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Headscratchers / Little Shop of Horrors

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  • At the end of the movie musical, Audrey and Seymour are shown moving into their little house somewhere that's green and tra la la, happy ending, and then a little Audrey II bud is shown growing on the fence outside the house as a sort of or is it to make up for the fact that the original Downer Ending was scrapped. But why is this supposed to be menacing at all? The Audrey II bud is growing outside Seymour and Audrey's house! They're not going to be duped into the whole scenario all over again.
    • They don't necessarily have to be duped into it... It's hinted at in the movie that Audrey II had planned to have stem cuttings done so she could spread farther and farther, and eventually, she'll be planted somewhere where they haven't heard of Seymour... and the cycle will repeat.
      • Or, for that matter, somebody could end up walking past their house, spot that "strange and interesting plant", and away we go again!
      • Only, if it's in Seymour and Audrey's yard, there's little chance that Seymour would sell the plant, and, if he discovered the plant, would likely just let it die.
      • Was I the only one to notice the SPORES that flew when Audrey II aploded? The ending implied that the plant did, in fact, manage to spread.
      • for the troper who said Seymour just let it die while we do know Audrey II needs humans what's to stop this one from feeding on stray cat's until it can get an actual human like say a child to eat?
      • Maybe he not only lets it die, but kills it himself.
  • Audrey II's plan in general after killing everyone in the original ending of the movie and the play's ending. If you bought a plant that demanded to be fed human blood, would you feed the damn thing? So, how was Audrey II ever going to dominate the world with its ultra sized brethren seen in the original ending if it couldn't get any other plants to grow? Seems like a common case of 1. Spread all over the world 2. ?????? 3. Profit!
    • The POINT of the musical was that people are indeed corrupt enough to feed said plant.
    • Let's cue back to the "Skid Row" scene. Everyone in town, including Audrey who is the sweetest and kindest-hearted of them, whine and mourn that their lives are tragic and they deserve more money and resources than they already have. There's no hope in making any bread no matter how hard you work your job, and that proves why people (save Seymour) are willing to do anything to get rich, even if the only way possible was to feed blood to an evil plant.
      • I'd say its the same reason why certain animals create swarms of children: most of them wouldn't survive. Let's say the Audrey II makes a 100,000 clippings. 90,000 of those plants wither and die (or simply remain small and cute). 10,000 households realize that AIIs need blood to grow. 500 of those households don't go any farther than letting their AI suck on their finger occasionally. Out of 100,000 clippings, maybe 5-10 households would kill people and feed them to their plants for promised rewards. Since the AIIs were sure to be massive sellers, multiply these numbers by 10. 200-300 massive plants all over the Earth...
      • The point is that ALL humans are selfish and have selfish reasons to kill people. "And got sweet-talked into feeding them blood." That quote from Don't Feed the Plants should have explained enough.
      • Once again, the main hold Audrey had over Seymour was that it was unique, remove the uniqueness and it can't do anything for its owner.
      • Some People are into getting etten Vore
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    • People might also be willing to feed the plant if they lacked human relationships. Even before the plant gained the ability to talk it was capable of enough movement to feign affection had it wanted to. Once it got larger, you have something that can even give a vine "hug" and tell you what you want to hear. As in an abusive relationship, slowly making the person more and more dependent on the plant to fulfill his or her emotional needs could make that person willing to tolerate things that are clearly not okay in order to keep the relationship. With the added manipulation of "I'll die if you don't help me; I need you." Some plants could manipulate people who did have friends and family into becoming dependent on them, isolating them, then going with the old, "They abandoned you but I love you, I never will."
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    • It was implied that thousands upon thousands of Audrey II's were sold, but we only saw about half a dozen giant ones in the climax, suggesting that * most* of them didn't reach that size. Besides that, I think if you have a sapient creature living in your house, you'd be reluctant to let it starve to death. And note that the song said "got sweet-talked into feeding it blood". They never said what kind of blood. True, Audrey II prefers human flesh and doesn't like processed meat, but in a pinch, live animal meat would surely be just as good. And all that aside, a plant that eats humans whole would be an excellent corpse disposal, ensuring at least a couple criminals would want one.
      • Agreeing with the above statement, most pet snakes need to be fed mice to stay alive. After a few feedings of those, the Audrey IIs will be big enough to talk and move, about the size the original was during "Feed Me." At that point, it would be really easy for them to snap off hands and arms of anyone that got too close.
      • Audrey II only kept Seymour around because Seymour kept feeding him. Also notice that Audrey II gets large enough to move, talk and devour an entire human being (albeit a chopped up one) after just feeding on drops of Seymour's blood. Once there's an Audrey II in every household in America, there's no worry about the species easily dying out, and as shown in the alternate ending, as soon as they're big enough, they start eating people. It's easier to convince the masses to feed a plant drops of blood, and by the time eating people comes into it, the masses don't have a choice.
  • Why didn't Seymour lock the doors to the shop to ensure that no one from outside the shop can enter except for himself? The shop is now home to a hungry giant man-eating plant and he knows that! Who else would know that?
    • Mushnik used to be the store's owner and he may have had the keys with him when Audrey II ate him for dinner, that way Seymour couldn't make copies of the key. Also, Mushnik's death wasn't reported yet and Seymour of course couldn't (let alone would) prove Mushnik died so that he can gain rights to the shop himself.
    • Seymour may have thought that Audrey II wouldn't dare eat his girlfriend, under the condition that Seymour would destroy her as retaliation otherwise. Seymour of course didn't know that bullets and axes wouldn't work until he tried using them.
  • I think the happy ending is a piece of shit. The reason I liked Little Shop of Horrors enough to go all fanboy-crazy and make my username Audrey II was because of the MORAL. Even with all the musical numbers, it simply boils down to a Deal with the Devil story. I just wanted to make sure it was understood that I have some bias. Now that we have THAT out of the way...if Audrey II only grows after eating blood, how does it grow the pods in the happy ending rendition of Mean Green Mother? It makes sense in the original ending, because Two-ey had just eaten Audrey. Did Two-ey get some of Audrey's blood while she was in his mouth? Enough to create a dozen offsprings without mortally wounding Audrey? Suuuuure.
    • While I prefer the original ending, I think the happy ending is appropriate if you look at the 1986 movie as a spoof of 1950s movie musicals, which tended to have happy endings.
    • Also they added the happy Ending and scrapped the original ending because test audiences hated it.
      • Also, the original ending isn't really faithful to the play, in that it's not really meant to be played seriously in the play as it is here. In the play, Seymour, Audrey, and Mushnik appear as buds and sing "Don't feed the Plants", for example.
    • It makes more sense for the way Seymour is portrayed in the movie vs the play. In the movie, Seymour doesn't have much time to think about what's going on when he kills both Orin and Mushnik. Plus, they BOTH were portrayed as terrible people in the movie, what with Mushnik blackmailing Seymour into giving him the plant. If Seymour had let him live, things could have been even worse. In the play,however, Seymour thinks about it and makes a decision before killing both of them. There's an entire song where the Orin is begging for his life, and if you take the jokes out of it, it really is horrifying. Then there's no blackmail in the play. Mushnik is just doing his civic duty and keeping a probable murderer off the streets, and more importantly, out of his shop. Does he have ulterior motives? Sure, maybe, depending on how it's played. But it's still not likely that Seymour understands that intention. In fact, one could argue that Mushnik is the only male character who could ever be considered as a decent human being. After all, he took Seymour out of the orphanage and gave him a place to stay, even after he turned out to be a useless lump of a person AND he's the first person to tell Audrey that Orin is bad news. Despite him getting frustrated with them sometimes, he really did care for his employees and tried to help them whenever he could, so long as it didn't cost him anything. In spite of all he owes Mushnik, and the fact that Mushnik had done nothing wrong, Seymour stone cold killed the guy by tricking him into the plant. In the movie it looked almost like Seymour tried to stop him from going into the plant. The movie tried too hard to have Seymour be sympathetic and ended up changing the character to the point where he didn't deserve to die. After all, what did he do wrong? In the play, the only way for Seymour to atone for his sins is to sacrifice himself in an attempt to reverse his mistakes.
      • No no no, Mushnik is NOT a good person. Considering he took Seymour in as a kid, and Seymour says he never finished grade school, he couldn’t have been older than 10 when Mushnik took him in, seeing as we can fill in the blanks and assume he never finished school because Mushnik needed him to work. That doesn’t inherently mean bad parenting, but we can assume that the way Mushnik treats Seymour is how he’s ALWAYS treated him, and the lines “you always said that I was trash/I was joking” in Mushnik and a Son confirm that. And on top of being a verbally abuse foster parent, he neglected to care for Seymour’s physical needs as well, as Seymour says that Mushnik made him sleep under the counter and fed him crusts of bread—not to mention only getting every other Sunday off. That’s abusive parenting
  • The thing that's always bothered me is, exactly what is Audrey II's gender? It has a masculine voice, but neither it nor Seymore ever lampshade its effeminate name. To top that off, it refers to itself as "A mean green mother", but is this meant to illustrate the dozens of new pods are its children, or is it just a polite way of saying "motherfucker"? I see people using either pronoun for it all the time. Or does the fact that it's a plant from another planet mean it doesn't even have a gender?
    • Even on Earth, it's fairly rare for a plant to have just one gender. Most species - including the Venus flytrap - produce flowers with both male and female sex organs (stamens and pistils). So I'd say Audrey II is a hermaphrodite, like most plants. The script for the stage version, by the way, always refers to the plant as "it". But "mother" definitely means "motherfucker".
    • Not that this really determines anything at all, but it did seem to favor the ladies. In the waiting room of the radio station, it tried to get a chomp out of the receptionist's backend, and when Audrey discovers it can talk, it tried to get a peak under her dress.
    • Some adaptations actually have Audrey II voiced by a girl so they can creep out the audience. If you imagine all "her" parts sung in a feminine voice, the whole idea of a man-eating (pardon the pun) plant becomes a bit more disturbing.
  • Why is the the song "Mean Green Mother" not "Mean Green Monster"? Audrey II is singing a Villain Song, so monster would make more sense.
    • To keep with continuity and tone. "Mother" is short for "motherfucker", which is a slang term of urban roots. The musical styling of the songs throughout is primarily urban "doo-wop" and "Motown", so it makes sense in that respect.
    • Also, Rule of Cool. "Mother" sounds better and more Audrey II-ish than "monster", don't you think?
    • In addition to the above points, "mother" also plays off the ending of the story, whereas "monster" would merely be a straightforward description.
    • It's also a smoother lyric. "Monster" has a conspicuous and unavoidable glottal stop in the middle, meaning it'd be harder and more awkward-sounding in a fast-paced, flowing song. Audrey II worked as well as it did in the movie because of Levi Stubbs' goddamn amazing performance, and all his best songs have that flowing quality that depend on a buildup of more rounded, softer sounds that end in hard, chunky, emphasized consonants ("Feed Me" is probably the easiest place to see it; "Does this look inanimate to you, punk?"). Having "monster" instead of "mother" would be like having a speed bump in the middle of the lyric.
  • So, in the beginning, they make a big deal about how the plants were this huge threat to the human race. How? I mean, the sheer improbability of discovering the plant wants blood, then killing people to feed your plant, all this to get a plant that can be taken down by Rick Moranis. Versus, say, a missile, or even just a gun-happy hillbilly, the Audrey II doesn't seem like it stands much of a chance.
    • Well, I agree that the probability of discovering that the plant needs blood to grow is pretty low, but it is smart enough that it, most likely, could have found ways to talk a large variety of people into killing for it. The main problem is that 1. When did it start being able to talk and 2. How many people would have let it drink their blood until it got to that point? As for it being taken down by Rick Moranis in the original ending it wasn't defeated and it was implied that the plants were surviving a lot of military force.
    • Regarding the blood-feeding, the Alls wouldn't even have to promise fame all the time- people can get very attached to their plants. A very lonely person with just a plant for company would probably be overjoyed when that plant started to react to him or her, certainly considering it worth a bit of blood. Once the plant reached the point where it could talk, well, if you felt like you had only one friend in the world, you might be willing to do some pretty extreme things to keep that friend. That might actually work better than the "fame and fortune" angle until the time came to spread more cuttings/seedlings/spores, since the human would be more likely to keep the plant a secret.
  • Where do the people Audrey II eats go? If it swallows them, the only place for them to go would be down into it's pot, and it doesn't seem like there would be room there. Does it just have an incredibly fast digestive system? Is it part Yoshi?
    • Audrey II told us in the original sad ending. When she grabs human Audrey, she mockingly asks her to come join her "dentist dream" and Mushnik, as "They're right inside!". So the answer is, they've got nowhere to go, they'll stay there forever.
    • Perhaps it it's head since that's the biggest part about the plant.
      • This troper would have agreed, but during two scenes which involved it's feeding, there showed an open throat that was big enough to fit two people.
  • Why does Seymour assume Audrey II need human blood anyway? Although he asks "Does it have to be human? Does it have to be mine?" in "Feed Me," it only responds with "feed me." Obviously the blood doesn't have to be Seymour's, and the only reason it can't come from a blood bank is because it has to be fresh. We never even see him try to toss a pig in the thing's mouth.
    • Before the song starts he says he'll go down to the butcher's and get some sirloin, and Twoie says it "must be blood". Never explicitly says he needs human, no, but even if he doesn't, he implies it in a way that could "accidentally" give Seymour the wrong idea.
    • There's one line just before the climax where Seymour complains that Twoey "won't touch a mouse or anything," implying he did try it. Given Twoey's nature, it's debatable whether Twoey can't eat non-human blood, or if he just won't.
    • On the other hand, when Seymor makes it clear that he won't kill anymore and offers to go and get some "ground round", Audrey II reluctantly agrees to that. It's quite possible that the plant can feed on any kind of bloody, raw meat, but it just preffers it to be human because, well, it's evil.
  • The main page used to say "it's okay to commit homicide, as long as you're really sorry for it." But Seymour doesn't actually ever kill anybody. What the fuck?
    • He gets people killed in the musical. Particularly with Mushnik; in the stage production, he lures him towards Audrey II's mouth so that Audrey II can eat him. He doesn't commit homicide himself but he is pretty much responsible for the murders.
    • Yeah, and in "Just The Gas" he even acknowledges it:
      Seymour: True the gun was never fired,
      But the way events transpired,
      I could finish him with simple laissez faire
    • The guy had enough time to help, at least in the stage musical- Orrin has two verses of pleading with him before dying- and flat out tells Mushnik to get uncomfortably close to a hungry man-eating plant in both versions, though there might be enough reasonable doubt in the movie.
      • In the movie he does. In the stage version, Seymour tells Mushnik his money is in the plant, so Mushnik steps in and gets chomped on and eventually eaten.
    • This is why I consider the happy ending to be way more appropriate for the film than the play's ending would have been, because in the film Seymour is so much less culpable that he no longer deserves to die in karmic punishment. Additionally, the tone of the first half doesn't come across as the brutally dark satire it needs to be for the ending to work ("Suddenly Seymour" for instance, becomes the saddest song ever sung in retrospect).
      • It's the same for a lot of people, hence the changed ending. But it depends on how you read Seymour: in the play, he's an out and out murderer who uses his lack of direct aggression as an excuse for himself. In the movie, he's either the victim of a manipulative plant who doesn't deserve to die at all and ultimately does try to do the right thing in the end (it just doesn't save him in the original ending), or, he's selfish and weak-willed to the point that even if he wants someone dead, he refuses to get his hands dirty to make it happen. He's not a good person, he's just too cowardly to be as bad as he actually is.
  • In the movie, Seymour has to sneak across Audrey II's vines, trying to get away without waking the plant. He fails, and Audrey II wakes up. However when Seymour comes out of the Muschnik's before the song "Suddenly Seymour", he comes out from an outside set of steps, directly connected to his room in the basement. Why didn't Seymour just sneak out that way at the end of the movie?
    • Rational thinking is hard to do when you've committed murder thanks to a giant man-eating plant.
    • The steps lead out to the same alleyway that Seymour used to drag Orrin's body back to the shop, where Mushnik saw him. Granted it would have been the smarter thing to do, to avoid having to cross Audrey II's path, but Seymour's a coward fleeing the scene of (at this point) several crimes. It mattered more to him to keep up appearances (dressing nicely to leave the store through the front, as opposed to sneaking around in a suit and leaving through a gross alley) and avoid suspicion. Keep in mind, he's not actually afraid of Audrey II yet, because he thinks Audrey II still depends on him for food and, perfectly in character, all he thinks he needs to do to kill it is to do nothing at all.
  • During 'Da Doo' when he was explaining how he found the plant he says that "Suddenly without warning there was a solar eclipse." What does he mean, surely he would've noticed the moon in the sky all day, and a solar eclipse is rarely ever played down inthe media or newspaper.
    • It's implied that the eclipse was the spaceship that delivered Audrey II covering the sun.
    • You can't watch the moon in the sky all day before a solar eclipse anyway - solar eclipses always happen at the new moon by definition - the far side is lit by the sun, not the near side.
    • If it was really the moon it still doesn't make since for Seymore not to notice the moon in the sky next to the sun on a perfectly clear day. If the solar eclipse was really a space ship, then astronomers should've noted that it wasn't the moon that completely blocked the sun. Also, how big was this spaceship to block the sun and no astronomer notice. Or how close was it for no one to notice?
    • Seymour only calls it a total eclipse of the sun. It's probably a byproduct of the seed pods' FTL travel.
    • Alright, well then why didn't anyone else notice the giant flying ship? Especially scientists who spend their lives looking at the sky.
      • They might have. Remember, all the characters live on Skid Row. They're probably not up on the latest science news and discoveries, being too busy trying to pay the bills and keep food on the table.
      • Actually people did notice. At the beginning of the movie Mushnik is reading a newspaper with its headline about the mysterious eclipse.
  • Why does everyone seem to hate the film's ending? I thought it was fitting (if a bit sarcastic), given how much less culpable Seymour was in Orin and Mushnik's deaths, and the changes to Mushnik and Orin themselves.
    • People who prefer the stage ending to the film's ending tend to prefer the general arc of the stage version to the general arc of the film version. They find "guy kills people, and recieves the consequences for it" more satisfying than "guy sort-of-maybe-accidentally kills two people and then defeats the antagonist".
    • I didn't mind them adding a happy ending as long it was well-done, but this felt really tacked on. Plus they cut out an awesome song.
    • Yeah, it would've been better if they played "Don't Feed The Plants" when we see the little Audrey II. Not great, but better.
  • "I swear on all my spores"...Hang on, Audrey II, you have spores? Then how come you waited around for some people to come in a truck and cut you to pieces before you invaded the world with your offspring? (Then again, it could be argued that nothing Audrey II says should be trusted.)
    • "Have I lied to you? ...I mean, today?"
    • Remember that Audrey II is very intelligent and meticulously planned out her quest for world domination. She first needed Seymour to help her grow big, and the bigger she grew, the more popular and sensational she became which would increase the anticipated demand for her offspring. So it was a matter of how beguiled people get with her offspring, not how quickly she can reproduce.
  • Orin's dentist shop seems to get a fair amount of business, and Skid Row is swarming with people. I realize it was pretty late in the evening, but I still can't help but wonder how Seymour managed to drag Orin's body back to the shop without being seen.
    • "Excuse me. I'm just bringing this bag of compost to the plant shop."
  • Dr. Martin wants to give every household in America a tiny Audrey II, and he's going to have a huge ad campaign and market the little plants all across the country—despite having no idea what they eat? Wouldn't you think he'd try to find out so he wouldn't get sued by hundreds of angry people whose Audrey II s died on them? Who sells a plant without care instructions of any kind?
  • If every household in America has an Audrey II, how can the plants "offer you fortune and fame"? The only reason Seymour made money off the original plant is that it was the only one of its kind and people came from far and wide to see it. What would the offspring entice their owners with? "I'll be a slightly bigger plant than the one the neighbor's have?"
    • Or given that Audrey II can truly sing, her offspring might entice their owners with getting them fortune through singing catchy songs.
    • Well, Audrey II would still be the original, and since everyone would want one of their own, he could profit off of people getting a man-eating plant as well. After all, what makes more money than MERCHANDISING!
    • The musical seems to imply that the plan has SOME sort of powers beyond being a cool plant, possibly some sort of reality warping or mind control. The sheer coincidence by which people happen to notice the strange and interesting plant at first, or the way that Audrey hears a voice in her head saying to go back to the shop and talk to Seymour, eventually leading to her getting eaten, would imply that the plant has some sort of power.
  • The moral of the story is "Don't feed the plants", so in the Focus Group Ending, why do Seymour and Audrey move to the suburbs using the money that Seymour made off of feeding the plant?
    • Would it have made more sense to burn it and stay on skid row forever? Regardless of how he got it, they money was there. They may as well use it to start a new life together.
  • Why does no one, not even Audrey, seem to care that Mr. Mushnik has abruptly disappeared, especially so soon after the same thing happened to Orin?
    • Nobody much liked Dr. Scrivello anyways, and I think Seymour told Audrey that Mr. Mushnik had to very suddenly go on vacation and left him in charge.
      • Yes. In the stage version at least, Seymour said that Mr. Mushnik left a note saying that he had to visit his sister in Czechoslovakia.
  • In "Closed for Renovation" they say that it'll only be closed for one day. They also say that they'll be repainting, retiling, changing the plumbing, and installing a new refrigerated display. How can any small business, especially with only three employees, do that much renovation in one day?
    • Hiring competent workers for an all-day job, assuming that the plumbing changes is just fixing leaks or replacing individual pipes and not refitting the entire building. A refrigerated display just means plugging in a cooler in front of the shop windows, retiling crappy linoleum is easy because in a dump like that, it's probably just stick-ons or cheap laminate instead of actual ceramic, and painting with a proper crew doesn't take more than a few hours.
  • Seymour seems to think he relies on the plant more than he really does during "The Meek Shall Inherit". His TV show offer is about regular gardening, not about the Audrey II, and the plant only needs to stay alive for the photo op as far as the Life Magazine deal goes. The only thing that seems like it requires the plant at all is the lecture tour, which is stated to be about the plant.
    • In addition, I see at least two major problems with the lecture tour idea. First: people will notice the mysterious disappearances during Seymour's stays, and may see a pattern emerge. Second: He doesn't know much about the plant beyond what it eats, and would he really tell people across the world what he's been feeding it?
    • It's almost like Seymour struggles with low self image and doesn't think he's worth anything without his plant. And in the play, that's exactly what he decides anyway. As soon as he finds out that Audrey would still love him without the plant, he sets his mind on killing the plant right after Life Magazine takes the picture, taking the TV job, and moving far away with Audrey. That's not really a great plan in and of itself either, but he's under a lot of pressure, probably sleep deprived, not thinking straight, and not a very smart guy to begin with.
  • OK, so Audrey II is dead, Seymour and Audrey move into the suburbs and everything is nice and dandy... But what happened to all the contracts Seymour signed about the plant? If reality ensued, he'd be sued to his last cent for breach of contract, lose all the money and they'd have to move back to a Crapsack World like Skid Row.
    • I always figured Seymour would have had to come up with a believable story for the cops to explain what happened to the shop, unless he wanted to be locked up for murder or committed to an asylum by telling the truth. If he went with a story about a structural collapse or a gas-main explosion, the destruction of the plant would have appeared to be completely out of his hands, and proving breach of contract would have likely been difficult in such circumstances.
    • My two cents is that (a) Seymour invoked force majeur in his contracts so he can wriggle out of them without penalties, though he will have to return the balances of fees paid minus expenses, and (b) sued the estate of the late Mushnik to the ground for maintaining an unsafely wired and gas-leaky work place that incidentally also blew Mushnik and Orin into smithereens (except for some understandably small tissue traces) and collected big after the insurance companies paid up for the lost lives and ruined place. Audrey will be a co-plaintiff as an endangered employee plus an addition action to compensate her for the mental distress etc. for being so cruelly deprived of her dentist boyfriend who just so happen to be visiting that evening to admire her wedding gown tryout for their upcoming nuptials. There won't be a dry eye at that insurance adjucation, and she will collect a nice, fat sum too.
  • According to the song "Mushnik & Son", Mr. Mushnik doesn't have enough money to feed himself, yet he can afford a lawyer?
    • The lawyer might be a relative?
    • Some lawyers work cheap or even free. Or don't even expect payment until case closed.
  • Upon looking closer at the inside of Audrey II's mouth in the original film ending, it seems to have molars. Why does it need molars if it only eats meat, and presumably doesn't eat other plants?


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