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  • Why, in the second movie, did the gremlin in the cookpot not give birth? There was water, or at least clear, water-based liquid. You can see it dripping from the vegetables or pasta on the sides of the vat.
    • He did. You are mentioning the scene when the original, Gizmo-spawned Gremlins give birth to more Gremlins so they can occupy the whole building. The thing is, nobody noticed since the other Gremlins started reproducing as well (due to the sprinkler system).
      • Doesn't count. He was in the pot well before the sprinklers came on. He should have been giving birth the moment he got in that pot.
        • Well, since he was covered in food when he came out, it's probably the case that the water in the pot had been mixed with oils, spices and other foodstuffs to the point where it was no longer 'water' enough for the rule to apply. You have to remember that snow isn't 'water' enough to trigger reproduction for these guys...it's apparently a really strict rule.
  • Something always bugged me about this movie, and thus far any attempt by others to clear it up has failed. It's about the third rule. "Never feed him after midnight". But when, exactly, is "after midnight"? Every single day of the year is preceded by the midnight of the previous day, making every single time of the day "after midnight". So, when does a mogwai become feedable?
    • Maybe it's the 12-6AM period.
    • This bothered me too, I came up with two possible explanations. Either it's the "witching hour", midnight until one, once it becomes 1:00 AM you can feed it again. Or it could also mean just any of the predawn hours.
    • And when is it midnight? the world is split into time zones so while its evening in America (or the East coast of) its gone midnight in Britain. Also what about summer and winter clock settings?
    • Here's a thought: After midnight means "after midnight". You know, after twelve am? Seriously, when somebody tells you "We'll meet at five pm", do you fret about which time zone they're talking about? No, of course not, because it's obviously the one you're currently in! Why start wondering about that here? Unless the movie takes place right on the border between two time zones, there's not much to ask about. Of course, you have to wonder if this is adjusted to fit daylight savings whatsits, but apart from that it seems pretty clear.
      • I'd guess that it's anytime between when the moon is highest in the sky and dawn, so it'd still be midnight in whatever time zone the Mogwai happened to be in.
      • You're not the only person to be bothered by this one
      • Might I add that this whole discussion is hilariously lampshaded in the second film?
      • I don't care about the whole "midnight changes around the world" thing, I'm bothered by the fact that "after midnight" is too vague for me. That point is never adressed in the movies.
    • And that bugs me, a lot. Everyone is willing to discuss how international timelines affects mogway, NOBODY is willing to define "after midnight" to me.
    • Oddly enough, I have never been annoyed by this at all. I have always assumed it meant "don't feed him in the hours after midnight and before dawn ", according of course to the local hour and not to what time is it in another hemisphere or somewhere else (?). It was never literally explained, true, but considering the fact that the movie is basically a (dark) fairy tale, these weird and vague rules were kind of appropriate, I felt. I guess "Never feed him after midnight!" just sounded cooler than "No late night snacks after dinner and before breakfast!".
      • I would assume the rule refers to the astronomical midninght (halfway between sunset and sunrise), regardless of time zones and DST. This doesn't normally coincide with 24:00 on the clock ...
    • I'd have no problem with it if it was magic, but all the novelizations mention that the Mogway were genetically engineered...
      • Which is why those novelizations have always been incredibly stupid to me. Everything makes so much more sense if the mogwai are magic; the rules punish you for being irresponsible with them. The sheer amount of convoluted logic you have to invoke to explain them by any means other than magic is just mind-boggling.
    • This bothered me too until I realized that were someone to say this to us in real life instead of on a movie screen in a film we can gleefully ponder the (il?)logical intricacies of, we wouldn't be nearly so anal about the wording. Most people would immediately take it to mean, "Don't feed them at any time during the night after midnight," and time zones would be the last consideration on their minds because they would take it for granted that of course it refers to whatever time zone they're in. Still night hours? No daylight yet? Check. 12:00 A.M. has arrived (unless you have a really good clock always kept in sync by the U.S. naval observatory site, it's best to play it safe with the exact minute) in your own time zone? Check. Then don't feed them. Simple as that. Daylight savings time is an artificial convention recently imposed in the past couple of centuries, and nothing more than semantics, so it obviously wouldn't count any more than it would if everyone in the country universally started agreeing to call midnight twenty-nine-o'clock for no reason. It's still midnight. And unless you happen to be in one of those weird polar regions where it's always daylight, I don't see how any further conundrums should occur. And even if they did, they don't occur in the film. We really need to get a life.
      • Wait, you're saying a biological function can factor in time zone considerations? I call foul.
        • Biological sensitivity to tidal forces. Don't ask why it's attuned to the solar tidal force instead of the stronger but less circadianly constant lunar tidal force.
      • 12:00 AM? Fuhgeddaboudit! I'm not feeding them after 10:50 at night if I know the risk!
    • I too always figured that the time when you can't feed them starts at 12:00 AM, determined by whatever time zone you are in, and dawn, which will be specific to your particular area. After sunrise, you are free to feed them...until it's 12 AM again.
  • Here's an interesting question: What would happen if you were to bring a mogwai beyond the polar circle? [1] On the second thought, just don't.
  • I think the law that bugs me the most is the rule of water. In other words, do not let them be touched by water. First of all, how much water will affect them? If it's any amount, that means the mogwai is going to be affected as soon as it's exposed to air (remember, there are water vapors in the air). Second, most of the food you eat needed water to be cooked, right? So why isn't that affecting the mogwai?
    • This was actually adressed in the novels and comic books: it has to be clear, liquid water. Non-liquid water (such as steam or snow) or water mixed with something else (such as orange juice or vodka) won't work.
      • As all the drunk gremlins happily demonstrated.
      • Really? Well, then, why did they not include that rule? Sure, it has no place in the movie because it cannot be used dramatically. However, if they said this, it would have at least shut up the doubters like me.
      • And why did the chlorinated water in the pool work?
        • Completely pure water is never encountered in normal life, anyways, so there must be a limit when the concentration is so much the "water" is no longer considered water, but something else. One could probably make a nice science project out of this; dilute orange juice or something in ever increasing amounts of water until you can determine the maximum concentration that will cause reproduction, to three significant figures!
        • Sure, find me a Gremlin and I'll get right on it!
          • I smell a Gremlins 3 movie ...
    • Maybe it has to do with the temperature of the water as well.
  • At the end of the film, when Gizmo's elderly keeper Mr. Wing reclaims him, the old guy's remarks about Western attitudes to nature Bug Me. Yes, he did have grounds to be annoyed with Randall for buying the mogwai under-the-table, and yes, the Peltzers did act like jerks who need a lecture on pet care from Victoria Stilwell. But going beyond accusations of personal carelessness, and claiming that "your society" doesn't understand Nature's creatures? Er, hello? You're traditional Chinese, buddy! Doesn't your own society's "understanding" of Nature's creatures consist of A) how to cook them, and B) what parts of them to grind up for quack medicines and aphrodisiacs? There's a ton of real-world endangered species that'd be thriving today, without your culture's concept of "understanding", so get off your high horse about Gizmo watching television.
    • Show a little more respect for Charlie Chan, will you?
    • No, the problem with Mr. Wing's speech is that none of it applies to Billy. Billy proved he was pretty damn ready to raise a mogwai; it was his obnoxious neighbor kid that got Gizmo wet, and it was his obnoxious dad who wanted to market Gizmo & Co. as pets. Billy did the responsible thing by bringing a mogwai to the science teacher for analysis, going after Stripe, and then going to the police when the situation got out of hand. And after the police proved useless, Billy saved the entire town, at great risk to his life and limb. Sorry, Mr. Wing, but Billy Peltzer earned that little muppet.
    • It was still Billy who fell for the "stopped clock" trick pulled by the other mogwai, and unwittingly fed them after midnight. He clearly underestimated that most mogwai actually want the rules to be broken, so they can be transformed into their more powerful forms. He also underestimated how dangerous they can be even in mogwai form, since he never suspected that they might be responsible for the attempted murder of his dog (though to be fair, at least one other character in the film had explicitly sworn a death wish on him). Mr. Wing did at least acknowledge the bond that Billy had formed with Gizmo, and that he might be ready "one day". What always bugged me regarding Wing's speech was his attitude toward television...given that it was inspiration from characters he'd seen on TV which enabled Gizmo to save the day in both movies. Wing doesn't know that, I suppose, but I'm not sure what point the movie's making.
      • Why would Billy have any reason to think the Mogwai would actually want to break the rules? Since the rules themselves are rather vague about the consequences of breaking them, (Sure, tell us that exposing it to light may kill it, but don't tell us feeding it after midnight may kill us), you couldn't really expect Billy to be on guard for that. Yes, Billy was essentially raising an animal he had no way to understand, but that was his dad's fault, not his. If Mr. Wing had shown up a few hours earlier, I don't think we'd have seen him driving a VW into a bar, blowing up a movie theater, or tracking a homicidal gremlin through a department store. And, while we're on the subject, Gizmo's kind of a slacker in this regard, too. He knew what Stripe and the other Mogwai were up to, and didn't try to warn Billy at all. And in Gremlins 2, if Gizmo had just stayed put like he was told, none of the events of the movie would have happened. Every character in the film is just asking for gremlin anarchy *except* for Billy.
      • I suppose it's just a matter of Billy getting involved in something that he doesn't understand, no matter how level his head and how good his intentions. True, it was his father who brought the Mogwai home in the first place, against Wing's wishes, but he gave it to Billy (and was absent for most of the movie anyway), so responsibilty for ensuring that the rules weren't broken ultimately rested upon his son. It's never stated what breaking rules two and three will actually do, but it's still made clear that they're to be avoided at all costs. As for Gizmo, he seemed genuinely unaware that the other Mogwai had just tricked Billy into breaking the third rule - at the time, he was merely repulsed by their lack of table manners, and didn't eat the chicken himself because he presumably wasn't hungry. You could argue that he too let his guard down (since he knows, either by instinct or past experience, that the other mogwai are no good, and becomes terribly depressed the moment they're spawned) or maybe he just felt powerless to stop them at this stage (although Billy is able to fight the gremlins from the beginning, Gizmo doesn't learn to do so until the climax, when he kills Stripe). When the mogwai go into their cocoon stage, he suddenly become very agitated - I got the impression that those little cries of his were intended as warnings, but neither Billy nor his mother could understand him. Despite their bond, Gizmo is, for the most part, unintelligible to Billy (he was surprised that Mr. Wing could understand him at the end). I agree that most of the other characters in both movies were just asking for it, though, and that Billy is presented in a much more favourable light by comparison. I suppose that's why his rewards are a) being promised that he and Gizmo will be reunited one day at the end of the first movie and b) being reunited with Gizmo and actually getting to keep him in the second.
    • Silly Rabbit, lectures about nature are from Asians, elves, aliens and Indians only!
  • If Gizmo ate after midnight and morphed into a gremlin, would he become evil? His "children" were mean from the very birth but what about him? Frankly, it'd be pretty cool to have a "nice" gremlin fighting the others.
    • I always got the impression that Gizmo is the only good Mogwai; and that's the reason the other guys hate him; he's a goodie two shoes among a crew of sychopats. I've always infered from the fact that he enjoys music, and watching TV and likes to sing for Mr Wing; he's visible bothered by getting wet, shows genuine sorrow and concern when he notices the other mogwais eating past midnight and he resolves to fight Stripe to the end.
    • This is discussed in the WMG section: the popular theory is that if a mogwai is exposed to water against its will, their offspring will be Always Chaotic Evil. If the mogwai willfully exposes itself to water, it can choose the Grid Alignment of it's offspring. What a good mogwai morphs into if it eats after midnight is beyond me...
    • I always saw the reproduced Mogwai as just bad seeds but not nearly as bad as the Gremlins, and that being transformed into a Gremlin brings out the bad side. Gizmo would turn evil if fed after midnight, but he might be less evil than the others.
      • Supported by the novelization: Less than 1% of Mogwai are good-natured. "Bad" mogwai are mischievous, and even potentially harmful, but still less dangerous than gremlins (in the novel, mogwai are genetically hardwired to be incapable of even contemplating harming another of their own species). And Gizmo tells Stripe that he'd be as violent and short-lived as the others if he exploited "the third secret".
  • Mr. Futterman mentions the gremlins as the things that caused mechanical problems during WWII, but the mogwai was bought from a Chinese shop, in a Chinatown and has a Cantonese name. It was Japan that we fought in WWII. It just seems like a stretch that the writers would try to connect the two like that.
    • The writers didn't make up the part about the Gremlins sabotaging planes. Gremlins are actual folkloric creatures who are supposed to do just that and had been depicted in media long before the movie. As for the Chinese shop, it just fits (in a racist, oriental kind of sense) that the mysterious generic Asian (Chinese) guy would have certain mysterious mythological creatures such as Gremlins.
    • The old man also never refers to the monsters as gremlins, and he's probably the only one who would know their proper name. Billy is the one who started calling them that. He had recently had a conversation with Mr. Futterman about little monsters that wreck things, was now faced with little monsters that wreck things, and decided to use that term. Might qualify as an Ironic Echo.
    • China was also fighting Japan during World War II. It was a World War after all, not just USA v Japan. I don't remember the exact quote but I doubt Mr. Futterman was implying that it was anything to do with the Japanese anyway. It was just an observation.
    • Variations of sprites exist in folklore all over the world. Who says gremlins can't exist between two nearby countries in the same continent?
    • Mogwai actually are creatures of Chinese folklore (They're a type of sprite). And, according to the mythos, when it rains, Mogwai..well...become horny and start to breed like rabbits (hence the whole "Water=Babies for Mogwai/Gremlins" scenario). The film simply merged the two mythologies together to form a single creature.
  • No mention of this scene yet? In the first movie, two policemen drive up to a house to see a man screaming for help as a bunch of gremlins maul him. The two officers look at each other, decide they're uncomfortable and drive off, leaving the man to his death. And this is NEVER addressed! By the very definition of their job, these two policemen just murdered a man through inaction. Yet do they ever receive any comeuppance? Never! I can't even watch the film anymore without that scene leaving me fuming.
    • Their break line is cut by a gremlin, and their car crashes; the only person who gets worse comeuppance is Mrs. Deagle.
    • Actually, given that the movie takes place in the U.S., Warren v. District of Columbia says that their job description doesn't force them to provide individual protection to people. That said, they had never seen gremlins in their lives before, so understandably they were unnerved. Mind you, they seemed rather callous about it.
    • Rule of Funny (the scene was played in a comedic light). And yes, as another troper has noted, they do receive their comeuppance.
  • I hope Chuck Jones didn't get bothered by any Gremlins.
    • Nah, if he had, then his concept of a gremlin would have looked a lot more like metamorphosed mogwai than an imp wearing footie pajamas (jump suit?) with a missile nose sticking out each side of its head.
  • Another issue on the Water Rule. How is Gizmo supposed to stay hydrated?
    • By drinking orange juice, Coke and Pepsi. As I said before, the comic books and novel explictly demonstrated that only clear, pure, liquid water works on mogwais.
      • Aren't carbonated drinks dehydrant?
        • That's a myth propagated by the same people that think you need to drink seven glasses of water a day.
    • Also, the rule is "don't get them wet." A simple drink of water may not do it.
    • Who said they even need water?
      • Exactly. They're like kangaroo rats.
  • What happend to the old Chinese's grandson in between the two movies?
  • How come nobody ever told Mrs. Deagle that Animal Cruelty is a crime?
  • Why do the Peltzers have a toy robot in the stocking if their only child is a teenager?

Notes

  1. On par with how do Muslims follow the Ramadan in the polar regions.
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