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Western Animation / WALL•E

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Out there
There's a world outside of Yonkers
Way out there beyond this hick town, Barnaby
There's a slick town, Barnaby

Out there
Full of shine and full of sparkle
Close your eyes and see it glisten, Barnaby
Listen, Barnaby!
Put on your Sunday Clothes, from Hello, Dolly!

WALL•E (2008), Pixar's 9th film, is a Science Fiction love story.

In 2105, humans leave the now-inhospitable Earth while they enjoy a five-year vacation cruise in space so it can be cleaned up by an army of "Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth class" robots or WALL•E for short. Seven centuries later in 2805, one unit — the WALL•E in the title — is still collecting junk and living with his pet cockroach. One day, WALL•E is going about his business as usual when a spaceship drops off a much more modern robot. Her name is EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) and WALL•E is smitten at first sight. When the ship comes back and picks her up, he stows away. The return trip leads WALL•E to find what has become of humanity, and that's when things get really complicated...

Known for its excellent CGI and sound design, the film hearkens back to the silent film days of yore, with virtually no dialogue for the first forty minutes of the movie.

Sigourney Weaver provides the voice of the computer. Fred Willard appears in what is to date the only live-action performance in a Pixar film, as Buy n Large CEO Shelby Forthright.

WALL•E played in theaters along with the Pixar short Presto. For information about the DVD short, BURN-E, check the Pixar Shorts page.

WALL•E contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to F 
  • Accidental Astronaut: The rocket that brought EVE to Earth returns to retrieve her after she successfully finds a living plant. Too late to be brought inside the spacecraft, WALL•E grips the rungs of an access ladder on its outer hull as the rocket roars out of Earth's atmosphere on its way to deep space towards the Axiom. Good thing robots can survive in the vacuum of space.
  • Accidental Hand-Hold: John and Mary have a Meet Cute moment when they accidentally touch hands trying to operate their seats.
  • Acme Products:
  • Advanced Civilization, Hollow Imagination: Humanity has devolved into this; they have grown morbidly obese, eat liquid meals from cups, stare at screens all day (to the point of talking to one another via video chat when they're literally sitting next to one another), and have no imagination or creativity. WALL•E's presence helps to shake a few residents from their stupor.
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: BnL adverts are everywhere, from the screens on the dead Earth to the nurseries on the Axiom. There also appears to be an ad in what looks to be Hadley Plain, the site of Apollo 15's moon landing.
  • After the End: The movie takes place long after the Earth has been rendered uninhabitable to humans due to the pollution causing levels of toxicity to rise so high that Earth can no longer sustain plant life.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A significant amount of the backstory is provided by the Onion-esque Buy n Large website.
    • A little more information is covered on the DVD. For example, Buy n Large started out as two companies. The BUY part sold frozen yogurts. The LARGE part sold Tall and Large clothing. They combined forces after realizing eating one made you need to buy the other.
    • One of the Flash games created to go with the film mentions that the cockroach is named Hal Roach.
  • Almost Holding Hands: An element of WALL•E's crush on EVE: He tries to hold her hand, but she pulls it away. And when she's in standby mode, he briefly holds her hand before her arm retracts, painfully trapping his hand.
  • Amusing Injuries: WALL•E during the first half of the movie, up until AUTO almost kills him, twice.
  • Anachronism Stew: This world apparently has advanced technology like anti-gravity, starships, artificial gravity, working A.I., and regenerative food buffets, all of which indicate the likelihood of stronger and more durable building materials. However, we see items like a VCR, a VCR tape, an iPod, and an Atari 2600 all still functioning after 700 years which is extremely unlikely.
  • Anti-Mutiny: AUTO does just this.
  • Apocalypse How: Subverted in one sense, played straight in another. Earth appears to be barren at the start of the film, but in reality, the humans simply left the planet. Class 1, though the evacuation of humans makes it a technical Class 4.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The last log message the Axiom receives from the BnL CEO reveals that the efforts to clean up the Earth have failed and he issues directive A113 informing the auto-pilot to keep humanity safe out in the stars and never return to Earth.
  • Arc Symbol: The plant.
  • Arc Words: "Directive."
  • The Ark: The Axiom and all the other ships that left Earth. Although they're pretty depressing Arks.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Most of the defective robots' problems could be dangerous to passengers or obstructive to operations on the Axiom...and then there's the faulty beautician robot, who just has an awful taste.
  • Artificial Gravity: It's mentioned that the Axiom's artificial gravity is weaker than the Earth's, which caused the humans to lose bone mass (the excessive blubber, though, was obviously the result of them lounging on flying couches for 7 centuries while drinking liquid fast food).
  • Artificial Outdoors Display: The Axiom has a large open area on the Lido Deck that simulates day and night cycles, with the sun and the moon bearing BnL logos.
  • Artistic License:
    • "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes a Moment" are separated by over an hour in Hello, Dolly!, but in WALL•E's copy, not only are they consecutive, but the last half of "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and the first three minutes or so of "It Only Takes a Moment" are skipped. Andrew Stanton has noted that this was a deliberate choice; he felt the "Out there..." introduction and "Let's go out into the world and find adventure and romance" premise of "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" were a perfect match for the story, and the shot of Cornelius (Michael Crawford) and Irene (Marianne McAndrew) joining hands in "It Only Takes a Moment" struck him as a good way to illustrate that WALL•E is aware of the concept of love and how it can be expressed non-verbally before EVE shows up.
    • The entire end-credit scene showing humanity successfully recolonizing Earth with the help of the robots. Test audiences quite realistically assumed that humans, who are barely able to walk under their own power, had no previous exposure to the actual elements (like sunlight or Earth's bacteria) would all be dead in months after they decide to return to Earth.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • After 700 years, Earth's bacteria would have evolved, mutated and otherwise changed enough that it would have very little in common with Axiom's bacteria, which would have done the same in a completely different environment. The film ignores the question of how Axiom's inhabitants' immune systems would react to Earth's bacteria when the Axiom returns to Earth.
    • Forthright mentions that humans will suffer a loss of bone density and other side effects from micro-gravity, all of which is certainly true in real life. But the Axiom clearly possesses Artificial Gravity set at or close to Earth standard, so it cannot be blamed for humans collectively atrophying into the state they're currently in. Then again, Forthright may know better and is simply fudging the truth.
  • Artistic License – Cars: Pixar's iconic Pizza Planet delivery truck, a Toyota Truck, is seen when EVE is searching Earth. A V8 engine is visible under the hood. The Toyota Hilux (renamed "Truck" in North America in 1976) was only available with an inline four engine.
  • Artistic License – Space:
    • Somehow, WALL•E survives hanging on the outside of a rocket all the way to the Axiom, doesn't burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, doesn't burn up when the rocket passes the sun... For that matter, the ship itself is too close to the sun to not suffer at least some form of damage. However, it is a clear case of Rule of Cool in action.
    • When EVE's ship picks her up and leaves Earth, Sputnik 1 is shown as one of the satellites in Earth's debris field that WALL•E's body catches before they all float away into space. Sputnik 1 only orbited for a few months in late 1957, reentering the atmosphere in burning up in January 1958, by the movie's events in 2805 it would not have been orbiting with other more modern satellites.
  • Art Shift:
    • The credits use this trope, showing a series of vignettes in progressively more recent artistic styles, going from cave paintings and hieroglyphics to straight-up imitations of Georges Seurat and Vincent van Gogh. This is to show how humans relearned the skills they had lost in the Axiom, such as artistry.
    • Used deliberately to show the passage of 700 years. All pre-launch humans are live-action actors, while everyone on the Axiom is a pudgy CGI character. The gallery of former captains shows them morphing slowly from one to the other as complacency and weight build up.
  • Astronomic Zoom: Out there, there's a world outside of Yonkers...
  • Automatic Door Malfunction: While WALL•E stalks EVE in a supermarket, he clumsily knocks over a bunch of trolleys that start rolling in his direction. He tries to escape through an automatic door but it fails on him and so he gets crushed by the trolleys. Then the door opens for extra mockery.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: After encountering the SECUR-T bots yet again, WALL•E breaks HAN-S free of the restraints put on him in the repair bay. Cue a close-up shot of EVE and WALL•E as smashed parts of SECUR-T bots flying past as we hear HAN-S rampage through them.
  • Bedlam House: The robot repair ward on the Axiom seems to be a more lighthearted version of this, complete with holding cells and restraints. While trying to free EVE from the repair bots (because he thinks they're torturing her), WALL•E accidentally hits a button that opens all of the cells. At once. Whoops.
  • Beta Couple: John and Mary, two humans who meet after their respective routines are inadvertently disrupted by WALL•E.
  • The Big Board: With Sigourney Weaver's voice.
  • Big, Fat Future: All of the passengers of the Axiom are obese. This is explained by the differences in gravity from the cruise ship and earth. Plus people being lazy.
    The Captain: We have a jogging track?
  • Big "NO!":
    • EVE gets one of these when WALL•E gets a shock to the circuits from AUTO.
    • The Captain both when AUTO mutinies by confining him in his quarters and later as he realizes that AUTO is going to indirectly harm WALL•E through the Holo Detector.
    • And again later when WALL•E gets crushed beneath the Holo-Detector.
    • Also when WALL•E accidentally fires her Arm Cannon in the repair ward.
    • AUTO has one in the midst of his Villainous Breakdown as he's deploying huge waves of Steward bots to try and stop EVE and WALL•E from reaching the holo-detector.. It's not max volume or very long (it's a rather terse utterance), but it is the first time AUTO has a non-monotone, exclamatory tone of voice.
    • AUTO does this again when he notices that WALL•E is trying to prevent his attempt at stopping A113.
    • AUTO gets one more in the fading variety when the Captain "relieves him of duty".
  • Book Ends: The movie opens and closes with a distant shot of Earth.
  • Bring It: "Come and get it, blinky!"
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • M-O, unintentionally caused by WALL•E and his filth trail.
    • WALL•E himself could count as well, as he gets blasted at, crashed into, broken, and tossed into walls regularly.
    • BURN-E. He's just trying to do his job and fix the ship, but the events of the film keep causing chaos for him.
  • Came Back Wrong: WALL•E after being repaired. He powers up just fine but he has been restored to factory settings. He doesn't remember EVE and returns to his directive of gathering and compressing trash. This time, however, he starts compressing the knick-knacks and meaningful junk he's been collecting in his "home" for 700 years showing that WALL•E is no longer there. Don't worry, the combined forces of The Power of Love and True Love's Kiss bring him back.
  • Central Theme: Curiosity is important. Stay curious, learn new things, and be willing to stop and take a look at the world around you.
  • Character Development: Even a minor encounter with WALL•E seems to cause this in everyone. John and Mary break out of their normal routines and discover each other after meeting him once each, the Captain starts the Wiki Walk that leads to his determination to return home after scanning some dirt WALL•E got on his hand, M-O stops following his designated lit up paths on the ground in frustration so he can clean up the mess WALL•E leaves behind, and even a robot receptionist starts enthusiastically waving to people after witnessing WALL•E do it once.
  • Chatty Hairdresser: Any of the PR-Ts (beautician robot), even if the person they're working on isn't saying anything.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The plant, the tape, the parts replacement/cannibalization, the lighter, the fire extinguisher, heck, the lawn gnomes (somewhat), and even WALL•E and EVE's Affectionate Gesture to the Head. Andrew Stanton even talks about the concept of this trope, without naming it, during the DVD Commentary.
    • The Axiom's docking port, which WALL•E rolls past at the very beginning and onto which the Axiom lands at the very end. Stanton quotes Chekhov directly in the commentary when mentioning it.
    • When AUTO makes his first appearance and scans EVE, A113 appears over his eye. For one more, when the Captain is waking up, he accidentally hits WALL•E instead of his alarm clock, and it starts playing music from Hello, Dolly!. He later hears the same song while watching EVE's video footage of Earth, and this starts a short chain of events that motivates him to return to Earth.
      • When WALL•E was trying to break EVE out of the repair ward, he accidentally starts playing the same song, causing all of the robots in the room to hear it. Later on, this allows WALL•E to use the song as a sort of a rallying cry to get the reject robots to join him and EVE in their mission to get the plant to the holo-detector.
    • The small, deployable hook on Wall•E's back, initially used to carry a cooler for his collected trinkets, is later used by M-O when he, Wall•E, and EVE escape the disposal sector.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Not only are Shelby Forthright and AUTO both shown in the ad for the Axiom cruise, but so are most of the bots WALL•E winds up meeting in the repair ward.
    • There's also M-O, who at first seems like comic relief, but stops WALL•E and EVE from getting thrown out the garbage airlock, and recovers the plant later.
    • The bad HAN-S bot. First appears in the repair ward, going crazy, and is later weaponized (along with the D-FIB) by WALL•E to destroy a squad of steward bots.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • WALL•E plays with a fire extinguisher he finds in the trash and discovers that the force it exerts can easily knock him over. He remembers this experience while in the evacuation pod about to self-destruct as he deliberately grabs the fire extinguisher off the wall and uses it propel himself while in space.
    • EVE is elated to discover that WALL•E has saved the plant. She spins him around, hugs him and touches their heads together which delivers an electric spark that serves as a "kiss of gratitude". This comes back into play after WALL•E is rebooted which returns him to his factory settings. Believing she has lost him, Eve gives him a "good-bye kiss" that re-awakens his personality.
    • M-O's ability to identify "foreign contaminants" lets him quickly find the plant in a crowd of people.
  • Cockroaches Will Rule the Earth: The only sign of animal life on the garbage-covered Earth is a seemingly indestructible cockroach.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Alessandro Ferrari adapted the movie for Disney and Boom! Studios did a prequel.
  • Company Cross References: As is standard practice for a Pixar film. For instance, the robot mice that nibble around EVE in the trash room are called REM-E's, and during the mosaic section of the end credits, a big turtle, two smaller turtles, and an orange fish swim by.
  • Computer Voice: The filmmakers deliberately sought out Sigourney Weaver to voice the Axiom's computer as a Shout-Out to Alien.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Well, technically "no radiant heat". WALL•E has no problem on the outside of a ship while it's buzzing the sun. In fact, he just takes the opportunity to charge his solar-cells pretty much instantly. He apparently is able to endure very high temperatures, as evidenced when EVE's ship lands on top of him and he digs himself out, literally glowing red hot from the exhaust.
  • Cool Starship: The Axiom and her sister ships: designed for a five years cruise while Earth was cleaned up, they remained in service for centuries without any degradation in the systems.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: The sight of WALL•E after getting an unwanted makeup overhaul by PR-T at the repair ward.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Axiom is luxurious spaceship where humans can have all the comfort of the world thanks to robots doing their jobs and activities in their place. However seven centuries living in such luxury mean that humans have become too dependent on machines, barely being able to do things themselves like walking, and while they deep down long for something more game changing, they have accepted their current predicament as normal. Worst still, Axiom’s autopilot received the directive to not return to Earth (because it seemingly has become inhospitable) and since then he refuses to change his mind despite there being proof that it is inhabitable.
  • Crapsack World: Earth is shown to have become overrun with trash which causes the environment to become too toxic to support human life causing them to evacuate the planet. The hope is a massive clean-up effort will restore the planet in 5 years but we discover that effort has failed and no further plans to save the planet are in progress.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits start with a series of vignettes depicting the Axiom's passengers readjusting to Earth life represented by evolving art styles (cave paintings -> Egyptian -> Greek -> mosaic -> Da Vinci-style sketches -> Monet-style Impressionism -> Pointillism -> Van Gogh-style), then shifts to various scenes of the characters running around with faux 8-bit video game graphics.
  • Darkest Hour: There is a moment where all hope for a good ending seems lost. WALL•E gets electrocuted and dumped down a garbage chute by AUTO, EVE gets deactivated and follows WALL•E down the chute. And the Captain gets trapped in his quarters. But then EVE comes back online and things take a turn for the better.
  • Dark Reprise: When WALL•E loses his memory, EVE essentially gives up and hums "It Only Takes a Moment" to him.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: Earth is prone to large dust storms, causing WALL•E to have to take shelter in his storage trailer whenever one blows up.
  • Death by Irony: WALL•E, a robot designed to collect and compact garbage into a cube, is dumped down a garbage chute, collected by the ship's WALL•A robot and compacted into a garbage cube. Subverted when he barely escapes being flushed into space. Also, towards the end, he is crushed to Disney Death by a machine whose purpose has nothing to do with crushing.
  • Death Glare:
    • When AUTO evades explaining why the plant is classified, the Captain finally orders him to comply and breaks out a death glare to confirm that he is serious. AUTO relents.
    • EVE excels at these, normally aimed at WALL*E after he's made a mistake.
  • Desolation Shot: The first five minutes of the film consist of wideshots of the ruins of Earth's civilizations and towers of trash.
  • Disney Death:
    • During the climax, WALL•E is badly damaged when AUTO electrocutes him and then he is almost crushed to bits in the Holo-Detector. EVE knows that spare parts exist on Earth and rushes to repair him as soon as a ship lands. When she finishes, he powers up just fine but has been restored to factory settings resulting in his Mind-Reformat Death. He doesn't remember EVE and simply returns to his directive of gathering and compressing trash. EVE believes she has lost him and gives him a final "good-bye kiss" that re-awakens his personality.
    • A straighter version happens when WALL•E's escape pod self-destructs. EVE thinks he's dead for a few moments, until he speeds into view, having escaped at the last second by using a fire extinguisher as a jetpack.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: As mentioned above, BnL has trademarked "north" (as in the cardinal direction).
  • Disney Villain Death: GO-4 gets kicked out a window and smashes onto the deck, but they do show the impact, making this an aversion — maybe even a subversion, since it had such a clear setup. Even more so because some people might think he'll land in the pool that's shown just before he smashes into the ground right in front of it. Either way, he was gonna die, be it the floor or the water.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The repair ward is reminiscent of an insane asylum.
  • Double Take: Even robots can fall victim to the double take.
    • First, while scanning the EVE units one by one upon their return to the Axiom, GO-4 scans WALL•E in passing. He keeps up moving to the next, stops in shock and backtracks, but WALL•E is already gone.
    • Later, EVE initially waves WALL•E off when he tries to get her attention on the Axiom. Then she realizes he's not supposed to be there.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Sorta. EVE goes into stasis for a couple of days, and after failing to reboot her, WALL•E drags her around on pretend dates and tries to hold her hand (crushing his in the process). Like other examples, it's only creepy if you overthink it. And WALL•E probably doesn't understand what's going on, and definitely has just had his only chance to ever have a friend suddenly disappear. In any case, WALL•E doesn't do anything particularly inappropriate (not that he really could), which turns out to be a good thing since EVE was recording everything and recalls it later.
  • Earth That Was: The premise of the film, as humanity departed Earth 700 years before the film began. Emphasized by the Captain suddenly spending hours and hours bringing up articles about the earth of the past and later relating his glee over planting pizza.
  • Easter Egg: The traditional "A113" reference appears when AUTO scans EVE after she returns to the ship. Turns out this has some significance to the plot.
  • Electric Love: The two times in the story where EVE and WALL•E share a "kiss" is visually shown as a spark that jumps between them.
  • Eternal English: The English we hear spoken in the hologram projections at the beginning of the story matches the same English spoken aboard the Axiom even though 700 years have passed. Justified in that the Axiom represents a sheltered environment where BnL controls the way information is communicated to the crew and cultural stagnation is shown to be underway.
  • "Everybody Helps Out" Denouement: After the action-packed finale, all the humans and robots work together to clean up Earth and rebuild society.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Captain, although his quarters reveal that his name is B. McCrea.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The aesthetics of the ship, and its robots, are sleek and smooth, with lots of bright colors.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: Captain McCrea pulls this off with a holo-screen backdrop featuring an image of WALL•E holding up the Plant in order to fool AUTO into thinking he has the plant again (counting on AUTO's one-eyed lack of depth perception), in order to lure AUTO down into his quarters as part of his plan to escape and reassert command after AUTO's mutiny.
  • False Camera Effects:
    • What seems to be a focus pull error, when WALL•E is trying to escape an avalanche of shopping carts.
    • Also zoom-ins and outs and "handheld" shots.
    • The DVD commentary points out here that legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins was brought in to teach the animators how to make the camera act more like a real camera instead of a virtual one, and to deliberately insert anomalies like this. He was amused that Pixar would spend loads of money and time trying to create effects that cinematographers have spent loads of money and time trying to get rid of.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Axiom returns to Earth in no time via hyperjump.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Buy n Large to Wal-Mart (with elements of bulk stores like Sam's Club and Costco), though on a much more massive scale.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: When WALL•E regains his memories and his personality, the first thing to move is his fingers, and they twitch downwards slightly before fully closing around EVE's hand.
  • First Time in the Sun: When the Axiom returns to Earth, it fortunately lands during daylight hours allowing the passengers and crew to experience their first exposure to real air and sunlight. Fortunately, there's not a city-wide sandstorm in progress either.
  • Flames of Love: A recovered Zippo lighter becomes one of many Arc Symbols for the love between WALL•E and EVE.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The Captain to AUTO's lack of depth perception. First he uses an image of the plant to pretend he has it, and then he hides in front of a picture of himself.
  • Flight of Romance: During the sequence "Define Dancing", we are treated to a romantic flight sequence in space with EVE and WALL•E where the Axiom's engines are used to represent fountains.
  • Food Pills: It's actually more like Food Smoothies than pills. "Sep-tu-a-cen-tennial cupcake in a cup!" Word of God is that the "Buy" part of BnL was originally a yogurt company.
  • Force-Field Door: The "inmates" at the repair ward are held in cells protected by a forcefield. When WALL•E accidentally damages the controls with EVE's Arm Cannon, all the malfunctioning robots are set free.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the abandoned store, EVE scans a pinwheel, indicating that it looks like what she's really looking for.
    • The opening song of the film reveals just how EVE gets WALL•E's memory back during the ending.
      We'll see the shows at Delmonicos
      And we'll close the town in a whirl
      And we won't come home until we've kissed a girl
    • The first time EVE gives WALL•E an electric kiss, we hear the chime of his battery being fully charged; this foreshadows that her energy can directly affect his hardware.
    • Near the beginning of the movie, WALL•E struggles to place a spork between his collection of forks or spoons. He places it in a new category thus hinting that he has grown beyond a binary mode of thinking.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The film's final Logo Joke after the Disney/Pixar Vanity Plates implies that the film itself was co-produced by Buy-N-Large.
  • Funny Background Event: M-O shooing away all of the other bots after WALL•E and EVE reconnect on Earth. The umbrella bot pops into frame one last time before M-O pushes it away.
  • Future Spandex: All the human characters wear brightly-colored, stretchy jumpsuits, which look like baby clothes and make them seem infantile and dependent.

    Tropes G to L 
  • Generation Ship: The Axiom has been the human race's home for 700 years, with at least seven generations of captains having existed in that time. Humans as a whole are too incurious to remember this, and seem to know nothing of their history outside of the date the captain tells them in his morning announcements.
  • Genre Mashup: IMDb has this movie listed as an Animation-Adventure-Comedy-Drama-Family-Romance-Sci-Fi.
  • Gilded Cage: The Axiom is eventually revealed to have been this for 695 years, as Auto was given control over the ship by Shelby Forthright after Buy n Large decided that Earth was too toxic to save and thought everyone would be better off staying in space. The Axiom had sustainable resources, kept everyone in blissful ignorance, and the title of Captain was strictly honorary.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors:
    • Heroine EVE and Battle Butler GO-4 both have tractor beams of sorts; EVE's is blue and GO-4's is red.
    • This is much more obvious in the case of the stewards: when they were trying to arrest WALL•E and EVE, they used red tractor beams. But when they helped rebuild civilization on Earth in the ending credits, they used blue tractor beams.
    • Also, humans who switch their clothing from blue-back to red are the ones who have been "awakened". See Shout-Out.
  • Green Aesop: Not only has Earth become extremely polluted in the future, but humanity has pulled a Screw This, I'm Outta Here and left for space, instead of doing an effort to avert this fate. Thankfully, they manage to do the right thing when they return and Earth is shown to be healing during the credits.
  • Grows on Trees: By the end, the Captain still believes pizza grows on plants.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Two security bots displaying the "Caution: Rogue Robots" warning are shown standing guard on the lido deck at night, unaware of EVE and WALL•E sneaking toward the bridge in the background behind them.
  • Gun Twirling: EVE twirls her Arm Cannon the first time she uses it, giving WALL•E enough time to duck for cover.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first and second half of the movie are wildly different from each other, with different tones, locations, and even characters. The first half of the movie focuses on WALL•E's life on Earth and his budding romance with EVE, which takes place entirely on Earth and has little to no dialogue between the two and no other characters except Hal, WALL•E's pet cockroach. The second half of the movie is much more action-focused, detailing WALL•E and EVE's journey aboard the Axiom as they try to get the plant to the captain, with more characters and much more dialogue.
  • Headbutt of Love: Though how much of a head WALL•E has is debatable, the gesture itself is done between him and EVE and serves as their form of "kissing", complete with a spark that jumps from one to another.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: WALL•E gets crushed to death during the climax trying to stop the plant scanner from getting shut down. He gets better.
  • He's a Friend: EVE, don't blast that roach!
  • Holding Hands: WALL•E and EVE express their love for one another by holding their claws out for the other to hold. WALL•E spends the first act asking for her hand to no reciprocation, and when EVE does catch on to what he's trying to do, the film's plot gets in the way before they can have their moment.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Humanity pollutes the Earth to the point where it's too toxic to sustain life. As a result, humanity leaves the planet in ships like the Axiom to cruise the stars while worker robots clean up the planet. It was estimated to take 5 years but ended up taking a lot longer.
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: The toxicity of Earth had gotten so bad that plant life was unable to survive in the polluted dirt. The whole point of EVE's yearly visits was to find some evidence of plant life actually growing again. Enter WALL•E and his little green plant.
  • Hourglass Plot: In the beginning of the movie, WALL•E tries to impress EVE by showing off all the cool gadgets and artifacts (for example, a whisk and a Rubik's cube) he found while cleaning Earth. After WALL•E gets reset to factory settings, EVE shows him the same gadgets and artifacts to bring his memories back.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Odd variation where the humanity comes from the robot. EVE, the deficient robots, and even the (human) captain get more and more human-like by interacting with WALL•E.
  • Humans Are Special: Humanity was fully responsible for Earth's sad state, and aboard the Axiom, they live a very confusing but often boring life of endless consumerism and reliance on high-technology. But they also fully repair their societies and the environment with the help of their robot companions.
  • Improvised Microgravity Maneuvering: In one of the signature scenes, WALL•E and Eve "dance" through space outside the Axiom. WALL•E uses a fire extinguisher, while Eve can propel herself.
  • Indestructible Edible: WALL•E's pet cockroach can still eat a 700-year-old Kremie (an Bland-Name Product version of a Twinkie), which is an homage to the traditional post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland: Nothing left but the cockroaches and twinkies.
  • Initialism Title: By way of using WALL•E's name, which is an acronym.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Several times between WALL•E and EVE. The first time it happens, it's an awkward moment.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Practically all the non-human characters.
  • Just Following Orders: It is revealed that AUTO is diligently following the last order he received from his creators, Directive A113 which authorizes him to take full control of the ship and keep humanity safe by never returning to Earth. Unfortunately the directive did not include any provisions for re-evaluating the situation after 700 years to see if the directive still applies.
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: WALL•E is captivated by a jewelry box, but doesn't care for the diamond ring inside it.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: Earth may not be the best example as it was not originally intended to be a dump, but certainly looks the part.
  • Learned from the News: After WALL•E and EVE escape from the Repair Ward of the Axiom, a warning goes out through the ship's announcement system: "Caution, rogue robots. Caution, rogue robots." A security 'bot still image shows WALL•E and EVE grappling with her weaponized arm. EVE is aghast at the implication of the image, having sunk from malfunctioning to haywire. EVE glares at poor WALL•E and snarls his name, causing WALL•E to cower like a Henpecked Husband.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: M-O shooing away the other robots from WALL•E and EVE having a moment at the end of the movie.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: John, Mary, and the Captain all demonstrate during the climax that humans are still capable of rising to the occasion.
  • Little "No":
    • EVE whispers "" after the escape pod WALL•E is in self-destructs. She utters another one while cradling his crushed, dead body after he falls out of the Holo-Detector.
    • AUTO has a flat, but firm "No." as well.
  • Living Is More than Surviving: Best summed up by the response of the Axiom's Captain to the AI keeping them inside a Gilded Cage for their own safety: "I don't want to survive, I want to live!"
  • Logo Joke: WALL•E joins Luxo Jr. in the Pixar Vanity Plate following the closing credits.
  • Long-Lived: Judging by the captains' portraits, the average human lifespan is 150 years at the lowest (we're only given the time the captains have been on duty which has been between 120 and 140 years each).
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The humans spend their lives in a Lotus Eater Spaceship... sort of. Unlike most examples of this trope they're perfectly aware of the fact.
  • Love at First Sight:
    • WALL•E for EVE. For a mostly non-anthropomorphic robot, she is beautiful and the music that plays when WALL•E first catches sight of her leaves no doubt as to what he's feeling.
    • John and Mary. Although when they first meet, they both spend a few minutes cheering at WALL•E and EVE's "dancing", but when their hands accidentally touch, their eyes meet and they seem to actually see each other for the first time.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Brought about by the middle dot in "WALL•E".

    Tropes M to R 
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: EVE's mission is to safely bring plant life from Earth to the Axiom's Holo-Detector, while fighting off the opposition from AUTO.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: When Shelby Forthright says the Axiom's name, it appears to be dubbed in, suggesting the Axiom isn't the only BnL starliner meant to be receiving the messages.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: WALL•E is square-shaped and can fold himself into a box; EVE is sleek and ovular.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Directive." In the early part of the film, EVE uses the word to indicate that she's apart from WALL•E. She says it's classified when WALL•E asks about her directive and when she plans to send WALL•E back in the escape pod, EVE indicates that she's not going with him, shaking her head and saying "directive". After EVE watches how WALL•E took care of her during her shut-down period, her feelings for him have changed. Down in the Axiom garbage heap, when WALL•E offers her the plant, she discards it and extends her hand to hold WALL•E's saying "directive" to indicate a new purpose in her life.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Shelby Forthright. Which can also be read as "shall be forth right" which is full of Hypocritical Humor as virtually everything the man says is dripping with the insincerity of a corporate/political salesman. Only his A113 directive message has any honesty to it and even then the order hides that Operation Cleanup failed from the passengers and takes away their right to choose their future.
    • Axiom: a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true. By this point in time, people have stopped questioning their situation and accepted their lives as they are.
  • Medium Blending: The humans of the past, such as the BnL CEO, Shelby Forthright or the cast of Hello, Dolly! are live-action. The humans of the future are computer-generated. The creators have said that redoing all the Hello, Dolly! scenes in CGI would've taken too much effort, so they just blended the film images into the scene. This is later lampshaded in the scene of the portraits of the various Axiom captains, which shows the captains shifting from photo-realistic to cartoonish over time.
  • Meet Cute:
    • John and Mary, when their hands accidentally meet on the seat control.
    • Also happens with WALL•E and EVE. WALL•E is watching her flying from afar, but he makes a noise and she immediately blasts at him with her plasma cannon. This happens several more times before she recognizes that he's not a threat.
  • MegaCorp: Buy n Large. They're in fact so enormous that by the time the Earth was evacuated, they had replaced the government of every single country on the planet as the sole decision-maker.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The first 20 minutes are devoid of any dialogue from the actual characters, with the story being told through music, slapstick animation, panning shots of Earth's ruins, and a couple of recordings leftover from before humanity abandoned Earth. The movie stays pretty light on dialogue until about 35 minutes in, when human characters start to be introduced.
  • Mind-Reformat Death: Happens to WALL•E after EVE repairs him from his catastrophic damage. He powers up fine but has been restored to factory settings with no trace of his former personality resulting in him acting like an ordinary robot. He moves off to compact waste having no recollection of EVE.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: When WALL•E, EVE, the defective robots, and the Captain work together to return the plant to the holo-detector.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: From WALL•E's POV, it appears that a maintenance bot is torturing and dismembering EVE.
  • Modern Stasis: Despite having the capability to build advanced A.I.s and interstellar spaceships, the ruins WALL•E digs through seem to indicate that the world at the time of leaving Earth was barely more advanced than today. Justified in that WALL•E is sifting through the trash of the world so it stands to reason that he's going to find the IBM PC that's been in the attic for decades rather than the newest smartphone the owners would have taken that with them on the trip.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • When AUTO tries to take the plant from WALL•E, the resulting "keep-away" is rather humorous, even to the point of having WALL•E smack AUTO with the door to the garbage compartment.AUTO, however, tires of the delay and electrocutes WALL•E.
    • After WALL•E's body falls out of the Holo-Detector and the ship goes into Hyper Jump. We see WALL•E's mangled and unresponsive body, then we cut to the Captain making a goofy face as he's pushed backwards from the speed of the ship going majestically into hyper-space... and then we cut back to EVE desperately calling WALL•E's name.
  • Motorcycle Dominoes: There are shipwrecks tipping over one by one after EVE frees herself from a ship's electromagnet by destroying the ship entirely.
  • Mourning a Dead Robot: After WALL•E is badly damaged during his adventure on the Axiom, EVE frantically repairs him. However it appears that WALL•E has rebooted to his default factory settings and suffers from Mind-Reformat Death unable to remember the moments he had with EVE and resumes his normal garbage-collecting functions. EVE believes she has lost him and gives him a "goodbye" kiss that ignites a static shock, this brings back his memories and restores WALL•E to his pre-damaged self.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Captain stands up, walks up to AUTO, and switches him off. Much more awesome than it sounds.
  • Mysterious Cube of Rubik: WALL•E finds a Rubik's Cube in the wastes of the city. He thinks it's fascinating enough to add to his collection. Later, when he shows it to EVE, she solves it rather quickly.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The British trailer for WALL•E is is particularly egregious. It implies that Etta James' "At Last" is what plays when EVE first flies around, it shows an earlier, never released, version of the garbage airlock scene back when it was WALL•E who saves EVE, and worse of all, implies that EVE and WALL•E fell in love on Earth until she was forcibly kidnapped and the Captain gives an order to arrest WALL•E when it's discovered he had stowed aboard her rocket.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: WALL•E is the Nice, M•O is the Mean, EVE is the Inbetween. WALL•E is a Nice Guy from start to finish, being patient, loyal and friendly to all he meets. M•O is curt, single-mindedly obsessed with cleaning and has very little care towards the plant or Earth, although he does join the duo when WALL•E asks him to and beckons the other bots to leave the two alone when they're having a moment at the end. EVE is focused on her directive and sports a temper, but after spending time with WALL•E she becomes nicer and loosens up.
  • No Endor Holocaust: The elaborate closing credit sequence was added after the main film was completed, after test audiences thought that there would be no hope of rebuilding an ecosystem and civilization on the devastated Earth and all the humans would die in the attempt.
  • Non-Residential Residence: After a long day of compacting trash, WALL•E spends his time in an old WALL•E transport truck, which he's spent centuries filling to the brim with things he finds interesting. Justified, as the truck was meant to store WALL•E robots anyway.
  • Non-Standard Kiss: To visually indicate a "kiss" between robots that don't have lips, the movie shows a spark jumping between them. We see this occur twice in the film. Once when EVE discovers that WALL•E saved the plant from the escape pod explosion and she gives him a "thank you kiss". The other is when WALL•E reboots after EVE repairs him and he suffers Mind-Reformat Death. Once EVE believes he is actually gone, she gives him a touching "good bye kiss". Fortunately, as in most fairy tales, this kiss brings WALL•E back to life.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • When EVE is first unloaded from the ship, she begins her scanning routine in a purely perfunctory manner. However, the moment her ship leaves, EVE takes a few moments to enjoy the pure joy of flying around before settling down to business.
    • EVE mostly ignores/tolerates WALL•E's attention, but becomes amused by WALL•E's adorable demeanor upon their first true meeting. Then, at his home, he hands her an egg-beater, and after figuring it out, she spins it so fast that it breaks. Her reaction? To quickly put away the handle and try not to draw attention. She even starts to hum something while she waits.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: When WALL•E tries to get closer to EVE while both are watching the shipwreck burn, he whistles innocently while moving closer inch by inch.
  • No Water Proofing In The Future: The robot that supervises the swimming pool is not waterproof. Note that John and Mary were the only two people actually using the pool. And it doesn't seem to do much besides say rules. Averted elsewhere, as WALL•E and EVE are caught in a downpour in one scene and look no worse for wear.
  • Official Couple: WALL•E and EVE are a solid item by the end.
  • Off the Rails: Somewhat literally: After a mustering of willpower, M-O jumps off the floor guideline to chase after WALL•E and his trail of foreign contaminants.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • AUTO toward the end.
    • WALL•E gets an amusing Oh, Crap! moment early on, when he spots a sandstorm barreling towards his home.
    • WALL•E gets another amusing one in the repair ward when he mistakenly believes EVE is getting dismantled/beheaded.
    • One of the Stewards when he sees WALL·E and EVE burst out of a trash chute.
    • In the escape pod sequence, EVE's eyes go wide with horror as she realizes WALL•E (and the plant) can't get out of the escape pod before it deploys. Seconds later, WALL•E, already alarmed to see the Axiom receding into the distance and struggling with the pod's throttle, goes even further into "Oh God, I'm completely screwed" mode when he sees that GO-4 has armed the pod's Self-Destruct Mechanism... which will detonate in 20 seconds and cannot be turned off.
    • As WALL•E and EVE re-enter the Axiom after their dance through space, the doors close behind them, stranding BURN-E outside. He hammers on the doors, chirping as if to say "Hey! Let me in! Let me in!", before turning around in a "back against the wall" pose and beeping in terror. The script even translates his "dialogue" as "(Crap.)"
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: While EVE is in stasis, WALL•E takes her on a rowboat ride. He even provides her with a pink Parasol of Prettiness.
  • Open Sesame: A machine requires voice authorization from the Captain. (Parodied when all he can say is "uhh" and the machine accepts it.)
  • The Outside World: This works both ways: the lonely robot is awed at the gleaming marvels of the Axiom, while the people aboard the Axiom gape at the expanse of planet Earth.
  • Pac Man Fever: Somehow, an 830-year-old Pong console has survived the apocalypse. The humans on the Axiom are seen playing tennis with robots controlled by a variation of Pong.
  • "Pan from the Sky" Beginning: The movie begins in space with "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" playing, then it zooms into Earth from above, on which we see WALL•E moving along, then it zooms down to the ground and we see that he's cleaning up and playing the song on his radio.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • WALL•E disguises himself after EVE's ship lands by transforming into his box form and putting a rock on his head.
    • Later, EVE disguises him by placing towels on his head.
  • Picture-Perfect Pose: Captain McCrea hides from Auto's roving eye by standing in front of his own captain's portrait, counting on Auto's lack of depth perception to conceal him. This almost works, as Auto has to backtrack for a second look, which is when the captain pounces.
  • Polluted Wasteland: What humanity has turned the Earth into; luckily, however, they eventually decide to fix it.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: WALL•E completely freezes and floats off into space the first time EVE "kisses" him.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "You want it? Come and get it, Blinky."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "AUTO, you... are relieved of duty!"
  • Pressure-Sensitive Interface: The Big Bad pushes a button to turn off the Holo-Detector and lower it back into the floor, but WALL•E holds it up. So, the Big Bad takes out an electric prod and pushes the button with that, and the Holo-Detector lowers faster and overpowers WALL•E.
  • Product Placement:
    • WALL•E's makeshift television is an iPod with a magnifier in front of it.
    • EVE was designed by Jonathan Ive — product designer for Apple responsible for the design of the iMac, their laptops, the iPod and iPhone. Not coincidentally, Steve Jobs used to be both CEO of Apple and CEO of Pixar, until they merged with Disney, when he became the single largest shareholder of Disney/Pixar.
    • WALL•E's Boot-Up noise is also the noise a Mac makes when you turn it on.
    • AUTO is voiced by MacInTALK, the voice read-back program of Macintosh.
    • In-universe, Buy n Large itself. Their logo even appears after the film credits alongside the Disney and Pixar logos, implying that the film itself is partly theirs.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: After WALL•E is unable to pronounce her name correctly, EVE repeats her name over and over again to try to get him to say it right. He never quite gets the hang of it.
  • Protagonist Title: The movie is titled after the hero robot.
  • Punny Name:
    • Buy n Large = By and large, also Buying large (amounts of products)
    • All the robot's names are puns: Eve (obviously), Otto, Bernie...even the minor robots have these names, like PR-T the beautician robot and TYP-E the secretary robot.
  • Rage Quit: After getting increasingly frustrated with her failure to find a plant, EVE finally loses it when she gets stuck to a ship's electromagnet and proceeds to shoot it off before destroying the ship entirely. When WALL•E approaches her immediately after, her expression greatly implies she's given up.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: While Earth does look like a run-down mess, it's pretty clear that Buy n Large really built things to last from still-functioning advertisement boards to mostly-intact buildings that look as if only 70 years, rather than 700 had passed. This can be justified through the world having forms of advanced technology like anti-gravity, starships, artificial gravity, working A.I., and regenerative food buffets, which indicate the likelihood of stronger and more durable building materials. Also most structural damage is caused by vegetation and water. So a dry, barren Earth with minimal rain would allow structures to last longer.
  • Recoiled Across the Room:
    • During his workday, WALL•E discovers a type C fire extinguisher and tries to operate it. The jet of carbon dioxide surprises the little 'bot, and he goes spinning and skidding along the ground. In a fit of machine rage, WALL•E flings the Chekhov's Gun extinguisher onto the junk pile.
    • WALL•E again gets blown back a significant distance when he tries to "jump start" the hibernating EVE, as one would with a car battery.
  • Revised Ending: Originally, after EVE finished repairing and recharging WALL•E, he expressed confusion at the giant hole in the truck's roof, only for EVE to calm him down by holding his hand. The sequence of WALL•E losing his memory until EVE kisses him was added to give the movie's final scene a stronger emotional punch.
  • Robbing the Dead: When WALL•E notices his treads are wearing out, he passes by a non-functioning robot of the same model and sees that its treads are still good. Cut to the next scene, where WALL•E is rolling back home on his new treads. The stockpile of spare parts in his trailer was probably similarly acquired.
  • Robo Cam: We get to see through the optics of most of the lead robots at one point or another. WALL•E's is faded from working in the harsh sun for so long, EVE's is tinged blue, and Auto sees everything in shades of red.
  • Rubik's Cube: International Genius Symbol: When EVE finds WALL•E's puzzle cube, she solves it in the short time the camera is not focused on her. (This was possibly done to avoid animating EVE actually solving the puzzle, and because it was funnier.)
  • Rule of Cool: The first space sequence. In the DVD commentary, one of the creators admits (in reference to the nebula where the Axiom is found) that there are no nebulae within realistic "cruising distance" of Earth... but between its uses for The Reveal of the Axiom and its beauty, they decided to allow the Rule of Cool to take priority.
  • Rule of Funny:
    • WALL•E scoring 8,000 points against the hibernating EVE in a game of Pong. Not only can you not score that many points in Pong (first to 21 wins), it's highly unlikely you could do so in a single evening, but it's an amusing character moment for WALL•E, whom we've already seen never gets bored or discouraged.
    • The escape pod's parachute wouldn't actually open in the vacuum of space, but it helps get the point across.
  • Running Gag: M-O's never-ending quest to clean WALL•E. (Or, failing that, to clean up after him.) He eventually succeeds, though by that point, he's also learned to go beyond cleaning.

    Tropes S to W 
  • Saharan Shipwreck: The last place EVE looks for plants before she basically Rage Quits is what appears to be a dried up shipyard.
  • "Say My Name" Trailer: The trailers ends with a cut of all the times people say "WALL•E" in the movie.
  • Scenery Gorn: Many loving shots of the ruined, abandoned, and frankly extremely bleak-looking megacity at the beginning of the film.
  • Scenery Porn: Early shots featured in the trailers were so gorgeous and realistic that some people mistook them for live-action. Pixar went to incredible effort to make it look as real as possible, even bringing in cinematography legend Roger Deakins to demonstrate some of the effects he could do with a camera, which they then replicated in the animation software.
  • Sealed Orders: AUTO, the AI controlling the ships' functions, maintenance, and route, has sealed orders to not return to Earth. Nobody, human or robot, is aware of this but AUTO. The trope is subverted because the Axiom's human captains simply were not to know about it, not even if plant life is confirmed.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The escape pod WALL•E gets stuck in has its self-destruct switch activating, giving him 20 seconds to find a way out. The mechanism is activated by a big red button right in the center of the console, but there's no obvious way to deactivate the sequence.
  • Shoo the Dog: WALL•E commands his cockroach pet (who wants to tag along) to stay behind when he embarks on his space trip.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: The first two humans WALL•E meets are videoconferencing in their hoverchairs... which are right next to each other. It serves to emphasize how everyone on the ship is dependent on their gadgets to the point of being unaware of what's going on around them.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, see WALL•E Shout-Outs.
  • Shown Their Work: When WALL•E and EVE are flying in space. First, the gas in the fire extinguisher crystallizes as it would in a vacuum, and second, WALL•E holds the nozzle at his center of mass when he wants to move forward. Also the plant is shown surviving a short time in hard vacuum, which is Truth in Television.
  • Shutting Up Now: Not said outright, but when WALL•E tries to enthusiastically point out that EVE is featured in the "Caution: Rogue Robots" warning, she responds by blasting the screen it's on. WALL•E scrunches up as if to imply this.
  • Silence Is Golden: The first forty minutes or so of the film is with next-to-no dialog, allowing audiences to be immersed in the harsh climate of the current state of the Earth and observing the daily life of the eponymous WALL•E (and later EVE). The remainder of the film gets more talkative since we are introduced to the humans, but scenes between the robot characters (barring AUTO) remain sparse on dialog.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: When Directive A113 is revealed, it shows the CEO of Buy n Large, Shelby Forthright, ordering all Ships not to return to Earth, as it was thought the Planet would not be able to support life again, as well as feeling it would be "easier" for humanity to stay in Space. The Captain points out to AUTO, however, the very fact that the Plant exists proves Forthright was wrong, and the credits show Humanity and Robots restoring Earth to its former glory.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: EVE eventually falls in love with WALL•E for his kind and nature and his complete devotion to her.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The polluted Earth contrasts with the shiny ships that now watch over humans.
  • Slow Electricity: The Hard Light barriers in the holding cells fail sequentially instead of all at once.
  • Solar Punk: As the credits roll, we see that the newly-returned humans build a society that's a lot healthier for themselves and the world.
  • Soulful Plant Story: A love story set in a dystopian future (even if it does have comedy), and a recurring theme is a plant that's one of the few left on a polluted Earth.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Oh yeah. In the very first minute, "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", a bright, cheery song, matches well with the opening shots of the galaxy... not so much with the revelation of what Earth has become that follows. At the moment the song breaks into "There's lots of world out there", we get our first glimpse of Earth's barren wasteland surface.
  • Space Clothes: Mostly monochromatic jumpsuits and no shoes. When people want to wear another outfit (to wit: "blue is the new red") the clothes change without being taken off. This is apparently an attribute of the chairs they ride in, as the suits quickly change back to red once the chair's functions are disabled or the person gets out of it. The suits are also very elastic, as a the humans go from obese to fit during the closing credits and never change clothes or create new ones. Since the humans are never shown off their chairs we can also assume the jumpsuits are very... hygienic. The PR-Ts are said to help with hygiene as well as beautification. Subverted with the Captain, as his nonelastic jacket is shown hanging off his shoulders, impossible to close.
  • Space Clouds: The Axiom is parked next to a nebula which initially hides its presence as the Earth-ship approaches.
  • Space Is an Ocean: The part of the climactic sequence when the Axiom tilts in space and everybody slides to one side. This would make sense if the Axiom was a ship listing in the ocean, but it's in space where there is no external gravitational field. So there's no reason for everybody to slide to the side when the ship tilts, unless AUTO was messing about with the Artificial Gravity.
  • Space Is Noisy: ...Yeah, we'll repeat it again, who cares?
  • Space Sailing: The Axiom was definitely reminiscent of a sea-going cruise ship. Turning the steering wheel too sharply even causes the ship to list.
  • Spanner in the Works: Now let's see what happens to this perfectly planned community in space when we add one robot not built for the community's function...
  • Stalker with a Crush: Downplayed. Much of WALL•E's fascination that borders on "stalkerish" behavior can be explained in that EVE is the first non-cockroach interaction WALL•E has had probably since he was activated 700 years ago; so a degree of lacking awareness about social and boundary issues makes sense. For the most part, WALL•E is shown to have proper concern and respect for EVE. The only time it feels a little awkward is when EVE is in hibernation mode and WALL•E tries to hold her hand on their "date" which slips into Dude, She's Like in a Coma territory; and that doesn't go unpunished as her arm snaps back into position, crushing his hand in the process.
  • Stand-In Portrait: The Captain stands in front of his holographic picture so that he can hide from and then ambush AUTO. It's also how he convinces AUTO that he has the plant. Makes sense, though, since we briefly see through AUTO's one eye and he has little depth perception.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • WALL•E (with the E standing for Earth-class) eventually runs into an Axiom-class version of himself named WALL•A.
    • We've mentioned several times how BnL is Wal-Mart IN SPAAAAACE. On the other hand, our title character had our entire home planet to himself. Earth had become WALL•E's world .
  • Stock Sound Effects: A non-Public Domain example: all of the film's sound effects come from Skywalker Sound's sound archives.
  • Stupid Future People: While not exactly stupid, the humans are ignorant and lazy after generations of only being fed information the computer decided they needed to know.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: WALL•E etches a heart with "WALL•E + EVE" on a trash can.
  • Take That!: When admitting in a long-lost video that the Earth has been ruined and humanity can't go back, Shelby Forthright tells people to "stay the course", a catchphrase associated with George W. Bush.
  • Technology Porn: In addition to all the robots and gadgets on the Axiom, there's the various loading/unloading/folding/rotating arms and waldos during EVE's expedition.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When the Axiom's captain gets out of his hover-chair in order to turn off AUTO.
  • There Was a Door: After repairing WALL•E back on Earth, EVE decides the door is too far away and blows a hole in WALL•E's ceiling to get him some sunlight.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: It's implied that the WALL•E has at one point or another replaced every part of his body from the spare parts he keeps in his house, except his motherboard. So, by the end, when EVE replaces his motherboard after it gets severely damaged, WALL•E acts like any other garbage disposal robot until EVE kisses him. Which raises the question of where does his personality reside and how was it restored if his motherboard was replaced?
  • This Cannot Be!: AUTO repeatedly utters "Not Possible!" when things happen that he did not foresee.
  • Time-Passes Montage: Several, some more subtle than others. WALL•E's initial courtship with EVE, EVE's hibernation upon finding the plant, WALL•E's trip through space, and the credit sequence. Interestingly, none of these montages provide any cues as to how much time is passing. They could take place over anything from a number of days, to many years or even centuries. Because the robots are functionally immortal, there's just no way to tell.
  • Trash of the Titans: Earth is covered with garbage, including a layer of defunct satellites in orbit which spaceships have to plow through.
  • Trigger-Happy: Upon arriving on Earth, EVE shoots pretty much anything that moves. She does learn to calm down.
  • Trouble from the Past: The people who return to Earth still have to clean up their ancestors' mess of garbage.
  • True Love's Kiss: When WALL•E is essentially killed and then rebuilt by EVE, his memory is lost and EVE tries everything she can think of to bring him back. Nothing works, and she, giving up, finally sadly "kisses" him and the electric spark jolts his memory.
  • Umbrellas Are Lightning Rods: The eponymous, chivalrous robot holds an umbrella over the hibernating EVE to shield her from the rain. WALL•E gets zapped by lightning this way at least twice in a row. WALL•E doesn't mind being electrocuted, and apparently he's used to this since he brought a stack of spare umbrellas.
  • Understatement: "We're having a slight malfunction — [SLAM!] — with the autopilot!"
  • Uniformity Exception: After scanning the plant specimen, EVE develops a blinking green "plant" light on her chassis, making it easy for WALL•E to distinguish her from the dozen or so other EVE pods on the exploration shuttle. Later, the robots in the robot repair bay place a red reset button on her, accomplishing the same purpose.
  • Unusual User Interface:
    • In the future, even advanced robots like COM-T will use keyboards and the hunt and peck method of typing... but the buttons will be nothing but 0's and 1's.
    • AUTO even uses the standard human approach of "If it doesn't work, press harder." In his defense, it would have worked if WALL•E wasn't in the way. Counter to that, applying pressure enough to break the button while giving it a massive electric shock should have just shorted out the button's attached circuit completely and caused it to stop functioning.
  • Used Future: Played as straight as it gets with Earth, but averted aboard the Axiom, which looks just as clean and shiny as when it was launched 700 years ago. (Thank you, M-O!)
  • Villainous Breakdown: Upon realizing that WALL•E and EVE are very close to sending everyone home, AUTO begins to subtly lose his cold, logical demeanor, sending waves of stewards to pursue them throughout the Axiom. When WALL•E tries to prevent the platform from descending, a clearly panicked AUTO jabs the button increasingly rapidly. Then presses it so hard the glass cracks. Then tasers it.
  • Visual Pun: When EVE wakes up in the bowels of the Axiom's trash compactor, she finds it is infested with sentient computer mice. They even make clicking sounds instead of squeaks.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: When WALL•E accidentally drops into the Captain's quarters, the Captain's alarm starts beeping. He groggily reaches over to switch it off, but accidentally hits the Play button on WALL•E's audio recorder. As "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" starts playing, he bolts upright and, still half-asleep, yells "ALL HANDS ON DECK!"
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The "Caution" mug shot of EVE and WALL•E that gets distributed all over the ship.
  • A Weighty Aesop: In showing humanity as obese creatures with low bone density and requiring hover-chairs to move around, the film can be interpreted to have one of these, though the filmmakers claim it was accidental and the real Aesop is more of a warning against over-consumerism.
  • Wham Shot: The moment when A113 appears in full view of the audience from AUTO's POV when he recognizes the plant makes it clear that the number carries much more significance than just a simple Easter Egg.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The heroes are the titular WALL•E, a friendly and lovable robot with a sense of curiosity, and EVE, who started off as cold and demanding until she Took a Level in Kindness. The humans of the story, once jolted out of their reverie, proceed to repair the earth with newfound love for nature and life. The CEO of Buy n Large is more panicked and shortsighted than anything. The closest thing the movie has to an antagonist is AUTO, but he simply does as he's programmed to do, as do any other "evil" robots. At the end of the day, there are no clear villains, but there are clear heroes.
  • Wiki Walk: The captain becomes entranced by the encyclopedia of Earth life. We leave him at the entry for "Sea" and come back at the entry for "Hoedown".
  • Wiper Start: WALL•E's attempts to cancel the escape pod's self-destruct sequence activate just about every other gadget it has, including, yes, wipers. And missile counter-measures, braking parachute, emergency raft and periscope!
  • The World Is Just Awesome:
    • Once WALL•E boards the space craft. Or when he's viewing the universe. 'Woah' indeed.
    • The humans' reaction when they first actually notice their surroundings, having been so immersed in their luxuries that they failed to notice everything around them.
      Captain: AUTO, Earth is amazing!
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks:
    • WALL•E finds a diamond ring in a box, and tosses the ring aside to play with the box. And walks on a carpet of dollar, er, B&L bills.
    • Reiterated in the 2009 Oscar's Animation Yearbook montage, where WALL•E finds an Oscar statue and a battered tape of said montage inside the plant's fridge. He naturally tosses the statue and takes the tape back home to watch. Funny in that WALL•E had just won Best Animated Feature.


Video Example(s):


Auto lacking depth perception

Because Auto can only see in 2D and has no sense of depth, the captain puts up a picture of the plant and with his hand under that plant in order to trick Auto into thinking that he's holding the real plant. After that, he blends in with a picture of himself before jumping up to grab Auto.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlawExploitation

Media sources: