- "I'm not a baby!"
- —Sunny to Count Olaf, after he demands she be thrown off a mountain in The Slippery Slope
Sunny Baudelaire is the youngest of the three Baudelaire orphans. Her siblings are Violet and Klaus Baudelaire. Sunny, along with her siblings, are the three protagonists of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Her age is unknown, being estimated as spanning from the age of one to two years throughout the main thirteen books, and as about three years old in Chapter Fourteen. Thus, she is always presented as a baby or a toddler.
At the start of the series, Sunny had four abnormally large sharp teeth and enjoys biting things with them, an interest that stuck with her even after the rest of her teeth began to come in. She eventually acquires a penchant and talent for cooking, and both skills save the lives of the Baudelaires at various times (for instance, in The Slippery Slope, when Sunny and her siblings are separated, she uses a smoked salmon (described in-series as 'lox') recipe to signal her location to her siblings elsewhere in the Mortmain Mountains). The first time Sunny showed her passion for cooking is during the events in The Carnivorous Carnival, when she edited a hot chocolate recipe by including cinnamon. Over time, she began creating more and more complicated dishes, such as pesto lo mein, water-chestnut amuse-bouche, and coconut cream cake, with her prowess expanding over her time spent on the Island to include various types of soft baby food, developed for a young Beatrice Snicket.
In her early appearances (before she could walk), she was usually seen being carried in Violet's arms, although there have been times when Violet will make her stand or put onto something such as a chair or table. In The Hostile Hospital, she is carried by Klaus, who rarely does this.
At times in the series, Sunny is presented in unrealistic way in terms of physical feats for a baby, adding to the absurdist nature of the series. For example, her teeth are sometimes shown carving hard material such as rocks and wood, she is seen changing a lightbulb on a ladder in The Bad Beginning, she defends herself against in a sword fight in The Miserable Mill, she works as a secretary in The Austere Academy (although Vice Principal Nero fires her for being a "terrible" secretary), she climbs an elevator shaft in The Ersatz Elevator, and she works as a hotel concierge in The Penultimate Peril, among various other accomplishments.
As Sunny is a baby, she is at an age where one mostly speaks in a series of unintelligible shrieks. She cannot say many English words at the start of the series other than "bottle," "mommy," "bite," and the names of her siblings. "Bite" is mentioned to be the first full word she spoke. She does, however, have an expansive vocabulary of non-English words that can be translated by Violet, Klaus, and, occasionally, Lemony Snicket (who despite giving meanings to most of Sunny's early language chooses to define the words as 'meaning something like' rather than meaning an exact word). According to The Miserable Mill, one of her favorite words is, "Aha!" Sunny's vocabulary grows overwhelmingly throughout the series, and by The End, she is speaking in full and clarified sentences. By Chapter Fourteen, Sunny can speak as well as both her siblings. In actuality, a lot of Sunny's gibberish are references and allusions. In the film and TV series, Sunny's language is translated and communicated with subtitles, and she comes off as a very sassy baby.
The Bad Beginning
The series begins when Sunny, at Briny Beach with Klaus and Violet, notices Arthur Poe, a friend of the children, moving towards them. He informs the children that their parents have died in a terrible fire, which has also destroyed their home. The children, now orphans, are sent to live with the dreadful Count Olaf, who abuses them and attempts to get the fortune that their parents left behind by marrying Violet.
Later, Sunny is captured by Count Olaf, tied with rope, her mouth is taped, and is dangled from a bird cage on top of Olaf's very high tower. Count Olaf does this in order to force the Baudelaires into his play. At night, Violet attempts to rescue Sunny by climbing the tower with her invented grappling hook, but she is found by a guard, and the children are locked up until the play begins.
During the play, Count Olaf releases Sunny after Violet signs the marriage certificate and she is reunited with her siblings. However, his plans are ruined by Violet who reveals she signs the wedding document with her left hand. Mr. Poe has to find another home for them, and it happens to be one with Uncle Monty.
The Reptile Room
Sunny and her siblings are sent to live with Uncle Monty, after the events of The Bad Beginning. Sunny befriends the Incredibly Deadly Viper, Uncle Monty's latest discovery, a completely harmless snake. She later stalls some time with the viper so that Violet and Klaus have a chance to find clues that would prove that Uncle Monty's lab assistant is really Count Olaf. Sunny also bites Dr. Lucafont's hand and it cracks, revealing that he is the hook handed man. Sunny, Klaus, and Violet move on to their next guardian, Aunt Josephine.
The Wide Window
Sunny and her siblings move in with Aunt Josephine, another distant relative. She receives only a rattle here so she trades with her other siblings and gets a Pretty Penny doll. She has allergies for the first time in this book after eating a peppermint. She grew hives (which is what Violet suffers when eating peppermints) and had a swollen tongue (which Klaus suffers when eating peppermints). She also manages to steal a sailboat from the Enormous Androgynous Person who guards Captain Sham's Sailboat Rentals. Sunny also is a tiller mover here. Towards the end of the book, she bites Captain Sham's fake peg leg to prove that he is really Count Olaf.
The Miserable Mill
Sunny and her siblings are then sent to work at Lucky Smells Lumbermill, Paltryville. The workers at the lumbermill only get gum for lunch so Sunny bites pieces of wood, pretending that they are apples, carrots or cheese enchiladas. She also battles Dr. Georgina Orwell here, using her four sharp teeth against Dr. Orwell's cane sword.
The Austere Academy
The Baudelaire orphans are then sent to the boarding school, Prufrock Preparatory. Because Sunny gets hired as Vice Principal Nero's secretary, while Violet and Klaus are students (since babies aren't allowed to be students). She does all the stapling and typing for him. She is forced by Nero to make staples out of long metal rods when his staple supply runs out. Thankfully, she manages to steal some of them so that her siblings (namely Violet) can make staples out of them. She also experiences S.O.R.E. (Special Orphan Running Exercises), although it takes a strain on her energy and she is no longer able to work as a secretary. To substitute Sunny's place, the Quagmires disguise themselves as the Baudelaires and use a string tied to a sack of flour. This is discovered by Coach Genghis (Count Olaf).
The Ersatz Elevator
Sunny lives in the penthouse of the Squalors where she and her siblings find the two Quagmire triplets. She also is brave enough to climb an elevator shaft with her teeth when Esme pushed them down one. She also joins an auction and said that she would pay a thousand for V.F.D. (Very Fancy Doilies).
The Vile Village
This time the children get to pick where they go, and they choose to go to V.F.D. (believing it might help in discovering the Quagmire triplets message), but it turns out to be the Village of Fowl Devotees. Sunny gets accused of murdering Jacques Snicket and that her siblings are her accomplices in doing this crime. She also thought that the Quagmires could be near, so one night, she stayed under Nevermore Tree and found out that crows were sending Isadora Quagmire's couplets.
The Hostile Hospital
Sunny, Klaus, and Violet have to make sure that are not recognized in the book The Hostile Hospital, because they are being accused of murder. Sunny disguises as one of the white faced women. She pokes the hole in the alphabet soup can that Violet uses for her invention. Klaus and Sunny rescue Violet from having her head cut off by Count Olaf and his assistants.
The Carnivorous Carnival
Sunny disguises as Chabo, a half baby, half wolf freak and she works for Madame Lulu in the Caligari Carnival. Sunny's talent for cooking is also discovered here. She places a bit of cinnamon to the hot chocolate, which caused the hot chocolate to taste better (Hugo thought it was some kind of wolf recipe.). She is also captured by Count Olaf because Madame Lulu betrayed them.
The Slippery Slope
Sunny worries about Klaus and Violet and how they survive while she is forced to work for Count Olaf. Olaf forces her to do chores for him like cooking and setting up a tent. She states that she is not a baby anymore when Violet calls her a baby. She now improved in cooking, making lox and delicious False Spring Rolls.
Count Olaf orders the White Faced Women to throw Sunny off the mountain, prompting them to refuse and leave. Sunny's brother and sister managed to rescue her and she manages to learn that the Snicket File (except for page 13) is now with Count Olaf and that the last safe place was the Hotel Denouement.
The Grim GrottoSunny curls up in a diving helmet and gets poisoned by a mushroom spore while they travel inside the Grim Grotto. She gets sick and nearly dies. She managed to create a birthday party for Violet (with Phil's help). Sunny makes a coconut cake. She also knows that wasabi is a counterpart of horseradish which removes the poison from her body. When the Queequeg springs a leak, Sunny covers it using gum.
The Penultimate Peril
Sunny, along with Klaus and Violet, gets assigned to be a concierge at the Hotel Denouement. She hears about Mr. Remora's, Mrs. Bass's and Vice Principal Nero's talking about the party. She also tries to stop Olaf killing Dewey (but fails). Sunny helps start the fire in the hotel, and Count Olaf is proud of her for it. To escape the fire she and her siblings, along with Olaf, take the boat that Carmelita Spats had on top of the hotel (in the swimming pool).
Sunny, Violet, and Klaus are stuck on a big ship with Count Olaf, fleeing from the burning Hotel Denouement. After a huge storm, Sunny and her brother and sister find themselves on a coastal shelf of an island. A little girl named Friday Caliban gives them a tour and introduces them to everyone. She gives Sunny a whisk because she knows Sunny liked to cook food. A few days later, Sunny, Klaus, and Violet are abandoned on the coastal shelf with Count Olaf. They find the pregnant and weak Kit Snicket on top of a raft of books. Sunny sadly tells her that her husband Dewey Denouement is dead. Towards the end of the book, Kit and Olaf, who are dying from the Medusoid Mycelium poisoning, recite a short poem called The Night has a Thousand Eyes together. It is unknown whether this poem is part of V.F.D. or not. Then Count Olaf dies. A few moments later, Kit's baby is born, and Kit dies. Sunny adopts little Beatrice along with Klaus and Violet. The four of them leave the island a year later.
After The End
Though the fate of Violet is ambiguous, Sunny's fate is more well known: several sources state that something happened to The Beatrice - it sank on some sharp rocks when they were close to the mainline, though what made it hit the rocks is unknown - and Violet was forced to make an "emergency repair" to it, which allowed the ship to land, successfully, on the mainland, allowing at least Violet and Sunny to survive.
While Violet is stated as returning to Briny Beach for a third time her fate after that is unknown wholly unknown, but Sunny survived to be "a young woman" who often discussed her new cooking recipes on the radio.
However, despite all his research and hard work, even Lemony does not know the current position, location and status of the Baudelaire children, implying that Sunny has gone into hiding or is using a fake name on the radio.
Behind the scenes
In the film, she was portrayed by both Kara and Shelby Hoffman. However, some stunts were too dangerous or impossible for a baby, so a virtual baby was used. One part where a virtual baby was used was when Sunny bit the table and held on. Another, as revealed by the commentary, was when Sunny is thrown out the window in a crate; the director reveals it is an animatronic baby.
In the TV series, she is portrayed by Presley Smith, while her voice is provided by Tara Strong.
Her name Sunny was chosen because it sounded American and Lemony Snicket wanted to make the setting of the series ambiguous; Violet is a fairly British name; Klaus is a fairly German name; Sunny is a fairly American name, and Olaf is a fairly Scandinavian name, and that creates a certain amount of confusion.
- Her foil from The Luckiest Kids in the World! written by Loney M. Setnick is a baby named Lil' Linda Lotsaluck who, in The Pony Party!, is treated to a fun party, a big prize, a pony ride, several kind and sensible adults, and all the cake she can eat.
- In The Bad Beginning and the film adaptation, it is mentioned that Klaus initially disliked Sunny when she was born. The reasons are unknown; it's possible that it was because his parents focused less on him and more on Sunny. However, he grew to love and accept her, and by six weeks, they were "thick as thieves."
- She learned to stand and walk properly at the end of The Vile Village.
- Just like her siblings, she is severely allergic to peppermints. In her case her tongue swells up (like Klaus) and her skin breaks out in hives (like Violet).
- Daniel Handler once confirmed that Sunny and her siblings are of Jewish descent. It is unknown if he means ethnicity only, religion only, or both. Sunny is never seen practicing any religious rituals relating to Judaism.
- The Dismal Dinner (Mentioned only)
- The Bad Beginning
- The Reptile Room
- The Wide Window
- The Miserable Mill
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Slippery Slope
- The Grim Grotto
- The Penultimate Peril
- The End
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (film)
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (video game)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- ↑ PROSE: The Miserable Mill
- ↑ PROSE: The Hostile Hospital
- ↑ PROSE: The Carnivorous Carnival
- ↑ PROSE: The Vile Village
- ↑ The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition and The Beatrice Letters
- ↑ PROSE: The Beatrice Letters