You can't feed Mogwai after midnight because otherwise they turn into Gremlins.

But what time is safe again?

  • 9
    Mogwai operates on strict Greenwich Mean Time, that's what confuses most owners. – Mark Rogers Jan 16 '12 at 15:26
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    A downvote? Why? – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Jan 16 '12 at 15:28
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    I upvoted you. While I liked the movie as a kid, I don't think Gremlins makes any sense. It doesn't follow any sort of logic. I think Joe Dante was just screwing with us :) – Andres F. Jan 16 '12 at 15:38
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    I don't have anything to back this up, but my feeling would say dawn in when it becomes safe again. – eidylon Jan 16 '12 at 16:27
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    @DVK: then that's the answer! That "there is no answer" was not known at the time of asking the question, otherwise the question would not be asked. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Jan 17 '12 at 13:54

There's no real explanation given, and in fact these questions are raised in the film series itself.

There's also no rational explanation given for the transition of a mammal into a reptile. It just happens.

The only possible explanation is magic.

Following the common themes of magic, I would assume it's a problem between the witching hour (midnight) and dawn - dawn being the typical start of a new day, with new beginnings, and generally presumed to have mystical significance.

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    +1 for magic. Much better explanation than "Gremlins doesn't make sense!" – Plutor Jan 16 '12 at 19:58
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    @Plutor - Gremlins DOES make sense... once you add magic! – Omegacron Jul 6 '15 at 21:09
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    @KevinWorkman: They're repeatedly described as 'reptilian' in the novelization and (I believe) the movies. Also, armadillos 'scales' (which are actually bony plates) don't resemble the Gremlin's skin in the least. I doubt very much they were actually reptiles, but it's the best correlation with real animal group (specifically, Reptilia) that can be drawn. – Jeff Feb 1 '16 at 19:47
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    @Jeff Something can be described as reptilian without actually being a reptile- in fact, reptilian can also mean "repulsive" without talking about reptiles at all. My point with the armadillo is that not all mammals are soft and fuzzy. – Kevin Workman Feb 1 '16 at 19:57
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    The traditional witching hour is 3 am. Some recent usage extends it to midnight to 3. – Anthony May 13 '18 at 8:11

Having seen the movies as an older person, (lol) my thought on it is that it was meant for kids. Therefore it is a warning against midnight snacks- no food after midnight. Just like children, they would be going to sleep and then eating in the morning. So, I think that's what makes them "safe"- a good nights sleep before eating.

  • Hi there. I fixed your formatting because the answer was a little difficult to comprehend. If I changed the meaning of your answer too much, please feel free to change it back. – Adele C Jun 14 '13 at 0:28
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    Gremlins was rated PG-13, had things like exploding creatures and talking about characters dying while stuck in a chimney and dressed as Santa. While the movie may have been family accessible, something tells me that this was not "meant for kids". – phantom42 Jun 14 '13 at 0:54
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    @phantom42: eh, depends how you judge what's appropriate for kids. Old school German fairy tales were intended for kids, and were pretty grim. The idea was to scare them away from danger. Who's to say they were wrong? – Paul D. Waite Jun 14 '13 at 12:27
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    You are so right, it was meant to teach kids lessons like "Don't snack late at night." and "Don't take baths, ever." – Jeff Jun 14 '13 at 12:52
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    @PaulD.Waite: Would you even say those German fairy tales were Grimm? – Jeff Jun 14 '13 at 12:53

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