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->''"You're messing with the wrong guy!"''
-->-- '''Neal Page'''

This 1987 film featured Creator/SteveMartin and Creator/JohnCandy in two of the best comedy performances of [[TheEighties the 1980s]]. It was written and directed by Creator/JohnHughes, best known for teen angst films until that time, and is regarded by many as his magnum opus. It is also Martin's favorite of his film roles to date and was reportedly Candy's as well.

Uptight advertising executive Neal Page (Martin) just wants to get home to UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} for UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay. Unfortunately, every mode of transportation somehow fails him and he is stuck with Del Griffith (Candy), a garrulous traveling shower curtain ring salesman who doesn't know when to shut up. Over the course of three days, through delayed planes, broken-down trains, and burned-out automobiles, Neal and Del progress from being at each other's throats to developing an [[OddFriendship unlikely friendship]].

The film is probably best known for the sole scene responsible for its R rating; in which Neal, after being abandoned in a rental car parking lot where the car he rented isn't there, is forced to walk three miles back to the airport, whereupon he goes on a [[ClusterFBomb tirade]] against the rental agent. But it is not so much said tirade, as [[CrowningMomentOfFunny the rental agent's response to it]]. Creator/RogerEbert probably puts it best:

->"''The other great comic set piece in the movie is responsible for its R rating; nothing else in the movie would qualify for other than PG-13. This is Neal's verbal symphony for the f-word, performed by the desperate man after a rental-car bus strands him three miles from the terminal without a car. He has to walk back through the snow and mud, crossing runways, falling down embankments, until he finally faces a chirpy rental agent (Edie [=McClurg=]) who is chatting on the phone about the need for tiny marshmallows in the ambrosia. When she sweetly asks Neal if he is disturbed, he unleashes a speech in which the adjectival form of the f-word supplies the prelude to every noun, including itself, and is additionally used as punctuation. When he finishes, the clerk has a [[PrecisionFStrike two-word answer]] that supplies one of the great moments in movie dialogue.''"

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!! This film provides examples of:
* TheAllegedCar:
** After being sideswiped by two semi-trucks simultaneously and set on fire, it still ran.
--> '''State Trooper:''' Do you have any idea how fast you were going?
--> '''Del:''' Well, funnily enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to say with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.
** And the radio somehow still worked as well. Practically nothing else on the dashboard survived, but the radio? No problem.
* AmoralAttorney: The lawyer at the start.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In Kansas, Neal lists this catalogue of Del's sins against his sanity: spilling beer all over the bed, smoking and messing up the bathroom (all in the hotel), not paying for his share of the stay, and talking nonstop on the plane from UsefulNotes/{{New York|City}}. [[RantInducingSlight It's the latter than angers him more than anything else]].
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: The sole reason for [[ClusterFBomb Neal's rant.]] Hughes deliberately wanted the movie to be rated "R", because he felt that if it was rated lower, moviegoers would think he was just cranking out another teen angst film. [[TropesAreNotBad And it's one of the greatest scenes in the movie.]]
* AngryGuardDog: In the pickup truck that takes Del and Neal to the train station.
* BedMateReveal: Neal: "Why did you kiss my ear?"
* {{Bookends}}: Neal's client in New York mulling over the pictures.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: TV airings of the film redub the entire scene where Neal chews out the lady at the airport to remove all of the swearing.
* BrickJoke:
** Three of themótwo with short airtimes, and one that had been hanging for about an hourócome together to great effect: [[spoiler: A hotel clerk swaps their credit cards, Neal puts his wallet in a rental car's glove compartment asking Del to remind him to remove it, and Del flicks a cigarette out the window only for it to bounce back in unnoticed. Del reveals he had the credit card and returned it to Neal's walletójust as the car catches fire incinerating the wallet.]]
** During the movie, scenes of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner being prepared are shown. [[spoiler: During TheStinger, you see the CEO of the company that Neal was giving the ad spiel to at the beginning of the movie, ''still'' hasn't decided on which campaign to use, with the dinner on the conference table near him. And, he was played by William Windom, Kevin Bacon's father-in-law from ''She's Having A Baby''.]]
* ButtMonkey:
** Neal. Not a single thing goes right for him until the very end.
** Del, though he's more optimistic about it.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Averted. The film was shot on location in New York, Missouri and Illinois.
* TheCameo:
** By three actors who appeared in other John Hughes movies. First, Creator/KevinBacon competes with Neal for a taxicab. Then [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ben Stein]] announces that all flights have been cancelledÖ and smiles. Finally, [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Edie McClurg]] has to endure the F-bomb rant.
** Also, [[Series/LaverneAndShirley Michael McKean]] as the state trooper.
** [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ferris Bueller]]'s father thinks Neal won't make the 6:00 flight.
* CarMeetsHouse: The two back their burned-out car into the motel room wall, then quickly flee.
* CelebrityParadox: Averted, sort of: At the beginning of the film, Creator/KevinBacon has a cameo as another commuter who races Neal for a NYC taxicab. Later, there's a scene where Neal's wife is watching television; while you can't see the screen, the audio is of Kevin Bacon in a scene from another John Hughes film, ''She's Having a Baby''.
* ClusterFBomb: Neal's passive-aggressive rant, which contains just about every variation on the word "fuck," to the car-rental clerk, who [[spoiler:[[BewareTheNiceOnes replies with]] a [[PrecisionFStrike laser-guided precision F nuke]]]].
* {{Dramedy}}: The film starts out as a broadly rollicking comedy but [[ToneShift evolves into this]] as it progresses.
* DrowningMySorrows: Inverted on the last night. Delving into Del's extensive collection of airline liquors, the men [[INeedADrink get drunk to reflect on their disastrous journey]]. But they both enjoy genuine fellowship and have a great time.
* EurekaMoment: Toward the end, when Neal has his realization about Del at the metro.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The film takes place over the course of roughly 48 hours.
* FireForgedFriends: Neal and Del, by the end of the movie.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Quite a bit of it involving Del...
** Take a close look at the stickers on Del's luggage. [[spoiler:They're all just from hotels]].
** Del's personal motto is "Like your work, love your wife." [[spoiler: After the plane fails to make it through to Chicago, while Neal calls his wife, Del calls a hotel.]]
** Look at [[spoiler: Del's photograph of Marie. Doesn't it look like a headshot picture you'd have at a funeral?]]
** [[spoiler: "I haven't been home in years."]]
** The face he makes when [[spoiler:Neal says he's lucky to have a wife to grow old with.]]
* FromBadToWorse: After Neal misses his cab at the start everything goes downhill. [[SerialEscalation And THAT]] [[FinaglesLaw MEANS EVERYTHING.]]
* GenreSavvy: When Neil calls his family at the airport, his daughter accurately predicts, "Flight delay."
* GroinAttack: Happens to Neal in St. Louis.
-->'''Del:''' I don't think I've ever seen a guy picked up by his testicles before...
* HaveWeMet: Del encounters Neal at [=LaGuardia=] and is sure he recognizes him from somewhere. (He'd stolen Neal's cab earlier.) Punctuated by an ImagineSpot of Del, still in the airport, but with the taxi door in front of him making the same surprised look.
* HiddenDepths: Del, and how. [[spoiler:He finally reveals to Neal, at the end, that his wife's been dead for eight years, and he himself is a homeless drifter.]]
* IAmWhatIAm: Del rebuts Neal's TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
-->'''Del:''' You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you... but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.
* IfIWantedXIWouldY: "If I wanted a joke I'd follow you into the john and watch you take a leak."
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Neal's uptight and can be standoffish, but a lot of his tantrums can be put down to stress at his circumstances and the fact that Del, let's face it, is not the easiest of traveling companions. He's certainly genuinely devoted to his family.
** Del, meanwhile, is a slob with implied body odor problems, and is well aware of his problem with taking cues from people who aren't in the mood to be sociable. However, while traveling with him may not always be pleasant, he has a big heart and is still the friendliest, most helpful, not to mention resourceful, guys you could ever hope to meet (not unlike [[Creator/JohnCandy the actor portraying him]] was said to have been).
* KarmaHoudini: The thief who steals Neal and Del's cash never appears again.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A particular mofit (that mostly uses a harmonica) plays on almost every scene where another problem occurs that impedes Neal from getting home (the train stopping, the rented car not existing, ''having to go to court''...)
* MathematiciansAnswer: During the "driving in the wrong direction on the Interstate" scene.
-->'''Neal:''' He says we're going the wrong way.
-->'''Del:''' Oh, he's drunk. How would ''he'' know where we're going?
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Racing for a cab comes complete with Spaghetti Western stare-down and rock music.
* MyCarHatesMe: Del in spades. Both as a passenger fiddling with the car seat and again while driving the Le Baron.
* NiceHat: Neal, until he goes ballistic over his rental car not being there. Del has one, too.
* NoSympathy: Outside of Del, no one really shows Neal much sympathy at all. The worst offenders are the people at the people at Marathon, including the cab dispatcher.
* PsychoStrings: Del: "Hey, Neal, take my socks out of the sink if you're going to brush your teeth."
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: ''"You're messin' with the wrong guy!"''
* RealityEnsues: After being pulled over for speeding (due to not knowing the actual speed because of the melted speedometer, Del says that if the car is impounded due to being unfit for the road from the fire damage, he won't be able to get Neal home in time for Thanksgiving. The car is impounded anyway.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Neal gives a very harsh one to Del during their first night together.
-->'''Neal:''' You know, everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You're a miracle! Your stories have ''NONE'' of that. They're not even amusing ''ACCIDENTALLY''! "Honey, I'd like you to meet Del Griffith, he's got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh, and here's a gun so you can blow your brains out. You'll thank me for it." I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They'd say, "How can you stand it?" I'd say, "'Cause I've been with Del Griffith. I can take ''ANYTHING''." You know what they'd say? They'd say, "[[EveryoneHasStandards I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.]]" It's like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn't pull it out and snap it back -- you would. Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! And by the way, you know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea: have a ''point''. It makes it ''SO'' much more interesting for the listener!
* RedOniBlueOni: Neal is blue and Del is red. But when they are fighting, they switch.
* SadClown: Del. Not just because [[spoiler: it is revealed his wife is dead and he is alone and homeless]], but he's subjected to just as many travel catastrophes as Neal, although he deals with it with good humor.
* SanitySlippage: Neal goes through a little bit. Summed up when he phones his wife.
--> '''Susan:''' You shared a motel room with a complete stranger? Are you crazy?
--> '''Neal:''' Not yet. But I'm getting there.
* ShoutOut: The movie Mrs. Page watches on TV early on in the film is actually Creator/JohnHughes' next film "She's Having a Baby."
-->'''Kristi:''' She's sleeping in our HOUSE!!! I'll have to burn the sheets!
-->'''Jake:''' What if the shoe was on the other foot?
-->'''Kristi:''' I'D GO BAREFOOT!!
** The movie's poster is framed to resemble a Creator/NormanRockwell painting.
* ASimplePlan: For God's sake, Neal just wants to get home for Thanksgiving.
* SomeonesTouchingMyButt: "Those ''aren't pillows''!!"
* StepfordSmiler: Del is revealed to be one of these.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: A rare in-media example! The first time we hear this song is when Neal's luck reaches RockBottom once he [[spoiler: misses the fucking ride back to the fucking rental car headquarters and is fucking forced to walk down the fucking highway and across a fucking runway]], and again, during the first part of the closing credits, after "Every Time You Go Away."
* TheStinger: After the credits Neal's boss is still at his desk analyzing the ads, his Thanksgiving dinner sitting on his desk.
* TalkingToTheDead: Del with [[spoiler: his former wife Marie]].
* ThanksgivingDayStory: The main premise of the story is Neal trying to get home for the Thanksgiving holiday,[[spoiler: and that, no matter how dire things might seem, we all have something to be thankful for. It's delivered in such a way that even non-Americans can appreciate it.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Neal and Del gradually evolve from Type 1 (Del likes Neal, Neal detests Del) to Type 2 as Neal warms to Del and undergoes CharacterDevelopment.
* WardrobeFlawOfCharacterization: It's subtle, but the viewer can tell that John Candy's traveling salesman character's suit is off-the-rack and made of a synthetic material, especially by contrast with Steve Martin's successful, wealthy character, who wears one made of fine wool that looks custom-tailored.
* WhamLine: For what started out as a light buddy comedy, this one packs an unexpectedly huge wallop: [[spoiler:"I don't have a home. Marie's been dead for eight years."]]
* WildTake: When the duo's car ends up scraping between two semis at freeway speed, they briefly turn into google-eyed skeletons.
* WritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Averted if paying attention. When driving from St. Louis to Chicago, it would normally take about 6 hours, but they drive from what looks like early evening deep into the night and then drive for a while in the morning before being told that they are still 3 hours away from Chicago. However, [[FreezeFrameBonus if you look at the officer's State Trooper badges]] and the name of the truck's company, you'll see where they are. They went into Wisconsin.
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