Trivia: Animorphs

The books:

  • Accidentally Accurate: "In the Time of Dinosaurs" describes Spinosaurus as having shorter hindlegs than a Tyrannosaurus, before discoveries in 2014 suggested this may have been true.
    • The idea that the Animorphs would always morph an animal of the age of the acquired one was never explained, and used as a plot device so that they could look exactly like controllers who they acquired and impersonated. However, years after the books were published, the discovery of epigenetics, the way organisms' DNA changes while they are still alive, show that the DNA reflecting how old an acquired animal is was very accurate.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: The ghostwritten era began so K.A. could work on Everworld, although she seems pretty frustrated that it had to happen.
  • Author Appeal: K.A's favorite things - Star Trek, the Rolling Stones, Dr. Pepper, Mustangs, etc - are all prominently featured. Similarly, her personal views creep often into her work.
  • Author Tract: A handful of the books exist for no other reason than to promote the views of K.A. (and later, her ghostwriters). #04 The Message (whales are sentient), #09 The Secret (logging is bad), and #28 The Experiment (eating meat is very bad) are the worst offenders. A more mild offender is #16 The Warning (the internet is weird), which is redeemed by strong characterization and a truly awesome villain.
  • Big Name Fan: Neil Cicierega, who sometimes references the series in his videos.
  • Blooper: There were quite a few in early books as K.A. established a series continuity, leading to the Fan Nickname of 'KASU' (K.A. Screws Up, for the uninitiated).
  • Contest Winner Cameo: Erek King. See Promoted Fanboy.
  • Creator Couple: K. A. Applegate and her husband Michael Grant. Though it never came out until after the series ended, the pair wrote Animorphs jointly. Grant has since distinguished himself as a writer in his own right.
  • Dear Negative Reader: K. A. Applegate famously gave one to the many Animorphs fans who criticized the series' Bolivian Army Ending for being "too sad".
  • Fan Nickname: Emohawk for Tobias. Hawkward for Rachel/Tobias moments. KASU for "Katherine Applegate Screws Up/Screw-Ups", or the mistakes between books by the author and her ghostwriters.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Melinda Metz, writer of Roswell High (which was the inspiration for the TV show Roswell) and Fingerprints, was the ghostwriter for The Sickness and The Prophecy.
  • Jossed: Every now and then K.A's come to answer a few questions and joss a few theories.
  • Name's the Same: New readers of Everworld must have been surprised to see K.A. named the main hero of that series after the Sixth Ranger Traitor of this one.
  • Older Than They Think: Watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, from 1982. Do those slug brain parasites - that crawl into your ear and take over your mind - seem a little familiar?
  • Promoted Fanboy: Erek King, the fan who won a contest to have a character named after himself. The Erek King character ended up becoming one of the most important secondary characters in the series.
    • Although after what Erek did in the second to last book, you really have to feel sorry for the real Erek King.
    • Why? Erek is amazing.
    • Because his actions helped lead to Rachael's death, and his hypocritical lecture rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Why did Jake flush the pool? In the end because he wanted the Yeerks dead. Why did Erek not share what he had learned about the Howlers? Because he wanted them dead, and used the Animorphs to do it.
    • Yes, that's what makes him awesome. He's a complex character who does both good things and bad things.
  • She Also Did...: One of the ghostwriters for the series was Melinda Metz, who later went on to write Roswell High, the basis for the TV show Roswell.
  • Science Marches On: Tobias breaks the fourth wall at the end of In the Time of Dinosaurs to acknowledge that scientists dispute that several of the dinosaurs depicted in the book were alive at the end of the Cretaceous, asking the reader, who're you gonna believe, some scientists with nothing but bones, or a guy who was actually there?
    • The pack mentality of wolves mentioned in the books has since been discarded by science along with the biology and mentality of many other creatures featured since they were written.
  • Technology Marches On: #16 The Warning, the "Internet is weird" book.
  • Torch the Franchise and Run: Never confirmed, but K.A has admitted Scholastic owns the full rights to Animorphs (much to her frustration), and it'd go a long way to explaining that Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: As mentioned under Totally Radical, the original release is one for the 1990's.
  • Write Who You Know: Applegate and Grant based most of the characters on people they knew. Applegate has said that the character Loren is based on herself. Grant is described as a lot like Marco but it's unknown if this was intentional (probably more of an author projection thing seeing as Marco's got an Expy in Grant's series).
    • Applegate also said Cassie was most like her, while Marco was most like Michael Grant.

The TV series:

  • Acting for Thousands: Because only one Hork-Bajir costume existed, a single Hork-Bajir was the only representation of an entire race. Still a better deal than the Taxxons got; they were cut from the show altogether.
  • Dawson Casting: A mild example, as the age of the book characters had not yet been revealed when Ani-TV went into production.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Applegate was quite vocal in her distaste for Ani-TV, going so far as to insert a Take That to it in The Return.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Shawn Ashmore (Jake) is Iceman. And a meteor freak on Smallville (where his twin brother was Jimmy Olsen).
    • Visser Three's human form is Alexi Leonov.
    • He and Christopher Ralph (Tobias) are also both series regulars of In a Heartbeat.
    • Who knew that the Umbrella Corporation got its start as an anti-Yeerk movement?
  • No Budget: Painfully obvious in some scenes. The slug-like Yeerks were, well, slugs, the Dracon beams were merely repainted flashlights, and the Andalites were played by People in Rubber Suits.
    • It's also very obvious that there was only one Hork-Bajir costume, and the Taxxons never appear as they would clearly be impossible on the show's budget.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Meet the Stars of Animorphs, a companion book released shortly after Ani-TV started airing.
  • The Other Darrin: Tom Barnett replaces Eugene Lipinski as Visser Three in Season 2.
    • Given that this is a series where people can change into anything alive (within reason), it is more easily explained then other examples of the trope.

[[The games]]:

  • Adapted Out: All the non-Yeerk villains.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: There's only one boss in Shattered Reality - Visser Three, fighting in a kind of Golem morph. He's not very hard.
    • Cowardly Boss: He'll spend more time shielding himself from your attacks than actually attacking.
    • Platform Battle: You're more likely to die from falling off the moving platforms than you are from combat with the visser.
    • Pivotal Boss
  • Button Mashing: The combat sections of Know the Secret basically amount to this. There's a kind of Combo system to it, but it's very rudimentary.
  • Filler Villain: Mostly seen in Shattered Reality. In addition to renditions of the baddie aliens, new enemies were created, some of which make more sense than others. The crowning moment of absurdity comes when you end up fighting pterodactyls in the Gardens level.
  • Game Music: It must be said, the music in the Animorphs games is truly excellent. Shattered Reality is worth owning for the soundtrack alone.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Hoo boy, yes.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Rachel in Know the Secret was Melissa Disney (Ginger Foutley and Elora the Faun).
  • Narm: All three games give generous helpings. Shattered Reality and Know the Secret have truly narmalicious voice acting.
  • Obvious Beta: The Game Boy Color Animorphs game.
  • Polygon Ceiling: In Know the Secret. It gives the game a really dated look, which is a shame, because it's quite serviceable in other respects.
  • Save Game Limits: There is no regular save feature on the GBC game. Think about that... a game clearly modeled after Pokémon, with the same basic menu screen and gameplay mechanics has no save feature. Instead, either by pressing Select or reaching a checkpoint you be given a password that you have to write down that will return you to something approaching your current party next time you start the game. This means that unless you are either using an Emulator with savestates or trying to marathon the whole damn thing in one sitting (which is theoretically possible, thanks to unlimited continues), it's virtually impossible to beat the game in a way that feels like a continuous, complete narrative.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games