[[caption-width-right:300:His pants clearly aren't on fire.]]

->'''Max Reede:''' My dad? He's... a liar.\\
'''Teacher:''' A liar? I-I'm sure you don't mean a ''liar''...\\
'''Max Reede:''' Well, he wears a suit and goes to court and talks to the judge.\\
'''Teacher:''' Oh, I see! You mean he's a ''lawyer''. \\
'''Max Reede:''' ''[shrugs]''

''Liar Liar'' is a 1997 comedy-fantasy film directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Creator/JimCarrey.

Lawyer Fletcher Reede (Carrey) is both career-focused and -- as his profession demands -- an expert in lying. His son Max (Justin Cooper) gets frustrated at his father always breaking his promises and not spending time with him, the breaking point coming when his father misses his birthday party (his father says he's working; his boss is actually [[DoubleEntendre working him]]). Disillusioned once again, Max [[MakeAWish wishes while blowing out his cake candles]] that Fletcher couldn't tell a lie for just one day.

[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor And the wish works.]] Fletcher is absolutely incapable of any form of dishonesty no matter how big or small. He can't lie, mislead, ask a question if he knows the answer is going to be a lie, ''[[HumiliationConga or even deceive by remaining silent]]''. He quickly finds just how much he really does lie in one day and how much trouble he gets into because of telling the absolute truth...

...on the day that not only Fletcher has one of the most important cases of his life, with defenses built mostly on lies, but Audrey (Maura Tierney), Fletcher's ex-wife and Max's mom, is interested in moving with her boyfriend to Boston, and bringing Max along! HilarityEnsues.

If you're looking for the {{trope}} on extremely good liars, see ConsummateLiar, which actually used to [[TropeNamers be named after this movie]].

!!Tropes used include:

* AccidentalTruth: Fletcher is forced to say the truth even when people don't know it.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Once he's over the shock of spitting out the truth without thinking, Fletcher keeps chuckling over saying "I've had better" after sex with Miranda.
* {{Adorkable}}: Jerry.
* AmoralAttorney: Fletcher, at first. Miranda's EstablishingCharacterMoment is to make it clear she prefers this from her workers -- her second line of dialogue is "let the judge decide what's true or not, that's what he gets paid for; ''you'' get paid to win".
* ArtisticLicenseCars: When Fletcher is pulled over, he pops open his glove box to reveal unpaid parking tickets. The Mercedes SL series, including Fletcher's [=SL500=], was not equipped with a glove box due to interior space limitations. The dashboard used was from a different model.
* AsYouKnow: The discussion between Fletcher's boss and the lawyer who won't take the case is there to explain the job of a lawyer to the audience.
* AwkwardKiss: Fletcher is visibly confused as to what is going on when Miranda begins to make out with him.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: In its purest form. [[spoiler: Fletcher and Audrey share a kiss just as Max blows out his birthday candles. They believe that Max wished for them to get back together, but it turns out that they were acting on their own free will.]]
* BeneathTheMask: Being forced into BrutalHonesty makes Fletcher reveal his low opinion of his own job and co-workers, as well as his distaste for the Amoral part of being an AmoralAttorney.
* BigYes: Fletcher belts one out after [[spoiler:preventing the plane to Boston from taking off]]... followed immediately by a BigNo as [[spoiler:he crashes into a pile of traveling bags and cargo]].
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Reede, ''Reede'', '''Reede.''' Story of his life; he finds ways to [[KarmaHoudini weasel out of his responsibilities and avoid punishment for his wrongdoings]], and is so good at it he makes his living helping others do it.
-->'''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a61gEPoL6Do Greta:]]''' Mr. Reede, several years ago a friend of mine had a burglar on her roof - a burglar. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a cutting board, on a butcher's knife, cutting his leg. The burglar sued my friend. He sued my friend and because of guys like you, ''he won.'' My friend had to pay the burglar $6,000. Is that justice?\\
'''Fletcher:''' No! ...I'd have got him ten.
** Remember, ''he can't lie''. He really ''doesn't'' understand why people would be angry at him for this kind of thing; it's his job, and the courts have found no problem with it before, so why does everyone hate him? Only when he sees an innocent man lose his children to an amoral bitch does he realize that he is using the letter of the law to subvert its spirit, and breaks down.
* BrutalHonesty: Fletcher is magically bound to tell the truth, and has very little control over his tact in telling it, making him this to his clients, to total strangers, and to himself.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Even when acting completely insane, Fletcher is still an exceptional attorney.
* CannotTellALie: Or even refuse to answer a question.
* CassandraTruth
-->'''Judge Stevens:''' I'll have to hear good cause, counsel. What's the problem?
-->'''Fletcher:''' ''[strains]'' ...'''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis I! CAN'T! LIE!]]'''''
-->'''Judge:''' Commendable, Mr. Reede, but I'm still waiting to hear good cause; do you have one or not?
-->'''Fletcher:''' Not!
* CharacterDevelopment: Fletcher realizes all his mistakes and becomes more sincere and careful about his relationship with his family (especially with his son) as the movie goes on.
* CheatingWithTheMilkman: If you listen closely to the "sex tape" you can hear the man Samantha Cole is having sex with say "I have to go clean the pool."
* ChewbaccaDefense: In a deleted scene, Fletcher defends an incredibly guilty mugger, somehow spinning his robbing an old man at the ATM and beating up a cop who tried to arrest him into his trying to help the man pick up dropped coins, him being mistaken for a mugger, then attacked by the police. It's truly epic to watch. And it ''works''.
* CoolOldLady: Greta, Fletcher's secretary.
* {{Corpsing}}: Miranda, during Fletcher's Tina Turner speech.
* CoverInnocentEyesAndEars: Mrs. Cole's children get this treatment from their caretaker when their mother's sex tape is played at the trial.
* DeadpanSnarker: Fletcher, indeed.
* DerailingLoveInterests: Averted. Jerry is introduced as a genuinely nice and sweet man who treats Audrey and Max well, and although he doesn't care for Fletcher he's civil to him. When he realizes Fletcher still loves his family and the lengths he'll go to in order to keep them, he lets them go and just lets Audrey know he's there if she changes her mind. The only thing you could really say about him is that he's a bit of a goofball, which Audrey admits he can be sometimes.
* DiabolusExMachina: Instigated by Fletcher himself, no less. His last-minute discovery that Mrs. Cole [[spoiler:was underaged when she got married, invalidating her pre-nup but leaving the common-law marriage intact]] ends up unduly costing an innocent man half his assets.[[note]]We might say it could cost a loving father custody of his children too, but Mrs. Cole had already demonstrated herself in court to be an unfaithful wife and an absolutely ''horrible'' mother, so at least she likely won't get full or even partial custody without Fletcher representing her anymore. Plus, the husband could always appeal against the decision given the point about the pre nup being voidable but not void. After Mrs. Cole turned 18, she had a limited amount of time to render the contract void but she never did, so the pre nup and marriage are valid and the judge's ruling erred from the law. The husband would get his assets back having proved adultery and could use the money as leverage for joint custody or even sole custody for himself.[[/note]]
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: When Miranda asks Fletcher what he thought of the sex last night, he involuntarily blurts out exactly what he was thinking. Afterwards he can hardly believe he just did that: "... ''I've had better??''"
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: This is what leads to Fletcher getting slapped in the elevator.
-->'''Fletcher:''' New in the building?\\
'''Busty brunette:''' Yeah, I just moved in Monday.\\
'''Fletcher:''' You like it so far?\\
'''Brunette:''' Mmm-hmm. Everybody's been real nice.\\
'''Fletcher:''' Well... that's because you have big jugs.\\
'''Brunette:''' ''[gives Fletcher a look of disgust]''\\
'''Fletcher:''' I mean... your boobs are huge. I mean... I wanna squeeze 'em! ''[begins to hyperventilate]'' Ma-ma! ''[makes baby-like suckling sounds]''\\
''[the sound of a slap is heard from outside the elevator, and the doors open to reveal Fletcher holding his face in pain]''
* DisposableFiance: Jerry.
* DivorceIsTemporary: [[spoiler:Fletcher and Audrey share a kiss in the final scene, at Max's sixth birthday party. They of course ask their son if he made another birthday wish to cause them to get back together - and he replies that he wished for roller blades, meaning Audrey and Fletcher's romance is rekindling on its own]].
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Fletcher when trying to get home after learning Audrey is going to move. "I'm an inconsiderate prick!"
* EurekaMoment: [[spoiler:Right when the case seems lost, Fletcher's client makes an off-hand remark about her age. This turns the case upside down.]]
** As well when Audrey tells Fletcher about what Max wished for the previous night.
** Although it doesn't work, Fletcher gets the idea to make it look like he was attacked in the bathroom (as to post-pone the trial) after [[HeadDesk banging his head on the wall]] too hard.
-->'''Fletcher:''' Owie! ... ''[turns to a mirror]'' '''''OWIE!'''''
* EvilHand: In the Blue Pen scene (which is not red).
* EvilLawyerJoke: The page quote. And, indeed, the whole film.
* ExactWords: Fletcher can't use them, but he can be caught by anyone ''else'' using them. As it says elsewhere on this page, not only can he not lie, but he can't even evade the truth, deceive while remaining silent or choose not to answer. Several times he gets into trouble because he is asked a question which he could have given a better answer to if the other person had just happened to phrase it differently.
** However, when one of Fletcher's clients robs an ATM and asks for legal advice, Fletcher does manage to give him the perfectly valid legal advice of "Stop breaking the law, asshole!"
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Due to the nature of Max's wish, the entire movie (except the final scene) is set over three days, with [[ThreeActStructure Acts 2 and 3]] set on the third day.
* FaceFault: Only Creator/JimCarrey can get away with doing one in live-action and make it look funny.
* FalseReassurance: Fletcher pulls this off in order to get an extension on the trial without lying. He beats himself up in the bathroom, stumbles into the court and truthfully describes his attacker (himself).
-->'''Judge:''' Who did this?\\
'''Fletcher:''' A madman, your honor! A desperate fool on the end of his pitiful rope!\\
'''Judge:''' What did he look like?\\
'''Fletcher:''' About 6'2'', 180 pounds, big teeth, kinda gangly.
* FirstFatherWins: In the end, Fletcher gets his family back together..
* FlippingTheBird: "Here's your raise!"
* FreudianSlip
* FreudianSlipperySlope:
-->'''Woman''': Everybody's been real nice.
-->'''Fletcher''': Well, that's because you have big jugs! I mean...your boobs are huge! I mean, I want to squeeze them.....mama! ''(puckers up)''\\
''(A big SMACK is heard and, Fletcher exits the elevator, holding his face in pain)''
* FrivolousLawsuit: Fletcher's current case isn't one (although it is fraudulent), but he isn't against taking cases like this:
-->'''Greta:''' Mr. Reede, several years ago a friend of mine had a burglar on her roof, a burglar. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a cutting board, on a butcher's knife, cutting his leg. The burglar sued my friend, he sued my friend. And because of men like you, he ''won''. My friend had to pay the burglar $6,000. Is that justice?
-->'''Fletcher:''' No! ''[{{beat}}]'' I'd have got him ten.
* GagBoobs: Fletcher's interactions with his new neighbor, played by Krista Allen, who is best known for the ''Emmanuelle In Space'' series. And of course, Mrs. Cole being played by Creator/JenniferTilly doesn't hurt...
* {{Gasshole}}: "It was me!" [[spoiler: as Fletcher retreats from an elevator whose other passengers are holding their noses and looking daggers at him]].
* {{Geas}}: The main character is placed under a 24 hour geas that makes it so he Main/CannotTellALie. If he tries to say a lie, it comes out as gibberish. If he tries to write a lie, he will write the truth. He is even unable to ask a question if he knows the answer to the question is a lie.
* GoldDigger
* HandshakeRefusal: DoubleSubversion. When Mr. Allan offers to make Fletcher a partner at his law firm, a stunned Fletcher accepts and shakes his hand briefly, but then jerks his hand away after his HeelRealization.
* {{Headdesk}}
* HeelRealization: "Lemme tell ''you'' somethin'! ''I'm a bad father!'' ... I mean... [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone I'm a bad father]]..."
** He actually has two of them, the first one above regarding his personal life, the second regarding his professional one when [[spoiler: he wins the case for Mrs. Cole and realizes how horrible she truly is when she won't even let her ex-husband say goodbye to his kids. Needless to say he's rather horrified by his actions]]. Also, the people he was sucking up to make partners only saw the kids as legal leverage leaves him downright disgusted.
*** The second one hits him really hard. At the beginning, she agreed to sharing custody with the father, saying he's a good father. Aside from her infidelity, she seems to be much more pleasant at the beginning, and Fletcher realizes the much more unpleasant Mrs. Cole at the end was at least partially his fault.
* HeroAntagonist: Dana Appleton and her legal team representing Mr. Cole.
* HilariousOuttakes: It's a Jim Carrey movie. What else would you expect?
** "Mrs Cole! .... A goose!"
--->'''Carrey:''' 105 pounds! Yeah... in your BRA!\\
'''Kurtz:''' Your Honor, I object!\\
'''Carrey:''' You would!\\
'''Kurtz:''' [[ChewingTheScenery Overactor]]!\\
'''Carrey:''' JEZEB-- ''[begins laughing uproariously as everyone else cracks up and can't continue]'' THEY'RE ON TO ME!!!\\
'''Kurtz:''' ''[still laughing]'' I'm sorry, he ''[pointing to director Tom Shadyac]'' made me do it!
** Everything with the flip-top water pitcher, from pouring a cup and acting as if he were taking a leak, to making it talk.
--->'''Carrey:''' It's working! I feel sorry for them already!\\
'''Carrey:''' ''[water pitcher voice]'' For this...you will pay...a terrible price!
* HollywoodLaw:
** After Samantha Cole leaves Miranda's office following her introduction to Fletcher, Miranda tells Fletcher that Samantha's case is worth a lot of money to the firm, hinting that the firm is being paid a contingency fee since it's later revealed that a settlement offer has been made and refused, whereas if the firm were accepting a flat fee, the amount of Samantha's settlement would be irrelevant, and there would be no need to bring Fletcher in to replace the attorney who refused unethical behavior earlier in the movie. Attorneys are barred from accepting divorce cases on a contingency basis, unless it's a suit to recover past due alimony or child support.
** Contracts with a minor are considered voidable, not ''void ab initio''. A minor who enters into a contract can choose to void it, but if she turns 18, she only has a limited window in which to declare the intention to void the contract. This window is usually six months -- for marriage in California, it is two years. Past this window, the contract is considered ratified and must be executed. Given Samantha Cole's age at the time of the divorce hearing, both her marriage AND the prenup should have been considered ratified. However, even if the marriage were valid but the prenup not, her husband clearly states that he "didn't know she was a minor!" At this point he could probably get an annulment on the grounds of fraud, reverting Samantha to ''status quo ante matrimonium'' - i.e., legally in possession of none of his wealth.
** One scene is premised on the idea that the judge can't stop Fletcher from badgering a witness because "[[RuleOfFunny it's his witness.]]"
** Fletcher's secretary claims someone broke into her friend's house, fell and injured himself in her kitchen and sued her with the help of a lawyer like Fletcher. Fletcher then claims he could have gotten him more. Such a suit is legally impossible, even in California -- an intruder illegally entering a dwelling cannot sue for injuries caused by breaking and entering.
*** Though that could be a JustifiedTrope - Greta's whole point is that it was a conniving, sneaky, dishosest lawyer like Fletcher who did this. We are hearing Greta's side (which presumably is the true one) but the lawyer may have convinced the judge of an entirely different story, through spin, character defamation and outright lies. (e.g. he could have argued that she invited the so-called burglar onto her roof, without warning him it had a weak spot, and left knives carelessly around the kitchen beneath the weak roof, and that the story about him being a burglar was all made up to try to get out of this suit. )
** Samantha's husband's lawyer presents a tape recording to be used against her in court. Tape recordings are not admissible as evidence in a court of law, even though the content of the tape is irrelevant in her case.
* HurricaneOfEuphemisms:
-->'''Fletcher:''' You slammed her! You dunked her doughnut! You gave her dog a Snausage! ''YOU STUFFED HER LIKE A THANKSGIVING TURKEY!'' ''[makes gobbling noises]''
* IgnoringBySinging: Fletcher knows he is cursed to speak the truth when answering a question, but not if he can't hear the question!
* TheImmodestOrgasm: Mrs Cole, revealed by her "sex tape".
* InflationaryDialogue: During the final stages of the trial:
-->'''Fletcher:''' Thank you. Now let's see, weight 105? Yeah, in your bra.
-->'''Samantha''': 118.
-->''[Fletcher skeptically waits]''
-->'''Samantha''': All right, fine, I'm 127.
* InsultBackfire:
** Fletcher hurls a metric ton of verbal abuse at his boss who finds it hilarious. He then goes all the way and insults everyone in the room who all laugh at his insults, thinking it's a [[TheRoast roast]].
** It [[GoneHorriblyWrong does backfire]] for Miranda, however. She was out for revenge after Fletcher told her, "I've had better." When she realized he was incapable of lying, she throws him in front of the committee in hopes that his BrutalHonesty would ruin him.
* [[HumiliationConga Insult to Injury]]: A passerby giving Fletcher money as he sags despondently on the courthouse steps following his self-inflicted beatdown.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: [[spoiler: Jerry lets Audrey stay in Los Angeles so Max doesn't have to be away from his father]].
* KarmaHoudini: Mrs. Cole has cheated on her husband several times, it's hinted that she's not completely sure both her children are her husband's, and after Fletcher convinces her she's the victim, she becomes a complete {{Jerkass}} who uses her children for emotional gain in court. [[spoiler:And thanks to a technicality ''no one'' saw coming, she wins the case and gets the standard divorce settlement of half her husband's assets, over 10 million dollars, ''and'' decides to sue for sole custody of the kids to get even more money in child support and deny her husband the right to them.]] Her getting away with all this is actually a major plot point, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone when Fletcher realizes it's his fault she was able to do all this and succeed]].
** The car pool attendant. When Fletcher rants that he won't do anything about the scratch on his car, which the attendant dismissively said was already there, because even if he sues the car pool company will ignore the court's ruling, the attendant just replies matter-of-factly "You've been here before, haven't you?" indicating that he knows this is the company's modus operandi and has no problem with it.
* KickTheDog: After the judge rules in Samantha Cole's favor and grants her '''11 million dollars,''' she then declares that she isn't going to adhere to their original deal to share custody, and instead plans to contest custody to get another $10,000 from him. She specifically says she's doing this just to hit him where it hurts.
* KickingMyOwnButt: Fletcher beats himself up in the bathroom in a last-ditch effort to get the court case postponed. He [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it when someone walks in on him doing the act.
* LargeHam: Jim Carrey, of course. The outtakes even have this exchange:
-->'''Swoosie Kurtz''': Your Honor, I object!\\
'''Carrey''': You would!\\
'''Kurtz''': Overactor!\\
'''Carrey''': [[IResembleThatRemark JE-ZE-BEL!!!]]
** Followed by Kurtz pointing to someone off-camera (Tom Shadyac, the director), saying he put her up to it, and Carrey hugs her, mugging hammily, "Oh no! They're on to me!"
* LiteralMinded: Max's wish forces Fletcher to either be literal about almost everything, or specify that he's ''not'' being literal. For example, Fletcher calls his boss "a worthless steaming pile of cow dung" and has to add on the tag "figuratively speaking," and when a homeless man asks Fletcher if he ''can'' spare some change, Fletcher has to answer "Yes, I could." When the homeless man asks if he ''will'' spare some, Fletcher is able to say no.
* LongList: When Fletcher is stopped after reckless driving...
-->'''Officer:''' You know why I pulled you over?\\
'''Fletcher:''' Depends on how long you were following me! ''[winces]''\\
'''Officer:''' Why don't we just take it from the top?\\
'''Fletcher:''' ''[sighs]'' Here goes...I sped, I followed too closely, I ran a stop sign, I almost hit a Chevy, I sped some more, I failed to yield at a crosswalk, I changed lanes at the intersection, I changed lanes without signaling ''while running a red light'' '''and speeding'''!\\
'''Officer''': Is that all?\\
'''Fletcher''': ''[groaning]'' No... ''[gestures with his eyes; when the cop doesn't get it, says]'' I have unpaid parking tickets. ''[opens his glove compartment and there are so many tickets they spill out; whimpers]'' Be gentle.
* LoopholeAbuse: The film plays with this back and forth. On the one hand, sometimes Fletcher is able to tell the truth in a roundabout way; when he beats himself up and the Judge asks who did it, Fletcher gives a physical description of himself rather than just say he did it himself. He also seems able to say things that may or may not be true, but he ''believes'' to be true. On the other hand when it comes time to rehearse Falk's testimony, he discovers he can't ask a question if he knows Falk will lie about it. During the trial he does manage to get the questions out a couple times, but can't help himself from immediately objecting to himself. Additionally, Fletcher is compelled to answer direct questions, denying the chance for him to just not give an answer, truth or lie.
* MadnessMantra: THE PEN IS '''BLUE.''' THE PEN IS '''BLUE!''' THE '''GODDAMN''' PEN IS '''''BLUE!!'''''
* MagicalRealism: How the birthday wish came true is never explained. It seems it just sometimes happens in the movie's world.
-->'''Fletcher:''' This is one of those 24-hour curses.\\
'''Greta:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Yeah, those've been going around]].
* MagicAIsMagicA: The rules of the truth curse is that Fletcher is incapable of any direct or indirect lie, no matter how big or small. It is a little shaky on how he can use MetaphoricallyTrue, in some cases he cannot withhold information as his silence would be a lie in and of itself (such as the [[UncomfortableElevatorMoment elevator scene "It was me!"]]) and even could not ask a rhetorical question knowing the answer to be a lie, but he was nearly able to stall the divorce proceedings via subtle deception (describing his attacker with his same physical characteristics and psychological profile, leaving out that he beat himself up). Of course, some of this could be explained in that Fletcher is naturally a MotorMouth and LargeHam, making it less that he can't play with the truth and more that he can't keep a straight face long enough before blurting something out, which has to be the truth.
* MakeAWish: The film's AppliedPhlebotinum.
* MaleGaze: Fletcher in the elevator scene.
** FanserviceExtra
* MarriedToTheJob: The premise of the story.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Averted with the main story, which is clearly ''some'' sort of magic, but in the epilogue [[spoiler:Audrey and Fletcher kiss at Max's next birthday, implying that they're going to get back together. After what happened the last time he had a birthday, they're savvy enough to immediately ask if he wished for them to get back together. He ''says'' he wished for rollerblades, but he's not under any magical compulsion to tell the truth so this may or may not be BlatantLies]].
** It's also possible that he ''did'' wish for [[spoiler:his parents to fall in love again]], but the wish had no actual effect, either because it was already happening or because ItOnlyWorksOnce
* MeaningfulName: "Fletcher Reede". A fletcher is an arrowsmith, while a reed of course, is the wetland plant. The two play into Fletcher being a crooked lawyer as opposed to a "straight arrow".
* MotorMouth: See LongList.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Fletcher has two. One when he realizes how he's functionally ruined his relationship with his son, and a second when he realizes that his lies from the previous day have turned Mrs. Cole into a petty, vengeful ex-wife.
* NecktieLeash: Miranda grabs and pulls Fletcher by the tie, [[ForcefulKiss bringing his lips to hers]].
* NiceGuysFinishLast: Jerry, although Fletcher is somewhat redeemed in Audrey's eyes via his efforts to be a better father.
* NoIndoorVoice: Pretty much any of Fletcher's pronouncements after the realization sets in, but maybe most famously: '''[[MemeticMutation STOP BREAKIN' THE LAW, ASSHOOOOOLE!]]'''
* OffOnATechnicality: [[spoiler:How Fletcher wins the trial. He even cites it.]]
* OneSceneWonder: The woman in the elevator.
* OrganAutonomy: THE CLAW!
* PenultimateOutburst
* PetTheDog: Audrey is understandably pissed at Fletcher for weaseling her into paying to get his car out of impound, but the moment he has his HeelRealization, she can't stay mad and consoles him with the knowledge that he's not a bad father when he's there with her and Max.
* PrenupBlowup: The main case involves a GoldDigger attempting to get half of her husband's assets, despite the fact that the prenup he had her sign before marriage stipulated that, if she was unfaithful, she gets nothing. The husband's case seems ironclad, and there is even an audio recording of the wife having sex with her lover. The protagonist is an AmoralAttorney representing her who is unable to lie for one day (thanks to a wish made by his son) and, thus, can't win the case in his normal manner (he can't even ask a question that he knows will be answered by a lie). Interestingly, the husband was willing to settle for a decent sum of money despite the prenup in order to spare their children the unfortunate experience, but the wife wanted more. The protagonist wins the case by sheer chance, when he discovers that the wife was underage when she got married but lied about it. Thus, the prenup is invalid, and the wife is granted half of the assets. Then the protagonist realizes the mistake he made when he sees the wife trying to continue the battle by demanding full custody of the kids, despite the fact that she doesn't care about them, while her ex-husband is a loving father, all to get extra money from child support payments.
** At the beginning, it is the protagonist who convinces the wife to fight the prenup in court, claiming that her husband was the one who drove her into the arms of another man. The film makes it pretty clear, though, that nothing of the sort happened.
* PrinciplesZealot: Essentially, this is the result of the wish--Fletcher is an unwilling zealot, admittedly, but his behavior matches a classic comedic PrinciplesZealot pretty closely.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "'''''[[LargeHam I! CAN'T! LIE!]]'''''"
* RaceForYourLove: Interesting version - it's a father's love for his son that's being raced for here.
* ReallyGetsAround:
-->'''Fletcher''': After all that, your husband wants to deny you a fair and equitable share of the marital assets based on one single act of indiscretion.\\
'''Mrs. Cole''': Seven.\\
'''Fletcher''': Pardon me?\\
'''Mrs. Cole:''' ''Seven'' single acts of indiscretion.
* ReallySeventeenYearsOld: [[spoiler:Fletcher discovers that Mrs. Cole lied about her age when she got married, rendering the prenuptial and the original marriage contract void, but leaving her still entitled to half her (ex)husband's wealth as they had lived together long enough to be considered common-law married anyways.]]
* RefugeInAudacity: Fletcher's immediate boss learns of his current problem and takes him to the firm's board meeting where he regretfully tells everyone the honest truth of what he thinks of them. They end up in stitches laughing, loving the no-holds barred roasting.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: In a way, and for plot purposes. Not only does he have a truth-telling "superpower", but he also seems to be incapable of holding back the truth that is on his mind and spits it right out. For instance when he's pulled over by the police Fletcher seems incapable of reserving his 5th amendment right to stay silent, or simply say "yes" when asked if he knows why he was pulled over. (See "Long List" above for a quote from the scene).
** He also learns, to his horror, that he can't ask witnesses in court rehearsed questions if he knows they're going to lie. And he demonstrates a zig-zagging inability not to tell the direct truth -- he never tells the judge he's ill but then talks as if he is, but when asked if he can proceed with the trial after his "mugging", he says yes instead of simply stating he'd prefer not to.
* TheRoast: Fletcher ends doing this to a room full of executives once his boss finds his insults hilarious.
* SarcasticConfession: When forced to tell the senior partners what he really thinks of them, [[RefugeInAudacity he saves himself from near-certain firing]] when the chairman thinks he's being roasted and starts laughing.
* SelfDeprecation / LampshadeHanging:
-->'''Max:''' If I keep making this face ''[makes a face]'' will it get stuck that way?\\
'''Fletcher:''' Not in a million years--in fact, some people make a good living that way.
** Also qualifies as ActorAllusion and HypocriticalHumor.
* {{Sexophone}}: Occurs when Fletcher's busty new neighbor is introduced.
* ShockinglyExpensiveBill: Fletcher's unpaid [[ParkingProblems parking tickets]] come to $1654.11.
* ShutUpKirk: PlayedForLaughs since Fletcher does this to ''himself!''
--> '''Fletcher''': What's wrong with me?! ''[suddenly monotone]'' I'm getting what I deserve. I'm reaping what I sow, I--''[claps both hands heavily over his mouth, while involuntarily ranting]''
* SleepingTheirWayToTheTop: Fletcher sleeps with Miranda, his (female, good-looking) immediate boss in the hopes that it'll help further his career to finally make partner. His son's birthday wish takes effect at exactly the wrong time...
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Fletcher is sleeping with his boss until the wish comes into effect and he makes a truthful (and uncomplimentary) comment about the sex they just had.
* SmoochOfVictory: [[spoiler: Samantha kisses Fletcher in the courtroom after they win the case.]]
* SpitTake: Reede does an over-the-top one right before his ThatWasObjectionable moment.
* StealthInsult: See SarcasticConfession.
* TakingTheKids: Two parallel cases - Fletcher's client insists on taking the kids from their loving father not because she cares about them but because she can use them to milk him for child support payments. Meanwhile, Fletcher is in danger of losing his own son when Audrey moves to Boston.
* TensionCuttingLaughter: Provided by Fletcher's boss who misinterprets Fletcher's BrutalHonesty as a roast.
* ThatWasObjectionable:
-->'''Fletcher''': Your honor, I object!\\
'''Judge''': And why is that, Mr. Reede?\\
'''Fletcher''': Because it's devastating to my case!\\
'''Judge''': Overruled.\\
'''Fletcher''': Good call!
* TongueTied
* TooMuchInformation: When the judge asks Fletcher how he's doing this morning, Fletcher replies with, "I'm a little upset about a bad sexual episode last night."
--> '''Judge''': [[DeadpanSnarker Well, you're still young. It'll happen more and more]]. In the meantime, what do you say we get down to business?
** One of the reasons Fletcher doesn't want to talk to his mother on the phone:
--> '''Fletcher''': ''[on phone]'' Hello? Mom! ''[panicking]'' Hi! ''[...]'' I wasn't really on vacation. ''[...]'' Because I didn't want to talk to you! ''[...]'' Because you insist on talking about Dad's bowel movements: Size, color, frequency!
* TruthSerum
* TheUnfairSex: Parodied. Creator/JenniferTilly's character ReallyGetsAround, but Fletcher convinces her that she was "driven into the arms of another man." Meanwhile, he's pretty much lost his son as a result of his own infidelity.
-->'''Audrey:''' You forget that when we were married, I wasn't having sex nearly as often as you were.
* VillainHasAPoint: In an interesting example, Fletcher realizes that ''he's'' the villain at the end, when he wins millions for his client through LoopholeAbuse. Putting aside the fact that this wouldn't work in real life (see HollywoodLaw, above), the fact remains this was a case of a rich, older guy marrying a 17-year-old girl (apparently thinking she was 18). She ''was'' too young to make an informed decision about either marriage or a pre-nup (and the case could arguably constitute statutory rape), so it's hard to feel especially bad for the guy.
* VolleyingInsults: The scene in the LargeHam quote.
* WhamLine: Fletcher manages the rare feat of delivering one to himself, courtesy of the truth-telling curse.
--> '''Fletcher:''' ''[angry]'' Now you listen to me - I'm a bad father! I... I mean... ''[horrified]'' [[HeelRealization I'm a bad father]]...
* WhenYouComingHomeDad
* WomensMysteries: Inverted - Fletcher uses men's mysteries to get a recess in the court, citing a link between a full bladder and male prostate issues and counting on the judge not knowing whether this is medically accurate or not. PlayedForLaughs when the judge asks if that's true (to which a bewildered - and still forced to tell the truth - Fletcher responds, "It ''has'' to be!").
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Fletcher beats the ever-living crap out of himself in the bathroom so that the court session could be postponed. When asked who did it, he describes the assailant-himself-as "A madman, your honor! A desperate fool on the end of his pitiful rope!" Still, Fletcher's scheme fails when he's forced to admit that he still feels physically able to continue with the case.
--> '''Fletcher:''' About 6'2, 180 pounds, big teeth, kinda gangly. ''[closes mouth to cover teeth]''
* YourCheatingHeart: One of the main conflicts between the Coles. It's also strongly implied to be at least partly responsible for ending Fletcher and Audrey's marriage.
-->'''Audrey:''' You forget that when we were married, I wasn't having sex nearly as often as you were.