YMMV: Cinderella

The Disney version

  • Accidental Aesop: If somebody abuses you, don't run away or fight back, just be kind and wait for magic help.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ending Fatigue: Cinderella being locked in her room and the mice having to rescue her...ironically it is partially a reference to the Grimm's version (with the animals having to expose the stepmother's tricks)..though it is undeniably just an excuse to give the mice even more screen-time.
    • According to The Mouse Under Glass, to make the scene even weirder, it actually came from an attempt to make Cinderella more proactive. Walt actually hired a writer named Maurice Rapf in order to help the film come off as "progressive." He suggested a scene in which one day, "they're ordering her around and she throws the stuff back at them. She revolts, so they lock her up in the attic." This idea was clearly used for the ending.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The mice, especially Gus. Except for those who think the mice take up too much screentime.
  • Fashion Victim Villains: The stepsisters.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: The Disney Princess franchise pushed several Disney movies into this, but Cinderella might have fallen the most deeply. The Platinum Edition DVD has a girlier set of games than any other movie in the collection, and the Cinderella Trilogy Blu-Ray/DVD Boxset comes packaged in a jewelry box.
    • In the UK, Cinderella DVDs actually got pulled out of the Disney Vault for a few weeks of 2011, so families anticipating the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton could share them with their daughters.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment / Hilarious in Hindsight: Cinderella was finally identified when the prince fit the glass slipper on her foot. Nearly fifty years later, the O. J. Simpson trial used a similar method (fitting a glove onto O. J.'s hand) to determine whether or not O. J. was guilty. Even better, the expression "if the shoe fits" (derived from the original fairy tale) sounds amusingly similar to a phrase used by one of O. J.'s lawyers: "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." This can be considered Hilarious in Hindsight or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, depending on how you feel about Black Comedy.
  • Idiot Ball: Lady Tremaine knows fully the slipper won't fit her daughters. So she goes and locks her step-daughter in her room. Even if her daughters won't fit the bill, she's got the opportunity for a free pass to high society, and she does this apparently just because.
    • Unfortunately, Cinderella is sharing the ball with Tremaine in this scene too, what with her singing and being starstruck in front of Tremaine.
    • The 2015 live-action version actually has Tremaine try to blackmail Cinderella into making her Queen Dowager, and when that fails, she blackmails the Grand Duke with the knowledge that she has the rightful owner (a commoner, at that) of the slipper in her custody, and he agrees to raise her and her stepdaughters' stations in exchange for silence, thus alleviating this a bit.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Happy birthday!" Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: Fans of the Grimmified version of Cinderella tend to accuse Disney of toning the story down by skipping over the gory scenes. Actually, the version Disney chose to adapt the original story by Charles Perrault which didn't have any gore to begin with, and the Grimm's version is based off of Perrault's. In reality, the original Cinderella is most likely the Chinese version of the story, Yeh-Shen, and that is debated.
    • It could go further than that. Many elements of the Grimms' version, such as Cinderella being helped by her dead mother or the sisters mutilating themselves, are usually extolled as being closer in line to the original. They really are not that common in most earlier versions of the story, despite popular belief.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Lady Tremaine crosses it when she locks Cinderella in her room, knowing full well that she's the girl the glass slipper belongs to, so she doesn't want her getting happiness with the prince and robbing her out of her free ticket to power and status.
  • Ugly Cute: Drizella and Anastasia, especially the latter.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: The main character.
  • Values Dissonance: "Leave the sewing to the women". What's weird is that it's a female mouse who says this after Jaq happily volunteers to do the sewing! And then some male mice are clearly shown sewing later on anyway, making the line even weirder.
  • What an Idiot: Sadly, Cinderella picks up the Idiot Ball in the climax, when the Grand Duke is coming. She, of course, was the mysterious girl that the prince danced and fell in love with, and is the owner of the glass slipper they are bringing. At this point, the stepfamily is rushing to get ready for the Duke's arrival and shoe-fitting, and don't know about Cinderella being at the ball, having torn up the original dress she was going to wear. Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters, as usual, charge Cinderella with cleaning up and doing chores.
    • You'd Expect For Cinderella to go about her chores like any other day and keep a low profile, knowing that only she can fit the slipper, and, having dealt with the Tremaines most of her life, also knowing that they will be hell-bent on stopping her from getting out from under their feet, and will take action if something even seems remotely off about her.
    • Instead Upon hearing that the Duke is coming with the other slipper, Cinderella immediately zones out, drops a tray full of tea, and then hands the stepsisters' laundry back to them and softly dances back upstairs to get ready for her new life, singing "So This Is Love." It only takes 3 seconds of watching for Lady Tremaine to realize that Cinderella was the mystery girl at the ball, and, still determined to keep Cinderella from a happy life, she follows her upstairs and locks her in her room, forcing the mice to retrieve the key in the film's climax.
    • To Be Fair Once the mice do bring the key back, after overcoming Lucifer, that is, Cinderella is Genre Savvy enough to bring the glass slipper she still had downstairs in case Tremaine tries another trick, which of course she does, but it doesn't really matter, since the matching slipper all but confirms Cinderella's identity as the mystery girl, and she gets her happy ending.
      • Actually, a kids book interprets an alternate possibility. Even if Tremaine didn't interfere, the Duke would have let Cinderella try on the slipper after the stepsisters have a turn. It would have been a much quicker ending with less mice screentime.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: According to this article, when the film first premiered in 1950, it's been thought a fashion allegory between Cinderella's Gorgeous Garment Generation from the tattered maidservant dress to the sparkly silver ballgown was about the transition from wartime austerity to full-time postwar glamour from Christian Dior's introduction of his "New Look" designs.
  • The Woobie: Cinderella.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein version

  • Adaptation Displacement: The 1957 version never received a VHS release, and never aired on television again until 2004, causing people to consider the 1965 version the original.
  • Critical Dissonance: Although the movie got mixed reviews from critics, it was one of the highest rated TV musicals in years and also is fondly remembered by young girls of color for starring a black Cinderella.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "The Prince is giving a ball! The Prince is giving a ball!" King Maximilian even tires of his subjects singing the song every day in the 1957 version.
    • "Impossible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage! Impossible! For a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage!"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lionel in the 1997 version is a delight. There's even a stage adaptation that includes him in it, and if the actor playing him pulls it off, he can easily steal the show.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Bernadette Peters as the 1997 version's stepmother.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When the 1957 version came to DVD after a 47-year absence from television and home video, the phrase, "Impossible things are happening every day!" seemed to take on new meaning.
  • Older than You Think: As progressive as the 1997 script appears to be, in reality it is closer to the 1950's script than it would like to admit.
  • Narm: "The Prince Is Giving a Ball" in the 90's version. In the original and the 60's remake, the song is about many of the local girls conniving to win the prince. In the 90's remake, probably out of political correctness, it is literally about preparing for a ball.
    • The ridicule game in the Broadway version. Hell, you know how the 90's version gets flack for being "overly PC"? The Broadway version plays this up to 11.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Jon Cypher made his television debut in the 1957 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Fletcher Daniels from Hill Street Blues.
    • Stuart Damon made his television debut in the 1965 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Dr. Alan Quartermaine from General Hospital.
    • Santino Fontana, the original Broadway Prince Topher in 2013, later lent his voice to Prince Hans in Frozen.
  • Special Effect Failure: Cinderella's flying carriage in the 1965 version looks like a cel or cut-out puppet with a painted background sliding behind it.
    • During the shots of Cinderella inside the carriage, the "countryside" seen in her window looks like it was added with a chroma key effect.

Other versions

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The 1973 Czech version, "Tři ořky pro Popelku" ("Three nuts for Cinderella"), is highly beloved in Norway, being shown annually on the 24th of December as a Christmas special.