main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Creator: This Is It
It's time to get creative...

"Come on guys, let's get creative!"

THIS IS IT Collective are a group of individuals who direct, write and produce films. Coming from a background of design and animation, THIS IS IT continue to build upon their collective voice that they have developed over the last four years. The collective have already carved out a niche for themselves within the short film format, with two successful films, both of which have played and won awards at festivals around the world.

With over one million viewers watching these films on Channel Four and more than 2.5 million views online, the collective has generated a strong international following and achieved great success purely from self-funded projects, showing their passion for filmmaking.

Their most well known and successful project is Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, which stars a trio of nameless puppets (well, not mentioned in the video that is). According to the fanbase at least, the big humanoid with long red fur (or hair) goes by Harry, a well-dressed dark green bird is called Robin, and a yellow simpleton with overalls and a blue mullet is named Manny. The three of them sit around their house until a sketchpad starts singing to them about being creative. At first it's quite chipper and happy, like a kids show, but slowly things get creepy before culminating in an equally bizarre and disturbing climax. In January 2014, the creators released a sequel where a dancing clock sings to the gang about the nature of time; once again, things quickly take a turn for the worse.

Now has a Kickstarter page looking to make Don't Hug Me I'm Scared a series. Four more episodes, four more teachers, one cold, terrible reality. It was successfully funded.

Needs Wiki Magic

Tropes that apply to This Is It (YMMV tropes go here)

  • All There in the Script: The only confirmed names by This Is It are Sketchbook, Tony the Talking Clock, and Roy (Yellow Puppet's dad, as evidenced by one of the makers' Facebook banners)
    • On the Kickstarter for Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: The Series, the yellow puppet is simply referred to as "the yellow guy"
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: The puppets are yellow, red, and green.
  • Anachronism Stew: A Victorian sewer-dweller talks about batteries.
    • And the Plague and Sawdust...
  • And I Must Scream: The wall in "Bad Things That Could Happen" as a nail is hammered into it; its face shows that it is in exquisite pain, but its screaming is completely silent.
  • Anyone Can Die: "But eventually, everyone runs out of time." Subverted in that they do survive, but won't forget their experience anytime soon...
  • Arc Number: June 19th. It is the date in both shorts, with it being the precise date on every destination in the sequel as the characters journey through time. The Kickstarter page, after ominously stating "all will be revealed...", also shows a picture of the calender with June 19th on it, implying some sort of answer at some point.
    • In the Victorian Time scene in DHMIS 2, you can see that there is a wanted poster for the Yellow Puppet ("Manny"). His price, dead or alive? £1,906 ... 19/06, also known as June 19th (Since Europeans put day first then month)...
    • June 19 is when the Kickstarter ended. If it had failed, the three puppets would have been permanently killed off. They were not so fortunate.
    • Episode 3 is planned to be released in September 2014, with new episodes every three months after that. With a total of six episodes planned, they may be aiming to release the finale on June 19.
    • Joseph Pelling has confirmed that the meaning behind this date will be confirmed at the end of the series... which, as stated above, could very well be June 19.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Bonus points for actually featuring arson and (arguably) murder: "Bad Things" has a giant match starting a fire, a wall silently screaming as a nail is hammered into it, a rat having its skull split in two and dying very slowly, and... a pencil misspelling the word "happen".
  • Art Evolution: Yellow Puppet and Bird Puppet had their puppets rebuilt between the first and the second video; Yellow Puppet has a more defined body and a more noticeable jaw (in comparison to the first video where he was a Muppet-style handrod puppet) and Bird Puppet received longer articulated legs for the sequel.
  • Art Shift: Just before the Creativity Explosion in DHMIS 1, the characters and set briefly turn into poorly-rendered, crudely-built CGI.
    • And then during the actual sequence, Yellow Thing and the Bird Puppet switch from being puppets to people wearing costumes like the Red Thing (with a few noticeable physical differences, like Yellow Thing's wild blue mane and Bird Puppet's longer beak).
    • The second DHMIS features even more shifts, mostly with claymation/stop-motion animation, such as the "Victorian Time" scene, the rotting apple, and Yellow Thing's reflection.
  • Autotune: Used to create the Bird Puppet's speaking voice.
  • Beat: In "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared", this happens right after Notebook smears paint all over Yellow Thing's painting of a clown.
    • Also used after Red Thing calls Sketchbook's form of self-expression "boring".
  • Blatant Lies: "It's out of my hands, I'm only a clock."
    • "Oh don't worry, I'm sure you'll be fine".
  • Bloodless Carnage: You'll wish this was played straight.
  • Body Horror: So, so much.
    • Eye Scream: As the puppets rot in DHMIS 2, the Bird Puppet's eye can be seen to have detached from its socket.
    • Fingore: The Bird Puppet's fingers get a nice close-up as they rot away to expose muscles, veins, and eventually bones.
    • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: the wall in "Bad Things" has a nail hammered through its head.
    • Scenery Gorn: A mouse-hole starts leaking meat during the Creativity Explosion.
    • Tear Off Your Face: In the Kickstarter video, the page from the Notebook with her face on it is briefly shown on the ground. Given that she's a notebook, it could very well be the equivalent of this trope for her.
    • The Tooth Hurts: The giant mouth in "Bad Things" has its two front teeth ripped out from biting on what is presumably hard candy, leaving behind blood.
    • Your Head Asplode: The rat in "Bad Things".
    • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Think about it, if they were already clean, then what was staining the water brown?
  • Brainwashed: The puppets in DHMIS have really glittery brainwashing helmets on.
    • Except the Yellow Guy, who just has a bedazzled pan on his.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: During the Victorian sequence. "With cobbles and plague and speaking in rhymes!"
  • Butt Monkey: The yellow puppet gets all of his suggestions slammed or ruined, including his clown picture and his favorite color.
    • And then in the sequel, Tonybeeps loudly at him until his ears bleed - something that does not happen to his friends because they cover their ears.
  • Call Back: Yellow puppet's clown painting (Still ruined by black paint) appears in the sequel to the original video.
  • The Cameo: The notebook from the first video makes a brief appearance in the second, behind Red Puppet's radio.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Tony is extremely pushy with the other puppets, forcing them into uncomfortable situations, insulting and shouting at them whenever they divert from his song, and seeming to delight in just making them miserable. It gets worse by the end, when he seems to smile evilly as the other puppets begin to quickly rot away while still alive.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2" has everyone musing about time. As with every other video, it isn't long before things go horribly wrong.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The DHMIS world is almost entirely made out of soft felt and cloth and is modeled after typical children's edutainment shows like Sesame Street, but once the songs start it goes right downhill, from being mildly uncomfortable to full-blown horrifying.
  • Darker and Edgier: The second Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared video DHMIS II: TIME is even darker than the first DHMIS video even though it wasn't as scary as the first video. The whole main point of the video is that you would eventually run out of time, and you should make the most out of your limited existence. This is shown when the Tony (the Clock) uses time to graphically age and rot the puppets alive just to show them that eventually, they will die.
    • Lighter and Softer: On the other hand, there are way more jokes and weird things, and the graphic horror at the end isn't as pronounced as it was in the first.
    • Got even Darker with the Kickstarter Video and it's 3 accompanying videos, all named "HELP ##".
  • Dirty Old Man: Yellow puppet's dad is extremely creepy and sketchy, saying nothing and only staring at the viewer with dead eyes. He's later shown viewing what appears to be a heavily-pixellated porn site.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    "And now let's all agree to never be creative again."
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Merely insinuating that time is nothing more than a concept gets met with Tony screaming at the puppets till their ears bleed. To say nothing of what happens to them later.
  • Dull Surprise: Red Thing sounds utterly bored by everything.
  • Ear Ache: Yellow suffers this in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2.
  • E = MC Hammer: Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2 contains, among other things on a blackboard, 卐 = MC.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Creativity Explosion is so utterly horrifying that even Notepad is visibly shaken.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In both "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared" installments:
    • The Notepad encourages the characters to get creative, but often just makes them see things her way, or what she determines to be creative.
    • Tony talks quite on length about time, but will often impolitely interrupt the characters trains of thought when they diverge from his pre-established set of circumstances, albeit attempting to be subtle about it, though he eventually just skips the subtlety when the characters just start questioning whether or not time is just a matter of human perception.
  • Foreshadowing: The apple shown rotting before our very eyes, who is fully aware what's happening to him the entire time.
  • Furry Denial: Green Bird suggesting that time might just be a construct of human perception.
  • Gender Bender: Yellow Thing turns feminine when the Creativity Explosion happens in the first video.
  • Gonk: Yellow Thing's father. Played for creepiness.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The first video's background music dissolves into discordant screeching during the "get creative" scene. In the sequel, Tony's shrill, high-pitched screeching makes all the puppets cower and cover their ears.
  • Hostage Video: The Kickstarter video is done like this.
  • Irony: From the creators: "Animation can at times be a dull and tedious way to work but it also offers you complete creative control, which is something we like to have."
  • Jerkass:
    • Red Thing dismisses all of Notepad's ideas as boring or uncreative.
    • Tony cuts off the trio's navel-gazing about time by beeping loudly and aggressively at them until Yellow Thing's ears bleed.
    • But who could forget our friendly neighborhood guide Notebook? From the first film alone, she ruined Yellow Thing's painting of a clown by smearing black ink on it just because she thought Yellow Thing wasn't following what she thought being creative was, and also notified him about green not being a creative color when he wanted to use it.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Tony in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2, compared to the Notebook from the first, is more hands-on with the creepy stuff. He angrily and loudly beeps at the puppets when they try to question the concept of time, and notes how everybody inevitably runs out of time as the puppets are rotting.
  • Large Ham: Tony the clock.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After the CREATIVITY EXPLOSION from the things, all the guests are sitting around, confused as to what the hell just happened. Notebook says they should all agree to never be creative again.
  • Ludd Was Right: A theme in DHMIS 2 is that all the puppets become complacent and indifferent to life, instead getting distracted by, and wasting their time on, the computer, or complaining about missing their programme.
    Yellow Thing: "An old man died."
    Tony: "But LOOK! A computer!"
  • Missing Episode: "Help #3", in which the Monster is putting bloody pieces of the Characters into a manila bag to help the Kickstarter funding, has been removed from the DHMIS Channel on Youtube.
    • The Kickstarter video has also been removed from Youtube, although still viewable on the Kickstarter itself.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    Notepad: I use my hair to express myself!
    Red Thing: That sounds really boring.
    Notepad: ...I use my hair to express myself.
Notepad: Now when you stare at the clouds in the sky,don't you find it exciting?
Puppets: No.
Notepad: Come on, take another look.
Yellow Puppet: Oh, right!
Puppets: I can see a hat, I can see a cat, I can see a man with a baseball bat, I can see a dog, I can see a frog, I can see a ladder leaning on a log.
  • Mind Screw: Hoo boy.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted -- in the Kickstarter video, it is made explicitly clear that the puppets will be killed off if enough money isn't raised.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Notepad and Tony.
  • Only Sane Man: Notebook is the only one who isn't going insane during the "creative episode."
    • Not unless it really was insane, but was eerily calm during the last parts of the video.
    • In an alternative reading, you could say that the Red Puppet was the only sane one because he alone didn't listen to what the Notepad thought being creative was. This is shown later in the video, when it's shown that the Yellow Puppet and the Bird Puppet changed because of the television's influence, whereas the Red Puppet seemed to have remained the same. Though he could also be an example of a Not so Above It All.
      • Additionally, he's much more questioning of the weirdness than the others.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: In the final shot of "Time", the entire sequence is revealed to be the TV show that Red Puppet was waiting to watch... although you can still see the Bird Puppet's rotting eyeball in the corner of the room.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Padlock" for Notepad/Tony the Talking Clock, which has gained popularity on sites like Tumblr.
  • Putting on the Reich: The monster in the Kickstarter video.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: During the Victorian scene in Time there is a shop called "Rat meat & Sons"
  • Room Full of Crazy: The CREATIVITY EXPLOSION drives the puppets to smear things like ripped-out hearts in glitter, take out raw meat from their pie, or stamp out DEATH in smeared ink.
  • Sadist Show
  • Satire: The "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared" entries criticize media's conditioning of children, with the second one dipping into jabs at commercialization.
  • Show Within a Show: At the end of "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2", the camera slowly zooms out back to the three puppets in the living room, implying that everything that just happened was the show they were planning to watch. Maybe.
    • It's worth noting that the Bird Puppet's rotten, fallen-out eyeball is still on the ground when everything goes back to normal. The portrait of the puppets representing "the past" in the first scene has changed to Tony's "The future", a frame with the word "nothing" written on the background.
  • Spoof Aesop: "Now let's all agree to never be creative again".
  • Take That, Audience!: The puppets are shown ignoring a lesson in favor for egging Tony to hurry up, they've got to watch their programme. They're later literally brainwashed by technology (see Ludd Was Right). The viewers themselves are watching this short on some sort of technology...
  • The Smart Guy: The Crow was the one most shown as rational and even suggested the possibility that time is just a perception before being turned down.
  • The Stinger: After the credits roll for DHMIS, a man can be heard laughing about a "terrible sound".
  • Straw Hypocrite: The Notepad's hair had green in it yet said green is not a creative color. Tony the clock as well, who goes a full 180º on the message he was supposedly trying to give.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    Bird Puppet: "Maybe time's just a construct of human perception, a illusion created by-"
    Tony: "Meh! Meh! Meh! Meh! MEH! MEH! MEH! MEH!"
  • Surprise Creepy: "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared". It starts out innocently enough, with a talking notepad encouraging Sesame Street–style puppets to get creative to a catchy song. By the end... well, let's just say that they take it a bit too far.
    "Now let's all agree to never be creative again!"
    • Subverted Kids Show
    • The sequel dips into and out of this a few times before going full-on creepy at the end with everybody starting to age rapidly and then rot alive.
  • The Big Guy: Red Thing, due to him being a human in a costume, is noticeably larger than the other puppets. However, this is no longer the case during the manic creativity montage at the end of the first film (when the Yellow Puppet and the Bird Puppet were also portrayed by humans in costumes).
  • Title Drop: When things start getting freaky in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the camera rotates and a studio crew with googly eyes can be seen along with a clapboard with the title on it.
  • Totally Radical: From the Kickstarter trailer, complete with dancing sunglasses.
    "So far, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared has had over twenty million views on Youtube. And we think that's great. Seriously cool!"
  • Tyop on the Cover: The title screen of "Bad Things That Could Happpen". At the end of the short, the giant pencil character comes in and crosses out the extra "p".
  • Verbal Tic: Tony apparently can't help but mention the word "time".
  • Wanted Poster: For some reason, Manny has one in the Victorian scene.
  • Wham Line: A subtle one in "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared", where it doesn't change the mood entirely but it is where things begin taking a turn for the worse:
    Yellow Thing: (sitting next to a clown painting) I might paint a picture of a clown!
    Notebook: Whoa there, friend; you might need to slow down! (black sludge slides down the painting as all music cuts out)
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Yellow Thing has blue hair, Red Thing has red hair, and Notepad uses hers to express herself.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In DHMIS 2, the characters constantly flub the use of "quarter to #". For example, when Tony says the time is "quarter to nine," Tony shows 9:15, as opposed to 8:45. Considering that they also at one point say that the time is "20 past day", this might be intentional.

That Long Haired Creepy GuyCreatorsTwoflower

alternative title(s): This Is It
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy