The wizard Vitruvius attempts to protect a superweapon called the “Kragle” from the evil Lord Business. He fails to do so, but prophesies that a person called “the Special” will find the Piece of Resistance capable of stopping the Kragle.
Eight and a half years later, an ordinary construction worker named Emmet Brickowski comes across a woman named Wyldstyle, who searches for something after hours at Emmet’s construction site. When he investigates, Emmet falls into a hole and finds the Piece of Resistance. Compelled to touch it, Emmet experiences vivid visions and passes out. He awakens in the custody of Bad Cop, Business’ lieutenant, with the Piece of Resistance attached to his back. There, Emmet learns of Business’ plans to freeze the world with the Kragle, revealed to be a tube of Krazy Glue with the label partially rubbed out. Wyldstyle rescues Emmet and takes him to meet Vitruvius, explaining that she and the wizard are Master Builders capable of building anything they need without instruction manuals. She further explains Business’ disapproval of such anarchic creativity, for which most of them are incarcerated. Though disappointed to find Emmet displays no creativity, Wyldstyle and Vitruvius are convinced of his potential when he recalls visions of a humanoid deity called “the Man Upstairs”.