Film: Superbad

You know when you hear girls say 'Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn't have fucked that guy?' We could be that mistake!

Superbad is a 2007 teen comedy written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who began working on it when they were in high school and named the main characters after themselves), directed by Greg Mottola and produced by Judd Apatow.

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are best friends, seniors in high school who are going off to different colleges next year. It's their life's ambition to get laid before they leave high school. To achieve this, they volunteer to bring the alcohol to an end-of-the-year party where both of their respective crushes will be. They are forced to enlist the help of an annoying friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and his fake ID, which identifies him only as "McLOVIN". Trying to buy the alcohol, he is caught up in the middle of a robbery, makes friends with the cops (Seth Rogen and Bill Hader), and spends the rest of the night being entertained by them. (That's not a euphemism. It looks like a great time.) Seth and Evan, assuming he's been arrested, strike out on their own to find some alcohol and make it to the party... which they eventually do, except the rest of the night isn't what they were expecting it to be.

This film contains examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Played straight and inverted. At the climax, Evan gets together with Becca, but can't bring himself to have sex with her because she's obviously inebriated. Meanwhile, Seth gets together with Jules, who admits that she would be perfectly willing to have sex with him if he wasn't drunk.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Invoked. At the climax, Officers Michael and Slater admit that they knew Fogell was underage the whole time, and that they can't allow him to get drunk at the graduation party. But since they've grown to like him, they pretend to arrest him in full view of the other kids, knowing that the resultant street cred will make him a big hit with the girls.
    • Alternatively, you could say that the obvious subversion of his "goody-two-shoes" image with such a scene is what really got everybody's attention. Not so much this particular trope.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Seth. Maybe not even all that ambiguous.
  • Awesome McCoolname: McLovin. Lampshaded by everyone.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: This is done by real police officers. They turn on their siren just to get other drivers out of the way and so they can go through red lights. Also done later on Fogell's behalf, where they "arrest" him so that he'll seem like a bad boy so that he can get more chicks.
  • Bland-Name Product/Brand X: The film includes references to fictional alcoholic products such as "Kyle's Killer Lemonade" and "Goldslick Vodka", which are parodies of the real-life Mike's Hard Lemonade and Goldschläger Schnapps.
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: McLovin is prone to this.
  • Bowdlerise: The movie used to be aired on FX quite often, and all of the cussing was dubbed out, sometimes well, sometimes not that well. The entire scene where Seth describes the reason he hates Becca is cut out, though.
    • Kyle's Killer Lemonade standing in for Mike's Hard Lemonade.
  • Broken Treasure: Seth has to bring alcohol to a party in order to impress Jules, and manages to succeed despite many setbacks. Evan has to bring a specific brand of vodka to impress Becca, but it breaks on the way. It all works out in the end though.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: The key to Seth's plot to more or less Date Rape Jules. It ends up backfiring, since he gets himself drunk instead, and Jules (who stays completely sober) refuses to have sex with him while he's drunk.
  • Buxom Is Better: Seth's reaction upon finding out that a once-bosomy local woman got breast reduction surgery.
    Seth: That's like slapping God in the face!
  • Captain Obvious:
    Seth: When I was a kid, I would...draw pictures of dicks.
    Evan: What?
    Seth: Draw pictures of dicks.
    Evan: Dicks? Like...a man dick?
    Seth: Yes, like a man dick.
    • Again,
      Fogel: Why would you park in the staff parking lot? (pause) I mean, 'cause you're not staff.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Fuck" is used 186 times, averaging 1.6 times a minute.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: With rather more discussion of penises than usual.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: Fogel's fake ID lacks a first name.
  • Deconstruction: Of the Teen Sex Comedy. The movie makes no bones about depicting Seth and Evan's obsession with sex as weird and pathetic and the Wild Teen Party is averted with the teens acting like they would at a party in real life.
  • Dramatic Shattering: The bottle of Goldschlick.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The two cops are willing to bend and break laws for kicks, but they draw the line at cock blocking their new friend Fogell.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Both cops are already fully aware that "McLovin" isn't Fogel's real name, but they're playing along to try and show him that not all police officers are heartless jerks.
    "When we were your age — we hated cops."
  • Extraverted Nerd: Fogell, best known as McLovin.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Literally, in the case of the film's Italian edition. Since it is customary for Italian youth to use "X" (as in, the multiplication symbol) instead of "per" (because "per" in Italian also means "times") while texting and in slang, the distributors, thinking of a supposed appeal to young moviegoers, did the same to this film's title. The result... SUXBAD.
    • The cops also note that they once arrested a man named "Phuck." They're pretty sure he was Vietnamese, but its still startling to see on a license.
  • Feud Episode: Seth accuses Evan of "abandoning" him while trying to steal alcohol. Then Seth gets into an argument on the fact that Evan is going to a different college when they were supposed to go together. When Evan said he was trying to do his best in school and tired of Seth "holding him back", Seth fights him and calls Evan a wuss for not saying anything before.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Fogell, who's only in on the plan because of his fake ID, and even then the fact that the name on the ID is "McLovin" makes it less than helpful.
  • Give Geeks a Chance:
    • Complete geeks Evan and Seth end up with hotties Becca and Jules. Although Evan, despite his geeky personality, is still a hottie according to most women.
    • Fogel getting half-laid with a hottie and heavily implied that he's gonna get some later.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Seth and Evan, to a ridiculous degree. In fact, one of the themes the film deals with is how co-dependent they are on each other and how they're gonna have to learn to function without each other when they go do college.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Totally averted - Seth, Fogell and Evan all look like believable high school outcasts. The film actually goes further in making even the cute popular girls like Becca and Jules only be normal school pretty rather than Hollywood goddesses..
  • Hope Spot: When the boys finally make it to a bus and are on their way to the party until the bum breaks Evan's bottle of Goldschlick.
  • Imagine Spot: Seth has three of these in a row while attempting to steal alcohol at a supermarket.
  • Informed Attractiveness: At one point, Seth and Evan spot a woman who is allegedly very attractive and used to be very busty (she recently had breast reduction surgery). However, the audience never gets to know how attractive she is because we only see her from the rear.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Seth is this, he gets hit by a car twice, cops a baseball bat to the back of the head and collapses face first into pavement without a scratch to show for it.
  • It's All About Me: Seth. Evan eventually calls him out on it:
    Evan: How fucking selfish are you? You didn't mind letting Fogell take the fall back there, you don't want me to go to a good school...
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Evan getting into Dartmouth is what instigates the riff between him and Seth.
  • Jerk Ass: Seth
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Officer Slater's reaction to being spit at by some dumb kid is a pretty severe overreaction and would be disturbing police brutality in any other context. But here it's just a Crowning Moment of Awesome for him.
  • Last Name Basis: Fogell.
  • MacGuffin: The fake "McLovin" ID gets so much mention and screen time, it's practically its own character.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find what "non-violent crime" Francis committed, or what sort of people his "friends" are, or why he wasn't welcome at the party.
    • Although it is kind of implied that he's a pedophile.
    • Another one of the noodle incidents in the movie is when Seth tells Greg to piss his pants again, in which Greg replies that that was eight years ago. We don't know what exactly happened and why he wet himself.
  • No Periods, Period: Someone points out a red spot on Seth's pant legs. Seth is confused about where it came from until someone else asks "Dude, were you dancing with a chick in there?". Indeed he had been, and hilarity ensues.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: For the DVD Commentary, Judd Apatow brought his nine year old daughter Maude to its recording, and orders the actors not to swear in front of her. Jonah Hill restrains himself from cursing until halfway through the movie, and he proceeds to chide Apatow for "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day." After this argument, Apatow and his daughter leave to go attend a showing of Spamalot, and the remaining cast and crew begin swearing profusely immediately after their departure. Later the actors mention that she's still inside the studio. Whether or not this is true is unclear.
  • Only One Name: McLovin, although Fogell's real first name (or is it last name?) is never revealed either.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Jules: What the fuck?!
  • Really Seventeen Years Old: The characters try to pass themselves off as 21 in order to buy alcohol.
  • Stacy's Mom: Seth is attracted to Evan's mom.
  • Those Two Guys: Officers Slater and Michaels.
  • TV Teen: Averted, the teenagers in the cast are quite realistic.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Fogell gets the idea to wear one to "look more mature" and gets ridiculed for it by Seth and Evan.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Slater and Michaels give Fogel this for abandoning them, but Michaels gives a small one to both himself and Slater when he realized they cock blocked their new friend.
  • Wild Teen Party: Somewhat averted. Besides Becca and the hottie Fogel manages to screw, everybody behaves pretty normally at the party. The adult party Seth and Evan find themselves in midway through the film is far more wild and crazy.
  • You Just Had to Say It: Evan tells Fogell to "shut the fuck up" for telling Seth he and Evan are going to the same college, sharing a room.