[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/full-metal-jacket.jpg]]

->''"These are great days we're living, bros. We are jolly green giants, walking the earth with guns. These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting."''
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'''''Full Metal Jacket''''' (1987) is the story of the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar as seen through the eyes of a U.S. Marine known to the audience as "Joker".

The film, directed by Creator/StanleyKubrick, is split into two parts. The first part follows James T. "Joker" Davis (Matthew Modine) alongside his fellow Marine recruits through boot camp as they suffer under the colorful [[DrillSergeantNasty Gunnery Sergeant Hartman]] (Creator/RLeeErmey), and the second part follows Joker's struggle to keep his humanity while he covers the Vietnam War as a combat correspondent during the Tet Offensive of 1968.

The film is [[TheFilmOfTheBook based on the semi-autobiographical novel]] ''The Short-Timers'' by former Marine Gustav Hasford, published in 1979. However, the script was co-written by Micheal Herr, who incorporated a large amount of his GonzoJournalism book "Dispatches from the Vietnam War". The result is an odd fusion; the plot is drawn from The Short-Timers, with the first half an extremely faithful adaptation and the second half an amalgamation of events from the second and third stories, while almost all the film's iconic dialog and surreal moments are taken word-for-word from Dispatches.

The title refers to the type of ammunition used by military rifles. A full metal jacket is a copper coating on the outside of a bullet that prevents it from deforming or breaking apart on impact (as well as keeping it from slowly filling the rifling with lead), as is required per the Hague Convention. According to the highest moral authority on the planet, it is acceptable to shoot people with these bullets (as opposed to bullets which are designed to deform or splinter when they hit their targets, which generally makes for a much nastier wound). This is referred to at the end of the first half of the story.

This is the only major Vietnam War film that focuses on urban warfare rather than the jungle.

Definitely not to be confused with ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' or ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''

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!!'''Provides examples of:'''

* AcousticLicense: The scene in the helicopter where Joker is interviewing a door gunner as he strafes the countryside. Everyone can hear each other as long as they SHOUT.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The Marine base at Da Nang comes under attack by the NVA as the Tet Offensive begins. The invasion is easily repelled, but this an exception in the middle of a general offensive all over the country.
* AntiVillain: Hartman is a jerk and treats his recruits like shit. But after all he's just doing his job to motivate the recruits properly to turn them into Marines.
-->'''Hartman''': My orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?
** The gunny himself lampshades this:
-->'''Hartman''': The more you hate me, the more you will learn.
** He also expresses genuine happiness when Pyle demonstrates his marksmanship with the M14. Unfortunately, by then, Pyle's already gone nuts.
* TheAllSolvingHammer: At first Hartman calmly tells [[spoiler: Pyle to place the weapon on the deck and step away]]. When Pyle doesn't comply, Hartman reverts to his default method of persuasion. The fact that Hartman's solution to [[spoiler: a clearly deranged recruit pointing a loaded rifle at him is to insult him]] seems to imply that he had gotten it in his head that he could solve any problem by yelling at it. Partially TruthInTelevision; while this is standard procedure in the military, and while it's taught that nine times out of ten a show of strong force will cause a person to back down, there is a world of difference between a show of force and needlessly insulting and antagonizing a seriously disturbed man with a loaded gun. Someone having a massive mental breakdown with a loaded gun is ''not'' what standard procedure is designed for.
** A bit of FridgeBrilliance for those that have been through training and understand the thought process. Hartman's attempts at resolving the situation with gentleness are obviously failing, so he attempted to use the conditioning to immediately follow orders that basic training is meant to instill. Sometimes, thinking can be the worst thing that you can do when your life is at stake, especially when the one giving orders has already likely done all the thinking you'd have done for you.
* ArmchairMilitary / [[SoldiersAtTheRear Marines At The Rear]]
** Lt. Lockhart, Joker's "Stars and Stripes" CO.
--->'''Joker''': Maybe you should go out on some ops yourself, sir. I'm sure you could find a lot more blood trails and drag marks.
--->'''Lockhart''': Joker, I've had my ass in the grass. Can't say I liked it much. Lots of bugs and too dangerous. As it happens, my present duties keep me where I belong; in the rear with the gear.
** When he's introduced, Rafterman is shown lamenting having to be this.
---> '''Rafterman''': I hate Da Nang, Joker. I want to go out into the field. I've been in country almost three months, and all I do is take handshake shots at award ceremonies.
* ArtisticLicenseBasicTraining: A few examples.
** The Marine Corps Rifleman's Creed that the recruits recite before lights out is an abridged version of the real one.
** RLeeErmey, formerly a real-life DrillSergeantNasty, once said in an interview, that a drill instructor would never slap, choke or punch a recruit (at least openly), even back in his day as a young Marine. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is also far more verbally abusive in the movie than what is permitted in real life.
** In the book Sergeant Gerheim (as he was known) isn't nearly as vulgar, but calls people into his office or the showers to beat them in private. He encourages other punishments -- some worse -- or orders the other recruits to perform them.
--->'''Gerheim''': Ready, Whiz!
** Ermey, in an interview, once recalled that story and pointed out that any DI who ever tried something like that would never have been able to command respect among his recruits again.
* AsianHookerStereotype: This movie is a famous example, arguably the TropeCodifier, with its infamous line "Me so horny. Me love you long time. Me sucky sucky".
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish: Likewise, "Me Love You Long Time."
* AssholeVictim: As much as Sgt. Hartman having to do his job (as mentioned above), it may be hard to feel sorry for him when [[spoiler: he gets killed by Private Pyle]].
* ATeamFiring: Sort of in the sniper scene. When [[spoiler:Eightball]] is shot, the group starts shooting at the two front buildings. Then [[spoiler:Doc Jay]] goes to recover him and gets shot too. Then when Animal Mother reaches them, he realizes that [[spoiler:there's only a lone sniper, far back in a distant building, and that they've wasted bullets shooting at literally nothing.]]. Justified as it's meant as suppression fire.
* AteHisGun: [[spoiler: Private Pyle; it provides the ImageSource.]]
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler: Private Pyle becomes this near the end of the first part, though he only kills one other person.]]
* BadassBandolier: Animal Mother has two bandoliers of ammo for his M-60 crossed over his torso. Other Marines can also be seen carrying bandoliers holding extra ammo for their weapons as well.
* BadassBoast:
** "[[BlasphemousBoast God has a hard-on for Marines]] because we kill everything we see! He plays His games, we play ours! To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh souls!"
** [[SociopathicSoldier The Door Gunner]] also thinks his deeds are something to brag about.
--->'''Door Gunner''' You guys ought to do a story about me sometime [...] cause I'm so fucking good! That ain't no shit, neither. I've done got me 157 dead gooks killed and 50 water buffaloes, too! Them are all certified.
* BadBoss: Hartman is an unforgiving sergeant who goes around insulting, punching, punishing, and yelling at his recruits, would-be soldiers he intends to weed out.
* BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil: Or rather [[spoiler:having a blanket party thrown on you makes you evil]].
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: Inverted. A Vietnamese prostitute does not want to have sex with 8-Ball, a black Marine, at first because he is "too beaucoup."
* BigDamnHeroes: Rafterman shooting the VC sniper when the sniper has Joker pinned.
* BigNo: Joker lets one out right before [[spoiler: Pyle commits suicide.]]
* BittersweetEnding: The war ain't over yet, and Joker's got a whole lot more hell in store for him, he's in a [[ArcWords world of shit]], but he's not afraid and he's happy to be alive.
* BlackComedy: Plenty of ComedicSociopathy remarks from the Marines.
-->'''Joker''': I wanted to see exotic Vietnam... the jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture... [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and kill them]]. I wanted to be the first kid on my block [[BloodKnight to get a confirmed kill]].[[note]]This is actually intended as biting sarcasm blasting the gross inhumanity of war, as Joker clearly seems to have a problem with disrespecting people even if they're enemies. Considering these lines come between the time in the film when he shows obvious offense over the door gunner on the helicopter murdering fleeing innocents in cold blood for sport and when he wants to put a suffering enemy out of her misery rather than let her die a slow and painful death, it's much more likely to be social commentary pointing out said inhumanity than his actual feelings on why he joined the military. Joker isn't a BloodKnight, he's a WarriorPoet.[[/note]]
* BlackComedyRape: Male on female. Not actual rape but a joke about it. While in the barracks, Stork, a white Marine jokes with Payback, a black Marine, "How do you stop five black men from [[WhereDaWhiteWomenAt raping a white woman]]?" Answer: "Throw them a basketball."
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: [[spoiler: Corporal Eightball]] is the one sent to do recon and the first to be gunned down by the sniper. He's [[GenreSavvy helplessly aware of the trope]].
--> "Put a nigger behind the trigger."
* BlackIsBiggerInBed: "No boom-boom with the soul brother". At one point, a hooker initially refuses to sleep with an African-American man because of his so-called "Alabama blacksnake". 8-ball has to graphically debunk it.
* BloodKnight: Joker claims that he joined the Corps to be a killer. However, he's probably being sarcastic, since he's a military journalist, and [[spoiler:when he has to perform a MercyKill, he finds it very hard]]. Straighter examples in Animal Mother and Crazy Earl.
-->'''Crazy Earl:''' I will never forget this day. The day I came to Hue City and fought one million N.V.A. gooks. I love the little Commie bastards, man, I really do. These enemy grunts are as hard as slant-eyed drill instructors. These are great days we're living, bros! We are jolly green giants, walking the earth with guns. These people we wasted here today ... are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting.
* BoobyTrap: An extremely dastardly one, to boot. [[spoiler:A stuffed rabbit attached to a hidden antipersonnel mine, the sort of thing that was all too common in the real war.]]
* [[BreakTheCutie Break the Fatty]]: Private Gomer Pyle gets it worse than the rest of the recruits due to being overweight and mentally slow, most of it at the hands of the original DrillSergeantNasty. The worst of it comes when [[spoiler: the other recruits, pissed off after the entire platoon was punished due to Hartman finding a jelly doughnut in Pyle's foot locker, throw him a blanket party by pinning him to his bunk with a blanket and beating the crap out of him with bars of soap wrapped in bath towels]]. All this eventually leads to [[spoiler:his psychotic breakdown, his murder of Hartman and his ultimate suicide]].
* BrickJoke:
** In a meeting with his fellow "Stars and Stripes" personnel, Joker and the other Marines are being informed by their CO, Lt. Lockhart, of upcoming events, one of which is a USO visit by actress, Ann-Margret. A few scenes later, after being informed by Lt. Lockhart about the Tet offensive by the NVA and how bad the situation is, Joker, asks, after a few moments of silence, [[MoodWhiplash "Sir, does this mean that Ann-Margret's not coming?"]]
** The whole bit about Joker wanting to bang Cowboy's sister. It's the first thing they reminisce about when they reunite in Vietnam.
* BrokenRecord: ''"Shoot..me...shoot...me..."''
* CallBack: Several:
** Joker references actor JohnWayne during both segments. First in the boot camp segment, in his very first line in the film, when he says out loud and in Wayne's voice, after Gunny Hartman's opening speech, "Is that you, John Wayne? Is this me?". He repeats the line later during the Vietnam segment, while the Marines are being filmed while going into Hue to take the city back from the NVA.
** "A world of shit". Gunny Hartman first tells the recruits during marksmanship training that this is what they will be in if they hesitate in combat. It's referred to at the end of both of segments. At the end of the boot camp segment, Joker, after, [[spoiler: finding the crazy Leonard in the head with his rifle, tell him that if Hartman catches them, they'll "both be in a world of shit" to which Leonard replies, "[[PunctuatedForEmphasis I AM...in a world...of shit.]]"]] At the end of the Vietnam segment, Joker says, during his closing narration, "I am in a world of shit."
** Gunny Hartman said to the recruits when they got their rifles: "You will give your rifle a girl's name! Because this is the only pussy you people are going to get! Your days of finger-banging old Mary Jane Rottencrotch through her pretty pink panties are over!" In the closing narration, Joker says: "My thoughts drift back to erect nipple wet dreams about Mary Jane Rottencrotch and the Great Homecoming Fuck Fantasy."
** The RealLife Marine Corps Rifleman's Creed. An abridged version is first said by the recruits in unison as they're lying in bed before lights out. It's later repeated [[spoiler: partially and very loudly by Leonard after he snaps and is in the head with his rifle]].
** MickeyMouse is referred to at the end of both segments. At the end of the boot camp segment, Gunny Hartman yells "What is this Mickey Mouse shit." At the end of the Vietnam segment, the Marines are singing the theme song to ''TheMickeyMouseClub'' as they march away from the burning city of Hue. Also a FreezeFrameBonus: look toward the background of Lt. Lockhart's office at the right time and guess what you'll see? Figurines of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
** Probably the darkest call back of the whole movie. Joker gets heckled for claiming he's seen combat when the veterans listen to his [[BadassBoast badass boasts.]] Payback calls B.S. on him because he doesn't have the thousand-yard-stare. Much later, in the last moments of the movie, [[spoiler: Joker wills himself to finish off a teenage sniper... and as the tension and shock from pulling the trigger wears off, he's transfixed with a thousand-yard-stare of his own.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: London for both Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and for Vietnam.
* CampFollower: There are two scenes in the movie focused on prostitution.
* CargoShip: In-universe example. Gunny Hartman orders the recruits to give their rifle a girl's name "Because this is the only pussy you people are going to get!" Private Pyle, after he goes insane, seems more than a little doting over his rifle (Charlene, if you were wondering).
* ChewingTheScenery: ''"[[DissonantSerenity Hiiiiiiii...]][[SlasherSmile Jooooooookerrrrrrrr..."]]''
** That entire scene in the bathroom, really, capped off with Pyle at his [[LargeHam hammiest]] executing rifle drills and loudly belting out the Rifleman's Creed.
* ClusterFBomb: The scene introducing Gunny Hartman. To be blunt, the whole movie is peppered with these, but it's fully justified in that these are ''Marines''.
* ColdSniper: The Viet Cong sniper at the end of the movie.
* ComicalAngryFace: Hartman finds Joker's "war face" unconvincing.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
-->'''Joker''': How can you shoot women and children?
-->'''Door gunner''': Easy. You just don't lead 'em so much.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Hartman reacts to Pyle taking a jelly donut by... forcing him to eat while everyone else does pushups (he does so nearly crying... [[spoiler: but goes on to actually do that when they respond by tying him down to his bunk and beat him with bars of soap).]]
* CoupDeGrace: [[spoiler:Joker gives one to the teenage VC sniper despite the rest of his squad wanting to leave her to die]].
* CreatorCameo: Stanley Kubrick is Murph, the voice on the other end of the radio when Joker's squad calls for tank support.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: Hartman makes threats like: "I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!" and "I will gouge out your eyeballs and skullfuck you!" and "I will PT you all so hard, your asses will be sucking buttermilk!"
* ADateWithRosiePalms: How [[MeaningfulName Hand Job]] got his nickname.
-->'''Cowboy''': Tough break for Hand Job. He was all set to get shipped out on a medical.\\
'''Joker''': What was the matter with him?\\
'''Cowboy''': He was jerkin' off ten times a day.\\
'''Eightball''': No shit. At ''least'' ten times a day.\\
'''Cowboy''': Last week he was sent down to Da Nang to see the Navy head shrinker, and the crazy fucker starts jerking off in the waiting room. Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for his papers to clear division.
* DeadlyEuphemism: Openly admitted to by Lt. Lockhart when he tells one of the "Stars and Stripes" Marines to substitute the phrase "Search and Destroy" with "Sweep and Clear".
* DeadpanSnarker: Joker. (Hence, his name.) Which sticks with him after boot camp which usually doesn't happen since most nicknames are derogatory. In this case, Joker probably liked the name enough to possibly introduce himself to the other Marines at Stars and Stripes, making himself even more a Joker.
* DeathByIrony:
** [[spoiler: Gunny Hartman]]. More emphasis on this in the book than in the movie. In the book, when he gets shot, before he dies, he says "[[spoiler: Private Pyle, I'm so proud." (He's glad that was finally able to make him a killer, which he had been struggling to do all through boot camp.)]]
** [[spoiler: Hand Job]] [[{{Retirony}} had just qualified for a Section 8]]. Too bad the papers didn't get processed sooner.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: The Hotel company keeps a dead ''Vietnamese soldier'' resting with them. They are otherwise respectful towards him, as he is considered a WorthyAdversary.
* DeepSouth: Invoked by Gunny Hartman when he gives Cowboy his nickname, saying "Only steers and queers come from Texas."
* DeliberateValuesDissonance:
** In the 1960s it was acceptable for Drill Sergeants to strike recruits, but no longer.
** Same goes for the infamous "This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for fighting, this is for fun."
** Also applies to the "Eskimo pussy is mighty cold" cadence that the recruits chant while running. In general, this was a lot more common before women were integrated into the US military in the 1970's. The military was allowed to get away with chanting cadences that had more sexual references or sex related humor in them.
** There's also the way Black marines were treated and the usage of the N-word.
* DeusExMachina: When confronting the VC sniper, Joker prepares to fire but hears an empty click, alerting the sniper to his presence. He is able to take cover from the sniper's intense fire and feebly pulls a pistol out, [[spoiler:but Rafterman shoots and mortally wounds the sniper]].
* DiesWideOpen: [[spoiler: Cowboy.]]
* DontCelebrateJustYet: [[spoiler: The night past the graduation, Pyle kills Hartman and himself.]]
* DrillSergeantNasty: R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is the TropeCodifier (he also provides the Page Quote and the Page Image) and is close to an UnbuiltTrope since he fails to notice the SanitySlippage of one of his recruits and the instruction [[GoneHorriblyRight goes horribly right]] for him. Ermey was an actual Marine Drill instructor in the sixties and his performance is TruthInTelevision; Marine drill instructors regularly use very similar hilariously over-the-top instruction in an attempt to get officer candidates to smile, laugh, or otherwise break attention. Originally brought in to advise the actor playing [=GySgt.=] Hartman on how to be more convincing, he recorded a videotape of himself yelling insults at a group of British Royal Marines. His performance was so impressive that he got the role instead. Ermey was allowed to write or ad-lib many of his own lines by acknowledged ControlFreak Creator/StanleyKubrick and [[{{Defictionalization}} later got promoted to Gunnery Sergeant]] - in 2002, 30 years ''after'' he had already been discharged.
* EmpathyDollShot: [[spoiler: Subverted. One of the Marines finds an oversized stuffed rabbit lying in the rubble of Hue, and picks it up out of confusion. It's attached to an ''antipersonnel mine''. Boom.]]
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: The TimeSkip after boot camp is illustrated by Joker sporting a full head of relatively wild hair.
* FalseDichotomy: [[MemeticMutation Only two things come from Texas...]]
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel, "The Short Timers" by Gustav Hasford.
* FloweryInsults: Hartman's whole shtick.
* {{Main/Foreshadowing}}: Hartman gloats about the Marine-taught shooting prowess of university-shooter [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman Charles Whitman]] and [[WhoShotJFK Lee Harvey Oswald]] before [[spoiler:Leonard "Pyle" Lawrence becomes a sociopathic murderer himself, under (and perhaps because of) Hartman's own tutelage.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Invoked by Gunny Hartman to Leonard/Pyle. [[spoiler:Doubles as FamousLastWords, as Leonard kills him after.]]
--> '''Hartman''': What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn't mommy and daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?
* GeneralRipper: The colonel who gives Joker grief over the peace-symbol button he's wearing.
-->"Inside every Vietnamese is an American fighting to get out."
* TheGenericGuy: Doc Jay, Donlon and Rock.
* GenreSavvy: Cowboy knows better than to try recovering the wounded Marines shot by the sniper because he knows from experience that the sniper is just trying to lure them into the line of fire one by one. [[MilitaryMaverick Animal Mother]], on the other hand, though not GenreBlind, just doesn't care. After all, his best friends are getting shot up.
** Joker handles [[spoiler: Pyle's breakdown]] ''decidedly'' better than [[spoiler: [[TooDumbToLive Hartman]]]] does. [[spoiler: Calling Pyle by his real name (Leonard) is probably what spares him a similar fate since Pyle has his gun pointed at Joker up until that point.]]
* GirlishPigtails: [[spoiler: The Sniper. And they're braided.]]
* GoneHorriblyRight: Hartman's goal is to turn the new recruits into remorseless killing machines. In Pyle's case, he succeeds [[AxeCrazy all too well]].
* GoryDiscretionShot: Averted for the most part, it's a Kubrick film, but played straight with [[spoiler:The Sniper's]] death.
* GraduationForEveryone: Pyle included [[spoiler: though [[DontCelebrateJustYet he does not live a full day longer]].]]
* HairTriggerTemper: Sergeant Hartman.
* HalfwayPlotSwitch: Joker and Cowboy are the only things connecting the boot camp plotline to the Vietnam plotline.
* HandGun: Joker pulls out his sidearm, a [[CoolGuns/{{Handguns}} M1911]] when confronting the sniper after finding out his M16 is out of ammo. Later uses it to finish her off.
* HatesEveryoneEqually: Part of the job for a DrillSergeantNasty, according to Hartman:
-->'''Gunnery Sgt. Hartman''': Because I am hard, you will not ''like me''. The more you hate me the more you will learn. I am hard, but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here! I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers! Here you are '''all''' equally worthless!
* HateSink: Lee Ermey was trying to play Hartman as this. Some [[MisaimedFandom didn't get it.]]
* HopeSpot: Leonard actually starts improving as a marine when Hartman puts him under the tutelage of Joker. [[spoiler: Then Hartman finds that jelly donut in Leonard's footlocker and it all goes seriously downhill from there...]]
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: The second Vietnamese prostitute is a petite young woman (Cowboy greets her with "Good morning, little schoolgirl!") Next to Animal Mother (played by the 6'4 tall Adam Baldwin), she looks like a child.
* HypocriticalHumor: Hartman says there's no place for racial discrimination in the Marines before launching into a stream of racial slurs.
* ICallItVera: Enforced by [=GySgt=] Hartman, taken very seriously by Pvt. Pyle.
* IKnowMortalKombat: Joked about by Joker when he meets Animal Mother.
-->'''Animal Mother''': You seen any combat?
-->'''Joker''': Seen a little on TV.
* ImportantHaircut: The opening montage is of new recruits with many varied hairstyles, colours, lengths, etc undergoing the ritual head shave of the Marines, emerging with identical buzzcuts.
* ImprovisedWeapon: When Leonard shows that he's not quite making the cut in boot, even under Joker's tutelage, the recruits each wrap their soap bars into a towel, making what's essentially a low-end blackjack. One recruit gags Leonard with a towel, and the rest quickly take turns hitting Leonard once apiece, except Joker, who hesitates and then furiously hits Leonard several times. Joker was the one who wasboth trying desperately to get Leonard to get up to snuff, and failed to motivate him to do so.
* IntimidationDemonstration: After a Vietnamese boy steals a camera and tosses it to his friend on a bike, he turns around and starts doing a series of palm strikes in the air and making fierce screams, then does a spin kick. Joker then proceeds to imitate him from a distance...with a single, half-assed jumpkick.
* IronicNickname: Hartman nicknames a black recruit "Private Snowball." Doubles as a DehumanizingInsult, since "Snowball" is a (then outdated, now archaic) mild ethnic slur, and dehumanization, or at least depersonalization, is pretty much the whole point.
* {{Irony}}: Joker puts a peace sign in his helmet, on which is written "Born to Kill" ("I think I was trying to suggest something about [[CarlJung the duality of man]], sir.")
** Courtesy of Sgt. Hartman: "There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers."
* JustPlaneWrong: A minor offender - the helicopter which transports Joker and Rafter Man to Hue is British built Westland Wessex - a licence variant of Sikorsky HUS-1/UH-34 used by the USMC in the war, but powered by turboshaft engines and thus with minor yet visible visual differences.
* KarmaHoudini: The Door Gunner.
* KickTheDog: The [[ObligatoryWarCrimeScene Door Gunner]] is not happy enough killing unarmed civilians, he also goes out of his way to kill their water buffaloes, all of said kills being certified.
** The entire platoon gets one when they torture poor Pyle with the blanket party.
* KillHimAlready: The discussion over [[spoiler: the VC sniper]].
* KubrickStare: As per the usual in Kubrick films. Pvt. Pyle starts exhibiting these as signs of his descent into insanity, pulling off a [[http://www.craveonline.com/images/stories/2011/2012/October/Film/Myth%20of%20Macho/Full%20Metal%20Jacket/Full_Metal_Jacket_Vincent_Donofrio.jpg chilling one]] when receiving his Military Occupational Specialty assignment, and greeting Joker with [[https://i.ytimg.com/vi/6hkNuykz2RE/maxresdefault.jpg an extremely disturbing one]] when Joker finds him in the bathroom.
* LargeHam: Hartman, [[NoIndoorVoice of course]].
** A mentally unstable Pyle dramatically executing drill commands with his rifle and loudly reciting the Rifleman's Creed.
* LeadTheTarget: The door gunner's procedure regarding slower and smaller targets... if you want to shoot women and children, you just don't lead them so much.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
-->'''Cowboy''': Hey, start the cameras. This is ''Vietnam: The Movie!''\\
'''Eightball''': Yeah, Joker can be John Wayne. I'll be a horse!\\
'''Donlon''': T.H.E. Rock can be a rock!\\
'''T.H.E. Rock''': I'll be Ann-Margret!\\
'''Doc Jay''': Animal Mother can be a rabid buffalo!\\
'''Crazy Earl''': I'll be General Custer!\\
'''Rafterman''': Well, who'll be the Indians?\\
'''Animal Mother''': Hey, we'll let the gooks play the Indians!
* LittleMissBadass: [[spoiler: The sniper. Deconstructed in that, once the marines get their shit together, it doesn't really take a whole lot for them to turn the tables on her.]]
* TheLoad: Pvt. Pyle is the only one who can't pull his own weight in the group (quite literally), and this trope gets played even straighter when the rest of the recruits get punished on Pyle's behalf when he screws up.
* {{Malaproper}}: Lee Harvey Oswald shot "from that book ''suppository'' building, sir!"
* MamaBear: Rafterman's mom, as mentioned by Joker, when Rafterman is lamenting being [[SoldiersAtTheRear stuck in the rear]].
-->'''Rafterman''': A high school girl could do my job. I want to get out into the shit. I want to get some trigger time.
-->'''Joker''': If you get killed, your mom will find me after I rotate back to the world and she'll beat the shit out of me. That's a negative, Rafterman.
* ManHug: Joker and Cowboy share a rather heartfelt one when they are reunited.
* MeaningfulName / PunnyName: Courtesy of TheNicknamer Sgt. Hartman, some soldiers are OnlyKnownByTheirNickname:
** Private Joker, "a fucking comedian".
** Private Cowboy, from Texas, where "steers and queers" roam the plains.
* TheMedic: Doc Jay.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: The VC sniper asks for this. Joker eventually performs it, and the rest of the squad compliment him on his cold-blooded killing, when it was really an act of mercy.]]
* MilitaryMaverick: Animal Mother, who responds to Cowboy's order to stay put with "Fuck you".
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: It rates a relatively hard 8, because of the slow-motion blood spurts and [[spoiler:the brain-matter-splattering suicide scene]].
* MoodWhiplash:
** In-universe, done intentionally by Joker. In a meeting with his fellow "Stars and Stripes" Marines, after being informed by Lt. Lockhart about the Tet offensive by the NVA and how bad the situation is, Joker, asks, after a few moments of silence, "[[BrickJoke Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?]]"
** There are numerous mood whiplashes in the film: 1. The opening 3-4 minutes with the heads being shaved followed by Hartman's rant are somewhat amusing. We could all relate to Pyle's stupid little grin, until he's choked and asked "are you through grinning yet?" He is, and so is the audience. 2. Rounds and rounds of fire being exchanged, cease fire, tense moments of silence...then "Surfer Bird." 3. Standing over the body of their dead commander: "you're going home now". "Semper Fi". "We're mean Marines sir". "Better you than me."
** After the horrific MurderSuicide, the next shot is of the hooker walking to the tune of "These Boots Are Make for Walkin'".
* MoreDakka:
** Animal Mother and his [=M60=].
** The Door Gunner taking potshots at civilians.
* MortonsFork: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and [[DefiedTrope defied]] when Hartman asks Joker whether he believes in the Virgin Mary. When Joker says no, Hartman slaps him and then asks him again whether he now believes in the Virgin Mary. Joker still answers no, explaining that he believes the drill sergeant will only punish him harder for reversing himself. Hartman [[TakingaThirdOption responds by]] [[ThePeterPrinciple promoting Joker to squad leader]], stating that "Private Joker is silly and ignorant, but he's got guts, and guts is enough."
* MurderSuicide: After [[spoiler: Private Pyle kills Sgt. Hartman, he seems to realize that he'll be severely punished, perhaps even executed, for his crime, and shoots himself in the mouth. Or, he's just in a World of Shit and doesn't want to live anymore regardless]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Pyle is [[spoiler: Main/DrivenToSuicide]] after he shoots Hartman, realizing what punishments could lie ahead.
* MySisterIsOffLimits:
** After meeting Joker, Hartman sarcastically tells him that "you can come over to my house and fuck my sister." Followed by a punch to Joker's gut.
** Subverted; while cleaning the head (bathroom) Joker says to Cowboy "I wanna slip my tube steak into your sister. What'll you take in trade?" to which Cowboy simply replies "What've you got?" Cowboy later brings it up again in Vietnam when he asks if Joker has been getting any, to which Joker replies, "Only your sister".
* NaiveNewcomer: Rafterman receives a healthy dose of exposition.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Not quite a trailer, but the film was promoted with an official StupidStatementDanceMix of the same title which was a big hit in the UK. Not only did it imply the film was more of a knockabout comedy, it was also entirely unrepresentative of the movie's actual soundtrack.
* NiceHat: Sgt Hartman is never once seen without his hat. Even in the bathroom confrontation. (TruthInTelevision: Try and find a USMC Drill Instructor without his campaign cover. While Marines don't wear covers indoors except under arms, DI's are a notable exception.)
* TheNicknamer: [=GySgt.=] Hartman. His nicknames stick, even after the candidates graduate from boot camp.
* NicknamingTheEnemy: The Marines casually use the disparaging word "gook" more often than "Vietnamese". The neutral moniker "Charlie" is also used sporadically.
* NoIndoorVoice: Hartman yells at the top of his voice when he gets his dander up.
* NothingPersonal: Discussed by Joker and Rafterman about the South Vietnamese.
--> '''Rafterman''': You know what really pisses me off about these people?
--> '''Joker''': What?
--> '''Rafterman''': We're supposed to be helping them, and they shit all over us every chance they get. I just can't feature that.
--> '''Joker''': Don't take it too hard, Rafterman, it's just business.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Cowboy actually wants to leave [[spoiler:Eightball and Doc Jay]] behind, realizing that they can't save them anyway, and the sniper is trying to lure the rest of the Marines out. However, Animal Mother refuses to follow his orders.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06nIz4scvI door gunner]] for the Americans. The mass grave for the Vietcong.
* OhCrap:
** Hartman, upon being informed that [[spoiler: Private Pyle has a full magazine, and is locked and loaded.]]
** Joker as well when he realizes the same.
--> '''Joker''': [[spoiler: "Are those ''live'' rounds?"]]
** Animal Mother, when his attempt to [[spoiler: rescue Eightball and Doc Jay leads to their deaths and a near-miss with the sniper.]]
** Joker, when he [[spoiler: tries to shoot the VC sniper in the back, only to hear a click, indicating he's out of ammo and letting the sniper know he's there.]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Most of the Marines. Joker, Cowboy, Rafterman, Animal Mother, and 8Ball.
* ParentalIncest: Joked about by Cowboy after he meets up with Joker in Vietnam.
--> '''Cowboy''': Been getting any?
--> '''Joker''': Only your sister.
--> '''Cowboy''': Well, better my sister than my mom, and my mom ain't bad.
* PetTheDog: Hartman gives Pyle a genuine compliment as he observes him at the rifle range.
-->'''Hartman:''' Outstanding, Private Pyle. I think we finally found something that you do well!
** There is a cruel subversion earlier on. At one point Hartman sings "Happy Birthday" to the parade, implying that it is a special day for one of the recruits, only he ends it with "Happy Birthday Dear Jesus" and it's Christmas... with no letters or presents, just a mandatory chapel service.
* PinnedDown: By a sniper. The end result isn't pretty.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Averted.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: All of the soldiers are openly racist.
* PropagandaMachine: The ''Stars and Stripes'', which hires Joker.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: Pyle does it twice.
** "Seven-six-two millimeter. [[TitleDrop Full. Metal. Jacket.]]"
** "I ''AM''... in a world... of shit."
* ARealManIsAKiller: An implicit motto of the Corps, which serves to underscore the dehumanization motifs. The recruits stop being pukes and maggots when they become Marines, the Marines want killers, not robots, and a full-fledged Marine only hatches after gaining the ThousandYardStare, often associated with his first kill.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Part of a DrillSergeantNasty's job. Most of Gunny Hartman's dialogue is this, but especially his opening speech upon meeting the new recruits.
* RatedMForManly: While the movie is a deconstruction of the tribal, primal nature of war and the military with some over-the-top elements that verge on TestosteronePoisoning, there are still plenty of gutsy themes associated with traditional masculinity as well such as hijinks mixed with strength or bravery and vitriolic comradeship.
* RefugeInAudacity: When confronted by Hartman, Joker sticks to his skepticism regarding the Virgin Mary because he (correctly) identifies the situation as a MortonsFork where he would be punished ''more'' if he changes his stance. Hartman is impressed and immediately promotes him to squad leader.
-->'''Sgt. Hartman: ''' Private Joker is silly and he's ignorant but he has guts, and guts is enough.
* {{Reveille}}: Reveille is featured in the boot camp act.
-->'''Hartman:''' Reveille! Reveille! Reveille! Drop your cocks and grab your socks!
* RightHandVersusLeftHand: Private Pyle has trouble distinguishing left from right. So Hartman decides to literally slap a sense of direction into him.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Animal Mother's hail of gunfire, punctuated by bellicose swearing as he chases after the sniper.
* SadisticChoice: As a result of the PinnedDown situation described above. [[spoiler:Do you watch your friend scream in agony as a sniper continues to riddle his body with bullets, or run out to help him, likely getting yourself killed as well as a result?]]
* SamusIsAGirl: The sniper.
* SanitySlippage: Pvt. Pyle can't hack it until he gets broken, gradually becoming a deranged and alienated sociopath afterwards.
* SceneryGorn: The bombed out city of Hue.
* SchmuckBait: [[spoiler: Crazy Earl falls for a booby-trapped stuffed rabbit in the middle of a wrecked building, and dies when he trips the bomb.]]
* ScrewTheWarWerePartying:
** Whoring and comparing body counts are the most popular hobbies in 'Nam.
** Inverted by the Viet Cong, as they launch the Tet offensive during the Vietnamese New Year to surprise the Americans, who had assumed the party would halt the warring. Joker brings up rumors about a breaking of the cease-fire agreement, but his Lieutenant [[CassandraTruth disregards it]].
* SemperFi: Gunny Hartman believes that the Marines are an elite unit of killers. However, the Marines we see in Vietnam are largely disorganized and demotivated, and they aren't very effective against the VC sniper [[spoiler:who turns out to be a teenage girl.]]
* SeveredHeadSports: A deleted scene showed soldiers playing soccer with a severed head.
* ShesGotLegs: The Da Nang prostitute.
* ShootEverythingThatMoves: The door gunner certainly qualifies. "Anyone who runs is a VC! [[ComedicSociopathy Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC!]]"
* ShoutOut:
** Lawrence of what? [[Film/LawrenceOfArabia of Arabia?]] [...] only sailors and faggots are called Lawrence.
** Gomer Pyle is a young character in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'', who left to join the Marines in his own [[Series/GomerPyleUSMC spinoff sitcom]].
** Joker's fondness of JohnWayne. His "pilgrim" imitation comes from ''Film/TheManWhoShotLibertyValance''.
** The lateral travelling shots where a crew is filming the soldiers is an homage to a similar scene in ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
** There are several loving homages to the 1957 film ''TheDI'', staring [[{{Franchise/Dragnet}} Jack Webb]].
** Joker name drops CarlJung, whose psychological theory emphasizes that a healthy man embraces his feminine side. Contrary to that, the film is awash in symbolic (and at the end, very literal) instances of degradation and destruction of the feminine, because according to the Marine Corps, ARealManIsAKiller.
* SirSwearsALot:
** [[DrillSergeantNasty You get three guesses, and the first two don't count]].
** Animal Mother qualifies to a fault, especially when pissed.
* ShownTheirWork: Except for some minor inaccuracies here and there, the film shows Kubrick's usual meticulousness applied to a military setting, right down to the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN_us-YBMZM chants and barracks]]. It's a testament to the work that even decades after its 1987 release, modern recruits get some savviness about what to expect in training thanks to the film, which is a period piece of the 60s.
* SlasherSmile: Pvt. Pyle sports one when Joker finds him with his rifle.
-->"Hiiiii.. Jooooker..."
* [[SociopathicSoldier Sociopathic Marine]]: Omnipresent, and usually of type 1 and/or 3.
** Where do we ''start''... [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Animal Mother]] is probably the most spectacular example, as is the Door Gunner who shoots up rice paddies and farmers.
** The entire ''point'' of the film. [[spoiler: See how Leonard has to become crazy to be a ''good soldier''.]] This is keeping with the concept of dehumanization.
** Hartman gloats about the Marine-taught shooting prowess of university-shooter [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman Charles Whitman]] and [[WhoShotJFK Lee Harvey Oswald]]. Doubly obnoxious because Whitman's massacre would have been barely a year old by the time the movie was set.
*** Hartman himself gets a few minor examples in that some of the disciplinary tactics he reserves for Pyle arguably cross into psychological abuse territory.
* SockItToThem: The infamous "blanket party" scene, where everyone [[spoiler: puts a bar of soap in a sock, and participates in a run-by pummeling of Leonard]].
* SoundOff: You'll hear some Jody calls during the first act, and you'll also hear the ''Mickey Mouse Club'' theme song used as a marching song in the second act.
* SoundtrackDissonance:
** The film opens with the song "Hello Vietnam" by Johnnie Wright, which idealistically describes the war in Vietnam as a noble endeavor to preserve freedom.
** "Surfin Bird" by The Trashmen plays as the camera pans over a bleak, wasteland-like firing line.
** Also:
-->''Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?\\
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!''
** In the actual Vietnam War, an obscene variant of that song was popular among troops, with the famous refrain being replaced with "F-U-C-K-E-D A-G-A-I-N!"
** "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups plays before the Marine base gets attacked by the NVA in the Tet offensive.
** Nancy Sinatra's feminist anthem "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" with a Da Nang prostitute.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Rafterman is run over by a tank in the book.
** Cowboy is spared in the sense that his death is much quicker (by a single shot) in the film. In the book, he runs into the ambush and mercy-kills the wounded men, but before he can kill himself, the sniper shoots his pistol out of his hand and wounds him repeatedly. Joker then mercy-kills him in turn.
* StarterVillain: Hartman is only there for the first act but he's as close to a villain as the movie gets.
* StrawmanNewsMedia: Minor examples of both of Type 2 and Type 3 with Lt. Lockhart. He explains to Joker that the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper needs to run positive stories about the war because of the negative stories being run by the media back in the States.
** Type 2
-->'''Lockhart''': Joker, I've told you, we run two basic stories here; grunts who give half their pay to buy gooks toothbrushes and deodorants; winning of hearts and minds--okay? And combat action that results in a kill; winning the war.
** Type 3
--> '''Lockhart''': Joker, maybe you'd like our guys to read the paper and feel bad. I mean, in case you didn't know it, this is not a particularly popular war, and it's our job to report the news that the "why-are-we-here" civilian newsmen ignore.
** Their motto is seen in a banner : "First to Go Last to Know: [[Creator/{{Voltaire}} We Will Defend to the Death our Right]] to be Misinformed."
* {{Streetwalker}}: The Da Nang prostitute.
* TakeThat: Hartman unleashing his inner critic on Lawrence:
-->'''Hartman:''' You're so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece!
* TankGoodness: Played straight during the scenes where the Marines are approaching Hue and entering Hue. Subverted during the PinnedDown scene where Cowboy attempts to call in tank support only to be told they have to wait.
* TanksButNoTanks: Also a minor offender - during combat in Hue City, the tanks employed are actually light tanks M41 Walker Bulldog[[note]]This type was used in combat only by the ARVN during the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar[[/note]], not M48 Patton medium tanks used by the USMC tank battalions in the {{Real Life}} battle. On the other hand, M41 is visually quite similar to M48, and both camera angles used and editing made very difficult to actually notice the difference when casually watching the film.
* TemptingFate: Happens subtly. "I am fucking bored to death, man!" Not for long, you aren't.
* ThousandYardStare: Payback says that you can see that Joker is a new guy, because he hasn't got the thousand-yard stare. "A Marine gets it after he's been in the shit for too long. It's like... it's like you've really seen beyond. I got it. All field Marines got it." Joker ends up getting it too [[spoiler:after he kills the Viet Cong sniper]].
* ThatsAnOrder: Said by Cowboy to Animal Mother when Cowboy tells him to wait for the tank and not to try recovering the wounded Marines shot by the sniper, to which [[MilitaryMaverick Animal Mother]] responds with a big "fuck you".
* TitleDrop: Courtesy of Leonard, as he talks lovingly (and creepily) about the ammunition for his rifle. So very Kubrickian.
* TooDumbToLive:
** Yes, continue to [[spoiler:''taunt'' the broken and apparently psychotic recruit who is pointing a loaded weapon at you.]]
** Noble as it may be, when you've just seen someone shot by a sniper, it's probably wise not to walk into the same line of fire to recover him.
** Hey, [[spoiler: Cowboy, maybe you shouldn't hide behind the part of the wall with a big hole in it. *BAM*]] Never mind.
* TookALevelInBadass: Pyle, believe it or not. He loses weight and learns how to act like a Marine after he gets a harsh lesson in conformity from his fellow recruits. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, he turns AxCrazy at the same time.]]
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Played with by Gunny Hartman when he tells a black recruit named [[IronicNickname Private Snowball]] that Snowball won't like that "they don't serve fried chicken and watermelon on a daily basis in my mess hall", referring to the foods that black people are stereotyped as liking.
* TrainingFromHell: The first act of the movie focuses on the recruits going through US Marine Corps boot camp, which is generally considered the toughest initial training of the American military branches. Though the only one the audience really sees it as being "from hell" for is Pyle.
* TraumaticHaircut: Boot camp, opening scene. You even see a small thicket of hair piled up on the floor afterward.
* TryNotToDie: Otherwise "you'll be in a world of shit, because Marines are not allowed to die without permission!"
* TwoActStructure: The Parallel variation.
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: The film ends on this note; [[spoiler: Animal Mother is the new squad leader.]]
* UnusualEuphemism:
** Lt. Lockhart refers to a combat kill as a "weenie".
** Also somewhat inverted by [[DrillSergeantNasty Hartman's]] threat to "gouge out your eyeballs and skullfuck you!"
* UrbanWarfare: Rather unusually for a film set in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, most of the combat scenes take place in an urban environment.
* VerbalTic: Door gunner. "Get some, get some, yeah, get some, get some, get some, get some!" Interestingly enough, in the time it takes him to say "get some", three shots are fired. Not just a tic, but fire discipline.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: [[ForegoneConclusion Obviously]]. The events can be dated by the Tet Offensive. The second segment takes place in 1968 and the instruction in 1967.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: During the scene with a mass grave of Vietnamese casualties, Joker says the bodies are being covered in lime, a comment that might confuse viewers unfamiliar with chemistry. It's also known as "quicklime" or calcium oxide, a powder that readily absorbs water from moist air or skin. The result is calcium hydroxide, an extremely corrosive chemical that quickly destroys body tissues.
* VomitingCop: Military flavor. The door gunner killing civilians and boasting about it induces the rookie Rafterman to near vomit.
* WarIsGlorious: During his speech upon meeting the new recruits, Hartman tells them that if they get through boot camp, they "will be a minister of death praying for war."
* WarIsHell: "Ain't war hell?" Asked by the door gunner in regards to shooting civilians, but done so in a manner that [[{{Irony}} clearly]] [[WarIsGlorious doesn't match the question]], laying bare [[SociopathicSoldier just what kind of guy he is]].
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: While in the barracks, Stork, a white Marine, jokes with Payback, a black Marine, "How do you stop five black men from raping a white woman?" Answer: "Throw them a basketball."
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: Private Pyle.]]
* WorthyAdversary:
-->'''Crazy Earl''': These enemy grunts are as hard as slant-eyed drill instructors.... These people we wasted here today ... are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting.
* WouldHitAGirl / WouldHurtAChild: The Door Gunner.
-->'''Joker''': How can you shoot women and children?
-->'''Door Gunner''': Easy. You just don't lead 'em so much. (Laughing) Ain't war hell?
** Also Joker, who finds it extremely uneasy to [[spoiler:kill the wounded sniper, who turned out to be a teenage girl.]]
* WouldNotShootACivilian: Averted ''big time'', again with the Door Gunner.
--> '''Door Gunner''': Anyone who runs is a VC! Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC!
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Joker calls Pyle by his real name, Leonard, when he's trying to help him and steer him away from his DespairEventHorizon. [[spoiler: It doesn't work.]]
* [[YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe You Gotta Be Shitting Me]]!: Said by Hartman to Joker, as he's reading off the new Marines' [=MOS's=] (jobs), and sees that Joker's is basic military journalism.
* YouAreInCommandNow: Cowboy after his squad leader is killed in action.
* YouNoTakeCandle: The Vietnamese prostitute.

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