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The Cottage Appliances
- Ambiguous Gender:
- Open to interpretation in several countries. (In Germany and Finland, he's a guy, while in Brazil, he's a girl.)
- Jerry Rees has referred to Toaster as 'she/her' in both the 2010 interview about the film and in his Reddit AMA.
- In the original book, the toaster explicitly did not have one, as did all the other appliances.
- The movie itself seems to refer to toaster as a boy, but both the director and Toaster's voice actress call Toaster a girl.
- Badass Adorable: In his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Blanky later in the film.
- Determinator: No matter whenever he feels down, Toaster always gets up and keeps on going.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has one after the waterfall scene, when they're truly lost in the woods.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Being the brave little toaster, after all.
- Leitmotif: A sad, wistful piece with a hint of hope, written to loop around, since everyone can see their reflection in the Toaster.
- Rousing Speech: What gets the gang headed off in the first place.
- Say My Name: "TOASTER!" "BLANKY!"
- Spanner in the Works: Jams up the scrap compactor, saving Rob.
- Team Mom: Or team dad, who knows?
- Vocal Dissonance: He's male, but sounds more female (courtesy of Deanna Oliver, who believed she was voicing a girl).
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Leukine.
- Face Death with Dignity: Usually a cowardly crybaby but was surprisingly stoic when he and the rest of the appliances were sinking into the quicksand. He does scream when Kirby sinks but once he and Toaster are tangled with their cords and sink with him he just mutters "I'm not scared..." to Toaster.
- Least Is First: Blanky, the youngest and weakest of the group, is the first to join Toaster to find the Master.
- Leitmotif: An innocent and childlike theme.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: See Face Death With Dignity above.
- She's a Man in Japan: The latter isn't quite as noticeable as Lampy, but he is either voiced by or is a woman in some countries. Like Toaster, his gender in foreign countries is open to interpretation.
- Together in Death: Attempted: Clings to Rob's leg while he's trapped on the conveyor belt. S/he refuses to ever be separated from The Master ever again.
- Your Size May Vary: Most of the time, he's only slightly larger than Toaster. He grows larger in some scenes where it's necessary for the plot, most notably when he doubles as a full-size tent. His head is still the same size regardless of the rest of him though.
- Badass Adorable: In the storm scene.
- Butt-Monkey: In the 'It's a B-Movie' number, and in 'Cutting Edge', he gets picked on quite a bit.
- The Chick: In the German dub. See She's a Man in Japan.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Sometimes Lampy speaks a little like this sometimes.Lampy: All of a sudden, you're being so darn nice to him all of a sudden.
- Disney Death: After the storm.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Genius Ditz: Lampy's not very bright and none of his ideas ever work...but he is an expert on anything related to light. And most usefully, he knows how to read.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He willingly acts as a lightning rod to charge the battery, fully expecting to be completely destroyed in the process.
- Leitmotif: A happy, optimistic little theme.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Though he has his moments, of being a Deadpan Snarker, though, especially around Radio.
- She's a Man in Japan: Lampy is female in six foreign versions: German, Polish, Czech 1992, Russian TV, Croatian, and Brazilian 1996.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: All six female versions, with Brazilian as the most boyish, and having a Tomboyish Voice but being singing delicately, German as the most girly though having the German slang word "Tierisch" as an exclamation (and still being somewhat boisterous), and Polish fitting nicely in the middle by having a feminine voice but saying things like "Hey, you!".
- Big Damn Hero: When the others fall into the mud pit, and all hope seems lost, his Al Jolson music gets the attention of someone passing by.
- Catch-Phrase: "Listen to this!"
- Ditzy Genius: He does have a knowledge of culture and history, but he's a bit clueless and not of much use at times.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the second film.
- Large Ham: Jon Lovitz based his performance on obnoxious-sounding radio announcers, citing Walter Winchell as an example.
- Leitmotif: A loud, brassy Fanfare.
- Miles Gloriosus: He frequently boasts of his supposedly heroic and historic exploits, such as being friends with Theodore Roosevelt.
- Adaptation Name Change: A Hoover in the book.
- Badass Baritone: Especially in The City of Light number, thanks to Thurl Ravenscroft's baritone voice.
- Big Damn Hero: After the others falls down the waterfall, he rushes to the rescue... after working up the courage to do so.
- The Big Guy: By far the largest of the main appliances and is essentially the pack mule.
- Character Development: He starts out being grumpy, then mellows out later on while keeping some of his grumpy traits. This carried overs in the sequels.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially when they form the group in the beginning.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric/Melancholic
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: In the waterfall scene.
- Grumpy Bear: At all times. He's basically the grumpy older party member that tags along because he don't have anything better to do. At least, so he says.
- I Was Just Passing Through: Kirby's excuse for saving the gang from the waterfall was that he just slipped and fell in like the rest of them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all his grumpiness, he still cares for the other appliances and rescues them several times.
- Leitmotif: As the old grump of the group, he gets a tune that plays in low chords.
- Not So Stoic: when he's left alone in the waterfall and even he's horrified at the blender's death and the B-Movie segment.
- You Don't Look Like You: The Disney covers depict him more hot pink than his gray/blue color.
- Berserk Button: He doesn't like being reminded that the Master never played with him. Being stuck in the wall made him rather edgy...
- Conspiracy Theorist: Is convinced that all the other appliances are against him. That they think they're better than him because they can move.
- Deadpan Snarker: "You're a real bright little lamp."
- Disney Death: Presumed to be dead after he blew a fuse. But he gets better after the Master repairs him.
- Explosive Overclocking: The madder he got, the higher his fans went. To the point where he blew a fuse with a shower of sparks.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: He practically exploded.
- Knight of Cerebus: His breakdown is when the Ascended Fridge Horror really sets in.
- Large Ham: Definitely when his Berserk Button is pushed.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jack Nicholson.
- Tears of Joy: Following the Disney Death, after realizing that the Master cared about him all along.
- You're Just Jealous: Don't get him started...
The Apartment Appliances
- Big Damn Hero: By playing fake commercials for Ernie's Disposal and enthusiastically depicting it as the greatest place to shop for machines in the city, he convinces the Master to go there, where the main cast has been sent.
- Cool Old Guy: He's an old black and white television, complete with rabbit ear antennae, and his "avatar" on the screen is that of a cheerful, middle-aged man. He's also the only appliance that can still physically act while in the presence of humans, by broadcasting anything he wishes.
- Insane Proprietor: Takes on this role to get the Master's attention.
- Large Ham: "CRAZY ERNIE'S AMAZING EMPORIUM OF TOTAL BARGAIN MADNESS!!"
- Token Good Teammate: For the apartment appliances.
The "Cutting Edge" Appliances
- Adaptational Villainy: In the novel, they actually helped the appliances find a new owner and felt guilty for replacing them.
- Affably Evil: At first they were very welcoming to the main cast, but that soon changed when they figured out their plans to reunite with their master.
- Corrupt Hick: The toaster-oven speaks in an American Southern accent.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: They do seem to genuinely love The Master like the main appliances do and are upset that he doesn't want to take any of them to college with him. Plugsy the purple lamp was briefly excited then heartbroken by the idea of Rob taking him to his dorm, only for Rob to reject it.
- French Jerk: The food processor has a French accent.
- Gossipy Hens: The sewing machine.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The whole motive behind their jerkassary was that they were jealous their master chose some "old stuff" to take to college instead of them.
- "I Am Great!" Song: "The Cutting Edge".
- Karma Houdini: They never get punished for their actions to Toaster and Co, though Rob does end up taking the latter to college and leaving the former behind.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Even at the time the movie takes place, their technology was slowly going out of date, whereas our heroes' tech is still relatively timeless. These guys won't be on "the cutting edge" for very long...
- The Mean Brit: The entertainment center.
- Meaningless Villain Victory: Even after ejecting Toaster and the crew from the apartment, Rob returns and tells his mother he still doesn't want to take any of them to college with him.
- Multiple Head Case: The sewing machine has two separate components: the control unit and the needle; both of them have faces and have different personalities. They both gossip to each-other, insulting Blankie. The vacuum is another case, the head and the motor/bag unit are two separate characters who are conjoined via the hose. They're never seen speaking though.
- She's a Man in Japan: Plugsy, like Lampy, is female in the Polish dub.
- Slasher Smile: When they slowly approach the main five. Radio lampshades this.Radio: I don't believe I've ever seen quite so many smiles before...
- Yellow Peril: The boombox's face resembles a stereotypical East Asian caricature. His control knob "eyes" have notches that resemble squinted eyes and his "mouth" is the cassette deck with the tapehead resembling buck teeth.
- Zeerust: While the devices seen are still for the most part functionally timeless, most of them have a heavy '80s aesthetic that would look very dated today.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the film, he's a Mr. Fixit. In the book he threw out a reasonably good toaster because its chrome wore off.
- Adorkable: Skinny, big round glasses, green sweater.
- Big Good: The caretaker of the appliances, and their main motivation for leaving the cabin.
- Disappeared Dad: Only Rob's mom is heard in the film and there's really no strong evidence suggesting or disproving that his dad is still living with him and his mom or is even alive. Blankie's dream sequence and the Air Conditioner's speech seems to suggest that his dad was around when he was a kid visiting the cottage. Some fans also speculate that the unseen man hammering the "for sale" sign in front of the cottage was Rob's dad and he was simply at work when Rob left for college.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The appliances almost exclusively refer to him as "the Master".
- Fingore: Averted, though just barely.
- The Master: At least that's what the appliances know him as.
- Ambiguously Brown: According to Word of God, she and Rob are an interracial couple. What's her ethnicity exactly is never brought up but one could guess she's either black, Hispanic, or mixed race. She's Race Lifted in the sequels to have lighter skin but still darker than Rob. Their infant son however is as white as his father.
- Cool Car: Her red convertible which seems to vaguely resemble either an Austin-Healey or a Shelby Cobra.
- Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much every other thing she says to Rob is sarcastic.
Elmo St. Peters
- Consummate Liar: He frequently tells his customers that he receives shipments of parts when he's really just taking them from used appliances he finds or already owns.
- Cool Car: Literally drives a monster truck.
- Fat Bastard: He's morbidly obese and is seen drinking a weight-loss shake only to stuff his face with marshmallows afterward.
- Laughably Evil: Despite his job requiring him to essentially mutilate appliances and his habit of scamming customers, he's a pretty goofy guy. He even seems fairly easy to get along with, if you're not a machine.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Now, what did I do with that [appliance]?"
- Meaningful Name: "Saint Peter." The guy you meet after death, geddit? He also names his dog "Quadruped", which means "having four feet".
- Obliviously Evil: He doesn't know the appliances are alive when he takes them apart, he's just doing his job, taking apart what he believes are completely inanimate objects.
- Punch-Clock Villain: See the above trope. He doesn't know he's gutting living appliances to death. That being said, he's not 100 percent ethical, he does scam his customers by passing off used parts as new.
- Villainous Rescue: His first appearance has him grab Radio's antenna just as he and the others are about to drown in the quicksand-like mud."Ah, I thought I heard a radio!"
- Bookworm: Rob mentions her love of reading when she offers him to take Plugsy to his dorm. He asks what she'll read by then, she nonchalantly says she'll give up reading and start going out.
- Brick Joke: When Rob leaves for the cottage with Chris, she tells him to take a sweater. In the end of the film when Rob and Chris drive off for college, she calls to him that he forgot his sweater.
- Crazy-Prepared: Is very concerned with Rob bringing enough underwear and socks to college. Rob points out that the amount of garments she bought for him was a little overkill. She bought 48 pairs of socks.
- The Ghost: Never actually seen, only heard.
Elmo St. Peters' Shop
St. Peters' Appliances
- The Blank: A refrigerator who doesn't speak and has no facial features, it is however seen dancing with the others during "It's a B Movie" and ends up breaking down the shop's door, allowing all the appliances to escape.
- Body Horror: The "Mish-Mash."
- Dark Is Not Evil: Yes, they're creepy, yes, they harassed the protagonists, but deep down they were just as scared as they were and lost hope of ever escaping.
- Decomposite Character: In the book, there's just the broken tape deck with a creepy voice, who tells the gang they'll never leave the scrapyard. In the film, it's a hanging lamp with the creepy voice, and several appliances in various states of disrepair. And they sing about how the cottage guys are doomed.
- Diegetic Switch: The music for "It's a B Movie" is started by a phonograph playing a record.
- Gag Boobs: A reel-to-reel tape player has its reels positioned to look like massive bosoms.
- Gallows Humor: They sing a scary yet strangely upbeat song about how they're all going to be butchered to death.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The hanging lamp both looks and sounds like Peter Lorre.
- Organ Theft: From a Certain Point of View. Elmo can and will tear out a component to hock to whatever rando comes to call. They've all watched him do it to countless others like themselves and the gang. It's no wonder they've all become so deranged.
- Pet the Dog: One of the first things the Peter Lorre Lamp does is sympathize with Lampy over his broken bulb and gives him a new one.
- Torture Cellar: The work/stockroom where they live is bad enough, but the basement is even worse, according to their song. Presumably, that's where Mr. Saint Peters' Frankenstein's appliances together.
Ernie's Disposal Appliances
- Ax-Crazy: It completely loses it when the appliances evade it one too many times.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It seemed visibly taken aback when one of the cars was literally Driven to Suicide, though it doesn't show any kind of sympathy.
- Final Boss: The last obstacle the appliances face before they are reunited with Rob.
- Gag Nose: Sort of, it has a large steel bar jetting out below its eyes that somewhat resembles a large human nose. It even remains as part of its shape when it hides its eyes. Whether or not the "nose" serves a purpose is up for interpretation.
- Karma Houdini: Gets away with nearly killing the appliances, plus a human.
- Light Is Not Good: When it gets angry it sheds its usual red color and acquires a golden glow. Its a rather strange inversion of what usually happens in media.
- Punch-Clock Villain: At least until the appliances make it extremely angry, at which point it specifically hunts them, and doesn't even hesitate to toss Rob onto the belt with them.
- Turns Red: The magnet is orange. But when it gets really really angry, it glows yellow.
- The Voiceless: You only hear a magnetic hum coming from it.
The Junkyard Cars
- Despair Event Horizon: Their song is called "Worthless" for a reason.
- Driven to Suicide: A literal case for the pickup truck at the end.
- Runaway Groom: The wedding limo sings about how she took a Texan (most likely a groom) to a wedding, but he "kept forgetting, his loneliness letting his thoughts turn to home and we turned."
- She's a Man in Japan: The cars have different genders, depending on which dub you're viewing. For example, the race car (who is originally a male) is a girl in the German and Dutch dubs, while the surfer car (who was female originally) is a male in the Danish and Icelandic dubs.
- A Dog Named "Dog": A four-footed animal whose name literally means "having four feet."
- Brick Joke: Earlier Elmo praises Quadruped for remembering to put on his seatbelt. Later when the appliances break out of the shop, he jacks Elmo's truck but for a brief second remembers to fasten his belt before bolting off.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When the appliances get loose, Quadruped panics and flees the scene in his owner's truck.