Movies & TV

Flounder's Face from The Little Mermaid Live Is Too Relatable

What is this fish and why is he (what's the word again) awkward?
IMAGE DISNEY/TWITTER
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Last night, ABC aired its live-action-concert-screening of The Little Mermaid, aptly titled Little Mermaid Live! Switching back and forth between a screening of the original animated version and live concert performances featuring Auli?i Cravalho, Shaggy, and John Stamos (??), the night might have been better if we had just let Queen Latifah sing the entire soundtrack, but mermaids can't be choosers. Overall, the evening was a success happened, with all its strange and confusing components, but the one inescapable head scratcher of the night is how dirty the puppet designers did poor, sweet Flounder.

Always an underestimated character, Flounder is a buoyant, innocent boy who deserves the best care available to him. It didn't take long for People on Social Media to notice that something wasn't right about the puppet. No, Flounder did not get the due diligence true Flounder-stans hoped for. He didn't even have a song. Not even a nod to his Broadway number, "She's in Love."

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Instead, he was a stationary circus freak with a smile that says way more than any puppet fish's smile should say. Despite this hurdle, Flounder might have been the most relatable figure on stage based on his smile alone.

So let's exalt him. Let's celebrate him. Let's remember that Flounder, the true hero of The Little Mermaid Live! represents more than just a prop on stage. He represents a mood. Several actually. And so here is a non-exhaustive list of things that Flounder's smile communicates courtesy of Esquire's Adrienne Westenfeld, Kelly Stout, and yours truly:

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1.When you've just gotten a very bad haircut but don't want to be rude to the hair stylist.

    2. When you're headed to floor 21 on an elevator and someone has pressed 4, 7, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19 and the lady getting off at floor 13 holds the door to finish her conversation.

    3. When a friend has you over for dinner and she's serving "just a giant salad."

    4. When you let someone over in front of you in traffic, and they inexplicably flip you off.

    5. When you think you're getting the last pack of peanut M&Ms in the vending machine, and it gets stuck in the coil.

    6. When you get to your door to unlock it and you suddenly feel like you haven't peed in 12 years.

    7. At 2019 Thanksgiving when an uncle says, "I've heard they're looking into Hillary's emails again."

    8. When an officiant says, "Is there any reason this couple shouldn't be married?" and there are three seconds of silence.

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    9. When you walk in late to a meeting.

    10. When someone mentions how their annual adult vacation is to Disney World.

    11. When someone asks, "Is it okay if I invite more people?"

    12. When your date takes you into a loud bar and says, "Isn't this place cool?"

    13. When a kid on the subway wants to sell you candy to support his basketball team and you don't have any cash.

    14. When you overhear one of your friends talking shit about another of your friends.

    15. When a waiter says, "Enjoy!" and you say, "You too!"

    16. When you're out to dinner with people and they say, "Let's just split the check equally," but you didn't drink.

    17. When you weigh yourself after the holidays.

    18. When you meet your friend's new boyfriend and afterward she says, "Did you love him?"

    19. When a waiter shows up at the end of your meal and someone with a clean plate says, "It was awful!"

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    20. When you see yourself in the black screen after Netflix asks, "Are you still watching?"

    21. When you get interrupted in a meeting, but you don't know how to rejoin the conversation.

    22. When you're at a party where you don't know anyone and your only friend goes to the bathroom.

    23. When someone says their favorite show is The Big Bang Theory.

    24. When you're meeting a friend for lunch and they announce they've "gone vegan."

    25. When you accidentally make eye contact with a Rent-a-Santa during the holidays.

    This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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    Justin Kirkland
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