Characters: Monsters, Inc.
For characters introduced in the 2013 prequel, see the Monsters University
open/close all folders
James P. "Sulley" Sullivan
Click here to see Sulley as he appears in Monsters University
Click here to see Mike as he appears in Monsters University
- Adorkable: Mostly in Monsters University. His eager and peppy attitude during his first days at the university really makes you love the little guy.
- Ascended Extra: Deuteragonist and Plucky Comic Relief in the original movie, and the smart Protagonist in the prequel.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: His main talent as shown in Monsters University, which is what makes him an excellent scaring coach.
- Badass Bookworm: Pulled off, in Sulley's words, "the biggest scare the school has ever seen" simply by reading about the theory behind it and then applying the knowledge.
- Berserk Button: "YOU'RE STILL NOT LISTENING!"
- Breakout Character: Went from Plucky Comic Relief Sidekick who didn't even have a part in the final battle against Randall to being the protagonist of the prequel.
- Break the Cutie: He was very optimistic and Adorkable in the prequel until he got kicked out from the scare program, and had to train a loser team into masters to be able to be in the program he wanted. It didn't work for him since he lacked the spark everyone else in the team had, thus he was never educated as a real scarer.
- Butt Monkey: Something which Boo finds hysterical.
- The Charmer: Shows this around Celia.
- Cyclops: He basically consists of a giant eye, a mouth underneath, and limbs.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments, especially in Monsters, Inc..
- Determinator: MU shows this side of him. Nothing keeps him down.
- Deuteragonist: Of Monsters, Inc., though he gets his day in Monsters University.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sulley and his morning work-out routine.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Suffers from this in the prequel. Everyone, even Oozma Kappa, consistently praises Sulley for looking like a scarer and will be the winning load of the team, when it's actually Mike carrying them all the way to the top. Sulley admits this at the end and praises Mike for it, though.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Mike and Sulley get kicked off the scare program at Monsters University, take 6 misfits and turn them scarer material just for the chance to get back on. They end up expelled. Undeterred they decide to work their way up together at the ranks at Monsters Inc, from the mail-room up, until they become scarers. They then become the greatest scaring team on record. Only to uncover corruption at their workplace and inadvertently close down the business they worked so hard for. Fortunately they discovered a new means of power along the way. Fittingly, having lost his dream of being a scarer, it's Mike who now gets to take the lead and become one of the greats in his business.
- Establishing Character Moment: It isn't that clear at first, but in M.U., when a young Mike is mistakenly left behind in the bus, he seems too naive to take offense and instead rejoices over finding a nickel on the bus.
- Extraverted Nerd: As a college student.
- Growing Up Sucks: Sacrificed his life-long dream as an on-field Scarer. Even though he works his way into being treated like an equal to on-field Scarers, it doesn't make his past pains any less significant.
- Hard Work Hardly Works:
- Mike works very hard to prove himself capable of scaring in Monsters University, but his appearance and size don't help him in the field. And not only does his final effort of proving himself fail, it gets him expelled from MU.
- Also averted, as he and Sulley climb the ranks at Monsters Inc. until they become a full-fledged scare team. Mike's hard work ultimately brings him to the position as a scare coach rather than a scarer. Not only that but one of the top scarers in the company. Heck even before then, as Sulley and he were working their way up the company. They would in the top in a lot of simple fields such as Mail Clerk, Janitorial Work and Cafeteria Workers. Before ultimately landing a job as scarers, no doubt thanks to his coaching.
- Heroic BSOD: After Sulley tells him that he doesn't have what it takes to be a real scarer.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sulley and is his coach.
- Horrifying Hero: Subverted, Mike is extremely knowledgable, but isn't very scary the same way Sully can be. Even when he attempted to do so on his own in the second film, none of the kids were scared of him, and in fact found him kind of adorable.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: If you take the prequel into account, and being the Sidekick in the original, he is this.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Even as an adorably inhuman monster, Mike could not be more Billy Crystal.
- I Just Want to Be Special: In Monsters University. Unfortunately, his dream of becoming a scarer himself doesn't work out, but he does end up becoming a scare coach and lifelong friend to Sulley along the way. Though at the end of Monsters Inc he eventually finds himself uniquely suited to making kids laugh and helping end the energy crisis. It just took a long time for him to get there.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Thoroughly self-centered with a large ego to match, but a loyal friend to Sulley and Oozma Kappa anyhow. In the original, he also learns to warm up to Boo after he had been trying to get rid of her for the whole movie.
- The Lancer: How Mike views Sulley, even though he himself is the Lancer in Monsters, Inc. In Monsters University, it is more clear that Mike is The Smart Guy behind the duo.
- Mistaken for Gay: Again, implied by Celia's reactions to Mike and Sulley's ineractions on their date.
- Nice Hat: His blue MU baseball cap given to him by Frank McCay.
- Oculothorax: A giant eyeball, with a small mouth and spindly arms and legs.
- Official Couple: With Celia.
- Oh, Crap: In Monsters University, after realizing that not only is the girl not scared of him, but he's stuck in an entire summer camp full of kids.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His role in Monsters, Inc..
- The Pollyanna: He was this to everyone's disapproval of him, until he got kicked out from the scaring program and could never be a scarer.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue oni to Sulley's red, which is more prominent in the prequel.
- Sidekick: Interestingly enough, Mike sees Sulley as his sidekick. In Monsters University, this is explained by showing Sulley as being very dependent on Mike's intellect and knowledge.
- The Smart Guy: Coaches Oozma Kappa into making them competent scarers, and later serves as Sulley's coach at Monsters Inc., who is now the best scarer in town.
- The Spock: To Sulley's Mc Coy and Randall's Kirk.
- The Strategist: Thanks to being book smart, Mike formulates plans and tactics that help out greatly during the second film, such as whipping Oozma Kappa into a fairly competent scaring team, and later when he and Sully get trapped in the human world, and he devises a plan to scare the rangers so that they can power the door from the human side. It also has the bonus of surprising Dean Hardscrabble, which had never been done before.
- Stepford Smiler: On his school field trip. He's acting really chipper and occasionally snarks about, but both when he ends up without a field trip buddy and when a classmate tells him he does not belong on a scare floor, it's clear how disheartened he is. Shades of this character trait are also present when he is older, especially in his reactions to Randall's treatment of him.
- Technician Versus Performer: The Technician to Sulley's Performer.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Tiny Guy to Celia's Huge Girl.
- Took a Level in Kindness: An arc in MU. Joins Oozma Kappa for his own motives in order to revive his chances in the Scaring Program. After barely passing the first competition, he holds Oozma Kappa to a rather conforming (ineffective) method in the library challenge. But when he sees that the Oozmas have competence of their own, he becomes more appreciative of them and more accommodating to their special abilities.
- Tragic Dream: Worked from a very young age to become a scarer. Nobody truly believed in him and in the end it didn't work out, though he did become Sulley's best friend and discovers a true greatness in serving as scare coach along the way. Subverted when he turns out to have quite the talent for making children laugh and so he does become a great in his field of expertise after all. Albeit in a very different way than he'd thought.
- Weak, but Skilled: In college. In fact, it's the plot point in University; he's incredibly amitious, which leads him to being extremely good in his grades (getting straight A's), but since he doesn't have that certain "spark" which is required for a scarer he never lives up to his dream and becomes Sulley's assistant in the sequel.
- Baby Talk: Baby, gibberish vocabulary.
- Badass Adorable: She overcomes her fear of Randall at the very last second when she sees him about to give Sulley a Disney Villain Death, beating the crap out of him with her little fists and the help of a baseball bat.
- Berserk Button: She has one. And Randall figured out much too late that trying to kill Sulley in front of her is a bad idea.
- Berserker Tears: She actually cries just as much a kid her age would, but in the monster world, any loud noise from her can cause a blackout.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As Randall discovers.
- Blowing a Raspberry: Boo blows a raspberry at Randall, whose door got destroyed by Sulley and Mike so he couldn't come back.
- Catch Phrase: "Kitty" and obviously..."Boo".
- Cheerful Child: A playful and happy Genki Girl.
- Cute Monster Girl: From Sulley's perspective.
- The Cutie: Extends to her voice actor. Her 'audition' tape was her babbling on camera for a while... but since she's only 3 years old, only the top of her head was visible.
Randall "Randy" Boggs
Click here to see Randall as he appears in Monsters University
- Adorkable: Not in the original movie, mind you, no way no how. We're talking about Monsters University. D'aww, look at those twiddling fingers and that cheeky little smile...
- Always Someone Better: No matter how much effort he put into it, he'd never become a better scarer than Sulley, a fact Waternoose acknowledged to Randall even after the two of them banished Sulley for the sake of their Evil Plan.
- Big Bad: Nope.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Despite being Mike's roommate in college, he was something of a popularity seeker who joins up with ROR and participated in the prank to discredit his old friend's team, although peer pressure might have been a factor.
- Blind Without 'Em: Well, not necessarily blind, but after he abandons his glasses due to Mike suggesting he do so in order to make the most out of his camouflage ability, he keeps his eyes constantly squinted in order to see. By the time Monster's Inc comes around, he's still squinting.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He apparently knew what he was doing was evil, as he told Fungus not to fraternize with victims of his evil plot. Those were Fungus' words, not his own, so Fungus might have just been projecting his unease about the whole shady deal unto his view of Randall.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: It fits considering he is like a reptilian version of the Cheshire Cat.
- Creepy Centipedes: Looks part centipede, part chameleon.
- Disc One Final Boss: He might have been defeated by Mike and Sulley. But all there is left at this point is Waternoose.
- The Dragon: To Waternoose in the first movie.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He's certainly more evil than Mr. Waternoose, and poses a much more direct threat, while Mr. Waternoose doesn't reveal his true characterization until the middle of the movie.
- Evil Former Friend: To Mike.
- Evil Genius: Invents the Scream Extractor.
- Face-Heel Turn: He used to be a friend of Mike's in Monsters University, but decided to partner with Roar Omega Roar instead and swore revenge on Sullivan for accidentally ruining his scare simulation.
- Freudian Excuse: Averted. He starts out genuinely nice and kind, but nothing awful happens to him in the slightest, and his Start of Darkness was still his own choice. No tragic backstory for you...
- From Nobody to Nightmare: As University shows, he turns into this.
- Hollywood Chameleon: He can practically turn invisible. Justified as he's clearly not meant to be an actual chameleon.
- I Just Want to Be Special: In college he was a shy student who really wanted to befriend the cool kids.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: In college. Preferably if they're cool.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Hard to look at him while talking and not remember Buscemi.
- Invisibility: Given he can change himself to the colors of the environment.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Guess who!
- Jerkass: Particularly to his minion, Fungus.
- The Kirk: To Sulley's Mc Coy and Mike's Spock.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In the prequel, he joins with his and other fraternities to pull nasty prank against OK in their party and makes them into "adorable monster". Later in the final round of Scare games, he accidentally camouflaged hearts motif from the scare simulator room over his whole body, which turned him into "adorable monster" himself. Even his fraternity captain has no qualms in mocking him for this.
- Last Name Basis: Refers to Mike and Sully by their last names out of antagonism. Especially since he referred to Mike by his first name in Monsters University.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Implied by the Hilarious Outtakes, where he comments that he looks good in a suit after a coworker pulls a prank on him during filming.
- Narcissist: In one scene, we see him checking himself out in a mirror.
- Nerd: In college, at least for the first half of the film. It can be assumed that he was this in high school, too.
- Nerd Glasses: Sadly, he drops them within a minute of his first appearance under Mike's advisement.
- Out of Focus: Main antagonist in the original movie, a relatively minor character in the prequel.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: An interesting combination of traits. Chameleons typically don't fall victim to this trope, but he also resembles a snake.
- The Rival: To Sully, ever since university.
- Smug Snake: Figuratively and literally! He has a very high opinion of himself while simultaneously constantly being in Sulley's shadow and looks like an actual snake.
- Social Climber: In Monsters University he was one of these, ditching Mike at the first opportunity to hang with the cool teens.
- Sore Loser: In Monsters University, his loss to Sulley in the final event of the Scare Games gets him mocked in front of the entire school (he got the lowest score of his teammates), lost him all his friends, and served as a catalyst for his resentment of him in Monsters Inc..
- Start of Darkness: In Monsters University, he slowly turned from a nervous character who was close friends to Mike Wazowski to a resentful foe to Mike and Sulley.
- The Starscream: It's hinted that he plans on backstabbing Waternoose after his Evil Plan succeeds.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: It says a lot about someone when they're willing to casually murder their university dorm mate.
- Torture Technician: Invents a horrific machine that will literally suck out children's voices.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Waternoose tells him that he'll never amount to Sulley, he loses it and tries to kill Sulley.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted. He claims that he's going to revolutionize the scaring industry, but in fact he's only doing it for personal recognition.
- Unknown Rival: Mike thinks of him as a competitor, while Sulley just thinks of him as a colleague. Randall, meanwhile, sees them as his adversaries.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He starts out being very polite, kind and supportive to Mike, and he seems to genuinely value their friendship, but he's led astray by his own desire for personal status. Eventually, he ends up joining the most high-up fraternity in a bid to become "cool", ending up as an adversary in the Games. When he's (accidentally) publicly humiliated by Sulley in the last Game, he develops his bitter resentment.
Monsters Inc. Staff
Henry J. Waternoose
- Affably Evil: He is nice enough to hide his true colors.
- Anti-Villain: He is not evil, he is just trying to do what he thinks is best for the company.
- Big Good: Actually, he is the Big Bad. While not as threatening as Randy, he is the one behind him and ultimately the one behind the Scream Extractor.
- Broken Pedestal: For Sulley after he reveals himself as a traitor.
- Character Outlives Actor: James Coburn died in 2002. Waternoose cameos in Monsters University only in a flashback picture (with an afro!) holding Sulley's hand.
- Despair Event Horizon: He is desperate to end his company's energy crises.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It's hinted that he merely tolerates Randall and views his tactics as a Necessary Evil in his plan to bring Monsters, Inc. back to profitability. He even bluntly tells Randall that he's half as scary as Sulley at best.
- First Name Basis: The only one in the movie to address Sully by his first name James.
- Funny Afro: Yes, he has this in the prequel! Well, only shown briefly in photograph, however, when he welcomed Sulley and Mike as the newest Scarer team in his company.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: When Mike informs him about the obviously fictional "Bring an Obscure Relative to Work Day", he simply says, "Must've missed the memo."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A minor and somewhat humorous example early in the film: after the 23-19 on the Scarefloor, it's shown that even he gets scared when Sulley practices the Waternoose Jump and Growl on him. This one is Played for Laughs.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Subverted, as he is revealed to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Between him and Sulley.
- Knight Templar: Waternoose wants to save his family business and Monstropolis from collapse due to a power shortage. His "solution" drives him well over the Moral Event Horizon into would-be child slaughterer.
- The Man Behind the Man: Randall was following his orders the whole time.
- The Mentor: Implied to be such for Sulley. Waternoose is sincerely despondent when he has to get rid of him, and in the climax Sulley quite truly hopes he can convince him not to go through with the plan.
- The Mole: He and Randall are in charge of kidnapping children and made up the entire "poisonous human" superstition for the sake of keeping the company up and running to power Monstropolis.
- Reasonable Authority Figure or so it originally seems
- Spider People: More like crab people, but the principle is the same.
- Tragic Villain: His company is in hard times, so he must act.
- Treacherous Advisor: Waternoose is revealed to have been behind the conspiracy all along.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He just wants to help the his company.
- Walking Spoiler: As you can see, it's just hard to discuss him without mentioning a huge twist that occurs two-thirds into the movie.
- Villainous Breakdown: At the end when he said to Sulley that he'll kidnap a thousand children before letting his company die.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He just wanted to solve the energy crisis and save his family company... by kidnapping children and draining energy out of them through cruel ways instead of a short scare.
Roz/CDA Agent #001
- Big Good: Number 1 agent of CDA who was trying to capture the guy who they suspected committed crimes at MI, aka Waternoose.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Appears at the end to reveal herself as the Reverse Mole.
- The Cameo: Shows up as head of the CDA after Mike and Sulley's trip to the human world in Monsters University, telling them that she's always watching.
From DVD bonus material
: "The pink copy [of your carbonless copy paper scare receipt] goes to accounts receivable. The fuchsia copy goes to purchasing. Ivory goes to your immediate supervisor. And I! Get! The goldenrod! Goldenrod!
- Cool Old Lady: Who knows behind a boring and sarcastic clerk, is actually a reasonable leader of this universe's equivalent of The Men in Black?
- Deadpan Snarker: "Your stunned silence is very reassuring."
- Foreshadowing: She stoically closes her window when the CDA makes their first appearance.
- Anti-Villain: He's only a "bad guy" for being Randall's assistant.
- Butt Monkey: From Randall - every appearance of his involves him getting threatened, beat on, or otherwise dumped upon by Randall in some way.
- The Dog Bites Back: Near the end, he's had enough and just pushes his co-worker into the door before he can be "sanitised" again.
- Dumb Jock: In M.U., he was part the not very bright Jaws Theta Chi material.
- Jerk Jock: Subverted. He was part of the Jaws Theta Chi, but during the scene of Oozma Kappa's humiliation at the ROR house, he is the only member of his frat who looks distraught at what's going on. Word of God says, "he's a good kid in the wrong frat."
- True Neutral: We never discover how much she actually knew about waternoose’s plot.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Comes off as cold at first, but enthusiastically claps for Sulley when he gives his demonstration.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: His name is pretty much what he is.
- The Cameo: He used to work in the mail room at Monsters Inc. along with Mike and Sulley, and warns them that tampering with mail is a crime punishable by banishment.
- Gentle Giant: He's even bigger than Sulley.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever got him banished to the Himalayas. It's implied he tampered with the Monsters Inc. mail. But how and why is never seen.
- Decontamination Chamber: They use portable ones to decontaminate subjects that set off a 2319.
- The Faceless: All of them wear yellow bio-hazard suits, although because they're monsters, their body shapes vary quite a bit.
- Fast Roping: Several CDA members enter the Scare Floor like this. During the Hilarious Outtakes one CDA agent accidentally splats against the window instead of opening it.
- Hazmat Suit: They all wear banana yellow ones.
- The Men in Black: They basically act as this to the Monster world.
- Overreacting Airport Security: The way they react to a 2319 alert is pretty danh over the top.