Film: Space Jam

"Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam!"

This 1996 live-action/animated film is what happens when you base a feature-length film upon a sneaker commercial. Really. Nike had ordered a few commercials featuring Michael Jordan and an animated Bugs Bunny facing off against alien cartoon characters.

In the film, the Looney Tunes must recruit NBA superstar Michael Jordan to play on their basketball team. They need Jordan's help because these aliens called Nerdlucks intend to take them back to their planet, and make them the new attractions for their evil boss Swackhammer's evil theme park. Bugs, noting how tiny the Nerdlucks are, decides to challenge them to a basketball game.

This backfires when it turns out that the Nerdlucks can steal the "talent" from athletes (they do this to NBA players Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Shawn Bradley in one of the movie's many, many subplots). This transforms them into the Monstars (aka —wait for it— The Mean Team). This is where Michael Jordan comes in, but during the time period the film is set in, he had retired to play baseball. Thankfully, he wasn't drained of his skills and had actually just unretired at the time the film was made. note  According to this film, saving the Looney Tunes is the reason why he returned to basketball.

Space Jam was met with mixed reaction by critics, but was successful at the box office, with $230 million worldwide. It's notable for introducing Bugs' girlfriend Lola Bunny, who has been featured in most Looney Tunes projects made since this film. It's not to be confused with Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which is officially a Retcon. It was also one of the earliest movies to feature a tie-in website, which is still running to this day (and has not been updated since 1998).

And remember: This movie is canonnote . Also, there are rumors about a potential sequel being in the works. With Warner Brothers recently trademarking "Space Jam" and LeBron James signing a deal with a company, those rumors have only intensified.

Not related to the jam used in Spaceballs.


Tropes:

  • Adam Westing: Bill Murray freely admits he has no place in this story.
  • Adaptation Expansion: It's basically a feature-length version of an Air Jordan commercial where Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny played basketball against aliens. The director is even the same.
  • Alan Smithee: Possibly. Joe Pytka is credited as the film's director, however many people who worked on the film (mostly the voice actors) have all said Ivan Reitman was the film's actual director, and that Joe Pytka was only a director for the animation. For whatever reason, Pytka got the main director's credit, while Reitman is only credited as a producer.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Both the Monstars and Swackhammer. The Nerdlucks, less so even if they're Stupid Evil.
  • All There in the Manual: The names of the aliens who would become the Monstars, and the name of their pre-Monstar species (Nerdluck).
  • Alternate Tooniverse
  • Amusing Injuries: Done with both the Looney Tunes and the live-action actors. Michael Jordan gets compressed into a ball which is then dribbled, passed and dunked. Stan Podolak gets squashed flat under all five Monstars.
  • Angry Guard Dog: When Bugs and Daffy have to sneak into Michael Jordan's house to get his basketball gear and lucky shorts, Daffy gets to deal with Jordan's very, very angry guard dog.
  • Art Shift: Mr. Swackhammer fantasizing about Jordan working at Moron Mountain. It's kinda scary.
  • As Himself: Jordan and a whole bunch of other celebs and basketballers, which makes sense seeing as who Mike hangs around with all day.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam do this during the second half slapstick montage. It's a direct Shout-Out to Pulp Fiction.
  • Award Bait Song: "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly.
  • Badass Boast: "Hit'em High" is a song-shaped one for the Monstars. The best instance being the chorus:
    We want it all!
    We're unstoppable, we run the floor!
    You can't take none of this hardcore!
    In the game we take you to war!
    You ain't seen nothin' like this before!
    "If I hit 'em high, hit 'em high, hit 'em high"
    "And you hit 'em low, hit 'em low, hit 'em low"
    "If I hit 'em high, hit 'em high, hit 'em high"
    "And you hit 'em low, hit 'em low, hit 'em low"
  • Badass Normal: Played with. Jordan, when compared to his teammates (cartoon characters) and opponents (humongous aliens) he is a mundane human. Then again, he is the greatest player in the history of basketball. And when he learns how to use Toon Physics, well...
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lola Bunny. One of the Monstars as well.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Lola Bunny, as well as the other furry characters in their Tune Squad uniforms. This is lampshaded when Jordan gets his golf cleats stuck to the floorboards and asks if the toons have a pair of basketball shoes he could borrow—cut to a few shots of the toons' feet and baffled looks.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Lola Bunny goes into a basket-busting frenzy whenever anyone calls her "Doll."
    • Jordan has a few of these: Don't call him wussy man, don't call him chicken, don't call him washed up, and especially don't call him baldy. If you think his head blew there get ready for the big one: Don't hit Tweety in front of him.
  • Be the Ball: Happens to Jordan when he first meets the aliens. They invoke this trope to show off their stolen talent.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tweety Bird is surprisingly hostile and mean when not "on set". He also knows kung-fu.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted by Stan, played straight by Bill Murray in a spectacular Deus ex Machina fashion. The latter is Lampshaded hilariously by Swackhammer.
    "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I didn't know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture!"
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: See Lampshade Hanging. Also, Moron Mountain is a spoof of a park that actually has Looney Tunes rides.
  • Body Horror: The Monstars, especially the transformation sequence. it's a frightening transformation.
    • Coupled with Adult Fear when you realize they're just kids with no ill will for anyone.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Near the end of the film, Jordan sarcastically calls Bugs Bunny "Doc".
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After The Monstars acquire the talent and transform we get this exchange.
    Daffy: Those little pipsqueaks turned into Superstars!
    Porky: T-T-T-They're Monsters!
    Slyvester: Sufferin' Succotash! They're Monstars!
  • Bring My Brown Pants: There's a moment after the Nerdlucks have transformed, where one of them boos right in Porky Pig's face. Porky's response is to shriek, piddle (to which a cowbell effect is used), and say to the audience:
    "I-I-I-I-I wet myself."
  • Bull Seeing Red: Used at one point when Daffy Duck paints one of the Monstars' butts with red paint, which attracts the attention of the Bull from Bully For Bugs, who was sitting in the crowd at the time. Cue him ramming said Monstar in the gluteus maximus, sending him into the air screaming.
    Crowd: Ole!
  • Butt Monkey: The film's plot revolves around a threat that for once can overpower even the wiliest of Looney Tunes. Even usually untouchable protagonists such as Bugs and Tweety end up taking a good few lumps here but Daffy gets the worst, as usual.
    Daffy Duck: [Sarcastically] Very funny. Let's all laugh at the Duck.
  • Carload of Cool Kids: Once Michael Jordan regains his feet after a slobbery greeting by his bulldog Charles, some passing young people in a convertible hail him with "Michael!" and wave. (Jordan, still sore about his dismal performance as a baseball player gives no acknowledgement.)
  • Cassandra Truth: At one point, a psychic medium holds a seance with the five basketball players who lost their talents, and sees the entire plot of the movie up to that point. The players don't believe her and go off to try acupuncture.
  • Canon Foreigner/Canon Immigrant: Oddly averted with the Nerdlucks, who haven't appeared in any Looney Tunes media since the movie even though the ending seems to suggest they are taken in by the Tunes and though they are arguably much better suited to be Looney Tunes characters than Lola is. Lola, on the other hand, is played straight for both, as she'd later appear in Baby Looney Tunes, various Looney Tunes tie-in games, and The Looney Tunes Show (which gave her a much Denser and Wackier personality).
  • The Cameo:
    • Most of the crowd in the arena are secondary characters from Looney Tunes shorts.
    • There are numerous cameos from other NBA stars in this film, which just adds to the confusion of whether this is a movie about Looney Tunes that randomly involves basketball, or a movie about Michael Jordan that randomly has the Looney Tunes in it. Those with the largest roles are Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Shawn Bradley, the five players whom the Monstars steal talents from. Larry Bird plays himself as Michael Jordan's golf buddy (a reference to another ad campaign Jordan was involved in). There's also cameos by Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Danny Ainge and Paul Westphal.
    • Television sport commentators Ahmad Rashād and Jim Rome also throw in brief cameos. Patricia Heaton (pre-Everybody Loves Raymond) and Dan Castellaneta are at the Knicks game.
  • The Cast Showoff: Not in the movie itself, but Billy West, who voices Bugs and a majority of the Looney Tunes characters performs a rap song on the soundtrack called "Buggin'", which is all him singing to himself in his Looney Tunes voices.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bill Murray first appears at Jordan's golf game talking about how he'd like to play in the NBA. He next shows up at the Looney Tunes' basketball game in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Chirping Crickets: The reception that Daffy gets during player introductions.
  • Cigar Chomper: Mr. Swackhammer does this as a visual cue of his evilness.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Swackhammer again. He considers kidnapping people from another planet to be a legit business venture.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Nerdlucks/Monstars, who are all a variety of sickly colors, as compared to the mostly white-to-black cartoons.
  • Composite Character: The film makes a few nods to the evolutions of certain Looney Tunes characters. Daffy in particular is a perfect blend of his 1940s and 1950s incarnations, setting up his "Daffy Doc" persona or bursting into fits of "WOO HOO, HOO HOO" when not in his usual egotistical banter with Bugs.
  • Conspicuous CG: Can be seen in the spaceships, many of the backgrounds and when Stan deflates and flies through the air.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The Nerdstars use one to infiltrate basketball games looking for talent. For once, someone notices how strange this disguise is.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Monstars dominate the first half of the game, with the scoreboard itself hanging a lampshade on it, and absolutely decimate the Tunes in the 3rd quarter of the game. After Jordan calls for a time out, we see the various characters in REALLY bad shape, with Tweety resting in an what looks like an iron lung!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jordan:
    Stan: So, what is it (the car)? Too conspicuous?
    Jordan (deadpan voice): Yes.
  • Defeat Means Friendship / Heel-Face Turn: The Nerdlucks/Monstars do this at the end after they lose the game. When the Monstars turn back into the Nerdlucks, they ask Bugs if they can stay with the Looney Tunes and try to prove to him they can be loony.
  • Deus ex Machina: Bill Murray's last minute appearance (see No Fourth Wall). Within universe, the toons stop 40-year-old cartoons due to an important meeting.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The Nerdlucks/Monstars' comeuppance on their boss. When Jordan points out that they don't have to take his abuse, they suddenly realize that they are much bigger and stronger than him and rocket him back to Moron Mountain.
  • Dull Surprise: Jordan isn't very surprised to find himself suddenly confronted by a number of fictional characters, even rolling his eyes at them.
  • Ears as Hair: Lola ties her ears back in a ponytail (qualifies as the page image).
  • Enemy Mine: Either this or they all are Animated Actors. The heroes and foes seemed to be on fairly good terms in the film when outside the classic shorts, and probably it was because all of their future careers were on the line, so they had no choice but to cooperate.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Bill Murray tells Daffy that he's only there because he's a friend of the producer, Pound (The orange Monstar) can be seen in the background, and shakes his head in disgust when Murray mentions this.
  • Evil Wears Black: The transition from Nerdlucks to Monstars leads to them getting black uniforms and sneakers out of nowhere. (which remain when the transformation is reversed...)
  • Evil Plan: The game takes place (and Jordan is roped into it) because Mr. Swackhammer wants new attractions for his theme park, even if it means enslaving the Looney Tunes.
  • Excuse Plot: The film's bizarre plot is really a set up for the Looney Tunes antics, Jordan's precense, and the climatic basketball game with both.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Lola, when Bugs first calls her "doll".
  • Fish out of Water: Jordan stays with the Looney Tunes characters in their universe to help them defeat the Monstars, and then he leaves for home when done.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Nerdlucks/Monstars (most of the roles are more obvious in the Monstar forms)
    • Big Bad: Pound (orange) (clearly The Leader)
    • The Dragon: Bang (green) (even breathes fire like a literal dragon at one point)
    • The Brute: Bupkis (purple) (most physically imposing)
    • Evil Genius: Nawt (red) (seems to be the smartest, though that's not saying much with this group)
    • Token Good Teammate: Blanko (blue) (doesn't seem particularly evil compared to the rest)
  • Five-Man Band: The introductory team:
    • The Leader: Jordan is the basketball veteran and does their training.
    • The Lancer: Bugs Bunny is the biggest name among the toons and (fittingly) has a more comical personality. (these two are interchangeable)
    • The Smart Guy: Daffy Duck. He's the only one that has a problem with drinking the "Secret Stuff". It goes against everything he learned in Health Class.
    • The Big Guy: Tasmanian Devil, aka Taz is the most dangerous of the players.
    • The Chick: Lola Bunny. The only girl on the team and the only one that's not wacky. note 
  • Gaiden Game: Considered canon for Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Bugs' body stiffens and hits the floor with a wood like sound upon meeting Lola.
      • Speaking of that scene, her introduction was rather...interestingly displayed, especially after beating Bugs. She approaches him with bedroom eyes, as one of her shoulder straps had fallen off her shoulder. Then she does a "Hair Flip" with her ears, and leaves the room with an exaggerated sway of her hips. All the while a Sexophone playing in the background. Very subtle, developers.
      • Bugs suggesting a "one-on-one game" with Lola wouldn't sound that bad; unless you take it as a Double Entendre and the fact alone that Bugs is melting at the sight of her.
    • Daffy gets his bath interrupted by the Looney Tunes meeting and exclaims, "What does a guy gotta do to get himself wet around here?!"
    • A montage of the basketball players seeking treatment for their suddenly poor performance on the court. The culmination being when the therapist asks Patrick Ewing if his "performance" has suffered in "any... other... areas?", with Ewing giving him an incredulous look and yelling, "NO!" Tweety Bird even gets some.
    • One of the Nerdlucks describes his time as a Monstar with "what a trip!"
    • When the Tunes are showing Michael their (rather poor) training facilities, one of the things they mention having is balls (as in a locker full of various balls). Michael's response- "You sure do."
    • "This man next to us is doing something very strange in his raincoat."
    • When Lola puts on her Handwraps of Awesome during the Lock and Load Montage, she Gainaxes.
    • This dialogue at the end:
    Michael: Stay out of trouble, Bugs.
    Bugs: Oh, you know I will. (wiggles eyebrows at Lola)
  • Glass Cannon: Bill Murray comes in as a Big Damn Heroes when the team needed a fifth player. He proves to have Awesome by Analysis in identifying a Monstar player weakness and quick enough to psych out another when they recovered the ball in the last few seconds. But he is really exhausted afterward and talks about needing to ice his knees. This is only after ten seconds of play time.
  • G-Rated Drug/Magic Feather: Bugs' Secret Stuff, which is really water, but the toons treat it as steroids. Daffy notes this is wrong. Using the basketball players' talent is made to look like this on the aliens' side.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence:
    • The Nerdlucks transforming into the Monstars makes all of them bigger and muscular.
    • Bugs Bunny later fakes one to convince his teammates that Jordan's Secret Stuff works.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Nerdlucks change sides after they use their Monstar forms to beat the stuffing out of their abusive boss. Afterwards, they join the Toons and return the talent they stole.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Lola's appearance has all the toons (and Jordan) pause momentarily, but Bugs... never quite recovers from seeing her the first time.
  • Hey, You!: Bill Murray isn't properly introduced to Lola, so he just calls her Girl Bunny.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Done in reaction to some of Jordan's plays.
  • Home Field Advantage: The Looney Tunes have the game in their world, which means they have free rein to use all of their wacky and dangerous antics to help them out.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The introduction of Lola Bunny reeks of this.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Most of the movie is devoted to Jordan.
  • Human Knot: Lola Bunny leaves Bugs Bunny in a ridiculous knot when Bugs makes the mistake of pressing Lola's Berserk Button by calling her "doll."
  • I Believe I Can Fly: This trope doesn't appear in the film, but R. Kelly's hit song from the movie is the Trope Namer.
  • Image Song: "Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)" and "Buggin'".
  • Impact Silhouette: Done to the toons and Stan.
  • In-Character Commentaries: One DVD release has it from Bugs and Daffy.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Played with: the Monstars look like monstrous versions of the NBA players whose talents they stole.
  • Inspirational Insult: Occurs twice with Lola Bunny. During the tryouts at Schlesinger's Gym, Bugs Bunny puts the move on Lola, asking, "You wanna play a little one-on-one, doll?" Lola's Fireball Eyeballs signal that she severely dislikes being regarded as a pretty face and nothing more. She quickly leaves Bugs in a ridiculous knot at the foul line, and throws down an impressive jam. Later, during the Ultimate Game, the Monstar Pound challenges Lola, "Try to get by me, doll." After disarranging Pound's face, Lola throws down another strong jam. Notable in that these are the only times that Lola Bunny is seen scoring points.
  • I Resemble That Remark: Said by Foghorn Leghorn (the Trope Namer) when the Monstars visit the Toons' gym to meet and taunt Jordan by calling him a chicken.
  • Ironic Echo: Watch the ending to the basketball game while listening to "I Believe I Can Fly".
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: A variation is used in one of the film's posters with Michael Jordan beside Bugs Bunny and half of their mugs at the left and right side of the poster rather than the usual "split in the middle" version.
  • Kick the Dog: When Tweety stands up for Jordan, the Monstars swat him down.
  • Lampshade Hanging: It's a blatantly commercial movie that ropes WB's stable of beloved cartoon characters into shilling for basketball... but they know this and want you to know that they know. How can you tell? Observe:
    Jordan: You guys are nuts.
    Porky Pig: Ah bu- bu- bu- correction, we're Looney Tunes.
    Daffy Duck: And as such, property of Warner Brothers, Inc.!
    (Daffy lifts up his WB-stamped butt and kisses it.)
    Daffy Duck: Mmmmwah!
    • And this:
    Bugs: Speaking of toys, you know all those mugs and t-shirts lunchboxes with our pictures on em?
    Daffy: Yeah.
    Bugs: You, uh, ever seen any money from all that stuff?
    Daffy: (scoff) Not a cent.
    Bugs: Hm, me neither.
    Daffy: (sigh) It's a crying shame. We gotta get new agents, we're getting screwed.
    Daffy Duck: We've got to get a new agent. We're getting screwed! (This line is ironically edited by splicing out the "we're getting screwed" part when Cartoon Network airs thisnote ).
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Sega Pinball in 1996. Click here for tropes.
  • Liquid Assets: Sports ability can be siphoned out of someone and placed into a basketball for someone else to use.
  • Literal Ass Kissing: See the first Lampshade Hanging example.
  • Lock and Load Montage: When the toons are preparing for the game they gear up in this fashion.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Monstars' Anthem. Despite featuring some amazing rhymes from LL Cool J, Method Man, and more, only the chorus is used.
  • Male Gaze: After beating Bugs at a game between the two of them, Lola leaves the scene in an exaggerated swaying motion with her hips, leaving all the males in the room flabbergasted. And Bugs...he's barely able to stand.
  • Magic Countdown: The final 10 seconds, played to absurdity because this is Looney Toon land.
  • Medium Blending: The live action Jordan interacting with toons in their world, and the toons coming to his world.
  • Merchandise-Driven: As mentioned above, the concept for the film was inspired by a popular series of Nike ads featuring Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters. Warner Bros. also wanted to reinvigorate the Looney Tunes, which had lacked any new material for quite some time and were surviving purely on this trope (given the reaction of the typical Looney Tunes fan, this didn't work out so well). Daffy lampshades this by noting that they are getting screwed, as they haven't been paid for any merchandise. Stan lampshades Jordan's shilling by incorporating every product he has ever endorsed into a single sentence while asking him to wake up and get ready for practice.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The Teaser takes place during Jordan's childhood, then for the main titles shifts to Stock Footage of his basketball career.
  • Mood Whiplash: The beginning of the movie has a very somber scene where a young Michael Jordan is speaking with his father, then he takes a shot at a basketball hoop, which kicks off the movie. This would be great....if it was a documentary about his life. Unfortunately, it segues into the credits, featuring highlights of his career to an upbeat rap. Then there's the press conference with Jordan announcing his retirement, back to being overtly serious. In fact, most of the parts of the movie that involve the real world in a non comedic context are almost devoid of levity, which is rather jarring given the overall premise is a comedy. The players going through psychological tests ("I'm never gonna go out with Madonna again.") and visiting a psychic (see Cassandra Truth) are probably the only real world scenes which try to be funny.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lola Bunny. See Hello, Nurse!.
  • Mythology Gag: There aren't very many direct references to the cartoon plots, but there are a few. For example, when Jordan falls into Looney Tunes land, Daffy shows up dressed as a doctor and gives him a very madcap checkup. This is a reference to The Daffy Doc, which at the time went over the heads of many as that and many other Clampett Era cartoons were rarely rerun when the movie was released.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Nerdlucks might not have thought to do the whole talent-sucking thing if the Loony Tunes hadn't shown them a video that said 'the best players in the world' gathered in one place. Then again, who would have thought they could steal talent?
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Monstars resemble grotesque versions of the players they've stolen the talent from (blue: Shawn Bradley; red: Muggsy Bogues; green: Patrick Ewing; orange: Charles Barkley; purple: Larry Johnson).
  • Nightmare Face: At one point, Taz leers at the camera with bloodshot Mismatched Eyes and snot dripping from his nose.
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • Bill Murray tells Daffy that the whole reason he's in Looney Land is because he was good friends with the producer of the movie. Pound, who's walking past, shakes his head in disgust and Daffy responds with a scoff and "Uh-huh. Well, that's how it goes."
    • When the above happens, Swackhammer mistakes him for Dan Aykroyd.
    • The Tunes examine the Nerdlucks' weakpoints by analyzing a large design chart... the very same line-up used to animate the new characters in the film.
  • No Name Given: The Nerdlucks/Monstars are never given names in the film; however, they are mentioned in the ending credits, toys, and storyboards, they are Pound (the orange one), Blanko (the blue one), Bang (the green one), Bupkus (the purple one) and Nawt (the red one).
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: While charismatic enough to at least hold his own against the Warner Bros. animation pantheon, Michael Jordan still gives exactly the kind of performance one might expect from a professional athlete reading lines in front of a green screen.
  • Non Sequitur Thud:
    • Daffy after getting clobbered. "But Mommy, I don't want to go to school today. I want to stay home and bake cookies with you."
    • "Twinkle, twinkle, little star!" was uttered by Daffy after a run-in with Jordan's dog.
  • Noodle Incident: "I'll never go out with Madonna again."
  • Oh Crap!:
    • The Looney Tunes after the Nerdlucks turn into The Monstars.
    • Also when they learn that the Monstars have stolen the talents from the NBA players. (Stan himself gets a beautiful one when the Monstars catch him spying on them.)
    • A particularly satisfying one comes courtesy of Swackhammer after the game, when the Monstars realize that since they're bigger than him, they don't have to put up with his crap anymore.
  • One-Winged Angel: The weak and tiny Nerdlucks use the talent of basketball players to transform into the powerful and huge Monstars.
  • Placebo Effect: Jordan has the Tune Squad try out his "Secret Stuff" making then think, it'll give them an edge during the remainder of the game, when it's really just water.
  • Power Parasite: How the Nerdlucks become the Monstars: by stealing the talent of famous basketball players.
  • Product Placement: Satirized when Stan tells Jordan, "Put your Hanes on, lace up your Nikes, grab some Wheaties and your Gatorade, we'll go get a Big Mac, on the way to the Ball Park [Franks]." All of those things were products that Michael Jordan had been a sponsor for around that time.
  • Punch Clock Villains: The Nerdlucks, aka the Monstars. They only compete against the Looney Tunes because Swackhammer threatened them and wanted them in his theme park by any means possible. When they realize that they're physically bigger than him by the end of the film, they toss him back to Moron Mountain and ask the Looney Tunes characters if they can stay with them.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Just with a different rabbit or two.
  • Rule of Funny: Runs on it, literally. This is Loony Toon land. They can do strange things because it's funny and the Big Bad wants them because he wants to add comedy to his theme park.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Lola Bunny, because Bugs Bunny needs to be romantically infatuated.
  • Self-Deprecation: The Looney Tunes being Merchandise-Driven.
    Bugs: Speaking of toys, you know all those mugs and t-shirts lunchboxes with our pictures on em?
    Daffy: Yeah.
    Bugs: You, uh, ever seen any money from all that stuff?
    Daffy: (scoff) Not a cent.
    Bugs: Hm, me neither.
    Daffy: (sigh) It's a crying shame. We gotta get new agents, we're getting screwed.
  • Sexophone: Plays at one point during Lola's introduction scene.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Lola appears in a form of this upon entering the arena for the game.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Having lost the Ultimate Game to the Looney Tunes, the Monstars surrender their Liquid Assets and shrink to Nerdluck size. Their Monstar uniforms do not shrink, leaving the Nerdlucks unclothed. Pound lampshades this: "My clothes don't fit."
  • Slapstick: The opening of the second half of the game; Looney Tunes make their comeback with this.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Averted with Lola but played straight with Granny.
  • Slasher Smile: The Nerdlucks get pretty damn good ones, both comedic and non-comedic.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The beginning of Bugs's meeting with the other Looney Tune characters on how to deal with the Nerdlucks is visually right out of Patton.
    • During the exams, Larry Johnson mentions being that his grandmother can play better than him. At the time, Johnson played the Grandmama in a Converse commercial.
    • Sam and Elmer shoot out Bupkis' teeth while dressed in tuxedos and sunglasses to the tune of "Misirlou", an obvious shout out to Pulp Fiction.
    • The dunk that wins the game for the Tune Squad is a reference to Michael Jordan's famous buzzer beaters.
    • The stadium housing the game is "Leon Schlesinger Gym" after the producer of the early Merry Melodies\Looney Tunes cartoons.
    • When the Nerdlucks are scouting talent to steal, they pile into a trench coat, fedora, and multicolor scarf reminiscent of another well known alien visitor., particularly the version played by Tom Baker.
  • Small Annoying Creature: The brief cameo of Sniffles the Mouse late in the movie. Blanko smashes him with a basketball while he was talking about his views on the sport. There's Fridge Brilliance here: Michael's plan worked. Sniffles managed to annoy the Monstars into turning the ball over.
  • Smooch of Victory: Bugs prevents Pound from crushing Lola via Heroic Sacrifice and she thanks him with a kiss.
  • Sore Loser: When the Monstars lose the game, Mr. Swackhammer insults and kicks them.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • The game opens by playing "Get Ready for This".
    • When Bugs enters the court and when Lola scores against Pound, the toon side stomps-and-claps "We Will Rock You"
    • When Jordan enters the court it plays a snippet of "Everybody Dance Now".
    • When Elmer and Sam go MIB on Bubkis, "Misirlou" from Pulp Fiction plays.
  • The Stinger/That's All, Folks!: Bugs comes up and says it when the credits end, but then Porky shows up to say it himself. Daffy interrupts and tries to say it, but the Nerdlucks knock him down and say it. Jordan then appears in his Tune Squad jersey, asking, "Can I go home, now?"
  • Take That:
  • Tempting Fate: "Too bad you couldn't practice getting taller, boys!" And then...
    • "I'm gonna personally guarantee that no one will bother you." Just then, the Nerdniks' spaceship flew by.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Anyone who loathes Lola uses this as an excuse.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: In a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment during the 'Basketball Jones' scene, a shrink asks Patrick Ewing if he is having this problem. He angrily responds with a 'No!'
  • Theme Naming: The Nerdlucks' names from the original draft were related to "zero", and some still count in a way: Null (Bang), Void (Blanko), Zilch (Pound), Nada (Nawt), and Bupkus (the same, given it's "nothing" in Yiddish). All of them have zeroes on their uniforms.
  • This Means Warpaint: Tweety Pie daubs on eye black in the locker room during the Lock and Load Montage before the Ultimate Game.
  • Token White: Shawn Bradley is the only white player whose talent is stolen. This is something Bill Murray brings up when talking with Michael about his own chances in the NBA.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Nerdlucks, especially the blue one.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Most of Looney Tunes' Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains pull off rather awesome moves in this film (Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and Wile. E Coyote). Look under the Crowning Moment of Awesome tab for more details.
  • Toon Town: The Looney Tunes have their own in the center of the Earth. No, really.
    • Interestingly enough, portions of their Tooniverse also extend into deep reaches of space what with the animated alien creatures and all.
  • Transformation Sequence: Nerdlucks becoming the Monstars. Also, it's scary.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Past: The movie is mostly set in 1993, and ends with Jordan's return in 1995.
  • Understatement: "Eh, I think we may need a little help."
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Monstars' style of play — and the 'Toons retaliation. Also, the real-life NBA stars who visited the set to play with Jordan... the on-court action was brutal. Marvin doesn't call a single foul against either team in the entire game, despite blatant hits with intent to injure and flagrant tampering with the court.
  • Vocal Dissonance: When Hubie the mouse takes over the role of sports commentator, his voice suddenly becomes sonorous.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: As noted in the opening, the film covers Michael Jordan's retirement from basketball in favor of baseball and ends with him returning to basketball. In real life, these events took place, but they involved fewer cartoon characters and alien slavers. Thus, the Looney Tunes and Nerdlucks could be interpreted as Gumps.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Near the end of the ball game, Bupkis smacks referee Marvin the Martian in the face and sends him flying offscreen, and Marvin does not appear for the rest of the film. It's likely Marvin was hurt pretty badly and had to leave the rest of the game due to his injuries.
  • You Didn't Ask: When Jordan finds out that Cartoon Physics apply to Real World people as well in Tune-land. "Ten seconds to go? Thanks for telling me... Doc."

Bugs: Well, dat's all, Folks.
Porky: Hey, th-th-that's my line! A-th-th-th—
Daffy: Stand aside, Bub! Let a star do this! THAT'S ALL, F—
Nerdlucks: That's all, Folks!