* TheCastShowoff: In quite a few of his films, he's gotten the chance to show off either of his pretty impressive singing or dancing skills, or sometimes both. A few memorable examples being ''Film/OnceBitten'', ''Film/TheMask'', ''Film/TheCableGuy'', ''Film/ManOnTheMoon'', ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'', and ''Film/YesMan''.
* CreatorBacklash: Despite being his StarMakingRole, Creator/JimCarrey does not like ''Film/AceVentura''. Carrey was displeased with the sequel, causing him to swear off ever doing a sequel for any of his characters (though he has since done the ''Film/DumbAndDumber'' sequel ''Dumb And Dumber To'' and was interested in reprising his role as Count Olaf in the sadly now-cancelled sequel to ''Film/{{A Series of Unfortunate Events|2004}}''). This had a lasting impact on his career as well since this role is seen as the reason why [[AwardSnub he's yet to get nominated for an Oscar.]]
* FakeAmerican: He's actually from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (that's in Greater UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}}), though he is a naturalized American with dual citizenship.
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: He cannot be scripted. He cannot be directed. He can only be aimed.
* JustHereForGodzilla: If the movie he's in is lousy, expect him to be [[AuthorsSavingThrow the only good thing about it]].
* LeslieNielsenSyndrome: A lot of his early acting work, all done while he was gaining notoriety as a standup comedian, was in serious roles in serious dramas. Anyone who has paid attention to his career laughs at people who were amazed at Carrey's ability to do drama in later roles, because they'd known for decades.
* OneOfUs: Not surprisingly, he adores cartoons, which is one of the reasons he agreed to star in ''Film/TheMask''.
* PlayingAgainstType: He played a variety of both comic and serious roles prior to becoming an A-lister and thus identified only with comedies. ''Film/TheMajestic'', ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' and ''Film/{{The Number 23}}'' are his most deliberate attempts to play against type since then.
* PlayingWithCharacterType: ''Film/TheCableGuy'' and ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' played his over-the-top, zany persona for, respectively, BlackComedy and drama.
* StarMakingRole: Ace Ventura. And as luck would have it, immediately followed by the Mask and Lloyd, making him the first actor to headline three #1-opening movies in one year. And he did it in his first three movies as a mainstream lead actor. How about Star-Making ''Year''?
* TomHanksSyndrome: After establishing himself as a goofy LargeHam, many were surprised when [[Film/TheTrumanShow his]] [[Film/ManOnTheMoon more]] [[Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind dramatic]] [[Film/TheNumber23 work]] came out.
* TypeCasting
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Carrey was originally supposed to be a cast member on ''Saturday Night Live'' when the original cast left in 1980 and Jean Doumanian was hired to create a new "Not Ready for Primetime" cast for the sixth season. Considering how terrible the 1980-1981 season was and how most of the cast has faded into obscurity[[note]]with Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/GilbertGottfried, and Gail Matthius [when she spent most of the 1990s doing voicework on kids' cartoons], as the only ones who found fame outside of their time on ''SNL''[[/note]], it was probably a good thing he wasn't picked. Carrey tried again for the 1985-1986 season[[note]]the one that saw Creator/LorneMichaels coming back to revive his show, only for it to nearly get canceled since no one liked the new cast he brought in -- which included such now famous faces as Creator/RobertDowneyJr., Creator/JoanCusack, Anthony Michael Hall, and Randy Quaid, along with three cast members who would be part of the show's new GoldenAge: Jon Lovitz, Nora Dunn, and Creator/DennisMiller[[/note]], and, once again, was passed over. Had Carrey been picked for the 1985-1986 season, he probably would have had more of a chance to shine (even going so far as playing then-President UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan) and either would have joined the new GoldenAge cast in 1986 or be a very entertaining one-season wonder)...or maybe not. On David Letterman's show, Carrey recalled that when he went to audition for ''Saturday Night Live'', there was a man outside one of the high windows of the NBC building [[DrivenToSuicide preparing to jump and kill himself.]] He considered this [[ThisIsGonnaSuck a bad omen]] and decided not to go through with it. Clips of his audition tape (for when he auditioned for the 1985-1986 season) have appeared on the ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' 40th Anniversary Special in a montage of audition tapes of past and present cast members (and some now-famous people who auditioned for the show and didn't make it, like Carrey, Creator/AndyKaufman, and Creator/KevinHart).
** Plus, the Wachowski Siblings wanted him to play ComicBook/PlasticMan in the never-made film based on their script. Which, even if the script was kinda crappy, ''still'' would have been epic.
** He almost didn't do ''Film/AceVentura'' because he didn't care for the script. He only said yes after they allowed him to work on it.
** He was originally cast as Doctor Evil in ''Film/AustinPowersInternationalManOfMystery'', but he dropped out due to schedule conflicts with ''Film/LiarLiar''.
** He was considered to star as Captain Jack Sparrow in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' and as Willy Wonka in ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory''. Both roles went to Creator/JohnnyDepp.
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