Flik is a nerdy, intuitive, inventive, and courageous ant who is a bug of the ant colony and wants to make a difference to his colony's way of life, but has a tendency to make things worse in the process. His inventions include a telescope created by wrapping a blade of grass around a dew drop; an automatic harvester; several items of traveler's gear; and the bird-shaped aircraft used to terrify the grasshoppers. He is in love with Princess Atta and he is great friends with Dot, the Circus Bugs, and the Blueberries.
In the film, Flik is an odd, inventive ant who is desperate to make a difference to his colony's way of life. He is also sweet to Princess Atta and has a crush on her, but has a tendency of making things worse for himself. He does this by accidentally destroying the pile of food for the grasshoppers, and then causing the leader, Hopper, to double the offering that has to be completed by the end of autumn. During his trial, the royal council reprimands him but quickly dissolves into an argument about what his punishment should be, each being rejected due to a past incident. However, Flik suggests recruiting "bigger bugs" to help fight the grasshoppers away.
After the royal council approves his idea (assuming that Flik would not be around to cause any more trouble), Flik leaves Ant Island and ventures to the city (rubbish under a caravan), where he mistakes a recently fired circus troupe for warriors when some of them do an act based on Robin Hood. After Flik returns to Ant Island with the circus troupe, he introduces the ants to the troupe, but the troupe refuses to believe the reason Flik has recruited them and fly across the stream from the Ant Island, with Flik in pursuit. After a nearly fatal encounter with a bird in which Dot, Atta's little sister, is saved by the circus bugs, Flik is given the privilege to speak with Atta herself, in which Atta apologizes to Flik for her misjudgment.
Learning from Atta that Hopper is afraid of birds, Flik comes up with an idea and tells the circus bugs that they will build a makeshift bird, controlled from the inside, to scare Hopper away, as long as they keep the idea secret from the rest of the colony. The idea goes into motion and, during the process, Flik is shown acting awkwardly around Atta and staring lovingly at her. After the bird is complete, the ants celebrate and Atta thanks Flik for finding the "warrior bugs," getting their antennas tangled. But when the circus troupe's leader, P.T. Flea, arrives at the island in search for them, Flik's mistake is made public to the colony. An angry Atta sees Flik through his lies and has him banished, this time forever. Downhearted, Flik leaves Ant Island with the circus troupe.
However, Dot catches up with him and tells him that Hopper, who invaded the island with his grasshoppers, will kill her mother, the Queen, after they have finished gathering food. The circus bugs suggest using the bird; however, Flik comments that the bird is no good, much to their shock. Flik is still ashamed of himself for being such a screw-up in the eyes of the colony and adds that the bird is a "guaranteed failure", just like him. The circus bugs remind Flik that they have benefitted from him, and show that they're willing to help him save his colony. Dot pleads with him, but Flik, still doubtful of himself, refuses. Dot brings him a rock and uses Flik's words from the beginning from the film, Flik regains his confidence and returns with the circus bugs to Ant Island, where he, Dot, and the Blueberries climb aboard the "bird" and take control the model. The plan almost works, but the "bird" misdirects and crashes into the circus wagon, freeing P.T., who sees the "bird" and sets it on fire, prompting Flik to crash-land the "bird."
Hopper, realizing that he has been tricked, orders his henchman Thumper to savagely kick Flik when Flik confesses that he is responsible for the mayhem. Despite the injuries he has sustained, in the film's turning point, Flik redeems himself and angrily stands up to Hopper, exposes his plot to kill the Queen, and states how ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers but are awesome creatures who are strong in number. All the ants, including Princess Atta, are moved by Flik's speech and realize what Hopper is putting them up to. Hopper knocks Flik to the ground and is about to kill him, Atta rushes in to stop him, tells him to leave, and helps Flik up, commending him for his bravery.
Inspired by Flik's speech, the ants charge at Hopper's gang and scare the grasshoppers away. Flik and the other ants seize Hopper and shove him into the circus cannon, but the rain falls, prompting the ants to run for it, but Flik is still injured and collapses while running. As Atta rushes over to help Flik up, a humiliated and vengeful Hopper then pops out of the cannon and takes Flik hostage as he flies away. The circus bugs attempt to give chase but are unable to do so as they end up being stuck in a tree. However, Flik is rescued by Atta, whom he instructs her to take him across the stream to the other side where he has previously encountered the bird (knowing that the threat would never truly be over until Hopper himself was killed). As Atta watches worriedly, Flik faces Hopper, who backs him to the bird's nest and chokes him, vowing to be back with more grasshoppers next season. At that moment, the bird is awakened by the confrontation; Hopper realizes too late that this bird is real and as it picks him up in its beak and that was the end of Hopper.
When spring comes, the circus bugs prepare to leave, and P.T. Flea who accidentally aided Hopper and been severely punished for his actions asks Flik if he is sure he can't come on a tour with them, to which Flik answers that he belongs to the island, as well as with Atta, who has since made up with him. The circus bugs thank Flik and, along with the ants, applaud at him for his heroism and intelligence. Atta then approaches Flik and kisses him, choosing him as her mate. Flik then rushes over to help Heimlich, who has emerged out of a cocoon, still a caterpillar, but now with small butterfly wings, into the air. As Flik waves good-bye to his friends, he is taken to a tree root by Dot and Atta for a better view.
Flik makes an appearance with Heimlich in the blooper reel during the credits for Toy Story 2, where he's excited about shooting on A Bug's Life 2 before being informed by Heimlich that he's in a sequel, but not for their movie. They are then blown off a branch they're standing on by Buzz Lightyear's karate chop, the latter of which is searching for Woody.
In Cars, a car version of Flik appears in the epilogue's Drive-In Theatre sequence parodying various Pixar films, with Flik realizing he hired a group of circus cars.
Flik and Heimlich appear in an outtake of Toy Story 2, where they express their excitement about the making of the sequel to their film before Buzz swipes them down on the leaf that they're standing on. Oddly enough, in Toy Story 2, toys of Flik and some of the circus bugs appear in Al's Toy Barn.
Flik appears during the end credits of Cars as a small blue car.
Flik may be bilingual as he explained the safety instructions for Flick's Fliers in both English and Spanish.
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