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In Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley are at each other's throats sometimes; however, it is usually Mike who gets annnoyed by Sulley first. He is funny, smart, brave, but can sometimes fail to see the obvious in a situation. He's also a very caring and dedicated friend.
In Monsters University, Mike was vaguely the same but, due to youth, had richer determination and planed to become a Scarer in MU's prestigious Scaring Program. As a child, he'd been overlooked for being smaller than everyone but was inspired by Scarer Frank McCay to become one himself. With hard work and studying, he was accepted into MU and confidently strove to succeed.
However, his determination to prove he had what it takes led him to join the Oozma Kappa fraternity as a last-minute resort to enter the Scare Games. But because Mike cared more about his goals than the fraternity, his recklessness and lack of cooperation almost cost them losing the first round of the Scare Games, and it was only by the Jaws Theta Chi's cheating they were permitted to stay in the Games. After his team's humiliation by the hands of Roar Omega Roar and seeing his team losing their spirit, Mike took them to Monsters Inc. to inspire them and started training them, showing immense skill and potential in coaching. With Mike's hard work, the team progressed through the rounds; Mike also became appreciative of his team.
Unfortunately, Mike's shame of not being scary came back to affect him following the games' conclusion, where, determined to prove everyone wrong, Mike stole a key into the door lab and entered the human world to scare a child, only to realize the hard way, that Sulley had been right when the children aren't scared of him at all.
When Sulley comes through to find him, Mike expresses his sadness, stating he thought if wanted it enough he could prove he was something special and accused Sulley of not understanding him whereupon Sulley admitted his faults and, to Mike's shock, Sulley admitted he acted scary because he was terrified of the expectations he would have to live up to.
As Sulley pointed out, Mike's greatest strength is his fearlessness, despite not being scary himself. So much that even Dean Hardscrabble was impressed by Mike's hard work, and had encouraged them, particularly Mike, to keep surprising others and wishing them luck. Thanks to his perseverance, Mike was able to get him and Sulley their dream of being a Scare Team after a period of hard work.
Mike is a spherical green-skinned monster with a single emerald green eye. He has slender arms and legs, both with claws, but he has four fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot. On his head is a pair of short horns with dark gray tips, and a mouth with jagged teeth. His eye and mouth take up the majority of his body. At work, he wears a blue Monsters, Inc. helmet. He also has a large contact lens that he places in his single eye.
Mike is Sulley's scare assistant on the Monsters, Inc. Scare Floor. The two are also best friends, as well as roommates. He has a lot of friends at work, but there are some who dislike him, such as Roz who constantly is pressuring him about handing in his paperwork on time. He is in a relationship with Celia, who calls him "Googley Bear."
He is supporting Sulley about being the number one scarer, and both are enemies with Randall. While at Harryhausen's for Celia's birthday, Sulley appeared out of nowhere to tell Mike that he had lead a human girl into the monster world. Putting her into a Monsters, Inc. gym bag, Sulley tried to show him, but the human girl got out of the bag and wreaked havoc all over the restaurant. The two secretly took her out before the CDA found her and disinfected the entire restaurant. At their apartment, Mike tries to create a plan to put her back where she belongs, back in the human world. Largely thanks to Sulley's inadvertent actions involving exposing Boo to the Monster World and being forced forced to leave her to the CDA (and presumably sustaining severe injuries by the CDA's raid), Mike discovers to his horror that his relationship with Celia was soured, and futilely attempts to calm her down due to Randall being nearby (causing Randall to deduce that Wazowski was somehow involved in Boo's exposure upon barely making out Wazowski in the headline picture). After a failed attempt at fleeing Randall and nearly being interrogated, Wazowski is then manipulated by Randall into trying to deliver Boo to him, although after he let slip to Sully and Boo Randall's involvement in placing the door, Mike then went into the door to assure a reluctant Sully and Boo that there was no ill intention, only to end up captured by Randall and brought to a secret compartment. Mike then, after correcting Randall's mispronunciation of "cretin", accuses him of trying to cheat his way to the top, although he then realizes Randall's aims were actually much worse when he laughed at the accusation, and was narrowly made the first test subject of the Scream Extractor before an apparent malfunction prevented it from sucking Mike's scream at the last second. Mike was then rescued by Sulley and escaped, leaving Fungus to be the actual first test subject. Mike then deeply considered going into hiding, although he inadvertently gives Sulley the idea to try and report the situation to Waternoose, with Mike trying to stop him.
When Mr. Waternoose reveals himself to be in on Randall's attempt to kidnap Boo, he throws Sulley and Mike into the frozen wasteland, a rift forms between them after Mike gets angry at Sulley for listening to Mr. Waternoose instead of him, with it worsening when Sulley, indirectly referencing how he inadvertently scared Boo and felt guilty over it, admitted that the All-Time Scare Record no longer matters to him now, with Mike even bluntly telling Sulley to go alone, refusing to accompany him. However, shortly after this, Mike realizes he made a mistake sending him off alone and, presumably reaching the village shortly after Sulley did and returning to the monster world, tracked him down to the secret compartment, and offers to apologize for his behavior earlier, oblivious to Sulley being attacked by an invisible Randall despite some obvious clues as to what was happening, such as Sulley bluntly stating he's being attacked while having his arm forcibly pinned behind his back, his aimlessly flailing fists, and also being strangled (which Mike mistook for crying). Eventually, Mike got annoyed at Sulley "ignoring" him and threw a snow cone at him, which managed to hit Randall in the face and expose him long enough for Sulley to knock him out cold, causing Mike to realize that his behavior earlier may have nearly gotten Sulley killed before Sulley drags him along to track down Boo's door. While in-transit, however, Celia attacked him, causing Mike to divulge the truth of what occurred up to that point, including that Randall is about to try and kill him, though she doesn't believe him until Boo repeats Mike's name, with Mike declaring his love for her before disappearing to the scare floor, with Randall unwittingly giving further credence to Mike's claim when she notices him pursuing Mike violently and recklessly.
When they learn that Waternoose is in on a scam of draining children of screams with Randall and Fungus' assistance, Sulley tricks Mr. Waternoose into confessing his plan while Mike records the confession and smugly replays it to watching CDA agents. Immediately, the CDA turn on Mr. Waternoose and arrest him. They then return Boo back to her room, with Mike giving the child a farewell hug. Later Sulley becomes the new CEO of Monsters, Inc. after discovering thanks to Boo that children's laughter is ten times more powerful than screams, thus eliminating the energy crisis that Monstropolis had been going through. Mike is seen amusing a child on the renamed Laugh Floor with Celia congratulating him. Knowing that Sulley would miss Boo, Mike rebuild her door that the CDA destroyed so Sulley will be happy again, cutting the palms of his hands in the process trying to sort out the pieces until all but one of the pieces (the one that Sulley kept on his clipboard) were put together.
Sometime after the film, Mike's low-budget company play Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me that he has starred in, written, directed, and produced comes in front of the audiences.
During a field trip to Monsters, Inc., Mike met Frank McCay, and developed a goal to attend Monsters University and become a scarer. Years later, thanks to his hard work and lots of studying, Mike is accepted as a freshman at the prestigious Monsters University, majoring in scaring. On his first day, Mike befriends his roommate, the nerdy and shy Randall Boggs, who desires to be popular and has difficulty controlling his camouflage power.
While studying for the scare final one night, Mike encounters a fellow scare student, an arrogant, playful, all-brawn, large cyan monster named James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, who inadvertently sneaks into Mike's room with Archie, the mascot of the rival college, Fear Tech. After greeting each other, Archie steals Mike's hat and escapes. Mike and Sulley follow Archie outside where they have the struggle to capture him. When they do catch Archie, Sulley is invited to join Roar Omega Roar, the top fraternity on campus. Mike tries to join, but an argument with Sulley ignites a rivalry between the two.
Eventually, Mike and Sulley's petty competition gets out of hand and causes Dean Hardscrabble to drop both of them from the program and Sulley to be kicked out of his fraternity. Unhappy in his new major of Scream Can Design, Mike decides to prove himself by entering the Scare Games, a college competition to determine a monster's scaring abilities. However, the competitors are teams from MU's fraternities and sororities.
But hope arises when he joins Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of misfit monsters. Mike reluctantly lets Sulley join the team so they can enter and makes a deal with Dean Hardscrabble for the entire Oozma Kappa fraternity to be allowed in the Scare Program if they win, but for Mike to leave Monsters University if they lose the games. Sulley is concerned since Oozma Kappa has a high level of ineptitude when it comes to scaring, but Mike decides to train them to be scarier.
Despite Mike and Sulley's rivalry, Oozma Kappa unexpectedly lucks out the first rounds of the Games. During a party at ROR house, the ROR pranks Oozma Kappa and humiliates them in front of the whole university. Mike arranges a secret visit to Monsters Inc. lifts their spirits, causing Mike and Sulley to begin to like each other, and with Mike's help and training, Oozma Kappa makes it to the final round against ROR. Mike also gains a new appreciation for the other members and their abilities, since he only joined the team to get back into the program.
Even as the final round arrives, Sulley has a hard time believing Mike can be a good scarer. So in the final round, he hacks the equipment so that Mike can register a perfect score and allow Oozma Kappa to win the tournament. When Mike discovers this, he's heartbroken and decides to prove to everyone that he's capable of being a good scarer, once again denying the fact he's a bad scarer. He learns the fact the hard way and realized that Sulley was right from the beginning.
Sulley soon enters the door to look for Mike. After finding and reconciling with Mike, the pair attempt to return but Dean Hardscrabble deactivates the door until the Child Detection Agency arrives, trapping them in the human world. Mike realizes that the only way to get back into the monster world is to generate enough scream energy to power the door from their side. Using both Mike's knowledge and Sulley's natural abilities, Sulley and Mike are able to cooperate and scare the investigating rangers to the point that they are able to make back through the door. Their actions prompt their expulsion from the university, but before they leave, Hardscrabble acknowledges that Sulley and Mike have surprised her and she wishes them luck. Mike and Sulley decide to take jobs at Monsters, Inc. in the company mailroom, and over time, work their way up to janitors, then cafeteria workers, then scream can wranglers, until they become part of the scarer team, thus establishing the story for Monsters, Inc.
In the short, Mike is now the titular protagonist of his own story. He has brought a new six-wheel drive car and wants to show it to Sulley. When they both get in the car, Sulley accidentally ruins the brand-new car and injures Mike. In the end, Mike kicks Sulley out, speeds off and wrecks the car completely and then he misses his old car.
Mike appears at the end of Finding Nemo during the credits as a cameo appearance, scuba diving. This could be because Nemo appeared in his film.
Mike (in his Monsters University variation) was released as a figure in the series' first installment. Like Sulley's figure, Mike has a "scaring power" to terrify enemies, using a MU-brand megaphone to help him. Aside from super jump and a barge attack, Mike's spherical shape contributes to his moveset.
Mike, along with Sulley and Boo, appears in the game as a party member. In the trailer, it was shown that Mike will have a special move called "Scream Strike". This command involves Sora grabbing Mike and hurling him towards the Heartless, knocking them down like bowling pins.
Mike appeared as a large puppet for the Carnival of Color pre-show from the original World of Color's debut year. However, unlike other puppets from the pre-show, he and Sebastian were not used in the Disneyland version of the Paint the Night Electrical Parade, due to appearing on the floats based on their films. Mike also appears on the Monsters University float in the Pixar Play Parade as a talking animatronic.
In the Magic Kingdom, Mike is the host of Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, in which he introduces the monster comedians and tries to prove to Roz that the Comedy Club model of collecting laugh energy will work.
In an early animation test, Mike was considered to have no arms and would have picked things up with his feet.
In Monsters University, it is shown that Mike had braces as a child. As a teenager, he had a retainer.
As revealed in an early cut-scene, Mike was originally Randall's assistant instead of Fungus.
Mike is renamed "Robert 'Bob' Razowski" in the French dub.
Mike has a brief cameo, swimming past in scuba gear during the credits of Finding Nemo, returning the favor, so to speak, after there is a Nemo cameo near the end of Monsters, Inc. The "gear" he is wearing was what he wore to "protect" himself from Boo in Monsters, Inc.
Mike appears in the end credits of Cars as a small car, where he argues with Sulley, like in Monsters Inc. This car version of him also appears briefly in Tokyo Mater with Sulley when Mater drives through a building.
In the original pitch of Monsters, Inc., Mike did not appear in the movie.
Whenever Mike Wazowski is shown on public media, such as a Monsters, Inc. commercial or a magazine cover, his face is actually always covered up by the text on said media (such as the Monsters, Inc. "M eyeball" logo in the commercial and a barcode on the magazine cover). Also, the DVD (and possibly the upcoming Blu-ray disc) for the film appears to take this even further by having the DVD artwork and the hole in the middle of the DVD used to secure it into place once inside the DVD player both positioned in a way so that the hole is actually placed over Mike's face.
A similar thing occurred during Monsters University in which Mike's ID card has his head out of view.
The gag of his face being blocked out occurs throughout the two movies, and a running joke is that he is completely oblivious to his face being obscured.
In Monsters University, Mike is 18, meaning that in Monsters, Inc. he is about 28.
Mike and Frank McCay both share the same birthdays according to their Scare Cards.
Despite them clearly meeting for the first time in Monsters University, Mike remarks at one point in Monsters, Inc. that Sulley had been jealous of his looks since the fourth grade. This could be a joke.
90% of the monsters in Monsters, Inc. have Mike's tongue.
During one of the Outtakes, he messes up the take of saying goodbye to Boo when he says to her "Go throw up" instead of "Go grow up." Everyone else laughs, but Mike doesn't see his mistake.
During Billy Crystal's Hollywood Chinese Theatre Hand/footprint ceremony in April 2019, a small foot stamp in the shape of Mike's was also pressed into the cement next to Crystal's actual prints and signature and written "Mike W."