->''"ONE OF US! ONE OF US!"''

''[=Freaks=]'' is a 1932 horror film about sideshow performers, directed and produced by Tod Browning (coming off the success of the previous year's ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}'') and featuring a cast mostly composed of actual carnival performers. The film was very loosely based on Tod Robbins' short story "Spurs".

Browning had previously worked as a contortionist in a traveling circus, and much of the film was drawn from his personal experiences. He also took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow "freaks", rather than using costumes and makeup on conventional actors. In the film, the deformed "freaks" are generally kind, well-meaning people. This contrasts with two of the "normal" performers in the circus (Cleopatra, an acrobat and Hercules, a weightlifter), who conspire to murder one of the freaks (a midget named Hans) and steal his large inheritance.

One bit of influence the film has had: The "Gooble gobble, we accept you, one of us" chant with which the freaks welcome Cleo (not that she appreciates it) was worked into the song "[[RefrainFromAssuming Pinhead]]" by Music/TheRamones.[[note]][[MyFriendsAndZoidberg The same phrase also appears in a]] Music/{{Marillion}} [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg song.]][[/note]]

Not to be confused with ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'', despite the etymology of the word {{Geek}}.

!! "We wouldn't lie to you folks, we told you we had living breathing tropes!":

* AffectionateNickname: Hans, in one scene, calls his fiancée Frieda "Friedchen," which is a portmanteau of her real name and the German word ''liebchen'' (beloved).
* AmbiguousGender: Josephine Joseph. It's still unknown whether the performer was a man, woman, or a genuine hermaphrodite, as advertised.
* AndIMustScream: Behold, the amazing Chicken Lady!
* {{Asshole Victim}}s: Hercules and Cleopatra.
* BattleInTheRain: The final confrontaton between Cleo, Hercules, and the freaks, in a driving rain.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: {{Inverted}} at first with the titular 'freaks' (who are not most people's idea of beauty, but are the good and sympathetic characters) and with Cleo (for whom it's entirely the opposite).
* BetaCouple: Phroso and Venus.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The freaks here generally are gentle and friendly people, but when someone plans the death of one of them, they will not let you get away with that... you better believe it.
* BigDamnHeroes: Phroso saving Venus from Hercules at the end, followed by the Freaks saving ''Phroso'' from Hercules.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Cleopatra. She pretends to love Hans so she could marry him and then take all his money.
* BodyHorror: What special effects? The eponymous freaks really looked like that.
** What the freaks do to Hercules and Cleo count as well. *shudder*
* CircusOfFear: Used straight and averted. The freaks are fairly mellow people unless angered.
* ComicBookAdaptation: A four-issue miniseries came out in 1992, written by ''Comicbook/{{Frank}}'''s Jim Woodring and illustrated by Francisco Solano Lopez. Per UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, it's much more graphic about what gets done to Cleo.
* ConjoinedTwins: Daisy and Violet, played by real-life conjoined twins.
* CutlassBetweenTheTeeth: In the climax, the limbless Randian is seen wriggling towards the antagonist with a knife clenched between his teeth.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The "freaks" have deformities, but once you get past 'em, they're very pleasant.
* {{Determinator}}: The "freaks." Their lack of limbs and/or other essential parts would not stop them from trying to have as good a life as possible.
* DiscreetDrinkDisposal: Hans spits out the poisoned medicine that Cleopatra gives him.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The freaks take brutal revenge on Cleo and Hercules. Hans, feeling guilty over the whole thing (even though he only wanted Cleo exposed for her crime and the poison handed over), has lived as a recluse for years. But then we see Phroso and Venus together, and [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Frieda gets back together with Hans, comforting him, telling him it wasn't his fault and that she loves him.]]
* ElephantInTheLivingRoom: Nobody mentions that Daisy and Violet are conjoined twins, not even when the fiancé of one meets the fiancé of the other.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: While not evil, Roscoe was a bit of a jerk, and hung out with Hercules and mocked Josephine Joseph at the start. But toward the end, after it's learned that Hercules probably had (and of course, did have) a hand in poisoning Hans, we see Roscoe and Hercules together in the same place, and this time Roscoe just glares at Hercules, says nothing, and walks away from him.
* {{Expy}}: Not in the movie itself, but in "Spurs", Jacques Coubré (renamed Hans for the movie) is basically this for Tweedledee, the BigBad of Tod Robbins' earlier work, ''Literature/TheUnholyThree''. [[spoiler:Essentially, he's what Tweedledee would have been like had he actually gotten away with his crimes]]. The movie version of Hans is nothing like Tweedledee, however (despite his actor playing the character in the Unholy Three movie adaptations).
* FateWorseThanDeath: Cleopatra and Hercules. They don't kill them. Oh, no. That would be far too kind.
* TheFreakshow
* HostileWeather: Used memorably in the climax.
* HowWeGotHere: The film opens with a carnival barker telling circus-goers about a beautiful woman who was turned into a terrible freak. Then the camera cuts to Cleopatra in her trapeze, and the story starts.
* IJustWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Frieda tells Hans she only wants him to be happy but knows Cleopatra will make him anything but.
* InsistentTerminology: "Children!? These are monsters!"
* InstantSoprano: A now-lost alternate ending has a scene of Hercules the misogynist singing soprano.
** Technically, castrato. Yes. [[GroinAttack That means exactly]] [[{{Squick}} what you]] [[BodyHorror think it means.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Phroso, Roscoe
* KarmicTransformation: Cleo, Cleo, Cleo... do NOT piss off the circus freaks...
* {{Mutants}}
* NiceToTheWaiter: Phroso being kind to Schlitzie and the Snow sisters, who are all mentally handicapped.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Hans and Frieda, by oh-so-very-''much''. They may look like children, but they're both adults and quite eligible for marriage.
* PlayedForLaughs: The scenes involving the conjoined twins and their romantic laugh were intended to be CringeComedy to some degree.
* PorkyPigPronunciation: Roscoe.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
-->'''Cleopatra:''' "FILTHY! SLIMY! FREAKS!"
* SexByProxy: Daisy and Violet, necessarily. They can each feel the other's emotions.
** The scene where one twin kisses her fiancé and the other twin lights up with pleasure is a surprisingly explicit allusion to this.
* SoundtrackDissonance: SCARY SCARY TITLE CARD! Perfectly normal hanging-out scene involving circus performers. Who are freaks.
* StalkerWithACrush: There's a scene where one of the circus workers is telling a story about a guy who keeps showing up in the audience and proposing to marry her, but the viewer is probably too busy watching the armless Frances O'Connor use a knife and fork to listen.
* StockShoutOuts: The "One of Us" chant.
* TrueCompanions: The freaks are a family and they look after each other. Cleopatra and Hercules find this out too late.
* TheUnintelligible: Schlitzie.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: An inversion (in which a villainous character directs this towards the sympathetic characters) during the famous "gobble gobble, one of us" scene. Even though Cleo [[BitchInSheepsClothing (successfully) ingratiates herself with the freaks]] in order to scam Hans out of his fortune, she simply cannot hide her revulsion when they demonstrate their genuine acceptance of her.