The Tin Woodman, or Tin Man, was one of Dorothy Gale's three companions in The Wizard of Oz. The movie tells us nothing about the Tin Man's origin, except that he has no heart and apparently rusts a lot. Even though tin can't rust.
THIS MOVIE IS TOTALLY UNREALISTIC
But before that, they were:
A clumsy RoboCop. According to L. Frank Baum's original novel, before he was the Tin Man, he was Nick Chopper: a regular dude and a lumberjack. Then one day he accidentally chopped off his own arm. Then another arm. Then his legs, torso and head. But while slowly chopping his entire body into ragged chunks, Nick Chopper was also replacing his missing flesh with tin, making him literature's first cyborg.
The only thing he forgot to replace was a heart.
That sounds like the tagline for McConaughey's next masterpiece.
Like most problems in Oz, the Tin Man's problems were all caused by a Wicked Witch: Chopper had fallen madly in love with Nimmie Amee, a Munchkin woman forced to work under the Wicked Witch of the East. Wanting to keep all the hot, awkward dwarf sex to a minimum (why would you ever want to do that?), the witch cursed Chopper's axe so it would turn on him when he swung it. Without a body and now without a heart, he was no longer capable of loving anyone.
He's got whiskey dick of the soul.
But it gets weirder. In The Tin Woodman of Oz, Baum's 12th Oz book, the Tin Man decides to once again pursue the woman he once loved. Unfortunately, he learns that she has already married someone else. Someone made entirely out of his old body parts.
Nimmie married a thing called Chopfyt: a Frankenstein-like monster hacked together by the same tinsmith who built the Tin Man's body. Since no one in Oz ever dies (except the Wicked Witch), the tinsmith was left with a whole pile of nondecaying body parts just sitting around in a barrel after fixing up the Tin Man. Rather than giving them a respectful burial or, you know, using them to rebuild the Tin Man's mortal body since he could have apparently just done that in the first place, the tinsmith decided to build a dude out of them to help out around the shop. A lab zombie, if you will.
"RRRAAAGHHH. BEAKERS ARE STERILIZED. LAB ZOMBIE TAKE 15 NOW. WATCH SOME CSI IN BREAKROOM."
The tinsmith decided not to use Nick Chopper's face on Chopfyt, though, as he had another man's dismembered head apparently just lying around the workshop. What? What's weird about that? Asking too many questions is what put the first head here, friend.
Oh, but you know that wacky tinsmith: He just can't bear to throw his dismembered body parts away! He kept the Tin Man's original head. He didn't do anything with it, he just kind of held onto it; it lays around the lab, occasionally chiming in with witticisms like a Billy Bass made out of bleeding meat. Later, the Tin Man had an existentially terrifying conversation with his own skull in the tinsmith's shop, and then presumably drank himself unconscious every day for the rest of his life.
Anthony Scibelli is a handsome stand-up comedian and comedy writer. When he's not thinking about cartoons, he's updating his comedy blog "There's No Success Like Failure."
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