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One big, bad, happy family.

"We have located a shrink ray in a secret lab, and once we take this shrink ray, we will have the capability to pull off the true crime of the century! [...] We are going to steal... pause, for effect... the moon! And once the moon is mine, the world will give me whatever I want to get it back! And I will be the greatest villain of all time!"
Felonious Gru

Despicable Me is Universal's first in-house CGI animated featurenote , and the first animated film from Illumination Entertainment, executive-produced by former Blue Sky Studios head Chris Meledandri. The plot revolves around a Supervillain named Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) plotting to steal the moon while he hides in his Elaborate Underground Base with his army of Minions in a suburban neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a younger villain, Vector (Jason Segel), steals the shrink ray Gru was in the middle of stealing, and he needs to get it back. That's when Gru notices how willing Vector is to let orphans selling cookies into his house and ... lightbulb! Gru proceeds to adopt the three orphans - Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher respectively) - to carry out his Evil Plan.

Can Gru learn the importance of family and how to be a good dad?

Releasing in theaters on July 9th, 2010, the film would start a franchise.

Despicable Me contains examples of:

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    Tropes A-E 
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Affably Evil/Anti-Villain: Gru. It's even the movie's tagline!
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Gru and two minions use this while stealing the shrink ray from Vector's house.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Good Times (Bad Times remix) by Rip Slyme is the theme song for the Japanese version.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Gru's mother, when she shows the girls Gru's old childhood photos.
    Gru: Mom... not cool.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear whether Gru insulted Mrs. Hattie intentionally or by accident when he tells her in Spanish that she has a face like a donkey.
  • Anachronistic Orphanage: Gru originally adopts the girls from "Miss Hattie's Home for Girls", a classic Orphanage of Fear.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Vector's "plane" doesn't even have wings, and pulls in the shrink ray through its engine and the support strut that's too thin for it. Gru's plane doesn't look particularly well-engineered either.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Shrinking the moon will not decrease its mass (though it is implied the shrink ray Gru stole nullifies an objects mass; once the effects start wearing off, the object regains its original mass). The moon shrunk down would still weigh as much as the full-sized moon (7.3477 x 10^22 kilograms), so Gru could not carry it, and it being so close to the Earth would cause a variety of gravitational problems. The issues are partially addressed in-universe as the Moon begins to re-expand - Vector falls back onto its surface instead of it falling to crush him (again!), and then the rockets on his ship fire, though the Moon continues growing in size and destroys his ship in atmosphere, yet somehow regains size in space at its original orbital point and not the upper atmosphere.
  • Artistic License – Space: Gru's Moon mission takes only a couple of hours from takeoff to landing, despite involving an actual orbit of the Moon, a round trip that normally takes a week at best.
    • Also, the Earth seems relatively fine after the moon is stolen. If the Moon disappeared in real life, we'd all be screwed.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The general look of Vector's designs, compared to the more archetypal camp comic book villain look to Gru's designs.
  • Attention Whore:
    • Gru doesn't just want to be a villain. He wants to be the number one villain. Doctor Nefario assures him he is still number one when he talks to him.
    • Vector is the same as Gru, wanting to be numero uno. His attempts to get attention are even more pathetic.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Much of the technology used by Vector or Gru. Vector's marine life guns are a particularly extravagant example.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Well, children, anyway. Giving her some grandkids is the only thing Gru ever does that earns his mother's approval.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The movie opened out with the Giza pyramid theft with a news reporter questioning who was behind this before cutting to Gru, leading the audience to believe that he was the one responsible. But then it turns out that Vector stole it and Gru didn't even know about the pyramid being stolen until Dr. Nefario told him.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: When Gru is first introduced, he's shown making a balloon dog for a little boy who is crying over his dropped ice cream... and then instantly popping it. This cements him as evil, but only in a petty sort of way.
  • Bamboo Technology:
    • Kid Gru's drawing and macaroni sculpture of a spaceship seem rather normal things a child would do with their time, until he actually builds a working, unmanned rocket out of street items "based on the macaroni prototype!" This still doesn't get a "Well Done, Son" Guy reaction, however.
    • Also, the spaceship for the moon mission is made out of whatever they could find to build it, after the bank stopped funding them.
  • Becoming the Mask: Gru's only intention for the girls was to use them as a Trojan Horse to help steal the shrink ray and offload them at the earliest possible opportunity. However, he warms up to them.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Vector is a nerdy villain who creates technology like a "piranha gun" and a "squid launcher", and is constantly abused by everything. At the same time, he's competent enough to steal the Pyramids, his fortress is guarded by a Macross Missile Massacre, and he has no qualms about kidnapping and potentially killing young girls.
  • Big Bad: Victor "Vector" Perkins.
  • Big "WHAT?!": After Gru finds the girls and two of the Minions (Jerry and Stuart) throwing toilet paper around the living room, Edith says it was Jerry's idea. This is Jerry's response.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • If you know Spanish, even a few words, you'll know what Gru actually calls Miss Hattie when he tries to flatter her. She later buys a Spanish-English dictionary and finds out he says, basically, "Your face looks like a donkey's." Bonus in that he actually asked her if she spoke Spanish, implying that he knew what he was calling her.
      • In the Latin American dub (the one used in Mexico) what he says is that "She has the figure of a Tololoche" note . She later claims to have investigated the word.
      • The Spanish dub has Gru call Miss Hattie "rucio", which is an antique word for "donkey".
  • Bland-Name Product: At the end when there is a ginormous dance recital turned party in Gru's lair, a minion is shown at a DJ booth that is labeled 'Gru-Ray Disc' complete with a similar logo.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The kids have found Gru's lair. He claims that he's actually a spy.
    • When the girls first appear on Gru's doorstep, Gru tells them to go away, because he's not home. Margo points out that he obviously is, otherwise he wouldn't be able to talk to them.
    • When Gru enters the bank, a sign behind the teller reads, "We are always alert to all your needs!" Only problem? The teller is asleep.
  • Book Ends: The anchor reporting on the theft of the pyramid and the return of the moon.
  • Bowdlerise: Whenever it airs on ABC, it gets some weird cuts...
    • The NBC logo is removed on the Times Square Jumbotron, and the MSNBC logo is missing.
    • The part when Gru's mom shows the girls Gru's baby photos, they show Gru's Sunday best photo instead.
    • The scene when three minions are playing with the copier is cut completely.
    • The end credits are shortened (meaning they remove the scenes when the Minions attempt to stretch themselves off the screen).
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When Mr. Perkins rejects Gru's loan, he tells him: "Look, Gru, the point is, there are a lot of new villains out there, younger than you, hungrier than you, younger than you. Like that young fellow out there named Vector. He just stole a pyramid!"
  • Break the Cutie: When the girls have fulfilled their dreams of being adopted, they start to enjoy their exciting new home - until Dr. Nefario, worried that they're too much of a distraction for Gru, has them returned to the orphanage. Agnes begs Gru not to let Ms. Hattie take them back, while Margo just quietly thanks him for everything, and Edith gets really pissed with her arms folded. And even then, the three of them still hope that he'll make it to the recital...
  • Breakout Character: The minions have starred in several of their own shorts and even got their own feature film.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The anti-gravity minion. Three times.
    • Also, the incident under Bilingual Bonus above.
    • Both sealife guns.
    • The stolen pyramid.
    • One Minion tries ballet after watching the girls try it, only to be punched in the face in response by another Minion. At the end, the second Minion tries it out and gets the same response from the first one.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Margo imitates Gru's accent during a Deadpan Snarker moment when she says she, Edith and Agnes can't skip their dance class.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Vector as a villain: he likes to wear gaudy tracksuits and use mostly ineffective guns that shoot out some form of aquatic life to do his villainy, as well as getting help from another source. Yet he manages to steal the Pyramid of Giza and prevent Gru from getting into his fortress without outside help.
  • Call-Back / Hypocritical Humor: At the start of the first film, Gru complains to his neighbour that said neighbour's dog is doing its business all over Gru's garden. At the beginning of the second film, Kyle (Gru's — er — dog) wants to relieve himself on Gru's plants, but Gru has him do it on the plants of the neighbour mentioned above. (They comically shrivel.)
    • The Fart Gun, in the sequel.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Later, during Gru's videoscreen presentation to the bank director, the girls start clowning around. Edith and Agnes find the freeze ray, and Edith says "Freeze ray!" just before turning Gru's entire body (minus his head, arms and butt) into an ice cube.
    • In the commentary, it's remarked upon how the freeze ray works best if you yell "Freeze ray!" just before you fire it.
    • Lampshaded in the sequel when Gru attempts to freeze Lucy, who counters it with a heat ray and informing him that he really should yell out his attack after performing it, then promptly takes him out with a taser disguised as lipstick. She calls the attack while it takes place.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    • Gru regularly does things just to be a dick. Take parking his giant car at the bank. He finds a parking spot, but pushes back the car behind him a little. Then he rams the one in front, then the one in back, then repeats until he has moved several cars out of position, both wrecking them and giving him more space than he could ever need.
    • He gave a child a balloon animal just so he could pop it.
    • All villains in-universe. They have their own Bank of Evil (Formerly Lehman Brothers).
  • Chain of People:
    • At the climax of the film, Margo starts to plummet from several hundred feet, and Gru himself falls trying to catch her. The Minions form a Chain of People to save both of them.
    • Occurs earlier in the movie on a smaller scale while Gru is stealing the shrink ray. Although it was kind of accidental here.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Gru's "Light bulb..."
    • "Eh..." says Gru's mother.
    • Vector's "Oh yeah!"
  • Character in the Logo: The movies use Gru's silhouette in the logos, usually between the big "M" and "E" letters.
  • Cheek Copy: Some of the Minions amuse themselves by doing this.
    "Heheh, butt. Ah? Heheheheheheh, butt!"
  • Cheerful Child: Agnes is adorable and happy about everything. She takes to Gru immediately even when the others are wary.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The stolen pyramid. It's Hidden in Plain Sight for much of the film and seen a few times. At the end, as Vector makes off with the girls in the escape pod, Gru runs up the side of the pyramid to the top in order to grab on to the pod.
    • The girls' dance recital. The girls have to go to dance class so they can practise for it, and it turns out to be on the same day as Gru stealing the moon. Vector then kidnaps the girls so as to get Gru to give him the moon.
    • The piggy bank that the girls later give to Gru is earlier seen when they're packing before meeting Gru face-to-face.
    • Vector cuts a hole in Gru's ship to steal the shrink ray from him. In the climax, Gru loses his grip on Vector's escape pod and avoids falling to his death... by landing in his ship after falling through the same hole.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The minions' ability to form human chains rapidly.
  • Children as Pawns: Gru adopts three little girls as part of a plan to steal back a Shrink Ray from Vector, since Vector likes the cookies they sell. Gru plans to ditch the girls after the plan is done, but they begin to grow on him, and in the end makes a Heel–Face Turn and becomes a loving parent to them.
  • Child Care and Babysitting Stories: The film is about supervillain Gru adopting three orphaned girls just so he can steal a shrink ray from a fellow villain for a planned heist on the Moon. He unexpectedly bonds with the children and becomes a doting father to them despite initially trying to ditch them after achieving his goal.
  • Clingy Child: When Agnes first meets Gru, she hugs his leg and refuses to let go due to her excitement. Gru even asks if he can get a crowbar.
  • Conlang: The creators wrote a language for the gibberish the minions speak. They called it "minion-ese". Each word the minions speak translates into an actual word.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The girls' dance recital is on the exact day Gru needs to launch his rocket.
  • Cool Car: Gru's giant smoke-spewing and road hogging airship/tank makes Hummers look inconspicuous and eco-friendly.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Even by the standards of the Bank of Evil (Formerly Lehman Brothers), it turns out. Can there be anything more evil than someone like Mr. Perkins? And is using his position to promote his own worthless son over the solid efforts of a real villain?
  • Crapsaccharine World: Villains ride roughshod over the planet. A rare foiled plot has newscasters declaring "Good triumphs for once!" Even the orphanages are run by monsters, and the only villain who fails his Karma Houdini is the relatively harmless Vector.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • The credits have the Minions come on screen and attempt to stretch themselves off the screen and into the theater, testing the limits of the 3D effects. One Minion succeeds in launching himself off the screen and into the booth where he begins making shadow puppets.
    • There's also a mobile app which allows movie-goers to get a translation of just what the Minions are saying during the course of the credits. The translation provides a hilarious Take That!:
      Minion #1: Hey, I can hear Twilight in the next theater! Team Jacob rules!
      Minion #2: (not amused) Sir, you've made a mockery of our noble contest.
  • Curse Cut Short: While Vector is playing with the Shrink Ray in the bathroom.
    Vector: Oh look, a little tiny toilet for little tiny tur-AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUGGH! CURSE YOU, TINY TOILET!!
  • Cute Kitten: Much to Gru's disdain.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Vector to Mr. Perkins. The latter was trying to avoid giving money to Gru for his plans for stealing the moon for Vector's benefit. Perkins was angry at Vector after Gru stole the shrink ray from him, but Vector was convinced he could get them the moon which he almost did.
  • Dance Party Ending: In-universe, even. Interrupting an excerpt from Swan Lake... with what? Something contemporary? A gratuitous rap remix? One better: Disco. Which Gru turns out to be adept at. It's The Bee Gees' song "You Should Be Dancing", complete with Gru mimicking John Travolta's moves from Saturday Night Fever.
  • Death Glare: Gru has a good one. It's indicative of his Character Development that the first time it appears it's aimed at the girls, while the second and third times it's in their defense.
    • The first time is when Gru finds Jerry, Stuart and the girls throwing toilet paper around the living room.
    • The second time is at Super Silly Fun Land, when he tries to glare down the Space Killer booth attendant. It's a measure of how stupid the kid is that he thinks he can laugh it off.
      Attendant: Uh-oh! Somebody's got a frowny face!
    • Gru again when he breaks into Vector's fortress in the climax to rescue the girls.
  • Deconstruction: Of comic book-style super-villains. They're shown as people with families who need to take out loans to fund their schemes and who use their gadgets to overcome everyday annoyances like waiting in long queues.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Miss Hattie, who runs the girls' orphanage but could care less about them, while operating a cookie racket where she pockets the profits and anyone who fails to meet the sales quota is made to sit in a box of shame. When Margo, Edith and Agnes ask if anyone wanted to adopt them while they were out selling cookies, she cruelly says "Hmmm, let me think... No!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Look, Gru, the point is, there are a lot of newer villains out there. Younger than you, hungrier than you. Younger. Than you. Like that young fellow out there."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Vector tells his father, Mr. Perkins, not to call him by his birth name, "Victor", saying, "Victor was my nerd name".
  • Don't Split Us Up: Averted; siblings in foster care are often separated. Even more of an aversion because the junior novelization says the girls "aren't technically sisters, but they spend all their time together."
  • Dramatic Pause: Parodied. When Gru announces to his Minions that they're going to steal the moon, he mutters the words "Pause for effect" to himself during the dramatic pause.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The soundtrack features a song called Minion Mambo that's credited as being sung by The Minions. However, instead of Pierre Coffin doing the voice of the minions, they're voiced by Lupe Fiasco (with his voice being sped-up) and they're speaking english instead of minionese.
  • Early Personality Signs:
    • Gru is seen as a kid drawing himself on the moon and planning to build, then later actually building, a rocket. As an adult, he wants to steal the moon.
    • The photo Mr Perkins has of Vector shows him playing with a toy shark. As an adult, he is obsessed with sea life, and even has a shark living under his living room floor.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: There is a lot of melodrama towards the climax of the film.
  • Easily Forgiven: Dr. Nefario going behind Gru's back and calling Miss Hattie to collect the girls. Gru never gives him a What the Hell, Hero? and the girls blame Gru over Dr. Nefario.
  • Embarrassing Slide: After successfully stealing the shrink ray, Gru explains his plan for stealing the moon to Mr. Perkins using slides to back up his story. In between, however, is a drawing his three adopted daughters made of him sitting on the toilet.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • We first see Gru cheerily walking down the sidewalk, when - oh no! A child's ice cream has fallen off its cone! Thinking quickly, Gru distracts the boy by whipping out a balloon, making an adorable inflated puppy from it - all the while smiling and making sure the boy is watching - and handing it to the tyke, who cuddles it. And then Gru pops it with a hatpin. Gets another one during the montage of his morning routine where he freezes everyone at line in the coffee shop so he can cut in line and take the first customer's order — but he still makes sure to put a tip in the jar.
    • When the girls make their first scene trying to sell Gru cookies, their key personality traits come out — Margo keeps on the task of selling cookies and keeping guiding her sisters when they get distracted, and pointing out the clearly obvious lie when Gru claims he's not at home when he's clearly talking; Edith surprises Gru through the door's peephole and then kicks the area where his knees are when he refuses to buy their cookies; Agnes actually believes that she and her sisters were talking to a talking door and cheerfully says, "Goodbye, recorded message".
    • Vector is first seen trying to speak to Gru, and continuing to do so when Gru ignores him, even sliding up to him while doing it. And what is he talking about? Himself committing crimes.
    • Miss Hattie establishes herself as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing when she greets the girls in a happy voice, then, when Agnes asks if anyone came to adopt them while they were out, she brutally says: "Hmm, let me think... NO!"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Gru treats his minions with respect and fatherly affection (he even remembers their names), is best friends with his mad scientist, repairs his relationship with his mother, and becomes a doting father to the girls.
    • Mr. Perkins. He has a picture of himself giving a young Vector a piggyback ride and both really seem to be enjoying it. A brief, but surprisingly touching moment.
  • Eviler than Thou: After his first run in with Gru, Vector's entire life becomes dedicated to showing that he's a better villain than him.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the beginning of the film Gru makes a balloon animal for a crying kid then pops it as well as cutting the queue at a coffee shop through the use of his freeze ray. He also plots diabolical schemes!
  • Evil Orphanage Lady: Miss Hattie runs a miserable orphanage where the children are forced to sell cookies but she keeps all the profits. If they don't sell enough they have to sit in a "box of shame".
  • Evil Versus Evil: Gru vs. Vector.

    Tropes F-J 
  • Fake Crossover: Japan only, with Inazuma Eleven in this Eye Catch set seen here and a trailer for the JP release of the movie seen here.
  • Fake Faint: When Edith accidentally reduces Agnes's toy unicorn to dust, Agnes holds her breath to make Gru get her another one. She then falls backwards on the floor and the frustrated Gru relents. She then opens an eye while smirking a bit, implying that she faked it.
  • Fake Video Camera View: At the end. It's notable in that they actually used a 1920x1080 resolution marker in the bottom corner.
  • Fantastic Firearms: Gru's fart gun (created due to Dr. Nefario's poor hearing-Gru wanted a dart gun), which fires exactly what its name implies. Its report sounds like... well... and its projectile is a gently-drifting brown smoke ring powerful enough to knock a minion off its feet. They're surprisingly useful against mutated superhumans, as we find out in the second film.
  • A Father to His Men: Gru toward the minions, in a rare villainous example. He seems to genuinely care about them, and is upset when he has to lay them off. The minions reciprocate the feeling by offering to tap into their own savings to complete the Moon launch, indicating that Gru really was an above-and-beyond employer and that the minions really care about him in return. And don't forget the scene where they all want to be kissed goodnight!
  • Foil: Vector and Gru. Gru was a smart kid, motivated by the desire to earn a word of praise from his indifferent mother, who became a supervillain Jerk with a Heart of Gold because of his desire to become an astronaut and go to the moon. He struggled to get where he is, is legitimately talented, and likes to make friends, with the Minions, Nefario, and (eventually) the girls functioning as a sort of family. Vector, on the other hand, is a spoiled rich kid who became a supervillain because he was tired of being a nerd. He doesn't have any real goals except to enjoy himself and win at all costs, even going so far as to kidnap the girls. He has no real talent, presumably getting all the money he uses to buy his nifty toys from his dad's bank, no non-aggressive contact with anyone in the film other than his father, and no one else is ever invited into his house. Even their houses play off each other; while Gru lives in a normal (though, admittedly, slightly large and foreboding) house with a secret lair underneath, Vector's house just screams "Look at me! Look at me!"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first scenes show a little child who does a perilous thing trying to get the attention from his oblivious father. Later, we will see the real reason why Gru wants to steal the moon.
    • A subtle one, but the weapon Vector shows Gru during their first meeting is his Piranha Gun. Male piranhas are known for being incredibly protective of their young, which is exactly what Gru becomes towards the girls by the time Vector kidnaps them.
    • The first time we see Gru's mother, Gru tells her he's going to do something that will make her very proud. He's referring to his plan to steal the moon, but he succeeds in making her proud by adopting the girls, as first seen when she shows them Gru's baby pictures. The So Proud of You Gru is after finally comes in the final scene.
    • Upon entering Gru's house for the first time, Edith quips that she thought their adoption by a "bald, rich guy" would be like Annie. And aside from obvious difference, that's the plot of the story with Gru and the girls: Adopts them for his own selfish reason, starts to care about them, has to give them up for one reason or another, but managed to be a family in the end.
    • Gru's looks of discomfort while sitting with the mothers at the girls' dance class sets up how insecure he is with women, which comes back in the sequel.
    • Gru's jet suddenly returning to its normal size after being shrunk by Vector (and the same thing happening to Kevin) earlier in the film sets up how the same thing will happen to the moon after Vector obtains it.
  • Force and Finesse: Gru and Vector's technology when comapred to each other; Gru's machines are focused on comically-bulky Diesel Punk, while Vector's machines are slim, sleek and brightly-colored.
  • For Your Own Good: Dr. Nefario's excuse for having the kids taken back to the orphanage so they stop distracting Gru from his evil plan.
  • Foreign Language Theme: The Spanish version features a translated version of the song "My Life" called Soñar, which is sung by David Bisbal.
  • Freeze Ray: Gru's got one that he makes liberal use of.
  • Freudian Excuse: Why does Gru want to steal the moon? Because his mother belittled his dream to be an astronaut when he was a child.
    • It's never explored at the movie, but Vector surely would have been better in a job that involves aquatic life.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Gru, when he gives up the shrunken moon to Vector to get the girls back. Though Vector went back on his word, it's actually a good thing that Gru chose the girls over the moon.
  • From the Latin "Intro Ducere": Several times, new villain Vector explains the origin of his name, neatly combining this trope with Don't Explain the Joke:
    Vector: I go by Vector. It's a mathematical term, represented by an arrow with both direction and magnitude. Vector! That's me, because I commit crimes with both direction and magnitude. Oh yeah!
  • Funny Background Event: When Gru pulls out his plasma gun and aims at the Space Killer game, off to the side you can see the booth attendant's eyes go wide, and then he dives for cover. A moment later, as the girls and Gru are walking away, behind them you can see the attendant still staring in shock and shaking like a leaf.
  • Funny Phone Misunderstanding: Gru tells Dr. Nefario over his cellphone that he wants him to make a dozen cookie robots. Nefario mishears him and makes boogie robots instead. Gru chalks this up to Nefario being hard-of-hearing due to his old age.
  • Fun Size: Anything hit by the shrink ray. Temporarily.
  • Gadgeteer's House: Gru and Vector's houses are filled with gadgets that improve their lifestyles.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Vector's love of cookies is exploited by Gru.
  • "Getting Ready for Bed" Plot: The bedtime story Gru reads to the girls is about three kittens getting ready for bed.
  • Gigantic Moon: The final shot depicts the moon as being much closer than it should be, justified by the events of the film.
  • Glass Smack and Slide: A toolkit for the movie features Dave the minion entertaining himself by shooting minions at the screen with a bazooka.
  • Good Feels Good: Gru's Heel–Face Turn begins when he experiences this at the amusement park. After a Jerkass target shooting booth attendant rips off little Agnes, who hits the target but fails to knock it over, Gru (whom the Jerkass also insults, before learning he'd been Mugging the Monster) growls "My turn!", whips an absolutely freaking GINORMOUS disintegrator pistol out of his Hyperspace Arsenal and not only destroys the target, but also the rest of the booth and most of the Jerk Ass Attendant's hair, thus winning the prize for Agnes. ("Knocked O-VER!!!") The look on Gru's face as the girls react by showing true affection for him for the very first time is wonderful. Even Margo, the most skeptical one, pays tribute to his awesome moment When they arrive back home after a Gilligan Cut, Gru is laughing along with the girls and his Heel–Face Turn is complete.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Gru's underwear has polka smileys.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: The "boogie robots", karaoke that sounds like Copacabana by Barry Manilow, the Dance Party Ending with The Bee Gees... there's a surprising amount of disco in this movie.
  • Groin Attack: In an attempt to infiltrate Vector's house, Gru gets attacked by one of his booby traps, which was a machine with a boxing glove that him in the groin. You can hear Gru grunt in pain and putting his hands over his groin.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Justin, the little fat boy in the beginning, manages to sneak into the restricted zone of the pyramid with two guards standing not even three feet away from him.
  • Hate Sink: While this film already has a countless number of Jerkass characters, Miss Hattie easy stands out as the most repugnant character in the entire film for not only her cruelty towards Margo, Edith and Agnes, but to the other children in her care.
  • Heartfelt Apology: Gru doesn't use the words "I apologize" or "I'm sorry", but it's what he means, and it's what the girls hear, when he's trying to rescue them from Vector.
    Margo: You gave us back!
    Gru: I know, I know! And it is the worst mistake I ever made. (...) Margo, I will catch you! And I will never let you go again!
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zigzagged. On one hand it's the whole plot of the movie: a supervillain finds that his latest Evil Plan requires that he pretend to adopt three orphan girls, and much to his surprise he finds that being a good dad is more satisfying than being a supervillain. On the other hand, it's possible to argue that Gru hasn't reformed so much as he's just accepted a handful of new people into the small circle of people he cares about. It isn't til the sequel that Gru is shown as being fully reformed.
  • Heist Clash: Gru attempts to steal a Shrink Ray from a research base to use in his plan to shrink and steal the moon. Unfortunately, he runs into his rival Vector who steals the ray himself.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Margo, Edith and Agnes persuade Gru to take them to the amusement park Super Silly Fun Land, which he decides to do just so he can try and abandon them. However, he eventually starts to do this after he wins Agnes the unicorn from the spaceship stand.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: How does Vector hide the Pyramid he stole? By placing it in his backyard and painting it blue so it'll look like the sky. Bonus points for also drawing some clouds in a more cartoony style.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Downplayed. Gru's mother was more neglectful than abusive, but her constant "eh" reaction to young Gru's moon interests, even when he builds an actual rocket by himself, achieve the same effect as most examples of this trope.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Vector kidnaps the girls near the end of the film, and demands the moon in exchange for their safe return. He gets the moon, but doesn't give the girls back.
  • Human Jungle Gym: When Gru first goes to adopt Margo, Edith and Agnes, Agnes is so excited she grabs ahold of Gru's leg and won't let go. He shakes his leg, tries to pull her off, and even asks the adoption lady if she has some pliers or spray to remove her. All the while, Agnes is giggling away and Gru ends up limping out the door with her still hanging on and dangling upside down, much to her sisters' embarrassment.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Gru can store just about anything in his jacket. Freeze ray, the disintegrator ray at the theme park, THE MOON.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end, Gru's mom tells him he turned out to be a great parent - just like her. (Still, she does also finally tell him she's proud of him.)
  • Idea Bulb: Never shown, but Gru tends to say "Liiiight buuuulb" when he gets an idea.
  • Idiot Ball: To Vector for noticing that cookie he bit was metal and sparking and then NOT CARING about it.
  • Imagine Spot: Gru has two, both involving the girls and a "Eureka!" Moment.
    • He first has one when he imagines the girls carrying the shrink ray out of Vector's fortress.
    • He has another one later when he imagines sending the girls away into the sky on a ride labelled "Goodbye" and doing a dance on tiptoes in celebration.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: During the credits of the first film, one of the minions makes a perfect shadow puppet of Gru.
  • Improbable Infant Survival:
    • Parodied in the scene where Edith walks into the iron maiden. It closes on her and a red liquid seeps out... But when Gru opens it...
      Edith: It poked a hole in my juice box.
    • Double-subverted twice, first with Justin, then with Margo. Justin runs up some planks towards the pyramid at the beginning and falls off the edge, but because the pyramid was stolen and replaced with an inflatable replica, he bounces off it and lands on his father.
    • At the end, Margo is caught on Vector's ship but falls out and nearly falls to her death (along with Gru), before Gru catches her, and he himself is then caught by the minions forming a Chain of People.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: In Gru's profile on Miss Hattie's computer, Gru's first name is spelled as "Felonious," and in the Gru Family Tree, it's spelled as "Felonius."
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Gru has one in which he dances around in joy from dumping the girls at Super Silly Fun Land.
  • Infantilization Retaliation: Vector plays around with the stolen Shrink Ray and shrinks his toilet. He then talks in a higher-pitched, baby-like manner to the tiny toilet until it pops off its pipe, getting water sprayed in his face.
    Vector: Oh, look at you a little tiny toilet for a little tiny baby t- Argh! Curse you tiny toilet!
  • Insulting from Behind the Language Barrier: When Gru first meets Ms. Hattie, he tells her she has a face "como un burro" which translates to "like a donkey". Unaware of what he actually said, she's flattered and takes it as a compliment. Later, when Hattie comes back to pick up the girls, she hits Gru in the face with a Spanish dictionary because she didn't like what he said.
  • Iron Maiden: Edith goes into Gru's iron maiden, and what appears to be blood drips out of it, much to Margo's horror. The iron maiden then opens, only for it to be revealed that the spikes poked a hole in Edith's juice box, causing the red juice to drip out.
  • I Will Show You X!: The girls ask Gru of pizza for dinner, and to also get stuffed crust.
    Gru: I'll stuff you all in the crust!
  • Jaw Drop: A priceless look on Edith's face upon first meeting Gru.
  • Journey to the Sky: The movie centers around Felonius Gru, the Villain Protagonist, who wishes to buy a spacecraft in order to reach the moon and shrink it so it can be grabbed. This was derived from two experiences: His rival Vector having stolen the pyramid of Giza in a similar fashion and making him jealous, and more importantly his frustrated dream of becoming an astronaut and reaching the moon due to his lack of support from his mothernote . After many struggles, including stealing Vector's shrinking ray and funding the construction of a spacecraft, he succeeds, but at the cost of losing the trust of his adopted daughters (whom he promised to see during a ballet event) and the need to rescue them from a revenge-seeking Vector.

    Tropes K-O 
  • Karma Houdini: Miss Hattie, by far the worst character in the film, is never shown to get her just desserts.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Gru's Establishing Character Moment. No, he didn't have to stop and make a balloon animal for the kid who just dropped his ice cream, only to pop it... but it was funny.
    • This exchange with his neighbor:
      Fred: Morning, Gru! How you doing?
      Gru: Hello, Fred. FYI, your dog has been leaving little bombs all over my yard and I don't appreciate it.
      Fred: Sorry. You know dogs. They go wherever they want to go.
      Gru: Unless they're dead!
      (cue awkward silence)
      Gru: Hahaha! I'm joking! Although it is true. Anyway, have a good one.
      Fred: (confusingly) Oh, okay. Uh, yeah!
    • Miss Hattie cruelly telling Edith she will never be adopted.
    • While the carnival worker seems to do his job when he says Agnes can't have the unicorn because she doesn't technically win, he's such a jackass about it that Gru blowing up the whole game and scaring the guy into giving her the unicorn anyway is just plain awesome.
  • Late to the Party: After stealing the moon, Gru races to the girls' ballet recital. He arrives late. Completely late. "The janitors have almost finished putting away the chairs" late.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Gru spends most of the movie as a slightly bumbling, more mischievous-than-evil not-so-super supervillain. The moment his children are in danger he becomes capable of leaping between airborne missiles and offhandedly punching out rampaging Great White sharks.
  • Licked by the Dog: Sort of. When Gru shows up to adopt the girls, Edith and Margo look less than excited when they see him. Agnes, however, scampers across the room to cling to his leg.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Notice how the James Bond-worthy soundtrack in the initial stages of Gru's villainy turn into something out of Iron Man to mark his Heel–Face Turn.
    • In any scene involving the girls, you can hear instrumental versions of the chorus of "Prettiest Girls".
  • Literally Prized Possession: One of the turning points in Gru's fondness towards the girls happens when he takes them to an amusement park and the owner of a shooting booth holds back on giving Agnes the stuffed unicorn she won on a technicality. Gru pays for another turn for himself and uses his own gun, demolishing the booth and convincing the owner to give Agnes the unicorn. Gru winning the unicorn for Agnes is significant because before, he was just trying to use the girls for his plan and get them out of his life again as soon as possible.
  • MacGuffin: Both the Shrink Ray and the earth's moon.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: When Vector steals the Shrink Ray right out of Gru's aircraft, Gru responds with an enormous barrage of missiles that would have certainly have wound up destroying the loot. If even one had hit Vector, anyway.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Nefario; Gru does some work too, though.
  • Malaproper: Inverted by Dr. Nefario - everyone speaks clearly, but he sometimes hears what they say wrong, resulting in some...odd creations. Such as boogie robots!
    Gru: (to Nefario) "No, I said dart gun, not... Oh, never mind.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mr. Perkins is not only helping Vector's schemes - he's his father.
  • Menacing Stroll: Gru does this kind of walk as he prepares to board his spaceship for the mission to steal the moon. Unfortunately, the effect is kind of ruined by the fact that his spacesuit is colored a hot pink after being washed with the girls' ballet costumes.
  • Missed the Recital: Gru tries his best to make it to his adoptees' dance recital in the first movie, but due to various delays he doesn't get there until the show is over.
  • Monster in the Moat: Vector, Gru's nemesis, keeps what appears to be a very large, toothy, man-eating shark in the moat around his enormous home/headquarters. The Shark viciously mauls Gru during one of his many failed attempts to break in. Subverted in the climax: when it jumps up to attack Gru as he's entering the building in full Papa Wolf mode, he punches it out with one fist while not even looking at it.
  • Monumental Theft: Thefts include the Times Square Jumbotron, a Great Pyramid, the Moon, the Statue of Liberty (the small one from Las Vegas), and the Eiffel Tower (also Vegas).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Vector on his supervillain name and weapons, as well as how many cookies he's ordered.
    Margo: Four boxes of Mini-Mints, two Toffee-Totes, two Caramel Clumpies, and... fifteen boxes of Coconutties.
    Vector: Exactly! I'd like to see somebody else order that many cookies! Not likely! Name one person who ordered more cookies than me!
    Margo: That'll be $52.
  • My Greatest Failure: Gru tells the girls during the climax that giving them up to Miss Hattie was the worst mistake he ever made.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Following immediately from the above, Gru swears that he'll never abandon any of them again. Between continuing to fight with Vector to save Margo and even leaping from his plane to rescue her, he stays true to his word.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When trying to convince Ms. Hattie that he knows Spanish, Gru says she has a face "como un burro" which translates to "like a donkey". It becomes a Brick Joke later when Hattie comes back to pick up the girls.
  • Naked People Are Funny: A random Wolfman when the moon disappears.
  • Never My Fault: When Edith breaks the beaker of green liquid in Gru's kitchen, Gru notices and Edith says, "Somebody broke that."
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • One of the original teaser trailers showed none of the major players. Odd, for a start-up studio. It showed the opening sequence from the movie that revealed the pyramid to be stolen. It implies that it was Gru who did this. It was actually Vector.
    • The first two or so trailers released told audiences nothing about what the film was about... not even the premise. Later trailers made it seem like the girls were dropped off at Gru's doorstep, when he actually adopted them as part of a scheme.
  • New Tech Is Not Cheap: A huge part of the plot involved getting loans and necessary capital in order to create the evil inventions for the evil plots. They had their own villain bank.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Averted with Vector's inventions.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Various villainous schemes are described by a Large Ham talking head on MSNBC with abrupt camera pans...wonder who that could be...
    • Ms. Hattie bears a resemblance to and sounds like Edie McClurg.
  • No Conservation of Mass: Shrunken items don't seem to retain their old mass, instead weighing what you'd expect an object that size to weigh.
  • No Endor Holocaust:
    • Tides would be the least of the Earth's concerns if the moon suddenly disappeared. The sudden absence (and return) of the Moon's gravitational pull would trigger earthquakes, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions. Also, having the moon gaining its entire mass, shape and size right next to the Earth's surface would definitely Be Very Bad.
    • Smaller example of the trope - the roller coaster Gru and the girls had ridden on goes right behind the game kiosk Gru blows away. Let's hope the rails aren't damaged!
  • No Kill like Overkill: Gru and his death blaster vs. the game stand. Bonus points because normal-kill wasn't needed in the first place.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Gru's "rules" to the girls when they first come to his house.
  • No Name Given: Justin's parents at the beginning.
  • No-Sell: Gru manages to do this to four heat-seeking missiles and a shark when he breaks into Vector's fortress to get the girls back, leaping over the missiles (which blow up the gate) and getting rid of the shark with an Offhand Backhand.
  • Offhand Backhand: Gru does this near the end of the film to a shark.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: It's never stated how Vector stole the Great Pyramid of Giza and replaced it with an identical inflatable decoy, which was entirely done before he and Gru attempted to steal the Shrink Ray.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Gru, Jerry and Stuart have one when the cookie robots seal up the hole in Vector's vault with them inside.
    • Gru again when he sees Vector walking up ahead while stealing the shrink ray.
    • The carnival worker when Gru pulls out his ray gun.
    • Vector when Gru assaults his hideout to rescue the girls, and outwits all his traps. "He punched my shark?!"
    • Gru in the climax when he realises that the moon will return to its normal size in Vector's jet, endangering the girls.
    • Margo, Edith and Agnes when the moon starts to expand in Vector's escape pod.
    • Vector when he realises he's trapped on the moon with no way to get back to Earth.
  • One-Word Title: The Minions film follows this trope.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The girls' institution is so soul destroying that it's no wonder being adopted by Gru seems like an improvement and truly becomes that in the end.

    Tropes P-T 
  • Papa Wolf: Gru, during the climax.
    • A minor example occurs during the carnival game sequence, when the barker nearly makes Agnes cry.
  • Parallel Parking: Gru can't parallel park without demolishing all the cars on either side — well, he could, but that wouldn't be despicable.
    • There's even a line referencing this in the movie's song.
      "Why parallel when I can just park?"
  • Parental Bonus:
    • One can only hope that the kids in the audience didn't get the Godfather reference.
    • And they surely didn't get the "Lehman Brothers" joke, either. Heck, neither did many of the adults.
    • In a somewhat stranger case, they probably also didn't get the whole "magnitude and direction" thing.
    • A villain called Gru posing as a Cold War era spy? See Punny Name below.
  • Pinky Swear: "Oh, yes, my pinky promises."
  • Plant Mooks: Though it's never stated in the movies themselves, Gru's minions were originally supposed to be genetically modified kernels of corn. They've later been retconned into a preexisting race of yellow corn-like things.
  • Product Placement:
    • Vector has a Wii. It's not clear if it's product placement or not, since it happens to go perfectly with the design scheme of Vector's house.
    • There's also Agnes' "caterpillar" that never finished its butterfly metamorphosis; it's distinctly referred to as a Cheeto.
    • Also, in the scene when Vector goes through his fanny-pack to pay the girls for the cookies, he can clearly be heard saying "Ooh, Tic-Tacs!"
    • The stolen Times Square screen has the NBC logo on it (although that is Truth in Television). We're sure it's just a coincidence that NBC, like Universal, who distributed this film, are divisions of NBC Universal. Less coincidental is the use of MSNBC.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Margo wears a Lorax shirt through much of the film.
  • Punishment Box: The Box of Shame. Provides the trope image.
  • Punny Name: Gru speaks with a 'Russian' accent. The GRU is also one of Russia's intelligence agencies. When the girls find out about Gru's underground hideout he "admits" he's not a dentist, but instead a secret agent.
  • Raygun Gothic: Gru's style is very atomicpunk, especially his car and flying machines.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Literally. Gru's spacesuit ends up turning pink in the washing machine after the girls wash their ballet tutus with it. Gru, initially annoyed, wears it anyway. Also, him attending the dance recital practice and the recital the girls put on for him, his mother and the Minions in the final scene.
  • Red Herring:
    • The freeze ray. When Gru is facing heat-seeking missiles, you'd expect it to make a reappearance. Expecting Gru to simply bullet time his way through the missiles, not so much. Even the shrink ray would have worked against both the missiles and the shark.
    • Also subverted with the fart gun. Dr. Nefario did wonder "under what circumstances we could use such a thing" when it proves readily capable of stunning a minion. Yet aside from the demonstration, it's not seen for the rest of the movie. Though it does appear at the end of the second film.
    • The Boogie Robots don't appear during the Dance Party Ending, either.
    • So many, many things were introduced and then subsequently forgotten in this movie, like Gru's mother's kung-fu skills and the anti-gravity serum. There are dropped Chekhov's Guns littered throughout.
      • The anti-gravity serum does provide several Brick Jokes.
  • Red Sock Ruins the Laundry: Gru's spacesuit turns pink after Margo, Edith, and Agnes's wash it together with their ballerina tutus.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Subverted. One review called this "Wile E. Coyote vs. Wile E. Coyote".
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: At the end, when Gru is trying to save the girls from Vector, which includes punching a shark in the face.
  • Running Gag: Gru popping children's balloons, Gru freezing anything that happens to annoy him, and Vector's sea life themed weaponry.
  • Say My Name: Justin's mother screams her son's name while he's flying through the air after bouncing off the fake pyramid at the beginning.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Especially in scenes in space, and especially the scene of Earth from the Moon, before Vector comes into shot after being stranded there.
    • And the very last scene, again, involving the moon.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: By the end of the film Vector ends up trapped on the moon, as he was caught near it as it was returning to its normal size and orbit.
  • Sequel Hook:
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: According to Gru, the children's book he reads to the girls at the end is the best book ever written. So who wrote it? Oh yeah! Gru himself!
  • Shark Pool: In Vector's lair.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Margo wears a shirt with The Lorax on it, which was a very Early-Bird Cameo for Illumination Entertainment's next fully-animated film (though, at that point, they hadn't even figured out what the rest of the Once-ler would look like). note 
    • And this.
      Edith: When we got adopted by a bald guy, I thought this would be more like Annie.
    • There's also the scene after the girls are taken away wherein Gru wakes up to find several toys (including a disembodied head) in his bed and screams.
    • Gru's Establishing Character Moment with the balloon in the beginning is a reference to a very similar moment in Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train.
    • Vector's supervillain name plus his real name (Victor) refer to Airplane!.
    • Mr. Perkins looks a lot like the original Pointy-Haired Boss from Dilbert, only with his appearance exaggerated to a frighteningly demonic extent.
    • Gru's logo looks suspiciously like the ReBoot logo. This coupled with the fact that the cookie bots' hats look like the security guards' hats makes it look like more than a coincidence.
    • The shot of Gru falling off Vector's escape pod looks suspiciously similar to Luke Skywalker's escape from Bespin.
    • The scene in which Gru wins the stuffed toy unicorn for Agnes at the amusement park is a reference to Darkman and the pink elephant.
    • The cheering control room scene matches the Apollo 13 version, albeit with minions.
    • Gru's kissing the minions goodnight is similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs scene of Snow White kissing the dwarves farewell.
    • In Brazil, the film was named as Meu Malvado Favorito (My Favorite Bad Guy) as a reference to the TV series My Favorite Martian, which, in Brazil, was translated literally (Meu Marciano Favorito).
  • Shown Their Work: While Gru is listing the rules, instead of lifting three fingers for the third one, he lifts two and the thumb—that's the way of counting in Russia, Germany and the American Sign Language. Counting is designed to be just like finger-spelling so that you can count to ten using just one hand, touching your thumb to your pinky and raising the three fingers in the middle is actually the hand signal for six; deaf people in the audience will doubtless appreciate his courtesy in getting their signal for three right.
  • Shrink Ray: Both Gru and Vector are pursuing the only existent prototype of one as part of their schemes.
  • Shrug Take: Vector bites into one of Gru's cookie robots, which starts sparking. He stares at it for a few seconds, but just shrugs.
  • Sigil Spam: Vector's and Gru's logos are everywhere on their houses and equipment. Incidentally, take a look at the V-smile logo.
  • Silence of Sadness: When Dr. Nefario calls Miss Hattie so that she can take Margo, Edith and Agnes back to the orphanage, Gru doesn't say anything during his Villainous BSoD. Edith doesn't say a word when she's being taken away, either, devastated and furious with Gru.
  • Sinister Schnoz: A subversion, that while Gru is a villain, he's actually a good person.
  • Silent Snarker:
    • Kyle, Gru's dog-thing being The Speechless variation of this trope, while a few of the minions fit The Unintelligible variation.
    • One of Vector's squids even gets in on the action, with a well-placed eye-roll.
  • Silly Prayer: Edith prays not to have bugs crawl into her ears and lay eggs in her brain at night, then Agnes prays to be adopted by a family with a pet unicorn.
  • Sink or Swim Fatherhood: Self-inflicted. Gru intends to only temporarily adopt the girls and then ditch them as soon as their part in his heist is over. He thinks that all they need is candy, a water bowl, and some paper to go to the bathroom on. Before he can dump them though, they start to grow on him.
  • Skewed Priorities: Gru tells Edith to stay away from the iron maiden not because it's dangerous, but because it's fragile.
  • Slapstick: More than the standard CG film.
  • Smooch of Victory: One of the minions gets this from Agnes after getting a new unicorn toy.
  • So Proud of You: At the end Gru's mother finally says she's proud of him for turning out to be such a wonderful parent. "Just like me. Maybe even better."
  • Soda Can Shakeup: When a minion is shopping for a new toy for Agnes, he shakes up a cola bottle and it explodes all over the place.
  • Space Is Noisy: averted in the Moon-launch sequence.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Minions.
  • Stage Mom: Mr. Perkins, shown when he tips off his son Vector that Gru stole the shrink ray from him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: While stealing the shrink ray from Vector, Gru has an Oh, Crap! when he sees Vector up ahead. Vector turns to look, but somehow Gru, Jerry and Stuart have gone. Vector walks on and it's revealed Gru, Jerry and Stuart are hiding in an air duct.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Pulled off by Gru, on a bunch of heat-seeking missiles. In Bullet Time.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is uttered by Gru's mother's karate teacher.
  • Take That!: Bank of Evil (formerly Lehman Brothers).note 
  • Tap on the Head: Two minions are seen about to hammer in a rivet when the minions are first seen. When the minion holding the hammer goes to hit it, he instead hits the other minion on the head.
  • Taxidermy Terror: Gru's home is full of furniture made from stuffed animals. As the girls walk down the hall, they see a stuffed lion's head. In its mouth is a stuffed dog, with a stuffed cat in its mouth, which has a stuffed mouse in its mouth.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Not a computer per se, but the Space Killer game at the carnival is clearly rigged. The spaceship darting around too quickly to be hit is justifiable, considering the size of the expected prize, but when a direct hit causes it to simply bounce back, as if it was held back by a spring, it's clearly obvious that it's not supposed to fall over. On top of that, despite supposedly being tin, which is relatively weak compared to the surrounding superstructure, the spaceship's assembly not only No-Sells a point-blank direct-hit from a plasma cannon that appears to fire miniature suns with nothing more than a thick layer of ash, the spaceship itself is still standing, and is only considered "knocked over" when it simply disintegrates shortly thereafter.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • How Vector deals with Gru's attempt to break into his lair.
    • A twofer with the Space Killer shooting gallery: On the one side, when Gru realizes that the game is rigged, his "remedy" completely vaporizes most of the stand. On the other, the intended target; the tiny spaceship in the center of the affected area, is still standing despite being at the epicenter of a point-blank direct-hit from something that could've potentially vaporized solid steel!
  • Threatening Shark: Vector keeps sharks all around his house for security (and probably the sheer awesomeness), including one on his living room floor. This is foreshadowed by Vector's younger self, who is seen in Mr. Perkins's photo holding a toy shark.
  • Toilet Humour:
    • "I said dart gun!"
    • Also a Visual Pun during Gru's presentation. "I sit on the toilet bowl."
    • The scene with the minions photocopying their buttocks and yelping "butt!"
    • "A lit-tle ti-ny toi-let..." (pipe under toilet squirts in his face) "GAH! CURSE YOU, TINY TOILET!"
    • Gru shows the girls their spaces in the kitchen with signs designating: "Bed", "Food" and "Pee-Pee and Poo-Poo."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Edith is a naughty and loudmouth kid who has a taste for weapons, although she likes to wear pink all the time, but acts pretty apathetic. Margo is an overprotective older sister of the other two girls who is also quite bitter, but she could qualify for being a girly girl, as could Agnes.
    Edith: Yes! Mine is shaped like a dead guy!
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Vector turns out to be this, as his real name is actually Victor Perkins. He is a case of Do Not Call Me "Paul", however, and does not use his real name any more.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The little kid in the opening sequence, who slips his leash and promptly runs up a high piece of scaffolding, avoiding the security guards who are trying to save his life and falls off the edge, towards the pyramid itself. Good thing the pyramid was replaced with an inflatable replica after Vector stole the original.
  • To The Bat Pole: The entrance to Gru's underground lair.
  • Tranquil Fury: Combined with Unstoppable Rage.
    Vector: He punched my shark?!

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Unconventional Food Usage:
    • A flashback reveals that as a kid, Gru once made a prototype for a rocket ship out of macaroni.
    • Discussed when Agnes wishes her adoptive parent will live in a house made of gummi bears.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Gru realizes that he gave up the moon and Vector still isn't going to give the girls back, he breaks into the formerly 'impregnable' fortress with his bare hands. Even flying off in his escape pod doesn't help Vector.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: The cute and hilarious minions are laughable lackeys for their Villain Protagonist boss, Gru.
  • Villain Song: The title theme, as appropriate for a movie with a Villain Protagonist (at least, he starts out that way).
  • Villains Out Shopping: Vector does this twice, as he is seen playing a Wii game in his home when Gru is trying to infiltrate it. And later, after the girls deliver cookies to him the second time, Vector is sitting on the sofa eating popcorn and watching TV.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction: In the mini movie "Banana", at the end where a swarm of minions is chasing one who was eating an apple.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Gru was/is this for his mother, and to a lesser extent, Vector for his father.
  • Weird Moon: As depicted in this poster, the moon is unnaturally large compared to its size in real life.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Surprisingly subverted. Despite being a very nasty villain (at least until the girls enter his life), Gru was actually very patient with his minions. He never once yelled at them or insulted them for their antics. He was even surprisingly calm when he explained to them that the bank didn't give him the money for his latest scheme. Even when he was forced to refuse them raises, he did so in a polite manner.
  • Win Her a Prize: Played for Laughs where Agnes wants a unicorn plushie they have on display. The girls try twice and fail - Agnes even hits the target once but was unable to knock it down. When Gru tries it, he takes out his plasma cannon and blows up the stall. Agnes gets her unicorn.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Implied with Vector if Gru doesn't surrender the moon in exchange for the captive girls. When Gru redeems himself and hands over the moon as promised, he says he will "hold on to the girls a little longer", even further implying he plans to harm them anyway. This is eventually confirmed when he tries to stop Margo from escaping his ship, knowing very well it is about to explode due to the moon restoring to its original size.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Vector captures the girls, holding them hostage in exchange for the moon. When Gru makes good on it and gives it to him as promised, Vector reveals via verbal irony that he never had intent on giving the girls back after all, and that he had literally tricked Gru out of the moon for the pleasure of it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A downplayed example, Gru did plan to leave the girls at the carnival, but he had so much fun at the carnival with them, that he changed his mind.
  • Zeerust: Invoked with many of Gru's gadgets and vehicles, in order to emphasize how behind the times he is. His car, for instance, looks like a "futuristic" tank taken straight out of sci-fi from The '50s. In contrast, Vector's tech is much more up-to-date for 2010 standards.


Edith Survives the Iron Maiden

Edith goes inside the Iron Maiden... and lives.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / IronMaiden

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