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Web Animation / Inanimate Insanity

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Inanimate Insanity, is an animated series on YouTube created by AnimationEpic (Adam Katz). Its premise is inspired by Battle for Dream Islandnote  - a cast of Animate Inanimate Objects compete in a series of challenges in order to win the grand prize of 1 million dollars, all overseen by a living MePhone4.

The first season (which ran from 1st April 2011 to 8th December 2012) has been completed and ultimately featured 16 contestants. The second season is currently ongoing - 8 members of the old cast return alongside 12 new characters. It also features a slow shift in tone towards drama.

A Spin-Off comic series, known as Inanimate Comics, was released on July 8, 2020. It can be viewed on the official website and Youtube channel for comic dubs.


On September 26, 2020, a Spin-Off animation series named Fan's Fantastic Features was released, following Fan interviewing the eliminated members of Hotel OJ. So far, four episodes have been released and can be viewed here

On April 3, 2021, a third season, Inanimate Insanity Invitational, premiered while Season 2 is still in progress. That's right, two seasons running at once.

The official playlists for season 1, season 2, season 3 and the full series can be found on AnimationEpic's channel.


This show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Salt to OJ.
    • Season 2 (in a less romantic fashion) has Toilet to MePhone4.
  • Abusive Parents: This is hinted at in Theft and Battery, where Cobs shows off his parents' garage on display, which he literally ripped out of his parents' house. He then mentions that he doesn't talk to them anymore.
    • "Mine Your Own Business" reveals Cobs himself was this to his creations.
  • Actor Allusion: Lightbulb's Extreme Omnivore tendencies are a reference to a story involving her voice actor, Michael Bruzzone, where he went to a bowling alley with Adam Katz and accidentally ate part of a receipt.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Idiotic Island and the title of the show itself, "Inanimate Insanity".
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Like the show it was based on, the characters are named after the objects they are.
  • Adoring the Pests: Lightbulb to Baxter.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": There are some characters who have names that are similar to the kind of objects they are, for example: a tissue box named Tissues, an ear of corn named Steve Cobs, a chunk of cheese named Cheesy, etc.
  • All There in the Manual: The official website reveals a lot of things and facts about the characters that is not mentioned in the series proper.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: The final challenge of season 1, just like season 1 of BFDI's. It consists of jumping off of the cliff and into the water, putting lemons into the basket, knocking off a prop of the opponent, throwing themselves across the gorge by slingshot, stacking golf balls, going through an obstacle course, collecting candy and putting them into the basket, and others.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Balloon has the word "bae" written under OJ's name on his notesheet, and he blushes when admitting that in spite of acting like a bratty Jerkass in Season 1, he genuinely enjoyed OJ's presence.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Lightbulb is implied to have Pica, an eating disorder that involves eating inedible items. Throughout Season 2, she has eaten a stick and a ball of yarn, and has attempted to eat a bucket.
    • Paintbrush has some traits in common with Borderline Personality Disorder or Intermittent Explosive Disorder. The most prominent is their Hair-Trigger Temper at their teammate's nonsensical behavior, going from friendly and pragmatic to violent and destructive, even going so far as to attack their teammates.
    • Fan displays some symptoms of Autism, namely his fixation on the show and how he gets excited when talking about it, tendency to make irrelevant remarks, lack of self-awareness, and how he gets upset when the show's routine begins to change and his egg begins to hatch after months of nurturing it.
    • Suitcase seems to be developing a severe case of schizophrenia due to her hallucinations, complete with her Hearing Voices.
    • Apple may have some sort of learning disability such as Dyslexia or Age Regression disorder considering she is definitionally challenged, cannot spell, and even sucks her thumb in "Everything's A-OJ".
  • Ambiguous Gender: Paintbrush. Occasional questions about the subject lead to a number of lampshades being hung about it. Episode 12 of Season 2 reveals they are non-binary. Specifically, they are presumably agender (which falls under the non-binary umbrella) as they don't have a gender and have shown several times that they dislike being asked if they have one and what it is.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The entire cast are animate objects, like food and tools.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Several characters. note 
  • Argument of Contradictions: MePhone4 and MePhone4S do this in "The Tile Divide", arguing over whether the non-eliminated contestants should get lollipops or chainsaws as prizes. They eventually decide to just give them one of each.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In "Hatching the Plan."
    Taco: See? This is why you listen to me, Mic. Delectable, isn't it? Finally, a taste of recognition. Finally, I can finally-
    Microphone: Is that what you said to Pickle?
  • Art Evolution: The animation, character designs and backgrounds have all steadily improved in quality through the series. Which leads to...
  • Art Shift:
    • In "Crappy Anniversary", MePhone4 temporarily switches the art style back to that of the first episode. It doesn't go down well with the contestants.
    • While Pickle ponders whether he should vote for OJ or Paper to be eliminated in "The Penultimate Poll", the artstyle changes to one looking like pencil drawings on paper as he goes through the reasons why each of them deserves to be eliminated.
  • Ascended Extra: Fan and Cheesy in Season 2. Both appear in "One-Shot Wonder", with Fan expressing his excitement when MePhone reveals the viewers are allowed to vote (and stealing Chinese takeout from OJ) and Cheesy advertising a (former) Minecraft server.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Fan is a massive fan of the show, and he ends up being allowed to compete in Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Ascended Meme: "Test Tube Tango" was a meme originating in the II Discord before spreading to Twitter, where an out-of-context moment from "Hatching the Plan" seen in the trailer where Test Tube is seen wrapping her arm around Microphone was interpreted as leading into a tango song number. While this didn't happen, it did lead to a song of the same name on Volume 4 of the official soundtrack.
  • Audience Participation: Like Battle for Dream Island before it, viewers are allowed to choose which contestant they want to eliminate. From “Mazed and Confused” on, elimination is switched to contestant voting, while viewers get to vote on the next episode's challenge. As of "Mine your Own Business", voting was dropped altogether for Season 2. In Season 3, viewers can vote for whom they want to receive immunity for the next episode's elimination.
  • Back to the Early Installment: In "Alternate Reality Show", Lightbulb accidentally sends herself and Test Tube back to the events of the show's first episode using the latter's time machine. While there, she unthinkingly interferes with the episode's challenge, causing Salt and Pepper to be made team captains instead of herself and Balloon and creating an alternate timeline where they completely take over the show.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)", Paper seemingly starts to scream when Paintbrush mentions Idiotic Island, making it appear as if his evil split personality is returning. Then it turns out that he just needed to sneeze.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Everyone breathes on Mars in "Marsh on Mars", with no spacesuit.
  • Berate and Switch: After the chaotic events of "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)", Adam calls MePhone4 and seemingly chews him out for letting things get completely out of control. MePhone4 resigns himself to not getting to host Season 2, only for Adam to reveal that the "mass hysteria" made their ratings hit an all-time high and that he's begging MePhone4 to host the next season.
  • Betty and Veronica: In a non-romantic way, but Soap is the Betty to Salt's Veronica for OJ's Archie, even though Soap isn't into OJ and Salt only assumes that she is.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Taco being attacked by the feral Bow in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)" takes the form of a dark grey version of this trope.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Taco yells this when OJ starts to overtake her in their race for the finish line in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)".
    • When Hotel OJ gets destroyed by MePhone4's plane in "Breaking the Ice", Salt happily tells OJ that they can fix up the hotel together, then drags him inside while he yells this.
    • In "Hatching the Plan", Fan accidentally causes Trophy's big jar of Cacao Nibs to shatter, making him scream "NOOOOOOO!".
  • Birds of a Feather: Fan and Test Tube. They become close in "Let 'Er R.I.P" when Fan admits that he's socially awkward and has trouble making friends. Test Tube admits to being awkward as well.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The last minutes of "Alternate Reality Show" have Paintbrush apologizing to Lightbulb for saying they shouldn't work together and revealing their gender to her, which she accepts wholeheartedly. Paintbrush is then eliminated, so Lightbulb gives them Baxter as a reminder of her as the two part ways.
  • Blank White Eyes: Toilet gets these in "Marsh on Mars" when he finds out that the new assistant MePhone4 lavished praise upon is actually MePad, not him.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "The Penultimate Poll" has a multiple-person variant. When the contestants speculate on what the safety prizes for the elimination are, OJ guesses that it's cookies, Paper guesses kebabs, Taco (naturally) guesses sour cream, and Pickle guesses socks. MePhone4 then reveals that the prizes are sour sock cream and cookie kebabs. Without the cookies, because he's a fat slob and he ate them.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Several characters remaining on the show by "Rain on Your Charade" have been negatively affected by the show's sadistic nature in some form.
      • Baseball: Begins to have his doubts as a leader as his alliance begins to fall apart and he fails to stop an argument between Nickel and Suitcase during the maze challenge. When Suitcase destroys the alliance entirely by voting Nickel off the show, he falls into a slump and becomes much grouchier, wishing he could have done more to keep the alliance together.
      • Suitcase: Nickel forces her to steal a battery, which results in an unlucky run-in with Mecintosh, and what he tells her causes her to slowly lose faith in her alliance. The encounter also causes her to start Hearing Voices, complete with disturbing hallucinations.
      • Balloon: Struggles to make amends with the previous contestants, and as he grows closer with Suitcase, Nickel ostracizes him from the alliance and constantly badmouths him, thus making his self-esteem problems worse.
      • Microphone: Becomes frustrated by her lack of voice on her team and tendency to mess up challenges, and Soap, her first real friend, is eliminated just as they find an accord. Starting to lose sight of herself, she ends up resorting to working with Taco to cheat her way through the game. She eventually realizes her mistake when she accidentally murders Test Tube and Fan, and quits the show due to how toxic the game has become at this point.
      • Lightbulb: While not as negatively affected as her peers, she begins to feel separated from the others and wants everyone to be just like her-carefree and fun-loving.
      • Fan: Grows increasingly more frustrated and stressed out by the numerous changes to the show and wishes everything was simple again.
      • Marshmallow: Develops trust issues after she believes Apple was using their friendship to get farther into the game, and begins to have problems with “what’s real”, growing hatred for the show because of its toxic nature in the way it destroys relationships and mentally breaks the contestants..
    • Season one wasn't exempt from this trope either as poor Paper went insane being trapped on Idiotic Island and developed a split personality because of it, with the split personality being Evil Paper, a murderous and dangerous personality that is brought up when Idiotic Island is mentioned. Paper is forced to eventually fight it off and wins. However, it is revealed by his voice actor that Paper is still haunted by memories of Evil Paper and because of that, he internally suffers while trying to live life as normal.
    • Following the chain of disasters leading to Box's evacuation, Clover has steadily been losing her optimistic attitude and growing paranoid about the adverse effects her luck has on those around her.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In episode 6 of season 2, Bow possesses Paintbrush's hair and causes them to fly. Lightbulb assumes it was because they bribed the animator.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: The prize money of the first season is heavily implied to be in a silver briefcase shown near the finale. It's subverted when the case ends up falling into the Crappy Cliff's water, presumed to be lost; MePhone reveals the money was actually in the bank, specifically remarking how stupid it would be to carry around a million dollars in a suitcase.
  • Butt-Monkey: A lot of the contestants suffer through ungodly abuse, but Balloon takes the cake - he's fragile, and for the majority of the first two seasons almost everyone treats him like an outcast.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Santa storyline in the Christmas challenge gets brought up again in the second season, as Marshmallow realizes it was why Apple started hating her.
    • Knife twice interrupts another character with "Yeah, yeah, enough of the six hour speeches!" - once near the beginning of the series, and once during the first season's finale.
    • The first season finale's credits feature many, many of these - Baseball's book, Marshmallow's ability to defy gravity, Salt and Pepper's "bad luck" (complete with a lightning strike), etc.
    • "A Lemony Lesson" has a joke where Nickel ends up going on Baseball's head while the former is climbing a tree. "Marsh on Mars" from the next season repeats this, only for it to turn out to be a melting chocolate bar.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: With the exception of Salt and Pepper, no two characters look alike.
  • Censored Title: The original teaser for the series was renamed from "The Crappy Trailer" to "The Stupid Trailer".
  • Cheated Angle: Normally, the characters don't face frontwards.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In Season 1, "Crappy Anniversary", features a gag where the Cloudcuckoolander Taco suddenly speaks in an eloquent and elaborate exploration regarding her trajectory off of her cliff. Given her Face–Heel Turn and reveal that she was Obfuscating Stupidity this gag has a surprising amount of meaning.
  • Cliffhanger: "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)" ends with the elimination area about to crash onto OJ and Taco.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In Season 2, most of the contestants are associated with a certain color. The more prominent examples are:
    • Baseball and Fan: Red
    • Nickel: Dull Green
    • Suitcase and Paintbrush: Brown
    • Balloon: Light Red
    • Knife: Navy
    • Microphone: Purple
    • Soap: Pink
    • Lightbulb: Yellow
    • Test Tube: Bright Green
    • Marshmallow: White or Teal
    • Tissues: Teal and Green
  • Curse Cut Short: At the end of the opening scene of "One-Shot Wonder", it is assumed that Nickel is about to call Knife some sort of swear.
  • Cutting the Knot: During the final challenge in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)", Tyler Bungard tasks Taco with answering a riddle before passing. Said contestant just kicks him aside and proceeds with the challenge.
  • Darker and Edgier: The later episodes of Season 2 become much darker and more story-oriented, with a major plot point being MePhone's abusive history with Steve Cobs.
  • Death Is Cheap: Contestants are able to come back to life thanks to MePhone... provided they don't die either before he can set them up in his MeLife app or die while he's dead. The process isn't shown until the beginning of Season 2, though (as lampshaded by Fan).
  • Delayed Safety Feature: MePhone4's intro in "Breaking the Ice" has him jumping out a plane with a parachute, only for his dramatic entrance to be ruined when the parachute doesn't deploy until he lands hard on the ground.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Knife comments on Baseball's "fatness" in "Breaking the Ice", Baseball responds by furiously punting him with all his strength into the frozen water. Trophy also does the same, but Baseball is cut off before he can do anything.
  • Does Not Like Spam: The Bright Lights (excluding Lightbulb) don't like oatmeal raisin cookies, as seen in "Marsh on Mars". Tissues believes that they're the cause of global warming.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The end of "Mine Your Own Business" sees Fan and Test Tube arguing over custody of the alien egg before the former gets sent to the Rejection Portal. This, combined with the Ship Tease the two had throughout the show, makes the scene look like a divorcing couple fighting over their children.
    • The Shimmers' situation of child kidnapping and land destruction caused by Meeple brings European colonialism to mind.
  • Don't Ask: In the season recap at the start of "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)", the recapper says this when mentioning that the teams were named "Epic" and "Chicken Leg", and then again when bringing up how "Pickle and Taco defeated the roasted Marshmallow".
  • Don't Try This at Home: The intro to "The Crappy Cliff" features this disclaimer, parodying the one used throughout Total Drama.
  • Double Entendre: "Just give all the balls to me."
  • Dramedy: Develops into this in the second season, as opposed to the first season where it was Denser and Wackier and also much simpler like in the show it was based from.
  • Downer Ending: "Mine You Own Business" has Fan be eliminated and getting into a heated argument with Test Tube over custody of the egg. Fan then tearfully confesses that he doesn't want the egg to hatch so the creature inside can stay safe. Fan is then pushed through the Rejection Portal and MePhone4 fires Toilet over paranoia that he is working for Cobs, leaving MePad sorrowful. The episode ends with Fan expressing his thoughts through his blog that he has to trust Test Tube even if he disagrees with her.
  • Dramatic Thunder: In "The Tile Divide", MePhone4S’ return is punctuated by lighting striking in the background as he laughs maniacally. The effect is lost since the only character present, Paper, has no idea who MePhone4S is due to not having been present for his first appearance.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • According to Bomb in the second episode, Taco only spoke French and a few other words. This is never mentioned again, and Taco never speaks French throughout the entire show. Later episodes reveal that she is, in fact, capable of coherent speech, and she's actually an Evil Brit.
    • Pickle was armless in “The Stupid Trailer.” He also had a bit of a Western drawl, but it ends up disappearing in the second episode.
    • There was a lot of Toilet Humor in early season 1. This is justified since the creators were in their early years of high school at the time.
    • In the first episode, MePhone is voiced by Christian Potenza. From the second episode on, he’s voiced by Mark Katz, Adam’s father.
    • Lightbulb was initially male, hence why MePhone refers to her with he/him pronouns in "The Arena of Death". She would eventually be changed into a girl in order to aid in the gender imbalance among the contestants.
  • Easily Overheard Conversation: Trophy eavesdropping on Knife talking to his Dora Doll aloud, which prompts him to take a picture of it and blackmail him with it to make him his servant.
  • Eliminated from the Race: The challenge of "Mine Your Own Business" is to find gems in a cave. The one contestant who does not find a gem is automatically eliminated without any voting. This is how Fan is eliminated.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Everything's A-OJ", MePhone4's inmates in his jail cell are extremely taken aback by him casually locking eliminated contestants in a small closet for several months and having no remorse for it. Rusty Jo even gives him a strong lecture and pep talk about how if he doesn't change his ways, jail walls will be it for him. It is even more impactful as Rusty Jo says that it is too late for himself to change as he, himself, is stuck in jail presumably indefinitely.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: It is assumed that everyone just met as the show first started, other than Salt and Pepper.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • In "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)", Taco just gives a distorted evil laugh in response to OJ wishing her good luck before the final challenge.
    • On the flipside, in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)", Taco herself is the recipient of this from the feral Bow when the latter attacks the former at the finish line.
  • Facepalm:
    • In "The Penultimate Poll", OJ points out that Pickle actually injured his right eye in "Aquatic Conflict", not his left one, meaning that he's had his eyepatch on the wrong eye the entire time. When Pickle takes off his eyepatch, revealing that both eyes are now fine, OJ slaps his forehead in response to Pickle's stupidity.
    • When Paintbrush suggests that Test Tube could build the Bright Lights' rocket in "Marsh on Mars", Lightbulb dismisses the idea that she'd be good at science just because she's a test tube as prejudiced. When Paintbrush's judgement is proven correct, Lightbulb just admits that they were right "this time", causing Paintbrush to slap their forehead.
  • Fantastic Racism: Unlike its sister show, this trope is downplayed. Although none of the armless objects are actively hurt for being armless, they are teased for it in "Breaking the Ice".
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The contestants finish MePhone4's catchphrase for him this way in "The Penultimate Poll".
    MePhone4: The prizes are sour sock cream and cookie kebabs! Without the cookies, 'cause...
    OJ: You're a...
    Paper: ...fat slob...
    Pickle: ate them.
    MePhone4: Wow! How'd you know?
    OJ: Lucky guess.
  • Foreshadowing: Taco suddenly speaking coherently in "Aquatic Conflict", then quickly going back. It's a heavy hint towards her Obfuscating Stupidity. Her ability to do complex math off the top of her head in "Crappy Anniversary" is another hint.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During Pickle's Art Shifted rundown of the reasons to vote off OJ and Paper in "The Penultimate Poll", the drawing of Paper briefly changes to one of him as Stevie Griffin holding a raygun and saying "Obey me".
  • Funny Background Event: Frequently. In various scenes, a character that is onscreen that isn't currently speaking will briefly have a very crazy face.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In "Inanimate Smackdown", OJ accidentally triggers Evil Paper by asking Paper if he had his problem before he went to Idiotic Island. Evil Paper prepares to smash him with a chair, but before he can do so, OJ slaps him, bringing normal Paper back.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: In "Marsh on Mars", Apple claims that Marshmallow's high-pitched voice could shatter glass. Marshmallow then proceeds to prove her point when her offended "Hey!" shatters Test Tube.
  • Glitch Episode: "Theft and Battery" has MePhone4 glitch and eventually short out because of being affected by the condishawn, so the contestants have to go to Meeple to get a replacement battery.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Marshmallow can alter gravity, but doesn't have good control over it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Trophy throws a dodgeball at his teammate Cheesy for making an innuendo at him in "Breaking the Ice", Knife yells at him for betraying their team, and then proceeds to throw a dodgeball at Trophy himself.
  • Idea Bulb: Marshmallow gets one of these, accompanied by an Idea Ding, when she gets the idea to sic the feral Bow on MePhone5 in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)". Not entirely unsurprisingly, it's Lightbulb's character model with the limbs and face removed.
  • I'll Kill You!: When MePhone4 lets the eliminated contestants out after their long imprisonment on Idiotic Island in "The Penultimate Poll", Knife grabs him while yelling this. Lightbulb and Bomb restrain him before he can make good on his threat.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: In "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)", Baseball agrees with Paper that Idiotic Island isn't so bad and starts making a heartwarming speech about how the contestants have learnt from each other over the course of the competition. Then MePhone4 comes along and asks who wants to leave the island. Baseball promptly kicks Nickel out of the way and yells at MePhone4 to let him out.
  • Immoral Reality Show: The contest is notorious for its crude, traumatizing, and friendship-destroying nature, which leads to a ton of negative reception from the contestants themselves. A major example of the negative reception is Marshmallow leaving the show to stay with Bow at Purgatory Mansion. Eliminated contestants are sent off to be stuck in Idiotic Island in Season 1, and the rejection portal in Season 2. The latter is revealed to lead to a small closet somewhere in OJ's hotel, which makes things worse once Tissues is eliminated, sickening everyone in there by sneezing on them. Fortunately, a court order perpetrated by OJ changes the portal's destination to designated rooms in the hotel after MePhone's 1-day jail sentence. Season 3 isn't much better, as eliminated contestants are hit hard enough by the Fist Thingy to fly an unknown distance over the ocean and land hard on a spooky island where they are doomed to stay if they don't get on a row boat to go back to Hotel OJ. Luckily, Blueberry and Fan enjoy being hit by the Fist Thingy (even if they scream while flying through the air), so not as bad as before, but still not much better either.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Cheesy is the master at this. He even slaps his knee after he makes the pun.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Balloon gets picked to compete in Season 2 in "Breaking the Ice", Salt points out that nobody likes him, which he claims isn't true. At that moment Toilet returns with the "wires" MePhone4 wanted him to fetch and, upon seeing Balloon, immediately bursts out, "Oh my gosh, Balloon, nobody likes you!"
  • I Resemble That Remark!: In "Marsh on Mars", Apple calls the Cherries' impression of Marshmallow inaccurate, since their voice didn't shatter glass. The offended Marshmallow yells "Hey!" in response, shattering Test Tube.
  • Ironic Name: Team Epic isn't very epic. The team has a 3-loss streak, with four members being eliminated by the sixth challenge.
  • It's Probably Nothing: In "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)", Nickel notices that the box Bow was trapped in has a large hole in the side. After a dramatic zoom-in on the box, he promptly goes "Eh," and walks off.
  • It Tastes Like Feet:
    • OJ finally gets to taste one of MePhone4's cookies for winning in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)". They taste like crap.
    • Soap's month-old pizza is used to this effect during an elimination.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Balloon only speaks in archive audio for the latter half of the first season. He continues to in the beginning of the first Season 2 episode, but as soon as he joins the competition, he starts saying new lines:
    Balloon: Now that I've joined the season, I figured I might as well start saying actual stuff again!"
  • Larynx Dissonance: A few female characters are voiced by males who don't make too much of an effort to sound female.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The four Inanimate Battle videos, featuring live-action versions of the contestants competing in a battle (or competitions, in the third episode). Hilarity Ensues in all.
  • Made of Iron: Downplayed. The characters go through a whopping helping handful of abuse, including getting punched by the Fist Thingy so hard they fly through the air and land hard on the ground, falling off ladders, and being hit by falling ladders, and they always get up unharmed. However, they do have their limits, as Lightbulb, OJ, and Test Tube shatter frequently, Fan gets destroyed with his paper getting ripped, and Marshmallow gets roasted by being thrown into fires or being lit on fire.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When Knife warns Microphone that her alliance with Taco may not be equal, Microphone claims otherwise but is symbolically contradicted as Taco kidnaps MePad in the background.
    Microphone: I have a voice. [Taco mutes MePad] No one's shutting me down. [Taco shuts down MePad] I'm not being dragged around. (Taco drags MePad away)
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: In "Alternate Reality Show", Test Tube and Lightbulb find themselves in the first episode of the series, where Test Tube calls everyone back then "lifeless and static", with Bomb falling over with a clang.
    Lightbulb: I don't think were all there yet.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: When MePhone4 explains the challenge in "Breaking the Ice" and states that "[a]ll pushing, shoving, kicking, and horseplay is especially allowed", Trophy claims that "horseplay" is his middle name. Tissues replies that that's an odd middle name.
  • Mistaken for Transformed: In "Marsh on Mars", Marshmallow gets sent to Mars and the teams are tasked with bringing her back, with The Grand Slams arriving first and taking her on their rocket back home. When The Bright Lights arrive after them, they spot an alien egg and assume, for no good reason, that Marshmallow has turned into an egg. They bring the egg back in hopes of somehow "turning her back", only to find out that the other team already got her.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "Rain On Your Charade" features a flashback where Balloon attempts but ultimately fumbles apologizing to OJ for his behavior in Season 1, and OJ misunderstands his desire to make amends, leaves him outside in the rain, and slams the door in his face. Flash forward to the present, and Balloon breaks down in tears, worrying that nobody cares that he wants to atone, but Suitcase tells him that she cares and that he just has to believe in what he says if he wants to make a sincere apology to the previous contestants. And then the upbeat intro plays.
    • In "Mazed and Confused", Balloon accidentally leads Baseball's alliance into a dangerous portion of the maze. Nickel gets annoyed with him and tries to convince Suitcase to leave him behind. Suitcase refuses and the two get into an argument as Baseball fails to calm them down. Balloon and Suitcase leave after the former tries to prove a point to Nickel, and Baseball gets mad at him. The scene that follows immediately after is Test Tube being her usual dorky self and talking to Fan's egg.
    • "Afterlife in the Limelight" from "Kick the Bucket" could be called "Mood Whiplash: The Song". It starts with Bow singing about how much fun the contestants get to have on the show, complete with a montage of the Bright Lights being dorks, and how she doesn't "feel alive" without the game. Cue the piano music slowing down and Marshmallow singing about how the game tears apart relationships and emotional states as the montage shifts into a more dramatic one, prominently featuring the Grand Slams.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Some contestants quit of their own accord, while others are pulled out due to circumstances out of their control.
    • In "Alternate Reality Show", Marshmallow runs away to Purgatory Mansion and gets disqualified after being gone for too long.
    • In "Hatching the Plan", Microphone voluntarily withdraws during the elimination segment.
  • Nothing Personal: Baseball says these words twice in the second season in the context of contestant voting.
    • After Nickel treats Suitcase overly harshly, Baseball tells her that his behavior is nothing personal to make her feel better. He later asks if that conversation meant nothing when Suitcase votes for Nickel, subjecting him to a double elimination. She points out that it has never been personal since she and Nickel were hardly friends.
    • Baseball tells this to Test Tube after she is eliminated and he admits to voting for her. He says it was a hard decision, but she was the biggest threat in the competition.
  • Oblivious to Her Own Description: After Bow in her feral state prevents Taco from winning the final challenge in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)", the latter complains that it was the fault of "that demented pink headgear" that her plan failed.
    Bow: Yeah. Whoever that is, shame on them.
    Taco: It's you, you dolt!
  • Offering a Hand: After Apple and Marshmallow realise in "Marsh on Mars" that the reason they hated each other was a misunderstanding on Apple's part, Marshmallows offers a truce and holds out her hand, which Apple accepts. Unfortunately, the moment is interrupted when the Cherries' revenge for Apple and Marshmallow ruining their act earlier sends Marshmallow flying to Mars.
  • Piano Drop:
    • Knife drops one on Paper to eliminate him in "A Lemony Lesson".
    • Paper himself uses one to defeat Evil Paper within his mind in "Inanimate Smackdown".
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Two pink girls (Soap and Bow) and three blue boys (MePhone4, (maybe) Tissues and Goo).
  • Pink Means Feminine: We have two female characters who are pink: Soap and Bow. Naturally, they're among the girliest.
  • Piss Take Rap: Lightbulb does this in "Let 'er R.I.P.", as a response to a Calm Down Corner question. But at least she has a baseball cap while she's at it.
    Lightbulb: I mean, it wouldn't be that bright to get real uptight, We're in a creepy crazy mansion, and fans got a lotta fright! WORD.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: In "Mars on Marsh", Knife tells Trophy this as the latter goes off to show the other contestants a picture he took of Knife playing with his Dora doll, leading to Knife agreeing to do everything Trophy says for the rest of the competition in exchange for him not showing anyone the photo.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The Bright Lights, most notably Lightbulb and Fan. They're mostly unaffected by the show's Cerebus Syndrome (except for Marshmallow) up until the merge in "Alternate Reality Show".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Two instances in "Breaking the Ice":
      • Salt decides to take a break from exercising to get a cookie. Baseball, who was just vomited on by Lightbulb after she ate too many cookies, tells her, "Don't. You. Dare."
      • During the challenge, Knife attempts to push Baseball off the ice, but fails due to his "fatness". Baseball takes a deep breath, and then yells "I'm! Not! Fat!" before kicking Knife off.
    • When Balloon volunteers to go to Mars to save Marshmallow in "Marsh on Mars", Baseball responds thusly:
      Baseball: So you can hack our rocket? No. Way.
  • Readings Blew Up the Scale: This happens in the Anniversary T-Shirt Contest announcement video, when the lab explodes due to the computers not being able to handle the high amount of views that the videos are getting.
  • Record Needle Scratch:
    • This, along with a Sudden Soundtrack Stop, happens in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)" when MePhone4 reveals that the supposed Briefcase Full of Money containing the million dollar prize, which was lost earlier, was actually empty and that the money is safe and sound in a bank.
    • In "Breaking the Ice", MePhone4 tries to make a dramatic entrance by parachuting out a plane, only for the triumphant music to get cut off by this when his parachute fails to deploy before he hits the ground.
  • Rule of Three: When MePhone4 uses a slot machine to decide which Season 1 characters will join the show for Season 2, Lightbulb says "It has to land on me!" during the first two spins, only for it to land on Paintbrush and Nickel instead. She starts to say it during the third spin too, before being interrupted by Balloon slapping her. Then the slot machine finally lands on her.
  • Running Gag:
    • MePhone4 constantly interrupting Paintbrush whenever they have a question.
    • Fan updating his blog at inopportune times.
    • Cheesy slapping his knee after a bad pun.
    • Paintbrush getting angry with their bristles catching on fire.
    • Tissues sneezing on someone at random.
    • People discussing Paintbrush's gender, though this eventually gets phased out.
  • The Scream: Microphone, after Taco leaps out from behind the bushes. Everyone else hears it from a distance, but don't really bother.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Taco, after MePhone5 gets knocked off the cliff.
    • Marshmallow eventually grows tired of the competition since she believes it destroys morality, emotional states, and friendships, so she leaves the show to live with Bow in Purgatory Mansion.
    • Even though she wins the challenge in "Hatching the Plan", Microphone voluntarily quits the competition during the elimination, as she has severed ties with Taco and is frustrated with how the show has broken everyone.
  • Security Cling: When Bomb gets scared by MePhone4's airplane in "Breaking the Ice", he jumps into OJ's arms in fright.
  • Self-Deprecation: After the guest judges are run out of the show in "Cooking for the Grater Good", the Puffball Speaker Box's parting words are, "Nobody likes Inanimate Insanity anyway!"
  • Series Continuity Error: A justified example occurs in "Mine Your Own Business". MePhone4, in his flashbacks, has his voice from after the MeTunes update, instead of being voiced by Christian Potenza. The reason why this is justified is that the creators wanted the flashbacks to be taken seriously.
  • Sequence Breaking: In "Mazed and Confused", Lightbulb tries to fly through the maze with Fan, but MePhone counts it as cheating and promptly teleports them back.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Subverted — after Taco steals the suitcase and drops it into the Crappy Cliff, MePhone4 confirms that it was a decoy. The real prize was in the bank. Who Would Be Dumb Enough to put a million dollars in a suitcase, anyways?
  • Ship Tease: Fan and Test Tube have a lot of chemistry together and care for each other and even hatch and nurture an egg for several months, acting like parents.
  • Shout-Out:
    • MePhone4S is a Captain Ersatz of The Terminator. Likewise, MePhone5 has elements of the T-1000.
    • MePhone4S's hand speaks using a sound clip of the Mine Turtle saying "hello!"
    • "Aquatic Conflict" has Spongebob's pineapple house in an underwater scene.
    • "The Penultimate Poll":
      • When Pickle is wondering whether he should vote off OJ or Paper, his thoughts being illustrated as pencil drawings, him noting that OJ is a huge complainer is illustrated by a picture of OJ telling Staci from Total Drama: Revenge of the Island to shut up.
      • In the same scene, a drawing of Paper inexplicably turns into a paper version of Stewie from Family Guy for a moment.
    • Rainbow Dash barely appears behind a cloud in "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)".
    • In "Let 'Er R.I.P.", Soap hoovers up Bow's ghost using a back-mounted vacuum cleaner that resembles the Poltergust 3000.
    • As a Freeze-Frame Bonus, the numbers "11037" show up twice in inconspicuous places in "Everything's A-OJ". Said numbers are crucial to an early trial in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
  • Shown Their Work: Meeple surprisingly has a lot of research put into it involving Apple, such as Steve Cobs's garage and the remark about him being a video game designer.
  • The Stinger: After the credits of "Breaking the Ice", Paper is shown standing on a ladder outside Hotel OJ, happily declaring that all of the windows that were broken when MePhone4's plane crashed into the hotel have been repaired. Then one of the dodgeballs from the episode's second challenge breaks the window, to his disappointment.
  • Stock Scream: When multiple contestants are blown off the ice by Microphone's scream in "Breaking the Ice", the Wilhelm Scream can be heard.
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Enanimat Ensanity" spinoff, featuring Ms-Paint style "animation", terrible voices, and non-sensical plots.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Balloon writes "Balloon dident doo this" next to the rude graffiti he makes of OJ in "Breaking the Ice".
    • After Suitcase steals a battery meant for MePhone4, she ends up unintentionally incriminating herself.
      Suitcase: I just wanted to let all know that I didn't steal anything. Nope.
  • Take a Third Option: Paintbrush's gender is discussed several times throughout the show, with everyone wondering if Paintbrush is a boy or a girl. Turns out, Paintbrush is neither, they are non-binary. The reason why Paintbrush never brings it up is because they are embarrassed by this fact and they don't know if anyone knows that there is a "C": None of the above. Lightbulb is the first one to find out and accept it, and the other characters casually referring to Paintbrush as "they" in Season 3 implies that they became more open about it afterwards.
  • Take My Hand!: MePhone4S says this to MePhone4 during the cliffhanger ending of "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 1)". The hand adds, "Not so hard!". Funnily enough, the usual resolution for this cliché is subverted, as the MePhones merely fall onto the ground afterward, no parachute or anything.
  • Take That!:
    • A dubiously sincere one occurs in "A Lemony Lesson", where Nickel degrades Knife for slacking off and watching Desperate Housewives: "That show is terrible!"
    • In "Double Digit Desert", Baseball is given a copy of Twilight when he fails to rejoin the game and pleads for a different book. He does not like it.
    • According to Word of God, Dough was created as a spoof of the Glee episode "Big Brother" (where a character's older brother debuts).
    • "Theft and Battery" is primarily made of jabs at Apple — specifically, the (then-new) iPhone6's tendency to bend, the redundancy of the Apple Watch, and the company's tendency to release excessive amounts of new products.
  • Talk to the Fist: After Knife rejects Trophy's offer of an alliance in "Breaking the Ice", Trophy responds that they'll settle things like men in that case. Knife promptly punches him off the ice before Trophy can finish elaborating.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Microphone gives one to Cheesy after he calls her a monstrosity.
      Microphone: What do you even know about me, huh?! You just waltz in here, saying these offensive things! Is that the person you wanna be, Cheesy? A person that makes everyone upset?! That's the monstrosity.
    • Suitcase gives an excellent and very well-deserved one to Nickel in "Kick the Bucket" after she votes him out 5 to 1.
      Suitcase: I just can't forgive the way you've been treating Balloon, game aside! And it's not just about him. You act like you're trying to protect me, but you try to send me away every chance you get! [...] What we had before? We don't... really even... talk! It's never been anything personal, a-at all! And to me, that's not what an alliance... is! [...] [regarding Balloon voting for himself] Looks like it. I mean, it's easy to read how everyone would vote, so he decided to be a good friend instead by pitying the blame on himself! And this is what a true ally looks like! But I'm not gonna let him fight my battles for me! I voted for you, Nickel, because you've never been a true ally to me!
  • This Is a Competition: Though it's a hard decision for Baseball, he votes for Test Tube to be eliminated because she's brilliant, which means that she's a huge threat to his game.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Happens in "The Crappy Cliff" when the contestants have to jump off a cliff with elephant feces. The goal is to land in the water and avoid the feces.
    • MePhone4 does it again in "A Lemony Lesson":
      MePhone4: Speaking of elimination, and I don't mean my bowel movements...
  • Tongue Trauma: In "The Tile Divide", Taco gets her tongue ripped off after it gets stuck on some spikes and the platform those spikes are on flips over.
  • Two Words: I Can't Count: Apple does this when deciding to vote out Marshmallow in "Inanimate Smackdown". To her "credit", she corrects herself... sort of:
    Apple: Two words: Marsh. Mallow. Wait a minute, that's four. My apologies.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Lampshaded in "Double Digit Desert". Bomb returns after exploding earlier in the challenge, and OJ asks how he came back. Bomb starts to stutter out a response, but after a moment OJ decides to forget it.
  • [Verb] This!: When Pickle and Knife are playing video games together in "Breaking the Ice", Pickle reminds Knife that he needs to shoot the enemies in the game, not just jump on them. Knife replies "Shoot this!" and kills Pickle's character.
  • Voted Off the Island: The standard method of elimination. The votes were originally obtained by Audience Participation, but during several first season episodes and from "Kick the Bucket" onwards, the contestants vote each other off. During the third season, the only control the audience has is deciding who gets immunity during each episode.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Rain On Your Charade" is the episode kickstarting the show's Cerebus Syndrome. The icing on the cake, however, is when Taco, whose whereabouts were unknown up until that point, returns out of nowhere near the end of the episode.
    • "Hatching The Plan" is a big one for Season 2. Fan finally knows where his Egg came from and it returns home, Mic avoids Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and eliminates herself, and the final four are revealed.
  • Wham Line: "Kick the Bucket" has three of them:
    • Bow: Maybe... you're the one that's lying! Maybe Kumquat wasn't such a good friend to you! Maybe she didn't deserve to have your friendship, and maybe I made her say all those things just so you'd see that it's true!
    • The ending scenes have two in succession: After Balloon is voted out 5 to 1, he tries to run away, but not before Suitcase drops this bombshell:
      Suitcase: Nickel, I voted for you tonight.
    • And then, after Suitcase tells Nickel off for being a Jerkass to Balloon, Nickel responds with his own rebuke:
      MePhone4: Y'see, uhhh, y'know how I said I'd make up for it next time? Well, it's a double elimination!
  • Wham Shot: Toilet getting apprehended by MePhoneX in "Hatching the Plan".
  • "Will Return" Caption: The end of the credits of "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)" has "Thanks for watching! We'll be back." written on the trophy passed around by the characters, which is then followed by a Stinger of Apple asking what "two" means and winking at the audience, indicating that Season 2 is in the making.
  • Wingding Eyes: In "The Penultimate Poll", Salt gets heart eyes when she tells Pepper that she and OJ may be more than friends.
  • Wink "Ding!": This is used when Apple winks at the camera after asking what "two" means at the end of "Journey Through Memory Lane (Part 2)".


Video Example(s):



MePhone6 acts scary and intimidating, but he's actually very fragile.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / PaperTiger

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