[[caption-width-right:300: Don't breathe. Don't look back. [[Film/JurassicPark The tornado's vision is based on movement.]]]]

->''"When you used to tell me that you chase tornadoes, deep down I thought it was just a metaphor."''
-->-- '''Melissa'''

Directed by Jan de Bont (''Film/{{Speed}}'') and released in 1996 at the dawn of the DisasterMovie revival, ''Twister'' tells the story of a RagTagBunchOfMisfits who chase tornadoes for a living.

The main duo are scientist Dr. Jo Harding (Creator/HelenHunt) and her former husband [[TheDanza Bill]] Harding (Creator/BillPaxton). Among the many others is Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz), Harding's current fiancee, who would provide a LoveTriangle if she ever showed a fraction of affection towards Bill. Also a tale of ''vengeance'' against the evil tornadoes that deprived a little girl of her father. Also a rival team of tornado chasers led by villainous Dr. Jonas Miller (Creator/CaryElwes) that seek to beat Our Heroes to the punch at a scientific breakthrough.

''Twister'' was also the first film ever released on DVD. It was released on the format on March 25, 1997 (the second title, ''Film/BladeRunner'', came out the next day). Coincidentally, it was ''also'' the last film put out on HD DVD in UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates (though the very last HD DVD worldwide was a German release of ''Film/DeathProof''). It was also one of the first movies released on UsefulNotes/BluRay.

While it has since been closed, the movie was popular enough to inspire its own attraction at Ride/UniversalStudios Florida, titled ''Ride/TwisterRideItOut.''

Not to be confused with the [[BoardGame party game]] or the [[SimilarlyNamedWorks other film]] from 1989 with the same name, which happens to be a comedy.

!! Tropes:

* AccidentalPublicConfession: Bill's rant to Jo under YouCanTurnBack below was said within earshot of an active radio, thus transmitting it to the rest of the group...including his fiancee, who uses it in her decision to break up with him.
* TheAllegedCar: Every one of the vehicles Jo's team drives. The [[CoolCar red Dodge Ram 2500]] [[spoiler:and ultimately sacrificed to deliver Dorothy-III into an F-5 tornado]] was originally Bill's, and appropriated via GilliganCut.
* AmicableExes: Bill and Jo go back and forth, though it's mostly arguments about who should be in charge and who knows best. Aunt Meg, on the other hand, is thoroughly happy to see Bill.
* AMinorKidroduction: The film opens with Jo as a child, watching in horror with her mother as her father gets sucked away by a tornado.
* AnachronismStew: The first scene is set in 1969 and contains numerous errors of the time period. Jo's father mentions the tornado bearing down on his home as possibly an F5, when the Fujita scale wasn't established until 1972. And there were no tornadoes considered strong enough to class as F5s in 1969 anyway.
* AssholeVictim: Jonas. Doesn't help that he could have avoided his death if he wasn't so damn determined ''not'' to listen to Jo's warnings.
** Justified, after a fashion. Jonas stole their invention, knew they were furious with him about it, and assumed they were out to get even with him by impeding him. He didn't listen to Jo's advice because he believed she and Bill were trying to beat him.
* BigBad: The tornadoes, of the omnipresent situation variant. [[HateSink This is the primary reason for Jonas' existence.]]
** If you want to be technical about it, the F-5 tornado at the end of the film serves as this.
* ButtMonkey: Melissa.
* CarMeetsHouse:
** In the final tornado chase sequence, Bill and Jo drive their truck ''through'' a house that had been torn off its foundations and ''rolled'' onto the road in front of them.
-->'''Bill:''' ''[as the house rolls in front of them with no time for them to evade]:'' I think we're going in!\\
'''Bill:''' ''[afterwards]:'' Maybe we should get off this road.
** A tornado does this with a station wagon into the side of a service center garage the protagonists are taking cover in.
* CarFu: Bill and Jo do this to make sure the last Dorothy probe makes it into the tornado; setting the truck on cruise control and jumping out, looking on as it plows head-on into the F5 tornado.
* CasualDangerDialog:
-->'''Jo:''' Can I drive?\\
'''Bill:''' No!\\
'''Jo:''' Then will ''you''?\\
'''Bill''' ''[noticing truck has drifted off the road and is about to run into a parked combine harvester]:'' Whoa!
** Followed soon after by the perennial classic,
--->'''Jo:''' Where's my truck?\\
(truck, which had been hoisted aloft by the tornado, plops onto the road right in front of the truck being driven by Bill's fiance, who understandably is quite distraught, though she miraculously manages to avoid crashing)\\
'''Jo:''' (in a weirdly nonchalant tone) Oh, there it is.
** And of course, "We've got cows!"
--->'''Jo:''' Another cow.\\
'''Bill:''' Actually, I think that's the same one.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Truck]]: Jo's truck in the first tornado chase sequence, that gets picked up and dropped onto the road, is a foreshadowing of how they'll eventually need to get their project "off the ground."
-->'''Dusty:''' ''[laughing]'' Well, there's some good news... I mean, it did fly...
* CityMouse: Melissa is very out of place among the rest of the cast primarily for this reason.
* ComedyOfRemarriage: The main drama of the film is about how long it will take before Bill and Jo get back together - Bill arrives at the start of the film to collect the signed divorce papers from Jo and brings his fiance with him.
* CoolCar: Bill's red Dodge Ram 2500.
* CoolOldLady: Jo's Aunt Meg. Artist, inspiration to Jo, awesome cook, beef farmer, and has just enough badass in her that she insists she'll drive herself to the hospital after a twister completely devastates her house. She only consents to being put in an ambulance after she's told that her car also ended up in a tree.
* DanBrowned: [[http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wtmovie.htm Tornadoes do not work that way!]]
** Tornadoes are given a rating by studying the damage they leave behind, not their size.
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters: While the film opens with a tornado destroying a farm, much of the film is filler with the "kooky" team and the relationship drama instead of tornadoes destroying things. Hey, they only have so much money to spend on the effects. ([[spoiler:Though actually none of the heroes die, just the "villains."]])
* DictionaryOpening: The movie opened with the dictionary definition of a tornado.
* DisposableFiance: Melissa bows out when she realizes Jo and Bill have started rekindling their feelings for each other.
* DivorceIsTemporary: Really temporary. Bill shows up to get Jo to sign the papers. Which she does. But the increasingly intense situations bring back old feelings.
* DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud: One of the most notorious offenders.
** Though there are descriptions of the inflow jets, using layman's terms. The depictions, however, are still lacking.
** Jonas' truck does get picked up, circles, and then gets hurled without ever actually touching the funnel cloud itself.
** An aversion: It is explained that the tornado that struck the gang at night actually passed them, but the accompanying rear-flank downdrafts didn't.
* DownOnTheFarm: The events of the movie mostly take place in a rural area.
* DriveInTheater: One of the twisters attacks one.
* EverythingsBetterWithCows: The iconic scene was so popular that the real-world [=NOAA=] named their cafeteria the Flying Cow Cafe after the film.
* EvilTwin: Used as a joke when Bill's buddies are telling embarrassing stories to his fiance. He blames the stories on Evil Bill, whom he killed.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The movie takes place over about 24 hours.
* FacePlant: Bill slams face-first into the back window of the truck when Jo slams on the brakes while he's in the back prepping the Dorothy probe during the third chase.
* FootDraggingDivorcee: Bill Harding is only there in tornado-alley at the time because he came there to badger his wife Jo into finally signing the divorce papers. Subverted in that they [[ComedyOfRemarriage wind up back together]] and never do get the papers signed. (She ''did'' sign them, but then Bill's new fiancee leaves him.)
* GilliganCut:
** After Jo's truck ends up totaled on its roof after the first chase.
--->'''Jo:''' You got full coverage on that truck?\\
'''Bill:''' Liability only.\\
'''Jo:''' Liability only... It's a very pretty truck.\\
'''Melissa:''' Thank you.\\
'''Bill:''' Don't even think about it. No way.\\
[cut to Bill's truck with Dorothy-I installed in the back]
** After one of the team points out to Jo they're near her Aunt Meg's house.
--->'''The team:''' We crave sustenance. Food. Food. Fooood! [chanting]\\
''Jo:''' No. We are absolutely not going.\\
[next shot has them pulling up in front of Aunt Meg's house]
* HateSink: You can't really boo a series of tornadoes, so that's what Jonas is there for, the smug idea-stealing corporate-funded bastard. Jo ''tries'' to hate the tornadoes, though. She has enmity toward them after losing her father to one because she feels like the tornado malevolently skipped the neighboring houses and target hers, taking her father from her.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: How Eddie is killed when pressured by Jonas to continue driving towards the F5 tornado against Bill and Jo's protests; a nearby radio mast is shredded by the cyclone, of which a large piece is sent hurling at the two men right through the windshield. Eddie is killed, leaving Jonas trapped as the twister carries him off to his final fate.
* TheJuggernaut: The F5 tornado, naturally. When it pursues Jo and Bill in the climax it uproots trees, tosses tractors and cars like toys and disintegrates entire buildings. The only reason they both survive is by anchoring down to pipes and waiting until the tornado passes over them.
* KarmicDeath: Jonas.
* LargeHam:
** Cary Elwes hams up pretty much every scene he's in.
** Also Dusty (Creator/PhilipSeymourHoffman).
* LiteralMetaphor: Melissa tells Bill, "When you told me you used to chase tornadoes, I thought it was just a metaphor!" It wasn't.
* LoveCannotOvercome: Melissa breaks up with Bill before he goes chasing after the final tornado because, in her words, "I can't compete with this."
* MadeOfExplodium: Jonas' chase car, already impaled with a cell-phone tower and picked up by the tornado, explodes spectacularly when it hits the ground. Not only do cars in tornadoes not explode that way but the SpecialEffectsFailure is as blatant as it gets.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Even though she and her dog have just been rescued from a house so badly damaged by an F4 tornado that the structure collapses shortly thereafter, and she herself has suffered numerous injuries related to same, Jo's aunt continues to insist that she can drive herself to the hospital right up until Rabbit informs her that her car is in a tree around the corner. While this seems silly, it's also possible that she's suffering from shock or a concussion from the experience and isn't thinking logically, or she doesn't want them to worry about her, or she's so overwhelmed by her situation that she wants to assert ''some'' control over her life.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane:
** The movie does imply at points the tornadoes are almost alive, but it's never confirmed if that's the case or if it's simply coincidence. It's most apparent when [[spoiler:the F-5 immediately changes direction towards Bill and Jo once they manage to deploy Dorothy, as if it's supremely pissed that hundreds of metal balls are now flying about within it.]]
** Bill's "human barometer" ability to sense what the storm will do.
* NaiveNewcomer: Bill's current fiance, Dr. Melissa Reeves, acts in part as an excuse for explanations of general tornado knowledge.
* TheNavigator: Rabbit.
* NoAnimalsWereHarmed: Aunt Meg's dog Mose and the horses at the end of the film are shown to have survived their respective tornadoes with no apparent injuries. That poor cow however...
* OhCrap: After [[spoiler:successfully deploying the final Dorothy into the F-5 tornado, Bill and Jo triumphantly cheer. And then, the tornado changes direction right towards them.]] The smiles quickly leave their faces.
* PowerOfTheGodHand: In-universe, an F5 tornado is known as "The Finger of God."
* ProductPlacement:
** At times, the movie feels like a two hour Chrysler commercial.
** Dodge Ram -- when you absolutely, positively have to drive into a tornado. Paid off when sales of the Ram pickup [[Trivia/TheRedStapler increased drastically after the film's release.]]
** Plus, when they give the Dorothy probes wings by using every aluminum can they can find, all of the cans are Pepsi. Which may not be ''that'' big of a stretch when it comes to soda brand loyalty, but it's unlikely that ''every'' house in the general vicinity of an area that uses "Coke" as a generic term would be Pepsi drinkers.
*** Justified: there are parts of the United States that are "owned" by one soda corp or another. There are towns all over the country where one brand is drastically favored over the other.
*** Actually, there's a few Mountain Dew cans in there as well.
*** Guess who owns the Mountain Dew brand
* PunchClockVillain: While Jonas is just a {{Jerkass}}, his team seems to actually have some sort of respect for Jo's team, and their skill at storm chasing. Jonas' driver notes [[spoiler:just before his death]] that Jo and Bill would never lead them into harm's way.
* RagtagBandOfMisfits: The team run by Jonas are corporate sponsored, and all drive matching black vans, wear uniforms and act professional. The team run by Jo, on the other hand, drive [[TheAllegedCar their own cars]], dress in street clothes and act like gonzo fans.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: The film received some flack from film critics for the number of tornadoes to appear in a short time frame. While this is unusual, the current record for tornadoes in a single 24 hour period is ''206''. This was in 2011. Before that, the record was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1974_Super_Outbreak 148 in 1974]], which the movie, made in 1996, likely used for their reference point. While a large number of tornadoes at once is unusual, storms that spawn multiple tornadoes aren't uncommon either.
** This movie ricochets between this trope and Artistic License: Everything. Jonas' van getting whirled around the outside of the funnel before being ejected? Numerous videos exist of cars, big rigs and even a house being subjected to the same treatment. (The explosion was still BS, though.) The ragtag aspects of the heroes' chase vehicles? If they weren't working for a large university and being funded with a sizable grant, it's more than likely they would focus their money on the meteorological equipment, not on shiny new matching cars. And the hate for Jonas? Storm chasers doing it ForScience have frequently made disparaging comments about those who make money off of chasing; the kindest term is Weather Paparazzi.
* RealPersonCameo: The movie has several appearances by well-known Oklahoma news meteorologists, most notably Gary England from KWTV during the opening scene and Rick Mitchell from KOCO later on.
* RealPlaceBackground: Jo's aunt Meg lives in Wakita, an actual town in northern Oklahoma. Shooting took place in the actual town and several buildings were demolished to give the look of the community getting decimated by a tornado.
* RealityEnsues: Bill and Jo come up with the idea to give the sensors more resistance to the wind to make them fly better by cutting up [[ProductPlacement Pepsi and Diet Pepsi]] cans and putting them onto the sensors. Cue a group of tornado chasers with obvious cuts and band aids on their hands due to the sharp metal edges.
* RelationshipSalvagingDisaster: Chasing storms brings Bill and Jo back together.
* RunningGag: The device that the group came up with getting knocked over and its sensor bulbs getting spilled everywhere whenever they try to use it near a tornado.
* SceneryGorn: Wakita is an especially haunting case of this. The aftermath of the F5 at the end also qualifies.
* SceneryPorn: The beautiful landscape of Oklahoman countryside. Shown during both the film and the end credits.
* SeriousBusiness: Storm chasing, apparently.
* ShipperOnDeck: Jo and Bill's team of storm chasers. Their reaction to seeing Jo and Bill kissing after surviving the [=F5=] includes cheering and jubilant hands in the air.
* ShoutOut:
** [[Franchise/StarWars "That's no moon, it's a space station!!"]]
** The tornado device is called [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Dorothy]]. Of course, real scientists also do this kind of thing. Case in point, Dorothy is based on a real tornado device called [[http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/toto.htm TOTO.]]
** The flying cows that twist in distress as they're blown around may be a ShoutOut to a silly shot in ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', in which a cow floats past that's just standing placidly in mid-air.
** There is a drive-in theatre which shows ''Film/TheShining''. Some of its most memorable scenes are shown.
** There is an oil company named [[Film/TheAbyss Benthic]] [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay Petroleum.]]
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Jo's RagtagBunchOfMisfits drive an [[TheAllegedCar equally rag-tag]] collection of beat-up mobile homes and pickup trucks with campers. Jonas' team of nameless mooks drive a fleet of [[VanInBlack sinister black minivans]].
* SmugSnake: Jonas.
* SuperCellReception: Melissa had a cell phone which was immune to atmospheric conditions, such as giant tornadoes.
* {{Tagline}}: Originally it was going to be "It Sucks", but the potential for [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin critical snark off the line]] made them change it to the less-catchy "The Dark Side Of Nature". The potential for ReviewIronicEcho wasn't entirely avoided, though, since they left in some lines describing "the Suck Zone," which [[SnarkBait several reviewers had fun with.]]
* TeamMom: Jo's Aunt Meg to [[TrueCompanions the stormchasers]]. Case in point: They immediately go to her when they get hungry from one of their missions and she's more than happy to fix them up some lunch.
* TechnologyPorn: The systems stormchasers developed and use to record and analyze tornadoes.
* TheresNoKillLikeOverkill: When [[spoiler:Jonas' van]] gets picked up by the tornado, only his driver seems to have been impaled by the cell tower, leaving a HopeSpot open that he's still alive... then the vehicle is shown flying to the ground and exploding in a mushroom cloud, leaving no doubt that, [[DeaderThanDead yep, he's a goner.]]
* TooDumbToLive:
** Jonas, who pointedly ignores Jo and Bill's warning about his vehicle and the placement of the oncoming twister just because they don't like each other. He even ignores his own driver who expresses the same concern and has even less motivation to see them both die a windy death. Bill even calls him stupid after he bites it.
** Jo's father at the start of the movie. Never mind his wife and daughter huddling in the corner; did he really think that he could hold those shutters closed against the full might of an F-5 tornado? He might as well have flung open the doors and challenged the tornado to fisticuffs.
* TrailerParkTornadoMagnet: Notably averted here, of all movies. Although tornadoes devastate several farmhouses, two towns, a drive-in theater and a whole bunch of empty fields, they never once whack a trailer park.
* TrueCompanions: If the lunch scene at Aunt Meg's house doesn't show that the stormchasers are this, nothing does.
* VanInBlack: The corporate storm-chasers drive a fleet of black vehicles, [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience presumably to show they're the bad guys]] and that their crew is rich enough to afford a fleet of matching, brand-new vehicles. A lot good it did them.
* VillainyFreeVillain: Jonas is a rude, arrogant sleaze, but he never does anything actually ''illegal.''
** Jo's storm chasers rebuke him for accepting corporate funding, while most such would ''kill'' to receive actual funding - and since when would ''any'' CorruptCorporateExecutive be wealthy and interested enough in storm chasing to fully outfit a team of 20 people with state-of-the-art equipment?
** The villainy becomes more evident when he starts pandering to a bunch of reporters about "his" tracking system, accuses Bill of "trying to take credit for my design", and finally admits that Bill's idea was an ''unrealized'' design, meaning Bill doesn't have a [[OnlyBadGuysCallTheirLawyers legal leg to stand on]] and whichever team successfully deploys theirs first gets the pot.
** It slams home that he's utterly despicable when everyone realizes he is waiting for ''Bill'' to make the first move because '''[[KnowNothingKnowItAll he has no idea what he's doing]].'''
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never see Jo's mom after her father's death. Her mom evidently was not killed by the tornado, but it can perhaps be assumed that she passed away at some point afterward.
* YouCanTurnBack: Bill to Jo:
---> Jo. Things go wrong. You can't explain it, you can't predict it. Killing yourself won't bring your dad back. I'm sorry that he died, but that was a long time ago. You gotta move on. Stop living in the past, and look what you got right in front of you.