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Western Animation / ParaNorman

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There's nothing wrong with being scared, Norman, so long as you don't let it change who you are.
Grandma Babcock

ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated comedy horror film from Laika Animation Studios, better known for their success with Coraline. It's directed by Chris Butler (the main storyboard artist on Coraline) and Sam Fell (an Aardman alumni and director of Flushed Away) based off a script written by Butler, and was released in August 2012.

The film follows the titular protagonist, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), living in a small town in Massachusetts. With the "gift" of speaking to the dead, Norman is considered an outcast by the majority of the town, most of which is populated by useless adults and a nasty population of kids. When the town comes under siege by zombies, ghosts and witches, only he can actually save the town from these creatures, not to mention a three centuries-old curse.

Now has a shout out and a character page.


This film provides examples of:

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  • Adult Fear: Agatha, an innocent child, was condemned to death as a witch by a fearful society. And it almost happens again, with the protests of Norman's parents drowned out by the yelling of the mob, showing just how powerless they are to stop it.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of the adults range from Too Dumb to Live to entirely oblivious, when they aren't just plain Ax-Crazy.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • The witch's ghost, Agatha Prenderghast, Used to Be a Sweet Kid who, like Norman, happened to have the ability to speak to the dead. She cursed the zombies in revenge for killing her only for being different. She became so obsessed with making the townspeople pay for what they did to her that she completely forgot about the people who loved her and she almost completely lost herself in her rage. When she is finally able to find peace with the help of Norman, Agatha Disappears into Light to move on to the afterlife upon realizing that the only thing she really wanted was to see her mother again after the townspeople separate them.
    • The Judge (as well as the other zombies) have come to regret their actions over the hundreds of years they've been dead. When Aggie is finally at rest, they Disappear into Light to move on to the afterlife as they look scared and regretful.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Subverted. Mitch is gay and has no idea Courtney has been trying to flirt with him.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Courtney manages to find herself on both sides of the trope. She's infatuated with Mitch, who doesn't reciprocate since he's gay with a boyfriend and had no idea she had been trying to flirt with him. Meanwhile, Alvin likes Courtney, but she doesn't reciprocate since she's much older, and he's a bit of a creep about it.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Deconstruction. Norman tries to take the constant bullying with grace but often finds his heroics hampered by almost every living person's low opinion of him. It doesn't help that the witch (in fact, an 11-year-old girl) died because of this.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The exact time period of the movie is a bit fuzzy. All the TVs, most of the cars, and the movies that Norman watches seem to come from the 70s, but all the kids have cell phones and internet access and during the school play, all the parents (as in literally all the parents) have 2000s-era video recorder cameras.
  • An Aesop: Multiple: "don't let fear make you do bad things," "bullying of any kind is wrong," and most importantly, "revenge is wrong." Interestingly, it's not the protagonist who needs to learn the last one; instead, he teaches it to the accused witch.
    • A meta example would be Mitch being the first openly gay character in a mainstream children's animated film (though this isn't revealed until the last few minutes of the film). The creators have gone on to state that this reveal is tied to the overall message of the film of not judging people.
    • The above example with Mitch also implies that just because someone has faced discrimination or is a part of a group that faces discrimination, it does not mean that they are above displaying the same mode of behavior, nor is it justified for them to do so.
    • Just because people are mean to you, it doesn't mean you should be mean back; it will only make things worse.
    • Alternatively, even if it seems that everyone loathes you or hurts you, there's always someone out there who does love you.
    • People often do or say cruel things when they're scared. Control your fear, lest it control you.
    • Don't automatically take your own viewpoint for correct. All of the problems in the film are caused by a lack of critical thinking, on both the apparent good and evil sides. First this applies to the Puritan jury who killed Agatha out of fear, then this applies to the people of the present-day fighting the zombies, then it applies to Agatha herself for condemning the Puritans to be zombies.
  • And I Must Scream: Pretty much the witch's curse the town is famous for. The seven Puritans are said to be damned to walk the earth as the undead. They're all very aware of their punishment when the curse comes into full effect in the movie.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Courtney sees Norman as this.
  • Anti-Villain: Both "the witch" and the zombies. The former by being just an angry little girl lashing out at everyone out of revenge and the latter for executing Agatha out of fear and feeling genuinely remorseful for it now.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Norman, to the Zombie after finding out what they did to Agatha.
      Norman: How could you?
    • During the climax.
      Agatha: I'll make you suffer!
      Norman: Why?
      Agatha: [searching for an answer] Because... because...
  • Aside Glance: In-Universe. The actress in the cheesy zombie movie Norman watches screams in horror at the zombie walking toward her, but he's walking so slowly and forcing her to scream for so long that she stops to cast an annoyed look off-camera (presumably at the director), and then resumes screaming.
  • Ass Kicks You: The police officer smacks the van that had all of the kids and one of the zombies inside with just her hips, and the truck gets forcibly knocked away.
  • The Atoner: The Judge (as well as the other zombies) know that the curse is their fault because of what they did to a little girl. They were only trying to tell Norman how to stop it.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The rest of the Babcock family to Norman, especially his father, who is kind of a jerk to Norman during most of the story.
  • Badass Pacifist: Norman takes a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that pushes the bounds of the movie's PG rating and never once stops trying to reason with the witch's ghost.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The kids in the school pageant speak with such unenthusiastic monotone, that Norman's prophetic outburst, if anything, made it a thousand times better.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Courtney.
  • Big Bad: Agatha Penderghast, a witch's ghost who has unleashed zombies on the town to avenge her execution, albeit on the zombies as opposed to the townspeople.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Norman and Mr. Prenderghast. As well as Aggie. It's a family trait, which apparently goes with the speaking to the dead ability.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Salma.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Mitch to Neil. Courtney towards Norman, eventually.
  • Black Comedy: It's a film built on morbid concepts, and while some of them are portrayed as dead serious, there are still comedic moments related to them, like Norman's slapsticky struggle to take the book from Uncle Prenderghast's stiffened corpse.
  • Black Comedy Pet Death: The film has Bub, a ghost dog belonging to Norman's best friend, who died from being run over by an animal rescue van and whose butt the best friend accidentally kisses, mistaking it for his head.
  • Bookends: The film begins and ends with Norman watching a horror movie with his grandmother. Not counting screams and zombie grunts, both the first and last lines are "So... What's happening now?"
  • Book Dumb:
    • Neil, who considers reading a 26-page manual an achievement.
    • Mitch doesn't seem to do much better.
    • Alvin can't even spell his own name when trying to make bathroom graffiti.
  • Born in the Theater: The movie begins with a "feature presentation" sequence that apes '70s-era sequences of the kind.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Neil gives one too many reasons for why the other kids pick on him.
    Neil: It's just because I’m fat and my allergies make my eyes leak and I sweat when I walk too fast and my lunchbox has a kitten on it. Ooh! And I have irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Brick Joke: The cheesy zombie flick Norman watches in the opening cuts away just as the girl is attacked by the zombie. At the Bookends ending, the now-zombified girl is briefly seen munching on a severed limb.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When Alvin first tries to run away from the zombies, he exclaims "I think I peed my pants!"
  • CamelCase: The title, ParaNorman, since it's a portmanteau including a proper noun.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Alvin is frequently seen trying to woo girls while never coming close to impressing them. He's aware of it, too.
  • Cassandra Truth: Norman has apparently told a lot of people about his ability, and they all think he's either insane or lying for attention, but worthy of ridicule either way. Makes it really difficult to get support when the dead actually rise.
  • Celestial Deadline: Norman is supposed to read from the book at the witch's grave before sunset. When he finds the apparent spot, it doesn't work and the curse takes effect, but that's because he was at the Puritans' burial site, not the witch's.
  • Central Theme: The importance of forgiveness and not getting overcome by anger. Also, don't give in to blind fear and mob mentality because they can make you do monstrous things.
  • The Cheerleader: Courtney is the 'bitchy' version (with shades of the 'stupid' version) but she turns out to be not so bad in the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Norman's grandmother at the beginning says (in regards to the zombie movie he was watching) that it would be better if they just sat down and talked to each other.
  • Classically Trained Extra: The school drama teacher.
  • Collective Groan: The reaction of the group after the library at Neil's elation that he finished a whole book in one night. A book twenty-seven pages long.
    • Even better, they were looking for records on the accused witch, and Neil had picked an old asbestos installation manual.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Mitch accidentally runs over a zombie, the head comes to life and growls at him. He freaks out and kicks it. When he gets back in the car, Courtney and the others are freaking out over a man apparently coming back to life, Mitch is more impressed by how far he kicked the zombie's head.
    • And earlier, Norman tries to give Neil the brush-off by saying he prefers to be alone. Neil's response?
    Neil: So do I! Let's do it together.
  • Cool Loser: Norman happens to be able to speak to the dead, but is considered an outsider in the community. However, this is somewhat justified when you really consider from everyone else's perspective how this is a kid who is going around claiming he speaks with dead people.
  • Cool Old Lady: Norman's dead grandmother.
  • Cosmetic Horror: The school drama teacher. Mrs. Henscher's daytime makeup is awful, but her puke green facial mask was bad enough that only her talking saved her from being mistaken for a zombie.
  • Crapsack World: The town is a rundown little suburb, the locals have a low tolerance for any behavior that lies outside the norm, and it of course has a dark secret.
  • Creepy Child: Norman is considered this by some, but Aggie is more a terribly wronged one.
    • We see early on how it looks to everyone else; he ducks around empty air, constantly talks to empty space, and even stops at roadkill to pet it. As it's not until shortly thereafter we get to see through his eyes, it's pretty clear he comes across as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander at best.
    • There's also the nameless kid in the mob that sets her teddy-bear on fire and chucks it through a broken window. She also carries around a zombie's arm for a short portion of the movie before giving it back.
  • Crusty Caretaker: According to the novelization, Mr. Prenderghast is the caretaker to the Blithe Hollow Cemetery.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Agatha, once Norman calms her down.
  • Darker and Edgier: It's even darker than Coraline — which is saying something. It also only got a PG rating — probably one of the darkest PG rated movies out there.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The ghosts all over town are a pretty friendly bunch overall. Likewise, the zombies were only malicious before they died; in their (un)death, they just wanted to atone for their sin of killing the "witch," Agatha, who in turn was simply angry over the wrongs committed against her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the Babcock family, Norman, Courtney, and Grandma.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: A repeated theme with much of the main cast.
    • Norman's openness about his abilities leaves him ostracized from the rest of the town, who somewhat justifiably think he's crazy for talking to ghosts that no one else can see.
    • Judge Hopkins is a deconstruction of the Hanging Judge, as he legitimately did what he thought was best and his decision wasn't motivated by sadism or cruelty, but by a values system that all the people of Blithe Hollow agreed with. He's also a deconstruction of the stereotypical zombie characters, as he and his fellow zombies have come to regret their actions over the hundreds of years they've been dead, and in the climax, it's the zombies who flee in terror from the hordes of bloodthirsty townspeople.
    • The Witch was not an evil old crone practicing black magic, but a scared little girl with abilities neither she nor the townsfolk understood who was executed by the townspeople for something she had no control over, which is much closer to what the Salem Witch Trials actually were in real life. Moreover, while her Freudian Excuse is sympathetic, it's still only an excuse — she's a scared, angry child lashing out in the only way she knows how, and Norman forces her to understand that her violent cursing of the town and its people is understandable, but still not justified or the right thing to do.
    • The townspeople of Blithe Hollow are shown to be not so different from the zombies, reacting to their appearance with extreme violence and aggression, and with shots of their attacks deliberately paralleling iconic zombie attack scenes. Thanks to modern technology and a massive numbers advantage, the townspeople pose far more of a threat to the slow-moving, shambling zombies than the zombies do to them. Their lynch-mob mentality gets so bad that they actively try to kill Norman, who's only a child, just for being different — exactly like the zombies when they were alive.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of both stereotypical zombie movies and of the Salem Is Witch Country tropes. At first, it seems to be simply spoofing the genre with the old zombie movies that Norman watches, before deconstructing the concept of "evil witches and mindless zombies" by making both of them into tragic characters. Aggie was an innocent little girl who was executed for her powers despite not hurting anyone with them, and while the Puritan zombies initially crossed the Moral Event Horizon by sentencing Aggie to death, they've all suffered a Fate Worse than Death and have spent the last several hundred years trying to atone for what they did. The zombies are actually trying to help the protagonists break the curse so they can rest in peace. Not to mention, that in the third act of the film, it's the zombies who run and hide in terror from the vicious, mindless hordes of living townspeople. And the living townspeople are the only ones who outright try to kill Norman without any provocation on his part.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "KILL 'EM IN THE HEAD!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: Mr. Penderghast's spirit passes on, his duty fulfilled by getting Norman to promise he'll read from the book at the witch's grave to stop the witch's curse. Apparently it didn't occur to him in life or death that Norman wouldn't know where the witch's grave was. Ironically, it's thanks to this failure that Norman is able to find the grave (the zombies that come back to life do know where the grave is) AND lift the curse for good.
  • Disappears into Light: A variant; when Aggie is finally at rest, she and the zombies fade away in this manner to move on to the afterlife.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Aggie to Norman.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Played both for drama and laughs, sometimes simultaneously. The second half of the movie plays almost all of the classic Zombie Apocalypse tropes totally straight, except that it's the terrified, outnumbered, and helpless zombies who are running from the bloodthirsty mob of townspeople.
    • Also, in the flashback to Aggie's sentencing, when Judge Hopkins gives his speech, note the shot of the then-living Puritans slowly stalking mercilessly towards Aggie and surrounding her. Their slow movements, pale faces and blank expressions makes them appear far more chillingly zombie-like than they are as actual zombies.
    • Additionally, the townsfolk denying or trying to justify why they became a ruthless mob bears some resemblance to a grown childhood bully trying to pretend their past tormenting didn't happen.
  • Dumb Blonde: Courtney, though her hair may be dyed.
  • Dumb Muscle: Mitch and Alvin are pretty strong given their ages, and not too bright.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Norman has to fight a supernatural menace to protect a town that largely scorns him, only to find a growing number of townspeople realize that his ability to speak to the dead is real. While the movie finishes out with said townspeople too occupied with justifying their own moblike behavior to properly apologize to Norman, he does earn his family's support and realizes that he has a true friend in Neil.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Courtney is delighted when Mitch answers the door wearing nothing but a Modesty Towel.
    Mitch: Uh... Can I help you?
    Courtney: Hell yeah.
  • Enfant Terrible: A little girl tears off a zombie's arm and later on lights her teddy bear on fire in order to set the town hall alight.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: Norman is only about nine, but he frequently watches violent horror movies, and at one point, he mentions watching Sex And Violence.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The first creature to invade the town.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • The witch cursed the entire town to be attacked by the zombies of the people who tried her. Subverted in the end. Aggie wasn't cursing the town to be attacked by zombies, she was cursing the zombies to go through the same thing she went through.
    • Subverted with Judge Hopkins. He sentenced an innocent girl to death for talking to the dead not because he does not like her being different from others, but because he thought it would be good for the townspeople.
  • Evil Is Hammy: You can atually, quite literally, see the spittle flying when Judge Hopkins is handing down the sentence to Aggie. Appropriately enough for the trope name, he's lost the hamminess now that he's 1) a zombie and 2) a good guy.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Norman's irises and pupils are faceted.
    • It seems to be a trait for those in the family who can see ghosts, as both Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have faceted eyes as well.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The television news report the following day suggests that the rest of the state attributes the entire supernatural event to a "freak tornado" hitting Blithe Hollow.
  • Eye Scream: Alvin gets poked in the eye repeatedly by a zombie arm.

  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: Sort-of, and in both cases, it's posthumous. The whole tragedy began when merciless Puritan fanatics sentenced a little girl to hanging just because she had powers they didn't understand. Fast-forward three hundred years, and the zombies of those same Puritans have had a very long time to realize what they did, while Agatha, despite getting her revenge, has spent all those years clinging to her hatred and refusing to let go, even when it means innocent people are hurt in the process.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Agatha's death. The thought of an innocent 11-year-old girl being sentenced to hanging is very unsettling. Not to mention how it's suggested that the zombies chasing Norman the whole film were killed by Aggie's "witch powers" after sentencing her to death.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Most obviously for the zombies, who are forced to live afterlives of horrifying suffering for what they did several hundred years ago, but also Agatha herself, who remains on Earth as a being of almost pure fear and hate, unable to pass on until she confronts her own desire for vengeance and recognizes it for a mindset that is really worse than useless.
  • Favouritism Flip Flop: At the end of the film, Alvin explains to a couple of girls that he and Norman have been real close for years now. Seeing how Alvin was Norman's bully, that statement is technically true.
  • Fighting Back Is Wrong: The Aesop of the story is that bullying is wrong even if they did it first. The villain is trying to get revenge on the people who killed her, but in the end Norman makes her realize that she has become as bad as they are.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Alvin, the former bully, warms up to Norman after supposedly being attacked by zombies.
  • Forced Meme: In-Universe: "That's so Alvin!"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The practice for the school play, especially Salma's concern about the portrayal of the witch not being historically accurate.
    • During the opening B-Movie, Norman's Grandma suggests that instead of running, the girl in the film could try to reason with the zombie.
    • Early in the film, Neil tells Norman that he'd be a bully too if he was strong and stupid like Alvin. When Norman confronts Agatha, one of the thing he tells her is that using her power to terrorize the townfolk just makes her a bully.
    • Mitch's total lack of response to Courtney's flirting is a hint that he's not into any women, and that he's already taken.
    • After the play, Sandra tells Norman "Sometimes we do/say things because we are scared." This line is said later by Norman.
    • The fact that Norman is the only one who can interact with his dead grandma foreshadows his special gift.
    • In a meta example, TV spots aired around the Olympics show the zombies getting along well with Norman.
  • Freaky Is Cool: Pretty much the reason why Neil befriends Norman.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The witch's ghost used to be a sweet little girl whose only power was the ability to see ghosts. Her other more terrifying powers only emerged after the townsfolk sentenced her to death by hanging.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • A couple on a date are cooing at each other over wine, while out the window Mitch's car tumbles and bounces down the hill.
    • While Norman's family is watching his school play, literally every single parent in the audience is recording the show on a video camera.
  • The Future Is Shocking: The Puritan zombies are awakened in the modern day, and are shocked to see such things as a bar, sexy advertisements, and a TV window display broadcasting endless scenes of war, violence, and scantily-clad pop stars.
  • Genre Savvy: The bar owner. When she realizes the man asking for help is not drunk or crazy and that there really are zombies, she shouts, "KILL 'EM IN THE HEAD!"
  • Genre Deconstruction: Oh boy, there's a lot. Zombies come back from the dead to wreak havoc on a sleepy town thanks to a witch's curse. Except the witch was an innocent little girl, the zombies are completely harmless and rather pathetic compared to anything in Norman's horror movies, and the town uses the little girl's trial and hanging to pull in tourists and sell cheesy merchandise.
  • Genre Throwback: Particularly towards vintage zombie movies during the opening scene with the "feature presentation" card and narm-y acting of the lead actress of said Show Within a Show.
    • It's also a throwback to PG-rated films that could get away with racier content before the invention of the PG-13 rating. Yes, the rating is a throwback!
  • Get Back in the Closet: In some foreign language versions, Mitch instead says he has a girlfriend.
  • Ghostly Animals: In addition to human ghosts, Norman can see the ghosts of animals, including a raccoon and a dog, the horse of a Civil War soldier, and a flying bird ghost.
  • Giving Them the Strip: The Judge zombie manages to grab Norman, who sheds his jacket and runs away. The zombie can be seen staring at it in confusion for a second before tossing it aside.
  • Good-Times Montage: A deleted scene has Norman and Neil go through one after they play fetch with the ghost of the latter's dog. Unfortunately for Norman, the writers felt that this concluded his Character Arc of opening up to and trusting living people too early.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Judge Hopkins in his past life. He sentenced a little girl to death, thus starting this whole mess. Kind of Averted by his Heel Realization in his now Zombified state.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: No one in this movie is outright evil.
  • Hammerspace: The bar owner, after yelling that they should kill the zombies, pulls a large shotgun from seemingly nowhere.
  • Hartman Hips:
    • Courtney and her mom.
    • Taken to extremes with the aerobics instructor Neil likes to freeze-frame on.
    • The actress in the horror flick has a rather ample rear.
  • Hate Sink: Whereas the Puritans carried out their execution of Aggie, an 11-year-old girl, out of fear and desire to protect the town, they were shown making amends for their actions ever since. However, the current citizens of Blithe Hollow were quite cruel to what they thought was a mentally ill boy for no good reason and couldn't even claim they were truly lead by fear.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Aggie was so intent on punishing those who wronged her that she became just as angry and spiteful as them. In the present day, it doesn't take long for the townsfolk to whip themselves into such a frenzy about the zombies that they're willing to kill Norman for it.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Norman is not exactly Mr. Popular in town, for reasons mentioned above in Cool Loser.
  • Heroic BSoD: Norman has one when he learns that the witch was eleven years old when she died and the witchcraft she was accused of was the ability to talk to ghosts.
  • History Repeats: The people of Blithe Hollow decide to murder a child who claims to be able to talk to ghosts. Once in Puritan types, once in the present.
  • Hot Witch: When the town of Blithe Hollow capitalizes on the execution of a supposed witch in its colonial past, most of it uses the Wicked Witch archetype. A billboard for the casino, however, depicts her as a young woman in a skimpy outfit with a wad of bills in her generous cleavage. The real "witch" was an 11-year-old girl named Agatha Prenderghast.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Or rather, living humans are bastards. Fear and paranoia will drive humans to do horrendous things, including trying to lynch a child, more than once. The dead are either victims of great cruelty, completely harmless, trying to help, or all of the above.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In this movie, it's the humans who are the aggressive attackers and the ghosts and zombies who just want to help. Not to mention that the Puritan zombies were actually much worse people when they were still human. At the same time, a big theme of the movie is that people often do bad things because they're afraid, not because they're inherently cruel. When they realize there's nothing to be afraid of, they're much kinder.
  • Identical Stranger: Norman and Aggie look like gender-flipped clones of each other. Since she obviously didn't live long enough to actually be his direct ancestor, this is more for thematic reasons than to imply any familial connection, though since his uncle has the same last name as her, he could be descended from an unmentioned sibling or cousin.
  • If You Can Read This: The background text in the movie is absolutely rife with jokes, puns, and unusual bits of humor, such that it's almost impossible to catch all of it in one viewing. Things like Salma's "My First Fusion Reactor" book and "The Hands of Fate" board game for instance...
  • If You Taunt Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Although this trope is normally the more benign version of its fatal counterpart, Agatha has already killed her accusers, and her form of "taunting" is a Fate Worse than Death meant to reveal how awful her victims were. Norman confronts her with the fact that this makes her just as bad as them, which in this case is particularly true given that her former persecutors have learned that what they did was horribly evil and are torturing themselves even more than she is harming them.
  • Incompatible Orientation: At the end of the film, Courtney decides to stop flirting with Mitch and invites him to a movie. Unaware that she had been flirting with him all the time, Mitch happily mentions that his boyfriend is a Chick Flick nut.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Doesn't Neil kinda looks like Tucker Albrizzi, his voice actor?
  • Improbable Hair Style: Norman's hair is always sticking straight up. Even if he combs it or it gets all mussed up, it'll always pop back to its original stance.
  • Insufferable Genius: Salma. Lampshaded by Norman when he calls her asking for advice.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Norman must face Agatha alone.
  • Invisible Parents: We know Neil and Mitch must have them, if only because of "Mom's exercise DVDs", but they're never seen.
  • Ironic Echo: Sandra tells Norman the reason Perry is always angry is because he's afraid for Norman. He initially believed his dad is afraid of him, which was how Judge Hopkins and the other zombies felt about Aggie.
  • Irony:
    • A sign reads "Spelling Bee next Wensday".
    • Also pointed out by Neil, whose dog Bub was ran over by an animal rescue truck.
    • Alvin breaking into the library with the aid of a sandwich board advertising a 'crime prevention seminar'.
    • Agatha meant for the curse to hurt the seven zombie Puritans, but its effects aren't so contained. In addition to punishing the zombies, it almost gets her descendant Norman killed by the townsfolk who feared him, almost like she was, when he tries to stop the curse.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Courtney is a self-centered teenager, but she's not a bad person and she's the first one to convince the town to give her little brother a break.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The current citizens of Blithe Hollow go from being distrustful of Norman at best to trying to kill him when he's protecting the zombies.

  • Kangaroo Court: Aggie's trial by the seven Puritans is ridiculously one-sided. She gets charged immediately without any chance to defend herself and is sentenced to death even though she's only 11. Of course, this ends up very, very bad for the seven Puritans.
  • Kid Hero: Norman. He's 11 years old and is the only one in town who can undo the curse since his uncle (who also can talk to the dead) died.
  • Large Ham:
    • The drama teacher not only chews the scenery with every line she says, but she insists that her student actors do the same thing.
    • Uncle Prenderghast, as well.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Both Norman and Neil have very noticeable ones, Norman's being a clarinet with acoustic guitar in the background, and Neil's being a simple keyboard riff with a xylophone and what seems to be bongos in the background.
    • Mr. Prenderghast has one as well; a simple strings tune.
    • Even Agatha gets one, sounding like a modern take on the soundtrack of a zombie chase scene from the '80s. It plays during fights with her, the most epic being her last fight with Norman, which has some violin mixed in.
  • Lack of Empathy: The seven Puritans took a young girl away from her mother, and as Judge Hopkins told her how she was to be hanged by the neck until she dies, they were eerily calm when the girl was crying out of fear. They later subvert this after they had a Heel Realization.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Justified with Norman, since the whole town, including his father, tend to scorn him for being able to talk to the dead since no one believes it. It's more of a defense mechanism.
  • Lovable Jock: Mitch is not particularly bright, but he's not mean to anybody.
  • Lovecraft Country: Blithe Hollow is the Salem witch trials variation, with thick, dark forests everywhere and the sins of Puritan settlers still haunting the land.
  • Manly Gay: Mitch, who knew?
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Prenderghast literally means "ghost catcher" or "ghost holder."
    • Norman means "northerner" or "north-man". Even before the Norman conquest in the year 1066, it was used to describe outsiders or people who didn't belong or were not natives.
    • Sandra (the name of Norman's mother) means "defender."
    • Blithe means to show a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper. Considering the town's portrayal of the legend, it's appropriate. (Also recalls Noel Coward's ghost story, Blithe Spirit.)
    • Agatha means "good" in Greek. Too bad the other townspeople of her time didn't take that to heart.
  • The Mentor: Norman's wise (but dead) grandmother.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Norman and Aggie.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mitch, who even gets a Shirtless Scene, and constantly gets Courtney Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Courtney, which may be incidentally why she's something of an Ensemble Dark Horse. The Hartman Hips certainly don't hurt.
  • Motion Blur: They actually sculpted smear frames.
  • Motive Decay: Which Norman calls Agatha out on. Her Ghostly Goal was to take revenge on the fundamentalist Puritans who unjustly murdered her. Well, she got her revenge, and then some, and three hundred years later, when she's still lashing out in people, it's no longer about justified vengeance and now just an angry child trying to hurt the world to distract from her own pain and suffering.
  • Mundane Solution: Alvin's lock-picking method; he just smashes the window, reaches through it and opens the door that way. And he's proud of this, too!
  • My God, What Have We Done?: Judge Hopkins and the other zombies have spent the last 300+ years regretting their actions against Agatha. When confronted by Norman about Agatha's death, Hopkins confesses that their actions were out of fear and out of the belief that they were doing the right thing.
  • Never My Fault: One of the townspeople can be heard saying after the curse is broken to a reporter, "It wasn't my idea, they forced me into it!"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mr. Penderghast and his predecessors all diligently protected the town from the Witch's curse... but keeping the witch's and Puritans' spirits trapped for centuries while only stalling the curse for a year at the time. Ironically, it's only Mr. Penderghast's screw up in not telling his successor what unmarked place in the wood he should perform the "ritual" in that allows it to be lifted permanently.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Aggie is just a justifiably angry child throwing the mother of all tantrums. The zombies are just trying to relieve the curse they brought upon themselves through fear and hysteria. Even the angry mob of humans turns out to be not beyond reason.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: The Prenderghast line (specifically those that can see the dead) have been duty-bound to keep the witch's curse at bay by reading from a book once a year. Come to find out, that ritual is simply reading a little girl bed-time stories so she'll stay asleep, but does nothing to resolve the anger and resentment that have been fueling her curse in the first place.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Subverted. Courtney uses it around Judge Hopkins, but Norman tells her not to use "the z-word."
  • Novelization: Goes the extra mile from the typical tie-in novel for children and takes the form of a hardcover (with the cover underneath the jacket based on the Prenderghast book featured within the film.) It also serves as the manual with some extra details on the characters, such as how Grandma's death affected Norman, the strange circumstances of his birth, the witch trials in Blithe Hollow and other material. Not to mention the character Salma is somewhat of an Ascended Extra in the book, having some more lines and such.
  • Now What?: "So what's happening now?" Also counts as Leaning on the Fourth Wall and a Meaningful Echo.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With the ghosts, one of whom is a town loon voiced by John Goodman.
    • Neil and Salma are implied to be, at least before the former takes interest in Norman.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different:
    • Agatha Prenderghast has very interesting powers, carried over, presumably, from life. However, she's the only one — all the other ghosts are talkative at best.
    • Uncle Prenderghast also destroyed a bathroom. Considering their abilities in life, perhaps the ghosts of mediums have stronger abilities.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Judge and the other zombies are actually a kind of Revenant Zombie. They have intelligence, they're not infectious, and they aren't hungry for brains, but like any Revenant, they are driven by a single, burning purpose. In their case, they mean the town no harm at all; they only want to break Agatha's cycle so they may finally rest in peace.

  • Playing a Tree: Neil's part in a school play.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Little girl Aggie had no idea how to explain her ability to see and speak to the dead in terms that her accusers could see in any way except as "witchcraft". In trying, she basically admits to being "guilty" and dies for it.
    • Old Mr Prenderghast clearly had decades during which he could have written out detailed instructions for whoever took over the task of keeping the witch asleep. Indeed, that information probably was in his study. But, being rather insane, his collection of information is a tangled mess that only makes sense to his irrational mind. He also seems to assume that Norman already knows what to do and just needs to be pushed into doing it.
  • Poor Man's Porn: Neil enjoys freeze-framing his mother's aerobics instruction tape to look at the ample-bottomed instructor.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: In-Universe. Word of God likened the town to a B-list version of Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Politically Correct History: In-Universe, the school play about the witch's curse is admitted to be historically inaccurate, portraying the witch as a stereotypical Wicked Witch who cursed the entire town be attacked by the zombies of the Puritans who tried her. In reality, the Puritans are driven by their fear-motivated religious fanaticism to executing a 11-year-old girl on suspected charges of witchcraft just because she talks to ghosts.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Courtney is a cheerleader and Mitch is a jock, and both are popular kids.
  • Portmantitle: "Paranormal" + "Norman."
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In a decidedly mundane manner; Agatha's execution is the core of the city's identity and tourism industry. That she's unable to move on, stuck as an angry, hateful ghost, is incidental.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Mitch: Can I help you?
    Courtney: Hell yeah!
  • Precocious Crush: Alvin for Courtney, who is not exactly impressed.

  • Redemption Equals Death: An odd example, given that the subjects are already dead. It's only possible for the zombies to pass on after they assist Norman in helping Agatha to do the same, by reasoning with her about her need to let go of the pain and hatred that they caused her, and her desire for vengeance.
  • Redemption Quest: The zombies are cursed to go through the afterlife as the living dead, but they put themselves through even worse suffering trying to do something to help Agatha pass on by moving past the hurt that they brought about.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: At the climax of the film Norman talks down the main antagonist, in part, by reminding her that there are good people in the world who cared about her, and that her personal crusade for vengeance is keeping her apart from them.
  • The Reveal: The witch is just a scared and angry little girl, and the spellbook really isn't anything but a bedtime story. Oh and Mitch is gay.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: The witch, Agatha, was persecuted for her supernatural powers and eventually executed. During her trial, she cursed her accusers to return as zombies, subjecting them to the same torment she felt at their hands. However, this does not come to pass until Norman fails to keep her spirit asleep and Agatha exacts vengeance by wreaking havoc on the town. Eventually, Norman points out that as awful as everyone was to her, that does not give her the right to cause suffering and she's no better than the townsfolk.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Well, the Puritans were quite right that Agatha had powers and would become an "evil witch", they just didn't consider that she would do so as a direct consequence of their accusations.
    • When defending the zombies from the angry mob one of the townsfolk call Norman a necromancer. While Norman obviously didn't raise the zombies like most common depictions, his ability is actually closer to the original idea of necromancy; communing with the dead to divine the future.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The antagonist of this movie is really just a scared and angry little girl sentenced to death by a judge, who in turn was just doing what seemed for the best.
  • Salem Is Witch Country: Deconstructed and ultimately Subverted, as Blithe Hollow preferred to cash in on their blood-soaked history of witch hunts for tourism rather than deal with their dark past. So they operate on historical revisionism, including leaving out that said witch was a little girl that wasn't a witch, but also had Norman's ability to see the dead.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Sheriff Hooper (The motorcycle cop.)
  • Scarily Specific Story: Played for Drama. Norman was originally tasked with reading a generic bedtime story that had been used to keep the witch asleep for years, though it quickly ends up destroyed. When Norman finally confronts the witch, he decides to tell her a story about a little girl who could see ghosts but was killed because everyone was afraid of her, mirroring the witch's own tragic past. Ultimately, he succeeds in finally calming her down and allowing her to see she's not so different to the townspeople who tormented her.
  • Scenery Porn: Well, it is made by the company that made Coraline, but this one seems to take it Up to Eleven in a multitude of ways.
  • Schizo Tech: A lot of the scenery and vehicles have a distinct look of being from The '70s, especially the Babcock's station wagon and Mitch's van. Also, all the TV's are old-style CRT. Nonetheless, even the kids have pre-smart cell phones and they use the internet to search for information about the witch. Note that the film is canonically set in 2012, the 300th anniversary of the witch being executed in 1712.
  • Screaming Woman: The girl in the horror flick Norman watches. She doesn't even have any lines, all she does is shriek in terror.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Alvin when he opens the front door of Mr. Prenderghast's place only to see a zombie.
    • One of the zombies when they see what became of Blithe Hollow.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Norman realizes what his uncle wanted him to do to suppress the menace annually is not enough and seeks a permanent solution.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Puritans sentenced Agatha to death for witchcraft, wrongly believing that she would threaten Blithe Hollow with her powers. Her Vengeful Ghost turned them into zombies to make them suffer the same persecution she faced. As a result, the modern citizens of Blithe Hollow mistake the appearance of the zombies for a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Shadow Archetype: Norman has two of these in his relatives, who are All of the Other Reindeer among the townspeople because of having the ability to speak to the dead:
    • Mr. Prenderghast is what Norman would be if he had completely (and bitterly) resigned to everyone's expectations about him being weird.
    • Unlike the goofy Mr. Prenderghast, the witch serves as the Evil Counterpart as well as the Big Bad. She's what Norman would be if he embraced his desire to be mean back to the people who treat him badly. Norman, however, seeks to save the townspeople and learns to value the people who care about him, while Agatha only sought to make them suffer and completely forgot about the people who loved her in the process.
  • Shaming the Mob: Courtney does this to defend Norman and the Zombies from the angry mob.
  • Shock and Awe: Agatha's extra supernatural abilities.
  • Shout-Out: See the page.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: "Cry 'Havoc', and let slip the dogs of war!"
  • Sickly Green Glow: All the ghosts glow pale green, to underscore their deadness. The witch's powers glow a bright green to underscore her apparent evilness.
  • Signs of Disrepair: At one point the "Witchy Weiners" sign falls down... and the W in Witchy eventually blinks out.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • Justified with Aggie, considering the memory of her has continued into the present day as a completely insulting caricature.
    • And the fact that the modern townsfolk let blind fear drive their actions, much like her executioners did.
  • Skewed Priorities: The man who's torn between waiting to get his chips from the vending machine and running in fear from the undead. He eventually does run off only to run BACK, while screaming, to retrieve the chips.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The Power of Friendship versus three hundred years of festering hatred and anger over an unjust death. Rousseau Was Right.
  • Sleep Cute: Aggie falls asleep on Norman's shoulder and fades away, moving on.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Salma.
  • Smash to Black: Well, Smash to White. Right when Norman grabs Agatha's hand, the scene immediately cuts to a silent white screen. Especially jarring since the scene prior was quite noisy.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Of the whole gang, Courtney is the only girl.
  • Spirit Advisor: Zig-zagged all over the place. Played straight with Norman's grandmother, who advises and loves him after death just as she did while alive. Subverted with most other ghosts, including Mr. Prenderghast, who are too wrapped up in their own obsessions to offer much useful guidance. Inverted with Norman and Aggie, as he is a living person trying to help guide a spirit.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, given their similar genre (family/horror/comedy/mystery), settings (Salem-esque, Massachusetts), and subject manner (how a town's witch-related legends and past affects them in the present). However, ParaNorman inverts the order of the films' shared plot points to create significantly contrasting themes. In The Witch's Ghost, the witch is initially presented as an innocent and unjustly executed Hero with Bad Publicity by her descendant (who is a successful author respected by his community as well as secretly supernatural) and the twist is that she was Evil All Along and her ghost enacts Roaring Rampage of Revenge upon the town in the third act. In ParaNorman, the inciting incident is that the curse of an executed witch is coming into effect over a Massachusetts town and the third act twist is that the "witch"'s descendant (a bullied and ostracized child who openly claims to have supernatural abilities) discovers the "witch" was innocent and unjustly executed, and the curse is her restless ghost lashing out from the trauma of being murdered by her community.
  • Spiritual Successor: Fans have likened the art style and the feel of the film overall to Psychonauts. Appropriate, as the art style of the game was inspired by stop-motion animation.
    • It could also be seen as this to Coraline. It's made by the same studio, in stop-motion and it's about an 11-year-old kid going up against a supernatural threat.
    • Interestingly enough, it arguably qualifies as one to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. Both are very dark, deconstructive, and cynical movies about a cast of young people fighting the accursed undead that (initially) no one believes are real. They also have a nearly identical plot twist at their cores: the supposedly evil zombies who are apparently "hunting" the protagonists were responsible in life for the female villain(s)' Start of Darkness, and the zombies are actually trying to help the protagonists to be freed from their curse and atone for the evil they did when they were alive.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • Norman manages to snarkily deliver one to Alvin.
    Alvin: They're going to eat our brains!
    Norman: I think you'll be safe.
    • It takes Alvin a couple of seconds to realize what Norman meant, but he doesn't react to it due to the zombies appearing.
  • Stereotype Flip:
    • While Alvin is a pretty stereotypical example of The Bully, everyone sees him as a complete loser who's not much higher on the social ladder than Norman. Even his victims think he's pathetic.
    • Mitch is your standard popular Dumb Jock, but his popularity seems to come in part from being actually a nice person. And yet despite being nice, he expresses fear and distrust of socially outcast groups, despite being a member of one such group himself, showing that even members of socially discriminated groups can still be fearful and prejudiced.
  • The Stinger:
    • After the credits, a stop-motion video of how Norman's figure was made is shown. He then gets up and walks off-screen.
    • Which is made rather impressive when you consider that the entire 10-second sequence had to have taken over two weeks of taking a picture, nudging a part, taking a picture, nudging a part, taking a picture, nudging a part...
  • Straight Gay: Turns out Mitch is gay and has a boyfriend, disappointing Courtney, who had been trying to flirt with him for the whole film.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Norman Babcock and the witch, Agatha Prenderghast, who's a distant relative on his mother's side.
    • One of Agatha's accusers looks an awful lot like an older Alvin.
    • Sandra looks like an older version of Courtney.
  • Stylistic Suck: The zombie movie Norman watches in the beginning. The props are obviously rubber, the acting is unnatural, the girl has to shove the boom mic out of frame...
  • Suburban Gothic: the quiet suburb of Blithe Hollow is filled to the brim with ghosts, who can only be seen by the protagonist, Norman. When the town is invaded by zombies, the human residents quickly prove to be more Ax-Crazy than the undead.
  • Supernatural Floating Hair: In contrast to the town's Wicked Witch perceptions of her, the witch's ghost manifests as an electric spirit, with hair that floats upward and turns into lightning.
  • Supernatural Is Green: All the ghosts glow pale green to underscore their undead state. The witch's powers glow bright green to emphasize her supposed evil nature.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • It's not easy for Blithe Hollow to cope with the fact that they burned Town Hall and almost killed an innocent boy (Norman) out of misplaced fear. So when the day is done, they try to justify how they got swept up in the mob mentality.
    • Thanks to modern technology and a massive numbers advantage, the townspeople pose far more of a danger to the zombies than the zombies do to them. In fact, throughout most of the climax it's the zombies who are running from the humans than the other way around. It turns out that this was exactly the nature of the curse; to make the jury rise from the dead and be completely helpless against the humans as punishment. The living weren't being cursed nearly as much as the small group of people who condemned the witch.
    • The story of how the witch's curse came about? Where an evil, cackling old crone was brought to justice, and then cursed the whole town out of pure spite? Yeah, it's complete crap. The "witch" was an innocent child who was murdered due to a Kangaroo Court run by Puritans. She never hurt anyone while she was alive, and was hung solely because the townsfolk didn't understand her, and feared her because of that. She then cursed her killers so they'd get a taste of their own medicine. Magical elements aside, anyone with a working knowledge of the Salem witch trials can tell you that this is far closer to what really happened.
      • Agatha being nothing more than a child when she was tried for being a witch is unto itself a harsh but true reality about witch hunts. In those days, witch hunts made no distinction if you were man or woman, old or young: anyone can be a victim to mass hysteria.
  • Take That!: "What are you thinking; firing at civilians?! That is for the police to do!"
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Norman puts Aggie's soul at rest, through simple (though very persistent) discussion and reasoning.
  • Talking to the Dead: Mr. Prenderghast and Norman have this ability. It apparently runs in the family. Way back in the family.
  • Tempting Fate: When the witch's ghost is wreaking havoc amongst the town, Norman's mother, Sandra, asks her husband, Perry, if it has anything to do with Norman.
    Sandra: Oh my gosh. Do you think this has got anything to do with Norman?
    Perry: Of course not.
    Random Stranger: Everyone Look!
    [Cue Norman climbing City Hall]
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: The Blithe Hollow Puritans sentenced little Aggie to death because they thought she was an evil witch who would curse the town. As it turns out, they were right. Boy howdy, were they ever right.
  • There Are No Therapists: Norman's Hilariously Abusive Childhood seems to consist of dodging bullies at school, being berated at home, and being a pariah in town. Social Services Does Not Exist either. His father, in particular, alternates between believing Norman has a problem and Norman is lying, and seems to think browbeating him will fix it in either case. No one thinks this kid needs real help.
  • There Was a Door: Neil is seen climbing awkwardly over the fence in Norman's backyard when leaving, falling over to the other side. Right after he falls, the gate opens right next to him.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The mob at the Town Hall. Parodied when they drop all their weapons — including a bowling ball.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Centuries ago, the citizenry of the town condemned and executed a young innocent girl for being a witch. Since then, consciously or not, the town has distorted her memory into a hideous caricature, which makes Agatha more angry with each passing year...
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer spoils nearly every joke, even if it does not spoil the plot for the most part. However, the Japanese trailer did spoil the plot.

  • Villainous Breakdown: Agatha, when Norman takes apart her actions and ideology, telling her that she isn't morally superior after all. "I don't like this story!"
    • Even before then, she completely loses it when Norman manages to convince the townsfolk to spare the zombies. Probably sore over the fact that they were shown the mercy that she was not.
  • The Voiceless: All the zombies, except for the Judge, who is the only one to speak to Norman.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Norman, with his dad literally saying "Well done, son." near the end of the movie.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the opening scene, we're introduced to Norman's grandmother and all seems normal, but when he relays her request about the thermostat to his father, he angrily chews him out for saying like that since she died a while ago, establishing Norman's ghost-seeing powers in a rather abrupt manner.
    • One of Norman's magic-induced flashbacks makes a girlish sob into a Wham Line of epic proportions, revealing who the witch actually was: an 11-year-old girl.
      • Followed by the witch's crime: "You were speaking to the dead!"
    • Also, this bit:
      Mitch: You're gonna love my boyfriend. He's like a total chick-flick nut!
  • What an Idiot!: Invoked in-universe, with the actress in the horror flick Norman is watching in the beginning. A zombie comes towards her and she just stands there screaming. (Her annoyed glance at the camera hints she's not exactly thrilled with this.)
  • When Trees Attack:
    • Sort of, anyway. During a vision, Norman has while in the school play, a tree grabs him and warns him that the "dead are coming."
    • Played straight before the final confrontation. Agatha uses trees to trap and separate Norman from his family, then attempts to use spiked roots to impale Norman to prevent him from reaching her.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Norman against Aggie who is just scared and very angry.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Return of the Living Dead Part II, with a group of kids lead by a young male child, as well as including his older sister and a guy she's interested in, trying to survive a Zombie Apocalypse in a movie filled with Black Comedy. Plus, the outbreak is caused by the meddling of the child's bully, though the bully doesn't become a zombie unlike the other film.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Realistically done and a really nice touch to The Reveal. When Norman gets a vision of the Blithe Hollow witch trial, he thinks he's being placed in her role again and doesn't see the accused, until he hears someone crying from behind him. His eyes widen in shock and he turns around to see that Agatha, the "witch" of Blithe Hollow, is a girl his age.
  • Witch Hunt: The trope that causes all the trouble in the first place.
  • Witch Species: Hinted at with certain descendants of Prenderghast blood.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The "witch" is an (extremely psychically powerful) little girl who lost it when she was accused and executed.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Judge's sentencing of a young girl to be hanged for talking to the dead.
  • You Are Not Alone: Norman's "weapon" against Agatha, being the first person in centuries to really understand her.
  • Youthful Freckles: Neil. Mitch has some too.
  • Zombie Advocate: Norman, when he realizes the zombies have intelligence and are afraid too. His sister, Neil, Mitch, and Alvin back him up on this.
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • Subverted in that the appearance of the zombies does freak the townspeople out, but they then quickly gather weapons and attack them and the zombies are instantly overwhelmed because they are not strong, numerous, or infectious.
    • Wonderfully subverted even further in the courthouse scene. The zombies and kids are inside as questing arms burst through the walls and windows, much like in any Romero movie. That's right, LIVING people are breaking down the walls in an attempt to attack the undead.


Video Example(s):


Judge Hopkins

Now that he and the other zombies are being punished for their sins in life, Judge Hopkins has realized what a monster he was when alive and what they did to Agatha was unforgivable.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HeelRealization

Media sources:

Main / HeelRealization