Film / The Addams Family

It's a family thing, and it won't quit
They keep it together, y'all, that's it
They're not ordinary, just strange
Some say loco, insane in the brain
But you know that you love 'em
In a class by themselves, none below, none above 'em
It ain't nothin' to be ashamed of
So give love to the folks who go by the name of...
Tag Team, "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" (from the Addams Family Values soundtrack)

Meet The Addams Family: father Gomez (Raul Julia), mother Morticia (Anjelica Huston), daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci), son Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), butler Lurch (Carel Struycken), and Granny (Judith Malina; Darrined by Carol Kane for the sequel). The film series is based on the cartoons created by Charles Addams and the 1960s Dom Com it spawned. The first film, released in 1991, focused on the family's search for Gomez's missing brother, Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Fester's return leads to a joyful reunion between the brothers. However, all is not as it seems and a scheming "mother" (Elizabeth Wilson), a money hungry lawyer (Dan Hedaya), and a plot to steal the family's fortune create complications and Hilarity Ensues.

It was successful enough that a sequel, Addams Family Values, was released in 1993, which added a new child (Pubert) and a new love interest for Fester in the form of Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack), the children's new nanny who drives a wedge between Fester and the rest of the family.

A third movie starring the Family, Addams Family Reunion, was released direct-to-video in 1998 with an (almost) all-new cast. Serving as a Pilot Movie for the then-upcoming The New Addams Family series, it is not related to the prior two films.

After plans for a stop-motion adaptation fell through (featuring the involvement of Tim Burton, whose The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride were to have served as inspiration), Variety reported that an animated reboot is finally in the works, courtesy of MGM.


  • Adaptation Distillation: Lovingly matches each character to superb actors in their prime having the time of their lives, adds fantastic scenery and special effects that ride the line between blockbuster spectacle and So Bad, It's Good like Seattle Slew, then plays every trope to the hilt and polishes the entire macabre masterpiece to a mirror shine. Then they do it again with the next movie. Then Gomez suffered Actor Existence Failure when Raul Julia succumbed to cancer. Even Tim Curry had trouble filling those shoes. The best part is that it not only uses the show, but it also uses a number of the darker gags from the original New Yorker cartoons.
  • Adorkable: Fester, especially in Values when he's completely head over heels for Debbie.
  • All in the Eyes: Angelica Huston's Morticia is frequently lit with her face in shadow apart from her eyes, seemingly just to look cool.
  • All Part of the Show: When Wednesday goes Off the Rails during the Thanksgiving play in Addams Family Values, the audience doesn't get that she's off-script until well after the set is on fire. The fact that they clearly do intend to burn Amanda alive at least gets her parents moving.
  • All There in the Script: In the first film, Fester called Gomez a "demented freak", which was the password according to the script, in anger for nearly choking him to death.
  • Alpha Bitch: Amanda Buckman.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. In the first movie, when Morticia is working as a kindergarten teacher she reads Hansel & Gretel to her class, depicting Hansel and Gretel as cold-blooded killers and the witch as an innocent victim. The kids are not pleased by this Downer Ending — that, or Morticia asking the kids to imagine what being burned alive felt like — and break down in tears.
  • Ancient Tradition: The movie treats the Mamushka as one of these, taught to them by Cossack cousins so long ago they no longer remember when. And since Gomez explicitly states that they danced the Mamushka while Nero fiddled, that means the Addams family has been around for at least nineteen centuries, and has documented enough of their family history to know exactly what they were doing the night of July 19, 0064. That's how old that traditional dance is.
    • It also foreshadows why Gordon can dance it so well; he is Fester.
    • Since the Cossacks didn't emerge until the 14th century at the earliest — and since it's the Addams family — probably a bit of unintentional Unreliable Narrator in there. Or Gomez is just trying to list off situations where the dance is appropriate, without any regard to whether they could have temporally occurred.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: In the second movie when Fester escapes from Debbie's mansion with Thing, we have this gem:
    Debbie: I'll get you! And your little hand too!!
  • Arc Words: Variations on "I am an Addams!" reflect the theme of Thicker Than Water that pervades both films.
  • Arrows on Fire: Used by the kids dressed as Native Americans when they turn the Thanksgiving play into a rampage in Addams Family Values.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration:
    • In the first movie, Morticia compliments the man stretching her on the rack (who is sweating over the evil deed) as "having done this before". She also believes that she and the female antagonist could have been good friends were it not for the current unpleasantness.
    • Also in the first movie she calls their notorious relatives "psychopaths", "fiends", "mad-dog killers","brutes" and pioneers.
    • The second film has the following exchanges between Morticia and Debbie:
    Morticia: You have enslaved him. You have placed Fester under some strange sexual spell. I respect that.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Values when the family comes to Debbie's house to visit Fester:
    Morticia: You have gone too far. You have married Fester. You have destroyed his spirit. You have taken him from us. All that I could forgive. But Debbie?
    Debbie: What?
    Morticia (reproachfully, eyeing the decor): Pastels?
  • Artistic License – History: Parodied with the camp counselor's Thanksgiving pageant. Wednesday decides to make it... a little more accurate. (Not only in spirit, but in fact. Pocahontas was a Powhatan, not a Chippewa, and was not present at the first Thanksgiving. The Chippewa are native to the Midwest, and would not have been present either. Also, by the first Thanksgiving, Pocahontas was married to Englishman John Rolfe and living in England. She would not have been betrothed to a member of her tribe.)
  • Ascended Extra: The girl scout from the first movie (Mercedes McNab) plays Amanda in the sequel. It's entirely possible that they're the same character.
  • Asshole Victim: Anybody who comes to genuine harm at the hands of an Addams is generally really asking for it. They also don't relish harming anybody... well, anybody outside the family.
  • Badass Adorable: Baby Pubert, in Addams Family Values. See Barehanded Blade Block and Big Damn Heroes to see why.
  • Barehanded Blade Block:
    • In Addams Family Values, Baby Pubert does this to a guillotine blade one-handed... with just his thumb and forefinger. It must be reiterated that he's a baby.
      • It must also be reiterated that he's an Addams.
    • Gomez manages to catch a thrown butter knife in his teeth in the same film.
    • The first film also had the Mamushka, a traditional dance performed by Gomez and Fester that involves them juggling knives between each other. It ends with Gomez hurling every knife directly at his brother, who catches them with his bare hands, the final one in his mouth like a sword swallower.
  • Becoming the Mask: Played with in the first film, as the mask that the amnesiac Gordon became was that of his actual real identity of Uncle Fester.
  • Berserk Button: A very subtle one with Pugsley in the second film. Pugsley almost never gets angry, but he clearly takes offense when Amanda refers to the Addams' as circus people. (Keep in mind, she's probably thinking "freak show", he's probably thinking "harmless happy clown".)
  • Big Bad:
    • The Addams Family: Abigail Craven
    • Addams Family Values: Debbie Jellinsky
  • Big Damn Heroes: Baby Pubert in Addams Family Values. He makes his way through the house via a chain reaction of events and manipulates the wires just as Debbie throws the switch, causing her to be incinerated.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Abigail Craven/"Dr. Pinder-Schloss" from the first film.
    • Addams Family Values gives us Debbie, Uncle Fester's love interest, plus Amanda Buckman and the Camp Chippewah counselors, who are also Politically Incorrect Villains to boot.
  • Black Comedy: About every 45 seconds.
  • Black Widow: Debbie Jellinsky from Values is one of these. She gets her claws into Fester and marries him, but, Fester being one of the Addams clan, she doesn't quite succeed at the killing part.
  • Bloody Hilarious: In Addams Family Values. Greatest. Thanksgiving. Play. Ever.
    • Same for the talent show in the first film.
  • Bookends: The beginning and ending of the first movie are both based on one of Charles Addams' original comics in the New Yorker (specifically the opening with the family pouring boiling oil on Christmas carolers and the part at the end where Gomez is amazed to see Morticia knitting a onesie with tentacles, implying that she is pregnant). Doubles as a Mythology Gag.
  • Bowties Are Cool: Gomez sports some of the coolest bow ties ever to be committed to film.
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: When Pubert is included in the films series.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • First movie:
    Morticia: (straight-faced, taking garment bags out of a wardrobe and looking at tags) Uncle Knick-Knack's Winter Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack's Summer Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack...
    • Gomez giving a toast at the end of the second movie:
    Gomez: To mirth, to merriment, to manslaughter.
  • Brick Joke: In the first movie we see the family motto, We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us. In the second movie, the school camp counselors try to subdue Wednesday and Pugsley, and are last seen being roasted on a spit by Wednesday's accomplices.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • In the second film, Wednesday and Pugsley are waiting at the hospital while Morticia gives birth. Another child with them tells an exaggerated Delivery Stork story, so Wednesday responds, complete with dramatic zoom:
      Pugsley: Our parents are having a baby, too!
      Wednesday: They had sex.
    • Near the end, Fester wonders what he was thinking when he chose Debbie over the family. Wednesday knows:
      Wednesday: Physical pleasure.
  • Buried Alive:
    • In the first film, the two antagonists land in open graves which Wednesday and Pugsley have somehow prepared in advance. The following exchange occurs:
      Pugsley: Are they dead?
      Wednesday: Does it matter?
    • The second film opening includes Wednesday and Grandmama burying a cat. When it meows, Wednesday shakes the box and shushes it.
  • Bus Crash: In Addams Family Reunion it's implied Pugsley ate Pubert.
  • Calvin Ball: "Wake The Dead" seems to be some variety of this.
  • The Cameo: The Addams relatives in both movies.
    • The films' composer, Marc Shaiman, plays the uniquely-bearded conductor of the orchestra at Fester's party in the first movie.
  • Cartwright Curse: Debbie doesn't survive Addams Family Values. And it's possible Joel didn't, either.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In The Movie, the books in the library, which have Exactly What It Says on the Spine.
  • Christmas Carolers: The family is preparing to drop boiling oil on some at start of the first film.
  • Cold Ham: Anjelica Houston as Morticia - she's serene, calm, and the only thing that gets her to alter the pitch of her voice at all is Gomez. This does not stop her from being a tour de force that complements Raul Julia's significantly more exhuberant performance perfectly. Witness in the opening of the sequel, where a simple "Oui" from her wrings out enough characterization to show her Too Kinky to Torture, Happily Married, and The Stoic all while keeping up with Gomez's frantic attention.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Debbie's trying to seduce Fester, she talks about always wanting to meet a man who's "untouched, pure" like him. He replies "You'll meet him!"
  • The Comically Serious: While Wednesday's lines tend to be funny, a big aspect of the humor comes from her delivery of them with the same deadpan inflection.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Values serves as this for Wednesday.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The "Harmony Hut" in the second film. It's a hut filled with posters of kittens, in which Joel & the Addams' kids are forced to sit and watch upbeat Disney movies.
    • And when they're caught trying to sneak out of the camp, Becky states that they won't be punished - Gary agrees, deciding that they should all sing "Kumbaya" for them instead.
  • Creator Cameo: In a sense. Director Barry Sonnenfeld makes a cameo appearance in each film: The first sees him as a random passenger in the model train that Gomez later crashes, and the second casts him in a slightly larger role as Joel Glicker's Henpecked Husband father.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Debbie gets back to the Addams mansion once her murderous intent is revealed.
    Debbie: I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't enjoy hurting anybody. I don't like guns, or bombs, or electric chairs, but sometimes people just don't listen, and so I have to use persuasion... and slides.
  • Creepy Child: Wednesday.
  • Dark is Not Evil: Questionable. The movies specifically partially invoke this trope too, with various people involved with the movies pointing out for all their dark, macabre nature and seemingly violent acts, the Addamses are in their way the ideal family... the parents are Happily Married, deeply in love after all these years with the fire of passion as bright as it ever was, the entire family is deeply devoted to one another's well-being and happiness, they're concerned about their friends (Morticia twice wishes she could befriend their enemies), and they give generously to charity. They're just... strange. However, given the degree to which the movies were Darker and Edgier than the original live action series, they are not true examples, taking their macabre trappings to the point (the Addamses come off as more Affably Evil, particularly in Addams Family Values. It should be noted that the movies were based on the original cartoons by Charles Addams, including a gag taken directly from the cartoons, with the family pouring a pot of boiling oil on a group of Christmas carollers. They are Card-Carrying Villain s after all.
  • Darker and Edgier: The films paint the characters as much more macabre than the TV show (and more in line with the original magazine cartoons), thanks to more relaxed standards on what is acceptable as humor.
    • A good example is Pugsley's name. Originally, most of the Addams clan didn't have first names, but when the TV show was being produced, they went to Charles Addams to ask for their names. His first choice for the boy's name was 'Pubert', but the TV executives objected. In the long run, of course, the name did get used.
    • Another is that in the series they didn't kill anyone, but in the movies they kill at least four people (the three villains and the stripper at Fester's bachelor party) and don't seem to care.
      • In fairness, everyone at the bachelor party is very visibly distraught about the stripper... just not for very long.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Gomez Addams.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Christina Ricci as Wednesday delivers nothing but deadpan snarkery, which only serves to make her all the more hilarious. For example, in the second movie, Pugsley is practicing archery at camp and shoots down a real bird:
    Becky Martin-Granger: It's an American bald eagle.
    Gary Granger: Aren't they extinct?
    Wednesday: They are now.
  • Disney Villain Death: Unless they did manage to survive (only to be buried alive), Tully and Craven were caught in a hurricane and thrown at least fifty feet in the air. It's very possible that death came for each just by landing in the coffins.
    Pugsley: Are they dead?
    Wednesday: Does it matter?
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Debbie provides a slide show of her life to the Addams before she attempts to electrocute them all. She explains how when she was 9 she wanted a Ballerina Barbie. When her parents gave her a Malibu Barbie instead, she burned down the house with them in it.
    Debbie: I was a ballerina! Graceful! Delicate! They had to go.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Wednesday and Pugsley have escalated sibling rivalry to the level of assassination, but the on-screen attempts generally give Wednesday the upper hand. But then, Wednesday is the smarter of the two... though there's a Funny Background Event where Pugsley has Wednesday tied to a chair and asks Fester for help picking poisons.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: See What Happened to the Mouse?, below.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Most of the Chippewa campers look straight out of the Hitler Youth.
  • Dull Surprise: Used deliberately with some of Wednesday's deadpan reactions, specifically because when it goes beyond that to actually surprised, it's all the more amazing... and hilarious.
    • And when she breaks out The Unsmile in Values, it's absolutely horrifying.
      • Even the girls at camp know something's wrong.
  • Eldritch Location: There is definitely something supernatural about the Addams' mansion. The house itself seems to be a living creature, and the front gate has a real taste for visitors.
  • Enfant Terrible: Wednesday Addams.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: If there's one moral tenet the Addamses do live by, it is this: you don't mess with someone's family.
    • Also Tully's discomfort and disgust with torture.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The movies would become a lot more awkward if anyone (including the villains) seriously protested the Addams' pastimes.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: In the films, Morticia's face is constantly shadowed, no matter the ambient lighting, with the only bright spot being around her eyes. It especially stands out when she's with other cast members, who are normally lit.
  • Faux Horrific:
    • From Values, after Pubert becomes blonde and rosy cheeked. Grandmama is explaining that this change can become permanent. Of course, this IS the Addams we're talking about, so it's a subversion.
      Grandmama: We're talking dimples!
      Gomez: NOT in this house!
      • Also, he could become a lawyer, an orthodontist, or even... President.
    • Also, Wednesday's contribution to the horror story at camp.
      Wednesday: And so, the next night, the ghost returned to the haunted cabin, and he said to the campers — "None of you really believe in me, so I'll have to prove my power." And the next morning, when the campers woke up... all of their old noses had grown back. *Cue screams and a smirking Wednesday*
      • Amanda is particularly horrified.
    • Debbie's parents bought her... the wrong Barbie.
  • The Film of the Series: The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
  • Flat "What.": Christopher Lloyd gets two good ones in as Fester in the first film. The first occurs when he and Gomez are watching their old home moviesnote , and the second happens while Fester is talking with Abigail Craven about how the whole family suspects him note .
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Debbie greets the Addams in one scene wearing a nightgown trimmed with white feathers.
  • A Fool for a Client: He even calls the trope by name in the first movie:
    Gomez: They say the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Well, as God is my witness, I am that fool!
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Wednesday does this in the first movie. When asked where her costume is, she replies;
    "This is my costume. I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else."
  • Foreshadowing: Values begins with Fester howling at the moon, showing us that he's lonely (in a romantic sense).
  • Funny Background Event: In Values, when Wednesday and Joel have their "love at first sight" moment, Pugsley is trying to hang himself in the background to get out of staying at the camp. Doubles as pretty literal Gallows Humor.
    • In the first movie, Tully's wife, at the auction, looks disheveled since she couldn't get the finger trap off.
    • At the motel, they removed the "No Lifeguard on Duty" and "Pool Closed" signs. (They're on the back wall of their room.)
  • Geeky Turn-On: Well, homicidal one, as Wednesday scooched closer to Joel after a revelation regarding his allergies.
    Joel: You know what happens if my mom uses fabric softener?
    Wednesday: What?
    Joel: I die.
  • Genius Loci: As pointed out above in the "eldritch location" trope.
  • Genre Blind: Debbie in spades. After failing to kill Fester through electrocution, she wraps up a bomb as a "present"... and he actually guesses what it is before brushing it off with "I know. Wait for my birthday!"
    • On top of that, she legitimately doesn't realize that the Addams clan would gleefully accept her as a member of the family so long as she didn't keep them from seeing Fester.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In-Universe example. In Family Values, during the Thanksgiving play, Pugsley is dressed up as a turkey for a musical number. His lines in the song consist of saying "Eat Me" twice. Amanda's parents, who are in the front row, react slightly.
    • Family Values in general is rather direct about sex, such as Wednesday bluntly telling a young girl who believes in the Delivery Stork where babies really come from, the fact that Fester watches Gomez and Morticia having sex through keyholes, and offering Thing as a way to stave off loneliness. Not to mention the Centerfold Gag of their mother.
    • The first film has a scene at the beginning of a cuckoo clock - a scale model of the Addams mansion with moving mannequins of the family. The mannequin of Gomez is apparently kissing the mannequin of Morticia on her breasts.
  • Goth: Of course!
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The first two films star Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd. The unsuspecting first-time viewer will be picking chunks of pork out of their ears for weeks.
  • Held Gaze: How Wednesday meets her love interest in Addams Family Values.
  • Helping Hands: "Why, thank you, Thing."
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Gomez ends up in one in the first movie after losing the family home and fortune, and apparently being betrayed by Fester/Gordon. Thing manages to snap him out of it with a three word message: MORTICIA IN DANGER.
    • He gets one in the second movie (complete with "Take me! Take me!") when informed that his possessed baby might one day grow up to be president.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Parodied during the play with Wednesday and Pugsley; when they fight each other as part of the play, blood sprays out whenever they make a cut, covering the audience in it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Debbie in Addams Family Values.
  • Hollywood Law: No competent court system would have allowed a Judge who was the next-door neighbor of the Addams with an obvious history of animosity towards them to preside in a lawsuit involving them. Of course, Gomez Addams, a lawyer who takes crazy pride in losing his cases, would probably be too dumb to realize that this is a different situation and protest this legal fact.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Thanksgiving play in the second film becomes this, and doubles as a Moment of Awesome for Wednesday.
  • Identity Amnesia: Fester, in the first movie.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Both Gomez and Morticia during the charity auction.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Baby Pubert.
    • Well, he IS an Addams... that explains most things.
  • Injury Bookend: In the first movie, Uncle Fester's amnesia he got from the Bermuda Triangle cured by a lightning storm from one of the enchanted books in their library.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Joel Glicker (David Krumholtz) in Addams Family Values.
    Wednesday: What are you in for?
    Joel: I wouldn't go horseback riding.
    Wednesday: That's all?
    Joel: And I wouldn't make a birdhouse.
    Wednesday: Why not?
    Joel: I just wanted to read.
    Gary: (Popping his head back in to swipe Joel's copy of A Brief History Of Time) Not on my time, four-eyes!
  • Jewish Mother: Joel's mother in Values, and how.
    Joel's Mother: [watching him as Running Bear in the Thanksgiving play] 20 grand for summer camp and he's Mister Woo-Woo?
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Gruesome example from the second film. Gomez tries to have this done at Fester's bachelor party, but the stripper missed her cue to jump out twice.
    Gomez: [peers into cake] ...That poor girl. Lurch, was she in there before you baked?
    Lurch: [growls contritely]
    [Awkward murmuring from the party-goers]
    Gomez: C'est la vie! [everyone laughs]
  • Just for Pun: About half the times that anyone talks to Thing, they make some sort of hand-related pun.
  • Jump Scare: Thing bursting out of Debbie's grave and grabbing Joel's arm at the end of the second could count as one.
  • Kick the Dog: The judge from earlier in the movie ruling in favor of Gordon/Fester as owner of the Addams property "with no small amount of personal satisfaction", except for one exception — Gomez's bucket of golf balls, which he dumps out in front of him while cackling madly.
  • Killer Rabbit: Wednesday.
  • Knife Outline: Addams Family Values has Gomez literally throwing Fester against a wall and outlining him with knives after they reminisce about their childhood Sibling Rivalry.
  • Knitting Pregnancy Announcement: Gomez realizes in the last scene that Morticia is knitting a baby's jumper. With three legs.
  • Large Ham: Raul "OF COURSE!" Julia.
    Gomez: I believe they own —
    Morticia: Gomez, no — !
    Gomez: — A BUICK!!!!"
    • Wednesday in the school play:
    "Sweet oblivion, open your arms! *retch, retch, collapse*
  • Let's Meet the Meat: During the awful Thanksgiving play, the kids actually have a song where the edible items sing, dance, and invite the audience to eat them. Later, Pugsley is a turkey brought by the Native Americans to the Pilgrims.
    Pugsley: "I am a turkey. Kill me!"
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Williams Electronics under the Bally label, it featured custom voice work by Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston, and eventually became the best-selling pinball machine of all time. Click here for more.
  • Light is Not Good: The most flagrant example being the camp counselors from Values, Gary and Becky. Not for the way they treat Wednesday and Pugsley (that is, until they force them to watch saccharine movies and they return - apparently - converted to their upbeat philosophy), but the way they heavily favor the rich, white, blonde kids over the minority campers, even casting the latter group as the "savage" Native Americans in Gary's play. Becky can't even pronounce two of their names, Consuela and Jamal.
    • In introducing the play, Gary refers to the two factions as white meat and dark meat.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Fester's always had odd reactions to being electrocuted, but in the first film it cures his amnesia... and for months afterward, Pugsley keeps begging to see the trick his uncle can do by sticking a light bulb in his mouth.
  • Literal-Minded: In the first film, at the elementary school talent show, Margaret Alford looks upon her son, dressed as an elf, and remarks that "I could just EAT you alive!" Morticia is appalled:
    Morticia: Oh, no, Margaret! Too young!
    • Also in Values, when Debbie Jillinsky first meets Gomez:
    Debbie: My, he's a real ladykiller!
    Gomez: Acquitted!
  • Look Ma, No Plane!: In the climax of Addams Family Values, the baby somehow gets catapulted high enough to come eye-to-eye with a commuter plane...specifically, the one that's currently flying the Alpha Bitch and her family home from the disaster that was summer camp.
  • Motive Rant: Parodied with Debbie, who prepares a slide show for hers. Also because her audience is the Addams they respond with compassion and understanding as she explains murdering her parents for getting her the wrong Barbie.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Quite a bit of "normal" things get a unique twist, but Gomez's train set takes the cake.
  • Murder by Cremation: For his brother's wedding Gomez orders a huge cake with a stripper inside. However, when the cake is delivered, it turns out that the unwitting butler put the girl inside before he put it into the oven.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Fester is immune to fatal amounts of electricity and mansion-destroying explosions. He does seem worried by bullets, which makes it even weirder that Debbie would decide on the electric chair to finish him off when that method didn't succeed the first time.
    • Seems to apply to all the family to some degree. Pugsley and Wednesday spend much of the first movie playing fatal games with each other, involving poison, knives, even electric chairs. Wednesday even explicitly says the latter is supposed to kill Pugsley, and that this particular game is called "Is There a God?"
    • Morticia, going through Fester's luggage in the first movie, notes that he brought cyanide and teasingly chides him "As if we'd run out." The delivery insinuates they use it as a condiment.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: In Values, Amanda goads Wednesday into adding to the ghost story by insinuating she's not up to it. Wednesday's creative spin makes them wish they hadn't.
  • No Body Left Behind: Debbie is electrocuted to ashes in Addams Family Values. All is left are her shoes and credit cards.
    • Then whose hand is it that rises from her grave to grab Joel's ankle at the end of the film? Probably Thing.
  • Obviously Evil: Debbie's successful crime spree tugs at Willing Suspension of Disbelief when she gets to Fester. She couldn't look more guilty if she tried. Putting aside that the Addams see this as normal, the authorities would have noticed such oddities as ordering a hearse prior to the victim's death. Wednesday even lampshades this towards the end. Not to mention this noticeable line.
    "Just a single, I will be a widow then."
  • Oedipus Complex: In Values, Gomez pulls out a magazine from Fester's bed, opens to one of the centerfolds, and the two fondly say "Mom!".
  • Overly Long Gag: In the first film, Gomez begins to suspect that "Fester" is not his real brother (He is, but he has amnesia and thinks that he's only pretending to be). He begins to rant for several minutes, listing various synonyms for a fraud. Cut to "Fester" bonding with Wednesday and Pugsley for several minutes. Cut back to Gomez still ranting, who is finally snapped out of it by Fester's caretaker.
  • Perky Goth: Gomez, depending on your definition of "goth". Margaret Alford is a sort-of subversion. After leaving her husband for Cousin Itt she becomes noticeably perkier and is rather grateful to join the Addams clan. She doesn't change her wardrobe and is usually seen wearing bright colors like pink, yet the Addams don't mind. She does, however, carry around her new baby in a coffin-shaped carriage, dresses in typical Addams attire (that is, for a funeral) to Fester's wedding, and hires a nanny named "Dementia" who looks like a female version of Fester.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The camp counselors in the sequel not so subtly favor the children of wealthy WASPs over the minority campers (and Wednesday & Pugsley).
    Becky: But, of course, not everyone can be a star. Let's not forget our cheery little Chippewas: Mordecai, Yang, Esther, um... Consuela, Irwin, and, um... I'm still not sure just how to pronounce this. (Black camper rolls his eyes while barely suppressing a smirk) Jam-il? Jame-al?
    Gary: Jamal?
    Becky: Whatever.
    • The Thanksgiving play written by Gary, is filled with blatant racism, with Native Americans constantly being called savages and primitive and praising the lead Pilgrim girl for have "skin as white as milk".
  • Portal Book: The books in the Addams' library are an inversion: people can't go in (as far as we know), but the stories in the book manifest in the real world when opened (e.g. The Sun Also Rises creates sunlight).
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc", supposedly meaning "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us"... though it's really a case of Dog Latin, as a better version would be "Qui nos opprimere velint, illos libenter devoramus", which translated more literally is: "Who would subdue us, them we gladly devour." (The order is unusual in English, but it is natural in Latin.)
  • Pretty in Mink: In Values Gomez and Mortica are at a fancy restaurant where several ladies in the background are wearing fur wraps.
  • Prima Donna Director: The male camp counselor is a bit over passionate about their Thanksgiving play, striking and dismissing campers during rehearsal. When Wednesday begins breaking from script, he's ready to wring her neck (he proves to be out of his league there however).
  • Rail Enthusiast: Gomez.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: About the only thing that you can't actually do in the Mamushka from the first film is the thrown sword-swallow. Everything else is actually something you can do if you can juggle.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Both played with and averted in Family Values. Fester treated his Ax-Crazy wife with nothing but love and respect, but she's so insane she simply keeps going with her plan to kill him, not realizing she actually has someone who cares. Fester is perfectly willing to die for whatever perceived crimes he's committed. Then, when she actually dies, she's just... a pile of dust. No redemption there.
    • Of course she wanted love...and jewelry...which Fester would have gladly provided.
  • Rich Bitch: Debbie and Amanda in the sequel.
  • Room 101: Played for laughs in the second movie. The camp counselors send Joel, Wednesday, and Pugsley to an isolated cabin apparently used for just this purpose. They're made to endure horrors like The Sound of Music, The Brady Bunch, Annie, and various Disney movies.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Pubert's trip through the house to save his family in the second movie is an unintentional one (i.e. not set up beforehand, just a lot of random occurrences that fit together in a Goldbergian manner).
  • Sarcasm Mode: You could think that the entire Addams Family had gone into this hardcore when they're seeming to humor the ranting Debbie. Actually, considering their previous behavior, they're probably sincerely empathizing with her.
  • Screaming Birth: Averted during Pubert's birth in Addams Family Values; all Morticia emits are a few barely audible grunts. Totally justified, however, when you consider their sex life.
    • Seriously, who didn't burst out laughing at Morticia's first line in that movie?
    Morticia: Marvelous news. I'm going to have a baby. (Beat) Right now. (Cut to Morticia being rushed through the hospital.)
    • Then there's the bit during labor when Gomez asks Morticia if she's in unbearable, inhuman pain. She smiles coyly and says "Oui", bringing on Gomez's usual kissing response. The doctor has to remind them that there's a baby to deliver.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Among others, there's the fact that every close-up of Morticia has the same lighting as Bela Lugosi's take on Dracula, with a horizontal line of light across the eyes.
    • Baby Pubert wears a Hannibal Lecter hockey mask.
  • Silent Snarker: Lurch; the guy's slightest facial movement speaks volumes.
  • Sinister Tango Music: Addams Family Values has Gomez and Morticia doing a tango that is equal parts sinister and sexy.
  • Slasher Smile: Wednesday gives the audience a rather disturbing one in Addams Family Values.
    • Even the campers are scared of it.
  • Something Else Also Rises: A pretty hilarious version occurs in the movie. Gomez and Morticia are sitting in the graveyard and, as per usual, things get romantic between them. Cut to shots of the various, elaborate gravestones of deceased Addamses that manage to become this trope.
  • Spoiled Brat: Most of the kids at Camp Chippewa in Addams Family Values.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Fester and Wednesday in the movies. Poor Pugsley barely features in the second one.
  • Stepford Smiler: Enforced at Camp Chippewa - even if you're not actually perky, you'd damn well better act like you are or suffer a Cool and Unusual Punishment.
    Becky: We are going to make an ex-am-ple. We are going to show that anyone, no matter how odd, or pale, or chubby, can still have a darn good time. Whether they like it or not.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Pubert, in Addams Family Values, has a mustache.
    • Also parodied:
    Gomez: He has my father's eyes.
    Morticia: Gomez, take those out of his mouth.
  • Sugary Malice: The Camp Chippewa counselors.
  • Suppressed Mammaries: Christina Ricci had her breasts tied down when she played Wednesday in the movies. Puberty did not miss her. In what was almost assuredly a reference to this fact, her first scene in Now and Then has her duct taping her breasts down after complaining about them getting bigger.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: From Values: "I can show you all my references so you know I'm not a homicidal maniac."
  • Take That!: From Values The camp counselors send Joel, Wednesday, and Pugsley to a cabin to watch happy children's films as a punishment (one that the Addams Children won't enjoy) and we are given this gem.
    Wednesday: Don't worry. We're getting out of here.
    Joel: But... it's Disney.note 
  • Tempting Fate: In Values Joel has the horrible idea to tell Wednesday she wouldn't scare her (theoretical) future husband to death. Guess what happens a few moments later?
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Inverted in the second movie; it's not the nanny interviewees who are terrible, it's the children. And while the one who gets the job seems perfect, she's really the worst.
  • That Poor Cat: At the start of Values, the kids and Grandma are burying the family cat in a shoebox. Wednesday has to shush it so that its cries do not ruin the solemnity of the occasion.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In the waltz scene from Addams Family; the scene where Wednesday pulls a match from her headband and lights it in Addams Family Values, as well as the tango scene.
  • Theme Tune Rap: Each has its own: The first film had "Addams Groove" by MC Hammer (complete with a nigh-Indecipherable Chorus), and Values featured "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" by Tag Team (an Addams-themed remake of "Whoomp! (There It Is)"; later "won" a Razzie Award for Worst Original Song).
  • Three Lines, No Waiting: Addams Family Values focused mainly on three separate plots: the Black Widow trying to kill off Uncle Fester, Gomez & Morticia looking after newborn Pubert, and Pugsley & Wednesday trying to cope with summer camp.
  • Tranquil Fury: Morticia while showing Fester the family graveyard and the family creed. She's suspicious of him as well and rather threateningly but eerily calmly states the family creed 'We would devour those who'd subdue us' and that 'As an Addams, you understand what that means, right?'
    • And then again when she sees how miserable her family is after getting kicked out of the house, and then walking off in the middle of the night to confront Fester
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Morticia, demonstrated when Tully tries to stretch her on the rack:
    Morticia: You've done this before.
    • Applies to the entire Addams clan, naturally - much to Debbie's chagrin.
  • The Unintelligible: Lurch and Itt. Lampshaded when they have a conversation. Others seem to understand him too. Tully either can understand him asking to cut in or is very good at inferring his meaning, and Margaret almost immediately understands him well enough to not only be charmed by him while first dancing together, but to have a long, emotional discussion with him.
  • The Unsmile: Wednesday in the second movie. One of the most horrific examples of this trope ever, primarily due to the source of it, rather than the quality of the smile.
    Amanda: She's scaring me!
    • She gets a genuine one later on, though the context is that of a Psychotic Smirk.
  • [Verb] This!: In Values, when Debbie shows the family slideshows about her second husband, a senator who loved his state and his country, she quotes his words:
    Debbie: [imitates her second husband] "Sorry, Debbie, no Mercedes this year. We have to set an example." Oh yeah? Set this!
    [next slide shows the car driving toward the senator in panic]
  • Villainous Breakdown: Debbie's failed attempts to murder Fester has put her over the edge.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the movies, unlike the series the Addams are (naively) evil and happy about it, not that this makes them any less pleasant and lovable. Morticia even says at one point she wishes she had time to find the Forces of Darkness and join them in their Infernal Crusade.
  • The Voiceless: In this version, Lurch never talks, only growls and grunts. For the record, the character was intended to be mute in the show as well, but Ted Cassidy ad-libbed the classic "You rang?" line and it was too funny to not capitalize.
  • Wallpaper Camouflage: Wednesday in the second movie. Just check the picture on the trope page.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the movie, Tully and Margaret Alford's son, who appears in one scene (and in the credits as "Tully Jr.") but despite the fact that his mother runs off with Cousin Itt and that his father is buried, possibly alive, in the Addams' graveyard, he's never spoken of again, not even in the sequel Addams Family Values.
    • Also in Family Values, it's mentioned that the "Black Widow" has killed at least three husbands, but we only ever learn the fates of two of them.
      • One of Debbie's previous identities (as shown by the headshots kept on her wall) is Kathie Lee Gifford — so perhaps Monday Night Football has a different announcer in the Addams Family universe...
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In Addams Family Values Gomez and Fester are cheerfully reminiscing about all the (violent) pranks they pulled on each other as kids. Fester casually mentions that one time he waited til Gomez was asleep, then opened his head and removed his brains. Gomez is so surprised and impressed by this revelation that he proceeds to throw Fester on the wall upside down and outline him with daggers.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Debbie's attempts at killing Fester continuously fail, and she eventually demands to know why he won't die. This comes as a shock to Fester, who assumed all that poison and electrocution was intended flirtatiously.
  • William Telling: Wednesday is shooting an arrow at Pugsley, but the apple is in his mouth instead of on top of his head.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Parodied with Debbie. C'mon, people, Malibu Barbie!

Alternative Title(s): Addams Family Values