[[caption-width-right:284:NeverSmileAtACrocodile, but what happens when it smiles at ''you?'']]

->''It's 36 feet long, weighs 2000 pounds, lives 50 feet below the city. Nobody knows it's down there except the people it eats.''
-->-- '''{{Tagline}}'''

''Alligator'' is a 1981 horror/comedy film, directed by Lewis Teague and starring Robert Forster and Robin Riker, with a screenplay by Creator/JohnSayles, in which UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} policeman David Madison has to stop "Ramon", the eponymous beast, who is running amok in the city sewer system after feeding on covertly discarded growth hormone. The film is notable for being among the first of the slew of ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' homages/rip-offs to be produced by the American movie industry. Unlike 99% of the horrors that have come lurching along in its wake, the humor is intentional, the human characters are sympathetic, and the flick is worth seeing.

A sequel/remake was released in 1991, subtitled ''The Mutation''.

!!Provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: As noted by the quote above, it has a mighty big alligator freely wandering around in it.
* AccidentalMurder: One night in a party, several kids were playing pirate and decided to have the designated prisoner 'walk the plank' via the house's pool. After the mother called them to get back to the house, she turned on the pool's light, [[spoiler:revealing that Ramon has been taking residence in the pool. The prisoner kid's screams of terror were mistaken as 'acting chicken' and he got pushed into the pool and devoured by Ramon. The pirate kids [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realized what's going on, and ran away in terror after realizing they just fed their friend on an alligator.]]]]
* AntagonistTitle: The protagonist is Madison.
* BallroomBlitz: Ramon rampages through a high-society wedding.
* BigBad: Mr. Slade, the CorruptCorporateExecutive indirectly responsible for Ramón becoming giant.
* BrickJoke: Because in the middle of the film, [[spoiler: one of the heroes arrested a man for selling a baby gator for pet and telling the other cops to flush this gator.]]
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Subverted; two of them push their unwilling friend into a swimming pool, although [[spoiler: they certainly weren't trying to get him eaten]]. Also Madison has to deal with a [[BrattyHalfPint pretty mouthy kid]] who witnesses one of Ramon's attacks.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Slade. He orders the experiments which thanks to illegally discarded test-animal corpses leads to Ramon becoming the menace he is.
* CowboyCop: Madison's reputation, even though it's not exactly deserved.
* DaChief: A more sympathetic and intelligent version than usual.
* EgomaniacHunter: The ill-fated Col. Brock.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Again, an overt parody in the form of Col. Brock.
* HereWeGoAgain: The film ends with [[spoiler:another alligator getting flushed into the sewer.]]
* HotScientist: Marisa Kendall, the reptile-expert/love interest who helps Madison in trying to kill Ramon.
* IntrepidReporter: Subverted, in that the guy is an obnoxious jerk whom Madison heartily dislikes, but genuinely goes [[GoingForTheBigScoop looking for scoops]], eventually [[spoiler: taking [[ApocalypticLog crucial pictures]] of Ramon, even as he is devoured.]]
* InfantImmortality:
** Averted when on a dare, a kid jumps off the diving board of his backyard swimming pool at night while the alligator is momentarily staying in it. He realizes at the last moment what is happening and tries to step back, but his friends push him in anyway because they didn't see it and think he chickened out.
** However, it is played straight when a little girl toddler is in the back yard with her mother's wash. Mom hears the phone ring, goes in to answer it, and along comes the titular beast. Mom sees the monster leave the yard, and runs back out screaming and crying as she looks for her child. Then the little girl lifts up the clothes basket she was hiding under!
* KarmaHoudini: The cruel doctor whose experiments turned Ramon into a monster in the first place gets off scott-free. Ditto the almost-certainly-abusive father who flushed him in the first place.
* KarmicDeath: Ramon [[spoiler: kills the CorruptCorporateExecutive whose experiments inadvertently created him.]]
* MadBomber: This is literally the name of one character in the credits. Might called a case of [[spoiler: [[ChekhovsGun "Chekov's Explosives"]]...]]
* AMinorKidroduction: The film starts with a depiction of the Hot Scientist as a teen, bringing home a baby alligator from a trip to Florida, which she names Ramon. Her bad-tempered father flushes it down the toilet...
* MotorMouth: The Hot Scientist's [[OneSceneWonder mother]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The kids at the pool, not the one [[spoiler: who's dead. They think it's just a prank, but the moment they see they've just fed their friend to a giant alligator, the sheer look of horror they have just screams of this trope.]]
* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: Hi there, Ramon!
* NighInvulnerability: Ramon is even bigger, stronger and better armored than a normal alligator, thanks to the aforementioned experiments. It finally takes [[spoiler: a bomb to finish him off.]]
* NightmareDreams: Madison has these from his first encounter with Ramon.
* NotWorthKilling: PlayedWith. Ramon devours his victims most of the time. The deaths of Mr. Slade and his assistant? Ramon didn't even eat them, despite eating most of the guests; [[spoiler:he just contents himself with smashing the assistant to the car until he died out of blunt smashing wounds, and smashed the car with Slade being squeezed to death inside.]]
* PetBabyWildAnimal: Subverted. Ramon gets unceremoniously flushed into the sewer while still tiny, and his former owner then makes every effort to help kill him, Of course, she has no reason to even know it's the same alligator.
%%* ReptilesAreAbhorrent
* SewerGator: The film is about a deadly giant alligator killing humans in the sewers of Chicago.
* ShoutOut: The [[Film/TheThirdMan graffiti]] in the sewers, the name of the [[Series/TheHoneymooners sewer-worker]] Ramon kills.
* SuspiciouslyStealthyPredator: Because it just wouldn't be a ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' ripoff if the beast let anyone but the hero realize it was out there too soon, would it?
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: Sarcastically suggested by the Hot Scientist, in reference to her motor-mouthed mother.

!!The sequel has examples of:

* KarmicDeath: The CorruptCorporateExecutive, whose casual dumping of toxic waste into the sewers created the giant alligator, is accidentally pushed into the lake and is soon eaten by the beast.
* MagicCountdown: Hawk leaves dynamite with timer on it in the sewer for the alligator, and hurriedly climbs back to the surface and warns other about how they have only ten seconds and they all scramble or safety. Cut back to the dynamite, which has noticeable amount of time left in the timer.
* NumberedSequels: With [[OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo Electric Boogaloo]].
* StockFootage: Uses snippets of footage from the first film's alligator sequences in some scenes.
* ToxicWasteCanDoAnything: While the first Alligator gained its giant, mutated form by eating discarded animal corpses spiked with growth hormones, the one in the sequel was exposed to toxic waste, which worked just as well.