i think tubbo is the character w like. the least appreciation for his canon characterization tbh. its either nuke boy or bee boy. his canon character is so compelling (and so underutilized in canon tbh...) and yet
Big mood. As a Wilbur enthusiast especially, Tubbo has always been so interesting to me. So similar and yet so different. He started out pretty naive but quickly grew jaded as responsibility kept being thrust upon him, as he continued to be pushed into difficult positions. But even when the weight of it all would threaten to crush him, even when he wanted to run away, he didn’t. He bottles up all of his emotions in favor of trying to support everyone else, and he’s so damn self-sacrificing. Also, not to be Hamilton on main, but Tubbo is. Actually kind of more of an Aaron Burr than Ranboo?
Ranboo plays both sides because he’s a people pleaser, because he has no backbone and can be easily peer pressured. And in general he thinks that making no commitment is better than making any commitment– that there is no such thing as a “right” or “good” side in a conflict.
But Tubbo? Tubbo has opinions. He just waits to see which way the wind will blow before revealing them. He keeps his cards close to his chest, but he does play them when it is advantageous. He tries to assess everyone else’s views and the current state of affairs before he says what he really believes, he makes sure it’s safe and beneficial for him to do so. He’s not quite a yes-man, but he acts agreeable and works to diffuse the situation so he can then say what he really thinks without fear. He plays off of others underestimating him and leans into his naivety to appear unthreatening, and this is helped by how genuinely charming and charismatic he is.
And let’s not forget, the kid is brilliant. Not just in terms of book smarts or tech– though come on he built those nukes himself! He’s cunning and cutthroat. He is not easily manipulated– not a pawn at all. He recognized what Dream was trying to do when it came to New L'manberg, and he decided that two could play that game. He had a plan. He pretended to be falling for Dream’s friendly act to get him to lower his guard so he could strike, and Dream? Dream was the one who fell for it! At the community house and even at the S2 finale, he claimed that he had fooled Tubbo into thinking they were friends when that’s exactly what Tubbo had wanted him to think leading up to the Green Festival, and he was preparing to execute him when he was vulnerable.
Of course, Tubbo has his own flaws too. He often consciously holds himself back from voicing his own thoughts and emotions for both his own safety and so he doesn’t burden others, but that often does far more harm than good not just for himself but for others who are baffled by his seemingly weak spine and unnervingly peppy attitude. He doesn’t hold much value over his own life or the lives of people who aren’t his closest friends. He’s incredibly self-deprecating. He sometimes allows himself to be talked over, distracted, or otherwise derailed from his musings even when he’s got a good point. He seems almost unable to turn off the Spy attitude he had to adopt, acting as if there is always some greater threat he needs to be careful with. And while he can be sympathetic to others, he sometimes defaults to turning off and tuning out all emotions, sometimes to the point of being dismissive to others, in high stress situations. In fact, though he conceals it well, he does not handle stress well at all, he’s just often able to suppress outward reactions or delay them until he feels safer and more comfortable about letting them show.
And like, I’m not even much of a Tubbo analyst– plenty of other folks could do way better than me at describing his strengths and flaws. But he is so so so much more than nuke boy or bee boy.