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YMMV / Wizards of Waverly Place

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  • Accidental Innuendo: In "Justin's Little Sister", Alex blatantly admits to her mother that the idea of her parents canoodling grosses her out more than the idea of going out with her own brother. This scene can be considered the turning point for many fans of the show, as from this point on you were either a Jalex fan or you weren't. Note that is not a case of That Came Out Wrong, as neither her or her mother saw anything wrong with this.
    • Perhaps not-so-accidental: in "Helping Hand", after Max 'invents' his toothbrush/backscratcher, Jerry and Theresa have a conversation debating how unfair their 'backscratching' is in bed. Jerry accuses Theresa of pretending to be too tired to 'scratch his back' and she accuses him of not returning the favour, stating "It's just scratch, I'm done."
  • Actor Shipping: Most people out there think that Selena Gomez and David Henrie look cute together. In a round-about way of avoiding squick, many fans who can't stomach their character pairing resort to shipping them in real life instead while watching the show.
    • In an interview, her perfect guy description basically was the impersonation of David, physic and personality likewise: "My color of hair. I don't know, i've never been attracted to someone who doesn't have brown hair. Tall, cause I like to feel short. I don't like to feel taller than someone, and I do like to wear heels so someone has to be taller than me. Green eyes because I don't have green eyes and I think they are very pretty. Muscular, kind of. Or between. I dont like them to be too muscular, but I want them to take care of me. Uh, scruffy. I kind of like a little scruff. Goofy and a little serious because I love to have a good time but I also like someone who can have an intellectual conversation."
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  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Alex is very prone to this.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Alex enjoys fighting with Justin and teases him relentlessly, mainly because she wants to get his attention and seeks his acceptance. This is heavily implied in some episodes like "Dollhouse", where she laughs and jumps happily when Justin yells at her, saying "there's the fight I was looking for!", then hugs him, and Art Museum Piece when she wants him to say that her work is cool. This interpretation of Alex was pretty much made canon with the episode "Delinquent Justin", where Alex reveals her plan to keep Justin from leaving and going to college. This showed that Alex has spent at least the last 4-5 years of her life wanting Justin's praise and attention, most of her schemes are simply trying to keep it.
    • Also, is Justin really the sweet nerd he appears to be, or one of the show's biggest manipulative bastards. He puts on an act that he is always punished and Alex gets away with everything, but in every episode Alex will get in trouble even unfairly, and he will usually be pardoned since he is the good kid.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The "Werewolves Vs Vampires" episode ends with a never-previously-mentioned mutual weakness between vampires and werewolves, that if Vampires bite Werewolves, they lose their humanity and become full-wolf, while if a Werewolf scratches a vampire, they lose their powers and rapidly age. This pretty much comes out of nowhere to justify breaking up both Alex and Mason AND Justin and Juliet, and easily weakens any emotion that could have been in the ending when this happens.
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    • The finale ends with Justin winning the Family Wizard contest and, depending on your view, that seems like a reasonable ending. Except, it turns out he only won because Alex went back to help him after he got stuck on a branch (somehow, given how flimsy the branch looked, its amazing he couldn't have broken free from it himself), and so he hands her the title of Full Wizard. OK, less reasonable and definitely feels like Character Shilling, but OK. But then, Prof. Crumbs announces out of nowhere that he's retiring, and hands his power over to Justin, allowing both Alex and Justin to ultimately keep their powers, while Max gets to inherit the family sandwich shop, meaning they all get a happy ending, but each without any build up to justify it.
  • Broken Base:
    • Half of the fanbase think season three is great season because of the witty humor, story-arc episodes, and new characters. The other half think it is terrible due to Alex and Justin's relationship became Cain and Abel, the tone became darker and dramatic, the mean-spirited humor, and the introduction of Mason.
  • Creator's Pet: Mason is not very well liked by fans, but he appears to be loved by the writers. As a result of this, Alex will always take him back no matter what he does.
  • Crossover Ship: Alex/Sam Puckett, Alex/Sonny Monroe , Alex/Zack Martin. The latter is actually plausible since the two characters have met in-canon.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Many of the jokes on the series is surprisingly dark and mean-spirited for a Disney sitcom. From Max telling a joke in the most inappropriate times to Stevie's death...all Played for Laughs. It also doesn't help it when Alex isn't exactly a good role model for the young viewers thanks to her attitude and behavior.
    • The entire way the world of Magic is, especially the whole "Family Wizard Competition", which only shows families being destroyed and ruined because only one of them can be the Family Wizard. It was shown in a few episodes where it's revealed Jerry and Kelbow aren't close to their sister who resents them for losing her magic in the Wizard competition (considering as well that Jerry won the competition but gave up his magic to Kelbow to be with Teresa) and even in the finale when it seems Alex, Justin, and Max lost the competition, they begin to fall apart because of it.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Despite being the main character, Alex is this for many episodes, not that she does not indulge in bad behavior. The girl cannot breathe without being treated like she is the Anti-Christ. Some of the most infamous examples include "Alex's Logo", where Alex is enchanted into speaking what is on her mind, and is punished for it, or "Re-Test", where Alex is entirely blamed for Aunt Megan's actions, instead of Aunt Megan. This gets especially bad during the finale when Alex convinces Justin and Max to give up their powers in order to save Harper and Zeke. After losing their powers, Justin and Max become extremely abusive towards Alex, and are portrayed in the right for doing so. The fact that they were willing to let people die is never acknowledged. Harper calls everyone out on this in the reunion special, saying they should love Alex for who she is and not constantly expect her to change.
    • Stevie. Why would allowing all wizards to keep their powers be a bad thing? This competition is regularly stated to have broken up families, including the previous generation of the Russos. This question is never answered. Word of God said If you can't see what was wrong with Stevie's plan, maybe you have a little evil in you yourself. In other words, yes, because if Stevie had spoken up then life as a wizard would be very different.
  • Die for Our Ship: Mason is starting to get this treatment from Jalex fans. Same for Harper, but, since her obsession with Justin has been diminished, she is apparently much more likable now. Fortunately for Juliet, she is the Ensemble Dark Horse, so she has been saved from this.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Stevie. Zeke and Juliet too, which probably led to their increased role and further appearances in the show.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    Alex: I was starting to think that telling the truth was better, but then Justin's lie fixed everything.
    • Plus the Aesop of the movie seemed to be "No matter how hard you study and work, the people with natural talent will always kick your ass."
    • Going outside the rules to do what you feel is right results in you receiving the harshest punishment you can get. Also includes the one time the laziest person wants to do something, it's wrong.
    • Alex vs Alex taught us that you don't have to mature or grew up as long as you still have friends who are willing to put up with your antics.
  • Fanon: A good half of the fandom believes that someone is adopted. The most accused of this fate is Justin, because he doesn't look Latino like Alex and Max. The three kids are Latino and Italian, Justin simply inherited his looks from his father. Not to mention Justin was ripped from existence in the movie. This implies that if anyone were to be adopted, it would be Alex. The Family Wizard is immune to the effects of the spell, and Alex had, by the climax of the movie, become the family wizard, and thus Justin was next in line to be ripped from existence.
    • A much more common fan theory is that Stevie is a lesbian. There's nothing ever to refute it in canon and the character is Ambiguously Gay.
  • Fanon Dis Continuity: "Alex's Logo" is despised for its mean-spirited nature. It also confuses fans because David Henrie wrote the episode and made his character an unlikable prick.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Justin and Alex. The last movie suggests that even the producers might have become Jalex fans. (Along with almost every fan of the show.)
    • This carries onto the crew as well. Justin's actor David Henrie stated the ending to "Wizards vs. Werewolves", which ends with Justin and Alex's first loves Put on a Bus, leaving them heartbroken and leaning on each other for support, along with a questionable dialogue consisting of We're not normal people..., is his favorite ending ever.
    • Selena Gomez (Alex) declared that her favorite scene from the movie is the campfire scene, which is the most suggestive and intimate scene between Justin and Alex ever, saying that it's a real moment between a brother and a sister. What she meant by real, it's up to fans to decide...
    • She has said on more than one occasion that the campfire scene is also David's favorite scene in the movie as well.
    • The creators admitted that they have known about the Jalex fandom for a long time now, way before the movie came out. So in theory, they introduced huge amounts of Justin/Alex in the movie with full intentions on what they were doing, knowing it would provide fuel for the majority of the fans' ship. One could even speculate that all the innuendo in those scenes aren't just the fans' wild imagination, it was actually real and there.
    • There's a sweet little scene near the end where Justin basically says that Alex completes him and that he misses her. She says that she misses him too. That's about as close as you can get to saying I love you without actually saying it.
    • Even though Harper and Zeke are together, fans like to pair her with Max instead.
  • Fetish Retardant: Kelbo in his Shakira outfit.
  • Foe Yay: Alex and Gigi.
    • Foe Yay: Justin's and Alex's teasing sibling rivalry becomes harsh and very bitter at times, especially in the third season. And this makes their heartwarming moments much more unusual. "Eat to the Beat" is a good example.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The show was originally conceived with Justin and Alex being friends instead of siblings, the Unresolved Sexual Tension between the actors and the characters they play is almost visible from space, 'Jalex' is the preferred ship for most fans - and now, in Real Life, Selena Gomez dated a boy named 'Justin'.
    • The other ship that involves Alex is with a guy named Mason. Alex/Mason. Think about it for a while.
    • In the Season 2 episode, "Future Harper," the Russo kids confront a fantasy author writing about their lives who turns out to be an adult Harper, come back in time because books about wizards are no longer that of big sellers in the future due to the existence of wizards being public knowledge. While she won't give details, she does go so far as to say that it's the fault of someone in the room; all three Russo kids immediately assume this means Max. (Yes, including Max himself.) After the two-part Season 3 finale/Season 4 premier, Max is the only one of the three kids who doesn't expose wizards in Crumbs' secret test.
      • Also in "Future Harper", there's a quick joke where Future!Harper asks Alex what's wrong, prompting "Did Mason break up with you?" Alex, having not yet met Mason, pauses and asks "Who's Mason?" Fast forward a few seasons to Alex's werewolf boyfriend.
    • One episode involves Jerry getting caught up in one of Alex's Zany Schemes (as per usual) and having to deal with Cupid. David DeLuise would later go on to play Cupid in an episode of The Haunting Hour.
    • Stevie being Ambiguously Gay becomes even more hilarious when her actress Hayley Kiyoko came out as a lesbian in 2017.
    • Alex lied to the reporters that Lady Gaga was going to jump over a shark tank while riding on a motorcycle in "Alex Tells the World". Guess what happens during the season?
    • Leven Rambine, the actress who played Rosie Justin's angel of darkness love interest had a previous role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as Riley. Similar to Rosie, Riley was a spy who'd been sent to get close to a John Connor only to end up developing feelings for him. The characters from both series even have names that begin with the same letter (Justin/John, Rosie/Riley).
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Averted with Harper, played straight with Jerry. Harper would qualify as fat in most TV series (although nowhere else) but not even Gigi ever brings it up. There are only mild, occassional things. For instance, in Baby Cupid, Justin couldn't push Harper in her chair no matter how hard he tried. (whether or not this was a joke about Justin being weak or Harper being fat is up to the viewer).
  • Ho Yay:
    • There seems to be some between Justin and his dad (after all, Justin is his favorite). More noticeable is the amount between Max and his Conscience—he and his Conscience were wrestling (which looked very suggestive) and his Conscience has even sat on his lap. It probably doesn't help that his Conscience is played by Moises Arias, Jake T. Austin's (the actor who plays Max) best friend in real life.
    • Max and Mason have quite a bit, too, especially from Max's side. It seems like at first he's just trying to get on Alex's new boyfriend's good side, but then Mason breaks Alex's heart, the rest of the family hates him, and...what's this? Max is following him down the street? Mason tries to convince him that maybe they shouldn't keep hanging out, Max debates being hurt over it and then pretty much just ignores it? Yeah. There's something there. And it seems one-sided until the end of the movie, when Max is howling from the top of the castle and Mason returns. And Max nearly cries.'s just all kinda weird, really.
    • Then there's the episode where teenage Max and Justin wrestle each other... resulting in lines like this:
    Max: Give up yet?
    Justin: Of course not, I'm on top of you.
    • Alex and the Tutor. Alex wanted to befriend that girl so much that she fought with Justin (who wanted to date the Tutor) for an entire episode, like two beings that fight for the same love partner. It didn't help the fact that, at the end, the Tutor reveals herself to be an elf, explaining to them that "everyone loves elves", which validates the insights regarding Alex's true intentions.
    • Also there is quite much of this between Zeke and Justin, too, with more on Zeke's part. When Alex tells him that Justin doesn't want to be his partner anymore, he almost has a breakdown.
    Zeke: Goodbye, old science partner. If that water powered engine doesn't make you happy... you know where I'll be. In the library, reading comic books.
    • Alex and Stevie. And occasionally Harper, which turns "Third Wheel" into a Love Triangle.
    • The final scene in Wizards Return. the second movie, where Alex says, to Mason's dismay, that Harper is the one person who has always accepted her for herself and that even if her powers are taken away she'll still have Harper, is as close to an open declaration of homosexual love as we're ever likely to get on a Disney show.
    • The first thing Harper says after seeing Jenny turn back into a teenager?
    Harper: Dangit! She's cute...
    • Pretty much Alex interacting with female characters.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Jalex (Justin and Alex who are brother and sister) is the most popular ship for Wizards of Waverly Place. It may also be a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Alex, in The Movie.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some fans watch the series just for Selena Gomez.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Alex. In addition to the huge Jalex community, Alex is shipped with Harper, Max, Alex herself. Juliet. Dean. Stevie. Mason. Zeke. Theresa. Basically anyone who ever comes onto the show.
  • Memetic Mutation: "What's that? A hat, a crazy funky junky hat!"
  • Mind Game Ship: Expect mind games to be played between Justin and Alex in almost any episode you watch.
    • A great example of this aspect of their relationship is in "Fairy Tale". She acts really nice to Justin to get a role in his play, and when that doesn't work, she flat out uses mind games to trick him into getting it.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Regarding Justin's and Alex's relationship. Although the fandom might have made itself misaimed for noble purposes.
  • Never Live It Down: Some people still have a grudge on Justin for his actions in Alex's Logo. being out-of-character, and getting no punishment for his actions also helps.
  • No Yay: There can't be many fans left out there that do not see the brother-sister conflict slash uncomfortable romantic flirtation between Justin and Alex.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Jalex (Justin/Alex) — Your Squick May Vary. Also, Marper (Max/Harper)- apparently this is rubbing off on the fans more than the Official Couple, Zarper (Zeke/Harper), Alason (Alex/Mason), Dalex (Alex/Dean), Stalex (Alex/Stevie),Jax (Justin/Max) and Halex (Alex/Harper)- two of the most popular same-sex pairings.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Inadvertently or otherwise, the writers have added heaps of Incest Yay to Justin and Alex's sibling relationship. Consequently, Jalex is the Fan-Preferred Couple of the show. In a Disney show. For children.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Maxine(Max in a little girl's body) to fans of Max's actor, the temporarily absent Jake T. Austin. This is a very unusual case, since they are technically the same character.
  • The Scrappy: Many fans don't understand how Alex acts so different when Mason's around, not to mention how he was a jerkass stalker in "Wizards vs. Werewolves", "killing" Juliet and effectively rendering both Justin and Alex heartbroken for the majority of Season 3. Many people who like him are either Alason shippers, or they just think Gregg Sulkin is cute. This is not helped by the fact that Juliet appeared in less episodes in season 4 (justified since Bridgit Mendler was busy doing Good Luck Charlie at the time and couldn't return until during the final episodes) and that he appeared in more episodes during this season.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 4 was considered the series worst season because of Flanderization on the characters (especially Alex, Justin, Max, and Theresa), Maxine replacing Max, Alex and Mason's romance (see Strangled by the Red String) and many episodes that has nothing to do with the plot.
    • Season 3 also qualify this, including Mason's appearance and romance with Alex. Also, Alex and Justin's relationship became Cain and Abel instead of their friendly Sibling Rivalry making Jalex shippers disappointed.
    • Some say the series went downhill early as season two. During the season, Alex's jerkass personality starts to develop.
  • She Really Can Act: This scene in the movie, which had arguably Selena Gomez's most powerful acting in the series, where Justin loses his memory and Alex breaks down crying about she looks up to him and begs her not to leave him. Then Justin gets sucked into the vortex and Alex tries desperately to conjure a spell to fix everything. You can really hear the hopelessness in her voice...
    "I don't know how to do this...please help me.."
  • Special Effect Failure: Especially in the first two seasons when it was obvious the "special effects" were little more than cut-and-paste Photoshop effects.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Mason and Alex. Literally together for only an episode before Alex was 'in love' with him. Then you were supposed to be sad for him when he gets turned into a wolf, after he flat out tried to injure/kill Justin and Juliet for no apparent reason.
    • Meanwhile, Alex seems to not care that Juliet and Justin's lives are in danger at all
  • Strawman Has a Point: Stevie's evil plan amounts to getting rid of the one-wizard-per-family rule. Considering how the show does demonstrate how much damage this rule does with Megan, Kelbo, and Jerry, it comes off as her wanting for a more unified wizarding world.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Alex of all people, in "Positive Alex". She's so overwhelmingly positive it makes others sick and annoyed.
    • Alex and Mason's relationship. Apart from the fact that the whole thing is just a Strangled by the Red String case, their supposedly "perfect couple" image comes off as downright cheesy.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • At the end of The Movie, when Justin loses his memory, Alex starts crying and tells him her true feelings, things that she wouldn't normally say. The scene can be seen here.
    • During the whole "girlfriend's been kidnapped by a mummy" fiasco, and later when Juliet becomes an old lady. A few of the moments where Justin was on the verge of tears would have come across as cheesy, except that dammit David Henrie can act.
      • From the same episode, Mason becoming a real wolf, especially the ending where Max howls to wolf!Mason from a distance.
    • In the Grand Finale, during the montage where the viewer sees the three Russo siblings attempting to work to get the sub shop back in business. They slowly soften up to each other after having been at each other's throats for having thought that Alex got them disqualified from the wizard competition. Eventually, they all work well together, bring in enough business, and bring their parents back.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In many episodes of season three and four.
    • The season finale "Wizards Exposed" had an intense cliffhanger for the next season.It turns out to be fake.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Stevie. See Designated Villain above.
  • Villain Decay: The mummy isn't nearly as badass as he was at the end of the Chronicles of Moises arc, and his defeat is ridiculously easy.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Max releasing all the monsters into New York City so Justin will be shown up and not the best wizard in the family when he tries to catch them all and fails. Too Dumb to Live and Flanderization doesn't even to begin to cover just what an idiot Max has become.
    • Alex for not figuring out that Stevie was a wizard in the first episode in which she appeared. Why should she have figured it out? Because when Alex talked to the posters of Justin, they said they promised they wouldn't rat out the person who posted them, which means the person who posted them must have communicated with the posters, something no mortal could have done.
    • Justin reveals to the government agents that he's a wizard and the location of the portal to the Wizard World. He does it because they convince him there will be an alien invasion, complete with a tape of aliens discussing battle plans in a language, Justin MADE UP HIMSELF. He doesn't even acknowledge the Fridge Logic when Alex points it out to him. The agents have to flat out tell him that that they tricked him.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • This show is pushing the limits on what can be shown on Disney Channel due to some content (werewolves, vampires, Alex's Anti-Villain tendencies).
    • They've also killed off quite a few characters (such as Stevie) and react rather coldly to their deaths—they go on as if nothing ever happened and really don't seem to care.
    • The dark angels who wanted to invoke some sort of Apocalypse, before they got there halfway. The same episode had Max maliciously turning the girls from the sleepover into fruit the family was going to eat. The final scene is the family listening to the fruit tell jokes. The audience is left to assume they changed them back to girls and wiped their memories or something, but there was some pretty dark humour in that scene, when Jerry practically threatened to put them into a blender.
    • The cynical humor, especially in later seasons is definitely not "kid-friendly".
    • There's a very dark sense of humor always underneath the surface, certainly where Harper's characterization is concerned, and the relations between Theresa and Jerry, or the parent Russos and their children are concerned. The dysfunction is often Flanderized and/or Played for Laughs.


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