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

Uptight advertising executive Neal Page 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, a traveling shower curtain ring salesman who won't shut up. Through delayed planes, broken down trains and burned-out automobiles Neal and Del go from being at each other's throats to friends.

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.''"

This film featured JohnCandy and SteveMartin in one of the best comedy performances of [[TheEighties the 1980s]]. The film was directed by Creator/JohnHughes, best known for teen angst films until that time, and is widely regarded as his magnum opus.
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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:''' Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see 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, people would think he was just cranking out another teen angst film. [[TropesAreNotBad And it's one of the greatest scenes in the movie.]]
* BedMateReveal: Neal: "Why did you kiss my ear?"
* BittersweetEnding
* BookEnds: Neal's boss mulling over the pictures.
* BrickJoke: Three of them—two with short airtimes, and one that had been hanging for about an hour—come 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 wallet—just 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.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Averted. The film was shot on location in New York, Wichita, UsefulNotes/StLouis and Chicago.
* TheCameo: Three from other John Hughes movies; Creator/KevinBacon competes with Neal for a car, and then [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ben Stein]] announces that all flights have been cancelled … and smiles. Finally, [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Edie McClurg]] has to endure the F-bomb rant.
* [[CarMeetsHouse Car Meets Hotel]]: 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, Kevin Bacon 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 rant.
** [[PrecisionFStrike Laser-Guided Precision F-Nuke]]: In the same scene, even, from the [[BewareTheNiceOnes single most unlikely source you'd ever expected it from]].
* [[CreativeClosingCredits Creative Opening Credits]]: The title of the film zooms horizontally across the screen in screen-high letters to the earsplitting sound of an airplane taking off. [[TitleOnlyOpening That's the extent of the opening credits.]]
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The film takes place over the course of roughly 48 hours.
* FollowTheLeader: ''DueDate'', depressingly.
** Same with ''Dutch,'' another movie about a pair of dissimilar people from different class backgrounds struggling to get home to Chicago for {{Thanksgiving|Episode}} … And ''also'' written by John Hughes.
* FromBadToWorse: After Neal misses his cab at the start everything goes downhill. [[SerialEscalation And THAT]] [[FinaglesLaw MEANS EVERYTHING.]]
* GroinAttack: Happens to Neal in St. Louis.
--> Del: "I don't think I've ever seen a guy picked up by his testicles before …"
* HadTheSillyThingInReverse.
* HanlonsRazor: Apply to Del.
* 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.]]
* IfIWantedXIWouldY: "If I wanted a joke I'd follow you into the john and watch you take a leak."
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Neal's uptight and definitely something of a dick, 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.
* KarmaHoudini: The thief who steals Neal and Del's cash never appears again.
* MyCarHatesMe: Del in spades. Both as a passenger fiddling with the car seat and again while driving the Le Baron.
* NewspaperThinDisguise: Used by Del in the airport.
* 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."
* OddCouple
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Neal gives a very harsh one to Del during their first night together.
** Del sends it right back with a heartfelt IAmWhatIAm speech.
** Neil's rant at the car rental agency also qualifies.
* RoadMovie
* 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.
* ASimplePlan: For God's sake, Neal just wants to get home for Thanksgiving.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: ''"You're messin' with the wrong guy!!"''
* 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 an all-time low 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]].
* TeethClenchedTeamwork
* 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.]]
* ThereIsOnlyOneBed: In Wichita.
* 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
* WiperStart
* 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.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} The Windy City]]
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