Question: Is there any symbolism or meaning to Otho's reading of the incantation from "The Handbook of The Recently Deceased" during the seance/exorcism scene? Even as a child, I found it seemed like it had more in-depth meaning of some kind.

Question: When the Maitlands return to their home after it's been altered by the new owners, Juno tells the Maitlands that they should be thankful that they didn't die in Italy. What did she mean by that?


Answer: Italy is the center of the Roman Catholic Church, which includes exorcisms as a real-life ritual. Presumably, ghosts in Italy are at greater risk of encountering trouble in Italy because of this reason.

Answer: It's in reference / added on to her previous statement about being quiet/peaceful: Italy, presumably, has a louder, more raucous group of the living.

Answer: Italy, is a trendsetter. There would be constant art-deco changes that conflict with the Maitland's personal taste. In comparison, the Deets' are pretty tamed.


Chosen answer: When the Maitlands first meet their case worker, Juno, they tell her how miffed they are with the new family that has moved into their home. Juno glances around the peaceful house and remarks, "Things seem quiet here. You should thank God you didn't die in Italy." The case worker's name, "Juno," is a traditional Italian girl's name; and we see (when she smokes a cigarette) that Juno's throat has been slashed open from side to side, implying that she died a very violent and grisly death. Based on her personal experience (probably being murdered in Italy), Juno is commenting that the Maitlands could have died a far worse death under far more horrific circumstances, and that they really have little reason to complain.

Charles Austin Miller

I'm Italian: there's literally not a single female being, girl or woman, who has (had or have) this name in this country. Let alone being "traditional." "J" is not even in our original alphabet, go figure. I also think it's about us Italians being noisy and the place being quiet, that's all.

You may be Italian, but you're not informed. While the formal Italian alphabet (derived of Latin) does not have a "J" character, the letter "J' is used in modern Italian writing every day. "Juno," in your limited world, would be spelled "Diuno," who was a Roman goddess (queen of the heavens). As this pertains to Beetlejuice, she is a Roman goddess in charge of organizing.

Charles Austin Miller

Juno slashed her own throat. It says earlier in the movie that people who commit suicide become civil servants, which is what Juno is as their case worker. The beauty queen at the desk implies the same when she talks about what happens to people when they die. She says "if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have had my little accident" holding up her slit wrists, implying that she wouldn't have committed suicide if she knew she'd become a civil servant (as a desk girl).

It's never stated or established that Juno committed suicide.

Charles Austin Miller

I really think she was supposed to have had a tracheotomy due to her smoking.

Brian Katcher

Answer: No; it was left strictly to the imagination of the audience.


Question: Why does Bettlejuice give Lydia some BS reason why he can't tell her his name, but them puts her through a ridiculous round of charades for her to guess it?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: Because he can't say his own name, therefore the charades is the only way he can get her to figure out what his name is to say it.


Why can't Beetlejuice say his own name?

Question: Is there any reason besides plot convenience that the Deetzes didn't enter the attic during the three months that the Maitlands were away from the house to meet with Juno? I realise they don't have the key, but seeing as how they were renovating the entire house anyway, it seems like they would have had no problem just knocking the door down.


Answer: No reason was given, but they probably felt no immediate need to enter the attic. I've never been in my own house's attic. As you pointed out, it's really a matter of plot convenience.


Maybe Lydia reserved it like Charles reserved one room for himself too.


Good point.


Answer: After the dinner scene when Otho asked where they hid and Lydia said "the attic" Charles replied that the attic was locked. So it seems like she never told them she had the skeleton key.


I addressed this in the question. A key is not required to get into the attic because they could just break the door down.


Except they didn't break the door down. Delia kept banging on the door until it opened. If they had broken the door down, there would have been some damage.

I didn't say they broke the door down. I was stating that they could knock the door down if they needed to get into the attic and didn't have the key. Please reread the original question.


Answer: This is purely for convenience. It's always bothered me. Like since the early 90s when I first had a VHS copy to rewind. That whole house has been gutted and rebuilt but no-one got in to the attic for 3 months? That's BS. For one thing not only would someone like Charles Deets want to see every square inch of his property, but a major company/contractor doing a remodel of that size would have at some time needed access to and been on every square foot of that house.

Quite often, people don't think about the attic along with the rest of the house. Many of them won't be going into the attic every day, not every month, maybe not more than once a year.

Chosen answer: Barbara did conjure him earlier in the movie when she saw lights in the model going off and then said his name three times. According to Juno, they let Beetlejuice out but didn't put him back, which gave him the opportunity to attack the Deetzs.

Question: Was there any physical indication of what killed the Maitlinds? The football players died in a bus crash and looked mangled. The girl who committed suicide had slashed wrists. I never noticed anything suggesting how the two of them died by their appearance.

Answer: They died by drowning. Jane's daughter even tells Lydia when she asks what happened. Although Adam and Barbara should have been completely wet for the whole movie, Tim Burton decided to keep Alec and Geena dry as he felt that keeping them wet the entire time would be an uncomfortable experience for both of them.

Question: When Beetlejuice is trying to talk Lydia into marrying him, he says something like "You can say you're hitched if a bachelor from Valentino comes over". What does he mean?

Answer: He says, "Think of it as a marriage of inconvenience. We both get something. I get out. You get the most eligible bachelor since Valentino." Rudolph Valentino was a famous movie heart-throb who died in 1926 at the age of 31.


Question: In the scene where Juno is talking to Adam and Barbara in her office, look out the window behind Adam and Barbara. There is a group of people who look like they are watching TV and eating popcorn. One of them looks like Otho, wearing a suit and sunglasses. Is there any significance to this?


Chosen answer: It's not meant to be Otho. It's a theater full of ghosts. The idea being that, when this film was still in theaters itself, the audience got the impression that they themselves were being watched by ghosts on "the other side" who were also at a viewing of Beetlejuice, watched from the opposite perspective.


Question: What's up with the afterlife? After they die, they somehow walk back to their own home and when they walk out, they're on some desert planet with giant sandworms. Now, their case worker Juno says they have to stay in the house for 125 years. Why do they have to stay in the house for 125 years and for what? Is there a Heaven or Hell in this movie?

Answer: The version of the afterlife depicted in this film is a complex bureaucracy involving caseworkers, vouchers, and the like; the Maitlands' case requires that they spend 125 years in the house. When Adam attempted to leave, he found himself on Saturn for reasons that are never really explained within the film. As for the last part of your question, Adam remarked that he saw nothing about Heaven or Hell in the Handbook For the Recently Deceased, so it's possible that neither Heaven or Hell exists within this version of the afterlife.


Well I know this is from the musical, not the movie, but in the song "Say my Name", Beetlegeuse says "I'm a demon straight from Hell." So maybe there is just a lot more, where not everyone is guaranteed to go to Heaven or Hell, and they have to prove themselves.

Answer: Yes there is a Heaven and Hell in Beetlejuice. Juno says the 125 years is like a purgatory, they have to stay there until their time is up, and then they can "move on."

"Move on" doesn't necessarily mean that the Maitlands will go to either Heaven or Hell at the end of the 125 years they will be stuck in the house; it also doesn't mean that they are in some sort of purgatory. It most likely means that they will be able to leave the house after that time is up.


Question: I really don't get the ending. Can someone please explain it to me? Thank you.

Answer: The Maitlands and the Deetzes have agreed to share the house peacefully. Meanwhile, Beetlejuice is returned to the afterlife waiting room after the sandworm "kills" him again; he then angers a witch doctor who shrinks Beetlejuice's head, thus adding insult to injury.


Question: When Adam first steps out of the house and ends up on Saturn, he's only there for a few seconds in real time, but Barbara tells him he was gone for two hours. Yet towards the end of the movie when Beetlejuice banishes Barbara to Saturn, she's there for a considerably longer time (at least long enough to wrangle a sandworm and co-opt it) but ends up only being gone for a few minutes and manages to return to the house in time to stop Beetlejuice from marrying. Why is this? Since she was on Saturn longer than Adam's first time there, shouldn't she have been gone for longer than two Earth hours?


Chosen answer: Time flows differently on Saturn and in the afterlife than it does in the house. Not faster or slower, just differently. Ten minutes on Saturn could be hours, or months, or just seconds in the house. There is no connection or relationship between the passage of time in one place and the passage of time in another.


Question: In the beginning only Lydia can see Adam and Barbra, but everyone can see Betelgeuse. How come the Deetze's can see Betelgeuse but not Adam and Barbra?


Chosen answer: He's got more experience interacting with the living. Adam and Barbara are capable of making themselves seen by the others, they just don't know how yet.


Answer: They could see him because Adam and Barbara's parlor display gave them reason to believe in supernatural entities.

Answer: Otho says at the dinner table that "they say those who commit suicide are civil servants in the afterlife." Look at all the people in the afterlife who are working. Their deaths appear secondary to suicide (the janitor has ligature marks, the receptionist cut her wrists, the flat guy jumped in front of a semi truck, etc). Juno says Beetlejuice was her partner. Therefore, the inference can be made that he too must have committed suicide.

So Juno slit her own throat?

Or she was in her car when she killed herself.

How would being in her car cause such a deep cut in her throat?

Question: What did Jane say to Barbara that upset her? The only thing I could make out was, "This place" and "family."

Answer: Jane says "the house is meant for a couple with a family" and is therefore too big for them. Meaning that Adam and Barbara have no children and thus aren't a family yet. It upset her to be reminded that they don't have any children.


Adam even suggests 'trying again on vacation,' implying they'd tried to have a child before. It's why they bonded with Lydia so well; they'd been hoping to be parents.

Brian Katcher

Question: When Adam and Barbara start to age and die near the end of the movie, I don't get how they didn't "die" again. How did they end up completely fine at the end?

Answer: Otho is attempting to exorcise them (remember how the afterlife janitor said exorcism was death for the dead), but Beetlejuice interrupted the ceremony, restoring them.

Brian Katcher

Answer: It's not completely clear what was happening to them but it's somewhere along the lines of the ritual making them corporeal or even partially resurrecting them but the ritual wasn't done properly so their bodies started to decay. Beetlejuice reversed that process and turned them back into ghosts.


Question: In the "Day-O" scene at the dinner table, why wasn't Lydia possessed? I thought the whole point was for ALL of them to move out?

Answer: Lydia left the table as the possession began; also, she'd already met Adam and Barbara and bonded with them, so they chose not to possess her since they didn't want to scare her as well.


Answer: There would be no need, Lydia is a child if her parents move she goes too, it's not really necessary, they aren't the type to just be cruel and make her feel embarrassed like that. Especially with the previous scenes it wouldn't have fit to have done so, not only against their characters but the early growth of a friendship, Lydia was natural and excited to meet them, if they did that we the audience would not care for what they were trying to do thematically.

Question: Why do Adam and Barbara always hide when Otho, Charles and Delia enter the attic? The only person who can see them is Lydia.

Answer: Probably a combination of habit and uncertainty. They don't know what the rules are of being seen since at least one person can see them, so to be cautious in case something changes they still hide.


Question: Why do the couple get old and start to disintegrate when Otho summons them in their wedding clothes?

Answer: Otho was trying to perform a séance (using the wedding clothes as something belonging to the dead). However, he was using the Handbook for the Recently Deceased and didn't know what he was actually doing and accidentally started performing an exorcism. It was the exorcism that caused Adam and Barbara (the couple) to age, in the attempt to destroy them.


Question: In the movie where the Deetz's are remodeling the house outside and all the cranes and construction guys are there, Delia is talking to one of the workers while climbing down a set of stairs. As a child, it sounded like she said "If you tell me what you do, I'll tell you why my husband farted." Obviously this is not what she says, but even now as an adult, it really does sound like she is saying that! Can anyone please tell me what she was saying? Thanks!

Answer: She says, "If you tell me what you do, I'll tell you why my husband will fire you."

Answer: She says "I'll tell you why my husband fired you."

Greg Dwyer

Revealing mistake: When Barbara and Adam are digging up Beetlejuice's grave, you can see that a piece of cardboard states "FRAGILE" or something in small print which is proportional to Barbara and Adam at that time. However, the lettering should be ten times larger if the cardboard was proportional to the actual model. (00:44:35)

More mistakes in Beetlejuice

Adam: Well, how is it that you can see us but nobody else can?
Lydia: Well, I read in that Handbook for the Recently Deceased. It says, "Live people ignore the strange and unusual." I, myself am strange and unusual.
Barbara: You look like a regular girl to me.

More quotes from Beetlejuice

Trivia: Even though Beetlejuice is the title character, he has only 17 and a half minutes of screen time.

More trivia for Beetlejuice

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