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Film / Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

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"It's not the first time something like this has happened ... to our family."

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid is the 1992 sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. It was directed by Randal Kleiser and the screenplay was written by Garry Goodrow, Thom Eberhardt and Peter Elbling from a story by Goodrow. The film was released on July 17, 1992.

Five years after the events of the first film, Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) has moved to Nevada with his family to help Sterling Labs develop an offshoot of his shrink-ray that will enlarge objects instead of shrinking them. His superior, Dr. Charles Hendrickson (John Shea), wants to kick him off the project due to his personal disdain for Wayne. While watching over his toddler son, Adam (Daniel and Joshua Shalikar), Wayne sneaks into Sterling Labs to find a way to solve the growth-ray's problems, which leads to him accidentally zapping Adam. Now having to deal with his increasingly growing son, Wayne and his family must find a way to get Adam back to normal size before he hurts himself or others.

The film also stars Marcia Strassman as Diane Szalinski, Lloyd Bridges as Clifford Sterling and Robert Oliveri as Nick Szalinski.

Followed by Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

This film contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: The events of the movie wouldn't have happened if Wayne had learned his lesson from the first film and kept his sons far, far away from the growth ray.
  • And Starring: The cast roll here ends with two "introducing" credits for Daniel and Joshua Shalikar.
  • Animated Credits Opening: The opening displays animated scenarios of Wayne dealing with a huge Adam, from feeding and telling him stories to playing with him, especially pattycake.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Increasing the amount of space between molecules would do nothing to affect on object's mass. Diane could have picked Adam up, whether she was blown up or not. Likewise Adam wouldn't have quite the strength to lift a car. Of course, picking up a 112-foot toddler would still have been extremely difficult and awkward for a five-foot whatever woman, and she needed to get Adam to hold still long enough for Wayne to shrink them back to normal size.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Given his rapidly-shifting size, it would be pretty much impossible to calculate and measure an appropriate dose of sedative for Adam. So Hendrickson's claim that the tranquilizer rounds wouldn't have hurt him is a load of BS. There's a very good chance that they would kill him if Hendrickson actually landed a shot, so Diane's Mama Bear reaction is, if anything, a massive underreaction.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Adam is well over 100 feet tall by the time he reaches Fremont Street.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: When the giant Adam plays with the car he and Mandy are in, Nick yells "Put us down!". Adam placing the car on a precariously perched neon sign fifty feet in the air.
    Nick: Pick us up! Pick us up!
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Diane knocks Hendrickson's lights out, Clifford calls for help... because having been fired was just too much for him.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mention naps in front of Adam.
    Diane: Never say the "N" word around two-year-olds.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Charles Hendrickson, as he is intending to take over Wayne's project for himself by any means necessary; even willing to shoot Wayne's 2-year-old son with a Tranquilizer Dart and have him subjected to testing.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When the helicopter is shooting tranquilizers at Adam, Nick gets rightfully pissed and shouts at the helicopter to leave Adam alone even though his baby brother is twenty times his size.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Giant-sized Diane stops Dr. Hendrickson from shooting her son again by grabbing his helicopter out of the sky.
  • Big Eater: Adam, after he starts growing, eats 12 ice cream bars in seconds and belches pretty loudly.
  • Bloodless Carnage: For all the chaos Adam causes stomping around Las Vegas, he doesn't actually hurt anyone or cause that much damage. Then again, it is a Disney movie.
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Nick, Amy and Adam Szalinski.
  • Bound and Gagged: Nick's way of preventing the babysitter (that he has a crush on) from raising a ruckus about his enormous two-year-old brother.
  • Broken Masquerade: A variation. The events of the first movie were an isolated incident and the Szalinskis kept shtum about the original shrinking incident to protect Nick and Amy (the Thompsons presumably did the same). So at the beginning of this sequel, Sterling Labs and its senior personnel are the only people outside of the Szalinski and Thompson families (and the investors Wayne approached in the first film) with any knowledge of Wayne's invention. By the end of this film, however, the cat's out of the bag and the general public is now aware of the Szalinski technology and its capabilities.
  • Brutal Honesty: Hours after struggling to find a solution to Adam's growth, Diane asks for the simple truth. Wayne can only deliver this gem.
    Wayne: The truth is, without access to the data at the plant, I don't know if there's anything I can do. I do know what's happening, but I don't know why.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Big Bunny, Adam's favorite toy, which grows along with him note . After Adam is back to normal size, Big Bunny is still a giant, much to Adam's delight.
  • Call-Back: To the first movie, Diane faints again upon seeing that Adam has been enlarged. Mandy does so in this movie.
    • Like how a baseball was used to make the shrink ray work in the first movie, in this movie a broken Coke glass bottle is used to fix it.
    • Nick gets accidentally shrunk again.
  • Cardboard Prison: Adam frequently escapes his playpen even after Wayne's multiple attempts to fix it.
  • Cheerful Child: Even when he's a hundred feet tall, Adam is an adorable toddler who is always smiling and laughing. It really makes the scene where he gets shot by a tranquilizer gun heartbreaking.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The laser at Sterling Labs and the ice-cream truck.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Dr. Hendrickson shows off a portrait of Clifford Sterling at the beginning. Sterling ends up firing him.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Adam is quite the little escape artist. No matter what his parents try, he always finds a way to escape from his playpen. Not even Hendrickson could keep him contained in the back of a truck for very long.
    Nick: You can't keep him in that truck!
    Soldier: Don't worry. It's all fixed up. As far as your brother's concerned, it's one big playpen.
    Nick: That's what I mean.
  • Child Prodigy: Nick's self-conscious about it and tries to cover up his smarts by taking up the guitar.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Dr. Hendrickson has no qualms in overextending his authority in Sterling Labs; even barring Wayne from using the machinery without his permission, despite being aware that Wayne himself created the machinery in the first place. He also has no qualms in tranquilizing a giant-sized baby and have him subject to testing, which was the very reason why he was fired by Sterling in the first place.
    • Also, to an extent to Terence Wheeler, one of the board members of Sterling Labs, as he has intentions in formulating a boardroom coup against Sterling in favor for Hendrickson; even producing out clearance papers to force the unwilling Nevada State Militia to aid Hendrickson in shooting tranquilizers on a giant-sized Adam.
  • Cute Giant: Adam, after being turned gigantic.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zigzagged. A well-funded lab and team of researchers are studying Szalinski's shrinking technology. However, Wayne seems to live rather modestly.
  • Cut Phone Lines: When Nick tries to call Mandy, he hears a click and the line go dead. At first, he though Mandy hung up on him, but it turns out that Adam pulled out the phone cord.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the first film was more of a simple adventure film set in the Szalinskis' backyard where the protagonists had to get back to their house so that Wayne can restore them to normal size. This film has much higher stakes due to his toddler son being accidentally blown up to giant size and going through all of Las Vegas. Thats not all even, there's also the threat of that same toddler being in danger due to a work rival of Wayne's who is willing to hurt him with tranquilizers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nick fills this trope on occasion, as well as Mandy the babysitter.
  • Demoted to Extra: Amy only appears briefly, and leaves for college before the end of the first act. Including the scene at all seemed to be mostly an excuse to get Diane out of the house again. To be fair, when the film was originally written as Big Baby, the family it was supposed to center around did not have an eldest daughter, so the writers probably felt that trying to shoehorn Amy into the film would have made it come off as disjointed and janky.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Wayne, Diane, and Sterlings' plan to lead Adam out of Las Vegas using an ice cream truck was a good idea, but when Marshal Brooks told them over the walkie-talkie that Adam was gaining on him, they realized they didn't anticipate him catching the truck.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Honey I Blew Up The Kid was originally a script called Big Baby, originally written by Paul Alter, a veteran television director best known for directing various Mark Goodson productions.
  • Domestic Appliance Disaster: Wayne let the dinner in the oven catch fire during his wife's day out. Cue to Wayne and his sons having a meal of peanut butter sandwiches.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: The balloon hanging by Adam's crib gives Wayne the idea for why Sterling's version of his ray is blowing things up instead of... well, blowing things up.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The pilot of the helicopter is reluctant to partake in Dr. Hendrickson’s plan to tranquilize Adam not only because he doesn’t want Adam to get hurt, but he also expresses concerns for Adam falling on several civilians if tranquilized, a concern which Hendrickson doesn’t seem too upset over.
    • The crowd of Las Vegas citizens after Adam gets shocked by the guitar sign he was playing with. They’re initially terrified of the giant toddler in their city, but none of them express joy over the boy getting hurt and crying for his mom. Almost all of them are immediately sympathetic to his pain.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • While searching the warehouse with Diane for his prototype Shrink Ray, Wayne bemoans how the day has turned out, saying he was planning on seeing a movie with Nick. No sooner does he say that then:
      Wayne: Uh oh.
      Diane: What?
      (Jump Cut back to the Szalinski house where Mandy, the babysitter that Wayne had hired, shows up)
    • Then later, after Adam (along with Diane) is shrunk back to normal, Diane remembers that she and Wayne forgot something.
      Diane: Wayne! Nick and Mandy!
      Wayne: Weren't they…?
      Diane and Wayne: In Adam's pocket! (They immediately check Adam's pocket, only to discover there's a hole in it)
      Diane: Don't tell me…
      Wayne: Oh my God. Honey, I shrunk the kids!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In his first scene, Adam is watching Mr. Rogers sing about getting bigger.
    • The shot of the Las Vegas strip Wayne speeds down after buying big and tall clothes for Adam.
    • There's a lingering shot of the Hard Rock Cafe as Wayne drives home.
    • When discussing how to shrink Adam back to normal, Wayne mentions that it’ll be hard since Adam would have to hold still, and he couldn’t even hold still long enough to have his picture taken. This comes back later in the climax when Diane comes up with her idea to have Wayne use the machine to enlarge her.
      Diane: Wayne! Do you remember how we got Adam to hold still to have his picture taken? I put him in my lap, and I held him.
      Wayne: Yeah?
      Diane: Honey, he needs me! The problem is, to Adam, his mommy is somebody much bigger than he is!
      (Wayne's eyes widen as he realizes what she's getting at, and glances at the machine)
  • Extremely Short Time Span: The film's entire events occur over the course of more than 48 hours, with the climax taking place in the span of a single night.
  • Giant Food: Adam's pocket contents get blown up too. "Have a raisin!" ...that's about two feet across.
  • Giant Woman: Diane, when she's turned into a 250-foot tall giant in the climax.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: G-Rated given that this is a family movie, but Nick and Mandy end up cuddling in a shrunken car after they survived their near-death experience.
  • Here We Go Again!: Nick and Mandy are still shrunk in the car and Adam's stuffed bunny is still huge. Wayne tells a doubtful Diane he'll get the machine fixed to shrink it back, although Adam doesn't seem to mind.
  • Hollywood Science: Enlarging an object by increasing the open space inside it wouldn't add any weight, the subject would still have trouble breathing or digesting food, and any enlarged objects would become much more buoyant in air, possibly light enough to float away if they're made large enough.
  • Hope Spot: Wayne is nearly successful in getting Adam to stay still by using his Big Bunny routine, only to say "nap" and throwing him into a tantrum.
  • Impact Silhouette: The aftermath of Giant Adam leaving the home by breaking out through a wall.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Wayne accidentally shrinks Nick (again) and his new girlfriend Mandy when he shrinks Diane and Adam back to normal size. But they don't mind getting some alone time.
  • I Want My Mommy!: A particularly heart wrenching version after a Giant Adam is hurt by the static shock a tranquilizer dart that hit the Hard Rock Café guitar he was playing, the confused and frightened child begins to call out "Mama," through his tears, unaware that he now dwarfs his mother by a good hundred feet.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While Hendrickson was no doubt stepping over bounds by holding such a low opinion of Wayne despite him building the shrink machine in the first place, one has to admit that Wayne's constant bumbling and lack of safety measures (taking his toddler to a secure laboratory rather than just hiring a babysitter like he ended up doing later) as well as being indirectly responsible for all the damage the giant Adam causes gives him fair reason for his skepticism.
    • Although he definitely could have said it better, Hendrickson's insistence on taking the giant Adam to a secure area so they can study him and figure out how to return him to normal is a fairly reasonable plan, considering the circumstances.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Wheeler is not seen suffering any consequences for backing up Hendrickson, but it's fair to say he presumably goes down with him later on though.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The movie clarifies a point made in the first film regarding how the technology works. Wayne even uses a balloon as an example that trying to inflate it too fast causes it to burst while doing so slowly gives it the proper time to expand. The first film had the baseball blocking the laser that allowed it to work, while this film has Adam gradually expanding in size until he becomes a kaiju.
  • Mama Bear: Diane has her moments:
    Diane: (Quietly and dangerously) Doctor Hendrickson, that looked like some sort of rifle that you were shooting at my baby.
    Dr. Hendrickson: They were tranquilizer cartridges, they wouldn't have hurt him, I assure you.
    Diane: (sarcastic laughing) Tranquilizer cartridges... (KNOCKS OUT Hendrickson)
    Wayne: (to Adam) Never cross Mommy.
    • And moments before that, when she also turns into a giant, she stops the helicopter Hendrickson is in, trying to shoot her baby with said tranquilizers, and tells him in no uncertain terms to cease and desist immediately.
  • Mood Whiplash: The crowds of Vegas are running for their lives as giant Adam playfully makes his "rampage", though they did cheer for him briefly when he saved Nick and Mandy from falling to their doom. Then Dr. Hendrickson shoots a tranquilizer dart, shocking the Hard Rock Café guitar Adam had been trying to play, causing Adam to cry. The panicked crowd watch no longer in horror of Adam, but in concern and compassion, seeing him for what he is, an innocent little boy in a beyond belief situation, then turning to anger as Dr. Hendrickson prepares to shoot him again.
  • Moment Killer: Averted; when tiny Nick and Mandy are cuddling in a shrunken car, Nick sees his father's giant eyeball in the rearview mirror and shoos him away. Wayne tells Diane to give them a few more minutes before re-enlarging them after giving a wink to Nick.
  • Nice Guy: US Marshal Brooks is notable in that he's not only a Reasonable Authority Figure who is also looking out for Adam's safety as well as civilians but he gives Adam an ice cream treat once he's back to normal size, showing that he definitely has no hard feelings after the ice cream truck incident.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: By the time Adam reaches building-size, he wreaks havoc in downtown Las Vegas, sending crowds of people running in fear. However, from his perspective he's just a toddler playing around, and doesn't mean any harm. The crowd started to change their tune when they applauded for Adam for saving Nick and Mandy from falling to their deaths; even feeling sorry for him when he cries after getting electrocuted by Hendrickson.
  • Not What I Signed on For: The National Guard pilot already has misgivings about letting Hendrickson shoot tranquilizer cartridges at a giant-sized kid. When Giant!Diane tells them to back off, the pilot willingly complies; even showing no concern over Diane punching Hendrickson in the face after she and Adam are shrunk back to normal size.
    Diane: (grabbing the helicopter) Back. Off!!
    Pilot: Yes, ma'am! (takes his hands off the controls)
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Wayne flies into a rage when Dr. Hendrickson announces that the now-enlarged Adam is to be tested.
  • Oh, Crap!: Right after Wayne and Sterling figure out that it's electromagnetic fluxes that are causing Adam's growth spurts, this happens:
    Marshal Brooks: Would this electromagnetic... would it surround neon lights, too?
    Wayne: Yeah, why?
    Marshal Brooks: Your kid. He's heading toward Las Vegas.
    Diane, Wayne and Sterling: (in unison) UH-OH.
    (Diane immediately starts driving faster)
  • Papa Wolf: Wayne completely flips out after he and Diane learn that Dr. Hendrickson had Adam detained and taken for testing without their knowledge, and actually wrestles a police marshal when he nearly dishes it out to the man.
    Marshal Brooks: We just needed to give the baby more room so he wouldn't hurt himself.
    Dr. Hendrickson: Of course, the mutated child will have to undergo immediate testing.
  • Properly Paranoid: After the first film, Wayne and Diane (and presumably the Thompsons as well) forbid their kids from telling anyone that they were accidentally shrunk, fearing they would be turned into lab rats if the authorities found out. Sure enough, when Adam's growth is exposed to the world, the first thing Wayne's boss wants to do is lock him up and study him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Clifford Sterling initially seems like a jerk, but comes around pretty quickly once Wayne makes his case.
    • US Marshal Brooks is also keen on finding solutions that won't result in harm to an innocent toddler, and makes a point of getting Adam an ice cream treat once he's back to normal.
    • The National Guard helicopter pilot, being a father himself, is very uncomfortable with Hendrickson's plan to tranq Adam, pointing out some rather obvious flaws in his plan. When Hendrickson fires a dart at the boy, the pilot deliberately jinks to throw off his aim.
  • Retcon: Making objects big is apparently a stumbling block, even though not only did the shrink ray work in reverse just fine before in the first film, it even succeeded in making normal objects giant-sized in the epilogue. When Wayne steals his original shrink ray to make Diane giant, he still has to filter the laser through the bottom of a Coke bottle. In defence of all parties, there may be a difference in returning a shrunken object to its regular size and making something bigger.
  • Running Gag: Adam breaks something and goes "I'll fix it!"
    • Three women faint at the sight of a giant Adam.
  • Secret-Keeper: The kids were told never to tell anyone about their shrunken misadventure in the first film.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: The Szalinskis have moved between the first two films, so the Thompsons don't make a second appearance. Indeed, the Thompsons are never seen again throughout the franchise.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Wayne finds the boxed-up shrink ray in the warehouse, there is a very clear shot of Diane standing in front of a crate labeled "ARK OF THE COVENANT".
    • A subtle one to Godzilla movies.
    • Nick's taken up playing the guitar, which makes him look a LOT like Buddy Holly.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: Due to a mishap with a growth ray, Wayne Szalinski's toddler son is turned into a giant that towers over him.
    Wayne: (As Adam is carrying him) Adam, put daddy down! Adam, put daddy down!
  • Square-Cube Law: The baby wouldn't have the strength to stand up when he's 50 feet tall.
  • Tempting Fate: After failing to get back into the lab, Wayne says he just needs to figure out a way to reverse Adam's growth before Diane gets back. Cue Diane already standing in the driveway, holding Adam's enlarged Big Bunny.
  • This Billboard Needs Some Salt: The plan to lead Adam out of town with an ice cream truck ends in failure when Adam catches the truck and pulls the ice cream prop off.
    Sterling: (Over the walkie-talkie) What'd he do with it?
    Marshal Brooks: What do you think he did with it? (Pan over to the discarded prop with a bite in it)
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Inverted in a similar case to the first film. Sterling's ray exposes the subject to too much energy too quickly, but since Wayne is denied access to the laser's intensity without Hendrickson's permission, he improvises by filtering it through a glass Coke bottle's bottom, which unfortunately has the side effect of causing a power surge which makes the system crash.
  • Title Drop:
    Wayne: I blew up the baby!
    • Wayne also title drops the full name of the first movie.
      Wayne: Oh my God. Honey, I shrunk the kids!
  • Too Dumb to Live: They received a warning of a 100-foot baby and yet people stick around and run throughout the streets like trying to get off a sinking Titanic.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mandy, showing up at a bad time, ends up waking Adam with her arrival, requiring Nick to put on the television to keep him distracted, the electrical flux of which causing Adam to grow even bigger and making the situation worse as it spirals into the climax.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dr. Hendrickson gets his after Sterling fires him. Sterling even lampshades it later.
    Clifford Sterling: Dr. Hendrickson needs help! He's overcome with excitement at the prospect of having to find a new career.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Sterling fires Hendrickson, a board member at Sterling Labs authorizes Hendrickson to tranquilize Adam anyway, and mentions that the crisis will be used as an excuse to steer the board towards ousting Sterling as director. This is not followed up on in the movie itself, even though it could have been resolved with a throwaway line.
    • Presumably, Wayne's catastrophic accident (and Sterling ignoring Hendrickson's recommendations to not hire him) gave the Board the foundation for their corporate coup. Resolving the Adam crisis in Hendrickson's favor — and before Wayne and Sterling could do so — would have been the final push to get the coup over the finish line. Instead, Wayne and Sterling snatched victory from Hendrickson's grasp. Public PR also turned against Hendrickson during the climax, with the public showing compassion towards Adam and Diane during the attempted tranquilizing. The Board would thus presumably now be between a PR rock and a hard place.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Dr. Hendrickson's team tries to tranquilize giant toddler Adam by firing giant tranquilizer darts at him. They end up shocking him in the process, causing him to cry in one of the franchises' most heartbreaking scenes, and after traumatizing him to tears prepares to shoot him again. Diane is understandably far less than pleased and makes sure they know it.


Video Example(s):


Adam Szalinski

A toddler grown to giant size by the ray innocently destroying things.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / AttackOfThe50FootWhatever

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