Al Czervik: Hey everybody! We're all gonna get laid!
(roar of applause)
A film starring Chevy Chase
, Rodney Dangerfield
, and Ted Knight. Bill Murray
also had a small part in it, but his improvised stuff was so great he became one of the stars.
Danny Noonan is a young caddy at Bushwood Country Club who has no idea about where his future will lead. His best chance at getting his life on track is to earn a caddy scholarship from Judge Elihu Smails (Knight), the owner of Bushwood. Al Czervik (Dangerfield) is a rude and eccentric millionaire who has an interest in purchasing Bushwood. Judge Smails discovers an instant dislike towards Al and soon there is conflict between the Judge and Al, the Judge and Danny, and the Judge and Ty Webb (Chase), the charming golfer who is helping Danny figure out his real goals. Meanwhile, Carl Spackler (Murray), Bushwood's Assistant Groundskeeper, battles a rampaging gopher who is chewing holes throughout the course.
A sequel, Caddyshack II
, was released in 1988, starring Jackie Mason and Robert Stack, with the only major carryover was Chevy Chase. It regularly shows up on critics' compilations of the worst movies ever made.
Tropes featured include:
- Animal Nemesis: Carl first tries to drown the gopher, then kill it with a sniper rifle, before finally settling on plastic explosives. The gopher still wins.
- Award Bait Song: While not included in the movie itself (aside from a short instrumental version of it), the soundtrack has Lead the Way by Kenny Loggins.
- Ax-Crazy: Carl.
- Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Ty's specialty.
- Black and Grey Morality: The main comflict is about grumpy, elitist assholes vs. funny, likable assholes.
- Blindfolded Vision: Ty hitting over the water onto the green whilst blindfolded.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: The high-voltage cap-off to the poor Reverend's almost-perfect game; enough to make him renounce God.
- Book Ends: The gopher dancing to "I'm Alright".
- Chekhov's Gun: Carl's attempts to kill the gopher are just comedy. Then towards the end his attempts at dynamiting the creature shake the course so much, that Danny's ball falls into the hole on the final putt, winning him the game for Al.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ty and Carl. Never more clear than in the scene that's nothing but the two of them riffing.
- Cool Old Guy: Al Czervik. Ty acts the part, but is in his late 30's at the most.
- Dance Party Ending: Right after the page quote.
- Deadpan Snarker: Carl and Ty.
- Demoted to Extra / Decoy Protagonist: Happened to Danny over the course of shooting due to the excellent improv material that was generated.
- Happens to Chase's character Ty, in the sequel.
- Don't Think. Feel: Ty's method of teaching, yet he drops his own club.
Ty: Be the ball.
- Down to the Last Play: Danny has to make his last putt for his team to win the game and the bet.
- Golden Snitch: In fact, at the last minute Al changes the bet to focus entirely on that putt, making the rest of the game pointless (if he hadn't, the game would have been a tie).
- Drugs Are Bad: "You take drugs, Danny?" "Every day." "Good. Then what's your problem?" "I don't know..."
- Bowdlerized in an NBC re-airing of the movie in the early 1980s, where Danny answered "No" after Ty asked him if he took drugs.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik.
- Everything Explodes Ending
- Evil Old Folks: Judge Smails.
- Evil Stole My Faith: One of the club members (who happens to be a bishop) has his perfect game of golf (in the middle of a raging storm) ruined by a single bad putt, turns to curse the heavens, and is being struck by lightning immediately. The next day, he's shown as a drunken mess proclaiming that there is no God. To top it off, he has a Beard of Sorrow after one day.
- Exact Words:
"What's that sign say?"
"No bare feet."
- Funny Background Event: Repeatedly.
- Groin Attack: Al accidentally nails Smails right on the bullseye with a golf ball.
Al: "I shoulda yelled 'two'!"
- Grumpy Old Man: Judge Smails, though he does cheer up when he's at the yacht club. For a little while, at least...
- Hanging Judge: Judge Smails, played for laughs.
"I've sent men younger than [Danny] to the gas chamber. I felt I owed it to them."
- Harpo Does Something Funny: Lots of improvised dialog.
- I Ate WHAT?: People freak out on seeing what appears to be feces floating in the pool (it's actually a Baby Ruth candy bar). While cleaning the pool in a Hazmat Suit, Carl finds the candy bar and eats it. Smails' wife takes this the wrong way.
- Killer Gopher
- Wait. The gopher never kills anybody. (off-screen THWAK) Okay, except for that guy.
- Large Ham: Ted Knight as Judge Smails, who makes Police Academy's Captain Harris look subtle by comparison.
- Likes Older Women: Carl likes to ogle the older lady golfers.
- Meaningful Name: Lacey Underall.
- Mistaken for Masturbating: Carl Spackler ... until the camera pans out and reveals that he's washing golf balls.
- Mr. Imagination: Carl spends a great deal of time in daydreams about becoming a Masters champion.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Beeper. He's not evil, but he often ignores his patient's needs to play a round of golf.
- Ms. Fanservice: Lacey Underall, again.
- Never My Fault: The Judge throws his golf club in a fit of rage, and ends up hitting a woman knocking her unconscious. Danny takes the blame (to suck up to Smails) by offering the excuse that the grip on Smails' club was worn down. Later, when Al drops the anchor from his yacht, smashing the Judge's sailboat, he exclaims: "Hey, you scratched my anchor!"
- Nouveau Riche: Al Czervik.
- Oh, Crap: Al, after he drops his anchor right through Smails's boat. A fisherman also has this reaction to Al's huge yacht bearing down upon him while he's out on the water.
- Oireland: Maggie O'Hooligan.
- Putting the Pee in Pool: Subverted. When a child throws a chocolate bar into the pool, everyone assumes that it is a large turd, causing a major overreaction from everyone.
- Really Gets Around: Lacey Underall, yet again.
- Screw Politeness Im A Senior: Judge Smails.
- Shout-Out: The sound effects Ty makes while putting seem to be those of The Six Million Dollar Man.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Used as the film's tagline, no less.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Evidently, "Rat Farts" is the Mighty Smiter's trigger phrase.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Even though he's supposed to be the protagonist, Danny's story arc is quickly overshadowed by the antics of his wacky co-stars (both in-universe and in real life).
- Status Cell Phone: Al Czervik is shown to be eccentric/filthy rich right from the start. He has a telephone right in his golf bag, which he answers while out on the course. This was not a typical "brick" phone, but from what we could see it was more like a typical 1970s desk phone, complete with an acoustic ringing bell and a coiled handset cord.
- The Stoner: Carl is working on a hybrid of marijuana and turf grass, that can be used for both putting and smoking. He shares some with Ty.
- Title Drop: Brian Doyle-Murray speaks the title when he answers the phone in his office.
- Too Many Halves: In the second movie Jack says his mother was "half Jewish, half English, half Spanish," going on to explain that "she was a big woman."
- Two-Person Pool Party: Ty and Lacey.
- Uncle Pennybags: Al. He throws money around free as a bird, and is quite happy to donate some of his winnings to Danny so he can go to college.
- Upper-Class Twit: Spaulding Smails, the Judge's grandson.
- Vapor Wear: Some of Lacey's outfits leave very little to the imagination, intentionally.
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: Judge Smails is christening his new yacht, when Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) shows up in his much larger boat. He then shoves his driver out of the way, put its engines into high gear, and tries to park near Smails' party, causing much damage (and hilarity) in the process.
Al: Hey, Smails! My dinghy's bigger than your whole boat!
- Wormsign: Well, gophersign anyway — and it gets pretty ridiculous when the gopher starts pushing around pin flags, and then makes them disappear into the ground.