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Film / Lemonade Mouth

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Be heard. Be strong. Be proud.

A Disney Channel Original Movie based on a book of the same name by Mark Peter Hughes. It premiered on April 15, 2011.

Five high school students meet in detention and discover a shared love of music and organic lemonade. Despite a rocky start and constant interference from an arrogant, self-important rival band and a jerkass principal, they manage to form an anti-establishment rock band that takes off like a rocket.

It's about making friends, growing up, and saving a lemonade vending machine.

A sequel movie was planned by Disney but later canceled. That hasn't stopped Mark Peter Hughes from writing his own sequel: Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up which was published in late 2012.


Lemonade Mouth provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Stella's older sister Clea, Mo's younger sister Madhu, and Charlie's stillborn twin brother Aaron, whose voice Charlie imagines a lot in the book.
  • Absurdly Divided School: The highschool is very much run on the principal of "Athletes Vs. Everyone Else". All the non-athletic clubs are shoved into the basement and are severely neglected by their sports-obsessed principal, and when the titular band try and revolt against this unfair treatment, they get bullied by the most powerful kids in school and targeted by said principal, as well.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The whole band, beside Mo.
    • Olivia especially. In the book, it's made pretty clear that she's meant to be at least somewhat homely. In the movie, she's played by Bridgit Mendler.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Olivia Whitehead is shortened to Olivia White, Charlie Hirsh is changed to Charlie Delgado, Mo Banerjee is now Mo Banjaree, and Stella Penn is changed to Stella Yamada.
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  • Adoptive Peer Parent: Wen’s dad is dating a younger woman, and it makes him extremely uncomfortable.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: The outfits that Mo wears on stage with Lemonade Mouth are not something you'd arguably see her wearing anywhere else.
  • Alpha Brat: Ray. Big Time.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Charlie's brother, although he actually turns out to be a Broken Ace (Type 2).
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Mo. "I'm classically trained. I don't play whatever this is!"
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Charlie, in the book (see "Disneyfication" below).
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Played with; she doesn't say outright that she loves Wen, but Olivia makes it clear to Wen that her feelings for him are the reason she's with Lemonade Mouth.
    • In the book, she does outright say it.
    • In the film, Olivia does say it outright in the deleted scene where the band's on a talk show, and in the outdoor scene where her voice is audibly breaking up, she tells Wen that she only joined the band because of him.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The band's name is one.
  • Asian Airhead: Blown all the way to hell and back by Stella, who is visionary, leader and driving force of not only Lemonade Mouth, but in the effort to give the students a voice, and the one who gets Mel to build the music hall for the school.
    • Played straight and entirely subverted at once in the book: it's revealed that Stella only scored an IQ of 84 and was later diagnosed with a number of learning disabilities. She still acts exactly the same as she does in the movie - and in fact this is what drives her to act with vision and leadership.
    • Also played with in the film: while the rest of her family have more traditional intellectual gifts and her brothers are child geniuses, Stella's advanced and very visible leadership ability is now considered an advanced natural talent/gifted ability.
  • Badass Creed: 'Be Strong, Be Heard, Be Proud!'
  • Battle of the Bands: Rising Star
  • Berserk Button: Doing anything that defaces the school, or the new gym, will put you in hock with the principal, whether you did it or not. (See the "Lemonade Mouth banner" incident in the cafeteria.) Also, "a school dance is no place for a political tirade."
    • Stella has a few berserk buttons, from being able to express herself to the aforementioned drive to save the vending machine. Both end up being critical to the formation of the band.
  • Bishōnen: Scott, and hinted at with Charlie.
  • Boastful Rap: Wen's vocal contribution to "Determinate".
  • Bollywood Nerd: What Mo's father wants her to be. She isn't.
  • Break the Cutie: In a nutshell, life for Olivia - almost to the point of Deus Angst Machina.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Believe it or not, Naomi Scott (Mo) is actually Indian, despite how she looks.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Wen (Adam Hicks) is the only guy who even approaches "average" - and the show strongly insinuates he's going to get together with Olivia.
    • A Deleted Scene shows that Wen actually does end up with Olivia, and does a public declaration of for her hand on live TV.
    • Actually, Olivia does the public declaration, in order to distract Mo's Papa Wolf from Mo and Scott's relationship. Of course, Wen has zero problems with being her guy...
  • Chaste Hero: Charlie, who doesn't understand that girls really do like him, and not just the band. Stella also qualifies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lemonade machine, arguably.
    • The gym provided by the sports drink, as its existence is the direct cause of Lemonade Mouth's creation and sucess, and leads to the building of a music hall for the school by Mel's Lemonade.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The 'Rising Star' audience, as Lemonade Mouth begins to self-destruct on stage.
  • Clique Tour: A variation occurs when Stella, on her first day of class, is given a tour of all the clubs operating in the school's underground- such as the drama club, the newspaper, and the lone member of the chess club.
  • Cool Loser: The members of Lemonade Mouth, especially Stella.
  • Creator Cameo: Hughes, makes a cameo as a bee at the Halloween party.
  • Cute Kitten: Wen gets Olivia a kitten to replace her pet cat.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Played with, as Lemonade Mouth doesn't win at Rising Star (or even play) but ends up becoming a successful band that plays Madison Square Garden.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Stella embodies this trope.
  • Determinator: Stella embodies this trope; inverted in that Olivia has to be coaxed by the others in order to do everything. Hilarious in Hindsight when you consider that Olivia wrote "Determinate".
    • All of them when they attempt to sing even while the main vocalists have sicknesses. Again, consider the song they were singing.
  • Disneyfication: Compared to the book, it is less edgy.
    • Example: Movie!Charlie's big brother is away at college for most of the film. In the book, he's Charlie's twin and died in childbirth with the umbilical cord around his neck.
    • Also, as the annotated version itself point out, in the book it's explicitly stated that Nancy (Olivia's mom, not her cat) died of cancer. In the movie, the reason isn't given.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: So much so, that this could also be a secondary theme of the film.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Ms. Resnik.
  • Elaborate University High: A plot point in both book and movie, the latter was shot on location in several with Ms. Resnik's actress commenting that she'd never seen such nice high schools before coming to Albuquerque.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The scene where the kids sing "Turn Up the Music" neatly defines the members of Lemonade Mouth and their personalities.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Played Lighter and Softer with Scott, as Ray's antics towards the band (and Mo) makes him leave Mudslide Crush.
  • Expy: Lemonade Mouth themselves are expies of the detention gang from The Breakfast Club, especially Charlie and Wen.
    • Stella and Mo come across as Spear Counterparts to John Bender and Brian Johnson, while Olivia seems very much a Deconstruction of Claire Standish, and Charlie and Wen are inversions of Andrew Clarke and Allison Reynolds.
      • Stella also is quite similar to Stevie only without magic and less sociopathic, as well as musically inclined.Bonus points for having the same actress.
    • Hughes has stated that "Mel's Lemonade" is a Writing Around Trademarks Shout-Out to Del's.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    Stella's Brother: When did you become a vegetarian?
    Stella's Dad: Yeah, uh, when did this happen?
    Stella: (looks down at shirt reading "Vegetarians Rock!") ...four months ago?
  • Fanservice Pack: Mo's outfits whenever she's on stage (or away from her Overprotective Dad); the entire band at Madison Square Garden. Averted by Scott, as he's always dressed that way.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Someone stuck gum underneath a bleacher seat in the new gym, and the principal is not amused.
    • See the main article above, referring to saving a vending machine. The band actually make a pretty big deal about it.
  • Film of the Book: With a little alteration, mostly the names.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine: Wen.
    • Choleric: Stella.
    • Melancholic: Olivia.
    • Phlegmatic: Charlie.
    • Leukine: Mo.
  • Former Teen Rebel: The principal says he's one of these at the end of the film.
  • Freudian Excuse: Olivia's breakdown after the death of Nancy (her pet cat) is because Olivia sees it as the last living part of her dead mother.
  • Friendlessness Insult: * "Mudslide Crush" is a band made up of Jerk Jocks, and they serve as antagonists who relentlessly bully others. Fittingly, their "I Am Great!" Song "Don't Ya Wish You Were Us" is spent mocking the listener and contains the line "No-one really likes you that much / Don't ya wish you were us".
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: Olivia's Stage Fright threatens to get in the way of the first concert. Her singing starts out slowly and nervously, earning mocking yawns from some members of the audience. Once the song picks up speed though, the crowd goes wild and Olivia's stage fright is no longer an issue.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Mo, towards Scott.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Scott ultimately ditches Mudslide Crush to be a part of Lemonade Mouth.
  • Held Gaze: Happens between Wen and Olivia while writing 'Determinate'. They then go back to awkwardly writing the song.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Olivia's attraction towards Wen; it really shows when he comes over to Olivia's house and she shows him her songs, and when she admits that he's the only reason she even got involved with the band.
  • Heroic BSoD: Olivia suffers this on stage at Rising Star (arguably, it's the entire band that does), and has one averted just before their first performance.
  • Hidden Depths: You can find this all throughout the members of the band.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Stella. Most of the dialogue concerning her fitting in (especially when she's dealing with her family and the Principal) definitely has the scent of Does This Remind You of Anything? lingering about it. Also, it's interesting that Stella's the only character that doesn't get paired up with anyone.
    • Funnily enough, Stella's actress, Hayley Kiyoko, is a lesbian in real life. Granted she wasn't out at the time.
  • Hollywood New England: The book takes place in a fictional town in Rhode Island (not Quahog).
  • Hope Bringer: Stella takes this up to eleven at the pep rally.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "She's So Gone".
  • "I Am Great!" Song: Apparently, this is the only kind of song that Mudslide Crush feels that they need to sing.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Mo's reason for not committing to the band at first. Scott's attitude about 'his music being important to him' changes her mind.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Mo towards Charlie, when he tries to tell her how he feels.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Pretty much everyone, but mostly Stella.
  • Insecure Protagonist, Arrogant Antagonist: The members of the titular band all suffer from various insecurities and social struggles, such as family issues or crippling stage fright. The rival band, Mudslide Crush, contrasts this by being arrogant, popular bullies who have higher status than Lemonade Mouth does as well, being made up of Jerk Jocks who thrive in the school's athlete-focused structure. Lemonade Mouth is constantly being bullied and threatened, but their status as insecure outcasts resonates with other school outcasts, making them popular and helping them overcome their personal issues.
  • Insult Backfire: Ray calls Stella "lemonade mouth" after she stops a fight between him and Charlie by spitting a mouthful of lemonade into his face. That's how the band got its name.
  • Ironic Echo: When Scott finds out that Mo is in Lemonade Mouth, he tells her that if she wants to be in a band, she can play backup guitar for him (in Mudslide Crush). Fast forward to the last line of the film, when Olivia says that she hopes their new guitar player (Scott) can keep up... and we see Scott playing backup guitar for them.
  • "I Want" Song: "Somebody".
  • Jerkass: The principal, with his school sponsorship deal and uber-conformist attitude. Don't forget Ray. My goodness, Ray.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At least the principal started to lighten up at the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Ray called dibs on this trope.
  • Large Ham: Stella. Three words: "WE DO MATTER!"
  • May–December Romance: Wen's dad and Sidney.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: played with in Stella's case, as she's actually the oldest child.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Lemonade Mouth's performance at the Halloween dance.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mo, when she's on stage.
  • Non-Action Guy: Wen lampshades this in the altercation with Ray: "I'm a lover, not a fighter!"
  • Oh, Crap!: The principal's reaction as Lemonade Mouth begins "Here We Go".
  • Overprotective Dad: Mo's dad, almost to Papa Wolf levels.
  • Pairing the Spares: Averted, as Charlie is hinted to have hooked up with his blond-haired fan, and Stella seems more concerned with speaking her mind.
    • Played straight with Charlie and Mo hooking up in the book.
  • Parental Abandonment: Olivia lives with her grandmother because her mom died and her dad's in jail.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Jules. Also played with in the case of the popular students, in they're not ignorant as to what's happening around the school - it just works to their advantage.
  • The Power of Friendship: This trope is what keeps the band going, as evidenced by the song "More Than A Band".
  • The Power of Rock: The secondary message of the film — that a good rock band can change the world. It's even the very last line in the book.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Played with, as aside from the rapping, Wen comes across as a normal, average suburban kid with average problems.
  • Protest Song: The band performs "Here We Go" at the Halloween Bash as they protest the destruction of the lemonade stand.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "We – do – matter!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Don't Cha Wish You Were Us?" counts as this and a Villain Song.
  • Recycled INSPACE!: It's The Breakfast Club AS A MUSICAL!
  • Redemption in the Rain: Inverted. The band's lowest point, getting arrested and losing the lemonade machine at the same time, comes during a rainstorm.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A verbal example, with the implication Mo's performance of "She's So Gone" is directed towards her father's idea of who she should be, and at Scott on several levels.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Olivia says that they didn't won Raising Star, the last scene of the movie shows them playing at Maddison Square Garden.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Directly stated as to how Scott gets off with just a warning when he and Mo sneak off, while she gets detention. Implied as to how the popular students get away with so much.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Used by Lemonade Mouth members to almost Catchphrase status.
  • Serious Business: Do not mess with the lemonade machine. However, most of their annoyance has to do with the fact that the machine is being removed to further the principal's favoritism of the jocks over other students, which is a legitimate thing to take seriously. Also, as far as the principal is concerned, do not step out of line.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Mo, in the eyes of her Papa Wolf. An interesting inversion with Scott, as he sees that she's grown into an equal as a musician, and in their relationship.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Stella lives and breathes this trope.
  • Stealth Parody: If one is bored enough and only viewed the movie once, you might believe that this movie is a social commentary on life within school districts that focus on the principal. In scenarios like this, said Principal could be very irresponsible with his power by focusing the limited budget on those programs he enjoys (i.e. sports). In the process, all the other programs and the students belonging to them find themselves neglected (i.e. being forced into the school basement). These students dislike their position, and use the ignored programs to rally the students against the principal and rebalance the school resources so that everyone is treated equally.
    • Oh, and there's something about growing up in there, but you get the idea.
  • Spiritual Successor: Like many a Disney Channel Original Movie, to High School Musical.
  • Spit Take: How Lemonade Mouth got its name.
  • Take That!: Combined with Biting-the-Hand Humor in the book's sequel. Charlie complains about his frustrations at the state of what Lemonade Mouth has become to which Olivia responds, "Charlie, this isn't a Disney Movie." To which Charlie responds, "But still, it would've been pretty cool, don't you think?"
    • There's even a shot at the Adaptational Attractiveness that was applied to the movie of the first book. It ends up defining a big part of the second book's plot.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Played with in Mo's case, because her on-stage personality is the opposite of who she is in everyday life.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Charlie has the look, but not the personality. He comes off as the most normal member of the cast.
  • True Companions: Definitely the members of Lemonade Mouth.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Charlie, towards Mo. It turns out okay, though.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Everything the principal does is justified (in his mind) as being for the greater good of the school.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: Played with in the principal's office, as the poses range from Stella's Ass Kicking Pose to Wen's Rebel Relaxation, Mo's standing Pose of Supplication, and Charlie and Olivia's Cower Power.
    • The book also plays with this: the label for their first CD ends up being a candid shot of the members waiting on a bench in anxiety except for Stella, who intentionally looks goofy.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Even Charlie has his moments.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Stella and Mo - while Stella finds her family cared all along, Mo gains her father's grudging respect.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The principal.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out if Mudslide Crush won Rising Star. The second book reveals that they did indeed win, but broke up soon afterwards
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The film is this, from Olivia's point-of-view as she authors a letter to her father.
    • The book as well, pieced together from various memoirs and interviews.
  • You Are Not Alone: How Wen helps Olivia get through her pre-performance anxiety before the Halloween Bash.