Tmothy Anthony Malachy "Tim" Willoughby is the main protagonist in the 2020 Netflix animated film The Willoughbys. He is the eldest child of Walter "Father" and Helga "Mother" Willoughby, and the older brother of Jane Willoughby, Barnaby A and Barnaby B Willoughby. Sick and tired of his parents' neglectful nature, he and his siblings hatch a plan to send them away on a deadly vacation, "hiding deadly orphan opportunities", in hopes of making them orphans and regain the life their family once had. However, their plans are foiled when a loving nanny named Linda shows up and starts caring for them like a loving mother. Over the course of the film, Tim learns to accept new people into his life, allowing Linda the Nanny and the joyous candymaker Commander Melanoff to adopt him and his siblings as their foster children.
He is voiced by Will Forte, who also played Shaggy Rogers in Scoob!, a Lego version of Abraham Lincoln in The Lego Movie franchise, and both Joseph Towne and Chester V in the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs duology.
Prior to his and his siblings' birth, the Willoughbys were a family of courage, determination, and hope. Once Walter "Father" and Helga "Mother" Willoughby gave birth to Tim and his siblings after marrying, all of the family's "greatness" disappeared, to the point where they didn't even feel like a real family anymore.
Tim is a slender young Willoughby boy with magenta hair stylized into a bowl cut, and wears a white button-down short-sleeved shirt with a brown vest, green short trousers, and black shoes. He also has a wristwatch on his right arm.
Tim first appears in the movie alongside his siblings Jane, Barnaby A and Barnaby B looking at some portraits of their previous family generations, to which he claims that, as they are Willoughbys as well, they should admire those that came before them, in particular their great-uncle Edmond Willoughby, whom Tim idolizes and wishes to be like. Later that night, Tim and his siblings watch from the kitchen as their parents Walter "Father" and Helga "Mother" Willoughby eat meatloaf and broccoli freshly prepared, with them having nothing to eat. Tim tries to get his siblings to wait for food to be fed to them, but due to his impatient stomach, goes into the dining room and asks for some of his parents' food. They are shocked by this, reminding Tim that he and his siblings eat leftovers while they prepare newly cooked meals for the following night. Tim, however, points out that they ate all of the previous day's food the day before, leaving the siblings with no leftovers to eat. While Tim is pointing this out, Jane, Barnaby A and Barnaby B are stealing their parents' dinner (including the wine, for some reason), with Jane eating the entire meatloaf that their parents were sharing. Walter Willoughby accuses Tim of eating it all and forces him to spend the night in the coal bin, much to the latter's displeasure.
Now locked in the coal bin for the rest of the night, Tim opens up a book about how his family used to be great, but how all the greatness disappeared once his parents gave birth to him, Jane, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and never cared for them at all. He then becomes determined to do whatever it takes to regain the greatness his family once had, even get rid of the parents. The next morning, Tim wakes up in shock, having overheard a scream from upstairs in the library. He manages to use Great-uncle Edmond's portrait to escape undetected, to which he sees Jane and the twins chasing after something. He eventually pulls the thing they were chasing off Jane's face, which turns out to be an orphaned baby that was left out in a box by their house's front gate. Tim and Jane then get into an argument about who gets the baby, only for it to get away and run into the living room, scaring their parents. Having lost all composure, Walter and Helga Willoughby kick their children out of the house, ordering them not to return until the baby is gone. Tim takes the baby and dumps it on the streets by their gate, but Jane, believing that would make them as neglectful as their own parents, decides to find it a new home in the city, prompting the children to leave their home for the very first time.
The four follow a rainbow through the citystreets to the very end, where it turns out to be smoke coming from the chimney of a candy factory. Tim and Jane drop off the baby orphan on the front doorstep of the factory in a box, to which Tim names it Ruth. The children then proceed to home, but Jane rings the doorbell, prompting the four to flee in fear. However, once Tim sees the owner, a joyous but lonely man named Commander Melanoff, take Ruth in, and notice his mustache, he declares the factory to be the right home, and believes that Ruth will have a great life with lots of attention and care. Eventually, the siblings get a brilliant idea to send their parents on a deadly romantic vacation and become orphans themselves, having been inspired by a travel agency brochure while returning home. They then make one of their own, from the "Reprehensible Travel Agency", and give it to their parents, who guillibly fall for it and leave their children to go off on an adventure, but not without hiring a nanny to look after them while they're away. As the taxi they go into drives off, the siblings embrace their parent-free life, and have as much fun as possible around the house. Tim, now appointed the house's head patriarch, throws a picture of his parents into the coal bin, and dreams that all the previous Willoughby patriarches are giving him his own mustache (like at the beginning of the film). He is then awoken by his siblings who are hungry, but Tim, unfamiliar on cooking, serves them a plastic lobster from the wall, which splatters its paint all over him due to being too solid yet slippery to cut through.
Just then, as Jane is trying to leave and Tim tries to stop her, the nanny their parents hired, named Linda shows up with an umbrella, who claims to have "no qualifications but a cheery disposition". She immediately wins Jane over after revealing she likes to sing, but neither Tim nor the Barnabys trust her. The trio of Willoughby brothers then head up to the library, where they plot to get rid of her the same way as they did their parents: with a brochure. However, both Barnabys reveal that they built a "Nana-pult", which is a catapult that gets rid of unwanted nannies, in which they sit down in the "Nanny cup", and get launched out the window. Although he is impressed by the idea, Tim does not think it will work, and while he is discussing his thoughts about it, Linda gets into the Nanny cup, and, feeling impressed by the twins' invention, dubs them both Barnaby A and Barnaby B, causing them to trust her as well, leaving Tim the only one who still has negative thoughts. He is then accidentally launched out the window, with Linda then feeding Tim's siblings oatmeal in the dining room, which he refuses to partake. His refusal to eat Linda's cooking causes her to feel disrespected, so she decides to put Tim in a time-out, only for Tim to mistake it for being thrown in the coal bin again. Linda, after seeing the coal bin herself, realizes the Willoughby children have bad parents, and the siblings explain why, including mentioning taking in Ruth, the orphaned baby, and then giving her to Commander Melanoff.
The nanny, Tim, Jane, Barnaby A and Barnaby B all go to Commander Melanoff's, to which Linda claims his factory to be a terrible home for Ruth because of all the sweets and such, and even manages to save her from a sugar crusher. At first, she doesn't trust Commander Melanoff as Ruth's adoptive father, and even exposes Tim and his siblings as the ones who gave her to him, but after seeing him feed her oatmeal in the factory kitchen, changes her mind and allows Ruth to stay. Commander Melanoff then gives Tim one of his signature chocolate bars, which Tim is taken in a picture with by Linda's cellphone. Tim, Jane, Barnaby A and B, and Linda then ride a bus back home, to which Tim shares his chocolate bar with the latter, eating it in a very strange manner similar to how a cat would eat something (ironically, a cat serves as the movie's narrator). This seems to suggest Tim is beginning to trust her and realize that she is a very caring person, but after hearing his father's voice over her phone, returns to his distrustful ways, and even convinces his siblings to distrust her as well. At the same moment this is happening, a real estate agent named Irene Holmes comes to their house to sell it, as the children's parents are surviving every deadly location during their trip, and need money to continue as they are short on cash.
That night, while Jane and the Barnabys A and B set up booby traps around the house to prepare for the sale the following day, Tim uses Linda's phone to call the Department of Orphan Services to have her removed from their custody. The next day, every potential buyer welcomed into the house is thrown out by the Willoughbys' booby traps, but the "perfect family", which deems the house to be wonderful, is largely unaffected. Tim and his siblings then rush up to the top floor to stop them, but after getting scared by a monster in the library, the perfect family leaves the house in fear, to which Tim and his siblings then go up to the library, now loaded with candlesticks and smoke. At that very moment, the siblings are confronted by a monster called the "Willoughby Beast", which is actually Linda wearing a beastly costume. She reveals that she wanted to help them keep their house, and once Tim hears this, gives her a big hug and thanks her for actually helping them rather than only help their parents. Before they can fully embrace this loving scene, however, the Department of Orphan Services shows up to take the nanny away. The head agent of the Orphan Services, Alice Vernakov, recognizes the nanny immediately as an orphan that they tried and failed to give to a family, with no one wanting her. Although the siblings claim to want her, Vernakov plays the recorded message of Tim's phone call to them, causing Linda to flee the Willoughbys' house with a broken heart. Jane, having gotten too ticked off by Tim's antics, berates him for his selfishness and bossy nature, causing the siblings to be separated, with Tim constantly fleeing from every foster family he is put into, only to then be locked away in the Department of Orphan Services' correctional facility.
Tim later appears inside of his cell at the correctional facility following the moment where Linda the Nanny finds Tim's hat on the road, and becomes determined to get the whole family back together. Tim initially refuses to go with Linda, disguised as a guard named Phil, but after he sees his hat, decides to break out and get back his siblings. The two then go to the apartment where Barnabys A and B are being cared for, and convince them to help them get the family back together, and Tim manages to reconcile with Jane after all he's done. Now on the run from the Department of Orphan Services, Tim realizes the only way for them to fix this is if they get their parents back. Everyone is in agreement with Tim, despite not liking the idea initially, and they all head to Commander Melanoff's, where they work together to build a giant dirigible airship made out of candy and fly it to their parents' final destination: the Unclimbable Alps mountain range in Sveetzerlünd. While Linda and Commander Melanoff go into the kitchen to bag up some oats, Tim starts up the GPS on her phone and steals the candy dirigible to fly to Sveetzerlünd with his siblings on their own, claiming that as they were the ones who wanted to become orphans, then they will get their parents back by themselves.
Arriving at the top of the mountain, Tim and his siblings split up to find their parents, but to no luck, as everything covered in snow is a tree. Now freezing to death on top of a snowy mountain, Tim hears a noise coming from the middle of the peak, and finds out that their parents are still alive, but trapped in ice. They all work together to thaw them out, apologizing for what they did. At first, based on the way the scene indicates it, Walter and Helga Willoughby are going to change their behaviors and finally love their children like real parents do, but instead push their children away in favor of using the candy dirigible, which, due to their lack of knowledge on driving, deflates on top of a mountain peak, and falls to the ground. Tim believes them to be dead, but urges them to still find a way back down the mountain by following the yarn strand they followed up the slope. However, the yarn unravels and then falls to the bottom of the mountain, with the siblings all preparing to give up hope, and succumb to the cold. But just as they are about to die in the snow, Linda and Commander Melanoff show up just in time, only to realize they arrived too late, as their parents are already presumed dead, making their children orphans for real. Tim, realizing how Linda and Commander Melanoff have been caring for them, suggests they become a family, to which both adults accept. They all then head back home with Commander Melanoff using his candy suit to fly them over the mountains and through the clouds.
Tim last appears in the movie with his siblings, where they all sit around the table and eat oatmeal for dinner. Tim, sick of oatmeal, then sees Commander Melanoff give him and his siblings a new treat called "Melanoff Meatloaf", which the siblings are all about to eat, only to laugh at Ruth eating the whole thing, and gain a meat mustache. The siblings then put up a family portrait on the wall, finally living like a real family.
Unbeknowst to them, however, their parents did survive the crash, and are now sitting in the ocean, eating the remains of the deflated dirigible. At that very moment, though, they are presumably eaten by a shark.
- Will Forte, Tim's voice actor, and Terry Crews, Commander Melanoff's voice actor, previously collaborated together in Sony Pictures Animation's 2013 film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, where Forte voiced Chester V and Crews replaced Mr. T as the voice of Earl Devereaux. Coinicidentally, Kris Pearn, the director of that film, also directed The Willoughbys, and both movies were composed by Mark Mothersbaugh.
- Tim is the first character to be voiced by Will Forte where he gets top billing. Shaggy Rogers in Scoob! is the second, although Scooby-Doo is the main protagonist, not Shaggy. Coincidentally, both movies released in 2020 as streaming services releases (although Scoob! released on-demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic's negative impact on the movie industry).
- During the scene where Tim touches Commander Melanoff's mustache could be a reference to a scene from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, where Steve the Monkey tries to touch Manny's mustache. Will Forte stars in both movies and both have Mark Mothersbaugh as composer.