->''"Life is a terrible thing to sleep through."''
A 1993 film starring Creator/JohnnyDepp as the eponymous Gilbert Grape. The story deals with the Grape household and their friends and acquaintances from Endora, Iowa. Picking up a few years after the suicide of Gilbert's father, we see its impact on everyone involved.
One of the main difficulties the family is having concerns Arnie Grape (played by Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio), who is developmentally disabled which creates a great deal of problems for everyone involved, especially the multiple times he climbs the town water tower and refuses to get down for everyone, except his brother Gilbert.
Gilbert ends up chaffing against his role as the new man of the house, along with having to find his way through romantic tensions with a married woman, preparations for a grand party for Arnie's 18th Birthday, his morbidly obese mother's declining health, and worrying about his future career.
!!Tropes featured include:
* BigEater: Bonnie Grape is a very tragic-comical example of the fat version.
* BigSleep: [[spoiler:Bonnie goes upstairs to her bedroom for the first time in ages, goes to sleep in her bed and dies there.]]
* BookEnds: The trailers going through Endora.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Ellen Grape
* DrivenToSuicide: Mr. Grape, before the movie begins.
* DyeingForYourArt: LeonardoDiCaprio really did not bathe during the period in filming when Arnie refused to go near water.
* FatGirl: When Gilbert says his mother is the size of a beached whale, he's not far off.
* GracefulLoser: Mrs Carver graciously handing Gilbert to Becky, knowing she has the youth and joyful-heart to give him the happiness she never could.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Bonnie Grape, in a picture (a real picture of the actress), taken before she gained the weight
* KidsAreCruel: The kids of Endora likes to hang around the Grape residence, hoping to have a chance to catch a glimpse of, and laugh at the morbidly obese Bonnie. Curiously enough, they are never shown to bully Arnie, and are actually very accepting of him.
** It's implied at the end that Ellen herself was anxious to switch schools; probably not many friends to leave behind if she was constantly teased. By the way she treats Arnie throughout the movie, Ellen was most likely teased in his and her mother's account.
* KnightInSourArmor: Gilbert does everything for his family without complaint, but is secretly resentful about it to his friends.
* LetThePastBurn: The family's solution to [[spoiler: how to deal with their dead mother's immovably heavy corpse]] at the end of the film. The protagonists light the house on fire to burn [[spoiler: along with their deceased morbidly obese mother who is on the top floor, as this is the only way to dispose of her body without public humiliation]]. In this case the fire symbolises protection.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Discussed by Gilbert's friends about Mr. Carver (who also happens to be offering Gilbert a job while his wife tries to get Gilbert to sleep with her) after he drowns to death in a kiddy pool party, argued to be subverted because he had a heart attack that caused him to collapse in such a way that he drowned in a kiddy pool.
** Actually, while it appeared that way, Carver wasn't offering him a job, ironically he was trying to sell Gilbert life insurance, just before his own fatal cardiac arrest.
* MamaBear: Bonnie Grape. When the cops detain Arnie for climbing the water tower [[RunningGag again,]] she risks her own health and being humiliated in public due to her weight, walking to the police station demanding to know where Arnie is.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Becky seems to be one for Gilbert.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: At the beginning of the movie, Arnie - the mentally challenged young man - kills a grasshopper by beheading it, and then cries to Gilbert about it. Later on in the movie, Gilbert loses his cool - leading him to slap Arnie around, after being so protective of him.
* NoOshaCompliance: The town water tower is incredibly easy to climb up. All access to the ladder should be locked off.
* TheOneWhoMadeItOut: Janice and Larry.
** Also done with [[spoiler:Gilbert and Arnie]], who look to leave the town with [[spoiler:Becky and her grandma]] when the latter two revisit the town in their trailer.
* SmallTownBoredom: Welcome to Endora, Iowa where they look up to the majestic happenings of Des Moines, Iowa.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Arnie fears that he has this and refuses to go in or near water after he is left in a bathtub all night and almost drowns.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Gilbert's friends, a handyman and a mortician who often discuss the new Burger Barn that's about to open and how much better than other fast food chains they are.
* TwoPersonPoolParty: With their clothes on no less, and while Arnie watches...
* WhatTheHellHero: When Gilbert lifts up a little boy to gawk at his obese mother, his friends chastise him for it.