YMMV / Hocus Pocus


  • Cliché Storm: Is there a single late-Eighties or early-Nineties comedy trope they missed? Let's see here....We've got a Cool Loser hero with a pretty heavy snarker persona; his clueless yuppie parents; his bratty younger sibling; a cute talking animal; villains who spend at least as much time making dreadful wisecracks as doing anything truly evil; satirical jabs galore...
  • Critical Dissonance: The movie garnered a 30% "Rotten" score from the critics, but received a much higher score of 70% from the audience.
  • Cult Classic: It wasn't a great hit at the box office or with critics but has become a modern Halloween classic.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "I Put A Spell On You" is a catchy up-beat Villain Song sung by Bette Midler. It would have to be this.
    • "Come Little Children" is haunting and darkly contrast to the Sanderson sisters' intentions.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Billy only shows up in the last third but tends to be well-remembered and a favorite of fans of the film. Being played by Doug Jones certainly helps.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Sanderson sisters are much funnier and more interesting than most of the protagonists, and get an iconic Villain Song that doubles as an Ear Worm. The only thing that keeps Rooting for the Empire from kicking in is they're targeting children.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Sarah is played by Sarah Jessica Parker in her prime, with beautiful blonde Rapunzel Hair, a dress that shows plenty of cleavage and plenty of innuendo jokes. She's a Hot Witch if ever there was one.
  • Ham and Cheese: The film is corny, sure, but those witches sure make up for it. Bette Midler did call this her favourite role after all.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Sarah Jessica Parker did Who Do You Think You Are? she was very disturbed to discover that one of her ancestors was accused of being a witch in Salem, MA. Before learning about her ancestor, she says she would rather have her being accused than doing the accusing. Luckily the witch craze effectively ended one month before her trial.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When Max rescues Dani from certain death by the Sanderson Sisters, he says, "I know one kind of power that you don't have!" (or something like that), and Winnie asks, "And what is that, dude?" before he replies with, "It's Daylight Savings Time," followed by the turned-on car lights pretending to be the sun that harms them. Considering that it was a joke back in 1993 (when DST ended on the last Sunday of October in the U.S.), the new U.S. Daylight Saving Time rules weren't around until 14 years later, when DST now ends on the first Sunday of November from 2007 onward. The joke now still works only if Halloween happens to fall on the day before the first Sunday of November (i.e., Saturday, October 31).
    • Sarah Jessica Parker is on Fanservice duty as the sexy one of the witches. On her famous TV show, she was infamous as the only one of the main cast who didn't do on-screen nudity - and derided as ugly by lads' mags and gossip blogs.
  • Hollywood Homely: The witches are frequently referred to as "ugly" or "hags" by the protagonists - except for Sarah who's Ms. Fanservice - but Winnie and Mary lean more towards Ugly Cute.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some people just watch it for Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker hamming it up and clearly having a ball doing so.
  • LGBT Fanbase: It's as camp as twelve tents, stars three major gay icons, and was even directed by an openly gay filmmaker. It would honestly be more shocking if this didn't have a queer fanbase!
  • Memetic Loser: Max is this in the film itself, due to the amount of times it makes fun of him for being a virgin.
  • Memetic Mutation: Long after this movie left theaters, you couldn't use the word "amok" without somebody chiming in with Sarah Sanderson's sing-songy "A-MUCK, a-MUCK, a-MUCK, a-MUCK!"
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • "A bit of thine own tongue."
    • Sarah eating a spider.
  • Never Live It Down: Max's perpetual Virgin-Shaming (he's 15, by the way). It tends to be overblown by non-fans, but there are plenty of viewers who are so turned off by it that they're willing to dismiss the whole movie as a result.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The book bound in human flesh, the zombie of a man who was killed for cheating, a boy cursed to live with his guilt by being trapped as an immortal black cat, and witches who hunt down and suck the souls out of children.
    • The bit where Binx gets flattened by a bus then re-inflates is hard to watch (especially for cat owners), even if he shakes it off instantly. "I hate it when that happens."
    • Sarah's song luring the children to them to suck out their souls. Make no mistake: the Sanderson sisters suck out THE SOULS OF CHILDREN. No matter how enjoyably hammy their performances are, they are evil to the core.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • In the 1964 short Looney Tunes short "Bewitched Bunny", Hanzel and Gretel turn to Witch Hazel and say, "Ack, your mother rides a vacuum cleaner" before fleeing.
    • Hocus Pocus didn't originate the Unusual Euphemism "Yabbos." According to IMDB, "yabbos" was used in ''National Lampoon's Animal House for breasts in the phrase "major-league yabbos."
  • One-Scene Wonder: Those skull-faced jazzers/rockers at the Halloween party were pretty cool. It may take a second viewing to realize that these performers segued from "Witchcraft" into "I Put a Spell on You" shortly before Winifred took over the show.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The "I Put a Spell on You" Villain Song scene is probably the most iconic part of the film.
    • "Come Little Children" is also a very well-known song, though it may be considered mildly Covered Up as many people online don't know (or remember) its source.
  • Squick:
    • Tastefully averted with Emily Binx. She gets all the youth and vitality drained from her at the beginning of the film - but she slumps over in death, leaving only her gray hair visible. One can only imagine what her face looks like.
    • The examples under Nausea Fuel above play the trope straight.
    • So does Binx being visibly squashed after being run over.
  • Tear Jerker: Admit it - you cried when Binx died, too.
  • Testosterone Brigade: Between a voluptuous Sarah Jessica Parker providing plenty of Fanservice and the beautiful Girl Next Door quality of Vinessa Shaw, there's plenty of straight male fans too.
  • Toy Ship: Thackery/Dani, if you can believe it.
  • Values Dissonance: A children's film where such emphasis is put on a teenager's virginity probably wouldn't fly as easily as it did in the early nineties.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The TV version in America is rated TV-14 but it's still considered a family-friendly classic:
    • Considering how constantly it points out Max's lack of a sex life...
    • Dani makes a joke about Alison's boobs - more specifically how much Max likes them.
    • The dead body of a child being shown onscreen in the first ten minutes...
    • The cat getting run over, and seen flattened on-screen, has freaked out many people. Of course he turns out to be alive seconds later but still...
  • The Woobie:
    • Say what you will about the film, overall, but you just can't help but feel very sorry for poor Binx. The poor kid fights for all his worth to save his little sister, just to fail and then endure a Painful Transformation into a cat. Then he gets rejected by his father who he was trying to communicate with in his hour of grieving. Finally, and this is the juicy bit, he spends the next few hundreds years, alone, with only his self-appointed duty in keeping the witches from coming back to give him purpose, but otherwise wandering aimlessly through his own personal, eternal hell. The only thing that averts this from being a full on And I Must Scream is that he somehow relearns how to talk as a cat.
    • Max himself. He misses his old home and friends, it's hard moving to a new area, especially when you're a teenager, and his first day of school involves him being humiliated and having his trainers stolen. He's then constantly pestered by his bratty sister, and not once do his parents punish her for annoying him and going into his room, and then is forced to take her out trick or treating. A lot of it is typical teenage angst, but poor Max does seem very down during the start of the movie, especially when he tries to take refuge in his room. Being harassed for lighting the candle doesn't help matters.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/HocusPocus