[[quoteright:302:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mysterymen1.jpg]]
->''"We're not your classic heroes. We're the other guys."''
-->-- '''[[ImprobableWeaponUser The Shoveler]]'''

The (very loose) film adaptation of an offshoot of the ''FlamingCarrot'' comics, ''Mystery Men'' tells the story of a bunch of loser superheroes, constantly overshadowed by the big-name, big-ego [[CaptainSuperhero Captain Amazing]] (GregKinnear). While the Trio of Blue Raja (Creator/HankAzaria), Mr. Furious (Creator/BenStiller) and The Shoveler (Creator/WilliamHMacy) try desperately to get themselves taken seriously, Captain Amazing laments the lack of decent villains for him to fight.

But after SuperVillain Casanova Frankenstein (Creator/GeoffreyRush) gets released from a mental institution -- thanks to the machinations of Captain Amazing himself, who is rapidly losing his corporate sponsors due to his crime-free city -- it's no time at all before he's gathered the local gang leaders (including Creator/EddieIzzard), built himself a super weapon, the Psycho-Fraculator, and captured Amazing.

The not- exactly- kinda- eponymous characters are left needing to recruit Champion City's other underdog supers, including The Bowler (Creator/JaneaneGarofalo), The Spleen (Creator/PaulReubens) and Invisible Boy (KelMitchell), train under the enigmatic tutelage of the Sphinx (Wes Studi), using weapons created by MadScientist[=/=]GadgeteerGenius Dr. Heller (Music/TomWaits) in order to save the day.

''Mystery Men'' is a superhero/vigilante AffectionateParody, with bizarre, mostly minimal powers, and an odd look at (and much LampshadeHanging on) various conventions of the SuperHero Genre, and how they would fit into normal life.
----
!!''Mystery Men'' provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: The Spleen for The Bowler
-->'''Bowler''': There isn't enough beer in the world, Spleen. I'm sorry.
* ActionGirl: The Bowler wipes out enemies by throwing a mystic bowling ball [[spoiler: possessed by the soul of her father, the [[LegacyCharacter original Bowler]]]].
* ActorAllusion: Several.
** EddieIzzard's character makes a reference to "the god of haircare". In his StandUpComedy routine, he mentions that the Romans previously had crappy gods, like Simon, the God of Hairdos.
** Captain Amazing's agent objects to Amazing's recent activities, complaining, "I'm not a magician!" The actor, Ricky Jay, ''is'' in fact a famous card magician.
** And depending on your interpretation, there could be something significant about Creator/MichaelBay being cast as the leader of the Fratboys gang ("Can we bring the brewskies?")
* AerosolFlamethrower: Tony P. uses what appears to be a custom one of these in his final confrontation with the Bowler.
* AintTooProudToBeg: Captain Amazing, who has the best reputation of all heroes, actively bargains to be the villain's assistant upon capture.
* AlasPoorYorick: Carol carries Carmine's skull around with her in a bowling ball.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Parodied/inverted- Roy (a.k.a Mr. Furious) would very much like to be a bad boy, and struts around making a fool of himself acting like one in the hope of impressing Monica, the waitress on whom he has a crush. Monica, for her part, is never anything less than dismissive of him... until the point when he finally just starts acting like the sweet NiceGuy he ultimately at heart is, [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan at which point she begins to warm to him]].
* AllMythsAreTrue: The Shoveler's comment that he heard that the Sphinx could, like, cut guns in half with his mind is obviously supposed to be a wild rumor (Blue Raja even expresses disbelief at it). Turns out it's true.
* AllStarCast: Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Greg Kinnear, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Reubens, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Kel Mitchell, EddieIzzard, Tom Waits... maybe this is why the title of the song Smash Mouth made accompanying the film is "[[http://instantrimshot.com/ All Star]]".
* AlwaysWantedToSayThat: While the Mystery Men are trying to deactivate the Psycho-frakulator, the Shoveler asks Captain Amazing if he knows billionaire Lance Hunt. Annoyed, Amazing replies that they're the same person, before forcing a smile and saying that he always wanted to do that. Of course, the Shoveler doesn't seem to accept that last part.
* AmbiguouslyGay: The Blue Raja. Not only is his mother discovering his superhero identity played like a coming-out story, when the two Wonder Woman-esque women start catfighting, all of the other men are staring with interest and he just sort of looks vaguely annoyed and confused.
** Upping the ambiguous ante, he seems to have some chemistry with the Bowler, who explicitly tells her father that he's not a "fruit" (or a commie).
* AnachronismStew: The movie is implied to be set in 1999, the year of its release (Lance says "let us set the tone for the new millenium", the Blue Raja mentions the British Raj having ruled India "until the early part of ''this'' century"), but still takes place in a futuristic supermetropolis with thousand-floor skyscrapers, ever-present zeppelins, billboards cowritten in English and various Asian languages, strange money (the big bills are red, the coins have square holes in them) and bizarre advanced gadgets. All of this is deliberately invoked to parody the conventions of TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, the recent [[Film/BatmanForever Schumacher Batman films]] and alternate-history superhero fiction like ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}''.
* AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering: Used to subvert a TitleDrop, as they try to think up a team name.
-->'''Becky Beaner:''' Well, whatever you call them, Champion City will forever owe a debt of gratitude to these mystery men.\\
'''The Sphinx:''' Wait! Wait, that's it! We are... the Super Squad! ''[awkward silence]''\\
'''The Bowler:''' No, no, alliteration in these situations is corny.
* AscendedFanboy: Invisible Boy. At the start, he's part of a ''network'' of super wannabes that gravitates around a costume store catering to people like them.
* AwesomeMcCoolName:
** [[BigBad Casanova Frankenstein]]. In fact, according to the DVD extras, he was chosen ''because'' he had a cool-sounding name.
** Mr. Furious briefly attempts to convince his crush that his name is Phoenix Dark, before admitting that his name is actually Roy. It's part of his super hero 'image' as a HotBlooded brawler.
* BadassLongcoat: Mister Furious wears a black overcoat, drives a black motorcycle and refers to himself as the "lone wolf".
* BadassNormal: The original trio.
-->'''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Shoveller]]:''' God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel ''very'' well.
-->'''[[SassyBlackWoman Shoveller's Wife]]:''' You shovel better than any man I've ever known!
* BaitAndSwitch: During the superhero auditions, up walks a dark-costumed muscular man InTheHood and mask with a serious, brooding expression, getting the character's hopes up... [[spoiler: he then introduces himself as "Ballerina Man" complete with pink tutu underneath the flowing cloak.]]
* BedlamHouse: The asylum that Casanova Frankenstein is locked up in.
* BecomingTheBoast: Mr. Furious supposedly has the superpower of rage-induced super-strength, but, when called on it near the end of the film, he reveals it's all an act. However, when rescuing the LoveInterest from the clutches of the BigBad, he becomes genuinely furious, genuinely gains rage-induced super-strength, and starts kicking ass.
* BerserkButton: Most of the characters but especially Mr. Furious, who acts like ''everything'' will set him off in a blind rage.
-->'''[[EddieIzzard Tony P]]:''' Disco is NOT dead! Disco is LIFE!!
* TheBerserker: Subverted with Mr. Furious [[spoiler:until the ending]].
* BigBad: [[AwesomeMcCoolName Casanova Frankenstein]]. Who leads the minor villains and executes an EvilPlan.
* BigElectricSwitch: Several, and one must be careful about how many times one flips each one because [[spoiler: otherwise you could kill someone.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Captain Amazing acts like TheCape for the press but he's truly a selfish {{jerkass}}. Only his publist sees this side of him.
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn[=/=]SteppingStoneSword: Initially, Blue Raja's forks bounce off everything, until the Sphinx teaches him to concentrate on the throwing itself rather than ''stylizing'' the throws, and then they always land tines in and can be climbed on.
* BlackComedy: "I don't think he's gonna pull through."
* BlameGame: The Blame-Thrower.
* BlandNameProduct: Called out as such in universe, as Captain Amazing berates his publicist for losing his Pepsi endorsement, which was replaced with a similar-looking Japanese knockoff.
* BoringButPractical: Demonstrated with the weapon choices of Tony P's disco gang.
** Even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the heroes.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' What? Guns? That's your power, you shoot guns?
-->'''The Blue Raja:''' There's no theme at all here.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Weak.
-->'''The Blue Raja:''' At best.
-->[a Disco Boy wields a pipe]
-->'''The Shoveller:''' And who are you supposed to be, the Disco Plumber?
-->[another Disco Boy wields a [[ChainPain heavy chain]]]
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' See, you've got a chain, you could at least make it a ''gold'' chain. [[TemptingFate And that's just off the top of my head]].
-->'''Tony P:''' [[PreAssKickingOneLiner Top of your head, huh]]?
-->Cue CurbStompBattle
* BreakawayPopHit: "All Star" by Smash Mouth was one of the most popular songs of 1999 and appeared on the ''Mystery Men'' film and soundtrack months before the release of their album ''Astro Lounge''. Its high-concept video features all the main cast members of ''Mystery Men''...who were then later cut out after the song far eclipsed the movie in popularity. "All Star"'s subsequent appearance in dozens of movies in the next few years only muddied the waters of its original origin.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The Bowler is arguably the most powerful member of the team, and would likely be far more efficient if she didn't come off as so... Spacy sometimes. (Her father ''does'' talk to her, but the others find it very hard to realize that at first, and she presents an attidude that seems sort of crazy.)
* TheCameo: When [[BigBad Casanova Frankenstein]] gathers the [[GangOfHats various gangs of Champion City]] together in an attempt to unite them, the leader of "The Frat Boys" is played by Creator/MichaelBay.
** "The Waffler" from the superhero tryout scene is played by a [[RetroactiveRecognition pre-fame]] DaneCook.
** Pencil Head is played by DougJones.
** The gang "The Not-So-Goodie Mob" is played by the Goodie Mob.
** DanaGould as Squeegee-Man.
* CaptainErsatz: Captain Amazing has obvious Batman/Bruce Wayne elements with references to Superman; He's a billionaire lawyer who is secretly a vigilante crimefighter who uses glasses as a mainstay of his disguise. Booster Gold is another influence with his obsession with money and treating being a hero like being a famous athlete rather than a calling.
* CaptainEthnic: White Flight and the Black Menace. ''("They work together.")''
* CardCarryingVillain: All the bad guys. Frankenstein lists off all their nasty deeds at his party and they cheer each time.
* CardboardPrison: Notably averted, since what kickstarts the plot is the ''lack'' of supervillains for Captain Amazing to fight.
* ChainPain: One of the disco gang has a chain for a weapon. Mr. Furious [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this when he asks why it isn't at least a ''gold'' chain.
* ChekhovsGun / DeletedScene: Dr. Heller's Tornado-in-a-Can was intended to be a Chekhov's Gun but ended up on the cutting room floor. Rather than throw The Bowler's bowling ball into Casanova Frankenstein's machine to destroy it, the alternate scene shows them throwing a Tornado-in-a-Can into it instead. The effect for this can still however be seen in the theatrical release; just after they toss the bowling ball in and it does its damage you can see the green swirling smoke coming out of the hole.
* ChekhovsSkill: Just about everything The Sphinx teaches the heroes (that stayed through training) is useful at the end, including the group hug. The one exception is the watermelons on the feet but Sphinx doesn't remember telling Roy to do that.
* CityOfAdventure: Champion City has a bunch of villains of varying threat and heroes that fight them.
* CityOfWeirdos: The "superheroes" are ubiquitous and by-and-large [[DudeWheresMyRespect not taken seriously by the public]], but a geeky subculture of superhero wannabes exist.
* CivvieSpandex: Most of the group wears their "costumes" all the time (The Shoveler even using his uniform from his job as a miner), especially Invisible Boy, who until the end doesn't even come close to having a costume.
* TheCity: Champion City.
* CityNoir: Parodied. Roy thinks he's in one of these but the others think he's lame.
* ClarkKenting: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] with Lance Hunt as Captain Amazing.
-->'''The Shoveler:''' Oh, don't ''start'' that ''again!'' Lance Hunt wears glasses. Captain Amazing doesn't wear glasses.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' He takes them off when he transforms.
-->'''The Shoveller:''' That doesn't make any sense. He wouldn't be able to see!
* ColorCharacter: The Blue Raja, who doesn't wear blue at all (though [[ItMakesSenseInContext it makes perfect sense to him, given his supposed ancestry and nation's history]]). His friends enjoy pointing out the ridiculousness of this. However, in the end, he finally adds a blue shawl to his costume.
* ComebackTomorrow: When Mr. Furious attempts to persuade the Shoveler and the Blue Raja to follow Casanova Frankenstein with him:
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Well, here I thought I was with a couple of real superheroes, the Shoveller and the Blue Raja! But really, it's Lazy Boy and...
-->'''The Shoveler:''' Good night.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' And... the recliner! Yeah, Lazy Boy and the Recliner!
* TheComicallySerious: The Shoveller, with a pitch-perfect straight-faced delivery from William H. Macy.
* CompanionCube: Carmine's skull-in-a-ball. He argues with his daughter constantly but no one else can hear him.
* CoolCar:
** The Herkimer Battle Jitney. The "finest non-lethal military vehicle ever made!"
** Casanova's limo.
* CoolMask: Played straight with the Sphinx (who is "terribly mysterious") but oddly averted for the rest of TheTeam (Invisible Boy finally includes a pair of goggles when he makes his costume for the final act).
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: Carmine The Bowler's death was officially ruled as an accident.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Seems there was a little controversy there regarding your father's death.
-->'''The Bowler:''' Yes, the police said he fell down an elevator shaft. Onto some bullets.
-->'''The Blue Raja:''' You know, I've always suspected a bit of foul play.
** Tony P refers to himself as "the guy who gave your Daddy the shaft" suggesting that the coroner's report was incorrect and that Carmine's death was murder.
* CorporateSponsoredSuperhero: Captain Amazing may well be the TropeMaker, given the sponsorship decals and emblems on his uniform. He also provides the page image.
-->''Gum Disease and Gingevitis can be a crime, that's why I use Mighty Whity; I want my teeth to look amazing.''
* CripplingOverspecialization: The Blue Raja only works with non-bladed cutlery.
-->I'm the '''''Blue Raja!''' I'm not... [[KnifeNut Stab-man,]] I'm not Knifey Boy, I'm the Blue Raja.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Captain Amazing]]'s death is both gross and horrifying; pyscho-defraculation.
* CurbstompBattle:
** When the Disco gang beats up the trio, they literally throw them on the ground and stomp them.
** [[spoiler: The final fight between Casanova Frankenstein and Mr. Furious starts out with Casanova beating the crap out of him. Once he makes the mistake of triggering Furious' UnstoppableRage, the tide turns in Furious' favor]].
* CursedWithAwesome: A mixed blessing with Spleen, who cut the cheese and blamed it on an old gypsy woman who was walking by. She cursed him with farts of amazing potency and accuracy.
* DarkAgeOfSupernames: Parodied when Roy tries to pretend his name is Phoenix Dark (ne้ Dirk Steel), only to give in and say his real name.
* DarkMistress: Dr. Anabel Leek, Cassanova's psychiatrist and then lover.
* DeathByCameo: Creator/MichaelBay portrays the leader of the Frat Boys. Casanova kills them later to show [[KickTheDog how evil he can be]].
* DeconstructiveParody: This film shows what happens to normal people who want to be super heroes, and makes fun of them every step of the way.
* DeconReconSwitch: Despite real life difficulites, the cast still becomes succesful crimefighters in their own fight.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "I guess tonight, the lone wolf... hunts... alone."
* DieselPunk: Among other things, there's the Herkimer Battle Jitney.
* DiscoDan: The Disco boys are an entire GangOfHats of them but "there's no theme at all" with their weapons.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Casanova is sent plummeting into his doomsday device by Mr. Furious. Though the machine itself kills him instead of the fall]].
* DoesntLikeGuns:
** One scene where the supers mock gun-wielding Mooks for being uncreative in theming their weapons to match with their GangOfHats.
** The Blue Raja refuses to use guns or knives.
-->'''The Blue Raja:''' I won't use guns. I've been crystal clear about that.
-->'''The Shoveler:''' Won't even use a knife...
** Dr. Heller only makes non--lethal weapons.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The Blue Raja's coming out as a superhero to his mother is phrased as if it was a coming out of a different sort. His mother even remarks that she was saving her mother's cutlery for his wedding, but that that day looks to be far off
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Mr. Furious throughout the film. Everyone from his boss, to the police, to his own teammates disrespect him.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: [[spoiler: It turns out that Mr. Furious really does have rage-induced powers, he's just doesn't have the hair-trigger he claims to have.]]
* EmergencyWeapon: The Shoveler, sans shovel, deflects an attack with a ''trowel''.
* EmpathicWeapon: Carmine, though The Bowler argues with him more often than not.
* EnforcedMethodActing: When The Bowler examines the charred, mutilated and partially inside-out corpse of [[spoiler: Captain Amazing]] the actress didn't know that his arm would break off as she tried to take its pulse.
* EnlightenmentSuperpowers: The Sphinx can cut guns in half with his mind because he's a "terribly mysterious" mystic.
* [[GratuitousDiscoSequence Everything's Funkier With Disco]]: Casanova Frankenstein's mansion and main gang all revolve around disco.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Captain Amazing only wants a better villain to fight, but Casanova Frankenstein quickly gets the upper hand.
* EvilPlan: Casanova Frankenstein plans to use the Psycho-De-Fraculator on the city, which will fry their brains. No one knows why he wants to do this, but then again, he ''did'' spend the last thirty years in a nut house.
* ExoticWeaponSupremacy: Everyone uses these, except for the Disco Boys, who use boring old guns. For added flavor there's a weapon designer (TomWaits!) who specializes in these.
* {{Expy}}: Captain Amazing, despite similarities to Superman, is far closer to BoosterGold, both in appearance and his relentless quest for money and exposure.
** Also, the initial three members are based on the three classic members of the JusticeSocietyOfAmerica: The Shoveler is Jay Garrick, original ComicBook/TheFlash (the helmet, and the squeaky-clean personality), Blue Rajah is Alan Scott, the original ComicBook/GreenLantern ([[HilariousInHindsight the flamboyant attire]] and not being dressed in the color he's name after), and Mister Furious is Ted Grant, aka Wildcat (the temper, the (albeit faux) gruff attitude).
* {{Failure Hero}}es: TheTeam is this until their final confrontation with the BigBad. The police mock them after a C-string villain team beat the crap out of them.
* FakeNationality / FakeBrit: The Blue Raja, but it's part of his schtick.
* FalseReassurance: When the Blue Raja asks the Bowler if she really put her father's skull in her bowling ball, she assures him she didn't. "The guy at the Pro Shop did it."
* {{Fartillery}}: "The Spleen," forevermore he who dealt it.
%% * Do not readd Five Man Band. It does not fit for the following reasons: 1.)too many members. 2.) Invisbile Boy is not The Chick because he is not female and the chick MUST be female. 3.) Roy may or may not be the hero and without a hero there is no lancer.
* ForkFencing: The Blue Raja wields forks (not knives!)
* FreudianTrio: The 'Big Three'.
** Shoveller as Ego; level-headed balancer
** Blue Raja as Superego; obsessed with history and social conventions.
** Mr. Furious as Id; "I ''am'' a ticking timebomb of fury"
* FurAndLoathing: The gang called "The Furriers", a bunch of {{femme fatale}}s wearing leather and fur.
* GadgeteerGenius: Heller. He makes cutting edge [[InsistentTerminology nonlethal]] weapons in his trailer.
-->'''The Shoveler:''' Doctor, you really are a genius.
-->'''Dr. Heller:''' That's what the card says.
* GangOfHats: The Disco Boys are most obvious, but all the gangs in Champion City appear to have some quirk.
* {{Gasshole}}: The Spleen (see {{Fartillery}} above).
* GenreSavvy: Downplayed with Casanova Frankenstein. He is GenreSavvy when it comes to dealing with his ArchEnemy, Captain Amazing, but not when dealing with the Mystery Men.
* GloryDays: Captain Amazing hasn't had a decent battle in years.
* HappilyMarried: The Shoveler and his wife, Lucille, may feud over his heroing, but they worry because they love each other. She outright tells them that he's "a good husband" but not a superhero.
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: "Farting" sounds like a lame power but Spleen can selectively knock out everyone in a diner.
* HeroicBSOD: After his romantic interest tries to convince him to be himself rather than conform to his 'angry' theme, Mr. Furious takes this to mean that he has no powers. [[spoiler:He eventually snaps out of it when he [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome gets angry for real]]]].
* HeroicSacrifice: It seemed that Carmine was going to do this at the climax of the movie. Subverted in that A.) He was already dead (a fact that was [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]) and B.) It turns out at the end that he 'survived', somewhat to the annoyance of the hero [[EmpathicWeapon wielding him]].
* HuddleShot: "Group hug!"
* ICallItVera: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in the case of The Bowler, who calls her bowling ball Carmine - because it's possessed by the spirit of her father Carmine (and ''contains his skull''). It talks back, although only she can hear it.
* IceCreamKoan: Most of The Sphinx's teachings.
-->'''Sphinx:''' To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn.
** The pinnacle:
-->'''Furious:''' (trying to balance a hammer on his head) What's the point of this?
-->'''Sphinx:''' When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.
** And then some:
-->'''Sphinx:''' Your temper is very quick, my friend. But until you learn to master your rage —
-->'''Furious:''' Your rage will become your master? (beat) That's what you were gonna say, right?
-->'''Sphinx:''' ... Not necessarily.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: The Bowler cites this as the reason she won't kill Tony P. [[spoiler:Her father, however, has no such reservations.]]
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: Supplies the page quote.
-->'''Capt. Amazing:''' I knew you couldn't change.
-->'''Casanova Frankenstein:''' I knew you'd know that.
-->'''Capt. Amazing:''' Oh, I know that. ''And I'' knew you'd know I'd know you knew.
-->'''Casanova Frankenstein:''' But I didn't. I only knew that you'd know that I knew. Did you know that?
-->'''Capt. Amazing:''' . . . of course.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: The Blue Raja is shown to have impeccable aiming skills that border on the superhuman.
* ImprobableWeaponUser:
** [[ShovelStrike The Shoveler]], The Bowler, and a [[ForkFencing fork-flinger]], and that's just from the heroes.
** Cassanova Frankenstein attacks with his ''one'' long pinkie nail, and the cast react just as if it were a full set of claws.
* [[{{Pun}} Incredibly Lame Pun]]: The Blue Raja drops a couple of fork- and spoon-related puns during the course of the movie. He even practices some in front of a mirror.
* InsultedAwake: Parodied. The team try this on Mr. Furious when he no longer feels furious, but their insults are so lame and he's become so mild-mannered [[spoiler: due to falling in love]] that they can't even achieve a MinorInsultMeltdown:
-->'''The Bowler''': You're not well-liked. You're uh, you're abrasive and off-putting. You try and say pithy things, but your wit is a hindrance and therefore nothing is provocative. Just mixed metaphors. Now, doesn't that make you angry? Does it infuriate you?
-->'''Mr. Furious''': No.
-->'''The Bowler''': Well, it should. Aren't you angry? Come on, man!
-->'''The Shoveller''': [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Your penmanship is atrocious!]]
-->'''The Sphinx''': You dress in the manner of a male prostitute!
* IntrepidReporter: Becky Beaner would probably be Captain Amazing's love interest in a happier world.
* InvisibleStreaker: When Invisible Boy turns invisible, he has to remove his (visible) clothes to avoid being detected by motion sensors.
* ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime: Captain Amazing released Casanova Frankenstein from the asylum so he can have a high-profile supervillain to fight again. It backfires badly.
* ItsWhatIDo
-->'''The Shoveler:''' Doctor, you really are a genius.
-->'''Dr. Heller:''' That's what the card says.
** Captain Amazing says this word for word when asked how he knew about the Red-Eyes' attack on the nursing home.
* JiveTurkey: Dropped by, of course, the disco gang.
* KarmicDeath: This film ''loves'' 'em:
** [[spoiler: Casanova is ultimately killed when he is thrown into his own doomsday device]].
** [[spoiler: Tony P. is killed by the "ghost" of Carmine The Bowler - whom he ''murdered'']].
** [[spoiler: Captain Amazing is killed as a direct result of freeing Casanova]].
* KingIncognito: In a deleted scene, the original trio goes looking for the Sphinx at a Mexican restaurant but eventually gives up. One of the waiters later turns out to be the Sphinx (though whether the heroes discover this is not shown).
* LegacyCharacter: The Bowler; her father was a fairly well known crime-fighter before her. Bad guys derisively call her "Baby Bowler" because of this.
* LetsGetDangerous: Effectively summarizes the premise of this movie and is given a lampshade in the final battle sequence:
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Rage... taking... over...\\
'''Casanova Frankenstein:''' ''[Dismissive]'' Ya ya ya... we've heard it all before.\\
'''Mr. Furious:''' No no no... Rage... '''''really''''' taking over...
* LikesOlderWomen: Heller frequents the retirement home to pick up chicks.
* MagicalNativeAmerican: The Sphinx is a complicated example. He's played by a Native actor, but his powers, code name, and costume are not Native themed, he works at a Mexican restaurant and can be summoned by ordering the right combo meal, and his wise advice is basically nonsense.
* {{Malaproper}}: Mr. Furious. He doesn't appreciate being called on it.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: The Red-Eyes, even including a GasMaskMook.
* MenstrualMenace: The PMS Avenger only works 4 days a month.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
** Constantly by Mr. Furious.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' I don't need a compass to tell me which way the wind shines.
** Lampshaded by the Bowler when she's trying to rile him up:
--->'''The Bowler:''' You constantly try to say pithy things, but your wit is a hindrance, so nothing is provocative! It's all mixed metaphors!
* {{Mentor}}: The Sphinx teaches the others how to become proper super heroes.
* MisfitMobilizationMoment: The charge on Casanova Frankenstein's mansion is when the Mystery Men transition from goofballs to heroes.
* MrFixit: Heller. He restores the Herkimer Battle Jitney, for starters.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Look at the RousingSpeech example below.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: The Bowler's confrontation of Tony P. Complete with YouKilledMyFather.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Invisible Boy.
-->'''Blue Raja''': [[BiggusDickus Two hands there, son.]]
* NegateYourOwnSacrifice: The Bowler throwing her ball (containing the spirit of Carmine the Bowler) into the Psycho-Frakulator.
-->'''The Bowler:''' Now, the good news is you're not going to die, because you're already dead.
* NeverTrustATrailer: In one HBO trailer, as the narrator starts with saying something evil is brewing, we get to see a creepy closeup of a man screaming or laughing in the midst of some vortex. It must be important! [[spoiler:Nah, it's just the Spleen caught in the demonstration of Heller's tornado in a can, which has never been used after that.]]
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Captain Amazing. Which is to say that the "real" Captain Amazing is a jerk, despite his heroic reputation.
* NiceHat: The Shoveler wears a hard hat with a spotlight.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Captain Amazing in his civilian persona, decides to free Casanova so he could have a real villain to fight, and to boost his ratings. Bad idea.
** When half the team [[spoiler:kill Captain Amazing during a rescue attempt but Amazing gets the blame for giving such poor instructions.]]
-->'''The Blue Raja:''' [[spoiler: Oh! My God. Oh, my God. We killed him.]]
-->'''The Shoveler:''' [[spoiler: What do you mean ''we''? I was standing right here.]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: Casanova threatening Furious' girlfriend ultimately snaps him out of his HeroicBSOD and allows him to finally awaken his UnstoppableRage for real]].
* NinetiesAntiHero: Parodied -- Roy wants to be one of these so very, very much but the result is lame.
* NoExceptYes: When the Blue Raja asks if the Bowler really put her father's skull in her ball, she assures him she didn't -- the guy at the pro shop did.
* NonIndicativeName:
** A lot of people wonder why the Blue Raja doesn't wear blue. He insists that "[[ItMakesSenseInContext if we could just step out of our literal minds, just for a moment...]]" . It's a reference to the original GreenLantern, Alan Scott, who wore a lot of red.
** The Spleen; an organ which acts as a blood filter and doesn't really have to do with flatulence.
* TheNudifier: One of Heller's weapons causes fabric to shrink. When used on a gang of scantily-clad women, it incapacitates them... and makes Mr Furious feel like his trousers are a little tight, too.
* OnlySaneMan: Mr. Furious is the only one who thinks that Lance Hunt is Captain Amazing. He's also the only one who sees that the Sphinx just makes up his "mysterious" sayings by rearranging the words.
* OurFounder: A gigantic neon-lit statue of Captain Amazing.
* ParodiedTrope: So many superhero tropes are spoofed here.
* PerformanceAnxiety: Invisible Boy can only turn invisible when no one is looking at him.
* PerplexingPlurals: Captain Amazing comments to Casanova Frankenstein that they have always been each other's greatest "nemisises..nemisi..." (It's "nemeses".)
* PlotTailoredToTheParty: The assault on Chez Casa Casanova. From Invisibility to magic bowling balls to fork throwing etc, everyone's powers are used to solve some problem or obstacle.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Carmine is apparently this:
-->''' The Bowler''': So you're a British man who converted to Islam, sort of like Cat Stevens?\\
'''Blue Raja:''' No. Until the early part of this century, India was in fact part of the British Empire, whose government there was called the British Raj after the Hindi word for "sovereignty". Furthermore —\\
'''The Bowler:''' Wait — so sorry. ''[to her bowling ball]'' What? ''Dad!'' No, he's not a commie, nor a fruit. ''[to the Blue Raja]'' Sorry. His ignorance embarrasses me.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Literally, when [[spoiler:Captain Amazing gives confusing instructions on how to deactivate the deathtrap he's in, causing the group to slowly devolve into SeinfeldianConversation and eventually activate it by accident]].
* PowerWalk: Played straight, then parodied as Mr. Furious doesn't feel powerful enough to continue, and turns around. The two nearest just hook him under the arms and keep walking, dragging him along without even turning their heads.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Parodied constantly.
** The Blue Raja rehearses them in his room.
** Mr. Furious is constantly trying to come up with these, but as the Bowler accurately points out "your wit is a hindrance, so nothing is provocative -- it's all mixed metaphors." He does, however, come up with a pretty good one when he finally [[LetsGetDangerous gets dangerous]]:
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Someone must have ripped the "Q" section out of my dictionary, [[{{Determinator}} 'cause I don't know the meaning of the word "quit"]]!
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: The Bowler's Bowling Ball will always return to her hand when thrown. Justified due to being possessed by the soul of her dead father.
* ProductPlacement: Captain Amazing's costume is plastered in corporate logos.
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: One of the definitive film examples and intentionally so.
** A guy who thinks he's the TheHulk.
** A married man with a shovel.
** A MommasBoy who throws forks.
** A shy boy with pointless invisibility powers.
** A LegacyCharacter looking for revenge.
** Finally, a man who farts.
** Their SixthRanger is a guy whose superpower is that he's "mysterious" and can cut guns in half with his mind.
-->'''The Shoveler:''' "Amazing is gone. There's no use waiting for TheCavalry, because as of this moment, the cavalry is us. This is our fight, whether we like it or not. Just we few. We're not your classic superheroes. We're not the favorites. We're the other guys. We're the guys nobody ever bets on."
* RealityWarping: The Psycho-Frankulator seems to be a weaponized form of this. It warps its target until they die.
* RousingSpeech: Perhaps the best example concerning a sandwich.
-->'''The Shoveler''': This is egg salad. It's loaded with cholesterol. The wife won't even let me touch it. Hardly seems to matter now, 'cause chances are, we're already dead. Amazing is gone. There's no use waiting for the cavalry, because as of this moment, the cavalry is us. This is our fight, whether we like it or not. Just we few. We're not your classic superheroes. We're not the favorites. We're the other guys. We're the guys nobody ever bets on. But I'll tell you what I think. ... We're all in over our heads, and we know it. But if we take on this fight, those of us who survive it will forever after show our scars with pride, and say, 'That's right! I was there! I fought the good fight!' So whatdaya say? Do we all gather together, and go kick some Casanova butt? ''Or do I eat this sandwich?''
* RummageSaleRejects: Not just the Mystery Men; all the wannabes dress wear mismatched or dirty equipment.
* RunningGag:
** "Why don't you tell me?" "Why don't you tell ''me''?"
** The heroes failing to agree on a name for their gang, leading to a subverted TitleDrop at the end.
* SassyBlackWoman: Lucille, The Shoveler's wife, sasses ''and'' nags him about his superheroing.
* SceneryPorn: If you liked Film/BladeRunner's futuristic Los Angeles, you'll ''love'' this.
* SecretIdentity: Played straight with Captain Amazing and the Sphinx, but played with concerning the rest of the Mystery Men - they don't wear masks, but are still fairly secretive about their real names. The Shoveler (Eddie), the Blue Raja (Jeffrey) and Mr. Furious (Roy) use first names fairly freely when not in battle, the Bowler's (Carol) is said only once, and we don't hear their full names or learn Invisible Boy, Spleen or the Sphinx's real names at all.
* ShoePhone: Played with in the scene where Captain Amazing initially confronts Casanova Frankenstein and tells him to deactivate a variety of weapons hidden in normally benign objects, only to be snared by [[spoiler:a portable enticement snare that looks like a remote detonator]].
* ShoutOut:
** The scene where Casanova Frankenstein gathers the various gimmicked gangs of Champion City together at his mansion in an effort to unite them all under his rule, culminating with the rousing cry, "Can you dig it?" is a shout out to ''Film/TheWarriors''.
** Roy does a [[Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan Six Million Dollar Man]] slow-motion jump, complete with the iconic sound-effect.
** Roy also at one point counterquips Casanova with "[[WilliamShatner Don't correct me. It sickens me.]]"
** The Shoveler's RousingSpeech is reminiscent of the [[HenryV 'band of brothers']] speech. "We will show our scars with pride" indeed.
* ShovelStrike: The Shoveler shovels very well. He also has a trowel.
* ShroudedInMyth: This is ''literally'' the Sphinx's main power. (Mind you, his other power is chopping guns in half with his mind.)
* StormingTheCastle: The attack on Casanova's mansion.
* SkywardScream: Mr. Furious does this when he's trying (and failing ([[LetsGetDangerous and then succeeding]])) to invoke UnstoppableRage.
* SpandexLatexOrLeather: One of the most eclectic mixtures in any medium, involving a bit of just about everything - Captain Amazing's costume is molded rubber and chrome armour covered in sponsored ads, while supervillain Casanova Frankenstein displays a taste for multiple velvet outfits and strange gold jewlerly. The Mystery Men themselves all sport low-budget, piecemeal "costumes": The Shoveler wears mining equipment, a catcher's chest pad and jeans, the Blue Raja a thrift-store quality Indian ensemble, Mr. Furious a black leather motorcycle outfit with a black leather BadassLongcoat over it, etc. After meeting the Sphinx (who wears a vinyl cowl and billowing black velvet robes, later revealed to have dazzling blue and silver spandex hidden beneath), they sew proper costumes, which incorporate spandex (Spleen and Sphinx), leather (Furious and the Bowler), silver mail (Shoveler), ornately colourful jewel-covered fabrics (the Blue Raja) and what appears to be an elaborately painted mural of Champion City (the Invisible Boy).
* StealthPun: The Spleen's name makes no sense until you remember the phrase "venting one's spleen."
* SuperHero: Parodies the genre. The only ones with genuine superpowers are Spleen, Sphinx, and Invisible Boy.
* [[SuperheroPackingHeat Supervillain Packing Heat]]: The Disco Boys, to our heroes' great amusement.
* SuperheroesWearTights: Mostly averted, as it primarily homages DarkerAndEdgier comic styles that were more about leather and combat gear, but played straight by the Sphinx and the Spleen in the final act (the Sphinx's boots imply that he was always wearing the tights under his robes of mystery).
* SuperStrength: Mr. Furious, but only when his UnstoppableRage truly kicks in. It's stated he once pushed a bus all on his own (despite him making excuses due to presently suffering a HeroicBSOD at the time). [[spoiler: Proven when triggered at the end, which allows him to manhandle Casanova]].
* SuperZeroes: Of the "zero to hero" kind.
* TheTeam
** TheBigGuy: The Mystery Men have a number of heavy hitters.
*** Spleen's gas attack is "silent but deadly".
*** Dr.Heller has an arsenal of non-lethal weaponry
*** Bowler's bowling ball is like a guided missle and returns when she throws it.
*** When he's truly angry, Mr.Furious is a formitable fighter.
** TheFace: Invisible Boy's biggest contribution to the team is his networking ability. "I know lots of super heroes."
** TheLeader -- The Shoveler gives the RousingSpeech. Interestingly, when he says "Leadership, it's what we've been missing." He was looking at Mr.Furious as if disapointed that he didn't live up to this role.
** TheSmartGuy--
*** The Blue Raja with his vast array of specialized forks and well-researched back story.
*** Dr. Heller made their gear and their transport.
** MentorArchetype -- The Sphinx trained them all.
* ThatPoorCat: Happens while The Blue Raja is using a dartboard for target practice.
* TechnicalPacifist: Doctor Heller, who designs nonlethal weapons, such as the "Shrinker" (which causes the target's clothing to contract painfully tight) and the "Blame-thrower" (which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin starts]] [[BlameGame arguments]]).
* ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman: Played with for Invisible Boy. He can only turn invisible when no one is looking at him, which seems useless [[spoiler: until they encounter an automated defense system.]] Which is not exactly uncommon.
* TitleDrop: See AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering?, above.
* ToiletHumor: A skunk humping the leg of a fart-powered superhero, just to name one example.
* TookALevelInBadass: Everyone, after meeting The Sphinx. This was the point of finding him.
* TornadoMove: Dr. Heller has invented a "Tornado in a Can". He uses one to get the heroes' attention when they have decided he was a crackpot and go to leave.
* TrickBomb: A tornado in a can.
* TVNeverLies: Parodied during a conversation between Mr. Furious and Monica the waitress:
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' I'll have a steak, please, very rare. That means pink, not bloody. And can I get some ice? I had a little mishap defending justice over at the nursing home.
-->'''Monica:''' I thought I heard on TV that that was Captain Amazing.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' [[SarcasmMode Ooh! Let's all be good automaton droids and believe everything we see on TV!]]
-->'''Monica:''' I'll just go place your order now...
* UnstoppableRage: This is ''supposed'' to be Mr. Furious' power but he's defeated by stress balls.
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' ''That little sucker just saved your life.''
** Counts as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when [[spoiler: it finally works in the end]].
* VictoryIsBoring: After putting away every supervillain in the city, Captain Amazing is left with only incompetent gangs of thugs, which prompts him to get Casanova Frankenstein released.
* WaxOnWaxOff: Parodied when the Sphinx trains the eponymous squad with a series of bizarre physical feats justified by odd wordplay, as seen in this exchange:
-->'''Mr. Furious:''' Why am I balancing a hammer on my head?\\
'''The Sphinx:''' When you can balance a '''''[[IceCreamKoan tack hammer]]''''' on your head, you can head off your foes with a '''''[[{{Pun}} balanced]]'' [[{{Pun}} attack!]]'''\\
'''Mr. Furious:''' And why do I have these watermelons on my feet?\\
'''The Sphinx:''' [''{{beat}}''] I don't remember asking you to do that.
* WeaponizedBall: The Bowler uses a bowling ball possessed by the spirit of her father (the original Bowler) as a weapon.
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: The Herkimer Battle Jitney. Roy finds it in a junkyard and Heller tells him how great it is.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Dr. Annabelle Leek joins Casanova as his evil concubine, then vanishes without a trace halfway through the movie.
** [[WordOfGod DVD supplemental materials]] say there were originally some very funny bits with her that got cut out.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: Everybody on the team, which is central to the premise but special mention goes to Invisible Boy who can only turn invisible when nobody is looking; this is only useful when trying to avoid electronic detection in a room where everybody is on his side and agrees not to look at him.
* WickedCultured: Casanova Frankenstein, although bizarrely and brilliantly mixed with Everything's Funkier With Disco.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: [[spoiler: Furious]] has a very short one that doubles as PreAssKickingOneLiner when [[spoiler: His UnstoppableRage is finally unleashed, allowing him to beat the stuffing out of Casanova Frankenstein]].
* YouCanSeeMe: Unfortunately, Invisible Boy, yes we can. [[BiggusDickus EVERYTHING, too]].
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: In the climax, the BigBad kills a group of Mooks expressly to demonstrate to the heroes that, unlike them, he can sacrifice his allies if he has to, or, y'know, [[ForTheEvulz if he feels like it]].
* YouKilledMyFather: The Bowler. Downplayed by the fact [[spoiler: it's her dead father who ultimately avenges himself]].
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