"Oh, and this one time, at band camp..."American Pie
is a 1999 teen comedy film directed by Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz, and written by Adam Herz. It was the first film to be directed by the Weitz brothers, and the first film in the American Pie
series. The film was a box-office hit and spawned three direct sequels: American Pie 2
(2001), American Wedding
(2003), and American Reunion
The film concentrates on four boys who make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. The title of the film refers to a scene in the film in which the lead character is caught masturbating with a pie after previously being told that a vagina feels "like warm apple pie".
The film ranked 49th on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" list, and ranked 22nd on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted American Pie the 6th greatest comedy film of all time.
Following the American Pie
trilogy chronicling the courtship and marriage of characters Jim Levenstein and Michelle Flaherty, the American Pie
name became a brand name in a manner similar to the National Lampoon
film series for a number of direct to video spin off films: American Pie Presents: Band Camp
(2005), American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile
(2006), American Pie Presents: Beta House
(2007) and American Pie: Book of Love
, a fourth installment with the entire primary cast of the first two films reprising their roles
was released in 2012.
Not to be confused with the ultra-famous Don McLean
song from the album American Pie
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- Adorkable: Jim and Michelle.
- All Men Are Perverts: The Big Quest for Jim, Kevin, Oz, and Finch is getting laid.
- Also an aversion, simultaneously. It is strongly implied that the only reason they want to get laid is because everyone expects to get laid in high school, and those who don't are considered losers by boys. Which actually brings us right back to All Men Are Perverts. Definitely subverted at the end, though, when all four of the male characters realize that getting laid is not as important as finding someone special. Waitaminit, and then they all get laid anyway. Aw, hell.
- Subverted with Oz, who didn't feel the need to brag about it like the other guys.
- Subverted even harder with Oz in the fourth movie, when he is way too dull to keep up with his adventurous girlfriend.
- Speaking of, Jim played it straightest of all. He thought it was cool that Michelle used him.
- The latest installment in the American Pie Presents series follows this all the way through.
- Reunion deals with the pull between old high school glory and the need to mature and be an adult, and ultimately decides that it's up to the individual of which to embrace, or if they want to find a compromise.
- All Women Are Lustful: Most of the girls are perverts too. Michelle most of all.
- American Title
- Ascended Extra: Stifler, a result of his Breakout Character status.
- Michelle wasn't introduced until 2/3 of the way through the first movie and had less than four minutes of screentime.
- Badass Boast \ The Magnificent: Stifler calls himself "The Stifmeister". Then the teens in Reunion think it's an Embarrassing Nickname.
- Band Geeks Are Sexy: Well, you gotta admit Michelle cleans up good.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Stifler, though he mellows, and ultimately settles as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in American Wedding.
- Breakout Character \ Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Steve Stifler and the entire Stifler family basically has become synonymous with the entire franchise.
- Jim's dad fits this too. He appears in all of the movies, including the Spin-Offs. Each time there's something new revealed about his past, eventually coming to reveal that he was basically the creator of the Bible from the first movie
- Finally there is Michelle. It's easy to forget because her scenes are so memorable but she doesn't have much actual screentime in the original film. It is only the second film on that turns her from a near-One Scene Wonder into a prominent character.
- Bumbling Dad: Jim's dad, aka Eugene Levy, the most awesome movie dad ever.
- Butt Monkey: Jim.
- Casanova Wannabe: The Sherminator.
- Oz arguably. He stops when he finds out women aren't turned on by it.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: In the first movie, we have the pie scene. In the second movie, Jim mistakes superglue for lube and glues himself to... himself. And his other hand to the porn movie he was wanking to.
- Character Development: Oddly for a teen franchise, the bullying jock Steve Stifler slowly turns into a protagonist through this trope.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Finch.
- Cool Old Guy: And how'. Eugene Levy and Noah Levenstein DEFINE this.
- Covert Pervert: Michelle.
- Cringe Comedy
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Socks. Webcams. Flutes. Superglue. Discuss.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jessica.
- Dominatrix: Shrinking Violet Michelle turns out to be this. The idea was a Throw It In by Alyson Hannigan. In American Reunion she dresses in bondage gear for a night of leather fun.
- Doting Parent: Say what you will about Mr. Levenstein, but he really does care about Jim.
- Double Entendre: Thanks to that one time at band camp we get this:
"Jenny, where did you put my clarinet?"
"Oh, I think I stuck it in your box." See Brick Joke
- All over the place in Reunion.
"I'm about to!"
"Jim, don't you wanna come?"
- Europeans Are Kinky: Nadia, who is one of the best-known examples of this trope.
- Fan Boy: Sherman for Terminator. The "Sherminator" went as far as naming his son Furlong after the portrayer of John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- Foreign Fanservice: Nadia.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble:
- Sanguine: Jim
- Choleric: Kevin
- Melancholic: Finch
- Phlegmatic: Oz
- Fratbro: Stifler to a T.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Stifler.
- Fun with Acronyms: Guess what MILF stands for?
- Give Geeks a Chance: Nadia, who seems to fetishize nerds.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Sex Bible.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It will take some industrial power tools to dig through all that selfish, spiteful, sex crazed macho bullheadness, but once you do you will find that Steve Stifler has a loyal, sensitive and very kind heart... just don't expect him ever admit having one.
- I Ate WHAT?: In American Wedding, Stifler is waiting for a ring-eating dog to defecate. When he gets it, the bride's mother mistakes it for a chocolate truffle and Stifler prevents her from eating it by... you know.
- This is a running gag with Stifler. In the first film, the incident with Kevin's beer. In the second one, he drinks piss thinking it's champagne.
- The third one is actually his official Jerk with a Heart of Gold moment, as the first two were his Laser-Guided Karma being the Jerk Jock, but the third act he did intentionally to get the ring and prevent Michelle's mother from eating feces. Roger Ebert called it a rather noble act (and also nauseating). Though had he let her eat it she might have discovered the ring and he'd have some explaining to do.
- I Banged Your Mom: The first film has arguably the most well known example in pop culture (Bonus points for helping popularize the term MILF) when Finch gets lucky with the aforementioned mother of Steve Stifler near the end when all four of the boys get laid after prom. Cue big laughs from the audience/viewer and Steve fainting from this revelation!
- Finch later goes on to have sex with Stifler's mom twice more; once in the second movie and yet again in the third.
- Thirteen years after the first film, Stifler finally gets even with Finch at the reunion in the fourth movie when he strikes up a conversation with the latters own mother and naturally, one thing leads to another...
- Informed Attractiveness: Stifler's mom. Actress Jennifer Coolidge was even able to play a Hollywood Homely character a couple of years later in Legally Blonde with the only real visual change being a marginally less flattering haircut.
- Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: A rare pre-YouTube example, in which Jim accidentally sends the website of Nadia's stream to the entire school. And given what happens once he joins the video... yeah. Coincidentally, in American Reunion, it is revealed to have gone viral on Youtube.
- Jerkass: Steve Stifler starts out as this, but after some Character Development, he turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerk Jock: Stifler, who plays on the lacrosse team in the first film.
- Lovable Jock: Oz.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Pretty much every character, but especially Jim and Stifler.
- Man Child: Stifler.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Stifler and all of his relatives.
- Mrs. Robinson: Stifler's Mom.
- Noble Demon: Steve Stifler is a rare comedic example, who is capable of incredible selflessness, loyalty, love and kindness in spite of his rude and selfish nature.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe
- Jim's ahem, premature performance on webcam, which the entire school witnesses.
- Oz's run on Celebrity Dance-Off, where he lost to Gilbert Gottfried, and almost everyone that recognizes him in Reunion mentions.
- A Party Also Known as an Orgy: Just about any party in the series.
- Playing Gertrude: Jennifer Coolidge, who plays Stifler's Mom, is only thirteen years older than Seann William Scott.
- The Pornomancer: If Stifler's claims are true, then he's had sex with a significant percentage of the girls he went to high school with.
- Rule of Three: Used as a sex indicator in the second movie, and the "Band camp" line in the first.
- The second running gag is Stifler ingesting some bodily substance.
- The original movie has Michelle's monumentally dull "This one time at band camp..." stories, well except the one with the flute.
- Which is brought back a few times. In the second, Jim overhears some band camp girls. Then after he and Michelle have sex in the music room, he asks him if he was better than the flute.
- Finch having sex with Stifler's mom. Reunion manages to invert it.
- Cadence is neither seen nor mentioned in American Reunion.
- Running Gag: The two primary ones are having all movies open with the protagonist (Jim in the theatrical films and whoever leads in the DTV films) caught in an awkward sexual moment. See Caught with Your Pants Down.
- Also, Stifler ingesting some kind of bodily substance.
- Sensual Slavs: Nadia.
- Sex Comedy: The success of the first American Pie movie caused the resurrection of the teen sex comedy genre in the late-1990s (the genre had previously been popular in the 1980s, but fizzled out by the end of the decade).
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Heather and Oz.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Stifler has such a filthy mouth.
Stifler: Observe the fucking Stifmeister. What is his defining characteristic?
Jim: He uses the 'F' word excessively.
Stifler: Thanks, man.
- Smug Snake: Finch to Stifler in later films.
- Stacy's Mom: Stifler's mom is the reason everybody knows what "MILF" means. She is certainly the Trope Codifier for the acronym.
- Straight Men: Kevin and Oz to the antics of Jim, Finch, and especially Stifler.
- Third-Person Person: Stifler and the Sherminator.
- Those Two Guys: The MILF guys.
- Toilet Humor: Many examples, particularly regarding Stifler (see I Ate WHAT?, Urine Trouble, Road Apples and Disproportionate Retribution).
- Token Evil Teammate: Stifler
- Undying Loyalty: Yes, Steve Stifler is a selfish and sex-crazed jackass... but once he is your friend, he is your friend for life.
- Unrated Edition
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Stifler.
- Women's Mysteries: Inverted with the Sex Bible, passed down from brother to brother.
- An Aesop: Although involving the original goal of having sex by Prom - turned more into a focus on establishing long-lasting relationships. Odd inversion from the usual teen fare.
- Aggressive Submissive: Jim pursues Michelle, but she ends up the dominant one in their sex scene.
- Between My Legs: Showing Jim's reaction through Nadia's legs.
- Bi the Way: Implied with Nadia, who pleasures herself while looking at Jim's magazines containing pictures of naked women, and when Jim walks in on her, she almost has sex with him.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Michelle's stories from band camp. First, a whole bunch of annoying stories, then one about Spin the Bottle, and then one about using her flute to make her sing.
- Brick Joke: During the post-prom party, Stifler checks to make sure his beer hasn't been tainted (recalling the "pale ale" incident).
- Celebrity Cameo: Among other people, the members of blink-182 watch Jim and Nadia's webcast.
- Cargo Ship: Both in-universe:
- "This one time, at band camp..."
- Ahem... the pie.
- Sherman's date at the prom mentions that Sherman once tried to screw a grapefruit.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Stifler's Laxative Prank, simply because Finch spread a rumor that he defeated Stifler in a fight.
- Don't Try This at Home: A young man who imitated the infamous pie scene burned...* ahem* himself, badly.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: The directors insisted on having a monkey somewhere, since a movie with a monkey was automatically twice as good as the same movie without a monkey.
- Food End: Jim, Finch, Oz, and Kevin eat breakfast at the Dog Years Diner and toast the "next step" in their respective lives.
- Foreshadowing: It's mentioned in the rumors spread about Finch that he slept with Stifler's mom. Guess how Finch ends up losing his virginity?
- Genre Relaunch: American Pie temporarily brought back the teen sex comedy genre, which had been popular in the early-to-mid 1980s before fading into obscurity.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Sherman.
- Informed Ability: Nadia being a Czech exchange student. We never hear her speak a word of it, she doesn't have a accent, not even a Czech NAME, for God's sake.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Nadia.
- Jizzed in My Pants: Perhaps the most famous movie example happens to Jim. Twice in as many minutes.
- Laxative Prank: It's played on Finch, courtesy of Stifler.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted.
- Ms. Fanservice: Nadia.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: This happens to Jim when Michelle ditches him after some post-prom nookie, because she didn't want to put him through the awkwardness of saying goodbye.
- Poor Man's Porn: Jim gets caught by his parents looking at scrambled porn.
- Quest for Sex
- Right Through His Pants: Mocked at the beginning of the movie, when Jim is trying to watch porn while avoiding looking at the male star.
- Say My Name: Come on, you know the scene...
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage: The whole point of the movie.
- Shout-Out: To The Graduate. You know the scene.
- Also, to Carrie in the powder blue tux/ruffled shirt combo.
- Shrouded in Myth: Finch and his rumors.
- Speed Sex: And how! Jim gets so excited at the thought of having sex with Nadia that he climaxes twice before they even get to the actual sex, leaving Nadia unsatisfied.
- Spit Take: "...and this one time, at Band Camp, I stuck a flute in my pussy."
- The Talk: Played painfully straight.
- Wham Line: "And this one time, at band camp, I stuck a flute in my pussy."
American Pie 2
- Ass Shove: Michelle does this to Jim with a trumpet as a form of sex play.
- Auto Erotica: Finch and Stifler's mom at the end.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: For a brief moment, Stifler and Jessica entertain the idea that this might just be the reason for the animosity between them.
- Betty and Veronica: Jim is the Archie to Michelle's Betty and Nadia's Veronica.
- Brick Joke: During the "lesbians" scene, when Stifler is being forced to grab Finch's ass, Finch comments that he is comfortable enough with his sexuality to allow Stifler to do it, while Stifler, on the other hand, is completely disgusted. Near the end of the movie, when the "lesbians" reveal they aren't lesbians after all, an intrigued Stifler says that he'll do anything to sleep with them, including grabbing other guys' asses and making out with everybody because he is "comfortable with his sexuality."
- Concert Kiss: Jim and Michelle.
- Corpsing: Seann William Scott's antics during the lesbian scene are clearly making Eddie Kaye Thomas laugh, most noticeably when Stifler tells Jim that he's a lousy kisser.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: A huge scene is based entirely around this, to the point that people randomly listening over two-way radios are getting into it.
- Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Re the aforementioned scene, the sexy girls only agree to perform lesbian acts with each other if three of the guys perform homoerotic acts with each other in return. Hilarity Ensues.
- Latin Lover: Oz spends much of the film worried about his girlfriend living in a house of these while on Study Abroad.
- Love Epiphany: Jim, when he realizes that he loves Michelle in the midst of talking to Nadia.
- Ms. Fanservice: The two "lesbians."
- The Reveal: Stifler's Mom's first name. It's Jeanine.
- A Threesome Is Hot: Happens to Stifler at the end of the movie.
- Triang Relations: Type 5.
- Tying Up Romantic Loose Ends: Nadia ends up with The Sherminator (although presumably it was a one night stand, since in the fourth movie she is seen with a different date).
- Urine Trouble: Stifler thinks champagne is being poured onto his head when he's actually being urinated on from the balcony.
- Accidental Misnaming: Stifler's boss continually calls him "Staphler".
- Ambiguously Gay: John. He and Justin haven't been hanging out because their friendship doesn't go both ways; also, he seems to likes shirtless men.
- Camp Straight: However, the directors' commentary for the DVD states he is a heterosexual, and therefore straight.
- Ascended Extra: John, who sets up the main storyline by planning the reunion.
- Black Comedy Rape: Oz gets practically this done to him by his Ecstasy tipping girlfriend, just as Heather walks in...
- The Bus Came Back: Everybody but Jim's Mom, who is dead.
- Call Back: Being about the characters' high school reunion, we get many:
- The poster looks almost exactly like the one for the first movie, with the characters (now thirteen years older) in the same positions.
- The film opens with the camera panning across Jim's room as we hear what appears to be sexual activity, but is something entirely different.
- Jim's tube sock makes a reappearance (again with unfortunate results).
- The camera following Stifler as he does an evaluation of his workplace is reminiscent of those he did for his house parties in the first two movies.
- Jim finds the dirty magazines his dad gave to him (with the pages stuck together).
- Finch is reintroduced while riding a moped, in contrast to his scooter from the first movie.
- Jim is reminded only too well about the incidents of Speed Sex, from both Selena and Kara (and is acknowledged that the video is now on You Tube).
- Selena tells Jim, Kevin, Finch, and Oz that they were all probably "desperate virgins back then." The guys briefly decline before sharing a look with each other (because they all were virgins at the time).
- Jim wakes up bottomless after a night of partying and finds a completely destroyed pie. He and his dad share a look, knowing only too well what happened...
- When Oz reunites with Heather and her new boyfriend at the beach, Stifler runs up to him and interrupts like he did in the first movie when Heather was about to ask Oz to prom, even calling Heather "choir chick" again.
- Stifler throwing a party like the one at the end of the first movie, and Jim and Michelle attempting to recreate the events of it.
- While making out with Selena, Finch spots a picture of Stifler's Mom on the wall. He briefly recalls the three previous flings he had with Stifler's Mom and looks between the two, as if trying to choose, before ultimately deciding to move on and be with Selena.
- After Jim and Michelle have sex in the music room, Jim holds up a flute and asks if he was better than the fltue (referring to the Wham Line before their first night together in the first movie).
- The movie ends with the gang (now including Stifler) having hot dogs at Dog Years and toasting to "the next step."
- The Cameo: Neil Patrick Harris pops up as the host of Celebrity Dance-Off, a Dancing with the Stars parody which Oz was a contestant on.
- Canon Discontinuity: The spin-offs are effectively ignored in the first ten minutes — Stifler never went into directing porn movies, and while Michelle and Jim do have a son, he's far too young to be the one mentioned in the spinoff series.
- Character Aged with the Actor
- Coitus Interruptus: During the reunion, Nadia accidentally walks in on Jim and Michelle having sex in the music room.
- Destructo-Nookie: Jim and Michelle have one in the music room after making up with each other.
- Disproportionate Retribution: "They splashed us..." Some younger guys on the beach steal bikini tops. The gang chases them. Stifler then destroys their jetskis. That adds up to about $25,000 damage.
- Fan Disservice: Jim's dick pressed against a clear pot lid after waking up pantless in the kitchen.
- Hand or Object Underwear: Jim covers himself with the lid of a pan. Then he's reminded that it's made of glass...
- Hired for Their Looks: Stifler tells a group of pretty women, "Ladies, you'd better be working hard - you weren't hired for your looks. Actually you were." He then points to another woman and says, "Not you."
- I Never: Oz and Heather play this with their respective dates.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Kara.
- Insult Backfire: Finch and Stifler's reunion goes like this:
Stifler: So, finally come out of the closet?
Finch: How is your mom, by the way?
- Jerkass: AJ, Dr. Ron, Mia, and Stifler's boss.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stifler.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Stifler finally gets revenge on Finch for sleeping with his mom when he just so happens to meet Finch's attractive mother.
- Market-Based Title: Known as American Pie: The Reunion in Britain.
- Missing Trailer Scene: In the trailer, there is a scene where Stifler asks two girls on a beach where the thief who took their tops went.
- Ms. Fanservice: Kara and Mia. Also Michelle in her fetish gear.
- Power Walk: The guys entering the reunion dance, with Stifler as the newest addition to their group.
- Really Gets Around: Oz's girlfriend Mia. No wonder he goes back to Heather.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Stifler gives one to his boss in, saying that even though he has money, he's still a loser...who's poorly-endowed.
- The other guys in turn give one to Stifler earlier on for being trapped in the past and always finding a way to ruin things.
- Remember the New Guy: Several never before mentioned classmates turn up out of the blue, such as Selena (Michelle's Band Camp bff), Loni 'Blowjob' Lipstein (a former... intimate of Stifler) and Mitch and Adam (members of the lacrosse team and good buddies with Stifler and presumably Oz.)
- Also Kara the girl Jim used to babysit is never mentioned before.
- While Kara's a harder case to argue, several of the younger actors that appear as non-speaking extras in the original film could stand in for the roles in later films. For example, in the first appearance of Michelle and the band geeks (when they come to Stiffler's door and he tells them to leave), there is a young Ambiguously Brown woman. There are several team mates who don't speak in the rugby scenes.
- Sequel Reset: After seemingly making peace with the guys in Wedding, Stifler is back to his old self in this film, and goes through the whole Jerk with a Heart of Gold transformation again. He is finally accepted by the guys as one of their own near the end of the movie when they realize that, even though Stifler is a dick, he's a "fun dick", and "their dick."
- She's All Grown Up: How Jim sees Kara, the girl next door he used to babysit.
- Sideboob: Discussed.
- Soundtrack Dissonance : When Jim and Michelle have their eyes-meet-across-the-room moment and their makeup speech, the song playing in the background is "The Freshmen" by the Verve Pipe—a song about a young man's girlfriend having an abortion (and possibly date rape).
- Suddenly Sexuality \ Transparent Closet: After 13 years, Jessica announces that she's a lesbian... to no one's surprise.
- Take This Job And Shove It: Happens when Stifler finally decides he's had enough of his Bad Boss and gives him a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Stifler.
- Technology Marches On: Lampshaded and Invoked when the gang needs to talk their way into a suburban family's home. Stifler knocks on the door and tells the man of the house that their car has broken down and he needs to call AAA. The man says "None of the three of you have cell phones?". After the gang gets inside the house, a defensive Stifler says that when he used to do this, cell phones didn't exist.
- Teeny Weenie: Stifler compares his boss' penis to "a leprechaun's pinky".
- What Did I Do Last Night?: After reuniting with his old friends, Jim wakes up in his kitchen pantless and surrounded by nachos and other kinds of food.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Stifler gives the other guys one of these, calling them out for how much they hurt his feelings by not making an effort to stay in touch with him.
Direct To Video Movies
- Black Comedy Rape: The aftermath of Dwight Stifler's visit to a sex addicts' meeting in Beta House (where he was looking to pick up chicks).
- Coitus Interruptus: American Pie: Beta House offers a morally ambiguous example in an early scene.
- Jizzed in My Pants: See Oh, Crap below.
- Oh, Crap: Edgar in "Beta House", when the fat guy's girlfriend walks up in a sheep costume, and proceeds to make him ejaculate, losing the Greek Olympiad.