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Film / Sharknado: The 4th Awakens

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The fourth entry in the Sharknado franchise, following Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Fin has enjoyed several years of peace to raise his newborn son, and to mourn April, whom he'd consented to remove from life support after four years in a coma. Thanks to a company known as Astro-X, any nascent sharknadoes have been suppressed, and a "Shark World" casino is opened up in Las Vegas to celebrate this victory. However, the phenomenon returns when a dust devil destroys the casino, unleashing the live sharks on display there upon Sin City. As increasingly freakish sharknado-variants begin to strike the rest of the United States, Fin is forced to take up the chainsaw once again ... as is April, who'd been secretly kept alive with modifications by her Mad Scientist father.

It premiered July 31, 2016.

Followed by Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.


  • Action Girl: Gemini, the Shepherd kids' cousin.
  • Air Jousting: A sharknado sweeps up a herd of cows in Kansas, and a cow is shown kicking a Threatening Shark in the head.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Finn gets swallowed by a shark...which is then swallowed by several progressively larger sharks until the biggest is eaten by a random blue whale. Conveniently, each of those sharks was the one that swallowed another member of the cast, so while cutting him out everyone ends up getting rescued.
  • Anyone Can Die: Subverted. The series' usual pattern that Fin and his immediate relatives are the only ones who don't get killed by the sharks seems to be discarded as Grandpa Gil, Claudia, Matt and Fin all get gulped down by various large sharks. To see how the subversion plays out, see Always a Bigger Fish. In addition, it is shown during the credits that Aston Reynolds survives, too.
  • Artistic License ā€“ Biology: Needless to say, sharks wouldn't live very long after being lit on fire, electrified, and irradiated by the contents of a nuclear reactor. Surprisingly the film does acknowledge that they can't survive being frozen.
    • Baleen whales are incapable of swallowing sharks.
  • Artistic License ā€“ Physics: A Las Vegas hotel's multistory shark tank somehow contains enough water to flood the entire Strip, and to keep on flowing long enough for the Mirage hotel's pirate ship to sail a mile down it.
    • A sports car's plummet from a rooftop takes more than a minute, and Fin and Gabby "surf" it onto a glowing neon spiral-track sculpture on the way down by manipulating its doors.
    • A tornado already loaded with sand and boulders takes Hoover Dam to pieces, yet doesn't appear to suck up any of the water behind it.
  • Badass Bystander: The Chippendale guys
  • Bland-Name Product: Astro-X, a thinly-veiled parody of Elon Musk's Space-X.
  • The Bus Came Back: Matt returns after being absent for two movies.
  • Came Back Strong: April technically did die when taken off life support...then her father resurrected her with cybernetics, giving her superpowers.
  • The Cameo: It wouldn't be a Sharknado film without them!
    • Carrot Top as an Uber driver in Las Vegas.
    • Gilbert Gottfried as a storm-chasing weather reporter.
    • Andre the Black Nerd as a train conductor.
    • Dog the Bounty Hunter and Caroline Williams (star of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as the owners of a chainsaw store. Here and there, her character is named Stretch.
      • Even better, her cousin Gunnar (obviously named aft original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen) is played by Dan Yeager, who played Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw 3D
    • Seth Rollins as an Astro-X employee who boasts he could destroy a sharknado with a superkick.
    • Alexandra Paul and Gena Lee Nolin, two of David Hasselhoff's old costars from Baywatch, play two Astro-X employees whom Gil flirts with.
    • Jedward appear again, this time as Astro X employees.
    • Paul Shaffer appears as a keyboard-busker with an "Out of Work" sign, referencing how The Late Show with David Letterman had recently ended.
    • Utah governor Gary Herbert appears as himself, whacking sharks out the window of his office with a tennis racquet.
  • Cartwright Curse: It's starting to look like this applies to Fin's kids, as Claudia lost her Love Interest in the last film and now Matt loses his bride. Heaven help Little Gil when he gets old enough to date...
  • Celebrity Survivor:
    • Several Chippendales Dancers performing in Vegas beat up sharks.
    • Gary Herbert, Utah's governor at the time, punches out a shark.
  • Chainsaw Good: Exaggerated with almost every main character (even Little Gil) having a chainsaw, Fin even having a three-bladed chainsaw sword, the chainsaw store owners having a big chainsaw vehiclenote  in addition to more regular chainsaws, to mention but a few.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Played for Laughs when Fin's surfing skill allows him to steer a plummeting car in midair using its doors.
    • Lampshaded and subverted when a tourist on the Mirage pirate ship, asked if he can rig a sail, incredulously responds: "Of course not!"
  • Chewing the Scenery: As always, the cast makes a bigger feast of the scenery than the sharks, with special honors going to Gilbert Gottfried as meteorologist Ronald McDonald. Tommy Davidson (Aston) and Cody Linley (Matt) seem to be the only ones who took their roles seriously.
  • The Coconut Effect:
    • When the owners of the chainsaw store bring their wares to bear against an oncoming "firenado"note , they use the same "single-cylinder two-stroke gas-powered engine" sound that every other saw uses. Tiny problem: EGO, the company that made them, deals exclusively in electric tools, so those saws should be whirring instead of revving.
    • Later, Finn's "chainsaw-sword" makes the same exact sound, despite the fact that there's no possible way for any kind of chainsaw engine to fit anywhere on that sword.
  • Death Faked for You: Wilfrid Wexler, April's father, talked Fin into shutting off his daughter's life support so that he could secretly revive her with experimental cybernetics. Then he told April that everyone else in the family was dead to keep her confined to the lab.
  • Dull Surprise: Little Gil's reaction to his sister getting eaten.
    Little Gil: Dad! Claudia got eaten by a shark!
  • Elvis Impersonator: While driving through Vegas, Fin nearly runs over one of these, but manages to avoid him.
  • The End... Or Is It?: At the end, after the latest Sharknado has been destroyed, the Eiffel Tower crashes down right beside Fin, who even says, "It's only beginning."
  • Foreshadowing:
    • April explains her Super-Strength to a little boy by claiming she's Iron Man's wife. During the finale at Niagara Falls, she reveals that her cybernetics give her Iron Man's ability to fly and shoot energy-blasts from her palms.
    • At one point it's mentioned that Nova is in Paris. She later shows up on the Eiffel Tower when it crashes down at the end.
  • From Bad to Worse: What's worse than tornadoes with sharks in them? Flaming and electrified tornadoes with flaming and electrified sharks in them. And finally a nuclear tornado with exploding, radioactive sharks in it.
  • Hero of Another Story: Colton West from Lavalantula pops up to lend Fin a car, returning the courtesy of Fin turning up in his movie. When Fin asks why he's all dirty and beaten up, he says he had to deal with a spider infestation. Coincidentally, a commercial for a Lavalantula sequel was shown during the commercial break after his appearance.
  • Infernal Retaliation: One of the sharknadoes gets lit on fire. Instead of this killing the sharks (as one would expect), it results in a flaming tornado filled with maneating sharks that are now on fire.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The hailnado rains frozen-solid sharks down on San Francisco, which break apart on impact.
  • Monumental Damage: Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the St. Louis Arch, the Eiffel Tower, the Liberty Bell, the Space Needle, and multiple Vegas landmarks get trashed, damaged or shark-battered. (Oh, and the World's Biggest Ball of Twine.) Mount Rushmore is spared, although Washington gets a flaming shark stuck up his nose. Fin's Kansas house gets swept up and dropped smack dab in front of Chicago's Bean.
  • Mini-Mecha: One is brought in by Gil so he can get inside the nukenado and power up a device to cancel out the nuclear components so Astro X can destroy it. However, he gets swallowed whole by a shark (he lives), so Fin has to pilot it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Aston Reynolds is quite obviously based on Elon Musk.
  • Off with His Head!: Aside from the usual shark-on-human decapitations, a great white gets its head knocked off by a railway signal post.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: At one point, Gil jokes, "To boldly go where no one has gone before." Claudia says quoting Star Wars is dorky. He corrects her and says that came from Star Trek.
  • Portmanteau: The cast's bizarre-weather Buffy Speak vocabulary continues to grow, adding "sandnado", "bouldernado", "oilnado", "firenado", "lavanado", "hailnado", "lightningnado", "cownado", and "nukenado" on top of the extant shark/tornado term. Also a "sharkberg" in the Vegas flood sequence.
  • Product Placement:
    • In one scene, a character changes the channel to CNN via a voice command. Another character asks how he did that. The first character then explains the remote control understands speech because it's a part of the Xfinity X1. In a later scene, an Xfinity billboard appears briefly.
    • Some of the characters clearly drive Dodges, as emphasized by camera shots.
  • Pun-Based Title: The title and poster are homages to The Force Awakens.
  • Punny Name: Fin.
  • Running Gag: The "giant round thing rolls through the streets smashing stuff" tradition continues, this time in Salt Lake City with the World's Biggest Ball of Twine.
  • Severely Specialized Store: Passing through Texas, Fin just happens to come across a chainsaw store that apparently sells nothing but chainsaws (any size). Oh, and mystery meat.
  • Shout-Out: Oh my, yes.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: The animated credits sequence has Fin ascending into the heart of a sharknado by hopping from one falling shark to the next.
  • Tempting Fate: Sure, build a ridiculously huge multistory shark tank into the side of a skyscraper in a world where they have a constant tendency to get sucked into a tornado and cause major disasters. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Traintop Battle: Fin dodges sharks while running atop a passenger train, and wrestles a great white on top of one of the cars.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • David Hasselhoff returns as Fin's father Gil, even though he had last been seen stranded in outer space with no way to get back. Turns out he was saved by the same people who created the anti-Sharknado technology.
    • The Today cast return, despite seen being attacked by sharks in the last film. One of them is now sporting an Eyepatch After Time Skip.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The Astro-X Pods, which had apparently done a good job of suppressing regular tornadoes and previous sharknados. Too bad they were never calibrated to stop funnel-type sand storms.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: April was rebuilt as a cyborg following being crushed by the space wreckage in the last movie.
  • You're Not My Mother: Little Gil doesn't believe that April is his mother at first because he thinks that his birth mother is a shark.

Alternative Title(s): Sharknado 4 The4th Awakens