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Film: Snakes on a Plane

"Enough is enough! I have HAD IT with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane! Everybody strap in; I'm about to open some fuckin' windows!"

The 2006 "Psychological Thriller" Snakes on a Plane does pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A witness to a murder of a prosecutor gets hunted by Asian Hawaiian gangsters, so the FBI puts him under the escort of agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) as he flies from Hawaii to California to testify. The gangsters come up with an unusual method of trying to bring the plane down: they unleash snakes on the plane during the flight to try and bring it down before it gets to California. Lots of people die, sacrifices get made to save lives, and Flynn kicks reptilian ass.

The movie turned out exactly as ludicrous as the premise and title sound, and it reveled in its So Bad Its Good-ness, with cheesy glowing effects, Gory Discretion Shots, and tons of snakes. When the studio wanted to give it a serious title (Pacific Air Flight 121) and turn it into a more serious horror/action film, Jackson threatened to quit the project altogether. When the absurd title gained popularity with Internet nerds and became a huge online meme, the studio turned the film into a dark-comedy horror/action film, refilmed several scenes to add new lines (including the now-infamous page-topping quote), and had the rating changed from PG-13 to R to accomodate the newfound audience. While the nerd-hype failed to translate into large-scale box office success, Snakes on a Plane did ultimately make a profit.

In 2010, an actual plane crashed in the Congo due to a panic caused by an escaped crocodile. How many passengers survived? One (plus the crocodile, which an emergency response unit promptly slaughtered with machetes after arriving at the scene).

In 2012, it happened for real, though only one snake showed up. Then it happened again in Scotland. Again, only one showed up.

This time...


Snakes on a Plane provides examples of these motherfucking tropes (on this motherfucking site):

  • Animal Assassin: Taking this trope Up to Eleven is the whole point of the film.
  • Anyone Can Die: Unless you're Samuel L. Jackson.
    • Honestly, it could be argued that there wasn't enough death in the film. Out of the 20 named characters on the plane, only 8 die.
  • Armor Is Useless: Mentioned in the article, armor is often only useful when concealed. The witness is bitten by a snake that had escaped notice and turns out to be wearing body armor.
  • Artistic License - Biology: Snakes in reality act NOTHING like the snakes on this plane.
  • Ascended Meme: Seemingly out of nowhere, the internet pounced upon the pitch and made it a Memetic Badass of a movie. With a proven audience, the obvious thing to do was to make it.
  • Asshole Victim: Paul, the obnoxious dog-hating businessman.
  • Badass: Did you not see who stars in this thing?
  • Black Dude Dies First: Extremely averted.
  • Becoming the Boast: All those flight hours Troy logged? They were on a PS2 game. Nevertheless, he's able to successfully land the plane.
  • Book Ends: "What was the first thing I ever said to you?"
  • Camping a Crapper: The Death by Sex and Groin Attack victims are attacked in the airline's lavatory.
  • Camp Straight: The male steward.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Troy is not a pilot but when both pilots are killed by snakes, he is forced to land the plane. Flynn even tells Mission Control this.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Flynn's "Enough is enough" rant. See the quote above.
  • Continuous Decompression: The result of "open[ing] some fuckin' windows".
  • Convenient Decoy Cat: Inverted. The luggage inspection dogs detect the snakes, but the handlers think they're just barking at a hissing cat and move on. Come to think of it, the bad guys may have planted that cat there for that purpose.
  • Crash Course Landing
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Pointed out by numerous characters. There's no way anyone would see this coming, and as Samuel L. Jackson himself points out, the snakes don't even have to bite the witness. They can just as easily cause the plane to crash by getting in the wiring.
  • Death by Pragmatism: The poster child for this trope. If you're being attacked by hungry giant snakes, throwing a dog to them may not be the best choice.
  • Death by Sex: Among the innocent passengers on the plane are a young couple who are all over each other before the plane even takes off. Guess who dies first.
  • Death in the Clouds
  • Die Hard on a Plane With Snakes on It
  • Dramatic Landfall Shot
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This movie has snakes. Those snakes are on a plane. There's your premise. A shining example of this trope; which provides the image for that page, and was the main reason Samuel L. Jackson was involved.
  • Eye Scream: Two in fact, a woman is bitten in the eye and a man is sprayed in the eyes with poison causing foam to pour from them.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Executive Meddling nearly saddled the movie with the decidedly non-awesome title Pacific Air Flight 121, until Samuel L. Jackson threatened to quit in protest.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At one point in the movie, a person picks up a snake and throws it into an oven in the airplane galley, then hits a random button and cooks the snake. Pause right as the finger is about to hit the button, and you'll see the button actually reads "Snake."
    • After Jackson "opens up a fucking window", when the python (which had previously eaten a man) gets sucked out, you can see a human shaped bulge in it.
  • Gag Boobs: The chick of the first couple to be killed has a pretty impressive rack. When they are attacked by snakes, one of them bites her on the nipple. The species of snake that bit her was apparently a 'milk snake'.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: FX had "monkey-fighting" snakes on a "Monday-to-Friday" plane, followed by "fricking" windows.
  • Gory Discretion Shot
  • Groin Attack: Victim number 3 learns the hard way why you should NOT use the toilet when there are snakes on a motherfucking plane.
    "Fucking snake, get off my dick!"
  • Hand Wave: The snakes' behavior is handwaved as them reacting to giveaway leis sprayed with pheromones.
    "Great. Snakes on crack."
  • Hate Sink: Being a killer-animal story, there's Paul, a businessman who is obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious and only exists so the audience can cheer when he dies. In contrast, the guy who put the snakes on the plane simply disappears from the narrative entirely because there's no believable way to put him on the plane after take-off, and extending the action beyond what the audience came for would have probably induced Ending Fatigue.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? / Girlfriend in Canada: The very effeminate air steward mentions his girlfriend a couple times. No one buys it. But subverted at the end, when his very real, very hot girlfriend shows up at the end and he kisses her passionately enough to kill all doubt.
  • He Knows Too Much
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The flight attendant who gets bitten while rescuing the baby.
  • High Concept: The entire concept is practically encapsulated in its title.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Love the film? Then you'll definitely love the bloopers.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Kenan Thompson's character (Troy) is called upon to land the plane after all of the snakes have been eradicated. He's been playing a PSP flight simulator throughout the trip, and he says he got his training from it... even though his brother has the high score. Also, he doesn't do an expert job, to say the least.
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.: Used a lot.
  • Infant Immortality: Even if it takes a Heroic Sacrifice or two to maintain this trope. Although one kid did get bitten, albeit not killed.
  • It's the Only Way, lampshaded: The villain releases a bunch of snakes onto a single plane to catch one kid who may have been the witness to the murder he committed. One of his lackeys questions whether or not it was all worth it, and he responds with "Don't you think I've exhausted every other option?!"
    • On the heroic side, Jackson's character tells the plan to his superiors at the FBI, to which they respond, "What kind of insane plan is that?"
  • Mile-High Club
  • Kick the Dog: A quite literal example appears when the snakes are let loose on the plane and one businessman throws a Spoiled Sweet's chihuahua into their path so that he can get himself out of there safely. Made especially bad as the dog in question had earlier saved its owner by driving the snakes away from her while she was unconscious, and to top it off it was a futile move as the massive snake swallowed it whole in less time than it took to throw the poor thing. Have a nice Karmic Death, buddy!
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Crime boss Eddie Kim is shown practicing karate while ordering the titular plan. Could have been a Chekhov's Gun for an eventual Kung Fu faceoff with Samuel L. Jackson, but nope.
  • Mistaken for Gay: The film's only plot twist.
  • The Mockbuster: The Asylum's Snakes On A Train. Totally not kidding. Then you have Cats on a Plane.
  • Nerd: Averted. Dr. Steven Price, the snake expert consulted by the FBI, is a bit eccentric (which Ph.D isn't?), but is professional, calm and collected, basically gives the FBI their most important leads and greatly assists medical personnel with treatment. He manages to communicate his expertise to laypeople quickly, in terms they understand, without coming across as an arrogant asshole or using Spock Speak — professional, but clearly understands that people's lives are at stake. Dr. Price should be the model for film scientists everywhere.
  • Oscar Bait: Played for Laughs during the MTV movie awards:
    Samuel L Jackson: I'm here tonight to present the award everyone's been waiting for: best movie. This award holds a special place in my heart because next year I'll be winning it for Snakes on a Plane. Now I know, I know that sounds cocky, but I don't give a damn. I'm guaranteeing that Snakes on a Plane will win best movie next year. Does not matter what else is coming out. New James Bond... no snakes in that! Ocean's 13... where my snakes at? Shrek the Third... green, but not a snake. No movie shall triumph over Snakes on a Plane. Unless I happen to feel like making a movie called Mo' Motha-fuckin' Snakes on Mo' Motha-fuckin' Planes.
  • One-Liner: Other than the infamous "Enough is enough! I have had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!", there's also Samuel L. Jackson's "ALL PRAISES TO THE PLAYSTATION!"
    • "WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW BITCH!?"
    • "Great, snakes on crack!"
  • Orifice Evacuation
  • Pac Man Fever: A console flight sim isn't complex enough to teach anyone how to fly a plane. A game like Microsoft Flight Simulator might, but there aren't really any flight games on consoles sophisticated enough to simulate real flight; it would be the equivalent of learning how to drive with Gran Turismo. See I Know Mortal Kombat above.
  • Product Placement: Taken to an absurd extreme, from the slow-motion drinking of Red Bull in the opening sequence to the Pepsi bottle careening toward the camera on a steward's cart.
    • Forget that, there's one shot where someone opens their MacBook laptop, causing the entire Apple logo to fill the screen for a solid three seconds.
    • "All praises to the Playstation!"
    • Averted with the flight simulator Troy mentions as it doesn't exist.
  • Red Herring: One of the passengers is an Asian guy with tattoos and a suspicious arm wound, he looks like he'd be the kind of guy Eddie Kim would employ. But, it turns out he's just another passenger in danger like the rest of them. He even saves someone from a snake with his bare hands.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The villain's plan: it's such a ridiculous plan, who would ever have seen it coming, believed it, or safeguarded against it?
    "Don't you think I exhausted every other option?!"
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: But they're not the only ones in this movie who are...
  • Retirony: Two stewardesses are on their last flight. It's pretty much a given that the one who specifically mentions that they put off retiring for one last flight is going to die. The other one is planning on retiring to go to law school (as opposed to outright retiring). She lives.
  • Rule of Cool: Samuel L. Jackson. 'Nuff said.
  • Seldom Seen Species: One of the snakes that invades the cockpit is a Gaboon viper.
  • Sexy Stewardess: Tiffany and Claire both certainly qualify.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: In full effect. Start with Death by Sex, followed by Retirony, followed by the man who throws a dog at the snakes.
  • Suck Out the Poison
  • Terrified of Germs The rapper is very much so.
  • Together in Death: Among the passengers are a pair of newlyweds flying back from their honeymoon. They get bitten around the same time and die in each other's arms.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Eddie Kim.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The TV broadcast version gave us this line:
    Samuel L Jackson: Enough is enough! I have HAD IT with these monkey-fightin' snakes on this Monday to Friday plane! Everybody strap in; I'm about to open some freaking windows!
    • And, even more weirdly, "Son of a Basque!"
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Eddie Kim, the gangster who released the snakes, disappears completely from the film after releasing said eponymous limbless reptiles onto the aforementioned fixed-wing aircraft. But it's mentioned that, in their hunt to find the anti-venom, the authorities gathered enough evidence to charge Eddie with attempted murder for the whole flight...to the point that his only choices after a trial will be the needle or the gas chamber.
    • The novelization actually has him tortured to death by a sexy, sadistic Triad assassin sent by his superiors. She chains him to a hotel bed and threatens to inject him with pure cobra venom, albeit after doing things to him that she claims will have him begging for the venom before she's through.
  • Voodoo Shark: The snakes being so vicious is explained by pheromones, which still raises questions.


I've had it with these motherfucking tropes in this motherfucking article! Everybody press the 'Back' button! I'm about to open some new fucking pages.

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alternative title(s): Snakes On A Plane
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