[[caption-width-right:360:[[EarWorm YoooOOOooou, doin' that thing you doooOOOooo...]]]]

1996 comedy movie written and directed by Creator/TomHanks, who also appears in a starring role.

It's 1964 in Erie, PA, not long after UsefulNotes/TheBritishInvasion. Reluctant appliance salesman / fervent amateur jazz drummer Guy "Skitch" Patterson (Creator/TomEverettScott) is drafted into a garage band formed by friends Jimmy Mattingly (Johnathon Schaech) and Lenny Haise (Steve Zahn), as a one-time favour -- their original drummer broke his arm the day before the big local talent competition.

Naming themselves the 'One-ders' (as in Wonders) on the sound-for-the-time logic that a PunnyName worked for Music/TheBeatles, the band intends to perform a slow ballad written by Jimmy and Lenny called "That Thing You Do". The night of the comp, however, Guy leads them off at a much faster tempo than they'd rehearsed, giving them no choice but to transform it into a snappy pop number. ''Auteur'' Jimmy and easy-going Lenny are both upset (as is their nameless bass player)... until they see the crowds dancing in the aisles.

The new version takes off, earning them a gig at "that Italian place down by the airport" and inspiring them to make a recording to sell at the door. Eventually this attracts the attention of a local talent scout, who in turn introduces them to Mr. White (Tom Hanks), a record company executive who thinks he can take them to the top -- but only if they agree to change their name.

With their record zooming up the charts, hordes of screaming fans greeting them at every stop on tour and a gig on ''The Hollywood Television Showcase'', the sky's the limit for the newly renamed Wonders... until they start trying to cope with success.... and Guy develops a not-unreciprocated interest in Jimmy's girlfriend Faye Dolan (Creator/LivTyler).

!!''That Thing You Do'' contains examples of:

* AffectionateParody: Of those early-1960s {{One Hit Wonder}}s formed after the success of Music/TheBeatles in the United States, and UsefulNotes/TheBritishInvasion that resulted.
* AllDrummersAreAnimals: Mr. White banks on this, playing up Guy as the "bad boy" of the Wonders. In reality he's probably the sweetest and most grounded member of the band.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Jimmy, who clearly has at least some Hispanic in his ethnic makeup -- which may be why, late in the film, Mr. White insists that the band re-record their hit in Spanish. (Or, more likely, it's just another Beatles reference, as the Beatles recorded "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" in German.)
* ArcWords: Guy is fond of quoting "I am Spartacus" from, well, ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' (which had come out four years before the InUniverse date), which serves to nicely describe the movie's arc.
* BerserkButton: The local talent show host doesn't take heckling well:
-->'''Emcee:''' How do you sell a chicken to a deaf man?\\
'''Heckler''': You're a jerkhead!\\
'''Emcee''': '[[DudeNotFunny Hey! Would you like to buy a chicken?!]]'\\
'''Heckler''': Eat my shorts, Captain!\\
'''Emcee''': SHUT UP!!! [''away from mic''] I'll kick your ass.
* CoolShades: Mr. White gives Guy a pair when he signs the band, and renames him 'Shades' in the process. "Wear them at all times. They're your trademark." When a reporter later asks why he's always wearing them, he can only awkwardly say "Well, I am the drummer."
* CreativeDifferences: InUniverse, this is why the band eventually breaks up in a nutshell: the bass player enlists in the Marines (which given the time period probably means Vietnam) and is replaced with a Playtone session bassist, Lenny elopes with a groupie, and then Jimmy {{Rage Quit}}s over being ordered to do a cover album instead of original songs.
* DoingItForTheArt: InUniverse.
** According to the epilogue, Guy becomes a music professor at a conservatory.
** Of the One-ders/Wonders, Jimmy is the one who is most into the band as an opportunity to create art, being the one who worries over contracts, nags Mr. White about cutting an album, and so on. Of the others, Lenny is clearly more interested in having fun and enjoying the pop-star life while it lasts, Guy is more into jazz and is not overly invested in the band itself, and the bass player seems to view it more as a hobby before he fulfills his true calling of joining the Marines.
* {{Earworm}}: the one-hit Wonders' one hit, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzllVlzzeuo That Thing You Do]]" .
* EveryoneHasStandards: Each person in the room, even the session bass player who is only there to fill in and has no emotional connection to anyone in the band, is thoroughly disgusted with Jimmy's incredibly harsh break-up with Faye. Mr. White's expression makes it clear he thinks Jimmy is nothing but a piece of shit.
* ExcitedShowTitle: Based on an Excited Song Title in-universe.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Downplayed, since the movie itself is set over a fairly common span of time for a film. However, in terms of what happens to the ''characters'', they undergo a roller coaster rise-and-fall from obscure garage band to local celebrities to nationally famous pop band to breaking up to back to relative obscurity in what is only a couple of months at most, making it this trope from their perspective. In particular, the band has broken up literally the day after playing their big national TV gig.
* TheFaceOfTheBand: InvokedTrope; Mr White gives Guy a pair of CoolShades to make him stand out.
* FakeBand: Pretty much every band or singer shown or mentioned in the film. Averted with The Wonders themselves, as they all were taught how to play their instruments.
* FiveManBand: Played in two configurations:
** Mr. White markets them this way:
*** TheHero: Jimmy
*** TheLancer: "Shades" (that is, Guy)
*** TheBigGuy: Lenny
*** TheSmartGuy: [[NoNameGiven The Bass Player]]
*** TheChick: Faye
** But in reality...
*** TheHero: Guy
*** TheLancer: Lenny
*** TheBigGuy: The Bass Player
*** TheSmartGuy: Jimmy
*** TheChick: Faye
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Del chuckles when Guy says he's in a band, telling him that he's been in dozens of bands. They get together and break apart. Guy should have taken that as a warning.
** The band's name in all of its iterations (One-ders, Wonders) is itself a pretty big clue of what [[OneHitWonder their eventual fate]] after "That Thing You Do!" is going to be.
* GarageBand: At the beginning of the film, the Wonders (as they will eventually be known) play on cheap instruments and rehearse in a garage.
* GreenEyedMonster: Jimmy’s nose is clearly put a little out of joint by the fact that “Shades” comes to exceed his popularity and starts to be seen as the face of the group, despite the fact that he is the leader of the band. There are also some hints that he is not entirely oblivious to how Guy and his girlfriend are getting closer, but being generally neglectful of Faye he seems less concerned about this.
* GroupieBrigade
* TheHeart: In addition to being Jimmy's girlfriend, Faye is also the band's biggest fan and champion, and despite not actually playing an instrument Guy and the others clearly treat her as being a fundamental part of the unit because she's the one who inspires and encourages them. Telling, the band barely lasts another day after Faye and Jimmy break up.
* InsufferableGenius: Jimmy. Even Mr. White states it. He's the only member of the band to continue producing pop music, although Faye and Guy end up as music teachers and open their own school.
* {{Irony}}:
** Despite all of his bitching about the studio system, Jimmy's next band, "The Heardsmen", sign a lucractive contract with the same studio, Playtone Records.
** Guy, who was the member of the band who joined last and was only supposed to be a temporary stand-in for the original drummer, ends up being the only member of the band who doesn't quit for some reason.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: A running gag about the band's name; it's supposed to be pronounced "ONE-ders" (as in a pun on 'Wonders'). It's usually pronounced "Oh-NEE-ders". At one point, an exasperated, but apathetic Lenny corrects the restaurant owner at their first gig: "Hey, that's 'oh-NEH-ders...'"
* {{Jerkass}}: Jimmy. Broadly hinted throughout -- he tries to weasel Lenny out of his writing credit for "That Thing You Do" in the first ten minutes of the movie -- gradually building to an ''epic'' case by the climax.
* JerkassFacade: Minor case; Mr. White acts like a typical hard-nosed studio executive, but is a pretty decent guy when all is said and done. Of course, he's played by Tom Hanks, [[TypeCasting so this is probably to be expected.]]
* LoveTriangle: Part of the tension of the movie stems from the love triangle between Jimmy, Faye and Guy. [[spoiler: Although it's Jimmy who thinks that marrying Faye would be bad for the band, [[WhatTheHellHero and his dumping her for this reason is seen by the other band members as rather tasteless.]]]]
* MagicalNegro: Lamarr, the the doorman at the Ambassador Hotel, who directs Guy where to meet his idol and encourages him to pursue Faye.
* MyspeldRokband: Parodied. No one can pronounce "the Oneders" correctly. Jimmy's next band is called "The Heardsmen". Fortunately, that band's name isn't phonetically confusing.
* NoNameGiven: The band's sweetly nerdy bass guitarist (played by Ethan Embry) is never actually named in the film -- another nod to the ephemeral nature of the band. In the epilogue, he's finally identified as "T. B. Player"... that is, '''T'''he '''B'''ass '''P'''layer. (Embry himself decided his real name was "Tobias Player.")
* OneHitWonder: In-universe, the eponymous song becomes one of these. There's [[{{Foreshadowing}} a clue in the band-name]]; the 'One-ders' (i.e 'One (Hit Won)ders'). {{Lampshaded}} by Mr. White.
-->'''Guy:''' But we still have a hit record.\\
'''Mr. White:''' Yes, you do. The one-hit Wonders. [''smiles at Guy''] A ''very'' common tale.
** Interestingly, "That Thing You Do!" peaked at ''#41'' on the Hot 100, just short of One-Hit Wonder status.
* ThePeteBest: In-universe. Chad, the drummer who broke his arm the night before the One-ders took off. He ends up taking Guy's place at the appliance shop when the band goes on tour.
** The incident is a great example of a FunnyBackgroundEvent. Apparently parking meters and slippery hands don't mix.
--->'''T.B. Player''': Guys ... Chad fell down.
** To a lesser extent, T.B. Player, given that he's replaced just before the band's national television debut.
* PunnyName: "One-ders", "Heardsmen", "Chordvettes"...Jimmy seems to have a real fondness for these.
* RageQuit: The last straw for Jimmy is being told by Mr. White that they're going to get to do a second album finally, only for him to dictate under terms of their contract that it will be a cover album rather than original songs. Jimmy quits the band instead, leaving Guy the only original One-der left.
* ReCut: In 2007 an "Extended Edition" DVD was released with more than half an hour of additional scenes. Both cuts of the film are included on the Blu-ray release.
* RunningGag:
** The mispronouncing of "One-ders" as "Oh-nee-ders." Lampshaded when Lenny snarks, "HEY, that's Oh-NEH-ders." Mr. White puts a stop to it when he becomes the band's manager.
---> '''Mr. White:''' From now on, you're "The Wonders".\\
'''Lenny:''' As in, "I ''wonder'' what happened to the ''Ohneeders''?"
** Mr. White telling them, "You guys look great in [''color of suits the band is wearing today''], have I mentioned that?"
** Guy leaving the "Patterson's Appliance" sign on in the first half of the movie.
* ShoutOut:
** Tom Hanks is a big fan of the [[UsefulNotes/{{NASA}} Apollo program]]. Several characters have names which are references to astronaut characters in ''Apollo 13'' (Haise, Mattingly, White). And astronaut Gus Grissom is a guest on ''The Hollywood Television Showcase,'' which is itself a {{Expy}} of ''Series/TheEdSullivanShow'' and ''Hollywood Palace''. Additionally, one of the bands that plays on the soundtrack is called "The Saturn Five".
** Numerous to Music/TheBeatles and other pop music acts of the early 1960s. Guy also name-checks several jazz artists at one point.
*** The "CAREFUL GIRLS, HE'S ENGAGED" is a direct reference to Music/TheBeatles' performance on ''Ed Sullivan'', when Music/JohnLennon had the subtitle "SORRY GIRLS, HE'S MARRIED."
*** Mr. White expecting the band to re-record "That Thing You Do!" in Spanish may be a shout out to the Beatles' re-recording of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" in German (as "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" and "Sie Liebt Dich").
*** There's a scene where Sol Siler addresses Mr. White as "Andy". Andy White was the session drummer used on the second (hit) recording of the Beatles' "Love Me Do".
*** A Beatles allusion only the truly obsessive fans caught: There's a scene where Faye almost gets detained by security because the guards don't know she's with the band, but Guy sees what's happening and tells them to let her through. That really happened to John Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, once (Lennon, being [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} who he was]], didn't notice, and she ended up missing the outing as a result).
*** Another slightly oblique Beatles Shout Out; "That Thing You Do" starts off as a slow ballad, but when Guy ups the tempo of the drumbeat, turning it into a quick-paced pop song, it becomes a very popular #1 hit. Something similar happened with "Please Please Me", which was originally written as a Music/RoyOrbison-style crooner, but it didn't really click with the band and the producer until they sped it up a bit -- and it ended up becoming the Beatles' first ever #1 hit.
*** The bass player disappearing and being replaced by a session player for the live TV broadcast and for (what would have been) their first album recording refers to two incidents within the Beatles career. The first is to the recording of "Love Me Do", where Ringo Starr (who had recently been hired by the band after Pete Best was fired) was not allowed to play on the recording by George Martin, who had already hired a session drummer and did not want to rely on an unknown. The second was during the band's 1964 world tour, when Ringo (again) fell ill and was unable to play, requiring the band to temporarily hire another session drummer (Jimmie Nichol) to fill in for him. The latter is also alluded to by Faye falling ill when the band travels to California and missing several of the gigs they do.
** There's a montage/MusicVideo sequence of the "Play-Tone Caravan of Stars" that's straight out of ''Series/TheMonkees''.
** The Wonders have a cameo role in an [[BeachEpisode Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon-style teen film]], ''Weekend at Party Pier''. The character of "Goofball" in the movie could just as well be named "[[Series/GilligansIsland Gilligan]]".
** Lenny is apparently a big fan of ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' and ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies''.
* ShownTheirWork:
** All the actors that make up The Wonders are actually playing their own instruments and singing, the result of months spent rehearsing as a ''de facto'' band prior to filming. (Asked about the many reps of the song throughout the movie, Tom Everett Scott pointed out that "We had to hear it a lot more than anyone else!")
** The film does a very good job of getting period details such as cars, clothes, and signage right. The guitars are also correct -- at the beginning the boys have appropriate garage-band instruments for the era, and later they get equally appropriate upgrades.
** In the talent show performance of "That Thing You Do," where Guy springs a faster tempo on the rest of the band than they'd rehearsed, Jimmy and Lenny are believably "behind the beat" for most of the first verse and don't really get in sync until halfway through the song.
** During his argument with Faye after the TV appearance Jimmy is shown changing his guitar strings. This is a good idea for anyone planning on recording the next day (as he is) since it will give it a "fresher" sound.
** Creator/CaseyKasem and Creator/DickClark both said that "That Thing You Do!" would have been a smash hit had it been released in the '60s.[[note]]And in fact, it ''did'' do fairly well, reaching #41 on the Billboard charts along with some decent radio play, not bad for a song specifically written to sound like it was from the '60s, but released in the mid '90s.[[/note]]
** The talent show is set at Mercyhurst College, which is a very real school that still exists to this day. In fact, it's not at all surprising that Mercyhurst would host a music talent contest, given the school's emphasis on the arts. Whether this was a lucky coincidence or a case of Creator/TomHanks showing his research, however...
* SoloSideProject: Guy Patterson (the drummer) works on his jazz chops during the band's big tour.
* {{Spoonerism}}: Star-struck at meeting his idol Del Paxton, Guy blurts out, "You are my biggest fan."
* StealthPun: During the interview with at the jazz station, the DJ asks "which artist popped your cherry" and the bass player said the Chantrellines. In the extended edition, he is seen as having spent the night with one of them.
* StraightGay: [[spoiler:Mr. White]] in the extended DVD version. [[spoiler: This, perhaps obviously, mirrors the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, whose homosexuality was something of an open secret.]]
* TakeThisJobAndShoveIt: Done ''in song'' during a recording session, no less.
* TemptingFate: Naming your fledgling band "[[OneHitWonder The Oneders/Wonders]]".
* ThingOMeter: The local contest is determined by an "applause-o-meter" where a homecoming queen (or something) moves her arm in response to audience encouragement. When the Wonders "break the needle" she whips her arms from one side to the other, clearly defining them as "Wicked".
* VarietyShow: ''The Hollywood Television Showcase,'' an AffectionateParody of (or {{Homage}} to) ''Series/TheEdSullivanShow'' and ''Hollywood Palace''.
* WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: They've got ''one'' song, which is a runaway hit, and you want to call them the ''Wonders''? It's even {{lampshaded}} by Mr. White when [[spoiler:Jimmy quits]]:
--> "Yes, you still have a hit record... the one-hit Wonders. A very common tale."
* WhatTheHellHero:
-->'''Guy''': Why ''couldn't'' you have dumped her in UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}?
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue:
** Jimmy made more hit records for Play-Tone and now works as a record producer in Los Angeles.
** Guy and Faye got married, had four kids, and founded a music school in Washington state.
** Lenny manages a casino in Nevada. His Vegas marriage didn't last.
** T.B. was decorated for his service in the Siege of Khe Sanh and is a building contractor in Florida.