Film: The Nutty Professor

The Nutty Professor is a 1963 comedy, starring Jerry Lewis as an Absent-Minded Professor who, after being bullied and taunted, invents a serum that turns him into an incredibly handsome, strong and popular man named Buddy Love, his new personality gives him the confidence to pursue one of his students, Stella Purdy.

The film was remade in 1996, starring Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Eddie Murphy, and co-starring Eddie Murphy, Eddie Murphy, and Eddie Murphy. The success of the remake led to a sequel, with Janet Jackson amid the various Eddie Murphys.


Both versions of The Nutty Professor provide examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor
  • Acting for Two: In the original, Jerry Lewis plays the lead, which is sort of two separate characters who happen to share a body that changes a little between the two of them.
    • In the 1996 film, Eddie Murphy plays the lead. He also plays the alternate persona. And a white celebrity fitness instructor... And his entire family (barring one child and one of the two grandparents).
  • Ascended Extra: Sherman's parents in the remake. The original film, they only appear twice, the first time shown as a henpecked guy and his mercilessly henpecking wife, and the second at the end where they come to sell the serum to all the kids in school. In the remake, they appear far more often, and get along quite well with each other.
    • The sequel of the Eddie Murphy version was actually called The Klumps, making Eddie Murphy's scenes with one actress and several of his own characters into the core of the film.
  • An Aesop: Be Yourself. Don't try to be someone else to win others' affections.
  • Bowties Are Cool: Julius in the original, Sherman in the remake.
  • The Casanova: Buddy Love.
  • Jekyll & Hyde
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Why Buddy is left unchecked for way too long.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kelp's reaction when his parents have discovered, duplicated, patented and are selling his Buddy Love formula to the masses.
  • Sexier Alter Ego - In both versions, the titular professor invents a way to change him from a nerdy looking fellow in the original film (and a rather overweight guy in the remake) into a smooth ladies man.
  • Split Personality Takeover: Buddy's plan in the late game.
  • Take That: Eddie Murphy's Buddy Love sent up the negative traits of his own persona during his cold streak at the box office in the early 90s, something that did not go unnoticed by critics.
    • Jerry Lewis' Buddy Love has been interpreted as a parody of Dean Martin, Lewis' old show business partner, although Lewis has repeatedly denied this.
    • And Dave Chapelle's character is an enormous take that to Uncle Tomfoolery and hacky stand up comedy in general.

The 1963 version starring Jerry Lewis provides examples of:

  • Badass Bookworm: As Buddy Love, Kelp uses his knowledge of chemistry to mix up an Alaskan Polar Bear heater, which in this movie is so strong it caused the Bartender to freeze in one sip.

The 1996 version starring Eddie Murphy provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: During his exercising montage, Sherman gains a realistic degree of agility.
  • Alliterative Name: Harlan Hartley.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The Klumps when Sherman brings Carla over. They talk openly about sex, bodily functions, marriage, and other embarrassing topics, so much so that Sherman tries to slit his wrists with a butter knife.
  • As Himself: Montell Jordan.
  • Artistic License: Somatotypes. There are three main somatotypes which people can be classified in, and Sherman quite accurately describes one (Endomorph) while explaining why he was dieting to his parents in the first film. The formula he was working on was supposed to alter or deactivate endomorphic genes, allowing one to naturally lose more weight, and in the first scene with Shelly the hamster it is implied to do just that. However, when Sherman takes the serum, over half of his body fat mysteriously vanishes in about 30 seconds, and his skin shrinks to fit.
  • Badass: Buddy Love becomes one after awhile.
  • Battle Cry: After his first transformation in the remake. He proudly stands up on on top of the college he works in shouting this.
    Buddy Love: I'm THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!!!!!!!!
  • Blunt "Yes": In the remake.
    Carla: Professor, are you asking me out on a date?
    Sherman: *Bashful* Yes. Yes I am.
    Carla: I'd love to!
  • Body Horror: A completely tame example of this occurs whenever Buddy Love reverts back to Sherman Klump. Body parts become swollen as he regains all that excess body weight, and at one point he ends up with a grotesquely oversized lower lip.
  • Butt Monkey: Dean Richmond whenever there's a hamster around.
  • Catch Phrase: Lance Perkins has two: "Let's get busy!" and "Yes, I can!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: This film put television censors through their paces.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Sherman seems to have a history of being this.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Klumps.
  • Fantastic Drug
  • Fighting from the Inside: When Buddy attempts to take a life of his own, Sherman decides to fight back for control of his body. In the climax, it becomes a literal case and he succeeds.
  • Gasshole: Cletus Klump.
    • Sherman himself is a couple of times but only in dreams he has, when they are power oriented and are essential for his survival even in which his father encourages.
    • Ernie Jr. is several times.
  • Gentle Giant: Sherman.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Sherman gets fired once a film, and before then, the dean seems to always be looking for an excuse to get rid of him.
  • Gold Digger: Dean Richmond is a shameless sycophant when it comes to any donor who shows interest in giving the school money for Sherman's research.
  • The Heckler: On his second encounter with the Insult Comic, Buddy so thoroughly dismantles the guy it became a Curb-Stomp Battle both comedically and physically.
  • Heavy Voice: Played straight; the whole Klump family, Sherman Klump included, has a lower voice than Buddy Love, who inhabits the same body as Sherman but with less weight. In fact, of all the multiple characters he plays in both movies (being the Klumps besides Buddy Love), Buddy Love (even being the all time antagonist) is the only character Eddie Murphy plays using his real voice and appearance.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: About five minutes' worth during the credits.
  • The Hyena: Buddy plays with it at times. It goes into full force when he encounters Reggie Warrington in person, especially during the "Your Mom is fat" joke. Jason attributes it to high testosterone levels.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Mama Klump tries to call for Sherman as he fights Buddy Love.
  • Imagine Spot: Sherman has two of them, one where he buries Stella into the sand with his body weight, and one where he becomes so fat that he becomes a Kaiju terrorizing the city.
  • Insult Comic: Reggie Warrington.
  • Jerkass: The insult comic Reggie Warrington.
    • Buddy Love. He started out as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold before becoming an utter Jerkass.
    • Also Granny Klump could be considered one because of how she not only talks the most cross of all the Klumps, but also because she is the least classy and is most crude and vulgar of them all. Even with the way she always insults Cletus and making them verbally always at each other's throats trading back and forth personal insults which always bothers Anna (Sherman's mother.) Not to mention how vulgar she is by going as far as the stunt she pulls on Buddy Love thinking that he is a male stripper which actually is bad enough to gross out a vulgarly perverted man like him to the point of making him vomit. These along with all the examples with her show you that she has the least moral conduct of all the Klumps.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cletus Klump, Sherman's father.
    • Ernie Klump in some extent. He gives Sherman practical advice on him losing weight, by telling him to exercise. Sherman later takes his advice and actually succeeds in getting in shape during the Training Montage. Of course Reggie had to ruin his self confidence later on.
  • Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: There is no doubt about it, that Cletus and Mama Klump love Sherman, so when his best friend and colleague accuses Buddy Love of murdering him this line cements it:
    Buddy Love: (demonstrating his weight formula) I am about to make a 400 pound fat man disappear forever!
    Jason: (arriving in time) NOOOOOOOO! I can not let you do this anymore! THIS- HAS GOT- TO STOP! (arrives onto the stage) Ladies and gentlemen... (points to Buddy) this man is trying to kill Professor Sherman Klump!
    (audience gasps)
  • Mean Boss / Dean Bitterman: Richmond, the dean of the university that Sherman Klump works at, frequently insults Sherman Klump's obesity and makes no secret of his contempt of Klump.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite this, he did ally with Sherman Klump to stop Buddy Love from stealing the patent for the fountain of youth formula in the climax of The Klumps.
  • Meaningful Echo: Buddy to Dean Richmond: "Who you think you talkin' to, Sherman Klump? Man, if you ever talk to me like that again, I'll kill you. And I don't mean it as euphemism, I'm gonna literally kill you. I'm gonna strangle you and cut off your air supply until you pass away."
  • Meaningful Name: The fact that the last name of the universally overweight Klumps sounds like "plump" is obvious. More so is that the slender love interest in the second film is named Denise Gains, especially when we're shown that Mrs. Klump's old wedding dress fits her.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the 1990s film, Lance Perkins is a clear Expy of Richard Simmons.
  • No Indoor Voice: Buddy.
  • Not Hyperbole: Dean Richmond gives a memorable example.
    If anything goes wrong, for any reason... I'm going to kill you. And I don't mean that as a euphemism, I am going to literally kill you. I'm going to strangle you and choke off your air supply until you pass away.
  • N-Word Privileges: The Klumps and Buddy.
  • Oh Crap!: Sherman in the first film when he wakes up next to three hookers after a night of partying (as Buddy), especially when Carla shows up.
    • In the second one, when Buddy runs off after Sherman turns him back into a jello like substance, and he disintegrates. Luckily, it happens by a fountain, so when a tear from Denise drops on to his DNA structure and it lands in the water of it, Sherman is able to be revived by her and Clesius forcing him to drink it.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Buddy's putdown of Reggie Warrington.
    Buddy: I've heard of dreadlocks, but shitlocks?
  • Punched Across the Room: Before the climactic fight, Buddy decks Jason towards the instrument set to prevent the magical vial from being confiscated, calling it a "short musical interlude".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The climactic scene where Sherman Klump and Buddy Love battle for control of the same body.
    Buddy Love: "You can't beat me!"
    (Sherman's side beats up Buddy)
    Sherman Klump: "YES! I! CAAAAAAAN!"
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Jason analyzes the data from the transformation and finds that Buddy's testosterone levels are dangerously high.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: All of the Klumps, except for Sherman. Mostly, Cletus. Buddy Love definitely becomes one. The insult comic Reggie Warrington is definitely by far.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: Variation: During a demonstration test on the fountain of youth serum on a hamster, it initially works, but thanks to Buddy Love sabotaging the serum earlier, the hamster ends up basically turning Godzilla on them, forcing the audience to evacuate and the guards to fire on "hamsterzilla" before it dispatched them with turds. It then sees Dean Richmond (wearing a fur rug over himself in a failed attempt to hide) and, mistaking Richmond for a potential mate, gets very interested in him and is also strongly implied to have raped him. As the cameras were still rolling, this was also shown on TV across the state, if not the nation or the world, as the scene in the Klumps' living room revealed.
    • It happened even earlier in the first film. Klump had accidentally let loose all the hamsters on the campus. one climbed into a student's pant legs. The girl he was talking to clearly mistook it as something else.
  • Stealth Pun: The theater scene in the sequel. The original Nutty Professor was made a year after Cape Fear, whilst in the remake's sequel, Buddy is laughing mad while watching the original in the style of DeNiro's Max Cady's Iconic scene in the remake of Cape Fear.
  • Straight Man: Professor Sherman Klump. Debatably and most surely. Even though he's just as fat and kind of rugged looking as the rest of them, unlike how his enemy, Buddy Love looks, Sherman is the only one of all the Klumps who behaves most decent and most respectfully and is always good intentioned in all of his blunders. The only exception to his straightness might be when during the wedding dream scene that turns into a nightmare in the beginning of the second film, it appears that before the reverend says "I now pronounce you husband and wife", it appears that Sherman is staring at Carla's big breasts which have some cleavage in the wedding dress. It is followed by an erection scene following that which he is innocent from being because of being Buddy Love trying to come out of his trousers rather than being an erection caused by his lust for the assumingly noticed breast staring.
  • That Came Out Wrong: "Pardon me ladies and gentlemen, but I cannot go on living unless I have this man inside me right now!"
  • That Man Is Dead
    Buddy Love: SHERMAN IS GONE!
  • The Triple: Dean Richmond being a jerk to Sherman at the start of the movie.
    Dean Richmond: Can I get you anything? Juice? Coffee? Rack of lamb?
  • Toilet Humor: The 1990s movie has a lot of fart jokes, as well as implied soiled pants. In both of them, the whole Klump family except for Sherman (including Buddy Love and some others) use foul language, and do socially revolting things.
    • These scenes are actually parodying people who act exactly like this in real life. It's actually scary how accurately it portrays the Klumps.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Sherman and Buddy.
  • Uncle Tom Foolery: Sherman's family, especially his father Cletus. Buddy Love also indulges in it a bit.
  • Undying Loyalty: Jason to Professor Klump, he even goes as far as punching Buddy in the face when trying to stop him from eliminating Sherman for good.
  • Villain Protagonist: Buddy at first, until it becomes clear that he's a completely separate persona and plans to take over Sherman's life.
  • Your Mom: Reggie cracks a "Your Mother Is Fat" joke to rile up Buddynote  after he gets a taste of his own medicine from him, but it only made Buddy feel unfazed and one-up him without any chance of allowing him a proper comeback. This results in Reggie breaking down and attempt to do a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him. However, he fails at his "street karate" and Buddy Curb Stomps him.

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Grandma Klump to Buddy.
    • Also, the hamster to Dean Richmond.
  • Ascended Extra: Ever wonder why it's subtitled "The Klumps"?
  • Attractive Bent Species: During the Attack of the 50-Foot Hamster in the second film, the dean tries to hide under a fur coat, making him resemble a giant hamster himself. This works out for him just as you'd expect.
  • Captain Obvious "The University of Maine? But, Denise...that's in Maine!"
  • Continuity Nod: Buddy mentions Carla from the first film.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Klumps had a few moments of that range from dark humor to horror. Buddy Love in the second movie is more evil than he ever was in the first nor its predecessor. Going from trying to take Sherman's place to downright trying to stalk and destroy Sherman and anyone else that got in the way. Even before his DNA was separated from Sherman's, Buddy even found many ways to attack him on the inside, especially by hijacking his mind randomly. From giving him a terrible nightmare to saying and doing rude and embarrassing stuff at delicate times that alienates him from his father and love interest. That aside there were Tear Jerker moments too, from relationship problems between Sherman's parents mirroring Sherman's relationship with Denise, as well as breaking off the marriage under the belief that he can't be a good husband after his intellect is deteriorating from what he went and did to get rid of Buddy, especially due to an incident where Buddy Love sabotaged the fountain of youth formula and stole the actual sample, causing a test gone awry. The audience was also almost fooled with a Bittersweet Ending, when we including Denise and Cletus thought Sherman was brain dead for good.
  • Dirty Old Woman: The oversexed Grandma Klump.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Sherman dreams that an asteroid hits Earth, and because he lost his intelligence he's unable to prevent it.
  • Fan Disservice: Granny leaping through a field of daisies in a see-through nightgown.
  • Fanservice Extra: The remake sequel provides the current trope image.
  • Fountain of Youth: Sherman's formula in the sequel.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Sherman Klump ends up breaking off the marriage because he believes that he can't be a good husband while his intellect was deteriorating after removing Buddy Love from his system.
  • Power Walk: The Klumps as they're headed to an all-you-can-eat buffet, where they eat every last piece of food in the place except the salad.
  • Remember the New Guy: Denise.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Buddy replaces Sherman's youth formula with Miracle-Gro in the second movie, which is then fed to a lab hamster. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sexual Karma: The Jerk Ass dean gets more than his share of this, courtesy of "Jumbo the Horny Hamster".
  • Synchronized Swarming: In The Klumps, the professor proposes to his girlfriend by attracting fireflies into the words "Marry me?" using a synthesized firefly pheromone.
  • This Ain't Rocket Surgery: In The Klumps, Sherman, whose mind is decaying rapidly and is just about to meet Denise's parents, assures himself that he won't make a fool of himself because Denise's parents are probably not rocket scientists. Turns out that's exactly what they are.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Played for Drama: By removing Love from his DNA triggered a deterioration of Sherman's brain. He can't teach his class, articulate his words, and is a bit of a bumbler. Towards the end of the movie, he loses his memory, and breaks up with Denise, not wanting to burden Denise by being dumb. He his able to recover his brilliance by reabsorbing Buddy.