YMMV: The Nightmare Before Christmas


  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • The song "What's This" has quite a few passages that, when listened to in the proper state of mind, sound like they're describing something completely different.
      "I've never felt so good before
      This empty place inside of me is filling up!
      I simply cannot get enough!
      I want it, oh, I want it
      Oh, I want it for my own!"
    • "In here they've got a little tree! How queer!"
    • It gets worse during "Making Christmas". Jack seems to get a little too excited. The lyrics make it worse:
    I can't believe what's happening to me. My hopes, my dreams, my fantasies! *giddy, high-pitched laughter*
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Dr. Finklestein, Bigtime. Did he create Sally to be his daughter? His Sex Slave? An emotional companion? A servant? All of the above? Who knows! And what of the mother-like figure he's with at the end?
    • Someone has said that he doesn't consider Oogie Boogie evil. That person? Tim Burton.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel: mischievous friends who work together and happen to have similar names, or siblings?
  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack, really. The movie WAS composed by Danny Elfman, after all.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Even critics have noted that Jack's tale of taking over Christmas is similar to the Grinch, right down to his dog pulling his sleigh.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Jack has been shipped with Victor and Emily from Corpse Bride. There's even been a love triangle between him, Sally, and Emily.
    • Sally's also been shipped with Bonejangles.
  • Die for Our Ship: Because she's Jack's official love interest, poor Sally gets bashed by fangirls who pair their Mary Sue OCs with Jack.
  • Director Displacement: The film is mostly known as Tim Burton's work, and it is, but it was directed by Henry Selick.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Oogie Boogie tend to get this a lot, often making Jack into a bully to do so. Also, Jack is probably one of the rare heroes (if not the only one) who gets this. Fans bash the military for shooting Jack down, despite the fact that they were justified in doing so.
    • Lock, Shock and Barrel have quite the popular fanbase, despite them being three homicidal, malicious, violent children. Although they do a Heel-Face Turn later...
  • Ear Worm:
    • "This Is Halloween"
    • "What's This?"
    • "Oogie Boogie's Song".
    • "Kidnap The Sandy Claws".
    • The tune that pops up multiple times in the film, when Jack sings: "Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones..." You will never get that one riff out of your head, ever.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Harlequin Demon has a reasonable amount of fanart.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Apart from the already canon couple Jack/Sally, people often prefer Lock/Shock as well.
  • Faux Symbolism: A skeletal creature trying to supplant a ruler of his crown, being shot down and falling, Wreathed in Flames, into the arms of a stone angel? There's got to be something to that.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Come on, there's really no reason why, when he decided to show, Jack had to announce his presence to Oogie Boogie looking like he's trying to seduce him.
    • Then there's Oogie's Shout-Out comment to Santa, sounding like Oogie's going to rape him.
    • The Show Some Leg scene! Seriously, that's probably the reason for the Oogie/Sally ship!
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Mayor ends up falling down the stairs of Jack's house trying to get Jack. This is hilarious until you realize that the Mayor's voice actor Glenn Shadix died because of blunt trauma to the head following a fall at his Birmingham condo.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Nightmare is Big In Japan, which explains why Halloween Town is featured throughout the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: Of all the citizens of Halloween Town, the Mayor appears to be the most worried for Jack when he goes missing — and it doesn't look like just as a professional and/or as a friend, either. In his defense, there are only 365 more days until NEXT Halloween.note 
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Some fans feel this way because of the Cash Cow Franchise. Luckily, this is a very Vocal Minority. Hype Backlash is another reason. As for Tim Burton not wanting to do sequels, it's a little late for that.
  • Love to Hate: Oogie Boogie.
  • Memetic Sex God: Everyone's necrophiliac for Jack Skellington. All hail to the Pumpkin Pimp. Consider how the citizens act about Jack.
  • Minion Shipping/Toy Ship: Lock and Shock.
  • Periphery Demographic: Amongst the most cited favorites of young Perky Goths everywhere.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted, mostly. As Halloween Town has made most of its appearances in Kingdom Hearts, it's been pretty good. As for the PS2 game...decent, but it would have made a better movie sequel than a game.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Easter Bunny and Shrunken Head Kid.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Yes, Dr. Finkelstein has a rather... questionable and dysfunctional relationship with Sally, but this does not excuse the Fan Fic writers for writing him into a freaking rapist.
  • Sacred Cow: Zig-zagged. Some circles hate it just because Tim Burton was involved, while others consider it the only good movie (apart from Batman and Batman Returns) he was involved in. The fact that a lot of people grew up with it certainly helped.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: In many ways to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Whereas The Grinch is a lonely grump who ends up realizing what makes Christmas great, Jack is a lonely Nice Guy who learns that while Christmas is good, that doesn't make his own holiday any less important.
  • Ugly Cute: Pretty much everyone in Halloween Town. The younger generation of the town's residents, for example.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Halloween Town citizens. Justified because they're supposed to be creepy.
    • A lot of the fans think the elves are creepy. They're too cheerful, dammit!
    • The human children are creepier than most things hanging around Halloween Town.
    • Have you ever seen fanart of Jack drawn realistically? Dear Lord, there's a reason why Jack is a cartoony skeleton!
  • Vindicated by History: It was a modest hit in 1993, and well-received by critics, but it wasn't near as big as Disney's in-house fare at the time (Aladdin arrived the previous year, The Lion King the next). This was partially because Disney was nervous about the Nightmare Fuel; they initially released it under their Touchstone Pictures banner (which was reserved for mature films and the edgier Who Framed Roger Rabbit). But now it's arguably a much more popular film than any of Disney's post-Lion King animated efforts, and they've since allowed it to be released under the Disney banner itself.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The entire movie is absolutely gorgeous, and there are some really creative designs to be admired if you look at the citizens of Halloween.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Several parents won't let their little children watch it because it looks too scary, while the actual film, outside of the kooky visuals and character designs, doesn't actually contain a lot which is unsuitable for a younger audience. It doesn't help that Disney deliberately moved Nightmare under its Touchstone label for the Nightmare Fuel, despite the fact that Disney has plenty of its own. But it was put back into the Disney label eventually.
  • The Woobie:
    • All those who feel sorry for Henry Selick because he never gets credit for this film, raise your hand. While he was a director-for-hire for Burton because he was away filming Batman Returns, he is still responsible for putting it all together.
      • Luckily this seems to have changed a bit after his adaptation of Coraline was advertised as being from the director of Nightmare, causing some controversy over whether the studio was trying to falsely imply that Burton was involved and bringing a lot of attention to Selick.
    • Sally. All the things she does for someone who doesn't reciprocate her feelings (at first) is heartbreaking. Though note that "not-reciprocate-Sally's-feelings" does NOT equal "hardly-notices-her".
    • Jack. A guy who gets tired of his job might sound whiny, but not when you consider that he lives in a town where it's all about said job. Put that on top of the fact that a lot of the responsibility for Halloween is on his shoulders, and all you have to say is "That's rough." Also since Jack is Dem Bones he might be Really 700 Years Old, who knows how long he was doing the same thing every year. 10 years? 50 years? 100 years? Since Halloween was created?
    • Even Oogie Boogie's death makes you feel sorry for the guy!