Wednesday Addams, the doleful daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams, has delighted fans of the creepy and the spooky ever since Charles Addams drew his first Addams comic for The New Yorker in 1938. But it wasn't until the '60s Addams Family sitcom that we even learned her name (her middle name is "Friday"), her age, and that her greatest thrill was attempting to kill her brother Pugsley.
A new generation fell in love with Wednesday's macabre sensibilities and wry sense of humor with Christina Ricci's performance in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values in the '90s, a more mature departure from the '60s iteration. Between the television series, the movies, various Saturday morning cartoons, and now the most recent animated Addams Family film, she's established herself as a true gothic icon and "mood". Here are her 10 darkest moments.
9 RUINED A THANKSGIVING PLAY AT SUMMER CAMP
In Addams Family Values, the hilarious sequel to The Addams Family, you'd think that Wednesday was being punished by being sent to summer camp. It wasn't her idea originally, but the nefarious work of the new nanny her parents have hired to take care of bouncing baby Pubert Addams.
Making what she can of her dismal situation, she tries to terrorize her fellow campers. Even when she's cast as Pocahontas in the Thanksgiving Play, she doesn't let her fun be spoiled; she embodies the spirit of avenging First Americans conceding to settlers and burns the set to the ground.
8 TERRORIZED HER CLASSMATES DURING FROG DISSECTION
In the most recent animated incarnation of the famous creepy clan, The Addams Family, Wednesday decides she'd like to be enrolled in junior high. In this version, she's been homeschooled by Morticia for her young life, learning potions and how to commune with the dark forces.
When she gets to dissecting frogs in biology class, she decides to use the opportunity to cause her school rival some vexation. She uses electrical current to bring all the dead frogs back to life, Frankenstein style, and assault her without mercy.
7 USED HER UNCLE FOR TARGET PRACTICE WITH A CROSSBOW
Wednesday loves her Uncle Fester dearly, but that doesn't mean she doesn't also use him for target practice in The Addams Family. While discussing life at the Addams manor with her new friend Parker, she repeatedly cocks her crossbow and casually loads a bolt.
With each punctuation of her points, she gesticulates at the house and fires, sending a bolt right into Uncle Fester's window. Throughout her conversation with Parker, she hits him several times, the last going right through his ears. To which he responds, "Nice shot!"
6 USED AN IRON MAIDEN ON A HOTEL THIEF
In the animated series The Addams Family, Wednesday and Pugsley are given a problem-solving exercise as homework, which they don't particularly look forward to. They turn the Addams manor into a B&B, and their first guest is a meddlesome hotel thief out to steal their family fortune.
After she imprisons Morticia and Gomez in cages and subdues the rest of the household she thinks she has the Addams beat, but then she makes the mistake of grabbing Wednesday's braids. Wednesday asks, "Mother, may I please borrow the Iron Maiden?" and it's all downhill for the criminal from there.
5 WHEN SHE ROASTED PUGSLEY OVER A FIRE
The Addams Family cartoon of the '90s was based off of the success of the '90s films, but only aired for a few seasons. Still, it managed to capture all of the madcap macabre of both the films and the original '60s television show. In one notable episode, Wednesday roasted Pugsley over an open flame.
The Addams were preparing for another annual family reunion, and it was Wednesday and Pugsley's job to make the appetizers. Wednesday decided that rather than hunt all over the basement for whatever was conveniently lurking, she'd just serve up spit-roasted Pugsley.
4 PERFORMED WATER TORTURE ON PUGSLEY
Amidst the Leave it to Beaver type series in the '60s, The Addams Family offered a dose of darkness to the American family sitcom. On the show, Wednesday Addams was depicted as six years old and liked to cut the heads off of her dolls. She also enjoyed raising spiders, her favorite being her pet spider Homer.
Hearing macabre quotes coming out of the mouth of someone who looked so innocent and beguiling was one of the highlights of the series. Naturally, Wednesday's favorite activity was torturing her brother Pugsley, including inflicting Chinese water torture by using an eye-dropper to let water fall on his face one droplet at a time (she get up to 429).
3 TRIED TO FRY PUGSLEY IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
Without a doubt, one of the stand out moments in The Addams Family film of 1991 involved Wednesday preparing to electrocute Pugsley in an electric chair. While her brother was blissfully ignorant of his impending doom, she methodically strapped him in and set about preparing the controls.
Christina Ricci managed to temper Wednesday's grim sensibilities with just enough deadpan humor to make even the most disturbing antics with Pugsley seem child's play. There are many moments when she tries to kill him off throughout the film, but this remains the most shocking.
2 DROPPED HER BABY BROTHER OFF THE ROOF
After the events of The Addams Family, Wednesday and Pugsley find themselves in a precarious predicament. A new member of the Addams family has threatened their very existence; their baby brother, Pubert. Wednesday isn't sure she's ready to be replaced by an adorable baby, so she suggests to Pugsley that they conduct an experiment.
On the roof of their manor, they decide to see which will reach the ground faster, a bowling ball or their baby brother. And of the two, which will bounce. They release both simultaneously, and thankfully Pubert is caught in time, or they'd have also been forced to clean up the mess.
1 TURNED A CHILD'S PLAY INTO A BLOODBATH
Morticia and Gomez would do anything for their children, but attending their school plays requires tenacity that even the bravest Addams struggles to muster. Dutifully they go, expecting to see another maudlin monologue or pedantic performance.
Imagine their shock and delight when they see that Wednesday and Pugsley have developed a spectacular massacre for their portion of the play. They quote Shakespeare and heave swords at each other, resulting in loss of limbs and buckets of blood. What a proud moment for the Addams household.