Clark Kent Outfit: Tack is surprisingly tall and muscular when he stands up straight and half of his clothes have been ripped off in the final fight; this is more obvious in the original storyboards (and VERY clear in a concept drawing◊ in the Recobbled DVD extras), as the animation finished by Calvert (which the Recobbled Cut uses to some extent) is very Off Model. This is probably part of his Coming of Age story, along with getting a handsome tan and starting to talk.
Chekhov's Gun: In the workprint and Recobbled Cut, he uses the back scratchers he stole from YumYum to escape getting his hands cut off.
Clutching Hand Trap: At one point, he sees a bottle filled with jewels. Unfortunately, the jewels are too big for him to get past the opening. He won't let go of the diamond, even when the palace guards have him surrounded.
Deadpan Snarker: His inner monologue as provided by Jonathan Winters in the "finished" versions. Tends to provoke a Love It or Hate It response, with some finding it obnoxious and distracting, while others think it (along with the animation) is the only thing that makes those cuts watchable
Determinator: When he sees something shiny, there's no stopping him.
Everything Trying to Kill You: An old lady turns out to be a martial artist, a bed turns out to be a pack of giant, angry guard dogs, the polo players constantly hit him... and the giant war machine has such things as a giant flyswatter, a giant broom and a giant iron.
Five-Finger Discount: As openly stated in the Miramax cut, he'll steal anything. In one scene, he actually picks his own pocket.
Know When to Fold 'Em/Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of the workprint, when he has Tack and the golden balls cornered; having literally been through hell and back trying to get the balls, he decides the balls are more trouble than they're worth and walks off in a huff.
No Name Given: He's simply referred to as "the Thief." The narrator notes at the beginning that he "shall be nameless."
Not Distracted by the Sexy: When he comes across YumYum bathing, he is less concerned about the nude woman in front of him and more concerned about her jewel-encrusted backscratchers.
The Pig Pen: He's constantly surrounded by flies, and both Tack and YumYum smell him on different occasions, the latter thinking that the smell must be coming from a backed up sewage pipe.
Villain Protagonist: While he's not the Big Bad, he isn't exactly a good guy either, considering the whole mess is his fault. Miramax apparently felt pity for him and made him an Accidental Hero when the King believes that he recovered the golden balls for the city and he gives the balls back out of guilt (and not wanting to be attacked by the King's guards).
Disproportionate Retribution: He has Tack arrested, thrown in prison, and tries to feed him to his vulture Phido simply because he stepped on a tack that Tack dropped by accident. And that's only because YumYum saved his life; Zigzag originally wanted to have him beheaded.
Eaten Alive: His final fate; he's torn apart by alligators, with his vulture Phido eating his head.
Evil Chancellor: He's the grand vizier of the Golden City, and as evil as they come.
Evil Sorcerer: He claims to be a sorcerer, but it's obvious that all his "magic" is really done by smoke bombs and sleight of hand.
Faux Affably Evil: He speaks in rhymes and provides King Nod with a massage and a concubine... all for the purposes of manipulation and distraction.
Goofy Print Underwear: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene when he pops up out of the throne room floor, he has pink boxers with purple "Z's" under his robe.
Hoist by His Own Petard: He spends much of the film abusing his pet vulture Phido. In the end, Phido is the one to finish him off.
Ink-Suit Actor: After Vincent Price was cast as Zigzag's voice, his design was modified to resemble Price. This is more obvious when Williams shows his caricature of Price in The Animator's Survival Kit — it resembles Zigzag quite a lot!
Large Ham: He's voiced by Vincent Price in all his glory ("FAT! FAAAAT! FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!").
Laughably Evil: Almost everything he does is horrible, yet he's still one of the funniest characters in the film.
Papa Wolf: In the original cut. When Zigzag fools the King into thinking he can "magic the balls back," he requests Princess YumYum's hand in marriage as compensation. The king vehemently refuses to send off his daughter to him. Note that, as far as the king is concerned, this is his only chance to get the balls back and keep his kingdom safe. It's honestly rather badass of the King to do so.
Sleepy Head: Several of his scenes begin with him snoozing.
Voiced by: Donald Pleasence (workprint and Allied Filmmakers), Eric Bogosian (Miramax)
The Dog Bites Back: After suffering all manner of pain and abuse from Zigzag throughout the film, Phido gleefully jumps down the alligator pit and joins the alligators in eating him at the end of the film.
I'm a Humanitarian: In the original cut, he eagerly attempts to eat an imprisoned Tack, while in all versions, he helps the alligators eat Zigzag.
Rump Roast: He gets his tail feathers set on fire twice throughout the film.
Voiced by: Joan Sims (workprint), Mona Marshall (Allied Filmmakers), Toni Collette (Miramax)
Princess YumYum's nanny.
Character Exaggeration: In the workprint and Recobbled Cut, she is quite supportive of Tack and YumYum's budding relationship, whereas in the Calvert and Miramax versions, she's very negative towards Tack early on.