Film / Encino Man

Encino Man is a 1992 comedy movie in which a caveman named Link (played by Brendan Fraser) goes from being frozen in a block of ice to being the most popular guy at Encino High, with help from Dave (Sean Astin) and his friend Stoney (Pauly Shore).

This movie provides examples of:

  • Asian and Nerdy: The lone Asian student to play a (minor) role is portrayed as an overenthusiastic geek, always trying to get more students to join the Computer Club.
  • Brain Freeze: Link experiences one after Stoney's lesson on "wheezing the juice". His mouth is still full of slush drink as he silently clutches at his head.
  • Death Glare: Link, when Matt punched the glass he was drawing on with mustard.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Stoney is, well, a stoner. At least a heavily implied one.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Link will eat anything. Anything.
  • Flat "What.": Dave says this when Robyn says she wants to go to the dance with Link.
    • Big "WHAT?!": When Robyn asks Dave if Link will go to the prom with her.
    Dave: You want me to what?!
  • Happily Married: Despite the Ice Age, Link and his wife loved each other very much.
  • Has a Type: Ella (Robyn's friend) seems to have a thing for men who are dominant and aggressive. During the science teacher's lecture on prehistoric man, Ella seems to like hearing that a caveman "takes what he wants." Later, when she meets Link for the first time and he grabs her possessively, Ella acts excited rather than frightened.
  • Here We Go Again: After everything is settled Link's mate from the past is discovered in their pool and the whole mess is starting over again.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Link freaks out at the museum. See Mood Whiplash below.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Parallel parking is not a 'thing', alright? It's not a feeling, it's not a state-of-mind, it's not one of your personal disco records."
  • Ironic Echo: Matt says "SHUUUSH!" several times. Near the end, Stoney says this to him after Matt gets his just desserts (literally).
  • Kick the Dog: When Dave calls Robyn from jail to ask her to the prom and she rejects him... which in and of itself is not a cruel thing, but then she asks him to find out if Link will go to the prom with her. Way to rub salt in the wound, Robyn.
  • Little "No": Link's first word.
    (Link was about to use a lit match to make a fire)
    Dave: Hey! (takes the match away) No!
    Link: No.
    Dave: What? Did you just... ?
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Well, not a lawyer, but otherwise Link fits both the trope and the name to a T.
  • Makeover Montage: Dave and Stoney transform Link from a muddy, clay-caked naked wild man into a goofy-looking 90s teenager through the magic of a completely unnecessary and ineffectual haircut, a toothbrush, and lots and lots of soap. Link even wears a towel turban for part of the scene.
  • Mood Whiplash: The museum field trip, where Link realizes what exactly has happened to him (and the presumed fate of his wife).
  • No, You:
    Stoney: Maybe Matt Wilson was right about you all along.
    Dave: You take that back!
    Stoney: No, you take it back.
    Dave: TAKE IT BACK!
    [The two fight each other until Link stops them.]
  • Nubile Savage: Initially averted with both Link and his wife, who are dirty, have rotten teeth, and are clothed in lots of furs (they are living through an ice age). However, Link cleans up nice, and at the end, so does his wife.
  • Ow, My Body Part!
    Stoney: Ow! My pancreas!
  • Product Placement: Big time. Products they mention by name include Doritos, Ho-Hos, Milkduds, ICEEs, Taco Bell, SweeTarts, Corn Nuts, and Rad Mobile.
  • Rake Take: Shortly after being thawed out, Link steps on a rake and gets hit in the face.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: After getting thawed out, Link immediately finds out he's in an unfamiliar place.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Thanks for the Mammary: "Gonzongas!"
    (Link stares at Robyn and Ella's chest and tries to grab them, but Dave pulls him away]
    Stoney: (to Ella) I think he was saying he likes your cones.
    Ella: I'm thrilled. (pushes Stoney) Get out of my face!
  • Those Two Guys: The two skaters.
  • The Voiceless: Link, for most of the movie. Though he does pick up some words, he only understands about half of what he says, so he communicates primarily through body language.
  • Walk This Way: As the class heads to the museum, Stoney (exaggerately) mimics the way Matt Wilson's cohorts walk, while walking behind them.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Robyn goes out with Matt at the start of the movie, which Dave just found out. He even says this. Soon she broke up with him due to his jerkass-ness.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Stoney gives Dave one of these when Dave tries to abandon Link. Stoney points out that Dave never viewed Link as a friend, but just a tool to help him become popular. Dave gives a little back by saying that Stoney never cared about anything before except "nugs, chillin' and grindage". Stoney calls him out for trying to pin the blame on him.
    Stoney: Those are desperate words of a loser! Maybe Matt Wilson was right about you all along.
  • Wild Hair: Link, obviously. Even though the boys give him a haircut.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Link, when he realizes his world, his old life, and his wife is gone. However, his wife has also been frozen in ice and is reunited with Link.
  • Your Mom:
    Matt: Going somewhere?
    Dave: Yeah, got a date with your mom.
    Matt: Now that's not nice.
    Dave: It's just a joke, I'm sorry.