Follow TV Tropes


Web Animation / Animator vs. Animation

Go To
The main characters of the series.note 

"I make stick figure animations that take place on a computer desktop screen. There is no dialogue, but a lot of humor and emotion. Hope you enjoy!"
Alan Becker from his about page

An animator is pitted against his creation, the animation.

That's this work in a nutshell. But the fun part? The craziness that ensues goes on a higher level each new installment!

Created on Adobe Animate and posted on YouTube, Newgrounds, and DeviantArt by Alan Becker, aka noogai (who, by now, is not at all a new guy), it stars himself as the animator who'd draw a stick figure for...well, animating. It's just that they go sentient and use various methods to attack him, prompting him to fight back. They can also exit his animation program! Ever since the fourth installment, the two sides are now friends and the stick figures are now fighting many new things. The full series can be watched on Alan's YouTube channel.

Throughout its timeline:

  • After a three-year hiatus, a successful Kickstarter campaign caused the fourth installment to be released on October 2nd, 2014.
  • In 2015, a spinoff episode called "Animation vs. Minecraft" was announced, along with a Patreon page to fund the animations.
  • In December 2016, it was announced that a second spinoff episode, "Animation vs. YouTube", is in production, and a three-minute preview was updated, followed by the full episode in early August 2017.
  • In November 18th 2017, a short called "The Rediscovery - AVM Shorts Episode 1" was released, along with the announcement that new episodes of this series are to be expected monthly.
  • In November 21st 2017, It was announced that Insanity Games collaborated with Alan to make a card game of Animator vs. Animation and made a Kickstarter campaign within a timeframe of 23 days. Weeks later, Alan made a video on how to play the card game which features the main characters and many of the weapons featured before on the series.
  • In July 2018, another spinoff was announced called AvA Shorts, with "AvA" standing for Animator vs. Animation. These shorts would follow the life of the Second Coming along with the animator after Animator vs Animation IV. The AvM Shorts series will not be cancelled, but they will air concurrently. These shorts were later compiled into a longer video titled Animator vs. Animation V.
  • In December 2018, Alan started a new gaming channel with his friend DJ Welch, who had previously done work for Lucasfilm and Cartoon Network. In addition to gaming, they also reacted to Alan's videos from as early in the series as Animator vs. Animation IV. In these reaction videos, Alan occasionally provides commentary detailing the creation process and how things work in-universe.


    open/close all folders 

    Main Series 

    Animation vs. Minecraft 

    Other Spin-offs 

    An Actual Short 


(For tropes regarding each individual episode, check the "Recap" page)

Tropers vs. Tropes

  • Abuse Mistake: In the short "My Ghast Friend", Blue mistakes the titular ghast that it was hurting Yellow when the latter started to tickle his ghast friend which lead to ghast tickling Yellow back. This causes Blue to shoot it leading to Yellow to mournfully stare at the ghast tear drop.
  • Adaptational Badass: When a video game character isn't being controlled by a player, most of the time they have more unique skills than what's seen in gameplay. This applies to some mooks as well, a few Minecraft mobs being nearly as skilled as the average player.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The stick figures in-universe are capable of understanding English despite the fact they don't seem to communicate verbally when talking to each other and some of them are made into existence. A very notable case of this is The Second Coming who is the only stick figure so far to actually speak with words popping out when communicating with Alan Becker.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • In Blue's New Superpower, Blue has the ability to turn banknotes into trees by planting them when he sells chocolate bars & hotdogs. This gives Blue's friends the idea to plant every banknote throughout the cities and the environment. It turns out, it was all just a dream from TSC giving him the idea to donate to Team Trees.
    • In Animation vs. Trash, the same thing happens again but only this time, Blue can make trash disappear using banknotes when selling popsicles & snow cones. Like before, this gives Blue's friends the idea to remove every trash polluting the oceans and beaches. Similarly, this prompts TSC and his friends to donate to Team Seas.
    • In An Actual Short "Basketball", Both Green & Blue are playing a game of basketball but their ball gets stuck in a "basketball net" (which is actually just a cobweb) so they find a way to find another hoop. Their friend, TSC, has a ring-shaped head giving them the idea to use him and stuff him in a dispenser atop the tower allowing Green to slam dunk the ball through his head. TSC wakes up realizing it was all just a nightmare.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Stick figures don't have any defining features which indicate their gender, though most of them, such as the main cast, Purple, Purple's father, and King are referred to as males. The only confirmed female stick figure is Purple's mother, who has been long deceased before Purple's debut.
  • Annoying Pop-Up Ad:
    • In "Animator vs Animation II", the animator is so fed up by pop-up ads, that once he defeats the Chosen One, he turns him into a glorified pop-up blocker.
    • In "Animation vs. YouTube", the stick figures have to deal with a few ads that pop up while they are watching YouTube. Later when they are fighting the website itself, ads interrupt the fight, and both sides express their disdain before skipping the ad and resuming their fight.
    • The Actual Short "Pop Ups" shows the Second Coming getting increasingly frustrated with pop-ups appearing on the animator's computer. When one appears that steals clips from the animations to promote a mobile game, the Second Coming gets so infuriated that he starts smashing them all with a giant hammer.
  • Arc Villain:
    • The animator himself was the first to serve as this as nothing but a heartless man looking to fight and torture his creations leading to them rebelling against the animator. After a Heel–Face Turn in IV, however, he became the Big Good instead.
    • The Chosen One, technically, served as one in II and III because while the animator did create The Chosen One to simply fight him and later enslaved him, The Chosen One was the one who striked first the moment he came to life destroying everything and killing everyone for no apparent reason.
    • The Dark Lord is this, as proven in the AvA Shorts, where he and the Chosen One wreck havoc across the entire Internet, not to mention that he created ViraBot and was one of the two people that caused the Blue Screen of Death in III.
    • King Orange serves as this for Season 3 of the AvM Shorts. His goal is to capture the main stick figures and steal the Minecraft icon from Alan's computer to create the most dangerous weapon and destroy the world of Mnecraft. His backstory reveals that his son died in a tragic accident by a Minecraft simulator Gone Horribly Wrong which lead to him studying the intricacies of the game. He soon redeems himself when he saved Purple who reminded him of his child and soon finds peace when he accepts Purple as his surrogate son.
    • A stick figure having a similar appearance to Alan's stick figures seems to be this in Season 2 of the AvA Shorts, having placed a bounty on the Chosen One to get him captured as well as running a mysterious organization.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the animation styles of the first three installments to "Animator vs. Animation IV." Also, some later installments feature detailed custom backgrounds rather than just an empty white expanse or Windows desktops.
  • Artifact Title:
    • The animator and his animations haven't been hostile to each other since Animator vs. Animation IV, so most entries taking place after it are titled "Animation vs. [media name]" instead. This is played straight with the Animator vs Animation Shorts series; the animator is still allied with his creations, but fighting a virus that has infected his computer. It's a subversion; it turns out The Dark Lord, created by the Animator in AvA III, is the one who created the virus.
    • The AVM Shorts eventually became this since some episodes are actually longer than the original Animation vs Minecraft video. The AVM "short" The King clocks in at over 30 minutes, becoming the longest single-episode animation on Alan's channel as of December 2022, beating out even the climactic mainline episode The Showdown by barely twice its runtime. Additionally, The AVA Shorts also count as well since they aren't even any shorter than I-III and the runtime on episodes like "The Showdown" and "Wanted" are on par with IV, being approximately 15 minutes long.
      • This is lampshaded with the real short videos being named An Actual Short to prevent confusion with the longer artifact title AVM or AVA shorts.
  • Artificial Human: Stick figures are sentient humanoid creatures who can be created in an animation program like Flash. However, AVM short episode 29 reveals that some stick figures grow up, have kids, and die of old age like normal humans as shown by Purple's backstory, revealing that he was the son of blue and pink stick figures, the former which abandoned the family and the latter who died of natural causes. Episode 30 reveals this to be the same case for King, who lost his son to a glitched Minecraft emulator.
  • Author Avatar: The animator is, both literally and in-universe, noogai, or more famously known as Alan Becker.
  • Breather Episode: The entire Season 2 of the AvM Shorts could be considered one for the spin-off, given that the second half of Season 1 involved a story arc and Season 3 had a story arc since the beginning.
  • Central Theme: The latter half of Season 3 of the AvM Shorts has one in the form of whether anyone could be truly beyond redemption; nearly every member of the stick gang makes an ally out of a mob that's normally Always Chaotic Evil in Minecraft— The Second Coming befriends a warden; Red befriends a skeleton, a spider, and an enderman; and Blue and Yellow befriend a titan ravager. This culminates with Green forgiving Purple for his actions and Purple repaying this by joining Green in fighting King. Later on, even King himself is redeemed when he realized that he had strayed too far from his original goal.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Animator vs. Animation originally started off as a rather somewhat comedic and episodic series with not much of a concrete storyline with the first three installments mainly a stick figure fighting its creator. That all changed with the fourth installment which saw the introduction of mainstay characters becoming the central protagonists of the series, as well as the introduction of the AVM and AVA Shorts where it created many new story arcs, saw the return of older characters, expanded the worldbuilding, and brought major conflicts caused by villains old and new.
  • Cheer Up Episode: In "Feel Better", Alan was feeling upset for some reason and is unengaged with his computer. The Second Coming notices and tries to get his attention but gets ignored. TSC's friends also notices and see he's in distress, so they all have an idea to go to Adobe Photoshop to draw up a picture of him to make him feel better.
  • Cherry Blossoms: In the short "Cherry Blossoms". Purple is in the Minecraft world where he is picking up a branch from a cherry blossom tree who then leaves Minecraft to his homeworld, the outernet. It's later revealed those cherry blossom branches are for his late mother, Pink, to whom Purple mourns. Cherry blossoms symbolize love, death, and spring (the season the short was published).
  • The Chosen One:
    • One of the main stick figures in the series is actually named "The Chosen One". He wasn't chosen by gods nor does he have any quests, however. His name seems to simply indicate his power level and the animator intentionally created an over-powered stick figure to fight for fun. It took years of real time to see him do something heroic, which was stopping a virus from infecting every computer in the world, starting with the animator's computer despite the animosity toward each other they used to have.
    • Alan's orange stick figure is named "The Second Coming", but unlike The Chosen One, we don’t know where the name came from - Alan never even turned him into a named symbol. He also fits the role of hero much more cleanly than The Chosen One, being a Friend to All Living Things with a Superpowered Good Side, an ally to Alan, and The Leader of his group of friends; and he’s been on multiple adventures to save his friends and the internet, even singlehandedly defeating The Dark Lord.
  • City with No Name: As of the episode "Wanted", the city located within the "outernet" appears to be unnamed and it doesn't help with the lack of dialogue in this franchise. It also extends to the world the city is located beyond the boundaries of the internet as the term "outernet" is a placeholder name and Alan (who likes the term "outernet") has an official name that is kept secret.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In several episodes outside of the AVM Shorts series, the empty spot in the taskbar where the Minecraft icon originally sat is missing. It's back as of The King, where it's finally returned to the spot it was originally removed from in Animation vs Minecraft.
    • Several Actual Shorts take place within the world of Minecraft itself rather than within the desktop, a nod to the AVM Shorts Parkour and Lush Caves where the fighting stick figures in the former and The Second Coming in the latter agree that staying exclusively at home in the desktop for the sake of safety would be too boring.
  • The Couch: A recurring beige furniture that appears inside Alan's computer where the main cast sit. It's typically used for watching someone play a video game, watching a movie, or whenever they're on their electronics. It first debuted in Animation vs. YouTube.
  • Cowboy Episode: In the short "Gunslinger", Blue's testing his crossbow accuracy skills with Yellow's assistance until Green challenges Blue to a duel; complete with a western soundtrack, cowboy boots, a hat, how Green positions his crossbows as if they were revolvers, and even a rolling tumbleweed in a computer setting. Blue accepts his challenge and the two stay in a standstill until they draw. Blue ends up hit and he dramatically "dies" so Yellow steps in to challenge Green. What does Yellow do? He shoots a crossbow that shoots Green.
  • Crossover: An inevitable one with the Animator vs. Animation series and various popular media given that the stick figures live in a Windows desktop, allowing them to directly interact with several forms of media. Minecraft is the most common example, items from that game sometimes being featured in a few "Actual Shorts" which are otherwise unrelated to Minecraft.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: In the short "Cup Song", Green has this expression when he accidentally get his hands stuck on a cobweb due to Blue tricking Green into playing with it thinking that it was regular instrument of his "Cup Song".
  • Cyberspace:
    • Pretty much where the series takes place. First, the animation and the animator duke it out on the Flash program, causing a lot of damage to the interface. Then, in the latter two installments, the animation hops out of Flash and wreaks havoc on the animator's desktop. In IV and the spin-offs, it's shown that stick figures can travel through other devices from the computer such as Alan's cellphone or his gaming consoles.
    • Outside of the desktops, video games, and websites, there is a world where stick figures which are shaped like the fighting stick figures live normal lives similar to people in real life Earth. It first appeared in a flashback from the third part of Animator vs Animation V before properly appearing in the final part, then appears again in "The King", revealing King's old life with his son before his son's death triggered his Start of Darkness. As the world is part of the internet, anything that is connected to the internet creates a gateway between the world and the desktop/website/game, allowing anything to come to and from the world.
  • Death Is Cheap: Or at least, it is when the stick figures are operating on Minecraft logic, as "PVP" demonstrates. Additionally, anything from a web page that is damaged or destroyed can be restored by refreshing the page, including deleted individuals. Subverted with The Chosen One, who escaped (off-screen) to the internet before Alan's first computer crashed.
  • Dropped After the Pilot: victim was the first ever character, aside from the animator, to appear in the series' first ever installment Animator vs. Animation [I]. His presence would set the precedent of a stick figure rebelling against their creator. He sadly gets deleted after a brief fight with the animator.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Considering the airdates of the older videos, they pretty much show how dated they are; one example being low SFX quality.
    • The stick figures were a lot taller in Minecraft in the earlier AvM shorts and Animation vs Minecraft; since then they've shrunk from being four blocks tall to three blocks in "Rollercoaster" until "Build Battle" where they're two-and-a-half blocks tall.
    • The Pokemon characters in Animation vs. Pokemon had an animation style that's closer to classic sprite animations you'd regularly see on Newgrounds, involving more squash and stretch and rotating limbs. Later video game entries gave the pixelated characters better animation more akin to what you'd see in indie games.
    • In a preview of Animation vs. Minecraft, the blades on the windmill were spinning naturally whereas in the finished project, they were rotating in a more blocky pattern.
  • Easily Forgiven: In the main "Animation vs. (Video Game)" videos (not counting the AVM Shorts), the antagonist is always forgiven by the end of the video (except for Herobrine who they barely noticed the existence).
  • The End: A typical occurence in a lot of these videos usually with an intertitle card of a blank screen and the words "THE END" at a video's conclusion.
  • Everyone Lives: Downplayed in Season 3 of AVM Shorts. Save for the zombified piglins, several hostile mobs in the desert, and a handful of piglin brutes who worked for King, nobody who played at least one major role in the arc doesn't get to survive in the end, as anyone who got sucked into the Minecraft game icon or the void that King created were spat right out once the void was destroyed, and the titan ravagers who King actually killed were revived by King himself at the end.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Downplayed, depending on how you interpret the conflict between the animator and his creations. One would interpret that both the animator and the stick figures were completely flawed in their moral qualities. The animator was at fault due to his Lack of Empathy to his stick figures confining them and only created the stick figures just to fight them. He was, however, right to contain them as his creations had gone out of control with their destructive powers, annihilating everything and everyone even to the point of destroying Alan's computer.
    • Herobrine, the Big Bad of the original Minecraft video, Animation vs. Minecraft, fights off against King, the Big Bad of the AVM Shorts Season 3, for a good while during the episode "The King".
    • Invoked in An Actual Short "King Orange vs. The Dark Lord" with two of the most strongest stick figure villains pitted against each other in the nether. The fight ends with a biblically-accurate angelic version of a pig interrupting the fight where it turns out that both Green and Yellow were imagining the fight with toy versions of TDL and King respectively with Red interrupting the "fight" with his pet pig.
  • Exploiting the Fourth Wall: These videos are based on this trope. The stick figures interacts with everything from various applications' interfaces to icons on the desktop to system menus, trying to destroy the animator.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: Animation vs. Minecraft Season 3 - In Real Time shows that the entirety of the adventure took place over an hour and 20 minutes.
  • For Want of a Nail: The entire plot of "The Piglin War", and by extension practically all of Season 3 would not have happened if Blue just used the Master Block or Creative Mode to get more nether wart. Alan himself was aware of it.
  • Fishing Episode: The short "Fishing Trouble" serves as one where the fighting stick figures are fishing; Red & Yellow barely have a couple fish while Blue & Green have reeled in plenty. Yellow suddenly catches a big one later revealed to be an elder guardian. Unfortunately for them, it charges a laser that blows up all four of the stick figures.
  • Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras: A lot of the majors characters either have brighter colors or have unique designs that help them stand out, whereas all of the extras, namely the stick figure citizens, have more neutral or obscure colors.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Almost constantly, from the second installment onward. Throughout all the intense action, there are often Easter eggs to be found in the background.
  • Gelatinous Encasement: All three of the stick figures Yellow, Blue, and TSC get trapped in the huge slime block trampoline they built, much to the disappointment of Green and Red.
  • Gelatinous Trampoline: The entire premise of "Slime Trampoline" which revolves around Yellow, Blue, & TSC all bouncing on a huge block of slime blocks from Minecraft and accelerate the higher they jump. Unfortunately, things don't end well for them.
  • Grammar Nazi: In "Autocorrect", all of the main stick figures serve as this correcting Alan's letter to DJ; fixing the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. However, this leads to a point where they start to rewrite Alan's letter turning it into a formal letter leading Alan in all-caps telling them to stop and just let him type, prompting Yellow to add a period at the end of Alan's sentence.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Purple visits the cemetery of his late mother, Pink, where he places a cherry blossom branch atop of her grave.
  • Green Aesop: Blue's New Superpower and Animation vs. Trash has Blue use his money-powered abilities to grow trees & clean up garbage respectively as a metaphor for donating to their respective brands, #TeamTrees & #TeamSeas.
  • The Ground Is Lava: The short "The Floor is Lava" has the entire bottom of Alan's desktop flooded with... well, lava, allowing Red and Green to have their own lava parkour course, something Alan seems to be okay with. What Alan is not okay with, however, is having his important documents and family photos burned to a crisp, something both Red & Green learn the hard way.
  • Half-Arc Season: The entirety of the AVM Shorts Season 1 is this as the first few episodes were centered around the main cast learning many different aspects of Minecraft until episode 8 "The Nether" where it kickstarted the first story arc. The second half of Season 1 revolved around our heroes exploring the many new worlds, fighting off many new enemies, and returning back home.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: All five of the main cast, TSC, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red use swords as their primary weapons besides their fists. Justified, given that swords for a player are one of the most common weapons in Minecraft where they visit and it is where most of their adventures take place.
  • Improvised Weapon: All of Alan's creations use whatever they can use on the desktop as weapons.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Nearly anything that gets drawn in Adobe Flash/Animate comes to life, especially the stick figures. This is also true for the video game characters, who start breaking their rules due to either an outside interference from a foreigner or having developed their own desires on their own.
  • Interface Screw: Everything the animations ever do when fighting the animator causes damage to his computer's GUI, to the point where both sides end up weaponizing it to some extent.
  • Invisible Anatomy:
    • The stick figures have faces, but they're never visible. The sole exception is The Chosen One, but only when opening his mouth to eat text and breathe fire.
      • "An Actual Short: Faces" averts this when Alan draws The Second Coming a face, which prompts the excited stick figure to draw different faces for his friends.
    • The gray stick figures are very notable case of this as they're the first ever and only stick figures to ever show having fingers when they are buying snow cones. Both Alan and DJ joke about this saying that gray people with fingers is lore now.
  • Jealous Pet: In the short "Fox", Red is playing with his pet Minecraft fox which has the Firefox yearning for attention as well and Red decides to include the digital fox in. This, however, causes the Minecraft fox to be jealous that the other fox is stealing the attention away from its owner which causes conflict between them while Red tries to defuse the situation.
  • Living Drawing: The series is about animated stick figures coming to life and rebelling against their creator. It also extends to drawings created by other drawings such as The Second Coming (a stick figure) drawing a wide range of animals and humanoids.
  • Living Program: This animation series is about stick figures drawn in Adobe Flash becoming sentient as they are created. They live inside a computer and interact with their animator. Desktop icons and anti-viruses can also spontaneously become sentient. The same can be said for the video game characters, who begin displaying their true personalities the moment they're disrupted by a foreigner (or in rare instances like Q*bert's, acting up on their own).
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The short "Corn Dog Guy" follows the story of a random citizen of the stick figure city, the corn dog vendor. It revolves around from his perspective during the events of "Wanted" where his food cart is pixilated, caused by the mercenaries trying to shoot The Chosen One throughout the city.
  • MacGuffin: The Minecraft Game Icon also known as the Master Block is said to be the most powerful item in all of Minecraft only located within every desktop that's downloaded the game. Originally pursued by Herobrine, the big bad of Animation vs. Minecraft, it has also been pursued by King Orange which is what leads to the main cast in stopping him.
  • Medium Awareness: The stick figures being antagonized in each video are aware that they're inside a computer. Their attempts at foiling the animator involve doing things such as messing with the interface, disrupting the animator's activities, and even destroying the computer. This also applies to video games characters since they are aware of what's beyond the boundaries of their game.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: In "Planteinstein", Blue finds TSC drawing an apple tree in Adobe Flash which gives him the idea of planting a drawn apple seed on his Minecraft garden after eating an apple from that tree. Upon applying Minecraft bone meal on it, it grows into a botanical hybrid of a Minecraft tree and a drawing tree.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: In "Spawn Eggs", Red experiments with a mob spawner with the various spawn eggs leading the spawner to create multiple hybrids of animals and monsters. Unfortunately for the main stick figures, it causes the spawner to go out of control and multiplies hundreds of critters flooding the entire desktop.
  • New Year Has Come: On Dec 31st 2022, Alan published "Fireworks - An Actual Short" where the main characters are watching a fireworks scene with a Note Block instrumental version of Auld Lang Syne celebrating the end of the year 2022 and the start of 2023.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • The plot of Animation vs. Super Mario Bros. is a lot simpler with regards to conflict: Stick figure angers video game character on accident, leading to a brawl until everyone decides to be friends; whereas the other "Animation vs. [media name]" videos in the series tend to have higher stakes. The video is also a lot shorter with its runtime being ~5 minutes long, while other standalone adventures had a runtime of over 10 minutes.
    • The entire premise of Animation vs. Math completely deviates from the entire franchise with The Second Coming waking up in an unknown dimension with his friends absent unlike other episodes where it always takes place in Alan's computer and TSC's friends would fight alongside him. It's also the first standalone adventure where the opponent is not from pop-culture. The ending is left ambiguous only showing The Second Coming leaving through a mysterious portal presumably returning back home.
  • One-Word Title: A lot of the episodes from the An Actual Short series have a one word title.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Simply put, Both Sides Have a Point. While the animator (order) was explicitly villainous in the first episode, The Chosen One (chaos) is pretty destructive even towards bystanders, and the animator lets the violent little stick figure live (your mileage may vary whether this was a Fate Worse than Death). In episode two, The Chosen One throws the first punch, and the animator is simply trying to survive.
  • Party Scattering: All five of the main cast The Second Coming, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red are always together with one of the members being absent from time to time. But some adventures have all of them being separated from each other.
    • In "The Witch", all of them end up separated thanks to the titular witch; Blue gets tricked by the witch impersonating as TSC while Red, Yellow, and Green are subtly taken away by the witch impersonating as Blue leaving all of them with their bodies changed into various mobs and blocks. This leaves TSC alone to find his friends with the help of Red's pig in order to reunite together and fight the witch.
    • In "Parkour", the main cast gets unwittingly separated when they participate in Purple’s parkour course never realizing they would end up trapped. It’s later revealed that Purple is working for King Orange who plans to capture the main cast in order to steal the Minecraft game icon from Alan’s computer. When the main characters realize they cannot leave, they do everything they can to try to escape, leading to a chain of events where the stick figures end up in different worlds; Green and Red’s pig end up in a Nether bastion, TSC and Red end up in a desert, and Yellow and Blue end up in a village. This takes a couple of episodes for them to reunite together.
    • In “The Ultimate Weapon” where they get reunited, they get separated again and just like last time, they end up in the many different worlds through the Nether portals in the Nether thanks to King gaining the Minecraft icon. The Second Coming ends up in the deep dark caves, Red ends up in a school of monsters, Yellow and Blue end up in the same village, and Green ends up in the Note Block Universe. This takes a couple of episodes for them to reunite together like before, now with the help of the various allies they recruit from their adventures.
  • Physical God:
  • Pinball Projectile: In the short "Ricochet", both TSC and Red are using their shields to block the arrow of a skeleton archer until they find that the arrow can bounce from both of their shields hitting each other multiple times until it hits the skeleton. This excites both TSC and Red so they decide to play around with the arrow using their shields and shoot the skeleton causing it to blast off faraway passing multiple biomes.
  • Plot Hole: Animator Vs Animation V contradicts some plot points from the third and fourth episode.
    • The Virus and The Flashback reveal that The Chosen One never died, which contradicts both the file description in Animator Vs Animation IV, which says that The Second Coming is a resurrection of The Chosen One and The Second Coming's name.
    • The Flashback shows that after The Chosen One and The Dark Lord escaped Alan's computer at the end of Animator vs. Animation III, they started to wreak havoc on the internet. Despite this, Alan thought they were dead until The Virus, which canonically happens about seven years after they escaped. Realistically, Alan should have learned that the two stick figures he created were causing chaos on the internet shortly after they escaped his computer.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass:
    • The main characters— The Second Coming, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red are simple stick figures but awesome badasses as most of their adventures and skills stem from the many video games they play, such as Super Mario Bros., League of Legends, Pokemon, and particularly Minecraft. They also enjoy watching other people play video games and YouTube action videos of other stick figures fighting each other.
    • Purple is very knowledgeable and skilled in Minecraft as well as King Orange who dedicated his life to learn everything about the game and the mysteries behind it in order to gain the most powerful item and destroy Minecraft.
  • Power Outage Plot: The entirety of the short "Power Outage" where Blue, Yellow, & Red have to deal with a power outage in their desktop home. They later find that Green has been tampering with the "System" settings in order to create flashing disco lights as part of Green's dance party he has been setting up.
  • Previously on…: Surprisingly very rare in Alan's channel given the timeframe for a new episode to be released and the only episode that has this trope is the episode "Villagers".
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad:
    • Many of the desktop icons qualify as this when they all work together and ally with The Dark Lord to fight The Chosen One. They all have unique designs and some have a wide range of abilities such as flight, laser beams, or extendable arms.
    • The four mercenaries, like the desktop icons, are a group of stick figures each of them having their own style of animation and abilities who oppose The Chosen One. All of them are under the leadership of a mysterious stick figure (who resembles one of Alan's stick figures) that runs an organization in a world beyond the boundaries of the internet.
  • Rage Against the Author: The entire premise is built on this. As of ''Animator vs. Animation IV', this theme was dropped in favor of the now permanent main cast's shenanigans.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Very much justified given how it takes place in a computer where the main cast lives in. A lot of things change when computers and programs are updating rapidly. For instance, some of the earlier videos used to take place in different operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows 7 as well as how Minecraft have added recent updates with recent AVM videos being centered around on those updates.
  • Recursive Canon: Alan Becker's YouTube channel evidently exists in-universe as shown in a few videos.
    • In Animation vs. YouTube, both TSC and Green get distracted by a video where the animator draws up victim instead of grabbing the full-screen button from YouTube.
    • In an AVA Short, "The Showdown", Both TCO and TDL are battling each other throughout the internet and TCO uses a video as a weapon against TDL. That video is the same one that they're in and it features both of them fighting each other.
    • In an AVM Short, "The King", King Orange finds a television streaming the events of Animation vs. Minecraft which is what leads King to discover that the main cast is in possession of the Master Block that he was looking for.
  • Reused Character Design: Almost all of the stick figures introduced after IV are based on the fighting stick figures' designs, having small, filled in heads.
  • Rocket Jump: In "TNT Jump", TSC is teaching his friends how to jump over a huge wall using both TNT and a shield to pass through, with TNT used to propel them into the air and the shield used to protect them from death. If they die from falling or slamming into a wall, they respawn to a nearby bed to try again.
  • Running Gag: The animator's required essay isn't safe from his stick figures' presence, being shoryuken'd in II, destroyed by TSC's battle with Clippy in III, and exploded by TNT in vs. Minecraft.
    • Of note: In vs. Minecraft, he wises up and has a backup copy of the essay saved, but it gets blown up too. He also has a copy in the "STORAGE" folder that remains untouched.
      • Although since the first zombie crawls out of that one to fight the stick figures, it's too safe to assume that the words and letters inside the file would be in one piece...
      • However, the damage done by the game was reversed at the end of the video, so we can assume that the Required Essay is back to normal.
  • Screens Are Cameras: From Animator vs. Animation IV onwards, it's shown that anyone inside of the computer can see the real world through the monitor like a window. This has allowed the stick figures to see things such as what the animator is doing and if there are other devices nearby.
  • Serial Escalation: An occurring trope throughout the series.
    • When the animator goes over what to name his new stick figure in II, he goes through "victim", "killer", "BEAST", and then finally stops on "The Chosen One".
      • Fittingly, in the flash game for Animator vs. Animation that was made after the sequel was released, these names served as Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels for playing as the animator.
    • A common theme in the building competitions where TSC would judge each building starting from Red who would have the simplest building to Green who would have a complex building (being the architect expert) while Yellow and Blue would be in-between resulting in Green being the winner.
    • In "Redstone Academy", The Second Coming and Green are making redstone contraptions in the redstone competition. The Second Coming makes Whack-a-Mole, then sees that Green made DanceDanceRevolution, so he tears his down and makes Pong, Green sees this and tears down his game to make Tetris. When it comes time for Yellow to judge everyone, we see that the Second Coming made Terraria while Green actually made Minecraft.
    • The note block episodes cements the trend of ever-larger scenarios regarding them. "Note Blocks" is merely Green and co. experimenting with note block combinations and keeping the absurdities to a relative mum. "Note Block Battle", while still a friendly affair, kicks it up a notch by having it be a rock duo between himself and the other FSF. Above and beyond is where "Note Block Universe" reaches in terms of scale: a high-stakes chase scene set in a dimension where everyone has an innate capacity for music and whose day-to-day culture centers around melodies.
    • In "Carrot on a Stick", Red rides a pig chasing a carrot, Green rides a cow chasing wheat, and TSC rides a wolf chasing a bone. What does Yellow ride? He rides Blue chasing nether wart, and it's faster than all the other animals.
    • In "Bottle Flip", All four of the stick figures flip an object; Red flips a glass bottle and it lands, Green comes in flipping a water bucket and it lands, followed by Yellow with a brewing stand and Blue with a cauldron although the cauldron slams Green instead.
    • In "Ultimate Minecart Race", the race, which was supposed to be one that involves minecarts, gradually shifts from trying to get the lead by going faster, to a free-for-all brawl while racing, to an actual race using everything they have in their inventories.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Dialogue in any form is very rare, with the characters doing the vast majority of their communication in purely visual manners. The exceptions are mostly in text:
    • The animator sends AIM messages to a programmer friend in II.
    • The animator's Facebook page is open in IV, and he communicates with someone off-screen out loud. At the end, the Second Coming starts speaking in text, whereupon the Animator creates a text box to reciprocate; this carries over to the first AvA Short.
    • In vs. YouTube, YouTube speaks (briefly) with annotation boxes, as well as by playing isolated words from different videos.
    • In vs. Pokémon, the Pokémon NPCs speak in HeartGold text boxes both in and out of the DS.
    • In the AvM Shorts as of Note Block Universe, the stick figures sometimes communicate with animated drawings above their heads. As shown in "Lush Caves," they can be physically interacted with.
  • Smashing Watermelons: In "Fruit Ninja", Green, Yellow, and TSC are recreating the titular mobile game using batches of fruit (including melons), a Google image of a wooden background, and an Adobe drawn sword. They make a new challenge of having TSC blindfolded while trying to slice each watermelon on a pike.
  • Snowball Fight: In the short "Snowball War", the main characters are divided between TSC & Green vs Red, Blue, & Yellow in a snowball fight. Red has the idea to get close to his opponents and throw his snowballs at them but gets pelted by their snowballs. Blue jumps in to save Red only to get caught in the crossfire leaving Yellow as the only opponent left on his side. When it seemed TSC and Green have the advantage, they are immediately bombarded by a giant snowball. It turns out Yellow had built a catapult to launch that snowball leaving him as the winner.
  • Soft Reboot: Animator vs. Animation IV effectively serves as this, taking place several years after Alan's original PC was destroyed by The Chosen One and The Dark Lord in III. What sets this apart from the previous entries in the series is that the characters introduced here make peace with the animator and become series mainstays, setting up the series to showcase the stick figures' adventures without having to deal with an antagonistic animator.
  • Standalone Episode: A lot of the standalone adventures all qualify as this as each of them have their own self-contained story of our main cast exploring different aspects and fighting different enemies without needing to understand the entirety of the franchise. The only exception to this, is Animation vs. League of Legends as it requires watching Season 1 of the AVM Shorts for someone to understand who is the purple stick figure.
  • Status Quo Is God: In most entries from The Rediscovery onward, any changes made in episodes are completely undone by the start of the next. Arc episodes are always exceptions, the largest example occurring in The King where King adopts Purple and the Minecraft game icon is finally returned to its original location in the taskbar (also, Yellow keeps the Command Block staff that King gave him, something which he is shown using in the first episode of the fourth season).
  • Stick Figure Animation: The series as a whole is a web animation about stick figures.
  • Stylistic Suck: The characters from video games normally use their original animations, especially when they're in their home game, unless they do something that's not possible in their game. This is especially noticeable with the Minecraft characters, who can go from detailed body gestures to simply gliding as they walked.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Downplayed.
    • The stick figures never speak per se apart from the Second Coming briefly speaking in text in AvA IV and ''AvA but they do occasionally make sounds beyond the normal whooshing movements and footsteps.
    • In The Building Contest, the Second Coming falls asleep while everyone else is building, snoring before the timer goes off.
    • In The Dolphin Kingdom, Green sobs after everyone escapes from a swarm of drowned, losing hope that they'll be able to return home and see the Second Coming again.
    • In Cave Spider Roller Coaster, everyone pants heavily, catching their breath, after destroying the Nether portal.
    • In Titan Ravager, Blue and Yellow's conversation is depicted with drawings above their heads. The same is true with Red and the Second Coming in Lush Caves, with the added effect of being able to physically interact with the drawings, implying that they're not just for the benefit of the audience.
    • In Note Block Universe, Green initially tries asking where Purple went with the usual drawings, but isn't understood. He gets it across with a Note Block, but when the Villagers get rid of it, Green quickly learns how to make the noises himself in order to proceed. It's later shown that Purple learned to do the same.
    • In Actual Short Faces, the cat face that The Second Coming draws on Red allows the latter to make cat noises. The :P face drawn on Blue makes him make deep reverb noises.
  • To Be Continued: Commonly used in cliffhangers with a blank screen and the words "to be continued" typically seen in story arcs such as the AVA Shorts and the AVM Shorts.
  • Training Montage: In the short "Workout", both Red and Green are training themselves to get stronger, complete with the Rocky soundtrack "Gonna Fly Now" as well as the duo wearing headbands and wristbands. Both the stick figures do various workouts: lifting weights, punching trees, running up the stairs, and breaking stone blocks.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • In 2015, Alan reuploaded both Animator vs. Animation [I] and Animator vs. Animation II in HD in contrast to those videos being released in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
    • In 2019, Alan reuploaded Animator vs. Animation II again now with a live orchestra soundtrack.
    • In 2020, after the AvA series finished, Alan released "Animator vs. Animation V", which is really just the 4 episodes edited together plus a new soundtrack.
    • In 2023, Alan released Animation vs. Minecraft Season 3 - In Real Time, which, as the title suggests, is the entirety of season 3 of AVM Shorts showing the entire adventure with no cuts except for the one leading to the very last scene. Brand new animation and soundtracks were added to fill in the gaps.
  • Vague Age: Due to the artstyle of the stick figures as well as the lack of voices, the ages of the main cast and Purple is left relatively unclear. However, the existence of Purple's parents (the mother having been shown to be dead) and King (who had a son who was killed by a fatal error) suggests that they're somewhere in-between their late teens and early adulthood.
  • Versus Title: The series as a whole is called Animator vs. Animation and the standalone adventures are called Animation vs. [media name]. The exceptions of this are the An Actual Shorts series (except for King Orange vs. The Dark Lord), and Blue's New Superpower.
  • Victim of the Week: The series as a whole originally started off with this formula; a stick figure is drawn by the animator just to be toyed with but ended with the fourth installment.
    • The first one started with a stick figure named "victim" who (seemingly) ends up deleted. The second was a another stick figure named "The Chosen One" who ends up enslaved and makes a return escaping in III. The third one has the addition of a new stick figure created to rival TCO: The Dark Lord and indeed ends up as a victim due to the animator being ignorant that he was about to die.
    • The fourth installment is a new batch stick figures, The Second Coming and The Fighting Stick Figures. When the animator deletes the latter, TSC is the only one left to resist the animator's wrath, but the two sides come to a truce with the animator reviving TSC's friends and allowing them free autonomy on his computer, ending the animator's reign of terror against the stick figures.
  • Villain of the Week: The majority of the series' episodes have a lot of one-shot antagonists on many of his videos, specifically from the AvM shorts (e.g, The Killer Rabbit, The Cave Spiders, and The Witch) and the standalone adventures, albeit some of them end up becoming friends.
  • The Voiceless: Everyone, with the exception of Clippy, the Animator, The Second Coming, and YouTube. Notably, YouTube communicates using annotation boxes and splicing together voice clips from different videos, making Mad Libs Dialogue. This is Played With for The Second Coming in the Actual Short "Music Lesson" in the sense that he's only able to make "noises" via orange text.
  • Wedding Episode: The short "Piggie Love" has Red's pig fall in love with another pig from the plains biome. The scene then cuts to an outdoor wedding venue where both pigs are getting married complete with a wedding cake and music with the main cast and the villagers attending it. When both the pigs kiss, it soon escalates with them mating and in the process, a baby piglet appears.

Alternative Title(s): Alan Becker


The Chef - AvM Shorts Ep 32

Despite having experience of sword fighting, fighting dangerous foes larger than life, and saving the world of Minecraft once, the main cast could not take on the village chef and steal the Master Cookbook.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChefOfIron

Media sources: