|First appearance||The New Yorker cartoon (1938)|
|Created by||Charles Addams|
|Portrayed by||Lisa Loring |
Noelle Von Sonn
Carrie Hope Fletcher
|Voiced by||Cindy Henderson (1972–1974 series) |
Debi Derryberry (1992–1994 series)
Chloë Grace Moretz (2019 and 2021 films)
|Age||6 (in the original television series) and 12 to 13 in the Addams family film|
|Full name||Wednesday Friday Addams|
Pugsley (older/younger brother)
Pubert Addams (youngest brother, Addams Family Values)
Wednesday Jr. (younger sister, Halloween with the New Addams Family)
Pugsley Jr. (youngest brother, Halloween with the New Addams Family)
Fester Addams (great-great-uncle/great-grand-uncle) (in the 1964 series) (uncle from then on)
Debbie Addams (nee Jellinsky) (aunt via marriage to Fester, Addams family values, deceased
Wednesday Friday Addams is a fictional character created by American cartoonist Charles Addams, the only daughter in the Addams family. The character has also appeared in television, film, and in video games, in both the live-action and animated formats.
In Addams' cartoons, which first appeared in The New Yorker, Wednesday and other members of the family had no names. When the characters were adapted to the 1964 television series, Charles Addams gave her the name "Wednesday", based on the nursery rhyme line, "Wednesday's child is full of woe". The idea for the name was supplied by the actress and poet Joan Blake, an acquaintance of Addams. She is the sister of Pugsley Addams (and, in the movie Addams Family Values, Pubert Addams) and as such the only daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. In earlier adaptations she is the younger sister of Pugsley, and in later adaptations she becomes the older one.
Appearance and personality
Wednesday Addams is a 13-year-old who is obsessed with death. Wednesday does most of her experiments on her brother Pugsley Addams for "fun" or for punishment. Wednesday has tried to kill Pugsley many times. She likes raising spiders and researching the Bermuda Triangle. She has a tendency to startle people due to her gothic personality.
Wednesday's most notable features are her pale skin and long, dark braided pigtails. She seldom shows her emotions and is generally bitter. Wednesday usually wears a black dress with a white collar, black stockings, and black shoes.
In the 1960s series, she is sweet-natured and serves as a foil to the weirdness of her parents and brother, although her favorite hobby is raising spiders; she is also a ballerina. Wednesday's favorite toy is her Marie Antoinette doll, which her brother guillotines (at her request). She is stated to be six years old in the television series pilot episode. In one episode, she is shown to have several other headless dolls as well. She also paints pictures (including a picture of trees with human heads) and writes a poem dedicated to her favorite pet spider, Homer. Wednesday is deceptively strong; she is able to bring her father down with a judo hold.
Wednesday has a close kinship with the family's giant butler Lurch. In the TV series, her middle name is "Friday". In the Spanish version, her name is Miércoles (Wednesday in Spanish); in Latin America she is Merlina; in the Brazilian version she is Wandinha (“little Wanda” in Portuguese); in France, her name is Mercredi (Wednesday in French) and in Italy her name is Mercoledì (Wednesday in Italian).
In the 1991 film, she is depicted in a darker fashion. She shows sadistic tendencies and a dark personality and is revealed to have a deep interest in the Bermuda Triangle and an admiration for an ancestor (Great Aunt Calpurnia Addams) who was burned as a witch in 1706. In the 1993 sequel, she was even darker: she buried a live cat, tried to guillotine her baby brother Pubert, set fire to Camp Chippewa, and (possibly) scared fellow camper, Joel, to death. These films were the first version of The Addams Family in which violent or horrific acts could be depicted on-camera rather than implied, which makes Wednesday's personality difficult to define: in the first film, she is seen to successfully electrify her brother Pugsley in an electric chair, but she and Morticia express no surprise that he is neither killed nor even harmed.
In the animated series and Canadian TV series The New Addams Family from the 1990s, Wednesday retains her appearance and her taste for darkness and torture; she is portrayed as having her parents' consent to tie Pugsley to a chair and torture him with a branding iron and ice pick.
In the Broadway musical The Addams Family: A New Musical, she is 18 years old and has short hair rather than the long braids in her other appearances. Her darkness and sociopathic traits have been toned down, and she is in love with (and revealed to be engaged to) Lucas Beineke. In the musical, Wednesday is older than Pugsley.
In the parody web series Adult Wednesday Addams, Wednesday, as played by Melissa Hunter, recovers her dark, sociopathic and sadistic nature (although as in the originals any actual horrific acts are only implied and may or may not occur off-camera) and her long braids, connecting with the events and the depiction of the movies and the original comic-book. This Wednesday deals with being an adult after moving out of her family home. The web series gained media attention with the third episode of Season 2 in which Wednesday punished a pair of catcallers. While this behavior gained attention from early fans, The Tee & Charles Addams Foundation, copyright owners of The Addams Family, flagged the series for copyright violation resulting in the series being temporarily pulled from YouTube, however as of 2016 the series has been reinstated.
In the 2019 animated version of the same title, Wednesday retains her emotionless nature and sadistic tendencies, trying to bury Pugsley and tormenting a bully at school. However, she's also bored with her macabre and sheltered life, wanting to see the world despite Morticia's objections. This leads to her befriending Parker Needler and the two taking on several of each other's traits, with Wednesday at one point wearing colorful clothes. Her braided pigtails end in nooses.
Over the years, Wednesday has been portrayed by a variety of actresses, on television, the movies, and stage:
- Lisa Loring (1964–1966, 1977)
- Cindy Henderson (1972–1974, animated television)
- Noelle Von Sonn (1973, live-action television pilot)
- Christina Ricci (1991, 1993, original live-action films)
- Debi Derryberry (1992–1994, animated television)
- Nicole Fugere (1998–1999, Addams Family Reunion, The New Addams Family)
- Krysta Rodriguez (2010, Broadway musical)
- Rachel Potter (2011, Broadway musical)
- Cortney Wolfson (2011, First National Broadway Tour)
- Laura Lobo (2012, First Brazilian Cast)
- Frankie Lowe (2012, UK National Tour)
- Jennifer Fogarty (2013, Asian Tour)
- Gloria Aura (2014, Mexican Tour)
- Melissa Hunter (2013-2015, Adult Wednesday Addams)
- Carrie Hope Fletcher (2017, UK National Tour)
- Lydia Fairén (2017, First Spanish Cast & 2018 Spain National Tour)
- Marjolein Teepen (2019-2019, Dutch musical)
- Chloe Grace Moretz (2019, 2021, animated film)
- Jenna Ortega (upcoming Netflix series)
Wednesday is played by Lisa Loring in the original TV series, though far less malevolent than described by the cartoons. In the first animated series from Hanna-Barbera, her voice was done by Cindy Henderson. Henderson voiced that same character in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the second animated series from Hanna-Barbera, she is voiced by Debi Derryberry.
The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993) portray Wednesday more comic-accurately, maybe even darker. Wednesday's personality is severe, with a deadpan wit and a morbid interest in trying to inflict harm upon her brothers, first Pugsley and later Pubert. In both films, she is played by Christina Ricci. In the movie Addams Family Values (1993), Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to a summer camp for "privileged young adults" called Camp Chippewa, where Joel Glicker (played by David Krumholtz)—a neurotic, allergy-ridden wallflower camper with an overbearing mother—takes a liking to Wednesday. She refuses to participate in Gary Granger's play, a musical production of the first Thanksgiving. She, Pugsley, and Joel are locked in the "Harmony Hut" and forced to watch upbeat family films to curb their antisocial behavior. On emerging from the hut, Wednesday feigns perkiness and agrees to play the role of Pocahontas, though her smile ends up scaring the campers, as well as her blonde nemesis. During the play, she leads the other social outcasts—who have all been cast as Native Americans—in a revolt, capturing Gary, Becky, and Amanda and leaving the camp with Pugsley and Joel in chaos. Before she leaves, Wednesday and Joel kiss. At the end of the film, however, it is suggested that Wednesday, though she obviously likes Joel, purposely tries to scare him to death after he brings up the subject of marriages.
In the 1977 television holiday-themed special, Halloween with the New Addams Family, Lisa Loring plays a grown-up Wednesday, who mostly entertains their party guests with her flute, and can hear and understand coded help messages by bound-up members of the family, and dispatch help to free them. In the time interval between the original TV series and this television movie, her parents had two more children who look just like the original Pugsley and Wednesday.
In April 2010, The Addams Family: A New Musical debuted on Broadway. Krysta Rodriguez played Wednesday. The character is now 18 years old, has "become a woman", and to that effect no longer sports her signature pigtails. The musical is based on the characters as created by Charles Addams. In March 2011, Krysta Rodriguez was replaced with Rachel Potter as Wednesday in the Broadway cast. Starting in September 2011, the production begins its First National Tour. Cortney Wolfson has been cast in the Wednesday Addams role. In the Broadway production, she was the understudy for Wednesday and performed as the Dead Bride/Ancestor.
Zoe Richardson appeared at the Birmingham Hippodrome as Wednesday Addams in a Musical adaptation of The Addams Family on Ice in November 2007.
Chloë Grace Moretz voices Wednesday in the 2019 animated movie and in the sequel, which was released on October 1, 2021. The whole family is mostly designed to resemble the initial cartoon depictions, with added details; for instance, Wednesday's hair braids end in nooses.
Wednesday married eventually but is not known to have a child.
- Addams Family Values, Letters, The New Yorker, July 30 2018
- "Wednesday Leaves Home" (20 November 1964) Season 1, Episode 10, at 06:30
- Carrie, Stephanie (6 March 2015). "A Christina Ricci Doppelganger Creates a Series About Wednesday Addams As an Adult". LA Weekly. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Vagianos, Alanna (13 February 2015). "How Wednesday Addams Would React To Catcalling". HuffPost. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Lanning, Carly (21 April 2015). "Copyright claim yanks 'Adult Wednesday Addams' from YouTube". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- "The Addams Family Movie page". 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Wednesday Addams". Enjoy-your-style.com. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Cortney Wolfson". Cortneywolfson.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (19 May 2021). "Jenna Ortega To Play Lead Wednesday Addams In Netflix's Live-Action Series From Tim Burton". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 May 2021.