Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Greatest Showman

Go To

Phillip Carlyle (Efron) gets beaten up for defending Anne Wheeler (Zendaya).
  • The only evidence for this is a shot of her by his bedside with him beaten and bruised. Given the time period and public sentiment about interracial relationships, it's not hard to imagine this being the outcome of a chivalrous act by Carlyle.
    • Semi-jossed. Carlyle does fight with racists, protecting Anne, but does it alongside her brother and the other performers. Their fight, however, leads to a devastating fire. Carlyle ends up in the hospital for smoke inhalation after he recklessly ran into the burning museum because he thought Anne was still inside. She shows up seconds after Carlyle has run inside and is perfectly fine.

Charity Barnum and Philip Carlyle both die towards the end of the film.
  • In Real Life, Charity died in 1873, well before Barnum and around the time he was setting up his circus. As for Philip, the footage from the trailer of him injured in a hospital is fairly self-explanatory. At the end of the song "From Now On" (presumably the finale), you can hear two voices that sound like Charity and Philip singing the final lines. These characters haven't been shown or heard interacting prior to this, so what connection do they have now? Perhaps they've both passed away and are watching/being remembered by their loved ones.
    • Jossed. Both characters survive. Carlyle takes over the circus from Barnum after the latter has realized that spending time with his family is more important than chasing ephemeral fame and fortune, and Charity continues to live with Barnum and their daughters.

The Greatest Showman takes place in the X-Men universe
  • It's the only way to explain the discrepancies of the movie- the movie takes place in an alternative universe where Charity never died young, Barnum met Philip Carlyle instead of James Bailey, and well, the freaks are proto-mutants, and they were never accepted into society even in the modern day.
    • Makes perfect sense when you realize that most of the so-called "freaks" are not really freakish at all, but are actually legitimately, if unconventionally —- for that time and place —- (ex. tattooed, pierced, People of Color) attractive.
      • It would be interesting to see Barnum as the original version of Logan's personality, before he was screwed with by the weapon X program.

The bartender was watering the drinks.
  • That's why everyone was able to dance and sing the "Other Side" and "From Now On" numbers so well even after several dozen shots.

How a sequel or miniseries would go....
  • It would start with Anne and Phillip getting married. (In the state of New York, there never were any laws against interracial marriage.) At the wedding, Barnum tells them they can use his country house as a honeymoon spot since he and his family are going on vacation. All the employees are given some vacation time, but agree to meet up again in a few months and get the show going again. Tom Thumb pays his mother a visit, Lettie and the Albino sisters go on a sightseeing trip, W.D., The Irish Giant and the Dog Faced Boy rent a cabin in Canada and go fishing and hunting, Chang and Eng buy a farm in North Carolina and bring the animals and their caregivers with them, the Voodoo dancers go back to the Caribbean and use their new wealth to help the villages they left behind. When vacation time is over, Phillip gets a telegram from Barnum saying "My train will arrive at the station Monday at 4 o'clock. Please meet me there. I have something important to tell you." Phillip goes to meet him at the station, and to his surprise, Barnum isn't on a train but driving it! It turns out, he was being quite literal when he wrote "My train". He bought one while on vacation and want to use it to travel all over America, bringing his circus to everyone. Phillip is apprehensive. Not only is this a risky and expensive venture, but it means he and his wife may visit states where their marriage isn't considered valid. Barnum talks him into it anyway. (Probably with a musical number.)

  • Various plot points: The aforementioned prejudice Phillip and Anne would face. Charity is pregnant. (She and Barnum had 4 kids in real life) A little person love triangle. (This actually happened!) Chang and Eng contemplating life and afterlife. Meeting President Lincoln/Johnson/Grant, whoever's in charge in this timeline. The tragic sacrifice of Jumbo. Expect some Wild West tropes as they go further out, perhaps even having to compete with Buffalo Bill's show. And of course, musical numbers!
    • Also a bunch of racists (or even klansmen) trying to burn the circus tent down... only to be greeted by darkness and the performers, along with some sympathetic locals, who were expecting them. Bonus points if the tent is an old one about to be decommissioned, so they just pull the knots and collapse it on top of the racists to trap them.

Bennett used his connections to have the thugs arrested as quickly as possible
As soon as the news the Circus was set on fire reached him, Bennett felt partially responsible, thinking his constant critique and attacks towards Barnum made the thugs feel more validated in their actions. So he immediately used his contacts among the city authorities, along with some money, to have as much people as possible to be assigned to finding and arresting the thugs. When he finds Barnum at the ruins of the Circus, he brings the news about the arrest not because they have been communicated by the authorities to the press, but because he's just been personally informed.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: