Eric Harper is an amateur inventor- and a recent widower. His family is spending their first Christmas without his late wife and his children, Kasey and Ryan, are understandably bummed. On Christmas Eve, he finally succeeds in inventing a prototype energy source. A trio of bumbling criminals kidnap him to get the chip. At the same time, a disaffected Elf is left behind on his house by Santa Claus by accident (?) Kasey thinks he's there to grant her Christmas Wish and asks him to bring her father home. He tries, and Hilarity Ensues. In the end, he'll need a change of clothes before everything is resolved.
Tropes in Elf-Man include:
- Bratty Half-Pint: Ryan, who resents Amy for being attracted to his father so soon after his mother died.
- Christmas Elves: Played by Small Persons in this film. The one who becomes Elf-Man is unhappy about his duty (reindeer Poop Scooper.)
- Granny Classic: Eric's mother, only referred to as Granma,who is a bit ditzy but otherwise wise and courageous.
- I Am Not Shazam: The Elf doesn't like being mistaken for a Hobbit, a troll, and (especially not) a leprechaun!
- Instant Costume Change: Happens when Elf-Man gets a power upgrade. See The Power Of Love.
- Lethal Harmless Powers: Inverted: Elf-Man can transform objects, but only into harmless Christmas-related ones. He eventually gains the power of flight, however.
- The Power of Love: Eric and Amy's kissing under the mistletoe not only restores Elf-Man to normal, it gives him a new costume and new powers!
- Shout-Out: To Home Alone, plus superhero films in general.
- Super Zeroes: Elf-Man is one, until he gets serious.
- Those Two Guys: The criminal trio: Mickey, an ex-Navy Seal who was the only survivor of an encounter with a troll (supposedly) and who seems to suffer from PTSD (Combs); Jean-Pierre, "The Worlds Most Famous Master Of Disguise" (hardly) and Big Bucket, the Scary Black Man except he's more of a Funny Black Fat Man.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Elf-Man's is mistletoe(?) It drains his magic and almost kills him, until he's saved by The Power Of Love.
- The Un-Reveal: We never find out if Santa left the elf behind on purpose, or if he was going to come back and pick him up.
- Similarly, the film doesn't openly state that the children's mother is dead.