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* WhatEverHappenedToTheMouse: Rose the maid disappears from the film after the opening scenes. Madeline probably ended up firing her to avoid awkward questions about Ernest's sudden disappearance.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Madeline.

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* WhatEverHappenedToTheMouse: Rose the maid Rose, Madeline's personal maid, disappears from the film without explanation after the opening scenes. Madeline probably ended up firing A deleted scene explained that Ernest let her to avoid awkward questions about Ernest's sudden disappearance.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Madeline.
and the rest of the staff go the morning following Madeline's fall, so that no one else would discover their secret "miracle."

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* FreezeFrameBonus: Just before Madeline drinks the potion, the bust of a man is visible rising in the bottle. Only distinctly visible in 1080 HD versions as in lower resolution the figure blends into the swirl effect. Visible beginning at 5:09 [[https://youtu.be/Paex-i9wTrg?t=309 in this clip.]]

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** This happens to Ernest as well, though in the [[ThrowTheDogABone opposite way]]. With the tolls of his alcoholism behind him and his skill as a surgeon restored (both implied to be the effect of the small dose of immortality serum he was given), he runs away and ends up an accomplished philanthropist dedicated to fixing the mistakes of his own youth and starting a family... [[BadassGrandpa all after the age of 50]].


* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: The film opens with Madeline appearing in an awful musical version of ''Theatre/SweetBirdOfYouth'' that bombs.

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* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: The film opens with Madeline appearing in an awful musical version of ''Theatre/SweetBirdOfYouth'' ''Sweet Bird of Youth'' that bombs.



** This is doubly hilarious when you watch the film and find out that ''Creator/MerylStreep'' -- the world's finest actress, by general agreement -- [[IronyAsSheIsCast plays Madeline Ashton]].

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** This is doubly hilarious when you watch the film and find out that ''Creator/MerylStreep'' -- the world's finest actress, by general agreement -- [[IronyAsSheIsCast plays Madeline Ashton]].Ashton]][[invoked]].



* ArtisticLicenseBiology: There's some {{Squick}} if you [[FridgeLogic think about it]]. Helen no longer has a spine to hold her upright where the hole was blown in her - but she continues to move as if she does. If the writers considered this the way they did Madeline's head, it would throw off the rest of the story[[note]]not to mention a budget-killing FX nightmare at the time[[/note]], so it's just better to leave it be as presented in the film.

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* ArtisticLicenseBiology: There's some {{Squick}} if you [[FridgeLogic think about it]].it]][[invoked]]. Helen no longer has a spine to hold her upright where the hole was blown in her - but she continues to move as if she does. If the writers considered this the way they did Madeline's head, it would throw off the rest of the story[[note]]not to mention a budget-killing FX nightmare at the time[[/note]], so it's just better to leave it be as presented in the film.



* GiftedlyBad: Madeline's acting career never goes anywhere due to this, because while she's pretty, she's just not that ''good''. As a result, when she begins to age and her looks fade, her career fizzles out, as she has no actual talent to fall back on (which becomes HilariousInHindsight as Meryl Streep is considered one of the greatest actresses of all time).

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* GiftedlyBad: Madeline's acting career never goes anywhere due to this, because while she's pretty, she's just not that ''good''. As a result, when she begins to age and her looks fade, her career fizzles out, as she has no actual talent to fall back on (which becomes HilariousInHindsight as Meryl Streep is considered one of the greatest actresses of all time).time)[[invoked]].



* MeaningfulName: All over the place. For one, '''Ash'''ton fears growing old. '''Sharp''' is what Helen becomes. Both women become '''Mad''' as '''Hel'''. And, of course, '''Ernest''' '''Men'''ville. WordOfGod says that the names of the three main characters were deliberately chosen so that their shortened forms read '''Mad''' '''Ern''' '''Hel''' -- Madder 'n Hell.

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* MeaningfulName: All over the place. For one, '''Ash'''ton fears growing old. '''Sharp''' is what Helen becomes. Both women become '''Mad''' as '''Hel'''. And, of course, '''Ernest''' '''Men'''ville. WordOfGod WordOfGod[[invoked]] says that the names of the three main characters were deliberately chosen so that their shortened forms read '''Mad''' '''Ern''' '''Hel''' -- Madder 'n Hell.



* SistineSteal: [[FauxSymbolism The stained-glass skylight that Ernest destroys when he falls after refusing immortality]] is broken precisely where God and Adam's fingertips are about to touch.

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* SistineSteal: [[FauxSymbolism The stained-glass skylight that Ernest destroys when he falls after refusing immortality]] immortality]][[invoked]] is broken precisely where God and Adam's fingertips are about to touch.



* StaircaseTumble: Two examples. The first time, Ernest finally snaps when Madeline insults him as he hesitates to stop her from falling, and he gives her the final push; she breaks her neck on the way down. The second time, it is Helen who is teetering at the top of a staircase while Madeline simply smiles maliciously -- [[TakingYouWithMe until Helen drags her down as well]]. From years of immortal decay, they are in such battered and rickety shape they literally smash into pieces when they hit the ground. And they are still alive.]]

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* StaircaseTumble: Two examples. The first time, Ernest finally snaps when Madeline insults him as he hesitates to stop her from falling, and he gives her the final push; she breaks her neck on the way down. The second time, it is Helen who is teetering at the top of a staircase while Madeline simply smiles maliciously -- [[TakingYouWithMe until Helen drags her down as well]]. From years of immortal decay, they are in such battered and rickety shape they literally smash into pieces when they hit the ground. And they are still alive.]]



* TheUnfairSex: Very, very much averted. Ernest is depicted as a NiceGuy and TheWoobie no matter what he does -- including dumping his fiancé for her friend and trying to murder his bitchy wife -- while all the women in the film are thoroughly irredeemable. Some of it gets subverted on the grounds that Ernest dumping Helen for Madeline bit him hard when his life turned into a joke, going from a respected plastic surgeon to a funeral cosmetologist, becoming an alcoholic, and getting stuck in a loveless relationship. It's not so much that Ernest is a NiceGuy, as the shit he pulls isn't as bad as the vindictive hatred Helen and Madeline have for each other.

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* TheUnfairSex: Very, very much averted. Ernest is depicted as a NiceGuy and TheWoobie TheWoobie[[invoked]] no matter what he does -- including dumping his fiancé for her friend and trying to murder his bitchy wife -- while all the women in the film are thoroughly irredeemable. Some of it gets subverted on the grounds that Ernest dumping Helen for Madeline bit him hard when his life turned into a joke, going from a respected plastic surgeon to a funeral cosmetologist, becoming an alcoholic, and getting stuck in a loveless relationship. It's not so much that Ernest is a NiceGuy, as the shit he pulls isn't as bad as the vindictive hatred Helen and Madeline have for each other.


* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Totally subverted as [[spoiler: Madelin and Helen start rotting after their deaths]].

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* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Totally subverted per the anti-vanity message as [[spoiler: Madelin the injuries Madeline and Helen sustain after taking the potion kill their bodies and start a process of rotting after their deaths]].


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* CharacterTics: Helen tends to wring something between her hands when she's upset.


* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Totally subverted as [[Madelin and Helen]] start rotting after their deaths]].

to:

* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Totally subverted as [[Madelin [[spoiler: Madelin and Helen]] Helen start rotting after their deaths]].

Added DiffLines:

* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Totally subverted as [[Madelin and Helen]] start rotting after their deaths]].


* HumilationConga: Madeline undergoes one of these the day before she's offerd the serum. Not only has Helen resurfaced, she's now somehow far more vibrant and beautiful than she ever was before, while Madeline's looks have faded with age. Depressed, she visits her younger lover, only to find that he's lost interest in her and is dating a girl his own age.

to:

* HumilationConga: HumiliationConga: Madeline undergoes one of these the day before she's offerd the serum. Not only has Helen resurfaced, she's now somehow far more vibrant and beautiful than she ever was before, while Madeline's looks have faded with age. Depressed, she visits her younger lover, only to find that he's lost interest in her and is dating a girl his own age.


-->'''Helen Sharp, regarding Madeline Ashton:''' She was a homewrecker. She was a man-eater. And she was a ''[[BadBadActing bad actress]]''.

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-->'''Helen Sharp, regarding Madeline Ashton:''' ** Helen has plenty of unkind words about Madeline.
--->'''Helen Sharp:'''
She was a homewrecker. She was a man-eater. And she was a ''[[BadBadActing bad actress]]''.



** The movie opens on Madeline's head on the cover of a playbill laying on the ground at the entrance to a theater. [[spoiler: The movie ends with Madeline's ''actual head'' on the ground at the entrance of a church.]]
** Whereas Madeline's ''first'' downfall was her being pushed down a flight of stairs by Ernest, her ''final'' downfall [[spoiler: was the result of being pulled ''down'' with Helen on her final flight of stairs after refusing to help Helen as she is about to tumble down said stairs first.]]
* BrickJoke: Ernest mentions that since makeup doesn't properly adhere to dead skin, he has to use flesh-coloured spray paint on cadavers. [[spoiler: After being physically dead for 37 years, Mad and Hel need to carry some around to cover their decaying flesh. One of them drops some, which Hel trips on and takes Mad with her down a flight of stairs.]] Falling down a flight of stairs is another brick joke as well, with one party deciding ''not'' to help the other from taking a tumble.

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** The movie opens on Madeline's head on the cover of a playbill laying on the ground at the entrance to a theater. [[spoiler: The [[spoiler:The movie ends with Madeline's ''actual head'' on the ground at the entrance of a church.]]
** Whereas Madeline's ''first'' downfall was her being pushed down a flight of stairs by Ernest, her ''final'' downfall [[spoiler: was [[spoiler:was the result of being pulled ''down'' with Helen on her final flight of stairs after refusing to help Helen as she is about to tumble down said stairs first.]]
* BrickJoke: Ernest mentions that since makeup doesn't properly adhere to dead skin, he has to use flesh-coloured spray paint on cadavers. [[spoiler: After [[spoiler:After being physically dead for 37 years, Mad and Hel need to carry some around to cover their decaying flesh. One of them drops some, which Hel trips on and takes Mad with her down a flight of stairs.]] Falling down a flight of stairs is another brick joke as well, with one party deciding ''not'' to help the other from taking a tumble.



* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler: While hanging onto dear life with the clear option to take the immortality serum, (but that would mean he'd be stuck serving Madeline and Helen), Ernest drops the vial and accepts his impending death. Subverted when it turns out he survives the fall and goes on to live a much more fulfilling life before dying in his eighties.]]

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* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler: While [[spoiler:While hanging onto dear life with the clear option to take the immortality serum, (but that would mean he'd be stuck serving Madeline and Helen), Ernest drops the vial and accepts his impending death. Subverted when it turns out he survives the fall and goes on to live a much more fulfilling life before dying in his eighties.]]



-->'''Helen:''' You're a powerful sexual being, Ernest.
-->'''Ernest:''' I am?
-->'''Helen:''' Yes, you are. If I never told you before, it was because I wasn't the sort of girl who could say the word "sexual" without blushing. Well, I can now. Sexual... sensual... sexy... sex... sex... sex...

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-->'''Helen:''' You're a powerful sexual being, Ernest.
-->'''Ernest:'''
Ernest.\\
'''Ernest:'''
I am?
-->'''Helen:'''
am?\\
'''Helen:'''
Yes, you are. If I never told you before, it was because I wasn't the sort of girl who could say the word "sexual" without blushing. Well, I can now. Sexual... sensual... sexy... sex... sex... sex...



'''Madeline:''' ''(mock gasp)'' She is? ''(gleeful)'' Oh. These are the moments that make life worth living.\\
''(later...)''\\

to:

'''Madeline:''' ''(mock gasp)'' ''[mock gasp]'' She is? ''(gleeful)'' ''[gleeful]'' Oh. These are the moments that make life worth living.\\
''(later...)''\\''[later]''\\



'''Madeline:''' So negative. ''(eyes glittering)'' Can't you just let me enjoy the moment?

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'''Madeline:''' So negative. ''(eyes glittering)'' ''[eyes glittering]'' Can't you just let me enjoy the moment?



-->"My ass! I can ''see'' my ''ass!"''

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-->"My -->'''Madeline:''' My ass! I can ''see'' my ''ass!"''''ass!''



* HeelRealization: Ernest is a pretty awful person regardless of how bad Madeline and Helen are, being weak willed and rather spineless. He callously dumped Helen to marry Madeline and then agreed to Helen's elaborate plan to murder Madeline. His realization comes from seeing what Madeline and Helen have become thanks to the potion and their hatred for each other, and after repairing their bodies he decides to leave. [[spoiler: He truly cements it when he turns down the immortality serum, having personally witnessed two cases of its enormous downside, and not wanting to be trapped with Helen and Madeline for eternity.]]

to:

* HeelRealization: Ernest is a pretty awful person regardless of how bad Madeline and Helen are, being weak willed and rather spineless. He callously dumped Helen to marry Madeline and then agreed to Helen's elaborate plan to murder Madeline. His realization comes from seeing what Madeline and Helen have become thanks to the potion and their hatred for each other, and after repairing their bodies he decides to leave. [[spoiler: He [[spoiler:He truly cements it when he turns down the immortality serum, having personally witnessed two cases of its enormous downside, and not wanting to be trapped with Helen and Madeline for eternity.]]



* HotWitch: Lisle.

to:

* %%* HotWitch: Lisle.



* ALighterShadeOfBlack: What it boils down to between Ernest and the two women. All three of them have done some horrible stuff, yet Ernest's sins don't seem nearly as bad as Helen and Madeline's. Ernest is eventually the only one of them to have a HeelRealization and [[spoiler: after escaping from Helen and Madeline and the whole toxic relationship, goes on to find true happiness while also devoting his time to atoning for his past behavior.]]

to:

* ALighterShadeOfBlack: What it boils down to between Ernest and the two women. All three of them have done some horrible stuff, yet Ernest's sins don't seem nearly as bad as Helen and Madeline's. Ernest is eventually the only one of them to have a HeelRealization and [[spoiler: after [[spoiler:after escaping from Helen and Madeline and the whole toxic relationship, goes on to find true happiness while also devoting his time to atoning for his past behavior.]]



-->'''Ernest''': You know something, I drink too much.

to:

-->'''Ernest''': -->'''Ernest:''' You know something, I drink too much.



-->'''Helen''': You have no idea what it was like, hating and envying you at the same time!\\
'''Madeline''': ''You'' envied ''me''? ''I'' envied ''you''!

to:

-->'''Helen''': -->'''Helen:''' You have no idea what it was like, hating and envying you at the same time!\\
'''Madeline''': '''Madeline:''' ''You'' envied ''me''? ''I'' envied ''you''!



* NowYouTellMe
-->'''Madeline Ashton:''' Bottoms up! ''(drinks potion)''\\

to:

* NowYouTellMe
NowYouTellMe: The downside of immortality is brought up a bit late.
-->'''Madeline Ashton:''' Bottoms up! ''(drinks potion)''\\''[drinks potion]''\\



* TheReveal: Mad and Hel show up at [[spoiler: Ernest's funeral wearing thick black veils. At first it seems like they're just trying to hide the fact that they're still physically 20-somethings despite being in their 80s, but when the veils come off, we see that their faces have been badly painted and look more disturbing than if they'd aged naturally.]]

to:

* TheReveal: Mad and Hel show up at [[spoiler: Ernest's [[spoiler:Ernest's funeral wearing thick black veils. At first it seems like they're just trying to hide the fact that they're still physically 20-somethings despite being in their 80s, but when the veils come off, we see that their faces have been badly painted and look more disturbing than if they'd aged naturally.]]



* SkewedPriorities: [[spoiler: After leaving Ernest's funeral,]] both Madeline and Helen fall down stairs, which causes their already decaying bodies to break apart.
-->'''Helen's broken-off head''': ''(To Madeline's broken-off head)'' Did you remember where you parked the car?

to:

* SkewedPriorities: [[spoiler: After [[spoiler:After leaving Ernest's funeral,]] both Madeline and Helen fall down stairs, which causes their already decaying bodies to break apart.
-->'''Helen's broken-off head''': ''(To head:''' ''[to Madeline's broken-off head)'' head]'' Did you remember where you parked the car?



-->'''Helen:''' [[CuteAndPsycho Mad!]]
-->'''Madeline:''' [[FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon Hel!]]

to:

-->'''Helen:''' [[CuteAndPsycho Mad!]]
-->'''Madeline:'''
Mad!]]\\
'''Madeline:'''
[[FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon Hel!]]



--> '''Ernest:''' The morgue? She'll be ''furious''!

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--> '''Ernest:''' -->'''Ernest:''' The morgue? She'll be ''furious''!

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* SlapstickKnowsNoGender: Helen and Madeline received the most pratfalls due to their undead states.


Added DiffLines:

* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Madeline and Helen, who are both vain and selfish female leads with the former concerned with obtaining her youth and the latter wanting to steal back Ernest and get her revenge on Madeline.

Added DiffLines:

* GiftedlyBad: Madeline's acting career never goes anywhere due to this, because while she's pretty, she's just not that ''good''. As a result, when she begins to age and her looks fade, her career fizzles out, as she has no actual talent to fall back on (which becomes HilariousInHindsight as Meryl Streep is considered one of the greatest actresses of all time).


Added DiffLines:

* HumilationConga: Madeline undergoes one of these the day before she's offerd the serum. Not only has Helen resurfaced, she's now somehow far more vibrant and beautiful than she ever was before, while Madeline's looks have faded with age. Depressed, she visits her younger lover, only to find that he's lost interest in her and is dating a girl his own age.


Imagine, for a moment, that one drink of a simple elixir could make you immortal. You would never need to worry about aging or dying; the elixir would make you young and beautiful forever, which would put you in [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy some very good company]]. This only has one catch: After ten years, you must "disappear" to [[TheMasquerade make sure no one figures out you've become immortal]].

Now imagine that your biggest romantic rival -- the person who stole away the love of your life years ago -- has already become immortal, and is trying to steal your man back. Now you're both immortal...

Oh, and [[NowYouTellMe one last thing]]: Take very good care of your body, because you'll be using it for [[WhoWantsToLiveForever a very long time]]...

to:

Imagine, for a moment, that one drink of a simple elixir could make you immortal. You would never need to worry about aging or dying; the elixir would make you young and beautiful forever, which would put you in [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy some very good company]]. This only has one catch: After ten years, you must "disappear" to [[TheMasquerade make sure no one figures out you've become immortal]].

Now imagine that your biggest romantic rival -- the person who stole away the love of your life years ago -- has already become immortal, and is trying to steal your man back. Now you're both immortal...
immortal]]. It's a no-brainer.

Oh, But imagine that your biggest romantic rival -- the person who stole away the love of your life years ago -- has already become immortal, and is trying to steal your man back. Neither of you know about the other's immortality, but both of you want to kill each other.

Well, turns out that maybe it's not so good to even try. Because there was actually
[[NowYouTellMe one last thing]]: Take very good another catch.]] If you don't take care of your body, because you'll be using it have to deal with the consequences for a [[WhoWantsToLiveForever a very long time]]...
time...]]



-->'''Helen Sharp, regarding Madeline Ashton:''' She was a home-breaker. She was a man-eater. And she was a ''[[BadBadActing bad actress]]''.

to:

-->'''Helen Sharp, regarding Madeline Ashton:''' She was a home-breaker.homewrecker. She was a man-eater. And she was a ''[[BadBadActing bad actress]]''.


Now imagine that your biggest romantic rival -- the person who stole away the love of your life years ago -- has already become immortal. Of course you'd take the elixir yourself!

to:

Now imagine that your biggest romantic rival -- the person who stole away the love of your life years ago -- has already become immortal. Of course you'd take the elixir yourself!
immortal, and is trying to steal your man back. Now you're both immortal...



''Death Becomes Her'', a 1992 comedic GothicHorror directed by Creator/RobertZemeckis for Creator/UniversalPictures, stars the trio of Creator/GoldieHawn, Creator/MerylStreep, and Creator/BruceWillis as three people trapped in a love triangle that eventually turns murderous -- if the people being murdered could actually die, anyway. The film won an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Visual Effects.

to:

''Death Becomes Her'', a 1992 comedic GothicHorror story directed by Creator/RobertZemeckis for Creator/UniversalPictures, stars the trio of Creator/GoldieHawn, Creator/MerylStreep, and Creator/BruceWillis as three people trapped in a love triangle that eventually turns murderous -- if the people being murdered could actually die, anyway. The film won an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Visual Effects.


* {{Foreshadowing}}: We see from Madeline's meeting with Lisle that clients are given a piece of Lisle's necklace as a pin for their clothing, presumably as a sign of the secret society they have now joined. And in the subsequent scene where Helen visits Ernest to discuss killing Madeline, sharp-eyed viewers will see that she's wearing a pin in the same place as Madeline. It's soon revealed she took the potion as well.

to:

* {{Foreshadowing}}: We see from Madeline's meeting with Lisle that clients are given a piece of Lisle's necklace as a pin for their clothing, presumably as a sign of the secret society they have now joined. And in the subsequent scene where Helen visits Ernest to discuss killing Madeline, sharp-eyed viewers will see that she's been wearing a pin in the same place as Madeline.Madeline, since the book party. It's soon revealed she took the potion as well.



* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: When Helen still believes Madeline to have been murdered, she lectures Ernest, insulting her while the immortal-and-dead Madeline eavesdrops. Helen calls Madeline a "homewrecker, a man-eater, and a bad actress", and this final insult causes Mad to dig her nails into a column with rage.



* NoMoreForMe: Ernestís exchange after refusing Madeline and Helenís drugged scotch drink. They clobber him with a vase instead.

to:

* NoMoreForMe: Ernestís exchange after refusing Madeline and Helenís drugged scotch drink. They clobber him with a vase some vases instead.



* TapOnTheHead: Ernest gets clobbered with a large vase and knocked unconscious, but seems to suffer no further ill effects once he revives.

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* TapOnTheHead: Ernest gets clobbered with a large vase two vases and knocked unconscious, but seems to suffer no further ill effects once he revives.

Added DiffLines:

* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: The film opens with Madeline appearing in an awful musical version of ''Theatre/SweetBirdOfYouth'' that bombs.

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