Netflix has just revealed that Wednesday has broken the record (previously held by Stranger Things) for the most watched series in a week in the streaming service’s history. Here we take a look back at everything we missed in the Addam’s Family spin-off.
Netflix’s Wednesday is a coming-of-age story centred around the oldest child of Morticia and Gomez Addams. She spends most of the season adjusting to life at her new school while also trying to solve the mystery of the murders surrounding the small town of Jericho and Nevermore Academy. The TV show makes several references to the 1991 and 1993 films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, as well as the works of Tim Burton and Edgar Allen Poe.
References to the Earlier Films
1. The Introduction of Wednesday and Pugsley
In the first episode of Wednesday, we see the titular character (now played by Jenna Ortega) rescue her brother Pugsley Addams (now played by Isaac Ordonez) from a locker. She finds him tied up with an apple stuffed in his mouth and soon leaves to deal with her bullies in a particularly violent way.
This is not unlike the scene that first introduced the sibling in The Addams Family. We see Wednesday (then played by Christina Ricci) fully displaying her violent tendencies by shooting an arrow at her younger brother (then played by Jimmy Workman) with a crossbow. Much like the series, Pugsley is seen tied up with an apple in his mouth.
Wednesday Addams’ interest in archery is also a small notable detail that features in the Netflix show.
2. Raining “Blood”
During the Rave’N dance, Nevermore Academy is pranked by a group of Normies (ordinary people), who hooks up a water truck filled with red paint that they unload into the sprinkler system and release onto the students of Nevermore, most of whom are dressed in white. Wednesday is the only one not particularly perturbed by the incident and is even shown to be disappointed when she learns that it’s only paint and not pig’s blood like she’d been hoping.
This prank calls back to the act Wednesday and Pugsley put on for their elementary school talent show, during which the two sprayed fake blood onto the audience from the wounds they sustained during their performance.
The pig’s blood aspect calls back to Carrie, a novel by Stephen King in which the main character’s bullies dump a pig’s blood on her just after she is crowned prom queen.
3. Gomez and his Swords
In episode 5, You Reap What You Woe, we learn several things. First, Gomez (now played by Luis Guzmán) is arrested for the murder of Garett Gates (who was obsessed with Morticia Addams) via sword, something for which Morticia was actually responsible. Next, we learn from Wednesday that her father was the one who taught her how to fence.
Fans of The Addams Family films know that Gomez (then played by Raul Julia) has a deep love for swords and often pulls guests into impromptu sword fights.
4. Morticia and Her Roses
In the same episode, while stalking her mother, Wednesday sees Morticia (now played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) visiting the grave of the man she assumed she’d killed. While there, she removes the head of the rose she brought before placing the stem on the grave and tossing away the petals.
In The Addams Family,Morticia (then played by Anjelica Huston) is seen tending to the garden in her greenhouse by cutting off the heads of her roses.
5. Wednesday’s Penchant for Getting Stabbed
In the Netflix show’s finale episode, we see Wednesday injured through several means. First, she is stabbed for the actions made by her ancestor, Goodie Addams; then, we see her willingly take an arrow for one of her friends. She has always been a fan of pain, often commenting on how she enjoys the feeling of being electrocuted.
In the film, Wednesday has Pugsley fake stab her while their uncle Fester (then played by Christopher Lloyd) watches them play. While she might not get stabbed for real, a young Wednesday has never turned down the opportunity to play dead.
6. Turning History on its Head
The history of Nevermore and Jericho is intertwined, and it is one of the critical aspects of Netflix’s Wednesday that links everything together. Wednesday’s vision ends up taking her on a journey back in time, where she learns the true story of what happened with the founder of Jericho, Joseph Crackstone, and what he did to those that were previously living on the land and were a little bit different to him and his pilgrims.
Wednesday has never had any love for Pilgrims, revealed to us in Addams Family Values, in which she gives everyone a history lesson in her speech about the truth of Thanksgiving during the Thanksgiving play. So seeing that aspect of her character come out on Wednesday is great.
7. Fire’s Everywhere
During her quest for revenge against the pilgrims who murdered her ancestors in cold blood, Wednesday decides that it is only fair to burn the statue set up to honour him with a bit of help from Thing (played by Victor Dorobantu). But, in true Wednesday fashion, while everyone else freaks out and runs away, Wednesday remains as calm as ever, playing her cello to give the moment some more drama.
The fire calls back to Addams Family Values when Wednesday and her fellow outcasts take over the play at Camp Chippewa and set everything on fire. But, while everyone runs around causing havoc, Wednesday gives the tiniest of smiles, happy to have exacted her revenge.
8. The Canoes
Wednesday’s werewolf roommate Enid Sinclair(played by Emma Myers) is determined to win the Poe Cup, a trophy which has always gone to Bianca (played by Joy Sunday), a siren with a bit of a mean streak. To win the Poe Cup, students must paint canoes based on one of Edger Allen Poe’s stories and sail them across the lake and back.
This could likely be a call back to the end of Addams Family Values when Wednesday and her romantic interest Joel Glicker (played by David Krumboltz) sailed away from Camp Chippewa via canoe.
9. The Addams Family Theme Song
The Addams Family fans will all be familiar with their iconic theme song, which featured a snap that Thing performed. While that theme song does not feature at any point during Netflix’s Wednesday, it is referenced several times.
When talking with one of her two love interests, Tyler (played by Hunter Doohan), he informs her that she’s “just kind of kooky. Wednesday replies that she prefers “spooky”. This is a nod back to the lyrics of the theme song: “They’re creepy and their kooky, mysterious and spooky”.
The snap is used as a means by which students get into the secret lair of The Nightshades (a secret society within the school that Wednesday turns down when offered membership). We see the snap done by Wednesday and Marilyn Thornhill (played by Christina Ricci – this is a reference to the two films in and of itself), Wednesday’s dorm mother.
10. Wednesday’s Movie Watching
While on a surprise movie date with Tyler, they watch Legally Blonde. Tyler finds this incredibly amusing, given the stark contrast between the main character and the overall vibe of Legally Blonde and Wednesday, a particularly gothic individual.
This moment calls back to when Joel, Pugsley and Wednesday were forced to watch Annie at Camp Chippewa until their attitudes adjusted and they became more pleasant to work with.
11. Grave Digging
An enjoyable and traditional activity that the Addams family had taken up is digging up the graves of their past family members found in their backyard. This is something that Wednesday, Pugsley and Fester have taken a particular interest in.
We see this hinted at in the Netflix show when Wednesday is digging up the grave of Garrett Gates for evidence to set her father free. At the same time, Morticia watches on, reminiscing about her daughter and commenting on how she almost smiled when she was first introduced to the wonders of grave digging.
12. Joel Glicker’s Influence
It seems the nature of Wednesday’s romantic interest from Addams Family Values could not be left behind. Though he doesn’t feature in the show, remnants of Joel’s character are sprinkled in other characters, reminding us of the pair’s bond. There are three characters in particular where aspects of Joel stand out:
Eugene Otinger – Played by Moosa Mostafa, Eugene is a fellow outcast of Wednesday’s and the only bee club member before she arrives as Nevermore. Like Joel, he wears glasses and happens to sport a similar hairstyle.
Rowan – Played by Calum Ross, Rowan is a telepath and a seer who, like Joel, also wears glasses and has an inhaler and dark hair.
Tyler – Tyler is the normie that has shown an interest in Wednesday since she arrived at Nevermore and shared a kiss with her.
13. The Girl Scout Line
In The Addams Family, Wednesday and Pugsley encounter a girl scout who is insistent on selling them cookies. To get rid of her (or perhaps it’s genuine curiosity, no one seems to be able to tell), Wednesday asks, “Are they made from real Girl Scouts?”
As a call back to this moment, in episode 3 of the Netflix series, Friend or Woe, Wednesday deadpans with the statement, “I could eat girl Scouts for breakfast.”
Other Easter Eggs Left for Fans to Catch
14. The Open Credits
There are plenty of hints about what will happen throughout the TV series, sprinkled throughout the opening credits.
The typewriter – a central aspect of Wednesday’s character. We are informed at the very beginning that Wednesday sets some time aside every day to work on the books she is writing. The story she is currently working on is about her original character and the struggles she has to deal with involving her mother.
The Nightshade Society Volume – this links back to the secret club in the school hidden behind Edgar Allen Poe’s statue and the prophecy of the destruction of the school that is also incidentally the reason behind all the deaths throughout the series.
Her cello with a butcher’s knife – this links back to Wednesday’s incredible talent and the many murders that take place over the course of the show. It may also refer back to Wednesday’s love of murder mystery and her flare for the theatrical (which she manages even with a deadpan expression).
The black widow seen crawling in a glass window – This is very clearly a link to Wednesday’s second romantic interest in the series, Xavier Thrope (played by Percy Hynes White), who has a talent for bringing his art to life. This is also a hint at the window in Wednesday’s room, which is shaped to look like a spider’s web.
A teddy bear in a guillotine
A bee in a Venus Flytrap – the bee links back to Wednesday’s young friend Eugene and the Venus Flytrap is a reference to her dorm mother, Miss Thornhill, who teaches about carnivorous plants and tends to a Venus Flytrap.
A Crystal Ball – references the form of communication Wednesday uses with her family and possibly her gift of visions.
The moon – Possibly a reference to Enid, a werewolf who isn’t yet able to shift.
A barren tree engulfed in flames – this image links back to the prophecy that almost gets Wednesday killed a couple of times. It is seen in the Nightshade Society volume, which shows a picture of the likeness of Wednesday fighting against Joseph Crackstone while Nevermore Academy goes up in flames behind them.
15. Throughout Jericho and Nevermore Academy
Yoko Ono – Yoko Ono is a very influential multimedia artist focusing on performance art and filmmaking. Yoko Tanaka (played by Naomi J. Ogawa) is a classmate of Wednesday and Enid’s that we occasionally see hanging out with Bianca. She was part of Enid’s team for the Poe Cup and helped paint their canoe designed after Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat.
She has been described as a “vampire with a Harajuku-inspired goth flair and one of the cool kids at Nevermore Academy” and seen with long hair and a pair of Windsor glasses, a pair that is very similar to that worn by Ono at several points during her career.
Yoko Tanaka is a character designed to reference and honour Yoko Ono with her “vintage” and “wild visual-kei goth style.”
Millar & Gough Reality – in the series, Wednesday is forced to go to therapy sessions with Dr Valerie Kinbott (played by Riki Lindhome). When she escapes the first time, audiences can very briefly see a sign that references the showrunners, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who could not pass up the opportunity to put their names somewhere in the show.
Ophelia Hall – Ophelia is the famous character from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet who kills herself after she is driven mad by her family. It is also the name of Morticia’s sister and Wednesday’s aunt. Upon arriving at Nevermore Academy, Wednesday is placed in Ophelia Hall, just like her mother was at her age.
Similar to Shakespeare’s Ophelia, Wednesday is forced to live with the weight of her family’s ambitions and has to struggle with the fact that she is always living in the shadow of her mother. However, unlike Ophelia, Wednesday rises above her struggles and survives, becoming the opposite of Ophelia.
Grandmama and Itt – While Grandmama Addams is only mentioned by name when Xavier and Wednesday discuss how they know each other (his godmother and Grandmama were friends who used to travel all over Europe), Cousin Itt is referenced quite openly through his ancestor Ignatious Itt. He featured as a painting when we learn that he was the right-hand man of Nevermore’s founder.
Tim Burton’s Films – All over shops in the town, there are references to several of Tim Burton’s previous works. For example, several mice reference his films in the thrift shop Uriah’s Heal. In the Weathervanes coffee shop, there are a couple of metal weathervanes on the wall, one of which is designed to look like the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow and another intended to look like Willy Wonka’s top hat from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There is also a shrunken head in Principal Weems’ (played by Gwendoline Christie) that is a reference to Beetlejuice.
The Gargoyles in the Quad – The Wednesday production designer Mark Scruton has said that the gargoyles were done to all the different groups seen within the school. If you take the time to look at them, you will see gorgons, sirens and vampires.
He also said there is a major plot point hidden within them, so if you have the time, check out the gargoyles.
There Are Ravens Everywhere – From the work of Edgar Allan Poe that Wednesday is based on (The Raven) to the name of the dance for students at Nevermore (Rave’N) to the title, Wednesday is given due to her darker visions; the Raven is definitely a reoccurring theme throughout the show. During the Poe Cup, the teams even have to row to Raven island.
Poe’s work definitely had a massive influence on Burton’s vision for Netflix’s Wednesday.
Which of these Easter Eggs did you manage to catch on your first watch of Netflix’s Wednesday?