After coming home from a trip, Annie (Kumbhani) discovers that her boyfriend Dave (Thune) has built a cardboard fort in the middle of their apartment that he apparently refuses to exit, claiming that he is "lost".
After calling their friend Gordon (Busch) (who then calls their other friend Harry (Urbaniak), as well as several other people), Annie decides to enter the maze despite Dave's repeated warnings that it's too dangerous. Immediately upon entering, the group realizes that Dave's maze is, in fact, a colossal labyrinth, and Dave really is lost.
Dave Made a Maze provides examples of:
- Animated Credits Opening: The intro to the film shows an animated Dave trying and failing at a variety of different hobbies. It doesn't only serve to entertain, but also introduces Dave as someone who is very creative, but struggles to stay focused on one thing and can't finish what he starts.
- Bigger on the Inside: The maze fits entirely within Dave and Annie's living room in their apartment, but on the inside, it is an enormous labyrinth.
- Bloodless Carnage: Several characters get dismembered or impaled while inside the maze, but not a drop of blood is actually shed since apparently everyone's insides have been converted to cardboard.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Despite Dave repeatedly asking Gordon to not tell anyone that he is lost in the maze, Gordon not only calls all of their other friends but also tells random people on the street.
- Creative Closing Credits: The credits are animated much like the intro to the film, with a cartoon minotaur (having found its way to the real world) dancing alongside cartoon versions of the cast in a club.
- Eldritch Location: At some point, the maze literally came to life and started building new sections entirely on its own. It even starts to extend outside the entrance and converts Dave and Annie's apartment to cardboard.
- Flip Personality: The cardboard duplicate of Brynn flips back-and-forth between cheerful and asking for high-fives, to intimidating and demonic-sounding. Harry wonders if the thing actually is Brynn, and she's attempting to fight off the maze's influence.
- Grammar Nazi: Harry constantly corrects people's grammar, even when it's at a very inappropriate time.Dave: And tertiary, tertiary, I might be responsible for the people that died today, and if I am... I'm sorry.
*Dave gets up and leaves the room.*
- How We Got Here: The first scene of the film is an excerpt of Harry's interview with Dave for his documentary, which doesn't happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie.
- Hugh Mann: Towards the end of the film, the group runs into a cardboard duplicate of their now dead friend Brynn that is desperately trying to pass as human, apparently completely unaware that it is made of cardboard. It constantly asks for high-fives from people, because "that is what man does".
- A Load of Bull: Just like the Greek myth, Dave's (cardboard) labyrinth has its own (cardboard) minotaur.
- Magical Realism: Dave's maze being Bigger on the Inside and gaining sentience is completely inexplicable. The world of Dave Made a Maze is otherwise identical to the real world.
- Medium-Shift Gag: One of the many rooms in the maze turns all the human characters into paper bag puppets. Leaving the room turns them back into humans. The Minotaur can turn back at-will.
- The Perfectionist:
- Dave repeatedly says throughout the movie that the maze "isn't finished" despite it being gigantic.
- Harry also has shades of being a perfectionist in regards to the documentary he's directing. He repeatedly asks for retakes on people's genuine reactions to things that happen inside the maze, implying that they weren't as emotional as he would have liked.
- Symbolic Blood: This would be an extremely gory movie if it weren't for the fact that all the "gore" was red cardboard.
- Title Drop: At the end of the movie, Harry asks Dave for a title for the documentary, Dave suggests "Dave Made a Maze". Harry rejects it for being too on-the-nose.
- Trail of Bread Crumbs: The seeds the cameraman is constantly spitting on the floor? The sound man uses them like breadcrumbs to find his way back to the entrance after getting lost. Unfortunately, the minotaur follows them too.
- The Voiceless: Harry's cameraman doesn't say a word until right before he dies. Several times it looks like he's about to say something, only to just spit out a sunflower seed shell instead.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- It's never shown what happened to the Flemish tourists that went into the maze, or the Hobo that stayed in Dave and Annie's apartment while everyone else was in the maze.
- It's also never said if the cardboard duplicate of Brynn really was Brynn or not.
Hey, you made it to the end! Come over here and give me a high-five!