A select few fans of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory are united on one front: Charlie's Grandpa Joe is a dirtbag. This Grandpa Joe hate isn't unfounded - the man's irresponsible lifestyle and immaturity create a whirlwind of troubles for Charlie, which only worsens when the patriarch rises from his 20-year bedridden hibernation to join Charlie on his journey to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
While Willy Wonka film conspiracies might attempt to explain away Grandpa Joe's callous and often absurd behavior, examples of the old-timer's cruel or offensive actions are sprinkled throughout the film without explanation, enticing Willy Wonka enthusiasts to "say no to Grandpa Joe."
Throughout the film, as the children entangle themselves in one dilemma after another, they may appear to be their own antagonists. However, the true villain in Willy Wonka is Grandpa Joe. He's a professional at manipulating Charlie - as well as his entire family - all for his own gain. From encouraging irresponsible spending to endangering his grandson in the Fizzy Lifting room, Grandpa Joe proves that he only exists to care about himself.
He Sings About Charlie’s Golden Ticket As Though He Won It Himself
When Charlie brings the Golden Ticket to his family, he tells Grandpa Joe that he wishes his grandfather could join him on the trip to the Chocolate Factory. Inspirited by Charlie's victory, Grandpa Joe pulls himself up and out of bed, breaking out in song about how his life has transformed into a whimsical adventure.
He and Charlie sing a duet about finding the Golden Ticket, and in their song, Grandpa Joe boasts, "I've got a Golden Ticket," even though Charlie was the one who found it.Bad egg?
He Revels In The Other Guests’ Misery On The Boat Ride From Hell
As Willy Wonka takes the Wonkatania into a hellish, psychedelic tunnel for a neon-lit tour, the guests become more and more unsettled. The experience grows so uncomfortably uncanny that the guests start to panic and demand to be let off. Of course, Wonka is too lost in his own mind to listen, and the ride becomes even more chaotic.
As they sail deeper and deeper into the tunnel, Charlie leans in to Grandpa Joe and tells him that even he thinks the ride is a little scary. Instead of consoling Charlie or questioning Willy Wonka, he agrees that it is a bit scary, but also fun. He then cackles joyfully as the other guests scream out in terror.Bad egg?
He Tries To Push Past The Children So He And Charlie Can Board The ‘Wonkatania’ First
When the whimsical Wonkatania floats down the Chocolate River and pulls up to the crew of Golden Ticket winners, Grandpa Joe is awestruck. He immediately grabs Charlie and starts pushing him toward the boat, trying to be the first family onboard.
However, Mr. Salt and Veruca are quick to cut them off, with the former loudly proclaiming that ladies should go first. In retaliation, Grandpa Joe mutters, "If she's a lady, I'm a Vermicious Knid" (a type of monster that preys on the Oompa Loompas). Even though Grandpa Joe is upset that they were cut off, he and Charlie still get front-row seats.Bad egg?
He Yells At Wonka When Charlie Doesn’t Get The Prize, Even Though He’s In Breach Of Contract
At the end of the factory tour, Grandpa Joe confronts Willy Wonka about their lifetime supply of chocolate. Wonka vehemently reminds him that Charlie is no longer eligible for the prize, since he is in breach of contract after stealing Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Both Grandpa Joe and Charlie inflicted an inordinate amount of damage on the facility, so Wonka - quite reasonably - refuses to give them the prize.
Rather than accepting that he is in the wrong and has damaged Wonka's property, Grandpa Joe suffers an angry outburst. He's convinced that he and Charlie did nothing wrong, and Wonka is simply using the stolen drinks as an excuse to sadistically dash the dreams of a small child. He even goes so far as to call Wonka a monster in front of Charlie, and even after his grandson gives Wonka the Everlasting Gobstopper, proving his integrity and earning the prize, Grandpa Joe never apologizes to Wonka for his behavior.Bad egg?