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Western Animation / Shrek the Third

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"I can't let this happen. I can't! I am the rightful King of Far Far Away. And I promise you this, Mother... I will restore dignity to my throne. And this time, no one will stand in my way."
Prince Charming

The third installment in the Shrek tetralogy, Shrek the Third was released in 2007 by DreamWorks Animation, serving as a direct sequel to Shrek 2. This is also marking the first Shrek film distributed by Paramount Pictures after DWA's distribution agreements with Paramount. This would be followed by Shrek Forever After (2010).

At King Harold's deathbed, he leaves his throne to the ogre couple, Shrek and Fiona. However, Shrek does not want his father-in-law's crown; aside from not willing to give up his beloved swamp, he also doesn't think he's qualified enough to be a king. With his dying breath, Harold mentions the only other available heir to the kingdom of Far Far Away — Fiona's cousin, Arthur "Artie" Pendragon (Justin Timberlake).

Meanwhile, Prince Charming gathers an elite fighting force of fairy tale villains in order to start a rebellion and take over the kingdom. Seeking revenge on the ogre who ruined his happily ever after, Charming gets his followers to track down Shrek while he imprisons his pregnant wife and her friends.

Shrek the Third contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Both Shrek and Artie had abusive fathers and bond with each other because of this. In Artie's case, his father dumped him at Worcestershire the first chance he got and Artie never saw him again. Shrek's father was worse, being an ogre, as he apparently tried to eat Shrek when he was a baby.
  • Action Dress Rip: Provides the page image; the sequence of the princesses readying their escape.
  • Action Girl: All of the princesses turn out to be on-par with how much of an action girl Fiona is (and even her older mother). Except for Rapunzel.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Listen to the queen's Non Sequitur, *Thud* after she head-butts the wall apart. Sound familiar? It's a bit of "A Spoonful of Sugar" and "My Favorite Things".
    • In the Japanese dub, this is not the first time Tesshō Genda (Mabel) has voiced a (very ugly) woman before.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The audience and even Charming's minions laugh at him when Shrek roasts him on stage, with the drummer even adding a "ba-dum-tss" after Shrek's quip about Charming's bad singing.
  • Adipose Rex: Shrek and Fiona during their brief stint as monarchs of Far Far Away.
  • Almost Kiss: Shrek and Fiona attempt to kiss at the beginning of the film but are pulled away by their ridiculously uncomfortable clothes.
  • All There in the Manual: DVDs of the films included a high school yearbook or Worcestershire students. Descriptions from said yearsbook include some really obscure references to Arthurian canon that most children really wouldn't get. Really, neither will most adults.
  • Alpha Bitch: Guinevere is portrayed as a medieval version of the 2000s-era Valley Girl.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Prince Charming again, as a continuation from the previous movie. However, this is ultimately averted with his romance with Rapunzel, making him simply a case of Camp Straight.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The movie has a different theme song for the Japanese version, called "Love is the Greatest Thing" by w inds.
  • Art Evolution: The film's look is way more polished than anything DWA had made before (the studio always had some issues with props and "extras" looking "too generic"), putting it almost on par with the aesthetics of Pixar films.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Among the things the villains do on their rampage, they loot shops, terrorize citizens, cause general mayhem and destruction and... rip the stamps off of letters before mailing them.
  • Babies Ever After: The final scene of the movie is Shrek and Fiona raising their newly born ogre triplets.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Charming's acting comes across as this to the people he's performing to.
  • The Beastmaster: Snow White’s singing allows her to command birds to attack.
  • Bald of Evil: Rapunzel, much to her embarrassment. Let's just say that her "long hair" is, in fact, an elaborate wig.
  • Bathos: King Harold's death is a tragic moment, but there's still a lot of comedic elements present.
    • First of all, there's the whole scene in itself, with the simple fact that he's a frog. And during this whole time, he gestures with his arms up in the air pretty ecstatic for someone who is dying.
    • He has not one, but two fake-out deaths, not only being jokes about how he evades death for the moment, but also from Puss in Boots having to go back and forth between keeping his hat on and taking it off.
    • During the funeral, not only is the funeral music a James Bond song, but when Harold's "coffin" is viewed from above after being placed in a pond, it's shown that it is a shoe box.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: In an inversion, King Harold resumes his natural frog shape, and this is the form he dies in.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Charming does this twice to the audience during the show at the end when, thanks to Shrek's insults, they start laughing at him. He first shouts, "Be quiet!", and another jab from Shrek later, he loses it and yells, "ENOUGH!"
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: King Harold dies at the beginning of the movie, which kicks off the main plot. Shortly afterward, just as Shrek is departing on the ship to start his quest, Fiona calls out to him to reveal that she's pregnant, and she gives birth to triplets at the end of the movie.
  • Black Comedy:
    • While rehearsing his lines for the scene in his play where he kills Shrek, Charming (who is going to use a real sword to kill Shrek for real) apparently fatally stabs the guy in the Shrek costume. And so he did with the second guy who jumps in after the first was dragged away, without Charming even noticing it.
    • In a throwaway scene, Shrek himself seemingly accidentally kills a man who he's supposed to be knighting. And then accidentally sinks a ship by throwing a bottle at it too hard.
      • He doesn't just sink it, it somehow accidentally catches fire as well.
  • Bloody Smile: When Shrek, Donkey, Puss In Boots, and Arthur encounter Merlin, he offers them his "rock o gratin", which he eats. He smiles at them while saying "it's organic", showing off his rather bloody teeth.
  • Book Ends:
    • The cardboard tower at Charming's dinner theater gig falls and he goes through the window hole. During his staged (and failed) execution of Shrek, the much larger and heavier prop tower falls and actually crushes him.
    • When we first see Shrek and Fiona, they're asleep and just waking up. At the end, they've just gone to sleep.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: In order to prevent Charming from killing Artie for being Shrek's comrade, Shrek acts like he didn't really care about him and was only using him. As one tie-in book put it, "but a broken heart is better than broken arms and legs".
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Artie imitates Shrek's voice ("You're gonna be king!") after they're shipwrecked on the beach.
  • Brick Joke: Snow White’s gift to Fiona is one of her seven dwarves to function as a babysitter. Later on, he shows up at the swamp after the kids are born.
    Babysitter:' Where’s the baby?
  • Butt-Monkey: Artie. Even his own father didn't seem to want him.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Happens to Prince Charming with one of the props in the play in the opening. Then almost happens again in the ending, only that this time, it's implied he didn't have the same luck.
  • Call to Agriculture: Hook's plan with planting "beautiful daffodils".
  • Campfire Character Exploration: Merlin insists Shrek and his friends take "The journey to your soul" before he will help them by looking into the fire and seeing their deepest fears. Artie reveals his father left him at Worcestershire and never returned, thus causing Artie severe self esteem issue. Shrek reveals he too had an abusive father who had tried to eat him as a child.
  • Can't Spit It Out: Fiona attempts to tell Shrek she's pregnant while he says goodbye to her before he goes to get Artie. She then is cut off a couple of times by a foghorn before she's finally successful.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Hook admitted that he and the rest of the Fairy Tale villains are (of course) villains right before each and every one of them have a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Shrek does this twice in a row following his nightmare about babies which was layered inside another nightmare where he sees Puss and Donkey's head replaced with the heads of ogre babies.
  • The Cavalry: Just as Charming is about to kill Shrek, Dragon stops him in the nick of time and is accompanied by the fairy tale creatures, Donkey, Puss, and the princesses.
  • Co-Dragons: Captain Hook and Rapunzel are this to Charming.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: Pinocchio provides several elaborate examples when Prince Charming demands him to tell him Shrek's location since Pinocchio, of course, can't lie without his ever-extending nose giving him away. Pinocchio tries to twist the truth and worm his way out of the interrogation with convoluted excuses. It seems to be working... until eventually, his baffling multi-negatives frustrate the Three Little Pigs so much that one of them accidentally blurts it out.
  • Continuity Nod: The Worcestershire school band plays "All-Star" at one point, referencing the opening for the first movie.
  • Cool Old Lady: Queen Lillian. Bashing a solid brick wall with her head... twice!
  • Cruel to Be Kind: When Charming finally corners Shrek and Arthur, Shrek berates Arthur and calls him an utter loser. Donkey and Puss both point out that Charming would have murdered Arthur had Shrek not made him look so pitiful.
  • Cry into Chest: When Harold dies, Fiona cries into Shrek's chest. At his funeral, she again cuddles into Shrek's chest, though not crying as much this time.
  • Curse Cut Short: As Shrek, Donkey, and Puss leave for Worcestershire Academy to find Arthur "Artie" Pendragon, after Fiona tells Shrek he's going to be a father, Puss states: "And you, my friend, are royally—" *loud horn blast*
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Subverted when Puss attempts to use his cute shtick while in Donkey's body.
  • Cutting the Knot: Donkey, in Puss; body, is trying to cut the glass to get the Gingerbread Man out. However, time is of the essence so Puss, in Donkey's body, rolls his eyes and just uses his hoof to smash the glass.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Several of them appear as Charming's minions.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Shrek said this about, when he was a baby, his father trying to eat him. In hindsight, he says he should have seen it coming because he was bathed in barbecue sauce and put to bed with an apple in his mouth.
  • Dinner Theatre: Charming is reduced to this after his mother's death. He performs for a less than enthusiastic crowd who instead cheer for Shrek (who is supposed to be the villain of his play) and throw a stool at him.
  • Disappeared Dad: As mentioned above, Artie's father essentially cast Artie off by dumping him at the Worcestershire school at the first opportunity and never saw Artie again. This is also the only time we ever hear any mention of Shrek's father. We have no idea what happened to him aside from trying to eat his son.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Played straight with Shrek in the two Epic Fail moments mentioned below.
  • Doting Grandparent: Lillian takes very quickly to her triplet grandchildren. While playing with her grandson, he throws up on her. She's a little disgusted but then laughs it off, finding him adorable still.
  • Doting Parent: Despite his fears, Shrek turns out to be a very good and loving father to his triplets. Fiona as well adores their children.
  • Drag Queen: Kind of inverted again. Ugly Sister 'Dorris' from Shrek 2 is now one of Fiona's girlfriends but is still voiced by Larry King, and her similarly ugly sister 'Mabel' is voiced by another man, Regis Philbin.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Shrek's nightmare upon realizing he will become a father. His first dream consists of him at his swamp, dreaming of having lots of babies. His next one is of Donkey and Puss in Boots having the heads of ogre babies, with Donkey saying "Dada".
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady:
    • At the beginning of the film during Charming's performance at the dinner theatre, an elderly woman in audience mistakes him for a woman.
    • One of the Three Little Pigs calls Arthur a 'creepy little girl'.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The main goal of the fairy tale villains. They do earn it though, not by achieving petty revenge against their enemies, but rather, by realizing they don't have to give in to the "villain" image the stories made them out to be.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: Merlin offers a snack of his rock 'o' granite, which is just crushed rocks in a pan. He proceeds to eat it in front of Shrek and Arthur, saying it's organic while showing his bloody teeth. Shrek then refuses again, sarcastically saying he ate a boulder on the way in
  • Epic Fail: Shrek's entire reign as king is filled with failures no matter what he does:
    • He apparently accidentally kills a man he is supposed to be knighting.
    • Shrek sinks a ship he is supposed to be launching by accidentally pushing it away from the dock by leaning against it too hard, then he throws the bottle at the ship to break it. He throws it so hard, it breaks a hole in the hull, sinking the ship and then somehow causing the sails to burst into flames.
    • The botched royal presentation is what ultimately causes Shrek to quit being king on the spot: he accidentally gives the audience an unpleasant view of his butt being scratched, his belt pops and knocks Donkey out, Fiona slips on the floor, the castle gets set on fire and Shrek gets a table of food dumped in his face.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Cyclops has a daughter!
    Shrek: Well, she's... got your eye.
    Cyclops: Who would have thought a monster like me deserved something as special as you?
  • Evil is Petty: During the villains' takeover of Far Far Away, one cyclops proceeds to do the most evil thing he can think of: tearing stamps off of envelopes.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Parodied. Shrek and Fiona are forced to wear ridiculously confining finery for a ceremonial dinner. Shrek has to get some poor servant to scratch his bum for him...and wouldn't you know it, that's when the curtain is raised. To top it off, the buckle on his belt pops, leading to Disaster Dominoes.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Rapunzel betrays the Princesses and Fiona due to her crush with Charming, or at least the power being his queen would bring her.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Charming.
  • Exact Words: This line sums it up:
    Artie: ...the only person standing in your way is you. [points at Rumpelstiltskin]
    Rumpelstiltskin: Me?
    Everyone else: Get him, lads!
  • Faux Action Girl: The Princess Rampage ends with meek surrender at the first sign of non-mook resistance.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the beginning, Prince Charming is performing at the theatre when the cardboard castle comes crashing down, narrowly missing him. And, at the end, Dragon tips over the castle, this time made of bricks, which lands on Prince Charming, presumably killing him.
    • Bird-watchers will be able to anticipate Snow White's intentions for her Friend to All Living Things ability when they notice some of the birds she's calling, as the Evil Tree guards watch in puzzlement, are woodpeckers.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Puss and Donkey, thanks to Merlin's unreliable magic (mainly Puss reluctantly holding Donkey's hoof as the latter was worried), exchange their bodies. Their voices swap along with them, too.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Snow White ends up weaponizing this trope when she calls upon a bunch of cute little animals... and then sics them on the Treeman guards.
  • Freudian Slip: When Shrek is arguing with Arthur about his becoming a king, Shrek tells him, "We're heading back to Far Far Away whether you like it or not, and you're gonna be a father!"
  • Gendered Insult: Shrek compliments Prince Charming on his leotards, then asks "Do they have those in men's sizes?"
  • Generational Trauma: It's implied to be a common custom among new ogre parents to try and toughen up their children from an early age so they can survive — this is later expanded in the musical. Shrek tells Arthur that his father attempted to eat him as a child. As a consequence, Shrek is terrified to pass the tradition on to his children, and so he flees to search for a successor to Far Away's throne.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Charming attacks Far Far Away, Snow White tells everyone to stay calm, then freaks out and screams they're all gonna die, causing Doris to slap sense into her
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Charming's singing is so high pitched and horrible, he breaks a man's glass, a woman's opera glasses, and another woman's (presumably glass) pearls.
  • Go Out with a Smile: King Harold when he finally passes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: During the knighting ceremony, Shrek accidentally brings the sword down on the man he's supposed to be knighting. This isn't shown onscreen so we don't see where the knight was injured, but judging by Shrek and everyone else's reactions, it's not a pretty sight.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: The movie ends with Shrek and Fiona putting their newborn ogre triplets to sleep, then they go to sleep themselves.
  • Hand Behind Head: Shrek does this in shock after he wakes up from his nightmare and expresses his shock that he's going to be a father.
  • Hand on Womb: Shrek does this to Fiona near the end of the film, indicating a shift from being terrified of fatherhood to actually looking forward to it.
  • Hats Off to the Dead: Zigzagged and Played for Laughs. As King Harold drifts in and out of consciousness, Puss In Boots's hat repeatedly goes off his head and back on again. Ultimately played straight when Harold finally croaks.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • At some point between films, Doris the Ugly Sister from Shrek 2 actually turns from a barmaid in a villain's bar to one of Fiona's girlfriends. We don't know how, why or when this happened, just that it's funny because the man in drag is back.
    • All the villains have one in the end, except for Charming.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Not so much hero, but it is revealed that none of the villains (sans Charming) are actually evil, but they feel they have to be so as that's what's expected of them.
  • Hidden Depths: All of the villains reveal that they have a secret desire deep inside their hearts other than just being evil.
  • High School: Worcestershire in medieval times and within a fairy tale world. It's revealed that Donkey himself went to one, and he was bullied a lot.
  • His Name Is...: Subverted during the king's death. It's Arthur.
  • Hippie Teacher: Merlin has some shades of being an In-Universe equivalent to this.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • What Shrek and Fiona have to endure while acting as rulers of Far Far Away.
    • Shrek snarks about Charming's subpar stage performance and singing multiple times, turning the latter into a laughing stock for the audience. Charming eventually snaps and prepares to kill Shrek.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • After Shrek throws Donkey out of his bedroom for bothering him following a botched royal presentation, Puss notes that "some people just don't understand personal boundaries" while getting comfortable on one of Shrek's bed cushions. Cue Shrek dumping the cat on the castle balcony.
    • Lampshaded by Merlin.
      Artie: This is lame.
      Merlin: [whacks him] You're lame.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: This is the main premise of the entire film. Shrek wasn't the only one who felt this way, all the other villains and Prince Charming felt they weren't special because they never recieved a Happily Ever After. Arthur wanted to stop being seen a loser. Arthur even tells the villains that deep down, what they really wanted was to stop being seen as villains and losers. It turns out they were only villains because they gave into what stories made them out to be. Upon realizing this, they have a Heel–Face Turn, and end up getting their happy ending. Prince Charming, however, didn't get what he wanted.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Subverted. Charming stabs Shrek with a sword and appears to have succeeded... except the sword went in between his arm and torso instead.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Shrek is trussed up in some very Louis XVI-esque clothing for a royal appearance, and suddenly develops a horrible itch on his rear. He's having that itch scratched by a servant (he's unable to reach it himself thanks to his very restrictive getup) when the curtains open, giving the waiting crowd a view they really didn't want. Hilarity Ensues when his belt buckle pops off, causing Disaster Dominoes.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When Shrek and Fiona are interrupted after an emotional exchange between the two, this happens, setting up the main plot of the film.
    Shrek: Well, somebody better be dying!
    [cut to King Harold on his deathbed]
    King Harold: I'm dying.
  • The Irredeemable Exception: When the villains are about to kill Shrek, Artie gives them a speech about how they don't have to be evil and can choose to do whatever they want. All of them have a Heel–Face Turn, except for Prince Charming who still tries to attack.
  • Irritation Nightmare: Shrek's nightmare he has combines this with Anxiety Dreams— it comes from being nervous at the prospect of Fiona being pregnant, but it involves things like babies spitting up a torrent of vomit on him and other gross/annoying things.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: The day of Harold's funeral is accompanied by overcast and begins to rain.
  • It Makes Sense in Context:
    Donkey: We went to high school, then the boat crashed, and then we got bippidy-boppity-booped by the magic man!
  • I Want Grandkids: Lillian implied her desire for grandchildren in Shrek 2. She's shown to be very excited when Fiona announces her pregnancy in this film. She's later seen at the end of the film visiting Shrek and Fiona's swamp, doting on her triplet grandchildren.
  • Jerk Jock: Lancelot and his friends.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Snow White may be kind of mean and catty at times, but she's loyal nonetheless to Princess Fiona and willingly helps her and the rest in the fight against Prince Charming.
  • King on His Deathbed: Harold has been ill for quite some time when the movie begins and ends up on his deathbed. He leaves the throne to Shrek and Fiona but Shrek does not want to be king and convinces him otherwise. Harold, though confident in Shrek, tells them of Fiona's cousin, the only remaining heir.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: This is the only movie of the series to not begin with a Storybook Opening, not to feature Fiona's human form or Shrek roaring, and not end with a Dance Party Ending.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: It turns out that Rapunzel's hair is actually a wig, and it falls off after she betrays Fiona and her friends.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: It is implied in the second film that Shrek very much does not want children. When Fiona brings up the idea of them starting a family, Shrek again shows his fears of parenthood by explaining to Fiona that babies are a lot of work and all he needs is her. He later learns from Fiona that she is pregnant with his children and he starts to panic.
  • Left the Background Music On: "Just thought I'd help set the mood! You know, for your big heart to heart!"
  • Legion of Doom: Prince Charming leads one which consists of all the villains from every fairy tale.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Seen when Fiona's father "croaks" in the beginning of the movie.
  • Mama Bear: Lillian breaks through two stone prison walls, breaking out her pregnant daughter and friends and they rally to save Shrek from Charming. Fiona can be seen as this too as a reason she flees from Charming's attack is to protect her unborn child. Or children as unknown to her, she's pregnant with triplets
  • Nerdy Nasalness: Whilst wandering through a medieval high school, Shrek runs into two nerds playing a dungeons and dragons style game. They both have nasally voices.
  • Never Found the Body: After the tower drops on Charming, it's assumed he is dead despite the fact his body is not shown.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One trailer features "Story of My Life" by Smash Mouth, which doesn't play in the movie itself, nor is it included in the movie's official soundtrack.
  • New Baby Episode: The episode has a subplot about Shrek finding out that Fiona is pregnant and worrying about being a dad. At the end, the triplets Fergus, Farkle and Felicia are born.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Shrek has one after learning that he is to become a father, which becomes a Dream Within a Dream.
  • No Budget: In-universe, the dinner theater production Prince Charming acts in at the beginning of the movie. His steed is a hobby horse, the sound of hoofbeats is produced by clopping two coconut shells together, and the tower holding the princess is a large, flat wooden panel.
  • Non-Answer: Pinocchio gives a series of these involving Confusing Multiple Negatives when interrogated by Prince Charming in regards to Shrek's whereabouts:
    Prince Charming: You! You can't lie! So tell me puppet: Where... is... Shrek?
    Pinocchio: Uh. Hmm, well, uh, I don't know where he's not.
    Prince Charming: You're telling me you don't know where Shrek is?
    Pinocchio: It wouldn't be inaccurate to assume that I couldn't exactly not say that it is or isn't almost partially incorrect.
    Prince Charming: So you do know where he is!
    Pinocchio: On the contrary. I'm possibly more or less not definitely rejecting the idea that in no way with any amount of uncertainty that I undeniably -
    Prince Charming: Stop it!
    Pinocchio: - do or do not know where he shouldn't probably be, if that indeed wasn't where he isn't. Even if he wasn't at where I knew he was.
    [Pigs and Gingerbread Man begin singing]
    Pinocchio: That'd mean I'd really have to know where he wasn't.
  • Noodle Incident: Perhaps it is best for it to be left unsaid how Donkey could receive wedgies while young, despite clearly being "not a wearer of the underpants".
    • Shrek's relationship with his father. This is the only time he is ever mentioned and all we know is that he tried to eat Shrek as a child.
  • Oddball in the Series: Downplayed, but it's definitely the most unique installment, such as being the only one not to have a Storybook Opening or a Dance Party Ending.
  • Oh, Crap!: Shrek has this moment when he learns he is going to be a father.
  • Of Corsets Funny: This happens to Shrek and Fiona at the very beginning of the movie when they act as king and queen, much to their discomfort which also counts as Of Corset Hurts.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Dorris briefly carries Sleeping Beauty over her shoulder, when the princesses are escaping the castle.
  • "Pan from the Sky" Beginning: Played with. The camera pans down from the boy on the moon in the opening logo, which is covered by storm clouds, dissolving into a stormy sky, which reveals a beam of light. Then it shifts downwards to a forest and descends upon Prince Charming supposedly riding on his valiant steed, until suddenly... The camera slowly zooms out to reveal that he is actually performing in a dinner theatre play with a hobby horse.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • The two birds that perch on Snow White's shoulders just before she sics all the forest animals on the evil trees? They're woodpeckers.
    • To get the gag about the frogs singing "Live and Let Die" at the king's funeral, one needs to a) recognize the theme of a 1973 James Bond film as being a Paul McCartney song and b) also be aware of McCartney's role in the 1984 animated film Rupert and the Frog Song (and associated Frog Chorus single). It's not exactly one for the kids.
  • Perilous Play: Prince Charming re-enacts the play he did at the beginning of the movie, but with higher production values. He intends for it to end with him executing a chained-up Shrek, though the play is quickly derailed by Shrek's heckling.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Now that King Harold has passed, Far Far Away needs a new king. With Shrek not being fit for the job, he and his friends heads off to find a relative to Harold who fit better.
  • Poke the Poodle: When the villains attack Far Far Away, there's a montage of them "rearranging" the place. Cut to the cyclops ripping stamps off unsent letters and then cramming them back into the mailbox.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: A sponsored commercial for Sierra Mist plays off this trope, having Shrek using paper since he claims Donkey's hoof represents rock.
  • The Power of Rock: When Snow White unleashes the power of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", causing the forest animals to attack the evil trees guarding the city gates.
  • Pregnant Badass: Fiona's pregnancy doesn't slow her down in the slightest when leading the princesses and the rest of Shrek's friends in fighting off Charming's coup and rescuing Shrek.
  • Pregnant Hostage: After Charming's coup, he locks up all the princesses including Fiona who was pregnant at the time with her and Shrek's kids.
  • Proscenium Reveal: The opening sequence begins with Charming supposedly riding his horse triumphantly through a forest... only for the camera to eventually pull back and reveal that he's miming trotting on the stage at a dinner theater, holding a prop horse head, and the trees going by are actually a continuously moving backdrop reel.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Prince Charming had degenerated into this between movies.
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: Sleeping Beauty. She loves sleeping because she's always very sleepy. She also happens to have narcolepsy.
  • Redemption Demotion: Dragon. While in the first film she is shown to have defeated many knights, and is barely defeated by Shrek, also eating Lord Farquaad at the end, she seems a lot weaker in Shrek the Third, only able to throw one of Prince Charming's mooks away before more of them capture her. They also subdue her easily with spears in the final confrontation.
  • Repeat What You Just Said: Shrek after Fiona tells him she's pregnant, probably because he was hoping he misheard. He's horrified to learn he heard correctly and that he is going to be a father.
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Shrek, performing one of his duties in his day as stand-in king, attempts to christen a newly made ship via the standard shattering of a wine bottle. Unfortunately, he accidentally pushes the ship off (by leaning against it too hard) before he can finish the ceremony. Desperate, Shrek hurls the champagne bottle at the ship, blowing a hole in it and somehow causing it to burst into flames as it sinks.
  • Running Gag: Prince Charming has a nasty habit of accidentally killing whoever's playing Shrek in his plays or during rehearsals. He completely fails to kill the ogre himself even after a straight shot with a sword which ends up under his armpit without any harm, which ironically is a common location for actors to "stab" someone onstage with a prop.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Fiona gives birth to triplets sometime before the ending. However, while they do have two boys, they also have a girl.
  • Self-Soothing Song: Prince Charming is interrogating Shrek's friends about Shrek and Fiona's whereabouts, so he has Captain Hook threaten Gingy with his hook hand. Gingy is frightened by him, and as his life flashes before his eyes, he sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop" to keep himself calm.
  • Shout-Out: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Show Some Leg: one of the Ugly Sisters. Still works, though.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: As King Harold is on his deathbed, he asks Shrek and Fiona to succeed him in ruling Far Far Away. Shrek's attempt at being the king, however, failed so horribly that before his death King Harold told him of another remaining heir to the throne, Arthur Pendragon. Shrek, knowing he'd make an awful king, immediately agreed to travel to find Arthur. Meanwhile, Prince Charming and his team of villains stormed Far Far Away, taking it over for the time between Shrek's disappearance and the final fight.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Rapunzel and Charming, after she betrays the other princesses and it's revealed she is in love with Charming.
  • Slapstick: Fiona, when she was running for queen of Far Far Away, had her nose hairs plucked, a corset tightened on her, and a collar forcibly put on her neck.
  • Sleep Cute: The babies at the end. Then Shrek and Fiona themselves.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Near the beginning of the movie, Donkey tries to get Shrek out of bed and yanks off the covers, resulting in him Screaming at Squick.
    Donkey: You know, you really need to get yourself a pair of jammies!
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM On: Two cases in succession. Merlin's porchlight apparently plays the classic "That's What Friends Are For"; and later on, Shrek and company are attacked by treants while Captain Hook plays mood music on the piano.
  • So Proud of You: On his deathbed, Harold tells Shrek that he's proud to call him his son.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Twice: When Fiona is trying to say she's pregnant, the ship captain toots an airhorn, when Shrek chucks the horn over the side. A different, much deeper tugboat horn is then used to cover up a vulgarity from Puss.
  • Stock Audio Clip: Fiona's "Let go of me!" is directly reused from the first film.
  • Stock Sound Effect: Baby Kate Cry: In Shrek's nightmare, the ogre baby cries like this after it vomits.
  • Stumbling Upon the Lost Wizard: Played for Laughs. Merlin is portrayed as a mentally unstable teacher who was forced to leave the school where he taught, rather than being a wise exile typical of these types of characters.
  • Swallowed a Fly: This briefly happens to Charming as the villains fly in on Far Far Away.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The students at Arthur's high school aren't very kind to him, to the point of the students, and even the teachers, rooting on the idea of Shrek eating him.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • "Someone better be dying!" Cut to King Harold on his deathbed.
    • "Better out than in, I always say." Cut to Vomit Indiscretion Shot of the baby puking heavily on Shrek.
  • That Poor Cat: Puss does his cat screech when Shrek throws him out to the window.
  • The Talk: Puss starts to give this to Shrek when the latter says this after waking up from his nightmare: "I can't believe I'm gonna be a father. How did this happen?" Shrek cuts Puss off when he says he knows HOW it happened.
  • Those Two Guys: Puss and Donkey are almost never seen apart in this movie.
  • Too Many Babies: A nightmare of Shrek's. Most likely it symbolizes how overwhelmed Shrek feels about becoming a father, that the responsibility will be like this.
  • Totally Radical: Taking Donkey's advice, Shrek tries talking street cred to connect with Artie. However, it doesn't even work, not to mention it was pretty stereotypical.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The princess' action scene was shown in the trailers in almost its entirety. See Faux Action Girl for the only thing they left out.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's never stated for certain whether Charming did in fact die. It's assumed he did when Dragon pushed the tower onto him, but it is left ambiguous.
  • Unfit for Greatness: On top of not wanting to leave behind his beloved swamp, Shrek deems himself unworthy of succeeding the dying King Harold as he feels that an ogre like himself isn't royalty material.
  • Verbal Backspace: Shrek does this to cover up a Freudian Slip when speaking to Artie: "And you're gonna be a father!" When Donkey tells him what he just said, he tries to cover up his mistake by saying, "I said king! You're gonna be king!"
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In Shrek’s nightmare, the baby vomits profusely on Shrek.
  • Wacky Cravings: When Rapunzel asks Fiona if she's had any cravings yet, she says no while she is seen eating cake and then asking if anyone smells ham.
  • Wave of Babies: The inevitable extension of the Too Many Babies example.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Shrek, Donkey and Puss begin their voyage, they are accompanied by the ship's unnamed captain. After Shrek accidentally crashes the ship onto Merlin's island, the captain is last heard shouting "Land ho!" offscreen, and is not seen or mentioned again for the rest of the movie.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: Shrek and Fiona are visiting her parents when they're woken up in the middle of the night by a palace servant. A very aggravated and tired Shrek growls, "Well, somebody had better be dying!" Unfortunately, the next scene reminds him to Be Careful What You Wish For, because that's exactly why they've been summoned.
  • The Worf Effect: Dragon. That weighted chain-net clearly had her name on it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Charming has the Dronkies locked up in a zoo to be ridiculed as freaks. Also since he intended to hurt Fiona (who was pregnant at the time, though he may or may not have been aware of this) it would count as hurting her and Shrek's unborn children.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Justified due to being a Nightmare Sequence. The boat Shrek, Donkey and Puss are taking to find Arthur seems to crash at Shrek's swamp, much to his joy, but after he is lured into the swamp by Fiona's voice, things take a turn for the worse when it turns out to be filled with Too Many Babies.
    • Also in the beginning with Charming. You can see he's fallen very low since the death of his mother, working as an actor for a dinner theater with no one taking an interest in his performance. Even worse is when they start cheering when an actor dressed as Shrek (who's supposed to be the villain in his play) comes on stage.
  • You Are Fat: Puss calls Donkey a "bloated roadside piñata" when they swap bodies.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Shrek passing for a mascot at Arthur's high school gets spun into a Chekhov's Gun.


Shrek the Third


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Main / FreudianSlip

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