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Film / Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018)

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"I'm not a monster, I'm a Zombie. You're a cheerleader."

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S is a 2018 Disney Channel Original Movie, based on the novel Zombies & Cheerleaders by David Light and Joseph Raso. The book was initially adapted into a television pilot in 2012, but after the series was not picked up it was reworked into a musical film. The movie premiered on Disney Channel on February 16, 2018. The film stars Meg Donnelly and Milo Manheim.

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S is set in the suburban and obsessively perfect town of Seabrook, a place filled with traditions, uniformity, and pep rallies—and also happens to have a zombie population living in the rundown Zombietown right next door. Thanks to high-tech wristbands that curb their hunger for brains, the zombies can have lives just as fulfilling as humans, but are hampered by various laws — especially an anti-difference law where everyone and everything have to be exactly alike — and prejudiced humans. The first film opens with students from Zombietown being allowed to take (segregated) classes at Seabrook High. When Zombie football player Zed and human cheerleader Addison fall in love, chaos ensues, and the two must lead their groups' to coexistence with each other. Sound familiar?

A sequel, Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, premiered on Disney Channel on February 14, 2020. It picks up a year later where, after a groundbreaking semester, Zed and Addison continue to steer both their school and community toward unity. But the arrival of a new group of outsiders — the mysterious werewolves — threatens to shake up the newfound peace and causes a rift in Zed and Addison's budding romance. It was followed by an animated short series, Addison's Moonstone Mystery, which began airing in October 2020. A second season, under the title of Addison's Monster Mystery, aired throughout October 2021.

A third and final film, Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3, was released on Disney+ on July 15, 2022, with an "encore" edition (with extra scenes and a bonus song) set to air on the channel on August 12. Zed, Addison, and their friends are beginning their final year at Seabrook High in the town that's become a safe haven for monsters and humans alike. Zed is anticipating an athletic scholarship that will make him the first Zombie to attend college, while Addison is gearing up for Seabrook’s first international cheer-off competition. Then suddenly, extraterrestrial beings appear around Seabrook, provoking something other than friendly competition, which could also give Addison clues toward her true identity.

An animated spin-off series based on the movies titled ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series has been announced to be in the works.

Not to be confused with Zombies, another title for the 2006 movie Wicked Little Things, or the fanfic Zombies.

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • This isn't the first zombie movie Tony Nappo (Zevon) starred in. He played Foxy in Land of the Dead (2005).
    • It's also not the first zombie movie for Emilia McCarthy (Lacey) either, playing Lauren in Bunks (2013). Her two characters even have the same initial.
  • Aerith and Bob: Zedekiah, which Zed is likely short for, is a real name. Not sure about Bonzo however, unless one means Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Those who actually care about Addison can be identified by calling her "Addie".
  • After the End: The movie is set after a Zombie Apocalypse came and went and society got rebuilt. Granted it seems to have done less damage than most instances, but it has apparently been two generations in universe and technology hasn't advanced much past where we are now.
  • Advertising by Association: This film is marketed as by the creators of Descendants. Doing an IMDb search on this movie will show that this is not true, unless one means the Disney Channel in general.
  • Aesop Amnesia: While Bucky may have gotten over his overt prejudice against Zombies, any lesson regarding his selfishness is routinely forgotten between scenes, much less between films.
  • Almost Kiss:
    • Zed and Addison almost kiss each other in the zombie light garden; the moment is ruined when the zombies are caught skipping their curfew.
    • Done again in Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2. This time, they were stopped by an earthquake which leads to the moonstone.
  • Ambiguously Human: Addison might be this, due to being born with unusually white hair that cannot be dyed, and judging by it glowing blue in The Stinger of Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2. She was also somehow unaffected by Vanna's hypnosis. Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3 settles this once and for all when it reveals Addison's grandmother was an alien, making Addison one-quarter alien.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Zevon has this reaction when he learns that Zed has been messing with his Z-band to win games.
  • Animal Motifs: Seabrook is themed after shrimp, what with both the cheer squad and the football team called the Mighty Shrimp and the formal year-end dance being "Prawn" rather than Prom.
  • Arc Words: Two of them in 3: "Utopia" and "The most precious thing in Seabrook".
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: This definitely isn't the first time Hollywood has made zombies the result of a nuclear meltdown, but as Chernobyl and Fukushima has taught us, radiation poisoning will KILL you, rather than turn you into a deranged cannibal. Arguably, this may be why the sequel attempts to retcon this by revealing that the energy source involved was the mystical energy of the werewolves' Moonstone.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Sparklers are likely not allowed at indoor pep rallies as an actual fire risk. Although it may've just been Bucky breaking the rules in order to antagonize the Zombies who are afraid of fire.
  • Attractive Zombie: The zombies are simply humans with green hair and white skin (considering it's a Disney Channel Original Movie, it's pretty obvious why they didn't go with more traditional-looking zombies), and the plot revolves around the romance between the zombie Zed and the human Allison.
  • Big Finale Crowd Song:
    • The first film ends with both zombies and humans singing a Triumphant Reprise of "BAMM" at the block party in Zombietown, in celebration of both kind becoming united.
    • Zombies 2 ends with "One for All", sung by the humans, zombies, and werewolves at Prawn.
    • Zombies 3 has "Nothing But Love", as Addison decides to make Seabrook the aliens' new Utopia and everyone in Seabrook celebrates their graduation as well as everyone becoming a family.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first film. Seabrook High loses the cheer competition, but both humans and zombies have reconciled and are now interacting freely with each other.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Zed and Addison both talk to the audience.
  • Break the Haughty: Bucky naturally has to undergo this before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • But Your Wings Are Beautiful: Zed thinks Addison's "freakish" white hair is beautiful.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mickeey Nguyen does not reprise his role as Tracey for the sequel, and is replaced by Noah Zulfikar as new Acey member Jacey.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • It's most noticeable in the sets and costumes but the human citizens of Seabrook are only in pastel hues of pink, blue, and lilac. Justified, as Seabrook does not accept differences.
    • The zombie citizens are dressed in darker shades of red, green and grey.
    • In 3 the aliens only wear blue, white, and silver.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: In 3, the werewolves realize the forcefield to the moonstone has come down meaning the aliens have attempted to steal it, thus they try to chase them down set to the "Come on Out" number.
  • Cruel Cheerleader: According to Eliza, cheerleaders are monsters. While Addison averts the trope completely along with Bree, the other cheerleaders, particularly the Aceys and Bucky, demonstrate this trope to a T. In general, they like to put others down that they don't see as absolutely perfect and are hyper competetive and only care about winning. Their most monstrous act though would be stealing Eliza's computer, hacking Zed's Z-band, and forcing Zed, Bonzo, and Eliza to go full zombie in the middle of a crowded football game, not only putting the lives of the entire student body in peril, but turning the humans completely against the zombies just as real progress was being made. All because they couldn't stand anybody else being in the spotlight but them.
  • Dance of Romance: "Someday".
  • Dance Party Ending:
  • Dark Reprise: "Someday" gets this in 3. It's a jaunty love song in the first film and shows Zed and Addison's Love at First Sight. In the sequel it's slowed down, but still happy because it's their first dance as Prawn. But in the third film it happens after Addison leaves with the other Aliens to find Utopia, so it becomes a group number with all of her friends singing about her coming back home...someday.
  • Dark Secret: Addison has white hair. She was born with it, and there is no way to get it out. Since nobody at Seabrook High accepts differences, Addison has to wear a blonde wig to hide it.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Bucky claims he thought of everything when reverting the zombies from peaceful vegetarians back into cannibalistic ghouls and thus turning the entire school against them...except how to defend himself and his assistant captains from said cannibalistic ghouls.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Addison when she introduces herself at the beginning.
    Addison: I have crushed cheer summer after cheer summer of cheer camp.
  • Discount Lesbians: For all the effort made to advertise the non-binary actor Terry Hu playing a non-binary character A-spen, it's still diluted by the fact they're an alien.
  • Earth All Along: The big twist of the third movie is that the aliens' fabled "Utopia" is Earth. Addison's grandmother was describing the planet where she met the man she loved and gave birth to her beloved daughter.
  • Easily Forgiven: Bucky and the Aceys never even have to apologize for their stunt at Homecoming, even after the two groups reconcile.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number:
    • "Stand", which is sung by Addison as she no longer wants to hide her real self and reveals her white hair, taking place just before the major conflict of the film is resolved.
    • Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 has two of them. First is "Flesh and Bone", as everyone tries to convince the grown ups not to demolish the old energy plant. The second is the Softer and Slower Cover of "Someday" as Zed and Addison dance at Prawn, just before the big climax of retrieving the moonstone.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Zed playing puppy with his little sister because Zombies aren't allowed to have pets.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Seabrook's football coach is only ever referred to as coach.
  • Extranormal Prison: Zombie Containment.
  • Falling into His Arms: Addison into Zed's during the pep rally.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Between Addison and Zed in the zombie safe room, set to the song "Someday".
  • Fascists' Bed Time: All Zombies live under a curfew mandated by law.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: Zombie Town.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are quite discriminatory towards zombies, which admittedly does make a degree of sense given the past, but wilfully ignores the improvements made through science that allow them to think, feel, and act just like standard humans. Continued in the sequel with the werewolves, who the humans treat like dangerous animals and the zombies think are threats to their own assimilation.
  • First Girl Wins: Goes both ways: Addison is the first human girl that Zed meets and in turn Zed is the first zombie guy that Addison meets. Addison is also, coincidentally, the first girl introduced.
  • Foreshadowing: While hacking Zed's Z-band to help him win at football games, Eliza tells him never to swipe to the right, as that'll corrupt the software. Sure enough, Zed swipes right in order to make himself appear more normal to meet Addison's parents. This breaks down the Z-band's firewall, allowing the Acey's to turn Zed, Eliza, and Bonzo into full-blown brain eating zombies.
  • Freaky Is Cool: The primary Aesop. Seabrook is a town where everything is perfect and everyone is the same. Anything seen as different is ridiculed and ostracized. This leads to the zombies, who are very different from the humans, to be treated as sub-human, and forces Addison to hide her abnormally colored hair under a wig. Throughout the film, the school slowly begins to accept the zombies, even dressing up like them, despite being different, and Addison throws off her wig and embraces her true self.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Turns out Zoey is the only zombie Bucky will listen to.
  • Future Slang: Zombies have their own language called "Zombie Tongue", which kind of makes sense after two generations of being cut off from most of sentient society.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Eliza is very tech savvy, showing an interest in computer coding club. She even builds an explosive device that she plans to set off during the cheer finals, though Zed and Bonzo quickly talk her out of it.
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: "Exceptional Zed" from 3, as Zed slowly gains the confidence from everyone whom he has befriended to pass his college interview.
  • Gilligan Cut: Type 1.
    Zed: "We're in a real school. No more classes in a dingy basement.
    *cut to a makeshift classroom in a dingy basement*
    Eliza (sarcastically flat): You were saying?
  • Girlish Pigtails: Zed's sister Zoey wears her hair in pigtails in the first two movies.
  • Good Parents: Zed's family, and Eliza's mom.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bucky, Tracey, Stacey, and Lacey all undergo one at the end.
  • Heel Realization: Even after a period of feeling conflicted, Bucky refuses to repent of his bigotry and is left alone with no-one during the big finale. Then Zoey, a little zombie girl, goes over to him and tells him how much she admires him. This display of innocence and compassion demolishes all of Bucky's defenses and prejudices, and he pulls a Heel–Face Turn, joining in on the dance alongside Zoey.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song:
    • In the first film, Addison sings "Stand" as she decides to no longer hide her true self, culminating in her shedding her blonde wig revealing her unusually natural white hair.
    • In 3, Addison sings "I'm Finally Me" as she discovers her alien background and realizes who she truly is and where she belongs.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When the crowd starts booing the zombies following their rampage, Addison calls them out over their anti-difference law going to far enough to reject them, then decides to shed her wig and reveal she's different as well...then the crowd boos her.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Played with, since obviously the word cannibal isn't exactly G-rated. In his introduction, Zed himself even admits it was "dark and gory times". Fortunately, the zombies have been able to abolish long as their wristbands are stable.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: The people of Seabrook despise anything that's different; they resented Addison when she removed her wig exposing her white hair. Although the town is accepting of her now as well as various creatures alike, it has not once shown a single color other than pastel pink, blue and green, nor has it shown a different house or car design.
  • Innocent Bigot: Addison has a few moments making offensive Zombie jokes, but it's no where near as extreme as a lot of examples and she immediately apologizes and makes sure to never do it again.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • When it seems like Addison is just as prejudiced as the other humans, Zed goes on for a little bit about how he was wrong about her. Two seconds later, she sneaks away to see him anyway.
    • The Pep Rally Scene
    Addison: Of course Zed's not coming. I mean, Zombies at a pep rally would be serious drama.
    Bree: There are Zombies at the pep rally!
    *Addison smiles like a little kid and runs to see*
  • Interspecies Romance: A Girl And A Zombie.
  • It's All About Me: Bucky's primary concern seems to be that actually accepting zombies into society will detract from his importance.
  • "I Want" Song: "My Year", as Zed and Addison express their goals they want to accomplish.
  • Jerkass: Bucky and Principal Lee.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Bucky and the Aceys receive absolutely no punishments for exposing the zombies' true forms and inadvertently almost getting their brains eaten. Lampshaded by Eliza a while later.
    • Bucky also becomes school president in the sequel, getting off scot-free for his fear-mongering campaign against Zed, although in this case Zed did admittedly dig his own grave in more ways than one.
  • Leitmotif: The humans, zombies, and werewolves each have certain musical styles that permeate their primary songs.
    • The humans, and specifically cheerleaders, mainly sing pop songs and will have horns to pump things up.
    • The zombies mainly use rap, hip-hop, and techno. In the sequel, "Like the Zombies Do" falls closer to funk, and sonically does seem like a midpoint between their styles and humans. It makes sense considering the song is about the zombies trying to assimilate into human culture.
    • The werewolf songs always have acoustic guitar incorporated.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: The final movie has A-spen and Willa get together after a single scene near the end of the film where the former expresses attraction to the latter, and then are shown serenading each other in the final number.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • The choices of clothes for the residents of Seabrook are limited to only pastel blue and pink. This is because Seabrook doesn’t accept anything different.
    • It's both more restricted and more justified with the zombies, since they can only dress in government-regulated coveralls and whatever scraps they can find. Even when they make alterations, they're limited to only one outfit throughout most of the series.
    • The werewolves only have two outfits each it appears - their standard wear, and their formal outfits for Prawn.
  • Love at First Punch: How Addison and Zed meet. To be fair it was a fear reflex, and she did apologize for it.
  • Love Confession: Gar-garziga ("I love you" in Zombie).
  • Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: A-Lan, A-Li, and A-Spen in the third movie.
  • Meaningful Name: "Zed" rhymes with "dead." Also, it's a real name, short for "Zedekiah", the last king of Judah. His last name however suggests a Greek heritage.
    • A buck is a male deer who protects his herd from predators. It also means a spirited, young male.
  • Missing Mom: Zed and Zoey are raised by their dad and there's no mention of what happened to their mother.
  • Mr. Exposition: Zed and Addison explain Seabrook's ideals, how the zombie outbreak started, and everything that ensued fifty years later in their opening narratives. In the sequel they also catch the audience up on what's happened since last semester.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Addison trying to speak Zombie Tongue. The words come out right, but she ends up saying "thanks for rubbing peanut butter on my umbrella". Done again in the second movie, when Wyatt brings her to the den and she attempts to say hi in werewolf, but is very much off the mark both times.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Zed swipes right at exactly the wrong moment to let the cheerleaders who stole Eliza's computer past her fire wall.
    • In the sequel: Zed's grandiose gesture to ask Allison to the Prawn backfires when it ends up revealing that the werewolves have returned, which causes the Mayor to reinstate the anti-Monsters laws, preventing him (and all of the other zombies) from going to the Prawn.
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • The main zombie trio comes off as this: Zed (nice), Eliza (mean), and Bonzo (in-between).
    • The main human trio is also this: Addison (nice), Bucky (mean), and Bree (in-between).
    • The werewolf trio is this as well: Wyatt (nice), Wynter (mean), and Willa (in-between).
    • And there's the alien trio: A-Spen (Nice), A-Li (mean), and A-Lan (in-between).
  • Noble Bigot: While the underlying reason for his bigotry against zombies is selfish, Bucky does genuinely believe zombies are dangerous and wants to protect his cousin Addison from them. He starts to feel conflicted about his views after Zed resists his instincts to kill Bucky while in full zombie mode, which Bucky himself caused him to regress into.
  • Obsessively Normal: The town of Seabrook happens to be the best example of this trope yet — the people hate anything that's different. This results in the only clothing colors sold are pastel pink and blue no matter the gender, the houses have vastly the same design and structure, and they reject any abnormal hair color, such as Addison's unusually natural white hair which she has to hide under a blonde wig otherwise she'll never be allowed to cheer. The town seemingly starts to tone this down a bit when they start accepting Addison's hair, and by the end of the first film, Bree is wearing a dark red shawl.
  • Oh, Crap!: The cheerleaders react like this when they realize they don't know how to protect themselves against the zombie attack they just caused.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Each film has Addison accidentally punching Zed in the face after he surprises her.
    • "Someday", the song Zed and Addison fall in love to in the first film, is reprised in both subsequent movies.
  • One Head Taller: Zed is noticeably taller than Addison.
  • One Man's Trash Is Another's Treasure: Zombie Town is entirely made out of the garbage and ruined buildings left behind after the outbreak. The locals still find ways of making it beautiful.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • This being a Disney movie, the zombie outbreak as caused by a spill of lime soda at a power plant (which, according to the sequel, got mixed in with a strange power) and affecting people with a green noxious haze, ensuing in each victim being a Technically Living Zombie. They have pale skin, green hair, and crave brains, but thanks to special bracelets created by the government they're able to stay calm and lead relatively normal lives without craving brains. There are also different generations of zombies that weren't alive during the initial outbreak, meaning that children are born as zombies.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: How the first movie ends.
  • Parents Are Wrong: Addison's parents, like the rest of Seabrook, hates anything different such as zombies. They also force Addison to cover up her unnaturally white hair under a blonde wig so that she can appear normal and fit in at school. They don't appear to support Addison when she takes off her wig in public and shows support for zombies, but they eventually come around at the end when they attend a cook-out hosted by the zombies in Zombietown.
  • Pink Is Feminine: Half of Addison's outfits worn onscreen are pink. The rest of them are blue. They're also the only clothing colors worn in Seabrook all together.
  • Popularity Food Chain: This particular food chain goes like this:
    • Cheer Squad/Human Athletes
    • Human Kids
    • Nerds/Oddballs
    • Zombies
    • Werewolves by the second film.
  • Post-Adventure Adventure: In the story introduction, it shows radioactive soda spilling in a factory and mutating humans - in a superhero comic art style. This "adventure" is not covered in the main story.
  • Prefers the True Form: Zed, a teenage zombie boy, goes out with Addison, a teenage human girl. He puts hacks into his Z-band to look like a living human. Despite his efforts, Addison looks uncomfortable, suggesting that she would rather he look like his normal self than try to pass for something he's not.
  • Primal Fear: All Zombies are afraid of fire, though Bonzo seems to have it more than most.
  • Profiling: In keeping with the movies Fantastic Racism / Anvilicious Themes, police automatically assume all Zombies are a danger to humans. So does everyone else, but this trope is more focused on cops.
  • Protest Song: "Flesh & Bone" from the sequel, as Addison, the zombies and werewolves protest the demolition of the energy plant.
  • Punny Name: Many of the characters from the different species have a name that starts with or prominently features their species' first letter.
    • The zombies have Zed, Eliza, Bonzo, Zevon and Zoey.
    • The wolves have Willa, Wyatt, Wynter.
    • For Aliens we have A-lan, A-spen, A-li, Addison Rosalyn Wells. Bonus points for the extra pun.
    • The extended material include a Vampire named Vanna.
  • Put on a Bus: Tracey does not appear in the sequel, so the Aceys have replaced him with a new boy, Jacey.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Given that the primary road to popularity in Seabrook is through cheerleading, and because of Seabrook's anti-difference law, most of the male human students wear pink or pale blue.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Coach becomes this after getting the nerve to add Zed to the team.
  • Restraining Bolt: The Z-Bands that keep zombies from losing their minds and craving brains. Cranking up the power can make a zombie appear more human, but risks shorting out the whole system.
    • In the first film, Zed risks both ways in order to use zombie strength during football games and seem like a normal guy to Addison's parents.
    • In the second, it's hinted that there's more of a middle ground than initially thought. Eliza advocates for zombies to embrace their monstrosity, and in the climax Zed removes his Z-Band in order to remove a boulder trapping his friends and the Moonstone, and is able to do so without losing control.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The zombies have this aesthetic with their clothes and living space, but it's partly justified as they have to make do with the government-regulated coveralls and they don't have the means to go out and buy anything new anyway.
  • Running Gag: Addison being terrible with languages and Addison punching Zed in surprise.
  • Sadistic Choice: Addison's fellow cheerleaders give her one after she's seen interacting with Zed and the other Zombies: Either she can be friends with the zombies (who Addison has been realizing are pretty good people), or she can be a cheerleader (her dream since she was a little kid). Addison tries to take a third option by pretending to snub Zed in public while seeing him in private. The results are a bit mixed.
    • Bucky is on the receiving end of a rare heroic version after his anti-zombie zealotry has left the cheer squad in shambles on the day of the cheer championship. As the cheerleaders and zombies join together to salvage Seabrook's entry in the championship, little Zoey offers him the chance to be a cheerleader again... that he can only take if he lets go of his hatred of zombies. He picks the former.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Eliza has plenty of sass. Averted with Bree, who's more of a Shrinking Violet.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Addison ignores Bucky's hatred of zombies and keeps getting the crowd to cheer for her nonstop. This gets her kicked off the team, but she does not care and keeps cheering.
  • Sequel Hook: Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 ends with Addison witnessing a blue meteor falling from the sky which causes her radio to short out, and her hair briefly glows the same color as the meteor, foreshadowing Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3.
  • Shaming the Mob: The scene surrounding Addison's image song "I'm Gonna Stand".
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • Gender inverted example: Zed shows up at Addison's home for their homecoming date dressed in a nice suit and impressing her parents. It's also played with and Lampshaded by Addison as he was also able to pass as human by putting his health at risk swiping his Z-band.
    • Played straight during the sequel's climax, where Zed leads the banned zombies and werewolves to Prawn in their full formal wear, which manages to look very stylish while also matching the two community's aesthetics.
  • Ship Tease: Bree and Bonzo have some of this during the cheer competition. It's upgraded in the sequel, where their subplot involves them mustering up the courage to ask each other to Prawn.
  • Shouldn't We Be In School Right Now?: Even though the movie takes place in a high school environment, we only see anybody going to class once, and that's mostly to act as a Gilligan Cut.
  • Show, Don't Tell: There's a lot of emphasis on uniformity in Seabrook, and Addison explains that making the cheer squad is the most guaranteed way to fit in, but there aren't many examples on what would make someone not fit in other than being a zombie and not being a cheerleader or an athlete.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Bucky says to Addison that there's no room for idealism on cheer squad, at least in regard to zombies.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Addison quickly falls for nice-guy Zed. Also Bree for Bonzo by the second film.
  • Skewed Priorities: One of the lyrics for "Alien Invasion" is "it's kinda scary/but it's kind of cool/film it on your phone!" And the Aceys are seen doing just that.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: "Someday" returns in a slower, more seductive manner as Addison and Zed bond during their trip through the zombie light garden. Returns in Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 as they are dancing at Prawn.
    • Again in the third film when Addison leaves with the aliens.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Zed and Addison, due to Zed being a zombie and Addison being a human during a time that zombies are typically hated by the humans.
  • Stepford Smiler: Seabrook was like this before the outbreak. Now the façade is starting to crack under the pent up feelings and growing sympathy for monsters.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The Seabrook cheer squad is able to pull off a decent last minute performance given that they had a rough start, and most of the kids weren't in uniform. While they certainly win over the crowd, they still lose the competition.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "No Doubt About It" from the third film has Zed and Addison singing about how they're definitely not nervous about their future together - and giving asides to the audience contradicting that confidence after almost every line.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Eliza, the tomboy zombie, and Addison, the girly-girl cheerleader.
  • Theme Naming:
    • All of the zombie characters have names with Zs in them.
    • The members of Bucky's primary posse: Tracey, Stacey, Lacey, and in the sequel Jacey, have rhyming names.
    • The werewolf characters have names that start with W.
    • The alien characters ask have names that start with A.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The "perfect" plan to get rid of the Zombies and convince everyone they're dangerous? Just turn off the devices keeping them sane. Just one quick thing though. How exactly were you planning on surviving the ensuing bloodbath?
  • Training Montage: Zed gets a brief one during his introduction explaining his plans to try out for football.
  • Triumphant Reprise:
    • "BAMM" returns in a more celebratory rendition at the end of the first film when humans and zombies are finally getting along with each other at the block party in Zombietown.
    • "Fired Up" gets this twice; first as part of the humans/zombies cheerleading routine in the first film as they come together, and again at the beginning of 3 as part of the cheer squad's routine prior to the football game, just before the aliens' arrival.
  • True Blue Femininity: Addison's introductory scene shows her wearing a powder blue dress for the first day of school. A later scene has her dressed in a matching jacket and pants outfit in a similar shade. Matter of fact, this is one of the only two colors worn in Seabrook no matter the gender.
  • Two-Teacher School: The only members of Seabrook High's faculty are Principal Lee, the unnamed football coach, and the unnamed zombie janitor-turned-chemistry teacher.
  • Uneven Hybrid: We learn in Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3 that Addison is 1/4 alien, 3/4 human on her mother's side. Her cousin Bucky is from Addison's father's side.
  • Uptown Girl: Addison, being the daughter of the mayor and chief of police is this for Zed.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: The Aliens in 3 sing "We come in peace/we mean no harm" right after using their powers to knock back several zombies and werewolves trying to attack, all of which is happening in the middle of a massive electrical storm caused by their ship. Subverted in that they didn't realize the storm would occur and were defending themselves, and they apologize once the confusion is cleared up.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, when Zed returns the necklace the werewolves gifted Addison. She happily assumes he just found it for her, but rather than play along with her assumption he admits he stole it when she wasn't looking.
  • With Us or Against Us: Bucky makes Addison choose between either being a cheerleader like she always wanted or being with Zed. He later bans anyone with zombie symbols from the cheerleading squad.
    • Addison and the zombies throw one back at him when they try to force him choose to either accept both zombies and change or lose the game, but he refuses to.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Eliza is so certain Addison will try to talk her out of sabotaging the cheerleading competition, it takes some time for her to realize Addison encouraged her.
  • World of Jerkass: Clearly Eliza's perspective. She isn't entirely wrong, though her proposed solution only threatens to make things worse.
  • World of No Grandparents: There aren't any elderly characters, human or zombie, seen on screen. Though Bucky and Addison mention having a grandfather that was attacked by Zombies.
    • In Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, the werewolves mention the elders of their pack becoming sick due to their necklaces losing power, leaving the younger members in charge of taking care of everyone, but the elders are never seen on screen, even after the Moonstone is recovered, which would hopefully restore them.
    • In Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3 Addison's grandmother is a prominent element of the alien's search for Utopia.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Zombietown is where all zombies are forced to live. Zed uses the track metaphor during a song early in the movie.
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: Zed burns Bucky this way in Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, during a rap battle/presidential debate:
    Bucky: You eat brains.
    Zed: Well, if I did, you haven't got one, so you'd be safe.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The werewolves have to charge their necklaces every 100 years otherwise they'll die; them coughing constantly as their amulets glow green serves as a warning that their time is almost up.

Addison's Moonstone/Monster Mystery provides examples of:

  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The vampires' V-shaped crystals, which prevent them from disintegrating in sunlight.
  • Art Shift: The shorts are done in the Adobe Flash animation style as the prologues.
  • Canon Foreigner: Vanna and the vampires are exclusive to the cartoon.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Addison discovers the meaning of teamwork when the power combined by Vanna's crystal, Addison's moonstone and Zed's Z-band is what uncovered the vampires' cavern, and they use said combined magic to resurrect Vanna's family.
  • Freudian Slip: When Addison notices Vanna's crystal in "Legends of Seabrook", Vanna says it's been in her family for hundreds of years, but quickly rephrases it as "dozens".
  • Halloween Episode: The Addison's Monster Mystery season revolves around Zed, Addison and the gang planning the Halloween Fall Ball and facing their Shrimp mascot who is brought to life by the vampire stones.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Vanna has these.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Vanna's hypnosis has no effect on Addison.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vanna and those of her kind.
  • Subverted Suspicion Aesop: When strange things go on about Vanna, Willa and Wynter suspect something's off with her and she could be a vampire; but later on Addison learns not to judge people by their appearance alone and get to know her more. Until it's revealed the werewolves were right about Vanna all along.



The zombies in the Disney Channel movie act differently here.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurZombiesAreDifferent

Media sources: