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Cry Baby (alternately spelled as Crybaby and previously referred to as Melatonin) is a character and fictionalized version of Melanie Martinez created for her debut album, Cry Baby, also being the protagonist of K-12 and her upcoming third studio album.
Cry Baby's story can be found throughout Melanie's songs, official music videos, storybook, K-12 film, Cry Baby Tour, and other mediums.
Cry Baby's family includes her older brother, mother, and father. Her father is involved in an affair, which causes her mother to become depressed and an alcoholic. Her family pretends to be perfect when in the company of others, causing Cry Baby to feel fake and plastic ("Dollhouse"). Her dysfunctional family continues to fall apart when her mother kills her father after finding out about his infidelity ("Sippy Cup"), and Cry Baby cannot contact her mother while at school (K-12).
Cry Baby is introduced as a young, sensitive girl, living in a very problematic household. As a result of her emotional nature, she was consistently mocked and made fun of. Much in her beginnings, Cry Baby was an insecure individual, who was prone to violent temper tantrums. As the album progresses, Cry Baby grows as an individual, gradually learning to overcome her struggles with confidence and learns what it means to be a happy person.
In K-12, Cry Baby was revealed to be an empath guided by Lilith (a spirit guide). When her eyes turn black, it represents her being awakened to a higher level of consciousness. Being an empath, Cry Baby has displayed several magical abilities. According to Lilith, Cry Baby has lived in several other bodies before, suggesting that she has had many past lives.
It is implied that Cry Baby is likely bisexual, because she thought the love letter she received from Ben was written by a girl and appeared mildly disappointed when Leo claimed to have written it.
In Alternative Press magazine, Cry Baby was revealed to be Taurus sun and Scorpio rising. Her zodiac sign was described as generous, dependable, down to earth, patient, independent and persistent, but also as stubborn, self-indulgent, lazy, materialistic, possessive and frugal, which may mean she is a Gemini, a Sagittarius or a Scorpio.
Cry Baby's iconic physical features in the storybook are her brown hair in two twin-drill pigtails with bows varying in color, and some her brown eyes (they turn completely black sometimes) and a gap between her two front teeth. Similarly to other characters, her clothing varies, although it is generally a dress with shoes and pastel yellow socks. In music videos, she has two-toned hair, one side colored and one side black. The coloring and style vary between music videos and scenes.
In K-12, Cry Baby wears a modified version of the K-12 Sleepaway School uniform; the dress is purple instead of pink, and the sleeves are yellowish, puffy, and translucent with flowers embroidered on them. The heart patch on her chest reads "K-12". She also wears a Victorian-style dress in the school play, as well as a swimsuit and a dress with a cake skirt later on. The colored side of her hair mostly stays as blonde, but changes occasionally to coral, lavender, and orange. Like Melanie, Cry Baby also has a gap between her front teeth.
Directly after Cry Baby's birth, she was brought to her mother, who claimed that she was "a Cry Baby." Her brother writes "Cry Baby" on her birth certificate, giving her the unusual name. ("Cry Baby").
Cry Baby's mother catches her husband bringing another woman home. She ties both of them up and stabs them to death, presumably under the influence of alcohol. After Cry Baby discovers her father and his mistress' bodies, her mother drugs her to make her forget what she saw. ("Sippy Cup").
Cry Baby later enters a relationship with a boy that she meets at a carnival (later referred to as Alphabet Boy). The relationship is one-sided and constantly causes Cry Baby to feel like she will never "catch up to love." ("Carousel").
Cry Baby soon realizes that this relationship is toxic and breaks up with him. She also proves that she is just as smart as he is when he attempts to put himself above her. ("Alphabet Boy").
Cry Baby later meets another boy but is incredibly nervous about interacting with him. She says many embarrassing things, as hinted in the lines, "Uh-oh, there it goes, I said too much, it overflowed/Why do I always spill?". She is afraid to say that she loves him, in case he is not at the same stage as her, or he does not love her back ("Soap").
Cry Baby decided to take off the boy Johnny's "training wheels" and take him to the next level, although Melanie never confirms if this is sexual or emotional. ("Training Wheels").
Cry Baby throws a birthday party, to which no one, including Johnny, arrives. This causes her to completely destroy her house in an insane rampage. She is left single. This is the stage in the album where Cry Baby begins to become crazy. ("Pity Party").
Cry Baby, now single once again, becomes vulnerable. She goes shopping and an ice cream truck appears outside of the store. The cashier seems to recognize this and hands Cry Baby a bottle of poison as she leaves. Cry Baby stops by the ice cream truck, which is run by a wolf. This is most likely a metaphor for disguised predators. The wolf drugs her ice cream and drives off with her. ("Tag, You're It").
The wolf orders Cry Baby to make him milk and cookies at his lair. Now evidently insane, Cry Baby uses the poison handed to her by the cashier and poisons the cookies. ("Milk and Cookies").
After escaping, Cry Baby meets a boy named Blue Boy, who is in a relationship with Basic Bitch, in which he is evidently unhappy. Cry Baby is desperate to free the boy from the relationship after she "falls in love" with him (even though she merely wanted to win him over for fun) but in the end, she is unsuccessful after Basic Bitch wins him over with her breasts. ("Pacify Her").
Now aware that attractive bodies have a great effect on boys, Cry Baby begins to grow self-conscious. She believes her hair needs to be a different color, she has to be thinner, and she has to have bigger breasts in order to be loved. However, after seeing Mrs. Potato Head on the TV screen and the consequences of changing yourself for other people, Cry Baby realizes that she is perfect the way she is and there is nothing that she needs to change. ("Mrs. Potato Head").
Ultimately, she learns what it means to love oneself, to have self-respect, and to have self-worth. She also learns that everybody goes a bit mad sometimes, and that's perfectly okay. ("Mad Hatter").
After all the events of Cry Baby, Cry Baby is sent to start her education at a boarding school called K-12 Sleepaway School along with her best friend, Angelita. On the bus ride to school, where she is sitting with Angelita, Cry Baby is bullied by the other students for the gap between her two front teeth ("Wheels on the Bus"). She and Angelita are both revealed to have powers that turn their eyes completely black, which they use when the bus driver becomes distracted by the students who are misbehaving and swerves into a lake. They lift the bus out of the water and into the sky, before landing it at the school.
Cry Baby and Angelita arrive late to Ms. Daphne's class and are scolded by her. The students recite the rule about tardiness: "when the bell rings, you must be in your assigned seat". During class, a popular mean girl named Kelly becomes jealous of Cry Baby because she has been flirting with Kelly's boyfriend Brandon, so she writes a disturbing letter for Cry Baby saying "You at Recess" accompanied by a stick person laying next to a tombstone. At naptime, Cry Baby shows Angelita the letter. Cry Baby expresses her worries that she has no chance at winning since she doesn't know how to fight, to which Angelita suggests that she uses her powers. Cry Baby refuses, stating that it would be cheating. At recess, Kelly begins punching Cry Baby, until Cry Baby levitates and attempts to strangle Kelly with her braids. As this is happening, Ms. Daphne sees what is happening and stops the fight ("Class Fight").
Cry Baby finds out from a boy named Thomas that the Principal forces the students to take pills in order to control them and stop them from leaving the school. Angered, she uses her powers to call him on the phone and insults him, calling him out on everything he has done wrong. The Principal begins coughing after having a drink, implying that he was poisoned. In tears, Ms. Daphne orders the Bunny Doctors to cure him ("The Principal"). Cry Baby becomes a marionette puppet to entertain the students during show and tell until Ms. Penelope drops her, causing blood to drip from her nose and her internal organs become visible ("Show & Tell"). At the Nurse's Office, Angelita turns Cry Baby back into a human. The nurses attempt to keep them restrained and under control ("Nurse's Office") until an angelic spirit guide named Lilith frees Cry Baby and Angelita.
In drama class, Cry Baby expresses her discomfort in being placed in a domestic role in the school play, instead wishing to play a strong role such as a film director or the President of the United States. The drama teacher, Mr. Cornwell, dismisses her concerns and calls in the guards to capture her when she attempts to leave. Cry Baby is forced to play the role she was assigned, although the events take a turn when she presses a hot clothes iron to another student's face. She then warns the students in the auditorium that they are being brainwashed, and uses her powers to defeat the guards and free the students. The students rush to the Principal's Office at Cry Baby's order and begin tearing him apart, killing him ("Drama Club"). Cry Baby and Angelita bury the body, then leave to play tennis with their friend Celeste.
Later on, Cry Baby is seen in a locker room preparing herself for swimming class. The film switches between scenes of her dancing with the other girls in her class and wearing a dress with a large skirt made of cake. She has a look of distress on her face as several boys begin to eat the cake ("Strawberry Shortcake"). Cry Baby then has a dream in which she is speaking to Lilith, telling her that she doesn't want to be part of this world.
At lunchtime, Cry Baby meets a girl named Magnolia after separating herself from Kelly's clique, who didn't actually want to be her friends; they were only interested in gossiping and spreading rumors ("Lunchbox Friends"). Cry Baby and her friends soon discover that Fleur, a friend of Kelly, has the same abilities as them, and they set up a food fight in an attempt to separate her from the group. After seeing that Fleur is leaving with Kelly, Cry Baby follows her to the bathroom, where she realizes that Fleur is bulimic, likely partially due to pressure from Kelly to maintain a specific figure in order to remain friends with her ("Orange Juice"). Cry Baby tells Fleur that "everyone is deserving of love", and the two become friends. Leo, the Principal's son, stops the food fight and asks who is responsible for the situation. Kelly informs him that Cry Baby was the one who started it, resulting in her being sent to detention. She is brainwashed by the needle given to her by a nurse, until she is set free by Leo ("Detention").
Cry Baby discovers an anonymous note in her locker, containing a poem from another student confessing their feelings to her. She and her friends discuss a plan to take down Leo and escape the school. In biology class, Cry Baby witnesses Angelita and the teacher flirting with each other. She later peers into the room just as Angelita is about to be cut open by the teacher, as he has used his relationship with her to trick her into ingesting a potion that causes her to shrink. Cry Baby enters the room and uses her powers to throw him into the wall. She turns Angelita back to her normal size, and the latter attacks the teacher with a knife, presumably killing him ("Teacher's Pet"). After a conversation with Angelita about their past lives and marijuana, Cry Baby sings about the requirements one must meet to be with her ("High School Sweethearts").
Leo asks Cry Baby to the school dance, to which she accepts, while thinking "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". He claims to be the one who wrote the love note. At the dance, Cry Baby realizes that she had messed up the plan to escape the school by accepting Leo's offer. Her friends express disappointment in her, and she storms off to the bathroom. A ghost appears in the mirror, telling Cry Baby, "Don't beat yourself up" when she is mad at herself for ruining the plan. Leo makes an announcement to the students that he knew what Cry Baby had been planning, and forces all of the students to dance for hours. Cry Baby, who is disguised as a woman named Lorelai, locks Leo in a closet and frees everyone from the spell. She warned the students to leave the school, and all except Kelly fled downstairs to the exit ("Recess").
Cry Baby then meets Ben, who confesses to her that he was the one who put the note in her locker. Together, they create a plan to use a bubble to make the school float away and disappear. Once this is done, they both jump out of the balcony to escape. After the school disappears, Cry Baby kisses Ben on the cheek. Lilith appears again with the gate to return home. Magnolia, Fleur, Celeste, and Ben are the first ones to leave. As Angelita was about to go through the gate, she stops and asks Cry Baby if she's coming or not. Cry Baby looks back in shock.
Powers & Abilities
As an Empath, Cry Baby is shown to have magic/psychic powers, where her eyes turn black when she uses them. This is shown multiple times throughout the storylines of Cry Baby and K-12. Unlike her friend Angelita, Cry Baby doesn't like to take advantage of her skills for her own benefit. Below is a list of powers that Cry Baby has displayed thus far:
- Telekinesis: Like all Empaths, Cry Baby has demonstrated to use her telekinesis to manipulate objects with her mind's force. This is first demonstrated in Pacify Her, when Cry Baby levitates a chessboard and throws it at Basic Bitch. This ability is also shown in multiple scenes of K-12, such as when Cry Baby causes the bus to hit a bump which makes Jason fall over, when she lifts the bus out of the water and into the air, and when she uses her braids to choke Kelly.
- Mental Disintegration: At the end of "The Principal", Cry Baby raises her arms and dispels the members of the courtroom, with a small cloud of pink smoke surrounding them as they disappear. She later used this same power to make Kelly disappear at the end of Orange Juice.
- Mental Reintegration: At the end of "Teacher's Pet", Cry Baby turns Angelita back to her normal size, with a small cloud of pink smoke surrounding her after that, also sharing this ability with Angelita.
- Mind Control Denial: In "Drama Club", Cry Baby's scream causes a psychic-like wave that deactivated the mind control that was placed on the students. Additionally, this wave was able to push away the security guards that were holding her.
- Hydrokinesis: In the middle of "Class Fight" acting, Cry Baby drops a few water droplets on the fire spark on Angelita's hand. This skill is helpful for Cry Baby to start crying and eventually fill her whole room with water.
- Levitation: This ability is first shown in "Mad Hatter", when Cry Baby floats in the air before dye the roses with red. In "Class Fight", Cry Baby also levitates herself and Kelly in the air.
- Mind Control: In "Detention", it is shown that Cry Baby can control people's minds for a while. Cry Baby used this skill to control Leo's mind, so he would free her from Detention Room.
- Poison Manipulation (Chemokinesis): In "The Principal", it is implied that Cry Baby turned the glass bottle of water that the Principal was about to drink into a blue poison, as her eyes turned black before the film cuts to a shot of the liquid in the bottle turning blue. This poison causes the Principal to choke and faint.
- The blue poison that almost killed the Principal is very similar to the blue poison that killed the Big Bad Wolf in "Milk and Cookies".
- Shapeshifting: During "Recess", it is revealed that Cry Baby has the power to shape-shift into other forms, what works like a kind of "hallucination". She disguised herself as a woman named Lorelai and tricked Leo into entering the closet, where she transformed back to her regular self and left him locked inside.
- Bubble Encapsulation: Before "Strawberry Shortcake" and toward the end of K-12, it is shown that Cry Baby can blow bubbles that are able to encapsulate and store objects. These bubbles seem to be rather powerful, as they were able to lift the school off of the ground and cause it to float it away. When the bubble popped, the school disappeared.
- Remote Viewing: It is seen that Cry Baby can see things when she isn't there. Before "The Principal," Cry Baby used her powers to see what was going on in the principal's office.
Melatonin is a hormone primarily released at night, and has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle.
In the early stages of the album, "Melatonin" was the original the name for the character, with "Cry Baby" being just a nickname. Cry Baby is referred as Melatonin in "Coloring Book", "Milk and Cookies", and "Zzzz".
Although "Milk and Cookies" mentions the word "Melatonin" in it, it's possible that it was only mentioning the hormone.
- Cry Baby was created to show the younger, emotional character.
- These songs were written out of Melanie's real-life experiences:
- These songs were fictionally written, or written out of experiences that Melanie did not personally go through:
- Cry Baby is also the main character of the deluxe songs "Play Date", "Teddy Bear", and "Cake", as well as the single "Gingerbread Man". However, these songs are not part of the album's narrative or Cry Baby's story.
- Chloe Tersigni drew the illustrations of Cry Baby's cartoon portrait in the storybook. She was a fan and friend of Melanie for a long time.
- In the "Pity Party" music video, there are nine candles on the cake, hinting that Cry Baby is nine years old.
- However, in the storybook, "Pity Party's" illustration depicts three candles, indicating Cry Baby is three years old. It is mostly likely that she was 3.
- Melanie released a feature-film for her sophomore album, K-12, which features Cry Baby as the main character again.
- Cry Baby's birthday is likely to be on August 14th, as that was when the album of the same name was released (which was the album she was born in, an infant, and a toddler). This is also supported by Cry Baby writing August on the invitations in the music video for Pity Party.
- However, it was confirmed in an article in Alternative Press magazine that Cry Baby's sun sign is Taurus, which means that her birthday is sometime between April 20-May 20, as that is when Taurus season is.
- Katie Sheridan was the first actress to play Cry Baby other than Melanie Martinez.
|Featured Tracks||Cry Baby • Dollhouse • Sippy Cup • Carousel • Alphabet Boy • Soap • Training Wheels • Pity Party • Tag, You're It • Milk and Cookies • Pacify Her • Mrs. Potato Head • Mad Hatter|
|Bonus Tracks||Play Date • Teddy Bear • Cake|
|Characters||Cry Baby • Johnny • Alphabet Boy • Big Bad Wolf • Mom • Dad • Brother • Little Girl • Beth Anne • Mistress • Cashier • Blonde Girl • Blue Boy • Bunny Doctor • Mrs. Potato Head • Mr. Potato Head • Nurse • Rushton Dolls|
|Extras||Digital Booklet • Removed Songs • Merchandise|
|Locations||Cry Baby's House • Big Bad Wolf's House • Grocery Store • Carnival • Hospital|
|Featured Tracks||Wheels on the Bus • Class Fight • The Principal • Show & Tell • Nurse's Office • Drama Club • Strawberry Shortcake • Lunchbox Friends • Orange Juice • Detention • Teacher's Pet • High School Sweethearts • Recess|
|Credit Track||Fire Drill|
|Characters||Cry Baby • Angelita • Fleur • Celeste • Magnolia • Leo • Ben • Kelly • Blue Boy • Brandon • Bunny Doctor • Dean • Lucy • Ms. Daphne • Mr. Cornwell • Ms. Harper • Ms. Penelope • Miss Victoria • The Principal • Lilith • Biology Teacher • Phillipe|
|Extras||Film • Merchandise • Assignments • Removed Songs|
|Locations||K-12 Sleepaway School • Cry Baby's House|