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File:Audrey-ii.jpg

 "Feed me! Feed me!... Feed me, Seymour!"

A musical reimagining of the 1960 Roger Corman film The Little Shop of Horrors, made by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, which debuted in 1982, loosely adapted from Corman's film. The musical was subsequently turned into a film in 1986 starring Rick Moranis in his last singing role, which in turn inspired a revival of the musical. It is Frank Oz's first movie he directed without Jim Henson and his first outside of the Muppet label, and would start his line of subsequent comedy films.

The story revolves around Mushnik's Skid Row Florists and the three people who work there: Mr Mushnik, the proprietor, and his two assistants, Seymour and Audrey. Seymour loves Audrey, but hasn't told her because he's a poor orphan with no future to offer her. Audrey is dating a rich but thoroughly unpleasant guy and dreams of meeting a nice man who'll love her for herself, but believes it will never happen. The shop is on its last legs: there's nothing in the till but cobwebs and dust.

And then Seymour finds a strange and interesting plant, which he dubs the Audrey II, and pursuades Mr Mushnik to display it in the shop window. Audrey II proves to be a customer magnet: people come to look at it, and always buy something before they leave. As its fame spreads, the shop receives larger and larger commissions, and Seymour starts receiving offers for national magazine interviews, lecture tours, even his own TV show.

But there's a catch: The plant thrives on human blood, and will die without it. At first, Seymour can keep it satisfied with his own blood, but as it grows larger it demands more than a person can give and live. But, you know, there's that repulsive boyfriend of Audrey's -- surely nobody would miss him if he were to... disappear...

The film version follows the stage version fairly closely except for a Focus Group Ending in which the Audrey II is defeated and Seymour and Audrey survive to live happily ever after.

The film version subsequently resulted in an animated series called Little Shop, created by Frank Oz, which aired in 1991. It was set in a High School, with school-aged Seymour and Audrey dealing with the usual sort of high school comedy plots, with the dubious assistance of a toned-down plant which was merely carnivorous rather than a "humanitarian."


The musical provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The musical jettisons several incidental characters, tightens the plot and gives Seymour's struggle with the carnivorous Audrey II a proper narrative arc.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Audrey is traditionally platinum blonde (the acting script refers to her as such). In the original film, she was brunette.
  • Adorkable: Seymour and Audrey.
  • Alter Kocker: Mr. Mushnik
  • Ambiguous Gender: Audrey II--a plant who acts and sounds male, but has a female name and gets referred to by feminine pronouns. (Admittedly, when Seymour states that "the Audrey II is not a healthy girl", the Audrey II hasn't revealed itself as sentient yet, so he's speaking pretty loosely.)
  • And You Were There: After Audrey II starts growing, Seymour is approached by a series of people offering him fame and fortune (three in the musical number "The Meek Shall Inherit", and one more in the final scene); all four are played by a single actor. The same actor also plays the plant's first victim. (As well as various one-off characters with less metaphorical resonance.)
  • Asshole Victim: Orin
    • Seymour also counts, it being his Karmic Death.
      • Possibly also Mr. Mushnik, depending on how the actor and director play it.
  • Audience Participation Song: "Dentist!" ends by becoming this. "Say ahhhhh!" "Ahhhhh!"
  • Badass Biker: "What kind of 'professional' rides a motorcycle and wears a black leather jacket?" (Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., that's what kind.)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: All over the place.
  • The Berserker: Seymour in the final scene. "Now!"
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Seymour.
  • Blood Lust: "Don't need no twist of lime..."
  • B-Movie: A parody thereof.
  • Boredom Montage
  • Break the Cutie: Seymour. Audrey was broken long before the musical started.
  • Catch Phrase: "Feed me!" and variants thereof.
    • A more subtle one is Audrey's "Sure!", which even gets referenced in "Suddenly Seymour" ("I'd meet a man and I'd follow him blindly/He'd snap his fingers/Me, I'd say 'sure'!") In the film of the musical, she even says "Sure!" through a film of happy tears when Seymour proposes.
    • "Say ahhhh! Say ahhhh!"
  • Cephalothorax: Audrey II. When it swallows you, Where do you go?
    • The carnivorous pitcher-plant dissolves its prey in its juices. Audrey II must work on this principle, and its teeth just make the process a little more, ah, digestible.
  • Canon Foreigner: Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon.
  • Creepy Physical
  • Crapsack World: Skid Row. More like a beer-bottle in a paper bag world.
  • Crosscast Role: Mrs. Luce, usually, since the tradition is for all the characters who offer Seymour fame and fortune to be played by a single (male) actor.
  • Crowd Song: "Skid Row", "Don't Feed The Plants".
  • Cut and Paste Suburb: Audrey reveals her greatest dream is a simple life in a tract house in "Somewhere That's Green".

 Audrey: I'll cook like / Betty Crocker... and I'll look like / Donna Reed!

  • Darker and Edgier: Than the original film, to a degree. While the original was loaded with Black Comedy, the musical manages to throw in plenty of extra angst:
    • In the film, Seymour is a bumbling innocent who's so clumsy that he kills his victims by mistake, while in the musical he's seduced into deliberate murder by being promised fame, fortune and the girl he loves, Audrey. Additionally, while the film Seymour lived with his mother, the musical Seymour was abandoned at the Skid Row Home For Boys and taken in by Mushnik, who never liked him and treated him horribly.
    • Skid Row is now a terrible place that everyone desperately wishes they could leave.
    • Audrey, a happy-go-lucky ditz in the film, becomes the product of a broken home who's been in one bad relationship after another, suffers from low self-esteem, and is regularly abused by her sadistic boyfriend. She also dies in the end.
    • The plant goes from being a somewhat sarcastic, ever-hungry presence to a Magnificent Bastard plotting world domination.
    • The dentist goes from merely being crazy to being a sadistic monster who proudly boasts about the childhood he spent murdering animals in horrific ways.
  • Dark Reprise: Of "Somewhere That's Green"
    • Not just that. See the trope page.
  • Deal with the Devil: Even referred to as such in the acting script. (The precise wording is "pact with the devil".) The introduction references the Faust legend as well.
  • Death by Adaptation: Mushnik and Audrey don't die in the original movie.
  • Death by Cameo: In the original workprint ending, director Frank Oz is seen being eaten by the Audrey IIs invading New York
  • Death Song: "Now (It's Just The Gas)" for Orin and "Somewhere That's Green Reprise" for Audrey.
  • Depraved Bisexual: No matter what its gender, Audrey II acts rather seductively toward both Seymour and Audrey.
  • Depraved Dentist
  • Despair Event Horizon: Audrey's death.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life:

 I keep asking God what I'm for,

And he tells me, "Gee, I'm not sure,

Sweep that floor, kid!"

 Orin: Are you satisfied? I--laughed--my--self--to... (dies)

Seymour: ...death?

  • Dirty Communists: The original premise of the film the play was based on, is obviously a commentary on appeasing Nazis and Communists (and other dictator types). It's even lampshaded in one of the songs.

  "I've given you sunlight, I've given you rain, looks like you're not happy 'less I open a vein! I'll give you a few drops... if that'll appease..."

  • Domestic Abuser: Audrey's boyfriend Orin Scrivello is a "semi-" sadist.
  • Dumb Blonde: Audrey.
  • Drama Queen: Audrey is meant to be played this way, though admittedly she's sincere about what she feels and goes through a lot more than most examples of the trope.
  • Dramatic Irony: Seymour complains about how he has to keep feeding Audrey II, and Audrey (number I) wonders why he's so upset about the cost of plant food.
  • Eaten Alive: Musnik and Seymour.
  • Economy Cast: If the roles are divided as they were in the original run, only eight cast members are required--four guys and four girls, with Orin's actor playing several minor roles.
  • Eleven O Clock Number: "The Meek Shall Inherit".
  • Empathic Environment: "Shang-a-lang, feel the sturm und drang in the air..." Besides that, the script calls for a "Wagnerian" sunset to heighten the over-the-top drama when Seymour feeds Audrey to the plant.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Orin.
  • Evil Laugh: Audrey II. Orin on Nitrous oxide.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Audrey II.
  • Extreme Doormat: Seymour, and to a lesser extent Audrey.
  • Famous Last Words: In the revised ending:

  Audrey II: "Oh...SHIT!" *kaboom!*

 Ronette: Here he is folks, the leader of the plaque!

Chiffon: Watch him suck up that gas, Oh- my- God...!

  "He took me out of the Skid Row Home for Boys when I was just a little tyke. Gave me a warm place to sleep, under the counter. Nice things to eat like meatloaf and water. Floors to sweep and toilets to clean and every other Sunday off!"

  • Historical Domain Character: Mrs. Luce (in real life, Clare Booth Luce) really was the wife of the editor of Life Magazine. She was also a playwright, journalist, socialite, ambassador and congresswoman.
  • Hope Spot: There are quite a few moments when it looks as if Seymour's going to kill the plant, but he never does.
  • Horror Hunger
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Seymour, eaten by his own giant plant, and Orin, who asphyxiates when the laughing gas mask gets stuck. In the stage show, Mushnik plays with this- he worries about money to the point of adopting Seymour just to keep the plant, and Seymour tells him he put the day's earnings in the plant during Suppertime, but considering A) how the shop had been doing before Audrey II, and B) the fact that it's apparently over a thousand dollars, his concern is more or less justified. Audrey is the only victim who doesn't really have a Karmic Death.
    • Audrey's death was karmic - for Seymour instead of for her.
    • Mushnik has an oddly meta example of this. In the original b-movie, he tricked a would-be robber into getting eaten by the plant by telling him the shop's money was inside it. The musical lifted the situation with practically the same dialogue, but used it to kill off Mushnik.
  • Humans Are Bastards: After we're treated to a seemingly nice and lovable guy getting seduced into repeat murder, the ending song tells us that the plants are doing the same thing all across America, offering "unsuspecting jerks" their wildest dreams in exchange for blood. The message of "Don't Feed The Plants" is obvious--with the right motivation, anyone could kill people to feed a plant. Including you.
  • "I Am" Song: "I am your dentist!"
  • Idiot Ball: After killing Orin, Seymour indulges in what has to rank among the worst murder coverups in the history of fiction. He leaves his baseball cap and his bag at the scene of the crime (the bag, by the way, has the name of the shop on it), stuffs Orin's uniform in the trash can outside the shop, and doesn't even bother to clean up the blood he spilled on the shop floor. When questioned about it, he says, "I spilled some Hawaiian Punch and it stained."
  • If We Get Through This: Used, and the focus of a Cut Song.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Audrey II's behavior toward Audrey in "Suppertime II".
  • I Lied: No shit, Sherlock!
  • Ill Girl: Audrey doesn't have the usual Soap Opera Disease, but she is not a healthy girl.
  • Insecure Love Interest: This is why Audrey doesn't consider leaving the abusive "semi-sadist" Orin for her Adorkable Nice Guy coworker Seymour; she likes Seymour, but she considers herself too dirty and worthless to be with him.
    • For his part, Seymour is convinced that he's not good enough for Audrey. When he finally realizes that she loves him back, he assumes that it's because he now has money and believes that he'll lose her if he loses his income from the plant. Tragedy ensues.
  • Ironic Echo:

 Seymour: You're a monster, and so am I!

Audrey II: Feed me!

 Audrey: A gun?

Seymour: And bullets! And rat poison! And a machete!

  Better ourselves? You hear what he said, girls? Bet-ter ourselves? Mister, when you're from Skid Row, ain't no such thing.

 Seymour: He's so nasty, treatin' her rough!

Audrey II: Smackin' her 'round, always talkin' so tough!

Seymour: You need blood, and he's got more than enough!


The film of the musical additionally provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation through Pragmatic Adaptation: The subplot about Mr. Mushnik adopting Seymour is dropped, along with a few incidental songs, to make a tight 90-minute narrative. Also worth noting, the scene with Bill Murray as a masochistic dental patient did not appear in the stage version. It derives from a famous scene in the 1960 movie which originally featured Jack Nicholson in this role.
  • Apocalypse How: The Audrey II invasion as depicted in the original ending could potentially range anywhere from Class 0 to Class 5.
  • Ax Crazy: Orin Scrivello.
  • Award Bait Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" is not present in the stage version, although it has been added in some revivals. It was added to the screenplay so the film could receive an Oscar nomination for "Best Original Song." It lost, sadly. (It should be noted that "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" is definitely not your typical Award Bait Song.)
  • Better Living Through Evil: Audrey II uses this method to convince Seymour to feed it Orin and Mesnick by bringing up the fact that it could make Seymour rich. It eventually works once Seymour realizes what he could buy with the insane amount of money Audrey II is capable of bringing in.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: You can tell when the Focus Group Ending kicks in when the dress becomes a lot less blood stained.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Audrey II steals Seymour's tiny pistol during "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" and proceeds to fire about twelve shots at him.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill
  • Camp Gay: Bill Murray as the masochistic patient shows some inclinations.
  • Cow Tools: Orin's medieval-looking dental appliances.

 Seymour: It's rusty!

Orin: It's an antique.

  Orin: Get out of here! Go on, get out of here!...Goddamn sicko!

 I got killer buds, a power stem, nasty pods, and I'm using them!

So better move 'em out, Nature calls! You got the point?

I'm gonna bust your balls!

 Vincent Gardenia: So work, Seymour! Nurse this plant back to death! To death...

Ellen Greene: Oh, Seymour, we gotta ge–I forgot my line!

Rick Moranis: (Beat) MY LEGS!!

Ellen Greene: The vine is coming *into* my dress?

Rick Moranis: THE SEQUEL! WHAT ABOUT THE SEQUEL?!


The animated series provides examples of:

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