Fridge / Beetlejuice

Fridge Logic
  • Prior depictions of the desert show it to be a Year Outside, Hour Inside type of place. How then could Barbara return in time with the sand worm if even seconds there translate to hours in the real world?
  • While the Maitlands were still alive, they lived in a large and beautiful house that they clearly loved. But Jane (however she's related to them) kept showing people pictures of the house as though she were authorized to sell it on their behalf. How was that even remotely legal?
    • It's not, but in the small town they live in she's treated more as a pest rather than a harasser. Sometimes Truth in Television, sadly.
    • Also, Adam's clearly on somewhat friendly terms with her, and his first instinct seeing her post mortem is a friendly wave. Since the Maitlands were specifically shown to have no children, it's possible the town simply had Jane resell the house since they had no next of kin.
      • Someone would have been in charge of the Maitland's estate, an executor they chose if they had a will, a court-appointed official if not (details depending on local laws) and whoever it was, that person would naturally sell the now-unoccupied house, and would call the local realtor to do it.
    • Jane was related to Barbara (sister?) so she was probably the executrix of the estate and sold the house as soon as she was able. She already had an offer from Charles before the movie time started.

Fridge Brilliance
  • Beetlejuice never speaks his own name. It's implied he cannot — otherwise he could summon himself at whim by simply chanting his name.
  • Death causes paperwork for the Celestial Bureaucracy that is the Afterlife. Suicide causes more death, which causes more paperwork. Therefore, suicide victims, who had killed themselves with the hope of either ending their pain, or possibly getting to heaven, are punished for causing more paperwork by having to file that paperwork during their time as ghosts. It doubles up to teach them that suicide doesn't end your problems, while at the same time not condemning them to Hell.
    • This isn't a final sentence, however, though it's implied to be a very long one with Juno. If Betelgeuse can quit or get fired, seemingly unpunished, it implies the rest of the suicides are willingly doing their work. The street pizza worker's even cheerful about it.
  • Every dead person seen in the movie (even the Maitlands are dripping wet and pale, and sharp eyes will notice Barbara's neck is broken) has an instantly-recognizable cause of death: a woman sliced in half by a magician's trick gone wrong, an obese man choking on a chicken bone, a smoker who burned to death who still insists he's "trying to quit"(who likely died because he went to sleep with a lit cigarette), and of course the obvious suicides - slashed wrists, hanging from a noose, flattened by the car they jumped in front of. The suicides are all bureaucrats stuck processing the paperwork, and the Maitlands are actually processed faster than the people who got themselves killed by easily-avoidable causes - and after they're processed, they are given lots of help. The Afterlife plays it tough but fair; if you were just minding your own business when you died, they'll do the best they can for you no matter how stupid you are (QED the dumb football team); but if you were pushing your luck, they consider it almost as bad as suicide: hurry up and wait, jerk.
  • Lydia, being a goth teenager, is perfectly willing to make a stupid decision which will have eternal ramifications (by killing herself) in order to stay with the Maitlands. They save her from this, but later, during Otho's exorcism, the only way she can save them is by saying those three little words and getting married - exactly the same sort of stupid decision many other teenagers have made, regardless of the consequences. Worth noting that the Maitlands are exorcised wearing their wedding clothes, and Beetlejuice is defeated a split-second before the minister finishes saying "I now pronounce you man and wife."
  • Even if Betelgeuse got married, the sand worm eating him would have still worked, since he'd be mortal again and still dead.
  • Juno is a case worker, and thus a civil servant. "But wait," you say, "she didn't commit suicide!" Well, she has a hole in her neck, presumably a tracheotomy scar, which suggests that she died of her smoking habit - lung cancer or emphysema, for example. Perhaps the afterlife thinks that someone who died from a habit they should never have had in the first place "committed suicide". Maybe the most incredibly subtle anti-smoking allusion ever put into a movie?
    • Or maybe she continued smoking even after she had the tracheotomy. Some people never learn.
    • It's not a tracheotomy scar. Those are somewhere around one to two inches across and look closer to a belly button. Juno slit her own throat.
    • Juno's presumably Older Than They Look — her assistant says he was alive during the Black Plague, after all.
  • Of course, since Beetlejuice was her assistant, he would have committed suicide too. One wonder what he did to himself to gain that bizarre appearance.
    • He hanged himself. This was going to be mentioned in the film but was cut for time. A woman broke his heart and he committed suicide by hanging, and he botched the job and died very painfully.
    • This also explains Betelgeuse's Pet the Dog moment when he genuinely wonders why Lydia would want to cross over. He didn't get the regular death like the Maitlands did, and Lydia's suicidal. He knows exactly what she's in for.
  • Why are there hauntings in the first place? Ghosts have to have numbers and paperwork and case workers to handle all of that. Think about it; people who die go somewhere ultimately, but even completely accidental deaths like the Maitlands have to spend 125 years waiting for something - waiting in the living world. This is almost a Wild Mass Guess, but perhaps that's simply how the Celestial Bureaucracy handles the massive number of people who die in modern eras; explain the situation, then tell them to stay out of the way until Heaven or Hell or whatever has a place open up for them.
  • Beetlejuice's Ax-Crazy hauntings make a little more sense once you analyse the terms of his job: after all "exorcism" in this world is "death for the dead", so obviously a "bio-exorcism" would be "death to the living". Of course, it becomes Fridge Horror once you realise the Maitlands basically hired a hitman without realizing it.
    • The exorcism merely gets rid of the ghosts, deporting them to the lost souls room. Thus a bio-exorcist would merely get rid of the people. The Deetzes, being typical Seen It All New Yorkers, take a bit more to scare than most.
  • After reading the Handbook, Lydia implies that only strange and unusual people would see ghosts. This, in turn, implies that Delia's just as much a flake as her agent says, and foreshadows Otho being a poser despite his claims to the contrary.

Fridge Horror
  • What happens if you are blown to pieces when you die? Or some other messy manner where your body is in fragments (i.e. not just cut in half like the Magician's Assistant)?
    • Well, there was that one guy who was flattened by a car - he's suspended from a track on the ceiling. So are a lot of people hanging from nooses. Wild Mass Guess; suicide bombers and butterfingered DIY bombmakers get various body parts taped to keyboards, and their eyes in front of screens - these idiots REALLY had it coming, so the Afterlife is going to get some use out of them, by God!
  • If you die of extreme old age, do you spend eternity as your withered, immobile form? Most of the ghosts seemed to have died more or less in their prime.
    • Old age is something the Celestial Bureaucracy can prepare for years in advance - the exact opposite of suicide - so people who die of it probably get processed fast. We never see a ghost who isn't working their way through the system, so presumably geriatrics get to move on to whatever comes after haunting without having to spend time in the system at all.
      • In fact, maybe the reason it takes so long for others to be processed is because their paperwork is filed for their eventual demise in old age, and when they didn't live that long, the paperwork has to be found and re-processed.
  • Suicide victims become paper-pushers in the after-life, right? Beetlejuice used to work for Juno, so...
    • This is apparently canonical. There was going to be a reveal somewhere in the film that he hanged himself while drunk because a woman broke his heart.