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Film / Osmosis Jones

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He's one cell of a guy, and his partner's a real pill.

"Every body needs a hero."

2001's Osmosis Jones is a hybrid live action-animated Buddy Cop Movie featuring Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce. The two are paired up to stop a nasty criminal (played by Laurence Fishburne) from destroying the city of Frank, hindered by the self-centered mayor Phlegmming (William Shatner), whose assistant (R&B singer Brandy) is the main love interest.

Also, this all takes place inside a human body.

Osmosis Jones (Chris Rock) is a white blood cell cop who lost his reputation after a nasty incident that ruined Frank DeTorre (the human this movie takes place in, played by Bill Murray) out in the real world. Frank eats a contaminated egg that carried a deadly virus by the name of Thrax (Laurence Fishburne), whose goal is to kill Frank within 48 hours.

After Thrax starts doing some damage, Jones is paired up with a cold pill named Drix (David Hyde Pierce). The two clash frequently, as most new cop partners do in movies, until Drix sees Thrax himself, and takes Ozzy's side.

Meanwhile, while all this is happening in the animated world of the City of Frank, we get a few peeks at what Frank is going through, in the live-action sequences of the movie, trying to care for his health-conscious daughter Shane.

This movie spawned a spinoff cartoon called Ozzy & Drix.

One of the two animation directors was Tom Sito, who had previously been a lead animator on another, more successful live action/animation hybrid film.

Osmosis Jones provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In the climactic fight scene between Ozzy and Thrax, the camera briefly freezes and rotates around them; a la The Matrix. Thrax is voiced by Laurence Fishburne, who played Morpheus.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Ozzy is seen as the butt of the joke in the police department due to his Cowboy Cop personality, not to mention his role in causing Frank to puke on Shane's teacher. Only the Police Chief seems interested in trying to convince Ozzy to improve his reputation.
  • An Aesop: Watch your health, at least for the sake of your loved ones.
  • Animesque: Not as much as the spin-off cartoon, but still. Heck, Pikachu makes a cameo in one scene (the Pokémon anime aired on the WB network back then).
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: See below.
  • Anthropomorphized Anatomy: One of the most iconic examples of this trope. Cells are the citizens, the body is the city, a pimple is a shady nightclub—the sky's the limit when it comes to this movie.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Well, while Frank's death wouldn't even make a dent in our society, for the cells that live in Frank it'd be the equivalent of Planetary Total Extinction, maybe Planetary Physical Annihilation depending on what the doctors choose to do with his body afterward.
    • Thrax has done this at least three times before, which in terms of casualties is the equivalent of burning an entire world to the ground three thousand times over.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Mayor Phlegmming lists three ways Jones had pissed him off before firing him in his What the Hell, Hero? speech.
    Mayor Phlegmming: Disregarding orders, destruction of public flesh, popping a pimple without a permit!
  • Artistic License – Biology: All anthropomorphization aside, anyone who's passed high school biology knows that viruses don't work even remotely like they're depicted in the film. Though they can be harmful to the organisms that they infest, they don't deliberately destroy the host body, because that would kill them too. Like all living organisms, their instinct is to spread and replicate, and they do this (highly simplified) by mutating a host's cells into copies of themselves. The cells then can't do their original job, they do the Virus's job, which is to spread and replicate and find a way to spread to other bodies so that they can spread and replicate some more. If Thrax actually behaved like a virus, he would have spent the movie making an army of Thrax-clones or pulling Grand Theft Me on other cells à la Invasion of the Body Snatchers, not trying to kill Frank by stealing his hypothalamus.
    • Though, to be fair, it might be implied that Thrax is a plague rather than an ordinary virus. Plagues also don't deliberately destroy the host body, but they still end up destroying it because they have jumped species from animals to humans. This is reinforced by Thrax entering Frank by way of the monkey pen. What might cause a mild cold in a monkey could be deadly to a human. However, if this were the case, the more realistic scenario would be Thrax causing destruction by accident rather than deliberately attempting to kill Frank (and others).
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Thrax goes after the Hypothalamus, causing his poor victim to undergo a life-threatening fever. At cellular level, this is represented as the city burning down.
  • Award-Bait Song: Debelah Morgan's "Why Did You Have To Be"—as written by Diane Warren.
  • Badass Boast: Thrax gives one when encountering Scabies and his goons in the armpit sauna.
    Scabies: Look who thinks he's the Ebola virus! HA!
    Thrax: (scowls) "Ebola"? Let me tell you something about Ebola, baby. EBOLA IS A CASE OF DANDRUFF COMPARED TO ME!
  • Badass Longcoat: Thrax. It's also practical: he can spread it to act as wings or a parachute.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: Ozzy breaks up a "chicken pox" fight to get to The Informant, namely, a flu-shot. The chicken pox viruses are depicted as, well, chickens.
  • Becoming Part of the Image: A car crashes on a billboard for "the Land Down Under" (Frank's butt), the car wedged right in the crack.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT compare Thrax to the Ebola virus.
    • Also, NEVER get in the way of his goal of making it into the medical books. His goons made that mistake when they suggested that they incubate since they were few in numbers. It was their last mistake.
  • Big Bad: Thrax.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Drix and Ozzy, respectively.
  • Big "NO!": On their way to Buffalo, Bob notices Frank growing delirious and feverish. Through Frank, Mayor Phlegmming tries to convince Bob he's just fine, and though Frank is too far gone to speak, Bob won't have it and calls off their trip to Buffalo, causing Phlegmming to say "The trip is off?" and then scream this, as the trip was his ticket to being re-elected.
  • Big Red Button:
    • The incident that ruined Ozzy's reputation? Causing Frank to forcefully vomit on a teacher. How did Ozzy do this? By hitting the large, glowing button in The Stomach labeled (of course) "VOMIT".
    • At the end of the movie, Phlegmming (having been impeached and now demoted to cleaning the bowels) sees a big red button and pushes it, only to be farted out of Frank's body.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Frank's subconscious definitely counts.
  • Black Bug Room: Thrax accidentally stumbles into Frank's towards the climax, which freaks him out.
    Thrax: [stunned] WHEW! This cat was sick before I even got here.
  • Brain with a Manual Control: Mayor Phlegmming uses the manual override on Frank's speech control to instruct Frank to say that he'll take a cold pill for his initial symptoms, rather than seeing a physician as he'd intended. This introduces special agent Drix to Frank's body, where he teams up with the titular white blood cell.
  • Brick Joke: During his campaign ad, Tom Colonic puts his hand on a boy's head and spins it around 180 degrees. Later, when he and his staff are watching the mayor's speech, the boy can be seen wearing a neck brace.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Drix.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Shane blames Frank and his unhealthy habits for Maggie's untimely death, and calls him out for deciding to take her to a chicken wing Fan Convention instead of the hiking trip she was looking forward to. She reconsiders her words once she sees Frank in critical condition being rushed to the hospital in a fever-induced coma.
  • The Cameo: Pikachu makes an appearance at the bladder. No, Pikachu was NOT photoshopped there.
  • Cassandra Truth: Osmosis is the only one who knows about Thrax's plans... and can't convince anyone of the threat. Thrax himself finds this hilarious.
    Thrax: They're making this too easy! (laughs) You know, in all the bodies I've been in, no-one has ever gotten wise to me, and now for the first time, an immunity cell has figured out everything, and they don't believe him! (laughs again) Can you taste the irony in that?
  • Cast of Personifications: The human body is depicted as a city and the various cells as its citizens. White blood cells, like the title character, are cops, while germs and viruses are criminals.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the fight at the Zit, a random germ tries to take out Drix by smashing a chair over his back. Drix doesn’t even notice.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Thrax is destroying the saliva boat, he's humming "Fever", which gives you his method of killing making this a classic use of this trope .
    • There's also Frank's allergy to pollen pods. Thrax uses it to escape Frank's body.
    • The false eyelash that Shane's friend gives her. In the climax, Ozzy and Thrax duke it out on top of it. Thrax doesn't realize that it's fake until he gets his hand stuck in it...just before it falls off of Shane's eye into a beaker of alcohol. Cue dramatic death scene.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ozzy's ability to change shape comes in very handy in the climax.
  • Cool Car: Thrax's car.
  • Covers Always Lie: Due to contract issues, the Farrelly Brothers (of Dumb and Dumber fame) are listed as primary directors. They only did the live-action footage, and didn't have any input on the animation and script.
  • Cowboy Cop: Osmosis, leading to him getting chewed out by...
  • Da Chief: "JONES! IN MY OFFICE!"
  • Death of a Child: Thrax not only plans to kill Shane, but reminisces about killing a "little girl" who didn't like to wash her hands.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted. We don't hear much about her, but Shane's mother was apparently even worse to her body than Frank is, and presumably died for it.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Drix almost flushes himself out of Frank's organism via the bladder, before Ozzy talks him out of it, and informs him Thrax is still at large.
  • The Dividual: Played With. The cells in Frank's body will sometimes refer to Frank using collective first-person pronouns, usually whenever it pertains to something that affects the body as a whole. Justified since a living organism's cells are just as much the organism itself as they are a part of it.
    Pilot: I told City Hall we need more sleep!
    Police Chief: The papers are calling it the most powerful cramp since Shane made us try that Tae Bo workout!
  • Disney Death: There are actually 3 of these in this movie. First, in a rare instance where a villain suffers a Disney Death, but is Killed Off for Real later on, after Osmosis Jones and Thrax blew up The Zit, they thought Thrax was dead, but when Osmosis goes to the movie theater, he finds out Thrax is alive. Second, Frank's near-death caused by a high fever. And finally, after Ozzy travels back to Frank in a tear drop, he appears to be dead, but wakes up.
  • Disney Villain Death: Thrax falls to his death into a beaker of alcohol. Although we see the death. And it is horrifying.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mrs. Boyd gets embarrassed due to Frank throwing up on her after eating some bad oysters (which was revealed to be Ozzy flushing a virus out of his system) and places a restraining order against him for it. Who knows what the magistrate was thinking when he thought that this justified passing the order?
    • Also, she starts screaming at him and refuses to remove said order when his zit pops on her. Yes, it's disgusting, but it's not like Frank did it on purpose.
  • Double Entendre: "This cat was sick before I even got here!"
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first thing Thrax does upon being introduced is to casually murder two harmless workers, at least one in an incredibly gruesome way. He then proceeds to burn their entire boat by merely scratching its surface with his index finger claw while he is walking.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Thrax is nothing short of disgusted to be in Frank's subconscious, which is fraught with bad memories and nightmares. He's a murderous and sadistic virus, and even he thinks Frank was "sick before [he] got [in]".
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Frank may not be the best of fathers, but he does question if his brother Bob is going to be a good guardian for Shane, especially when he offhandedly claims he'll kick his niece out by the time she's 16.
    • Ironically, even Bob has better standards than Mayor Phlegmming when it comes to Frank's well-being. Bear in mind, this is the same guy who's idea of drinking fluids is "drowning a cold" with beer. But on their way to Buffalo, Bob notices Frank growing delirious and feverish. Through Frank, the Mayor tries to convince Bob he's just fine, only to find that Frank is too far gone to even speak. Bob immediately calls off their trip to Buffalo and took his brother to the hospital.
    • The Police Chief has a look of surprise when Phlegmming relieves Ozzy of his badge.
  • Evil Laugh: Thrax pulls off one hell of a wicked cackle when he succeeds in stealing the DNA bead.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death and Family-Unfriendly Violence: Used rather disturbingly for a PG movie—cells exploding into red lava goo and the villain turning sickly green and becoming hideously warped in a beaker of alcohol, although the latter happened to a being of pure evil...
  • Famous for Being First: A brief Mythology Gag occurs while a press corps is questioning Mayor Phlegming. As they pursue him, they pass a statue of a single spermatozoa on a pedestal. It's labeled "Our Founder" in honor of the gamete that was first to attain the ovum, which began the world called Frank.
  • Fan Disservice: That picture of the chief's disgustingly obese wife in a bikini, which can be seen during the scene when Ozzy is first seen talking his boss. The shot lingers long enough to make sure you've seen it and absorbed its grandeur.
    • Also, the dancers in the Zit nightclub. They wear bikinis and are modeled after strippers, but the way they are portrayed (eyeball in the bellybutton, two rods in place of a head, etc) is intended to be weird rather than arousing.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: From Drix's perspective, at least; the characters who are cells are already permanently inside the body. From Thrax's POV it's an inversion: he enters Frank's body to kill him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Thrax. At least at first. As the film progresses, he slips more and more frequently into a bloodthirsty, manic persona until he hits a full-on Villainous Breakdown.
  • Firehouse Dalmatian: The "firefighter" white blood cells trying to cool down the inflammation in Frank's throat have a Dalmatian cell.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The backgrounds offer plenty of sight gags, such as signs reading "Rectum - Exit Only", "Slow - Sore Throat", "Ulcer Repair", and "Danger - Open Nerve".
    • For a brief moment, after Thrax killed the two blood cells managing the hypothalamus, you can see the dead body of one cells leaning over the console with several of the hypothalamus' thermometers in his posterior. You get a clearer image when the gland is freaking out later.
  • Funny X-Ray: Ozzy goes through an X-ray machine while entering the stomach to meet Drix. The X-ray shows his gun, and he gets a pass by showing his badge. The guy behind him, however, is a tough looking sailor who is revealed to be wearing women's underwear.
  • Get Out!: Yelled word-for-word by Mrs. Boyd after parts of Frank's zit landed on her lip.
  • Green Around the Gills: Ozzy has a germ drinking phlegm for a beverage in the club. In addition to this trope, this causes his head to twist and stretch as well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ozzy falls into one after he is forcibly fired from the police force by Mayor Phlegmming.
  • Homage:
    • Thrax's death is extremely reminiscent of T-1000's bath in molten metal. Also, the part where Jones reassembles himself after getting split in two looks a lot like the part in Terminator 2: Judgment Day where the T-1000 pulls its head back together after getting blasted point blank by a shotgun.
    • The fight on Shane's eye, and Thrax's design are shout outs to The Matrix. (Not to mention the fact that Thrax is voiced by Laurence Fishburne)
    • "Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure playing with you this evening." Including the fact that this line is followed by the band playing "Nearer My God To Thee".
    • The Godfather scene in the armpit.
    • "El Muerte Roja" or "The Red Death" possibly refers to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death", also, both diseases are written in without much identity other than that they kill in awful ways.
  • Hate Sink: Mayor Phlegmming. He lacks the charismatic traits of even Thrax, instead showing himself to be a self-centered, power-hungry, and bigoted idiot who cares more about his re-election than his own people.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The dialogue is full of those ("When you grow up on the wrong side of the digestive tract, you ain't got no money for no fancy schools."). And even the DVD menu does this when an option isn't highlighted. "Play movie" becomes "Bowel Movie", "Choose A Foul Scene" (Scene Selection based on body part) becomes "Frank's Gross Anatomy", "Scene Selections" becomes, "Spleen Cellections", "Special Features" becomes, "Smelly Feetures", and "Languages" becomes "Lunguages".
  • An Ice Person: Drix's painkilling abilities are represented this way. Inevitably, this leads to the line "You just soothed my witness into a germsicle!"
  • Implied Death Threat: After the incident at the nose dam, Mayor Phlegmming dismisses Ozzy’s claims of seeing a virus at the scene of the crime due to his past record, and lets him off with this warning.
    Mayor Phlegmming: Listen; from now on, keep those opinions in that mushy little head of yours, or you’re going to find yourself in our next nosebleed. Understood?
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Shane's tear with Ozzy in it precision strikes the hole in the uvula.
  • The Informant: Chill the flu shot
    Drix: That's funny. He doesn't look fluish.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Osmosis Jones has Chris Rock's ecstatic grin, thick eyebrows and goatee.
    • Drix has David Hyde Pierce's expressive stoik eyes and roundish head.
    • Thrax has Laurence Fishburne's broad cheeks and slight gap in his teeth.
    • Kidney Rock. He even had a hypeman played by Joe C.
  • Irony: It's a subtle joke that all the white blood cells are voiced by black actors.
  • Jerkass: Mayor Phlegmming. It's largely thanks to him that Frank's health and family relationships are such a wreck.
  • Jerkass Has a Point
    • Ozzy's Cowboy Cop approach to curbing crime always seems to make things worse, and the chief frequently and rightfully calls him out for it.
    • While it was said in the most insensitive way possible, Mayor Phlemming correctly points out that Drix isn't a cure for anything, just a temporary relief for cold symptoms.
  • Kicked Upstairs: As punishment for causing Frank to have leg cramps, Ozzy is forced to work with Drix in investigating a sore throat.
  • Kick the Dog: Not only does Mayor Phlemming have Osmosis lose his badge, but he treats Drix as disposable and points out (in the most insensitive way) that he's only meant for temporary relief, not for helping someone get better.
  • Kill It with Fire: Thrax's way of dealing with people.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After his actions nearly got Frank killed, Mayor Phlegmming is impeached and thrown out of office, stuck working as a lowly worker down in Frank's bowels. And then he presses the button that causes Frank to fart...
  • Laugh with Me!: Thrax tells his last two goons sharing a laugh with him about no one being there to stop his murder of Frank to shut up.
  • Leitmotif: Thrax has one in the form of "Fever" by Peggy Lee, which he can be heard humming throughout the movie.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: This is how Thrax meets his end, having his Finger Poke of Doom stuck in a false eyelash that falls into vial of alcohol.
  • Logo Joke: The Warner Bros. logo appears as a one-celled organism floating in a dark background.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The movie and animated series presents the immune system's struggle to keep the body alive as this, since the body's cells are constantly fighting against viruses, bacteria, and other beings that can corrupt and ruin the very world (aka the body) around them.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration:
    Osmosis: What you talkin' 'bout? I'm a legend, girl! Chicks line up to divide with me!
    Leah: Oh, really? Because to me, you look like the kind of cell who mostly divides with himself.
  • Mayor Pain: Phlegmming.
  • Meaningful Echo: You want Osmosis? You got Osmosis!
  • Medium Blending: The entire concept behind this movie. Live action humans and cartoon insides a la Fantastic Voyage.
  • Missing Mom: Shane's mom, Frank's wife, is dead by the time the movie begins, and from what Shane says she had similar habits to Frank and died because she didn't change.
  • The Mole: Chill who hangs out with germs while providing info to Frank's Finest.
  • Monstrous Germs: Germs are portrayed as humanoid creatures with mismatched body parts and often reptilian features.
  • Mood Whiplash: The briefing scene at the Zit is rather disorienting, swinging from Thrax's ominous plan and rant to Ozzy's ridiculous attempts to trick information from him.
  • Most Writers Are Human: The cells have romantic relationships and a democracy, of all things.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Mayor Phlegmming when he sees the City of Frank getting burned up. His expressions say it all.
    • Shane calling out Frank's selfishness, unhealthy lifestyle, and contributing role in Maggie's death may have been justified, but when Frank is dying at the hospital, she frantically takes it all back, afraid it will be the last thing she ever said to him.
  • Mystical 108: Ozzy warns that if Frank's fever hits 108 degrees Fahrenheit, Shane'll be orphaned. Truth in Television, as 108 is the real-life threshold for when a fever often becomes lethal.
  • Near-Death Experience: Frank briefly flatlines from a high fever until Ozzy gets the hypothalamus working again. He tells Shane he saw her mother and she says hello.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Boy, is it ever.
  • Never Say "Die": Downplayed for the most part. While they do say “die” a few times, there are other moments where they don’t.
    • Nonchalantly inverted by Thrax when he’s discussing his past victims.
      Thrax: Then there’s this old guy in Philly; I killed him in 72 hours.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He did the right thing causing Frank to vomit, thereby saving him from a contaminated oyster, but it caused Frank to lose his job and the respect of the local community, and got Ozzy suspended for "use of unnecessary force".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: During the final fight, Thrax tries to use his chain, which holds Frank's as well as his previous victims' hypothalamus chromosome, to strangle Ozzy. However, Shane winds up blinking (they're fighting on her eye) separating the two with the chain still around Ozzy's neck. After Thrax's last attack fails, Ozzy manages to escape with the chain while Thrax falls into a bottle of alcohol. Also counts as a Hoist by His Own Petard, as had Thrax merely killed Ozzy using his acidic claw, he would have won handily.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Frank has a recurring one, and its implied to have happened so many times that he's not even fazed by it anymore.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Ozzy gives Leah one before he has himself shot out of Frank's body to stop Thrax.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Mayor Phlegmming. Who only cares about his upcoming election and nearly inadvertently kills Frank with his negligence.
  • Odd Name Out: Osmosis Jones', being a normal last name and a human-body-themed first name instead of other cells' like "Tom Colonic" and "Leah Estrogen". "Drixobenzo Methapherdramine" also counts as one.
  • Official Couple: By the end of the film, Ozzy and Leah are in a relationship.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Thrax's reaction when Drix's massive grenade gets uncapped.
    • Leah has this expression when she quite literally bumps into Thrax.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Cells use "Frank" either as their term for "God" or as an expletive.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Thrax, on a cellular scale. His stated goal is to kill Frank in two days, faster than any other virus has ever killed, and give himself a whole new chapter in the medical books.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Part of Bob's character is that he contributes to Frank's unhealthy habits. Heck, when Frank was showing onset symptoms of hyperthermia, his idea of "drinking fluids" was to urge Frank to drink beer. But when he notices his brother is feverish and delirious, he starts to show worry. And despite Mayor Phlemming insisting that Frank is "fine", Bob calls off the very roadtrip they had been planning for weeks.
  • Our Founder: A sperm cell, naturally. Also doubles as Parental Bonus, since many children will not see the statue in the shot, much less recognize it for what it is.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Drix disguises himself to get into the Zit... by wearing a frozen germ on his head. And it works.
  • Parting-Words Regret: It's implied that Shane feels partially responsible for Frank's death after he flatlines, believing he lost the will to live after she blamed him for her mother's death by the same unhealthy habits.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Drix rebels on his function of being a temporary relief by throwing away his description after Ozzy convinces him to stay for his confrontation with Thrax.
  • Photo Op with the Dog: Mayor Phlegmming poses with a boy in a wheelchair, and promptly pushes him offscreen once it's done.
  • Plato Is a Moron: When Scabies mockingly compares Thrax to the Ebola virus, Thrax responds that Ebola is a case of dandruff compared to him.
  • Poverty for Comedy: Jones was raised on the "wrong side of the digestive tract."
    Ozzy: I'm not kidding man, my high school was Crack Central. No, it was IN the crack. Right in the stanky, pucky center. We were so poor, we lived off peanut butter and cellulite sandwiches. You ever try to blow dry your hair with a fart?
    Drix: OK, I get it, you were poor.
    Ozzy: You bet I was. You ever try to make a snowman with toilet paper cling-ons? Now, that's poor.
    Drix: OK, please, you're going to make me vomit.
    Ozzy: Vomit? We couldn't afford no vomit, that's for rich folks.
    Drix: Excuse me while I wipe my eyes
    Ozzy: Ah, you wanna talk about wipin'?
    Drix: NO!!!
  • Protagonist Title: Osmosis Jones is the main character of the film.
  • Punch Catch: Thrax pulls this while taking over the local "mafia".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Police Chief. Unlike his bureaucratic boss, he takes Frank's health more seriously and does trust Ozzy to do what's right for the city despite the latter's destructive tactics.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ozzy is the confident, instinctual, and impulsive Red to Drix’s calm, intellectual, and logical Blue.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: Thrax rattles off a few of his previous victims and how long it took to kill them to his cohorts, including a very disturbed undercover Osmosis.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Frank's daughter Shane constantly scolds him about not taking care of his body due to his disgusting habits. You can hardly blame her.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Surprisingly averted. For most of the movie, the two worlds have no direct interaction. There are a couple moments, such as Frank's subconscious, and the fight on the fake eyelash, although that uses rather poor CGI rather than live action.
  • Scary Black Man: Thrax, in a way. What else can you expect from Lawrence Fishburne?
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: The film anthropomorphizes the entire human body, giving all the various cells and such names and allowing them to speak and develop friendships with other cells. The white blood cells are treated like the police, so they get a lot of chase scenes with equally anthropomorphic pathogens.
  • Sesquipedalian Smith: Osmosis Jones.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Ozzy and Drix return to the police station from blowing up The Zit, Ozzy accidentally calls Leah "Brandy", which is the name of her voice actor (Chris Rock unintentionally ad-libbed that line and the filmmakers decided to put it in).
    • It might have only been intended to be Nausea Fuel, but Jones' and Drix's first conversation is very similar to the Four Yorkshiremen sketch, at least for Jones' part of it.
    • Thrax being knocked into cleaning alcohol is a recreation of the T-1000's death in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    • In the online game Mystery of the Rash Outbreak, a female cell tells the player that the password for the Zit is fidelio.
    • Also one to the Ohio Players. When Thrax and his Mooks are gloating over the newspaper article about the heroes stopping the cold. When asked about the possibility of the protagonists intervening, Thrax responds: "Fire".
    • As Frank's body begins to die, one violinist tells the other violinists and cellist, "Gentlemen, playing with you has been the greatest pleasure of my life," and they begin playing "Nearer My God to Thee".
  • Shown Their Work: The portrayal of anatomy is pretty impressive for a movie where everything in the body is anthropomorphic, such as Osmosis mentioning his ancestors coming over on the umbilical cord. Also, the creators worked with a professional martial artist to make Thrax's fighting more accurate.
  • Side Effects Include...: Drix spouts off his commercial disclaimer upon arriving in the stomach.
    "Drixenol! The brand that eases your coughs and sneezes! Warning: Do not exceed recommended dosage. If symptoms persist, consult a physician. May cause drowsiness. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery. Pregnant women should not handle broken tablets."
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Thrax at points; and though probably unintentional, Ozzy does it at times.
    • Drix dons one when they are trying to intimidate the flu shot.
  • Spock Speak: Subverted—in a flashback, Frank speaks to a kid at a science fair who talks in this manner about his project to leach the toxins out of polluted oysters. Certain that the kid's a genius and the project worked, Frank picks one out of the container and eats it raw. Then finds out the kid is actually of very low intelligence and the oysters are still polluted. (This, incidentally, is what led to Jones's disgrace—he saw a dangerous-looking germ on the oysters in the stomach before anyone else and pressed an emergency "puke" button at exactly the wrong time, plus he did it so quickly that no-one else saw the germ.)
  • Spoiler: Invoked.
    Osmosis: [seeing Thrax in Frank's subconscious in a movie theater] Thrax is alive! Thrax is alive and he's in the brain!
    Makeout teen: Oh, great, pal! Spoil the ending!
  • Stealth Pun: After Thrax first appears, he saunters along the boat while humming the melody from "Fever".
  • Stock Sound Effects: Apparently, cells use proton packs to clean out the germs during digestion.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: Justified—after defeating Thrax, Osmosis jumps into one of Shane's tears that falls into Frank's mouth to return the hypothalamus chain. It probably appeared this way to the doctors, though.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Ozzy goes through this after Mayor Phlegmming instead of thanking them for supposedly stopping Thrax, fires Ozzy from the police department after blowing up The Zit, using his poor record and breaking of regulations as a smokescreen to cover up the existence of Thrax's infection which would've kept him from being re-elected, and orders Drix to leave Frank's body. Fortunately, both of them come around when Thrax makes Frank's body go to hell in a handbag, and they end up getting their jobs back.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The Spanish germ, who had just recently thawed out from his last run in with Drix’s coolant, has this reaction when the Zit explodes, and he sees a massive wave of the coolant heading right for him.
    Spanish Germ: Oh no, not again…
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Frank. Eating raw, polluted oysters; eating an egg dropped in a filthy monkey cage, where not even the ten second or even the ONE second rule should apply—especially since THE EGG HAD ALSO BEEN IN THE MONKEY'S MOUTH. All his knowledge goes to promoting his laziness or retaining sports statistics. (Well, considering that Mayor Phlegmming has been running his brain...)
    • Scabies, the mob germ boss. Even after being eviscerated by Thrax, Scabies' disembodied mouth still continues to insult him before being sucked down the drain.
  • Torso with a View: Self-invoked by Osmosis to avoid succumbing to the trope below.
  • Touch of Death: One of Thrax's primary weapons. Everything he even so much as pricks with his long claw seems to burn up.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Manual control of the brain requires two keys, and naturally Mayor Phlegmming has both of them.
  • Unflinching Walk: Thrax pulls one off particularly well.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The Mayor does not give Ozzy and Drix the credit they deserve for finding and trying to stop Thrax.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Due to the previously mentioned sanitizing, as the movie became a light-hearted comedy, Thrax didn't change much, resulting in a disproportionately dark villain. It gives an odd feeling of Mood Whiplash when he is placed up against the goofy protagonists.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Thrax has a subtle one during the final confrontation on Shane's eye. His normally slick dreadlocks fall out of place, his voice gets rougher, and his Evil Laugh gets a lot more disturbing.
  • Visual Pun: All the signs and graffiti throughout the movie contain these.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Most cells have a limited variant of this—for instance, when Osmosis wants to fit in with a looser crowd, he makes himself one-eyed. Drix cannot do this, so he winds up using a small frozen cell as a hat.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Though the actual scene isn't shown, it's shown on the front page of the paper in all its disgusting glory.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The chief frequently berates Ozzy for his Cowboy Cop tactics in trying to catch criminals.
    Ozzy: Man, I was right there! I could've done it—
    Chief: Right. 78 trillion cells in the body, all working together, you're the only one who thinks he can do it alone! You ever think that might be your problem, Jones?
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • Mayor Phlegmming reads Ozzy (and by extension, Drix) the riot act for blowing up The Zit.
    • Ozzy says this verbatim upon hearing over dispatch that Leah’s been kidnapped by Thrax.
      Osmosis: Oh no! Leah, girl, what were you thinking?!
  • White Bread and Black Brotha: Parodied by the partnership between Cowboy Cop Ozzy (voiced by the black Chris Rock) and By-the-Book Cop Drix (voiced by the white David Hyde Pierce).
  • Witness Protection: Chill the Flu Shot brushes off Osmosis threatening him by reminding him that he's in the Virus Protection Program.
  • Witty Banter: Provided by two cells who act as newscasters.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever:
    • Somehow, an ill man who ate a bad oyster and throws up on a teacher becomes a huge story, so huge that Frank lost his job and the teacher's daughter had to transfer schools.
    • When Frank is near death, one of the NNN anchors gives a desperate broadcast, mentioning that they've lost contact with the outer extremities. His co-anchor cheerfully tries to segue into a segment about household appliances that can improve your golf swing. He then yells at her for being so dense, causing them to fight and then a "We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties" card appears.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Apparently, one of Thrax's victims was a little girl that didn't enjoy washing her hands. Also, after infecting Frank with a deadly fever, he mentions to Osmosis Jones that he's going to break his current record by killing Shane even faster.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: Parodied with panda animal crackers.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:


Video Example(s):


Downtown Frank

White blood cell Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones pursues some bacteria through the City Frank.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnthropomorphizedAnatomy

Media sources: