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Of Debbie, Electrocution, And Idiot Balls
- Why is Debbie's final gambit in Addams Family Values to try to kill the Addamses with an array of electric chairs? First, the first movie established that the Addamses electrocute each other for fun all the time, so one hardly thinks they were in any danger to begin with. Fine, let's suppose that Debbie wouldn't necessarily know this, so even if it makes for a kind of weak climax, it still makes sense from her point of view. Except
no. Her very first murder attempt on Fester was also with electricity, and she did find out about Fester's inexplicable immunity. So what did she expect the electric chairs to do?
- Considering the amount of electricity she used to the point that she was turned into ashes when it backfired, it' likely that she took extra measures to be sure it will annihilate them, I mean, the charge was so high that she clearly expected them to be turn into ashes, so it was not just a regular electrocution. On the other hand they do seem genuinely worried (Fester begs her to let the others go and Gomez and Morticia say good bye to each other whilst holding hands) thus you can argue that even they suspected that the electricity doses would be lethal even for them.
What Category Does Gomez Fit Into?
- It's obvious with the other members of the family what sort of unworldly "monster" they are meant to be - vampire, werewolf-thing, mad scientist, witch, evil unearthly child, etc. But Gomez. I've never been able to work him out. Whose culture and folklore is he a monster to, and what sort of monster? He just looks generically creepy but not in a way that evoked any particular trope. Is his being a lawyer enough on its own?
- Gomez is a sweet but energetic parody of the Great White Hunter who often interacted with "exotic" types, including the unworldly. Think of him as a zany Allan Quartermaine (H. Rider Haggard). That is why he lives in a home filled with taxidermied animals, he studies "orientalist" and "arabesque" novelties such as his parody of yoga, his personal physician is an African Witch Doctor, and he uses Gentleman Adventurer diction such as referring genially to adult male guests as "Old Man" and praising something with the phrase, "Capital idea!"
- The Addams Family was originally intended to combine stereotypes associated with degenerate aristocrat families in classical Gothic novels with the idealized nuclear family as depicted in television shows in the 50's and 60's, juxtaposing the two for comedic effect (though much of this effect is lost on modern audiences.) There just happens to be a lot of overlap between the Gothic and Horror genres.
- Not sure about other depictions, but Raul Julia's swashbuckling antics seem to represent a Gomez who evokes the image of the dashing *slayer* of monsters. If that's the case, then the fact that he obviously has more in common with the "monsters" than with society at large is not terribly unsurprising.
- My take on it was that Gomez was a non-supernatural human, but had gone insane.
- Technically only Grandmama is actively supernatural. Morticia only dresses like a vampire, mad scientists and serial killers aren't magic, etc. The original comic Gomez does, however, look like some depictions of a werewolf's human form.
- The Addams family are not supposed to be direct allusions to movie monsters like their counterparts, the Munsters. They're just supposed to be a supernaturally goth family that enjoys things "normal" people find horrifying (death, rotting, pain, the occult, darkness, and nightmares, etc).
- Either that or he's Nyarlathotep.
- Interesting feedback. I started to wonder if given the name Gomez, he was representative of something not entirely wholesome in Mexican, or possibly wider Latin-American, folklore and horror - something associated with the Day of the Dead in Mexico, for instance, or perhaps a well-dressed stylish Zombie.
- I figured he was meant to be a werewolf, based entirely on that intense stare he gives in the intro. It just didn't come through very well during the performance.
Debbie's Romance (or Lack Thereof)
- So on America's Most Disgusting Unsolved Crimes early in Addams Family Values, Captain Oveur says that the Black Widow targets wealthy men, seduces them, marries them, and then kills them on the wedding night for the insurance/inheritance. But then later during her slideshow, Debbie makes it pretty clear that she marries for love (or whatever) and stays with it for a couple of years before killing her husband when he really pisses her off.
- The bigger question is, why does Debbie even bother killing her husbands anyway? She obviously could live the luxurious life she wants if they stay alive like she did with Fester.
- It's possible after the times she got pissed off and killed her husband, Debbie decided "okay, no one seems to really love me so I'll just marry guys and kill them to take their money." Or something like that. Remember she did try to kill Fester on their wedding night. The ones on the slideshow were the ones she really cared about when she married them.
- She also killed her parents before that. I think the idea is that nobody can live up to her insane demands, so after repeated disappointments she just starts killing them off, to begin with.
- Debbie was a complete sociopath. They are selfish and arrogant even when they're not complete psychopaths. She believes that the world revolves around her, that she's always right, that she deserves to have everything she wants, and she's without any sense of empathy for others. She thinks nothing she does is wrong; all those people she killed? They deserved it.
- There are two possible answers to this, as far as I can see:
- 1) Debbie is a true black widow like the news paints her out to be and she just uses the emotional stuff to justify her crimes to herself and her victims
- 2) Debbie is a sociopath who does indeed get emotionally attached and then responds to the smallest slights with murder, but since she hasn't been caught by the police yet, the news is only reporting the currently accepted theory about her motivations.
Fester's Love Life
- The idea in Addams Family Values is that Fester is desperate for a girlfriend, leading him to settle for Debbie. Yet in the first movie, didn't Gomez say in the past he was jealous of Fester's great love life? Remember, Fester was dating the twins Flora and Fauna Amore, and Gomez stole them away? Then suddenly Fester can't get anyone else because... why? This is a family that managed to marry off Cousin Itt, after all.
- I always assumed that Gomez's thinking that Fester was more attractive than him was just the result of Gomez being delusional and that women only ever showed an interest in Fester because he was the eldest son in a wealthy family. Once it became apparent that he wasn't going to be taking possession of the house (and control of the family fortune along with it) women would have stopped bothering with him.
- Don't know what you're talking about. Cousin Itt is a catch.
- Possibly, after having been away so long, all his former cousins/girlfriends are married by now.
- Fester lost his skill with women as he got older, perhaps?
- Fester was also gone for 25 years, during which time he had amnesia and was living as "Gordon". He got his memories back at the end of the first film, but note that both Gordon and Fester have Manchild tendencies; it's possible that due to his unique situation, he never really "matured". Gomez has become a rather suave and capable adult; Fester basically stayed mentally as an adolescent and isn't as capable of handling an adult relationship.
- Note that Fester identifies himself as a virgin in "Values". Perhaps Gomez's memories of Fester's success with women aren't quite in sync with reality.
- Gomez and reality are, at best, passing acquaintances anyhow.
- Gomez isn't really on speaking terms with common sense either. Come to think of it, only Morticia and Lurch seem to consistently use it.
- Maybe, young as he was, his success with women didn't lead to sex?
- He could be jealous of Gomez and Morticias stable relationship. One thing is to have a lot of love conquest and another is to have a solid marriage and a family.
- Two things to remember: first, women (in general) want different things at different ages. Fester's supposed success with women was mostly when he was a teenager or his young twenties, apparently. At that point his immaturity probably seemed "adorable" and "boyish", and that combined with his wealth and apparent eccentricity would have been very attractive... but not so much when he's a middle-aged man. Second, Fester is obviously socially awkward and rather oblivious, even by Addams standards... he could have been absolutely dripping with women throwing themselves at him and not even noticed it, but obviously Gomez would have.
- Isn't kind of implied, or at least left ambiguous, that he is Gordon Craven, and he made-up the amnesia thing in order to stay with the Addams? He looks at the camera when Wednesday is telling the story sarcastically and we see him shaving the head even as Fester is shown in the old family tapes to be naturally hairless. If that's the case that could explain the differences between what young Fester Addams and Fester!Gordon sexual experiences.
- The look on his face in that scene is one of embarrassment. They're telling the story of how he got amnesia and he gives a look of shame. He even covers his face at one point to indicate this. Also, he couldn't be lying, because he lights a lightbulb up with his mouth and in Values, he survives a toaster being thrown into his bathtub. Those are Addams traits, so he couldn't be a normal human masquerading as an Addams.
- The complicity look is when he's closing the doors. But in any case, if he's the original Fester is hard to explain why he shaves his head and is not naturally bald as he was like that since he was a kid (and in case your answer is going to be, maybe he shaves his head since he's a kid, then that causes another question; why Wednesday acts like she finds out that he isn't the real Fester when she discovers he and Mrs. Craven shaving his head and they both act like "Damn, the kid catch us!" unless shaving is something Fester doesn't need to do).
- Wednesday also heard them talking about getting the Addamses' money and needing to get Gordon into the vault. I think that's what did it. Not really the shaving.
- It seems that according to Word of God he did intend Fester to be Gordon Craven who makes a HeelFace Turn at the end, but the actors preferred it to be the actual Fester, and to some degree, you can see the clues for Sonnenfeld's original ending, so I guess both options are left to the viewers' discretion.
- One thing that seems baffling is the relation that the widely-contested Addams Family Reunion has with The New Addams Family. One, how did The New Addams Family get picked up for a series? It is true that Addams Family Reunion was the pilot for The New Addams Family, but it was a major flop. Were there just enough people who actually liked it that The New Addams Family became a full-fledged series? The other confusing matter is that if Addams Family Reunion failed, how come The New Addams Family gets a lot of praise, and without the classic Vic Mizzy theme?
- In truth, whether or not people liked Reunion wasn't what mattered. The point the producers were trying to get across was that the big-budgeted look of the Paramount movies could reproduce for the small screen. Reunion... did that, I guess, to a sufficient enough extent for the go-ahead on The New Addams Family to be given. As far as the difference in reception goes, The New Addams Family simply tried to be more like the original 1960s series, which did — and still does — get a fair bit of praise. Reunion, however, just suffered from bad writing, horrible jokes, and an overall misguided attempt to combine the madcap, cheesy '60s-type humor of the original series with the more sophisticated, laid-back tone of the Paramount movies.
- The New Addams Family is probably no one's favorite version, but it has the heart in the right place, charismatic actors doing their best, and was as close to the 60s show as it can get. Is hard to hate it because probably for most fans is at least harmless. Reunion on the other hand is mean-spirited and lazy with an underused cast that is clearly not invested and a failed effort to mimic the dark humor of the movies that missed the mark epically.
I Need a Hand in Figuring This Out
- At the end of Family Values, whose hand was it that popped out of Debbie's grave, and what happened to the nerdy kid afterward?
- It's Thing.
- You sure about that? I clearly saw an arm, not just a hand.
- It was Thing and his cousin, Another.
- Perhaps Debbie came back as a zombie, or Wednesday stuck the fake arm in herself. As for what happened to the nerdy kid, I had this thought that he died from being freaked out.
Who Are They Singing To, Anyway?
- Something I never noticed until my last viewing of the first film. During the intro, is it just me, or are the carollers standing in a circle singing to each other instead of to the residents?
- No, they're standing in a straight choral line up and the camera is panning over them. It just feels like it's moving in a circle because we're so zoomed in on their faces. They're standing in the front yard singing out toward the street, rather than sing at a closed door. I think this is normal for carolers but I could be wrong.
Sight on Thing
- This might be more of a general Addams Family question but how does Thing see? OK, maybe he feels his way along the ground (or whatever he's touching), but what about when he was spying on Fester in Addams Family Values?
- This is your problem with a self-mobile disembodied hand?
- Well, Thing is a bit of a mystery. He got a crush on another living hand named "Lady Fingers" in one episode, got sad in "Uncle Fester's Illness", and got angry in "Mother Lurch Visits", so he clearly has emotions. It is unknown where they come from, though. And we also see a picture of his parents, who are just two hands holding hands and it's unknown how they "made" him or what "species" he is. And again, he can clearly see (and hear), but it is not revealed how. Not sure if this raises questions or answers or a bit of both.
- Back in the 1960s when the original TV series aired and then during its heyday in re-runs in the 1970s, a common fan theory was that Thing was a multi-armed Cthulhuan entity in a pocket dimension and the hand we saw was the only part of him that extruded into our reality. There was even fan art of what Thing actually looked like in his native dimension. This was used to explain why Thing could teleport from box or box or even into a mailbox or tree bore, why Thing was sometimes a left hand and sometimes a right hand, why Thing sometimes included an entire forearm, and how Thing always seemed to be aware of what was going on around him and the location of the nearest box or container. However, that fan theory has pretty much disappeared from public memory at this point in time.
- well episode "Morticia Meets Royalty" shows there's an entire species of disembodied hands around: Thing meets Lady Fingers who is the literal handmaiden of Gomez' aunt who is royal by marriage and is later (for a while) replaced by an older and uglier hand. Answering the headscratcher at least in the TV show for what we can take from Thing's and other of his species movements and reactions they see through their fingertips. Things are murkier in the movies where the "sight" seems to be located around the wrist.
Why did Wednesday Run Away?
- In the original movie, when Wednesday learns someone is posing as Fester, she runs off. What does she do with this important, vital information? Bring it to one of her parents? No. Why does she run off and fall asleep in a small mausoleum?
- Maybe she was really heartbroken and cried herself to sleep. She may be an Addams, but she's still a little kid.
- She ran away and hid to avoid being caught by Gordon's mother and ended up hiding so long that she fell asleep. As the troper above points out, she's just a little kid, and little kids sometimes nod off.
You Don't Play Your Cards Right
- Why was there an Amy Fisher card in the "Schizos and Serial Killers" trading card collection? Technically she's neither; she never actually killed anybody.
- It's - uh... It's a rookie card.
- She's still insane, so she obviously falls under the "Schizo" section.
The Mysteries of Fester
- Why does Fester have electrical superpowers and why can he eat everything?
- He's an Addams.
- The movie MILDLY explains part 1. He got struck by magical lightning from a book. It never...QUITE faded away. The latter? He's an Addams.
- In the TV series, each Addams seems to have an individual talent for ignoring some part of ordinary reality (in addition to the family's general invulnerability to things that would kill regular human beings). Fester had his electricity, Morticia could produce smoke curling outward from her body, Ophelia grew flowers atop her head, Gomez produced cigars from his pockets that were already lit, etc.
On Blood Being Thicker than Water
- When Gomez says that blood is Thicker Than Water, Morticia replies "Thank heavens". What does that mean?
- Well, if blood was thinner than water when you cut someone it would all just come gushing out way too fast, you wouldn't have time to enjoy it. Plus it would probably throw off the consistency of various cooking.
Isn't Morticia a little bit Out of Character
in "Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor"? She and Gomez were only pretending to fight but then she thought he was serious and didn't accept his apology. Even worse was when she wouldn't let him go to bed and he had to sleep on the couch. She even threw
things at him. Isn't that a touch OOC?
- The way I see it, Gomez must have overcommitted to the role. After all, Gomez is rather passionate about staying in a role. (remember Lurch's mother?) The first thought that came to Morticia's mind was that on some level, Gomez meant what he was saying. She's upset, not angry. And the next day, they manage to make up, with Gomez admitting he's been a cad, and Morticia admitting she's been a fool.
- But the thing is, Gomez wasn't a cad. He was only pretending to be a cad (I hate that word). And why did Morticia say that she was a fool for "sending [Gomez] out into the cold without a thought to [his] sinuses"? He's an Addams. He probably likes the cold. And Catch Your Death of Cold is a myth and even if it wasn't, Gomez plays with dynamite.
- In the episode where Gomez and Morticia tell how they fell in love, Gomez is absolutely laid out by his sinuses. It's his passion for Morticia that fixes the problem. Maybe she was worried about a relapse?
- It's likely this is just a joke playing into the Addams' typical inverted logic: she doesn't worry about her husband playing with dynamite, wrestling bears, or doing other insanely dangerous things—but a cold! Heaven forbid!
How come Morticia seems to be immune to cyanide?
- She's an Addams.
- And she's also a bit of a vamp/Black Widow archetype (albeit the rare happily married kind). Perhaps she's so accustomed to dealing with lethal poisons that she's developed an immunity to them.
- She's implied to be a vampire, given her general appearance, the Dracula-like lighting on her eyes, and the fact that she never smiles widely enough to show teeth. Maybe Our Vampires Are Different is at play and her species isn't bothered by cyanide.
I Need to Pee, But I'm All Tied Up
In one episode, Morticia states that once she tied up Gomez for a sport and it took three weeks for him to get untied. How did he go to the bathroom?
- Gomez is rather skilled in yoga. Getting tied to the chair wouldn't have left him completely immobile, just restrained.
- When has ANYONE in a TV series from that time period ever had to use the restroom?
Just How Old Are You Again, Wednesday?
How come Wednesday's the youngest, except for in Values
, when she's the oldest? And how come in the musical, she's gotten older but Pugsley hasn't?
- Not every Addams property is connected. The comics are different from the original TV show which is different from the original movies which are different from the third movie (ick) which is different from the cartoon which is different from the Broadway show.
- In the original TV show and comics, Wednesday is younger than Pugsley, but in the movies and Broadway show (separate universes) Wednesday is older and the age gap varies. It's just a matter of different creator interpretations.
I Fail to Understand
In "The Day Gomez Failed", Gomez attempts to fail by knitting a sweater when he can't knit. But if he'd never failed before, how does he know he can't knit?
- Generally, if people have never tried to do something, never learned how to do something, practiced doing something, or had any remote contact with the thing, they assume they can't do it. Most people, for instance, are pretty certain they can't swim across the Pacific without actually attempting to swim across the Pacific first.
Extended Family Members
Whose uncle is Uncle Fester and who's Gomez's dad?
- According to the 60's TV series, Fester is Morticia's uncle. We never see Gomez's father, however. Does anyone have an idea on that?
- It is strongly implied that Gomez's mother Grandmama lives with them because she's a widow; this was a fairly common real-life situation at the time the series first aired.
- Grandmama bounces back and forth between being Gomez's mother and being his mother-in-law (Morticia's mom).
- It's different depending on the property you're watching. As stated by the troper above, in the original TV series, he's Morticia's uncle. In the movies, he's Wednesday and Pugsley's uncle (Gomez's brother).
- It definitely feels as if there's some inbreeding going on in the Addams' clan, which might explain why they're so odd and have so many physical quirks. For example, Morticia refers to many former Addamses as if they were her own relatives—Great-Aunt Calpurnia and Uncle Knickknack, for example—rather than specifying that they're the children's uncle or her husband's. This could mean that either she's so much a part of the family that she just refers to all her in-laws as if they're her blood relations (highly likely, since the Addams seem to be a close-knit and welcoming family and once you marry in, they treat you like you were born there) or they might, in fact, all be interrelated, in which case it might be too complicated to specify that Knickknack is Gomez's uncle but Morticia's second cousin. Everyone's just an Addams, so Uncle Fester and Cousin Itt are everyone's uncle or cousin, no matter how they're really related.
- ^ not quite. In the 60s TV show, Morticia is a Frump, she is the daughter of Hester Frump (who appears only in a couple of episodes and in Halloween with the Addams Family) and sister of Ophelia Frump who is Morticia's identical sister. Fester is Morticia's uncle (notice that Fester is never ever referred to as Fester Addams in the show) therefore if he's Hester's brother then his last name is probably whatever maiden name Hester had or if he's Morticia's paternal uncle then he must be Fester Frump (again, his last name is never told). Now, this would make Fester the great-uncle of Pugsley and Wednesday and technically should be called "great-uncle Fester" by them, however is not uncommon in some families to call great-uncles as just "uncles" for the economy. Grandmama is Gomez's mother in this version and is indeed a widow. This structure is kept more or less in the 70s animated show.
Of course, this raises the question of who are the Frumps and how they have the same bizarre behavior as the Addams, but the same can be said about Lurch who is not from any of both families.
Now in the 90s movies, this changes a lot. Fester is Gomez's brother and therefore the uncle of Wednesday and Pugsley, also Morticia's brother-in-law, Grandmama is Morticia's mother and Gomez's mother-in-law, and Gomez and Fester's parents are both dead (died together lynched by a mob). Almost all other versions (including Reunion, the 90s animated show which is based on the movies and The New Addams Family kept Fester as Gomez' brother, however in the animated show and in New Grandmama is back to be Gomez' mother (in fact The New Addams Family brought back the Frumps including Hester and Ophelia (also played by the same actress who played Morticia as in the original show).
As in the example before, in the 90s movie, although Morticia's and Grandmama's last name is never told, we are still showed that at least two families of strange people collide (three if you count Margaret when she joins the Addams clan through Cousin Itt).
Finally in the musical, a recurring gag is that nor Gomez nor Morticia knows who is Grandmama's mother as they both thought she was each other's mom.
So to sum up: Fester is Gomez' brother in all versions except the original show and Grandmama is Gomez' mother in all versions except the 90s movie (and is left ambiguous in the musical) which I hope answers your question.
Basically, what we can take from all this is that in all these universes there's an entire subculture of goth-looking sadomasochistic bizarre-loving people with some inhuman abilities from different families which often intermarry or (in the case of Lurch) work for them.
Why Does Death Visit the Addams Family?
In "Death Visits the Addams Family", the Grim Reaper
comes and wants to take Gomez away. Why?
Can Addamses Catch Colds?
Okay, this might sound like a weird question, but I once dreamt that the Addams family all got colds and because I'm someone who hates sickness and is a little afraid of it, I didn't like that dream at all
, but it got me thinking... can
an Addams catch a cold?
- Fester did get rather sick at one point, but I wouldn't call that a cold. That's as close as you can get, given their ability to shrug off mortal wounds. So yes and no.
- In Addams Family Values, Pubert gets sick and it turns him into a golden-curled, rosy-cheeked angel, which Gomez and Morticia are extremely worried about. So I think it's safe to say they can get sick in their own way, depending on what's needed for the plot.
In "When You're an Addams", Gomez says that Addamses must have a sense of humor, however when they sing the "Keep your X" lyrics, where X is something the Addamses are known to dislike, one of them is "Keep your laughter". So do Addamses have humor or not? Not to mention that Gomez has laughed a few times in the series.
- This is a typical Addams Family joke. They are said to detest anything stereotypically happy and uplifting despite evidence to the contrary. They also have a tendency to take normal human things and flip them on their head. So the Addams idea of a joke might be shooting someone in the eye with a crossbow, whereas a normal human wouldn't find that funny at all. So perhaps humor is OK if it's Addams-style humor, but laughter (while participated in) is referred to as something negative (because to normal humans it's positive).
- Basically everything positive is negative and everything negative is positive for the Addams, but it's played very loosely so they're still relatable to the audience.
Why does the Addams family need a nanny?
In Adams Family Values
, Morticia and Gomez hire a nanny after the birth of their baby. Neither Morticia nor Gomez work, they share a house with two other adult relatives (Fester and Grandmama) who could help with the baby, and they have a butler who takes care of the household chores. Why would they need a nanny when they had so much time on their hands and so many helpers?
- The Nanny wasn't for Pubert. She was for the other two, to keep an eye on them and not kill the baby. At least that's how I always figured it since all the nannies are shown interacting with Wednesday and Pugsley.
- Morticia wishes she had more time "to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade." Naturally, Gomez will do anything to make his wife happy, so he hired the nanny to give Morticia some extra freedom. And since the Addams' was initially a parody of eccentric Old Money families, it wouldn't be uncommon for such a family to employ a nanny even if other adults in the household could theoretically look after the kids.
Lucas marrying into the family in the musical
- When Lucas marries Wednesday, does that mean he'll be able to see and interact with the ancestor ghosts?
Wednesday having a problem with Debbie calling Pubert a brat
- Why did Wednesday have a problem when Debbie called Pubert a brat? She's an Addams for crying out loud? They like pain and express their love through torture at each other and admire evil deeds. The baby's name is Pubert which is dirty on its own and the parents thought of other sinister names before this one. Shouldn't the word brat be a compliment for their standards? Yes Debbie doesn't actually love Pubert and Wednesday might've been suspicious at her, but the word brat still shouldn't piss Wednesday off.
- Because the Addams having utterly inverted values isn't viable, and thus can't be portrayed consistently. Portrayed consistently, the Addams' inverted values would result in them grinning and torturing each other to death "Event Horizon" style in the first minute of the movie. So they love pain and death, except when they don't. They float from harmless goth types with morbid aesthetic tastes to psychopathic mystical horrors from moment to moment depending on whether the plot needs them to be relatable or darkly funny.
- Probably because someone hired specifically to care for him shouldn't be disparaging him. Just because the Addams are strange doesn't mean that some of them don't know how the world works. Wednesday goes to a regular school and probably understands the job of a nanny.
- Also, its part of the joke; while the Addams Family play with extreme torture devices and try to kill each other, they all see it as perfectly good fun. Emotional pain isnt really their cup of tea: Wednesday and Pugsley try to kill each other, but to them, its the equivalent of playtime, and we rarely see them actually trying to hurt each others feelings, because if they did that then its no longer playtime and just an argument, which is never pleasant, no matter what. Its why whenever the Adamses argue or feel betrayed, its taken more seriously than when they try to maim each other. After all, to the Adamses, guillotines and electrocution are fun and games, but calling someone a brat is just plain rude.