''Charlotte's Web'' is a classic children's novel written by E.B. White, known also for works such as ''Literature/StuartLittle'' and ''The Trumpet of the Swan'' and illustrated by Garth Williams. The work is focused on a young pig named Wilbur, who, being the runt of the litter, is about to be slaughtered. However, his "owners" daughter, Fern, manages to save him and she raises him to be a strong healthy pig. However this means that he is sent down to a different farm, where he is being grown to be slaughtered for food. Determined to help, his spider friend Charlotte launches a campaign to save him. Reading the words brought to her on scraps from the rat Templeton, she begins weaving a series of words and phrases into her web, including "Radiant," "Terrific" and "Some Pig." Word spreads of these miraculous messages, but will it be enough to save Wilbur?

The novel, first published in 1952, has gained widespread acclaim and fame. It earned a Newbery Honor award, the Laura Ingall Wilders Medal (in conjunction with ''Stuart Little'' and has sold more than 45 million copies).

The story was first adapted as a cartoon in 1973. It was released by by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Sagittarius Productions and featured music by TheShermanBrothers (''Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'', ''Film/MaryPoppins''). The film was reasonably well-reviewed by critics (74% fresh on RottenTomatoes), though endured some complaints regarding the quality of the animation and the music. [[CreatorBacklash Notably, E.B. White himself was disappointed by the film.]] This did not stop it from becoming a popular success, enjoying strong popularity on VHS and television.

There was a stage adaptation written in 1983 that was personally approved by E.B. White, which was later rewritten into a musical in 1989.

A follow-up to the cartoon, ''Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure'', was released in 2003, DirectToVideo, to celebrate the 30th anniversary.

In 2006, another adaptation was made, this time live-action. This one was Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, thanks in part to remaining largely faithful to the source material and also, in part, due to a moving score by DannyElfman. A video game based on this film was released for computer, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS and was reasonably well-reviewed, avoiding TheProblemWithLicensedGames.

Not to be confused with ''{{Babe}}'', which also features a pig in a prominent role and many of the same themes, but has no spider character.

!!Some tropes seen in either the books or the films include:

* BaitAndSwitch: The 2006 live action version has one for those not familiar with the story. After Fern says she absolutely will not let her dad kill the small piglet, the movie immediately cuts to bacon being fried; and then after ''that'' it cuts to Fern holding the small piglet and bottle-feeding it, so as to make clear that the bacon is from some ''other'' pig.
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Although Charlotte dies and most of her offspring leave the farm, three of her daughters remain. And (in the 2000s film) found a whole dynasty of barn spiders.]]
** Also, the ending of the 1973 film brings a host of new babies to the farm animals -- even [[spoiler:Templeton]].
* BalloonBelly: Templeton, seen in both the original novel's Garth Williams illustrations, and (to even greater excess) in the animated version.
* BigEater: Templeton, again! Man, oh, man!
** Especially since [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAUEOlSpVN4 a fair is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord-orgasbord]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:While Wilbur lives, Charlotte dies soon after the fair, yet her children live on.]]
* BrutalHonesty: A major theme of both the book and its adaptations, with Charlotte, who says she sees no point in withholding unpleasant information from a friend, representing an especially noble variety of it, and Templeton, who is rather overt about his selfish motives for what he does, representing a rather less-than-noble variety. In the animated adaptation, the sheep represents a sort of middle ground, telling Wilbur about what farms do to pigs, while the live action version gives that role to Templeton, bringing his brutal honesty even further.
-->'''Templeton:''' What? You're going to lie to the future football here? Okay, but it's a sad statement when ''I'm'' the most honest guy in the place.
* CarnivoreConfusion: Played with. Charlotte catches and eats insects as humanely as possible, and will defend her need to do this ó not just on a personal level, but an ecological one. However, [[spoiler:at the end of her life,]] she delivers the following quote:
-->'''Charlotte:''' A spider's life canít help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.
* DeathByNewberyMedal: Or Newbery Honor, anyway. [[spoiler:Charlotte.]]
* DeathSong: The second version of "Mother Earth and Father Time", from the 1973 animated film.
* DisappearedDad: Charlotte has [[spoiler:514 children]] and their father is neither mentioned nor seen. Given the courtship habits of barn spiders, this is probably for the best.
* DisneyAcidSequence: The scene where Templeton sneaks around the fairgrounds at night in the '73 film. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84qCK2yzyi8 This]] isn't actually too far off the mark from what actually happens.
* {{Disneyfication}}: This is what the original author felt the 1973 movie had subjected his story to.
* DownOnTheFarm
* DyingAlone: [[spoiler:Charlotte in the original novel]]
* FreudianSlip: Fern accidentally says "Wilbur" when the teacher asks her what the capital of Pennsylvania state is.
* AFriendInNeed: Charlotte's only real motivation for helping Wilbur: he's her friend and he's in danger, so she'll do everything she can to save him.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Most living things, anyway. Though in the animated version she is quick to point out that most other living things don't.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Children learn in the book that people will believe ''anything'' they see in print. A subtle satirical AuthorTract from Charlotte.
** In the animated film, the "I got lucky" facial expression Templeton has on his face when he and his mate and his offspring walk by. The satisfied chuckle he gives just ''screams'', "Behold, the evidence of my conquest!"
** In the book, when Charlotte talks about her ancestors, she always talks about females and never about males. Well, this is likely because spider females of many species tend to eat the male right after mating. [[spoiler:Now try rereading the ending with this in your head.]]
* MeaningfulName: Fern's surname is Arable, and she lives on a farm. The land on a farm (especially that used in growing crops) is called arable land.
** Charlotte's full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica. She is also a barn spider, and the scientific name for a barn spider is Araneus cavaticus. When her daughter learns that mother's middle initial was "A", she decides to name herself Aranea.
* MayflyDecemberFriendship: Wilbur ends up experiencing this with Charlotte, as she ends up passing away just as he's become a full-grown pig. In a sense, part of it is actually because of Wilbur: Charlotte's eating habits of catching live flies and drinking their blood bothers him immensely and begins requesting she set flies free, causing her to lose her main food source.
* MessyPig: Type 2--Sanitary Swine. Or as sanitary as he can be, considering [[NauseaFuel he sleeps on an enormous pile of manure]].
** Played with when Wilbur has to go to the fair. The sheep advises Wilbur to struggle with being put in a crate. Wilbur's objection that it'll make him messy (after he'd just had a buttermilk bath by Mrs. Zuckerman) is overruled by the sheep warning him if he ''doesn't'' struggle, they'll assume something is wrong with him and leave him behind.
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Woman]]: Mrs. Zuckerman is the only human to point out that a spiderweb with "SOME PIG" woven into it is more indicative that the ''spider'' is special, not the pig. [[CassandraTruth Her husband immediately dismisses the idea.]]
* ThePowerOfFriendship
* TheRuntAtTheEnd: Wilbur
* SayMyName: In the 1973 film version, [[spoiler:after Charlotte passes away]]:
-->'''Wilbur:''' Charlotte? ''Charlotte??'' '''CHARLOTTE!!!'''
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Charlotte (at least from Wilbur's perspective). Likely as not, her vocabulary introduced a lot of young readers to words like "languishing", "radiant", "versatile", and "salutations."
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Fern is able to understand what the animals are saying when they talk to each other, although she is not shown speaking to them.
* SpeechImpediment: The g-g-goose has a rather pronounced stutter-utter-utter.
* SpidersAreScary: Averted.
* ToughLove: In the book, Charlotte is much stricter on Wilbur than either of the movies, and isn't above snapping at him or scolding him -- or anyone else in the barnyard, for that matter.
** Even in the animated movie, she tricks Templeton into going near a cat simply because he did not feel like attending a meeting about Wilbur.
* UselessProtagonist: Wilbur.
** It could be argued, he's more of a DecoyProtagonist (along with Fern), if you prefer to think of Charlotte as the actual main character.
* VerbalTic: The geese tend to repeat their own words as they talk.
--> '''Gander:''' It's my idio-idio-idiosyncracy.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to the gosling that wanted to be a pig?
* WhatsInItForMe: It's a continued theme in at least the animated movie that Templeton repeatedly asks this question, and is repeatedly answered with ''very'' strong incentives. One has to wonder why Templeton hasn't learned to expect it.
** Only once is Templeton ''not'' threatened - and that's the final time with promises of miles of food at the fair.
* YouDirtyRat: Templeton is a dirty, [[BigEater gluttonous]], selfish {{Jerkass}}. However, he's a good guy.