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.In late March 2014, Pixar announced a sequel, with Brad Bird helming once again as director. What thrilling adventures await the Incredibles next? Tune in... in 2016!For information on the DVD shorts Jack-Jack Attack and Mr. Incredible and Pals, see the Pixar Shorts page.
"There are children aboard! I repeat, there are children aboard..." Helen grows steadily more desperate through that scene, and only pulls out the "children" card as a last resort.
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.
As far as Bob knew, his entire family was killed when the plane was shot down.
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.
Affair Hair: Helen finds a long white hair on Mr. Incredible's suit. This along with several other clues leads her to believe that he's cheating on her, although he isn't.
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.
(later, when showing Helen's new suit)
Edna: Your suit can stretch as far as you can without injuring yourself, and still retain its shape. Virtually indestructible, yet it breathes like Egyptian cotton.
Art Shift: Invoked. The opening and closing themes are animated in a shiny 60s and 70s 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. His primary weapon is 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.
Badly Battered Babysitter: Poor Kari. (Mostly seen in Jack-Jack Attack.) She becomes increasingly frantic on the phone to Helen, indicating that Jack-Jack has powers too.
Bathos: There's a dramatic moment where the family is racing to save the city in a rocket. Along the way, they do what any family does on a long "car" trip - they bicker.
Dash: Are we there yet? Bob: We'll get there when we get there!
Battle Discretion Shot: Just before escaping Syndrome's base in a rocket, Mr. Incredible confronts a van full of Mooks. Cue an outside shot of the van rocking and shaking as he takes them out. They were lucky he was in too much of a hurry to make them suffer. They were playing a drinking game based on the carnage Syndrome was inflicting.
Big Bad: Syndrome is responsible for the all the danger in this plot and stopping his Evil Plan is the Parr family's first family mission.
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.
Black Best Friend: Lucius, aka Frozone is Bob's partner, best man, and best friend. He's the only friend of the Incredibles that is shown.
Blunt Yes: When Dash, Violet, and Helen are in the ocean after Syndrome shot down their plane, and Helen suggests swimming toward the ground-to-air missiles' contrails.
Dash: You wanna go toward the people that tried to kill us? Helen: If it means land? Yes.
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, and later the kid shows up expecting something amazing but being disappointed. Guess who shows up at the climax of the film and is thrilled at last?
Broken Aesop: Spoofed in the bonus features on the DVD. One feature had one of the superheroes who was a Friend to All Children and worked regularly to keep them safe and educated give a speech about how important it is to stay in school, since the superhero in question dropped out. However, he quickly realizes he is mangling the aesop with him saying things like "stay in school, or you'll end up like me," since he is famous and well-beloved and has superpowers. He does not quite know how to proceed once he figures out that this is not sending the correct message.
Bullet Proof Fashion Plate: Edna Mode, fashion designer for Supers, creates costumes that are bullet-proof, fire-proof, and rocket-proof, and which can adapt to the powers of their wearers.
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 since the beginning. For example, they were both animators on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and were involved in nearly 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 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 The Flash and even calls himself "The Dash" when he gets his suit.
Frozone is 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.
Car Cushion: Frozone lands on one during the killer robot battle.
Car Fu: Mr. Incredible throws his car at Syndrome when the latter tries to escape.
Cat Up a Tree: During the opening car chase sequence. Mr Incredible takes the extreme solution of uprooting the tree.
Catch a Falling Star: At the end, Helen catches a falling Jack-Jack. Justified more than most examples because Helen used her elastic powers to slow down Jack-Jack's fall for several feet before actually stopping it.
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.
Chekhov's Volcano: Averted. Syndrome's base is built in and around a volcano, but it erupting is never brought up.
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 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.
Context-Sensitive Button : Syndrome's remote only has four buttons, yet they vary between doing nothing, activating individual limbs, controlling a specific detached claw, and so forth.
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, and also wearing his brand new super suit.
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 the boss's 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'."
Close on Title: Although with such artistic end credits, it doesn't feel like the end.
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.
Creative Closing Credits: 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.
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.
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. They probably have a lot of practice thanks to all the other supers Syndrome hunted 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.
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. However, the guy that sued for a "Ruined suicide" falls under Artistic License - Law because of real life Good Samaritan Laws.
Description Porn: Edna's presentation of the costumes she makes for the Parr family. She seems rather down about no longer being able to make super suits, so presumably Edna was very excited to be showing off her work. Justified in that if you're being handed a supersuit, you wanna know exactly what it does. Also makes for cool visual effects.
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.
Die or Fly: Violet finally learns to create large forcefields when jumping at her brother to save him, and Dash is desperately running from guards in flying machines when he finds that he can run on water.
Disproportionate Retribution: Syndrome was just a geeky kid who wanted to be a super-sidekick using his gadgetry. After he's rather roughly dismissed by his hero, Mr. Incredible (who was trying to deal with multiple disasters at that particular moment, one of which had been caused by the kid's clumsy attempt to help, and was also on the verge of being late to his own wedding), he goes to the dark side and spends his life designing technology so he can kill off all the world's superheroes, take their place, and then eventually sell his inventions so that everyone can be super, depriving everyone of their uniqueness. He takes special glee in his attempts to kill/abduct Mr. Incredible's wife and kids.
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.
Evil Laugh: Done by Syndrome after he thinks he's killed Bob's family. Lampshaded, 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. Syndrome gives another one after revealing his full plan to the Parr family.
Dash gives a rather evil-sounding chuckle when he realizes he can run on water.
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.
Expressive Mask: The Parr family and Syndrome have a wide range despite their domino masks.
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.
Face-Heel Turn: Buddy wanted to be a super hero sidkick but became a villain after he was rejected.
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: Mr. Incredible tosses a car at Syndrome causing him to go flying into the engine of his jet plane where his cape gets caught in a propeller and he is slowly pulled into the engine and chopped to pieces (granted the moment of death was off-screen it was still pretty gruesome to think about). Earlier in the film, Edna Mode listed a number of superheroes who had met their untimely demise on account of their capes getting hung, one of which just so happened to get sucked into a jet engine. Even more so when you realise that it means that little bits of flesh and blood and bone would be raining down over the neighbourhood for a few minutes afterwards. Also, every time a hovercraft exploded with a Mook inside.
The entire "NO CAPES" sequence, which demonstrates the dangers of having a cape as part of the costume, specifically "Stratogale! April 23rd, '57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!" Syndrome didn't listen.
Helen's supersuit being able to withstand missiles being fired upon it.
After Mirage tells Mr. incredible about the Omnidroid, he remarks that it had gotten smart enough to wonder why it had to take orders.
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. 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.
Happily Married: Bob and Helen. They love each other and support each other through underground living, superhero withdrawl and a new villain.
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.
Hero-Worshipper: Buddy created his own suit based on Mr.Incredible so he could be the guy's sidekick.
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 because 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 Genetics: 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.
Hollywood Law: In actuality, 'Good Samaritan' laws have been passed which specifically protect people from prosecution or lawsuits for damages or injuries that occur when responding to a crime or disaster. In cases like those which open the film, 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") before a jury is even selected.
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.
I Just Want to Be Normal: Violet can't stand having powers and wants to be a muggle like a classmates. Then the Adrenaline Makeover makes her realize how awesome she is when she has confidence and uses her powers to help and protect her family.
I Just Want to Be Special: Syndrome, despite the fact that, through use of his incredible intelligence and advanced technology, could make himself a super without having to go into villainy.
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.
In Harm's Way: Bob loves the dangerous superhero life so much he buys a police scanner and lies to his wife so he can look for baddies to beat up.
Injury Bookend: The out-of-shape Mr. I hurts his back while laughing about his easy defeat of the first OmniDroid. When it immediately comes back for round two, he can\'t fight properly, and it grabs him and tries to pull him in half. Instead it fixes his back, at which point he curbstomps the thing.
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.
An unintentional, yet hilarious example: Gilbert Huph also looks a lot like German comedian Herbert Feuerstein - who was promptly hired as his voice actor in the German dub.
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" which is 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.
I Work Alone: Bob, before raising a family that also had superpowers.
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.
Mirage is not what she appears to be at first glance.
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").
Syndrome does this with hilarious results as he wears an Arm Cannon shooting a beam of energy that suspends his target in mid-air.
"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.
The Parr's homelife in a nutshell — Helen finds a way to apply her superpowers to nearly every household chore despite her oft-expressed desire to live a normal life. 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 Say "Die": Averted. Helen is very clear to her children about what will happen if the bad guys catch them.
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".
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: After Mr. Incredible throws out his back in his first fight against Syndrome's Omnidroid, the robot's attempt to pull him apart straightens his back right back out. Curb-Stomp Battle ensues. 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.
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. Syndrome had full view of how the Omnidroid was dispacthed and made the next one bigger and faster so Mr. Incredible wouldn't have enough time to exploit the flaw a second time. If not for the back up of four other supers with widely different powers, he could have lost.
No Such Thing as H.R.: While Bob gets in trouble for punching his boss through a wall, it's for using superpowers rather than 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. At the end: when catching a falling Jack-Jack, Elastigirl stretches her arms out to slow down his velocity, before turning into a parachute.
Not Using the Z Word: The word "superhero" is hardly used, but instead they're called "supers". 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.
Nuclear Family: The protagonists; two parents, two kids (boy and girl) and a new baby.
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. Then again by Bob in the same scene, when Helen mentions that there are children on board the plane. Mirage shares this reaction.
Bob gives this reaction when he gives Helen the slip of doing some heroic action under the guise of bowling with Lucius.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Briefly before fighting the Omnidroid, Bob tells Helen to stay back to protect the kids. She thinks he's trying to prove something, when really he's still reeling from their near deaths earlier and is simply scared for their safety.
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 likely 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.
Papa Wolf: Bob Parr, despite being The Cape, just might kill you if you threaten his family.
Parental Bonus: Every single instance of Helen dragging Robert back into the house after 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.
Peek-a-Bangs: Violet hides behind her hair due to a Shrinking Violet nature. At the end of the movie, she's wearing a bandanda to keep it out of her eyes.
Personality Powers: Violet, the shy and insecure teenager, can become invisible and project shields. Hot-headed and high-spirited Dash has super speed. Nigh Invulnerable Bob has immense stubbornness and a big heart to go with his Super Strength. Helen is a partial aversion of this — she's capable of great multitasking and organization, but she's not nearly as "flexible" as her husband would like.
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.
Prophetic Names: Dashiell Robert Parr, nicknamed "Dash." A speedster. Somebody really shoulda seen that coming.
Punched Across the Room: Mr. Huph kind of deserved it, but Bob still gets fired for punching him across his office and through a wall.
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.
Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Dash is surprised (and delighted) when he discovers he can use superspeed for machine gun punching.
Reckless Sidekick: Incrediboy could have picked a different day to make his pitch; when there wasn't a mad bomber and a suicide around.
Reconstruction: While it has Deconstructive elements, it also turns the Tropes around, such as switching traits with heroes and villains, as well as correcting past mistakes.
Refused by the Call: Buddy wants to step up as "Incrediboy"! but Mr.Incredible is not interested.
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.
Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible. For a while. She adapts pretty well, he's not so happy about it.
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.
Retraux: The interviews at the beginning are on a smaller screen with various artefacts, designed to make the footage look older. This contrasts with the smooth "15 years later" look of most of the film.
Rewind, Replay, Repeat: Bernie, the teacher, does it with a video in an attempt to prove Dash is putting tacks in his chair.
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. 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.
During Bob's first visit to the island, as he runs through the jungle searching for the "escaped" robot, there's a shot-for-shot from Predator of him stepping off a ledge and descending into a valley, and many of the other scenes during that segment are also at least highly similar to ones from that same movie.
Syndrome entitled his project "Kronos", which is the name of a 1957 film featuring a giant killer robot. In Greek Myth, it's 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 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". note So he can give it back to Madman.
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. Jack-Jack also seems to be based off Franklin Richards, son of Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four, whose powers basically extend to whatever he likes. Also, Mrs. Incredible? Elastic? It's an obvious shout-out to the name and powers of Mister Fantastic. And the shout-out is reciprocated in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, in which Richards turns himself into a parachute to catch his partners and says, "I saw this in a movie once."
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.
The Smurfette Principle: The movie averts this by being demographically balanced (main cast: two female, two male; supporting cast: one each; villains: one each). Also, each of the adult females are shown to be independently competent, and the main villain finds out that treating his female ally like an expendable resource will have consequences.
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).
Sphere Factor: Violet's spherical force field and Dash's running combine to make a pretty good weapon.
Spider Tank: The Omnidroid is a big black ball with legs coming out all sides.
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?
The big robot apparently self-destructs so completely it's reduced to something finer than powder.
But wait, there's more. On the "special features" DVD, there is an easter-egg self-parody video that makes homage to the amount of times that things explode in the movie, as well as the buttons that are pressed and the doors that are opened and shut, by stringing them all together to the tune of "The Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's opera Il Trovatore. The sequence ends with this quote- "The Incredibles- no sequence unexploded."
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.
Super Speed: Dash can move so fast that he can pull a prank on camera and avoid punishment because the camera can't keep up with him.
Super Strength: Bob gains a lot of weight in the years after his forced retirement, but can still lift his car with one hand.
Superpowerful Genetics: Explains how a super-strong guy and a stretching woman give birth to a super-fast boy, a girl with invisibility powers, and a shapeshifter. In a deleted scene, Syndrome, discovering that Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl have a child, acts shocked, reminding them that it's illegal for supers to breed.
Superpower Lottery: Jack-Jack has a dozen different powers. It's implied he's a shapeshifter.
Swallowed a Fly: When Dash runs into the swarm of bugs, one apparently gets in his mouth and he gags and spits it out.
Tall Poppy Syndrome: Supers are the tall poppies which can cut down by muggles and their law suits. Syndrome's Evil Plan includes making everyone a tall poppy because then no one will be tall, or a poppy.
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, and 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.
"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!
The Resenter: Buddy aka Syndrome against Mr. Incredible because the former lacks superpowers.
This Is Gonna Suck: Mr. Incredible's expression just before stopping a train early in the movie. Even for superstrength, that is tough.
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.
Thumbtack On The Chair: One way Dash abuses his super-speed and mess with his teacher at school. He does it often enough that the teacher tries to video-tape Dash to catch him in the act.
Top-Heavy Guy: Mr. Incredible has a big and broud chest that dwarfs his legs.
Try Not to Die: Mirage to Mr. Incredible, while sending him after the Omnidroid.
Tuck and Cover: Helen uses this to shield the kids with her explosive proof suit.
Tunnel King: The Underminer with his drills and indicative name.
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 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. Regardless of colateral damage, they could at least say "thank you" before suing them.
Unwanted Rescue: Mr. Incredible gets sued for saving the life of a guy who was trying to commit suicide.
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.
Vague Age: Mirage. She has the body of a young woman but all her hair is grey.
Visual Pun: The computer containing information about Omnibot's goals is protected by a trap which is basically a wall made of lava. In other words, it's a firewall.
The Voice: Frozone's wife is made of sass for all we know because we never see her.
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. 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 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 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. An 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.
World of Badass: Zig-Zagged. The world is indeed full of badass superheroes, but it turns out that ordinary people don't want them around, leading to the Super Registration Act. All the main characters are supers, but the point is made a few times, "If everyone is super, then no one is."
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' read 'kills the super'.