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Film / Baby Driver

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"You are the music while the music lasts."

Every scene in this movie is driven by music.

Baby Driver is a 2017 action film written and directed by Edgar Wright. Unlike what the title and the director's previous body of work (such as the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) might suggest, this film is not a tightly-tuned comedy, but rather a tightly-tuned action crime drama (though Wright's Signature Style of comedy still leaks through).

Ansel Elgort plays Baby ("B-a-b-y Baby"), a young Getaway Driver whose affinity for always listening to his iPod while he drives makes him extremely skilled at his job. He has a tragic past working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and his gang of bank robbers, and when he meets and falls in love with an innocent waitress (Lily James), he finally has a reason to leave the criminal world.

But, as is the reality with these sorts of movies, getting out is going to take a lot more than just a fast car.

Has an All-Star Cast, including Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Flea.

In 2021, Wright confirmed that a sequel is being planned.

Previews: Official Trailer.

Baby Driver contains examples of:

  • 555: The number for the diner starts with 555.
  • Abusive Parents: Baby's father is an unloving, alcoholic, violent asshole who beats his wife whenever he gets the chance and is responsible for her (and his own) death, as well as Baby's tinnitus. Needless to say, Baby does not miss him.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Lily James as a serving girl who wants to escape that life? Hmm...
    • Buddy also says "wherefore art thou, Romeo", and the film cuts to a shot of Debora. Lily James had just starred in a production of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • When Bats is speechifying to the rest of the crew about how they don't take crime seriously, he says Buddy and Darling rob to support a drug habit while he "does drugs to support a robbery habit." Buddy says that was clever, though his deadpan tone and stern expression suggest that he's in Sarcasm Mode.
    • Darling laughs her ass off when the crew discovers that Baby wasn't lying about using recorded conversations to make remixes.
  • Advertised Extra: Jon Bernthal's Griff appears in most of the advertising and has his own poster, only to appear for all of the opening heist before never being seen again.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Doc. Evil in that he is a crime lord who deals in robbing banks and repeatedly blackmails Baby into being his escape driver, even after Baby has fully paid him back for the money he lost him years ago. Affable in that after Baby pays off all of his debt to Doc, Doc seems excited about Baby finally earning full cuts for his role in the heists, and even after Baby deliberately screws up the job, causing Bats and Darling to die, and bringing the police down on their heads, Doc gives Baby his tape and the bank notes and tries to hold off the people coming for them so Baby and Debora can escape. And he has a serious soft spot for his nephew.
    • Buddy is nothing but cordial with Baby, standing up for him when Griff harasses him at the start and bonding with him over music. He also clearly loves Darling, his wife. He even doesn't hold Baby trying to run away the night before a job against him, telling him he'd prefer it if Baby just left instead of going into a job half-assing it. However, Buddy is an unrepentant bank robber. And when Baby's actions indirectly get Darling killed by the police, Buddy will stop at nothing to kill Baby.
    • Darling is also nothing but amiable towards Baby as well...up until the ending where she blames him for everything going wrong right before she gets killed.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: While they were criminals who didn't have any qualms about any of the laws they broke, you can't help but feel sorry for Buddy and Darling by the end of the movie as it wasn't until the robbery went horribly wrong that they were torn down in their good-nature.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Reportedly, the final scene where Baby gets out of jail was deliberately left ambiguous (notice that neither Baby nor Debora has visibly aged) to let the audience interpret whether he really got paroled or is still in prison.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: There is a vague sense of 20 Minutes into the Past about the setting. People still use iPods and there's nary a smart phone to be seen, but in a flashback we also see Baby as a child getting a first-generation iPod as a birthday present. Given his age in that scene versus his age now you'd think the film's timeline would be a post-iPod setting. Of course it's entirely possible that Baby collects iPods for their retro appeal (as well as their sentimental value to him given that he still keeps his destroyed first iPod), and as most of the people we meet in the film are criminals it would make sense for them to be using disposable "burner" phones that couldn't reveal a lot of personal data about them if they fell into police hands. However there is definitely a sense of some deliberate anachronism in the film's setting.
    • Downplayed when we see Doc's nephew playing with a Play Station Vita.
    • Furthermore, many cars seen throughout the movie were produced during the 2011-2015 time period, including Doc's Mercedes and the stolen Challenger and police Charger.
    • In the opening scene, Baby drives past the construction site for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was built from 2014 to 2017.
  • Animal Motifs: Buddy is repeatedly compared to bulls. Darling describes him as unstoppable when he sees red, he's bathed in red light while driving the stolen cop car, and he tries to kill Baby and Debora by ramming their car like a bull. And a news broadcast reveals his name to be Van Horn.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the movie, the only characters on the poster who are still alive are Baby and Debora.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Baby excuses himself for stealing the old lady's car and even gives back her purse that was in the car.
  • Armed Blag: The second robbery involves heisting an armoured car that is delivering cash to a bank. It does not go as smoothly as the first robbery.
  • Arms Dealer: The Butcher is a well-stocked Gangland Gun Runner, selling wares belonging to the Atlanta Police Department.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Surprisingly avoided. For someone as unstable as Bats has shown himself to be, he's great with firearms, using them professionally. You can see that when he threatens Baby, he is clearly aiming close to him to intimidate, but he wouldn't hit him if he fired by accident.
  • Artistic License – Art: When driving slowly around the parking lot looking for Baby, Buddy quotes the Romeo and Juliet line "wherefore art thou, Romeo?" This is a very common misconception. "Wherefore" means "why", not "where".
  • Asshole Victim:
    • No one really mourns Bats when Baby deliberately gets him impaled. For one thing, he was a rather unstable and hostile man who nearly botched the heist before it even began thanks to his reckless massacre of the weapons dealers. Secondly, threatening to blow your getaway driver's brains out right after you committed a murder in front of him (and right at the very moment he is most necessary to avoid getting arrested) is probably not the smartest thing to do.
    • Baby's father is a drunken dickhead who shoves his wife around and yells insults at his baby boy just because he can. While he winds up causing the fatal accident that kills Baby's mother and gives Baby tinnitus, he also dies in the process.
  • Asian Airhead: JD. When told to get Michael Myers masks, he gets masks of actor/comedian Mike Myers instead. When he accidentally leaves his shotgun behind during a heist, Doc kills him for his stupidity.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bats declares himself to be the crew member with the "mental problems."
  • Baby's First Words: Baby is called that because he is so quiet that people joke about him not having said his first words yet.
  • Badass Bystander: "Soldier Boy," a random military veteran who happens to be leaving the bank at the same time as the money truck heist. He pulls out a pistol and begins firing at the bank robbers. Then he starts chasing after them in his SUV while spraying them with an SMG he has lying in the back seat. He ultimately proves more of a genuine threat to the crew than any police officer.
  • Badass Driver: The entire movie hinges on Baby being an extremely talented getaway driver.
    • The fact that "Soldier Boy" was able to keep up with Baby for a while during the second heist makes him a pretty badass driver too.
  • Bad Boss: Doc, as played by renowned Bad Boss character actor, Kevin Spacey. He threatens to break Baby's legs and kill everyone he loves if Baby ever tells him 'No'. Averted in the ending where he sacrifices his life to save Baby and Debora first from three corrupt cops and then Buddy.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Baby comes to Bob's diner, covered in blood, and finds Buddy sitting there with a gun under his newspaper, we hear sirens and see police lights outside as a cop walks in - and asks Debora for the restroom key, ignoring Baby and Buddy.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: A variation. Baby grabs the slide of Bats' gun and holds it back, preventing him from firing, when he thinks Bats is about to shoot Debora.
  • Battle Couple: Darling and Buddy the one in a shooting with the police.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight with Debora and Darling, who appears entirely unscathed when she's shot down by the police (save for the gunshot wounds in her torso, which we only see for a second).
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Baby is a sweet, cheerful and friendly young man with a love for music and driving fast cars. He's also the go-to getaway driver for a dangerous criminal mastermind and works with bank robbers every day. And when push comes to shove, he'll drop the nice guy act and serve sweet justice in order to protect those he holds dear.
    • Buddy, to a lesser degree. He loves his wife Darling, and even shares Baby's passion for music and driving. He ends up being the biggest threat by far to Baby, surviving a gunshot wound to the chest and effortlessly mowing down squads of cops to catch up to Baby after Darling's death.
  • Big Bad: At first, Doc seemed as this, but Doc is more of an Anti-Villain. The real Big Bad is pretty much everyone else in the group. Buddy especially because other than Baby, he's the last man standing.
    • If anything, though, Bats constantly being a trigger-happy troublemaker and having it out for Baby for no real reason is the true cause of things going irrevocably crazy by the end of the film.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Baby and Debora have one at the end before Baby gets out of the car and gives himself up.
    • Baby and Debora again when Baby gets out of prison.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Faced with a police blockade, Baby surrenders to the cops to save Debora from becoming a criminal like him. He gets a 25-year prison sentence, but his good deeds and character witnesses convince the judge to make him eligible for parole after only 5 years served. She waits for him until the day he is set free.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Bats after being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Subverted. After escaping Buddy, Baby and Debora leave the city only to run into a police blockade. Debora is ready to hit the gas and run them down, but Baby stops her and turns himself in, preventing Debora from being arrested with him and preventing both of them from being shot or killed in a resulting car crash.
  • Bond One-Liner: After killing Bats by fulfilling his order to "move the car" via ramming it forward into the back of truck carrying a bundle of rebar which loosens and impales his chest, Baby responds to Buddy's "What the fuck did you do?" with a simple "I moved."
  • Bonding Through Shared Earbuds:
    • Baby and Debora in the laundromat, when he introduced her to "Debora" by T-Rex.
    • Just before the heist with Bats, Buddy, and Darling, Buddy asks Baby if he has Queen's "Brighton Rock" on one of his iPods. He does and they listen to it together in a bonding moment.
    • Inverted when Bats asks Baby to lend him an earbud to hear what's playing on the iPod when they meet the Butcher (it's "Tequila"), which is yet another moment of Bats needling Baby.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When confronting them in the diner, Buddy spends his time monologuing about Darling rather than just shooting and killing Baby and Debora.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In the garage shootout, Doc fires at least 9 shots from his Ithaca 37 shotgun, well over the maximum amount it can hold in the tube.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Bats kills one of the Butcher's Mooks with a point-blank range gunshot.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During a shootout, Baby listens to "Tequila". While Bats knows this, he has no way of hearing the music coming through Baby's earbuds and playing non-diegetically over the scene, yet still says "tequila" in sync with the end of the song. Baby is even visibly stunned at his timing.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: After Baby's second coffee run, Bats asks Baby if he's wondering where JD is, as JD's chair is empty. Bats holds up one of the Austin Powers masks and imitates Austin Powers' voice to say: "'Cause he's long gone, baby".
  • The Brute: Bats is the most unstable and Trigger-Happy of Doc's men.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Since Baby isn't really a physically imposing person and often comes off as quiet and timid, one would be forgiven for thinking he's harmless. Bats however finds out quite painfully what happens when you push him too far.
    • Also applies to when Bats badmouths Buddy. A bit subverted in that Bats isn't alive to see Buddy become unhinged and someone you should definitely NOT play around with after his wife dies.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Baby doesn't do that much talking around the rest of the robbers and would rather listen to his music most of the time, but he's an excellent getaway driver who can memorize the plans just by reading lips.
  • The Butcher: The Butcher, of course. He's an arms dealer who uses pork products as code names for his weapons.
  • Call-Back:
    • Baby listens to "Easy" by The Commodores when he has to dispose of JD's body and the car it was in. It's later revealed that this is the song Baby's mother sings on his cassette song (and when his mother's version is played, it picks up where the earlier Commodore version left off). Apparently, Baby listens to "Easy" to console himself when he is sad.
    • Buddy bonds with Baby over "Brighton Rock" early on. At the climax when Buddy is trying to kill Baby with a stolen police cruiser, he blasts the song over the cruiser's speakers, reminding Baby how he said it was his "killer track".
  • The Cameo:
    • Of all people, Paul Williams as the Butcher.
    • Jon Spencer (of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) as a guard at the prision Baby is in at the end of the movie.
    • More than a cameo, but Flea appears as Eddie No-Nose.
    • Walter Hill, director of The Driver, provides the voice of the interpeter for Joe during Baby's trial.
    • The ATL Twins as the pair Baby and Debbie carjack after going on the run.
  • Can Always Spot a Cop: Bats recognizes on of The Butcher's men as an officer that arrested him years ago, which leads to Bats to assume the sale is a sting operation and start shooting, only to later find out they were Dirty Cops working with Doc.
  • The Caper: We witness the planning of two and the execution of three heists, although only from The Driver's POV.
  • Car Cushion: Buddy falls onto the cop car he hijacked at the end. It doesn't save his life though.
  • Car Hood Sliding: While fleeing on foot after getting Bats killed and getting a group of cops on the tail of the remaining crew, Baby ends up sliding over the hood of an oncoming car in a particularly stylish shot.
  • Car Fu: Baby, when he isn't trying to get away, is a master of this.
  • Character Witness: Baby has several during his trial.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Baby's hobby of recording other people's conversations to sample them in his songs comes back to bite him when Bats and Buddy find his tape recorder and suspect him of gathering evidence as a police snitch.
    • Baby's earlier Pet the Dog moments result in a more likely chance of early parole when he is arrested at the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The camera lingers on "Soldier Boy" before the truck robbery. Then, when the crew tries to get away, he shows himself to be a Vigilante Man.
    • Debora's fellow waitress at the diner. She first appears when she tells Debora that Baby's mother used to work there, then she shows up later when Buddy is there, giving Baby the chance to shoot Buddy in the shoulder and escape.
    • The last of the Butcher's men gets a Finger-Twitching Revival after Bats guns them down. He and two other guys show up just long enough to critically injure Doc in the climax, leading to his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Baby: White (changes to grey as the movie progresses)
    • Debora: Blue & yellow
    • Doc: Green
    • Bats: Red
    • Buddy: Black
    • Darling: Purple & pink
    • Baby's mom: gold
  • Color Motif: Red is the dominant color when things are going Baby's way (i.e., his red Subaru in the opening robbery, the driving gloves, the sign for Bo's Diner, his pizza delivery car and uniform), and blue when they aren't (i.e., the car Baby uses for the second botched robbery, the blue pickup truck with white stripes driven by "Soldier Boy", the hat and jacket he steals as a disguise when trying to escape on foot, the siren lights from the police car Buddy steals).
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Buddy when looking for Baby at the park house, calls him out over the loudspeakers of his police car.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In the first car chase, Baby happens to come across two red cars running side-by-side and have similar profiles to his red Subaru, which also happens to be near a tunnel, so he can use them to his advantage by switching positions with one of the red cars in the tunnel to trick the police helicopter following him.
    • When the crew is driving back from the botched gun buy with the dirty cops they drive right by the diner where Debora works and Bats decides he wants to go in. And of course, she happens to be working the night shift at that moment.
    • Baby, despite running several blocks away, still runs into Buddy and Darling outside the shopping mall.
    • Immediately after Debora says they need a car, a shiny red car appears for them to carjack.
  • Cool Car:
    • Baby's red Subaru Impreza WRX.
    • To a lesser extent: Baby's daily driver Lincoln Mark V in a "slow but classy" sort of way.
    • The conveniently timed Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Debora disarms Buddy with a crowbar to save Baby at the end.
  • Damsel in Distress: Invoked. Darling's role in the third job is to act as a fake hostage.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Baby and his parents were in an accident when he was a child. He survived. His parents didn't. He listens to music to drown out the memories and the permanent hum in his ears.
  • Dark Is Evil: Buddy wears a black jacket through most of his scenes, but is Affably Evil at best right up until Darling is killed. After that, he still wears the jacket but is now more obviously evil due to being out for revenge.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Baby wears a dark suit when he takes Debora out for dinner. He's in a bad line of work, but is fundamentally a good person.
  • Death by Cameo: Paul Williams as The Butcher.
  • Death Glare: Considering who we're dealing with in this film, pretty much the default facial expression whenever no one is cracking jokes.
  • Deliberately Non-Lethal Attack: At the end of the film, Baby is finally cornered by Buddy, with nowhere to run and a gun to his head. Baby lives, but Buddy still has used the gun to deal his revenge. Buddy takes away what Baby loves. He makes two shots right next to Baby's ears so he's lost the ability to enjoy his precious music, but he's still alive.
  • Determinator: In a later diner scene, after Bats gives Buddy and Darling a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Darling launches into a speech about how even though Buddy seems like a nice guy, "once he sees red, you only see black". Bats dismisses it as bluffing and never gets to see this in action himself, but once Darling gets killed in the fallout of the failed heist sabotaged by Baby, Buddy goes absolutely ballistic, killing multiple cops in cold blood and enduring tons of damage just to have his revenge on Baby.
  • Diegetic Switch: The music Baby listens to, which leads to some stylish Mickey Mousing.
  • Dirty Cop: Doc is one as well as his arms dealers. This leads to Bats shooting up the latter because he thought they were undercover cops.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Two of them; either Bats or Doc clearly seem like they are going to be Baby's main problem. Bats is an unstable psychopath who threatens everyone Baby loves and has no issues with killing anyone who gets in his way during a job, while Doc has no problems threatening Baby's loved ones to get his way. However, Bats is the first one to die in the final heist as Baby deliberately impales him on bundled rebar sticking out of the back of a truck, and Doc dies in a Heroic Sacrifice defending Baby and Debora from Buddy. It's Buddy who turns out to be the real threat after his wife Darling gets killed by the cops during the fallout of the failed heist.
  • Disney Villain Death: Double subverted. Buddy seems to fall from several stories up in a parking ramp while inside a cop car, but gets out at the last second. He then dies for real when he slips off the edge and falls onto said car... which then explodes.
  • Doorstop Baby: Played with, in this case it's a "doorstop senior", in order to protect Joseph, Baby leaves him on a chair at the porch of a nursing home in the middle of the night with his ill-gotten money and a note on his tape recorder.
  • Double Tap: Bats shoots down the fat security guard and adds another headshot to make sure.
  • The Dragon: Baby is the only person Doc has on all his jobs and is the most trusted of each crew he hires.
  • The Driver: In case you couldn't guess from the title, the film's premise is built around Baby's role as this.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Not a major point, but Doc's inside men on two heists are people with "nasal problems," implying cocaine addictions. Bats also admits to using drugs, although he never specifies which ones, and he goes on to theorize that Buddy and Darling are in the business to support their own drug problems.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Bats correctly identifies the Butcher and his men as undercover cops, and subsequently kills them. He did not, however, account for the possibility that they were already on Doc's payroll.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Baby saves Debora and ultimately drives off into the sunset with her— albeit he has to kill two of his criminal associates, lose some of his hearing, and serve 5 years of a 25-year prison sentence to do it.
  • Enfant Terrible:
    • Doc's nephew, Sam, is fully complicit in Doc's bank robbing schemes while only being 8 years old.
    • The trope name is also seen on one of Baby's tapes, implying that he's been referred to as such before.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Baby is established as a Badass Driver in the opening chase scene, as well as his love for music (he's first seen starting "Bellbottoms" on his iPod and miming to it once the others have entered the bank) and how he doesn't talk much. We don't hear him speak for the first time until during the opening credits.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Buddy and Darling to each other. Such that when Baby indirectly gets Darling killed, Buddy snaps and goes on a rampage to get revenge on him.
    • Buddy mentions to Baby before they listen to "Brighton Rock" that he has a brother who used to play Sheer Heart Attack right through the wall when they were kids.
    • Doc has his nephew, Sam. He also had someone in his past that he loved enough that it makes him turn around and help Baby and Debora after seeing them together.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: A squad car catches fire and eventually explodes after falling from the sixth story of a parking ramp.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Baby double-checks with Doc to make sure his debt's almost paid off, Doc pointedly does not echo Baby's word choice, opting to specify that they'll be "straight" rather than "done". Sure enough, Doc expects Baby to keep running heists for him even after the debt is erased.
    • Doc wanted Bats's group to wear Michael Myers Halloween masks. JD instead gets Mike Myers Halloween masks.
    • When plotting the final heist, Doc mentions to Baby that he never works with the same group twice. He is, however, open to working with the same people more than once, as Buddy, Darling and Bats all take part in the post office robbery.
    • After Baby sees Bats kill an innocent security guard after the heist, he refuses to leave the scene out of disgust, to which Bats begins violently demanding that he specifically "move the car". Baby speeding the car forward into a bundle of rebar, which impales and kills Bats.
      Buddy: What the fuck did you do?!
      Baby: I moved.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Throughout the film, Buddy maintains his slicked-back undercut without a single strand out of place, but as soon as his hair gets messed up, he's gone off the deep end.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: Doc is set up to be the film's antagonist, strongly hinting that he will do nasty things to Baby and Debora if they don't go along with him. By contrast, Buddy appears to be the decent member of the team, sharing a couple Pet the Dog moments with Baby. But when Darling is killed, Buddy becomes the true antagonist, hunting Baby and Debora down. Doc ends up helping them and going down in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Famed In-Story: Even people who have never heard of Doc's eccentric wheelman know the legend of The Spirit of 85, a joyrider of mythical status for the merry chase he led the cops on for hours on end before evading capture. They're shocked when they learn Baby is the Spirit.
  • First-Name Ultimatum: Or Real First Name Basis in this case. When Doc considers shutting down the operation on the post office and Bats challenges him, Doc angrily refers to him by his real first name, Leon.
  • Foreshadowing: In an Edgar Wright movie? Unheard of.
    • The channel surfing scene early in the film factors into some of Baby's dialogue later on. Particularly when he recites a line (namely "You and I are a team!") from Monsters, Inc. to Doc, who notices it.
      Doc: Don't feed me any more lines from Monsters, Inc. It pisses me off!
    • In the same channel surfing sequence, there is footage of a matador, with the voice over talking about how the matador has to demount and take to being chased on foot. This can be seen as foreshadowing for the final act of the movie, in which Baby takes off out of his car and is chased on foot by the police. This also corresponds to Buddy's Villainous Breakdown in the final act, as Darling describes Buddy as unstoppable when he sees red, just like a bull - we even see in a news broadcast and later in a radio broadcast that his real name is Jason Van Horn. The fact that he is bathed red in the car's interior during the climax further hammers this point home.
    • One more very subtle one from the channel surfing scene: on one channel, Baby passes a clip from It's Complicated with John Krasinski saying "They grow up so freaking fast, don't they?". Baby says the same line when he gets Sam's age wrong while scouting out the post office.
    • When entering the coffee shop, the camera pans past graffiti of a heart, colored black. When Baby sees a woman walk past, the camera pans back over the heart, which has turned red. The woman is Debora, and she becomes Baby's Love Interest later.
    • When Baby is introduced to JD, Doc's words imply to the audience that JD is a professional burglar (he puts the Asian in Home Invasion) rather than being an experienced armed robber like Bats. In the next heist, JD makes a conga-line of amateur mess-ups that results in the heist nearly going haywire and later results in Doc and Bats killing him.
    • Debora asks Baby if she is going to see him that evening when he calls her while she's working. She does, indeed, but it's because Bats wanted to stop there with Buddy and Darling, and Baby only did so out of extreme reluctance.
    • Darling's speech about how you don't want to piss off Buddy (who's very nice, all things considered) rings true after the cops kill her thanks to Baby's stunt. He blames Baby, and spends the rest of the movie shooting his way through cops (they're on to Buddy from the heist) to come after him.
    • The post office cashier quotes Dolly Parton to Baby: "You can't have a rainbow without a little rain." In the final scene, there's a rainbow in the background when Baby gets out of prison to see Deborah waiting for him.
    • When Bats starts a shootout with Butch's connected men (who happen to be cops), Darling is grazed by a bullet. She dies of gunfire via police in the botched job.
    • Early in the movie, Bats condemns Baby's Lighter and Softer approach to life, declaring, "In this world, the day you catch feelings is the day you catch a bullet." This foreshadows the fates of a number of characters: Doc, who dies trying to protect Baby; Buddy, who dies trying to enact a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Darling; and Bats himself, who condemns himself by murdering an innocent in front of Baby.
    • During the planning of the third heist, Baby plays with one of the toy cars Doc uses in his presentation. The car winds back and flies off the table, which signals the plan's inevitable failure. It also foreshadows him pushing the stolen police cruiser, with Buddy in it, off a level in a parking garage, several floors up.
    • As Bats and Baby roll up behind the post office for the heist, the camera lingers quite a bit on the rebar hanging out from the back of the truck in front of them, lined up with Bats's passenger seat.
    • When Bats tells his story about a friend who died, Buddy asks him if all of his stories end with someone dying, to which Bats responds that he has yet to find out. Bats's final story (the heist the next day) ends with Doc, Darling, Buddy and Bats himself dying, though Bats does not live to see the others' deaths.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Bats suggests this to be Buddy's backstory; that he was fired from his job as a stockbroker in Wall Street, and turned to a life of crime. The audience never finds out if he's right, though but judging from Buddy's reaction, he could be.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending is so idyllic, romantic, and similar to Baby's dream of hitting the road with Debora that there's ample room for interpreting it as All Just a Dream.
  • Genre Buster: A musical romantic action heist movie mainly focusing on the getaway driving aspect of a bank robbery. Might even be considered a ballet with cars and guns.
  • Given Name Reveal: Quite a few.
    • The veteran who attempts to stop Bats, Eddie, JD and Baby in the second heist is later revealed to be called Malik Kelly in a police report.
    • Doc calls Bats by his real name of Leon as a threat. Also, after the post office robbery goes wrong, a news report in the diner reveals the names of Bats and Darling to be Leon Jefferson III and Monica Castello, respectively. Earlier, Darling even told Bats her real name was Monica.
    • Near the end, Buddy's name is revealed to be Jason Van Horn. Darling calls him Jason earlier after Baby kills Bats and the police show up.
    • Baby's real first name is revealed at the end to be Miles, but we don't find out his surname.
  • Greasy Spoon: Bo's Diner (whose actual location is a Denny's).
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Bats is this in a nutshell. Buy the wrong kind of mask and leave behind your shotgun? You're dead. Bats doesn't feel like paying for gum? You're dead. Bats doesn't like your service at a diner? You're dead. Bats thinks you're undercover cops? You're dead. Of course, he was actually correct about the last one, but he fails to account for the fact that Doc already knew this.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: Baby quickly hotwires a car with a special tool and a screwdriver.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Baby going to the diner where Debora works when he first meets her. There's also the scenes of him listening to his music with Joseph, hanging out in the laundromat with Debora, and going to dinner with her.
  • Hope Spot: When the crew finds out Baby has made tapes of every meeting, they immediately think he's a snitch and don't buy Baby's explanation that he remixes them into music for his own entertainment. He proves it to them when they retrieve his stash of tapes and it seems like he's in the clear...until Doc spots a tape named "Debora" and plays it, whereupon Darling remarks that that was the both name and voice of the waitress who served them at Bo's Diner.
  • Hot Pursuit: A swarm of police cars are on our Caper Crew's heels after their first heist, and the pre-climax is one... on foot.
  • Imagine Spot: When Baby is borderline imprisoned before the bank robbery, he has a brief intense dream of greeting and kissing Debora in a classic '50s black-and-white style, both in costume and design.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After Bats needlessly kills a security guard right in front of him, Baby decides he's had enough, turns off Bats's airbag and purposely wrecks the car so a bundle of rebar gets rammed through Bats' chest.
  • Improvised Weapon: Baby kills Bats with a judicious combination of the car they're both in and a bundle of steel rebar on the truck in front of them.
  • Indentured Servitude: Baby's relationship with Doc is less legal than this and more severe than Work Off the Debt. Some years before the events of the film, Baby stole a car belonging to Doc that contained an apparently substantial amount of something valuable, and destroyed the goods during his joyride. Doc, impressed with Baby's skill behind the wheel, chose to employ Baby as his permanent getaway driver and gives Baby only a meager percentage of his otherwise full cut of any given heist's loot, keeping the majority as an installment on Baby's debt. The heist that the film opens on serves as Baby's penultimate repayment.
  • Institutional Apparel: Baby in a white jumpsuit in prison.
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: Baby listens to songs on an iPod almost constantly to help combat the tinnitus that he otherwise experiences. Of course, that's some incredible understatement, as the film blends music into its action in such an incredibly epic fashion that it's difficult to describe with just words.
  • Jerkass:
    • Griff, who mocks Baby after the first coffee run for allegedly being retarded and mute (he's neither) and repeatedly taking his sunglasses. Baby just shrugs it off.
    • Bats. He's Ax-Crazy, violent, nasty, antisocial and would rather kidnap a baby than get caught after the second robbery. Could well be The Sociopath too.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Every character who does anything untoward to another person gets what's coming to them... except for Eddie No-Nose. After his split the loot scene, he's never seen or heard from again. Possibly averted as Bats mentioned nobody who worked with him survived so it's possible he killed Eddie off-screen.
    • Griff also gets away scot free from being an asshole to Baby at the beginning of the movie. We never see him again after he gets off the elevator after the heist. Then again, he does mention right before leaving that if the others never see him again, it means he's dead, so this could be an aversion.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Baby himself doesn't get away with committing and being accessory to any number of crimes, up to and including murder... although he does apparently get parole after five years of a twenty-five-year sentence.
  • Kick the Dog: Bats is implied to have killed the gas station employee he stole gum from. He also steals Joseph's wheelchair when he and Buddy raid Baby's home.
  • Killed Offscreen: The possible fate of Griff.
    "If you don't see me again, it's because I'm dead."
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Bats regularly points out how impractical and far-fetched the premise of Baby listening to music while being a getaway driver is.
    • Buddy and Darling's reaction to Baby botching their getaway for a second time pretty much highlights how ridiculous the coincidence is.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A combined example of good and bad karma. So, Baby gets arrested at the end of the film, all of the crimes he committed coming back to haunt him. However, all the people he had been kind to over the film, including the lady he apologized to for stealing her car and the post office clerk he warned not to go into the post office, all testify that he seems to be a good person. Added altogether, Baby gets sentence to 25 years in jail, but is apparently paroled after only serving five.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Griff saying "Okay, folks. If you don't see me again, it's 'cause I'm dead." could very well double as him winking at the audience about disappearing after this scene in spite of being played by a fairly high profile actor. The fact that he seems to look directly into the camera helps.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Debora works at the same diner that Baby's mother worked at when she was alive, and even seems to resemble her according to Baby's flashbacks.
  • The Load:
    • JD is this in the second heist. He orders the wrong masks due to a case of Exact Words, brings up the rear when they are forced to change vehicles, and accidentally leaves his shotgun in the Avalanche. Doc and Bats kill him offscreen.
    • Baby is this in the post office heist. After Bats needlessly kills a security guard, Baby decides he has had enough of him and disables his airbag before ramming the car into a piece of rebar which impales Bats and kills him. After they are all forced to run, Baby accidentally sabotages his own escape as well as that of Buddy and Darling, and the resulting shootout sees Darling killed and a grieving Buddy going after Baby and Debora.
  • May–December Romance: The middle-aged Buddy is in a "scandalous" relationship with the youthful Darling.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In any scenes where no songs or music are playing, a very subtle ringing sound can be heard to sharp-eared listeners. It's the side effects of Baby's tinnitus, and is drowned out by the music just as it is In-Universe.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The crew pseudonyms all fit their personalities: Doc is the mastermind, Bats is Ax-Crazy, Buddy and Darling are Affably Evil, and Baby is by far the youngest of the group.
    • Fitting for a driver like himself, Baby's real name is revealed at the end to be Miles.
    • In a blink and you miss it moment, Buddy's real name is revealed via news report to be Jason van Horn. Not only is there an obvious pun in the name "van Horn", but Jason is both a Call-Back to the Halloween mask gag and a reference to how, like the killer himself, he has a bad habit of not staying dead.
  • Mickey Mousing: In spades. Every single scene in the film with music — nearly the entirety of the film — features action that happens in exact rhythm to the music playing; from counting money, to firing bullets, to windshield wipers and police sirens. Even gestures made during a conversation will line up with the beat. It gets to the point where when something actually isn't on beat with the song (i.e. during Baby's botched robbery with Eddie, JD, and Bats), things are going wrong.
    • It goes so far in the opening credits, graffiti glides by the screen matching the lyrics.
  • The Millstone: Bats, oh so very much. He's basically a walking talking id with no impulse control. He kills people like most normal people swat flies with no regard to whether or not he should be bringing police attention on himself (for example, when he murders a gas station attendant while prepping for a heist simply because he didn't want to pay for gum), implies that he sooner or later kills everybody he knows — in front of people he's dependent on for his well-being — and will threaten his own getaway driver moments after committing a pointless murder while still on a job. His shooting up of Doc's crooked cops during the arms deal provokes a lethal response from said arms dealer's associates. Why Doc thought such a person would be of any use even as Dumb Muscle boggles the mind. Needless to say his death at the hands of Baby goes unmourned.
  • Morality Pet: Baby has two: his foster father, Joseph, and Debora becomes one too.
    • Darling for Buddy. He completely loses it when she dies.
    • Baby himself may well be one for Doc, as well as his nephew, Sam.
  • Motor Mouth: Debora references the trope when she notes that Baby doesn't talk much.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Darling is a sexy former stripper, and her good looks are often emphasized.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers emphasize Doc, Bats and even Griff as the film's main antagonists but the film's most notable threat comes from Buddy.
  • Nice Guy: Baby himself is a good kid who happens to be in a bad line of work.
  • Nice to the Waiter: When scouting the post-office for the robbery the next day, Baby worriedly asks if the pleasant, middle-aged clerk will be there that day. During the robbery, he manages to find her before she enters the building and silently warns her to turn around, which she does. She later shows up unharmed as a positive Character Witness when he's arrested, and helps contribute to his lighter sentence.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. In the final diner scene, police officers show up to ask for a bathroom key so they can use it.
  • No Name Given: Both of Baby's parents.
  • Noodle Incident: We never find out what exactly was in the trunk of the car that Baby stole from Doc that led to Baby becoming Doc's driver, other than it was seemingly worth at least tens of millions of dollars.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After the failed heist, Buddy shows up no worse for wear waiting for Baby at Debora's diner after being last seen at a police standoff that claimed Darling's life. When the police arrive and things go awry there, he shows up later again at Doc's garage, having hijacked a police vehicle.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • This is basically Bats' reaction during the second heist, when Baby runs into a Dodge pick-up truck covered in pro-gun/veteran decals. He shouts "We got a hero!" when the other driver reaches for his HK45 pistol.
    • JD when the Saturn Aura he and the others just stole drives off and he realises he left his shotgun in the Avalanche.
    • Baby has one as a kid in his flashbacks when he realizes his mother is about to crash her car due to her being distracted arguing with Baby's father.
    • Baby has one when he tries to escape from Doc's hideout at 2 a.m. and Buddy reveals one of his tapes.
    • Bats has one right before being fatally impaled with a piece of rebar through the chest thanks to Baby. Darling then has one when the police show up.
    • The look on Baby's face after Darling is killed after Baby rear-ended the truck she and Buddy were using to escape.
    • Baby when he arrives at the diner to pick up Debora after Darling is killed in the post office robbery escape and Debora tells him Buddy is there.
    • Debora gets one later in the same scene when Buddy reveals the gun hidden in his newspaper.
    • Buddy when he realizes Baby is about to push his police cruiser out of the car park, several stories up.
    • Baby and Debora after they escape from Buddy and realize there's a police roadblock ahead.
  • One Last Job: Baby tries to invoke this. Doc reminds him, "One more job and we're straight", implying that there's more to be done after Doc is compensated.
  • The Oner: The opening credits, in which Baby walks (and dances) from Doc's office to a coffee shop and back, is done in one unbroken take set to the entirety of "Harlem Shuffle" by Bob & Earl.
  • Only Known by Initials: JD. We never find out what this stands for.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tying in with Given Name Reveal above, Debora, the Love Interest, and Joseph, Baby's deaf foster father, are basically the only characters in the whole film who actually go by their given names; all the criminals refer to themselves by aliases. A few names get dropped here and there over the course of the film (Bats is Leon and Baby is Miles, amongst others).
  • Only One Name: Joseph, Debora and Baby (Debora reveals at the end his first name is Miles).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Bats calls Baby out for not even flinching at people being shot in front of him, but hesitates with his full being at the idea of going to Bo's Diner, where Debora is.
  • Outlaw Couple: Buddy and Darling. And, very very briefly, Baby and Debora.
  • Painting the Medium: Whenever one of Baby's earbuds is taken out, the music gets relegated to only one speaker to give the viewer the same sensation. Likewise, in the absence of music, we hear a high-pitched whine that represents the ear-ringing of Baby's tinnitus. After Buddy fires his gun next to Baby's ears during the climax, the audio becomes muffled to represent the resulting (temporary) hearing loss.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Doc to Baby, Even after the latter fails the last job, he still tries to help Baby and Debora escape and was willing to sacrifice himself to the cops in order to buy him time.
    • Baby to Joseph, despite Joseph being Baby's foster father.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Attempted by Baby when he's on the run from the cops. He walks into a store in the mall, and grabs a pair of sunglasses that he puts on (with tag still attached). But the moment the cops catch up, they recognize him instantly and he has to continue running.
  • Le Parkour: Baby shows a real talent for it after the Post Office heist.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Baby's otherwise borderline abusive Jerkass of a father is shown grinning broadly in a flashback when young Baby receives an iPod for his birthday.
    • Baby hands over a woman's baby to her when he is forced to hijack her car after the second heist, despite Bats ordering him not to.
    • Baby warns the mail office teller about the robbery, possibly saving her life.
    • Baby, after stealing a woman's car, throws her purse to her, then apologizes.
    • Doc returns the cassette of Baby's mother upon seeing his relationship with Debora and goes out in a guns-blazing Heroic Sacrifice to protect them from Buddy.
    • Earlier, Doc paid Baby and Debora's dinner bill at Bacchanalia when it turned out they were there at the same time. It turned out that he wanted to cajole Baby into the post office job.
  • Photographic Memory: When Baby is accused of listening to his music and not following along with the plan that Doc is laying out, he repeats it verbatim, with the same vocal inflections that Doc used.
  • Pistol-Whipping: During the armored car heist, Bats beats one of the guards to death with his shotgun.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Played for Laughs in the second heist. JD is told to get masks of Michael Myers. He ends up buying three Austin Powers masks, because he thought they meant Mike Myers.
    Eddie No-Nose: Doc said Michael Myers!
    JD: This is Mike Myers!
    Bats: It should be the Halloween mask!
    JD: This is a Halloween mask!
    Bats: No, the killer dude from Halloween!
    JD: Oh, you mean Jason...
    Bats and Eddie No-Nose: No!
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Subverted; Baby growls "Fuck you, Buddy" as he's about to ram his car off the side of a parking garage, but Buddy gets out at the last possible second.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Baby is obviously a decent guy, and by the end, Buddy is a murderous madman. But if we watched the movie from Buddy's point of view and knew more of his backstory, we'd likely be much more sympathetic towards him. He only goes completely off the rails because he's grief-stricken after the love of his life was killed - and the brat who got her killed stabbed him in the back, despite Buddy being nothing but nice and friendly to him. If the narrative revolved around Buddy, it could easily be spun as a revenge story.
  • Pun:
    • When Eddie No-Nose is asked how he lost his nose, Eddie's reply is that asking is on the list of "No-Nose's No-Noes."
    • Buddy discourages Baby from "mailing it in" at the post office heist.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Baby only works for Doc to pay off a debt incurred after he stole Doc's car years ago. Unlike the other members of his crew, Baby is averse to murdering innocent civilians, and has several Pet the Dog moments.
  • The Quiet One: Baby doesn't talk much; Buddy Lampshades this by joking that he's mute.
  • Quotes Fit for a Trailer: The film's "TeKillYah" trailer made good use of several lines, especially considering the mass critical acclaim the advertising had to flaunt.
    • The scene where Baby swerves to knock away a spike strip into the path of an oncoming cop car is followed by Darling saying "This shit is bananas, Doc!"
    • A positive review blurb is followed by the almost mandatory inclusion of Bats' "That's some Oscar shit right there!" line.
    • The reveal that the film has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score is punctuated by Baby saying "Damn right."
  • Ransacked Room: Following the final heist, Baby rushes home only to discover his apartment has been trashed.
  • Rasputinian Death:
    • Doc, who takes multiple shots from the crooked cops, including a Last Breath Bullet through the chest, then is run down in a police cruiser by Buddy, who, finally, backs the cruiser up over Doc's head just to be sure.
    • Buddy is shot in the chest, then crashes his car into an elevator, then has his car rammed off an overhang and just barely gets out again, then gets hit with a crowbar, then shot again in the leg, then he falls several stories onto a car, which then explodes.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The ultimate fate of Doc, who is shot several times by the Butcher's vengeful henchmen and then run down by Buddy while trying to help Baby and Debora escape.
  • Red Is Violent:
    • Averted with Baby, as even though he tends to drive red cars (a red Subaru and Dodge Challenger being the stand-out examples), he is the Token Good Teammate in Doc's gang and is opposed to violence.
    • Played straight with Bats. He is the most violent member of Doc's gang and dresses in red clothing a lot, including the red King of Hearts jumper he wears when we first see him and the red jacket he wears through almost all of his other scenes.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Doc does not take Baby's desire to quit the getaway driving business lightly.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Played with. Buddy seems to suggest that he is going to kill Debora in retaliation for Baby sabotaging the post office robbery, resulting in Darling’s death, but he initially never explicitly threatens her. When Buddy does finally tell Baby that he will take him from what he most loves, he then fires shots near Baby's ears, further damaging Baby's hearing. This seems to take away Baby's ability to hear, robbing him of what he most loves: listening to music. Then he says he wishes Baby would be able to "hear her screams".
  • Rewatch Bonus: The entire opening credits sequence has some noticeable quirks upon a second watch. On his way back, the graffiti Baby passed earlier have additions to the lyrics being sung at that moment. A graffiti with a black heart in the background spontaneously turns red once Baby sees Debora for the first time as well.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Baby attempts to do this while fleeing from the cops by running into a clothing store and quickly putting on a jacket, a baseball cap, and a new pair of shades. They realize it's him seconds later, before he even has a chance to leave the store, so he is forced to run again.
  • Rule of Drama / Rule of Cool:
    • In the opening chase, there are conveniently two red sedans near-identical to the Subaru Baby is driving, in the exact right positions so he can use them to make an escape.
    • "Soldier Boy" note  starts off using a handgun, then switches to an automatic MP5K he conveniently has on the seat of his truck, concealed under the armrest. That's very improbable, and that SMG would be highly restricted and expensive. Why would some random guy carry that much firepower around? Was he transporting money to the bank? The film never explains it.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Three heists take place during the film: the opening heist, the armored car, and the post office.
    • Baby kills three people during the film: a guard during the Armed Blag (he hits the guard with a cart propelled by a car and the guard lands on his headnote ), Bats, and Buddy.
    • In the climax, when the crooked cops ambush Doc, there's precisely three of them.
  • Say My Name:
    • Debora screams "BABY!" after Buddy shoots right next to Baby's ears, temporarily deafening him. But because he has been temporarily deafened, we see Debora scream but hear nothing.
    • Darling uses Buddy's real name in an Oh, Crap! moment after Baby kills Bats, screaming "Jason!" when the police show up.
  • Scary Black Man: Bats. Due to his Ax-Crazy and Hot-Blooded nature, he comes across as this a lot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Baby pulls one in the final act. After deliberately botching a robbery by crashing their getaway vehicle and killing Bats in the process, the APD suddenly arrive and engage in a shoot out with his remaining two accomplices. The moment he has his earbuds in, Baby is quick to turn tail and run away.
  • Shell Game: In the opening's heist chase, Baby is driving a red 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX and a police helicopter is in pursuit of him. He spots two other red cars, a red Volkswagen Jetta and a red Chevrolet Cruze, by a fortunate coincidence and blends in between them. During the freeway safe from the helicopter's vision, Baby gets in front of the left red car and abrasively slows down, forcing the driver to quickly move over to the middle lane taking Baby's place and thus helping Baby lose the helicopter.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Doc's crews often use shotguns, particularly Bats.
    • In the opening Bank Robbery, Buddy, Darling, and Griff all carry shotguns.
    • In the Armed Blag, Bats, Eddie No-Nose, and JD all carry shotguns. Bats uses a Remington 870 Masterkey. JD's Mossberg 590 doesn't have a strap, which explains why he loses his shotgun while changing cars.
    • Bats carries a Serbu Super Shorty shotgun for the post office robbery, which he uses to kill the security guard.
    • Doc himself carries an Ithaca 37 "Stakeout", which he uses in his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At one point early in the film, Baby's channel-surfing between different films and catches lines from each in the closed captioning: "How's that working out for you?" from Fight Club, "They grow up so freaking fast, don't they?" from It's Complicated, and "You and I are a team; nothing is more important than our friendship" from Monsters, Inc.. He ends up working all three lines into later conversations; he actually ends up using the Monsters, Inc. line on Doc twice, and Doc catches it and cuts him off the second time.
    • Baby tries to go straight by driving for GoodFellas pizza.
    • In the laundromat, a shot of a washing machine fades into a record that resembles HAL 9000.
    • The post office teller says she is working "9 to 5 like Dolly."
    • The chase in the parking garage is similar to the one in The Terminator. Buddy is even more determined to kill Debora than he is Baby.
    • Baby's usual threads (long-sleeved white shirt, dark vest, dark pants) reference both Han Solo and Ansel Elgort's own musical career, where he has recorded, produced, and DJ'd under the name "Ansolo".
    • Buddy's real name is revealed on the police radio as "Jason Van Horn", during the middle of his slasher villain-like rampage during the climax of the film. His name, recently awakened psychotic behavior, and inhuman durability all resemble Jason Voorhees, who is the subject of a discussion during the second heist.
    • When Baby is running from the cops on foot, one person's dog starts barking and they yell "Pongo, stop!"
    • There's even a shout-out to Edgar Wright himself. One of the clips that Baby turns through when surfing the TV happens to be the start of the music video for Mint Royale's "Blue Song", which Wright directed 14 years before the film's release. Before making Baby Driver, Wright had already "cannibalized" his idea for the film's opening scene to serve as the basis of the music video.
  • A Side Order of Romance: Baby meets and falls in love with Debora at her waitressing job at an old-fashioned diner that the crew visit a few times while on the job. She doesn't learn about his true career until near the end of the movie, but she is incredibly loyal to him, willing to risk death and imprisonment for him even though she barely knows him. The Ambiguous Ending implies that she waits for him for his whole jail sentence, although neither of them is visibly aged-up. The film also provides the trope image.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Joseph is not seen in any of the trailers, despite having an important role as Baby's adoptive father and one of his key morality figures.
  • So Crazy, It Must Be True: When confronting to Baby about him sneaking off at 2 AM, and finding his tape recorder containing records of their criminal conversations, Baby admits, honestly, that he remixes the conversations into music. Bats points out that this is a really fucking stupid excuse, and Buddy goes further, saying the excuse is so fucking stupid that the cops would never think to come up with it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There is upbeat music playing over dramatic moments of the failed third heist.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Bats notices that the crates that The Butcher is selling guns from are marked for law enforcement use, which means The Butcher and his team are actually undercover cops and not gunrunners. He's correct, but he wasn't aware that Doc was already paying their salaries when he decided to kill them.
    • Baby's lie about not knowing Debora falls apart when Darling spots a tape with Debora's name on it amongst Baby's cassette stash.
  • Steel Ear Drums:
    • An aversion not involving guns. Baby's accident in his youth left him with tinnitus, and one of the reasons he listens to music all the time is to block out the humming in his ears.
    • Also averted in the climax, when Buddy fires his gun next to Baby's head to intentionally damage his hearing even further, and the effects last until at least the next day.
  • The Stoic: Baby adopts this persona in Doc's briefings. According to Buddy, Baby's nickname was chosen "because we're still waiting on his first words".
  • Stupid Crooks:
    • JD. Instead of getting masks based on the character Michael Myers from the movie Halloween, he gets Halloween masks of the actor Mike Myers from Austin Powers. Shortly after that, while the crew is changing cars, he ends up leaving his shotgun behind. This ends with Doc deciding that he's Too Dumb to Live. Leaving the shotgun behind is actually justified because JD's is the only one that didn't have a shoulder strap.
    • Baby may have a perfectly innocent reason to record conversations around him, including while engaging in criminal conspiracy, but that doesn't mean it isn't very stupid.
    • Bats is Stupid Evil by way of Trigger-Happy. He antagonizes every member of his team for every possible reason he can think of (even to get exclusivity as the "crazy guy" of the team), he kills people during heists for no good reason other than his paranoid impulses (and he also blows the Butcher and his helpers away because of this), he kills a man to prevent paying for some bubble gum, and he almost kills Debora either because he thinks she recognized Baby, because he didn't wanted to pay for the soda, or both. It's a wonder he survived as long as he did.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: For a light-hearted action flick, a lot of things get very real consequences to them:
    • Baby spends the entire time during operations not wearing anything other than sunglasses to properly conceal his face. So, it's no wonder why he's arrested in the end.
    • Darling opens fire on the police after the post office robbery without taking cover, and promptly gets gunned down within seconds.
    • Baby and Debora make their escape and go on the run, only to find out you can't outrun the radio, and a law enforcement blockade is ready and waiting for them.
    • While evading the cops on foot, Baby ducks into a store and quickly slips on a jacket, hat, and glasses in an attempt to conceal his identity. When he hears the cops nearby, he dashes out of the store and immediately trips the theft alarms, bringing a swarm of cops right to him again.
    • A few Pet the Dog moments doesn't erase several years of being the wheelman and get-away driver for robbery crews under a crime boss, and Baby is found guilty and tossed in jail, though is allowed parole after only serving 5 years of his 25 year sentence, after his surrender.
  • Tattooed Crook: Every criminal save for Baby and Doc has at least one tattoo, particularly Griff and Bats. JD's is somewhat... unorthodox.
    Baby: Your tattoo says, "Hat."
    JD: Yeah, it used to say "Hate". But to increase my chances of employment, I got the E removed.
    Baby: How's that working out for you?
    JD: Who doesn't like hats?
  • Tempting Fate: Doc pulls Baby back in for another job as Baby settles his debts, citing him as a good luck charm for his successful heists. This is also the job where everything falls apart, and Darling calls Baby a jinx after his attempt to getaway in a hijacked car stymies their attempt to get away, drawing the attention of the cops they just slipped.
  • Theme Naming: Four of the most prominent of the criminals—"Baby", "Buddy", "Darling" and "Doc"—are all named after common terms of endearment. Those four, appropriately enough, survive the longest.
    • Additionally, all six main characters have names that start with B or D - Baby, Buddy, Bats, Darling, Debora, and Doc. Why B or D? Simple: Baby Driver.
  • Thrill Seeker: Baby, Buddy, and Darling are all accused of being this. Deconstructed by Bats, who claims Buddy likely does these robbery, because he was once a Wall Street trader who got into so much debt and financial trouble that he lost everything, so he hooked up with Darling, gets high constantly, and does high-risk bank robberies in order to compensate.
  • Titled After the Song: Named after the Simon & Garfunkel song from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. It plays over the credits.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Doc decides JD is this after the mistakes he makes in the second heist, and kills him.
    • Darling doesn't think to take cover before open firing on the police. Sure enough, she gets hit by their bullets and killed.
    • Bats threatens to kill his own getaway driver immediately after murdering an innocent bystander. Needless to say, Baby decided enough was enough and killed Bats at that point.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Baby kept his original iPod that his parents gave him as a kid after it was damaged beyond repair from the car accident that killed his parents. There's also the gold tape he has of his mother singing. This is the only tape he is able to recover from Doc.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Samm at first seems like a disinterested eight-year-old. But he's better at counting the number of cameras, guards, windows and everything in the post office than Baby is. Also, he points out the post office teller will probably "fold" before firearms are needed.
    Doc: (proudly) Chip's off the old block.
  • Two Words: I Can't Count: According to Bats, the world of crime consists of three things:
    "...And that's money, sex, drugs, and action. (Beat) Oh shit, that's four."
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The only robbery to go off without a hitch is the opening scene, meaning the audience did not hear the plan ahead of time. In the other two cases, the plan is explicitly stated beforehand, and both plans fall apart (though at the very least, the second heist only just succeeds).
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Doc's informants and inside men don't have cocaine habits, they have nasal problems.
    • The Butcher uses terms regarding cooked pig when talking about guns.
  • Verbal Backspace: A particularly sad one. At the diner, Buddy sees the police report detailing the deaths of Bats and Darling, and starts to say, "I love...", but then remembers she's now dead and corrects it to "I loved her."
  • Villain in a White Suit: The Butcher, Doc's arms dealer and an antagonist in his own right, wears a white suit.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: Doc pressures Baby into continuing his job by letting him know that he knows where Baby's foster dad lives and his girlfriend works. Shame If Something Happened to them.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The formerly Affably Evil Buddy becomes a deranged killer after Darling is killed due to Baby's actions, and becomes obsessed with killing Debora to make Baby pay in return.
  • Villainous Rescue: During the Tequila shootout, Bats saves Baby's life by gunning down one of the Butcher's men who's shooting at Baby.
  • Villains Never Lie: When Baby finds out that his home has been raided by Buddy and Bats, Bats tells him that Joseph is still alive. Given his Ax-Crazy demeanor, one may assume he's being sarcastic and killed Joseph offscreen. However, Bats was telling the truth, as Joseph is later revealed to indeed be still alive.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • The group going to the same diner where Debora is working a night shift, to Baby's reluctance.
    • Doc is having dinner at Bacchanalia at the same time as Baby and Debora and agrees to pay their bill.
    • An offscreen example, where Doc apparently watched Monsters, Inc. with Samm, as he implies when Baby tries to reassure him with one of its lines. He seems to watch movies with Sam fairly often, enough to know that Monsters, Inc. is one of Sam's favourite films.
  • Voice Clip Song: Baby records snippets of everyday conversations and mixes them into songs as a hobby. It bites him in the ass when his cohorts catch him in the act and suspect him of being a police snitch.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Baby admits he records conversations to remix into songs, Darling's reaction is "This shit is bananas, Doc. B-A-N-A-N-A-S."

"Whoo! That's some Oscar shit right there!"


Video Example(s):


Mickey Mousing: The Movie

Edgar Wright's 2017 masterpiece Baby Driver was choreographed to the soundtrack throughout the movie, like this scene set to "Egyptian Reggae" by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / MickeyMousing

Media sources: