WALL•E (2008), Pixar's 9th film, is a Science Fiction love story.In 2105, humans abandon the now-inhospitable Earth so it can be cleaned up by a small army of "Waste Allocation Load Lifter" robots (WALL•E — the E stands for Earth) whilst they enjoy a five-year vacation cruise in space. The plan doesn't really work; seven centuries later, the last of those robots to still be running — the WALL•E in the title — is still collecting junk and living with his pet cockroach. One day, WALL•E is going about his business as usual when a spaceship drops off a much more modern robot. Her name is EVE, and WALL•E is smitten at first sight. When the ship comes back and picks her up, he stows away. The return trip brings him back to the remnants of humanity, and that's when things get really complicated...Known for its excellent CGI and sound design, the film hearkens back to the silent film days of yore, with no dialogue for the first forty minutes of the movie.note Unless you count WALL•E, EVE, Evah, Directive, Classified and Name.For information about the DVD short, BURN-E, check the Pixar Shorts page.
BnL makes everything humanity uses (and makes it to last, apparently). A BnL logo appears after the Disney/Pixar logos in the ending credits, hinting that the film could very well be one of their products as well.
Action Girl: EVE doesn't like things getting in her way. When in doubt, she will shoot it. With the plasma gun built into her arm.
Advert Overloaded Future: BnL adverts are everywhere, from the screens on the dead Earth to the nurseries on the Axiom. And, as mentioned above, they own and license north(as in, the cardinal direction). There also appears to be an ad in what looks to be Hadley Plain, the site of Apollo 15's landing.
The robots in the repair ward, however... most of them are crazy and some are violent.
Actually played straight with WALL•E and the various robots he recruits to his cause: They save the day because they are not operating as intended, while AUTO ends up as the villain because he is operating as intended. Tropes Are Flexible.
All Animals Are Dogs: A cockroach is made adorable. WALL•E even commands it to sit in one scene. It doesn't work. Though he does it a second time and it DOES work. For the rest of the film.
A little more information is covered on the DVD. For example, Buy n Large started out as two companies. The BUY part sold frozen yogurts. The LARGE part sold Tall and Large clothing. They combined forces after realizing eating one made you need to buy the other.
One of the Flash games created to go with the film mentions that the cockroach is named Hal Roach.
Apocalypse How: Subverted in one sense, played straight in another. Earth appears to be barren at the start of the film, but in reality, the humans simply left the planet. Class 1, though the evacuation of humans makes it a technical Class 4.
Art Shift: The credits use this trope, showing a series of vignettes in progressively more recent artistic styles, going from cave paintings and hieroglyphics to straight-up imitations of Seurat and Van Gogh. This is to show how humans relearned the skills they had lost on the Axiom, such as artistry. And then? It goes to not-quite 8-bit sprites.
EVE gets one of these when WALL•E gets a shock to the circuits from AUTO.
And again later when WALL•E gets crushed beneath the Holo-Detector.
Also when WALL•E accidentally fires her Arm Cannon in the repair ward.
AUTO has one in the midst of his Villainous Breakdown as he's deploying huge waves of Steward bots to try and stop EVE and WALL•E from reaching the holo-detector.. It's not max volume or very long (it's a rather terse utterance), but it is the first time AUTO has a non-monotone, exclamatory tone of voice.
AUTO gets one more in the fading variety when the Captain "relieves him of duty".
EVE learns to embrace her "defects" by the end of the film. While she had sentience at the beginning, she was forced to keep it hidden because of her directive. Her voice also evolves into something more feminine and emotional when it was originally robotic and distant. There's a very interesting interpretation of her emotional development on a forum dedicated to the movie. Also, upon planetfall she is somewhat trigger-happy, blasting anything with her Arm Cannon if it offers the slightest sign of threat to herself. By the end of the movie she uses it only to help or defend others.
Even a minor encounter with WALL•E seems to cause this in everyone. John and Mary break out of their normal routines and discover each other after meeting him once each, the Captain starts the Wiki Walk that leads to his determination to return home after scanning some dirt WALL•E got on his hand, M-O stops following his designated lit up paths on the ground in frustration so he can clean up the mess WALL•E leaves behind, and even a robot receptionist starts enthusiastically waving to people after witnessing WALL•E do it once. See Blithe Spirit, above.
Chatty Hairdresser: Any of the PR-Ts (beautician robot), even if the person they're working on isn't saying anything.
The plant, the tape, the parts replacement/cannibalization, the lighter, the fire extinguisher, heck, even the lawn gnomes, somewhat. Andrew Stanton even talks about the concept of this trope, without naming it, during the DVD Commentary.
The Axiom's docking port, which WALL•E rolls past at the very beginning and onto which the Axiom lands at the very end. Stanton quotes Chekhov directly in the commentary when mentioning it.
When AUTO makes his first appearance and scans EVE, A113 appears over his eye. Additionally, WALL•E uses a laser to cut open a wall and find the plant. He later uses this laser to break free in the Repair Ward. For one more, when the Captain is waking up, he accidentally hits WALL•E instead of his alarm clock, and it starts playing music from Hello Dolly. He later hears the same song while watching EVE's video footage of Earth, and this starts a short chain of events that motivates him to return to Earth.
FOREIGN CONTAMINANT. At first, it causes M-O much consternation as WALL•E leaves a trail of it throughout the Axiom. But in the end, it allows M-O to instantly spot the plant, a proverbial needle in a haystack, amongst the commotion near the end of the movie.
Also subverted, in that WALL•E never ends up using the wedding ring box. (Which seems like an obvious way to go for a romance.)
At the beginning of the movie, before we've really gotten a feel for how developed WALL•E has become, he makes an innocuous distinction when deciding whether to place a spork with his collection of spoons or forks; he ends up placing it in between both. Computers are incapable of recognizing anything between a distinct On/Off parameter (that's how they're coded), so WALL•E comprehending a state in between two options demonstrates how he's advanced beyond his programming.
WALL•E using a fire extinguisher to jet-propel himself.
Also, WALL•E swapping his worn-out treads with newer ones, showing he doesn't have a problem scavenging for parts to repair himself with. First referenced when he was knocked into the wall by EVE, which transfers the skill to her, so she can bring it up later on her own.
Not to mention the electric power of EVE's kiss is demonstrated in the space dancing sequence.
M-O's ability to identify "foreign contaminants" lets him find the plant easily in a crowd of people.
The laser between WALL•E's eyes. He first uses it to open the abandoned fridge that holds the plant, then later to break out of his cell when EVE is in the repair ward, and once again to free the malfunctioned massage bot who then takes it out on all those service bots.
Coat Cape: The Captain wears his coat like this, presumably because he's too out of shape to wear it normally.
The Collector of the Strange: WALL•E keeps a wide assortment of random trinkets that catch his fancy. The items he collects don't seem to have any particular theme, other than having some quality about them that caught his attention beyond the regular garbage.
The Computer Is Your Friend: AUTO, the autopilot program. He started out as an assistant to the captain, but as time has gone on (and on), he's slowly gained more and more control over the Axiom. As for his attempt to stop the re-colonization of Earth, it's not so much that AUTO is crazy or evil. He is merely following the last order he received (to keep humanity forever "safe" in space, rather than return them to a more-polluted-than-anyone-believed Earth) to the letter.
Context-Sensitive Button : The amount of damage EVE's Arm Cannon does varies, mostly in inverse proportion to the distance of the target. In one scene, she fires at an electromagnet holding her, which only deactivates it, then immediately fires at the ship below, causing an enormous explosion.
Convection Schmonvection: Well, technically "no radiant heat". WALL•E has no problem on the outside of a ship while it's buzzing the sun. In fact, he just takes the opportunity to charge his solar-cells pretty much instantly. He apparently was able to endure very high temperatures, as evidenced when EVE's ship lands on top of him.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: The BnL CEO, especially once it's revealed that he ordered all the autopilots to never return to Earth, and to never tell anyone about said order. Earth was completely uninhabitable, and he had no reason to believe that it would ever be able to support life again. Forthright didn't even have to make a secret conspiracy of it, but he did anyway, to keep the Muggles placated.
Crapsaccharine World: The Axiom. The humans seem to lead a cheerful and carefree life, albeit an incredibly confused and often boring one, but the utter disregard for responsibility on the part of the humans and the history regarding Earth's decay and the plans behind the Axiom is depressing.
Crapsack World: Earth, though thanks to WALL•E and his ilk it's become a crap-cube world.
Creative Closing Credits: The credits start with a series of vignettes depicting the Axiom's passengers readjusting to Earth life represented by evolving art styles (cave paintings -> Egyptian -> Greek -> mosaic -> Da Vinci-style sketches -> Monet-style Impressionism -> Pointillism -> Van Gogh-style), then shifts to various scenes of the characters running around with faux 8-bit video game graphics.
Creepy Monotone: AUTO, who speaks using the old MacInTALK "Ralph" voice. While M-O also has a monotone voice to announce the presence of "Foreign Contaminants", he primarily communicates with cute beeps and hums, as do the other nice robots.
"A" is for Axiom, your home sweet home. "B" is for Buy n Large, your very best friend...
Clever variation — WALL•E is almost crushed to bits in the climax, but EVE knows how to fix him; the real tension is that once she has, he doesn't remember anything about the 700 years of his life, including her. His acquired sentience appears lost. He then gets it back a few minutes later... only after she "kisses" him, of course.
A straighter version happens when WALL•E's escape pod self-destructs. EVE thinks he's dead for a few moments, until he drifts into view, having escaped at the last second by using a fire extinguisher as a jetpack.
Disney Villain Death: GO-4 gets kicked out a window and smashes on to the deck, but they do show the impact, making this an aversion — maybe even a subversion, since it had such a clear setup. Even more so because some people might think he'll land in the pool that's shown just before he smashes into the ground right in front of it. Either way, he was gonna die, be it the floor or the water.
Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Sorta. Like other examples, it's only creepy if you overthink it. And WALL•E probably doesn't understand what's going on, and definitely has just had his only chance to ever have a friend suddenly disappear. In any case, WALL•E doesn't do anything particularly inappropriate (not that he really could), which turns out to be a good thing since EVE was recording everything and recalls it later.
What seems to be a focus pull error, when WALL•E is trying to escape an avalanche of shopping carts.
The DVD commentary points out here that legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins was brought in to teach the animators how to make the camera act more like a real camera instead of a virtual one, and to deliberately insert anomalies like this. He was amused that Pixar would spend loads of money and time trying to create effects that cinematographers have spent loads of money and time trying to get rid of.
GO-4's death. We're shown how sentient and cute robots can be. Then one of them falls a few stories and smashes on the ground. Evil or not, it's still amazingly graphic for a robot.
It may have been a Disney Death, but seeing WALL•E getting quite graphically crushed in one, swift motion was pretty cringe-worthy.
The steward bots that try to prevent WALL•E's group from getting to the holo detector. One of them gets blasted by EVE, one gets defibulated to death, and the rest get smashed into scrap metal after WALL•E cuts the restraints on the massage bot.
Flaw Exploitation: The Captain to AUTO's lack of depth perception. First he uses an image of the plant to pretend he has it, and then he hides in front of a picture of himself
Food Pills: It's actually more like Food Smoothies than pills. "Sep-tu-a-cen-tennial cupcake in a cup!" Word of God is that the "Buy" part of BnL was originally a yogurt company.
The Fool: All WALL•E wants to do is hold hands with a girl-bot and groove to the old-time "Hello Dolly". Without being the slightest bit aware of it, every human (and most robots) he meets (even if it's just a Crash into Hello) gets knocked out of their hum-drum daily existence maintaining the status quo and learns how to not just "survive, but to live," and he gets really, really lucky regarding survival.
Friend to Bugs: WALL•E regards said cockroach as a pet, but most people in real-life consider them disgusting pests.
Future Spandex: All the human characters wear brightly-colored, stretchy jumpsuits, which look like baby clothes and make them seem infantile and dependent.
Gaussian Girl: Played straight with EVE, and her sleek shiny design seems to exist to make this happen as much as possible. On close inspection she seems to emit a diffuse white light from her (shiny, white) skin, essentially making her a self-generating, in-universe Gaussian Girl.
Humanity Is Infectious: Odd variation where the humanity comes from the robot. EVE, the deficient robots, and even the (human) captain get more and more human-like by interacting with WALL•E.
Humans Are Special: Humanity was fully responsible for Earth's sad state, and aboard the Axiom, they live a very confusing but often boring life of endless consumerism and reliance on high-technology. But they also fully repair their societies and the environment with the help of their robot companions.
Indestructible Edible: WALL•E's pet cockroach can still eat a 700-year-old Twinkie, though that's more of an homage of the traditional post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland: Nothing left but the cockroaches and twinkies.
EVE whispers "No...no..." after the escape pod WALL•E is in self-destructs. She utters another one while cradling his crushed, dead body after he falls out of the Holo-Detector.
AUTO has a flat, but firm "No." as well.
Load-Bearing Hero: WALL•E is crushed holding up the holodetector, though EVE is able to repair him. A much more justified use of the trope than most heroes, though, since WALL•E would have been designed with at least as much load-bearing capacity as an automobile jack.
Medium Blending: The humans of the past, such as the BnL CEO, Shelby Forthright, are live-action. The humans of the future are computer-generated. Word of God is that redoing all the "Hello Dolly" scenes in CGI would've been too much trouble, so they just went with this route. This is later lampshaded in the scene of the portraits of the various Axiom captains, which shows the captains shifting from photo-realistic to cartoonish over time.
Axiom: a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true. By this point in time, people have stopped questioning their situation and accepted their lives as they are.
John and Mary, who get a lot of kids from nowhere.
Also, WALL•E's pronunciation of EVE ("Eevuh") could be discerned as Eva, the name for the Biblical Eve in certain other languages.
Meet Cute: John and Mary, when their hands accidentally meet on the seat control.
Monochrome Casting: Averted. The humans on the Axiom come in every shade. While the current Captain McCrea is white, the captain that immediately preceded him, Captain O'Brien, is black. The second captain, Captain Fee, appears to be an Asian female.
When AUTO tries to take the plant from WALL•E, the resulting "keep-away" is rather humorous, even having WALL•E smack AUTO with the door to his garbage compartment. Moments after, however, AUTO electrocutes him.
After WALL•E's body falls out of the Holo-Detector and the ship goes into Hyper Jump. We're in tears because WALL•E's dead, then we cut to the Captain making one of the goofiest faces as he's pushed backwards from the speed of the ship and we laugh... and two seconds later we cut to EVE desperately calling WALL•E's name and we start crying again.
Neat Freak: M-O. Note that before he shakes WALL•E's hand, he cleans it. Also note that literally seconds before this, he had just gotten confirmation that WALL•E was all clean.
Never Trust a Trailer: Anyone else remember the trailers presenting this as "WALL•E vs. humanity for EVE?" Among other things, it makes the captain look like the antagonist.
No Water Proofing In The Future: The robot that supervises the swimming pool is not waterproof. Note that John and Mary were the only two people actually using the pool. And it doesn't seem to do much besides say rules.
Off the Rails: After a mustering of willpower, M-O jumps off the floor guideline to chase after WALL•E and his trail of foreign contaminants.
WALL•E gets an amusing Oh Crap moment early on, when he spots a sandstorm barreling towards his home.
Only Sane Man: The Captain seems to be the only one aware of the pointlessness of this existence at first.
Open Sesame: A machine requires voice authorization from the Captain. (Parodied when all he can say is "uhh" and the machine accepts it.)
The Outside World: This works both ways: the lonely robot is awed at the gleaming marvels of the Axiom, while the people aboard the Axiom gape at the expanse of planet Earth.
Pac Man Fever: Somehow, an 830-year-old Pong console has survived the apocalypse. The humans on the Axiom are seen playing tennis with robots controlled by a variation of Pong, although it might have made more sense if they used a more current device made for the purpose of sports. Then again, that would take more physical effort on the part of the humans. They would have just given the Wii-motes to the robots to wave around.
WALL•E disguises himself after EVE's ship lands by transforming into his box form and putting a rock on his head.
Later, EVE disguises him by placing towels on his head.
Post-Kiss Catatonia: WALL•E completely freezes the first time EVE "kisses" him. Inverted in the ending: a kiss is what wakes him up.
Power Glows: Not only does EVE glow very faintly (the better to invoke a Gaussian Girl), her presence and touch cause electrical lights to glow as well.
Precision F-Strike: BURN-E delivers one of these (albeit in a mechanical tone) in the bonus features when he realizes he's cut through the new light he's supposed to be installing after being shocked by the detonation of the escape pod by GO-4. The transcript lists BURN-E's reaction to being locked outside the ship as "Crap."
WALL•E's makeshift television is an iPod with a magnifier in front of it.
EVE was designed by Jonathan Ive — product designer for Apple responsible for the design of the iMac, their laptops, the iPod and iPhone. Not coincidentally, Steve Jobs used to be both CEO of Apple and CEO of Pixar, until they merged with Disney, when he became the single largest shareholder of Disney/Pixar.
WALL•E's Boot-Up noise is also the noise a Mac makes when you turn it on.
AUTO is voiced by MacInTALK, the voice read-back program of Macintosh.
In-universe, Buy n Large itself. Their logo even appears after the film credits alongside the Disney and Pixar logos, implying that the film itself is partly theirs.
Buy n Large = By and large, also Buying large (amounts of products)
"Wally" (the leading definition is probably the most apt).
All the robot's names are puns: Eve (obviously), Otto, Bernie...
Ragnarok-Proofing: While Earth does look like a run-down mess, it's pretty clear that Buy n Large really built things to last. Functioning VCRS, advertisement boards, mostly-intact buildings. Really, it looks as though 70 years, rather than 700 had passed. Though as Life After People showed, most structural damage is caused by vegetation. On a barren Earth, that's not a problem. The electromagnetic properties of tapes and hard drives, however...
Robo Speak: The only one really guilty of this is AUTO, as the other robots can only say a few words, or use voice samples. They mostly communicate through beeps, hums, etc. This fact allows for a few cases of Getting Crap Past the Radar — EVE seems to be the primary offender here. For example, when GO-4 throws the plant down the garbage chute she makes a sound that is suspiciously similar to "crap!" Later, when she tries unsuccessfully to replace the badly damaged WALL•E's circuit board in the Axiom's garbage disposal area, it sounds rather like she sets off a literal Precision F-Strike (she makes a noise that sounds like "Faaaah!"). There is another good example of this earlier when WALL•E is chasing EVE through the ship, on the way to the bridge. One of the robots he cuts off beeps something sounding very much like "Asshole". According to the closed captions, WALL•E says "pathetic" while he's hiding behind the towel cart.
Scenery Gorn: Many loving shots of the ruined, abandoned, and frankly extremely bleak-looking megacity at the beginning of the film.
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The first space sequence. In the DVD commentary, one of the creators admits (in reference to the nebula where the Axiom is found) that there are no nebulae within realistic "cruising distance" of Earth... but between its uses for The Reveal of the Axiom and its beauty, they decided to allow the Rule of Cool to take priority.
The Smurfette Principle: The film has a 4:3 male-to-female ratio, plus a male-sounding text-to-speech program for the autopilot. D-Fib has been confirmed as female in obscure media.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Oh yeah. In the very first minute, "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", a bright, cheery song, matches well with the opening shots of the galaxy... not so much with the revelation of what Earth has become that follows. At the moment the song breaks into "There's lots of world out there", we get our first glimpse of Earth's barren wasteland surface.
Space Clothes: Mostly monochromatic jumpsuits and no shoes. When people want to wear another outfit (to wit: "blue is the new red") the clothes change without being taken off. This is apparently an attribute of the chairs they ride in, as the suits quickly change back to red once the chair's functions are disabled or the person gets out of it. The suits are also very elastic, as a the humans go from obese to fit during the closing credits and never change clothes or create new ones. Since the humans are never shown off their chairs we can also assume the jumpsuits are very... hygienic. The PR-Ts are said to help with hygiene as well as beautification. Subverted with the Captain, as his nonelastic jacket is shown hanging off his shoulders, impossible to close.
Space Clouds: The Axiom is parked next to a nebula which initially hides its presence as the Earth-ship approaches.
Also averted in the case of the plant. It's shown surviving several minutes in hard vacuum, which is is in fact Truth in Television.
Space Is an Ocean: The part of the climactic sequence when the Axiom tilts in space and everybody slides to one side. This would make sense if the Axiom was a ship listing in the ocean, but it's in space. There is no external gravitational field. So there's no reason for everybody to slide to the side when the ship tilts, since the Artificial Gravity inside the ship is working fine. How the ship is oriented in space doesn't matter. To be fair, we have no idea how the artificial gravity works. It's possible that there is some kind of gyroscopic effect that causes the force to be exerted in a constant direction, regardless of the orientation of the ship. AUTO was also doing this intentionally to prevent the plant from getting to the Holo-Detector. Since he controls the whole ship, presumably he controls the gravity.
Space Is Cold: Averted. The robots function perfectly well in space, and the plant is unharmed from a brief stint in the vacuum before being sealed back into EVE's presumably airtight compartment.
Spanner in the Works: Now let's see what happens to this perfectly planned community in space when we add one robot not built for the community's function...
Square/Cube Law: The WALL•A's on the Axiom are far different from our title character to make up for their much greater size. They sit on tracks, not treads, their hands have scoops instead of "fingers", and they don't have WALL•E's movable telescoping eyes but a set of five lights.
Stand-In Portrait: How the Captain is able to hide from AUTO, as well as convince him that he has the plant. Makes sense, though, since we briefly see through AUTO's one eye and he has little depth perception.
EVE, whose laser arm is capable of destroying dedicated guard robots. Possibly justified considering she probably surveys planets which may have hostile life.
WALL•E himself. He's amazingly heat resistant, capable of enduring buzzing the sun and EVE's ship's thrusters to no ill effects. He's also equipped with cutting laser (for cutting pieces too big for him to compact) and a music player (God only knows why). Not bad for a trash compactor.
But the prize goes to HAN-S. This massage robot curb stomps an entire squad of guard robots.
Surprisingly Happy Ending: Although EVE manages to repair and reactivate WALL•E, his memory and personality seemed to have disappeared for good... until EVE kisses him.
Take That: When admitting in a long-lost video that the Earth has been ruined and humanity can't go back, Shelby Forthright tells people to "stay the course", a catchphrase associated with George W. Bush.
Technology Porn: In addition to all the robots and gadgets on the Axiom, there's the various loading/unloading/folding/rotating arms and waldos during EVE's expedition.
Theme Music Power-Up: When the Axiom's captain gets out of his hover-chair in order to turn off AUTO. This is accompanied by the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey (the opening for "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss).
Theme Tune Cameo: A slight aversion, since there's true "theme music", but, if you listen closely during the title robot's first appearance, you can hear WALL•E whistle and chirp the tune of "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" as the camera focuses closer and closer on the devastated Earth, and as the first couple verses of "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" fade away.
There Was a Door: After repairing WALL•E back on Earth EVE decides the door is too far away and blows a hole in WALL•E's ceiling to get him some sunlight.
Time Passes Montage: Several, some more subtle than others. WALL•E's initial courtship with EVE, EVE's hibernation upon finding the plant, WALL•E's trip through space, and the credit sequence. Interestingly, none of these montages provide any cues as to how much time is passing. They could take place over anything from a number of days, to many years or even centuries. Because the robots are functionally immortal, there's just no way to tell.
Although the plant that EVE is carrying doesn't grow at all, and between her picking it up and arriving on the Axiom it is only just starting to dehydrate. In real life that'd take less than a week, but the film implies that several seasons have passed just waiting for EVE's dropship to return... probably a built-in stasis field.
Since the cockroach lives through the events of the movie, the maximum possible length of the story as viewed from an Earthly perspective cannot exceed that of the cockroach's adult lifespan, which is not much more than 400 days assuming it's an American Cockroach. The space sequences, such as the transit montage, are considerably more difficult to measure given the relative flow of time and could possibly extend well beyond that limit if the Axiom was at a great enough distance.
The Axiom is full of them. Especially notable is AUTO. Whereas the others could maybe be excused by being separate mobile units, AUTO is built into the bridge itself.
SUPPLY-R from the BURN-E short does this for the one thing that seems to be his entire function.
Justified with EVE/her canister. While the keypad is dialed exclusively by robots in the film, it's made clear that she would need to interface with humans at some point during her function.
Trash of the Titans: Earth is covered with garbage, including a layer of defunct satellites in the upper atmosphere which spaceships have to plow through.
Trigger Happy: Upon arriving on Earth, EVE shoots pretty much anything that moves. She does learn to calm down.
Trouble from the Past: The people who return to Earth still have to clean up their ancestors' mess of garbage.
True Love's Kiss: When WALL•E is essentially killed and then rebuilt by EVE, his memory is lost and EVE tries everything she can think of to bring him back. Nothing works, and she, giving up, finally sadly "kisses" him and the electric spark jolts his memory.
Tsundere: EVE. Well, she's a girl with a temper that falls in love, anyway.
Understatement: "We're having a slight malfunction — [SLAM!] — with the autopilot!"
In the future, even advanced robots like COM-T will use keyboards and the hunt and peck method of typing... but the buttons will be nothing but Zeroes and Ones.
AUTO even uses the standard human approach of "If it doesn't work, press harder." In his defense, it would have worked if WALL•E wasn't in the way. Counter to that, applying pressure enough to break the button while giving it a massive electric shock should have just shorted out the button's attached circuit completely and caused it to stop functioning.
Used Future: Played as straight as it gets with Earth, but averted aboard the Axiom, which looks just as clean and shiny as when it was launched 700 years ago.
Villainous Breakdown: Upon realizing that WALL•E and EVE are very close to sending everyone home, AUTO begins to subtly lose his cold, logical demeanor, sending waves of stewards to pursue them throughout the Axiom. When WALL•E tries to prevent the platform from descending, a clearly panicked AUTO jabs the button increasingly rapidly. Then presses it so hard the glass cracks. Then tasers it.
Visual Pun: When EVE wakes up in the bowels of the Axiom, she's covered in strange oval machines that scamper away, clicking. Yeah, they're mice.
A Weighty Aesop: The film can be interpreted to have one of these, though the filmmakers claim it was accidental and the real Aesop is more of a warning against over-consumerism.
AUTO. He was just aggressively following his program.
A program ordered by another Well-Intentioned Extremist, the CEO of Buy n Large, Shelby Forthright. Sure, he ordered the Autopilots to keep the liners from returning to Earth, but for around seven hundred years, it was the appropriate decision.
White and Grey Morality: There are no clear villains in WALL•E. AUTO simply does as he's programmed to do, as do any other "evil" robots. The humans of the story, once jolted out of their reverie, proceed to repair the earth with new found love for nature and life. The CEO of Buy n Large is more panicked and shortsighted than anything.
Wiki Walk: The captain becomes entranced by the encyclopedia of Earth life. We leave him at the entry for "Sea" and come back at the entry for "Hoedown".
Wiper Start: WALL•E's attempts to cancel the escape pod's self-destruct sequence activate just about every other gadget it has, including, yes, wipers. And missile counter-measures, braking parachute, emergency raft and periscope!
WALL•E finds a diamond ring in a box, and tosses the ring aside to play with the box. And walks on a carpet of dollar, er, B&L bills.
Reiterated in the 2009 Oscar's Animation Yearbook montage, where WALL•E finds an Oscar statue and a battered tape of said montage inside the plant's fridge. He naturally tosses the statue and takes the tape back home to watch. Funny in that WALL•E had just won Best Animated Feature.