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Western Animation / Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a 2009 CGI animated film loosely based on the children's book of the same name.

Living on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean called Swallow Falls with his widowed father Tim and his pet monkey Steve, Flint Lockwood always dreams of "inventing something AWESOME," but his inventions never quite work out the way he wants them to. Even when he grows up, he still prefers to invent more and more things instead of getting a suitable job at his father's sardine bait shop.

But with sardines being all the island's residents have available to eat, Flint becomes a hero when he invents a machine that can convert water into any kind of food the user wants! This makes him world-famous thanks to the coverage of junior anchorwoman Sam Sparks, who Flint develops a crush on. But can he keep the machine under control, get his father's approval, and win Sam's heart?

The film was produced by Sony Pictures Animation, who also made Open Season and Surf's Up, and was directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller, the same two guys who created the short-lived animated show Clone High, and would go on to make 21 Jump Street (and its sequel), The LEGO Movie, and fellow SPA film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Cloudy has had the biggest opening week for Sony Animation until Hotel Transylvania beat that in 2012, and it stayed in 3rd place in the box office after a month in theaters. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe award.

A sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, was released on September 27th, 2013.

An animated series, co-produced by Sony, DHX Media, and Corus Entertainment and serving as a prequel to the film, first premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on February 20, 2017 and YTV in Canada on April 10, 2017. The TV series has its own page here.

Now has a character page.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs provides examples of:

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  • 10-Minute Retirement: Flint literally throws himself in the trash when the food storm rolls in. With yet another invention gone horribly wrong (in this case, very horribly wrong), he throws in his lab coat and decides to call it quits. His father gives him a pep talk to get him back on his feet.
  • Actor Allusion: Officer Earl Devereaux is voiced by Mr. T, and his character sure acts a lot like him. One of his lines also includes a variation on "I pity the fool." He has a bald spot which is the exact opposite of Mr. T's bald head with Mohawk, and T-shaped facial hair. Not to mention that during the food flood as he's carrying his wife and son on a raft, he jumps through a fallen tortilla chip and comes out the other side, a "T"-shaped hole visible right behind him.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The book was a story about a grandpa telling a tall tale about an island that had significantly different weather where it rained food. The movie is about a scientist who invents a machine that turns water into food, and it affects the weather across the world.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • The Remote Control television which runs off, and is then seen at various points throughout the movie doing its own thing.
    • Also the FLDSMDFR at the end of the film won't allow anyone to interfere with its endless food production to the point of creating a massive floating food fortress around itself which is manned by sentient food programmed to defend it.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • No-one in the town (except his mother, but she's dead anyway) accepts Flint Lockwood and his Mad Scientist demeanor until he creates a machine that makes it rain delicious food, meaning that they no longer have to suffer through eating their disgusting sardines. Flint must also use his mad scientist skills to save the town (and the world!) from this same machine when it starts malfunctioning in disastrous ways.
    • Also applies to Sam Sparks, who was teased for being a nerd when she was younger, but she reverts back to her openly nerdy demeanor just in time to save the world alongside Flint.
  • All There in the Manual: The mayor's name (Shelbourne) is only given in the credits, and Brent's last name (McHale) doesn't even get that much. Earl's last name (Devereaux) is only shown on a computer monitor for a few seconds, so you'd be forgiven if you had to look it up later.
  • Almighty Janitor: Manny. Doctor, pilot, nuclear physicist... and comedian. Because he was kidding about being a nuclear physicist... Every so often, he also dabbles at being a TV cameraman, as well.
  • Almost Kiss: After having their romantic day in the giant Jell-O castle, Sam and Flint are watching the sunset and then move in for a kiss. Problem being that Flint's rather large nose means he has to puff his cheeks out just to do it, and even then, Sam doesn't know how to do it. Then he's interrupted by an embarrassing cellphone ringtone. Then he accidentally walks right off the balcony. Very painfully.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Shoko Nakagawa wrote "Rainbow Forecast" as the Japanese ending theme, which is similarly upbeat like Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine". If you picture the ending credits with this, the song actually fits pretty well.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: During the climax, in which Sam has an allergic reaction to peanut butter and is trying to keep Flint steady, he insists she go and get treatment, but she refuses, stating that she "likes, likes" him. And he responds that he feels the same way.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Toward the end, the machine's food begins to become sentient, leading to giant roast chickens and walking gummi bears.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Almost literally. When we are first introduced to Officer Devereaux, he is stopping Flint from hooking up his food machine to the town's electric generator to power it. Flint distracts Devereaux with a jaywalker.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry:
    • This film depicts a storybook world that runs on the Rule of Funny. Any scientific errors are probably as fully intentional as everyone in Swallow Falls being forced to eat sardines 24/7 just because the plant closed down.
    • Flint's explanation of how the FLDSMDFR works amounts to an announcement from the writers that they're not even pretending it's remotely plausible.
      • Water does not have a genetic code and thus can't mutate. Besides, most food is mostly made from sugars, and food made from water would have no nutritional value. Unless he's mutating the microbes IN the water, which is gross.
      • Mutating the water with microwave radiation is not possible as microwave radiation only speeds up the movement of atoms, causing it to heat up. However, it could be a form of elemental fusion/fission. Remove two protons from an oxygen's nucleus and you get carbon... but even this would still be failing physics note  which happens quite a lot in the story anyway. This might be partially intentional.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The machine's food-storm begins to grow and mutate until the food weather takes a turn for the deadlier — including a spaghetti tornado! The machine itself has also created a colossal meatball around it that the team has to infiltrate just to get to the machine.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: The machine's AI advances so far that not only does the food weather start to turn deadly, but it manages to create sentient food that attack the group, like roast chickens and gummy bears.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: "Oh, my gosh, a jaywalker!"
  • Author Appeal: Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the writer/directors, are total nerds, hence the whole film is about how awesome it is to be nerdy. Every amazing feat of the food weather, from the ice cream snow day to the giant Jell-O castle, all come from Flint's own skills with technology. Then, of course, it's up to him and the equally nerdy Sam to save the day.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: The sole content descriptor for the film (rated PG) is "brief mild language." "Hellhole," "crabballs" and "crotch kick!" (when Brent first starts attacking the chickens) are probably what qualified the film for the rating. In the UK release, the language is still there, but the film is certified U (The UK equivalent to a G) with the content descriptor reading "Contains one use of mild language and scenes of mild comic threat."
  • Bathos: The scene where Flint takes his father to the Roofless. It's a sad and serious scene, but you can't help but laugh when the steak lands on Flint's head, and the commentary to the movie reveals this was intentional. During several other scenes in the film, the drama is interrupted by food falling everywhere. The characters usually just ignore it.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Flint shows off the jell-o palace he made for Sam, which includes a couple of famous statues he's pasted her face onto, giving off some desperate vibes. She briefly eyes the exit (also made of jell-o), before declaring how awesome it is.
    • The only way to take down the machine in the climax is to have a code sent to Flint's phone from his computer. It's up to his father to get into his lab to do just that, but it takes a long time of Flint (humorously) instructing him and then him almost being overtaken by the food weather. Finally and triumphantly he manages to send a message to Flint's phone, which Flint rushes to the machine. Turns out it was just a cat video. His dad is really bad with technology.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially gummy bears that act like Gremlins. To be clear, WWII airplane wrecking gremlins, not the other ones.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Parodied when Steve rips out Gummy Bear's "heart" and eats it.
  • Bespectacled Cutie: Sam Sparks is adorable, sweet, and bubbly all through the film, but after taking Flint's advice, she embraces her nerdy side and dons her clunky glasses. She's still as cute as a button — especially to Flint!
  • Be Yourself: A main theme in the film. Flint has fully embraced being the nerd that he is (thanks to words of encouragement from his late mother), but years of his inventions causing mayhem for the citizens of Swallow Falls have caused him to be outcast. The high he gets from the praise from the food weather causes him to ignore his better judgement, and he has to re-learn the lesson to be true to himself. Sam is in a similar position, as her desire to study the weather as a child and her wearing glasses resulted in her bullying, so she dumbed down her intelligence and stopped wearing glasses. She fully embraces her nerdiness to figure out what's happening with the food weather, as well as start wearing her glasses unashamedly.
  • Big Eater: The Mayor starts off as a very small man, but once the food starts raining down, he eats and eats and eats until he's so large that Flint doesn't recognize him, and he relies on a scooter to move around. A post-credit scene shows him eating his own life raft.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Tim Lockwood, Flint's dad. His eyes do appear at some key moments, but otherwise they're entirely hidden.
  • Big Red Button: Flint installs one to activate the orders into the food weather machine, and of course, he HAD to make it big, bright, and glowing red.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When Manny first sees the Gummy Bears, he whispers "Was ist das?" which is "What is that?" in German, not Spanish...note 
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: The mayor completely dismisses all of Flint's warnings about the food weather getting worse. "Here's what I heard: blah blah blah, science science science BIGGER."
  • Blind Without 'Em: Before putting on her glasses, Sam apparently sees Flint as a blurry, big-chinned, handsome man. She is surprised when she puts them on again and sees that he is... not that.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Flint's dad, who can barely send an email to his son (and ends up sending the wrong thing anyways).
  • Break the Haughty: Brent starts off as the rich, girl-on-each-arm darling of Swallow Falls, as he served as the mascot for Baby Brent Sardines, the town's main source of income. He's an arrogant manchild who has not matured a bit since his childhood. Once good, not-sardine food starts raining from the sky, though, he's outcast and ignored. This leads to him joining the heroes in the climax, though, as he's been humbled by the experience.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Brent comments "Glad I'm wearing a diaper.", upon seeing the giant meatball.
  • Brits Love Tea: During the destruction of landmarks around the world, London experiences a rain of fresh hot tea. Needless to say, they take it rather well, running around in delight with teacups and teapots to try and catch as much as they can.
  • The Bully: Brent has been picking on Flint for his nerdiness for years, and stops by his father's tackle shop just to gloat about opening Sardineland. He mellows out over the film, though.
  • Bungling Inventor: Flint, as shown in a montage in the beginning. He is a very smart inventor, but his inventions often go very wrong. His Spray-On Shoes cannot be taken off, his walking TV grows sentient enough to hackle citizens, and Ratbirds basically become an invasive species. Even when he successfully gets his food machine into the atmosphere, it's at the expense of a lot of property damage.
  • Butt-Monkey: Flint. Mocked and ridiculed by the town for his inventions, bullied by town darling Brent, and publically humiliated when his latest invention ruins the opening of Sardineland for everyone.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: After falling into the Meateroid, only Flint, Sam, and Brent's eyes can be seen.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: When the giant glass bowl of Sardineland shatters, Flint is perfectly spared from any of the glass raining down.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Flint's habit of announcing his actions and also adding his own sound effects and soundtrack for drama.
    • "Making! More! Awesome!"
    • "Saying what I'm doing!"
    • While Brent fights the mobile chicken defenses, at one point he shouts "Crotch-kick!"
  • Cheeky Mouth: Inverted; the animators deliberately altered the models so they would have a distinctive profile. See "Cutaway Mouths" header.
    The idea was to achieve an extremely clean silhouette while treating the mouth as a two dimensional element. If you could see the other side of Flint’s face it's terrifying, the skin is pulled back almost to his ear wrecking all the geometry on that side of his face. In the end it didn’t matter as long as you could see clearly through his mouth.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Every minor detail will show up again eventually, although some only as Brick Jokes.
    • When bonding over food that they enjoy, Sam tells Flint that she has an extreme peanut allergy. Being poked by peanut brittle on the Meateroid necessitates her to leave Flint behind so she can get treatment.
    • The Spray-On Shoes are the first thing that Flint invented and they end up being the only thing that stops the FLDSMDFR. Because its solution is permanent (extremely so) it's perfect for plugging up the machine.
    • The Ax-Crazy ratbirds that were invented in Flint's invention montage return to help the second Flying Car gain enough aerodynamics to actually fly, and after the colossal meatball exploded are exactly what save him from his near-death experience.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Another example is the "Remote Controlled TV" Flint invented as a kid. In the opening, it kicks open the door and runs away. Later, during the giant food storm, a cherry smashes the window of a TV store and someone takes the opportunity to loot it. The RCTV then appears, smashes another window and steals the store clerk.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sam's cameraman, Manny, who doesn't even speak until the last third of the film, turns out to be a doctor, pilot and Comically Serious comedian. Parodied when he jokes that he's also a nuclear physicist.
  • Chroma Key: Used by the mayor in his commercial for the unveiling.
  • Circling Monologue: Done very amusingly when the mayor, so obese as to need a cart, wheels around Flint and magically alternates whispering into his right, then left (then left again) ears. And then, slowly rises up from below(!). Justified by the fact that he's Bruce Frickin' Campbell. He'll do whatever he wants, even in a cartoon.
  • Crawl: Used every time the WNN is shown.
    Crawl: And we have temperatures in the 60's in —what the— what the heck are those cheeseburgers falling from the sky?!
  • Closet Geek: Sam Sparks was bullied as a child for both wearing glasses and having a passion for the weather. She now refuses to wear glasses and suppresses her knowledge—often "correcting" herself by saying something dumb when she slips. As with Flint, she leans the lesson to Be Yourself.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The reporter was more concerned with the change in Sam's appearance instead of the disaster that's befallen the town.
  • Consolation Backfire: After the FLDSMDFR goes haywire at the unveiling of Sardine Land (featuring Shamo), and Flint is arrested by Officer Earl:
    Earl: You're under arrest, Flint Lockwood! Thank goodness you only caused minimal damage to Sardine Land.
    • A moment later, Shamo's tank tips over, ruining the grand unveiling of Sardine Land, and Shamo gets captured by a Ratbird.
  • Crazy Consumption: The Mayor manages to devour entire hot dogs, burgers, and other foods in one or two bites, even stacking them at some points. Understandably, this turns him quite obese, but he still consumes every bit of food he can get his hands on.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Baby Brent when he, Flint, and Sam are surrounded by mutated roasted chickens inside the giant meatball. After he gets eaten by a chicken, he bursts out of it, and starts to effectively fight off the other chickens around him and carries Flint and Sam to safety!
  • Cute Kitten: Flint manages to divert Sam's attention with a Flash animation of real-life kittens singing and dancing to "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy.
    Sam: Can you believe I've been watching this for three hours?!
  • Decade Dissonance: Swallow Falls seems to be a Retro Universe in on itself, with elements of The '50s and The '80s mixed with the present day.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Flint's mom was loving and supportive of Flint's inventive ways. She died off screen before Flint grew up, leaving the more distant and less supportive father behind to deal with Flint.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The Mayor makes no small secret of how hungry he is for money and fame, and he couldn't care less about the citizens of Swallow Falls. His evil monologue before opening Sardineland is completely missed by the dumb-as-bricks Brent.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Subverted, as Flint clearly can see what's different about the mayor, but asks this anyway.
    • Double-subverted, as the Mayor DID get a haircut, too, and takes his question to heart!
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Stinger shows the mayor having eaten his sandwich boat in the middle of the ocean saying "This was not well thought out." And continuing to eat the pretzel mast.
  • Dirty Coward: The Mayor blames Flint for the nuclear food weather that starts raining down, when he was the one who pushed the machine past its limits. He then runs from the citizens when they flee the island, refusing to take any responsibility.
  • Disturbed Doves: Well, ratbirds. Right when Flint cuts the ribbon, before the spaghetti twister hits.
  • The Ditz: Brent. He completely misses the mayor's blatant evil speech, strips to his underwear to try and get the appeal of Baby Brent back, and completely wrecks the plan to go to the machine because he insists on accompanying when he doesn't need to.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything??: During the massive food storm across the world, pies are seen striking the faces of Mt. Rushmore, except one that strikes the Lincoln head from behind, which begins leaking custard out its eyes and nose. Lincoln was killed by being shot in the back of the head.
  • Doing In the Wizard: In the book, the food weather was pretty much an anomaly all its own that grew out of control without warning. In the film, the cause is a food making machine that got accidentally suspended into the air and soon went haywire from data overload.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Latin American dub, Flint's surname has been changed from Lockwood to Loko (as in "Krazy" in English), while Officer Earl's name was changed to Elias. Sam's whole name was instead directly translated as "Sam Chispas".
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: Flint's ringtone is a rap of "Flint, you have a call / Flint, you have a call," though he insists someone must have changed his ringtone. Later, it somehow becomes a viral video of a kitten seen earlier in the film.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Lampshaded when a news reporter mentions how all the national monuments are all getting hit before the rest of the world. Heck, the Eiffel Tower itself serves as the cocktail stick for a huge club sandwich, olive included!
  • Einstein Hair: Creative inventor Flint has very wild hair that sticks out in every direction—he smooths it out for the grand opening of Chewandswallow, but it doesn't last.
  • Eldritch Abomination: When the Fldsmdfr turns into a supermassive black hole made out of food. And that's just the OUTSIDE... The inside is some giant... THING that repeatedly says, MARSHMALLOW in a distorted voice, before... well, it looks creepy, okay?
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: To Flint's lab, actually. It's also a porta potty.
  • The End Is Nigh: Two men with signboards in New York, one proclaiming "The End of the World is Today!" and the other "The End is Tomorrow!" The second guy gets crushed by a giant hot dog, and the first guy gloats, "I was right!"
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Flint gets a mushroom cloud early in the movie.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The opening and end credits, the jelly bean rainbow, not to mention the Spray-On Shoes spray out a rainbow.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The spray on shoes sparkle whenever used. Also, the upbeat montage at the end credits sparkle at various points.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Flint was smart enough to install a "Dangeometer", which measures how much use he has in the machine before everything goes horribly wrong. Unfortunately, finally getting respect for once in his life leads him to ignore the warning signs until it's too late.
  • Eye Am Watching You: Officer Earl's threat to flint when he sees him walking around the electric tower. Very dramatically.
    Earl: This contact represents you! And my eye represents my eye! I've got my eye...on...(puts contact on eye) you.
  • Eye Contact as Proof: Flint's father is very worried about the effects of the food machine and demands his son look him in the eyes and tell him that he's got this under control and that it's not going to end in disaster. His father even lifts his bushy eyebrows and reveals his own eyes, so his son can look him in the eye. A clearly unsure Flint comically struggles for a long time to get his eyeballs to both look directly into his father's eyes. When he finally does, he gets them into position just long enough to very quickly say, "I'vegotthisundercontrol.It'snotgonnanendindisaster." His father reluctantly accepts his word.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: Manny's blinding baseball cap.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Flint gets accidentally kicked in both eyes at one point.
      Flint: It's fine, it's just pain...
    • Flint's eyes again seem to go through this when attempting to look his father in the eye. In all fairness, Tim's eyes are creepy when he lifts his unibrow...
    • The mayor gets a chili pepper in the eye when he fights Flint in the laboratory.
  • Faceplanting into Food: Cal, who is lying down on a mound of candy, groans that he's not feeling well before he puts his head down into the pile.
  • Fan Disservice: Brent, the full-grown manchild strips down several times as part of his Baby Brent schtick. Also, he has quite a bit of jiggling in the car.
  • Fantastic Vermin: One of Flint's earlier projects was an attempt to splice bird traits into rats, resulting in bird-winged rodents that quickly broke out of captivity and in the present have bred into a sizeable population. Besides snatching food, flocks regularly kidnap people into the sky before dropping them from great heights. They have some respect for Flint as their creator, enough to save his life in the climax, but not enough to stop doing what they're doing.
  • Fat and Proud: While proclaiming to Flint, "Bigger is better," the mayor slaps his enormous belly.
  • Fat Bastard: The originally svelte and short corrupt mayor becomes morbidly obese after eating too many raining snacks, and remains that way through the end of the movie, except during the credits sequence, where he becomes skinny again.
  • Flung Clothing: Brent somehow manages to pull off his entire tracksuit in one swift motion.
  • Flying Car ... this time, with wings!
  • Foil: Between Tim Lockwood and Mayor Shelbourne. The latter is a greedy Corrupt Politician who instantly jumps at the idea of Swallow Falls raining food, and even embraces how the mutation makes the food bigger. By comparison, Tim Lockwood is a relatively humble and unambitious man who is content working at his own chum shop, and is nervous about the hidden consequences of the food raining down. The main example of their differences comes when each "parents" Flynn on what he should do concerning the food. Mayor Shelbourne claims Flynn's always been like a son to him when it benefits him, tempts him with making it rain food some more, frames it as a threat that he'll fall out of favor, and throws him under the bus. Meanwhile, Tim shows unconditional love to Flynn when the latter's at his lowest, tried earlier to warn Flynn at the expense of his son's approval, begrudgingly lets his son be when he won't listen, and is willing to help Flynn at his most crucial point.
  • Food Porn: The food in the film is portrayed in much detail, and it all looks delicious. It's understandable why the citizens of Swallow Falls love it so much...until it starts to become a problem.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the many that immediately comes to mind is the Mayor wanting to become big... and he does. He gets really big.
    • Gaze upon the sunset cresting over Mount Leftovers, from which we are protected by a presumably indestructible dam!
    • And one that's easy to miss if you're not paying attention: When Flint is speaking via voice-over in the beginning, there's a short scene that shows the present-day Flint, and can be written off as drama. That same screenshot can be seen at the climax of the movie, when Flint stops the FLDSMDFR.
      • And another, even more subtle, from the same moment: Flint's exact line in the voice-over is "I stared at defeat...and found hope". When the scene is repeated at the end, Flint stares at "da feet" (his own feet, to be exact) and finds hope in the form of his Spray-On Shoes.
    • Sentient Pizza, broiled chickens and Gummy Bears are sent to stop the heroes. This foreshadows the fact that the next film has living food.
  • Former Child Star: "Baby" Brent is a parody of this. At least, he is until his climactic rebirth as Chicken Brent!
  • From Bad to Worse: Since the giant meatball appears, the entire end of the movie proceeds through this course. It Gets Worse at least five times. Sam and Flynn are knocked off-course, giant sentient chickens attack, Sam is incapacitated with her peanut allergy... It's as dramatic as it is humorous.
  • Funny Background Event: Too many to count.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Flint's food-weather machine, the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or FLDSMDFR (pronounced "Flidsom-de-fer") — and Flint actually pronounces it. Sam does too by the end.
  • Gasp!: Easily one of the most well-known scenes of the movie. Flint, Sam, the entire population of Swallow Falls as well as Steve and a ratbird do this after the FLDSMDFR succesfully demostrates its primary function by causing multiple rainbow-colored clouds to rain cheeseburgers on the island. The only exception is Flint's dad, who reacts to the sight by raising his fuzzy unibrow and showing his eyes staring in awe at the whole thing.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Considering all the things Flint was able to make, failures or not, he definitely counts.
  • Geek Physiques: Flint Lockwood is of the skinny variety. Especially with the art style, he's basically a walking stick figure.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Sam gets some love at first sight from Flint when her Obfuscating Stupidity slips looking at his spray-on shoes.
  • Gelatinous Encasement: The entrance to the Jello castle and the pool inside of it.
  • Gelatinous Trampoline: Flint takes Sam to a large castle made entirely of Jell-O, and they have fun bouncing around inside.
  • Gingerbread House: Both the book and the movie feature a house made of Jello.
  • Glasses-and-Ponytail Coverup: Played with. Sam was a bit of a geek as a child, and she had glasses and a ponytail. When people made fun of her for her demeanor, she started trying to hide her intelligence, and stopped wearing glasses and putting her hair in a ponytail. When she meets Flint and begins to reveal her true colors, he appreciates her for who she is, convincing her to regain the glasses and ponytail.
  • Glasses Are Sexy: Flint thinks that Sam looks better with glasses than not.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Inverted when Flint convinces Sam to embrace her nerdiness. He prefers her with the glasses.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The FLDSMDFR's ascent to the clouds goes haywire and causes much property damage to Sardineland. But it does make it, and creates the wonder of cheeseburgers raining down on a town condemned to eat nothing but sardines for years. For a good long while, the town lives in bliss as delicious food comes raining from the sky.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The machine is capable of creating delicious foods from nothing but water, but it has its limits. After so long up in the sky, the food begins to mutate out of control. At first it's just a few overly-large food items. By the end, the entire world is being ravished by freak food weather.
  • Good-Times Montage: Once "food weather" becomes the norm for the town, there's a montage of Swallow Falls becoming a colorful wonderland of food, with everyone sporting ear-to-ear smiles.
  • Groin Attack: Surprisingly effective considering it was done to a mutant roast chicken.
  • The Ground Is Lava: At one point, Flint, Sam, Steve, and Brent have to cross a lake of boiling kitchen oil. They jump on French fries that are floating in the oil.
  • Grub Tub: one of the many jell-o constructs Flint makes is a swimming pool full of the stuff. Deconstructed when he and Sam go to use the thing, though... Flint smacks against the surface of the pool due to not having enough momentum, while Sam punctures it and ends up about three feet down... and stays there.
  • Hammerspace:
    • Brent shoves the giant golden ceremonial scissors somewhere behind his back. Subverted when they don't disappear, but are shown to be in his pants when he turns around. Double subverted when the viewer realizes that the blades seem to have vanished.
    • Sam spends about half the movie carrying a bulky glasses somewhere on her, despite wearing tight clothing.
    • Flint shoves a can into his lab coat, and it immediately vanishes.
  • Hartman Hips: Sam Sparks and a lot of background female characters have very wide hips, especially in comparison to their small waists. Especially Baby Brett's groupies.
  • Heroic BSoD
    • After he has a falling out with his dad, drives Sam away and the FLDSMDFR malfunctions due to the mayor's meddling and begins creating devastating food weather, which leads to the Chewandswallow folks ostracizing him once again, Flint throws himself into a trash can with many of his failed inventions, utterly heartbroken.
    • Earlier on, after he and Flint have an argument at a restaurant over whether Flint should turn off the FLDSMDFR, Flint's dad, hurt by his son's anger, quietly returns to his home where he beings to solennly grind sardines into chum.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Flint chooses to stay behind and destroy the machine despite being warned that he will likely be killed in the blast after. For a minute, it truly does seem that he's gone, and Sam, Tim, and the other citizens have a moment of silence for him. But don't worry, the ratbirds saved him, somehow.
  • Homage:
  • Homemade Inventions: Flint's inventions are functional some of the time, but they are all clearly a conglomeration of household accessories, with the exception of the DNA-spliced rat-birds. His lab is also functional, but looks like an 80's-style futuristic computer made of flat cardboard in his own backyard, which he enters and exits through a porta-potty.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Flint needs Tim to send a code to his phone from the computer in his lab—easier said than done, because Tim has zero clue how to use a computer. He takes Flint's instruction to move the mouse across the screen to mean literally, physically shoving the handheld mouse into the monitor. Thankfully, he manages to send something to Flint's phone just when it seems the food weather has overwhelmed him. Not-so-thankfully, it turns out it was just the cat video. He's really, really helpless with tech.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When Flint destroys Sardine Land, Shamo, the world's biggest sardine screams "Yay!" as it falls from its tank, through the flaming hoop, into the ocean to freedom... just before a ratbird catches it in its talons.
    • Also, near the end of the film, Flint's dad survives the flood of food and sends the e-mail to Flint, only to send the wrong file by mistake.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The movie is packed with food puns, mostly by Sam Sparks in her weather reports: "Looks like things are sardine to look better!" "Today's forecast: sunny...side up!" The mayor also tries to do this in his and Flint's fight in the lab, which Flint turns down.
    Mayor: Nice to beet you!
    Flint: That's a radish!
  • I Am What I Am: Sam shuns away her passion for meteorology as it's done nothing but got her bullied and mocked for all her life. Flint convinces Sam to embrace her nerdy side, telling her, "This is the real you." Later, when the food weather starts to go insane, Sam uses her skill with the radar to explain what's happening and instruct the citizens.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Flint wants to be a scientist renowned for his inventions that help people and make the world a better place, but his inventions either fail or have glaring problems, getting him ignored at best and scorned at worst. Not at all helped is his father, who disapproves of his inventing and just wants him to work at his chum shop.
  • In Name Only: The film retains the title of the original book, the premise, and a few illustrations, such as the giant pancake falling on top of a building. Otherwise, the entire plot and all the characters are completely original.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: There's a crudely animated internet video of a DJ cat and a bunch of ducks singing "Fight the Power!". When Sam and Manny try to question Flint about the means of controlling his food-creating invention (which he wasn't able to control yet), he uses this video to distract them while he hastily puts together an appropriate device. It works. For hours.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: A possible aversion: In order to win Sam's affections, Flint says that he is allergic to peanuts like she is. Later, in the Radioactive Meatball, they encounter a cavern full of peanut brittle:
    Sam: If either one of us touches it, we'll go into anaphylactic shock!
    Flint: Actually, I'm not entirely allergic to peanuts. I... might've just said that to get you to like me.
    Sam: ...So you really thought having allergies would make you more attractive?
    Flint: Eh...
  • Kick the Dog: Flint tells Sam to "report the weather" when she tried to warn him about the weather during the ribbon cut. In his defense, he wasn't really thinking clearly at the time, since he was already angry and frustrated about his dad not appreciating him.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Both Sam and Flint were humiliated in their youth by their peers mocking their passions and accomplishments. In Flint's case, it was his passion for inventing, and in Sam's it was her interest in meteorology. And wearing glasses. Kids are cruel and woefully uncreative.
    Sam: "All the kids used to taunt me with this lame song; it wasn't even clever!"
    Kids: "Four eyes, four eyes! You need glasses to see-ee!"
  • Kiss Diss: When Flint tries to complete the Almost Kiss earlier in the film; a bitter Sam stops him flat.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: The Mayor's commercial for Sardine Land. The animators went the extra mile to make it look as cheap as possible, even faking the worst blue-screen effects possible in a medium that doesn't even require it.
  • Laborious Laces: Exaggerated. When Flint was a boy, he invented spray-on shoes to try to prevent untied shoelaces, which are shown to be a problem since all his classmates have their laces untied. Later, when Flint is fully-grown, Sam says that his spray-on shoes might "solve the untied shoes epidemic", indicating that untied shoes are still a massive problem.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: The now-adult Brent comes to mock Flint in the chum shop in a fancy track suit, holding the giant golden scissors to open Sardineland, and with two attractive girls holding onto him.
  • The Last Straw: A cherry descends from the sky, lands on top of the leftovers pile... and makes it heavy enough to break the dam and flood the town.
  • Level Ate: The clouds rain all kinds of food, which cover the town of Chewandswallow (previously "Swallow Falls"). Once it starts going haywire, the citizens have to escape the hazards of pancakes crushing their houses and tortilla chips spearing into the roads. By the end of the film, Chewandswallow is just a landscape of massive food.
  • Like a Son to Me: The mayor uses this line on both Brent and Flint. Subverted in both cases as the mayor feels no actual affection for either of them. With Brent, it was solely to placate him after the mayor insulted the populace of the town. With Flint, it was to manipulate him into going along with the mayor's desires against his better judgment.
  • Limited Animation: More like Limited Character Models, as some minor characters (such as the "Remote Control TV") reappear throughout the film, albeit on different situations. Joe, the redneck citizen, is particularly guilty of this, as he appears in almost every scene of the movie.
  • The Load: Baby Brent. He joins the group's venture into the Meateroid in the climax, but because he can't contribute anything, he's just instructed to stay in the car...and proceeds to not do that, instead following Flint and Sam and barreling them off-course. Chicken Brent, however, turns out to have some karate skills that keep the roasted chickens at bay long enough for Sam and Flint to find a new passage.
  • Lost in Translation: In-universe, for laughs. Sam's weather reports are always filled with food puns, and broadcast all over the world. When ice cream snows down on Swallow Falls, she declares the town is "Truly a la mode!" (meaning "stylish" or just "great") with a wink to the camera. This is kept in almost all broadcasting countries, but in Britain, it's literally translated to "A town that is truly topped with ice cream."
  • LOLCats: Flint has a video of cats singing "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy on his computer, which he uses to distract Sam.
    "I can't believe I've been watching this for three hours!"
  • Ludicrous Gift Request: About halfway through the film there's a montage of various citizens requesting their favorite foods from Flint. The mayor (now massive) asks for a "pizza stuffed inside a turkey and the whole thing deep-fried and dipped in chocolate".
    Flint: (stares, bewildered)
    Mayor:...It's me, the mayor.
    Flint: Oh!

  • Mad Scientist: Flint's passion for all things science and inventing veers into madness several times, such as seeing the very dangerous electric tower and simply seeing an opportunity to get his machine started.
  • Magical Computer: In Flint's lab. The thing is massive, consisting of several monitors clustered together, and with only a few hours' notice, capable of sending code to the machine that's up in the atmosphere.
  • Meaningful Name: Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks—the names of the two protagonists whose burning passions for science end up saving the day.
  • Messy Hair: Flint's hair never seems to stick straight. Even when he has it down, there's still a cowlick that sticks out.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The first scenes show Flint (and Brent) at eight-years-old, heartbroken with his failure with Spray-On Shoes before being encouraged by his mother. Then the movie skips ahead to present day.
  • The Millstone: Brent insists on joining Flint and Sam in the climax, but only manages to repeatedly get in the way before being eaten alive. Becoming Chicekn Brent immediately reverses this, and he becomes very helpful.
  • Miraculous Malfunction: Flint hooks up his FLDSMDFR to the town's power station to give it enough electricity to create food from water. Instead, the extra power makes the machine take off like a rocket and start orbiting in the lower stratosphere, creating food that comes down in showers using moisture from the clouds. Later, being overworked makes the machine start overmutating the food and it eventually gains sentience.
  • Missing Mom: Flint. She did have a brief scene with him as a kid, and they mentioned she died. We just don't know how. She even appears as a ghost during the end credit montage.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The ratbirds, invented by Flint (for...some reason) and now inhabiting Swallow Falls as an invasive species.
  • Moment Killer: Overlaps with Almost Kiss. Flint gets a call when he and Sam are about to kiss inside the Jell-O structure.
  • Monumental Damage: Lampshaded when the news broadcast points out that the disastrous food weather is weirdly prioritizing famous landmarks before turning into a global catastrophe.
  • Mood Lighting: Mentioned in the Audio commentary that the Flint's lab changes color lighting based on the mood of the scenes; example includes when Sam comes into the lab with a slightly warm purple-pinkish color, and when the Mayor come in with a stark contrast of threatening Orange-Blue Lighting.
  • Most Definitely Not Accompanying Us: When Flint makes the plan to stop the Meateroid, Brent's role is "President of the Back Seat." Brent decides to go with them anyway, causing problems for them almost immediately.
  • Mountain of Food: The huge pile of leftover food made after a month of food weather (affectionately called "Mt. Leftovers").
  • Mouthing the Profanity: An animator deliberately had a background character mouth "what the fuck" after seeing Flint fly past a crowd while trying to keep the FLDSMDFR in control. The director wasn't pleased, but kept it in.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Flint's habit of dramatically announcing even his most trivial and insignificant actions.
  • Mythology Gag: The grandfather from the book makes a cameo watching the forecast and preparing to catch a meal.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Baby Brent strips to a diaper to invoke his sardine-logo pose that got him his fame, but after falling from grace, he just stays in a diaper for no apparent reason. Then he removes the diaper when he's takes control of a chicken, though thankfully we see nothing.
  • National Stereotypes: When the populations of various countries around the world are shown, all of them are wearing the same hats respective to their nation; i.e. the English wear bowler hats, the French wear berets.
  • Natural Disaster Cascade: The Matter Replicator machine, once it malfunctions, begins causing a comedic variation, unleashing various entirely food-based forms of weather disasters (a spaghetti tornado, raining various giant foods, and forming a food-based hurricane).
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Flint falls head-over-heels for Sam when she starts excitedly babbling about all things science—once even trying to kiss her for it, before getting a hold of himself. Later, when he encourages her to embrace wearing her glasses and tying her hair up, her new nerdy appearance enthralls him even more than her previous one.
  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: One of Flint's failed inventions is "Hair Unbalder." A little bit squirted on the scalp causes his dad to burst out with hair on his entire face.
  • Nobody Can Die: You'd think that food raining down at terminal velocity would hurt someone even before it got worse, but despite spaghetti tornadoes and avalanching leftovers, the only serious injury in the entire movie is Cal, Earl's son, going into a "food coma" from eating too much candy. (He's revived by waving celery under his nose a la smelling salts, thanks to Manny.)
  • Noodle People. The art style results in most characters having very thin limbs and larger heads—especially the main character, Flint, whose rod-thin limbs are used for comedy several times. Not just for the pun.
  • Noodle Incident: Clearly something happened the last time Steve had gummi bears, but the audience is never told what. Given how adamant Flint is about Steve not getting his paws on gummi bears, though, it's pretty clear that whatever happened, it was interesting.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted at ground level, but the destruction of the FLDSMDFR creates a shockwave that apparently clears out the red sky across the whole planet.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The FLDSMDFR is the only machine of its kind, and Flint has been tweaking it for eternity. Its launch into the atmosphere, though accidental, turns out to be for the best (as the water in the clouds mean it can now rain food down upon Swallow Falls.) Unfortunately, he has to come up with a way to control it on the spot, and quickly assembles a satellite to do so.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Steve the Monkey, Flint's pet-slash-lab-partner capable of speech via a machine Flint made for him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sam is very passionate and knowledgeable about all things science, but meteorology especially—yet, whenever she catches herself blabbering too much, she quickly says something dumb to cover it up. She tells Flint later that years of being bullied for her passions led her to cover them up.
  • Official Couple: After The Big Damn Kiss and judging by some of their scenes with them in the credits, it's safe to assume that Flint and Sam are now in a relationship. The sequel confirms this.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: A minor example, when Flint and Sam are talking about what kind of food the machine can produce, they are standing facing each other about a yard apart with the camera cutting back and forth between them. When Sam says Jello, he sidles up to her from off camera and Sam briefly looks puzzled glancing from him back to in front of her where she was addressing a second before.
  • Only Friend: It appears that Steve was Flint's only friend in the beginning, and even then, he's a monkey just barely capable of human speech.
  • Opening Monologue: The film opens with Flint ominously explaining how he had to find hope to save the world, before rewinding back in time to the day he invented his Spray-On Shoes.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • The chain of people turning their heads and gasping. First it's the main characters, then it's the nameless citizens...including Joe, who rips off his beard in shock.
  • Override Command: The Kill Code is Flint's last plan to stop the machine once and for all, with the satellite destroyed and no other way to stop its rampage.
  • Papa Wolf: Officer Earl Devereaux loves his son Cal so much that when the leftover food dam breaks and his son is directly in the food avalanche's path, Devereaux runs all the way back from the ocean's edge while carrying the giant food raft to rescue him. Then he outruns the food avalanche back to the ocean while carrying the raft containing his wife and son on in AND going through various food obstacles to safety.
  • Photographic Memory: The Mayor is able to memorize the FLDSMDFR commands after watching Flint enter them once.
  • Plan B Resolution: Flint has to install a kill code to stop his machine, but the USB drive gets sucked out the window of his flying car, so he asks his father Tim to send it via e-mail. After much difficulty Tim sends the e-mail, and Flint is about to downloaded into the machine when it turns out to be the wrong file (a cat video). As a last resort, Flint uses his Spray-On Shoes to plug up the machine, causing it to explode.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Flint has posters of famous scientists in his room and puts up a picture of himself as a scientist.
  • Precision F-Strike: The aforementioned Mouthing the Profanity moment, quite likely to be the only time someone drops the F-bomb in a PG-rated animated film in the 21st century.
    • Also, when talking to Brent about being mayor of Swallow Falls, he calls the town a "hellhole."
  • Present Company Excluded: The Mayor gives an evil monologue to Brent prior to the opening of Sardineland, but Brent is none the wiser.
    Mayor: Otherwise I'm just a tiny mayor of a tiny town full of tiny sardine-sucking knucklescrapers.
    Brent: But not me, right?
    Mayor: Oh, not you, Brent, no. You've always been Like a Son to Me. (rolls eyes)
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: At first Subverted, but then played straight between Flint and The FLDSMDFR.
    • "Sorry old's closed!" (jams his phone into the FLDSMDFR, but it's the wrong file.)
    • (While hanging under the machine with it preparing to blast him with food) "When it rains, you put on a coat...of Spray-On Shoes!" (blocks the machine's output hatch with the spray.)
  • Product Placement: The video equipment in the weather van and the ads in the production magazine are all Sony equipment. It is a Sony film.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Flint is shown testing out his inventions himself (and spraying his own feet to demonstrate the spray-on shoes), but his dad is also involved with the Remote Control Television and Hair Unbalder.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: The whole premise of the film. Flint's food-producing machine makes it up to the atmosphere, and starts raining delicious food down upon the town of Swallow Falls.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Any time Flint is at his computer, he types faster than the speed of sound. And very dramatically.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The sky turns a dark pinkish-grayish when the FLDSMDFR goes haywire and unleashes disastrous food weather all over the world.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Flint's inventions tend to go wrong in ways he doesn't expect, but he creates an AI out of a television, makes a hair restorer that's too effective, does a little genetic engineering and hybridization to combine animals from two different classes into a hybrid that thrives in the wild, and creates a spray sealant that makes Flex Seal look like Elmer's glue, several of these when he's barely old enough to cross the street alone. If he wasn't on some "rinky-dink island in the middle of nowhere" and actually had someone to direct his efforts productively, he'd be rich.
  • Reformed Bully: Brent. He harassed Flint quite a bit during his childhood and part of his adulthood. However, after Flint takes over the position of town hero, meaning he can no longer sit on his laurels, he begins to think about who he really is. Ultimately, he winds up becoming Flint's friend.
  • Relax-o-Vision: Patrick cuts from Sam reporting on the storm to a shot of a puppy scampering in the background while weather forecasts scroll down the screen.
  • Repetitive Name: The anchor Sam works with is named "Patrick Patrickson"
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: The Mayor has Chewandswallow, now with features like a nacho cheese pool and junk-food mountains for children, turned into a tourist destination for global citizens eager to take part in the food weather. There's a ceremony wherein Flint cuts the ribbon, but right as he does so, the weather finally turns chaotic.
  • Road Apples: That's not chocolate ice cream Steve is flinging. Ewwwww...
  • Rubbery World: The Jell-O Castle. Flint and Sam take advantage of its makeup to bounce around like crazy.
  • Rule of Cool: In universe example. Flint adds Tron Lines (in paint) and computer voices to his stuff for no reason other than because they're cool.
  • Running Gag
    • The ratbirds are introduced in Flint's Failure Montage and continue popping up as vermin of Swallow Falls, once carrying off a child. They also come back in the climax to save Flint.
    • The remote-controlled television pops up in the background throughout the film. While the town panics from the impending food hurricane, someone breaks into an electronic store and steals a TV. The remote-controlled television breaks into the store to steal a person.
    • When people surprise Flint, he always does a silly kung-fu pose. It's pretty easy to miss the first time you watch it, but he does it every single time.
    • Any time Flint's Rocky-esque montages happen, he will dramatically narrarate everything that he's doing. Lampshaded when he says, "Saying what I'm doing!"
  • Runs with Scissors: Brent, with the ceremonial scissors after Sardineland starts coming down:
    Brent: I really shouldn't be running with these!
  • Same Language Dub: In-universe example - Sam's weather report on the food tornado going out around the world is dubbed over in Britain with a British-sounding voice - even her line "A town that is truly a la mode" is changed to "A town that is truly topped with ice cream."
  • Scary Black Man: Parodied by Officer Devereaux's devotion to his job. He's not necessarily violent, but he is very serious about protecting Swallow Falls, and has a vendetta against Flint specifically for his history of mayhem.
  • Science Is Good: Unusually for a film with the premise "new invention nearly dooms the world". Yes, Flint creates an untested machine with the potential to become dangerous, but he's wary of not pushing it past its safety limits (perhaps not as wary as he should have been due to Acquired Situational Narcissism) and when he first notices it's about to go critical, he immediately goes to shut it off. Unfortunately the Mayor, blinded by the economic boost the machine is providing the town, gets there first and pushes it way beyond capacity. In short, science provides a good for humanity; politics ruins it; science ultimately saves the day.
  • Serious Business: Flint gets way too aggressive about the concept of "snowball fights", even breaking into a random family's house just to pelt them with ice cream.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Devereaux: And my eye represents my eye!
    Flint: Everything's made of Jello! This piano, those sconces, that ghetto blaster, that Jello...
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Inverted on Sam. Typically Sam's makeover would consist of ditching the glasses and letting her hair down, but in this film, it's the reverse. Nevertheless, Flint is more blown away by her traditionally nerdy appearance.
  • Shoehorned Acronym: This movie has Flint Lockwood's Diatonic Super-Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, which abbreviates to the clunky, hard-to-pronounce acronym "FLDSMDFR" (usually pronounced something like "flid-SMID-uh-fur").
  • Shout-Out:
    • The ending credits use a style inspired by Yellow Submarine. As a nod to this, they feature a short scene of the central characters dressed as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    • Shout outs to other sources include:
      • The Baby Brent mascot may be based on the famous "Coppertone Baby" [1]
      • During his first action montage, Flint appears to be throwing a Hadouken.
      • The first scene with the Ratbirds may be based on Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, including the part where one crashes into the camera.
      • During the Spaghetti Twister sequence, Flint runs into his own billboard, reminiscent of a scene from The Day After Tomorrow.
      • The plan to attack the giant meatball surrounding the FLDSMDFR - Death Star II anyone? A Sarlacc pit of peanut brittle even forms inside the giant meatball.
      • There's a Simon (the toy) next to the elevator door leading to Flint's lab, which he uses as a security keypad.
      • The giant chickens inside the meatball flock together on the ceiling like a certain species of xenomorph.
      • Towards the end, the FLDSMDFR is on the end of a tentacle and behaving like the alien probes from The War of the Worlds.
      • When the Gummi Bears attack, it's just like when the Buzz Droids attack in the first ten minutes of Revenge of the Sith''. When the Flying Car Mark II blasts off there's a familiar-sounding music sting as well ...
      • The Gummi Bears ripping up the wing on the flying car: "There's a thing on the wing of this plane!!!"
      • No way was the explosion of the FLDSMDFR looking exactly like the Death Star's explosion unintentional.
      • Finally an insanely obscure one. The Remote Controlled TV strongly resembles the titular monster from the obscure 50's B-Movie The Twonky, a killer alien that resembles a TV set with legs.
      • Flint labels the FLDSMDFR's physical data port as the "Welcome to Moose-PORT". note 
      • The sequel has Sam dressing as Dr. Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park.
      • The entrance to Flint's lab,(not the porta-potty) resembles the passageway in the Satelite of Love.
  • Silly Simian: Steve, especially since he can talk thanks to a translating device.
  • Skewed Priorities: The news anchor laughs at Sam looking like a nerd in the midst of a giant food storm. Later, the station would rather broadcast "Otters get wet" than what's happening to the weather.
  • Sleazy Politician: The mayor is a money-hungry manipulator who disregards the safety of the citizens in favor of becoming famous as the mayor of the town with the food weather—but it's all played for comedy. According to the directors, the sleazier they made him, the more people liked him. Being voiced by Bruce Campbell couldn't have hurt.
  • Snowball Fight: When ice cream falls down on Swallow Falls, the children start a snowball fight with it, and invite Flint to join. Flint proceeds to go insane with it.
  • So Proud of You: Tim tells this to Flint at the end of the movie, though it takes the help of a thought translator for him to say it. But he does finish by saying "I love you, son" himself, instead of letting the thought translator do it for him.
  • Souvenir Land
    • When the world realized that sardines are "super gross," Swallow Falls faded into obscurity—Sardineland is the mayor's attempt to get its old fame back. It features souvenirs, a sardine-tin ride, and the largest sardine alive (which is still very, very small.)
    • The mayor also does the same thing to the entire town of Chewandswallow, beckoning tourists from all over the world to come to the town with the food weather. Among the perks are a view of Mt. Leftovers, a nacho-cheese hot tub, and a candy-filled play area for kids.
  • Spider-Sense: Officer Earl's chest hairs start tingling when danger is near.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: After falling out of the spaghetti twister, Flint grabs around for anything to break his fall, only for each successive thing he gets hold of to blow away or fall apart seconds later. Eventually he notices he's three feet off the ground, and just climbs down the flying ladder he's standing on.
  • Still Got It: So says the mayor of Baby Brent. "It" being the ability to strip to a diaper and coo, "Uh-oh!" a la the logo for the sardine company.
  • Strangely Specific Horoscope: The global food weather storm hits China's Great Wall with a giant fortune cookie, complete with a piece of paper that says "You are about to be crushed by a giant corn." Moments later, a giant corn falls from the sky right into the wall, before rolling over towards the bystanders standing nearby.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: At the start of the movie, Flint introduces his Spray-On Shoes explaining that they'll "end the untied shoelace epidemic". When Sam takes notice of them the first time they meet and Flint explains them, she says the exact same thing in response.
  • Strawman News Media: WNN, the news channel that Sam works at. Not only is the anchorman a jerk, but when Sam tries to warn the world of the incoming food storm, he turns attention away from her for no other reason than that she's wearing glasses and looks like a nerd.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard when the giant rolling fish bowl destroys the Sardine Tin Spinner.
  • Suit with Vested Interests: The Mayor opens Chewandswallow up for international tourism, hungry for both fame and money. The fact that a cataclysmic food storm is on the way is something he happily ignores.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Flint, with Sam's explanations of the FLDSMDFR.
    Sam: So when you shot it up into the stratosphere, you figured it would induce a molecular phase change of the vapor from the cumulonimbus layer?
    Flint: That's... actually a really smart observation.
    Sam: I mean, the clouds probably have water in them, which, uh, I guess is why you shot it up there in the first place.
    Flint: Right, right, that's why I, I did that... on purpose... right.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While bouncing around in the Jell-O castle, Sam and Flint get to the swimming pool (also made of Jell-O, of course.) Sam cannonballs and breaks through the surface. Flint bellyflops—and proceeds to land on top of the Jell-O like it's made of concrete.
    Flint: Why did I do that?
  • Take That!: At the end of the film, when most of the damaging weather is being undone, we get a view of London as the shockwave passes over it. Beforehand, it's dark, grey, raining, and generally looks depressing. Afterwards, it's... dark, grey, raining, and generally looks depressing.
  • Technical Euphemism: When Flint is on the phone with Sam, he tries to ask her out, but in the middle of calling it a "date", he chickens out and swaps it for the word "activity".
  • Tempting Fate: Far more examples than can readily be listed, with almost every form of this turning up at some stage. Put simply, seconds before anything remotely construed as negative happens, someone will suggest everything is great or that nothing can go wrong.
    • "This is a great idea." Cue Flint causing massive collateral damage with his machine.
    • "Thank goodness you only caused minimum damage to Sardine Land!" Cue the rolling fish bowl of death...
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Practically every scene with Earl has him pulling off impossible feats through sheer strength, agility, and manliness. In the climax of the film, he manages to single-handedly his wife, child, and a raft through a minefield of falling food-debris without a scratch.
  • The Theme Park Version: The major cities of the world (and their inhabitants) as seen in the film are deliberately simplified, exaggerated stereotypes. It fits with the storybook illogical logic seen throughout the entire movie. Lampshaded when the newscaster announces that "recognizable monuments" all over the world are being destroyed first, then the rest of the world.
  • Thing-O-Meter: The Dangeometer, Flint's green-yellow-and-red meter measuring when the machine is being pushed too far. He minds it well at first, but when the fame starts to get to his head, he starts to let it slip a little. Then too much...
  • Title Drop: The title is played around with, but never actually said. Note that the first time meatballs actually show up is with the spaghetti tornado, which doesn't get a proper forecast.
  • Toilet Humour: When Flint confesses he's never been in a snowball fight, Sam reacts with surprise and says "Even Steve is throwing chocolate snowballs!" Cut to Steve on a patch of vanilla ice cream throwing "chocolate snowballs." Sam reacts with appropriate disgust.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Brent, after his transformation into Chicken Brent. He goes from a bumbling idiot to a karate-chopping expert that buys Flint and Sam enough time to get a new route to the machine.
  • Toon Physics: Flint survives many things that would kill a normal human, such as the electric jolt from the substation and crashing into many things. He also shows incredible reflexes when he reaches the tornado.
  • Too Upset to Create: Flint Lockwood feels bad about all of his inventions backfiring and potentially putting everyone in danger by accidentally making it rain Giant Food. He wants to quit being an inventor and calls all his inventions, and himself, "junk".
  • Top-Heavy Guy: By virtue of the art style, this shows up in several characters. Officer Devereaux has a manly, triangle-shaped build, while Tim Lockwood and "Baby" Brent are of the "fat with short legs" variety.
  • Tourism-Derailing Event: The island town of Chew and Shallow had become popular thanks to Flint Lockwood's invention that made food rain from the sky. On the day of the grand opening in front of tourists from around the world, the invention produces a spaghetti twister. This makes the town too dangerous for tourists.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Throughout the film Steve wants Flint to make it rain gummy bears, but Flint refuses because "We know how you are around gummy bears!" When our heroes journey to the giant meatball in the flying car to stop the food machine, at one point giant, living gummy bears appear and attack the flying car. Steve subsequently goes into a frenzy, tearing apart/devouring them the whole time.
  • Trade Your Passion for Glory: Flint retains his passion for inventing and keeps maintenance on the FLDSMDFR for a good while, but when he starts getting more and more fame from it, he starts letting loose on the rules. This culminates in him ignoring the impending danger that he once cared greatly about in favor of opening Chewandswallow as the local celebrity.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: While they didn't explain exactly how, several trailers gave away that the food weather would end up going horribly wrong. In particular, the pancake falling on the school and the children cheering "No school!" was very common.
  • Tron Lines: Parodied. Flint deliberately paints them all over his lab and inventions, entirely because it looks cool. "Coolness enhancement... complete!"
  • Troperiffic: Despite the homage listed above, Cloudy takes the cliches of family films and makes them so blatantly obvious, toddlers could potentially understand what's going on! The directors themselves are aware of what they're doing anyway, pointing out the ENTIRE Chekhov's Armory in the audio commentary.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Flint's father finds Flint in this position in a trashcan containing all his previous failed inventions, suffering a Heroic BSoD due to his food machine causing disastrous food weather and him feeling powerless to stop it. Flint is in the trashcan since he now considers himself "junk", like all his failed inventions.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: Lampshaded. The mayor mentions spending the entire town budget on Sardineland "without consulting anyone", and later funds the revamping of Swallow Falls as Chew'n'Swallow by taking out a "very high interest loan".
  • Unconventional Food Usage: This movie has lots of examples due to the plot revolving a lot around food:
    • When Flint and Sam go on their unofficial first date, they use a giant jello essentially as a bouncy house. Flint also uses jello to make a piano, two statues, and a scrunchie.
    • When Flint makes it rain ice cream, the citizens have a "snowball fight" that's actually an ice cream scoop fight.
    • Flint uses both licorice and spaghetti as ropes during the "deactivating the machine" scene, and uses a pimento as a helmet.
    • After Brent kills the giant, walking roast chicken that tried to eat him, he wears it like clothes.
    • Discussed when Sam thinks that if they can't blow up the food-making machine, they'll have to live underground and wear bacon for clothes.
  • Vanity License Plate: The 2nd Flying Car doesn't even disguise it. The license plate outright states, in big glowing letters: AWESOME.
  • Verbal Backspace: Sam does this a lot, whenever she accidentally blurts out something incredibly smart. Flint eventually asks her about it, and she confesses it's due to her being bullying about her intelligence for years.
  • Villainous Glutton: The mayor, figuratively and literally. Figuratively, he's hungry for both fame and money, and ignores the increasing danger of the food weather because he wants to become famous for being the mayor of Chewandswallow. Literally, he eats so much food that by the end of the film, he's ten times his original size.
  • Visual Pun: The dam holding Mt Leftovers is shattered, by a single cherry.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Once Cal is revived from his "food coma", his father gives him a big hug. Cal loudly vomits, but his father's body conceals it.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The FLDSMDFR is capable of using the moisture in the atmosphere to create "food weather," cheeseburger rain being only the first of its feat. It's also capable of "snowing" ice cream and later, when things take a turn for the worst, a spaghetti tornado.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Flint keeps trying to get his father's (and the town's) approval, but Tim holds that Flint should just give up on inventing and work with him in the shop.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: The Mayor refuses to believe that the food becoming too big could be a problem, and manages to convince Flint of the same. The two of them soon learn the consequences when the food weather gets out of control.
  • Winds Of Change: Flint began to notice an unusual gust of wind full of salt and pepper. The next thing he noticed was a spaghetti tornado forming and wreaking havoc in Chew and Shallow.
  • Womb Level: The inside of the Meateroid definitely invokes this feeling. It's made of food/meat, but the walls look very pink-red and fleshy. Of particular note is the funnel for the water, which looks very squishy and has the sloshing moisture inside visible.
  • World-Healing Wave: After disabling the FLDSMDFR, a shockwave clears out the ominous red sky and ceases food weather for good.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: Manny, Sam's cameraman, was both a doctor and a pilot back in Guatemala. Also a nuclear physicist. Oh, and a pretty good comedian too.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Flint connects a jumper cable to the power station, the electricity flows through him, showing his skeleton briefly.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Chicken Brent holding off the roast chickens. He manages to keep them at bay for a good minute, but then he and Sam have to leave.


Video Example(s):


CWACOM Credits

The closing credits of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a 2D animated epilogue (or it would've been had the second movie not taken place instantly after the first) that includes Shout Outs, Mythology Gags, and lots and lots of rainbows, set to Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / CreativeClosingCredits

Media sources: