Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a 2010 Film directed by Edgar Wright and based on the comic series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The film, like its source material, is about a twenty-something Toronto slacker named Scott Pilgrim who meets an American named Ramona Flowers, and must defeat her seven evil exes in order to date her. In a universe that acts like a real-life version of River City Ransom where there are combo meters, written sound effects spelled out in midair, points, and extra lives.
Since the comic was as yet unfinished during filming, the film moves in a slightly different direction to the comic, though core elements remain the same.
While the critics and audiences loved the film it wasn't able to make back its budget in the box office market, more than likely due to the humor being targeted to a certain demographic. However it fared far better in the home market.
- 555: Averted with Ramona's number: it's an actual number that Universal owns, for films that are too cool to use 555 numbers. It can also be seen in Munich and The Adjustment Bureau.
- Played straight, however, in the Lucas Lee movie (Cold Call) that Wallace watched.
- 90% of Your Brain: Todd claims his psychic powers are the result of vegans having access to the parts of the brain that would otherwise be full of "curds and whey". To be fair to the script, he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and the whole thing is meant to be nonsensical.
- Adaptation Distillation: The movie pares down many subplots and extraneous characters (for example, the relegation of Lisa to the animation allows them to get rid of a lot of Volume 4 without impacting the plot too much), and compresses the time-frame to somewhere around four and a half weeks (Ramona re-dyes her hair every week and a half, and goes through three dye-jobs over the course of the movie), rather than the year-ish of the comic.
- Adaptation Dye Job: Envy Adams is a redhead in the books (well, the book covers though The books are set to be Re-released in color) and a blonde in the film. Knives also dyes her hair blue in the film instead of red. The back cover of book two shows Todd with brown hair opposed to the film's grey color (although that appears to be a literal dye-job). Also, Young Neil was blond in the books, but in the movie he is dark haired.
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Without an explanation playing into the climax (as it did in Volume 6, which was being written while the movie was in production), the concept of "subspace" is essentially downgraded to a Hand Wave for why Ramona appeared in Scott's dream. Subspace, and its random doors popping up, could probably have been cut altogether if it wouldn't have caused the fans to revolt.
- Affably Evil: Lucas has shades of this, making small talk with Ramona
afterbefore tossing Scott into a castle, signing an autograph for Wallace, and remarking that Scott seems like a nice guy. This is a holdover from the comic, where he was more of an "edgy" than "evil" ex.
- Affectionate Parody: "Ninja Ninja Revolution".
- By extension, the entire movie is a parody of old-school video games, and comic books themselves.
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played fairly straight (no pun intended), albeit For Laughs - see Double Standard below.
- All There In The Actress:
- Bryan Lee O'Malley gave each of the principal cast a list of ten secrets about their characters not included in the original graphic novels. The actors have mostly been tight-lipped about these. Some secrets have come out:
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead has revealed that Ramona's little brother died when she was younger, and she wears one of his shoelaces as a necklace in memory of him.
- Aubrey Plaza mentioned in numerous places that Julie Powers had an unrequited crush on Scott in college, (one that possibly continues into the present,) which is why she's so hostile to him (especially if, like in the books, Scott's eventual girlfriend, Envy, was Julie's roommate). Bryan Lee O'Malley contests this as Plaza "making shit up", though Edgar Wright supported Plaza'a claim when both were on the "Doug Loves Movies" podcast.
- Mark Webber was told about Stephen Stills's homosexuality before it was revealed in Volume 6.
- All There in the Manual: The film makes vague references to the backstories of its supporting characters. The details given line up with what's presented in the graphic novels, so it can be inferred that those character histories can be taken as true within the movie's continuity as well. One assumes, for instance, that the reason the film's Julie and Envy seem close (at least, relative to Julie and everyone else) is that, as true in the books, they were roommates in university (though in the novels, Julie hated Envy at the time, and is only being friendly now because she's famous). Perhaps the biggest omission in the movies is the fact that Scott is the best fighter in the province. It makes sense that he can fight so well if you know that, but given it was a one-time line in the books and not in the movie at all, his combat prowess seems to come, not out of nowhere, but from playing video games.
- And That's Terrible: When Gideon kicks Ramona, sending her falling down a set of stairs the announcer from "Ninja Ninja Revolution" repeatedly exclaims "Bad!"
- And the Adventure Continues...: Possibly what that continue screen at the end means.
- Animated Adaptation: The night before the movie opened, [adult swim] aired a short two part animated prequel between episodes of Robot Chicken.
- Anticlimax Boss: NegaScott. Not that that's a bad thing.
- Arc Number: Subtly, for each Evil Ex and Scott himself - see Numerological Motif below.
- Art Shift: Ramona's flashbacks are done using the corresponding panels from the comics. As well as the doodles that appear throughout the film.
- Ascended Extra:
- Neil is featured more prominently in the film, being treated more as the band's roadie than as just a hanger on. He even takes over on bass after Scott quits.
- Knives' role is also greatly increased compared to her role in the novels. As explained by Edgar Wright, Knives' arc in the novels reached something of a climax when she battled Ramona in the second volume; the film, by tying this into the final fight against Gideon, increases Knives' significance almost by accident.
- Ask a Stupid Question: Knives asks Julie if the music store has any Clash at Demonhead CDs. Julie's sarcastic response of "Did you check under the big sign saying 'Clash at Demonhead'?". Furthermore, in her very first scene, Knives also asks Kim, "And you play the drums?" while Kim is sitting at the drums holding drum sticks.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: When Scott sees Envy in the coffee shop.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The back of the knees, in this case.
- Audio Erotica: Envy Adams. The sultry voice she has from her introductory phone call gets dropped in the aftermath of the Todd Ingram fight (see Becoming the Mask below).
- Awesome McCoolname: Knives Chau.
- Battle Discretion Shot: During the fight against Lucas Lee, the stunt doubles start ganging up and kicking the crap out of Scott, and Lucas himself walks off to get some coffee. The camera follows him for the twenty seconds it takes to get to the production assistant and get the coffee, and when Scott calls his name, the camera pans back over to Scott standing over the bodies of all the stunt doubles. No indication is given how Scott turned the situation around.
- Becoming the Mask: Apparently, Envy, but Scott pierces the facade after the fight with Todd.
Scott: Yeah, well, you kicked my heart in the ass, so...guess we're even... Natalie.
Envy: Natalie? No one calls me that anymore...
Scott: ...Maybe they should.
- Berserk Button:
- YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!
- "You punched me in the boob!"
- Although him clocking Knives probably helped, once Todd insults Toronto, Scott tries to attack him.
That's it, you cocky cock!! You will pay for your crimes against humanity!!
- "You made me swallow my gum...! It'll be in my digestive tract for SEVEN YEARS!!!"
- "Do that again and I will END you."
- Betty and Veronica: Betty - Knives, Veronica - Ramona.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Scott, as shown in his first round at the Chaos Theater. Okay, so he isn't exactly a paragon of virtue, but if this movie teaches anything about him that the comic didn't, it's that if you cross the line twice with him, things will definitely not be pretty. He even displays hostility towards his old band.
- Big Damn Movie: With the title, sort of. The League of Evil Exes isn't exactly "the world," but one imagines the title says that to make it seem bigger.
- Bittersweet Ending: Particularly tricky example, since almost every element of the resolution has a good and bad interpretation, The League are defeated and Scott and Ramona are free to pursue a relationship less hindered by the ghosts of the past, but Your Mileage May Vary on whether they make a good couple to begin with and the continue screen suggests an intentionally ambiguous resolution. Our poor woobie Knives is left out in the cold, but, as she says, she's probably better off in the long run without Scott. The band lost out on their big break, but then again, being contracted to a guy like Gideon probably wouldn't have ended well anyway (and besides, there's all those coins left over in the Chaos Theatre to be scooped up). What kind of ending we have is all in how you slice it. Though there is an alternate ending on the DVD that has Ramona and Scott go their separate ways and while Scott goes off with Knives instead. Doesn't make the end any less bittersweet, but at least the alternate ending exists.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Scott's exes Envy, Knives, and Kim (for varying definitions of "Brunette", of course).
- Then Ramona is Pink/Blue/Green. For whatever that's worth.
- Blondes Are Evil / Blond Guys Are Evil: Envy, Roxanne, and Todd. But in Envy's and Todd's defense, they weren't originally blond in the books, Envy being a redhead and Todd being a brunette.
- Blood From the Mouth: Or rather, Coins From The Mouth.
- Bloodless Carnage: The film gets around this by having people explode into coins when they are killed. Subverted when Scott cuts Gideon's face with the Power of Self Respect.
- Bollywood: Patel becomes a Bollywood stand-in for the movie, indulging in a song and dance number when unleashing his mystical powers and modeling his mannerisms after various hammy Bollywood bad guys.
- Book Ends:
- The film begins and ends with snippets of 8-bit music; it begins with the Universal Logo Joke (see below), and ends with an 8-bit rendition of Sex Bob-omb's "Threshold".
- Internally, the Street Fighter "K.O.!" announcements only occur on Scott's first and final victories.
- The Alternate ending features Knives and Scott together playing Ninja Ninja Revolution.
- Boss Battle: The Evil Exes, obviously. Conveniently, they all meet established boss tropes!
- Boss Remix: "We Are Sex Bob-omb" is redone as "We Are Sex Bob-omb (Fast)" (faster and without vocals) and "Death To All Hipsters" (Chiptune-style) for the Gideon fights.
- Boss Rush: As might be expected from the previous list, the entire movie is kind of a film-style Boss Rush. The only Mooks Scott ever fights are Lucas' stunt doubles and Gideon's random dudes who come out of nowhere.
- Bottle Fairy: Carries over from the books with Wallace. A perceptive viewer will note that he is almost always carrying a cup or glass of some kind, and presumably it's not coffee he's drinking.
Wallace: Guess who's drunk!
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Ramona listing the various types of tea - "We have blueberry, raspberry, ginseng, sleepy time, green tea, green tea with lemon, green tea with lemon and honey, liver disaster, ginger with honey, ginger without honey, vanilla almond, white truffle, blueberry chamomile, vanilla walnut, constant comment and... Earl Grey."
- Lampshaded by Scott: "Did you make some of those up?"
- Brick Joke in three steps:
- The setup:
Wallace: Step up your game, Scott. Break out the 'L' word.
Wallace: [exasperated] The other 'L' word.
Scott: [beat] Lesbians?
- And, much later, the payoff:
Scott: I'm in lesbians with you.
Ramona: [beat] What?
- Finalized by the final brick shortly after:
Scott: I said lesbians.
- Bonus points for when he actually fights a lesbian.
- Bring My Brown Pants: When Scott lands on the ground after being thrown high up into the air: "If I peed my pants, can we just pretend I got wet in the rain?"
- Burning Rubber: In one scene, Ramona's casual skating cuts a melting trail through several inches of snow and ice. One wonders what would happen if she really booked it. This, in addition to her use of the Subspace Highway, is probably why she's such a good delivery girl. Of course, this is more likely meant to signify that she is smoking hot. As if anyone needed a hint.
- Call Back: A whole lot of stuff from the Ninja Ninja Revolution game (HUD elements and the announcer) appear again during the fight with Gideon and then NegaScott's appearance is also a call back to the fact that Scott can't beat Nega-Ninja in the game.
- Call Forward: the first time Ramona appears onscreen, the BGM is a pre-vocals version of "Garbage Truck", the love(?) song Sex Bob-omb play at The Rockit just before Matthew Patel appears.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Scott does this a lot, probably to express how profoundly socially inept he can be despite everything.
- Came Back Strong: Scott Pilgrim and arguably Gideon Graves
- The Cameo: Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins Jr. as The Vegan Police.
- Canada, Eh?: The most Canadianest movie in years (well, a few years). The film, with American audiences in mind, lampshades the fact that the story takes place "In the faraway land of Toronto, Canada." Something the book does not.
- However, it is averted in many ways as well, with no stereotypical Canadian accents, Mounties, and Scott only says "eh?" once.
- Can't Believe I Said That: Coincides with the aforementioned Brick Joke and below mentioned Can't Spit It Out:
Scott: ...I said lesbians.
- Can't Spit It Out: Scott is able to spit it out, but his brain is still stuck on "lesbians".
- Can't You Read The Sign:
- It's hard to make out, but a sign in the background of Stacey's workplace states that people on cellphones will be refused service. It's mostly seen while she's on her cellphone while working.
- In a shot taken from the graphic novel, Scott sits down on a store's couch, right next to a "DO NOT SIT" sign.
- Casanova: Both Scott and Ramona fit this trope in their respective circles. Having them fall for each other is somewhat played as Laser-Guided Karma.
- Julie suggests early on that Scott is this (or was, prior to his breakup with Envy, and may resume the title if he courts Ramona while still dating a high schooler). She has the list of women to back up the claim, so Scott seems to be in denial about it.
- Wallace seems to be more of a straight-forward example - he wrangles every guy he sets his eyes on (except Lucas Lee for obvious reasons), including Stacey's boyfriend. It's implied that this has happened before.
Stacey: Wallace! Again?!
- Catapult Nightmare: The basis of a Running Gag. Though his dreams are never nightmares, they cause Scott to wake up by catapulting into frame, which then causes Wallace, Other Scott, and eventually Jimmy to be woken up in the same manner.
ChalkCoin Outline: Gideon's mooks.
- Chekhov's Gun: The 1-up Scott obtains after he defeats the Katayanagi Twins allows him to "reload" from that point after Gideon kills him.
- There's a reason Ramona keeps correcting Scott every time he says "your ex-boyfriends".
- Averted with the bass-line from Final Fantasy Scott is so excited to show everyone. It makes sense that he would win the Bass Battle with it, but no.
- Chekhov's Skill: Scott and Knives playing Ninja Ninja Revolution.
- The Chew Toy: Both Scott (for his Jerkass leanings) and Knives, who goes through quite the Humiliation Conga (nearly injuring herself trying to look more like Ramona, then getting said highlights knocked out of her hair by one of the aforementioned girl's Evil Ex's) before establishing herself as an Iron Woobie and proving to be close to Scott and Ramona's equal.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Julie just barely averts it with Sound Effect Bleep and black boxes.
Scott: How are you doing that with your mouth?
- Coming of Age Story: Played with. Scott is already of age, technically, but he (and many other characters) exist in a state of arrested adolescence that he has to grow out of if he wants to resolve his various conflicts.
- Composite Character:
- Considered and averted. Word of God says Roxy and Envy were combined into a single character for an early draft, until the release of Volume 4 convinced the screenwriters to split the characters again. Might explain how Roxy inherits Envy's weakness from the graphic novel - the back of her knee. The entire Ramona against Roxy fight is basically the fight with Envy, right down to the dialogue.
- Played out similarly with Gideon, Ramona's role in the final fight is actually reduced to the point of mirroring Envy's almost completely. She pretends to hug Gideon only to knee him and even uses Envy's "Let's both be girls" line.
- Conditional Powers: Todd Ingram has telekinetic powers that only work if he remains vegan.
- Cool Big Sis: Inverted. Stacey "Rated T for Teen" Pilgrim is 4 years younger than Scott but much more mature than him, and so Wise Beyond Her Years that Scott constantly turns to her for advice. She even calls him "little brother".
- Plus, considering Anna Kendrick is three years older than Michael Cera, looks and acts like it, and is best known for her role in Up in the Air which paints her considerably more adult, it's an easy mistake to make.
- Cool Sword: A couple: Roxy Richter has a studded belt/WhipSword... thing, Gideon's cane sword and Digitana, Scott's Power of Love and Power of Self Respect.
- Creator Cameo: Bryan Lee O'Malley (as well as his wife) appears at the bar of Lee's Palace after Sex Bob-omb's performance.
- Co-writer Michael Bacall is seen talking with Comeau at the opening party.
- Credits Gag: Michael Lazarovitch is credited as "Some Guy".
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: For the most of the film, Scott appears to be really wimpy and nonthreatening. However, whenever an Evil Ex shows up, Scott suddenly takes a level in badass and beats the crap out of them. This is a departure from the graphic novel, where it's explicitly stated early on that Scott is the "Best Fighter in the Province". In the movie, he could very well still be an accomplished martial artist, but his nebbish personality makes it seem unlikely.
- Damsel in Distress:
- Ramona, after it's revealed that Gideon is manipulating her through a microchip, robbing her of any resistance to him. There was a bit of slave Leia to her near the end, possibly unintentional.
- Dance Battler: Matthew Patel, with his Michael Jackson-esque moves. Slick, indeed.
- Dark Is Not Evil: NegaScott is genuinely frightening looking (proving that with the right special effects and makeup, anyone can be scary), but turns out to be one heck of a nice guy.
- Dark Reprise: Scott's Stylistic Suck love song to Ramona plays again when Ramona leaves him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Much of the supporting cast like to knock Scott down a peg, but Kim and Wallace are the new poster children.
Kim: That poster needs more exclamation marks.
Wallace: Is that girl a boy too?
- Death by Sex: Roxy, Sort of. Scott defeats her by hitting her weak point, which happens to be the inside of her knee. Apparently, this is an erogenous zone for Roxy, and results in an intense orgasm before she explodes into coins.
- Death Glare: Todd's default expression. Takes the form of the Kubrick Stare when he's first seen, sans-smile. Kim Pine, especially as played by Allison Pill, looks like she could melt steel with her eyes much of the time, especially during the Battle of the Bands.
- Envy's entire group does this in unison backstage when Knives tries to speak up. Topped off with a large "GLARE" subtitle above them.
- Demoted to Extra: Kim Pine, compared to her more involved role in the books (mostly because her backstory has been moved to the Adult Swim Animated Adaptation). Envy Adams, to a greater extent. Lynette Guycott gets hit with this hardest, having the only significant thing she does given to Todd Ingram. The Katayanagi Twins also suffer from this, as they have zero lines (their actors don't speak English), zero backstory, and probably the least screen-time of any of the exes.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- The tagline.
- These wonderful two lines, from separate scenes:
(after watching a live performance) Young Neil: "Yeah, they're better live, you have to see them live."
Comeau: "Yeah, but their first album isn't as good as their first album."
- Roxy's "Because next time... I'll be deadly serious next time!" Met with a suitably confused response from Scott.
- Depraved Bisexual: Roxy, with her violent outbursts and penchant for loud, abrasive yelling, is more than a little bi-furious.
- Designated Girl Fight:
- Roxy Richter and Ramona. Scott still has to deliver the killing blow, however...
- Later on, Knives vs Ramona.
- Did Not Do the Research: Ramona is shown to have a 212 area code in her number to indicate she's from New York. However, while that is a famous New York area code, it's also almost exclusively existent in long-standing businesses and residencies, as it was the first one used for New York but was eventually overlaid with new numbers. Almost no mobile phones from New York (especially outside of Manhattan) have that area code. So unless a girl in her early 20's grew up in a old-school Manhattan apartment and for some reason ported the number to her cell, she would almost certainly be more likely have a 718 or 646 area code.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: Except he didn't.
- Different As Night and Day / Sibling Yin-Yang: The Katayanagi Twins are literally Yin and Yang / Black and White themed.
- Disney Death / Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Scott.
- The Ditz: Todd Ingram, also fits neatly into Dumb Muscle. The subtitles that accompany every new character poke fun at this.
Scott: I dislike you, capiche?
Todd: Tell it to the cleaning lady on Monday.
Todd: Because you'll be dust on Monday.
Todd: Because you'll be pulverized in two seconds. And the cleaning lady... She cleans up... dust. She dusts.
Scott: ...So... Why Monday?
Todd: ...It's Friday now... and she has weekends off, so... Monday. (to Envy) Right?
- Double Standard: Wallace tells Scott to break up with Knives if he's going to date Ramona. Scott promptly points out that Wallace is dating two men. Wallace ignores him.
Wallace: I didn't make the gay rule book. If you have a problem, take it up with Liberace's ghost.
- Considering the scene with all four of them at same time it can be fairly assumed that they all aware and it is a open relationship.
- The Dragon: Co-Dragons, literally. The last but one boss not counting NegaScott is a pair of Japanese twins who use synthesizer keyboards to summon twin dragons.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: How Scott first "meets" Ramona.
- Dual-Wielding: Knives fights with twin knives.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Scott commits to this whole evil exes thing after two dates, before even reaching
- He doesn't really have a chance: Matthew Patel challenges him to a duel before he even has his first date with Ramona.
- Dynamic Entry: Roxy starts her fight with Scott by diving in and kicking him in the back of the head.
- Ear Worm:
- Pretty much the entire soundtrack. I still have all those songs stuck in my head.
- "Threshold", as well as its 8-bit chip-tune version.
- The Prodigy tune "Invaders Must Die" was featured in the trailers and is dangerously catchy.
- Many have expressed a weird affection for Matthew Patel's out of nowhere Bollywood-style musical number "Slick" as well.
- Black sheep, come home...
- The nightclub fight. From now on, whenever two girls are fighting, try not to imagine that thump thump thump bass beat.
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: The Power(s) of Love/Self-Respect, which take form as the sword Scott uses in the final battle. Neither of them actually last very long, although Self-Respect gives Gideon a run for his money.
- Embarrassing First Name: Gideon is the only person in the film to call Kim Pine "Kimberly". Her look of distaste is amazing.
- Epic Movie: Parodied in the tagline.
- The movie is also quite epic.
- Ethical Slut: Wallace. Of course, he does technically cheat on Other Scott, but Other Scott seems fine with it, so no harm no foul.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Young Neil says that Scott, Stephen, Kim and himself went to the same high school together. Scott also went to college with Julie and Natalie. Ramona went to junior high with Matthew, High school with Lucas & Todd and College with Roxy.
- Evil Counterpart: Subverted. Nega Scott turns out to be pretty much the same as regular Scott.
- Further subverted if you think that Scott is a jerk, while NegaScott seems like a genuinely nice guy.
- Evil Diva: Envy Adams oozes this trope.
- Evil Is Hammy: All of the exes are some of the most deliciously hammy villains in recent memory.
- Also, Envy Adams. A Femme Fatale played so straight that it almost becomes a parody.
- Extremely Short Timespan: Compared to the books, which takes place during the span of several years, the movie condenses its events to a mere week or so.
- Fake Band: Several. Sex Bob-omb (songs written by Beck); The Clash at Demonhead (song written by Metric); Crash and the Boys (songs written by Broken Social Scene); and the Katayanagi Twins (instrumental by Cornelius).
- Famous Last Words:
- "This is impossible. How can this be?" Matthew Patel.
- "Why wouldn't you be?" Lucas Lee.
- "Vegone?" Todd Ingram.
- "You'll never be able to do this to her!!!" Roxy Richter.
- Averted by the Katayanagi Twins, who don't have any lines at all.
- "You can defeat me Scott. But can you defeat yourself?" Gideon Graves.
- Fan Dumb: Parodied in-universe a couple times:
- First, when Young Neil tells Knives after the Clash at Demonhead concert, "You should hear them live. They're much better live." (this is also Leaning on the Fourth Wall, since the "live" performance takes place in the film, not live).
- Second, Comeau is talking to someone at the Chaos Theater and says, "Their first album isn't as good as their ... first album." (he's later seen saying, "The comic book is much better than the movie.").
- Fan Service: Numerous examples, namely:
- Alison Pill (aka Kim Pine).
- Anna Kendrick, aka Stacey (who, incidentally, will only date British men, according to the Femail magazine in the Daily Mail. So there's hope there, guys!).
- Brie Larson, aka Envy.
- They put in a comparatively long shot of Ramona taking off her boot which was apparently there just for Quentin Tarantino, friend of Edgar Wright and notorious foot fetishist.
- Ramona's Black Bra and Panties scene when she and Scott are in her bed.
- Faux Action Girl: Ramona is an entirely capable combatant. She just only fights girls and spends the last quarter of the movie held hostage.
- In fairness, Ramona was supposed to be more active in the final fight. The troubles of staging a four-way battle on a pyramid forced the filmmakers to cut back.
- Faux Affably Evil: Gideon during Scott's appearance at the Chaos Theatre. He treats Scott like an honored guest and even offers him Coke Zero. Scott rejects Gideon's attempt at friendliness, which quickly causes it to vanish.
- Femme Fatale: Envy Adams, taken to such a gloriously hammy extreme by Brie Larson that it becomes a parody.
- Final Exam Boss: Gideon is defeated through the tag-team skills Scott and Knives learned through Ninja Ninja Revolution.
- First Girl Wins: Teased. The original ending until quite late in production of the film had Scott getting back together with Knives, but this was changed after O'Malley had a better handle on how he wanted to end the series.
FiveSeven Bad Band: The League of Evil Exes. While they appeared in the comic books, a lot of their roles were significantly changed in the movie.
- The Big Bad: Gideon Graves, is the leader and the founder of the League.
- The Dragon: Roxy Richter, is the only ex to mention Gideon, and took a lot of material from Envy Adams, who was the previous Dragon.
- The Evil Genius: Ken and Kyle Katayanagi, who had their importance reduced dramatically, lost all their dialogue, and were defeated relatively easily.
- The Brute: Lucas Lee, is tough and physically fit, and Todd Ingram, who although he is extremely talented and went to Vegan academy, shows more traits of Dumb Muscle.
- The Dark Chick: Matthew Patel, is the closest fit to this role. Either that or he's an Evil Sorcerer.
- Flipping the Bird: When Gideon tells Kim to play right before the first battle, she scratches her face with her middle finger.
- Flynning: The second battle with Gideon.
- Focus Group Ending: Audiences didn't like the original ending with Scott and Knives getting together because, as Knives says in the ending actually used, she's "too good for him", and it made the whole fight for Ramona pointless. So the ending was changed and Scott and Ramona hook up.
- Foe Yay: Gideon's way of speaking to Scott were... interesting to say the least.
- Foot Focus: A particularly Egregious example in the apartment between Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers. Winstead even dedicated the scene to Quentin Tarantino before shooting it.
- Foreshadowing: The last thing Scott does before he begins fighting Ramona's evil exes is unplug his bass and throw it to Neil. Later in the film, Scott formally quits the band, and Neil replaces him as a direct result of Scott's fights.
- During the title sequence, each billed actor has images of their character traits and motifs in the background during their card (corresponding numbers for the evil exes, cell phone battery for Kieran Culkin as Wallace, sai for Ellen Wong/Knives, etc).
- When Scott is asking people at the party for information on Ramona, one person say "She has men dying at her feet" which pretty much happens to Scott and maybe some of the other exes.
- The one boss Scott can't beat in Ninja Ninja Revolution is the Nega-Ninja.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Gideon.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- During Scott's fight with Matthew Patel, if you pay attention, one of the fireballs burns Crash and the Boys, turning them into skeletons; explains why Sex Bob-omb won by default.
- The excuses that come to Scott's mind in the form of a wheel of fortune when Ramona asks how old Knives is are mostly unreadable without pausing the movie. They include: "She's nobody", "She's forty!", "Idiot!", "No speaka English", "When's dinner?", "Uh...", "Tell Pac Man story", "No, you are", "Pass out" and "It was nothing."
- In the record store, in addition to the "Pop/Rock" label you'll see in any record store, you'll also see things like "Math Rock" and "Sadcore", both of which are real sub-genres of indie rock.
- In that same store, the only visible CD between Knives and Scott when he breaks up with her is Beck's Modern Guilt. Funny coincidence, because Beck wrote and composed many songs for the movie, and performed the full version of the Ramona song.
- Funny Background Event: This movie is loaded with them.
- To the director at least, a melanistic squirrel running through the background is one of the most consistently interesting parts of the movie.
- Scott's desperate dive through the window of his apartment to evade Knives. Then reaching back in the window to grab his coat. Then walking down the sidewalk right behind her. All while Wallace is nonchalantly telling her she just missed him.
- At Gideon's party, you can hear Comeau say "The comic book is always better than the movie."
- The amps during band practice at Stephen Stills' house are apparently of the "Lame Brand" company, with the logo emulating the Rock Band font. Once they move up to the Chaos Theatre, the amps are adorned "Sweet Brand".
- While on the bus after the first evil ex fight, the street lights are shaped as X's behind Ramona, and like hearts behind Scott. After the shot where Scott understands that he and Ramona are actually dating, the street lights behind Ramona change into hearts as well.
- After Gideon blows up, whilst Stephen Stills is scrabbling around to collect as much of Scott's winnings as he can, Neil simply bends down, picks up a single coin, then puts it in his mouth. In fact, pretty much any time Neil is in the background is an example of this. Watch the movie once just to pay attention to him.
- After Scott kills Todd, the vegan police can be seen in the background giving each other a high five and shouting "Yeah!" triumphantly as they walk back to their Smart car in slow motion.
- Plenty of sound-related gags. Many scenes have significant moments underscored by scene-relevant sound effects; for example, Sonic Boom's alarm goes off every time Envy is shown on-screen. Negascott whistles "We Are Sex Bob-omb" after he walks out of frame.
- When Scott's in the bathroom, part of the pee gauge can be seen in the mirror.
- Fun with Subtitles: Styled after the books:
- At the start of the film, most of the characters (and one location) are introduced with subtitles spelling out their name and briefly describing them.
- Along similar lines, a sequence after Scott first talks to Ramona has subtitles describing the scene: "AND THEN. HE STALKED HER. UNTIL SHE. LEFT. THE PARTY."
- The venue where Sex Bob-omb battles Crash 'n' the Boyz is described as such: Fun Fact--This Place is a Toilet.
- Another sequence has an on-screen inventory of most of the items in Scott and Wallace's apartment, and who they belong to (hint: bet Wallace).
- Yet another transcribes word-by-word Stephen's nervous breakdown prior to playing at a Battle of the Bands, as the rival band's music drowns him out.
- Various scenes have words appearing on-screen as chapter names (taken from the book), or respond to a character's dialogue, for example:
Stephen Stills: "'Amp vs. amp?' We'll be on stage at the same time?"
Scott Pilgrim: "That's impossible!"
Subtitle over next shot, showing two stages across from each other: 'Actually, no'.
- When Ramona first comments on Scott's shaggy hair, a series of subtitles explain that Scott's been cutting his own hair ever since Envy broke up with him, then goes on to explain the true circumstances surrounding their break up. Especially awesome because it uses the comic's art style.
- After Todd hits Knives so hard her highlights came out of her hair, Envy coos to him:
Envy: You're incorrigible.
Todd: I don't know the meaning of the word.
SUBTITLE: HE REALLY DOESN'T.
- The part where Stephen pees his pants when Gideon shows up to promote Sex Bob-omb, and then an arrow appears on-screen pointing to his crotch with text reading, "PEE"?
- Gecko Ending
- Genki Girl: Knives, who is almost always hyperactive and overexcited.
- Genre Savvy: Scott displays this during his fight with Todd - Not only does he figure out that he could weaken Todd by getting him to consume non-vegan food & drink, but when he makes this move, he thinks very hard about putting the half & half milk into the cup he's holding to his chest after already putting soy into the cup he was offering Todd, to confuse Todd's telepathy and get him to fall for it.
- Even earlier in that fight, he asks Ramona for the "CliffsNotes" on the guy in the hopes that some crucial detail in his backstory may be helpful.
- Wallace too; when Matthew Patel comes crashing in, he's the one who yells for Scott to fight. By the time the second ex comes along, Wallace already has an attitude of Seen It All indifference.
Wallace: Scott. Evil Ex. Fight.
- Genre Shift: Starts off a standard cute hipster comedy with Michael Cera... and then all of a sudden it becomes, well, Scott Pilgrim.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Keeps happening to Stephen Stills.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Nega-Scott. It was thinly foreshadowed earlier in the movie when Scott faced the Nega-Ninja boss in the arcade game he was playing with Knives. There are several deleted scenes with NegaScott showing up in a mirror whenever Scott is being a particularly horrible person, which tends to shock him out of his asshole-ness. Edgar Wright says in the commentaries of these outtakes that they were cut because they distract too much from scenes that already have a lot up in the air.
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: When Scott finds out that one of Ramona's exes was a woman, he refers to it as her "sexy phase". Though he's noticeably Squicked out when Ramona's about to explain just how she knows Roxy's weak point.
- He's not squicked, he's just realized what Roxy's weak-point means based on how Ramona started explaining it.
- Glasses Pull: The Vegan Police do this. A lot.
- Godwin's Law: In a Deleted Scene, Ramona smokes on her and Scott's first "date", and Scott (shocked) says "No-one smokes anymore! Hitler smoked! Satan smoked!"
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Scott considers himself innocent when he cheats on Knives, yet he is "acutely aware" of when Envy/Natalie cheated on him over a year ago.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The Yeti in the fight with the Twins is in part a manifestation of Scott's jealousy once he sees Ramona with Gideon at the show, more apparent when both it and his eye glows brightly green in Scott and the Yeti's split-screen close-up.
- Guile Hero: Scott uses his wits to defeat both Lucas Lee and Todd.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat
- Played with: Ramona stores her Hyperspace Mallet in a Bag of Holding.
- Parodied: Ramona gives Scott a paper slip with her number within a second of his asking; Gideon pulls a pen and contract for Sex Bob-omb out of nowhere; while off-screen for two whole seconds, Ramona apparently walks out of the club, creates a laminated list of her exes per Scott's request, and returns to hand it to him.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power / What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Scott's Power-of-True-Love Sword, following by his Power-of-Self-Respect one.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Or wanted, past tense, in the case of Kim. Ramona's true hair color remains a mystery.
- Heroic BSOD: "Your hair's starting to get long."
- Hero of Another Story:
- Edgar Wright stated that in his mind, there's an entire other movie going on - which he described as "Stephen Stills' Almost Famous" - that the audience only occasionally intersects with.
- The Vegan Police are apparently shooting their own Summer Blockbuster, the climax of which comes when they locate and de-veganize Todd Ingram (note the two of them doing a slow-motion jumping high-five after Pilgrim offs him).
- Hero with an F In Good: Scott is a basically nice guy, but, much like in the comic, can be kind of a dick through oblivious callousness (see: his treatment of Knives after he meets Ramona).
- Hilarious Outtakes: The film has such a high level of energy you can only imagine what filming the movie must have been like. As well, the aggressive editing and surreal nature of the film makes the outtakes seem like it belongs to a different movie altogether. As for something more traditional, Scott's "tossing the package into the garbage can behind him" took 33 tries.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Lucas Lee.
- Hollywood Pudgy: Roxanne, reflecting the source material.
- Humiliation Conga: Scott suffers this: in the space of around a minute, his girlfriend leaves him, his band-mates sign with the guy she's leaving with, and when Scott refuses, he's immediately replaced by their other friend who plays bass. Oh, and his bass is stolen too. Followed by him seeing some guy's junk, presumably.
- Hyperspace Mallet: Ramona pulls one out in the fight against Roxy.
- Hypnotize the Princess: Gideon's mind-control chip which makes Ramona go back to him.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Scott's sister is talking on her cell phone where she works, you can see a sign warning customers not to talk on cell phones on the wall behind her.
- I Am Your Opponent: Ramona intervening in Scott's fight against Roxy.
- Identical Twin ID Tag
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: The movie doesn't so much transition from one scene to another as Mind Screw from one scene to another.
- I Know Karate: The movie starts out as a hyper-stylized Romantic Comedy until the first evil-ex arrives, and suddenly Scott is showing proficiency in martial arts and Improvised Weapons. It then returned to Romantic Comedy, then the action quotient finally takes hold with the second evil-ex and Scott realizing that this is going to be a constant battle.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Though the movie isn't clear where Scott's skills come from, Scott and Knives are able to double team Gideon so well because of a Dance Dance Revolution style fighting game they play.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Roxy has one after being hit in her weak point (the back of her knees), causing her to explode in a shower of coins. Out with a bang?
- Nah, more of a Money Shot*Ba-Dum TSH!*
- Incoming Ham:
- "MIS-TER PILGRIMMMM!"
- I Need a Freaking Drink: After the fight with Roxy, which leaves Scott incredibly embarrassed:
Scott: Two gin & tonics, please?
Ramona: I thought you didn't drink.
Scott: Only on special occasions. Why, did you want one?
- Infinity-1 Sword: Scott's Power of Love sword.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Scott's Power of Self Respect sword.
- Insistent Terminology: Every time Scott refers to her "evil ex-boyfriends", Ramona corrects him with "exes".
- Instant Costume Change: Scott pulls this off at several points with his hat whenever someone brings up his hair. He also changes clothes completely at one point just by walking into and out of a room, not even interrupting the conversation he was having with Wallace.
- Intoxication Ensues: Scott gets tipsy after finishing half a drink. This makes sense if he Never Gets Drunk, like in the comic.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Considering the Power of Self Respect has its own little theme tune, and tears though Gideon's mooks like nothing else, it has a couple of Super Star elements. Shame it gets shattered during Round Two with Gideon.
- Invisible to Gaydar: Wallace in particular (although slightly effeminate and very mellow), but really no gay character in the movie even approaches Camp Gay.
- Ironic Echo: In a Deleted Scene, Ramona smokes on her first date with Scott stating that she smokes "only on special occasions." Scott takes this as a good sign. Skip a few scenes, Scott orders two alcoholic beverages and Ramona states she thought he didn't drink. He comes back with, "Only on special occasions", the occasion being angsting over having to fight her evil exes.
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Todd has superpowers because he's vegan. And something about the Vegan Academy and Vegan Police who monitor all their members to make sure they stay vegan.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ramona tries to pull this, but Knives throws herself in front of the bullet instead.
- Jerkass: This seems to be a defining trait of the kind of people Ramona used to date, including Scott himself. (he gets better).
- Jerkass Woobie: Scott. His jerk traits are a lot more visible in the movie, surprisingly.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Except in one instance: Gideon's cane sword, which appears double edged. Played straight in every other instance.
- Kick the Dog: Two of these involving Knives: when Todd punches the highlights out of her hair, and when Gideon busts out his little "kung pao chicken" nugget (complete with video game captions saying "BAD!").
- Knuckle-Cracking: Lucas Lee, in-synch with the Universal theme tune.
- Lame Comeback: Scott's trash talk is not quite as lame as in the comic, but still pretty bad. "You cocky cock!"
- Large Ham: EVERYONE. But of notable hammy-ness is Ex #3, Todd Ingram.
Todd: Looks like someone wants to get... funky.
- Todd was second only to Ex #1, MATTHEW PATEL!
- Laser-Guided Karma: Stacey, with a big smirk, tries to manipulate the conversation so that Ramona and Knives discover that Scott is dating them both. A moment later, Wallace steals her boyfriend.
- Last-Name Basis: Comeau.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Inverted when Envy shows up:
Scott: I don't think anything can get in the way of how I- SHIT!
- Let's Get Dangerous: Scott acts goofy, but shows some of this in the Evil Exes fights, especially against Patel:
Matthew Patel: (flying and crashing through a wall to make his entrance) MISTER PILGRIMMMM!!! (lands in front of Sex Bob-omb) It is I, Matthew Patel! Consider our fight...BEGUN!
(Matthew leaps into the air, intent on punching/landing on Scott.)
Scott: What did I do? (pause) What do I do?
(Scott glares at Matthew, then disconnects and hands off his bass. Cue retaliation.)
- One for Sex Bob-omb as a group (they're little more than a garage band) when they face off against the Katayanagi Twins, whose amps and keyboard music are so awesome that they blow off the roof and summon twin dragons with The Power of Rock to blow away Sex Bob-omb's stage. Surely it's all over for them, but suddenly they get back up, continue their song, and summon a giant yeti to pound the crap out of the dragons.
- Like a Weasel: Scott, especially with Ramona on their first date.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: The fact that you can kill people without leaving behind a body to examine, and that they turn into money, doesn't seem to have affected anything. And then there's extra lives...
- Lock and Load Montage: Scott gets one near the end, but simply for putting on his outdoor clothes. Comes complete with an amazing gag, as the montage pauses for him to do up his shoes.
- Logo Joke: We are treated to the Universal logo and fanfare in glorious 8-bit. See also Crowning Music of Awesome.
- Lost Love Montage: During Envy's phone call, we see the progression of Scott and Natalie's relationship as a series of photobooth pictures.
- Loud Gulp: Scott Pilgrim does this when he's about to be beat up by Lucas Lee's stunt doubles.
- Love Dodecahedron: Scott, who has previously been with Kim and Envy (who brutally broke up with him), leaves Knives for Ramona. Knives dates Young Neil in an attempt to get Scott jealous and notice her. Ramona also has the seven evil exes who want to control Ramona's love life, one of whom Envy left Scott for. Near the end it seems Ramona's falling back for the 7th evil ex, which leads Scott to fight him for Ramona and Knives to to fight Ramona for revenge for stealing Scott from her.
- Love Makes You Dumb/Crazy/Evil: Essentially the theme, appearing to various degrees in the Evil Exes (with, um, Evil being the most prominent there), Scott (potential future Evil Ex, Stalker with a Crush), and exemplified to their extremes in Knives - who is in denial that Scott jumped out of a window to avoid her (dumb), dyes her hair to look more like his new girlfriend (crazy), and becomes an Evil Ex, attacking Ramona to win Scott back (. . . evil).
- Lucky Translation:
- Wallace tells Scott to break out the L-word, which is "love", not "lesbians". This is rendered effortlessly into Japanese with breaking out the re-word, which is "ren'ai" (true love), not "rezu".
- The Polish version has the original L-word, with "lesbijka" and the word "miłość" (love) replaced with "loffciam" - a slang word used by Dumb Blondes, which actually originated from the English "love".
- Horribly done in the Hebrew subtitles, which change "lesbian" into "girl love" to make them start with the same letter (actually the same word). Later Scott confesses to Ramona: "I'm in girl love with you" (which makes her puzzled expression even more appropriate). Then again, in Hebrew the movie is titled My Girlfriends' Exes, which is an appropriate, but terrible title.
- That part's French translation is "the A-word" because "love" is "amour" in French. Replacing "lesbian" is "abstinence", which somehow works in practice (translated back):
Wallace: You have to break out the A-word.
Wallace: The other A-word.
Scott: ... abstinence?
(later, to Ramona)
Scott: I'm abstinent with you.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Somewhat arguable, since Ramona tends to keep Scott at a distance, but an interviewer has suggested this trope is true of Ramona. If going by the idea that the film is from Scott's perspective, thus robbing other characters of Character Development due to his self-obsession (see the Pragmatic Adaptation entry), then it's certainly possible Scott sees Ramona as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and this shallow idea of her thus spills into the film's depiction. She is referred to as Scott Pilgrim's "deadpan pixie dream girl" in a review on Amazon by Bret Fetzer.
- Man in White: Todd Ingram, Kyle Katayanagi. Gideon Graves's white blazer is suitably iconic as well.
- Maybe Ever After
- McNinja: Roxy who can teleport and has a lack of self-confidence.
- Meaningful Background Event:
- In Matthew Patel's battle, Crash and the Boys get burnt to a crisp.
- During Envy's phone call to Scott, their relationship is spelled out in photo booth photography behind him.
- When Todd catches Scott's punch with his Vegan Telekinesis; if you pay attention behind them; you can see Lynette Guycott blending into the wall like an awesome ninja to get away.
- Meaningful Echo:
- Just before meeting Roxy for the first time, Scott is haunted by a number of earlier, throwaway lines (e.g. "it's sudden death now", "she's got battle scars") when the seven evil exes thing is really starting to sink in.
- This also happened when Scott came back from death due to the extra life that he picked up after the fight with the Katayanagi Twins. Right before he realized this, Ramona's first line in the movie ("You're not alone.") is echoed.
- Meaningful Rename: In perhaps the briefest example of this trope ever, Young Neil.
- Me's a Crowd: Lucas Lee's 'ability' is having a small army of stunt doubles.
- Metaphorgotten: "I'll be your garbage man. I'll take out your junk and I'll crush it down."
- Mickey Mousing: See Logo Joke above. The only time we hear that Universal theme normally is when Lucas Lee is introduced... and he's synchronized to it.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: Too many to count.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Matthew Patel's body is every bit as hammy as his voice.
- Modesty Bedsheet: played with in the His'n'Hers Bedsheet flavor; one scene has Scott's torso covered by a sheet, whereas it only reaches Ramona's waist (though she is still "censored" by wearing a bra, hence the playing with).
- Mood Whiplash: Todd punching Knives is a genuinely shocking moment, which makes the humorous lines immediately afterward a little awkward. Really though, Mood Whiplash is what this movie is all about, with jarring over the top action sequences suddenly slamming into the middle of otherwise benign scenes, usually with no warning. Hilariously showcased with the cut between the night at Ramona's and... Seinfeld.
- Multiple Endings: Re-shoots were done in early 2010, partially to address poor test screening responses to the original ending. The current ending, in which Scott ends up together with Ramona, was part of this re-shoot. The original ending, in which Scott goes back to Knives, is included on the DVD. As well, director Edgar Wright hoped to film a DVD-exclusive gag ending, never intended to be taken seriously, in which the whole movie was All Just a Dream...until a news report reveals that a certain Toronto resident and his girlfriend have been arrested in connection to the murders of seven people, including a film star, a record producer, and three beloved musicians. Time ran out before this could be shot, unfortunately.
- Musical Assassin: The fight with the Katayanagi Twins. Also the bass battle.
- Musical Spoiler: Take the Rolling Stones song literally!
- Musical World Hypothesis: Deconstructs the AU hypothesis very slightly during the Patel battle.
- Alternatively, the whole movie could be employing a variation of the Hypotheses using "video game rules" instead of "musical numbers" (i.e. There is no high-score table in real life. Dead people don't burst into coins. Power-ups don't exist.). So how do you make sense of a work of fiction where they do?
- My Friends and Zoidberg: "Soon it won't just be Knives wearing a Sex Bob-omb T-shirt. It'll be the cool kids, too."
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Basically averted. Almost no one comments much on Ramona's number or variety of past romantic partners - when Scott does gripe about it, it's less about the number of them and more about how they're, ya know, trying to kill him.
- Two exceptions are Kim's apparent disapproval that Ramona dated twins (at the same time), and a drunken Scott asking if she's slept with everyone in the room. Ramona takes it very personally. Probably not brought up because Scott has a sizable number of exes himself: Lisa, Holly, Kim, Natalie/Envy, Knives, and Ramona.
- In fairness, a large variety of the exes seem to be people she dated extremely briefly in, like, high school - middle school, in the case of Matthew Patel. She definitely never slept with Matthew and based on the backstories, it seems likely she never got around to sleeping with Lucas or Todd either. In fact, Roxy appears to be the first one she did sleep with.
- Scott's sister mistook Ramona for having eleven evil ex's, which Scott corrects to seven. "Oh, that's not that bad then."
- Two exceptions are Kim's apparent disapproval that Ramona dated twins (at the same time), and a drunken Scott asking if she's slept with everyone in the room. Ramona takes it very personally. Probably not brought up because Scott has a sizable number of exes himself: Lisa, Holly, Kim, Natalie/Envy, Knives, and Ramona.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: The Members of Sex Bob-omb are the only people in the film that can seemingly say their band's name right. Even fangirl Knives is the slightest bit off every time she tries.
- Mythology Gag:
- The outfits Sex Bob-omb wear at the end are identical to what they're wearing for their show in Volume 3.
- Multiple cameos by Honest Ed's, an historical bargain store that served as a major location in the graphic novel but wasn't written into the film.
- The two dragons summoned by the film's Katayanagi Twins were not involved in the book's version of their battle with Scott, but resemble the dragons surrounding Volume 4's logo (itself a reference to a logo for Double Dragon).
- Julie lists a Lisa and a Holly as the girls Scott has had flings with, with both names taken from supporting characters of the graphic novels cut from the film (though neither had previous sexual history with Scott). Lisa Miller was Scott's platonic best friend in high school, who came to Toronto in a major subplot of Volume 4 and almost hooked up with Scott; their past is partially seen in the Adult Swim Animated Adaptation. Holly was Kim's roommate.
- Scott's mug in the beginning has the picture of Ramona's cat from the comic, Gideon, on it.
- Flashbacks and Stephen Stills's drawings are done in O'Malley's art style.
- When the Vegan Police show up during the Todd fight to strip him of his powers, Todd asks what he's done wrong (other than half-and-half). The Police mention gelato (how he broke veganism in the comics) and chicken Parmesan (which Envy asked them about in the comics).
- Wallace mentions that Lucas Lee is in Toronto filming a "Winifred Hailey movie", referring to a female teenage movie star featured in a 2006 short Scott Pilgrim story released for Free Comic Book Day6.
- The hair colors Ramona go through are a reference to Edgar Wright's Blood And Ice Cream Trilogy.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Scott was utterly defeated and would have remained so, had Gideon not called him to gloat, inspiring him to fight back.
- No Smoking: As a running joke in the comics, Scott considered smoking to be a habit indicating pure evil. The film attempted to adapt the gag: Scott would react to Ramona's own smoking habit with shock, and Lucas Lee would constantly smoke with a floating black censor bar (similar to Julie's when she swears) covering up the cigarette. The former ended up a deleted scene; the latter was abandoned after test footage (found on the Blu-Ray) proved it looked too silly. As a result, no one smokes in the film.
- Not So Different: When the relationship between Scott and Ramona begins to deteriorate, in a moment of frustration, Ramona tells Scott that he's just another Evil Ex waiting to happen.
- Relatively, when Scott busts into the Chaos Arena to confront Gideon, he does so in a manner identical to that which many of the Evil Exes have attacked him over the course of the movie.
- Numerological Motif:
- Director Edgar Wright has confirmed that Scott and each of the Evil Exes has their rank number featured during their respective scenes. Appearances known thus far:
0: Scott. Drinks Coke Zero and wears a shirt with "Zero" on it. Gideon refers to him by saying "you're zero, you're nothing!" in the final fight.
1: Matthew Patel. Identifies himself as "first", has his one eye covered by his emover, keeps pointing with one finger. Has a single chevron on his sleeve. Poses with one arm in the air, looking like the number one. Wallace also refers to him as "It's that one guy!"
1 1/2. Ramona claims that she went out with Matthew Patel (#1) for "a week and a half." Her next boyfriend was Lucas Lee (#2). She dyes her hair a different color every week and a half. Scott tells Wallace that he got to "first and a half base" with Ramona.
2: Lucas Lee. Just prior to his scene, Scott and Ramona pass two "X crossing" signs, and a crosswalk sign that counts down from 2. During the scene proper, the number appears on a prop car, as a tattoo on his neck, and on a trailer. Lee notes that Scott must be "seeing double," and that it will take "two minutes... to kick your ass" (which he says twice). Lee punches Scott twice to knock him out before the fight. The woman who sprays Lee's fist does so twice. Lee's ringtone is two beeps. Wallace notes that the stunt doubles get Lee's "sloppy seconds." Lee points at Scott with two fingers, and has two X's on his belt buckle. In the "Cold Call" film-within-the-film we see, Lee's character refers to the two clicks his opponent will hear. Ramona dated Lucas in the 9th grade, two years after Patel. Lee claims there are "like, two hundred steps" on the grind rail. Before facing Lee, Scott learns the bass-line to Final Fantasy II.
3: Todd Ingram. The Clash At Demonhead has 3 members. Wears the number on his shirt; has three stripes on each sleeve; has three stripes on each wristband; there's a particularly noticeable three on the wall of the dressing room; hurls Scott through three walls; Scott is thrown into a number of garbage cans with multiple 3's spray-painted on them; the words "Bass Battle" flash three times on screen; both Scott and Todd one-up each other three times before the end of the bass battle. Envy wears a shirt with three stripes as well. Also had three strikes against Vegan Law. Although oddly, he says "You'll be dust in two seconds."
4: Roxy Richter. The fight takes place in a club simply called "4". The club itself is full of four-bulb light fixtures. Also, instead of being called "Roxie" like in the books, her name was changed to "Roxy" to have four letters. Her battle(s) with Scott is in four parts (in the snow, versus Ramona alone, versus Ramona-Scott, and versus Scott alone). The two girls are/were bisexual (2x2). The DVD trivia track points out she has four tears in her lace tights. Additionally the floor, disco ball, and Roxy's weapon are comprised of squares.
4 1/2. Scott is wearing a t-shirt featuring the Fantastic Four's "4" logo with an additional "1/2" doodled on it, halfway between battles 4 and 5.
5 & 6: Katayanagi Twins. The Twins turn the dial on their music Up to Eleven (5+6, though the numbers are in Japanese). The first two notes they play on their keyboards are an E (the fifth letter after A) and a B-flat, a tritone (or 6 half-steps) above E. Additionally their names and last name start with K, the eleventh letter of the alphabet (5 + 6 = 11)
- Interestingly, only one of them has the rising sun on his shirt and with a total of six beams. However, this is Kyle, who is number 5.
7: Gideon Graves. G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. The Chaos Theatre is introduced on-screen as "level 7". The second run scene is filled with bonus points and multipliers that use the number 7. Gideon becomes upset that his swallowed gum will be in his system for 7 years. Gideon activates a x7 multiplier when he summons his digi-tana and gets
+7x7 bonuses to his 'stats'.
- In addition, each Ex's number briefly flashes in the background when their respective actor's name is listed in the opening credits sequence.
- Also along similar notes, the score for defeating each ex is the proper multiple of 1000, at least till the very end. Played twice after the battle with the Katayanagi Twins, where the score starts at 5000 and slowly climbs to 6000. Defeating Gideon the first time earns 7000 points, and for the final time earns 7 billion (!) points, which may include the multipliers Scott earned after using his 1-UP. His minions are all worth 700 points when defeated, and minor boosts during the scene result in half that (350).
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: See Battle Discretion Shot above.
- Offscreen Reality Warp: Basis of a running gag, in which Scott will put on a hat when embarrassed by his shaggy hair. In fact, he retrieves and puts on the hat in the split-second between the other person commenting on his hair and the cut back to Scott.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The characters do this constantly. Envy and Ramona manage to enter a coffee shop and get behind Scott undetected, Stacey does the same leaving said coffee shop, Todd somehow moves from behind two broken walls to a door the moment the camera moves from him, and so forth.
- Oh Crap:
- "Wait... mystical powers?!"
- A lighthearted version occurs when Scott makes garlic bread for Ramona.
Ramona: "Bread makes you fat."
Scott: "Bread makes you fat?!"
- Wallace has one of these moments when Scott gets a phone call from a certain someone...
Scott: (hears the voice on the line) Envy?
Wallace: Oh shit.
- While in the coffee shop talking to Ramona...
Scott: Nothing can get in the way of how I- SHIT! (sees Envy standing behind Ramona)
- When Scott and Ramona go to see The Clash at Demonhead, during the intro to "Black Sheep".
Scott: That guy on bass? (Envy: Oh yeah.) That's Todd.
Ramona: I know. (Envy: Oh yeah!)
Scott: (Looks at Ramona) You know!?! (Envy: OH YEAH!) Oh no.
- One-Scene Wonder: The Vegan Police. The exes generally have few scenes. In the strictest sense, Matthew Patel and the Katayanagi Twins qualify; we see a short clip from a Lucas Lee film before his one other scene, and Todd Ingram's scenes all lead directly into one another in a ten-minute sequence.
- One-Winged Angel: Gideon, complete with x7 multiplier. Gideon's first defeat was worth 7,000 points, while his defeat in this form was 7 billion!
- One of Us: Right from the beginning, with the 8-bit Universal logo/theme and the intro chimes from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you know the filmmakers were doing their homework.
- Only Mostly Dead: Two different people. One saved by a 1UP, the other by metaphorically turning red.
- Only Sane Man: Stacey Pilgrim is the only one who acts surprised, confused, or incredulous by Patel's sudden entrance or the talk of evil exes.
- Overly Narrow Superlative:
- Many people (including a NY Times reviewer) have described this film as the best video game movie ever made without actually being based on a video game.
- Kotaku: The reviewer explains that yes, it is based on a comic book, but that its heavy use of gaming culture in-jokes and tropes makes it a good video game movie, particularly if one thinks The Wizard (film) or Gamer are also video game movies.
- Within the film, Ramona describes Scott as "the nicest guy I've ever dated." She's only dated seven other people, and she repeatedly calls all of them evil. Well, she's dated seven people who turned out to be evil. She may have dated others who just... didn't end up evil.
- In the comic, she mentions dating a guy who was more or less a nice guy. He has absolutely no impact on the plot, though.
- Pac-Man Fever:
- Averted--Young Neil appears to be accurately playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on his DS, and Scott's lame pick-up monologue about the history of Pac-Man is mostly accurate.
- An extremely narrow and pedantic version, but worth noting for sheer geekitude involved: Scott mentions he learned "the bass-line from Final Fantasy II" and starts playing the riff to the battle theme of Final Fantasy IV, which had originally been released as II in North America (meaning this was probably done on purpose). However, it does sound very similar to the battle music from Final Fantasy II--in fact, every Final Fantasy from I to VI, as well as VIII and IX, has a battle theme with a nearly identical starting bass line.
- Apart from all the random video game noises, this is also averted with the one game we see: "Ninja Ninja Revolution" actually looks like a real arcade game.
- Painting the Medium:
- Stylistic elements, captions, and Unsound Effects--for actual sounds--are projected on screen and treated as if they're physically real. In one fight scene, a "SMAK" caption comes up and shatters. In the next shot, the remains of it can be seen scattered behind Scott.
- A more conventional example is when the movie keeps cutting from one scene to another, with the implication Scott has been completely zoned out for the intervening time. This mirrors the graphic novels, where if the reader doesn't see it happen, Scott doesn't know about it.
- "How are you doing that with your mouth?"
- When Ramona blocks Roxy's kick, in the shot where she reaches towards the camera, her fingers extend past the letterbox, giving the illusion she's reaching through the screen.
- Palette Swap: NegaScott.
- Panty Shot: Subverted. Ramona has a few of these while battling Roxy, but her tights cover everything. Same thing when Roxy spin kicks Scott in the head.
- Peggy Sue: Scott, via Save Scumming.
- Pet the Dog: Lucas Lee has a lot of faith in his stunt doubles, claiming he'd be nothing without them. One in particular he seems especially fond of, Lucas stating he'll let him do the occasional wide-angle shot when Lee is... indisposed. It helps that Lucas is probably the least "evil" of all the exes and seems to be fighting Scott out of obligation more than anything else.
- Not that he's bad at all, but Wallace seems genuinely fond of Knives for some reason.
- Probably because he's oddly one of the few sane men with his grounded demeanor and knows that Scott isn't doing right by poor Knives.
- Not that he's bad at all, but Wallace seems genuinely fond of Knives for some reason.
- Planet Eris: The world of the film is governed by rules of video games (specially from the Atari/coin up) with a very dose of surrealism and pure fantasy. It's also a beyond brutal world with a very jaded view of life and death, where murder seems to be no worse that a school yard fight. And there are Vegan Police.
- Playing Pictionary: Subverted. Scott draws a blank circle with scribbles at the top, and Comeau immediately recognizes it as a picture of Ramona.
- Playing with Fire: Part of Matthew Patel's overall mystical powers.
- Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: "You just drank half-and-half, baby." Particularly impressive because the guy he tricked was psychic, but then again, he was a dumb psychic.
- Power Makes Your Hair Fluff Up: Todd's hair spikes up when he unleashes his psychic powers.
- The Power of Love: Scott Pilgrim gains this "superpower", in the form of a sword popping out of his chest, but he loses it in the process of the final battle. Then he dies, and tries again with the Power of Self-Respect. He does better, but still can't cut it: in the end it's The Power of Friendship (teaming up with Knives) that wins the day.
- The Power of Rock: It can Summon glowing Dragons and a Yeti. In solo duels, Scott's power of rock is sadly lacking compared to his opponents, both in how cool it sounds as well as what it actually accomplishes.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The supporting cast, especially the female characters (with the exception of Knives), don't get much of their character development from the books. But when you cram a six-volume graphic novel series into a two-hour movie, something's gotta give. Notably, one of the major themes of the books is Scott learning that other people have their own lives outside of his, while in the film, everyone's moon orbits Planet Scott to such a degree that reviews and cast members have suggested the film takes place entirely within his own head.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Plenty, but there is one notable instance when Kim does it for Scott as they're about to play the fight's background music:
Kim: WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB, AND WE'RE HERE TO WATCH SCOTT PILGRIM KICK YOUR TEETH IN!
- "MISTER LEE!" [Camera pans around]. "You're needed back on set."
- Precision F-Strike: "I don't think anything could get in the way of how I--SHIT!" Of course, "shit" is an incredibly minor swear in Canada, and this movie is incredibly Canadian.
- Prepare to Die: Said by Roxy. She adds "...obviously."
- Prepositional Phrase Equals Coolness: The League of Evil Exes.
- Product Placement: Coke Zero. Every product, store, and service featured in the movie except for "4" and the Chaos Theatre are actual Canadian brands. Scott rides the TTC, goes to Pizza Pizza (Nine six seven.. eleven.. eleven!), shops at Goodwill, wears a CBC t-shirt, uses Beatrice brand half-and-half, and his sister works at Second Cup. Even Spike TV airs in Canada. According to the director/screenwriter/comic author commentary, the only company that actually paid to have its product placed in the film was Research In Motion, the Canadian company that is the maker of Blackberry smartphones. Everything else was an artistic choice on the part of the filmmakers.
- Psycho Lesbian: Roxy Richter.
Ramona: I was just a little bi-curious.
Roxy: Well, honey, I'm a little Bi-Furious!
- Pun: It is chock full of these, particularly coming from Roxy and Gideon. And they are all amazing. "Chau down" is carried over from the comic, and paired with "Ciao, Knives" for maximum abuse. "Ve-gone" is so bad it gets lampshaded. And who can forget "What are you doing?" "Getting a life!"
- Reality Ensues: Scott knocks Gideon away, then stops to have a chat. He is then stabbed through the chest by Gideon. Clearly Talking Is NOT A Free Action.
- When Gideon is defeated, $7 billion in coins falls all over the characters and their equipment. It appears to be painful.
- Really Gets Around: Quite a few characters, but Ramona in particular. Wallace Wells is the homosexual version. Scott is actually worse than Ramona, though the movie only alludes to it.
- Refuge in Audacity / Refuge in Cool: The entire film pretty much runs on this.
"He punched the highlights out of her hair! HE PUNCHED THE HIGHLIGHTS OUT OF HER HAIR!"
- Rule of Three: Scott's relationship with Knives was mocked by his friends because she's 17, Asian and a Catholic School Girl.
- Running Gag: Exclusive to the film we have such things as:
- In the movie, Scott's hat instantly appearing on his head anytime someone mentions his long hair.
- Wallace's increasing number of bed-mates.
- Wallace's frequent interjections, especially during the fight scenes. "Hey!...."
- Kim consistently interrupting Stephen Stills with "WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB! ONE TWO THREE FOUR!!!"
- Scott sure does pee a lot.
- This one isn't exclusive to the film, because in the FCBD short story Free Scott Pilgrim, Wallace mentions that Scott once got up to pee six times during a movie since he drinks so much.
- Scott constantly assumes that Ramona is too cool to actually come to events or show up on time... only to discover that it's not so.
- "You know X?" "I know of it."
- The Runt At the End: Lee's stunt doubles. In the middle are five (much like Lee) chiseled, brunet white guys. The ones at either end, though, are a short, squat guy and a little Filipino-looking guy.
- Satellite Character: Almost everyone to Scott. Possibly intentional - see Pragmatic Adaptation above and Unreliable Narrator below.
- Save Scumming: Scott's extra life restarts him from where he picked it up after the Katayanagi fight, allowing him to better deal with the situations he finds himself in the second time around.
- Say My Name: Matthew Patel to MISSSSTER PILGRIM!!!
- Scarf of Asskicking: Knives dons one for the final showdown. She even uses it to disarm Gideon, turning the tide of the battle.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: You can see a digitized "X" in Gideon's glasses during the final fight, and it even shimmers when he adjusts them.
- The Scottish Trope: Stacy refers to Envy as "She Who Shall Not Be Named" in reference to the trope's use in Harry Potter, while Wallace informs Other Scott that said woman's name is not to be used in the apartment.
- Self-Deprecation: The movie itself.
Comeau: The comic book is always better than the movie.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When Scott storms the Chaos Theatre for the second time, already knowing much of what will happen, he yells to Knives, telling her, "don't attack from behind!" What does Knives do just as Scott is finishing the sentence? She attacks Ramona, from behind.
- Sequential Boss: Gideon has a second form--he just uses a different, cooler sword and wears Cool Shades.
- Serial Escalation: The entire film. Parodied when an exasperated Scott blows up on Ramona and tells that when he dated Kim, he had to fight 96 guys and an 80-foot tall purple robot and "...I kicked him so hard, he saw the curvature of the Earth!"
- Shout-Out: Has its own page.
- Shout-Out/To Shakespeare: The creature summoned by Sex Bob-omb against the Katayanagis was officially named the "Green-Eyed Monster", after the Shakespearean phrase to describe jealousy. Also notice that Scott's eyes are glowing green in this scene.
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Brie Larson (Envy Adams).
- Smash Cut: Edgar Wright continues to display his love for these.
- Smug Snake: Really most of the exes, but especially Gideon. When Gideon summons his second sword, one of his bonuses is a +7 to cockiness.
- Smug Straight Edge: Todd Ingram.
- Sorry I Left the BGM On: Happens more than once.
- When Scott is staring at Ramona in the real world for the first time, and a low bass-line is playing, the scene then shifts to when Scott is performing. Stephen replies "Scott! You played one note for that entire song!"
- And again when Scott realizes he never broke up with Knives at the Rock It and she shows up in front of Ramona. It sounds like his heart is racing and he runs away. The beat is the host hitting the microphone.
- Sound Effect Bleep:
- Julie's profane rant at Scott in the Second Cup uses this, as well as a bar blocking potential lip reading. Becomes even more hilarious when Scott lampshades this and asks "How are you doing that with your mouth?" (even though Scott was able to do this himself in Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation...).
- Amp feedback in the scene before the Katayanagi Twins battle obscures Stephen's use of "cock" in the sentence "You know how I feel about girls cock-blocking the rock." The DVD trivia track reveals this was done to avoid an R rating.
- Stalker with a Crush: All three points of the Love Triangle exhibit this trait - Knives is this with Scott (even while dating, though that could simply be her way of trying to bond with her boyfriend) at first, and then it is turned Up to Eleven after they break up. Scott stalks Ramona both prior to meeting her (partially in a sequence Lampshaded with subtitles calling him out on it), and during their early courtship. Finally, Ramona admits that she was the equivalent of Knives in regards to Gideon and that she moved to Toronto to escape that mindset.
- Wallace does this somewhat more literally, outright telling Scott that he's off to stalk Lucas because he's attracted to him.
- Stealth Insult: Even after signing onto Gideon's contract, Kim flips him off very subtly, by using her middle finger to "rub under her eye".
Kim: We are Sex Bob-omb. We are here to make money and sell out and stuff.
Young Neil: (After the Clash at Demonhead plays) Yeah, you should see them live, they are so much better live! Think about that one.
- Sting: Kim does this sometimes with her drums (by miming shooting herself in the head and collapsing onto her drum-set, no less) when Young Neil, Scott, or Stephen are acting particularly stupid.
- The Stinger: Stay through the credits and watch the words "The End" come up...then watch Scott Pilgrim from the video game come in and punch the shit out of it! Doubles as a cross-promotional shout out.
- Stop Singing, Hannibal!: "That doesn't even rhyme!"
- Storming the Castle/The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Chaos Theatre, Act II.
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
Scott: Do you know a girl with hair like this? [holds up a picture of a shapeless squiggle]
Comeau: Yes, that's Ramona Flowers.
- Stylistic Suck: Sex Bob-omb, Scott's song about Ramona, Matthew Patel's Bollywood song "Slick", and visually, Gideon's pixelated katana. Doesn't mean they're not awesome in their own lo-fi way.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Scott lampshades this after the offense in Matthew Patel's Villain Song (although it was the other way around in the graphic novel).
- Summon Backup Dancers: Matthew Patel's Demon Hipster Chicks, who disappear when he is defeated.
- Summon Magic: The aforementioned Demon Hipster Chicks, as well as the Green-Eyed Monster and the double-headed dragon summoned in the battle between Sex B-Bomb and the Katayanagi Twins through The Power of Rock.
- Super Window Jump: Scott does this to escape his tiny apartment when Knives comes calling. And then reaches back inside for his coat.
- Symbolic Blood: The coin drops pretty much become this by the end of the movie. At one point, someone on the verge of dying actually coughed up coins.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Scott cheats on Knives when he starts dating Ramona. See Your Cheating Heart below.
- T-Word Euphemism:
Roxie: Your BF's about to get F'd in the B!
- Take That:
- Although many conflate the movie with hipsterism, others consider it a Take That against hipsters, what with Gideon's "I'm cooler/better than you" villain rant, and Todd/Natalie explaining that "being a vegan just makes you better than everyone." Not to mention the final battle theme is titled "Death to All Hipsters". Of course, anyone who thinks it isn't possible to both be hipstery and be anti-hipster clearly doesn't understand hipsters.
- Gideon and Sex Bob-omb play a big part in a Take That against big stereotypical music labels that pump out music for the sake of money without caring about artistic integrity. Stephen signs the band to Gideon simply cause they're offered loads of cash and recognition, even though Gideon is pretty obviously a big Jerkass. Scott, knowing better, quits the band cause he doesn't want to sell out to him. The song Sex Bob-omb plays when Scott first enters the club is aptly titled "No Fun". When the first round of Scott's final battle with Gideon begins, Gideon demands Sex Bob-omb to play a pretty cool but still largely generic tune while Kim, completely unmotivated, proclaims they're playing to sell out. Once Round 2 begins however, witnessing Scott finally gain his own self-respect and ultimately become the better man, the band finally comes to realize that there is more than just money and fame, and with their own freedom, they play the same song but this time taken Up to Eleven.
- Take That Us: Comeau can be heard telling someone "The comic book was better than the movie" when Scott enters the Chaos Theater the second time.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Parodied during the Patel and Roxy fights but turned on its head for the Gideon fight.
- That Came Out Wrong: When the issue of Knives' age comes up in front of Ramona, Scott's brain switches to an excuse wheel which settles between "Gotta pee" and "Who, her?". Scott subsequently mangles this to "I gotta pee on her."
- Theme Tune Cameo/What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: The full orchestrated Universal theme plays when Lucas Lee first steps out of his trailer (complete with synchronized neck cracks!). And it is glorious.
- There Was a Door: Subverted. Todd knocks Scott through quite a few walls and looks through the resulting holes menacingly... and then proceeds to use the door to reach Scott anyways. By Offscreen Teleportation.
- This Cannot Be!: Matthew Patel before Scott delivers the final blow.
Patel: This is impossible... How can this be?
Scott: Open your eyes. Maybe you'll see!
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: "Milk and eggs, bitch."
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself:
- Scott vs. the Bonus Boss, NegaScott. Who turns out to be a pretty cool guy, so the drama wasn't necessary. Technically, Scott had to defeat all of the exes himself.
- As the Exes grow more powerful, Scott needs a lot of help to deal with them: the Vegan Police strip Todd of his powers, Ramona tells him Roxy's secret weakness, and the rest of Sex Bob-omb help him take out the Katayanagi Twins. Scott actually dies when he tries to take on Gideon himself the first time, and it's only with Knives' help he defeats Gideon the last time.
- It seems that Scott needs help for every fight. Wallace assists in the first two by heckling/demoralizing Patel and setting up Lee's undoing (he even hands him the fatal skateboard).
- Took a Level In Badass: Scott gaining The Power of Self-Respect in Chaos Theatre Round 2 is the culmination of his Character Development. Suddenly he blazes through the crowd of mooks like a hot knife through butter all while his former band now with newly gained respect for him play the Theme Music Power-Up version of the crew's theme song.
- Toronto Doubling: Averted -- The movie is filmed in Toronto, set in Toronto, and stars an actor from Toronto. The fact that this is unusual is Lampshaded while fighting the second ex: Scott gets hurled through the backdrop matte painting of the Empire State Building on the movie set. The CN Tower is briefly visible through the hole thus made.
"They make movies in Toronto?"
- Trailers Always Lie: The trailers do a good job of obfuscating the Sorting Algorithm of Evil of The Evil Exes, with Lucas Lee being by far the most prominent.
- Trailers, TV Spots, and Theatrical Posters Always Spoil: Ramona has an ex-girlfriend. It's cool, not like it was supposed to be a plot twist or anything.
- Troperiffic: It is an Edgar Wright movie, after all.
- Unreliable Narrator: Many critics, cast members, and even creator Bryan Lee O'Malley have claimed that the film, to a certain degree, may be from Scott's point of view, explaining all the weird, video game stuff happening and why nobody seems to react to supernatural powers and people dying (because it didn't really happen). O'Malley even told Jason Schwartzmann not to worry about crafting a realistic character, but instead playing Scott's Flanderized version of Gideon.
- Other possible effects of Scott's viewpoint perverting the film include Innocent Inaccurate, in-universe Flanderization of the entire cast, to Scott (and the film) being oblivious of any Character Development or Hero of Another Story in those around him (turning everyone into a Satellite Character who live only to worry about him), and, of course, maybe it was All Just a Dream and none of it ever really happened.
- Up to Eleven: Hard to catch, but the Twins actually turn a dial to the setting 十一 (11) during the battle.
- Versus Title
- Video Game Realism
Scott: This is happening, right?
Wallace: Oh yeah. Kick her in the balls!
- Video Game Tropes: Notable because... this is a film, based on a comic.
- Villainous Breakdown: Gideon. He even starts glitching out as he rants, as if his graphics code were falling apart.
- Villain Song: "Slick", sung by the first evil ex and his chorus of demon hipster chicks.
- Visual Pun: "What are you doing?" "Getting a life." *bloop*
- The Voice: Bill Hader's narrator is credited as "The Voice".
- The Voiceless:
- The Katayanagi Twins prefer to let their music speak for them. Apparently, the casting office forgot to write "identical mid-twenties attractive English-speaking Japanese twins" into the casting call.
- Lynette, The Clash at Demonhead's bespectacled bionic-armed drummer is also completely silent for her brief time on screen.
- Wall Slump: Scott, the depressed variation, against a fridge.
- Wasted Song: The vocal and sudden melting feeling version of Fairy's fountain from The Legend of Zelda is not on the soundtrack.
- Weirdness Censor: Nobody seems to give much thought to people having incredible martial arts skills, exploding into coins, or being able to summon giant monsters with The Power of Rock.
- The one point in the movie where someone thinks something genuinely weird is going on is when Stacey sees Matthew Patel break into song and dance. And that's mostly because it's genuinely weird.
- That, and when Julie starts swearing and a black Censorship rectangle covers her mouth, the others do take notice. "How are you doing that?"
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Think about it. This is a movie where a normal guy fights for the love of his girlfriend in the style of video games and, somehow, it works.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: "You made me swallow my gum! That's going to be in my digestive tract for SEVEN YEARS!"
- "You punched me in the boob! Prepare to die, obviously!"
- "Do you know how long it took to get all the evil ex's contact information so I can form this stupid league? Like two hours. TWO HOURS!!"
- When She Smiles: Kim, for a few seconds near the end.
- Whip It Good: Roxy in her fight with Ramona.
- Words Can Break My Bones: On his second visit to the Chaos Theatre, Scott destroys the first door-guy by insulting his hair.
- World of Cardboard Speech: Scott gives one in the deleted scenes. This is basically an outline of Hero's Journey.
Scott: "Wallace, when my journey began, I was living in an ordinary world. Ramona skated through my dreams and it was like a Call to Adventure, a call I considered refusing. But my mentor, that’s you, told me if I want something bad enough, I have to fight for it. So I did. There were tests, allies, enemies. I approached a deep cave and went through a crazy ordeal, during which I totally seized the sword. Sadly, I died. Then I resurrected! Now I realize what I should have been fighting for all along."
- World of Chaos: And it is deli - hang on.
- World of Ham: And it is delicious.
- Would Hit a Girl: Todd, who punches Knives so hard he knocks the highlights out of her hair, and Gideon, who is not afraid to show Knives and Ramona that he's the boss.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Scott, who has to come up with an unconventional method of beating Roxy.
- Wrecked Weapon: The first Deus Ex Machina magic sword wasn't enough to defeat Gideon. Neither was the second.
- Written Sound Effect: One of very few live-action films to use the trope.
- Wrong Girl First: Played with. Scott has a sweet chemistry with Knives (while retaining his Jerkass tendencies, he even comments to his sister that he's not sure if he's doing it because he wants to or because he's going crazy) until he sees Ramona Flowers for the first time. After that he grows even more callous with Knives until he finally (sort of) dumps her. Towards the end of the movie, after some serious growing up on the part of Scott, he and Knives work in-tandem to brutally beat the snot out of Gideon. Ironically, Scott is finally grown up enough to be with the 17-year old girl. Of course, I Want My Beloved to Be Happy kicks in about this point, leaving Knives as The Woobie, albeit an Iron Woobie.
- In the alternate ending contained in the DVD deleted scenes, Ramona initiates an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy at the end of the movie and leaves so that Scott can be with Knives.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
- Ramona has pink hair when she first meets Scott; she changes her hair color twice more before the end of the film, to blue and green, but never to a standard color.
- Knives also puts blue highlights in her hair to compete with Ramona, but these are knocked out before the third fight.
- Your Cheating Heart: Scott on both Knives and Ramona, or more specifically, Scott cheated on Knives with Ramona ("What's the difference?" "You weren't wronged?"). Scott got off the hook relatively easy (considering he was killed before either Ramona or Knives could really chew him out for it), unlike in the books...
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: With 20 minutes left in the film, Scott "defeats" Gideon... then Gideon gets back up and kills him. After he restarts at the checkpoint, he beats Gideon for good. Then NegaScott shows up.
- Zettai Ryouiki:
- Ramona's skirt and stocking combo in the "changing scene".
- Knives's Ninja Ninja Revolution avatar.
- Although, as Stephen says in Volume 6, it's actually revealed in Volume 5 because Scott (and by extension, the reader) were too busy focusing on the Evil Exes situation)
- If you look closely, it's actual Canadian legal tender
- Some could call it Arrested Development.
- Which is appropriate, since it's a movie based on a comic based on video games
- if it had been included in the theatrical cut, the MPAA would've bumped them up to an R-rating.
- For the uninitiated, it's an iconic Toronto landmark