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Spoilers for this movie will be marked as usual. However, due to its nature as the sequel to Finding Nemo, that film's spoilers are unmarked here. You Have Been Warned!

"What would Dory do?"

Finding Dory is Pixar's seventeenth film, released on June 17, 2016. The film is a sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo, and this time centers around everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, again voiced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Taking place one year after the events of the first movie, Dory starts to recall memories of her long-lost family. Going by her memories of "the jewel of Morro Bay, California," Dory sets off to exactly there, with Marlin and Nemo going along for the ride. However, Dory gets separated from Marlin and Nemo once they arrive, so Dory must explore the Marine Life Institute in search for her parents while Marlin and Nemo find where Dory was dropped off.

Soon after her separation, Dory meets Hank, a cranky septopus (an octopus missing a tentacle) who dreams of spending his days alone in an aquarium in Cleveland. Together they navigate the Institute while meeting plenty of colorful creatures, including a nearsighted whale shark named Destiny and a sarcastic beluga named Bailey. Traversing from the sickly Quarantine holding zone to the Locomo... er, Open Ocean exhibit, Dory sets on a journey larger than herself, and perhaps discovering who she really is along the way. Sigourney Weaver "appears" as the narrator of the Marine Life Institute.

Played in theaters along with the Pixar short Piper.

"Hello. I'm Sigourney Weaver. Welcome to the tropes for the film, Finding Dory.":

  • Acoustic License: This film gets real heavy with this one in order to drive the plot. Notable scenes include Dory calling for Destiny from the surface of the ocean near the Marine Life Institute all the way to Destiny's exhibit and Destiny hears her just fine despite the fact she's underwater. If that's not enough, there's also Marlin calling for Becky from a truck that's already miles away from the Institute and Becky responds immediately despite disappearing from the film halfway through. For tiny fish, Dory and Marlin sure do have some pipes in them.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Marlin, who is more or less okay with Nemo taking brave risks but now has to worry about absent-minded Dory getting into sticky situations. Justified, though, because it's a whole different ball game for him - at least Nemo eventually learned a thing or two, and since he actually has a consistent memory, Marlin can count on him to stay out of genuine trouble more.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Apparently, most of the Institute's tanks are connected with pipes, allowing the fish to move around the place at will. There are grills, but the gaps are big enough to squeeze through.
  • All There in the Script: The sea lions that Marlin and Nemo meet, Fluke and Rudder, were not named in the movie itself, only the credits.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: In Russia, a song "Дари Дори" ("Dari Dori"), written and performed by a band FRUKTЫ (Fruits), is playing during the closing credits in place of "Three Hearts", "Loon Tune" and "Fish Who Wander." When the song ends, the beginning of "Three Hearts" can be heard, slowly followed by the ending part of "Release."
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • At the start of the movie, when Dory swims into the anemone and gets stung repeatedly.
    • A Running Gag features Destiny repeatedly bumping into the walls of her enclosure because of her poor vision.
  • Art Evolution: It was nearly a full 13 years since Finding Nemo, and boy does it show. Especially when the movie recreates the scene where Marlin and Dory ram into their first meeting.
  • Artistic License – Biology: While Pixar as usual went to great lengths to get their science right for this film, some liberties were taken to advance the plot, as follows:
    • The fish are seen hopping between pools or cups or buckets of water, some of which is freshwater. Saltwater fish like Marlin and Dory would not survive long in freshwater. At one point, Dory, Nemo, and Marlin fall into a janitor's mop bucket. Even if the water didn't contain floor cleaning chemicals (which are quite toxic), the filth alone would have poisoned them to death.
    • The huge squid that attacks the main characters is generally an open-water predator that spends most of its time deep in the ocean, coming to the surface only to feed. It wouldn't lurk inside a shipping container in 30-40 feet of water, or hunt tiny bottom-dwelling animals.
    • Hank the octopus can, like many octopuses, survive for a short time outside of water, so long as he remains moist, but real octopuses can't leave the water for the extended periods shown in the film. Hank also has two siphons on either side of his face, whereas real octopuses have only one on their right side, and he is also shown to have permanently lost a tentacle, whereas real octopuses can regrow any arms that have been severed. Additionally, several blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments late in the film show that he has a white Tooth Strip shared with many of the fish characters in the film instead of a beak, or at least an atrophied, miscolored beak in the spirit of such (real octopus beaks are black and strongly hooked).
    • Tropical fish like Dory and Marlin would not be able to survive the cold waters of the California coast.
    • Becky the loon is shown walking on land in a similar manner to a duck. In reality, loons are terrible at walking on land because their legs are placed so far back on their bodies.
    • Destiny the whale shark is occasionally referred to as a "whale", when she actually is a type of shark.
      • Additionally, Dory falls into a bucket labeled "Destiny" (implying it's her food) and it is full of fish. Whale sharks will eat fish if they have to but mostly eat plankton, shrimp, and krill in the wild. Bait fish commonly take their chances swimming beside whale sharks to shield themselves from more dedicated predators and even in captivity people try to feed them shrimp and krill.
    • Bailey the beluga is seen at the end back on the reef with the other institute creatures. Belugas live in the chilly Arctic waters, not coral reefs near the tropics.
    • The Tank Gang from the previous film made it across the Pacific all the way from Sydney Harbor to the coast of Morro Bay in California in the same plastic bags they were put in. Not only it is impossible for the water-filled plastic bags to travel across the ocean for a whole year without puncturing (it takes years for plastic to decompose, but long-term exposure to saltwater can break down plastic polymers), the limited supply of oxygen from the water in the plastic bags, would have certainly killed them even before they managed to make it into the open seas. To say nothing of the buildup of their own filth and lack of food.
    • And perhaps most importantly, we learn that Dory was born in the Institute. Blue tangs breeding in captivity was believed to be impossible, a fact that had many Real Life marine biologists highly concerned about any Red Stapler effect this may have had on blue tangs after this film, as each one would have to be caught in the wild. Fortunately, Science Marches On pretty quickly in this department, and blue tangs were bred in captivity the month after the film came out.invoked
  • Ascended Extra: Although she only shows up once in the whole film, Kathy the "Chicken Fish" (aka. the "OH MY GOSH! NEMO'S SWIMMING OUT TO SEA!!" fish) is a lot more vocal than she was back in the first film.
  • As Herself: Sigourney Weaver, in a Pixar first, plays herself. She narrates the Marine Life Institute's exhibits. However, the credits do not list her "As herself"; they say "Sigourney Weaver: Sigourney Weaver."
  • Big Damn Reunion: Much like Marlin and Nemo had in the first film, Dory has hers with her parents towards the end of this film.
  • Blipvert: Happens occasionally when Dory remembers something important.
  • Book Ends:
    • As the first movie started with Marlin and his wife Coral looking at the view, the ending does the same thing with him and Dory at the drop-off.
    • The Stinger of both movies deal with the Tank Gang. In this movie, the Tank Gang (still in the plastic bags prior to sabotaging Phillip Sherman's Aquascum) gets captured by the a volunteer from the Marine Life Institute and dumped into a live fish transport box.note  Both times, the volunteer complains "No respect for marine life." And like in the previous stinger, Bloat says: "Now what?"
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The movie brings full circle that both Dory and Marlin are right about their respective viewpoints. In the first movie, Dory has a point that you can't avoid every bad thing in life and sometimes you have to roll with the punches or rather "just keep swimming". In the second movie, however, Marlin also has a point that it's good to have a plan or an approach rather than going through life randomly.
  • Brick Joke: The Tank Gang from the first movie, still in their bags which have become very dirty in the past year, have somehow made it to the Marine Life Institute and are rescued by the personnel there, and will presumably be cleaned and released back into the ocean.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Hank inks himself after he is touched by a young girl in the touch tank at an exhibit at the Marine life Institute. This plays a very important role in how he and Dory escape the tank and get to her parents.
  • Call-Back:
    • As Dory begins to remember her parents, she asks Marlin if he knows what it's like to deeply miss someone he loves. As Dory asks him, Marlin takes a long look at Nemo and answers a quiet "Yes", clearly thinking of Nemo's mother and siblings that died in the first film.
    • Marlin exclaims "Not again!" when Dory is snatched by the humans in a boat.
    • Destiny the whale shark recognized Dory because of Dory's alleged "ability" to speak whale.
    • Dory can read because she grew up in an aquarium.
  • The Cameo:
    • Crush and Squirt take the gang on a current that leads to California, saving them a lot of time on their journey.
    • The "Mine!" seagulls appear near the end of the movie.
    • Alexander Gould (Nemo's original voice actor) provides the voice of the truck driver.
    • The entire Tank Gang show up in the movie's post-credits scene.
    • The same photo of Darla that can be seen in the dentist's office in the first movie is visible in the background of the quarantine room.
  • Cargo Cult: Of a sort. The "Sigourney Weaver" who appears in the film is merely a recorded voice who narrates the various attractions of the Marine Life Institute. But the other characters treat her as an actual "person" and almost revere her.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Except for one squid, none of the carnivorous animals seem to have any desire to eat the main characters. And almost all the new characters are carnivorous, including a Beluga whale, an octopus, and two sea lions. Marlin even notes that sea lions are predators, but the issue is ignored after that and no explanation is given as to why these two sea lions don't try to eat them. DVD commentary indicates that their laziness overrides their hunger.
  • Central Theme: Things you didn't plan might happen and they might actually lead to great things.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • Dory's memory problems are not a Running Gag here. In fact, it's revealed she can't even remember her own parents on command. It puts the throwaway line "Itnote  runs in my family... Where are they?" from the first movie into a completely different context when you realize that Dory forgot about her goal to reunite with her family for an entire year of her life. In fact, that single line is responsible for this movie's very existence, after the writers realized the vast implications of what it could mean for Dory's character.
    • Dory's "Just Keep Swimming" song was not something she made up; it was invented by her parents to stop her moments of indecisiveness and keep moving on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In a flashback scene, young Dory's parents encourage her to find and carry shells along the sea bed. When she's alone outside the Marine Institute, she absently finds herself following a trail of shells, which leads to a small underwater cave that has several lines of shells leading toward it, and when Dory turns around she sees her long lost parents. Her parents had taught her to search for shells so she could follow the shell trails to lead her home.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Bruce, Anchor, and Chum are never mentioned by name once during the whole movie. Likely justified as most of the film is spent away from their neck of the woods and there isn't really a good place for them to show up in the plot, but their absence is still noticeable.
    • The pelican Nigel failed to return or get a mention. He was last seen in the first movie sadly flying off after placing Dory and Marlin back in the sea, thinking Nemo was dead. (While it's also a possible sign that they could be saving him to reappear in a later film as well, it's most likely that he found out about Nemo being alive from the Tank Gang shortly afterwards.)
    • The dentist Dr. Sherman, along with his niece, Darla are also absent.
  • Clamshells as Mouths: Nemo and Marlin encounter one very talkative clam moving its shells as if it was a mouth.
  • Company Cross References: A driver near the end of the film has a bandage of Lightning McQueen from Cars on his right hand, also serving as Production Foreshadowing for Cars 3.
  • Creative Closing Credits: It begins with scenes of Hank messing around with his camouflage ability. Once that's done, the scene switches to the ocean, with the camera slowly panning up from the seafloor to the surface through the kelp forest—the opposite of the first movie's credits, which start from the surface and pan down to the dark.
  • Crowd Chant: The Marine Life Institute truck is full of fish bound for Cleveland, where they will spend the rest of their days. But they know the Institute's Catchphrase and motto, "Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release", shouting its final word in unison to encourage Marlin, Nemo, and Hank.
  • Cuddle Bug: The otters. Dory convinces them to pair up and hug each other on the road, halting the truck headed to Cleveland.
  • Cuteness Overload: Weaponized by the otters in order to stop the truck to Cleveland.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Dory, to Hank - he can survive in the ocean and should follow her off the Cleveland-bound truck, rather than stay in a boring little tank.
  • Darkest Hour: Like the first, this film has its own moment where it looks like all hope is lost. It happens when Dory visits the Quarantine, only to be told that her parents are "no longer there", which she interprets as them dying. Then Hank is unable to pull Marlin and Nemo up, leaving them stuck at the aquarium set for Cleveland, then Hank loses his grip on Dory, causing her to fall through the sewers and ultimately the kelp forest outside the Institute all alone.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Marlin is not quite as snarky here as he was in the first film, but he still has it.
    • On the other hand, Nemo of all characters was written with his father's snarky attitude at times, particularly to remind Marlin that he had screwed up. Nemo's sarcasm usually and rather ironically comes at his father's expense. Sometimes, it may results in a small Snark-to-Snark Combat.
    • Hank, Destiny and Bailey each has their snarking moments, but Hank in particular really shows his sarcastic attitude. He and Nemo are probably the snarkiest characters in the film.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Dory takes over Marlin's role as the protagonist, relegating him into a supporting role. Nemo himself is also relegated to a supporting role from being the title character of the previous movie.
    • Not that they had especially large roles in the first movie to begin with, but Nemo's classmates Tad, Pearl, and Sheldon are really just background characters during the school scenes here. In fact, Kathy the Chicken Fish actually has more lines than them!
    • Gil and the Tank Gang with their memorable after-credit sketch scene in Finding Nemo show up a Running Gag after-credits sketch scene, in a hilarious subversion of What Happened to the Mouse?.
  • Devastating Remark: Marlin blows up at Dory after her forgetfulness results in her accidentally attracting the attention of a Humboldt Squid that attacks them and ends up hurting Nemo, and he says, "Just wait over there and forget! It's what you do best." This comment ends up making Dory have an emotional breakdown and indirectly gets her captured by the Marine Life Institute, and Nemo never lets his father forget his moment of cruelty.
  • Dinky Drivers: A variation is performed by Dory and Hank when they hijack the Marine Institute's delivery truck. Since Hank operates the controls with his tentacles, the coordination issues of this trope are averted; instead, problems arise because Dory is, well, Dory...
  • Disabled Means Helpless: Part of the conflict is that Marlin assumes Dory's disability (her memory loss) is this, which audiences will recall was his problem with Nemo in the previous movie. Nemo convinces him that it's just another way of experiencing the world. For Dory's part, her memory loss is portrayed as genuinely impairing, but she's quite capable of taking care of herself.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Finding Dory both refers to Marlin and Nemo's efforts to find and rescue Dory when they got separated at the Marine Life Institute, and Dory's own Quest for Identity to find her own origin and family.
  • The Dreaded:
    • When Marlin, Dory, and Nemo arrive at the wreck, they find that the crabs all around it keep hiding and shushing them, making Marlin apprehensive that there's something they're hiding from. Shortly thereafter, they find the Giant Squid the crabs are hiding from.
    • At the Kid Zone, the animals live in constant fear of the kids who come to poke at them.
  • Eat the Camera: Invoked somewhat in Marine Life Interviews, a short based on Finding Dory, where each of the major secondary characters (Fluke, Rudder, Bailey, Destiny, and Hank) from the Marine Life Institute are interviewed about Dory. In Destiny's final interview segment, she points out how large she is (seemingly a bit proud of it too), and that as a child, Dory used to play hide-and-go-seek inside her mouth, before Destiny demonstrates how large her mouth is by opening it gaping wide and forcing it at the camera.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The opening scene is framed to be as similar to the opening scene from Finding Nemo as possible, with Dory and her parents living an idyllic life in a coral reef, but doing their best to warn Dory away from the "undertow" just outside their home. This helps postpone The Reveal that the "coral reef" is an aquarium, and the "undertow" is the pipe system.
  • Fiery Redhead: Hank, being colored red while having Hair-Trigger Temper, fits the trope.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The Tank Gang's names and voice actors appear in the credits, spoiling their appearance on the stinger.
  • Flanderization:
    • In Nemo, Dory said "I suffer from short-term memory loss" exactly once. This film treats it as something of a Catchphrase, one that her parents deeply ingrained into her. Justified, as being the protagonist and being on her own for the majority of the film puts Dory in a lot more positions where she needs to explain it.
    • In Nemo, Nemo's spotted eagle ray teacher Mr. Ray had a memorable scene that involved him singing an educational song about marine life to the kids while taking them on a tour through the coral reef. In this movie, a love of singing seems to be a defining characteristic of spotted eagle rays; when we see a school of them traveling on their migratory journey, they're all singing a baritone opera song in perfect harmony.
  • Flashback B-Plot: At the same time that Dory, Marlin, and Nemo are traveling in search of Dory's parents, the audience also learns through flashbacks about Dory's old life with her parents at the Marine Life Institute, how she ended up accidentally getting herself separated from them, and how she spent her life wandering in the ocean before finally meeting up with Marlin for the very first time during Finding Nemo.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During the touch tank scene, as the kids are running away in a panic after one accidentally makes Hank "ink", you can see a kid unrelated to the incident falling off a ride-able playground animal in the background during the ensuing commotion.
    • When Marlin and Nemo are in the tank outside the Gift Shop (the one with the swimming toy fish), there's a shoplifter in the background.
  • Funny Octopus: Hank, the octopus Dory meets at the Institute, is pulled into her wacky hi-jinks. He tends to be more of a Straight Man than funny on his own, though he does have his moments, such as disguising himself as a baby.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: When Becky leaves the bucket containing Marlin and Nemo on a tree branch to eat popcorn, Marlin loses patience and ends up catapulting himself and Nemo into a gift shop aquarium. A few seconds later, Becky takes the empty bucket up to the roof of the quarantine building. Nemo points out that at least they aren't stuck on top of the building.
  • Genki Girl: Destiny is a cheerful whale shark who gets very enthusiastic when she meets her long-lost friend.
  • The Ghost: Sigourney Weaver is mentioned often, but is only heard and not seen. Justified, considering that she's simply the park's narrator.
  • Green Aesop: Downplayed — despite the humans' impact on the ocean being seen somewhat in the form of trash (Dory even gets stuck in a can-ring at one point), it remains a minor background theme. Ellen DeGeneres did, however, make a point to raise awareness about the perilous state of the Great Barrier Reef, from which the clownfish (and now Dory) hail.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Hank, despite the fact that he (like real octopuses) has three hearts as Dory stated. But the octopus is also fittingly good-hearted.
    Dory: You know something, for a guy with three hearts you're not very nice.
  • Handicapped Badass: Hank is missing a tentacle and Hates Being Touched, but he's still able to traverse the park using the tentacles he has, his camouflage abilities. He even teaches himself to drive - automatic, not stick.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the stinger, the Tank Gang, who managed to escape their fish tank at the dentist, are captured and brought into the Marine Life Institute.
  • Heroic BSoD: Dory suffers one when she's told that her parents aren't in the institute anymore. She blames herself and believes that she doesn't have a family while the other blue tangs and Nemo try to console her.
  • Hourglass Plot: When Hank first pitches the idea to Dory that she should give him her tag so that Dory could stay in California while Hank would go to Cleveland, Hank calls it a crazy idea but Dory says she's "okay with crazy". Towards the end of the film, when Hank and Dory hijack a truck and they get surrounded by cops Dory pitches the idea that Hank should drive the truck into the ocean. Dory calls this a crazy idea but Hank says he's "okay with crazy".
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Zigzagged. At one point, Dory and Hank are thrown into the "Touch Area", where kids are sprawling through the aquarium getting their hands all over many different kinds of marine life, which is shown to be so invasive it seems like it's the end of the world. However, the humans are otherwise played un-monstrously, and two of them even have their day ruined when Dory and Hank hijack their truck. It's worth pointing out that the facility specifically aims to release its captives back into the wild, using them in the meantime for educational & awareness purposes and only withholding the ones who simply cannot make it on their own.
  • Imprinting: Marlin had to do this with Becky so she could take him and Nemo to Quarantine.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Fluke bears some resemblance to Idris Elba.
  • Ironic Echo: Marlin is angry at Dory for nearly getting Nemo killed and angrily tells her to "go over there and forget! That's what you do best!" Nemo is quicker to forgive Dory, so he sometimes repeats this line in a snarky way to let his dad know that he messed up.
  • It's All My Fault: Marlin eventually comes to believe that it was his fault that he and Dory were separated, while Dory is convinced that everything that happened to her and her parents is her fault for having memory loss.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hank can be very rude, impatient, and forceful as he tries to take Dory's quarantine tag away from her, but he still helps her find her parents.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • When Hank offers Dory a way out from the Quarantine in exchange for the tag, he cautions that the plan is crazy, but Dory replies that she's "fine with crazy things". Much later, Dory and Hank are cornered by the police inside a truck and Dory suggests doing a free fall into the sea, though she considers the plan crazy. Guess what answer Hank replies?
    • When Marlin and Nemo are lost in the tank in the Gift Shop, Nemo asks, "What would Dory do?" to get them both out of there. When they reunite with Dory later, Marlin assures her that it was she who encouraged Marlin to find Nemo all those months ago and that the philosophy "what would Dory do?" helped them overcome obstacles. Finally, during her Darkest Hour, Dory repeats this phrase to herself to try to make her remember anything and get her as back on track as she can. It eventually helps find her parents at last.
    • Nemo reminds Marlin when he snapped at Dory after he and Nemo are chased by a giant squid, angrily telling her "Go wait over there and forget! It's what you do best", reminding him of his harsh words to Dory when they're outside the Institute meeting the sea lions. When Dory finds her way to the Marine Life Institute, Nemo tells Marlin "Looks like Dory can do something else besides forget", and when Marlin is deciding against being carried in the bucket by Becky the Loon, Nemo remarks "In the meantime, Dory will just forget about us... it's what she does best". Marlin relents and allows Becky to carry them in the bucket.
  • Menagerie of Misery: Zig-Zagged. The film has a major "Fish belong to the ocean, not to tanks" message, but also establishes that the Marine Life Institute is primarily a rescue center that releases animals that recovered from their injuries, and its fish habitats are more or less accurate to real-life aquariam. Yet, the "touch pool", from the animals' point of view, is depicted as a terrifying place where the poor starfish and sea cucumbers hide for their lives from the giant hands of human children. Also, the Cleveland Aquarium is referred to as a scary place where animals end up if they are in a too bad condition to be released to the wild.
  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: It's unclear whether Dory's memory issues are psychological or not, however the entirety of Finding Dory is about Dory's struggle with her short-term memory loss which she has had to live with for her entire life. While she initially despised it, she eventually learns to work with it and accept it is a part of who she is.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Played with. The film's opening is about Dory's past when she was still a baby living with her parents at the Open Ocean, before transitioning to the present timeline. However, since this film focuses on Dory's rediscovery of her family, her past at the Open Ocean keeps coming back at certain points in the movie.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A few examples:
    • By the end of the film, Bailey moves to the Great Barrier Reef along with Hank and Destiny, which is thousands of miles away from the Arctic circle of the beluga whale and is in a completely different hemisphere.
    • Jenny and Charlie managed to survive in the kelp forests of the Californian coast. Blue Tangs have a large range around the Indo-Pacific, but it doesn't reach the American continents.
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted. When the blue tangs try to tell Dory that her parents have disappeared years ago and never came back, they say that they're "no longer around", and that they're "gone". Then Dory forlornly asked if they're dead. They aren't.
  • Never My Fault: Marlin is initially unwilling to admit that Dory being taken into the Marine Institute is his fault (seeing as how his blowing his stack at Dory after the incident with the giant squid is what led to it). Nemo is quick to call him out on this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One trailer for the movie depicted Dory sleepswimming out of her house, subconsciously trying to go back to her parents. This scene did not appear in the movie. Justified, as Pixar is known for intentionally doing this with their teaser trailers.
  • No Antagonist: The conflict is purely character-driven and not obstructed by a Big Bad. The closest thing to an antagonist is a giant squid that the gang runs into, but it barely factors into the story, and isn't even evil - it's just a hungry predator doing what comes naturally.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Naturally averted given the franchise, but at one point the trope is exploited for a bit of Black Comedy when Dory ends up in a feeding bucket surrounded by dead fish, which are all designed more realistically in an effort to garner less sympathy.
  • No Mouth: Hank looks like this most of the time, making him more authentic than the franchise's other octopus character, Pearl, as real octopuses have beaks which are hidden among their tentacles and therefore are seldom seen. Hank has a human-like lower lip, in the proper place, which is visible on occasion.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: After Dory reunites with Marlin and Nemo in the transport truck, she refuses to let Hank take her place after everything she has learned over the course of the movie and all fish, including Hank, deserve to be released.
  • Noodle Incident: The viewer never learns how Hank lost a tentacle or why he doesn't want to return to the ocean.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: After outswimming a squid that nearly eats Nemo because Dory forgets the warning, Marlin (who had almost lost him before) snaps at Dory, angrily telling her that forgetting things is "what you do best", causing her to swim away to find help for Nemo to make up for it. Nemo (who's more forgiving to Dory) calls his dad out for this, and up until they make up, he often repeats that line to Marlin in a snarky way.
  • One-Steve Limit: The Gonk-ish, voiceless sea lion that the other sea lions don't like is named Gerald, which was also the name of the first film's ugly, voiceless pelican that the other pelicans didn't like.
  • Orbital Shot: Dory gets one whenever something triggers a memory of her childhood and transitions to the accompanying flashback.
  • Overcrank: The scenes where Dory is tossed to the otters and Hank drives the Cleveland truck off the hill into the ocean are done completely in dramatic slow motion.
  • Parents as People: Dory's parents are loving and kind, and certainly Good Parents overall, but even they have doubts that their daughter will succeed on her own.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: In one scene, Marlin and Nemo meet a loudmouthed clam who speaks by moving his shell like a mouth. He has a fairly big pearl, seen rolling around in his shell whenever he opens his mouth.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Dory and Marlin have grown up to be this since the previous film. Other than living together for a year after the first film, the two are shown to be inseparable from each other; Marlin considers Dory his family, while Dory can't settle at one place without being guided by someone like Marlin.
  • The Promised Land: Hank considers Cleveland as this, since at there, he can finally get the isolation that he doesn't have in the Marine Life Institute. He ultimately chooses not to go there, though.
  • Quest for Identity: Dory goes on a journey to find out where she came from and who her family is.
  • Refuge in Audacity: An Octopus. Driving a stolen truck. With Dory telling him which way to steer. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • The baby sea otters. Dory exploits this by setting them to cuddle in the middle of the streets to stop the Marine Institute truck.
    • Baby Dory.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: After the release of Blackfish, the writers rewrote the story to explore the theme of animals in captivity.
  • Rocky Roll Call: Marlin, Nemo, Jenny, and Charlie go through one briefly when they run into each other for the first time, ending with Becky chirping.
  • Roundabout Shot: Dory has one with her parents when they are finally reunited.
  • Same Plot Sequel: This film has many of the same story beats as Finding Nemo. In both films, the title character gets captured and put in an aquarium, while two other characters try to find them. There's an opening flashback, a school field trip where things go wrong, a chase scene involving a giant predator set on a shipwreck, a glow-in-the-dark predator, some predators who are friendly to the protagonists, a goofy bird, a gruff character who tries repeatedly to escape the aquarium, a reunion with lost parents, and a climax in which dozens of fish perform an unlikely escape. Both films also have an underlying theme of not assuming someone is incompetent because of a disability.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Unavoidable due to the large number of characters that Dory interacts with. Fluke, Rudder, Gerald, and Becky don't appear until the final trailer.
  • Searching for the Lost Relative: plot involves Dory, Marlin, and Nemo travelling to the Marine Life institute so Dory can find Charlie and Jenny, her long-lost parents.
  • Seeking the Missing, Finding the Dead: Subverted. Dory is told by the other blue tangs that her parents went to Quarantine to look for her, and that fish who don't come back from Quarantine have been euthanized. Dory's parents actually made it out of Quarantine and to the ocean.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Marlin has shades of this: he claims it was four sharks, not three, that he encountered, and tries to say it wasn't his fault that Dory wandered off in the kelp forest, only for Nemo to call him out.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Thankfully Averted. After all that trouble to find her parents, Dory is informed by the other blue tang fishes that her parents are 'gone', due to them having gone off to find Dory in the quarantine zone but never returned. During the heartbreaking confusion that followed, Dory is knocked back into the ocean. She then spends quite a big while in a Heroic BSoD state until she finds a line of seashells on the sea floor, then follows it to a small enclave where several lines of seashells have been placed leading to it. Here, she finally reunites with her parents at long last, who reveal that they escaped the aquarium into the open ocean to find Dory, and have been placing long lines of sea shells in each direction in hopes that one day, Dory will follow them back to where they are.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In an early scene, Marlin tells Dory "Mr. Ray doesn't have time to worry about fish who wander." This is a nod to A Fish Called Wanda.
    • Bailey's echolocation abilities are depicted identically to the motion trackers from Alien.
    • The touch pool scene seems reminiscent to the caterpillar room scene at Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3, where little kids unknowingly make smaller creatures' lives living hells.
    • Also, the scene where Hank and Dory hijack the aquatic animal transport truck in the finale is like the exaggerated version of the Pizza Planet Truck scene in Toy Story 2.
    • In one shot in the Quarantine lab, the camera stays on a pipe labeled "TM-59" for five seconds. This is a reference to the Submarine Voyages ride at Disneyland, California. Opening in 1959, the Submarine Voyages attraction is located in Tomorrowland, and currently has been adapted into a ride themed on Finding Nemo. Hence, TM (Tomorrowland) 59 (1959).
    • A Giant Squid pursuing and attacking a character named "Nemo" is a clear reference to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The main difference is that Jules Verne's Captain Nemo had a slight comfort and protection in his ship, the Nautilus; Pixar's Nemo doesn't have that advantage and almost got eaten by the Humboldt squid.
    • In Disney's film adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nemo was almost devoured by the squid.
    • The climax with the truck flying off the freeway into the ocean, over the whales Destiny and Bailey, can be seen as an inverse to the climax in Free Willy. There's even a similar shot of the shadow passing over them.
  • Shown Their Work: The entire character of Hank the octopus is a testament to this trope. Hank can change his skin to either disguise as an object or turn invisible. It's a little-known fact that real-life octopuses are actually able to change their color of their skin to camouflage with their environment, and an even lesser-known one that certain kinds change their shape to make that camouflage more effective, which Hank also demonstrates. The same applies to the three hearts thing, something that Hank himself didn't know. Octopuses also have a knack for escaping their enclosures and wandering around on land, though not as effectively or as long as Hank does. Also, Hank, whose default coloring is red, is often angry or irritable. In real life, octopuses turn red when they are stressed or angry.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Subverted with Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World", a song known for being used cynically in dark and violent contexts to contrast with its hopeful lyrics. While the initial situation it appears in (a truck flying off of a freeway and landing into the ocean) is certainly calamitous, the progression of events (all the Cleveland-bound marine life being freed and Dory reuniting with her family) complement the meaning of the song.
  • Spoiler Cover: The cover of the standard DVD features screenshots that depict the otters cuddling on the highway overpass (from the movie's climax) and, egregiously, a screencap from the very ending depicting Destiny, Bailey, Hank, and Dory's parents all at the reef.
  • The Stinger:
    • The Tank Gang from the first movie, still in their bags which have become very dirty in the past year, have somehow made it to the Marine Life Institute and are rescued by the personnel there, and will presumably be cleaned and released back into the ocean.
    • As soon as Fluke and Rudder chase Gerald off the rock a second time, he sneaks back onto the rock when they're asleep.
  • Sleepwalking: Dory sleepswims in a Missing Trailer Scene.invoked
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Inverted with Hank, who can stay outside of water for an unusually long time. He hydrates himself precisely once on screen.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Humboldt squid gets itself trapped in a huge shipping container, but still focuses all its energy on trying to snap up Nemo rather than its own predicament.
  • Super-Senses: Bailey the beluga whale has echolocation, which allows him to "see" through walls and track locations from far distances... although it takes him a while to figure out how to actually do this.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    • A variant shows up at the beginning. Dory's having her usual memory issues and Marlin has to explain to her about Mr. Ray not taking her on his field trips despite reportedly having already done it. Dory, being Dory, assumes he wants her for an assistant teacher instead. Not wanting to deal with her memory loss, Marlin just goes with it.
      Marlin: Mr. Ray... you've got help.
    • A meta example concerns how Hank ended up with just seven tentacles. The animators discovered that his body was too small to attach eight, and by then it was too late to go back and resize him. So they rewrote his backstory to account for the missing limb.
  • Survival Mantra: "Just keep swimming" is revealed to be this for Dory, taught to her by her parents so she wouldn't panic if she ever forgot where to go.
  • The Talk: Dory gets confused during a conversation of parents and starts to give a group of children a version of the talk, but is quickly cut off.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Still a staple for Dory. One important early line said while sleeping is "Don't cry, Mommy. Don't cry."
  • Title Reading Gag: In a trailer, Dory reads the title and thinks Dory is missing, having forgotten that she herself is Dory.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers for the movie were really bad about this. Nearly every trailer for the film features at least one clip from a plot-critical moment.
  • True Companions: Dory, Marlin and Nemo were this in the beginning, but by the end they add Destiny, Bailey, Hank, Becky and Dory's parents to their companions.
  • Truth in Television: In Real Life, Sigourney Weaver has done a few recorded narrations for science exhibits. One of the bonus features likened her in this respect to David Attenborough.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Rather than retconning a number of the things Dory said about herself, this movie would only reinforce the point that she can't always be trusted. In a throwaway line in the last movie, she said she had a feeling that her condition runs in her family, but in this film that's shown to clearly not be the case. Just one way the sequel takes some of Dory's lines in the original and paints them in a whole new light.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: We don't see Marlin "feeding the fishes."
  • Weirdness Censor: Apparently nobody would have seen fish doing rather un-fishlike behaviour like jumping out of tanks or loons carrying pails of water, not to mention a random out-of-control pram being spun by tentacles clearly sticking out.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first thing we hear from Dory while she's talking in her sleep.
    Dory: Don't cry, mommy. Don't cry.
    • "But Dory, that was years ago. Fishes who don't leave the Quarantine usually... they're no longer around, Dory." Sure, Dory's parents turn out to be alive and well, but that line causes a massive Heroic BSoD on her.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In one of the flashbacks, when the camera pulls out and establishes that Dory and her parents lived in — and were presumably born in — the Marine Life Institute.
    • Another camera zoom-out to reveal that the line of shells Dory is following is one of many that her parents have seeded all around the MLI leading back to their home, showing they've been waiting for her all this time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Both averted and played straight in regards to the Tank Gang. It turns out they're still okay but still trapped in their plastic bags when they're "rescued" by the Institute. Now it's left unclear whether they'll be released or sent to Cleveland.
  • What Would X Do?: At one point, while stuck in a fish tank at the aquarium gift shop and needing to get into the institute's plumbing network to find Dory, Nemo encourages Marlin to think, "What would Dory do?" Marlin proceeds to talk about thinking carefully and weighing up a lot of options, until Nemo points out that that's closer to "What would Marlin do?" They then hit upon the idea of using a row of splash pad fountains to bounce from the tank to a small pool not too far away.
    Nemo: Dory would do it.

"I'm Sigourney Weaver. Thank you for joining us."


Video Example(s):


Sleep Swimming

In a deleted scene from "Finding Dory," Dory not only talks in her sleep, but swims as well. Marlin is ready to dismiss it as a one-time thing, but when it becomes clear she's going to keep doing it, he tucks her in with him and Nemo to keep her safe.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TalkingInYourSleep

Media sources: