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YMMV / The Addams Family

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The franchise as a whole:

  • Acceptable Targets: Politicians, even back then. One episode has Gomez considering giving a campaign contribution to a politician promising, among other things, to drain the local swamps. Morticia doesn't understand why, since they both like the swamps, but Gomez explains that that's exactly why - politicians never do what they promise, so if this guy wins the swamps are safe! note 
  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • Of the original cartoons by the TV series.
    • Also, of the TV series by the movies for even younger audiences.
  • Awesome Music: The theme song.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The song, "The Moon and Me", in the musical since it had nothing to do with the plot.
  • Broken Base: The New Addams Family has its fair share of people who like it and people who despise it. It has many detractors because it lacks the famous theme song by Vic Mizzy, and many of the episodes are remakes of episodes from the original 1960s show, plus it didn't help that it was made after the widely-panned Addams Family Reunion, which served as a pilot for The New Addams Family (and weirdly, only one main cast member from Reunion was retained for the New series). On the other hand, other people enjoy this incarnation because of how much it borrows from the original show and for still retaining the dark humor that has always been important to the franchise.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Gomez whenever he has to defend his family.
    • Applies to the whole family in the movies. Place an Addams - any Addams - in mortal danger. They'll not only survive, but beg to do it again.
  • Creepy Awesome: The whole damn family! And each in their own unique way.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Mostly in the original New Yorker cartoons.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Come on, be honest. What do you remember most about The Addams Family? Lurch's "you rang?" Fester's lighting a lightbulb in his mouth? Thing? Wrong. Anyone who's only ever even heard of The Addams Family will immediately start hearing "duh-nuh-nuh-nuh * snap snap*" in their head when it's brought up. That tune has been rattling around in the head of every person who's ever heard it (and frustrating those unable to snap their fingers) since 1964.
    • This, oddly, is what led to the movies getting made - the minds behind it were riding in a car and Tom Sherak's kid started singing the theme song.
    • Advertisement:
    • The New Addams Family theme goes for a new but equally catcha samba song.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: John Zmirak once explained his tongue-in-cheek theory that the Addams clan represents "(A)n aristocratic, trad-Catholic homeschooling family trapped in a sterile Protestant suburb".
  • Memetic Mutation: Woe to the poor person unable to snap their fingers who hears the theme song and can't immediately snap along to it like everyone else does without second thought.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Thing in most adaptions, if you aren't expecting him.
  • The Scrappy: The Normanmeyers are considered this to some fans of the 1990s animated series. Luckily for those fans, they inevitably go through some misfortune in every appearance.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Both parodied and lampshaded in the musical:
    Lucas: Yo, it's tha Pugsta! Whaddup, lil' man?
    Pugsley: Are you trying to be cool?
    Lucas: Yeah...

The magazine cartoons:

  • Chaotic Evil: The whole family—pouring boiling oil on Christmas carolers, fondly watching the kids trip the mailman, embracing Friday the 13th—but especially the son and the uncle.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The mother.
  • Moe: The daughter.

The films:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Fester is so torn up about "failing" Debbie that he seems perfectly willing to let her kill him. When the tables are turned, he seems positively gleeful as she's electrocuted into a pile of dust. Could practically count as a Brick Joke or Ironic Echo of Gomez's romantic musing about Morticia in the first movie:
    "I would die for her. I would kill for her. ... Either way, what bliss."
    • It's really a staple of the franchise.
  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: Despite the popularity of the television series and 1970s cartoon, much of what people know about The Addams Family comes from the 1990s films. Wednesday has become a gothic icon specifically because of her film portrayal. In other media Wednesday's a younger Cheerful Child, not a preteen Deadpan Snarker like she's famous as.
  • Critical Research Failure: Bambi and The Little Mermaid are Disney productions. But Joel mentions "But... It's Disney!" right before The Sound of Music, The Brady Bunch and Annie, none of which are Disney productions, start playing. Except that the tape that is announced last and inserted into the machine by the councilor is The Little Mermaid.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: After the summer camp has been set alight, Wednesday has advanced on the bound Amanda with the implication she's going to burn her at the stake, and the two gagged counsellors are being roasted over a fire, with the distinct possibility the Loser kids are going to eat them — cut to Wednesday being canoed across the lake by Joel, complete with romantic music.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: For some, the Addams being Darker and Edgier from the 1960s Dom Com (and Truer to the Text of the original comic strip) ends up making them come across as less Dark Is Not Evil and more Obviously Evil. While the films clearly mean to portray the Addams as more honest, friendly, and accepting than the hypocritical, judgmental Stepford Smilers of white suburban America, some feel those same suburbanites have every reason to fear/dislike the Addams since they regularly engage in acts of vandalism, destruction of private and public property (smashing windows with golf balls, stealing stop signs to cause accidents), animal abuse (burying a cat alive), manslaughter, murder, arson, and cannibalism with barely a shrug. While this can be chalked up to the Addams being Obliviously Evil, some viewers find that both groups are pretty unpleasant: Obliviously Evil versus Faux Affably Evil, and thus in some cases it's hard to vote for anyone. The movies stick pretty close to the original Charles Addams cartoons which potray them as Affably Evil with a very different approach towards good and evil. The humor comes from most of their enemies acting nice, while being greedy and ruthless which the Addamses appreciate having the aforementioned worldview.
  • Ear Worm: Admit it, you snap your fingers (or clap your hands, if it's a sporting event) whenever the theme song comes up. Even if you can't.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Debbie is the best-remembered thing from the movies, next to the camp subplot's climax in Values.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Morticia's comments on the fragile state of her family in the second half of Addams Family Values includes the woeful line "My husband is dying." Raúl Juliá would do just that a little less than a year later. In the movie, he is even seen lying sick in bed feebly singing "Swing low, sweet chariot." What's more, when Gomez is horrified that his son is turning normal, he calls out to God, "Take me!"
    • In 2011, Hurricane Irene struck the east coast of the United States. In the Addams Family film, the book Fester uses at the end is titled Hurricane Irene.
    • Then, of course, there's the scene in the second movie where young Joel Glicker screams in terror at a picture of Michael Jackson. What was originally meant to be a teasing in-jokenote  turned into a case of seriously bad timing when Jackson was accused of child molestation the same year Values was released.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In Addams Family Values Joel says that he has all the cards in the serial killer trading card series, except for "Jack The Ripper and that Zodiac Guy". Funny because a) No one knows who they were, so there would be no pictures for the card and b) Even the cards of them can't be caught.
    • Also, Debbie says no woman "in her right mind" could love Fester. Dementia, the woman who catches Fester's eye towards the end of the movie, clearly isn't in her right mind.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Fester's return in the first movie, after seeing how distraught everyone is when he leaves them in Values.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Addams Family Values, after being irritated by Gomez, a police officer asks him, "Who are you? What are you?" The officer was played by Nathan Lane, who would play Gomez on Broadway almost twenty years later.
    • Pretty much any time Joel and Gary interact with each other, due to their actors, David Krumholtz and Peter MacNichol, co-starring in NUMB3RS.
    • Also in Values, Joel mentions how they're gonna watch Disney movies, and the very first thing we hear is The Sound of Music, which isn't Disney at all... or at least wasn't, because Disney bought Fox.
  • It Was His Sled: Gordon Craven in the first movie is an amnesiac Fester Addams who was brainwashed by Mrs. Craven into believing he was her son. It's especially telling when the TV promos for the film on FreeForm's 31 Days of Halloween Marathon give it away.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Addams Family Values has become a cult favorite among queer audiences, thanks largely to Joan Cusack's over-the-top performance as Debbie.
  • Memetic Mutation: Debbie's "Ballerina Barbie" monologue saw a surge in popularity when A.J. LoCascio (the voice of Prince Lotor in Voltron: Legendary Defender) read the scene in said character's voice.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In addition to the Thing mention above, the way the Pubert almost dies multiple times in the second movie. Not to mention they hang KNIVES over his crib as a mobile.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Cousin Itt in both movies.
    • Nathan Lane as the police desk sergeant who's irritated and bewildered by Gomez's ranting.
    • Mercedes McNabb's performance as an agonizingly chipper Girl Scout in the first film was so well-received that she got an expanded role in the sequel.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Mercedes McNab (Harmony in the Buffyverse) appeared as a girl scout in the first movie and had the larger role of Amanda in Addams Family Values.
    • Addams Family Values came out before David Krumholtz, Peter MacNicol, Christine Baranski, and even Nathan Lane had their various breakthrough roles.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The Mamushka in the first film.
    • Either Wednesday, Pugsley and all the other outcasts ransacking the camp or Debbie's Motive Rant and death in the sequel.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Addams Family Values was widely considered by critics and fans alike to be superior to the first movie, with more macabre humour and hilarious Rapid-Fire Comedy in effect. Strangely enough, it actually made less than its predecessor (Addams Family made over 191 million worldwide while Values made 48 million), although that could be chalked up to the less-than-stellar reception of the first movie.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The whole time Wednesday and Pugsley are at camp, they try to escape so they can save Fester. When they finally get out and make their way home, they end up tied up, just as helpless as the rest of the family, and Pubert ends up saving them.
  • The Woobie: Uncle Fester for the reasons listed under Tear Jerker. Also, in the second film, we can see that the poor guy only wants what his brother and sister-in-law have.
    • Joel Glicker. Unlike Uncle Fester, Wednesday and Pugsley, he doesn't have anyone looking out for him or even a happy home to go to, as his parents are just as big as the insensitive jerks that everyone else at the camp are. Things start to look up for him once he befriends Wednesday, Pugsley and soon the rest of the Addams, but then there is that ending...

The TV series:

  • Fandom Rivalry: With The Munsters, persisting to this day.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Wednesday Leaves Home, the agent dealing with missing children tells the mother of a boy that has run away for the seventh time that locking him in the broom closet won't help, and he could be running away because of her. Sound familiar?
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Many of the TV Family's "weird" affectations (home computing, alternative medicine, being Goth).
  • Values Dissonance: In Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor, Cousin Itt expresses a desire to be a stewardess. The family proceed to tell him that he can't be a stewardess since Itt is male. When Cousin Itt protests about it being unfair, Morticia replies a little coldly that "it is not unfair". Years later the word "stewardess" is no longer used, having been replaced with "flight attendant" and men are allowed to work as such.note 
  • Values Resonance: In the TV series, Gomez and Morticia were actually excellent parents, openly involved in their children's lives and showing genuine concern and affection for them. In their creepy but cool way, that is.
    • Not only were they were among the first TV couples who openly and passionately showed their affection for each other, they always functioned as a team, with one never keeping secrets or vocally resenting the other in any way. Even today, few dom coms depict married couples as being in anything but love/hate relationships, making Gomez and Morticia's marriage the most idealistic ever depicted on television!
    • The very first episode has the Addams express an aversion to formal schooling for their children, preferring their children to learn things like art, music, and spider-breeding at home. With the ongoing debate about schools as standardized testing factories this is more relevant than ever.

The pinball and video games:

  • Awesome Music: The remix of the main theme heard on the title screen of Fester's Quest.
  • Good Bad Bugs: On the pinball machine, entering mansion rooms gives you awards in a fixed order. The thing is that the game is programmed to give awards only up to the 255th room. Entering mansion rooms from the 256th and onwards will instead give massive amounts of points (as it's getting data from code meant for other aspects of the game). That being said, only a handful of people in the world would be good enough to enter that many mansion rooms before a Game Over, and these people only became that good decades after the machine was first released.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Getting multiball on the pinball machine adaptation. Gomez will say "Now you've done it!" (or, alternately, "It has to warm up... so it can kill you!"), all music and sounds cease...and then a slow, low rumbling sound, getting faster and higher-pitched, until BAM! Multiball!!
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Played straight with the console versions, though the SNES game for the first film is quite a fun Mario-esque platformer.
    • The Game Boy Color game based on The New Addams Family (released in 2001 and called The New Addams Family Series for some reason) looks ugly, is complicated, has questionable controls at best, and is quite difficult to play when you have absolutely no idea what you're doing. Once you consult a guide, however (of which there is a whopping total of ONE currently circulating on the Internet... and it's in Spanish), the game can be quite easy and fun, ultimately subverting this trope.
    • Completely inverted with the pinball machine, which went on to become the highest-selling table in history and is widely considered to be one of the best tables ever made.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: "The Power", a magnet located roughly in the center of the playfield which will pulse as certain times (mainly during "Seance/Super Seance" and the multiball modes), flinging the ball in wild and unpredictable directions. Some of these directions include the drain or a ricochet to the drain with nothing the player can do about it. It is so bad that all major competitions, and most minor competitions, where The Addams Family is present will have this magnet physically removed so it never bothers the competitors, with the alternative being players spending inordinate amounts of time holding balls on the flippers waiting for the Power to disable itself temporarily.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main theme of the pinball table bears more than a passing resemblance to the main theme of Pat Lawlor's previous table, Funhouse.

The Musical:


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