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Tuck: Jack, excuse me, but I want you to factor this into your thinking, all right?... If you don't help me, you're going to wind up with this miniaturized submersible pod floating around your insides with this teeny tiny human skeleton at the helm.
Jack: Ugh.
Tuck: Not a pretty thought!

A 1987 sci-fi comedy starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, and Meg Ryan. Rather surprisingly not the huge hit it was anticipated to become at the time, it has since attained Cult Classic status as one of the quintessential '80s popcorn flicks.

Tuck Pendleton (Quaid) is a U.S. Navy aviator assigned to pilot an experimental submersible pod which is to be shrunk down to miniature size and injected into a rabbit. Unfortunately, bad guys after the shrinking technology break into the lab, and one of the scientists, after escaping with the syringe containing the shrunken sub with Pendleton in it, is forced to inject Pendleton into the nearest available subject... namely, unwitting Safeway grocery clerk Jack Putter (Short).

Then things get weird. (Well, weirder.)

The film was directed by Joe Dante, produced by Steven Spielberg and features special effects by Rob Bottin, which might help give you an idea of what you're in for.

Not to be confused with cult classic PC game Operation: Inner Space or the long closed Disneyland ride Adventure Thru Inner Space.

This film provides examples of:

  • The '80s: And how. Music, hair, fashion, it's all here. Meg Ryan in particular flies the 80's flag high.
  • Action Survivor: Jack, to a "T."
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Jack, again. A rare male example, and in the most literal sense possible. Tuck literally stimulates Jack's adrenal gland!
  • Alice Allusion: The "Eat me. Drink me." metaphor. Or was it from The Exorcist?
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: Tuck has a very limited supply of oxygen, so Jack must get him (and the chips) back to the lab before it runs out. A Race Against the Clock begins.
  • Ambiguously Bi: The Cowboy doesn't seem alarmed when Jack bursts into his room while The Cowboy is holding a bottle of champagne and wearing nothing but underpants and boots. In fact he smiles tells him "don't knock, just come!"
  • AM/FM Characterization: Igoe's taste in music tells much about him. When he drives the meat truck the music he listens to is Slayer's "Angel of Death".
  • And Mission Control Rejoiced: Everyone at the lab is cheering when Tuck emerges from the minisub at the end.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the film, a newly-empowered Jack sees the Cowboy disguised as Tuck and Lydia's limo driver (with Scrimshaw and Dr. Canker hidden in the trunk, but Jack doesn't know it) and chases after them.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The whole plot revolves around retrieving the one-of-a-kind miniaturization/re-enlargement chips. Both projects have entire, working installations devoted to the miniaturization process, but for some reason, even the villainous rivals need exactly the same chips as the government-funded laboratory.
  • Arch-Enemy: As the story progresses, Jack goes from a nobody to a hated enemy for Victor Scrimshaw. Given that Jack has literally kicked him around, foiled his plans and unwittingly shrunk him to half his size, it's understandable.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Using robot arms to place the chips. Sure, they are cool and have some utility, but they take forever to perform their function, which is a bit of a problem when there's only a couple of minutes, tops, to make the machine work or Tuck will suffocate. Lampshaded when this then results in an impatient scientist grabbing the chip from the robot and putting it in manually (which results in him getting a jolt).
    Dr. Niles: (to the man controlling the robot arm) Ow! Thanks for telling me.
  • Big Bad: Victor Scrimshaw.
  • Billions of Buttons: Vector-Scope labs features panels with lots of blinking lights.
  • Blinded by the Light: Tuck when the doctor shines an instrument in Jack's ear.
  • Blood Knight: A very mild example, but at the end, the thought of tackling the bad guys again makes Jack Putter give a delighted cackle of joy.
  • Body Horror: Scrimshaw decides they should enlarge Mr. Igoe while still inside Jack.
    Canker: While it's still inside Mr. Putter?
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Why not?
    Canker: Do you have any idea the mess that would make?
  • Bond One-Liner: "Congratulations, Jack. You just digested the bad guy." Jack then burps.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: During the Dénouement, Tuck calls Putter "Big Jack" with the Cowboy's accent.
  • Brick Joke: "Who's the Cowboy?!" — "That's, er, classified."
  • Brownface: Robert Picardo as The Cowboy. It helped that Picardo himself is of Italian heritage.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tuck is an insubordinate alcoholic and failed Naval Aviator, but he obviously did his anatomy homework before his mission and proves pretty resourceful throughout the movie.
  • The Cameo: Chuck Jones is one of the supermarket customers behind the red-haired lady. Yes, that Chuck Jones — Joe Dante is, of course, a major Looney Tunes fanboy.
    (Jack guzzles down an entire bottle of aspirin.)
    Dream Lady: Hey! I'm not buyin' those aspirin now!
    Chuck Jones: At eight hundred dollars a bottle, who'd want to?
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dwayne's background check on Scrimshaw establishes him as this. He's legal council to organized crime figures, administrator to four Teamster pension funds and suspected of black market arms dealing yet manages to stay clean. On the CRT of the terminal that the co-worker is reading off of, there's even more detailed biographical information. That includes his education, his formal business partnership with Dr. Canker, that he's an ex-Marine that attained the rank of Major and has multiple club and fraternity memberships. He's also rumored to have Jimmy Hoffa's wrist watch in a desk drawer as a souvenir.
  • Casting Gag: Veteran actor William Schallert plays Jack's physician, Dr Greenbush. Schallert had played the physician of The Incredible Shrinking Man.
  • Catchphrase: "The Tuck Pendleton machine, zero defects."
  • Character Development: An unusual form of it. Tuck and Jack are a typical Odd Couple, with Jack stuck in a dead-end job and Tuck cannonballing into a drunken crash-landing. Through Tuck's influence, Jack grows from a nerdy, cowardly hypochondriac to a man with a zest for adventure over the course of the movie. However, Tuck undergoes no real change save being a little more empathic towards his girlfriend, and is still the hard-fighting hard-drinking adrenaline junkie he was in the beginning. However, seeing his unborn child when he was briefly in Lydia's body seems to break through his manchild shell.
  • Chase Scene: One early on involving a scientist on a bicycle, another one later involving Tuck's Mustang chasing the refrigerated truck where Jack was held captive.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Lydia's taser becomes plot-relevant a second time when Scrimshaw's blond mook touches it and goes out.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Sam Cooke's song "Cupid".
    • Jack's allergy to hairspray.
  • Cigarette Burns: The Cowboy puts his cigar out in his hand when a stewardess reminds him that it was a non-smoking flight.
  • Computer Voice: The computer aboard the minisub.
  • Cool Ship: Tuck's minisub, reminiscent of the Discovery's space pods, and armed with an amazing array of gadgets and sensors. It even recognized Jack's human physiology immediately and auto-mapped it despite having been programmed to go into a rabbit.
  • Cuckoo Finger Twirl: Jack's boss makes this gesture towards one college after Jack behaved strangely at the store.
  • Cutting the Knot: Instead of waiting for the robot arms to place the chip, an impatient scientist grabs the chip and puts it in manually. He gets a jolt because of it and calls out the operator for not warning him.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Tuck gives a minor Rousing Speech to Jack when the latter is trapped in a refrigerator truck by Scrimshaw and Mr. Igoe. It works a little too well, or, at least, a little too early — the truck is still moving!
  • Deadpan Snarker: The lady with orange hair delivers some pretty deadpan remarks at the checkout. (Given that she was played by Kathleen Freeman, it was practically a given.)
    (The register displays $18,748.15) - "Gee, that's kind of pricey for shampoo, ain't it?"
    (Seeing her grocery totaling to $128,658.54) - "Is that with or without the coupons?" and "Listen sweety, I don't carry that kind of cash around with me."
  • Delayed Reaction: At the end when they try to re-enlarge the minisub, nothing happens for a couple of seconds after the countdown has ceased. Then the reaction kicks in big time.
  • Demonic Head Shake: Combined with Shapeshifter Swan Song when Jack (disguised as the Cowboy) loses control over his shapeshifting ability and undergoes a ridiculous facial deformation process wherein his head shakes uncontrollably.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Cowboy seemed oddly... excited when Jack aggressively bursts into his hotel room while he's in his underwear. He even excitedly exclaims "Big Jack!"
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: There are two chips at different places that Jack has to find before he can bring Tuck back.
  • Disposable Vehicle Section: Igoe pulls this trick when his miniaturized pod is damaged beyond repair. In the style of an Implacable Man he ejects himself out of it and continues attacking the hero wearing a gadget-loaded space suit.
  • The Dragon: Mr Igoe.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Jack has an Anxiety Dream about the old lady with a (cigarette lighter) gun and the high prices of her groceries.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Tuck, a washed-out Naval Aviator, was already an alcoholic before Lydia dumped him, then he got worse. Although he claims to have sobered up before the miniaturization project, it's obvious to his coworkers that he's off the wagon (and also to the audience, judging by all the bottles he keeps stashed away in odd places in his apartment).
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: San Francisco's Transamerica Tower is visible in the background outside Tuck's home.
  • Enhance Button: Downplayed. The 35mm film camera Igoe steals from a bystander at the mall provides clear blow-up shots of Ozzie injecting Jack, his face, and his Safeway name tag.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening scene of the movie, in which Tuck drunkenly ruins a reception for test pilots, yet still manages to hold his own reasonably well in a fight against five of them.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Cowboy, master of industrial espionage, counterfeit, smuggling, and snakeskin clothing.
  • Evil Knockoff: Mr. Igoe's pod, which looks like a squid with mechanical claws.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Tuck has a very limited supply of oxygen, so Jack must get him (and the chips) back to the lab before it runs out.
  • Exploited Immunity: Tuck moves his battle with Igoe into Jack's stomach where the acid dissolves the baddie while Tuck remains unharmed in his minisub.
  • Explosive Decompression: What would happen to the minisub if the cockpit were breached, which is why Tuck can't just go to the lungs to resupply his oxygen tanks. It's unmentioned in the film, but there's also the fact that Tuck is simply much too small to breath unminiaturized air.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: When Jack's VHS catches fire, the panels in Tuck's minisub start to do the same and both characters have to use a fire extinguisher to take care of the situation.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Invoked by Tuck: "They didn't even notice my cufflinks!" Subverted in that the bad guys did notice, forcing Jack to mount a rescue.
    Cowboy: He has the chips on him.
    (Canker and Scrimshaw are hiding in Lydia's suitcase. Scrimshaw has a large bra wrapped around him)
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Good. Good... Close-the-lid-close-the-lid.
    Dr. Canker: I can't breathe in here.
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Shut up, Margaret!
  • Faint in Shock: Scrimshaw's blond mook keeps passing out amidst too much excitement.
  • Fanservice: For the ladies and others, a long glimpse at Dennis Quaid's bare ass.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Self-explanatory. The effects are still awesome enough to be a deep well of Squick for some viewers.
  • Feel No Pain: The Cowboy can ignore pain. His Establishing Character Moment has him extinguishing his cigar on himself.
  • Feet-First Introduction:
    • The first we see of the Cowboy is a close-up on his posh leather boots.
    • Igoe is introduced by showing his black Conspicuous Gloves on the steering wheel of his car.
  • Femme Fatale: Dr. Canker's first idea of persuasion always seems to be one of overt, aggressive seduction. Even Scrimshaw tells her to cut it out at one point.
  • Forced Perspective: After Scrimshaw and Canker are shrunk 50%, there are a few scenes where they are seen with full-size actors. These shots were filmed using forced perspective. For the car scene, the rear of the car is actually twice as large as a normal car rear, and was about 20 feet away. During the scene half-size hands and double-size heads were used. Using this method, the filmmakers didn't have to worry about compositing two separate shots in post-production, so the shots could be completed quicker. Even in the final scene with the suitcase, the case was twice as large, but the hand that closes it was real, closer to the camera in sync with the closing.
  • For Science!: What the original government project was intended for. The rival lab, on the other hand, has more lucrative goals in mind.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: During the info dump on Scrimshaw's background, there's text on the CRT on his biography that reveals that he's a former US Marine.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Jack gets slapped as he is having a psychotic breakdown behind the cash register.
  • Glasses Pull: Pete Blanchard pulls off his glasses in the car when learning that Tuck is the pilot of the secret project.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Jack suggests a contestant buy a vowel while watching Scrabble.
  • Gun Struggle: Jack fights with the delivery man over a gun. A Groin Attack decides the situation in Jack's favor.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Mr. Igoe puts on his Walkman as he drives the truck Jack is imprisoned in. Naturally, he never even realizes he's involved in a Chase Scene.
  • Hearing Voices: Justified. Tuck communicates with his host via an electronic linkup in Jack's ear, and naturally Jack initially thinks he is insane when he hears Tuck's voice inside his head.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Tuck's "friend" and government money man Pete Blanchard is quite the ruthless S.O.B. early in the film, willing to sacrifice Tuck's life to ensure the survival of Dr. Niles' project (as well as using him as bait), but then randomly at the end turns up to personally chauffeur Jack back to Niles' lab to save Tuck.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Scientist Ozzie Wexler dies via a gunshot to the back whilst injecting Tuck into Jack.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Early on, the scientist with the syringe steals a bike to get away from Igoe.
  • Hollywood Acid: Jack's stomach — especially what it does to Mr. Igoe in the final battle. (Thanks a whole lot, Rob Bottin.)
  • Homage: Joe Dante and press materials were not shy about calling it a tribute to Fantastic Voyage.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: Tuck hurts his foot on the cab door and jumps around in pain. Yet his broken heart hurts more.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Of the unintentional type. But Tuck does use Jack's stomach as an emergency impromptu weapon, and the miniaturized bad guy does end up digested.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: After being shot, Ozzie uses the last of his strength to inject nearby passer-by Jack with the syringe containing the miniaturized submersible.
  • Implacable Man: Mr. Igoe redefines the trope.
  • Improbably Cool Car: Tuck's pristine red Mustang convertible.
  • Instant Sedation: The baddies sedate the personnel at Vector-Scope with a knockout gas that takes them out in a single second.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Lydia, Tuck's girlfriend.
  • It's Personal: Scrimshaw and Canker "need those chips now more than ever" at the end of the film, for obvious reasons.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: The baddies disguise themselves as telephone repairmen when breaking into Vector-Scope labs.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tuck. Pompous and alcoholic but if you need him he can help you and give you good advice.
  • Leitmotif: The Cowboy is accompanied by a Spaghetti Western twanging theme.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Jack is trapped in a meat truck at freezing temperatures.
  • Love Triangle: More or less. Jack is attracted to Lydia who still loves Tuck but has some minor affection for Jack, as evidenced by still wanting to kiss Jack after Jack asks Tuck to shut down and the lingering glance at Jack before she gets in the limo at her wedding.
  • Mad Scientist:
  • Magic Feather: Jack, when he thinks Tuck is still inside him and feeding him doses of adrenaline, rescues Lydia bravely.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Thanks to the little guy inside you who can stimulate your facial nerves just so. (Real reason: because every Joe Dante movie needs a Transformation Sequence, that's why.)
  • Male Gaze: Twice does Tuck call Jack out for inappropriately looking down on Lydia.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everybody in the room craps their pants when Jack!Cowboy undergoes his facial deformation sequence.
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Oh God in heaven, deliver us from Satan!
  • May–December Romance: Implied with Wendy and Dr. Greenbush after Jack ditches her.
  • Meaningful Echo: Early on, Tuck hurts his toe on the cab door prompting Lydia to comment "Better your toe than your heart". Later when Tuck wants Lydia to believe he is inside Jack, she echoes that line when saying "But it was my heart that was broken, and not my toe."
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: The villain couple getting miniaturized.
  • Mirror Monologue: Tuck is having one right before going on his mission.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: The miniaturization process is described as "breaking an object down to its component particles to 'compile' a microscopic version of the object". The first part would be called "destructive uploading", and is actually being seriously researched both for machines and people (there are ethical concerns for people, as even if you can perfectly reconstruct the human, it's still essentially murder by perfect body disposal, but it's a secret government project doing it meaning Screw the Rules, I Make Them!). But if they can "compile" Tuck as a human the size of an amoeba while retaining his intelligence, then they have a computer chip that makes the NSA's best stuff as of today look like an abacus. You'd need that kind of processing power to upload stuff, but that's civilization-changing technology. And they're using it, with No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup, on a rabbit, as a precursor to fitting people with sensory-jacking surveillance equipment. Reed Richards Is Useless. However, that might entirely be the point, as Scrimshaw's lab is obviously far more advanced and he has multiple uses for the tech.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Confusing talk in the hospital, when Tuck (inside Jack) tries to talk to Jack who believes some patients are talking to him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Thanks to Joe Dante, DP Andrew Lazlo, and the late Jerry Goldsmith, a glass full of ice (which Tuck will end up drinking from) becomes a mysterious background for the film's title card.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Lydia, who keeps it from Tuck. The thing is, when he found out (in the weirdest way possible, mind you), he was crying Tears of Joy. Referenced again at the end when Tuck's first words to Lydia after being returned to normal were, "Why didn't you tell me?"
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Dr. Canker.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lydia accidentally taking Jack out with her Static Stun Gun.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The chips. Lampshaded. They're one-of-a-kind, nobody can replicate them or their technology (at least not before Tuck's oxygen runs out), and nobody made backups in case they were lost or damaged.
    Tuck: That's thinking ahead, Niles.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Something must have happened between Ozzie Wexler and Dr. Canker. Her reaching down and stroking his crotch is a big clue.
    • Rumor is that Scrimshaw keeps Jimmy Hoffa's wristwatch in his desk drawer as a souvenir.
  • Novelization: By Nathan Elliott.
  • Now You Tell Me: Tuck demanded to know what went wrong with the experiment (having ended up in the wrong body), his superior Pete tells him the lab's lack of security.
  • One-Word Title: As a reference to the internal space of a body.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Tuck when he realized he's not inside a rabbit, but a person.
    • Tuck can be heard saying "Uh oh" when Jack is caught posing as the Cowboy.
    • Jack, when he realized Tuck isn't inside him, and he really did beat up the mook.
    • Igoe gets only one, but it's a doozy: when Tuck drops him into Jack's churning stomach acids; Igoe screams the whole way down.
  • Only a Lighter: When working as a store clerk, the protagonist has to deal with a customer who pulls a "gun" out of her purse when she gets annoyed with him only for it to turn out to be a lighter.
  • Only in It for the Money: It's Scrimshaw's sole motivation in all this. That changes to It's Personal when Scrimshaw needs the chip to re-enlarge himself to normal size.
  • Pair the Spares: Wendy and Dr Greenbush share a longing glance at the end.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scrimshaw and Dr. Canker, after getting shrunk down to midget size.
  • Poke the Poodle: Igoe pops a balloon because he's EVIL!
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Scrimshaw's line:
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Nuclear weapons, Jack. They mean nothing. Everybody's got em, no one has the balls to use 'em.
  • Portmantitle: A compound of Inner and Space.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Tuck: Okay, pal... here's how I spell 'relief'!"
  • Properly Paranoid: Tuck doesn't believe his superior Pete when he says they'll get the chip to re-enlarge him. He's right, in that the superior says they'll let Tuck die since the baddies need the chip on the pod and they need only wait for them to come after Jack.
    • Also earlier, Tuck tells Jack to run away when the "delivery man" asks too many personal questions. Proven right when the "delivery man" pulls out a gun when Jack tries to leave, but Jack was able to subdue him.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Lydia's line "Let. Him. Go." while pointing a gun at the baddies in their lab.
  • Race Against the Clock: To rescue Tuck, who is Almost Out of Oxygen.
  • Real-Place Background: That twisty road Jack drives on at the end of the film? That's the Portuguese Bend in California.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jack gives one to each of The Millstones in his life:
    Jack: Doc, I'm cured. Wendy, not a chance, and Mr. Wormwood, thank you... and I quit.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Project leader Dr. David Niles is rather likable and understanding for a government scientist.
  • Reveal Shot:
    • The opening credits occur over weird, shifting, oddly colored shots which suggest a bizarre, alien world, in keeping with the film's plot. Then, the camera pulls reveal we've been watching ice cubes swirling around a glass of whiskey.
    • When we first see Martin Short's doctor's office, its a closeup of some palm trees. But then the camera zooms out to reveal its simply a poster.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Jack, becoming the Unlikely Hero of the story by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Jack performs one at Tuck's place after getting drunk.
  • Rule of Romantic: Tuck's accidental journey from Jack into Lydia's womb and then seeing their unborn child feels contrived but who cares as long as the result is heartwarming.
  • Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: Tuck is running out of air in his pod and needs to get out of Jack's body soon or he'll die. Currently he is in Jack's lungs, but can't get to a handy orifice in time. Somebody remembers that a human sneeze travels at roughly 300 miles per hour - leading Jack to induce a sneeze by huffing hairspray, as he was diagnosed with an allergy to same at the beginning of the movie.
    Jack: Not mousse!!
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Jack's face goes through several gruesome stages of deformation once the facial reconstruction mechanism goes haywire.
  • Shirtless Scene: A fanservice scene when Dennis Quaid chases after Lydia outside his house with only a towel around his waist.
    • Which the taxi then steals, although the resulting rear view is probably a body double.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: After Tuck's pod is injected into Jack, he starts trying to figure out what's going on while Jack is ringing up items at his job. His attempts screw with the scanner, causing the items to ring up at hundreds of dollars each.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silent Whisper: What did the Cowboy whisper in Lydia's ear that make her frown in disgust?
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The trailer makes no mention of Meg Ryan's character Lydia apart from a few brief glimpses which is odd considering how important she is to the plot. She is featured prominently on the poster, at least.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Jack Putter's dysfunctional love interest Wendy idly remarks on the irony of her sleeping with just about everyone he knows except him when he's the one guy she might actually like. At the end, after he's taken a level in badass and she tentatively suggests they start dating ("Jack, I think we should try dating. Maybe not exclusively at first, at least for me, but... "), he brushes her aside with a quick "not a chance" before moving on to his next adventure. Wendy gazes invitingly at Jack's doctor, moving on to her next adventure.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: Igoe blows his Finger Firearms out after shooting the lab scientist at the mall.
  • Something Only They Would Say: The way Jack convinces Lydia that Tuck really is miniaturized.
    Jack: (repeating Tuck) "I don't blame you for walking out on me that morning. But it was my heart that was broken, not my toe." (confused) What?!
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Jack's position in the beginning. He quits after deciding he prefers a life of adventure and intrigue.
  • Squick: Invoked when Tuck tells Jack that if he doesn't help him, there will be a submersible pod floating around his body with a teeny-tiny human skeleton in it. Jack gives a noise of revulsion in response.
    • Ironically, Jack seems less disgusted about his stomach acid causing him to digest Igoe. As a result, he actually does end up having a tiny human skeleton inside him!
  • Staring Kid: There's one when Mr. Igoe shoots Ozzie with his gun hand.
  • Static Stun Gun: Lydia tries to use a taser on Mr. Igoe. It backfires horribly when the projectile hits Jack instead and incapacitates Tuck's vessel.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Jack is strapped to an OP table before getting Igoe injected into.
  • Stripping Snag: Tuck gets into a fight with Lydia and runs after her onto the street only wearing a towel. The towel then gets stuck in a cab door and he ends up standing naked on the street as the cab drives away.
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: The assassin Mr. Igoe is missing his right hand, and has it replaced with a system of different swappable false hands, ranging from an ordinary cosmetic hand, to one with a pointing finger that is actually a gun, to a drill-hand.
  • Tactful Translation: When Jack first tells the lab that Tuck is inside him, they start asking Tuck questions, which he can hear. But, of course, Jack has to repeat Tuck's responses. One lab guy assures Tuck that they will get him out and Tuck replies "You better, you two-faced son of a..." and Jack repeats "He says thank you."
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Jack does it in the most casual way during his Took a Level in Badass moment at the end, merely thanking his boss before quitting.
  • Techno Babble: The miniaturization process in the film is depicted as breaking up a macroscale object into its component molecules to "compile" a microscopic version of that object. The loss of so much of the object's mass is presumably the reason why Niles described the re-enlargement process as "tricky" and why two chips are used - one on the pod, one on the miniaturizer - as they can serve as a guide for exactly how to rebuild the object. So they're using a variation of Encom's Digitizing Laser.
  • Tempting Fate: Magaret thinks that Jack and Lydia won't know how to work their miniaturizer.
    Dr. Canker: Don't worry. They won't know how to close it.
    (The door starts to close on them. From Scrimshaw's expression, he clearly knew otherwise.)
    Mr. Scrimshaw: Certainly not. I'll get you for this Margaret!
  • There Are No Police: When Ozzie is running from Igoe in the mall, he is not looking for a security guard or yelling for help or going into a store and telling them to call 911. This would be an obvious Real Life course of action to take - however the trope is necessary to get Tuck injected into Jack. Might be partly justified, as he's only a desk jockey scientist and is being hunted by a killer - he's just blindly running away from the danger, and not thinking clearly.
  • Thrill Seeker: Very strongly implied that Jack at the end of the movie has become an adrenaline junkie.
  • Time Skip: The opening fall-out scene between Jack and Lydia precedes the main plot by two months.
  • To Absent Friends: Tuck makes one in honor of Dr. Ozzie Wexler, who sacrificed his life to save his.
    Tuck: We're going to drink this one to Ozzie. A good man who tried to save my ass by injecting me into yours.
    Jack Putter: To Ozzie.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jack, oh so amazingly. So much so, that he rejects his old life at the end of the film in favor of rushing to help Tuck on his honeymoon against (presumably) "The Cowboy".
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Despite 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body, forming a huge maze that goes through the heart every minute, Tuck manages to make his way around a human body pretty quick - ear, eye, abdomen, stomach, mouth. Zip-zip-zip. Truth in Television in that human blood makes that trip every minute. Tuck's just along for the ridenote .
  • Trunk Shot: At the end, we get a look upon the Cowboy from Victor and Margaret's POV in the trunk of the car.
  • Unlikely Hero: Jack, being the Right Man in the Wrong Place.
  • Vanity License Plate: Igoe's BMW ("SNAPON")note  and Scrimshaw's Rolls-Royce ("SUB-ZRO").
  • The Voice: Tuck is this from Jack's perspective.
  • The Voiceless: Igoe never says a word in the entire film. Unless you count, "Arrrrrggggh!"
  • Wedding Finale: The movie ends with Tuck and Lydia getting married.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • By the end of the movie, all of the sensors Tuck implanted on Jack's body (and Mr. Igoe's damaged pod and Mr. Igoe's remains) are still in there. Doesn't seem to bother anyone.
      • Word of God states the sensors are designed to disintegrate after a while. As for the pod and Igoe, they'd be disposed of naturally.
    • What happened to the scientists who were in the miniaturization chamber with Scrimshaw and Canker?
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: The miniaturization process at the government lab spins Tuck's minisub at absurdly high rates before breaking it down and shrinking it. It's a wonder Tuck's stomach didn't object. Then again, he is a test pilot.
  • You're Insane!: Tuck's opinion of Victor Scrimshaw after giving his little speech.
    Tuck: This guy's definitely not operating on all eight cylinders, Jack.


Video Example(s):


Don't do that! Stop it!

Jack's face has been electrically stimulated from within to disguise him as The Cowboy, until his fear overpowers the effect. The always amazing Rob Bottin created Jack's Cowboy disguise wearing off with practical effects.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DemonicHeadShake

Media sources: