Bollywood / 3 Idiots

3 Idiots is a 2009 Bollywood film starring Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan. It is based on the book 'Five Point Someone' by Chetan Bhagat.

It revolves around three students studying in the Imperial College of Engineering, Delhi. Out of them, Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) comes from a poor family and is desperate to pass and get a good job. The second, Farhan Qureshi (R. Madhavan), comes from a relatively better family, but has joined engineering to please his father, while he really wants to become a widlife photographer. However, their third roommate, Ranchoddas shamaldas Chanchhad is a stunningly intelligent radical-thinking young man, who challenges the educational system with every step he takes, infuriating the headmaster of the school, Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani).

However, Farhan and Raju lose contact with Rancho after graduation. Ten years later, Farhan gets a call from an old colleague of theirs, Chatur Ramalingam, who says he has found Rancho. Abandoning everything, Farhan and Raju accompanied Chatur and set out on a road trip, to find him. But all is not as it seems...


  • Alliterative Name: Raju Rastogi. Also Man Mohan aka Millimeter.
  • Always Second Best: Chatur to Rancho.
  • Anchored Ship: Rancho and Pia during the college days. Although Rancho has feelings for Pia, his use of a fake identity prevents him from returning Pia's affections. Fortunately, they are reunited at the end.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Aal Izz Well/All is well". In the climax of the movie, saying them even helps to awaken an apparently stillborn baby!
    • "Don't chase success. Pursue excellence and success will chase you."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In a much-delayed answer to Rancho's question about the Fischer Space Pen (Why didn't they use a pencil), four years later, after Rancho saves the unborn child of Virus' elder daughter, Virus replies that when a pencil lead breaks in zero gravity on board spaceships, the graphite fragments can get into astronauts' eyes, and cause short circuits in the instruments.
  • Artistic License: Chatur shows off his possessions since his job abroad, including his "new Lamborghini, 6496cc, very fast". He refers to the Murcielago. What he shows on his phone, however, is the Diablo, a decade-old Lamborghini, a thousand cc's smaller, and not so fast.
  • The B Grade: Chatur hates being Always Second Best to Rancho.
  • Big Bad: Viru Sahastrabuddhe AKA Virus.
  • Big Bad Wanna Be: Chatur.
  • Biker Babe: Pia, though technically she's a scooter babe.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Due to Chatur's poor Hindi, his translation makes his warning regarding the senior's intent of pissing on Rancho sound really silly.
    Chatur: Pray undress, or he'll do...'urine expulsion' on you.
    Senior: (He) calls pissing, 'urine expulsion'! A true linguist in the land of engineers!
  • Brick Joke: The hazing ritual, where freshmen strip to their underwear and offer their butts to seniors for "inspection". After Rancho's real name is revealed as Phunsuk Wangdu, Chatur performs the ritual when instigated by Farhan and Raju.
    • Rancho fends off a senior threatening to pee on his door by conducting electricity through the senior's urine. A decade later, Rancho's students pull the same prank on Chatur.
    • Rancho's dream in which he and Pia ends in an Almost Kiss. Ten years later, the dream scene plays out almost exactly but ends with a slap from Pia. Followed by a Big Damn Kiss.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Virus couldn't find a way to kick out Rancho because he's his top student. And ultimately revokes his decision when he finally does.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Virus challenges Rancho to teach his engineering class. He has the students define a fictitious term to make a point about the proper method of teaching.
  • Call Forward: At the beginning of the film, Chatur offers rum to Farhan and Raju. A scene in the college years shows the trio drinking to it.
  • Candid Camera Prank: Two pranks within one. Chatur gets the librarian to write a speech for him to recite on Teacher's Day. Rancho and Farhan divert both Chatur (with a prank phone call) and the librarian (by telling him Virus was remembering him, which he understood as Virus calling him over), and then changed some of the words of the speech. Chatur didn't even ask what it means, but memorised it without thinking. Hilarity Ensues.
    • The film begins with one such prank by Farhan to stay in Delhi to meet Raju, to find their long lost friend.
  • Catch Phrase: Rancho's "Aal Izz Well/All is Well", which is also the film's Arc Words.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rancho made an inverter that could draw out power from car batteries named after Virus in an attempt get out of Pia's wedding. It ended up powering the equipment for Mona's birth.
    • The mint sauce. It was first used by Rancho on Suhas' shoes to show his personality to Pia. It's later used by Raju for the same purpose (to show Pia that Suhas' personality hasn't changed) and also to distract Suhas long enough for Farhan and Raju to steal away with Pia.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: "Phunsuk Wangdu", the famous scientist Chatur is hoping to strike a deal with, turns out to be Rancho's real name.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Whenever Rancho said "Aal Izz Well" to Mona while she was pregnant, the baby kicked. Guess what woke up the stillborn baby?
  • Child Prodigy: Rancho can solve 10th grade math while in 6th grade.
  • Cool Big Sis: Mona to Pia.
  • Cool Teacher: Rancho ultimately becomes one.
  • Create Your Own Villain: If Rancho didn't humiliate Chatur, he would have just left him alone.
    • And then the plot of finding Rancho will not happen because Chatur managed to find him to settle their rivalry and along their way, finding clues about Rancho's true identity. Farhan and Raju didn't manage to find Rancho for many years so they tag along with Chatur.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates : Pia dating Rancho. Virus absolutely loathes him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost everyone.
  • Decoy Protagonist: At the beginning you'd think that Farhan is the protagonist of the film. It's actually Rancho. Farhan is actually the narrator of the film.
  • Disposable Fiancée: Suhas, because he's a materialistic Jerkass.
  • Dope Slap: Given to Chatur by Virus after the former recites the teacher's day speech edited by Rancho filled with words that made the speech offensive. Particularly the 'Sanskrit Verse' at the end of the speech.
  • Driven to Suicide: Joy, a friend of the trio. Raju attempts this too, but is luckily saved in time.
    • In the backstory, Virus's eldest son.
  • The Engineer: Many characters in the film aspire to be one.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Inverted with Chatur's Teacher's Day Speech.
  • Evil Gloating: Chatur at the beginning of the movie, showing off his mansion, car, job etc. to Farhan and Raju. Well, not evil, so much as just 'I'm more successful than you despite the fact that you scored better'.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Amongst the five main characters: Rancho is Sanguine, Farhan is Leukine, Raju is Phlegmatic, Pia is Melancholic and Chatur is Choleric.
  • Freudian Excuse: Subverted with Virus. At first it seems like the reason he's so angry all the time is that his son was Driven to Suicide after failing to pass in ICE, but then at the end it's revealed that Virus was always like this and his son committed suicide because Virus crushed his dreams of becoming a writer. Realizing this is a major part of his later Heel–Face Turn.
  • Freudian Trio: Rancho is Id, Farhan is Ego and Raju is Superego.
  • Gasshole: Chatur, oh so much. Becomes a Running Gag.
    Chatur: I didn't do it... Raju!
  • Gratuitous English: Chatur, again.
    "Sir, I was born in Uganda. Studied in Pondicherry.. so, little slow in Hindi."
    • Also "FARHAN-itrate" and "Pre-RAJU-lisation"
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Pia: No, Farhan, it's not like that. Suhas is a changed man. He doesn't talk about brands or prices anymore.
    (cut to Suhas screaming)
    Suhas: MY 1.5 LAKH SHERWANI! (My $3000 suit!)
  • Hospital Hottie: Pia, who is a med student.
  • Hot Scientist: Again, Rancho ultimately becomes one.
  • How We Got Here: The movie intersperses the search for Rancho with shots of the main characters' college life and their Character Development.
  • I Have Many Names: The Hero is knows as Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad/Chhote/Phunsukh Wangdu.
  • I Have Your Wife: That's how Farhan and Raju subdue the real Ranchoddas Chanchad- by grabbing the urn containing his deceased father's ashes.
  • Infant Immortality: Pia's niece/nephew was thought dead, but Rancho's Catch Phrase revives him/her!
  • In-Series Nickname: "Silencer" for Chatur, "Virus" for Prof. Viru Sahastrabuddhe. "Chhote" to Rancho/Phunsukh Wangdu
  • Ironic Echo: "Hey... Take That!!" Few minutes after Chatur insulted the reunited trio, it immediately bite him in the ass in the ending when he learned who is Phunsukh Wangdu...
  • Jerkass: Virus, very much so. Even though he got better at the end of the movie, he still drives two men to suicide, one of which was his own son.
    • Chatur isn't a pleasing fellow either.
    • Pia's Disposable Fiancée openly berates her every time he has a chance.
    • The real Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad. He even points a gun at Farhan and Raju when they find that he pocketed the degree that their friend studied for under his name. He receives a dosage of Humble Pie and truly regrets it (that forced his father to use the impostor in order to protect their family from shame and spare his son from insults he himself received), and he gives his impostor's address to Farhan and Raju as a way to atone.
  • Just Plane Wrong: The Airbus A321 in the opening scene has a different registration number on either side of its fuselage. Then, in a view from right under the aircraft, when the landing gear come out, each bogie has two axles, while shots from a distance show one axle for each bogie.
  • Left the Background Music On: When Pia decides to call off the her wedding and run off with Farhan and Raju to reunite with Rancho, music starts playing as the trio(and Chatur) take off in their car while the guests and Pia's family looks on, only for Virus to stop the music in annoyance by covering the horn that one of the wedding's musician was playing with.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Pia loves Rancho, but she wants to keep her maiden name if they got married since his is both an Overly Long Name (at least in her opinion). She feels the same upon learning of his true name.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Every night you ride into my dreams on a scooter, dressed as a bride. Instead of a veil, you lifted your helmet and come close to kiss me."
  • Mind Screw: Just WHO is Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchhad anyway? A rich scion who conferred his name to their friend, so that he could pocket a degree without exerting anything.
  • Mood Whiplash: The trio are leading the college in "Aal Izz Well" and trying to rebuild a friend, Joy's helicopter design. At the end of the song, they finally build it, stick a camera on it and fly it up to his room window only to see... Joy hanging from the ceiling, having committed suicide and the words "I QUIT" written on the wall in spray-paint.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Viru "Virus" Sahastrabuddhe.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Rancho ultimately becomes both a scientist and a teacher.
  • Old Maid: Raju's elder sister is twenty-eight and unmarried, a major cause of worry for their mother.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Viru Sahastrabuddhe is always called Virus. The Hero's fake Overly Long Name is shortened to Rancho. Also. there's the Tagalong Kid Man Mohan who is always called Millimeter until he grows up.
  • Overly Long Name: Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad.
  • Road Trip Plot: Most of the present day scenes.
  • Runaway Bride: Farhan and Raju steal Pia away from her wedding to Suhas.
  • Sadist Teacher: Viru "Virus" Sahastrabuddhe .
  • Saved by Canon: You'd know that Raju will survive his suicide since he's alive and well in the present day scenes.
  • Screaming Birth: The trio help deliver Mona Sahastrabuddhe (Pia's elder sister)'s child, in the university storeroom, using an inverter, a vacuum cleaner and a car battery to construct a vacuum pump after she's too tired to push anymore.
  • Secret Test of Character: Suhas fails a secret test of character. THRICE! At Mona's wedding, Rancho ruins Suhas' Italian shoes by spilling sauce on them, showing how Suhas cares a lot about money. The second time, Rancho makes Pia pretend she had lost the expensive watch Suhas had just bought her, Suhas responds by nagging Pia. Thanks to this, Pia decides to break their engagement. On the third occasion, when Pia is going to marry Suhas ten years later, Raju ruins Suhas wedding clothes with green sauce, showing Pia how he has still not changed, this time Pia decides to leave Suhas in the altar.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Invoked when one of the teachers seems more impressed by Chatur giving an overly complicated definition of the word 'machine' memorized from a textbook instead of Rancho's simplified one, so in response Rancho gives one himself when wanting to go collect his books.
  • Silly Love Song: "Zoobi Doobi".
  • Skewed Priorities: Farhan and Raju are both shocked to learn that Rancho/Chhote's real name is Phunsukh Wangdu and are wondering if he happens to be the same great scientist that Chatur was talking about with over 400 patents, while Pia is stating she doesn't like having her name changed to Pia Wangdu after marrying him.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Pia angrily smacks Rancho near the end of the movie after thinking she was played. Followed by The Big Damn Kiss.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mona, Farhan and Raju all support Rancho/Pia.
  • Smug Snake: Chatur in the present-day portions of the movie. Until he's promptly shut up in the climax.
    • The Minister invited for the Teacher's Day function at the college, when Chatur is talking about Virus in the Teacher's Day speech in which he's laughing his ass off. Until he starts talking about the Minister himself...
    • The real Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad, who pocketed an engineering degree by foul means, and almost gunned down Farhan and Raju. Until they got the better of him.
  • Tagalong Kid: Millimeter.
  • Teen Genius: Rancho and Chatur, especially the former. The latter admitted that he didn't study to enjoy Science (or Engineering in particular).
  • Theme Naming: Millimeter and his dogs Gigabyte, Kilobyte and Megabyte.
    Millimeter: Don't worry, none of them bite.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Chatur serves as one during the present day scenes.
  • True Companions: The eponymous three idiots. So much so that Farhan and Raju travel from Delhi to Shimla (a whole state away) only to realise that a Red Herring led them there and Rancho is really in Ladakh (which is a cold and barren desert, another couple of states away). They don't stop until they find him.
    • They quickly turn the car around and drive to Manali, 255km away and a six-hour drive in the other direction after hearing that Pia is getting married on that day to stop the wedding and steal the bride.
    • In the college flashbacks, Farhan and Rancho risk expulsion to steal the exam papers from Virus's office for Raju. Such act can lead those three to explusion.
    • The opening scene. Farhan is on a flight about to take off when he receives news that Rancho has been found. He fakes a heart attack to force the plane to land. After bolting out of the airport, he hijacks a taxi to fetch Raju, who jumps on without wearing pants.
  • Übermensch: Rancho openly defies all the systems of his university from day one. He's a brilliant enough student to pull it off.
  • Unknown Rival: Chatur has always been hell bent in defeating Rancho, but always fail.
  • Wardrobe Wound: Rancho inflicts this on Pia's fiance, Suhas, to show her how vain he is. Later uses it a second time by pretending Pia lost the watch he bought her.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The trio discovering that Joy committed suicide.
    • Farhan, Raju and Chatur discovering that Rancho wasn't in the class picture, and that the "fake" Rancho has been shopped in.
    • Raju committing suicide.

Alternative Title(s): Three Idiots