[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Pump_Up_The_Volume_6263.jpg]]

->''"Feeling screwed up at a screwed up time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up."''
-->-- '''Mark Hunter'''

A 1990 movie starring Creator/ChristianSlater, ''Pump Up The Volume'' features the exploits of Mark Hunter, a recent transfer to Hubert Humphrey High in Arizona, where he spends his days as a moping teenager and spends his nights running a [[BuccaneerBroadcaster pirate radio]] station under the moniker Happy Harry Hard-on.

While entertaining the locals, his show becomes more political as he takes on the local school over injustices done toward the local student body. He goes from an underground favorite to a controversial figure overnight, however, when one of his call-in guests claims to be contemplating suicide... and then actually does it after hanging up on Harry.

The film underperformed at the box office, but has become a cult favorite since its release. In the long term, it's perhaps most notable for featuring the debut of Samantha Mathis (''Film/BrokenArrow1996'', ''Film/LittleWomen'', ''Film/AmericanPsycho'') and its soundtrack, as well as an early performance by Creator/SethGreen.

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!!This film contains examples of:

* AudienceMonologue : Several throughout the film. The audience in this case is Harry's listeners, as well as the viewer.
* BrickJoke : "Is it bigger than a baby's arm?"
* BuccaneerBroadcaster
* BurnBabyBurn
* CatchPhrase : Several, as Harry is very quotable. "So be it." "Take cover, Arizona!" "I'm done, stick a fork in me." "Turn on the truth!" "Talk hard," and so on.
* CensorshipBureau
* ClarkKenting: Mark needs glasses and seemingly can't speak above a mutter, which initially convinces Nora that he can't be Harry.
* ChekhovsGunman : We're introduced to some students on the bus in the very first scene, whose names come up much later as Mark's platform to rail against the injustices at the school. Luis Chavez and Cheryl Biggs are called in to see the principal, and we see a shot of the (unnamed) Malcolm.
* DeadpanSnarker : Most of the teen cast, but Mark/Harry especially. "Are you going to write a letter to your friends back East?" "No, I thought I'd send away for an inflatable date."
* DrivenToSuicide : [[spoiler: Malcolm.]]
* EatingLunchAlone.
* FunWithAcronyms / WeCare: BIONIC ('''B'''elieve '''I'''t '''O'''r '''N'''ot, '''I''' '''C'''are)
** Also in universe, it's Hubert Humphrey High, and Happy Harry Hardon.
* TheGruntingOrgasm: Parodied by the main character.
* HippieTeacher : Averted with the guidance counsellor. Played straight with Miss Emerson. ZigZagged with Brian, Mark's dad, who was this until he became an administrator. "I still love my job...and power and money."
* IntrepidReporter: "This is [[AlliterativeName Shep Sheppitt]], reporting..."
* JerkJock : The story about the jocks by the lake.
* LargeHamRadio
* MadeMyselfSad: Mark, but luckily, he was too depressed to kill himself.
* MemeticMutation : In-universe, the students at Humphrey hang posters and spray-paint Harry's catch-phrases everywhere.
* MostWritersAreWriters : Mark is a talented writer, and his English teacher is trying to get him to write for the school paper.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero : A tragic example in the "advice" Harry gives to Malcolm.
* NoDeadBodyPoops: After the call-in guest kills himself, Harry talks about suicide during the following broadcast, citing being found after the inverse of this trope kicks in as one of the reasons suicide is bad. "Girls you never spoke to are going Why Why Why?...And you've got a load in your shorts!"
* OpenMindedParent: Mark's parents are such stereotypical baby boomers that it's vaguely ridiculous, but they're absolutely ''delighted'' at the idea that Mark has been sneaking Nora into the house under their noses. Of course, it does beat the alternative.
* PlayfulHacker: Happy Harry is a pirate radio equivalent.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Mark's Dad and English teacher play it straight, Principal Crestwood and Mr Murdock are notable aversions.
* ShirtlessScene : Involving both Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis.
* SmokingIsCool: Slater smoked so many cigarettes while making the movie, mostly while filming Mark's rants, that he made himself physically ill.
* {{Spoonerism}}: Charles [[PrecisionFStrike "Chuck" U. Farley]]
* StalkerWithoutACrush : Nora's interest in Mark, at first, is an attempt to solve the mystery of Harry's identity. She more or less stops stalking him when she finds out who he is.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: One of the earliest examples.
* TitleDrop: averted.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece : The clothes, the hair, the politics, the technology, all of it screams "early 1990s."

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