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Western Animation / Chicken Run

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"Let that be a lesson to the lot of ya'! No chicken escapes from Tweedy's farm!"
Mr. Willard Tweedy

Chicken Run is a 2000 stop-motion animated film, the first of three collaborations between DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations (along with French studio Pathé) and Aardman's first feature overall. It is best described as The Great Escapewith chickens. The film is directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park, and written by Karey Kirkpatrick. It's currently the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time.

A ginger chicken named "Ginger" (voiced by Julia Sawalha) is the ringleader in the attempts of the chickens to escape from Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Farm, a prison where any chicken who fails to lay eggs risks being beheaded and cooked for dinner. Ginger is at her wits' end trying to talk the others into any new escape attempts, (all of which fail and earn her a trip to solitary confinement in a coal bunker). Then a rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson), who can apparently fly, falls from the sky and agrees to teach the chickens how to fly like him, in return for Ginger keeping mum on his presence.

However, the farm’s owner, Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson), tired of the low profits selling eggs brings her, decides to convert her business into chicken pot pies. Needless to say, things get drastic in a hurry and Ginger must get the whole coop into the air before they all become mincemeat.

A sequel titled Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is set for release on Netflix on December 15, 2023.

Chicken Run provides examples of:

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    Tropes #-F 
  • The '50s: According to the filmmakers, the action takes place in 1959. According to a calendar on the wall in the Tweedy's farmhouse, the film specifically takes place in July 1959, as July was the only month of that year where the first day of the month was a Wednesday.
  • Accent Adaptation:
    • In the Swedish dub, Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy speak in a Scanian accent. note  And Mac, to correspond to the Scottish accent, speaks heavily in a Jämtland accent. However, it wasn't enough to make her unintelligible, so she also speaks Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness wise, and fast.
    • The same thing happens in the Norwegian dub where Mac speaks in a heavy Northern accent with added Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
    • Something similar happens with the Dutch dub, giving Mac a Frisian accent, and compensating by letting her speak fast.
    • The Portuguese dub gives three cases of this. Mac talks with a vague Madeira/Porto accent (muffled a bit by her fast speech and big words). Mr. Tweedy speaks in a distinctive Porto accent (But not Mrs. Tweedy, for some reason). And the mice talk in an Alentejo accent.
    • The Italian dub renames Mac 'Von' and gives her a Swiss accent. She says "Switzerland!" instead of "Scotland" when Rocky describes America to them and has them guess where he's from. These changes are possibly because, like how Scotland is north of England, Switzerland is directly north of Italy.
    • The German dub makes Mac speak with a heavy Dutch accent and she says "Holland!" instead of "Scotland" when Rocky is talking about America.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: None of the chickens wear actual clothes, but they distinguish themselves and accessorise with scarves, necklaces, and bandanas. See "Ring Around the Collar". Ginger wears a little knit cap.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Rocky yells "FREEDOOOOOOOOM!" when he first flies into the farm. Also, Bunty says "I'm not even certain he was American.", a reference to the fact that many people, even in the UK, think Mel Gibson is Australian (he was born in the US, but moved to Australia at age 12). Another Braveheart allusion occurs when asked where he's from:
    Rocky: Oh, just a little place I call the land of the free and the home of the brave...
    Mac: Scotland!
    Rocky: No! America!
    • To top it off, there's also a Running Gag with Rocky finding Mac's Scottish accent incomprehensible.
    Rocky: Was that English?
  • Affectionate Parody:
  • The Alleged Car: Subverted with the "crate", an airplane made out of whatever the chickens could find but otherwise flies perfectly. It's not pretty to look at, but it gets them where they need to go.
  • Alliterative Name: Rocky Rhodes.
  • All There in the Manual: The book Chicken Pies For the Soul goes into a lot of insight on the characters, such as Rocky being brought up in Kentucky by his mother and Mr. Tweedy's Uncle Jimmy being "done in" by a big rooster named Brute, which could explain his suspicions toward Ginger and the other chickens.
    • Another tie-in book Cutting Loose: Behind the Fences at Tweedy's Farm, also expands into a ton of details not revealed in the movie, including what became of Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy after the chickens escaped: they decided to move to Scotland to run a seaweed farm.
  • Almost Kiss: Rocky and Ginger almost kiss at one point before being interrupted by Mrs. Tweedy.
    • And again for the second time, when Mrs. Tweedy's farm goes up in a GRAVY explosion, causing quite a scare for Rocky and Ginger. Wait, how do you animate chickens kissing, anyway? (A quick peck on the cheek, perhaps?)
  • Alone in a Crowd: Ginger at first during the dance scene, until another chicken comes towards her and she ends up against Rocky, which starts their Dance of Romance.
  • Already Undone for You: When falling towards a load of spinning blades in the pie machine, Rocky grabs a bar at the side which falls down and stops his fall. There is no sign of how Ginger survived moments before, however...
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Mr. Tweedy banging his head on the roof of the hut and, near the end, getting a whole hut dropped on him.
    • Rocky getting clobbered when an upended feeding trough falls on him.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • While thwarting a trap in the machine, Ginger and Rocky give each other a high-five, despite the fact that this film takes place in 1959 and this gesture did not become popular until at least the late 1970s.
    • Rocky sings along to "The Wanderer" by Dion, which wasn't released until 1961.
  • And This Is for...: A slight variation. Ginger smacks Rocky hard ("That's for leaving") and then goes in to kiss him ("And this is for coming back").
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Ginger gives two in quick succession during the meeting in Hut 17. As she tries to boost everyone's morale, Bunty has pretty much given up at this point, which results in Ginger bringing up what happened during roll call that morning.
    Ginger: Think, everyone, think! What haven't we tried yet?
    Bunty: We haven't tried not trying to escape.
    Babs: Hmmm, that might work!
    Ginger: (aghast) …What about Edwina? (as the others solemnly look at the now-empty bunk) How many more empty nests will it take?!
    Bunty: Well, perhaps it wouldn't be empty if she'd spent more time laying, and less time escaping!
    Ginger: So laying eggs all your life, then getting plucked, stuffed and roasted is good enough for you, is it?
    (long pause)
    Babs: It's a living.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • A mild example, but chickens aren't completely incapable of flight as the movie would imply. Their body structure simply doesn't allow them to maintain altitude for very long. With that said, it would still be impossible for chickens to fly over a ten-foot-tall fence such as the one in the movie.
    • Bunty claims to have laid five eggs in one morning, and is seen again later producing multiple eggs at once. In real life, chickens produce exactly one egg each day.
    • In the film the chickens are visibly seen to have teeth in their beaks. Real chickens don’t have teeth.
  • Artistic License – Economics: More than a few people have pointed out that Mrs. Tweedy killing all of her chickens for the pie-making machine is awful business sense. Also, chicken varieties that are good layers of eggs tend not to be very good for meat, at least on a commercial scale. Justified in that Mrs. Tweedy isn't exactly established as sensible, and is more Ax-Crazy.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: While Nick's use of "Voilà!" is correct and French, his later line to Rocky of "El merchandiso", is not Spanish as Fetcher says it is. In Spanish, "the merchandise" (as he wanted to say) would actually be "La mercancías". Then again, it may be justified as Nick doesn't seem like the sort of character to know that.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Provides the page quote:
    Mr. Tweedy: Oooh, that's champion, that is... What is it?
    Mrs. Tweedy: It's a pie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in; pies come out.
    Mr. Tweedy: Oh, what kind of pies?
    Mrs. Tweedy: Apple.
    Mr. Tweedy: [excitedly] My favourite!
    Mrs. Tweedy: Chicken pies, you great lummox!
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Rocky when Ginger falls down the chute in the pie machine:
    Rocky: I'll be down before you can say... [looks up and sees...] mixed vegetables?! [the veggies land on his head, sending him down the chute]
  • Awful Wedded Life: The Tweedys' marriage is more about work and profit with no romance involved. Not to mention the abuse Mrs Tweedy puts poor Mr Tweedy through...
  • Ax-Crazy: Mrs. Tweedy goes totally berserk against the chickens in the climax, and earns double points for actually wielding an axe.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Mac is shown giving a group of peeps a ride in the catapult she had designed at the beginning of the movie. Presumably they're all Ginger and Rocky's, but there are a few alternatives that also involve Rocky.
  • Bad Vibrations: All of the chicken coops are rattled ominously when the pie machine turns on. The use of this trope also gets Lampshaded.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Bunty makes one after Ginger says what it's like outside the farm: "In all my life, I've never heard such a fantastic... load of TRIPE!"
  • Bamboo Technology: The chickens manage to make some elaborate mechanical contraptions out of spare parts and wood. Eventually they build a working airplane out of their chicken coops, which is entirely pedal-powered.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The rats Nick and Fetcher don't wear shoes but are otherwise fully clothed.
  • Becoming the Boast: Rocky and Fowler are an interesting contrast. Both of them make big boasts that they can't live up to — Rocky's claim that he can fly, and Fowler's vague allusions to being in the Royal Air Force, which the others mistake for him having been a pilot. Rocky runs away rather than face the shame of exposure, only to return when his guilty conscience gets the better of him. After revealing that his service in the RAF was as a mascot, Fowler agrees to take the wheel of the plane because he still has more familiarity with airplanes than anyone else.
  • Becoming Part of the Image: During the climactic scene Mrs. Tweedy gets rammed into a billboard advertising her chicken pies, and has the smiling version of her face from the billboard stuck over her real one. When she rips the paper off, her actual expression is completely Ax-Crazy.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ginger and Rocky spend much of the first half of the film arguing, but realise there's an attraction there when they get to properly talk and even share a Dance of Romance.
  • Berserk Button: Ginger gets fed up pretty quickly of being called "doll face" by Rocky. One time he does it, she throws his towel at him. While escaping, Babs cheerfully calls her "doll face", which makes her sigh wistfully, because at that point Rocky had fled for parts unknown.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Babs may be The Ditz and cheerful for most of the time, but during the mudfight, she gets in with the fighting as well, and can be seen at the end biting another chicken's leg. Later, she's one of the chickens that takes down Mr. Tweedy.
    • Mac too, as in that same scene she calls Bunty out for being overly-aggressive and shoves Bunty hard enough to almost knock her over. Bunty and Mac then have to be separated to stop them attacking each other.
  • Big Bad: Mrs. Tweedy. While Mr. Tweedy seems to have inherited the farm from his parents before he married her, Mrs. Tweedy is definitely the one in charge, continually bosses him around and sets up the plan to kill all the chickens.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rocky's return in the climax; while Mrs. Tweedy has Ginger pinned to the ground and is threatening to kill her, Rocky comes flying over the fence on a tricycle, screaming Ginger's name as he does so.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: When Mrs. Tweedy is finally defeated at the end, Ginger and Rocky have one. After a few Almost Kisses earlier in the film, Ginger grabs Rocky by the beak, turns him to face her, and plants one on him. Considering they had finally managed to escape by then, there is a bit of Smooch of Victory in there too.
  • Big Eater: Most of the hens are pretty gluttonous, especially Babs. The exceptions are Ginger and Mac, who are considerably skinnier than all the other hens. They're about the same size as Rocky and Fowler.
    Babs: Chicken feed. My favourite!
  • Big "NO!": Rocky yells "No!" when Mrs. Tweedy seemingly kills Ginger. Includes a Futile Hand Reach.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When Ginger has a "Eureka!" Moment while the other chickens are fighting in the mud, she makes them stop and pay attention by yelling, "Everyone! SHUT! UP!".
  • Black Comedy: While the chickens' circumstances are undoubtably played for dramatic effect, they're still first and foremost intended to be funny. The slapstick mudfight during Ginger's Heroic BSoD, for example, is a very silly way of showing just how quickly the entire group devolves into chaos without Ginger's guidance.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: During a heated argument over warning the chickens of the impending prospect of death, Ginger does state that she cares about what happens to chickens, something that Rocky wouldn't understand. Rocky, on the other hand, was right when he calls Ginger out in return for being difficult and making things worse with her Brutal Honesty.
  • Boxed Crook: Rocky is an interesting variation in that the ultimatum for getting out — without being ratted out and sent back to the circus — is helping everyone else get out as well.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • CBBC airings have several edits, such as the scene where the chickens learn they are being fattened up has the end omitted where Babs shows Rocky that she has knitted a noose. Also omitted is the start of the scene where the two rats are informing the chickens where the exits are in the crate and what to do in the event of a crash, presumably down to one of the rats informing the chickens to "kiss your bum goodbye". Instead, the scene starts at the bit where Ginger asks if everyone is ready to take off.
    • When aired on ITV from 2020-2022, during the dance sequence and Fetcher was getting emotional, the question Nick asks Fetcher "What are you sobbing about, you nancy?" was edited to have "nancy" replaced with "fish".
  • Brawn Hilda: Bunty is big, strong, and unladylike.
  • Break the Cutie: The one time Ginger outright gives up on the possibility of escaping is after she discovers that Rocky couldn't fly.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Rocky abandons Ginger and the other chickens right before the climax because he can't actually fly, but comes back to help in the nick of time. While she slaps him for leaving them (and possibly for lying), she forgives him because he came back and they get together at the end.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Ginger imitates Rocky's American accent while saying she wouldn't expect a "Lone Free Ranger" to know anything about caring for her friends; When Rocky gets the idea to launch the chickens with an elastic band, he imitates the way that Scottish-accented Mac pronounces "Thrrrust".
  • Brick Joke: During the staff meeting, Fowler is covered by a sock to hide him and prevent Mr. Tweedy from seeing him. When Ginger leaves Hut 17 at the end of the scene, Fowler (still covered by the sock) falls over and hurts himself. The muffled grunt of pain as he hits the floor makes it all the funnier.
  • Brig Ball Bouncing: It wouldn't be an Affectionate Parody of The Great Escape without this trope showing up. After every failed escape attempt, Ginger is put in solitary confinement. While there, she passes time bouncing a brussel sprout against the wall just like Captain Hilts does with a tennis ball.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ginger when she tells the chickens they're being fattened up for slaughter. Rocky even calls her out for it, and he's proven right when the morale of the others is at its lowest after this speech when they swallowed their food slowly after Ginger tells them their fate.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Downplayed in Fetcher's case. He occasionally comes across as one because he's not as smart as Nick and is a bit slow on the uptake, but otherwise he's just as good at thievery as Nick.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever goes right for Mr. Tweedy, who gets injured and humiliated throughout the movie.
  • Captain Obvious: This little exchange near the end. It's meant to be a big plot twist, but it's just so obvious that you can't help but laugh.
    Ginger: But you're supposed to be up there! You're the pilot!
    Fowler: Don't be ridiculous. I can't fly this contraption.
    Ginger: "Back in your day"? The Royal Air Force?
    Fowler: 644 Squadron, Poultry Division - we were the mascots.
    Ginger: You mean you never actually flew the plane?
    Fowler: Good heavens, no! I'm a chicken! The Royal Air Force doesn't let chickens behind the controls of complex aircraft!
  • Captivity Harmonica: Parodied when Rocky comes back to find the chickens milling about the overturned food trough, having just heard from Ginger that they're all going to die, and there's one hen playing a mournful harmonica.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mr. Tweedy's belief that the chickens are "organised".
    Mr. Tweedy: I told you they was organised!
    Mrs. Tweedy: (gnashing her teeth at him) GRRRRR!!!
  • The Casanova: Rocky says he is brought to England because of all the beautiful English chicks. A few moments later, he is mid-sentence in that scene when he meets the rest of the chickens properly, he turns to one of them, winks at her and goes smoothly, "Hi, how are you?", causing her to faint.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Rocky abandons Ginger and the others before the climax because he knows he's a sham, but after seeing a billboard for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies, he realises he can't just abandon them, and he comes back just in time to save Ginger from Mrs. Tweedy and join the escape.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Fowler's RAF medal. It gets referenced several times, and Rocky leaves it behind when he flees the farm after Fowler awards it to him. Then Ginger gets a look at the medal, and realizes it's a plane. Fowler knows how to help them fly out of there! Cue their most daring escape plan.
    • Why on earth did they make such a big deal of showing the Christmas lights getting caught on the plane's wheel? Oh, now they're using it to climb! But I'm sure the lights don't serve any other... WAIT A MINUTE! IS THAT MRS. TWEEDY?!?
    • Another example is the turnip catapult from the escape meeting scene, which shows up again in the climax when it's used to launch eggs at the attacking Mrs. Tweedy. But it doesn't stop her.
    • The hole dug under the fence at the beginning with the spoon. First used in that scene, then it's later revealed Rocky used the same hole to escape from the farm.
    • Rocky's tricycle. Shows up first after he has fled the farm, and returns in his second Big Damn Heroes moment when he uses it to save Ginger from Mrs. Tweedy.
    • Gnomes. One shows up in the opening scene and one of the dogs bites its head off. Nick and Fetcher later hide inside two other gnomes to steal tools from Mr. Tweedy the chickens can use to build the crate with.
    • Mrs. Tweedy's axe. Shown first when Edwina is killed, then comes back in the climax. Ax-Crazy, indeed.
    • Both Babs' passion for knitting and Bunty's egg laying capabilities come in pretty useful when building the 'crate'. Later, she lends her scissors to Ginger so they can cut the safety line when Mrs. Tweedy grabs ahold of it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Fowler. He spends most of the film rambling about the RAF, then in the third act his stories inspire Ginger to build the crate and he ultimately becomes its pilot.
  • Chewing the Scenery: One word from Rocky: "FRRREEEDDOOOM!" Because he's just escaped the circus, and shows Ginger a way for the chickens to escape.
  • Chick Magnet: Rocky shows up, and practically all of the hens except Ginger are immediately swooning over him. Since they're all chickens this makes Rocky a literal chick magnet too.
  • Claymation: The film is animated in stop-motion, using silicone/latex models for the characters' bodies and Plasticine for the heads/hands/wings.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Fowler wasn't a pilot, but he'd been around them and might have picked up a thing or two.
  • Closet Shuffle: Whenever Rocky's presence needs to be hidden from the Tweedys he gets stuffed by the chickens into a cramped space under the floor.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Babs and Fetcher are both very air-headed and spacy, jumping to strange conclusions and not fully grasping what's going on.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Mr. Tweedy is correct in his strange-sounding theory about the hens being smarter than they look, which Mrs. Tweedy finds out the hard way.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Coincidental Article. Just when Mrs. Tweedy exclaims that she's sick and tired of making minuscule profits, a magazine ad catches her eye that says, "Sick and tired of making minuscule profits? Turn your chicken farm into a gold mine!" It's for the pie machine.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Babs thought Rocky had just gone on holiday. This got on Bunty's nerves ("Maybe he just wanted to get away from YOUR INFERNAL KNITTING!!"), and this escalated into a huge brawl until Ginger stops it.
    • Also Babs from much earlier in the film when the chickens learn of the pie machine.
    Babs: "I don't want to be a pie! I don't like gravy."
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Rocky flees from the farm rather than face the shame of revealing he can't fly, but as he's cycling through the countryside celebrating his newfound freedom, he comes across a billboard for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies. It's then that he realises he can't simply abandon Ginger and the others, as he won't ever know if they escaped or not, so he decides to go back, pulling off a Big Damn Heroes moment in the process and joining the others in escaping from the farm.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Three, all in the pie machine. The first one is sideways with Ginger upside-down. The second is when Ginger and Rocky have their feet stuck in the balls of dough in danger of being crushed. The third is when they are in the pie tin and in danger of being squirted by gravy.
  • Cooked to Death: Trapped in a machine meant to turn them into chicken pies, Ginger and Rocky evade the meat grinder meant to kill them, but nevertheless end up stuck in a pie in an industrial baking oven, and escape only at the last moment before the hatch closes.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Ginger says this in the climax. She says that Fowler all along had the knowledge to help them fly when he shows them his RAF memorabilia. They just have to listen to his instructions to build an escape plane.
  • Court-martialed: Fowler threatens Rocky with a court martial at one point, but it's an empty one as he doesn't really have the authority to go through with it.
  • Crapsack World: The farm is depicted as one for the chickens. They have no freedom and spend their whole lives laying eggs, and when they can't lay anymore, the farmers kill them. It gets worse when Mrs. Tweedy decides she can make more money by turning all of them into pies.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The final escape plain with the plane. Ginger realizes that if they put together Fowler's expertise with the Royal Air Force, Mac's engineering skills, Babs' craftswork, and Bunty's eggs (to pay for tools), they may actually pull it off. She reassures Fowler that he can pilot the plane, and he does so with aplomb. When the chickens are actually in the air, they are surprised that this plan worked.
  • Creator Cameo: Nick Park voices the chicken clucking for the tea kettle disguised as a chicken.
  • Credits Gag: Nick and Fetcher continue their argument of which came first, the chicken (Fetcher) or the egg (Nick), until Rocky tells them to stop.
  • Dance of Romance: The dance scene is when Ginger and Rocky start to fall for each other.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Ginger gives this speech to Fowler when he says chickens were never trained to fly planes, so he can't be their pilot for the escape crate. She says today is his day to be the hero, giving him his Airforce medal. With encouragement from Bunty, Fowler decides to take the pilot's seat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mrs. Tweedy belittles her husband with sarcasm.
    Mrs. Tweedy: It's a pie machine. Chickens go in, pie comes out.
    Mr. Tweedy: Oooooh. What kind of pies?
    Mrs. Tweedy: Apple.
  • Death Course: The pie machine is a gauntlet full of deadly booby traps for any chicken trying to escape.
  • Death Glare: Ginger does this several times. Perhaps unsurprisingly, so does Mrs. Tweedy. Mr. Tweedy also gives a few of these to Ginger.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Lampshaded here:
    Rocky: Flying takes three things; hard work, perseverance and...hard work.
    Fowler: You said "hard work" twice!
    Rocky: That's because it takes twice as much work as perseverance!
    (Makes a "Me one, you nothing" gesture)
  • Description Cut: This wonderful exchange;
    Mrs. Tweedy: (To her husband after he voices his suspicions of the chickens) They're chickens, you dolt! Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme and they are not! organised!
    [Cut to Ginger banging a gavel at (a very rowdy) escape meeting]
    Ginger: Order! ORDER!
  • Determinator: Ginger never gives up no matter how many times her escape attempts fail.
  • Disney Death: Ginger is seemingly beheaded by Mrs. Tweedy during the final escape attempt. It turns out she just ducked her head at the right moment and the axe severed the Christmas lights instead.
  • The Ditz:
    • Babs, the farm's resident "knit-wit", who is cheerful and friendly but not very bright.
    "I don't want to be a pie! ...I don't like gravy!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The whole thing is a gleefully unashamed rewriting of prisoner of war stories, with the prisoners becoming chickens and the Nazis becoming the Tweedys.
    • Also, take a closer look at Nick's attire. Along with the zip, it looks almost like a suit and tie.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • The chickens rushing Mr. Tweedy.
    • Mr. Tweedy pushing the barn door down on Mrs. Tweedy when the chickens escape.
  • Dope Slap: Mrs. Tweedy smacks her husband on the head with a clipboard for saying something stupid.
  • Double Entendre: When Mr. Tweedy is outside being attacked by the rebelling chickens.
    Mr. Tweedy: [covered in chickens] Mrs. Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!
    Mrs. Tweedy: [inside the house, not paying attention] Finally, something we agree on.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Played straight in a brief scene near the end when Ginger slaps Rocky in anger, but for the most part, averted like hell. Mrs. Tweedy is clearly a monster and her husband is just one of many whom she makes suffer.
  • The Drifter: Rocky likes to imagine himself as a wandering hero who doesn't like staying in one place too long, and plays this part in front of the chickens. He eventually realises that this is merely his excuse to leave whenever the going gets tough, and ends up settling down with Ginger instead.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the Norwegian dub, the "G" in Ginger was removed, becoming Inger, which is a Norwegian girl's name. Edwina was changed to Katrine. Instead of Rocky Rhodes, Rocky's full name was changed to "Rocky'n Roaldsen, Roll for short" becoming Rocky'n Roll.
    • In the Swedish dub, Ginger and Edwina's names were changed to Jenny and Elvira, respectively.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Ginger's question was rhetorical, yes, but Babs' responding in saying their life of laying eggs and served by not meeting their quotas is "a living" wasn't off since they couldn't do anything about it and they had little to no say in the matter.
  • Eagleland:
    • Well, for Fowler's reaction to Rocky, go to America Won World War II. The funny thing is, Rocky is indeed a mixed flavour leaning towards flavour 2. Quite frankly, Rocky actually is also indeed "overpaid, over-sexed and over here".
    • Gets even better in certain dubs where Fowler will say "Besides, he's American" [...] "Beware of guys like that, miss Ginger. Americans are unreliable."
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The chickens go through a lot of grief and mortal peril, but everything turns out well for them in the end when they escape in their airplane and get to enjoy freedom on an island sanctuary.
  • Easily Forgiven: Rocky's punishment for having lied to the chickens for days on end, making them train for nothing, wasting valuable time that could have been spent on other escape attempts and then abandoning them all to end up as slaughter is... a slap to his cheek, immediately followed by Ginger trying to kiss him instead, as she explains is for "coming back". The other chickens don't even react to him returning other than "aww"-ing at the two's Big Damn Kiss. Then again, Rocky just saved Ginger from Mrs. Tweedy as well, and they're in the middle of escaping, not giving the chickens much chance to interact with him, and it can be assumed he properly apologised to everyone once they landed.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Ginger's introduction has her hiding in the shadows, and then stepping into the light.
  • Empathic Environment: When Rocky is revealed as a fake after running away and his poster is connected — Ginger puts the two bits together — a thunderstorm starts. It is still raining as Ginger is in her Heroic BSoD. It then becomes sunny again when she has a "Eureka!" Moment.
  • Establishing Character Moment
    • The first scene of Mrs. Tweedy has Ginger, Mr. Tweedy and her guard dogs cowering in fear as she stands in the doorway of the farm house in a plush dressing gown, slippers and a shower cap. The fact that she's still intimidating while looking like this lets us know right away how much of a regular fright she is.
    • Babs' very first line (which also sets up a Running Gag) is asking Ginger if she enjoyed her "holiday" in the coal bin. Immediately, we know she's not exactly playing with a full deck.
    Babs: Mornin', Ginger. Back from holiday?
    Ginger: I wasn't on holiday, Babs, I was in solitary confinement.
    • Fowler is introduced ordering the others to get ready for the roll call when the bell sounds for it, and then talking about his time in the RAF before Bunty tells him to cut it out.
  • Establishing Movie Moment: After a few seconds of what looks like the opening to a typical prison escape movie, the foot of a would-be escapee comes out of the shadows, revealing itself to be that of... a chicken.
  • "Eureka!" Moment
    • Ginger when she reads Rocky's poster when he first arrives, giving her the idea they can fly out of the farm.
    • Ginger staring at Fowler's "medal" (actually one of the commercial flight pins pilots give children), which has wings on it, gives her the idea that they can fly away, just not under their own power.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: A gravy explosion looks an awful lot like a mushroom cloud.
  • Evil Egg Eater: Downplayed with the rats Nick and Fletcher. While they are fairly shifty and very insistent that they want eggs in payment for their smuggled goods, which naturally the hens are reluctant to turn over, they are overall helpful to the chickens's efforts to escape. They also don't get to eat any eggs onscreen, as first they're tricked into being promised all of Rocky's eggs - Rocky being a rooster - then all the real eggs they're given end up being used as catapult ammo, Nick and Fletcher weeping as they load and fire.
  • Evil Overlooker: The main posters and DVD cover have Mrs. Tweedy's face projected onto a cloud in the background.
  • Exact Words:
    • Rocky's promise to Nick and Fetcher - every egg he lays for a month.
    Ginger: Which is nothing.
    Rocky: Which is what I'll give them.
    • Fowler frequently talks about his time in the RAF. At no point did he say he was a pilot. He's rather surprised to learn this caused confusion.
  • Expospeak Gag: After Rocky wakes up with an injured wing, there is this bit of dialogue:
    Rocky: Ouch! What happened to my wing?
    Ginger: You took a rather nasty fall.
    Mac: And sprained the anterior tendon connecting your radius to your humerus. I gave her a wee bit of a tweak, Jimmy, and wrapped her up.
    Rocky: Was that English?
    Ginger: She said you sprained your wing. She fixed it.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Early in the movie, one of the dogs eats the head of a ceramic garden gnome.
  • Face Palm: Ginger after the Literal-Minded reaction to her "Let's not lose our heads" line.
  • Failure Montage: The film begins with a montage of Ginger's plans to break out of the farm, each one ending with her being stuck in solitary confinement as punishment.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Rocky, who lets his "flying rooster" reputation go to his head. Once he has to give an actual demonstration, he chickens out.
    • To a lesser degree, Fowler. While he never outright says he was a wartime hero, his ramblings gave off that impression. When he finally admits he was just the mascot, he insists that it should have been obvious, since no air force would employ chickens as pilots.
  • False Reassurance: Most of Rocky's promises (including the one to teach the hens how to fly) are true except for a few little details which he doesn't bother to mention.
  • Fanfare: With kazoos!
  • Fat and Skinny: Mr. Tweedy is short and stocky and his wife Mrs. Tweedy is Lean and Mean; meanwhile, Nick is shorter and fat while his partner Fetcher is tall and skinny.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mrs. Tweedy comes across as this when talking to the circus master.
  • Fearsome Foot: Mrs. Tweedy is often introduced in her black boots marching through the chicken farm during inspections, purposely parallelling the visual sight of an approaching concentration camp officer.
  • Feather Fingers: In order to show the chickens using human tools, the film treats their wing feathers as if they were fingers. How else would you depict a chicken using scissors?
  • Feet-First Introduction: Ginger and Mrs. Tweedy.
  • Feminist Fantasy: You might not think too much about it as you're watching claymated chickens escape a chicken farm, but just imagine if the movie had been about human characters escaping prison camp: The main cast are 85% female, the main character the brave leader of her group of women trying their best to escape their confinement through various inventive methods. The females are of all shapes and sizes, with unique and fun personalities. The one male in their group is an old man not doing much of importance but offer more comedy relief. While a second male character appears and the females trust him to be their rescuing factor, he eventually turns out to be a phoney, causing the female protagonist to again take charge and come up with the plan that ultimately saves them all. Again, imagine this movie with humans and the trope is in full effect. The trope even extends to the antagonist side. A strong willed and business savvy woman who is determined to turn her family's ailing chicken farm into a profitable business, armed with a steadfast refusal to let anyone, not even her bumbling husband, impede her goals.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ginger has red feathers, making her the hen equivalent. Perhaps she's a downplayed example since she isn't Hot-Blooded or irritable to the extent of having a Hair-Trigger Temper, but she is the most brave and defiant hen and often gets angry at Rocky for not taking things seriously.
  • Finger Extinguisher: A chicken extinguishes a flame with her hand to hide evidence the chicken are organised, before Mr. Tweedy opens the hut's roof to check on them. Unusually for the trope, she's heard saying "Ouch!" right afterwards.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • When Ginger finds the piece of paper Rocky left behind and is slowly walking towards his poster, circus music can be heard in the background.
    • When Mrs. Tweedy is winding up to decapitate Ginger as they're both hanging from the Christmas lights dangling from the airborne crate, Ginger, absent any blade to cut the line and unable to bite through it, briefly glances down the lights below her neck and back at Mrs. Tweedy ready to chop her head off. Shortly afterwards, it's revealed she quickly ducked and tricked her oppressor into cutting her only connection to the plane herself.
  • Foil: Ginger and Mrs. Tweedy to each other. Both are resourceful and goal-driven, but Mrs. Tweedy is self-centered and motivated only by greed, while Ginger is kind and caring and wants what's best for all the chickens.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: When Edwina is killed, the thud of the axe is punctuated by the single mournful toll of a bell.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Fowler reminisces several times about "the crate" and his RAF days, which becomes important when Ginger asks him if he can help them build an airplane and fly it.
    • When Edwina is about to be killed, Ginger holds one hand to her neck before the inevitable thud. In the climax, Mrs. Tweedy comes very close to cutting off Ginger's head with likely the same axe, but tricks Mrs. Tweedy into cutting the Christmas lights.
    • The magazine with the headline "Turn Your Chicken Farm Into a Goldmine" foreshadows the whole thing with the pie machine that will come into play later.
    • Right before Rocky flies in, as Ginger is crying against the fence, we hear and see what appears to be thunder and lightning. It's the cannon that he was launched from in a circus act, meaning he can't actually fly under his own power. Then, when she puts the missing piece on the poster, it's accompanied by Dramatic Thunder.
    • And when Rocky is recovering in the hut, he's heard mumbling something about not wanting to get stuffed in there again. It sounds like prison. It's the cannon.
    • Rocky's poster is torn at the bottom corner. The missing piece depicts the cannon.
    • Fowler tells Ginger at one point to watch herself when it comes to Rocky, stating he's "not to be trusted".
    • On Rocky's first night in the farm, he remarks that it can't be hard to escape from the farm and attempts to do so then and there before Ginger gets across to him that she wants all of the chickens to get out of the farm at once. Rocky does manage to escape from the farm later when he uses the hole under the fence that Ginger dug at the start of the film. However, he realises, after seeing a billboard for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies, that he can't abandon Ginger and the others, so he returns and pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Then there's Rocky's line under Non Sequitur, *Thud*:
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Everyone except the Tweedys and the circus master.
  • Friend in the Black Market: The rats, Nick and Fetcher, are acquaintances of Ginger who sell stolen items to help in her escape attempts. This overlaps with Honest John's Dealership since their merchandise is stolen and heavily used, but hey—at least it works!
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The clipboard Mrs. Tweedy has during the first roll call shows the farm is located in the fictional town/village of Dulldale, North Riding (now North Yorkshire).
    • When Mrs. Tweedy slams her fist down to shut Mr. Tweedy up, their wedding photo is glimpsed in the background. It can also be seen behind her desk.
    • When Mr. Tweedy briefly catches the chickens all doing press-ups in unison, Bunty is doing hers one-handed.
    • When Mrs. Tweedy almost beheads Ginger while hanging from the Christmas lights there is a very easy-to-miss frame where you can see Ginger ducking her head away and the axe severing the Christmas lights.
    • On the tree behind Bunty and Babs at the end, there is a heart carved into the trunk with two names inside it. Upon closer inspection, it reads "Bunty + Fowler."
  • Fun with Homophones: When the chickens attack him, Mr. Tweedy calls out "Mrs. Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!". Mrs. Tweedy, without even looking up, replies, "Finally, something we agree on."
  • Funny Animal: On the anthropomorphic scale the chickens are funny animals. They have the shape and proportions of real chickens (barring a few human-like traits such as Feather Fingers), but their intelligence, speech, and behavior are almost just like humans. Nick and Fletcher are also funny animals because of their realistic size despite having more human-like proportions than the chickens; The guard dogs are examples of regular animals because they walk, bark, and behave like actual dogs do.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During roll call near the beginning of the movie, Bunty pushes aside a dark brown chicken who was sleeping on the spot to make room for Ginger. In the next shot we see the brown chicken getting up and looking dazed. When Mrs. Tweedy starts walking down, Fowler gets on the other side of Bunty; knocking over the dark brown chicken again!
    • Mrs. Tweedy rolling her eyes and pulling the plug on the malfunctioning pie machine. Followed by her then picking up a pie and looking at her husband.
    • When Mr. Tweedy is trying to repair the pie machine after Rocky saves Ginger from it, he gets it working, but then it stops again. As he presses a button on it, it sends a jet of gravy right at Mrs. Tweedy behind him and it hits her in the face. In retaliation she kicks him in the backside. And before that, he plugs in two cables and it covers Mrs. Tweedy's face in smoke.
    • As Mrs. Tweedy is standing at the pie machine near the end, Mr. Tweedy can be seen through the window behind her, covered in the chickens attacking him.
    • After the pie machine explodes, the dogs can be seen behind Mrs. Tweedy happily licking up the gravy all over the floor.

    Tropes G-N 
  • Genius Ditz: Babs is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but is an expert in all things sewing and knitting. Watch her surf through the fabric as the chickens sew the wings for their plane.
  • Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: Spoofed.
    Ginger:: We'll either die free chickens, or die trying!
    Babs: Are those the only choices?
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Just before Mrs. Tweedy cuts off Edwina's head, the camera cuts to the other chickens. The sound of the axe is all we need to hear to know that she's dead.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: When the chickens find out that Rocky was shot out of a cannon and couldn't really fly.
  • Great Escape: Complete with a Suspiciously Similar Song version of the theme!
  • Greek Chorus: Nick and Fetcher comment on the futility of the chicken's escape attempts while observing with detached amusement.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Fowler is an irritable old rooster who gets cranky whenever he or the rules are being disrespected.
  • Gut Punch: When Edwina gets beheaded, albeit offscreen, and later her bones are seen on the kitchen table. It shows right away just how much of a threat the Tweedys are.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: The "crate" is a vehicle powered entirely by the chickens themselves, who in a variation of this trope use bicycle pedals.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Several montages throughout the film show the chickens building contraptions or digging tunnels for their escape attempts. The biggest one involves them constructing the "crate", or airplane, where every single chicken is working their rump off while sawing and hammering, intercut with Mr. Tweedy as he repairs the damaged pie machine.
  • Hartman Hips: With chickens. Even Rocky and Fowler have these.
  • Hate Sink: Mrs. Tweedy is characterized as a vile and greedy "warden" responsible for all the misery on Tweedy's Chicken Farm. She runs the coop like a concentration camp, forcing the chickens to constantly lay eggs to fill her profit margins and sadistically killing any that fails to deliver the quota. When she becomes unsatisfied with their egg production, she decides to turn them all into chicken pies for short-term profits. She is also extremely abusive to her husband, dismissing his concerns about the chickens plotting an escape as mere delusions and forcing him to build (and eventually repair) the pie machine alone.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment:
    • After Ginger's Oh, Crap! when Mr. Tweedy manages to fix the pie machine, Mr. Tweedy stands back and laughs triumphantly.
    • When Mr. Tweedy catches the chickens adding the last-minute fixes to their plane, Mac asks what the plan is. Realizing they have no choice, Ginger shouts "Attack!" and leads a dogpile — er, chicken pile— onto Mr. Tweedy. Bunty says "Nice plan!" and joins in the fracas.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Bunty gets stuck under the fence near the beginning of the movie when they're trying to escape.
  • Henpecked Husband: Haha... no, but seriously, Mr. Tweedy can't stand up to his domineering wife, doing whatever she asks of him while she regularly hits and belittles him. It's heavily implied that he pushes the barn door to crush her at the end.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: After seeing the chickens so depressed by Ginger rather bluntly telling them they were all being fattened up for slaughter, Rocky gets Nick and Fetcher to steal a radio and cheer them up by getting them to dance to a jazzy number. Ginger appreciates the effort, and so does Fowler when he's forced to participate.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Rocky starts falling for Ginger after they dance during the "Flip, Flop, Fly" scene. Though he might have been a little interested beforehand at how hard she was to impress contrary to what he was used to.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ginger loses hope and is about to give up after Rocky's deceit is revealed along with his departure.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Ginger almost pulled this by apparently letting Mrs. Tweedy behead her along with cutting the line that was attached to the crate with the escaping chickens. Turns out she just ducked away, but still, a pretty dark implication.
    • While it's easier to miss in the chaos of the moment, Ginger jumping out of the crate to fix the ramp is also sacrificial on her part since she wouldn't have any way to get back on. Had the crate not been dragging the Christmas lights, she would have been trapped on the farm while everyone else made it to safety.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Nick and Fetcher sell smuggled products to the chickens, which are stolen and heavily used, and refuse to let them have the good stuff unless they pay in eggs.
  • Humanlike Hand Anatomy: For this movie, they would have needed to come up with some pretty ingenious ways for all the chickens to use their various tools if they all had actual wings instead of arms.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Nick and Fetcher make pun after pun while laughing at the chickens' flight experiments:
    Nick: "Poultry in motion!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Fowler first meets Rocky, he comments: "I don't like the look of this guy. His eyes are too close together!"
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Ginger's personal reason for escaping is her desire to feel grass beneath her feet and go wherever she wants without a farmer to keep her down. The other chickens want this too, although they've become increasingly resigned to their lives. Rocky doesn't want to go back to the circus either.
  • I Meant to Do That: A variation. Nick says that the radio at the start of the dancing scene is as solid as a rock, and Fetcher lightly punches it. The knob next to him flies off and a spring shoots out. After a brief moment of awkwardness, Fetcher says, "It's supposed to do that."
  • Impact Silhouette: When Ginger and Rocky try to escape from the oven of the pie machine, Rocky winds up falling into all of the pies that are being cooked, with a bunch of Rocky-shaped holes in all of the pies that he had fallen into.
  • Improvisational Ingenuity: By the time the film starts, the chickens have already managed to organise themselves, install a network of secret passages throughout the coop and plot a series of elaborate escape attempts, and that's before they get around to building a working plane in the finale.
  • Improvised Zipline: Rocky ziplines from the chicken coop into the pie machine building using a telephone wire and a coat hanger.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Fowler complains out loud about having to share his bunk with Rocky, while Rocky is lying right next to him. Rocky hits back by saying that Fowler wasn't his first choice of bedmate, either.
  • Indy Escape: Inside the pie machine, Rocky and Ginger avoid gigantic rolling gears while dodging bolts popping out of the walls. These perils resemble the kind of giant boulder and arrows-from-the-wall booby traps seen in your typical Raiders of the Lost Parody.
  • Indy Hat Roll: In the same part Ginger slips under a slowly closing door, and snatches back her hat from the other side just before it shuts.
  • Indy Ploy: When Mr. Tweedy discovers what the chickens are doing, Ginger struggles to figure out what to do next, before just yelling, "ATTACK!!!"
    Bunty: Nice plan!
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Subverted with Mr. Tweedy, who's smart enough not to underestimate the chickens, in particular Ginger, whom he decides to use as the first victim of the pie machine.
  • Ironic Echo: A couple in the scene where Rocky is discovered to be on the run.
    • Rocky first uses "It's a cruel world" to Ginger, who later in the scene uses it to him.
    • Rocky stops Ginger from squawking by grabbing her beak. Ginger does the same thing to him later in the scene when she gets fed up of him calling her "doll face".
  • I Warned You: Said by Mr. Tweedy to Mrs. Tweedy the Sore Loser in possibly the meekest example of this trope after the chickens revolt and fly the coop.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During the argument with Ginger, Rocky isn't wrong when he calls Ginger out for not realizing how she's hurting the other chickens with her Brutal Honesty.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Ginger can be a little stick in the mud when it comes to honesty (even when she gets called out by Rocky for her Brutal Honesty), but she still cares about what happens to her friends.
    • Rocky. Ginger couldn't stand him at the beginning, and he flees the farm out of shame, but he proves to be fearless and caring in the end. He organizes the "Flip, Flop, Fly" number to motivate the chickens to escape (and rightfully calls Ginger out by telling her that Brutal Honesty won't work),after he flees the farm, his conscience makes him return and he saves Ginger's life twice.
    • Bunty as well. She doubts the plans to escape and seems to pour scorn on them, but she does care for the others.
    • Nick and Fetcher. They refuse to work for Ginger unless she pays them in eggs, mock the chickens' attempts to fly and insult Rocky once or twice behind his back. On the other hand, they gladly retrieve the items the chickens need to build the crate with once they receive the eggs they want as payment, attempt to fight off Mrs. Tweedy with Rocky (at the expense of the eggs Ginger paid them with) and are just as happy as the chickens are when they finally escape.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: While the arrival of the pie-making machine was inevitable, Rocky could have saved a lot of heartbreak had he just told the hens from the beginning that he can't really fly (he tries to tell Ginger after the dance scene, but by then they had already gotten their hopes up and their disappointment would have been more painful than it needed to be).
  • Karmic Jackpot: Nick and Fetcher sacrifice the eggs they earned to buy Ginger time to cut the Christmas lights onto their escape plane. For that, they become lifelong friends to the chickens, with as many eggs as they like.
  • Kazoos Mean Silliness: John Powell and Harry Gregson-Williams' score often features kazoos to emphasize its sillier and more lighthearted moments.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Rocky eventually falls for Ginger.
  • Last-Name Basis: Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy address each other as such, and it may take viewers a while to realise they're actually a married couple. In rural Yorkshire, it was not uncommon for a married couple to address their spouses that way.
  • Laugh of Love: Rocky dancing with Ginger is when the two start developing feelings for each other, and Ginger is heard laughing at one point.
  • The Leader: Ginger is a combination of Types II and III.
  • Leitmotif: Several of them appear throughout the film:
    • The main title theme, of course, plays in a few different places, like during Ginger and Rocky's conversation on the rooftop, and when the chickens finally leap the fence to freedom.
    • A very dramatic theme plays during many action sequences, like during the pie machine sequence, the opening chase scene, and during the climax with Mrs. Tweedy.
    • Rocky surprisingly gets two.
      • The first is an almost patriotic orchestral melody. This version gets several reprises, including a dark one when the flock finds the second half of the circus poster.
      • The second one is a big band-styled jazz tune, perhaps echoing Rocky's at-the-time cocky and conceited nature. This one doesn't play nearly as often as the first.
    • A clarinet-driven melody plays during scenes involving Nick and Fetcher.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Uttered verbatim by Rocky when making sense of Ginger's plan, combined with Suddenly Shouting: "You want to get every chicken in this place out of here AT THE SAME TIME?!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: All the chickens get this in the climax:
    • Ginger orders everyone to work together to build the plane. For once, the chickens are completely serious and focused on the task, dismantling their hatches for the wood and nails. Then when Mr. Tweedy catches them just as they're about to finish, they join in on attacking him when Ginger orders them to charge.
    • Babs gets this as she leads the manufacturing department. While flitting around, she successfully creates plane wings that can handle Mac's equations.
    • Fowler reveals that chickens were never trained as pilots so he doesn't know how to fly or navigate. With a pep talk from Ginger and encouragement from Bunty, however, he steps into the pilot seat and successfully engages in takeoff, driving, and flying. Everyone is impressed at his courage.
    • Rocky pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment by tackling Mrs. Tweedy, helping Ginger mount the exit ramp, and telling her to grab onto the Christmas lights so they escape with the others.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: The label for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies is a chicken's head popping out of a pie, smiling.
  • Liar Revealed: Played with. As mentioned above, Rocky lets the "flying rooster" reputation go to his head and decides to play along, until, most likely due to fear of being kicked out (which is how the trope usually works), decides to flee and leave behind the piece of the poster that reveals his secret.
  • Lineage Ladder: Mr. Tweedy is initially against the pie machine because the family came from a line of egg farmers, starting from his father and up the family tree, but Mrs. Tweedy shuts him down by calling them all poor, and makes it pretty clear that she refuses to live out the same fate by brandishing a buzzsaw-like blade in front of her husband's face.
    Mr. Tweedy: No more eggs? But we've always been egg farmers; me father, and his father, and all their fathers. They was always-
    Mrs. Tweedy: Poor! Worthless! Nothings! But all of that is about to change, this will take Tweedy's farm out of the Dark Ages and into full-scale automated production. Melisha Tweedy will be poor no longer.
  • Literal Metaphor: A good few.
    • "Really? Because it seems like we're going round in circles." (Cut to the other chickens, who are doing exactly that.)
    • Nick and Fetcher are tired of being paid in chicken feed because it's, well... chicken feed.
    • When the pie machine is sabotaged, it's because of a spanner in the works. Literally.
    • A funny one later, in the form of the line, "Let's not lose our heads." Taken literally by the other chickens. Bad choice of words.
    • While trying to escape the pie-machine, Rocky and Ginger fall into a chamber and he exclaims, "Whew! It's like an oven in here..." A second later, gas flames shoot up on all sides and the door starts to close.
  • Loud Gulp: The chickens gulp in unison (swallowing the heaps of chicken feed they all had in their mouths) after Ginger tells them that the food they've been eating was to fatten them up for slaughter.
  • Malicious Misnaming: It's not Dollface, it's Ginger.
  • Man Hug: Nick and Fetcher have one after the chickens manage to escape. And before that, Rocky gives one to Nick and Fetcher when they get rid of Mrs. Tweedy.
  • Manly Tears: You can see Rocky was shedding some before he discovered that Ginger hadn't been decapitated. Nick and Fetcher shed them too when loading the eggs into the catapult to fire at Mrs. Tweedy during the climax. Nick is also shedding them when he and Fetcher have a Man Hug after this.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The other chickens have one when Ginger is taken to the pie machine.
      Bunty: We mustn't panic. We mustn't panic!
      (Beat, then the chickens scream their heads off)
    • The chickens have one earlier, when the attempt to escape using the Mrs. Tweedy dummy fails.
  • Match Cut: At the end of the pie machine scene, Mrs. Tweedy picks up a pie and aims to hit Mr. Tweedy in the face with it. Before the pie makes contact, the scene cuts to Ginger sticking up the Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies sticker on a wall for everyone to see.
  • Mean Boss: Mrs. Tweedy constantly mistreats her henpecked husband while bossing him around.
  • Meaningful Name: Nick (as in English euphemism for steal) and Fetcher. Also, Ginger is ginger (i.e. reddish).
    • The chicken killed by Mrs. Tweedy is called Edwina. It's a clear reference to Edwina Currie, a British politician who started a health scare about salmonella poisoning in British eggs, leading to the cull of millions of chickens.
  • Million to One Chance: The chances of the chickens escaping, according to Bunty. Ginger calmly tells her that this means that there's still a chance, then excuses herself to go outside and cry as she realises how right Bunty is.
  • Moment Killer: Mr. Tweedy delivers a heaping serving of feed, and the chickens go nuts, cheering and stuffing their mouths as fast as they can. Ginger, unable to get their attention, upends the trough and tells them the Tweedys are fattening them up and plan to kill them. This goes about over about as well as you'd expect, and Rocky even calls her out over it.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • There's a lot of levity in the opening credits, and horsing around with Fowler and Bunty during the lineup, but then you have Edwina, and her execution is not Played for Laughs. The music becomes mournful and dark, followed by an execution, and to drive the point home, her freshly eaten bones are on the Tweedy dinner table. At that point, Ginger's desperate attempts to escape aren't so funny anymore.
    • In-universe, Nick and Fetcher get one. When Bunty slams into the fence during the thrust session, they are laughing at Nick's jibe at Bunty's expense, but their laughing turns to screaming as they realise Bunty is about to land on them.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Happens to Babs, who then adds with a deadpan, "It was really boring."
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Mrs. Tweedy may as well be called Hitler with the chickens as Jews, including a gas oven.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Played straight with the humans ("You are going to be a pie!") but averted with most of the chickens.
    • Invoked by Rocky (while not wrong), who tells Ginger that Brutal Honesty isn't going to work ("You know, if you want to motivate someone, don't mention death.") Indeed, the chickens' morale is at its lowest after one of Ginger's speeches where she brutally tells them that the Tweedys are setting them up for slaughter.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The advertising for the movie focused on the action sequences and screwball slapstick elements while glossing over the parallels to World War II, the references to prison escape films, the love story and the constant threat of death.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The first escape attempt seen in the film fails because Ginger didn't dig the hole big enough for Bunty's size, causing her to get stuck and draw Mr. Tweedy's attention.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Mr. Tweedy avoids this for the most part, although he does have one moment with the chicken pie machine. After dropping Ginger into the machine alive, Rocky jumped in, and they were able to tamper with the machine to escape. It's still possible that Ginger could have done it alone as she helped Rocky escape from the oven.
    • It is played straight, however, when Mrs. Tweedy spares Babs from the chop. It notifies Ginger that their eggs will no longer keep them alive, and the chickens decide to use them to get tools from Nick and Fetcher to build an escape plane.
    • When Mrs. Tweedy has supposedly beheaded Ginger with her axe while on the string of lights, it is revealed that not only did Mrs. Tweedy miss Ginger, but she cut the wires between the two of them and falls as a result. To top it off, she falls into the warehouse and plugs up the gravy tank, causing the pressure to build until it blows up the pie machine she had built up her entire plot around.
    • Mrs. Tweedy telling Mr. Tweedy "It's all in your head", which he repeats to himself even when he starts noticing things that would have clued him into the chicken's plot much earlier. By the time he catches onto their plan to escape, it's already too far enough along for him to prevent it.
  • The Nicknamer: Rocky, though only with Fowler, who he calls "Pops" and "Grandpa" at one point, Ginger, who he calls "Doll face" or "Angel face", and Nick and Fetcher. He refers to everyone else by their names, and after he rescues Ginger from certain death in the pie machine, he starts calling her by her name too.
    • Nick and Fetcher. Other than themselves, they don't refer to anyone else by their names.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Replace "thud" with "gets a feeding trough dropped on him."
  • No One Gets Left Behind:
    • Bunty when she can shares her eggs with chickens who have stopped laying to save their lives. She's horrified on realizing Edwina didn't tell anyone, just as the chicken is up for the chop.
    • Ginger explains to Rocky soon after meeting him that it's not so hard for one to two chickens to escape from the farm, but it's about getting all of them out of the farm at once.
  • Not So Above It All: Fowler walks in on the other chickens dancing to music, organised by Rocky, and after Bunty tells him to shut up and dance, he also gets in on it, and a later shot shows him dancing with another hen with a rose in his mouth and a grin on his face.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: The chickens are caught in the middle of spying on the farm's owners through binoculars. After a Beat or two of silence, every single chicken starts whistling (in unison) and looking innocent, with their hands holding the binoculars behind their backs. They get away with it because Mr. Tweedy convinces himself that it's all in his head—chickens, after all, do not plot.
  • No, You: This moment as the bell is ringing for the second roll call:
    Rocky: Hide me!
    Ginger: Hide yourself!
  • No, You Go First: When Rocky finds Ginger on the roof.

    Tropes O-Z 
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Briefly, when Ginger is dropped into the pie machine, the camera remains with Rocky when he too is accidentally dragged inside when a compliment of mixed vegetables is dropped on his head, and has to navigate the 'Meat' section of the machine with grinder blades before getting deposited into a blob of pastry dough on a conveyor belt. Despite no obvious means of reaching said section herself (Rocky was dropped into the belt due to a convenient pipe that fell in the right direction) Ginger is already there despite having apparently not used the same method to avoid getting ground up, emphasising her competency compared to the other chickens.
  • Off with His Head!: Poor, poor Edwina.
  • Oh, Crap!: A lot of them.
    • Ginger at the start when the dog closing in on her bites off the gnome's head.
    • Ginger gets a brief one when, after tunnelling out of the yard, she doesn't look where she's going and bumps straight into one of the dogs.
    • During the morning egg count, Mrs. Tweedy stops before Edwina, and knowing what this means, Ginger and Bunty have this reaction, since neither of them knew that Edwina had stopped laying eggs until it was too late.
    • Rocky when the circus truck arrives and Ginger figures out he's on the run, and then later when the truck delivering the pie machine arrives and he thinks it's the circus again.
    • Nick and Fetcher in the Mood Whiplash moment above.
    • Babs when she reveals she hasn't laid any eggs at the second roll call.
    • Rocky and Ginger inside the pie machine with their feet stuck in the dough.
    • Rocky's line inside the pie machine: "Whoa, it's like an oven in here." Immediately after he says that, cue the Oh, Crap! when he realises it is an oven. Seconds later, he and Ginger get another one, noticeably jumping when the door starts closing.
    • Mr. Tweedy at the end of the pie machine sequence, right before receiving a Pie in the Face.
    • Ginger, when she unfolds the bottom half of Rocky's poster.
    • Fowler has one in the mud fight after Bunty punches him in the face, right before she jumps on top of him and starts throttling him.
    • Ginger when Mr. Tweedy fixes the pie machine.
    • Mr. Tweedy when the chickens attack him near the end.
    • Mr. Tweedy when he sees his wife with her head in the pie machine, causing it to overload and shake violently. Realizing the machine's gonna blow, Mr. Tweedy quickly closes the door, just as the pie machine explodes in an huge eruption of gravy.
    • Mrs. Tweedy gets two in the climax. The first is when Ginger reveals that she cut the string of lights with the axe. The second is when Mr. Tweedy pushes the barn door down on her.
  • Only One Name: Obviously a given for almost all of the chickens who are given names, averted in the cases of Rocky and Fowler. Rocky's name is Rocky Rhodes (short for Rocky the Rhode Island Red), and when Fowler is inspired to pilot the crate, he calls himself "T. I. Fowler", suggesting Fowler is actually his surname.
  • Only Sane Man: Ginger is the only chicken who is both clear-headed about the danger of staying on the farm and doesn't have.
  • Oop North: The Yorkshire setting gets some of the associated tropes. However, not all of the characters have Yorkshire accents (Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy do, but the chickens' accents are from all over the UK).
  • Orphaned Punchline: Rocky's, "And the pig says to the horse, 'Hey man, why the long face?'" No setup is even needed.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Rocky managing to fall face-down into every single pie while he and Ginger are escaping from the oven.
  • Packed Hero: During the pie machine sequence, Rocky and Ginger briefly get trapped inside a pie.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Upon seeing the chickens' attempts at flying, Nick and Fetcher decide to stop scrounging and watch them repeatedly fail miserably.
  • Period Piece: Although it's never outright stated in the film itself, Word of God is that the movie is set in 1959. It was even filmed with '50s cameras for added effect. Which makes it rather odd that Rocky was singing along to Dion Dimucci's "The Wanderer", a song that wasn't released until two years later.
  • Phony Veteran: At least semi-phony. Fowler did serve in the military, but only as a mascot. To be fair he never actually claimed to be a pilot, he was just vague about the whole thing. Plus, no one really listened to him until the end.
  • Pie in the Face: Mr. Tweedy receives one from Mrs. Tweedy at the end of the pie machine sequence, but thanks to a Match Cut, the scene cuts away before the pie makes contact.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Had Rocky not been so reluctant to just tell the hens right away that he couldn't fly, they'd have had much more time to work on plan B.
  • POW Camp: The farm is meant to invoke a prisoner of war camp, with wire fences and constant patrols as well as regular inspections.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Ginger's "Bye-bye." to Mrs. Tweedy.
  • Proj-egg-tile: As Mrs. Tweedy tries to climb into the chickens' airplane, they throw their own eggs at her to try and stop her.
  • Properly Paranoid: Mr. Tweedy is right about the hens being smart, and this fact comes to bite Mrs. Tweety in the bum.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Mrs. Tweedy to Mr. Tweedy while he was explaining about how the egg farming industry was brought down from their fathers.
    Mr. Tweedy: They was always-
    Mrs. Tweedy: Poor! Worthless! Nothings!
    • Bunty, after getting tired of Fowler's rambling about medals: "Oh, would you just shut up about your stupid! Bloomin'! Medals!"
  • Punny Name:
    • Rocky the Rhode Island Red, or Rocky Rhodes for short. It's a pun on "Rocky Roads".
    • Fowler, the RAF vet, shares his name with a type of flap.
  • Punishment Box: Ginger is put in the coal bunker everytime she's caught trying to escape.
  • Pungeon Master: Nick and Fletcher share this title, especially during their flight-spectating punning spree.
  • Race Against the Clock: The final act runs on this. With the Tweedys' pie machine damaged thanks to Ginger and Rocky, the chickens race to build themselves an airplane before Mr. Tweedy fixes the machine, complete with a montage of both parties working on their projects and performing similar actions.
  • The Rat: Bonus points for the farm's resident scroungers being actual rats.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Building the Crate and The Chickens Are Revolting end up in Miss Congeniality 2 as the background music for a show called Treasure Island.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: The trailer uses some soundtrack from Antz, specifically the tracks "The Colony" and "The Bar", as well as the main themes of The Great Escape and MouseHunt.
  • Red Herring: When Ginger orders the crate prepared for flight after Mr. Tweedy is subdued, Mac tells her that it's not yet ready for use. We're expecting this to be Foreshadowing for some kind of catastrophe during the escape (and originally it was going to be), but in the final film nothing ever comes of it and the crate flies without a hitch.
  • Red Shirt: Edwina gets killed to show the viewers the trouble the Chickens face, as well as why they want to escape.
  • Released to Elsewhere: Babs is under this impression all the time when a chicken is beheaded. She believes them to be "on holiday."
  • Resourceful Rodent: Subverted, Nick and Fetcher are a pair of merchants and smugglers who take whatever they can get so they can sell them as tools for the chickens. They use a toffee tin as a suitcase and they offer a shuttlecock as a veil, a thimble as a cup, and a sink plug as a pendant. However, the pair aren't that smart because they couldn't tell the difference between a hen and a rooster (they believed Rocky when he told them he could lay his own eggs). They were instrumental in the chickens' escape because they stole the necessary tools from the farmers by disguising themselves as garden gnomes.
  • The Reveal: Rocky never knew how to fly. When Ginger saw him he had been shot out of a cannon.
  • Ring Around the Collar: The chicken character models were made of a combination of plasticine for their heads and silicone rubber for their bodies. To hide the join, all the chickens wear scarves, necklaces, or any other kind of neckgear.
  • Rousing Speech: Bunty wasn't convinced however.
    Bunty: In all my life, I've never heard such a fantastic... LOAD OF TRIPE!
  • Rule of Funny: Neither Mrs. or Mr. Tweedy seem to notice or care that the chickens are wearing articles of clothing. Gets especially weird when Mr. Tweedy chooses Ginger to go into the pie machine; you'd think he'd at least remove her clothing at that point not have the pie come out with a beanie and scarf inside. A more frightening guess however is that the makers purposefully didn't have him remove her clothing so not to make too obvious a reference to a certain Holocaust event...
  • Rule of Three:
    • Mrs. Tweedy finds out about the pie machine and tries to shush Mr. Tweedy about his suspicions about the plotting chickens twice. When that fails, cue a fist coming down hard.
    • Realising that Rocky is on the run from the circus and in an attempt to blackmail him into teaching the chickens how to fly, Ginger squawks twice to alert the circus owner and the Tweedys before Rocky clamps her beak shut each time. At the third time, Rocky was ready and immediately clamps Ginger's beak shut as soon as she starts to squawk.
    • When the bell rings for the second roll call, Rocky says "Hide me!" three times, while Ginger is fussing over Babs. After the third, Ginger yells at Rocky to hide himself, which he does, as he is later revealed to have hidden in a watering can.
  • Rummage Fail: When Ginger asks for scissors during the climax, Babs pulls out first knitting, then a brush, then an enormous lipstick dispenser, before finally finding the scissors.
  • Running Gag:
    • Rocky calling Ginger "doll face" or "angel face", and her angrily shouting "Ginger!" at him. After the pie machine scene, this stops and he starts calling her by name.
    • Babs assuming everyone not present being off on holiday. The capper to this is when she thinks they're all on holiday following the escape, and says she'll be sad to go back once it's over.
    • Rocky a few times having to ask Ginger what Mac is saying due to her thick Scottish accent and fast voice.
    • After Mrs. Tweedy tells him to keep telling himself that it's all in his head that the chickens on their farm are organized, Mr. Tweedy mutters 'It's all in your head, it's all in your head' whenever he sees the chickens doing something suspicious.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Edwina is a minor character who gets killed off to show the film is serious and that the chickens really need to escape.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: Being the protagonists, the chickens are all anthropomorphic to the point of regular speech and partial clothing. The humans in the movie cannot understand them, but Mrs. Tweedy remains determined to make chicken pies out of all of them, even after seeing they're capable of constructing complex machinery. (And despite their wearing little hats and scarves they can knit for themselves, for that matter.)
  • Say My Name: Ginger screams Rocky's name when she falls down the pie machine chute.
    • Rocky and Ginger when Rocky makes his triumphant return. In slow-motion, even.
    • Mrs. Tweedy when she falls from the plane and goes through the barn window.
  • Scavenged Punk: As provided by literal scavengers, Nick and Fletcher, the chickens build everything out of human stuff. Also, check out the Nick and Fletcher's homemade costumes (there's a full-sized human zipper).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Rocky guiltily abandons the hens before the climax, not having it in him to tell them he can't actually fly. He later has a flash of conscience upon seeing a billboard for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies and returns to the farm to save the day.
    • At the end of the climax, Mr. Tweedy runs into the barn to find his wife stuck in the pie-making machine's safety valve and the pressure gauges deep in the red. He calmly closes the door.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Rocky and Ginger kiss right at the end of the movie, and immediately afterwards they are shown in the epilogue enjoying life as a couple.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mac, at times, especially when she's supposed to be hard to understand.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: When Mrs. Tweedy beheads Edwina near the beginning, we just see their shadows as the prepares her swing followed by the camera cutting away and the sound of the axe.
  • Shout-Out: Mostly to The Great Escape and other World War II POW media.
    • Following the opening montage, Ginger is sitting in the coal bunker bouncing a brussel sprout off of the wall the same way Hilts does with a tennis ball in Great Escape.
    • Hut 17 is a reference to Stalag 17.
    • And there are some references to Hogan's Heroes, with the rolling-up maps, the movable bunks and the slapstick escape ideas.
    • Mac provides a couple to Star Trek:
      Fowler: "We need more power!"
      Mac: "I cannae work miracles, Cap'n! We're givin' 'er all she's got!"
      (Later, when Mrs. Tweedy grabs the end of the cord that had snagged on the plane)
      Fowler: "Great Scott, what was that?"
      Mac: "A cling-on, Cap'n! And the engines can't take it!"
      • Bonus points for Fowler only leaning in to talk to Mac on the "Scott".
    • The scene of Rocky and Ginger escaping the pie machine features several references to Indiana Jones, such as outrunning the various falling gears like boulders and Ginger briefly losing her hat when they slide out from under the door to the oven.
    • Nick refers to Ginger as Attila the Hen.
    • When the "flying" hens start plummeting to the ground, Fetcher proclaims "It's raining hen!", a reference to the disco song "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls.
    • The theme from The Archers can be heard as Rocky tunes the radio right before the dance number.
    • Nick and Fetcher are apparently fans of Saturday Night Fever, judging by their dancing. Some 20 years in advance, no less.
    • Rocky's shout of "FRRREEEDDOOOM!" references Braveheart, as does his Brief Accent Imitation when he says "Thrust" with a Scottish accent, the way Mac would.
  • Shown Their Work: The way Mac lands square on her head and falls forward after attempting to fly? That would earn a perfect score in caber tossing.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy:
    Ginger: Ladies, please. Let's not lose our heads.
    Bunty: Lose our heads?! [screams]
  • Significant Green Eyed Red Head: Ginger has red plumage and green eyes, which makes her stand out visually from the other hens.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Ginger is not impressed by Rocky's roguish charm since she sees him as being irresponsible with their lives, and only falls for him after he does something genuinely selfless and heroic.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Ginger has a habit of doing this. In one scene she goes up to the roof and discovers Rocky already sitting there. "I'm sorry, is this your roof?"
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Literally. "That's for leaving! ... And this is for coming back." The actual kiss would have to wait until they'd dealt with Mrs. Tweedy first.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Mac is the only chicken with eyeglasses and also the biggest engineering genius among them.
  • Smooch of Victory: After the chickens escape at the end, Mac gives Fowler a big kiss on the cheek. And then of course, Rocky and Ginger's Big Damn Kiss moments later.
  • So Long, Suckers!: Ginger saying "Bye-bye" to Mrs. Tweedy before letting her fall from the sky.
  • Sore Loser: Mrs. Tweedy. Clearly, she does not like it when her cloudcuckoolander of a husband was right about the chickens being organised.
  • Squashed Flat: Rocky and Ginger almost suffer this fate inside the pie machine with their feet stuck in balls of dough.
    • Also happens late. During the building of the crate, one hen removes all the nails from a top bunk, causing it to fall and flatten an unfortunate hen on the bunk below.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Stealthier in the US than in the UK, but as mentioned, the coal bin that Ginger is repeatedly thrown into is called a bunker.
    • Likewise, Nick, whose name is also slang for "steal" in British English (and elsewhere).
    • Rocky is a rooster who's very full of himself. He's "cocky."
    • Rocky Rhodes, is a Rhode Island Red (breed of chicken).
    • Mr. Tweedy lives under the heel of his domineering wife, and he spends the movie futilely matching wits with a group of female chickens who end up attacking him en masse in the climax. Thus, he's both a literal and figurative Henpecked Husband.
  • The Stinger: Near the very end the credits, Nick and Fetcher have a argument about the which came first, the chicken or the egg. The two rats want to take an egg or a chicken and make a chicken farm to make their own eggs. However, they can't decide if they need a chicken or an egg. Finally, Rocky the Rooster pipes in and says to "please pipe down".
  • Stock British Phrases: Since it's a British film, there are a lot of these
  • Suddenly Shouting: Bunty, twice.
    Bunty: "In all my life, I've never heard such a fantastic LOAD OF TRIPE!"
    Bunty: "Perhaps he just went to get away from your INFERNAL KNTTING!"
    • Rocky does it too when talking to Ginger early on:
    Rocky: "Let Me Get This Straight.... You want to get every chicken in this place out of here AT THE SAME TIME?!"
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When Bunty and the other chickens start to give up on escaping, Ginger tries to change their minds by giving an uplifting speech about a better place outside the coop with wide-open spaces, lots of trees and cool green grass where they could live free from fences and morning egg counts... and Bunty loudly calls it a 'load of tripe' and tells Ginger to face the fact that their chances of getting out are a million to one. It's a nice dream, but it won't convince everyone.
      • In this same scene, Ginger tries to further motivate the chickens by reminding them about Edwina's death. Again, it's Bunty that reminds her that Edwina's death was due to not laying any eggs, which in turn was due to constantly trying to escape.
    • Cutting Christmas lights wire with children's safety scissors takes a long time.
  • Take That!: Edwina, the chicken that gets beheaded, was named after former politician Edwina Currie who is (in)famous for starting a nationwide health scare over eggs in 1988 (confirmed by Word of God).
  • Techno Babble: Mac speaks about the problems of escaping in technical jargon that is hard to understand. It's Played for Laughs.
  • Technology Porn: Nick Park's love of crazy machines is on full display here with both the pie machine and, later, the crate.
  • That's Gotta Hurt:
    • After Rocky's Disaster Dominoes-fueled entry culminates in the feed trough falling on his head, one of the hens can be heard saying, "Ouch!"
    • At the end of the Flip, Flop and Fly song, Bunty swings Babs around and lets her go, causing her to fly backwards across the hut into the wall by the roof. Ginger and Rocky see this and wince.
  • These Gloves Are Made for Killin': Mrs. Tweedy wears red rubber gloves to decapitate a chicken named Edwina with a hatchet. Mrs. Tweedy even goes out of her way to sadistically taunt the chickens by pulling on the glove she's not wearing and snapping it in front of them before she selects Edwina for slaughter.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The Portuguese dub was always stated to take place in Portugal, with Fowler's references to the Royal Air Force (RAF) being changed to the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP)note  and Rocky, despite still being American, says he came there for the lovely latin chicks. And yet, all the characters have their original names and the text in the movie is clearly all in English, with some of it being read out loud. Then again, there's not much they could do about that last one.
  • This Is No Time to Panic:
    Bunty: We mustn't panic! We mustn't panic!
    All Chickens: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    • The DVD has a special bonus feature called the "Panic Button". Click it and it plays a scene when all the chickens are going bonkers.
  • Those Two Guys: Nick and Fetcher are only ever seen together, and one has no plot significance without the other.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • If you don't agree with the interpretation that Edwina is committing Suicide by Cop, her not telling anyone about not having laid any eggs until it was far too late is unfortunately this.
    • Babs has an Oh, Crap! and tells Ginger she hasn't laid any eggs for three days, as the bell is ringing for a roll call, and they have no time to pass off another egg as one of hers. Ginger asks her why she didn't tell them sooner. Babs' reason: "We've been so busy with the flying..." Babs survives, but only because Mrs. Tweedy now intends to kill them all, anyway.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Rocky starts as an irresponsible bluffer who thinks that the chickens' plight is not his problem as long as he can escape himself, but by the end he becomes genuinely invested in helping them escape.
  • Toothy Bird: The animators depict the chickens with human-like teeth, which they do not have in real life.
  • Totem Pole Trench: One of the early escape attempts has the chickens on a wire-frame dummy of Mrs. Tweedy, hidden under a dress. Which snags on the fence and falls off, alerting the dogs.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The theatrical trailers completely spoil The Reveal of the pie machine, while a TV commercial and the Burger King toys were all based around the plane. Then there's one DVD trailer which is comprised almost entirely of clips from the last 15 or so minutes of the film and the final scene in particular.
  • Trailer Spoof: The two trailers that were released prior to this movie were rendered in a way that parodied the first Mission: Impossible movie, complete with stop-motion explosions, "spy camera character bio" graphics, and initials of Chicken Run 's actual title rendered to resemble Mission: Impossible's logo. Observe.
  • Twirl of Love: Rocky and Ginger do one of these as the crate is flying away, a few seconds before The Big Damn Kiss.
  • Uncertified Expert: Fowler is believed to have been a pilot in the RAF and serves as an advisor; it turns out he was really the squadron mascot.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Even though Mac says the Crate hasn't gone through the tests to make sure it works yet, with the pie machine operational, Ginger declares it's now or never.
  • Unintelligible Accent: The first time Rocky hears Mac, the Scottish-accented technical minded hen of the flock, she fires off a rapid explanation of how they found him with such a think accent that Rocky asks, "Was that English?" Afterwards he makes comments on how she must be speaking another language.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Mrs. Tweedy is a dead serious, totally merciless farmer who abuses her chickens (the protagonists) just because she can. Her Henpecked Husband, Mr. Tweedy, is a Butt-Monkey who provides some of the funniest lines in the movie, though his vendetta with Ginger brings out his more sinister side.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mrs. Tweedy, when she sees the chickens escaping.
  • Visual Pun: Many as expected from such a film:
    • Coupled with Literal Metaphor, when the pie machine goes wrong, a spanner is literally in the works.
    • In the end, they really DO fly the coop...
    • When Fowler shouts "Chocks away!" it shows the chickens removing "Tasty-Choc" chocolate bars from the wheels that are very similar to the widely known Toblerone bar.
    • When first discussing compensation for acquiring stuff for the chickens, Ginger tosses Nick a bag of chicken feed. note 
    Nick: "You call this pay?"
    Fetcher: "It's chicken feed!"
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Edwina is killed early in the movie for not laying enough (read: any) eggs for the last five days.
  • Wham Shot: Ginger putting up the bottom half of Rocky's torn poster, showing the cannon he's getting shot out of and revealing that Rocky can't actually fly.
  • When I Was Your Age...: This is part of Fowler's shtick.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Both played straight and averted. Bunty swipes Fowler's medal out his hand, making him hit her on the noggin with his cane, but afterwards is immensely apologetic and says it was ungentlemanly of him to do. Not that it helps him.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The thrust demonstration Rocky sets up before the second roll call seems to be a success until Bunty hits the fence.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Whenever hens are unable to lay eggs anymore, they get slaughtered and eaten for dinner, as seen at the beginning with Edwina.
  • Zerg Rush: When Mr. Tweedy catches the chickens with his tools they use to build the crate to escape, they stand there in fear as usual. And then Ginger yells "ATTACK!" and the chickens all descend on Mr. Tweedy.
    Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!
    Mrs. Tweedy: (not paying attention) Finally, something we agree on.

Nick: In the quite likely event of an emergency, put your head between your knees and...
Fetcher: Kiss your bum goodbye.


Video Example(s):


It's All In Mr. Tweedy's Head

Mr. Willard Tweedy is reminded by his wife Melisha to admit that the chickens plotting to escape their farm is all in his head, which he does everytime he sees the chickens doing something suspicious.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / RunningGag

Media sources: