Film / Role Models

Role Models is a 2008 American comedy film directed by David Wain about two energy drink salesmen who are ordered to perform 150 hours of community service as punishment for various offenses. For their service, the two men work at a program designed to pair kids with adult role models. The film stars Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, and Elizabeth Banks.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Augie's are selfish, judgemental, and highly dismissive of their son and his interests.
    • It doesnt help that one is a stepparent who clearly sees him as unwanted baggage
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Subverted. Augie is "king" for about thirty seconds, before Lady Esplin (Sarah) "kills" him and becomes queen instead.
  • Batman Gambit: Danny and Augie pull this off during the Battle Royale. Danny pretends to be wounded, knowing King Argotron will want to finish him personally. Augie takes this opportunity to eliminate the rest of Argotron's guards and face him one-on-one.
  • Bland-Name Product: Minotaur, an obvious stand-in for Red Bull
  • Bromantic Comedy: Not so much between the main characters but moreover between their respective kids they have to look after.
  • The Casanova/Lovable Sex Maniac: Wheeler. Ronnie is a junior version of this.
  • Catch Phrase: "Game Face!"
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gail Sweeny.
  • Character Development: Danny becomes more willing to do stuff he doesn't normally do and starts to enjoy his life, Wheeler becomes more responsible as a person, Augie becomes more confident and Ronnie becomes less of a foul mouthed douche.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Danny. He's played by Paul Rudd, what did you expect?
    • Gail is a wannabe but most of her snark attempts end up as Metaphorgotten.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Paraphrased in an actual line by Gail and her magical bagel dog.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The purported PSA behind Minotaur's school marketing campaign. Predictably subverted when we see Wheeler privately smoking a joint.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: One thing Wheeler and Ronnie have in common
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Danny won his girlfriend back after he finally began to enjoy his life, Wheeler has a "little brother" of sorts, Augie beat the king of LAIRE and got to be with the girl he liked (who throughout the movie has been getting more and more exasperated in her attempts to be with him) and Ronnie finally has someone to look up to who won't walk out of his life like his dad did. Oh, and neither Danny or Wheeler have to go to jail because Gail used to give the judge assigned to their case blowjobs for drugs.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ronnie, somewhat. Wheeler uses this to his advantage to bond with him.
  • Friendship Denial:
    Wheeler: "You ready, pal?"
    Ronnie: "I ain't your pal, vanilla."
    • And then later with Danny and Wheeler
    Wheeler: "You are a S-H-I-T-T-Y friend.
    Danny: "I am not your friend."
  • Hello, Attorney!: Played by Elizabeth Banks. Hello, indeed.
  • Ironic Birthday
  • Insult Backfire: Danny and Wheeler react to Gail's attempts at abuse more with bemusement than anything else.
    Gail: Well, well, well. If it isn't Mr. Bullshit and Dr. I'm-Full-Of-Shit?
    Wheeler: In what way are we full of shit?
    Danny: Which one of us has the Ph.D?
  • Intercourse with You: Wheeler teaches Ronnie what the songs of KISS are all about.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Danny. The "jerk" part is definitely shown in the barista scene, where he insults the barista who undoubtedly didn't come up with the names.
    • Gail as well - despite being arrogant and authoritative, she still sees the best in Danny and Wheeler.
  • Large Ham: Gail Sweeney, the head of Sturdy Wings. She's a pompous, no-nonsense alcoholic who holds her head high and delivers a condescending speech to Danny and Wheeler.
  • LARP: Despite the running cracks by the other characters not involved with LARP until the royale, it is portrayed as a good, if niche/nerdy, way of social interaction, esp. for someone like Augie who doesn't fit in elsewhere.
  • Mama Bear: Ronnie's mother describes herself as one of these to Wheeler after Ronnie walked all the way home from a party Wheeler took him to.
  • Mouthy Kid: Ronnie, a middle schooler of hilarious retorts and apparently vast cinematographic knowledge.
    Danny: Pick us up in two hours.
    Ronnie: Fuck you, Miss Daisy.
  • No Antagonist: While King Argotron is considered an antagonist, he's merely acting like one for role play. The other characters in the film all have reedeming qualities too.
  • Only Sane Man: Danny usually plays this role.
    • Unfortunately he abdicates this role in the first 20 minutes and becomes simply Jerkass. For a large part of the movie, he isn't even lovable.
  • Running Gag: "Love take me down to the streets..."
    • The constant gay jokes about the guys who play Laire.
    • Ben Affleck.
    • Gail taking every opportunity in every conversation to spuriously work in a reference to her cocaine addiction.
  • Serious Business: LAIRE is the epitome of this trope.
  • Suck E. Cheese's
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Quite a lot during the battle royale.
  • That Came Out Wrong: A running gag is that a character will say something that sounds perverse. Some examples include:
    "It's my job to service these boys."
    "Let us gently touch our tips."
    "Smell that bush"
  • Watch It Stoned: When Wheeler and Connie overdose on Ambien and try to have sex
  • Waxing Lyrical: A character trait of Danny's, with movie quotes and songs. While it is used for a few gags, it seems to be something he defaults to when he can't think of something more honest and real to say in a given situation, like when he's trying to win his girlfriend back or apologize to the King of LAIRE on Augie's behalf.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Danny and Wheeler get so many of these it's not funny. The biggest one is when Wheeler took Ronnie to a party and left him with a guy playing XBOX to get laid, then Ronnie left and walked all the way home.