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It is said that everyone has a soul mate, someone with whom they are destined to fall in love and be with for the rest of their lives, regardless of age, gender, geography...

...or, it seems, species.

''Splash'' is a 1984 romantic comedy directed by Creator/RonHoward, surrounding the fairy-tale romance between Allen Bauer (Creator/TomHanks) and the mermaid (Creator/DarylHannah) who rescued him from drowning as a boy. Allen grew to adulthood, believing the young mermaid he saw in the water was only a hallucination, until she again saves him from drowning - but in doing so appears on the radar of Dr. Walter Kornbluth, an eccentric scientist who wants to prove the existence of mythical creatures like mermaids.

The mermaid seeks him out on land (she develops legs when her tail is dry), coming ashore on Liberty Island to track him down with information from his wallet, dropped during his latest dip in the ocean. As she has [[InnocentFanserviceGirl no concept of clothing]], she is arrested for indecent exposure, and the cops release her into Allen's custody, based on the wallet she carries. But Kornbluth is hot on her trail, and he has scientific pursuits in mind for her...

Can these star-crossed lovers find romance? Can she convince Allen that his series of failed romances are just destiny knocking him on the head? What will their kids look like?

The film was followed by a [[MadeForTVMovie TV movie sequel]] which recast all the lead parts and, despite a good performance by Amy Yasbeck as the replacement Madison, fell squarely into garbage territory.

''Splash'' was the first movie released by Creator/{{Disney}} under the Creator/TouchstonePictures label (then known as "Touchstone Films").

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!!! "Allen Bauer thought he'd never find the right trope. He was only half wrong.":

* ApparentlyHumanMerfolk: What Allen becomes at the end of the first movie, no tail like Madison but he can now breathe underwater
* BigApplesauce
* BittersweetEnding
* ButtMonkey: Dr. Kornbluth
** Kornbluth is arguably more of a Woobie given his backstory and HeelFaceTurn.
* [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling Your Brother Out]][=/=]WhatTheHellHero[=/=]DumbassHasAPoint: Allen was mortified and angry when he finds out Madison, the one person he has come to love, is a mermaid. He starts rambling about how "people fall in love every day", and he ends up with (in his word) a "fish". However, his PluckyComicRelief brother Freddie berates him for giving up on Madison, tells him that "people fall in love every day" is nonsense, and people can never be as happy as Allen felt when he was with Madison.
-->'''Allen:''' People fall in love every day, and look what I got.
-->'''Freddie:''' People fall in love every day, is that what you said? Yeah? Well, that's a crock. It doesn't '''''work''''' that way. Some people will never '''''be''''' that happy! '''''I'll''''' never be that happy!
** Kornbluth also calls out the other scientists, especially Ross, for performing experiments on a non-consenting person, and planning to dissect her.
* TheCastShowOff: The mermaid tail Daryl Hannah wore was fully functional. The showoff part is that, ironically enough, Hannah had learned to swim mermaid style (legs together) since childhood since she was facinated by the story of The Little Mermaid. As a result, with the tail, she swam so fast, the safety divers couldn't keep up.
* CerebusSyndrome: The movie starts out as a fairly light-hearted romance film. [[spoiler: Then it gets a lot more serious when Madison's secret is exposed and she's taken prisoner by the government, endangering her life.]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Allen and Freddy's secretary, who was hit in the head with lightning.
* CrazyConsumption: Madison with the lobster. (which required some EnforcedMethodActing as the vegetarian Daryl Hannah didn't want to eat the lobster before Ron Howard duped her into it...)
* CuteButCacophonic: Don't ask Madison to speak her native language above water.
* DirtyKid: Freddie was perverted even as a child.
* TheDitz: The brothers who help Kornbluth
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Madison, despite acquiring shoes not long after finding Allen.
* ElevatorGoingDown
* {{Fanservice}}: You know which scene.
* FishOutOfWater: Quite literally
* FourthDateMarriage
* GetAholdOfYourselfMan: During the rescue.
* GodivaHair: When Madison arrives to Liberty Island, she's only covered by her hair.
* HaventYouSeenXBefore:
-->'''Freddie:''' What are you looking at? You never seen a guy who slept with a fish before? Get back to work!
* HeelFaceTurn: Dr. Kornbluth, upon learning that [[spoiler:his colleagues plan to dissect Madison.]]
* TheHilarityOfHats: Stan the Tour Guide insists, "Do not touch my hat. Do not EVER touch my hat."
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: "No one here, just me and the moron twins." "We're not twins!"
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Kornbluth
* InhumanableAlienRights: Because, apparently, dissecting a sentient human-like being wouldn't really put a dent in anyone's careers.
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Madison makes a spectacular landfall in search of Allen.
** [[UnusualEuphemism Bocce BALLS!!]]
* InsaneProprietor: Crazy Eddie scares mermaids.
* InstantExpert: Madison was able to [[LearntEnglishFromWatchingTelevision learn English from a single afternoon of watching television.]]
* InterspeciesRomance: Wow, that got awkward in a hurry...
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: Madison + water = mermaid.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Freddie. He may be lecherous, rude, and insensitive, but he has a good core.
* LanguageOfLove: Allen and Madison have a shag in an elevator before they even share a common language.
** And in the hallway. And in the kitchen. And on top of the fridge??
* LargeHam: Dr. Kornbluth
* LineOfSightName: Madison picks her name from a street sign.
** "Madison? [[HilariousInHindsight That's not a name]]!"[[note]]It is now. It went from unheard of to one of the most popular the year this movie came out.[[/note]]
* LoveAtFirstSight
* LoveableSexManiac: Freddy, who has been married countless times (even bringing a ''date'' to one of his own weddings), writes letters to ''Penthouse'' and will pick up multiple women in one night. However, he's still our PluckyComicRelief who believes in true love.
* MadScientist: Dr. Kornbluth.
* MagicalGirlfriend
* MakeMeWannaShout: Madison has a healthy set of lungs... er, gills... oh, what'''ever'''...
* MermaidProblem: Solved with the dry land = legs solution. The press points it out when they hound Allen with their ridiculous questions.
* AMinorKidroduction: Allen and Madison meet as children, and instantly fall in love.
* MisplacedVegetation: Madison is supposed to be swimming around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The problem is that she swims past coral reefs, and there are no coral reefs near Cape Cod since the water is too cold. Those scenes were actually filmed in UsefulNotes/TheBahamas.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Dr. Kornbluth, when he learns they're going to kill the mermaid. All he wanted was to show people he's not crazy.
** Too bad [[OneSceneWonder his mentor]] wasn't around to say "[[NiceJobBreakingItHero I hope you're happy now?]]" and express his disappointment.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: When Dr. Kornbluth tries to pass off Allen and Freddie as visiting [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweden}} Swedish]] scientists to get them into the research facility where Madison is being held, a suspicious guard asks Allen and Freddie in Swedish, "What are two Swedish scientists doing so far from Sweden?" The guard jovially allows them entry after Freddie tentatively responds in Swedish, "Hey, babe! I got a twelve inch penis." Freddie later explains that he picked up some Swedish phrases from watching hundreds of hours of Swedish pornography.
* NakedFirstImpression: Madison being nude on the beach when Allen sees her in adult human form for the first time.
* NakedOnArrival: Madison has no clothes when she transforms into human form so her first encounters on the beach with Allen and outside the Statue of Liberty have her naked.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: What's really funny is Madison's reaction to people seeing her naked.
* NippleAndDimed: Despite the GodivaHair, there are a few underwater shots where the hair doesn't cover Madison's... uh, headlights.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: In an earlier drafts, a sea hag tells the mermaid that she can only stay on land for six days to find her human lover, and she must wet her tail every day. The finished product simplifies things by ruling that wet=tail, and dry=legs.
** This subplot makes sense, since Madison has to return to sea after six days or she "can never come back" and [[spoiler:why Allen can't return to land]].
* NonhumanLoverReveal: The first time she gets wet.
* PainfulTransformation: Creator/RonHoward wanted something like this for the bathtub sequence, but decided it would ruin the appeal of the character.
* PlayingWithSyringes: When Allen goes to confront Kornbluth he is at the dentist. Expecting Allen to attack him, he grabs the syringe of anesthesia to defend himself.
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: What nudity taboo?
* RapunzelHair: Madison
* StarfishLanguage: "[My name is] hard to say in English..."
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: One of the impending examinations when Madison is rescued is implied to be dissection, or possibly even vivisection.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Allen starts acting this way over Madison's strange behavior and her reluctance to marry him. Then he starts being [[SarcasmMode sarcastic]] towards her, which upsets her and she runs away for a while. Allen regrets acting that way. But this gives Madison some time for consideration of whether or not to stay with him.
* UnderwaterKiss: Must be a mermaid thing.
* TheUnpronounceable: Madison's real name.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: It's quite an endorsement of the greatness of the StatueOfLiberty that a beautiful naked woman could be walking around and nobody notices her ''until'' the tour guide brings her to their attention.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Freddy was last seen about to be arrested by the feds. If he goes to prison, and Allen never comes back, who's going to run the company?
* YourUniverseOrMine: [[spoiler: When Madison must go back to the ocean, she tells Allen that he can go with her, but he will never be able to return to land. It is never explained why, perhaps it may have to do with the sea hag subplot. Still, he was reluctant at first but accepts readily after saving her from government frogmen.]]
** [[spoiler: It's somewhat a BittersweetEnding. The bitter part is Allen will never see his brother, friends, or even Kornbluth again. The sweet part is being with Madison always.]]
** [[spoiler:Whitewashed in the sequel, as Madison reveals that she was just kidding and that it's actually perfectly okay for them to go back to land.]]
*** [[spoiler:It's possible it was a test question, how much would a human be willing to give up for his aquatic lover? Once Madison realized Allen was really going to stay with her, it was safe to tell him the truth.]]
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