Film: Flodder

Flodder is a Dutch media franchise created by Dick Maas (director of Amsterdamned), consisting of 3 movies and a television series. The franchise started with the movie Flodder from 1986. A second movie called Flodder in Amerika! followed in 1992. The tv series was broadcasted from 1993 to 1998 with a total of 5 seasons. The third movie, simply called Flodder 3, was released in 1995. This movie was supposed to be the grand finale for the series and the franchise as a whole, but the series continued for two more seasons afterwards.

The franchise is about the eponymous antisocial family Flodder. The family consists of Mother Flodder (real name Geertruida), her five children (ranging in age from mid 20’s to preteens; all of which have a different father), grandpa, and their dog Whiskey. Another recurring character in the franchise is social worker Jacques “Sjakie” van Kooten. When the Flodder family is forced to leave their old home because it turns out it was located on top of a former waste dump, Sjakie convinces the city council to give the family a home in a highly respected upper class neighborhood called Zonnedael (sunny dale). The idea behind this is that this change of social environment will inspire the family to become model citizens. The project however turns out to be a big failure, because the family doesn’t adapt at all and continues with their illegal or otherwise antisocial activities. Mother makes her own whiskey, Johnnie and Kees (the two oldest sons) both handle in stolen goods, the oldest daughter, also named Kees, constantly hangs out with wrong boyfriends, and Toet and Henkie (the youngest son and daughter) are brats. The families behavior causes a lot of friction between them and the rich snobs in Zonnedael. Only Sjakie remains convinced of the family’s good nature and keeps protecting them.

The first movie shows the Flodders moving into Zonnedael. At the end of the movie, a retired colonel angrily destroys the Flodders' home with his tank. In the second movie, the city council signs the Flodders up for an exchange program to have them send off to America for a year. The third movie focuses on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Zonnedael and the attempts of the inhabitants to get rid of the Flodders before the scheduled festivities. All attempts backfire however and in the end the entire neighborhood is destroyed except for the home of the Flodder family.

Flodder provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers in Zonnedael and the direct surrounding are apparently large enough for two adult men to walk through, as seen in the episode "Gijzeling".
  • Angry Guard Dog: Whiskey, the family's black Bouvier des Flandres.
  • April Fools' Plot: An entire episode revolves around this day and the misunderstandings it causes.
  • Alien Abduction: Happens to Kees (male) in the episode "Van de Wereld".
  • Ax-Crazy: The colonel in the first movie. When he finally has enough of the Flodders, he personally attacks their house with a tank.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Daughter Kees always ends up with these kind of boyfriends.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Geertruida Flodder is usually calm and likes to ignore things as much as possible, but watch out when she gets angry...
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Johnnie has blond hair. And although he's not exactly evil, he isn't a nice guy either.
  • The Boxing Episode: The episode "In de ring" is about Johnnie being challenged to a boxing match by an angry inhabitant of Zonnedael, but Kees (male) having to step in for him when Johnnie hurts his arm.
  • Butt Monkey: Sjakie, despite his good intentions, is a klutz who is constantly abused by those around him. The second movie in particular makes it seem like the universe just has it out for him. He loses the Flodder family at the airport, then a traffic jam in New York City makes it take him the rest of the day to reach his contacts' downtown office. He arrives past closing timing, forcing him to sleep in a brothel. After he's discussed the Flodders' disappearance with them the next day, he loses his glasses and gets his hands stuck in a storm drain before he's mugged. Every passerby ignores him until a homeless person helps him get out after about a day, but Sjakie is subsequently imprisoned after a riot breaks out in a food court. Finally, he's hit by a car and then mistaken for a gender reassigment patient at the hospital.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Geertruida Flodder surprisingly. She loves whiskey and other strong alcoholic beverages, but she absolutely can’t stand sherry. Drinking it causes her to pass out.
  • Cigar Chomper: Geertruida Flodder.
  • Citizenship Marriage: one episode involved Johnny being hired by a pimp to marry a foreign woman, so she could get a Dutch citizenship and get to work in his brothel. The woman unfortunately did not understand the marriage was supposed to be temporary and tried to come and live with the Flodders, much to the pimp's chagrin. The situation was solved when it turned out that Sjakie, who married the two, forgot to ask the witnesses to sign the required papers, thus making the marriage illegitimate.
  • Christmas Episode: The TV series has one, as well as a Sinterklaas themed episode and a New Year's Eve themed episode.
  • Cool Car: Johnnie's trademark pink Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.
  • Dumb Blonde: The female Kees often appears to be this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Flodder family may be okay with things like selling stolen goods or illegal production of liquor, but there are things even they won't do, like murder.
    • Played for laughs in the episode "Vlees", in which the Flodders can't bring themselves to slaughter a calf for the barbecue. Eventually, they decide to hire a professional assassin, but it turns out that he's a vegetarian and absolutely against killing animals (while, obviously and lampshaded by himself, he has no trouble at all killing humans).
  • Everybody Calls Him Barkeep: Geertruida is called Ma Flodder or Mrs. Flodder 99% of the time.
  • Fanservice:
    • Let's say son Kees' fantasies get quite... vivid in the first two movies.
    • Daughter Kees pulls off a strip act in a strip club. ...yeah, they have those there.
  • Forgotten Birthday: one episode of the tv-series, Johnnie forgets it's Mother's Day. To make up for the fact that he has no present for Ma Flodder, he quickly tells her he's getting married; thus setting in motion the main plot of Johnnie having to find a girl who wants to marry him.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In the episode “Egotrip” Johnnie and Kees (male) accidentally switch bodies due to a freak accident with a power cable.
  • Gender-Blender Name: the Dutch name Kees can apply to both genders, and the franchise makes full use of this by having both a male and a female Kees as main characters.
  • Global Ignorance: Used twice in the second movie. First, a group of mooks that try to rob the Flodder Family think "Holland" is one of the little towns named Holland somewhere in the US. Second, the president himself thinks Copenhagen is a Dutch city.
  • Grand Finale: The third movie was supposed to be this, but the series continued for two more seasons.
  • Hostage Situation: Geertruida ends up in one in the episode "Gijzeling".
  • Hypno Fool: happens to Kees (male) in the tv-series.
  • Idle Rich: A lot of the inhabitants of Zonnedael.
  • Identical Stranger: Ma Flodder.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: A group of ninjas (Kees' boyfriend and his fellow students from a martial arts school) comes to the Flodders' aid in the third movie during a battle between the family and the police.
  • Laughing Mad: The bad guy in the third movie completely loses it when an attempt to destroy the Flodders and their party by crashing a tanker truck into their house instead causes the entire rest of the neighbourhood to burn down, including his own home. He bursts into manic laughter as he's watching his own fireworks go off.
  • Man Child: The male Kees.
  • The Matchmaker: In the episode "Contact gestoord", her children try to find a perfect husband for Geertruida when they think she is lonely.
  • Monumental Damage: At the end of the second movie, Mother Flodder accidentally ignites a water tank that Son Kees had been filling with stolen gasoline, causing it to fly into the Statue of Liberty and destroy the head.
  • Mugging the Monster: Both in the second movie and an episode of the series, a group of mooks tries to rob the Flodder family. Bad idea.
  • Mistaken Identity: In the second movie, upon arriving in America the Flodders are mistaken for a group of Russian scientists.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Daughter Kees is used extensively for this.
  • Negative Continuity: There are quite some contradictions between the first two movies, and the TV series and the third movie. The most notable one is Grandpa Flodder, who dies in the first movie (and thus is absent in the second), but somehow manages to return for the third movie and series.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Toet and Henkie both stay around 10 to 12 years old during the entire franchise. The roles had to be recast several times over the years to make this possible.
  • Obfuscating Disability: GRANDDAD.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted. There are two characters named "Kees" within the Flodder family. One is male and one is female however, so usually it's not too hard to figure out which "Kees" someone is talking about.
    • Played straight however in the German dub of the series, in which the name of the male Kees is changed to "Klaus".
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Johnny absolutely loves his pink Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Grandpa.
  • Serial Spouse: Ma Flodder has been married five times, and almost marries a sixth time in both the series and the third movie. She had a child with each husband, so all her children are half-siblings.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The second movie. It's even lampshaded in the title ("Flodder in Amerika").
  • Sticky Fingers: Both Ma Flodder and Kees (male) suffer from kleptomania in the episode "Kleptoma".
  • The Tokyo Fire Ball: All of Zonnedael gets destroyed by a massive fire at the end of the third movie, but in the last two seasons of the TV series the neighborhood is standing again.
  • The Voiceless: Grandpa Flodder can’t talk. His only forms of communication are a whistle and a railway signal.
  • Wheelchair Antics: In the third movie, Toet and Henkie put an engine on Grandpa’s wheelchair so he can leave the house without help. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a little too powerful.
  • Witness Protection: the Flodders themselves are forced to undergo this when Johnny testifies against a powerful crime boss in the tv-series.