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->''When I go home ...and people ask me: "Hey, Hoot, why do you do it, man? Why? You some kind of war junkie?" I won't say a goddamn word. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand it's about the men next to you. And that's it.''
-->-- '''SFC Norm "Hoot" Gibson'''

''Black Hawk Down'' (2001) is a war film produced by Creator/JerryBruckheimer and directed by Creator/RidleyScott and based on the book of the same title by Mark Bowden. It depicts the Battle of Mogadishu, a raid integral to the United States' effort to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The movie features Creator/JoshHartnett, Tom Sizemore, Creator/EwanMcGregor, Creator/EricBana, Creator/KimCoates, Ewen Bremner, Creator/WilliamFichtner, Music/SamShepard, Creator/JasonIsaacs, Glenn Morshower, and Creator/OrlandoBloom among many, many others.

In a raid, a task force of Delta Force soldiers, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation Regiment attempt to capture two of Mohammed Farah Aidid's senior subordinates in the Bakaara Market neighborhood of Mogadishu. The mission is led by Major General William F. Garrison and was supposed to take no more than one hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but the Somali militia, armed with [=RPGs=], shot down two Black Hawk helicopters, and the resulting rescue extends the mission to over 15 hours.

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!! This movie contains examples of:

* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: Many elements were added to make the action sequences more exciting for cinematic audiences. In the DVD commentary, some of the soldiers involved in the Battle of Mogadishu gave these embellishments (particularly the scene with the recoilless rifle) their approval because of how cool they were.
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Not many, but a notable one is Hoot comforting Sgt. Eversmann after they were unable to save Smith.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: The first thing CPT Steele does after catching Sgt Pilla doing imitations of him is to acknowledge to the other Rangers of how funny it was. The second thing he does is [[ToughLove put Pilla into a headlock]] and walk off with him explaining why he shouldn't undermine his authority like that.
* AdaptationNameChange:
** The company clerk pressed into service as an infantryman is named "Grimes" in the film, as the actual Ranger who was in this situation was later sent to prison for rape. The film takes great pains to make the audience aware of the character's new name.
** Many of the Delta operators also have different names from those given in the book, though in some cases they are actually {{Composite Character}}s.
* AllThereInTheManual: Although some of the things done by the American forces in the movie seem stupid or absurd, they make more sense in the book where the author explains that, up to that point, typical missions lasted no more than an hour. For example, the Rangers dumped the weight of armor plates and water in favor of more ammo because they would be pulling security (and thus have a man guarding their rear at all times) and be riding on helicopters to the objective, not exactly an intense activity. It was a case of falling into habits after a long deployment.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Inverted; the Americans are only able to get their men from the city when their UN allies finally arrive. Of course, the Pakistanis do their best to be as useless as possible, which is TruthInTelevision according to people who were there.
* AnachronismStew:
** Oakley Juliet sunglasses which weren't introduced until 1999.
** The Creator/JohnGrisham novel ''Literature/TheClient'' was not in paperback until the year after the movie is set.
** Writing the names of the soldiers on their helmets, though this was done intentionally so the audience could keep better track of the characters.
** Days of the New's "Die Born" which wasn't released until 2001.
** Hoot, for at least a few scenes, has an M4 carbine. It wouldn't have even been designed until the year after the film's events. Hard to notice, however, as other such carbines in the Army's hands are period-accurate Colt Commandos.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: At the very end of the film, Hoot is grabbing a bite to eat and gearing up to go back into the city on another mission, presumably to look for Durant, the helicopter pilot who was taken prisoner.
-->'''Hoot:''' Hey, we started a whole new week! It's Monday!
* ArcWords: "Nothing" / "It's nothing," and possibly "Don't go without me" are repeated throughout the movie.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Lots. This is especially apparent if one has read the book that it is [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory supposedly]] based on. This movie is often considered a prime example of a modern propaganda movie, for these reasons. To wit:
** The famine depicted in the introduction had actually ended a year prior to the events of the battle. By 1993 90% of aid shipments were getting where they were going, and Aideed's militia never fired on civilians getting food from aid stations, nor did they have any particular reason to want to do so either. The UN also never impeded American efforts to protect aid convoys.
** None of the back story is explained at all. The civil war and aforementioned famine had actually been caused by the policies of Siad Barre, the dictator who, with American aid given due to Cold War geopolitics, held control of Somalia from 1969 to 1991. The "international aid mission" was essentially just a convenient cover story for America to attempt to go back in with a force of 30,000 ground troops, and reassert control after Barre was driven into exile.
** The actual reason the Somalis hated the Americans so much, which is not even mentioned in the movie, was due to the conduct of that "humanitarian aid" force prior to the events of the battle. In general, the task force harassed and terrified the population. They often fired mortars into populated areas, and in one particularly notorious incident bombed a meeting of clan elders who were discussing plans for making a peace to end the civil war. Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed. It should be noted that most of these things were done by the multi-national UN force, but the Americans were the public face of the effort and thus bore the brunt of the resentment, whether deserved or not.
** Local Somalians, in particular, disliked the Black Hawks because pilots would often fly over the streets and use the rotor wash to harass the population. The updraft from a Black Hawk was strong enough to destroy weak buildings, throw market places into chaos, and tear off women's robes and babies from their mother's arms. Many of the interviewed Rangers compared doing this to riding a roller coaster.
** In general, the depiction of the Rangers as an elite force of experienced, consummate professionals is incorrect. The [[NewMeat average age of the Rangers in Mogadishu was 19]] and the majority had never been under fire before. Discipline broke down when the bullets actually started flying, which is part of the reason that there were so many causalities to begin with.
** This is not even getting into the fact that being dropped unto rooftops in the middle of an enemy-held urban environment is not something the Rangers, or line troops in any military for that matter, receive the training for. This is because it is actually an exceptionally stupid thing to do. It opens up the force to being surrounded on all sides in a dense, intensely hostile 3D environment, and being cut off from any supporting forces on the ground, which it should be noted is in fact exactly what occurs in the movie. Many retrospective analyses of the battle have come to the conclusion that the entire operation was a suicide mission from the start.
** The grim realities of war and many of the morally reprehensible things the Rangers did during the actual battle are also glossed over or not depicted at all. One of the crashed helicopters crushed a building with a child inside, and an incident where a group of Rangers took a family hostage is not in the movie. General Garrison himself and many of the Rangers interviewed also admitted to firing into crowds, and anything that moved towards the end of the battle.
** Finally, the Rangers and Delta members stranded in the city were ultimately rescued by a Pakistani armored brigade, which the Americans had almost nothing to do with. This is barely mentioned once in passing. The Pakistanis still drove off and left most of the Americans on foot without support. Their actual contribution to the battle is disputed, and their overall conduct in Somalia was less than stellar.
** Habr-Gedir clan under Aidid was brutal to non-allied clans, [[NotSoDifferent but that's actually pretty normal in Somalia]]. Habr-Gedir were the [[BlackAndGreyMorality designated "bad guys"]] because they happened to be on top of the heap in 1993. Even with Aidid dead and other clans in power, things in Somalia are only ''maybe'' slightly better today.
** Many Habr-Gedir clan soldiers had no particular desire to fight the Americans, and didn't even like Mohammad Farrah Aidid, but Aidid was their recognized clan leader, which is a big deal in Somalia. Many in Habr-Gedir felt that the American mission against Aidid was the result of a personal grudge between Aidid and a UN official, and regarded the US Soldiers as [[UnwittingPawn unwitting pawns]].
** A lot of the indigenous fighters who attacked the crash sites were from other clans opposed to Aidid's Habr-Gedir, and thus at least nominally [[EnemyOfMyEnemy on the same side as the Americans]]. They heard only that American helicopters were attacking the city and went to join the fight, making an already bad situation worse for everybody in a case of PoorCommunicationKills. The result was a bloody mess.
** Blackburn's fall from the helicopter is shown to be the result of the pilot maneuvering to avoid an incoming RPG at exactly the wrong moment. While the book and other accounts of the actual battle haven't definitively established why Blackburn was unable to hold on, it wasn't due to incoming fire - certainly not a rocket. Averted later on when [=McKnight=] asks what happened; the Ranger he questions says simply that Blackburn "missed the rope," and shrugs when asked "How'd he do that?"
* AwesomePersonnelCarrier: What the Pakistan use to get the American troops out: big and thickly armored APCs that look like they could take direct hits from tank guns and keep going.
* AwesomeYetImpractical:
** The comm lines are highly secure. Too bad the delay caused by them cause the ground team trying to reach the downed helicopters to miss their turns, over and over again.
** Having high flying oversight from P-3C Orion spy planes: awesome. Having ''no'' radio communication with those planes: bad. The delay caused by getting the directions from the planes, to the Joint Operations Center, to the C-2 officers in the helicopter was more than a minute, and ended up resulting in the ''wrong directions'' (they were trying to direct the convoy to the wrong crash site).
* {{Badass}}: [[WorldOfBadass Every single named character]] gets at least one moment, either big or small (eg. Not allowed in a warzone with a cast? Take your knife out and get ready to cut it off so your sergeant gives you permission to go anyway.)
** Special mention goes to Hoot and [=McKnight=] who both seem to have come down from Valhalla itself to take part in in this battle.
** Gordon and Shughart both received the Medal of Honor for their parts in defending Super 6-4 from militia. Unlike much else in the movie, this was filmed almost exactly as it happened in RealLife.
** Even the bad guys sweat pure badass-ness. Aidid's Lieutenant comes off as entirely unconcerned by being captured and held prisoner by the Americans, seeming to look at it as a mild but unavoidable inconvenience. TheDragon who leads the militia not only rocks the BadassBandolier, but is [[AlwaysABiggerFish scary enough]] to chase off the armed mob before they could kill a crippled American pilot, and goes on to give his own BreakThemByTalking after having him taken to (relative) safety.
* BadassBoast: Subverted/Mocked. Just about every character that makes one gets screwed by it. The Rangers in the hangar (preparing for takeoff) tell Grimes to leave his night vision goggles and canteens behind since they're not going to be gone long enough to need them; the strike force is so tough that no possibility of mission failure enters their minds. (Granted that the mission as planned was supposed to take only 30 minutes, but military planning is supposed to be about preparing for the worst-case scenario.) They also tell him to leave the rear ballistic plate out of his kevlar flak vest; supposedly he will only need it if he is running away from the enemy. The Rangers spend much of the movie surrounded and taking fire from all sides. The very worst Badass Boast comes from Private Blackburn, who tells Grimes, "I'm here to kick some ass." This is completely subverted as he [[spoiler:misses the fast-rope after an RPG forces the Blackhawk to juke, falls from the helicopter, breaks his back, and is evacuated on a Hum-Vee without firing a single shot in battle]].
* BaldOfAwesome: Captain Steele... the movie version, anyway. Opinions vary as to his real-life counterpart. (In the book, Delta SFC Paul Howe had a poor view of the Rangers, but especially of CPT Steele.)
* BangBangBANG: Averted. The sound of the minigun is accurately portrayed (its actual rate of fire and lethality, however, are grossly inferior to the real thing).
* BandOfBrothers: On the {{vitriolic|BestBuds}} side of the trope.
-->'''Hoot:''' When I go home ...and people ask me: "Hey, Hoot, why do you do it, man? Why? You some kind of war junkie?" I won't say a goddamn word. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand it's about the men next to you.
* BasedOnATrueStory: Several notable things were changed for the movie, most concerning Eversmann. In real life he jumped on the convoy as it was pulling out the first time, and when it eventually returned to base, so did he. Upon arrival, he [[OhCrap found the airport almost completely undefended]][[note]]Luckily the Somalis never noticed. If they had, they would've quickly overrun the base and the Rangers would've been thoroughly screwed[[/note]] and immediately went to work correcting that. He did not participate in most of the combat depicted in the film, and his lieutenant, [=DiTomasso=], was more important at the first crash site. Also, PFC Grimes is a fictional composite. The real PFC Stebbins on whom "Grimes" is based was later convicted of a distasteful crime and is rightfully considered a disgrace by the Army in general and the 75th Rangers in particular. The Pentagon requested that Stebbins not be mentioned in the film. However, his actions during the battle were too important to omit, so the fictional character of Grimes was created to replace him.
** Both the studio and the Army were accused of either glorifying a sexual predator or whitewashing his crimes due to the Stebbins/Grimes issue. Sometimes you just can't win.
* BashBrothers: Grimes and Sanderson develop this relationship. Twombly and Nelson are forced into it when the convoy leaves without them. And of course, the kings of this trope are the late Shughart and Gordon.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Grimes complains about sitting at a desk during major US Ranger conflicts. He finally gets his chance to go into combat... and gets hit by an RPG blast a few minutes in for his troubles. It only gets worse for him from there.
-->'''Grimes''': *blasted several feet away by an RPG blast* [[AtomicFBomb FUUUUUCK THIIIIIIIIS!!!!]]
* {{BFG}}: Two are featured in the film: A recoiless anti-tank rifle used by the militia [[spoiler: and later by Delta Force]], and the M-2 .50 Caliber machine guns on the Humvees, affectionately known to the US armed forces as the "Ma Deuce".
* BittersweetEnding: The battle went horribly wrong (and caused Bill Clinton to take the troops out of Somalia), but the Rangers and Deltas still managed to get out of Mogadishu by the next day, preventing more losses from occurring (on either the American or Somali side).
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Happens to Specialist Gallentine, who [[{{Fingore}} loses a thumb in the process]] (it's only hanging on by a shred of skin).
* BoringButPractical: The Delta operators all wear off-the-shelf hockey helmets instead of the kevlar helmets the Rangers use because their missions usually involve raiding houses; the main threat to their heads is bumping them on the low doorways, the hockey helmets are more comfortable, and they're lighter. However, they are also ''not bulletproof''.
* BulletProofVest: Played straight. Armored plating only works if you wear it. In one tragic case recounted in the book, this would prove to be the death of one Ranger who had been trying to emulate a Delta's method of taking cover without understanding the ''why'' of the method - causing the Ranger to expose his unprotected back.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Morocco stands in for Somalia, as the latter country's civil war was still ongoing during filming. (the DVD booklet even has the producers saying "Never go to Mogadishu, you probably won't get out of there alive")
* CasualDangerDialogue: Lots, usually from the mouth of [=McKnight=], Hoot or Steele. Late in the film, a pitched nighttime urban gunfight is going on as [=McKnight's=] convoy arrives. As he and Captain Steele meet:
-->'''Steele''': I thought I heard a noise out here!
-->'''[=McKnight=]''': [[TheCavalry Need a lift?]]
* CatchPhrase: "Hoo-ah!" In Army usage (and to a lesser degree in the Air Force), the word can be taken to mean anything and everything except for "No."
* TheCavalry: The Pakistani and Malaysian (mentioned but not seen) troops who roll into the rescue with the heavy Armored Personnel Carriers necessary for such a hot zone.
* CavemenVsAstronautsDebate: A heated argument between soldiers near the beginning of the movie over whether or not "limo" is a real word, regardless of its presence or absence in the dictionary, and therefore legal to use in a game of Scrabble.
* ChildSoldiers: One tries to shoot an American soldier, who conveniently slips at the right moment, causing the kid to shoot his own father who was standing on the opposite side of the doorway.
* CigarChomper: Osman Atto, a controversial figure during the Civil War in his own right is depicted as one. This is an example of a historical liberty, as the real Osman Atto never smoked cigars or cigarettes.
* ColonelBadass: Colonel [=McKnight=] has a habit of walking round a war zone like bullets ain't flying all around him. Must be a symptom of the badass disease.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Rangers' helmets are PASGT helmets with desert camo covers, while Delta helmets are black sports helmets. Likewise, Rangers have olive drab or woodland green gear and Delta has black tactical vests.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: A kid is holding a cell phone up in the air so the militia officer on the other end of the connection can hear the sounds of the helicopters' engines as they fly over. One of the Black Hawk pilots sees him and thinks he's waving at them.
* CompositeCharacter: Several characters, but most prominently Eversman, who was actually part of the "lost convoy" in real life. A number of the Delta operators are composites as well.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Justified because they're a Delta squad. Later subverted when the two Delta marksmen are finally overrun. Overall demonstrated with the casualty count of the battle in RealLife: The Americans took relatively light casualties compared to the Somali militias, largely because they had better training and air support. By the end of the fighting, the UN forces had lost 19 men (18 Americans, one Malaysian), while the Somalis suffered somewhere in the range of 200-500 militia and civilians killed.
* CoolGuns: Whereas the Rangers have only [=M16s=], some with [=M203=] grenade launchers, [=M249s=] and in one case a [=M60=], all with iron sights... the Deltas not only have different helmets and tactical vests but also Colt Model 727 (14.5" barrel)/733 (11.5") carbines with red-dot optics and weaponslights. An older [=CAR-15=] and an anachronistic [=M4A1=] are also seen. Shughart, one of the Delta marksmen, carries an old-style scoped [=M14=], and his partner Gordon carries a suppressed and accessorized [=M733=], both with camouflage paint schemes. Captain Steele and a Ranger medic also use the [=M733=], but without any accessories.
* DangerDeadpan: The pilots of Super Six-One calmly report that they're going down after the chopper is hit, and the co-pilot even manages to make a deadpan joke to the pilot. Mike Durant of Super Six-Four is portrayed as a lot more nervous, but his voice is still calm and even as he reports that the chopper is going down. Super Six-One wasn't as badly hit as Super Six-Four, where the helicopter was damaged, but then lost the tail rotor, while Six-One essentially had an engine get destroyed, but still had more control over the aircraft.
* DeskJockey: As the above shows, Grimes.
* DeadpanSnarker: [=McKnight=].
-->'''Pilla''': Colonel, they're shooting at us!
-->'''[=McKnight=]''': *stares blankly* Well, ''shoot back!''
** The USAF Pararescueman working on the crew-chief of Super Six One
--> '''Wilkinson''': ''(Starts an IV fluid line)'' After I'm done with this I'll whip you boys up some margaritas. The usual, blended, no salt?
** If anything, the movie failed to capture some of Wilkinson's best lines. From the book:
--> '''Wilkinson''': ''(The chopper is being punctured with bullet holes)'' [[Film/TheJerk He hates the cans! Stay away from the cans!]]
* DeathFromAbove: The MH-6 Little Bird helicopters, which make gun and rocket attacks that kill literally dozens of militia.
* DescriptionCut: "Convoy is encountering light resistance" (cut to the convoy getting shot up and blown up every which way)
* DontMakeMeDestroyYou: When Specialist Mike Kurth sees a woman about to pick up a gun. He yells for her not to do it...and unhesitatingly shreds her when she [[TooDumbToLive does]].
* DramaticGuncock: A Delta operator racks the charging handle on the [[{{BFG}} Ma Deuce]] after he takes the place of the Ranger who was just killed. A JustifiedTrope; US Soldiers are trained to cycle the weapon once when replacing a dead or wounded gunner to ensure the weapon is still functional and in a ready-to-fire state, making it less dramatic and more TruthInTelevision.
* {{Eagleland}}: TheDragon sarcastically claims that all Americans are Type 1, who don't drink, don't smoke, and live long, healthy, uninteresting lives.
* EliteArmy: 18 Americans died. Contrast that with the 1000-2000 [[RedShirtArmy Somalis]] killed.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: The bulk of the American units shown in the film; 75th Rangers, 160th [=SOAR=], and Deltas.
* ExecutiveMeddling--InUniverse: Task Force Ranger's mission in Somalia was poorly defined other than "get rid of Aidid." Operational plans had to be approved by cabinet members in Washington (with little to no military experience and a very incomplete picture of the situation in Mogadishu), who would insist on changes that were often unrealistic and counterproductive. Aidid easily avoided capture by moving around to take advantage of this lag time (which varied from hours to days)--by the time an assault was authorized, he was already gone. The Task Force's morale dropped, taking discipline with it, while the local Somalis grew increasingly tired and resentful of the American presence. TruthInTelevision, unfortunately.
* FastRoping: The first sign there's something wrong occurs when a [[NewMeat green squad member]] attempts this trope but misses because the chopper had to dodge an RPG. In the book the film's based on, there's no RPG and no swerve, he just has a hand/eye coordination moment.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Mike Durant, who survives the conflict as a Somali hostage.
* {{Fingore}}: Gallentine pretty much loses his thumb and just tapes it to his hand to keep it in place.
* GatlingGood: The Little Bird and Black Hawk choppers are both equipped with miniguns, which basically [[ChunkySalsaRule shred their targets into meaty ribbons]].
* GilliganCut: A rare non-comedy example. An officer from the 10th Mountain Division tells Colonel [=McKnight=] that between the 10th Mountain and the UN troops, the relief force will have more than enough manpower to get to the crash sites and retrieve the Rangers. [=McKnight's=] men don't need to go back out into the city. The very next shot is [=McKnight=] climbing into a Humvee at the head of the convoy, before rolling back out.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: The mission was supposed to last thirty minutes (technically, it does- the objective is completed early in the film. The problem is the chaos that results from that objective).
* {{Gorn}}: All the time, considering the fact that war isn't pretty.
--> "There's a fucking ROCKET in him, sir!"
** One soldier, in the middle of a firefight, comes across a fellow soldier's severed hand, and immediately blinks out of combat mode as he wonders what to do with it (he eventually stuffs it into a pocket). In the RealLife incident, the soldier knew whose hand it was, and put it into the pocket of the soldier that had lost it, causing a bit of a ruckus back at the base later when an unprepared nurse found it and freaked out.
** One of the Deltas is ''torn in half'' when an RPG hits the armoured car he's in. ''It doesn't kill him instantly''.
* GunshipRescue: During the gun battle at night, where AH-6J Little Birds were called in to provide fire support -- shredding any unfortunate Somalis caught in their sights.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: Delta operator Wex, who loses the lower half of his body to an RPG.
* HandSignals: To be expected in a film like this. Special mention goes to Hoot's coordinating the takedown of a technical gunner with an elaborate series of hand signals.
* HeadbuttOfLove: Non-romantic example. At the end of the movie, two Rangers who have just returned safely to their base do this as a sort of manly, utterly exhausted alternative to a hug. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle In real life, when done with helmets on, this is known as "Turtle Fucking".]]
* HeroicSacrifice: The two Delta operators that go to help Durant take him from the chopper and place him in a nearby building, then go back to defend the chopper. This doesn't make much sense until you realize they didn't have enough men to guard the building. They were drawing the militia fighters away from Durant by using themselves as bait. However, it does ''almost'' end up becoming a SenselessSacrifice, considering Durant got captured by the Somali militia anyway. Almost, in that they thinned out the armed crowd and it ended up mainly being unarmed Somalis who beat on Durant. He was then spared by the lieutenant who decided to take him as a hostage. He was also helped by not being armed at the time of his abduction.
** In the book, it becomes significantly more clear that they knew ''exactly'' what they were doing by going in on foot. They didn't have a chance of extraction by helicopter, and they were aware that the pilot (Durant) was unable to move fast enough to be extracted by foot. They went in knowing that there was a good chance they would be overrun by the hundreds of militia members they could see from their vantage point in the helicopter, and they ''did it anyway''. There's a reason they were both awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.
* HighPressureBlood: In one gruesome scene, arterial blood ''sprays'' the faces of the team trying to treat it.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: The Pentagon pressured the screenwriter to give this to Ewan [=McGregor=]'s character, SPC John "Grimsey" Grimes, who was based on SPC John Stebbins. The real-life Stebbins was sentenced to thirty years in prison for raping his six year old daughter.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** The recoilless rifle.
** The kid and his dad that try to ambush a soldier as he exits a building. He slides to the ground as he exits the (couple feet high) door and the kid shoots his own dad instead.
* HollywoodHistory: While the movie is based on a true story, it removes any references that Malaysian Peace Keepers were also involved in the rescue of the downed Black Hawks. This angered the Malaysian government since the movie was implying the Malaysian did nothing when in reality Malaysian soldiers both fought and died together with their American counterparts in that rescue operation. The roles and actions of certain characters were changed as well, usually in the CompositeCharacter spirit.
* HollywoodTactics: Smoke grenades, strobe lights, and other beacons used for marking positions for friendly aircraft, like the IR strobe Eversman threw onto the roof of a Somali-occupied building to mark it for a strafing run, are actually used to mark ''friendly'' positions. This avoids the possibility of an enemy picking up the beacon and throwing it back - note that one of the Somalis does in fact pick up the strobe, but is killed immediately afterwards.
* HomoeroticSubtext: {{Invoked}} by two Blackhawk pilots as argue over the legitimacy of the word "Limo" [[CavemenVsAstronautsDebate in a game of Scrabble]]:
-->'''''Wolcott''': You touch my limo and I'll spank you, Night Stalker. You hear me?''
-->'''''Durant''': Yeah. Promises.''
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: A Somali boy and his father attack a Ranger from both sides. The Ranger slips and falls, and the boy (shooting from the hip) shoots his own father.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Somalis keep their [=AKs=] on full-auto and tend to not aim all that much, whereas Delta Force and the Rangers take decently aimed single shots most of the time. The sheer number of Somalis makes this "spray & pray" strategy more effective than it would be otherwise.
* InHarmsWay:
-->'''Hoot''': ''When I go home people'll ask me, 'Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, are you some kinda war junkie?' You know what I'll say? I won't say a goddamn word. Why? They won't understand. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that [[BandOfBrothers it's about the men next to you]], and that's it. That's all it is.''
* InstantDeathBullet: Subverted. The bullets used by both Delta and the Rangers were a new "penetrator" type, essentially light armor-piercing rounds. They had a particular tendency to ''not'' kill people who were hit by them, as the bullet wounds ended up being [[JustAFleshWound through-and-throughs]], instead of the rapidly expanding or tumbling effects usually observed by full-metal-jacket rounds. According to the book, it was extremely common to shoot three guys, only for two of them to get up and drag the third out of the combat zone.
* InterserviceRivalry: Between the Rangers and the Deltas. Steele outright accuses the Deltas of being undisciplined cowboys while Delta regards the Rangers as subpar soldiers hamstrung by conventional Army thinking.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Captain Steele tends to be a bit of a {{Jerkass}}, giving condescending lectures to Delta Operators who he considers MildlyMilitary. At the same time, it's obvious that he acts out of concern for his men's well being, and he tends to come off as AFatherToHisMen[[note]]The book makes it clear that Delta's methods do not work with the more traditional infantry role that the Rangers fulfill. He was trying to discourage his Rangers from doing the same sorts of things that Delta Operators did, because while Delta was extremely effective in their missions and seriously elite, the Rangers had a different mission to perform[[/note]].
** Hoot in particular stands out as he seems more than a little callous about the whole conflict, and about the lives lost, not to mention his disregard for firesarms safety. However, he is just hyper-professional, and encourages Eversmann not to doubt himself or how he handled the mission. In his last scene, he more or less says that the reason he fights is [[BandOfBrothers for the sake of the guy next to him.]] And then he puts the JerkassFacade [[invoked]] back on, telling an ([[HeroicFatigue obviously exhausted and strung-out]]) Eversman not to try and go back out with him, because he works better alone.
* KarmicDeath: One Ranger gleefully boasts that he doesn't need the kevlar plate in the back of his vest since he "doesn't plan on getting shot in the back running away." It didn't work out so well for him...
* KindaBusyHere:
-->'''Lt. Col. Mc Knight''': ''How are things going? Things okay there, Struecker?''
-->'''Sgt. Struecker''': ''(Racing his Humvee down a city street while bullets ricochet all around) I don't wanna talk about it right now, Colonel. I'm busy!''
* LargeHam: Captain Steele, to the point where one of his men is able to amuse a whole bunch of his men by doing imitations of him lecturing them for various perceived wrongs.
* LastStand: Gordan and Shughart fight to the death to the defend the crash site of the second downed Blackhawk, going all the way down to their final few pistol rounds before they are overwhelmed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: For a two hour long movie.
* ManlyTears: Near the end of the film, one of the Deltas is loading up to go back out to try to rescue those still out there (such as Durant) and Eversmann starts to do the same only to be stopped by the Delta who tells him he works better alone. As the Delta soldier walks away, the stress of battle finally hits Eversmann and he weeps visibly.
* MeaningfulEcho: During the battle, Grimes manages to make some coffee and gives it to Sgt. Sanderson. After the battle, Sanderson tries to return the favor but can only find tea.
* MeaningfulName: Eversmann, TheEveryman. Surprisingly shallow in any character building details, never been in a firefight, somewhat more thoughtful about culture and the war in Somalia than his fellow Rangers. His main role in the movie is to give the audience someone they can relate to who [[OneDegreeOfSeparation interacts with most of the film's other characters.]] Similarly, the commander back at the headquarters is named Garrison. Of course, both people were RealLife participants in the battle.
* TheMedic: Two of them during the battle, one of whom, notably, was an Air Force [[ItsRainingMen Pararescueman]] in RealLife.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: The massive amount of civilian casualties mentioned in the book are only depicted in the film by a single shot of a man carrying his dead child.
* MilitaryMaverick: Special Forces units. The book details how these could cause friction with more conventional units... which ended up having some negative consequences in the field.
* MustHaveCaffeine: A group of Rangers and Delta operators are bunkered up inside of a building, besieged by Aidid's militia. Grimes copes with the stress of the situation by finding a coffee pot somewhere and brewing some coffee, which he offers to one of the Deltas.
* NaiveNewcomer: Grimes has served behind a desk for his entire army career, and this is his first combat mission. This makes for plenty of opportunities for exposition.
* NicknamingTheEnemy: The Somalians are referred to as "Skinnies" by the Rangers, as they apparently were in real life. While many assume that this refers to the malnutrition of the locals, it's a reference to ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'', which is a popular book among the battalion and on the reading list at West Point.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: The movie's CatchPhrase: "Leave No Man Behind", and accurately depicted as the RealLife policy of the Special Forces.
* NotSoDifferent: One of the Somali commanders tells Mike Durant this about Americans and Somalis. According to him, despite the differences of the political systems of the United States and Somalia, they're both militaristic nations who use violence to solve their problems, and they'll always use it, no matter how much they both want peace.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: General Garrison wanted [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier light armor]] and [[CoolPlane gunship support]][[note]]notably an AC-130[[/note]] for his men, but the request was denied so they were stuck with Humvees, Black Hawks and Little Birds.
** The Quick Reaction Force is portrayed this way in the movie, when, upset that they were not informed of the raid, it takes them a little longer than it should to get all their forces assembled. In RealLife, they ''were'' informed of the raid, and were scrambling to get to ''both'' crash sites the second they were called (which was mere minutes after the first crash), but due to the Somalian Militia blocking off roads and setting up ambushes, they had to go all the way ''around'' the city, which took several hours. They were truly distressed that they weren't able to get to either crash site sooner.
* OhCrap: The look on the Aidid militia officer's face when he realizes [[spoiler: Delta has commandeered his recoilless rifle and are pointing it at him.]]
* OneWomanWail
* OnlyAFleshWound: Averted, as a man who got shot in the leg dies painfully (both for him and the viewers; the scene where they try to stop him from bleeding out from the femoral artery is [[NauseaFuel really graphic]]).
* PistolWhip: One of the Somalis that captures Durant uses his AK-47 as a makeshift club and smacks him across the face with the stock.
* {{Retirony}}: According to the book, most of the men in the platoon were just married, intending to marry, intending to get a new job or a promotion, a new father, an expecting father, etc. Justified because marrying and having kids young is very common in the military for various reasons, most prominent being that they are in a career where they could be killed at any moment.
* RefugeInAudacity: In the book, one USAF Pararescueman runs across a street to pick up [=IV=]s and medical supplies. Not once, not twice, but ''three times''. While the Rangers and Somalis are trading fire. He doesn't get hit at all.
* RightBehindMe: Sgt Pilla is entertaining a group of Rangers by pacing back and forth, mock-lecturing them in the style of [[LargeHam Captain Steele]]. [[OhCrap Suddenly all of the men stop laughing.]]
-->'''CPT Steele''': [[ActuallyPrettyFunny Pretty funny, hooah?]]
* RockBeatsLaser: We occasionally see the Somalis' low-tech tactics. To neutralize the speed advantage of Helicopters, they'd just have someone hang around near the American base and set a tire fire when a large group left, to act as a warning.
* RunningGag: Grimes keeps getting shot with [=RPGs=]. Okay, so it's not a ''funny'' running gag. (In the actual campaign, Stebbins really did find himself near far too many explosions. Each time, his squadmates thought he was done, but each time he managed to survive somehow. He eventually makes it out of the combat zone with a badly injured foot.)
* SceneryGorn
* SenselessSacrifice: The sacrifice the two Delta operators that go to help Durant somewhat becomes this, as Durant ends up getting captured by the Somali militia anyway. On the other hand, he did survive to see another day, which may not have happened if he was left wedged inside the helo wreckage firing an [=MP5=].
* ShownTheirWork: Historical inaccuracies aside, the film was and remains one of the best portrayals of the [=US=] military in action, and of war in general.
* SoldiersAtTheRear: One soldier has always been away from the fighting, a fact he says isn't his fault. It's because he has a rare and valuable skill beloved by the infantry that keeps him busy: he can type[[note]]Although this might seem absurd to modern viewers, remember that in the 90's, personal home computers were a relatively new thing and not everyone knew how to type or use those archaic data entry systems[[/note]].
* SteelEarDrums:
** Averted. One character is left mostly deaf for the rest of the movie after a 5.56mm M249 squad automatic weapon is fired from within a foot from his head.
** Subverted at another point in the film; Grimes barely dodges a Somali RPG and is knocked off his feet and partially buried by the dirt churned up by the blast. When a Delta digs him up, the viewer sees things from Grimes' perspective, including temporarily distorted audio due to the blast momentarily deafening him.
---> '''Grimes''': I can hear bells ringin'!
* StockShoutOut: It's hard to find a First Person Shooter in a modern setting that doesn't have a reference to this movie somewhere.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Captain Steele and Sergeant Sanderson don't get along well. The Sarge steps up once when the Captain is being indecisive.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: [=McKnight=] has more than a bad gut feeling about the mission.
-->'''[=McKnight=]:''' No Spectre gunships, daylight instead of night, late afternoon when they're all fucked up on Khat, only part of the city Aidid can mount a serious counter-attack on short notice...What's not to like?
* TitleDrop: Courtesy of LTC Gary Harrell : "Black Hawk down, we have a Black Hawk down."
* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: All of them, especially Durant, who is taken prisoner.
* TropeCodifier: Set the image of modern warfare for virtually every movie or video game that came after it.
* TruthInTelevision: The film is based on true events, so every trope depicted is pretty much true.
* UnflinchingWalk: Everytime [=McKnight=]'s convoy stops, he gets out and strolls around, apparently oblivious to the bullets flying past his head, to find out what's wrong.
* UnPerson: The character of Grimes was created to replace John Stebbins. They renamed that character, since Stebbins is serving 30 years for raping his own pre-teen daughter.
* UrbanWarfare: One of the few modern depictions of this trope prior to works based on the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
* VehicularTurnabout: A recoil-less gun mounted on a militia technical is taken over by Deltas and turned against the on-site commander.
* VerbalTic: The Rangers tend to use "hooah" almost as a punctuation mark, which is TruthInTelevision, as "Hooah" can, depending on context and tone, mean anything and everything except "No."
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One of the Delta operators tells Grimes to "stay off the walls" with no explanation. If you are leaning against a wall in a firefight, two things might happen: bullets striking the wall at a shallow angle might end up traveling along the wall and hit you, or an explosion will go off nearby and the wall will shake hard enough from the recoil to violently smash into you.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: "The only way to negotiate is to kill."
* WarIsHell
* WeNeedADistraction: during Hoot and the Delta team's stealth attack on [[spoiler:the militia's recoilless cannon]], Grimes--as the only non-Delta Force member of the team--is assigned a role as a momentary distraction to draw their attention [[spoiler:right before Hoot and the Delta commandos use the opportunity to garrote the militia and hijack the cannon.]] Notable in that the entire scene is coordinated without a word being spoken: Hoot uses hand signals to lay out the plan.
* YouAreInCommandNow: The Lieutenant responsible for Chalk 4 has a seizure on the eve of the battle, forcing Eversmann to lead his unit. Similarly, when Cpt. Steele's Rangers have too many wounded to continue to the crash site, Delta Sgt. Sanderson (RL Sgt. Howe) has to push on without him.
* YouGetMeCoffee: Grimes has spent most of his career making coffee for his fellow Rangers, due to being [[BlessedWithSuck trapped in the office by his ability to type]].
* ZergRush: The strategy employed by the lightly armed mobs, who were only nominally under warlord control. The paramilitary forces (none of the warlords had access to a real, regular army) controlled directly by the warlords were better equipped, trained, and led, if only by comparison, and were responsible for the downings of the Blackhawks and most of the pressure put on Eversmann's strongpoint throughout the night.
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