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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pleasantville_ver5_9378.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[{{Tagline}} Nothing is as simple as Black and White.]] ]]

->''"There are some places that the road doesn't go in a circle. There are some places where the road keeps going."''
-->-- '''David'''

A deliberately {{troperrific}} 1998 movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire, who play main characters Jennifer and David, a pair of siblings who -- during an argument over who gets to use the big TV in the living room break the remote -- wind up TrappedInTVLand due to a strange TV repairman and a stranger magical remote; specifically, they wind up in ''Pleasantville'', an old black-and-white show portraying the stereotypical 1950s American suburb (along the lines of ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'' or ''Series/FatherKnowsBest'', but even more idealistic). David is thrilled because it's his favorite show; it is a happy world where nothing bad ever happens (as a contrast to David and Jennifer's unstable home life). Jennifer, being more of a party girl, finds Pleasantville incredibly dull and wants to liven the place up. Still, they both want to get home, and David wants to do so without upsetting the community -- but the repairman gets antsy and they're stuck.

Their presence winds up throwing the heavily-idealized world into chaos. As things become less idealized and more like the real world, they begin to show up in color instead of black and white -- people cease to be monochrome whenever they stop staying nice and snug within their boundaries and break out, displaying some inner truth about their character.

For an oddly similar experience in book form, try ''Literature/TheGiver''.

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!!This movie provides examples of the following tropes:

* AscendedFanboy: David becomes Bud which he loves at first.
* BlandNameProduct: [=TVTime=] for [=TVLand=].
* BlankBook: The entire library in Pleasantville is completely blank -- nobody ever read on the show, after all.
* BlitheSpirit: The entire point of the kids' visit, which winds up [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore changing everything in the town]].
%%* BookBurning
* BrickJoke: David helping put out a fire is a hilarious example. First of all the movie establishes that all the firemen in town ever do is getting cats down from trees. Later, a tree bursts into flame. David catches wind of it and runs to the nearest fire station. Of course, there's never been an actual fire in Pleasantville until now:
--> '''David:''' Fire! ''(Confused firemen stare at him.)'' FIRE!!! ''(They still stare.)''... Cat? ''(They rush to the scene.)''\\
''(Later)''\\
'''Fireman watching the tree burn:''' Where's the cat?
* CharacterDevelopment: David starts out the film as an introverted loner who thinks of the show as escapism. Halfway through the film, he begins to display more assertive leader traits and earns his color by punching out a thug who was attacking his TV mom. Likewise, Jennifer starts as a shallow, slutty fashionista whose original intent is to shake things up, but when given a fresh start, she realizes the value of education and earns her color by breaking a date to study.
* ChekhovsSkill: Bill's painting ability.
* TheChewToy: The rival basketball team. After all, their sole purpose for existing is to lose to the Pleasantville team.
* ComingOfAgeStory: When people of all age ranges step outside their formula lifestyle, symbolized by the transition to color. The whole film is an allegory for CharacterDevelopment and almost chronicles the rise of the teenager, TheFifties coming of age as a decade if you will.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Plesantville gradually reveals itself to be one. It looks bright and sunny (as bright as black and white can be) but everyone is either deeply repressed, very bigoted or in Bill's case, going through an existential crisis.
* CulturePolice: Utilized as the presence of two kids from the real world starts making a small town from a sitcom set in an idealized version of TheFifties more and more real. One particularly [[{{Anvilicious}} non-subtle]] scene visually feature an angry mob breaking into a store and tearing paintings apart -- then moving on to burn books. The town establishes a Code of Conduct prohibiting all recorded music except "Pat Boone, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Jack Jones, the marches of John Philip Sousa or 'The Star Spangled Banner'."
* CutAndPasteSuburb: The entire town of Pleasantville, with a generic city hall, one instance of each of a soda shop, a hat store, a general store, a clothing store, a fire station, a high school, a library, and a designated Lovers Lane.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Betty the housewife after getting the sex talk from her "daughter" Mary Sue/Jennifer. This is so out of character and against the ways of Pleasantville's reality, it ''sets a tree in front of the house on fire''.
* DeadTVRemoteGag: David and Jennifer break their remote and are too lazy to change the channel by using the controls on the TV, leading the magic TV repairman to come to the door and give them a new remote that sends the siblings to Pleasantville, kick-starting the plot. {{Lampshaded}} by Jennifer, only for David to remark that the TV set is new enough that it doesn't work without a remote.
* DeconstructiveParody: Of 50's sitcoms and nostalgia for the era.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: {{Lampshaded}} when Jennifer points out how absurd the concept of being in a TV show from the 1950s is:
-->'''Jennifer:''' And I still don't see why we're doing this!\\
'''David:''' Because we're supposed to be in school.\\
'''Jennifer:''' We're supposed to be at home, David. [[LampshadeHanging We're supposed to be in COLOR!]]
* {{Descriptiveville}}: The town is an actual 1950's sitcom town. It is, indeed, quite pleasant.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** Not that the movie's subtle about its parallels with a cultural revolution. The signs discriminating against non-monochrome people even read "No Coloreds".
** The scene where Bud and his girlfriend are in Lover's Lane. She tempts him into eating a red apple. Now what [[Literature/TheBible biblical story]] involves eating a certain Forbidden Fruit?
** The still-grey people of Pleasantville [[ThoseWackyNazis burning books]].
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Jennifer goes on a date with the town jock, who she quickly manipulates into having sex with her. This is PlayedForLaughs, though at the time, the boy had no idea what sex was (or for that matter, STD's or even pregnancy), was visibly freaked out, and even mistook his erection for an "illness." Had the sexes been reversed, the boy would have been vilified.
* DysfunctionJunction: Two bickering siblings go into a 50's sitcom, where it's slowly revealed that all the characters are either repressed one way or another, or deeply bigoted.
* {{Dystopia}}: How Pleasantville appears to really be.
* FantasticRacism: Newly colorized people are referred to as "coloreds", the same term commonly used in states in the United States where segregation occurred.
* FisherKingdom: When David and Jennifer first enter the TV show, they're turned monochrome and adopt the clothing of the world around them, and take on the roles of pre-existing characters, complete with friends and histories. As far as everyone else is concerned, they've been there all along.
* GenreSavvy: David, due to ''Pleasantville'' being his favorite show.
* GenreShift: The movie starts out as a straight TrappedInTVLand comedy, but then becomes something more weighty when the changes in the town have more serious ramifications.
* {{Homage}}:
** The set in the courtroom scene, and the segregation of the "colored" characters is very similar to ''Film/ToKillAMockingbird''.
** David's reaction the first time it rains in Pleasantville is almost identical to a shot in ''TheShawshankRedemption''. However, this is unintentional according to WordOfGod, who said that he didn't realize he did "the Shawshank shot" until a friend pointed it out when it was released.
* HeldGaze: Betty and Bill when the latter comes to the Parkers' house. David awkwardly has to break it up.
* IChooseToStay: [[spoiler:Jennifer decides to stay as she reasons with how badly she was failing back in reality, there is no way she could get into a good college]].
* JerkassHasAPoint: Jennifer was originally a very selfish snob, and her decision to shake up the world is for less-than-noble reasons. However, even David comes to realize that his sister has a point.
* KarmicTrickster: The TV repairman.
* KubrickStare: George has one at the bowling alley after [[spoiler:he came to the house while Betty decides to leave George, it's raining in Pleasantville for the first time, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and there's no dinner.]]]]
* LampshadeHanging: David is very genre savvy, and constantly points out tropes as they happen in-universe (but not for the movie as a whole). He even tries to warn his sister against [[DefiedTrope defying tropes]].
%%* LettingHerHairDown: Inverted by Mary Sue/Jennifer.
* LoveEpiphany: David gets George to realize exactly why he misses Betty, and it's not for the cooking and cleaning she does.
* LoveTriangle: Part of Betty's awakening is cheating on her husband with the guy who owns the malt shop. (One of the odder moments in the film, as Betty has a pregnant "moment" with Bill when they first meet that comes out of nowhere.)
* MarySue: {{Invoked}} in the form of the perfect, sweet sister character named Mary Sue -- although once Jennifer assumes her role, this quickly ends.
* MeaningfulName: What's the name of the sweet, perfect girl in ''Pleasantville''? MarySue.
* MonochromeCasting: Justified in that 50s sitcoms were in fact lily-white.
* NobodyPoops: There aren't any toilets. When inspected, the stalls turn out to be empty.
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: Parodied and ultimately subverted; the world of the show is initially the rosy idea of TheFifties that everyone loves to reminisce about, but once the "colour infection" starts to spread, the uglier side of the decade (such as "racial" and gender discrimination) is gradually reflected.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. In the TV series, both the mother and one of Mary Sue's friends are named "Betty."
* RuleOfSymbolism: The movie makes an [[Literature/TheBible Adam and Eve]] allusion twice [[spoiler: the first time when Jennifer sleeps with Slip, setting into motion Pleasantville becoming more "realistic." The second time is less subtle, with Margaret giving an apple to David.]]
* ScrewDestiny: David's view is initially to follow the plots of the show by heart, but he eventually comes to embrace this trope.
* SexlessMarriage: All of the marriages in Pleasantville, at least until the protagonists start shaking things up.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: The world of Pleasantville starts out with the dial pegged on Idealism, and steadily moves it over to Realism.
* SoWhatDoWeDoNow: The end of the movie:
--> '''George:''' Do you know what's going to happen now?
--> '''Betty:''' No, I don't. Do you know what's going to happen?
--> '''George:''' (''chuckles'') No... I don't. [''Camera pans over to Betty, then back to where George sat'']
--> '''Bill:''' [''Sitting in George's chair''] I guess I don't either.
* SplashOfColor: The town is in black-and-white until our heroes begin encouraging the natives to think for themselves. Ironically, David and Jennifer are not the first to change; they too must grow as people -- Jennifer complains she is one of the last to change despite [[ReallyGetsAround having more sex than anybody else in town]], but this teaches her it's not all about sex.
* StealthPun: Some early film posters colored "tv" differently from the rest of the title.
* StepfordSuburbia: Guess.
* SweaterGirl: Jennifer is taken aback when she puts on the typical sweater and bullet bra.
--> '''Jennifer:''' I could, like, kill a guy with these things.
* TheTalk: ZigZagged, in that it's a teenage daughter giving it to her ''mother'', and then when the mother is sure the father won't be interested, the daughter points out that [[ADateWithRosiePalms the man is actually dispensable]].
* TheThemeParkVersion: Although Pleasantville the town might appear to be taken straight from a 1950s sitcom, sitcoms of that era were not actually that simple for the most part; references to pop culture, the outside world and even sexuality occurred on even the strictest shows.
* TheUnfairSex: Set up as if it's going to be played straight, but [[TakeAThirdOption takes a different path]]. The wife who finds another love interest is portrayed sympathetically... but so is her husband, who simply doesn't understand how she feels, and his defining moment is realizing how much he loves her. The movie ends with all three noting that they don't know how this will turn out.
* WeirdnessSearchAndRescue: The film had the TV Repairman, who instigated the TrappedInTVLand plot, and then ineffectually tried to stop the fallout from it.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to the old Bud and Mary Sue? You'd think that even the old Bud would come back once David leaves.
%%* WhenDimensionsCollide: What the protagonists presence does to Pleasantville.
* WrapAround: Early in the film, the town's topology is such that someone going off one side of the town would end up on the other side.
* YearInsideHourOutside: A week in Pleasantville is half an hour in the real world.

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