Web Animation / Inanimate Insanity

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Inanimate Insanity, is an animated series on YouTube created by AnimationEpic (Adam Katz). Its premise is inspired by Battle for Dream Islandnote  - a cast of Animate Inanimate Objects compete in a series of challenges in order to win the grand prize of 1 million dollars, all overseen by a living MePhone4.

The first season (which ran from early 2011 to late 2012) is complete, and ultimately featured 16 contestants. The second season is currently ongoing - 11 of the old cast return alongside 8 new characters. It also features a slow shift in tone towards drama.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Salt to OJ.
    • Season 2 (in a less romantic fashion) has Toilet to MePhone4.
  • Adorkable: 99% of the cast can be considered this, but the most obvious offenders seem to be Paper from Season 1, and Fan and Test Tube from Season 2.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Paintbrush. Occasional questions about the subject lead to a number of lampshades being hung about it.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The entire cast!
  • Art Evolution: The animation, character designs and backgrounds have all steadily improved in quality through the series. Which leads to...
  • Art Shift: In episode 12 of season 1, MePhone4 temporarily switches the art style back to that of episode 1. It doesn't go down well with the contestants.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Mentioning Idiotic Island around Paper (once he's forced onto it) causing him to flip out.
    • Do NOT call Baseball fat.
    • Cheesy does NOT like it when you say his jokes aren't funny.
    • Slacking of in front of Paintbrush for long periods of time is enough to make them snap.
    • Insulting Microphone enough doesn't end well.
  • Big Bad: The second season builds up Taco to be this, as they manipulate the other contestants for their own gain.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In episode 6 of season 2, Bow possesses Paintbrush's hair and causes them to fly. Lightbulb assumes they bribed the animator.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: The prize money of the 1st season was suggested by MePhone4 to be in the briefcase. However, after Taco tried stealing it and after the briefcase fell off Crappy Cliff into the water, MePhone4 told everyone that it was actually in the bank.
  • Butt Monkey: Balloon, unsurprisingly, has a tendency to get popped.
  • Call Back:
    • The Santa storyline in the Christmas challenge gets men
    • Knife twice interrupts another character with "Yeah, yeah, enough of the six hour speeches!" - once near the beginning of the series, and once during the first season's finale.
    • The first season finale's credits feature many, many of these - Baseball's book, Marshmallow's ability to defy gravity, Salt and Pepper's "bad luck" complete with a lightning strike, etc.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: No two characters are alike.
  • Censored Title: The original teaser for the series was renamed from "The Crappy Trailer" to "The Stupid Trailer".
  • Chekhov's Gun: OJ's cork in "Journey Through Memory Lane Part I".
  • Cliffhanger: "Journey Through Memory Lane Part I" ends with the elimination area about to crash onto OJ and Taco.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lightbulb.
    Lightbulb: Alrighty sports fans, we're gonna have to dribble around those bases to get the touchdowns we need to checkmate the other team!
  • Companion Cube: Box is simply an inanimate cardboard box, but the others threat it like it had a personality.
  • Crossdressing Voices:
    • Bow, Apple, Lightbulb, Suitcase, and Test Tube have voice actors with different genders than the actual character.
    • Taco, Salt, Pepper, and Marshmallow can be considered this depending on which voice actor is utilized.
    • Paintbrush may be this, depending on their gender.
  • Curse Cut Short: At the end of the opening scene of "One-Shot Wonder", it is assumed the Nickel is about to call Knife some sort of swear.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nickel is high on the snark, but low on the deadpan, while Paintbrush is high on the deadpan, but low on the snark. Knife if somewhere in between.
  • Death Is Cheap: Contestants are able to come back to life inexplicably if they're killed, which has been lampshaded. The resurrection process was finally revealed at the beginning of season 2.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: MePhone4 flips between this and benevolence depending on the episode.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Trophy.
  • Disney Death: MePhone4 lives thanks to MePhone4S.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Knife comments on Baseball's "fatness", Baseball responds by going insane and punting him with all his strength into the frozen water.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Lightbulb may like oatmeal raisin cookies, but the other Bright Lights don't like oatmeal raisin cookies, as seen on "Marsh on Mars".
    Paintbrush: Raisins? Ugh! Gross.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Nickel dropped chocolate on Baseball's head when in a tree.
  • Don't Try This at Home: The intro to the first episode features this disclaimer.
  • Double Entendre: "Just give all the balls to me."
  • Double Knockout: The moment in II II episode 1 when Marshmallow and Fan are hit and when characters are hit in pairs by Microphone's dodgeballs.
  • Dramedy: Develops into this in the second season.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Yin and Yang lose their freedom due to their inability to live alone.
  • Easily Forgiven: Apple and Marshmallow, Salt and Pepper, Paper and OJ.
  • Easily Overheard Conversation: Trophy eavesdropping on Knife talking to his Dora Doll aloud.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: It is assumed that everyone just met as the show first started, other than Salt and Pepper.
  • Evil Counterpart: Mephone4S to MePhone4, Evil Paper to Paper and Evil Bow to Bow.
  • Evil All Along: Taco.
  • Evil Laugh: Mephone4S and Yang.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Knife vs. Trophy.
  • Foreshadowing: Taco made an entire scientific equation in Crappy Anniversary, hinting her true nature as The Mole.
  • Funny Background Event: Frequently. In various scenes, a character that is onscreen that isn't currently speaking will briefly have a very crazy face.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: With regards to the series' self-imposed (relative) family-friendliness - in the first episode of the second season, a voice responds to Lightbulb's question to Box. This voice, when reversed and listened closely to, says, "You reversed this clip, didn't you @#$%&!?"
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Marshmallow can alter gravity, but she doesn't always use it correctly.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Salt and Pepper.
  • It Tastes Like Feet:
    • In the season 1 finale, when OJ finally gets to taste one of MePhone4's cookies for winning.
    • Soap's month-old pizza is used to this effect during an elimination.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Fan, though it disappears in the second season.
  • Jerk Jock: Knife and Trophy, though Knife insists he's the jerk while Trophy is the jock.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Knife has his moments.
  • Kick the Dog: Knife does this a few times.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the finale, MePhone5 and Bow are all killed off permanently when they fall into the spring water at the bottom of the Crappy Cliff. MePhone4S also sacrifices himself to bring back MePhone4.
    • In season 2, Dough.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Balloon only speaks in archive audio for the latter half of the first season. He continues to in the beginning of the first Season 2 episode, but as soon as he joins, he starts saying new lines:
    "Now that I've joined the season, I figured I might as well start saying actual stuff again!"
  • Larynx Dissonance: A few female characters are voiced by males who don't make too much of an effort to sound female.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The four Inanimate Battle videos, featuring live-action versions of the contestants competing in a battle, with the third featuring them competing in competitions. Hilarity Ensues in all.
  • Love Triangle: Salt, Pepper and OJ.
  • Morality Pet: OJ to Paper.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity
  • Only Sane Man: OJ. Most other characters have some sort of quirk to them, and OJ is even labelled "The Normal Guy" by the show's creators.
  • Piano Drop: Knife drops one on Paper to eliminate him in episode 2. Paper later uses one to defeat Evil Paper within his mind.
  • Pungeon Master: Cheesy.
  • Running Gag:
    • MePhone4 constantly interrupting Paintbrush whenever they have a question.
    • Fan updating his blog at inopportune times.
    • Cheesy slapping his knee after a bad pun.
  • The Scream: Microphone, after Taco leaps out from behind the bushes.
  • Screamer Prank: Parodied at the very end of the third Enanimat Ensanetay episode, where it suddenly zooms into "THE NEXT EPISODE" in negative colors while a loud male scream is heard.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Taco, after MePhone5 gets knocked off the cliff.
  • Show Within a Show: Desperate Housewives. Knife and Paper were watching it in the second episode. It also counts as a Shout-Out.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Microphone seems to be heading this direction.
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Enanimat Ensanity" spinoff, featuring Ms-Paint style "animation", terrible voices, and non-sensical plots.
  • The Silent Bob: Box. While he appears to be an ordinary box, the other contestants treat him like an actual living being with emotions. When he "speaks" at a podium, other characters are moved by his "eloquence."
  • Take My Hand: MePhone4S says this to MePhone4 during the cliffhanger ending of Part One of the finale. The hand adds, "Not so hard!". Funnily enough, the usual resolution for this cliché is subverted, as the MePhones merely fall onto the ground afterwards, no parachute or anything.
  • Take That!:
    • A dubiously sincere one occurs in the second episode, where Nickel degrades Knife for slacking off and watching Desperate Housewives: "That show is terrible!"
    • Episode 8 of the second season is primarily made of jabs at Apple - the (then-new) iPhone 6's tendency to bend, the pointlessness of the Apple Watch, the company's tendency to release excessive amounts of new products...
  • Terrified of Germs: Soap.
  • The Mole: Taco. Pretends to be mentally deficient in order to gain popularity and to not look like a threat to the others.
  • The Voiceless: Balloon during the second half of the first season, in which archive lines are utilized.
  • Time Skip: There is at least one month between episodes and an assumed larger jump between seasons.
  • Those Two Guys: Pickle and OJ.
  • Too Quirky to Lose: Taco. She had mental issues and was annoying at times, This was actually just her cover to get viewers to like her and thus get her into the Final 2.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Microphone (Tomboy) and Soap (Girly Girl). Soap is a Neat Freak and is considered the Team Mom of the cast, while Microphone is loud and short-tempered, and is capable of picking fights with the others.
    • Their relationship shines throughout Episode 9.
    Soap: I've scrubbed my whole life! You see, cleaning's my life and when-
    Microphone: (slaps Soap) PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER WOMAN! (she throws Soap's cleaning supplies off the cliff).
  • Unexplained Recovery: Lampshaded in Episode 10. Bomb returns after exploding earlier in the challenge, and OJ asks how he came back. Bomb starts to stutter out a response, but after a moment OJ decides to forget it. It's finally explained in Season 2.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Baseball, since he's the second one to be eliminated and doesn't return to the show. However, he was confirmed for Season 2 and became a team captain.
    • Balloon as well, since after he gets eliminated, he hardly speaks ever again. This is because his voice actor (Nate Groth) got fired for hacking Adam's YouTube account. However, he also returned for Season 2, and Nate Groth was even re-hired to voice him.
    • From Season 2, Tissues.
      • Dough and the "MePhone 5c/s" couple.
  • Wham Line: In "Kick the Bucket Part 2", we get 2 in quick succession.
    • After Balloon is voted out 5 to 1, he tries to run away, but not before Suitcase drops this bombshell:
    Suitcase: Nickel, I voted for you tonight.
    • And then, after Suitcase rebukes Nickel for being such a Jerkass to Balloon, and Nickel responds with his own rebuke:
    MePhone4: Y'see, uhhh, y'know how I said I'd make up for it next time? Well, it's a DOUBLE ELIMINATION!
  • You, Get Me Some Wires/Snipe Hunt: Early in Inanimate Insanity II, MePhone4 does this to get his annoying assistant, Toilet, out of the way.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WebAnimation/InanimateInsanity