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Film / The Addams Family
aka: Addams Family Values

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It's a family thing, and it won't quit
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...
Tag Team, "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" (from the Addams Family Values soundtrack)

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, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and released in 1991, focuses 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: "Fester" is actually an imposter, and his scheming mother Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) is working with a money hungry lawyer Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) on a plot to steal the family's fortune. This causes problems for the family 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), an animated reboot was released in 2019, courtesy of MGM. Burton instead got involved with the Netflix show Wednesday.


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    Tropes Applying to Both Films 
  • 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.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: This trope could be applied to multiple characters but is most noticeable when you see how Gomez looked in the comic strip.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Wednesday was originally a quirky, sweet-natured girl who had morbid interests. Here she's malevolent, morbid, sarcastic, stoic and very dry-witted.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Though still definitely well-mannered and respectful, the Addamses are a lot more dangerous to people than they were in the original show, more in line with the original comic strip. They're totally unaware of this, and seem to just be sharing their customs.
  • Age Lift: In the TV series, Pugsley and Wednesday were eight and six years old, respectively. Jimmy Workman and Christina Ricci were both eleven in the first film and thirteen in the second.
  • 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. Although, this does appear in Dracula adaptations and Morticia never smiles to show her teeth...
  • All Part of the Show:
    • Subverted in the first film. When Wednesday 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.
  • 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?
    Debbie: What?
    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.
  • Badass Creed: The Addams Family Creed. Also doubles as I Am a Humanitarian.
Morticia: "'Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc'...'We gladly feast on those who would subdue us'. Not just pretty words."
  • 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
  • Big Electric Switch
    • In The Addams Family, Wednesday has her brother Pugsley strapped into an electric chair. She electrocutes him by throwing a large knife switch.
    • In Addams Family Values, Debbie has the entire clan (minus baby Pubert) wired up to electric chairs with an enormously-handled electric switch. Gomez and Morticia have a marital-torture nostalgia-fest whilst Pubert does some handy re-wiring.
  • 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 Chippewa 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.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Thanks to her cooking companion Grey's anatomy, Granny is knowledgeable about the parts of human anatomy and its applications in the culinary arts.
  • 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.
  • 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 the first movie, Gomez angers his neighbor (a judge) by hitting golf balls off the mansion's balcony and smashing his windows. At one point, Gomez calls out, "Keep the ball! I have a whole bucketful!" Later, when the judge rules that Fester is the legal owner of the Addams estate, he gleefully dumps a bucketful of those same balls in front of Gomez.
    • The movie's opener shows the family readying to pour hot melted asphalt on carolers. Much later, as the evicted family leaves the house, the resulting splatters can be seen all around the front door.
    • In Values, when Debbie finally tells Fester she doesn't love him, she launches into a "The 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.
  • 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: Both Morticia and Wednesday work this way, though in different ways:
    • Morticia's humor comes from her taking all the insanity around her as perfectly normal.
    • 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. This makes her O.O.C. Is Serious Business period in the sequel even more disturbing.
  • 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.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Zig-Zagged. 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. 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, the latter being accidental) 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 being offered 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.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Gomez Addams is played by the quite handsome and dashing Raúl Juliá. Notably different from his goblin-like appearance in the original comics.
  • 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: 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.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue to the first film plays out 7 months after the events of the story, suggesting a Babies Ever After happy ending.
  • 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.
  • 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 (but not to the head counselors). 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: Pubert breathes fire, can catch blades with his tiny baby hands and killed Debbie.
  • 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.
    • Lying is another one. When Gordon's Fester-guise begins to crack, Gomez, Morticia and Wednesday give him the cold shoulder.
    • Tully shows discomfort and disgust with torture in the first film though 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.
    • They love to torture one another and subject themselves to unspeakable agony, but only if it's consensual. Wednesday and Pugsley frequently try to kill each other, but to them it's a sibling game and they've repeatedly been shown capable of surviving whatever the other puts them through. When Morticia gets strapped to a rack and is getting tortured by Tully and Abigail Craven, it's shown to not be okay because they forced her into it. When Gomez is forced to turn the rack, it is incredibly evident that Morticia is, most definitely, enjoying it.
  • Evil Versus 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.
  • Forced from Their Home: In the first film, upon realizing Fester is actually the older brother, and thus has legal control over the Addams family assets, the slimeball lawyer and his crooked partner kick the rest of the Addams out of the house so they can hunt for the family fortune in peace. Leading to the last half of the film being about the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, all together ooky Addams trying to function out in the "normal" world.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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.
      • When Abigail tries to break into the house after Gordon leaves for the kids' performance, she says to herself, "I never should have used him." And right before Gordon turns on her at the end, she says "I should have left you where I found you!", hinting that her story about finding Fester in the Bermuda Triangle was actually the truth.
      • The biggest hint comes during the seance at the beginning of the movie. Grandmama says she can feel Fester's presence and commands he knock three times, which Gordon does. Now it seems like it's all part of the plan (Tully knew about the seance ahead of time) but it's not as though Grandmama was in on it. She really did feel his presence, and unless Gordon was able to hear her from outside over a storm, his knocking on command could be legitimate.
      • On his first night at the Addams house, he gets into bed, and not only does the mattress sink perfectly around him, but his reaction shows he finds it extremely comfortable. Even after Thing appears and freaks him out, the next morning he is shown to be quite refreshed and chipper.
      • Also, when Gomez asks how he slept, Gordon lies and says "like the dead", which Gomez objects too because Fester would toss and turn all night - which is what actually happened.
    • Values begins with Fester howling at the moon, showing the audience that he's lonely (in a romantic sense).
  • 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, Margaret 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, Grandmama 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Incest Subtext: In Values, Gomez pulls out a magazine from Fester's bed, opens to one of the centerfolds, and the two fondly say "Mom!".
  • Killer Rabbit: Wednesday. Looks cute, if a little dark for a young girl, and isn't above doing horrifying things.
    • In the climax of the second movie, it is Pubert, the weeks-old toddler, who rescues the family by murdering Debbie.
  • 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.
  • Licensed Game: Both the first movie and Values had their own video game tie-in. The one to the original movie was a platformer where the player controlled Gomez and traveled across the Addams family's mansion to battle bosses in order to rescue the rest of the family (with the PC Engine version instead having Tully Alford as the player character and the objective being to journey through the house and fight the members of the Addams Family as bosses to win a portion of their fortune), while the video game of Addams Family Values had Uncle Fester as a playable character and go on a journey to rescue baby Pubert.
  • 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.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • 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!
      Gomez: Acquitted!
  • Mythology Gag: Several jokes are taken from the original Addams New Yorker cartoons and the TV series.
    • The opening of the Addamses with a cauldron of oil to drop over Christmas carolers is directly taken from one of Addams' "family" cartoons.
    • Pugsley's troubling habit of stealing safety signs is directly from Addams' cartoons starring the boy Pugsley derives from.
    • Gomez and Morticia's "Are you unhappy?" "Oh, yes, extremely" dialogue is from a "family" cartoon by Addams.
    • The joke of a series of garment bags followed by a bag containing the clothes' owner is taken from a non-"family" Addams cartoon.
    • Morticia snipping the heads off roses is an establishing gag for the character in the TV series.
    • Wednesday has a decapitated doll, derived from the cartoons but made more famous through the TV show.
    • Wednesday's bed with the octopus painted on it is just as Addams drew it in his cartoons.
    • The original teaser for the first film features a character on a movie screen screaming at the Addamses in the audience, a gag taken from a non-Family-related Addams cartoon where the scary audience member(s) is unseen.
    • Fester lighting a bulb in his mouth as he does in both movies was first a memorable moment from the TV series.
    • Morticia's three-legged baby jumper was seen in the mother character's hands in the "family" cartoons once, and another time hanging on an apartment clothesline to the confusion of the tenants.
    • Gomez's destructive model train hobby returns from the TV show.
    • One "family" cartoon sees the mother discussing evil Biblical names for a male child. Values shows Gomez and Morticia discussing that they considered villanous names, including of dictators, for Pubert.
    • Debbie's character in the sequel inherits traits from recurring Addams cartoons featuring treacherous and murderous spouses. Gags where it's shown that Debbie ordered a hearse ahead of time and only one plane ticket back from her honeymoon parallel Addams gags like a woman happily putting on widow's weeds while her husband watches.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability:
    • 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?". In the sequel baby Pubert is completely fine handling the exposed cables connected to the electric chairs Debbie sets up.
    • 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.
    • In the first movie, Pugsley trips a bear trap in Uncle Fester's suitcase, causing it to snap closed around his arm. Pugsley's reaction? "Cool!"
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The entire Addams family, and the engine driving all of the film's comedy.
  • Obliviously Evil: A big part of the humour in the movies is that, for all of the dangerous and terrifying things the Addams subject the people around them to, few of these things ever seem to be done out of genuine malice. It comes across more that the Addams clan simply live their lives by a different set of rules to most people and aren’t aware of how horrifying their actions can seem to outsiders.
  • Old Money: In both films it’s shown the Addams are extremely wealthy, and stealing it is the motivation for every antagonist. The first movie directly showcases a vault in an underground lake that has a room filled with Spanish doubloons, that heavily implies their fortune comes from their ancestor’s pillaging and piracy.
  • Perky Goth: Margaret Alford is a Zig-Zagged example. 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. In the scenes that have Margaret in Values you will notice she seems to have gained paler skin and slight shadowing around her eyes, it seems like if you not only take the Addams name but embrace it, unlike Debbie, you start to become more like an Addams.
  • Product Placement:
    • In the first film, a Tombstone Pizza billboard is across the street from Wednesday and Pugsley's lemonade stand. Also, Thing delivers numerous Federal Express packages at top speed to an office in one scene.
    • 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.
  • Pun: About half the times that anyone talks to Thing, they make some sort of hand-related pun.
  • 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.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: Fester is Gomez's brother in this coninuity, when he was Morticia's uncle and therefore Gomez's uncle-in-law in the 1964 television series. Grandmama is also Morticia's mother, as she was in the New Yorker cartoons, when in the TV series she was mother-in-law to Morticia due to being Gomez's mother.
  • Running Gag:
    • The use of Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good as the Addamses use derogatory and dark adjectives before the other shoe drops and it's revealed they're used as compliments.
    • Wednesday and Pugsley repeatedly playing with torture devices and weapons, with Morticia sanctioning this behavior on multiple occasions.
    • Gomez and Morticia's passionate love for each other, which occasionally gets inappropriately public and intimate. It gets so bad that Abigail Craven even directly barks at them to knock it off during the climax, causing the romantic score to quickly cut out as they stop.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • When Debbie introduces herself to the Addams kids, Wednesday says, "Be afraid. Be very afraid."
  • Silent Snarker: Lurch; the guy's slightest facial movement speaks volumes.
  • 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 fact that seems to be his resting expression.
    • Fester usually has a big vacant grin, which becomes this whenever he's picking on Tully.
  • Something Else Also Rises:
    • 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.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: Gomez and Morticia are having a tragic-romantic moment, complete with kissing and French, when the music abruptly cuts off and Gomez is ordered to get the money already.
  • 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 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.
  • 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. The former (unlike in the TV show) speaks in grunts, and even then only rarely. The latter communicates in high-pitched, high-speed gibberish. Lampshaded when the two have a conversation. Others seem to understand Lurch and Itt, however. Tully either can understand Itt 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. Later, after becoming Itt's wife, Margaret is capable of speaking her husband's tongue!
  • 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.
    • 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...

    Tropes Applying to The Addams Family 
  • 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.
    • Margaret Alford, Tully's long-suffering wife who ends up leaving him for Cousin Itt, is the sister of Judge Womack, the Addamses' long-suffering neighbor who ends up presiding over Gomez's court hearing. One scene in the script has Womack taunting Margaret with their mother's thoughts on hers and Tully's relationship: "Marry Tully Alford and you'll hear Satan laugh."
  • 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. Morticia lists this as one of the things they love about him.
  • 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, 64. 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.
  • Artistic License – Law: The Addams Family's neighbor would never be allowed to rule on a case involving the man who lives right next door to him, as he could not be certain to be unbiased (too many neighbors are either very good friends or have major issues with each other).
  • As You Know: Occurs at the end of the film; Gomez explains to Cousin Itt exactly how Fester came to be "Gordon", having been found 25 years ago by Abigail Craven with amnesia; the explanation and dialogue suggests this has been detailed before in the seven months between dispatching Tully and Craven and Halloween.
  • Becoming the Mask: Played with, as the mask that the amnesiac Gordon became was that of his actual real identity of Uncle Fester.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Gomez reminds "Fester" that the vault combination is "2, 10, 11: eyes, fingers toes", suggesting that at least blood Addamses have an extra toe.
  • Bond One-Liner: An ambiguous one at the movie's climax. Tully and Abigail are hurled out of the mansion by a hurricane, landing in open coffins positioned over a pair of freshly dug graves. The lids slam down, the coffins drop into the graves, and the camera pans to Pugsley and Wednesday holding shovels and ready to finish the burial.
    Pugsley: Are they dead?
    Wednesday: Does it matter?
  • Bookends: The beginning and ending are both based on one of Charles Addams' original comics in The New Yorker (specifically, the family pouring boiling oil on Christmas carolers and Gomez's amazement at seeing Morticia knit a three-legged onesie, implying that she is pregnant). Doubles as a Mythology Gag.
  • Buried Alive: The ultimate fate of Craven and Tully, assuming they survived the impact of being thrown out of the house into coffins via a hurricane to begin with.
  • 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 they died on impact when they landed in the coffins.
    Pugsley: Are they dead?
    Wednesday: Does it matter?
  • Easy Amnesia: Twenty-five years before the movie begins, Fester Addams became an amnesiac as a result of his unspecified experiences in the Bermuda Triangle. His memory is restored by being hit in the head by lightning coming out of the Portal Book Hurricane Irene.
  • Everybody Cries: Morticia invokes this response from the kindergartners in her retelling of Hansel and Gretel, where she gives graphic insight into the witch's death. The poor kids are traumatized and start crying.
  • 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."
  • Hanging Judge: When Tully Alford files a restraining order against the Addamses, awarding custody to Fester/Gordon, Gomez appeals the order, only for Judge Womack to maliciously rule against the Addames. He then dumps a bucket of golf balls at Gomez's feet, since several times in the movie Gomez is seen hitting golf balls through Womack's windows.
  • Harmless Electrocution: "Is There A God?" involves Wednesday strapping Pugsley into an electric chair and throwing the switch. Despite her claims that it's supposed to kill him he's perfectly fine in the next scene.
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • Insult Backfire: Played with as Ms Craven gets increasingly frustrated with the Addamses and Fester's integration into the family:
    They're evil and corrupt and degraded. [Beat] I can give you that.
  • 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", with one exception — all the golf balls Gomez has hit through his windows, which he pours out of a bucket 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, it’s 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 couldn’t 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Gordon/Fester struggles to get out of a fingertrap that's been in the family for decades (if not generations), the normally-friendly Gomez and Morticia suddenly become openly suspicious of him.
  • 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.
    • At one point, Abigail is trying to find Fester (who's gone to help the kids at the school play) and is snagged by a pair of sentient vines that drag her into the greenhouse. The next day, Lurch is spraying his usual pesticides when he finds Abigail wrapped tightly in a cocoon, referencing the "Cocoon" in the background of many of the original cartoons.
  • Noodle Incident: When Abigail, masquerading as a psychologist to the family, tries to convince Gomez that his feelings of suspicion towards Fester of being a fraud is simply displacement and a cycle of love and hate for him as a result of guilt for their fight in their younger years, she remarks that it's a similar feeling one might have for their mother. Gomez somewhat quickly adds "But I didn't hate my mother, it was an accident!". What happened there!?
  • Offscreen Crash: Pugsley causes one by stealing a stop sign.
  • 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: When 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).
  • Prematurely Marked Grave: At the climax, the villains Tully Alford and Abigail Craven are blasted by hurricane winds through a window and into the air. They end up falling into open coffins lying in graves freshly dug by Pugsley and Wednesday. Each grave has a headstone with the name of the villain who fell into it (Abigail's is marked "Dr. Pinder-Schloss", which is the name by which the Addams knew her).
  • 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.)
  • The Quiet One: Pugsley does not say a word until around twenty-three minutes into the movie (unless you count his muffled protests when Wednesday was about to fire an arrow at him).
    • Lurch. He doesn't even state his signature (from the television show) "You rang?" in either film.
  • Rail Enthusiast: There are few things that would get Gomez's interest as much as comparing something to a train-wreck. And thanks to his huge train model he can get to watch and cause his own train-wrecks literally.
  • Riddle for the Ages: We never find out what "the secret password" was that Gomez nearly chokes "Fester" to death over. It's said to be "the word (Gomez and Fester) used a hundred times a day, their special name for each other", but it's never revealed to viewers. Word of God says it's "you demented freak", which, quite ironically, "Fester" calls Gomez after Gomez lets him up.
  • Sarcastic Confession: While posing as "Dr. Pinder-Schloss", Abigail Craven claims to have found Fester tangled in a tuna net near the Bermuda Triangle. She's not lying, she found Fester in said predicament 25 years ago, and brainwashed the amnesiac Fester into believing that he's her son so she could use him as muscle for her scams.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Fester opens the Hurricane Irene book to summon a massive storm that hurls both antagonists out the window and into their pre-dug graves.
  • 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 walks off in the middle of the night to confront Fester.
  • Villainous Mother-Son Duo: Abigail and Gordon Craven, a mother and son team of grifters, loan sharks and scam artists, who seek to defraud the Addamses and steal their vast fortune by passing Gordon off as long lost family member Fester, who Gordon happens to bear a very strong resemblance to. Gordon mostly acts as Abigail's enforcer, and she is very controlling and even abusive to him at times, but despite him starting to identify with and even genuinely love the Addams clan, he stays loyal to his mother, up until the point Abigail orders the Cold-Blooded Torture of family matriarch Morticia. Gordon then pulls a Heel–Face Turn, helping free Morticia and putting a stop to Abigail's schemes. It is later revealed that Gordon isn't even Abigail's real son — he's actually Fester Addams, whom Abigail discovered years ago shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle, suffering from amnesia.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nothing is said of what happens to Judge Womack after he kicks the Addams Family out of their home (he is absent in the second film).
    • And didn't Tully and Margaret have a kid?
  • William Telling: Wednesday is shooting an arrow at Pugsley, but the apple is in his mouth instead of on top of his head.

    Tropes Applying to Addams Family Values 
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Near the beginning of Gomez's speech to the family and partygoers at the film's end, he toasts, "To mirth. To merriment. To manslaughter."
  • 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 pies.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization by Todd Strasser gives the name of the girl reading the baby story to Wednesday and Pugsley as Rebecca Sloane. When she replies to Wednesday’s “They had sex” comment, Wednesday is about to give her talk when the adults accompanying Rebecca take her away.
  • 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...
    • Then again, she's definitely classist, derogatorily calling Debbie "the help".
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: 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.
  • 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. The Native Americans who were present were the Wampanoag. Also, by the first Thanksgiving, Pocahontas was dead. She died three years before the Plymouth Colony was founded, and even if she had survived she wouldn't have been anywhere nearby, because she was married to Englishman John Rolfe and living in England at the time.)
  • 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.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When playing a drowning victim during swimming lessons, Amanda puts on an absurdly melodramatic and childish display of Hollywood Drowning.
  • 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".)
      Gomez: The nightmare.
      Morticia: The nerve.
  • 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.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Pubert is born with a pencil-thin, yet full mustache, And when he's later "cursed", he is now clean-shaven with a mop of blonde hair.
  • 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.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Played for (ironic) horror when Fester's absence gives Pubert a condition that turns him from pale-skinned and mustachioed into a stereotypically cute baby with a healthy complexion and curly blond hair. Granny tells Gomez and Morticia that the condition might be incurable.
    Granny: He could stay this way for years, perhaps forever... he could become a lawyer...
    Gomez: I won't listen!
    Granny: orthodontist...
    Morticia: Mama, stop!
    Granny: ...PRESIDENT.
    [Lurch cringes in sorrow]
    Gomez: [crying out to God] Please! I beg you! Take me!
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Once Pubert is born.
    Wednesday: Well- they only need one boy...
  • 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.
  • Character Filibuster: Wednesday goes off-script during the summer camp pageant to on an extended rant about the play's inaccuracy. She gives a "Break Them by Talking" lecture about how the colonizers talk about how they are civilized, but they will put the actual natives on reservations, making them sell bracelets by the road and live in mobile homes. Also, Pocahontas wasn't even Chippewa or at the first Thanksgiving so this is a stupid play based on glorifying history. Everyone is in Stunned Silence, except for Amanda complaining that Wednesday is improvising and failing to see the danger.
  • 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. But 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 is dripping with this until Wednesday goes off-script. The pilgrims' lines are almost entirely about how they must be good and gracious hosts towards the "primitive savages" with "strange customs", and while noting that said "savages" are civilized, the pilgrims still constantly praise and extol their own civilization as being much better because they have shoes, shampoo, and last names.
  • Cooked to Death: Played for pitch-Black Comedy. At Fester's bachelor party, Gomez surprises him with a huge cake and shouts "Ta-da!", clearly expecting a stripper to pop out of it. When nothing happens, Gomez opens the top of the cake and smoke wafts out, revealing Lurch had baked the cake with her inside. Being the Addamses, they all have a hearty laugh about it.
    Gomez: That poor girl. Lurch, was she in there before you baked?
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The "Harmony Hut" at the summer camp. 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.
    Debbie: "Sorry, Debbie. No Mercedes this year; we have to set an example." Oh yeah? SET THIS!
  • 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.
  • Faux Horrific:
    • After Debbie freezes the family out, Gomez files a complaint to the police, describing Fester's unholy torment in being married to her. He doesn't exactly sell them on the gravity of the situation.
      Gomez: [loudly] I demand... JUSTICE! SOMEONE has married my brother!
      Desk Sergeant: [faux shock] No...
      Gomez: She took him to Hawaii!
      Desk Sergeant: [sarcastic] Get outta here!
      Gomez: They have moved into a large, expensive home, where they make love, CONSTANTLY!
      Desk Sergeant: I hate when that happens.
      Gomez: Arrest her at once, without delay!
      Desk Sergeant: ...Who?!
      Gomez: DEBBIE! My brother's WIFE! The TEMPTRESS of WAI-KIKI!
      Desk Sergeant: [helpless; begging] Who are you? WHAT are you? Who moved the rock?!
      Gomez: Officer, you MUST issue a subpoena. I believe they own...
      Morticia: [gasping] Gomez, NO!
      Gomez: [bellowing] A BUICK!!
    • After Pubert becomes blonde and rosy cheeked, Grandmama explains that not only will he get worse, but the change could become permanent. Of course, this IS the Addams family we're talking about, so they consider it a genuine threat.
      Grandmama: We're talkin' dimples!
      Gomez: NOT in this house!
      • Also, he could become a lawyernote , an orthodontist, or even... President.
    • 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... Malibu Barbie instead of Ballerina Barbie. They had to go.
  • 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.
  • Freudian Excuse: Played for laughs and satirised as it is revealed that the reason that turned Debbie into a psychopath was that her parents... gifted her a Malibu Barbie instead of a Ballerina Barbie that she wanted for her tenth birthday.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Within a few minutes of arriving at summer camp, Pugsley can be seen preparing to hang himself.
    • When Gomez talks of the tortures he'd endure if Fester only asked, Morticia sits up straighter with each one, clearly getting turned on.
  • 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?
    Wednesday: What?
    Joel: I die.
  • Genre Blindness: Debbie has this 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.
  • Gift Shake: Fester does this to the present Debbie gives him, correctly deducing it's a bomb.
    Debbie: What?!
    Fester: I know, I know... wait for my birthday!
  • 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.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: When the family (sans Wednesday and Pugsley) visits Fester and Debbie at their house in Hawaii, Debbie asks Fester if he wants to speak to them, then gets him to turn them away by flaunting her breasts a bit in his direction.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Shortly after meeting Amanda and her family, Wednesday takes a quick drink of poison.
  • 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, 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.
    • Debbie's fondness for white outfits and pastel decor doesn't make her any less of an Ax-Crazy Black Widow.
  • 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.
  • Love Martyr: Fester is willing cut off contact with the rest of his family and happily take all of Debbie's verbal and emotional abuse on account of how desperately in love with her he is. Even in the climax when Debbie has him and the rest of the Addamses strapped to electric chairs, he still puts all the blame on himself for their relationship not working. It isn't until several months later that he seems to have finally gotten over her (or at least moved on the point where he can laugh about it).
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: Camp Chippewa has one of these, wallpapered in motivational posters and home to Disney movies on permanent loop. Wednesday gets put in there when she doesn't want the part of Pocahontas in the absurdly racist play the camp's putting on.
  • 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"!: 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 from Pubert's interference. All that's left are her shoes and credit cards.
    • Then whose hand is it that rises from her grave to grab Joel's wrist at the end of the film? Probably Thing.
  • No, Except Yes: When Gomez questions Pugsley and Wednesday if they hate their newest baby sibling after dropping him from the roof.
    Pugsley: We don't hate him. We just wanted to play with him.
    Wednesday: Especially his head.
  • 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'll be a widow.
    Clerk: (stares silently)
  • Pretty in Mink: Gomez and Mortica are at a fancy restaurant where several ladies in the background are wearing fur wraps.
  • Plastic Bitch: Wednesday is forced by her stuck-up summer camp cabin buddies to participate in a ghost story telling game where each participant adds to the story. She ends it on the punchline that the ghost makes all of their old noses grow back, prompting all of the other girls to scream in sheer horror.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Done in-universe by the Addams when Debbie is doing her Motive Rant. As they're all as equally insane and homicidal as she is, they're perfectly understanding and even celebratory with her many kills.
    Grandmama: What about Debbie?
  • 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? Jame-al?
      Gary: Jamal?
      Becky: Whatever.
    • 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.
    • Getting cast as a native is implied to be a plot to humiliate the less-than-perfect campers, if the reactions of the parents in the audience are anything to go by.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Reel Torture: Wednesday, Pugsley and another boy refuse to take part in the summer camp play. As punishment, the camp counselors lock them in an isolation cabin and make them watch various films such as The Sound of Music and Annie, which they can't stand.
  • Rich Bitch: Debbie and Amanda.
  • 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.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Pubert's trip through the house to save his family 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! 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.
      • 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.
    • 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]
  • Series Continuity Error: Debbie forces Fester to get hair plugs because she doesn't like his baldness. This is odd because the previous film shows that Fester can grow hair and merely shaves his head by choice (unlike in the TV series, where Fester is naturally bald).
    • Unless the lightning strike to Fester's head in the first film destroyed the hair follicles in his scalp.
  • Serious Business: Getting the wrong kind of Barbie doll for her birthday was enough to convince Debbie to murder her parents.
  • Shout-Out: Final scene at a graveside, and a hand lunges up out of the ground.
  • Sinister Tango Music: Addams Family Values has Gomez and Morticia doing a tango that is equal parts sinister and sexy.
  • Spoiled Brat: Most of the kids at Camp Chippewa in Addams Family Values. Especially Amanda.
  • 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.
    Becky: We are going to make an ex-am-ple. We are going to show that anyone, no matter how odd, or pale, or chubby, can still have a darn good time. Whether they like it or not.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Pubert, in Addams Family Values, has a mustache.
      • Thus completing the Generation Xerox with Morticia/Wednesday and Fester/Pugsley
    • 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. The fact that the nerds, non-whites and Jewish kids are all bandaged up after a few weeks at camp implies that the Grangers have minimal concern for safety.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I can show you all my references so you know I'm not a homicidal maniac."
  • Take That!:
    • At one point, Joel screams in horror at a picture of...Michael Jackson.
    • Writer Paul Rudnick confirmed that title was meant to be a swipe at the Republican Party.
      "I did also want the movie’s name to be a response to the Republican Party’s constant harping on “family values,” as if only conservatives could define a loving family. In Republican terms, “family values” is always code for censorship and exclusion, and Republicans still refuse to respect or even acknowledge, for example, LGBTQ families. I like to believe that the Addams Family is far more loving and accepting than their enemies."
  • 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.
    Nanny: (Speaking with a handpuppet) Hello kiddies, I'm Polly the Puppet. What shall we do today? I know! Let's all clean our rooms!
    Wednesday: (Pulling out a Satan puppet) Hello, Polly. I'll clean my room... in exchange for your immortal soul. (Puppet!Satan starts Hand Rubbing)
  • 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.
  • Thanksgiving Turkey: Parodied in the Thanksgiving play at Camp Chippewa, where Pugsley is stuffed into a turkey costume to sing a cheerfully insipid song about eating him. When Wednesday sends the play Off the Rails, Pugsley stuffs an apple into Amanda's mouth while she's on a pyre.
  • Toy-Based Characterization: Discussed by Debbie, who felt at age 10 that the Ballerina Barbie fit her personality more than the Malibu Barbie because she aspired to be graceful and delicate. Subverted, since Debbie turns out to be anything but delicate by killing her parents in retaliation.
  • 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.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: Wednesday shoots an apple off Pugsley's head with an arrow.
  • 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. Christina Ricci makes the act look downright torturous.
    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]
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Debbie is an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer who murdered her parents at the age of 10, and tries to murder the entire Adams family for their wealth, including the children.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Debbie's failed attempts to murder Fester has put her over the edge.
  • Visual Pun: When Fester announces that he is engaged to Debbie, she shows his mother's ring. When Gomez says that she was buried with it, Debbie shows a shovel, with dirt on it. Yep, she's a gold-digger!
  • 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.
  • White Man's Burden: The Thanksgiving play is this plus singing food. The pilgrims are praised as being accepting and heroic just for coexisting with the natives while on the natives' turf.
  • 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.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Parodied with Debbie. C'mon, people, Malibu Barbie!
  • Would Hurt a Child: It's implied—if not flat-out clear—that the camp counselors abuse the minority children. While rehearsing Gary's play, he gets frustrated and roughly grabs one of the kids and takes her off-stage. She later shows up in a wheelchair. Debbie also tries to kill all the Addamses at the climax of the movie, including Wednesday and Pugsley.
  • Yoko Oh No: Debbie epitomizes this, immediately demanding that Fester cut off his family and preventing them from seeing each other as soon as they marry.

Alternative Title(s): Addams Family Values, The Addams Family 1991


Morticia And Gomez Addams

Morticia and Gomez reminisce one evening about how they first met at a funeral and fell immediately in love.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / HappilyMarried

Media sources: