[[caption-width-right:350:CAPTURE THE FLAAAAAAG!]]

->''"Well, we made it through the summer in one piece, except for a few campers who are lepers."''
-->-- '''Beth (Creator/JaneaneGarofalo)'''

''Wet Hot American Summer'' is a 2001 comedy cult film directed by ''Series/{{Stella|US}}'''s David Wain (yes, ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}} that]]'' David Wain, also known for directing ''RoleModels''). The film is about the adventures, both physical and emotional, of the preteen campers, teenage counselors and adult camp directors on last day of summer camp at Camp Firewood on August 18th, 1981. It stars Creator/JaneaneGarofalo, [[{{Frasier}} David Hyde Pierce]], Michael Showalter, Marguerite Moreau, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, [[LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit Christopher Meloni]], Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, [[TheHangover Bradley Cooper]], Creator/AmyPoehler, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles and members of {{MTV}}'s sketch comedy group TheState. It was written by Wain and Showalter.

It is in many ways a send-up of the goofy teen comedies (often set at college or camp) that were quite popular around the time period the movie is set in, without ever [[ScaryMovie parodying individual scenes]]. It is a rollercoaster ride through almost the whole spectrum of teenage emotions, from angst to {{Wangst}}. It is the last day of summer camp. It is the first day of the third week of August. It's a masterpiece.

A prequel series focusing on the first day of summer is due to premiere appropriately enough sometime during summer 2015 through Netflix. The original cast will reprise their roles 14 years after the film's release, meaning RuleOfFunny is in full effect.
!!This film includes examples of:

* AmbiguouslyJewish: The entire camp. Listen to the names Creator/JaneaneGarofalo calls out in the cafeteria for the "early bus to UsefulNotes/{{Boston}}" (they're all incredibly stereotypical Jewish names, and include "David Ben Gurion", played as if she is literally just trying to come with names that sound Jewish with "Ira Goldberg…stein).
* AmericanTitle
* AnythingThatMoves: Abby.
* BlackComedy: More like dead 6-year-olds. ("It's your job to make sure kids don't drown!")
** To be more specific, at least two children die over the course of the movie, two more are left in the woods to die after witnessing the aforementioned deaths, and several more probable deaths are referred to offhand, including the "lepers" in the page quote and children whom Beth "forgot to mention" were trapped in the ropes course... yesterday.
* CharacterFilibuster: First Coop to Katie ("I don't care that you're bowlegged, and I don't care that you're bilingual...") and then vice versa.
* CoversAlwaysLie: [[http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/617HSfIBCTL._SS500_.jpg This DVD cover]], which was designed and released after the success of David Wain's ''Role Models'' starring Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks, prominently features Rudd, Banks, and Molly Shannon (the latter of whom was a secondary-to-tertiary character), but makes no references to Michael Showalter and Marguerite Moreau's characters, who are at the heart of the entire story (although Showalter's name thankfully still makes the cover).
* DawsonCasting: Parodied. The 16-year-old camp counselors are all played by actors in their late 20s.
** Taken UpToEleven in the series. It's supposed to be a prequel and despite a 14-year time gap, it has the same cast the movie did.
* TheEighties: Oh boy....
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Subverted. Victor and Neil's subplot ends with a parody of one of these, but it's well before the movie itself is over.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Takes great pleasure playing with this trope. 95% of the film takes place over the course of a single day(August 18th, 1981, with the opening and ending scenes taking place on the previous night and next morning respectively), even showing regular updates about the time of day, but an absurdly large quantity of events are packed into that day, stretching the timeline almost beyond belief.
* GiveGeeksAChance: Played straight with Coop and Katie for almost the entire film, and then subverted at the last minute when Katie [[spoiler:realizes that she'd rather be with super-hot JerkAss Andy]]. It's a surprisingly truthful ending for such an otherwise ridiculous movie.
* GoodTimesMontage: The counselors "hourlong" trip into town, which starts out innocently but then [[spoiler:degrades into a drugged-out parody where the kids start out smoking cigarettes and quickly go to robbing old ladies to feed their newfound cocaine and heroin addictions]]. Doubles as a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* HandsomeLech: Andy.
-->'''Andy:''' I'd give anything for two minutes in the closet with Lindsay.
-->'''J.J.:''' What about Katie?
-->'''Andy:''' Who?
-->'''J.J.:''' ''Awesome.''
* HideYourLesbians: Averted with [=McKinley=] and Ben, whose relationship is perhaps the only one in the film not played for laughs.
* [[TVGenius Hollywood Genius]]: Deliberately/satirically, with David Hyde Pierce's Henry.
* InsultBackfire: "Douchebags are hygenic products. I take that as a compliment."
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Oh dear god, try convincing your friends this ''isn't'' a porn flick once you tell them the title.
* JerkAss: Andy, and Victor to a certain extent.
** Just calling Andy a JerkAss doesn't quite do the character justice; quoth Seanbaby: "Paul Rudd is so good at playing a dick boyfriend that Rihanna ducks when she watches Wet Hot American Summer."
** Katie's final speech cements her as one.
* LameRhymeDodge: Gene tends to accidentally mention his odd fetishes and then offer up a lame rhyme dodge:
-->'''Gary:''' You said you were going to... ''fondle your sweaters''.
-->'''Gene:''' Ah, uh - no I didn't. I said... fondue the cheddar... I was thinking about making fondue with cheddar cheese for dinner tonight.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Forcefully parodied between Neil and Victor.
* NiceGuy: Coop, who is more-or-less an early prototype of Michael Showalter's [[RomanticRunnerUp Baxter]] Elliot Sherman.
* NotableOriginalMusic: "Show me the fever/Into the fire/Takin' it higher and higher!"
* ObviousStuntDouble: Whenever Neil climbs on the motorcycle it ''not so seamlessly'' cuts to another man who looks nothing like him wearing the same costume, in a cheap wig riding away. At one point the double even slowly and awkwardly rides the motorcycle directly toward the camera. After panning away to others, it whips back to show the actor now straddling the bike.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Intentional with Victor's raft rescue.
* PoolScene: More like lake scenes, but two notable ones, both mostly involving gratuitous shots of Elizabeth Banks in bikinis.
* PrecisionFStrike: Several of the best in movie history, notably from Janeane Garofalo and Zak Orth.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: One of the counselors is hyping up the camp baseball team for the climactic game against the [[OpposingSportsTeam Rich Kids from the other side of the lake.]] He re-tells their season story, which of course involves every single stereotype of this very trope including its name, only for the kids to complain that they don't really want to play [[LampshadeHanging because it's all kind of trite]]. So they call off the match, and their coach, the other team's coach and all their players are totally cool with it.
* SexAsRiteOfPassage: Meathead jock Victor is secretly a virgin, desperate for one night with camp bicycle Abby.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Gene, played for laughs.
* StraightGay: [[spoiler:[=McKinley=]]], for the most part.
* SummerCampy: Parodied pretty much throughout the entire film.
* TrainingMontage: Parodied beautifully as Gene teaches Coop "the new way", all set to the strains of "Higher and Higher".
* YouMustBeCold: Another trope, another absurd parody.