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Ted is a 2012 comedy film directed by Seth MacFarlane and stars himself, Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, and is MacFarlane's directorial debut. It focuses on John, a little boy who receives a teddy bear as a gift and wishes for him to come to life. As luck would have it, his wish is granted, and the bear, aptly named Ted, does in fact gain sentience and grows up alongside John as his best friend. 27 years later, they're still together as roommates and still somewhat on the immature slacker side. When John meets Lori (Kunis), she feels that Ted is a poor influence on John, while Ted feels she's going to come between their friendship.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Rex, Donny and Robert.
- Bowdlerise: The Japanese version premiered a PG-12 version of Ted in July so that younger audiences could watch, toning down and cutting out the film's more raunchy parts. However, the uncut R-15 version is still available for the older audience to see.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Robert is in the receiving end of John's fist and goes down with a thud.
- Though Ted takes a few lumps (and it's more a sissy fight than anything), it's inevitable they couldn't resist having John getting his ass handed to him by a cute little teddy bear.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ted. He's voiced by Seth McFarlane, after all.
- Deconstructive Parody: You know how as a child, you probably wished that your favorite toy would come to life? This is what happens when the wish comes true, and then followed you into adulthood.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: John and Ted, who have been together for 27 years.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The titular "Ted" is voiced by Seth MacFarlane who seems to be using a voice somewhere in between Peter and Brian...
- Jerkass: Rex.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ted, but pretty much everyone aside from the villains are this to an extent.
- Living Toys: Deconstructed. A lot of the real life consequences of this potentially occurring do happen, mostly concerning widespread media coverage.
- Man Child: The film is about John's inability to grow up in general, but he has a few instances of actual childish behavior:
- He's still afraid of thunder through most of the film and needs to sing a song to help him cope with it.
- He cowers behind a column while Lori cleans up a shit on the floor.
- He grabs his ears and says, "Ow!" when someone says "cunt" in his presence.
- He also refuses to take responsibility for anything (see Never My Fault below).
- Meaningful Name:
- Ted's name refers to the fact that he's a teddy bear and is a less diminutized version of "Teddy," indicating that he's an adult.
- Rex is a spoiled child with a name meaning "king."
- Mood Whiplash: This movie can shift pretty violently between melodrama and stoner comedy. And at Ted's party, the mood jerks from joyful exuberance, to a terrifying losing fight against a knife-wielding Ming, and then back to good-time partying within the span of a single minute.
- Never My Fault; John has a really bad habit of blaming others for his own mistakes, which Ted chews him out for in no uncertain terms.
Ted: Look, the point is, you're blaming me for something that you did to yourself. Lori was right about you: you cannot take responsibility for anything that goes on in your life.
John: Oh, and you can?
Ted: I don't have to! I'm a fucking teddy bear! Y'know somethin'? I didn't tie you up and drag you to that party, alright? I wanted you to come, because you're supposedly my best friend!
John: You can't stand there and tell me you haven't always seen Lori as as a threat to our friendship! I mean, it always works out so much better for you when we're sitting around getting fucked up on the couch till nine am, doesn't it?
Ted: [Scoffs] Listen to yourself. What am I, Emperor Ming here controlling your mind? That's your choice, John! And by blaming me, you're just making yourself look like a pussy.
- Only Sane Woman: Poor Lori.
- Reality Ensues: For all that it is, the film has several examples of this:
- After young John announces that his teddy bear has come to life, his parents begin to dismiss him and the audience was surely expecting it, but Ted walks out of the bedroom and breaks the masquerade immediately, making them freak out. They warmed up to him after a few minutes, though.
- John's attempt to win Lori back doesn't just fail; it's viewed as selfish and idiotic by everyone who had to witness it, much like it would be in real life.
- Another weird example toward the end: when Ted is kidnapped, he's shown to be no more durable than any other teddy bear when the villains cut his ear off and tear him in half. What makes it weird is that earlier, Ted beat the shit out of John with ease.
- In general, the whole film takes the idea of a real imaginary friend or living toy companion and presents it realistically and honestly. Ted's miraculous existence is the source of massive media interest when he first appears, but after several years people stop caring and he becomes just a normal, albeit unexplained, part of life. Not only that but because Ted basically lives off of John and others, he never went to school, got a job, or really learned to live on his own. When he actually does try to get a job, the only thing he can manage is a piss-poor cashier job at a crappy downtown grocery store.
- Not to mention that as John grows up, Ted grows up with him.
- Starring Special Effects