They keep it together, y'all, that's it
They're not ordinary, just strange
Some say loco, insane in the brain
But you know that you love 'em
In a class by themselves, none below, none above 'em
It ain't nothin' to be ashamed of
So give love to the folks who go by the name of...
Meet The Addams Family: father Gomez (Raúl Juliá), mother Morticia (Anjelica Huston), daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci in the role that made her a star), son Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), butler Lurch (Carel Struycken), and Granny (Judith Malina; Darrined by Carol Kane for the sequel). The film series is based on the cartoons created by Charles Addams and the 1960s Dom Com they spawned. The first film, released in 1991, focused on the family's search for Gomez's missing brother, Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Fester's return leads to a joyful reunion between the brothers. However, all is not as it seems and a scheming "mother" (Elizabeth Wilson), a money hungry lawyer (Dan Hedaya), and a plot to steal the family's fortune create complications and Hilarity Ensues.
It was successful enough that a sequel, Addams Family Values, was released in 1993, which added a new child (Pubert) and a new love interest for Fester in the form of Debbie Jellinsky (Joan Cusack), the children's new nanny who drives a wedge between Fester and the rest of the family.
A third movie starring the Family, Addams Family Reunion, was released direct-to-video in 1998 with an (almost) all-new cast. Serving as a Pilot Movie for the then-upcoming The New Addams Family series, it is not related to the prior two films.
After plans for a stop-motion adaptation fell through (featuring the involvement of Tim Burton, whose The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride were to have served as inspiration), Variety reported that an animated reboot is due to be released later in 2019, courtesy of MGM.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: This trope could be applied to multiple characters but is most noticeable when you see how Gomez looked in the comic strip.
- Adaptation Distillation: Lovingly matches each character to superb actors in their prime having the time of their lives, adds fantastic scenery and special effects that ride the line between blockbuster spectacle and So Bad, It's Good like Seattle Slew, then plays every trope to the hilt and polishes the entire macabre masterpiece to a mirror shine. Then they do it again with the next movie. Then Gomez suffered Actor Existence Failure when Raúl Juliá succumbed to cancer. Even Tim Curry had trouble filling those shoes. The best part is that it not only uses the show, but it also uses a number of the darker gags from the original New Yorker cartoons.
- All in the Eyes: Anjelica Huston's Morticia is frequently lit with her face in shadow apart from her eyes, seemingly just to look cool.
- All Part of the Show:
- Subverted in the first film. When she and Pugsley start spraying the audience of their school talent show with admittedly fake High-Pressure Blood, the audience is immediately freaked out, the first couple of rows (who are soaked in blood) even more so. Naturally, the only ones impressed, and probably the only ones they were really performing for, are the Addamses, cheering at the end with a standing ovation like they just saw an Tony-worthy Broadway performance.
- When Wednesday goes Off the Rails during the Thanksgiving play in Values, the audience doesn't get that she's off-script until well after the set is on fire. The fact that they clearly do intend to burn Amanda alive at least gets her parents moving.
- Adorkable: Fester, especially in Values when he's completely head over heels for Debbie.
- Arc Words: Variations on "I am an Addams!" reflect the theme of Thicker Than Water that pervades both of the first two films.
- Arson, Murder, and Admiration:
- In the first movie, Morticia compliments the man stretching her on the rack (who is sweating over the evil deed) as "having done this before". She also believes that she and the female antagonist could have been good friends were it not for the current unpleasantness.
- Also in the first movie she calls their notorious relatives "psychopaths", "fiends", "mad-dog killers","brutes" and pioneers.
- The second film has the following exchanges between Morticia and Debbie:Morticia: You have enslaved him. You have placed Fester under some strange sexual spell. I respect that.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Values when the family comes to Debbie's house to visit Fester:Morticia: You have gone too far. You have married Fester. You have destroyed his spirit. You have taken him from us. All that I could forgive. But Debbie?
Morticia: [reproachfully, eyeing the décor] Pastels?
- Asshole Victim: Anybody who comes to genuine harm at the hands of an Addams is generally really asking for it. They also don't relish harming anybody... well, anybody outside the family.
- Barehanded Blade Block:
- In Addams Family Values, Baby Pubert does this to a guillotine blade one-handed... with just his thumb and forefinger. It must be reiterated that he's a baby. It must also be reiterated that he's an Addams.
- Gomez manages to catch a thrown butter knife in his teeth in the same film.
- The first film also had the Mamushka, a traditional dance performed by Gomez and Fester that involves them juggling knives between each other. It ends with Gomez hurling every knife directly at his brother, who catches them with his bare hands, the final one in his mouth like a sword swallower.
- Big Bad:
- The Addams Family: Abigail Craven
- Addams Family Values: Debbie Jellinsky
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
- Abigail Craven/"Dr. Pinder-Schloss" from the first film. She pretends to be a German psychologist who found Fester at sea and brought him back home safe and sound. Truth is, she's a loan shark and scam artist who brainwashed Fester into believing he's her son Gordon and is working with Tully to rob the Addams' of their vast fortune.
- Addams Family Values gives us multiple cases:
- Debbie, Uncle Fester's love interest, who is a serial killer known as "the Black Widow". She murdered her parents and her three rich husbands and plans to do the same to Fester. But since he's an Addams, he can withstand most things that would kill a normal human, which frustrates her to no end.
- Amanda Buckman and the Camp Chippewah counselors, who are also Politically Incorrect Villains to boot.
- Black Comedy: The entire franchise is built on it. Anything overly gruesome or disturbing, including but not limited to torture machines and implements, arson, murder, man-eating plants, poisons, etc., is beautiful to them.
- Bloody Hilarious:
- The talent show in the first film has Wednesday and Pugsley dismember each other onstage during a swordfight.
- In Addams Family Values. Greatest. Thanksgiving. Play. Ever.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
- First movie:Morticia: [straight-faced, taking garment bags out of a wardrobe and looking at tags] Uncle Knick-Knack's Winter Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack's Summer Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack...
- Gomez giving a toast at the end of the second movie:Gomez: To mirth, to merriment, to manslaughter.
- First movie:
- Brick Joke:
- In the first movie we see the family motto, We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us. In the second movie, the school camp counselors try to subdue Wednesday and Pugsley, and are last seen being roasted on a spit by Wednesday's accomplices.
- In Values, when Debbie finally tells Fester she doesn't love him, she launches into a "Reason You Suck" Speech and concludes with, "No woman in her right mind would love you!" At the end, Fester meets his perfect match in the form of Dementia. "It means insanity."
- Buried Alive:
- In the first film, the two antagonists land in open graves which Wednesday and Pugsley have somehow prepared in advance. The following exchange occurs:Pugsley: Are they dead?
Wednesday: Does it matter?
- The second film opening includes Wednesday and Grandmama burying a cat. When it meows, Wednesday shakes the box and shushes it.
- In the first film, the two antagonists land in open graves which Wednesday and Pugsley have somehow prepared in advance. The following exchange occurs:
- The Cameo:
- The Addams relatives in both movies, including Cousin Itt.
- The films' composer, Marc Shaiman, plays the uniquely-bearded conductor of the orchestra at Fester's party in the first movie.
- Cold Ham: Anjelica Houston as Morticia - she's serene, calm, and the only thing that gets her to alter the pitch of her voice at all is Gomez. This does not stop her from being a tour de force that complements Raul Julia's significantly more exhuberant performance perfectly. Witness in the opening of the sequel, where a simple "Oui" from her wrings out enough characterization to show her Too Kinky to Torture, Happily Married, and The Stoic all while keeping up with Gomez's frantic attention.
- The Comically Serious: While Wednesday's lines tend to be funny, a big aspect of the humor comes from her delivery of them with the same deadpan inflection.
- Creator Cameo: In a sense. Director Barry Sonnenfeld makes a cameo appearance in each film: The first sees him as a random passenger in the model train that Gomez later crashes, and the second casts him in a slightly larger role as Joel Glicker's Henpecked Husband father.
- Creepy Child: Wednesday.
- Daddy's Girl: Wednesday to Gomez.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Questionable. With various people involved pointing out that for all their dark and macabre nature, and seemingly violent acts, the Addamses are in their way the ideal family. The parents are Happily Married, deeply in love after all these years with the fire of passion as bright as it ever was; the entire family is deeply devoted to one another's well-being and happiness, they're concerned about their friends (Morticia twice wishes she could befriend their enemies), and they give generously to charity. They're just... strange. However, given the degree to which the movies were Darker and Edgier than the original live action series, they are not true examples, taking their macabre trappings to the point where they come off as more Affably Evil or maybe Lawful Evil, particularly in Addams Family Values. It should be noted that the movies were based on the original cartoons by Charles Addams, including a gag taken directly from the cartoons, with the family pouring a pot of boiling oil on a group of Christmas carollers. They are card-carrying villains after all.
- Darker and Edgier: The films paint the characters as much more macabre than the TV show (and more in line with the original magazine cartoons), thanks to more relaxed standards on what is acceptable as humor.
- A good example is Pugsley's name. Originally, most of the Addams clan didn't have first names, but when the TV show was being produced, they went to Charles Addams to ask for their names. His first choice for the boy's name was 'Pubert', but the TV executives objected. In the long run, of course, the name did get used.
- Another is that in the series they didn't kill anyone, but in the movies they kill at least four people (the three villains and the stripper at Fester's bachelor party) and don't seem to care. In fairness, everyone at the bachelor party is very visibly distraught about the stripper... just not for very long.
- Family Values in general is rather direct about sex, such as Wednesday bluntly telling a young girl who believes in the Delivery Stork where babies really come from, the fact that Fester watches Gomez and Morticia having sex through keyholes, and offering Thing as a way to stave off loneliness. Not to mention the Centerfold Gag of their mother.
- The first film has a scene at the beginning of a cuckoo clock - a scale model of the Addams mansion with moving mannequins of the family. The mannequin of Gomez is apparently kissing the mannequin of Morticia on her breasts.
- Pubert Adams?!?
- Dashing Hispanic: Gomez Addams.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Christina Ricci as Wednesday delivers nothing but deadpan snarkery, which only serves to make her all the more hilarious. For example, in the second movie, Pugsley is practicing archery at camp and shoots down a real bird:Becky Martin-Granger: It's an American bald eagle.
Gary Granger: Aren't they extinct?
Wednesday: They are now.
- For his bit part as the desk sergeant in Values, Nathan Lane drips with this.Gomez: They have moved into a large, expensive house where they make love constantly!
Desk Sergeant: I hate when that happens.
- Christina Ricci as Wednesday delivers nothing but deadpan snarkery, which only serves to make her all the more hilarious. For example, in the second movie, Pugsley is practicing archery at camp and shoots down a real bird:
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Wednesday and Pugsley have escalated sibling rivalry to the level of assassination, but the on-screen attempts generally give Wednesday the upper hand. But then, Wednesday is the smarter of the two... though there's a Funny Background Event where Pugsley has Wednesday tied to a chair and asks Fester for help picking poisons.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: See What Happened to the Mouse?, below.
- Dull Surprise: Used deliberately with some of Wednesday's deadpan reactions, specifically because when it goes beyond that to actually surprised, it's all the more amazing... and hilarious.
- And when she breaks out The Unsmile in Values, it's absolutely horrifying. Even the girls at camp know something's wrong.
- Eldritch Location: There is definitely something supernatural about the Addams' mansion. The house itself seems to be a living creature, and the front gate has a real taste for visitors.
- Enfant Terrible: Wednesday Addams.
- Even Evil Has Standards: If there's one moral tenet the Addamses do live by, it is this: you don't mess with someone's family.
- Also Tully's discomfort and disgust with torture in the first film.
- This may be less of a "standards" situation, as he doesn't actually try to stop it. His only objection to the red hot pokers is to ask if it's going to smell.
- The Addamses are not bigots or racists, if Wednesday's speech during the incredibly racist Thanksgiving play in Values is to be taken further than face value and is her expressing disgust over how white people have spent centuries dehumanizing Native Americans. Especially considering she's a white girl being forced to play Pocahontas.
- Also Tully's discomfort and disgust with torture in the first film.
- Evil vs. Evil: The movies would become a lot more awkward if anyone (including the villains) seriously protested the Addams' pastimes.
- Face Framed in Shadow: In the films (more apparent in Values), Morticia's face is constantly shadowed, no matter the ambient lighting, with the only bright spot being around her eyes. It especially stands out when she's with other cast members, who are normally lit.
- The Film of the Series: The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
- It's subtlety foreshadowed throughout the first film that Gordon Craven really is Fester Addams.
- He's rather quick to warm up to the Addams family and embrace their ways, con man or no.
- The Mamushka. An imposter wouldn't pick up the choreography that quickly.
- Values begins with Fester howling at the moon, showing the audience that he's lonely (in a romantic sense).
- It's subtlety foreshadowed throughout the first film that Gordon Craven really is Fester Addams.
- Funny Background Event: In Values, when Wednesday and Joel have their "love at first sight" moment, Pugsley is trying to hang himself in the background to get out of staying at the camp. Doubles as pretty literal Gallows Humor.
- In the first movie, Margaert Alford looks disheveled at the auction since she couldn't get the finger trap off.
- She is more than disheveled, she's wearing the same clothes as the previous scene (which took place the day before) because she cannot remove the fingertrap.
- At the motel, they removed the "No Lifeguard on Duty" and "Pool Closed" signs. (They're on the back wall of their room.)
- Pugsley enters the kitchen holding a STOP sign during breakfast, causing Gomez to wait for the sound of a horrific accident, which is music to his ears. A scene towards the end shows that Pugsley has a huge collection of STOP signs in his room, potentially all from the same intersection.
- Also as Gomez has his BSOD (after losing the house to Fester, Gramamama can be seen through the window of the motel holding a club and cooing "Here kitty, kitty!" She pops back in after a few moments to declare that dinner will be late.
- In the first movie, Margaert Alford looks disheveled at the auction since she couldn't get the finger trap off.
- Genius Loci: As pointed out above in the "eldritch location" trope.
- Goth: Of course!
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Raul Julia as Gomez and Christopher Lloyd as Fester. The unsuspecting first-time viewer will be picking chunks of pork out of their ears for weeks.
- Helping Hands: "Why, thank you, Thing."
- Heroic BSoD:
- Gomez ends up in one in the first movie after losing the family home and fortune, and apparently being betrayed by Fester/Gordon. Thing manages to snap him out of it with a three word Morse Code message: M-O-R-T-I-C-I-A I-N D-A-N-G-E-R.
- He gets one in the second movie (complete with "Take me! Take me!") when informed that his possessed baby might one day grow up to be president.
- Hollywood Healing: Comes with being an Addams.
- Earlier in the first film, Wednesday electrocutes Pugsley in an electric chair and he survives with no ill effects.
- Amanda Buckman in Values is tied to a stake and is implied to have been burned alive by Wednesday. However, she is seen with her parents on a plane towards the end of the film and she hasn't even the slightest scorch. Odd since she's (as far as we know) a normal human.
- Just for Pun: About half the times that anyone talks to Thing, they make some sort of hand-related pun.
- Killer Rabbit: Wednesday. Looks cute, if a little dark for a young girl, and isn't above doing horrifying things.
- Large Ham:
- Raul "OF COURSE!" Julia.Gomez: I believe they own —
Morticia: Gomez, no — !
Gomez: — A BUICK!!!!"
- Wednesday in the school play:Wednesday: Sweet oblivion, open your arms! [retch, retch, collapse]
- Joan Cusack as Debbie Jellinsky, during her more Ax-Crazy moments.
- Christopher Lloyd as Fester. Any scene with him and Gomez is Ham-to-Ham Combat at its finest.
- Raul "OF COURSE!" Julia.
- Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Williams Electronics under the Bally label, it featured custom voice work by Raúl Juliá and Anjelica Huston, and eventually became the best-selling pinball machine of all time. Click here for more.
- In the first film, at the elementary school talent show, Margaret Alford looks upon her son, dressed as an elf, and remarks that "I could just EAT you alive!" Morticia is appalled:Morticia: Oh, no, Margaret! Too young!
- Also in Values, when Debbie Jillinsky first meets Gomez:Debbie: My, he's a real ladykiller!
- In the first film, at the elementary school talent show, Margaret Alford looks upon her son, dressed as an elf, and remarks that "I could just EAT you alive!" Morticia is appalled:
- Fester is immune to fatal amounts of electricity and mansion-destroying explosions. He does seem worried by bullets, which makes it even weirder that Debbie would decide on the electric chair to finish him off when that method didn't succeed the first time.
- Seems to apply to all the family to some degree. Pugsley and Wednesday spend much of the first movie playing fatal games with each other, involving poison, knives, even electric chairs. Wednesday even explicitly says the latter is supposed to kill Pugsley, and that this particular game is called "Is There a God?"
- Morticia, going through Fester's luggage in the first movie, notes that he brought cyanide and teasingly chides him "As if we'd run out." The delivery insinuates they use it as a condiment.
- Oedipus Complex:
- In Values, Gomez pulls out a magazine from Fester's bed, opens to one of the centerfolds, and the two fondly say "Mom!".
- The relationship between the amnesiac Fester and his "mother" in the first movie has shades of this.
- Perky Goth: Gomez, depending on your definition of "goth". Margaret Alford is a sort-of subversion. After leaving her husband for Cousin Itt she becomes noticeably perkier and is rather grateful to join the Addams clan. She doesn't change her wardrobe and is usually seen wearing bright colors like pink, yet the Addams don't mind. She does, however, carry around her new baby in a coffin-shaped carriage, dresses in typical Addams attire (that is, for a funeral) to Fester's wedding, and hires a nanny named "Dementia" who looks like a female version of Fester.
- Product Placement
- In the first film, a Tombstone Pizza billboard is across the street from Wednesday and Pugsley's lemonade stand.
- In Values, a really noticeable Coca Cola vending machine is visible in the police station the Addamses visit in an attempt to have Debbie arrested.
- Rail Enthusiast: Gomez runs his model trains day and night when he is in a bad mood. They even have tiny real people in them!
- Reality Is Unrealistic: About the only thing that you can't actually do in the Mamushka from the first film is the thrown sword-swallow. Everything else is actually something you can do if you can juggle.
- Slasher Smile: Wednesday gives the audience a rather disturbing one in Addams Family Values.
- Even the campers are scared of it, though it doesn't faze Becky or Gary, speaking to just how disturbed they probably are, too. Of course, it's all part of Wednesday's plan to show them just what Hell actually looks like.
- She has a more traditional one in the first film when she's electrocuting her brother and when Fester teaches her about "scabs!"
- Gomez has one...he just does...in fact that seems to be his resting expression.
- Something Else Also Rises: A pretty hilarious version occurs in the movie. Gomez and Morticia are sitting in the graveyard and, as per usual, things get romantic between them. Cut to shots of the various, elaborate gravestones of deceased Addamses that manage to become this trope.
- And in Family Values, the tango scene culminates in the floor catching fire beneath Morticia's feet and every champagne bottle in the room popping its cork off and gushing.
- Among others, there's the fact that every close-up of Morticia has the same lighting as Bela Lugosi's take on Dracula, with a horizontal line of light across the eyes.
- Baby Pubert wears a Hannibal Lecter hockey mask.
- Silent Snarker: Lurch; the guy's slightest facial movement speaks volumes.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Fester and Wednesday in the movies. Poor Pugsley barely features in the second one.
- Suppressed Mammaries: Christina Ricci had her breasts tied down when she played Wednesday in the movies. Puberty did not miss her. In what was almost assuredly a reference to this fact, her first scene in Now and Then has her duct taping her breasts down after complaining about them getting bigger.
- Theme Tune Cameo: In the waltz scene from Addams Family; the scene where Wednesday pulls a match from her headband and lights it in Addams Family Values, as well as the tango scene.
- Theme Tune Rap: Each has its own: The first film had "Addams Groove" by MC Hammer (complete with a nigh-Indecipherable Chorus), and Values featured "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" by Tag Team (an Addams-themed remake of "Whoomp! (There It Is)"; later "won" a Razzie Award for Worst Original Song).
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Trope Namer. The scene at the end of the first The Addams Family movie where Wednesday and Pugsley are showing off their Halloween costumes to their family. When asked by Margaret why she's not wearing a costume like her brother, Wednesday announces that she IS in costume then as a "homicidal maniac" because "they look just like everybody else." The sequel, Addams Family Values plays this completely straight with Debbie Jellinsky, the Addams' new nanny. A gorgeous blonde dressed all in white, who's actually an Ax-Crazy Black Widow with her sights on Uncle Fester. It eventually turns out she's been killing since childhood.
- Too Kinky to Torture:
- Morticia, demonstrated when Tully tries to stretch her on the rack:Morticia: You've done this before.
- Applies to the entire Addams clan, naturally - much to Debbie's chagrin.
- Morticia, demonstrated when Tully tries to stretch her on the rack:
- Truer to the Text: The films adopt a lot of the darker humour and more genuinely malicious characterization of the original magazine cartoons, compared to the much lighter TV show.
- The Unintelligible: Lurch and Itt. Lampshaded when they have a conversation. Others seem to understand him too. Tully either can understand him asking to cut in or is very good at inferring his meaning, and Margaret almost immediately understands him well enough to not only be charmed by him while first dancing together, but to have a long, emotional discussion with him.
- Villain Protagonist: In the movies, unlike the series the Addams are (naively) evil and happy about it, not that this makes them any less pleasant and lovable. Morticia even says at one point she wishes she had time to find the Forces of Darkness and join them in their Infernal Crusade.
- The Voiceless: In this version, Lurch never talks, only growls and grunts. For the record, the character was intended to be mute in the show as well, but Ted Cassidy ad-libbed the classic "You rang?" line and it was too funny to not capitalize.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the movie, Tully and Margaret Alford's son, who appears in one scene (and in the credits as "Tully Jr.") but despite the fact that his mother runs off with Cousin Itt and that his father is buried, possibly alive, in the Addams' graveyard, he's never spoken of again, not even in the sequel Addams Family Values.
- Also in Family Values, it's mentioned that the "Black Widow" has killed at least three husbands, but we only ever learn the fates of two of them.
- One of Debbie's previous identities (as shown by the headshots kept on her wall) is Kathie Lee Gifford — so perhaps Monday Night Football has a different announcer in the Addams Family universe...
- Also in Family Values, it's mentioned that the "Black Widow" has killed at least three husbands, but we only ever learn the fates of two of them.
- All There in the Script: Fester called Gomez a "demented freak", which was the password according to the script, in anger for nearly choking him to death.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. In the first movie, when Morticia is working as a kindergarten teacher she reads Hansel & Gretel to her class, depicting Hansel and Gretel as cold-blooded killers and the witch as an innocent victim. The kids are not pleased by this Downer Ending — that, or Morticia asking the kids to imagine what being burned alive felt like — and break down in tears.
- Amoral Attorney: Tully Alford, who betrays and plans to rob the Addams' in order to pay back loan shark Abigail Craven.
- Ancient Tradition: The movie treats the Mamushka as one of these, taught to them by Cossack cousins so long ago they no longer remember when. And since Gomez explicitly states that they danced the Mamushka while Nero fiddled, that means the Addams family has been around for at least nineteen centuries, and has documented enough of their family history to know exactly what they were doing the night of July 19, 0064. That's how old that traditional dance is.
- It also foreshadows why Gordon can dance it so well; he is Fester.
- Since the Cossacks didn't emerge until the 14th century at the earliest — and since it's the Addams family — probably a bit of unintentional Unreliable Narrator in there. Or Gomez is just trying to list off situations where the dance is appropriate, without any regard to whether they could have temporally occurred. Alternately, those Cossack cousins were keeping the dance to themselves since long before they became Cossacks.
- It's also possible the dance existed as an ancient tradition "since God knows when" and that, when Gomez mentions it was taught to them by their Cossack cousins, he means that he and Fester literally have cousins who are Cossacks who taught the two of them how to do it.
- Becoming the Mask: Played with, as the mask that the amnesiac Gordon became was that of his actual real identity of Uncle Fester.
- Book-Ends: The beginning and ending are both based on one of Charles Addams' original comics in the New Yorker (specifically the opening with the family pouring boiling oil on Christmas carolers and the part at the end where Gomez is amazed to see Morticia knitting a onesie with tentacles, implying that she is pregnant). Doubles as a Mythology Gag.
- Calvin Ball: "Wake The Dead" seems to be some variety of this.
- Chekhov's Gun: The books in the library, which have Exactly What It Says on the Spine.
- Christmas Carolers: The family is preparing to drop boiling oil on some at start of the film.
- Disney Villain Death: Unless they did manage to survive (only to be buried alive), Tully and Craven were caught in a hurricane and thrown at least fifty feet in the air. It's very possible that death came for each just by landing in the coffins.Pugsley: Are they dead?
Wednesday: Does it matter?
- Flat "What.": Christopher Lloyd gets two good ones in as Fester in the first film. The first occurs when he and Gomez are watching their old home moviesnote , and the second happens while Fester is talking with Abigail Craven about how the whole family suspects him note .
- A Fool for a Client: Gomez even calls the trope by name in the first movie:Gomez: They say the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Well, as God is my witness, I am that fool!
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Wednesday does this in the first movie. When asked where her costume is, she replies;Wednesday: This is my costume. I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.
- Genuine Imposter: The "false" Fester Addams is the real Fester with a case of amnesia.
- Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good: The Addamses display this, in keeping with their Black Comedy villainous ways. For instance, Gomez asks Morticia whether she's unhappy-she smiles pleasantly and says "Oh yes."
- High-Pressure Blood: Parodied during the play with Wednesday and Pugsley; when they fight each other as part of the play, blood sprays out whenever they make a cut, covering the audience in it.
- Hollywood Law: No competent court system would have allowed a judge who was the next-door neighbor of the Addams with an obvious history of animosity towards them to preside in a lawsuit involving them. Of course, Gomez Addams, a lawyer who takes crazy pride in losing his cases, would probably be delirious to realize that this is a different situation and protest this legal fact.
- Identity Amnesia: Fester spends most of the first movie believing he is a thug named Gordon.
- Immodest Orgasm: Both Gomez and Morticia have one while kissing during a charity auction.
- Injury Bookend: Uncle Fester's amnesia he got from the Bermuda Triangle cured by a lightning storm from one of the enchanted books in their library.
- Karma Houdini: Judge Womack completely gets away with his part in kicking the Addamses out of their home (though he is absent in the second film.)
- Kick the Dog: The judge from earlier in the movie ruling in favor of Gordon/Fester as owner of the Addams property "with no small amount of personal satisfaction", except for one exception — Gomez's bucket of golf balls, which he dumps out in front of him while cackling madly.
- Knitting Pregnancy Announcement: Gomez realizes in the last scene of the first film that Morticia is knitting a baby's jumper. With three legs.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Fester's always had odd reactions to being electrocuted, but it cures his amnesia... and for months afterward, Pugsley keeps begging to see the trick his uncle can do by sticking a light bulb in his mouth.
- Loan Shark: Abigail and Gordon Craven. Tully owes them thousands of dollars, so in order to get it, they plan to rob the Addams by disguising Gordon as Fester and having him infiltrate the vault. Turns out this doesn't work, since Gordon really is Fester with amnesia.
- Love at First Sight: During the scene where Gomez and Morticia reminisce on the night they met, its basically all but outright said that this was how they felt.Morticia: When we first met was an evening much like this. Magic in the air. A boy
Gomez: A girl
Morticia: An open grave. It was my first funeral.
Gomez: You were so beautiful. Pale and mysterious. No one even looked at the corpse.
Morticia: Your cousin Balthazar. You were still a suspect. I couldnt stop staring at you, all the eulogy. Your eyes your mustache your laugh.
Gomez: You bewitched me. I proposed that very night.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Gordon, before his amnesia is cured and he realises he is in fact Fester after all, decides to side with the Addams family and betray his mother after she belittles him one time too many. He stops Gomez picking the book from the bookshelf that opens the vault, and instead picks one that creates a violent storm in the room to incapacitate his mother and the lawyer - by accident this also gives him his true memories back.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Quite a bit of "normal" things get a unique twist, but Gomez's train set takes the cake.
- Mythology Gag: The foot of Wednesday's bed has a painting of an octopus on it, precisely the way Charles Addams always drew it◊.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Parodied during the school play, where Pugsley and Wednesday bleed copious amounts of blood for several minutes. By the time the scene ends, both the stage and the audience are completely drenched, with the bleeding still going.
- Overly Long Gag: In the first film, Gomez begins to suspect that "Fester" is not his real brother (He is, but he has amnesia and thinks that he's only pretending to be). He begins to rant for several minutes, listing various synonyms for a fraud. Cut to "Fester" bonding with Wednesday and Pugsley for several minutes. Cut back to Gomez still ranting, who is finally snapped out of it by Fester's caretaker.
- Portal Book: The books in the Addams' library are an inversion: people can't go in (as far as we know), but the stories in the book manifest in the real world when opened (e.g. The Sun Also Rises creates sunlight).
- Pretentious Latin Motto: "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc", supposedly meaning "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us"... though it's really a case of Dog Latin, as a better version would be "Qui nos opprimere velint, illos libenter devoramus", which translated more literally is: "Who would subdue us, them we gladly devour." (The order is unusual in English, but it is natural in Latin.)
- Tranquil Fury:
- Morticia while showing Fester the family graveyard and the family creed. She's suspicious of him as well and rather threateningly but eerily calmly states the family creed 'We would devour those who'd subdue us' and that 'As an Addams, you understand what that means, right?'
- And then again when she sees how miserable her family is after getting kicked out of the house, and then walking off in the middle of the night to confront Fester.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Played with. Mrs. Craven smacks Fester in frustration and quickly backpedals, saying "Look what they've reduced me to."
- Adults Are Useless: The actors in the Thanksgiving play are being attacked or are attacking while the adults in the audience either just sit there and do nothing to save their children or just leave. Averted with Mr. and Mrs. Buckman who actually try to do something, but get splattered in the face with pie.
- Alpha Bitch: Amanda Buckman is considered one, though she more comes across as a vapid, spoiled airhead instead of a typical alpha bitch. But this is the Addams Family we are talking about...
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: In the second movie when Fester escapes from Debbie's mansion with Thing, we have this gem:Debbie: I'll get you! And your little hand too!!
- Arrows on Fire: Used by the kids dressed as Native Americans when they turn the Thanksgiving play into a rampage in Addams Family Values.
- Artistic License History: Parodied with the camp counselor's Thanksgiving pageant. Wednesday decides to make it... a little more accurate. (Not only in spirit, but in fact. Pocahontas was a Powhatan, not a Chippewa, and was not present at the first Thanksgiving. The Chippewa are native to the Midwest, and would not have been present either. Also, by the first Thanksgiving, Pocahontas was married to Englishman John Rolfe and living in England. She would not have been betrothed to a member of her tribe.)
- Ascended Extra: (Mercedes McNab), who played the girl scout from the first movie, plays Amanda in the sequel. It's entirely possible that they're the same character, which would make it a retroactive Early-Bird Cameo.
- Badass Adorable: Baby Pubert. See Barehanded Blade Block and Big Damn Heroes to see why.
- Berserk Button: A very subtle one with Pugsley. Pugsley almost never gets angry, but he clearly takes offense when Amanda refers to the Addams' as circus people. (Keep in mind, she's probably thinking "freak show", he's probably thinking "harmless happy clown".)
- MALIBU BAR-BIE.
- Big Damn Heroes: Baby Pubert. He makes his way through the house via a chain reaction of events and manipulates the wires just as Debbie throws the switch, causing her to be incinerated.
- Black Widow: Debbie Jellinsky is one of these. She gets her claws into Fester and marries him, but, Fester being one of the Addams clan, she doesn't quite succeed at the killing part.
- A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Once Pubert is born.
- Brutal Honesty:
- Wednesday and Pugsley are waiting at the hospital while Morticia gives birth. Another child with them tells an exaggerated Delivery Stork story, so Wednesday responds, complete with dramatic zoom:Pugsley: Our parents are having a baby, too!
Wednesday: They had sex.
- Near the end, Fester wonders what he was thinking when he chose Debbie over the family. Wednesday knows:Wednesday: Physical pleasure.
- Wednesday and Pugsley are waiting at the hospital while Morticia gives birth. Another child with them tells an exaggerated Delivery Stork story, so Wednesday responds, complete with dramatic zoom:
- The Chessmaster: Wednesday, even when sent to Camp Chippewa. Debbie knows she's on to her, so she sends them to the worst place she can think of for kids like them. Only Wednesday gets one up on her, the counselors, and their Crapsaccharine World of a summer camp.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Debbie's trying to seduce Fester, she talks about always wanting to meet a man who's "untouched, pure" like him. He replies "You'll meet him!"
- Coming-of-Age Story: For Wednesday.
- Condescending Compassion: The Thanksgiving play from Values is dripping with this until Wednesday goes off-script. The pilgrims' lines are almost entirely about how they most be good and gracious hosts towards the "savages" with "strange customs", and while noting that said "savages" are civilized, the pilgrims still praise their own civilization as being much better because they have shoes and last names.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: The "Harmony Hut" in the second film. It's a hut filled with posters of kittens, in which Joel & the Addams' kids are forced to sit and watch upbeat Disney movies. And when they're caught trying to sneak out of the camp, Becky states that they won't be punished - Gary agrees, deciding that they should all sing "Kumbaya" for them instead, to Wednesday's obvious dismay.
- Crazy-Prepared: When Debbie gets back to the Addams mansion once her murderous intent is revealed.Debbie: I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't enjoy hurting anybody. I don't like guns, or bombs, or electric chairs, but sometimes people just don't listen, and so I have to use persuasion... and slides.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Debbie provides a slide show of her life to the Addams before she attempts to electrocute them all. She explains how when she was 9 she wanted a Ballerina Barbie. When her parents gave her a Malibu Barbie instead, she burned down the house with them in it. She also explains that she killed one of her husbands because he refused to give her a new car that year.Debbie: I was a ballerina! Graceful! Delicate! They had to go.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Most of the Chippewa campers look straight out of the Hitler Youth. And act it, too. Anything tramping on their myopic idea of what kids their age should be interested in is quickly and coldly goose-stepped on.
- Electra Complex: Of sorts. At the end of Values, Joel is dining with the Addamses, dressed in a similar manner to Gomez. Wednesday comments that he's looking "disturbing".
- Faux Horrific:
- After Pubert becomes blonde and rosy cheeked. Grandmama is explaining that this change can become permanent. Of course, this IS the Addams we're talking about, so it's a subversion.Grandmama: We're talking dimples!
Gomez: NOT in this house!
- Also, he could become a lawyernote , an orthodontist, or even... President.
- Also, Wednesday's contribution to the horror story at camp.Wednesday: And so, the next night, the ghost returned to the haunted cabin, and he said to the campers — "None of you really believe in me, so I'll have to prove my power." And the next morning, when the campers woke up... all of their old noses had grown back. [Cue screams and a smirking Wednesday]
- Amanda is particularly horrified.
- Debbie's parents bought her... the wrong Barbie.
- After Pubert becomes blonde and rosy cheeked. Grandmama is explaining that this change can become permanent. Of course, this IS the Addams we're talking about, so it's a subversion.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Debbie greets the Addams in one scene wearing a nightgown trimmed with white feathers.
- Flanderization: Before Fester gets his memory back at the end of the first film, he's a street-smart tough guy. But in Values he's regressed into a childlike oddball with No Social Skills. Although the thing is his personality in the second film is probably closer to the original character from the TV series and comic strip, at the beginning of the first film he doesn't know he's Fester and is effectively a different person, as he spends more time with the family he gradually starts to feel more like an Addams. And lets face it even as an amnesiac he was a Psychopathic Manchild just more conniving thanks to Craven's influence. But if you compare the two films it is slightly odd how much he regresses in the sequel.
- Geeky Turn-On: Well, homicidal one, as Wednesday scooched closer to Joel after a revelation regarding his allergies.Joel: You know what happens if my mom uses fabric softener?
Joel: I die.
- Genre Blind: Debbie in spades. After failing to kill Fester through electrocution, she wraps up a bomb as a "present"... and he actually guesses what it is before brushing it off with "I know. Wait for my birthday!"
- On top of that, she legitimately doesn't realize that the Addams clan would gleefully accept her as a member of the family so long as she didn't keep them from seeing Fester.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In-Universe example. During the Thanksgiving play, Pugsley is dressed up as a turkey for a musical number. His lines in the song consist of saying "Eat Me" twice. Amanda's parents, who are in the front row, react slightly.
- Held Gaze: How Wednesday meets her love interest.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Debbie plans on electrocuting all the Addams' and due to accidental interference from Pubert, ends up electrocuting herself to death.
- Humiliation Conga: The Thanksgiving play, and doubles as a Moment of Awesome for Wednesday.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Baby Pubert. Well, he IS an Addams... that explains most things.
- Jewish and Nerdy: Joel Glicker (David Krumholtz) in Addams Family Values.Wednesday: What are you in for?
Joel: I wouldn't go horseback riding.
Wednesday: That's all?
Joel: And I wouldn't make a birdhouse.
Wednesday: Why not?
Joel: I just wanted to read.
Gary: [Popping his head back in to swipe Joel's copy of A Brief History Of Time and laugh in true villain fashion] Not on my time, four-eyes!
- Jewish Mother: Joel's mother in Values, and how.Joel's Mother: [watching him as Running Bear in the Thanksgiving play] 20 grand for summer camp, he's Mister Woo-Woo?
- Jump Scare: Thing bursting out of Debbie's grave and grabbing Joel's arm at the end of the second could count as one.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: Gruesome example from the second film. Gomez tries to have this done at Fester's bachelor party, but the stripper missed her cue to jump out twice.Gomez: [peers into cake] ...That poor girl. Lurch, was she in there before you baked?
Lurch: [growls contritely]
[Awkward murmuring from the party-goers]
Gomez: C'est la vie! [everyone laughs]
- Knife Outline: Addams Family Values has Gomez literally throwing Fester against a wall and outlining him with knives after they reminisce about their childhood Sibling Rivalry.
- Let's Meet the Meat: During the awful Thanksgiving play, the kids actually have a song where the edible items sing, dance, and invite the audience to eat them. Later, Pugsley is a turkey brought by the Native Americans to the Pilgrims.Pugsley: I am a turkey. Kill me!
- Light Is Not Good:
- The most flagrant example being the camp counselors, Gary and Becky. Not for the way they treat Wednesday and Pugsley (that is, until they force them to watch saccharine movies and they return - apparently - converted to their upbeat philosophy), but the way they heavily favor the rich, white, blonde kids over the minority campers, even casting the latter group as the "savage" Native Americans in Gary's play. Becky can't even pronounce two of their names, Consuela and Jamal.
- In introducing the play, Gary refers to the two factions as white meat and dark meat.
- Look Ma, No Plane!: In the climax, the baby somehow gets catapulted high enough to come eye-to-eye with a commuter plane... specifically, the one that's currently flying the Alpha Bitch and her family home from the disaster that was summer camp.
- Meaningful Name: Amanda Buckman has buck teeth.
- Motive Rant: Parodied with Debbie, who prepares a slide show for hers. Also because her audience is the Addams they respond with compassion and understanding as she explains murdering her parents for getting her the wrong Barbie.
- Murder by Cremation: For his brother's wedding Gomez orders a huge cake with a stripper inside. However, when the cake is delivered, it turns out that the unwitting butler put the girl inside before he put it into the oven.
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: In Values, Amanda goads Wednesday into adding to the ghost story by insinuating she's not up to it. Wednesday's creative spin makes them wish they hadn't.
- No Body Left Behind:
- Debbie is electrocuted to ashes in Addams Family Values. All that's left are her shoes and credit cards.
- Then whose hand is it that rises from her grave to grab Joel's ankle at the end of the film? Probably Thing.
- Obviously Evil: Debbie's successful crime spree tugs at Willing Suspension of Disbelief when she gets to Fester. She couldn't look more guilty if she tried. Putting aside that the Addams see this as normal, the authorities would have noticed such oddities as ordering a hearse prior to the victim's death. Wednesday even lampshades this towards the end. Not to mention this noticeable line.Debbie: Just a single, I will be a widow then.
- Politically Incorrect Villain:
- The camp counselors in the sequel not so subtly favor the children of wealthy WASPs over the minority campers (and Wednesday & Pugsley).Becky: But, of course, not everyone can be a star. Let's not forget our cheery little Chippewas: Mordecai, Yang, Esther, um... Consuela, Irwin, and, um... I'm still not sure just how to pronounce this. [Black camper rolls his eyes while barely suppressing a smirk] Jam-il? Jamal?
- The Thanksgiving play written by Gary, is filled with blatant racism, with Native Americans constantly being called savages and primitive and praising the lead Pilgrim girl for having "skin as white as milk".
- Gleefully subverted by Wednesday during the Thanksgiving play to the applause of a grateful nation. She basically leads the minority campers (being forced to play racist Native American stereotypes) in a full-scale assault on the rich white kids, as both symbolic revenge for the real Native Americans, and literal revenge on the kids and counselors who had been dicks to them the entire time.
- The camp counselors in the sequel not so subtly favor the children of wealthy WASPs over the minority campers (and Wednesday & Pugsley).
- Redemption Equals Death: Both played with and averted. Fester treated his Ax-Crazy wife with nothing but love and respect, but she's so insane she simply keeps going with her plan to kill him, not realizing she actually has someone who cares. Fester is perfectly willing to die for whatever perceived crimes he's committed. Then, when she actually dies, she's just... a pile of dust. No redemption there. Of course she wanted love... and jewelry... which Fester would have gladly provided.
- Pretty in Mink: In Values Gomez and Mortica are at a fancy restaurant where several ladies in the background are wearing fur wraps.
- Prima Donna Director: Gary is a bit over passionate about their Thanksgiving play, striking and dismissing campers during rehearsal. When Wednesday begins breaking from script, he's ready to wring her neck (he proves to be out of his league there however).
- Rube Goldberg Device: Pubert's trip through the house to save his family in the second movie is an unintentional one (i.e. not set up beforehand, just a lot of random occurrences that fit together in a Goldbergian manner).
- Sarcasm Mode: You could think that the entire Addams family had gone into this hardcore when they're seeming to humor the ranting Debbie. Actually, considering their previous behavior, they're probably sincerely empathizing with her.Grandmama: An axe! Ooh, that takes me back.
- Screaming Birth:
- Averted during Pubert's birth in Addams Family Values; all Morticia emits are a few barely audible grunts. Totally justified, however, when you consider their sex life. She's quite pleased at how painful it is.
- Seriously, who didn't burst out laughing at Morticia's first line in that movie?Morticia: Marvelous news. I'm going to have a baby. [beat] Right now. [cut to Morticia being rushed through the hospital]
- Then there's the bit during labor when Gomez asks Morticia if she's in unbearable, inhuman pain. She smiles coyly and says "Oui", bringing on Gomez's usual kissing response. The doctor has to remind them that there's a baby to deliver.
- Shout-Out: Final scene at a graveside, and a hand lunges up out of the ground.
- Spoiled Brat: Most of the kids at Camp Chippewa in Addams Family Values. Especially Amanda.
- Rich Bitch: Debbie and Amanda in the sequel.
- Room 101: Played for laughs in the second movie. The camp counselors send Joel, Wednesday, and Pugsley to an isolated cabin apparently used for just this purpose. They're made to endure horrors like The Sound of Music, The Brady Bunch, Annie, and various Disney movies.
- Sinister Tango Music: Addams Family Values has Gomez and Morticia doing a tango that is equal parts sinister and sexy.
- Stepford Smiler: Enforced at Camp Chippewa - even if you're not actually perky, you'd damn well better act like you are or suffer a Cool and Unusual Punishment.
- Strong Family Resemblance:
- Pubert, in Addams Family Values, has a mustache.
- Also parodied:Gomez: He has my father's eyes.
Morticia: Gomez, take those out of his mouth.
- Sugary Malice: The Camp Chippewa counselors. They treat the kids like they are all five years old, and the real scary thing is only the outcasts (read: those who aren't Jerk Jock or Alpha Bitch material) seem to think something is amiss.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I can show you all my references so you know I'm not a homicidal maniac."
- Take That!: The camp counselors send Joel, Wednesday, and Pugsley to a cabin to watch happy children's films as a punishment (ones the Addams Children won't enjoy) and we are given this gem.Wednesday: Don't worry. We're getting out of here.
Joel: [frightened] But... it's Disney.note
- At one point, Joel screams in horror at a picture of...Michael Jackson.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: Invoked Trope.
- The summer camp, which of course makes it a living hell for Wednesday and Pugsley.
- A little girl explaining how her mommy got a baby, invoking every trite and saccharine "where babies come from" myth of the past few centuries. And it leads to Wednesday's Crowning Moment of Deadpan Snarkery.Young Girl: And then Mommy kissed Daddy, and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven, and left a diamond under a leaf in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby!
Pugsley: Our parents are having a baby, too.
Wednesday: [dramatic zoom] They had sex.
- Tempting Fate: Joel has the horrible idea to tell Wednesday she wouldn't scare her (theoretical) future husband to death. Guess what happens a few moments later?
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: Inverted; it's not the nanny interviewees who are terrible, it's the children. And while the one who gets the job seems perfect, she's really the worst.
- That Poor Cat: At the start of the film, the kids and Grandma are burying the family cat in a shoebox. Wednesday has to shush it so that its cries do not ruin the solemnity of the occasion.
- Three Lines, No Waiting: Addams Family Values focused mainly on three separate plots: the Black Widow trying to kill off Uncle Fester, Gomez & Morticia looking after newborn Pubert, and Pugsley & Wednesday trying to cope with summer camp.
- The Unsmile: Wednesday. One of the most horrific examples of this trope ever, primarily due to the source of it, rather than the quality of the smile.Amanda: She's scaring me!
- She gets a genuine one later on, though the context is that of a Psychotic Smirk.
- [Verb] This!: When Debbie shows the family slideshows about her second husband, a senator who loved his state and his country, she quotes his words:Debbie: [imitates her second husband] "Sorry, Debbie, no Mercedes this year. We have to set an example." Oh yeah? Set this!
[next slide shows the car driving toward the senator in panic]
- Villainous Breakdown: Debbie's failed attempts to murder Fester has put her over the edge.
- Vocal Evolution: Wednesday's voice is deeper in this film due to Christina Ricci getting older.
- Wallpaper Camouflage: Wednesday, while spying on Debbie. Just check the picture on the trope page.
- Who Even Needs a Brain?: In Addams Family Values Gomez and Fester are cheerfully reminiscing about all the (violent) pranks they pulled on each other as kids. Fester casually mentions that one time he waited til Gomez was asleep, then opened his head and removed his brains. Gomez is so surprised and impressed by this revelation that he proceeds to throw Fester on the wall upside down and outline him with daggers.
- Why Won't You Die?: Debbie's attempts at killing Fester continuously fail, and she eventually demands to know why he won't die. This comes as a shock to Fester, who assumed all that poison and electrocution was intended flirtatiously.
- William Telling: Wednesday is shooting an arrow at Pugsley, but the apple is in his mouth instead of on top of his head.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Parodied with Debbie. C'mon, people, Malibu Barbie!