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Headscratchers / The Emperor's New Groove

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     The Emperor's New Timeline 
  • Does The Emperor's New Groove take place in a Flintstone-like anachronistic past, or does it take place in a village of present-day Native Mexicans?
    • The Inca empire exists, so definitely the past.
      • I believe the Word of God from the director is that, as the film says at the beginning, it takes place Long Ago In The Jungle. Any more then that, and you're overthinking it.
      • Native Mexicans? The Incas are from Peru, which is 4000 kilometers away from Mexico.
      • I thought the movie made it clear that it was set in the Incan Empire before the Conquistadors arrived.
      • I think the Bob's Big Boy-esque resturant might be what's throwing them off. I just think everyone should remember that it's just an animated movie, though.

     It Just Bugs Me 
  • So Tipo feels the need to tell his dad he ate a bug and Pacha then makes a joke that implies this is, in fact, not a normal thing. Then they go to a restaurant and Pacha digs into a bug as if it's a delicacy.
    • Perhaps the bug that Tipo ate wasn't actually meant to be part of the meal.
    • Or he was joking that his wife's cooking is no better than you can get at a greasy spoon (as the place where Pacha was eating the bug in was hardly a four-star restaurant).
    • Pillbugs are in fact crustaceans (like lobsters and crabs) that live on land, not insects, so...

     Coming Full Circle 
  • Why were they near Pacha's house around Kuzco's Heel Realization? Didn't they travel at all?
    • At the end of the scene where the bridge collapses, Pacha mentions they'll have to take the long way to Kuzco's palace. Perhaps the route involved doubling back to near where they started.
    • After Pacha reunites with Kuzco he specifically mentions that they need to head back to the house for supplies. As for what supplies these were and why they were worth wasting an entire trip to go back and get them- you've got me.
    • The supplies Pacha is referring to, are the harness and arrow that Pacha uses later so they can safely cross the cliffs (due to the bridge having been destroyed).

     Villain Teleportation 
  • How did they get there? They certainly got me...
    • Yzma hitched a ride from her Friends On the Other Side.
    • Well, ya got me. By all accounts, it doesn't make sense.

     "Why Does She Even Have That Lever?" 
  • Why does she even have that lever?
    • I always assumed it was in case of an intruder and that Kronk constantly pulling the wrong lever was just Rule of Funny.
    • Yeah, but Kuzco and Pacha get through the crocs with ease, which makes that lever even more useless.
      • I'd assume after getting dumped down there so often the crocs are used to humans now and have become more playful than vicious. Basically Kronk ruined the trap.

     Disappearing Dynasty 
  • What happened to Kuzco's parents?
    • Yzma raised Kuzco and was planning to use him as her Puppet King, so I don't doubt that she, er, removed them from the picture.
      • is confirmed in the cartoon. Kuzco's mother died in childbirth, and his father died at sea a few months later, it's implied Yzma caused it somehow. And served as Kuczo' s regent until he came of age (which might explain him being upset over her "doing his job", espically with him being an adult). There's also a small hint that Kuczo worries about living up to his dad, who was a fantastic ruler.

     Kronk's New House 
  • Where does Kronk live after he (presumably) got kicked out of the palace? According to Yzma during the sequel, he doesn't even own a fixer-upper.
    • Maybe he rents a place in town, or perhaps there's some sort of extra room at the diner where he works that he managed to spruce up and move into.

     Can't Keep a Good Cook 
  • During the diner scene, we witness Kronk's first working day in Mudka's Hut's kitchen. Despite being busy with Yzma and their mission to find Kuzco, it seems the restaurant finally found a cook much more skilled and lighter than the previous one. Despite the good news, he leaves the diner a few minutes later along with Yzma, her new sombrero hat and a birthday cake slice, leaving Mudka's Meat Hut without a cook and no one to replace him any sooner. I just wonder how the diner managed to keep its business running without Kronk's aid, at least before he would have decided to restart his cooking career after the ending of the first movie.
    • The sequel reveals that he actually kept his job there.
    • It must not have been that long between Kronk leaving and then the end of the first movie.

     Karma Houdini Kid 
  • In the sequel, Kronk tells the story of how he lost both the house and the girl his father had always wanted him to have, but that he did so by choosing to do the right thing instead...but in the case of the girlfriend he lost, Ms. Birdwell, did he really need to sacrifice their relationship in order to protect Tipo? His reasoning for it is that he insisted that his troop members "do whatever it takes to win", but Tipo really should've known the difference between giving it everything he had and cheating by sabotaging the competition. Even worse is that Kronk doesn't even reprimand Tipo for what he did - he just seems to accept complete responsibility for it even though it wasn't his fault.
    • It's worth noting that Kronk is very docile and is an Extreme Doormat. Plus, Tipo didn't break him like Yzma.

     Yzma Can't Say Goodbye 
  • I was wondering what Yzma was still doing inside the palace at dinnertime (DINNERTIME!) if Kuzco had already fired her earlier that day...
    • Well, since she was a royal advisor—if not THE royal advisor—I always assumed she just lived in the palace like most of the other servants. She probably made some excuse about needing time to get her things, clear out her old room, etc.
    • Just because she's fired doesn't necessarily mean she's kicked out of the palace. She just has no authority anymore.
    • The Saturday morning cartoon (which is actually good for what it is) implies that Yzma was Kuzco's regent, as well as advisor to his father, who died in a sailing 'accident' shortly after Kuczo was born (his mother having died in childbirth). This relates to her clear puppet-king intentions with Kuzco, and why he was upset she was "doing his job". So it's most likely she'd lived within the palace for decades.

     Never Found the Body 
  • How did Yzma manage to get Kuzco declared dead without a body? Not saying she had to hold an open-casket funeral, but surely at least the royal physician would have liked to have seen what the emperor died from?
    • This is explained as Kuzco overhears Yzma and Kronk discussing their plans to assasinate him as they're leaving the restaurant - Kronk notes that nobody even seemed to care much that Kuzco was gone, which is further cemented by how quickly they all ditch the funeral earlier in the film. Basically, Kuzco was such a selfish jerkwad that nobody saw fit to really mourn too much for him. They just took the news of the loss and didn't bother questioning it.

     Rudy's Reasons 
  • What was that old man that got thrown out the window doing in the palace to begin with? Everyone else we see is either a servant of some kind, a guard, or a potential bride, and he'd probably be ill-suited for all of those positions. And there seems to be a designated room that isn't the one they were in for meeting with peasants.
    • Maybe he got lost on his way in?
    • He's probably a peasant who got an appointment to voice his problems to the monarch, like that other peasant Yzma threw out of the throne room.
    • He's a self-professed rebel. He came in because he wasn't supposed to be there.

     Off-Center Labeling 
  • Why would one of Yzma's potions have an upside-down image of the top half of a skull on the reverse side of its label?
    • Maybe the upside-down top-half skull is actually half of another label, and Yzma just reused the paper because she was really cheap.

     "Nobody's That Heartless"? 
  • "Hey, you coulda let me fall..." "C'mon, nobody's that heartless!" So if Kuzco's not that heartless, why was he willing to leave Pacha suspended from the ropes of a broken bridge, above a gorge filled with alligators?
    • Probably it just doesn't register to him as a murder as long as he doesn't have to see Pacha die...which actually makes sense, given that it's a quirk shared by people in general, not just those who are like Kuzco. Check out variations of Milgram's experiments or the Trolley Problem.

     Good-For-Nothing Positioning System 
  • How did Yzma and Kronk know where Pacha lives? When Kronk realizes that the "peasant at the diner" is the same guy he saw kart Kuzco away, he reasons that he must have taken him to his home village, but how did they know which village? Does Kuzco's empire only have one peasant village? If so, why didn't Yzma and Kronk go there in the first place?
    • Pacha went to the palace on Kuzco's orders. There must have been some paper trail for Yzma or Kuzco himself told her since he still trusted her to the point he kept her around as his advisor back then.
    • But how would they know Pacha was ever in the palace? They never saw him there, and Kronk clearly didn't know who Pacha was when he first saw him take Kuzco away on his cart. The film presents Kronk's Eureka Moment as being when he realizes that the "peasant at the diner" is the guy with Kuzco on the kart, but by all rights this realization should be totally useless, since he still has no way of knowing who Pacha is or where he's from.
    • Odds are they didn't. They just went around between different villages claiming to be his relatives and kept looking until they found someone who could direct them to Pacha's house.
    • How would that even work, though, given that they don't know Pacha's name? Did they just go around asking for a "big guy in a poncho"? That... an awfully vague description for this setting. And also, Yzma said earlier in the movie that they'd already been to every village around the palace. Why didn't they ask around for Pacha in the first place, then, if that's what they ended up having to do?
    • Just because Kronk didn't know who Pacha was at the time doesn't mean that Yzma wouldn't know him. IIRC Pacha was a village chief, so there might possibly have been records on him and she might know him by description, as well as that he was summoned to the palace on the same day that she turned Kuzco into a llama. If that's the case, Kronk could describe him to her (especially since he was able to get a good look at him this time) and she would be able to connect the dots. Then Kronk's Eureka Moment is less that they know exactly where to go at that moment and more that the peasant who carted Kuzco off was still with Kuzco, and would be easier to track down with their resources than a stray llama.

     Just Between the Three of Us 
  • Yzma claims that only herself, Kronk, and Kuzco know that she was fired. However there was an aide writing down what Kuzco was saying and even gave her a note with all the different ways she was fired.
    • Maybe Yzma has done something to the aide...
    • She probably just considers the aide too insignificant to worry about, especially since the word of the emperor's adviser would definitely be taken more seriously than the word of a random aide.
    • Or, going by the previous Fridge Brilliance, maybe the aide liked Kuzco out of obligation and would be rather indifferent if he just disappeared randomly.
    • Or, since the aide was only present while Kuzco was rattling off euphemisms — not a second earlier, and not a second later — he may not have gotten enough context, or even paid the slightest bit of attention to what he was writing, to actually have any clue what was going on.

Example of: