Briefly, a group of people are sealed into a Bio-Dome which is supposed to be a miniature self-sufficient ecology, sealed off from the outside world. One of these people is played by Pauly Shore. Hilarity Ensues.
In more detail: Bud Macintosh (Shore) and Doyle Johnson (Stephen Baldwin) are your average slackers, neither particularly bright, nor particularly attractive. Somehow they managed to get hot girlfriends, Monique and Jen (played respectively by Joey Lauren Adams and Teresa Hill). The two girls are very interested in environmental efforts and quite fed-up with the two slackers' indifference towards it.
While traveling in the Arizona desert, our not-too-bright duo discover the Bio-Dome. A group of scientists is about to be sealed inside for a year for research purposes. The duo decides it is a new mall and enters just before the building is sealed. Now the scientists have to endure the many ways the duo are destroying the environment within the Dome, while the lady scientists have just met their new stalkers. Not that the guys want to cheat on their girlfriends, they act as if flirting with any attractive woman is obligatory. Sleeping with her is not. Among the few actually named scientists are the project lead Dr. Noah Faulkner (William Atherton) and Dr. Petra von Kant (Kylie Minogue).
Not to be confused with the zoological institute in Montreal, Canada (due to how that's just one word).
Tropes Used in This Movie:
- Big Eater: Bud and Doyle.
- Black Comedy Rape: When the two try to make out with the two female scientists in their sleep without their consent before getting thrown out. This sequence is Played for Laughs.
- Butt-Monkey: Faulkner and the scientists become this when Bud and Doyle start annoying and harassing them with their goofy antics.
- But Not Too Bi: Bud and Doyle are supposedly bisexual, even though they never hit on any male character save for a brief moment with each other. Which would be assuming that they weren't going for cheap laughs.
- Chaotic Stupid: Guess who.
- The Ditz: Both of the main characters.
- Disappeared Dad:Mimi Simkins: Where did you come from?
Doyle: My mom and the authorities are still trying to figure that out.
- Earth Song: Tenacious D cameos as musicians singing a tree-hugging song at an Earth Day environmentalist rally.
- Erotic Eating: The way Petra eats a carrot in front of Bud.Bud: What's up, Doc?
- Flashback Cut: The scene mentioned in Hilariously Abusive Childhood below.
- "Friends" Rent Control: The two leads have a relatively nice home despite being incredibly stupid and not shown to have any jobs at all. Then again, this could be a case of living with Doyle's mother, who's seen throughout the movie.
- Green Aesop: A relatively subtle and intelligent one.
- Hero Antagonist: Dr. Faulkner only wants to preserve the stability of the project that the two leads keep messing up.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Bud and Doyle try hitting on Petra.
- Here We Go Again!: After spending a whole year inside the bio-dome, Bud and Doyle reconcile with Monique and Jen and drive off. When Doyle once again needs to use the bathroom, the four drive into a nuclear power plant.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: In one flashback, Doyle's mom is seen drowning Bud to teach them how to hold their breath for several minutes at a time. Assuming she did the same thing to Doyle, it may explain why why they're both so immature as adults.
- Idiot Houdini: Both Bud and Doyle.
- Jerkass: Again, Bud and Doyle being a duo of Insufferable Imbeciles.
- This seems to follow Bud and Doyle wherever they go, for none of their transgressions against anyone are brought to any justice.
- Monique's stepdad.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Both Bud and Doyle are kicked out and forced to stay in the desert section in the Biodome when they sneak inside a room full of snacks and other foods that have been confiscated by the scientists.
- Loud of War: Subverted when the police try to get the protagonists out of the dome by blasting Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance". It doesn't work; it just means they have a rhythm as they fix the place up. In a Shout-Out to the music video, it also causes a dancing dwarf to suddenly show up.
- The '90s: Embarrassingly so. The fashion, the "loveable stoner slacker", the attitude towards women, the Totally Radical dialogue...
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Doyle always uses rock when doing rock-paper-scissors with Bud, causing him to lose. It's even in their first scene together.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: They break into the bio-dome, mess about with the scientist attempts at research, destroy the bio-dome itself and with it any attempt at gaining scientific insight by letting others inside after being told they couldn't leave for just such a reason, the sexual abuse of the two female scientists...and we're supposed to root for them because they feel bad about it.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Bud and Doyle are grown men, but have all the maturity and self-control of undisciplined eight-year-olds.
- Random Events Plot: Takes up most of the movie, which pretty much stems from entering the Biodome onwards.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The film is heavily inspired by the Biosphere 2, a facility in Arizona intended to test the ability for a small crew of people to be completely self-sufficient for for a span of two years. The experiments at the facility in the early 90's were notoriously troubled; the only full experiment conducted there saw the failure of multiple self-sustaining projects and the division of the crew of eight into two warring factions.
- Sanity Slippage: Faulkner even grows a beard to show this happened to him after going missing.
- Shout-Out: Kylie Minogue's character is named after the film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
- Stoner Flick
- Swallow the Key: Doyle does this, swallowing the key to the biodome in order to keep the project going.
- Totally Radical: The main characters, again. After all, this is set in The '90s, but even for that time period this movie is way over the top and unbelievable.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Bud and Doyle are both immature, selfish, and impulsive.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Several experiments were done with self sustained ecologies, including one in Arizona called Biosphere 2, but that's about it.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Dr. Leaky does this trope upon finding out that Bud and Doyle snuck into the Bio-Dome, thinking that it was a mall with a bathroom.Dr. Leaky: Who would be stupid enough to think Bio-Dome was a mall?
Dr. Faulkner: (bringing up the boys' records by fax machine) Bud MacIntosh and Doyle Johnson. That's who.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Eventually Faulkner does try to kill them.