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The Ants

    Flik 
Voiced by: Dave Foley
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flik01_8007.jpg

  • Adorkable: Either when it comes to his inventions or talking to Princess Atta.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: He is regularly marginalized for wasting his time on creative thinking and inventing instead of gathering food for the Offering. What makes this more understandable than usual for this trope is that he is very much The Klutz and causes often more harm than good with his blunders. This is deconstructed because the others' criticism of his acts blind them to the facts that he is actually right about.
  • Artistic License – Biology: This comes from him being a male worker ant - in real life, all worker ants are females, and at the very least, he should have wings.
  • Badass Bookworm: Becomes this during his stand against Hopper.
  • Bamboo Technology: All of his inventions are made entirely of twigs, grass and any resource similar to that.
  • Batman Gambit: He uses this technique to defeat Hopper. It also doubles as a Kansas City Shuffle because he "looked left", while Hopper "fell right".
  • Big Brother Instinct: While he's not related to her, he's quite protective and caring towards Dot. He's the only one who steps in to stop Hopper from terrorizing Dot in the beginning and he gives her a motivational speech about how she can do amazing things despite being so small.
  • Bring Help Back: He wants to look for a way to make things better for the colony, so what does he do? Leave the island to look for bigger bugs who can help them stand up to the grasshoppers.
    "We can find bigger bugs to come here and fight, and forever rid us of Hopper and his gang!"
  • Bungling Inventor: It's not really his inventions that don't work, but his clumsiness.
  • Character Development:
    • Goes from being the misfit of the colony to the hero of the film.
    • At the start of the film he accidentally knocks over the offering, but is too scared to come forward to Hopper and lets Atta take the fall. At the end of the film when Hopper demands to know who's idea the bird was and is ready to once again blame Atta, this time Flik bravely comes forward.
  • Determinator: Wants to gain his colony's approval so darn badly.
  • Distressed Dude: This happens to him twice during the movie's climax - first when Hopper is about to squish him, and second when Hopper is kidnapping him. Princess Atta saves him in both instances.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: His crush on Atta is quite clear from the very beginning, but to start off with, she rebuffs any of his attempts to be sweet towards her. As the movie progresses, however, she starts to warm up to him after getting to understand him better and professes her newfound admiration for him near the end.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He and Atta have to cover their eyes in horror before Hopper gets eaten by the bird's chicks.
  • Friend to All Children: This isn't surprising, seeing how strong his friendship with Dot is. Flik is the one who speaks up for her when Hopper tries to feed her to Thumper, and later on, he rallies up the Blueberries to all use the fake bird to drive out the grasshoppers.
  • Heroic BSoD: After he gets exiled from the colony. He gets better with help from Dot and the circus bugs.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Flik never shies away from what's right.
  • Insect Gender-Bender: He's a male worker ant who comes from a colony of both male and female worker ants. In real life, he would most likely be a female, and if not, he should be a winged male.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Dot, mainly because she's the only ant in the colony who admires and looks up to Flik.
  • The Klutz: For most of the film, most of his good intentions just backfire constantly and few things go well for him.
  • Liar Revealed: Once he discovers the truth about the "warriors", complete with a hilarious Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises moment.
  • Love Epiphany: It can be assumed that Flik's crush on Atta has been lasting for a long time even before the events of the movie, but it's not until he and the circus bugs rescue Dot from the bird that Atta really starts to show genuine appreciation for him. She also becomes a lot nicer to him and the two realize through a private conversation that they aren't so different after all, both being individual ants with low self-confidence and self-esteem. They both get better thanks to Character Development.
  • Maybe Ever After: Flik gets kissed on the cheek by Atta at the end of the film before the latter gets crowned the new Queen. It's not certain that they are together at this point, but it can be assumed, looking at the way they hold hands while waving goodbye to the departing circus bugs.
  • The Millstone: The ant council had a hard time assigning him to a specific department both as punishment and as a way of getting him off their backs, as they were all part of the extensive list of his previous screw-ups.
  • Nice Guy: Flik may be clumsy, but he's an extremely good-hearted ant who only wants to make things better for the colony.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: There are three key moments in the film involving him where this happens:
    • First, when he drops two of his harvested grain stalks onto Atta without realizing she is in the place where they land.
    • Second, when his invention knocks all the food for the grasshoppers into the water surrounding Ant Island.
    • Third, introducing the "warriors" to the colony before discovering what they really are.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Thumper gives him a brutal one after he stands up for Atta, who was being confronted by Hopper. He does suffer from injuries, but otherwise it doesn't affect him and is still able to give Hopper his classic "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Noodle Incident: His "tunnel within a tunnel" project that gets brought up by Thorny after Atta sentences him to one month of digging.
  • Official Couple: He eventually begins a relationship with Atta.
  • Oh, Crap!: There are multiple moments when he reacts like that, but see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! above to get the idea.
  • Scarecrow Solution: His idea to drive out the grasshoppers with the fake bird.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Does this frequently, such as when the food goes over the side of the island into the water, a few times during the bird attack and when he accidentally crashes the fake bird into the circus wagons and leads P.T. Flea to set the bird on fire and expose it all to Hopper.
  • Shout-Out: In the Hilarious Outtakes, he shouts, "To infinity and beyond!". He says afterwards that he did that out of "not being able to resist".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Despite suffering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Thumper under Hopper's orders, he gives Hopper a "World of Cardboard" Speech and "The Reason You Suck" Speech and inspires the rest of the colony to stand up to the grasshoppers.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He accidentally collapses the offering stone holding all of the food meant for the grasshoppers, prompting Hopper to demand twice the amount intended which leaves the island facing starvation. Thankfully, Flik is not about to let them suffer that fate.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Doesn't once stop thinking that the Ants can have a better life.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: His biggest Oh, Crap! moment in the movie is when he realizes that the "warriors" are actually circus bugs.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: During the climax of the film, he gives one to Hopper in response to his statement that the ants are just lowly life forms who are meant to serve grasshoppers, having realized that Hopper keeps bullying the ants and trying to keep them under his thumb because he's actually afraid of them and is well aware of what they're capable of. The ants quickly realize how right Flik is and are galvanized into beating Hopper and his men back.
    Flik: Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I've seen these ants do great things... and year after year, they somehow manage to pick enough food for themselves and you. So who's the weaker species? Ants don't serve grasshoppers! It's you who need us! We're a lot stronger than you say we are. And you know it… don't you?
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    Atta 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/atta01_7774.jpg

  • Big Sister Instinct: Like Flik, she's very protective of Dot. She became concerned for her sister once she discovered the bird was going after Dot and was asking the troop girls where her sister was after they evacuated the burning bird.
  • Birds of a Feather: She and Flik both lack confidence and feel like the colony is always watching them, "waiting for them to screw up."
  • Character Development: Goes from a Nervous Wreck to a confident leader.
    • Another minor case: At the start of the film she's terrified of Hopper, and when he demands to know what happened to the food she tries to pass the buck to Flik (though in her case she really didn't do it). At the end of the film, when Hopper is furious with the false bird and demands to know who did it, Atta is calmly willing to take the blame to protect Flik (and the Blueberries), and stands up for Flik when Hopper is prepared to kill him over it.
  • Commonality Connection: After the "warriors" save Dot, Atta and Flik bond over how they feel the colony is always watching them, waiting for them to screw up.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She is rather dismissive towards Flik and his ideas on improving the harvest in the beginning of the film. But warms up to him in the middle.
  • Deuteragonist: Flik may be The Hero, but the story is as much about Atta's Character Development from a Nervous Wreck to The Good Queen (also her defrosting toward Flik, and learning to stand up Hopper). Her actions also drive the plot as much as Flik's antics: she sends him on the search to find "warrior bugs" (though under false pretenses), is the reason the colony witnesses their "rescue" of Princess Dot, inadvertently gives Flik the "bird" idea, banishes them during the Liar Revealed part leaving the colony in the Darkest Hour, and saves Flik's life twice in the climax, ensuring the movie's Happy Ending.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her and Dot's birth father was never seen.
    • Based on science, after mating, the supposed "King Ant" dies.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She may be neurotic, but does in fact care for her colony.
  • Jerkass Ball: Despite having had a Jerkass Realization, she grabs this again hard after the Liar Revealed plot, where she berates Flik for lying to her, and banishes him from Ant Island, paving way for the colony's Darkest Hour. She seems to realize her mistake afterwards.
  • Jerkass Realization: After Flik reveals he understands how she feels when she says the colony is all watching her, waiting for her to screw up, she realizes she was just as guilty, apologizes, makes it up to him and is nicer to him from then on.
  • Nervous Wreck: Starts off as this before her Character Development. (To be fair, inheriting a colony enslaved to a gang of grasshoppers led by an Ax-Crazy Sadist who won't hesitate to kill her sister or worse if she doesn't deliver would put everyone on edge.)
    Dot: It's not my fault [Atta]'s always stressed out!
    Atta: Oh, I know, I know! I'm always acting like the sky is falling.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Atta is drawn with a slight bump on her chest, to suggest this.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: After cowering in terror of Hopper every time they see each other all movie, she doesn't hesitate to stare him down when he tries to squish Flik and delivers a short but sweet Ironic Echo.
    Atta: You see, Hopper, nature has a certain order. The ants pick the food, the ants keep the food, and the grasshoppers LEAVE!
  • Not So Different: She and Flik are both judged as screw-ups by the rest of the colony, who all just seem to be waiting for them to screw up.
  • Official Couple: With Flik.
  • Reality Ensues: Scrapping the bird idea and banishing Flik and the "warrior bugs" from the island after they'd been kicking back all summer, when they don't have nearly enough food left on the island to appease Hopper, wasn't her smartest plan.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Flik first brought the "warrior bugs," she was right that he "hired a bunch of clowns," but it was more because she didn't believe in him than that he made an honest mistake.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Once Flik has the idea to get rid of Hopper, she's all the way on board. And after that she finally stands up to Hopper.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While Atta was at first dismissive towards Flik she wasn't as brutal as the rest, and it was somewhat justified given their colony's current predicament and that his inventions did cause problems. After he and the Circus Bugs saved her sister from death, Atta started to develop an instant liking towards Flik, even showing her own adorkable when with him. It was only after she and the colony found out about his lies did she exile him. She changes her attitude again when Flik and the other ants drive the grasshoppers out.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: She gets knocked to the ground twice by catapulted stalks of grain (thanks to Flik) and even falls off the counsel stand in the Hilarious Outtakes.
  • So Proud of You: Said word-for-word after Flik inspires the ant colony to Zerg Rush the grasshoppers.

    Dot 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dot01_9547.jpg
  • The Cutie: An ant version this time.
  • Die or Fly: Her subplot involves her trying to get her wings to work. She finally succeeds after being chased off a cliff by Thumper.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her and Atta's birth father was never seen or mentioned.
    • As mentioned above, based on science, after mating, the supposed "King Ant" dies.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: "Come on, wings. Fly, fly!"
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The only child aged main character.
  • Literal-Minded: She can't make sense of Flik's seed story that's meant to encourage her as he uses a rock to represent the "seed" in question. She finally comes to appreciate what he meant and uses this to convince Flik to return home.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: After the colony revolts against the grasshoppers, when Thumper tries to scare her into submission she's momentarily startled, only to slap him on the cheek and admonish, "No! Bad grasshopper! Bad grasshopper! Go home!"
  • Plucky Girl: Shown to be incredibly determined, which allows her to fly.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: She looks as adorable as a cartoon ant can.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: See her Spanner in the Works section.
  • Spanner in the Works: She overheard the grasshoppers' plan to squish the queen and flew back to the circus wagon to get Flik and company to return to save the colony.
  • Tritagonist: To Flik's Protagonist and Atta's Deuteragonist. Dot is still a major character whose character development (learning to fly and overcome her fear of Thumper) and friendship with Flik is significant, and whose actions greatly impact the plot. She inadvertently causes Atta and the colony to accept the "warriors unconditionally, and the "warriors" to stay, when she accidentally puts herself in danger in the gorge, and later she gets Flik and the banished bugs to return to save the queen from getting squished by the grasshoppers.
  • Undying Loyalty: One of the only members of the ant colony who respects Flik, despite his accidents, even when he is exiled.
  • Youthful Freckles: The only ant to have this that also showcases her youthfulness.

The Grasshoppers

    Hopper 
Voiced by: Kevin Spacey
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hopper01_6381.jpg

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite ordering his gang to kill the circus bugs, when Tuck and Roll devolve into a petty slap fight, Hopper barely changes his expression... and admits “now that’s funny”, and allows the troupe to stay and perform.
  • Ax-Crazy: It's unbearably obvious that he's a incredibly mentally unstable character who compartmentalizes it by making a point in using violence as a means to get his way, which means that he is not safe to be around as saying the wrong thing can result in the speaker's death no matter the species. Its during his Villainous Breakdown that he totally loses control of the situation and as a result goes completely insane.
  • Bad Boss: As Molt tells the ants during the raid in the film's second half: "You don't want to make him mad. Believe me!" He takes out his frustration at his brother by punching out another member of his gang because of a promise to his mother. Later, he matter-of-factly kills several of his fellow grasshoppers just to demonstrate a point in an argument.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Thumper's subtle cue to attack.
  • Barbaric Bully: He pushes the ants around and keeps them in a constant state of fear.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film, Hopper is the leader of the grasshoppers and without him the others wouldn't even care.
  • Big Brother Bully: Threatened to kill Molt when he got interrupted and made clear that is was only their mother's memory that keeps Molt alive.
  • Black Comedy Burst: Hopper indulges in this whenever he remotely Played for Laughs, such as squashing some of his own men with a completely bored look on his face or his rather undignified death, eaten by a bunch of baby birds while screaming like a little girl.
  • The Bully: He loves picking on weaker species to make himself feel big.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A Reconstructed variation. He understands the weakness of his position against the numerically superior ants, and engages in a campaign of terror specifically to keep the ants from wising up and fighting back. He tried to keep a small balance of just the right amount of terror but Flik upset that balance and it backfired as it only meant the ants snapped after too much abuse, much to his confusion:
    Hopper: *as his men retreat* Where are you going? They're just ants!!!
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Molt's Abel. Molt is far nicer and personable than Hopper, who thrives on picking on weaker species and treating everyone around him like dirt. At one point, Hopper flat-out tells Molt to his face that the only reason he hasn't killed him is because he promised their mother on her deathbed that he wouldn't.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is voiced by Kevin Spacey, after all. Throughout the film, he makes dry remarks about anything that annoys him.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Loses an antenna shortly before being eaten.
  • The Dreaded: Even his own grasshopper gang are scared of him. The room tends to go quiet every time he enters it, with everyone apprehensive of his every word and gesture.
  • Eaten Alive: At the end of A Bug's Life, Hopper gets eaten by the bird's chicks.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: While Hopper is a complete Jerkass, he does seem to love his late mother. He even cites her memory at one point, remarking he hasn't killed Molt because he promised her on her deathbed that he wouldn't.
  • Evil Is Petty: When his big elaborate plan to kill the Queen and keep the ants in line fails, he settles for mercilessly beating up Flik and trying to kill him. In fact, the only reason that he doubled the offering was to browbeat them because of one ant who was no apparent threat and only hurt his pride.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is deep and imposing which naturally fits his already unsettling presence. Given who is his voice actor this is a given. Imagine Frank Underwood in a grasshopper's body.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: When the bird feeds him to her chicks. The last we hear from him is his scream of terror and the chicks' mouths coming up to get him; it's so gruesome that Atta and Flik can't even bear to watch and look away.
  • Famous Last Words: "Are there a bunch of little girls in this one, too? Hello, girls!"
  • Fatal Flaw: His overconfidence and underestimating the ants' strength eventually leads to his death.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hopper looks down on the ants and sees them as little more than slaves, even going as far as to deem them as "lower than dirt". What's more is that he has worked tirelessly to instill this sense of inferiority into those he has terrorized into submission. Heck, he seems to hold this view against all other bugs he meets, as he will not hesitate to order his men to squish them if he deems them a nuisance to himself.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He becomes chillingly polite when about to do something like murdering his own henchmen or preparing to feed children to deranged grasshoppers.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: An "evil" variant with Molt, who is clearly less competent at being outwardly evil than he is.
  • For the Evulz: Unlike most other Pixar villains, Hopper's twisted acts are not just the means to an end but the end on themselves. He claims that it is a necessity to extort the ants to keep the leash tight in order to ensure a future of slaves (which may be true) but he clearly fully embraces it as a lifestyle to force all other bugs to grovel to his feet. Also, he tried to feed Dot to Thumper with no apparent reason. Apparently he just did for kicks.
  • Genius Bruiser: He can easily beat down most anybody else in the film, and he's hardly dumb; he knows that if all the ants stood up to the grasshoppers, since they're far more numerous, the ants would easily push them away. And indeed it does happen, they just needed a push.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a prominent scar on his right eye, which is whited out.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It is NOT a wise idea to make him angry if one is not ready to deal with him, since his first instinct is to punch, kick and squish whoever even slightly annoys him. He barely manages to control himself in order to maintain some needed organising and discipline.
  • Insult to Rocks: His prejudice towards ants is so great that he has the courage to call Flik "lower than dirt" towards the end of the film.
  • It's All About Me: Everything is about him being in control of everyone else and everyone else has to live in fear of him.
  • It's Personal: The obvious reason he orders the ants to double the food rations is due to his injured pride (and even fear) from Flik standing up to him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He gives the impression of being more than a bully when he announces to his men that they're going to spend the rest of the winter partying instead of returning to the ants' island. Then he kills some of his men to make a point.
    • He also gives the ants another chance to give him food even calling himself "compassionate"...by doubling the rations.
  • Karmic Death: He gets his Just Desserts when he becomes the meal of some hungry bird chicks. For extra points as he is a villain obsessed with intimidation, he is terrified of birds.
  • Kick the Dog: One verbal example is him belittling Atta after "the grasshoppers" meal is gone.
  • Large Ham: A dramatic voice and emphasizing gestures are helpful for a skilled orator.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In the Hilarious Outtakes, he's a fairly sensitive guy that puts up with a lot of goof ups and teasing from the rest of the cast.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The ants are so terrified of Hopper that they probably would have gone on serving him forever... if he didn't order them to give up so much food that they themselves risked starving in the winter, or find out that he intended to squish the queen.
  • Morality Pet: Looks like he genuinely loved his late mother, as he refuses (despite coming very close) to kill Molt due a promise he did to her on her deathbed. However, it's debatable if it's genuine love or simply to show that he can keep promises.
  • Oh, Crap!: His priceless reaction when he realizes the bird that Flik led him to is real.
  • Obviously Evil: Domineering presence, strongest of his group, enjoys making people suffer.
  • Perpetual Frowner: There is rarely a scene where he cracks a smile.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Subverted. Though the ants messed up badly giving his grasshoppers food, he states that he's willing to give them another chance... only to double the amount of food. This sews the first seeds of discontentment, as even the most terrified ants complain that there's "just not enough food left on the island," which opens them up to Flik's idea of a revolt since they feel they have little to lose. Later still, when his own men point out what a waste of time and resources it is to return to Ant Island so close to the rainy season (where they could get caught in the shower) as they have more than enough food to get through the winter anyway, Hopper kills the complainers and bullies his gang into returning anyway. Once there, the excessive cruelty he shows them causes them to revolt anyway due to finally snapping and having nothing left to lose.
  • Red Right Hand: Hopper has a scar over his right eye.
  • Sadist: A ruthless tyrant who delights in the fear he instills in the ants and for whom the only way to live is by being in ultimate power. was fully prepared to publicly execute their queen to keep them compliant. He even admits to his minions that they don't even need the immediate food the ants provide, implying his actions are motivated at heart by sadism.
  • Scars Are Forever: One over his (also likely blind) right eye, which the Pixar staff confirms was inflicted by the first bird that attacked him.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: When confronted by his greatest fear, birds. In fairness when they're big enough to eat you alive, you probably would too.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: He is savvy enough to fear the ants' numbers and their ability to bite back at any time, but his own method of avoiding this, abusing and intimidating them to increasing measures, is ultimately what causes the ants to snap and turn on the grasshoppers.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Molt's Sensitive Guy, but it's really only in the movie itself - he's actually quite a softie in the Hilarious Outtakes.
  • Smug Snake: He's smart and utterly convinced of his superiority but has no idea how to deal with the unexpected.
  • The Sociopath: Manipulative, ruthless, cold hearted, sadistic, remorseless, pompous, arrogant, evil... yes, he's clearly one.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: When not at borderline frothing rage point, he's committing brutality with a stoic, outright bored look on his face. How he makes his case towards his men ditching going after the ants is a key example.
    Hopper: *politely* Does anybody else wanna stay?...
  • The Social Darwinist: Uses the philosophy of Might Makes Right to the ants to keep them subjugated (despite knowing that from a certain point of view the ants are superior) to the grasshoppers and of course he doesn't like it when he is reminded that according to this logic birds are above him in the natural order of things. It is clear that he believes it himself and applies it to his own as well, as terrorising and even murdering his men is meant to keep them from ever questioning him.
  • Undignified Death: Terrifying though it was, he still died by being eaten by an adorably fluffy baby bird.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: The Vile Villain to Molt's Laughable Lackey.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: One of the scariest villains Pixar has ever done is in a comedy about cute ants and insect clowns.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He goes through one first when he tries to kill Flik out of anger and speaks about gathering grasshoppers and returning when it is obvious that he lost and there won't be any return and when he's about to be eaten by a bird and then he realizes the bird has hungry babies.
  • Villain Has a Point: He lectures Atta that as the new leader of the colony, she must learn to take responsibility when things go wrong. Even though he’s just bullying her for the sake of laying down the law with the new leader, he has a valid point buried somewhere in the bullying.
  • Villains Out Shopping: At his hideout, Hopper is seen enjoying a nice back massage and genuinely enjoying it. Later, after occupying Ant Island, he decides to kick back and enjoy the circus bugs’ performance, and laughs it up quite a bit.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: According to Atta, he was afraid of birds. This is his eventual fate when he gets eaten in the end.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Hopper doesn't hesitate to feed child Dot to Thumper.

    Thumper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thumper.jpg
Voiced by: David Lander
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: He tries to eat Dot multiple times.
  • Ax-Crazy: Shown in full when he mercilessly beats up Flik.
  • The Brute: He's by far the most violent member of Hopper's swarm.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Psychotic and ultra-violent he may be, he was just as stunned as everyone else to see Hopper coldly killing a few of his other minions just to prove a point.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: If you associate the name "Thumper" with a certain adorable bunny, it's weird to see an Ax-Crazy grasshopper having the same name. On the other hand, it's also a Meaningful Name, as he likes to thump his enemies in the ground.
  • Furry Confusion: He's less humanized than the other grasshoppers, to the point of being treated as a pet.
  • Karma Houdini: He gets scared away by Dim, but apparently survives.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Well he's kept around, but often on a leash, blurring the line between thug and animal.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Actor!Thumper is rather polite, completely sane, and far from the Ax-Crazy character he is in the movie.
  • Psycho for Hire: A very low-functioning example but very psycho for treats nonetheless.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In the main film, he has no actual dialogue (see The Unintelligible below), save for an easy-to-miss line where he says "get those bugs!" In the outtakes, however, he talks normally.
  • Team Pet: Though it's ambiguous whether he's supposed to represent an attack dog or an insane person, he seems to be this to the grasshoppers to some degree. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene shows him begging Hopper for treats and catching a piece of grain tossed to him in his mouth.
  • The Unintelligible: Speaks in grunts, rasps, growls, snarls, and whimpers (when Dim scares him away).
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    Molt 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/moltbugslife.png
Voiced by: Richard Kind

  • Affably Evil: Nice and friendly, even trying to tell funny stories to ants he's menacing. He even gives them a friendly warning during the second raid, having himself made Hopper angry one too many times:
    "Do as he says; you don't want to make him mad. Believe me!"
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: He infuriates Hopper to such an extent that Hopper had to promise their dying mother that he wouldn't kill Molt.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Hopper's Cain. Molt is far nicer and personable than Hopper, who thrives on picking on weaker species and treating everyone around him like dirt. At one point, Hopper flat-out tells Molt to his face that the only reason he hasn't killed him is because he promised their mother on her deathbed that he wouldn't.
  • Catchphrase: "Shutting up", whenever he realizes he's pushing his luck.
  • The Ditz: Molt isn't exactly the smartest bug in the movie.
  • The Dragon: Invoked and ultimately subverted. Molt’s friends tell him that as Hopper’s brother, he’s basically their second-in-command. Molt falls for it and goes to convince Hopper to not return to the island, but immediately backtracks once it’s made clear he has no leeway in Hopper’s decision-making whatsoever.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's seen visibly flinching when Thumper attacks Flik.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: An "evil" variant with Hopper, as he is more-or-less the screw-up of the gang and is not very good at being evil, unlike his brother.
  • Gentle Giant: He's a big guy and doesn't really want to pick on the ants.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He joins the circus bugs at the end of the film as a strongman.
  • Hidden Depths: He knows just how foolish and evil Hopper's plan is but is scared to refuse to go.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Played with. Since Molt was already a Minion with an F in Evil in the movie, in the Hilarious Outtakes he pretty much acts like his usual playful self, sans allegiance.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: While he's one of the bad guys, he's a dim-witted Gentle Giant, often infuriating his intelligent but evil older brother.
  • Motor Mouth: Loves to babble on and on. Helps that he's voiced by Richard Kind.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While he's not necessarily cruel to the ants, his main compunction with mugging food from them is that it's an exhausting waste of time and effort when the grasshoppers already have loads of food. A lot of the other grasshoppers are implied to think the same, just like Molt, they don't want to cross Hopper about it.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: When the food's collected and the circus is performing, he happily claps and plays along, rather like a child.
    "The circus, the circus, I love the circus!"
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Hopper's Manly Man.
  • Token Good Teammate: He's not evil at all, just following along with the other grasshoppers.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: The Laughable Lackey to Hopper's Vile Villain.

The Circus Bugs

    P.T. Flea 
Voiced by: John Ratzenberger
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ptflea01_1546.jpg
  • Bad Boss: Aside from regularly berating his employees, a throwaway line suggests that he doesn't actually pay them either.
  • Determinator: You've gotta admire his dedication: he spends all summer going from ant hill to ant hill looking for the circus bugs he fired, and is willing to do an act that involves burning himself twice a night every other night indefinitely just to get rich. He also doesn't hesitate to leap into battle to set fire to (what he thinks is) a bird to save what's left of his circus act.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Doesn't take much to get him shouting mad.
  • Hot-Blooded: John Ratzenberger even describes him as the kind of character who always goes into a rage for no explicable reason; he's always on edge, and his blood pressure is always high.
  • Jerkass: Though he's not as mean as Hopper is.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his general nature, he does come around to help the ants rid themselves of Hopper, even offering Flik a place in his circus when they've reclaimed their home. When he sees Atta and Dot newly crowned, he is on the verge of tears before he shakes the sentiment off.
  • Kill It with Fire: "FLAMING DEATH!" Which he uses on a "bird" that he sees.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: There's no denying that's he's a Jerkass, but he shows his courage by heroically attacking what he thought was a real bird to save everyone.
  • Meaningful Name: "P.T." most likely came from P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • Nice Hat: Wears what appears to be a very small top hat.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: He is the ringmaster of the circus bugs, and while not outright evil, he is the least heroic and most Jerkass out of them.
  • Skewed Priorities: When he sees Manny "bleeding" to death during the fake bird attack.
    P.T.: There goes my magic act!
  • The Napoleon: As a flea, he's tiny and mean.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • He's responsible for the ants finding out the circus bugs aren't warriors, due to showing up out of nowhere looking for them. This in turn causes the ants to give up on rebelling against Hopper and costs Flik his newly earned good name, almost resulting in the villain's victory.
    • He also ruins the ants' original plan of scaring the grasshoppers off with a fake bird by setting said bird on fire, thinking it to be the real deal. Even moreso, he nearly kills Flik and the girls that were inside the bird.

    Heimlich 
Voiced by: Joe Ranft
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heimlich.png
  • Big Eater: How he mainly copes with not getting to be a beautiful butterfly.
  • Fat Idiot: A very fat and not very bright caterpillar.
  • Funny Foreigner: He has a thick German accent.

    Francis 
Voiced by: Denis Leary
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/francis01_2977.jpg

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    Slim 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/slim01_4691.jpg

    Rosie 
Voiced by: Bonnie Hunt
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rosie01_5242.jpg

  • Friendly Neighborhood Spider: She helps Flik and the Circus Bugs in their quest to save the colony from the Grasshoppers.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Dim whom she seems to view as a surrogate son.
  • Team Mom: She is a gentle creature who helps the Circus Bugs, and is quick to tend to Dim's wounds (with her web likely) when he is hurt.

    Dim 
Voiced by: Brad Garrett
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dim01_4874.jpg

    Manny and Gypsy 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mannygypsy01_5832.jpg

  • Cool Old Guy: Manny gives the appearance of being an older bug, but he's very confident and composed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Gypsy seemed much more interested in her appearance than her husband walking into the walls.
  • Happily Married: Even outside of their acts, the two seem very happy with one another.
  • Interspecies Romance: A male praying mantis is married to a female moth.
  • The Klutz: He has this knowing, thoughtful gaze but not looking where you're going tends to end in tripping and crushing into things...
  • Large Ham: What do you expect? It's Dr. Smith! Manny does try to appear all-mystical but he ends up described as a bit of a hack.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Manny the mantis and Gypsy the gypsy moth.
  • Non-Action Guy: Manny does not get involved with fighting nearly as much as his companions.
  • Stage Magician: Manny's main contribute to the troupe is being a magician, albeit he seems to honestly believe that he's capable of magic.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A beautiful gypsy moth married to an elderly praying mantis.

    Tuck and Roll 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tuckandrollbugslife.png
Voiced by: Mike McShane

  • Catchphrase: "You fired!" becomes theirs after their boss actually does fire them.
  • Funny Foreigner: Both are the comic relief characters and talk in a gibberish that is supposed to sound like Hungarian.
  • Keep It Foreign: They never learn a word of English, except... "You fired!" Word of God says they're Hungarian, even though their gibberish sounds nothing like the actual language.
  • Those Two Guys: The only twins of the group which immediately makes them closer to each other than anyone else.
  • The Unintelligible: Especially when they slip into Hungarian.

Other

    The Bird 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bugs_life_disneyscreencaps_com_4979.jpg
Voiced by: Randy Thom

  • Always a Bigger Fish: A gigantic predator (from the bugs' point of view) who defeats the film's true villain Hopper in the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: After its appearance where it nearly ate Flik, Dot, and the circus bugs, Flik uses it to defeat Hopper for good by deliberately leading him to its nest.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is afraid of birds, even Hopper.
  • Feathered Fiend: Formerly to the good bugs. A human would probably find her rather cute.
  • Giant Flyer: A mix of the "normal sized flyer seen from a small character's perspective" and "giant predator" varieties.
  • Kaiju: What everybody sees her as.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The bugs are terrified of her, but she's just a mother bird looking to feed herself and her chicks.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: She's only looking to eat and feed her young.
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