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Web Animation / Minilife TV

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A show about everything.
It's time to have some fun
It's time to get things done
It's time for Minilife TV!
— Original theme tune

Minilife TV is a LEGO stop-motion animated series on YouTube. It follows the adventures of two best friends Chris Salaises and Ian Holmquist, as well as their friends.

The show debuted on March 2, 2012, while the channel was created on September 23, 2011. As of November 19, 2021, the series is currently at five seasons and 75 episodes, as well as seven short films. A movie is currently in development.

Hello, folks, and welcome to Minilife TV! Today, we're going to list all of the tropes used on our show.

  • Absurdly-Long Limousine: Keegan Kubrick owns one with a built-in bowling alley, which proves to be Awesome, but Impractical as moving vehicles and sensitive bowling pins don't mix.
  • Accidental Good Outcome: In "WORLD RECORD BREAKING!!!", Chris and Ian attempt to break the world record for the world's largest head tower. Ian forgets to contact the air marshal to make sure no airplanes accidentally knock over the tower, but the data is recorded in time and Chris and Ian celebrate with a midair high-five before attempting to break an additional world record for the longest midair high-five. As they do this, they end up breaking a third world record for the most head injuries caused in a minute as air traffic knocks over the head tower, which Ian does feel slightly guilty for causing.
  • The Adjectival Man: The Armless Guy.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: In episode 12, Chris and Ian advertise the Splitzies 5000, a brand new device designed to perfectly cut objects in half.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In "The Quarter Finals Begin", Chris has to crawl through an air vent to bust Ian out of city hall.
  • All There in the Manual: The LEGO World Builder page provides some insight about the world of Legondo:
    • There are two types of servants people can have; robots, which can be programmed to do anything but are expensive and require plenty of maintenance, or instant vampires, which are cheaper than robots but only last a few years.
    • Legondo first received alien visitors in the mid-80s, and though people were skeptical of it at first, they grew to love the exchange in cultures.
  • Animation Bump: Prior to the start of Season 4, the characters' movement is similar to that of The LEGO Movie.
  • Ascended Extra: Jack goes from being but a nameless janitor and an extra in episode 1 to becoming a recurring supporting character in the Season 2 finale to realizing he's the long lost mayor of Minilife near the end of Season 4, and even getting his own episode in Minilife Chronicles.
  • Astronomic Zoom: The Season 4 theme song begins this way. It starts with Legondo as seen from space and then zooms in all the way down until Minilife Studios can be seen.
  • Bar Full of Aliens: The Burton Night Club, first introduced in "Snowball's Late Night Adventure", is a monster-exclusive club that Snowball regularly visits in Season 5.
  • Basement-Dweller: Melvin is 28 years old and he still lives with his mom.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Chris and Ian's freezer is so internally massive that they have to go on arctic expeditions just to get something from it.
  • Birthday Episode: "Snowball's Birthday (PART 1)" and "Snowball's Birthday (PART 2)" take place on Snowball's and Damian's birthday.
  • Blob Monster: In "Season 2 Finale!" and "Mini-Monster Mayhem!", Michael turns into one.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • The Minilife Studios teleporter is repeatedly referred to as the "teleporty thingy".
    • In "Dummy Demolition":
    Chris: Blower-upper thingy?
    Ian: Check-check-checkity-check!
    • In "Mini-Monster Mayhem!":
    Jack: Yes, he [Michael] was working on a formula that, uh, spilt on him and turned him into a big green blob thing.
  • Built with LEGO: The show is made of LEGO which comes to life using Stop Motion Animation.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The Armless Guy, often due to him having no arms.
    • Chris and Ian also have moments of these sometimes.
  • The Bus Came Back: Baby Crotchrash returns three seasons (41 episodes) later to become the secondary antagonist to get revenge on Chris and Ian.
  • The Cameo:
    • The Season 5 finale has Forrest Whaley and Sean Willets dressed as Batman and Robin at Chris and Ian's house party, in which the latter thought it was a costume party.
    • The Minilife TV "LOST EPISODE" special has The Brickster show up at Chris and Ian's house near the end and eat one of his signature fire-breathing pizzas.
  • Camp Gay: Todd McFabulous.
  • Canon Character All Along: DJ DIAL-UP from the Minilife TV "LOST EPISODE" special reveals himself to be one of the twin laptops that Archie birthed and Chris and Ian adopted in "How I Got Your Laptops" all grown up.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Snowball is intentionally designed to be one by Chris because he believes this is how vampires are supposed to be made.
  • Continuity Porn: Many episodes (especially in the later seasons) contain references to past events, and there's also a lot of recurring characters in the show.
  • Cool Gate: Minilife Studios has its own time machine which also doubles as a teleporter.
  • Crossover: With The Nightly News at Nine on several occasions.
  • Crystal Ball: Fankii the fortuneteller has one.
  • Curse Cut Short: Happens in "1-800-MINIDIAL" when a troll harasses Chris and Ian on their hotline.
    Chris: Start up the teleporty thingy! We're gonna get this motherfu-
    [Smash Cut to a technical difficulties screen]
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Clair gets kidnapped by mummy terrorists in her debut episode and Chris and Ian rescue her.
    • In "Super Mini-Bros.", Emery gets abducted by Ratzer and Vince rescues her.
  • Dark Is Evil: Commander X is almost entirely black.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The "Minilife Chronicles" series consists of episodes of this type.
  • Deadly Game: Subverted with @midflight from "Chris and Ian Shamelessly Promote Themselves". The premise is that it's a game show on an airplane where the player with the least amount of points after each round gets dropped into shark-infested waters, but it turns out it actually takes place in a soundstage and the eliminated players are later seen hanging out backstage.
  • Debut Queue: Many important characters get introduced bit by bit in the first few episodes of the show: Chris & Ian in episode 1, Michael & Clair in episode 2, The Grim Reaper in episode 3, Snowball in episode 4, and Archie, Chip & Baby Crotchrash in episode 5.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Happens to Todd in "The Preliminary Rounds" when he and Genevieve try to record the World Martial Arts Tournament from a window.
    Genevieve: I'm starting to think you're just in it for the eye candy.
    Todd: [scoffs] Really, sis? You think I'm that much of a pig?
    Genevieve: You're zoomed in on a buff guy right now, aren't you?
    Todd: Six-pack and everything.
  • Dreadful Musician: Zach is not as good at playing the trumpet as Ian, as demonstrated in "Chris and Ian Shamelessly Promote Themselves".
  • Dream Episode: "DREAM Sequence!" in Season 1 and "Dream Sequence (Again)" in Season 5.
  • Drop the Cow: The "Blowing Up a Dummy" segment in "Dummy Demolition" ends with a cat getting crushed by a big red DUPLO brick.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Jack appears as a nameless janitor who delivers dummies to Chris and Ian in "Dummy Demolition" before he's properly introduced in "Season 2 Finale!".
  • Earth Drift: The series initially seemed to take place on Earth (or rather, a LEGOified fantasy version of it), but in Season 4, the setting was retconned into a fictional planet known as Legondo.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Master Quoker.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The show establishes itself as a not-so-serious show in the opening of the first episode. Chris randomly gets an idea for a brand new TV show from reading a book, so he calls Ian to come over, which he does by simply walking into another room. Ian makes Chris say his idea in several different ways and a voice from the heavens helps them come up with the name of the show.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: A short on the channel made for a video contest, "The Spook Contest", centers around Skipper the Swamp Monster, Boris the Frankenstein, and Radley the Ghost trying to scare Jack Pierce, who is believed to be unscareable, for a chance to win a LEGO Monster Fighters Haunted House set. Their attempts to scare him are ineffective and they get scared instead when he's revealed to be a werewolf. He ends up winning the contest.
  • Fake Shemp: A variation in the Minilife TV "LOST EPISODE" special. The Brickster from LEGO Island makes a cameo near the end of the special, but due to his voice actor from the first game, David Lander, dying in 2020, he borrows audio clips from Lander's guest appearance on an episode of The Simpsons (save for a brief voice clip of him saying "pizza" from the game spliced in).
  • Fantastic Terrorists:
    • "City Hall" reveals that ancient mummies were awoken by a curse shortly after Minilife was colonized and that they were forced to retreat after the citizens knew how to defeat them. After their retreat, the mummy terrorists formed smaller factions and occasionally send soldiers to try and steal the Power Brick at City Hall.
    • There's also the X-Team, a terrorist organization that seeks to bring equality to Legondo by eliminating those who possess special powers.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Chris and Ian's reaction to mannequins coming to life in "Spirit in the Sky".
  • Fartillery: In "The Quarter Finals Begin", Melvin the Ninja weaponizes his own fart on Abel, which is made especially devastating from eating mega chili bean burritos for a month.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Vince and Zach's boss, Keegan Kubrick, is very faunlike.
  • Fictional Flag: The series takes place on a fictional planet called Legondo, which is split into six different regions, and most of the series takes place in the city of Minilife in the Kaliwit Region. Its national flag, as seen in the series' LEGO World Builder page, features a red and blue flag with yellow stars on each side and a yellow half-sun/half-moon with a yellow classic LEGO dragon's head in the center of it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "A Dark Night", a guy named Bruce who the gang force out of his seat tries to calm himself down before he gets too angry and tells Newbie that making him angry is not recommended. He's later revealed to be Bruce Banner when he Hulks out on Newbie when he's unable to talk to the manager.
    • In "Parting Rose", Goshua tells Monty that he soon might not be able to look after Emery anymore. Although he doesn't explain why, it's because his godhood will be revoked in "Life with Death" for revealing Chris and Ian's true purpose and his plan involves transferring his soul into another body.
    • In "One of a Kind", Emery claims that she's seen a vampire like Snowball before, but she can't remember where. It turns out her old hometown, Ollie Valley, was ravaged by vampires.
  • Fortune Teller: Fankii.
  • Framing Device: Season 4 is framed as being watched by Gosh on TV.
  • Green Gators: Slar, one of the fighters of the 28th Legondo World Martial Arts Tournament, is a green crocodile-like humanoid.
  • The Grim Reaper: A recurring character, first appearing in "The Five Stages of DEATH!". His name is later ("Of Pancakes And Baseball Caps (PART 2)") revealed to be Gregory, much to Chris and Ian's amusement.
  • Guinness Episode: In "WORLD RECORD BREAKING!!!", Chris and Ian attempt to break the world record for the world's tallest head tower. Not only do they succeed, but they also break two additional world records; one for the longest midair high-five and, thanks to interfering air traffic, one for the most head injuries caused within a single minute.
  • Hands Looking Wrong: In "Season 2 Finale!", after Jack accidentally spills some of Dr. Michael Espajelly's formula to make cats smell like cinnamon on his hand, he tells Michael to look at his hand and he sees that it's turned green, and he transforms into a Blob Monster shortly after.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "The Five Stages of DEATH!":
    Chris: It's a theory that was first introduced in 1969 by a smarty-pants and big thinker Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross.
    Ian: Eeheeheehee!
    Chris: What? You find that name funny, Ian?
    Ian: No, you said 69.
    Chris: Oh, ahahaha! Oh my God, I did!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Chris and Ian, though that doesn't stop people from thinking they're more than just friends.
  • Hover Bot: Master Quoker's personal assistant, Pumpkin Bot, is essentially a pumpkin in a floating robot body.
  • Impossibly-Compact Folding: Chris owns a car and a scooter that can both fold themselves into a 1x1 square.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Baby Crotchrash from "Runaway BABY!" may seem like a one-off antagonist, but the episode serves to set up his return as a secondary antagonist in Season 4.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Snowball seems to understand everything Archie says.
  • Last-Second Joke Problem:
    • In "The Splitzies 5000!!!", Chris and Ian advertise a device called the Splitzies 5000 that's designed to perfectly cut objects in half, but when they realize it's not actually available as a product, they apologize to their audience for getting their hopes up. The video ends with an angry mob breaking into Minilife Studios and Chris and Ian making an escape.
    • The next episode, "Making Up Words", has Chris and Ian hanging out at their house as they wait for the angry mob to leave Minilife Studios. When Chip tells them it's all clear after the mob decides to chase after Snowball and Archie, Ian decides to go back there to get a peanut butter and bacon sandwich he left in the fridge. Some ending text says that Ian never got it back because Snowball ate it.
      Ian: Oh, what?! DANG IT! Now I hope that angry mob catches him!
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Jack appearing on the title card of "The Mayor" is a spoiler for those who haven't seen The Reveal in "A New Terror Arrives".
  • Let X Be the Unknown: The X-Team, led by Commander X.
  • Limerick: In "The Quarter Finals Begin", Ian sings a short song in the form of a limerick:
    Well, I don't want to be mayor anymore
    I think this whole job is one big bore
    Gotta go and have some fun
    Gotta get things done
    I don't want to be mayor anymore
  • Limited Wardrobe: Characters typically have a signature outfit which they wear most of the time. As of Season 5, some characters (namely Chris, Ian, and Snowball) have switched to a different outfit.
  • Living a Double Life: In "Crossing Ian", Ian becomes the mayor of Minilife City, and hides this fact from Chris. He finally confesses 33 episodes later in "Trouble Ian Paradise".
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Master Quoker's eyes glow green whenever he's possessed by the demonic entity Mako.
  • Mass Teleportation: In "The X-Team Attacks", Chris, Ian, Clair, and Snowball teleport to the stop the X-Team.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: While no deaths are specifically mentioned, in "WORLD RECORD BREAKING!!!", Chris and Ian inadvertently break the world record by causing the most head injuries in a minute. They mostly shrug it off, and it isn't brought up again until 37 episodes later in "Chris and Ian Shamelessly Promote Themselves".
  • Military Rank Names: Commander X and General Red.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Chris and Ian are Heterosexual Life-Partners, but that doesn't stop some people (such as Master Quoker and Keegan Kubrick) from believing that they're more than just friends, which they both deny.
  • Mister Seahorse: A robot variation occurs in "How I Got Your Laptops" when Archie gives birth to twin laptops. How exactly Archie got pregnant isn't explained, as Snowball didn't feel comfortable asking him.
  • Mock Hollywood Sign: One of Minilife's landmarks which can be seen in the background of some shots (such as the Season 4 opening) is a huge sign saying "MINILIFE" similar to the Hollywood sign.
  • The Movie: Minilife Origins (coming soon).
  • Movie-Theater Episode: "A Dark Night" has the gang going to the movies to see The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Moving Angst: Inverted. In Season 4, Clair is promised a full scholarship for the Rowling University of Magic in the Yoden Region, which she accepts. However, in "Baking Bran", it's revealed that she had to break up with Michael to do so, which made him very depressed, so much so that he didn't even go to her farewell party that took place between Seasons 4 and 5. Chris and Ian become concerned about him after he stops responding to their texts, so they try to help him feel better by giving him a batch of blueberry bran muffins. However, it turns out the muffins were cursed with a Heisen Hex and Michael is put into a food coma, which makes him lose faith in Chris and Ian.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In "Spirit in the Sky":
    Snowball: Wait! You have to open up the mall, our friends are in there!
    Archie: *beeps*
    Snowball: Right. And a man named Wilkins.
  • Named After the Injury: The Armless Guy is named as such because he one day woke up to find his arms had fallen off.
  • The Nameless: The woman Ian campaigns against in "Crossing Ian" has no name other than "Girl". Ian exploits this to justify he's clearly more important, and thus should be the mayor.
  • Ninja: Melvin.
  • No Animals Were Harmed:
    • Parodied in "The Splitzies 5000!!!":
    Cats were harmed during the making of this video.
    • Played straight in "The Semi-Finals":
    No real cats were bombed in the making of this episode.
  • Old-Timey Cinema Countdown: In "Prank Week!", the highlight reel of the pranks pulled during Prank Week begins with a circled countdown, only it's in color and the beeps are replaced with someone saying "Beep sound, beep sound, beep sound, final beep".
  • Origins Episode: The upcoming movie titled Minilife Origins.
  • Portal Picture: There are four in Emery's house. According to Monty, they were gifts from an old friend of hers.
  • Portmantitle: "The Vampodcast" from "vampire" + "podcast".
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The characters can detach and reattach parts of their body without it causing them any damage, as they are literally Built with LEGO.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Members of the X-Team (except for Commander X) have red and black in their color scheme.
  • Revolting Rescue: In "Trouble Ian Paradise", as Chris chases after Ian inside their freezer, Ian loses his grip on a mountain of ice, leaving him and Chris hanging from it. Chris gets the idea to have Ian melt some of the ice with his urine to create a small cave for them to take refuge in.
  • Robot Buddy: Archie.
  • Running Gag:
    • Using cats as weapons was one earlier in the series.
    • Whenever Wilkins tries to tell anyone his job title, a knight appears and announces it for him.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Downplayed in the Minilife TV "LOST EPISODE" special. DJ DIAL-UP shrinks a few inches after telling his fellow robots that he found a bigger Minilife TV fan than him wearing a Minilife TV shirt.
  • Short-Lived Organism: Instant vampires like Snowball and Rob only have a few years to live.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • First there's Minilife TV, a brickfilm YouTube series about two guys who run a TV show which is also called Minilife TV.
    • Then there's Snowball with his own talk show and, as of Season 5, a podcast.
    • In several episodes The Nightly News at Nine can be seen on TV.
  • Spinning Paper: Used twice in "Crossing Ian". The first set of papers show that Ian is running for mayor, the people of Minilife are shocked that the city didn't have a mayor previously, and the spinning newspaper gag is still trending. The second set of papers show that Ian won the election, the unnamed female character got kicked out by the angry mob, and Ian is making an acceptance speech.
  • Stop Motion: The show is almost entirely made using stop-motion animation.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In "Dummy Demolition", Chris and Ian blow up dummies.
  • Swallowed Whole: In "Season 2 Finale!", Chris, Ian, and Jack get swallowed by a green Blob Monster.
  • Take That!:
    • In "How to Cook a VAMPIRE!", Chris uses the Edward Cullen-esque vampire that Ian made as a prime example of how not to make a vampire.
    • In "Snowball's Encounter", Todd mentions that he's helping his sister Genevieve become a reporter so he can quit writing boring articles for Mega Blok Magazinenote .
    Jack: I subscribed to that magazine once, but when I got my first issue, the pages fell apart.
  • Teleportation Misfire: In "Snowball's Birthday (PART 1)", Snowball ends up being teleported to an Alternate Universe instead of Chris and Ian's living room after an accident when Jack tries to repair Chip.
  • This Is a Song: The end credit song used in Season 4, and some episodes of Season 5 begins with "It's the end credit theme".
  • Those Two Guys: Chris and Ian, Vince and Zach, and in some cases Snowball and Archie are usually seen together.
  • Tournament Arc: The entirety of Season 4 revolves around the 28th Legondo World Martial Arts Tournament.
  • The Unintelligible: Archie the robot only speaks in beeps.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: Snowball sleeps in the very Easy-Bake Coffin he was created in until Season 5 when he gets a new one.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "Abel's Story" and "Flashback to Fortune Teller Fankii" in Season 4, and "Clair's Goodbye" in Season 5.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Baby Crotchrash. It's later revealed to be a nickname in the Season 4 finale "Baby Crotchrash Returns".
  • Wingding Eyes: The car crash in "A New Terror Arrives" gives Jack X's for eyes, which is lampshaded by Wilkins.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: In "Starsaber Duel", when Chris asks Ian if he wants to have a Starsaber duel, he tries to correct him when he asks if he means lightsabers.

It's the end credit theme.
Is anyone still listening?
The fun is over for this week.
If you liked it, you can speak
In the comments.
Until next time.