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->''"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"''
-->-- '''The Writer''', finishing off his novel

''Stand by Me'' is a 1986 ComingOfAge film directed by Creator/RobReiner and based on the novella ''The Body'', from the collection ''Literature/DifferentSeasons'' by Creator/StephenKing (Yes, [[NightmareFuel THAT]] Stephen King). Set in the fictional Castle Rock, Oregon (Maine in the original story) in 1959, the film is told through the recollections of the main character, Gordie Lachance, now a freelance writer.

The twelve-year-old Gordie (Creator/WilWheaton) and his friends Chris Chambers (Creator/RiverPhoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Creator/CoreyFeldman), and Vern Tessio (Creator/JerryOConnell) journey into the woods near their home to look for the body of a boy named Ray Brower, who was struck by a train while picking berries. Through the boys' misadventures and conversations, the viewer learns about each character's personality. Each of the boys, for varying reasons, live in the shadow of their fathers and older brothers. Gordie's talent for storytelling (as illustrated by his improvised short story '[[StoryWithinAStory The Revenge of Lard-Ass Hogan]]') pegs him as the most likely of the four to have a promising future.

The film contrasts the four main characters, who are depicted as well-meaning and relatively virtuous, with a gang of bullies called the 'Cobras', who are led by local hood 'Ace' Merrill (Creator/KieferSutherland).

The incredible AllStarCast featured, in addition to all of the above, Creator/JohnCusack as Gordie's older brother and Creator/RichardDreyfuss as adult Gordie in the FramingDevice.

See 1995's ''Film/NowAndThen'' for basically the [[GenderFlip girl version]].
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!!''Stand by Me'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbusiveParents: Teddy's ear is disfigured due to his father's pressing it down on a hot stove in a drunken rage. Chris's father is also violently abusive, and Gordie's is emotionally abusive, clearly favoring Gordie's older brother over him, despite the fact that said brother is dead.
* AdaptationalBadass: Played straight and inverted with Gordie.
** In the novella, Chris is the one who pulls the gun on Ace and threatens to kill him. In the film, it's done by Gordie.
** On the other hand, in the novel ''Gordie'' is the one who pulls Teddy off the tracks when he is trying to dodge the train. In the movie it's Chris.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Chris, and his family, are shunned and put down by most of the town.
* AngryGuardDog: The legendary Chopper, who is said to be trained to attack with [[GroinAttack anatomical precision]].
* BerserkButton: Teddy goes ballistic after Milo Pressman calls his father a "looney".
* BewareOfViciousDog: [[spoiler:Subverted. Turns out, for all of their fears and all of the stories, the dog was never that bad.]]
* BigBrotherInstinct: Chris, towards Gordie.
* BigBrotherMentor: Denny was this to Gordie.
** Gordie's relationship with Denny was positive in the novella, but they weren't nearly as close as they are in the film and Denny isn't as outwardly loving to his kid brother. For example, Movie!Denny tries to bring up Gordie's accomplishments in dinnertime conversation with the parents, but no mention is made of Book!Denny doing the same.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Gordie and Chris eventually stop hanging out with Teddy and Vern. Chris managed to be better than his family, but was killed while trying to break up a fight. And a grown up Gordie is an apparently wealthy writer and has a good relationship with his own son.]]
* BoringReturnJourney: Granted, they used a rough path on the main journey, but their return after the climax of the film is only glossed over. It's over in a single scene, and Gordie mentions "we barely spoke" on the way back anyways.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Some TV broadcasts change the final line visible on Gordie's computer monitor to remove the mention of God.
* ButtMonkey: Vern is overweight, emotionally sensitive, and rather easily scared. He gets this a lot, even from his friends.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally. The handgun that Chris shows Gordie before the boys start their trip is only used threateningly when [[spoiler: Ace and his gang show up and Gordie(movie)/Chris(book) uses it to scare them off]].
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Teddy. He often says completely random things, and he has absolutely no regard for his personal safety.
* DeadpanSnarker: Teddy. Gordy too, older self included.
* {{Delinquents}}: Ace's gang to a T. They spend their days playing "mailbox baseball", playing chicken with truck drivers, driving drunk, and God knows what else.
* DiesWideOpen: The late Ray Brower is found by the boys this way. They cover his face with debris.
* DisasterDominoes: In Gordie's campfire story, "Lard-Ass Hogan" gets revenge for being bullied by puking his guts out during a pie-eating contest, causing everyone around him to do the same.
* DramaticGunCock: Gordie defending himself against Ace and his switchblade knife, [[GunsDoNotWorkThatWay despite having just fired a shot]] (the hammer is cocked automatically by the slide when fired).
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Gordie's NightmareSequence (see below).
* DysfunctionJunction: This film cracks the mask of the seemingly picture-perfect and wholesome EverytownAmerica of the 1950s open with a baseball bat.
* EthicalSlut : Played with, in the Cobras' conversation.
--> All she'll let me do is feel her tits.
--> Ace: That's because she's a Catholic. They're all like that. If you wanna get laid, find yourself a Protestant. *{{Beat}}* Jew's good.
* {{Expy}}: Gordie lost a brother, grew apart from his parents because of it, and became an author, similar to [[Literature/{{IT}} Bill Denbrough]].
** Ace is a knife-wielding sociopathic bully from the 50s, much like [[Literature/{{IT}} Henry Bowers]].
* EverybodySmokes: They're 12, but all of the main four smoke. Even the generally wholesome lead, and the timid chubby one. Actually pretty common given the setting of the late 1950s/early 1960s.
* TheFifties: Although the book takes place in 1960, the movie is set in the summer of 1959.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The "goocher" (all coins coming up Tails) is implied to have much more significance in the novella, especially considering how on the last coin toss, [[spoiler:Chris, Vern and Teddy all flip a Tails again]].
* FourManBand
** OnlySaneMan: Chris.
** TheSmartGuy: Gord.
** The Pervert: Teddy.
** ButtMonkey: Vern.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble
** Sanguine - Vern
** Choleric - Teddy
** Melancholic - Gordie
** Phlegmatic - Chris
* FramingDevice[=/=]NostalgicNarrator: The Writer (aka the adult Gordie, played by Creator/RichardDreyfuss) recalls and narrates the events of the film after learning that [[spoiler:Chris was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight at a restaurant]].
* FreeRangeChildren: The kids are all on their own through most of the story traveling with only a days' worth of provisions. This is explained away by most of them coming from households full of some kind of neglect, so their parents aren't going to care.
* FurryConfusion: DiscussedTrope; the boys express confusion that both Goofy and Pluto appear to be dogs.
* GangOfBullies: The Cobras in typical fifties fashion.
* GirlyRun: Used by Wil Wheaton as an acting technique.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: This being the fifties, all the teens and kids smoke like chimneys with Ace and his gang naturally being the evil version. The amount of smoking is espcially surprising given that this is a Rob Reiner picture.
** Handwaved by WordOfGod on the DVD commentary. The "cigarettes" were made of lettuce leaves.
* GroinAttack: If there are worse places on the human body to find a leech, we can't think of them. No wonder Gordie [[{{fainting}} faints]].
** "Chopper, sic balls!"
* HypotheticalFightDebate: The boys discuss whether WesternAnimation/MightyMouse could beat up Franchise/{{Superman}}.
-->'''Teddy:''' Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman is a real guy.
* IllKillYou: Said by Teddy to Milo Pressman, and later by Gordie to Ace Merrill.
* InstantLeechJustFallInWater: The boys become covered in leeches when crossing the river to take a shortcut. Gordie even ends with one on his crotch, causing him to faint.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Ace and his gang are the worst of them. They're a group of hardened deliquents who show no regard to the people they get hurt.
** Milo, the junkyard owner, who doesn't see anything wrong with hurting children just for trespassing.
** Teddy Duchamp zigzags between this and a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Chris Chambers and Teddy Duchamp (arguably in the latter case). As insensitive as they get, they do care for each other and don't leave the others behind.
* KarmaHoudini: Ace and his gang get no immediate comeuppance for threatening Gordie and his friends with a knife.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: The climax of the movie. [[spoiler:Ace realizes that approaching the dead kid with a gun pointed at him by Chris (in the book) or Gordie (in the movie) is going to get him shot, and it's simply not worth it. Ace vows that [[WeWillMeetAgain the four boys are going to pay for it]], though.
* TheLoad: Vern, especially on the RailroadTracksOfDoom.
* LovableJock: Denny was a star football player and flashbacks show him as an extremely nice and caring older brother and the only one, aside from Chris, who encouraged Gordie in his writing.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: In the night, the four boys hear piercing cries in the woods that might be a wildcat or some other animal....and might be Ray Brower's screaming ghost. Gordie, half in and out of sleep, sees—or thinks he sees—"something white and shapeless steal through the trees like a grotesquely ambulatory bedsheet." (Given that this ''is'' adapted from Stephen King story, there's no telling what it actually was.)
* MetaCasting: Wil Wheaton, in an interview, posited this as a large part of the reason for the film's success:
--> "Creator/RobReiner found four young boys who basically were the characters we played. [[Creator/WilWheaton I]] was awkward and nerdy and shy and uncomfortable in my own skin and really, really sensitive, and [[Creator/RiverPhoenix River]] was cool and really smart and passionate and even at that age kind of like a father figure to some of us, [[Creator/JerryOConnell Jerry]] was one of the funniest people I had ever seen in my life, either before or since, and [[Creator/CoreyFeldman Corey]] was unbelievably angry and in an incredible amount of pain and had an absolutely terrible relationship with his parents.
* TheMillstone: Vern's cowardice had held the boys back several times. It also almost gets Gordie and himself run over by an oncoming train when he won't get up and run out of fear of falling off the bridge.
* MostWritersAreWriters: Gordie. This is a Stephen King adaptation, after all.
* NightmareSequence: Gordie dreams of his father saying "Should've been you, Gordon," at Denny's funeral.
* NoodleIncident: Gordie says to Chris, "Remember that time you saved [Teddy] in the tree?" (In the novella, that incident is vividly described[[note]]Teddy falls while climbing a tree, and Chris just barely manages to catch him (by the hair!) before he's fallen more than a few feet[[/note]], but in the film, it's not.)
* OhCrap: ''"[[BigWordShout TRAAAAAIN!]]"''
* ParentalAbandonment: Only the hopelessly naive Verne has ''any'' semblance of a happy family.
** Although he does have a jerkass older brother.
** Gordie's parents barely can bring themselves to respond to his presence.
* ParentalFavoritism: Gordie's parents visibly favored Denny over Gordie, to the point of barely acknowledging Gordie's existence at all.
* PinkySwear: Chris really ''really'' didn't know the gun was loaded.
* PrecisionFStrike: Sorta. He doesn't ACTUALLY say a swear, but the line is so spot-on that it FEELS like one of these.
--->'''Gordie:''' "Suck my fat one, you cheap dime-store hood!"
** Also see YourMom below.
* RacingTheTrain: The boys race a train on foot.
* RailroadToHorizon: Setting out on the journey.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: The bridge scene. Teddy and Chris make it across just fine, but Vern is so scared of falling that he crawls along the tracks with Gordie behind him. About halfway across, a train starts barreling towards them, at which point Vern and Gordie have to haul ass to make it across without being crushed.
* RealSongThemeTune: Ben E. King's classic "Stand By Me" song [[RevivalByCommercialization made the Top 10 chart all over again thanks to its use in the film]].
* RoadTripPlot: While none of the four boys are even old enough to drive, the whole movie is centered around their journey outside of Castle Rock to find a dead body.
* RunningGag: "Two for flinching."
* SadistTeacher: [[spoiler: One topic mentioned frequently throughout the first-half of the movie is how Chris stole money from the class. During a talk with Gordie, he reveals he'd given the money back to their teacher, but the teacher decided to spend the money on herself and still accuse Chris of stealing the money, knowing everyone would believe he did it due to his family's bad reputation.]]
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the story with the case of Mr. Brooks, who's "the biggest pussy in Castle Rock Elementary--he would just about cry if you sassed him back."
* SeinfeldianConversation: Half the conversations the boys have.
--> '''Vern:''' Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?
--> '''Teddy:''' What are you, cracked?...Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Superman is a real guy.]]
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Gordie and Chris; Vern and Teddy.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Teddy's father didn't quite entirely come back from WWII.
* ShoutOut : To Ralph Ellison's ''Literature/InvisibleMan'', which Gordy feels like after he reads it.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Vern and Teddy. Vern dies in a house fire in the book, and Teddy kills himself and others by driving drunk. Both are still alive in the FramingDevice of the movie.]]
* SteamNeverDies: It's highly unlikely that a railroad would still be using steam locomotives in 1959, unless it was a short line railroad.
* StoryWithinAStory: "The Revenge of Lard-Ass Hogan."
* TheStoryteller: Gordie, a young and imaginative writer.
* TeamDad: Chris. Who is quick to comfort Gordie when he feels down.
* TitledAfterTheSong: After "The Body" was judged to be an unsuitable title--the studio was afraid moviegoers would think it was either about [[EroticFilm sex]] or bodybuilding--the title from the Ben E. King song was picked.
* TooDumbToLive:
** The scene where Teddy tries to dodge a train. Specifically, he stands in front of the tracks because he wants to dodge the train a few seconds before it speeds over him. Until Chris forcefully drags him off the tracks, with Teddy still angrily resisting.
** When on the RailroadTracksOfDoom, Gordie and Vern (who is crawling on all fours at the time) end up having to outrun a train. Vern's reaction? ''Crawl faster.''
** As well as a few seconds later.
--> '''Vern:''' I'm gonna fall!
--> '''Gordie:''' WE'RE GONNA DIE, DAMMIT!
* TotallyRadical: Averted. Both King and Reiner grew up in the period in which it was set, and they realized that young kids tend to curse like sailors as they do here, especially when they're on their own.
* TreehouseOfFun: The boys hang out in one of these at the beginning of the film.
* {{Troll}}: Milo, when he taunts Teddy about [[BerserkButton his dad being a "loony".]]
* TrueCompanions: A quintessential example of the four friends who travel to find the body.
* TheUnfavorite: Gordie's parents never show much affection to him, preferring Gordie's older brother. In flashbacks, it shows they didn't pay much attention to him, anyway. As it is, Denny (the brother) was the one who paid the most attention to him.
* VomitChainReaction: The 'Lard-Ass' story.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: The 'Lard-Ass' story.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Gordie desperately wants his father's love and not to feel like his father hates him.
* WeWillMeetAgain: Ace says this after Gordie pulls the gun on him. While it's not depicted in the film, King's original story has Ace and his gang giving each of the boys a CurbStompBattle after they return to town.
* WhatTheHellHero: While Ace has no problem threatening kids Gordie's age with knives, he thinks Gordie holding him and his friends at gunpoint is taking things too far.
--> '''Ace:''' We're not gonna forget this, if that's what you're thinking. This is big time baby.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Gordie narrates everyone's fate at the end.
** Chris [[spoiler:became a successful lawyer and was recently stabbed while trying to break up a fight in restaurant.]]
** Teddy [[spoiler:was denied by the Army due to his eyesight and ear and was now an ex-con working odd jobs.]]
** Vern [[spoiler: gets married, has four kids and settles down with a simple job (dies in a house fire in the novella).]]
* YouKnowImBlackRight: At the beginning of the movie, Chris, Teddy, and Gordie are sitting in their tree-house, playing cards, when Chris decides to tell a joke:
-->'''Chris:''' How do you know if a Frenchman has been in your back yard?
-->'''Teddy:''' Hey, I'm French, okay?
-->'''Chris:''' Your garbage cans are empty and your [[BestialityIsDepraved dog's pregnant.]]
-->''[Chris and Gordie laugh]''
-->'''Teddy:''' Didn't I just say I was French?
* YourMom: Lampshaded by the adult Gordie's narration, in which he comments that "finding new and disgusting ways to insult a friend's mother was always held in high regard." Also played straight:
-->'''Chris:''' Why don't you go home and [[PrecisionFStrike fuck your mother]] some more?
-->'''Ace:''' ''[pulls out a knife]'' You're dead.
** Gordie pulls out a nice one to smack a children's rhyme in the face.
-->'''Gordie:''' Shut up.
-->'''Chris, Teddy, and Vern, in unison:''' I don't shut up! I grow up! And when I look at you, I throw up! AACCKK!
-->'''Gordie:''' And then your mother comes and licks it up.
* YouShouldHaveDiedInstead: The inescapable knowledge that his parents cared much more about Denny than they ever have about him leads Gordie to dream about his father telling him, "It should have been you, Gordon."
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