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->''"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"''
-->-- '''The Writer'''

'''''Stand by Me''''' is a 1986 ComingOfAge film directed by Creator/RobReiner and based on the novella ''The Body'', from the collection ''Literature/DifferentSeasons'' by Creator/StephenKing. Set in the fictional Castle Rock, Oregon (Maine in the original story) in 1959, the film is told through the recollections of the main character, Gordie Lachance, now a freelance writer.

The twelve-year-old Gordie (Creator/WilWheaton) and his friends Chris Chambers (Creator/RiverPhoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Creator/CoreyFeldman), and Vern Tessio (Creator/JerryOConnell) journey into the woods near their home to look for the body of a boy named Ray Brower, who was struck by a train while picking berries. Through the boys' misadventures and conversations, the viewer learns about each character's personality. Each of the boys, for varying reasons, live in the shadow of their fathers and older brothers. Gordie's talent for storytelling (as illustrated by his improvised short story '[[StoryWithinAStory The Revenge of Lard-Ass Hogan]]') pegs him as the most likely of the four to have a promising future.

The film contrasts the four main characters, who are depicted as well-meaning and relatively virtuous, with a gang of bullies called the 'Cobras', who are led by local hood 'Ace' Merrill (Creator/KieferSutherland).

See 1995's ''NowAndThen'' for basically the [[GenderFlip girl version]].

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!!''Stand by Me'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbusiveParents: Teddy's ear is disfigured due to his father's pressing it down on a hot stove in a drunken rage. Chris's father is also violently abusive and Gordie's is emotionally abusive.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Chris, and his family, are shunned and put down by most of the town.
* AngryGuardDog: The legendary Chopper, who is said to be trained to attack with [[GroinAttack anatomical precision]].
* AuthorStandIn: Gordie Lachance, the sensitive and imaginative boy Creator/StephenKing used to be.
* BerserkButton: Teddy goes ballistic after Milo Pressman calls his father a "looney".
* BewareOfViciousDog: [[spoiler:Subverted]].
* BigBrotherInstinct: Chris, towards Gordie.
* BigBrotherMentor: Denny was this to Gordie.
* BittersweetEnding: Though some would just say its a straight DownerEnding.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Ace.
* BoringReturnJourney: Granted, they used a rough path on the main journey.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Some TV broadcasts change the final line visible on Gordie's computer monitor to remove the mention of God.
* ButtMonkey: Vern.
* CallForward: In the novella, it's mentioned that Chopper was the most feared dog in the county until Literature/{{Cujo}} went rabid 20 years later.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally. The handgun that Chris shows Gordie before the boys start their trip is forgotten until [[spoiler: Ace and his gang show up and Gordie(movie)/Chris(book) uses it to scare them off]].
** Not quite. The kids each brandish the pistol when they take turns keeping watch at night.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Teddy.
* DeadpanSnarker: Teddy.
* DiesWideOpen: The late Ray Brower is found by the boys this way. They cover his face with debris.
* DramaticGunCock: Gordie defending himself against Ace and his switchblade knife, [[GunsDoNotWorkThatWay despite having just fired a shot]] (the hammer is cocked automatically by the slide when fired).
* DysfunctionJunction: This film cracks the mask of the seemingly picture-perfect and wholesome EverytownAmerica of the 1950s open with a baseball bat.
* EverybodySmokes: They're 12, but all of the main four smoke. Even the generally wholesome lead, and the timid chubby one.
* TheFifties: Although the book takes place in 1960, the movie is set in the summer of 1959.
* FourManBand
** OnlySaneMan: Chris.
** TheSmartGuy: Gord.
** The Pervert: Teddy.
** ButtMonkey: Vern.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble
* FramingDevice[=/=]NostalgicNarrator: The Writer (aka the adult Gordie, played by Richard Dreyfuss) recalls and narrates the events of the film after learning that [[spoiler:Chris was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight at a restaurant]].
* FreeRangeChildren
* FurryConfusion: The boys express confusion that both Goofy and Pluto appear to be dogs.
* GangOfBullies
* GirlyRun: Used by Wil Wheaton as an acting technique.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: This being the fifties, all the teens and kids smoke like chimneys with Ace and his gang naturally being the evil version. The amount of smoking is espcially surprising given that this is a Rob Reiner picture.
* GroinAttack: If there are worse places on the human body to find a leech, we can't think of them. No wonder Gordie [[{{fainting}} faints]].
** "Chopper, sic balls!"
* GrowingUpSucks
* HypotheticalFightDebate: The boys discuss whether WesternAnimation/MightyMouse could beat up Franchise/{{Superman}}.
-->'''Teddy:''' Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman is a real guy.
* IllKillYou: Said by Teddy to Milo Pressman, and later by Gordie to Ace Merrill.
* InstantLeechJustFallInWater
* {{Jerkass}}: Teddy Duchamp, Milo, and Ace's gang.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Chris Chambers.
* KarmaHoudini: Ace and his gang unfortunately.
** In the novella, and in later works set in Castle Rock, we do learn that Ace's life doesn't amount to a hill of beans, so there's that. [[spoiler:And he does end up dying in Needful Things.]]
* TheLoad / TheMillstone: Vern, especially on the RailroadTracksOfDoom.
* LovableJock: Denny was a star football player and flashbacks show him as an extremely nice and caring older brother and the only one, aside from Chris, who encouraged Gordie in his writing.
* MisterSandmanSequence: The entire soundtrack. ''[[EarWorm Lollipop, lollipop]]...''
* MostWritersAreWriters: Gordie. This is a Stephen King adaptation, after all.
* NightmareSequence: In ''The Body'', [[spoiler: Gordie dreams that Vern and Teddy drag Chris into water and drown him.]]
** Also, in the film, Gordie dreams of his father saying "Should've been you, Gordon," at Denny's funeral.
* NoodleIncident: Gordie says to Chris, "Remember that time you saved [Teddy] in the tree?" (In the novella, that incident is vividly described, but in the film, it's not.)
* OhCrap: ''"[[BigWordShout TRAAAAAIN!]]"''
* ParentalAbandonment: Only the hopelessly naive Verne has ''any'' semblance of a happy family.
** Although he does have a jerkass older brother.
** Gordie's parents barely can bring themselves to respond to his presence, and the novella makes it clear that this is not something that started after Denny's death - Gordie once swore at the dinner table just to see what would happen ("Please pass those goddamn spuds."), and the only response was his mother telling Denny that his aunt asked how he was doing.
* PinkySwear: Chris really ''really'' didn't know the gun was loaded.
* PrecisionFStrike: Sorta. He doesn't ACTUALLY say a swear, but the line is so spot-on that it FEELS like one of these.
--->'''Gordie:''' "Suck my fat one, you cheap dime-store hood!"
** Also see YourMom below.
* RacingTheTrain: The film has the boys racing a train on foot.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: The bridge.
* RealSongThemeTune: Ben E. King's classic [[RevivalByCommercialization actually made the Top 10 chart all over again thanks to its use in the film]].
* RoadMovie
* SadistTeacher: [[spoiler: One topic mentioned frequently throughout the first-half of the movie is how Chris stole money from the class. During a talk with Gordie, he reveals he'd given the money back to their teacher, but the teacher decided to spend the money on herself and still accuse Chris of stealing the money, knowing everyone would believe he did it due to his family's bad reputation.]]
* SeinfeldianConversation: Half the conversations the boys have.
--> '''Vern:''' Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?
--> '''Teddy:''' What are you, cracked?...Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Superman is a real guy.]]
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Gordie and Chris; Vern and Teddy.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Teddy's father.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: The book definitely has this. Don't go looking for dead bodies or you will acquire a death curse. But then, the book ''The Body'' was written by Creator/StephenKing. The film ''Stand by Me'' would cause you to forget that it is based on a book written by the horror master himself.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Vern and Teddy. Vern dies in a house fire in the book, and Teddy kills himself and others by driving drunk. Though alive in the movie, their lives have gone absolutely nowhere.]][[note]] Although one could make the case of Vern actually just having a peaceful small-town life in the end, married, with kids, and a simple job.[[/note]]
* TheStoryteller: Gordie.
* TeamDad: Chris.
* TooDumbToLive: When on the RailroadTracksOfDoom, Gordie and Vern (who is crawling on all fours at the time) end up having to outrun a train. Vern's reaction? ''Crawl faster.''
** As well as a few seconds later.
--> '''Vern:''' I'm gonna fall!!!
--> '''Gordie:''' WE'RE GONNA DIE DAMMIT!!!
* TotallyRadical: Averted. Both King and Reiner grew up in the period in which it was set, giving them knowledge of it and they realized that young kids tend to curse like sailors as they do here.
* TreehouseOfFun: The boys hang out in one of these at the beginning of the film.
* {{Troll}}: Milo, when he taunts Teddy about [[BerserkButton his dad being a "loony".]]
* TrueCompanions: A quintessential example.
* TheUnfavorite: Gordie's parents never show much affection to him, preferring Gordie's older brother. In flashbacks, it shows they didn't pay much attention to him, anyway. As it is, Denny (the brother) was the one who paid the most attention to him.
** It's even worse in the book - Denny is a loving older brother in the movie, but in the book he doesn't interact much with Gordie, as they are 10 years apart in age, so there isn't much chance for it.
* VomitChainReaction: The 'Lard-Ass' story.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: The 'Lard-Ass' story.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Gordie desperately wants his father's love and not to feel like his father hates him.
* WeWillMeetAgain: Ace says this after Gordie pulls the gun on him.
** While it's not depicted in the film, King's original story has Ace and his gang giving each of the boys a CurbStompBattle after they return to town.
* WhatTheHellHero: While Ace has no problem threatening kids Gordie's age with knives, he thinks Gordie holding him and his friends at gunpoint is taking things too far.
--> '''Ace:''' We're not gonna forget this, if that's what you're thinking. This is big time baby.
* WhereAreTheyNow
* WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent: Gordie's parents prefer his brother the football star, and when the brother dies in a car crash they lament that [[YouShouldHaveDiedInstead it wasn't Gordie instead]].
** The "YouShouldHaveDiedInstead" factor is only implied in a dream sequence. True, they both criminally ignore Gordie after the accident, but they never go that far.
*** But was it an invented dream, or was he simply having a memory in the dream? The disdain they visibly treat him with means the line isn't exactly out of character.
* [[YouKnowImBlackRight You Know I'm French, Right?]] At the beginning of the movie, Chris, Teddy, and Gordie are sitting in their tree-house, playing cards, when Chris decides to tell a joke.
-->'''Chris:''' How do you know if a Frenchman has been in your back yard?
-->'''Teddy:''' Hey, I'm French, okay?
-->'''Chris:''' Your garbage cans are empty and your [[BestialityIsDepraved dog's pregnant.]]
-->''[Chris and Gordie laugh]''
-->'''Teddy:''' Didn't I just say I was French?
* YourMom: Lampshaded by the adult Gordie's narration, in which he comments that "finding new and disgusting ways to insult a friend's mother was always held in high regard." Also played straight:
-->'''Chris:''' Why don't you go home and [[PrecisionFStrike fuck your mother]] some more?
-->'''Ace:''' ''[pulls out a knife]'' You're dead.
** Gordie pulls out a nice one to smack a children's rhyme in the face.
-->'''Gordie:''' Shut up.
-->'''Chris, Teddy, and Vern, in unison:''' I don't shut up! I grow up! And when I look at you, I throw up! AACCKK!
-->'''Gordie:''' And then your mother comes and licks it up.
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