The Outsiders: Where Are They Now?
by Kate Gavino
It’s been 46 years since S.E. Hinton’s beloved teen novel, The Outsiders, was published, which would make Ponyboy and the rest of the Greasers well into middle age by now. Thanks to the eye candy-filled 1983 Brat Pack film adaptation (hello, Rob Lowe), the gang made seventh grade English class steamier for multiple generations. But what has the gang been up to since the fateful rumble that (*spoiler alert*) took the lives of two characters? Sadly, nothing gold can stay, as seen by some of these hypotheses.
Last seen: Mourning his BFF, nursing a bad dye job, quoting Robert Frost.
Today: Ponyboy re-joined the track team and used it to get a full ride to the University of Texas. He majored in English and Creative Writing, and with the help of several enthusiastic professors, turned his senior thesis into a major book deal. He moved to New York City, where he became the darling of the New Yorker/ Paris Review crowd, who praised his “achingly raw impressions of Tulsa’s ennui.” Tom Wolfe once bought him a drink. But despite his golden boy status, he still goes home every year for the holidays to visit Darry and Soda. He’s had a slew of girlfriends, but the only constant in his life is his pitbull mix, Johnnycake.
Last seen: Getting unceremoniously dumped, defending Pony from Darry, being an all around sweetheart.
Today: Pony eventually bullied Soda into getting his GED, and after enough years slaving away at the DX, Soda opened his own auto shop with Steve Randle, which they shamelessly named “Lube ‘n Go.” The shop does well, thanks to Soda’s Hollywood smile on all the ads, and they have a constant stream of buxom ladies needing their oil changed and brake lights checked. Soda eventually settled down with one of them, a single mother with two kids. He fell seamlessly into the role of stepdad, and on weekends, they visit their stable in the country.
Last seen: Doing his best to provide for his brothers, trying not to be bitter about missing college.
Today: Darry enlisted in the army and went to Vietnam, worrying Soda and Pony sick the whole time. He wrote to them sporadically and eventually returned with half a leg missing. He began teaching shop at the local high school, to students too terrified to ask him how he lost his leg. His hardened exterior intimidated everyone, except the young Algebra teacher, who was golden and beautiful. They soon got married at the refurbished church on Jay Mountain and quickly had three children all in a row. Darry never approved of Pony moving to New York, but despite this, Pony still dedicates all his books to “Soda & Superman.”
KEITH “TWO-BIT” MATTHEWS
Last seen: Throwing down at the rumble, shoplifting, handing out knives at the hospital.
Today: As Two-Bit transitioned from functioning alcoholic to full-on lush, his shoplifting skills languished. He was eventually caught at the Food Pyramid trying to stuff Lunchables down his pants. He made things worse by brandishing his trusty switchblade at the cops and now serves time at the local Fed. At the Prison Talent Show, he found his calling doing stand-up, and since then, has recorded a number of albums from his cell, to great success. His most recent release, Pity the Backseat, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Once he’s released, he’s scheduled to join the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
Last seen: Being portrayed by an incredibly young Tom Cruise.
Today: Despite Lube ‘n Go’s success, Steve was never satisfied simply being Soda’s sidekick. After a late night infomercial binge, he came up with the idea of a blanket with arm sleeves that allowed users to stay warm while doing other activities. He called his invention The Thermo-Hug. Though he worked hard to market it, his gruff demeanor and failure to procure a patent left his efforts fruitless. Years later, when he saw the commercial for the Snuggie, he was driven into a such a rage, he careened off Route 412. At his funeral, the gang played the theme to Top Gun.
SHERRI “CHERRY” VALANCE
Last seen: Dealing with the death of her Soc boyfriend, Bob, and her secret Greaser crush, Dally, not saying hi to Pony in the hallways, watching sunsets.
Today: Cherry spent most of her college years at Vanderbilt getting disapproving looks from her sorority sisters for dating leather-clad, brawling townies with devastating cheekbones. She became a ball-busting investment banker for Merrill Lynch who can drink all the male execs under the table. She legally changed the “i” in her first name to a “y.” One day she passes the local Barnes & Noble and sees an unforgettable name under “Upcoming Events.” A few nights later she shows up for Ponyboy’s reading, and afterward, has her book signed.
“Who should I make it out to?” he asks, not looking up.
“Cherry,” she says, “because of my hair.”