Wayne has shrunken his children. He's blown up his youngest child. Now, the adults get a turn. Wayne accidentally shrinks himself and his brother while trying to keep a prized possession. Then, their respective wives get shrunken. Now they have to figure out how to restore themselves to natural size, as their teenage kids are running amok in the house!
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves contains examples of:
- Adult Fear: Seeing your child in potential danger yet literally being able to do nothing about it.
- Patti and Diane are freaked out when an ill Mitch collapses after seeing their tiny forms on the kitchen counter. They see where the medicine has fallen on the counter, and desperately try to get it to him. Unfortunately, the bottle's too big and all they can do is watch as Jenny and Adam revive Mitch.
- Adults Are Useless: A very situational example. The highlight, however, is when Patti and Mitch try to deliver Mitch's medicine to him, and they fail because the bottle is too big. It is averted, however, when Gordon scares the kids out of the house by hijacking the stereo projector.
- Androcles' Lion: When Diane and Patty help free a daddy longlegs from a spiderweb, it returns the favour by carrying them up to the kitchen counter.
- An Aesop: Goes both ways; your parents have rules in place for a reason, and your kids are smarter than you think they are. Jenny and Mitch feel that their mother is overprotective about her inviting friends and him taking his medicine. It turns out that their parents were right; Jenny's "friends" are more than happy to let party-crashers destroy the things in her house, and Mitch faints from potassium withdrawal. On the other side of the coin, Patti tells Jenny she's proud that her daughter took charge of the situation when it went From Bad to Worse and has good judgment.
- Artistic License Medicine: Severe hypokalemia (low blood potassium) is a little more dangerous than the film makes out, and certainly can't be fixed with a few mouthfuls of banana (and not that quickly). More realistically, you'd need a couple of hours on an IV drip, and preferably have a heart monitor watching your heart rate, too.
- "Begone" Bribe: A variant; when he sends out the kids to buy toothpicks at the grocery store, he gives Jenny extra change and tells her they can buy whatever they want with it. The kids are very happy about that and are out of the house for longer.
- Big Sister Instinct: Jenny takes charge when she and Adam hear Mitch faint and tells Adam to find something with potassium in it. She holds his head up so he doesn't choke when Adam gives him bananas to chew.
- Call-Back: Once again a stray ball triggers the shrink ray.
- Diane and Patti befriend a daddy longlegs, like how the kids in the first movie befriend an ant.
- While the kids dealt with a Scary Scorpion in the first movie, here the adults run from a vicious cockroach.
- Wayne and Gordon fall into a bowl of dip and are almost eaten, just like Nick fell in a bowl of Cheerios at the end of the first film.
- Wayne finds himself in Russ Sr.'s position from the other direction, cheerfully oblivious to Adam being interested in sports rather than science.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: When not in mortal danger, the adults make the best of their shrunken perspective, enjoying the miniscule detail in the world and laughing as they ride in the Hot Wheels car.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The bad brakes on Diane's car. She assumes the brakes went bad when she hears a weird noise, but waves it off. 20 minutes later, her car rolls backwards out of the driveway, which prevents the kids from noticing their return.
- Mitch's pills. Mitch offhandedly comments that he didn't take them, and mentions that the lack of immediate effects means he's probably fine. He ends up passing out, providing one of the biggest Adult Fear moments in the film.
- Creepy Cockroach: A truck-sized one tries to attack the tiny parents.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zigzagged. Wayne now manages his own laboratory with several scientists working for him on various projects. Despite at least ten years passing between the first and third films, not much time is spent examining how the world is changed now that shrinking ray technology exists (aside from a passing line about how the original shrink ray is going to be displayed in the Smithsonian).
- Disaster Dominoes: Another stray ball (a bocce ball instead of a baseball) triggers the shrink ray and shrinks both sets of parents this time around.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Adam and Mitch look at a magazine that Adam thinks would get him in trouble with his dad and that the tiny parents can't see from their angle on the floor. Wayne crawls up on the magazine after the boys leave and discovers its a regular issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids. Wayne seems nearly as upset as he would have been if it really had turned out to be a Playboy, though not because of what the magazine turned out to be, but because Adam would think he'd be so upset about it. This is what starts Wayne's character growth in this film and makes him start to realize that he needs to let Adam pursue his own interests instead of forcing him into the sciences; his own son is actually afraid of him finding out he's into sports.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Wayne finds roach droppings, but explains that they are hard, meaning they're old so the roach is probably long gone. Then he pokes a fresh one...and they hear a skittering sound behind them.
- Failsafe Failure: Wayne installed a locked glass case over the Big Red Button that fires the shrink ray, presumably so no one but him can use it. Smart, but it doesn't do any good when he doesn't bother to lock it up after he shrinks the Tiki Man statue, which leads directly to him, his brother, and their wives being shrunk.
- Fat Bastard: Ricky. He doesn't look it, but when he's threatening Adam, his stomach precedes him by several inches. The actor wore a Fat Suit initially... then in reshoots gained 40 pounds for the role to make Ricky look fatter all over.
- Subverted with Gordon, but he does try to strangle Wayne for getting them shrunk.
- Giant Food: The two shrunken fathers have to dodge giant potato chips when they fall into a bowl of dip.
- Gilligan Cut:Gordon: Of course, as soon as the kids realize we're gone, they'll be very upset.*Cut to kids celebrating and cheering*
- God Guise: Wayne's brother Gordon pretends to be the voice of God, scaring off all the guests at his daughter Jenny's party. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Henpecked Husband: Guess. Wayne says he was sanctioned by a joint committee of the FDA and his wife from ever using the shrink ray again, both of whom carried roughly equal weight in the decision to shelve it.
- I am a Humanitarian: Wayne and Gordon are almost scooped up by the teen girls when they land in a bowl of chip dip.
- I Can Explain: Played for Laughs after Gordon takes it badly when Wayne shrinks the two of them.Wayne: Gordon! *choking* I can explain!
Gordon: You can't explain!
- Jerkass: Ricky King. He and his posse come over and basically vandalize the house.
- Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Inverted. Wayne is the nerd; his son is the jock.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Considering how many times his kids were victims of his shrinking/growing machines, some might say Wayne getting shrunk is this.
- Lethal Chef: Wayne tries to make Adam some peanut butter for his sandwich by grinding peanuts. Adam tosses away the sandwich after tentatively tasting it.
- Lighter and Softer: The first movie had the real Adult Fear of the kids drowning, getting eaten or cut up by a lawnmower in their own backyard. In the second, Diane was worried about her baby getting injured while innocently rampaging through the city. Here, it's more of a Bottle Episode where the worst fear is about Mitch taking his medicine.
- Made of Iron: The parents have several very long falls (from their scale), but don't suffer so much as a scratch.
- Nature Adores a Virgin: Ricky forces a kiss on Jenny. Jenny's not cool with it at all, because she says his approach was wrong, as he assumed she'd be down for the kiss without asking. This completely turns her off of Ricky.
- Never Trust a Trailer: One promo shows Mitch fainting upon seeing his shrunken mom and aunt. Though the movie shows he actually passed out from lack of potassium and assumed he imagined seeing his mom and aunt. Seeing them didn't help, however.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The movie was released in 1997, and is set in 2000.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Jenny returns with her groceries, she accidentally knocks away Mitch's bottle of pills that his mother left on the counter and fails to notice. Guess what Mitch can't find several hours later.
- Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Subverted. When Jenny and Adam revive Mitch by feeding him some bananas, he tells them in a weak voice that he saw their moms on the counter. They nod and go Sure, Let's Go with That because their bigger concern is making sure Mitch is okay. Later, Gordon and Wayne confirm the ladies were on the counter.
- Oh, Crap!: A few times, notably when the parents realize they've been shrunk.
- Wayne's reaction when the still-large wives enter the attic right after him and Gordon are shrunk:Wayne: We're in big trouble!Gordon: Why, they can't find us to yell at us.Wayne: But they can step on us!
- Also, the kids when they realize the implications of their parents having been in the house the entire time.Jenny: You know, Dad, I didn't invite those boys over. I swear.
Gordon: I know. Wayne and I saw everything.
Jenny: Right... You weren't in the kitchen, were you?
Gordon: No! No. (beat) But your mothers were.
Jenny: Oh god.
- Wayne's reaction when the still-large wives enter the attic right after him and Gordon are shrunk:
- Object Tracking Shot: A complex system at the beginning makes it easier for the Szalinskis to get their mail.
- Papa Wolf: Gordon, when he sees the jocks bullying Mitch. Not that he can do anything about it at the time...Gordon: "YOU ARE DEAD MEAT, MISTER!"Wayne: Gordon, you're three quarters of an inch tall, now's not the time!
- The Peter Principle: Wayne is quite unhappy at being the CEO of his new science company, and in the end decides to give the far better-suited Gordon the job so he can just be an inventor again.
- P.O.V. Cam: We actually see the shrinking effect from Wayne's POV. It's used a few times during the film to show things from the tiny parents' perspective, notably during their rollercoaster-like trip through a Hot Wheels track.
- Product Placement: The parents ride a Hot Wheels brand toy car and track to get out of Adam's room. There was even a special edition of the VHS release which included the shark cruiser they ride in.
- The stereo Wayne and Gordon use to amplify their voices is Sony brand.
- The girls are eating Lays potato chips during the party, when the two fathers fall into the dip bowl. Also, Diane and Patti are standing in front of a giant box of Trix cereal when Ricky tries to kiss Jenny.
- The copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids Adam hides from his parents.
- Properly Paranoid:
- Remembering what happened the first few times his kids were near his inventions, Wayne makes up an errand to get them out of the house before he takes out the shrink machine. Considering he accidentally shrinks all the adults, Wayne made the right call.
- Patti keeps insisting that Mitch needs to take his medicine on time. Mitch blows her off because he thinks he'll be fine without it. It turns out his mother was right; Mitch gets very ill and faints from the lack of potassium.
- Reality Ensues:
- Wayne apparently has a court order preventing him from using the shrinking machine (which he breaks, naturally). Considering what happened the last time, it's understandable.
- Mitch happily thinks that he doesn't need to take his regular potassium vitamins for his medical condition. Come a few hours later, he's feeling very ill and begging Adam desperately to help him find the bottle his mother left on the counter.
- Sequel Non-Entity: Nick and Amy were each only mentioned once (when Adam talks with Diane about going to baseball camp), replaced by cousins Mitch and Jenny. Also justified because Nick and Amy have been adults for quite some time now and live their own lives.
- Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Jenny to Ricky.
- Soft Water: Well, french onion dip, but a bowl of the dip prevents the husbands from falling to their death after the bubble they were riding in pops.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Diane doesn't take being shrunk very well.Diane: Oh, I see. You were going to shrink the Tiki Man and hope I didn't notice? Well, guess what Wayne...I NOTICED!
- Tempting Fate: Gordon hears a sound from the machine while he and Wayne are standing right in front of it.Gordon: Hey, this thing's powering up again!?Wayne: Relax, there's no one in the house to push the button.
Wayne: Relax, they're teenage girls, how much could they eat?
- Later, after the tiny Wayne and Gordon fall in the onion dip:
[A crowd of giant girls swarm in and start dipping chips]
- Too Dumb to Live: Wayne, yet again, combined with Aesop Amnesia. Though he took some precautions before using the shrink ray this time (sending the kids out of the house, putting the Big Red Button underneath a locked glass case) for some reason he decides to leave the machine powered up and running after he finishes shrinking his giant Tiki Man statue, and then stands right in front of it with Gordon. Three guesses what happens to them...
- Gordon tries to pop the soap bubble that him and Wayne are floating inside of, before Wayne stops him.
- What You Are in the Dark: At the end of the film, after finding the shrunken parents and taking them to the attic to be enlarged, Adam and Mitch discuss the possibility of leaving them tiny and continuing to live free. Jenny is tempted for a moment, too, but thankfully, they decide against it.
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Wayne wishes that Adam preferred the sciences to sports. He comes around by the end, though.
- Wild Teen Party: Of the milder sort, while the parents are shrunk. Jenny tries to shut the party down when it goes off the rails, but Ricky takes charge and overrules her. She later apologizes to her parents for going against their wishes, but Patti, impressed by her standing up to Ricky, assures her all is forgiven.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: When the tiny parents reach a windowsill and see their car parked in the driveway, they hope the kids will see it and realize the parents are in the house. But then the brakes give out and the car rolls out of the driveway and across the street, right before the kids return from the store.