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- Voiced by: Dave Foley
- Adorkable: Either when it comes to his inventions or talking to Princess Atta.
- All of the Other Reindeer: He is regularly marginalized for wasting his time on creative thinking and inventing instead of gathering food for the Offering. What makes this more understandable than usual for this trope is that he is very much The Klutz and causes often more harm than good with his blunders. This is deconstructed because the others' criticism of his acts blind them to the facts that he is actually right about.
- Badass Bookworm: Becomes this during his stand against Hopper.
- Bungling Inventor: It's not really his inventions that don't work, but his clumsiness.
- Character Development: Goes from being the misfit of the colony to the hero of the film.
- Determinator: Wants to gain his colony's approval so darn badly.
- Dogged Nice Guy: For Princess Atta.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After he gets exiled from the colony. He gets better with help from Dot and the circus bugs.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Flik never shies away from what's right.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Dot, mainly because she's the only ant in the colony who admires and looks up to Flik.
- The Millstone: Was this for most of the film until he Took a Level in Badass.
- Nice Guy: Goes with being played by Dave Foley.
- Official Couple: He eventually begins a relationship with Atta.
- Took a Level in Badass: Despite suffering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Thumper under Hopper's orders, he gives Hopper a "World of Cardboard" Speech and "The Reason You Suck" Speech and inspires the rest of the colony to stand up to the grasshoppers.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He accidentally collapses the offering stone holding all of the food meant for the grasshoppers, prompting Hopper to demand twice the amount intended which leaves the island facing starvation. Thankfully, Flik is not about to let them suffer that fate.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Doesn't once stop thinking that the Ants can have a better life.
- Voiced by: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She is rather dismissive towards Flik and his ideas on improving the harvest in the beginning of the film. But warms up to him in the middle.
- Disappeared Dad: Her and Dot's birth father was never seen.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: She may be neurotic, but she does care for her colony.
- Hartman Hips: For an ant, Atta has pronounced hips.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: A rather subdued example, but you can tell she's an adult female ant.
- Not So Different: Her and the ant colony, according to Flik.
- Official Couple: With Flik.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Once Flik has the idea to get rid of Hopper, she's all the way on board. And after that she finally stands up to Hopper.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While Atta was at first dismissive towards Flik she wasn't as brutal as the rest, and it was somewhat justified given their colony's current predicament and that his inventions did cause problems. After he and the Circus Bugs saved her sister from death, Atta started to develop an instant liking towards Flik, even showing her own adorkable when with him. It was only after she and the colony found out about his lies did she exile him. She changes her attitude again when Flik and the other ants drive the grasshoppers out.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: She gets knocked to the ground twice by catapulted stalks of grain (thanks to Flik) and even falls off the counsel stand in the Hilarious Outtakes.
- So Proud of You: Said word-for-word after Flik inspires the ant colony to Zerg Rush the grasshoppers.
- Voiced by: Hayden Panettiere
- The Cutie: An ant version this time.
- Disappeared Dad: Her and Atta's birth father was never seen or mentioned.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: "Come on, wings. Fly, fly!"
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Flik.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The only child aged main character.
- Literal-Minded: She can't make sense of Flik's seed story that's meant to encourage her as he uses a rock to represent the "seed" in question. She finally comes to appreciate what he meant and uses this to convince Flik to return home.
- Plucky Girl: Shown to be incredibly determined, which allows her to fly.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: She looks as adorable as a cartoon ant can.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: See her Spanner in the Works section.
- Spanner in the Works: She overheard the grasshoppers' plan to squish the queen and flew back to the circus wagon to get Flik and company to return to save the colony.
- Youthful Freckles: The only ant to have this that also showcases her youthfulness.
- Voiced by: Kevin Spacey
- Bad Boss: As Molt tells the ants during the raid in the film's second half: "You don't want to make him mad. Believe me!" He takes out his frustration at his brother by punching out another member of his gang because of a promise to his mother. Later, he matter-of-factly kills several of his fellow grasshoppers just to demonstrate a point in an argument.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film, Hopper is the leader of the grasshoppers and without him the others wouldn't even care.
- The Bully: He's loves picking on weaker species to make himself feel big.
- Bullying a Dragon: He understands the weakness of his position against the numerically superior ants, and engages in a campaign of terror specifically to keep the ants from wising up and fighting back.
- Deadpan Snarker: He is voiced by Kevin Spacey, after all. Throughout the film, he makes dry remarks about anything that annoys him.
- Eaten Alive: At the end of A Bug's Life, Hopper gets eaten by the bird's chicks.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He says that promising his mother on her deathbed not to kill Molt is the only reason he has not done so.
- Evil Is Petty: When his big elaborate plan fails, he settles for mercilessly beating up Flik and trying to kill him. In fact, his only reason for going back was to browbeat them because of one ant who was no apparent threat and only hurt his pride.
- Fatal Flaw: His overconfidence and underestimating the ants' strength eventually leads to his death.
- Faux Affably Evil: He becomes chillingly polite when about to do something like murdering his own henchmen or preparing to feed children to deranged grasshoppers.
- For the Evulz: Unlike other Pixar villains, Hopper has no known "reason" behind his twisted acts.
- Genius Bruiser: He can easily beat down most anybody else in the film, and he's hardly dumb; he knows that if all the ants stood up to the grasshoppers, since they're far more numerous, the ants would easily push them away. And indeed it does happen, they just needed a push.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It is NOT a wise idea to make him angry.
- It's All About Me: Everything is about him being in control of everyone else.
- Jerkass: He's just a wildly unpleasant individual all around given his actions and personality.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He gives the impression of being more than a bully when he announces to his men that they're going to spend the rest of the winter partying instead of returning to the ants' island. Then he kills some of his men to make a point.
- Karmic Death: He gets his Just Desserts when he becomes the meal of some hungry bird chicks.
- Kick the Dog: A number of times. One example is him belittling Atta after "the grasshoppers" meal is gone.
- Knight of Cerebus/Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: One of the scariest villains Pixar has ever done.
- Large Ham: Helpful for a skilled orator.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In the Hilarious Outtakes, he's a fairly sensitive guy that puts up with a lot of goof ups and teasing from the rest of the cast.
- Obviously Evil: Domineering presence, strongest of his group, enjoys making people suffer.
- Perpetual Frowner: There is rarely a scene where he cracks a smile.
- Pet the Dog: Though the ants had messed up badly in giving his grasshoppers food, he's ultimately willing to give the ants another chance, though he makes the ants double the amount of food they would have given him to compensate.
- Red Right Hand: Hopper has a scar over his right eye.
- Scars Are Forever: One over his (also likely blind) right eye, which the Pixar staff confirms was inflicted by the first bird that attacked him.
- Smug Snake: Big time. He's smart and utterly convinced of his superiority but has no idea how to deal with the unexpected.
- The Sociopath: Manipulative, ruthless, cold hearted, sadistic, remorseless, pompous, arrogant, evil... yes, he's clearly one.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: When not at borderline frothing rage point, he's committing brutality with a stoic, outright bored look on his face. How he makes his case towards his men ditching going after the ants is a key example.Hopper: *politely* Does anybody else wanna stay?...
- Villainous Breakdown: He goes through one first when he tries to kill Flik out of anger and speaks about gathering grasshoppers and returning when it is obvious that he lost and when he's about to be eaten by a bird and then he realizes the bird has hungry babies.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: According to Atta, he was afraid of birds. This is his eventual fate when he gets eaten in the end.
- Would Hurt a Child: Hopper doesn't hesitate to feed child Dot to Thumper.
- Voiced by: David Lander
- Ax-Crazy: Shown in full when he mercilessly beats up Flik.
- The Brute: He's by far the most violent member of Hopper's swarm.
- Fluffy the Terrible: If you associate the name "Thumper" with a certain adorable bunny, it's weird to see an Ax-Crazy grasshopper having the same name. On the other hand, it's also a Meaningful Name, as he likes to thump his enemies in the ground.
- Karma Houdini: He gets scared away by Dim, but apparently survives.
- Madwoman in the Attic: Well he's kept around, but often on a leash, blurring the line between thug and animal.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Actor!Thumper is rather polite, completely sane, and far from the Ax-Crazy character he is in the movie.
- Psycho for Hire: A very low-functioning example but very psycho for treats nonetheless.
- Suddenly Voiced: In the outtakes.
- Team Pet: Though it's ambiguous whether he's supposed to represent an attack dog or an ax-crazy human, he seems to be this to the grasshoppers to some degree. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene shows him begging Hopper for treats and catching a piece of grain tossed to him in his mouth.
- The Unintelligible: Speaks in grunts, rasps, growls, snarls, and whimpers (when Dim scares him away).
- Voiced by: Richard Kind
- Affably Evil: Nice and friendly, even trying to tell funny stories to ants he's menacing. He even gives them a friendly warning during the second raid, having himself made Hopper angry one too many times:"Do as he says; you don't want to make him mad. Believe me!"
- Annoying Younger Sibling: He infuriates Hopper. To such an extent that Hopper had to promise their dying mother that he wouldn't kill Molt.
- Catchphrase: "Shutting up", whenever he realizes he's pushing his luck.
- The Ditz: Molt isn't exactly the smartest bug in the movie.
- Gentle Giant: He's a big guy and doesn't really want to pick on the ants.
- Heel–Face Turn: He joins the circus bugs at the end of the film as a strongman.
- Hidden Depths: He knows just how foolish and evil Hopper's plan is but is scared to refuse to go. He's also seen visibly flinching when Thumper attacks Flik.
- Minion with an F in Evil: While he's one of the bad guys, he's a dim-witted Gentle Giant, often infuriating his intelligent but evil older brother.
- Motor Mouth: Loves to babble on and on. Helps that he's voiced by Richard Kind.
- Punch Clock Villain: When the food's collected and the circus is performing, he happily claps and plays along, rather like a child."The circus, the circus, I love the circus!"
- Token Good Teammate: He's not really evil, just following along with the other grasshoppers.
The circus bugs
- Voiced by: John Ratzenberger
- Badass Normal
- Jerkass: Though he's not as mean as Hopper is.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his general nature, he does come around to help the ants rid themselves of Hopper, even offering Flik a place in his circus when they've reclaimed their home. When he sees Atta and Dot newly crowned, he is on the verge of tears before he shakes the sentiment off.
- Nice Hat: Wears what appears to be a very small top hat.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: There's no denying that's he's a Jerkass, but he shows his courage by heroically attacking what he thought was a real bird to save everyone.
- Repulsive Ringmaster: He is the ringmaster of the circus bugs, and while not outright evil, he is the least heroic and most Jerkass out of them.
- Skewed Priorities: When he sees Manny "bleeding" to death during the fake bird attack.P.T.: There goes my magic act!
- The Napoleon: As a flea, he's tiny and mean.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
- He's responsible for the ants finding out the circus bugs aren't warriors, costing Flik his newly earned good name. He suddenly shows up demanding that his circus bugs return to work for him. This in turn causes the ants to give up on rebelling against Hopper, almost resulting in the villain's victory.
- He also ruins the ants' original plan of scaring the grasshoppers off with a fake bird by setting said bird on fire, thinking it to be the real deal.
- Voiced by: Joe Ranft
- Voiced by: Denis Leary
- Berserk Button: "SO! Being a ladybug automatically makes me a girl! Is that it, fly boy?! Huh?!"
- Brooklyn Rage
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Has a feminine appearance that routinely makes him a target for male bugs.
- Guttural Growler: The contrast of appearance is complete with his raspy, definitely male voice.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Real Men Wear Pink: He has a tough personality and a deep, manly voice, but also a very feminine face.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Parodied. He has long eyelashes, full lips and a beauty mark.
- Voiced by: David Hyde Pierce
- Butt Monkey: He's always used in his acts as a prop.
- Deadpan Snarker: Throughout the film, but especially when Francis uses him as a "sword".(completely deadpan) "Swish swish. Clang clang."
- Equippable Ally: He is often used as a circus prop, such as a sword.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: He is sometimes used as a weapon by the other bugs.
- Meaningful Name: He's slender as a stick.
- Playing a Tree: He is usually just used as a prop in his circus acts.
- Voiced by: Brad Garrett
- Big Guy: The biggest and strongest of the Circus Bugs.
- Friend to All Children: Dim even tried to sneak some ant children away to the circus.
- Gentle Giant: He's the Big Guy and is nice to kids.
- Man Child: The most childish of the group.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Rosie.
- Third-Person Person
- You No Take Candle
Manny and Gypsy
- Voiced by: Jonathan Harris and Madeline Kahn
- Cool Old Guy: Manny
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Gypsy seemed much more interested in her appearance than her husband walking into the walls.
- Happily Married
- Interspecies Romance: A male praying mantis and a female butterfly.
- The Klutz: Manny.
- Large Ham: What do you expect? It's Dr. Smith!
- A Lizard Named "Liz": Manny the mantis and Gypsy the gypsy moth.
- May–December Romance: Gypsy certainly appears to be much younger than Manny.
- Non-Action Guy: Manny again.
- Stage Magician: Manny once again.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A beautiful gypsy moth married to an elderly praying mantis.
Tuck and Roll
- Voiced by: Mike McShane
- Funny Foreigner: Both are the comic relief characters and talk in a gibberish that is supposed to sound like Hungarian.
- Keep It Foreign: They never learn a word of English, except... "You fired!" Word of God says they're Hungarian, even though their gibberish sounds nothing like the actual language.
- Those Two Guys: The only twins of the group.
- The Unintelligible: Especially when they slip into Hungarian.
- Voiced by: Randy Thorn
- Always a Bigger Fish: A gigantic predator (from the bugs' point of view) who defeats the film's true villain Hopper in the end.
- Deus ex Machina: Shows up just in time to kill Hopper before he can catch and kill Flik.
- The Dreaded: Everyone is afraid of birds, even Hopper.
- Feathered Fiend: To the bugs. A human would probably find her rather cute.
- Giant Flyer: A mix of the "normal sized flyer seen from a small character's perspective" and "giant predator" varieties.
- Kaiju: What everybody sees it as.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The bugs are terrified of her, but she's just a mother bird looking to feed herself and her chicks.
- Non-Malicious Monster: It's only looking to eat and feed its young.