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Film / Snow Day

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By the look of this poster, you would swear Chevy Chase's character is one of the bad guys.

Snow Day is a 2000 Nickelodeon movie about… a snow day. Or, more specifically, the crazy events that happen on one particular snow day. It's written by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, directed by Chris Koch, and has a cast including Chris Elliott and Chevy Chase.

When an entire town in upstate New York is closed down by an unexpected snowfall, a "snow day" begins when a group of elementary school kids, led by Natalie Brandston, try to ensure that the schools stay closed by stopping a mechanical snowplow driver by trying to hijack his plow truck. Meanwhile, Natalie's big brother Hal is using this day to try to win the affections of Claire Bonner, the most popular girl in his high school, while Hal and Natalie's father Tom, a TV meteorologist, faces off against a rival meteorologist for weather coverage of the day's events.


The film was originally written as and intended to be a spin-off movie of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. The idea however was abandoned and eventually reworked into its own thing with a new cast hired to play similar but different characters as well. Despite that, it kept the same surreal and exaggerated tone of the show even if that wasn't abundantly clear to those who were unaware.

Tropes in this movie include:

  • 0% Approval Rating: That principal is one big moving target for all those kids.
  • Adults Are Useless: This is a Nickelodeon kids movie after all.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Natalie
  • Award-Bait Song: "Another Dumb Blonde" by Hoku.
  • Betty and Veronica: A classic example, with Hal making a final choice between Lane (Betty) and Claire (Veronica).
  • Big Bad: The snowplowman is the main antagonist of the movie and the biggest threat to the kids' snow day.
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  • Brainless Beauty: Chad Simmons manages to get high ratings in the meteorologist time slot because he's very handsome (Chevy Chase vs. John Schneider? No contest) and charming, but he doesn't understand jack of how the science works and can't even pronounce the terminology right (like pronouncing "Doppler" as "DOPE-ler"). Tom finally manages to expose him as a fraud by asking him to explain how snow is made for a crowd and Simmons tries to do so by saying it's magic in a way that even the kids in said crowd believe is stupid.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tom manages to expose Chad Simmons as a bad meteorologist on national television and many children and the crowd tosses him snowballs as a result.
  • Butt-Monkey: Just about everyone in the movie at one point, but most consistently, Principal Weaver, and Tom Brandston.
  • Canada, Eh?: Despite being set in upstate New York, much of this movie was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada. You know, 'cause they got lots of snow up in Canada.
  • Casting Gag: Iggy Pop (a punk rock musician) as Mr. Zellweger, a ice rink DJ who plays nothing but Al Martino music.
  • Catchphrase: "Welcome to the Chuck Whealer House of Pain!", said by Mr. Whealer before he puts Hal through yet another round of bullying.
  • Chain of Deals: After the kids kidnapped the antagonist Snowplower's pet bird, he takes one of their friends hostage. They agree to meet someplace in order to give back the hostages, but nobody can agree on who to release first…
    Snow Plow Man: "The bird!"
    Natalie: "The Wayne!"
    Snow Plow Man: "The bird!"
    Natalie: "The Wayne!"…
  • Chekhov's Gun: At first, it seems as if the jelly-filled snownut was enough to actually take out Snowplow Man... until he regains consciousness.
  • Comic Trio: Natalie (Moe), Chet (Larry), and Wayne (Curly).
  • Cool Big Bro: Natalie sees Hal this way, most of the time.
  • Cringe Comedy: It was originally written as a film based on The Adventures of Pete & Pete and does it show. A lot of awkward and cringe-worthy things happen in the movie, from Tom wearing ridiculous costumes on air, to Hal stalking Claire (on top of getting bullied by Chuck and ignoring Lane), to 100% of Randy's antics, and Natalie, Chet and Wayne's subplot, especially when Wayne gets kidnapped.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lane.
    • "It's like… Clairestock."
    • Stepford Snarker: Throughout the movie, Lane constantly criticizes Hal's efforts to win Claire's affections by making sarcastic remarks about his plans to win over Claire. However, it's clear she's only doing this because she's bitter that Hal doesn't feel the same way about her as she does about him.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Oh, Hal.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Well, not exactly a White Christmas, but just snow for Natalie.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Tom is the father working as an unsuccessful meteorologist at a local news station, Laura is the workaholic mother who is out of touch with her kids, Hal is the lovestruck and lovesick older brother who obsessively fawns over a girl he barely knows, Natalie is the feisty and adventurous younger sister who wants to save the world (one snow day at a time), and Randy is the bratty baby brother who could really use some ritalin (either that, or a stun gun as Laura's coworker Wynonna points out). They do mature over the course of the day, however.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Lampshaded with Snowplow Man:
    Laura: Oh, you must be the guy that the kids all call "Snowplow Man".
    Snowplow Man: Yeah, well, the kids have a lot of different names for me. You can call me Roger.
  • Expy: Written by the creators of The Adventures of Pete & Pete as a potential feature film for the series, it instead got re-tooled as a standalone film yet fans of the show can clearly see who in the film is the spiritual successor to the characters on the show.
  • First Girl Wins: Takes a whole day and an Anguished Declaration of Love that almost didn't seem to work, but yeah, Lane wins.
  • Gasshole: A Running Gag when it comes to Wayne. Throughout the movie, fart noises are dubbed over many instances when he's on camera.
  • Girl Next Door: Lane is this to Hal.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: "It's pronounced DOPP-ler radar, you moron".
  • Imagine Spot: Natalie may or may not have one, in which Hal's action figures come to life and convince her to continue with her efforts to defeat Snowplow Man.
  • Insistent Terminology: Hal's action figures are collectibles, not toys.
  • Jerkass: Chuck Whealer the Jerk Jock that likes to bully Hal for just not liking him in general and then gets more violent when he figures out that Hal also wants Claire and doesn't wants to acknowledge that Claire wants him out of her life no matter how much she tells him.
  • Kill Tally: The cab of Snowplow Man's truck has a series of snowflakes painted on the side of its door.
  • Local Hangout: For the older kids, it's the local diner; Claire and her clique even have their own table at the front window.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Claire. She is seen wearing a red swimsuit in a couple of scenes early and late in the film, because she's a diver, and wears a couple of crop tops, including an almost sheer one (with the camera generally framing her from the midriff up in those cases) in the three scenes leading to Hal’s on-air Declaration Of Love. She wears seasonally appropriate outfits in most other scenes set after the snowstorm, given it’s the middle of an upstate New York winter.
  • Oblivious to Love: Hal in regards to his best friend. She eventually calls him out for ignoring her in favor of Claire.
  • Only Sane Man: Lane and, to a lesser extent, Tom mostly act as the straight man (or woman) to the more crazy or idiotic people around them.
  • Plot Threads:
    • First, we have Natalie, Chet, and Wayne, plotting to take Snowplow Man out of action, so that the kids of the neighborhood can obtain that coveted second snow day that they've never had before.
    • Hal and his obsession over Claire, as he spends much of the entire movie pursuing her since her breakup with her popular boyfriend, Chuck; all the while, poor Lane is dragged around everywhere he follows her.
    • Tom desperately trying to prove himself to be a serious TV meteorologist, despite working for a struggling station that makes him wear ridiculous outfits for his forecasts in an attempt to boost ratings, because Chad Simmons of a rival station has the number-one-rated weathercast in town.
    • Laura being a workaholic mother who's out-of-touch with her family, and it's actually somehow the snow day that brings her back closer to her family, such as engaging in a snowball fight with Randy.
    • Principal Weaver constantly being pelted by a barrage of snowballs that seem to come out of nowhere; more of a Running Gag than anything.
  • Product Placement: Chuck drives a Mustang, The Snow Plow Man destroys a car made by Plymouth, Randy fills a Puma shoe with ice, a Pepsi clock is seen in the background of the diner the teens hang out at in a lot of scenes, Hal mentions that Claire's favorite gum is Watermelon Bubblicious, and the kids play a Rugrats video game in their snow fort. Also, one of the popular girls wears a Kangol hat.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:
    • The kids are seen as the good guys as they are awarded for their selfish desire to want another snow day by getting another snow day even though they tied up the snow plow man, left him for dead, and stole his truck in order to get their second snow day.
    • Hal, as he is pretty much a stalker, and yet we're supposed to see him as a charming guy who will learn that his real soulmate is his best friend, Lane, and not Claire, even though he acts like a villain in a Lifetime movie half the time (i.e. getting Claire's bracelet and sniffing it). It doesn't help that he narrates the movie.
    • Tom is seen as the good guy for destroying an ice sculpture of his rival Chad Simmons.
  • Running Gag: The jerk principal being pelted by a never-ending barrage of snowballs that come out of nowhere. For the entire day.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Claire only exists to be the love interest of Hal.
  • Scenery Porn: Considering the movie is about a Snow Day, and the characters even pretty much worship the snow, there are bound to be a few shots that establish how good the snow looks.
  • Snowed-In: Taken to the logical extremes, but not extreme enough to keep people inside.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Hal. He admits to counting the amount of times Claire blinks per minute, he knows a lot about a girl he barely knows, he sniffs her whale bracelet when he gets a hold of it, and he has many behaviors that could count as downright stalking.
    • All of Claire's suitors could count, while they aren't as vocal about it as Hal, they do show up on her property in herds asking her to go out with them.
  • Stalking Is Love: When Hal, who she barely knows, tells Claire on the news that he knows everything about her, Claire doesn't find it creepy-she finds it romantic.
  • Stop Motion: Utilized when Hal's action figures begin talking to Natalie.
  • Toilet Humor: Wayne farts a lot in the movie.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Just about everybody in this movie seems to love their french fries.
  • Treehouse of Fun: More like Natalie, Chet, and Wayne's snowfort of awesomeness.
  • True Love's Kiss: When Hal and Lane Kiss.
  • Wrote the Book:
    Principal Weaver: You kids wanna play rough? I invented rough!