YMMV / Carrie

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Christian fundamentalists. To be fair, the novel makes it clear that Margaret's behavior is not typical of most Christians. In the 2013 film, Carrie specifically points out to her mother that her most insane dogma is nowhere in the Bible.
    • King also makes it pretty clear that Margaret's religious mania is simply the result of a very mentally disturbed woman latching onto Christianity in a time of sadness and desperation. One of the fictional book passages goes into Margaret's backstory and reveals that she began attending fundamentalist prayer meetings after the violent death of her father. There she meet Ralph White (Carrie's father) who was most assuredly not the best partner for someone like Margaret; their relationship is very codependent and toxic and Ralph's own fundamentalism just makes Margaret's worse. By the time Carrie is sixteen, Margaret has gone off the deep end and created her own version of Christianity based on her own interpretations and dogma, to the point where she holds weekly services with herself as the minister and makes up Bible quotes to suit her agenda. The novel does a great job of making it clear that Margaret's extremism is the product of her own instability, not necessarily because of Christianity itself. As a result, Margaret comes off a lot less of a strawman for Christian fundamentalists.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Most people have only heard of the book as a result of the De Palma film despite Stephen King being one of the most popular and prolific authors in modern pop culture.
  • Catharsis Factor: For many, Carrie's rampage is less nightmarish and more a satisfying comeuppance scene for some of fiction's most loathsome abusers and bullies.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Due to how well known the story is, reading the book/watching the film can be a pretty sour experience. You know something terrible is coming, so the few scenes where Carrie genuinely appears happy will always have a sense of dread over them. Even if you're not familiar with the story, being well-read enough to know what direction it's going in can dampen the mood.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Well, let's see. A girl, sweet and shy, is bullied mercilessly by her classmates. She has a trait that makes her different—not evil, just different. When she reveals this trait to her fanatically Christian mother, her mother decides to murder her. Finally embracing this trait ultimately gets the girl killed. (And, in some versions she kills herself.) Put in that context, the entire thing can be read as a Coming-Out Story Gone Horribly Wrong. And that's not even mentioning the fact that the mother literally keeps her in a closet. It's no surprise that the story has a massive LGBT Fanbase.
  • Fanfic Fuel: If this was set in the Marvel Universe, either Magneto would find out about Carrie White and approach her as a prime candidate for The Brotherhood, or Professor Xavier would detect her burgeoning telekinetic power as she goes berserk at the prom and scramble The X-Men to get her under control before things get out of hand.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Carrie deconstructs the revenge story on bullies by showing one victim lashing out at the end, destroying nearly everyone with her at her high school and creating a Dying Town. Stephen King in On Writing called Carrie a female version of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers,
  • Hollywood Homely: The book averts this describing Carrie as looking the part of the loser being chunky and covered in acne. Though Tommy says later she wasn't repulsive and she's described as beautiful at the prom. The De Palma film avoids this as never once is Carrie suggested as ugly just incredibly socially inept and shy. The Tv film goes out of its way to make Bettis's Carrie looking freakish thereby avoiding this trope. The 2013 film plays this trope dead straight however.
  • It Was His Sled: By now, it's a Foregone Conclusion that any version of this story will end with Carrie getting pranked and killing everyone. ALL 3 film versions promptly show the prank and parts of the prom destrution.

    • The term "dirty pillows" has become a satirical euphemism for breasts, used primarily to make fun of prudish Moral Guardians.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
In the book, Miss Desjardin, the gym teacher who had been very helpful to Carrie throughout the novel, laughs at her with the rest of them when the prank occurs, although she does express regret later on. Carrie also learns through crude emotional telepathy that Miss Desjardin (who enjoyed slapping Carrie in the showers) feels a mixture of pity for her and annoyance at her social awkwardness. Averted in the film adaptations, though, including the original where it's implied Carrie is only imagining her laughing.
  • Margaret probably crossed it long before the story begins (probably the second she first locked Carrie in a prayer closet, actually), but when she decides to murder her daughter, you know there's absolutely no hope of her ever being redeemed.
  • Signature Scene: The prom rampage, to the degree that all posters for adaptations will have Carrie in her blood-stained prom dress featured on there.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: You shouldn't EVER laugh at others' misfortune.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't bully the unpopular girl, or she'll use her telekinetic powers to murder you all horribly. The trope is starting to lose its "Space Whale" aspect in these days of school shootings.
  • Values Dissonance: Present in the novel but justified since it's explicitly set in the 70s and things are updated in the more modern films. For example Miss Desjardin doesn't slap Chris as she did in the novel - these days a teacher hitting a student would be fired on the spot. Likewise the 2013 film states that social services stepped in to stop Margaret from home-schooling Carrie.
  • Values Resonance: Possibly the reason why it was remade in 2013. School bullying (particularly cyber-bullying) is now seen as a far greater issue than it was in The '70s, something that director Kimberly Peirce has repeatedly brought up in interviews.
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