->''"Mama, welcome to the '60s!"''
-->-- '''Tracy Turnblad'''

It's [[TheSixties 1962]] Baltimore and Tracy Turnblad is a ''[[JustForPun huge]]'' fan of ''The Corny Collins Show'', which is similar to ''Series/AmericanBandstand''. She also is a fan of big hairstyles which require hairspray to stay in place - a trend the adults disapprove of. When one of the old dancers has to leave because of pregnancy, an audition is held for a new female dancer, and Tracy gets the spot because of her talent and her exuberant personality. This leads to a chain of events that will change Baltimore forever...

This was the first film Creator/JohnWaters made with a PG rating. It was released in 1988 and starred Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, Divine as her mother, Edna, and John Waters's usual repertory cast.

The film eventually inspired a 2002 Broadway musical. The music was changed for this production. The original film was for the most part not a musical ''per se'', just full of music, and its songs were all DanceSensation songs of one sort or another. The musical had songs tell the story more directly. The storyline is similar to the original, but some details and some emphases were adjusted (for example, most references to Velma Von Tussle in the tropes below are from the Broadway musical or second film, as her role was greatly expanded from the original). It won eight Tony Awards, and introduced the world to Marissa Jaret Winokur (who previously was more known as the fast-food girl with Kevin Spacey in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'').

The musical was successful enough that it itself was [[RecursiveAdaptation made into a film]] in 2007. It starred Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad and Creator/JohnTravolta as Edna, among an all-star ensemble cast.

NBC aired a live performance in December 2016, in its fourth annual live musical event. It contained some "firsts" for NBC musicals, such as their first to air on a Wednesday instead of a Thursday, their first performed with a live studio audience, and their first recorded partially outdoors. (Except for the timeslot, all of this follows the lead of Fox's ''Film/{{Grease}}'' production, which this special shares a live television director with). Per John Waters' preference for a newcomer, Maddie Baillio plays Tracy, while Broadway's original Edna, Harvey Fierstein, reprised his role, and wrote the teleplay (a responsibility he previously assumed for NBC's ''Theatre/TheWiz'' telecast).

Not to be confused with ''Theatre/{{Hair}}''.

[[folder:Multiple Versions]]
* {{Acrofatic}}: Tracy. Edna, too--she does a fair amount of fleet-footed dancing in the 2007 version. While John Travolta isn't overweight, he's wearing a lot of foam rubber padding, so his dancing is doubly impressive.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
** "That's pretty pricey for a pair of petty pants!"
** "Penny Pingleton, you are ''permanently, positively, punished!''"
* AlliterativeName: Tracy Turnblad, Penny and Prudy Pingleton, Velma Von Tussle, Corny Collins, Link Larkin, Motormouth Maybelle, Seaweed J. Stubbs.
* AlphaBitch: Amber Von Tussle.
* BetaCouple: Penny and Seaweed.
* BigBeautifulWoman: Tracy is this in spades. Also her mother Edna and Motormouth Maybelle.
* BigFun: Tracy's a rare female example.
* BigEater: Tracy, Maybelle, and Edna all fit this trope to a degree, although it's only portrayed in an unrealistically over-the-top manner in Edna's case.
* BrainlessBeauty: Link Larkin is a light, male version
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Penny, somewhat. Tracy can come off as this too.
* CrosscastRole: Edna is always played by a man.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Corny, big time.
** Penny has her moments as well:
--->'''Maybelle'''(after seeing that Penny and Seaweed were in love): So this is love. Well, love is a gift, but a lot of people don't remember that. So, you two better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. \\
'''Penny''': So, you met my mom.
* {{Expy}}: Corny Collins was based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Deane_Show Buddy Deane]].
* FatAndSkinny: Tracy and Penny, respectively.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Tracy is Sanguine, Penny is Leukine, Link is Choleric, Amber is Melancholic, and Seaweed is Phlegmatic.
* GenerationXerox: It's implied, by the ending, that Tracy and Link will be the future version of Tracy's parents; Tracy as the big woman and Link as the skinny guy.
* GenkiGirl: Tracy is very cheerful and energetic.
* GirlishPigtails: Penny's hair is in pigtails.
* GoodParents: Edna and Wilbur Turnblad to Tracy.
* HeelFaceTurn: Amber and Velma in the musical; just Amber seems to get one in the film (walking out on her mother and getting along with a black dancer), even after the HumiliationConga. Also, the rest of the Corny Collins Show council in all versions.
* HappilyMarried: Edna and Wilbur
* HenpeckedHusband: Or rather, Henpecked Boyfriend. Link is henpecked by his girlfriend Amber.
* {{Irony}}: The irony of white teenagers dancing to music by black people in whites only establishments is noted.
* {{Jerkass}}: Velma Von Tussle in the musical and even more so in its film adaptation (where she's less LaughablyEvil), and Amber Von Tussle for a good while due to emulating her mother. The whole Von Tussle family takes this to ridiculously extreme levels in the original 1988 film. Tracy and (especially) Edna have their moments there too, in stark contrast to the kind people they are in the musical and 2007 film.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Corny Collins is very smarmy and egotistical ("The only thing better than Hairspray...that's ''me!''), but his [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure heart is shown to be in the right place]].
* KickTheDog: Almost every scene Velma appears in, though racism lends itself easily to this trope.
* NotSoDifferent: Tracy, Penny, and Amber all have radically different personalities, but are the same when it comes to their mother issues, as shown in the play's "Mama, I'm a big girl now" number.
* RoseTintedNarrative: Played with. In any incarnation it's definitely a loving look at the dance crazes and ''American Bandstand''-style shows of the sixties. And then the fun times get spoiled when the racism of that period is highlighted.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Link in the original 1988 film, and to a lesser extent in the 2007 film. Deliberately subverted in the stage musical, where his CharacterDevelopment is about stopping being a shallow tool and doing things for himself.
* SpontaneousChoreography: The film's grand finale has perfectly synced yet improvised groups dances.
* TheThemeParkVersion: Of TheSixties, particularly the anti-segregation movement. [[TropesAreNotBad Doesn't mean the movie's bad, though]].
* UglyHeroGoodLookingVillain: The Turnblads and the Von Tussles, except that Tracey's not exactly ugly.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: Seaweed and Penny.
** Implied with [[spoiler:Amber at the end of the 2007 film. She can be seen making eyes at one of the black dancers and then, after walking away from her mother, chit chatting coyly with him in the finale.]]
** Implied nothing. [[spoiler: Check the left side of the second-to-last shot of the movie. Amber can actually be seen jumping into his arms on the dance floor!]]
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: ''Corny? Link?? Seaweed???'' Corny, however, might be short for Cornelius, making it less bad.
** Link is also a pet form of Lincoln, like rock legend Link Wray. You can thank him for the power chord.

[[folder:Exclusive to the 1988 movie]]
* TheCameo: Creator/PiaZadora and [[Music/TheCars Ric Ocasek]] as {{Beatnik}}s - the former even starts reading ''Literature/{{Howl}}'' to the naive kids.
* CovertPervert: While Amber is introducing "The Roach", Arvin Hodgepile is quite blatantly staring down the top of her dress.
* CreatorCameo: John Waters plays the psychiatrist that hypnotizes/tortures Penny.
* InsistentTerminology: Divine stated she was ''not'' in drag in the film, because no drag queen would ever let herself be as frumpy as Edna is in the film.
* LargeHam: Divine as Hodgepile. Zadora also hams it up.
* RunningGag: The kids run into a beatnik couple, and the woman says she uses a straightening iron to get her hair so silky. This leads to a couple scenes where the girls are using a ''[[LiteralMinded clothing]]'' iron to straighten their hair complete with laying their heads on an ironing board[[note]]the electric flat iron wasn't available commercially to buy until the 1990s, so women in the [[ShownTheirWork sixties did use their clothing iron to straighten their hair]][[/note]]. This is given a subtle shout-out in the second movie at the end, where Tracy and Penny have straightened their hair for the big show as if out of protest.
* StarmakingRole: Not that Creator/JohnWaters and Divine were unknowns in 1988, but this was their first truly mainstream film. Divine was even tapped to play Peg Bundy's parents on ''Married...With Children'', but sadly died before they could shoot his scenes. Which is why later episodes have Peg's mother heard and not seen, other than the fact that she's inhumanly obese.
* TakeThat:
-->'''Tracy:''' Where do you go after special ed?\\
'''Everybody:''' Congress!
* WaxingLyrical:
-->'''Edna:''' [[Music/BobDylan It's the times, Wilbur. They're a-changin'. Something's blowin' in the wind.]]

[[folder:Exclusive to the 2002 Broadway musical and its screen versions]]
* AccentUponTheWrongSyllable: Really, Accent on the Wrong Word, but it's just as annoying.
-->"You can try to stop the paradise ''we're'' dreaming ''of''"
* AdaptationalDyeJob: Originally a blonde in the 1988 film, Penny becomes a redhead for the stage musical. In the second film, her hair is dirty blonde bordering on light brown, and the 2016 telecast, she's a brunette.
* AerosolFlamethrower: Link breaks Tracy out of prison with this method.
* BaitAndSwitch: Wilbur interrupts the program to suspiciously wheel in a giant can of hairspray, which Velma suspects is a TrojanHorse to sneak Tracy into the show, and she has it kept shut. [[spoiler:Turns out, Tracy shows up by walking into the studio, and ''Edna'' was in the can for her television debut.]] This doesn't occur in the 2007 movie.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Edna warns Tracy this after discussing her failed dreams to design fashion, and become "the biggest thing in brassieres".
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Mentioned in the song "(It's) Hairspray."
* BrokenSmile: [[spoiler:Velma Von Tussle displays a perfect example when the show is finally integrated in the play. In the second movie, she stays pissy throughout, probably due to losing her job.]]
* CavalierCompetitor: Amber after losing; quickly in the 2007 film, gradually as "You Can't Stop The Beat" goes on in the musical. Also counts as GracefulLoser.
* ClimacticMusic: "You Can't Stop the Beat", the climactic number that coincides with the climactic dance showdown.
* CurtainCall: The play and the telecast both have one. This marks NBC's first time ending a live musical with a curtain call.
* DarkReprise: In the Broadway musical, Tracy sings a reprise of "Good Morning Baltimore" after she finds out she won't be granted any bail. And while "[[VillainSong Miss Baltimore Crabs]]" was already dark, "Velma's Revenge" is much darker.
* FoodPorn: "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful" is this trope in song form. Then we see Maybelle's soul food spread in the movie...
* GagBoobs: Wilbur grabs and shakes Edna's breasts during "You're Timeless to Me" for no other apparent reason than comedy.
* GracefulLoser: In the second movie, Amber was surprisingly mature about her defeat, indicating CharacterDevelopment. She and her mother ''both'' become graceful losers in the stage show as well, after much sulking, they give in and realize that they "can't stop the beat". See HeelFaceTurn in the first folder.
* HamToHamCombat: "(You're) Timeless to Me", especially on Broadway where the actors playing Edna and Wilbur seemed to be in a contest over who will corpse first.
* HiddenTrack: The Original Broadway Cast Recording follows up "You Can't Stop the Beat" with a few seconds of silence, then another song titled, "Blood on the Pavement", in which Link, Amber, and Velma use LyricalDissonance to warn against {{drunk driv|er}}ing.
* HistoricalInJoke: When Penny rushes to show the Turnblads Tracy's TV debut, Edna misunderstands and thinks she's trying to show them the footage of John Glenn's space trip. She chastises her, saying "Oh, I've seen it! It's all some studio out in Hollywood. Do they really expect me to believe he's up there?" In the stage version, it's "Oh no, don't tell me Khrushchev has his shoes off again!"
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne:
-->'''Link Larkin:''' I shoulda been there, beside her. I can't sleep. I can't eat...\\
'''Edna Turnblad:''' You can't eat? Well, come on in and worry with us. I'll make you some pork.
** Or, in the stage version,
-->'''Link:''' I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I couldn't even concentrate!\\
'''Tracy:''' You couldn't eat?
* IWantSong: "Good Morning Baltimore" and "I Can Hear The Bells".
* ImplausibleDeniability: Edna refuses to believe that First Lady Jackie Kennedy's hairstyle has anything to do with hairspray.
-->"I believe it is just naturally stiff."
* LeanAndMean:
** "[[VillainSong I never drank one chocolate malt / No desserts for Miss Baltimore Crabs]]..."
** "[[HoneyTrap I bet you're tired of heavy lifting / Get your hands on something small]]."
* TheMakeover: Tracy and Edna get one in "Welcome to the Sixties"; Tracy gets another [[spoiler:when she crashes the beauty contest.]] Penny gets one in the finale as well, and Edna [[spoiler:comes out of the Hairspray Can in the musical with clothing she made herself.]]
* MorningRoutine: The 2007 movie starts with one. The musical too, but in less detail.
* ThePlan: How the main characters get Tracy into the Miss Teenage Hairspray pageant.
* PopularIsDumb: The openly embraced creed of the Nicest Kids in Town:
-->''Who cares about sleep, when you can snooze in school?''\\
''they'll never get to college but they sure look cool!''\\
''Don't need a cap or a gown''\\
''When you're the Nicest Kids in Town!''
* ShoutOut: The stage musical contains a few references to Theatre/{{Gypsy}}. In the beginning, these references were quite timely, as Hairspray premiered on Broadway in the same season as a revival of Gypsy starring Bernadette Peters. By the time Hairspray closed, these references would again become timely, as a new revival starring Patti [=LuPone=] had just started its run.
* SidekickSong: "Run and Tell That" and "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful" Depending on whether or not you think of Wilbur and Edna as leads, "Timeless To Me", as well.
* StigmaticPregnancyEuphemism: Dancer Brenda must take time off from Corny's show, thus prompting the audition. How long will she be gone? "[[TeenPregnancy Just nine months...]]"
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: In the stage show, when Tracy makes her grand entrance to the "Miss Hairspray" competition, Corny has a lovely throwaway line: "I had nothing to do with this complex conspiracy!" What complex conspiracy is ''that'', Corny?
* TeenPregnancy: The reason The Corny Collins Show needs a new dancer in the first place.
-->'''Corny:''' And speaking of the unexpected, our own fun-loving, freewheeling Brenda will be taking a leave of absence from the show. How long will you be gone, Brenda?
-->'''Brenda:''' ''(giant smile unwavering)'' Just nine months.
-->'''Corny:''' ...So, it seems we have an opening for a girl who's just as fun-loving, [[DeadpanSnarker but maybe not quite as freewheeling.]]
* TheyveComeSoFarSong:
** "I Know Where I've Been," which is about the continuing fight against prejudice as much as it is about the progress of the characters and plot.
** And another song called "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" was written for the 2007 film adaptation. However, unlike "I Know Where I've Been," it lacks the narrative significance typically associated with this trope, as it is played over the credits rather than as part of the film. (Some productions of the play, including NBC's telecast, have the cast sing it during the curtain call.)
* TookALevelInKindness: Tracy and Edna could be pretty surly and offputting on several occasions in the original film (Edna in particular due to being played by Divine, the inspiration for [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ursula]], and it shows), but are very nice people in the musical.
* VillainSong: In addition to Velma's "Miss Baltimore Crabs" above, Amber gets "Cooties" or "New Girl in Town". The other members of the Corny Collins Show council contribute to all of these, as well.
* WeightWoe: Edna has to work through this.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Velma Von Tussle, who never lets anyone forget that she was once [[VillainSong Miss Baltimore Crabs]].

[[folder:Exclusive to the 2007 movie]]
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:Inez winning Miss Teenage Hairspray]].
* ButNotTooBlack: A lot of people objected to Music/QueenLatifah's casting, claiming that she's too light for the role, especially given certain lines in her song refer to how dark her skintone is.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Many of the Baltimore scenes were shot in Toronto.
* ChekhovsGun : The large, hollow hairspray canister in the foreground while Corny and Velma are arguing about putting Tracy on the show.
* ChekhovsGunman: Two examples from the 2007 film that are related to each other:
** When Velma switches the Miss Teenage Hairspray votes at the end of the movie, Edna, in disguise, is the only one to see her do it; later, it's Edna who orchestrates the EngineeredPublicConfession described below.
** Early in the movie, Velma harasses a cameraman for not giving Amber enough screen time during the Corny Collins Show. Guess who helps Edna and Wilbur expose Velma's cheating by letting them use his camera?
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: Referenced now and then ("I don't even know why we have this room down here, but there's food, water, first aid kit, gas mask, Russian language books...")
* ConspicuousCG: Many of the buildings in the opening shot are CGI recreations, and it's not hard to tell that.
* ContinuityNod: The 2007 film makes several references to scenes from the 1988 movie that don't happen in the new version. During one song montage, Tracy is knocked in the head during dodge ball. One of the nasty rumors Amber tries to start is about Tracy getting put into Special Ed.
* CreatorCameo: John Waters, director of the 1988 film, appears as a flasher during "Good Morning Baltimore", and director Adam Shankman, composer/lyricist Mark Shaiman and co-composer/lyricist Scott Wittman play talent agents. The associate choreographers also make appearances.
* CurtainClothing: An extremely subtle one: The dress Penney wears during "You Can't Stop The Beat" is made from the curtains in her room (see "Shout Out" below).
* CurseCutShort: Amber sounds like she's about to call another female dancer a whore before Link intervenes.
* DarkHorseVictory: [[spoiler:Little Inez's victory in the Miss Teenage Hairspray contest.]]
* DeliberateValuesDissonance : Many tongue in cheek examples, particularly during "Welcome to the Sixties." Two pregnant women smoking and drinking martinis, a [[CarloadOfCoolKids carful of children standing up on the seats,]] and so on. Also, the circular pins worn by a couple of the girls, that indicated a girl was a virgin. Brenda was wearing one in the "Just nine months" scene, made even more ironic by the possibility that Corny is the father (look closely, you'll see them arguing in a Funny Background Event).
* DemotedToExtra: Poor Link doesn't get to shine in the 2007 film as much as he did in the stage show.
* DirtyCop: The lead police officer who's working for Velma.
* TheDogBitesBack: The cameraman who lets the Turnblads use his camera for Velma's EngineeredPublicConfession is the same one that she had belittled and threatened in the beginning of the movie.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: Velma admits to cheating to ensure her daughter the crown, to find out a camera has been on her the whole time.
* EyeAwaken: Done by Tracy in the opening scene just before “Good Morning Baltimore”.
* FreudianSlip: Velma von Tussle: "We've got to lead kids in the white direction...I mean...you know what I mean."
* TheHeroDies: Definitely doesn't happen in the musical or the movie, but the final lines of the song "New Girl in Town" imply that the new girl mentioned in the lyrics (Tracy?) was ran over by a moving van and died:
-->Hey, look out for that moving van\\
Look out, look out, look out, look out!\\
[[MoodWhiplash She was the new girl in]]... [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing to-oo-own]]!
* HumiliationConga: [[spoiler:Amber has Tracy steal her thunder and her boyfriend, gets hoisted above the set, tears her dress and sprains her ankle getting down, and loses her crown to a child on live TV]]. And then she's surprisingly good natured about it in the end, possibly making this a subversion. Played straight with Velma, though, whose humiliation is more thorough and ''not'' taken well.
* IndyPloy: Corny Collins isn't responsible for any of the events of the movie, but damned if he isn't ready to use them to his advantage. In the movie, he knows Inez Stubb's name and the very specific clause to let her win, implying that he's been waiting and preparing for any kind of situation for him to push his agenda.
* RemakeCameo: Jerry Stiller, who played Wilbur Turnblad in the original movie, played Mr. Pinky, who ran a plus-sized boutique and wanted Tracy to do commercials for him when she became a hit on the Corny Collins show. Ricki Lake (Tracy from the 1988 film) also appears, as a talent agent.
* InformedAbility: Inez's dancing. [[spoiler:She's not appreciably better than the rest of the talented cast, yet we're supposed to believe that she alone was impressive enough to win Miss Teen Hairspray after just one (short) dance. It's implied she won because she was the only black contestant (ever) and the whole community voted for her, even though there'd still be a lot of racism in the community, making this very improbable.]]
** [[spoiler:Inez's age may have been a factor. She can hold her own with kids significantly older than her. Plus, she is adorable and people like kids.]]
** [[spoiler: The implication was likely that the entire ''black'' or otherwise POC community, which is very large in Baltimore, voted for her.]]
** [[spoiler: Link also brought her on stage, bringing his popularity in to help her as well.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: Velma Von Tussle gets struck by this.
* LovableAlphaBitch: Amber. Although she only seems to be like that because her mother holds very high standards to her. In the end, she [[GracefulLoser accepts defeat]] and (in the musical at least) Tracy and the others are happy to invite her to [[HeelFaceTurn join in the final number]].
* MightyWhitey: in the 2007 film, the fact that Tracy, a white high school girl obsessed with dancing who has no real understanding of the sociopolitical scene or the importance of integration - she spends all day at school sleeping and has no knowledge of American history either - comes up with the idea to do a "march" to save the 'Negro Day' TV show while all the black people who have been fighting and striving to make a difference just stand around accepting being forced out from TV.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: When Tracy participates at the march and hits a cop on the head with her sign and runs away, it gives Velma a good opportunity to stop Tracy from participating in the pageant by having the same police guard the entrance, [[spoiler: making Tracy and the others devise a plan to sneak into the pageant. If Tracy had been bailed out along with Maybelle, she wouldn't have had to hide from the cops and sneak into the pageant!]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain:
** Playing right into Tracy and friends' plans, Velma forces all the security guards outside despite ample security outside in response to the bait (Wilbur dressed as Tracy), getting them locked out. The guards then beat down the door with a hairspray battering ram with Tracy inside. Once Velma realizes what they've done, they all rush to it, only for all of them to get locked out once again.
** After Amber [[spoiler: loses the Miss Teenage Hairspray Competition, Velma then admits to Amber that she rigged the votes. Edna then informs Velma that her confession was broadcasted on camera, which causes Velma to lose her job.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The Dynamites are stand-ins for Music/TheSupremes.
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace: Tracy, possibly, since in "I Can Hear the Bells", she has no problem pushing people and pinning a guy against a locker.
* NotHisSled: Although it sticks pretty close to the musical, the film does change up a few key moments in the story.
** In the musical, Tracy gets arrested after the protest, but eventually breaks out of prison with Link's help. Here, she actually ''escapes'' the police before they can apprehend her, and flees to Penny's house to hide out.
** Tracy manages to sneak into the Miss Hairspray pageant by hiding in a giant hairspray can, TrojanHorse-style. The same thing happens in the musical, but as a BaitAndSwitch: [[spoiler:Velma ''thinks'' that Tracy's hiding in the can, when it's actually Edna. Tracy merely enters the pageant from the front door]].
** Tracy [[spoiler:isn't crowned Miss Hairspray this time around. Instead, it's Little Inez]].
* OneHeadTaller: Inverted with Penny and Seaweed. She is noticeably taller than him. In the 1988 movie, Penny is of average height while Seaweed is very tall indeed.
* ParentalHypocrisy: Penny's mother, Prudy, forbids Penny from watching the Corny Collins Show, yet Prudy watches the show herself.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Velma Von Tussle is quite blatantly racist in the second movie, where she seems to revel in her own misdeeds. In the first film, she's more of a Lawful Selfish StageMom who's willing to court segregationist attitudes to look respectable.
* PoorCommunicationKills: When Link doesn't want to join in the march for fear of ruining his career.
--> '''Link:''' I'm sorry, Trace. I just think that this adventure's...a little too big for me.
--> '''Tracy:''' *gasps and backs away with a hurt look*
--> '''Link:''' [[ThatCameOutWrong ...oh God]], nonono, that's not what I-
--> '''Tracy:''' I get it, Link. It's your shot.
--> '''Link:''' No, Trace! That's not what I-
--> '''Tracy:''' (trying to hold back her tears) It's fine... *Leaves link behind*
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Corny Collins, the dance show host, who is very open to bending the rules and doing away with segregation.
* RecursiveAdaptation: ''Hairspray: TheMusical: TheMovie''.
* SeductionProofMarriage: AlphaBitch Velma tries to seduce Wilbur simply so she can cause strife between Wilbur and his wife. Wilbur is so faithful to his wife that he seems completely oblivious to her advances, but Velma's plan works anyway because she just throws herself at Wilbur as his wife comes in the door to "catch" them in the "act".
* ShoutOut: Director Adam Shankman included several homages to and winks at the films that were his inspiration. The opening shot is a mix of the opening shots for ''Film/WestSideStory'' and ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic''. Penny's dress at the end of the film is made from her curtains, just like the Von Trapp childrens' play clothes that Maria makes out of old curtains in ''The Sound of Music''. Several of Tracy's scenes - such as her ride atop the garbage truck, and her post-makeover hairstyle in "Welcome to the Sixties" - are taken from the Barbra Streissand film version of ''Film/FunnyGirl''. Link singing to Tracy's photograph, which sings back, is directly inspired from ''The Broadway Melody of 1938'', in which Creator/JudyGarland sings to a photo of Clark Gable.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Noreen and Doreen
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Where Velma hides the official votes when rigging the pageant.
* VillainousBreakdown: Velma has a great one after [[spoiler:Inez wins Miss Teenage Hairspray]], leading to an Engineered Public Confession which [[LaserGuidedKarma costs her her job]].
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Velma pulls this when she's trying to hit on Wilbur and Edna walks in.
* WritersCannotDoMath: According to the script, the show begins in "early June" on a Monday and ends on June 6th, 1962. Schools did not run into June in 1962, especially in Baltimore, because there was no air conditioning and it was oppressively hot and humid.

[[folder:Exclusive to the 2016 TV Version]]
* AudienceParticipation: Members of the live studio audience became extras in crowd scenes.
* CardboardPrison: Due to recent budget cuts, [[spoiler:the jail has no guards, and the bars can be removed by vigorous shaking.]]
* CharacterCelebrityEndorsement: Corny Collins delivers one for Oreo cookies after "Ladies' Choice", to segue into an actual commercial break.
* TheHost: Creator/DarrenCriss appeared during commercial breaks of the premiere broadcast, interacting with the audience.
* LogoJoke: During the opening credits, the camera pans past an "NBC Studios" sign with a vintage-looking Peacock, while the NBC Chimes play.
* ProductPlacement: Tracy passes a Reddi-Wip truck during "Good Morning Baltimore", Wilbur drinks Coca-Cola in a different part, and the Turnblads' refrigerator has a jar of Oreo cookies on top of it.
* RemakeCameo: Two of Mr. Pinky's girls are played by Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who played Tracy in the original 1988 film and the original Broadway production respectively.
* RoleReprisal: In addition to Fierstein as Edna, Broadway's original Dynamites, Kamilah Marshall, Judine Somerville, and Shayna Steele, reunited for the show.
* ShoutOut:
** In the opening scene alone, the storefronts include [[Creator/JohnWaters Waters]] Plumbing, Greenblatt's Baltimore Crabs (Bob Greenblatt is the NBC executive who spearheaded these musicals), and Divine Pet Food -- whose sign has a Film/{{pink flamingo|s}} on it. One wonders whether they [[{{Squick}} sell the bowel movements of dogs]].
** The grocery store Edie's advertises eggs and dairy, a reference to Dreamlander Edith Massey's character from ''Pink Flamingos'' and her infatuation with eggs.
* VanillaEdition: Unlike the [=DVDs=] of NBC's three previous musicals, ''Hairspray'' doesn't come with any bonus features.
* WardrobeMalfunction: A strap on Creator/KristinChenoweth (Velma)'s dress apparently came off during the curtain call. She managed to cover herself up, but the telecast still didn't show her taking her bow--with the camera instead focusing on Music/ArianaGrande (Penny). For the West Coast feed, NBC managed to put the focus back on Chenoweth.

%%Unsorted Zero-Context Examples
%%* BeehiveHairdo
%%* CostumePorn
%%* ImprobableHairstyle
%%* NiceGuy:
%%** Link.
%%** Tracy and Penny as {{Nice Girl}}s.
%%* SassyBlackWoman: Motormouth Maybelle, the Dynamites
%%* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl:
%%** Link and Tracy.
%%** Seaweed and Penny.
%%* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan:
%%** A {{gender inverted|Trope}} version with Link and Tracy.
%%** Similarly inverted with Seaweed and Penny
%%* SmallNameBigEgo: Amber,[[spoiler: at first]] and Velma.
%%* SmarmyHost: Corny is a borderline example.
%%* SmugSnake: Velma in the 2007 film.