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Western Animation / Flushed Away

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"You can get yourself out of here, and you will. Never forget, the blood of the courageous James clan flows through your veins."
Flushed Away (2006) is the third and final collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations, using CGI to replicate Aardman's trademark Claymation style of animation.

An upper-class pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman), after a mishap with a sewer rat called Sid (Shane Richie), ends up flushed down from his swank Kensington home into the underworld of vermin beneath London. Desperate to get home, he encounters Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from an unscrupulous crime lord called The Toad (Ian McKellen), who royally despises all rodents equally—wants them iced... literally. The Toad dispatches his two hapless hench-rats, Spike and Whitey (Andy Serkis and Bill Nighy), to get the job done. When they fail, the Toad has no choice but to send to France for his cousin - that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog (Jean Reno). Can Roddy stop the Toad's evil plan and get back home?


Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers appearing more spacious than in real life is possibly justified, as the characters seen there are rats. Also justified in that it's the London sewer, which, like the Paris sewer, is Absurdly Spacious in Real Life.
  • Accidental Misnaming: After mishearing Roddy's protest of "I'm just an innocent bystander!", many start referring to him as Millicent Bystander. Oh, and Rita's grandmother keeps calling him Tom Jones.
  • Accidental Pervert: Roddy, trying to reach for the paper clip in Rita's back pocket when they're tied back to back, accidentally grabs... something else of hers.
    Rita: (through grated teeth) In the POCKET! In the POCKET!!!
  • Action Girl: Rita is a female and does her share of fighting.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Despite his actor being third billed in the opening credits and appearing in trailers and promotional pictures, Le Frog does not appear until about two thirds into the movie.
    • Sid barely appears in the trailers and pictures. But he has 12 minutes of screen time in the movie.
  • Affably Evil: Le Frog. The only reason he seems to put up with the Toad at all is because they're cousins.
    • Toad as well, initially. When he and Roddy first met, the Toad was more than happy to show his collection of royal memorabilia, and acts very civil with him. Then Roddy said his collection was "amusing", not "diverting" like Toad had hoped. Then he broke a good number of his collection, and Toad, visibly angry, orders him to be frozen with Rita.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Aardman's first feature to be completely computer-animated, as technology at the time would not allow for that much water to be composited into a stop-motion film.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: Features an obnoxious American tourist with a cowboy hat and Texas drawl.
  • Amusing Injuries: Cryonics and Spike. Roddy, too.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Deconstructed. In the beginning of the film, Roddy is shown to be a lone rat in a wire cage with little substrate. It is later shown how lonely he really is and Rita's mother even points out how unhealthy it is for a rat to live alone.
  • Asshole Victim: Toad deserves his fate for planning to commit genocide against the rats.
  • Badass in Distress: Rita, during the climax.
  • Banana Peel: Defied (quite dramatically; "Careful, Whitey! That's a BANANA SKIN!") by Spike and Whitey... who play it straight with slugs immediately afterwards.
  • Big Bad: The Toad.
  • Big Eater: Le Frog and his henchmen. They even put having dinner ahead of going after Roddy and Rita.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: That of the Toad.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: The James Bond gun barrel sequence is referenced in a sight gag where Roddy shoots at a DVD with a suction cup gun.
  • Break the Fake: Roddy smashes Rita's prized ruby to prove that it's fake. Rita, furious that she spent all those years trying to retrieve that ruby for her broken family, only to now discover it was a fake all along, attacks Roddy in a rage.
  • British Royal Guards: An American couple teases a guard in the sewer rat version of London.
  • Butt-Monkey: Roddy suffers comedic misfortunes at first, followed by Spike who stays consistent all throughout the film.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Lots of Take That! to the French here.
    LeFrog: Okay, men! To action!
    LeFrog's Men: (Raising both arms) We surrender!
    LeFrog: No! Not that one, you idiots! The Kung Fu thing!
    LeFrog's Men: Aaaah...
    • It should be noted that Le Frog's voice actor is the Spanish-French Jean Reno. The directors at Aardman felt that Le Frog would have been more of a caricature and less of a character if he was voiced by an Englishman faking a French accent, so they sought out the services of Jean. He was more than happy to help. And the result is hilarious.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Those floodgates won't hold forever, you know!"
    • Pretty much anything having to do with the World Cup Final.
    • Liquid nitrogen. Roddy and Rita are almost frozen with it, and Roddy uses it in the climax to freeze the giant wave and save Ratropolis.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Let's face it; watching Roddy get five groin attacks in a row is hilarious.
    • Also occurs in-universe with Le Frog: "I find everyone's pain funny but my own...I'm French!"
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: While ziplining over the water, Roddy accidentally pantses Rita, exposing her mid-thigh-length boxers, much to her embarrassment.
  • Connected All Along: Rita knows Sid, much to Roddy's dismay.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The ninja frogs working for The Toad lose in spite of outnumbering our heroes. Justified in that they're shown not to be as competent as they preach to be.
  • Disaster Dominoes: When Toad is showing Roddy his collection. Toad is not pleased.
  • The Dragon: Le Frog is the second-in-command to Toad.
  • Eagleland: The loud tourists who confuse American Football with the other football.
    Loud American Tourist: Where's the helmets? Which one's the quarterback? C'mon Pick up the ball! Pick up the ball! Agh! These Brits don't know the first thing about football!
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Roddy has one, accompanied by a Spit Take, when Sid tells him he won't make it to half-time if he drinks too much, leading him to piece together the Toad's plan.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: Played with. A French frog mime tapes a cellphone to his body and flips the screen so Toad's face is shown. Every word he says the mime acts it out like he's physically there (though some actions don't work to his intention like saying dancing or dramatically turning around). He's basically projecting the Big Bad and giving the heroes a little interaction.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Toad seems to really love his tadpoles.
  • Evil Duo: Spike and Whitey are two of the Toad's henchmen and are always seen together.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Parodied when The Toad is talking to his legion of tadpoles and he regularly switches back and forth between a deep, booming voice when talking about his evil plans and a sweet little baby voice when talking directly to the tadpoles, only to accidentally talk in the baby voice when Spike and Whitey return before correcting himself.
  • Freak Out: Roddy repeatedly when he realizes he's in the sewer and trying to snap out of it by slapping himself:
    Roddy: I want to go home! (in deep voice) Pull yourself together! (in loud voice) I can't! I'm— FRIGHTENED! (slaps himself three times) Stop it, Stop it, Stop it!
  • Fat Idiot: Subverted with Sid, who quickly realizes that Roddy is trying to trick him and sends him down the toilet instead.
  • Fiery Redhead: Rita has red hair and can be temperamental.
  • Fish out of Water: Roddy is flushed down his owners' toilet (by the one he tried to get rid of) and winds up ejected from his posh home and into the mini cities of the sewers.
  • Forced from Their Home: The film's plot starts when Roddy tries to trick Sid into jumping inside a toilet to flush him away. Sid catches on and turns the tables on Roddy, pushing him inside the toilet and flushing him out of the house and into the sewers.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Roddy pretending to be Tom Jones, singing like his for the benefit of Rita's mother. The closing gag ends with Jones himself singing "What's New, Pussycat?"
    • Earlier in the movie, the great flood was mentioned by Prophet Harold. Near the end of the film, the flood almost happens.
  • French Jerk: Le Frog. He even lampshades it.
    Le Frog: I find everyone's pain funny but my own... I'm French. Heh heh heh.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Practically all the characters.
  • Funny Phone Misunderstanding: Rita the rat is throwing crayons at Roddy, who is using a cell phone as a shield. This ends up dialling the number of a restaurant. Roddy tries to tell the waiter, "I'm being attacked by a madwoman! She's got crayons!", but he mishears it as an order for a chicken chow mien with wanton. Roddy tries to explain, but the waiter still doesn't get it and asks Roddy if he wants his rice fried or white. Roddy gets sidetracked and almost orders fried rice, but then says, "No, wait— uh, cancel that order."
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Rita's pants slide down, revealing her boxers, which are blue with white horizontal stripes.
  • Greek Chorus: The slugs. Their songs have some degree of relevance to whatever is currently happening in the story often enough that some of them could be considered narration. The "Bella Notte" parody is a good example.
  • Groin Attack: Roddy has several unfortunate impacts to his nether regions upon arrival in the sewer, hitting his groin on pipes, hammers and other things.
    • Spike as well, during the Chase Scene.
    • Inverted during the Chase Scene when Ladykiller is catapulted backwards and lands crotch-first in Thimblenose Ted's face.
  • Grossout Fakeout: Roddy is flushed down the toilet and ends up holding onto a brown lump. He recoils, but then it turns out to have been a chocolate bar.
    Roddy: "Phew!"
  • Gross-Out Show: Naturally, there's a significant bit of potty humor, given the fact that Roddy arrived from being flushed down the toilet, and most of the film's action takes place in a sewer.
  • Hammerspace: Rita is able to stuff both the Ruby and Emerald Roddy gives her in her pockets. Both these jewels are about the same size as her hands and they don't stick out at all.
  • Harmless Freezing: Played with. The Toad traps anyone who dares irritate him by freezing them with liquid nitrogen, encasing them in a perfectly clear ice-cube. He intends to do the same to Roddy and Rita, but they escape, causing Spike and Whitey to suffer the same fate. Their frosty prison is immediately broken by Toad and commands them to chase after Roddy and Rita, which they do. Very stiffly.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Several times.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Contrary to the former trope, the firey redhead Rita pretty unambiguously becomes Roddy's girlfriend at the end of the film.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Twice, once with Spike, another with The Toad.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: While having dinner, the slugs inform Roddy that what he thought was rice was actually maggots.
    Roddy: (disgusted) Well, that explains why it all ran to one side when I put the salt in.
  • I Choose to Stay: During his journey to get back home, Roddy and Rita end up falling in love. So Roddy decides to give up his lavish lifestyle as a house pet and stay in the sewers with her. (Which turns out to be fortuitous when his owner brings home a pet cat at the end of the film.)
  • Ignorant About Fire: At one point, Roddy's hair catches fire and he doesn't notice until Rita points it out.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Upon meeting the Toad, Roddy and Rita have different ideas about what's more offensive about his wit:
    Toad: And is your new boyfriend a waiter?
    Rita: Boyfriend!?
    Roddy: Waiter!?
  • Identical Stranger: It's not obvious at first, but Roddy and Sid are twins save for the fact Sid is overweight.
  • Injured Limb Episode: It doesn't make up much plot, but Rita's dad is seen with all four limbs in casts.
  • Innocent Bystander: Roddy TRIED to paint himself as one, saying the exact words. Unfortunately, everyone else thought he was introducing himself as "Millicent Bystander".
  • Irony: In the voiceover commentary, the directors noted multiple times that there's something hilariously ironic about small characters having disproportionately low voices. Also, this bit:
    Mr. Malone: You cheeky little monkey. We Malones never go back on our word! I'll have no son of mine acting The Rat.
  • Karma Houdini: A minor example, but Sid faces no repercussions for invading Roddy's home and even trashing it quite a bit, to say nothing of him throwing Roddy into the sewers, potentially away from his home forever. Admittedly Roddy did try to trick Sid into getting flushed down first, but it's pretty understandable that he's upset over his home getting invaded and trashed beyond his control.
    • Subverted in a post credit scene when Tabitha comes home with a new "friend". A cat.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After the failure of the Toad's plan, in the final sequence, Le Frog and his men are seen hitchhiking to return in France. Spike and Whitey apparently knew when to fold it too.
  • Lampshade Hanging: See Mood Motif, below.
  • Large Ham: LeFrog. Also, Ian McKellen's ludicrously over-the-top performance is one of the best parts of the movie.
  • Left the Background Music On: The slugs provide the Mood Motif of spooky music when Roddy first finds himself in the sewer and is freaked out. They stop when Roddy turns and realizes they're doing it.
    • EVERY TIME music plays in this movie, it's either the slugs or a character doing it. They loved this joke.
    • As the protagonists are sailing away, the ninja frogs pop up menacingly in the foreground of the shot, accompanied by a quick French accordion burst... then one of the frogs turns and continues playing the same accordion, much to the annoyance of Le Frog, who promptly slaps him silly.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Roddy is a prime example, being the pet of a rich family who doesn't have any friends.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Roddy treats dolls as real people and has no real idea how to treat others, and doesn't think anything is missing from his life. Part of his Character Development is being with others.
  • MacGuffin: The cable Rita steals from the Toad and subsequently wears as a belt. Also, the ruby the Toad stole from Rita that she steals back.
  • Male Gaze: There are a handful of jokes about Rita's posterior, not to mention one shot of her shaking at The Toad's cronies during the riverboat chase. And who can forget her pants falling down?
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: The Toad, and to a lesser extent Le Frog. Roddy had shades of this in his suit and wealthy background (he lives in Kensington, incidently). In fact, Toad is delighted to discover Roddy shares his high-class background.
    Toad: Huzzah! A man of quality!
    • Possibly a subversion, though, since most of the Toad's collection is actually tourist souvenir crap that somehow ended up in sewers, which is probably the reason why Roddy wasn't really impressed by it. Also, let's not forget that he couldn't recognize the fake ruby, something that Roddy did by just looking at it.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Rita is the oldest of thirty or so children. But then, they are rats.
  • Maybe Ever After: Though the two are clearly romantically interested in each other, the end of the movie isn't really clear if Roddy and Rita have started a relationship or not.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Whitey. See also Token Good Teammate below.
  • Missing Mom: It's never explained how the Toad got so many children.
  • Mistaken for Thief: When Roddy arrives, Rita claims that he stole the ruby the baddies are looking for and is an international jewel thief. This lie fools the baddies, and Rita's brother Liam, who also believe his name is Millicent Bystander due to Whitey mishearing "an innocent bystander".
  • Mocking Music: After Rita leaves Roddy's house, the trio of slugs that had escaped the sinking of the Dodger appeared and started singing "Lonely". An annoyed Roddy shut the window on them.
  • Mood Motif: Spoofed, in an awesome and ridiculously cute fashion.
  • Mouse World: The film follows the convention of rodents and other small creatures having their own society mimicking the way of humans.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rita. Unlike most examples, it seems to stem less from her physical appearance than her badass persona. Even the scene where her pants fall down isn't played in a sexy way (Roddy's Accidental Pervert moment is up for debate, though).
  • National Animal Stereotypes: Many of the residents of the sewer are various British stereotypes, except for Le Frog; his henchmen are a bunch of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys and a mime.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Roddy's hamster butlers — Gilbert and Sullivan — appeared in an early trailer. They were removed when Aardman realized that they actually made no sense, from both a thematic and practical view.
    • The trailer also give plenty of spotlight to Sid, making it look as if he's a main character. In the actual movie, Sid is a talking Plot Device.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. This aversion actually forms part of the Toad's plan, as he intends to open the floodgates when everyone uses the bathroom at half-time to flush Ratropolis away.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The frog mime is named Marcel, an homage to famous French mime Marcel Marceau.
  • No Flow in Claymation: This movie (which was in production before Toy Story) was originally intended to be a traditional claymation movie like Chicken Run, but Aardman couldn't find a way to animate flowing water convincingly in claymation.
  • Not So Different: Aside from being "men of wealth and taste", Toad and Roddy were also pets from an upper class home (in Toad's case, royalty) who found themselves discarded into the sewer (albeit in Roddy's case, it wasn't his family's decision.)
  • Oh, Crap!: A fly hovering above Le Frog and his men mutters the kid friendly version "Oh bother" just moments before they all try to eat him.
    • Roddy when he realises that even though the ruby was a fake, he probably shouldn't have broken it in front of Rita.
    • Roddy and Rita in the climax when they hear toilets flushing in the distance.
    • Everyone when they see the giant wave coming towards them.
    • Sid has one when Tabitha comes home and reveals her new pet cat.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Hugh Jackman as Roddy. Only happens once.
  • Panty Shot: Sort of. In trying to run away from the Toad, Roddy grabs onto Rita, who was planning on bailing him, and ended up snapping off her old belt and pulling her pants down a bit in the process. She's actually wearing boxer shorts, though.
    • In a much more subtle example, the Bride that Roddy accidentally picks up during the chase scene gets one of these.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Roddy accidentally destroys Toad's entire collection of cheap Buckingham Palace gift shop knick-knacks priceless royal family memorabilia.
  • Race for Your Love
  • Red Is Heroic: Rita, who has red hair and owns a ruby that she stole back from the Toad. It turned out though that the ruby was a fake one made of glass.
  • Red Right Hand: Thimblenose Ted's thimble nose.
  • Running Gag: The slugs punctuate several moments throughout the movie, musically and otherwise.
  • Scavenged Punk: The sewer world is built all out of human materials. Just check out those eggbeater jet-skis.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Spike tends to take great pleasure in the pain and suffering of others and tends to be the smart one when compared to his partner, Whitey, who is a Minion with an F in Evil and considered to be the nicest guy in the film.
  • Soccer-Hating Americans: An American tourist rat is watching the World Cup final game along with the other rats in the underground city. He asks why there's no helmets, no quarterback, and why no one is picking up the ball. "I tell ya, these Brits don't know the first thing about football."
  • Soft Water: Roddy falls from some unspecified height, which is portrayed as an abyss. When he finally lands, he hits water and is unharmed. Said water barely goes up to his knees. And he's a rat.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Between two slugs during the meal Roddy and Rita share, with a hilarious result!
  • Spit Take: Done by Roddy when Sid mentions that he's waiting to go to the bathroom at half-time, which leads into him realizing that the Toad is waiting until half-time to drown all the rats.
  • The Stinger: At the start of the end credits we cut back to Sid just as the family returns home— with a new cat!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The Toad's evil rants are pretty much built on this trope. Le Frog seems to feel this way about his ninja team and definitely feels this way about his cousin the Toad.
  • Swapped Roles: This happens between Roddy and Sid when they meet up again in Roddy's home. At the start of the movie, Roddy was a fancy rat with no experience regarding the outside world while Sid was a rough-and-tough rat who was perfectly fine forcing Roddy to take his orders, but after Roddy ends up in the sewers, the latter ends up going soft from his new life of luxury while the former Took a Level in Badass and became a strong sewer hero, eventually culminating in Roddy requesting Sid to flush him down the toilet again.
  • Taking You with Me: Attempted by the Toad.
  • Tempting Fate: Spike expresses his distaste for happy endings at the end of the film, saying he prefers unhappy endings with lots of violence. Pain ensues moments after.
  • Title Drop: Le Frog, during his cousin's exposition dump. Then the Toad repeatedly when outlining his Evil Plan. ("The whole city will be flushed away!")
  • Toilet Teleportation: An inadvertent one is how the plot starts.
  • Token Good Teammate: Whitey, despite being one of the biggest of Toad's thug and being paired up to Spike, is actually one of the friendliest characters in the movie and is only working to pay the bills. He also loves happy endings.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: The evil Toad and his French cousin Le Frog get their tongues frozen onto a large pipe containing liquid nitrogen after Roddy smashes it apart to freeze the tidal wave Toad sent to drown the rats of Sewer-London. After being unfrozen, it's implied that the Toad was arrested while Le Frog and his henchmen hitchhiked back to France.
  • To the Batnoun!: "Enough games. To the ratmobiles!"
  • Tsundere: Rita. "Ah, the little English girl. So aggressive."
  • Uptown Girl: Gender-inverted. Rita and her family live down in the sewers, while Roddy comes from a posh suite on the surface. It ends with him giving up his lavish lifestyle to stay with her.
  • "Ugly American" Stereotype: A recurring background character is an American rat tourist in a cowboy hat engaging in typical obnoxious tourist behavior, like teasing a Royal Guard, or watching the World Cup final and criticizing the players for not knowing the first thing about football.
  • Visual Pun:
    • A "frog" is a derisive term for a French person.
    • The day is saved when a British Airways bag lifts the heroes out of danger, while stealing the MacGuffin along the way.
  • Wicked Cultured: The Toad, or at least he thinks he's a villain with class and good taste.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Toad. He was once Prince Charles's most favorite pet. Then someone brought in a rat and flushed the Toad down the toilet so Charlie could focus all his attention on the replacement pet. This became his motivation for trying to wipe out the Sewer-London.
  • Zombie Gait: Something is... off about Thimblenose Ted. Besides having a thimble for a nose, that is.


Video Example(s):


To Action! We Surrender!

"No! Not that one you idiots! The Kung Fu Thing!" Le Frog, calls his henchmen to go into action, however, being French, they yell "We Surrender!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys

Media sources:

Main / CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys