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YMMV / Alvin and the Chipmunks

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For individual works:


For the whole franchise:

  • Adorkable:
    • Theodore is shy, naïve, and gullible, but sweet.
    • Jeanette's clumsiness, kindness, and Ditzy Genius tendencies make her come off as this.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: This Flash animation portrays the Chipmunks as gangsta rappers who rant about how Dave treated them like garbage behind the scenes. The funny thing about this is that, minus the gangsta rapping, some people see Dave and the Chipmunks as a Dysfunctional Family long before it was even made.
    • Alvin gets yelled at in their famous Christmas Don't Be Late song because he doesn't respond when Dave calls his name. Then Dave gets angry and yells at him. That can be seen as incredibly abusive in and of itself. There's also a kind of seizure called an absence seizure. Think about it... what if Alvin is having an absence seizure and Dave is yelling at him for something he literally can't control? That is of course Truth in Television - many children who have that kind of seizure are accused of ADHD or just daydreaming.
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  • Awesome Music: Many people consider the cover songs better than the originals. Most YouTube videos of them will have people stating that or how their cover of it made people like the original song in the comments.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Dave Seville is either a kind hearted man who loves his family but gives them tough love or an annoying father who treats them like garbage.
  • Covered Up: Ross Bagdasarian did this to himself regarding "Witch Doctor", as the Chipmunk version of the song has become much more well known than the original version of his 1958 hit single.
  • Crack Pairing: Crack pairings go through many different phases among the fandom, which almost always ensures a string of fluff fanfics from different authors. Popular phases over the years have included pairing Alvin with Eleanor, Simon with Brittany, Dave with Vinny, and even Alvin with Simon, however, none of them have quite put the "crack" in "crack pairing" as much as Dave and Brittany, with even a few fanfics involving Dave impregnating Brittany.
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  • Epileptic Tree: The Chipmunks and Chipettes grew to human size after coming in contact with the same chemical that mutated the Ninja Turtles (which makes sense, as both series' 80s incarnations were produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, although they only did this series for a few Eps).
  • Face of the Band: Sort of subverted. Alvin gets a lot of attention, is the lead vocal on 99.9% of the songs they have (for good reason, it's not undeserving), is the star of the show, and was #44 on TV Guide's list of top 50 best cartoon characters of all time. Yet Simon and Theodore are anything but forgotten or put in the background. Each of them have their special and memorable moments in the spotlight, and each have their own fanbases. Theodore's the only one who gets less focused on however, and Simon is second only to Alvin due to their dynamic as brothers. Alvin may be the most publicly recognized, but in-universe (shows, films) there hasn't been an implication of the sort.
  • Fan Nickname:
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    • The term "to chipmunk a song" means to edit the song to give the vocals (and consequently the rest of the song) a higher pitch. The term finds its roots in these characters. Just add "chipmunk" to any search for a song on YouTube, and you're bound to find one. Oh, and watch out for fake chipmunked songs. "Real" chipmunked songs are actually pitch-adjusted (like real Chipmunks songs) and are the same length as the original. The fakes are the result of simply speeding up the original and are much shorter. Some people think that the former sounds better than the latter.
    • Because they've earned much disdain from a good-sized portion of the fanbase, the CGI character designs (the ones from the live-action movies, NOT the ones from ALVINNN!!!) have earned the not-so-affectionate nickname, "CGI Rats".
  • Fanon: Charlene was the first Chipette. She appeared in only one song before being replaced with Brittany and her sisters the following year. She has never officially appeared in anything besides her sole song, however fans noticed that an unnamed chipmunk girl in a red dress from The Chipmunks: Rockin' Through the Decades looked a lot like Charlene. Thus, she's considered Charlene and Charlene is never drawn in anything but a rather skimpy red dress. When she appears in fanworks she's usually a long-lost sister or cousin to the Chipettes.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The December 1988 episode "The Wall" has Alvin, Simon, and Theodore performing a rock song called "The Wall", during which the Berlin Wall starts to crack and it falls, reuniting families and friends. Alvin wakes up on the plane where he says "it was just a dream, but it doesn't have to be". 11 months later, the wall was finally torn down.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Chipmunking songs is very popular on the internet. Bonus points if it's a song full of curse words or sexual references.
    • Who's getting the best head? Explanation 
  • Moe:
    • Eleanor might qualify. It helps that she's Theodore's counterpart.
    • Jeanette definitely qualifies. Take a look at the fandom, fans quite often put her on a pedestal.
  • Popular with Furries: Most versions of The Chipmunks and The Chipettes are popular with furries. Their 80s-early 2000s and movie designs are the most popular.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Each of them, but there are also some disputes...
    • Alvin and Brittany = Alvany and Alvittany are two common ones, though the former seems to be prefered by more fans over the latter.
    • Simon and Jeanette = Simonette. The common accepted spelling is Simonette, though the fan who is said to have coined the name said it's supposed to be spelled Simanette; this is still being disputed.
    • Theodore and Eleanor = Theonor
      • And of course, all of the various different mixed and Crack Pairings have them too:
      • Alvin and Jeanette = Alvinette
      • Alvin and Eleanor = Alvinor
      • Alvin and Simon = Alvon
      • Brittany and Simon = Brimon
      • Theodore and Jeanette = Theonette
  • Self-Fanservice: Evident if one were to ever browse through FanFiction.Net or deviantART. This is especially true of The Chipettes, moreso than The Chipmunks (though, that's not to say the boys don't have their own fair share). In the case of fan art, many fans age up The Chipettes considerably, giving them an excuse to be drawn with boobs and Hartman Hips. Eleanor, in particular, is drawn much slimmer than she's usually depicted in the franchise, and also has a tendency to be glammed up as well, especially when she's paired with Alvin in the fan work. Brittany also gets glammed a lot, though it's usually more because of how she's already quite a fashionista, and in the case of fanfics, Brittany Really Gets Around, with just about everybody (even her own sisters). Jeanette's fan art usually tends to be just a tad more tasteful, for the most part, but however, fanfiction is an entirely different story: either she's a depraved horndog dying to have one of the boys (mostly Simon) inside her (or even play with Brittany), or a constant rape victim. It also doesn't help that often in fanfiction, the girls' physical appearances and maturity are almost-always explained in very detailed descriptions.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: There is a serious divide among the fandom with canon shippers and mixed shippers. It occasionally even grows to a point where the two groups of shippers practically go to war over why their respective shipping is better, and why the opposing shipping sucks.
  • Signature Song: Generally, there are two candidates: "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" and "We're the Chipmunks" (the theme tune for the 1980s and 2015 cartoon series).
  • Toy Ship: The Chipmunks and The Chipettes, who are all about 8-9 years old (though you wouldn't normally tell with the way they act).
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • Literally every incarnation of the franchise and almost every album is essentially a glimpse into popular music at the time of release. The Chipmunks themselves are essentially a cover band that plays contemporary tunes. The Chipettes are also prone to Fashion Dissonance due to dressing in less timeless clothes than the boys' sweaters or hoodies.
    • "The Chipmunk Song" has Alvin asking for a hula hoop for Christmas, which was all the rage in 1958. These days, you'd wonder why he would want something so simple.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Dave lovingly singing "Bicycle Built for Two" to a young girl NOT his daughter and riding with her on a bicycle, would NOT sit well with today's audience, and come off as borderline creepy.
    • The break in "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" had Alvin playing around with a gun. Unthinkable if the song came out in the 21st century.
    • A minor one in the Japanese dub, but in this version, the relationship between the chipmunks with Dave (at least in the dubs of The Alvin Show and Alvin and the Chipmunks) was changed from Dave being a father figure to a big brother instead. This partly very likely because Dave isn't a chipmunk like them, and, for the time period when the series was released in Japan, a human can't be a father figure for an animal, so the best thing Dave can be for them is being a brother for them. Keep in mind Japanese language is very specific regarding family relationships, especially towards very unusual ones. On the other hand, the dubs of the live-action films retains the same family dynamics from the original English version.

The Live Action/CGI movies:

  • Adorkable: Simon's CGI counterpart, voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler. His fans see him as this, since they consider him quite cute himself in various ways and play it in contrast to Alvin's outright Chick Magnet.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the first film, the two scenes of Dave being woken up by the TV blasting the opening theme to SpongeBob SquarePants were this because those parts were put in unintentionally. They were wrong because it was a Director Allusion, being that Tim Hill worked on SpongeBob in the past.
    • Digger the Gopher's (as voiced by Eric Bauza) inexplicable cameo in the second movie. There's no build-up to him, nor is he even a side gag. He just happens to appear as a Deus ex Machina during the climax. Most people don't even know who he is (he's was then-sister company Fox Sports' mascot for NASCAR Racing coverage; he was dropped in 2012 after years of viewer backlash). Additionally, his part is not included in the Novelization.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    "Lazy, rote and grating, Chipwrecked is lowest-common-denominator family entertainment that is strictly for the very, very, very young at heart."
  • Critical Research Failure: Alvin doesn't know the difference between a honey badger and a meerkat in Chipwrecked. Strange, since he and Simon watched Meerkat Manor in a few scenes in The Squeakquel.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Even the movie's haters tend to agree that David Cross as Ian Hawke is a pretty humorous character, and often want him to end up with the chipmunks instead of Dave.
  • Memetic Badass: Ian Hawke. A popular joke on Tiktok is to include him in various "who would win?" grudge match videos, where he inevitably defeats whatever superpowered characters he is pitted against.
  • Memetic Mutation: Dismissively calling sequels "The Squeakquel".
    • The infamous "Pizza Toots"" tv spot for The Road Chip is becoming this, if only for how obnoxiously immature and disgusting it is.
  • Narm Charm: Surprisingly, "The Road Chip" manages to pull this off. Andre the Black Nerd perfectly describes it in this video
  • No Yay: Alvin flirts with some human girls. High school girls. Think about it, then take a long shower.
    • Not only that, but the human girls actually reciprocate his advances. Might want to go take a longer shower.
  • The Scrappy: You won't find too many fans of Claire considering she's a Canon Foreigner and her subplot of Dave's relationship serves no point to the plot in any way.
  • Sequelitis:
    • Chipwrecked, which received mostly negative reviews and even David Cross went on the record of saying that just the making of the movie was the most unpleasant experience he'd ever had.
    • The fourth movie fell into Sequelitis since when Fox found themselves without the Star Wars franchise after 35 years and attempted to compete with the now-rival series by releasing the fourth movie the same day The Force Awakens came out, and Road Chip was blasted by critics.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The ''Born This Way/Firework/Ain't No Stopping Us Now" at the end of the third film.
    • The "Uptown Munk" is this for the fourth film.
  • Squick:
    • Simon eating Theodore's poop. At least he didn't swallow it. Double squick.
    • The Chipettes having more feminine bodies in the movies. Their first appearance has them naked. The dance scene that follows is kinda creepy.
    • The Chipmunks attempting to cover up what's happened to Dave's aunt by stating that she's taken up pole-dancing. This is made even worse by how it's in a movie for kids.
    • The Road Chip contains a cameo from infamous cult director John Waters to which Alvin says he's actually seen Pink Flamingos. Giving most adult viewers the horrifying image of Alvin watching such a film rather than a clever Parental Bonus.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Some fans who grew up on the 80's cartoon did not gravitate towards the eponymous Chipmunks looking more chipmunk than humanoid, and fans in general were not amused by the poop-eating gag shown in the trailer. Much to the latter's relief, the movie only really had two instances of Toilet Humor.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Some felt this way about big names being cast as the Chipmunks and Chipettes, since the inevitable voice modulation would make their voices unrecognizable.

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