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[[caption-width-right:300:Once you get him out of your house, you'll ''never'' get him out of your life!]]

->''"I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy."''
-->-- '''Chip Douglas'''

''The Cable Guy'' is a 1996 BlackComedy film directed by Creator/BenStiller, written by Creator/JuddApatow, and starring Creator/JimCarrey, Creator/MatthewBroderick and Apatow's future wife Creator/LeslieMann.

After his girlfriend Robin (Mann) flips out and gives him the boot, Steven Kovacs (Broderick) gets the very last thing he needed to fill the new void: an incredibly bizarre cable installer named Chip Douglas (Carrey) who latches on and insinuates himself into Steven's life. To his credit, Chip does lots of favors for Steven, up to and including helping him win back Robin, but his odd, off-putting and sometimes illicit behavior (including buying Steven a prostitute and then making it up to him by beating the crap out of Robin's date, and later getting him an overelaborate entertainment system via "connections"... which ends up being stolen) proves too much to take and Steven eventually has to tell him to take a hike. Things quickly turn sour after that, and Steven finds out just how weird his "pal" really is when Chip begins stalking him and pulling various strings to try and ruin his life.

When it was released, the big news around the film was that Carrey got himself a big payday ($20 million!) for his role in the movie. Today, it's incorrectly remembered as a flop. While it wasn't the home run the studio was likely expecting, it did make back its budget and, after worldwide receipts were added in, made over $100 million. And it's also [[VindicatedByCable picked up something of a following]].

[[JustForFun/IThoughtThatWas Has nothing to do with]] Creator/LarryTheCableGuy.
!!Tropes included:

* AntagonistTitle: It's Chip's job, after all.
* AntiVillain: Chip is a creepy obsessive stalker, but only because he's really lonely.
* AsideGlance: Chip at the end of the film.
* AxCrazy: Chip Douglas. The beatdown he gives Robin's date (and his rambling as he does so of things like Dizzy Gillespie) and his "role-playing" on the Medieval Times (which apparently had him fantasizing ''Franchise/StarTrek'' (specifically the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]] episode "Amok Time") at one point) are pretty good examples of how this Trope fits him.
* BattleInTheRain: The climax on the satellite dish.
* BeingEvilSucks: Chip implies that he feels this.
--> '''Steven''': You don't have to [[DrivenToSuicide do this]]! We all get lonely!
--> '''Chip''': Yeah. But I get ''really'' lonely. I mean, look at me, come ''on''!
* BlackComedy: One of the reasons the film didn't take off as big as expected. At the time, Carrey was known for his wacky characters, and audiences were not prepared to see him as a creepy stalker.
* CelebrityParadox: Chip makes a reference to ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'', which Jack Black had a cameo in.
* CharacterNameAlias [=/=]IHaveManyNames: His name isn't really [[Series/MyThreeSons Chip Douglas]]. Or [[Series/{{Bewitched}} Larry Tate]]. Or [[Series/ILoveLucy Ricky Ricardo]]. Or [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons George Jetson]]. Or even [[Series/LaverneAndShirley The Big Ragu]].
* ClimbingClimax: The climax occurs on the scaffolding surrounding the massive satellite dish [[ChekhovsGun Chip takes Steven to earlier in the movie]]. Lampshaded to hell and back by Chip as a very good place for a "final battle" to occur.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Chip. Deconstructed in that other people realistically react to him like he was dangerously insane (and he ''is'').
* CreatorCameo[=/=]TalkingToHimself: Creator/BenStiller plays twin brothers Sam & Stan Sweet. Eric Roberts plays them as well in a ShowWithinAShow "based on a true story" movie-of-the-week advertisement.
* CurbStompBattle: Chip to Robin's date in the men's room.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Carrey gives the exact same performance that he always did at the time, except this one shows just how weird and creepy regular people would find it.
* DirtyCop: The cops who arrest Steven are the same Chip's "preferred customers" from the karaoke party, implying that they were in on Chip's plan of framing Steven.
* DisneyVillainDeath: Averted. Chip lets himself drop, hoping he will get impaled on the antenna's tip, but misses. His reaction to that is along the lines of "dammit, I pulled an EpicFail!".
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Not even Chip likes that Sam Sweet committed SiblingMurder:
-->'''Chip Douglas:''' ''(watching the news on Sam Sweet, dead serious)'' I hope they fry this bastard.
* FormerChildStar: The Sweet twins. The backstory to the trial shows that neither Sweet sibling ended in a good place mentally after they grew up (just that one was more standard "became an asshole" about it).
* FreudianExcuse: Chip's mother was so neglectful that he was practically raised by television.
-->'''Chip:''' I learned the facts of life...from watching ''Series/TheFactsOfLife''!
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Loneliness has not been good for Chip's mental health.
* HeelRealization: At the film's climax, Chip argues with his dead mother. He comes to the conclusion that lack of human interaction has turned him into a maladjusted lunatic, but there is still time to keep the rest of the world from ending up as he did. [[spoiler: He throws himself onto a powerful satellite dish, which cuts off everyone's cable and forces them to read books.]]
* HereWeGoAgain: [[spoiler:Hey, am I really your buddy?]] Bear in mind, Chip is reacting like this to something a paramedic said as a ''knee-jerk reaction'' (typical "hang in there" pep talk).
* HypocriticalHumor: In the Medieval Times scene.
-->'''Steven''': Can I get a knife?
-->'''Melinda''': There were no utensils ''in'' medieval times, hence there are no utensils ''at'' Medieval Times. Now, would you like a refill on that Pepsi?
-->'''Steven''': [[LampshadeHanging There were no utensils, but there was Pepsi?]]
-->'''Melinda''': Dude, I've got a lot of tables.
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Chip's driving motivation.
** IJustWantToBeLoved: Another possible motivation, giving the fact that in one scene he sings a karaoke version of "[[Music/JeffersonAirplane Somebody to Love]]".
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Chip decides he's going to free the town from the grip of TV by jumping into the satellite dish and impaling himself on the central antenna. Subverted in that he misses the antenna and hits the bottom of the dish, survives the fall, and is disappointed when he sees the antenna next to him.
* KubrickStare: The poster.
* LargeHam: Chip, though it's no surprise since he's played by Jim Carrey.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: In addition to referencing the climax's similarity to ''Film/GoldenEye'' (see MadeOfIron, below), Chip has the odd habit of humming musical scores as if he were in a movie, illustrating his loose grip on reality. The score in the background likes to go along with it.
-->'''Chip''': You know what sucks about real life? There's no danger music! Dada da dum...
* LogoJoke: The Columbia Pictures logo at the movie's beginning goes into static from Steven's cable TV.
* LoonyFriendsImproveYourPersonality: This is {{deconstruct|ion}}ed here. Early on, Chip helps Steven loosen up more by taking him to Medieval Times and throwing a karaoke party. Eventually, Steven learns that Chip isn't just wacky, he's downright dangerous and clingy.
* MadeOfIron: Chip, apparently, since he survives a drop over the tower above the satellite dish onto the dish itself, flipping twice in mid air and landing on his back, just inches away from the needle protruding from the dish. He does break his back, however, although the fall would likely kill or at least mortally cripple someone in real life. Oddly enough, this element seems like a parody of ''Film/GoldenEye'' as well, as Janus/[[spoiler:Alec Trevelyan]] didn't die from the fall, either.
* NewMediaAreEvil: PlayedForLaughs. The movie doesn't outright say that television is evil, but it does take shots at the sensationalist trash programing it often boasts, not to mention the titular cable guy's mental instability being largely due to his inattentive mother jut letting him watch TV all day as a kid. In the end, when everyone's cable goes out, one disappointed viewer happily picks up a book and starts reading it.
* NiceGuy: Steven. Part of his character arc is finding the guts to stand up to Chip, and then dealing with Chip going on the warpath.
* OldMediaAreEvil: The film is crawling with paranoia about mass media, and its simultaneously invasive and alienating effects on people's lives.
* OneBookAuthor: This is Lou Holtz Jr.'s only screenwriting credit, but his original script was heavily rewritten by Creator/JuddApatow (who was denied credit by the Writer's Guild).
* PrisonRape: Based on their come-on lines to Steven, it's implied the other prisoners want to do this.
* ReferenceOverdosed: Considering that one of the main characters is a guy whose profession is to install a source of entertainment, it's no surprise that there's an inordinate amount of TV show and movie name-dropping, but this one is unique in that it's actually a ''plot point.''
* SlasherSmile: Chip on the movie's poster.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: For a guy desperate for friendship, Chip has a lot of people at his disposal. [[JustifiedTrope Free cable installation is one hell of an ice breaker.]]
* ShoutOut: The movie references several movies and shows, such as ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' and ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** During Steven's nightmare, when Chip breaks the door down, his eyes became green ala Series/TheIncredibleHulk.
* ShowWithinAShow: ''Double Trouble'', which has a looming presence throughout the movie, due to the closing trial of former child actor Sam Sweet for shooting his twin brother Stan. Also ''Brother, Sweet Brother'', a "movie of the week" cashing on the trial's media circus (and starring Eric Roberts as [[ActingForTwo both Sweet brothers]]).
-->'''Chip Douglas:''' ''(watching the news on Sam Sweet)'' I hope they fry this bastard.
* StalkerWithoutACrush: Chip Douglas. He just wants to be Steven's friend, and he will do ''anything'' (even putting Steven in jail and beating the crap out of someone dating Steven's girlfriend) to be on that role...
* ThemedAliases: Chip uses the names of TV characters as aliases. See IHaveManyNames above.
* TheTrickster: Chip Douglas. Deconstructed slightly in that this attitude makes him look ''utterly insane'' (and not in the CrazyAwesome manner, either).
* TheUnreveal:
** We never find out if Sweet was found guilty.
** Or [[NoNameGiven the real name]] of the Cable Guy.
* WindowLove: [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Chip tries to get Steven to do this]]. He refuses.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Chip invites himself to a get-together with Steven's family and girlfriend Robin. Steven's frantic attempts to [[CassandraTruth convince them that Chip is nuts]] paint him as paranoid and ungrateful, which is exactly what Chip wants. Finally, Steven punches Chip after he furtively insults Robin, which makes Steven look ''even worse''.
* {{Yandere}}: Chip is a "friends" (instead of "lovers") version.