This is probably the darkest installment in a franchise primarily known for its many laughs.
- Rumpelstiltskin is probably the most psychopathic villain of the Shrek franchise yet. A conniving and manipulative fiend who specializes in using Exact Words for all of his victims signing his cursed contract.
Rumpelstiltskin: So, tell me, how are you enjoying your day?
- In the opening, he tells King Harold and Queen Lillian he'll make their problems disappear with their signature. Harold and Lillian (especially Harold) are hesitant about signing the contract, being extremely suspicious of Rumpel's motives, but they agree to sign for the sake of their daughter. Just as Harold is about to sign the contract, however, a messenger arrives at the last second and reports that Fiona had been saved by Shrek.
- When Rumpel reveals the true purpose of the "Ogre for A Day" contract to Shrek, the fiend's gone completely mad with power already and expresses sadistic glee for every minute Shrek uses for the day till the ogre's time will be up.
Shrek: Alright, Rumpel, what's going on? What have you done?!
Rumpelstiltskin: No, Shrek, it's not what I've done. It's what you've done. Thanks to you, the King and Queen signed their kingdom over to me.
Shrek: They woud never do that!
Rumpelstiltskin: They would if I promised them all their problems would disappear. (Flashback to King Harold signing Rumpel's contract) And then they disappeared! (Harold and Lillian gasp in horror as they dissolve away into nonexistence; their crowns drop on Rumpel's table. Now Rumpel twirls the King's crown on his finger) Ah. They would've done anything if they thought it would end their daughter's curse.
Shrek: I ended Fiona's curse!
Rumpelstiltskin: How could you when you never existed?
Shrek: You better start making sense, you dirty little man!
Rumpelstiltskin: Here, let me spell it out for ya! (pulls out the contract from Shrek's vest) You gave me a day from your past. A day you couldnt even remember. A day when you were an innocent, mindless little baby. (hands the contract back to Shrek and strolls off humming "Happy Birthday To You". Shrek stares shocked as the pieces fall into place.)
Shrek: You took the day I was born.
Rumpelstiltskin: No, Shrek. You gave it to me.
Shrek: Enjoy this while you can, Stiltskin, because when this day is up—
Rumpelstiltskin: Bub-bub-bub-bub...! But, you haven't heard the best part! Since you were never born...(a witch places a huge hourglass on the table)...once this day comes to an end, so... will... you!
Shrek: Where's Fiona? WHERE'S MY FAMILY?!
Rumpelstiltskin: Ha! Silly little ogre. You don't get it, do you? See, you were never born! You never met Fiona. Your kids don't exist! (Shrek glares as Rumpel and the witches begin to laugh) How's that for a metaphysical paradox?! (Shrek grits his teeth. Rumpel and the witches laugh even harder) LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED! (Shrek snarls with intense fury as Rumpel and the witches continue to laugh and mock him) HAPPY OGRE DAY!
Shrek: RUMPEL! (He lunges at Rumpel, who quickly hides behind the hourglass)
Rumpelstiltskin: GET HIM, WITCHES!
- Shrek's fun of being "ogre for a day" quickly takes a turn for the absolute worst when he discovers his swamp home to be completely barren and dry and his house containing nothing but a few scurrying rats. Just horrifying.
- The Pied Piper:
- When he arrives at Rumpelstiltskin's castle, the witches laugh at the idea he could be a fearsome bounty hunter. Then he starts playing the pipe, and the witches lose control of their bodies and start dancing...
- Rumpelstiltskin is scared by the Piper, and pays him in advance so he won't think he's trying to stifle him.
- For who knows how long, the Ogres led a successful resistance against Rumpelstiltskin... And then the Piper captures all of them in a single confrontation by forcing them to dance into exhaustion.
- Fiona was terrified when she saw it was him. Fiona.
- Shrek slowly starting to fade into nothingness just as it seems his day has run out. Fiona manages to kiss him and break Rumpel's contract at the last possible instant.
- The whole alternate reality being shattered with everybody disappearing into a cloud of dust while Rumpel desperately begs for more time like a hysterical baby as his whole alternate universe disappears before his very eyes is rather disturbing as well.
- It is very unsettling to see how the world has been if Shrek had not existed. Shrek's impact is truly seen in this movie. He was extremely crucial in the lives of not just his friends and family, but Far Far Away in general, saving the kingdom from a tyrannical dictatorship.