Shrek Forever After

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Shrek Forever After is a 2010 animated fantasy comedy film and a sequel to Shrek the Third. The film received mixed to positive reviews but did well at the box office.

Shrek, now a domesticated family man, longs for the days when he felt like a "real ogre" and is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.

Tropes used in Shrek Forever After include:
  • Action Girl: Fiona who became a hardcore ogre!
  • Actionized Sequel
  • Alternate Universe: The film's plot.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Cookie.
  • Axe Crazy: Rumpelstiltskin. Don't be fooled by the trickster shell. Deep down, he's really a homicidal sociopath.
  • Badass Army: The ogres.
  • Bad Boss: Rumpelstiltskin. He seems like a good one at first, letting his witches having a rave in his castle and all that. After Shrek escapes however, he drops all the niceness and starts threatening their lives, never mind that he was the one that pushed Shrek too far.
  • Bad Future: The premise.
  • Berserk Button: When Rumpelstiltskin explains to a chained-up Shrek exactly what the deal entails, Shrek goes NUTS, breaks through his chains, and tears up half the palace while escaping with AU!Donkey.
  • Bounty Hunter: The Pied Piper.
  • Bride and Switch: Played for Laughs during a montage in which Shrek dresses as a veiled bride at a man's wedding.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: An evil variant in Rumpelstiltskin and his obsession with wigs.
  • Chekhov's Skill: How to tie knots. ("The dragon goes under the bridge...")
  • Continuity Nod
  • Crazy Cat Lady: One of the witches at the beginning.
  • Creative Closing Credits / Credits Montage: Characters and clips from the previous three films are put together in a sequence.
  • Darker and Edgier: Somewhat, though to be fair the last two films had gotten progressively Lighter and Softer.
  • Double Entendre: At the beginning of the movie, Rumpelstiltskin tears out pages from a fairytale book in Pinocchio's bookstore. How will he pay? "Maybe we can make a deal for it, little boy." "Oh, I'm not a REAL boy!" Wait for it...wait for it..." you WANNA be?"
    • "My donkey fell in your waffle hole."
  • Empathy Doll Shot: A variant occurs, where Shrek finds his daughter's favorite doll apparently having fallen from one of his pockets. It has the same "Isolated doll" factor if the circumstances aren't identical to the norm.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: "Oh great, after mimes magicians are my favorite people".
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The subtitle ("The Final Chapter"). It is indeed "the final chapter" involving the titular ogre...which didn't stop Dreamworks from making a movie about Puss.
  • Fisher King: Rumpelstiltskin's luxurious palace surrounded by the barren fields and run-down city. This is likely due to simple greed as opposed to a magical connection between the king and the land though.
  • Good Costume Switch: The Pied Piper wears white in the Dance Party Ending. Maybe he was only evil in Rumple's world.
  • Hot Amazon: AU!Fiona. Definitely hot by ogre standards, and possibly hot from certain human viewpoints.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot
  • Kryptonite Factor: The exit clause is hidden inside the contract, revealed not in the small print—which at least some people would be smart enough to read, but by refolding the paper to reveal the hidden words (knowing Rumpelstiltskin's name as per the legend isn't enough, as everyone knows Rumpelstiltskin now he's king, so he had to get clever).
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Brogan.
  • La Résistance
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Written by a malicious Literal Genie. Don't sign them.
  • Magic Countdown: Rumpelstiltskin's sand timer, that measures the 'day' Shrek has before he'll vanish away forever if he doesn't get love's true kiss. When it first appears, only a tiny bit of sand has fallen, even though Shrek must have spent a good part of the day scaring villagers, getting captured, and being carried to Far Far Away.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Rumpelstiltskin. And how!!!!
  • Manly Tears: Shrek sheds a manly tear when he saw one of his triplets doll when he was in the alternate reality and he knew they're not there at all. That is the first time we ever see Shrek cry.
  • Metaphorgotten: Rumpelstiltskin makes a remark about how it's "time to pay the piper". Nothing happens. He then explains to one of the witches that he means literally pay, as he's a bounty hunter.
  • The Music Meister: The Pied Piper is a bounty hunter who uses his flute to capture his quarry by forcing them to dance.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A commercial on TV (TV spot) makes it look like Donkey tries showing a trick where he shuts his eyes tight and they POP OUT THROUGH HIS NOSTRILS! He is actually at an ogre dinner, where they eat plates of eyeballs like fruit, and the trick he does actually doesn't involve his own eyes!
    • Additionally, the song featured in the trailers (Right Back Where We Started From) doesn't actually appear in the movie (though a version does play over the credits), and what is suggested to be a Disney Acid Sequence actually has an explanation.
    • The first TV spots that showed in the UK almost made it seem that the fat kid at the party (named Butterpants) was a sort of main character, and also had the roar scene from the party shortened down to:

Butterpants: Do the roar!
Shrek: I'd rather not...
Butterpants: Do it!
Shrek: *Roars*

    • There was a hint somewhere (the art book, maybe?) that Brogan (voiced by "Don Draper") would be Shrek's rival for AU!Fiona's love, but that never happens.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When Shrek bursts through the trunk of the tree that used to contain his home, only to find... nothing but a few scurrying rats. That's when you really get the feeling of "Oh, my God, what has happened to the world?"
  • One-Scene Wonder: The little fat kid from the party. "Do the roar!"
    • Technically, he's in two scenes; when Rumpelstiltskin puts a bounty on Shrek's head, he and his father can be seen in the crowd of people with faux-Shreks.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Shrek when riding in Rumpelstiltskin's carriage.

Shrek: And the centaur said, 'That's not the half I'm talking about!'

  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Shrek goes crazy from all the events going on at the triplets' birthday party.
  • Reset Button: When Shrek and AU!Fiona share True Love's Kiss just as Shrek is fading from existence, the alternate-universe literally shatters around Rumpelstiltskin as all of the people within it disappear. When Shrek returns to the prime-universe, he was seen mid-roaring at the birthday party.
  • Running Gag: Perhaps it's a coincidence, but Rumpelstiltskin marks the third Shrek villain who is vertically challenged.
  • Scenery Gorn: The first view of the alternate-universe land of Far, Far Away—which has been transformed from a Hollywood-like, beautiful (if commercialized) oasis into a desert wasteland with Rumpelstiltskin's palace at the center. The "Far Far Away" Hollywood sign is mostly destroyed, too.
  • Schmuck Bait: Donkey just after visiting the dragon's keep.

Shrek: There's a stack of freshly made waffles in the middle of the forest! Don't you find that a wee bit suspicious?

  • Series Continuity Error: The Rumpelstiltskins in Third and Forever After are nothing alike. It's certainly not a Species Surname either because (thanks to a huge Art Shift) they don't even look like the same species.
    • The Pied Piper appears but for a second in a throwaway gag in the first film. Again... he looks nothing like how he does in the fourth film.
      • He probably Took a Level in Badass since Farquaad was still hunting fairy tale creatures. Then Rumpelstiltskin takes over...
    • In Shrek 2, we can see it takes days to go from Duloc to Far Far Away. However in Forever After, he travels the same distance three times within less than a day.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slap Slap Kiss: AU!Fiona only starts warming to Shrek when they bash each other up during combat training.
  • Stealth Pun: That carriage park screams "Witch Trash".
  • 3D Movie: This is the only Shrek film to be shown in 3D.
  • Toothy Bird: The giant goose.
  • Tsundere: AU!Fiona.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The Black/Gay chef Ogre.
  • Weaksauce Weakness / Super Drowning Skills: The witches dissolve in water. Oddly, the ogre resistance never takes advantage of this; it's just used by Rumpelstiltskin in a You Have Failed Me... moment.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: The "jerk" here is the human race. The main theme of the first two movies is how badly Shrek is treated by humans. By the beginning of the fourth film, Shrek becomes annoyed at the humans treating him nicely and longs for the days when he would run about villages scaring them.
    • Nicely? They ran over his outhouse!
      • And they treated him like a circus attraction. Can you really blame him for getting tired of performing tricks for annoying kids every single day?
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?: The Pied Piper teaches some witches a lesson by forcing them to break dance. Later he single-handedly defeats the Badass Army of Ogres with a full choreography and a conga line straight to Rumpelstiltskin's castle.
  • X Meets Y: The film's plot can be neatly summed up as It's a Wonderful Life - in the Shrek Universe.