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Main franchise

  • Adaptation Displacement: Trolls is the first adaptational Dreamworks Animation franchise to notably avert this trope. Although there's a decent amount of completely original Dreamworks movies and franchises, such as Madagascar, Bee Movie, Monsters vs. Aliens and Megamind, a great bunch of people are unaware that the most successful ones like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon were based on earlier works, Kung Fu Panda's case being from a video game by Dreamworks' former game development subsidiary (speaking of which, practically the same amount of audiences don't know about said subsidiary). Trolls is more recognizable, since many people aleadry know about the Troll Dolls, and those who don't are likely to familiarize them too.
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  • Fanon Discontinuity: A weird example. Since Trolls: World Tour was such a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, some people like to pretend that the first movie never happened. It helps that there's no Continuity Lockout, since the events of the first movie practically don't really matter in the second, asides from Poppy becoming Queen of the Pop Trolls, Branch getting his happiness back, and Creek no longer being part of the Snack Pack.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Although they don't comprise a majority of the Trolls fandom, some fans are also into the Pixar movies Inside Out and Soul, due to them featuring similar expressions when it comes to emotional changes and metaphysics. It's stronger in the latter's case, as it has a focus on music and like Trolls: World Tour had to be released on VOD due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Most don't have a habit of crossovering Trolls with those movies, though.
    • There's also a good amount of overlap between the Trolls and Pitch Perfect fandoms, thanks to Anna Kendrick playing one of protagonists in both franchises, and their soundtracks heavily focusing on pop music (at least until the second movie in the case of Trolls). Skylar Astin and Ester Dean's involvement as voice actors also count as well.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Trolls was a big success in its home country of the United States, where it has rivalled Frozen in popularity. But in India, the franchise is much bigger than it is in the United States. Its movies are among the most-streamed kids' films on popular Indian streaming services, and merchandise is sold almost everywhere.
    • The first film was also big in the United Kingdom, where it topped the box office for two weeks in a row, outgrossed Moana in ticket sales and has received exclusive merchandise, some of which notably has an art style similar to that of Trolls: The Beat Goes On!.
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    • In Japan, The Beat Goes On! was a pretty large success too. A whole line of unofficial merchandise based on the show was released there.
  • Periphery Demographic: Likely due to the involvement of Justin Timberlake, this franchise has one among teenagers and young adults. By the time World Tour was released, Dreamworks took notice of this and called for cosmetics brands to produce merchandise for the movie.
    • One advertisement for World Tour was likely aimed at stoners due to it being released on April 2020 (4/20 essentially), with its bright colors and comedic tone being the main selling points.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Fans have made a number of names for their preferred ships.

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First movie

  • Adorkable: Bridget is quite shy and very awkward around her crush, but still very cute and likeable.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is the Bergen Head Chef a monster who wants power, or just bitter due to unjustly being banished for something that wasn't her fault?
    • Was Creek rotten from the start or did he simply succumb to death threats? His appearances in the The Beat Goes On! lean towards the latter.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Pretty much everybody predicted this movie would be a critical disaster and a box office disappointment, noting that the Troll franchise was too outdated, the premise was too unoriginal and the cast choices were too risky, not to mention that the movie itself was too obviously a We're Still Relevant, Dammit! attempt from DreamWorks Animation. However, while it wasn't a meteoric success, the film received generally positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $344 million worldwide against its $125 million budget. Eventually, it would end up becoming one of the most successful franchises in the studio's history thanks to incredibly high merchandise sales, a popular TV adaptation, and the rise of people streaming movies online giving the film a much wider audience of children. Case in point, from 2017 to 2018, it was one of the most-watched movies on Netflix.note 
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Cloud Guy is a talking cloud for no adequately explained reason, and only exists to point Branch and Poppy into the right tunnel, but spends almost all his screen time messing with them, also for no explained reason. While he does come back, it is for yet another one of these where he interrupts their hug at the end and they shove him away, creating yet another Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Broken Base: The depiction of happiness vs. depression in general. The Bergens seem incapable of noticing they can be happy without eating a troll (despite Gristle and Bridget clearly displaying happiness at moments) and somehow no one noticed for 20 years. On the other hand Branch's depression is handled a bit better as it has a catalyst and talking about it with others is what helps him through it. If the beginning of the movie being any indication, Bergens have always had an odd standard for being happy.
  • Cliché Storm: While it pulls them off fairly well, most of the story can feel like they're from a list of "Generic children's movie plot points". There's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a painfully on the nose Freudian Excuse who slowly becomes nicer over the film, while a love interest—who is never anything except a condescending Jerkass—is a victim of Derailing Love Interests when he makes a Face–Heel Turn. We also get a Cinderella Circumstances subplot played straight at every turn, though to be fair, the Cinderella subplot proves crucial to resolving the long-term issue with the Bergens by publicly showing the Bergens an alternate, non-Troll-eating route to happiness.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • A flashback is shown of the many incidents caused by Branch's paranoia of a Bergen attack. Birthday party? Knocks down the cake in panic. Wedding? Knocks down the cake again. Funeral? Knocks down the casket, causing the body to fall out. Made doubly so when the deceased troll and his widow being the groom and bride from the previous wedding sequence, and the groom originally being a clown for her birthday.
    • When the Bergens are singing about how they're all miserable, one is seen burying himself alive... with a "meh" expression on his face.
    • Cooper's best moment in the film is when he cracks a totally inappropriate joke while everyone else is letting Branch's Tragic Backstory sink in.
      Cooper: My uncle broke his neck tap-dancing once.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: Branch being Deliberately Monochrome is supposed to be a bad thing, he reverts back to blue at the end of the movie, since he Took a Level in Kindness. Fans of the movie generally think he looks better and more unique when he's gray. Some are frustrated that there isn't much merchandise for this version. The sequel seems to have reversed the change as Branch is again grey but is still nicer than he was before.
  • Genius Bonus: Cooper's design is an allusion to strange custom Troll dolls some collectors make out of the real ones.
    • The original Danish title of "In the Hall of the Mountain King," of which "Hair Up" is a remix, translates directly to "Troll Hall." As a matter of fact, the King mentioned in the original song's lyrics was a Troll himself.
    • The Bergens are reminiscent to the trolls from Norse mythology, which were aleadry the inspiration of the Troll dolls.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The same year this movie came out, DWA debuted Trollhunters on Netflix—which is about as far from this movie as you can get.
  • Moe: Poppy is really cute, as are many other trolls.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Chef crosses this with her intent to get the all trolls eaten in order to take over the Bergen Town monarchy.
    • Creek crosses it by betraying his entire race to save his own skin.
  • Narm: The "True Colors" scene is a bit too cheesy for some people to take seriously.
    • Some of the updates to classic songs in the soundtrack can either inspire nausea, laughter, or a combination of the two in an unsuspecting audience. For example, Anna Kendrick's and Zoey Deschanel's take on "I'm Comin' Out" starts out like the traditional and iconic Diana Ross song, but it unexpectedly switches to a MODERN POP RAP NUMBER á la The Notorious B.I.G. halfway through, and keeps on going like that for the rest of the song.
    • The reveal of Branch's Freudian Excuse that singing killed his grandma doesn't really punch you in the gut like the movie wants it to, especially if one were expecting it. Plus, it's not really possible to say "Because singing killed my grandma, OK?!", without falling victim to Narm. note 
  • Nightmare Retardant: Although Chef is aleadry despicable-looking by herself, the movie makes some bland attempts to always make her appear scary whenever she shows up, especially it comes to the stereotypical storm and Evil Laugh, both of which happen when she speaks to the kidnapped Snack Pack members about her intention to overthrow Gristle.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This film was very much a reboot of Smurfs before the actual Smurfs reboot came out; the Smurfs are reimagined as a small, technicolor MacGuffin prey species in a (more or less) medieval environment with castles and kings, and instead of humans, we get another fictional species that looks like the ogres in that other Follow the Leader of Smurfs, the Gummi Bears.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise:
    • A lot of the products for the film (such as clothes, toys, etc.) show Branch's "True Colors".
    • The first doll ever released of Poppy, which came out in September 2016, spoils her gaining status as the queen of the Trolls at the end of the movie. The same wave of dolls also included one of Bridget in her Lady Glittersparkles disguise.
    • Creek is noticeably absent from the majority of merchandise, in a situation similar to Hans from Frozen (2013) where a secret villain doesn't get many toys.
  • Stealth Pun: The trolls nearly were up the Creek.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Branch and Poppy, who are treated like a couple after "True Colors" despite there only being one indication of any feelings between them beforehand (Branch telling Bridget to compliment Gristle's smile while looking at Poppy). There is some very mild Foreshadowing when it's shown that Branch has kept all of Poppy's party invitations over the years, but this can just as easily be taken as a desire for all the social life he cannot enjoy and not outright for Poppy's love. In general, the opinion that the movie would work better under the interpretation that they remain as platonic partners is interestingly popular. The series and sequel after this movie rectify this trope, with the series still treating Poppy and Branch as close friends and the sequel addressing how they truly feel for each other, rendering the "love confession" in "True Colors" completely platonic...at first.
  • Strawman Has a Point: When Branch initially refuses to help Poppy rescue her friends, she argues that he has to by claiming "You can't say no! They're your friends!" But as Branch points out, it was Poppy's friends, not his, who were captured as a result of them dismissing his advice about not doing anything that might attract Bergens to their hideout in the first place. He doesn't so much consider them his friends at that point. While it would have been very altruistic for him to offer the rest of the Trolls his home and resources and gone to help, he's completely within his rights to say no. Especially when saying "yes" would mean going to find the very creatures he's spent his entire life avoiding.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Can't Stop the Feeling" sounds a bit too similar to The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face". Some listeners have suggested that "Can't Stop the Feeling" was created specifically to be a G-rated version of The Weeknd's song, as it's been noted that parents were alarmed that "Can't Feel My Face" was very popular with younger listeners (even getting a Kids' Choice Award nomination) when it was a song about cocaine. Not helping matters is that both songs were coincidentally co-written and produced by Max Martin.
  • Tainted by the Preview: That teaser did not give a good first impression of this movie. See "We're Still Relevant, Dammit!"
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: With the constant emphasis on being happy, the overly bright colors and cutesy designs, and the fact that the Trolls have a scheduled hug time, this movie could come off as that to some. Animation Reviewers AniMat and Joey Tedesco even compared this movie to A Troll in Central Park and Care Bears. However, it's worth noting that the movie seems aware of this and often attempts to avert this, with Branch playing the cynical Straight Man, along with a surprising amount of Black Comedy.
  • Ugly Cute: Gristle Jr. and Bridget are much cuter than all the other Bergens.
  • Uncanny Valley: Mr. Dinkles. SO MUCH!
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Say what you will about the film, the colors and visuals are a feast for the eyes. DreamWorks has never gone this wild and off-the-wall cartoony with their animation before and it is a glorious high to see!
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Written in giant neon letters with the teaser trailer, which included both the song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)", complete with the dance and twerking. Several characters do not help this perception, such as Guy Diamond (who speaks in Auto-Tune), Cooper, and Cloud Guy.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The film was made for children to watch, but some think that it contains subliminal messages about the dangers of becoming addicted to psychedelic drugs that induce happiness (as in Bergens see Trolls as those drugs).
  • Win the Crowd: Despite being Tainted by the Preview and some finding the movie to be a Cliché Storm, when it was released it was received much better than anticipated.
  • The Woobie:
    • Branch becomes one when it's revealed why he is so cynical: While he was singing, it attracted Chef and his grandma sacrificed herself to save him.
    • Bridget gets a lot of abuse from Chef.

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