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Film / Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

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The world is his stage.
♫ Though we had no way to stay afloat
We were scared they'd say, "That's all she wrote"
We're ending on a sky-high note somehow
Buddy, you were all it took, so take a look at us now! ♫
Hector P. Valenti, "Take a Look at Us Now"

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is a 2022 live-action musical fantasy comedy film based on the Lyle the Crocodile children's books by Bernard Waber, directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory, Office Christmas Party) and featuring songs written by Pasek And Paul.

The film follows the Primm family (Constance Wu, Scoot McNairy, and Winslow Fegley) as they move into a new house in New York City, where they discover—and befriend—a friendly, music-loving salt-water Crocodile named Lyle (voiced by Shawn Mendes). Also starring are Brett Gelman as the Primms' misanthropic neighbor Mr. Grumps and Javier Bardem as Hector P. Valenti, Lyle's eccentric owner. The film was released in theatres on October 7th, 2022.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: Initially played out this way. Josh befriended Lyle... Then after the rest of the family does as well.
  • Adaptational Skill: In the original books Lyle was a good-natured, anthropomorphic and highly skilled performing animal but was not capable of singing. This skill seems to have been added for the movie.
  • Advertising by Association: The film's marketing plays up the involvement of the songwriters for The Greatest Showman.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Lyle was seen licking Hector affectionately when the latter returned to his former house. Even though it's physically impossible for crocodiles to stick out their tongues out of their mouths.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Even ignoring the fact that a crocodile have neither sound mimicking abilities nor the necessary vocal cords for singing, almost everything else Lyle does isn't how real-life crocodiles would or can act - For obvious reasons. Not only that, Lyle's overlapping teeth and wide snout are more akin to an alligator's.
    • In fact it is much easier to mention the trope aversion: Lyle's only real crocodile moment is one where he attacks another in the zoo and roared for intimidation. In real life, it isn't rare for Saltwater Crocodiles to fight each other and they are also capable of roaring for different reasons, one of which is aggression.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: For the most part, Lyle is a sweet, friendly crocodile, but he has one moment of ferocity. Right after Valenti finally convinces Lyle to break out, a non-sentient crocodile from the enclosure attacks him. Lyle interferes by grabbing the crocodile's tail with his mouth, throwing it across the enclosure, and winding up slamming it into the bars. He then roars at another crocodile to make it back off.
  • Big Applesauce: The trailers show the film's setting to be New York City, where the Primms have just relocated to. Shots of Central Park and Times Square are shown off in the main trailer.
  • Brand X:
    • Instead of an established show like America's Got Talent, there's a recurring televised talent show called Show Us What You Got which various characters are excited to be on.
    • The popular social media TikTok-esque platform is called Sweep.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Loretta; even after she turns against Mr. Grumps, she still isn't quite able to catch a break.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Lyle manages to pull off this trope on Hector without uttering a single word. When Valenti breaks into crocodile enclosure in order to release Lyle and ends up trapped inside, the titular reptile doesn't seem to bother that other, non-sentient crocs are about to attack his previous owner and eat him. The visibly resentful and hurt look he gives Hector when the latter tries to get him to escape or, well, save him from said crocs says it all. He drops his indifferent demeanor only after Valenti apologizes to him and admits his earlier wrongdoings.
    • And before that, Josh did the same thing too with Hector.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When talking with Josh regarding having an exotic pet, Trudy mentions that she had to keep her pet rattlesnake carefully hidden. Once Lyle's freedom is secured, she introduces the snake to Hector, and it turns out that it likes to beatbox.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hector Valenti, a failing magician whose well-worn mediocre tricks aren't doing his own career a favour. He is eccentric with a friendly disposition towards the Primms, but he's not to be mistaken for being naive, as Mr. Grumps can attest to that twice.
  • Cranky Neighbor: The aptly named Mr. Grumps, who has very strict rules about how tenants can behave in the building and expects them to be obeyed, even though he's not the owner.
  • Dumpster Dive: It's how Lyle has been feeding himself in the eighteen months Hector left him alone. Once the Primms come into his life, he... helpfully introduces them to a wide variety of foods via the same.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: After Mr. Grumps bribes Hector into selling Lyle out to animal control and threatens to get the Primm's evicted for harboring him, Loretta rejects the fish he tries to feed her and walks off, clearly not happy with how low he's sunk.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: During their first meeting, Lyle accidentally swallows Mr. Grumps' pet cat, only to harmlessly barf it up later in the same scene. Josh seems aware of this somehow, chasing after him with demands to 'give her back'.
  • Glory Days: Mr. Primm has his high school wrestling uniform prominently framed and hung in the bedroom. Once Lyle spots it, he becomes focused on getting Mr. Primm to break it back out and relive those days with him, which ultimately proves to be the boost of confidence he needed.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The trailers show Lyle wearing a University of Florida Gators baseball team blue shirt, but he is not wearing any pants. In the actual film, he's usually just an Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal, sporting nothing but his scarf.
  • Informed Species: Some viewers and reviewers have noted that Lyle more closely resembles an alligator than a crocodile. Presumably, the alligators' (relatively) more pleasant features and friendlier disposition as compared to that of crocodiles might have played a part in the decision to base Lyle's character design on an alligator. This initially caused some speculation as to whether this would be a plot point, however, it is never addressed in the movie.
  • It's All About Me: Hector might have the best intentions when it comes to making himself and Lyle stars, but he never stops to consider what Lyle wants, and it causes friction between them, especially once he's bonded with the Primms. Narratively, it can be a little jarring to see him retain this attitude in the ending - Even after he had apologized to Lyle for abandoning him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Grumps may be the standard miserly, unpleasant neighbor, and he takes incorrect steps in addressing his issues, but Lyle and the Primms make a lot of noise and use up all the building's hot water which he has a right to complain about.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Almost every character's reaction upon meeting a crocodile in public is realistically that of shock and fear...... And none addressed the absurdity of the same crocodile being anthropomorphic, bipedal, and... having a beautiful singing voice. Clearly, given the film's premise its not meant to be taken seriously.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Lyle's cage is labeled "CROCODILE", but the letters are worn down such that it looks like it says "LILE". Hector goes with it.
  • Loophole Abuse: In-universe. There's a clause in the deed to Hector (and by proxy the Primms') home that says it can be used to house any exotic animals otherwise disallowed in New York City as pets.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Or Animal, in this case. Lyle brings out the best in the Primms through their interactions and his songs, getting them out of their comfort zones.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In a moment of weakness, Hector accepts Grumps' bribe and sells out Lyle to the zoo, but it doesn't take long for him to remember the bonding moments they had, and realized that Lyle is more than just a business partner. With a change of heart, Hector makes a plan to break him right back out.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: When Hector shows Lyle his 'pulling a rabbit out of a hat' trick, Lyle is clearly thinking "Oh look, Lunch!", Hector rapidly stuffing the rabbit back into the hat when he realises.
  • Mythology Gag: The original book illustrations appear as various pieces of art done by Mrs. Primm.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Mr. and Mrs. Primm went un-named in the books. Here, their names are Katie and Joseph.
  • Nerdy Inhaler: Josh Primm has to use an inhaler, and he doesn't appreciate following in his dad's footsteps by being on the school wrestling team, instead prefering to read and pursue more dramatic arts. He's also highly concerned about dangerous trivia regarding his new home and his diet.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: When the Primms first move in, Lyle stands motionless inside a glass case and pretends to be crocodile taxidermy. It doesn't last very long.
    Hector: If anyone asks, tell them you are... stuffed.
  • Parental Bonus: After Lyle charms Mrs. Primm with his song "Rip Up the Recipe", her following interactions around her husband (collapsing on the bed in breathless wonder, being much happier in general) are framed as if she just had some mind-blowing sex, with Mr. Primm even asking if there's anybody else in her life. She even paints Lyle while he's reclined similarly to the famous Titanic (1997) pose.
  • Performance Anxiety: Hector has huge dreams of dancing and singing with Lyle on stage as they do together in private, but when the moment actually comes, Lyle freezes up and can only emit shy little grunts.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: After their first meeting didn't go so well, a nervous Mrs. Primm, broom in hand, barges in on Lyle in the bathtub. Coming face-to-face with Lyle again overwhelms Mrs. Primm and she screams, causing Lyle to scream, causing her to scream even louder.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Hell, no. His somewhat... unhygienic dietary habits aside, Lyle is not only incredibly cute, but also the nicest character in entire movie. Played straight, though, with other crocodiles he's locked up with when put in a zoo.
  • Running Gag: Lyle's meetings with the members of the Primm family end with someone running away in panic. Lyle himself the first time, Mrs. Primm the second, and Mr. Primm third.
  • Setting Update: The movie is set in a more contemporary time period compared to the original books' 60s setting, with smartphones, a TikTok-like app, and televised talent shows being featured.
  • Sewer Gator: Briefly parodied, as Lyle is shown to escape into an open manhole during a chase scene, freaking out a nearby city worker.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Singing in the Shower: Lyle is introduced in the teaser trailer while singing in the bathtub. In the full movie, Hector also does so.
  • The Singing Mute: In the second trailer, Josh states that Lyle can only produce words through singing. Indeed, when Lyle isn't singing he is either heard to be grunting or screaming.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Mr. Grumps, the chief antagonist of the film, is the annoying neighbor to the protagonists, and his misfortune and antics are mostly played for laughs. His worst onscreen act was to bribe Hector to sell out Lyle to the zoo, but then again, Grumps' reactions aren't really unreasonable.
  • Stage Magician: Hector's profession, and he's pretty amateur at it, which is causing theater districts to reject him.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Hector starts out as this to the Primms, since they weren't informed that there's a clause in the homeowner's agreement which allows him to stay in the building for 15 days out of the year, and he makes himself overly at home with casual demands. They warm up to him after his relationship with Lyle improves.
  • Toilet Humor: Loretta's irritable bowel syndrome is a minor Running Gag, with one scene showing the unplesant results of her night out eating random salvaged food with Lyle and Josh. And later, one of the zoo crocodiles farts after Lyle escapes their pile-up to put a capper on how unpleasant being stuck there is for Lyle.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While most of the characters are initially either surprised or shocked by Lyle’s ability to sing, at no point does anyone consider the huge implications of Lyle’s sentience and ability to communicate in english, albeit only in song.
  • Work Off the Debt: Hector is a struggling magician and performer who has taken out many loans to try and stay afloat, and they drive his absence from Lyle's life. They're high enough that he accepts a bribe from Mr. Grumps to get Lyle sent to the zoo.


Video Example(s):


Gassy Crocodile

One of the normal crocodiles in the zoo passes gas in front of Lyle, making him feel as uncomfortable as he already is due to the misunderstanding

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ToiletHumour

Media sources: