YMMV / The Blues Brothers

  • Acceptable Political Targets: The Illinois Nazis in the first film, and the Freemen-esque extremists in the sequel.
    Elwood: Illinois Nazis.
    Jake: I fucking hate Illinois Nazis. [engages the clutch]
  • Adaptation Displacement: Mentioning The Blues Brothers is more likely to get some people to think of the film than the Saturday Night Live skits it's based on
  • Angst? What Angst?: The film ends with the entire band in prison. No one seems to mind.
  • Awesome Music: Much of the movie, but the best bit has to be "Everybody Needs Somebody".
    • ... or "Sweet Home Chicago".
    • "Minnie the Moocher"
      • Clearly the winner, hands down.
    • Three words: Gimme. Some. Lovin'.
      • RAWHIIIIIIIIIDE
    • "Jailhouse Rock". Easily a match for the original version by the King himself.
    • "The Old Landmark". No wonder everyone in church was dancing to James Brown.
    • Say what you will about the sequel, but there's no denying Aretha Franklin's cover of the song that made her famous is amazing.
      • And her performance of "Think" in the first movie is spectacular as well.
    • Shake a Tailfeather
    • For Blues Brothers 2000, anything by The Louisiana Gator Boys is hard to beat. They have Eric Clapton! And B.B. King. And Bo Diddley. And Dr. John. Steve Winwood. Billy Preston! Charlie Musselwhite. Koko Taylor. And numerous others.
      • Also in Blues Brothers 2000, when the band is cornered at the state fair and perform a haunting rendition of "Ghost Riders In The Sky".
      • It's so awesome it summons undead cowboys on giant Hellish Horses chasing skeletal cattle across the sky! it's quite possibly the most awesome scene ever put on film!
      • 634-5789 with Wilson Pickett and Funky Nassau are also quite catchy.
    • It might be easier and quicker to say that in a Blues Brothers movie, if you hear music starting up, it's pretty much going to lead to one of these.
  • Chaotic Good: Jake and Elwood Blues manage to level a Chicago mall, a gas station, the front of Daley Plaza, and several police cars in their quest to save the orphanage they were raised in. They also offer to steal the money first before getting the Mission from God.
  • Cult Classic
  • Dead Horse Genre:
    • The brothers' booking agent Sline explains that rhythm and blues is past its prime and Disco is in vogue.
    • Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" was nearly a victim to this trope. When Calloway went in to record, he was under the impression that it was his recent disco version that Landis wanted, and was highly annoyed to find out they wanted him to sing it as he originally did. He presumably changed his mind when his performance of that song in the film made him a star again.
  • Ear Worm: A new one every 10 minutes, but what do you expect when Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Cab Calloway are cast members?
  • Epic Riff: Frequently. The Peter Gunn Theme is almost as associated with the Blues Brothers as it is for the original TV show.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Sequelitis version. Especially due to the Happy Ending Override.
  • First Installment Wins: Depending on which "first" we're talking about. If you're talking about the characters, that started on Saturday Night Live. In terms of movies, there's no competition between the 1980 classic and 2000. It's also highly regarded as the singular best (if not the only good) movies adapted from an SNL skit.
  • He Really Can Act: Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin all get extended scenes showcasing their comedy skills.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A Russian gangster promises one of his comrades that they will, eventually, drink vodka from Elwood's skull. Made funnier by the fact that Mr. Aykroyd now has a vodka brand which comes... in a bottle... shaped like a skull. There are even skull-shaped shot glasses available!
    • Elwood's "Who you gonna call, Jake?" at the phone booth is put in entirely new perspective when you consider Aykroyd's other well-known work.
    • Another movie made in Chicago has featured an extended, extremely destructive chase scene through the Chicago underpass system. Soundtrack swap material, anyone?
    • "Are you the police?" "No, ma'am, we're musicians." Guess which band was just beginning to become internationally famous at the time when the movie was released? Also funnier since Aykroyd's deadpan delivery of "ma'am" so perfectly foreshadows his later turn as Jack Webb a few years later.
    • The brothers' agent tells them that blues is a Dead Horse Genre and they should switch their act to disco. Thirty years after the film's release, blues music is still going strong, while disco was the Trope Namer for Deader Than Disco within a year.
  • Ho Yay: As the Illinois Nazis plummet thousands of feet to their doom from an overpass, one says to the Gruppenfuhrer, "I've always loved you." The Gruppenfuhrer is not amused.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "We're on a mission from Gahd."
    • "I hate Illinois Nazis."
    • "JESUS H. TAPDANCIN' CHRIST!"
    • "Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now!"
    • "YOU! You got my Cheez Whiz, boy?"
    • The Briefcase Full of Blues poster that included the badass quote "It's 106 Miles to Chicago..." For a period in The '80s it was one of the most popular to decorate college dorm walls.
  • Memetic Outfit:
    • The black suits and ties, sunglasses, and fedoras.
    • Buster's suit with Converse sneakers is awfully similar to the Tenth Doctor's.
  • One-Scene Wonder: As noted, several examples, the most memorable perhaps being Kathleen Freeman's "Penguin."
    • The original is basically a series of One Scen Wonders: Frank Oz as the prison guard, Kathleen Freeman as the Penguin, James Brown as the Preacher, Aretha Franklin as the diner owner, Ray Charles as the owner of Ray's. There are other memorable characters as well...
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • There was a platformer for the Super NES. It has almost nothing to do with either the movies or the skit beyond the name, controls that are poor at best, downright painful at worst, and it isn't designed too well. Oh, and it was made by Titus Software, who also worked on the Super NES Porting Disaster of Prince of Persia 2, Carmageddon 64 (another Porting Disaster), Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for the Game Boy and, last but not least, Superman 64. Not much more needs to be said about this.
    • There was also, believe it or not, a Blues Brothers 2000 game for the Nintendo 64. It was released in the actual year 2000, right at the tail end of the 64's life cycle and two whole years after the film's disastrous box office run. The handful of people who actually bought this game got nothing but a run-of-the-mill 3D platformer with Elwood running around Chicago, and the final boss was just one long rhythm mini-game. Not only a bad game, but a bafflingly pointless one.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Three new Blues Brothers join Elwood in Blues Brothers 2000, and none of them is a sufficient replacement for Belushi... but their singing is pretty damn good.
    • Some folks actually thought Big Mac (John Goodman's character) came close, but lacked the sarcastic charm of Jake's character.
    • Given how iconic Belushi was in the role, it's arguable that anyone who tried to fill his shoes would have found themselves facing this trope.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The would-be guitar thief Ray shoots at? Argyle from Die Hard.
  • Sequelitis: Blues Brothers 2000 is generally considered inferior to the original, mostly because (as described above) John Belushi's shoes were very hard to fill. It also suffers from a story that takes some unnecessarily weird turns and a weaker script with clunkier humor compared to the original, but it does have some truly great musical numbers, which just might be enough to redeem it for blues fans.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The car chases, the level of destruction inflicted on Chicago in the climax, and the escalating number of authorities the two brothers attract as a result all bring to mind a Grand Theft Auto movie where the climax has the protagonists reach a five-star Wanted Level (or perhaps a six-star level is more accurate).
  • Squick: The soiled prophylactic the corrections officer fishes out of Jake's belongings with a pen.
  • Vindicated by Video: 2000 bombed at the box office but did better when it went to the home market.

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