A Christmas Carol

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Ebenezer Scrooge in a decidedly non-festive mood.


Bah, humbug!

Novella by Charles Dickens that few people have read, but everyone knows the story of. But for the record...

Ebenezer Scrooge, a hard-hearted, crotchety old moneylender living in Victorian London, is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his late partner, Jacob Marley. Marley, wrapped in chains and weighted down with lock-boxes that symbolize his obsession with money, warns Scrooge that his life of greed and misanthropy will condemn him to an equally miserable afterlife, and that his only hope for redemption is in heeding the advice of three spirits who will be visiting him that night.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first to arrive, and shows Scrooge (and the reader) the ups and downs of the life that had driven Scrooge to become the man he is today. Next is the Ghost of Christmas Present, who shows Scrooge that folks who have suffered worse than he has (including Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's overworked and underpaid clerk, and his family, especially Bob's sickly son Tiny Tim) still find a place for happiness in their lives. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge's future: Tiny Tim will succumb to his illness, and Scrooge himself will die alone and virtually unmourned.

When Scrooge awakens to find it's still Christmas day, he makes good on his resolution to change his ways, and becomes a respected and generous figure.

Christmas as we know it is largely the result of the book's wild popularity, having taken what had become, in Anglo-Saxon Protestant countries, a relatively minor and disparaged holiday (due to Puritanical and/or anti-Catholic sentiments) and elevating it in the public consciousness. Before its release, many Protestant churches preached against the drunken debauchery associated with the holiday, and it was even illegal to celebrate Christmas in some parts of the US.

Possibly the most widely-adapted story of all time, including versions with the Muppets as well as in The Present Day, resulting in lots of Adaptation Expansion (explaining events and Backstory the book didn't cover). As the era of television wore on, countless shows did at least one episode thrusting a character into their own Christmas Carol-like scenario, with varying levels of quality. In fact, versions with pre-existing characters are so common that they have led to the creation of the Yet Another Christmas Carol trope. It's possibly also the source of the Pensieve Flashback.

You can read the original story on Wikisource for free

The website JimHillMedia.com (which focuses on Disney news and rumors) did a whopping 40-part series in 2007 called "Scrooge U" which examined many adaptations of this story, both famous and obscure, live-action and animated, serious and parodistic, with all kinds of alternate settings.

The British Film Institute has posted the earliest surviving (though in-complete) film version of the story on YouTube; for its time it was a very modern undertaking, special-effects wise (1901). The earliest surviving complete film adaption is the Thomas Edison version of 1910.

Not to be confused with actual Christmas Carols


A Christmas Carol is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in A Christmas Carol include:
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: What Scrooge thinks Marley is at first.
  • All Just a Dream (or at the very least Scrooge would like to think so).
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Ghost of Christmas Past. Most adaptations make it a child to settle the confusion (it's harder to tell whether someone is male or female if it's a kid).
  • Ambition Is Evil: The young Scrooge actually lampshades this and attempts to defy it.

“This is the even-handed dealing of the world. There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth!"

  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: One family reacts to Scrooge's death in the alternate future this way.
  • Bad Future: The vision shown by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Scrooge and Belle.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scrooge, duh.
  • Creepy Child: Possibly Creepy Twins, though it's never specified. The Ghost of Christmas Present keeps a silent, wraith-like boy and girl -- Ignorance and Want, respectively -- under his cloak, telling Scrooge that they are mankind's children.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A famous example: the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is deeply frightening, resembles the Grim Reaper in his heartless pallor, is cold, pitiless, and silent as the grave, and shows what is by far the most horrible of Scrooge's visions, but is just as kindhearted as the rest of the spirits and shows him the grim truth only so that he may finally realize what it means and change it for the better
  • Dead Little Sister: Fan, although she did have a son, Fred.
    • And, at least in the Sim and Scott versions (where Scrooge is blamed for his mother dying giving birth to him) she is technically a Dead Older Sister.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Scrooge has one with Jacob Marley.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Scrooge and Belle.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Belle dumps Scrooge while she's in mourning.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: With money, not alcohol.
  • Dying Alone
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Prevents the trope listed directly above this one.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: The Ghost of Christmas Present foresees Tiny Tim's empty chair and his crutch tucked into a corner by next year's Christmas if things do not change from their current course of events. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does him one better and shows Scrooge the empty chair, along with Tim's grieving family.
  • Fashion Hurts: Peter Cratchit's collar isn't comfortable, but he's still proud to be wearing it.
  • Flying Dutchman: Marley
  • Freudian Excuse: Turns out Scrooge's mean old father left him at boarding school during Christmas. Oh, and Scrooge's best (and only) friend died on Christmas Eve. Gee, I wonder why he hates the holiday so much!
    • The love of his life also broke off the engagement and dumped him on Christmas, but that was because he was already showing signs of being mean and bitter.
      • Because his sister died giving birth on Christmas.
    • It's implied he spurns his nephew because the lad reminds him of his Dead Little Sister.
  • Future Loser: Sort of...
    • He certainly loses something.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Well, yes, being a white corpse wrapped in a sheet while people on the streets either laugh at your death or are glad that you are dead is a pretty scary thought.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come's appearance suggests that he may be associated with this.
  • The Grinch: Scrooge is probably the Trope Codifier, though not the Trope Namer.
  • Happily Married: Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit, Fred and his wife, The Fezziwigs, and Belle and her husband.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Scrooge "had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle." By that, Dickens meant that Scrooge did not have any future interaction or communication with ghosts after his reformation and that he further reformed by adopting the Total Abstinence Principle, which was basically never drinking any alcohol, including spirits. However, the meanings of "intercourse" and "abstinence" have changed to the point where even those who are (old enough to be) grandparents will raise their eyebrows at that particular passage.
  • Heel Face Turn: Scrooge. Duh.
  • I Gave My Word: Belle can see that Scrooge doesn't love her any more and that he intends to stick by their engagement only because he sees it as a contract he's bound to. She decides it's better for them both if she releases him from the obligation.
  • I Hate Past Me: A classic example: upon witnessing them firsthand Scrooge is decidedly not proud of his past self's actions.
  • Intangible Time Travel: Actually, just shadows of things that had been, are, and will be happening.
  • Ironic Echo: Used twice, both times by the Ghost of Christmas Present to Scrooge. The relevant parts are bolded below.

Scrooge: Oh, no, kind Spirit! say [Tiny Tim] will be spared.
Ghost: If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

    • Later, when Ignorance and Want step out from under the Ghost of Christmas Present's robe:

Scrooge: Have they no refuge or resource?
Ghost: Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Solicitor for the Poor: Many would rather die than go there [to prison or to a workhouse].
Scrooge: If they'd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.

    • Not necessarily. Scrooge was merely responding to the hyperbolic claim that they would rather die.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Tiny Tim. Subverted, though, in that his illness is not necessarily fatal, it is just that the Cratchits are too poor to afford treatment, which is why he dies in the alternate future. So when Scrooge has his change of heart and increases Bob's salary, Tim doesn't succumb to his illness.
  • Lemony Narrator: As with a lot of Dickens' books. Take, for instance, this odd little digression at the beginning of the story:

"Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

    • Justified Trope: Dickens goes on to say it's important that the reader knows this, or nothing that follows will seem magical.
  • Lonely At the Top
  • Long Title: The full title is in fact A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. But when was the last time anyone called it that?
  • Love Makes You Evil: Scrooge's miserliness stems from trying to have a comfortable future with his impoverished fiancee, but he then stopped caring about that, and just the money itself. Could also double as Start of Darkness.
  • Married to the Job: Belle accuses Scrooge of being this.
  • Massive-Numbered Siblings: The Ghost of Christmas Present had more than 1,800 siblings (presumably all deceased), each representing a year of Christmas. On the mortal level, Scrooge's former fiancée's house is overflowing with children, and the Cratchits have more children than the narrator can be bothered to name.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The question is left open whether Scrooge's visitation by spirits was real or All Just a Dream.
  • Meaningful Name: The word "scrooge" was originally slang for "to squeeze", as in Scrooge's tight-fistedness.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Dickens originally wrote it to pay off a debt. However, the story was a hit from the first release on. Dickens was also quite fond of the story and would keep revisiting it.
  • Morally-Bankrupt Banker: Scrooge.
  • Mysteriously Stingy: Scrooge. He has a hard time being Nice to the Waiter, at least early on the story. His nephew Fred finds his stingy behaviour rather odd and mysterious. Of course, the point of the story is to examine Scrooge, the trauma and bad decisions that led to him developing this trope, as well as Scrooge deciding to subvert the trope in the end.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: When Fred invites Scrooge to Christmas dinner.

"Scrooge said that he would see him--Yes, indeed, he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first."

  • Neologism: The term "Scrooge" for a miser, especially a bitter one.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, who is completely shrouded, his true form always just out of sight. It makes sense in that he's the embodiment of a man's blindness toward his own future.
    • Erroneously expecting the Ghost of Christmas Present to come on the second night at 1 o'clock, it's stated that nothing between a baby and a rhinoceros would have surprised him much. When nothing happens, he freaks out. (It turns out the Ghost was actually waiting for him in Scrooge's living room.).
  • One Mario Limit: Any fictional character from after this story's publication named Ebenezer will be a reference to Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: Before four ghosts visit him in his dream Scrooge is a mean person who hates Christmas and helping the needy. After the dream his opinion is changed completely and he becomes a good person.
  • Parlor Games: The guests at Fred's party play some; the original story used both Blind Man's Bluff and Twenty Questions.
  • Pensieve Flashback
  • Reason You Suck Speech: After delivering his Ironic Echo to Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Present takes him to task for presuming he has the right to refer to some people as a "surplus population."

"Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God. To hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust."

  • Right on the Tick: Subverted. The spirits are supposed to come on three consecutive nights, at specified times. They arrive at the specific time, but all the visitations somehow happen in one night.
  • Rule of Three
  • Sacred Hospitality
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Scrooge and Tiny Tim's deaths are seen and then averted.
  • Scare'Em Straight: Both Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come do this.
  • Start of Darkness: The whole point of the book.
  • The Scrooge: The Trope Namer, and possibly Trope Codifier.
  • The Social Darwinist: Scrooge is your typical Malthusian aristocrat of the time. Suffice to say that another of Dickens's fictional followers of Malthus, Filer in The Chimes, says the poor "have no earthly right or business to be born. And that we know they haven't. We reduced it to a mathematical certainty long ago!" Scrooge's battlefield is more market than campaign.
  • The Speechless: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
  • Time Passes Montage: Broadly the entire visit to the past, but most especially the moment in the schoolroom when Scrooge sees his entire childhood pass in moments.
  • Truth in Television: By the standards of his time Scrooge wasn't a particularly harsh employer. Many people worked right through Christmas---note that when "reformed," Scrooge expects to find a poultry shop open on Christmas Day itself, and is not disappointed.
    • At one point, Dickens uses a conversation between Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present for an Author Tract about blue laws prohibiting bakeries from being open on Sundays.
  • Victorian London: That being the time and place it was written and set in.
  • Villain Protagonist: Scrooge prior to his Heel Face Turn. He is a selfish, crotchety Corrupt Corporate Executive who underpays Bob Cratchit to the point where he can't afford the treatment to cure his Inspirationally Disadvantaged son, refuses to give money to an organization providing services to the poor, after which he delivers a speech advocating the poor offing themselves since they deserve nothing better than prisons and workhouses, and isn't even willing to give Bob the day off on Christmas. No wonder he was set to walk the earth fettered with more chains than Jacob Marley had before his Heel Face Turn.

Adaptations with their own trope pages include:[edit | hide | hide all]

Other adaptations provide examples of:[edit | hide]

  • Adaptation Distillation: In Dickens' book, the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to see the Christmas celebrations of an isolated group of miners, a pair of lighthouse keepers, and the crew of a ship at sea. These scenes are rarely included in film or television adaptations, though the Patrick Stewart TV version (1999) has them.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Alastair Sim version has the best example there -- such as depicting how Scrooge and Marley were corrupted by an unscrupulous mentor luring them away from Fezziwig's good influence. Then there is the touching scene where Scrooge comes to Fred's house to accept his invitation for Christmas dinner at last, fearful that he would be rejected, only to find he needn't have doubted Fred's love.
    • the latter scene is expanded even more in the George C. Scott Version.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plothole/They Just Didn't Care: Almost every single adaptation, even the illustrations in the original novella, depicts Scrooge in Victorian nightwear during his travels with the ghosts, even though Dickens explicitly states that Scrooge "went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep upon the instant." The 1984 version with George C. Scott avoids this.
    • It's not that the adaptations don't care, but rather that Scrooge getting ready for bed and getting steadily more spooked by his empty, shadowy house has become an expected part of the story in the adaptations. It's basically throwing a bone to the actors and allowing the films to build tone for the scenes to come.
  • Affectionate Parody: There is a seussified version where everybody speaks in rhyme.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The "Thank You Very Much" number from the 1970 Scrooge film takes this to the extreme of having nearly the whole of London celebrating his demise. The next morning, there is a Triumphant Reprise in which the same characters sing the same song, but now celebrating Scrooge's change of heart.
  • Berserk Button: Jacob Marley with Scrooge. Poor guy was so frustrated he dislocated his own jaw during one of his ghostly wailing fits.
    • In the 2009 movie, the Ghost of Christmas Present may be a jolly figure, but do not bring up what the current bureaucracy of the Church of Christ is doing in Christ's name, like closing places once a week when the poor are so in need of help. He does not take such mentions well and considers them not of his church.
  • Catch Phrase: "Bah, humbug!", thanks to Lost in Imitation - the phrase is uttered only twice in the original work.
    • "Humbug," on its own, is said seven times, however, all in the first chapter. They even Lampshade it with "He tried to say “Humbug!” but stopped at the first syllable."
    • And in "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol", there's Tiny Tim's fondness for "Razzleberry dressing".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Among the adaptations, A Diva's Christmas Carol is the crowner. This is both surprising and predictable; the movie was produced by a television network, but that network was VH-1.
  • Creepy Child: Ignorance and Want tend to get left out of adaptations, probably for time and other obvious reasons. But they're in the Alastair Sim version, which never lets you forget that it's a ghost story. And the Richard Williams version, in which they look positively demonic.
    • Two street children figure in a British telemovie adaptation in which Eddie Scrooge is an inner-city loan shark who needs to learn the error of his ways. Scrooge has visions of them freezing to death in an alley, and one of the components to him achieving his salvation is to find and rescue them before they perish.
    • They make a startling appearance in the 2009 Disney(!) version where they morph into adults: a thug and a(n implied) prostitute, respectively. They also get Present's line about prisons and wh-- workhouses.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Scrooge in some versions, particularly Alastair Sim's Scrooge.
    • Also, suprisingly enough, in the George C. Scott version, Ghost of Christmas Present qualifies as well.
      • Even more so in the 1970 musical.
    • Marley in one stage play version:

Scrooge: (to the Ghost of Christmas Past) Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?
Ghost of Christmas Past: I am.
Marley: Does he take this to be a vision of his green grocer?

  • Death by Childbirth: Scrooge's mother, and later Fan (at least it is said and shown so in the Alistair Sim version).
    • Scrooge is also almost always shown to be an old man; however nothing in the original story states this. In fact the story makes just as much sense (arguably more so) if Scrooge is in his early forties.
      • Dickens does describe Scrooge as "old" several times: "old sinner", "old Scrooge" and said he had "old" features. Can be written off as pertaining to his attitude, since one of the first things Scrooge remarks upon when he wakes is how young he feels, like a baby.
  • Disneyfication: Ironically, the Disney company itself has done less of this in the many versions it has produced than other filmmakers have when making kiddie-oriented adaptations.
    • That would make this a subversion, for the Disney adaptations.
  • Franchise Zombie: Due to the sheer number of versions. Probably the only sequel-less work that qualifies for this.
  • Gender Flip: Six times over.
    • Susan Lucci in Ebbie
    • Cicely Tyson in Mrs. Scrooge There is also a sibling Gender Flip and her brother dies in the Vietnam War.
    • Tori Spelling in A Carol Christmas
    • Vanessa Williams in A Diva's Christmas Carol Another sibling Gender Flip
    • Barbie's Christmas Carol
    • The 2009 Rod Espinosa comic has Eliza Scrooge, but is still set in the Victorian era, requiring a few other changes.
  • The Hyena: The Ghost of Christmas Present in the 2009 animated film, continuing to laugh even as he turns into a skeleton and then crumbles to dust.
  • Idiot Ball: Does anyone notice that in the 2009 adaptation, Scrooge couldn't help saying something to each of the spirits that obviously pisses them off? You do not back-sass Death.
  • Ink Suit Actor: In the 2009 adaptation, Fred looks very much like Colin Firth, The Ghost Of Christmas Past looks exactly like Jim Carrey, and Bob Cratchit looks like a shorter Gary Oldman.
    • Zemeckis' Ghost of Christmas Present also resembles Carrey (in his brow, mainly). I was under the impression this was a deliberate choice; the spirits are here specifically for Scrooge and thus resemble him accordingly.
  • Large Ham: The Ghost of Christmas Present, since Christmas itself is supposed to be an obviously joyful time. Depending on the actor, Scrooge and/or Jacob Marley may be this in adaptations.
    • The 2009 movie has Jim Carrey as The Ghossssst of Chrisssstmasss Passsst....and Gary Oldman as Jacob Marley (a much larger ham than Carrey's Scrooge to boot).
      • "OOOOOOOOOOH, WOE IS MEEEEEEEEE!!!"
        • Scrooge, after his redemption, is usually this in some adaptations.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the Robert Zemeckis version. One minute, Scrooge is being chased by demonic shadowy horses, the next he's crawling through a sewer pipe with a chipmunk voice. And then, back to the horses.
    • Also done quite skillfully in the Marley scene. At one point, Marley yells so powerfully that he dislocates his jaw, then says the next line by moving his lower jaw with his hand (borders between disturbing and funny) before attempting to put it back and in the process folding his face up tightly to the point where he cannot speak (Crowning Moment of Funny)
  • The Musical: Many musical versions exist; among them are:
    • The Stingiest Man in Town (A 1956 TV production adapted into a Rankin/Bass Productions animated special in 1978)
    • Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962)
      • In general, animated versions of this story are likely to be musicals; ironically, Mickey's Christmas Carol and the 2009 version -- both Disney-produced -- aren't.
    • Scrooge (1970, with Albert Finney; later became a successful U.K. stage musical)
    • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
    • A 2004 TV movie starring Kelsey Grammer (which was an adaptaion of a stage musical production that ran at Madison Square Garden from 1994-2003; music by Alan Menken)
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The 2009 version's trailer made it look like your average Jim Carrey, kid-friendly, physical comedy movie. It's actually much more adult oriented, serious and scary at some parts. There's also the minor infraction of Scrooge blowing a snowflake off his nose out of sheer spite for the season in the trailer, but not in the movie.
    • And only "some" scenes may be scary to "small" children.
  • Playing Gertrude: In the 2009 version, Jim Carrey plays Scrooge, and Colin Firth, who is 16 months older than he, plays Fred. Justified through the use of Performance Capture, and also overlaps with Dawson Casting in a way, because Carrey also plays Scrooge as a child, teenager, and young adult. Similarly, in the 1970 musical film, Albert Finney played both the elder Scrooge and his young adult self.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Disney's version being the most prominent.
  • Pretty in Mink: Not in the book, but in many of the adaptations, at least one or two furs, like a muff or fur-trimmed cape, will show up at some point. And of course there is the robe worn by the Ghost of Christmas Present.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Besides literally. Many versions show that the person that suffers the most for Scrooge's miserly manner and distance from the world... is Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Shout-Out: In the Robert Zemeckis version, during the opening credits, a few kids are having fun by clinging onto the backs of carriages and hitching a ride on them. Upon being redeemed, Scrooge himself does this too.
  • Show Within a Show: The framing story of "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" is of Magoo playing Scrooge on Broadway. On stage, he plays the role straight; offstage, he the same old, nearsighted Magoo.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Fan, Fran, Fanny, you get the picture.
  • Sssssnaketalk: The Ghossssst of Chrisssstmasss Passsst.
    • Considering how Past was represented, its speech could be representative of a guttering candle.
  • Talking to Himself: In the Zemeckis adaptation, Jim Carrey voices/acts out Scrooge and all three Christmas Ghosts, though in the case of Christmas Yet To Come, it's not so much talking as it is pointing out to/chasing/scaring the living daylights out of.
    • Scrooge lampshades this when laughing at the end and realizing that he sounds just like the Ghost of Christmas Present.
  • True Meaning of Christmas: Varies depending on the adaptation. Some, like the 1951 version, plainly mention Jesus and the Nativity, along with other Biblical references. Others, like Scrooged, barely acknowledge it at all.
    • nearly all versions include the line "...who, upon Christmas Day, made lame beggers walk and blind men see.". it's a more subtle referance, but its meaning is pretty clear.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Louis Bayard's Mr. Timothy.
  • The Voiceless: Every depiction of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. How Jim Carrey voices him in the Zemeckis adaptation baffles this editor (It might have just been Motion Capture, though).
    • Subverted (yes, an actual subversion) in Mickey's Christmas Carol. He appears to be voiceless for most of his appearance, but when Scrooge asks "whose lonely grave is this?" he lights a cigar, revealing himself to be Pete, and says: "Why, yours, Ebenezer. The richest man in the cemetery! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
    • In the original novel, there's one scene where Scrooge hears lines of poetry being recited in his head which definitely did not come from himself, but it never outright states that Yet To Come actually spoke (telepathically).
    • In the George C. Scott movie, the spirit of Yet to Come doesn't speak, but every time it "responds" to Scrooge, a weird metallic wail is heard in the background.
  • Word of Dante: Several details of the story have been used in so many stage and screen adaptions that it's surprising to learn that they weren't in Dickens' original. Belle is often referred to as Fezziwig's daughter, when no such detail exists in the book (in fact, many adaptions give her name as "Isabelle," whereas in the book she's simply called "Belle"). Also, the reason for Scrooge's hostility toward is nephew is never clearly spelled out, though most adaptions just assume it was because his mother died giving birth to him. Likewise, the reason that Scrooge's father is cold to him is never spelled out, but is often given a similar Freudian Excuse.