Tammy and the Bachelor- An MBTI Study By: Laura the Book Enthusiast

My posts are usually on the shorter side, so if this one is too time consuming, let me know and I will try to separate this into 2 posts.  I understand that we all lead very busy lives.  Short and sweet often helps!

Hello bloggers and readers.  I have loved Tammy and the Bachelor since my mother brought the VHS home in the 90s. It’s not blockbuster, or anything profound, but I was hooked the moment the song “Tammy” (1957) filtered through the screen. Tammy and the Bachelor was nominated for an academy award in 1958 (IMDB), and the song Tammy, sung by Debbie Reynolds, was number one on the charts, earning her a Gold Record (IMDB).

What’s to follow is an MBTI study on some of the characters, and some basic analysis interspersed throughout. For those who love Tammy and the Bachelor, but know little about Myers Briggs (MBTI), I have posted a link below to the official website. Feel free to skim through, and then join us back here! If you would rather not visit the site, I will make my analysis as clear as I can.

Speaking of, I am no expert of Myers Briggs typing. I have studied MBTI for the last few years, but this has been via the web, and things I have picked up on message boards. While I think my educated guesses are as good as anyone’s, it doesn’t mean I can’t be wrong. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section for yay or nay on my analysis. Be aware of some spoilers ahead.

Tammy, played by Debbie Reynolds, is an INFJ. I will make my arguments for each function in order.

Introversion: Tammy, may at first seem extroverted. She talks a great deal, is quite opinionated, and loves people. What some are not aware of is you can be all these things, and still be an introvert. Introversion and Extroversion are simply ways one gains their energy. If you gain energy around people, most likely you are an extrovert. If solitude recharges you, then you are an introvert.

Additionally, because of their extroverted feeling (an auxiliary function), INFJ’s can appear extroverted. They love being around people in smaller doses, and to be a sounding board for others, especially loved ones. Tammy often seeks alone time, to process what she has learned, or her own emotions.

For example, Tammy looks up into the night sky, singing her heart out about her love for Pete (portrayed by a young, Leslie Nielsen). When Barbara makes fun of Tammy when Peter is being pressured to go into advertising, rather than focus on his agriculture experiment, Tammy goes off alone to talk to Nan, her goat. Things become clearer to Tammy when she meditates alone.

Intuition (N): Does this girl have it in spades. Tammy senses that Barbara isn’t good for Peter from the very beginning. Tammy knows that Miss Renie is holding herself back from her own potential, allowing her responsibilities to hold her back. Tammy knows that Mr. Brent is hiding behind his books, rather than facing life. Tammy knows the reason Mrs. Brent is constantly antagonizing others is because she is afraid of dying. Tammy demonstrates her insight when she expresses these thoughts to Peter. She is spot on when she tells Peter he is afraid of being a failure.

You will also notice how Tammy is often referred to as wise by many of the characters. Not that all types can’t be wise, however, wisdom in INFJs practically gallops, and from a very young age. Tammy also loves to use metaphors, similes, and analogies; it’s the INFJ’s bread and butter. Some gems:

“You are like driftwood out on the river with the current pulling one way, and the eddy going another.” ~ Tammy to Pete
“He’s a fox dug himself a hole, if he’d come out of his hole, maybe your ma wouldn’t be so scared.” ~ Tammy, speaking of Mr. Brent
“It sorta hangs on like a spirit haunting someplace when the body’s gone.” ~ Tammy speaking of a perfume.

Feeling (F): Which does not mean emotional, any more than thinking means heartless (a pet peeve of mine). Tammy tries to maintain harmony in her relationships. She is very polite and diplomatic. While her social skills need smoothing out, due to isolation, she is still acutely aware of other people’s feelings, and tries to put them at ease. When she tells people a truth they may not want to hear, she does so gently, but directly. She does not relish confrontation, and only loses her temper when Pete stubbornly refuses to see her point of view. Her extroverted feeling shines through during her social interactions. See her interactions and skit at the Pilgrimage party.

Thinking (T): Tammy’s tertiary function. I have heard introverted thinking is related to why something works, and extroverted thinking is how something works. I remember it also being put that introverted thinking theorizes, and then uses observations to support the theory, while extroverted thinking observes, and then comes up with a theory based on these observations. I believe Tammy demonstrates her T(i) (introverted thinking) when she makes her observations about Pete’s garden. She’s not so focused on how the garden works, so much as why it should.

Sensing: Tammy’s inferior function. I could go on to say how she loves nature, and has her own distinct fashion sense, but you could say that of anyone. What I do know is that she takes in her surroundings on a nearly subconscious level, where her intuition takes over in the filtering process. The sensing function is an INFJ’s foundation, and intuition is the structure. Without sensing, intuition couldn’t stand.

Yes, I am an INFJ, if you haven’t figured that out already with my massive use of metaphors and similes. Anyway, Tammy may not always be consciously aware of how she knows the things she does, but it’s her silent sensing function that aids her in intuitively coming to a conclusion.

Some other MBTI Character guesses.

Peter (Actor Leslie Nielsen) ESFJ. Peter may also be an introvert, but due to his upper-class upbringing, he may come off more reserved than your typical extrovert. He seems to be a sensor though, as I believe this is where Tammy and Peter have difficult relating. Peter has a sense of duty toward his family, and his F (e) (extroverted feeling) prevents him from expressing his own needs. He wants to make his family happy, and at the same time desires to spread his wings through agriculture, which is perhaps an expression of his tertiary or inferior extroverted intuition.

Mrs. Brent (Actress-Fay Wray) ( )STJ

Professor Brent (Actor-Sidney Blackmer) Tough one. Maybe INTP. He seems perceptive, and he seems to exhibit more extroverted feeling than introverted feeling. I could see an argument for NFP. Thoughts?

Aunt Renie (Actress-Mildred Natwick) ESFP

Barbara (Actress-Mala Powers) ( )NTJ

Ernie (Actor-Craig Hill) ESTP

Grandpa (Actor-Walter Brennan) ENFJ

I think I will safe any further discussion about the film itself in the comment section. Meaning, I would love to turn this into a conversation. What did you think of the film? Loved it? Hated it? Sound off in the comments below. What do you think of my MBTI analysis? I would love to hear from you. Below is a link to the MBTI site, and IMDB.  You should be able to find the DVD of Tammy and the Bachelor at your local library.  I encourage you to check it out, and contribute in the convo that I hope is to follow.


Image used above does not belong to me.  Image sourced below.





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