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YMMV / Hans the Hedgehog

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  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Besides the obvious moral about keeping your promises, it is possible that the story was also conceived as wish fulfillment, i.e. the little guy overpowering a king and getting ahead in life. Not that it makes the way Hans the Hedgehog goes about it any more morally justified.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, the plot involving Hans the Hedgehog and the two kings very briefly shifts to a scene where Hans returns to his village with a lot of swine, organizes a big pig-killing for the benefit of the whole village, and then, when this is over, asks his father to have his rooster shod again, promising (again!) not to return. The thread about the two kings then resumes as Hans goes to their kingdoms to claim his reward.
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  • Designated Hero: Hans himself. He gets ahead in life by extracting unreasonable promises from two kings in exchange for a relatively simple favor, then overpowers the king who has with good reason defaulted on his promise and violently assaults said king's daughter even after she has accepted to marry him without resistance. Then he marries the other king's daughter, turns into a handsome young man, and thus gives himself, his bride and his father a happy ending, but his actions are largely self-serving.
  • Designated Villain: The first king. Okay, he never intended to keep his promise to give Hans anything that greeted him in exchange for Hans showing him the way to his kingdom, but did Hans really deserve to be given a big reward for doing a relatively simple favor for the king? And by not intending to keep his promise, he was protecting his daughter, who did not sign up to be carried away by a talking hedgehog.
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  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: If you don’t keep your promises, no matter how rashly or frivolously you made them, all hell will break loose and revenge will fall upon you – and your loved ones.
  • Values Dissonance: Where do we start? A man is repeatedly mocked just for being childless and this is such a tragedy for him that he is willing to even have a hedgehog born to him – but when it happens, he despises his son. Said son extorts unreasonable promises from two men and when fulfilling the promise would require each man to give Hans – an anthropomorphic hedgehog – his daughter, Hans not only insists that the promises be kept but inflicts the punishment in full not on the defaulter himself but on his daughter, who is violently assaulted, if not raped, accused of deceit, and treated as Defiled Forever. Meanwhile the daughter of the other man, who volunteers to marry Hans in order for her father to be able to keep his promise, is rewarded. In the end, when Hans marries the princess and becomes human, he comes for the father who had despised him as a hedgehog and whose fault it was that he had been born as one and takes him along to his kingdom. The story thus plays out as a male chauvinist fantasy in which women are reflections of their menfolk and vessels of their whims and who are punished for the misdeeds of the former, while the men are not really held to account for their mistakes - or are even rewarded for them.
  • The Woobie: The poor daughter of the "bad" king. Her only crime is being the daughter of a man who made a rash promise and privately telling her father that she would not have sacrificed herself to keep that promise. Then the hideous mutant who extracted said promise from her father comes and threatens to kill both of them if she does not come away with him. For both her and her father's sake, she obeys, and the monstrous creature violently assaults her physically and, to a greater or lesser extent, sexually. As if this is not enough, she is Defiled Forever. What a fate. Even the other princess who sacrificed herself to Hans for her father's sake and was rewarded in the end must have had a hard time of it until just after they were married.
    • This trope is defied in the case of Hans himself. Although he was born in not-quite human form and consequently became The Unfavorite of his family, he is shown to be fully able to take care of himself, comes along very far in life, and at the right moment sheds his hedgehog skin and becomes a handsome young man.

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