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YMMV: True Lies
  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets:
    • Arab villains. Downplayed in that one of Arnold's colleagues is an intelligent Arab-American, who at least in his scenes qualifies as the Only Sane Man.
    • The film did receive some criticism for portraying the terrorists as "stereotypically" Muslim. This was 7 years before 9/11. See Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Acceptable Targets: The conversation that takes place between Harry and Helen in the quote at the top of the main page.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Curtis' famous striptease.
    • When asked during an interview whether his wife was bothered by him sitting there watching Jamie Lee Curtis strip, Arnold said that she asked him about it and he assured her "Honey, I hated every hour of it!"
  • Ending Fatigue: We have the awesome chase scene on the Forida Keys Highway with the amazing last second save of Helen, they kiss, roll cred.....Wait, the bad guys have somehow kidnapped the daughter and we have an awesome final battle, roll cred......Wait, it's a year later and we have a little epilogue, roll cred......wait Helen's now a spy and they're at an awesome party like the one at the beginning roll cred......Wait, it's Bill Paxton! Let's make fun of him again. The Tango!.........Roll Credits, whew!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Tom Arnold is usually much-maligned for his personality and film choices, but received a lot of praise from critics and audiences for his scene-stealing performance.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Juno Skinner.
  • Foe Yay: Harry Tasker and Juno Skinner. While in his spy persona, he seduces her with a very sexual tango while dodging detection from the bad guys, before either of them knew who the other really was. When they both learn of each other's identities, there is an amount of one-sided Foe Yay from Juno towards Harry, including alleging that they had a affair and kissing him in front of his wife Helen to hurt her.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Sort of. We go from a standard spy story. Then abruptly switch to Harry's concern about Helen's alleged affair. They handwave the enormous concern about a massive terrorist plot, then focus on His attempts to win her back, then right back to the spy story, but with her involved now.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The whole plotline of fanatical jihadists attacking America. Especially the nuclear weapons part, given the post-9/11 fears about dirty bombs and the like. What's worse is that a sequel was planned and the 9/11 attacks and post-9/11 fear of terrorism pretty much killed any chance of that (though there are faint rumors that the movie will be turned into a TV show).
    • Dedicating the entire second act to Arnold suspecting his wife is cheating on him, given what he did to Maria Shriver (though, in some sick way, that is kinda funny).
    • The movie also plays the idea of a secret agent using the spying tools of the US Government to spy on an unfaithful spouse for laughs. In 2013, Edward Snowden's revelations included evidence that some NSA agents had done exactly that.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Arnold's silent rage at what he thinks is his wife's lover is pretty darn intimidating.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Super Nintendo game, which is notoriously difficult.
  • Retroactive Recognition: There's a reason Faith and Echo are such Bad Ass Action Girls: they're Ahnold's daughter. Anyone wanting to know what a younger Faith might be like...Dana nails it cold.
  • Signature Scene: Harry rescuing Helen by helicopter before the limo she's inside plummets off the bridge.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Siskel and Ebert were among those who became quite uncomfortable with Harry's manipulations of Helen during the entire middle portion of the film, all of which are played for laughs.
    • You really have to wonder what would have happened if the terrorists hadn't broken in right after Helen discovered the truth.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The fight at the Florida Keys and the climactic battle, achieved using a life-sized mockup of the Harrier jet mounted on a gimbal rig.
    • It helps that this was the film that Digital Domain first did.
    • During some parts of the Florida Keys battle, actual Harrier jets (piloted by United States Marine Corps aviators) were used. The US Government supplied three Marine Harriers and their pilots for a fee of $100,736 ($2,410 per hour).
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The video game. Normally bad guys fall down in a pool of blood but they (and Harry) can be blown apart, fly back with a shotgun, burnt alive, suicide bombers leave their bloodied ribcage on death and being hit by a train results in a bloody smear.

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