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  • Accidental Innuendo: "and [Jim] would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was."
  • Alas, Poor Villain: This is Huck's reaction to seeing the Duke and the King tarred and feathered.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Huck's reaction to finding out his father and Miss Watson had died a while ago was either unmentioned or nonexistent. Granted, his father's death wasn't much of a loss
    • To be fair, he never seemed overly fond of Miss Watson either (at least that this troper recalls). Huck did show angst when Jim went missing, because he really cared about him.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, Huck and Jim have a conversation that has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the story. (It ends with Jim arguing that French people must not be human because they don't speak English.) This was apparently supposed to be funny to nineteenth-century readers, and some critics have contended that Twain included it as a send-up of the minstrel-show comedy routines popular at the time.
    • And yet some critics have argued that there is some hidden symbolism in that Huck and Jim's several arguments are actually about slavery.
      • Arguably it is also set up to show that Huck and Jim are Not So Different, since even with his education, Huck still is unable to counter Jim's logical (for what he is told) points.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Often banned because parents mistakenly believe it is a racist book. They'd know better if they read up to the CMOA.
    • Actually, it's been very heavily debated as to whether the book is racist among literary scholars. The major controversy actually relates to the use of language and Jim's portrayal which has been regarded as being a Sambo like characterization, although it has been argued that this is in and of itself a satire.
  • Complete Monster: Huck's father.
  • Ending Fatigue: The story comes to a grinding halt once Jim gets locked in the smokehouse.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: An attempted defiance by the author, but it hasn't stopped generations of scholars from analyzing the heck out of this book.
  • Fair for Its Day: It's now considered racist, but is actually a satirical work condemning slavery. Also, we have to understand that back then it was considered highly offensive for a southerner to denounce his society in this way. People cry racism for the outdated terms (n-word being commonly used, whether intended badly or not) but it was radical then. And while Jim is portrayed as being ignorant (being Black at that time, he had not received any sort of formal education; Huck has a hard time explaining how it is that French people don't speak English) he is by no means stupid. In fact, he's generally the smartest guy in the room.
  • Genius Bonus: Prior to the American Civil War, the United States did not have a unified money supply. As such, cash printed in big cities was more easier to pay with. On his journey, Huck has to pay a person in cash for a favor. It is accepted without a hitch because the cash was printed in New Orleans, and New Orleans is described as having some of the most reliable currency available. Not a strong case of Did Do the Research because Twain knew this tidbit first hand.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Whole essays have been written on what may or may not exist between Huck and Jim--most famous being "Come Back on the Raft Agin, Huck Honey."
    • Tom and Huck, especially with the line "I wanted him and me to be together"
  • I Am Not Shazam: At no point in the novel is Huck's companion ever called "Nigger Jim"--that came from various descriptions and ties-in to the book shortly after its publication.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Tom attempts to invoke this trope based on the adventure novels he's read... and fails.
  • Snicket Warning Label: See Writer Cop Out.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Completely overshadows the original, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • Values Dissonance: Both unintentionally, as discussed above, and intentionally in regard to Huck's unwillingness to return Jim to slavery. Huck decides to be a Card-Carrying Villain, and most of those around him proclaim themselves good and him evil, but it's made apparent that they're not good, and he's a morally righteous rebel, or at worst a Noble Demon.
  • Villain Decay: Inverted by the Duke and the Dauphin. They start out as a couple of bumbling con artists, but become more and more sinister as the book progresses
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Didactic?: The book is prefaced with a "Notice" threatening with various dire fates any reader who dares treat it as Serious Business. The warning has been universally disregarded, often taken as an invitation.
  • Writer Cop Out: Ernest Hemingway thought so, saying that it was a great book but that "if you read it, you must stop where the Nigger Jim is taken from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating."
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