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Plastic Apocalypse is a stop-motion series created by Michael Akkerman. The world of Plastic Apocalypse is consumed by four colored nations of Army Men warring for total control; the Greens of Greentoria, the Tans of Tanolia, the Greys of Greyland, and the Blues of Blussia. The series can be found on the official Plastic Apocalypse YouTube channel, with the main installments covering the Tan invasion of Greentoria.

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Plastic Apocalypse provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Major Windsor was a central character in The Prisoner Operation, but gets upgraded to protagonist in The Sabre-Tooth.
    • Sergeant Tuscan, Windsor's Lancer and the deuteragonist of The Sabre-Tooth, is slated to be one of the main characters of Lucifer.
  • Anyone Can Die: This being a war epic, it's a given that anyone can get the axe at any time.
  • Arc Villain: Major Hyde is the Commanding Officer of the Green garrison defending Azazel Island, making him the main antagonist of The Sabre-Tooth, which focuses on the Tans.
  • Ascended Extra: A few characters that appeared in either minor or supporting roles are expanded upon in later entries in the series.
    • Sergeant Moss was one of the many nameless soldiers in Hedge Base, then receives a name and fully fleshed out character in The Prisoner Operation.
  • Asshole Victim: Major Hyde and Major Kilroy really had it coming.
  • Ax-Crazy: Major Kilroy, as described by Windsor, and we quickly find out why.
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  • Bad Boss: Major Hyde spends almost all of his screen time berating his command staff and screaming at Shamrock through the radio. He even orders his severely undermanned and ill-equipped force to go on the offensive against the Tans... who not only outnumber them, but have them almost surrounded, and are packing tanks.
  • Badass Army: Both sides have their respective armies, with the 1st Infantry Division for the Greens and 10th Armored Division for the Tans.
  • Badass Grandpa: General Dune. He knows the situation on Azazel Island is difficult, so he goes down there himself to provide morale support, and even joins them in the final assault.
  • Battle Epic: A whole series worth.
  • Bayonet Ya: Several Green and Tan soldiers use bayonets on their rifles.
  • Benevolent Boss: Sergeant Shamrock, who cares enough for about his men to surrender when the Tans have obviously won, disregarding Major Hyde's insane orders.
  • BFG: The Lucifer Gun.
  • Big Bad: General Dune is the one in charge of the Tan invasion, the central conflict for the series, making him this for the Greens.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The series is renowned for its action set pieces, with special mention going to the Battle of the Sabre-Tooth.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In The Prisoner Operation, Death Company arrives just in time to save Trojan Company from the Tan 10th Armor, allowing them to get Major Windsor back to base.
  • Big Good: General Dartmouth for the Greens.
    • General Dune takes up the role in The Sabre-Tooth.
  • Big "NO!": Stalwart yells one when Macabre is seemingly killed by a bazooka.
    • Windsor gets one when Brown primes a grenade and is subsequently killed by Moss.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Prisoner Operation ends with the successful capture of Major Windsor, but Sergeant Moss is dead, Macabre fails to acquire three more prisoners as ordered, his subsequent bad attitude denies him a promotion, and there's still the looming threat of the Lucifer Gun.
  • Black and Grey Morality: In a world where four Plastic Nations are engaged in total war with another, there's bound to be some ruthlessness from all sides. The series mostly focuses on the Greens' perspective, making them the protagonists, but they commit acts that would likely constitute as war crimes, including but not limited to Cold-Blooded Torture, Shoot the Hostage, and using prisoners of war as target practice. The "Grey" comes from the fact that both sides at least have characters that look out for their men.
  • Blood Knight: There's more than one.
  • Book-Ends: The Prisoner Operation and The Sabre-Tooth both begin and end with a propaganda reel.
  • Boom, Headshot!: And they ain't Pretty Little Headshots, either. When someone is shot, their heads are usually eviscerated.
  • Camera Abuse: Sometimes, "blood" winds up getting on the camera lens during the intense battle scenes.
  • The Captain: Macabre, of course.
    • Windsor in The Sabre-Tooth, until his promotion.
    • Tuscan will be returning as a Captain in Lucifer.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted with Macabre and Stalwart.
  • The Cavalry: This gets used quite often when things seem dire.
    • The Prisoner Operation: The cavalry actually comes for both sides. Major Windsor is taken captive by Captain Macabre and Trojan Company, but the Resistance Nest is besieged by the Tan 10th Armor Division, led by Colonel Spear. The Greens are sent running for their lives, and are almost overwhelmed, until Lieutenant Pine's Death Company arrive just in time to save Macabre and his men, while clashing with the 10th Armor.
    • The Sabre-Tooth: The Tan 10th Armor get to shine once again, with more success. Sergeant Tuscan and Cavalry Company were pinned down by a turret, but held out long enough for the tanks to line up a shot and take out the turret, allowing much needed reinforcements to cross the valley and take the hill.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In The Prisoner Operation and The Sabre-Tooth, the Greens are willing to mutilate prisoners of war for information or to demoralize the enemy.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Obviously, with the combatants being different colored Army Men.
  • Cool Old Guy: General Dune certainly qualifies, being the oldest character in the series and having the guts to be on the front lines with his men for morale support.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Sabre-Tooth. Where to even begin? To take the hill, the Tans have to cross a huge valley, which has almost no cover, making them easy pickings for the entrenched Greens. Major Kilroy's only tactic is to just charge through the kill zone. You can guess how well that goes.
  • Death by Irony: Shamrock is an extremely tragic example. He assures Corporal Gordon to "just keep killing them [the Tans]". Later on, when he tries to surrender, Gordon remembers those words and fires on Tuscan, prompting the Tans to retaliate and slaughter the surviving Greens.
  • The Dreaded: Captain Macabre has amassed a reputation for being ruthless, and is notorious for his stance against prisoners..
    • Major Windsor's victories at the Sabre-Tooth and Hedge Base made him a high-value target for the Greens.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Both sides have derogatory slurs for one another, with Greens being called "pukes" and Tans labeled "sandmen".
  • A Father to His Men: General Dune. Because he's a Reasonable Authority Figure and willing to get his own feet dirty to raise morale, the Tans have the upmost respect for him.
    • Major Windsor looks out for the well-being of his men, which has earned him the respect and admiration of others, like Tuscan. In The Prisoner Operation, Windsor tells his men to stand down when it's clear they can't win. Later, Private Wheat, a Tan probe of the 10th Armor, is captured by the Greens. While Wheat admonishes himself for being ignorant, Windsor calmly assures him that it's not his fault.
    • Captain Macabre is a more strict example. While he cares about the men under his command, he doesn't tolerate stupidity and will let them know about it.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Because he appears in The Prisoner Operation later on, it's obvious that Windsor survives the events of The Sabre-Tooth.
  • Freudian Trio: Macabre, Stalwart, and Moss in The Prisoner Operation. Macabre can fly off the handle at times, but is capable of reeling in his more instinctual desires when the situation calls for it, making him the Ego. Stalwart is calm and stoic, often moderating the more impulsive Moss, making him the Superego. Moss is the most emotional and impulsive of the three, making him the Id.
  • Frontline General: Dune demonstrates this by joining his men in the final assault on the Sabre-Tooth.
  • Gallows Humor: In Hedge Base, a hapless soldier gets his hand shot off by a sniper. Stalwart merely remarks that the sniper has bad aim.
  • General Failure: Major Kilroy during the Battle of the Sabre-Tooth. He led three unsuccessful attacks on the Sabre-Tooth, using the same Attack! Attack! Attack! strategy that gets Tans killed in droves. Unsurprisingly, he's killed in the fourth assault, leaving the much more competent Windsor to salvage the operation.
  • General Ripper: Major Kilroy, yet again. His main tactic consists of throwing more men at a firmly entrenched position, and just hoping there's enough to reach it. He cares nothing for his own troops, callously running over barely alive Tans just to get closer to the Sabre-Tooth.
  • Gorn: A bit downplayed, since they're just plastic, but the series does not shy away from the violence.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Field Marshal Tannenburg is General Dune's superior officer and is the leader of Tanolia, but has no direct presence in the current storyline.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: All Nations in the Plastic World are engaged in total war that will only end when one side has completely wiped out all the others. Captain Macabre is particularly fond of this, preferring to outright execute Tans than take them prisoner, and even if he does, he encourages his men to use them as target practice.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: A lot of soldiers end up having their torsos or legs blown off by flak guns or turrets. Sergeant Brown is blown in half by his own grenade while Major Windsor has both his legs melted with a flamethrower.
  • Hold the Line: The Azazel Garrison holds tough defending the Sabre-Tooth, repelling three large assaults in succession. Unfortunately, Major Hyde isn't satisfied with just holding the line. He wants to go on the offensive, and it all goes downhill from there.
  • Hollywood Tactics:
    • Major Kilroy's tactics involve charging through a kill zone with little to no cover, which gets Tans slaughtered by the dozen.
    • Major Hyde also planned to engage in this, ordering his troops to abandon their fortified position and go on the offensive against the Tans, despite the fact that they're far better off just holding position.
  • Hostage Situation: The basic plot of The Prisoner Operation, with a twist. An entire Tan armor division is parked outside the Resistance Nest, and until they can find a safe route out, Macabre has to interrogate Windsor and his men on the spot, and relay the information to Dartmouth over the radio.
  • It's Personal: In The Prisoner Operation, Sergeant Moss holds a particular animosity for Sergeant Brown, because the latter shot him in a brief scuffle.
  • Kill ’Em All: Captain Macabre has a firm stance against taking prisoners, preferring to just gun them down where they stand.
    Macabre: We're Greens, son. We don't take prisoners.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flamethrowers are especially effective against Infantry on account of them being, well, plastic.
  • The Lancer: There's just about one for every major character.
    • Sergeant Stalwart to Captain Macabre.
    • Sergeant Shamrock to Major Hyde.
    • Sergeant Tuscan to Captain Windsor.
  • Leave No Survivors: Macabre has a reputation for this. In The Prisoner Operation, Macabre and his men assault a Tan turret emplacement and kill every Tan present to keep them from warning Guerrilla Base or any of the other Resistance Nest.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: For Army Men standards, anyway. Almost every battle has their fair share of dismemberment at the hands of grenades, turrets, and flak guns.
  • Madness Mantra: Corporal Gordon from The Sabre-Tooth.
    Gordon: I'm gonna kill 'em, Sarge! I'm gonna kill 'em! I'm gonna kill 'em!
  • Major Injury Underreaction: It could have something to do with the fact that they're all plastic, but Windsor takes losing his legs with remarkable stride and manages to stay conscious.
  • Man on Fire: Several soldiers suffer this fate from flamethrowers, melting them into plastic puddles.
  • Mauve Shirt: There's quite a few side characters who receive names and a little characterization. Some examples include The Corporal, Private Crisp, Private Mantis, Private Wheat, and Corporal Gordon.
  • Mercy Kill: Windsor and Viking Company are forced to put several Tan soldiers out of their misery after they were tortured by the Greens and left to suffer long, excruciating deaths.
  • Mood Whiplash: The conversation between Shamrock and Tuscan is one of the few relatively calm moments in the series. It's actually kind of heartwarming to see two soldiers on opposing sides conversing like normal people, instead of just killing each other on sight. Then Gordon reminds us what kind of series we're watching.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Tuscan. The Sabre-Tooth is one hell of a wake-up call, witnessing tortured Tans, the evisceration of his comrades in Major Kilroy's ill-fated attack, and learning how to become a proper leader. Were it not for Windsor looking out for him, Tuscan likely wouldn't have survived the battle, so it's fortunate he grows out of this at the end.
  • The Neidermeyer: Major Hyde is the biggest one in the series, thus far. He constantly berates his men, screams at the tops of his lungs, and would rather he and his men die than surrender to the Tans. His orders are batshit insane and his men know it, but can do nothing to change his mind.
  • Nerves of Steel: A lot of the characters can handle the pressures of war well enough, with the main exception being Corporal Gordon.
  • New Meat: Sergeant Tuscan hadn't experienced any real combat prior to the Battle of the Sabre-Tooth, so his Character Development centers on him learning how to be a leader by following Windsor's example.
  • Newsreel: There are propaganda newsreels that play in the beginning and end of The Prisoner Operation and The Sabre-Tooth.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Because of the aforementioned Black and Grey Morality, both sides do not pull punches and commit some pretty atrocious acts against each other.
    • Hedge Base: Captain Macabre executes several unarmed Tans that surrendered.
    • The Prisoner Operation: The Greens use live Tan prisoners as target practice, and later engage in Cold-Blooded Torture to extract information from Windsor and his men, including melting Windsor's legs and stabbing another soldier, and later giving him a Glasgow smile.
    • The Sabre-Tooth: Private Nawaz executes a Green prisoner for insulting him (and later, does it again to another surrendering Green). Later, we see that the Greens have brutally maimed Tan prisoners and left them barely alive to demoralize their enemies.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Captain Windsor went on to seize Hedge Base in the events between The Sabre-Tooth and Hedge Base. It was enough to earn him a promotion to major, as well as the reputation of a high-value target for the Greens.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is to be expected in a war epic, but some moments stand out.
    • Quite a few Tan soldiers have this reaction when they see a tank about to fire on their position.
    • Stalwart and his platoon have one when a Tan super tank appears and starts ripping into the Greens.
    • The Greens, once again, have a massive one when Windsor and his men manage to break through and start thinning out their numbers.
  • One-Man Army: Captain Macabre. He kills quite a few Tans by himself, especially in Hedge Base.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Major Windsor has both of his legs melted by a flamethrower, yet manages to stay conscious throughout the entire ordeal.
  • Perspective Flip: The Sabre-Tooth takes place from the perspective of the Tans.
  • Pet the Dog: In The Sabre-Tooth, when Sergeant Shamrock surrenders, he and Tuscan have a brief but civil, even affable, conversation. Too bad Gordon was suffering from Sanity Slippage...
  • Propaganda Machine: The newsreels are heavily bias in favor of their respective Nations, downplaying casualty rates and glorifying the actions of their soldiers.
  • The Reveal: General Dune is not only hiding out in the Feldgrau Mountains, but is using them to transport railway guns, one being named Lucifer.
  • Red Shirt Army: Both sides have an ample supply of soldiers whose only purpose is to get brutally blown to pieces, though a few are lucky enough to be elevated to Mauve Shirt... and even then, there's no guarantee.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Sergeant Moss was apparently present in Hedge Base but isn't named until The Prisoner Operation.
  • Sanity Slippage: Corporal Gordon was a Nervous Wreck to begin with, but as soon as the Tans break through the defensive line, he's left screaming bloody murder. It ultimately gets him and Shamrock killed when the latter tries to surrender.
  • Scope Snipe: Private Chartreuse takes out a Tan gunner this way.
  • Sergeant Rock: Quite a few of them.
    • Stalwart leads half of Trojan Company through Tan territory in Hedge Base, and does a fine job on his own.
    • Shamrock is the one who does most of the grunt work for Major Hyde, and is more the competent (and sane) of the two.
    • Tuscan gets his chance to shine when Windsor tasks him with finishing off the last Green defenders while he takes Sabre-Tooth Hill. He doesn't do a terrible job and holds out long enough for General Dune to bring in The Cavalry.
  • Sequel Escalation: Hedge Base was a skirmish between Trojan Company and Viking Company. The Prisoner Operation provides new developments in the storyline, such as a high-value mission in the capture of Major Windsor and the reveal of the Lucifer Gun.
  • Sequel Hook: With General Dune still directing Tan operations, the 10th Armored Division mobilizing, and the Lucifer Gun unveiled, it's clear the war is far from over.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Shamrock's efforts to defend the Sabre-Tooth are rendered meaningless when the Tans break through anyway and Gordon winds up getting him and his remaining men killed after firing on the Tans.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: When the last 30-pounder is taken out a bazooka, Macabre is left disoriented, with all sound drowned out by white noise.
  • Smug Snake: Way too many officers on both sides are blinded by their Fantastic Racism against the other that they tend to severely underestimate their enemies. Major Kilroy and Major Hyde stand out as the biggest examples.
  • Stock Scream: There's a few instances of this being used, especially in Hedge Base. Even the Wilhelm scream is used at least once.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Tanks, buildings, turrets, there's no shortage of explosions here.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Major Hyde believes his troops can go on the offensive and push the Tans back out to sea, despite them being low on ammunition and almost completely surrounded.
  • Surrender Backfire: Shamrock really did intend on surrendering, but Gordon had a bad case of Sanity Slippage and fired on Tuscan, prompting the Tans to believe I Surrender, Suckers was in effect, and promptly gunned down the Greens on the spot.
  • Tank Goodness: There are plenty of tanks in the series, but the biggest example is the Tan 10th Armored Division in The Sabre-Tooth.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Tuscan has a brief one upon witnessing the mutilated, tortured Tan prisoners. Windsor has to snap him back to reality.
  • War Is Hell: And boy, does the series let you know it.
  • You Are in Command Now: A nonlethal example. Windsor leaves Tuscan to finish off the remaining Greens while he takes Viking Company, to go after Major Hyde.
    Tuscan: Captain, now what?
    Windsor: Goddammit, can't you figure anything out on your own, Tuscan?
    Tuscan: Sir, you're the one in charge.
    Windsor: Well, it's time for you to lead. Sabre-Tooth Hill is my objective. You're going to finish off this line.
    Tuscan: How am I supposed to do that, Captain?
    Windsor: Well, you figure it out, Sergeant.
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