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Headscratchers: Despicable Me
  • Why didn't Vector know the shrinking ray would stop working? In the beginning of the movie, we see him shrinking his toilet and his sink and his toothbrush. Are we to assume he never noticed it coming back to size again?
  • Did they get the pyramid back?
  • Why do some of the Minions only have one eye like a cyclops, while the others have two eyes? What determines how many eyes they have? I'd think it's genetic, but assuming they're all the same species I'd think they'd at least have the same basic facial structure.
    • I have no real evidence, but I think it's gender. Didn't the mommy minion have only one eye while the daddy and baby minions had 2 (I honestly can't remember)?
      • The mommy and daddy minions were both guys (based on their names), and it also seems that maybe all the minions are guys (again, based off of the names.)
      • This troper only wonders why some of them didn't have three.
      • At one point a blueprint for minions is visible in the lab, implying that Gru created them all. It's probably just a design feature - he built them to avert Only Six Faces.
      • I believe their eye count in related to their age, the parent minions in the shopping scene had 2 eyes and the baby one had 1 eye.
      • 'Cause it's cool.
    • Come to think of it, all of the one-eyed minions look exactly the same. Why are there no fat or tall one-eyed minions?
  • Gru stole the Times Square Jumbotron. That isn't Supervillainy? Granted, it's not the Pyramid of Giza, but still...
    • It was supervillainy. (And it was hilarious.) That might have been one of his few profitable ventures that Mr. Perkins mentioned.
      • If Gru still has it, how did anyone profit?
      • You know how expensive a decent plasma tv is? Five finger discount to the max on this one.
    • He was also able to steal those landmarks from Vegas. Granted, they're not the real versions that are worth millions, but the miniatures have got to be a big deal.
  • The anti-gravity minion drank an ANTI-gravity serum, so he gets repelled by gravity, but why was he able to just hover around the moon when he should've been repelled by it?
    • He wasn't drifting that close, and the earth could be seen in the background, so he just got caught between the two gravitational fields. Also, Rule of Funny.
    • Like many Mad Scientists, Nefario seems to be of the "mix it up, see what happens, and give it a name" school, rather than developing hypotheses from coherent models. So perhaps he actually developed a hover-around-the-moon serum — it would have the same effect.
    • My guess is that it invert gravity pull. So on Earth the now gravity push is enough to send him in space. On the moon it's barely enough to make him float some meter over the ground.
  • Did the girls ever figure out Gru wasn't really a spy? I wonder if Margo caught on, but played along and didn't tell the others because he was a good dad.
  • What possessed Gru to go to the bank with nothing in hand? I mean, getting the money for the rocket isn't necessary to steal the shrink ray. Exposition I guess, but still.
    • Maybe the money would have helped with the shrink ray heist, even if it wasn't crucial.
  • For that matter, why does Gru need to get a loan from a bank? Can't he just rob a bank? In fact, when he first mentioned getting money from a bank, that's what I thought he meant.
    • Maybe it was a joke
    • Robbing banks is for ordinary, everyday, ho-hum villains. Gru is a super villain.
    • Or maybe the Bank of Evil secretly controls ALL the Banks. Everywhere.
      • I guess the banks figured that after so many robberies; if you can't beat them, join them.
      • "Bank of Evil: Formerly Lehman Brothers." Besides which, bank robbing is risky business for a (relatively) small reward; probably not enough to finance a moon shot on its own.
  • How come they treat the shrunken moon like nothing more than an exotic golf ball? It's the freakin' MOON. If anything it should be an extremely dense exotic golf ball.
    • That's actually justified. Whatever comic book science the shrink-ray runs on seems to decrease mass somehow as well. Note how the shrunken minion is able to be both flicked around, and casually held with one hand.
      • Shrink Ray, item 3. This isn't the first work in which "shrinking an object shrinks its mass as well" occurs, and probably won't be the last.
    • Dr. Nefario said "The larger the mass of an object, the quicker the effects of the shrink ray wear off!" He should have said original mass.
    • The problem is, if he somehow made the moon that much less massive, it would have to move a lot faster to conserve momentum.
  • Dance lessons are kind of expensive. The three girls have obviously been going for some time, but... would an orphanage really put out the money for that? Especially one run by Miss Hattie?
    • Well, some activities give some organizations a discount and even let some under privileged kids learn free. Miss Hattie might have let them take dance class so they could get out of her hair when they aren't selling cookies. All the activity would make them tired. Also, a regular activity would make Miss Hattie look like less of a monster to the public. Though we don't buy it.
      • Miss Hattie seems to be the type to stick them in a box of shame when she wants them out of her hair. The dance classes and inconvenient recital seems to be there only because the script calls for it.
      • Unless the dance school teaches Miss Hattie's future minions agility and coordination to prepare them for mastering fighting skills later on.
      • You, sir or madam, deserve some kind of a prize.
    • Alternatively, Miss Hattie wants more income from cookie sales, and the dance lessons allow the girls to sell to more parents.
  • Why Gru didn't punish Dr. Nefario after finding out that he called Miss Hattie to get the girls?
    • Because he thought Nefario had made a painful, but necessary decision.
      • Not to mention Nefario helps at the ends without hesitation.
      • Also Dr. Nefario did previously say "If you don't do something about it (about the girls distracting him from his job), then I will". Gru only said "I understand" meaning he agrees with Dr. Nefario's action.
    • For my part, I wondered that as well, and wondered why Gru didn't remind Dr. Nefario just who was supposed to be working for whom.
      • Because Gru is a decent man, the kind that knows his minions' names and families, even when they are just DNA slaves for menial jobs. Dr. Nefario is a resourceful scientist that spent his best(?) years working on Gru's moon stealing plot, and clearly they are friends, or at least confidents. Gru just had to set his priority straight: either you enjoy your new family and discuss the plan delay with your staff, or you follow the plan and explain the girls that they have to wait for him to finish an important business. Working dad standard issue.
  • The pyramid just stands there in Vector's back yard, yet, apparently, the authorities have failed to find it. Wha-a-a?
    • Didn't you noticed? He repainted it! Nobody would be able to find it that way!
      • No one seems to notice Gru's or Vector's obviously out-of-place lairs in pleasant suburban neighbourhoods; seems like a reasonable case of the Weirdness Censor gone amok.
      • Also, at the end the reporter saying authority are "baffled" when the moon was returned, and wonder who the hero is. Apparently no-one saw or bothered to report a friggin' rocket coming out of the ground minutes before the moon disappeared.
  • Vector has no air tanks in his suit, and however rich his father is, there is no way he could launch a rescue mission immediately (that is if he would intent to rescue the loser at all). Are we to assume that right after his dancing number Vector died a slow, agonising death of suffocation?
    • The anti-gravity minion seemed alright, although maybe these minions can breathe in space?
    • Suffocation isn't that agonizing.
      • Can't say I speak from experience, but supposedly air-hunger is extremely unpleasant. Though on the moon it would probably be over pretty quick.
      • Assuming this is referring to carbon dioxide poisoning causing you to pass out before suffocation becomes a concern if there is a sufficient initial source. Though, it is possible Vector did have air tanks since he intended to hijack the rocket.
  • Why weren't the dozen boogie robots at the end dance scene?
    • Holy crap this so hard. I came here to post that.
      • Ooh, I know. Nefario took them apart to build the cookie robots. Gru had financial issues at the time, and those boogie robots weren't immediately useful.
  • After the shrink ray heist, where did Jerry and Stuart go? They kinda just disappeared up until the part with Mr. Perkins. Poor guys didn't even get to go to Super Silly Fun Land.
  • Why didn't doctor Nefario notice Gru's ship returning to its normal size (it almost impaled the minions playing with the photocopy machine), and only realized the temporary nature of the Shrink Ray's effect when Gru's minion grew big in front of his eyes ?
    • It's simple, Old Doctor is Old, hearing (as evidenced by the Fart Gun), vision, all the senses start to slip
    • Also regarding the shrink ray, the "Nefario principle" about the relation between an object's mass and the duration in which it remains shrunk is not entirely accurate. Dr. Nefario concludes that the more mass an object has, the faster it recovers its original form. Gru's ship was shrunk near the beginning, and only returns to normal towards the end. The moon returns to its original size (probably) half an hour after being shrunk. However, Gru's minion (which should stay shrunk for a VERY long time, as he is a lot smaller than the ship) grew big again a lot earlier than should be expected.
      • No one said the relation was linear.
      • Maybe Nefario knows only about some aspects of the Shrink Ray workings. Perhaps, there is more to it than just mass. Maybe components also matter.
  • Gru asks one of the minions "How's the family?". Minions can have families?
    • Well, since all of the minions are grown from the same DNA, and share a 'father' (Gru), they could be considered 'brothers' of each other. That or the minions are all assigned into arbitrary "family units" somehow.
      • They're supposed to be genetically modified corn. Not families, but cobs!
  • It's hard to say exactly what would happen if the moon were made to instantly disappear (an equivalent to the shrinking effect, because the mass went away along with the volume). Arguably, it's nonsensical to model such a situation without including a plausible cause for it. (For example, exactly what direct effect would something capable of destroying/pushing the moon have on Earth?) But here's what wouldn't happen: waves instantly collapsing. Waves are not tidesnote  and of course the loss of tides wouldn't be instantaneous. This one bothers me because of the perpetuation of that common conflation (tides are waves) and related misconception (the moon causes waves) — Even I held that last notion until writing this and researching! (I was originally just going to complain about the speed of the effect.)
    • Addendum: In any case, the tides would be less of an immediate big deal than the (however slightly delayed) change in readings for all the various scientific instruments pointed at the moon. Why no footage of a humorously bewildered NASA?
    • Furthermore, the Sun also causes tides.
    • It's Rule of Funny. That, and Viewers Are Morons. Not a lot of people realize the stuff you just typed down.
  • On this character interview thing, Gru says the Minions are recyclable. Just...what?
  • Towards the end of the movie, Gru sends his adopted daughters back to the orphanage from whence they came. Then the girls are kidnapped by Gru's arch nemesis, and Gru rescues them during the big damn climax. Then in the last few scenes of the film, they're a big happy family again without any explanation. It's nice that Gru realized what mattered to him, and all, but he'd still given up custody of the girls, and for bonus points, told the (evil) woman who ran the orphanage that she resembled a donkey. Was the explanation cut for some reason, or did the writers just forget?
    • Gru probably decided to just freeze ray the woman and take the girls back home. He may have rescued and love the girls, but that doesn't mean he's instantly turned into a saint. Guy freezes people so he doesn't have to deal with the annoyance of standing in line at the coffee shop, imagine what he'd do to someone keeping his kids from him.
      • They still deliberately set this up as a source of conflict and then glossed over it, as though it was somehow obvious that he'd get his girls back the moment he decided he wanted them. Also, the question of whether Gru's association with these girls would make him into less of a bad guy was the whole point of the film, so it's sort of weak that they omitted the scene if he did just steal the girls back, because that would have actually been relevant to the question of exactly how reformed he really was by the end of the film.
    • Avoiding Ending Fatigue
    • Gru probably threatened to have the orphanage exposed for exploiting and abusing the children under its care. And if it bothers you that he left the place running, just say that he went and told anyway after getting the girls back. But yes, the whole point was not that the place tore the kids away from him but that he was willingly giving them up. Gru had to grow into the kind of person that would fight for them. Showing him fighting the corrupt orphanage after everything he went through with Vector would be redundant. We already know he's become a dedicated father, there was no point adding any more to that.
  • The orphans selling cookies thing is quite clearly a thing that the orphanage does to raise funds and whatnot - and yet Gru's big plan hinges on the girls selling cookies AFTER THEY ARE ADOPTED. WHAT THE HELL.
    • Children sell cookies for all kinds of stuff. Mostly charities or to finance the trip of their scout troop to a gathering.
      • Still, we didn't see them signing up for another group, no groups I know of sells cookies all year long, and the oldest girl would have noticed something was fishy if they weren't signed up for another cookie-selling group but expected to sell cookies anyway. So the whole thing is kind of confusing. Like the dance lessons.
      • I was under the impression that they were delivering cookies he had already ordered from them the first time, when Gru saw them allowed in. Not selling new ones. Girl scouts don't drag around boxcars full of cookies, they have an order form, you order, they come back a week later.
      • Really? When I was in Girl Guides, we had boxes of cookies to cart around.
  • Where is all the merchandising? I want my Minion toys dammit!
    • I saw someone on WWF beat up someone with giant minion, so they are out there.
  • The girls mention that they sell the cookies in alphabetical order: they oppose selling to Vector first because his name starts with V, not A. What kind of sense does this make? How likely is it that all those houses have people living in alphabetical order? Wouldn't they have to walk all over the city several times? Wouldn't it make more sense to do a whole neighborhood at a time?
    • If you had nothing to look forward to but returning to Mrs. Hattie's House From Hell, wouldn't you come up with a plan that took as long as possible? Trying to stick to it with Gru was just habit by then.
  • Margo is obviously much older and mature than her sisters, yet she still wants a bedtime story for 2-year-olds and goodnight kisses. Is she just not as old as she seems, or is she just weird?
    • Kids in the foster care/orphanage system can be incredibly mature and savvy beyond their years. But like most human beings, they still want signs of affection, such as bedtime stories and kisses. Or maybe she accepts them because it feels like she's being loved by a parent. Besides, she doesn't seem to be THAT much older than Edith and Agnes.
      • I think that she didn't really love the story as much as the younger ones but insisted on it for their sake, surely she knew that THEY loved it.
  • Why do the Cookie Robots betray Gru and lock him in Vector's fortress? Vector is confirmed to be unaware of the entire situation, so he couldn't have reprogrammed them, and Nefario's strong loyalty to Gru makes it unlikely that he would either.
    • I thought they were on a timer, and Gru took too long.
      • That makes sense. The robots were most likely programmed to close the hole they made after the heist, so it would take longer before Vector would realize somebody had broken into his house. Unfortunately for Gru, they did this too soon.
    • I just figured they were badly programmed.
  • According to the "Nefario Principle," it takes a shorter amount of time for bigger objects to regain their normal size. But the ship was the first thing to grow back, and the much-smaller Minion was the second. Huh?
    • The principle states that objects with greater mass return to normal size faster. The ship is obviously heavier than the Minion.
    • That doesn't change the fact that the minion, which has a much, much smaller mass than the ship, returned to normal size before the moon did. If anything, the minion should still be tiny while the moon was returning to normal size.
      • That montage takes place over nearly two weeks. The minion had that much time to return to normal. The ship reverted about two days before him.
  • Why did Miss Hattie let Gru adopt the girls? I thought the whole reason she was keeping them there was so they wouldn't squeal to the authorities.
    • Judging by the fact that she let someone with a shady background adopt the girls (his resume should have been a massive red flag), Ms. Hattie probably didn't care what happened to the girls after they were adopted out. I'm guessing stuff like the ballet classes were there to give a possitive image, and it would be easy for her, as the person in charge, to use fear to keep girls from blabbing. Even after being adopted, I'm pretty sure that even Margo would have very little wish to talk about her time at the orphanage, and the issue would never come up.
      • Which would explain the earlier question, how does Gru get the girls back? Well, if Hattie didn't care the first time why would she the second?
      • I don't think he adopted them again. Vector kidnapped them after their recital, and Gru saved them. He probably just took them home right after.
      • A social worker came and visited in one of the shorts on the Blu-ray (on separate disk for DVD). That indicates that either the girls were never officially "unadopted" or Gru adopted them back.
      • Or, he just had the girls record a description of life at the orphanage. Add a few choice photos of the right locations, and voilà! Instant blackmail material.
    • It's possible that Ms. Hattie gets some kind of bonus/benefit for every child she adopts out. As for preventing the girls from saying anything... First off, children don't always know their rights. Second, most if not all of the girls at the home probably never had much in the way of a healthy family life. Things like the Box of Shame could just be seen as normal things to them. Third, the evil you know is better than the one you don't. Even if the girls did know Ms. Hattie's treatment was unacceptable, there's always the fear that they could get someone worse.
  • Who is Dr. Nefario, why is he there, and why is a picture of him in a bathing suit on Gru's phone?
    • Dr. Nefario is some nearly senile, old, mad scientist that Gru probably hired a long time ago. As for the photo, that was probably a vacation photo that Gru thought was hilarious and wanted to be reminded of repeatedly. Heck, it was probably one of the few photos he had of the demented doctor.
  • Why would someone called Victor (which is Latin for WINNER) adopt the alias Vector, which awesomeness-while it certainly is a clever name - far fewer people would get?
    • 1. Victor sounds like and is a regular name, which is comparatively boring. 2. Who is going to make the connection between a name and what it technically means? A real alias at least makes people think about why he calls himself 'Vector'.

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