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2[[caption-width-right:237:''[[{{Tagline}} Beneath the surface, everyone has a secret.]]'']]
4''Mean Creek'' is a 2004 ComingOfAge psychological indie drama film starring Rory Culkin, Carly Schroeder and Creator/JoshPeck.
6It tells the story of a bully called George (Peck) who beats up a fellow classmate Sam (Culkin) regularly. Sam's older brother and his friends decide to [[PayEvilUntoEvil get revenge on George for the bullying]] and invite him on a boating trip for the weekend.
8They plan to [[GoneSwimmingClothesStolen make him strip and jump into the river, before abandoning him and forcing him to walk home naked]]. Also tagging along is Sam's friend Millie (Schroeder), who urges Sam to call the plan off.
10Divided opinions in the group cause the plan to [[GoneHorriblyWrong backfire horribly]], and they are forced to deal with the consequences of their actions.
13!!Provides examples of:
15* ADateWithRosiePalms: Rocky goes into detail on what he thinks about while jerking off during Truth or Dare.
16* AerithAndBob: The siblings are named Rocky....and Sam.
17* AmbiguousDisorder: George says he has a learning disability. He says he can't read words right which hints at dyslexia while also displaying some characteristics of autism.
18* AmbiguousTimePeriod: There really isn't any indication that the movie takes place in the 2000s. Especially when Rocky and Sam play would you rather, they talk about Creator/ShannenDoherty and Creator/HeatherLocklear who were popular in the early to mid nineties. They also use pagers and landlines instead of cell phones[[note]]Granted, they were still used even in 2004, but cellphones are just becoming more popular, so it still somewhat counts[[/note]], and George gets Sam a Super Soaker as a present.
19* AnAesop: Peer pressure for the most part is harmful. [[spoiler:It can even be deadly.]]
20* AssholeVictim: {{Subverted|Trope}}, bordering on a deconstruction. [[spoiler:The group start to realise their mistake as soon as George shows he might not be so bad, being happy to be invited for the trip. They seem to come to the conclusion that nobody truly deserves to be tormented. Unfortunately George lands himself in it.]]
21* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Downplayed. While Marty's brother Kyle is an abusive asshole, he seems genuinely concerned for Marty when he finds out about [[spoiler:his role in George's death]] and [[spoiler:agrees to not say anything about it to protect Marty]]. During their final scene together, Kyle tries to say something heartfelt to Marty but gives up after either he can't think of anything or can't bring himself to say it.
22* BerserkButton: Do not mention Marty's father. George also reacts violently when Sam touches his camera.
23* BigBrotherBully:
24** Subverted. Sam's older brother Rocky is good and kind while Marty fits the stereotype perfectly, despite not actually being related to Sam.
25** Marty's brother Kyle is a straight example.
26%% * BitchAlert: Male example - Marty.
27* BigBrotherInstinct: Rocky's main motive for getting back at George.
28* BreakThemByTalking: George's cruel, relentless mocking of Marty's dead father ("His daddy splattered his brains all over the wall!") is what breaks Marty and, in one way or another, [[spoiler:results in George's death]].
29* BrokenRecord: "His daddy splattered his brains all over the wall."
30* TheBully: George and Marty. The film explores the reasoning behind both cases while never excusing either:
31** George is actually a mostly nice kid, but seems to have some sort of disorder that makes it hard for him to comprehend that what he's doing is wrong. When he and Clyde discuss a previous incident where George hurt Clyde, George genuinely can't comprehend the idea that he may have attacked Clyde for no good reason and asserts that Clyde must have done ''something'' to warrant it.
32** Marty comes from a DysfunctionalFamily with a drug-addicted mother and an abusive older brother. He also has a lot of lingering trauma resulting from [[spoiler:his father's suicide]].
33* CameraFiend: Subverted. George has made a very personal confessional on his video camera.
34* ChekhovsGun: Millie carves something into the tree [[spoiler: to mark where George's body is buried, so the police can find it]].
35* ClusterFBomb: The most famous scene in the movie, when [[spoiler:everyone lets George know why they brought him on the trip]], and he subsequently cusses out everyone on the boat.
36* CompanionCube: George's video camera, which he carries everywhere. The school, the boat, [[spoiler:and even the lake.]]
37* CountryMatters: [[spoiler:During his tirade, George calls Millie "a JAP[[note]] [[JewishAmericanPrincess Jewish American Princess]], meaning a Jewish Woman who is incredibly selfish and materialistic. It's been mostly overshadowed for its other meaning as an Anti-Japanese Slur. [[/note]] cunt." What makes his use of the word particularly shocking is that Millie is arguably the most sensible and innocent one here.]]
38* CoverDrop: The poster on this page exactly mirrors a shot in the movie following [[spoiler:George's death]].
39* CreatorCameo: Of a sort. When Marty is aiming Kyle's pistol, he mentions a "Mr. Estes". The director's name is Jacob Aaron Estes.
40* CPRCleanPrettyReliable: [[spoiler: Millie attempts to revive George, it doesn't work]].
41* DeadHandShot: One of the posters depicts [[spoiler:a dead George's forearm]] covered with dirt and leaves.
42* {{Determinator}}: Deconstructed. [[spoiler:By the halfway point, Marty is the only one in the group that is willing to go along with the plan. Too bad George dies because of it.]]
43* DisappearedDad: Marty's father who killed himself. If George has a father we don't see him.
44* TheDogBitesBack: Clyde gets bullied by Marty and George throughout the whole film and finally snaps [[spoiler:when Marty wants to bury the body]].
45* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:George drowns, the kids bury his body but then decide to come clean to the police. They'll likely be treated sympathetically but will be forever haunted by the experience. Marty also begins a life of crime as he runs off to Mexico]].
46* EveryoneHasStandards:
47** Everyone except Marty wants to call off the original plan once they find George to be a relatively nice guy who obviously doesn't have social skills.
48** Marty makes sure Millie is covering her eyes when he flashes his penis to everyone during truth or dare.
49** Rocky, Sam, and Millie are the only characters who don't mock Clyde for having two gay dads.
50* FreudianExcuse:
51** It's stated that George has dyslexia, and he also has an AmbiguousDisorder which makes socializing hard for him.
52** Marty obviously comes from an abusive home and to add insult to injury, his dad AteHisGun.
53* TheFriendNobodyLikes:
54%% ** George, for obvious reasons.
55** Clyde also seems to be this, with Marty's constant cruel remarks about him. Though, Rocky at least tries to include him and comforts him after they plan the initial prank.
56* GenreDeconstruction: As Creator/RogerEbert put it, "'Mean Creek' joins a small group of films including [[spoiler:'[[Film/RiversEdge The River's Edge]]' and 'Film/{{Bully}},']] which deal accurately and painfully with the consequences of peer driven behavior."
57%% * GoneHorriblyWrong: Saying that is quite the understatement.
58* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: The kids plan to do a variation of this to George as punishment.
59* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Millie has white-blonde hair which is appropriate for the most innocent of the group. She wears a lot of white too.
60* HasTwoMommies: Clyde has two dads, which is something he's mocked mercilessly for.
61* HeelFaceDoorSlam: [[spoiler:George slams the door on himself when he makes a crack about Marty's father and then further digs himself into it when he taunts the others after finding out about the prank]].
62* {{Irony}}: George makes fun of Millie, Sam, and Clyde for not wanting to play Truth or Dare not knowing that they are trying to protect him.
63* JerkassHasAPoint: Even though Marty was acting out of line after George's death, he was right about no one showing sympathy for people who throw fat kids in the river, and about the possibility of the kids getting in trouble for what had happened.
64%% * LIsForDyslexia: George.
65* MoodWhiplash: The trailer caught a ''really'' bad wind of it halfway through. The first half makes the movie seem like an innocent, light-hearted comedy of sorts. Then we see the scenes depicting [[spoiler:George's death]], and everything converts to extremely depressing.
66* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: George. He's actually a very lonely kid with an AmbiguousDisorder which makes him very defensive of his camera.
67* NotSoAboveItAll: After being taunted by George, Millie tells the others to start the Truth or Dare game.
68* OhCrap: George's mother when she sees the group standing outside her door. It's ''really'' PlayedForDrama.
69%% * OnlySaneWoman: Millie and Clyde fill these roles.
70%% * PayEvilUntoEvil: Marty's rationalisation of the plan.
71* PleaseWakeUp: [[spoiler: Millie says this several times while trying to revive George.]]
72* PrecisionFStrike: Innocent little Millie lets loose two f-bombs, [[spoiler: when she can't revive George.]]
73* PrisonRape: Briefly mentioned:
74-->'''Clyde''': But the idea of [[spoiler: burying the body]] is nuts.\
75'''Marty''': Going to jail and getting raped every night for the rest of your cute little fucking lives is nuts.
76* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: George gives one to Millie, Sam, Clyde, and Marty [[spoiler: when he finds out about the prank.]]
77%% * SceneryPorn: Especially when they go out on the lake.
78* ShipTease: In universe, Rocky dares [[ToyShip Sam and Millie to kiss,]] and Marty forces them to.
79* ShipperOnDeck: Pretty much everyone ships Sam and Millie together.
80%% * ShrinkingViolet: Sam.
81* ShutUpHannibal: Clyde is disgusted, after Marty [[spoiler: suggests burying George's body,]] and tells him off about the potential holes in his plan.
82* SpannerInTheWorks: Marty. [[spoiler: His insistence in playing truth or dare, leads to George being killed.]]
83* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Millie is the only female in the main cast.
84* StressVomit: Sam, after [[spoiler: they couldn't revive George.]]
85* TotallyRadical: Averted to a degree. There's no eighties slang from the kids (the creator is an '80s kid), but for some reason they act as if Super Soakers are the best thing ever, and reference fantasizing about Creator/HeatherLocklear and Creator/ShannenDoherty, who would have been in their [=40s=] when the film came out.
86%% * ThreeAmigos: Marty, Rocky, and Clyde.