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YMMV / The Emigrants

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The books provide examples of:

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Jonas Petter loves to tell dirty stories. While they're entertaining they don't always fit so well in with what's currently going on.
    • The audio book even omits his stories altogether.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It seems just a bit too unlikely that on the same night as Kristina nearly bleeds to death from scurvy, Inga-Lena should die from that same disease.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Kristina tells Karl Oskar she is pregnant the night before they leave home and he sighs and says it couldn't have come at a worse time. Kristina snaps and yells at him that he is the one who came at a bad time.
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    • The way Danjel handles the provost.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Karl Oskar names their home in America New Duvemåla to make Kristina feel more at home.
  • Memetic Mutation: Karl Oskar jag tyar in't mer. (Karl Oskar I can't bear it any longer)
  • Ship Teasing: Those who only read the first book will be forgiven for thinking Robert and Elin will end up together. The two teenagers show a lot of interest in each other, much to Ulrika's dismay, but they have a falling out early on in "The Immigrants" and Robert soon leaves the others and heads off to California.
  • True Companions: The group from Ljuder become this in the second book, eventually pooling their food and functioning as one household. Once they settle they live apart from one another but remain close for the duration of their lives.


The movies provide examples of:

  • Heartwarming Moments: Kristina and Karl Oskar both dislike Ulrika at first. Kristina gradually begins to see her differently but Ulrika and Karl Oskar come to blows while they're on the steamboat and his dislike for her grows. When they stop to go ashore and buy some food Karl Oskar and Kristina's only living daughter Märta is missing when the steamboat is getting ready to leave and both parents panic. Just as the boat is about to leave shore Ulrika comes running with Märta, having found her playing in the sand. The wordless shot where Karl Oskar shakes Ulrika's hand is truly heartwarming and it's all in von Sydow's and Zetterlund's acting.


The musical provides examples of:

  • Awesome Music: Most of the score, but Gold Can Turn To Sand and You Have To Be There stand out.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: For those not familiar with the story the Native Americans appearing towards the end can come off as this.
  • Breakout Character: Robert to some extent, although mostly this was due to the role becoming a breakthrough performance for Peter Jöback (not to mention his song "Gold Can Turn To Sand" becoming a huge hit in Sweden). The character of Robert had previously been somewhat polarizing but thanks to his signature song and Jöback's performance he became far more popular than before.
  • Funny Moments: Some of the lyrics in the English American Man where the women are amazed by an American man who does house work.
    • The song where Ulrika's suitors try to win her over. "At least once a year I will wash myself with soap." Gee, how can a girl resist?
  • Moment of Awesome: Ulrika gets quite a few, such as standing up to the provost.
    • Karl Oskar in the song "''Wild Grass''", in which he refutes accusations from a neighbour claming that his land does not belong to him but to the Native Americans. Karl Oskar defends his right to the land not by right of purchase but through the hard work he's put in farming the land, building a house and creating a home and a livelihood for his family out of what was once merely a place where wild grass grew.
    • In 1996 Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson brought their four lead actors to Lindström Minnesota, the place where Karl Oskar and Kristina settled, for a concert performance of the musical. The books and their characters are highly revered in Lindström to this day, there are still people there who speak fluent Swedish and the concert was held in that language (the English translation still many years away at this time). You can find a few of the performances from this concert online and not only are the performances themselves outstanding, the captive audience members, listening to their own history in a sense, is both awesome and heartwarming.
  • Narm: Most of the English lyrics.
    • For some, one line in the otherwise much hailed "Gold Can Turn To Sand", seen as a rather forced rhyme. The line translates as "Across the prairie we came to a desert/ We got lost and began seeing ghosts".
  • Signature Song: "Gold Can Turn to Sand" for Peter Jöback, and "Du Måste Finnas" for Helen Sjöholm. The latter has also become something of a signature song in its English translation for Susan Boyle.
  • Star-Making Role: For Helen Sjöholm as Kristina - she's had a long and successful career in Sweden as one of the country's most beloved singers and musical actresses, and is also so iconic in the role of Kristina that she was the only original cast member to appear in the English language concert version.
    • Most of all, though, for Peter Jöback, who played Robert. He wasn't entirely unknown before, having among other thing voiced the titular character in the Swedish dub of Disney's "Aladdin", but the role of Robert, and the massive hit song "Gold Can Turn To Sand", turned him into a superstar in his native Sweden, and launched a successful career as a musical actor abroad. He's appeared as Chris in "Miss Saigon" (winning the role after auditioning with the aforementioned song in Swedish), originated to role of Michael in "the Witches of Eastwick", and has played the titular "Phantom of the Opera" in London, New York and Sweden (being asked by Andrew Llyod Webber himself to play the role - not to mention being Lloyd Webber's personal choice to play the Phantom when the show celebrated 30 years on Broadway).

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