Film / Baby Driver

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"You are the music while the music lasts."

Every scene in this movie is driven by music.

Baby Driver is a 2017 film written and directed by Edgar Wright.

Unlike what the title and the director's previous body of work (such as the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy) might suggest, this is not a tightly tuned comedy. Rather, it is an action crime drama (though Wright's Signature Style of comedy still leaks through).

Ansel Elgort plays Baby (B-a-b-y Baby), a young getaway driver with a tragic past working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and his gang of bank robbers. When Baby meets and falls in love with an innocent waitress (Lily James), he finally has a reason to leave the criminal world.

But, as with these sorts of movies, getting out is going to take a lot more than just a fast car.

Has an All-Star Cast, including Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Flea.

Previews: Official Trailer.

Baby Driver contains examples of:

  • 555: The number for the diner starts with 555.
  • Abusive Parents: Baby's father is an unloving, boozing, violent asshole who beats his wife and is responsible for her (and his own) death. Needless to say, Baby does not miss him.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • When Bats is speechifying to the rest of the crew about how they don't take crime seriously, he says Buddy and Darling rob to support a drug habit while he "does drugs to support a robbery habit." Buddy chuckles and says that was clever.
    • Darling laughs her ass off when the crew discovers that Baby wasn't lying about using recorded conversations to make remixes.
  • Advertised Extra: Jon Bernthal's Griff appears in most of the advertising and has his own poster, only to appear for all of the opening heist before never being seen again.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Doc. Evil in that he is a crime lord who deals in robbing banks and repeatedly blackmails Baby into being his escape driver, even after Baby has fully paid him back for the money he lost him years ago. Affable in that after Baby pays off all of his debt to Doc, Doc seems excited about Baby finally earning full cuts for his role in the heists, and even after Baby deliberately screws up the job, causing Bats and Darling to die, and bringing the police down on their heads, Doc gives Baby his tape and the bank notes and tries to hold off the people coming for them so Baby and Debora can escape. And he has a serious soft spot for his nephew.
    • Buddy is nothing but cordial with Baby, standing up for him when Griff harasses him at the start and bonding with him over music. He also clearly loves Darling, his wife. He even doesn't hold Baby trying to run away the night before a job against him, telling him he'd prefer it if Baby just left than go into a job half assing it. However, Buddy is an unrepentant bank robber. And when Baby's actions indirectly get Darling killed by the police, Buddy will stop at nothing to kill Baby.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Baby listens to music to drown out the tinnitus caused by a childhood accident, which gives him intense focus needed to be a great driver. He speaks very little, and when he does speak, he often parrots things he's heard before, whether they be lines from movies, song lyrics, or things he's heard his associates say. He's also able to memorize fairly long and detailed plans and repeat them word-for-word after reading the lips of the speaker only once.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Reportedly, the final scene where Baby gets out of jail was deliberately left ambiguous (notice that neither Baby nor Debora remains visibly aged) as to leave to the audience interpretation of whether he really got paroled.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the movie, the only characters on the poster who are still alive are Baby and Debora.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Baby excuses himself for stealing the old lady's car.
  • Armed Blag: The second robbery involves heisting an armoured car that is delivering cash to a bank. It does not go as smoothly as the first robbery.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • No one really mourns Bats when Baby deliberately gets him impaled. For one thing, he was a rather unstable and hostile man who nearly botched the heist before it even began thanks to his reckless massacre of the weapons dealers. Secondly, threatening to blow your getaway driver's brains out right after you committed a murder in front of him (and right at the very moment he is most necessary to avoid getting arrested) is probably not the smartest thing to do.
    • Baby's father is a drunken dickhead who shoves his wife round and yells at his baby boy. While he winds up causing the fatal accident that kills Baby's mother and gives Baby tinnitus, he also dies in the process.
  • Asian Airhead: JD. When told to get Michael Myers masks, he gets masks of comedian Mike Myers instead. When he accidentally leaves his shotgun behind during a heist, Doc kills him for his stupidity.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bats declares himself to be the crew member with the "mental problems."
  • Badass Bystander: "Soldier Boy," the veteran who intervenes during the money truck heist who is almost as much a Badass Driver as Baby and pulls out a sidearm and then a sub-machine gun firing away at the getaway car, being more of a genuine threat to the crew than any police officer.
  • Badass Driver: The entire movie hinges on Baby being an extremely talented getaway driver.
  • Bad Boss: Doc, as played by renowned Bad Boss character actor, Kevin Spacey. He threatens to break Baby's legs and kill everyone he loves if Baby ever tells him 'No'. Averted in the ending where he sacrifices his life to save Baby and Debora first from three corrupt cops and then Buddy.
  • Battle Couple: Darling and Buddy make the one in a shooting with the police.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight with Debora, averted with Darling, when she gets shot and killed by the police.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Baby is a sweet, cheerful and friendly young man with a love for music and driving fast cars. He's also the go-to getaway driver for a dangerous criminal mastermind and works with bank robbers every day. And when push comes to shove, he'll drop the nice guy act and serve sweet justice in order to protect those he holds dear.
    • Buddy, to a lesser degree. He loves his wife Darling, and even shares Baby's passion for music and driving. He's also a drug addicted criminal who won't hesitate to murder police officers or harm innocents. He then tries to kill Baby for botching a robbery and getting his wife killed.
  • Big Bad: At first, Doc seemed as this, but Doc is more of an Anti-Villain. The real Big Bad is Buddy.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Baby and Debora have one at the end before Baby gets out of the car and gives himself up.
    • Baby and Debora again when Baby gets out of prison.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Faced with a police blockade, Baby surrenders to the cops to save Debora from becoming a criminal like him. He gets a 25-year prison sentence, but his good deeds and character witnesses convince the judge to make him eligible for parole after 5 years served. She waits for him.
  • Black Dude Dies First:
    • The only Asian character, JD is killed by Doc after dropping his shotgun during the armored car robbery.
    • Bats gets abruptly killed in the final heist, being the first member to go out.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Bats after being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Blue Is Heroic:
    • Inverted. During the second heist, Bats, Eddie No-Nose and J.D. are wearing blue, but are the ones pulling off the heist against an armored truck and steal a car at Bats's insistence. Also, one of the two cars used to get them back to Doc's garage is a blue Nissan.
    • Played straight with "Soldier Boy", the Badass Bystander veteran during the same heist, who drives a blue Dodge truck with white stripes.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Subverted, after escaping Buddy, Baby and Debora leave the city only to run into a police blockade. Debora is ready to hit the gas and run them down, but Baby stops her and turns himself in, preventing Debora from being arrested with him and preventing both of them from being shot or killed in a resulting car crash.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During a shootout, Baby listens to "Tequila". While Bats knows this, he has no way of hearing the music coming through Baby's earbuds and playing non-diegetically over the scene, yet still says "tequila" in sync with the end of the song. Baby even turns to him shocked at his timing.
  • The Brute: Bats is the most unstable and Trigger Happy of Doc's men.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Since Baby isn’t really a physically imposing person and often comes off as quiet and timid, one would be forgiven for thinking he’s harmless. Bats however finds out quite painfully what happens when you push him too far.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Baby doesn't do that much talking around the rest of the robbers and would rather listen to his music most of the time, but he's an excellent getaway driver who can memorize the plans just by reading lips.
  • The Butcher: The Butcher, of course. He's an arms dealer who uses pork products as code names for his weapons.
  • Call-Back:
    • Baby listens to “Easy” by The Commodores when he has to dispose of JD’s body and the car it was in. It’s later revealed that this is the song Baby’s mother sings on his cassette song (and when his mother’s version is played, it picks up where the earlier Commodore version left off). Apparently, Baby listens to “Easy” to console himself when he is sad.
    • Buddy bonds with Baby over Brighton Rock early on. At the climax when Buddy is trying to kill Baby with a stolen police cruiser, he blasts the song over the cruiser's speakers, reminding Baby how he said it was his "killer track".
  • The Cameo: Of all people, Paul Williams as the Butcher.
  • The Caper: We witness the planning of two and the execution of three heists, although only from The Driver's POV.
  • Car Cushion: Buddy falls onto the cop car he hijacked at the end. It doesn't save his life though.
  • Car Fu: Baby, when he isn't trying to get away, is a master of this.
  • Character Witness: Baby has several during his trial.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Baby's hobby of recording other people's conversations to sample them in his songs comes back to bite him when Bats and Buddy find his tape recorder and suspect him of gathering evidence as a police snitch.
    • Baby's earlier Pet the Dog moments result in a more likely chance of early parole when he is arrested at the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The camera lingers on “Soldier Boy” before the truck robbery. Then, when the crew tries to get away, he shows himself to be a Vigilante Man.
    • Debora's fellow waitress at the diner. She first appears when she tells Debora that Baby's mother used to work there, then she shows up later when Buddy is there, giving Baby the chance to shoot Buddy in the shoulder and escape.
  • Color Motif: Red is the dominant color when things are going Baby's way (i.e. his red Subaru in the opening robbery, the driving gloves, the sign for Bo's Diner, his pizza delivery car and uniform), and blue when they aren't (i.e. the car Baby uses for the second botched robbery, the hat and jacket he steals as a disguise when trying to escape on foot, the siren lights from the police car Buddy steals).
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Buddy when looking for Baby at the park house, calls him out over the loudspeakers of his police car.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In the first car chase, Baby happens to come across two red cars running side-by-side and have similar appearances to his red Subaru, which also happens to be near a tunnel, so he can use them to his advantage by switching positions with one of the red cars in the tunnel to trick the police helicopter following him.
    • Immediately after Debora says they need a car, a shiny red car appears for them to carjack.
    • When the crew is driving back from the botched gun buy with the dirty cops they drive right by the diner where Debora works and Bats decides he wants to go in. Of course she is on night shift that day.
    • Baby, despite running several blocks away still runs into Buddy and Darling outside the shopping mall.
  • Cool Car:
    • Baby's red Subaru Impreza WRX.
    • To a lesser extent: Baby's daily driver Lincoln Mark V in a "slow but classy" sort of way.
    • The conveniently timed Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Deborah disarms Buddy with a crowbar to save Baby at the end.
  • Damsel in Distress: Invoked. Darling's role in the third job is to act as a fake hostage.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Baby and his parents were in an accident when he was a child. He survived. His parents didn't. He listens to music to drown out the memories and the permanent hum in his ears.
  • Dark Is Evil: Buddy wears a black jacket through most of his scenes, but is Affably Evil at best right up until Darling is killed. After that, he still wears the jacket but is now more obviously evil due to being out for revenge.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Baby wears a dark suit when he takes Debora out for dinner. He's in a bad line of work, but is fundamentally a good person.
  • Death Glare: Considering who we're dealing with in this film, pretty much the default facial expression whenever no one is cracking jokes.
  • Determinator: In a later diner scene, after Bats gives Buddy and Darling a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Darling launches into a speech about how even though Buddy seems like a nice guy, "Once he sees red, you only see black". Bats dismisses it as bluffing and never gets to see this in action himself, but once Darling gets killed in the fallout of the failed heist sabotaged by Baby, Buddy goes absolutely ballistic, killing multiple cops in cold blood and enduring tons of damage just to have his revenge on Baby.
  • Diegetic Switch: The music Baby listens to, which leads to some stylish Mickey Mousing.
  • Dirty Cop: Doc is one as well as his arms dealers. This leads to Bats shooting up the latter because he thought they were undercover cops.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Two of them; either Bats or Doc clearly seem like they are going to be Baby's main problem. Bats is a massive psychopath who threatens everyone Baby loves and has no issues with killing anyone who gets in his way during a job, while Doc has no problems threatening Baby's loved ones to get his way. However, Bats is the first one to die in the final heist as Baby deliberately impales him on bundled rebar sticking out of the back of a truck, and Doc dies in a Heroic Sacrifice defending Baby and Debora from Buddy. It's Buddy who turns out to be the real threat after his wife Darling gets killed by the cops during the fallout of the failed heist.
  • Disney Villain Death: Double Subverted, Buddy seems to fall while inside a cop car, but got out at the last second, then he dies when he falls onto said car... which then explodes.
  • Doorstop Baby: Played with, in this case it's a "doorstop senior", in order to protect Joseph, Baby leaves him on a chair at the porch of a nursing home in the middle of the night with his ill-gotten money and a note on his tape recorder.
  • The Dragon: Baby is the only person Doc has on all his jobs and is the most trusted of each crew he hires.
  • The Driver: Baby, the film premise is built around his role as this.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Not a major point, but Doc's inside men on two heists are people with "nasal problems," implying cocaine addictions.
  • Double Tap: Bats shoots down the fat security guard and adds another headshot to make sure.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Baby saves Debora and ultimately drives off into the sunset with her— albeit he has to kill two of his criminal associates, lose some of his hearing, and serve 5 years of a 25-year prison sentence to do it.
  • Enfant Terrible
    • Doc’s nephew, Sam, may well be a sociopath.
    • The trope name is also seen on one of Baby's tapes, implying that he's been referred to as such before.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Baby is established as a Badass Driver in the opening chase scene, as well as his love for music (he's first seen starting "Bellbottoms" on his iPod and miming to it once the others have entered the bank) and how he doesn't talk much. We don't hear him speak for the first time until during the opening credits.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Buddy and Darling to each other. Such that when Baby indirectly gets Darling killed, Buddy snaps and goes on a rampage to get revenge on him.
    • Buddy mentions to Baby before they listen to "Brighton Rock" that he has a brother who used to play Sheer Heart Attack right through the wall when they were kids.
    • Doc has his nephew, Sam.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: A squad car catches fire and eventually explodes after falling from the sixth story of a parking ramp.
  • Exact Words:
    • Doc wanted Bats's group to wear Michael Myers Halloween masks. JD instead gets Mike Myers Halloween masks.
    • When plotting the final heist, Doc mentions to Baby that he never works with the same group twice. He is however open to working with the same people more than once, as Buddy, Darling and Bats all take part in the post office robbery.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Throughout the film, Buddy maintains his slicked-back undercut without a single strand out of place, but as soon as his hair gets messed up, he's gone off the deep end.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: Doc is set up to be the film's antagonist, strongly hinting that he will do nasty things to Baby and Debora if they don't go along with him. By contrast, Buddy appears to be the decent member of the team, sharing a couple Pet the Dog moments with Baby. But when Darling is killed, Buddy becomes the true antagonist, hunting Baby and Debora down. Doc ends up helping them and going down in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • First Name Ultimatum: Or Real First Name Basis in this case. When Doc considers shutting down the operation on the post office and Bats challenges him, Doc angrily refers to him by his real first name, Leon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The channel surfing early in the film factors into some of Baby's dialogue later on. Particularly when he recites a line from Monsters, Inc. to Doc, who notices it.
      Doc: Don’t feed me any more lines from Monsters, Inc. It pisses me off!
    • In the same channel surfing sequence, there is footage of a matador, with the voice over talking about how the matador has to demount and take to being chased on foot. This can be seen as foreshadowing for the final act of the movie, in which Baby takes off out of his car and is chased on foot by the police. This also corresponds to Buddy's Villainous Breakdown in the final act, as Darling describes Buddy as unstoppable when he sees red, just like a bull. The fact that he is bathed red in the car's interior during the climax further hammers this point home.
    • One more *very* subtle one from the channel surfing: On one channel a man says "they grow up so freaking fast, don't they?". Baby says the same line when he gets Samm's age wrong while scouting out the Post Office.
    • In the coffee shop, Baby sees a woman walk past against graffiti of a red heart on the wall behind her, that was black before. The woman is Debora, and she becomes Baby's Love Interest later.
    • When Baby is introduced to JD, Doc's words imply to the audience that JD is a professional burglar (he puts the Asian in Home Invasion) rather than being an experienced armed robber like Bats. In the next heist, JD makes a conga-line of amateur mess-ups that results in the heist nearly going haywire and later results in Doc and Bats killing him.
    • Debora asks Baby if she is going to see him that evening when he calls her while she's working. She does, indeed, but it's because Bats wanted to stop there with Buddy and Darling, and Baby only did so out of extreme reluctance.
    • Darling's speech about how you don't want to piss off Buddy (who's very nice, all things considered) rings true after the cops kill her thanks to Baby's stunt. He blames Baby, and spends the rest of the movie shooting his way through cops (they're on to Buddy from the heist) to come after him.
    • The post office cashier quotes Dolly Parton to Baby: "You can't have a rainbow without a little rain." In the final scene there's a rainbow in the background when he gets out of prison.
    • When Bats starts a shootout with Butch's connected men (who happen to be cops), Darling is grazed by a bullet. She dies of gunfire via police in the botched job.
    • Early in the movie, Bats condemns Baby's Lighter and Softer approach to life, declaring, "In this world, the day you catch feelings is the day you catch a bullet." This foreshadows the fates of a number of characters: Doc, who dies trying to protect Baby; Buddy, who dies trying to enact a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Darling; and Bats himself, who condemns himself by murdering an innocent in front of Baby.
    • During the planning of the third heist, Baby plays with one of the toy cars Doc uses in his presentation. The car winds back and flies off the table, which signals the plan's inevitable failure. It also foreshadows him pushing the stolen police cruiser, with Buddy in it, off a level in a parking garage, several floors up.
    • As Bats and Baby roll up behind the post office for the heist, the camera lingers quite a bit on the rebar hanging out from the back of the truck in front of them, lined up with Bats's passenger seat.
    • When Bats tells his story about a friend who died, Buddy asks him if all of his stories end with someone dying, to which Bats responds that he has yet to find out. Bats's final story (the heist the next day) ends with Doc, Darling, Buddy and Bats himself dying, though Bats does not live to see the others' deaths.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Bats suggests this to be Buddy's backstory; that he was fired from his job as a stockbroker in Wall Street, and turned to a life of crime. The audience never finds out if he's right, though.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending is so idyllic, romantic, and far too similar to Baby's dream of hitting the road with Debora that there's room for interpreting it as It Was All A Dream.
  • Genre Buster: A musical romantic action heist movie mainly focusing on the getaway driving aspect of a bank robbery. Might even be considered a ballet with cars and guns.
  • Given Name Reveal: Quite a few.
    • The veteran who attempts to stop Bats, Eddie, JD and Baby in the second heist is revealed to later be called Mailk Kelly in a police report.
    • Doc calls Bats by his real name of Leon as a threat. Also, after the post office robbery goes wrong, a news report in the diner reveals the names of Bats and Darling to be Leon Jefferson III and Monica Castello, respectively. Earlier, Darling even told Bats her real name was Monica.
    • Near the end, Buddy's name is revealed to be Jason Van Horn. Darling calls him Jason earlier after Baby kills Bats and the police show up.
    • Baby's real first name is revealed at the end to be Miles, but we don't find out his surname.
  • Greasy Spoon: Bo's Diner (whose actual location is a Denny's).
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: Baby quickly hotwires a car with a special tool and a screwdriver.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Baby going to the diner where Debora works when he first meets her. There's also the scenes of him listening to his music with Joseph, hanging out in the laundromat with Debora, and going to dinner with her.
  • Hope Spot: When the crew finds out Baby has made tapes of every meeting, they immediately think he's a snitch and don't buy Baby's explanation that he remixes them into music for his own entertainment. He proves it to them when they retrieve his stash of tapes and it seems like he's in the clear... until Darling spots a tape named "Debora" and remembers that was the name of the waitress who served them at Bo's Diner.
  • Hot Pursuit: A swarm of police cars are on our Caper Crew's heels after their first heist, and the pre-climax is one... on foot.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After Bats needlessly kills a security guard right in front of him, Baby decides he's had enough, turns off Bats's airbag and purposely wrecks the car so a bundle of rebar gets rammed through Bats's chest.
  • Indentured Servitude: Baby's relationship with Doc is less legal than this and more severe than Work Off the Debt. Some years before the events of the film, Baby stole a car belonging to Doc that contained an apparently substantial amount of something valuable, and destroyed the goods during his joyride. Doc, impressed with Baby's skill behind the wheel, chose to employ Baby as his permanent getaway driver and gives Baby only a meager percentage of his otherwise full cut of any given heist's loot, keeping the majority as an installment on Baby's debt.
  • Institutional Apparel: Baby in a white jumpsuit in prison.
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: Baby listens to songs on an iPod almost constantly to help combat the tinnitus that he otherwise experiences. Of course, that's some incredible Understatement, as the film blends music into its action in such an incredibly epic fashion that it's difficult to describe with just words. Highlights include "Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and "Brighton Rock" by Queen.
  • Jerkass:
    • Griff, who mocks Baby after the first coffee run for allegedly being retarded and mute (he's neither) and repeatedly taking his sunglasses. Baby just shrugs it off.
    • Bats. He's Ax-Crazy, violent, nasty, antisocial and would rather kidnap a baby than get caught after the second robbery. Could well be The Sociopath too.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Every character who does anything untoward to another person gets what's coming to them... except for Eddie No-Nose. After his split the loot scene, he's never seen or heard from again. Possibly averted as Bats mentioned nobody who worked with him survived so it's possible he killed Eddie off-screen.
    • Griff also gets away scot free from being an asshole to Baby at the beginning of the movie. We never see him again after he gets off the elevator after the heist. Also possibly averted since he mentions if they don't see him again it means he's dead.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Baby himself doesn't get away with committing and being accessory to any number of crimes, up to and including murder... Although he does get parole after five years of a twenty-five-year sentence.
  • Kick the Dog: Bats is implied to have killed the gas station employee he stole gum from. He also steals Joseph's wheelchair when he and Buddy raid Baby's home.
  • Killed Offscreen: The possible fate of Griff.
    If you don't see me again, it's because I'm dead.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Bats regularly points out how impractical and far-fetched the premise of Baby listening to music while being a getaway driver is.
    • Buddy and Darling's reaction to Baby botching their getaway for a second time pretty much highlights how ridiculous the coincidence is.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A combined example of good and bad karma. So, Baby gets arrested at the end of the film, all of the crimes he committed coming back to haunt him. However, all the people he had been kind to over the film, including the lady he apologized to for stealing her car and the post office clerk he warned not to go into the post office, all testify that he seems to be a good person. Added altogether, Baby gets sentence to 25 years in jail, but is paroled after only serving five.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Debora works at the same diner that Baby's mother worked at when she was alive, and even seems to resemble her according to Baby's flashbacks.
  • The Load:
    • JD is this in the second heist. He orders the wrong masks due to a case of Exact Words, brings up the rear when they are forced to change vehicles, and accidentally leaves his shotgun in the Avalanche. Doc and Bats kill him offscreen.
    • Baby is this in the post office heist. After Bats needlessly kills a security guard, Baby decides he has had enough of him and disables his airbag before ramming the car into a piece of rebar which impales Bats and kills him. After they are all forced to run, Baby accidentally sabotages his own escape as well as that of Buddy and Darling, and the resulting shootout sees Darling killed and a grieving Buddy going after Baby and Debora.
  • May–December Romance: The middle-aged Buddy is in a "scandalous" relationship with the youthful Darling.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In any scenes where no songs or music are playing, a very subtle ringing sound can be heard to sharp-eared listeners. It's the side effects of Baby's tinnitus, and is drowned out by the music just as it is In-Universe.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The crew pseudonyms all fit their personalities: Doc is the mastermind, Bats is Ax-Crazy, Buddy and Darling are Affably Evil, and Baby is by far the youngest of the group.
    • Fitting for a driver like himself, Baby's real name is revealed at the end to be Miles.
    • In a blink and you miss it moment, Buddy's real name is revealed via news report to be Jason van Horn. Not only is there an obvious pun in the name "van Horn", but Jason is both a Call-Back to the Halloween mask gag and a reference to how, like the killer himself, he has a bad habit of not staying dead.
  • Mickey Mousing: In spades. Every single scene in the film with music — nearly the entirety of the film — features action that happens in exact rhythm to the music playing; from counting money, to firing bullets, to windshield wipers and police sirens. Even gestures made during a conversation will line up with the beat. It gets to the point where when something actually isn't on beat with the song (i.e. during Baby's botched robbery with Eddie, JD, and Bats), things are going wrong.
    • It goes so far in the opening credits, graffiti glides by the screen matching the lyrics.
  • Morality Pet: Baby has two: his foster father, Joseph, and Debora becomes one too.
    • Darling for Buddy. He completely loses it when she dies.
    • Baby himself may well be one for Doc, as well as his nephew, Sam.
  • Motor Mouth: Debora references the trope when she notes that Baby doesn't talk much.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Darling, Debora, and Baby's mother as seen in flashback.
  • Name's the Same: Played for Laughs in the second heist. JD is told to get masks of Michael Myers. He ends up buying three Austin Powers masks, because he thought they meant Mike Myers.invoked
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers emphasize Doc, Bats and even Griff as the film's main antagonists but the film's most notable threat comes from Buddy.
  • Nice Guy: Baby himself is a good kid who happens to be in a bad line of work.
  • Nice to the Waiter: When scouting the post-office for the robbery the next day, Baby worriedly asks if the pleasant, middle-aged clerk will be there that day. During the robbery, he manages to find her before she enters the building and silently warns her to turn around, which she does. She later shows up unharmed as a positive Character Witness when he's arrested, and helps contribute to his lighter sentence.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. In the final diner scene, police officers show up to ask for a bathroom key so they can use it.
  • No Name Given: Both of Baby's parents.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out what exactly was in the trunk of the car that Baby stole from Doc that led to Baby becoming Doc's driver, other than it was seemingly worth at least tens of millions of dollars.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After the failed heist, Buddy shows up no worse for wear waiting for Baby at Debora's diner after being last seen at a police standoff that claimed Darling's life. When the police arrive and things go awry there, he shows up later again at Doc's garage, having hijacked a police vehicle.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • This is basically Bats's reaction during the second heist, when Baby runs into a Dodge pick-up truck covered in pro-gun/veteran decals. He shouts "We got a hero!" when the other driver reaches for his HK45 pistol.
    • JD when the Saturn Aura he and the others just stole drives off and he realises he left his shotgun in the Avalanche.
    • Baby has one as a kid in his flashbacks when he realises his mother is about to crash her car due to her being distracted arguing with Baby's father.
    • Baby has one when he tries to escape from Doc's hideout at 2 a.m. and Buddy reveals one of his tapes.
    • Bats has one right before being fatally impaled with a piece of rebar through the chest thanks to Baby. Darling then has one when the police show up.
    • The look on Baby's face after Darling is killed after Baby rear-ended the truck she and Buddy were using to escape.
    • Baby when he arrives at the diner to pick up Debora after Darling is killed in the post office robbery escape and Debora tells him Buddy is there.
    • Debora gets one later in the same scene when Buddy reveals the gun hidden in his newspaper.
    • Buddy when he realises Baby is about to push his police cruiser out of the car park, several storeys up.
    • Baby and Debora after they escape from Buddy and realise there's a police roadblock ahead.
  • One Last Job: Baby tries to invoke this. Doc reminds him, "One more job and we're straight", implying that there's more to be done after Doc is compensated.
  • The Oner: The opening credits, in which Baby walks (and dances) from Doc's office to a coffee shop and back, is set to the entirety of "Harlem Shuffle" by Bob & Earl.
  • Only Known by Initials: JD. We never find out what this stands for.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tying in with Given Name Reveal above, Debora, the Love Interest, and Joseph, Baby's deaf foster father, are basically the only characters in the whole film who actually go by their given names; all the criminals refer to themselves by aliases. A few names get dropped here and there over the course of the film (Bats is Leon and Baby is Miles, amongst others).
  • Only One Name: Joseph, Debora and Baby (Debora reveals at the end his first name is Miles).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Bats calls Baby out for not even flinching at people being shot in front of him, but hesitates with his full being at the idea of going to Bo's Diner, where Debora is.
  • Outlaw Couple: Buddy and Darling. And, very very briefly, Baby and Debora.
  • Painting the Medium: Whenever one of Baby's earbuds is taken out, the music gets relegated to only one speaker to give the viewer the same sensation. Likewise, in the absence of music, we hear a high-pitched whine that represents the ear-ringing of Baby's tinnitus.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Doc to Baby, Even after the latter fails the last job, he still tries to help Baby and Debora escape and was willing to sacrifice himself to the cops in order to buy him time.
    • Baby to Joseph, despite Joseph being Baby's foster father.
  • Le Parkour: Baby shows a real talent for it after the Post Office heist.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Baby's otherwise abusive Jerkass of a father is shown grinning broadly in a flashback when young Baby receives an iPod for his birthday.
    • Baby hands over a woman's baby to her when he is forced to hijack her car after the second heist, despite Bats ordering him not to.
    • Baby warns the mail office teller about the robbery, possibly saving her life.
    • Baby, after stealing a woman's car, throws her purse to her, then apologizes.
    • Doc returns the cassette of Baby's mother upon seeing his relationship with Debora and goes out in a guns-blazing Heroic Sacrifice to protect them from Buddy.
    • Earlier, Doc paid Baby and Debora's dinner bill at Bacchanalia when it turned out they were there at the same time. It turned out that he wanted to cajole Baby into the post office job.
    • Even Bats can do this, as he praises Baby's skills behind the wheel at least twice.
  • Photographic Memory: When Baby is accused of listening to his music and not following along with the plan that Doc is laying out, he repeats it verbatim, with the same vocal inflections that Doc used.
  • Pistol-Whipping: During the armored car heist, Bats beats one of the guards to death with his shotgun.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure:
    Eddie No-Nose: Doc said Michael Myers!
    JD: This is Mike Myers!
    Bats: It should be the Halloween mask!
    JD: This is a Halloween mask!
    Bats: No, the killer dude from Halloween!
    JD: Oh, you mean Jason...
    Bats and Eddie No-Nose: No!
  • Production Throwback: Intentionally done given how long Edgar Wright has been wanting to make this movie: the opening scene of Baby grooving in the getaway car is a throwback to the music video Wright directed for Mint Royal's "Blue Song", right down to the windshield wipers turning on.
  • Pun:
    • When Eddie No-Nose is asked how he lost his nose, Eddie's reply is that asking is on the list of "No-Nose's No-Noes."
    • Buddy discourages Baby from "mailing it in at the post office" heist.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Baby only works for Doc to pay off a debt incurred after he stole Doc's car years ago. Unlike the other members of his crew, Baby is averse to murdering innocent civilians, and has several Pet the Dog moments.
  • The Quiet One: Baby doesn't talk much, Buddy Lampshades this by joking that he's mute.
  • Ransacked Room: Following the final heist, Baby rushes home only to discover his apartment has been trashed.
  • Rasputinian Death:
    • Doc, who takes multiple shots from the crooked cops, including a Last Breath Bullet through the chest, then is run down in a police cruiser by Buddy, who, finally, backs the cruiser up over Doc's head just to be sure.
    • Buddy is shot in the chest, then the leg, then he falls several stories onto a car, which then explodes.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Baby spends the entire time during operations not wearing anything to properly conceal his face. So, it's no wonder why he's arrested in the end.
    • Darling opens fire on the police after the post office robbery without taking cover, and promptly gets gunned down.
    • Baby and Debora make their escape and go on the run, only to find out you can't outrun the radio, and a law enforcement blockade is ready and waiting for them.
    • While evading the cops on foot, Baby ducks into a store and quickly slips on a jacket, hat, and glasses in an attempt to conceal his identity. When he hears the cops nearby, he dashes out of the store and immediately trips the theft alarms, bringing a swarm of cops right to him again.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The ultimate fate of Doc, who is shot several times by the Butcher's vengeful henchmen and then run down by Buddy while trying to help Baby and Debora escape.
  • Red Is Violent:
    • Averted with Baby, as even though he tends to drive red cars (a red Subaru and Dodge Challenger being the stand-out examples), he is the Token Good Teammate in Doc's gang and is opposed to violence.
    • Played straight with Bats. He is the most violent member of Doc's gang and dresses in red clothing a lot, including the red King of Hearts jumper he wears when we first see him and the red jacket he wears through almost all of his other scenes.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Doc does not take Baby's desire to quit the getaway driving business lightly.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Played with. Buddy seems to suggest that he is going to kill Debora in retaliation for Baby sabotaging the post office robbery, resulting in Darling’s death, but he initially never explicitly threatens her. When Buddy does finally tell Baby that he will take him from what he most loves, he then fires shots near Baby’s ears, further damaging Baby’s hearing. This seems to take away Baby’s ability to hear, robbing him of what he most loves: listening to music. This is then swiftly subverted again by his ominous declaration that he wishes Baby will be able to "hear her screams", shortly before being shot and plummeting off the ledge.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Baby attempts to do this while fleeing from the cops by running into a clothing store and quickly putting on a jacket, a baseball cap, and a new pair of shades. They realize its him seconds later before he even leaves the store and he is forced to run again.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Three heists take place during the film: the opening heist, the armored car, and the post office.
    • Baby kills three people during the film: a guard during the Armed Blag (he hits the guard with a cart propelled by a car causing the guard to land on his head), Bats, and Buddy.
  • Say My Name:
    • Debora screams "BABY!" after Buddy shoots right next to Baby's ears, temporarily deafening him. But because he has been temporarily deafened, we see Debora scream but hear nothing.
    • Darling uses Buddy's real name in an Oh, Crap! moment after Baby kills Bats, screaming "Jason!" when the police show up.
  • Scary Black Man: Bats. Due to his Ax-Crazy and Hot-Blooded nature, he comes across as this a lot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Baby pulls one in the final act. After deliberately botching a robbery by crashing their getaway vehicle and killing Bats in the process, the APD suddenly arrive and engage in a shoot out with his remaining two accomplices. The moment he has his earbuds in, Baby is quick to turn tail and run away.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Baby tries go straight by driving for GoodFellas pizza.
    • In the laundromat, a shot of a washing machine fades into a record that resembles HAL 9000.
    • The post office teller says she is working "9 to 5 like Dolly."
    • The chase in the parking garage is similar to the one in The Terminator. Buddy is even more determined to kill Debora than he is Baby.
    • Baby's usual threads (long-sleeved white shirt, dark vest, dark pants) reference both Han Solo and Ansel Elgort's own musical career (where he has recorded, produced, and DJ'd under the name "Ansolo").
    • Buddy's real name is revealed on the police radio as "Jason Van Horn", during the middle of his slasher villain-like rampage during the climax of the film. His name, recently awakened psychotic behavior, and inhuman durability resembles Jason Voorhees, who is the subject of a discussion during the second heist.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Joseph is not seen in any of the trailers, despite having an important role as Baby's adoptive father and one of his key morality figures.
  • So Crazy, It Must Be True: When confronting to Baby about him sneaking off at 2 AM, and finding his tape recorder containing records of their criminal conversations, Baby admits, honestly, that he remixes the conversations into music. Bats points out that this is a really fucking stupid excuse, and Buddy goes further, saying the excuse is so fucking stupid, the cops would never think to come up with it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There is upbeat music playing over dramatic moments of the failed third heist.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Bats notices that the crates that The Butcher is selling guns from are marked for law enforcement use, which means The Butcher and his team are actually undercover cops and not gunrunners. He's correct, but he wasn't aware that Doc was already paying their salaries when he decided to kill them.
    • Baby's lie about not knowing Debora falls apart when Darling spots a tape with Debora's name on it amongst Baby's cassette stash.
  • Steel Ear Drums:
    • An aversion not involving guns. Baby's accident in his youth left him with tinnitus, and one of the reasons he listens to music all the time is to block out the humming in his ears.
    • Also averted in the climax, when Buddy fires his gun next to Baby's head to intentionally damage his hearing even further, and the effects last until at least the next day.
    • Played straight when Bats fires a shotgun right in front of Baby's face, with no signs of further hearing damage.
  • The Stoic: Baby adopts this persona in Doc's briefings. According to Buddy, Baby's nickname was chosen "because we're still waiting on his first words".
  • Stupid Crooks:
    • JD. Instead of getting masks based on the character Michael Myers from the movie Halloween, he gets Halloween masks of the actor Mike Myers from Austin Powers. Shortly after that, while the crew is changing cars, he ends up leaving his shotgun behind. This ends with Doc deciding that he's Too Dumb to Live.
    • Baby may have a perfectly innocent reason to record conversations around him, including while engaging in criminal conspiracy, but that doesn't mean it isn't very stupid.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Baby records snippets of everyday conversations and does this to them as a hobby. It bites him in the ass when his cohorts catch him in the act and suspect him of being a police snitch.
  • Tattooed Crook: Every criminal save for Baby and Doc has at least one tattoo, particularly Griff and Bats.
  • Tempting Fate: Doc pulls Baby back in for another job as Baby settles his debts, citing him as a good luck charm for his successful heists. This is also the job where everything falls apart, and Darling calls Baby a jinx after his attempt to getaway in a hijacked car stymies their attempt to get away, drawing the attention of the cops they just slipped.
  • Theme Naming: Four of the most prominent of the criminals—"Baby", "Buddy", "Darling" and "Doc"—are all named after common terms of endearment. Those four, appropriately enough, survive the longest.
  • Thrill Seeker: Baby, Buddy, and Darling are all accused of being this. Deconstructed by Bats, who claims Buddy likely does these robbery, because he was once a Wall Street trader who got into so much debt and financial trouble that he lost everything, so he hooked up with Darling, gets high constantly, and does high-risk bank robberies in order to compensate.
  • Titled After the Song: Named after the Simon & Garfunkel song from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. It plays over the credits.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Doc decides JD is this after the mistakes he makes in the second heist, and kills him.
    • Darling doesn't think to take cover before open firing on the police. Sure enough, she gets hit by their bullets and killed.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Baby kept his original iPod that his parents gave him as a kid after it was damaged beyond repair from the car accident that killed his parents. There's also the gold tape he has of his mother singing. This is the only tape he is able to recover from Doc.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Sam at first seems like a disinterested eight-year-old. But he's better at counting the number of cameras, guards, windows and everything in the post office than Baby is. Also, he points out the post office teller will probably "fold" before firearms are needed.
    Doc: (proudly) Chip's off the old block.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The only robbery to go off without a hitch is the opening scene, meaning the audience did not hear the plan ahead of time. In the other two cases, the plan is explicitly stated beforehand, and both plans fall apart (though at the very least, the second heist only just succeeds).
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Doc's informants and inside men don't have cocaine habits, they have nasal problems.
    • The Butcher uses terms regarding cooked pig when talking about guns.
  • Verbal Backspace: A particularly sad one. At the diner, Buddy sees the police report detailing the deaths of Bats and Darling, and starts to say, "I love...", but then remembers she's now dead and corrects it to "I loved her."
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: Doc pressures Baby into continuing his job by letting him know that he knows where Baby's foster dad lives and his girlfriend works. Shame If Something Happened to them.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The formerly Affably Evil Buddy becomes a deranged killer after Darling is killed due to Baby's actions, and becomes obsessed with killing Debora to make Baby pay in return.
  • Villains Never Lie: When Baby finds out that his home has been raided by Buddy and Bats, Bats tells him that Joseph is still alive. Given his Ax-Crazy demeanor, one may assume he's being sarcastic and killed Joseph offscreen. However, Bats was telling the truth, as Joseph is later revealed to indeed be still alive.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • The group going to the same diner where Debora is working a night shift, to Baby's reluctance.
    • Doc is having dinner at Bacchanalia at the same time as Baby and Debora and agrees to pay their bill.
    • An offscreen example, where Doc apparently watched Monsters, Inc. with Sam, as he implies when Baby tries to reassure him with one of its lines. He also implies it's one of Sam's favourite films.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Baby admits he records conversations to remix into songs, Darling's reaction is, "This shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s".
  • Wham Line: "That's not the cops!"
  • Wicked Cultured: The Butcher lives up to his name despite being an arms dealer as his knowledge of pork products is vast.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Implied. Bats orders Baby to leave the baby of the woman whose car they're stealing inside it after the second heist. Baby ignores him and hands over the baby to the woman before driving away.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Implied. Baby is seen getting the coffee for the group after the first and second heists, probably having been told to do so by Doc.
  • You Have Failed Me: Doc and Bats kill JD offscreen for the mistakes he makes during the second heist.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Darling when she sees that Baby has botched their getaway. Again.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: With the number of mistakes JD made in the second heist, one has to wonder if he had usefulness to begin with and why Doc hired him in the first place.

Whoo! That's some Oscar shit right there!"

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/BabyDriver