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Animate Inanimate Object

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It's possible even when they aren't plugged in? Get back to your households.

"The boulder helped, too. He only had to push it a little. Mostly it crawled on its own. That was nice, but he wished it wouldn't moan so. Boulders shouldn't moan. Especially not in French. It wasn't fair to make him listen to it."

It's common in media to allow inanimate objects the power of motion. Sometimes this is done for plot reasons. Sometimes this is done to add an element of surprise or the supernatural to a work. Whatever the reason, this trope is for when typically inanimate objects are self animated in a work.

When this happens, it is always obvious to the viewer and to any characters aware of the process. Depending on the object and whether there's a Masquerade going on, it might be obvious to everyone. Often objects that have this trope applied to them are anthropomorphized to a degree. Normally they are just given faces, but they may also be able to interact with their environment and hold things in ways that you wouldn't think a sofa would be able to.

How and why this happens varies from work to but there are some common variations:

Compare Companion Cube, which isn't animate at all but which is treated as if it was, and Animate Inanimate Matter and its subtropes, when instead of a discrete object it's a mass of normally inert matter. When they have a voice and fulfill a sidekick role to a bunch of humans, they're a Talking Appliance Sidekick.

These guys are also the main characters of Object Shows, to the point they're the trope namers.

Supertrope of:


    open/close all folders 

  • This 1998 commercial for Heinz Ketchup has living tomatoes squeezing themselves into ketchup.
  • The Parkay ads with the talking Parkay container.
  • Mr. Bag from the Rally's/Checker's commercials.
  • hh from the hhgregg commercials is a sentient version of an hhgregg paper ad.
  • The Talking M & Ms in commercials for M & Ms Chocolate Candies

    Anime & Manga 
  • Beatrice from the manhwa 13th Boy is a walking talking cactus with a face. He only talks and moves when around Hee-So Eun, the main character. Hee-So wonders if he's some sort of mutation. The truth is that Beatrice was given a heart by her first boyfriend Whie-Young Jang, who possesses a mysterious magical power. He did something similar to his friend Sae-Bom's stuffed rabbit Mr. Toe-Toe, though he is no longer "alive."
  • Where to start with Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo? The main characters include egotistical confectionery Don Patch; the soft-serve ice-cream-headed Softon; walking jelly mold Jelly Jiggler, and Torpedo Girl. Non-main characters include hamburger men, the Dynamite Brothers, a green onion man (or is he garlic?), and talking fries and chocolate.
  • Many, many standard-grade Appmon in Digimon Universe: App Monsters look like everyday objects with faces and limbs and are usually named after the objects they resemble. Watchmon is a talking watch, Resshamon is a train with a face, Callmon is a robot made of old cell phones, and so on.
  • Doki Doki Pre Cure: Silver Clock from the movie. There's also Clarinet, who is the true villain of that movie.
  • Short anime Gôruden Taimu involves several of these attempting to escape from a junkyard.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, there's one instance where Russia's Scarf of Asskicking comes to life and tries to strangle America. Notably, there have also been times that Russia has proclaimed that the scarf is a part of his body, and thus, he cannot remove it, and he does wear it near-constantly.note 
  • In what may be the single most meta example of this trope, the inside cover for volume 3 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War depicts the inside covers for the previous two volumes as schoolgirls (complete with Sailor Fuku) in a Love Triangle. And then the inside back cover does the same thing, only with itself.
  • Moe from Love Hina - see the Japanese example in Myth and Legend, below.
  • In My Hero Academia this is the Quirk of Mimic, one of the top members of the Yakuza group the Hassaikai. He can "inhabit" an object up to the size of a refrigerator (or larger with the help of certain drugs) and move it freely as if it were his own body.
  • In the very first chapter of Nightmare Inspector, Hiruko solved the mysterious cause of a little boy's nightmare. The boy had had a nightmare in which he tried to reach his beloved Mistress, but never could because she is somewhere down there and the only thing between him and her is a seemingly endless downward staircase. It turns out that that stair case is a metaphor for how he could never really see her or even touch her, because she was a human, and he was a lonely weather vane on the roof who could only ever watch her from above and afar.
  • The characters in Spoon-hime no Swing Kitchen from Okaasan to Issho are kitchen objects that come to life every night.
    • Boku no Tomodachi, also formerly seen on Okaasan to Issho, has animated appliances as major characters.
  • Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo has several of the household items in Ureshiko's home be alive, thanks to her magic.
  • Omamori Himari has Lizet who is actually a tea cup. To be precise, she's a Tsukumogami, and object that became living after 100 years of use and love.
  • One Piece:
    • The kingdom of Dressrosa is inhabited by Living Toys, who live peacefully alongside humans. Except said "peace" is a farce held up by Donquixote Doflamingo; the toys are humans (and animals) who have been transformed by Sugar, one of Doflamingo's underlings. Thanks to her and his own power and influence, Doflamingo is able to mantain an iron grip on the country. Fortunately, all of the toys are returned to normal during the arc thanks to Usopp, throwing Doflamingo's influence over Dressrosa down the crapper and exposing the truth.
    • Totto Land, the territory Big Mom rules over, is full of animated objects, such as Big Mom's own singing ships, the sleepy doors of said ships, food exclaiming how delicious they are, flying carpets, and much more. They were created from Big Mom's Devil Fruit ability. It allows her to take pieces of a person's soul or lifespan, and put them in inside inanimate objects to make them alive and sentient (As well as make live animals anthropomorphic). Thanks to this huge number of objects and soldiers at her beck and call, she has eyes and ears all over her turf.
  • While Pretty Cure monsters differ in name and appearance, they tend to some inanimate object turned into a monster.
  • In Servant × Service, the pink stuffed bunny that appeared every now and then turned out in episode 4 to be no mere Series Mascot, but the section manager himself! Who is apparently so shy that he had to resort to working via a remote controlled bunny....
  • In PandoraHearts, Oz the B-rabbit used to be a pair of ordinary stuffed toys. The Abyss gave the dolls a shared consciousness.
  • Soul Hunter has supernatural humans, animals, and objects; one mischievous spirit turned out to be that of a biwa and was able to return to human form once she absorbed enough moonlight.
  • Kenjirou Isshiki of Vividred Operation has his consciousness transferred to a stuffed otter for most of the series.
  • The 2018 anime We Rent Tsukumogami is set in a lending shop note  in Edo (17th-19th century Tokyo). The shop has five separate tsukumogami amongst it's stock, which take on animal or humanoid forms when they're not being inanimate. During the series, they encounter several others as well.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 35 of Happy Heroes, the gang meets an anthropomorphic piece of wood who grants wishes. In episode 20 of Season 2, Doctor H. finds a similar bottle genie... that is, to say, it's literally a sentient bottle. Both are similar enough in appearance that Big M., who originally found the bottle, even mentions the wishing wood when he first encounters the bottle genie.
  • In episode 2 of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Mr. Slowy invents a serum that causes any object it touches to become a strict teacher without changing its appearance. It works too well, causing the affected objects to become outright violent towards the goats.
  • Pleasant Goat Fun Class: The Earth Carnival episode 15 features a talking lamp, like the ones you'd see a genie appear out of in fictional tales, who takes the goats to a desert to play hide and seek with him.
  • Satellite Girl and Milk Cow: Merlin is a living roll of toilet paper with limbs and a face on the paper.
  • Say Hi to Pencil!. In case the title of the show didn't already clue you in, the main character is a sentient pencil. And he happens to live in a world populated by sentient pens.
  • Simple Samosa:
    • In "Hakka", when Samosa enters the mysterious castle, he grabs a lantern to give him light and finds out that the lantern is sentient. A sentient tea kettle and handheld mirror soon join it.
    • In "Khelo Samosa", the Game Master looks like a coin.

    Card Games 


    Comic Books 
  • In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw there is Magister Eikhoun's animated chair which Learoyd uses as a mount for a time.
  • Depending on the Writer, Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation has the ability to move on its own and can also grasp and hold things like a second pair of hands. In the MCU, it is explicitly sentient (the Ancient One describes it as "a fickle thing"), capable of moving and thinking on its own - as it demonstrates when it first protects Strange from Kaecillius, then (almost irritably) points him at something to use against the Evil Sorcerer. It even wipes his tears. Its "personality," as per Word of God, was explicitly based on the Magic Carpet from Aladdin.
  • Most items in New York became vaguely sentient and capable of movement during the X-Men crossover Inferno (1988) due to demonic possession: cars driving on their own, air vents and mailboxes turning into monsters, and so on. Spider-Man even had to fight the Macy's Parade balloon of himself!
  • Linus's security blanket in Peanuts starts stalking and attacking Lucy in one series of 1965 strips.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Dr. Psycho uses several of the objects in the Dough Museum to form semi-illusionary puppets to attack the Holliday Girls and later Steve Trevor and Diana.

    Fan Works 
  • Anchor Foal: After his first meeting with Fleur, Discord sneaks into the Canterlot Archives to learn about dating, doing so through bringing the books in the relevant section to life and having them lecture him on the subject. This quickly turns frustrating: while the books agree on what dating is, none of them can reach a consensus on how to do it, and he soon restores them to normal — with the exception of a harem fantasy novel which wasn't even supposed to be in that section. (One of the junior Archivists had been reading it on the sly.) He winds up taking that book with him as a declared "research assistant." It's capable of speech and getting headaches without the benefit of having an actual head, it's a female, and as of Chapter 10, he's named her Harem Fantasy.
  • In the fanfic The Annoying Mole A Hetalia Trollfic Austria's mole is alive, and as you can guess, it is very annoying.
  • The Volleyball of Terror from Calvin at Camp.
  • In The Darker Knight, the television comes to life and teams up with Batman.
  • In Doctor Who in Nine Easy Steps, the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe is known thoughout as "Simon Pegg's evil ceiling".
  • Many of the denizens in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail (and also its prequel and sequel) are this. The most prominent one is Lexi, one of Chloe's denizen partners, who is actually a flying talking book who usually has a humanoid appearance by separating his papers.
  • The fangame Mother: Cognitive Dissonance starts similarly. After making Alinivar go back in his cave to get a gold rock, there's a crash and his own piece of artwork comes to life to attack him. He then has to fight flowers after a second crash, and the objects only become weirder from there.
    • Mother 4 shows in its trailer one of your enemies is a living, brown Autumn leaf.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction The Nightmare House, Mr. Coconuts can talk in Luan's nightmare.
  • Offbeat in Tempo has various objects, including everyday items as mundane as a fridge or cakes, animated by magic. They are aggressive, unfortunate for anybody to come across them.
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, there are quite a few of these in the Wizarding World, and naturally Hermione is campaigning for their rights as well. The most obvious one is the Sorting Hat, but there is also Rita Skeeter's Quick-Quotes Quill and various others.
  • In With Strings Attached, Brox's scheme to restore monsters to Baravada centers on a spell that turns inorganic objects into living creatures. The Ghost City of Ehndris is subsequently filled with "Nasty Bits," as the four dub them—everything from little crab-like chunks of walking concrete and clumps of glass shards that act like spiders, to boulders with tentacles and fangs, to stone columns with vertical mouths, to living bedframes. Valuables like gems and swords aren't affected though.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Magic Carpet is one.
  • Bands on the Run: The main characters are all sentient rubber bands.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, while the prince was turned into the Beast, his servants were transformed into objects by the vengeful enchantress. They also pretend to be regular objects around strangers.
  • Bevanfield Films' adaptation of Beauty And The Beast has a rather unsettling talking clock, and a statue of a frog that blinks and looks around on its own. Neither's presence is explained.
  • Brave: The witch's broom sweeps by itself. It tries, unsuccessfully, to hide from Merida when she arrives at the cottage.
  • The Brave Little Toaster: All the electrical appliances are sapient and with their own personality. The protagonists got attached to their "master".
  • Cars, only there's no need for a Masquerade as they are the only inhabitants of the earth.
    • Though really, would there necessarily be a need for one anyway?
  • Dumbo: Casey Jr., the circus train.
  • Screwy the baseball and Darling the baseball bat from Everyone's Hero.
  • Fantasia: Mickey the Sorcerer's Apprentice (no, not that one) animates some brooms to help him out. It does not go smoothly.
  • Fantasia 2000: "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" features the titular soldier, a music box ballerina, and a jack-in-the-box, all inexplicably alive.
  • Obscure Spanish All-CGI Cartoon Glup has these make up approximately 95% of the cast.
  • Golden Films was fond of this trope. Most of the time they never explained exactly why the objects came to life:
  • In Legends of Valhalla: Thor, Mjolnir — here called "Crusher" — has a face and a personality all his own.
  • Little Light and the few other Christmas ornaments from The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree are examples of non-living things that magically came to life. Most of them are The Voiceless (except for Little Light, who was mute until his song number and the ballerina ornament, who was mute aside from a brief cry)
  • Pixar's corporate logo is the titular lamp from their animated short Luxo Jr. It appears in the opening title of all of their films.
  • Due to its abstract nature, The Mind's Eye film series is full of these.
    • In The Mind's Eye segment "Heart of the Machine", clusters of gears turn and morph themselves, and later a "character" made of four sticks and four circles explores a plateau with several moving structures.
    • Beyond
      • In the segment "Seeds of life", trees are able to move as if they had muscles or motors.
      • The segment "Brave New World" starts and ends with flying square tiles.
      • "Windows" features objects in an artist's room floating in the air and leaving the room.
    • The Gate segment "Nuvogue" shows couches, tables, a floor, and walls assembling themselves into a living room.
    • Odyssey segment "Out of Step" features hammers all banging on a steel bar in unison. They appear again just before the credits.
    • Shared between installments:
      • Pens and other drawing utensils float and draw on their own in The Mind's Eye and The Gate.
      • Various structures build themselves in The Mind's Eye, The Gate and Odyssey
  • Trippy 1987 film Rock Odyssey's narrator is an animate jukebox.
  • The Secret of Anastasia has an inexplicably animated quartet of instruments: A tuba, a harp, a cello, and an accordion. They're possessed by the spirits of Anastasia's family.
  • Merlin in Disney's The Sword in the Stone owns a whole house of animate furniture, most prominently the tea set with the insolent sugar bowl. He also magically animated a castle's worth of things to clean themselves.
  • Toy Story has all things that qualify as toys being alive and intelligent.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Amélie:
    • When Amelie falls asleep, the animals in the pictures on the wall above her bed come to life and talk about her. Her pig-shaped bedside light then pulls a cord to switch itself off.
    • A set of photos from a photo booth comes alive and talks to Nino. At first, they speak in unison, but then start speaking individually.
  • Night at the Museum has the contents of the museum come to life in secret every night, though the Masquerade seems to have been given up by the sequel.
  • Transformers Film Series: Regular appliances became Transformers when exposed to the MacGuffin in the live-action movies.
  • Wee Sing: The Marvelous Musical Mansion is full of these, with varying degrees of anthropomorphization.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie Valiant's gun and bullets, plus Benny the Cab. And EVERYTHING in Toontown! Even the buildings had eyes, and sometimes mouths.
  • The killer tire from Rubber.
  • At the end of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Miss Price casts the Substitutiary Locomotion spell on an old armory. The result? Animate suits of armor beating up the Nazis. It's exactly as awesome as it sounds.
  • Everything in Mr Toads Wild Ride. Even the water!
  • All things Christmas related (toys, christmas cookies, decoration, etc.) in Krampus for horror reasons (they can kill you).
  • The Magic Crystal is an "A Boy and His X"-style fantasy comedy, except the "X" here is a living, sentient piece of crystal who turns out to be from Venus. And could communicate with it's owner, a little boy, via telepathy.
  • Several objects become animate and violent in Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive based on his short story Trucks, though it's heavily Downplayed in that they aren't actually alive, but rather being remote-controlled by aliens (because that apparently makes way more sense than sentient trucks).
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure has J. Edgar the vaccuum cleaner, a talking pillow, a talking window... the list goes on and on.
  • Almost every piece of furniture in the cabin in Evil Dead 2 due to Demonic Possession.
  • It doesn't become apparent until the final scene, but Mary Poppins's umbrella can talk, and it's clearly not impressed with its owner's attempt to hide her feelings from her charges. (Unfortunately, she makes it shut up before it can speak its mind.)
  • A Chairy Tale is a Canadian short film about a fully sentient chair who refuses to let a man sit in it, zipping continually around the room while the man tries and fails to catch the chair and sit.
  • After Divine and her son Crackers defile the Marble home in Pink Flamingos the furniture starts rejecting the Marbles' attempts to sit on it.
  • Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral has Xuxa talk with Almofadona, a sentient sofa after losing her dog Xuxo.
  • Smoke Alarm: The Unfiltered Truth About Cigarettes ends with talking cigarette boxes deciding to run off back to their homes (at tobacco farms) because they don't want to hurt people.
  • Taare Zameen Par: Within the main character's imagination, the film features moving letters, sentient spiders that are formed similarly to letters from both the English language and the Hindi language alongside numbers and mathematical equations and a snake-forming letter S.
  • The Love Bug has Herbie, a sentient VW Beetle. The sequels have more Sentient Vehicles, and, more interestingly, a sentient orchestrion that communicates by playing song snippets.
  • The Red Balloon: The film is about a sentient red balloon that follows a young boy around.

  • A rope walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve ropes here." So, the rope leaves. He meets another rope, who says, "I can get that bartender to give me a drink." The second rope enters the bar and orders a drink. The bartender says the same thing he said to the first rope, and the second rope leaves. The first rope is waiting outside for her, and when she leaves, the two ropes see a third rope, who says, "I can get that bartender to give me a drink." The first two ropes tell him, "No, they don't serve ropes there." However, he undoes his ends and ties himself into a knot, and then enters the bar. The bartender looks at the third rope and asks him, "Are you a rope?" He replies, "No, I'm a frayed knot."
  • A one dollar bill, a five dollar bill, and a twenty dollar bill all die and end up lined up in front of St. Peter, who will decide if they get admitted to heaven or not. The one dollar bill goes up to St. Peter, and St. Peter says, "Oh, you've lived a good life. Go ahead and go into heaven." Then the five dollar bill goes up to St. Peter, and he also waves him into heaven without hesitation. Then the twenty dollar bill goes up to St. Peter, but this time St. Peter looks askance at him and starts typing into his computer. The twenty dollar bill says, "What? What? I've lived a good life! I should be allowed into heaven." St. Peter replies, "Oh yeah? I never saw you in church!"

  • Stephen King's Christine is one. Then again, his usage of this trope (from Killer hedge animals to laundry machines) is so prevalent in his work it has been parodied in Family Guy, where a Stephen King running low on ideas (implicitly due to this trope and his prolific output) is reduced to pitching "Oooh, Scary Lamp!". The pitch is accepted.
  • The Discworld books feature multiple animate objects:
    • Pieces of luggage made from sapient pearwood see a fair amount of use in the Agatean Empire because they very usefully follow their owners around. However, the Luggage, the best-known in the novels, has been noted to be a little more aggressive than its siblings. Judging by some descriptions of The Luggage's trip around the Counterweight Continent, it can also mate and have children.
    • Discworld's trolls and gargoyles are implied to have originated when rocks and statues respectively became animate. The Power Of Faith can also have this effect, as shown in Pyramids when Dios's snake-headed staff becomes animated.
    • Horace the cheese from Wintersmith. He's a wheel of Lancre Blue, which has been established in other Discworld books as being abnormally lively for a cheese under normal circumstances. Since Tiffany Aching, who is very good with cheese, made Horace, he apparently achieved sapience and started hanging out with the Nac Mac Feegle, who are also small, blue, and belligerent.
    • In Mort, Cutwell the wizard has a talking doorknocker. Unfortunately, it's not very welcoming to clients, and also doesn't talk very clearly, on account of having to hold a ring in its mouth.
  • In the story titled Une maison des musiciens ("A House of Musicians") of the textbook series Il était ... une petite grenouille ("There Once Was... a Little Frog"), there is a family who lives with sentient household objects: an armchair, a faucet, a radio, etc. The central object character is the piano. When the daughter Pauline plays the piano, it is so soothing that every"one" stops doing what they do to listen to her: the faucet stops dripping and the washing machine stops turning. The son Nicolas's playing is so bad that it hurts the armchair's arms and leaves other objects in pain too. When the piano gets "sick" and won't start playing, the parents have to put him away in the attic, but every"body" feels sorry for the piano who cries all night that he misses being played by Pauline. Eventually the couch and the carpet decide to help him by carrying him back into the living room.
    • Note that in line with the usual illustrative voice acting on the companion cassette tapes, all objects are voiced by male and female actors according to the grammatical gender of the nouns. For example, the armchair and the pianonote  are men, while the radio cassette and the forknote  are women.
  • In Ollie's Odyssey, favourite toys come to life (but only for their own kids). But that's not all. When Billy goes out searching for Ollie after Ollie gets kidnapped by Zozo's minions, he finds a whole junk yard full of discarded objects that agree to help Billy out, Ollie meets a sentient tin can after escaping, and in the ruins of the old amusement park, Billy finds the horses of an old merr-go-round, who are also alive.
  • Roys Bedoys: In “Behave at the Library, Roys Bedoys!”, Roys and his friends listen to a story that involves a talking hat.
  • Spectral Stalkers: Cerod the Minstrel owns a talking harp. Said harp is also a Deadpan Snarker who can inflict curses.
  • The titular protagonist of The Velveteen Rabbit.
  • In The Visitmothers by Charlie Jane Anders, the protagonist's bicycle ends up becoming one of these. With wings and lasers.
  • A variant is seen in the novel Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls; the protagonist can speak to any inanimate object that has been handled by humans enough. Some of them have... unique... personalities, like the bomb that really, really wants to explode.
  • The title character of the Garrett, P.I. series has a painting of a woman named Eleanor that may or may not be inhabited by her ghost. He's the only one who can see it move (since he was the only one who could see her ghost to begin with) and often talks to it, although she never answers.
    • Garrett tends to invoke this trope facetiously, like when he describes tripping over furniture in the dark as if he's being attacked by a homicidal chair. With sixteen legs.
  • Everything in The Annals of the Chosen can develop to at least an animal's intelligence. In areas dominated by nature, this means Everything Trying to Kill You unless you make some sacrifices, so to speak. Artificial objects are imbued with a desire to fulfill the purpose of their creation, which can still be a bad thing if the objects are weapons.
  • While Dor from Xanth can't animate, he can still talk to any inanimate object (and they answer back).
  • The toys in Susannah York (yes, the actress)'s novel Lark's Castle are inanimate but able to think, until some of them are animated by a "lifestone".
  • In Thomas Baum's It Looks Alive to Me!, the premise is that once the moon rock exhibit was added, all the exhibits shaped like living creatures came to life.
  • The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds features many "birds" that are really just Animate Inanimate Objects that resemble birds.
  • All of the characters in Lemony Snicket's book The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming (a Christmas Story), including the eponymous latke, a string of lights, a candy cane, and a fir tree. Lampshaded:
    "This may seem like unusual behavior for a potato pancake, but this is a Christmas story, in which things tend to happen that would never occur in real life."
  • In the Choose Your Own Adventure book Return to Brookmere, the protagonist is accompanied by a magical talking amulet named the Mouth of Mimulus.
  • The protagonist of Seanan McGuire's Velveteen vs. stories has this as a superpower, though it only works on inanimate objects that have been made to look like living things. She can also modify them to an extent to give them weapons, i.e. a stuffed bunny rabbit growing claws and sharp teeth when she brings it to life to combat her enemies.
  • The Emerald City of Oz reveals that among the many oddities in the land of Oz is Utensia, the kingdom populated by animate kitchen utensils (as well as other cooking things like saucepans and kettles). They mainly serve as a Wacky Wayside Hurricane of Puns.
  • In Twisted (2010) all the living amusement park rides (except red coasters) began as ordinary rides that were destroyed or put into storage in the human world become living creatures in the Amusement Park Between. It's also mentioned that the stuffed animals won as prizes come to life, but never shown.
  • Many stories by Hans Christian Andersen contain inanimate objects talking to each other.
  • Merlyn in T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone (1939) has a set of dishware that talk and clean themselves. Chapter 3: "At this all the china and cutlery scrambled down off the table, the cloth emptied the crumbs out of the window, and the napkins folded themselves up. All ran off down the ladder, to where Merlyn had left the bucket, and there was such a noise and yelling as if a lot of children had been let out of school. Merlyn went to the door and shouted, 'Mind, nobody is to get broken.' But his voice was entirely drowned out in shrill squeals, splashes, and cries of 'My it is cold,' "I shan't stay in long,' 'Look out, you'll break me,' or 'Come on, let's duck the teapot.'" Expanded on in the Disney animated film based on this work.
  • The scraps from The Krockman count, seeing as they are formed broken souls merging with inanimate objects (or in some cases, a forgotten ideal) and taking on a child-like form.
  • In Enid Blyton's short story "The Determined Dustbin", the dustbin of the title becomes animate after its owner throws away a pair of shoes enchanted with a get-about spell. The spell transfers to the dustbin and gives it the power to move.
  • In Warbreaker, this is what Awakeners do. By gathering large amounts of Breath from living people, they can imbue that Breath into an object, along with a Command, to make it carry out that Command until the Awakener reclaims the Breath. Generally these commands are fairly simple, just a few words or a short sentence, and cannot be changed once given, although Lifeless, created by Awakening a dead body, can follow more complex commands and be given new ones.
  • The Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron has this in spades. Every object in the universe has its own spirit, and the 'magic' used by protagonist is mostly about convincing the spirits to do what you want them to. The older or 'greater' the spirit, the more intelligent and stronger they are. Mountains are pretty much demigods.
  • Impy Ink, Uppy Umbrella, Vase of Violets from Letterland are talking objects.
  • In the Young Wizards book So You Want to Be a Wizard?, the protagonists end up in a pocket-universe version of Manhattan which has no human inhabitants, but where everything from cars to elevators to fire hydrants is animate, and mostly malevolent. One of the characters gets bitten by a keyhole!
  • Patti Smith describes doing this in her recent memoirs M Train and especially Year of the Monkey. Playing with her own hypersomnia, she gives her real and dream experiences equal value and has conversations with everyday objects. Year of the Monkey leads off with an argument with a hotel sign. (It's the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz, but she had mistakenly referred to it as the Dream Motel, and the sign snappily corrects her; then its snarky voice follows her around through her travels.) She also talks to a bedspread at one point, but says they're "impossible to turn off" so she doesn't want to get in an argument with it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Nestene Consciousness' Autons. Department store mannequins are the most famous type, but they can be made to resemble any object made of plastic, including an evil doll, a man-eating trashcan, a comfy chair of doom or its most impressive accomplishment: real people.
    • The Weeping Angels as a special example, in that they have always been animate, but can only move when no one is watching them. They most frequently take the form of ultra-creepy statues, but anything that holds the image of an angel can become an angel if one of them is close. So a photograph, a TV screen, or even a sketch might come alive. Don't put them near other statues.
    • This seems to be a feature of Time Lord technology. In their earliest days, they created the living metal validium; the Hand of Omega, a quasi-sentient stellar manipulator; and the Moment, the galaxy eater, a weapon so powerful the operating system became sentient. Their most famous examples of living technology, however, are the TARDISes, Living Ship time machines.
  • Inverted in Soap: Bob is strictly a ventriloquist doll but often characters will forget and talk to him like he's a separate character from Chuck, the one who controls him. The Only Sane Man, Benson, is one of the few who never gets confused.
  • This is the entire premise of the Bryan Fuller show Wonderfalls, though only the main character can see them.
  • Haven:
    • An episode has machines start acting on their own and killing people. Turns out they were all repaired by a Troubled mechanic who is unaware of his "uniqueness".
    • Another episode has stuffed animals and people come alive.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a race between a wash basin, a water closet pedestal, a sofa, Joanna Southcott's box, a hat stand and a lamp. Affected in stop-motion animation as opposed to the form Terry Gilliam employs.
  • Most supporting characters in Okaasan to Issho 's Monoran Monoran are tsukumogami, such as a post box, magnifying glass, and three alarm clocks.
  • In Inai Inai Baa!, some of U-tan's friends are a toy box, a superhero toothbrush, a pink blanket, a tissue box girl, and a toilet king.
  • Freaky has an episode called "Signs". Guess what moves?
  • The Big Garage: Any character that isn't the taxis or Rusty is some other kind of object. To give a few examples: Pump, the taxis' mentor, is a gas pump; Scrap is a trash compactor who lives in a scrapyard near the Big Garage; and Tooly, a toolbox who qualifies as this himself, works using sentient wrenches known as the Spanners.
  • Almost literally everything in Pee-wee's Playhouse including but not limited to Chairy, Floory and a window box of talking flowers.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The After Hours", the department store mannequins have the ability to come alive. Every month, one of them leaves the store and goes to live as a human.
    • Played with in "The New Exhibit". Emma Senescu, her brother Dave and Ernest Ferguson are seemingly killed by the wax figures of Jack the Ripper, Albert Hicks and Henri Landru respectively but the ending raises the possibility that Martin Senescu himself may have killed them.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The After Hours", the department store mannequins have the ability to come alive. Every month, one of them leaves the store and goes to live as a human.
  • Young Sheldon: In "Mitch's Son and the Unconditional Approval of a Government Agency", Sheldon dreams that the envelope with the check for the IRS is talking to him, telling him to take out the check.

  • In the Preschool Popstars song "Before I Go to Sleep", the stars all have faces.
  • Seńor Wooly subverts this in the song "Billy la Bufanda". It looks like Billy the scarf can see, move, eat, etc., but it's always revealed that he's just an ordinary scarf who can't do any of these things.
  • The They Might Be Giants song "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is sung from the viewpoint of a (presumably) sentient nightlight.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Greek myth of the musician, poet and prophet Orpheus, who was taught by the god Apollo to play music so beautifully that he could tame animals, soothe stormy weather, and bring inanimate objects to life.
  • The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, told by Ovid, which makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • According to a Japanese legend, objects that have been abandoned for a hundred years (teapots, umbrellas, etc) can come alive, and are known as tsukumogami. Fridge Logic waves away some problems by explaining electricity repels such creatures, hence modern examples are rare. Also serves as a commentary to the effect that people don't really save things for that long anymore.


    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show has the Singing Food, which are all vegetables with faces, including an incredibly cute head of cauliflower. They end up in a competition with the Talking Luggage and the Dancing Mountains (who are not seen, only heard and felt as rumbles and vibrations.)
    • In fact, one rule for guest stars on that show is that just about any inanimate object in the Muppet Theater could start talking to you, so you'd better be prepared.
  • Sesame Street 's Elmo's World segment has a side table drawer, window shade, computer and TV that prance around and interact with Elmo.

  • In Land Of The Lost (1943), the lost objects that collect in the titular Land all come to life, with some also increasing in size to be more comparable to humans- in the broadcast’s surviving episodes, everything from clocks (“The Dock Of Lost Clocks”) to playing cards (“The Big Game Preserve”) to fans (“The Fan-Tom Of Fan-Tasy Hall”), to hats (“Ten-Gallon Pete”) to bottles (“The Bottle Brigade”) has been seen walking around down in the Land. few Missing Episodes are also known to include such things as pens (broadcast lost, but seen in an issue of the comics), weapons and armor (ditto), gloves (a radio episode of name unknown) and cooking implements (“Stovepipe Square”).

    Tabletop Games 
  • All The Little Things: Players take the role of inanimate objects ("Things") unwittingly brought to life by humans.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Animate objects are some of the weakest monsters available for players to fight, generally used as a challenge for loner characters at level 1.
    • Wizards (and Clerics with the Chaos domain) in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 can cast the spell animate object.
  • In Nomine: One class of angels, Kyriotates in the service of the Archangel of Lightning, can possess inanimate objects.
  • Nobilis takes an animistic view of the world: everything in the world has a spirit, whether it is a cloud or a rock or whatever. Normal humans live in a reality like our own and cannot normally see these spirits, but if they switched their perspectives around they'd see all spirits ever at the same time. Unfortunately, this would be really bad for them and their sanity. While seeing reality as it really is might be correct, it does not make for a very functional existence.
  • Promethean: The Created: Prometheans are formed from dead body parts, machines, or other things and come to life. For many the goal is to become human. For others...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Duston archetype are living dust particles.

  • GoGo's Crazy Bones had an entire set of Gogos devoted to this trope called the "Things" series. Every Gogo in the set is a living inanimate object of some sort; for example, Giga Bone is a sentient computer.
  • There are characters in the Star Monsters series that are made to look like inanimate objects. Justified by the Star Monster's in-universe origins as a three-pointed star: whatever their star lands on will be the object they resemble.
  • A lot of Tamagotchis in Tamagotchi are based on specific objects, such as Crackertchi (a party cracker), Yakantchi (a tea kettle), Mousetchi (a computer mouse), Belltchi (a bell), and Shelltchi (a clam shell).

    Video Games 
  • In Andy's Apple Farm, one of Andy's friends includes Claus, the living clock.
  • The gyroids in the Animal Crossing series are statues which move and make noises when interacted with (and if you have some in your house, they'll "dance" along to any music you have playing). Lloid falls under this trope, since he appears to be sentient (he runs the auction house in City Folk and collects donations for public works projects in New Leaf). There's speculation among the fanbase that the villager Coco is also a gyroid due to her hollow-eyed and -mouthed appearance, but officially she's a rabbit.
  • ANNIE: Last Hope have a zombie virus that infects not just humans, but inanimate objects as well. Where you'll be fighting living shelves, tyres and assorted inanimate objects, including a giant tractor wheel King Mook.
  • Arknights: The event "Invitation to Wine" introduces Waregeists, which are monsters created from mundane household items possessed by the spirit of the Second Brother.
  • Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book: Sophie's companion Plachta is a talking book who also floats in the air.
  • A large chunk of Banjo-Kazooie's supporting cast is made up of these, all possessing Rare's now-trademark "googly eyes". This was toned down a lot for the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, and in the third installment, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, there are no characters like this at all.
  • The known cast of the upcoming indie game Beacon of Hope is entirely composed of sentient appliances, a la The Brave Little Toaster. In addition, giant living batteries are one of the enemy types you'll encounter.
  • Bladed Fury have you fighting possessed cabinets who moves around on weird-looking, human legs. It either tries stomping you down or opening it's drawers, from which it can release projectile attacks.
  • Bloodborne has the Plain Doll, the latest in FromSoft's tradition of having a helpful Mysterious Waif in the hub area. She's a human-sized doll who comes to life once you gain your first point of Insight. She's a gentle, naive creature who only wants the best for you (and all other Hunters who've taken your job). She appears to be the Dreamlands counterpart of a normal doll found in the Abandoned Old Workshop, given life as part of the Hunter's Dream. She is based on Gherman's student Maria, who (it's heavily implied) committed suicide and acts as the penultimate boss of the DLC (which is set in an area that's basically Hell for hunters).
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day, despite being a 3D platformer in the style of Banjo-Kazooie, deconstructs the trope due to its adult-oriented themes, showing what life for a living, googly-eyed piece of cheese (which screams in terror while Conker takes it to a hungry rat) or sweetcorn (which is bound to be eaten by a living monster made of excrement) must be like.
  • Bendy in Nightmare Run has Chester, a living chest; Gaskette, a living taxi; Canoodle, a living soup can; and Dewey, a living ink bottle.
  • In Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time, living brooms appear as enemies in the Medieval Period, courtesy of Witch Hazel being the main enemy of that era.
  • Chulip contains (among other things) a stone lion, a gravestone, an eggplant, and a telephone pole as characters. And yes, you kiss all of them.
  • This is zigzagged in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, as a secret unlockable character is an Iron Checkpoint Crate. Though the crate is sentient as it is able to drive the karts just fine, it has no lines or animations other than its lid lifting off, which by itself is not a sign of sentience.
  • Cthulhu Saves the World has angry breezes, living dolls, lion statues, evil snowmen, dark mirrors and living mushroom-shaped explosions as enemies. Also, a living tombstone and a sentient black hole appear as bosses in optional dungeons, and the former is explained in the description blurt by the fact it's made of the living granite (in case of latter, the blurt says that they're just getting silly). And one of the party members who join Cthulhu on his quest is an unwielded sentient sword named Sharpe. Subverted with Nesting Dolls (space matryoshkas) and Trashies (bags of trash with tentacles), as when they are Driven to Madness, one can notice these are actually creatures inhabiting respective objects they hide inside. Cthulhu's Angels bonus campaign features Interactive Narrator bringing a bridge to life as a boss and in the Grand Library, sentient shelves and book groups appear as regular enemies.
  • Cuphead has plenty of anthropomorphic objects, keeping with the 1930s cartoon style theme. The protagonists are a walking cup and mug, and the bosses include giant vegetables and a living zeppelin.
  • The Darkners of Deltarune are ordinary objects in the Light World brought to life by the Fountains of Darkness that form the Dark Worlds they live in. Chapter 1's Darkners are formed from playing cards and other toys, while Chapter 2's Darkners are made up of wires and computer programs.
  • The heroes of Dicey Dungeons are living dice. They used to be human, but they were transformed into dice by Lady Luck before being forced to participate in her eponymous game show.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam makes up for not having cockpit shots of the pilots by having their Mobile Suits emote far more in cutscenes than they do in the source material. This is kept sensible, though, with the Mo Cap Mecha having more dramatic gestures than the models with buttons and leversnote ... mostly. Elpio Puru manages such feats as making her Qubelay Happy Dance or flail its arms in frustration.
  • Electronic Popple is set inside a sentient CPU, where it's inhabitants are alive and andromorphic. You're a pair of Anti-Virus chips, and spend the whole game beating up hostile computer viruses and malfunctioning software, all of them who looks humanoid.
  • Fallen London has Polythreme, where everything is animate. Not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Most things in Polythreme don't enjoy being animate, and may attempt to take it out on the humanoid inhabitants if they get the opportunity.
  • Fly'N's villain is Dyer, a sentient hair dryer. Three more animated appliances appear in the ending: A canister vacuum cleaner named Hoova who is implied to be Dyer's girlfriend; and a refrigerator and a camera who both have No Name Given.
  • The entire premise of the Gaia Online MMORPG zOMG! is that inanimate objects have become, well, Animated!
  • The Wise One in Golden Sun is revealed in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn to be a sapient, Psynergy-capable Philosopher's Stone, making one of Isaac's unseen comments in the first game Hilarious in Hindsight.
    Garet: Do you know what that thing is, Isaac?
    *answer "yes"*
    Garet: I know it's a rock, stupid!
  • Hazelnut Hex has sentient toasters as enemies, who can attack you by shooting toast as projectiles.
  • In Journey (2012), banners and cloth you'll come across largely resemble marine life, with rays, jellyfish, kelp and so on moving like the air was an ocean.
  • Obscure point-and-click Adventure Game Junkland Jam contains a surprising amount of animate lightbulbs. A sentient (and evil) vaccuum cleaner also appears in the intro, sucking the protagonist into the titular Junkland.
  • Magical Tetris Challenge: The objects used as the Tetris boards in each stage are alive. They have faces that change expression throughout the fight.
    • Mickey's Tetris boards are boilers.
    • Donald's boards are barrels.
    • Goofy's boards are windmills.
    • Minnie's boards are ovens.
    • Big Bad Wolf and Pete's boards are grandfather clocks.
  • Most of the shopkeepers and some of the potential townsfolk in Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times are anthropomorphic objects, for varying degrees of anthropomorphic. Shopkeepers include a wineglass, a dressing dummy, a lightbulb, and a barber pole. Townspeople include an anthropomorphic Russian Doll, a brownie townsperson and a watering can shopkeeper — although they may just be people with unusual head wear.
  • Luxaren Allure:
  • The Mario franchise has a long and proud history of drawing eyes or faces on many of its background elements such as hills and clouds.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: Mario is harassed by an angry sun in two different levels.
    • Super Mario 64 has the Piano. Though it may be a case of The Undead because it takes place in Big Boo's Haunt.
    • Super Mario Odyssey introduces the capturing mechanic, in which Mario uses Cappy to temporarily possess something. While most of the captures are other creatures, there are inanimate objects that can be captured as well, such as statues, zippers, taxis, and-in one very memorable moment-a hunk of meat. There are also the Bonneters, sentient hat ghosts (of which Cappy is one of), and the Volbonians, sentient forks.
    • Mario Party 3: In the Arrowhead duel board, there are two sentient cones with eyes and large arrows adjacent to them (hence their name, the Arrowheads) which indicate a player that the nearby junctions in the board's paths can be used as shortcuts to either the opponent or the Start Spaces. The Arrowheads move their arrows to a beat, being probably excited.
    • The series also has the Chuckolator in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which is living soda, the Sea Pipe Fountain and Junker in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, animate fountains and bins, and Ticksquawks, Dark Blocks, Krubbish, Mount Pajamaja and Earthwake in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, who are living clocks, ? mark blocks, bins, volcanoes and building hive mind robots respectively.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon also has the Possessors, which can turn a normal object (mostly non living ones) into this. Like frozen ponds, clocks, suits of armour and staircases. And those stairsroar at Luigi before lunging at him.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King has the Legion of Stationery, high-ranked members of King Olly's forces, which are origami-making tools that King Olly brought to life and made them giant, like a box of colored pencils, a pile of rubber bands, or a roll of tape.
  • In Super Meat Boy, the ground in chapter select screen has a face which gets progressively creepier as the chapter number goes up.
  • There are many appearing as enemies in Miitopia, as the Dark Lord infused them with Mii facial features. The Miis will among others encounter bombs, hieroglyph tablets, the Mona Lisa, scimitars, snowmen, clouds, snowflakes, and so on.
  • In Mole Mania, Muddy Mole fights the sun as the World 2 boss and KILLS THE SUN. Muddy also fights Funton, an animate 100-ton weight who occasionally jumps sky-high and delivers a damaging tremor if you're foolish enough to stay underground when he lands.
  • In Monkey Shines, many mooks are moving objects, especially in the level About the House.
  • Polterofen from Monster Sanctuary is an animate old-fashioned oven. Similar to the Japanese concept of tsukumogami, their bio mentions that some household objects are rewarded with a soul if they serve for a hundred years, but Polterofens come to life early if they're abandoned.
  • Moshi Monsters has a few creatures that look like objects, from doughnuts to clocks.
  • The Mother series:
    • In EarthBound Beginnings, you start your adventure off fighting two possessed Lamps and a Baby Doll, and then you start to fight vehicles.
    • Exaggerated in EarthBound (1994). Expect to fight coffee mugs, angry taxi cabs, circus tents, piles of puke, trash cans, exploding trees, stop signs, molecules, abstract art, and so much more.
    • Mother 3 isn't far behind its predecessors, with living yams (baked or otherwise), beans, musical instruments and suits of armor, a sword and a shield being animate on their own.
  • Napple Tale features create-able "furniture paffets" — living chairs, streetlamps, ceiling fans, etc, that are installed around the Hub Level, Napple Town, based on townsfolk requests.
  • Grimoires Weiss, Noir, and Rubrum in NieR are all ancient books that are capable of speech and float around on their own. Weiss lends help in the form of magic attacks (and British-accented snarky commentary) to the main character. On the other hand, Noir and Rubrum are mustache-twirlingly evil and bugfuck insane, respectively.
  • Paper Dolls has sentient paper people as enemies, based on the Chinese zhizha culture where effigies made of paper are burnt in funerals to appease the dead. Something like this, but chasing after you.
  • Parappa The Rapper features P.J. Berri, a living teddy bear, Sunny Funny, a daisy with a human body, and Chop Chop Master Onion, an anthropomorphic... take a guess.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: All of the plants. Well, technically, plants are animate in Real Life too, but these plants are animate to the level of speaking human.
  • Pokémon has a number of examples.
    • Banette used to be a doll that was thrown away by a child, and now seeks revenge. By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Shuppet.
    • Rotom can possess objects, as revealed in Pokémon Platinum, where it can possess a washing machine, a lawnmower, an oven, a freezer, and a table fan. Specifically, it possesses technology that uses a special kind of motor. The aforementioned objects are specially prepared for research purposes.
    • Voltorb is implied to be a Poké Ball turned sentient, through an unknown cause.
      • Its SoulSilver Pokédex entry specifically states that it was discovered when Poké Balls were invented. An entry in another game says its components are not found in nature. However, this was all retconned by Pokémon Legends: Arceus which revealed that Voltorb's line existed before that, and used to resemble the apricorns used to make primitive Poké Balls before evolving (in the Darwinian sense) into their current state.
    • Shedinja is the discarded exoskeleton of a Nincada after it evolves into Ninjask. Exactly how it is animated, especially considering the former occupant still lives, is not explained.
    • Sandygast is a haunted mound of sand that evolves into Palossand, a haunted sand castle. They possess people and control them to supply them with sand to grow larger.
    • Dhelmise appears to be an animated anchor covered in seaweed. Its actual body is the haunted seaweed holding onto the anchor to animate it, and is fittingly enough a Ghost/Grass type.
    • Several of the Ultra Beasts are object-like beings which appear to be naturally occurring life-forms in their native environments: Xurkitree is many electrical cables and lights arranged in a vaguely humanoid shape with no face, Celesteela is a Living Ship, Kartana is living origami, and Stakataka is a hive of brick-like Pokémon which form a single Living Structure Monster.
    • A few more that are based on inanimate objects, yet are not implied to have been animated by outside forces, include Magnemite (magnets), Gardevoir (possibly anesama ningyou, a style of paper doll), Bronzor (a bronze mirror), Bronzong (a bronze bell), and Grimer and Muk (piles of sludge).
    • Pokémon Black and White have many more, including Trubbish (a garbage bag), Klink (a pair of gears), Munna (a Japanese form of incense burner), Darumaka (whose line is based off daruma dolls), Litwick (a ghostly candle, which evolves into a lamp as Lampent, and then a chandelier as Chandelure), Vanillite (an icicle with snow on top to give the appearance of an ice cream cone), and Cofagrigus (an Egyptian sarcophagus).
    • Pokémon X and Y then introduced Honedge (a sword possessed by an ancient spirit, which evolves into two swords as Doublade and finally a BFS with a shield as Aegislash), and Klefki (an animated key-ring fairy).
    • Stufful, if it counts, is based on a stuffed teddy bear.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield introduce Stonjourner, which is based on the British landmark Stonehenge, as well as Sinistea, a ghostly teacup (which evolves into Polteageist, a ghostly teapot), both of whom are fitting for the Britain-inspired Galar region.
      • They also introduce Runerigus, an alternate evolution of Gen 5's Yamask, who is based on the Ingvar runestones used by Vikings, and Milcery and Alcermie, which are blobs of whipped cream, the latter being in the shape of a girl in a dress.
    • Flamigo in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet looks like a barely altered plastic lawn flamingo at first glance. Then it starts moving like an actual flamingo.
  • RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore: One of the main characters, Lore, is a living, floating, one-eyed book who accidentally teleported himself and Remi to the land of Ragnoah.
  • Ribbit King has Picwick, a living wicker basket with limbs who acts as the protagonist's caddy in the story mode.
  • SimAnt has the evil lawn mower.
    "The evil lawn mower has sucked you into its whirling blades! Your body is reduced to a thin slime."
  • So Many Me: The bags that you can collect to unlock costumes have happy faces and limbs. They're also seen jumping in place.
  • Most of the characters in Someone's In The Kitchen! are living kitchen appliances.
  • The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge has Harold the Picture Frame, formerly a magical sentient tree before being cut down to his current state. Despite being alive, his first owners were about to burn him as firewood before Old Man Bill rescued him.
  • By adding the adjective, "live" or "living" to any noun in Super Scribblenauts, the conjured item gains the abilities to move, hold objects, attack people and objects, etc. regardless if it would have been animate or not without the addition word.
  • The King of Red Lions in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, a sentient boat that recruits Link in his plan to defeat Ganonforf in exchange for helping the boy rescue his sister. In reality, the boat itself isn't sentient so much as it's being possessed - by the king of the long-lost nation of Hyrule, no less
  • The Hag from Thief: Deadly Shadows animates statues with her magic.
  • In Top Shop, one of the playable characters is a cactus named Dona. She rides around in a wheeled pot.
  • The Japanese legend that objects can become animate (see "Myth and Legend" above) is used in Touhou Project with Medicine Melancholy (a doll), Kogasa Tatara (an umbrella), Hata no Kokoro (a collection of masks), the Tsukumo sisters (a biwa and a koto) and Raiko Horikawa (a taiko drum). Kogasa has the classic tsukumogami origin (hence the name of her theme song, "Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever"), while Raiko and the Tsukumo sisters were animated during the Gensokyo's societal upheaval incident in Double Dealing Character, and Medicine's and Kokoro's exact origins are unknown. They manifest human bodies which are separate from the items they originally were.
  • Very common in Ufouria. Platforms and even projectiles have eyes.
  • There are quite a few of these in Undertale, from monsters you can fight like Tsunderplane (an airplane), Vulkin (a volcano), and Woshua (a washtub); to a variety of NPCs. The Mad Dummy is explicitly possessed by a ghost, but no such explanation exists for the rest. One early scene has you pushing rocks onto buttons; one of the rocks protests being pushed, and must be convinced to move itself to the button.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening:
    • Point and Clicks (Animate computer mice)
    • Mobile books
  • The majority of enemies in zOMG are this. In fact, they're even called the Animated.
  • Forgotton Anne involves the Forgotten Lands, a world where lost and forgotten objects go and come to life. The main character, Anne, is an enforcer that keeps the peace in this world.
  • Minty Fresh Adventure!: Poison Joke plants Forced Transformations Colgate into a giant tube of toothpaste that can shuffle around, until the transformation wears off.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): The Storey Doors are a group of living doors that talk to Akemi when she opens them.
  • Rad Rodgers: Dusty, Rad's favourite video game console, inexplicably comes to life and gains a face and arms when he and Rad get sucked into the game world.
  • Visage: Some kitchen appliances are inexplicably animate and can be seen having a conversation at one point.
  • Wick (2020): Jean Wick, the player character, is a living candle with little limbs who can magically light other candles. It's not entirely clear how and why he's alive and sapient, though it's possible he was brought to life to fulfil the dying priest's mission to bring the light back (the other candles in the cathedral don't appear to be animate).

    Web Animation 
  • There's no doubt that every single animated show, webcomic or fanart produced in the Object Show Community would be about anthropomorphic objects. Why else would it be collectively called "Object Shows"? This whole trend started when Battle for Dream Island and Inanimate Insanity popularized the concept of a Reality Show featuring living objects as the cast then many, many others follow suit.
  • Banana-nana-Ninja!: "In a world where a banana can be a ninja, one extraordinary little banana... is a ninja!"
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab has Corporal Cup, a mixing cup who acts like a millitary officer.
  • Chocolate Man and Chocolate Lady from Web Animation/{Nameless 2005. There's really no explanation for it—it's that kind of a series.
  • The Clock Crew use clock faces as their actual faces.
  • A few of the CRiTORA, most notably the major characters Coneboy Golliday and Eggy.
  • DSBT InsaniT: There are several living objects, most of which are minor characters. For example, there are Balloon and Evil Balloon, who are sentient balloons, and Soda Register, who is, despite his name, a sentient toy jukebox.
  • Stupid Kids: In Furcsa játék hülyegyerekeknek (Weird toy for stupid kids), Bazsi gets a talking balloon with a face from Dani for Christmas. Its name is Steven and Dani tells them it is a Christmas balloon. Steven says it is just an ordinary balloon, Bazsi points out it can talk but Steven keeps telling them that is just misleading.
  • The cast of TP includes living rolls of toilet paper, a living toilet, and a living toilet plunger.
  • Some of the characters from Weebl & Bob.
  • In Kevin Temmer's "What's the Matter, Martha?", a depressed woman is hounded by talking inanimate objects, from her morning breakfast to a piece of bird poop on her car window-shield to her work computer, trying to cheer her up.
  • Illogica Safe from Zany To The Max.

  • Circuit very much Humanizes internal computer parts.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Kevin is a sapient magic wand who can fly and talk but can't manipulate anything unless it's an effect of one of the spells stored in him and he is used to cast it.
  • The Fourth has ghosts possessing swords and plant pots.
  • The first generation of the robots in Gunnerkrigg Court seem to be this; Kat's analysis of them has difficulty determining what their power source is, or even how their moving parts (of which they seem to have comparatively few) connect. Later generations of them work on more conventional robotics principles.
  • My Milk Toof is about two walking, talking milk teeth.
  • The Order of the Stick, while not featuring them as major characters, did bring us a brief intermission starring anthropomorphic movie snacks.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship loves this trope, often taking it to dark and scary places.
  • The Instrumen from The Sanity Circus were originally musical instruments who were brought to life and given alternate human forms by their creator. They can still turn back to their instrument forms if wished, and can still move and speak as normal. Steven the flute even emotes to an impressive extent without any real facial features.
  • Sexy Losers takes this in a disturbing direction. Blowup dolls have minds and can remember everything that's been done to them. A fairy occasionally shows up to animate them as full humans, whereupon they usually a): kill themselves, b): kill their former owners and / or or c): become prostitutes and remain as objectified as before, since they lack the education and skills to make decent lives for themselves. This being Sexy Losers, all three of those fates are Played for Laughs.
  • In The Strongest Suit, the Playing Cards themselves, who are human-sized and anthropomorphic. This is not truly the case in-universe however, as they are a legitimate sapient species rather than normal cards brought to life.
  • Many of the habitants of the forest in Twistwood Tales are this, varying from having human-like bodies with object heads (Loghead, Bucket Boy, Elunar) to having their entire bodies be objects with human extremities (Steven the Stoven, Elpi, Tater Sam).

    Web Original 
  • The Annoying Orange not only has talking produce, but tons of talking inanimate objects as well.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared features several villains who are inanimate objects. Sketchpad, Colin (a computer), and Tony (a clock) thus far. The Healthy Band consists of Anthropomorphic Food.
  • Famicom Dojo has a talking NES named NESter, his son: a NES 2 nicknamed Junior, and his brother: a Famicom that speaks Japanese.
  • The Gamer's Alliance: The Soap. The people of the world need it for the sake of clean, happy mouths everywhere!
  • Pumpkinweenie from Halloweenie is a talking pumpkin with sunglasses.
  • Hanazuki: Full of Treasures:
    • The Hemkas' ability to merge and mold themselves into the shape of pretty much anything they want gives the appearance of this.
    • Dazzlessence Jones is an animate inanimate Diamond.
  • The Insane Cafe Series features living vehicles that help fight against Chong.
  • A great deal of the guest singers on Puppet History are these- specifically, we've seen a pile of diamonds, a propeller from the HMS Britannic, an old-fashioned steam train, Mt. Vesuvius, the Olympic Torch, a Randy Newman-esque coin, a boat oar and a sword that used to be a boat oar, a spool of thread, a snowman, the sacred Golden Stool, Ziryab's Oud (an oud is a type of string instrument similar to a ukulele), a pair of poison bottles, a flower-bearing boat, a cute little piece of wheat, a chest of gold coins, a book, a freaky stained-glass window, a cloud that knows Who Shot JFK?, and the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs.
  • TheStrawhatNO!: A cupcake in Pikmin 2 Day 10 seems to move on its own; there is no Dweevil underneath it, and the nearby Blowhog is too far way to be pushing it. Yoshi suggests that it's being possessed by the almond on top of it.
  • Winsler of Trials & Trebuchets is quite fond of magically creating these using the spells Tiny Servant and Animate Objects.
  • Sentient objects on The Weather include a water-bottle, a pair of miniature statues, and a piano. All of which can talk English and interact with others.
  • Whateley Universe: This is Generator's power, the ability to generate spirits to possess and animate anything she can touch.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time has BMO (pronounced Beemo), Finn and Jake's sentient video game console.
  • In Ana and Bruno, one of the many psych patients' hallucinations is a sentient toilet.
  • In a Darkwing Duck episode ("A Revolution In Household Appliances"), Megavolt gained the ability to turn machines into sentient beings.
  • Dragon Tales episode "Rope Trick" involved a sentient jump rope.
  • Ernest Le Vampire: The succinctly-titled "Ernest And The Sewing Machine" involves Ernest's sewing machine coming to life after he hit it in frustration- it wasn't pleased.
  • I Cartoni dello Zecchino d'Oro has a few examples:
    • In "Il Caffè della Peppina", the ingredients Peppina uses which are not from animals are not only sentient, but even similar to animals (e.g. the chocolate jar is a dog, the jelly jar is a bear, the onions are gorillas etc.).
    • The bass drum in "La Batterista" is shown to be sentient and even holds the other drums. A sentient piano also appears later in the song.
    • The alarm clock from "La Sveglia Birichina" is sentient enough to help the boy get ready for school.
    • Some sentient matryoshkas appear in certain scenes of "Balalaika Magica".
  • Jorel's Brother: In the episode "Revolução das Coisas", every electric appliance in the house gains a life to seek revenge against the family and begin their revolution, lead by the old television (which had been replaced earlier in the season).
  • The Animated Adaptation of Little Lulu has an episode ("Musica-Lulu") where Lulu gets put on trial by sentient musical instruments. They turn out to be All Just a Dream, however.
  • The "Thanksgiving Dream" segment of Nicks Thanksgiving Fest is full of these. More specifically, there's Anthropomorphic Food and dancing kitchen appliances and utensils.
  • Puppetoons: Living radio tubes (also called "radio valves") appear in "Radio Valve Revolution" and then appear again in "Ballet Of The Red Radio Tubes". The Jasper 'toons have a fair few as well- "Jasper In The Haunted House" sees random objects from around the house come alive to dance along to the ghost's piano playing (with the possibility that the piano could actually be playing itself as well), while "Jasper And The Beanstalk" has a talking harp that begs him to rescue her from the giant. The harp's model is later reused in "Jasper In A Jam", where she is joined by a whole host of other living instruments who inhabit an old pawn shop.
    • The "Tool Box" segment animated for Curiosity Shop features tools in a toolbox coming alive.
  • In Purno de Purno's second series' 4th episode, Purno finds himself in a laundry world populated by sentient clothes.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the Rat Talisman is treated as a useless power because it can't be used to fly or shoot fire. Its applications have ranged from Living Toys by animating Jade's Gnomekop and Supermoose, both of them proving quite useful in battle. When Jackie is cursed to become a wooden puppet, the Rat saves the day by allowing puppet Jackie animation so he can still fight back and reverse the curse. It even one-ups the Living Statue: it doesn't make the statues of the Chinese war hero Lo Pei and a Mesoamerican deity come to life, it actually transforms the statues into living copy-versions of Lo Pei and said deity, complete with all the deity's powers intact.
  • Jammers (a Baby TV cartoon): The vast majority of the characters are living musical instruments, with the main cast being composed of an upright piano, a snare drum, a double bass, and a saxophone.
  • Frosty the Snowman! The magic hat gives him the ability to animate (although it's partly also the Power of Love).
  • South Park: Towlie and Mr. Hanky.
  • The living clocks in the Rainbow Parade cartoon "Grandfather's Clock", and the living kitchen appliances in "Picnic Panic".
  • On Rolie Polie Olie, all of the family's household appliances and furniture are alive, with faces, personalities, and even the ability to move on their own. Many episodes involve such hijinks as the fridge getting sick or Mrs. Polie having to play "matador" with the vacuum cleaner.
  • Numerous objects in The Ren & Stimpy Show, including nipples.
  • Played for Laughs in many Flip the Frog cartoons where inanimate characters frequently come alive to be involved in various gags.
  • The Sushi Pack, along with The Legion of Low Tide and The Fried Food Fighting Force are all humanized versions of various food stuffs (sushi for the Pack and Legion, fried foods for guess who.
  • Blue's Clues! Sentient salt and pepper shakers, shovel and pail, side table drawer...
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has the titular crew, Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad. Exactly what they sound like.
  • AP from Atomic Puppet is an animate Hand Puppet who was once a superhero named Captain Atomic.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: B.R.I.E.F.S., there was Mr. White, a living pair of underwear (with a bad attitude and a Brooklyn accent) hired by the Delightful Children as a hit man to go after Numbuh One. But he had a Heel–Face Turn at the end.
  • VeggieTales is about the adventures of animate produce. The show also features a living computer as a series regular and there's been at least two Living Toys and a living music box.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has this as part of its Bait-and-Switch Credits in season 2. The series proper has some examples, including Bill the Ball and an unnamed sock.
  • Regular Show has Benson, a walking, talking, short-tempered gumball machine.
    • In the episode of "Prankless", Gene, the manager of East Pines park, is a walking, talking snack vending machine.
  • Speaking of gumballs, The Amazing World of Gumball has sentient cacti, balloons, clouds, potatoes, bananas, toast and so on. And that's just among the main characters; everything in Elmore is alive and anything can also become anthropomorphic.
  • The main cast of Oscar's Orchestra is composed of sentient musical instruments, with the exception of Rebecca.
  • The Heart of Jong from Xiaolin Showdown, which can bring otherwise inanimate objects to life.
  • An episode of Kim Possible (which dealt with Kim having to deal with learning how to drive), many of the appliances and a car in the episode possessed the ability to talk and move on their own. Justified in this case, as it is heavily implied that they possessed advanced AI created by the scientist that Dr. Drakken kidnapped.
  • The tools in Handy Manny.
  • In Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, Kate Corrigan and another BPRD agent encounter tsukumogami, including an umbrella, a teapot, and a sandal. Amusingly, Kate doesn't even bat an eye at them, until they start attacking.
  • An early Looney Tunes short, Naughty But Mice, had an electric shaver.
  • Dora the Explorer loves this trope so much. Sentient backpacks, maps, rollercoasters, cars, trees, leaves, suns, clouds, stars, trains...the list goes on and on and on.
  • Goof Troop sporadically contains examples. Some, like the evil magic hat that is capable of hexing people in "Talent to the Max" and the self-playing instruments in "Dr. Horatio's Magic Orchestra", are important to the plot. Others, like the truck with a face in "Where There's Smoke, There's Goof" and the bullets with faces in "Gunfight at the Okie-Doke Corral" are only there for joke purposes. And none of it is ever explained despite being notably uncommon.
  • Middlemost Post: : Needless to say, real-life clouds are nowhere near as peppy as Parker J. Cloud.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Revolt of Paradise Estate", a wizard sells the ponies magic paint brings anything it's used on to live, including assorted furniture, household implements, a baby buggy, floorboards, fence posts, the house gate and the like, all of which gain faces, personalities, speech and motion. They cooperate with the ponies at first, but eventually get fed up with them and decide that they can run the household just fine on their own.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • Discord often uses his magic to animate regular objects. In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", he makes the candles dance and has various bits of tableware wreak havoc on the ponies. In "Discordant Harmony", he animates a teapot (which also gains wings), some napkin origamis, a chaise lounge (which becomes a "chase lounge" that acts like a dog) and some ginseng tea bags (which start singing).
      • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?": The Tantabus mainly creates its monsters by animating random objects in people's dreams, such as dresses, books, cakes, houses and the like, giving them fangs, eyes, and other body parts and setting them against their dreamers.
  • Family Guy sometimes features cutaway gags with animate inanimate objects. One example has a bullet talking to someone on a smartphone while being shot up in the sky.
  • The New Spirit: Donald Duck's pen, ink and blotter are alive. Even the radio seems alive, because it is shaped like a face and reacts to the things Donald says. The mailbox also reacts with surprise when Donald zooms past it.
  • The Disney short Tick Tock Tale is about living clocks. They can't talk but they move when humans aren't around.
  • Not immediately clear in Crac, but it eventually becomes obvious that the smiley face on the rocking chair changes expressions with the rocking chair's mood. And the ending reveals that the rocking chair can rock itself.
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: Morris is transported to a magical library where the books are sentient and can fly. A children's book about Humpty Dumpty can even communicate with Morris by flipping its pages so that its illustrations become animated.
  • Some episodes of the fantasy-oriented 2000s reboot of Babar has countries or "lands" of animated inanimated objects like the Land of Toys, the Land of Games and the Land of Ice.
  • In The Jungle Show, during Elvis Elephant's episode, four glasses can be seen with faces on them. They clean themselves up and line up on the counter behind the counter. They even tear up during the part of the song about hunters killing elephants for their ivory tusks.
  • Fluffy Gardens: Green Ball, as its name suggests, is a living tiny green rubber ball with eyes and a mouth. It can't talk, but it can communicate through squeaky sounds and he's shown to be empathic.
  • The Smurfs (1981): There is an episode called "All Work and No Smurf" in which several Smurfs transform into living versions of the tools they use in their work. They retain their limbs and their ability to speak.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "All That Glitters", Spat, SpongeBob's old spatula, becomes this in the next hospital scene.
  • The Sock Roaches of The Beeps are living socks who communicate solely through singing.
  • This is common in Tuca & Bertie. Bertie's phone has its own personality and feelings, and in one episode, she deals with a sentient filing cabinet that begs her to feed it files.
  • Lolita Lolita: Lolita has been known to get reactions out of objects. In one episode, it happened with her exercise bike after she took her shirt off.
  • The Strange Chores: Charlie and Pierce briefly become a sentient teapot and mobile phone respectively courtesy of a body swap machine in "Swap Back The Body Swap".
    • Before that, in "Finish The Mops Bucket List", the trio have to help complete the bucket list of a mop that they bought to life.
  • Let's Go Luna!:
    • The circus act that appears at the beginning of the episode "Lullaby for Baby Vlad" involves several anthropomorphic bowling pins.
    • Much to the surprise of the main characters, Senor Fabuloso's wall is sentient as shown in "What's the Big Idea?".
    • In "Hoopin' Hopper", Luna tries to fix a ruined basketball hoop by using magic. She brings it to life by accident, and it becomes a recurring character for the rest of the episode.
  • Many Wayne Phenomena in Welcome to the Wayne are living objects, some are implied to always have been alive like a secret tribe of pipes and their washing machine pharaoh, a trio consisting of a walking nose, glasses and a moustache, and a group of living mannequins. Others have obtained life by other means like Gleecoman through "Rainbow Gas" and a society of bowling pins that gained life by making a deal with the aforementioned mannequins.
  • The Wild Grinders episode "Board Story" involves skateboards (as well as other wheeled vehicles) secretly being alive a la Toy Story.
  • City Island (2022): All of the characters are talking objects. For example, Watt is a talking lightbulb.
  • Super Wish: Many of the inhabitants of the Happy Land of Birthdays are party objects with arms and legs. Among the cast there's Ronny-Bobby Candle 4 (a candle), Bon Bon the pinata, and Balloonicus.

Alternative Title(s): Anthropomorphic Objects


Nice Try

King barely avoids a trap in Eda's room.

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4 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / BearTrap

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