"Will you walk into my parlor?"
"The Spider and the Fly" is a poem written in 1829 by Mary Howitt. It was more recently adapted into picture book form by Tony Diterlizzi in 2002.
In this story, the protagonist, the Fly, walks into the Spider's parlor one night. She is then warmed up by the Spider with his acts of courtesy and flattery. Unfortunately, these kind acts are a facade, as the Spider has nasty plans for her. However, even though other victims try to pass on warnings, the Fly is distracted by the Spider's charm, and therefore is unaware of the fate she is soon to befall.Needs Wiki Magic Love
The books provide examples of:
- Badass Mustache: The cricket ghost. Also the Spider.
- Big Brother Instinct: Both ghost bugs for the Fly, warning her to leave.
- Butt Monkey: The Cricket. He gets kicked by the Spider while already dead!
- Damsel out of Distress: The Fly. She struggles and puts up a fight before she ultimately dies.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Spider, in the "letter" he wrote after he has dinner.
- The Ditz/Too Dumb to Live: There is an actual scene where the Fly SEES a floating book with the title The Joy of Cooking Bugs in the Spider's house. Either she really wants to stay with the spider, or she personifies this trope.
- Doom Magnet: The Fly, obviously. She happens upon the house where the Spider lives.
- Downer Ending/ The Bad Guy Wins
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Spider.
- Evil Feels Good: The Spider can tell you all about how much he loves his job especially in the epilogue.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Spider plays "courteous host" until he is ready to pounce.
- Film Noir: The whole book is set up in a old-timey, silver-screen setting.
- The Flapper: As the book takes place in a 1920s movie setting, the Fly gets to be this. And she looks good in it, too.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Much intimate tension is seen between the Spider and the Fly, but nothing has ever been explicitly expressed. She finds him charming and promises to come back, he compliments her and tells her she's beautiful. After he kills her, he mentions in the letter that she "put up a commendable fight".
- GASP!: When the Spider and Fly look like they might have a romantic moment, only for him on the next page to capture her
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: Again, this plays into the idea that the hero and villain are attracted to each other. It is up for debate wether or not the Spider is physically attractive, but he is at least charming.
- Only Known by Their Nickname : All of the cast, actually. Though Word of God has some mention gave 'names' in paper puppets, downloadable here.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: The Spider only has glasses in one picture. They're either reading glasses given the scene, lounging around in his pajamas in front of the Fly, or they're just to make him look smart.
- Scare 'Em Straight: How the Aesop is presented.
- Scenery Porn
- Take That: The epilogue of the book features one towards Charlotte's Web and readers who expected Happily Ever After.
- Villainous Fashion Sense: The Spider, even outside of clothing fashion. Word of God says this, in fact "Sometimes, like Mr. Spider in The Spider & The Fly, it’s all about the costume they wear…or the house they live in".