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Film: Hot Tub Time Machine

''"It must be some kind of... hot tub time machine ."
Nick Webber-Agnew

A 2010 film directed by Steve Pink (the guy who did Accepted). Three friends (Adam, Lou and Nick), and Adam's nephew Jacob take a trip to a ski resort where Adam, Lou and Nick used to hang out to relive good times after Lou attempts suicide. However, while getting drunk in a hot tub, Lou spills some Chernobly (a type of Russian Red Bull) onto the hot tub controls, turning it into a time machine. The hot tub sends the four back to 1986, where Adam, Lou and Nick have regained their youth and replaced their 1986 selves. (Jacob, for some reason, is not a zygote. This goes unexplained, though he occasionally goes static like a television image with poor reception.)

A hot-tub repairman (played by Chevy Chase), who may or may not be Mr. Exposition, occasionally drops by to have Cryptic Conversations about how to return to 2010 and the consequences of changing the past. This, however, doesn't stop the three from trying, much to the dismay of Jacob, who feels that their actions may put his very existence in jeopardy via the Butterfly Effect.

The last film to be distributed by MGM before its bankruptcy and reorganization as a pure producer and co-funder.

A sequel is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day, 2014. The sequel will take place 10 years in the future.


This film contains examples of:

  • Almighty Janitor: Ok, Almighty Hot Tub Repairman.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    Adam: By the way, where does it say in the fucking Friendship Handbook that you are the only one who's allowed any fucking problems?
    Lou: I forgot that it says in the Asshole Handbook that you can just fuck over your friends whenever you want!
    Adam: Actually, it would say that in the Asshole Handbook if it was, like, guidelines for being an asshole, that's what it would say.
  • Artistic License - History: Contrary to what the writers would have you believe, they had snowboards back in '86. Most ski resorts still didn't allow them, but being a ski patroller, Blaine could reasonably be expected to know what one is.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: When pretending to be a Russian spy, Nick brandishes the can of Chernobly like it was a bomb and repeatedly shouts "Dosvedanya!", which is Russian for "Goodbye" or "Farewell."
  • Aside Glance: Nick, after the Title Drop.
  • Bad Future: Inverted, as the movie starts out in one.
  • Basement-Dweller: Played straight as an arrow with Jacob.
  • Biggus Dickus: Nick.
  • Binge Montage: Happens right before the guys travel back in time.
  • Butt Monkey: Lou
  • Bloody Hilarious: The bellhop finally losing his arm.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "I always knew there was a reason I hated you!"
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The squirrel Lou projectile vomits on later changes the original outcome of a football game Lou bet on.
  • Cluster F-Bomb
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Happens when Nick, Adam, and Jacob burst in on Lou and Kelly.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: Lou staying in the past and becoming a billionaire when the present retranspires via his knowledge.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: Jacob.
  • Dirty Communists: The time travelers are mistaken for these after Blaine and the ski patrol find their modern cell phones and MP3 players (which they think are spy gadgets), and their can of Chernobly.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Jenny stabbing Adam in the eye for breaking up with her is treated fairly trivially. Despite knowing what she did Adam and his friends still think he shouldn't have broken up with her and when Adam does get angry at her its for her hypocrisy for getting mad at him when she was going to break up with him anyway not for being violent in the first place. Not once does anyone comment that stabbing someone in the eye is a despicable, abusive act.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the end of the film Lou confesses that he was trying to kill himself at the start of the film.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe. Kelly is appalled when Lou starts laughing at the Bellhop losing his arm.
  • The Eighties: Where our protagonists end up. Everything's so exaggerated, you can't tell whether for comedic purposes or because the characters are traveling back to their half-forgotten youth.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This movie is about a hot tub, which acts as a time machine.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The 1980 portion plays out during one night.
  • Eye Scream: Averted with Adam, who was stabbed in the eyebrow. Still, pretty close call.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: At the beginning of the film, Nick has a job cleaning shit out of dogs' asses.
  • The Fatalist: Adam.
    Adam: All the choices we make in our life are pointless. There's no escaping the inevitable.
  • Fight Fur Your Right To Party: a guy in a bear suit suddenly appears during the Binge Montage.
  • For Want of a Nail: Their very presence seems to have changed the outcome of an NFL playoff game.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: On Lou:
    Nick: You know how every group of friends has that one asshole? He's our asshole.
  • Happily Ever After: All of the main characters have greatly-improved lives by the end of the film. Adam is married to April and lives in a big house, Nick is a successul music producer and his wife is completely faithful to him, and Lou is a happily-married billionaire.
  • Henpecked Husband: Nick starts out as this, becoming a hyphenate (taking his wife's last name), giving up his dream of being a musician to please her, and putting up with his wife cheating on him because he doesn't have the courage to confront her about it.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Mötley Lüe, Lou's multi-platinum-selling band in which he rose to fame after deciding to stay in the past.
  • Heroic Bastard: Jacob, at least until Lou (who, it turns out, is Jacob's father) changes the past so that he and Adam's sister get married.)
  • Historical In-Joke: The Red Bull-like Russian beverage "Chernobly" made the time machine work and brought the gang back to 1986 at the height of ski season, mere weeks prior to the Chernobyl incident.
  • I Choose to Stay: Lou. Adam also choses to stay behind, but ends up falling into the hot tub during the return trip. Lou was probably right to do so, since the other characters don't know about their exploits between 1986 and the present day.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Adam, Nick and Jacob walk in on Lou having sex with Adam's sister, meaning Jacob witnesses his own conception...sort of. When he tries to attack Lou, he disappears. Coitus Uninterruptus has to ensue to ensure Jacob lives.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Believing Lou to be asleep, Nick and Adam start having listing off all the reasons why Lou's life sucks and why he'd want to kill himself. Lou is not asleep, and he calls them out for it.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Played straight, both when Adam originally broke up with his girlfriend, and again in the Alternate Timeline when she dumps him (which she was gonna do in the original timeline anyway).
  • Knight Templar: Blaine and his ski patrol friends. They have a legitimate mission of maintaining law and order on the mountain, but they use this and the Red Scare as an excuse to be Jerkasses.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Nick says, "It's some kind of hot tub-time machine".
  • A Little Something We Call Hip-Hop - After performing his cover of Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl", Nick gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Crowning Music of Awesome in one shot when he wows the audience with his rendition of "Let's Get it Started" by Black Eyed Peas
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: This revelation comes as a shock to both Lou and Jacob.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: April. Played surprisingly straight, she just appears in Adam's life, fixates on him (particularly odd, since she's apparently an established music journalist and Adam's a teenager), takes him out of the dull funk that he's in, and even engages in some low-level breaking and entering for the sake of romance.
  • The Masochism Tango: Lou and Kelly. And loving it!
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is the Cryptic Conversation spouting repairman just a repairman and maybe a bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, or is he some sort of Time Police?
    • The deleted scenes indicate that he's also a time traveller.
  • Mental Time Travel: For everyone but Jacob.
  • Metal Head: Teenage Lou has long hair, a leather jacket, and an Iron Maiden t-shirt.
  • Mistaken for Spies: See Dirty Communists.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: When the four walk into the ski lodge. Leg warmers, Reagan, '80s Hair, Miami Vice T-shirts, cassette players, cell phones the size of bricks, MTV playing music videos, and more all set the mood.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: When Adam, Nick, and Jacob walk in on Lou and Kelly having sex, the bedsheet is positioned to prevent any kind of nudity from being seen.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tara (the busty groupie that Nick hooks up with) and Zoe (the girl who "only does two at a time"). Both women have very small roles, yet both appear topless.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Lampshaded: "Do I really gotta be the asshole that says we got in this thing and went back in time?"
  • Never My Fault: Adam has a bad case of this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Nick's best line in the trailer, re: his fetish for The Golden Girls, isn't in the movie.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened in Cincinnati, which is implied to be some sort of shocking criminal debacle.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Played with with Jacob, who has perplexing ontological inertia.
  • Nostalgia Filter: At first Adam can't remember why he broke up with his old girlfriend, Jenny, and because he only recalls good things about her he believes that he made a huge mistake by dumping her. Once we actually meet her in the past and find out how shallow and crazy she is, it's not hard to see why Adam dumped her. But he was still unhappy with the whole situation.
  • Not Good with Rejection: In the original timeline, Jenny stabs Adam in the eye with a fork after he breaks up with her.
  • Obi Wan: Parodied with the repairman.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: The repairman delivers lots of cryptic and ominous-sounding warning, from which the gang infers that doing anything differently will screw up the timeline in unpredictable ways. They end up defying him, and it turns out to be 100% BS!
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The whole movie has a deep teal and orange tint.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Jacob, when he starts going static.
  • Pet the Dog: Blaine and his ski patrol buddies spend most of the film as complete jerkasses, but in the end they manage to redeem themselves somewhat by working quickly and professionally to save the Bellhop's arm.
  • Pillar of Light: When transporting the group back to the present, the hot tub builds a glowing vortex reaching into the sky.
  • Playing Gertrude: Kelly and April in the future. Kelly especially because at they tried to make April look older.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Lou. During the ending he even refers to his wife and son as "faggots."
  • Portal Pool: A hot tub serves as a portal to the past.
  • Pretty in Mink: Being the 80s, and in ski country, several ladies of course wear some fur coats, including one woman wearing her fur jacket open, with a bikini top underneath.
  • Really Gets Around: Adam's sister, Kelly.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: When the gang comes back to the future, they have no memory of Lougle or the success that they have enjoyed for the last few decades.
  • Rule of Funny: The overriding principle in the name of which all errors mentioned herein can easily be excused.
  • Running Gag: The bellhop repeatedly failing to lose his arm in situations where he should have.
    • In the deleted scenes, it's revealed that Miss Only-Does-Two-Guys-At-A-Time ensnared a significant percentage of the male cast during the night, but each time one of them running off.
  • Screw Destiny
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: What the guys end up doing once they summon up the brass to defy the repairman and do things the way they wish they had. In the end it results in them all having much better lives than they did before.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: Check, check, and check!
  • Shout-Out: A very subtle one to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. It's squirrels instead of mice, but there's clearly more than meets the eye going on with them.
    • Also, while Adam is talking with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in the house they broke into, a quick "Okay, so you're a Time Lord, and this hot tub is your space ship."
    • As noted above, "I want my two dollars!" is a reference to Cusack's early film Better Off Dead. (it's even mentioned as a DVD subtitle).
    • When Lou finally snaps and beats up Blaine it's an obvious (shot-for-shot and punch-for-punch) reference to a similar scene in "A Christmas Story."
      • And just before that happens, someone in the room shouts "Get a body bag!"
  • The Slow Path: Lou stays behind in the past to become rich and make sure that the events of this weekend propelled them into a Better Future. He suffers no ill effects because it is Mental Time Travel
  • Spiritual Successor: From the Time Travel, to the "Mister Sandman" Sequence, to standing up to the bully and his toadies, to the A Little Something We Call Hip-Hop scene, to the search for the Applied Phlebotinum in order to get back, this is Back to the Future for a new generation... or more like the same generation, but inverted.
    • Not to mention a minor part played by Crispin Glover (AKA George McFly).
  • The Stoner: Adam has enough illegal drugs in his briefcase to overdose an elephant.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Adam's dad died after going to one of these.
  • Technology Marches On: Pointed out in-universe.
    Nick: Somethin's goin' on in here. Dude is rockin' a cassette player. !
  • A Threesome is Manly: Lou and Jacob meet a woman who claims she only does "two at a time." But Jacob refuses to participate, much to Lou's disappointment.
    Lou: Every young man dreams of having a threesome!
    Jacob: Not with another dude!
    Lou: It's still a threesome!
  • Time Travelers Are Spies: One of the medics at the ski resort believes the main characters are Russian spies.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Lou, big time. To a lesser extent, all the time travelers, although they were not aware until they came back.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The hot tub causes a Mental Time Travel effect for Lou, Adam and Nick, but physically transports Jacob into the past.
  • Title Drop: So obvious it's Anvilicious... "It must be some kind of... Hot Tub Time Machine." Craig Robinson lampshades the trope by delivering a deadpan Aside Glance to the camera immediately after saying the line.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Depending on which trailer you saw, one of them shows Violator aboard the huge yacht he bought himself after inventing Lougle, therefore spoiling the fact that he stays in the past. Nice.
    • Another trailer showed Jacob seeing his mother in 1986, and then shows her in bed with Lou saying "I feel pregnant."
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Nick's younger self having hot tub sex with Tara.
  • Valley Girl: April.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A particularly nasty one. For extra credit bonus points, it hits a squirrel.
    • Jacob pukes on Lou when the Bellhop's arm gets ripped off by a passing snowplow.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: The guy who fixes the hot tub and acts like he knows about time travel. However, he doesn't tell them about the time travel.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Lou exploits his knowledge of the future to become a billionaire. At the end of the film he is seen aboard a huge yacht named Violator.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After being beaten up by Blane and his friends, Lou emotionally chastises Nick and especially Adam for being piss-poor friends who are never around when he needs them. Adam argues at first, but eventually has to admit that Lou is right.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Adam's fake Russian accent sounds nothing like a real Russian accent.
  • What Year Is This?: What color is Michael Jackson?
  • Wild Mass Guessing: See the Time Lord category for details (one of the few of these that isn't incredibly contrived).
    • To be fair, Blaine isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, and a Deleted Scene has a skier tell Jacob that she's "never seen a real snowboard up close before."
  • Wrong Name Outburst: During Nick's intense pool sex scene he shouts out the name of his wife, Courtney, while the girl insists on being called Tara.

Hotel RwandaCreator/United ArtistsHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
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alternative title(s): Hot Tub Time Machine
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