Mascots is a Christopher Guest mockumentary, with most of his ensemble cast returning, this time targeting the world of mascot performances. In the vein of Best In Show, several mascot performers from far and wide come together for a competition. As usual, Hilarity Ensues.
Tropes present in the film:
- The Bus Came Back: Corky St. Clair reappears as Cindi's acting coach, marking the first time a character in Guest's films has returned.
- Canada, Eh?: Averted completely. The Fist, the Canadian mascot, and his performance are the most hardcore of the group, and would typically be considered stereotypical of an American mascot. Also, the performer in The Fist suit, Tommy Zuccarello, avoids it by being originally from Ireland (like his actor, Chris O'Dowd).
- Compensating for Something: A. J. Blumquist, one of the judges, in the past made the first anatomically correct mascot outfit of a donkey, and a rather large censor bar in the groin area. He admits that he's was overcompensating and is in therapy for it.
- Cringe Comedy: The entire sequence involving Jack The Plumber's routine at a school. It's a very thinly veiled attempt at wooing an ex, except she's married now, and he's asked to perform his mascot routine - which is silent - to a class of blind kids.
- Downer Ending: The disastrous relationship between the baseball mascots' performers seems to have improved by the end, but then we see that they've hired a very attractive "nanny", who seems to interest the man more.
- Happily Married: The relationship between Owen Golly Jr. and his wife Sarah is very much this. Most of the sincere moments in the movie are between them and in particular the moment where Owen refers to Sarah lovingly and emphatically as his best friend to Tommy "The Fist".
- Little People Are Surreal: Ron sarcastically claims this in response to Gammons' complete insensitivity.
- Oral Fixation: Cindi and Laci are never seen without chewing gum.
- Take Our Word for It: The routine by the pair from the Israeli camp isn't shown, but it's apparently good enough for second place.
- Taking the Veil: The Spear Counterpart happens with Tommy in the epilogue; he joins a Catholic order of monks with a vow of silence (that he breaks by taking part in the epilogue).
- Toilet Humor: Jack the Plumber's routine has a good deal of it, and it appears in several other spots as well.
- Values Dissonance: Discussed in-universe when Cindi is almost disqualified for her team being called the Leaping Squaws decades ago. The judges debate about the offensiveness of the term, with Monkhouse declaring that "leaping" is more offensive, as she perceives it as homophobic.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Owen Golly (Jr.) just wants his father to appreciate and accept his changes to the Sid routine, but it doesn't happen until he actually performs it on stage. And wins.