9

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Ladies and gentlemen, our hero.

1 to protect us...
2 to inspire us...
3 to define us...
4 to teach us...
5 to guide us...
6 to lead us...
7 to defend us...
8 to guard us...
9 to save us.

The title 9 refers to two Animated movies, both directed by Shane Acker:

  • The Academy Award-nominated short, released in 2005.
  • The movie, produced by Tim Burton (who saw the original short and loved it), released on 9 September 2009. Note, however, that Acker designed, directed and co-wrote both films with Burton providing the financing. You can see the trailer here.

The main characters are sackdolls, or ragdolls depending on who you ask, though two are made from garden gloves. The creator, Shane Acker, has officially dubbed them "stitchpunks". This has generally become the term for them in fandom.

In both cases, the plot follows a stuffed sackdoll, simply known by the number 9 painted onto his back, as he attempts to survive in an Alternate Universe where humanity has been wiped out.

The short was released first, and chronicles 9's attempts to defeat an unnamed mechanical creature, who killed 5, his one-eyed mentor, and the other dolls, and retrieve the machine's soul-stealing device. The film, while ambiguous about the setting, was praised for its storyline and plot.

The movie expands on the short considerably; Nine's companions are still alive, and the team are journeying throughout the wasteland in an attempt to stop the machines that killed humanity from reawakening. Judging by the trailer, it doesn't work.

9 is the Trope Namer for:
  • Go Back to the Source
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response
  • Stitchpunk: A subgenre of Steampunk. "Fiction influenced by the DIY and crafts element of Steampunk, with a prime example being Shane Acker's Nine, in which cute Frankenstein doll-creatures stitched together from bits of burlap sack try to save the world. In a wider context, Stitchpunk emphasizes the role of weavers, tinkers, and darners in Steampunk." Termed by Acker and outlined as such officially in The Steampunk Bible (page 55). More details and examples may be found here.

Tropes used in 9 include:

Both contain examples of[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Adorable Abomination: Some of the stitchpunks.
  • After the End
  • Apocalypse How: At least a Class 3a extinction but possibly ranging up from a Class 4 extinction event to a Class 5 as the planet appears to be devoid of any life whatsoever besides the dolls and the machines. However, whether the entire planet is like this or just the small portion where the movie takes place is unknown. The ending seems to suggest heavily Class 5. What with all of the dolls except 9, 7, 3, & 4 gone, and as the dead ones ascend into the sky, it starts raining, showing a close-up of some sort of microorganisms in said raindrop.
  • Cats Are Mean: The Cat Beast in both incarnations, with its movie version's savagery being upped to eleven.
  • Crapsack World: Sucks to be a doll.
  • Cue the Sun: Both films end at dawn.
  • Desolation Shot
  • Doing It for the Art: Just look at those visuals...
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • Golem
  • Gory Discretion Shot: To a point.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Cat Beast has an eye that it uses like a red flashlight.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The dolls seem to be small sentient robots made out of scrap, possess some form of "soul" and look like they could, say, repair themselves with anything to hand. The machines that hunt them incorporate non-standard building materials, like animal skulls.
    • the method of their creation seems to point towards their being some manner of primitive Hommunculi.
  • Mechanical Monster
  • Punk Punk: The movie, thanks to Shane Acker and The Steampunk Bible, technically coined a subgenre in Steampunk called Stitchpunk
  • Right Behind Me: In abundance in the film, but prominently featured in the original short: as 5 is looking around for the Machine, the camera shifts to show his front and the Machine behind him readying its claws with Audible Sharpness. 5's eye gets wide and he assumes an expression we all know.
  • Scenery Gorn: Multiple buildings reduced to rubble.
  • Soul Jar
  • You Are Number Six: Even though the characters all had distinct personalities.

The short contains examples of[edit | hide]


The movie contains examples of[edit | hide]

  • Action Girl: 7, for a given value of "girl". The action part is most definitely inarguable, though.
  • Action Survivor: Everyone aside from 7 and 8. 9 and 5 especially.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Well, more of an Adam And Eve ENDING than anything. Kind of.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The original short, which has a single mechanical beast collecting the souls for who-knows-what with a talisman and the silent 5 and 9 out to avenge their friends, is expanded to a voiced feature in which that beast is but a minion planning to use that talisman to revive something much worse, and all nine stitchpunks dealing with it.
  • Affably Evil: The Chancellor.
  • Agony of the Feet: 2 hops around holding one foot after kicking the Beast that 7 killed.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Fabrication Machine. Justified: The Fabrication Machine's AI was made to be a human-like as possible, so when the Chanceller forced it to work too hard for too long, it did what any human would have done, it snapped.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Quite possibly what the Scientist used to create the stitchpunks. In the Magic From Technology or Magitek sense, of course.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of backstory and other details are found in the Scientist's journal and Facebook page.
  • All-Star Cast: Surprisingly, for such a low-budget film.
  • Alternate History: According to the director, the film takes place in a world where the Industrial Revolution never ended, with machines becoming more advanced earlier than our timeline.
  • Alternate Reality Game
  • Anyone Can Die: And how!
  • Apocalyptic Log: The video feed 9 comes across in the Scientist's room.
  • Art Evolution: From 1 to 9, you can see that the Scientist improved his doll-making style. Lampshaded by 2.
  • Artificial Human: The stitchpunks.
    • Technically a form of homonculus?
  • Ascended Extra: Every doll except 9 and possibly 5.
  • The Atoner: The Scientist, who carries out his atonement before the film even starts.
  • Audible Gleam: During the Winged Beast scene.
  • Automatic Crossbows: 5's weapon of choice, which also becomes a Grappling Hook Pistol when he fires a fishing hook.
  • Badass Labcoat: Tell me that instilling sackdolls with your own life essence isn't badass.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: 2 is widely associated with his famous catch phrase "This is smashing!" which was never put in the film, but on a couple of old trailers and an obscure B-roll.
  • Big Bad: The Fabrication Machine.
  • Big Damn Heroes: 9 and others are cornered by a beast twice with no apparent way out, when 7 suddenly appears out of nowhere to save the day. (although the second time this was attempted 7 ended up with a harpoon in her leg.)
    • "Let me try that again."
  • Big No: It's got Elijah Wood. What do you think?
  • Bittersweet Ending: The machine is defeated, but the world is still no better than before and 1,2,5, 6, and 8 have all passed on. 9's narration says that he has no idea what is left...except that the world now belongs to the few sackdolls that remain. Except for the somethings seen dividing in the raindrops hitting the camera at the end...implying that they've restored life to the world. Or something.
    • The freed souls of the dead sackdolls mixed with primordial ooze in the atmosphere and created new organic life.
    • And apparently it's up to 9, 7, 3 and 4 to oversee this new life.
  • BFG: The old artillery gun uses shells larger than the sackdolls themselves.
  • BFS: 8's got two; a carving knife and half of a pair of scissors (they're big to him).
  • Blatant Lies: "It will create new machines of peace!"
  • Bodyguard Crush: To some extent, 8 for 1. (But of course, much of this is fan-related.)
  • Break the Cutie: 5. In his blog, The Scientist talks about how pure and trusting 5 is... then he loses an eye in an explosion, his best friend gets kidnapped, said friend dies before his eyes minutes after getting rescued due to idiocy on the part of the hero, and when he finally learns to stand up for himself and enjoy life, he dies. He's happy at the end of the movie, but, still...
  • Break the Haughty: 1. Is the loneliest number that you'll ever do...
  • Cain and Abel: 1 felt very threatened by 2's curiosity and feared that he might be overthrown, which is why he sent 2 out into the Emptiness to die. (It may not be as violent, but it gets the job done). 1 and 2 are also widely considered as brothers in the fandom.
  • Cassandra Truth: 6, no one seemed to listen to him before 9.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Did you forget about the little box under the scientist's hand with the "9" tag on it? And 9's half of the talisman?
    • And also the big puddle of oil/petrol that 5 and 9 hop across when in the factory.
    • In a deleted scene, the key around 6's neck was used to open the box at the end.
    • The propeller of the aeroplane that's lodged in the church roof.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: 6, when not drawing out his visions or being chased, seems to be off in his own little world or acting silly. The twins, 3 and 4, may also count. 6 is also an example of The Cuckoolander Was Right.
  • Composite Character: Inverted;
    • 5 from the short film had his role split between 2 and 5 in the Burton-produced film.
    • A second inversion: All the characters are technically the same person.
  • Conflict Ball: 1 starts out opposing everything 9 suggests. Then everyone else starts opposing 9's ideas as well near the end, when they try to destroy the Machine but he doesn't want to. 1 even refuses at first to take of his cape to save his life, for no adequately explained reason.
    • The last one can be sort of explained...1 never actually refused, or said "no," he said "I can't." He probably was afraid he'd fall if he freed one hand, but he still isn't flat-out opposing 9.
    • The fact that 1 didn't want to remove his cape could have been symbolic. The cape could symbolize to 1 his authority over the stichpunks, and losing it would mean losing the very thing that defined him (besides his dogged stubbornness). It could also foreshadow his eventual Heroic Sacrifice later in the movie. First, a lost cape, next, Soul Theft.
    • OR he could have just not wanted to loosen his desperate grip so as to free a hand for taking the cape off.
  • Cool Old Guy: 2. Totally.
  • Corrupt Church: 1's hiding place is a cathedral, he wears a tall mitre and cape and has a staff like a shepherd's crook, he scolds 9 for looking up magick, has 2 killed for being too inquisitive...
  • Creating Life
  • Creepy Children: The twins could be interpreted this way. It bears mentioning that some of the older concept art [dead link] for them was less cutesy. Though very awesome.
  • Creepy Twins
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Interestingly, signifying the creation of the main character (whose tagline, as seen above, is 'To Save Us') rather than a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Cute Mutes: The twins.
  • Danny Elfman: With Tim Burton producing, of course he'd follow along, even if he only did the themes for the movie. Deborah Lurie did the score.
  • Deadly Gas
  • Defiant to the End: How 8 goes out.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Cat Beast was the main villain in the short and was implied to have hunted and killed every single stichpunk, save 9, who defeats the creature. In the film it only shows up for two sequences before being swiftly killed by 7 and doesn't cause the deaths of anyone.
  • Died Happily Ever After: All the stitchpunks who died return for one final farewell to the survivors before dissipating.
  • Dies Wide Open: Any doll who dies in the movie dies with their eyes and mouths wide open. Wide open.
  • Dirty Coward: 1. In his defense, there's a reason this film has a Nightmare Fuel entry. "Sometimes fear is the appropriate response," indeed.
  • Disney Death: 9 at the end. The other deaths, however...
  • Dissonant Serenity: Other than shouting at 9, 6 was awfully calm before his death.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Sometime pre-storyline, the unidentified country of setting was ruled by a dark-haired, stony-faced Evil Chancellor who plasters cities with flags displaying his red, black & white symbol, promises "the dawn of a NEW ERA! " seems to have a decent amount of Mooks in his employ, and is ultimately responsible for many, many horrific deaths.
    • Also, the scene where 8... ahem, pleasures himself by magnetizing his eyes right before the new 2 appears... no less, this took place in a courtyard of giant female statues!
  • Doomed by Canon: To anyone who's seen the short film it's a forgone conclusion that most of the stichpunks will be dead by the end.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: When 9 awakens the machine that kills the majority of the cast. Oops.
  • Dumb Muscle: 8 is big and burly, but none too bright.
  • Esoteric Motifs: The pseudo-alchemical glyphs of the Talisman crop up repeatedly throughout the film, largely thanks to 6 and his obsessive drawing. The Paracelsus text that briefly appears tells the observant viewer that the three main ones apparently represent 'Spiritus' (spirit), 'Animus' (mind) and 'Corpus' (body).
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Scientist and the Chancellor.
  • Evil Chancellor: The Chancellor of course.
  • Eye Scream: Though it's not a human eye, and therefore less creepy, the scene of 5 losing his eye is still pretty cringe-worthy. There were frayed wires and sparks coming from his empty socket, fer crissakes! The fact that the souls get sucked out through the eyes and mouth, which shatters the glass in the optics (Or, in 5's case, burns a hole through his patch) counts too.
    • An original design shows that the scientist and the chancellor fought to the death, and the chancellor has a quill stuck through his eye socket. Not kidding.
    • Also applies to when ( 5 shoots The Seamstress in the eye with his crossbow when it restrains 7)
  • Face Death with Dignity:
  • Face Palm: 1 does something like this when 8 fails to understand what he meant by "subjugate".
  • Falling Into His Arms: Used when 9 rescues 7.
  • Fan Fic Magnet: Name a character. ANY. Heck, the whole movie is this.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Mr. Fab," the Fabrication Machine. An alternate to this is "Fab Mac"
    • Petrie for the pterodactyl monster.
    • 1 is, of course, the Sack Pope. He is also known by Pope Doll and 1Pimp. Now there is this ridiciously addictive song for Pope Doll. Pope Dooooooolllllll! He enters the rooooooooooooom . . .
    • On certain Deviant ART communities, 5 is known as "Angst waffle".
      • He's also sometimes refered to as Pyro5.
    • 9 is also commonly referred to as 9Noob. For obvious reasons...
  • Fantastic Drug: While on guard duty, 8 pulls out a horseshoe magnet and holds it over his head. He starts guffawing like an idiot and bubbling can be heard. (By the way, the movie rating got marked up for drug use.)
  • Fingore: Like with 5's eye, it isn't as bad since it's not a human hand, but 1's hand gets mangled in an explosion near the end.
  • Nine Man band: 9 is The Hero, 8 is The Big Guy, 7 pulls double duty as both The Lancer and The Big Guy after 8 gets soul sucked, 6 is either The Sixth Ranger or The Heart, 5 is both The Chick and The Lancer, 3 and 4 are the Tagalong Kids, 2 is The Smart Guy, and 1 is the former hero (before 9 showed up) and eventually becomes The Mentor. Depending on your point of view, 1 can also be the Token Evil Teammate with 8 as his Lancer / Dragon.
  • Five-Bad Band: The BRAIN/Fabrication Machine is The Big Bad and The Evil Genius, the Cat Beast is The Dragon, The Winged Beast is The Brute, leaving The Seamtress as The Dark Chick. The little spiderbots can be the team pets.
  • Foreshadowing: See Ironic Echo. There was a little bit of foreshadowing for 9's disastrous curiosity, too: 2 has to stop him messing around with a bullet while he fixes his voicebox. See here.
    • "Sometimes, 1 must be sacrificed..."
    • 8's design has several vertical lines over his mouth, which look like, say, stitches... Later on 8 has his mouth stitched shut.
  • The Forties: In an alternate universe, at least, given the date on the newspaper clippings (1930) and the old-fashioned record player playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow (recorded in 1939). Not that it's really important, though, since most human concepts of time have probably been eliminated.
    • A Mark I tank (1916) can be seen sticking out of the ground at one point, but it's a blink-and-you'll miss it scene, so the 40s have much more evidence going for them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sort of. It's on screen for a few seconds, but is almost unnoticeable unless its been pointed out. A deleted scene has the characters open the music box/projector with 6's key, and we see there's a word inscribed inside. While the finished product didn't focus too much on this, the word is still there. The word is "hope". Pandora's box reference?
    • In the beginning after 9 awakens, he passes a body. This body stands out because it is the only dead human body where the face is shown. This body has been confirmed to be the chancellor, having the same face and uniform.
    • Another little thing: In the background while 8's investigating outside the library, there's a sign which reads "Every evil and every good is a shadow which we cast", which is a bit hard to make out due to the light.
  • Freudian Excuse: Watch the Fabrication Machine in the flashback where the scientist creates it. It appears to flail around when the scientist is dragged away from it, almost as if it's trying to reach out to him. After that is when it starts throttling Mooks.
  • The Fundamentalist: "No! We have RULES!"
  • Fun with Acronyms: Binary Reactive Artificially Intelligent Neurocircuit.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: 2 and The Scientist who created the sackdolls. The Fabrication Machine has this in its job description, and can create Killer Robots from pretty much anything that's lying around. This is because it has the Scientist's intelligence.
    • 9, when he uses the remains of 2's hat after The Beast kidnaps him. 5 even mentions it by saying, "2 would be impressed." to make the lightbulb staff. He later uses it as a decoy in a plan to kill The Seamstress and succeeds.
  • Gainax Ending: The end is left absolutely open to interpretation as to the future of the world.
  • Geometric Magic: The talisman.
  • The Glomp: 2's reaction to seeing 7 alive and well.
  • The Gloves Come Off: 1's response to 6's death is to commandeer a cannon and use it against the Fabrication Machine.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: From the Chancellor's perspective: A sentient fabrication machine created in a time of war ? There's no chance it'll turn against us.
  • Gone Horribly Right: From the Scientist's perspective: The Fabrication Machine is a bit too good in building stuff.
  • Grumpy Old Man: 1
  • Guile Hero: 9. No, really. Fair enough, he does make a pretty big mistake, but he does have a manipulative streak as well (as shown when speaking to 5 in the watch tower, and acknowledged in the DVD commentary) and makes good use of his wits when he actually gets into the action (case in point, killing the Seamstress). Not bad for a little guy.
  • Hard Head: 2 gets smacked in the head by 9 with a monkey wrench. Despite how old he seems, he walks around with little trouble after 9 helps him stand. If you listen, you can hear glass break when 9 swings the wrench. This suggests that 2 had the eyeglass-lens visor of his hat down in front of his face when he got ambushed; it's broken after the attack.
    • He is wearing it. You have to pay close attention, since the scene goes by so fast, but it's possible to briefly see 2's face, complete with visor, just before he's hit.
  • Hearing Voices: Though it is only slightly hinted at in the viral sites (and almost not in the movie) many fans believe that 6 hears voices in his head. However, in a deleted scene, it is heavily implied as 6 appears to talk back.
    • "Huh? 2?...2 is...coming?"
  • Heroic BSOD: 9 visibly goes through a miniature one following 5's death and has to be dragged away by 1.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: 1. 9 attempted it right before that too. 1: "Sometimes one must be sacrificed for the good of many" This is also a case of Foreshadowing, because when 1 originally said it, he was talking about how he sent 2 off.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: 5 and 2.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Basically it's a parade of this trope. Frodo wakes up in a post-apocalyptic city, argues with the Wasteland Elder Captain Von Trapp, becomes bff with Amos Hart (Chicago), tussles with Jubair Al-Hakim, and flirts with Sarah Williams. other notable voices are Prometheus (The Scientist), The Knave of Hearts (6), and Bela Lugosi (2).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Chancellor.
  • Humanity's Wake: The world is a tombstone for humanity.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Magnetism, apparently.
  • Idiot Ball: At first, the Talisman seems to be a physical manifestation of this at times. First of all, when 2 has it, he makes 9 hide from the Beast, but makes no attempt to do the same. And then when 9 has it... see Too Dumb to Live.
  • Idiot Hero:
    • Oh 9, you just had to hit every branch on the stupid tree when you fell didn't you? Though one could argue that he is just too curious and extremely unlucky.
    • And/or that he represents that inextinguishable part of the human soul which fucked up the world in the first place.
    • Keep in mind that 9 was only about 25 minutes old when he first encountered 2 and the Cat Beast. By the end of the film, 9 has only been alive for two or three days!
  • If I Do Not Return: "...destroy it."
  • Impairment Shot: Used when 9 wakes up in the infirmary.
    • And again when 1 awakens from his Seamstress-induced hypnosis.
  • Implacable Man: The Fabrication Machine; justified given its size compared to the stitchpunks and its history.
  • Infant Immortality: Brutally subverted when 9 finds the corpses of a mother and infant in a car. Also played straight in that 3 and 4, the most childlike of the bunch, survive the ending.
  • Ironic Echo: See the Meaningful Echo below.
  • It Got Worse: All the time. After 7 kills the Beast, 9 awakens the Fabrication Machine. After they kill the Winged Beast, Mr. Fab sends the Seamstress. When they kill the Seamstress, Mr. Fab sends his spider robot mook things. When they blow the factory up, Mr. Fab pulls a Disney Death, kills 5 and 6, and then kills 1 before they finally kill it. The poor sackdolls just can't catch a break.
  • Jerkass: 1 and 8
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 1 and 8 both show a few signs of being this, but they're pretty good at hiding it until the very end.
  • Kill It with Fire: The stitchpunks blowing up the Factory
  • Kick the Dog: 1 sent 2 to die.
  • Kill the Cutie: There are quite a few characters who'd fit the bill as "cutie." And since Anyone Can Die...
  • Lady of War: 7.
  • Le Parkour: According to DVD commentary, 7's fighting style was largely based on this and skateboarding moves.
  • Life Energy: Some people think that souls are essentially this in this universe.
  • Love At First Sight: 9 appeared to have this for 7.
  • Machine Worship: Not outright stated, but there are definite hints of it in the newsreel that introduces the Fabrication Machine.

The Chancellor: We must praise this new technology! ... It will create new machines in its own image!

1: They've left us nothing. Nothing. Why do we have to right their wrongs? Sometimes, one must be sacrificed.

  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Both 2 and 5 this time.
  • Mook Maker: The Fabrication Machine itself.
  • Mood Whiplash
  • Mordor: The wasteland has some serious Passchendaele vibes going on.
  • Mr. Fixit: 2. Completely.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Chancellor, of course.
  • Nice Hat:
    • 1's hat looks similar to a bishop's miter.
    • 2's candlestick hat.
    • 7's skullmet is pretty nice, though it may fall under Mask Power as well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The first chance he gets, 9 sticks the talisman into an outlet without thinking about it at all. This not only kills 2 but wakes up the Fabrication Machine. As 1 points out, and not inaccurately, "Ever since you got here, things have been unraveling!"
    • Keep in mind that he tried to smash a cased bullet early on; think of what would have happened had 2 not stopped him. He just seems dangerously curious.
    • However he is younger than he looks. 9 has only been 'alive' for about an hour when he meets 2. By this assumption, he's only a toddler, and what do toddlers do? they try to put the round peg in the round hole, he's only emulating someone of his age. To compare him to the others, they have been 'alive' long enough for 7,3 and 4 to go searching for answers to why the world is dead, and the others seem to have been activated for a while and none of them outright blame him for starting the Fabrication machine.
  • Non-Action Guy: 9 is mostly pulled along by 7 during the action sequences.
    • This loses its meaning when 9 kills The Seamstress.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The twins, 3 and 4. But 5 and 2 get pretty touchy-feely too.
    • 5 also gets more and more touchy-feely with 9 as the film progresses.
  • Numerological Motif: The number 9 shows up a lot, understandably enough.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: 1. Totally.
  • Oh Crap: Mostly 5 and 9, but everyone gets their moment. Mr. Fab has one when the Stitchpunks's barrel ignites the chemicals in the factory.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Briefly plays when 9 and 7 are running through the tunnel to escape the factory.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: The Scientist's soul-transfer device is shown to be based on the alchemist Paracelsus's creation of a homunculus.
  • Our Souls Are Different
  • Out of the Inferno: The Fabrication Machine, post-explosion.
  • Outrun the Fireball: At least twice.
  • Parrot Expowhat: When told by 1 to "subjugate [9 and 5]", 8 responds with "subje - what?"
  • Plummet Perspective: A chess piece falling from the bell tower, minus anyone hanging off a ledge.
  • Psychic Powers: 6 has both precognition and postcognition, turning the visions into drawings.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: 1, after finding out 9 woke up the worst machine possible.

You. Awakened. WHAT?

  • Putting on the Reich: The Chancellor. And try to tell me those machines' heads aren't modelled after Stahlhelms.
  • The Quiet One: 8. His lines that involve actual words rather than grunts can be counted on one hand.
  • Record Needle Scratch: An actual record needle scratching on an actual record.
  • Redemption Equals Death: 1 sacrifices himself to give the remaining heroes a chance to remove the talisman.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Fabrication Machine and its offspring.
  • Red Herring: The key that 6 carries. 9's box has a keyhole. Does This Remind You of Anything? might be more appropriate. Confirmed by an alternate ending/scrabbed sub-plot from the DVD extras where 6's key opens a second chamber in the box, which contains a mirror and the enscription "Hope" - which goes with a piece of paper in 9's zipper-pouch that reads "The Last."
  • Reflective Eyes:
    • 6's death is seen in 9's optics.
    • 6 also seeing 5's soul in the Machine's optic.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: 1's getup seems to be leaning toward this.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot
  • Robo Cam
  • Rule of Symbolism: When we first see 1, the leader of the group, he has a cape with a jewel on it, a staff, and a Nice Hat. Over the course of the film, he loses them one by one, as 9 starts taking more charge than him and the others listen to 9 instead. The icing on the cake, the last part of his outfit that needs removing, he removes himself.
    • The above makes this deleted scene pretty interesting...the last part of 1's outfit to be removed falls off after he speaks with and finally accepts 9.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: 2, who shows up, gives 9 a voice, is attacked and kidnapped by a cat-monster, and then kicks it minutes after his rescue due to some phenomenal stupidity on 9's part.
  • Samus Is a Girl: 7
  • Schizo-Tech: The newspapers from "before" list dates in the 1930s, but Over The Rainbow was not released until '39, and the B.R.A.I.N and other machines make it even more confusing. Being in an alternate reality though, it can easily be hand waved.
    • DVD extras also have people pointing out how the lightbulb staff is made from a battery that looks like it came from a watch made in '75
  • Science Is Bad: Subverted. Although "Science has turned against us!" is a prominent line, the guy who says it is actually the totalitarian dictator who's really to blame for the whole mess. When 9 finds the Scientist's video message, he learns the Fabrication Machine is simply a neutral technology that was easily corruptible. That said, every other word out of 1's mouth is some condemnation of human science. And regardless of what set it off, the villain is still technological progress. There is also another subversion in that the stitchpunks themselves were created thanks to science.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: 9 and 7. And 5, sort of. We later found out 2 was, too.
  • Security Cling: 5. All the time. 3 and 4 do this a few times as well.
  • Shrinking Violet: 5 seems to have certain characteristics of this at the beginning of the movie. Which of course only adds to his status as The Woobie.
  • Shout-Out: The only female stitchpunk is 7 of 9. Her fighting style and bird's skull helmet make her reminiscent of a Dragon Knight / Dragoon. The Seamstress is a snake / spider monster which hypnotizes its victims with bright lights and uses the image of a dead friend as a lure, as well as having an eerily familiar baby doll head. The pterodactyl has a head that completely opens up. A bulky character wears a helmet reminiscent of that of a Big Daddy. The Scientist whose work was weaponized and whose subsequent falling out of favor was heavily publicized is voiced by an actor whose name is Oppenheimer.
    • The machines are based off mythological beasts. Makes it a lot easier to describe the Seamstress as a Medusa than all the bits and pieces that make it up.
    • Or, um, how about Clotho?
    • A note about the voice actor of the scientist: yes, his name is Alan Oppenheimer, and it looks like an amazing coincidence from the way it is worded in the text there. But guess who his third cousin was?
  • Single-Minded Twins: 3 and 4. Pretty close, anyway.
  • Slouch of Villainy: 1 isn't an outright villain, but he does one of these at the end of his introduction.
  • The Smurfette Principle: 7 is the only female sackdoll of the group. And that's only obvious because she sounds female—sackdolls have no naughty bits. Justified; they all seem to stem from the Scientist's soul, so odds of his soul containing a lot of feminine qualities are very low.
    • Might be justified even without that. It's considered a pretty solid theory that everybody (or at least almost everybody), has psychological qualities of the opposite gender, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the individual.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Deliberate. "Over the Rainbow" plays as the Fabrication Machine pulls a Disney Death and pursues, and then captures/kills 5. Justified as They were playing the track a scene earlier, on a record player
    • Although it could be interpreted as forshadowing, because despite the 'happy' tone of the song, the lyrics talk about failed dreams and disappointing events. And they were disappointed
    • In fact, even the happy tone of the song is unintentional. It was meant to be a thoroughly sad song, but the actress sang it too convincingly, bursting into tears in the original takes, so it had to be changed.
  • Soul Jar: The Talisman
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Everyone except 9 died in the original short. In the full-length movie, he, 7, 3 & 4 all make it out alive.
  • The Speechless: 3 and 4 never speak, using lights and film to communicate with each other and others respectively. Also, 9 at the beginning.
    • It's worth noting that 9 can't speak until about ten minutes into the movie. The original short, which had no dialogue at all, was also ten minutes long.
  • Stab the Salad: 9 first meets 5 when the latter lunges at him with a pair of scissors... to trim the thread he used to sew up 9's injured shoulder, but 9 didn't know that.
  • Sticks to the Back: 8 uses a magnet hung on his back, in order to carry around his weapons. He also uses it to get high.
  • The Stoner. 8 is implied as getting high... on magnets.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Chancellor, and his "machines of peace and prosperity"...
  • Taking the Bullet: 1.
  • Team Mom: 7 seems to be this to 3 and 4, if not to the rest of the group. The DVD commentary refers to 5 as the 'group mom', too.
  • Thank the Maker: The scene when the Seamstress presents 8 to the Fabrication Machine REEKS of this.
    • "Return to the Source!"
  • Three-Point Landing: 7 does one after beheading the Cat Beast. It's on her character poster and everything.
  • Throwing Your Broken Half-Scissor Always Works
  • Trailers Always Spoil: In some cases it's "blink and you'll miss it," but some of the trailers and TV spots actually reveal that some of the main characters will die, and even show which ones.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: After the death of 2 5 is sitting in this position while hiding, even rocking back and forth slightly.
  • Twin Telepathy: Possibly how 3 and 4 can understand each other.
    • In one of the scenes, they communicate between themselves by flashing their broadcast-camera-eyes directly at each other.
  • Viral Marketing: Little bit. One of the most interesting ones was a random online-clip that showed Elijah Wood getting his soul sucked out while in the theater.
  • Waif Prophet: 6 gives off a general impression of being childlike, and is the shortest stitchpunk according to the heights in the scientist's facebook posts; he also doesn't seem to be entirely sane, given the obsessive talisman-drawing and the way he blurts out what his powers tell him without any attempt to explain what he's talking about.
  • Wall Full Of Crazy: 6 fills up a wall of the church attic with scribblings of the talisman. This is ostensibly his purpose, as all his fingers are fountain pen nibs.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: 1.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pretty much everyone, after 9 activates the Machine and gets 2 killed.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Asked of 9 after the above event. Good question, 7. Very good question.
  • World War I: The trailer seems to hint that the film takes place after the War. Whereas some of the technology seen in flashbacks during the movie proper (four-engined bombers, Molotov cocktails, 1930's-40's styled helmets) seems evocative of World War Two. This can be explained by the fact that the film definitely depicts an Alternate History. If you look at the newspapers, you'll notice they were dated sometime in the 1930s. Of course, the setting and general aesthetic is consistent with this as well. The Nazi-like government. The old-style vinyl record phonograph and accompanying music collection. The walkers equipped with Vickers-like machine guns.
  • X Meets Y:
    • "Fallout 3 meets LittleBigPlanet."
    • The Huffington Post describes it as "The Terminator meets WALL-E".
    • "Toy Story vs. The Matrix"...the Fabrication Machine even looks like a Squiddy.
    • "Sackboys fight a steampunk Skynet in a post-apocalyptic LittleBigPlanet."
      • Keep in mind, the short film of 9 was released 4 years before LittleBigPlanet. In fact, there are several curious similarities, like the enemies, the clothes, the zipper... In fact, Media Molecule started developing LBP a month after 9 was nominated at the Academy Awards.
  • You Fool!: Said by 1 to 9, after 9 accidentally awakens the Fabrication Machine.
    • He also says it to 5, when the latter is trying to stop him from setting fire to the factory before 9 and 7 can escape.
    • In fanfic, it's practically his Catch Phrase.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Reconnaissance and recovery robot airships.