It feels like every time I find something logical about this train, it's thrown back at me and I'm stuck without answers.
|—Tulip momentarily gives up on finding out the mysteries of the train.|
Tulip is intelligent for her age, with the show's creator, Owen Dennis, stating that she has, "...advanced twelve-year-old logic." She is easily frustrated, getting very annoyed, (in some cases, enraged), when things don't go her way. Though she has her bouts of selfishness, she is not averse in giving a helping hand when the situation is dire. A large portion of Tulip's selfish nature comes from her obsessive want to escape the train; decipher what the number on her hand means; and return to her normal life. Often times, Tulip will turn her head on a situation which won't further her in her goals, making her seem very tunnel-visioned.
"Tulip is logical person, so she says things logically and tries to make sense of her world in a way that feels logical. That’s why she’s the perfect foil for the train. The train doesn’t make sense, so if you want conflict in your story then the best character to have to interact with something that is completely illogical and doesn’t make sense is someone who is logical and wants things to make sense. She doesn’t know everything, but she certainly knows words that are outside her peer group." -Owen Dennis
Tulip normally refers to her pencil and notebook for important things, as she likes to keep information there. This was shown as when Atticus was telling her how to open a door.
Not much is known about Tulip's life before the events of the pilot episode, other then the fact that she desperately wishes to go back home, and escape the infinite train. It is hinted in the Cartoon Network official YouTube video, which gives fun facts about the pilot, and what's to come, that Tulip had previously lived in Minnesota, when Owen Dennis, the show's creator says "and if you click here, you will find 'More Information Near Non-stop Electric Subway or Train Arrivals'", in which the first letters of those words conveniently spell out "Minnesota".
The infinite train
The first week of her journey in the infinite train remains unknown, as the pilot episode begins one week after she finds herself on the infinite train. Sometime during that week, she met One-One, a spherical robot which has been on the train for its whole life. One-One has two sides, Glad-One, and Sad-One. Like their names suggest, Glad-One is happy positive, while Sad-One is gloomy and negative.
Inside the Puzzle Car, Tulip, annoyed, asks why the number 53 was still on her hand after a week of being stuck inside an unknown train. One-One, atop a balancing scale, asks her what it meant, but the question was deflected back to it when Tulip said that it had lived its whole life inside the train and she has only been here for a short amount of time. To which Sad-One retorts that it may never be answered. Even as Tulip begins to become increasingly agitated by the number on her palm, she instructs One-One that the switch to open the door is a balance and that it had to be on both sides. One-One then separates to balance the scale, causing a platform to appear which causes a chain reaction from a contraption to unlock the door leading to the next train car. As Tulip picks up a now together One-One, it begins to pessimistically assume that the next car is going to be a "Fart Car" stating that it would be apt for its misery, to which the other personality happily agrees with the other. Tulip then reprimands Sad-One for being very pessimistic, even after 8 cars and that it was too unlikely. Tulip is then proven wrong when she opens the door to the next car, finding it out to be a Fart Car.
As she is exiting the Fart Car, Tulip releases her breathe, and gags stating that the car was gross and questions its existence. Sad-One then pessimistically assumes the next car is going to be a Burp Car. To which she optimistically retorts that maybe the next car is going to be a car of a Pizzeria that only serves cold pizza. As she holds the knob of the door to the next car, she says lowly that it could be a way home.
As Tulip opens the door, eyes closed hoping that it was a way home, she is greeted by a beautiful scenery of a sunbathed riverside vista filled with corgis, complete with buildings akin to Greek structures. Glad-One asks her if this was Tulip's home, she answers with a no. A horn is then blown by a corgi atop some pile of rocks, signaling the arrival of their king. The king sits on top of a litter carried by four different corgis. The king introduces himself as Atticus, King and uniter of the Cardigans and Pembrokes, as he approaches Tulip and One-One. After their introductions, Atticus gives the trio a tour of his kingdom. Tulip then praises Atticus for their advancement in their society.
Tulip then shoots down Atticus' offer of a place to relax and tells him that she is just looking for the door so she can leave and eventually go home. Atticus reveals that the next door is locked but before he can tell her what he knows, a messenger corgi warns Atticus that the river is flooding again. Atticus then issues a command to go inside the temple, stating that the monster has returned. But before Tulip can question about the monster, a giant shadow looms over the sky, to which Glad-One assumes is a shadow puppet. Picking up One-One, Tulip then runs toward the temple wherein the other dogs are also seeking refuge. As Tulip asks questions about the monster, Atticus answers her that he himself does not know. Glad-One then volunteers to go outside to check if the monster is still there and proceeds to separate from Sad-One and leave, even after Tulip's protest. Sad-One then volunteers to write Glad-One's obituary, to which Atticus comments on Sad-One's morbidity. Glad-One then pops into the room shouting, only to say that the monster is gone. Atticus then says that they should go outside. Tulip, groaning, from Glad-One's excitement and earlier unneeded outburst, begins to exit, only to go back inside due to Atticus not leaving the temple. After a scene where Tulip coaxes a skittish Atticus to go outside is finished, Atticus then reveals that the monster has been returning to their kingdom for about a week, the same time Tulip has been on the train. Atticus then enlists Tulip's aid in conquering the monster as there may be some correlation with the numbers and the monster. Tulip disagrees at first due to the nature of the two events being unlikely to be related and as she is wading through the river, Sad-One reminds Tulip of the unlikeliness of the Fart Car, to which Tulip groans.
Tulip returns to Atticus' side and tells him that she will help. After a short scene wherein an antsy Atticus is carried to the other side of the river by a struggling Tulip, they then begin to traverse through a grassy field and climb a rocky mountain. Reaching the top, Tulip and the rest see the door, but as they approach it, the monster's shadow then begins to loom over the sky. The gang hide behind a boulder for cover, only to see that the monster was the just the shadow of a spider on a work light. Tulip then approaches the light and picks up the spider as it dangles from its web, only to be eaten by Atticus stating that the monster has been destroyed, to the disgust of Tulip and One-One.
Tulip then looks at her palm, hopeful that it would change, only to angrily find that it didn't and begins to rant to herself about her misfortune. Feeling defeated, Tulip slouches into a sitting position against a boulder. Atticus then sits beside Tulip comforting her, telling her that she just needs to wait for a "push" to get her back on her feet again, the same that if it were not for Tulip, Atticus would've given up. Atticus saying that Tulip was his "push." Tulip then thanks Atticus for his encouragement and begins to give him a belly rub. As Tulip continues to rub, she begins to logically infer that if the spider was the one that caused the shadow, she begins to wonder what had caused the water to rise and why was there a work light, as she peers into a giant hole in the sky. Tulip then looks to her side, as there is light shining in the distance.
Inside a bush, Tulip, One-One, and Atticus see the "beast" working on a contraption, as water from a large broken pipe is flowing water overhead. Tulip infers that the beast broke the pipe, while Atticus that they attack to which Sad-One replies that they'll never make it. Tulip then asks Atticus questions on how to open the door, only to be given instructions on how to open any door. Glad-One then naively volunteers to talk to it, and upon doing so, the gang is assaulted by a barrage of bullets being shot out of the beast's eyes. As they hide behind another boulder, Atticus begins his charge towards the beast, dodging a hail of bullets only to be effortlessly flung towards a wall by the beast. Tulip, seeing Atticus hurt, shout his name, revealing her location to the beast and runs towards the door.
As the beast approaches Tulip, she is tripped by it and demands her that she return to her seat. Atticus, recovering from his flight, pushes a lever that stops the water in the broken pipe from flowing. This serves as a perfect distraction as the beast diverts its attention from Tulip, giving her enough time to slam the door on the beast's face, which is revealed to be a mask and reveals the inner workings behind the mask, composed of gears, wires, and a flamethrower that is spouting neon blue flames. The beast stunned, Tulip picks up her bag and begins to make a break for it, only to be tripped again as the beast reattached its mask and coils one of its cables around Tulip's ankles. Her bag then opens revealing One-One and asks if he should start writing her obituary. Upon seeing One-One, the beast then uncoils its cables on Tulip's leg and leaves the cart through the hole in the sky.
Atticus returns to One-One's side. Tulip, still slightly dazed, is asked by One-One what is wrong. In response, she says that she got her "push" as the number on her palm changes from 53 to 49, looking through the hole in the car's sky.
Tulip's build resembles that of your typical schoolgirl. She has a very pale skin and a thin build, giving her a frail physique. She has orange hair that is kept tied in a ponytail by a green band. She also has a green clip attached to the right side of her hair. Adorning her face is a pair of elliptically shaped glasses that rest atop her nose with no visible bridge between the lenses, making it have an appearance of the infinity symbol (∞). She wears a green hooded sweatshirt that has brown patches on the elbows with a white shirt underneath. She also wears a light gray mini skirt that matches her boots, and dark gray tights that stop around her ankles. She carries around with her a brown backpack that contains a notepad and a pencil with a frog eraser and is usually where One-One is placed when being carried by Tulip.
Tulip has a neon green glowing number seemingly stamped permanently onto the palm on her right hand. In the Pilot, the number 53 was on her palm but after the encounter with the Steward in Corginia, it was replaced by the number 49.
Tulip met One-One while passing through freight cars. They overall have a good relationship, with One-One accompanying her across the train. Owen states that One-One, and its dual personalities, are there to balance out Tulip's own mood.
Though initially apathetic to Atticus, she eventually warms up to him, even going out of her way to help him, and his people, in their plight. She even showed concern for him, shouting his name, when the Steward flicked Atticus towards a rock wall, exposing her location to the Steward.
- Tulip's character design was kept simple so she could be drawn in multiple angles with ease.
- Tulip has a habit of grabbing the straps of her backpack occasionally.
- Tulip is left-handed.
- The flower Tulip is named after is meant to represent perfect love.
- Orange tulips are associated with fascination, energy, enthusiasm, and desire.
- Tulip's last name, Van Helsing, is a direct reference to Abraham Van Helsing, the main protagonist of Dracula who was also a knowledgeable bookworm who encounters supernatural elements.
- The first number that was on Tulip's hand was 115.
- Tulip's entire story arc and all of the train cars have already been planned out.
- Tulip first met One-One as a snowman head.
- Owen Dennis has stated that if Tulip were a real person, she would take programming classes.
- The frog on Tulip's pencil, is the same one from Over The Garden Wall, likely because Nick Cross, the creator of Over The Garden Wall, being an art director on Infinity Train.
- Tulip's design has been changed for season 1 of the show, to be easier to storyboard.
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- ↑ http://oweeeeendennis.tumblr.com/post/160136180797/does-tulip-have-a-last-name – Owen Dennis
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 She's 12, so like advanced 12 year old logic. – Owen Dennis!
- ↑ Cartoon Network official trivia video
- ↑ I just kinda liked it. It was easy for me to draw from different angles, which was something I needed for my shot choices. – Owen Dennis!
- ↑ Cartoon Network official trivia video