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Franchise / Shrek

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All together again for the first time.

"The greatest fairy tale never told."

A CGI-animated franchise by DreamWorks Animation, loosely based on a 1990 children's book by William Steig, about an ogre in a fairy tale land who just wants to live in his swamp undisturbed, but finds himself dragged against his will into fighting for the fate of entire kingdoms.

Notorious for its humor, both witty and slapstick, for turning everything we knew from fairy tales upside-down, and for a ridiculously modern feel of its medieval fantasy setting. Shrek was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Shrek and its sequels are DreamWorks' defining hits, "Fairytale" played during the studio's Vanity Plate in all their animated films until 2018 and again since 2022, and the character of Shrek is now their unofficial mascot.

The series currently consists of four mainline films, two spin-off films and a television series focusing on Puss in Boots, eight short films, three television specials, several comic books, and an extensive series of tie-in games of varying quality. According to DreamWorks Animation co-founder and former CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, there has been talk about developing a fifth Shrek film, as the series was originally planned to be a pentalogy. By 2018, Shrek 5 was officially put into development, with Illumination Entertainment head Chris Meledandri serving as a producer.

Shrek franchise:

Original book

Feature films

Short films, TV series and specials

Comic books

  • Shrek (2003)
  • Shrek Forever After: The Prequel (2010)
  • Kizoic Presents: Shrek/Penguins of Madagascar (2010)
  • Shrek (2010-2011)
  • Puss In Boots (2013)
  • The Adventures of Puss In Boots (2016)
  • Shrek (2016)
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Cat About Town (2016)
  • The Adventures of Puss In Boots: Amazing Tails! (2016)

Video games


Shrek tropes:

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    Tropes about the whole franchise 
  • Accent Adaptation:
    • The Latin American Spanish dub rendered Puss's Gratuitous Spanish as Castilian, and Donkey's AAVE as a Mexico City accent.
    • The European Spanish dub substitutes Puss' generic Spanish accent for a thick Malaga accent (Banderas is from Malaga). Banderas voices Puss in the English, Spanish (both Latin American and European), and Italian versions.
  • Acrofatic: Shrek — and all ogres — are exceptionally nimble and agile for their size.
  • Action Girl: Princess Fiona. She gets it from her mother, who is now a Retired Badass (she can smash through two stone walls with her head with no problem even in her old age).
  • Adaptation Expansion: Really, when you're adapting a short children's book into even a single feature-length movie, let alone an entire franchise, this is inevitable.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Played straight and inverted for different characters. The Big Bad Wolf is one of the heroes (and, in the third film, so is one of the Ugly Stepsisters) while some traditionally malevolent fairytale creatures like Dragon and the ogres are for the most part sympathetic.
  • Adaptational Villainy: On the other hand, Red Riding Hood is a thief while Lancelot and Guenivere are both Jerkasses who mistreat a young King Arthur, and Geppetto, far from the benevolent father figure he is usually depicted as, is seen turning in Pinocchio. Prince Charming and the Fairy Godmother are also major antagonists.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Several of the animals of the franchise have their species as names. A donkey named Donkey, a dragon named Dragon, cats named Puss and Kitty and so forth.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The Big Bad Wolf is a crossdresser wearing a grandma gown.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The series seems to take place in the middle ages but it's never actually stated when. Harold mentions being in the Crusades so possibly the High Middle Ages. But this is unknown for certain.
  • Anachronism Stew: The defining trait of Shrek's world, ranging from most characters speaking with American accents in medieval Europe, to featuring characters from stories set in different eras, to restaurants and retail outlets suspiciously similar to those in modern times. The list goes on and on.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Happened to Fiona with the first two villains, both wanting to marry her solely for her royal status. Technically, she was married to Farquaad but only briefly as he was eaten by Dragon just moments later.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Several instances. For example, In Scared Shrekless, Donkey refuses to believe that Farquaad's ghost haunts Duloc castle. Even though he has in fact seen and interacted with Farquaad's ghost. This could be justified by the fact that Donkey saw Dragon torched Farquaad's ghost and didn't think it could come back.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Many of the fairy tale characters from the first film get gradually more important as the films go on. They are specifically the Gingerbread Man, Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, and Pinocchio. Dragon also becomes more important, and Doris the Ugly Sister in the second film becomes quite important in the third.
    • This even occurs for the villains. Captain Hook makes an appearance playing piano in the Villain Bar in the second film, before making a more prominent appearance in the third. And Rumpelstiltskin briefly featured in the third (albeit with a completely difference appearance), before going on to be the Big Bad of the fourth.
  • Babies Ever After: The ogrelings, whom the fourth film reveals to be named Fergus, Farkle and Felicia. Also the Dronkies, the children of Donkey and Dragon
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The second and third movies have a straight example featuring fairy tale bad guys. "The Poison Apple Bar" features Captain Hook on piano. It also has signs saying "Unhappy Hour" and "We Reserve the Right to Behead Anyone".
  • Bar Full of Aliens: The Poisoned Apple again, an important segment of the clientele is made of magical creatures.
  • Beneath the Mask: Fiona at the beginning of the movie acts like a stereotypical Disney Princess with Shrek. However, she slowly reveals herself as an Action Girl who fights dirty, much like Shrek.
  • Benevolent Monsters: Shrek is an ogre who, while anti-social, isn't malicious in any way. He mostly plays the part to scare people away so he can live in peace. Once he's friends with you, he's loyal and true, if a bit cranky.
  • Beta Couple: Donkey and Dragon.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Prince Charming.
  • Big Little Man: Our first glimpse of Lord Farquaad involves him striding dramatically along a corridor, camera focused on his face or body at a strange angle, then when the camera and scenery go still, he's revealed to be maybe half the height of the guards.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Fairy Godmother. She seems sweet and helpful but is actually quite nasty, using her favors to extort others for her own gain, such as what she does to Harold.
  • Black Comedy: A few scenes:
    • The king's death in Shrek the Third.
    • Alternate-universe Puss eating alternate-universe Gingy.
    • The exploding bird in the first movie... whose eggs are used for breakfast.
    • The entirety of Scared Shrekless, including a The Exorcist parody!
      • Not to mention the resprised Duloc song, which is much darker than the original.
    Puppets: We will chop off your head, and then laugh when you're dead!
  • Bland-Name Product: Numerous:
    • The mandatory WcDonald's, and "Farbucks Coffee".
    • And "Burger Prince" and "Banana Kingdom".
    • And Friar's Fat Boy, a play on the family restaurant chain Bob's Big Boy.
  • Book Ends: The first film and the last (Shrek Forever After) has the song "I'm a Believer" at the end.
  • Broken Ace: Prince Charming parodies this trope. Instead of Knight in Shining Armor on the outside, self-loathing mess on the inside, he's Failure Knight on the outside and pure juvenile mama's boy on the inside.
  • Broken Aesop: In a meta sense. Shrek has appeared in PSAs about healthy eating and ads for junk food (some of which has even been Shrek themed, such as gummies and Twinkies with green filling).
  • Cake Toppers: When Fiona looks at her and Farquaad's wedding cake toppers, she smushes his down into the cake to more accurately show his height.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    • Any Big Bad in each movie, except Farquaad.
    • Literally in the case of Shrek 2.
  • Cat Stereotype: Puss-in-Boots is a swashbuckling, wisecracking orange cat.
  • Central Theme: Anyone can have a happy ending.
    • Never judge someone solely on appearance.
    • Sometimes your happily ever after can be where you least expect it.
  • Character in the Logo: The logo for the films is the letter S with the same skin tone and trumpet ears as the title character.
  • Cheated Angle: When Puss in Boots is introduced in Shrek 2, his upper and lower halves are separated. The scene is dark enough that you can't see it, but they wanted the head and boots farther apart than they would actually be.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Muffin Man. First mentioned briefly by Gingy in the first movie, then is enlisted in first sequel to help Shrek stop Fiona from kissing Prince Charming in time by baking a giant version of the Gingerbread Man. And shows up in the last sequel baking the birthday cake for the Shreklings. He also pops up in a flashback sequence in Shrek the Halls, in which he is revealed to be Gingy's "father".
  • Children Are Innocent:
    • The ogre babies and the dronkeys.
    • Averted in Forever After: there's no respect from a fat, bratty German boy who won't stop pestering Shrek to "do the roar".
  • Crossover Relatives: The franchise brings a number of established fairy tale characters into one world, leading to a few of these:
  • Cultural Translation: The Polish dub of the Shrek movies are full of Polish pop-culture references. For example Donkey sings the theme song of a Polish TV drama when Shrek decides to go to the Potion Factory in Shrek 2. Donkey also generates much Actor Allusion to the known actor voicing him.
  • Cute Kitten: Repeatedly invoked by Puss-In-Boots, using his cute kitten eyes.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Fiona. Considering how much she resembles her mother, Felicia looks likely to grow up to be one of these too.
  • Dark Reprise: The Duloc puppet song in Scared Shrekless, which manages to be less creepy than the original (though Gingy would say otherwise).
  • Dance Party Ending: All the Shrek films love this trope. Taken to even greater levels in the DVD releases, which include bonus 'dance party' epilogues such as the first film's 'Swamp Karaoke Party' and the second's parody of American Idol.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Shrek, big time. Often lost on Donkey, much to his irritation.
    • Rumpelstiltskin in the fourth movie, soooo much.
  • Deconstruction: Of the entire Fairy Tale genre. The Ogre is the hero, the nobleman is a Prince Charmless, and the princess grows out of her dependence on stereotypes and settles happily into the life of an ogress. She also knows martial arts. And that's just from one movie.
  • Disney Creatures of the Farce:
    • Fiona looks like she'll have a typical 'Snow White' moment... but the bird explodes because she hit a high note (or rather, missed the high note). She then cooks its eggs for breakfast.
    • Snow White herself starts to have a 'Snow White' moment in the third movie. She then sends the mob of animals she gathered charging after some guards, by changing her la-la-ing into Immigrant Song.
  • Dissimile: Shrek's attempted "Ogres are like onions" simile in the first film.
  • Distressed Damsel: Subverted with Fiona, lampshaded with the other Fairytale Princesses.
  • Doting Parent: Fiona takes very quickly to motherhood and loves her children dearly. Shrek has a harder time adjusting but still loves them and tries his best.
  • Double Entendre:
    • The running gag in the first movie — "Do you think maybe he's compensating for something?" Kids think it refers to his height. Adults think it refers to his... length.
    • The constant use of the word "ass" to mean a literal donkey but in phrases where it usually means the human buttocks. "Nobody likes a kissass." "I have to save my ass." "You still look like an ass to me."
  • Dragon Hoard: Dragon sleeps on-top of a mountain of treasure. She doesn't seem that bothered by the collection of treasure in the sequels, though.
  • Dub Species Change: In some languages that don't have an equivalent for the word "ogre", Shrek is referred to as a troll instead. Curiously averted in the Dutch version, where "ogre" became "oger".
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The crew called them Disney Sparkles.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Fairy Godmother just wants dominion over Far Far Away and has no issue using her son or Fiona for this. She cannot understand why Harold cares so much about Fiona's feelings and just threatens him to give Fiona a love potion.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Charming in Shrek the Third.
  • Expressive Ears: Many characters have these.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The whole series is about this - stereotypically bad characters turning into heroes and secondary heroes, dropping their facades of jerkishness and so on.
  • Fairy in a Bottle: They're used for lights.
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: The entire franchise features characters from all kinds of traditional stories coexisting together. Among the prominent characters are the Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio, the Three Little Pigs, The Big Bad Wolf (a combination of the wolf from Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), and the Three Blind Mice.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Appliance: The Magic Mirror doubles as a television set.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Modern-day America.
  • Fartillery: Shrek jumps into a pond, naked, and farts. three fish in the pond who died from the fart rise up and Shrek smirks as he takes one of the fart-killed fish out of the pond.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming and Rumpelstiltskin all embody this trope to the letter. In fact, the only villain who doesn't qualify is Lord Farquaad.
  • Flippant Forgiveness: "All right, Donkey. I forgive you...for stabbing me in the back!"
  • Friend to All Living Things: Two of them, both parodied.
  • Gambit Pileup: Each successive villain added to the franchise brings with them a new layer of retroactive scheming. By the final film we've learned that not only did Shrek's rescue of Fiona ruin Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming's plan to marry into Far Far Away royalty, it also screwed up Rumpelstiltksin's plan to con the king and queen out of their kingdom. And that's not even mentioning the fact that Shrek's role in all this was instigated by Lord Farquaad's plan to become a king by marrying Fiona himself.
  • Gasshole: Shrek, Fiona, and to all appearances, all ogres.
  • Genre Savvy: "This is the part where you run away."
  • Gentle Giant: Shrek, kind of.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Subverted. The climax of the first movie has Dragon eating Farquaad, but he still tries to awkwardly partake in the Dance Party Ending. But by the time of 4D, Farquaad is a ghost, showing how he was eventually digested.
  • Good Parents: Shrek and Fiona are shown as very close to their triplets, who absolutely adore them as well. Despite Shrek's initial hesitations, he is shown to be a very good and loving father.
  • Gratuitous French: Robin Hood, who ,despite being a British folklore character, speaks with a French accent for no particular reason.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Puss in Boots.
  • The Grinch: Shrek in Shrek the Halls.
  • Groin Attack: Happens to Shrek once a movie except the final one.
  • Hair Flip: Prince Charming does this on multiple occasions.
  • Half Empty Two Shot: Used twice to show how alone Shrek and Fiona feel after their big fight. Fiona is shown sitting at an otherwise unoccupied table, with the table in the center of the shot. This is immediately followed by Shrek sitting at his table, on the opposite side (from the camera's perspective). This shows that despite being apart and expecting to never see each other again, they are still very much on each other's minds. Fiona even begins to cry.
  • Happily Married: It's not always smooth sailing, but Shrek and Fiona definitely love each other. The same goes for Donkey and Dragon.
  • Headless Horseman:
    • One of the patrons of the Poisoned Apple in the second film, and part of Charming's army of villains in the third.
    • He also got a DUI during the second movie. Shrek and Co. plow into him while he's taking a field sobriety test. Touching the nose he doesn't have.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Harold in Shrek 2 has one in the second half of the movie.
  • The Hermit: Shrek in the first film, due to society's views of ogres.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Shrek rescues Fiona, who's redheaded, and he falls in love with her and marries her.
  • High on Catnip: In Shrek 2, guards capture Shrek and friends and one finds a bag of catnip on Puss-In-Boots' person. Puss denies that it's his.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Shrek and Fiona.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Donkey and Dragon, which leads to some of the most adorable mutant babies in film history.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Which is partly why Donkey follows Shrek around.
    Donkey: (Singing) But you gotta have friends...!
    • It's hinted that Shrek wants this too, but his hermit persona hides it, because deep down he has realized he can never have friends, thus at least requiring privacy.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Puss in Boots was introduced on the second film, and became popular enough to get his own movie.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Frequent from Shrek, but Donkey never gets them. Also a lot of the names of shops.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Shrek when he becomes a human in the second film. He's definitely handsome, but not quite at the level where every female character starts fawning over him.
    • Charming too as Doris says he has a face that looks like it was carved by angels. He doesn't seem to attract many other women and doesn't interest Fiona at all.
  • Interspecies Romance: Donkey and Dragon. Also Queen Lillian and King Harold in 2. And, depending on which you think Fiona's original race is (human or ogre), her relationship with Shrek may or may not be this.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Although this has become attributed to DreamWorks movies in general. See the picture on the trope page.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Particularly in the first film - Shrek is crushed to hear Fiona asking Donkey who could love a "hideous beast". He only finds out that Fiona was talking about herself later.
  • I Taste Delicious: In a recent advertising campaign.
  • Jerkass: Lord Farquaad in Shrek and Lancelot as well as his friends in Shrek the Third.
    • It becomes revealed after her first scene that Fairy Godmother herself without a single doubt is.
  • I Want Grandkids: Lillian in Shrek 2 implies this as she is the first one to bring up the subject of children. Fiona seemed to want children too but her husband and her father were against it. In Shrek the Third, Lillian is shown to be ecstatic when Fiona announces her pregnancy and is later seen doting on her triplet grandchildren.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shrek gets aggravated very easily and is not above mockingly putting people down at his worst, but he dearly cares about his loved ones and will be of help to them in any way that he can.
    • Snow White in Third seems stubborn and lazy, but is genuinely loyal.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Charming and Lancelot, both subverted.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Shrek is crude, hot-tempered and cynical, but nearly always manages to do the right thing, especially for people (and donkeys) that have proven they're able to see past the idea of "big, stupid, ugly ogres".
  • Lady and Knight: Subverted.
  • Lack of Empathy: Charming and Fairy Godmother only want Fiona for Charming to become king and couldn't care less if she doesn't love him, even willing to stoop to a Love Potion.
  • Large Ham:
    • Lord Farquaad and Prince Charming also have their moments (Charming especially during the climax of Shrek the Third: "With soft and bouncy haaaaaaaaiiiiiiir!")
    • Puss in Boots has his moments. Witness this immortal line from the fourth movie: "Feed Me...if you dare!"
    • Rumpelstiltskin.
    • A non-talking example in Shrek 2: As a troupe of trumpeters from Far Far Away make their grand entrance into Shrek and Fiona's swamp, concluding their performance as they reach Shrek's hut, one of the trumpeters within the troupe decides to continue on, giving an over-the-top, show-stopping performance that sounds like the Hawaii Five-O theme that leaves Shrek, Fiona and Donkey confused and the herald that has an invitation for the two quite clearly annoyed.
      "Enough, Reggie."
  • Larynx Dissonance: Larry King and Regis Philbin as Evil Stepsisters. Yes, these two.
  • Left the Background Music On: This happens 3 times in Shrek the Third. The first is when the music during the king's funeral turns out to be singing frogs. The second is when Shrek and Artie are about to have a heart-to-heart talk, and Merlin turns on the music for mood. Finally, the dramatic music during a fight scene is actually Captain Hook playing on the piano.
    • Inverted in Shrek 2. The Fairy Godmother starts singing "Holding Out for a Hero", then the dramatic rescue begins, with the song as BGM. But she's still singing throughout as it switches between dance and rescue.
    • It even shows up in the original film: When Shrek's rescued Fiona and the group is journeying back to Lord Farquaad's castle, they get waylaid by Robin Hood. Cue fight scene. A lively accordion piece quickly starts up, holds a note during a Matrix-style Orbital Shot (where (mostly) everything stops in place), and stops again as Fiona knocks out Friar Tuck, who was playing the instrument.
    • The first film also has Fiona's Theme playing while Farquaad is admiring Fiona's image. It then turns out the music is coming from the Magic Mirror itself.
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Stern Pinball, it is based on the first three films, and was a rethemed Family Guy game. Click here for details.
  • Lost in Translation: In some versions, like the Norwegian one, Shrek is called a "troll". This is because of there not being an equivalent to the word "ogre" in their vocabularies.
  • Magitek: Shrek's magical TV-mirror, among many other examples.
  • Mama Bear: Lillian. Despite being shocked about her daughter's new form as well as her choice of husband, she completely supports Fiona and defends her choice against Fiona's more prejudiced father.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Never been better". In the first film, Shrek sarcastically and angrily said this to Fiona after he misheard her woes about being an ogre to mean that she didn't approve of him being able to love her romantically. This led to him cutting off ties with her and Donkey, wanting to live in his swamp alone again. Three movies later, he would say the same thing to her after he is able to exploit the "True Love's Kiss" loophole in Rumpelstiltskin's contract and hit a Reset Button on the dystopian world where he was never born, sending him back to the time where he released his anger by roaring at his children's birthday party. He says this in a more relieved and happier tone, showing how he can accept his happy ending: married, and as a loving father, a far cry from his lonelier days.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Shrek" is the Yiddish word for "monster", derived from the German word "Schreck", meaning "terror" or "fright".
    • "Farquaad" is a slightly-slurred mispronunciation of an obscene term for an unpleasant person.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Shrek both uses and subverts this trope. On the one hand, he turns out to have a heart of gold. On the other hand, he's still an ogre, and proud of it.
  • The Mockbuster: Not one of the movies themselves (though it wouldn't be surprising if one was floating around), but the characters star in Gameloft's iOS game Shrek Kart.
  • The Napoleon: Lord Farquaad in Shrek. He's barely half Fiona's height, but he's got a short temper.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Farquaad inadvertently greatly upset the plans of all three villains who came after him by sending Shrek to rescue Fiona.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Technically, Shrek himself is non-human, but Donkey and Puss qualify nonetheless.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After the Queen headbutts her second wall.
  • Numbered Sequels: Played with for the third and fourth ones.
  • Odd Couple: Shrek and Donkey, later Shrek and Fiona, and later still Shrek and Arthur.
  • Odd Name Out: According to Word of God, the dronkeys' names are Eclair, Bananas, Peanut, Parfait, Coco and... Debbie...
  • Official Couple: Shrek and Fiona.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Queen Lillian, Fiona's mother. Despite her initial shock at seeing her daughter's new form as well as her son-in-law, she tries to accept the situation as best she can, trying hard to be nice to Shrek and to suppress her husband's prejudice. She even does not mind that Shrek will be the father of her grandchildren.
  • Precision F-Strike: Notably for a kids' film - Donkey's "Chicks dig that romantic crap!" in the first movie.
  • Prince Charmless: Prince Charming in Shrek 2 does not live up to his name. At least, not to Fiona.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Prince Charming in Shrek the Third.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Puss-in-Boots. Spoofed in the third film when Puss tries this while in Donkey's body and fails to do anything.
  • Redhead In Green: Fiona. The fact that at the end of the first movie she becomes an ogress permanently and gains green skin as well doesn't help matters.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who is the Witch that cursed Fiona to turn into an ogress at sunset and back into a human at sunrise, and why did she do it? The Witch is only mentioned in the first film and is never brought up in the sequels, making it unlikely these questions will ever be answered.
  • Sapient Steed: Donkey! Who only functions as a steed for half of the second movie and a part of the fourth, but still.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Subverted with Shrek and Fiona's triplets, who are two boys and one girl. They are even fraternal, which is far more common in real life.
  • Screw Destiny: When Shrek saves Fiona, she's frustrated and confused as to why an ogre would save her as she was meant to be rescued by someone else, as it was her destiny. Since she was still freed from the tower, what could possibly change with Shrek saving her? Everything. Fiona's imprisonment was actually orchestrated by her father so he could settle his debt with the Fairy Godmother, who wanted an arranged marriage between her son, Prince Charming, and Fiona. Shrek rescuing Fiona also indirectly ruined the plans of many other villains, such as Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: Neither Shrek nor Fiona are interested in anyone else. This causes Fiona's father to have a Heel–Face Turn when he realizes Fiona will never love anyone but Shrek.
  • Sequel Reset: The first movie ended with Happily Ever After, but the sequels have been putting that off ever since. The second film reveals there was in fact an actual Prince Charming that was supposed to break the curse on Fiona, and that her royal parents are still around; the action picks up after the lovers' honeymoon as they're forced to meet her parents, causing another go-round of problems regarding Shrek's self-esteem.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lots of them, mostly to Disney, though the giant gingerbread man is named "Mongo" as a tribute to Blazing Saddles and there's a lot to other fantasy stories and films.
    • The sequel numbering of the first three films reference Blackadder. Shrek Goes Forth was actually a working title for the fourth film.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: All the films in the series are smart, feel-good, optimistic films about how anyone can have a happy ending.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: King Harold in Shrek 2 has a good example of a non-death Heroic Sacrifice, as he throws himself in the path of the Fairy Godmother's wand to save Shrek and Fiona. The result is that his previous 'happy ending' is removed and he is turned back to the frog he was. But he's still alive at the end of the movie, and his wife doesn't mind his being a frog at all. Unfortunately, within the first act of Shrek the Third, King Harold, well, croaks.
  • Swamp Monster: Shrek makes his home in a swamp. In the first movie, he is shown scaring villagers who enter his swamp with Torches and Pitchforks, just for jollies; then, when fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters displaced by Lord Farquaad settle in his swamp, he sets out on a quest to get rid of them.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl:
  • Torches and Pitchforks: In the opening scene of Shrek, the ogre is obviously used to angry mobs coming to drive him out of his hut, as he easily scares one of them off, even prompting them at one point, "This is the part where you run." He later hangs a lampshade on it when speaking to Donkey.
    Shrek: I'm an ogre! You know, 'Grab your torch and pitchfork!' Doesn't that bother you?
    • Also lampshaded in the sequel, when Shrek and Fiona step out of their carriage in Far Far Away and are revealed to be ogres. Shrek sees some pitchforks in the crowd and gets nervous, commenting "Let's go before they light the torches."
    • And in the fourth movie, Shrek and family are celebrities, so people mob now to ask him to sign their torches and pitchforks.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Donkey loves waffles, which is based on an off-hand comment from the first film. Also, parfaits.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: A rare gender reversal with the stout, homely looking Fairy Godmother being mother to the handsome Prince Charming.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Famously averted with Shrek and Fiona; parodied with Donkey and Dragon. Cos she breathes fire, geddit?
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: This trope is used in the first two movies: While Lord Farquaad isn't exactly good looking, he does play upon Shrek's ugliness to try to incite villagers against him. The second provides a better example, with the Fairy Godmother and her son Charming as good-looking villains opposing Shrek.
  • Villain Song:
    • Shrek subverts it every way it can. The main villain of Shrek 2 gets not one, but two songs: The first one is the self-titled "Fairy Godmother Song", a cheerful upbeat ditty about how she wants to help everyone; the second comes complete with an ominous orchestra and backing choir... except the song in question is "Holding Out for a Hero".
    • Prince Charming also gets a song in Shrek the Third, set to a musical that was set up as an excuse to publicly execute Shrek. Lord Farquaad didn't have a bona fide villain "song" (except in The Musical), but he has a menacing leitmotif in the first movie, played upon his first appearance.

    Tropes about other media 
  • All Just a Dream: Thriller Night turns out to be this.
  • Back from the Dead: Most every dead character, and some who normally aren't, as zombies in Thriller Night. The ones who aren't are a big hint as to the ending reveal.
  • Big "NO!": Shrek lets out one at the end of Thriller Night, when he realizes that, after all he's been through that night, he's still going to have to sit through three hours of singing children, puppets and nuns.
  • Christmas Special: Shrek the Halls
  • The Dead Can Dance: In Thriller Night. Fitting, given it's a Shrek version of the video to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
  • First Snow: In Shrek the halls, when Fiona comes outside holding the triplets, they are seen reacting to the snow, presumably their first time out in it. Fergus seems a little confused by it while Felicia tries to catch flakes on her tongue.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Prince Charming appears among the audience at the end of Thriller Night, seemingly confirming he survived the events of Shrek the Third.
  • Halloween Special: The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, Scared Shrekless, and Thriller Night
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM On: Shrek the Halls does this with a sound effect: the "squealing kettle" noise that accompanies Shrek losing his temper is revealed to be an actual squealing kettle.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Shrek notes in Thriller Night that he hates "spontaneous musical outbursts", including this trope.
  • The Musical: Shrek the Musical
  • Villain Team-Up: Lord Farquaad, Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, and Rumplestiltskin are all seen together as zombies in Thriller Night.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: From Pinocchio in Scared Shrekless, all over Shrek, no less.
  • Yandere: The Bride of Gingy in Scared Shrekless.


Video Example(s):


Our Little Mutant Babies

In the ending of "Shrek 2," Dragon reveals that she and Donkey have produced flying, fire-breathing donkey babies. (Dronkeys.) Yeah, Donkey is having trouble believing it too.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / HotSkittyOnWailordAction

Media sources: