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Western Animation / Trolls

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"My name is Branch, and I'm a Troll. Why do I live in a heavily fortified survival bunker? Because right outside my door lurks a nightmare...named Poppy.
Poppy: A five, six, seven, eight!
Poppy is the leader of the Trolls, and it's not her fault she's so insanely happy. She's just never faced a real problem. Until now."
Branch, from the trailer.

Trolls is a DreamWorks Animation movie, based on the long-running toyline of Danish Troll Dolls created by Thomas Dam, which DreamWorks originally bought the rights to in 2011. It was released on November 4, 2016.

The Trolls themselves are a tribe of small, ultra-optimistic creatures with Prehensile Hair, who live in a forest in hiding from the Bergens, ogreish beings who can only derive pleasure from eating Trolls. The plot revolves around the adventures of princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and the Crazy-Prepared cynic Branch (Justin Timberlake), who must work together to save their world after several of their members are kidnapped by the Bergens' royal Chef.

A franchise was soon born. DreamWorks released a 20-minute TV special, Trolls Holiday, in November 2017, and aired a Netflix original series, Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, from January 19, 2018 to November 22, 2019. Alongside them came a number of literature and comic books.

A sequel, Trolls World Tour, was released in 2020. A third movie, Trolls Band Together, was released in 2023.

Not to be confused with Trollkins, Hanna-Barbera's 1981 cartoon based on the Troll dolls, the 1986 film Troll, Trollz, DIC Entertainment's 2005 animated series also based on the Troll dolls, or The Trolls, a film released at the same time about patent trolls. Has no relationship with Trollhunters, another DreamWorks project, despite being around at the same time.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2

Trolls provides examples of:

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  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: In the climax, Chef tries to force-feed Branch to Gristle, but Branch doesn't attempt to avoid her or fight back, in contrast to his usual Crazy-Prepared attitude. Given that Chef is only guarding the front of Gristle's tongue, Branch could've escaped by running to the sides; this is proven when Poppy pulls a Diving Save to rescue Branch.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Title Change: The movie's title is a shortening of "Troll Dolls". Justified in that the title species from the toyline are actual living beings in the movie.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite Gwen Stefani being credited front and center for the movie, her character, DJ Suki, only has two spoken lines throughout the film and doesn’t contribute individually to the story. She does, however, take part in several songs written for the film, which may have contributed to her big advertising.
  • Aerith and Bob: Some of the Trolls have real world names, like Poppy and Cooper. Out of the Bergens, Bridget, Chad and Todd are the only ones with real world names.
  • All Trolls Are Different: These trolls are small, colorful, cheery Ugly Cute beings that love pop music and are filled with happiness.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Parodied at the start of Poppy's journey, with way too many creatures eating each other in succession including a carnivorous plant. Then played straight when Branch rescues Poppy, barely holding out with just his hair-whipping against giant spiders, unknowingly herding them into the maw of a bigger creature. Likewise played straight in the Stinger when Chef is about to eat Creek, only for the both of them to fall into the maw of a bigger monster.
  • Amusing Injuries: Poppy suffers plenty in her "I Will Get Back Up Again" musical number, but being The Determinator she refuses to give up.
  • And Starring: John Cleese as Gristle Sr.
  • Animated Musical
  • Answer Cut: In the prologue after Trollstice is ruined for the Bergens, Gristle asks his father, "What's gonna make me happy now?". Before Gristle Sr. replies "Nothing!", we cut to a close-up of Bridget watching in the background, who will eventually become his love interest later on in the movie.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: King Peppy says that the Trolls' new home has all they need: "Fresh air, clear water, and sweet acoustics!"
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Poppy is crowned queen at the end of the film.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Downplayed: though the trolls clearly have no nipples, the opening scene implies they at least have genitals since King Peppy had his crotch area covered.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Branch tells Poppy that he can't wait to see the look on her face when she realizes that life isn't all cupcakes and rainbows. Late in the film, he does get to see the look on her face when she has that realization, and it causes her to fall into despair and lose all her colors, causing the rest of the Trolls to lose their colors too. He clearly does not like it.
  • Big Bad: Chef, who even after the other Bergens give up their Troll-eating ways is still as hellbent on devouring them regardless despite Poppy's lesson she doesn't need to to be happy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Poppy saves Branch from getting forcibly eaten by Gristle when Chef refuses to accept her moral.
  • Big Eater: Bridget. This leads Chef to assume she ate all the Trolls when they've disappeared.
  • Big Finale Crowd Song: The film ends with most of the Pop Trolls and Bergens engaging in the musical number of "Can't Stop the Feeling!", after the Bergens learn that they don't need to eat Trolls to feel happy. At the same time, Chef and Creek are kicked out of Bergen Town and into the wilderness, where they end up eaten by a monster.
  • Big "NO!": Poppy shouts one as she saves Branch from being force-fed to Gristle.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: The first of the parties that Branch comes to in the flashback montage to him ruining several celebrations is a birthday party, wherein he knocks a pile of presents over a clown Troll hired for the party.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Creek is a male example. He behaves like a spiritually enlightened guru, even using the phrase "Namaste". However, after receiving what he calls a spiritual revelation (really his own fear), he helps the Chef capture all of the remaining Trolls. So Creek almost causes the deaths of everyone in his entire village to save himself from being eaten.
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • In the flashback showing Branch's paranoia over the Bergens, he runs through a birthday party and tips the cake over whilst screaming about them. Next he runs through a wedding, and tips the cake over, continuing to scream about the Bergens. Finally he runs through a funeral... and tips the coffin over, causing the corpse to tip out onto the floor... whilst still screaming about the Bergens.
      • Bonus points upon closer examination, since the corpse and his widow are actually the clown and the girl from both the birthday party and the wedding.
    • When Branch reveals that singing killed his grandma, Cooper says, "My uncle broke his neck tap-dancing once.", which Biggie silently nods in confusion.
  • Book Ends:
    • "September" plays at the beginning and at the credits.
    • The movie begins with a scrapbook opening and ends with it closing.
    • The story begins in Bergentown with the Trolls making their escape and ends with the Trolls staying in Bergentown after the Bergens make a Heel–Face Turn.
    • During "Move Your Feet", Smidge uses her hair to lift Poppy into the air. She does the same thing in the end, but Branch is also with Poppy.
    • Poppy is surrounded by the other Trolls when she is crowned Queen. The second time is official, with the Trolls and Bergens living in peace.
    • The hill monster that almost eats Poppy as she goes to free her friends eats Chef and Creek in The Stinger.
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: When Chef finds the Troll's new home, Cooper poops cupcakes, which Poppy then offers to Chef.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to both Poppy and Bridget during the course of the film.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Cooper poops cupcakes after being frozen in fear by Chef's arrival.
  • BSoD Song: The Bergens sing a gloomy rendition of Gorillaz' "Clint Eastwood" when they are first seen after the prologue.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Cooper stupidly laughs at Gristle's bib snapping because the latter's neck is too fat. Guess how Gristle reacts.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Branch. Poppy seems to have a lot of fun torturing him with Hug Times and the other happy things she knows he hates.
    • Bridget as well. She's a Cinderella-like maid who gets mistreated by Chef.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cheerful Child:
    • Gristle Jr. was this before the Trolls managed to escape.
    • Branch was this as well before he lost his grandmother.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Poppy's cowbell is a dark example of this trope. At the beginning of the film, Poppy rings it as a celebration of the Trolls liberating themselves from the Bergens. Later in the Darkest Hour, Creek steals the cowbell from her and gives the Trolls a phony "all clear" signal to lure them out of hiding, so that Chef and the Bergen cooks can capture them all.
  • Color Failure: After all the Trolls are captured and trapped in a pot, they lose their colors along with their hope, turning gray.
  • Comically Missing the Point / Sidetracked by the Analogy: When Chef has caught the Trolls and outlines her master plan:
    Chef: He who controls the trolls controls the kingdom, and I am that he!
    Cooper: You're a dude?
  • Comically Small Bribe: Poppy tries offering three cupcakes to Chef in exchange for not eating everyone at the party.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Branch lives in a heavily fortified bunker, which ends up saving him from the invasion of Bergens (even though it was supposed to apparently keep Poppy out). He even says it word for word when he tells Poppy that he's got enough supplies for 10 years - 11 if he's prepared to drink his own sweat, which he is.
  • Creepy Child: The wall-eyed child Troll Keith. For one thing, he likes watching his parents as they're sleeping.
  • Crying Wolf: Branch's multiple cries that "THE BERGENS ARE COMING!" even though no Bergen ever comes makes the Trolls, including Poppy, convinced that Branch cannot be relied upon. Though it gets inverted because it turns out Branch would be eventually right and Poppy throwing the party against Branch's warnings gave away their location to Chef.
  • Dance Party Ending: The film took this trope to Deus ex Machina levels as it ends with Poppy being crowned queen and all the Trolls and Bergens dancing to "Can't Stop the Feeling". It also carries over into the ending credits as they dance and sing "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The reason why Branch lost his colors and refuses to sing is because when he was a kid, his singing attracted Chef's attention, and Branch's grandmother was eaten when she tried to save him.
  • Darkest Hour: Because of Creek's betrayal, all the trolls in the village end up captured and thrown into a pot. Poppy decides that Branch was right, life isn't all cupcakes and rainbows, and falls into despair and turns completely gray, losing all her colors. The rest of the Trolls also lose all their colors, and everything looks hopeless. But then Branch finally sings...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Branch's role through most of the film. Even Poppy goes into Sarcasm Mode when Creek sells them out, to the shock of the other Trolls.
  • Determinator: Princess Poppy, as shown by her journey montage, even if she's not immune to injuries.
  • Dirty Coward: To save himself from getting eaten, Creek makes a deal with the Bergens' Chef and attempts to lead her to the other Trolls.
  • Disney Creatures of the Farce: Parodied with Poppy's performance of "The Sound of Silence".
  • Disney Villain Death: A variation of this trope happens in The Stinger, when Chef and Creek plummet into the maw of a hill-shaped monster (the same one that nearly ate Poppy earlier in the film).
  • Diving Save: In the climax, when Chef tries to force-feed Branch to Gristle, Poppy dives into him to push him out of the way, saving his life.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Trolls' home is invaded by Bergens, and the protagonists now have to save the Trolls who are kidnapped. Later, all the Trolls are nabbed when Creek sells them out.
  • The Dragon: Creek, after his Face–Heel Turn where he teams up with Chef to lead her to the troll village.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: The Bergens believe that eating a Troll is the only way they can feel happiness. After the Trolls escape the Bergens, Gristle Sr. tells his son that he will now never know what happiness feels like. This is despite the fact that Gristle Jr. was a Cheerful Child who felt happiness just by thinking about eating a Troll, and Gristle Sr.'s obvious parental pleasure towards his son.
  • DreamWorks Face: Surprisingly, Branch is the one making this face on the DVD and Blu-ray covers.
  • Easily Swayed Population: It appears that the generic Trolls and Bergens merely rely on the named characters to know what to do. This becomes especially obvious near the end of the movie.
  • Eaten Alive: The Bergens are planning this for the Trolls, as we see a scene of some Bergen chefs dressed up with flaming grills going. Chef puts Creek in a taco and gets him into Gristle's mouth still-screaming, though Gristle doesn't eat him.
    • Ends up being a Karmic Death for Chef and Creek for real at the very end of the movie, getting eaten by the same monster that tried to swallow Poppy before in the film.
  • The Eeyore: The Bergens are an entire race of Eeyores.
    • Branch, who doesn't do dance parties, because they might attract the Bergens' attention and a Bergen ate his grandmother when he was younger.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Bergens' chef is only ever called Chef.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: One example why the trolls are so colorful. "True Colors" shows this in spades.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The trolls love glitter.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You/Dangerously Garish Environment: For some reason, the environment surrounding the Trolls' village is this and Sugar Bowl at the same time. By which we mean it's all made up of felt and wool and glitter and things, barring the odd translucent organic tissue.
  • Evil Chef: Pretty obvious, since Chef is the movie's villain.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Poppy bounces off giant eyeballs by their eyelids before landing on an open one. Realistically, it blinks reflexively. Unrealistically, it then explodes into glitter.
    • When she gets annoyed with Cooper, Chef cuts a lemon and squirts it in his eyes.
      • Chef gets this back near the ending, when the Trolls and Bridget throw her into the pot and pour larger quantities of lemon juice on her eyes as she yells.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Happiness comes from inside, not from eating Trolls. More charitably, the Aesop could be summarized as "you can't achieve true happiness by hurting people."
    • Poppy actually sums it up word-for-word: "Happiness isn't something you put inside you, it's already there!" Meaning that you will never find happiness from an outside source; Branch supports this point when he recovers his and everyone else's colors.
    Branch: Happiness is inside of all of us, right? Sometimes, you just need someone to help you find it.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: At the beginning of the movie, Poppy is telling the story between the Trolls and the Bergens to a group of Troll kids. Just before narrating the actual storyline, she says that the Trolls loved doing nothing more than singing, dancing, and hugging. She repeats herself until her voice is sped up to a chipmunk-like tone, only stopping when one of the Troll figures in the scrapbook pants in the same tone and then passes out from exhaustion.
  • Foil:
    • The perpetually happy Trolls to the perpetually gloomy Bergens in general.
    • The optimistic Poppy to the grumpy Branch, in particular. For Branch's part, this also counts as a case of The Lancer.
    • The grouchy but honest and loyal Branch to the seemingly-friendly but truly treacherous and cowardly Creek.
  • Food Shove Gag: When Chef attempts to force-feed Creek to Gristle, the latter constantly tries to give her a reason to wait until Trollstice instead, each time having Chef add a food ingredient on Creek in case Gristle wouldn't like to directly taste him. When Gristle talks about Trollstice for the third time, Chef ultimately shoves Creek into his mouth (as pictured above).
  • Forced from Their Home: Branch isn't willing to go along with Poppy when she seeks his help at first, but is ultimately forced out of his bunker when Poppy gets all the other Trolls in it. It takes some time for him to tag along with Poppy, though, due to her starting the journey to Bergen Town earlier than him.
  • Force Feeding: To ensure Gristle gets to know how eating a Troll feels like before attending his first Trollstice in years, Chef repeatedly tries to force-feed Creek to him, against Gristle's desire to only eat Trolls once said Trollstice comes around. The result of her last attempt isn't seen until a later flashback, where it's shown that Creek offered Chef to give her the location of Troll Village in exchange of being spared.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During Trollstice in the prologue, Gristle and the Bergens are genuinely happy and excited even before devouring the Trolls. This is the first clue that their happiness is genuine and is coming from the heart instead of something that's happy.
    • Branch's Establishing Character Moment starts off with him telling Poppy and her friends off for singing too loud because that could attract the Bergens. While that does end up happening during the party, Branch later reveals that him singing too loud attracted Chef to him, and his grandma sacrificed herself to save him from her.
    • There are a couple of hints that Branch is in love with Poppy, such as the fact that he kept every party invitation she ever gave him. And when the Trolls attempt at Playing Cyrano for Bridget, he delivers a touching, heartfelt speech while looking right at Poppy, implying he wanted to say those words to her.
    • When discussing how they would free the others, Branch sarcastically asks Poppy if she plans to sing their way to freedom. That turns out to be the answer.
    • When we first meet Creek, we get small hint that he's not exactly an angel when he briefly mocks Branch's paranoia, in contrast to the other Trolls' mere exasperation.
    • After Gristle's first Trollstice comes to an abrupt end, he laments "What's going to make me happy now?" There's a brief Answer Cut to Bridget before his father continues the conversation.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Particularly noticeable in one scene where Branch is told to do a high-five despite both him and the Cloud Guy only having four fingers per hand.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason Branch doesn't sing is because his singing accidentally lured Chef to take his grandmother.
    • Chef sort of has one too when it comes to her plan to overthrow King Gristle Jr. from the throne. She was basically scapegoated by Gristle Sr., since he basically threw the blame of the Trolls' escape on her in an attempt to keep the Bergen population satisfied.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The trolls befriended all the local fauna in their forest home and use them in their everyday lives for conveniences like transport.
  • Frying Pan of Doom:
    • Downplayed when Branch throws a frying pan at a giant (relative to a Troll) spider and hits it in the head, but the spider is only briefly confused and charges him.
    • Subverted with Bridget, who attempts to smash Branch with a frying pan before Poppy interrupts her.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The third and final of the events that Branch comes to in the flashback montage to him ruining several celebrations is a funeral, wherein he tips over the casket, letting the now-dead clown Troll (whom Branch had also tipped things over in the previous two events) roll out with a squeak noise.

  • Giant's Droplet, Human's Shower: During Poppy's opening narration, a rather large cloud appears and rains on two Bergens while sighing, which is rather reminiscent of urination.
  • Gilligan Cut: When the Trolls are annoyed that Branch ruins everything because of him always warning them of the Bergens, he replies, “No I don’t.” Cue a montage of flashbacks of him warning the Trolls at a birthday party, wedding reception and funeral, respectively.
  • Glad You Thought of It: Chef prods Gristle to reinstate Trollstice, in order to regain her own power.
    Chef: What exactly are you proposing? Bringing back Trollstice? For everyone?
    Gristle: Hmm... Yes! That's exactly what I'm proposing.
    Chef: Great idea sire. Absolutely brilliant. Aren't you smart. And I, your loyal Chef, will be right behind you. (muttering) Holding a knife.
  • Glass Slipper: The rollerskate that Bridget leaves behind after her date with Gristle.
  • The Glomp: Poppy, with her ever so popular "hug times", upon Branch.
  • Gloomy Gray: The Trolls' colorful bodies turn gray when they're depressed. Branch is gray for most of the film, while Poppy and the others turn gray when they they're captured by Chef and seem doomed to be eaten.
  • G-Rated Drug: The Trolls are this to the Bergens. They serve as psychedelic drugs that when consumed orally, they help make a Bergen feel happiness.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: King Gristle Sr. is arguably responsible for causing the events in the movie's main storyline, as he's basically the reason why Chef is planning to overthrow his son from the throne.
  • Handshake Refusal: Cloud Guy offers to guide Poppy and Branch to Bergentown, if Branch gives him a high-five first. The pessimistic, untrusting Branch refuses, and after some negotiation he agrees to a fist bump. But then Cloud Guy keeps switching to bizarre greetings to annoy him, until Branch snaps and chases after him.
  • Hate Sink: Creek, despite his initial appearance as a wise and serene individual and romantic interest to Poppy, eventually reveals his true colors as a self-centered and cowardly traitor. To avoid being eaten by the Bergens, Creek remorselessly sells out the rest of the trolls to be devoured in his place, willing to let all of his friends and brethren die solely to save his own skin, and has the gall to tell the captured Poppy that he's doing it for her, as she will at least die with a clear conscience.
  • Head Desk: Gristle does this when he’s introduced as an adult, banging his head on his throne believing he’ll never be happy again.
  • Heel–Race Turn: The whole Bergen race does this upon witnessing Bridget and Gristle Jr. finding happiness in each other, making them realize that they don't have to eat Trolls to make themselves happy. Chef is the exception; she has to be defeated directly.
  • Heel Realization: For Poppy, it's when Branch reveals that the reason he hates all the happy things she loves is because they got his Grandmother killed. All the time she's been trying to drag him into being happy it's been causing him emotional pain and she didn't even really consider his feelings.
  • Heroic BSoD: Branch's flashback reveals his, and that reaching one drives a troll into Color Failure. After seeing his beloved grandmother perform a Heroic Sacrifice to keep him from being eaten after a Bergen noticed his singing, he vowed never to sing again, and he experienced Color Failure for 20 years. This foreshadows what happens during the Darkest Hour, when every other troll hits the emotional nadir and lose their color as well.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Branch's grandmother saved him from a Bergen years ago, causing her to be taken and eaten.
    • Bridget secretly lets the Trolls go on the night of the feast because she knows that even though she'll be punished for it, it won't be as bad as them being eaten.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Poppy is perpetually optimistic to the point of naiveté, but she's also very resourceful, as shown during a musical sequence in which she survives multiple dangers in the forest even before Branch joins her. Also, the reason Branch joins her is because Poppy came up with a plan to drive him out of his bunker by inviting all the other Trolls, and Poppy comes up with the idea to help Bridget, which is rewarded when Bridget later repays her by letting the Trolls go.
    • Branch also has hidden depths, as while the Trolls are helping Bridget with her date, it almost goes badly, but Branch suddenly starts helping by reciting some very romantic lines, which helps Bridget successfully win Gristle Jr.'s heart.
  • Hypocrite: Creek, who when we first see him, starts out as a peaceful mentor, not only panics when captured by Chef, but even collaborates with Chef in leading her to the Trolls' village to save his own self.
  • Ironic Echo: See Be Careful What You Wish For.
  • It Was with You All Along: Poppy manages to teach the Bergens they don't have to become happy by eating the Trolls and they had the ability to be happy the whole time, if they believe in themselves enough to feel it.
  • I Warned You:
    • Branch has been warning the Trolls about the Bergen threat for years and nobody listened. However, the second Poppy reveals the Bergen attack he quickly pulls her inside his bunker to hide instead of leaving her for the Bergens he still thinks are out there.
    • He later admits he's following Poppy to give her an "I Told You So" when things finally go wrong to the point where even she has to admit it. However at the climax when things are at their darkest, he cannot bring himself to due to Poppy giving herself a more brutal one for him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Branch, who may seem selfish and gloomy, but really does have a heart, as shown when he saves an unconscious Poppy from spiders.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Branch, though he's far more of a buzzkill than a jerkass. Life isn't all fun and games, especially when you know that another species exists that wants nothing more than to eat you. Acting like it is can get people seriously hurt.
  • Jukebox Musical: This film can be considered as one. There are a few original songs written for it though - such as "Get Back Up Again" and "Can't Stop The Feeling" (though that was released as a tie-in single).
  • Karmic Death/Just Desserts: Chef and Creek are eaten by a monster.
  • Know Your Vines: Poppy eats a berry and ends up swelling into a ball.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: The Trolls help Bridget come up with her disguise name, "Lady Glittersparkles", to impress King Gristle.
  • Love Confession: While singing to bring back her hope, Branch, using the lyrics of "True Colors", tells Poppy that he loves her.
  • Magic Hair: Not only are the Trolls able to control the shape of their hair the way humans control their arms or legs, but they can extend or retract them almost instantaneously and change the colors. Poppy pretends to be a torch at one point.
  • Magic Skirt: Averted with Poppy's dress when she's inflated into a ball and rolling around.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Poppy is like this at the beginning with her efforts to defrost Branch's cynicism, down to making glitter-spewing pop-up dioramas to celebrate their (in her mind) inevitable triumph. Late in the movie, Branch has to act as Poppy's manic pixie dream guy, as his singing restores her colors and her hope.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Poppy is seen as baby in the beginning when her father leads the Trolls to escape the Bergens. Gristle Jr. and Bridget are also seen as young toddlers during the intro.
  • Missing Mom: Poppy's mother is nowhere to be seen in the film nor mentioned. Justified as the sequel reveals Trolls of any gender can birth a troll egg out of their hair like Guy Diamond.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Poppy's plan is just "rescue everyone and make it home safely".
    Branch: That's not a plan, that's a wish list.
  • Monochrome to Color: Used as a plot point. When a Troll loses all hope or joy in life, all the color in their skin and hair fades to gray.
  • Mood Whiplash: Played for laughs when Gristle and Bridget touch hands when reaching for the same slice of pizza. We're led to believe that it's going to be a romantic moment... until she smacks his hand away hard to get the pizza for herself and wolf it down. This happens again when he then calls her fantastic and is even more entranced.
  • Mouse World: As the Mythology Gag at the start of the movie shows, trolls are about the same size as the real life troll dolls. They live in colorful pods that hang from trees in a way that resembles fruit and the entire village can easily fit into a single large pot.
  • Music for Courage: When the Trolls are facing their Darkest Hour, even the perpetually cheerful Poppy has nothing positive to say. Then Branch, who has spent much of the movie adamantly refusing to sing or participate in the Trolls' frivolity, breaks out a tender rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors", which turns into a duet with Poppy and restores the spirit of all the Trolls (including himself).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • At the start of the film, when the Bergens discover that all the Trolls have escaped from the tree, the wooden decoys look exactly like the classic Troll dolls. In fact, the earliest Troll dolls were made of wood.
    • DJ Suki having a gem in her belly is a reference to the Good Luck Trolls who had various gems in the same location while Cooper is a nod to the animal trolls.
  • Naked People Are Funny/Joke of the Butt:
    • Guy Diamond, a glittery Troll who is completely naked and is subject to a few butt jokes.
    • King Peppy moons the viewers in the prologue, when he reunites with the escaped Trolls and declares, "No troll left behind!"
  • Neglected Garden: When the Trolls escaped from the Troll Tree, the Bergens were left depressed over time, and the tree had already died by the time Poppy and Branch show up to Bergen Town. The Troll Tree is eventually restored at the ending, when the Bergens are shown that happiness was always inside them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Poppy making her party too loud and flashy causes the Trolls to be discovered by Chef.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When he was a kid, Chef killed Branch's grandmother right in front of him, causing him to lose his color. Later when the other Trolls lose their color after being thrown into the Trollstice pot set by Chef and the other Bergen cooks, only Branch can help get them back on their feet because he's been gray long enough to be able to work around the hopelessness.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: When Bridget chooses to sacrifice herself to help the trolls escape, Poppy decides that she has to go back to help Bridget, and find a permanent solution to the Bergens' hunger for trolls.
  • No Power, No Color:
    • This happened to Branch as a child when his grandma was captured by Chef to be eaten in front of him, and he blamed himself for it. Unlike in the case of other Trolls, Branch didn't necessarily turn completely gray, which showed that he still had a sense of hope, as explained in the example below.
    • At the film's climax, this happens to all of the Pop Trolls before Branch manages to rally Poppy to regain her hope and colors, inspiring everyone else in turn as well as himself.

  • Obliviously Evil: As explained in the beginning of the film, the Bergens want to eat Trolls not out of malice or cruelty, but because they genuinely believe that eating a Troll is the only way to be happy. So when Poppy points out Gristle Jr. and Bridget finding happiness despite never having eaten Trolls in their lives, the Bergens see the error of their ways and willingly give up Trollstice for good. Except the Chef, who has to be dealt with more directly.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Keith appears in other Trolls' hair about three times.
  • Older Than They Look: The bulk of the film takes place 20 years after the prologue, but Gristle and Bridget, who were children then, come across as young adults and are half the height of most other adult Bergens.
  • Only Sane Man: Branch gives off vibes of this, compared to the hyperactive Poppy and her happy-go-lucky brethren.
  • Orbital Shot: Peppy has one in the prologue as he addresses the Trolls, announcing the groundbreaking of their new homeland following their escape from Bergen Town.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Cloud Guy asks for a high-five from Branch, despite both of them having Four-Fingered Hands.
  • Overly Long Gag: Cloud Guy's Secret Handshake lesson. Seriously, last supper?
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: As it turns out, Branch used to be blue. He turns back at the end and becomes the Blue Boy to Poppy's Pink Girl.
  • Playing Cyrano: The Trolls attempt this for Bridget while she's on her date with King Gristle Jr. A rare example in that the attempt is successful.
  • Pleasure Island: Ever since the escape from the Troll Tree, the Trolls throw parties all the time, which comes to bite them back at the escape's anniversary party, when Chef finally finds them.
  • The Pollyanna: Poppy is very close to the actual Trope Namer in that she admits to Branch she knows life isn't all cupcakes and rainbows but she likes to believe most of it is and focus on the good things.
  • Pooping Food: Cooper poops cupcakes at one point.
  • Potty Failure:
    • Cloud Guy rains right before Branch is about to attack him.
    • When Chef arrives at Poppy's party, all the trolls freeze in fear. And Cooper poops out cupcakes.
  • The Power of Rock: The Trolls' music seems to have a bit of magic in it. When Poppy falls and all the other Trolls to despair in the Darkest Hour, Branch brings them back to normal with "True Colors". The ending features a peppy song-and-dance number to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling!", which convinces the Bergens to not eat them anymore, and even restores the dead Troll Tree.
  • Prank Gone Too Far: Cloud Guy offers to help Poppy and Branch when they're looking for one of the tunnels to Bergen Town. However, he instead spends time pulling jokes on Branch, which eventually gets him angered, trying to attack Cloud Guy in the process as he enters to the correct tunnel.
    • This happens again in the ending when Poppy is coronated as queen of the Trolls. When she and Branch hug together, Cloud Guy peeks behind them to hug them. The two quickly knock him out of the mushroom they were on.
  • Prehensile Hair: The Trolls' hair can be used as anything from a whip, to an extra arm, to a grappling hook.
  • Properly Paranoid: Branch may be ridiculously paranoid, but he's right about the Bergens being able to find them.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: A non-romantic example. As King Peppy leads the Trolls' escape from the Bergens, he lays down pieces of his clothing to cover up puddles for the other Trolls to cross. Eventually, he's down to his underwear, and he loses it when it's caught on a Bergen's shovel.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Chef has red eyes, and is the movie's main villain.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: When Poppy and Branch are camped out for the night and about to get some rest:
    Branch: Seriously, more singing?
    Poppy: Yes, seriously. Singing helps me relax. Maybe you ought to try it.
    Branch: I don't sing and I don't relax. This is the way I am and I like it. I also like a little silence!
    [The surrounding woodland creatures and trolls start to sing Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence"]
  • Room Full of Crazy: Branch's bunker and Bridget's room are full of writings and paper related to their respective paranoias/obsessions.
  • Romantic False Lead: Creek is set up as Poppy's love interest, but then he sells out all the other Trolls, including Poppy, in exchange for his freedom.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Poppy, who takes it upon herself to go out and save her friends, even if no one else wants to. In the past, her father King Peppy led the Trolls' initial escape from the Bergens.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Poppy's cow bell is rung three times. The first by baby Poppy after the Trolls find a new home, the second by an older Poppy in the present during the beginning of "Move Your Feet", and the third by Creek to lure out the other Trolls so they can be eaten instead of him.
    • The "boop" on the nose gesture. First, when Creek reassures Poppy about her party after Branch cynically dismisses the said party. Second, when Poppy does it to a picture of Creek. The third and final time is the darkest since Creek blatantly admits to planning to sell out the other Trolls in order to spare his own life, and before he leaves with Poppy's cowbell, he does the "boop" thing.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Branch and Poppy, respectively.
  • Scenery Censor: In the prologue, when King Peppy emerges completely naked from the collapsed tunnel, having discarded all of his clothes during the escape, his lower half is covered by the dust settling around him, before it cuts to a wide shot where it's concealed behind all the other trolls jumping and cheering for him.
  • Scullery Maid: Bridget, who undergoes a makeover with the Trolls to greet King Gristle Jr. under the disguised name of "Lady Glittersparkles".
  • Seasonal Baggage: Happens during parts of the montage of "Get Back Up Again", in which Poppy goes through hot, winter and windy seasons.
  • "Setting Off" Song: Poppy sings "Get Back Up Again" as she heads for Bergen Town.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bridget's makeover as "Lady Glittersparkles" is a notable Cinderella-based example, even down to the lost rollerskate as a Glass Slipper.
    • Gwen Stefani's and Justin Timberlake's "Hair Up" is a remixed version of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt, which is meaningful due to the fact that Grieg's hometown is Bergen, Norway. (It's also played during a scene in which the hero escapes from a vengeful troll king; here, it's played during the introduction of the Bergen king, which is followed shortly by an escape from his city.)
    • The adult Gristle Jr. is introduced riding a tricycle down a hallway.
    • During Gristle and Bridget's date at the pizzeria, a Pac-Man machine can be heard in the background.
    • Chef's line "He who controls the Trolls controls the kingdom" resembles the Arc Words from Dune ("He who controls spice controls the universe.")
    • In Branch's flashbacks, he accidentally knocks a deceased Troll's body out of its casket at a funeral, much like what happened in the infamous "Lost Scene" in Clerks.
    • There's a song that didn't make it onto the soundtrack, featuring the Bergens being introduced to "Clint Eastwood".
  • Slasher Smile: Chef has several of these, including in the moment she breaks into the anniversary party and when she tries to force-feed Creek to Gristle.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • King Gristle Sr. only appears in the prologue, but his decision to banish Chef from Bergen Town is what leads her to kill Branch's grandmother Rosiepuff and devote her life into recapturing the trolls.
    • Speaking of Rosiepuff, her acts and fate are what set off the cynicism that would later affect Branch in the present.
  • Solo Mission Becomes Group Mission: Poppy was willing to go on a trip to Bergen Town on her own to rescue her friends, even though she asked Branch for help before. Branch rejected the offer at first, but eventually joins her because he believes she wouldn't make it on her own due to her lack of skills (as well as Poppy sending the rest of the Trolls into his survival bunker basically forcing him to get out of it).
  • Species Title: About creatures that are called trolls, and is the story of their Princess Protagonist and a cynic of the species to rescue the rest of them from being eaten.
  • The Stinger: When the ending credits begin, the viewer may be wondering what happened to Chef and Creek after Chef was sent out of the hall in a burning pot. The answer is revealed partway through the credits: the pot comes to a stop on what appears to be a hill, and while Creek sighs in relief, Chef then attempts to eat him. But it turns out they're not really on a hill; they're on a giant monster, which eats them both.
  • Storybook Opening/Opening Narration: The prologue is narrated by Poppy with a scrapbook to a group of child Trolls.
  • Straight Man: Branch, to the rest of the Trolls.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Branch is a survivalist, not a scientist, but he still gets the following line after spending years preparing an underground bunker for a potential Bergen attack that could be coming any day in the present, which comes true when Chef finds Troll Village.
    Branch: Yeah, I really only have enough supplies down here to last me ten years, eleven if I'm willing to store and drink my own sweat, which I am. You all said I was crazy, huh? Well, who's crazy now? Me. Crazy-Prepared.
  • Time Skip: A 20-year time skip after Peppy succeeds in leading the escape of the Trolls from the Bergens.
  • Tired After the Song: Downplayed; after the first big musical number of the movie, all the trolls hold the pose as they breathe heavily. Poppy even sounds still out of breath when she responds to Branch's comments.
  • Toilet Humor: Guy Diamond is a Troll who runs around naked and farts glitter.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Quite honestly, most of the Trolls qualify — after escaping from the Bergens in the opening prologue, they establish a new home in the forest, but don't bother with ANY defenses or warnings against any possible future discovery by the Bergens. Similarly, Branch tells Princess Poppy that her loud singing and boisterous party celebrations might attract the Bergens, but she blithely dismisses his warnings with terrible consequences.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • In regards to Mr. Dinkles, the character only speaks rarely, and when he does, it's always a short squeak. The only time he DOES say anything in English, it's the "Oh, snap!" line featured in the trailer, and then he goes back to squeaky speech.
    • Also, the trailers that advertised "featuring new songs by Justin Timberlake", who voices a character that does not sing at the beginning of the film. What are the chances that will change by the end?
  • Uncertain Doom: It's unknown what happened to King Gristle Sr. after he exiled. Although some presume that he died by the movie's main events, there's no confirmation for that.
  • Villain Song: Chef was originally meant to have one entitled "Bringing Back Happy", but it was cut from the final product.
  • Villainous Face Hold: Creek does this to Poppy after revealing his Face–Heel Turn, and promptly deprives her of her bell and bell-stick.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Smidge looks a little girl but has a raspy, Harvey Fierstein-like voice.
  • Wedgie: This is how Bergens greet each other, along with kicking one in the butt.
  • Wham Line: When the Trolls give Bridget a makeover, she wants Branch to sing along as well, to which he refuses. When Poppy tries to get an answer out of him as to why he won't sing, he angrily snaps, "Because singing killed my grandma, okay?!"
  • Wham Shot: After all the Trolls are captured thanks to Creek, Poppy is so distraught at the fact that she and the rest of the Trolls are as good as dead, all the color drains from her person, leaving her looking like Branch. All the other Trolls then follow suit.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Gristle and Bridget's storyline is one for Cinderella, complete with Bridget losing a rollerskate at the pizzeria's steps and Gristle picking it.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Poppy, who's stated as having never faced a real problem before. However, this is played with: Poppy eventually admits that she knows that life isn't all cupcakes and rainbows, but she'd rather go on hoping it is, because if she didn't she'd end up perpetually depressed like Branch. Late in the movie, that does finally happen, as during the Trolls' darkest hour, Poppy falls into despair and loses all her colors.
  • With Lyrics: "Hair Up" is a section of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt with lyrics.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: The Trolls have a large variety of hair colors (silver, blue, pink, etc.), and can change them at will. The Bergens' hair colors also span across a decent range of tones.
  • Worst Wedding Ever: The second of the events that Branch comes to in the flashback montage to him ruining several celebrations is a wedding, wherein he knocks a cake over the groom clown Troll (who's marrying the female Troll who had the birthday party he was hired to).


"Clint Eastwood"

The people of Bergentown sing "Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoverVersion

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