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->''"You're messing with the wrong guy!"''
-->-- '''Neal Page'''

This 1987 film featured Creator/SteveMartin and Creator/JohnCandy in two of the best comedy performances of [[TheEighties the 1980s]]. It was written and directed by Creator/JohnHughes, best known for teen angst films until that time, and is regarded by many as his magnum opus. It is also Martin's favorite of his film roles to date and was reportedly Candy's as well.

Uptight advertising executive Neal Page (Martin) just wants to get home to UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} for UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay. Unfortunately, every mode of transportation somehow fails him and he is stuck with Del Griffith (Candy), a traveling shower curtain ring salesman who won't shut up. Through delayed planes, broken down trains and burned-out automobiles Neal and Del progress from being at each other's throats to developing an unlikely friendship.

The film is probably best known for the sole scene responsible for its R rating; in which Neal, after being abandoned in a rental car parking lot where the car he rented isn't there, is forced to walk three miles back to the airport, whereupon he goes on a [[ClusterFBomb tirade]] against the rental agent. But it is not so much said tirade, as [[CrowningMomentOfFunny the rental agent's response to it]]. Creator/RogerEbert probably puts it best:

->"''The other great comic set piece in the movie is responsible for its R rating; nothing else in the movie would qualify for other than PG-13. This is Neal's verbal symphony for the f-word, performed by the desperate man after a rental-car bus strands him three miles from the terminal without a car. He has to walk back through the snow and mud, crossing runways, falling down embankments, until he finally faces a chirpy rental agent (Edie [=McClurg=]) who is chatting on the phone about the need for tiny marshmallows in the ambrosia. When she sweetly asks Neal if he is disturbed, he unleashes a speech in which the adjectival form of the f-word supplies the prelude to every noun, including itself, and is additionally used as punctuation. When he finishes, the clerk has a [[PrecisionFStrike two-word answer]] that supplies one of the great moments in movie dialogue.''"

!! This film provides examples of:
* TheAllegedCar:
** After being sideswiped by two semi-trucks simultaneously and set on fire, it still ran.
--> '''State Trooper:''' Do you have any idea how fast you were going?
--> '''Del:''' Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.
** And the radio somehow still worked as well. Practically nothing else on the dashboard survived, but the radio? No problem.
* AmoralAttorney: The lawyer at the start.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In Kansas, Neal lists this catalogue of Del's sins against his sanity: spilling beer all over the bed, smoking and messing up the bathroom (all in the hotel), not paying for his share of the stay, and talking nonstop on the plane from UsefulNotes/{{New York|City}}. [[RantInducingSlight It's the latter than angers him more than anything else]].
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: The sole reason for [[ClusterFBomb Neal's rant.]] Hughes deliberately wanted the movie to be rated "R", because he felt that if it was rated lower, moviegoers would think he was just cranking out another teen angst film. [[TropesAreNotBad And it's one of the greatest scenes in the movie.]]
* AngryGuardDog: in the pickup truck that takes Del and Neal to the train station.
* BedMateReveal: Neal: "Why did you kiss my ear?"
%% * BittersweetEnding
* BookEnds: Neal's client in New York mulling over the pictures.
* BrickJoke:
** Three of them—two with short airtimes, and one that had been hanging for about an hour—come together to great effect: [[spoiler: A hotel clerk swaps their credit cards, Neal puts his wallet in a rental car's glove compartment asking Del to remind him to remove it, and Del flicks a cigarette out the window only for it to bounce back in unnoticed. Del reveals he had the credit card and returned it to Neal's wallet—just as the car catches fire incinerating the wallet.]]
** During the movie, scenes of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner being prepared are shown. [[spoiler: During TheStinger, you see the CEO of the company that Neal was giving the ad spiel to at the beginning of the movie, ''still'' hasn't decided on which campaign to use, with the dinner on the conference table near him. And, he was played by William Windom, Kevin Bacon's father-in-law from ''She's Having A Baby''.]]
* ButtMonkey:
** Neal. Not a single thing goes right for him until the very end.
** Del, though he's more optimistic about it.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Averted. The film was shot on location in New York, Missouri and Illinois.
* TheCameo:
** By three actors who appeared in other John Hughes movies. First, Creator/KevinBacon competes with Neal for a taxicab. Then [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ben Stein]] announces that all flights have been cancelled… and smiles. Finally, [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Edie McClurg]] has to endure the F-bomb rant.
** Also, [[Series/LaverneAndShirley Michael McKean]] as the state trooper.
* CarMeetsHouse: The two back their burned-out car into the motel room wall, then quickly flee.
* CelebrityParadox: Averted, sort of: At the beginning of the film, Creator/KevinBacon has a cameo as another commuter who races Neal for a NYC taxicab. Later, there's a scene where Neal's wife is watching television; while you can't see the screen, the audio is of Kevin Bacon in a scene from another John Hughes film, ''She's Having a Baby''.
* ClusterFBomb: Neal's rant. with a [[PrecisionFStrike laser-guided precision F nuke]] concluding Neal's rant, from the [[BewareTheNiceOnes single most unlikely source you'd ever expected it from]].
* {{Dramedy}}: The film starts out as a broadly rollicking comedy but [[ToneShift evolves into this]] as it progresses.
* DrowningMySorrows: Inverted on the last night. Delving into Del's extensive collection of airline liquors, the men [[INeedADrink get drunk to reflect on their disastrous journey]]. But they both enjoy genuine fellowship and have a great time.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The film takes place over the course of roughly 48 hours.
* FireForgedFriends: Neal and Del, by the end of the movie.
* FollowTheLeader: Same with ''Film/{{Dutch}}'', another movie about a pair of dissimilar people from different class backgrounds struggling to get home to Chicago for {{Thanksgiving|Episode}} … And ''also'' written by John Hughes.
%% ** ''Film/DueDate'', depressingly.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Quite a bit of it involving Del...
** Take a close look at the stickers on Del's luggage. [[spoiler:They're all just from hotels]].
** Del's personal motto is "Like your work, love your wife." [[spoiler: After the plane fails to make it through to Chicago, while Neal calls his wife, Del calls a hotel.]]
** [[spoiler: "I haven't been home in years."]]
** The face he makes when [[spoiler:Neal says he's lucky to have a wife to grow old with.]]
* FromBadToWorse: After Neal misses his cab at the start everything goes downhill. [[SerialEscalation And THAT]] [[FinaglesLaw MEANS EVERYTHING.]]
* GroinAttack: Happens to Neal in St. Louis.
--> Del: "I don't think I've ever seen a guy picked up by his testicles before …"
%% * HadTheSillyThingInReverse.
%% * HanlonsRazor: Apply to Del.
* HiddenDepths: Del, and how. [[spoiler:He finally reveals to Neal, at the end, that his wife's been dead for eight years, and he himself is a homeless drifter.]]
* IfIWantedXIWouldY: "If I wanted a joke I'd follow you into the john and watch you take a leak."
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Neal's uptight and definitely something of a dick, but a lot of his tantrums can be put down to stress at his circumstances and the fact that Del, let's face it, is not the easiest of traveling companions. He's certainly genuinely devoted to his family.
* KarmaHoudini: The thief who steals Neal and Del's cash never appears again.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A particular mofit (that mostly uses a harmonica) plays on almost every scene where another problem occurs that impedes Neal from getting home (the train stopping, the rented car not existing, ''having to go to court''...)
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Racing for a cab comes complete with Spaghetti Western stare-down and rock music.
* MyCarHatesMe: Del in spades. Both as a passenger fiddling with the car seat and again while driving the Le Baron.
%% * NewspaperThinDisguise: Used by Del in the airport.
* NiceHat: Neal, until he goes ballistic over his rental car not being there. Del has one, too.
* NoSympathy: Outside of Del, no one really shows Neal much sympathy at all. The worst offenders are the people at the people at Marathon, including the cab dispatcher.
* PsychoStrings: Del: "Hey, Neal, take my socks out of the sink if you're going to brush your teeth."
%% * OddCouple
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** Neal gives a very harsh one to Del during their first night together.
** Del sends it right back with a heartfelt IAmWhatIAm speech.
** Neil's rant at the car rental agency also qualifies.
* RedOniBlueOni: Neal is blue and Del is red. But when they are fighting, they switch.
%% * RoadTripPlot
* SadClown: Del. Not just because [[spoiler: it is revealed his wife is dead and he is alone and homeless]], but he's subjected to just as many travel catastrophes as Neal, but deals with it with good humor.
* SanitySlippage: Neal goes through a little bit. Summed up when he phones his wife.
--> '''Susan:''' You shared a motel room with a complete stranger? Are you crazy?
--> '''Neal:''' Not yet. But I'm getting there.
* ShoutOut: The movie Mrs. Page watches on TV early on in the film is actually Creator/JohnHughes' next film "She's Having a Baby."
-->'''Kristi:''' She's sleeping in our HOUSE!!! I'll have to burn the sheets!
-->'''Jake:''' What if the shoe was on the other foot?
-->'''Kristi:''' I'D GO BAREFOOT!!
* ASimplePlan: For God's sake, Neal just wants to get home for Thanksgiving.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: ''"You're messin' with the wrong guy!!"''
* SomeonesTouchingMyButt: "Those ''aren't pillows''!!"
* StepfordSmiler: Del is revealed to be one of these.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: A rare in-media example! The first time we hear this song is when Neal's luck reaches an all-time low once he [[spoiler: misses the fucking ride back to the fucking rental car headquarters and is fucking forced to walk down the fucking highway and across a fucking runway]], and again, during the first part of the closing credits, after "Every Time You Go Away."
* TheStinger: After the credits Neal's boss is still at his desk analyzing the ads, his Thanksgiving dinner sitting on his desk.
* TalkingToTheDead: Del with [[spoiler: his former wife Marie]].
%% * TeethClenchedTeamwork
* ThanksgivingDayStory: The main premise of the story is Neal trying to get home for the Thanksgiving holiday,[[spoiler: and that, no matter how dire things might seem, we all have something to be thankful for. It's delivered in such a way that even non-Americans can appreciate it.]]
%% * ThereIsOnlyOneBed: In Wichita.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Neal and Del gradually evolve from Type 1 (Del likes Neal, Neal detests Del) to Type 2 as Neal warms to Del and undergoes CharacterDevelopment.
* WardrobeFlawOfCharacterization: It's subtle, but the viewer can tell that John Candy's traveling salesman character's suit is off-the-rack and made of a synthetic material, especially by contrast with Steve Martin's successful, wealthy character, who wears one made of fine wool that looks custom-tailored.
* WhamLine: For what started out as a light buddy comedy, this one packs an unexpectedly huge wallop: [[spoiler:"I don't have a home. Marie's been dead for eight years."]]
%% * WildTake
%% * WiperStart
* WritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Averted if paying attention. When driving from St. Louis to Chicago, it would normally take about 6 hours, but they drive from what looks like early evening deep into the night and then drive for a while in the morning before being told that they are still 3 hours away from Chicago. However, [[FreezeFrameBonus if you look at the officer's State Trooper badges]] and the name of the truck's company, you'll see where they are. They went into Wisconsin.