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For the Pink Floyd album/film
- Accidental Aesop: People mistaking "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" as equating schools with Brainwashing. Unfortunately that couldn't have been further from the point, which is how the teachers were part of the Wall Pink created for himself.
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- The Trial sequence: Pink's personal despairing nightmare of being judged, or his subconscious' moment of personal triumph in having the strength to look at himself honestly at last and then destroy the Wall with the help of the "Bleeding Hearts and Artists" outside who never lost faith in him?
- The album runs on it. Pink's biggest failing is that he never really stopped to think about why his bricks acted the way they did.
- The film does this with "Young Lust". On the album, the song (which details Pink having casual sex with groupies while on tour) ends with Pink calling his wife from America only to have a man answer the phone and the phone operator having a very concerned reaction to the situation. In the film, the song starts with the phone call, which leads Pink to attempt to have sex with a groupie rather than already having him cheat.
- And You Thought It Would Fail: When executives at Columbia Records, the band's U.S. label at the time, heard the finished album, they were apparently unimpressed. The label balked at releasing a double album, proposing reduced royalties. One exec even proposed flipping a coin with Roger Waters, but Waters refused, saying that he shouldn't have to gamble on something he owned. The label backed down, and the album became one of the band's most popular, second only to The Dark Side of the Moon in sales.
- Award Snub:
- The only Grammy it won was for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical. The Grammys it lost, and what they lost to?
- Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal? Lost to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's Against the Wind.
- Album of the Year? Lost to Christopher Cross's self-titled debut album.
- Awesome Music:
- Creator Worship:
- The reason this album was created. Roger (and the audience) started seeing himself as a godlike being, above and disconnected from the fans. This culminated in the spitting incident that inspired this album. As the analysis linked to on the main page put it:
Waters was obviously horrified both by his own actions and the idea of an audience so blindly obedient to the idea of celebrity that they would gladly be "blown to bits"...or even spit upon.
- The original demo lyrics of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1", as heard on the 2011 Immersion box set edition make the theme more obvious.
First verse: We don't need your adulation
We don't need your starry gaze
How the years have come between us
You should have seen them in the early days
Second verse: They don't need your reminiscing
They don't need your memories
They don't want to hear who's missing
Ya should have seen them when the boys were young
- "Common Knowledge": Many people think that the "Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) sequence of the movie is the actual promo clip due to a VH1 Classic recording of it (identified by the channel as a music video) gaining nearly 400 million views and everyone can't name the "Happiest Days" song. In fact, it's actually this simpler one.
- On another note, "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)" is thought to be from The Dark Side of the Moon when its actually the topic of this page.
- Cult Classic: The film adaptation of the album became a staple of the "midnight movie" circuit in the 1980s.
- Fanon: Though Roger Waters has never confirmed or denied this, many fans believe that the titular song in The Final Cut is also told from Pink's perspective, and that it serves as a sort of epilogue to The Wall. This is due to the implication where the character of "The Final Cut" mentions something about the Wall before the word is muffled by a gunshot sound effect. As a result, fans cling to the theory that Pink began to seek therapy and help for his problems after a failed suicide attempt.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As with the other albums recorded late in Waters' tenure with the band, The Wall has been criticized for its bleak lyrics.
- Epic Riff: "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell". It's no accident that David Gilmour co-wrote both tunes.
- Faux Symbolism: A relative aversion in that the mind screw imagery actually has well thought out meaning behind it.
- Fridge Brilliance:
- Why is there a long pause in "In the Flesh" between the rock section and the start of the singing? In the plot, this song is played at the start of the Neo-Nazi rally Pink hallucinates himself to be performing at. Adolf Hitler was known for taking up to a minute before beginning his speeches at rallies, just to keep his audiences in suspense.
- When Pink sings, "If I had my way, I'd have all of you shot!" in "In the Flesh", he's not talking about just the minorities. He means all of his fans.
- These fascists which are represented by marching hammers? They're just mindless, destructive tools in someone else's hands.
- And what are hammers best used for, aside from pounding in nails and pounding things into shape? Tearing down walls, as shown in the "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" sequence. The symbolism couldn't be more fitting.
- In the film, the Judge during the Trial section is both represented by a giant worm and as a talking pair of buttocks. It could be that "the law is an ass", but there's an even better interpretation: The "worms" are symbolic of the worst in human beings, what pushes them into hatred and fascism and violence. Therefore, the double form of the judge could say that the worms are what releases each person's inner asshole.
- The Wife in the Trial is depicted with a hot fire in place of hair. Like everything else, it has a double-symbol behind it. Burning with anger is a fairly obvious one, but there is also a less open symbol, of her being Pink's old flame-a former lover.
- A cut to The Teacher's home life shows him being forced to eat a bit of food he didn't like by his overbearing wife. That's why he yells at his students "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!" It's because he's forced to eat things he doesn't want by his wife in order to enjoy the food he does like.
- Fridge Horror: Those are real neo-Nazi skinheads in the movie smashing up an Indian-owned cafe and attacking an interracial couple.
- Funny Moments: Now has its own page.
- Less Disturbing in Context: Sometimes understanding the meaning behind the bizarre imagery makes it a little less disturbing, or in some cases, just makes it more fucked up. This might help.
- Memetic Mutation:
- "If ye don't eat yer meat, ye can't have any pudding!"
- "TEAR DOWN THE WALL!"
- Like everything throughout Pink Floyd's career, Roger's eccentric screaming between "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" and "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" and "Run Like Hell".
- "We don't need no education!"
- "Oooh babe!"
- Misaimed Fandom:
- Although the last quarter of The Wall was an attack on neo-Nazis, regrettably some individuals failed to grasp this, as the ADL's page concerning the Hammerskin Nation makes abundantly clear.note
- When Roger Waters took his solo Wall tour to Europe in 2013, concertgoers misinterpreted Waters' use of the Star Of David (along with other logos and symbols such as the Christian cross, McDonald's logo, hammer and sickle, Shell Oil logo and the Mercedes logo being dropped like bombs from airplanes) during the "Goodbye Blue Sky" visual, along with a Star Of David printed on the inflatable pig which is destroyed, and the Hammers/Nazis scenes, as being Anti-Semite and Pro-Nazi. Waters denied this, stating he was protesting it as a "symbol of the state" rather than the Jewish religion, and that his issue was with Israel conducing what he saw as a state of Apartheid within its borders since 1967.
- To a lesser extent, grungy teenagers who use songs like "Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2" as an actual rallying cry for their own social isolation are kind of not getting the message.
- "We don't need no education." has several meanings, to believe it is a song against learning or education is to miss the subtlety. In fact, the sentence is a double negative, which literally means "We need education", suggesting that yes, education can be a good thing in developing well-rounded individuals. The song is a protest, however, against cruel teachers and systems who mold the school children into mindless drones of society. It is saying "We don't need this type of education." It's a criticism against the types of teachers and systems that, as in Pink's case, ridicule an imaginative child for writing poetry, and are aimed mainly at crushing students' individuality to mould them into an "acceptable" shape.
- Roger Waters explains that "ABITW2" isn't anti-education, but against the kind of strict, demoralizing, condescending, conformist schooling like Waters suffered through, which discourages free thought and expression in attempts to keep its students in line and keep them subservient. This was more evident in the demo, where the original lyric was "We don't need your education".
: "Obviously not all teachers are what we have to fear. The school I was at — they were really like that. They were so fucked up that what they had to offer was their own bitterness and cynicism. Some of them, I may say, were very nice guys and understood what was going on."
- "Young Lust" gets airplay on classic rock stations and is also likely taken at face value divorced from the context of the album, despite being a parody of Arena Rock.
- Moral Event Horizon: Pink, when he forms an actual white supremacist movement. (This is if we take his perspective at face value.)
- Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
- One-Scene Wonder: Tim Curry as the Prosecutor in the Live in Berlin version of "The Trial". The Judge in general is this, especially in the movie, where the main thing most audiences remember afterwards is the giant, singing ass.
- Signature Song: "Comfortably Numb", "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2", and "The Trial" are collectively the most famous songs on the album. Doubles as Signature Scene due to the film sequences associated with them also being highly iconic, particularly "The Trial".
- Special Effect Failure: In a movie filled with horrific and visceral imagery, the "meat" coming out of the grinder the kids fall into in "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" is remarkably unconvincing.
- Squick: Those dang genital flowers in "What Shall We Do Now?" (though they are beautifully animated!)
- Tear Jerker:
- "Mother", "Hey You", "Comfortably Numb", "When the Tigers Broke Free", "Is There Anybody Out There?", "Stop" and many more.
- In the live tour, the footage of soldiers being reunited with their children in "Vera" and the memorial images of people who'd died in wars during the first half of the show are bound to have the audience in tears.
- "I've got a strong urge to fly, but I've got nowhere to fly to..."
- When Waters sings, "Some stagger and fall", he's referring to the friends he's lost because they just had enough of his bullshit and couldn't handle him anymore.
- In the film, the scene with little Pinky alone on the playground, watching the other kids playing with their loving fathers. At the end he actually tries to grab one of the leaving fathers by the arm to go home with them, and is predictably shooed away. Similarly, the later scene on the train depot, again with children reuniting with their fathers and Pinky being all alone.
- The line "The child has grown, the dream has gone" from Comfortably Numb. It really drives home how much shit Pink has been through.
- Unfortunate Implications: In the revived tour, "Goodbye Blue Sky" featured an animation of symbols of war and greed like the Shell logo and Mercedes logos being dropped out of planes like bombs. The juxtaposition of the dollar sign and the Star of David unintentionally invoked the "Greedy Jew" stereotype. This, along with Roger Waters' support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, led to charges of antisemitism from Jewish groups.
- Values Dissonance: The movie features clips from The Dam Busters, supposedly what Pink is watching in his hotel, in which the squadron commander's beloved black Lab is shown, and then later in which a junior officer informs the commander that the dog has died. In both cases the dog's name, the same one the actual dog had, is used and audible on screen: Nigger. Waters has since come to greatly regret that choice of clip.
- Values Resonance: The themes of social isolation and mental decay have took on a new resonance during the COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent psychological problems that many people suffered, as well as the resurgence of the far right in the '10s.
- Visual Effects of Awesome:
- Both the original Pink Floyd version as well as Roger Waters' revival featured impressive stage shows.
- Firstly, the wall was actually constructed across the entirety of the stage. Large brick-sized windows allowed the audience to see the band within, until the set got to "Another Brick in the Wall, pt. 3", when these would be closed off, and the open center portion began to be filled in. Waters would sing "Goodbye Cruel World" from the final brickhole, which would be closed by a stagehand at the moment the song finished. Additional notches in the wall would be revealed for the second half, including the trashed hotel room that Pink was staying in. Gilmour's solo in "Comfortably Numb" was performed on top of the wall, while the wall itself was tumbled from top to bottom by stagehands at the end of "The Trial".
- Large puppets of the Schoolmaster, the Mother and the Wife appeared throughout the first half. Pink himself appeared as a tiny puppet atop the wall for "Stop".
- A circular screen above and behind the band showed the animations provided by Scarfe; other projections would appear on the bricks of the wall, most notably during "Waiting for the Worms" and "The Trial", which played the same sequence from the film. For the 1990 performance on the "no man's land" section of the Berlin Wall outside Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, the call to "TEAR DOWN THE WALL" at the end of "The Trial" switched the animated footage to superimpose the actual graffiti from sections of the real Berlin Wall onto the fake one, before it was toppled over.
- "In the Flesh?", as well as the Fascist Pink concert near the end of the album, were actually performed by a fake Pink Floyd band in front of the wall, complete with their own bombastic light show.
- For the 1990 performance, all of the guest performers appeared in front of the wall in their own eccentric costumes, with Thomas Dolby as the Schoolmaster taking the cake: he was strapped to the wall in an enormous version of the costume, with the limbs containing large bungee straps for him to bounce around on.
- For The Wall Live, Waters' 2010-13 tour, the puppets were updated, new animations were produced, and a drone-controlled inflatable pig were added.
- The Woobie:
- WTH, Casting Agency?: Toni Tennille, best known as the vocalist for then-husband-and-wife soft rock duo Captain & Tennille, sang backup vocals for the songs in Fascist Pink's persona.
For the Game Show
- Funny Moments
- On one episode, a question about the Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up" comes up (specifically, naming the lyric that doesn't actually appear in the chorus), and of course, a clip of the video and song gets played as part of it. Hardwick mentions that he didn't think the Wall would ever Rickroll someone.
- Padding: Of course, it would not be an NBC game show without it being excessively stretched out. The final round is the worst offender. There's also the fact that it almost seems scripted for the couples/families to play it up for the cameras where they yammer on about how they've gotten to where they are now before announcing whether or not they've torn up the contract, and then the other person drags it out by taking their sweet time to get to the meat of the conversation through working up to the reveal of their final total instead of it just being a direct "I did/did not tear up the contract", followed by "we won/would have won this much money", which is all we need to know. In other words, most endings will probably have you screaming, "Get on with it!"
- On one episode, a father in isolation was prone to monologuing about personal experiences related to the question, such as that one time they went hot air ballooning and he hated that there was no navigation system. Later on, a question comes up about car brands, and his daughter realizes he is sure to bore them all with a long-winded story about his Dodge Caravan. And wouldn't you know it, he does, completely stalling out the game.
- Scrappy Mechanic: Forcing contestants to take red balls in Rounds 2 and 3. They're seemingly added for no reason other than to potentially screw over contestants who play the question part perfectly.
- What an Idiot!
- The contestant who guessed that the orange ghost in Pac-Man was named Pinky — which is actually the pink one.
- Anyone who fat-fingers the buttons in the opening round by pressing the incorrect response by accident, which locks it in (anti-cheating precaution).
- The contestant who guessed Betty White was not named "Rose" in The Golden Girls, but a spunkier alternative, blissfully unaware that the spunky cliche she's known for was all started by her desire to escape Rose's lily-white image.