The Little Mermaid/YMMV

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


    • Badass Decay: Eric and Triton in both the sequel and musical.
      • Also, the Evil Manta in his fourth/final appearance in the TV show.
    • Base Breaker: Anything about the sequels of the movie.
      • Ariel herself too, when the subject of whether she's a good character/role model comes up.
    • Non Sequitur Scene: Chef Louis and his musical number, "Les Poissons".
    • Ear Worm: Pretty much every song.
    • Ensemble Darkhorse: Sebastian was so popular that voice actor Samuel E. Wright recorded two albums as the character. There was even a tie-in Disney Channel special, and the character also starred in his own shorts on the short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon Raw Toonage.
      • "Vanessa" (Ursula's disguised form) is really popular with some fans.
      • Evil Manta from the TV series.
      • Undertow from the sequel. With Melody being a copy of her mother, Morgana and her sting rays being copies of Ursula, Flotsam, and Jetsam, and Tip and Dash being copies of...Timon and Pumbaa, Undertow is the only new character with some originality. Doesn't hurt that he's voiced by Clancy Brown.
    • Epileptic Trees: In The Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown puts forth the theory that the directors and animators were pagan goddess worshipers and scattered clues and obscure references to the "Sacred Feminine" throughout the film, including Ariel's red hair. The reality is far less mystical though: the animators chose to make Ariel a redhead to avoid comparisons with Darryl Hannah's blonde mermaid character from Splash, and also because it gave a nice contrast with the blue sea and her green tail.
    • Evil Is Sexy: Ursula in her Vanessa status. Some viewers found Ursula sexy even in her original form. "Don't underestimate the importance of body language!"
    • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
      • According to Hal Sparks in the "I Love the 80's 3-D" VH1:
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    "And the lovely little moral of this story is: Girls, give up your voice so you can have legs that you can spread for your man. ...What!?"

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    However, Eric happens to love Ariel's voice.
      • Ironically, the oft-cited "throw away your life for some stranger" moral was actually meant to be averted by the movie; the writers noticed it in the original story and decided to give Ariel a fascination with human culture so she already kind of wanted to be human before she even met the guy. Eric just tipped the balance.
        • And in Ariel's defense, regarding the points referring to her disobeying her father, King Triton simply refused to understand that not all humans are like what he repeatedly refers to them as, thus marking this an example of how some parents aren't always right. It's quite common in real life, you know.
      • These are all quite mild compared to the original story's message, however: "obey your parents and behave, or an innocent girl will lose her soul."
    • Fan-Preferred Couple: For some bizarre reason, whenever Disney pops up on Imageboards /u/, they ship Ariel with Meg from Hercules (something we need to thank to batlesbo and X-Arielle).
      • Another very popular pairing in the fandom is Ariel/Jim Hawkins and a lesser extent, Jim and Melody.
      • Ursula/Evil Manta, despite the both of them not having any sort of interactions in the TV Series.
    • Freud Was Right: The original VHS cover...oh, the grief that one (just one) of the coral spires on Triton's castle caused... Ariel gasping for breath once reaching the surface after being changed into a human is very orgasmic-looking.
    • Funny Aneurysm Moment / Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe example: In the episode "Metal Fish", Ariel saves Hans Christian Andersen, and it is heavily implied that he ended up writing the story in honor of her saving him. Said story ended up published a year later in the story, and given what happened to the character based on her, its unlikely that Andersen was too happy that Ariel married Eric.
    • Funny Moments: Sebastian vs. Chef Louis, made so much more effective thanks in part to the Can-can music!
    • Genre Turning Point: Started the Animation Renaissance.
    • Girls Need Role Models: Ariel was created as a Rebellious Princess in part because of this, especially compared to her predecessors in the canon.
    • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Oh Eric, don't believe in any of this nautical nonsense."
      • Also either this or Funny Aneurysm Moment, but Ariel (and by proxy, Vanessa), was originally potentially going to be voiced by Melissa Fahn. Given who she later acted as a dub voice for, the fact that she later plays a woman who actually attempts to sabotage a relationship between the main character and her lover through very similar methods to what Vanessa did to Ariel is somewhat of an eyeopener.
    • Magnificent Bastard: The Evil Manta from the series, who manages to turn the different species of the entire kingdom against each other in his debut episode. Not only that, he also tricked Ariel into setting him free to begin with. Oh, and he's voiced by Tim Curry, no less. Though his fourth and final appearance puts him through Badass Decay and Villain Decay; suddenly he's a father, Tim Curry voices him a lot less creepily, and he ends up with some redeeming qualities.
      • Ursula is also this in the original movie, where in her first scene she's pretty much ahead of the game before the game even starts.
    • Moral Event Horizon: Ursula pretty much starts well over the line and really crosses when she interferes with her own deal with Ariel and hypnotizes Eric into falling in love with her in disguise. Also in the TV series, she attempts to murder an alleged bad-luck creature despite it being completely harmless to begin with.
    • Replacement Scrappy: For some fans, Melody and Morgana of The Little Mermaid 2.
    • Ron the Death Eater: Being on two opposing sides of an issue, both Ariel and King Triton have people who ignore all faults in one while demonizing the other.
    • Squick: The fact that Ariel is identical to her mother Athena in everything but eye color has not escaped some fans. Might explain why she's Triton's favorite.
      • And Ursula. All the time. Especially when talking to Ariel.
    • Unfortunate Character Design: The priest. (Although this too is an urban legend.)
    • The Woobie: King Triton in Ariel's Beginning. The guy lost his wife in a pirate attack, and many years later he still can't listen to music without being reminded of that tragic happening. Through the whole movie he looks so sad and depressed of what he had lost, and his strained relationship with Ariel ain't helping him.

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