->''"He doesn't play golf -- he ''destroys'' it."''
-->-- '''TagLine'''

While ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'' is widely regarded as the greatest golf movie ever made, this is undoubtedly the second greatest.

''Happy Gilmore'' is the story of -- well, Happy Gilmore, a die-hard hockey fan who badly wants to make it in the pro leagues. Unfortunately for him, he gets cut at every tryout due to a considerable lack in skill -- a powerful slapshot notwithstanding. Things go from bad to worse when he discovers his grandmother owes over $250,000 in back taxes and is about to lose her home. While her stuff is being repossessed, the two workers challenge Happy to hit golf balls. He does...and much to the workers' (and his own) surprise, discovers he has a 400yd+ drive. After a remark about how he can make lots of money doing that, he decides to give golfing a shot.

This is a movie brimming with hilarity from front to back, and regarded as one of Creator/AdamSandler's defining roles. It is also the highest reviewed movie directed by Creator/DennisDugan, earning a 60% on RottenTomatoes.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: In the theatrical release, the buildup about the orderly in the nursing home is all for naught, as he isn't seen ever again after the grandma leaves the home. He doesn't even appear in the scene where she leaves. In TV airings and the special DVD release, however, he gets his comeuppance by being thrown out a window and beaten with purses by old ladies
* AccidentalAthlete: Played with. Happy ''is'' trying to be an athlete, just at hockey instead of golf.
* AlliterativeName: Virginia Venit, the second of Adam's "[[AlwaysVSexy V-name]]" girlfriends.
* ArtisticLicenseSports:
** Downplayed; they mention that one can take a drop with a two-stroke penalty, but neither Shooter nor Happy does (Shooter would be hitting a ball off a patron's ''shoe'', and Happy would be putting over a fallen broadcaster's tower that winds up amazingly like a mini-golf hole). However, Shooter and Happy's lie are treated equally by the association president when they are not under any golf rule set; Shooter has to play his ball off Mr. Larson's foot because it was an errant shot of his own agency. Virtually every US golf association rule set would allow the tower to be cleared from Happy's line of putt, as the obstruction came from fan interference and the golfer can request a movable obstruction that is not part of the course design to be removed. [[RuleOfCool One could also be like Happy and just hit it with brimming confidence anyways.]]
** Most professional tours wouldn't allow someone in the audience to constantly belittle and harass a golfer on the tour, as Donald (the Jackass guy) does to Happy. Security would probably have tossed him out the first time he yelled through Happy's backswing.
* BadassBoast: On Mr. Larson's shirt: "Guns don't kill people, '''I''' kill people."
* BadassGrandpa: Happy learns the hard way that Bob Barker is one of these; he gets the shit beaten out of him.
** Counts as a Real Life Example too; Barker practiced Tang So Doo and was even taught under Chuck Norris at one point.
* BerserkButton: Happy has many; threats to his grandma, other players taking the puck away from him, balls that don't want to "go home" etc.
* BeyondTheImpossible: Happy has a 400 yard drive. In real golf, a 300 yard drive is considered to be very impressive. Indeed, everyone who sees it for the first time can't believe their eyes.
* BigNo:
** Happy, after Shooter crashes his dream sequence.
** Shooter himself, after he loses the tournament and [[spoiler: while getting the absolute stuffing beaten out of him by Mr. Larson and a mob of angry Happy fans after he stole the gold jacket near the end.]]
* BizarreAndImprobableGolfGame: Shooter learns that the "play it where it lies" rule applies for ''everyone''. This is why he has to hit a ball off Mr. Larson's foot.
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends with the opening guitar strains of "Tuesday's Gone" by Music/LynyrdSkynyrd.
* BoxingLessonsForSuperman: Despite the Long Drive giving him an unbelievable advantage, his short game bites. At the Third Act he realizes this and goes to his old golf mentor to learn how to play the short game.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: The IRS Agent's reaction after Happy threw him out the window.
--> '''IRS Agent''': (Calmly getting back up) Yeah, he hates me.
* ButtMonkey: The towheaded caddy at the invitational is a hapless punching bag for Happy.
* ChasedByAngryNatives: [[spoiler: Shooter gets this after losing to Happy then, being the sore loser he is, trying to steal his Golden Jacket...right in front of Happy's fans (who happen to include a particularly enraged [[Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe Richard Kiel]]). In this case, he doesn't run fast enough]].
* ClusterFBomb: After a frustrating round of putting, Happy unleashes one but because it only happens in replays of tournaments, [[ClusterBleepBomb they're all bleeped out.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Happy's slap shot helps him be an incredible golfer.
* CoolOldLady: For someone presumably old enough to remember the Great Depression, Grandma Gilmore is surprisingly keen on who Gene Simmons and Brooke Shields are.
* CripplingOverspecialization: Aside from his extremely long drive, Happy's golf skills aren't much to talk about. His putting in particular is quite poor, but he ultimately [[DefiedTrope defies this trope]] by accepting Chubbs' training offer and learning on a miniature golf course.
* CriticalResearchFailure: InUniverse.
--> '''Lee Trevino:''' Grizzly Adams ''did'' have a beard.
* CurbStompBattle: This is what happens when Happy attacks Bob Barker. Barker lands 17 hits on Happy. Happy lands ''two''.
* {{Deconstruction}}: This movie is a commentary on golfers, their attitudes, and golfing.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In the prologue we learn that Happy got into a fight with his boss, Mr. Larson. Happy feels like 'I won the fight' and when they met later, Mr.Larson is one of his fans [[spoiler: and beats the crap out of Shooter on Happy's behalf.]]
* DestinationDefenestration: Happy knocks some people out of windows in anger.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Shooter gets one when he first appears. At first he just acts like a jerk to everyone around him, but what clearly establishes him is when he asks his caddie for advice on a shot the caddie suggests a certain club. Shooter ignores him, asks for a different club, and after making the shot with said club immediately fires his caddie while grinning.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Happy, who is otherwise a {{jerkass}}, becomes a gentleman around his grandmother.
* {{Everyman}}: Virginia argues that Happy is a ratings bonanza for the tour because professional golf needs a "working-class hero" whom ordinary people can look up to.
* EvilPlan: An odd example in that the plot's initial conflict, Mrs. Gilmore losing her house, is not the real villain's {{plan}}. Instead, that would be Shooter's attempts to kick Happy off the Pro Tour for stealing his thunder.
* FauxAffablyEvil: The retirement home / sweat shop manager is very friendly when Happy is visiting his grandma, but when he's gone...
* FromBadToWorse: Happy watches his grandmother's house get auctioned off. The winner? [[spoiler:Shooter [=McGavin=].]]
* FunnyBackgroundEvent:
** When Chubbs is convincing Happy to try out for the Pro-tour, a kid who watched Happy in the batting cages tries the same thing. The first ball knocks him flat on his back.
** While Virginia and the tour commissioner are discussing Happy, [[http://youtu.be/8qaAKxJp0EM?t=2m4s Happy can be heard on the TV in the background swearing up a]] ([[ClusterBleepBomb bleeped out]]) storm.
--->'''Happy''': [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Piece! Of! Monkey]][[CensoredForComedy sh*bleep*]]!
* GentleGiant / HiddenDepths: Happy's Boss Mr. Larson is at first shown to be a brooding intimidating guy, but when he's calm he is actually a nice guy to those that deserve it and even tells Happy he is proud of him. [[spoiler: He also takes a step further in chasing down Shooter when the latter steals Happy's prize golden Jacket.]]
* GilliganCut:
-->'''IRS Auditor''': You hate me, don't you?
-->'''Happy''': I don't hate you.
-->'''(cut to IRS Auditor being thrown out Grandma's glass front door)'''
-->'''IRS Auditor''': He hates me.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: In Happy Gilmore's [[ImagineSpot "Happy Place"]], Virginia is usually wearing white underwear but when Shooter invades the dream sequence, her underwear is black.
** VariableMix: The music also changes from ethereal to Heavy Metal.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Happy threatens Shooter with it, but Virginia stops Happy before he can.
--> '''Happy:''' Yeah, I was just looking for the other half of this bottle, and-- oh, here's some! There's some... over there, too.
* HairTriggerTemper: Happy will fly off the handle at perceived slights; he ripped off a guy's shirt and punched him out because of a sarcastic remark about his putting skills.
* HaHaHaNo: Happy's reaction to the member of the audience chiding him on his putting skills in his first tournament. Happy agrees with the guy until he gets close enough for a sucker punch.
* HappyPlace: {{Trope Namer|s}}. Chubbs tells Happy to relax by going to a place "that's perfect; your own happy place".
* TheHeckler: Shooter hires a guy to harass Happy while he plays because Happy simply does not have the self discipline to ignore him and he promised not to attack other players or the audience. So he is constantly hearing the guy scream "You're not going to make this putt, you jackass!" and eventually this leads to him taking out his anger on Bob Barker.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: Happy's temper, aggression, and disregard for the well being of others (like the family at the end of the street) is played for laughs.
* HollywoodNewEngland: Grandma's house is in Waterbury; Happy's Boston Bruins gear indicates that the movie specifically takes place in Waterbury, Connecticut, the site of Happy's first open.
* HopeSpot: Happy earns enough money to buy back Grandma's house, only to learn that it's being sold at auction, where he is outbid by [[spoiler: Shooter.]]
* IKnowWhatWeCanDoCut: After Happy is suspended for fighting with Bob Barker, he and Virginia sit down to eat at Subway. While Happy describes the sandwich he's eating, it cuts directly to him in a Subway commercial, having worked out an endorsement deal.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: Happy is this when he first meets Shooter by asking where his Gold Jacket is. This a major BerserkButton to him as he believes he should have earned one by now.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: When Happy flounders in the final tournament thanks to Shooter's chiding and is so frustrated that not even his HappyPlace can help him, his grandmother breaks him out of it by telling him whether he wins or loses she wants him to be happy. This calms him down enough to focus and make a comeback.
* InsultBackfire:
-->'''Shooter''': I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.\\
'''Happy''': [[FridgeLogic You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?]]\\
'''Shooter''' (''panicked''): ...No!
* JerkJock: Shooter [=McGavin=] is obnoxious and arrogant and looks down on Happy for being new. He's like the stereotypical high school jock that went professional.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Happy's a NiceGuy when he's not trying to stab someone with a hockey skate or throwing a guy out of a second-story window. He puts his dream of becoming a hockey player on hold in order to play a sport he can't stand, just so he can make enough money that his grandmother doesn't lose her house.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Creator/BenStiller's character (the retirement home orderly) in the theatrical version. In TV and extended DVD versions, the Grandma tells Happy about her mistreatment, and Happy throws the orderly out of a second-story window in retaliation.
** Also Joe Flaherty's character Donald, the fan hired by Shooter to annoy Happy ("Jackass!"). Along with being a JerkAss, he also runs into Happy with his car. He's last seen fleeing the golf course with security in pursuit, but we never find out his fate. In a deleted scene before this during the championship game, Happy calls him out on his insults and forces him to take a shot. He fails horribly. Considering a part of him caught on fire briefly any potential burns he suffers that scar him permanently is a good karmic kick.
* KickTheDog: Shooter when he [[spoiler: tries to buy Happy's grandmother's house]] and suggests that she become his maid and turn Happy's childhood bedroom into his trophy room.
* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: Bob Barker's finishing shot on Happy. ''Now'' he's had enough...
* LetsGetDangerous / TookALevelInBadAss: "Happy learned how to putt... ''uh-oh!''"
* LaserGuidedKarma: After hiring someone to throw off Happy, his shot gets thrown off...right onto the foot of Mr. Larson.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler:Chubbs, who dies from a combination of fright and a long fall.]]
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
-->'''Happy''' (''to his golf ball, after barely missing a putt''): You son of a bitch ball -- why don't you just go home?! That's your home! Are you too good for your home?! Answer me!
* MoralityChain: Happy's grandmother is his defining moral point her being in trouble is what sparks the whole plot off, and Happy rejects anything that will cause her harm in some way.
* MoralityPet: Happy is surprisingly nice to the homeless guy he picks up to be his caddy. [[spoiler: After he wins the tournament, he makes the guy his butler]].
* NoBadassToHisValet: The homeless guy that Happy enlists as his caddie seems completely unafraid of Happy's explosive temper. In one scene, he catches a golf club hurled by Happy at high speed without even flinching.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Happens offscreen to [[spoiler:Shooter courtesy of an angry mob and a REALLY angry Mr.Larson.]]
* NoSympathy: Bob Barker is not interested in Happy's excuses of the very loud and visible heckler distracting his playoff, and makes clear he blames their loss on his incompetence, only spearheading the latter to take his frustrations out on him when he won't relent on insults of his own.
* NothingCanStopUsNow: This is how Happy feels when he eventually wins enough money to pay off the money his grandma owes the IRS. The next scene shows it auctioned off for ''more'' money than Grandma Gilmore owed in taxes.
* TheObiWan: Chubbs is a legend among golf pros. The reason why he's the MentorArchetype and not TheHero is better justified than in many stories. In golf, missing a hand [[IncrediblyLamePun is a large handicap]].
* OhCrap: Shooter's reaction to Mr. Larson's threat after he has to play it where it lies...off Mr. Larson's foot.
-->'''Mr. Larson''': That's two thus far, Shooter.\\
'''Shooter [=McGavin=]''': Oh, you can count. Good for you.\\
'''Mr. Larson''': And ''you'' can count...on ''me'', waiting for you in the parking lot!\\
(''crowd "oooo"s in surprise while Shooter runs away, followed by someone in the crowd mockingly calling "Run Shooter!"'')
** Another example between the two:
-->'''Mr. Larson''': Trying to reach the green from here, Shooter?\\
'''Shooter [=McGavin=]''': That's not possible, sir.\\
'''Mr. Larson''': I beg to differ; Happy Gilmore accomplished that feat, no more than an hour ago.\\
'''Shooter [=McGavin=]''': Well, MORON...(''turns around'') good for Happy (''sees Larson'') Gilm-OHMY''GOD!''
** The look on Shooter's face when Mr. Larson bends his 9-iron is priceless.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Happy is hit with a car. The only loss he suffers is his ability to hit the long drive; he quickly shrugs off his injuries [[spoiler: and is able to win the tournament.]]
-->'''Doctor''': Well, you're a little banged up but no serious injuries. Just keep off your feet for a few days.
-->'''Happy''': To Hell with that, I gotta finish up.
-->'''Doctor''': [[LampshadeHanging Fine! Do whatever you like. What would I know, I'm just a Doctor.]]
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Subverted. Gilmore will readily tell anyone that will listen that money is his prime motivation for golfing, but is embarrassed to tell people that his real reason is to get his Grandmother's house back and is saving every penny of his winnings to achieve this.
%%* ParodiesOfFire: Done during one of the running golf swings.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: The retirement home where Happy leaves his grandmother is a cover for its true purpose; a sweatshop for old people.
* ProductPlacement:
** Happy gets an endorsement deal with Subway long before Jared made the company famous. In this case it's a plot point; the commercials earn Happy enough money to pay his grandma's back taxes.
** The Pepsi logo also shows up several times in the film.
** In his [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/happy-gilmore-1996 review of the film,]] Roger Ebert noted "Diet Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Subway sandwich shops, Budweiser (in bottles, cans, and Bud-dispensing helmets), Michelob, Visa cards, Bell Atlantic, AT&T, Sizzler, Wilson, Golf Digest, the ESPN sports network, and Top-Flite golf balls."
* PunchClockVillain: The IRS agent is resigned to the fact that his job makes people think he's evil. When Happy punches him out the front door, he is neither surprised nor angry.
* ProtagonistTitle: Happy Gilmore
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Happy's golf swing is mocked by several people (and secretly attempted by Shooter), but the ESPN show Sports Science showed that a running start gave Padraig Harrington an extra 30 yards distance. Unfortunately, the same show also showed that a running start destroys any chance at an accurate swing, so it's a trade-off.
* RecruitedFromTheGutter: PlayedForLaughs; Happy's caddy is a homeless man he hires (who eats the crackers Happy sets down to mark his ball). [[spoiler: After the events of the film, he hires him full time as a butler.]]
* RuleOfFunny: Why is Happy never in deep trouble or arrested for his multiple assaults? Because it's funny!
* RunningGag: Lee Trevino looking at Happy forlornly and shaking his head. There's a twist on this near the end.
-->'''Shooter''': You, beat me, at golf? Yeah right, and Grizzly Adams had a beard.\\
'''Trevino''': (''interjecting'') Grizzly Adams ''did'' have a beard.
* SharedUniverse: ''Happy Gilmore'' exists in the same continuity as ''Film/TheWaterboy'', ''Film/JoeDirt'', and ''Film/LittleNicky''.
* SirSwearsALot: The TV censors can barely keep up with Happy.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: The plot is driven by the rivalry between the blue-collar Happy Gilmore and the upper class Shooter [=McGavin=].
-->'''Virginia:''' Golf has been waiting for a player like this: A colorful, emotional, working-class hero.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Shooter to a T. He's smug to everyone, especially Happy, about what a great golfer he is. However it's clearly shown that some Gold Jacket champions are more interested in welcoming Happy to his first open than talking to Shooter.
* SmugSnake: Shooter [=McGavin=] is a great golfer, no doubt about that, but he's not as great as he thinks he is and his ego is fragile.
* TakeAThirdOption: After a tower crashes down on the putting green, blocking Happy's path to the hole, Shooter fully expects Happy to not able to putt around it efficiently enough to stay even with Shooter's par. Virginia suggests that he stroke ''around'' the crashed tower and get a two-putt to send the contest into overtime. Instead, Happy decides to use the struts of the tower as conduits to the hole in an attempt to win the game right there.
* TameHisAnger: The secret to Happy learning how to putt is controlling his anger and focusing on the putt itself.
--> '''Chubbs''': ''This isn't Hockey; you don't play with raw emotion.''
* ThisCannotBe: Shooter during his VillainousBreakdown, if you can make it out over the crowd cheering and [[LargeHam his general shout-iness.]]
--> "[[BigNo NOOO!]] IT'S IMPOSSIBLE! [[SoreLoser THIS IS MY JACKET!]]"
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: First by Happy to Bob Barker ("The price is ''wrong'', bitch!") then by Bob Barker to Happy ("I think you've had enough...(''punts a downed Happy'') ''Now'' you've had enough...[[IronicEcho bitch]]!")
* TrainingFromHell: Happy goes through this twice first, when he stands in a batting cage and gets pelted with baseballs to toughen himself up, and later he has to learn how to putt at a very gaudy mini-golf course. He preferred the former ("God, I love it!") to the latter.
* TranquilFury: (Surprisingly) Happy has a scene like this. After Shooter told Happy to meet him on the 9th green at 9 (the time the sprinklers come on), Happy just has a large grin on his face, calmly walks off back to the clubhouse, and after being stopped by Virginia, he cheerfully tells her that he is planning on "beat(ing) the living piss out of" Shooter.
* {{Troll}}: "You WILL NOT make this putt, you jackass!"
* UnderdressedForTheOccasion: Happy shows up to an upscale social gathering wearing denim jeans, sneakers, and an Music/{{ACDC}} t-shirt.
-->'''Chubbs''': By the way, thanks for dressing up.
* UnskilledButStrong: Happy can hit the ball 400 yards by adapting his hockey slapshot. His inability to putt (among other things) prevents him from becoming a great golfer. He slowly learns golfing skills over the course of the movie.
** This as well as in his fighting ability. When he goes up against Bob Barker, who is a trained fighter, he gets his butt kicked.
* UnstoppableRage: You don't want to make Happy mad at you. However this trope is inverted as his rage causes him to lose focus and make his golfing game sloppy. Shooter uses this against him in the duo tournament with Barker which causes their fight. Chubbs helps him to overcome this and then Happy himself does it on his own in the final game.
* VillainyFreeVillain: The IRS agent who takes Grandma Gilmore's house due to unpaid back taxes is simply doing his job. He even points this out when Happy shows up to stop the moving men. Happy throws the IRS agent out of a window anyway. By his reaction it is heavily suggested this happens to him regularly.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity:
** Shooter considers Happy to be this. He feels that Happy Gilmore's antics are ruining the sport of golf (plus, he also feels that Happy is a threat to his chances of winning a championship).
** Shooter himself is the genuine article. With all the coverage and fans he has, no one knows (outside of anyone that has to spend more than a few minutes with him) that he's an asshole.
* VillainHasAPoint: The IRS agent legally has the right to kick Happy's grandma out of her house since she hadn't paid her taxes in over 20 years.
* WhoNeedsOvertime: Happy elects to take a difficult putt to win the tour championship instead of taking a safe two-putt opportunity to force a playoff.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Shooter believes Happy is a VillainWithGoodPublicity out to destroy golf and that he himself is the hero that will save it.