Yellow Submarine

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Nothing is real.

"It's all in the mind."

Yellow Submarine is a 1968 psychedelic animated movie that doesn't quite star The Beatles. (Though their songs feature prominently, and they do get a live-action cameo at the end.)

When Blue Meanies attack the strange and magical undersea utopia of "Pepperland", Old Fred is sent off in a near-omnipotent submarine to find help. He ends up in Liverpool, where he convinces Ringo Starr and his three "mates" to return with him. Along the way, stuff happens. Very weird stuff. With Beatles music all throughout and art in the style of Heinz Edelmann, the return voyage and rescue of Pepperland is... quite a 'trip'.

Can the Beatles save Pepperland thanks to The Power of Rock? Or will the Blue Meanies end the free and open dissemination of music, which they are allergic to, once and for all?

A motion-capture remake to be directed by Robert Zemeckis was in pre-production in the late 2000s to early 2010s, but is currently dead thanks to his previous movie flopping.

Tropes used in Yellow Submarine include:
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Frankenstein's monster rises from a lab table, gulps down some serum in a test tube, starts to quake, then, BOOM - turns into John Lennon.

John: Hey Ringo, I just had the strangest dream.
Ringo: I warned you about eating on an empty stomach.

  • Acid Trip Dimension: Several.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The original song only describes a trip to the Sea of Green, and while that's still a goal of the movie (as the Sea of Green leads to Pepperland), there are many more seas the Beatles find themselves in before reaching it. Strangely enough, the Sea Of Green sequence only takes about ten seconds.
  • Amazing Technicolor World
  • And I Must Scream: The citizens of Meanie-run Pepperland are shown to be gray and frozen, but still conscious.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Sixty-four years is 33,661,440 minutes, and one minute is a long time. Let us dem-0-1-2-nstrate." It's really 33,660,721 minutes.[1]
  • And Starring: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Even though the Beatles probably spend more time disguised as the band than the actual band's screentime. Rectified in the extended cut, where the real Sergeant Pepper and his band help the Beatles defeat a group of canine Meanies to the tune of "Hey Bulldog".
  • Angrish:

Old Fred: Uhh... [gibberish] ... MUSIC ... [gibberish] ...BLUE... [gibberish] ...SUBMARINE...EXPLOSIONS...BLUE MEEAAANIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIES!!!

  • Animated Music Video: One of the first. In fact, several of the first, as the movie was conceived of as essentially a series of connected shorts.
  • Annoying Arrows: Ringo pulls some out of himself after his experience in the Sea of Monsters. He found it 'arrowing.
    • The Blue Meanies' guns fire whizzy cartoon arrows complete with cartoony sound effects. They don't kill you if they hit, just remove your color and make you a slave/statue.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Lord Mayor, the Blue Meanies are coming! What will you do? "Finish the quartet."
  • Arc Words: "It's all in the mind." Thanks, George.
  • Arcadia: Pepperland before the Blue Meanie attack.
  • Auto Cannibalism: The vacuum monster eats everything in its universe; as a last resort it eats itself, mouth last.
  • Bad Boss: The Chief Blue Meanie.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The Blue Meanies.

Max: Yes, Your Blueness!
Chief Meanie: WHAAAT? We Meanies only take "no" for an answer! Is that understood, Max?
Max: No, Your Blueness!
Chief Meanie: Thaat's better.

(After being eaten by the Vacuum Monster)
Paul: What should we do?
John: Serve tea.
Paul: Lovely.

John: Hey lads. Now Ringo's gone, what do we do?
Fred: Learn to sing trios.
Paul: Naaaw, let's save the poor devil.

  • Confused Question Mark: One of the cat-like Butterfly Stompers has a tail that momentarily goes question mark.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Beatles just happen to be perfect physical duplicates to the legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band. (In modern DVD cut they are implied to be linked to each other in some odd metaphysical fashion.) Lampshaded to a degree when the Lord Mayor meets them.

Lord Mayor: It's quite uncanny! Your faces!
Paul: We're quite cute, really[2].
Lord Mayor: You could pass for the originals!
John: We are the originals.
Lord Mayor: No, no ... Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!
George: They couldn't be much with a name like that!

Lord Mayor: Get help!
Old Fred: But where should I go?
Lord Mayor: No time for trivialities!

  • Culture Police: The Blue Meanies are the most famous example of the fantastic variety.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The constable.
  • Dance Party Ending: "It's All Too Much." (Yes, there's an epilogue after that, but that's the last animated section.)
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The defeated Blue Meanies decide to turn good in the end.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Director's Cut: There are at least two versions of this film -- the one seen in most American theaters and available on video until about 1991, and the remastered version that has the "Hey Bulldog" sequence and some changes of pacing and sequencing in that area.
    • There was also a UK broadcast version pieced together by The BBC from the available footage. This also included "Hey Bulldog" but omits some of the scenes that eventually (ahem) surfaced in the remaster.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Replace "Disney" with "United Artists" and "Sequence" with "Film".
  • Doomed Hometown: Pepperland.
  • Door Roulette: While the Beatles and Old Fred are looking for Paul inside their TARDIS-like house, they open several doors leading to (a) King Kong reaching in to get Fay Wray, (b) an oncoming train (one of the Beatles slams the door shut) and finally (c) Paul giving a concert performance.
  • The Dragon: The Dreadful Flying Glove.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ringo is so bored that he'd jump into the River Mersey, only doesn't because "it looks like rain".
  • DVD Commentary: By production supervisor John Coates, with clips from interviews with Heinz Edelmann.
  • Dwindling Party: The citizens of Pepperland during the invasion.

Fred: Sir! Sir! The Blue Meanies are coming!
Lord Mayor: Not h-here, young Fred. They w-wouldn't dare.
Fred: They would! They are! What are you going to do?
Lord Mayor: Finish the quartet.
Chief Meanie: FIRE! (The Meanies keep firing away, and one of the foursome is turned to stone by a Meany's arrow and Fred catches his instrument)
Fred: Trio, sir. (He starts plucking away, as another is turned to stone) Duet, sir.
Lord Mayor: Duet? (And a third is turned to stone)
Fred: Solo. (He takes a whack at playing all three violins at once)
Lord Mayor: Young Fred! The Blue Meanies are coming!!!

  • Ejection Seat: The steersman's chair turns out to be one when Ringo presses the Panic Button.
  • Eldritch Location: The Beatles' Liverpool abode is a grim little wharfside hovel on the outside - inside it's a cavernous palace with endless corridors that open into scenes from King Kong, Magritte paintings and the like, while various outsize objects, inanimate and otherwise, run in and out of doors when no one's looking. The places they visit on their journey are similarly extradimensional.
  • Evil Laugh: The Blue Meanies, especially the Chief.
  • Explosive Cigar: The Submarine gives (and lights) one to the Boxing Monster.
  • Face Palm: Paul does this after Ringo makes the "Sub-scribers" pun.
  • Fertile Feet: The Beatles leave a trail of psychedelic foliage behind them during the "Nowhere Man" number.
  • Fiddling While Rome Burns: Parodied, literally. (Justified in that Pepperland is a Planet of Hats, and their hat is music.)
  • Follow the Leader: This film was arguably a strong influence on 1974's Space Battleship Yamato, and thus indirectly on Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and pretty much all of modern Space Opera.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: While the Beatles have five fingers on each hands (at least when individual fingers can be seen), the Blue Meanies and the Pepperlanders have six.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Old Fred, although his grasp on spelling is not the best:

"H" is for "hurry",
"E" is for "urgent",
"L" is for "love me", and
"P" is for "Please!"

    • And when the submarine takes off without the Beatles, he recites it again, only to get out of earshot by the third line, one of the Beatles finishes it with "'P' is for ... 'Goodbye'."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Getting the Blue Meanies' hats past the Disney Legal Department radar, and the brief nudity in "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"?
    • Not to mention lines like:

Fred: If we slip back through time at this rate, very soon we'll all disappear up our own existence.
Open your mouth love, it won't hurt. (Coaxing John to make the word "LOVE" appear out of his mouth, of course. What else could it be?)

    • As well as John asking Jeremy "who the Billy Shears" he is.
  • Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Old Fred's motivational speech just before the Beatles enter the Submarine.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Also, feet that shoot guns and hands that have teeth.

George: I see footsteps.
Paul: It's a pair of kinky-boot beasts!
John: Preparing to attack.

  • Giant Hands of Doom: Again, The Dreadful Flying Glove.
  • Good Hurts Evil: Blue Meanies don't like music and love spreading through the land. It pains them.
  • Grotesque Gallery
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: The Meanies are coming!
  • Harsh Word Impact: The word "Love" affects the Blue Meanies—especially the Glove—in this manner.
  • Haunted Headquarters: One explanation for the creatures and ... things that share the Beatles' home with them.
  • Head-in-The-Sand Management: The Old Mayor is a sympathetic example.
  • Human Ladder: All four of the Beatles do this to take out some Apple Bonkers, with John at the top and George at the base.
  • Hurricane of Puns: This is one of those movies that turns these bad puns into magic.
    • "Today...Pepperland goes blue-y!"
    • "It's blue glass." "Must be from Kentucky."
    • "[It's a] University of Whales!"
    • "I'm a born lever-puller!" (Which wouldn't sound at all like the word "Liverpooler" if it weren't for Ringo's Liverpool accent.)
    • And many many more.
  • I Want My Mommy: Ringo, several times during the Sea of Time.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me: Ringo's feelings toward Jeremy manifest themselves as this more or less.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The Submarine, which doesn't seem to much care what medium it's travelling through.
    • Some of the creatures in the Sea of Monsters. And the winged fish-thing on the giant telephone during the "Nowhere Man" sequence.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Bonkers use giant apples as their weapon of choice.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: "Call a road service." "Can't, no road." "And we're not sub... scribers." The other Beatles react with physical pain to that one.
    • And then there are a couple of instances of exchanges between Ringo and Old Fred:
      • When they walk through a hall of displays in a huge house:

Fred: What would your friends be doing here?
Ringo: Displayin'.
Fred: Displaying what?
Ringo: Displayin' around.

      • When Ringo tries to steer the submarine through the Sea of Monsters and they come across one monster:

Fred: You've got to steer clear!
Ringo: Steer clear?
Fred: Yes, steer! Clear?
Ringo: Yes, dear.

  • Info Drop: The animators almost seem to deliberately distract you when Fred accidentally drops all of the instruments in the Sea of Monsters, and the Beatles don't even mention it until they reach Pepperland. The only hint before that is when the Beatles play air instruments during the Nowhere Man sequence.
  • Jumped At the Call: All the Beatles. How they managed to understand Old Fred's garbled explanation is anyone's guess.
  • Jerkass: The Beatles To Jeremy. Being a Nowhere Man aside, Jeremy is basically a good-hearted soul with many skills. He just has no real purpose or reason for them. The Beatles are snarky to him from the start, and when he even he fixes the sub's motor, the Beatles attempt to just walk off without as much as a thank-you, and then go on to berate him further via the "Nowhere Man" number, leaving poor Jeremy a hurt, crying mess. Only Ringo takes pity on him at the last minute. And just a few minutes later, when Jeremy fixes one of the Sub's propellers too well that the sub accidentally goes into overdrive, John, Paul, and George lose no time sniping at him again. Only Ringo defends him.
  • Jukebox Musical
  • Kitchen Sink Included: Old Fred opens up a cupboard door on the Submarine and lots of unlikely objects fall out, including a kitchen sink.
  • Limited Animation: One of the defining films of the genre, often misattributed to avant-garde artist Peter Max; and a who's-who of British animation; helped inspire Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame.
    • Part of what may have caused the film to underperform in its original release -- keep in mind, this was made when the Beatles were at the height of their popularity and people still avoided the film. Richard Williams even points this out in his book "The Animator's Survival Kit".
  • Magic Music: Music repels the Blue Meanies. Especially during "All You Need is Love", where the lyrics to the song take physical form as they are being sung.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: Lining the central hall of the Beatles' home.
  • Malevolent Architecture: It's clear from Ringo's whining about how nothing ever happens to him that he has never paid attention to what happens inside his mansion. Or he's just bored with it -- he no longer seems to notice there's anything strange about the place (partly because at least some of it actively hides from him and the other Beatles).
  • Memetic Outfit: The Sgt. Pepper uniforms and the Beatles' rather eccentric choice of dress. Of course, both of these were picked up in The Beatles: Rock Band.
  • Mind Screw: Pick a moment.

Jeremy: "Medic, pedic, Zed Oblique. Orfic, Morphic, Dorphic, Greek. Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo. So little time, so much to know!"

  • Monster Clown: The Meanies use really freaky looking clowns (known as "Countdown Clowns") as an alarm system. They've got no arms and really do look horrific. The noise they make when they're alarmed really doesn't help. Plus when things tend to explode when you press their squeaky noses.
    • Mark Hamill has said that his performance of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series (and, indeed, that version's appearance) can be traced back to the Chief Blue Meanie.
  • Monumental Damage/Signs of Disrepair: When the Meanies conquer Pepperland, they smash a statue of two clasped hands, breaking them apart, and change a giant "KNOW" to "NO".
  • The Musical
  • Mythology Gag: To other songs from the Beatles; such when Fred recites the chorus to Help!, or John introducing himself to "the Alter-Ego Man" as "the Ego Man, Goo Goo G'joob." And in the end when Ringo gave half of his hole to Jeremy and Paul says he can fix it "to keep his mind from wondering".
  • Narrator: In the very first minutes of the movie, and never heard from again after.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Blue Meanies. Hence the joke where the Chief Blue Meanie moans about where they could go since they were defeated, and Max suggests "Argentina?"
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The four-minute trailer contains nearly as much footage of live-action Beatles as the entire film does, and with the inclusion of footage of the lads horsing around with the studio equipment implies them actually having something to do with the film's production behind the scenes.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: John suddenly gains the ability to make his words manifest into reality just in time for his "fight" with the Glove. For some reason, live-action Paul can do this by the end of the movie, too.
  • No-Man: Max, the assistant/flunky to the head Blue Meanie.
  • Noodle Incident: During the Blue Meanies' initial attack on Pepperland, the Chief Meanie gleefully declares, "I haven't laughed this much since Pompeii!"
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: At the beginning of the film, Ringo is lamenting his boring life.
  • Not Quite Starring: The Beatles.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: The Mayor faces his imminent "bonking" with quiet stoicism.
  • Off-Model: Hardly any of the characters are ever on model. Whether this adds or detracts from the movie is a matter of opinion.
    • John goes even further off-model than usual during the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" sequence, when he unconvincingly "steps into" some of the rotoscoped footage; even when he's in his standard look during this number, there are moments where he's crudely sketched and colored.
  • Offscreen Crash: Ringo's car crashes this way (with a very long sound effect) immediately after the wrong person drives.
  • On Three: As the Beatles are about to sing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band":

John Lennon Ok, fellows on the beat...A-one, a-two, a-three, a-four, a-five, a-six...
Ringo Starr Can't you make it three?
John Lennon Oh, alright! On the beat...A-one, a-two, a-three...

Narrator: Once upon a time, or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. 80,000 leagues beneath the sea it lay, or lie. I'm not too sure.

Ringo: Liverpool can be a lonely place on a Saturday night. And this is only Thursday morning.

  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Given the trippiness of the rest of the movie, this is understandable.
    • Apparently John Lennon designed some of them[3], which explains even more.
  • Parental Bonus: See if you can find one kid who can even see the Stealth Pun.
  • Pepper Sneeze: The Sneeze of Doom in the Foothills of the Headlands is caused by the Beatles kicking up a cloud of pepper.
  • Planet of Hats: Pepperland is a musical realm.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: Two in quick succession, in fact.
  • Portable Hole: Ringo acquires one from the Sea of Holes. (Some watchers believe this is the source for the magic item found in the Dungeons & Dragons game.)
  • Product Placement: One of the Meanies' weapons is the symbol of Apple Records.
  • The Power of Love: Literally the power of love when John defeats the Glove with "All You Need Is Love". Then the movie ends with everyone holding hands to "It's All Too Much" and "All Together Now" written in various languages, set to the song of the same name.
  • The Power of Rock: The entire universe is powered by it.
  • Pursued Protagonist: Old Fred.
  • Rapid Aging: Happens both backwards and forwards in the Sea of Time.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Yellow Submarine," of course. It was written in 1966 for the Revolver album. Even the songs that debuted in the film were unused songs that the Beatles had written for other reasons.
  • Renaissance Man: Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph.D. He describes himself thusly: "Eminent physicist, polyglot classicist, prize-winning botanist, hard-biting satirist, talented pianist -- good dentist, too."
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Jeremy again. As he explains: "If I spoke prose, you'd all find out / I don't know what I talk about."
  • Rotoscoping: In the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" segment.
  • Rule of Three: See Apathetic Citizens above.
  • Running Gag: Old Fred's repeated incoherent explanation of what's going on in Pepperland:

Fred: Ggggaakbunkahbdonkaglrigabpbrmusiclmrapqlifrheabffffunkahluuue bluue gahdahmaeroohthes-s-submarinenbnhhexplosions-- BLUUEEE MEANNNIEESS!

Ringo: (When they pick up John) Now, listen to old Fred.
Fred: Ggggaakbunkahbdonkagmusiclmrapqlffunkahbluuuemaeroohthes-s-submarinenbnhhexplosions-- BLUUEEE MEANNNIEESS! So, what do you think?
John: (to Ringo) I think it needs a rehearsal.

    • By the final repetition, John and Ringo are chiming in on the last three syllables:

Fred: "Ggggaakbunkahbgmusibluuemaerosubmarinenbnhhexplosions--"
Fred, John, and Ringo: BLUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEE MEEEEAAAAAAANIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEES!!!
George: Ah, you're nuts, the pair o' ya.

  • Schmuck Bait: Ringo and the lever. (Granted, of course, he's a born lever-puller.)
    • And again with Ringo and the button. Poor guy never gets a break in this movie.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: At least three different points in the film could be legitimately claimed as Scooby-Dooby Doors moments, though only one features doors outright. In the Beatles' mansion, a weird alien creature, a floating hat, a black guy in a yellow suit, a butterfly, a woman's hand, an eggcup, a tobacco pipe with a face, a rocking horse, a skull and crossbones, Batman, an umbrella and pair of glasses. All going in and out of doors in about five seconds.
    • Another moment occurs when the Blue Meanies chase the Beatles through Pepperland, after the band inadvertently awakens them from their sleep, only using a forest instead of a hallway.
  • Sea Monsters: The Sea of Monsters, duh.
  • Security Cling: Seen a number of times between Pepperlanders during and after the Meanies' conquest.
  • Shaped Like Itself:

Old Fred: Right, then, let's get this vessel all shipshape.
George: I kinda like the way it is: Submarine-shaped.

Fred: Can't we take one of these?
Ringo: No, Fred, I only work with me mates.

    • The Sea of Monsters segment includes a parody of the then-current Hamlet cigar TV commercials (hence the incorporation of "Air on a G String" into the music at that point).
    • In homage to this movie, Space Invaders were nicknamed "Green Meanies".
    • The line "It's a pair of kinky-boot beasts!" is a reference to the 1963 song "Kinky Boots", recorded by Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman.
    • In the Sea of Monsters, Old Fred presses a button, causing a load of miscellanea to emerge from the sub. One of them is a banner that reads "The Rolling Sto-" before zipping back in.
    • Futurama: Bender's Game features a parody of the movie with the Planet Express ship getting more "submarine-shaped"
    • One episode of The Simpsons also parodies this movie (a dream sequence Lisa has under laughing gas).
    • The second-in-command of the Blue Meanies is named Max.
    • Several Beatles songs that weren't used directly in the film get referenced:

Fred: Won't you please, please help me? ("Help!")
Jeremy: Enough to fill the Albert Hall. (As part of a string of references to "A Day in the Life", another being that the Sea of Holes reminded John of Blackburn, Lancashire, to which Paul replies sing-songedly, "Oh, boy!")
Paul: Getting better all the time. ("Getting Better", obviously)
Pepperland John: I'm the alter ego, man.
John: And I'm the ego man, goo goo g'joob. ("I Am the Walrus")

    • Then later, in the live action part:

George: What can [Jeremy] do with half a hole?
Paul: I'll fix it to keep his mind from wondering! ("Fixing a Hole")

    • A couple of bars of "With A Little Help From My Friends" get played.
    • The frightening orchestra crescendo from "A Day in the Life" gets used for the start of the submarine's journey back to Pepperland.
    • In the opening sequence, when George is introduced, the opening of "Love You To" plays.
    • When the Beatles arrive in Pepperland, in order to "un-bonk" the Lord Mayor the four loop part of the lyric of "Think For Yourself".
    • When Ringo uses the hole in his pocket to break open the glass bowl imprisoning Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the opening bars of "Baby, You're A Rich Man" play.
    • George's catchphrase "It's all in the mind you know" is from The Goon Show (a suitable reference, as the Beatles really were fans of the Goons).
    • The Apple Bonkers' Weapon of Choice look like the logo of a certain record company.
    • The high-speed film montage as the submarine takes off from Liverpool with the Beatles has been homaged in other films, including both versions of The Wizard of Speed and Time.
    • The brief opening narration mentions that Pepperland lay (or lie, I'm not too sure) "80,000 leagues beneath the sea".
  • Sissy Villain: The head Blue Meanie.
  • Sneeze of Doom: While the Beatles and Jeremy are in the "foothills of the Headlands", John lets out a big sneeze because of the pepper in the area. This kicks up a cloud of the pepper which causes all the Heads in response to sneeze, which blows everyone into the Sea of Holes.
  • So Long, Suckers!: In the Sea of Monsters, after the submarine manages to escape being sucked up and swallowed by a vacuum monster, one of the Beatles, most likely George, says, "So long, sucker!"
  • Space Jews: "Are you... blueish? You don't look blueish..." Production supervisor John Coates claims this moment was meant as commentary on the stereotypical casting of Jews as villains. Interestingly, apparently the Blue Meanies were originally planned to be a different color, like red or purple; it was an accident that they turned out blue. Granted, "Blue Meanies" does sound better than "Purple Meanies."
  • Spinning Clock Hands: Used to indicate the flow of time in the Sea of Time. Played With in that forcing them in a particular direction changes the flow.
  • Spot of Tea: According to the Novelization this is required to submerge the submarine.
  • Stealth Pun:

Fred: Hey, what would your friends be doing here?
Ringo: Displaying.
Fred: Displaying what?
Ringo: Dis-playing around. (Sound of rimshot)

    • The Beatles' home, at which the Yellow Submarine docks, is called "The Pier".
  • Stoner Flick: And how!
  • Sub Story
  • Sudden Anatomy: At one point the titular submarine sprouts a toothy grin to disarm a school... er... university of whales.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Page quote.
  • Sugar Bowl: Pepperland before the Blue Meanie attack.
  • Surreal Horror: For some viewers, Yellow Submarine at least borders on this trope.
  • Take That: most Blue Meanies have Mickey Mouse ears.
    • And...

Chief Meanie: Aaaaah... the hills are alive...
Max: (sings) With The Sound of Music! (This prompts the Chief Meanie to punch Max.)

Jeremy Where ground is soft/most often grows/Arise! Arise!/Arouse, a rose... a rosy nose?

  • Techno Babble: In a parody of his tendency towards profound pronouncements, Lennon's character attempts to explain the uncanny resemblance between themselves and Sgt. Pepper's Band. The other characters promptly laugh it off and attempt to bash open their glass prison while he's still talking.
    • It gets better. If you listen closely, John's explanation eventually evolves into some kind of recipe[4]
    • And while John starts talking about relativity, Paul spins around and starts singing a riff on the old music-hall number "Any Old Iron":

Paul: Any old Ein, Any old Ein, Any-any-any old Ein-stein.

Ringo: Nothing ever happens to me.

  • Theme Park: The Sony Entertainment Centers of Berlin and Tokyo featured "The Yellow Submarine Adventure" during 2000. The CGI cutscenes for the ride were made about a decade before the cancelled remake was first announced.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Blue Meanies, to the point where the defeated second in command suggests fleeing to Argentina, no less!
  • Today X, Tomorrow the World!: Variation: the Chief Blue Meanie says, "Let us not forget that heaven is blue... TOMORROW THE WORLD!"
  • Toon Transformation: Zig-zagged the film ends with the live action Beatles telling what they took with them from the movie as souvenirs (Paul's "love" appears in his hand animated), with John telling the others that singing will stave off an impending Blue Meanie attack.
  • Trap Door: Ringo pushes a button and drops a monster out of the submarine.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Just about any of the musical segments (especially "Nowhere Man", "Only a Northern Song", "Eleanor Rigby" and "When I'm 64") could easily pass for 80s style music videos (in content if not actual animation style).
  • Ugly Cute: Many of the creatures in the film.
  • Unflinching Faith in the Brakes: Old Fred as Ringo drives a car toward him in the mansion.
  • Utopia: Pepperland, before and after the (British) invasion.
  • Vacuum Mouth: The Vacuum beast in the Sea of Monsters.
  • Vehicle Title
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: The Chief Blue Meanie.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Chief Blue Meanie has a breakdown following Max's zinger after the Beatles have sung life back into Pepperland:

Chief: (calmly) Hark...the hills are alive...
Max: (sung) With The Sound of Music... (Chief clocks him)
Chief: WHO??!! WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS??!!

    • He'd later go into a spasm and be placated with "nasty medicine."
  • Vocal Dissonance: As the sub ventures through the Sea of Time, the Beatles regress to childhood and Old Fred to young adulthood. The Beatles' voices as children are still the same as their adult voices, and Old Fred's didn't change either.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Nowhere in which Jeremy lives probably counts, until The Beatles start singing and it gets all psychedelic.
  • Watch It Stoned
  • Waxing Lyrical: Songs that aren't featured outright often get slipped into the dialogue, such as when Fred pounds on the door while reciting the words to "Help".
    • "I am the ego man, goo goo g'joob."
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Blue Meanies are repelled by positivity in any form. This doesn't work out so badly, though, since their entire arsenal is built around the proliferation of depression and despair, but it does still leave them vulnerable to music.
  • Weirdness Censor: The only possible explanation for Ringo's boredom, considering where he lives.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Ringo will probably push it to find out.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When a monster gets inside the submarine, everyone comments on how incredibly ugly it is until it's driven to tears, at which point they kick it out of the sub. Later when Jeremy is also brought to tears by the Beatles singing "Nowhere Man" to him (to their credit, the lyrics are an accurate portrait of him), Ringo is the only one who seems to care that they've hurt Jeremy's feelings, the other Beatles want nothing more to do with him. But Ringo gets him to come along anyway, and he does turn out to be of some assistance.

Ringo: Poor little guy.
Paul: I dunno, Ringo is just a sentimentalist.

Ringo: First time I saw that "Nowhere Man"... that "Nobody" ... I knew he was Somebody.

    • This troper always thought that Jeremy started crying at the thought of them leaving him alone. He really only started to get upset when they began to leave.
      • He probably didn't get many visitors...
  • Who Dares?: During his Villainous Breakdown, the Chief Blue Meanie demands to know who is responsible for bringing music back into Pepperland. His flunky Max first answers, "Rachmaninoff?"; this gets him blasted and stomped. He next suggests "Guy Lombardo?"
  • World of Chaos: Most of the film is set there -- even the parts in Liverpool.
  • World-Healing Wave
  • Zeerust: the title was presented in a pseudo-MICR typeface, that being the 1960s idea of a "futuristic" typeface. (The only relationship most people had with computers being the MICR numbers printed on cheques.)
  1. The figure in the film is arrived at by multiplying 24 (hours per day) x 60 (minutes per hour) x 365.25 (average number of days per year including leap years) x 64 (years). That is 33,661,440. That contains about half a day too many, though. And in the Gregorian calendar, an average year is actually 365.2425 days.
  2. Paul was often referred to at "The cute one"
  3. He was not pleased when he wasn't credited for this
  4. It sounds like a recipe for scrambled eggs, which was, according to legend, the working title for "Yesterday."