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* AcceptableTargets
** [[BadGuyBar "It was filled with every lowlife from Bombay to Calcutta...]] [[TakeThat it was worse than]] [[PlaceWorseThanDeath Detroit."]]
** The various religions and charitable causes being pitched in the airport, especially when Kramer starts charging through them all.
** "WZAZ in Chicago, [[FamousLastWords where disco lives forever]]!" ''[plane smashes through radio tower and takes out the antenna]'' In its original theatrical run, it was not uncommon for the audience to ''cheer'' at this point.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The naked woman [[{{Gainaxing}} who bounces her naked breasts]] ([[ValuesDissonance in a PG film!]][[note]]The PG-13 rating did not exist at the time[[/note]]) in front of the camera as the passengers are panicking.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Several gags, but particularly the "[[GetAholdOfYourselfMan hysterical woman gets slapped]]" one, not to mention stewardess Randy's disastrous attempt to cheer up the LittlestCancerPatient; both are played as BlackComedy.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The Zuckers and Abrahams were actually disappointed when the film ended up with a genuinely good score, rather than a cheesy one that would add to the parody. They probably shouldn't have hired ElmerBernstein.
* [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Crowning Music Of Funny]]: When Rumack (Nielson) tells Striker the end of the "George Zipp" story. Whether or not one's a fan of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_NxSTX0jkc&playnext=1&list=PL6C4A870152E947AA Notre Dame Fighting Irish]], the moment is hilarious.
* DudeNotFunny: The whole "Ever seen a grown man naked", and all related jokes that follow. They're the only jokes that make you wonder what was going through the Zucker Bros. minds when they wrote those.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Stephen Stucker steals the entire movie.
-->'''Reporter:''' What kind of plane is it?
-->'''Johnny:''' Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The tagline "...and able to hit tall buildings at a single bound", and the plane running into and destroying a radio tower on a building.
** A Roman Catholic nun reading a magazine called ''Boys Life''.
** The full-body scanners that can see through clothing (and are obviously being used to ogle the women).
*** With TSA, this is now a cross between TruthInTelevision and ScienceMarchesOn.
** The turban-wearing passenger who douses himself in gasoline and tries to blow himself up to avoid listening to Striker reminiscing. (Though he was probably meant to be [[UsefulNotes/{{India}} East Indian]] rather than Middle-Eastern.)
* GeniusBonus: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manny_Mota Manny Mota]] was the all-time leader in pinch hits - but he never pinch hit for Pedro Borbon.
* HilariousInHindsight: It's funny enough on its own, but the moment where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finally breaks down and starts talking basketball is even funnier since Jabbar himself [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h03QVlrwI_s misidentified the line on Celebrity Jeopardy]].
** The film itself has inevitably had this effect on ''Zero Hour'', the major inspiration for its plot and many of its lines. It's downright surreal watching that film now and seeing lines like "I picked the wrong week to quit smoking" played completely straight.
* MemeticMutation: ''Every punchline'' has entered the [[PopCultureOsmosis cultural consciousness]].
** "Surely you can't be serious." "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."
** "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
** "I picked the wrong week to quit smoking, drinking..."
* RetroactiveRecognition: David Leisure (''Series/EmptyNest'', Joe Isuzu) is one of the Hare Krishna.
* TheScrappy: Johnny the control tower employee inspires this reaction from some viewers, especially during his ForTheEvulz moment with the runway lights. Others consider his antics to be one of the [[CrossesTheLineTwice funniest things]] in the movie.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: At the time, the entire joke with Leslie Nielson's character was seeing a serious actor bringing every bit of his usual gravitas to such ridiculous material. [[LeslieNielsenSyndrome Nielsen proceeded to make this kind of material his bread and butter]], so that viewers these days will likely just be surprised that he's not playing the lead role.
* ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs: ''Creator/MontyPython'' plus Creator/MelBrooks on speed.
** To get the film made, Zucker and company told film executives it was ''AnimalHouse'' on a plane. It wasn't.
* WeirdAlEffect: ''Zero Hour'', the movie it was based on. In fact it's technically a remake, not just a parody.
** The film also parodies many of the subplots from the ''Film/{{Airport}}'' film series.

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