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As a Whole
The Addams Family is the titular family of the show which is a weird but loving bunch of people who are unaware that others find them scary or bizarre.
- Ambiguously Human: For starters, there is the fact that their definition of "playtime" involves methods that would more than likely injure or kill most people.
- Badass Family: Comes with being able to survive things that would kill most people and being willing to give mean people their just deserts.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Bordering on Blue and Orange Morality. They are often depicted as being completely unaware that other people find them strange or scary.
- Creepy Good: They're not bad people at all, but they still have rather creepy and disturbing habits and pastimes.
- Dark is Not Evil: Yes!
- Horrible Judge of Character: The Addams considering the Normanmeyers good family friends despite (or probably because of) the Normanmeyer's actions.
- Idle Rich: They're a very wealthy family, but Gomez and Morticia are usually depicted as being unemployed due to not needing to work.
- Large Ham: To the point of being a House of Hams.
- Thicker Than Water: Whatever else can be said about the Addams family, they stick together.
- The Ace: In the 90s cartoon to the point he literally can't fail if he tried (in fact, there's an episode where he spends the episode trying, and failing, to fail).
- Adaptational Attractiveness: His television and film counterparts are portrayed as dashing and good-looking in contrast to his New Yorker counterpart's more grotesque appearance.
- All-Loving Hero: Despite his gothic appearance and quirky behavior, he is a very accepting and friendly guy. He doesn't even let the weird (in his opinion) habits of his neighbors stop him. In fact, the only way to upset him is to flirt with his wife.
- Amnesia Episode: He got amnesia in the aptly named episode "Amnesia in the Addams Family".
- Badass Baritone: In the live-action films. Being played by Raul Julia and Tim Curry will do that.
- Badass Mustache: A skilled fencer and always with facial hair.
- Catch Phrase: "Tish! That's French!"
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He doesn't take kindly to any other man who expresses a romantic interest in his wife.
- Good Parents: Along with Morticia. Unlike most sitcoms, he, the father, actually has just as much of a role in raising his children as his wife does.
- Happily Married: Gomez and Morticia are possibly the most adoring and passionate married couple you'll ever see in fiction.
- Large Ham: Especially in the live-action movies.
- Papa Wolf: He cares about his children enough that he'll harm anyone who dares to endanger them.
- Perky Goth: He's the most energetic and emotional of the Addams'.
- Pig Man: He has a slightly porcine appearance in the New Yorker comics and the animated cartoons.
- Uncle Pennybags: It was quite common that he'd offer to lend someone money, then give them more than they actually needed, by several orders of magnitude.
- Royal Rapier: Has quite the passion for swordsmanship.
- Springtime for Hitler: "The Day Gomez Failed" focuses on him trying to fail at something for the first time. Morticia announces that he did that by failing at failing.
- Affectionate Nickname: Her husband will shorten her name down to "Tish" whenever she says something in French.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She has long hair as black as the night and skin pale as a ghost. However, she is a very nice person—she just has some unusual hobbies and a slightly odd outlook on life (to put it mildly).
- Face Framed in Shadow: Downplayed, the live-action movies gave her a band of light from eyebrow to cheekbone in every scene. Even in well lit environments.
- Good Parents: Along with Gomez.
- Goth: Morticia was swinging this look way before it was cool. And since she got in early, she managed to snag the perfect goth name.
- Gratuitous French: Peppers her speech with various French words and phrases, much to her husband's delight.
- Happily Married: Morticia and Gomez are one of the most iconic examples! Every time they're together, it's made clear just how much they absolutely love each other.
- Mama Bear: Is very taken aback when someone messes with Pugsley or Wednesday.
- Parental Bonus: In the movies, most of her lines are laced with romance and double entendres.
- Phrase Catcher: See Gomez' catchphrase. She'll respond with "mon cher".
- Rapunzel Hair: Her black hair is very long and straight.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Especially in the films.
- Catch Phrase: In the 60's series, his was a guttural "You rang?" whenever called. This was actually a Throw It In by the actor which the producers loved.
- Dumb Muscle: In some incarnations, Lurch is not very bright. One episode of the 1960's show even had Wednesday mention that Lurch doesn't know how to count.
- Frankenstein's Monster: He has the appearance of one, to say the least, but some continuities make jokes implying that he is made from dead body parts, was brought to life in a lab, and/or was created by a mad scientist.
- Gentle Giant: While physically intimidating, Lurch is a very nice guy.
- Only Sane Man: Sometimes he's depicted as being weary of the family's eccentric ways, however, more often than not, he shares them. Other times, he's just plain old hard to read.
- The Stoic: Lurch is very much a stoic tower.
- Undying Loyalty: In the first film, despite the Addams losing their fortune and living in poverty, he sticks with them regardless even though he doesn't have to.
- The Voiceless: In the original New Yorker comics and in the live-action movies. In other continuities, he is rather talkative...somewhat. He mostly talks in a low moan.
- Adaptational Villainy: In The New Addams Family. Her tendencies to physically harm Pugsley are exaggerated and she always has to intimidate and frighten everyone who comes by her family's house.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the original cartoons, prone to a Slasher Smile. In the movies, she's The Comically Serious.
- Age Lift: In the original 1960's show, she was younger than her brother Pugsley. Most other adaptations make her older than Pugsley (or making them at least very close in age to each other).
- Berserk Button: In the 90's animated series, grabbing her by the braids. Gomez and Morticia refer to the last person to do it in the past tense, and Pugsley even flat-out tells the perpetrator (a robber) You Do Not Want To Know what she'll do.
- Big Little Sister: She is younger than her brother Pugsley in the 90's cartoon despite being taller and more intelligent.
- Big Sister Bully: In The New Addams Family, she just adores to outright torture her brother Pugsley. However, Pugsley, being an Addams, often enjoys it.
- Creepy Child: Almost goes without saying.
- Daddy's Girl: Had shades of this in the 1960s show.
- Deadpan Snarker: Famously.(during lifeguard practice at summer camp)
Amanda: I'll be the victim!
Wednesday: All your life.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Especially as played by Christina Ricci.
- Enfant Terrible: In the movies and The New Addams Family, she can come off as being downright cold.
- This is not in keeping with her TV or original cartoon personality, but is a dead ringer for her portrayal in Jack Sharkey's 1965 book adaptation, where she's described as staring right through you — literally. As if she were examining your viscera.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Although she tries to kill her baby brother, she makes it very clear that she doesn't like hearing Debbie call him a brat.
- Girlish Pigtails: Never without her pigtails.
- Kuudere: She's cold and expressionless unlike the rest of her family. However, she expresses interest in Joel and does indeed care about her family, including her brothers and her uncle.
- Large Ham: Except in the films, where she's a Deadpan Snarker.
- She Is All Grown Up: In the 2010 musical. The main plot was about her turning 18 and falling in love with a normal man.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In the second movie, when pushed to the breaking point, she scalps her persecutors.
- The Un-Smile: Again, in the second movie, this is a warning sign.
- When She Smiles: There are moments where her smile appears genuine, it just doesn't help much that she seems to show it mostly for sadistic and twisted reasons.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Inverted. He went from being a boy genius in the 1960's show to being a child of average intelligence in the movies to being The Ditz in the 90's animated series.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: He was blond in the original New Yorker comics, had dark hair in the 1960's show, was made blond again in the 1970's cartoon, had brown hair in the live-action films, was blond once more in the 90's cartoon, and had brown hair once more in The New Addams Family.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the original cartoons, usually scowling; by the time of the films, usually smiling.
- A Boy and His X: He has a pet octopus named Aristotle.
- Butt Monkey: In the 90's cartoon and especially in The New Addams Family.
- Child Prodigy: In the original 1960's television show.
- The Dog Bites Back: While Pugsley had to put up with Wednesday torturing him most of the time in The New Addams Family, he eventually had his revenge by trapping Wednesday and her identical cousin Monday Jones inside a trunk in the episode "Keeping Up with the Joneses".
Uncle Fester Addams
- Bald of Awesome: He's completely bald and often comes up with amazing inventions.
- Big Fun: He's fun-loving and overweight.
- Diet Episode: "Fester Goes on a Diet" focuses on him dieting to try and get thinner and, for some reason, taller.
- Extreme Omnivore: He's eaten newts, cacti, soap, thermometers and tongue depressors.
- Fat Bastard: Averted. He is overweight but is actually a very nice and friendly person despite sharing the questionable interests and hobbies of the other Addamses. Though he was like this as an amnesiac in the movie before his memory returned.
- Fat Comic Relief: A funny guy and rather big as mentioned above.
- Height Angst: In addition to wanting to be thinner in "Fester Goes on a Diet", he wanted to be taller.
- Large Ham: In more or less every adaptation save the 1991 film. Patrick Thomas, his actor in Addams Family Reunion, takes this Up to Eleven.
- Looks Like Orlock: Bald head, hunched shoulders, dark sunken in eyes, he's got most of the package.
- Made of Iron: Able to eat seemingly anything, withstand great amounts of electricity, and walk across hot coals barefoot, all with no ill effects on him.
- Mad Scientist: Chemist and very fond of inventing all kinds of fire works.
- Playing Sick: In "Cat Addams", he, along with Itt and Thing, pretends to be sick so he can pretend to be cured by the vet, in order to make the vet feel brave enough to treat Kitty Cat. He hams up being sick too much, so Morticia snaps him out of it by saying, "He doesn't need a doctor, what he needs is an undertaker", which made him sit up abruptly and say "I'm not dead yet!".
- Retcon: Throughout the franchise, Fester's relation to the family varied. While it wasn't made clear in the original New Yorker strips by Charles Addams how he was related to the family, he was made Morticia's uncle in the 1960's television show. After that, he was made Gomez's brother in the 70's animated series, then back to Morticia's uncle in the 1977 special Halloween with the Addams Family, and was permanently made Gomez's brother again in the live-action movies, the 90's animated series, and The New Addams Family.
- Sick Episode: He appears sick in "Uncle Fester's Illness" due to not being able to hold a charge. He got better when he ate a thermometer.
- Too Kinky to Torture: A key plot point in Addams Family Values. Gold Digger Debbie's attempts to bump off Fester, but only seems to give him pleasure.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cacti in the 1960's show. A rather notable case in that the food isn't called by name.
- Weight Woe: He tried to slim down to impress his Love Interest in "Fester Goes on a Diet".
- Composite Character: A rather complicated case. In the original 1960's show, Granny was Gomez's mother with Morticia's mother Hester Frump being a separate character (played by Margaret Hamilton, often in her full Elmira Gulch outfit from The Wizard of Oz). The two grandmothers are seen together and appear to have a warm friendship in the two-parter "Morticia's Romance". Grandmama would remain the standard grandparent in later adaptations, but it would vary whether she is Gomez's mother or Morticia's mother and she would rarely coexist with Morticia or Gomez's mother as two separate characters. The 2010 musical mercilessly lampshades the issue by revealing that Gomez and Morticia are both uncertain whose mother she is.
- Cool Old Lady: She wrestles with alligators.
- Crystal Ball: Uses one to conduct a seance to contact Fester in the 1991 film.
- Dirty Old Woman: In the 90's cartoon.
- Granny Classic: With a macabre twist to her as befitting of an Addams.
- Large Ham: Mainly in the films.
- Messy Hair: It was a bit untamed in the original series but it looks like a fluffy birds nest in the first movie and it goes down to her feet in the second.
- Retcon: Whether she's Gomez's mother or Morticia's mother is never consistent. She started out as Gomez's mother with Morticia's mother existing as a separate character, but was made to Morticia's mother in the 70's cartoon. She went back to being Gomez's mother in the 1977 special Halloween with the New Addams Family, once again coexisting with Morticia's mother. After that, she became Morticia's mother again for the live-action films and the 90's cartoon and went back to being Gomez's mother in The New Addams Family. The inconsistency was mocked in the 2010 musical when Gomez and Morticia were revealed to both be unsure who's mother Grandmama was.
- Blinding Bangs: He is a most extreme case, being covered in hair from head to toe. Some continuities even imply that he's nothing but hair.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Has the habit of sitting in a chimney.
- Demoted to Extra/Ascended Extra: He only showed up in three episodes of the 70's cartoon albeit appearing in the opening, but episodes that don't feature him are scarce in the 90's cartoon.
- Extreme Omnivore: He eats the thermometer while Playing Sick in "Cat Addams".
- The Faceless: Hidden under all that hair.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Shrinks in "Morticia's Romance".
- Kavorka Man: He sure has a lot of girlfriends despite being short and hairy.
- Nice Hat: Wears a bowler hat.
- Playing Sick: He does this along with Fester and Thing in "Cat Addams" to make the vet brave enough to treat Kitty Cat.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The film version of the character's name is spelled with only one T.
- The Unintelligible: To outsiders.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: To the other Addamses.
- Ambiguously Gay: Minor case in the old TV series. When the Addams are trying to "help" a pair of newly weds who moved in next door Morticia questions Thing if he ever wants to meet a nice girl, to which he gives a negative response. When Morticia laughs it off and affectionately tells him to find his "own friends" he gives a much more positive response. Gomez laughingly refers to Thing as a "woman-hater," but this statement largely contradicts Thing's helpful interactions with the female Addamses. So it's unclear if Mortez is correct in his assumption, or if his words had another meaning.
- Helping Hands: All you ever see is Thing's right hand. Several times he's nothing but a right hand.
- In-Name-Only: In the original New Yorker comics, Thing was a complete person only partially seen who often appeared in strips as a hidden Easter Egg spying on the family. All other incarnations made Thing a disembodied hand, though some New Yorker strips of the family did feature a hand reaching from some sort of opening (e.g., a pipe or a sea shell).
- Phrase Catcher: "Thank you, Thing," whenever he does something helpful. Especially prominent in the old TV series, where it's said at least Once per Episode, but in almost all other incarnation the phrase appears from time to time.
- Playing Sick: In order to make the vet brave enough to treat Kitty Cat, he did this along with Fester and Cousin Itt by flopping back into his box.
- Spanner in the Works: In the first movie, he follows Morticia without anyone's knowledge back to the house as she attempts to confront Fester and Abigail, and runs off to warn the others when he notices that she's in trouble.
- The Speechless: Well, he is a disembodied hand.
- Subverted in the films, in which Thing finds a voice through Morse Code by knocking on hard surfaces.
- In the 1965 Jack Sharkey book, he writes if he has anything to say. He came with the house, and did not at first realize that the Addamses had legitimately bought the place.
Other Addams characters
Pubert Addams (appearing only in Addams Family Values)
- Badass Adorable
- Barehanded Blade Block
- Inexplicably Awesome
- Named by the Adaptation: Variation — None of the Addamses had names until the TV series, and Charles Addams suggested "Pubert" for the boy, but the network wouldn't allow it. He became "Pugsley", so this is essentially a Shout-Out to Charles Addams' original suggestion.
- Big Bad: Of the first live-action film.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Charms her way into the Addamses' good graces by disguising herself as a therapist under the name "Greta Pinder-Schloss."
- Buried Alive: How she was defeated.
- Deadpan Snarker: Obviously.
- Loan Shark: She strong-armed Alford into repaying her for the thousands that she gave him. She also mentions store-front scams.
- Amoral Attorney: He is seen trying to embezzle the Addamses fortune, to escape from his debts with Loan Sharks. Some comments about them being his last paying clients give off a very bad impression. Also Craven mocks it.Tully: Hey, I have been the Addamses lawyer for years. They are morons.
- Awful Wedded Life: To the point that his wife Margaret left him for Cousin Itt.
- Buried Alive: How he was defeated.
- Butt Monkey: Often finds himself in humiliating situations, usually at the hands of Gordon/Fester.
- The Dragon: In the first live-action film.
- Awful Wedded Life: One-half of the couple mentioned under Tully's entry. Eventually, she leaves him for Cousin Itt.Margaret: Why did I marry you?
Tully: Because I said yes!
- Happily Married: With Cousin Itt.
- Human Mom Non Human Dad: Well, whether or not Cousin Itt's actually human is debatable, but the fact is that he and Margaret managed to conceive a child together — "What", named by the obstetrician.Morticia: Isn't he precious?
Margaret: We've had offers.
- Perky Goth: In at least some sense. Her emotional temperament improves greatly after marrying Cousin Itt, and while she dresses in a standard black garb for Fester's wedding, her default wardrobe consists of bright colors like pink. Morticia and the rest of the Addams are perfectly fine with this, indicating she's truly considered part of the family.
- Running Gag: In the first movie, she manages to trick herself into Fester's "Chinese finger torture trap" gag device more than once. She's even chosen to model it at the charity auction for this reason.
- Took a Level in Kindness: She is noticeably happier once she leaves Tully for Cousin Itt, mentioning how grateful she is to have joined the Addams clan.
Debbie Jellinsky Addams
Debbie Jellinsky Addams
- Ax-Crazy: Big time.
- Big Bad: Of Addams Family Values.
- Black Widow: She killed her previous husbands for their money. She didn't have much luck with Fester, him being an Addams and all.
- Determinator: She wants the Addams fortune at any costs and even when seemingly outrun during her chasing Thing and Fester. She simply follows the two to the house and sets to kill the whole family it's only thanks to Pubert that she's stopped.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Debbie's response to getting a Malibu Barbie instead of a Ballerina Barbie for her birthday? Burn down the family home with her parents still in it. And that was only the beginning.
- Gold Digger: Marries rich men for their money, kills them, then spends their fortune to her heart's content.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: electrocuted by the cross-wired death chairs she tried to use on the Addamses.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Claims she just wants this... "and jewelry." With emphasis on the jewelry. Hence, the "Serial Killer" Gold Digger part.
- It's All About Me: Of the most psychotic degree. Murdered her parents and spouses for refusing even the pettiest of whims.
- Irony: She honestly wouldn't be out of place in the Addams Family given her demeanor; the family even agree with her during her presentation before she's set to electrocute them. She's just too greedy to get along with them and also has no emotional attachments unlike them.
- Killed Off for Real: She met her end when Pubert crossed a few wires during her Villainous Breakdown and attempt to electrocute the family.
- Motive Decay: She's introduced as a Black Widow Serial Killer who marries rich men, kills them on their honeymoon, spends their fortune and strikes again. She starts off marrying and trying to bump off Uncle Fester in this way for this purpose. Then she gives a slide show explaining how she killed her parents and previous husbands for not giving her things she wanted (a Ballerina Barbie, a new Mercedes, etc) and/or for putting the needs of the community over her needs, proving that for her one no is enough proof of a lack of love, and even gives a Motive Rant about how she "just want[s] love... and jewelry," both of which Uncle Fester could and did give her in abundance. Yet she still wants to kill him because... she is an Entitled Bastard who decided that whatever she desires must be hers and after a while she just started to kill the ones she didn't care about to get their fortunes.
- No Body Left Behind: Reduced to nothing but ashes after she's killed.
- Self-Made Orphan: She killed both her parents by burning down their house with them inside, on the night of her birthday, for daring to give her a Malibu Barbie instead of a Ballerina Barbie.Debbie: That's not who I was. I was a ballerina! Graceful and delicate! They had to go.
- Spoiled Brat: On a murderous scale. If the slide of her hissy fit over a Malibu Barbie doesn't say it all, the slide of the fatal house fire does.
- Too Dumb to Live: Had she gotten it through her thick head that Fester and the rest of his family would've been perfectly happy with giving her whatever she wanted and were, in fact, overjoyed to discover she was a bloodthirsty psychopath, she would've finally gotten everything she wanted as well as a husband who worshipped the ground she walked on. Also she could've avoided getting electrocuted and turned into a pile of ashes after Pubert altered the electrical wiring and redirected the charge back to her.
- Villainous Breakdown: When she fully realizes how durable Fester truly is, she breaks her facade and goes Ax-Crazy.
Dr. Phillip Adams
Dr. Phillip Adams
- Big Bad: Of Addams Family Reunion.
- The Dog Bites Back: His father Walter Adams frees the Addams Family for his attempts to poison him. In addition, the film ends with the doctor being electrocuted by mental patients he had tortured with electric shocks.
- Light is Not Good: In contrast to the Addams Family being benevolent despite their bizarre and macabre ways, the members of the Adams family look normal but are all Jerkasses.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a psychiatrist.
- Friendly Enemy: N.J. likes the Addamses despite their weirdness and his parent's attitude towards them.
- Housewife: Normina appears to be your typical 50's homemaker.
- Hypocritical Humor: Norman Normanmeyer and his wife Normina both despise the Addamses for being weird when they themselves have a very unhealthy obsession with underwear. Their obsessive hatred for the Addamses also verges on borderline sadistic at times.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: They may have a rather prejudice attitude towards the Addamses, but always reluctantly thank them for their good deeds and they actually care about their son despite him being friends with Wednesday and Pugsley.
- Kid Has a Point: N.J. recognizes that the Addams are generally decent people that just tend to see things differently. His parents are way too paranoid about the whole thing.
- Knight Templar: They WILL preserve normalcy!
- Obsessively Normal: The reason why Norman and Normina hate the Addamses is because they are "weirdoes".
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Well, they're not exactly villains, but they oppose the Addamses and everything they stand for in the 90's cartoon and are the most frequently recurring semi-antagonists.
- Token Good Teammate: Norman and his wife Normina both despise the Addamses, but not their son N.J., who is even friends with Wednesday and Pugsley.
- Unknown Rival: To the Addams, who never seem to catch on that they aren't their good friends.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While they are rather hostile to the Addamses, it is often only to keep their lifestyle from being a danger to others.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: While her eating habits are a bit closer to "normal" than her sister's and she likes daisies, she's still a bit of a goof.
- The Eeyore: Sometimes, especially when she's been dumped.
- Flowers In Her Hair: She has daisies growing on her head.
- Genki Girl: She is very active.
- Grey and Gray Morality: She likes to Judo-flip men, although she doesn't seem to have evil intentions.
- The Klutz: She has moments of this in "Morticia's Romance". She breaks dishes, knocks Gomez into a bush and breaks a violin by sawing through it with the bow.
- Light is Not Good: She may be blonde and wearing white but she's also a bit violent and likes to throw men over her shoulder.
- Mood-Swinger: At times she's very perky and upbeat and at other times she's kind of miserable.
- The Ophelia: It's in her name.
- The Pollyanna: Zigzagged. She shifts between being cheerful and perky and being The Eeyore.
- Running Gag: Two running gags about her are her Judo-flipping men (causing her to get dumped) and people pulling daisies out of her head.
- Woman in White: She dresses entirely in white.
- Birthday Episode: She had hers in "Happy Birthday, Grandma Frump"
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Shares the same dark hair as Morticia and a similar personality.
- Genki Girl: Zigzagged. "Happy Birthday, Grandma Frump" proves that she has a lot of energy. However, as this behaviour is considered unusual, she doesn't normally use said energy.
- Does Not Like Spam: Morticia says the reason why he doesn't eat people is because he hates the taste.
- Gentle Giant: Despite being a lion, he is actually quite friendly and doesn't eat people.
- Shrinking Violet: Despite being a lion, he is often just as scared of the visitors as they are of him.
- Sick Episode: Subverted in "Cat Addams". He was thought to be sick because he didn't eat but it turns out that Pugsley had already fed him.
- Team Pet: He is the pet of the Addamses.
- Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Is a lion pet of the Addamses.