3 Idiots is a 2009 Bollywood
film starring Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and R. Madhavan. It is based on the book 'Five Point Someone' by Chetan Bhagat.
It revolves around three students studying in the Imperial College of Engineering, Delhi. Out of them, Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) comes from a poor family and is desperate to pass and get a good job. The second, Farhan Qureshi (R. Madhavan), comes from a relatively better family, but has joined engineering to please his father
, while he really wants to become a widlife photographer. However, their third roommate, Ranchoddas Chanchhad AKA Phunsuk Wangdu
is a radical-thinking young man, who challenges the educational system at every step he takes, infuriating the headmaster of the school, Viru Sahastrabuddhe
However, Farhan and Raju lost contact with Rancho after graduation. Ten years later, Farhan gets a call from an old college-mate of theirs, Chatur Ramalingam
, who says he has found Rancho. Abandoning everything, Chatur, Farhan and Raju set out on a road trip, to find him. But all is not as it seems..
Tropes appearing in 3 Idiots include:
- Alliterative Name: Raju Rastogi. Also Man Mohan aka Millimeter.
- Always Second Best: Chatur to Rancho.
- Anchored Ship: Rancho and Pia during the college days. Although Rancho has feelings for Pia, his use of a fake identity prevents him from returning Pia's affections. Fortunately, they are reunited at the end.
- Arc Words:
- "Aal Izz Well/All is well". In the climax of the movie, saying them even helps to awaken an apparently stillborn baby!
- "Your majesty, thou art great, accept my humble offering!"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In a much-delayed answer to Rancho's question about the Fischer Space Pen (Why didn't they use a pencil), four years later, after Rancho saves Virus' elder daughter, Virus replies, when a pencil lead breaks in zero gravity on board spaceships, lead fragments can sneak into astronauts' eyes, astronauts' noses, and some instrument panels.
- Artistic License: Chatur shows off his possessions since his job abroad, including his "new Lamborghini, 6496cc, very fast". He refers to the Murcielago. What he shows on his phone, however, is the Diablo, a decade-old Lamborghini, a thousand cc's less, and not so fast.
- The B Grade: Chatur hates being Always Second Best to Rancho.
- Because I'm Jonesy: Hits Farhan and Raju when they look for Rancho in Shimla. 'Rancho' happens to be the real name of a completely different person- a rich scion from Shimla, who conferred his name upon their friend to pocket an engineering degree without going to college.
- Big Bad: Viru Sahastrabuddhe AKA Virus.
- Big Bad Wanna Be: Chatur.
- Biker Babe: Pia, though technically she's a scooter babe.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Due to Chatur's poor Hindi, his translation makes his warning regarding the senior's intent of pissing on Rancho sound really silly.
Chatur: Pray undress, or he'll do...'urine expulsion' on you.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: "Virus" couldn't find a way to kick out Rancho because he's his top student. And ultimately revokes his decision when he finally does.
- The Cake Is a Lie: "Virus" challenges Rancho to teach his engineering class. He has the students define a fictitious term to make a point about how the proper method of teaching.
- Call Forward: At the beginning of the film, Chatur offers rum to Farhan and Raju. A scene in the college years shows the trio drinking to it.
- Candid Camera Prank: Two pranks within one. Chatur gets the librarian to write a speech for him to recite on Teacher's Day. Rancho and Farhan divert both Chatur (with a prank phone call) and the librarian (by telling him Virus was remembering him, which he understood as Virus calling him over), and then changed some of the words of the speech. Chatur didn't even ask what it means, but memorised it without thinking. Hilarity Ensues.
- The film begins with one such prank by Farhan to stay in Delhi to meet Raju, to find their long lost friend.
- Catch Phrase: Rancho's "Aal Izz Well/All is Well", which is also the film's Arc Words.
- Chekhov's Gun: Rancho made an inverter that could draw out power from car batteries named after Virus in an attempt get out of Pia's wedding. It ended up powering the equipment for Mona's birth.
- The mint sauce. It was first used by Rancho on Suhas' shoes to show his personality to Pia. It's later used by Raju for the same purpose (to show Pia that Suhas' personality hasn't changed) and also to distract Suhas long enough for Farhan and Raju to steal away with Pia.
- Chekhov's Gunman: "Phunsuk Wangdu", the famous scientist Chatur is hoping to strike a deal with, turns out to be Rancho's real name.
- Chekhov's Skill: Whenever Rancho said "Aal Izz Well" to Mona while she was pregnant, the baby kicked. Guess what woke up the stillborn baby?
- Child Prodigy: Rancho can solve 10th grade math while in 6th grade.
- Christmas Cake: Raju's elder sister is twenty-eight and unmarried, a major cause of worry for their mother.
- Cool Big Sis: Mona to Pia.
- Cool Teacher: Rancho ultimately becomes one.
- Create Your Own Villain: If Rancho didn't humiliate Chatur, he would have just left him alone.
- And then the plot of finding Rancho will not happen because Chatur managed to find him to settle their rivalry and along their way, finding clues about Rancho's true identity. Farhan and Raju didn't manage to find Rancho for many years so they tag along with Chatur, clinging the hope they could get to find their friend again.
- Dating What Daddy Hates : Pia dating Rancho. Virus absolutely loathes him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost everyone.
- Decoy Protagonist: At the beginning you'd think that Farhan is the protagonist of the film. It's actually Rancho.
- Disposable Fiancée: Suhas, because he's a materialistic Jerkass.
- Dope Slap: Given to Chatur by Virus after the former recites the teacher's day speech edited by Rancho filled with words that made the speech offensive. Particularly the 'Sanskrit Verse' at the end of the speech.
- Driven to Suicide: Joy, a friend of the trio. Raju attempts this too, but is luckily saved in time.
- In the backstory, Virus's eldest son.
- The Engineer: Many characters in the film aspire to be one.
- Engineered Public Confession: Inverted with Chatur's Teacher's Day Speech.
- Evil Gloating: Chatur at the beginning of the movie, showing off his mansion, car, job etc. to Farhan and Raju. Well, not evil, so much as just 'I'm more successful than you despite the fact that you scored better'.
- And again with Rancho at the end of the movie, before he learns that Rancho is Phunsuk Wangdu, the very man his company is going to sign a deal with.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Rancho is Sanguine, Farhan is Leukine, Raju is Phlegmatic, Pia is Melancholic and Chatur is Choleric.
- Freudian Trio: Rancho is Id, Farhan is Ego and Raju is superego.
- Gasshole: Chatur, oh so much. Becomes a Running Gag.
Chatur: I didn't do it! Raju?
- Gratuitous English: Chatur, again.
"Sir, I was born in Uganda. Studied in Pondicherry.. so, little slow in Hindi."
- Also "FARHAN-itrate" and "Pre-RAJU-lisation"
- Gilligan Cut:
Pia: No, Farhan, it's not like that. Suhas is a changed man. He doesn't talk about brands or prices anymore.
(cut to Suhas screaming)
- Hospital Hottie: Pia, who is a med student.
- Hot Scientist: Again, Rancho ultimately becomes one.
- How We Got Here: The movie intersperses the search for Rancho with shots of the main characters' college life.
- I Have Many Names: The Hero is knows as Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad/Chhote/Phunsukh Wangdu.
- I Have Your Wife: That's how Farhan and Raju subdue the real Ranchhoddas Chanchad- by grabbing the urn containing his deceased father's ashes.
- Infant Immortality: Pia's niece/nephew was thought dead, but Rancho's Catch Phrase revives him/her!
- In-Series Nickname: "Silencer" for Chatur, "Virus" for Prof. Viru Sahastrabuddhe. Possibly "Chhote" to Rancho/Phunsukh Wangdu
- Ironic Echo: "Hey... Take That!"
- Jerkass: Virus, very much so. Even though he got better at the end of the movie, he still drives two men to suicide.
- Chatur isn't a pleasing fellow either.
- Pia's Disposable Fiancée openly berates her every time he has a chance.
- The real Ranchhoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad. He even points a gun at Farhan and Raju when they find that he pocketed the degree that their friend studied for, on his name.
- Left the Background Music On: When Pia decides to call off the her wedding and run off with Farhan and Raju to reunite with Rancho, music starts playing as the trio(and Chatur) take off in their car while the guests and Pia's family looks on, only for Virus to stop the music in annoyance by covering the horn that one of the wedding's musician was playing with.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Pia loves Rancho, but she wants to keep her maiden name if they got married since his is both an Overly Long Name and a borderline Fail O Sucky Name (at least in her opinion). She feels the same upon learning of his true name.
- Meaningful Echo: "Every night you ride into my dreams on a scooter, dressed as a bride. Instead of a veil, you lifted your helmet and come close to kiss me."
- Mind Screw: Just WHO is Ranchhoddas Shyamaldas Chanchhad anyway? A rich scion who conferred his name to their friend, so that he could pocket a degree without going to college
- Mood Whiplash: The trio are leading the college in "Aal Izz Well" and trying to rebuild a friend, Joy's helicopter design. At the end of the song, they finally build it, stick a camera on it and fly it up to his room window only to see... Joy hanging from the ceiling, having committed suicide and the words "I QUIT" written on the wall in spray-paint.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Viru "Virus" Sahastrabuddhe.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Rancho ultimately becomes both a scientist and a teacher.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Viru Sahastrabuddhe is always called Virus. The Hero's fake Overly Long Name is shortened to Rancho. Also. there's the Tagalong Kid Man Mohan who is always called Millimeter until he grows up.
- Overly Long Name: Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad.
- Road Trip Plot: Most of the present day scenes.
- Runaway Bride: Farhan and Raju steal Pia away from her wedding to Suhas.
- Sadist Teacher: Viru "Virus" Sahastrabuddhe .
- Saved by Canon: You'd know that Raju will survive his suicide since he's alive and well in the present day scenes.
- Screaming Birth: The trio help deliver Mona Sahastrabuddhe (Pia's elder sister)'s child, in the university storeroom, using an inverter, a vacuum cleaner and a car battery to construct a vacuum pump after she's too tired to push anymore.
- Secret Test of Character: Suhas fails a secret test of character. THRICE! At Mona's wedding, Rancho ruins Suhas' Italian shoes by spilling sauce on them, showing how Suhas cares a lot about money. The second time, Rancho makes Pia pretend she had lost the expensive watch Suhas had just bought her, Suhas responds by nagging Pia. Thanks to this, Pia decides to break their engagement. On the third occasion, when Pia is going to marry Suhas ten years later, Raju ruins Suhas wedding clothes with green sauce, showing Pia how he has still not changed, this time Pia decides to leave Suhas in the altar.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Invoked when one of the teachers seems more impressed by Chatur giving an overly complicated definition of the word 'machine' memorized from a textbook instead of Rancho's simplified one, so in response Rancho gives one himself when wanting to go collect his books.
- Silly Love Song: "Zoobi Doobi".
- Skewed Priorities: Farhan and Raju are both shocked to learn that Rancho/Chhote's real name is Phunsukh Wangdu and are wondering if he happens to be the same great scientist that Chatur was talking about with over 400 patents, while Pia is stating she doesn't like having her name changed to Pia Wangdu after marrying him.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Pia angrily smacks Rancho near the end of the movie after thinking she was played. Followed by The Big Damn Kiss.
- Shipper on Deck: Mona, Farhan and Raju all support Rancho/Pia.
- Smug Snake: Chatur in the present-day portions of the movie. Until he's promptly shut up in the climax.
- The Minister invited for the Teacher's Day function at the college, when Chatur is talking about the Principal in the Teacher's Day speech. Until he starts talking about the Minister himself.
- The real Ranchhoddas Chanchad, who pocketed an engineering degree by foul means, and almost gunned down Farhan and Raju. Until they got the better of him.
- Tagalong Kid: Millimeter.
- Teen Genius: Rancho and Chatur, especially the former.
- Theme Naming: Millimeter and his dogs Gigabyte, Kilobyte and Megabyte.
- Token Evil Teammate: Chatur serves as one during the present day scenes.
- True Companions: The eponymous three idiots. So much so that Farhan and Raju travel from Delhi to Shimla (a whole state away) only to realise that a Red Herring led them there and Rancho is really in Ladakh (which is a cold and barren desert, another couple of states away). They don't stop till they find him.
- They quickly turn the car around and drive to Manali, 255km away and a six-hour drive in the other direction after hearing that Pia is getting married on that day to stop the wedding and steal the bride.
- In the college flashbacks, Farhan and Rancho risk expulsion to steal the exam papers from Virus's office for Raju.
- Übermensch: Rancho openly defies all the systems of his university from day one.
- Unknown Rival: Chatur has always been hell bent in defeating Rancho, but always fail.
- Wham Shot:
- The trio discovering that Joy committed suicide.
- Farhan, Raju and Chatur discovering that Rancho wasn't in the class picture, and that the "fake" Rancho has been shopped in.
- Raju committing suicide.