[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/paranorman_9144.jpg]]

->''There's nothing wrong with being scared, Norman, so long as you don't let it change who you are.''
-->--'''Grandma Babcock'''

'''''[=ParaNorman=]''''' is a stop-motion animated comedy horror film from Laika Animation Studios, better known for their success with ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}''. It's directed by Chris Butler (the main storyboard artist on ''Coraline'') and Sam Fell (an {{Aardman|Animations}} alumni and director of ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway''), based off a script written by Butler, and was released in August 2012. Also, this movie [[Radar/ParaNorman milked its PG rating for all it was worth]].

The film follows the titular protagonist, Norman (voiced by [[Film/TheRoad Kodi]] [[LetTheRightOneIn Smit-McPhee]]), living in a small town in Massachusetts. With the "gift" of speaking to the dead, Norman is called an outcast by most of the town, most of which populated by [[AdultsAreUseless childish adults]] and a nasty population of kids. When the town comes under siege by [[ZombieApocalypse zombies,]] [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts]] and [[WickedWitch witches]], only he can actually save the town from these creatures, not to mention a three centuries-old curse on the town.

Now has a [[ShoutOut/ParaNorman shout out]] and a [[Characters/ParaNorman character page]].

----
!!This film provides examples of:
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Norman.
* AdultFear: Agatha, an innocent child, was [[spoiler: condemned to death as a witch by a fearful society. And it almost happens again, with Norman's parents protestations being drowned out by the yelling of the mob showing just how powerless they are to stop it.]]
* AdultsAreUseless: Most of the adults range from TooDumbToLive to entirely oblivious, when they aren't just plain AxCrazy.
* AloofBigSister: Courtney.
* AllGuysWantCheerleaders: Subverted. [[spoiler: Mitch is gay and has no idea Courtney has been trying to flirt with him.]]
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Courtney is infatuated by Mitch, who doesn't reciprocate [[spoiler: since [[StraightGay he's gay]] and [[ObliviousToLove had no idea she had been trying to flirt with him.]]]] However, Alvin likes Courtney, but she doesn't reciprocate since [[PrecociousCrush she's much older.]]
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Deconstructed. Norman tries to take the constant bullying with grace but often finds his heroics hampered by [[FatBestFriend almost]] every living person's low opinion of him. It doesn't help that [[spoiler:the witch (in fact, an 11 year old girl) ''died'' because of this]].
* AnAesop: Multiple: "don't let fear make you do bad things," "bullying of any kind is wrong," and most importantly, "revenge is wrong". Interestingly, it's not the protagonist who needs to learn the last one; instead, he teaches it to [[spoiler:the accused witch.]]
** A meta example would be [[spoiler:Mitch being the first openly gay character]] in a mainstream children's animated film (though this isn't revealed until the last few minutes of the film). The creators have gone on to state that this reveal is tied to the overall message of the film of not judging people.
* AndIMustScream: Pretty much the witch's curse the town is famous for. The seven Puritans are said to be damned to walk the earth as the undead. [[spoiler:They're all very aware of their punishment when the curse comes into full effect in the movie.]]
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Courtney sees Norman as this.
* AntiVillain: Both [[spoiler: "the witch" and the zombies]]. The former by being [[spoiler: just an angry little girl lashing out at every out of revenge]] and the latter for [[spoiler: killing Agatha because they were afraid and feeling genuinely remorseful for it]].
* AsideGlance: InUniverse. The actress in the cheesy zombie movie Norman watches screams at her attacker, stops to cast an annoyed look off-camera (presumably at the director), and then screams again.
* AssKicksYou: The police officer smacks the van that had all of the kids and one of the zombies inside with just her hips, and the truck gets forcibly knocked away.
* TheAtoner: The Judge (as well as the other zombies) know that the curse [[spoiler:is their fault because of what they did to Agatha, and they had only wanted to tell Norman how to stop it.]]
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: The rest of the Babcock family to Norman, especially his father, who is kind of a jerk to Norman during most of it.
* BadassPacifist: Norman takes a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown that pushes the bounds of the movie's PG rating and [[spoiler:never once stops trying to reason with the witch's ghost]].
* BareYourMidriff: Courtney.
* BigBad: The witch's ghost... [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope or so it seems at first]]]].
* BiggerBad: Judge Hopkins in his past life, [[spoiler: he sentenced a little girl who history says is the witch to death, thus starting this whole mess. Kind of {{Averted}} by his HeelRealization in his now Zombified state.]]
* BigEater: Neil.
* BigOlEyebrows: Norman and Mr. Prenderghast. [[spoiler:As well as Aggie. It's a ''family trait'', which apparently goes with the speaking to the dead ability.]]
* BigOlUnibrow: [[http://paranormanworld.tumblr.com/image/30049513281 Salma]]
* BigBrotherInstinct: Mitch to Neil. Courtney towards Norman, eventually.
%% * BlackComedy
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends with Norman watching a horror movie with his grandmother. Not counting screams and zombie grunts, both the first and last lines are "So... what's happening now?"
* BookDumb:
** Neil.
** Mitch doesn't seem to do much better.
** Alvin couldn't even ''spell his '''own''' name''.
* BornInTheTheater: The movie begins with a "feature presentation" sequence that apes '70s-era sequences of the kind.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Neil gives [[TooMuchInformation one too many reasons]] for why the other kids pick on him.
-->'''Neil:''' Itís just because Iím fat and my allergies make my eyes leak and I sweat when I walk too fast and my lunchbox has a kitten on it. Ooh! And I have irritable bowel syndrome.
* BrickJoke: The cheesy zombie flick Norman watches in the opening cuts away just as the girl is attacked by the zombie. At the BookEnds ending, the now zombified girl is briefly seen munching on a severed limb.
* BringMyBrownPants: When Alvin first tries to run away from the zombies, he exclaims "I think I peed my pants!"
* TheBully: Alvin.
* CamelCase: ParaNorman.
* CasanovaWannabe: Alvin is frequently seen trying to woo girls while never coming close to impressing them. He's aware of it, too.
* CassandraTruth: Norman has apparently told a lot of people about his ability, and they all think he's either insane or lying for attention, but worthy of ridicule either way. Makes it really difficult to get support when the dead actually rise.
** [[ShoutOut In keeping with]] [[TropeNamer this trope]], Norman even has a [[ClassicalMythology prophetic]] [[TheCassandra vision]] in public... that earns him even more ire from his father and more taunting from his schoolmates.
%% * CastOfSnowflakes
* CelestialDeadline: Norman was supposed to read from the book at the witch's grave before sunset.
* TheCheerleader: Courtney is the 'bitchy' version (with shades of the 'stupid' version) but she turns out to be not so bad in the end.
* ChekhovsGun: Norman's grandmother at the beginning says (in regards to the zombie movie he was watching) that it would be better if they just sat down and talked to each other.
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: The school drama teacher.
* CollectiveGroan: The reaction of the group after the library at Neil's elation that he finished a whole book in one night. A book twenty-seven pages long.
** Even better, they were looking for records on the accused witch, and Neil had picked an old asbestos installation manual.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: When Mitch accidentally runs over a zombie, the head comes to life and growls at him. He freaks out and kicks it. When he gets back in the car, Courtney and the others are freaking out over a man apparently coming back to life, Mitch is more impressed by [[LovableJock how far he kicked the zombie's head.]]
** And earlier, Norman tries to give Neil the brush-off by saying he prefers to be alone. Neil's response?
-->'''Neil:''' So do I! Let's do it together.
* CoolLoser: Norman happens to be able to speak to the dead, but is considered an outsider in the community. However, this is somewhat justified when you really consider from everyone else's perspective how this is a kid who is going around claiming he speaks with dead people.
* CoolOldLady: Norman's dead grandmother.
* CosmeticHorror: The school drama teacher. Mrs. Henscher's daytime makeup is awful, but her puke green facial mask was bad enough that only her talking saved her from being mistaken for a zombie.
* CrapsackWorld: The town is a rundown little suburb, the locals have a low tolerance for any behavior that lies outside the norm, and it of course has a [[TownWithADarkSecret dark secret]].
* CreepyChild: Norman is considered this by some, but [[spoiler:Aggy is more a terribly wronged one]].
** We see early on how it looks to everyone else; he ducks around empty air, constantly talks to empty space, and even stops at roadkill to pet it. As it's not until shortly thereafter we get to see through his eyes, it's pretty clear he comes across as a CloudCuckooLander at best.
** There's also the nameless kid in the mob that ''sets her teddy-bear on fire and chucks it through a broken window''. She also carries around a zombie's arm for a short portion of the movie before giving it back.
* CrustyCaretaker: [[AllThereInTheManual According to the novelization]], Mr. Prenderghast is the caretaker to the Blithe Hollow Cemetery.
* CuteGhostGirl: [[spoiler:Agatha]], once Norman calms her down.
* DarkerAndEdgier: It's even ''darker'' than Coraline - this is saying something. It also only got a PG rating - probably one of the darkest PG rated movies out there.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The ghosts all over town are a pretty friendly bunch overall. [[spoiler:Likewise, the zombies were never malicious, they just wanted to atone for their sin of killing the "witch", Agatha, who in turn was simply angry over the wrongs that were committed against her.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: In the Babcock family, Norman, Courtney, and Grandma.
* DistaffCounterpart: Aggie to Norman.
* DumbBlonde: Courtney, though her hair may be dyed.
* DumbJock: Mitch.
* DumbMuscle: Mitch and Alvin are pretty strong given their ages, and not too bright.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Norman has to fight a supernatural menace to protect a town that largely scorns him, only to find a growing number of the townspeople [[spoiler:realize that his ability is to speak to the dead is real and they are ready to help him in the crisis, until by the end, he is hailed as a fearless hero with an extraordinary ability.]]
* EnfantTerrible: A extra animated as a little girl tears off a zombies arm and later on lights her teddy bear on fire in order to set the town hall alight.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: The first creature to invade the town.
* EvilIsPetty: The witch cursed the entire town to be attacked by the zombies of the people who tried her. [[spoiler:{{Averted|Trope}} in the end. Aggy wasn't cursing the town to be attacked by zombies, she was cursing the zombies to go through the same thing she went through.]]
* ExoticEyeDesigns: Norman's irises and pupils are faceted.
** It seems to be a trait for those in the family who can see ghosts, as both Mr. Prenderghast and [[spoiler:Aggie]] have faceted eyes as well.
* EyeScream: Alvin gets poked in the eye repeatedly by a zombie arm.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[spoiler: Agatha's]] death. [[spoiler: The thought of an innocent 11-year-old girl being sentenced to hanging is very unsettling.]] Not to mention how it's suggested that the [[spoiler: zombies chasing Norman the whole film were killed by Aggie's "witch powers" after sentencing her to death.]]
* FatBestFriend: Neil.
* FavouritismFlipFlop: At the end of the film, Alvin explains to a couple of girls that he and Norman have been real close for years now. Seeing how Alvin was Norman's bully, that statement is [[MetaphoricallyTrue technically true]].
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero - Norman
** TheLancer - Neil
** TheBigGuy - Mitch
** TheSmartGuy - Salma, who, in one scene provides needed necessary information.
** TheChick - Courtney
** TheSixthRanger - Alvin
* ForcedMeme: In-universe: "That's *so* Alvin!"
* {{Forgiveness}}: One of the main themes of the film.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The practice for the school play, [[spoiler:especially the line about the portrayal of the witch not being historically accurate.]]
** During the opening B-Movie, Norman's Grandma suggests that [[spoiler:instead of running, the girl in the film could try to reason with the zombie.]]
** Early in the film, Neil tells Norman that he'd be a bully too if he was strong and stupid like Alvin. [[spoiler:When Norman confronts Agatha, one of the thing he tells her is that using her power to terrorize the townfolk just makes her a bully.]]
** After the play, Sandra tells Norman "Sometimes we do/say things because we are scared." [[spoiler:This line is said later by Norman.]]
** In a meta example, [[spoiler:TV spots aired around the Olympics show the zombies getting along well with Norman.]]
* FreakyIsCool: Pretty much the reason why Neil befriends Norman.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: The witch's ghost used to be [[spoiler:a sweet little girl whose only power was the ability to see ghosts]]. Her [[ShockAndAwe other]] [[AnimateDead more terrifying]] [[MindOverMatter powers]] only emerged after [[spoiler:the townsfolk sentenced her to death by hanging]].
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: A couple on a date are cooing at each other over wine, while out the window Mitch's car tumbles and bounces down the hill.
* TheFutureIsShocking: The Puritan zombies are awakened in the modern day, and are shocked to see such things as a bar, sexy advertisements, and a TV window display broadcasting endless scenes of war, violence, and scantily-clad pop stars.
* GenreSavvy: The bar owner. When she realizes the man asking for help is not drunk or crazy and that there really ''are'' zombies, she shouts, "KILL 'EM IN THE HEAD!"
* GenreDeconstruction: Oh boy a lot. Zombies come back from the dead to wreak havoc on a sleepy town thanks to a witch's curse.[[spoiler: Except the witch was an innocent little girl, the zombies are completely harmless and rather pathetic compared to anything in Norman's horror movies, and the town uses the little girl's trial and hanging to pull in the tourists and sell cheesy merchandise.]]
* GenreThrowback: Particularly towards vintage zombie movies during the opening scene with the "feature presentation" card and {{Narm}}-y acting of the lead actress of said ShowWithinAShow.
** It's also a throwback to PG-rated films that could get away with racier content before the invention of the PG-13 rating. Yes, the ''rating'' is a throwback!
* GetBackInTheCloset: In some foreign language versions, [[spoiler: Mitch]] instead says he has a girlfriend.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: [[Radar/ParaNorman Has its own page.]]
* GivingThemTheStrip: The Judge zombie manages to grab Norman, who sheds his jacket and runs away. The zombie can be seen staring at it in confusion for a second before tossing it aside.
* GypsyCurse: What [[spoiler:Aggy]] inflicts on the town for [[spoiler:her unjust condemnation.]]
* HartmanHips:
** Courtney and her mom.
** Taken to extremes with the aerobics instructor [[CovertPervert Neil]] likes to freeze-frame on.
** The actress in the horror flick has a rather ample rear.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler: Aggie]] was so intent on punishing those who wronged her that she became the just as angry and spiteful as them.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Norman is not exactly Mr. Popular in town, for reasons mentioned above in CoolLoser.
* HeroicBSOD: Norman has a psychotic break when he learns that the witch [[spoiler:was eleven years old when she died]] and the witchcraft she was accused of was [[spoiler:the ability to talk to ghosts]].
* HollywoodHistory: In-Universe example; the school play about the witch's curse is admitted to be historically inaccurate. [[spoiler:The play's witch is a stereotypical hideous crone, while the real witch was a scared little girl persecuted and killed for something she didn't understand.]]
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: In this movie, it's [[spoiler: the humans who are the aggressive attackers and the ghosts and zombies who just want to help. Not to mention that the puritan zombies were actually much worse people when they ''were'' still human. At the same time, a big theme of the movie is that people often do bad things because they're afraid, not because they're inherently cruel. When they realize there's nothing to be afraid of, they're much kinder.]]
* IfYouCanReadThis: The background text in the movie is absolutely ''rife'' with jokes, puns, and unusual bits of humor, such that it's almost impossible to catch all of it in one viewing. Things like Salma's "My First Fusion Reactor" book and "The hands of fate" board game for instance...
* InkSuitActor: Doesn't [[http://media.coveringmedia.com/media/images/movies/2012/08/12/para_03ca.jpg Neil]] kinda looks like [[http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Tucker+Albrizzi+Premiere+DreamWorks+Animation+xWeAi-4odIKl.jpg Tucker Albrizzi]], his voice actor?
* IncompatibleOrientation: Courtney and [[spoiler:Mitch, due to the last-minute story reveal of Mitch being gay.]]
* ImprobableHairStyle: Norman's hair is always sticking straight up. Even if he combs it or it gets all mussed up, it'll always pop back to its original stance.
* InsufferableGenius: Salma. Lampshaded by Norman when he calls her asking for advice.
* InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn: Norman must face [[spoiler: Agatha alone.]]
* InvisibleParents: We know Neil and Mitch must ''have'' them, if only because of "Mom's exercise [=DVDs=]", but they're never seen.
* IronicEcho: Sanda tells Norman the reason Perry is always angry is because he's afraid for Norman. He initially believed his dad is afraid ''of'' him [[spoiler:, which was the same reason Judge Hopkins and the other zombies felt about Aggie.]]
* {{Irony}}: "Spelling Bee next Wensday"
* ISeeDeadPeople: And it's a whole lot more prosaic to him than to the TropeNamer.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Courtney is a typical self-centered teenager, but she's not a bad person and she's the first one to convince the town to give her little brother a break.
* KidHero: Norman. He's 11 years old and is the only one in town who can undo the curse, since his uncle (who also can talk to the dead) died.
* LargeHam:
** The drama teacher not only chews the scenery with every line she says, but she insists that her student actors do the same thing.
** Old Man Prenderghast, as well.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Both Norman and Neil have very noticeable ones, Norman's being a clarinet with acoustic guitar in the background, and Neil's being a simple keyboard riff with a xylophone and what seems to be bongos in the background.
** Mr. Prenderghast has one as well; a simple strings tune.
** Even [[spoiler: Agatha]] gets one, sounding like a modern take on the soundtrack of a zombie chase scene from the '80s. It plays during fights with her, the most epic being her last fight with Norman, which has some violin mixed in.
* LonersAreFreaks: Justified with Norman, since the whole town, including his father, tend to scorn him for being able to talk to the dead since no one believes it. It's more of a defense mechanism.
* LovableJock: Mitch is not particularly bright, but he's not mean to anybody.
%% * LovecraftCountry[=/=]{{Uberwald}}
* MeaningfulName:
** Prenderghast literally means "ghost catcher" or "ghost holder".
** Norman means "northerner" or "north-man". Even before the Norman conquest in the year 1066, it was used to describe outsiders or people who didn't belong or were not natives.
** Sandra (the name of Norman's mother) means "defender".
** Blithe means to show a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper. Considering the town's portrayal of the legend, it's appropriate. (Also recalls Noel Coward's ghost story, ''Theatre/BlitheSpirit''.)
** Agatha means "good". Too bad [[spoiler:the other townspeople of her time didn't take that to heart]].
* TheMentor: Norman's wise (but dead) grandmother.
* TheMerch: The legend of the witch's curse has 'inspired' several witch-themed businesses, including a casino and a stand selling 'Witch Weinies'.
* MissingTrailerScene: In the finished film, the aerobics instructor's buttocks aren't as... detailed as they were in the trailer.
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: Norman [[spoiler:and Aggie]].
* MrFanservice: Mitch, who even gets a ShirtlessScene, and ''constantly'' gets Courtney DistractedByTheSexy.
* MsFanservice: Courtney, which may be incidentally why she's something of an EnsembleDarkhorse. The HartmanHips certainly don't hurt.
* MotionBlur: They actually[[http://animationsmears.tumblr.com/post/27987323392/paranorman-is-using-sculpted-smears-i-admit-it ''sculpted'' smear frames]].
* MundaneSolution: Alvin's lock-picking method; he just smashes the window, reaches through it and opens the door that way. And he's proud of this, too!
* [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone My God, What Have We Done?]]: Judge Hopkins and the other zombies after [[spoiler: killing Agatha and being cursed]].
* NeverMyFault: One of the townspeople can be heard saying after the curse is broken to a reporter, "It wasn't my idea, they forced me into it!"
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: [[spoiler:Aggie is just a justifiably angry child throwing the mother of all tantrums. The zombies are just trying to relieve the curse they brought upon themselves through fear and hysteria. Even the angry mob of humans turns out to be not beyond reason]].
* NotUsingTheZWord: Subverted. Courtney uses it but Norman tells her not to use "the z-word."
* {{Novelization}}: Goes the extra mile from the typical tie-in novel for children and takes the form of a hardcover (with the cover underneath the jacket based on the Prenderghast book featured within the film). It also serves as [[AllThereInTheManual the manual]] with some extra details on the characters, such as how Grandma's death affected Norman, the strange circumstances of his birth, the witch trials in Blithe Hollow and other material. Not to mention the character Salma is somewhat of an {{Ascended Extra}} in the book, having some more lines and such.
* NowWhat: "So what's happening now?" Also counts as LeaningOnTheFourthWall and a MeaningfulEcho.
* OddFriendship:
** With the ghosts, one of whom is a [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} town loon]] voiced by John Goodman.
** Neil and Salma are implied to be, at least before the former takes interest in Norman.
* OneOfTheKids: Mitch.
* OnlySaneMan: Norman's grandmother.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: [[spoiler: Agatha Prenderghast]] has very [[ShockAndAwe interesting]] powers. However, she's the only one - all the other ghosts are talkative at best.
** [[spoiler: Uncle Prenderghast]] also destroyed a bathroom. Considering [[spoiler:their abilities in life]], perhaps [[spoiler:the ghosts of mediums]] have stronger abilities.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: [[spoiler:The Judge and the other zombies are actually a kind of RevenantZombie. They have intelligence, and they aren't hungry for brains, but like any Revenant, they ''are'' driven by a single, burning purpose. In their case, they mean the town no harm at all; they only want to break Agatha's cycle so they may finally rest in peace.]]
* PlayingATree: Neil's part in a school play.
* PoorMansPorn: Neil enjoys looking at his mother's aerobics instruction tape.
* PoorMansSubstitute: InUniverse. WordOfGod likened the town to a b-list version of Salem, Massachusetts.
* PopularIsDumb: Courtney is a [[TheCheerleader cheerleader]] and Mitch is a [[DumbJock jock]]
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: In a decidedly mundane manner; [[spoiler:Agatha's execution is the core of the city's identity and tourism industry. That she's unable to move on, stuck as an angry, hateful ghost, is incidental.]]
* PrecisionFStrike:
-->'''Mitch''': Can I help you?
-->'''Courtney''': Hell yeah!
* PrecociousCrush: Alvin for Courtney, who is not exactly impressed.
* TheReveal: The witch is [[spoiler:just a scared and angry little girl, and the spell book really isn't anything but a bedtime story. Oh and Mitch is gay.]]
* SassyBlackWoman: Sheriff Hooper (the motorcycle cop.)
* SceneryPorn: Well, it is made by the company that made ''Coraline'', but this one seems to take it UpToEleven in a multitude of ways.
* ScreamingWoman: The girl in the horror flick Norman watches. She doesn't even have any lines, all she does is shriek in terror.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl:
** Alvin when he opens the front door of Mr. Prenderghast's place only to see a zombie.
** One of the zombies when they see what became of Blithe Hollow.
* SealedEvilInACan: Norman realizes what his uncle wanted him to do to suppress the menace annually is not enough and seeks a permanent solution.
* ShamingTheMob: Courtney does this to [[spoiler:defend Norman and the Zombies from the angry mob]].
* ShockAndAwe: [[spoiler:Agatha's]] extra supernatural abilities.
* ShoutOut: See the [[ShoutOut/ParaNorman page]].
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar "Cry 'Havoc', and let slip the dogs of war!"]]
* SinsOfOurFathers:
** Justified with [[spoiler:Aggie]], considering the memory of her has continued into the present day as a complete insulting caricature.
** And the fact that the modern townsfolk let blind fear drive their actions, much like [[spoiler: her executioners did]].
* SkewedPriorities: The man who's torn between waiting to get his chips from the vending machine and running in fear from the undead. He eventually ''does'' run off [[spoiler: only to run BACK, while screaming, to retrieve the chips]].
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: ThePowerOfFriendship versus ''three hundred years'' of festering hatred and anger over an unjust death. [[spoiler:RousseauWasRight.]]
* SleepCute: [[spoiler:Aggie]] falls asleep on Norman's shoulder [[spoiler:and fades away, moving on.]]
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Salma.
* [[SmashToBlack Smash to White]]: [[spoiler:Right when Norman grabs Agatha's hand,]] the scene immediately cuts to a silent white screen. Especially jarring since the scene prior was quite noisy.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Fans have likened the art style and the feel of the film overall to VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}. Appropriate, as the art style of the game was inspired by stop-motion animation.
* StealthInsult:
** Norman manages to snarkily deliver one to Alvin.
-->'''Alvin:''' They're going to eat our brains!\\
'''Norman:''' I think you'll be safe.
** Takes Alvin couple second to realize what Norman meant, but doesn't react to it due to the zombies appearing.
* TheStinger:
** After the credits, a stop-motion video of how Norman's figure was made is shown. He then gets up and walks off screen.
** Which is made rather impressive when you consider that the entire 10 second sequence had to have taken over two weeks of taking a picture, nudging a part, taking a picture, nudging a part, taking a picture, nudging a part...
* StraightGay: Turns out [[spoiler:Mitch]] is gay.
* StrongFamilyResemblance:
** Norman Babcock and [[spoiler:the witch, Agatha Prenderghast, who's a distant relative on his mother's side.]]
** One of [[spoiler: Agatha's accusers looks an awful lot like an older Alvin]].
** [[http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/c156.0.403.403/p403x403/376596_404780266249754_1317910665_n.jpg Sandra]] looks like an older version of [[http://static.tvguide.com/MediaBin/Galleries/Movies/M_R/Pa_Ph/ParaNorman/1/paranorman-06.jpg Courtney]]
* StylisticSuck: The zombie movie Norman watches in the beginning. The props are obviously rubber, the acting is unnatural, the girl has to shove the boom mic out of frame...
* TakeThat: "What are you thinking; firing at civilians?! That's for the police to do!"
* TalkingToTheDead: Mr. Prenderghast and Norman have this ability. It apparently runs in the family. [[spoiler:Way back in the family.]]
* ThenLetMeBeEvil: We see the kind of crap Norman gets put through as a result of his gift. Ultimately, [[spoiler:we discover that Agatha Prendergast--the legendary "witch" of Blithe Hollow--was exactly the same: an innocent child who could see the dead, only becoming the monster that the townsfolk feared after they sentenced her to death.]]
* TorchesAndPitchforks: The mob at the Town Hall. Parodied when they drop all their weapons - including a bowling ball.
* TownWithADarkSecret: Centuries ago, the citizenry of the town condemned and executed [[spoiler:a young innocent girl for being a witch. Since then, consciously or not, the town has distorted her memory into a hideous caricature, which makes Agatha more angry with each passing year...]]
* VillainousBreakdown: ''"I don't like this story!"''
* TheVoiceless: All the zombies, [[spoiler:except for the Judge, who can be understood by Norman.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Norman, with his dad literally saying "well done son." near the end of the movie.
* WhamLine:
** One of Norman's magic-induced flashbacks makes [[spoiler:a ''girlish sob'' into a WhamLine of epic proportions.]]
** Followed by the witch's crime: [[spoiler: "You were speaking to the dead!"]]
** Also this bit.
--> '''Mitch''': You're gonna love [[spoiler: my boyfriend. He's like a total chick-flick nut!]]
* WhatAnIdiot: Invoked in-universe, with the actress in the horror flick Norman is watching in the beginning. A zombie comes towards her and she just stands there screaming. (Her annoyed glance at the camera hints she's not exactly thrilled with this.)
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: '''Subverted''', see "GivingThemTheStrip above.
* WhenTreesAttack:
** Sort of, anyway. [[spoiler:During a vision Norman has while in the school play, a tree grabs him and warns him that the "dead are coming."]]
** Played straight before the final confrontation. [[spoiler:Agatha uses trees to trap and separate Norman's family, then attempts to use spiked roots to impale Norman.]]
* WhiteAndGreyMorality: The Judge and [[spoiler:Aggie]] are just scared and angry. The Judge by the end is just sorry.
* WideEyesAndShrunkenIrises: realistically done and a really nice touch to TheReveal. When Norman gets a vision of the Blithe Hollow witch trial, he doesn't see the accused, until he hears someone crying from behind him. [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/aae5a8e4e6905839705f4fc7936e5bec/tumblr_mi4kbtVSnl1qhdexto2_500.gif His eyes narrow in shock]] and he turns around to see [[spoiler: Agatha, the "witch" of Blithe Hollow, is a girl his age]].
* WitchHunt: The trope that causes all the trouble in the first place.
* WitchSpecies: Hinted at with certain descendants of Prenderghast blood.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The "witch" is [[spoiler:an (extremely psychically powerful) little girl who lost it when she was accused and executed.]]
* WouldHurtAChild: The Judge's sentencing of [[spoiler:a young girl to be ''hanged'' for talking to the dead.]]
** Then the rest of the town tries to kill Norman when he's protecting the [[spoiler: zombies.]] [[FridgeHorror Things would have gotten ugly if his sister had not stepped in.]]
* XMeetsY: A [[SarcasmMode delightful]] blend of ''Film/TheSixthSense'', ''Theatre/TheCrucible'' and ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead'' through a ''{{Film/Coraline}}''-shaped filter.
* YouAreNotAlone: Norman's "weapon" against [[spoiler: Agatha, being the first person in centuries to really understand her.]]
* YourBrainWontBeMuchOfAMeal: See StealthInsult above.
* YouthfulFreckles: Neil. Mitch has some too.
* ZombieAdvocate: Norman, when he realize the zombies [[spoiler:have intelligence and are afraid too. His sister, Neil, Mitch and Alvin back him up on this.]]
* ZombieApocalypse:
** Subverted in that the appearance of the zombies does freak the townspeople out, but they then quickly gather weapons and attack them and the zombies are instantly overwhelmed because they are not strong, numerous, or infectious.
** [[spoiler: Wonderfully subverted even further in the courthouse scene. The zombies and kids are inside as questing arms burst through the walls and windows, much like in any Romero movie. That's right, LIVING people are breaking down the walls in an attempt to attack the undead.]]
----