Film: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
"Come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination..."
is the first film adaptation of Roald Dahl
's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Released in 1971, it was directed by Mel Stuart and features Gene Wilder
as Willy Wonka (the title was changed to accommodate because of concerns over racial slangnote
as well as some sneaky product placement for a Willy Wonka candy bar which was released at the same time) and Jack Albertson
as Grandpa Joe. Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse provided the song score.
While not a box-office hit at the time, and disowned by Dahl
(who wrote the screenplay, but saw it taken out of his hands and extensively rewritten), it was Vindicated by History
as the decade wore on and became a Cult Classic
. It remains the most famous adaptation of the novel, the basis for most parodies of the storyline
, and one of the most famous children's movies ever made; it was added to the National Film Registry
For the second film adaptation, see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The extensive character sheets can be seen in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory provides (in addition to many of the source novel's tropes) examples of:
- Acid Trip Dimension: The boat tunnel could well be this! Neil Patrick Harris jokes in the Rifftrax commentary that "This is for all those 8-year-olds who dropped blotter acid before going to see the film."
- Adaptational Attractiveness:
- Augustus in the book is disgustingly obese. In this film, he's not nearly as fat and his chubbiness is actually kind of cute.
- Mr. Wonka in the book is an older man with a black goatee, and illustrators often portray him as hardly taller than the kids. In this film he's of normal height, clean-shaven, red-headed, and in his late thirties to early forties. This and the toned-down costume also counts as Adaptation Dye-Job, and has since become Lost in Imitation — most subsequent adaptations and virtually all of the parody versions have clean-shaven Wonkas.
- Adapted Out:
- Charlie's father is stated to have died sometime before the story begins; the director explains in the making-of book Pure Imagination that the character was effectively superfluous.
- Prince Pondicherry isn't mentioned at all, likely because it would have been too hard to dramatize that Flashback convincingly with 1970s tech.
- Adaptation Expansion: The entire Slugworth subplot and the misadventure with the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. In the book, Charlie gets the factory as soon as the other kids were out of the running and doesn't have to pass a final test.
- Adaptation Name Change: Mrs. Salt is known as Henrietta here to go with her husband being Named by the Adaptation as Henry, whereas in the book she's named Angina.
- Adaptation Species Change: The nut-sorting squirrels of the novel are replaced with geese that lay golden chocolate eggs. (See Pragmatic Adaptation below.)
- An Aesop:
Who do you blame when your kid is a... BRAT?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese Cat?
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame.
You know exactly who's to blame: The Mother and the Father!
- Charlie's flaw is temptation, Veruca's is greed, Augustus' is gluttony, Mike's is obsession, and Violet's is pride. All are tied by the common theme of self-indulgence. You know what else is a form of self indulgence? Chocolate. (Mr. Wonka may, of course, be looking for someone who can balance a love of fun as well as making people happy with an inherently indulgent vice with a larger moral character. Balance and all that.)
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted; in this case, the computer is the sane, rational one, while the humans are the ones going crazy. In a brief scene during the "worldwide obsession" segment, a scientist programs a computer to figure out where the last three golden tickets are. The computer refuses on the grounds that it would be cheating. The scientist tries to bribe the computer with the grand prize, but the computer rebuffs him, asking, "What would a a computer do with a lifetime supply of chocolate?"
- Alliterative List: According to the Oompa-Loompas, gum chewing is "repulsive, revolting and wrong".
- All or Nothing: Although Charlie wins Mr. Wonka's contest by default (since the other children all "drop out"), Mr. Wonka disqualifies him on a technicality, delivering the news rather bluntly and cruelly. However, he subverts it a moment later by revealing that it is one last Secret Test Of Character, which Charlie passes. The other children in this film leave with nothing other than the Amusing Injuries they'd brought upon themselves. (This is different than the book. Then again, the book didn't have that contract.)
- All Psychology Is Freudian: The troubled man relating his dream about being told where to find a Golden Ticket.
- Amusing Injuries
- Mike Teavee's encounter with Exploding Candy (see Eat the Bomb below).
- Mr. Wonka assures Charlie that the brats will all be restored to "their normal, terrible old selves, but maybe a little wiser for the wear", so the wacky accidents/transformations they undergo fall under this trope in this adaptation. (In the novel and some other versions, they have "reminders" of their misbehavior after they're "cured" — Violet winds up permanently blue, for instance.)
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: A few minutes after the discussion about Loompaland and Vermicious Knids, there's this gem:
(everyone is getting onto the Wonkatania)
Mr. Salt: Ladies first, and that means Veruca!
Grandpa Joe: If she's a lady, then I'm a Vermicious Knid!
- Animals Not to Scale: The giant geese that lay similarly oversized golden chocolate eggs.
- Apathetic Teacher: Mr. Turkentine seems to fall into this, what with his having no qualms about letting his students handle dangerous chemicals or dismissing class so he can go buy Wonka Bars.
- Argentina Is Naziland: The fraudulent winner from Paraguay is Martin Bormann!
- Ascended Extra
- Slugworth. In the book, just one of Mr. Wonka's rivals (and only mentioned); in the movie, an employee of Mr. Wonka who, as part of Charlie's Secret Test Of Character, pretends to be him.
- The owner of the sweetshop where Charlie buys the Wonka Bar that turns out to contain a Golden Ticket leads up the first musical number, "The Candy Man", here. Also counts as Named by the Adaptation (Bill).
- Ass Shove: Implied by the computer technician as he proclaims, "I'm now telling the computer exactly what it can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate!" while angrily punching keys.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: Mr. Wonka's Shout-Out to The Importance of Being Earnest as Augustus is stuck in the pipe: "The suspense is terrible!...I hope it will last."
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Subverted in the final lines.
But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted. Charlie:
What happened? Wonka:
He lived happily ever after
- Beeping Computers: The Wonkavision setup beeps and boops when its buttons are pushed to bring up items that are sent by television on its monitor.
- Big Door: In the Chocolate Room — it's small on one side and big on the other.
- Big Eater: Augustus Gloop and his family, to the point that his father eats a reporter's microphone in passing!
- Bilingual Bonus: Mr. Wonka periodically addresses the tour group in other languages:
- Madames et Monsieurs, maintenant nous allons faire grand petit voyage par bateau. Voulez-vous entrer le Wonkatania? (Ladies and gentlemen, now we are going for a great little boat trip. Would you like to enter the Wonkatania?)
- Nil desperandum, my dear lady.
- Goodbye Mrs Gloop. Adieu. Auf Wiedersehen. Gesundheit. Farewell.
- His introductory speech for the Inventing Room is in German (Mrs. Teavee notes "That's not French!").
- Towards the end, he reads off a legal contract to Charlie and Grandpa Joe, attempting to explain why they won't get the lifetime supply of chocolate. Part of it is in Latin (presumably an Affectionate Parody of all the Latin in real legal jargon), and it reads: "Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum... memo bis punitor delicatum." (Roughly: "To cultivate the burning torch of the mind... mentioned twice for the punisher's pleasure.")
- By the end of the film, Wonka's constant dropping into foreign tongues gets mocked.
Charlie: What was that we just went through?
Mrs Tevee: Is that Japanese?
Wonka: No, that's "Wonka Wash" spelt backwards.
- Bootstrapped Theme: "Pure Imagination" — not just for this film, but for the story as a whole. It is The Eleven O'Clock Number in the otherwise all-new 2013 stage adaptation of the source novel.
- Bowdlerise: Many TV editions have the disturbing boat tunnel sequence removed. The Disney Channel airings of the '80s and '90s kept the sequence, but removed the chicken decapitation.
- Brick Joke
- When Mr. Wonka is looking through his mail near the end, he says, "I really must answer that note from the Queen." Earlier, as the world sought out the Golden Tickets, the Queen of England shows up to an auction of the last case of Wonka Bars in the UK. She was likely not amused when she did not find a ticket...
- Violet tells Veruca, "Can it, you nit!", and then says to her, "Stop squawking, you twit!". Finally Grandpa Joe says she won't listen to Mr. Wonka "Because she's a nitwit."
- During the opening song, "The Candy Man", the store owner sings Wonka's skills are so good, "You can even eat the dishes!" After Mr. Wonka sings "Pure Imagination" he eats his tea cup.
- In reference to the "Vermicious Knid" line above:
: Well, Mr. Salt finally got what he wanted. Charlie
: What's that? Grandpa Joe
: Veruca went first
- Broken Aesop: Wonka's final line in the film. "You remember what happened to the boy who got everything he wanted? He lived happily ever after." Oh, okay. So when the girl gets everything she wants, she is a Spoiled Brat and gets punished for it? (She wants too much. Charlie only wants his family to have enough to eat and a nice place to live. Besides, she always wants everything that comes along — she'll never be happy.)
- Burping Contest: A serious example — Charlie and Grandpa Joe effectively have one to bring themselves down from certain doom after ingesting Mr. Wonka's Fizzy Lifting Drinks.
- But Liquor Is Quicker: Quoted by Mr. Wonka when he explains to Mr. Salt why there's alcohol (specifically "butter scotch" and "butter gin") in his chocolate factory.
- Canada Does Not Exist: The film (or at least its outside scenes) are filmed in Munich (and elsewhere in Bavaria), Germany, but most of the characters seem to be American or British and the news reports on the TV suggest an American setting.
- Canon Foreigner: Quite a few in the first half. The ones who get multiple scenes — most, such as the Tinker, only turn up once — are:
- Mr. Jopek, the newsstand owner Charlie helps deliver papers for.
- Mr. Turkentine, Charlie's oddball schoolteacher.
- Stanley Kael, a TV newsanchor.
- Children Are Innocent: Averted. All the children have their faults. (See An Aesop above.) But Charlie's refusal to give in and sell the Gobstopper shows him to be still good at heart.
- Collective Groan: When Mr. Turkentine asks the class if they understand his brief lecture on percentages, this is their response.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Mrs. Gloop is horrified that Augustus, having been sucked up a pipeline, is probably turned into marshmallows as they speak, Wonka tells her that's absurd.
Wonka: Because that pipe doesn't go to the marshmallow room, it goes to the fudge room!
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: In the wake of the What the Hell, Hero? speech, a furious Grandpa Joe tells Charlie that they'll give Mr. Slugworth the Everlasting Gobstopper and they're about ready to leave the office when... Charlie stops and, both repentant for what he did and unwilling to break his promise to Mr. Wonka, leaves the Gobstopper on his desk instead. This is what wins him the factory.
- Covered in Gunge: The Wonkamobile, which runs on carbonated beverages, winds up covering its passengers in gallons upon gallons of foam. (Thank goodness for the Wonka Wash!)
- Crowd Song: All four Oompa-Loompa numbers. "I've Got a Golden Ticket" was conceived as this, with the whole town celebrating along with Charlie and Grandpa Joe, but director Mel Stuart nixed it as too unrealistic.
- Crunchtastic: "Scrumdidilyumptious", which is used in-story (the Scrumdidilyumptious Bar), served as part of the original Tagline ("It's Scrumdidilyumptious!"), and even got defictionalized as one of the real-life Wonka brand products that the movie launched.
- Cryptic Background Reference: "Snozzwangers? Vermicious Knids? What kind of rubbish is that?"
- Cut Song: An Edited for Syndication case — Mrs. Bucket's solo "Cheer Up, Charlie" is often cut from commercial TV airings at the director's request, as he felt it was not vital to the narrative. Since the Turn of the Millennium, it's become common to leave this in but cut the boat ride sequence instead.
- Deadly Rotary Fan: Charlie and Grandpa Joe narrowly escape one during the Fizzy Lifting Drinks scene.
- Demoted to Extra: Mr. Gloop, Mrs. Salt, Mrs. Beauregarde, and Mr. Teavee.
- Depth Deception: The hallway to the Chocolate Room works this way.
- Disappeared Dad: Charlie Bucket's father doesn't appear; he's stated to be deceased.
Grandma Josephine: If only [Charlie's] father were alive.
- Disco Tech: The musical lock to the door of the Chocolate Room.
- Disney Acid Sequence: The boat ride!
- "There's no earthly way of knowing... Which direction we are going..."
(a few seconds later) ARE THE FIRES OF HELL A-GLOWING? IS THE GRISLY REAPER MOWING? YES!
- Some of the Oompa-Loompas' songs qualify, especially the one for Augustus.
- Disproportionate Retribution: After ignoring Wonka's warnings, a glutton gets carried away for drinking too much chocolate, a gum-obsessed girl gets deformed by gum, a boy who can't stop watching TV gets shrunken by a TV, and a bratty girl and her ultra-indulgent father fall to their presumed doom while she's insisting on being given everything in sight. Of course, Mr. Wonka assures Charlie that they didn't die.
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: After it's reported that the final Golden Ticket has been found, a depressed Charlie finds some dropped money and uses it to buy two Wonka Bars (one for himself, and then another for Grandpa Joe). As he heads outside with the second bar, the news is spreading that the final ticket was a fake. Charlie can't help but wonder if maybe...indeed, the real final ticket turns out to be in the bar he just bought!
- Door Roulette: The door into the cramped hallway from the entrance foyer also leads to the hallway that goes to the Chocolate Room, much to the visitors' confusion.
- Driving a Desk: The tunnel scene.
- DVD Commentary: Originally recorded for the 2001 DVD release that marked the film's 30th anniversary, it reunited the five child actors.
- Dwindling Party: A non-lethal example...and not a very tragic one considering that four of the five kids on the tour are fairly unlikable!
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After Charlie returns his Everlasting Gobstopper to Mr. Wonka...
Mr. Wonka: Charlie? My boy...YOU WON!!! YOU DID IT!! I KNEW YOU WOULD!! I JUST KNEW YOU WOULD!!! I am sorry to put you through all this. Please forgive me.
- Eat the Bomb: Mike Teevee accidentally tries Exploding Candy in the Inventing Room, and despite being blown backwards and possibly losing a few teeth, claims it's "great stuff". Mr. Wonka says it's supposed to be given to enemies, but claims he hasn't perfected it yet — it's not strong enough.
- Education Through Pyrotechnics: In the first classroom scene, Mr. Turkentine does this unintentionally in the demonstration Charlie helps out with.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being an unrepentant brat, Veruca does at least show some concern for Augustus when he nearly drowns in the chocolate river.
- Well, more arrogant than evil, but even Violet can't stand Veruca.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The factory is an imposing place from the outside.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!
Mr. Salt: Where did she go?
Mr. Wonka: Where all the other bad eggs go. Down the garbage chute.
Mr. Salt: (chuckles) I know she fell into the garbage chute. Where does it lead to?
Mr. Wonka: The furnace.
Mr. Salt: (laughs) The furnace? She'll be sizzled like a sausage.
Mr. Wonka: No, not necessarily. She could be stuck just inside the tube.
Mr. Salt: (still laughing) Inside the— (he starts suddenly in shock and runs) Hold on! Veruca! Sweetheart! Daddy's coming!
- Extreme Doormat: Henry Salt, to Veruca.
- The Fair Folk: In the beginning, Charlie meets a superstitious old peddler who recites the very lines from the poem by William Allingham that are posted as the quote for this trope, clearly believing that the "mysterious workers" who work in the factory have something to do with the Fair Folk. (Of course, this is a subversion; the Oompa-Loompas are friendly, harmless creatures, and are not fairies.)
- False Reassurance: When Mrs. Gloop is afraid that her son is about to be turned into marshmallows, Willy Wonka tells her it's impossible to happen because the tube that took her son leads to the Fudge Room instead of the Marshmallow Room.
- Famous Last Words: Veruca has "Don't care how, I want it now!" — as the trapdoor she's standing opens beneath her, having judged her to be a "bad egg". Of course, there's a "good sporting chance" she won't be roasted by the furnace below, and Mr. Wonka reassures Charlie later that she (and the other kids) all survived, but there's no onscreen confirmation and it's quite a sendoff for her in any case.
- The Film of the Book
- Follow Your Heart: "Pure Imagination" has the famous chorus "If you want to view paradise/Simply look around and view it/Anything you want to, do it/Want to change the world?/There's nothing to it..."
- Food Porn: The opening, for those who love chocolate.
- Foreshadowing: As Grandpa Joe tells the story of Mr. Wonka's factory, he notes that of his rivals, "Oh, Slugworth, he was the worst!" It turns out that Slugworth is still causing trouble as he tracks down the Golden Ticket finders.
- "We daren't go a-hunting, for fear of little men."
- Friend or Idol Decision: Charlie is ultimately forced to make a non-lives-in-the-balance version of this decision when he's disqualified from the lifetime supply of chocolate: Should he honor his promise to Mr. Wonka and not sell the Everlasting Gobstopper to Slugworth or sell it and finally lift his family out of poverty? By choosing friend, he gets the idol as well.
- Funny Background Event: Rather a foreground event. During the scene where the candy shop owner is singing, he lifts the counter top to allow the kids behind the counter. A girl gets hit on the chin by the counter.
- Veruca and Violet clawing and elbowing at at each other as they descend down the staircase in the Chocolate Room.
- During Mike Teevee's interview, Slugworth has infiltrated the scene disguised as a reporter, and tries to blend in by swishing his microphone to and from Mike every time he speaks.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- "I am now telling the computer exactly what it can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate!"
- "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker" is a quote from Ogden Nash about how to get a woman into bed.
- Violet, while describing the three-course meal gum: "It's thick and creamy and I can feel it running down my throat!" (She's talking about tomato soup.)
- Mr. Salt and Mr. Wonka on the same gum: "Bull!" "No, roast beef, but I haven't got it quite right yet."
- Mr. Wonka's Lickable Wallpaper: "The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!" Cracked discusses the place below the waist snozzberry is slang for.
- Gluttony Montage: Comes during the instrumental break in "Pure Imagination", as everybody in the tour group enjoys the delights of the Chocolate Room.
- Got Me Doing It: Real life example — The reunited "Wonka Kids", especially Paris Themmen (Mike Teavee), point out in the DVD Commentary when Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt)'s British accent starts to be accidentally picked up by the American actors for certain lines. ("Evahlasting Gawbstawppahs?!")
- Hand Wave: Any time a character (aside from Charlie) asks Mr. Wonka how or why something is, he brushes it off in the most fantastically snarky way possible:
Mr. Salt: Snozzwankers? Vermicious Knids? What kind of rubbish is that?
Mr. Wonka: I'm sorry, but all questions must be submitted in writing.
- Heroic BSOD
- Charlie seems to be silently having one as he blankly roams around town during the "Cheer Up, Charlie" number, and much later, learning that he's been denied the lifetime supply of chocolate triggers another one.
- Willy Wonka seems to be dejected as he sorts out his mail in his office while Charlie and Grandpa Joe are asking about the lifetime supply of chocolate, upset at the thought of even Charlie having disappointed him (via the Fizzy Lifting Drinks incident). Mr. Wonka really doesn't think any child would be the right fit to inherit the factory and "do things [Wonka's] way". He even describes the prior events as "whole day wasted" as he initially shows Charlie and Grandpa Joe the door.
- Hollywood Law: Mr. Wonka makes the children sign a contract before the factory tour. A minor cannot legally enter into a contract. In real life, their parents — or, in Charlie's case, Grandpa Joe — would have had to sign for them (which is how it works in the corresponding scene in the 2013 musical).
- Homage: Many seemingly profound things that Mr. Wonka says in the movie are actually paraphrased from the works of classic writers. For instance, when he says "Is it my soul that calls upon my name?" he is referencing the line from Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2, where Romeo quotes, "It is my soul that calls upon my name." His statement, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last," after Augustus falls in the river is almost a direct quote from Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. His statement "Across the desert lies the promised land" paraphrases The Bible itself most likely (probably Exodus). A full analysis of his quotes can be found here.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Mr. Wonka says his Rainbow Drops let you spit in 7 different colors.
Violet: (while picking her nose) Spitting's a dirty habit.
Mr. Wonka: I know a worse one.
- Humans Are Bastards: More humorous than usual, with the adults acting even more greedy and sociopathic than the kids during the "Wonkamania" over finding the Golden Tickets, including one woman who considers letting her husband die rather than giving up her case of Wonka Bars as ransom.
- Hurricane of Puns
Mr. Wonka: (dropping a shoe into a pot) Gives it a little kick.
- Hysterical Woman:
- Mrs. Gloop panics after her son goes in the river and up the pipe to the fudge room. It doesn't help he gets stuck along the way.
- Mrs. Teavee swoons and faints theatrically (and hilariously) after her son gets shrunk.
- Mrs. Curtis, whose husband is held for ransom and she's stuck trying to decide whether or not to give up her case of Wonka Bars to save his life.
- "I Am" Song: Played with: "The Candy Man" celebrates a title character who hasn't been seen in years and who turns out to be more eccentric and tricky than the song implies. Mr. Wonka himself sings "Pure Imagination", which not only fits better, but has some of the best I Am Choreography one could want.
- I Can See My House from Here: As the Great Glass Wonkavator flies over the town, Grandpa Joe points out their house and Charlie his school.
- Idiot Ball: Charlie is portrayed to be nothing but pure and innocent, and placing others before himself the whole movie through, but that all gets temporarily thrown out the window when given the opportunity to try a Fizzy Lifting Drink.
- I Meant to Do That: Subverted with Mr. Wonka's entrance — he really does mean to take that tumble and turn it into a somersault.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Veruca being denied a golden chocolate egg-laying goose prompts her to sing her "I Want" Song / Villain Song.
- Improbably Low IQ: From the Oompa-Loompa song about Mike Teavee:
What do you get from a glut of TV?
A pain in the neck and an IQ of 3
- I'm Thinking It Over!: "It's your husband's life or your case of Wonka Bars!"
- Insubstantial Ingredients: The opening song "The Candy Man" is largely built around this trope.
Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it in dew
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?
The candy man, the candy man can
The candy man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good
- Ironic Echo: All over the contract signing scene: "I assume there's an accident indemnity clause", "There's a girl who knows where she's going!", "Sign away, Charlie, we've got nothing to lose!", etc.
- "I Want" Song: Veruca's "I Want It Now" crosses this trope with a Villain Song.
- Kent Brockman News: The news anchor states that there must be something going on in the world besides chocolate, but he can't think of anything.
- The Kids Are American: Charlie and his family are among the few in their town, which is subject to Where the Hell Is Springfield?, to speak with American accents.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
- Mrs. Teavee is a schoolteacher. She hears Mr. Wonka play a tune and immediately says "Rachmaninoff" - but the tune is actually from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which sounds nothing like Rachmaninoff. She also smugly notes that she teaches geography to back up her assertion that Loompaland doesn't exist, but Mr. Wonka just rolls past this with "Then you know all about it!" (Then again, she might be sarcastically comparing Wonka to Rachmaninoff, who was quite a famous concert pianist in addition to his work as a composer.)
- Her son counts too, at least when it comes to television broadcasting.
- Large Ham
- Last Note Nightmare: The final note of the upbeat opening number "The Candy Man" is off-key. Tellingly, it's on that note that the audience first sees poor Charlie Bucket, who's apparently been on the outside of the shop looking in all along. Later, one of the many variations of "Pure Imagination" plays as the boat starts down the chocolate river, and when it enters the psychedelic tunnel, the music appropriately turns ominous.
- Licensed Game: WMS Gaming introduced video slot machines based on this movie in 2013, which bespeaks the film's significant adult fanbase!
- List Song: "I Want It Now" is devoted to listing the many things Veruca wants.
- Lying Finger Cross: When Mr. Wonka gives the kids Everlasting Gobstoppers and makes them promise not to tell another living soul about them, all the kids but Charlie cross their fingers behind their back.
- Medley Overture: The opening credits feature this: "I've Got a Golden Ticket" segues into "Pure Imagination", going from uptempo to slower and softer.
- Merchandise-Driven: The only reason this film was made was because Quaker Oats wanted to develop a new candy line, and agreed to put up the US$3 million the movie cost, in effect as an advertisement for the new candies mentioned in the film. If you see the film, you will note that the copyright owners are the Wolper Corporation and The Quaker Oats Company. (The candy flopped because of a botched recipe that left the bars literally melting on the shelves, meaning they had to be pulled. "Seriously, how do you fuck up a chocolate bar?" The Wonka brand was later revived by Nestle and still exists in a case of Defictionalization.)
- Mind Screw: The movie has a reputation as being one of the, if not THE most pleasant mind screws committed to celluloid. Mostly!
- Missing Mom: In contrast to all of the other children, Violet Beauregarde's mother is never shown, only her father. Her voice is heard offscreen; apparently, showing her face wasn't considered a high priority.
- Mood Whiplash
- Happy, cheery Mr. Wonka singing about "Pure Imagination", the reveal of the Oompa-Loompas...then Augustus starts drowning in the river!
- How the celebratory audience outside the gates reacts to seeing surly Mr. Wonka hobbling down the red carpet with a cane until his somersault and smling face.
- Motor Mouth
- Charlie: "LookeverybodyI'vefounditthefifthgoldenticketis'''MINE!!!!!'''"
- Violet, as in the novel, is quite talkative.
- Willy Wonka can slip into this as well ("Oh if you have any questions, dial information, thank you for calling.").
- Mike Teavee explaining the science behind television in the Wonkavision room. (Mr. Wonka's reply: "You should open your mouth a little wider when you speak.")
- The Musical: An all-out example compared to the structure of the book (and the 2005 film lampshades this).
- Musical World Hypothesis: Alternate Universe (anyone can burst into song at the drop of a hat), whereas the book is Diegetic (the Oompa-Loompas simply like to make up songs).
- Mythology Gag: Mr. Wonka mentions that Oompa-Loompas were a favorite food of Vermicious Knids. They were previously mentioned in Roald Dahl's first children's novel, James and the Giant Peach, and went on to become the villainous alien race in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.
- Named by the Adaptation: Bill the shopkeeper, Henry Salt, "Square Deal Sam" Beauregarde, and Arthur Slugworth.
- Nervous Wreck: Mr. Salt is portrayed this way, the result of having a bratty, demanding daughter, and in response to the dangerous and surreal wonders of the Wonka factory.
- Nice Guy: Charlie, albeit in a more realistic way than in the novel and many other adaptations which present him as a case of Incorruptible Pure Pureness. He's not as cruel as some of the other children, and actually tries to help Augustus when he falls into the river. But he actively desires more out of life, and is not above temptation, hence the Fizzy Lifting Drinks misadventure. Proving he's a good kid by not giving Slugworth the gobstopper is what earns him the factory.
- Nightmare Fetishist: During the horrific boat ride, Mike Teavee is the only person besides Mr. Wonka who seems to be having a good time. "Boy, what a great series this would make!"
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Mike makes the mistake of chewing what turns out to be "Exploding Candy for your enemies" (mentioned in passing in the novel); see Eat the Bomb above.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Done quite deliberately. All of the cast not explicitly identified as being from a certain area just use their own accents. This is particularly obvious in the scenes set in Charlie's hometown, as not being able to pin down an overarching accent increases the feeling of Where the Hell Is Springfield?. For everyone else, it just emphasises the global nature of the ticket hunt (though the main accents are German, British and American).
- Parental Bonus: It almost seems like the two halves of the film are meant for different audiences. Kids will love the colorful, creative chocolate factory of the second half, while adults will prefer the social satire of the first half, which is presented in a down-to-Earth, mostly realistic manner that makes the whimsy of the remainder stand out more. (By contrast, the 2005 film and 2013 stage musical set the story in stylized Retro Universe settings.) Not that there isn't plenty for each audience to enjoy in the half that "isn't" for them — Willy Wonka's dialogue alone is practically built on this trope, for instance.
- Parental Love Song: "Cheer Up, Charlie" is sung by Mrs. Bucket to Charlie as he becomes depressed over not finding a Golden Ticket.
- Perspective Magic: Mr. Wonka's factory has fun with this.
- Phony Newscast: There are many in the first half of the film, tracking the progress of the Golden Ticket contest and thus providing lots of exposition (as well as humor).
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: Early on, there's a woman whose husband has been kidnapped. She says she'll do anything to get him back... and then the kidnappers demand her case of Wonka Bars. All of a sudden, she needs time to think it over.
- Popping Buttons: Violet's belt pops off as she swells into a blueberry, and her dress is stretched out to its limits by the time the transformation is through.
- Pragmatic Adaptation
- The film adaptation addresses the problem that at the moment Charlie begins the factory tour, he becomes a completely passive non-entity who does nothing to earn the prize at the end outside of staying out of trouble. He still keeps his sense of wonder.
- Dahl left the production because his original script made everyone unlikeable.
- One parent for each brat is Demoted to Extra to cut down on the number of (mostly interchangeable) adults taking the actual tour, and Mr. Bucket is Adapted Out altogether — which also means the story loses the Darkest Hour stretch when he loses his job and the family begins to outright starve.
- In the novel, much of the progress of the Golden Ticket contest and the introductions to the first four finders are presented to the readers via newspaper articles the Buckets read. The movie gives them a TV set and uses Phony Newscasts, which lend themselves much better to the visual medium of film. Subsequent adaptations for screen and stage alike usually follow suit. Veruca Salt getting her ticket is also dramatized rather than recounted by Mr. Salt after the fact.
- The switch from squirrels/nuts to geese/eggs was likely this; even if they sprang for the special effects required it would have almost certainly ended up looking pretty bad done with the technology of the time.
- The lengthy Oompa-Loompa songs from the book are replaced with a single, boilerplate song that has unique lyrics for each reprise to match the aesop of the moment.
- The Great Glass Elevator first appears in the transitional chapter between the Nut Room and the Television-Chocolate Room in the novel and ferries the characters past a dazzling array of rooms; in this film, the Wonkavator equivalent is much smaller and only appears in the final sequence to go up and out. To compensate for this, the aforementioned transitional chapter is replaced with the unique-to-the-film Wonkamobile ride.
- The Prince Pondicherry flashback and the Square Candies that Look Round scene are both dropped, likely due to a combination of superfluousness and challenging staging demands.
- Primal Fear: The boat ride plays on darkness, enclosed spaces, etc.
- Putting a Hand over His Mouth: When Mr. Wonka is explaining that the golden chocolate eggs are being prepared for Easter, Mike Teavee notes "But Easter's over!" Mr. Wonka proceeds to do this, saying in a low voice "They [the geese] don't know that. I'm trying to get ahead for next year."
- Read the Fine Print: The kids happily sign the contract without caring about what it actually says (despite Mr. Beauregarde and Mr. Salt's reservations). As it turns out, this comes back to haunt Charlie and Grandpa Joe — part of the "You lose!" rant points out a clause that directly applies to their taking the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. A very small clause. Also part of Mr. Wonka's Secret Test.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Willy Wonka's aforementioned "You lose!" rant to Grandpa Joe.
- Restored My Faith in Humanity: Charlie returning the Gobstopper does this for Willy Wonka.
- The Reveal: At the end, it turns out that that's not the real Slugworth, but an employee of Mr. Wonka's masquerading as him.
- Rewritten Pop Version: Sammy Davis Jr's cover version of "The Candy Man" changes the phrase "Willy Wonka makes" to "The Candy Man makes".
- Rhyming with Itself: "Imagination" is rhymed with itself in the opening lines of "Pure Imagination".
- Road Trip Across The Street: An extreme example. It's not just that the tour party travels down a modest corridor to the Wonkavision room via the Wonkamobile — a curious car-like contraption. It's also that, while supposedly powerful, it moves no faster than walking pace and leaves everyone Covered in Gunge until they pass through the "Wonka Wash"! Upon disembarking, Mike asks Mr. Wonka if they couldn't have just walked and his reply is "If the Good Lord had intended us to walk, He wouldn't have invented roller skates."
- Robotic Assembly Lines: The opening credits sequence shows Real Life automated assembly lines creating various chocolate goodies — despite the fact that this Willy Wonka doesn't use them.
- Roll Out The Red Carpet: Come tour day there's one leading from the factory gate to its front door for Mr. Wonka and his guests to walk. (An online meme suggests, especially given its specific color, that this is where the contrasting red brick road seen in The Wizard of Oz's Munchkinland leads!)
- Rule of Perception: None of the visitors recognize that the chocolate river is chocolate until Mr. Wonka tells them. Mr. Salt even comments "Industrial waste, huh?" Clearly, the chocolate smells no stronger near the chocolate river than anywhere else in the confection-filled room.
- Scare Chord: During the boat ride, there's a low-pitched, drawn out one at the line "Is the grisly reaper mowing?"
- Sdrawkcab Name: Mr. Wonka and his remaining guests ride the Wonkamobile, which covers everyone with foam; then they drive through a device which turns their clothes dry and spotless.
Mrs. Teevee: What was that?
Mr. Wonka: Hsaw aknow.
Mrs. Teevee: Is that Japanese?
Mr. Wonka: No, it's "Wonka Wash" spelled backwards.
- Scenery Porn: The Chocolate Room, to a degree.
- Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka (2005) is an American musical that is not officially an adaptation of this film, instead having a script that is more book-accurate, but it includes all the songs, some new Leslie Bricusse-penned numbers, and even a variation on the Fizzy Lifting Drinks plot thread. It's noticeably Lighter and Softer than this movie as well, to the point that it's the lightest version of this story around. (Not to be confused with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 2013 West End musical that uses a Bootstrapped Theme and a few Internal Homages, but is otherwise a unique work.)
- Secondary Character Title: Yes, Willy Wonka is extremely important, but Charlie is the protagonist.
- Secret Test / Secret Test of Character: The Slugworth plot, which serves to show that at least some of Mr. Wonka's quirkiness is Obfuscating Stupidity so that no one forms any outside attachment to him.
- Serious Business: The whole world goes a little mad searching for the Golden Tickets:
Stanley Kael: We must remember there are many more important things, many more important things . . . offhand, I can't think of what they are, but I'm sure there must be something.
- Shopping Cart Antics: Veruca uses a cart to knock down a stack of boxes in "I Want It Now".
- Shout-Out: To Shakespeare: This is one of the few films to quote The Merchant of Venice but NOT "If you prick us..." Wonka's line "So shines a good deed in a weary world" comes from Act 5, Scene 1.
- Shrink Ray: The Wonkavision TV camera that shrinks down things (and people).
- Sidekick Song: "I've Got a Golden Ticket" for Grandpa Joe, with Charlie joining in later.
- Skewed Priorities: When Augustus falls in the chocolate river and almost drowns, Mr. Wonka is only concerned about the chocolate being contaminated.
- Solid Gold Poop: The geese that lay golden chocolate eggs.
- Something Completely Different: The scene just before the announcement of the fifth Golden Ticket being "found" by a Paraguayan gambler plays like something out of a completely serious police procedural (which, of course, just makes it funnier). It would count as a Big Lipped Alligator Moment if it didn't have a little bearing on the plot. Call it CSI: Candyland.
- Stunned Silence: When Mr. Wonka first emerges from the factory limping and dour, the whole crowd in attendance for his first public appearance in years goes deathly silent, apparently shocked by the sight and unsure what to say. Then he pulls off that somersault, whereupon the crowd goes wild.
- Surprise Creepy/Surreal Horror: The boat ride.
- Tantrum Throwing / Trash the Set: Veruca's song "I Want It Now" climaxes with her destroying much of the Golden Goose room!
- Theme Tune Extended: When Michael Feinstein recorded a Cover Album of children's songs in The Nineties, he chose "Pure Imagination" to serve as the title track. Because the song is rather short as is (one verse and a chorus that gets two go-rounds), original lyricist Leslie Bricusse wrote a second verse and chorus to extend it. Interestingly, while there have been quite a few cover versions of this song since then, the vast majority of them do not use this extension, nor does the 2013 stage musical.
- Too Dumb to Live: The bratty kids, especially Violet.
- Too Many Halves: Mr. Wonka says "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." Mrs. Teevee points out that that adds up to 105%.
- Truth in Television: Most of Mr. Wonka's factory is pure fantasy, but his statement that he's making the geese work even though Easter is over to stock up for next year is, in fact, standard procedure for any product that is only sold during a holiday season. A company has to manufacture it all year and store it, because the demand for it during the month or so when it's sold is overwhelming.
- Verbal Backspace: Twice on Willy Wonka's part: "We have so much time and so little to do — Wait. Strike that. Reverse it." (Becomes Ret Canon in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and is elevated into a Catchphrase in the 2013 stage musical version of Chocolate Factory.)
- Villain Song: Veruca's "I Want It Now" song, which, ironically, ends badly for her right when she finishes it.
- We All Live in America: It's actually hard to tell if this trope is inverted, subverted, or averted. The location of all the filming Charlie's hometown was Munich, Germany, the better to give it a timeless feel. The houses do have a distinctly German look to them as a result. But other than that, Charlie has an American accent in a place where everyone else has British accents.
- What Does This Button Do?: Played by Mr. Wonka at the end in the Great Glass Wonkavator. Mr. Wonka lets Charlie know that he has pushed every button in the compartment besides one with a red ring around it, which he encourages Charlie to do, claiming he doesn't know what'll happen. Mr. Wonka eventually reveals he actually knew it would lead them up and out of the factory.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Wonder if that poor guy who got kidnapped for his wife's chocolate bars ever got rescued?
- What marvels/horrors did the Salts/Teavees experience while Charlie and Grandpa Joe were downing Fizzy Lifting Drinks? Or were they looking at golden geese the whole time?
- The other children and their parents are not seen or heard from again after their various mishaps, in contrast to the book and 2005 film version, in which they are spotted leaving the factory. Charlie asks about their fates at the end of the tour and Mr. Wonka claims the brats just got Amusing Injuries that they will recover from, though.
- What Is This, X?: Violet's reaction to the creepy tunnel ride ("What is this, a freak-out?!") as well as Mr. Salt's reaction to the odd trip towards the main candy room.
Mr. Salt: What is this, Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Mike Teavee is supposed to be from New Mexico but speaks in a stereotypically New York fashion when he's trying to sound like a tough guy (probably Rule of Funny). And in Charlie's hometown, there's a mix of American and British accents as part of the intentional evocation of Where the Hell Is Springfield?
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Charlie's nation (and thus Mr. Wonka's) is left vaguely looking like "Engl-Ameri-Poland." It was shot in Munich, and this was intentional on the part of the filmmakers so the story would retain some timelessness.
- World Gone Mad: Mr. Wonka's factory — particularly his office, in which there is only half of everything.
- Worst News Judgment Ever: Played for comedy. Due to the craze over Mr. Wonka's Golden Tickets, it's the top news story everywhere.
- You Monster!: Mrs. Gloop's reaction to Mr. Wonka telling her the pipe her son got stuck in leads to fudge room: "You terrible man!"
- Grandpa Joe calls Mr. Wonka an "inhuman monster" after his "You lose!" rant because Charlie is at first denied the grand prize.