Wednesday Addams is a Cultural Icon
Have you discovered the depth and appeal of Wednesday Addams (in 21 quotes!) in the new Netflix show, Wednesday? Jenna Ortega brings new layers to the iconic character and has made her even more of a cultural icon than she already was.
Ahhh, Wednesday. She is morose. Pale. She has dark hair, usually braided. She wears black dresses and tights and comes across as a very dark soul. Probably because she’s partly dead inside, right?
The History of Wednesday
Wednesday got her start in the original television show back in 1938, when she was a young girl and had sweetness in her. Next came the reboot of the Addams Family movies with Christina Ricci as the youngest Addams child. This portrayal leaned much darker, with a definite sadistic edge to the girl.
And now there is the Netflix original show, Wednesday, with the title character played by Jenna Ortega. Also, how fun that Christina Ricci is in this Addams Family spin-off! Anyway, the Wednesday in this incarnation is sarcastic and has a darkly perverted side to her, but she’s also, clearly, a reserved teenager who doesn’t know how to make or have friends and doesn’t know how to function in Nevermore Academy setting. Her depth and appeal are undeniable.
Jenna Ortega as the iconic Wednesday Addams
In the Netflix show, Wednesday, the title role is played by Jenna Ortega. She has totally taken the world by storm…and it’s easy to see why. Her portrayal of Wednesday has nuanced depth. She is dark, yet at the same time, she’s so likable.
Plus the girl is just quirky, which is another reason she’s so appealing. It’s true that all the actors who have played Wednesday have captured depth in her character. However, Jenna Ortega, in my opinion, has peeled back even more layers of Wednesday, taking her to new depths. She’s made her dark, but we still want her as our friend. For a girl who should be so utterly unlikable, Jenna Ortega makes her extremely accessible with just a hint of real vulnerability buried deep inside.
Wednesday is a Walking Paradox
You see, Wednesday Addams is a walking paradox. An enigma. And that is part of what makes her so appealing. We catch glimpses of humanity in her, glimmers of light in her darkness. For example:
- She is part dead inside, but she has a heart.
- She’s morose, yet oddly learns to care for people.
- She’s sarcastic, but underneath that brutally dark exterior is a girl who also learns to care.
- She doesn’t know how to be a friend—or how to have a friend—until the people who want to be her friend won’t let her escape.
Wednesday Addams as Inspiration
It’s interesting how something sneaks into your subconscious and takes hold. For example, I recently wrote book seven in my Harlow Cassidy Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series and Wednesday proved to be a big inspiration, not only for the dress design (as you can see on the cover of Bobbin for Answers) but for Harlow as she slips into Wednesday’s essence.
First for the dress. The famous dance Wednesday does in, and the moody black dress she wears, stuck with me. I wanted to use it somehow. Bobbin for Answers is a Halloween-themed book. When I was deciding exactly how to incorporate the All Hallow’s Eve vibes into this Magical Dressmaking installment, the dress immediately came to mind, like a spider suddenly dropping from a gossamer string of webs straight into my consciousness.
Next came the dance. I had to incorporate the famous Wednesday dance into the party scene, which takes place just before the dead body is discovered.
Finally, the one-liners. Because, oh my, they are so good!
When you think about Wednesday’s one-liners, you realize that they are very quotable quotes. She is the master of biting one-liners, and Jenna Ortega delivers each one perfectly. Kudos to the writers of this show. I mean, who comes up with a line like: “Everyone knows it. When you have a new baby, one of the other children has to die”?
Uttered with the wrong tone or intonation, such a line could come off as…well, bad. Very bad. But when Jenna’s Wednesday delivers it, it’s darkly perfect. In my research—i.e., watching the series again—I was enamored with all the deadpanned one-liners Wednesday continually speaks. This led me to gather twenty-one Wednesday quotes right here for you.
If I’ve missed any of your favorites, leave them in the comments!
21 Perfectly Perfect Wednesday Addams Quotes
1. “This story is about taking a dark turn. Usually, I love dark turns. Like when the carousel brakes mysteriously failed at my eighth birthday party.”
2. “I’m not sure whose twisted idea it was to put hundreds of adolescents in underfunded schools run by people whose dreams were crushed years ago… but I admire the sadism.”
3. “I may not have a cell phone, but you don’t have a crossbow, and I thought everybody did.”
4. “I’m not friend material, let alone more-than-friend material. I will ignore you, stomp on your heart, and always put my needs and interests first..”
5. “Listen, people like me and you, we’re different. We’re original thinkers, intrepid outliers in this vast cesspool of adolescence. We don’t need these inane rites of passage to validate who we are.”
6. “I don’t believe in mandatory volunteer work, sugar-coated history, or happy endings. But most of all… I don’t believe in coincidences.”
7. “It’s Amateurs Like You Who Give Kidnapping A Bad Name!”
8. “I Find Social Media To Be A Soul-Sucking Void Of Meaningless Affirmation.”
9. “I Prefer To Be Vilified.”
10. “She’s been smothering me with hospitality. I hope to return the favor… in her sleep.”
11. “Sometimes I act like I don’t care if people like me. Deep down, I secretly enjoy it.”
12. “Are you mansplaining my power?”
13. “You brought a gun to a sword fight. Probably the first smart decision you’ve made today.”
14. “I know I’m stubborn, single-minded, and obsessive. But those are all traits of great writers. Yes, and serial killers — what’s your point?”
15. “What kind of dystopian hellscape is this?”
16. “Unrecognizable? Ridiculous? A classic example of female objectification for the male gaze?”
17. “I know. She’s both my literary hero and nemesis. And I have two years and 364 days to beat her.”
18. “Enid, the mark you have left on me is indelible. Anytime I grow nauseous at the sight of a rainbow or hear a pop song that makes my ears bleed, I’ll think of you.”
19. “It’s not my fault I can’t interpret your emotional Morse code.”
20. “The Black Dahlia, of course. It’s named after my favorite unsolved murder.”
21. “I’m not interested in participating in tribal adolescent clichés.”