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Film / Ernest Rides Again

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On a cannon, to be specific!
Ernest Rides Again is a 1993 comedy film written and directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney, Ron James and Linda Kash. It opens with the song "There Once Was A Man Named Worrell". It is the sixth film to feature the character Ernest P. Worrell, and the last to be released theatrically.

After fiddling around on a construction site one day with his metal detector (and accidentally causing the site to collapse, because it's Ernest), he finds a rare artifact in the dirt. He immediately takes it to his friend at the local university, Dr. Abner Melon, whose theory is that the crown jewels of England are fakes, and that the real crown jewels were hidden in a cannon ("Goliath") during the Revolutionary War. To Dr. Melon's surprise, Ernest's find supports his theory.

Dr. Melon and Ernest set out to dig up some new evidence, and their search for Goliath turns into a big adventure that attracts other interested parties - power-hungry colleague Dr. Glencliff, Abner's chatty, self-centered wife Nan, members of British Intelligence, and, for some reason, two vacuum salesmen.

The film is preceded by a Mr. Bill short, Mr. Bill Goes To Washington.


  • Afraid of Doctors: Ernest states all his fears when trapped in the cannon.
    Ernest: There might be bugs in here...or vampires...or a dentist!
  • An Aesop: Friendship (between Ernest and Dr. Melon) is more valuable than status or material wealth.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: A scene at the beginning of the film sees a nail gun and a buzzsaw that had been left laying around in a construction site come to life and, respectively, shoot volleys of nails at Ernest and chase him around.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Dr. Melon, as he arrives just in time to knock out Dr. Glencliff with a cannon plate as he is about to behead Ernest with a large axe.
    • The Mighty Workboy salesmen, of all people, save Ernest from getting shot by Dr. Glencliff. With their vacuum.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Ernest, for one, as he is being chased down/attacked by power tools coming to life (just part of the sheer madness that is Ernest movies). He later gets his body trapped inside the cannon's barrel while searching for the crown jewels. Later, Dr. Glencliff and his goons kidnap him, and go through a series of trials to remove the crown from Ernest's head.
    • Dr. Melon qualifies even more. He's just a timid, soft-spoken university professor who wanted to go on an archeological mission, and he gets stuck in the middle of a crazy adventure where he gets pummeled senseless, shot at by thugs, and worse, Ernest keeps doing that stupid "you got something on your shirt" trick!
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Literally with the cannon plate Ernest discovered at the construction site, which was used as a boomerang on multiple occasions in the film.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When the Mighty Workboy salesmen save Ernest from Dr. Glencliff with the vacuum they tried to sell Nan. That thing was every bit as powerful as they said it was.
  • Disney Death: Ernest after Dr. Glencliff's limo runs over him. Dr. Glencliff notices Ernest isn't dead, and (being a murderous psychopath) demands the limo be put in reverse.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Early in the film, Ernest should have known better than to touch Dr. Glencliff's mummy, causing it to crumble apart.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Ernest riding the runaway cannon. Given the size of the thing, plus the fact that this is Ernest we're talking about, it's nothing short of miraculous that he manages to cause as little damage as he does. He does take out a birthday party and a camper van's windshield.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Once Dr. Melon has grown a spine, he starts channelling Elvis for some reason whenever he displays confidence.
  • Expy: It is implied that the duo Frank and Joe fill in for the supporting roles of the "Chuck and Bobby characters" in previous Ernest films.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The Mighty Workboy salesmen constantly do this. Somehow, it only makes their sales pitch even more monotonous.
  • First-Name Basis: Dr. Melon gives Ernest the privilege of addressing him as "Abner" later in the film. In an earlier scene, Ernest says to him "Abner, listen to the voice of experience." and then falls down.
  • Fisheye Lens: It wouldn't be an Ernest movie without some of this!
  • Grew a Spine: Dr. Melon, after he teams up with Ernest to uncover his theory. As a result, he becomes less annoyed by Ernest and more brave as the movie progresses.
  • Gold Digger: Nan gives this vibe. She buys a new car with Abner's money and seems more concerned with her own social status than anything. Abner wins her respect later.
  • Hard Head: The "hard part" of Ernest's head protects him from a nail gun and a cranial bone saw.
  • Haunted Technology: When Ernest turns his metal detector up too high, it shorts out and causes all the nearby power tools to come to life and attack Ernest. In anyone else's franchise, this would be utterly ridiculous.
  • Henpecked Husband: Abner "Whipped" Melon. In her Establishing Character Moment, Nan, after boasting about the new car she bought with his money, talks all over him and chews him out for hanging out with Ernest (or as she puts it, "that bonehead"). He gets better later.
  • I'll Kill You!: Dr. Glencliff shouts this at the Mighty Workboy salesmen when they save Ernest from him.
  • It's Personal: During the climax, Dr. Glencliff recounts how Ernest destroyed his precious items before he attempts to kill him.
  • Jerkass: Dr. Radnor T. Glencliff is so dead determined to get his hands on the crown jewels that he's willing to have Abner and Ernest killed in the process. For much of the film he has Mooks for that, but if he has to, he'll do it himself.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Ernest suffers a bad fall, we get this golden line.
    Abner: Ernest, are you dead?!
    Ernest: Oh, I guess I would be, if I weren't just that close to being an actual cartoon.
  • Little "No": Dr. Melon says this as the cannon is about to crash into his wife's new car. Just one of the many times in the film he sounds utterly defeated.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Nan Melon, and how. In order to chase Abner around the countryside, she wraps the Mighty Workboy salesmen around her finger in order to get rides from them, and rebuff any of their attempts to assert themselves.
  • Nail 'Em: A nail gun, which had been rendered animate for reasons that make just as much sense in context, attempts to fire nails at Ernest. It actually succeeds in hitting him in the head a few times… however, Ernest’s skull is so think the nails just bounce off.
  • Never My Fault: As Dr. Glencliff tries to kill Ernest, he mentions his items that Ernest had destroyed, including his saw. The only reason his saw was destroyed was because he had used it to cut into Ernest's head.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Literally as Ernest supposedly broke Dr. Glencliff's mummy. He grabs Abner and flees the scene before it got noticed.
  • Noodle Incident: Ernest shouting "We're stopped by apple maggots again!" when he and Abner encounter a barricade. Wait, again?
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Nan as she discovers her new car missing in the garage after her husband took it out. Later, it occurs again with her after she notices her car had been crushed by the release of the cannon.
    • Dr. Glencliff as he realizes a real cannon ball is about to collide with his limo, and when he notices his mummy crumbling to pieces thanks to Ernest.
    • Ernest:
      • When he notices the construction workers return to the site he ruined by searching for artifacts, he takes off running. Same thing happens in a later scene involving Abner.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. One of the Mighty Workboy salesmen and the driver of the camper van Ernest crashes into are both named Frank.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Ernest: "Goliath must speak!" as he lights the cannon's fuse.
    • Dr. Glencliff: "Worrell, I'm gonna cut you like a dead fish!" before proceeding to stab Ernest.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Abner does this to Ernest for firing the cannon and not finding the crown jewels in the barrel as his theory describes. Of course, he blames Ernest for the series of mishaps and it causes the duo to part ways (briefly).
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: When being chased around a construction site by an electric saw (It Makes Sense in Context), Ernest utters probably the strangest invocation of this phrase in all of cinema.
    Ernest (shouting behind him as he runs): Look, I’m not your enemy! Some of my best friends are power tools!
  • Spy Satellites: British Intelligence uses this in tracking the cannon.
  • Slap Stick: Ernest as he is aboard the runaway cannon and literally crashes a birthday party. He has a pie thrown in his face!
  • Those Two Guys: Frank and Joe, the Mighty Workboy Vacuum salesmen. They have the snark, the camaraderie, and they even finish each others' sentences.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dr. Melon as he was able to knock out the security guard with one punch and subsequently pull the same stunt, albeit with a stone boomerang like thingy, to save Ernest from being beheaded by Dr. Glencliff!
  • Trophy Wife: Played with; Nan certainly sees herself as this to Abner, while Abner just wants some respect.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Dr. Melon, regarding his so-called theory. None of his superiors believe a word he says and think he is simply delusional. Except, of course, Dr. Glencliff, but he has his own designs.