Alice in Wonderland/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The books

  • Angst? What Angst?: Well, after she almost literally drowned in her own tears, she knew better than to let that emotion get the better of her again.
  • Awesome Art: As often stated, Sir John Tenniel's illustrations are was what originally made the book popular, and have become just as iconic as the story.
  • Non Sequitur Scene: "Jabberwocky" somehow manages to be one in spite of the context.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Mad Hatter, probably the most well known of the characters, other than the Cheshire Cat.
  • Faux Symbolism: The meanings behind "The Walrus and the Carpenter" can be open to interpretation. See the entry in Wikipedia.
  • Funny Moments: "There goes Bill!" "Poor Bill..."
    • The entire chapter "Queen Alice". The Red Queen and White Queen finally appear together, and the result is malapropisms and math puns on a grand scale.
  • It Was His Sled: The fact that story turns out to be All Just a Dream is very well known.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Carroll had no idea this book would be as popular as it is, or even that he himself would be remembered as an author. His "real job" was teaching mathematics, and had initially written it as a gift for a child-friend, whom the heroine in the book was based on.
  • Nightmare Fuel
  • Weird Al Effect: Several poems in the books, like "How Doth the Little Crocodile", or "You're Old, Father William", are parodies of Victorian moralistic verses, which were well-known then, but only remembered today because of Alice.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: A number of fans and/or Moral Guardians seem to believe that Carrol was totally high when he wrote the stories, rather than simply an eccentric man who liked wordplay, satire and logic games. The Annotated Alice argues that specific surreal elements of Wonderland are clues that it's all a dream.

The 1951 Disney Classic

The 2010 Tim Burton film

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Interpretations that the White Queen is evil are not uncommon. This is actually somewhat supported by her actress, who claims that she tries as hard as she can to not give in to her "inner darkness".
    • The Lord Ascot: Did he sincerely believe Alice was her father's daughter? Or did he give her an internship to tighten his hold over her father's company now that she was not marrying his half-wit son? Oh, sure, he was polite and gracious enough, but going along with his wife's plan of an arranged marriage without the consent and knowledge of the unsuspecting bride?
    • Alice at the end: Oh, this is fun... Did she leave her Wonderland because there's no place like home, or because she realized Underland was just as restricted as Victorian England because destiny says so, and home is a little more free.
    • Did she travel to China to become a woman of the modern, career-driven feminist archetype? Or is she going to ditch the company first chance she gets and return to Underland? Hey, before she sailed off she'd pretty much wrapped up her life in England, canceled the engagement, set her brother-in-law straight, said goodbye to her mother and sister, and most importantly, ensured her father's dream reached beyond the limits of his life.
    • When the Knave of Hearts is told he will be chained to The Red Queen for the rest of their lives, he immediately draws a weapon before being disarmed. Was he about to kill her... Or himself? Or was he going to kill the White Queen (or both queens)? The latter interpretation would account for the Hatter's pissed-off look when he threw the scissors to disarm him.
    • How about Aunt Imogen's dreams of a prince who can't marry her? Perhaps she was left at the altar by a former betrothed (or engaged to someone who died), and she clung to her delusions rather than accept the painful truth.
  • Awesome Music: The theme song, Avril Lavigne's "Almost Alice".
  • Cargo Ship:
    • The Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter's Hat. He brought it on himself.
    • The White Queen can make furniture fall in love with her. Although that could be a reference to the fact that the role of most furniture is played by animals in the Red Queen's kingdom.
    • The Jabberwock and the Vorpal Blade sure seem to have a lot of history.
  • Cliché Storm: Though not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Crack Pairing: Alice/Mad Hatter gets in with a bit of UST. The pairing was originally intended to be canon, according to an early version of the script. Strong hints remain in the film's novelization and one of the visual guides, which states that "Although Alice and Tarrant (The Mad Hatter) do care for each other, they are not compatible because she is always either too tall or too small."
    • For some, Mad Hatter/White Queen is the preferred ship, and actually receives a bit of supporting evidence in the video game adaptation. Since neither one is precisely sane, it gives a new meaning to Crack Pairing.
  • Crazy Awesome: What did you expect? This is Johnny Depp playing one of the most legendary Cloudcuckoolanders in the history of fiction.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While most people seem to be doing this to the Knave of Hearts, others were more sympathetic to the Red Queen. Especially when it turns out that he didn't love her as he had been leading on.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Alice/Hatter within the fandom and in the movieverse as well.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: So Alice is 19-century Brit who is gonna engage in trade with China. Riiiight.
  • Girls Need Role Models: According to some critics, Alice is a good one because "she is not girly".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When first presented the Oraculum, the Red Queen states that "[She] would know that tangled mess of hair anywhere." Later, Alice is in front of the Queen, buck naked and twenty feet tall, and the Queen doesn't recognize her.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Look at the Red Queen when she's being given her Fate Worse Than Death. Considering that every last person she's ever known has now completely turned against her and that no one will even look at her again (except maybe Stayne)... yeah. Not quite the Villainous Breakdown we were expecting, huh?
  • Narm: The futterwacken. Maybe if it was more like a Highland reel?
  • Nausea Fuel: Alice crossing the moat of heads; later, the White Queen's recipe for pishalver (shrinking potion) which includes "buttered fingers", horsefly urine, and spit.
  • Older Than They Think: People have been lauding it for being a Darker and Edgier sequel to the Alice books (based on the trailers and information available). Burton personally preferred it when it was interactive. Interestingly, it might count as a subversion of the (now fairly cliched) Dark Alice idea, given that its tone is cheerfully eccentric rather than depressing and the later reveal that when younger, Alice had the lighter adventures of the novels; things are darker in her second trip because of the Red Queen taking over.
  • Purity Sue: The White Queen when we first meet her. Everyone loves her, she won't hurt a living thing, and her lethal cooking turns into a save-the-day cure. Subverted hard when she delivers a bout of Cruel Mercy to her sister and the Knave. There IS a reason Hathaway's performance is more memorable than our leading lady's. According to the actress, her over-the-top "princess" mannerisms are the character overcompensating for fear of becoming evil. Note how much more naturally she behaves in the scene with the dog after her courtiers have left.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Alice and the Mad Hatter.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: An older Alice returns to a Darker and Edgier, Gothic Wonderland that has been twisted by the rule of an evil queen. Alice, under the guidance of the Cheshire Cat, must Take a Level in Badass, defeat a Hannibal Lecturing Jabberwocky and end the queen's rule. This movie was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for anyone hoping for an American McGee's Alice movie; the amount of similarities would have critics shouting "Rip-Off!"
  • Squick:
    • You really don't want to know what's in all of those drinks/food items you've been consuming, Alice.
    • Adding a "butterfinger" gets squicky when you see it's an actual finger.
    • And the stepping stones Alice uses to cross the moat to the Queen's Castle? Those are not statue heads, mind you.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Some fans seem to feel this way about the relationship between the Hatter and Alice.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Plenty of people completely wrote the film off because of this.
  • Ugly Cute: Oos a cuddwy widdle Bandersnatch?
  • Uncanny Valley: Aside from Alice, every single character, even the ones that are supposed to be neutral or the good guys, look unsettling as hell. To put in perspective, the Cheshire Cat with his perma-grin looks the least scary.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The Red Queen. Probably counts as Draco in Leather Pants...except what she does isn't forgivable.
      • Not necessarily unintentional either...
    • The Jabberwocky seemed like a pretty cool guy. You probably could have made a deal with him to leave the field if you'd just given him the stupid sword, Alice. Given that the Jabberwock is the only one who stuck with the Red Queen by his own free will (all the others were just afraid of him) instead of just toasting the wench, it is probably safe to assume he is really her loyal pet, or a kind of construct at her service, or simply an immensely evil being amused by the sight of Underland suffering the tyranny of the Queen.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: People gripe about the basic plotline and lighthearted tone—only to be shocked when they see that it is, in fact, targeted towards children.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: The movie is arguably a result of Burton running with the theory that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was at least in part political commentary of the Wars of the Roses, with the Queen of Hearts being combined with the Red Queen of Through the Looking Glass (thus taking the possible symbol of "painting the roses red"—possibly an allegory for Lancaster aggression against the house of York, which was symbolized by white roses—and combining it with the imagery of Red (Lancaster) and White (York) Queens going to war). Evidence for this interpretation includes Johnny Depp's deliberate switches to a ridiculously over-the-top Scottish accent whenever he talks about rising up against the queen.
  • The Woobie: The March Hare, who comes pre-broken (and to get this out of the way, arguably, the Hatter in his less subversive moods).

The Hare: ...cup?

The 2010 game

  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The game proved a disappointment to many fans of the movie.
    • The console version got average reviews; the DS version, however, got a few fans and is considered fairly good.

Other adaptations

  • Adaptation Displacement: Movies based on both books are often titled Alice in Wonderland and have left most people unaware that there are in fact two books and many of the cherished elements attributed to the first are actually in the second.
    • Lampshaded in Sesame Street's Abby in Wonderland. Bert and Ernie appear as Tweedledee and Tweedledum only for a moment when Abby runs past them.

Bert as Tweedledee: Is that our whole scene?
Ernie as Tweedledum: Well, we're not really in this story. That's a common misconception.

  • Memetic Outfit: The 1985 version changes Alice's dress from blue to orange, probably to accommodate Chroma Keying (since only blue screen was available in the '80s).
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The weaker adaptations are this. Just listen to the theme song to Jetlag's version.
    • On a minor scale, this has also happened to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat", which is an Affectionate Parody of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". In both the 1950 Disney version (see above) and the 1999 Hallmark version, musical style of this trope plays when this song is performed.
  • Villain Decay: The Queen of Hearts in the Disney Channel series is good-natured, though still a little short tempered (particularly toward the White Rabbit). She seems to be based more on the Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass (she's even called "the Red Queen" roughly half the time).