->''"If you shoot me... you're liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards."''

1985 comedy-mystery film starring Creator/ChevyChase, (loosely) based on the novel by Gregory Mcdonald.

Irwin M. Fletcher (Chevy Chase), better known as 'Fletch', writes a column for a Los Angeles newspaper under the byline 'Jane Doe'. He's working undercover at a local beach where a lot of hard drug-trafficking is taking place when he is suddenly cornered by Alan Stanwyk (Tim Matheson) who, assuming him to be one of the many junkies floating around the beach, makes him a strange offer. Claiming he has incurable cancer, Stanwyk asks Fletch to murder him a week from that date in order to both avoid his suffering and to provide for his family by allowing them to claim life insurance. Intrigued, Fletch begins to investigate Stanwyk's claims, discovering that things may be tied in with the story he is investigating at the beach, and that a sinister police chief (Joe Don Baker) may also be involved...

Probably Chevy Chase's most well-known role after [[Film/NationalLampoonsVacation Clark Griswold]], and something of a cult hit. A 1989 sequel, ''Fletch Lives'', takes Fletch to The DeepSouth where he investigates intrigue around his family estate.

Has nothing to do with the British series ''Series/{{Porridge}}'', the main character of which is also referred to as 'Fletch'.

!!Provides examples of:

* AdaptationalUgliness: In the novels, Fletch was a handsome, young, blond, extremely muscular man who could bed any woman he wanted. In the movies, he was played by a forty-something Chevy Chase who, while not exactly unhandsome, doesn't meet the other criteria that closely.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Alan Stanwyk. In the novel he had nothing to do with the drug-dealing on the beach or the crooked police department. He did plan to kill Fletch as a way of faking his death, but Fletch correctly notes when he confronts him at the end that he's a good person who feels guilty about his bigamy, and he won't be able to pull the trigger.
%%* AmateurSleuth
* AmoralAttorney: In both films, Fletch is bothered by his ex-wife's incredibly annoying alimony attorney Marvin Gillet, who he despises almost as much as his ex-wife. (Supposedly, Marvin was able to get a rather unfair settlement in his wife's favor.) [[spoiler:Fletch gets even with him at the end of the second film, however, when he shows up offering to forego all future alimony payments (and never show his face there again) in exchange for the Belle Isle property, which he believes to be valuable. Fletch, barely able to contain his joy, happily signs over the land, which unbeknownst to Marvin is worthless and covered with toxic waste due to the events of the movie.]]
** Gillet's FacialDialogue suggests he knows what's really there however.
* AmericanGothicCouple: Stanwyk's parents, in essence if not in image.
* BavarianFireDrill: Fletch is quite fond of these. He's even capable of pulling them off by doing nothing but talking nonsense.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Gail knocks out Chief Karlin with the blunt edge of a tennis racket as Karlin is seconds away from fatally shooting Fletch.]]
* CharacterNameAlias: Fletch uses several of them, often real people. Not everyone catches on.
** The Stanwyks remark at his being named after President UsefulNotes/HarryTruman.
** The doctor remarks as his having the same name as "[[Literature/{{Babar}} a childrens elephant]]."
*** "Is that with two "b"s?
*** "No. Yes. Just not right next to each other."
** Also used:
*** Igor Stravinsky (on the phone with a real estate agent)
*** G. Gordon Liddy
*** Music/TedNugent
*** [[Film/TheGodfather Don Corleone]]
* ChekhovsGun: Or Chekhov's Lighter, really.
* CrazyPrepared: Understated, but notice that Fletch brings ''two'' copies of the letter he wrote to Stanwyk's house. Y'know, just in case someone interrupted Stanwyk reading it out loud and he needed to take over.
* CreepyPhysical: Fletch tries to bargain his way out of a rectal exam.
-->'''Fletch:''' ''[=MoooooooOOOOOOOOOOooooon river=]!'' ''(moments later)'' You using the whole fist, doc?
* {{Disneyesque}}: A dream sequence in the sequel.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Fletch goes from comical to darkly serious as the novels progress.
* DeadpanSnarker: Fletch. And how.
** For one example, the movie contains possibly the driest ever reading of the line "Thank God. The police."
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: Chief of Police Karlin is behind the drug running on the beach, along with Stanwyk. Most of the other cops who appear are pretty corrupt as well.]]
* DudeNotFunny: In universe, the reaction of the African-American emcee at Fred Dorfmann's banquet on being called "Sammy," at least as soon as Fletch's back is turned. While Fletch is looking at him, it's more ActuallyPrettyFunny.
* [[EmbarrassingFirstName Embarrassing First]] AND [[EmbarrassingMiddleName Middle Name]]: Fletch gets quite irate if you call him 'Irwin'.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Alan Stanwyk. He is unfailingly polite when he first meets Fletch, but he obviously figures him to be a disposable lowlife.
* ForcedIntoEvil: Fat Sam and Gummy in the first movie. They are drug dealers, but it's made pretty clear that they're just low-level junkies being exploited and forced into dealing by people higher up the food chain. [[spoiler: Namely, Stanwyk and Chief Karlin.]]
* GloveSnap: A physician does this before giving Fletch a rectal examination.
* GuileHero: Fletch gets by solely on his cleverness and ability to fool people.
* HollywoodSpelling: Averted with Stanwyk: Fletch spells the last bit for Larry to help her search for articles. Averted also with Chief Karlin, when Fletch confirms "So that's Karlin with a K, right?" But to be fair, he's a reporter and Karlin is DaChief, so he'd probably know. Played straight as an arrow with Swarthout, which most people would need both repeated ''and'' spelled out over a mid-80s long distance connection to have a hope of getting right.
* IntrepidReporter: Fletch
* IHaveManyNames: Fletch
* ImagineSpot: Fletch as a Laker in the first film, a musical scene on the plantation in the second.
* IronicEcho: A visual example. [[spoiler: In the first scene where Stanwyk approaches Fletch, Stanwyk is in a smart suit and Fletch in a scruffy Lakers shirt and jeans. In the last scene, they've essentially switched clothing -- Stanwyk because he's actually planning on killing Fletch, Fletch because he's long since figured out that this is what Stanwyk's planning on doing. And because it's actually Stanwyk's suit, which Fletch acquired prior to sleeping with Stanwyk's wife.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Ted Underhill, a snobby rich jerk who doesn't tip the waiter. It's this that makes Fletch [[LaserGuidedKarma use his credit card as his own personal expense account.]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Stanwyk is planning to shoot Fletch, having lured him there with the whole "I'm dying and want you to kill me for the insurance" thing. He ends up getting shot and killed by the Chief, who he was double-crossing.]]
* TheKlan: Mocked in ''Fletch Lives''.
* LargeHam: Chevy Chase as Fletch.
* LastNameBasis: Hey, it's better than 'Irwin'.
* LookBehindYou: Fletch pulls this on a [[AngryGuardDog dog]], funnily enough.
-->'''Fletch:''' Look, defenseless babies!
%%* LoveableRogue
* MasterOfDisguise: Per the film's tagline: "The man who changes his identity more than his underwear," Fletch assumes a lot of false names over the course of the film, most of which have a disguise to go with them.
* MirandaRights:
-->'''Fletch:''' You fellas wanna read me my rights?
-->'''Detective:''' You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to have your face kicked in by me. You have the right to have your balls stomped by him (''indicating his partner'').
-->'''Fletch:''' [[DeadpanSnarker I'll waive my rights]].
* NoHonorAmongThieves: How the villains are undone at the end. [[spoiler: Turns out Stanwyk, learning on the grapevine that Fletch's story was on the verge of blowing the drug smuggling at the beach wide open, decided to fake his death and flee to Rio with his wife (well, one of them) and several hundred thousand dollars that the Chief of Police had staked him for the next shipment. The Chief, naturally, was not overly pleased.]]
* OhCrap: At the end [[spoiler: when Fletch realizes that performing TheSummation on Stanwyk's scheme won't actually stop Stanwyk from, well, going through with his scheme.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Stanwyk]]:''' I was already gonna commit one murder, ''assface'', what makes you think I won't commit two?
--> '''Fletch''': [[DidntThinkThisThrough ...Whoops.]]
--> '''Gail''': ''Whoops''? What do you mean, 'whoops'?! Don't say 'whoops'!
** In the sequel Fletch makes the same mistake, but thinks he has insurance by having a friend ready to blow the whistle if anything happens to him. [[spoiler:Then TheDragon hauls in his friend at gunpoint.]]
* OnlyOneName: Fletch. When asked for his full name, he gives "Fletch F. Fletch."
* PaperThinDisguise: Some of Fletch's disguises are quite intricate. Others require no more than the investment of $0.45 in a set of novelty teeth. If that.
** Lampshaded at the beginning, where Fletch remarks that going undercover as a junkie is strangely easy, but actually ''requires'' underplaying it rather than howling and drooling as you might be tempted to do as a stereotypical addict; "act like you don't give a crap, you fit right in."
* SequelNonEntity: Larry, Fletch's GirlFriday at the newspaper in ''Fletch'', is nowhere to be found in the sequel. Likewise with Gail Stanwyk, a sufferer of the CartwrightCurse. The same can't be said for Mr. Underhill, although he was DemotedToExtra (after being not much more than an extra in the first film), only appearing in a DreamSequence (and then only in a panoramic CrowdSong, at that!).
* SkeletonKeyCard: How he breaks into his own apartment (via a window, no less) in a failed attempt to evade his ex-wife's lawyer.
* TheStoner: Fletch's alias trying to investigate beach drug trade.
* TooDumbToFool: Fletch's attempt to bluff a shotgun-wielding landlord falls utterly flat when the old man doesn't understand his made-up excuses and keeps circling back to threatening to call the cops. Fletch makes a run for it after giving the poor guy [[GroinAttack a kick to the balls]], which he seems to comprehend just fine.
* UncleTomfoolery: Calculus Entropy. [[spoiler: It turns out to be an act and he is in fact an undercover FBI agent.]]