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"There's a Man in the Woods" is a web animation made in 2014.
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The story is narrated by a former school teacher, who tells the audience the story of how he got fired. Every day, the children of the school would go out to the bushes at the edge of the woods near the school and eat the honeysuckle. One child named Sid, however, doesn't want to share the flowers, so he claims that he saw a man in the woods. The teacher knows that Sid is lying, but as he doesn't do anything except try to stop the rumor, the story grows before getting back to the parents. Things get darker from there...

The video can be found here:


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There's A Man In The Woods contains examples of:

  • Addled Addict: The teacher becomes one.
  • Adult Fear:
    • A parent finding out from their child about there being a "man in the woods" and the teacher does nothing to stop it.
    • The teacher getting unjustly fired because of one person's lie.
    • At the end, the teacher (a grown man) is (implied) about to kill Sid (a child) while the latter is presumably all alone.
  • Adults Are Useless: The teacher tried to avert this, otherwise played straight. Also kind of deconstructed, as it shows the more realistic consequences of high position adults refusing to take legitimate action.
  • Anti-Villain: The ending implies that the Teacher is going to kill Sid, a child, for ruining his life. But, considering that Sid is a Bratty Half-Pint and that the Teacher was genuinely competent in his career, it's hard to feel sorry for Sid.
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  • Asshole Victim: It's never made clear what happens to Sid, but it's hard to feel sorry for him.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: The Teacher tried to convince the students, parents, and staff that there was no "man in the woods", but gets blamed and fired for it. After becoming an addict and reaching rock bottom, he drives to his school through the woods and becomes "the man in the woods".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Sid started the lie (which ruined the Teacher's life) all so he could have the honeysuckle to himself. He gets it, but the Teacher is most likely going to kill him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The teacher was a Cool Old Guy who, in the end, is possibly going to kill Sid.
  • Big Bad Slippage: The teacher, thanks to Sid's lie.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sid pretends to act all sweet and innocent when he said, "There's a man in the woods." But the audience and the Teacher knows he's just lying to get the honeysuckle to himself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Emphasis on Bitter. It seems likely the Teacher will get his revenge on Sid and kill him. While this will satisfy the Teacher (and the viewers), in the long run, it won't make things better. Killing someone like Sid is still killing. What would the teacher's other students think, their beloved mentor, turned criminal? What's more, killing won't fix the damage Sid's lie has already done. It won't get back the Teacher's job, it won't restore the school's credibility, and it certainly won't make the other students' fears go away. It won't make things go back to the way they were. What's more, assuming anyone will care, Sid will be given an undeserved memorial service for his death. ...But at least he won't be alive to eat honeysuckles anymore!
  • Book-Ends:
    • The title is said at the start and end, but the latter is more terrifying.
    • Someone is sucking a honeysuckle flower.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Even the Teacher narrates Sid as an "obnoxious kid". And is he ever...
  • Broken Ace: The Teacher was a friendly, Cool Old Guy who genuinely loved his job and was competent at it. Too bad Sid's lies ruined his reputation.
  • Cassandra Truth: Try as he might, the teacher can't convince the children that Sid is lying. And things only get worse when his fellow adults won't believe him either...
  • Cool Old Guy: The teacher appears to be in late forties or early fifties and was quite the friendly, Cool Teacher. Then, the lie...
  • Cool Teacher: If letting the children pick honeysuckles was any indication, the teacher used to be one of these before Sid's lies turned him into the bitter cynic he's become
  • Disproportionate Retribution: How does Sid get the honeysuckle for himself? By getting the teacher fired, of course! The ending implies that the teacher decides to return the favor by murdering Sid.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Invoked by Sid.
  • Dramatic Irony: Sid's lie works and keeps the kids far away from the woods and the honeysuckle which leaves him all alone when the teacher comes to exact his revenge.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The teacher starts abusing alcohol (with cocaine) after he gets fired and reputation ruined.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his introductory scene we see Sid angrily steal honeysuckle from a little girl while glaring at her and another boy. He then shoves it into his lunchbox, which is already filled to the brim with his own honeysuckle.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Right up until the Wham Line and Wham Shot, there are two hints that the Teacher has decided to becomes "the Man in the woods" — 1). Three imagined versions of fictional persons have been haunting the Teacher and 2). Before he shows up to presumably kill Sid, he's in the imagined lava that all the kids (sans Sid) stood away from because of "the man in the wood".
  • Flower Motifs: The honeysuckle flowers play a big part in the story.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point the fictional killer is described as having "crazy yellow eyes", with an accompanying shot of them. After it shows the teacher has taken to snorting cocaine, there's a closeup to his eyes.
    • Attentive viewers will also notice that a few scenes show empty beer bottles in the front seat of the narrators car. This foreshadows his decent into alcoholism and drugs in the wake of being fired from his job.
  • For Want of a Nail: If the Teacher, the PTA, or Sid's mother had simply called Sid's bluff and told the police of his claim, Sid would've been exposed as a liar, the Teacher either would've been vindicated or never would've gotten in trouble to begin with, and the Teacher wouldn't have murdered Sid.
  • Friend to All Children: The teacher, until Sid's lie got him fired.
  • From Bad to Worse: From a lie, to a teacher being fired, to said teacher possibly committing murder.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Possibly. The teacher started off as a harmless, but competent and Nice Guy Cool Teacher, but transforms into a cynical, Addled Addict Broken Ace who is possibly going to kill a child (Sid).
  • Greed: Sid's motivation for his actions.
  • Hate Sink: Sid, his mother and the school faculty are all clearly intended to be hated, and this helps the teacher look more sympathetic.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sid start the rumor of there being a man in the woods to get all the honeysuckles for himself, unintentionally getting his teacher fired and destroying his life. The ending implied the teacher wants revenge and becomes the man in the woods Sid lied about.
  • Hypocrite: Sid's mother is furious that the Teacher seemed neglectful of his duties but it's implied she is no better herself, but as a parent.
  • It's All About Me: Sid's motivation for the lie and possibly the school's motivation for firing the teacher.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Sid created a monster to scare the children away so he could have the Honeysuckles all to himself. In the end, Sid's monster breathes a life all its own (in the form of the vengeful teacher), and is ready to enforce Sid's warning to stay away. Downplayed when one considers Sid spends a majority of the story with most people eating up his lie, and getting more honeysuckles for it. Suffice to say, karma does find Sid.
  • Lazy Bum: Rather than actually investigate the alleged criminal sighting from Sid, the heads of the school evidently thought a better idea would be to just fire the teacher after accusations of negligence came flooding in.
  • Never My Fault: Two examples:
    • The school faculty refuses to actually investigate Sid's claims of criminal activity and instead shirk responsibility onto the teacher, who had been nothing but attentive to the children and thus knows that Sid's lying. They then decide to lay all the blame on him and have him fired.
    • Sid's mother meanwhile, never once thinks of investigating his claim either, and takes it further by deciding the school should hold all the responsibility whilst simultaneously not lifting a finger to do anything about it herself. She also never once considers the possibility that her son may have been lying (which he was).
  • Nice Guy: Played straight and then brutally subverted. The teacher was an attentive, soft-spoken man who cared about all his students, even Sid. the fallout from Sid's lies turned him into a bitter, cynical Addled Addict who now plans on murdering Sid for ruining his reputation.
  • No Name Given: Sid is the only named character.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The ending.
  • Parental Neglect: Sid's mother shows more interest in her computer than her child.
  • Pushover Parents: Sid's mother is implied to be too busy to really pay attention to him, and when a problem that she can't ignore presents itself, she expects his teacher to take care of it... but refuses to accept that her son might be the issue.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Just because some children are innocent does not mean there won't be rotten ones now and again.
    • Eventually, kids go to their parents about something scary happening at their school.
    • Thanks to the slander of Sid's mother, the teacher couldn't find a job because no school wants a teacher who didn't take action of a threat.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The entire story is done in rhyming couplets. To a terrifying effect.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The ending shot shows the teacher on the dark side of the forest, while Sid is on the sunny side (where the school is).
  • Rule of Three: The title is said three times in the story.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The whole dang story.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: The teacher attire shows him going from a Cool Teacher to Broken Ace.
  • Snowball Lie: It starts with Sid, who spreads it to the schoolkids, who later spread it to the parents, who drag the school itself into it and get the teacher fired.
  • Start of Darkness: The whole story is implied to be this for the teacher.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Sid and his mother are physically identical.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The kids are shown to love honeysuckles. This is especially true for Sid, who goes as far as taking some from his classmates and making up a rumor about a Serial Killer roaming the woods to have them all for himself.
  • Tranquil Fury: The Teacher drops into this for the last four stanzas after several stanzas of hysterical ranting, right as he's about to kill Sid.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: The teacher becomes the man in the woods.
  • Think of the Children!: Invoked on a poster in another school that rejects the Teacher's job application after he gets fired. Is also ostensibly the reason he's fired in the first place, even though neither his bosses nor his parents bother to actually investigate Sid's claims.
  • Title Drop: The teacher says the title twice and Sid (in a flashback) said it once.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's doubtful that Sid intended for the teacher to get fired over his lie, but he's shown to not care later on in the short. At least, not until he meets his vengeful teacher again...
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: An older example. The Teacher was once a friendly and caring man who genuinely loved his job. But Sid's lies ruined his reputation, got him fired, and even led to the Teacher becoming a cocaine and alcohol abuser. Now, he might have become so broken and cynical to the point he's willing to kill a child.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The one criticism most viewers have with the story is that the teacher's voice sounds a little too young for him.
  • Wham Line: The four last stanzas:
    ...But I can play along. I can be good! Do you hear that, Sid? There's a man in the woods.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Seeing as one little brat lying for his own benefit managed to completely ruin the teacher's life, can you really blame him for going off the deep end like that?
  • Would Hurt a Child: The ending heavily implies that the narrator murdered Sid in cold blood in revenge for getting him fired and destroying his reputation.
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