Helen: Everyone's special, Dash. Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.
Following a Super Registration Act and consequent court ruling, all superheroes have been forced into retirement. Superstrong Mr. Incredible and the stretching Elastigirl are now just Bob and Helen Parr. They have a quiet life in the suburbs with an ordinary house, a normal job and 2.4 children: disruptive and superfast Dash, shy Violet (who can turn invisible and project force fields), and baby Jack-Jack, who seems to have no powers. In other words, they are a very rough equivalent of the Fantastic Four. Most of them are not too happy with the situation.When Bob gets an offer from a mysterious woman named Mirage to relive his Glory Days and help out a high-tech facility gone wrong, he Jumps at the Call without telling his family. Soon, though, he gets in trouble, and finds he needs all the help his family can offer to help him save the day from a Diabolical Mastermind with an Evil Plan and a Killer Robot.The Incredibles, Pixar's sixth film (and the first with humans as the main characters) was released in 2004. It's an affectionately parodicDecon-Recon Switch of the Superhero genre, happily hanging lampshades on many conventions. Its plot bears a resemblance to Watchmen, although the tone is nowhere near as dark. That said, it's easily in the running for the darkest film Disney's ever been involved with — surpassed in number of onscreen deaths only by Pirates of the Caribbean — with tons of Black Comedy besides.Like other Pixar movies, there was a comic book series being published by Boom! Studios written by Mark Waid that has the continued adventures of the family. With the Superhero ban lifted, the Incredibles have to deal with a lot of old villains crawling out of the woodwork and after taking out a decaying villain team, a new one rises out of the ashes gathering power and planning on turning the citizens of Metroville against the supers using hypnosis and mecha, led by Xerek, the villain of early scripts for the film. The ending to this ongoing villain conspiracy arc however has been delayed from various internal problems at Boom. Despite Marvel picking up the Pixar license, nothing has materialized with a reprint attempt of the series being cancelled a few story arcs in.For information on the DVD shorts Jack-Jack Attack and Mr. Incredible and Pals, see the Pixar Shorts page.
Adult Fear: "There are children aboard! I repeat, there are children aboard..."
Prior to meeting with Edna, there are several scenes which imply that Helen has a growing fear that Bob is cheating on her, including the classic "find a hair on his clothing" bit. When she actually speaks to E, it's unclear if she's upset because she thinks he's cheating or because she's figured out the truth.
Advertised Extra: Jack-Jack doesn't feature nearly as much in the film as you'd be inclined to think by the promotional material. In fact, he doesn't even wear his full Incredible outfit until literally the last fifteen seconds of the film.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Omnidroid that Mr. Incredible is sent to fight midway through the film is said to have become so intelligent that eventually "it started wondering why it had to take orders". However, this was a lie and the Omnidroid was under control the entire time.
The climax features a variation, in which the actual purpose of the A.I. (analysis of enemy strategies and problem solving skills) has unforeseen consequences (the Omnidroid connects Syndrome's remote to its own failings, and so tries to remove it).
All There in the Manual: Detailed profiles of other Supers that are only briefly mentioned in the movie (if at all) in the Extras section of the DVD. The comic book also fills in some holes the movie may have left open.
Alternate DVD Commentary: An in-universe version. The poorly-done Mr. Incredible animated episode extra can be played with Mr. Incredible and Frozone riffing on it. It's a Crowning Moment of Funny for DVD extras (especially their vitrol for Mr. Skipperdoo).
And the Adventure Continues: The ending ends with the arrival of another supervillain (a drilling... underground hobo.) It's continued in the video game sequel.
Edna: [on Jack-Jack's suit] I cut it a little roomy for the free movement, the fabric is comfortable for sensitive skin... [a sheet of flame erupts in front of the suit] and it can also withstand a temperature of over 1000 degrees! Completely bulletproof... [four heavy machine guns appear and open fire on the suit, without effect] and machine washable, darling, that's a new feature.
Artistic License - Biology: It's not explained how a blonde and a redhead give birth to a child with black hair, although it's possible Violet just dyed hers.
Artistic License - Law: In actuality, the "he ruined my death" theory will always fail: someone who rescues a person committing suicide is never liable for injuries sustained during the rescue. In fact, the judge will dismiss the case on the pleadings for failure to state a claim (that is, telling the guy "This isn't something you can sue about, go home and suck it up.") before a jury is even selected. Of course, if it wasn't for that lawsuit, the plot would never be kicked off...
Note that it was a series of lawsuits (not just the one above) which kicked off the plot; that one case only opened the dam of claims-seeking piranhas who realize supers can be sued (the very next one involves a group doing the "he injured us when rescuing us". See Artistic License - Law on how that one is.). But defending oneself from lawsuits is going to be expensive, even frivolous lawsuits. Thus, the "mounting costs" which kicks off the plot.
Art Shift: Invoked. The opening and closing themes are animated in a shiny, 60's and 70's deco art.
Badass Family: The Parrs. They're a family of superheroes, so what do you expect?
Badass Normal: Syndrome has no powers, yet his technical skills and smarts allow him to create a robot powerful enough to eliminate dozens of supers. As well as an energy beam that allows him to move anything, regardless of its size, almost exactly like the Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2. It may be that he has the one power of the Fantastic Four that no member of the Parr family has: His ability to invent things.
Big Red Button: Syndrome gets to press several over the course of the film. One of the DVD Easter Eggs is a compilation sequence showing "every door, button and explosion in the movie". The fact that it has nearly the whole of the Anvil Chorus as its soundtrack shows just how many there are.
Syndrome's death by cape in a jet turbine. When was this Foreshadowed? During Mr. Incredible's conversation with Edna Mode on the danger of capes and one of the deaths mentioned is the cape caught in a jet turbine.
Bob's rage over a broken car is seen by a kid on a bike. Guess who shows up at the climax of the film?
This one has a second part to set it up. The second time the kid shows up, Mr. Incredible asks him what he's expecting to see, and he says "Something amazing, I guess." What does he say when he shows up at the end?
The Cameo: A particularly awesome one for anyone who is into animation history. Those two old men who praise the heroes after the climax ("That's the way to do it" - "No school like the old school") are Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston...Not ringing a bell? They were the last surviving two of Disney's "Nine Old Men", legendary animators who had been in the business practically since the beginning. For example, they were both animators on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and were involved in practically every animated Disney project up to The Fox and the Hound. (Sadly, Thomas didn't live to see The Incredibles finished, and Johnston died in 2008.)
The family is very nearly the Fantastic Four: Mr. Incredible is the Thing, Elastigirl is Mr. Fantastic, and Violet is the Invisible Woman. Only Dash lacks a direct parallel, though he's certainly Hot-Blooded enough to be a match for the Human Torch. The ending shows Jack-Jack has highly variable superpowers (among these, setting himself on fire like the Human Torch), and Franklin Richards, the child of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman had very ill-defined but vast superpowers. Even their costumes and name (Fantastic/Incredible) are similar. Their villain, Syndrome, is a somewhat more rotund Doctor Doom, a villain whose primary superpowers are simply being so good at super-technology that his super-suit is more powerful than the family combined. Syndrome also has Doctor Doom's 'petty grudge blown WAY out of proportion' motivation for his enmity as well.
Dash is basically The Flash and even calls himself "The Dash" when he gets his suit.
Frozone is basically Iceman from the X-Men comics as played by Samuel L. Jackson. They even have the same way of getting from place to place: creating ramps of ice to skate everywhere.
In a more extreme example, Gazerbeam and The Underminer basically are Cyclops and the Mole Man in all but name. The DVD special features on the minor heroes in the movie even parodies Cyclops' infamously bland personality by having Gazerbeam be an incredibly dull person.
It even extends to the comic, which has featured among the expanded rogues gallery a Gorilla Grodd expy and aliens resembling the tentacles.
Chekhov's Gun: Edna fires two missiles into Helen's suit to showcase its invulnerability. This probably explains why Helen was able to protect her kids when her plane took those anti-air missiles.
Also, Edna regarding Superheroes with capes, one of the cases of death included the cape being snagged in a jet turbine. At the end of the movie, the Big Bad gets his cape caught on the turbine of his own plane, making the plane explode with him
Also, the Omnidroid: "The only thing that can pierce it is... itself".
Also, Dash and Mr. Incredible playing football. Comes back when Mr. Incredible throws the remote to Dash.
Chew Out Fake Out: Dash gets in trouble for placing a tack on the teacher's chair. Bob, rather than being angry about the prank, is impressed by the fact that Dash managed to avoid being caught on a hidden camera. Helen is not amused.
Clark Kenting: Bob actually gets away with disguising his new job working on Nomanisan Island for some time to his whole family, particularly his wife—another super. When Helen fears Bob is having an affair, the effect is too good, right down to Bob's use of sunglasses as he says goodbye on his last trip. She really does fear that Bob has changed into some other man.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Supers in general are quick to spring into action against big threats, but Mr. Incredible in particular needs to help other people. He doesn't adapt well to civilian life.
Cloudcuckoolander: KARI...THE BAAAAYBEEEESITTEEEER! *eyetwitch*. Then again, after what she had to put up with in babysitting Jack Jack, most people would be a tad deranged.
Convection Schmonvection: Taken to serious and seriously impractical extremes in Syndrome's lair, when Bob has to run and eventually shimmy between two closing walls that are made of lava. Also seen in the initial fight with the Omnidroid, in which Bob gets within inches of lava without getting burned. A justified trope in the case of Mr. Incredible, however; he's a super and thus resistant to heat damage. Being thrown INTO the lava, however, would be a different story.
Could Say It But: Bob does this with a woman trying to claim her insurance, when his boss wants him to reject as many claims as possible. He even whispers "Pretend to be upset!" before she walks away, turning on the water works flawlessly.
For his part, when Bob is being dressed down and asks his boss if he's saying that they shouldn't help people, he answers "The law requires that I say 'no'."
Crack! Oh My Back!: Played straight at first, invoked by Bob to the letter when he throws his back out in the volcano. Hilariously inverted seconds later when the Omnidroid attempts to tear Bob apart... and pulls his spine back into alignment.
The various action vignettes surrounding the closing credits are related to the role of the person following each. The title of the Story Supervisor is kept constantly spinning, then is chopped up and reassembled to form the name of the film editor. The name of the Shading Supervisor has a shimmery shadow on the ground.
Cross-Dressing Voices: Brad Bird as Edna (they brought in Lily Tomlin to voice Edna, but when she heard Brad demonstrate the kind of voice he wanted, she immediately declared Brad needed to do the voice himself).
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Syndrome made a fortune out of military inventions. The last part of Syndrome's plan is to sell his inventions to normal people to get rid of the "special people with special powers" meaning of superhero.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: This, more than any of his weapons, was the secret to Syndrome's success - but would eventually be his undoing as well.
Syndrome: You sly dog! You got me monologuing! I can't believe it.
And rather than assume No One Could Survive That, as one might do after your enemy falls hundreds of his feet into the water, he then throws a grenade, and even after that he sends a probe to search for him in the nearby caves.
This even extends to some of his mooks. Within seconds of seeing that unarmed children have superpowers, they start reacting to it appropriately, flanking, separating them, and responding to their powers. For example, when Violet turns invisible and hides in water, one mook throws dirt into it to watch for currents revealing her position.
Of course, Syndrome's mooks would have an idea how to react to Supers and their powers, given how long Syndrome has been hunting them down.
"Really, really little kids should not see this movie. They should wait till they get older. We're getting some reactions from people who were disappointed that their four-year-old was a little freaked out by it. Well, I don't want to compromise the intensity in order to please a four-year-old."
Deadly Dodging: About half of the death toll racked up throughout the movie is Dash of all people getting mooks to blow themselves up on scenery.
Death by Secret Identity: Syndrome learns not only their real identities, but knows where they all live by the end of the movie.
Death Montage: Edna's montage of superheroes killed by their capes. The screens showing the results of the superheroes versus the Omnidroid serves the same purpose as a dramatic Death Montage.
Deconstruction: Near the start of the movie, many superheroes get into legal trouble because of the collateral damage they cause.
Description Porn: Edna's presentation of the costumes she makes for the Parr family. Somewhat justified in that if you're being handed a supersuit, you wanna know exactly what it does. Also makes for cool visual effects.
Also, Edna seems rather... down about no longer being able to make super suits, so presumably Edna was very excited to be showing off her work.
Edna: "Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them... spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for *GODS*!
Desk Jockey: Mr. Incredible is forced to become one to support his family's normal middle class life and hates it so much he sneaks a little vigilantism on the side.
Disproportionate Retribution: Yes, Syndrome, we understand that you were disappointed, he could have gone a little easier on you, and we feel for you. But don't you think you're overreacting?
Even moreso because Buddyreally wasn't giving Mr. Incredible any other choice. It had been pointed out that Mr. Incredible tried to be polite and let him down easy on numerous occasions, but Buddy just wouldn't take 'no' for an answer.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: Mr. Incredible, but only when he's really stressed. Most of the time he's a complete aversion to this trope, even going so far as to perform delicate tasks and super-strength ones simultaneously.
Although Brad Bird says he never read Watchmen there are a few plot points that are reminiscent of plots in Watchmen
The Government relocating heroes and forcing them into retirement is reminiscent of The Keene Act outlawing vigilantes
Heroes going missing is very reminiscent of Rorschach's theory that masks are being targeted.
Edna's exclamation on the dangers of capes is best highlighted in Watchmen by Dollar Bill who gets his stuck in a revolving door and is shot and killed.
Dont Noun Me: Dash's teacher when he can't prove that Dash put the thumbtack in his chair.
Principal: Now, Bernie—
Bernie: Don't "Bernie" me!
Do Wrong, Right: Dash gets sent to the principal's office for using his Super Speed to put a tack on the teacher's chair during class. His father is genuinely impressed, especially about how Dash went too fast to be picked up on video. At least as far as the others in the room were concerned, it was also an example of Comically Missing the Point — primarily because it's clear that Bob's just living vicariously through his son's use of his powers in this case, at least in part.
Elemental Baggage: Frozone gets his ice by sucking moisture from the air and his body, but can somehow multiply it exponentially. A single sip of water lets him put a fridge-sized block around a guard.
Also, burning wood produces C02 and water. That burning building? Plenty of water around.
It seems that he has to be able to breathe in/drink the water for his powers to work. In a burning building, the heat from the flames and the smoke would dehydrate him first.
Evil Laugh: Done by Syndrome after he thinks he's killed Bob's family. Lampshaded somewhat, but not as blatantly as the "hangings" so as not to distract from the seriousness of the scene. However, in the background, Bob is moving and it's only Mirage's quick action that saves Syndrome.
Also, he gives another one after revealing his full plan to the Parr family.
Evil Plan: Syndrome's in three steps: Lure the supers to their doom, pretend to be a super with technology and evil robots, profit by selling the technology to everyone and thereby making it impossible to be a super.
Edna is based on a real-life costume designer for Paramount, Edith Head. Compare Edna◊ and Edith◊.
Many say she was based on Linda Hunt's character Regina Krumm in Altman's 1994 film Pret-a-Porter. There is a serious resemblance, down to her size, her hairstyle, her black dress and her circular glasses!
If a place can be an expy, than the middle school that Violet attends is one for Corvallis High School in Corvallis, Oregon, where Brad Bird went to high school. This is down to them having the same mascot (the Spartans). However, since the high school building was torn down in 2005 and rebuilt, it's a little hard to see it now.
The Underminer is almost definitely based on Marvel's the Mole Man, an enemy of the Fantastic Four. Rumor has it that the film version of Fantastic Four was going to end in a similar way but it was changed when this movie came out.
Faceless Goons: Though not voiceless. "Okay, every time one of them runs, take a shot." Not entirely faceless, either: Dash knocks the visor off of one in a fight. We even get a Reaction Shot of his face before he hits a cliff wall.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Edna's description of the fates of various superheroes who wore capes (most got the cape snagged and broke their necks, although one was caught on a missile and another was sucked into a jet turbine). Syndrome shares that last one. Also, every time a hovercraft exploded with a Mook inside.
Genius Bruiser: Not explicit, but Mr. Incredible must be very intelligent to master the subtle ins-and-outs of Insuricare, which we see even before he outwits Syndrome's Omnidroid and goes for a delve in the computer network. Mr. Incredible is actually quite sharp, and when he's infiltrating Syndrome's base, this fact helps him just as often as his strength does.
Get A Hold Of Yourself Man / Quit Your Whining: Edna, when Helen / Elastigirl breaks down after discovering her husband is on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean, assuming he's having an affair. Edna essentially tells her to go get him and kick his ass. (But it ends well.)
Edna: And call me when you get back, darling - I enjoy our visits.
Harmless Freezing: During the jewelry store scene, Frozone encases a cop in a shroud of ice after the officer mistakes him and Mr. Incredible for burglars. When the cop's friends come in to check on him, he is frozen in place, but his eyes can still be seen moving around freely within the ice.
Hartman Hips: Elastigirl seems to dislike hers. Violet has a more teen-size version.
He's a Friend: When Edna goes through her security system's identity check, a gun drops down in front of Helen, prompting Edna to quickly assure the system that Helen's a guest.
Hilarity Sues/Hero Insurance: One of the main causes for heroes hiding is the damage their battles caused to their surroundings. The immense destruction in the end battle is hardly mentioned, though.
Probably because pretty much all of it was caused by the Omnidroid itself. The only damages that could be reasonably pinned on the heroes were the office building Mr. Incredible was thrown through, the car Frozone was chucked onto, and the manhole cover Elastigirl pulled up.
Hollywood Law: Good Samaritan laws say someone who stops to help an injured person can't be held liable, and you certainly can't sue someone from stopping you from committing suicide (not to mention attempting it may be a crime in itself). Mr. Incredible's boss at Insuricare, on the other hand, is going to be liable for serious bad faith in insurance lawsuits.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Played with when the Parrs are arguing. Worried that the hulking Bob yelling at his much smaller wife might lead to Unfortunate Implications, the writers realized that Helen can even the playing field by growing taller than Bob.
Concrete dust on a dark sweater is actually pretty easy to see, she probably just pulled the largest bit from his sweater for emphasis. Plus, Bob's been pulling those stunts ever since their forced retirement, so she knows what to look for.
Though not foolproof, Bob's 'danger sense' (mentioned in his profile in the DVD extras) lets him anticipate imminent danger... including an angry wife!
Improbable Parking Skills: Mr. Incredible first lands a falling van right on the highway, then proceeds to veer so sharply that it rolls over several times before stopping perfectly in a parking space.
Indy Ploy: Though not an Idiot Hero, Helen is able to do this very well. It helps that besides being the mother that needs to balance, control, and maintain her family, she can adjust herself in various ways to accommodate her own plans.
Bob is a straighter example of this. His own experiences as a hero aside, working with and being married to Helen probably contributed a lot to his ability to think fast and adapt to situations quickly.
Ink-Suit Actor: Samuel L. Jackson animated as-is to create Lucius/Frozone. On a side note Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr's facial features are based on a cross between Craig T. Nelson's face and a greek hoplite's helmet.
Helen/Elastigirl isn't too far off from Holly Hunter.
Gilbert Huph and actor Wallace Shawn look fairly similar, too.
Inspiration Nod: While the powers parallel with the Fantastic Four came about accidentally from the Personality Powers and the "superhero-as-family" parallel was inevitable since the FF codified it, they still gave it a nod by having the final villain The Underminer be a Captain Ersatz of the Fantastic Four's first villain The Mole Man.
"I work alone." In a visual echo, the first time we see the family using their powers together, they are fighting with each other until interrupted by Frozone. The next time, they are fighting with Syndrome's goons until interrupted by Syndrome.
Elastigirl telling Dash the quote on the top of this page. Syndrome says the same thing when telling Mr. Incredible of his plan to sell his tech to the people.
"I am your biggest fan."
Ironic Name: Parr means "average". Something the Parrs definitely are not.
It's All About Me: As a boy, Syndrome constantly pesters Mr. Incredible and implores him to let him be his sidekick. When he tries to show his skills, and almost gets killed doing so, the resulting damage leads to a widespread Super Registration Act which forces Mr. Incredible into retirement and hiding. Yet years later, Syndrome still has the gall to say he got the short end of the stick.
The moment where Syndrome happily and unrepentantly shoots Mr. Incredible's children out of the sky, or so he thinks.
Before that, when it's revealed that he's been spending years murdering other supersjust to perfect the Omnidroid for his Monster Protection Racket. The movie leaves you in no doubt that Syndrome is eeeeeevil.
A good example of a specific Kick the Dog moment pulled by Syndrome was when he was willing to call Mr. Incredible's bluff, with Mirage's life on the line, effectively turning her against him.
When he decides to kidnap Jack-Jack not only so he'll have a hostage but so he can one day turn him against his own family.
While not nearly to the extent of Syndrome, Mr. Huph gets a pretty big one when he sees a man being beaten and mugged right outside his office window, then smiles and says "Let's hope we don't cover him!" And threatens to fire Bob if he tries to help.
"I am Syndrome, your nemesis! And... [inadvertently throws Mr. Incredible out of sight] oh,brilliant."
The Underminer shows signs of this as well.
"I am beneath you! But NOTHING is beneath ME!!!" "I hereby declare war on PEACE and HAPPINESS!"
Dash's teacher is a less super-villainous example:
"Coincidence? I think NOT!!!!
Larynx Dissonance: Director Brad Bird voices Edna. This wasn't originally intended, but producers thought his "scratch", or guidance performance, was good enough. This happens frequently at Pixar. According to commentary, Brad Bird initially wanted someone else (Lily Tomlin) to voice Edna Mode. When he called her and gave a demonstration of what he wanted the voice to sound like, she laughed and asked him what he needed her for. He already had the voice down!
Played with in the Italian dub, where the voice actor is a woman (Amanda Lear) known for her distinctly deep and masculine voice.
Lava Adds Awesome: Syndrome's island base includes a dining room with walls of flowing lava for decoration.
Licensed Game: There are two: the one that is an action-adventure adaptation of the movie suitably stretched out on Nomanisan Island and starring the whole family, and a sequel beat-em-up game called Rise of the Underminer starring Mr. Incredible and Frozone.
The Parr family. "Par" means average or adequate, contrasting with "Incredible".
Violet can be taken to refer to ultraviolet light (which is beyond normal human visual acuity and is therefore invisible). Also, a "Shrinking Violet" refers to someone who is very shy or timid, which Violet tends to be until she Takes A Level In Badass.
Jack-Jack can be read as a reference to a jack of all trades, which he certainly appears to be.
Syndrome is Buddy "Pine", as in "I cry because I can't be your friend". In addition, he has the same initials as Mr. Incredible: Bob Parr and Buddy Pine. He also has a bad case of hero's syndrome.
Edna Mode: 'Mode' means 'fashion' in several languages.
Nomanisan Island (No man is an island), which ties into the film's themes of teamwork and family. Attempted in the Spanish translation, where the island is known as Isla Palos Locos ("Crazy Sticks Island", but can also be read as Isla Pa'los Locos, "Island For The Crazy").
"I am Syndrome! Your nemesis! And... (throws his arms up, hurling Mr. Incredible out of sight) Oh, brilliant."
Later Syndrome stops a fuel truck falling on a woman and her child. Once again he does his dramatic introduction, sending the fuel truck flying over his shoulder where it explodes in a ball of flame.
A Million is a Statistic: Averted. The scene when Mr. Incredible learns that Syndrome has killed dozens of supers. Most of them aren't established characters, but the scene is treated as appropriately horrific.
Mundane Utility: The Parr's homelife in a nutshell — especially Helen, who finds a way to apply her superpowers to nearly every household chore despite her oft-expressed desire to live a normal life. And, related to Power Perversion Potential, having an elastic body probably came in very handy during the pregnancies. (For that matter, a rubbery woman is the least likely for Bob to accidentally crush with his strength).
Never Trust a Trailer: Like other trailers for Pixar films, the trailer is basically a sketch that doesn't appear in the film, but the trailer is also deliberately misleading in that it changes all the memorabilia in Bob's office to indicate that he has always worn the red Mr. Incredible suit, as opposed to the blue one.
Never My Fault: Syndrome's motivation falls kind of flat when you realize that even though Mr. Incredible told him he worked alone, Buddy had distracted him repeatedly, let Bomb Voyage escape, and had nearly gotten killed because he repeatedly tried to "help".
Heck, Syndrome's whole plan, to bring Mr. Incredible out of retirement in order to kill him, makes him a better superhero now then he was in his prime, and bringing his whole family together makes them a formidable group.
No Export for You: For some reason, the "Vowellet" feature was omitted from the Region 2 DVD. Which is strange, given that this one movie is the only time most Europeans have heard of Sarah Vowell, the popular essayist and This American Life regular who voiced Violet, making this feature particularly important to Europeans.
No Flow in CGI: With one exception particular to this film: Violet's long hair required Pixar's engineers to write advanced custom software to get it right, and was one of the first challenges they tackled when making the film, since they knew they would need as much time as they could get to cope with unforeseen problems. The commentary discusses a scene where Edna reaches her hand through Incredible's old super suit and out the hole in the sleeve. It was not an easy task for the animators.
The creators also expressed their exasperation in the commentary for the scene where Elastigirl and the kids fall into the ocean.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted; it is explicitly shown that Syndrome put his Omnidroid through many prototypes so each new version could kill whichever superhero beat the old version.
Except Mr. Incredible beats the improved Omnidroid the exact same way he defeated the first one: using its own pointy limbs to breach its own armor. Syndrome had full view of how the Omnidroid was dispatched but he only changed his strategy to just making it bigger and faster so Mr. Incredible wouldn't have enough time to exploit the flaw a second time, whereas he could have rectified the obvious flaw so the heroes couldn't use the same trick twice.
No Such Thing As HR: While Bob does get in trouble for punching his boss through a wall, it's for using superpowers rather than, you know, punching his boss through a wall. Presumably the government had a hand in smoothing things over.
Not Good With Rejection: Buddy Pine makes this absolutely clear to Mr. Incredible after being refused by him as his sidekick, Incrediboy, and changed into Syndrome.
Not Now, Kiddo: Not now Dash. And Violet, you can set us free after Dad has his epiphany.
Not the Fall That Kills You: Averted. At the beginning, Mr. Incredible's attempt to stop a would-be jumper (when he's already fallen a good ten stories) is to stop his fall, hard. The jumper's neck ends up broken, and he sues Mr. Incredible for it. And at the end: when catching a falling Jack-Jack, Elastigirl stretches her arms out to slow down his velocity, before turning into a parachute.
Possibly because Marvel and DC claim a joint trademark (not copyright) on the former.
Not What It Looks Like: Mirage tells Bob his family survived Syndrome's missiles, and Bob is so grateful for the news that he gives Mirage a great big hug — and right at that moment, Helen, who fears Bob was having an affair, walks in to rescue him.
Bob Parr: Are you saying we shouldn't help our customers?!
Mr. Huph: The law requires that I answer "No."
Oh Crap: The Mook in the trailer gets a good one right before Mr. Incredible goes to town on his whole squad. Mr. Incredible gets one of his own in the film when the Omnidroid notices him with Syndrome's remote and promptly stomps on him.
Also Bob's reaction just after he loses his temper and punches Mr. Huph through the wall— he realizes he's just blown his superhero cover and he's going to get fired.
Bob had another reaction when a transmission of Helen requesting landing at Nomanisan plays and Syndrome orders missiles to be fired at the plane.
Old Superhero: As a minor theme: Both Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible notice themselves getting out of shape, and Mr. Incredible puts himself through personal training to become physically fit again.
One-Book Author: As of April 2012, this is still Sarah Vowell's only film role.
Only One Female Mold: A subtle background example. Edna Mode's design studio has three body type mannequins to model her clothes on: huge buff dude, medium-sized buff dude, and woman.
Our Demons Are Different: Okay, it's not really a demon, but at the end of the movie Jack Jack's powers include setting himself on fire, turning into heavy brimstone, and transforming into the freaking baby devil. It's probable they are homages to a famous superhero with similar powers, i.e., The Human Torch, Silver Surfer, and The Demon. Or he could just be an Expy of the Super-Skrull.
Dash: "DON'T! [ducks punch] TOUCH! [ducks another grab/punch] MY! SISTER!"
Parental Bonus / Getting Crap Past the Radar: Quite a few, actually. Every single instance of Helen dragging Robert back into the house when he shaped up. Most obvious one, the scene where only her arms are to be seen...
Syndrome: You married Elastigirl? ... And got (shakes hips) BI-ZAY!
Frozone:(while Syndrome's robot is attacking the city) We are talking about the greater good! Honey: I am your WIFE! I am the greatest GOOD you're EVER going to get!"
Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Mr. Incredible unexpectedly comes face-to-face with the mortal remains of Gazerbeam while on the run from Syndrome.
Post-Climax Confrontation: The family defeats Syndrome and they are heading home; when they arrive, they find out that Syndrome has abducted their youngest son Jack-Jack, so they must rescue him and defeat Syndrome again.
Posters Always Lie: Contrary to the poster above, Jack-Jack is never shown in the super suit designed by Edna Mode.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Dash uses speed to get a lot of blows on a Mook, who shrugs them off and punches Dash off of his glider with one blow. This turns out to be a good thing, as the glider then crashes. However, the "uh oh" part didn't come from Dash realizing the mook was shrugging off the punches — he was distracted by the cliff face the glider was on a collision course with.
Psychopathic Manchild: Although dangerous and murderous, Syndrome is a very childish man; he's immature, excitable, petulant, irresponsible, prone to mood swings, obsessed with gadgets and 'toys', and spiteful. His entire motivation stems from an admittedly wounding and hurtful but still relatively minor slight he suffered when he was a child.
Frozone: Wait a second, what's this? Is that me?... I'm white! They made me a white guy? Mr. Incredible: You're... You're... black...ish... Frozone: They made me a white guy! Mr. Incredible: Well... Maybe the print's faded. You're tan. ...-ish? Frozone: Wait, wait, wait. Is that supposed to be me? I sound like a, a... A what? A beatnik! Yeah, that's it, I sound like a beatnik! Mr. Incredible: It was meant to sound cool! Frozone: Well, it doesn't sound cool, and it doesn't sound like me. I sound cool. And if it sounded like me, it would sound cool.
Repetitive Name: Jack-Jack. (Well, he is a toddler, it's probably not his real name).
Required Secondary Powers: Violet can't make her clothes invisible so needs a special suit, and Dash's suit is made to be friction-resistant, suggesting he can't run quite as fast in ordinary clothes without destroying them.
Retired Badass: Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible. For a while. She adapts pretty well, he's not so happy about it. Possibly also Edna, who is apparently doing ordinary fashion design with shows in Milan when Bob comes to see her. She leaps at the chance to design for "gods" again.
Screams Like a Little Girl: Syndrome when Jack-Jack goes demon-baby, pulls out his hair. Also, just as he's about to die. Foreshadowed when Syndrome is taunting Mr. Incredible at his island base.
Self-Serving Memory: Syndrome guilts Mr. Incredible into thinking he was wrong to have rejected him as a sidekick.
Sequel Hook: The Underminer rises from below the city streets at the end of the film; the Parr family reacts by all masking up. Even Jack-Jack. Ultimately, The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer was made into a video game.
Satellite Love Interest: Violet's crush Tony only appears in two scenes, and mainly exists to demonstrate her character development over the course of the movie.
Dash vs. the speeders calls back the Star Wars Endor speeder bike chase. He also uses some "swing on a vine" tricks similar to what the Ewoks pulled off against the Empire.
Oh and speaking of Star Wars, the scene where Mr. Incredible chokes Mirage for betraying him and having him locked up by Syndrome can be seen as a reference to Chewbaca choking Lando for betraying the Rebels to Darth Vader.
The call-sign of Helen's plane is "India Golf Niner-Niner", or "IG 99", referencing The Iron Giant, director Brad Bird's previous film. The Iron Giant — "I.G." — came out in '99.
Syndrome entitled his project "Kronos", which is the name of a 1957 film featuring a giant killer robot.
Not to mention, Kronos, in Greek Myth, is titled the 'all devouring' and eats his children, the Olympians (except for Zeus, of course), and in other words, killing. What do those Omnidroids (the all devouring,) do to the superheroes (the Olympians)? So, Kronos=Omnidroid, Olympians=Supers, and (in a way,) Zeus=Bob.
The interiors of Syndrome's base look like those of the "Liparus" and "Atlantis" in The Spy Who Loved Me, as well as Blofeld's volcano base in You Only Live Twice. The scene of Mr. Incredible leaning on the balcony railing is from Dr. No. Furthermore, Michael Giacchino's soundtrack would have fit perfectly in a James Bond film — the opening fanfare is a Suspiciously Similar Song to the theme from On Her Majestys Secret Service. (Brad Bird initially wanted John Barry himself to do the score, but he was unavailable.)
The rolling giant robot-ball and the closing flame curtains both recall Indiana Jones.
The mascot of the middle school that Violet attends — a Spartan — is the same as Brad Bird's high school, Corvallis High School. The design of the high school is also what CHS used to look like (it was bulldozed and rebuilt in 2005)
Elastigirl finds out her husband has been keeping secrets from her, doing hero-work behind her back, and follows him into enemy territory, determined to find him no matter what the obstacles or dangers involved, requiring her to stealthily sneak among troops of Mooks like a ninja — exactly what Marguerite Blakeney does in the Super HeroTrope CodifierThe Scarlet Pimpernel. Marguerite and Elastigirl also both have a daughter named Violet.
The ship that Syndrome's robot flies into the city in (and, to an extent, the robot itself) is modeled on Dr. Zin's "The Robot Spy" on Jonny Quest.
Also, Dash channels Little Mac in a fistfight with one of the goons on their speeder.
"You are my greatest adventure..." My Greatest Adventure was the DC comic that introduced the Doom Patrol.
Someone on Youtube commented to Mr. Incredible that "Freakazoid! wants his costume design back".
The Underminer, the villain that appears at the very end of the movie, is extremely similar to the first villain another certain superhero family fight on their very first published comic.
The Parr family is itself a homage to the Fantastic Four: Bob has the Thing's strength minus his stone-like appearance, Helen has Mr. Fantastic's stretching ability, Violet can turn invisible and generate forcefields like the Invisible Woman, and Dash has the Human Torch's arrogantly cocky personality. And baby Jack-Jack can set himself on fire like the Torch.
In the end, the shot of Mr. Incredible pulling his shirt apart, revealing his superhero emblem, is exactly like Superman.
The end when Jack-Jack manifests powers for the first time in the movie pays homage to the Human Torch (someone becoming a human fireball), Colossus (someone turning his skin to super-dense metal at will) and The Incredible Hulk (someone turning into a monstrous alter-ego when angry).
Shown Their Work: Helen's radio-speak is realistic. In the commentary Brad Bird points out how Mark Andrews wrote the script using military language used in emergencies, and that Helen's voice actor (Holly Hunter) insisted on knowing exactly what everything she was saying meant. "VFR on top" indicates she is flying in the regime of Visual Flight Rules 'on top' of a cloud cover. She then requests vectors to the "initial", the initial landing approach. "Angels 10" is her altitude call - ten thousand feet. "Track east" is her current direction of travel from her current position. Her "buddy-spiked" mayday is US Air Force code, as a warning not to fire, given to an aircraft who has radar lock on a friendly - in this case, Helen was referring to the missiles she thought were fired by friendlies. "Transmitting in the Blind Guard" is a call on the emergency frequency where 2-way communication has not been established.
The only snag was substituting the aircraft's tail number from the "proper" N-number so that it could be a Shout Out.
Snow Means Cold: Averted; Frozone can't use his powers when the air is too arid.
The same scene establishes that he can use his powers provided he's getting moisture from somewhere; either the air around him, or his body's own reserves (except that there in that burning building, well, all the heat was making him dehydrated).
Staring Kid: An unnamed one on a tricycle. After seeing Mr. Incredible lift his car in a fit of rage, he starts regularly coming to the Incredible family's driveway in hopes of seeing such feats again. He's there to witness the family defeat Syndrome and have their house blown up.
Staring Kid: THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!
Start of Darkness: Shown in a flashback on how Mr. Incredible giving Buddy, his #1 fan, the cold shoulder eventually turned him into Syndrome.
A meta-example, the "Incredits" track of The Incredibles soundtrack. A portmanteau of the movie's title, The Incredibles, and the word "End Credits", where the track is heard in the movie.
Also from the soundtrack, "Lithe or Death" when Helen has to use her powers to sneak into Syndrome's headquarters.
Think about this visual stealth pun. Mr. Incredible gets through a wall of lava to get to Syndrome's private computer. What's it called when a program on a computer is used to keep malicious outside forces, well, outside? Is it or is it not called a firewall?
Of course, this has long been addressed in actual comics (for one, capes are easily detachable), and the real reason for "no capes" is that the animators didn't want to deal with cape physics and animation over the course of an entire film.
Super Registration Act: One of the main themes is the heroes being forced into hiding. However, it's notably given a twist in that the push comes, not from the government, but from the public. The supers are actually backed by Uncle Sam.
Tanks For Nothing: When the spider droid first attacks, a bunch of tanks attempt to stop it. Futilely, of course.
Telepathic Sprinklers: After Bob's mysterious new job offer self-destructs. Smoke alarms sound, then all the sprinklers in the house go off. Dash in particular thinks it's awesome, but at least Bob is shown blow-drying soaked books afterwards.
How many houses have sprinkler systems built into them?
How many houses have Supers living under the roof?
Tempting Fate: "Hey, we're superheroes. What could happen?" (Twice this is said, and twice they found out).
"Don't worry Mrs. Parr. I can handle anything this baby dishes out..."
"This is not the end of it! I'll get your son eventually! I'll get your son!" Seconds later, Bob makes sure it's the end of it and Syndrome is introduced to the business end of a jet turbine.
That Man Is Dead: When Mr. Incredible identifies Syndrome as the grown-up Buddy Pine.
Syndrome: My name is not Buddy! And it's not Incredi-boy, either! That ship has sailed!
This Is Gonna Suck: Mr. Incredible's expression just before stopping a train early in the movie is this trope.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: Completely averted. None of the Incredibles have any problem using deadly force in self-defense, and a lot of mooks die as a result.
Throwing The Distraction: Played with. Mr. Incredible picks up a rock, and you think he's going to throw it to cause a sound that will distract the guards, and indeed he does throw it... to knock out another nearby guard, who promptly (and loudly) falls to the ground. Which is also an acceptable way to distract the guards.
Two-Person Love Triangle: Subverted where Bob, as Mr. Incredible, flirts with Helen, in her Elastigirl outfit, before being distracted while on his way to his wedding. However, as it turns out Bob is marrying Helen and both of them already know the other's superhero identity. They seem to just flirt in costume as if they don't know each other because they like it.
It's also probably to help preserve the Secret Identity of both heroes by making sure they don't slip up and reveal something they shouldn't around a bad guy.
Tykebomb: It thankfully never happens, but Syndrome expresses interest in turning Jack-Jack into one.
Ungrateful Bastard: The citizens saved by supers sue over minor injuries incurred while saving their lives. Of course, it depends on how you look at it, which is the whole beginning of the movie: you can see it as the superheros saving people, but in the meantime, destroying half the city and hurting people accidentally along the way. In other shows, if the city is destroyed it's fine later, but this is giving it a more realistic touch, and that is this all costs MONEY.
Unwanted Rescue: Mr. Incredible gets sued for saving the life of a guy who was trying to commit suicide.
But in the end he makes the Supers re-emerge and being hold as heroes again, thanks to his failed scheme.
Unreliable Narrator: Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: One misunderstanding with Mr. Incredible is what makes Buddy into a supervillain called Syndrome.
Walk on Water: Dash is quite surprised to discover his Super Speed enables this. How does he stop and turn the other way? Super Reflexes. And when he's surrounded by two flying Mooks? He stops in a panic, and instantly sinks.
The Walls Are Closing In: There's a visually similar scene, as Mr. Incredible races to get out from between two closing walls of lava.
Wasn't That Fun?: Invoked after their winnebago drops from a crushing altitude, lands on a crowded interstate, takes out half a dozen other cars, somersaults down the road, and stops in a vacant parking spot...
Mr. Incredible: Everyone okay back there? Violet: Super-duper, dad! Dash: Let's do that again!
Weight Woe: Elastigirl. She isn't a big fan of her butt.
We Will Meet Again: "This isn't the end of it! I will get your son eventually! I'll get your son!" Bob promptly throws his car at Syndrome's plane.
When the supers are forced into retirement, the existing villains seem to disappear as well, and it's never explained what happened to them. It may be that the government did keep some of the supers fighting the good fight without the flashy codenames and costumes... just not the easily recognizable headliners like Mr. Incredible, of course. Or the military could take over. There was at least one fan fiction that explored that mouse, suggesting that at least some of the old villains joined the private sector.
Mirage disappears from the story after helping the family escape from Syndrome's lair. A recent issue of the comic book reveals she's working with the Agency that monitors the superheroes.
Women Are Wiser: On the whole, Helen acclimatises to civilian life much better than Bob does. She's also more concerned for her family overall, while Bob's yearning for the Glory Days — although understandable — leads him to act in a rather isolated, neglectful and self-centred fashion at times.
In the commentary, Brad Bird explicitly expresses that it was averted due to the prevalence of this trope in media set for kids by the Media Watchdogs, saying that he felt that such an attitude is more damaging to kids than helpful.
Syndrome has no qualms about shooting Mr. Incredible's children out of the sky along with his wife.
From the beginning of the movie, Bomb Voyage sticks a bomb to an oblivious Buddy's costume as he's flying off to make Mr. Incredible try and save Buddy instead of stopping him. He pretty clearly didn't care if the kid got blown up.
Xanatos-Gambit: Syndrome's Omnidrones. He pits them against supers and benefits no matter what happens. If the heroes win, he can use the data from the fight to improve the Omnidrone until it wins, and by 'win' I mean 'kills the super'.