YMMV: The LEGO Movie


  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Finn's dad let the baby sister play with the same Lego collection to be fair, or because he wanted to teach Finn a lesson about the difficulties of sharing your Legos with kids?
    • Some fans wonder if The Man Upstairs had some degree of OCD or was in a mid-life crisis due to his obsession with order and control for his Lego world. As stated elsewhere on this page- even most adult fans are against the idea of gluing their Legos in place.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Once a Lego movie was announced, many felt it would be merely a hollow Merchandise-Driven cartoon not much better than some preceding toy-based movies. Then upon release, it became a critical darling and even more liked by audiences (most of whom admitted it was a whole lot better than expected).
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Despite being one of the biggest movies of the year in its native USA, The LEGO Movie didn't make a splash in Japan at all. Frequently cited reasons include a poor dub, being carried by relatively few theaters, competition from other movies, and the fact that the movie is so pop-culture focused that the jokes don't translate to Japanese.
  • Applicability: Co-Director Phil Lord joked that "My dream is to have terrible undergraduate term papers written about the movie." This more-or-less invites this idea in regards to the metatextual aspects of the film.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Lord Business never actually gets into a real fight with any of the heroes- when he is in a fight, he usually uses sheer numbers or his superweapons to cheat. At the climax, some fans who adored the movie admitted that they would have preferred Emmet showing his Master Builder powers off and beating the person who took down The Obi-Wan.
  • Award Snub:
    • While fans hoped this movie would receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (and many pundits even had it pegged to win), the only nomination it earned was Best Song, for "Everything is Awesome". Variety attributed it to not being serious enough for voters, not angsty enough, too different, and not having hand-drawn animation. Needless to say, a lot of people were angry at this, with even some academy members crying foul. The Internet Backdraft was so enormous (only Selma's was bigger) that The Lego Movie actually trended on Twitter because of it.
    • To a lesser extent, there was disappointment when it lost the Golden Globe to How to Train Your Dragon 2, though it was at least nominated in that scenario (likewise for The Book of Life).
    • As a little Take That to the Academy, Producer Phillip Lord tweeted an image of Nathan Sawaya's LEGO Oscar statue with the caption: "It's okay. Made my own!"
    • The producers continued to mock the Oscars after winning a BAFTA statuette
    • During the Oscars themselves, "Everything Is Awesome" warranted a showstopping performance complete with those LEGO statuettes, which many took not only as a highlight of the ceremony but as the Academy giving a mea culpa. And host Neil Patrick Harris made sure to point out before Best Animated Feature that it was the time to "get The Lego Movie directors away from the TV".
  • Awesome Ego: Batman in this film is a hugely egotistical character, unlike most true depictions of him. But he's friggin' Batman; if anyone deserves to have an ego, it's him.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fact that it is mostly CGI that tries to look like stop-motion rather than straight-up stop-motion is a big detractor to many, though this is also forgiven by many others considering that much of the film is of a scale far too large for stop motion to be practical, such as scenes where an entire LEGO city is animated or the surface of the ocean (waves and all) is built entirely from bricks.
    • There's also a handful of people that feel that the film's Sequel Hook interferes with the otherwise complete ending. It's mostly because it sets up a sudden plot thread for a quick joke instead of bringing more of a closure to the film. Naturally there are those that found it clever and ridiculously funny and like it for that.
    • Some fans who otherwise adore the film aren't fans of the plot-twist that the entire movie is just a story in Finn's head, with many saying that the Lego Universe being just that would have been better than inserting Finn and "The Man Upstairs." Others are a fan of the emotional elements it brings to the table, as well as the completeness of the lesson on creativity. There's also those who argue the opposite, that it's a great twist, but it was a mistake to have the Lego world actually be real, with Emmet able to affect the "real" world.
  • Crack Pairing: The Galaxy Cop pairing (Good Cop/Bad Cop and Benny) has become both this and a Fan-Preferred Couple, despite the characters having very little interaction in the film.
    • There's also the more-bizzare Unicopy/Kittycops (Bad Cop/Good Cop and Uni-Kitty) pairing, due to the two having split personalities, despite the fact that these two also shared little screen time together.
  • Crazy Awesome: Benny, who has been oxygen-deprived to the point of going loopy, is obsessed with building a SPACESHIP, and screams SPACESHIP SPACESHIP SPACESHIP as a Madness Mantra while crashing through various LEGO worlds in his SPACESHIP to save the day.
    • SPACESHIP!!!
    • Princess Unikitty; she literally lives in Cloudcuckooland and in the end, she weaponizes her anger issues.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: A few of the jokes are like this. Lord Business, the NO PARENTS line in Batman's song and Ghost Vitruvius are major offenders.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Tumblr fans ship Uni-Kitty with Flain the Mixel, calling the ship Flaming Rainbows. This works since Mixels are available as Lego sets.
    • "SPACESHIPS!" Benny and Portal 2's Space Core would have a lot to talk about.
  • Ear Worm: Everything Is Awesome! The end of this article says that Word of God claims it is very much intentional.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The one word that can be used to describe fans' reactions to Johnny Thunder's cameo appearances is "rejoicing". Made better by the fact that he was released as an updated minifigure in the Super Secret Police Dropship set.
    • The Ridiculously Cute Critter Uni-Kitty.
    • Green Lantern- he's such a goober but that's not necessarily a bad thing (from a humor standpoint, at least).
    • Lego Superman, in complete Superdickery form.
    • Wonder Woman, because this is the first time we're going to see her in a major motion picture...even if it's only a cameo.
  • Fountain of Memes: Batman is rife with these sorts of moments:
    • "I only work in black or sometimes very, very dark grey!"
    • "First try!"
    • "DARKNESS! NO PARENTS! SUPER-RICH! KINDA MAKES IT BETTER!"
  • Genius Bonus:
    • When Vitruvius is addressing the Master Builders, he pronounces Michelangelo differently when referring to the Renaissance artist and the Ninja Turtle. Specifically, Renaissance Michelangelo is pronounced using the correct Italian format.
    • The Piece of Resistance works on so many levels, including both etymology and definition.
    • When the Master Builders assemble, the Statue of Liberty figure greets Superman in French. Makes sense when you remember the real statue was a gift to America from France.
    • Cleopatra is shown wrangling a snake a couple of times. When she appeared in the Minifigures theme, the snake was included.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One of the items on the conveyor belt in the closing credits is an Academy Award.note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Robot DJs: We love listening to this song over and over again!
    • In the Lego Adaptation Game Lego Batman 2, Batman is also a jerk who really needs to learn how to cooperate. THIS Lego Batman was written independently but he's oddly similar to an exaggerated version of that, into someone who actually knows he's cool (or is trying way too hard to be cool, anyway).
    • The same year that this film was released, Chris Pratt also played the lead role in Guardians of the Galaxy, where he proudly proclaims he has a plan, then amends that to "part of a plan." And as in Guardians, Chris Pratt sings as a distraction to escape a hopeless situation.
    • Chris Pratt and Alison Brie played the Beta Couple in The Five Year Engagement.
    • Given how Emmet and Batman were teammates in this movie, it's amusing how their respective actors happened to be in the two biggest Dueling Movies of August the same year.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Bad Cop's loyalty to Lord Business is seen as this by some.
    • Benny and Metalbeard get a bit as well, given that they are paired together in the tower job, Benny comments joyfully on Metalbeard returning to save the crew from drowning, and Benny has a tendency to hide behind/stand under/cling to Metalbeard's legs.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Lord Business and The Man Upstairs. In the end, they just want to be special like Emmett.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Many people had interest in the film simply because Batman was in it and had a major role.
    • Other fans are just here for Uni-Kitty.
    • Many older LEGO fans are just here to see all the classic LEGO cameos, including Johnny Thunder and 1980-something space guys.
    • And others might come just to see if their favorite themes will make an appearance *cough* BIONICLE *cough* Blink and you'll miss them, but a shot of the Toa appear during an exposition dump.
    • For that matter, who else is just going to watch this movie just to see Morgan Freeman voice an animated character for the first time?
    • It also marks the very first time Wonder Woman appears in a major motion picture!
  • It Was His Sled: The part about human characters was supposed to be a plot twist however became talked about to the point where it quickly stopped being a spoiler.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Bad Cop/ Good Cop have been shipped with just about every character from the film.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Subverted with Vitruvius, who actually does die, although he does come back as a Spirit Advisor.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Benny's love SPACESHIP of SPACESHIPS has become SPACESHIP one. Intentional, since the LEGO set it comes in is called "Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!!!"
    • "Do you wanna build a SPACESHIP!!!"
    • "Business business business. Numbers. Is this working?" "Yes." Yay!"
    • EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!
    • Have you hugged a Uni-Kitty today?
    • The lyrics of Batman's song (Darkness! No parents!) have been frequently used to mock overly dark and gritty superhero movies, particularly those of the DC Cinematic Universe.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Everything Is Awesome" is intentionally written to be a mind-numbingly obnoxious and repetitive Ear Worm, which works perfectly in the context of the film where President Business essentially uses it to brainwash the populace and suppress creative thinking. It's also ridiculously popular among viewers and was even nominated for Oscar and Grammy awards.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Subverted. Although some viewers may be quick to call out the tie-in LEGO sets as being hypocritical for including instructions, the movie never actually discourages building with instructions. In fact, following the instructions is what helped Emmet and his friends sneak into Octan Tower. What the movie does discourage, however, is building only with instructions... but there's nothing in the sets that forces you to follow the enclosed instruction booklets.
  • Moe: Uni-Kitty, obviously, but Emmet counts as well.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Subverted by Lord Business when he erases Good Cop's face and forces Bad Cop to use the Kragle on his own parents. This is before The Reveal that he just wants to be special, as well as the fact that the Kragle's effects are easily undone.
  • Narm Charm: The entire film runs on Narm Charm. It plays almost everything for laughs, and operates on Rule of Funny, so the dramatic moments hit hard when they occur, even if jokes occur within them. Only a movie like this can make a line like "Then I just spray them with the taco!" into something horrifying, or make us cry about someone who drops dead with crossed out eyes. And it can cheerfully jump from dramatic to funny again in the span of two seconds, without feeling jarring or disrespectful.
    Christy Lemire: You know that old cliched response after walking out of a movie or a play: I laughed, I cried”? This time, its really true. I laughed my ass off and then I cried. A 3-D, animated movie about a bunch of tiny pieces of plastic made me cry.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The cameo from Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian aboard the Millennium Falcon, with the latter two being voiced by Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams.
    • The crazy civilian-built fight machines promoted by the tie-in toys only appear for a few seconds.
    • It's Lego Dumbledore and Lego Gandalf! Not only in the same scene, but it's implied they hang out together.
    • Wonder Woman, notably the fact that this is her theatrical debut.
    • The Duplo aliens at the end.
  • Periphery Demographic: While technically a film for kids, it should be noted that 60% of those attending showings on the opening weekend in the United States were adults. And such an important trope that this is an actual plot point.
  • Rooting for the Empire: See below. Many an adult Lego fan that had to deal with children invading their collection can empathize with The Man Upstairs - Except for the glue, however, most adult fans are completely against that.
    • But it's also averted, as a few parents would end up feeling guilty if they made their children play with Legos as long as they used the instructions.
  • Special Effect Failure: Wyldstyle and Unikitty's mouths and face don't move when expressing their joy upon seeing Emmet back piloting a mech.
  • Squick: Metalbeard's story finishes with him escaping with nothing but his head and sundry organs; represented in—thank Heaven—silhouette by a long rope and a few specks. Obviously his intestines and all them pod-shaped insides. Also counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • While Finn's dad is portrayed as in the wrong, keeping his kids from playing with the (often expensive) collector sets until they were old enough to understand how not to lose important pieces and such is perfectly reasonable. Granted, he missed the signs that Finn finally was old enough. He bought Finn plenty of his own LEGO bricks specifically so that Finn doesn't touch the sets. And really, wouldn't you be frustrated if someone else dismantled something you built?
    • Emmet's "double-decker couch" idea is mercilessly mocked as a dumb idea to make Emmet look pathetic, yet many fans think it's a brilliant concept. A few admit that the whole legs dangling thing might need looking at, but aside from that it's still seen as a good idea.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • Uni-Kitty is filled with this trope. Word of God even says she was meant to be "someone cute, innocent, and utterly adorable".
    • Cloud Cuckooland in general. Which makes its eventual destruction hurt even more.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The Duplo brick aliens being the new villains at the end is Lego making a jab at a product of theirs that even most of their own fans openly hate. Doubles as Self-Deprecation.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • For some fans, Uni-Kitty falls into the category of being too ridiculously cute.
    • Cloud Cuckoo Land also gives off this vibe, given its pastel coloration, constant whimsy, and prominent cutesy puppy dog building. Batman definitely has such a view of this location.
      Batman: [Gruff, as a clown and guy in a dinosaur costume dance around him] I hate this place.
    • The Duplo brick aliens at the very end are meant to invoke this.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character/They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Who didn't want to see Batman interact with Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman? Or meeting with the freakin' Joker?
    • Middle Zealand is described in a very specific montage, yet our heroes just drive through it within a minute and arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land without any development in that realm. Yet the writers couldn't think up good enough gags for it.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Some have seen parallels to modern America with the vapid and over exposed pop culture, corrupt politicians who spy on the public, and violent police. Also, some have criticized it as being anti-business.
  • The Woobie: Emmet, he's a very friendly guy but then the fact that a lot of people he considered friends don't really care much about him or even remember who he was. It's not really hard to feel sorry for him.
    • Unikitty, as she watches the destruction of Cloud Cuckoo Land.