YMMV: Little Red Riding Hood

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The Big Bad Wolf. While people know him to be a predator who tricks a little girl into telling him about her grandmother, other versions have a more disturbing take on him. The song, "Little Red Riding Hood", has him be a Stalker with a Crush who just wants to walk with Red through the woods. Other darker versions have him be a sexual predator who tries to take Red by force. Yikes.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In some versions where the wolf tricks the girl into eating some of Grandma's dead body and blood, a cat suddenly comes to call her a slut because she eats her grandma... then the cat is never heard again.
  • Critical Research Failure: One of the primary instances to invoke this with fairy tales. Lots of people are unaware of the history
    • Such as Perrault so far being the first known to ever used "red" importantly in the story
    • Bringing up sex symbolism even though the versions where sex was in the story predate both Perrault and Brothers Grimm and were not included in their versions.
    • Werewolf inclusion, a lot of people think this is a modern addition even though older versions did indeed call the wolf a "loup garou"
  • Fantastic Aesop: Don't talk to rapists or your grandmother will get eaten.
  • Freud Was Right: A common interpretation of the tale is as an Aesop about a young girl's burgeoning sexuality, with the wolf standing in as a sexually aggressive man. The red hood is often interpreted as representing menstruation, carnality, virginity, or sin in general.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Perrault kills off Grandma, then has Little Red tricked into becoming a cannibal, and then she too meets a gruesome end in the wolf's jaws. Sleep tight kids.
  • Older Than They Think: This story's origins are even older than Perrault.
  • Rule of Symbolism: There are lots of possible underlying meanings to the story, mostly to do with growing up and/or sex. The color of the girl's hood is usually given some significance — even though subsequent collection of French folk tales found that it was a detail that Perrault added; the folk tales do not specify the color of the hood. A more likely symbol occurs in the regional variants that have her choose between a Path of Pins and a Path of Needles - girls learning to be young women were said to be "gathering pins," while needles had a definite sexual meaning (prostitutes would even indicate their profession by wearing needles in their sleeves).