Study Guide

Grease The T-Birds (Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Barry Pearl)

The T-Birds (Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Barry Pearl)

Birds of a Greasy Feather

A T-Bird can be three things: a car, the second-to-last boss of the Nintendo game Zelda II, or a greaser that looks like he fell from the pages of The Outsiders.

Aside from Danny and Kenickie, there are three supporting T-Birds: Sonny LaTierri (Michael Tucci), Putzie (Kelly Ward) and Doody (Barry Pearl). They live a couple decades before the Nintendo Entertainment System comes out, and they don't even have cars, so they must fall into the greaser category.

The Outsiders was published before Grease came out, so perhaps the original writers were influenced by S.E. Hinton's greasers. We have no way to know for sure, but there are lots of similarities—greasy hair, leather jackets, and a boys-will-be-boys attitude.

But there are also tons of differences. For one thing, the greasers in The Outsiders loved to rumble. But the T-Birds are all talk, no action. We can't tell if they carry pocket combs or pocketknives, but seeing Doody attempt to wield a water pistol as if it's a semi-automatic makes us think their concealed weapons are for styling hair, not stabbing ribs.

For as tough as Hinton's greasers were, they were sensitive boys at heart who liked to hug and recite poetry to one another. Not the T-Birds. They fling insults and don't even bother to rhyme them. Take this one from Putzie:

PUTZIE: Well, the only things that hang around you, Sonny, are the flies.

Sonny is a favorite punching bag among the crew. Maybe because he looks like he's about thirty-five? We consider ourselves nice people, but we'd have trouble not poking fun at someone who's been repeating senior year for seventeen years.

In the end, each member of the T-Birds pairs off with one the Pink Ladies. Other than that, there isn't much to say about them. These three men are interchangeable compared to the Pink Ladies, their lady counterparts. This is mainly because the ladies all have different interests—boys, fashion, food—whereas the guys are only interested in car parts and ladyparts.