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?

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.
  • 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's 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 died.
  • 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, possibly a tracheotomy scar, who probably died by burning to death from a lit cigarette. Perhaps the afterlife thinks that someone who burned to death 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?
  • 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.

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)?
  • 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.