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  • Complete Monster - Annie comes across this way in the movie, as we are not given much backstory or motivation for her horrific actions, and she just seems like an evil psycho. She's actually not a Complete Monster in the book though. For example, when she sees that Paul injured his hand by writing too much, she becomes genuinely upset. Paul thinks that "the occasional moments like this were the most ghastly of all, because in them he saw the woman she might have been if her upbringing had been right or the drugs squirted out by all the funny little glands inside her had been less wrong. Or both."
  • High Octane Nightmare Fuel - The only scene most people will remember is the one where Annie breaks Paul's legs.
    • This is toned down a good deal from the book in which Annie chops off Paul's foot, to punish him for an escape attempt, and later his thumb, after an argument over problems with the typewriter she supplied him.
      • Only to be cranked back up when she brings him a cake. With a "special" candle.
    • In the book, Annie takes a rat she trapped in her cellar and brings it in front of Paul. She proceeds to squeeze the rat until blood gushes from its mouth. Then, she licks the blood from her fingertips. Gross.
    • Also in the book, Annie attacks a young cop and runs over his head with a lawnmower. Ick.
    • This moment:

 The key rattled in the lock. Annie was looking in at him, her eyes burned black holes in her face. Her right cheek was swelling up, and it looked like she was going to have a hell of a shiner in the morning. There was red stuff around her mouth and on her chin. For a moment Paul thought it was more blood from her torn lip and then he saw the seeds in it. It was raspberry jam or raspberry filling, not blood. She looked at him. Paul looked back. Neither said anything for a time. Outside, the first drops of rain splatted against the window.

"If you can get into that chair all by yourself, Paul," she said at last, "then I think you can fill in your own fucking n's." She then closed the door and locked it again. Paul sat looking at it for a long time, almost as if there were something to see. He was too flabbergasted to do anything else.

    • In the movie, the scene with a depressed Annie talking to Paul about her fear of being abandoned by him starts out as a Tear Jerker, but soon evolves into this.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Paul's Misery series is focused on a pretty but flighty young woman who is the focus of two guys who do all the cool stuff. The series is obscenely popular. Fans, but especially middle-aged women, adore it. Critics everywhere skewer it. Almost twenty years later...
  • Hollywood Homely: Annie played by Kathy Bates is a plump woman of average appearance, clean and carefully groomed. The character in the book has been described as very unattractive, a shapeless fat body, reeking of dirt and poor-quality cosmetics.
  • Nausea Fuel: At one point Annie crushes a rat to death with her bare hand, poking her fingers into its body in the process. And then she licks her fingers. Paul wasn't the only one that felt ill.
    • Two words: "Special candle."
    • Annie leaves Paul alone and locked in his room for over two days. Paul resorts to drinking his own urine because he's so thirsty.
  • The Woobie: Paul. The whole story is basically about him stuck in Hell!
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