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Film / Gremlins 2: The New Batch

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Gremlins 2: The New Batch is the 1990 sequel to Gremlins, again directed by Joe Dante.

Gizmo is still living in Mr. Wing's old shop in Chinatown, New York when his keeper dies. The place is immediately demolished by the local Clamp corporation and Gizmo captured by a pair of scientists who operate out of the Clamp skyscraper. Billy and Kate, having recently started working in the ultra high-tech building, rescue Gizmo, but not before an unfortunate accident creates a new strain of Gremlins who overrun the structure and threaten the city. The fact that those scientists are conducting genetic research really doesn't help matters...

Dante only agreed to make the sequel if he was given free rein by the studio, and he pretty much went nuts. The resulting film is far more fourth-wall breaching and overtly comedic than its predecessor, with everybody from Hulk Hogan to Daffy Duck to Christopher Lee putting in an appearance. Tony Randall's voice-performance as the Brain Gremlin is a particular stand-out.

A video game adaptation also came out in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

It was followed in the franchise by an animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, which debuted in 2023.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Greta, the female Gremlin, has the hots for Forster and won't leave him alone.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • During the Bat Gremlin's transformation, stereotypical vampire music starts playing while the camera zooms in on Christopher Lee's reaction shot. In one of the deleted scenes, Lee examines an actual bat in a cage and melodramatically says "I'm told they sometimes feed upon... blood." When told that he's thinking of a different kind of bat, he looks profoundly disappointed.
    • Most likely unintentional, but this isn't the first time Tony Randall voices a goblin-like creature.
  • Affably Evil: The Brain Gremlin is an erudite, genetically-altered gremlin who merely wants what everyone wants, and what you tropers have: Civilization! The Geneva Convention, chamber music, Susan Sontag...
    The Brain: We want to be civilized. I mean, you take a look at this fellow here...
    (Shoots a nearby, annoying Gremlin in the face)
    The Brain: Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized!
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the first film. Again, made by the same guy.
  • The Alcoholic: The host of tacky CCN cooking show "Microwave With Marge" uses lots of booze in her recipes, and never misses the chance to gulp some herself as she's demonstrating.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization names Christopher Lee's character as Dr. Cushing Catheter. This is also a Shout-Out to Lee's long-time friend and collaborator Peter Cushing.
  • All There in the Script: Official merchandise for the film has revealed that the other Mogwai/Gremlins are named Daffy (the hyperactive one), George (the grumpy big-lipped one), Lenny (the bucktoothed dopey one), and Mohawk (the one that becomes the Spider Gremlin).
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: In the final scene of the movie Forster finds himself trapped in an upper level restroom while Greta, wearing a wedding dress, bears down on him...
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Brain Gremlin becomes an example of this, and he decides that it's best for the Gremlins to all become civilized enough to behave like humans... so that they can conquer the world faster.
  • Anything but That!: Electric Gremlin gets trapped in the phone system and is put on hold. Cue a Muzak version of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"... its reaction is priceless.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Murray gets attacked by a winged Gremlin in broad daylight (thanks to an injection that helped it overcome that weakness) on a crowded New York sidewalk. In all superimposed footage at least, no one seems to notice. Until Murray poured cement on the gremlin, earning cheers from the onlooking crowd.
  • Art Evolution: The gremlins' designs between the first movie and this one has changed, from dark monsters to wackier and more colorful monsters. Chris Walas designed those of the first while Rick Baker did those of the sequel.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The twin scientists guess that Gizmo is some kind of rodent, yet he lacks the buck teeth that all rodents share; if anything, he looks like a prosimian primate.
    • The hybrid gremlins. Subverted slightly in that it's a genetics lab that causes virtually all of them. The Brain Gremlin handwaves it, by mentioning the results only work on gremlins because they have unstable genetics, making the treatments much more effective on them.
  • Ascended Extra: Murray Futterman is a relatively minor character in the first film, but has a much bigger part in the second, sneaking into the building the Gremlins are occupying and even pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Billy.
  • Automatic Door Malfunction: The Clamp Entrymatic, the automatic revolving door to the Clamp Building, malfunctions as a person tries to go through it, suddenly spinning at a fast speed that causes the person to get thrown into another.
  • Bad Boss: Brain Gremlin shoots one of his gremlin minions simply for being uncivilized.
  • Benevolent Boss: Daniel Clamp. He likes mingling with his employees, calls most people by their first name, has a bouncy personality and is utterly in love with technology in a manner suggestive of a wide-eyed kid, treating all manner of gizmos and gadgets like toys. He's also one of the few people in the company who actually listens to Billy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mohawk learns this the hard way after torturing Gizmo for most of the movie. Lampshaded by Billy.
    I guess they pushed him too far.
  • Big Applesauce: The franchise moves from a small town in New York State to New York City.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Gremlins as a whole, but Mohawk and Brain Gremlin really stand out as the bigger threats. Mohawk is a reincarnation of Stripe himself from the first movie, whose only goal in mind is to get revenge on Billy, Gizmo and Kate. Brain himself wants the Gremlins to take over human cities and eventually rule all of New York (with the potential to expand on that).
  • Big Budget Beef-Up: $50,000,000 compared to the first's $11 million. This, obviously, meant more gremlins. A diverse array of Gremlins at that in Bat, Spider, female, Smart, vegetable and electric variants.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Gizmo saves Marla and Kate from the Spider Gremlin after Taking a Level in Badass.
    • Clamp tries this and falls on his face.
    • Murray saves Billy from Daffy's Marathon Man scheme.
    • When the Gremlins take over the movie they are scared off by Hulk Hogan in the theatrical/DVD version and shot by John Wayne in the VHS/TV version.
  • Big Entrance: Clamp and the SWAT try to barge inside, but the revolving door is still stuck. So they use the other door, and as they run inside some of them accidentally slip on the Gremlins' melted carcasses.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: Billy and Kate comment on how rude New Yorkers are. Brain also says that is looking forward to the street crime, which he is sure he’ll be able to see for free. Both Billy and Clamp’s idolization of Kingston Falls comes off as a slam on New York.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The heroes and most of the building personnel have defeated all of the Gremlins, except for the surviving female Gremlin, who traps Forster and forces him to marry her. Then again, given how much of a huge prick he is, how bitter it is is up for interpretation.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Forster, although he strangely decides to give in at the end.
  • Brick Joke:
    • A particularly Meta example. In the opening animation, Daffy calls Bugs out on the 'fifty years' he's been hogging the spotlight. Bugs' first cartoon was in July 1940, fifty years before the film released in cinemas.
    • Forster disapproves of Billy's painting of his home town, and tells his assistant to prepare disciplinary measures against him for both using company time and provisions in painting the sketch as well as unapproved personalization of his cubicle. Towards the end of the movie, when Clamp himself sees the painting, he loves it and it inspires him to make a small town-themed media location.
  • Born in the Theatre: In the cinema version, as Dr. Catheter is making his impassioned plea about quitting genetic research, the film has a brain wrap (which is usually when the "brain" of a projector fails to sense the tension building up around it and allows the film to wrap forever, usually causing a film to "burn up"). Then, some of the Gremlins goof off within the projection booth, including showing an adult movie until Hulk Hogan threatens them.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Gizmo for much of the movie, until he Took a Level in Badass.
    • George the gremlin counts too, as Lenny keeps whacking him in the face with something.
  • Call-Back:
    • George causes an explosion using a microwave, a Shout-Out to the infamous "Exploding Gremlin" scene in the first movie. He even glares and growls "Mi...cro....wave!" after noticing it.
    • Kate starts to go into detail about a traumatic event that happened to her on the occurring holiday (here, Lincoln's birthday), but this time Billy tries to shut her up before she can finish.
    • In the first film, Kate was flashed by a Gremlin in a trenchcoat while at the bar. In this film, the same thing happens... but she doesn't just take it.
  • The Cameo:
    • Hulk Hogan appears in the sequel, threatening to beat up the Gremlins after they interupt their own movie. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck also show up at the beginning of the film. Daffy also appears during the end credits and in The Stinger (after Porky Pig).
    • The original home video release replaced the Hulk Hogan scene with a more VHS-specific scene with John Wayne (since the film was no longer in theaters).
    • Outside those scenes, John Astin's a janitor, Henry Gibson gets fired for smoking on the job, and football players Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith get attacked at a salad bar. The kids from Square One TV also appeared filming an episode of their show in the Clamp lobby. Paul Bartel is the theater manager who tells a complaining mother that the theater doesn't make the movies, only shows them.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Horror Host character Fred plays on TV appears is a Captain Ersatz of Grandpa from The Munsters. (Al Lewis, the actual Grandpa Munster, had been doing that for some time on Superstation WTBS, presumably to further the Clamp Cable Network being an expy of Turner Broadcasting.)
  • Career Not Taken: Grandpa Fred is working as a cheesy Horror Host in the studio section of Clamp Building, but admits to Billy that he imagined he'd be working as a reporter when he was young instead of playing with cartoon bats. The Gremlin take-over of the building gives him an opportunity to provide first-hand coverage of the rampage.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Clamp and the police storming the building at the end.
  • Celebrity Casualty: Film critic Leonard Maltin, who disliked the first Gremlins, is shown giving the movie a bad review and is then mauled to death by Gremlins.
  • Chained to a Railway: Parodied when the Gremlins tie Gizmo to some toy train tracks; the model train painfully smacks into Gizmo and derails.
  • Clock Tampering: In an attempt to trick the Gremlins into going to the lobby of Clamp Enterprises while it's still day, the protagonists blind the windows and set all the clocks in the building ahead a few hours.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Even for a gremlin, Daffy is weird. Considering who he is a Shout-Out to, what do you expect?
  • Clueless Boss: Daniel Clamp is presented as almost a childlike idealist entranced by his futuristic visions for his enterprise, seemingly unaware of the less scrupulous antics of his chief of security or Mad Scientist in his research clinic.
  • Cobweb Jungle: Mohawk fills a corridor with cobwebs after gaining spider traits.
  • Colorization: Parodied when an announcement at Billy's office says that they will be showing a version of Casablanca "Now in color, and with a happy ending".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The smokeless ashtray Rand gifted to Mr. Wing at the end of the first film can be spotted in his shop...
    • Billy and Kate have one of Rand Peltzer's orange juicers in their kitchen.
    • Mohawk is the reincarnation of Stripe in the first movie, and he makes sure the audience knows this by saying what has become his Catchphrase. ca.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Gizmo is captured by a couple of scientists who just happened to be lurking around the alley at that moment, they take him back to the laboratory which is in the same building Billy happens to now be working in and Billy happens to overhear a guy whistling Gizmo's song, cluing him in that Gizmo is there.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Subverted. Early in the film Clamp Enterprises had been suggested to be the typical evil (or at least amoral) corporation but when we finally meet Daniel Clamp he turns out to be a loveable Manchild who actually wants to use his massive resources to make the world a nicer place.note 
    • Clamp's oily assistant comes as close to being corrupt as you can without actually going over the line.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Billy told Gizmo to stay in that drawer and not make a ruckus. Gizmo is both loud and disobedient, climbing out of the drawer of his own accord before a janitor gets him wet. And that's where the movie's plot goes in full action.
  • Covered in Kisses: The female gremlin does this to Forster.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Daniel Clamp has a video for his cable network to play in the unlikely event Clamp has to shut down due to the end of the world. According to Joe Dante, he once toured the CNN main headquarters, where they have just such a video waiting to be played when the final hour comes.
  • Creator Cameo: Jerry Goldsmith returns from the first movie, and has dialogue this time (he appears as one of the annoyed moviegoers after the Gremlins break the film, and as a yogurt customer); Joe Dante himself is the director of Grandpa Fred's show.
  • Credits Gag:
    • Daffy Duck appears during and after the end credits commenting on them ("You're THTILL lurking about? Don't you people have HOMETH?!?").
    • The aforementioned callback to how the slightly younger Bugs Bunny was, and still is, the Warner Brothers marquee star mostly at his expense.
  • Creepy Cathedral: While the Futtermans visit the Cathedral of St Eva-Marienote , Murray is creeped out by it, saying it's like "something out of the dark ages".
  • Cute Monster Girl: Greta the female gremlin. "Cute" being a relative term.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Forster and Brain.
  • Denser and Wackier: With the studio willing to let them do anything they wanted, the creators decided to go in a different direction from the original and just have fun; the setting is now just as over-the-top and cartoonish as the titular critters, toning down the horror elements from the original (which were caused by them wreaking their brand of violent havoc in a more-or-less realistic setting, with appropriate levels of pain and terror from their victims). The fact that the film starts with the Looney Tunes rings with a cameo from Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck should give you an idea on how more comedic the film is.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Inverse of how this trope usually goes. Normally, it is taking the premise of Die Hard and recycling it into a new setting. Here, it is taking the premise of the original Gremlins and transplanting it into a setting reminiscent of the original Die Hard.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Mohawk, who's been pretty non-interested in leading the other gremlins throughout much of the film, gets killed while the greater part of the gremlins are still creating mayhem. The Brain Gremlin effectively assumed his place beforehand.
  • The Ditz: Lenny.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: As a result of the handily placed genetics chemicals, a lot of the Gremlins in this film gain unique personalities and attributes. Even besides that, the initial batch born as Mogwai all look and act radically different from each other compared to those in the first film.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Gizmo personally takes out Mohawk, who had been sadistically tormenting him throughout the first half of the movie.
  • Domestic Appliance Disaster: Voluntary example with destructive intentions when a Gremlin put metallic elements in a microwaves. It explode and that's exactly what he had in mind.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Many home viewings deliberately cut out the sequence where one of the Gremlins fills an industrial microwave with pans, despite showing, quite graphically, exactly why you don't do it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • This time, Gizmo gets to go home with Billy.
    • Greta is the only Gremlin to survive the movie AND she gets to marry the man she loves!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a deleted scene on the DVD, the Gremlins are clearly seen releasing the lab animals from their cages in the Splice of Life Laboratory, one of them even shouting "GO! GO!" when he lets a dog out. The Vegetable Gremlin doesn't seem to mind when a released squirrel was munching on his head. In the final version, the gremlins don't attack Fred the whole time he's on the building, implying they do not harm those who are not afraid of them or trying to stop them.
  • Evil Elevator: The Gremlins commandeer one of the Clamp building's elevators with Kate inside it. They cut the brakes and cables, sending the elevator into a freefall, but because the Gremlins are all clinging to the bottom of the car, they get squished into slime when it lands and absorb enough of the impact to leave Kate unhurt, although with plenty of new, green stains on her uniform.
  • Evil Redhead: A scheming female boss who tries to seduce Billy and is a Jerkass to Kate. She ends up being trapped in Spider Gremlin's web! Guess who saves her bacon...
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: The Microwave Marge scene. The Gremlins sneak onto a show about microwave cooking, and set up some Disaster Dominoes using a heavily overpowered microwave and the fire sprinklers, which create enough water to allow them to breed.
  • Eye Pop: Happens for a split second with a Gremlin right before it and several others get squashed by an elevator.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Kate seems to ignore the fact "Gizmo" is acting extremely goofy (it's Daffy), and even ignores him giggling and saying, "I'm not Gizmo!"
  • Footsie Underthe Table: Billy's boss Marla Bloodstone rubs her foot against his crotch on their date.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The four mogwai/gremlins who spawn from Gizmo in this film: vicious and aggressive Mohawk (choleric), grouchy and stoic George (melancholic), hyperactive and eccentric Daffy (sanguine) and mostly docile Lenny (phlegmatic).
  • Genetic Memory: The Gremlins have an instinctive hatred of Gizmo. This seems to be passed down from George, Lenny, and Daffy (who were born from Gizmo and helped Mohawk push him into an air vent) to the numerous gremlins that spawn from the aforementioned trio. How they know Gizmo by name is pretty much Rule of Funny.
  • Genius Serum: When the Gremlins raid the science lab in the Clamp building, one of them (later dubbed the "Brain Gremlin") downs an intelligence-enhancing potion. The normal Gremlins were already a lot more cunning than they appeared, not just dumb animals, but it immediately made him both sapient and gave him the ability to speak while retaining his predatory instincts, in effect just creating a psychopathic Gremlin.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: The Clamp corporate logo.
  • Groin Attack: Kate delivers a very hard and swift kick to a Gremlin's crotch after he flashes her, sending him flying.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Except for Fred, none of the humans make any attempt to reason with the Gremlins, not that it would have done any good. Instead, the humans simply work out how to kill them all, and none of them—even Fred—feel any sense of sadness in seeing them all fried and melted. Billy, Kate and Murray at least have the justification of having dealt with the monsters before.
  • He Really Can Act: In-universe, seeing the goofy horror movie host become a serious reporter on the Gremlins' invasion.
  • High-Voltage Death: Billy kills off the Gremlin horde by getting them wet (normally a bad idea) but then unleashing the gremlin that had Shock and Awe Elemental Powers on them. It's not clear what happened to the electric Gremlin after that, although the novelization says he "short-circuited" after spreading enough amperage around the Gremlins to kill them all.
  • Hollywood Acid: In spite of being helpfully labeled "Acid: Do Not Throw In Face," a Gremlin throws acid into his fellow's face, which immediately burns it to the point that it produces a Phantom of the Opera (1943) mask.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Daniel Clamp turns out to be a rather nice, if eccentric, guy.
  • Hybrid Monster: Several of the Gremlins become these during the course of the film. One even turns into a bolt of electricity by drinking one of the potions in the lab.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: How Forster treats Wing's homilies.
  • Idiot Ball: Gizmo just had to get out of the drawer Billy left him in and wander around an unfamiliar building (especially after the residents had already tried to dissect him), instead of just waiting for his owner and friend to come and take him home. The novelization justifies this as Gizmo being starving and cramped, to the point he just couldn't bear waiting anymore and had to get out — especially as somebody had left a sandwich nearby and he could smell it.
  • I'm Melting!: The Gremlins' ultimate fate. Bonus points for explicit The Wizard of Oz reference, with the witch's hat and directly quoting the phrase itself!
  • Impact Silhouette: Parodied; when the Bat Gremlin flies through a wall, the hole he leaves behind is shaped like the Batman logo.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: During the theater takeover, one of the gremlins manages to create Abraham Lincoln with shadow puppets.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Gizmo's owner, Mr. Wing. Justified and lampshaded in-story by the fact that he is particularly old (think 90-plus), having reached the type of age where even a seemingly innocuous cold could be life-threatening. Invoked by Forster after meeting with him.
  • Interspecies Romance: The very last scene.
  • It Amused Me: As the Brain Gremlin points out, shooting one of his less mature brethren in the face with a pistol is fun, "but in no sense civilized".
  • It's All My Fault: Kate says this for getting the wrong Mogwai, she's got Daffy. Billy says it's his own mistake for leaving Gizmo inside his desk and telling Kate to get him later, as Gizmo accidentally got wet and the new Mogwais lock him away while Daffy goes in his place.
  • Japanese Tourist: Mr. Kazuchi.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Used this exchange:
    Clamp: That thing that was in here a minute ago, that's dangerous! This guy's from the art department.
    Forster: Well, ask him how he knows so much about these "green things".
    Clamp: That's a good question, Bill – how do you know so much about them?
  • Karmic Death: Dr. Catheter and Mohawk.
  • Kidnapped for Experimentation: The plot begins when Gizmo is found on the street by two scientists after a construction crew tears his home down and brought to the Splice of Life lab for experimentation.
  • Kill It with Fire: Combined with You Have to Burn the Web.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Some of Clamp's incredulous minions snarkily question Billy about the vagueness of the Gremlin rules.
  • Large Ham: Both of these were probably intentional, considering the enforced campy nature of the film.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the very beginning of the movie, Kate is showing up for work at Clamp enterprises. An unnamed Jerkass shoves her down and runs into the revolving door. The revolving door malfunctions, spins like a top, and hurls him back through the line at a very high rate of speed. He is taken away on a stretcher, in a neck brace moaning in extreme pain while Kate watches him, smiling.
  • LEGO Genetics: How a number of the gremlins managed to turn into hybrids after raiding the genetics lab for Applied Phlebotinums. This is briefly handwaved by their unstable genetics.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Gizmo has one of these moments.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the first film was (somewhat) more serious in tone, the sequel is played more for laughs. The Gremlins don’t actually kill anyone—at least, on-screen—except for Dr. Catheter, who is electrocuted by the Gremlin who becomes electric because of Catheter’s experimentation.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: A chorus of Gremlins sings Wagner's Bridal March during Forsters "wedding" to Greta.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Catheter, played to the hilt by Christopher Lee. Interestingly he subverts it later on when he rejects his experiments as immoral, and vows that he will not commit cruel genetic experiments on animals again.
  • Mars Needs Women: Gender inverted; Greta, a female gremlin, instantly takes a shine to a male human named Forster, much to his horror. He gets used to it though.
    Greta: Oh, why won't you commit?
  • Masking the Deformity: One gremlin throws acid at another gremlin's face. He uses a Phantom of the Opera mask to hide his now deformed face.
  • Melting-Film Effect: When the Gremlins appear to take over the theater projector, The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.
  • Monumental Damage: The uncut version shows that the Gremlins have seized military grade weaponry from the Clamp building and plan on blowing up the Statue of Liberty.
  • Mook Promotion: A random Gremlin drinks a brain-enhancing formula and becomes the swarm's leader/spokesgremlin, while the original leader becomes a skulking half-spider monstrosity.
  • Moose and Maple Syrup: Billy and Marla went to a Canadian themed restaurant that has just about every stereotype (including an overly friendly waiter dressed as a Mountie, Molson as the only beer available, and Gordon Lightfoot playing in the background). The chocolate mousse? You guessed it - a molded chocolate moose.
    Waiter: Would you like an antler?
  • More Despicable Minion: While the Brain Gremlin is the "official" leader of the gremlins, he's Affably Evil and can at least sometimes be reasoned with. Mohawk has a much more sadistic personality, and spends half the movie torturing Gizmo, as well as almost killing Kate and Marla after he turns into a spider-gremlin.
  • Mouse Trap: One Gremlin hides a mouse trap in the sandwich of one of Clamp's secretaries. While we hear her get hurt after biting into the trapped sandwich offscreen, we don't see happens to her after that.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Brain Gremlin's intelligence doesn't stop him from having the same sociopathic tendencies as the other gremlins.
    (the Brain Gremlin is being interviewed about culture and civilization when another gremlin with a beanie pops in from the side and starts making a racket)
    Brain Gremlin: You take a look at this fellow here.
    (the Brain Gremlin takes out a gun and casually shoots the other gremlin in the head)
    Brain Gremlin: Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized.
  • Nightmare Face: When the gremlin in the receptionist's chair smiles evilly at Daniel Clamp, it's enough to make you wish you had Brain Bleach. But the winner of the scariest face of all goes to Mohawk. He's even more frightful when he was Stripe.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Clamp is obviously Donald Trump, in that his name sounds similar, he's a real estate magnate who puts his name on skyscrapers, and he's a shameless self-promoter. It's also implied that he'll hook up with Marla, referring to Trump's then-wife Marla Trump. Clamp also has a lot of Ted Turner in him, what with the cable channels, the "End of the World" tape on-deck, and his colorizing old black and white films (shown in a deleted scene where he colorizes a scene from It's a Wonderful Life).
    • Microwave Marge is this to Julia Child.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In both their Mogwai and Gremlin forms, the four main gremlins Mohawk, George, Lenny and Daffy, look remarkably different from the other ones. The Gremlins were designed by Rick Baker this time, and he apparently wanted to put his own stamp on creature design.
  • Novelization: By David Bischoff.
  • Obviously Evil: Even as a Mogwai, Mohawk looks outright terrifying compared to his goofy brethren.
  • Only in It for the Money: Clamp earnestly notes that there are “real lives” at stake, and then follows up by worriedly stating, “Do you have any idea what kind of lawsuits we’re looking at here?”
  • Planimal: A gremlin drinks a potion from the science lab and becomes a gremlin/vegetable hybrid. Later we see another gremlin picking a bit of him off to snack on. He's also handy for garnishing mixed drinks.
  • Postmodernism
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • A weird quasi-case. When the movie was put on video, Dante realized the sequence of the Gremlins Breaking the Fourth Wall and taking over the projection room wouldn't fit the new format, so he made a completely different version of the scene where they cause the VCR to eat the tape. Then they start changing channels on the viewer's TV ("Could that have been a... gremlin?") until John Wayne shoots at them and orders them to put the tape back in.
      • The DVD and Blu-Ray releases just use the theatrical version, though the VHS scene is usually included as an Easter Egg.
    • In the novelization, the Brain Gremlin locks the author into a closet and takes over the typewriter for a bit.
    • In some TV viewings, the 4th wall-breaking scene is removed altogether.
  • Product Placement: When Marla and Billy go to the Canadian restaurant, there's a Jolt! Cola sitting right next to Marla's red wine. Maybe she's making her own kalimotxo?
  • Punny Name: Doctor Catheter? Really?
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Ted Turner really did have that "End of the World" tape in case Armageddon hit. It leaked onto the web in 2015.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Not long after Dr. Catheter decides to dedicate his life to good, he gets killed by the Electric Gremlin.
  • Reincarnation:
    • Word of God states that Mohawk, the new leader of the Gremlins, was Stripe, the primary antagonist from the first film reborn. Fortunately, Gizmo sends him back to the grave for good. Whether this is a literal reincarnation or figurative (as in, they fulfill similar archetypes) is unclear, though it is implied to be the former as Mohawk goes out of his way to torment Gizmo for much of the movie, and in the first movie Gizmo was the character who killed Stripe.
    • Also, the Bat Gremlin attacked only Murray. It may have memories of the gremlin who ran a bulldozer through the Futtermans' house in the first film.
    • George glares and growls at a microwave, likely recalling the "Exploding Gremlin" scene.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: When the Gremlins break into the genetics lab, one of them mutates into a Bat-Gremlin hybrid. Another Gremlin who recently gained sentience because of a brain potion injects his winged compadre with another mixture that makes him resistant to the Gremlins' fatal weakness to sunlight so that he can go on a rampage in the city.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The sequel underplays the genuine horror tones of the original and focuses a lot more on the Gremlins' mischief, with a lot of it portrayed as more slapstick than in the first film (complete with added cartoon sound effects). Even the human cast is a lot more comedic.
  • Rich Boredom: Mr. Clamp. He was originally supposed to be some sort of nepharious Corrupt Corporate Executive, but when we see him actually working in his huge top floor office, he's just kinda goofing off, doesn't seem to know how to fill the hours, and dictates on-the-whim suggestions for a parade to his secretary.
  • Running Gag: Malfunctioning revolving doors.
  • Say My Name: Just before Gizmo kills Mohawk with a makeshift flaming arrow.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The film crew for Microwave Marge's show promptly run out when the Gremlins attack, instead of helping her.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • Self-Parody: This film often parodies itself, the previous film and audience (and critics') reactions to the film.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the first movie we see Mrs Deagle's body and a number of humans seem to die offscreen. But early in the second movie Kate mentions that fortunately nobody got killed. One wonders how the science teacher survived, plus the news report at the film's end explicitly confirms that Mrs. Deagle had indeed died and hadn't just been knocked out.
  • Sexual Karma: A newly girlified gremlin "attacks" a hapless human male! The guy in question was a very slimey fellow who seemed to delight in spying on employees and firing them as head of security. Then again, Forster after considering it for a moment, smiles, probably after noticing how thick the Girl Gremlin's lips were.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Definitely further over into comedy.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Bob, the delivery man in the Clamp building whose whistling of Gizmo's song leads to Billy finding and having a heartfelt reunion with the cute critter.
  • Smart People Speak the Queen's English: The Brain Gremlin.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There's only one girl gremlin, and that's entirely due to gene splicing.
  • So Last Season: They try to get every Gremlin into the lobby by fooling them into thinking it's nighttime, then fry them with sunlight. Then come the thunderclouds. Cue Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Special Effects Evolution: The puppetry as a whole is improved upon from the first film.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Mohawk.
  • Stealth Pun: George and Lenny are named after the main characters from Of Mice and Men.
  • Stock Footage: The opening aerial shot of New York City was stock footage from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard as a victim's face is latched onto by a gremlin, causing him to fall from a railing.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: The Marathon Man version is spoofed.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mohawk is one for Stripe.
  • Taken for Granite: The bat Gremlin ends up covered in quick-drying cement as a gargoyle atop a cathedral.
  • Take That, Audience!: The control room security team who pose mocking questions about the Three Rules are Audience Surrogates for the many fans who have posed similar skeptical questions. Billy's eye roll and Mohawk's attack illustrate the movie's feelings about such endless hole-punching.
  • Take That, Critics!: Surprisingly, one of the least bitter Take Thats. Leonard Maltin, who gave the original Gremlins a negative review, appears as himself and is promptly mocked and attacked by the rampaging army.
    Maltin: I was just kidding! Ow! A ten! It's a ten!
  • That's All, Folks!
    Daffy Duck: Oh no you don't!
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Girl Gremlin is the only "after midnight" Gremlin who isn't evil. She just want's to be loved. She's the only one of the batch who doesn't die.
    • According to an early script, Lenny is also this. In the final film he's more dopey and mischievous than actively malicious and in the original story he would have underwent an outright Heel–Face Turn.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gizmo, at the same time doing a Rambo spoof.
  • Training Montage: Gizmo has a (hilarious) one where he tries lifting weights and going at a punching bag.
  • Trigger-Happy: One of the SWAT guys shoots at a melted gremlin when it suddenly squirted.
  • Transformation Discretion Shot:
    • One of the Gremlins becomes a female, with it appearing transformed after cutting away after one becomes electric.
    • When Mohawk drinks the spider potion his transformation is seen by shadow, with him reappearing transformed in the next scene.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Futtermans sure seem to have recovered well from that whole snow plow thing in the first movie (it is mentioned in the first movie that they survived, but you have to listen carefully to hear it, and it was never actually explained even then).
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Billy fully explains his first plan to kill all the Gremlins, which is to have them all go into the lobby and then get killed by the sunlight. This plan of course fails. For his second plan, Billy only tells a horrified Mr. Futterman to fire water into the Gremlins, but does not explain the part about releasing the electric Gremlin. This plan of course succeeds.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A simple janitor inadvertently causes the whole mess when he gets Gizmo wet without realizing the Mogwai was there while trying to repair a water fountain.
  • Victory by Endurance: This is how Frank proposes they get Mr. Wing's shop, by simply waiting for him to die. Soon enough, it happens and Clamp Enterprises is able to take over the land.
  • Villain Song: Frank Sinatra's New York, New York no less. And amazingly well-coordinated! Marla gives it an "ifsy-shiftsy" mediocre handwave.
    Grandpa Fred: Incredible as it seems, ladies and gentlemen, after their bizarre, bloodcurdling rampage of destruction, these strange creatures now appear to be mounting what seems to be... a musical number.
  • Visual Pun: The Canadian restaurant serves a moose head made out of chocolate. It's a chocolate mousse.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • "Daffy", "George" and "Lenny" disappear during the latter half of the movie (though deleted scenes depict them "helping" with Grandpa Fred's show and their Family-Unfriendly Death with the rest of the Gremlins). One of the melting skeletons at the end clearly has George's cigar in its mouth.
    • The electric Gremlin's ultimate fate remains unclear, although it appears he dissipated after spreading around the gremlins.
    • What happened to the Gremlins in the projection booth?
  • You, Get Me Coffee: "Marla... smoke."
  • You Have to Believe Me!: After getting arrested trying to sabotage the Clamp building to keep the Gremlins from getting wet, Billy is a bit more forceful and incoherent.
    Billy: They feed after midnight, and then they form these cocoons, and then they—
    Forrester: Peltzer, you're having a psychotic episode. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: When Gizmo shoots the spider gremlin with flaming arrows.