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Film / Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

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Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is the Direct to Video sequel to Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and the third film in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.

Produced in 1996, it was directed by Dean Cundey, written by Karey Kirkpatrick, Nell Scovell and Joel Hodgson, and was released direct-to-video on March 18, 1997.

Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) has shrunken his children. He's blown up his youngest child. Now, the adults get a turn. Wayne accidentally shrinks himself and his brother Gordon (Stuart Pankin) while trying to keep a prized possession. Then, their respective wives Diane (Eve Gordon) and Patti (Robin Bartlett) 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!

The film also stars Bug Hall as Adam Szalinski, Allison Mack as Jenny Szalinski and Jake Richardson as Mitch Szalinski.

A sequel, Shrunk, was confirmed to be in development for Disney+ in 2019, with Joe Johnston returning to direct, and Rick Moranis reprising his role as Wayne.

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Adam rolls into the living room with a bowl of chip dip just as his tiny father and uncle are plummeting to their doom from the ceiling after their bubble pops, catching them in the bowl without even realizing it.
  • Adults Are Useless: A very situational example. The highlight, however, is when Patti and Diane 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • And Starring: The film's opening cast roll ends "with Stuart Pankin and Bug Hall".
  • Art Evolution: Wayne's Shrinking Machine has been redesigned from its appearance in the previous two films. While the basic design template's still intact (and it's still the original prop), it's now been modified with more advanced components and overall it looks more 'cleaned up'. The updated design's justified in-universe by Wayne wanting to polish the prototype up for its Smithsonian exhibit.
  • 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.
  • Black Comedy: Adam and Mitch playing with the chili volcano. Coupled with them casually saying "I'm going to eat the woman's leg!" and "saving the baby" by biting its head off.
  • 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 Creepy Cockroach.
    • Wayne and Gordon fall into a bowl of dip and are almost eaten, just like Nick fell in a bowl of Cheerios near 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:
    • Wayne's giant Tiki Man statue in the foyer. His decision to shrink it rather than get rid of it like Diane demands in the opening scene is what triggers the events of the film.
    • 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 worrying moments in the film.
  • Creepy Cockroach: A truck-sized one chases 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).
  • Description Cut:
    Gordon: Of course, as soon as the kids realize we're gone, they'll be very upset.
    *Cut to kids celebrating and cheering*
  • Disaster Dominoes: Another stray ball (a pool ball instead of a baseball) triggers the shrink ray and shrinks both sets of parents this time around.
    • One of the girls turns on the heat in the house just as Gordon and Wayne are floating by a vent inside a soap bubble, causing them to rise up with the hot air toward a very pointy chandelier. The bubble pops, sending the dads falling into a bowl of onion dip, right as the girls are chowing down on potato chips.
  • 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 it's 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 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!:
    • When the wives enter the attic, Wayne tells Gordon they're in trouble. Gordon says they can't see them, but Wayne points out they can step on them.
    • 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, as he tries to strangle Wayne for getting them shrunk.
  • Floating in a Bubble: At one point, in order to bypass the staircase, the parents split up into pairs and ride soap bubbles from the banister down to the living room floor. The wives go first and manage land on the floor without too much fuss. The husbands aren't so lucky (see Disaster Dominoes above).
  • Game of Nerds: When Wayne lets Adam go to baseball camp, he finds himself enjoying baseball as well, due to how much math is involved in the game.
    Wayne: I had no idea baseball had that much math in it, or that my son would be such a good catcher.
    Adam: Yeah. I bet you were the only dad there that could figure out the whole team's batting average instantly in his head.
  • Giant Food: The two shrunken fathers have to dodge giant potato chips when they fall into a bowl of onion dip.
  • 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.
  • Here We Go Again!: Pretty much the entire premise.
  • 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!
  • Informed Attribute: Adam implies he dislikes wearing socks in a scene, but we never see any real evidence for that
  • 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.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Happened incidentally as Wayne became the CEO of a modest science lab, with his brother Gordon directly heading the various projects. Wayne is completely out of his depth with budget and investor meetings, while Gordon is not the brilliant scientist Wayne is. By the end of the movie he promotes the more personable Gordon to CEO so he can go back to the actual science work.
  • Lethal Chef: Wayne tries to make Adam some peanut butter for his sandwich by grinding peanuts in the dirty coffee maker. Adam complains about finding coffee grounds in the peanut butter and tosses away the sandwich after tentatively tasting it.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first movie had the real fear of the kids drowning, getting eaten, or being mutilated by a lawnmower in their own backyard. In the second, Diane was worried about Adam getting injured while innocently rampaging through Las Vegas. Here, it's more of a Bottle Episode where the worst fear is about Mitch forgetting to take his medicine.
  • Lured into a Trap: A literal example, when the tiny parents are chased by a cockroach, they evade it by luring the creature into a roach motel, where it gets trapped in the adhesive inside.
  • Made of Iron: The parents have several very long falls (from their scale), but don't suffer so much as a scratchnote .
  • 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 a 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.
  • No Antagonist: Similar to that of the first film, this film's major conflict stems largely from Wayne's machine accidentally shrinking Wayne as well as his brother, wife, and sister-in-law, and the adults' subsequent journey through the now-gigantic house trying to get their kids' attention. Sure, Ricky and his friends are definite jerks, but they're neither outright evil/antagonistic nor that crucial to the film's plot.
  • 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 Wayne's reaction when he sees that the soap bubble him and his brother are riding inside is floating upward toward a very pointy chandelier...
    • 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.
  • 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 Ricky and his friends bullying Mitch. Not that he can do anything about it at the time...
    Gordon: You can't push my kid around like that! 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 Lay's 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 turns on the shrinking 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.
    • Patti thought she heard a noise from her car and assumed her breaks were giving out, that's why she put a block behind the wheel. She was right, but it doesn't help when she forgets to do it the last time.
  • Running Gag: Whenever Jenny says she's at her uncle's house, she invariably has to add that, yes, it's the one with the weirdo mailbox.
  • 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. This is the only instalment of the Honey franchise without an appearance from Nick.
  • 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: While Properly Paranoid, Wayne's precautions to prevent a repeat of the previous two films' incidents is ultimately undone by an x-factor he didn't anticipate: The junk in the attic being jostled by the reactivated machine and falling on the controls.
    • Likewise, Wayne and Gordon didn't anticipate their wives would return home (due to accidentally bringing Mitch's medicine with them).
  • 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!
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • 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 (and also that it was Diane who led the charge in getting the injunction).
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Later, after the tiny Wayne and Gordon fall in the onion dip:
    Wayne: Relax, they're teenage girls, how much could they eat?
    [A crowd of giant girls swarm in and start dipping chips]
  • Tomboy: Jill, one of Jenny's friends, is one and the main reason Adam has a massive crush on her.
  • 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.
    • Diane when Wayne gets the Shrink Machine out of mothballs to polish it up for the Smithsonian. While that is a legitimate motive, Diane also knows Wayne. She knows him well enough that she successfully got a court order blocking him from ever using the technology again after the last film. Did Diane really think Wayne was going to be able to resist the temptation to fire up the old prototype one more time?
  • The Unmasqued World: Downplayed example. After the Las Vegas Incident in the previous film, the existence of the Szalinski technology is now public knowledge. However, this sequel doesn't explore the repercussions beyond a throwaway line of Wayne's prototype being displayed in the Smithsonian.
  • 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 all 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.
  • Your Size May Vary: Inverted from the first film, where the children often appeared much smaller than their stated height of 1/4 of an inch tall. Here, the parents are reduced to 3/4s of an inch tall according to Wayne. Yet, in many shots, they appear to be around an inch tall, sometimes appearing to be closer to 1.5 inches tall (twice their stated height) compared to the scenery and various "giant" items around them.


Video Example(s):


Wayne Szalinski on Baseball

Nerdy scientist Wayne Szalinski discovers he enjoys the mathematical and statistical side of baseball after his son Max attends baseball camp.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GameOfNerds

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