YMMV: Airplane!


  • A Roman Catholic nun reading a magazine called Boys Life.
  • The turban-wearing passenger who douses himself in gasoline and tries to blow himself up to avoid listening to Striker reminiscing. (Though he was probably meant to be East Indian rather than Middle-Eastern.)
  • Genius Bonus: Manny Mota was the all-time leader in pinch hits - but he never pinch hit for Pedro Borbon.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: It's funny enough on its own, but the moment where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finally breaks down and starts talking basketball is even funnier since Jabbar himself misidentified the line on Celebrity Jeopardy.
    • The film itself has inevitably had this effect on Zero Hour, the major inspiration for its plot and many of its lines. It's downright surreal watching that film now and seeing lines like "I picked the wrong week to quit smoking" played completely straight.
  • Memetic Mutation: Every punchline has entered the cultural consciousness.
    • "Surely you can't be serious." "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."
    • "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
    • "I picked the wrong week to quit smoking, drinking..."
  • Retroactive Recognition: David Leisure (Empty Nest, Joe Isuzu) is one of the Hare Krishna.
  • The Scrappy: Johnny the control tower employee inspires this reaction from some viewers, especially during his For the Evulz moment with the runway lights. Others consider his antics to be one of the funniest things in the movie.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: At the time, the entire joke with Leslie Nielson's character was seeing a serious actor bringing every bit of his usual gravitas to such ridiculous material. Nielsen proceeded to make this kind of material his bread and butter, so that viewers these days will likely just be surprised that he's not playing the lead role.
    • Hiring non-comedic actors in a screwball comedy. Nowadays, it's impossible to find any famous actor who has't regularly done both genres.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the scene where the man opens the vent to give his wife air resulting in hurricane-force winds, note the man with the fake beard behind them. The beard was supposed to come off in the wind (you can tell the guy is waiting for the beard to come off), but they couldn't get it to work - they left the scene in anyway.
    • When the man dancing with Elaine in the "Stayin' Alive" scene get stabbed in the back, you can see the pad in his back and the actor doing the stabbing pausing to aim for the target.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Monty Python plus Mel Brooks on speed.
    • To get the film made, Zucker and company told film executives it was Animal House on a plane. It wasn't.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Due to the film reaching Memetic Critical Mass. It's on par with Rocky Horror Picture Show in terms of quotable lines per minute.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Zero Hour, the movie it was based on. In fact it's technically a remake, not just a parody.
    • The film also parodies many of the subplots from the Airport film series.