YMMV / Bye Bye Birdie

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Conrad Birdie himself, especially in the movie; entitled celebrity Jerk Ass, or just psychotically determined to cram in as much fun as he can before he's sent off to get shot at? "Got A Lot of Livin' To Do" hints at the latter.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Everyone in the movie melting at the end of "Telephone Hour."
  • Broken Base:
    • Does the movie's retooled script ruin the musical, or does the movie feel entertaining enough in its own right?
    • The 1995 TV special followed the play more closely, but some viewers still found reason to like it less than the movie, such as calling its new songs Padding.
    • After NBC teased their own version of Bye Bye Birdie, viewers of said teaser seem divided between people who don't mind another screen version (especially if it'll follow the play more closely than the movie did), and people who wish NBC picked a musical that doesn't already have two screen adaptations. After the channel's production of Hairspray scored the lowest ratings yet of any musical televised live on a network during The New '10s, concerns arose over whether or not NBC needs to find a story more familiar than Bye Bye Birdie in order to Win Back the Crowd, and whether or not the star power of such cast members as Jennifer Lopez could attract enough viewers. The network seemed to rule out the former possibility in March 2017, when they hired Hairspray's live television director, Alex Rudzinski, and choreographer, Jerry Mitchell, to direct Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "We love you Conrad, oh yes we do / We love you Conrad, and we'll be true / When you're not near us, we're blue / Oh Conrad we love you."
    • And the alt version sung by the guys: "We hate you Conrad, oh yes we do / There's no-one that we hate more than you / Your singing makes us say "P.U." / Oh Conrad, we hate you."
  • First Installment Wins: The 1981 sequel, Bring Back Birdie, only lasted 4 performances on Broadway.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: ABC and NBC have gone from trying to compete with Ed Sullivan (whose program aired on CBS) to updating a musical about the excitement of appearing on his show.
  • Les Yay: There is an... interesting scene in the movie where Rosie walks into Kim's bedroom and casually undresses. Kim helps lace her into a sexy flamenco outfit and the scene culminates with Rosie kissing her on the forehead.
  • Narm: Any time Kim claims to be a grown woman becomes this in the 1995 TV special, which cast 27-year old Chynna Phillips in the role — despite her being five years older than Susan Watson and Ann-Margaret were when they played Kim, and 12 years older than what the script lists as 15-year old Kim's age.
  • Signature Scene: The movie has Kim (Ann-Margret) singing the title song while wearing a yellow dress and strolling on a treadmill in front of a blue background.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes
  • Values Dissonance: Though Albert's mother is not a particularly sympathetic character, her casual racism towards (the Hispanic) Rosie—Played for Laughs, even—can be jarring to modern audiences. Modern scripts for the play include alternative lines that soften her dialogue a tad.
    • The 1963 movie notably avoids this. Mrs. Peterson still hates Rosie, but it's because she is upset that Rosie will take her "baby," Albert, from her. In fact, Rosie's "Hispanic-ness" is barely even mentioned.
    • The lyrics of 'How Lovely To Be A Woman' can be cringe inducing and manages to load in multiple sexist stereotypes against both genders:
      'How lovely to be a woman/and have one job to do/to pick out a boy and train him/and then when you are through/you make him the man you want him to be...'
    • As can Hugo's possessiveness of Kim, Kim's eagerness to be told what to do by what is a comparatively new boyfriend... it doesn't always sit well with the feminists.
    • Granted, one should take into account that this is a teenage girl singing this, the age group that Twilight appeals to. The song actually shows to demonstrate how much she only thinks she's a woman.
  • The Weird Al Effect: Hollins University, an all-women's college in Roanoke, VA, has the particular tradition of singing the girls' verse of "We Love You Conrad" as an expression of affection ("We love you [Hollins/seniors/insert thing to be celebrated here], oh yes we do, we love you [X], and we'll be true! When you're not with us, we're blue! Oh, [X], we love you!"). A not-insignificant portion of the student body aren't aware that it's from this musical.
    • For that matter, there's probably a not-insignificant group of people who have only heard the tune as a The Beatles fan song.

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