As far as I’m concerned, Morticia and Gomez Addams are the reason for the Halloween season. My taste will always skew spooky/sexy over gory/slashy, and these icons of true love are always my favorite part of my watchlist this time of year. How does a couple famously obsessed with each other stay so besotted after all their time together? A lot of it has to do with how they met and fell in love in the first place. If you’ve watched all the different Addams story variants (Loki would fit right into this family, by the way), then you’ve seen it happen several different ways.
Netflix’s Wednesday is mostly about Wednesday Addams, of course, but we still get some glimpses into the early days of Morticia and Gomez’s relationship. Here, they fall in love as teenagers at Nevermore Academy and are inseparable from that point on. In 1991’s The Addams Family, Gomez and Morticia remind each other about how they first met: it was at a funeral, Morticia was paler than the corpse, and Gomez was still suspected in the murder of said corpse. How could they not be drawn to one another? I’m not married, but that seems to cover all the important bases, so I’m not surprised at all that Gomez proposed “that very night.” They’re so in love that even though — obviously — they were both there, they genuinely enjoy recounting the story back to each other as a way to relive it. But my favorite version of Gomez and Morticia’s meet cute is from the Season 2 opener of the 1960s sitcom. On their thirteenth anniversary — the luckiest, of course — Gomez gifts Morticia with a completely sheer nightgown that all the anti-sex-in-media hand-wringers would still have a problem with today. But before anything too saucy can take place Wednesday and Pugsley ask to hear the story of how their parents met. It’s classic throwback episode time!
Gomez’s mother decides it’s time for him to settle down and get married, so she sets him up with Ophelia Frump, the daughter of an old friend. While everything about Raul Julia’s Gomez implies that he truly gets women, this Gomez is the antithesis of all that, telling his mother directly he’s not interested in girls. He spends most of his time bundled up in layers and hunched over a humidifier, and when he’s forced out on a walk with Ophelia, the thing he’s most focused on is not catching bronchitis. He’s frankly kind of a dud, bearing no resemblance to the romantic icon we know him to be. All of that changes when he sees the little sister who’s been brought along, Morticia; he finds her fascinating, he seeks her out to see what she’s doing, he wants to talk to her about her thoughts on things, and when he hears her speak French for the first time, he’s a goner.
I’ve read enough romance to be well acquainted with the trope of the playboy who can’t be pinned down finally meeting his match in a woman he realizes he can’t live without. That’s a tried and true classic that will always be appealing, and before knowing their backstory, there’s a lot about Gomez Addams to suggest that he may have been one of those men. But there’s something just as sweet about finding out that he was the exact opposite. This Gomez didn’t reel Morticia in with his suave and charming ways because he didn’t have any before he met her. The man we know — effusively passionate and adoring — is only that man because of her. Everything we still love about him decades later are the qualities that his eventual wife brought out in him. Gomez is Gomez for Morticia alone.
Ophelia doesn’t seem to notice where Gomez’s true intentions lie and feels fine enough about getting married, so she tells their mothers to go ahead with wedding planning. Gomez has no idea how he can go about breaking off the engagement without everything blowing up in his face, and Morticia can’t bring herself to hurt her sister, so they both resign themselves to going through with the wedding as groom and bridesmaid. (Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma, is that you?!) Time is limited in a half-hour sitcom, and these things need to move along, so, at the very last minute, Gomez panics enough to back out, and Ophelia decides to run away with Cousin Itt instead. Not wanting to wait another minute to bind themselves together forever, Morticia and Gomez get married instead. And the rest is romance history. But no matter which way their story is told, Gomez and Morticia Addams were meant to be, and they both knew it immediately. I’ll be anxiously awaiting however we get to see them fall in love next.