Follow TV Tropes


Film / Lake Placid
aka: Lake Placid The Final Chapter

Go To

"I'm rooting for the crocodile. I hope he swallows your friends whole."
Delores Bickerman

Lake Placid is a movie made in 1999 combining comedy and horror and starring Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Brendan Gleeson, and Oliver Platt with a plot revolving around a giant crocodile owned by Betty White.

It spawned five Made for TV sequels, the last of which serves as a crossover with Anaconda. A fifth was released in 2018, but is In Name Only, ignoring all previous films apart from a quick mention of the original.


Contains the following tropes:

  • Always a Bigger Fish: The team gets surprised by a grizzly bear (in Maine), who charges through their camp, turns, stands, roars, prepares to attack... and is promptly grabbed by the crocodile.
  • Asshole Victim: Lake Placid 2 goes out of its way to identify every single victim as a jerk in some way, in some cases literally moments before they die.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Occurs between Jack and Kelly.
  • Bears Are Bad News: As noted above, the attempt to pull this off goes south for the bear in question.
  • Big Bad: The giant crocodile terrorizing the lake.
  • Brains and Brawn: Jack and Kelly team up with their respective genders filling the appropriate roles.
  • Brick Joke: The cow. It actually lives.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Kelly initially insults and rants at most anybody and anything around her and refuses to really help out despite having notable intelligence. That changes midway through when a charging bear gets eaten and she actually sees the giant crocodile.
  • Advertisement:
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Used as an insult. Hank nearly falls victim to one of Hector's croc traps. When Hank berates him, Hector insists that it will end up saving his life, telling him "The longer you live, the more sex you get to have with your sisters!". Because they dislike each other so much, Hector is presumably insinuating that Hank is an inbred, hick-town sheriff.
  • Caught in a Snare: Hank. Hector is reluctant to let him down, seeing Hank's Death Glare.
    Hector: I would let him down, but he has this odd look of mayhem on his upside-down face.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Kelly struggles to try and mesh her feelings for Jack with merely trapping, not killing, the crocodile.
  • Conspicuous CG: Possibly invoked in the original, played straight in the sequels.
  • Crossover: The fifth film has the series crossover with Anaconda
  • Curse of the Ancients: Mrs. Delores Bickerman, played by Betty White, jumps on this and averts it.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Everyone. Sheriff Hank lampshades this.
      Hank: Everybody's a comedian, sarcastic...
    • Ironically, Hank himself gets a special mention.
      Hank: (after Kelly freaks out about staying in a tent) Oh my God — we forgot to pack feminine napkins!
  • Death by Mocking: That's what they get for thinking Mrs. Delores Bickerman was crazy.
  • Deep South: Although set in Maine, Kelly immediately says that being in the woods anywhere is akin to being in the movie Deliverance.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Do NOT call Kelly "Ma'am."
    Kelly: If you call me "ma'am" one more time, I will sue you. And with today's laws, it's possible.
  • Egomaniac Hunter:
    • One of these serves as a particularly flat Strawman antagonist in the second movie.
    • Third one has one too in the form of Reba, but she's a more complex character and can actually back up her ego.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The heroes manage to sedate and capture the huge crocodile hanging out in an American lake, but the end shows that she had babies. This is foreshadowed earlier on when a smaller male suddenly jumps up out of nowhere before getting shot.
  • Evil Poacher: Subverted with Reba from the third film. She's a poacher, but she isn't particularly villainous and ultimately teams up with the heroes against the crocs. She becomes an EPA agent in the fourth film.
  • Fair Cop: Hector congratulates the female deputy on her great breasts. She thanks him.
  • Final Girl: Averted in that all of the major characters stay alive through the end. Although, the crocodile tries to get this trope to be true.
  • Gilligan Cut: "I'm not going to Maine. I'm NOT going to Maine!" *cut to the plane flying over Maine*
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: A flying head gets this treatment.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Happens to the first onscreen victim in the first film.
  • The Hero: Jack Wells.
  • Hot Scientist: Kelly and on the male side, arguably Jack.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Whenever Kelly is opposite Jack especially but also with Hector Cyr.
  • Jump Scare: Used a couple of times with decent results, but the best one is the SECOND crocodile.
  • Kavorka Man: Hector.
  • LEGO Genetics: InLake Placid Legacy, its revealed that the crocodile from this and the original movie were the result of mixing DNA of salt water crocodile and Purussaurus.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: The more the viewer sees of the giant crocodile, the less of a threat it becomes.
  • Male Gaze: Hank and Jack shamelessly ogle a hot local as she walks off after asking about the first attack, earning a indignant "please" from Kelly.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Discussed; the characters openly debate what the hell a giant saltwater crocodile is doing in a Maine lake. The crocodile expert thinks that, miraculously, it swam across two separate oceans. Mrs. Bickerman states that it just showed up one day and hasn't left since.
    • Unless it was the biggest black bear on record, the bear didn't belong in the region either.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: By the fourth film, it's confirmed that the biggest crocs are eating the smaller ones. Which Real Life crocs do anyway, but in this case it's cited as proof they've run out of other wild prey.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The lake is plagued by a giant-man eating crocodile so fierce that it eats bears for breakfast. The twist is that there were two crocodiles in the lake, a female and a male—and they already mated.
  • Obvious Trap: Averted in that it's set up for the crocodile instead.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Bear's expression when the croc gets it.
    Jake: You should've seen the look on your face when that croc jumped out the water.
    Kelly: Did you see the look on the bear's face? That was the look.
  • Once Is Not Enough: The group tries to drug and trap the crocodile... needless to say, the crocodile is huge for a reason.
  • Pet Monstrosity: It turns out that the old lady living on the lake has been keeping the giant crocodile as a pet for years, occasionally feeding it her livestock. And by the end she's still looking after the baby crocodiles left behind after mama croc has been captured.
  • Screaming Woman: Both Kelly and the Sheriff's female deputy do this.
  • The Sheriff: Hank Keough.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Kelly is shorter than everybody else while Hector is shorter than Jack and Sheriff Hank Keough.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Jack and Kelly.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Our four main characters—Hank, Hector, Jack, and Kelly—to each other.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The big crocodile.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The big crocodile, although it's attempted to be somewhat justified.
  • Team Spirit: The group joins together with the Florida Fish and Game to try and take the crocodile down.
  • The Reveal: Mr Bickerman, the husband of Mrs Bickerman of the original Lake Placid was the veterinarian of the hybrid crocs. When the organization he was working for ordered the eradication of the crocodiles, he secretly rebelled and save the crocs and took one to his home on Lake Placid, Maine kickstarting the first movie.
  • Tranquil Fury: Hank, after getting caught in Hector's trap. Hector even lampshades it:
    Hector: I would let him down, but he has this odd look of mayhem on his upside-down face.
  • Truth in Television: As of September 4, 2011. A 21 ft crocodile was captured alive in the Philippines and there's reportedly more of them still loose. The Philippines just became a very scary place.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: After hating each other for most of the film, Hector and Hank seem to become buddies after finally capturing the crocodile.
  • Volleying Insults: Occurs between Jack and Kelly, as well as Hector and Hank.
  • The Worf Effect: See Always a Bigger Fish above.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: When Hector comes face to face with the crocodile in the water.

Alternative Title(s): Lake Placid 3, Lake Placid 2, Lake Placid The Final Chapter


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: