Film / Dead Man On Campus

Dead Man on Campus is a 1998 dark comedy film starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tom Everett Scott. It centres on the urban legend that a student gets straight As if his or her room-mate commits suicide.

Cooper (Gosselaar) and Josh (Scott) are both in danger of flunking out of college and so attempt to find a depressed room-mate in order to push him over the edge and thus get them through the year on a technicality. Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes Appearing in Dead Man On Campus:

  • Asleep in Class: Josh suffers from this after too many late nights.
  • Asshole Victim: While nothing too bad happens to him, Cliff could count as this. Fortunately, he's Made of Iron.
  • Black Comedy: Nobody actually dies but the whole subject of suicide, a normally very serious issue, is treated incredibly glibly.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Cooper in a nutshell.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Kyle seems to think so.
  • Class Clown: While we never see him actually attend a class, it's a safe bet Cooper would be this if he bothered turning up.
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: Lucy. No real surprise, given that she's played by Alyson Hannigan.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Buckley. BIG time. He thinks Bill Gates is trying to steal his brain, and has already been 50% successful.
  • Cool Loser: For a nerdy maths scholarship student who's clueless with girls, Josh does pretty well with the ladies.
  • Credits Gag: The names of various film personnel and crew are given a suicidal twist.
  • Groin Attack: Inviting these seems to be Cliff's equivalent of a handshake.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Cooper and Josh's angry conversation with each other after ditching Cliff leaves their dorm-mates somewhat taken-aback. See also Mistaken for Gay, below.
  • Large Ham: Cooper. Or, at least, a medium-sized ham.
  • Loophole Abuse: A loophole in the college rules (that in the event of a student suicide, all roommates of said student will get automatic passes for the year) is what fuels the plot.
  • Made of Iron: Cliff O'Malley, who regularly invites people to kick him in the nuts, and who shrugs off getting shot by a cop like it's no big thing.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Cooper and Josh, first after being caught in a clinch behind a hedge, then later when overheard angrily accusing each other of "pulling out too soon" and being "too anal", etc.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Matt when confronted by Cooper about being a fake.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The film as a whole has elements of this, while Cooper seems to use this trope pretty much as his default setting.
  • Scholarship Student: Josh. Fear of losing his scholarship due to flunking his classes is what drives him to agree to Cooper's insane plan.
  • The Slacker: Cooper again. The plot basically revolves around his plan to pass the year without doing any actual (academic) work.
  • Suicide as Comedy: The entire movie is driven by this trope.
  • Textbook Humor: The opening credits are styled as textbook questions and problems, themed around suicide.