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Film / Are We There Yet?

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Are We There Yet? is a 2005 comedy film about Nick Persons (Ice Cube), a swinging bachelor who falls for Suzanne (Nia Long), a beautiful businesswoman and divorced mother with 2 bratty kids, Lindsey and Kevin. Suzanne has to go to a business meeting in Vancouver and asks Nick to bring her kids. But her two kids do not like Nick and purposefully sabotage their trip in order to split Nick and Suzanne apart. Throughout the trip, Nick and the kids clash repeatedly, but end up bonding.

The film was followed up by a sequel Are We Done Yet?, where he and the family move to a new house in desperate need of repair, and spun-off a TV series also named Are We There Yet?, set in a different continuity and with different actors. The show has Nick (now played by Terry Crews) as a successful sports talk show host with the kids' bad behavior significantly toned down. His wife Suzanne's (played by Essence Atkins) bossiness and stubborn manner provides the greatest source of conflict within the show. Cube is a producer to the series, and has a role as Suzanne's brother.

The series provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Nick's Navigator takes so much abuse throughout the entirety of the first film. It eventually ends with the car exploding completely.
  • All for Nothing: Lindsey and Kevin's bratty, troublemaking behavior is because the two want to keep all men away from their mother in the hopes that she and their father can reconcile. Despite it being clear she doesn't want anything to do with him anymore, they're determined to make their goal a reality and give Nick nothing but trouble even when he's trying his best to get along with them. They finally ditch him and arrive at their father's house, where they discover he was lying about being sick and is in fact remarried with a new baby, not even noticing the two outside his window watching in. By the next scene, they've finally given up on him and their hopes of their parents reconciling, realizing that they wasted all their time driving away their mother's boyfriends for an impossible goal.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The sequel, when Nick fires Chuck.
    Nick: (to Chuck) I'm blaming you for the ozone layer, global warming, the price on gas.
  • Ascended Extra: Suzanne has a lot more screen time in the sequel.
  • Asthma Peril: Kevin has asthma and keeps his inhaler inside a large superhero action figure. After they reach Vancouver, Kevin has an asthma attack while at the ice rink and Nick saves him by administering his inhaler, eventually proving to Suzanne that Nick really cares for her kids.
  • Babies Ever After: Nick and Suzanne have twins in the sequel.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Oh, no! Nick's getting run over! Oh, wait, just the twin motorcycle fakeout.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Nick and Suzanne at the end of the first film.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: When Lindsey and Kevin see through a window that their father is not sick, and with a woman and infant implied to be his new wife and child, they realize that he was lying so he does not have to see them. When Nick finds out, he reveals how his own father abandoned him while comforting the two. Lindsey and Kevin eventually come to terms with the fact that their father does not want them in his life and learn to accept Nick as their new father figure.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lindsey and Kevin, especially in the first movie.
  • Break the Haughty: While they didn't deserve the heartbreak they got when they found out their father is remarried with another child, Lindsey and Kevin learn to stop behaving like brats towards Nick. Even Nick feels sorry for the duo.
  • Brick Joke: At the end of the second movie, a ladder falls on to the front of Nick's car, smashing the windscreen to bits. This trope applies as the first movie was centered around his original car being destroyed by the kids.
  • Broken Pedestal: It's safe to say that Lindsey and Kevin don't hold their father in such high esteem anymore after discovering he abandoned them to start a new family with another woman and just made a flimsy excuse of being sick so as to cut them and their mother out of his new life.
  • Butt-Monkey: The series, particularly the sequel, refuses to go one minute without tormenting Nick.
  • Child Hater: Basically Nick's defining character trait, and for good reasons too!
  • Companion Cube:
    • Kevin's Galaktico figure to the point where he refuses to leave the ignited car without finding it. It's because he keeps his asthma inhaler in the figure's leg.
    • Nick also has his bobble head Satch but the bobblehead is (to him) alive and acts as a conscience.
  • Cool Car: Nick had it going since the beginning, but it went through so much trauma...
  • Dirty Old Woman: Miss Mable, who tries to make moves on Nick when Suzanne isn't around.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Nick (understandably) couldn't stand Kevin and Lindsey, even he feels bad for them when they find out their dad abandoned them.
  • First Father Wins: Deconstructed. Lindsey and Kevin Kingston greatly adore their divorced father, Frank, and made it their mission to chase away their mother, Suzanne's, boyfriends until their parents reunite. However, it's evident that their mother has no interest in reconnecting with their father; when Suzanne is talking on the phone with Frank, who claimed he was sick so he could not pick up their children, she protests that he has not spent time with them since Labor Day, and while they're arguing, he just hangs up on her. This implies that Frank has not stayed in contact with his ex-wife and children after the divorce. Lindsey and Kevin run away from Nick Persons, their mother's friend, when they learn he is interested in Suzanne and decide to go to their father's house, believing they can get their parents to fall in love again. When they arrive, however, they see through a window that Frank is not sick but, in fact, with a new family. Lindsey and Kevin finally realize that their father was lying to them so he could cut them out of his life. Even Nick, who was understandably angry with their antics, is sympathetic when he learns this and assures them that it was not their fault because their father is losing out on having his children in his life. Though painful, Lindsey and Kevin accept that their father does not want them around anymore and bond with Nick as their new father figure.
  • Freudian Excuse: Nick's attitude can easily be summed up when he tells the kids his own father left him just as theirs did. His child hating attitude is probably him not wanting to be reminded of that happening when he was their age.
  • Gasshole: Gigi, when she gets nervous or upset. Woe to anyone stuck on a stalled elevator with her.
  • Groin Attack: Kevin kicks Nick, when he offers to teach him some "Chinese".
  • Harmful to Minors: Discussed between Nick and Lindsey when Kevin is heard playing the videogame Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
    Lindsey: That game doesn't sound G-Rated.
    Nick: Yeah, but it's keeping him occupied.
    Lindsey: The boy played Lady Pac-Man at the mall and had nightmares for a week! (grabs the controller).
  • Innocently Insensitive: Downplayed. Mr. Rooney, who was passing by at the Persons household, asks Nick how Chuck is doing. Nick replies that he doesn't know and doesn't care. Of course, Rooney is kept in the dark about Chuck's firing by Nick, who immediately takes back this statement when he is told that Ellie, Chuck's wife and a famous singer, died a few years ago, inspiring Nick to personally apologize to him and hire him back.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Despite her sassiness and occasional picking on her younger brother, Lindsey wasn't actually wrong when she called Nick out for giving Kevin a corkscrew as a "gift", not only because it's an object dangerous for children to use, but also because it is illegal to bring on planes. Since Kevin brought it along on their way to the airport and chose to hide it inside Nick's pocket, this resulted in them being forced out of the building.
    • Although firing Danny and his brothers because of a party they threw with Lindsey in attendance was a petty whim on his part, Nick was totally on point in scolding both Lindsey, whom he still treats as a kid, and Danny for not asking him permission in the first place. Even Danny knows Nick is right when he comes back to apologize and begs him to hire them back to fix his house.
  • Jerkass Realization: Kevin and Lindsey take back their attitude towards Nick (and Suzanne's other exes they chased away) upon realizing their father had actually left them on purpose to start a new life of his own.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nick comes off as a selfish Child Hater, but he will still go out his way to be polite to others and help them out.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Downplayed with Kevin and Lindsey. They're not particularly bad children, but their recalcitrant behavior towards Nick (even when he tries to do something nice for them) can border on unnecessarily antagonistic torment.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of the film, Al's truck gets towed away.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Lindsey, mostly in the first film, although she still isn't without her moments in the sequel.
  • Kids Play Match Breaker: Lindsey and Kevin scare away all of their mother’s dates so she can get back together with their dad. At the beginning of the movie, they set up a trap for one unlucky suitor that ends in him being covered in glue and trapped in a Santa blow-up. When Nick is left with them, they terrorize him to nip any potential romance he might have with their mom in the bud. They lie that he kidnapped them to strangers, locked him out of his car, and even hopped a train to get away from him.
  • Living Toys: The wisecracking Satchel Paige bobblehead (often referred to as simply "Satch"), voiced by Tracy Morgan, in the first film. Satch is not featured in the sequel.
  • Never My Fault: In the sequel, Nick tries to blame Chuck for the malfunctioning house when he should have hired an inspector in the first place.
  • New Year Has Come: The film takes place on New Year's Eve.
  • Nice Guy: Chuck, in the sequel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The kids' specialty:
    • Kevin, for ditching the corkscrew Nick gave to him inside his pocket. For this, Nick is mistaken for a murderer and tackled to the ground by security guards, leading to the trio being forced out of the airport and forced to travel to Vancouver by land. Later, he throws up on the windshield of Nick's car, nearly causing an accident and forcing Nick to stop in the woods for another few hours.
    • Lindsey, for pretending to be kidnapped and causing the truckers to attack Nick, and later, taking a picture of the deer that Nick and Kevin feed with the flash on, causing it to attack Nick and make him drop his keys, which leads to him accidentally setting his car on fire.
  • Not So Above It All: In the first film, Nick is at first against playing "Hamster Dance" on his car stereo (as he likes to "keep it gangsta"), but he soon finds himself getting into the song as well.
  • Out of Focus: Kevin and Lindsey are relegated to supporting players in the sequel, as the story is more centered around Nick and Chuck.
  • Pac Man Fever: Kevin is shown playing Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem in Nick's minivan; he mashes the controller while the game makes sounds similar to collecting coins in Super Mario Bros..
  • Parental Abandonment: Lindsey and Kevin's father was deemed sick. However, after getting to where he lives, they learned the hard way as to why he was really gone.
  • Parodies of Fire: Happens as the doctor power-walks to the family's house in the sequel.
  • Potty Emergency: Kevin has one and Nick ends up rushing him into a gas station's bathroom. The other stalls in the bathroom are being used and the one remaining stall is a Disgusting Public Toilet, so Kevin has no choice but to use the bathroom sink.
  • Pushover Parents: Downplayed. Suzanne stands up to her kids, but she doesn't give effective punishment for their actions.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In the sequel, Nick finally loses his patience with Chuck when the latter tells him that their house needs a new foundation, chasing him with a wooden stick and firing him on the spot.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Happens in the second movie, between Nick and a fish.
  • Sad Clown: Chuck is always upbeat and optimistic. However, this turns out to be a defense mechanism he is using to cope with the death of his beloved wife Ellie.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Chuck's constant sense of humor becomes the final straw for Nick to fire him, accusing him of not taking the new house's fixings seriously and calling it "a mess". In response, Chuck sadly leaves, though not before telling Nick that if he can't appreciate the difference between a house and a home, then maybe he wasn't "his guy" (more accurately, his contractor). The rest of the building crew quit as well out of loyalty to Chuck. A blind member lampshades this to an appalled Nick when he notices it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kevin plays the videogame Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem at one point.
    • When Suzanne asks Nick if he knows what her kids' names are, he replies, "Rudy and Theo?"
  • Tempting Fate: Nick to a nauseated Kevin: "Hey, man, don't even worry about it. There's nothing more that you could do to this car." Cue vomit.
  • Title Drop: During the scene where Kevin has to go to the bathroom while they're driving, Kevin asks Nick if they are there yet.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Kevin and Lindsey, although they still engage in some shenanigans, are considerably more sympathetic in the sequel.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Kevin projectile vomits on the car's windshield, forcing the three to pull into a rest area to clean out the car.
  • Wham Line:
    • When it seems like Suzanne wouldn't forgive Nick for what's happened to her kids in his custody and he turns to leave, she says this line:
      Suzanne: Nick? We can't be friends.... Because I want to be more than just a friend.
      Nick: (happily) What?
    • In the sequel, after he fires Chuck, Nick says this to Suzanne:
      Nick: I wouldn't be stuck with this dump if it wasn't for you and these ungrateful kids!
  • Wham Shot: When Kevin and Lindsey finally make it to where their absentee father lives. He is not only not sick and bedridden as he led them to believe, he is also remarried with a new baby, much to their dismay. Even Nick felt sorry for them.
  • You Are Grounded!: Nick angrily grounds Lindsey for going to a party with Danny, a young wood expert she likes and is part of Chuck's crew, especially because he's still treating her like a kid. He gets over it, though.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Are We There Yet


Are We Done Yet?

The sequel to "Are We There Yet?" uses a builder's crack as one of its establishing shots

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / PlumbersCrack

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