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YMMV: Big Fish
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Don Price is incredibly possessive of Sandra, and he beats Edward to a pulp when Edward makes advances towards her. he really such a Jerkass, or was he just terrified of dying alone after the Witch showed him that he would die young? In the end, is he an antagonistic Jerkass, or is he a tragic underdog who spent his whole life being overshadowed by Edward only to die at age 20 as a direct result of Edward stealing his fiancee?
    • And of course, since all we know about him is how he's portrayed in Edward's self-aggrandizing stories, we have no idea how he really was or how the affair played out in real life.
    • Or if he even existed.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, Will sees a large fish swimming in Edward's pool when he goes to clean it, but it quickly vanishes and he never sees it again. The incident is never mentioned after that. We never find out if the fish was really there (or if he just imagined it) or how it wound up in the pool. Or, for that matter, how a fish could survive in water laced with chlorine...
    • This might dip into WMG territory, but this happens about the time Will started softening up to his dad's tall tales. Maybe he's finally coming around to his dad's perspective?
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • When Don sees his future death in the Witch's eye, it makes you wonder how it will affect him later. Even Edward admits that seeing your own death "could kinda screw you up", but this is never brought up. Then again... later, Don shows that he's so desperate to marry Sandra that he'll beat Edward to a pulp for intruding on her, even though Sandra obviously doesn't love him and leaves him for Edward at the drop of a hat. Why is that? Could it be that he knew he was going to die soon, and was terrified of dying alone? Tragically, Don's desperation to avoid this ends up leading to his death.
    • The story about Edward catching the catfish on the day of Will's birth is the very first story that we hear, and it's treated as a sort of Establishing Character Moment for both Edward and Will. Edward keeps telling it up until Will's in his 30s, even whipping it out on Will's prom night and at his wedding, giving the impression that he's self-centered and oblivious to his son's coming of age. We see Will gradually getting more annoyed at the story as he gets older, eventually accusing his dad of being a pompous glory hound who hides behind elaborate fantasies because he can't face the real world. But then at the end, we find out that the catfish story is, in fact, one of the only stories that Edward completely made up—all of his other tall tales were just exaggerated retellings of things that actually happened to him. The story then takes on a completely different meaning when you realize that Edward romanticized the story of his son's birth to make up for not being there to see it. He wasn't telling the story out of ego...he was telling his son how much he loved him in the only way that he knew how.
    • Regarding the exaggeration in the stories, how much is from the way Edward tells it and how much is from Will's imagination? For instance, if Edward mentioned the Siamese twins, Will could've pictured conjoined twins when really they were just twins from Siam. Or in regards to Karl, pretty much anyone would call an almost eight-foot-tall person a giant, but a child would picture someone called a giant a lot bigger than just eight feet. That doesn't explain the werewolf, though...
    • The twins are "joined at the hip" in the flashbacks. Edward could have simply used the popular expression, while his son mistakenly thought he was being literal.
  • Growing the Beard: This is the movie that proved that Tim Burton could appeal to a wide audience outside of his cult fanbase of gothic fantasy and black comedy fans.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A movie about a raconteur who dies on his own terms inspired Spalding Gray to commit suicide.
  • Heartwarming Moments: See the page.
  • Narm: "You are what you always were...a very big fish."
  • Retroactive Recognition: Deep Roy, who plays a circus clown/attorney, would later go on to play the Oompa Loompas in Burton's remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All of them.
    • Miley Cyrus appears as one of young Edward's friends; it was her first film role and is credited under her birth name Destiny.
    • The movie was one of Marion Cotillard's rare English-language films before winning the Oscar in 2007.
  • Tear Jerker: This is an emotional movie.

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