Film: Black Sheep

There's one in every family.

1996 comedy starring Chris Farley and David Spade.

Mike Donnelly (Farley) is the bumbling younger brother to Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson), an up-and-coming political figure in the state of Washington trying to defeat two-time-incumbent Evelyn Tracy (Christine Ebersole) and become Governor. Problem for Al is, try as Mike may to be a good little brother and offer his services to Al's campaign drive, his good intentions always end up going horribly wrong and they become P.R. nightmares for Al and his main advisor, Roger Kovary (Timothy Carhart). To attempt to contain Mike, Al and Roger assign campaign worker Steve Dodds (Spade) to shadow Mike and keep the unfortunate consequences of his actions at bay.

Not to be confused with Black Sheep. Mike doesn't reject his role in his family; he instead embraces his role, to the point where even Al, if only for a brief moment, does consider cutting him off. Also not to be confused with the New Zealand horror comedy about killer sheep.


This film provides examples of:

  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl L Able: Mike and Steve's nitrous oxide trip on their way to the post-election ceremony causes them to be unable to pronounce "roads." (RO-ads......rOOds)
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Steve's first impression of Drake Sabitch (played by Gary Busey) upon arriving inside Drake's schoolbus-converted-to-living-quarters. "This guy is like Leatherface, Chucky and Jan Brady all rolled into one." Which could be a CallBack to what was said about Mike.
  • Butt Monkey: Mike, poor guy.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Drake Sabitch is a quite literal example.
  • Covered in Gunge: Steve, after a chance meeting with some young, local riffraff ends in him being sprayed point blank with a fire extinguisher.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: At the end of the scene at the Governor's Mansion, where Mike has fallen on top of former Governor Tracy and cannot get up because the podium is on top off his legs. His jerky motions to free himself look like...well...you know. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Mike Donelley looks a he started a fire and parties with the underage but, nonetheless, saves the day.
  • The Klutz: Mike, big time.
  • The Load/The Millstone: Mike to his brother, oh so much.,
  • Meaningful Name: Drake Sabitch. (As in, Son of a....)
    • Or alternatively, "Drake's a bitch".
  • Military Brat: Drake Sabitch. And his entire bloodline, as well.
  • No Indoor Voice: Farley is arguably this trope in human form.
    Steve: "This is great, I've never won three games in a row before."
    Mike: "Yeah, well uh, it's easy to win when you, uh.... NEVER MOVE YOUR BACK ROW!! EVER!! God!"
  • Shout-Out: Mike: "I can get her up to as good as 155. Never do though, of course, unless I'm chasing a cute chick in a ferrari".note 
  • Slapstick
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: Mike's seemingly un-important declaration that there are 1,502 registered voters in Garfield County. It seems like a throwaway line, but becomes an integral part of the plot later on when it leads him and Steve to realize that Governor Tracy and her team might be rigging the election by inflating vote tallies.
  • Spiritual Successor: Indeed to Tommy Boy to the point where it could be confused for an actual sequel.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Tommy hangs out with some stoners at a "Rock the Vote" rally, getting very high before being mistaken for his brother.
  • Tempting Fate: "Thanks for not shoving the nozzle up my ass first"
  • That Came Out Wrong: "We've all been screwed by Governor Tracy! And now, I'm gonna screw her!"
  • Thicker Than Water: Essentially Al's reaction to Roger, even without dialogue to confirm it, after Roger's annoyance with Mike finally bubbles over and forces Al to choose between his brother or his career.