets the story's central and most notable character. No one talks about the "Mother bear habitable zone" Face-smile.svg. Ngrams, I hope, seals it. There are content disputes on the page so I thought this was best to bring to RM. GregKaye 08:26, 6 April 2015 (UTC) searches:
  • using parameters: Author is Southey; Title is three bears gets these results
  • using parameters: Author is Southey; Title is Goldilocks gets these results
  • using parameter: Title is Goldilocks gets these results
  • using parameter: Title is three bears gets these results
GregKaye 08:50, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, although not a strong oppose. This is the original title of Robert Southey's 1837 story (I was just working on Southey's template a couple days ago, so actually read this page then), and although others have taken his story and added to it, the page initially focuses on Southey's piece that made it popular, as it probably should. Yes, the 'Goldilocks' name is more common, known, and loved by millions, but does that Goldilocks-come-lately title then replace the original name of the tale? The final question, of course, is 'Which title is just right?'. Randy Kryn 12:32 6 April, 2015 (UTC)
Randy Kryn but don't you think it would be better to reference all the characters who lived "happily ever after". While i don't want a downer on our furry friends this non-blond bias is Face-smile.svg (*I'm really sorry for this*) hard to bear. GregKaye 14:55, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
My weak oppose will not stand the test of time, but I must porridge-on. "Non-blond" bias? You forget my nonexistent affair with Veronica Lake. Actually, if my comment sways anyone, please ignore it, I'm just standing-up for Robert Southey, a fine man of literature. Randy Kryn 15:02 6 April, 2015 (UTC)
Is this an article about a specific story by Robert Southey, or is this about an older traditional story for which Southey happened to publish one version? bd2412 T 13:24, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
It's about the whole tradition, as far as I can see: Southey's story, the existing tradition that Southey drew on (including an earlier variant by Eleanor Mure), and the later variations including Goldilocks. FWIW, both the "Interpretations" and "Literary elements" sections discuss Goldilocks, who doesn't appear in Southey's version.--Cúchullain t/c 13:49, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. The Ngram does seal it for me. bd2412 T 14:01, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
"The Three Bears" is more common still:[1]--Cúchullain t/c 13:49, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
A small proportion of the "The Three Bears" results will be from books titled "Goldilocks And The Three Bears" GregKaye 21:21, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
And yet "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" outnumbered "The Three Bears". Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 22:09, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Alt: Changed my mind on proposed Alt per comments by Paine Ellsworth, et. al. below. Refractoring this set of comments to reflect same Montanabw(talk) 04:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
    • CommentNgrams aren't the whole story; as we are looking at titles: WorldCat does books: The Three Bears = 2,634, Goldilocks and the Three Bears = 1586. I'm sure there are a few more ways to play with that, but in terms of the story's title itself, particularly considering the late arrival of Goldilocks and her alternative names, I think this title is more historically accurate. Montanabw(talk) 02:46, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Montanabw by page 15 (with Results 141-150 of about 2,634) from the "The Three Bears" search, a "Goldilocks and the three bears" title appears at the top of the page. GregKaye 17:59, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Heh, do it without the quotes and you get about 200,000 total and it's a mix of both plus all manner of other things. I wish WorldCat could do full Boolean searches; I tried some tricks but it didn't want to play. I also tried "Goldilocks" "Three Bears" (about a wash each by themselves) and "The Three Bears" -Goldilocks which thinned it down a little, and had a lot of other fun with searches. Montanabw(talk) 07:08, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But I guess my point is that the story didn't originally start out with Goldilocks or with the Bears being mama, papa and baby - it started out (not unlike a lot of other children's tales) a bit darker and less cutesy; I think it's fair for the title to reflect the original form... but it's also not a moral issue. ;-) Montanabw(talk) 07:08, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Support any title with "Goldilocks, but the best one is the proposed one. Red Slash 14:33, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  • oppose any title with "Goldilocks" per historical accuracy of the story, which started with an ugly old woman, not a cute little girl. I've made my case above. See also that we don't have "The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf", etc... Montanabw(talk) 20:17, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. So sorry, but this is the title of a story by Southey and should not be changed. The article is about Southey's story, essentially, so how can we possibly rename the title of a story? – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 15:39, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Many novels have acquired a truncated, pop version of their titles. Two that come to mind are Alice in Wonderland and Tom Sawyer. Her at WP, the articles are filed under their original titles (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) rather than their truncated, pop titles. There are many others. SeeSpot Run (talk) 19:18, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: Users Paine Ellsworth and SeeSpot Run are raising a valid point. I withdraw my suggestion for just "the Three Bears" provided that all redirects and hatnotes are in place. I stil oppose adding "Goldilocks" for all of the prior reasons. I will strike where I've changed my mind. Montanabw(talk) 04:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support "The Three Bears" as the most common and inclusive of the options, per this Ngram, it's the most common option, as well as the most inclusive. This article isn't just on Southey's story, which was titled "The Story of the Three Bears", it's also on the existing motif that predated Southey and the more popular later versions including Goldilocks. Relevant sources are don't show a preference for a single conventional title, for instance while Tatar includes the tale under The Story of the Three Bears, the standard work by the the Opies has it under "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". "The Three Bears" splits the difference nicely.--Cúchullain t/c 16:22, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Possibly misleading template[edit]

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is displayed overtop File:The Three Bears - Project Gutenberg eText 17034.jpg from "English Fairy Tales, by Flora Annie Steel". Given that the image itself doesn't include "goldilocks" though, I was curious if the source did. If you search you do find "Goldilocks" though, so this version of the story does have it.

However... we list 1837 and "The Doctor" as the first incarnation. Do we know if the Robert Southey version of the Three Bears story has Goldilocks? This article says that it was not until 1849 that Cundall replaced the old woman with a young girl.

Using 1837 as publication date only makes sense if we host this article at The Three Bears, otherwise we should include a later date for Goldilocks herself since she is in the title.

For that reason I will add a second date to the template as a guideline until we can pinpoint when in the 19th century the vague 'young girl' specifically became Goldilocks. Ranze (talk) 00:58, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Goldie & Bear[edit]

I would love to see an article for this but I don't know which shows get articles. How can we establish its notability? Until then I will collect the data here until we can export it in a section>article split. (talk) 06:36, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Current version of the plot inconsistent with the rest of the article[edit]

The two edits 782713121 and 778712079 seem to rewrite the plot to a different, apparently more modern version (while also leaving a dead sentence from the previous version). This makes following mentions of the old lady and her fate obscure. Personally, I think the edit seriously damaged the readability of the article, and that it should be undone. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:249:2:aab0:5d3d:a666:a767:65c9 (talk) 02:06, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

 Done: the plot has been restored in this "Good Article", and thank you for bringing the unfavorable changes to attention! The useful edits that were made since those changes have been kept and improved. Again thank you so much for your help with this article!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  15:20, 11 August 2017 (UTC)