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Recap / Miraculous Ladybug S01 E16 "Animan"

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I think I'm at the top of the food chain.
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Nino has suddenly developed a crush on Marinette, but he's too shy to ask her out. Adrien helps, leading Marinette to think that Adrien has asked her on a date to the zoo. Things get even more complicated when zookeeper Otis is transformed into feral Animan and targets Kim as his prey.


Tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: A minor example, the real life jardin des plantes menagerie no longer has any mega-fauna in its collection due to its small size and lack of cages with enough space. However in the episode Lion's, Elephants and Bears are seen among the escaped animals presumably due to Rule of Cool. The real Zoo also doesn't have a Panther in its collection, although this is stated to be a new exhibit.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: This is the second time a classmate has developed a crush on Marinette, this time Nino.
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  • Animorphism: The akuma "Animan" changes into a panther. He later reveals himself to be a Shapeshifter that can change into different animals.
  • Art Shift: Alya and Adrien appear via Animesque thought bubbles when talking to Marinette and Nino.
  • The Bard on Board: The romantic mix-ups that ensue are worthy of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Kim gets his race with a panther that he wanted to badly, when he's being hunted by Animan.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: When Nino volunteers to talk to whoever Marinette has a crush on, Alya steps on his foot to make him shut up.
  • Be Yourself: Alya and Adrien tell Marinette and Nino respectively to be this.
  • The Beastmaster: In addition to turning into them, Animan can also bend animals to his will.
  • Big "NO!": Cat Noir releases one when he thinks Animan has eaten Ladybug.
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  • Big "WHAT?!": Adrien, Marinette and Alya when Nino says that he likes Alya.
  • Blatant Lies: Alya claims that she didn't tell Nino who it is that Marinette has a crush on, but then he lets slip a hint that he actually does know.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Nino can't admit his crush on Marinette.
  • Continuity Nod: Once again, a bus with the poster of Mirelle and Aurore.
  • Composite Character: Well composite location, the Zoo in the episode appears to be based on the jardin des plantes menagerie (and this is credited in the episode), however a few shots have the Iconic artificial mountain of the Paris Zoological park (Paris's other zoo) in the background.
  • Distressed Dude: Kim takes the role for this episode, as Ladybug and Cat Noir have to rescue him from the angry zookeeper-turned-akuma villain.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Nino says it's easy for Adrien to Be Yourself, not knowing that Adrien is Cat Noir and a Stepford Smiler.
    • Nino tries to ask Marinette out, not knowing that Marinette likes Adrien (and that Adrien technically loves her back). Alya and Adrien both monitor the ensuing "date" through headpieces without knowing the other one is doing so.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: Animan lets a bunch of animals out of their cages, resulting in this.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The panther's caretaker becomes an akuma because a kid was heckling the panther.
  • Flashback: Marinette remembers when Alya told her to be herself around Adrien, resulting in her accidentally walking into the boys' locker room and being chased out. Marinette is not impressed with the advice.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After Ladybug locks Nino and Alya in an animal enclosure for their safety, they start talking off-screen, and by the end of it became a couple. Alya cuts off Nino before he can go into details.
    Alya: We don't have to give her all the dets, do we?
  • The Glomp: Cat Noir gives one to Ladybug instead of their usual fist bump.
  • Gonna Need More X: Cat Noir considers trapping Animan in box, but Ladybug points out that will only work until he changes into a bigger animal. Which leads to...
  • Improvised Weapon: Ladybug and Cat Noir use a large Paris bus as a cage for Animan.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The panther's caretaker is this, and fiercely protective of his charge.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Nino himself makes a remark about how sudden his crush on Marinette is.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • Nino ends up telling Marinette that he has crush on her friend Alya, rather then on her.
    • Marinette has a few of these herself, when she's talking to her parents as Ladybug.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Alya says this about Nino, though she changes her mind later on.
  • Locked in a Room: Ladybug locks Alya and Nino in a zoo cage to keep them safe from the rampaging animals. This trope plays out offscreen, as they undergo a Relationship Upgrade by the episode's end.
  • Loophole Abuse: Just as Ladybug and Cat Noir have Animan trapped in a bus, unable to escape, Animan breaks out by turning into a T. rex. Cat Noir protests the unfairness, but Ladybug points out that a dinosaur is technically an animal even if extinct.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ladybug and Cat Noir when Animan turns into a T. rex and breaks out of his "cage".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Animan is never referred by his real name during the episode. According to the episode synopsis, it's Otis.
  • Palate Propping: After entangling its legs with her yo-yo, Ladybug uses the car jack provided by her Lucky Charm to pry open the T. rex's jaws and keep its huge maw locked open, making it harmless (as they have little to fear of its small arms).
  • Pass the Popcorn: Plagg goes into hysterics while watching the Playing Cyrano antics.
  • Playing Cyrano: A double-Cyrano in this situation: Adrien feeds Nino lines for courting Marinette via a headpiece, not knowing that Alya is doing the same for Marinette. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Poke the Poodle: Kim mocks the panther's speed while she's eating lunch. The caretaker sees it as a Felony Misdemeanor when he becomes an akuma.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Alya and Nino become a couple.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Animan tracks Kim through the whole city, following his scent even when in an eagle's form.
  • Shout-Out: A caption on the news report reads "Gare au gorille" ("Beware the gorilla"), which is the chorus of a song by Georges Brassens (also counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar, given what the song is about).
  • Something We Forgot: After defeating Animan, Marinette completely forgets about Nino and Alya. Uncharacteristically to this trope, not only are they let out off screen, but they actually also benefit from the experience.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: When Nino blurts out that the girl he's fallen in love with is Alya (because he can't spit out it's Marinette), we get a screen split in three for the reactions of Adrien, Alya and Marinette.
  • Squee!:
    • Marinette's parents when Ladybug and Cat Noir visit their bakery and ask for their help.
    • Marinette has this reaction when Nino lies about him loving Alya.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Alya and Adrien both think to coach Nino and Marinette through their date via bluetooth headsets.
  • Tempting Fate: Kim claiming that he could outrun the zoo's new panther. Animan then turns into one and manages to wear out Kim by chasing him.
  • Tracking Device: Cat Noir plants one on Kim.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Animan turns into one to break out of the bus he gets trapped in.
  • Wham Episode: Alya and Nino have become a couple, and Nino knows that Marinette has a crush on somebody and will help her.
  • Wrong Guy First: A gender inversion: Nino thinks Marinette is who he loves, but he ends up falling for Alya by the end of the episode.

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