%% Before anyone adds Randall as an example of CompleteMonster, bear in mind that he is not an example according to the Disney CM list. If you think he is an example, take it to the Western Animation Disney CM thread.
* AccidentalInnuendo: PUT THAT THING BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM OR SO HELP ME!
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Just how sympathetic Waternoose and his motives are? [[spoiler:Is he a horrible person who is more than willing to harm children, a WellIntentionedExtremist that is just trying to save monster's lives (under his perspective), or a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds?]]
* AwardSnub: The film famously lost the first Best Feature Animation Oscar to ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'', much to the chagrin of many Pixar fans and critics.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome:
** "If I Didn't Have You", which won the Oscar for Best Original Song. And after Randy Newman had suffered almost 20 non-winning nominations up to that point.
** Also ''Enter the Heroes'' and ''The Scare Floor''. Setting up for a big job, then having a lot of fun doing it.
** There's also the dixiland jazz-style intro paying of the 2D animated opening credits, letting the audience knows that this is going to be a fun time.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Randall. A good number of his fans are convinced that he was just stressed out and didn't really do anything wrong. The more extreme ones see him as an orphan who's descriminated against for being a reptile, both in-universe and out. Any and all material that contradicts these views is immediately deemed [[FanonDiscontinuity non-canon]] or just ignored.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Roz has a lot of fans.
** George Sanderson has a lot of people who feel bad for him being a victim of two 2319s. In the end, they were glad to see he got his justice.
* EvilIsSexy: Randall gets such treatment from his fangirls.
* EpilepticTrees: Boo is the central figure of the [[http://www.pixartheory.com/ Pixar Theory]], that all the studio's films share the same universe. It states that she became obsessed with reconnecting with Sully and discovered an erratic form of time travel that resulted in the {{Easter Egg}}s in all the other films, eventually becoming the witch from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' and causing the introduction of magic into the world in the first place.
* EsotericHappyEnding: Subverted. After [[spoiler:finally returning Boo]], Mike exults over this, mentions the very bad problem it causes ([[spoiler:the exposure of Waternoose's plan means the factory will be shut down, worsening the energy crisis]]), then says, "But at least we had some laughs, right?" This gives Sully a EurekaMoment to solve the problem, sending it back to a proper happy ending.
* FanPreferredCouple:
** Sully/Randall has become this, despite [[FoeYay hating each other]]. It's the version where the fandom has no OfficialCouple, though; the only canon couple involves entirely different characters.
** After ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', Randall/Mike became popular in Japan. Compare Randall/Mike (ランマイ) number of Pixiv fanart (over a hundred) to Sully/Randall (サリラン) in comparation (fifty). Yeah.
* FountainOfMemes: Mike has become this, from scenes of him being blurred out, to [[GroinAttack getting hit in the crotch]], to "Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!" to simply [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWzbKNfGSY8 falling over]], almost everything he's done has become a meme.
* FridgeLogic: Boo's laugh activated all the doors in the Door Factory. Realistically, at least one human would have opened their door at the time to see that they had just entered the monster world; exposing the monster world to the humans.
* HarsherInHindsight: Randall's behavior in the original film becomes worse, not to mention much pettier, when you watch the [[WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity prequel]] and realize that [[spoiler:for months, if not years, he'd been beaten out as Scare Leader by what essentially amounts to ''a college dropout'']]!
** Randall's nastiness towards Mike also becomes this after said prequel as well: [[spoiler: not only did they used to be roomates and friends, Mike's advice to Randall to use his invisibility is what helped him become such a good scarer in the first place.]]
** Not to mention, Mike's bitterness over the possibility of losing his job reflects all the hard work and turmoil he had to go through to have his job as a Scare Assistant.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: The prequel also revealed that Mike and Sulley weren't always friends, with the duo having sort of a bitter rivalry. Although they do end up warming up to each other by the end of said prequel, this is the flick that really shows just how much their friendship has evolved.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In the outtakes, a character accidentally calls Sully "Solomon" and is called out for his mistake. Now rather amusing to those who have read the ''Literature/NESGodzillaCreepypasta'' and are familiar with the {{Kaiju}} named Solomon there...
** The opening of the Playstation game, ''Scare Island'', a prequel to the events of this movie, mentions a NoodleIncident in college involving a mess that "took a whole semester to rebuild the dorm". [[spoiler:This may have served as inspiration for the aftermath of ''Monsters University'', another prequel to the events of this movie.]]
* JerkassWoobie: [[spoiler:Waternoose, up until he crosses the MoralEventHorizon, is doing what he does out of genuine concern for the monster world and has real fatherly affection for Sully, feeling clear regret over having to betray him.]]
* {{Moe}}: Boo is utterly adorable.
* MemeticMutation:
** Waternoose's line, [[spoiler: "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die!"]] is this with Spanish-speaking Latin countries and social networks. The Latin Spanish dub's translation of the line ("Robaré los necesarios para salvar esta compañía") is subject to snowclones such as "I'll steal a thousand contents before I let this fanpage die!". It's also like this, to slightly lesser extent, [[https://servals-dank-meme-machine.tumblr.com/post/162646610175 with English-speaking audiences.]]

** Also popular in the Latin American countries and related to the dub is the line "Well, a kid flew right over me and blasted a car with its laser vision[[note]]Translated as ''Un niño flotó sobre mó y voló un auto con su rayo láser''[[/note]]." Though this is mostly due to the Argentine-like accent used for the character rather than the actual line.
** "Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!"
** "Wazowski, you didn't file your paperwork last night."
*** "I'm watching you, Wazowski. Always watching! Always!"
** Actually, It's your word against yours! [[spoiler: "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die!"]] [[Disney/{{Zootopia}} It's called a hustle sweetheart!]]
** Covering Mike's face on any packaging he appears on has bled out into [[https://moviepilot.com/posts/3917359 real life]].
* MoralEventHorizon: Randall [[spoiler:and Waternoose]]'s plan, which involves [[spoiler:kidnapping children and using the Scream Extractor to suck the screams from them]], which if the effects on [[spoiler:Fungus]] are considered standard, would kill them through suffocation by sucking the very air from their lungs along with the screams.
** And if this wasn't bad enough, [[spoiler: Waternoose corners Sully and Boo in the climax and makes it clear that he intends to straight-up ''murder'' them because they know too much. In his own words, "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die! And I'll silence anyone who gets in my way!"]]
* NoProblemWithLicensedGames: ''Monsters, Inc. Scream Team'' for the PS1 is one of the many copycats of SuperMario64, but instead of lazily rehashing what the [[FollowTheLeader was doing to make a quick buck]] the developers instead opted to produce wonderfully unique levels to give each world its own feel; in other words, they copied SuperMario64's methods, but kept the final product its own distinction from its competitors. It also helps that the game has a very snazzy jazz soundtrack and stellar graphics for its time.
* OneSceneWonder: Abominable Snowman.
* SpiritualLicensee: Owing to it's plethora of colorful monsters and creatures, not to mention the presence of Frank Oz, this has been called "the best Muppet movie never made by Jim Henson." Fitting, as Pete Doctor is a huge Henson fan and once considered being a Muppeteer.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Boo is just too adorable.
* UncannyValley: Impressive as it was at the time, the CGI has not aged all that well. The lighting still makes everything look kind of plastic, and Boo looks more like a doll than a human, something Pixar still hadn't quite nailed by 2001 (though you can blame two ''Franchise/ToyStory'' movies for that). Compare this to ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'' immediately before or after, a movie where Pixar actually changed their lighting system to achieve better visual effects.
* UrbanLegendOfZelda: An image circulated online of what appeared to be an [[http://www.snopes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cracked-monsters-inc.jpg R-rated Easter Egg]] that proves the Disney conspiracy of hidden sex messages only to be quickly [[http://www.snopes.com/monsters-inc-sex-drawing/ disproven]]. It turns out that it was made as part of a Website/{{Cracked}} Photoshop contest.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Great pains were taken to make Sully's fur look real. To say nothing of Randall's disappearing acts.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic: Due to focusing on a company, there's a lot you could read into this movie about energy use, humane treatment, and the rights of whistle blowers if you think too hard about it.
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