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Film / Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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"They're never going to believe this at school."
Ron Thompson

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 American science fiction comedy film. It was co-written by Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna (both of Re-Animator fame), and directed by Joe Johnston (in his directoral debut).

Take equal parts of an unlucky scientist one step away from becoming a Mad Scientist, and a potential Weapon of Mass Destruction applied on four children, then top it off with the angst of said children. It is a comedy.

Stay-at-home inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) invented a shrink ray. Which doesn't work. Yet. Thanks to a stray baseball, it becomes fully functional and promptly shrinks his daughter, son and the neighbor's two sons. Wayne was absent, and is unaware that his machine worked. After the idea of his machine is dismissed at a conference, Wayne breaks it in frustration, sweeps the broken glass up as well as the children, and then deposits them on the curb for trash collection. They cut their way out with a shard of glass, and begin an adventure across the unkempt lawn to get back home and unshrunk. They face many environmental hazards such as a bee, a scorpion, sprinkler system, automated lawn mower, and a cat, all of which are now infinitely more dangerous as the kids must learn to band together in order to survive... yes, we assure you this is a comedy. Meanwhile, Szalinski realizes the error of his ways, that the machine works and had accidentally shrunk the kids, and tries desperately to both fix the machine and find the kids in the grass in the yard.

Characters in the movie include:

  • Wayne Szalinski: The Smart Guy. Even though the roadblock he hit was overcome by a freak accident, that's how a surprising number of inventions came about.
  • Diane Szalinski: Mama Bear. She isn't happy with what happened to her family, though she doesn't become violent. At least not in this film...
  • Russ Thompson Sr: Papa Wolf. He was not happy, but he does turn out to be a genuinely nice guy, in spite of wishing his oldest son was "manlier."
  • Mae Thompson: Not quite Emotionless Girl, but she did take the news rather well.
  • Amy Szalinski: Popular girl who likes boys and shopping.
  • Nick Szalinski: The Other Smart Guy. Like father, like son. Allergic to nearly everything.
  • Russ Thompson Jr: The Lancer. Does not share his father's more "manly" interests like fishing and football. He warms up. Has a huge crush on Amy.
  • Ron Thompson: The Generic Guy. Loves baseball and has a huge attitude problem, but becomes friendlier as the movie progresses.

There are several follow-ups focusing on the further adventures of Wayne and his family.

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure (1990): The very first spin-off was actually a giant playground built in Disney-MGM Studios (today Disney's Hollywood Studios) designed to look like a movie set of the backyard scenes from the film. Closed and demolished in 2016, the land it stood on is now part of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
  • Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992): In the first sequel film, we meet the newest Szalinski — Adam, who becomes a very big baby indeed.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (1994): A Disney Theme Parks 4D Short Film. Wayne's being honored as Inventor of the Year, but some demos of his latest inventions go wild...and The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You! (At Walt Disney World in Florida, a new character from this film, Dr. Nigel Channing [played by Eric Idle], was subsequently incorporated into other attractions in its host pavilion at Epcot.) All versions closed in 2010 by the very 4D film that it replaced, Captain EO.
  • Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997): In the second sequel film, Wayne ends up shrinking himself along with Diane, his brother and sister-in-law. Now they have to navigate their cavernous home as pre-teen Adam and Wayne's niece and nephew throw a Wild Teen Party. Went Direct to Video.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1997-2000): More inventions, more problems for the Szalinskis in this three-season syndicated sitcom. The Other Wiki's entry on it posits that this is either an Alternate Continuity from the films or set between the first two; it features no movie cast members.
  • Shrunk (TBD): A sequel and soft reboot of the franchise, once again starring Moranis as Szalinski (in his first live-action big screen role in more than 25 years) as well as Josh Gad as his now-adult son, Nick. The director of the original, Joe Johnston, is also set to return. The fate of Diane, Amy, and Adam has yet to be revealed, and no actors have been announced to play any of them. Despite original rumors, this will not be made for Disney+, and be released in theaters first.

The film contains examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Wayne, of course.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: "Anty", the ant.
  • Amicable Ants: Antie the ant, who helps the kids get back home and fight off a Scary Scorpion to protect them.
  • Animated Credits Opening: The film begins with an animated sequence of two kids, one boy and one girl (Who bear no resemblance to any of the film's main characters), getting shrunk and nearly getting themselves killed by many household objects.
  • Anthropic Principle: Logic dictates that after the first film, Wayne Szalinski should be living in a billion-dollar science palace with at least two Nobel Prizes on his wall and his name in the books next to Einstein, Galileo, Newton, and Tesla, but then of course we wouldn't be able to continue having nutty suburban adventures about a bumbling scientist and his size-changing mishaps. The family does have more money and a larger house in each sequel, though, the setup of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience is that he's being honored with a prestigious fictional award that puts him on the level of the aforementioned, and he's the President of Szalinski Labs by the third film.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Anty and the bee are both referred to as "he", when in reality worker ants and bees — basically any specimen you'd see outside the colony/hive — are female. While this could be an in-universe mistake on the kids' part, Nick seems learned enough to know better.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Mostly overshadowed by the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny. Decreasing the amount of empty space between molecules would indeed decrease an object's volume. However, since the amount of actual matter remains, it would do absolutely nothing to the object's mass. Thus, Wayne should not have been able to sweep them up. What you've done is increase the object's density. This greatly decreases the surface area over which their weight, defined in physics as the force generated by the acceleration of gravity acting upon mass, is distributed. This greatly increase the amount of pressure exerted upon the surfaces beneath their feet. Though the floorboards in his lab could probably have held them, once in the backyard, they should have sunk into the soft soil.
  • Auto-Kitchen: Being a Mad Scientist, Wayne has created a variety of devices around the house, such as an intercom to most rooms, an automated toaster, and a remote control lawnmower.
  • Bee Afraid: A giant bee accidentally picks up Nick when he's stuck in a flower.
  • Beneath Notice: Because the children have been reduced to 1/4 of an inch tall, they are barely visible and their voices are too quiet to be heard by the parents looking for them, even when they are standing right in front of the tiny teens.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Amy displays a big sister variety with Nick. She expresses concern when he and Ron climb up a flower stalk and is scared when the bee picks him up during its pollen collecting.
    • Russ Jr. to Ron. When the scorpion corners Ron in the LEGO piece and is trying to grab him, Russ throws a torch at it and tries to distract it while Ron escapes.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Quark does this twice in the climax; first rescuing the kids from the backyard and bringing them inside the house, then in the next scene he bites Wayne's leg seconds before he accidentally eats Nick.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Amy shouts this at Ron, after Nick and Russ Jr. are carried off by the killer bee:
    Ron: We're never gonna find Russ now! It's all your stupid dad's fault!
    Amy: Shut up! My brother's up there, too!
  • Billed Above the Title: Rick Moranis, for the first time in his career. He would turn the trick again with the two sequels.
  • Blame Game: Amy, for no reason at all, blames their predicament on Nick, even though he has nothing to do with it.
    Nick: Me?! (points at Ron) It's his ball!
    Ron: Shut up, wimp!
    Nick: We have to get Dad. He'll know what to do.
    [the phone rings]
    Amy: Nick, if that's Paul Tate, I'm gonna kill you.
  • Brick Joke: Right before the end credits, Nick "gets" what Russell meant when he said he learned CPR in French class.
  • Broken Glass Penalty: Ron tries to make a run for it after breaking the Szalinskis' window, but Russ Jr. catches him and drags him back over to apologize. On the flip side, Ron's baseball fixes the problem with the shrink ray.
  • Cats Are Mean: Spike, the Thompsons' cat, screws everything up for the kids when he chases Quark the dog away.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Nick's love of Oatmeal Creme Pies.
    • Ron's baseball bat.
    • The shrunken couch.
    • The remote-controlled lawnmower.
  • Child Prodigy: Nick is definitely Book Smart for a nine-year-old and has quite the vocabulary.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Russ Jr. doesn't hesitate to leap headfirst into danger, jumping on the bee that grabbed Nick, leaping into a giant mud puddle to save Amy from drowning, and even leading the charge against the scorpion when it shows up.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Big Russ Thompson is shown lighting up despite having quit several years before, demonstrating to the kids how worried he is about them.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The freshly-tossed cigarette that the kids find. Being that close to the still-hot cigarette would really burn quarter-inch-tall people.
  • Company Cross References:
    • The original shrink ray's display seems evocative of the digitizing laser's in TRON (and the equipment is even tested on a piece of fruit).
    • The scientist that tells Szalinski not to be discouraged after his failed presentation is named Dr. Brainard after The Absent-Minded Professor.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Ron's stray baseball not only smashes through the Szalinskis' attic window (which he wasn't even aiming for) at just the right angle to power on the shrink ray and hit its controls and set it to auto-fire, but it also lands inside the machine at exactly the right place to dampen the laser enough to make it function correctly.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ron is often quite cynical. Amy has her moments, too.
  • Death Ray: Before the baseball fell into it, the shrink ray blew things up instead.
  • Disaster Dominoes: How the plot gets kicked off, thanks to one errant baseball.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When helping his father pack the camper van, Russ spots Amy dancing in her kitchen as she tries to clean up. He's mesmerized.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: After using a baseball bat to shoo a bee (which Nick and Russ are riding on)...
    Wayne: Wait a second... Nick doesn't play baseball. [looks up at his attic/lab, which has a baseball-shaped hole in the window]
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The tiny kids spend most of the movie running from one life threatening situation to another.
  • Exact Words: When the cops arrive at the Szalinski house:
    Female Cop: Did uh, you report two missing children?
    Wayne: Oh, there must be some mistake. Our kids are in the backyard.
    • Just before that, when Wayne shows her the shrunken couch, Diane excitedly asks if the kids know that the machine works. Wayne sheepishly replies that, yes, the kids definitely know.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • Wayne goes through a silent one. The kids are missing, and he swept up the debris from the shrinking machine. In the attic, he notices the baseball and broken glass. Then he realizes the couch is shrunk and realizes what that means: that he shrunk the kids by accident and tossed them out with the trash.
    • The next day, the sound of a motor wakes Wayne and Diane. They lightheartedly comment it must be a neighbor mowing the lawn. Cue a mutual Oh, Crap! from both of them, remembering the kids are in the yard.
  • Faint in Shock: Diane faints once a movie (including the theme park attraction) in response to learning about the latest shrinking machine disaster.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Anty getting practically impaled through the torso by the scorpion.
  • Fence Painting: Nick convinces his friend Tommy to pay him for the privilege of mowing the Szalinskis' lawn because he gets to do it with a cool remote-controlled lawnmower.
  • Flat "What": Diane's initial reaction when Wayne confesses that his machine shrank their kids.
    • Followed by another when Wayne told Diane the Thompson kids also shrank and all four kids are lost in the backyard. Then grabs Wayne after he told her he threw them out with the trash. Then faints when Wayne tells the police (Diane called the police to report the kids missing before finding out they were shrunk) that the kids aren't missing, they're in the backyard.
  • Footsie Under the Table: Russ and Amy at the end of the movie.
  • Foil: Nick, the Child Prodigy with a lot of book smarts, and Ron, the Mouthy Kid with a lot of street smarts. Both of them get along as well as oil and water in the beginning but start becoming friends as their journey goes on.
  • Foreshadowing: Nick "letting" Tommy use the lawnmower, which he says he'll do "later".
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Anty (the only character in the whole franchise to be killed).
    • Though in all fairness, the kids had to deal with some other important stuff shortly after her demise, and Ron does mention how she "saved him from a giant scorpion" during the ending.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the police scanner shows the missing children report from the Szalinskis, it shows that they already have "twelve counts of disturbing the peace."
  • Giant Food: To the shrunken kids, an Oatmeal Cream Pie is "as big as a house", and Cheerios could be used as life preservers.
    • The epilogue shows the Szalinskis and the Thompsons eating a turkey that was clearly blown up to double size with the shrink ray. And then Quark is shown with a massive dog biscuit.
  • Group Hug: Amy and the Thompson brothers spin around in a hug when the kids are discovered near the end.
  • Happily Married: Wayne and Diane (although they're having some difficulties at the beginning of the movie) and Russ Sr. and Mae.
  • Heroic Dog: In the climax, Quark is vital to escorting the kids inside the house and saving Nick when he ends up in Wayne's breakfast.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Anty again. When the scorpion attacks the protagonists, she grabs one of the scorpion’s legs and dies protecting the kids.
  • Hollywood Science: Shrinking an object by reducing the open space inside it wouldn't remove any weight. The kids would stand a good chance of embedding themselves in most materials they stood on.
    • Fluids like water and milk behave normally from the kids' perspective, even though at their scale there should be surface tension and a visible membrane. On the other hand, the water drops that fall during the sprinkler sequence look like giant clear water balloons that burst when they hit the ground.
  • Homemade Inventions: The shrink ray looks cobbled together from loose parts and electronics.
    • After figuring out the kids are in the back lawn, Wayne builds increasingly elaborate harness and counterweight systems out of objects from the house, so he and Diane can search for the kids without walking on the grass, though it takes him a few tries to get it right.
  • Hope Spot: Early on, the kids whistle to get Quark's attention. It works, and he leaves the house to find them, but gets scared away by the Thompsons' cat, Spike.
    • After surviving the lawnmower, the kids find themselves right under Wayne and Diane as they're looking for them, and they try to get their attention. Unfortunately the parents still can't hear or see the kids, and they walk back inside the house.
  • How Did That Get in There?: Russ Sr., almost word-for-word, when Mae finds a packet of cigarettes hidden in his baseball cap.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: Nick is nearly eaten by his father when he falls into a bowl of Cheerios.
  • I Lied: Mae told Russ Sr. that Russ Jr. didn't make the team, which Russ Sr. was upset over. Later in the movie, while talking to the cops, Mae lets it slip that Russ Jr. actually quit but was afraid to tell his dad.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Anty.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The premise of the plot.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Russ Jr. and Amy's first kiss is interrupted by the scorpion attack.
  • Ironic Echo: "Weird family."
  • It's a Small World, After All: (And we're not even going for Incredibly Lame Pun here!) Russ Jr. and Nick get caught on a bumblebee and flown all over the yard, inexplicably being dropped off not far from Amy and Ron.
    • When Russ Sr. tosses the butt of his Cigarette of Anxiety, it lands right next to where the kids are in the grass.
    • Later, the kids are thrown through the air by a lawnmower, and land right in front of Wayne and Diane.
  • It's All Our Fault: Diane feels this way, and it's more than just the kids getting shrunk.
    Diane: Somehow I feel like this is all our fault.
    Wayne: No, it's my fault. I start working on something, I don't think about anything else. I should have been more careful with the machine. I'm sorry.
    Diane: That's not what I mean. It's not important that I sell another house or you getting a grant this year or the next, we just gotta get our family back together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Russ Sr.
  • Jerkass: Ron, initially. He isn't such a jerk by the end of the movie, though.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The scientists who jeer Wayne's claims about his shrink machine may not be acting very professional, but considering that Wayne himself admits he has no proof that the machine works, they have no reason to believe his outlandish claims. This is exactly what would happen to any scientist in Real Life who made earth-shaking declarations without a single shred of proof.
    • Russ Sr. is almost always angry and belligerent to his family and neighbours, but he's right to be pissed off when he finds out Wayne's negligence has put his kids' lives in danger.
  • Kick the Dog: The Thompsons' cat scares Quark away when the kids whistle for him to come help them.
  • Kids' Wilderness Epic: The movie spends a lot of time in the backyard, playing it up for all its hazards.
  • Kiss of Life: Russ performs this on Amy without doing chest compressions, and it somehow still works. They do show her coughing up the mud she inhaled when she comes around, though.
  • Late to the Punchline: Russ told Nick in the middle of the movie that he learned CPR (which he used to save Amy's life) from French Class. At the end of the movie:
    Nick: Hey, wait! I get it! FRENCH CLASS!
    • Which could also serve as a meta-example, given that a kid watching this movie might not get that joke until several years later.
  • Leaving Audience: Happens to Wayne Szalinski at his big science conference while presenting his plans for the shrink ray despite not actually having a working shrink ray or any proof that it could work.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Junior Novelization. Most noticeably, Anty is not involved in the scorpion attack, so she survives; when the kids agree to let her go, she just walks off. Also, certain events are re-arranged, and the Hope Spot scene is changed so that when they find the back steps to the house insurmountable, that's when Nick gets the idea to call for Quark, and his fear of the cat is entirely Played for Laughs there.
  • Line in the Sand: Russ Thompson Sr. willingly volunteers to be the test subject to see if the repaired shrink ray will work.
  • Miraculous Malfunction: A stray baseball landing on the shrinking machine is what actually makes it work. Though it's not until the end of the film that Wayne is able to figure out why the baseball made the machine functional, and replicate the results.
  • Mistaken for Quake: The movie has what Ron mistakes for an earthquake actually turn out to be a remote-controlled lawnmower. As the kids are a quarter of an inch tall, this means things have gone From Bad to Worse.
  • Mood Whiplash: A romantic scene between Russ Jr. and Amy suddenly turns into a moment of sheer terror when the scorpion turns up...
  • Motivation on a Stick: The shrunken kids do this with Anty and a chunk of the dropped cookie.
  • Mouthy Kid: Ron.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wayne, after realizing his kids have shrunk, then he looks at his broom...
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes:
    Nick: "When we crashed, my entire life flashed before my eyes. It didn't take too long."
  • Never a Runaway: The Thompsons notified the police about their sons being missing, unaware that they have shrunk. One of the cops assume they might have run away due to their dad apparently being too hard on his eldest son, but tells the cops that both their sons are happy and could never have run away.
    Russ Sr.: Why do I feel like I'm the one that's on trial here?
    Russ Sr.: What do you mean, "You can't imagine"?!
  • Never My Fault: After Ron accidentally hits his baseball through the Szalinskis' attic window:
    Russ: Just tell 'em what you did.
    Ron: It never would've happened if their house wasn't so close!
    Russ: He hit a baseball through your attic window.
    Amy: He what?
    Ron: It shouldn't have been closed in the first place, it's a nice day!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A literal example; Wayne smashes the shrinking machine in frustration shortly after the kids are miniaturized, then sweeps them up along with the wrecked electronics and debris littering the floor.
  • No Antagonist: The plot of the film is kick started accidentally by a stray ball getting hit through a window. The only dangers the kids face are either natural, such as the bee or the scorpion, or caused unknowingly by the much larger people around them, such as the neighbor kid attempting to mow the lawn.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The bee and the scorpion.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The shrink ray faced the attic door and they left the door to the attic unlocked with minors in the house despite the fact that the ray was capable of blowing things up. Add to this the lawn mower left outside and available for minors to use unsupervised.
  • Noodle Incident: One of Wayne's colleagues remarks that he was right that an extension cord on his electric flea collar was a bad idea.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: After Wayne tests the shrink ray on Russell Sr. and subsequently resizes him, Russ Sr. finds that his baseball cap is now a little big for him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Anytime Wayne gets angry. The most noteworthy instance comes when he takes his anger out on the shrink ray after it had just successfully shrunken the kids.
  • Oh, Crap!: A few times:
    • To name one example: "No, worse! LAWNMOWER!"
    • A notable facial equivalent occurs after Wayne noticed the shrunken couch and realized that his shrink ray did work and, in fact, shrunk the kids, he begins carefully searching for them on the attic floor... only to bump into his broomnote .
      • It doesn't end there! The next shot has him outside examining the trash bag and noticing a tiny rip... causing him to realize that the kids are in the backyard.
  • Papa Wolf: Russ Sr.
    Russ Sr.: I have got an air hammer in my attic, and if you did do something to my kids, there's gonna be pieces of you ALL OVER THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
  • Pet's Homage Name: Bumbling inventor Wayne has a dog named Quark.
  • Police Are Useless: The cops arrive after being called by the Thompsons and Diane, but all they do is ask standard missing-person questions and leave. They don't even follow up on the fact that Wayne was acting very defensive and suspicious when questioned, or the fact that Diane fainted right in front of them (having just found out from Wayne what really happened to the kids).
  • Prelap: When Wayne realize Nick doesn't play baseball and looks up at his window, we hear Ron say "I just figured it out...". Then we cut back to him and Amy as he believes he's dreaming.
  • Pride: The only possible reason why Russ Sr. didn't tell his fishing buddy the truth why he couldn't go.
    Russ Sr. Eighty bucks, Mae! Nonrefundable! Those kids are grounded!
  • Product Placement:
    • Early in the film Nick puts a box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies on the table, in direct view of the camera. Later the kids use bits of one of the cookies to tame Anty.
    • The kids spend the night inside a giant Lego brick.
    • A bowl of Cheerios plays a big part in the climax when Nick falls in it and is nearly eaten by his father. Again, when Wayne pours the cereal the box is clearly visible.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Wayne returns home after a miserable day at work in which he was mocked for his ideas to find the kids gone, the window of his attic/lab broken and some of his furniture missing. Distraught of the whole thing he accidentally hits his head on a part of the machine, and then takes his frustration on his invention and destroys it.
    Wayne: I don't believe this! What a day. (looks at his machine) This is all your fault. Five years and you don't even WORK!
  • Rescue Romance: Russ Jr. and Amy suddenly get very friendly after he saves her life. The fact that he saved her little brother probably helped too.
  • Running Gag: Diane faints in each movie upon the reveal of the shrink ray's effects.
    • A lot of characters utter a simple, judgmental, "...Mmm-hm", when they think someone's acting really bizarre, including Russ Sr, the cops, and Mr. Forstein.
  • Scare Chord: When the scene jumps to Nick's friend Tommy arriving at the Szalinski resident, and when he pulls the veil off the lawnmower.
    • Also earlier, while trying to find his kids on the floor, he crawls towards his broom...
  • Scary Scorpions: Oh dear God. The scorpion is a gigantic, monstrous predator in comparison to the kids, trying to eat them and killing Anty.
  • Scavenged Punk: There are shades of this as the kids begin to piece together some makeshift equipment out of full sized scraps.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Quark ditches the scene the second live organism testing is brought up.
  • Shoo the Dog: Attempted with Anty.
  • Shout-Out: There's a shout-out to the classic movie To Have And Have Not when Amy says to Russell, "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow."
  • Shrink Ray: Wayne Szalinski's machine is one of the most famous examples of this trope.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Amy is the only female to be shrunk out of the four.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: As noted above, the junior novelization spares Anty by not involving her in the scorpion attack.
  • Square-Cube Law: Obviously broken for Rule of Funny; otherwise, the kids would be crushed by air pressure by virtue of not having an insectoid exoskeleton, and Wayne would never had brushed them up off the floor without noticing.
  • Team Mom: Amy plays this role to the group.
  • Team Pet: Anty, to an extent.
  • Tempting Fate: When the kids take refuge from the lawnmower in an earthworm tunnel:
    Nick: I think we'll be safe in here.
    (lawnmower rests on top of an exit in the tunnel, resulting in Nick suddenly getting sucked towards it)
    • Earlier, Nick falls into a flower and Amy reminds him of his allergies.
    Nick: (sniffs on a pollen) I'm too little to breathe it in! Ah- ACHOO!
  • This Is No Time to Panic
    Ron: They're never gonna find us! We were right under their noses and they didn't even see us!
    Russ Jr.: Don't panic, Ron. We'll... we'll find a way.
    Ron: (panicking) I'm not panicked! Who's panicked? NOBODY'S PANICKED!
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Inverted; the shrink ray only works by using less power. Or at least emitting less heat.
  • Title Drop:
    Wayne: I shrunk the kids!
  • Totally Radical: Ron sometimes talks like this. Given his age and the time period the film was made, it's not too off-putting.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Okay, Wayne isn't ugly, but he's very short and nerdy and yet he is married to the much taller and finer-looking Diane.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: The kids' dad uses an apple to test his Shrink Ray on.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Wayne practically lives by this trope, which is no surprise given his tendency to lose himself in his work and to neglect to double up on the unpredictable nature of his machine. In quick succession the machine goes haywire and shrinks the kids, he smashes the machine and sweeps the tiny kids into the trash and gets them lost in the backyard.
    • It was Ron's baseball that set off the shrink ray, though to be fair it was an honest, everyday accident on his part.
    • Wayne accidentally turning on the sprinklers creates a hurricane-like torrent of falling water that nearly drowns Amy.
      • Wayne swinging a baseball bat at the bee carrying Nick and Russ Jr, as well as Wayne nearly devouring Nick in a spoonful of cereal.
    • Tommy nearly kills Nick and the others by playing around with the remote-control lawnmower.
  • Verbal Tic: Mae keeps shushing Russ Sr.
  • Would Rather Suffer: Downplayed. Before the Szalinskis get seriously worried about not being able to find Nick and Amy, Wayne suggests that they might be next door. An incredulous Diane replies that their kids "would rather be at school".
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Russ Sr. wishes that Russ. Jr. was as excited about the fishing trip (and sports in general) as Ron.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    (mysterious sound appears)
    Ron: What's that?
    Amy (nervously while looking up): Or more like a swarm of...
    Nick: Bees!
  • Your Size May Vary: Nick mentions they're a quarter of an inch tall, but the bulk of the film treats them like they're less than half that size and barely visible to the naked eye. The film sticks to that scale pretty consistently, though, so maybe Nick's calculations were just off.


Video Example(s):


Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids opens with two cartoon children running from the oversized credits.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimatedCreditsOpening

Media sources: