Little Shop of Horrors
"Feed me! Feed me!... Feed me, Seymour!"
A musical re-imagining of the 1960 Roger Corman film The Little Shop of Horrors, made by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, which debuted in 1982, loosely adapted from Corman's film. The musical was subsequently turned into a film in 1986 starring Rick Moranis in his last singing role, which in turn inspired a revival of the musical. It is Frank Oz's first movie he directed without Jim Henson and his first outside of the Muppet label, and would start his line of subsequent comedy films.
The story revolves around Mushnik's Skid Row Florists and the three people who work there: Mr Mushnik, the proprietor, and his two assistants, Seymour and Audrey. Seymour loves Audrey, but hasn't told her because he's a poor orphan with no future to offer her. Audrey is dating a rich but thoroughly unpleasant guy and dreams of meeting a nice man who'll love her for herself, but believes it will never happen. The shop is on its last legs: there's nothing in the till but cobwebs and dust.
And then Seymour finds a strange and interesting plant, which he dubs the Audrey II, and persuades Mr Mushnik to display it in the shop window. Audrey II proves to be a customer magnet: people come to look at it, and always buy something before they leave. As its fame spreads, the shop receives larger and larger commissions, and Seymour starts receiving offers for national magazine interviews, lecture tours, even his own TV show.
But there's a catch: The plant thrives on human blood, and will die without it. At first, Seymour can keep it satisfied with his own blood, but as it grows larger it demands more than a person can give and live. But, you know, there's that repulsive boyfriend of Audrey's -- surely nobody would miss him if he were to... disappear...
The film version subsequently resulted in an animated series called Little Shop, created by Frank Oz, which aired in 1991. It was set in a High School, with school-aged Seymour and Audrey dealing with the usual sort of high school comedy plots, with the dubious assistance of a toned-down plant which was merely carnivorous rather than a "humanitarian".
- Adaptation Distillation: The musical jettisons several incidental characters, tightens the plot and gives Seymour's struggle with the carnivorous Audrey II a proper narrative arc.
- Adaptation Dye Job: Audrey is traditionally platinum blonde (the acting script refers to her as such). In the original film, she was brunette.
- Adorkable: Seymour and Audrey.
- Alter Kocker: Mr. Mushnik.
- Ambiguous Gender: Audrey II—a plant who acts and sounds male, but has a female name and gets referred to by feminine pronouns (admittedly, when Seymour states that "the Audrey II is not a healthy girl", the Audrey II hasn't revealed itself as sentient yet, so he's speaking pretty loosely).
- And You Were There: After Audrey II starts growing, Seymour is approached by a series of people offering him fame and fortune (three in the musical number "The Meek Shall Inherit", and one more in the final scene); all four are played by a single actor. The same actor also plays the plant's first victim. (As well as various one-off characters with less metaphorical resonance.)
- Asshole Victim: Orin.
- Seymour also counts, it being his Karmic Death.
- Possibly also Mr. Mushnik, depending on how the actor and director play it.
- Seymour also counts, it being his Karmic Death.
- Audience Participation Song: "Dentist!" ends by becoming this. "Say ahhhhh!" "Ahhhhh!"
- B-Movie: A parody thereof.
- Badass Biker: "What kind of 'professional' rides a motorcycle and wears a black leather jacket?" (Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., that's what kind.)
- The Bad Guy Wins
- Be Careful What You Wish For: All over the place.
- The Berserker: Seymour in the final scene. "Now!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: Seymour.
- Blood Lust: "Don't need no twist of lime..."
- Boredom Montage
- Break the Cutie: Seymour. Audrey was broken long before the musical started.
- Canon Foreigner: Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon.
- Catch Phrase: "Feed me!" and variants thereof.
- A more subtle one is Audrey's "Sure!", which even gets referenced in "Suddenly, Seymour" ("I'd meet a man and I'd follow him blindly/He'd snap his fingers/Me, I'd say 'sure'!"). In the film of the musical, she even says "Sure!" through a film of happy tears when Seymour proposes.
- "Say ahhhh! Say ahhhh!"
- Cephalothorax: Audrey II. When it swallows you, where do you go?
- The carnivorous pitcher-plant dissolves its prey in its juices. Audrey II must work on this principle, and its teeth just make the process a little more, ah, digestible.
- Crapsack World: Skid Row. More like a beer-bottle in a paper bag world.
- Creepy Physical
- Crosscast Role: Mrs. Luce, usually, since the tradition is for all the characters who offer Seymour fame and fortune to be played by a single (male) actor.
- Crowd Song: "Skid Row" and "Don't Feed the Plants".
- Cut and Paste Suburb: Audrey reveals her greatest dream is a simple life in a tract house in "Somewhere That's Green".
Audrey: I'll cook like / Betty Crocker... and I'll look like / Donna Reed!
- Darker and Edgier: Than the original film, to a degree. While the original was loaded with Black Comedy, the musical manages to throw in plenty of extra angst:
- In the film, Seymour is a bumbling innocent who's so clumsy that he kills his victims by mistake, while in the musical, he's seduced into deliberate murder by being promised fame, fortune and the girl he loves, Audrey. Additionally, while the film Seymour lived with his mother, the musical Seymour was abandoned at the Skid Row Home For Boys and taken in by Mushnik, who never liked him and treated him horribly.
- Skid Row is now a terrible place that everyone desperately wishes they could leave.
- Audrey, a happy-go-lucky ditz in the film, becomes the product of a broken home who's been in one bad relationship after another, suffers from low self-esteem, and is regularly abused by her sadistic boyfriend. She also dies in the end.
- The plant goes from being a somewhat sarcastic, ever-hungry presence to a Magnificent Bastard plotting world domination.
- The dentist goes from merely being crazy to being a sadistic monster who proudly boasts about the childhood he spent murdering animals in horrific ways.
- Dark Reprise: Of "Somewhere That's Green".
- Not just that. See the trope page.
- Deal with the Devil: Even referred to as such in the acting script (the precise wording is "pact with the devil"). The introduction references the Faust legend as well.
- Death by Adaptation: Mushnik and Audrey don't die in the original movie.
- Death by Cameo: In the original workprint ending, director Frank Oz is seen being eaten by the Audrey IIs invading New York.
- Death Song: "Now (It's Just the Gas)" for Orin and "Somewhere That's Green (reprise)" for Audrey.
- Depraved Bisexual: No matter what its gender, Audrey II acts rather seductively toward both Seymour and Audrey.
- Depraved Dentist
- Despair Event Horizon: Audrey's death.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life:
I keep asking God what I'm for,
And he tells me, "Gee, I'm not sure,
Sweep that floor, kid!"
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Seymour's relationship with the plant, especially in "Feed Me (Git It)".
- Did You Get a New Haircut?: "Is that new eye makeup?"
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Audrey, in Seymour's arms.
- Die Laughing: "Now (It's Just the Gas)".
Orin: Are you satisfied? I--laughed--my--self--to... (dies)
- Dirty Communists: The original premise of the film the play was based on is obviously a commentary on appeasing Nazis and Communists (and other dictator types). It's even lampshaded in one of the songs.
"I've given you sunlight, I've given you rain, looks like you're not happy 'less I open a vein! I'll give you a few drops... if that'll appease..."
- Domestic Abuser: Audrey's boyfriend Orin Scrivello is a "semi-" sadist.
- Drama Queen: Audrey is meant to be played this way, though admittedly she's sincere about what she feels and goes through a lot more than most examples of the trope.
- Dramatic Irony: Seymour complains about how he has to keep feeding Audrey II, and Audrey (number I) wonders why he's so upset about the cost of plant food.
- Dumb Blonde: Audrey.
- Eaten Alive: Musnik and Seymour.
- Economy Cast: If the roles are divided as they were in the original run, only eight cast members are required—four guys and four girls, with Orin's actor playing several minor roles.
- Eleven O Clock Number: "The Meek Shall Inherit".
- Empathic Environment: "Shang-a-lang, feel the sturm und drang in the air..." Besides that, the script calls for a "Wagnerian" sunset to heighten the over-the-top drama when Seymour feeds Audrey to the plant.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Orin.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Audrey II looked just as pissed as Seymour was, when they watched Orin abuse Audrey. Though that doesn't stop it from trying to eat her.
- Evil Laugh: Audrey II. Orin on Nitrous oxide.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Audrey II.
- Extreme Doormat: Seymour, and to a lesser extent Audrey.
- Famous Last Words: In the revised ending:
Audrey II: "Oh... SHIT!" *kaboom!*
- Faux Affably Evil: Orin and Audrey II (Orin doesn't even pretend to be nice to Audrey, but he acts friendly toward Seymour).
- Fed to the Beast
- Final Love Duet
- Fluffy the Terrible
- Fur and Loathing: Stage directions indicate that the rather creepy Mrs. Luce wears a fox fur coat.
- G-Rated Drug: PG Rated, Not very.
Ronette: Here he is folks, the leader of the plaque!
Chiffon: Watch him suck up that gas, Oh- my- God...!
- Gender Blender Name: Audrey II has a feminine name but is traditionally played by a male actor and has a masculine personality (being a plant, and probably an alien, it's anybody's guess what gender Audrey II really is - if any).
- The Ghost: Mrs. Shiva, who was an onscreen character in the original film.
- Ghost Song: "Don't Feed the Plants".
- Gone Horribly Right
- Gone Horribly Wrong
- Grass Is Greener
- Greedy Jew: Mushnik—though, to be fair, a lot of characters want to make money off that plant.
- Greek Chorus: The three Sassy Black Women (see below) Crystal, Ronnette and Chiffon.
- Grief Song: In the German version, Seymour responds to Audrey's death with a Dark Reprise of "Suddenly, Seymour".
- Heel Realization: "You're a monster, and so am I!"
- He Knows Too Much: Seymour's reason for killing Mushnik.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Orin wears a black leather jacket. The acting script calls for an insignia of a bleeding tooth across the back.
- He Who Fights Monsters
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood:
"He took me out of the Skid Row Home for Boys when I was just a little tyke. Gave me a warm place to sleep, under the counter. Nice things to eat like meatloaf and water. Floors to sweep and toilets to clean and every other Sunday off!"
- Historical Domain Character: Mrs. Luce (in real life, Clare Booth Luce) really was the wife of the editor of Life Magazine. She was also a playwright, journalist, socialite, ambassador and congresswoman.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Seymour, eaten by his own giant plant, and Orin, who asphyxiates when the laughing gas mask gets stuck. In the stage show, Mushnik plays with this- he worries about money to the point of adopting Seymour just to keep the plant, and Seymour tells him he put the day's earnings in the plant during Suppertime, but considering A) how the shop had been doing before Audrey II, and B) the fact that it's apparently over a thousand dollars, his concern is more or less justified. Audrey is the only victim who doesn't really have a Karmic Death.
- Audrey's death was karmic - for Seymour instead of for her.
- Mushnik has an oddly meta example of this. In the original b-movie, he tricked a would-be robber into getting eaten by the plant by telling him the shop's money was inside it. The musical lifted the situation with practically the same dialogue, but used it to kill off Mushnik.
- Hope Spot: There are quite a few moments when it looks as if Seymour's going to kill the plant, but he never does.
- Horror Hunger
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: After we're treated to a seemingly nice and lovable guy getting seduced into repeat murder, the ending song tells us that the plants are doing the same thing all across America, offering "unsuspecting jerks" their wildest dreams in exchange for blood. The message of "Don't Feed the Plants" is obvious—with the right motivation, anyone could kill people to feed a plant. Including you.
- "I Am" Song: "I am your dentist!"
- Idiot Ball: After killing Orin, Seymour indulges in what has to rank among the worst murder coverups in the history of fiction. He leaves his baseball cap and his bag at the scene of the crime (the bag, by the way, has the name of the shop on it), stuffs Orin's uniform in the trash can outside the shop, and doesn't even bother to clean up the blood he spilled on the shop floor. When questioned about it, he says, "I spilled some Hawaiian Punch and it stained."
- If We Get Through This: Used, and the focus of a Cut Song.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Audrey II's behavior toward Audrey in "Suppertime (reprise)".
- I Lied: No shit, Sherlock!
- Ill Girl: Audrey doesn't have the usual Soap Opera Disease, but she is not a healthy girl.
- The Ingenue: Audrey (the human).
- Insecure Love Interest: This is why Audrey doesn't consider leaving the abusive "semi-sadist" Orin for her Adorkable Nice Guy coworker Seymour; she likes Seymour, but she considers herself too dirty and worthless to be with him.
- For his part, Seymour is convinced that he's not good enough for Audrey. When he finally realizes that she loves him back, he assumes that it's because he now has money and believes that he'll lose her if he loses his income from the plant. Tragedy ensues.
- Ironic Echo:
Seymour: You're a monster, and so am I!
Audrey II: Feed me!
- "I Want" Song: "Somewhere That's Green".
- As well as its Dark Reprise and the villainous version in "Feed Me".
- "Skid Row", "Grow for Me" and "Mushnik and Son" also qualify—and, to a lesser degree, "Now (It's Just the Gas)" and "The Meek Shall Inherit".
- I Wished You Were Dead: Audrey secretly wished Orin would disappear, and when he actually does, she blames herself, worrying that it's her fault if he "met with foul play" (although she doesn't know it, she is the reason Seymour killed him).
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Orin.
- Laughably Evil: Orin, Audrey II, and (depending on how he's played) Mushnik.
- Laughing Mad: Dr. Orin Scrivello during Seymour's dental exam. Admittedly, it was due to a fatal overdose of laughing gas.
- Leitmotif: Quite a few. Just to name one example, the tune to Mushnik And Son appears three times, not counting in the song itself.
- Lonely at the Top
- Love Makes You Evil: All of Seymour's evil deeds are done for Audrey's sake.
- Love Redeems: "Suddenly, Seymour" is about Audrey being redeemed by Seymour, which is ironic when you consider that she's The Ingenue and he's a murderer.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Quite a lot: cheerful, rousing rock/motown numbers spliced with references to horror and bloodshed are the order of the day here.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Mushinik, who cares somewhat for Seymour (though more for money) and for Audrey, who he constantly advises to drop her abusive boyfriend.
- Jewish Complaining
- Jews Love to Argue
- The Klutz: Seymour's signature trait before the Audrey II plot takes off, at which point it disappears (unlike his counterpart in the original film, he's not a Lethal Klutz).
- Man-Eating Plant
- Manipulative Bastard: Audrey II.
- Meaningful Name: The dentist: Orin ("oral") Scrivello (a type of elephant tusk).
- Miracle-Gro Monster: Audrey II gradually gets bigger as it gets more blood.
- Money Song: Since money is a huge part of the plot, it's inevitable that some songs would revolve, at least partially, around it. Probably the best example is Mushnik's intro to "Ya Never Know".
- Mood Whiplash
- Murder the Hypotenuse
- The Musical
- My God, What Have I Done?
- No Communities Were Harmed:
Manhattan in the 60s Downtown south of 14thSkid Row.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Lampshaded in the opening monologue. The narrator talks about how threats to Earth often happen in the most ordinary and unlikely of places.
- Oblivious to Love: For a good part of the show, Seymour and Audrey are oblivious to each others' love. Each admires the other excessively and has about zero self-esteem.
- Deconstructed, as Seymour refuses to stop feeding the plant because he fears Audrey would stop caring about him if he was broke again which leads to their deaths.
- Our Founder: A picture of Mr. Mushnik with the caption "Our Founder" appears in the shop in the scene following "The Meek Shall Inherit".
- Paparazzi: Mrs. Luce wants a photo of Seymour with the plant for the cover of Life Magazine.
- Pet the Dog: Mushnik would come off as a complete Jerkass if he didn't show concern for Audrey and urge her to break up with Orin.
- Phrase Catcher: The fact that Audrey II is a "strange and interesting plant" is repeated by no fewer than five characters in the scene where Seymour puts it in Mushnik's display window. Strange and interesting indeed.
- Plant Aliens
- Powered by a Forsaken Child
- Pragmatic Adaptation
- Redemption Equals Death: For Seymour, who doesn't actually end up killing Audrey II. At least he tries.
- Released to Elsewhere: After Mushnik is killed, Seymour claims he is visiting his sister in Czechoslovakia.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Seymour attempts one of these on Audrey II, but ends up getting eaten.
- Sassy Black Woman: Three of them, in the form of Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon, who also function as the show's Greek Chorus (see above).
- Scary Black Man: Audrey II is often voiced by an African-American actor.
- Screen to Stage Adaptation
- Seemingly-Wholesome Fifties Girl: Audrey counts as a subversion. She thinks she's one, but she's really The Ingenue.
- Shipper on Deck: Crystal, Ronette, Chiffon and Audrey II for Seymour/Audrey.
- Shout-Out: The cut song "Bad" (rewritten for the film as "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space") had Audrey II boasting about how much badder he is than Godzilla, King Kong and the Bride of Frankenstein.
- The three urchins are named for three different girl groups of the sixties (The Crystals, The Ronettes and The Chiffons). The songs reference and parody the sixties music scene, both lyrically and stylistically. This blog has a pretty comprehensive overview.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Comedy-dominant, though the line definitely gets blurred.
- "Somewhere" Song
- The Song Before the Storm: The cut song "We'll Have Tomorrow" would have taken place in the shop shortly before "Sominex/Suppertime (reprise)".
- Take Over the World: Audrey II's plan all along.
- Tempting Fate: Several cases, as in the cut song "We'll Have Tomorrow". The best example has to be when Seymour first agrees to feed blood to the tiny plant: "Well, okay... as long as you don't make a habit of it or anything!"
- Terms of Endangerment: Several examples:
- Orin calls Seymour "stud".
- In "The Meek Shall Inherit", Bernstein, Mrs. Luce and Skip Snip address Seymour with increasingly uncomfortable pet names ("dollface", "my sweet, sweet thing" and "pussycat", to name a few).
- Audrey II flirts with the human Audrey moments before attempting to eat her.
- Theme Naming: Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon take their names from the Crystals, the Ronettes and the Chiffons; all 1960s New York African-American girl groups.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Justified when Seymour tries it, because all his weapons can't kill the plant anyway.
Audrey: A gun?
Seymour: And bullets! And rat poison! And a machete!
- They Call Me Mr. Tibbs: Orin insists that Audrey call him "Doctor" and use the term "D.D.S." when referring to him. It's implied that he's beaten her for neglecting to do so ("You gotta train 'em, eh, stud?").
- This Is a Drill: Orin's drill isn't rusty, it's an antique.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Audrey.
- To Serve Man
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: Audrey II appears at a plant store in a solar eclipse.
- Tragedy: The musical is literally a Greek tragedy, complete with a trio of singers who represent the Greek Chorus, and Seymour first sacrifices his enemy, then his father figure, then his love, then himself.
- Trial Balloon Question
- Twice Shy: Seymour and Audrey.
- Unlucky Everydude: Seymour could be seen as a deconstruction. He fits the description perfectly until Audrey dies.
- Villain Love Song: "Feed Me (Git It)" and "Suppertime (reprise)".
- Villain Recruitment Song: "Mushnik and Son", which is followed immediately by "Feed Me (Git It)".
- Villain Song: "Dentist", "Feed Me" and "Suppertime".
- Depending on how it's played, "Mushnik and Son".
- Wanderlust Song
- We Named the Monkey "Jack"
- Where Do You Think You Are?:
- Wife-Basher Basher: Seymour. He plans to ignore the plant and not feed it anything—until Orin abuses Audrey right in front of him. Audrey II is, of course, fully aware that this is Seymour's Berserk Button.
Seymour: He's so nasty, treatin' her rough!
Audrey II: Smackin' her 'round, always talkin' so tough!
Seymour: You need blood, and he's got more than enough!
- World of Ham
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Skid Row.
- Yiddish as a Second Language
- You Are Too Late
- You Bastard
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
- Adaptation Distillation through Pragmatic Adaptation: The subplot about Mr. Mushnik adopting Seymour is dropped, along with a few incidental songs, to make a tight 90-minute narrative. Also worth noting, the scene with Bill Murray as a masochistic dental patient did not appear in the stage version. It derives from a famous scene in the 1960 movie which originally featured Jack Nicholson in this role.
- Apocalypse How: The Audrey II invasion as depicted in the original ending could potentially range anywhere from Class 0 to Class 5.
- Award Bait Song: "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" is not present in the stage version, although it has been added in some revivals. It was added to the screenplay so the film could receive an Oscar nomination for "Best Original Song". It lost, sadly (it should be noted that "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" is definitely not your typical Award Bait Song).
- Ax Crazy: Orin Scrivello.
- Better Living Through Evil: Audrey II uses this method to convince Seymour to feed it Orin and Mesnick by bringing up the fact that it could make Seymour rich. It eventually works once Seymour realizes what he could buy with the insane amount of money Audrey II is capable of bringing in.
- Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: You can tell when the Focus Group Ending kicks in when the dress becomes a lot less blood stained.
- Bottomless Magazines: Audrey II steals Seymour's tiny pistol during "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" and proceeds to fire about twelve shots at him.
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill
- Camp Gay: Bill Murray as the masochistic patient shows some inclinations.
- Cow Tools: Orin's medieval-looking dental appliances.
Seymour: It's rusty!
Orin: It's an antique.
- Curse Cut Short: "OH SHI--" It should be noted, though, that elsewhere Audrey II is allowed to curse quite freely.
- Cut and Paste Suburb: "Somewhere That's Green".
- Death by Adaptation: Audrey II in the Focus Group Ending.
- Defeat by Modesty: In both versions of the film, Audrey II thwarts Seymour's attempt to axe it by pantsing him, prompting Seymour to drop the axe and duck behind a counter.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Completely inverted with the Focus Group Ending.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Focus Group Ending closes "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" (wherein Audrey II reveals himself in all his unstoppable glory) with Seymour electrocuting him.
- Disney Creatures of the Farce: In the "Somewhere That's Green" Imagine Spot.
- The End - or Is It?: The ending shows a little Audrey II outside Seymour and Audrey's garden, with the unstated implication being that someone else passing by is bound to notice it (since it's "strange and interesting"), take it with them, and then here we go again....
- Even Evil Has Standards: A variation: the gleefully sadistic, completely heartless Orin Scrivello is so disgusted by his encounter with the masochist that he ends up kicking him out of doors.
Orin: Get out of here! Go on, get out of here!...Goddamn sicko!
- Expy: Steve Martin's role in this film has been compared to his feature film debut as Dr Maxwell Edison in 1978's Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Bill Murray's role as Arthur Denton is an expy of Wilbur Force, the Jack Nicholson character from the 1960 movie.
- Focus Group Ending: The stage adaptation's Downer Ending with our heroes being eaten and multiple Audrey IIs taking over the world was shot, but focus groups decided to change this in favor of the less confronting The End - or Is It? ending.
- Gender Equals Breed: In the "Somewhere That's Green" dream sequence, which was one of the inspirations for the trope, Seymour and Audrey's kids are identical to their mother and father.
- Groin Attack:
I got killer buds, a power stem, nasty pods, and I'm using them!
So better move 'em out, Nature calls! You got the point?
I'm gonna bust your balls!
Vincent Gardenia: So work, Seymour! Nurse this plant back to death! To death...
Ellen Greene: Oh, Seymour, we gotta ge–I forgot my line!
Rick Moranis: (Beat) MY LEGS!!
Ellen Greene: The vine is coming *into* my dress?
Rick Moranis: THE SEQUEL! WHAT ABOUT THE SEQUEL?!
- "I Am" Song: "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space".
- Imagine Spot: "Somewhere That's Green".
- Kaiju: In the original, unreleased ending, swarms of 50-foot plant-monsters rampage throughout New York in what may have been a Shout-Out to Godzilla (and King Kong).
- Karmic Death: Audrey II.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Audrey II.
- Large Ham: Almost everyone in the 1986 film, but Levi Stubbs in particular sounds like he's having an absolute blast.
- Lighter and Softer: See Darker and Edgier and Dark Reprise in the play version. It manages to contain all these aspects in its songs, but somehow makes it lighthearted simply by changing the ending and some of the songs.
- Meaningful Name: Arthur Denton loves getting painful dental work done...
- Mouth Cam: During "Dentist".
- Movie Bonus Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space", and arguably "Some Fun Now" (which is a rewrite of the musical's "Ya Never Know").
- Musicalis Interruptus
- Nightmare Sequence: "The Meek Shall Inherit" was going to be this, but the scene was cut down. You can still hear the rest of it on the soundtrack.
- Oh Crap: All of the main characters get this one at some point.
- Paparazzi: Lots of these show up at the shop shortly after the plant eats Mushnik. Seymour doesn't handle them very well.
- Public Medium Ignorance: Thanks to this movie, people have mistakenly rented or downloaded Corman's 1960 movie, thinking it was this version.
- Scary Black Man: Audrey II (he's voiced by Levi Stubbs).
- Shrine to the Fallen: Played for laughs—Orin has a closet shrine to his dearly departed mom.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the Focus Group Ending, Audrey and Seymour. Note that Audrey has a recursive case of this, as she didn't die in the original film that the musical itself was based on.
- Stepford Suburbia: In the film, they escape Skid Row. But one of the mini-Audrey IIs comes with them!
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: "Wait for me, Audrey--this is between me and the vegetable!"
- Too Kinky to Torture: Arthur Denton.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: The Greek Chorus have a better dresser than Michelle Obama.
- Villain Song: "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space".
- Adaptation Dye Job: In a recursive example, Audrey gets to be brunette again.
- Animated Adaptation
- Big Eater: Audrey Jr.
- A Boy and His X: A boy and his manipulative, mind-controlling, people-eating, rap-singing pet plant.
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life
- High School
- High School AU
- Informed Attribute: Audrey Jr. claims that he likes to eat people, as in the previous incarnations, but is generally shown eating regular food, such as pizza and sandwiches (he does eat the piano teacher almost Once Per Episode, but that obviously doesn't last long).
- In Name Only: Seymour Krelborn is a kid. Audrey has brown hair and she is Mr. Mushnik's daughter. The chorus girls are replaced by singing flowers. Audrey II has eyes, has traded in blood lust for love of rap music, and above all, is friendly. In Name Only? Very much so.
- Meaningful Name: Paine Driller.
- Mythology Gag: Burson Fouch, the flower-eating guy from the original film, makes at least one cameo.
- Nerd: Seymour. Or he tries to be one, anyway.
- Oblivious to Love: Audrey has no idea that Seymour likes her.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Played with in the opening of the first episode. Seymour has "spent thirteen years trying to be a nerd". Only problem? "I'm not smart."
- Spared by the Adaptation: Nope, no death in this one (unless you're counting the situation with the piano teacher).
- Spinoff Babies
- Theme Tune Rap: "Word, Li'l Shop!"
- They Killed Kenny: The piano teacher.
- Wonderful Life