Western Animation: Monsters, Inc.
Welcome to Monstropolis, a world where the monsters are just regular folks like you and me. When they hide in your bed/closet/hamper and scare you, it isn't because it gives them any sort of thrill
but simply because it's their job
. Their world, linked to ours through closet doors
, derives all its electrical power from our fear
Now meet our heroes, James P "Sulley" Sullivan
(John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski
(Billy Crystal). Sulley, the big blue one
, is one of the best "scarers" in the city. Mike is his partner, best friend
, and roommate, who spends his after hours courting the receptionist Celia.
Life is great — until one of the extremely
poisonous fuel sources enters their world and threatens everything. Yes, a human child!
(Actually, she's rather adorable
.) Sulley and Mike's friendship becomes increasingly strained as they try to get the little terror back to her world without getting contaminated or arrested. Along the way, they stumble upon a conspiracy that threatens to undermine their life's work — and possibly their lives.
A prequel was released twelve years later in 2013. Titled Monsters University
, the new film stars Mike and Sulley in their college days. Dan Scanlon is directing. Having never met before, Mike and Sulley end up becoming rivals in the scaring program at the University. However, their bickering leads them to be kicked out of the program. In order to get back in, they must join a fraternity and enter the Scare Games. Ending up in the lamest fraternity on campus OK (Oozma Kappa), Mike and Sulley must rally a group of underdogs to succeed in the games.
For information on the follow-up DVD short, Mike's New Car
, see the Pixar Shorts
- Adult Fear:
- Mostly in retrospect, but notice that the Big Bad's plan is essentially to kidnap children and use them for slave labor...
- Also when Sulley thinks Boo is being crushed by the trash compactor.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Sulley tries to get Boo's attention by getting her to fetch a toy "bear", and makes a bed for her out of newspaper in the corner. He learns to treat her better.
- All-CGI Cartoon
- All for Nothing: The point of the CDA's decontaminations, when it's discovered that humans and their possessions are not toxic after all. They blew up a building just because a human kid was in it, for crying out loud!
- All In The Manual: Boo's full name. It's Mary Gibbs. Her first name is revealed in the film, since she signs all her sketches, but it's hard to spot.
- All Myths Are True: Legendary creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot are actually ex-citizens of Monstropolis who have been banished to the human world.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption
- Bad to the Last Drop: Whatever it is they drink instead of coffee, it's a thick sludge that slowly oozes out of the dispensers.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: Mike has a Running Gag where he sees some bit of publicity with his face obscured and says things like, "I don't believe it... I'm on TV!"
- Big Bad: Waternoose.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Randall and Waternoose.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Sulley, to save Boo from Randall's machine.
- Boo herself returns the favor when she beats the snot out of Randall to stop him from making Sulley fall to his death.
- Big "NO!": Sulley, eight times in a row after he and Mike are banished.
- Big "Shut Up!": Needleman to Smitty at the beginning.
Smitty: Go get 'em, Mr Sullivan! Needleman: Quiet! You're making him lose his focus. Smitty: Oh, no. Sorry! Needleman: Shut up!
- Big WHAT?: Mike to Sulley in the door vault after doing a flip and landing on his crotch on a girder, and Sulley noticing too late that Boo's costume covered her face so she didn't see the flip, so he hurt himself for nothing.
- Blowing a Raspberry: Boo.
- Bowel Breaking Bricks:
- Break Up Make Up Scenario:
- Sulley has one both with Boo (after accidentally scaring her) and Mike (who blames him for their banishment).
- Mike has one with Celia (over his absence ever since their last date) soon as she sees Randall in pursuit.
- Brick Joke:
- Mike and Sulley are arguing about Boo on Scare Floor F, when Mike realizes mid-sentence that everyone is watching. He tries to spin his line "Put that thing back where it came from or so help me...!" as practice for the company play. During the credits, the cast performs "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me: The Musical."
- Sulley puts the stuff from Boo's room in a locker. Guess who opens that same locker a few scenes later?
- Broken Pedestal: Waternoose becomes this to Sulley when the latter finds out the former's plans of kidnapping children to solve the energy crisis.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Top scarer James P Sullivan has Super Strength and a mighty roar, but is really a sweet guy under it all.
- Butt Monkey: Mike, which cracks up Boo to no end.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit":
- Boo affectionately calls Sulley "kitty".
- "Little Mikey", the stuffed animal that Mike doesn't want Boo touching, is described as a bear (despite having one eye, several legs/tentacles, fangs and horns).
- Cassandra Truth: Celia demands that Mike tell her the truth about what's going on, which he does.
Mike: All right. You know that kid they're looking for? Well, Sulley let her in. We've been trying to put her back, and now Randall is chasing us, and he's trying to kill us! Celia: You expect me to believe that pack of lies, Mike Wazowski?
- The Cat Came Back: Boo, when she first meets Sulley.
- Cheated Angle: The closet doors. When they're closed, they're almost always seen directly from the front. But when they're open, they're almost always seen from an angle. And they are only rarely seen from behind, mostly after Mike and Sulley are sent away to the Himalayas, but there are a couple of other exceptionally brief glances.
- Cheerful Child: Boo.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Everything in the opening sequence with the monster-in-training and his practice run.
- Boo's laughter.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Roz.
- Chekhov's Skill: Boo's ability to say "Mike Wazowski".
- The Chew Toy: George Sanderson, as a Running Gag, keeps getting articles of clothing caught on his fur, resulting in numerous humiliating 2319 calls. Sometimes Mike, although it's usually his own fault.
- Comically Missing the Point: At one point, Sulley protests about Boo being in the restroom, not because she's human, but because she's a girl in the men's bathroom.
Mike: That is the weirdest thing you have ever said.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Boom! Studios did a sequel of sorts, featuring Randall's return, Waternoose's escape from prison, Sid using the closet doors to his advantage, and the subsequent team-up of the three.
- Cone of Shame: Monsters who undergo decontamination by the CDA due to a 2319 call end up wearing one.
- Confused Bystander Interview: After Boo's presence is discovered, "witnesses" claim to have seen her use laser vision and mind powers.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr Waternoose, who is all too keen on keeping his company from going into the red ink, even if it means breaking the law.
- Cute Monster Girl: Celia. Boo, from Sulley's perspective.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Boo versus Randall.
- The Darkness Gazes Back: In the opening.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mike. Also Roz, whose incredibly deadpan voice often gives Mike the creeps.
Roz: I hope you filed your paperwork correctly for once... Your stunned silence is very reassuring.
- Death Glare:
- Randall to Waternoose after the line: "Sullivan was twice the Scarer you will ever be!"
- When Sulley scares Boo by accident and doesn't notice until it's too late.
- Finally, when Boo is about to attack Randall in the door vault.
- Deep South: Randall's final fate is getting trapped in a trailer and getting wailed on by a swamp lady who thinks he's an alligator.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The opening credits.
- Did You Actually Believe?: Mike and Randall.
) You still think this is about that stupid scare record? Mike:
Well, I did... right up until you chuckled
- Dish Dash: Of the spinning dishes on sticks variety.
- Don't Call Me Sir: the easygoing Sulley has a brief moment asking Those Two Guys not to call him Mr. Sullivan.
- Double Jump: In the Video Game Monsters, Inc.: Scream Team.
- The Dragon: Randall. He's even suitably reptilian.
- Emotion Eater: The entire world is powered by children's screams of fear. As they discover later, though, they get more power from laughter.
- Engineered Public Confession: Waternoose's near the end of the film.
- Et Tu, Brute?: How Sulley felt towards his mentor and close friend Waternoose.
- Eureka Moment:
Mike: At least we had some laughs, right? Sulley: Laughs...
- Even Evil Has Standards: The whole monster world might scare children as an energy source, but they'd never hurt a kid. And the idea of kidnapping them is not only a crime but seen as just plain wrong
- Extremely Short Timespan: The bulk of the film takes place over the course of two days.
- The Faceless: Every CDA member, with the exception of #001: Roz.
- Fast Roping: How the CDA, or Child Detection Agency, enter a scare floor when the 2319 alarm is pulled. With varying degrees of success.
- "James, this company has been in my family for three generations. I would do anything to keep it from going under."
- " "I'm always watching you, Wazowski. Always watching. Always."
- "Just think about a few names, will ya? Loch Ness, Bigfoot, The Abominable Snowman. They all got one thing in common: banishment! We could be next!" Guess who Mike and Sulley meet after they get banished?
- The scene where Boo's screaming causes the light to flicker while her laughter causes a power overload failure in Mike & Sulley's apartment.
- An extremely subtle one, but when Mike is running away from Randall only for Randall to be shown lying in wait for Mike, Randall is camouflaged right near one of Waternoose's portraits. Randall and Waternoose were later revealed to be working together.
- "One of these days...I'm going to let you teach that guy a lesson."
- Boo reveals through her drawings that Randall is the monster assigned to her, and is thus the best designated to scare her out of the entire company. This becomes relevant much later when Randall becomes her, Sully, and Mike's biggest threat and Boo is initially too scared to help.
- During the first 2319 and the first time the CDA show up, Roz slams the front panel of her desk shut. She later slams it shut on Mike's fingers. At the end of the film it is revealed she was the head of the CDA.
- For Want of a Nail: If Mike hadn't forgotten to file his paperwork, Sulley wouldn't have found Boo and Randall and Waternoose would never have been discovered.
- Fun with Flushing: Sulley gets some of Boo's toys tangled up on him when he re-enters the monster world. He tries to get rid of them by flushing them down the toilet, but it gets clogged up and overflows. He then has to dump them in someone's locker, where they reappear later as a Brick Joke.
- Gambit Roulette: Mike and Sulley's plan to get Waternoose to confess depended greatly on random chance, for instance the fact that the agents wouldn't follow Sulley after he pushed over the cans. But this is justified since they had only under a minute to think up of the plan.
- Genre-Busting: It's a monster movie/kid flick/invasion movie/sci-fi/family drama/comedy.
- Gentle Giant: Sulley scares young kids for money. He's a very jovial guy off-duty.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Gilligan Cut
- Glass Smack and Slide: The "bloopers" shows one of the CDA members missing his entrance by Fast Roping, the window pane not pivoting, and smacking flat against it before sliding down.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: Celia.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Unlike most examples, it seems genuinely innocuous (since the one asking it is concerned about the company's welfare and, by extension, its public relations) until The Reveal.
- Heel Realization: After inadvertently scaring Boo, Sulley realizes how wrong scaring children is.
- The Hero: How Mike views himself. Actually, it's Sulley, even though Mike is responsible for manning Sulley's day-to-day matters. See also The Lancer and Sidekick, both below.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: They even have a song about it!
- Hilarious Outtakes: Several weeks into the film's original release, fake (but genuinely hilarious) Hilarious Outtakes were added to the closing credits. They're included on the DVD, and disc 2 of the Blu-ray.
- Hollywood Chameleon: Randall.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Sulley becomes one at the end of the movie.
- I Have Just One Thing to Say: *pulls a sock out of his mouth and throws it* Catch!
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: The Yeti's excuse:
Yeti: Oh, would you look at that? We're out of snow cones.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Despite the fact that the cast is full of adorably inhuman monsters they still manage to resemble their voice actors, especially Mike who could not be more Billy Crystal. And Randall is Steve Buscemi. According to the DVD Commentary, Buscemi accused the casting director of typecasting him when he first saw a picture of Randall.
- Invisibility: Randall.
- Ironic Echo: When Mike parodies the training instructor:
Mike: Well, I don't know about the rest of you guys but I spotted several big mistakes.
- Is That Cute Kid Yours?: Waternoose asks Sulley this when he first sees Boo, though Sulley and Mike cover this by saying that she's Sulley's "cousin's sister's daughter" and that it's "Bring an Obscure Relative to Work" Day. Waternoose seems to go along with the idea. Later, the company's day care worker mistakes Sulley to be Boo's father as well.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Mike refers to Boo as "it" a lot in the first half of the film. He stops by the end.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Waternoose did this quite a while ago when he decides that nothing would stop him from saving his company.
- Karma Houdini: Despite being directly involved in all the nefarious goings-on, including attempted child-torture, Fungus keeps on working at Monsters, Inc. as if nothing happened. Granted, it's strongly implied he didn't like it at all and only did these things out of fear — he's shown to be happier with his new lot in life afterwards.
- Kick the Dog:
- Intentionally performed by Randall on way too many occasions to count.
- Waternoose wasn't kidding about what he said with the promise to keep his company afloat, due to his kidnapping of Boo.
- Kick the Morality Pet: Unintentionally performed by Sulley toward Boo, leading to a Heel Realization.
- Knight Templar: Waternoose wants to save his family business and Monstropolis from collapse due to a power shortage. His "solution" drives him well over the Moral Event Horizon into would-be child slaughterer.
- The Lancer: How Mike views Sulley. Actually, Mike is The Lancer for Sulley. See also The Hero, above, and Sidekick, below.
- Large Ham: The Yeti / Abominable Snowman, who is played by John Ratzenberger.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: CDA Agent #1 gives this order at the end of the movie, regarding the whole mess that resulted from Boo's kidnapping.
- Lizard Folk: Randall.
- Lovecraft Lite: The proliferation of scales and tentacles and the inter-dimensional aspects. In addition, the trope is played with, in that the monsters regard the human world as a dangerous place and treat Boo like a pint-sized Eldritch Abomination. This also counts as Fridge Brilliance; the monsters, many of which count as Eldritch Abominations, in turn consider us the real monsters.
- The Man Behind the Man: Waternoose.
- Master of Illusion: Randall.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Roz and Randall enjoy good-natured jokes as the bloopers indicates.
- Meaningful Echo: Albeit with an inversion,
Roz: And I don't want to see any paperwork on this.
- The Men in Black: The CDA. Extra points for being a complete inversion of the Trope Namer — they're protecting unsuspecting monsters from hideous humans.
- Mistaken for Gay: Mike and Sulley several times, but it's kept rather subtle.
- The Mole: Both Randall and Waternoose. Before The Reveal showing how grossly vile he really is, the former is only depicted as cocky and mean, thus less surprising than the latter Mole.
- Monster Closet: Technically, the closets aren't hidden, but it's impossible to tell from the outside when one of them's gonna open and reveal a monster.
- Mood Whiplash: When Sulley is fighting Randall it is funny since Randall is invisible. But when Randall starts to strangle Sulley the mood gets a bit serious.
- Motive Misidentification: Mike thinks Randall's behavior and motivations is all about breaking the scare record up until he flat out tells him it's not.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: The sushi chef.
- Multiple Head Case:
- Very briefly seen, after Mike and Sulley expose Waternoose's plan to the CDA. A two-headed monster can be seen, the two heads exchanging glances with each other.
- Also, Roz is seen reading a newspaper headlined "Baby born with 5 heads, parents thrilled."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sulley is deeply shaken when he sees the effect that his scaring demonstration has on Boo, and by extension the effect his scaring has on human children in general.
Sulley: Did you see the way she looked at me?
- Nested Mouths: In Harryhausen's, one of the monsters has a second monster for a tongue, which eats the food.
- Never Say "Die": Averted before the first scene ever ends, and directly said many, many times as an example of how dangerous children are to the monster world. But one of these qualifies as a moment of funny:
This might sound crazy, but I don't think the kid's dangerous. Mike:
(dripping with sickly-sweet sarcasm
Well, in that case, let's keep it. I always wanted a pet... that could kill me!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Sulley attempts to tell Waternoose of what Randall tried to do, but it turns out they've been conspiring together and sends him and Mike to the Himalayas. Mike calls him out on that.
- Just barely subverted in the ending: Although Sulley and Mike ultimately manage to get Boo back into her bedroom, and expose his boss, their actions also caused the company to nearly be shut down, and almost cause Monstropolis to be in a permanent blackout as a consequence. The only reason it didn't turn out that way was because it was discovered that the children's laughter had 10x the power input of scream. In addition, the Scarers seem well-adjusted to the Laughter switch
- Non-Mammalian Hair:
- Roz (a.k.a. CDA Agent #1)is a large slug-like monster with a tuft of white hair on her head.
- Also, some of the monsters, whether resembling toads, slugs or octopi, will inevitably have some form of hair on their heads.
- Not Afraid of You Anymore: Boo to Randall, right after beating the crud out of him to save Sulley.
- Odd Couple: Sulley and Mike. See also Opposites Attract, below.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Boo does it several times.
- Oh, Crap:
- Mike during the line from Roz. "And I'm sure you filed your paperwork correctly. For once. [beat, Mike's eye widens] Your stunned silence is very reassuring."
- Mike again upon hearing Celia's furious voice and seieng her stride him him with cones around her neck as well as those or her snakes.
- George in the locker room when he opens the door to his locker and the toys Sulley shoved in there fall on him, seconds before CDA agents pounce on him.
2319! We have a 2319! George: Oh, dear. CDA Agents:
Get him! (they bowl George over
- Also Randall, after Sulley and Boo turn the tables on him and Sulley makes it very clear he's about to get his comeuppance.
- Also Waternoose, when he tries to snatch Boo from her bed, only to discover he has snatched the simulated child in the simulation room, and the CDA has recorded every word he's said.
- Opposites Attract: Mike and Sulley.
- Overreacting Airport Security: The CDA's response to a 2319 alarm leaves George very humiliated.
- Packed Hero: Parodied. Boo loses one of the "eyestalks" of her monster costume in a trash can. Sulley sees it and thinks she's in a pile of garbage, then watches the garbage get swept into a cart, dropped down a chute, and put through an exceedingly brutal compactor. The audience sees her walk away from the garbage can; Sulley faints at every step of the compactor.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Boo's monster outfit, to an extent, considering her head is looking out through the mouth.
- Peek-a-Bogeyman: Sulley, upon noticing Boo make a drawing of Randall, assures her that Randall isn't coming through the closet by opening the closet door to reveal nothing in there. In the outtakes, Roz is shown to be there, and she says "Guess who?"
- Pig Latin: "Ook-lay in the ag-bay." Lampshaded in the Hilarious Outtakes:
Sulley: Look-lay in the bag-bay. Mike: I think you mean, "Ook-lay in the ag-bay." Sulley: What? Didn't I...? Mike: Well, you know, maybe you should just take a minute and ead-ray your ipt-scray!
- Plucky Comic Relief: Mike, and Boo to a lesser extent.
- Portal Door and Network: The closet doors.
- Potty Dance
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Waternoose and Randall's plan to solve the power shortage.
- Power Walk:
- The scarers entering the power company floor. A Shout-Out to The Right Stuff.
- Played with in the "out-takes" where Sulley (in front) trips, and the monsters behind him trip, and the monsters behind them... If you look closely, you can actually see a tentacle from the monster behind him getting caught up around his feet which is why he trips.
- Proscenium Reveal: The movie opens with a monster walking into a child's bedroom. He is freaked out when the child starts screaming and starts knocking things over — and then suddenly the lights turn on, an alarm goes off, and the voice "Simulation Terminated!" is heard repeatedly. One wall of the room lifts up, revealing that the child is actually a robot, and we are actually in Monsters, Inc.'s state-of-the-art children's room training simulator, being observed by an instructor and several other students, who start critiquing him about his mistakes.
- Psycho for Hire: Randall Boggs.
- Punch Clock Villain:
- It turns out that monsters scare children because screams are their source of electricity. Off-duty, they're pretty nice people.
Sulley: (to Boo) I'm not going to scare you. I'm off duty!
- Also, Fungus is this as Randall's partner. (He would be Affably Evil if only he were more, well, affable.)
Fungus: I'm sorry, Wazowski, but Randall said I'm not allowed to fraternize with victims of his evil plot.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Randall is especially guilty, and also, to a lesser degree, Mike.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Waternoose. Which makes the revelation that he's jumped off the slippery slope beforehand even more surprising.
- Also, CDA Number One. When the matter of what to do about Boo arises, Sulley says "I just want to send her home." CDA Number One replies, "Very good."
- Repeat Cut: When the door on which Mike, Sulley and Boo are riding hurtles down a steep slope. In the first shot, you see them travelling down most of slope from behind, then you see a shot of them from the front, followed by a POV shot. But judging by the first shot, it takes them a rather long time to go down the last part of the slope, meaning that the camera must have jumped back a second in time.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: While there are many other reptilian/dinosaurian monsters that aren't villainous in the slightest, Randall is the most obviously reptilian-looking and "serpentine" of them all.
- Reverse Mole: Roz is working for the CDA as #1.
- Running Gag:
- Scenery Porn:
- The closet door storage chamber is this in a "Holy SH**, this is awesome!!" way.
- All of the doors Mike and Sulley run through during the Randall chase scene. Because the filmmakers just happened to need backgrounds of Hawaii, Japan and Paris, right?
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: The final Randall chase is a stunning example. Contrary to most uses of the trope though, this is entirely justified in-universe because of the nature of the doors.
- Scooby Stack: In this Japanese poster◊.
- Searching the Stalls: Boo and Sulley hide from Randall in a toilet stall. He punches the stalls open one by one, and Sulley flinches as every door opens. Randall actually slams open the stall Sulley is hiding in, but isn't looking at the time. Momentum closes the door before Randall sees them.
- Shovel Strike: Randal's fate. He's banished to a trailer in the bayou where a hillbilly repeatedly whacks him with a shovel, mistaking him for a gator.
- Shout-Out: A few examples (out of dozens):
- Randall threatens to put his assistant through the shredder. Steve Buscemi once played a character who was killed by a shredder.
- The restaurant Harryhausen's is named after Ray Harryhausen, a stop-motion animator and innovator who specialized in monsters.
- The scene where Sulley thinks Boo has been crushed is a deliberate homage to Chuck Jones' Feed the Kitty. With the same unintended reaction for some audience members.
- At the end, George is seen going into a door with a mallet and a watermelon, like Gallagher's comedy bits.
- When asked if there are any kids in the village, the Snowman replies "Oh, sure. Tough kids, sissy kids, kids who climb on rocks..." These are the words to the Armour Hot Dogs jingle.
- Doesn't Randall remind you of another Randall from Disney? And it's not just because they have the same name; they have a similar posture and personality.
- It's not just Randall; Roz looks and acts like Miss Finster.
- The opening credits look a lot like the hand-drawn Disney movies from the '50s and '60s.
- Blink and you'll miss it — when Monsters Inc. starts using laughter as a power source, take a look at the giant display in the doors' room. Did you see the two silhouettes on it? You know, the taller one hitting the other with a hammer?
- Near the end of the movie, Boo shows Sully her Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl doll (Jessie first appeared as a character in Toy Story 2).
- In the same scene, Nemo has his Early-Bird Cameo.
- When the villain gets sent to a trailer that has the Pizza Planet truck parked out front. The same trailer and truck that appear in A Bug's Life, to boot.
- Shut Up and Save Me!: Sulley is being wailed on by Randall, who is invisible at the time. Mike shows up, can't see him, and doesn't even notice that Sulley is in danger while he tries to apologize for refusing to help him save Boo. Sulley is saved when Mike unintentionally unveils Randall's position while getting upset at Sulley for "ignoring" him.
Mike: Hey look, it's Randall, it's... ohhhhh.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Mike and Celia.
Mike: Schmoopsy-pooh! Celia: Googly-bear!
- Sidekick: Mike views Sulley as his sidekick, but everyone else can see that Mike is Sulley's.
- Smug Snake: Randall.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only major female characters in the movie are a little girl with limited dialogue, the forgettable love interest Celia, and Roz the undercover CDA agent, who has little screen time. The male-to-female ratio is 4:2.
- The Starscream: After Waternoose tells Randall to leave no witnesses, Randall replies in a manner that lets the audience know that he's planning to backstab his own boss when this is all over.
- Stealth Pun:
- When Celia's Medusa-like hair keeps kissing Mike, she says, "Michael, you're such a charmer." A snake charmer.
- Near the beginning, we see a gigantic scaly monster crossing the road. He makes the sounds of a chicken.
- The company's name is Monsters, Inc., but is sometimes referred to by its initials, "M.I." Their logo is an M with an eye on it.
- Stylistic Suck: Yes, Mike actually did make "Put that Thing Back Where it Came From or So Help Me" into a musical, complete with mediocre acting/choreography, clumsily-set up backgrounds, and the CDA as ushers. The audience loved it; the critics (of the Monster World) did not. It was probably made in a hurry by the CDA to back Mike and Sulley's alibis as part of their coverup.
- Suddenly Shouting: Mike. At least three times.
Mike: ...lie in bed, sleep in, or simply, WORK OUT THAT FLAB THAT'S HANGIN' OVER THE BED! Mike: Well, then why don't you find someplace for it to sleep...WHILE I THINK OF A PLAN! Mike: I always wanted a pet THAT COULD KILL ME!
- Super Strength: Sulley.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: The movie seems like it's about to have a Bittersweet Ending in the form of Sulley having to part ways with Boo, but it turns out that Mike Wazowski recreated the door that leads to her room, so Sulley can at least still visit her.
- Take a Third Option: Sulley, upon gaining control of the company, had only two options of what do to with it. He could have made the workers continue scaring kids for energy, or left the company to fall, causing Monstropolis to lose all electricity. He takes a third option that he discovered upon first finding Boo (reminded by the last word of Mike's pep-talk): He opts to make children laugh instead, which produces more electricity than screams of terror did.
- Take My Hand: Sulley to Mike.
- That Came Out Wrong: At Harryhausen's, Mike's telling Celia what he told someone else when asked who he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. He's about to say "you", when Sullivan stumbles by outside and Mike accidentally finishes the statement with a surprised "Sulley!?".
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: A Perspective Flip, showing that said things are actually more scared of us.
- Those Two Guys: Needleman and Smitty.
- Toilet Paper Trail: Mike Wazowski ends up with a piece of toilet paper stuck to his foot after he and Sulley have come out from hiding in the bathroom from Randall. That was one of the hardest things for the animation team to render.
- Treacherous Advisor: Waternoose is revealed to have been behind the conspiracy all along.
- Tsundere: Celia is Type B, with "deredere" default.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Of the late '90s/early 2000s, especially Mike and Sulley's apartment.
- Unstoppable Rage: Sulley, Mike and Boo. Sulley when he releases Boo from the scream extractor, Mike when he and Sulley are banished, and finally Boo in the door vault when she attacks Randall and in doing so saves Sulley.
Mike: YOU'RE STILL NOT LISTENING?! (screams with rage and dives at Sulley)
- Villainous Breakdown:
- At the film's (second) climax, Waternoose himself throws a fit of temper tantrum, straight out yelling to Sulley that he'll kidnap a thousand children before letting his company die. He was about to throw another one immediately, but he can't do much while the CDA escort him out for his crimes. But the second tantrum does take its toll on Sulley's emotions when Waternoose blames him entirely for the company's demise and ruining any chances Monstropolis has of recovering from the blackout.
- Before that, Randall flies into a borderline psychosis and tries to murder Sulley because Waternoose all but tells him that he'll never live up to Sulley, no matter what he does or how hard he tries.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Waternoose: "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die!"
- Wham Line:
- How Waternoose's duplicity is revealed.
Mike: That's not her door... Waternoose: I know, I know. (Cue Randall.) It's yours.
- A minor one comes during the climax: Waternoose has Sulley beaten and he's about to grab Boo, when the child he's holding says this: "Good night, Mom".
- And before that:
Waternoose: I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die! And I'll silence anyone who gets in my way!
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Mike, throughout the movie he always thinks he is the star and Sulley is his sidekick.
- Wrong Insult Offence:
Randall: Wazowski! Where's the kid, you little one-eyed crettin? Mike: First of all, it's pronounced cree-tin. If you're going to threaten me, do it properly.
- X Days Since: The scare factory has a sign counting the days since the last accident.