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* CassandraTruth: Refreshingly averted, as most people Harry actually talks to do believe him, especially in the diner after Landa is quickly convinced and cites her reasons to everyone else there.
** ContagiousCassandraTruth: There are a couple people who don't believe Harry or Landa, though.


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* SmallRoleBigImpact: Chip the silo technician, for spreading the warning by calling Harry on a wrong number, and Landa, who appears for less than ten minutes, for confirming it by calling local politicians she knows and finding out they've all left town, which convinces most of the others at the diner.

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**[[spoiler: Turns out Harry was being told the truth from the phone call and the nuclear missiles impact not long after he questions himself on if he was just pranked by a phone call. Though he shouldn't have these thoughts after having the phone call's authenticity already confirmed by Landa in the diner.]]


The call turns out to be a wrong number, the caller is interrupted by someone else who tells him it was a joke as gunfire is heard in the background, and Harry is left wondering whether the news is legitimate. The remainder of the film is spent more or less in RealTime as Harry looks for Julie, tries to confirm the news, and wonders what to do next.

'''Major''' spoilers below. By all means stop reading any further if you never saw the film before and want to enjoy it fully.

to:

The call turns out to be a wrong number, the caller is interrupted by someone else who tells him it was a joke as gunfire is heard in the background, and Harry is left wondering whether the news is legitimate. The remainder of the film is spent more or less in RealTime as Harry looks for Julie, tries to confirm the news, and wonders what to do next.

'''Major''' !!'''''MAJOR SPOILERS follow'''''. As the film depends heavily on twists and [[TheReveal reveals]] for its impact, [[Administrivia/HandlingSpoilers spoilers below. By all means stop reading any further if are unavoidable]]. If you never saw want to keep your surprise, watch the film before and want to enjoy it fully.
first, then come back here. And don't click any of the icons on the top of the page. Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned.


* ShootTheShaggyDog / DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Harry and Julie spend most of the movie trying to get to safety. They don't make it; their helicopter is affected by the EMP and crashes in the La Brea Tar Pits. Cue credits.]]

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* ShootTheShaggyDog / DownerEnding: ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:Harry and Julie spend most of the movie trying to get to safety. They don't make it; their helicopter is affected by the EMP and crashes in the La Brea Tar Pits. Cue credits.]]


* JerkassHasAPoint: The diner's owner steadfast refusal to do anything else than going straight to the airport with as much supplies as he can carry. At this point, wasting even few seconds on just about ''anything'' can be lethal, so he doesn't even slow down that much when [[spoiler: Harry jumps out of the truck]].

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* JerkassHasAPoint: The diner's owner steadfast refusal to do anything else than going straight to the airport with as much supplies as he can carry. At this point, wasting even few seconds on just about ''anything'' can be lethal, so he doesn't even slow down that much when [[spoiler: Harry jumps out of the truck]]. He ''doesn't'' let Harry go for Julie because he knows that anyone ''else'' would immediately ask to pick up ''their'' loved ones as well, sending them all into a FetchQuest, losing valuable time.


* GenreSavvy: The diner's owner. He wastes no time loading up on canned goods, [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere and floors it to the airport]]. He ''doesn't'' let Harry go for Julie because he knows that anyone ''else'' would immediately ask to pick up ''their'' loved ones as well, sending them all into a FetchQuest, losing valuable time. This is, in fact, what happens to Harry; everyone he asks for help will inevitably want to pick up someone else. Harry loses a lot of time because of this.
** The woman with the cellphone. [[JustifiedTrope Justified as she actually worked as a DoD contractor]], and she also is able to [[spoiler: verify that most [=VIPs=] have fled the country already]].


* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:The call was real. Nuclear war commences, and Harry and Julie fail to escape Los Angeles on time, dying as the missiles fall around them.]]



* HopeSpot: The helicopter to safety is always there at hand's reach. Harry is simply busy going around it all the time, for various reasons.

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* HopeSpot: The At one point, it seems that [[spoiler:Chips had been in fact lying, as the nukes fail to appear at the time he said they would. This trope is played straight when, only a few minutes later, a missile flies by overhead, confirming Chips' story.]]
** [[spoiler:The helicopter pilot appears at the landing pad, although wounded, and tries to fly Harry and Julie out of Los Angeles. Then a nuke detonates over the city, causing an EMP and the
helicopter to safety is always there at hand's reach. Harry is simply busy going around it all crash into the time, for various reasons.La Brea Tar Pits.]]


* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler: Class 1; if the voice on the phone is telling the truth, much of the United States and Soviet Union are dead]].
* ArmiesAreEvil: They've probably started WorldWarIII, without any prior indications of tense international situation or ongoing conflict. [[spoiler: And they want to keep it secret from their own civilian population]].

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* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler: Class [[spoiler:Class 1; if the voice on the phone is telling the truth, much of the United States and Soviet Union are dead]].
* ArmiesAreEvil: They've probably started WorldWarIII, without any prior indications of tense international situation or ongoing conflict. [[spoiler: And [[spoiler:And they want to keep it secret from their own civilian population]].



* DeathByGenreSavviness: [[spoiler: Sure, the streets are going to get packed. But that won't happen right now. Harry could've been able to get to the airport on a car without a problem for most of the time]].

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* DeathByGenreSavviness: [[spoiler: Sure, [[spoiler:Sure, the streets are going to get packed. But it's 4 in the morning when the news first dropped, so that won't happen right now. away. Harry could've been able to get to the airport on a by car without a problem for most of the time]].film]].



* TheVoice: The caller, Chips, and [[spoiler: whoever picked the phone after shooting him]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The film is told entirely from Harry's perspective, so we never find out what happened to the other diner patrons or staff. When the car thief reappears near the end, he's clearly had an adventure as crazy as Harry's but [[spoiler: he dies before he can explain what happened to him]].

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* TheVoice: The caller, Chips, and [[spoiler: whoever [[spoiler:whoever picked the phone after shooting him]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The film is told entirely from Harry's perspective, so we never find out what happened to the other diner patrons or staff. When the car thief reappears near the end, he's clearly had an adventure as crazy as Harry's but [[spoiler: he [[spoiler:he dies before he can explain what happened to him]].


* UnreliableExpositor: The anonymous caller. The entire suspense of the film is build around the inability to check if his call was real.
* TheVoice: The caller and [[spoiler: whoever picked the phone after shooting him]].

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* UnreliableExpositor: The Chips, the anonymous caller. The entire suspense of the film is build around the inability to check if his call was real.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Harry drops a lit cigarette without putting it out. As a result, a bird picks it up, accidentally causing a fire that knocks out the power in Harry's apartment. As a result, he's late in picking Julie up, and arrives at the diner in time to pick up the phone call.
* TheVoice: The caller caller, Chips, and [[spoiler: whoever picked the phone after shooting him]].

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* BigShutUp: Harry screams at the diner patrons to shut up when they ignore his talk about the man on the phone.


* CopKiller: The car thief Harry briefly partners up with accidentally kills two police officers, as he sprays them with gasoline to escape arrest, and then the officers fire their guns, lighting themselves on fire. When Harry re-encounters the thief, the police are hot on his tail due to his actions.



* DisproportionateRetribution: The man who tries to kill Harry for jumping on top of his car.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The whole movie takes place over the course of a day. After Harry receives the phone call, the movie runs in RealTime.



* HopeSpot: Inverted. The helicopter to safety is always there at hand's reach. Harry is simply busy going around it all the time, for various reasons.

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* HopeSpot: Inverted. The helicopter to safety is always there at hand's reach. Harry is simply busy going around it all the time, for various reasons.


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* ManOnFire: The police officers who accidentally light themselves on fire.

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* FetchQuest: A seemingly never-ending strings of those happens to Harry. [[spoiler: It eventually get him and Julie killed, since he wasted almost entire time they had without progressing even a step toward safety]].


* ApocalypseAnarchy: Since the message keeps on spreading without any confirmation from anyone over the course of the film, by third act it reaches the point where entire city reaches the state of panic and utter chaos emerges ''within minutes''. Harry starts to question what have he done after seeing the carnage.

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* ApocalypseAnarchy: Since the message keeps on spreading without any confirmation from anyone over the course of the film, by third act it reaches hits the point where entire city reaches the state of panic and utter chaos emerges ''within minutes''. Harry starts to seriously question what have he done after seeing witnessing the carnage.



* HopeSpot: The helicopter to safety.

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* HopeSpot: Inverted. The helicopter to safety.safety is always there at hand's reach. Harry is simply busy going around it all the time, for various reasons.


** The woman with the cellphone. [[JustifiedTrope Justified as she actually worked as a DoD contractor]], and she also is able to [[spoiler: verify that most VIPs have fled the country already]].

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** The woman with the cellphone. [[JustifiedTrope Justified as she actually worked as a DoD contractor]], and she also is able to [[spoiler: verify that most VIPs [=VIPs=] have fled the country already]].


'''Major''' spoilers below. By all means stop reading any further if you never saw the film before and want to enjoy it fully.



* ApocalypseAnarchy: Since the message keeps on spreading without any confirmation from anyone over the course of the film, by third act it reaches the point where entire city reaches the state of panic and utter chaos emerges ''within minutes''. Harry starts to question what have he done after seeing the carnage.



* ArmiesAreEvil: They've probably started WorldWarIII, without any prior indications of tense international situation or ongoing conflict. [[spoiler: And they want to keep it secret from their own civilian population]].



* DeadlineNews: The newscast about "reports of a nuclear attack" cuts to a reporter on the streets who gets shot in the next 10 seconds. The cameraman is also shot; and technically even the anchorman will be this once the bombs drop.
* DeathByGenreSavviness: [[spoiler:Sure, the streets are going to get packed. But that won't happen right now. Harry could've been able to get to the airport on a car without a problem for most of the time]].

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* TheConspiracy: Apparently, someone deliberately wants to [[spoiler: keep the public uninformed about incoming missiles, killing launch technicians in the process]].
* DeadlineNews: The newscast about "reports of a panic caused by unconfirmed nuclear attack" cuts to a reporter on the streets who gets shot in the next 10 seconds. The cameraman is also shot; and shot soon after. [[spoiler: And technically even the anchorman will be this once the bombs drop.
nukes drop]].
* DeathByGenreSavviness: [[spoiler:Sure, [[spoiler: Sure, the streets are going to get packed. But that won't happen right now. Harry could've been able to get to the airport on a car without a problem for most of the time]].



* GenreShift: From Romantic Comedy to apocalyptic drama. It even manages to mislead the audience, as the first scenes are shown as if happening in the future, with Harry having lost Julie.

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* GenreShift: From Romantic Comedy RomanticComedy to apocalyptic drama. It even manages to mislead the audience, as the first scenes are shown as if happening in the future, with Harry having lost Julie.



** The woman with the cellphone. [[JustifiedTrope Justified as she actually worked as a DoD contractor]], and she also is able to verify that most VIPs have fled the country already.

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** The woman with the cellphone. [[JustifiedTrope Justified as she actually worked as a DoD contractor]], and she also is able to [[spoiler: verify that most VIPs have fled the country already.already]].



* HeroOfAnotherStory: Since the film is loaded with dozens of characters, but focuses on Harry's adventures exclusively, it's a given. There are all the diner patrons, the thief between meeting Harry for the first and second time, the yuppies at the skyscraper's roof, the pilot between his flights, Julie's parents...



* LateArrivalSpoiler: The home video cover pretty much gives away that the call is real.

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* LateArrivalSpoiler: The home video cover pretty much gives away that [[spoiler: the call is real.real]].
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: For a story told in RealTime, the film is crowded to the brim with characters, each of them playing their own part and [[HeroOfAnotherStory each with their own story going on]].



* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Harry after Julie tells him [[spoiler: all of this was just a cruel prank, since they've should be dead already. And even after ''she'' is proven wrong and the missiles are really closing in, Harry is still in shock due to the widespread carnage he caused]].
* PrankCall: It is not made clear until the third act if the call was genuine or just an elaborate prank.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Justified. The group from the diner consists of random strangers, who all happend to be in the joint in the middle of the night, ranging from bussinesswoman to homeless hobo. From what's seen, they create a suprisingly effective team.
* RealTime: After the opening, the story is told exclusively in real time.



* UnreliableExpositor: The anonymous caller.

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* TropeBreaker: The story requires both widespread public phones and lack of cell phones to work.
* UnreliableExpositor: The anonymous caller. The entire suspense of the film is build around the inability to check if his call was real.
* TheVoice: The caller and [[spoiler: whoever picked the phone after shooting him]].

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