YMMV / Dave

  • Designated Hero: The film treats Dave, Ellen and Duane as heroes despite - or because of - the fact that by not denouncing the substitution they subvert democracy and the US Constitution, effectively depriving the American people of the government they voted for.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The Designated Hero and Protagonist-Centered Morality tropes that are brought up on this page are actually justified in-universe: early in the film, Alexander describes to Dave why what they are doing is not wrong. It all comes down to intentions: if you aren't hurting anybody, and everyone stands to benefit, then the law can be ignored (the specific argument used is, if you were driving down a road with your deathly sick mother and came to a red light where no traffic was present and you knew it was totally safe, would you run the red light? The comparison becomes valid later on, when Alexander's and Mitchell's extensive illegal actions come to light. Essentially, while Dave's actions are no less illegal, they are more moral and righteous. Whether or not this is a bad thing in and of itself is up for debate, but when held up against Alexander's actions, it's the superior choice.
    • When one considers that Mitchell's campaign probably depicted him more like well-meaning, compassionate Dave than like his scheming, self-serving true personality, one could also argue that Dave is giving America exactly the sort of President it thought it was voting for.
    • Also, if they did denounce the substitution, it would be even worse. Essentially, they would deal the death knell to the people's trust in the government, creating a huge headache for everyone. Dave simply minimized the damage by destroying two peoples' careers.
  • Fridge Logic: At the end of the movie, the recently-widowed First Lady starts up a romantic relationship with Dave, a man who looks a lot like her deceased husband, and can't account for his whereabouts over the past few months. You think that might make people a teeny bit suspicious?
    • Eh, people will assume she's also an impersonator.
    • They might also assume it's something to do with her grief over the death of her 'beloved' husband; a bit unusual, perhaps, but not outside the realm of possibility.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I once caught a fish this big!" and "we're walking, we're walking".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Bonnie Hunt as the White House tour guide.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Alexander objects to Dave beginning to act like an actual president, saying, "Was he on the Trilateral Commission? Was he a senator? Was he in Who's Who in Washington nine years in a row?" Granted, Alexander is totally corrupt and Dave certainly shouldn't be following his orders, but he does have a point that Dave is probably unqualified to be president himself.
    • Alternatively, the point of the movie is that all you need to be a good president is compassion and common sensenote .
    • Even so, Dave is a great deal more qualified than the former President Mitchell because he calls in experts to help him do his job. The only reason he's able to find the money in the Federal Budget is he actually listens to his advisers while making his demands to find and cut unnecessary programs clear. Mitchell was implied to not care enough/desired to keep his hands on the reins of power no matter what.