[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Evolution_movie.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Have a nice end of the world.]]

A 2001 sci-fi comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman (of ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' fame), and released by Creator/ColumbiaPictures and Creator/{{Dreamworks}}.

Glen Canyon, UsefulNotes/{{Arizona}}, ThePresentDay. Wayne Grey (Seann William Scott), practicing at night in the desert for his upcoming firefighter entrance exam, witnesses the impact of a meteor. The next day, biology teacher Dr. Ira Kane (Creator/DavidDuchovny) and geology teacher Harry Block (Orlando Jones) from Glen Canyon Community College manage to get to the meteor, which is stuck in the ground at the bottom of an underground cave. By taking a sample, they discover a slimy blue fluid coming out of the meteor.

A little later, Ira finds out that myriad single-celled life-forms dwell in the fluid, evolve at an incredible rate, even while he's watching. What first seems like a sure ticket to Sweden for the Nobel Prize soon develops into a nightmare: by evolving and adapting at that unbelievably fast rate, the aliens start spreading out, killing people, and the military -- led by General Woodman (Ted Levine), who's accompanied by epidemiologist Dr. Allison Reed (Creator/JulianneMoore) -- comes in. Now it all comes down to what [[CharlesDarwin Darwin]] so rightfully stated: Survival of the fittest...

It gave rise to a short-lived animated series, ''AlienatorsEvolutionContinues''.
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!''Evolution'' contains examples of:

* ActorAllusion: Ira doesn't trust government types because "I know these people." In-universe, he knows because he's an ex-army colonel. However, David Duchovny's previous role as Agent Fox Mulder]] is a notorious ConspiracyTheorist. This is especially notable because it wasn't on purpose; the director had never seen ''Series/TheXFiles''. But those making the trailer evidently did, as it's used in quite a few.
* AdaptiveAbility: Thanks to thousands of years of evolution artificially sped up by the energy reaction from the meteor, the organisms from the meteorite spit out creatures that become increasingly more resilient to oxygen - which is normally lethal to the organisms.
* AlienInvasion: Via superior adaptability.
* ApocalypseHow: Class 3.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Played for laughs. See below.
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry: The heroes [[spoiler:figure out the weakness of the nitrogen-based aliens by comparing arbitrary patterns on the Periodic Table of Elements. "Hmm, well, Arsenic is the weakness of carbon-based life-forms, and Arsenic is two down and one across from Carbon. So that means that the weakness of the nitrogen-based life-forms must also be two down and one across!"]] Of course, [[RuleOfFunny because this is]] [[PlayedForLaughs a comedy film]], [[BatDeduction the logic is perfectly sound]].
** In a sense, it's not as crazy as it sounds -- [[spoiler:the periodic table isn't arbitrary, its organization reflects properties of the elements in the table, so the geometric relationship between elements as displayed on the table ''can'' be relevant to their chemical relationship in reality]]. Of course, in this case, the conclusion is still utter nonsense.
* AssholeVictim: Wayne's boss, who is eaten by an alien when he is about to have sex with a woman on a golf course.
--> '''Wayne''': ''(trying to suppress a grin)'' "Well, uh... that's too bad."
** Also, the shoplifting teen girl in the mall, who gets attacked by one of the pterodactyl creatures, although she survives.
* AssShove: [[spoiler:They kill the ultimate alien with a shampoo enema administered via firehose. Though it ''[[CrossesTheLineTwice sucks Harry into its ass for at least a minute before it dies]]'']].
--> '''Ira''': ''GIMME BACK MY FRIEND, YOU BIG SPHINCTER!''
--> '''Harry''': ''IT'S HOR-R-R-RIBLE IN HERE!''
** Harry himself has an alien extracted from his body - rectally.
* BigNo: Played for comedy during the "alien extraction" scene:
--> '''Dr. Paulson:''' Maybe we can catch it in his colon.
--> '''Nurse Tate:''' How are you going in?
--> '''Dr. Paulson:''' ''(dramatically)'' Rectally.
--> '''Harry:''' ''(in a VERY high-pitched squeal)'' Nooooooo!
* BiggerIsBetter: [[spoiler:One of the organisms, in response to being napalmed, becomes a HUGE amoeba-thing. With an ''anus''.]]
* BizarreAlienReproduction: The dying "bird" gives birth by coughing up a membranous sac with a juvenile inside.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: The TropeNamer, though it is almost immediately {{defied|Trope}}.
-->'''Ira:''' Snag it and put it in the bucket.\\
'''Harry:''' [[GenreSavvy I've seen this movie]]; the [[TropeNamer black dude dies first]]. [[DefiedTrope You snag it!]]
* BloodlessCarnage: A lot of people are attacked and mauled by the evolving life-forms, with little mess to show for it. A flying raptor takes several slugs at point-blank range, and there's STILL no gore.
* BrickJoke: [[spoiler: Near the beginning, Nadine mentions that her ambition is to be Miss Arizona. At the end, she can be seen in the background wearing a "Miss Arizona" sash.]]
* CallASmeerpARabbit: For some reason, the lead characters refuse to call the obviously dragon/raptor-looking flying aliens that, and instead insist on calling them "birds." Maybe it's a case of NotUsingTheZWord, and they're not shown to be capable of breathing fire either.
** Earlier models of the dragon/raptor actually show it to look a lot more like a featherless oviraptor. Now that would have been weird.
* CameFromTheSky: How the aliens got to earth.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: In one scene, a shoplifter is wearing her stolen clothes under her already-worn ones. As she comes out of the dressing room, she's snatched away by the flying raptor. Once she's rescued, she vows never to shoplift again to a somewhat confused Harry.
** It's actually fortunate for her she was wearing the layers, as without them, the claws of the bird thing could have badly hurt her.
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunmen]]: Deke and Danny.
* ComedicSociopathy: Harry vs. the alien fly.
* CreatorBacklash: Don Jakoby's original script was far more serious than the finished product, thanks to credited co-writers David Diamond and David Weissman. He wasn't happy about it.
* CreatorProvincialism: Parodied (hopefully).
* CuteClumsyGirl: Dr. Allison Reed. She trips over ''sand''.
** And it was JulianneMoore's idea.
* DeadpanSnarker: Ira and Harry.
* DumbassHasAPoint: The two biggest idiots in Ira's class end up saving the day in the end.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: [[spoiler:Shortly after the alien life-forms reach a simian stage of evolution, they get napalmed. And are crushed by one cell. These are the fastest and most violent things to come out of the ecosystem, in the short time they're seen before they're crushed.]]
* EurekaMoment: Two of these happen; one leads to the discovery that fire makes the beings grow faster, while the other leads to the discovery that [[spoiler:selenium kills them]].
* EvolutionaryLevels: Played with. In fact, the later stages of the habitat [[spoiler:spawn dinosaur-like creatures and apes. But the last creature to appear is a nigh-unkillable (well, except for the occasional enema) amoeba-like creature]]. This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the movie.
** The director's commentary explains that the [[spoiler: final evolution was supposed to be an UltimateLifeForm, evolved beyond primates, beyond humans. The problem was that it wasn't "big" enough; so was replaced with the amoeba.]]
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Oddly enough ''averted'', given the type of movie it was. When Ira and Harry go down into the underground alien world, almost none of the creatures try to harm them. There was a carnivorous tree, but really the only one to go after anyone was that big mosquito.
* ExplosiveBreeder
-->'''Nadine''': Um, Professor, the little wiggly worm things in there are breaking. \\
'''Ira''': It's not breaking, it's splitting. It's mitosis. It's how they reproduce. \\
'''Harry''': No sex? \\
'''Ira''': No time for sex. \\
'''Nadine''': Bummer.
* FiveManBand
** TheLeader: Ira
** TheLancer: Harry
** TagalongKid[=/=]TheHeart: Wayne
** TheChick[=/=]TheSixthRanger: Allison
* FunTShirt: [[spoiler:Allison's T-shirt with the periodic table on back]] leads to one of the {{eureka moment}}s referenced above.
* GenreSavvy: Harry knows the [[BlackDudeDiesFirst black guy dies first]].
* GiantFlyer: The big dragon/raptor thing that gets loose in the mall. Wayne lures it back with his skills at karaoke, which enrages it.
* GroinAttack: Wayne suffers one, courtesy of his firehose falling and hitting him right in the crotch during his exam.
* GrotesqueCute: The dog-like alien a club member finds in a house, slowly dying of asphyxiation, with a [[TheWoobie sad expression]]. When one of them tries to pet it, it unleashes its defense mechanism: [[ShoutOut A really ill-tempered tongue with a beak]]. It bites one of them on the hand before it dies.
* HaveANiceDaySmile: The movie poster features one of these with three eyes.
** Used for the movie's ViralMarketing, where the three-eyed smiley began appearing all over New York City in the months prior to the film's release.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Harry insists this of Ira. [[spoiler: It turns out to be true.]]
* HeroicWannabe: Wayne, who wants desperately to be a firefighter or ''some'' other type of hero to get girls.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Ira and Harry, though Ira [[spoiler:does get the girl in the end]].
* HiddenDepths: Deke and Danny.
* HollywoodEvolution: The whole point.
* HotScientist: Allison or, for that matter, Ira or Harry, depending on one's gender/orientation.
* IgnoredExpert: Ira tries to warn Woodman that [[spoiler:[[KillItWithFire napalming the aliens]] may be a really bad idea]]. [[spoiler:And [[FeedItWithFire turns out to be right]]]].
* TheImmodestOrgasm: Harry's mocking impressions of what he imagines Allison's sex noises to sound like.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: The dragony GiantFlyer.
* IWillFightSomeMoreForever
* JerkAss: General Woodman and his fellow army officers.
* KillerSpaceMonkey: ...but not for long enough to get any use from it.
** Literally comes in the form of three-eyed, no-nose, ape-like beings that are one of the last to breach the habitat seal.
* [[spoiler:[[KillItWithFire Kill It With Napalm]]]]: This ends [[FeedItWithFire so]], ''[[FeedItWithFire so]]'' [[FeedItWithFire badly]]...
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: [[spoiler:After Harry's mishap with the alien sphincter, he demands that Ira tell nobody of what happened.]]
* LifeOrLimbDecision: When Harry finds himself with an alien fly burrowing into his leg, he refuses to let the doctors amputate his leg until he hears that it's headed for his testicles.
** And then they decide to TakeAThirdOption and remove it rectally. That poor guy.
* MadScientist: Ira [[spoiler:did some ''very'' nasty things with an anthrax vaccine. Unfortunately, he tested it on people who were equipped with really large guns]].
* MadeOfExplodium: [[spoiler:The final alien creature, after receiving an enema of anti-dandruff shampoo.]]
* MiracleGroMonster: This is why [[spoiler:napalm should not be used as a {{Kaiju}} attack Band-Aid]].
* MultipurposeTongue / NestedMouths: One creature that looks kind of like a green pig has this.
* MustNotDieAVirgin: A girl holding an "I can't die as a virgin" sign can be seen during the Arizona evacuation party.
* NeverLiveItDown: [[{{In-Universe}} The Kane Madness.]] An anthrax vaccine that ''did'' immunize people against anthrax... at the cost of a ''month'' of [[LongList debilitating stomach cramps, severe diarrhea, memory loss, partial facial paralysis, temporary blindness, drooling, bleeding gums, erectile dysfunction, uncontrollable flatulence...]]
* NonMaliciousMonster: The aliens are hostile all right, but they're not evil. They are just lost and confused on a strange planet.
* NukeEm: Offered as a solution to the alien problem, but the military [[spoiler:decides to use napalm instead]]. [[spoiler:Considering what napalm eventually does to the alien lifeforms, one shudders to think what would have happened if the military had taken the nuclear option]].
* OneHandedShotgunPump: Ira, Harry and Wayne do this after killing the first oxygen-tolerant alien.
* OrificeEvacuation:
-->[Dr. Paulson is going to pull the alien bug out through Harry's rectum] \\
'''Nurse Tate''': I'll get the lubricant... \\
'''Dr. Paulson''': No time for lubricant! \\
'''Harry''': [[CrowningMomentOfFunny There's ALWAYS time for lubricant!]]
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Alien predators resembling dragons are prominently featured, though the characters prefer to call them "birds." [[BizarreAlienBiology And they reproduce by]] ''[[{{Squick}} regurgitating]]''.
* ProductPlacement: Head & Shoulder's dandruff-killing formula [[spoiler:also happens to kill aliens. This is parodied after the end of the movie, where the actors do a cliched commercial with forced smiles. And Harry holding his bottle backwards]].
** This was Ivan Reitman's son's idea.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits
* SarcasmFailure: As the guys watch [[spoiler:an alien give birth to a newborn--which is able to thrive in the Earth's atmosphere--]]all Harry Block can do is shrug and say, "Mazel Tov! It's a boy!"
* ShoutOut: Take a long look at the head of the dragony thing. It closely resembles the head of the creature from TheGiantClaw.
** Also, one of the bird calls that Wayne tries is "Aww-aww, ee-ee, tukki tukki!" from GeorgeOfTheJungle.
* SmartBall: The two guys who [[YouFailBiologyForever failed biology forever by confusing a prison cell with a biological cell]]? [[spoiler:They help save the day]].
* SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic: A map is used to show how the highly-adaptive alien lifeforms will own the United States in about a month from when they start to expand from the impact site in Glen Canyon.
* StarfishAliens: While the latter aliens resemble dragons, apes and [[BlobMonster giant single-celled monstrosities]] respectively, the aliens earlier in the animated series look really odd by Earth standards. Sketches of some storyboards show even more strange aliens, including trees with metallic scales (possibly based on Earth's ''Lepidodendron''?).
** The earlier aliens do look pretty weird, but there's some pretty weird stuff in Earth's evolutionary history too; some of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgess_Shale_type_fauna Burgess Shale critters]] are pretty strange in their own right.
** They're supposed to be "[[YouFailBiologyForever nitrogen-based lifeforms]]." As anyone with a background in chemistry could tell you, this wouldn't work.
*** Sort of; nitrogen-based life-forms are unlikely, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetical_types_of_biochemistry#Nitrogen_and_phosphorus_biochemistry but not theoretically entirely impossible]].
* SmallNameBigEgo: Somewhat subverted. Harry is well-aware that he's not on the same-level (scientifically) as Ira or Allison, but that doesn't stop him from milking what he does know for all it's worth.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''{{Ghostbusters}}''. Dan Aykroyd was unable to get his co-stars to do ''Ghostbusters III'', so ''Evolution'' was born.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Deke and Danny.
* ThrowTheDogABone: They handed in the worst science paper ever, copied off each other to boot. And are responsible for an EurekaMoment.
--> '''Ira Kane''': "You just earned your A's!"
* {{Troperiffic}}: The movie borrows tropes from any number of cheesy [[TheFifties 1950s]] sci-fi films.
* WeaksauceWeakness: [[spoiler:''Shampoo'']].
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The film was originally pitched as a serious drama to Columbia and [=DreamWorks=]; but when Ivan Reitman came on board, he had different ideas.
** According to some design sketches, the final form of the alien's evolution would've been a much more humanoid form. However, seeing how difficult about how to make this a realistic threat, they decided with the giant cell.
* XMeetsY: One critic even said the film is "''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' meets ''Film/MenInBlack''."

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