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-> ''"Big Daddy" is a film about a seriously disturbed slacker who adopts a 5-year-old and tutors him in cynicism, cruel practical jokes and antisocial behavior."''
--> -'''Creator/RogerEbert'''


[[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] that character in ''Theatre/CatOnAHotTinRoof''. Or with rapper Big Daddy Kane. Or with [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} World Wrestling Entertainment's]] Big Daddy V - or, for that matter, with their [[Wrestling/KevinNash "Big Daddy Cool."]] Or with those tough drill-arm enemies from ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}''. Or with that huge, 1,000-calorie burger offered by Southern California restaurant chain Cronies. Or the [[ChickTracts Jack Chick tract]] on evolution.

This 1999 box-office smash starred Creator/AdamSandler, [[Series/TheDailyShow Jon Stewart]], and twin child actors [[Series/TheSuiteLifeofZackAndCody Cole and Dylan Sprouse]]. It tells the story of thirtysomething Manhattan resident Sonny Koufax (Sandler), a Syracuse law graduate who has no plan whatsoever of taking his bar exam. Instead, he lives off a fat settlement from getting his foot run over years ago and works as a toll-booth collector one day per week, spending the rest of his days sleeping and watching cartoons at the apartment he rents with fellow Syracuse alum Kevin Gerrity (Stewart).

His life changes forever one day when a young orphan named Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) is literally left at his door. Sonny at first wants nothing to do with the kid, but then realizes that he just might be able to use him to impress his cantankerous father, Lenny - not to mention win back the affection of his disillusioned girlfriend, Vanessa.

As time goes on, Sonny and Julian strike up a friendship that eventually becomes so strong that Sonny decides to adopt the boy permanently. Problem is, social services representative Arthur Brooks suspects that Sonny may have resorted to chicanery in order to gain custody of Julian, and decides to investigate....

This movie also features Joey Lauren Adams as Layla, a lawyer who helps Sonny; Leslie Mann as Corinne, Layla's sardonic sister; and Rob Schneider as Nazo, a delivery boy who often brings Sonny food. Steve Buscemi turns up in a cameo as a homeless person.
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!!Tropes Include:
* AmbiguouslyJewish: The Koufaxes' ethnicity is never revealed, but in one scene Sonny puts on [[AlterKocker a subtle Yiddish accent while impersonating his grandmother]]. (And of course, ''Sandy'' Koufax is the greatest Jewish baseball player ever which places him high in the running for greatest Jewish athlete, period.)
* AuthorAppeal: Sandler, who co-wrote and co-produced this film in addition to starring in it, includes references to some of his favorite things (such as ProfessionalWrestling, fast food, and the rock band Music/{{Styx}}).
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler: Sonny and Layla have an infant child of their own by the end of the movie.]]
* BackForTheFinale: The Hooters sequence at the end, which reunites the majority of the cast.
* BecomingTheMask: Sonny pretends to be Julian's father to fix his relationship with Vanessa but by the end of the movie he feels like he's Julian's father.
* BedmateReveal: Downplayed. Sonny knew that Vanessa was beside him, but ''we'' didn't.
* BigEater: An enormously fat (and suspiciously [[TheMafia Mob]]-looking) man is a regular patron of Sonny's favorite Italian restaurant, and he is always seen with a different girlfriend. (Sonny's theory is that [[IAmAHumanitarian he keeps eating his love interests]].)
* BigNo: Julian when [[spoiler: the judge officially awards his custody to his biological father, Kevin.]]
* BigShutUp: Sonny's dad says this to Tommy when he objects to his statement that Sonny is an unfit father.
* BrickJoke:
** Upon investigating Vanessa's sudden rejection of him, Sonny discovers that she has dumped him in favor of a senior citizen (and grandfather) whom she defends as obviously preferable as a love interest because "he has a five-year plan." About a year and a half later, [[spoiler: it is revealed that Vanessa is now working at Hooters with the older man, whose "five-year plan" apparently included being the restaurant chef.]]
** Also:
--> "Is that the guy with the old balls?"
%%* BrooklynRage: Both generations of Koufax men.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Sonny still thinks that hawking loogies and throwing sticks in front of skaters so they'll trip are funny things to do, but he still boasts an impressive knowledge of Congressional legislation from his days at law school.
* BurgerFool: [[spoiler: Vanessa and Sid work at Hooters.]]
* ButtMonkey: Nazo exists for comedy at his own expense.
* CanadaEh: Kevin sings the praises of Canadian beer at the trial.
* ChekhovsGag: Corinne working at Hooters is repeated often and becomes relevant.
* ChildrenRaiseYou: Sonny at the start is a lazy jerkass. Sonny at the end is a mature (if still goofy) lawyer.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The crazed homeless man also shows flashes of this behavior: within seconds, he goes from taunting Nazo to giggling stupidly to screaming "STOP YELLING AT ME!" and bursting into tears.
* ComedicSociopathy: Among other escapades, Sonny takes Julian to the park and teaches him to throw sticks in front of in-line skaters to make them trip - all for his own sick amusement.
* TheComicallySerious: Kevin, Vanessa, the kindergarten teacher, and Sonny's dad (to an extent).
%%* CoolOldGuy: Lenny Koufax. ("SHUT UP, TOMMY!")
* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: Had Julian said he was from "Toronto" and not "Buffalo", he would've saved everyone a lot of trouble. [[spoiler: Kevin doesn't remember Buffalo (he's never been there) but when Julian mentions Toronto in court, he suddenly remembers the Hooters waitress he slept with in Toronto after the 1993 World Series.]]
** However, Sonny asked Julian where he's from, and later Layla asked him where's he born. So they're technically two different questions.
* DeadpanSnarker: Many characters qualify, but Corinne is the most obvious.
%%* DefrostingIceQueen: Corinne, at least as far as Sonny is concerned.
* {{Dissimile}}:
--->'''Tommy:''' In your experience, was Sonny a good father to Julian?
--->'''Nazo:''' Oh, yes. They make terrific pair. They went together like [[ForeignQueasine lamb and tuna fish]].
--->'''Tommy:''' "Lamb and tuna fish?"
--->'''Nazo:''' Maybe you like spaghetti and meatball? You more comfortable with that analogy?
* DoorstopBaby: Although Julian isn't literally a baby anymore by the time he shows up, it's the same plot of 'how do I raise a kid'?
* FanService: Vanessa is shown in her bra [[SexyCoatFlashing (over which she puts a gray suit jacket and nothing else)]] for no damn good reason. Then we see her in [[spoiler: the standard-issue "Hooters" tank top and orange shorts]]. Since it's Kristy Swanson we're not complaining.
* {{Foil}}:
** Kevin Gerrity to Sonny Koufax. The two men look remarkably alike (except for Kevin having a more professional-looking haircut), but Kevin is there mainly to show the kind of man that Sonny could become (financially successful and happily married) if he just acted a little more responsibly. This ''doppelganger'' theme is even played up by the movie's main plot, which sees Sonny ''pretending'' to be Kevin (though, ironically, in doing this he is being ''ir''responsible and not at all Kevin-like).
** Kevin's fiancee (and later wife) Corinne also has a foil - Vanessa, Sonny's would-be wife. Corinne eventually quits her job as a Hooter's waitress and becomes a doctor, while Vanessa goes in reverse. Corinne also has [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a loving personality beneath her mean exterior]], while Vanessa tries to [[BitchInSheepsClothing hide her icy heart beneath a (somewhat) pleasant exterior]].
* FoodEnd: Buffalo wings! Yum!
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** You could say that Sid was the "rat in the putting hole."
** After Julian revealed that he was born in Toronto, you can see Kevin in deep thought.
** In Julian's mom's letter to Kevin, "I hope you understand why I never told you before until now" and "I can't be his mother anymore".
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: According to Julian (okay, Sonny), music critics are "cynical a**holes." (Also see the BrickJoke and {{Cloudcuckoolander}} entries on this page for more of Julian's, uh, "witticisms.")
* FruitOfTheLoon: The homeless guy somehow sneaks a cantaloupe into the courtroom during the trial.
* GeneralRipper: The homeless guy's dad.
-->"I'd rather live in the streets than under his freaky-ass rules!"
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: It's so blatant in this "family" picture that it's more like the jokes [[LookBehindYou pointed and shouted "Hey, look over there!"]] and then ran by while the radar's head was turned.
* [[GilliganCut Gilligan Fade]]: Sonny's father makes him promise not to spend the money from his court settlement on "worthless crap." Sonny agrees - and then, the camera briefly fades out and then fades back in to show Sonny buying a surfboard.
* HypocriticalHumor: Plenty.
** When the homeless guy (who, being played by Steve Buscemi, is presumably Italian-American) thinks that the national dish of Nazo's homeland is not truly American - but that spaghetti and meatballs are ''perfectly'' American!
** This exchange:
--->'''Ted Castellucci (the prosecuting attorney):''' Objection, Your Honor! The court is interested in the truth, not the opinion of the defendant's father.
--->'''Lenny Koufax:''' You want my opinion? [[AbusiveParents My son is a moron.]]
--->'''Ted Castellucci:''' I withdraw my objection. Please proceed!
* IrishmanAndAJew: Kevin Gerrity and Sonny Koufax. The stereotypes are inverted in that Kevin is the serious one and Sonny is the more outgoing and rambunctious. (Ironically, the actor who plays Kevin is himself Jewish.)
* IronicEcho: "Did you waste the good surprise on me ''again''?"
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: So many...
** Sonny makes Hooters jokes to offend Corinne, trips skaters for fun, and yet he is a good friend.
** Mr. Herlihy, the drunken old man down at the sports bar who tries to pick fights with Sonny but shows up at his trail and calls him a 'good egg'. (Although there's more "jerk" than "gold" with him)
%%** Corinne
%%** Sonny's dad
* KidsPreferBoxes: In the ''{{Website/Cracked}}'' parody ''Big Duddy'', "Sony" finds the kid left in a cardboard box at his back door. He promptly dumps the kid out and takes the now-empty box inside to "spend some quality time" with it.
* {{Malaproper}}: Nazo believes that UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington's teeth were made of "wool."
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: Most Sandler movies try to cast the protagonist (usually played by Sandler himself, of course) as an underdog hero. That's what they want us to believe Sonny is, what with his martinet father, the bitchy Corinne, the cold-hearted Vanessa, and various others supposedly persecuting him. And Arthur Brooks, the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Scrooge-like bureaucrat]], is meant to be the worst of them all, what with his attempts to cruelly break up Sonny's little makeshift family. The truth is, however, that Sonny has no excuses for any (well, maybe for some) of his misfortunes other than his own indifference and laziness. He is not being unjustly treated when he is hauled into court, so the ending, [[spoiler: in which he is forced to relinquish custody of Julian, isn't really all that tragic in that it's the last wake-up call he needs to get his life in order - which he does]].
** Deliberately invoked in the movie. Once one sees past the emotional aspect of the movie, it's not hard to understand what the movie is really trying to portray Sonny Koufax as. And that some changes in his life were necessary; as when he gained Julian he started being responsible with him (teaching him to bathe, and helping with schoolwork. Then, when he lost him, he started to re-read law books and reacted like any father would after losing his child.
* MomentKiller: Kevin was giving a speech, and tried to tell his girlfriend Corrine something...
-->'''Sonny:''' You're not proposing, are you?\\
'''Kevin:''' Yeah Sonny, I am.\\
'''Sonny:''' Well, think about it, you know.\\
'''Corrine:''' God Sonny, shut up!
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer for ''BigDaddy'' prominently features The New Radicals' "You Get What You Give" as one of the movie's big pop songs. In fact, "You Get What You Give" isn't in the actual movie at all!
* NonSpecificallyForeign: Just where ''is'' Nazo from, anyway?
* NoodleIncident:
** [[spoiler:Kevin's time in Toronto. He got wasted and slept with a girl named Jane who gave birth to Julian. He's forgotten all about it, but Jane didn't.]]
** "Is there really a kid, or is this like the time you told me my parents were dead?"
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Even though Julian was born in Toronto and is genetically half-Canadian, the Sprouse twins don't attempt a Canadian accent while portraying him.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore: Sonny missed the old days when he and his friends had lots of fun, but they're too busy with their own lives and careers. [[spoiler:Sonny's life has changed as well since meeting Julian.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Sonny:''' A kid walked into my life. You think I had that planned? But I fell in love with that kid. So my plans have changed.]]
** Also summed up humorously by Kevin:
-->'''Kevin:''' ...when we were at Syracuse, and Vanessa worshipped you...Nobody was hassling you to get a job, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick Tommy and Phil were showering separately]]...
* OhCrap:
** Sonny, after realizing that Arthur Brooks has just called him by his real name instead of the false name he had been using.
** Kevin, after he realizes that he's just confessed in front of the entire courtroom (including Corinne) that [[spoiler:he is [[LukeIAmYourFather Julian's biological father]] (and Corinne is not the mother)]]. Corinne forgives Kevin, because [[HeroicSacrifice he confessed to save Sonny from jail]].
** Vanessa does it ''twice in a row'' at the beginning of the movie (when she realizes she's late for an appointment, no thanks to Sonny):
--->'''Vanessa:''' ''[waking up]'' Shit! ''[looking at the clock]'' ''Shit''!
* PeripheryHatedom: In-story example: Sonny absolutely ''loathes'' a giant singing kangaroo on a children's video watched by Julian ("I can't take this shit."). The kangaroo is obviously supposed to be a CaptainErsatz for [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Barney the Dinosaur]], but oddly enough [[CelebrityParadox Barney, too, exists in the movie's universe]].
* PersonalArcade: Sonny has a ''Space Station'' pinball machine in his apartment.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Okay, so he's not exactly a villain but the homeless guy mentions O. J. Simpson "getting away with murder" when he's called to the witness stand at Sonny's trial - and then looks over at a black juror with a condescending, YouKnowWhatTheySayAboutX attitude.
* PoorCommunicationKills:
-->'''Vanessa:''' Sonny, you surprised me with a kid while I was away, isn't exactly what I had in mind!\\
'''Sonny:''' But I did this for you! You wanted me to be more responsible!
* ProductPlacement: Just one example is the prominent scene at McDonalds that talks about sausage [=McMuffins=], and later on [[spoiler: Sonny discreetly bribing someone in a court room with a bag of the stuff.]]
* PunchClockVillain: Arthur Brooks, albeit in the context of Sonny's life. He's trying to separate Sonny from Julian but only because it's his job and Sonny technically kidnapped the kid. He gets some PetTheDog moments along the way, as well as in the climactic courtroom scene.
* RealityEnsues: Zigzagged. [[spoiler: Sonny calls himself to the witness stand at the trial and has his father cross-examine him in the hope that he can win the court over with an emotional appeal. Miraculously, he persuades Lenny that he has learned his lesson and is now prepared to be a responsible adult. Lenny vouches for his son and everyone in the courtroom applauds - but the judge will not let herself forget that Sonny broke the law and, no matter how contrite he may be now, still deserves to go to jail. Then Kevin Gerrity, as Julian's biological father, refuses to press charges against his roommate, so Sonny walks out of court a free man. However, since he has proven himself to be erratic and untrustworthy, Sonny is refused custody of Julian, who is instead reunited with Kevin. In the end Sonny does get a consolation prize in form of being appointed a mentor and uncle to Julian, and he and Layla have had a baby of their own by the time the epilogue rolls around.]]
* RealitySubtext: The cute waitress who serves Julian a root beer at the sports bar? It's Jackie Titone, who became Mrs. Adam Sandler just a few years later.
* RunningGag
** Julian's inability to control his bodily functions. ("The kid won't stop peeing and throwing up. He's like a cocker spaniel.")
** The nearly nonstop boob jokes. ("Hooters! Hooters! [[RuleOfThree HOOTERS!]]")
** Nazo's difficulty with the English language.
** "Help me! I'm lost! [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment I don't know where I am!]]"
* [[ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful Screw The Rules, I'm Cute]]: Julian gets to win every card game he plays because he's a kid. His favorite "game," in fact, is called [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "I Win"]].
-->'''Nazo:''' ''[mad over "losing"]'' This is bullshit!
* ShooOutTheClowns: When Sonny's lie is exposed by Arthur Brooks, the usually comical Nazo becomes a lot more serious, taking Sonny aside and telling them that he'd like to help, but "my status in this country is not exactly legal."
* SinkOrSwimFatherhood: Although Sonny has a bit more help than most thanks to Nazo (who, admittedly, is an even ''worse'' father figure), Phil and Tommy, and eventually Kevin when he returns from China.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: Jon Stewart. Even though he's the one who indirectly sets the main part of the plot in motion, [[spoiler: as well as the one who resolves it in the end]].
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Two of 'em!
** Kristy Swanson. She is on screen for only about 10 minutes, but hers is one of the very first characters we see, as well as being the person responsible for Sonny adopting Julian in the first place. [[BookEnds She's in the final scene, too!]]
** Jon Stewart. Kevin Gerrity is conspicuously missing for most of the film (being on a business trip in China). Unlike Swanson, Stewart didn't even make it into the trailer, as described above. Yet the whole plot hinges on Sonny impersonating Kevin, and he's the one who [[spoiler: saves Sonny from jail time at the climax]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: To Charlie Chaplin's 1921 silent classic ''Film/TheKid'', which is also about a derelict adopting a boy after his mother abandons him and then battling social services when they try to take the child from him.
* StopCopyingMe: Instead of turning the tables, Sonny flings the woodchuck TongueTwister.
* TechnicallyASmile: The closest Vanessa comes to smiling in any of her three scenes in the movie is a tight, clenched-toothed, nervous grin when Sonny and Julian visit her apartment (little suspecting that Vanessa's new boyfriend, Sid, is in the bathroom at that very moment).
* TotallyRadical: The judge (a visibly middle-aged woman) says "Awesome!" at the trial. Justified as she was being sarcastic.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece:
** Sonny mentions to Julian that [=McDonald's=] did not have breakfast items when he was Julian's age, and that he remembers the day that Egg [=McMuffins=] were first introduced. (That was in 1973, when Sonny would have been about two years older than Julian.)
** In the penultimate scene, Nazo invites Sonny to his place, where "I've got Spice Channel." That adult pay-per-view network has now been renamed the "Fresh" Channel.
* YeahShot: Well, it's more like a Yum Shot....
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Just after Sonny wins his father over to his side in the courtroom, the judge bangs her gavel and it becomes clear that Sonny will go to jail. Then it's time for [[spoiler:Kevin]] to set the stage for the movie's actual climax by confessing that [[spoiler:he is Julian's biological father]].
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