[[quoteright:253:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/airplane_7318.jpg]]

->''Surely you can't be serious!\\
I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.''

''[[DescribeTopicHere Airplane!? What is it?]]''\\
[[DescribeTopicHere It's a big white thing with wings, but that's not important right now.]]

''Airplane!'' is a comedic remake of an old disaster film, ''Zero Hour'' (itself based on the TV movie ''Flight Into Danger''), where Ted Striker (Stryker in Zero Hour), an ex-military pilot, has to get over his personal traumas to pilot a commercial plane after the crew is stricken by food poisoning, and reconcile with his estranged girlfriend at the same time. Take that basic plot, and have a silly joke every three seconds. In fact, that is partly what makes the film work: [[RapidFireComedy if a joke falls flat, move on to the next one]]. Of course, [[DontExplainTheJoke further analysis of the jokes will just hurt the humor of it all]]. Just see the film for yourself. Along the way, it [[GenreKiller singlehandedly destroyed]] the DisasterMovie as a serious genre for over a decade.

It was followed by a sequel called ''Film/AirplaneIITheSequel'' in 1982, which didn't have any involvement from ZAZ.

%% The tropes that a work named is trivia and belongs on the Trivia tab.

----
!!Surely, these aren't examples:
They ''are'' examples, and don't call us Shirley!

* AccidentalDanceCraze: Elaine mimics the gestures of a fellow dancer in the tough-guy bar without realizing he's trying to draw attention to the knife in his back. See AllPartOfTheShow, below.
* AcousticLicense: Bill and his girlfriend continue to have a perfectly audible conversation as one is standing in the doorway of a plane in the midst of takeoff and the other is running along on the ground beside it (and knocking over the steel towers in her way).
* AdamWesting: Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, and Robert Stack played parodies of their typical roles, in a stilted, hammy fashion. In Bridges and Nielsen's case, this movie [[LeslieNielsenSyndrome led to a career change]].
* AffectionateParody: Airplane disaster movies and disaster movies in general.
* AllPartOfTheShow: While dancing, a guy is stabbed in the back. His partner confuses his pointing at the knife for dance moves.
* AluminumChristmasTrees:
** The "I say, Let 'em crash!" Guy was a parody of a now largly forgotten ''Series/SixtyMinutes'' segment called ''Point/Counterpoint'' in which a Conservative and Liberal debate an issue of the day. The segment was replaced by ''A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney'' in the early 80s.
** Back in those days, airports really did have Hare Krishnas and other soliciting/panhandling/preaching types all over the place. In later years airports were given greater ability to control access, so nowadays you don't have to punch one in the face to get to your gate.
** Many other traits of air travel have changed over the decades and may not be familiar to younger viewers, such as smoking sections on airplanes or allowing people to meet disembarking passengers right at their arrival gate.
* AmbiguousSyntax: A RunningGag is derived from the confusion between inquiring about a problem with something and asking for its definition.
--> '''Randy:''' There's a little problem in the cockpit.\\
'''Striker:''' The cockpit! What is it?\\
'''Randy:''' It's a little room in the front of the plane where the pilots sit, but that's not important right now.
* AnachronismStew / TwoDecadesBehind: News reporters still wear fedoras in 1979-1980, and a pair of nuns is seen in traditional garb. [[note]]The two nuns may have been part of a traditionalist order, as many orders do still wear the stereotypical habit.[[/note]] Most jarringly, Striker's flashbacks to what would logically be the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar include shots of World War I triplanes and even a pre-Wright-Brothers whirlygig, but these can probably chalked up to RuleOfFunny. And the jukebox in his flashback plays Music/TheBeeGees.
%% The below is a ZeroContextExample. Please elaborate on it.
%%* AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Ted Striker says that he was in the Air Force, but the flashback in the Drambuie bar has him wearing a US Navy dress uniform. Of course, had he been wearing the dark blue USAF dress uniform, the subsequent SaturdayNightFever joke [[RuleOfFunny wouldn't have worked.]] He later shows up in an Army hospital, although that could've been justified if he was in WWII, in which he would've been part of the US Army Air Corps, but he's too young[[note]]''Zero Hour'', the movie that ''Airplane!'' is a parody of, was made in the 1950s, and the Ted in that movie did explicitly serve as a pilot in WWII[[/note]], and they didn't have disco back then...ahh, [[MST3KMantra screw it and enjoy the movie!]]
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: There are two lighted signs in the aircraft where the Spanish is just phonetic English. "Fasten Seatbelt" is written in English in one shot. Underneath it is "Putana da Seatbeltz" ("put on the seatbelts"). Then during a dive, there's "Return to Seat" / "Gobacken Sidonna" ("Go back and sit down").
* AsideGlance:
** Early in the movie after Elaine has rejected Ted, Ted turns to the camera and says "What a pisser."
** In the last scene, after Otto the Autopilot gets a female companion he turns to the audience and winks.
** Victor the navigator smiles at the camera when Randi sings "River of Jordan".
* AsHimself: Otto, the inflatable [[PunnyName auto pilot]], is featured in the credits.
* AttackAttackAttack: The attitude of the donation-seekers in the airport to Rex Kramer's FoeTossingCharge. One unusually dense fellow tries no less than three times, with different pitches. "How about Buddhism?" "Scientologyyyyyyy!"
* {{Autocannibalism}}: The SpinningNewspaper segment includes the gag headline "Boy Trapped in Refrigerator Eats Own Foot".
* BadGuyBar: The Magumba bar in Drambuie, featuring fighting Girl Scouts and disco dancing.
* BarBrawl: Between card-playing Girl Scouts, no less. But nobody pays any attention to them.
* BarSlide: During the BarBrawl, a Girl Scout is thrown down the bar and crashes headfirst into a jukebox, which starts playing "Staying Alive".
* BeatStillMyHeart: Played for laughs as a transplant heart hops off of a table while Dr. Brody is calling from the [[VisualPun Mayo Clinic]].
* BedmateReveal: Captain Oveur's wife... with a horse.
* BerserkButton: You can tell Roger Murdoch that he's really Kareem. Just don't insinuate that he's Kareem ''and'' that he takes plays off in the regular season.
* BestialityIsDepraved: Mrs. Oveur cheats on her husband... with a horse
* BillionsOfButtons: A slow pan across an endless array of buttons, knobs and switches, which [[TruthInTelevision is a control panel from a real four-engine jet]].
* BilingualBonus: The woman translating into sign during a TV spot doesn't think much of the woman speaking.
* BlandNameProduct: Trans American Airlines isn't TWA. Nope. Nothing like it at all. It doesn't have a W in its name for a start!
* BlatantLies: While Dr. Rumack is talking to the passengers, he lies so blatantly that his nose starts to grow, Pinocchio style.
--> '''Rumack:''' "There is no reason to panic. It's true the pilot is ill. Slightly ill. The others are doing just fine and they are handling the controls, free to live a life of religious fulfillment."
* TheBore: Ted Striker. Whenever he comes out of one of the {{Flashback}}s into his past, the person he's sitting next to is [[DrivenToSuicide dousing themselves in gasoline, hanging themselves, et cetera]]....
* BreakingTheFourthWall: See AsideGlance, above.
* BrickJoke:
** Ted's cab's passenger, who is left with the meter running at the beginning of the film, shows up again after the credits.
** The donation-seekers at the airport who accost Elaine and Ted try again with Kramer, with much less fortunate outcomes.
* TheCameo: The directors (Creator/JimAbrahams, Creator/DavidZucker, and Creator/JerryZucker as the ground crewmen who crash a plane into the terminal), Barbara Billingsley, Creator/EthelMerman, Howard Jarvis, and Jimmy "JJ" Walker (as the window washer). According to the director's commentary, Walker was the only "comedy cameo" they accepted. Paramount wanted many of them.
* CameraAbuse: During the girl scout fight.
* CampGay: Johnny is exaggeratedly camp in mannerisms and speech, PlayedForLaughs because nobody else seems to notice.
* TheCastShowoff: Robert Hays juggling during the Magumbo Bar dance sequence.
* CastingGag:
** Creator/EthelMerman plays a lieutenant who, because of shell-shock, thinks he's Ethel Merman.
** Lloyd Bridges played the same role in ''Film/SanFranciscoInternationalAirport''.
** [[LeaveItToBeaver Barbara Billingsley!]] as the [[JiveTurkey jive lady]].
* CelebrityParadox: The co-pilot is recognized as being basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but insists he isn't, until the kid [[BerserkButton criticizes Jabbar's recent games]].
* CharacterAsHimself: Otto the Autopilot.
* ChristmasCake: Randi
-->''"I'm 26 years old and I'm not married!"''
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: Steve [=McCroskey=], ground support, picked the wrong week to quit smoking (which he says as he lights up a butt). Also the wrong week to quit drinking, taking amphetamines, and sniffing airplane glue.
* CirclingVultures: They're not circling, but a bunch of vultures perch over the Heroes as they prepare to crash-land.
* CircularDrive: Used to multiply the emergency vehicles. The circle is obvious, the film is sped up, and as it goes on more and more incongruous vehicles (including a beer truck and a farm tractor) get added in.
* ClosestThingWeGot: Ted Striker, resulting in FallingIntoTheCockpit.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Johnny, who always has a... different... take on the action than the people around him. He's the only character who seems to realize that he's in a comedy.
* TheCoconutEffect: Ted Striker's echoing InnerMonologue.
-->''Pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota!''
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: The RunningGag of people [[AmbiguousSyntax misunderstanding the question]], "What is it?"
* TheComicallySerious: The key to the movie's charm. David Zucker made a conscious decision to give the comedic roles to actors known for playing serious, tough-guy characters: Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Peter Graves, and, believe it or not, Leslie Nielsen.
* CompanionCube: Otto the automatic pilot, who's a blow-up inflatable doll.
* CompletelyDifferentTitle:
** In Finnish, it's "Hey, We're Flying!". This led to a whole series of imported American comedies being titled ''Hey, We're [insert verb here]!''
** In Polish it's "Is there a pilot with us?".
** France went with the similar "Is there a pilot in the plane?"
** In Brazilian Portuguese, "Fasten Your Seatbealts, the Pilot has Disappeared!"
** In Italian, it's "The Craziest Airplane In The World".
** German has "The incredible voyage in a crazy Airplane".
** Australia has 'Flying High!'.
** In Spanish, the film was released as "So where is the pilot?" in Latin America and "Land [as well] as you can" in Spain. From then on, almost every movie that had LeslieNielsen in its cast was released as "So where is X?" and "X as you can".
* ConjoinedTwins: Stan and Terry, who [=McCrosky=] tells to go upstairs to the tower to retrieve a map and check on the emergency equipment on the field, respectively.
* ContaminationSituation: The mysterious sickness gets both the pilot and copilot.
* ContinuityNod: The Counter Point guy that says "I say, let 'em crash!" is John Fitzsimmons, introduced in the AM Today segment of ''[[KentuckyFriedMovie The Kentucky Fried Movie.]]''
* CoolOldLady: The "I speak jive" lady.
* CrashCourseLanding: Even though Ted was a pilot, it was as a fighter pilot, so he still needed help with a commercial airliner.
-->'''Ted''': It's an entirely different kind of flying altogether!\\
'''Dr. Rumack and Randy together''': It's an entirely different kind of flying.
* CrazyCulturalComparison:
** Parodied when Ted Striker, upon meeting the African tribesmen he and Elaine would be working with for their time in the Peace Corps, teaches them how to shake hands. This being accepted, he goes for a "gimme five" and gets punched out for his trouble.
** Later, as media outlets around the world are reporting on the runaway aircraft, a stereotypically Polynesian reporter with very little technology at his disposal relays his story by drumbeat. There is ''a child's drawing of an airplane'' on the drawing board behind him, instead of a newsroom graphic. Then he's handed a different pair of drumsticks for his next news report, and turns to a different camera.
* CreditsGag
* CreepyChangingPainting: A comedic version in the inflatable "Otto" pilot doll. Although the face of an inflatable doll receiving a blowjob is still fairly creepy.
* CrewOfOne: Ted Striker flies (and lands) a modern jet airliner by himself.
* DeaderThanDisco: {{Invoked}}. The plane symbolically kills off the entire genre by crashing through a Chicago radio tower [[NotQuiteForever (hilariously, right after the deejay has just boasted that disco will live forever)]].
** The movie ''itself'' did this to the entire Disaster Movie genre, which wouldn't get taken seriously again until Film/IndependenceDay in 1996 (which only got through by combining disaster with Sci-fi and a bit of comedy).
* DeconstructorFleet: The whole movie.
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters: No one cares about Ted's backstory.
* DisasterMovie: It's a parody of the genre, but is heavily based on one that plays it straight.
* DoctorDoctorDoctor: Spoofed:
-->Tower guy: "We're all ready sir. This is Captain [=McCrosky=], Captain Roberts, Captain Kramer, Captain Kolosomo. Captain Henshaw, this is Captain Gatz. Captain Kramer, Captain Gatz. Captain Henshaw, Captain Roberts..."
* DoorFocus: LeslieNielsen's famous RunningGag of sticking his head into the cockpit repeatedly and declaring "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you." And {{Subverted}} once with a NotWhatItLooksLike moment late in the film.
* DressedToHeal: Dr. Rumack is introduced wearing a stethoscope for no reason, first shown right after he's asked if he's a doctor. In a later scene, he's giving an OB-GYN exam for no apparent reason - yes, in flight. With stirrups. And holding a vaginal speculum at the ready.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[RuleOfThree Three people]] commit suicide rather than listen to Ted Striker's reminiscing.
** The elderly woman hangs herself.
** A Japanese man commits {{seppuku}}.
** Double subverted with the third case; the man drenches himself in gasoline and lights a match, then blows it out in relief when Ted leaves his seat, only to [[MadeOfExplodium explode anyway]].
* DrivingADesk: Rex Kramer's drive to the airport. Parodied viciously as he runs over a bicyclist and passes everything from traffic accidents to raiding Indians on horseback, with only his terrified passenger reacting to what's notionally going on. During another portion, the background shows fast-motion footage of a drive down a winding, hilly road, while Kramer holds the wheel completely straight and still the whole time.
* DrosteImage: [=McCroskey=] stands in front of a framed photograph of himself, striking the exact same pose as in the photograph, which itself contains the same framed photograph in its background. They took it one step further in the sequel.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: An old lady comments on Elaine to Ted.
--> ''No wonder you're so upset. She's lovely! [[MaleGaze And a darling figure. Supple pouting breasts. Firm thighs.]] It's a shame you don't get along.''
* EpiphanyTherapy: Ted Striker is cured of his fear of flying and saves the day after a RousingSpeech.
* ExactWords: Ted Striker has a drinking problem: He always misses his mouth.
** "Nervous?" "Yes." "First time?" "No, I've been nervous lots of times."
* ExcitedShowTitle
* FaceCam: Elaine and Ted Striker during the dance scene in the bar.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Ted Striker must pilot a multi-engine jet airliner even though he has only flown single engine fighters.
* FanserviceExtra: The buxom [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001563/ Francesca "Kitten" Natividad]] pulls uncredited duty here as the jiggling passenger in the white T-shirt (She later confirmed that she was not the naked woman who appears directly in front of the camera from out of nowhere for no real reason while the rest of the plane is panicking). She makes another blink-and-you'll-miss-it uncredited appearance as the jiggling woman in the "Moral Majority" T-shirt in ''Airplane II''.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Listening to Ted's exposition about his guilt and failed relationship with Elaine.
* {{Flashback}}: Ted and Elaine (meeting in the bar, in the Peace Corps, in the hospital, rolling on the beach), Ted's war memories.
* FlashbackStares
* FoeTossingCharge: Kramer's brutal beatdown of the donation-seekers at the airport.
* FollowTheLeader: So many films after this, it rivals ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' and ''Franchise/StarWars'' for getting ripped off. (Of course, it also parodied ''Jaws'' itself, right in the very first scene.)
* ForTheEvulz: When the runway lights abruptly go out.
--> '''Johnny:''' Just kidding! ''[plugs cord back in, followed by EvilLaugh]''
* FreeWheel: Played for laughs when we see a hubcap rolling across the tarmac after an ambulance crashes.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: "I take [my coffee] black. Like my men."
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In spades.
** The ''white zone/red zone'' argument over the PA, coupled with that baggage behind the cars that nobody actually gives a damn about. Yeah, many jokes are really that hard to catch.
** Shortly after that, Ted runs into the airport and through security. It's on-screen maybe three-tenths of a second: the security X-ray screen shows a chest X-ray.
** At the beginning of the movie, a magazine rack is labeled "whacking material." Oveur picks up from it the latest edition of ''Modern Sperm''.
** The beating heart at the Mayo Clinic, which jumps off the desk and goes hopping around the table while Dr. Brody talks to Oveur.
*** Behind Dr. Brody, you'll notice that there is [[VisualPun an entire wall filled with jars of mayonnaise]].
** The technician [[RuleOfFunny changing the oil under the airplane's hood]], then falls off the ladder trying to pop it shut, as the pilots are discussing the weather in the cockpit. Then we have Oveur being handed the bill for the repairs and him paying it on the spot.
** [[NeverWorkWithChildrenOrAnimals An accidental one]], but still funny: When Dr. Rumack is removing eggs from the woman's mouth and cracks one open to release a bird, the bird nearly hits a passenger in the face as it flies off.
** Amongst the procession of rescue vehicles going out to the runway is a cement mixer and a Budweiser truck.
* FunWithSubtitles: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXSLcYQHqFQ The scene]] with the two jive dudes helpfully "translates" their conversation into English. For some bonus humor, in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fkZdz4Vz10 this "making of" clip]], when the two actors are speaking about the role, some hilarious "jive" subtitles are added to their dialogue.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Bouncy, bouncy Kitten Natividad. Though her breasts are bouncing in synch with each other.
* GenreSavvy: When Kramer casually tosses a match out of the window, [=McCroskey=] immediately covers his ears expecting an explosion, despite there being no ''logical'' reason for one.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: When everyone lines up to slap/punch/club/shoot a hysterical woman, with increasingly lethal weapons as the camera pans down the line.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Fellatio, cunnilingus, bestiality, paedophilia, topless women (see FanserviceExtra above), a young girl who takes her coffee black (like her men), pornographic magazines (see FunnyBackgroundEvent), suicides, and repeated drug use, and it gets a PG rating? (Granted, PG-13 didn't exist back then...) Looks like the censors picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue! In an interview on ''Later With Bob Costas'', Robert Stack was amazed A) that ZAZ got away with the 'Shit hits the fan' joke and B) that it made him laugh a lot.
* GirlScoutsAreEvil: During the BarBrawl, which is humorous because while it's happening, [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight nobody else seems to care about it]].
* GivingThemTheStrip: As Ted Striker is going through the airport, he's accosted by a religious donation seeker. He slips out of his jacket and continues on, leaving his jacket in the guy's hand.
* GlassesPull: Captain Rex Kramer and his sunglasses. ''Two pairs'', that is.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The war that Ted Striker was involved in
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: As told on the DVD commentary, Stephen Stucker (who played Johnny) was given the straight lines of the characters around him and allowed to write his own lines.
* HollywoodNatives: Invoked twice.
** In one of his flashbacks, Ted talks about working with the Malombo tribe in the Peace Corps. Everyone is dark-skinned and wear cloth wraps and beads, and the men brandish spears and wear feathered headdresses and face paint.
** One appears briefly during the "news bulletin" montage, wearing a necklace of beads and horns while using JungleDrums to deliver a news report.
* HurricaneOfPuns: The ''entire film''.
* HypocriticalHumor:
** A prim old lady refuses whiskey when offered ("Certainly ''not''!"), then immediately proceeds to snort cocaine to remain calm.
** Elaine's oblivious complaints about Ted (not laying down roots in place, living in the past) all seem to apply to her as well.
* HystericalWoman: Everyone [[RightOnQueue lines up]] to [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan slap some sense into her.]]
* ILikeMyXLikeILikeMyY: The young girl and her coffee.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking" (and drinking, and amphetamines, and sniffing glue).
* IWasJustJoking: Johnny temporarily unplugs the runway lights as the plane is beginning to land.
* InnerMonologue: "Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon -- Manny Mota!" Also, "Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home."
* ItsQuietTooQuiet
* IsThisThingStillOn:
** Rex Kramer launches into a rant about how poorly suited Striker is to fly the plane, not realizing that his microphone button is pressed. This causes Ted to go into his TenMinuteRetirement.
** Elaine, pressed into service to handle the microphone while Ted flies, relays a statement that Ted didn't really intend her to.
-->'''Ted:''' "It's a good thing he doesn't know how much I hate his guts."\\
'''Elaine:''' (into microphone) "It's a good thing you don't know how much he hates your guts."
** Kramer continues rambling to Ted long after the crash is over and everyone's left the plane -- less of a "Is this still on" and more of a "Is anyone still listening to me?"
-->'''Kramer:''' "Municipal bonds, Ted. Triple-A rating, best investment in the book!"
* JerkAss: The "Counterpoint" anchorman.
--> "Shana, they bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash!"
* JiggleShow: See FanserviceExtra -- the film includes a "cameo" from a pair of ridiculously bouncy breasts.
* JiveTurkey: The two black men and the white woman ([[LeaveItToBeaver Barbara Billingsley!]]) who interprets for them. "Cut me some slack, jack!"
* JustPlaneWrong: [[RuleOfFunny On purpose]], the jet airliner has the sound of prop engines.
* LittlestCancerPatient: The little girl who needs a heart transplant. A horrific moment of BlackComedy (not to mention SoundtrackDissonance) occurs when Randy sings "River of Jordan" to cheer her up and knocks out her IV with her guitar. Twice.
* LogicBomb
-->'''Murdock''': You want me to check the weather, Clarence?
-->'''Oveur''': No, why don't you take care of it?
* MirrorRoutine: Sort of. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag has Rex Kramer dressing in front of a mirror. In the next shot we see him seemingly step ''out of'' the reflection; between shots the mirror was switched with a doorway and Robert Stack switched positions.
* MisplacedWildlife: An Asian elephant in the Africa flashback.
* MissionControlIsOffItsMeds: A sort of strange example, as MissionControl 's strangeness is a result of him going back on his meds.
* MixedMetaphor: "I guess the foot's on the other hand now!"
* {{Narm}}:[[invoked]] The line from ''Zero Hour'' "We need to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner" convinced the Zuckers to make ''Airplane!''.
* NoAntagonist: The plot deals with most of the passengers succumbing to food poisoning.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Hilariously averted with Lieutenant Horwitz, who still thinks he's Creator/EthelMerman. Of course, it actually IS Ethel Merman. And then there's Kareem...
* OffhandBackhand: Striker does this to one of the religious donation-seekers in the airport.
* OffscreenCrash: The stewardess' accident after leaving the cockpit, and the ambulance at the end.
* OhCrap:
** Captain Oveur, listening to Dr. Rumack explain that everyone on the plane who ate fish is going to become violently ill, glances down at his plate which has a fish skeleton on it, then in the background, Dr. Rumack starts describing the symptoms... which Oveur begins to suffer as they are being described.
** Ted and Elaine exchange a horrified look when the runway lights go out.
* OrbitalKiss: Ted and Elaine at the end, accompanied by an EtherealChoir that goes ''way'' out of tune.
* OverlyLongGag: Endlessly. Perhaps the most notable examples:
** "The (fill-in-the-blank)? What is it?" "It's a (fill-in-the-blank)--but that's not important right now."
** The "projected-road" images become this as the movie ''keeps'' cutting back to the two men in the car.
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat: PlayedForLaughs during the landing by having Striker's forehead gushing sweat.
* ParentalBonus: One of the greatest things about this movie is that kids and parents can both watch it, but they laugh in, shall we say, different places. Of course, as noted under GettingCrapPastTheRadar, many of the jokes are not really appropriate for pre-teens.
* PinchMe: Ted Striker to a sailor in the Magumba Bar, when he first met Elaine.
* PrisonRape: Captain Oveur has apparently had some... unusual experiences.
-->'''Oveur:''' "Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"
* ProportionalArticleImportance: "There's a sale at Penney's!"
* RapidFireComedy: Often summed up by critics with the line "Don't worry if you didn't like the last joke. Another one will be along in thirty seconds."
* TheRemake: The plot and much of the "straight" dialogue were taken from ''Zero Hour!''. Here's [[http://www.rogermwilcox.com/zero_hour.html the dialog script]], so you can see for yourself. The lines that also appear in ''Airplane!'' are in boldface.
* RightOnQueue: The GetAHoldOfYourselfMan scene, with passengers lining up to slap/club/shoot a hysterical woman.
* RousingSpeech: Played sort of straight, except that it's also a parody of the famous "WinOneForTheGipper" speech. (UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan was elected the same year the movie was released.)
* RuleOfFunny: A watermelon falling from the ceiling in a flight control office? Table lamps being unloaded by a dumptruck onto a runway? A string bass among the emergency supplies in the cockpit, in case the crew were on instruments? Would never happen in real life. But it doesn't matter, because ''it was funny.''
* RuleOfThree: "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you." The third time comes ''after'' the plane has come to a full stop.
* RunningGag: The page quote, Ted's drinking problem, Ted's suicidal {{Flashback}} confidants, "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit (drinking, smoking, sniffing glue, amphetamines)," "The red/white zone is for the loading and unloading...". There are so many threads of repeating gag loops, fading in and out throughout the film, that it's like a comedy movie written as techno music. "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
* SequentialSymptomSyndrome: Dr. Rumack describes the effects of the food poisoning in exhaustive detail in the background, while Captain Oveur suffers from them in the foreground in the precise sequence listed. [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight Nobody notices]], however, until the poor bastard is reduced to a quivering, wasted piece of jelly.
-->'''Dr. Rumack:''' Extremely serious. It starts with a slight fever and dryness of the throat. ''[Oveur starts suffering from these]'' When the virus penetrates the red blood cells, the victim becomes dizzy, begins to experience an itchy rash...
-->''[Oveur starts becoming dizzy and starts scratching his arm]''
-->'''Dr. Rumack:''' ....then the poison goes to work on the central nervous system, severe muscle spasms followed by the inevitable drooling....
-->''[Oveur begins to have spasms in his right shoulder and then spits something out of his mouth]''
-->'''Dr. Rumack:''' At this point, the entire digestive system collapses accompanied by uncontrollable flatulence....
-->''[Oveur begins to fart noisily]''
-->'''Dr. Rumack:''' ...until finally, the poor bastard is reduced to a quivering wasted piece of jelly. ''[Oveur collapses at the controls]''
* TheSeventies: Released in 1980, this was probably the first film to spoof ''SaturdayNightFever'' (and the disco subculture in general).
* SexyStewardess: Elaine and Randy.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Ted Striker's experiences during the war.
* ShoutOut: A self-referential one. The name "Rex Kramer" was first used in ''TheKentuckyFriedMovie''.
* SmokingHotSex: Elaine and Otto, the inflatable copilot.
* SorryToInterrupt: During the autopilot reinflation scene, the doctor opens the door, sees what's going on and turns right around.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Randy belting out "River of Jordan" while the heart transplant patient frantically tries to plug her own IV back in. May qualify as AdultFear, although the ambulance scene at the end implies she survived (at least until we heard [[OffscreenCrash it crash]] and saw a hubcap roll by).
* SpinningPaper
* SpitTake: In the hospital {{flashback}}.
* SpoofedWithTheirOwnWords: It's largely quoted word-for-word directly from the film ''Zero Hour'', but with the serious deadpan delivery taking place in absurd surroundings.
* TheStinger: The guy left in Ted Striker's cab at the very beginning of the movie says, "I'll give him another twenty minutes. But that's it!" after sitting there for the ''entire movie''.
* StockFootage: Ted Striker's memories of The War, which appears, for RuleOfFunny, to be UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, but goes even further back in time to the turn of the century's strange flying experiments.
* StockPhrases
** ItsQuietTooQuiet: Rex Kramer.
* StockSoundEffects:
** Castle Thunder is used when lightning flashes.
** Jet engines sound no different from propellers despite their different mechanical structures.
** Ever hear a real airplane go "chuff...chuff...chuff...chuff" like a steam locomotive while taxiing?
* StraightMan: Every actor (except for Johnny) acts as if they are not speaking hilarious lines, which is one of the main reasons why this movie is so great. One of the reasons for avoiding "comedy cameos", according to the directors, was to keep everything seeming serious.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: At first. Roger Murdoch denies he's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as though he doesn't even know who Kareem is. Then he breaks character when Joey starts to criticize several of his recent games.
* SustainedMisunderstanding: The conversation between Doctor Rumack and Captain Oveur, persisting for about a half-minute.
-->'''Rumack''': Captain, how soon can you land?\\
'''Oveur''': I can't tell.\\
'''Rumack''': You can tell me, I'm a doctor.
* TakeThat: "WZAZ in Chicago, where [[DeaderThanDisco disco lives forever]]!" ''[Plane immediately flies overhead and slices the radio antenna clean off, stopping the signal]''
-->'''[=McCroskey=]:''' ''[to Capt. Oveur's wife]'' Your husband is alive, but unconscious.
-->'''Johnny:''' Just like UsefulNotes/GeraldFord.
* TakeAThirdOption:
-->'''Rumack:''' "What did the passengers have for dinner?'\\
'''Elaine:''' "Well, we had steak or fish."\\
'''Rumack:''' "Yes, I remember. I had lasagna."
* TenMinuteRetirement: Ted Striker comes out of it after a RousingSpeech provides EpiphanyTherapy.
* ThatRussianSquatDance: During the disco-dance flashback.
* ThisIsNoTimeToPanic: As the unconscious pilot and co-pilot are dragged down the aisle, and when Elaine asks if there's anyone on board who can fly a plane.
* TrainStationGoodbye: Parodied as the plane takes off, complete with an "All aboard!" call and the sound of a steam train. It does double-duty as a parody of war movies where the heroic soldier gets a sendoff from his girl -- specifically, the TropeMaker, ''Film/SinceYouWentAway''.
* TransparentCloset: Capt. Oveur likes to read "Modern Sperm" and hits on young boys while his wife is cheating (with a [[BestialityIsDepraved horse]]); sexual deviancy may be the one thing they have in common.
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: The plane is on a couple-hour flight, however in no time the press is aware of the debacle and newspaper stories are published about it. This is, of course, for the RuleOfFunny.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: The little girl who takes her coffee like she takes her men -- black.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Girl Scouts brawling in a bar (only Ted seems to be concerned by this), a man being stabbed and killed in a bar (Elaine likewise is the only one who notices), the plane's pilots being dragged down the aisle by the stewardesses, [=McCroskey=] jumping out a window... the list goes on.
* VideoCredits
* VisualPun: "The shit's going to hit the fan," "Okay, boys, let's take some pictures," "Steve, I want every light you can get poured onto that field," "They're on instruments," and "We'll get him down safe," among others. The "check the radar range" pun hasn't aged well, though -- although Amana still makes [=RadarRange=] microwave ovens, it's no longer the best-known brand.
* WackySoundEffect: The jetliner takes off and sounds like a steam train, then sounds like a propeller plane in flight.
* WhamLine: "Every passenger on this plane who had fish for dinner will become violently ill in the next half hour". (Capt. Oveur ate fish).
* WhatsAHenway: "Surely you can't be serious" and countless others.
* WhosOnFirst: The flight crew's names.
-->'''Murdock:''' We have clearance, Clarence.
-->'''Capt. Oveur:''' Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
* WorldsShortestBook: ''Famous Jewish Sports Legends'' is just a pamphlet.
* WorldOfPun: The page quote, Ted's drinking problem, smoking section tickets, etc.
* YouGetMeCoffee
-->'''[=McCroskey=]:''' "How 'bout some coffee, Johnny?"\\
'''Johnny:''' "No thanks!'\\
(in a later scene)\\
'''Steve [=McCroskey=]:''' "Johnny, how 'bout some more coffee?"\\
'''Johnny:''' "No, thanks!"
* YouNeverDidThatForMe: PlayedForLaughs. When her husband has a second cup of coffee, we hear the thoughts of the wife (listed in the credits as "Mrs. Hammen") echoing in her head: "Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home." Later, when he's sick and hurling into the barf bag, she thinks, "Jim never vomits at home..." This was a parody of a Yuban coffee commercial from the late 1970s.

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->[[RuleOfThree "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."]]
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