[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spieslikeus1985.jpg]]

A 1985 comedy directed by Creator/JohnLandis, ''Spies Like Us'' basically resembles a Hope/Crosby ''Film/RoadTo'' picture updated for TheEighties. The film follows the misadventures of two novice intelligence agents sent to the Soviet Union as disposable decoys for the real agents. The movie stars Creator/DanAykroyd, Creator/ChevyChase, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon.

Two totally incompetent applicants, Emmett Fitzhume and Austin Millbarge, are chosen from a CIA recruitment program. They are parachuted into Pakistan and eventually end up in Afghanistan, chased by the Russians, where they learn they are being used as decoys to draw out the Sovet defenses. Two real spies are sent in. Their mission is to hijack a Soviet missile launcher, launch the Soviet missile and test the new U.S. orbital defense laser.

A ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode titled "Spies Reminiscent of Us" serves as a sequel to this film. It's [[ShoutOut referenced heavily]] in the song "Out With a Bang" by Self (even the title is a quote from the film), and there are also multiple references in the Creator/{{NBC}} show ''Series/{{Chuck}}''.

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!!Tropes Like Us:

* AbsurdlyHighStakesGame: The final scene has Fitzhume and Millbarge working on "peaceful negotiations for nuclear disarmament" with the Russian government (read: making Russia bet their silos on a combination between ''Risk'' and ''Trivial Pursuit'').
* AccentRelapse: Once the [[spoiler:mission contacts]] are revealed to be Russian spies, in the subsequent interrogation scene, they have thick Russian accents.
* AllMenArePerverts: Our heroes fight over the binoculars so they can perve on Vanessa Angel zipping up her jumpsuit.
** Lampshaded by the female agent: "You two are unbelievable!"
* BarehandedBladeBlock: The military commander is asked what you're supposed to do when you meet ninjas. Handing over his clipboard to an assistant, he then proceeds to kick ninja butt, at one point stopping a sword in this manner. Mind you, he was wearing leather gloves.
* BecomingTheMask / TookALevelInBadass / FromNobodyToNightmare: Fitzhume and Millbarge may be decoys...
* BribeBackfire: Emmett's attempts to bribe his way to a passing grade don't do him much good.
* TheCameo: The movie is full of them: Creator/SamRaimi, Costa-Gavras, the Coen brothers, Terry Gilliam, Frank Oz, B.B. King, [[Creator/RayHarryhausen Ray frickin' Harryhausen]]
** Also Bob Hope, as a ShoutOut to the ''Film/RoadTo'' pictures he made.
*** The film gives an acting credit to then U.S. President UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, although he only appears in a clip from the movie ''She's Working Her Way Through College''.
* CentrifugalFarce: The heroes are subjected to a centrifuge at one point, and then go to lunch looking and sounding weird.
* ChummyCommies: Enemies to begin with, resigning themselves to impending doom, and then facing impossible odds with the Americans make the Soviet missile squad and the GLG-20s [[EnemyMine Strange Bedfellows]].
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: After inadvertently causing the end of the world, the heroes and their Soviet counterparts decide to at least die happy: Fitz-Hume pairs up with the gorgeous Agent Boyer, while the two older Soviet techs hook up together. Since there are two male techs and one female left, it seems that Millbarge and one of the other guys will be left out of the fun. Then it turns out the other two guys are gay, leaving Millbarge to pair up with the remaining woman; unnamed but played by the very hot Vanessa Angel. Win-freakin'-win. Oh, and the end of the world part? It gets better.
* ColonelBadass: Colonel Rhumbus. He knocks out his own squad of [[ConservationOfNinjutsu elite ninja soldiers]] and then takes our heroes through [[TrainingFromHell accelerated GLG20 training]]. His salutes are so snappy that you can ''hear'' his gloved hand [[AudibleSharpness cutting through the air]].
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: Subverted then played straight.
-->'''Fitzhume:''' ''(to an army of ninjas)'' This is my sister. You can all have her!
** Colonel Rhumbus' rating of Fitzhume and Millbarge after the encounter: "Pussies". He then ''takes them all out singlehandedly.''
* CovertGroupWithMundaneFront The Ace Tomato Company. Also, Mission Control for the military's SDI weapon was hidden under a deserted DriveInTheater.
* CreatorBacklash: Music/PaulMcCartney seems to have disowned "Spies Like Us", his Top Ten recording from the film. The song has not appeared on any of the numerous best-ofs Paul has released. To date, the song's only appearance on a [=McCartney=] album of any sort is the CD reissue of ''Press to Play'', one of his rarest and least sought-after albums.
* DeadlyTrainingArea: The protagonists have to go through this kind of training before being sent on their mission. It included having to hide in mud while live bullets were fired at them and being in a simulated plane crash (with the "plane" being dropped from 20 yards in the air).
** TruthInTelevision: Really, they were both safe from gunfire thanks to [[SoftWater Hard Water]]. Of course, the test was to see how long they could stay down there under duress.
* DoctorDoctorDoctor: An OverlyLongGag within the movie.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Milbarge, by his own admission.
--> '''Milbarge''': I must really like you, because I don't like horses, and I ''hate'' guns! ''[opens fire]''
* DriveInTheater: A Star Wars-style anti-missile system is hidden underneath an old run-down drive-in theater.
* TheEighties
* EvilElevator: The two [[FrontOrganisation Ace Tomato Company]] (i.e., CIA) bigshots enter a drive-in theatre and activate the Pepsi machine. Next thing they know, they're screaming as they plunge down a BottomlessPit to the ElaborateUndergroundBase.
* FunWithForeignLanguages: Creator/ChevyChase and Creator/DanAykroyd are dropped into Pakistan only to be captured by bandits.
-->'''Creator/ChevyChase''' (subtitles): "If you let me go, you can use my friend's head as a polo ball."
-->''Bandits all laugh. One of them takes Dan's head in his hands, testing it for size.''
-->'''Creator/DanAykroyd:''' "What's he doing?"
-->'''Chase:''' "Err, he's saying hello."
-->'''Aykroyd''' (taking hold of the bandit's head): "Hello! Hello!"
* {{Expy}}: Steve Forrest's general (who ordered the operation) is essentially a copy of the trope-naming GeneralRipper, changing the reason for nuclear warfare from "[[SillyReasonForWar the Russians are tampering with our bodily fluids]]" to "[[{{Eagleland}} America]] [[PeaceThroughSuperiorFirepower must show the Russians that they have the edge in weapons technology,]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist regardless of the body count.]]" (Which is not any less chilling, considering he's still willing to cause ''nuclear war'').
* EyebrowWaggle: Fitzhume does this after telling his colleague that he has an [[DoubleEntendre "intimate" lunch meeting with the (female) supervisor]].
* GrenadeHotPotato: Fitzhume actually catches the grenade - and has no idea what it is, leading to:
-->'''Fitzhume:''' Hey, what's this?
-->'''Milbarge:''' [[OhCrap ''You don't want it!'']]
** After which Fitzhume stands up - in the middle of a gunfight between the KGB and Milbarge - and calmly tosses the grenade back, landing it through the window...and in the [[StuffBlowingUp box of grenades]] that two {{Mooks}} had opened up.
* GunsAkimbo: Milbarge pulls one on horseback to get Fitzhume back from the Russian highway patrol.
* HairpinLockpick: Fortunately, Vanessa Angel has one for Fitz-Hume.
* HandcuffedBriefcase: In the opening sequence, the courier delivering the satellite images has the briefcase chained to his wrist, and the photos are secured to the inside of the briefcase. Since he's not particularly cleared for the discussion about the photos, he's shoved into a closet. With the chain sticking out the door.
* HarmlessElectrocution: [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090056/ Emmett (Chevy Chase)]] uses his own body to close an electrical circuit. Partially justified in that [[spoiler: he was doing it to save the world]].
* HighlyVisibleNinja: In the woods at night, they turn on ''floodlights'', so that they can show off better! Then, when the ScaryBlackMan Colonel wants to show how tough he is, they obligingly rush him one at a time.
** This means that either the "ninjas" were under the Colonel's employ from the start, or the less logical but more entertaining explanation they were just a pack of wild ninjas with a portable floodlight setup roaming the forest.
*** The whole reason the main characters were sent out in the first place was so that they'd end up being Highly Visible Spies and distract attention from other spies who were expected to be the ones to do the job.
* InstantSedation: Emmett Fitz-hume and Austin Millbarge knock out five Soviet soldiers instantly with "high-compression tranquilizer pistols".
* ItsRainingMen: Austin and Emmett are forced to make a parachute jump without any training as part of a test of their abilities.
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: "And to think my high school guidance counselor said I'd never amount to anything." Which leads to:
** EurekaMoment: "GUIDANCE!? SOURCE PROGRAMMABLE GUIDANCE!"
* MsFanservice: Unless there's a better reason for why the youngest Russian agent (played by a then-unknown Vanessa Angel) comes out of her tent into the frigid air and ''then'' zips up her jumpsuit over her underwear.
* MutilationInterrogation: Emmett was threatened with this one after being captured by Soviets. Only through ObfuscatingStupidity (or actual stupidity) was he able to stall long enough to keep his digits:
--> '''Soviet Agent:''' For every question you do not answer, I cut off a finger...
--> '''Fitz-hume:''' Mine, or yours?
--> '''Soviet Agent:''' ''Yours''.
--> '''Fitz-hume:''' Damn.
* NewscasterCameo: At the end of the movie, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Newman Edwin Newman]] plays himself reporting on U.S.-Soviet disarmament talks.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: They sure did underestimate those decoys.]]
* NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught: One of the two "heroes" (to use the term loosely) managed to pressure the other into helping him cheat on their government promotion tests, through good, old-fashioned Chevy Chase-style chuztpah. [[RefugeInAudacity When discovered, in order to cover themselves, they worked together by reflex to cover each other.]] The CIA test givers were so impressed that they gave them an immediate promotion to field agents. (Of course, this was a plot to throw expendable agents into the field as a diversion for more nefarious activities ... but the trope connection is solid.)
* OffscreenTeleportation
** While Austin and Emmett are walking away from them and talking, the two KGB Special Branch agents somehow get from the jeep they were occupying (behind our heroes) to standing in front of them.
** They do the same thing into the highway patrol shack where Fitzhume is being held.
** Both times, Fitzhume and (when he's present) Milbarge look just as confused as the rest of us.
* OutWithABang: Emmett says the line. Perfectly subverted in that [[spoiler:everyone in the group of spies and Soviets gets to have sex with someone, and then they figure out how to disarm the nuclear missile and avert world obliteration]].
* OverlyLongGag: "Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. And Doctor." "Did we miss anyone? Good."
* PopculturalOsmosis: For the record, before the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' spoof, this page didn't exist. (Shameful...)
* PopStarComposer: Sir PaulMcCartney
* PreppyName: Emmett Fitz-Hume
* ProductPlacement: "Won't you gentlemen have a Pepsi?"
* ProductionPosse: Many ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' alumni (both Aykroyd and Chase are members) tend to team up for various movies. {{SCTV}} alum Joe Flaherty has a bit role as well.
* ReassignmentBackfire: Emmett Fitz-Hume (who got his job only through nepotism), and Austin Millbarge (who works in the bowels of a civil service building) have this happen to them. Emmett didn't study for the upcoming civil service exam, and while Austin initially refuses to help him cheat, both end up causing a scene in the exam room. So their superiors send them to Pakistan as decoys, claiming they would be on a mission of great importance (when in reality, they were just there to keep the fire off the real agents). Except they eventually find their way to Russia, where alongside one of the ''real'' CIA agents, they end up saving the day.
* ResignationsNotAccepted:
-->'''Fitz-Hume:''' We were just talking and we'd like to go home now. So, uh, thanks for the bruises and you can keep the stool samples...
-->'''Col. Rhumbus:''' Boys... it'd be a ''shame'' to have to kill you now. ''(drives off)''
-->'''Fitz-Hume:''' What'd he mean by that?
-->'''Milbarge:''' It means we're O.I.O.
-->'''Fitz-Hume:''' What's that?
-->'''Milbarge:''' Obligated Involuntary Officers.
* SensualSlavs: Vanessa Angel. Yummy.
** She's actually British, but we'll let it slide.
* ShoutOut: Similarities between this film and ''Film/DrStrangelove'' are entirely ''on purpose''.
* SleepingTheirWayToTheTop: Fitz-Hume tries to get out of the Foreign Service Board test at the beginning by "arranging an intimate lunch meeting" with his attractive female supervisor. While he does get into bed with her, she gets upset that he's trying to use her to get around taking the test.
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Played for laughs when Fitzhume tells his coworker that he's arranged an intimate lunch with the boss. Cut to Fitzhume and his attractive boss in bed. And apparently, as said above, he just arranged the "intimate lunch" to try to talk his boss into finding a way for him to not take the Foreign Service Board test.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The movie is considered to be related to the ''Film/RoadTo'' movies made by Creator/BobHope and Music/BingCrosby, much like a forgotten nephew.
** Not entirely forgotten, as [[Creator/BobHope Uncle Bob]] does [[TheCameo drop in]].
* SpringtimeForHitler: Sort of. The intended decoys' failure to fail would have been a disaster had the real spies not themselves failed to succeed.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: The opening sequence of the movie features a satellite marked with "NO MILITARY VALUE". The satellite promptly exposes a camera and takes orbital photos of a Soviet missile.
* TakeThat:
** The anti-ballistic missile system's laser, after it misses said missile, blows up an MTV satellite.
** The absurdly long set-up time and usefulness better classified under "EpicFail" shows that the writers didn't thought highly of the whole concept of the Strategic Defense Initiative (better known to the public as "StarWars"), either.
* ThanksForTheMammary: Done amusingly - Shortly after the "Doctor Doctor" scene, Emmett Fitz-Hume gets some alone time with Karen Boyer, and does some ObfuscatingStupidity while bringing his hand close to her chest, eventually grabbing one of her assets, and as he goes on rambling grabs hold of the other one with his other hand. Karen's initial reaction is mere annoyance, but after she takes hold of Emmett's hands to get them off her chest, she somehow warms up to him and they kiss.
* TitleDrop: "They're spies...like us!"
* TitleThemeTune: The promotional song "Spies Like Us," composed and performed by Music/PaulMcCartney.
* TranquilizerDart: Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge knock out five Soviet soldiers instantly with "high-compression tranquilizer pistols".
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: This movie could only have been made in [[TheEighties the 80s]], when the Strategic Defense Initiative was a pressing matter.
* WhatsAHenway: The movie includes the following exchange when the two hear a strange loud noise:
-->'''Aykroyd:''' It's a dikfer!\\
'''Chase:''' What's a dikfer?\\
'''Aykroyd:''' To pee with.
* YouJustToldMe: Agent Millbarge suspects that a pair of agents supposedly sent to help him and his partner are actually KGB agents.[[note]]One of them is wearing a Russian knockoff for a watch.[[/note]] He confirms his suspicions by saying something funny in Russian, making one of them laugh.
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