These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Accidental Innuendo: While it's less prevalent than it is in the movie (see below) the book still manages it at least once:
Oh, the joy of being able to cram large pieces of something sweet and solid into one's mouth!
In one of Dahl's writings for Playboy, "schnozzberry" was used as a euphemism for "penis."
Is Charlie merely a patsy, intended to inherit the responsibility for the multiple acts of child abuse, unsafe working conditions, and slave labour committed in Mr. Wonka's factory?
Could Mr. Wonka be an example of Asexuality? His devotion to a field of work most would consider only a hobby and the fact he didn't get married and chose to find an heir rather than have children suggests he might be a Celibate Eccentric Genius.
Is Mr. Wonka an Aesop Enforcer and Chessmaster, deliberately steering the unknowing brats towards their various fates as a Radish Cure of sorts or a way to Scare 'Em Straight? Each is taken out of the running when they go to steal or use something that clearly isn't safe but they still want, all playing right into their various vices — which Mr. Wonka is likely aware of, having presumably followed the press coverage of the contest. It would also explain why the Oompa-Loompas seem to know so much about the kids (a question actually broached in-story in the 2005 film). In adaptations, Mr. Wonka usually seems to be decidedly unconcerned with rescuing or stopping the kids, so...
In a related issue, are any or all of the tickets intended to fall into the hands of the kids who find them, that they may be punished or rewarded as appropriate? Depending on which version one's reading/watching, the possibility may be unaddressed, teased, lampshaded, and/or confirmed!
Angst? What Angst?: The Golden Ticket tour group learns how dangerous Wonka's Factory can be — not to mention how nonchalant their guide is — when Augustus Gloop winds up sent to who-knows-where via the pipes, but it doesn't dampen their enthusiasm for the rest of the tour, even as further members are eliminated in similarly absurd disasters. No matter what they witness, no one ever asks to leave if they aren't directly affected by events, and the Audience Surrogate is having the time of his life. Granted, the disasters are all played for Black Comedy and the victims are all repulsive brats and coddling parents. The 2013 stage adaptation plays with this trope a little, again for laughs — even though the party is horrified by what happens to Augustus (and in this version it's suggested he might not survive), when the impatient Mr. Wonka asks them "Anybody want to go home?" not one answers in the affirmative! As the party further dwindles, though, anxiety creeps into the wonder of those still standing...
Anvilicious: The fates of the bratty kids. Lampshade Hanging in the 2013 musical gently tweaks this: "True, we lost a few children along the way...but we all learned something and that's the important thing!" according to Wonka.
Charlie Bucket is poor but virtuous and has as warm and loving a family as one could wish for. They suffer quite a bit early on... then he not only gets the rare chance to visit the factory he's always wondered about plus a lifetime supply of sweets, but also winds up becoming heir to the place! True, life as Willy Wonka's guest (and, in the sequel, sidekick) is sometimes terrifying — but so long as you follow the rules, it's never, ever boring.
Willy Wonka himself: A Renaissance Man extraordinaire, possessed of remarkable wit and intelligence, he doesn't just live in The Wonderland but created it. Moreover, while the real world can a harsh place for the good and too-comfortable for the bad, in his world, be it by chance or plotting, Laser-Guided Karma prevails. For anyone dispirited by just how unfair the world can be, this is a deeply satisfying fantasy.
Harsher in Hindsight: Viewers might view the Oompa-Loompas in a different light once they lean about the real life child slavery issue the cocoa industry has.
And the Amusing Injuries the kids suffer are much more terrifying if one remembers that children used to work in factories, and often suffered horrific actual injuries (sometimes fatal) in case of a slightest mistake.
Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: To an extent. Willy Wonka is the standout character and the most famous adaptation, a 2005 American stage musical, and a defictionalized candy brand are named after him rather than poor Charlie. But other adaptations use the original title without any trouble.
It Gets Better: The first third of the book is devoted to backstory and Developing Doomed Characters, but once the tour begins, wheeeeeee! Also applies to all adaptations, which easily split into two halves — the first set in the mundane world, the second in the absurd one.
It Was His Sled: Between all the adaptations and parodies, The Reveal that the Golden Ticket contest is a way for Wonka to find an heir has become this; some adaptations (most obviously the 2005 film) pull Not His Sled twists to compensate.
Magnum Opus: For Roald Dahl, at least where his work for children is concerned. Though cases can and have been made for James and the Giant Peach and Matilda as well, Factory is his most popular, most-often adapted work, and Willy Wonka is not only his most famous character, but one of the most famous characters in children's literature as a whole.
Squick: Augustus Gloop goes for a swim in chocolate intended for eating. A few days later someone in the world will be eating chocolate that a fat boy has been swimming around in for a few minutes....
Values Dissonance: Violet's primary vice being gum chewing has aged poorly, so starting with the 2005 film the character is tweaked in adaptations to make her the proudest or vainest of the kids, with the gum chewing habit endemic of the larger issue.
In the 2005 film, she is a Competition Freak who has to be a winner in everything she sets her mind to, hence her becoming a world-champion gum chewer.
In the 2010 opera, she is vain and obsessed with being thin. She chews rather than eats.
In the 2013 musical, she is an airheaded starlet who, with her dad's help, parlayed her "talent" for gum chewing into a multimedia Cash Cow Franchise.
Values Resonance: Gum chewing may not be seen as a vice anymore, and Mike's plot thread leans on New Media Are Evil, but by and large the obnoxious behavior of the brats and their parents' willingness to indulge them are timeless issues that are easy to adapt to whatever The Present Day is, which might be a reason the story has been consistently popular and frequently adapted for 50 years as of 2014.
The Woobie: Charlie, for all the criticism about his being a Useless Protagonist, is clearly a good, selfless kid who's been dealt a lousy hand by life and deserves a break. He's particularly woobie-ish in the 1971 film (see that version's YMMV page) and the 2013 musical (see below).
Broken Base: Better than the original movie? Or is the original still the best? Woe betide the one who voices an opinion on the subject!
Complaining About Movies You Haven't Watched: Gene Wilder (the Willy Wonka from the 1971 film) notably dismissed the new film as well as claiming to have no intentions of actually watching it based solely on its advertisements. Ultimately subverted when Wilder later called the film an "insult" and expressed his disappointment with director Tim Burton, implying he had actually seen the film.
One-Scene Wonder: Christopher Lee as Dr. Wilbur Wonka gets only a few short scenes, but they are significant and lots of fun regardless of what one thinks of the Adaptation Expansion. He takes all of the Dracula and Saruman mannerisms and transposes them onto a dentist. Just imagine Christopher Lee throwing his resonant basso into the word "Lollipops."
Purity Sue: Charlie's a saint in comparison to his 1971 self (who was still a good kid, but flawed like a regular child). He's got Incorruptible Pure Pureness and is hardly even given a chance to test his character for the first half of the film, whereas in '71 he faces the temptation of both Slugworth's deal and the fizzy lifting drinks. This is more in line with how he was written in the book, so whether or not staying faithful to the book is a good thing in this case depends on the viewer.
Uncanny Valley: Though no one ever mentions it, Violet's mother has clearly had some plastic surgery.
What an Idiot: Veruca's father, who can't work out how to climb over a very small gate.
Specifically the 2013 stage musical:
Critical Dissonance: While it did receive a few rave reviews, other professional critics and serious musical theatre fans thought it merely okay or panned it outright — and everyone compared it to not only the film adapations, but also to the otherRoald Dahl musical on the West End, the highly-acclaimed Matilda. Nonetheless, it's proven popular with family audiences thus far, actually breaking West End one-week sales records twice over in 2013.
Replacement Scrappy / They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Poor Alex Jennings, the first replacement Willy Wonka. As early as his Olivier Awards performance of "Pure Imagination" in May 2014, a month before he took the stage at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the role, he was getting unfavorable comparisons to Douglas Hodge from fans. Once updated show trailers were uploaded to the show's offical YouTube channel in July, the bulk of the viewer comments were lamenting the change. Those who have seen both performers are split on which actor does a better job with the characterization (inevitable, as Wonka is an Interpretative Character and what constitutes the "right" approach will vary from viewer to viewer), but just about everyone agrees Hodgenote who has a side career as a Singer Songwriter is the better singer...and that's rather important in a musical. Some fans even lament that Jennings's Wonka is clean-shaven! (Hodge's mustache/goatee combo was prosthetic makeup, but also closer to the novel's description of the character.)
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Both the condemnation of Creative Sterility and mindless consumption and the celebration of imagination and grateful appreciation are drilled into the viewer hard along with all of the story's "classic" Aesops. But when so much modern pop culture glorifies materialism and obnoxious behavior to both children and adults, such messages really need to be repeated and heard.
Tough Act to Follow: An unusual case, in that it's with regard to other adaptations of the same story and/or the other work of the source material's writer rather than having the same creative team as a previous hitnote Though both this and Matilda share a choreographer. Considering the status of the 1971 film and the critical acclaim given to the otherRoald Dahl musical on the West End, Matilda, this was inevitable. While critical reception was mixed, the show has proven to be an enormous financial success.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: For a megabudget family-friendly musical to rival any of the Disney stage productions, there's a lot of offstage (if lovingly described via the songs) Death as Comedy here — visited upon children no less. Nigel Planer (who originated the role of Grandpa Joe) explained to the Daily Mail: "There were contingency plans if it scared children too much; if it was too dark. But after a few days of previews it became apparent kids love that. They laughed as they watched Veruca Salt going down a grinder. Kids find that funny. They’re nasty, kids, aren’t they? I think they enjoy someone telling it like it is; we soon realised we could be as gruesome as we liked."
The Woobie: Charlie. Part of it is that he's the most rounded version of the character since the 1971 film: A Cheerful Child prone to daydreaming who works so hard to make the best of his meager situation, a light in the lives of his toiling family, who wish they could give him the life he deserves but just can't (as seen in "If Your Mother Were Here") — really, they're all woobies. In any case, a lonely kid who has dreams that he can't attain is a sad sight indeed, and watching him fall into a blue funk as each Golden Ticket is found is heart-tugging. Even when he gets his golden chance, the poor, shy kid keeps bringing up the rear come tour day, lost in the shadows of the limelight shed on the other finders. This makes The Reveal that Willy Wonka, the man the boy admires more than any other, was secretly looking out for him all along quite touching and gratifying.