-> ''If you shoot me... you're liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards.''

1985 comedy-mystery film starring Creator/ChevyChase, (loosely) based on the novel by Gregory Mcdonald.

Irwin M. Fletcher (Chevy Chase), better known as 'Fletch', writes a column for a Los Angeles newspaper under the byline 'Jane Doe'. He's working undercover at a local beach where a lot of hard drug-trafficking is taking place when he is suddenly cornered by Alan Stanwyck (Tim Matheson) who, assuming him to be one of the many junkies floating around the beach, makes him a strange offer. Claiming he has incurable cancer, Stanwyck asks Fletch to murder him a week from that date in order to both avoid his suffering and to provide for his family by allowing them to claim life insurance. Intrigued, Fletch begins to investigate Stanwyck's claims, discovering that things may be tied in with the story he is investigating at the beach, and that a sinister police chief (Joe Don Baker) may also be involved...

Probably Chevy Chase's most well-known role after [[NationalLampoonsVacation Clark Griswold]], and something of a cult hit. Resulted in a sequel, ''Fletch Lives'', which took Fletch to The DeepSouth where he investigated intrigue around his family estate.

Has nothing to do with the British series ''{{Porridge}}'', the main character of which is also referred to as 'Fletch'.
!!Provides examples of:

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Inverted. In the novels, Fletch was a handsome, young, blond, extremely muscular man who could bed any woman he wanted. In the movies, he was played by a forty-something Chevy Chase who, while not exactly unhandsome, doesn't meet the other criteria that closely.
%%* AmateurSleuth
* AmoralAttorney: In both films, Fletch is bothered by his ex-wife's incredibly annoying alimony attorney Melvyn Gillette, who he despises almost as much as his ex-wife. (Supposedly, Melvin was able to get a rather unfair settlement in his wife's favor.) [[spoiler:Fletch gets even with him at the end of the second film, however, when he shows up offering to forego all future alimony payments (and never show his face there again) in exchange for the Belle Isle property, which he believes to be valuable. Fletch, barely able to contain his joy, happily signs over the land, which unbeknownst to Melvin is worthless and covered with toxic waste due to the events of the movie.]]
* AmericanGothicCouple: Stanwyck's parents, in essence if not in image.
* BavarianFireDrill: Fletch is quite fond of these. He's even capable of pulling them off by doing nothing but talking nonsense.
* CharacterNameAlias: Fletch uses several of them, often real people. Not everyone catches on.
** The Stanwycks remark at his being named after President UsefulNotes/HarryTruman.
** The doctor remarks as his having the same name as "[[{{Babar}} a childrens elephant]]."
*** "Is that with two "b"s?
*** "No. Yes. Just not right next to each other."
** Also used:
*** Igor Stravinsky (on the phone with a real estate agent)
*** G. Gordon Liddy
*** Music/TedNugent
*** [[TheGodfather Don Corleone]]
* ChekhovsGun: Or Chekhov's Lighter, really.
* CreepyPhysical: Fletch tries to bargain his way out of a rectal exam.
-->'''Fletch:''' ''[=MoooooooOOOOOOOOOOooooon river=]!'' ''(moments later)'' You using the whole fist, doc?
* {{Disneyesque}}: A dream sequence in the sequel.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Fletch goes from comical to darkly serious as the novels progress.
* DeadpanSnarker: Fletch. And how.
** For one example, the movie contains possibly the driest ever reading of the line "Thank God. The police."
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: Chief of Police Karlin is behind the drug running on the beach, along with Stanwyck. Most of the other cops who appear are pretty corrupt as well.]]
* [[EmbarrassingFirstName Embarrassing First]] AND [[EmbarrassingMiddleName Middle Name]]: Fletch gets quite irate if you call him 'Irwin'.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Alan Stanwyck. He is unfailingly polite when he first meets Fletch, but he obviously figures him to be a disposable lowlife.
* ForcedIntoEvil: Fat Sam and Gummy in the first movie. They are drug dealers, but it's made pretty clear that they're just low-level junkies being exploited and forced into dealing by people higher up the food chain. [[spoiler: Namely, Stanwyck and Chief Karlin.]]
* GloveSnap: A physician does this before giving Fletch a rectal examination.
* GuileHero: Fletch gets by solely on his cleverness and ability to fool people.
* IntrepidReporter: Fletch
* IHaveManyNames: Fletch
* ImagineSpot: Fletch as a Laker in the first film, a musical scene on the plantation in the second.
* IronicEcho: A visual example. [[spoiler: In the first scene where Stanwyck approaches Fletch, Stanwyck is in a smart suit and Fletch in a scruffy Lakers shirt and jeans. In the last scene, they've essentially switched clothing -- Stanwyck because he's actually planning on killing Fletch, Fletch because he's long since figured out that this is what Stanwyck's planning on doing. And because it's actually Stanwyck's suit, which Fletch acquired prior to sleeping with Stanwyck's wife.]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Stanwyck is planning to shoot Fletch, having lured him there with the whole "I'm dying and want you to kill me for the insurance" thing. He ends up getting shot and killed by the Chief, who he was double-crossing.]]
* TheKlan: Mocked in ''Fletch Lives''.
* LargeHam: Chevy Chase as Fletch.
* LastNameBasis: Hey, it's better than 'Irwin'.
* LookBehindYou: Fletch pulls this on a [[AngryGuardDog dog]], funnily enough.
%%* LoveableRogue
%%* MasterOfDisguise
* MirandaRights:
-->'''Fletch:''' You fellas wanna read me my rights?
-->'''Detective:''' You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to have your face kicked in by me. You have the right to have your balls stomped by him (''indicating his partner'').
-->'''Fletch:''' [[DeadpanSnarker I'll waive my rights]].
* NoHonorAmongThieves: How the villains are undone at the end. [[spoiler: Turns out Stanwyck, learning on the grapevine that Fletch's story was on the verge of blowing the drug smuggling at the beach wide open, decided to fake his death and flee to Rio with his wife (well, one of them) and several hundred thousand dollars that the Chief of Police had staked him for the next shipment. The Chief, naturally, was not overly pleased.]]
* OhCrap: At the end [[spoiler: when Fletch realizes that performing TheSummation on Stanwyck's scheme won't actually stop Stanwyck from, well, going through with his scheme.]]
--> '''Fletch''': Whoops.
--> '''Gail''' ''Whoops''? What do you mean, 'whoops'?! Don't say 'whoops'!
* OnlyOneName: Fletch. When asked for his full name, he gives "Fletch F. Fletch."
* PaperThinDisguise: Some of Fletch's disguises are quite intricate. Others require no more than the investment of $0.45 in a set of novelty teeth. If that.
** Lampshaded at the beginning, where Fletch remarks that going undercover as a junkie is strangely easy, but actually ''requires'' underplaying it rather than howling and drooling as you might be tempted to do as a stereotypical addict; "act like you don't give a crap, you fit right in."
* SequelNonEntity: Larry, Fletch's GirlFriday at the newspaper in ''Fletch'', is nowhere to be found in the sequel. Likewise with Gail Stanwyk, a sufferer of the CartwrightCurse. The same can't be said for Mr. Underhill, although he was DemotedToExtra (after being not much more than an extra in the first film), only appearing in a DreamSequence (and then only in a panoramic CrowdSong, at that!).
* SkeletonKeyCard: How he breaks into his own apartment (via a window, no less) in a failed attempt to evade his ex-wife's lawyer.
* TheStoner: Fletch's alias trying to investigate beach drug trade.
* UncleTomfoolery: Calculus Entropy. [[spoiler: It turns out to be an act and he is in fact an undercover FBI agent.]]