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Fridge / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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The Book

Fridge Brilliance
  • To get her ticket, Veruca Salt forced her father's workers, who are usually opening nuts, to search for it. Fittingly, it is another hard-working crew of nut-shellers that give her her comeuppance. It's even the same number of workers in both cases (100).
    • And with regards to how they react to her, at least in Quentin Blake's illustrations and the 2005 film, they probably weren't too happy to see someone in a fur coat approaching them!
  • Augustus the gluttonous kid gets the earliest punishment, because what do you think would happen when you put a gluttonous kid in a chocolate factory? However, he also gets the lesser punishment, one that's not permanent, because while his gluttony makes him unfit to inherit Wonka's factory, it's basically appreciation for Wonka's products!
    • Then again, like Veruca's, it's impermanent but very terrifying: He nearly DROWNS, then is forcefully sucked up a pipe which is way too small for him, must nearly suffocate, and is then (presumably painfully based on how thin he becomes) blasted off to the Fudge Room, where there's the threat of being killed and made into his favorite food! Dahl seemed to have a real dislike of fat kids...
      • Though, at least in the second movie adaption, Augustus is fine when he exits the factory. Violet is permanently blue (but in said movie she thinks that being elastic is awesome), Mike is streched thin. Veruca hasn't learned the lesson... but her father did, and he's evidently going to be stricter with his daughter.
      • In the book Augustus has become very thin from being squeezed in the pipe (somehow), while Veruca is merely covered in garbage. In the 2005 film adaptation, while Veruca's father has come out stricter, Augustus's mother also seems to have learned a lesson, telling him to stop eating his fingers.
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  • Veruca's parents are the only ones who get the same treatment as their child. It's common to blame the parents for their childrens' problems, and the Salts are participating in the same poor behavior as their daughter. Veruca asks for a squirrel, and her father tries to bargain with Wonka. Since the whole family had the self-entitlement issue, they all went down the chute, and presumably all learned their lesson.
  • Theories have arisen that Wonka was trying to kill the children with his tour, but it makes more sense that he was acting as a Well-Intentioned Extremist and teaching them a lesson. Each section of the factory where the children get altered is made to match their temptations, and each comes out harmed but alive in the end. By making sure the bratty children live, Wonka leaves a lasting mark on them to serve as a reminder to them and their parents of what caused the accidents. Notably, the parents are more upset than the children, since they were responsible for their behavior, and looking at their children will serve as a reminder of what they were doing.
    • If you look at most of Roald Dahl's books, the hero kids tend to be fairly quiet and well-behaved. Even when they're living in awful situations, they rarely, if ever, complain. Dahl appears to have disliked loud children.
  • Overlapping with Rewatch Bonus, it seems that Charlie was the only child not severely tested with his vices, namely his chocolate cravings, until we come across the Everlasting Gobstoppers. They're candy that are meant to last forever, for "children with little pocket money" which would mean a lot to a poor child like Charlie that only gets candy on his birthday. Charlie doesn't even acknowledge them but moves on with Mr. Wonka to the hair toffee and three-course meal gum. It also helps that when candy is offered to him by Mr. Wonka, say the blades of sweet grass, the mug of melted chocolate from the river or the bar of television chocolate, he takes it without question because Charlie knows what scarcity is and he's starving.
    • It is also a test aimed at his grandfather who was one of the former employees in his factory who wanted to steal one and sell it to his business rivals. Ironically Charlie's grandfather also would cause his own son's misery by releasing a product that would cause endless toothaches. Charlie was tempted by his obligation to his family and knowing when he was going too far to set them for life

Fridge Horror

  • The gates of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory open for the first time in decades, and five children walk in. Four come out horribly traumatised and, in some cases, deformed by their experiences. The fifth does not, and as the events of the Great Glass Elevator show us, Willy Wonka does not take the time to state what actually happened in the factory. Did Charlie really inherit a fortune, or is Wonka's factory about to be shut down (or at the very least boycotted by Moral Guardians) for what Wonka did?
  • Is Willy Wonka telling the truth about the Oompa Loompas, or is "Loompaland" a coverup in which Wonka has taken regular people and brainwashed, miniaturized and enslaved them? But then again, it's not like he has inventions that change one's appearance (Violet) or can shrink people (Mike)...

The Films

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

see Fridge.WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Fridge Brilliance
  • At first it was odd how pale Wonka/Depp was, especially since his coloring is normal in the flashbacks, then it hit me. He's been living in a factory with no natural light for years!
  • Also at first it surprised me that Wonka's chocolate has such a primitive, cheap-looking package. But then it occurred to me: his chocolate is marketed primarily at children, so bright, simple package is actually fitting.
    • Usually, the front-runner in an industry doesn't have to spend money on packaging. People trust the name. Hershey's has about the dullest wrappers imaginable, and they've been doing all right for a while now.
  • In the end of 2005 film, Charlie doesn't seem to be fooled in the slightest by Wonka's literal Paper-Thin Disguise when he's polishing his shoes. It helps that said shoes have his logo on the sole, as we just saw in the previous scene.
  • Mike Teevee was able to locate the ticket because he was able to use mathematics to spot a pattern and buy the correct chocolate bar. Could it be that Wonka chose where the chocolate bars went or he had an agent tracking the bars like in the first version of the film?
  • When Mr. Salt tries to talk down Veruca in the Nut Room, Wonka smiles. When he fails, Wonka frowns again and allows the plan to proceed. From this one moment, it's clear that Wonka hopes that none of these disasters will need to happen to the children, but of course, they all do, and they just have to learn the hard way.
  • Despite repeated queries regarding how the Oompa Loompas knew the rotten children's names while singing about them in spite of not having been introduced and Wonka's attempts to dodge the question by passing it off as improv, it makes perfect sense given that the four children (not counting Charlie, who doesn't get a song because he wasn't eliminated) were interviewed on live television, thus allowing Wonka and the Oompa Loompas to learn their names and to recognize their flaws by observing their behavior simply by watching them on TV (especially since they have a Television Room). This would then allow them to come up with musical numbers that directly call out the respective child on their weaknesses.
    • It's why also Willy brushed off Augustus's question about the lack of introductions. He wasn't being aloof; he just already knew their names.
  • Each of the songs is lifted from the book, but their musical style is representative of the character getting a send-off:
    • Augustus Gloop's song is a big band Bollywood dance number, representing his overweightness with heavy drums and trumpets.
    • Violet Beauregarde's sendoff is a jazzy rock song out of a Michael Jackson music video, and the Oompa Loompas even dance in a victory dance with the hands pointing up and then pointing down.
    • Veruca Salt's song is a very soothing and relaxing Beatles-style song, like one were in a luxurious garden and swaying in a hammock, living the life of luxury, signifying her status of being incredibly rich. There's even a use of Indian string instruments usually used when displaying scenes of royalty in Indian plays.
    • Mike Teavee's song is a heavy metal piece, representing his violent tendencies and how you're supposed to bob your head up and down aggressively when hearing that kind of music. Exactly the kind of thing he would do.
    • In the 2005 version grandpa Joe tells Charlie that Willy Wonka invented chocolate ice that doesn't melt in the sun - right before he tells a story about a Sheik who hired Wonka to build him a castle out of chocolate, which Wonka knew would melt. Guess what gave him the idea of never melting ice cream?

Fridge Heartwarming

  • Willy Wonka's glass elevator has a button for where his father lives. This means that the moment Wonka tracked down where his father moved his practice, he immediately installed a button that would take him there when he found the strength. All that time, he was hoping he'd someday be brave enough to come back...

Fridge Horror

  • Veruca being a bad nut and being put down the chute may seem like a very bad fate, but suppose she had been a good "nut". The squirrels CRACK OPEN good nuts. Remember, the squirrel tapped Veruca's HEAD so would they have opened that up?
    • They couldn’t. Human skulls are just too large and hard.
    • On a different note, what did Mike's face look like at the end?
      • About the same; obviously they stretched him at the shoulders and the ankles.
  • Violet Beauregard? Okay, so her being pumped full of juice and squeezed out left her more flexible, but it also left her blue! For the rest of her life!
    • Maybe not. The coloring might work its way out of her pigmentation over time.
    • On another note, can you imagine the process of "squeezing" done on Violet? Being pressed from all sides until all the juice is out is NOT fun.
      • Unless you're into that sort of thing of course.
      • "Into that sort of thing"? She's a kid!
    • After puberty, will she encounter monthly...pie filling?
      • Seeing as the juice got squeezed out of her and it includes her hair and teeth, she's probably not blue because of juice. And if it being squeezed out of her was harmless, the juice probably never replaced her blood. She'd probably bleed normally, although it might be blue.
  • Unlike in the 1971 film version, in which it is not made clear that Willy Wonka was aiming to have children find the Golden Tickets until the very end, it is clear from very early on that Willy Wonka intends for five children to find the Tickets and win the tour of his factory, as opposed to five people of any age. Then Charlie wins and Willy Wonka tells him that he wants to make him his heir with a Not His Sled twist offer to leave his family behind and never see them again. This man was planning all along to separate any child from his or her family forever.
    • He makes it pretty clear that he doesn't think of that as a bad thing. He thought taking a child away from their family would make them much happier and ultimately better off until Charlie convinced him to talk to his father again.
  • Dr. Wonka somehow moved the entire house from its foundation while his son was away. He must have anticipated his son would rebel and run away.
  • Also, and this applies to the book too, the Oompa Loompas all know, and sing in unison, the songs sung at the children's punishments. Unless they have some kind of group telepathy that I missed, this means that these songs were rehearsed. They, and by extension, Wonka as well, knew EXACTLY how the children were going to mess things up for themselves. The implication being that Wonka did a bit of research on these kids' fatal flaws, and deliberately set up rooms to ensnare them until only Charlie remained.
    • Wonka mentions at one point that about 20 Oompas died of the chewing gum. Why did the first victim's partners not wise up and never eat the gum again? Simple; they did, and were then forced into balls so that the others could practice their choreography.
    • He never said they died; he only said they turned into blueberries.
    • It may instead have been a case of Crazy-Prepared - preparing and rehearsing dozens of song-and-dance numbers with titles like "Mike Teavee / Chocolate Room" and "Charlie Bucket / Mount Fudgemore", only four of which they had to use.
    • That is a pretty cool idea, while Wonka seems to think they are really good at improving songs, if they really did come up with a song for each kid in each room just to poke fun at them, that is some serious Crazy-Prepared level hilariousness. Of course if Wonka did set it all up, it would also make sense. But given the way the book's reality is, them just really be that good at improv may be completely fine at face value.
    • I think once you find out that the whole purpose of the Golden Tickets was to find a child to name as heir, it moves past being just "implied" that Wonka set the entire tour up to weed out the bad kids. Each one of them was specifically placed in situations that suited their respective vices and each one of them gave in to their temptations. Except Charlie. Of course the Oompa-Loompas had songs prepared. They probably had one ready for Charlie as well. The "good at improvising" line is a Suspiciously Specific Denial, after all...
  • The vehicles slowly get smaller as the film goes on. This means that Wonka not only knew which rooms would take out which kids, but he also knew how many people they would lose per room. Also, in the Television Room, there are only enough pairs of glasses for the people who ended up there, but there are none for the other members of the tour who got removed by the incidents. Wonka knew exactly how many people would make it to that point.
  • If you subscribe to the theory that Augustus didn't just end up covered in chocolate, but was actually turned into living chocolate, then the story of Prince Ponidicherry is a stark reminder of what Augustus' ultimate fate will be unless his parents either move somewhere that's cold all year-round, or somehow throw together a Mr. Freeze-style suit for Augustus to live in.

The 2013 Stage Musical

Fridge Brilliance
  • How does the media track down Charlie so quickly when he finds his Golden Ticket? In the novel and other adaptations, Charlie has quite a few witnesses to his opening that fateful Wonka Bar because he's at/near a sweetshop, so word obviously spread quickly, but in this version he buys the candy from a passing vendor and only one other person is around to see him open it. Answer: That's a disguised Willy Wonka, who promptly and anonymously contacts the media once he knows his plan worked!
  • There's a beautiful Double Meaning in the "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" lyrics "For in the end there's quite a prize/If you can see with more than eyes..." Such "sight" can be achieved with the imagination — the primary meaning in context. But the phrase could also refer to "seeing" beyond appearances, as in the True Beauty Is on the Inside Aesop. This is something Charlie does all the time with the discarded items he (as well as his father) brings home from the dump, because while they don't look like much, they are still useful. He also isn't one to judge people by outside appearances; he's kind to whomever he meets, no matter how humble or strange they might be. Alas, come time to Roll Out the Red Carpet, the poor kid is regarded as the least of the Golden Ticket finders just because he's the shabbiest and shyest of the lot — the assembled press can't see beyond appearances and fail to recognize the dreadful people beneath the brats' flashy exteriors. But Willy Wonka can! That's why the boy got his ticket: When Wonka went incognito at the dump as the poor, elderly, grouchy tramp, he witnessed firsthand Charlie's imagination and unconditional kindness, recognized the child's inner beauty, and decided to help him...
  • It may not have been intentional, but Mike Teavee's fate in this version is especially blackly funny for those familiar with Roald Dahl's adult short story "William and Mary". In both, a woman (Mary/Doris Teavee) finds herself confronted with the transformation of a nasty male (William/Mike) into a near-helpless, dependent state. Both men thought participating in a technological experiment would be awesome, but now they're forever subject to the whims of women they've dominated and mistreated.
  • Initially, it's confusing as to why the hidden challenge of the final room requires an order of Wonka's to be disobeyed, since most every version of this story prizes following the rules. But giving The Reveal some thought is a starting point to unlocking what's going on. Willy Wonka knows Charlie is a nice kid, having observed him in the dump; he doesn't have to test his morals. He would likely give Charlie the factory anyway if he followed the rules here, but proof that the boy's creativity is simply second nature to him is a sort of One Hundred Percent Completion!
    • Alternatively/in addition: being an inventor requires being willing to break the rules in order to create new things.
    • It hearkens back to the contract-writing scene, too. "Do as I do, not as I say." Wonka doesn't drink from the chocolate river, he doesn't chew experimental gum, he doesn't attempt to kidnap his nut-cracking squirrels, he doesn't go on jaunts through the television chocolate machine, but he does write in his idea book.
    • To a lesser extent, the other kids failed by taking something they wanted: chocolate, gum, squirrels, and screentime. Charlie was the only one who was giving something; when he sees Wonka's ideas, he starts adding new ones to the notebook, not caring if Wonka would just take them as his own. Wonka was impressed that Charlie wasn't tempted to steal the recipes and show them to Prodnose or Slugworth, which a less-conscientious kid would have done.
  • Related to the above, by the time Charlie and Willy Wonka's jaunt in the Great Glass Elevator is through, the rest of his family has arrived at the factory and been briefed on the boy's triumph. How did that happen so fast? Since Charlie's getting the factory either way, when Wonka takes Grandpa Joe aside to talk "legal matters" it not only allows the final test to take place but lets him spill the beans on what's actually going on, while some Oompa-Loompas are dispatched to collect the rest of the family.
  • Charlie's paper airplane/letter to Willy Wonka flying over the audience and up to the balcony early in Act One is a sweet enough moment as it is...Then one realizes the image has an echo near the end of the show that shows just how far his dreams have come: the Great Glass Elevator, carrying Charlie and Willy Wonka, flies up into the night sky and over the first few rows of the audience.
  • Over at the Headscratchers page, it's been asked why, in all versions, Mr. Wonka chose to close his factory and sack his workforce when he discovered his recipes were being stolen when he might have instituted tighter security measures, etc. instead. This version, without stating it outright, actually provides an interesting explanation if one thinks things through: This Wonka became a confectioner For Happiness, believes in Doing It for the Art, and is terribly sensitive about his work (as artists tend to be). Realizing that rivals were stealing/ripping off the wonderful confections he poured his imagination and heart into — out of envy and greed, seeing it only as a commodity — would have been absolutely soul-crushing for him, perhaps serving as a Cynicism Catalyst. His emotional distress, in conjunction with his established eccentricity, might well have driven him to the extreme measure of closing the factory and only reopening it once he'd found a way to (via the self-contained Oompa-Loompa workforce as it turned out) make his factory virtually self-sufficient, that he might continue to make that outside world a happier place with his creations yet Never Be Hurt Again by those who would find ways to exploit his gifts.
    • It adds credience in the 2017 Broadway version, as it's implied that Wonka has gotten bitter and thus why his actions are the way they are; he went from a man who was inspired to do many great things but gets wrecked by people who aren't exactly great for imaginative people like him. Thus he grew bitter and cold towards the world, but something in Charlie reawakened a part of him when Charlie happily collects Wonka bar wrappers and says they provide joy for him.


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