[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_burbs_1989.jpg]]

An unusually grim 1989 comedy about a group of "normal" suburbanites who suspect that something very sinister is going on in the home of their rarely-seen foreign neighbors. It's directed by Creator/JoeDante and stars Creator/TomHanks, Creator/BruceDern, and Creator/CarrieFisher.

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!!Contains the following tropes:
* AdultFear: In spades. Lampshaded by a long story narrated by Art about a neighbor from the distant past who murdered his whole family and left them in the basement to rot in the middle of a summer heat wave.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The detective listing the charges that Ray is facing at the end of the movie:
-->'''Detective''': Destruction of private property[[labelnote:*]]blowing up the Klopeks' house[[/labelnote]], Destruction of PUBLIC property[[labelnote:*]]the power line and the squad car that was impaled by the static vane[[/labelnote]], [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment vandalism]], three counts of Criminal Trespass[[labelnote:*]] Walter's house, the Klopek house, not sure what they got a third offense from[[/labelnote]], Assault[[labelnote:*]] Ray attempts to assault Art, but that happens later[[/labelnote]], and that poor old man claims that you left a note saying that YOU KIDNAPPED HIS DOG!!![[labelnote:*]]since they found the dog wandering the neighborhood and Walter's house was locked and unoccupied, leaving a note to tell him where the dog was when he returned was reasonable[[/labelnote]]
* AshFace: [[spoiler: Happens to the main character after the Klopek's furnace explodes in his face, setting the house on fire.]]
* AsideGlance: ''"God, I love this street."''
* AstronomicZoom and LogoJoke: At the very beginning the Universal logo name vanishes but not the globe behind it. Instead the camera zooms down and into it until it hovers right above a Midwestern suburban cul-de-sac and the Klopeks' house.
** You can tell something is a little off with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reRU20wxx8U that logo]] because it's still the '70s/'80s Universal logo, which isn't CGI in other movies, but this globe obviously is. This is because of another studio (Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic) doing this particular logo.
*** Also, the typefaces for "Universal" and "An MCA Company" [[OffModel are different]].
* BadHumorTruck: Skip, if the UrbanLegend about him is true; supposedly, he was an ice cream man who snapped after a life of routine, and murdered his family.
* BadassBoast: Ray's "Nobody knocks off an old man in my neighborhood and gets away with it."
* BeeAfraid: When Ray and Art attempt first contact with the Klopeks, using the door knocker causes the address plaque to fall and knock the porch light off, releasing a swarm of bees from a hole in the wall that immediately attack both of them. Whether this was because the bees were a LivingWeapon / AttackAnimal, or just representative of the degree that the house has been neglected is up to you...it's [[RuleOfFunny funny]] either way.
* BigEater: The second thing we see Art do is invite himself to two helpings of breakfast with the Petersons, grab several more munchies from their fridge, eat Ray's leftovers, and then, after finishing, ask if Ray wants to go to town to pick up a sandwich. He later snatches some vittles from a bowl Carol was holding [[IAteWhat that turns out to be the dog's food]].
* BigNo: It's not drawn out, but Uncle Reuben gives a very loud and abrupt one to Rumsfield's question:
-->'''Rumsfield:''' "So, 'Klopek.' Is that a Slavic name?"
-->'''Reuben:''' "...'''NO.'''"
* BlackComedy
* CrazySurvivalist: Rumsfield, with a dash of OldSoldier thrown in. Probably a PerilousOldFool too.
* ComicalAngryFace: Reuben, Hans' uncle who is quite the hothead.
* CuttingTheKnot: Several times, including to break into two houses.
** Rumsfield removes an entire pane of glass to get into Walter's house when they are checking on him after finding his dog running outside and all of the doors are locked.
** Rather than tangling with the Klopek's alarm system again, Art cuts the power line to the house (which has the collateral effect of blacking out the rest of the neighborhood, as well).
** After the SkeletonKeyCard attempt fails to get Art and Ray into the Klopek's back door, Ray picks up a rock and breaks the window so he can reach in and unlock it from the inside.
* DeconstructiveParody: [[spoiler:Subverted in the end.]]
* EvilIsNotWellLit: The Klopek's house looks dark and foreboding even during the day.
* [[spoiler:FauxAffablyEvil: Doctor Klopek.]]
* FloorboardFailure: On the Klopek's porch. Twice (once to Ray during the first contact attempt, one to Rumsfield when they go over with the brownies). Sadly, the brownies don't make it.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Carol remarks that they should all go over and knock on the Klopeks' door "before someone falls off a roof or sets themselves on fire." Somebody ends up doing both of those things later[[note]]Rumsfield falls off of the roof, and Ray gets caught in the explosion when the Klopeks' house blows up. Art does both, falling off the electrical pole through a tool shed after zapping himself cutting the power line.[[/note]].
* HarmlessElectrocution: When Art cuts the power to the Klopek's house, he gets zapped right off the power pole, but is only a little worse for wear.
* HeelRealization: Ray towards the end.[[spoiler: At least until Dr. Klopek revealed that his suspicions were right all along.]]
* HenpeckedHusband: Poor Ray is accused of being one by Art and Rumsfield, when Carol is really just trying to keep him from acting like an idiot. He briefly goes along with it to throw her off his scent.
* HeroInsurance: Once [[spoiler:the Klopeks are exposed as killers]] everything seems to be hunky-dory with the cops, even though a detective was tallying up all the criminal charges the guys were facing just moments before.
* HerrDoktor: Rumsfield refers to Doctor Klopek in this way, patronizingly insinuating he's conducting activities unfit for a doctor as well as insulting his German qualities.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: Art defends leaving a note reading, "I know what you did," on the Klopeks' door by saying, "Now they know that we know that they know that we know!"
* IdiotBall: The Klopeks are so terrible at diverting suspicion that it's a wonder it took years for any of their neighbors to ever suspect them. [[spoiler:Dr. Klopek grabs the ball even tighter by trying to kill Ray in an ambulance surrounded by police.]]
** The biggest idiot ball for[[spoiler: Dr.Klopek is if he just kept silent and let Ray get arrested then he would have not only got away with murder he would have had the time to clean up any potential evidence he assumed Ray found.]]
* ImpactSilhouette: Art leaves one in the roof of a toolshed after he gets [[HarmlessElectrocution zapped]] trying to cut the power line and falls off the pole.
* KarmaHoudini: Even though Art turned out to be right all along about the Klopeks, he's never punished for all of stress and grievance he causes for his neighbors. [[spoiler:At least, he is until his house catches fire.]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: Rumsfield's is the theme from ''Film/{{Patton}}'', for which Music/JerryGoldsmith also did the score.
* LightmareFuel: The entire theme of the film is predicated on this.
* MetaphorIsMyMiddleName: Ray tells Art to be careful while he's cutting the power, and Art replies that "Safety" is his middle name. See HarmlessElectrocution for what happens next.
-->'''Ray''': [''aside to Rumsfeld''] I thought his middle name was "Lewis."
* MistakenForMurderer: The theory that Walter was murdered by the Klopeks comes crashing down when Walt comes back home from the hospital. The reason the Klopeks had his toupee and his magazines was because he asked them to retrieve his mail. And the femur they thought was Walter's? Why, that just belonged to [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope someone they DID kill, obviously]].]]
* NeverMyFault: Art was essentially the one who started the whole fiasco about the Klopeks, and came up with wild ideas, negative assumptions, encouraged others to be obsessed as he is, yet he always tries to shift the blame onto someone else.
* NightmareFetishist: Cory Feldman's character, who views the neighborhood as a source of warped entertainment.
* NoMereWindmill: Right about the time you figure that Ray and his fellow snoops are just being paranoid about the Klopek family, [[spoiler:it turns out they really are serial killers.]]
* NosyNeighbor: Ray and his friends.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Ray slowly becomes more obsessed with unmasking the Klopeks than either Art or Rumsfield.
* OhCrap: Art, when his house is on fire and he realizes that ''his wife has returned from her vacation.''
* OnlySaneMan: Ray and his wife qualify... until Ray gets as paranoid as Art and Rumsfield.
* RabbleRouser: Art; it's just him and two other guys and it turns out there is something suspicious, but he feeds the paranoia that essentially is the plot.
* RareGuns: Rumsfield's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine#Carbine.2C_Cal_.30.2C_M3 M3 Carbine]]. Yeah, the one with the nightscope. Only about 3,000 were made before the scope was made obsolete by passive night vision devices. Qualifies as a [[CoolGuns Cool Gun]], too.
* RunningGag: ''"Yo, Rumsfield!"''
** Also, the garbage in the street for most of the movie after Art and Rumsfield search through the garbage truck.
* SkeletonKeyCard: Subverted. The card breaks in half immediately.
-->'''Ray''': It's a shit store anyway.
* StealthInsult:
-->'''Carol''': He can't come out until he resembles the man I married.
-->'''Art''': Carol, we don't have that kind of time!
* ThePictureCameWithTheFrame: Hans, after Rumsfeld asks about the pretty girl in the picture.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Mr. and Mrs. Rumsfield. He's a wiry, wild-haired CrazySurvivalist and she's a MsFanservice who looks about twenty years younger then him. This is never really even commented on, let alone played for laughs.
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