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Film / Flodder

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Flodder is a Dutch media franchise created by Dick Maas (director of Amsterdamned and De Lift), consisting of 3 movies and a television series. The franchise started with the movie Flodder from 1986. A second movie called Flodder in Amerika! followed in 1992. The TV series was broadcasted from 1993 to 1998 with a total of 5 seasons. The third movie, simply called Flodder 3, was released in 1995. This movie was supposed to be the grand finale for the series and the franchise as a whole, but the series continued for two more seasons afterwards.

The franchise is about the eponymous antisocial family Flodder. The family consists of Mother Flodder (real name Geertruida), her five children (ranging in age from mid 20’s to preteens; all of which have a different father), grandpa, and their dog Whiskey. Another recurring character in the franchise is social worker Jacques “Sjakie” van Kooten. When the Flodder family is forced to leave their old home because it turns out it was located on top of a former waste dump, Sjakie convinces the city council to give the family a home in a highly respected upper class neighborhood called Zonnedael (sunny dale). The idea behind this is that this change of social environment will inspire the family to become model citizens. The project however turns out to be a big failure, because the family doesn’t adapt at all and continues with their illegal or otherwise antisocial activities. Mother makes her own whiskey, Johnnie and Kees (the two oldest sons) both handle in stolen goods, the oldest daughter, also named Kees, constantly hangs out with wrong boyfriends, and Toet and Henkie (the youngest son and daughter) are juvenile delinquents. The families behavior causes a lot of friction between them and the rich snobs in Zonnedael. Only Sjakie remains convinced of the family’s good nature and keeps protecting them.

The first movie shows the Flodders moving into Zonnedael. At the end of the movie, a retired colonel angrily destroys the Flodders' home with his tank. In the second movie, the city council signs the Flodders up for an exchange program to have them send off to America for a year. The third movie focuses on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Zonnedael and the attempts of the inhabitants to get rid of the Flodders before the scheduled festivities. All attempts backfire however and in the end the entire neighborhood is destroyed except for the home of the Flodder family.

Flodder provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers in Zonnedael and the direct surrounding are apparently large enough for two adult men to walk through, as seen in the episode "Gijzeling".
  • Amnesia Episode: The TV series has one, in which son Kees loses his memory after falling out of the car, and becomes a model citizen as a result of his amnesia.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Whiskey, the family's black Bouvier des Flandres. A Running Gag is for him to attack the newspaper boy, for instance.
  • April Fools' Plot: An entire episode revolves around this day and the misunderstandings it causes.
  • Apron Matron: Ma Flodder.
  • Alien Abduction: Happens to Kees (male) in the episode "Van de Wereld" note .
  • Ax-Crazy: The colonel in the first movie. When he finally has enough of the Flodders, he personally attacks their house with a tank.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Geertruida Flodder is usually calm and likes to ignore things as much as possible, but watch out when she gets angry...
  • The Boxing Episode: The episode "In de ring" is about Johnnie being challenged to a boxing match by an angry inhabitant of Zonnedael, but Kees (male) having to step in for him when Johnnie hurts his arm.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In the first film, Ma Flodder had to chase Male Kees out of Female Kees' bed and in the second film the siblings bathed together at the Plaza Hotel. This was dropped by the time of the show, with Female Kees being disturbed when she learns that Male Kees has been peeping on and taken nude pics of her.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Geertruida Flodder surprisingly. She loves whiskey and other strong alcoholic beverages, but she absolutely can’t stand sherry. Drinking it causes her to pass out.
  • Cigar Chomper: Geertruida Flodder.
  • Citizenship Marriage: One episode involved Johnny being hired by a pimp to marry a foreign woman, so she could get a Dutch citizenship and get to work in his brothel. The woman unfortunately did not understand the marriage was supposed to be temporary and tried to come and live with the Flodders, much to the pimp's chagrin. The situation was solved when it turned out that Sjakie, who married the two, forgot to ask the witnesses to sign the required papers, thus making the marriage illegitimate.
  • Christmas Episode: The TV series has one, as well as a Sinterklaas themed episode and a New Year's Eve themed episode.
  • Cool Car: Johnnie's trademark pink Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.
  • Domestic Abuser: Daughter Kees always ends up with this kind of boyfriends.
  • Dumb Blonde: The female Kees often appears to be this. She's not very bright, blonde, and takes advantage of her looks.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Flodder family may be okay with things like selling stolen goods or illegal production of liquor, but there are things even they won't do, like murder.
    • Played for laughs in the episode "Vlees", in which the Flodders can't bring themselves to slaughter a calf for the barbecue. Eventually, they decide to hire a professional assassin, but it turns out that he's a vegetarian and absolutely against killing animals (while, obviously and lampshaded by himself, he has no trouble at all killing humans).
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": Geertruida is called Ma Flodder or Mrs. Flodder 99% of the time.
  • Fanservice:
    • Let's say son Kees' fantasies get quite... vivid in the first two movies.
    • Daughter Kees pulls off a strip act in a strip club. Also in the first two movies.
  • Fish out of Water: The whole premise of the movie and its sequels is how out of place a delinquent family like the Flodders are by living in a well-off neighborhood populated by yuppies as part of the government's social project.
  • Flanderization: The characters got more cartoonish as time went on. Ma Flodder became more of a mean drunk, Johnny became more of a criminal schemer, Male Kees became more of a Manchild, Female Kees became more of a Dumb Blonde, and the two youngest children became even bigger brats.
  • Forgotten Birthday: In one episode of the TV series, Johnnie forgets it's Mother's Day. To make up for the fact that he has no present for Ma Flodder, he quickly tells her he's getting married; thus setting in motion the main plot of Johnnie having to find a girl who wants to marry him.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In the episode “Egotrip” Johnnie and Kees (male) accidentally switch bodies due to a freak accident with a power cable.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The Dutch name Kees can apply to both genders (though it's vastly more common for men), and the franchise makes full use of this by having both a male and a female Kees as main characters.
  • Honey Trap: In a famous scene from the first film, Daughter Kees seduces the Flodders' (married) neighbor in his garage so her brothers can record it to blackmail the neighbor, who's a car salesman.
  • Hostage Situation: Geertruida ends up in one in the episode "Gijzeling".
  • Human Notepad: an episode of the series reveals that one of Kees' many ex-boyfriends gave her a tatoo with the 10 numbers for the combination of a safe he and his friends used to hide their loot. Kees has the tatoo removed, but then her ex shows up since he needs the code.
  • Hypno Fool: Happens to Kees (male) in the TV series.
  • Idle Rich: A lot of the inhabitants of Zonnedael.
  • Identical Stranger: Ma Flodder.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Kinda with a twist. When in America, Ma Flodder is surprised that is a THING over there.
  • Manchild: The male Kees. Or at least, after Flanderization kicked in when the original actor got replaced for the series. In the first two movies he was a lot more similar to Johnny.
  • The Matchmaker: In the episode "Contact gestoord", her children try to find a perfect husband for Geertruida when they think she is lonely.
  • Mugging the Monster: Both in the second movie and an episode of the series, a group of muggers tries to rob the Flodder family. Bad idea.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Daughter Kees is used extensively for this.
  • Negative Continuity: There are quite some contradictions between the first two movies, and the TV series and the third movie. The most notable one is Grandpa Flodder, who dies in the first movie (and thus is absent in the second), but somehow manages to return for the third movie and series.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Toet and Henkie both stay around 10 to 12 years old during the entire franchise. The roles had to be recast several times over the years to make this possible.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • Averted. There are two characters named "Kees" within the Flodder family. One is male and one is female however, so usually it's not too hard to figure out which "Kees" someone is talking about.
    • Played straight however in the German dub of the series, in which the name of the male Kees is changed to "Klaus".
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Johnny absolutely loves his pink Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Grandpa is a retired train conductor who's still fond of railways, collects train models, and still wears his train conductor's uniform as his standard outfit. This proves fatal when he goes up to a railway for sightseeing by himself and his wheelchair gets stuck on the tracks. Then his relatives discover that he left a fortune in cash hidden inside his model trains.
  • Serial Spouse: Ma Flodder has been married five times, and almost marries a sixth time in both the series and the third movie. She had a child with each husband, so all her children are half-siblings.
  • Sticky Fingers: Both Ma Flodder and Kees (male) suffer from kleptomania in the episode "Kleptoma".
  • Tank Goodness: The climax of the first film sees the Colonel, the neighbour of the Flodders, commandeer a tank from the local army base after being fed up with everything they had made come to pass. He blows up the house, hoping to take the family with it.
  • Test Subject for Hire: In the spin-off television series, season 5, episode Bijwerkingen (side effects), Toet and Henkie sign up Grandpa Flodder as a test subject for a new experimental medicine to get money for a new video game. Since Grandpa is mute and wheelchair bound, he can't object. However, the laboratory turns out to be an unsupervised, illegal operation, and is closed down by the police before the 2 kids can get their money. Grandpa still takes the medicine, and it works miraculously, restoring his speech and ability to walk, until he drinks a beer which undoes the effects.
  • The Tokyo Fire Ball: All of Zonnedael gets destroyed by a massive fire at the end of the third movie, but in the last two seasons of the TV series the neighborhood is standing again.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Grandpa Flodder is killed off in the first movie, with the money he stashed away in his model trains becoming a plot point. In the third movie and the TV series, he's alive and a part of the family again without explanation.
  • The Voiceless: Grandpa Flodder can’t talk. His only forms of communication are a whistle and a railway signal.
  • Witness Protection: The Flodders themselves are forced to undergo this when Johnny testifies against a powerful crime boss in the TV series.