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The Brave Little Toaster

The cars in the "Worthless" song, are going through different stages of dealing with their own death.
In order of apearence, Denial (the blue car), Fear (the pink car), Bargaining (the red muscle car), Anger (the Indie 500 car), Depression, (the Texas wedding car, the hearse, and the surfer's car) and finally, Acceptance (the old truck, who to preserve his dignity drives himself to the crusher rather then be dragged there by the magnet). Now with that in mind, watch it again. Tell me I'm wrong.
  • OK. You're wrong. None of that makes sense. The blue car very clearly wasn't in denial and accepted his fate "one more dusty road would be a road too long." the red car never bargained, the Indie 500 car never expressed anger. Depression and acceptance are the only ones that make sense.
  • As someone put it in a YouTube comment, it makes a lot more sense if you see them as people with various issues in life. To quote them
    • First Car: The Work-Exhausted. Those who can't handle the pressures of work and life
    • Second Car: The Depressed. Those who can't get started, and therefore life speeds past them
    • Third Car: The Drifters. Those who drift along without any point, never rooting down
    • Fourth Car: The Has-Beens. Those who were once famous or important, but have been tossed aside
    • Fifth Car: The Unmarried. Those who are unable to find love or are too scared to commit to a relationship
    • Sixth Car: The Traumatized. Those who suffer from mental illness or trauma and are unable to cope
    • Seventh Car: The Youths. Those who waste their lives away partying and having good times but never contribute to society
    • Eighth Car: The Elderly. Those who were loved by their families, but age has made them worthless´╗┐

Rob secretly knows that the appliances are alive.
Ever wondered why he's such a pack rat? Not because he's very frugal, but because he knows of their sentience. The appliances, however, do not know that he does; Rob knows because he accidentally saw them moving, unknowingly to them. When he came back to his house, found the group missing, and acted puzzled, he was playing stupid. Finally, the reason Rob is laughing his head off at the end? To cover up the laughing of his "friends" in the trunk!

This, Toy Story, and Gnomeo & Juliet take place in the same universe.
I'm surprised nobody brought this up before. In the Toy Story series, toys can become alive when their owners aren't looking. Same here. Maybe the appliances became alive because they were basically toys to Rob when he was a child, and the "magic" spread to other appliances? Also, in Toy Story 2, Hamm mentions a garden gnome next door. This implies that in the Toy Story universe, lawn ornaments are also alive, as in Gnomeo and Juliet. If The Brave Little Toaster and Toy Story are in the same universe, and Toy Story and Gnomeo and Juliet are in the same universe, than The Brave Little Toaster and Gnomeo and Juliet are in the same universe!

Syndrome from The Incredibles survived and grew up to be Elmo St. Peters.
The hair... the gadgets... the cruelty...
  • Or maybe it was Dexter, who shed his accent to fit in, and is trying to rebuild his life after an experiment destroyed all of that ground-breaking technology in his basement.

The movie is a Christian allegory dealing with Christ's second coming.
Just think about it: five appliances wait patiently for their Master to return (God/Jesus is sometimes called our Master). They are almost tricked into thinking that he has abandoned them, but they overcome this and set off to find him and the City of Light (Heaven). Their many adventures are metaphorical for the trials and tribulations of life. No matter how many dangers they face, they never lose hope that they will find him. However, in the end, they don't find him. He finds them!
  • What about fixing up the air conditioner? Does that mean He forgives and heals even those who lose faith? ...excuse me, I'm gonna go visit church.
    • Air Conditioner = Lazarus. Master's ability to fix the appliances is another sign he is Jesus.
    • Salvation through grace, those that truly suffered beyond their capacity to cope are believed to be granted salvation in several sub-sects of Christianity.
  • Elmo St. Peters is Satan, his dog Quadruped standing for Cerberus, the guard dog of Hell. All of the appliances trapped in his shop are former believers who've lost their faith. That is, until Toaster and friends *save* them.

Alternatively, or in addition, it is partially a Holocaust allegory.
The appliances are forced to leave their home and go on a dangerous journey to find the Master, without being seen by any other humans—similar to Jews/Gypsies/etc having to flee their home countries and escape to America. Radio talks like a 1940s broadcaster, and makes constant references to WWII. Then there's Lampy's exclamation of "to the showers!" when he thinks he is about to be thrown away (seriously, he says that). Elmo St. Peters is essentially a Dr. Mengele to the appliances. If the appliances are caught by humans, there's the fear that they must remain useful, or be destroyed. And we probably shouldn't even get into the junkyard scene...
  • For context, "to the showers" is a sports metaphor; it refers to the athletes heading off to the locker room for a shower when the game is done. The expression means pretty much the same thing as "game over".

Lampy is the Pixar lamp, dyed orange.
Go on, tell me he ain't.

Alternately, Lampy was the inspiration for the Pixar lamp.
Given that many of the people who worked on this film went on to work with Pixar, this is very probable. Also, they are both living objects, though Lampy actually has a face and can speak.

When Master read books under Lampy, he was educating the lamp without realizing it.
Though slow on the uptake and not very street-smart, Lampy is still oddly smart in other ways compared to the other appliances. He knows how to read a phone book, and while the other appliances call the sun "The really big lamp in the sky", he understands meteorology well enough to know that he can make himself into a lighning rod to recharge their battery. That's because while other kids would be reading comic books or dirty magazines under their lamps, Master is exactly the type of nerd who would be eagerly reading his science textbooks.
  • This is somewhat implied by the following line near the end:
    Lampy: You know, I've been thinking, and this college business seems like a good idea. I can absorb a lot of interesting facts.

Radio actually belonged to Master's parents or grandparents.
Hence why he sounds like he's from the 1940s, and his obsession with World War II. Master probably got the radio as a family gift, considering it a cool antique.

Appliances and electrical objects actually are alive!
I just had to say it. But it kind of explains exactly how they do their jobs. Please don't take this WMG too seriously.

This film, Cars, and 9 are all alternate branches off the same timeline.
As in 9, the Industrial Revolution never ended. But in this timeline, the manufacturing companies held a secret skill: They were able to make living beings disguised as household appliances. Only the manufacturers know this; everyone else does not.

Alternately, this movie is the prequel to 9.
This would explain the reason the appliances come to life. The producers of said appliances used the same technology the scientist of 9 used to bring the stitchpunks to life. Thus, Toaster, Lampy, Kirby, and all the rest are not only sentient, but have souls.

The sequels are not canon.
There's proof here: If Rob was such a good mechanic, why the crap did he decide to become a veterinarian instead? Talk about wasted talent... Also, I realized that in the sequels, things that shouldn't be alive are, such as a faucet (not electrical or mechanical) and a computer mouse (the mouse should simply be an appendage). My conclusion? The sequels are just figments of Blanky's imagination. Either that or they are being told by an Unreliable Narrator (possibly Lampy).
  • He was good at fixing appliances, so he decided to try fixing living things.
  • And Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars is canon, it's in the book.
  • Considering that the first movie was about a talking toaster and every other scene was like a bad acid trip, is a sequel where they go to Mars that far-fetched? All the sequel meant to this Troper was that the writers did just a tad bit more LSD after making the first movie, and decided to make another.
    • As stated above, the first movie and Mars are both based on books written by sci-fi author Thomas M. Disch. The only movie that was completely original from them was To The Rescue.
  • The director was not involved with the sequels and says he never even watched them. Interpret that as you will.

The whole movie is a huge dream sequence by Rob.
Either the adult or child Rob is having this dream. That part where they all wake up at the start of the movie? That's the beginning of the dream. If it's the adult, he's dreaming he's Toaster, and if it's the child, he's Blanky. This means that the appliances were never actually alive, as the movie didn't happen in real life.

The television set in St. Peters broke himself.
Before all of the B-movie appliances went insane, they were all deperate to not meet the fate of their friends, so the television got one of the others to run into him, so although he looked broken and useless, he was still alive and less likely to be killed.

The Mish-Mash appliance was the result of surgery gone wrong.
Similar to the above WMG, Mish-Mash was one of the first to be a victim of St. Peters, but they didn't want her to die so they tried to fix her by using the spare parts of other dead appliances. The results were disastrous.

The Hanging Lamp in the junk shop is...
  • An altered/broken appliance, just like all the others. He was once a nice desk lamp, or tall living room lamp, and St. Peters' took his stand away and made him into a ceiling lamp. Anything creepy he tells the newcommers is either a warning to help their chances against Peters, or an attempt to cheer them up with black comedy humor. He gives Lampy his bulb as a genuine act of pity.
  • An unwilling observer. He was always a ceiling lamp and won't be harmed, because Peters just uses him to light his workplace. But he's still a good guy, and was just driven a bit mad from having to watch what was done to his inmates.
  • A sadistic observer. He enjoys watching other appliances get taken apart, and acts as a guard for St. Peters. When he laughs, "Do you hear that boys? They want to know how to escape!" its evidence that he's manipulated the others into thinking there is no escape. He gives Lampy his bulb because he has a soft spot for fellow lamps.
  • Same as above, only creepier. He gave Lampy the bulb just so he could watch him lose it again when Peters needs lamp parts. Any words of concern he voices for Lampy or the others is meant in a mocking way.

Radio is a Time Lord.
His TARDIS is his own casing.
  • How, exactly? Unless you're talking about the sequels.

The masters name is...
The Master.

The power that Elmo St. Peters had over his prisoners was psychological.
The creepy Peter Lorre lamp laughs when Lampy asks how they can escape the shop. The appliances seem to think escape is impossible. And yet, once Mr. St. Peters falls unconsious, they instantly yell "Jail break!" and the fridge crashes through the door with no trouble. Why couldn't they just have done that when Peters was off running errands, or something? There is only one explination; they were too scared to try. Seeing their friends get mutilated by Peters made them believe his power was invincible. Once seeing him defeated by the Toaster's group, they realized that Peters was not invincible—which inspired Mr. Fridge to think that perhaps the walls weren't either.

Toaster died at the end of the first movie, and the sequels are a Dying Dream.
Really, Toaster was clearly crushed beyond repair, and this explains the sudden change to a Lighter and Softer tone of the sequels. They are an attempt by Toaster to preserve his own sanity.

Toaster can Toast Toast.
You know what they say...

The appliances are prototypes for the ones used on Red Dwarf.
OK, only the toaster is shown as being able to talk, but I'm sure there are others not shown...

This movie is responsible for creating hoarders.
You can never throw anything out after watching it.

All the nuclear weapons are alive as well.
And since all electronics in this world want to be loved and used by their master, and nuclear weapons have been doing nothing but sitting in a dark silo and not exploding for decades, with no one to talk to, they have gone insane. The world of The Brave Little Toaster is getting closer and closer to nuclear Armageddon, in which the nuclear weapons will finally be happy that they can be used.

Tinselina can warp reality.
She was originally a fairy, but her apprentice got annoyed by her Christmas spirit, turned her into a Christmas angel tree topper, and sent her to Mars. She went to the future to see if she would ever get back to earth and found out the Wonderlux appliances plans to blow up earth. They succeed. So Tinselina somehow finds out that Toaster and her friends can save earth but they died in the first two movies from... well... Logic. So Tinselina uses her reality warping powers to help our heroes survive long enough to save the world. Why doesn't logic work in this movie? Blame Tinselina.

Most of the appliances will eventually turn against the humans.

The whole Mars movie is a bad trip.

The hippie balloon is not full of helium, he is full of marijuana gas. That's why the nonsense happens: they were dreaming after the balloon song and now, they are lying somewhere in Germany.

Toaster's heroic sacrifice did not stop the crusher.
Around the same time Toaster jumped into the crusher's gears, a worker at the scrap yard heard Rob's screams and saw him on the conveyor belt. He hit the crusher's Emergency Stop switch just in time to save Rob.

Guess who is Maisie's kittens' father? Ratso.

You know it to be true.

The Texas Wedding Limo from "Worthless" was not driving a groom.
One might argue that he was a Runaway Groom, but she goes out of her way to mention that he was "lonely" (a strange feeling for a groom-to-be, even if he wasn't happy with his decision) and never said he was the groom (one would assume that was the important detail). Instead, he was guest at the wedding but was of the "always a groomsman, never a groom" mindset. He changed his mind and decided to return home...which ended badly.

The scrapyard magnet wasn't originally evil, his traumatizing work resulted in him going violently insane.
Throughout the movie, there's a theme where most of the living machines love their human masters, want to work well for them, and have them be used. The electromagnet was the same way, when he was built he thought he would work in construction or in a steel mill but he ended up being made for a scrapyard. There he learned about all the scrapped cars and appliances that were thrown away, forgotten, and left to rust away or be destroyed and recycled. He wanted to do his job and make his masters happy, but he couldn't stand to see the old cars and junk crying, singing and panicking while he carries them to their imminent demise. He tried to revolt against his barbaric job, intentionally breaking down or failing which resulted in the scrapyard owner contemplating scrapping him, considering him a defective machine. So the magnet reluctantly continues to do his job while in fear that he himself may someday end up in one of the scrap piles. He lost faith in humans, realizing they don't care for them like they thought. The trauma gradually gets to him; he's scared but he's also angry, angry at his masters hence the evil-looking death-glare he gives throughout the climactic scene of the film. He finally snaps trying to get the five main appliances into the compactor. When he sees Rob running off with them, he takes it as an opportunity to pay back at the humans. He hides his face and grabs the appliances once more; he knew Rob latched on as well as legitimately tried killing him.

Radio was scared of the stereo in Cutting Edge due to nearly being dismantled.
In the Cutting Edge sequence, there is a blue stereo that antagonizes Radio, showing off his detachable speakers as Radio appears to be screaming in horror. Prior to this scene, the main characters were in a parts shot, and Radio was almost dismantled to have his radio tubes removed. This could mean that Radio was afraid of the stereo because it looked like he was dismantling himself.

The nightmare sequence is actually Toaster's Dark and Troubled Past.
Either the Master or someone else had caused a smoke/fire that caused a firefighter to come in and tell the Master to run, either via overcooking the toast, stabbing Toaster with a fork, or dropping her in a tub.

Plugsy does have high-tech features that Lampy does not.
He sees himself as just as high-tech as the other apartment appliances. He may not look high-tech, but it's possible. In the late 20th century, even domestic lamps sometimes had features that older models didn't. For example, domestic dimmers didn't exist until 1959 and didn't become widespread until several years later.

The boombox is Japanese.
The boombox's facial features make it look like a caricature of East Asians. It's an electronic device from The '80s. And what country dominated technology in that decade?

The two-headed vacuum has an owner/animal companion type of relationship.
At first, they look like a standard Multiple Head Case, but the two might not be permanently joined like the Sewing Machine (if the hose is detachable). And the canister looks a bit like an animal on a leash and may not even be able to speak (the head sings with the chorus, but the canister doesn't have a mouth). So the head is anthropomorphized, but the canister is zoomorphized and acts like a Team Pet (think of the footstool from Beauty and the Beast).

Lampy is neurodiverse.
In some ways, he's slow on the uptake and not very practical, and he's Sarcasm-Blind, but he's the most literate of the group and shows occasional moments of brilliance and deep thinking. This could be explained by him having some kind of neurological disorder: his mind just doesn't work on the same level as his friends.

Rob knew the Cutting-Edge Appliances would be obsolete soon.
Rob's a smart nerd who seems to know a thing or two about machines. He specifically went for older appliances for a good reason. He knew that what's cutting-edge now won't be cutting-edge forever, so he wanted stuff that he knew would be timeless.

Not all appliances are alive.
Remember when they try to use the refrigerator as transportation? It doesn't seem to be alive like them, even though the shot of the freezer reveals that it still works. But later, a living fridge appears in the movie. It's possible that some appliances are alive and some aren't. The sequels support this theory when we see that other kinds of inanimate objects can be alive, but not everything is.

The crusher's work sucked the life out of it.
The crusher looks like it has a face, but it doesn't act alive. That's because even it's got such a soul-sucking job. It knows it's been crushing living machines to death all its life, and that's got to take a toll on the crusher. Now it doesn't move beyond what it was made to do because it's literally a shell of its former self.

The characters all have some kind of disorder and the story is about how society sees the mentally ill as worthless.
A very common theory given the circumstances, it may be as simple as them all having abandonment PTSD or simply being neurodivergent as suggested by one WMG above, but with the Air Cons mental breakdown, Kirby's panic attack at the waterfall (and the Toaster 'taking him for a walk' to get him 'untangled') frequent themes of isolation (Air Con, the flower) and suicide (again the flower, the lyrics "You might as well just hang around," and the whole of Worthless) and the cutting edge appliances considering them out of date, all make sense strung together in a film otherwise devoid of a more complex theme. It thus makes sense why Ron would care for his appliances - they, like all people regardless of mental function, possess inherent value not related to their usefulness. Along with that there's the fear of being left behind made very evident at the start, taken advantage of by predatory figures such as St. Peters and the latter running what to appliances seems to be an obvious pastiche of a historically accurate psychiatric ward where they cannot leave since they're ''out of their minds', and the frank disdain that the up-to-date appliances have for them (shared by the Magnet given it's expression as it puts junk cars out of their misery) congruent with a depressingly common view on the mentally ill as being a burden at best.