Fridge / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Book

Fridge Brilliance
  • To get her ticket, Veruca Salt forced her father's workers, who are usually opening nuts, to search for it. Fittingly, it is another hard-working crew of nut-shellers that give her her comeuppance. It's even the same number of workers in both cases (100).
    • And with regards to how they react to her, at least in Quentin Blake's illustrations and the 2005 film, they probably weren't too happy to see someone in a fur coat approaching them!
  • Augustus the gluttonous kid gets the earliest punishment, because what do you think would happen when you put a gluttonous kid in a chocolate factory? However, he also gets the lesser punishment, one that's not permanent, because while his gluttony makes him unfit to inherit Wonka's factory, it's basically appreciation for Wonka's products!
    • Then again, like Veruca's, it's impermanent but very terrifying: He nearly DROWNS, then is forcefully sucked up a pipe which is way too small for him, must nearly suffocate, and is then (presumably painfully based on how thin he becomes) blasted off to the Fudge Room, where there's the threat of being killed and made into his favorite food! Dahl seemed to have a real dislike of fat kids...
      • Though, at least in the second movie adaption, Augustus is fine when he exits the factory. Violet is permanently blue (but in said movie she thinks that being elastic is awesome), Mike is streched thin. Veruca hasn't learned the lesson... but her father did, and he's evidently going to be stricter with his daughter.
      • In the book Augustus has become very thin from being squeezed in the pipe (somehow), while Veruca is merely covered in garbage. In the 2005 film adaptation, while Veruca's father has come out stricter, Augustus's mother also seems to have learned a lesson, telling him to stop eating his fingers.
  • Veruca's parents are the only ones who get the same treatment as their child. It's common to blame the parents for their childrens' problems, and the Salts are participating in the same poor behavior as their daughter. Veruca asks for a squirrel, and her father tries to bargain with Wonka. Since the whole family had the self-entitlement issue, they all went down the chute, and presumably all learned their lesson.
  • Theories have arisen that Wonka was trying to kill the children with his tour, but it makes more sense that he was acting as a Well-Intentioned Extremist and teaching them a lesson. Each section of the factory where the children get altered is made to match their temptations, and each comes out harmed but alive in the end. By making sure the bratty children live, Wonka leaves a lasting mark on them to serve as a reminder to them and their parents of what caused the accidents. Notably, the parents are more upset than the children, since they were responsible for their behavior, and looking at their children will serve as a reminder of what they were doing.
  • Overlapping with Rewatch Bonus, it seems that Charlie was the only child not severely tested with his vices, namely his chocolate cravings, until we come across the Everlasting Gobstoppers. They're candy that are meant to last forever, for "children with little pocket money" which would mean a lot to a poor child like Charlie that only gets candy on his birthday. Charlie doesn't even acknowledge them but moves on with Mr. Wonka to the hair toffee and three-course meal gum. It also helps that when candy is offered to him by Mr. Wonka, say the blades of sweet grass, the mug of melted chocolate from the river or the bar of television chocolate, he takes it without question because Charlie knows what scarcity is and he's starving.

Fridge Horror
  • The gates of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory open for the first time in decades, and five children walk in. Four come out horribly traumatised and, in some cases, deformed by their experiences. The fifth does not, and as the events of the Great Glass Elevator show us, Willy Wonka does not take the time to state what actually happened in the factory. Did Charlie really inherit a fortune, or is Wonka's factory about to be shut down (or at the very least boycotted by Moral Guardians) for what Wonka did?
  • Is Willy Wonka telling the truth about the Oompa Loompas, or is "Loompaland" a coverup in which Wonka has taken regular people, miniaturized, and enslaved them? But then again, it's not like he has inventions that change one's appearance (Violet) or can shrink people (Mike)...

Fridge Logic
  • When Wonka reopens his factory and won't let anyone in, how does he market his wares without having to deal with workplace safety and food health regulations?
    • Money.
  • Augustus is described as being very thin after being squeezed in the pipe. How is that possible?? Is his flesh just hanging off him loosely? And for that matter, how do the physics of the entire pipe scene work?
    • That pipe is not the only physics-defying object owned by Willy Wonka: the elevator that goes to space is another. If we don't want to apply thought-stopping mantras like A Wizard Did It or the MST3K Mantra, we could infer that Willy Wonka possesses Sufficiently Advanced Technology. As to why he does, it could be that he is actually an alien. In keeping with the spirit of TV Tropes, we could guess that he is a Time Lord, and the factory is his TARDIS. From this, we could even understand how he deals with workplace safety and food health regulations: the inside of his factory actually does conform to safety and hygiene rules, but whenever children come to visit it, he activates a combination of holograms that make it look like a crazy theme park. In other words, nothing of what the children see is real.
    • The pipes work in the same way that the taffy-puller can restore Mike Teavee to human height if not human proportions; the juicing room can 'fix' blueberrification; and the Television Chocolate device somehow renders TV screens insubstantial as a side effect of its teleportation power - they shouldn't. But they do. This is one of those 'sense of childlike wonder' things that Wonka's 'fairyland' expects you to accept.

The Films

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

see Fridge.WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Fridge Brilliance
  • At first it was odd how pale Wonka/Depp was, especially since his coloring is normal in the flashbacks, then it hit me. He's been living in a factory with no natural light for years!
  • Also at first it surprised me that Wonka's chocolate has such a primitive, cheap-looking package. But then it occurred to me: his chocolate is marketed primarily at children, so bright, simple package is actually fitting.
    • Usually, the front-runner in an industry doesn't have to spend money on packaging. People trust the name. Hershey's has about the dullest wrappers imaginable, and they've been doing all right for a while now.
  • In the end of 2005 film, Charlie doesn't seem to be fooled in the slightest by Wonka's literal Paper-Thin Disguise when he's polishing his shoes. It helps that said shoes have his logo on the sole, as we just saw in the previous scene.
  • Mike Teevee was able to locate the ticket because he was able to use mathematics to spot a pattern and buy the correct chocolate bar. Could it be that Wonka chose where the chocolate bars went or he had an agent tracking the bars like in the first version of the film?

Fridge Horror
  • Veruca being a bad nut and being put down the chute may seem like a very bad fate, but suppose she had been a good "nut". The squirrels CRACK OPEN good nuts. Remember, the squirrel tapped Veruca's HEAD so would they have opened that up?
    • They couldn’t. Human skulls are just too large and hard.
    • On a different note, what did Mike's face look like at the end?
      • About the same; obviously they stretched him at the shoulders and the ankles.
  • Violet Beauregard? Okay, so her being pumped full of juice and squeezed out left her more flexible, but it also left her blue! For the rest of her life!
    • Maybe not. The coloring might work its way out of her pigmentation over time.
    • On another note, cam you imagine the process of "squeezing" done on Violet? Being pressed from all sides until all the juice is out is NOT fun.
      • Unless you're into that sort of thing of course.
    • After puberty, will she encounter monthly...pie filling?
  • Unlike in the 1971 film version, in which it is not made clear that Willy Wonka was aiming to have children find the Golden Tickets until the very end, it is clear from very early on that Willy Wonka intends for five children to find the Tickets and win the tour of his factory, as opposed to five people of any age. Then Charlie wins and Willy Wonka tells him that he wants to make him his heir with a Not His Sled twist offer to leave his family behind and never see them again. This man was planning all along to separate any child from his or her family forever.
    • He makes it pretty clear that he doesn't think of that as a bad thing. He thought taking a child away from their family would make them much happier and ultimately better off until Charlie convinced him to talk to his father again.
  • Dr. Wonka somehow moved the entire house from its foundation while his son was away. He must have anticipated his son would rebel and run away.
  • Also, and this applies to the book too, the Oompa Loompas all know, and sing in unison, the songs sung at the children's punishments. Unless they have some kind of group telepathy that I missed, this means that these songs were rehearsed. They, and by extension, Wonka as well, knew EXACTLY how the children were going to mess things up for themselves. The implication being that Wonka did a bit of research on these kids' fatal flaws, and deliberately set up rooms to ensnare them until only Charlie remained.
    • Wonka mentions at one point that about 20 Oompas died of the chewing gum. Why did the first victim's partners not wisen up and never eat the gum again? Simple; they did, and were then forced into balls so that the others could practice their choreography.
    • It may instead have been a case of Crazy-Prepared - preparing and rehearsing dozens of song-and-dance numbers with titles like "Mike Teavee / Chocolate Room" and "Charlie Bucket / Mount Fudgemore", only four of which they had to use.
    • That is a pretty cool idea, while Wonka seems to think they are really good at improving songs, if they really did come up with a song for each kid in each room just to poke fun at them, that is some serious Crazy-Prepared level hilariousness. Of course if Wonka did set it all up, it would also make sense. But given the way the book's reality is, them just really be that good at improv may be completely fine at face value.
    • I think once you find out that the whole purpose of the Golden Tickets was to find a child to name as heir, it moves past being just "implied" that Wonka set the entire tour up to weed out the bad kids. Each one of them was specifically placed in situations that suited their respective vices and each one of them gave in to their temptations. Except Charlie. Of course the Oompa-Loompas had songs prepared. They probably had one ready for Charlie as well. The "good at improvising" line is a Suspiciously Specific Denial, after all...
  • The vehicles slowly get smaller as the film goes on. This means that Wonka not only knew which rooms would take out which kids, but he also knew how many people they would lose per room.
Fridge Logic
  • Applies to both films, really, with a bit of New Media Are Evil thrown in for good measure. Think about it: the Oompa Loompas are singing a morality song about TV rotting your brain... in a movie. Slightly excusable in that they're kind of saying it's an excess of TV that's bad, but it's still a little "Huh?".
    • It gets even funnier when the movie is being aired on TV. (The song in the book pretty much says any TV is bad, period.)
    • Making chocolate bars smaller. Pointed out in a Saturday Night Live parody with Al Gore:
    Glen Wonka (Al Gore) to his brother Willy: Wait! I almost forgot! There's that billion dollars you spent on that machine that turns giant candy bars into tiny chocolate bars. Help me wrap my brain around that one 'cause I'm missing the big profit opportunity!
    • Hang on, he's got a machine that can miniaturise ANYTHING, even living things. It would have innumerable applications in electronics, where years of research has been put into making smaller components. And that doesn't include the fact that he's invented a way to teleport any matter to a network of pre-existing recievers (all the TV sets in the world). Kind of useful...
    • It's actually pointed out in the second movie when they shut down the room once the scene ends, implying that the whole thing served no purpose than to get that brat to shrink himself.
    • The point was presumably to turn giant candy bars into millions of candy bars across the country, which would introduce the Fridge Logic of Reed Richards Is Useless.
      • Thoroughly explained in the book as Willy Wonka trying to reach a new market. Back when Dahl first wrote the book, television for the general public was still a fairly new concept. It's ridiculous, yes, but then so are the Square Sweets That Look Round - Willy Wonka clearly has money to burn on ridiculous concepts like making giant candy bars and shrinking them down one at a time via an awkward giant camera setup.
    • Chocolate doesn't have to make sense.
      • That's why it's chocolate.
  • The logic behind the kids' "punishments" was always kind of interesting to me. While all four are spoiled, it's only Veruca's parents who are punished alongside her. This is apparently because, as the song says, they share the blame for her character flaw. With the others, however, this is apparently not so. While the text does make it clear that the Gloops, Beauregardes, and Teavees either encourage or turn a blind eye to their childrens' flaws, the punishment eventually falls on the kids alone - it is Augustus who is sucked painfully up the pipe, it is Violet who is permanently blue, and it is Mike who is now a Slender-Man-esque freak of nature, while the parents only look on with dismay. Augustus's song especially makes it clear that he's just a loathsome human being (though we don't get too much evidence of that in his behavior besides, you know, his gluttony). But why do their parents, unlike Veruca's, get off scot-free?
    • Possibly because Mr. Salt has the distinction of having a direct role in Veruca's brattiness, while the Gloops, Mrs. Beauregarde, and the Teevees are only responsible indirectly, by not stopping the bad habits.
  • Charlie Bucket only found the fifth Golden Ticket on Jan 31, the night before the event. Which means no media circus, and no time for the Oompa-Loompas to rehearse a jaunty little death-and-dismemberment song for Charlie. Maybe that's the "real" reason he was the last child standing.
  • "We need the money more than we need the chocolate." But going already guarantees a lifetime supply of chocolate even before the special prize is revealed. They can still sell the chocolate after the factory tour. (Of course, they don't know yet what the tour will involve.)
  • When Mr. Salt tries to talk down Veruca in the Nut Room, Wonka smiles. When he fails, Wonka frowns again and allows the plan to proceed. From this one moment, it's clear that Wonka hopes that none of these disasters will need to happen to the children, but of course, they all do, and they just have to learn the hard way.

The 2013 Stage Musical

Fridge Brilliance
  • How does the media track down Charlie so quickly when he finds his Golden Ticket? In the novel and other adaptations, Charlie has quite a few witnesses to his opening that fateful Wonka Bar because he's at/near a sweetshop, so word obviously spread quickly, but in this version he buys the candy from a passing vendor and only one other person is around to see him open it. Answer: That's a disguised Willy Wonka, who promptly and anonymously contacts the media once he knows his plan worked!
  • There's a beautiful Double Meaning in the "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" lyrics "For in the end there's quite a prize/If you can see with more than eyes..." Such "sight" can be achieved with the imagination — the primary meaning in context. But the phrase could also refer to "seeing" beyond appearances, as in the True Beauty Is on the Inside Aesop. This is something Charlie does all the time with the discarded items he (as well as his father) brings home from the dump, because while they don't look like much, they are still useful. He also isn't one to judge people by outside appearances; he's kind to whomever he meets, no matter how humble or strange they might be. Alas, come time to Roll Out the Red Carpet, the poor kid is regarded as the least of the Golden Ticket finders just because he's the shabbiest and shyest of the lot — the assembled press can't see beyond appearances and fail to recognize the dreadful people beneath the brats' flashy exteriors. But Willy Wonka can! That's why the boy got his ticket: When Wonka went incognito at the dump as the poor, elderly, grouchy tramp, he witnessed firsthand Charlie's imagination and unconditional kindness, recognized the child's inner beauty, and decided to help him...
  • It may not have been intentional, but Mike Teavee's fate in this version is especially blackly funny for those familiar with Roald Dahl's adult short story "William and Mary". In both, a woman (Mary/Doris Teavee) finds herself confronted with the transformation of a nasty male (William/Mike) into a near-helpless, dependent state. Both men thought participating in a technological experiment would be awesome, but now they're forever subject to the whims of women they've dominated and mistreated.
  • Initially, it's confusing as to why the hidden challenge of the final room requires an order of Wonka's to be disobeyed, since most every version of this story prizes following the rules. But giving The Reveal some thought is a starting point to unlocking what's going on. Willy Wonka knows Charlie is a nice kid, having observed him in the dump; he doesn't have to test his morals. He would likely give Charlie the factory anyway if he followed the rules here, but proof that the boy's creativity is simply second nature to him is a sort of One Hundred Percent Completion!
    • Alternatively/in addition: being an inventor requires being willing to break the rules in order to create new things.
    • It hearkens back to the contract-writing scene, too. "Do as I do, not as I say." Wonka doesn't drink from the chocolate river, he doesn't chew experimental gum, he doesn't attempt to kidnap his nut-cracking squirrels, he doesn't go on jaunts through the television chocolate machine, but he does write in his idea book.
  • Related to the above, by the time Charlie and Willy Wonka's jaunt in the Great Glass Elevator is through, the rest of his family has arrived at the factory and been briefed on the boy's triumph. How did that happen so fast? Since Charlie's getting the factory either way, when Wonka takes Grandpa Joe aside to talk "legal matters" it not only allows the final test to take place but lets him spill the beans on what's actually going on, while some Oompa-Loompas are dispatched to collect the rest of the family.
  • Charlie's paper airplane/letter to Willy Wonka flying over the audience and up to the balcony early in Act One is a sweet enough moment as it is...Then one realizes the image has an echo near the end of the show that shows just how far his dreams have come: the Great Glass Elevator, carrying Charlie and Willy Wonka, flies up into the night sky and over the first few rows of the audience.
  • Over at the Headscratchers page, it's been asked why, in all versions, Mr. Wonka chose to close his factory and sack his workforce when he discovered his recipes were being stolen when he might have instituted tighter security measures, etc. instead. This version, without stating it outright, actually provides an interesting explanation if one thinks things through: This Wonka became a confectioner For Happiness, believes in Doing It for the Art, and is terribly sensitive about his work (as artists tend to be). Realizing that rivals were stealing/ripping off the wonderful confections he poured his imagination and heart into — out of envy and greed, seeing it only as a commodity — would have been absolutely soul-crushing for him, perhaps serving as a Cynicism Catalyst. His emotional distress, in conjunction with his established eccentricity, might well have driven him to the extreme measure of closing the factory and only reopening it once he'd found a way to (via the self-contained Oompa-Loompa workforce as it turned out) make his factory virtually self-sufficient, that he might continue to make that outside world a happier place with his creations yet Never Be Hurt Again by those who would find ways to exploit his gifts.
    • It adds credience in the 2017 Broadway version, as it's implied that Wonka has gotten bitter and thus why his actions are the way they are; he went from a man who was inspired to do many great things but gets wrecked by people who aren't exactly great for imaginative people like him. Thus he grew bitter and cold towards the world, but something in Charlie reawakened a part of him.