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File:Addams.jpg

Television series based on the ghoulish cartoons published by Charles Addams in The New Yorker magazine starting in the 1930s, broadcast on ABC from 1964 to 1966. It was one of the last network series filmed entirely in black and white, which may have been a stylistic decision given the subject matter. While not very successful in the two years of its original run, it became a cult favorite once it entered syndication.

A deliberate inversion of the ideal American Nuclear Family, the Addamses are an obscenely wealthy clan of borderline supernatural beings with a taste for the grotesque and macabre, possessing opinions and preferences that are mirror images or inversions of more conventional attitudes. Although very visibly different from virtually everyone they meet, they still perceive themselves as a "perfectly normal family"; in fact, they seem somewhat incapable of even noticing that their lifestyle varies widely from that of their neighbors. Despite their tastes and the apparent trappings of pain and horror amidst which they live, though, the Addamses are clearly (well, mostly in the movies) not evil -- they are compassionate and loving, friendly to all they meet, eager to help strangers in times of need, and tolerant to a fault. In fact, they are probably more so than most families! The end result is more delightfully eccentric and endearing than disturbing.

The family is composed of:

  • Gomez Alonzo Addams, the clan patriarch (John Astin). Ostensibly a lawyer, though the family's vast independent wealth eliminates any need for him to actually work; when he does, though, he takes great pride in the cases he's lost.
  • Morticia Frump Addams, his wife (Carolyn Jones). Tall, elegant, ivory-skinned and black-tressed, and always clad in a tight, slinky black dress. Morticia is calm reason to Gomez's maniacal exuberance. Popular opinion is that she is a vampire - she rarely smiles with her teeth.
  • Pugsley Addams, their son (Ken Weatherwax). A young Mad Scientist in the making who once demonstrated a home-made disintegration rifle to a visiting Soviet diplomat.
  • Wednesday Friday Addams, their youngest (Lisa Loring). A sweet, happy child who loves her family, her spider, and her headless doll Marie Antoinette. She is also quite sensitive and easily disturbed by strange and upsetting things like stories of vicious knights slaying innocent dragons.
  • Grandmama, Gomez's mother (Blossom Rock) in the series, Mortica's mother in all other continuities. More than just an old lady but not quite a witch, Grandmama takes a delight in doing a lot of the family's cooking and gladly acts as a secondary parental figure to the children.
  • Uncle Fester, Morticia's uncle (Jackie Coogan). Blend a Mad Scientist and his Igor together, and filter them through Curly Howard of The Three Stooges, and you get Uncle Fester. He is rewritten as Gomez's long-lost older brother in the films, probably because they played off each other too well for most to think of them merely as in-laws.
  • Lurch, their Frankensteinian butler (Ted Cassidy). A man(?) of few words but many groans, Lurch may be their all-purpose servant, but he is treated as one of the family, receiving care and devotion from everyone when he needs it.
  • Thing, their... thing. (Credited as "Itself" but usually performed by Ted Cassidy; associate producer Jack Voglin performed in scenes with Lurch.) A hand in a box -- many boxes, actually, as there's at least one in every room. Fetches mail, plays charades, performs mime. Clearly sentient, and like Lurch treated as a family member rather than a servant or pet. Got its very own romantic subplot in one episode. Became fully ambulatory in later adaptations, walking on its fingers.

Together they live an a crumbling Second Empire-style home which looks much like a stereotypical "haunted house" and which seems at times to be animate and sentient, with a playful attitude toward most visitors. Inside is a museum -- or a Ripley's Odditorium: strange and bizarre decorations and furnishings fill the house to the brim, and invariably shock first-time visitors.

And do they have visitors. The primary theme of The Addams Family was culture clash -- that of post-war America against something profoundly and grotesquely other. All manner of ordinary folk encountered the Addamses -- sometimes to their benefit, sometimes to their dismay -- but never without challenging their notions of normality and reality.

A secondary theme was tolerance -- as strange as they are, the Addamses are the heroes, and the viewer is encouraged to understand, empathize and identify with them regardless of their macabre ways. Once the Addamses are familiar, delight comes from anticipating the reaction of the next unsuspecting mundane to cross their path. The show was so exquisitely crafted that this appeal to tolerance was never blatant, save for one memorable episode where a Rebel Without a Cause-style biker crashes into the Addams home; he is so astounded by and grateful for their casual acceptance of his unconventional ways that he holds them up as an example of a true family to his rigid, unyielding father.

In short, a classic series, groundbreaking in many ways, that entertains and challenges the viewer. Among its many "firsts" was the relationship between Gomez and Morticia -- one of the most singularly passionate marriages on television in that or any other era, it was perhaps the first time a married couple had been shown to be so fiercely and intensely in love with each other. In fact, it's been half-joked that the couple appear to be the only 1960s TV parents capable of having children. Interestingly, the Addamses are widely considered to be the most mentally healthy 60s Sitcom family out there, and with good reason.

Once the program's cult status was well-established, it became the subject of several revivals, remakes and Animated Adaptations:

  • The Addamses crossed over with Scooby Doo in the third episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family" in September 1972.
  • The Addams Family Fun-House, a musical variety special intended as a pilot for a full-blown series. It aired in ABC in 1973, but was never elevated to series status.
  • An animated series that ran on NBC Saturday mornings from 1972 to 1975, which featured an eight-years-old Jodie Foster as Pugsley.
  • A Reunion Show, Halloween With The New Addams Family, which aired on CBS in October 1977.
  • The 1991 feature film starring Raul Julia as Gomez, Angelica Huston as Morticia, Christopher Lloyd as Fester, and Christina Ricci as Wednesday (who here was more of The Snark Knight and Emotionless Girl, rather than the pre-teen Perky Goth from the original series).
  • A 1992-1995 animated series on ABC spawned by the success of the 1991 movie. Notable for John Astin reprising Gomez.
  • Addams Family Values, 1993, the sequel to the 1991 feature film.
  • Addams Family Reunion, sometimes called Addams Family 3, a 1998 direct-to-video Pilot Movie for The New Addams Family with Darryl Hannah as Morticia and Tim Curry as Gomez. Unrelated to either of the previous films, though Carel Struycken (Lurch) and Christopher Hart (Thing) did reprise their roles.
  • The New Addams Family on Fox Family, a 1998-1999 Revival; mostly "new" only in terms of title, cast and theme music. Most of its episodes were recycled versions of scripts from the original series.
  • A 2010 Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia. For legal reasons, it's officially based on Charles Addams' original cartoons, not on the TV series, but they're not really fooling anybody.
  • An upcoming stop-motion film written and possibly directed by Tim Burton, in the vein of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Trope Namer for:

  • Made From Real Girl Scouts: The only Girl Scout cookies Wednesday will buy.
  • One Normal Night: From the titular song in the 2010 Broadway musical, where Wednesday, hoping to set a good impression with her new beau and his family, requests that the Addams clan try to behave like the average human being. As expected, they can't, and Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes:

  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: While Wednesday and Pugsley both try to kill the other, Wednesday is the only one who gets any hits in.
    • This may just be a function of Wednesday being the better combatant between the two; in one episode, she's capable of giving a much-older boy a black eye, possibly while his back was turned.
    • Also, it doesnt apply to all versions. For example, in the 90's cartoon, Pugsley and Wednesday both gave as good as they got.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The series refined and perfected Charles Addams' cartoon characters, though Charles Addams himself would violently disagree with this assessment, and considered the series a travesty.
    • Also, the 90's Cartoon was acclaimed for adding many 90's Cartoonish zany elements, yet meshing them perfectly with the feel of the series.
    • The Movie lovingly matches each character to superb actors in their prime having the time of their lives, adds fantastic scenery and special effects that ride the line between blockbuster spectacle and So Bad It's Good like Seattle Slew, then plays every trope to the hilt and polishes the entire macabre masterpiece to a mirror shine. The result is the comic gold of the series is somehow alchemically refined into a form of comic Unobtainium: "Oil, uranium, duct tape and heroin combined. It's just that good." Then they do it again with the next movie. Then Gomez suffered Actor Existence Failure when Raul Julia succumbed to cancer. Even Tim Curry had trouble filling those shoes.
      • The best part is that it not only uses the show, but it also uses a number of the darker gags from the original New Yorker cartoons.
  • Affably Evil: Gomez Alonzo Addams
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe: There was an episode of the TV series in which the Addams children are sent to school and their parents feel alarmed when they discover that in the literature class the kids were read a story about a cruel knight that savages an innocent dragon.
    • The film does this as well, with Morticia becoming a teacher and telling the story of Hansel and Gretel. The witch is portrayed as an innocent victim of the murderous children.
  • Amusing Alien: The family is both amusing (to viewers) and alien (to everyone around them).
  • Animated Adaptation: At least three.
  • Black Widow: Debbie Jellinsky from is one of these. She gets her claws into Fester and marries him, but, Fester being one of the Addams clan, she doesn't quite succeed at the killing part.
    • She's been killing since childhood, and often gets rid of people who fail to meet her needs (usually money-related), starting with her parents, who she killed for not giving her a Ballerina Barbie for her birthday.
    • Of course, this being The Addams Family, once everyone understands the depths of her issues they all start to really empathize with her and regret not really getting to know her.
  • Blinding Bangs: Cousin Itt is a most extreme case.
  • Blue and Orange Morality
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: When Pubert is included.
  • Brother Chuck:
    • 1977's Halloween With The New Addams Family introduced two new children, Wednesday Jr. and Pugsley Jr., who were never heard from again afterwards.
    • Pubert, from Addams Family Values. The New Addams Family attempts to justify this:

  Wednesday: There used to be a third one of us, but Pugsley ate it.

  • Brutal Honesty: In the second film, Wednesday and Pugsley are waiting at the hospital while Morticia gives birth. Another child with them tells an exaggerated Delivery Stork story, so Wednesday responds, complete with dramatic zoom:

 "They had sex."

  • Bullying a Dragon: Honestly, if you knew of a family like this, and was fully aware of what they do and how they do it, would you attempt to just be cordial or antagonize them?
  • Catch Phrase: "You rang?" "Tish! That's French!" "I'll shoot them in the back" "Thank you, Thing"
  • Character as Himself: "Thing as Itself"
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas with the Addams Family," where the adults each dress up as Santa Claus for the benefit of the children... at the same time.
  • Closer to Earth: Morticia vs. Gomez.
  • Companion Cube: Wednesday with "Marie."
    • Uncle Fester with his blunderbuss.
    • Also Fester with his coat. He says he never takes it off, and even insists on wearing it during a Doctor's examination.
    • Also Fester with The Moon in The Musical
  • Continuity Reboot: 1998's The New Addams Family
  • Creepy Child: Pugsley and Wednesday, although this is mostly played for laughs.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: A very young Jodie Foster as Pugsley in the first animated series.
  • Crossover: With Scooby Doo in the third episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family," 1972.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite how dark, creepy and macabre the family is, the Addamses are all genuinely good people, though less so (especially Wednesday) in the movies.
    • The movies specifically tried to invoke this trope too, with various people involved with the movies pointing out for all their dark, macabre nature and seemingly violent acts, the Addamses are in their way the ideal family... the parents are Happily Married, deeply in love after all these years with the fire of passion as bright as it ever was, the entire family is deeply devoted to one another's well-being and happiness, they're concerned about their friends (Morticia twice wishes she could befriend their enemies), and they give generously to charity. They're just... strange.
  • Day of the Week Name: Wednesday Friday Addams.
  • Dueling Shows: With The Munsters. The Addams family were humans that acted like monsters, but the Munsters were monsters that acted like normal humans. It was an interesting contrast.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Morticia and Wednesday.
  • Enfant Terrible: Wednesday Addams.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: How many times does this come up between Gomez and Morticia? In the French translations, it becomes Everything Sounds Sexier in Spanish.
    • And Italian.
  • Expository Theme Tune
    • In a story that has to be Too Good to Be True, a group of producers & screenwriters were riding in a van one day, when at random, one of them started humming the theme tune. Another joined in, then another by whistling. Soon, the entire car was singing the theme song, and this is what convinced them to adapt the show into a movie.
    • Which is ironic given that the director of the first movie wanted to distance himself from the tv show by not including the theme at all. Only after test audiences asked for it did he give in and use a few bars of it for the opening titles and then a light version of it for the graveyard scene at the end of the film.
  • Expy / Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Gruesomes, the creepy-but-friendly family that appeared in The Flintstones; the Gravesytes in Non Sequiter.
  • Extremely Dusty Home: The Addams mansion.
  • The Faceless: Cousin Itt, hidden by all that hair; in fact, Itt's hands were possibly the only part of his body ever seen, and those rarely - and even then only wearing gloves.
  • Face Palm: Lurch did this, without ever putting his face to his palm. All he had to do was squint his eyes and go "urrrrrr" whenever he heard something he knew wasn't a good idea.
  • A Fool for a Client: Gomez, as an attorney, has represented himself in the past (and did so in The Movie). He usually loses. And just as usually, he couldn't care less.
    • He even calls the trope by name in the first movie:

 Gomez: They say the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Well, as God is my witness, I am that fool!

  • Gentle Giant: Lurch, more or less.
  • Guttural Growler: Lurch. "You rang?"
  • Halloween Episode: Several, natch:
    • "Halloween with the Addams Family": From Season 1 of the original series, a pair of burglars are on the run from the cops. Gomez and Morticia think them trick-or-treaters and insist they join in on their Halloween festivities.
      • This is remade for the New Addams Family; in addition to the above, Halloween is treated with the same pageantry and levity as Christmas morning.
    • "Halloween, Addams Style": From Season 2, Wednesday fears witches don't actually exist.
    • Halloween with the New Addams Family: The 1977 Made for TV Movie sees the family coming together again for a Halloween party.
    • "Puttergeist": From the '92 animated series, Wednesday, Pugsley and their friend NJ try to determine if the legend of the Puttergeist ghost is true or not.
  • Happily Married: Gomez and Morticia.
    • As part of the one-upmanship of the Dueling Shows, while Herman & Lily Munster were among the first TV couples to be seen sharing the same bed, Gomez & Morticia were the first couple to have an apparent sex life.
      • According to IMDb, Astin and Jones deliberately decided to give Gomez and Morticia "a grand romance" as an antidote to the virtually asexual parents then common in television shows of the era.
  • Hot Mom: Morticia
  • Identical Grandson: John Astin as "Grandpapa Addams" on The New Addams Family.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: All the Addamses go back and forth between having superhuman aiming skills (e.g. throwing knives into the hilts of the previous knife five or six times in a row (and most without looking) to having absolutely dreadful aim depending on what's funnier.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: A very brief one with Batman, of all people.
  • In the Back

 Uncle Fester: I'll shoot 'em in the back! Turn around!

  • Laugh Track
  • Lighter and Softer: The original Addams gag cartoons depicted the family as genuinely evil, especially the character named in the TV show as Fester, who, for example, was once seen beckoning another car driver to overtake him into the path of a hidden articulated lorry. Not to mention the famous "pouring boiling oil on carol singers" image.
    • Which was shown (at least the setup) as the pre-credit sequence in the first movie.
  • Limited Wardrobe: With only a few very rare exceptions, the family always wears the same outfits.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming
  • Made for TV Movie: Halloween With The New Addams Family
  • Mad Scientist: Fester and Gomez, a bit. Gomez fit some of the more harmless varieties of the trope; the smallest stimulus would send his mind careening down a new path of speculation, so his attention probably wouldn't be on any one experiment long enough to cause actual harm.
  • Maintain the Lie: An episode was based on Lurch's aged mother coming to visit him, and his having never told her he was a butler; most of the story involved his posing as the master of the house, with Gomez acting as butler, Morticia as maid, and Grandmamma as cook.
  • Marx Brothers: Just about anything that John Astin says -- in both sarcastic substance and delivery style -- seems to Expy Groucho, which is not surprising since series producer Nat Perrin was a former Marx Brothers gag writer.
  • Muggles: Most everyone else in the series.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: The entire point of the series.
  • Nuclear Family: Subverted.
  • Once an Episode: The inevitable mention of various never-seen relatives, such as Uncle Knick-Knack. Sometimes happened more than once per episode, but who's counting?
  • One Head Taller: Averted - Gomez is noticeably shorter than Morticia, but clearly neither of them has a problem with that.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted with Lurch. Although he often sounds exasperated and seems to be the Deadpan Snarker when dealing with the family's whims, he often is happy to oblige overall.
  • The Ophelia: Morticia's older sister in the TV series (established in the episode "Morticia's Romance", which deals with Gomez and Morticia meeting right before his Arranged Marriage - to Ophelia). Unsurprisingly, she's named Ophelia and has long, flowing hair.
  • The Other Darrin: The third movie did this to most of the actors playing the family. It's arguably considered a separate continuity from the 90's movies.
    • No arguments about it -- it was intended as a separate continuity. The only reason it exists is to have served as the Pilot Movie for The New Addams Family.
    • Also a sort-of example from the series: the man playing Thing occasionally used his left hand just to see if anybody would notice.
  • Our Better Is Different: Nearly all the time, considering the family.
  • Overly Long Gag: In the first film, Gomez begins to suspect that "Fester" is not his real brother ( He is, but he has amnesia and thinks that he's only pretending to be). He begins to rant for several minutes, listing various synonyms for a fraud. Cut to "Fester" bonding with Wednesday & Pugsley for several minutes. Cut back to Gomez still ranting, who is finally snapped out of it by Fester's caretaker.
  • Perky Goth: Gomez is a male example.
    • Wednesday was this in the TV show. The movies made her darker and gloomier. The 90s animated series combined these portrayals somewhat.
    • Margaret Alford from the movies is a sort-of subversion. After leaving her husband for Cousin Itt she becomes noticeably perkier and is rather grateful to join the Addams clan. She doesn't change her wardrobe and is usually seen wearing bright colors like pink, yet the Addams don't mind. She does, however, carry around her new baby in a coffin-shaped carriage, dresses in typical Addams attire (that is, for a funeral) to Fester's wedding, and hires a nanny named "Dementia" who looks like a female version of Fester.
  • Pilot Movie: Addams Family Reunion was this for The New Addams Family.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: As seen above. Also doubles as Badass Boast.
  • Quirky Household
  • Rail Enthusiast: Gomez.
  • Reactionary Fantasy: The ultimate subversion!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Ted "Lurch" Cassidy's brief, unexpected teen idol status became the basis for an episode where Lurch's harpsichord playing earns him a similar teenybopper following.
  • Recycled in Space: The 1973 animated series.
  • Remake Cameo: John Astin as Grandpa Addams, Gomez's grandfather, in The New Addams Family.
  • Repetitive Name: Thing T. Thing. And of course when prompted for what the T stands the answer is "Thing".
  • Retcon: Fester was changed from Morticia's uncle to Gomez's older brother in the 1973-75 animated series, back to Morticia's uncle in the 1977 Reunion Show, and back again to Gomez's brother for the movies. Grandmama started out as Gomez's mother then switched over to Morticia's starting with the first animated series and stayed put from then on. The 2010 musical further confuses the issue by having Morticia and Gomez both unclear on whose mother it is.

 Morticia: When your mother moved in, it was supposed to be for two weeks. She's been upstairs now for 12 years.

Gomez: My mother? I thought that was your mother!

    • Also, the kids' ages became less clear in the adaptations. In the 90's cartoon and movies, Wednesday seemed older than Pugsley.
    • The cartoon version set her as Pugsley's little sister in an episode where she keeps beating him. In The Musical, Wednesday is nearly an adult while Pugsley is still (barely?) a tween. Additionally, Wednesday gets her looks from her dad/Raul Julia.
  • Reunion Show
  • Running Gag: The front gate, the doorbell pull, the roaring bear rug, and others.
    • In the animated series, whenever Morticia says something in a different language, Gomez immediately pops up by her side, exclaims "Tish! That's [insert language]" and attempts to kiss her arm before Morticia tells him now isn't an appropriate time. Gomez even did this when Fester said something in a different language, at which point he tells Gomez to "do that with your wife".
  • She Is All Grown Up: Wednesday has her "grownup" moments, wearing a miniature Morticia dress, in both the series and the second movie.
    • And of course, she was played by Christina Ricci, who grew up quite nicely.
    • While now 18-year-old Wednesday still wears a variation of her usual dress in The Musical, the story centers around the family reacting to her becoming independent when they meet her fiancé and his family.
  • Sleeping Single: Subverted.
  • The Speechless: Thing
    • Sometimes he uses sign language. In one of the movies he gets so frantic trying to communicate with Gomez he's shaking too much to sign properly, prompting Gomez to cry, "I hate it when you stutter!"
  • Springtime for Hitler: Parodied in The Nineties cartoon; in one episode, Gomez is trying to live up to the Addams Family tradition of being a failure - however, every time he tries to embark on some Zany Scheme that would clearly ruin him, it always backfires, making him even more of a success. However, as Morticia points out, that simply makes him an even bigger failure, because he failed at failing. This immediately cheers him up.
  • Stock Footage: Whenever a new visitor enters the house, the same footage of its unusual furnishings is used.
  • Team Pet: Thing
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In the waltz scene from Addams Family; the scene where Wednesday pulls a match from her headband and lights it in Addams Family Values, as well as the tango scene; and in countless portions of Addams Family Reunion.
    • Often happened in the original series as well, with Lurch playing it on the harpsicord.
  • Throw It In: Ted Cassidy ad-libbed "You rang?" in the pilot, and the producers kept it -- and changed Lurch from a mute to allow for it.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Everyone, but most noticeably Morticia from the movies.
  • The Unintelligible: Cousin Itt
    • Lurch in the movie. Lampshaded when he and Itt have a conversation.
    • Itt was only The Unintelligible to strangers. Family members had no problem understanding what he was saying.
      • Others seem to understand him too, in the movies. Tully either can understand him asking to cut in or is very good at inferring his meaning, and Margaret almost immediately understands him well enough to not only be charmed by him while first dancing together, but to have a long, emotional discussion with him.
  • Up to Eleven: Pretty much everything the Addamses do, including crossing the line twice. Most obvious in the increasingly gruesome and creative way in which their ancestors met their fates.

 "Children! Look! It's Great-Aunt Levinia! She was beheaded by her own children!"

"Yaaay!"

Tropes specific to the 1990s movies:

  • All Part of the Show: When Wednesday goes Off the Rails during the Thanksgiving play, the audience doesn't get that she's off-script until well after the set is on fire. The fact that they clearly do intend to burn Amanda alive at least gets her parents moving.
  • All There in the Script: In the first film, Fester called Gomez a "demented freak", which was the password.
  • Alpha Bitch: Amanda.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe: in the first movie, when Morticia is working as a kindergarten teacher she reads Hansel & Gretel to her class, depicting Hansel and Gretel as cold-blooded killers and the witch as an innocent victim. The kids are not pleased by this Downer Ending.
  • Ancient Tradition: The movie treats the Mamushka as one of these, taught to them by Cossack cousins so long ago they no longer remember when. And since Gomez explicitly states that they danced the Mamushka while Nero fiddled, that means the Addams family has been around for at least nineteen centuries, and has documented enough of their family history to know exactly what they were doing the night of July 19, 0064. That's how old that traditional dance is.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration:
    • In the first movie, Morticia compliments the man stretching her on the rack (who is sweating over the evil deed) as "having done this before". She also believes that she and the female antagonist could have been good friends were it not for the current unpleasantness.
    • The second film has the following exchanges between Morticia and Debbie:

 Morticia: You have enslaved him. You have placed Fester under some strange sexual spell. I respect that. But please, may we see him?

 Morticia: You have gone too far. You have married Fester. You have destroyed his spirit. You have taken him from us. All that I could forgive. But Debbie?

Debbie: What?

Morticia (reproachfully, eyeing the decor): Pastels?

  • Artistic License History: Parodied with the camp counselor's Thanksgiving pageant. Wednesday decides to make it... a little more accurate.
  • Ascended Extra: The girl scout from the first movie plays Amanda in the sequel. It's entirely possible that they're the same character.
  • Barehanded Blade Block:
    • Baby Pubert does this to a guillotine blade one-handed... with just his thumb and forefinger. It must be reiterated that he's a baby.
      • It must also be reiterated that he's an Addams.
    • Gomez manages to catch a thrown butter knife in his teeth in the same film.
    • The first film also had the Mamushka, a traditional dance performed by Gomez and Fester that involves them juggling knives between each other. It ends with Gomez hurling every knife directly at his brother, who catches them with his bare hands, the final one in his mouth like a sword swallower.
  • Berserk Button: A very subtle one with Pugsley in the second film. Pugsley almost never gets angry, but he clearly takes offense when Amanda refers to the Addams' as circus people. (Keep in mind, she's probably thinking "freak show", he's probably thinking "harmless happy clown".)
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Debbie, Uncle Fester's love interest in Addams Family Values.
  • Bloody Hilarious: In The Movie -- Greatest. Elementary. School. Play. Ever.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: First movie:

  Morticia: (straight-faced, taking garment bags out of a wardrobe and looking at tags) Uncle Knick-Knack's Winter Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack's Summer Wardrobe... Uncle Knick-Knack...

  • Brick Joke: in the first movie we see the family motto, We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us. In the second movie, the school camp counselors try to subdue Wednesday and Pugsley, and are last seen being roasted with Wednesday's accomplices waiting for them being cooked.
  • Buried Alive: In the first film, the two antagonists land in open graves which Wednesday and Pugsley have somehow prepared in advance. The following exchange occurs:

 Pugsley: Are they dead?

Wednesday: Does it matter?

    • The second film opening includes Wednesday and Grandmama burying a cat. When it meows, Wednesday shakes the box and shushes it.
  • Calvin Ball: "Wake The Dead" seems to be some variety of this.
  • The Cameo: The Addams relatives in both movies.
  • Cartwright Curse: Debbie doesn't survive Addams Family Values. And it's possible Joel didn't, either.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In The Movie, the books in the library, which have Exactly What It Says On The Spine.
  • Darker and Edgier: The films paint the characters as much more macabre than the TV show (although still nicer than in the original magazine cartoons), thanks to more relaxed standards on what is acceptable as humor.
    • A good example is Pugsley's name. Originally, most of the Addams clan didn't have first names, but when the TV show was being produced, they went to Charles Addams to name them. His first choice for the boy's name? Pubert! (this name was eventually used for the third son in the second movie)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wednesday in the films.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Debbie provides a slide show of her life to the Addams before she attempts to electrocute them all. She explains how when she was 9 she wanted a ballerina Barbie, when instead, her parents gave her a Malibu Barbie. She then burned down the house with them in it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: See What Happened to the Mouse?, below.
  • Dull Surprise: Used deliberately with some of the deadpan Wednesday's reactions, specifically because when it goes beyond that to actually surprised, it's all the more amazing... and hilarious.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The movies would become a lot more awkward if anyone (including the villains) seriously protested the Addams' pastimes.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: In the films, Morticia's face is constantly shadowed, no matter the ambient lighting, with the only bright spot being around her eyes. It especially stands out when she's with other cast members, who are normally lit.
  • The Film of the Series: The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
  • For Halloween I Am Going as Myself: Wednesday does this in the first movie. When asked where her costume is, she replies;

  "This is my costume. I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else."

  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In-Universe example. In Family Values, during the Thanksgiving play, Pugsley is dressed up as a turkey for a musical number. His lines in the song consist of saying "Eat Me" twice. A couple in the audience react slightly, then shrug it off.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The most flagrant example being the camp counselors from Values, Gary and Becky. Not for the way they treat Wednesday and Pugsley, but the way they heavily favor the rich, white, blonde kids over the minority campers, even casting them as the "savage" Native Americans in Gary's play. Becky can't even pronounce two of their names, Conseula and Jamal.
    • In introductng the play, Gary refers to the two factions as white meat and dark meat.
  • Goth: Of course!
  • Helping Hands: "Why, thank you, Thing."
  • Heroic BSOD: Gomez ends up in one in the first movie after losing the family fortune. Thing manages to snap him out of it with a three word message: MORTICIA IN DANGER.
    • He gets one in the second movie (complete with "Take me! Take me!") when informed that his possessed baby might one day grow up to be president.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Harmony from Buffy the Vampire Slayer wants to sell Pugsley and Wednesday her Girl Scout Cookies. (So the "Made From Real Girl Scouts" line becomes Hilarious in Hindsight.)
  • High-Pressure Blood: Parodied during the play with Wednesday and Pugsley; when they fight each other as part of the play, blood sprays out whenever they make a cut, covering the audience in it.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Thanksgiving play in the second film becomes this, and doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Wednesday.
  • Identity Amnesia: Both Gomez and Fester, in the first movie.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Gruesome example from the second film. Gomez tries to have this done at Fester's bachelor party.

 Gomez: [peers into cake] ...that poor girl. Lurch, was she in there before you baked?

Lurch: [growls contritely]

*Beat*

Gomez: C'est la vie! [everyone laughs]

 Gomez: I believe they own --

Morticia: Gomez, no -- !

Gomez: -- A BUICK!!!!"

    • Wednesday in the school play:

 "Sweet oblivion, open your arms! *retch, retch, collapse*

    • Joan Cusack as Debbie Jellinsky, during her more Ax Crazy moments.
  • Look Ma, No Plane: In the climax of Addams Family Values, the baby somehow gets catapulted high enough to come eye-to-eye with a commuter plane...specifically, the one that's currently flying the Alpha Bitch and her family home from the disaster that was summer camp.
  • Murder by Cremation: For his brother's wedding Gomez orders a huge cake with a stripper inside. However, when the cake is delivered, it turns out that the unwitting butler put the girl inside before he put it into the oven. Nobody is too upset though.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Fester is immune to fatal amounts of electricity and mansion-destroying explosions. He does seem worried by bullets, which makes it even weirder that Debbie would decide on the electric chair to finish him off when that method didn't succeed the first time.
    • Seems to apply to all the family to some degree. Pusgley and Wednesday spend much of the first movie playing fatal games with each other, involving poison, knives, even electric chairs. Wednesday even explicitly says the latter is supposed to kill Pugsley, and that this particular game is called "Is There a God?"
    • Morticia, going through Fester's luggage in the first movie, notes that he brought cyanide and teasingly chides him "As if we'd run out." The delivery insinuates they use it as a condiment.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: In Values, Amanda goads Wednesday into adding to the ghost story by insinuating she's not up to it. Wednesday's creative spin makes them wish they hadn't.
  • Obviously Evil: Debbie's successful crime spree tugs at Willing Suspension Of Disbelief when she gets to Fester. She couldn't look more guilty if she tried. Putting aside that the Addams see this as normal, the authorities would have noticed such oddities as ordering a hearse prior to the victim's death.
  • Oedipus Complex: In Values, Gomez pulls out a magazine from Fester's bed, opens to one of the centerfolds, and the two say together "Mom!".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Cousin Itt in both movies.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: The camp counselors in the sequel not so subtly favor the children of wealthy WASPs over the minority campers (and Wednesday & Pugsley).
  • Portal Book: The books in the Addams' library are an inversion: people can't go in (as far as we know), but the stories in the book manifest in the real world when opened (e.g. The Sun Also Rises creates sunlight).
  • Redemption Equals Death: Both played with and averted in Family Values. Fester treated his Axe Crazy wife with nothing but love and respect, but she's so insane she simply keeps going with her plan to kill him, not realizing she actually has someone who cares. Fester is perfectly willing to die for whatever perceived crimes he's committed. Then, when she actually dies, she's just... a pile of dust. (And a few credit cards.) No redemption there.
  • Rich Bitch: Debbie and Amanda in the sequel.
  • Sarcasm Mode: You could think that the entire Addams Family had gone into this hardcore when they're seeming to humor Debbie and her Motive Rant. Actually, considering their previous behavior, they're probably sincerely empathizing with her.
    • With one likely exception: When Debbie gets to what she did to Uncle Fester, then, as she ruined and tried to end his life, asks if the Addamses "really loved" her, when it's obvious by now that she doesn't know the meaning of the word, Gomez asks his family (all of them physically tied to chairs) for a show of hands.
  • Screaming Birth: Averted during Pubert's birth in Addams Family Values; all Morticia emits are a few barely audible grunts. Totally justified, however, when you consider their sex life.
    • Seriously, who didn't burst out laughing at Morticia's first line in that movie?

  Morticia: Marvelous news. I'm going to have a baby. (Beat) Right now. (Cut to Morticia being rushed through the hospital.)

 Gomez: He has my father's eyes.

Morticia: Gomez, take those out of his mouth.

  • Suppressed Mammaries: Christina Ricci had her breasts tied down when she played Wednesday in the movies. Puberty did not miss her. In what was almost assuredly a reference to this fact, her first scene in Now and Then has her duct taping her breasts down after complaining about them getting bigger.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: From Values: "I can show you all my references so you know I'm not a homicidal maniac."
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Inverted in the second movie; it's not the nanny interviewees who are terrible, it's the children. And while the one who gets the job seems perfect, she's really the worst.
  • The Un-Smile: Wednesday in the second movie. One of the most horrific examples of this trope ever.

 Amanda: She's scaring me!

  • Villainous Breakdown: Debbie's failed attempts to murder Fester has put her over the edge.
  • The Voiceless: In this version, Lurch never talks, only growls and grunts. For the record, the character was intended to be mute in the show as well, but the actor ad-libbed the classic "You rang?" line and it was too funny to not capitalize.
  • Wallpaper Camouflage: Wednesday in the second movie.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: From Values, after Pubert becomes blonde and rosy cheeked. Grandmama is explaining that this change can become permanent. Of course, this IS the Addams we're talking about, so it's a subversion.

 Grandmama: We're talking dimples!

Gomez: NOT in this house!

  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the movie, Tully and Margaret Alford's son, who appears in one scene (and in the credits as "Tully Jr.") but despite the fact that his mother runs off with Cousin Itt and that his father is buried, possibly alive, in the Addams' graveyard, he's never spoken of again, not even in the Sequel Addams Family Values.
    • Also in Family Values, it's mentioned that the "Black Widow" has killed at least three husbands, but we only ever learn the fates of two of them.
      • One of Debbie's previous identities (as shown by the headshots kept on her wall) is Kathie Lee Gifford -- so perhaps Monday Night Football has a different announcer in the Addams Family universe...
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In Addams Family Values Gomez and Fester are cheerfully reminiscing about all the (violent) pranks they pulled on each other as kids. Fester casually mentions that one time he waited til Gomez was asleep, then opened his his head and removed his brains. Gomez is surprised and sort of impressed by this revelation.

Tropes specific to the 2010 musical:

  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Radio ads for the musical didn't even have to mention the show's name. It consisted of the famous theme song with an announcer saying "They're coming to Broadway" and giving the info to order advanced tickets.
  • Audience Participation: Reportedly when the play opens with the famous TV theme song, no one in the audience needs prompting to snap their fingers in time with the cast.
  • Black Comedy Rape: The father of Wednesday's fiance is sexually assaulted by a squid; it is played for laughs.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Used in the musical to signify that Wednesday's grown up.
  • The Musical: Starring Max Bialystock and Lilith as Gomez and Morticia.
  • Rape Is Love: In the musical, the father of Wednesday's fiance is sexually assaulted by a squid. Although he was terrified at first and was assaulted against his will, he enjoyed it so much he decided to dedicate his life to building aquariums instead of tearing down old buildings.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Wednesday in the musical.
  • Truth-Telling Session: "Full Disclosure". Being the Act I finale, of course it goes horribly wrong.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In the tour version, Wednesday explicitly states that her plan to get her and Lucas' families' blessing is that there is no plan.
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