25 reasons why we still love Beetlejuice

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Screenshot of official Beetlejuice trailer on warnerbros.com.

5. The Day-O Scene

One of the more memorable scenes in Beetlejuice is when Adam and Barbara attempt to scare the Deetz family, Otho, and friends as they sit down to dinner. At an awkward pause in the midst of their intellectual banter and laughing off Lydia’s claims that the house is haunted, Delia finds Harry Belafonte’s voice coming out of her singing “Day-O,” otherwise known as the “Banana Boat Song.”

“Otho, are you doing this?” Charles asks, unsure what’s happening. But then Charles rises and starts singing calypso and dancing to the music like his wife. Otho begins playing the drums. The napkins come alive. Charles does a tarantula impression. As if pulled by strings, all the guests at the table dance and lurch to the music until the shrimp on their bowls transform into monster hands and pull all their faces down into their soups.

Like a lot of Beetlejuice, it’s a completely random and bizarre scene that totally works.
It also doesn’t scare the Deetzes off.

“They want you to come downstairs,” Lydia says to Adam and Barbara as the dinner ends. The scene flashes to the living room, where the Deetzes and guests are all laughing, recounting the great time they had singing and dancing—and seeing dollar signs in profiting off the spirits as they now believe that there are indeed ghosts in their house. Morale of the story: calypso is fun, but not so freaky.