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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Monsters, Inc.
"Monsters" is a trademark of Monsters Inc
So, I remember it bugging me when I realized Monsters University is basically like calling a school "People University." But what if the name is just a reference to it being a feeder school for Monsters Inc? The monsters don't actually call themselves monsters, except as an occupational title when they scare children. As for the name of Monstropolis, it grew up around the first Monsters Inc factory and took its name from the company.

Children really are toxic
To monsters anyway. They limited the amount of exposure necessary to harm them in the film.

The Black Death is the reason they fear children are toxic.
Taken from Website/Cracked:

Monsters Inc. is set in a world inhabited entirely by monsters, who have figured out how to turn the screams of human children into a renewable, clean source of energy.

The only problem (besides the whole "traumatizing kids" thing) is that children are considered highly contagious in the monster world. When a little girl named Boo sneaks into this world, the monsters turn out to be more afraid of her than she is of them. The results are highly comical — the mere possibility of contact with humans causes the monsters asto fly into a frantic emergency disinfectant procedure. But why would they ever get the idea humans are toxic?

According to one fan theory by Reddit user Calabim, what terrifies the monsters is actually the Black Death. Here's why:

In the movie it's pretty clear that the monster world is a lot more advanced than ours: They have Jetsons-level technology, they can travel across dimensions, and they walk around naked, the mark of a perfect society. Therefore it stands to reason that the monsters have been traveling to our world and collecting our screams for a long time ... like, say, since the Middle Ages. You know, back when the bubonic plague was happily strolling around Europe killing everyone.

Now, the main way that the plague spread in Europe was through fleas. And, say, remember what the monsters' reaction was when a single human sock was found clinging to someone's fur? After removing the sock using a pair of extra-large tweezers and vaporizing it, they shave off the monster's fur, then give him a shower, and that's it. No medicine. No mass inoculations. No quarantine in a glass room. The only possible purpose of this, therefore, is to remove the monster's fur as soon as possible, an action which itself only makes complete sense if the disease they're afraid of spreads through tiny insects that cling to hair.

No fur, no fleas; no fleas, no re-emergence of plague; no re-emergence of plague, no bullet to the face for Sully when Mike snaps and mercifully spares him a painful death. Everyone's a winner.

Humans are like peanuts
In real life, most people can touch and ingest peanuts without incident, but there are quite a few people who are severely allergic to them. What if the first monsters who discovered humans had a lethal allergy to the species, and it was thereafter presumed that all monsters are vulnerable to people?

Boo's real name is Emily.
And in ten years or so, when she gets too old for dolls, she will leave the Cowgirl Jessie doll she showed Sully in a box for charity in the park, as seen in the flashbacks in Toy Story 2.
  • Genius.
  • Nope, but still same universe. Issue 3 of the Monsters Inc. comic features Sid as a villain, sneaking through active closet doors stealing toys after what happened to him, including Boo's Jessie doll.
  • Jossed. Her name is Mary Gibbs.

Boo's real name is Violet.
Specifically, Violet Parr. Her ability to get places she shouldn't be without Sully noticing is due to her invisibility powers just beginning to manifest.
  • Word of God says that her name is Mary.
    • Boo might still be Violet even if her real name is Mary. After all, a girl as angsty as Violet certainly wouldn't want a plain name like Mary; she would change it, if only by refusing to answer to it.
    • She may have changed it at some point prior to the movie. If I remember correctly, it was implied that the Parr family has had to relocate quite a bit due to their cover being blown (usually by Bob Parr). At some point when Violet was young, they may have been referred to as the Gibbs, and Violet's given name was Mary. However, after having to uproot the family (again) and take another alias, Mary decided to become Violet.
    • Violet's invisibility doesn't affect her regular clothes, though; Her Suit Is Also Super.
    • I had always assumed that she got her sneakiness from Randall. It is explicitly stated that Randall is Boo's monster, and maybe his powers rubbed off on him.
    • I think it's less "powers rubbing off" and more "watching him and learning his tactics".

Boo's real name is Chell.
Her constant vanishing act throughout the film shows that she's clearly thinking with portals. Plus, she and Chell look similar.

Changing the power source to laughs will result in our world being drained of laughs and drowned in laughter.
Everyone will become a cold, atheist soulless executive emo. Previously, humans could be happy because the monsters were purging our world of scariness.
  • Who says that they'd be atheists? Maybe they'll be a people so consumed by their religion that they are afraid to laugh or have any sort of fun again out of fear that their God will smite them... and hey, now that they're all terrified again, the monsters would be free to start using screams for power again! And so the cycle continues.
  • HA! Laughter and fear are obviously unending, renewable sources. Some things never stop being funny. And what about Nightmare Fuel? People are still scarred from that.
    • Even if some things never stop being funny, people may stop expressing their enjoyment aloud. It's like, just because some things are always erotic, doesn't mean people will start doing it in the road if some ad company puts it on a billboard.
  • They only go after kids, not adults, so comedians will have a harder time when the kids grow up. Not the monsters' problem. Or alternatively, the kids might learn to laugh; the only problem might be older kids exposing their siblings or friends to jokes, but some monsters just look funny and older kids can't emulate that.
  • Because of the huge spikes in energy demand from developing countries, people will be forced to work in sweatshops where they just watch funny YouTube videos all day. Laughing at home is strictly prohibited because it is wasteful.
  • So, that's the origin of the Anti-Spirals?
  • Conquering people to make them work in sweatshops: hard. Laughing gas and a cup of water: easy. Like the scream extractor but with laughs.
  • Alternatively, it could have the opposite effect of making people happier and generally less stressed. Think about it, someone doesn't stop laughing nearly as soon as they stop being afraid. Thus they could actually keep the process up a lot further. So elementary and possibly high school students might be far less stressed.
  • I don't know what atheism has to do with anything and I find it kind of offensive that you imply that it is a bad thing.

At the end there's both a laugh and scare floor
Comparing the main tower you see in the middle of the complex in the full shot of the factory with the overall shape of the scare/laugh floor, it looks like there's two different scare floors in the beginning. Also, some monsters are more thoroughly trained as scarers and it'd be easier to have half of your floor with already trained professionals while getting used to the new system of using laughs.

The entire film is a biting political satire about the California energy crisis of 2000/01, the underhanded tactics of Enron, and the need to replace nuclear fission with fusion.
  • Alternatively, it's a reference to the War of Currents between DC and AC electrical power.

The doors are alive.
The doors require every large piece to function properly, but at the end, Boo's door still clearly displays the cracks from being shredded. When Mike adds the final piece, he closes a relatively large, irregularly shaped gap. (All of this only occurred to me because I was reading Slaughterhouse V.) As per the cryptic parenthetical, the door can function with cracks (live with slit-shaped wounds) visible, but can't handle missing pieces (in the reference, triangular wounds, but more generally chunks of flesh ripped out—charming, eh?)

Boo is a Slayer.
...who just got activated really, really early. Explains the whole 'beating the holy hell out of the villain thing'.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters takes place in the same verse'.
Why does Aaaah! Real Monsters take place in our world when the monsters in the film live in a different universe you ask! The School is located in our world so the students can get some first hand experience. While the monsters train at the Academy as students, they later find jobs at Monsters Incorporated.
  • But there are several key differences between the franchises that makes this theory unlikey. Real Monsters characters eat grabage, sugar makes them sick. Randall Boggs bakes cupcakes to impress friends. Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm are all slightly older than a 100 years old yet are treated as monster adolescents. Mike Wazowski went to college at age 18. Real Monsters characters know humans aren't toxic, and they don't scare them in order to collect scream energy either. They scare because in that universe if humans lose their fear of monsters, then monsters will disappear. Permanently. If they were part of a shared universe it would lead to Fridge Horror. Ickis and friends were attending school in the 1990's, they won't graduate for decades. Monsters Inc. switches to laugh energy in 2001 (based on a wall calender.) They start making children laugh instead of scream, children will start becoming less fearful of monsters in general. That attitude puts the Gromble's students lives at risk. Ickis was barely able to save everyone last time, he might not succeed at rallying the monsters again.

Boo is Haruhi Suzumiya at a younger age
She used her reality bending powers to make monsters become real and happened to end up with Mike and Sully.
  • And change her hair color, ethnicity, home country, and native tongue.

Boo is Russel's mother from Up at a younger age
And nothing more.
  • Russell's mother is Asian. Boo is Caucasian.
    • I don't believe Boo's race was ever stated.
    • I saw Boo as Asian or mixed. I thought she looked racially ambiguous.

The monsters speak a different language than humans do.
Boo walks, runs, is toilet-trained, and draws remarkably realistic pictures for a young child. I'd put her age somewhere between 3 and 4. Despite this, most of her dialog comes out as gibberish. My theory is that the movie translates the monster language for convenience. This would explain why all we can understand from Boo is "Kitty!" (which must be the same in both languages, for whatever reason) and "Mike Wazowski" (which she learned from Sully). It is also a possible explanation for why the kid at the very end doesn't laugh at Mike's act until he swallows the microphone.

Boo in the sequel
The sequel will be set 10 years after the first film and Boo is a moody Goth teen in vast contrast to how she was as a toddler.
  • I thought that if Boo was going to be in the sequel she'd be a Perky Goth sort of like Lydia from Beetlejuice.
  • I thought she might grow up to be a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Jossed.
    • Not necessarily if for whatever reason they decide to make a typical sequel sometime in the future (which apparently they will).

The use of laughter for energy will destroy the monster world.
Imagine you have a large group of kids being scared by monsters. A decent percent of them will complain to their parents about this. Now imagine the same kids telling their parents those same monsters are trying to make them laugh. That would have dangerous consequences for the monsters, wouldn't it?
  • I'm not sure what you're getting at—plenty of children have benign imaginary friends. Many parents would probably assume that the kid has gotten over their fear of whatever caused them to imagine the monster in the first place, and traded the "scary, threatening monster" fantasy for a "friendly, funny monster" fantasy. Not to mention that most of them won't have the same monster in both roles, as it's implied that most of the scarers aren't really suited for laugh collection.
    • True dat, though I didn't see the implications for that last part, I saw George entering a door with a watermelon and a hammer. So what gives you that idea? (not the OP)
      • It is implied throughout the course of the movie that George wasn't exactly a competent scarer. On top of that, he has quite a few amusing accidents throughout the movie. It makes sense that there would be at least a few scarers that would be able to make the change.

The snow cones weren't lemon-flavoured
The Abominable Snowman leaves, supposedly to give Mike and Sully privacy. You can clearly see he gets scared easily, so pants-peeing isn't implausible (this takes care of the source). As Sully sleds his way to the town, he comes across the Snowman who now has a new batch of snow cones. If they were lemon-flavoured, then where did he get lemons from? Lemons don't grow in regions as frigid as the Himalayas! He couldn't have gotten them from the town either, as it was a "Three day hike away". Also, this might not have been improper of him, as Monster society probably had such flavours (remember,they have deodorant scents like "Wet dog"). On a side note, the Snowman was probably banished from the world of monsters because of his tendency to get terrified, which was un-monsterlike behaviour.
  • It's possible he could have gone down to the village and gotten lemon snow-cone syrup.
  • Don't Explain the Joke.
  • Actually, when the Snowman was coming back up to the cave, the sno-cones were just plain snow.

Boo can teleport
There is no other explanation for how she can disappear without a sound and then be right behind or in front of you.
  • You and the other people whose theories solely explain Boo's teleporting act have clearly never had or watched small children. Boo's ability to suddenly be where she shouldn't is only very slightly exaggerated for a child her age. Unless, of course, you are implying that all young children can teleport, which is quite plausible.

Boo is a god of the monsters world
Think about it. When she cries, she almost caused a power outage, but when she laughs, the electrical power increases.
  • So... all children are gods in the monsters world?

At one point, Monsters Inc. had a run-in with Aperture Science.
It explains how the doors are able to act as passageways to rooms in the human world - the doors were created using the portal gun technology.
  • Is it just me or does Atlas from Portal 2 look like a robot version of Mike?

The monsters will eventually lose technology due to lack of laugh or scream power
Following the idea that all Pixar films take place in a shared universe, in hundreds of years, the monsters will lose the ability to make technology since all of the humans have left Earth on the various Buy 'N Large cruisers. This probably means that the monsters will either die out or revert to primal instinct in order to survive.
  • ... Or they could just find a different energy source. But I suppose your idea is more interesting.
  • Or they could just use the doors on the Axiom! They're already dimensional doors, and they don't have to "line up" with each other (the monster-world sides move around all the time). If there's a general distance limit, then they may need to build their own spaceships and leave along with the humans.

The prequel will explain why and how the Abominable Snowman was exiled.
John Ratzenberger has been confirmed to appear in the sequel.
  • Of course he has. He's in every Pixar film. Doesn't necessarily mean he'll reprise his role as the AbomSnow.
    • It implied but did not outright state that his reason for exile would be tampering with company mail.
    • Wouldn't it have been hilarious if tampering with mail WASN'T the reason the Yeti got banished?

The humans are going to find the monster world, one way or another.
The door-vault sequence, with the number of doors it opened and the number of people who probably saw monsters go through, probably revealed at least one door to the human world. And the very act of going through a door and making the kids laugh, which usually takes longer, is fraught with peril–-the monsters have to stay outside their world longer, which means that there's a greater danger of being caught on CCTV/satellite imaging/news video. Discovering a portal to another world through which Starfish Aliens come would be a huge event for humanity. Doors would probably be guarded and filmed, waiting for one to open so that scout/assault/research teams can enter. What the humans will do is uncertain, but it's likely that something monumental will happen.

Randall is also Andy's monster.
When Fungus pulls down a variety of backgrounds for Randall to "warm up" with, one of them is Andy's wallpaper from the first Toy Story.
  • This troper thinks there should have been a scene during the running-through-doors sequence where Mike and Sully open a door that leads to Andy's bedroom, leading to a "this is weird" moment between the toys and the monsters.

The Backson from the 2011 Winnie-the-Pooh movie is a Monsters Inc. Scarer that got stuck in the human world.
Was I the only one who thought he looked like a character from Monsters Inc.? Maybe he was a top scarer before, who through an accident got locked outside of a closet in England, and decided to roam the 100 Acre Woods to find a way home.
  • Maybe he was banished.

Mike and Sully weren't the first to discover the power of laughter.
Back when power was invented monsters realized that laughter was more powerful, but either a Corrupt Corporate Executive already designed a scare system and hushed the competition, or it seemed cool in theory but too powerful/unstable and didn't implement well with the current technology.

The prequel will feature Boo in the opening
Where, after a conversation between Mike, Sully and a 16-year-old Boo, the conversation will turn to "How did you two meet?" and the story will actually start.

The prequel will feature a Framing Device involving Mikey and Sully revisiting their College.
They would be back on Campus to deliver a speech on their success with Laugh-harvesting Monsters Inc. And the main story would start when either Mike or Sully see something that brings them back to their college days.
  • Welp, didn't see that in MU, so Jossed.

Time passes much faster in the monsters' world.
  • This makes sense. At least one full day appears to pass in the monster's world, yet there's no sign at all that Boo's parents are upset, or indeed that any time at all has passed in her room. If she had been missing for a day, then her parents surely would have barged into her room the minute they heard a noise.

Celia is simply The Beard for Mike.
It certainly feels like it, no self-respecting monster would be so Sickeningly Sweet with each other. (maybe) Perhaps she likes him for real and was hoping he'd eventually like her too, and why she becomes so upset at the sushi bar.
  • So then it's really Mike who doesn't like sushi?

Jeff Bridges will have a cameo role in the prequel.
And there will be a scene with his character at a bowling alley with Sully and Randall.

Monsters Inc.'s emotion-based energy system is a modification of what is being used by Incubators.
This being a more optimistic universe, they can't use more complex yet more powerful emotions like the boundary between hope and despair, but rather simpler emotions like laughter and fear.
  • So does this mean Madoka recreated the universe multiple times? Oh, and what if Boo is a 2-year-old Homura? (Probably not, I just had to say it.)

Monsters speak at a decibel only children can hear.
It would explain why no parent ever seems to have seen a monster (since, if they had, they would no doubt try and defend their child from it in the future, or move immediately, etc), and it would also explain why Boo's parents, who have probably been worried sick about her, don't burst into the room at the sound of Sully tucking her in.
  • Do you mean "pitch"? Monsters clears vary in volume, since a monster going " aaaaaa" is nowhere near as scary as "AAAAAAAAA!", and some monsters seem to rely on their screams and roars to be scary (since scare failures happen, and there are scream-based classes/tests/competitions in the prequel, kids are clearly not just scared by the monsters' sudden appearance and visual weirdness). If you mean pitch, probably not. A high-pitched whine would give most people who could hear it (and some who couldn't) a headache, not the sensation of being in front of something giving off a bellowing and/or guttural roar.

Some of the monsters were once human, but not all
Which would explain why some of them have human names (James P. Sullivan, Michael Wazowski) and why some (Bile, Phlegm) have monster-names.
  • Some of that mentality of humans being toxic to monsters is because it's the inverse - Monsters are toxic to humans. Staying within the monster realm for too long as a human will cause one to start mutating into a monster.
  • There's a little story found on Disc 2 of the MI DVD that explains that the monsters (first called "mons") were just ugly, hairy, smelly versions of the "mans". They swam to a strange island, ate weird foods, and became the way they are.

Monsters Inc is what would happen if Parallax won.
In case those were wondering, Parallax is an emotional entity which feeds off and personifies fear. In Zero Hour, it possessed Hal Jordan and made him the Big Bad. Monsters Inc is a world which uses fear as a power source. In an alternate continuity, Parallax managed to recreate the universe to feed him with fear forever-however Hal Jordan's influence prevented Parallax from making Monster's Inc a true world of fear, resulting in a more family-friendly "scare for care" universe.

Theories for what might go into another sequel
This because I read somewhere on Tumblr that they're gonna make one (but I don't know how valid it is). Soooooo any ideas of what would go into such can be put here.
  • Theories (EDIT: Please sign your theories, for those of you who want to be acknowledged in case of confirmation.)
    • Someone abusing the emotions=energy system by creating a superweapon or the like powered by humans' sadness.~Ms Ami Classified (OP)
    • A monster getting stuck in the human world, preferably because whoever's behind the above wants to silence the witnesses.~Ami (OP)
    • Older Boo trying to prove that monsters exist.~Ami
    • (insert plot device explaining why Pixar has just amplified Randall's Draco in Leather Pants status here)~Ami
    • Things go well with adorable little Boo until her single mother catches Sully and understandably has a Mama Bear sized freak out. Then well done contrived coincidences and plot devices lead to mutual understanding, unstated attraction and a weird but adorable family unit.
    • As Boo grows up, Sully introduces her back into the Monster world, and in her teenage years she sneaks in to try and become part of the Monsters Inc. comedian team. She gets increasingly frustrated with Sully ("Stop calling me BOO!!") and attempts to go home, only Randall, back from the swamp, destroys her door and strands her in the Monster world. ~KBABZ
  • Commentary on any of the above
    • I'm not sure about movie, but I can see the villain makes a weapon idea being great for a video game.
      • Well I don't think they'd just release a random MI game without a sequel to go with it. If they made it a video game, I'd probably be concerned with The Problem with Licensed Games over anything else...
      • You have me on The Problem with Licensed Games, but as for sequels and video games, I'd like to direct your attention to The Nightmare Before Christmas video game, which acts as the movie's sequel.
      • Yeah but Pixar has not been known to do that, so it seems unlikely in my head. Speaking of which, the way all my guesses as of this writing meld together a video game of such a plot would probably be half cutscenes.

There is a "Cone of Silence" when the doors are activated
We keep on wondering why the parents aren’t catching on to things. Well, in MU, Hardscrabble specifically says that crying would get a monster caught as opposed to screaming. Why make that distinction when both would be equally audible? Well what if part of Door Tech acts like a green screen for sounds, and filters out the sounds related to the job, but all other sounds, like crying which has no place in monster power needs, get through just fine.
  • Care to explain how it works? 'Cause I can't picture it.
    • Well this is just a WMG, but from what little thought I have put into it... You know some technicians can isolate sounds on an audio file? Imagine that in real time.
  • Possibly Jossed in the first film, as a banished Sulley can hear kids from the winter village screaming all the way from the mountaintop.
    • (OP) Oohhhh yeah...I forgot about that

The scream shortage and the ability to switch to laughter are both caused by things like Seasame Street.
Basically the monster universe both makes an internal sense and is half made up of the belief of humans. Since humans thought of monsters of as scary the whole monster universe was essentially made of and powered by fear. As children get stories saying monsters are friendly scream becomes a weaker power source since the universe is now made more of laughter and kids become harder to scare as they think monsters are friendly. New monsters are also more likely to look like Muppets than the older generation further sabotaging scream power.

It WAS "Bring an Obscure Relative to Work" day at M.I.
Waternoose missed the memo, but that doesn't mean some of the other monsters didn't. The monster kids Boo met are related to somebody somehow...
  • Lots of big companies have in-house daycare for the employees who have children that are too young to go to school.

The auditions of the terrible new Scare recruits were caused by the power shortage
They were desperate for new Scarers to make some more power, hence why they were wasting their time giving pointers/guidance to the clumsy untalented monsters.

The main religion in the monster world is Pastafarianism

The two movies, when put together, become an allegory for the rise of 3D CGI theatrical animation.
When Mike and Sully were young, scaring was a highly sought-after career, so much so that highly selective programs at prestigious universities popped up, and looking at the lack of Oozma Kappa or even Roar Omega Roar at Monsters, Inc., it's likely that getting a job in the business is still tough with a degree. After some time, the entire industry finds it increasingly difficult to support itself (that is, paralleling the diminishing box office returns for animated films through the 1990s) until it does a complete overhaul, having more or less accidentally found a new and highly effective sustainability source from the same demographic as before—small children. Unfortunately, this means that most of the workers caught in this shift, who had trained their entire lives and went through hell to get to where they were, were suddenly rendered obsolete and without any useful talents, save for the few who could quickly adapt to the new environment and the demands it requires, like Mike.

The Monsters, Inc. world is an alternate version of Gensokyo
Both worlds are separate from the human world, yet depend on it for their continued survival. Both are having issues dealing with the fact that humans are starting not to fear them anymore, and many of the "monsters" are actually quite friendly. This also explains how the door system came into being: Yukari did it. Additionally, this explains how the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster could still be around despite stories of them having existed for longer than the human lifespan.
MegamindWMG/Western Animation (Film)Monsters vs. Aliens

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