|“||Kirby...just let me know when you need the Star treatment!||”|
— Tiff, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Tiff is the deuteragonist of the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. She is the daughter and eldest child of King Dedede's Cabinet Minister, Sir Ebrum, and Sir Ebrum's wife, Lady Like. She lives with her parents and younger brother, Tuff, in Castle Dedede. Tiff is one of Kirby's closest allies and is mentored by Meta Knight. Tiff is known to be very intelligent for her age, and she is the only one who has the ability to call upon the Warp Star when needed since she is the one who cares about Kirby the most.
Tiff is a pale yellow-skinned young girl who is about twice Kirby's height with long hair that she keeps in an ornate ponytail held by purple and orange clasps and expressive green eyes. She almost always wears a one-piece outfit which is pink on the top with puffy sleeves and green on the bottom that is separated by a zigzag and orange shoes.
Neither Tiff nor her family are Cappies. The only similarity between them is the yellow skin color. Other than that, the design of their heads, eyes, and limbs are completely different.
Tiff is among the most developed and prominent characters in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! due to being the main speaking character of the show and the closest ally of Kirby. She is portrayed as being highly intelligent and resourceful, often outclassing the adults of Dream Land. In addition, she is a fountain of knowledge in all manner of subjects, mainly concerning the natural sciences and mathematics. As such, she is often the one left to explain the various situations that occur in the episodes, and is also often responsible for forming plans to solve the main conflicts of the show, as well as giving Kirby advice in battle. Over the course of the show, King Dedede and Escargoon come to understand how pivotal Tiff is to Kirby's success, and as such, do whatever they can to belittle and hinder her.
Counterbalancing Tiff's intelligence is her short temper and naivete, which demonstrates that despite her knowledge, she is still young and inexperienced. This particularly shows when King Dedede and Escargoon succeed at getting on her nerves, and can sometimes result in putting Kirby in danger, due to not always understanding how to handle him. Tiff is also very prone to making mistakes when she is annoyed or angry, which leads her to sometimes accuse Kirby of things he did not do, an example being in The School Scam. In order to help Tiff regain composure and offer her the wisdom she needs, Tiff frequently receives aid from her main mentor Meta Knight, who tries his best to offer suggestions and hints to Tiff rather than just giving her the answer, in hopes that she will better herself by working it out on her own. Tiff also has a healthy rapport with the other senior members of Dream Land, most notably Professor Curio and Mabel, who she looks up to as role models. Notably, despite their usual animosity toward one another, even Escargoon will sometimes seek Tiff's help when circumstances lead to the two of them sharing a cause or a problem.
Tiff is extremely protective of the people and things she cares about, and can be considered activistic. She is not afraid to berate anybody who she believes to be in the wrong, even if that person is pointing a weapon at her. Due in part to her noble status and in part to her own personal quirks, Tiff is also extremely proud, which is often used against her by her opponents. Despite this weakness, Tiff is typically able to recover quickly, and always tries her best to keep an optimistic point of view. To help her with this, she relies on Kirby's persistent cheerfulness, as well as the strength of her other friendships.
- Kirby: Tiff is the first person that Kirby meets after crashing into Dream Land. She had hoped Kirby would be a tall, dashing knight when she first heard about him, and was disappointed at first to find that he was just a little pink creature. She quickly became Kirby's strongest supporter, and is the only person who can summon his Warp Star from Kabu because she cares for him. They have a relationship somewhat like a mother and child, or older and younger siblings. Tiff tends to be protective of him, and is one of the few characters who tries to keep in mind that he's just a baby. This attitude sometimes causes problems, however, as her coddling can get in the way of Kirby's path to personal development as a hero.
- Tuff: Tiff and Tuff have a stereotypical older sibling/younger sibling relationship. Tiff often scolds Tuff for his rash behavior while Tuff wishes his sister was less strict. Despite their banter, the two are close and are often seen playing together.
- Sir Ebrum & Lady Like: Tiff has a positive relationship with her parents, but has little in common with them, aside from sharing a temper with her mother. Perhaps most notable is the fact that neither of her parents appear to be very responsible for her, often leaving Tiff to fend for herself.
- Meta Knight: Meta Knight serves as a crucial mentor and ally to Tiff, particularly when she is in trouble with something that involves Kirby or King Dedede. His extremist methods of teaching and discipline often rub Tiff the wrong way, however, and sometimes she becomes upset with him over his more cold-hearted remarks. Despite this, his hints are often crucial to Tiff solving an issue she is faced with, particularly when it comes to understanding Kirby's needs and how best to assist him.
- King Dedede: There is no character Tiff dislikes more than King Dedede. She is openly critical of his goals, and knows perfectly well that most of the things Dedede does are schemes to harm Kirby or the environment of Dream Land. Dedede also knows that there is little that Tiff can do directly to stop him most of the time, and so he regularly taunts and teases her.
- Escargoon: Tiff and Escargoon have a complicated but typically antagonistic relationship, as Escargoon seems to see Tiff's intellect as a rival to his own. As such, Tiff regularly has to put up with Escargoon's demeaning and jeering remarks. Despite this, the two are occasionally of the same mind when a common issue arises, as in A Dental Dilemma. Tiff also often takes pity on Escargoon when she sees how much abuse he takes from Dedede, and offers to help him out for some things, most notably helping him build a robot assistant in the episode Right Hand Robot.
- Kine: Tiff's biggest fan is Kine the sunfish. Despite being a completely different species, he has a huge crush on her. Even though they can't feasibly be together, Kine asks about her whenever he gets the chance. He always calls her 'Fumu-san' (Miss Fumu) in the Japanese version.
- Cappy Town: The villagers of Cappy Town respect Tiff's opinion, even the adults, but they don't always listen when she warns them about Dedede's schemes. She often tries to teach the other Cappy children in a makeshift school, but they don't share her love of learning.
Role in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Due to Kirby's inability to speak in full sentences, Tiff can be regarded as the main speaking protagonist of the show, which is accentuated by the fact that she often takes the role of lead character in episodes until Kirby needs to step in to deal with a monster. The show establishes the relationship between Tiff and Kirby as the most prominent one in the narrative, with Meta Knight in particular pointing out that it is only Tiff who can call Kirby's Warp Star due to being the one who cares the most about him. As the show goes on, Tiff becomes the one primarily responsible for Kirby's safety when he isn't battling a monster, and goes to great lengths to defend him from the various schemes of King Dedede or the misgivings of the people of Cappy Town. Due to her youth and inexperience, Tiff often requires assistance at this task, and usually receives the most meaningful advice from Meta Knight, who she looks up to as a mentor. At one point, she even learns self-defense techniques from the masked swordsman, giving her some proficiency in fighting by the end of the series, though still not enough to battle tough monsters.
Aside from her role as Kirby's main guardian, Tiff is usually the first source of expository information about whatever subject matter an episode focuses on due to her encyclopedic knowledge of many things, particularly when it comes to environmental issues. She is often the one who has to educate or warn the Cappies about varying phenomena, whether they end up listening to her or not. Tiff is also usually the one responsible for doing the investigative work necessary to solve the main dilemmas in most episodes, with assistance from her close cohorts including Tuff, Fololo, Falala, and sometimes even Kirby.
- Main article: Tiff/filmography
- Main article: Dream Land princess
While it is not confirmed, viewers have suspected that the Dream Land princess in the Kirby of the Stars Pilot is an early design of Tiff. As they have the same color of skin and basic body design, as well as being Kirby's primary friend and being royalty. Additional similarities include the princess's strong emotional reactions and the manner in which she meets Kirby.
Despite all this information, little else can be determined, due primarily to the sparse nature of the cartoon the Dream Land princess appears in; particularly the lack of spoken dialogue.
- Tiff is one of the five recurring characters who appears in every episode of the main anime series. The other four are Kirby, Tuff, King Dedede, and Escargoon.
- In the Kirby 30th Anniversary artwork, Tiff and her brother Tuff make a cameo appearance as small plushies being held by a Kirby. This is the two's first official cameo appearance outside anime material. A plushie based on the artwork was also made, making it one of the only pieces of official merchandise to depict Tiff and Tuff.
New Year's Day 2023 illustration from the Kirby JP Twitter, featuring plushies of Tiff and Tuff
Height comparison of principal characters (Kirby alongside the court of Castle Dedede)
Baby Tiff, from The Fofa Factor
Tiff conversing with Samo at his bar
Tiff bites Bonkers' hand to help Kirby defeat him.
Tiff sitting with Mr. Chip and complimenting him
Plushie of Kirby holding plushies of Tiff and Tuff, created for Kirby's 30th Anniversary by San-ei.
Names in other languages
|Elongated form of Japanese interjection「ふむ」(fumu, hmm), referring to her short temper|