[[quoteright:214:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WelcomeToTheDollhouse.JPG]]

''Welcome to the Dollhouse'' is a 1995 film by Creator/ToddSolondz. It stars Creator/HeatherMatarazzo in her breakout role, as well as being Solondz's breakout movie as a director.

Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is an unpopular, unattractive seventh grader whose family treats her as just as much of an outcast. She has great difficulty making friends and is almost always the target of cruel and isolating behavior from her peers. At home, she is the least favorite of the three Wiener children, a fact that is often exploited by her younger tutu-wearing sister Missy (the apple of their parents' eye) in order to get her in trouble. Dawn goes through life in a quiet and awkward state of mind.

One day, Dawn's older brother Mark brings over a high school senior named Steve Rodgers to tutor him in exchange for Steve playing in Mark's band. Upon meeting, Dawn becomes infatuated with the older boy and develops a crush on him. Things get even more complicated for her as one of her classmates Brandon antagonizes her more and more, mostly because he has feelings for her.

Not to be confused with the TV series ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''.
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!!This film provide examples of:

* ADateWithRosiePalms: Implied to be the way Dawn sprained her finger.
* AdultsAreUseless: They're either sadistic like Dawn's mother and teacher or ineffectual like her father and principal.
* AlphaBitch: Lolita and Cookie at school, Missy at home.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Dawn, mainly.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Missy herself at the end, obviously.]]
* BareYourMidriff: The outfit Dawn wears at her parents' anniversary party.
* BerserkButton: Don't call Brandon a retard.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Missy.
* BlackComedy: Darker than the darkest death metal band playing in a pitch-black abyss populated by {{Eldritch Abomination}}s who hold teens in a state of AndIMustScream while shouting "bloody murder" in a collective groan composed of the cries of dying children. Ah, TheNineties...
* BlackComedyRape: A number of examples.Brandon arranges ahead of time that he was going to rape Dawn and they reschedule when it doesn't work out the first time. [[spoiler:He doesn't actually go through with it]].
** Missy is kidnapped by a pedophile neighbor. He doesn't seem to have done anything to her, however, beyond filming her pirouette in her tutu.
** Mary Ellen Moriarity, a girl who spoke at Dawn's school about the dangers of talking to strangers, was kidnapped while memorizing her lines for "Hello Dolly." It is also hinted that she may have been raped.
* BlackSheep: Dawn.
* ButtMonkey: Dawn is a rather dark, humorous example. Extreme is not strong enough a word.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Unlike her tormenters, Dawn pays dearly the few times she tries to fight back, as when she gets in trouble with the principal for hitting a teacher with a spitball meant for Brandon. Her odious mother actually tells her that she has no right to fight back.
* TheCharmer: Steve
* CrapsackWorld: [[EnforcedTrope Well, it is a Todd Solondz movie.]]
* DawsonCasting: 24 Year old Eric Mabius (Steve Rodgers) is in high school. Four years later he was still in high school for ''CruelIntentions''.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: In the end, nothing at all has improved for Dawn, and she's in the exact same miserable state as before.]]
** Made even worse in the semi-sequel ''Palindromes'' when [[spoiler:it's revealed that Dawn killed herself in the end]].
* DreadfulMusician: Mark and his band.
* EatingLunchAlone: Dawn is rejected from every table in the school cafeteria, the scene to purely encapsulate the mood of the movie it was used in the trailer as well.
* ExtremeDoormat: Dawn couldn't stand up for herself.
** She does try to on a couple of occasions but just gets in worse trouble.
* ForTheEvulz: Seemingly the ''raison d'etre'' of anyone who makes Dawn miserable. For instance, the whole reason why Lolita wanted to watch Dawn take a dump was simply because she could.
* HandsomeLech: Steve.
* HenpeckedHusband: Dawn's father comes across this way. When he tells her to listen to her mother and "make things easier on herself," it's as though he's speaking from experience.
* HumansAreBastards
* ImagineSpot: Used when Dawn goes to New York [[spoiler:after her sister is kidnapped. She imagines finding Missy and her life instantly improving.]]
* ImGoingToDisneyWorld: In the end, Dawn is on the school bus with a band choir traveling to Florida, though it's not said where it was going.
* ImpossiblyTackyClothes: Everything Dawn wears, but a lot of the other characters too.
* {{Jerkass}}: Most of the characters, to inhuman extremes.
* KidsAreCruel / TeensAreMonsters: Dawn's classmates. And, of course, Missy.
** Lolita. One wonders what the other kids see in her.
* KubrickStare: Lolita gives a particularly frightening one during her introductory scene.
* JuniorHigh
* {{Lolicon}}: The obese neighbor who kidnaps Missy and films her twirling in her tutu, but does nothing more. (Far from being traumatized, Missy was happy because she was allowed to gorge on junk food and watch whatever she liked on TV). He is said to have played Santa Claus for the neighborhood children, a possible shout-out to John Wayne Gacy.
* LonghairedPrettyBoy: Steve.
* LoserProtagonist: Again, Dawn.
* LoveHurts: Dawn and to a lesser extent, Brandon.
* LoveTriangle: Brandon likes Dawn. Dawn kind of likes him, but is completely infatuated with Steve.
* LovingBully: Brandon torments Dawn because he likes her.
* ManipulativeBitch: Missy.
* MeaningfulName: the AlphaBitch character's name is ''Literature/{{Lolita}}''.
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Dawn.
* Nerd: Mark, who is called the "king of nerds" by one character. His friends are pretty nerdy too.
* NietzscheWannabe: In the semi-sequel ''Palindromes'', [[spoiler: Mark has wholeheartedly embraced nihilism.]]
* NinetiesAntiHero
* NotSoDifferent: Dawn picks on Missy much as her bullies pick on her.
** Even worse is the way she turns on her only real friend, Ralphie.
* ParentalFavoritism: Dawn's parents, especially her mother, adore Missy and prefer her to the other two kids.
* PhotosLie: The film opens with a close up of a family portrait of the Wiener family in which everyone is beaming happily at the camera (poor Dawn especially).
* PrecociousCrush: Dawn was crushing hard on Steve, despite being much older than her.
* SadistTeacher: Dawn's teacher who gives her a detention for no good reason and makes her read out loud an essay to the class about grade-grubbing.
* ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful: Steve who is a self-absorbed, inconsiderate thief.
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler:Despite all her trials and tribulations, Dawns' situation has not improved by the end of the movie. She's just as miserable as she was before.]]
** [[spoiler:ShootTheShaggyDog]]: When you take the sequel into account. [[spoiler:Dawn's life did not improve once she finally grew up and got out of the hellish neighborhood. She gained weight, got pregnant, and committed suicide.]]
* ShrinkingViolet: Dawn again.
* TheSociopath: Lolita.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Steve.
* SpoiledBrat: Missy yet again.
* StepfordSuburbia
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler:Dawn herself]] in the movie's [[ThematicSeries loose sequel]] ''Palindromes''.
** Maybe now, they will leave you alone.
* TwoDecadesBehind: In the it's still TheEighties sense.
* TheUnFavorite: Dawn and, at least in relation to Missy, her brother Mark.
* ThisLoserIsYou: Poor, poor Dawn.
* UnfortunateImplications: In universe, Dawn and Ralphy's club "The Special People Club." Pointed out that it's a club "for retards."
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Missy didn't appear in the sequel.
* YoungestChildWins: Missy.
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