YMMV / Tropic Thunder

  • Award Snub: The scene-stealing performance of Tom Cruise as Les Grossman never even got a mention at the Oscars.
  • Comedy Ghetto: SMASHED. Robert Downey, Jr.. got an Oscar nomination for his performance!
    • Both he and Tom Cruise also got Golden Globe nominations.
  • Critical Research Failure: The "full retard" speech has one — Peter Sellers didn't win the Oscar for Being There, as he lost to Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer. Apparently the filmmakers got wind of the mistake, since the relevant lines are not in the director's cut.
    • In-Universe: Tugg confuses the Teen Choice Awards with the Kids Choice Awards by saying that Kevin would be slimed.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The script called for Tran's tattoo on his chest to be of a "flaming dragon raping a monkey, raping a skull, raping a rat."
    • All of the mock commercials. In particular, Alpa's "Booty Sweat" energy drink and Portnoy's Fatties film series, which appears to be basically an endless succession of fart jokes.
    • Kirk Lazarus....just the whole idea of Kirk Lazarus. A white American actor playing a black man is horribly offensive and outdated....but a white American actor playing a white Australian actor playing a black American actor playing a black man is some kind of twisted genius.
    • Les Grossman lives and breathes this trope and every other sentence that comes out of his mouth is either criminally intimidating or outrageously offensive, often both. He gets away with it because he's just so over-the-top hilarious.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Les Grossman. A foul-mouthed, greedy jerkass executive producer who leaves one of his actors to die at the hands of a gang, yet became so popular and beloved that he will even get to be the focus of a possible sequel!
  • Ear Worm: SHAWTY GOT DEM APPLE BOTTOM JEANS
    • GET BACK, MUTHAFUCKA, YOU DON'T KNOW ME LIKE THAT!
    • ALPA CHINO GOT DAT PUSSY CONTROL!
      • ALPA CHINO'S BOOTY SWEAT: POP AN ASSSSS OPEN!!!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Tom Cruise's character surprisingly steals the entire movie as the most badass producer ever filmed. He's even getting his own movie.
    • It's pretty damn hard to top a rant like the "Fuck Your Own Face" speech. Even more hilarious is the guy's expression on the other side of the telephone.
    • "Big-Ass Titties" Cody.
  • Fountain of Memes: Les Grossman and Kirk Lazarus.
  • Genius Bonus: The song that plays while Lazarus & Maguire suggestively fondle each other's rosaries & react to each other is no generic techno track. It's "Sadeness (Part 1)" by Enigma, a chart-topping single from 1990. Its use is no mistake: The song, in French with Gregorian chants in Latin, criticizes the sexual & religious views of the legendary Marquis de Sade, an Anything That Moves French nobleman known as a figure of The French Revolution for his utterly pornographic & blasphemous works. When he wasn't screwing everything with a hole in it - or in some cases making holes for himself to screw - he was blaspheming against the Catholic Church. Far from being generic, the choice of music had to be deliberate.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Kevin Sandusky, just for sharing a last name with an infamous child molester.
    • Cruise's cameo as Les Grossman is hilarious. Then you remember his notoriously close relationship with Scientology leader David Miscavige, who has been accused of such behavior with a side of assault on his own underlings. And Cruise has been accused of copying that behavior.
    • Grossman is a pretty blatant parody of Harvey Weinstein. Then the 2017 sexual harassment cases happened. Combining that with Harvey's tendency to edit films without the approval of their directors, Grossman comes off as the NICE version of Weinstein.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Less than two years after Tropic Thunder was released, the very white Gérard Depardieu was cast to play the author Alexandre Dumas (who had an African grandparent and was known to his friends as "Le Negre") in a biopic. Guess what happened.
    • The "full retard" speech is hilarious for the fact that Penn won a Oscar (albeit not for a handicapped person, but still) the same year the film was released. And also that Robert Downey, Jr.. himself got a nomination for his role in this film.
    • "Everyone's gay once in a while! This is Hollywood!". Tom Hardy apparently shares this opinion.
    • The "I'm a dude" line (again by RDJ's character) ends up as this thanks to two of his subsequent roles: first was his "stealthy" pursuit (fake nose and all) in Sherlock Holmes, and second was with the reveal of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • The "Satan's Alley" trailer is even funnier after Captain America: Civil War had Iron Man acting as a mentor to Spider-Man (albeit with the latter having changed actors).
    • A small one as the film is distributed by DreamWorks and stars both Jack Black and Jay Baruchel, both of whom went on to voice the main character in two of DreamWorks most successful animated franchises, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Les Grossman, which is summed up at the end: "Eight Oscars, $400 million dollars, and you saved Tugg Speedman's career."
  • Memetic Mutation: Just about any line that comes out of Kirk Lazarus and Les Grossman's mouths.
    • I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERFUCKER!
    • You just went full retard, man. Never go full retard.
      • And by extension, the use of "Never go full X," (example: "Never go full Umbrella Corporation") snowclones.
    • I KNOW WHO I AM! I'm a dude playin' a dude disguised as another dude!
    • What do you mean, "you people?"
      • What do you mean, "you people?"
  • Nausea Fuel: Speedman playing with Cockburn's head. Literally.
    Tugg: "It's CORN SYRUP!! ...Warm... blood-flavored... corn syrup... BUT STILL CORN SYRUP!"
    • Also, the denture stuff. Yuck.
  • Values Dissonance: One of the fastest examples ever; while the accusations that the film was mocking mentally handicapped people were generally misplaced, the furore created by the whole thing is credited in having played a big part in rapidly propelling the word "retard" from being commonly used as a synonym for "dumb" to being considered an extremely offensive term on par with most racial or homophobic insults. About the only reason why it's still considered even vaguely acceptable to quote the "full retard" speech these days is due to a combination of Grandfather Clause, the fact that the scene actually is parodying the attitude many actors take towards Oscar Bait roles, and that the speech Crosses the Line Twice.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Tom Cruise's performance in this film played a big role in helping him bounce back from the laughingstock he'd become as Hollywood's primary Scientology mouthpiece in the previous few years.
    • Robert Downey, Jr. as well, as this and Iron Man are considered to be the two films that made him undergo a Career Resurrection.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TropicThunder