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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The asylum scene, which seems to exist only to provide an action sequence and/or material for the trailers. It's never mentioned later on and has no apparent affect on subsequent plot points in Underland or the real world.
    • On the other hand, it shows how protective Alice's mother is of her daughter, and how she's willing to bend the rules to protect her, especially since the film has portrayed her in a mostly negative light prior to this scene.
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  • Contested Sequel: Is it a Surprisingly Improved Sequel to the first, average, or weaker than the original? Critics are currently split on opinions.
  • Designated Hero: Alice is this for some people, as she steals the time machine, which is vital to Time's life, just to find a way to make the Hatter happy again. While this is a noble action, she shows No Sympathy when Time reveals to her that he's dying because the time machine isn't in it's place, sticking to her mission instead of doing the right thing and giving it back.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Dr. Addison Bennet for his over-the-top scene and being portrayed by Andrew Scott.
  • Ham and Cheese: Anne Hathaway seems to be enjoy herself just as much (if not more) playing the White Queen this time around as the last by hamming up every single scene she is in.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • The movie's decision to present the Mad Hatter as a dedicated family man who will fight to find and be reunited with them is this, since Depp's wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic abuse and filed for a restraining order on the day the movie came out.
    • At the end of the movie, Alice sadly tells Hatter that she fears this is the last time they'll see each other and they may never meet again, after the movie bombing hard at the box office this will certainly be true for these iterations of the characters.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Hatter's speech about how he and Alice will meet again in memories and dreams even if they never meet in person again becomes especially poignant after the movie's box office killed any chances of a third film.
  • He Really Can Act: Sacha Baron Cohen's performance as Time has received praise, some comparing it favorably to his work in Martin Scorsese's Hugo.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At the end of the movie, Time jokingly says "Please don't come back" to Alice, mirroring the reactions of most critics.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Iracebeth's backstory makes her more sympathetic without excusing any of the horrible things that she has done or making her any less of a monster in the present day. To wit: the size of her head is revealed to be the consequence of a childhood accident, but the Underlanders still mocked her for it.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The film is getting far more attention for featuring Alan Rickman's final acting role than any of its own merits. Unfortunately, he's an Advertised Extra.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: As film history has shown us before, once Tim Burton is removed from the director's chair of a franchise and demoted to producer (if not removed from said franchise altogether, as what happened with Batman and Robin), the results tend not to be very satisfactory.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Originally, it was recognized as Alan Rickman's last film before his death. But then, the allegations that Johnny Depp was abusive towards Amber Heard certainly didn't do the film any PR favors.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Time, due to his Adorkable and Hero Antagonist traits as well as the quality of Sacha Baron Cohen's performance make it easier to root for him than Alice. She is putting Underland in danger to save one person while he is trying retrieve something she stole, thus making this an inversion of sorts (again, Hero Antagonist).
  • Sequelitis: Critical reception of this film is more unfavorable compared to the first film, and it was written off as a completely unnecessary sequel. Its poor box office numbers prove just that; this is ironically the second time in only weeks this has happened to producer Joe Roth.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Hatter's father is presented at first as being a stereotypically dour jerkass dad who doesn't appreciate his son's gifts, but the circumstances of him calling young Hatter a disappointment undermine this. While certainly a horrible thing to say, the fact that he said it in response to Hatter obviously laughing at the young Red Queen's crown not fitting on her head (a public humiliation that is personally devastating to her and professionally mortifying for him) makes the Hatter's protestations of her looking funny sound rather petulant, and may make the audience feel that the father has good cause for what is presented as a Kick the Dog moment.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Several fans who don't see as a Jerkass Woobie think Iracebeth is this as they feel her Freudian Excuse doesn't justify her actions towards her sister Mirana and Underlanders and only justifies how her head became bigger.

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