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Film / Billy Madison

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"...Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
The Principal to Billy... for giving an incorrect answer.

Billy Madison is a 1995 comedy film starring Adam Sandler as a dimwitted rich slacker who must go Back to School, starting with first grade, all the way through high school, in order to inherit his father's (Darren McGavin) company. He falls in love with Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson), his beautiful 3rd grade teacher, along the way. Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes include:

  • Accidental Pervert: Billy purposefully initiates such an experience with his teacher Veronica, blaming the accident on a bumpy bus ride in the hope that she'll think it's this. Of course, he's just being a regular pervert.
    • Well, he originally wasn't going to do it, but then the kid double-dog dared him...
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • The overweight, homosexual principal has a crush on Billy.
    • So does Juanita, the Madisons' maid.
    • And Billy himself is initially this from Veronica's perspective.
  • Alliterative Name: Veronica Vaughn, the first of Adam's fictional "V-name" girlfriends.
  • Amusing Injuries: According to the clown, at least. When he gets up from the trip and fall he had earlier during the second musical number, he describes the severe injuries he got from it in a cheerful and enthusiastic tone.
  • Annoying Laugh: Eric's "weasel laugh."
  • Answer Cut:
    • Veronica: "Who would steal thirty bag lunches?", cut to Jack, Frank, and the bus driver played by Chris Farley eating them while laughing maniacally.
    • Billy's dad wonders rhetorically what his son is searching for, cut to Billy saying "here's a nice piece of shit" and scraping a dog turd off the ground.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "First the psycho goes on TV, lies, then retracts it, and now Eric's secretary is in a coma." Granted, a person being in a coma is a big deal, but in everyone's eyes it isn't important compared to Principal Anderson's false accusations.
  • Asshole Victims: The O'Doyle family station wagon slips by a banana peel, falls of a cliff, and explodes, killing every O'Doyle on board. No one is mourning them.
  • Author Appeal: Adam Sandler is a huge Professional Wrestling fan in Real Life.
  • Back to School: The basic premise. Hell, he even sings a little song about it.
    Billy: Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I'm not a fool! I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Billy makes his grand speech utilizing "The Puppy Who Lost His Way" as a basis, we only see the very beginning and end, and so we are led to believe at first that it something inspirational. Cue the judge, in a deadpan fashion, giving Billy "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Batman Gambit: Billy does this during the Decathlon, expecting Eric to flame out on a question about Business Ethics.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Billy has this kind of a relationship with his elementary school classmates, becoming something of an older brother to them. He saves one of them from humiliation, visits them. They in turn confront Principal Anderson for lying about Billy bribing his way through school.
  • Big "SHUT UP!":
    • Ahahahahahaha—SHUT UP!!!!!
    • Eric says this to Mr. Madison after the latter says extenuating circumstances justify his giving Billy another chance to graduate from high school and earn control of Madison Hotels.
  • Bizarre Beverage Use: Billy puts water from the drinking fountain on the front of his pants to pretend he wet himself and that it's cool to do so, in order to cheer up a boy named Ernie, who did wet himself.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Eric may be a massive Jerkass and Corrupt Corporate Executive, but he's not wrong in pointing out that Billy is unfit to run his father's company. However, Billy isn't wrong either in regards to the fact that Eric isn't fit for the job either. Both sides are eventually proven right in the end, as Billy manages to prove himself right by choosing the topic Business Ethics for Eric's question at the end. Eric fails to answer the question and suffers a Villainous Breakdown, proving he is not fit to run any company. Eric is also proven right as by the end, Billy chooses not to take over his father's company, and decides to go to college and become a teacher instead.
  • Brick Joke: During the bus ride to the farm, the bus driver throws a banana peel out the window and onto the highway. Much later in the film, a car driven by the Jerkass O'Doyle family veers off course after going over the peel and plunges over a cliff.
    • "Hey, kids, it's me! I bet you thought that I was dead! But when I fell over I just broke my leg and got a hemorrhage in my head!"
    • "Man, I'm glad I called that guy."
  • The Bully: The O'Doyles are a whole family of them. Billy meets all four of the O'Doyle boys as they mess with Billy or some other kid while they give out their "O'Doyle Rules!" chant.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Billy has shades of this. He comes up with the movie-defining plot off the top of his head in a matter of seconds. His father is impressed by the thoroughness and the fact that Billy actually set up a significant challenge for himself, influencing his decision to go through with it.
  • Burning Bag of Poop: Billy plays this prank on Old Man Clemens with Jack and Frank in tow, Jack having done the dirty work of shoveling the poop into the bag. As they watch from behind a bush, Clemens charges out of the house in his tighty-whitey briefs and an undershirt to answer the doorbell.
    Clemens: Judas Priest, Barbara, it's one of those flaming bags again! *he stomps out the fire, then wrinkles his nose in disgust and smells his boot* Poop again!
    Billy: He called the shit poop! *they all laugh*
  • Casualty in the Ring: Billy's elementary school principal used to be The Revolting Blob, a professional wrestler who was forced to retire in disgrace and go into hiding after accidentally killing his opponent in the ring. Eric later digs up this uncomfortable secret and uses it to blackmail the principal into helping him screw over Billy.
  • Catchphrase: "O'Doyle rules!"
  • Character Development: On the way, Billy grows more mature, apologizing for his bad behavior and genuinely cleaning up his act. He also realizes that he's more interested in teaching than in running Madison Hotels, so he gives control of the company to Carl.
  • Character Filibuster: Subverted and parodied. Billy is required to give one of these describing how a work of literature reflects the changes the Industrial Revolution had on the modern novel as part of the climactic general knowledge quiz. He elects to compare the Industrial Revolution to a children's story called "The Puppy Who Lost His Way," and the scene cuts to the ending of the seemingly inspirational and well-informed monologue he gives on the subject. Then Billy turns to the headmaster to find out how he did, and the response is the quote at the top of the page.
    • The song Billy sings after Veronica beats the shit out of him is probably a straighter example.
  • Character Title: Since the movie is about Billy.
  • Character Witness: Billy apologized to an old classmate he used to bully in school. That same former classmate comes back at the end of the film to save Billy from the villain.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "The Puppy Who Lost His Way". Subverted, though — whatever Billy tried to make out of using that book, it resulted in an ungodly awful mess of a lecture.
    • Also Chekhov's Banana. Early in the film, a banana is tossed out the window of a bus and we see it lying there rotting during several travel scenes. It finally triggers a Brick Joke in the third act, killing the O'Doyles.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Aforementioned classmate, who had become a real gunman in the meantime. He's seen crossing Billy off of a hit list after they make peace.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Parodied when one of the trivia categories in the final decathlon challenge is "Burning Dog Poo and the Human Response." Billy, who loves the old bag-on-the-doorstep prank, crosses his fingers and mutters "Oh please, oh please..." Naturally, Eric doesn't pick it, instead picking "Reflections Of Society In Literature," where Billy's answer leads to the quote at the top.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Billy most of the time, but practically every character in the movie during the bizarre Big-Lipped Alligator Moment where they're all singing or dancing. ("Do you have any more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum?")
    • Do you have any more gum?
    • Billy's first grade teacher indulges in some rather odd habits when her class is outside playing dodgeball.
      • Even odder, she puts paste all over her face while the kids are napping.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: This being an Adam Sandler picture, there's heaps and heaps of it. Billy sees a clown on stilts topple over and laughs his head off, even though the actor in the clown makeup has cut open his lip and broken his leg. He later reacts with hilarity when his arch-nemesis, Eric, is burning to death (but it's an Imagine Spot, so he gets better). A story about a professional wrestler killing an opponent by sitting on his head is played for laughs, as is a secretary being violently knocked into a coma. But the best (er, worst) example has to concern the O'Doyles, a family of stereotypically Irish-American louts (milky skin, freckles, ginger hair, you know the drill...) whose sole function in the movie is to act like a Jerkass to Billy at various plot points, although the third grade O'Doyle isn't seen harassing Billy on-screen, just another kid in the class. Billy ultimately gets his revenge when a car carrying the entire O'Doyle family skids wildly after zipping over a banana peel on the highway and plunges over a cliff, still chanting "O'Doyle Rules!" all the way down! ...Every single O'Doyle is killed.
  • Cool Old Guy: Carl. Which is why Billy decides to step aside and let him run his father's company.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Eric is an exaggerated example. He blackmails Billy's principal into claiming Billy bribed him. And he completely bombs the "Business Ethics" question at the decathlon.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Implied with Steve Buscemi's character, who is seen applying lipstick.
  • Cringe Comedy: Billy's attempts to be cool in High School fall very flat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Carl sneaks one in when Eric asks how he'd feel about working under Billy. Carl simply states that it could be worse, indirectly implying that he'd rather work for Billy than Eric.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Veronica, although she's stern rather than genuinely mean.
  • Disco Dan: When Billy shows up for his first day of high school, he arrives in a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, blaring "The Stroke" by Billy Squier loudly over the radio and wearing a denim jacket with a REO Speedwagon t-shirt. Since this movie was released in the mid-90s when alternative rock and hip-hop were the dominant genres of music, Billy's attempt to look cool backfires big time.
  • Disney Death: The clown at Billy's party, who comes back to life just to take part in a musical number.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Veronica gets Billy to come to his repeatedly punching him and holding him underwater. In the musical number he even sings, "Veronica I thank you, for beating the shit out of me". There's no way in hell that would fly if the genders were reversed.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Veronica barely tolerates Billy's situation to start with, but his making fun of a classmate's stuttering problem makes her livid, pulling him into the hallway by his ear to dress him down for it. Notably, it's after this and her humiliating him for his inability to do a cursive Z that he starts genuinely improving.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Billy may be a Manchild, but he has some good points about the flaws from a picture book. The boy couldn't give up looking for the puppy, he should put up some posters to look for him and find the puppy in the parking lot.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Billy basically sexually assaulting Veronica she seems to forgive him in the very next scene, even stating that it's not the first time someone tried to grab her chest.
  • Enemies List: The classmate Billy calls and apologizes to has a list of "People to Kill". Billy was on it before his apology.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The moderator of the Academic Decathlon suggests that Billy has made the audience dumber for giving a blatantly incorrect answer. Billy even does a Lampshade Hanging, pointing out that the moderator's reaction was a bit excessive.
    • Eric is so devoid of business ethics that he literally has no knowledge of them. When given a question, he only stutters there for a few seconds before going completely psycho and pulling out a gun, yelling out how the contest was rigged.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Billy's response to the puppy story. After seeing him behave like a drunken, hedonistic man-child for most of the movie, this is our first indication that he actually does have an understanding of principles like hard work, responsibility and dedication, even if he's rarely if ever applied them before.
    • Eric's is his unnecessary insults toward Billy during the business dinner just to get a rise out of him.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: The scene where the entire O'Doyle family is driving down the road chanting "O'Doyle rules!" over and over again. The car hits the banana peel that the bus driver threw out the window of a bus earlier in the movie, inexplicably causing the car to skid out of control and fly off a cliff (all while the family continues to chant "O'Doyle Rules!"). Though it isn't shown directly, the car inexplicably explodes in a loud explosion off screen.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Exploited by Billy during the gameshow against Eric. He gets to pick the category for Eric's question and chooses "business ethics", knowing that due to what Eric's like, he will have no chance of answering it correctly.
  • Fan Disservice: We're suckered into thinking we're going to see Veronica Vaughn strip herself to the waist, but instead the one performing the striptease is the disgustingly fat male bus driver. Played by Chris Farley. Ick.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the events on the academic decathlon question board reveal the principal's poor relationship with his adulterous wife, including such categories as "My Spouse Is Sleeping Around", "My Wife, The Tramp" and "I Married Common Gutter Trash".
  • Funny Background Event: At the climax, the principal can be seen reacting to Eric waving a gun around screaming and all the chaos that results with nothing more than condescending, mildly irritated eye-rolling.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Lampshaded in the musical scene:
    "Veronica, I thank you/for beating the shit out of me!"
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "He just called the shit 'poop'!"
  • HA HA HAŚNo: "Ahahahahahaha shut up!"
  • Having a Gay Old Time: In-universe: Veronica has to teach her class with a short story called "My Sister Fanny," and just lets them all giggle a bit and get it out of their system first. Billy doesn't get it, but then it turns out the story is on page 69 of their book.
  • Heartfelt Apology: Billy calls an old classmate of his to apologize for picking on him in high school. The guy accepts the apology and strikes Billy's name from his "people to kill" list. He even goes so far as to save Billy from being killed by Eric.
    Billy: Man, I'm glad I called that guy.
  • Heel Realization: Getting bullied when he enters the high school prompts Billy to realize his own bullying tendencies when he was a kid. It prompts him to call an old classmate he used to pick on and apologize... which prompts the old classmate to drop him from his 'kill' list. And save his life at the end.
    Billy: Man, I'm glad I called that guy.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: Billy risking his own reputation to save a younger classmate is the first sign he is more than just some immature jerk.
  • Hidden Depths: It turns out that Eric can play the violin expertly. Even Billy has to give him props.
  • Hippie Teacher: Miss Lippy, the 1st grade teacher.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Carl, who ends up becoming the head of Madison Hotels due to his helping Billy.
  • Hot Teacher: Veronica Vaughn, whom Billy develops a crush on.
  • Hypocrite: Although Eric is right that Billy is not fit to run his father's company, in reality, neither is Eric. He is consistently shown to be a Bad Boss, sometimes being just as much of a Manchild as Billy. This is demonstrated at the end when Billy grabs the Smart Ball and chooses Eric's question to be business ethics-related. When Eric can't answer the question, he undergoes a Villainous Breakdown and tries to kill Billy, further proving that he's no better.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The bus driver screams "NO YELLING ON THE BUS!" at the top of his lungs.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Veronica's way of motivating Billy for the decathlon.
  • Idle Rich: Billy towards the beginning.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Part of the main plot. Billy has to prove he isn't one. Interestingly, while he does so in a general sense he ends up coming to the conclusion that he actually isn't cut out to run his father's company and doesn't want to anyway, and so decides he's going to become a teacher instead.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • Billy and the kids from Veronica's class.
    • Billy is also friends with one of his father's executives, Carl, who is one of the few people who actually believes in Billy.
  • Jerkass:
    • Eric in spades. Who stoops to many lows such as blackmailing an elementary school principal to try and ruin Billy's chances of getting the company, and he really isn't nice to the people he interacts with either.
    • The entire O'Doyle family is a group of obnoxious bullies.
    • Billy starts off as one but later matures.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Eric is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and slimeball who merely wants to run Madison Hotels. However, Eric points out that the company's fifty thousand employees are not likely to have jobs for very long if the president makes his lazy son Billy president of the company, since Billy only graduated school through bribery. Before Billy strikes a deal to graduate legitimately, Eric's argument convinces Billy's father to hand the reins over to Eric instead. After some Character Development, Billy himself concludes that Eric is ultimately right, and that he's not cut out for the management of a large company. Billy decides to become a teacher instead, and turns Madison Hotels over to Carl, who is both competent and not a Jerkass.
  • Jerkass Realization: When Billy enters ninth grade, he's confused as to why the kids are suddenly picking on him. He talks to Veronica about it and she mentions maybe he wasn't as nice to the kids that he thought were losers, likely remembering his comments teasing one of her students trying to read. Billy then starts to understand that he should have known better. This makes Billy take the Heroes' Frontier Step of not only risking his own reputation for a fellow student's sake, but apologize to other people he bullied when he was a high school aged kid.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Billy develops into this.
    • He had very minor shades of it from the start. When he learns that his father bribed his teachers to pass him, he seems both upset that he didn't honestly earn his grades and that his father would do such a thing.
    • He also objects to putting Eric in charge of the company because he knows Eric is immoral and callous (or, as he puts it, "He is a bad man!"). He doesn't seem particularly upset that his father's not passing the company to him until he learns it would go to Eric instead. If Brian had given control of the company to Carl instead of Eric, chances are there would be no movie.
    • After passing everyone of his grades, Billy always throw a huge party and invites all his classmates.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The incident where Billy grabs Veronica's breast. For an adult man, that's sexual assault and she could have easily reported him to the police, as Billy himself notes ("That's assault, bruddah!"). Of course, he requires a double-dare before he'll go through with it and Veronica treats it the same way as she would with any other third-grader, but he still got away with it.
    • Eric after trying to kill Billy and Veronica is just seen at Billy's graduation in crutches.
  • Karmic Jackpot:
    • Carl is fully supportive of Billy and as a result, Billy gives him ownership of Madison Hotels.
    • Billy apologizes to a guy he bullied in high school and this directly saves his life because that guy comes back at the end of the movie to save him.
  • Lame Comeback: After the searing criticism of Billy's analysis, Billy comes back with "a simple 'wrong' would've done just fine, but yeah".
  • Large Ham: The bus driver. Being played by Chris Farley, there's no way he could be anything else.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The entire O'Doyle family. They drive off a cliff, chanting their Catchphrase all the while.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Virtually all the characters at the end of the movie. All-but Lampshaded in the case of Chris Farley's character, who hooks up with the Penguin from Billy's drunken hallucinations.
  • Large Ham: Adam Sandler doesn't merely chew scenery; he eats this movie alive.
  • Laughing Mad: Eric threatens to shoot Billy and Veronica while laughing crazily.
  • Likes Older Women: Billy, if one of the porn magazines he receives is any indication.
  • Manchild: Billy. He is 27 years old, unemployed, and still lives with his dad. And he has to repeat every single grade to earn his father's trust.
  • Missing Mom: Billy's mom isn't seen nor mention throughout the movie.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Veronica. Especially when she tackles Billy in the fountain in a white shirt.
    • Lampshaded when she sings the line "Don't I have a nice rack?" during the musical number.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Revolting Blob, anyone?
  • Never Bareheaded: Billy is almost always shown wearing a hat, highlighting his childish nature.
  • Noodle Incident: Billy's dad imploring Billy to have one meal without him screaming gibberish — as well as Eric knowing the bizarre triggers for it — implies that the scene we see in the movie is not the first time Billy has done this.
  • Obviously Evil: Eric spends every single second on screen being a slimy little weasel, and Billy actually calls him out on it a couple of times during the film, culminating with him proving at the climax that he is so devoid of business ethics that he literally has no knowledge of them.
  • One of the Kids: Up until he gets to high school, Billy fits in almost perfectly with the small children around him.
  • Pair the Spares: Taken to its logical extreme at the end of the movie (including the penguin).
  • Passing Notes in Class: On the day where Principal Anderson substitutes for a sick Miss Vaughn, a third-grader named Michael is caught getting passed a note. Principal Anderson decides to take the note and read it out loud himself, and it's making fun of him for his size.
  • Paste Eater: Billy eats paste in his first-grade class.
  • Product Placement: Done very blatantly early on with Triscuits featuring in the first conversation between Carl and Eric; it's worth noting that Bradley Whitford seems less than enthusiastic about having to plug the "delicious Triscuit crackers".
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Eric increasingly reveals himself to be a selfish and petty man, blackmailing Principal Anderson into lying that Billy bribed him to pass and throwing a violent, gun-toting tantrum when he loses the decathalon.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Eric after seeing Principal Anderson confess that he was blackmailed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Most of the teachers, but Billy's dad would count too as he was willing to give Billy another chance when he found out the guy who had claimed Billy bribed him to pass was lying and still refused to give the company to Eric.
    • Carl is also this, since he always believed in Billy and helped him out whenever he could. In the end, Billy decides he would be a better person to own the company.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Billy is on the receiving end of a legendary one after giving an stupid answer during the academic decathalon at the end.
    Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
    Billy: Okay, a simple "wrong" would've done just fine, but yeah.
  • Reformed Bully: After his Jerkass Realization, Billy calls up some of the kids he taunted in his original school days and sincerely apologizes. This ends up being very important, as one of them shows up and saves his life in a critical moment.
  • Retired Badass: If we may describe it as badass, the principal (formerly known as The Revolting Blob).
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Eric is absolutely correct that Billy is not at all suited to run the company but shows himself to be a little better, being so amoral that he literally has no grasp on what business ethics are. Billy even fully acknowledges that he isn't suited to the task halfway through and only battles to prevent Eric from getting the gig, later handing the reigns over to Carl, who is much more ethical.
  • Rule of Funny: The reason why Billy gets away with some of his shenanigans.
  • Running Gag: The O'Doyle family giving out their Catchphrase (usually after pulling off some prank).
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: How Billy's Dad got him to pass at first, which Mr. Madison came to regret. Later, Eric blackmailed a principal into claiming Billy invoked the trope as well.
  • "Shaggy Frog" Story: Billy's comparison of the Industrial Revolution to "The Puppy Who Lost His Way" is suggested to be one. The page quote is the Principal's response to the screed.
  • Shout-Out: After arranging the academic decathlon, Billy hugs Eric and tells him "I knew it was you... (kisses him) you broke my heart."
  • Stacy's Mom: The mom of one of Billy's 1st grade classmates. Billy was interested in her until he saw her wipe her son's nose and wipe herself with the same tissue.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Self-imposed by Billy when Veronica tells him he was framed for blackmailing.
    Veronica: Billy, why are you acting like this? I know that you didn't pay off Max.
    Billy: Well, that makes two of us, then, baby. But it takes more than two to tango. Somethin' like that.
  • Silver Spoon Troublemaker: Billy is introduced as such. He drunkenly drives his golf cart and ruins the gardener's hard work, and occasionally pulls childish pranks around town, like putting a Burning Bag of Poop on the front door of old man Clemen's house. Plus, he only graduated high school because his father bribed his teachers to give him good grades and ignore his misbehaviour.
  • Stern Teacher: Veronica, at least to Billy. It doesn't help that Billy's emotional maturity is close to the same level as the grade school children's, but Billy constantly tries to hit on Veronica and disrupt her classroom. As such, Veronica treats Billy harshly in turn.
  • Shot in the Ass: Eric at the end.
  • Smug Snake: As is common in Happy Madison productions, Eric is a smarmy, self-impressed dickhead.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: After Billy provides an answer to a question during the quiz with Eric, the judge awards Billy no points, scolds his answer as the dumbest thing he's ever heard, and ends with "may God have mercy on your soul". Billy even points out that a simple "Wrong" would have done just fine.
  • Take Our Word for It: Billy's terrible answer is mostly given during a duration of a Time Skip. What little we hear of it sounds like Billy giving a heart-felt, bumbling, but supposedly good answer. And then the judge gives out his rant, saying how much exactly Billy screwed up.
  • Those Two Guys: Billy's two friends, Jack and Frank, who constantly party.
  • Toilet Humour: A staple of Adam Sandler movies, most notably their burning bag of dog poo pranks.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Billy gradually becomes a far more mature and level headed individual. He saves one of his classmates from humiliation, even becoming something of a big brother to them, and makes an apology to his former classmates.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Billy's Snack Pack. He gets angry when Juanita refuses to pack him one and instead gives him a banana.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: It is so obvious that Eric will be this if he becomes CEO of Madison Hotels that preventing it from happening is a major part of the plot. While Eric may have a point about Billy being too incompetent to run Madison Hotels, Billy notes that Eric isn't much better, if only because Eric will be actively malicious.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: At the climax, the principal hosting the academic decathlon reacts to Eric pulling a gun on him and demanding a new question, threatening to shoot Billy, being attacked by another principal dressed as a Mexican wrestler, threatening to shoot Veronica while laughing crazily before himself being shot in the ass by a sniper with little more than mildly irritated, condescending eye-rolling and head-shaking.
  • Villain Has a Point: Eric convinces Billy's father that he should be the one to run the Madison Hotel empire, rather than just hand it down to Billy when he steps down as CEO. One can see why Eric thought that was the best thing to do since Billy only graduated from high school because his dad bribed his teachers, didn't even go to college, and is currently more concerned with getting drunk with his two freeloading infantile buddies, looking at porno magazines, and playing video games than finding out how the hotel business works. Eventually, it becomes apparent that Eric just wants to take control of the company for himself as Billy starts taking his "education" more seriously, then again it was repeating grades one through twelve, two weeks per grade, rather than a business program from an accredited university. In the end, Billy himself realizes he isn't cut out for, nor does he even want to, run the empire. He decides to hand control over to Carl and go to college so he can become a teacher.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Eric handles the final challenge very well... until he gets a surprise question about business ethics sprung on him, at which point it takes about fifteen seconds of flustered, stuttering incoherence for him to produce a gun and start screaming. The point being that a question about business ethics should not be a surprise to somebody who's aiming to run a large company, and Eric flames out on the question because he doesn't have any ethics.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Billy spends most of the episode trying to gain his father's approval.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Billy delivers one of these in-universe to the little boy in "The Puppy Who Lost His Way".
    Billy: Whoa whoa whoa, Ms. Lippy. The only part of the story I didn't like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after only an hour. He didn't put up posters or anything. He just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy's got to think; you've got a pet. You've got a responsibility. When your puppy is lost, you don't just look for an hour and then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that fucking dog!
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Billy condenses the Principal's famous "The Reason You Suck" Speech to "wrong."
  • You Will Be Spared: After Billy calls his former classmate (played by Steve Buscemi) and apologizes for bullying him when they were in school, the guy crosses Billy's name off his "People To Kill" list.


Video Example(s):


Billy Madison Apology

Having recently been bulled himself, Billy Madison reaches out to former classmate to apologize for being a bully.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / HeartfeltApology

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