Western Animation: Turbo

"I wish I was fast."
— Turbo

Turbo is a 2013 DreamWorks Animation CG family film that revolves around a garden snail, Turbo (Ryan Reynolds), who dreams about becoming fast so that he can race like his Indianapolis 500 idol, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader). His dreams make him a little distant from his slow-paced snail society, which includes his careful brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), who is constantly putting up with the embarrassment Turbo brings into his life. As luck would have it, a freak accident causes Turbo to get just what he's asking for when nitrous oxide becomes infused in his DNA. This causes him to become a snail racing wonder, and the possibility of competing in the Indianapolis 500 is just within his grasp.

The film was directed by David Soren, who was a story artist for several other DreamWorks movies, as well as the head of story for Shark Tale. Watch the first trailer here and the second here.

Before the film even aired, a Flash-animated television series entitled Turbo F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team) was announced to begin airing on Netflix in December 2013. The first season's episodes were released in blocks of about five episodes at a time every three months from December 24, 2013 to December 1, 2014 and season two starting July 31, 2015. The series is animated by Titmouse, who previously did another Flash-animated series involving high-speed action, Motorcity.

This film provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: After mastering his Super Speed, Turbo begins showing this trope, mainly by blowing off the Snail Crew when they propose him to join. They're quick to give him a lesson and deflate his ego.
  • All-CGI Cartoon
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The snails range in all sorts of different colors.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The shot of Turbo's heart being imbued with nitrous oxide shows it attached to a branching network of blood vessels. Snails have an open circulatory system. Snails are also hermaphrodites,note  so the running joke of Chet's gender is a moot point.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Nitrous oxide isn't anything especially fast. It just allows engines to burn more fuel. And if anything it slows animals down (it's laughing gas).
  • Artistic License – Physics: As mentioned elsewhere on this wiki, Super Speed has one of the longest Required Secondary Power lists there is, and this is only exacerbated by Turbo being a snail.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Racing practically runs on Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught; because of this, what defines a car is pretty rigorously defined, negating the Animal Athlete Loophole. Also, a crash like what happened on the last lap would have almost certainly drawn a red flag and stopped the race - having Turbo and Gagne "racing" to the finish line - one dragging his broken car, the other dragging his broken shell - was pure Rule of Funny.
  • Badass: Whiplash. He's voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, what did you expect?
  • Badass Crew: The Snail Crew. Period. For example, they are able to hijack a flock of crows - who've spent the whole movie preying on snails - to use as their personal Power-Up Mounts.
    • In the final race, each one of them gets a shell upgrade: their own customized, stylish, Transformers-style miniature vehicle to help them compete in their snail races.
  • Big Bad: Guy Gagne
  • Big Brother Instinct: Chet is this to Theo A.K.A. Turbo: It's justified since Turbo is quite reckless.
  • Big Little Brother: Tito hovers over his older brother, Angelo.
  • Birds of a Feather: Non-romantic example: Turbo and Tito.
  • Broken Pedestal: Guy Gagne, Turbo's idol, is actually a self centered jerkass who only supported Turbo in order to promote himself.
  • Brought Down to Normal: A surprising subversion. Even though Turbo's shell did crack and made him lose his Super Speed, the shell only needed to heal on its own for his Super Speed to return.
  • The Cameo: Phil the monkey can be seen on a newspaper article when Angelo tells Tito that his monkey petting zoo idea was crazy.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Tuck and roll.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The Snail Crew, particularly White Shadow.
  • Cool Car: The car in which Turbo gets his powers from is a heavily modified Chevy Camero.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The snails messing around objects pertaining to who worked on what ( Example: A laptop for animators. An ipod for Music Composers, etc) as well as objects seen in the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chet. Especially towards Theo AKA Turbo.
  • Determinator: Turbo and Tito definitely qualify, especially the former.
  • DreamWorks Face: Well, duh.
  • The Faceless: The driver of the Camero never has his face shown.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Brothers, plural, in this case. One scene even has Chet and Angelo mirror each other as they chastise Turbo and Tito respectively. Hilariously, Chet even goes "what he said" to one of Angelo's comments.
  • Fat and Skinny: Seems this way with Turbo and Chet.
  • Fiery Redhead: Burns. Technically she has red skin, but it counts.
  • Fragile Speedster: Being a snail, Turbo already can't take too much damage as it is. Racing down a speedway alongside cars that could cripple or kill a non-protected human...yeah.
  • French Jerk: Guy Gagne, although he's French-Canadian.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The rest of the crew seems to find White Shadow more annoying than anything else.
  • Fun with Acronyms: At one point Chet mentions something called Crow Awareness Week—in other words, C.A.W.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Had Guy not felt the need to make himself look like a supporting and fellow racing competitor and lead a rally to get Turbo to compete in the Indy 500, he wouldn't have lost in the race; to make it worse on his part, Turbo won without his Super Speed.
    • On top of that, his attempts to stomp on Turbo and him jumping out to grab him only HELPED Turbo cross the finish line.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Turbo wants to be more than just your average garden snail. He gets his wish.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Twice by Whiplash.
    I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear what I clearly just heard!
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Paz.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Several, with Luis Guzman as Angelo being the most notable.
  • Jerk Jock: Guy Gagne seems to be a subversion at first but quickly shows he's this before the final race.
  • Love Interest: Played With. Burn has Love at First Sight... for Chet.
  • Meaningful Name: Guy Gagné. 'Guy' comes from 'Guido', which is derived from an old word for 'leader', and 'gagné' is French for 'won', so he's the leader who won. Some argue that Guido comes from the verb 'guidare', meaning to drive, which would make him the Driver Who Won. Unfortunately for him it doesn't come true in the end.
  • Memetic Mutation: In-universe, "Whoa! That snail is fast!" complete with remix videos.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Turbo does this from inside a crow that swallowed him just after he saved his brother Chet. Nope, it's NEVER a good idea to eat something with super powers.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Kim-Ly
  • Never Mess with Granny: Kim-Ly as Guy found out the hard way.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The crows are photorealistic, but the snails are cartoony, and humans somewhere in between. Justfied; this was done to set the crows apart as feral predators and later Power-Up Mounts to the Snail Crew.
  • Official Couple: Chet and Burn by the film's end.
  • Only Sane Snail: Chet
    Chet: Has the world lost its mind?!
  • Power Glows: After gaining his super speed ability, Turbo leaves behind a phosphorescent blue trail in his wake.
  • Product Placement: Features several companies due to race cars having branding). Verizon also appears on a mobile phone.
  • Production Throwback: The chimpanzees from Madagascar appear in a newspaper page when Angelo reminds Tito of his past failed plans to get customers.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Recycled In Space: Ratatouille WITH SNAILS!! The plot of Turbo and Ratatouille involve a single main character who desires to break out in a field in which it is discouraged due to their species and not their skills. Both Turbo and Rémy are The Speechless. Both characters have a brother who attempts to discourage them but eventually, grudgingly supports them. Both glimpse this world through the TV. Both are forced from their world due to circumstances involving natural disaster. Rémy is cast away by a flood and Turbo rescues his brother from a hungry bird. Both situations force them far from their original location. Both works include a bittersweet success at the end. The restaurant in ratatouille closes down and Turbo loses his Super Speed. Rémy ends up working at a small bistro, and Turbo regains his superpowers.
  • Recycled Premise: A non-human with dreams normally only achievable by humans?, gaining an indirect mentor (through television) in a famous practitioner of that dream?, the protagonist having a unique trait that makes that dream possible, as well as a human Heterosexual Life Partner? This, in a lot of ways, is the DreamWorks Animation equivalent to Ratatouille if it was based around racing, starred a snail, and with the protagonist meeting the Gusteau analog (with the Gusteau analog being a villain).
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Guy Gagne
  • Sore Loser: Guy Gagne does not take kindly to being shown up by anyone, let alone by a snail.
  • Spicy Latina: Burn.
  • Stealth Pun: Look at that S(nail)-car GO!
  • Super Hero Origin: One thing that does distinguish this from Ratatouille is that it's basically a superhero origin story - with a snail as the superhero.
  • Super Speed: Turbo gets this, becoming fast enough to compete with a race car.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: A crow eats Turbo post-transformation, and the result isn't pretty (see above). Yup, still not a good idea to eat something with super powers.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The fact that Guy was a great A Jerk Ass Glory Hound was pretty much on every commercial whereas in the film he is treated as a kind-hearted team player until the Wham Line around two-thirds into the movie.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Inverted, as the wild Burn instantly falls for the very uptight Chet.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In-Universe Humans can't tell that Chet is a boy, much to his chagrin. Hilariously, snails in real life are hermaphrodites.
  • Wham Line: While relatively minor, the moment the line dropped was the moment that Guy Gangé was going to be the central antagonist, and if it doesn't help, then the music by the end of his speech turning sinister and him acting like a massive jerk afterwards will.
    Well, the sad truth is, uh, underdogs seldom win. And the dreamers... let's just say, eventually they have to wake up.
  • X Meets Y: Most commonly described as Cars meets Ratatouille.
  • Zany Scheme: Tito is guilty of concocting some zany gimmicks in order to promote his and his brother's restaurant.

Turbo: F.A.S.T. provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Tito and Kim-Ly are the only Starlight Plaza humans to appear, which is particularly noticeable in the case of "Dos Bros Tacos", which now appears to be run entirely by a single Bro. Angelo isn't even mentioned.
  • Affectionate Nickname: "Boo" for Chet, by Burn.
  • Animal Gender Bender: "Terror of Tickula" features a group of male mosquitos that drink blood.
  • Art Shift: 2-D Adobe Flash Animated.
    • This also happens within the show in "Ace of Race" when Turbo imagines a hypothetical situation, done in a cut-paper style similar to South Park.
    • The cut-paper style returns during "Hardcase Returns" when Chet imagines what type of crimes Hardcase could commit.
  • Batman Gambit: Breakneck's plan in "Breakneck's Back". He enters the Tomato Games to ensure that Whiplash also enters, then purposefully cheats, knowing Whiplash wouldn't pass up a chance to expose him and disqualify himself, thus having Whiplash win the cup and the ceremonial shell... so that he could steal his motorshell.
  • Beach Episode: Surf 'N Turf
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Subverted at the beginning of "The Escargot Affair."
    Tito: Bill, stop sending your mail to the restaurant!
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Inverted. In "Beat-A-Fajita", Tito calls out Dean for using their secret recipe and he corrects him by saying he prefers the word "stole".
  • Bring Me My Brown Pants: Lumino's response to the Giant Albino Spider.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: While most of the main snails have similar eye shapes, they have different body types and mouths.
  • Combining Mecha: Parodied with Snailtron, which is all of the snails attached to White Shadow in a humanoid shape, except Skid is too distracted by his phone to properly form the face.
  • Consolation Prize: Turbo gives everyone that competes in his Van Nuys 500 a participant trophy since he thinks that would be fun.
  • Continuity Porn: The Grand Finale to Season 1 has all of Turbo's friends and enemies partake in one grand race. Even Guy Gange enters it.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Turbo may be an Indy 500 champion, but that just means he's good at going around in circles. When it comes to stunt racing, he is out of his element.
  • Curse Cut Short: At the end of "Dungball Derby," White Shadow decides to take in the atmosphere of the arena, only noticing the dungball...
    White Shadow: Wait—is this just a giant ball of—(Episode ends)
    • Happens again in "Turbo Stinks"
    Chet: Ugh, you smell like a big pile of-
    Tito: Air fresheners! Coming through!
  • Don't Explain the Joke
    Turbo: Who is Breakneck?
    Burn: A snail whose name makes no sense! BURN!... Snails don't have necks, so-
    Turbo: I got it.
  • Egopolis: As part of an over the top celebration for one of Turbo's racing victories, Chet has Starlight City renamed Turbo Town, a name change that sticks for the rest of the series.
  • Evil Mentor: Breakneck to Whiplash.
  • Fantastic Racism: Starting in Season 2; Snails and Slugs do not think very highly of each other.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: In "Karmageddon" as Turbo explains the very long Chain of Deals he has set up, Painting the Medium as the fast forward effect shows a Netflix playback interface.
  • Fight Magnet: The series sees various creatures that keep showing up to challenge Turbo and the F.A.S.T. team, either in Starlight City or elsewhere.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: Skidmark has his moments.
    Smoove Move: The Shadow we know and dig isn't afraid of anything!
    Burn: Darn right! Bee or no bee!
    Skidmark: Yeah, Shadow's big with no fear, it says so in the theme song!
    Whiplash: What theme song?
    Skidmark: The theme song! You know, from our lives? (beat) You guys don't hear it too?
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Chet scrolls through a Wikipedia-like article on Tiger Beetles to verify Hardcase's claims, this gem can be found:
    Genus: Manticora from the latin manti "mandible" and chora "large". Males of the species have exaggerated scythe-like pincers to impress the ladies. (edit: The ladies are not impressed).
  • Fun with Acronyms: In "Crazy Fast," the team decides to call themselves "Fast Action Racing Team" to which White Shadow responds "Go F.A.R.T.!" (Beat.) Turbo decides to change it to "Fast Action Stunt Team" and everyone agrees.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Burn does this to Chet in the second trailer (and follows up by kissing him).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Considering this is an original series for Netflix and not airing on any network, the censors seem pretty lax.
    Skidmark: These aliens aren't gonna expose themselves!
    White Shadow: Well, I should hope not.
    • Skidmark's proposed name for the Skidmark/Turbo team, "Turdmark."
    • From "Snails in Jail"
    Gulpy the Frog: ... and she had the nerve to say she got the warts from me!
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "In Snails in Jail", when Turbo is racing Rudy Guana so he can visit a fan who wrote a letter to him, Rudy accidentally reveals that he knows his name is Timmy and that he had a crooked shell.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Played With in "African Queen", as from the snails' point of view it's dark and dreaded, but the camera zooms out to show that it's about a foot, and pristine.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: The protagonist is voiced by Reid Scott who played Mike Chilton, the protagonist of Titmouse's previous cartoon (with most of the same staff and a similar animation style): Motorcity. In "Ace of Race" we meet Breakneck (hinted to be a main villain), voiced by Mark Hamill, who played main villain/Mike's enemy Abraham Kane in the same show.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: In "Hardcase Returns", the titular character does this with the phone call he makes, not realizing that it's still on after making a challenge for Turbo. During this time, he asks (someone off-camera, apparently) if he's able to send e-mail with the phone in question.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Somewhat justified as Turbo is famous for being fast enough to outrace Indy cars, and so he is almost never challenged to a straight up normal race. Presumably the reason racing is phased out is so they don't have to continue coming up with gimmicks to keep Turbo's powers from trivializing them.
  • Left the Background Music On: Smooth Move often does this, such as in "Breakneck's Back."
    Turbo: Smooth, enough with the musical sting!
    Smooth Move: I provide the soundtrack of our lives, baby! (Beat.) Haters.
  • Literal Metaphor: When Chet realizes he forgot Burn's birthday, a part explodes out of his ambulance shell causing him to crash. Skidmark comments that Chet just literally blew a gasket.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Smooth Move does this during the game in "Dungball Derby."
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Most characters are introduced with one of these, generally a quick splash screen showing 3 random stats, but occasionally a different kind suiting the theme of the episode. Even the main characters get this treatment in the first episode.
    Speed: 10/10
    Optimism: 10/10
    Experience: 2/10
  • Mouse World: The snails and various insects in the series seem to have this, including a whole snail city initially built, unusually for this trope, by a human, Tito.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In "Hard Luck Hardcase", Turbo discovers a car horn is included in his set of car powers, mostly so that he can be a reference to the Road Runner.
  • Non-Action Guy: Chet. He tries to overcome this in "Bumperdome."
  • Noodle Incident: So far, the reason Breakneck and Whiplash are mortal enemies. It's even referred to as "The Incident *dramatic musical sting from Smoove*"
    • In "Karmageddon", an entire extremely perilous escapade to get an unknown glowing green MacGuffin with Turbo, Whiplash, and White Shadow takes place completely offscreen.
  • Not My Driver: Hardcase turns out to be driving the car Turbo is riding on while he was trying to escape/hide from him.
  • Oral Fixation: Burn's chewing gum.
  • Out-Gambitted: In "Breakneck's Back" Breakneck does this to Whiplash; Whiplash came up with a plan to catch Breakneck cheating, but it turned out Breakneck wanted that to happen, so when Whiplash was wearing the shell-shaped trophy, Breakneck could steal Whiplash's motor-shell.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Clip and Clap kidnap White Shadow thinking he's a movie star. Shadow is oblivious to having been kidnapped and ends up getting on their nerves.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: In "Crazy Fast," Chet goes to give Turbo a pep talk. Turbo guesses everything Chet was going to say, yet tells him he's right and goes off to practice.
    Chet: Leave it to Turbo to give a pep talk to himself.
  • Pokémon Speak: White Shadow really likes saying his name, and thus occasionally devolves into this.
    Whiplash: Our boy's in trouble. Ideas, now!
    White Shadow: Uh, uh... White Shadow?
    Burn: Get him some foot oil, pronto!
    White Shadow: Oh! White Shadow!
    Whiplash: He greased up with fish guts earlier, any fish nearby?
    White Shadow: White Shadow! Ooh ooh ooh! (Gestures to bottles of fish-based hot sauce)
    Skidmark: The hot sauce!
    Whiplash: But we've got no time for a pitstop!
    White Shadow: WHITE SHADOOOOOW!!
  • The Psycho Rangers: In one episode, the F.A.S.T. team takes on the F.A.J.I.T.A. team, basically a team comprised of evil versions of them... The usual solution of the Opponent Switch is invoked, but notably it's still a very close match (in the form of a relay race.)
  • Purple Is the New Black: Whiplash was a very dark grey in the movie, but here he's rendered in a dark purple.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In "Snails in Jail," Whiplash apparently orders a "Ladies' Choice" perfume. When his soft side gets out in "Tough as Snails", he ultimately decides to own this trope and becomes a popular spokesperson for "Sensitive Side Lavender Extreme".
  • Retool: Season 1 is fairly evenly divided between episodes that revolve entirely around a race and general comedic plots not involving races. Season 2 is entirely general comedy and racing is barely even mentioned.
  • Running Gag: If something is destroying town, expect the Teen Rec Center getting destroyed.
  • Scenery Porn: A lot of the backgrounds have a lot of detail and texture, as opposed to just being a solid color. It's gorgeous.
  • Shout-Out: "Flymm's Arcade" in "Bumperdome."
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy:
    Hardcase: Turbo! Say hello to your end!
    Turbo: If it's my end, wouldn't I say good-bye?
    Hardcase: No, because this is the first time you're meeting your end.
    Turbo: But you've tried to end me several times already.
    Hardcase: But not with this partic- Forget it!
  • Sudden Anatomy: Starting in season 2, the snails occasionally make limbs stick out of them.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In "Turbo Drift," Whiplash sings "That snail is fast!" in Japanese at karaoke.
  • Theme Tune Rap: "That Snail is Fast" remixed into a Theme Tune Roll Call, "Those Sails Are Fast".
  • Villain Decay: Hardcase manages to be introduced as an intimidating villain, only to become more pathetic each time he appears.
    Hardcase: Can't I ever catch a break?
    (Hardcase's parade float falls on him)
    (A power pole falls on Hardcase and electrocutes him. A whale falls on top of that)
  • Wacky Racing: The season 1 finale, Turbo hosts a race in which he invites everyone he knows, including all of his enemies, which naturally devolves into chaos.
    Chet: That pileup Gagne caused has got to be some kind of violation! Where's the rule book?
    Turbo: After dealing with Pirate Rules, Mall Rules and all of your rules, I thought this race might be more fun without any rules!
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: The others towards Whiplash in "Surf 'N Turf." They find out the word "quit" triggers his old personality.
  • Who Is Driving?: White Shadow talks to the others about protecting Turbo... while he's supposed to be driving the car they built for him to hide from Hardcase.
  • Wilhelm Scream: First heard in "Bumperdome", when Baron Von Schwartzhozen lets one out after Burn torches him for inquiring about having Chet defend his title. Since then, it's appeared more or less Once an Episode.
  • Zany Scheme: Turbo is known for creating excessively zany schemes involving fake mustaches. When confronted with the prospect of having to use Skidmark's extremely dangerous experimental shells or Turbo's plan, Turbo describing his plan is all it takes for them to decide to use Skid's shells.

Alternative Title(s):

Turbo Fast