The Addams Family may be creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, but they’re really not altogether ooky or else we wouldn’t love them so much. From the original TV show to the various movies, TV series, and a recently released animated movie, the eerie family who keeps their own graveyard on their property has stolen our hearts.
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While most of us wouldn’t eat what’s in Grandmama’s stew or sleep on a bed of nails, we do enjoy Morticia’s Gothic homemaking, Gomez’s rakish humor, and the antics of Wednesday and Pugsley. Many of these fun features are evidenced in the family’s fantastic movie quotes.
Updated by Julian Beauvais on October 30th, 2020: Halloween can be celebrated in a variety of ways, from watching terrifying films about demonic possession to enjoying a campy-though-macabre cinematic outing with someone like Elvira. When it comes to creepy and kooky comedy, nobody does it better than The Addams Family. Now seems like a good time to revisit some of the lines that made these early ‘90s films a staple of pure spooky season fun!
15 “All Your Life…”
The Addams Family films were often laced with veiled critiques of society’s hypocrisy and tendency towards excess. Granted, this was more evident in Addams Family Values, as the title itself was an overt reference to one of the leading socio-political issues of the time.
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Wednesday’s interactions with Amanda Buckman, the privileged blonde “it-girl” of Camp Chippewa, provided most of the social and political commentary, as well as some of the film’s funniest moments. Amanda’s emphatic volunteering to help the counselors’ safety in swimming lessons by gleefully proclaiming, “I’ll be the victim,” is met with a droll, “all your life” by Wednesday, hilariously prophesizing Amanda’s future status as a “Karen.”
14 “Does It Matter?”
The Addams Family often draws a fine line between hilarity and morbidity, and if there’s one character who routinely comes close to crossing it, it’s Wednesday. Her deadpan delivery often leaves it hard for the viewer to discern if she’s joking or serious.
At the climax of the first film, Tully Alford and Dr. Pinder-Schloss are catapulted from the Addams abode into open graves in the nearby cemetery. Standing atop the graves are Pugsley and Wednesday, shovels at ready. Pugsley’s question, “are they dead,” is met by Wednesday’s chilling, “does it matter,” which is simultaneously creepy, funny, and in-character.
13 “Two Out Of Three?”
You know there has to be something wrong with your family if even a hardened criminal is terrified of spending the night in your house. That was the case when Gordon (really an amnesiac Fester) spent the first night at the Addams abode.
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Waking up to Gomez, Gordon subdued him with a knife to the throat, only for Gomez to flip him over and gain control of the knife. Thinking Gordon to be playing the demented games he and Fester used to play when they were children, Gomez playfully threw the knife at Gordon’s head. Landing inches from his face, Gomez’s playful, “two out of three?” challenge froze Gordon in horror and audiences in laughter.
12 “I Didn’t Hate My Mother, It Was An Accident”
One thing that made The Addams Family so funny was their quick-witted, machine-gun-like one-liners that the audience had to pay close attention to catch. Often, these Groucho-like jokes and barbs were dark and disturbing, yet hilarious, much like the Addamses themselves.
Gomez’s protestation that “he didn’t hate his mother, it was an accident,” in response to Dr. Pinder-Schloss’ delving into Freudian psychology was simultaneously side-splitting and unnerving. Aside from eliciting a chuckle, it left audiences wondering just exactly what Gomez could have done to his poor, though probably equally macabre, mommy.
11 “Wednesday’s At That Very Special Age When A Girl Has Only One Thing On Her Mind”
For those who love deadpan (no pun intended) humor as well as punchlines that hit like a brick wall, The Addams Family films were definitely for you. One particularly good example of this was during the first meeting between the Addamses and the Buckmans at Camp Chippewa.
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Even a routine introductory interchange was derailed by Morticia, as she proudly indicated that “Wednesday’s at that very special age when a girl has only one thing on her mind,” which despite Mrs. Buckman’s guess of “boys,” was actually “homicide,” as stated by Wednesday herself. Aside from highlighting the Addamses’ dark and offbeat nature, the look on Mrs. Buckman’s face was priceless.
10 “Are They Made From Real Girl Scouts?”
Christina Ricci stole our hearts as the broodingly perfect Wednesday Addams, complete with self-proclaimed homicidal maniac attire. When the family found themselves down and out in the first film as a result of Fester taking over their home at the behest of his weird adoptive mother, Wednesday and Pugsley attempted to sell lemonade in order to raise money for the family.
When obnoxious Girl Scout Amanda Miller suggests that they exchange a purchase for a purchase, Girl Scout cookies for lemonade, after asking if it’s made with real lemonade, Wednesday deadpans, “Are they made from real Girl Scouts?” Chloe Grace Moretz is set to voice Wednesday in the cartoon movie.
9 “Wednesday, Play With Your Food”
Morticia Addams, played by the fantastic Anjelica Huston, is a pretty awesome parent, when she’s not encouraging knife or guillotine play. She fosters creativity and her children’s interests and always has their well-being in mind, even when she hires a dubious nanny who ejects them from the house and fails at caring for their infant before setting her sights on their uncle.
When Morticia tells Wednesday, “Play with your food!” it’s not just a matter of making the child stop eating to play with her food, but to actively chase it around her plate since it’s moving already. It’s the perfect representation of who the Addams are in a single snippet.
8 “We Gladly Feast On Those Who Would Subdue Us”
The Addams Family’s motto, “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc,” translates to “We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.” Morticia remarks that they’re not just pretty words, but they also create a running theme throughout the films about feasting on humans. When Margaret says, “You are too precious for words. I could just eat you alive!” Morticia responds, “Oh no Margaret, too young!”
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Admiring her sleeping son, Pugsley, Morticia says, “He looks so sweet… just like a little entrée.” The running gag doesn’t go as far as it does in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but it makes a gruesome point just the same.
7 “Do Not Trust The Pilgrims, Especially Sarah Miller”
When Wednesday sabotages the entire play at camp, it’s not a perfect dismantling of white patriarchy, but it’s at least a nod to it, and viewers tend to love her monologue. “You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the roadsides. You will play golf and enjoy warm hors d’oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, ‘Do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller.'”
Then she and her campmates destroy the camp, which is great, but they make their characters look like “savages” in the process. It would have been better had an indigenous girl at camp delivered the lines and not gotten violent, but it’s still a powerful moment for discussion, as is the fact that they decided to do a Thanksgiving play at a summer camp.
6 “Even With A Chainsaw”
Grandmama isn’t featured much in the films but when she is, she has some killer lines and fantastic expressions. When Dr. Pinder-Schloss remarks that the human spirit is a very difficult thing to kill, Grandmama nods sagely and agrees, “even with a chainsaw.” This is obviously not what the fake doctor meant but it’s one of the most hilarious moments in the movie.
It’s also funny to watch Grandmama chase down alley cats when the family has been evicted from their home. She peeks in for only a moment to warn, “dinner’s gonna be late!” before heading back to the hunt.
5 “We’ve Told Wednesday, College First”
When Wednesday’s teacher singles her out, disturbed by some artwork that Wednesday made of her great-aunt who died at the stake, Morticia senses the teacher’s worry not being about the subject matter, but regarding Wednesday’s future.
She smiles and assures the teacher, “Wednesday’s great-aunt Calpurnia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They said she danced naked in the town square and enslaved the minister. But don’t worry. We’ve told Wednesday: college first.” It’s a classic example of how the Addams mistake things “normal” people say for the kind of things they experience within the family. It’s wonderful because we can all relate to the jolt of realization that comes when you discover how differently people, even neighbors, live from your own family.
4 “I’m Just Like Any Modern Woman”
When Morticia admits that she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed after the birth of Pubert, it’s a wonderful nod to how many mothers feel when they first become parents. Most moms can relate to the first portion of her quote, which is, “I’m just like any modern woman trying to have it all. Loving husband, a family.” Not as many may relate to the second half: “It’s just, I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.”
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Every mom wants some time to herself, at least sometimes, even moms of the mysterious and spooky quality. The quote itself is fun but we also appreciate Morticia’s ask for help, as well as Gomez’s quick agreement that they should hire a nanny.
3 “I Am A Turkey. Kill Me.”
When the kids put on their Thanksgiving play at Camp Chippewa, Pugsley is chosen as the turkey. His main lines are, “I am a turkey. Kill me,” as well as, “Eat me!” as a refrain in the song the campers sing. It’s hilarious, especially delivered in Pugsley’s usual casual demeanor, but it also mirrors the fact that this is exactly what his sister is always trying to do to him anyway. They went to camp and it apparently didn’t stop.
Pugsley doesn’t get a lot of great lines, but having been voiced by Finn Wolfhard in the 2019 animated feature added to his repertoire.
2 “Don’t Torture Yourself, Gomez; That’s My Job”
By now the Internet is well aware of the fact that Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston never got along while filming The Addams Family movies, which is so hard to believe given their on-screen chemistry. Many of these instances came from lines delivered by Huston, which weren’t only believable but spoke of their creepy, kooky coupledom.
One of the best was, “Don’t torture yourself, Gomez; that’s my job.” Among others, Morticia also said, “Gomez, last night, you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again,” and, when Gomez asks if she’s unhappy, “Oh, yes. Yes, completely.”
1 “I’d Pity Him”
Although Wednesday seems to find love in Addams Family Values, when Joel dresses like her father, complete with a mustache, and acts as if he might find unhappily ever after with her, she dispels the fantasy fast. “What if you found the right man, who worshiped and adored you? Who’d do anything for you, who’d be your devoted slave? Then what would you do?”
In her trademark way, Wednesday deadpans, “I’d pity him,” before watching him get scared to death with a sinister smile on her face. She proves that love or not, she’s an Addams and will always be one.
NEXT: Addams Family 2019 Voice Cast & Character Guide
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Sara Sanderson (348 Articles Published)
Sara likes to write about her favorite fandoms, ranging from Marvel and Saga to Doctor Who and Jim Henson. She loves cats, coffee and contemplation and goes by the pronouns she/her/hers.