[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/night_at_the_museum.jpg]]

''Night at the Museum'' is a 2006 American adventure comedy film. It is based on a 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc. It follows a divorced father trying to settle down, impress his son, and find his destiny. He applies for a job as a night watchman at New York City's American Museum of Natural History and subsequently discovers that the exhibits, animated by a magical Egyptian artifact, come to life at night.

Released on December 22, 2006, by 20th Century Fox, the film was written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of Comedy Central's ''[[RenoNineOneOne Reno 911!]]'' and MTV's ''TheState'', and directed by Shawn Levy. [[AllStarCast The cast includes]] Creator/BenStiller, Creator/RobinWilliams, Creator/DickVanDyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Creator/PaulRudd, Creator/RickyGervais, CarlaGugino, Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson. A new novelization of the screenplay by Leslie Goldman was published as a film tie-in.

The sequel, subtitled ''Battle of the Smithsonian'', was released in May 2009. Here, as the New York museum is being renovated many exhibits are stored in the Smithsonian. This brings with them a whole other genre of problems as well as some other features of the Egyptian artifact.
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!!'''Tropes spread among both movies include:'''
* AccidentalMisnaming: His name is not Brandon, it's '''Brundon'''.
* ActorAllusion: This is not Owen Wilson's first time [[ShanghaiNoon playing a cowboy]] - and in the sequel, we see his not-second-time getting buried up to his neck in sand. Bonus points for the inclusion of buddy-movie elements with Octavius. Bonus BONUS points for Steve Coogan, who played Octavius, also having been in a [[AroundTheWorldInEightyDays buddy-type movie]] with JackieChan which also featured Wilson as one of the cowboy esque Wright Brothers.
* AllStarCast: Much like ''NationalTreasure'', it's quite surprising to see all the big name stars.
* AllThereInTheManual: If you don't know basic to mild World History, then you'll miss most of the jokes.
* AnimateInanimateObject: Everything in the museum that comes to life counts as one of these.
* ArmyOfTheAges
* BrickJoke: In the second, Larry loses his smartphone when he and Amelia Earhart are chased into the VJ Day In Times Square portrait, which is picked-up by a seaman from Brooklyn. A post-credits scene has this sailor tinkering with the device in his home. His name? Joey Motorola.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Dr. [=McPhee=] really seems like one at times.
* CoolVersusAwesome : Given the premise of the movie, this is bound to happen
** In the first movie we have Roman army against Wild West cowboys
** The second movie take it {{up to eleven}}
* EternalEnglish: In the first movie, Ahkmenrah speaks perfect English right out of the gate, which he explains as being from his time as an exhibit at Cambridge. In the second film, Kahmunrah first tries Egyptian, then French when he meets Larry before settling on English.
** This implies that Kamunrah was paraded around in France for a while before ending up in the Smithsonian (or the British Museum). Small inside joke, but like a lot of the movie, definitely [[GeniusBonus History Bonus]] for those who get it.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Everything's Better With Capuchins]]
* FirstFatherWins
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: This trope was averted in the first film: Larry was the only guard and it didn't take long for the news to notice when the exhibits started running through Central Park, especially the appearance of cave drawings at the subway station or dinosaur tracks on 81st Street. The second film has no such excuse. The entire National Mall is brought to life by the tablet. They fly the Wright Brothers plane outside. An octopus swims in the reflecting pool. The Lincoln Memorial goes for a stroll! '''No one notices.''' For heaven's sake, there's ''a hole in one of the buildings and arguably millions in property damage!''
** Plus lets not forget Washington D.C. is one of the most heavily policed and security conscious areas on earth with numerous security-sensitive buildings and areas. One of the exhibits would've tripped an alarm somewhere in the city to cause a massive security scare in the city.
** Also, Larry and his son spend time at the beginning of the movie studying the vast security measures of the museums, and yet are somehow able to stroll through them and leave and enter at his leisure. Huh?
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jed and Octavius.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Cecil did this unintentionally when giving advice to Larry in the first movie. Cecil advises Larry to research stuff on the museum exhibits to help him out [[spoiler: which is used against him when Larry shouts the secret code to stop the horse-drawn cart Cecil used to escape]]
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Sacajawea's name many times. There's also a deleted scene where Sacajawea's name is pronounced "Saka-gah-way-a", while Ahkmenrah's name is pronounced "Akh-men-rah". The Sacjawea case is justified since no one knows how her name really was pronounced.
** The Smithsonian guard Brandon (as spelled on his nameplate) in the sequel argues to Larry that his name is "Brundon" "BUR-RUN-DON".
* IronicEcho: Teddy Roosevelt asked Larry "[[ArmorPiercingQuestion What are you made of?]]" in the first movie; in the second movie Larry says this to Amelia.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Octavius and Jedediah so hard.
** [[spoiler:"You're going to ''live''!" (breaks hourglass with helmet)]]
** The bit in the first movie where the two battle the raging gale... of a decompressing tire.
*** This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], as the camera keeps cutting back to a wider view of the area...and the only indication of this "battle" is the ''very'' soft, almost inaudible hiss of air leaving the tire.
*** Done again in the sequel, when Octavius gives a speech about how he's going to storm the White House to get help for Jedediah and begins to epically race towards the building on a squirrel. Cue the camera cutting to a position where we can't even see or hear him.
* TheNapoleon: Well, duh.
** Jedediah, moreso in the first movie.
* NotSoDifferent: Larry gives this talk twice in the series -- to Jedediah and Octavius in the first film and to Dexter and Able in ''Battle of the Smithsonian'' -- to get them to cooperate.
* OnlySaneMan: Larry to an extent, but over the course of both movies, Sacajawea is honestly the most normal of the cast.
* ShoutOut:
** Octavius and Jedediah at the end of the first movie, to ''Film/IndependenceDay''.
*** They do it again at the final battle of ''Smithsonian'', this time to ''ThreeHundred''.
** Early on in the movie Octavius orders a RainOfArrows to be thrown at Larry his order is ''Unleash Hell!'' in reference to ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''.
** When Octavius sees the squirrel, he makes the "dinosaur vision" speech from ''Film/JurassicPark''.
** As pointed out above, they have one to ''BrokebackMountain'' in the first movie. It helps that Jedediah's an actual cowboy.
** In BOTS, Kahmunrah gets into the pop-culture wing and claims [[AllInTheFamily Archie Bunker's]] [[TheCouch "throne"]] as his own. He's also seen trying on Muhammad Ali's robe at one point, as well as passing on wearing [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Dorothy Gale's]] ruby slippers.
** When Custer is knocked off the motorcycle early on, he tells Larry to keep going with, [[Film/LordOfTheRings "Fly, you fool!"]]
* SidekickExMachina: Ahkmenrah owns the tablet which made the whole exhibits alive, but he doesn't gain a lot of screen-time, ''especially'' in the second movie.
* SlidingScaleOfLivingToys: The exhibits are either Level 4 or 5. Well, except the [[BackFromTheDead mummies]].
* TookALevelInBadass: Good God, ''Larry'' between the first and second films.
** To the point where the last fight with Kahmunrah is not only his Greatest [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Crowning Moment]], but it's actually much more epic than what it actually should be. Just ''watch it'', and you'll know what I'm talking about.
** The first film explained that the older janitors became {{Badass Grandpa}}s because of dealing with the museum exhibits (and the magic of the tablet). Between films Larry gained those same skills in a younger body.

!!'''The first movie provides examples of:'''
* AllAnimalsAreDogs: Rexy, the tyrannosaurus skeleton.
* {{Angrish}}: When angry, the owner of the museum starts metaphors and can never finish them.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: You know, for a film that's supposed to encourage kids to learn history, they do love re-enforcing old (untrue) stereotypes -- like Napoleon's shortness.
** To be fair, it makes sense that the exhibits would all be {{Flanderization}}s of the actual figures as that's largely what is taught with basic history. Even in the movie, even though Napoleon is shorter than most of the rest of the cast, he's not played by a midget or anyone extraordinarily short, and the closest they come to actually calling him short is Larry commenting that he makes a lot of analogies involving him being bigger than other people.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics:
** The flight of the Wright Flyer during the second film (flying from a dead stop, and making maneuvers that would have been impossible for the flyer).
** Likewise, even on the winter solstice (when you'd get the biggest advantage from latitude) it is impossible to take off from Washington, DC an hour before sunrise and make it to New York City in a single engine propeller plane and land in New York City before dawn. The plane simply isn't fast enough.
* AxCrazy: Attila the Hun.
* BadassGrandpa: Night guard Cecil is a badass. Justified in that the tablet also reinvigorated ''him''.
* BetaBaddie: Cecil, Reginald and Gus. They only wanted the tablet because it gave them virtual youth.
* BigShutUp: The Moai.
* CallingYourAttacks: Gus does this.
-->'''Gus''': "Sweet dreams, cupcake! PILEDRIVER!"
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: One of the exhibits in the original museum is a Moai, who is very fond of bubble gum.
* FreudianTrio: Cecil (Ego), Reginald (Superego), and Gus (Id).
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
-->'''Jedediah''': ''(After trying to shoot Larry in the eye with his toy gun)'' "Now, you know my shame. Jedediah's impotent rage. His guns don't fire."
** [[ShanghaiNoon His salmon don't swim upstream...]]
* HamToHamCombat: If you've seen the scene in which Atilla and Larry are yelling at each other, you know what I'm talking about.
* HotBlooded: Gus, one of the villainous night guards in the first movie.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[strike:Mr.]] [[InsistentTerminology Doctor]] [=McPhee=] really comes across as just a {{Jerkass}}, but you can't help but feel for him in the second - and he does seem to be warming up to Larry by the end.
* MuseumOfTheStrangeAndUnusual: Thanks to that magic tablet, the museum comes to life at night.
* MistakenForGranite: The giant statues of Anubis that guard the pharaoh.
* TheObiWan: [[TheodoreRoosevelt Teddy Roosevelt]] to Larry.
** Hell, he was practically Larry's surrogate father.
* PlayingAgainstType: First of all. Dick van Dyke is one of the {{Big Bad}}s in the first movie. Secondly, Ben Stiller's playing the main role in a couple of children's films here? Yeah..
** Don't forget Mickey Rooney!
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Ahkmenrah (one of the only exhibits in the museum who is a reanimated being besides Rexy), once the tablet activates.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: How is the tablet owner's name spelled? Ahkmenrah, Akhmenrah, or Akmenrah?
* AStormIsComing: Larry says this while vowing to Dexter that he will get even for the monkey's antics. Then repeats it after revealing how he's tricked the monkey with a set of toy keys.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Easter Island Head talk this way. Dum dum want lot of gum-gum.
* TheVoiceless: Larry mistook Sacagawea for this since she was behind Plexiglas and couldn't be heard.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Was there any explanation where the protagonist's girlfriend went after the first movie?

!!'''The sequel ''Battle of The Smithsonian'' provides examples of:'''
* ActingForTwo: In the sequel, RobinWilliams returns to his role as Teddy Roosevelt. [[ItMakesSenseInContext He also plays]] a [[SorryBillyButYouJustDontHaveLegs Teddy Roosevelt]] statue and [[{{Hologram}} Teddy Roosevelt]] hologram. Creator/HankAzaria plays the BigBad (Kahmunrah), the Thinker, and AbrahamLincoln.
** The same monkey plays both Dexter and Able.
* ActionGirl: AmyAdams as AmeliaEarhart.
* ActorAllusion: ClintHoward as a [[Film/{{Apollo 13}} NASA ground controller.]]
* AdrenalineTime: Invoked when Octavius and Jedediah storm through Napoleon's soldiers and Capone's mob
* AffablyEvil: Kahmunrah. Between his lisp and over the top antics he becomes rather likable.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Jedediah and Octavius weaponize this towards the enemy soldiers. Given the large number of them that we see hopping and holding their feet, it's quite effective.
* AndroclesLion: The [[EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods Giant Octopus]]
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: Abraham Lincoln's statue.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: At the end of the film, [[spoiler:Amelia decides to take a plane and fly off into the wild blue yonder, and certain death, since she'll turn to dust once the sun rises. However, she wants to die doing what she loves, rather than spend the rest of her existence as an inanimate statue.]]
* BigBad: Khamunrah
* BigDamnHeroes: In 2, it doesn't get much bigger than [[spoiler:''the Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial'' saving you.]]
* BillingDisplacement: Robin Williams is listed as one of the major actors in the credits, but unlike the first film, he's only on-screen for roughly five minutes total.
* BrickJoke: Daley's Devices seems to be built on Larry's experiences in the museum; in particular, the "unloseable keychain" stems from the kleptomaniac capuchin monkey.
* CaptainObvious: That one Tuskegee airman may as well be named this.
* CastingGag: The trio of singing cherubs are played by the JonasBrothers.
* ChekhovsSkill: Larry's moves with his flashlight. First just a [[RuleOfcool cool move]], by the end of the movie, a life-saver.
** In a similar vein, the capuchin kept stealing Larry's keys, somehow teaching Larry enough to steal Brundon's keycard.
* CulturalTranslation: The Italian rendition of the movie is literally riddled with them, often bordering on the GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** While in the original dub Napoleon, upon meeting Amelia and Larry just gives them an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther speech, in the Italian rendition Napoleon compares their sexual tension to the many romances he had in life, quipping that he may have sired lots of sons who never knew their ancestry. This apparently innocent exchange turns into blatant GettingCrapPastTheRadar (given the then currently Italy political situation) when Napoleon describes one of his latest descendants in detail: the potential descendant of an Italian lover, a jolly, funny fellow, short of stature but always overtly cheesy and cheery, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi who "is really important in his Country", and "once used to be a cruise ship crooner"]].
** [[strike:Brandon]] Br'''u'''ndon gets turned on the stereotypical Neapolitan fellow, braggart, slang-spewing and with a deep-set veneration for Maradona.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Al Capone and his men, and also the artistic photograph of 1945 in ''Smithsonian''.
* DemotedToExtra: The exhibits who have to stay at the Museum of Natural History during the movie (except for Teddy Roosevelt, who was also a metal bust at the Smithsonian).
* DeusExitMachina: The [[spoiler:statue of Abraham Lincoln walks off after dispatching Kahmunrah's underworld army, since it would have been a CurbStompBattle had he stayed for the climax]].
* DistractedFromDeath: A non-lethal variant. Teddy Roosevelt is about to go back to being wax, and wants to give him one last bit of advice before he does so. However, unfortunately, just as he is about to give said advice, Larry has to take a phone call, and looks up to find that Teddy has already turned to wax by the time he finishes talking.
* DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest
* DramaticDrop: AlCapone, rather tellingly, drops the Einstein bobblehead when [[spoiler:Kahmunrah opens the portal to the netherworld.]]
* EnemyCivilWar: Larry starts one by first implying that Kahmunrah is the "master" of Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, and Al Capone, who don't take it very well.
* FakeUltimateHero: General Custer.
* {{Fanservice}}: This being a family movie, there's something for everyone - Amelia Earhart's really, ''really'' tight pants for the boys (and dads); Ahkmenrah's BareYourMidriff costume for the girls (and moms).
* [[FooFu Flashlight Fu]]: Larry's skill with a flashlight in Battle for the Smithsonian, also brought as a ChekhovsSkill.
* FlyAtTheCameraEnding: With an old fashioned biplane.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Plenty of these in the art gallery and aerospace museum scenes.
* GeniusDitz: The Einstein bobbleheads. Admittedly, some versions tell that Einstein ''was'' quite goofy.
* GenkiGirl: Amelia Earhart
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: Larry's the only one who knows about the Battle for the Smithsonian.
** The Smithsonian therefore has both the worst security and best maintenance staff of all time.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: We only see one security guard for the Smithsonian, and it seems to be the slowest night ever in Washington, DC - no one notices a thing amiss. Where's the DOD when you need them?
* HandsGoDown: Kahmunrah after being asked about his tunic thinking it's a dress by Al Capone and Ivan the Terrible.
-->'''Kahmunrah''': Are there any other questions?\\
''(Napoleon's hand goes up)''\\
'''Kahmunrah''': Any questions not about the dress... tunic.\\
''(Napeleon's hand goes down)''
* HiddenInPlainSight: [[spoiler:The movie ends with Larry selling his company and donating the money to the AMNH, under the guise of funding more "high-end" upgrades to the exhibits, allowing the exhibits to come alive at night without any fear of [[BrokenMasquerade breaking the Masquerade]].]]
* HistoricalInJoke: The WW2 sailor who nabs Larry's cellphone is named Joey Motorola. Wait, does this mean the TimeyWimeyBall could be in effect?
** If so, its a CriticalResearchFailure: Motorola already existed in 1945, and it wasn't named after the founder.
* HistoricalBeautyUpdate: AmyAdams plays [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Earhart Amelia Earhart]]. {{Beat}}. Umm... SheCleansUpNicely, but in those pics she could stand to gain a few pounds.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Ivan the terr... er, the Awesome complains about this in the second movie, just before acting the part for the rest of it.
* HollywoodHistory: Subverted somewhat with Ivan the Terrible, who points out that a more accurate translation of his nickname would be "the Awesome", and that he was in fact a fairly good ruler.
* {{Homage}}: Larry scouting out the Smithsonian is accompanied by background music from ''NationalTreasure''. Note that both movies involve breaking into a national museum.
** Jedediah and Octavius use combat moves lifted intact from ''300'' when they're attacking the mooks' feet.
* HypocriticalHumor: Al Capone makes fun of Kahmunrah's tunic, calling it a "dress". Ivan the Terrible also makes fun of Kahmunrah's "dress", even though he himself is wearing a fairly long robe that itself might be easily mistaken for a dress.
** In a somewhat darker example, we have this line: "You'll never get lost following Amelia Earhart."
* IdenticalGrandson: Subverted with the girl at the end who looks like Amelia Earhart. Apparently they're not related. As far as she knows.
* IdiotBall: Larry seems to have forgotten that it was well established in the previous film that simply turning the middle piece of the tablet cancels the spell, meaning he could effectively solve the entire problem ''in seconds''.
** In the sequel, When Larry returns to the villains and is given the hourglass with his trapped friend, why doesn't he immediately free the cowboy, by opening the glass as quickly as Kamunrah closed it? Or at the very least turn it upside down to let the sand flow away from him? Instead, he stands there for a huge part of the dialogue just holding it (at least having the sense to hold it horizontally so no more sand pours on the cowboy). Later on, the hourglass once again falls on the floor upright, putting the cowboy in mortal danger again.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Larry and his flashlight.
* InsistentTerminology: Brandon/Brundon... oh, and Kahmunrah's dress sense:
-->'''Kahmunrah''': This is not a dress, it is a tunic!
* [[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY It Is Pronounced "Brundon"]], despite being spelled the same as "Brandon".
* LargeHam: Kahmunrah.
-->"''I'' have come '''back''' to '''''LIFE!!!'''''"
* LeeroyJenkins: Custer.
* {{Lzherusskie}}: Ivan the Terrible is played by Brit Creator/ChristopherGuest.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Amelia Earheart and Larry. There's obvious sexual tension between them, but Larry deliberately chooses to spur her advances knowing how, upon taking the Tablet away, Amelia will return to her lifeless, mannequin status, dooming their romance to live and die in a single night, and vowing to spare the horrible truth to Amelia. Amelia [[spoiler: has different ideas though: she already knows, she just doesn't care that much]].
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Amelia Earhart.
* MissionPackSequel: ''Battle of the Smithsonian''.
* NoEndorHolocaust: The destruction or disappearance of some of the most valuable artifacts in human history and a large break-in into a government facility. All signs clearly point to Larry being the one responsible. [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy Are you telling me no-one's investigating this?]] When you realize his sole alibi is that he was protecting the world from an undead army and allied with waxworks brought to life by ''[[AWizardDidIt magic]]''. Yeah... Larry's likely going to be in prison for a ''long'' time.
* OhCrap: That's the exact translation of the Bird-warriors' screeches when Abraham Lincoln's statue enters the battle.
* OverlyLongGag: Often the plot stops dead to allow for various characters to have a back-and-forth argument, seemly just made up of snappy lines the writers came up with.
* PaintedOnPants: Amelia Earhart's pants. In fact, she's the page picture.
* ParentalFavoritism: Kahmunrah said that his "[[GodInHumanForm mother]] and father" gave Egypt to the more thoughtful Ahkmenrah.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The tablet opens a portal to the underworld after punching in... [[spoiler:the value of Pi to the first eight decimal places.]]
* PortalPicture: Larry and Amelia escape into TheVJDayKiss in Times Square photo. Due to Larry accidentally leaving his cell phone there, it falls into the hands of a kid named [[HistoricalInJoke Joey Motorola]].
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** "I! Have come back! To life!"
** "Don't! Cross! This! Line! With your hand!"
* RealityIsUnrealistic: In-universe example: some kids complain about how Rexy's "animatronics" suck. Rexy, who's genuinely mobile and only ''acting'' like he's animatronic, roars to scare the pants off the doubters.
* RetiredBadass: Larry passes as this on his interaction with Brandon... I mean, [[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY Brundun]].
* RomanticFalseLead: Larry and Rebecca appear to take a liking to each other, but nothing else happens between them. Rebecca does not appear in the sequel.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The short stay of the Bird-Warriors.
* SequelNonEntity: Rebecca doesn't appear or get mentioned in the sequel, despite starting a relationship with Larry at the end of the first film.
* SlapSlapKiss: Spoofed.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Custer at first.
* StockParody: Of ''[[ThreeHundred 300]]'', and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny it's a gas]].
* TakeThat: At one point Kahmunrah refuses to accept [[Series/SesameStreet Oscar the Grouch]] and [[StarWars Darth Vader]] as accomplices.
** Well, it is Vader with no powers or Lightsaber who won't even talk. If you didn't know who he was you wouldn't be impressed either. Oscar is just vaguely... Grouchy, and he lives in a garbage can.
* VillainTeamUp: Khamunrah, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, and Al Capone.
* WeaponizedLandmark: [[spoiler:The Lincoln Memorial]].
* WilhelmScream: In the Air and Space Museum.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Amelia flies off into the sunset at the end. Unless the plane turned to dust with her, there's going to be [[FridgeHorror one hell of a crash]] in the morning. May be lampshading the real Amelia Earhart's fate where she disappeared while flying over the Pacific in 1937.
** How is Larry going to explain the destruction or disappearance of some of the most valuable artefacts in human history?
* WritersCannotDoMath: Played with. Some bobblehead {{Albert Einstein}}s tell Larry that the value of π (pi) is 3.14159265 "to be exact", however, they were specifically providing the exact code for the tablet, rather than saying that this is definitely where Pi stops.
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