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Film / Space Jam

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Everybody get up, it's time to slam now
We got a real jam goin' down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam
All right...

"Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam!"

This 1996 live-action/animated film is what happens when you base a feature-length film upon a sneaker commercial. Really. Nike had ordered a few commercials featuring Michael Jordan and an animated Bugs Bunny facing off against alien cartoon characters.

In the film, the Looney Tunes must recruit NBA superstar Michael Jordan to play on their basketball team. They need Jordan's help because these aliens called Nerdlucks intend to take them back to their planet, and make them the new attractions for their evil boss Swackhammer's evil theme park. Bugs, noting how tiny the Nerdlucks are, decides to challenge them to a basketball game.

This backfires when it turns out that the Nerdlucks can steal the "talent" from athletes (they do this to NBA players Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Shawn Bradley in one of the movie's many, many subplots). This transforms them into the Monstars (aka —wait for it— The Mean Team). This is where Michael Jordan comes in, but during the time period the film is set in, he had retired to play baseball (and that's not bad writing, that actually happened). Thankfully, he wasn't drained of his skills and had actually just unretired at the time the film was made. note  According to this film, saving the Looney Tunes is the reason why he returned to basketball.


The film is notable for introducing Bugs' girlfriend Lola Bunny, who has been featured in most Looney Tunes projects made since then. It's not to be confused with Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which is officially a Retcon. It was also one of the earliest movies to feature a tie-in website, which is still running to this day (and has not been updated since 1998).note 

There was even a follow-up video game.

A sequel is in the works, with Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed, Black Panther) attached to produce and LeBron James as the star. In February 2019, James confirmed that Space Jam 2 would begin shooting during the NBA's off-season with Malcolm D. Lee directing (replacing original director Terence Nance). The sequel, now named Space Jam: A New Legacy, is currently set to release on July 16, 2021.


Not related to the jam used in Spaceballs.

Michael's Secret Tropes:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The movie starts with a young Michael Jordan playing basketball in the 70's and is mostly set in 1994, and ends with Jordan's return to basketball in 1995.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The Big Game is played to decide the fate of all the Looney Tunes characters as slaves to Swackhammer or not. Michael Jordan proceeds to raise the stakes by offering himself in servitude as well.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: The Nerdlucks become cocky upon turning into Monstars. Bang is the most pronounced example, going from nervous and concerned to aggressive and arrogant enough to taunt Michael Jordan.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When Bill Murray appears in the game, Swachkhammer confuses him with Dan Aykroyd, and Murray mentions that "the producer" gave him a ride to the portal. Murray and Aykroyd did the Ghostbusters movies together, which were directed by producer Ivan Reitman.
    • During the therapy sessions, Larry Johnson says that his grandmother can play better than him (reference to a series of Converse ads where he played his "Grandmama"), Shawn Bradley says he could "go back to the jungle as a missionary", and Charles Barkley brings up an old rumor declaring that "I'm never gonna go out with Madonna again."
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The Junior Novelization has one, in which the Road Runner comes in and scores the second-to-last points of the game instead of Bill Murray. This was based on the original planned ending for the film.
  • Adam Westing: Bill Murray freely admits he has no place in this story.
  • Adaptation Expansion: It's basically a feature-length version of an Air Jordan commercial where Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny played basketball against aliens. The director is even the same.
  • Affably Evil: Blanko is rather nice compared to the other Monstars. He tells Michael he has cool shoes, and he shows concern for Tweety when he gets hurt by Bang. However, he does have one Kick the Dog moment when he flattens a mouse that was talking to him.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Mr. Swackhammer, the main antagonist, who is also a Bad Boss to the Nerdlucks.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Nerdlucks all speak English.
  • All There in the Script: The individual names of the Monstars are never mentioned in the film; however, they are given in the ending credits, the storyboards and the merchandise. Their pre-Monstar species is "Nerdluck", and their individual names are Pound (the orange one), Bang (the green one), Bupkus (the purple one), Nawt (the red one) and Blanko (the blue one).
  • Always a Live Transmission: Michael Jordan's kids are watching Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner when, out of nowhere, Porky comes in to say everyone is needed immediately and everybody leaves the scene. The kids are left with only an empty background to see.
  • Amusing Injuries: Done with both the Looney Tunes and the live-action actors. Michael Jordan gets compressed into a ball which is then dribbled, passed and dunked. Stan Podolak gets Squashed Flat under all five Monstars.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When Michael Jordan tells Bugs that he doesn't play basketball anymore, Bugs replies, "Right, and I'm a Shakespearean actor." He even pulls out a skull in reference to Hamlet's monologue.
  • Angry Guard Dog: When Bugs and Daffy have to sneak into Michael Jordan's house to get his basketball gear and lucky shorts, Daffy gets to deal with Jordan's very, very angry guard dog Charles.
  • Are We There Yet?: Blanko asks this twice, in one case following a Dope Slap.
  • Art Shift: Mr. Swackhammer fantasizing about Jordan working at Moron Mountain. It's kinda scary. The implications of it are even scarier (Jordan never being able to see his family again, and living his life in misery). And the fact that Jordan was willing to risk it!
  • Artistic License – History: If you wanna get technical, this movie is this towards Michael Jordan's retirement and return to basketball. In real life, Jordan retired from basketball due to burnout from the game, which was accelerated by participating in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and the murder of his father, joined Minor League Baseball for a few years and returned to basketball due to a combination of not wanting to be considered a "replacement player" during the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike and the Chicago Bulls faltering heavily. As well, while he was considered a decent player, the movie considers him a terrible player who is way out of his league. Maybe it's just people's expectations as compared to Basketball.
    • In the opening scene, a young Jordan tells his father he wants to attend and play basketball for the University of North Carolina. While Michael’s mother was Carolina fan, he was in fact a devoted N.C. State fan and hated the Tar Heels as a child.
  • Ash Face: When Bupkis falls for Wile E. Coyote's explosive booby-trap during their game with the Tune Squad, his face is blackened as a result.
  • As Himself: Jordan and a whole bunch of other celebs and basketball players. In light of who Mike hangs around with all day, it makes sense. Bugs Bunny also receives top billing under his own name.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam do this during the second half slapstick montage after attacking one of the Mon-Stars. It's a direct Shout-Out to Pulp Fiction.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: In one scene, Michael is watching his old team on television after they have lost their talent. At one point, someone says "What the hell's going on!?" Surely enough, the film got a PG rating for "Brief mild language".
  • Award-Bait Song: "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly.
  • Badass Boast: "Hit'em High" is a song-shaped one for the Monstars. The best instance being the chorus:
  • Badass Normal: Played with—Jordan, when compared to his teammates (cartoon characters) and opponents (humongous aliens) is a mundane human. Then again, he's widely considered to be the greatest basketball player ever. And when he learns how to use Toon Physics, well...
  • Bait-and-Switch: Bugs asking Daffy if he saw all the Jordan kids' toys and lunchboxes of them has a really hopeful, soft tone to it, and it sounds like he's about to say something touching about being an inspiration or something. Instead:
    Bugs: You, uh, ever see any money from that stuff?
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lola Bunny. One of the Monstars as well.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Lola Bunny, as well as the other furry characters in their Tune Squad uniforms. This is lampshaded when Jordan gets his golf cleats stuck to the floorboards and asks if the toons have a pair of basketball shoes he could borrow—cut to a few shots of the toons' feet and baffled looks.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Lola Bunny goes into a basket-busting frenzy whenever anyone calls her "Doll."
    • Jordan has a few of these: Don't call him wussy man, don't call him chicken, don't call him washed up, and especially don't call him baldy.
  • Be the Ball: Happens to Jordan when he first meets the aliens. They invoke this trope to show off their stolen talent.
  • Big Bad: Swackhammer, whose evil desires drive the plot even though he himself doesn't have that much screentime.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted by Stan, played straight by Bill Murray in a spectacular Deus ex Machina fashion. The latter is Lampshaded hilariously by Swackhammer.
    Swackhammer: Whoa, whoa, whoa! I didn't know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture!
  • Big Entrance: Appropriately so. All the Monstars and three of the Tune Squad's starting five (Bugs, Lola and Taz) get awesome entrances. Daffy attempts his own but is met with silence, and while Michael gets a round of applause, his entrance is a more straightforward NBA-style affair with no crowd pandering.
  • Big Game: The climax of the movie is one big, epic and cartoony basketball game to decide the fate of the Looney Tunes.
  • Big Honking Traffic Jam: Cartoon cars are inching along the approach road to the basketball arena, honking horns and bumping each other to make progress.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: See Lampshade Hanging. Also, Moron Mountain is a spoof of a park that actually has Looney Tunes rides.
  • Body Horror: The Monstars, especially the transformation sequence, where they grow freakishly large.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Near the end of the film, Jordan sarcastically calls Bugs Bunny "Doc".
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After The Monstars acquire the talent and transform we get this exchange.
    Daffy: Those little pipsqueaks turned into Superstars!
    Porky: T-T-T-They're Monsters!
    Sylvester: Sufferin' Succotash! They're Monstars!
  • Bring My Brown Pants: There's a moment after the Nerdlucks have transformed, where one of them boos right in Porky Pig's face. Porky's response is to shriek, piddle (to which a cowbell effect is used), and say to the audience:
    Porky: I-I-I-I-I wet myself.
  • Bull Seeing Red: Used at one point when Daffy Duck paints one of the Monstars' butts with red paint, which attracts the attention of the Bull from Bully for Bugs, who was sitting in the crowd at the time. Cue him ramming said Monstar in the gluteus maximus, sending him into the air screaming.
    Crowd: Ole!
  • Bully Hunter: What finally convinces Michael Jordan to take on the Monstars is when he sees them picking on little Tweety. The Monstars themselves get a moment at the end when they realize they are now big enough to stand up to Swackhammer.
  • Butt-Monkey: The film's plot revolves around a threat that for once can overpower even the wiliest of Looney Tunes. Even usually untouchable protagonist Bugs takes a few good lumps here, but Daffy gets the worst, as usual.
    Daffy Duck: [sarcastically] Very funny. Let's all laugh at the Duck.
  • The Cameo:
    • In the background of the Town Hall scene, there's a plaque of Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid, most noticeable when Sam says "We ain't goin' nowhere!"
    • Most of the crowd in the arena are secondary characters from Looney Tunes shorts.
    • There are numerous cameos from other NBA stars in this film, which just adds to the confusion of whether this is a movie about Looney Tunes that randomly involves basketball, or a movie about Michael Jordan that randomly has the Looney Tunes in it. Those with the largest roles are Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Shawn Bradley, the five players whom the Monstars steal talents from. Larry Bird plays himself as Michael Jordan's golf buddy (a reference to another ad campaign Jordan was involved in). There's also cameos by Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Danny Ainge and Paul Westphal.
    • Television sport commentators Ahmad Rashād and Jim Rome also throw in brief cameos. Patricia Heaton (pre-Everybody Loves Raymond) and Dan Castellaneta are at the Knicks game.
  • Canon Immigrant: Oddly averted with the Nerdlucks, who haven't appeared in any Looney Tunes media since the movie even though the ending seems to suggest they are taken in by the Tunes. Lola, on the other hand, is played straight, as she'd later appear in Baby Looney Tunes, various Looney Tunes tie-in games, and The Looney Tunes Show (which gave her a much more Cloud Cuckoolander personality). She even got to star in a Direct-to-Video movie, Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Swackhammer.
  • Carload of Cool Kids: Once Michael Jordan regains his feet after a slobbery greeting by his bulldog Charles, some passing young people in a convertible hail him with "Michael!" and wave.
  • Cassandra Truth: At one point, a psychic medium holds a seance with the five basketball players who lost their talents, and sees the entire plot of the movie up to that point. The players don't believe her and go off to try acupuncture.
  • Casting Gag:
    • In the Japanese dub, Kiyoyuki Yanada had previously played Takenori Akagi in the anime adaptation of Slam Dunk. Here, he voices Patrick Ewing, the player that Akagi is based on.
    • Dorian Harewood voiced the animated Michael Jordan on ProStars. Here, he voices the purple Monstar.
  • Casual Sports Jersey: The Monstars all wear basketball jerseys with the number zero. Curiously, they received these uniforms when absorbing the Liquid Assets of five NBA players, but retained the jerseys after forfeiting their powers. For the climatic basketball scenes, their uniform was different. Averted with the Looney Tunes characters, who only wear athletic wear during the Ultimate Game.
  • Character as Himself: Bugs Bunny, rather than the actor playing him (in this case, Billy West), is credited as the co-star of the movie after Michael Jordan. Justified in that this is the movie's main selling point.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bill Murray first appears at Jordan's golf game talking about how he'd like to play in the NBA. He next shows up at the Looney Tunes' basketball game in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Chirping Crickets: The reception that Daffy gets during player introductions.
  • Cigar Chomper: Mr. Swackhammer does this as a visual cue of his evilness.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Swackhammer again. He considers kidnapping people from another planet to be a legit business venture.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Nerdlucks/Monstars, who are all a variety of non-primary colors.
  • Composite Character: The film makes a few nods to the evolutions of certain Looney Tunes characters. Daffy in particular is a perfect blend of his screwball 1940s and 1950s incarnations, setting up his "Daffy Doc" persona or bursting into fits of "WOO HOO, HOO HOO" when not in his usual egotistical banter with Bugs.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The Nerdstars use one to infiltrate basketball games looking for talent. For once, someone notices how strange this disguise is.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Monstars dominate the first half of the game, with the scoreboard itself hanging a lampshade on it, and absolutely decimate the Tunes in the 3rd quarter of the game. After Jordan calls for a time out, we see the various characters in REALLY bad shape, with Tweety resting in an what looks like an iron lung!
  • Cult Soundtrack: It went 6 times platinum, had hits by R. Kelly and Seal, a Monstars theme by a Dream Team of rappers, and that theme song that is very popular to do mashups.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jordan:
    Stan: So, what is it (the car)? Too conspicuous?
    Jordan: [deadpan voice] Yes.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The Nerdlucks/Monstars do this at the end after they lose the game. When the Monstars turn back into the Nerdlucks, they ask Bugs if they can stay with the Looney Tunes and try to prove to him they can be loony.
  • Determinator: Stan is ordered by his boss to keep Jordan happy and he does so, even if it means helping him defeat the Monstars and letting him quit baseball, which quite possibly meant losing his own job.
  • Deus ex Machina: Bill Murray's last minute appearance (see No Fourth Wall). Within universe, the toons stop 40-year-old cartoons due to an important meeting.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: This obviously happens to Bugs Bunny in Lola Bunny's introductory appearance when she enters the gym to try out for the team.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The Nerdlucks/Monstars' comeuppance on their Bad Boss. When Jordan points out that they don't have to take his abuse, they suddenly realize that they are much bigger and stronger than him and rocket him back to Moron Mountain.
    Jordan: Why're you taking it from this guy?
    Bupkis: Because he's bigger.
    Pound: He's bigger?!
    Bang: Than we used... to be...
    Monstars: ...wait...
    Swackhammer: What are you doing?!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When everyone starts drinking Michael’s "Secret Stuff", Daffy initially disapproves, saying it goes against everything he learned in Health Class.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. When Stan gets found snooping by the Mon-Stars and is zapped to within an inch of his life, Daffy sneers that he looks like he ran into a bug zapper. Wile E. Coyote shoves him and gives a disapproving glare.
  • Dull Surprise:
    • Jordan isn't very surprised to find himself suddenly confronted by a number of fictional animated characters, even rolling his eyes at them.
    • Not even Jordan's kids are all that taken aback when they meet Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck breaking and entering their house, though they at least have the excuse that they're young kids who would be more accepting of this sort of thing. Plus seeing them might explain why they disappeared from the TV earlier in the film.
  • Ears as Hair: Lola ties her ears back in a ponytail (qualifies as the page image).
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Michael uses Toon Physics to stretch his arm long enough to score the winning dunk.
  • Enemy Mine: Either this or they all are Animated Actors. The heroes and foes seemed to be on fairly good terms in the film when outside the classic shorts, and probably it was because all of their future careers were on the line, so they had no choice but to cooperate.
  • Epic Fail: Jordan's ineptitude at baseball is exaggerated to drive home the fact that it's not his sport.
  • Eureka Moment: After the movie's climatic basketball game, Michael asks the Monstars why they take crap from their boss. They reply that it's because he's bigger than they used to be. They all quickly realize the key phrase there is used to be.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Bill Murray tells Daffy that he's only there because he's a friend of the producer, Pound (The orange Monstar) can be seen in the background, and shakes his head in disgust when Murray mentions this.
  • Evil Is Bigger:
    • The Monstars are gigantic compared to Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes.
    • Mr. Swackhammer is Large and in Charge from the Nerdlucks' perspective.
  • Evil Wears Black: The transition from Nerdlucks to Monstars leads to them getting black uniforms and sneakers out of nowhere. (which remain when the transformation is reversed...)
  • Evil Plan: The game takes place (and Jordan is roped into it) because Mr. Swackhammer wants new attractions for his theme park, even if it means enslaving the Looney Tunes.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Nerdlucks are appropriately squeaky, and then the Monstars speak in deep, threatening voices. Mr. Swackhammer also has Danny DeVito using his voice in this way.
  • Excuse Plot: The film's bizarre plot is really a set up for the Looney Tunes antics, Jordan's presence, and the climatic basketball game with both.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: What leads to the above The Dog Bites Back moment. The Monstars do the explaining, Swackhammer does the Oh, Crap!.
  • Fair-Play Villain: The Nerdlucks, who agree to use the basketball game to give the toons a chance to defend themselves.
  • Fat Flex: Bugs Bunny puffs himself up while introducing himself to Canon Foreigner Lola Bunny. He can't sustain this pose, and soon returns to his potato-sack body shape. Lola politely giggles at this faux machismo.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: The first time Bugs calls her "doll", Lola becomes enraged enough to develop flaming eyes.
  • Fish out of Water: Jordan stays with the Looney Tunes characters in their universe to help them defeat the Monstars, and then he leaves for home when done.
  • Flat Character: Despite this being the origin place of Lola Bunny, she really has no definitive personality apart from being a sexy bombshell rabbit for the other guys (specially Bugs) to ogle at.
  • Force and Finesse: The Monstars and the Toon Squad, respectively. The Monstars are Unskilled, but Strong, brute-forcing their way through the game; the Toon Squad, on the other hand, are Weak, but Skilled, countering with various goofy antics. They also have Michael Jordan and his Badass Normal skills.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In Brazil, the movie is called "Space Jam - O Jogo do Século" (The Game of the Century)
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Outside the meeting where the Nerdlucks reveal their plans, the marquee reads "Friday: ALIENS HAVE TAKEN OVER US! Saturday: Tony Bennett". And later, the graph with the Nerdluck silhouettes have underneath each one a Canis Latinicus scientific name (it's Looney Tunes, after all).
  • Gainaxing: When Lola puts on her Handwraps of Awesome during the Lock-and-Load Montage. Otherwise, her bunny boobies are quite stiff.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Lola's introduction was rather... interestingly displayed, especially after beating Bugs. She approaches him with bedroom eyes, as one of her shoulder straps had fallen off her shoulder. Then she does a "Hair Flip" with her ears, and leaves the room with an exaggerated sway of her hips. All the while a Sexophone playing in the background. Very subtle, developers.
      • Bugs suggesting a "one-on-one game" with Lola wouldn't sound that bad; unless you take it as a Double Entendre and the fact alone that Bugs is melting at the sight of her.
    • This dialogue at the end:
      Michael: Stay out of trouble, Bugs.
      Bugs: Oh, you know I will. [wiggles eyebrows at Lola]
    • When the Toons present their gym (in a derelict condition) to Michael:
      Sylvester: We've got balls! [opens a locker containing basketballs and other sport balls]
      Michael: ...You sure do. This place is a mess.
    • One of the doctors asking the NBA players if they're having trouble performing "down there". Understandably this makes the NBA player angry in response.
    • Daffy Duck kissing his own butt after declaring the Looney Tunes are property of Warner Bros. Inc.
    • One of the NBA players vowing that he'll never go out with Madonna again.
  • Gigantic Moon: The first time that the five Nerdlucks transform into the Monstars, the moon overhead is so large and bright that it occupies almost as much of the screen as any one Monstar.
  • Glass Cannon: Bill Murray comes in as a Big Damn Heroes when the team needed a fifth player. He proves to have Awesomeness by Analysis in identifying a Monstar player weakness and quick enough to psych out another when they recovered the ball in the last few seconds. But he is really exhausted afterward and talks about needing to ice his knees. This is only after ten seconds of play time.
  • G-Rated Drug: Bugs' Secret Stuff, which is really water, but the toons treat it as steroids. Daffy notes this is wrong. Using the basketball players' talent is made to look like this on the aliens' side.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence:
    • The Nerdlucks transforming into the Monstars makes all of them bigger and muscular.
    • Bugs Bunny later fakes one to convince his teammates that Jordan's Secret Stuff works.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Lola's appearance has all the toons (and Jordan, although that could simply be out of confusion) pause momentarily, but Bugs... never quite recovers from seeing her the first time until 2015.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Nerdlucks change sides after they use their Monstar forms to beat the stuffing out of their abusive boss. Afterwards, they join the Toons and return the talent they stole.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Lola is about to be crushed by one of the Mon-Stars, Bugs Bunny thrown himself in the way, knocking Lola out out of harm's way and allowing himself to get crushed.
  • Hey, You!: Bill Murray isn't properly introduced to Lola, so he just calls her Girl Bunny.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Done in reaction to some of Jordan's plays.
  • Home Field Advantage: Subverted. The Looney Tunes do have the game in their world, and use all of their wacky and dangerous antics to help them out, but are not limited to being able to use it in their world. Likewise, the Monstars are able to use all of their antics.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Most of the movie is devoted to Jordan.
  • Human Knot: Lola Bunny leaves Bugs Bunny in a ridiculous knot when Bugs makes the mistake of pressing Lola's Berserk Button by calling her "doll."
  • Image Song: The soundtrack has two, "Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)", and "Buggin'", a Boastful Rap sung by Bugs himself.
  • Immune to Slapstick: Averted for most of the cast. Not only do the Looney Tunes Butt Monkeys take their usual lumps, but even the usually untouchable Karmic Tricksters such as Bugs and Tweety and some of the live action cast members find themselves taking a comical beating from the Monstars. Out of all of them, Lola is the only character who doesn't involved much in the Toon Physics, to the point the one instance she is almost hurt by a Monstar is Played for Drama.
  • Impact Silhouette: Done to the toons... and Stan, given everyone has cartoon physics in Tune land.
  • Inflating Body Gag: When Stan gets Squashed Flat by the Monstars, some toon nurses use an air pump to blow him up into a large balloon, then deflate him back to normal.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Played with: the Monstars look like monstrous versions of the NBA players whose talents they stole.
  • Inspirational Insult: Occurs twice with Lola Bunny. During the tryouts at Schlesinger's Gym, Bugs Bunny puts the move on Lola, asking, "You wanna play a little one-on-one, doll?" Lola's Fireball Eyeballs signal that she severely dislikes being regarded as a pretty face and nothing more. She quickly leaves Bugs in a ridiculous knot at the foul line, and throws down an impressive jam. Later, during the Ultimate Game, the Monstar Pound challenges Lola, "Try to get by me, doll." After disarranging Pound's face, Lola throws down another strong jam. Notable in that these are the only times that Lola Bunny is seen scoring points.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Said by Foghorn Leghorn (the Trope Namer) when the Monstars visit the Toons' gym to meet and taunt Jordan by calling him a chicken.
  • Ironic Echo: Watch the ending to the basketball game while listening to "I Believe I Can Fly".
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: A variation is used in one of the film's posters with Michael Jordan beside Bugs Bunny and half of their mugs at the left and right side of the poster rather than the usual "split in the middle" version.
  • Kick the Dog: When Tweety stands up for Jordan, the Monstars swat him down. Jordan understandably does not take it well.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Even before the Nerdlucks become the Monstars, the threat they pose is urgent enough that Bugs, who normally works alone, is forced to rally up the rest of the Looney Tunes cast to work against this threat. After they become the Monstars, the characters have the deck completely stacked against them and are forced to seek out the aid of Michael Jordan to turn the tide.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • It's a blatantly commercial movie that ropes WB's stable of beloved cartoon characters into shilling for basketball... but they know this and want you to know that they know. How can you tell? Observe:
      Jordan: You guys are nuts.
      Porky Pig: Ah bu- bu- bu- correction, we're Looney Tunes.
      Daffy Duck: And as such, property of Warner Brothers, Inc.!
      [Daffy lifts up his WB-stamped butt and kisses it]
      Daffy Duck: Mmmmwah!
    • And this:
      Bugs: Speaking of toys, you know all those mugs and t-shirts lunchboxes with our pictures on em?
      Daffy: Yeah.
      Bugs: You, uh, ever seen any money from all that stuff?
      Daffy: [scoff] Not a cent.
      Bugs: Hm, me neither.
      Daffy: [sigh] It's a crying shame. We've got to get a new agent. We're getting screwed! (This line is ironically edited by splicing out the "we're getting screwed" part when Cartoon Network airs thisnote ).
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Sega Pinball in 1996. Click here for tropes.
  • Liquid Assets: Sports ability can be siphoned out of someone and placed into a basketball for someone else to use.
  • Literal Ass-Kissing: Daffy literally kisses his own ass, which is branded with a WB shield, out of affection.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: All of the background characters in a single shot in the Looney Tunes' world consist of every single major or minor character created for a Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies short. EVER.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: When the toons are preparing for the game they gear up in this fashion.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: In a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment during the "Basketball Jones" scene, a shrink asks Patrick Ewing if he is having this problem. He angrily responds with a "No!"
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Monstars' Anthem. Despite featuring some amazing rhymes from LL Cool J, Method Man, and more, only the chorus is used.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Michael Jordan wagers himself on the basketball game, in exchange for Swackhammer returning the basketball players' talents. Fortunately, he wins the game and doesn't lose himself.
  • Male Gaze: After beating Bugs at a game between the two of them, Lola leaves the scene in an exaggerated swaying motion with her hips, leaving all the males in the room flabbergasted. And Bugs...he's barely able to stand.
  • Magic Countdown: The final 10 seconds, played to absurdity because this is Looney Toon land.
  • Magic Feather: Michael's "secret stuff" that Bugs offers to the Looney Tunes to help them play better (it's actualy tap water). It gives them such confidence, that in no time, the Monstars are winning by merely two points.
  • Medium Blending: The live action Jordan interacting with toons in their world, and the toons coming to his world.
  • Merchandise-Driven: As mentioned above, the concept for the film was inspired by a popular series of Nike ads featuring Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters. Warner Bros. also wanted to reinvigorate the Looney Tunes, which had lacked any new material for quite some time and were surviving purely on this trope (given the reaction of the typical Looney Tunes fan, this didn't work out so well). Daffy lampshades this by noting that they are getting screwed, as they haven't been paid for any merchandise. Stan lampshades Jordan's shilling by incorporating every product he has ever endorsed into a single sentence while asking him to wake up and get ready for practice.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The Teaser takes place during Jordan's childhood, then for the main titles shifts to Stock Footage of his basketball career.
  • Mood Whiplash: The beginning of the movie has a very somber scene where a young Michael Jordan is speaking with his father, then he takes a shot at a basketball hoop, which kicks off the movie. This would be great....if it was a documentary about his life. Unfortunately, it segues into the credits, featuring highlights of his career to an upbeat rap. Then there's the press conference with Jordan announcing his retirement, back to being overtly serious. In fact, most of the parts of the movie that involve the real world in a non comedic context are almost devoid of levity, which is rather jarring given the overall premise is a comedy. The players going through psychological tests ("I'm never gonna go out with Madonna again.") and visiting a psychic (see Cassandra Truth) are probably the only real world scenes which try to be funny.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bugs himself, after downing some "Secret Stuff". Makes for a nice change of pace considering his usual gag is cross-dressing.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lola Bunny has an Impossible Hourglass Figure, and wears a Bare Your Midriff crop-top and shorts outfit. Much of Lola's time in Schlesinger's Gym is accompanied by the Sexophone, where all the male toons demonstrate Male Gaze, while Bugs Bunny demonstrates Love Makes You Dumb.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • There aren't very many direct references to the cartoon plots, but there are a few. For example, when Jordan falls into Looney Tunes land, Daffy shows up dressed as a doctor and gives him a very madcap checkup. This is a reference to The Daffy Doc, which at the time went over the heads of many as that and many other Clampett Era cartoons were rarely rerun when the movie was released.
    • Another example is from the Tune Squad introduction scene. When the announcer introduces Daffy Duck, Daffy gleefully shouts thank you to the patrons. But Daffy gets no response. This is a reference to Show Biz Bugs.
  • Naked People Are Funny: So is a Monstar who gets pantsed in the middle of a game.
  • Newscaster Cameo: NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashadnote  briefly cameos to deliver a report on the status of the players after their talent was stolen.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Nerdlucks might not have thought to do the whole talent-sucking thing if the Loony Tunes hadn't shown them a video that said 'the best players in the world' gathered in one place. Then again, who would have thought they could steal talent?
  • Nightmare Face: At one point, Taz leers at the camera with bloodshot Mismatched Eyes and snot dripping from his nose.
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • Bill Murray tells Daffy that the whole reason he's in Looney Land is because he was good friends with the producer of the movie. Pound, who's walking past, shakes his head in disgust and Daffy responds with a scoff and "Uh-huh. Well, that's how it goes."
    • When the above happens, Swackhammer mistakes him for Dan Aykroyd.
    • The Tunes examine the Nerdlucks' weakpoints by analyzing a large design chart... the very same line-up used to animate the new characters in the film.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Mr. Swackhammer. He doesn't actually do anything himself.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: While charismatic enough to at least hold his own against the Warner Bros. animation pantheon, Michael Jordan still gives exactly the kind of performance one might expect from a professional athlete reading lines in front of a green screen.
  • Non Sequitur: When the Looney Tunes are planning on their course of action against the Nerdlucks, Sylvester apparently comes up with an idea... to eat Tweety.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*:
    • Daffy after getting clobbered. "But Mommy, I don't want to go to school today. I want to stay home and bake cookies with you."
    • "Twinkle, twinkle, little star!" was uttered by Daffy after a run-in with Jordan's dog.
  • Noodle Incident: "I'll never go out with Madonna again."
  • The Nose Knows: The Monstars are able to locate and discover Stan spying on them simply by using an exceptional sense of smell.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Nerdlucks might be small and a little bumbling, but they are not villains to be brushed off as harmless. Their powerful ray guns compensate for their small size rather well, and Bugs trickery that usually works rather well on other foes does not fool them in the slightest.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Bugs was almost always a loner in the original theatrical cartoons and gathering up the other Looney Tunes to help him out is completely out of character for him, but justified in story because the Nerdlucks are just that much of a threat.
  • Off-Model: Occasionally, the Looney Tunes (mainly Bugs and Daffy) will switch from having the modern character designs to 40's Bob Clampet style designs. This is noticeable with the scene when they take Michael Jordan to their gym and clean it up.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Looney Tunes after the Nerdlucks turn into The Monstars.
    • Also when they learn that the Monstars have stolen the talents from the NBA players. (Stan himself gets a beautiful one when the Monstars catch him spying on them.)
    • When Daffy Duck opens the door, sees Michael Jordan's dog Charles growling, then responds "I found...the shorts".
    • Bupkus gets this when he realizes that Wile E. Coyote has booby-trapped the backboard with explosives.
    • Wile E. Coyote himself when he gets curb-stomped by the Monstars.
    • Lola when she's almost crushed by Pound and Bugs gets squashed flat by Pound's belly-flop meant for her.
    • Stan when he's going to be crushed by the Monstars.
    • A particularly satisfying one comes courtesy of Swackhammer after the game, when the Monstars realize that since they're bigger than him, they don't have to put up with his crap anymore.
  • One-Winged Angel: The weak and tiny Nerdlucks use the talent of basketball players to transform into the powerful and huge Monstars.
  • Out Sick: When most of the Tune Squad gets literally crushed by the monsters, they field Stan Podolack, who actually scores despite not being athletic and being Squashed Flat. Bill Murray then arrives and fills in the fifth player's slot.
  • Parental Bonus: During a montage of the basketball players seeking treatment for their suddenly poor performance on the court, the therapist asks Patrick Ewing if his "performance" has suffered in "any... other... areas?", with Ewing giving him an incredulous look and yelling, "NO!"
  • Placebo Effect: Bugs has the Tune Squad try out Jordan's "Secret Stuff" making then think, it'll give them an edge during the remainder of the game, when it's really just water - something which Jordan hides as first but later admits.
  • Power Parasite: How the Nerdlucks become the Monstars: by stealing the talent of famous basketball players.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Charles Barkley in church.
    Barkley: I promise I'll never swear again... I'll never get another technical... I'll never trash talk...
  • Product Placement: Satirized when Stan tells Jordan to prepare for the day with a Long List of products that Michael was sponsoring at the time.
    Stan: Put your Hanes on, lace up your Nikes, grab some Wheaties and your Gatorade, we'll go get a Big Mac, on the way to the Ball Park [Franks].
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Nerdlucks, aka the Monstars. They only compete against the Looney Tunes because Swackhammer threatened them and wanted them in his theme park by any means possible. When they realize that they're physically bigger than him by the end of the film, they toss him back to Moron Mountain and ask the Looney Tunes characters if they can stay with them.
  • Punched Across the Room: Bupkus does this to referee Marvin the Martian near the end of the game.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls after saving the Looney Tunes from a horrible fate, because Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson believed he couldn't play the game any more.
  • Recursive Canon: Jordan changes the channel to a 1952 Roadrunner cartoon for his kids to watch, in which 1996 Porky Pig appears, saying it has to be stopped. The kids wonder where the characters went. Immediately after this, in Looney Tune Land of the films, Wile E. Coyote arrives at the town hall, somehow arriving from said televised cartoon.
  • Recognition Failure: When Bill Murray shows up to help out the Looney Tunes in the final minute of the game, Swackhammer mistakes Murray for his Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters co-star Dan Aykroyd.
  • Rod-and-Reel Repurposed: Sylvester casts a fishing rod to snag the shorts of Monstar Pound. Suddenly denuded, Pound cannot continue upcourt, instead sitting in place and pulling his jersey as far down as possible. "Nice butt!"
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Just with a different rabbit or two. And in a reverse of the Trope Namer, most scenes are "actors in a cartoon world" instead of "cartoons in the real world".
  • Rule of Funny: This is Loony Toon land. They can do strange things because it's funny and the Big Bad wants them because he wants to add comedy to his theme park.
  • Self-Deprecation: The Looney Tunes being Merchandise-Driven.
    Bugs: Speaking of toys, you know all those mugs and t-shirts lunchboxes with our pictures on em?
    Daffy: Yeah.
    Bugs: You, uh, ever seen any money from all that stuff?
    Daffy: [scoff] Not a cent.
    Bugs: Hm, me neither.
    Daffy: [sigh] It's a crying shame. We gotta get new agents, we're getting screwed.
  • Sexophone: Plays at one point during Lola's introduction scene.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Lola appears in a form of this upon entering the arena for the game.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Having lost the Ultimate Game to the Looney Tunes, the Monstars surrender their Liquid Assets and shrink to Nerdluck size. Their Monstar uniforms do not shrink, leaving the Nerdlucks unclothed. Pound lampshades this: "My clothes don't fit."
  • Slapstick: A large part of the second half of the game, most notably with Looney Tunes make their comeback (both in-universe and out).
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Averted with Lola but played straight with Granny.
  • Slasher Smile: The Nerdlucks get pretty damn good ones, both comedic and non-comedic.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The beginning of Bugs's meeting with the other Looney Tune characters on how to deal with the Nerdlucks is visually right out of Patton.
    • During the exams, Larry Johnson mentions being that his grandmother can play better than him. At the time, Johnson played the Grandmama in a Converse commercial.
    • Sam and Elmer shoot out Bupkis' teeth while dressed in tuxedos and sunglasses to the tune of "Misirlou", an obvious shout out to Pulp Fiction, a then new movie.
    • The dunk that wins the game for the Tune Squad is a reference to Michael Jordan's famous buzzer-beaters.
    • The stadium housing the game is "Leon Schlesinger Gym" after the producer of the early Merry Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoons.
    • When the Nerdlucks are scouting talent to steal, they pile into a trench coat, fedora, and multicolor scarf reminiscent of another well known alien visitor, particularly the version played by Tom Baker.
  • Show Within a Show: In an early scene set in Michael Jordan's living room, the TV is blaring a sports show hosted by Jim Rome, ridiculing Jordan's struggle to play baseball. This gives some exposition on why Jordan appears so mopey.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: The brief cameo of Sniffles the Mouse late in the movie. Blanko smashes him with a basketball while he was talking about his views on the sport. There's Fridge Brilliance here: Michael's plan worked. Sniffles managed to annoy the Monstars into turning the ball over.
  • Smelly Skunk: Weaponized when the Tune Squad (wearing gas masks) uses Pepe to take out three Monstars.
  • Smooch of Victory: Bugs prevents Pound from crushing Lola via Diving Save and she thanks him with a kiss.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Bugs stiffens and hits the floor with a wooden sound upon meeting Lola.
  • Sore Loser: When the Monstars lose the game, Mr. Swackhammer insults and kicks them.
  • Spit Shine: The Looney Tunes gang cleans their gym this way, with Taz then "sweeping" the spit to ensure it goes.
  • Squashed Flat: Stan after getting tackled by the Monstars, after which he is inflated like a balloon, then deflates back to normal. It's the first clue that Toon Physics applies to humans in Looney Tune Land.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Stan's behavior towards Jordan leans uncomfortably close to this, to the point that the film has had a "trailer recut" involving this as a storyline.
  • Standard Alien Spaceship: The Nerdlucks come to Earth in a spacecraft that's very sculpted and colorful, modeled roughly after a 1949 Buick Roadmaster in front and a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado in back, replete with rolled edges and chrome galore. Since it came from Moron Mountain, this craft is the space-going equivalent of an Edsel.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • During the TuneSquad's preparations for The Ultimate Game, the song "Pump Up the Jam" is heard.
    • The second round of the game opens by playing "Get Ready for This".
    • When Bugs enters the court and when Lola scores against Pound, the toon side stomps-and-claps "We Will Rock You".
    • When Jordan enters the court it plays a snippet of "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)".
    • When Elmer and Sam go MIB on Bupkis, "Misirlou" from Pulp Fiction plays.
  • Starring Special Effects: In a way, given it basically puts a few actors inside a cartoon. And doing all the effects in just 10 months wasn't easy!
  • The Stinger/That's All, Folks!: Bugs comes up and says it when the credits end, but then Porky shows up to say it himself. Daffy interrupts and tries to say it, but the Nerdlucks knock him down and say it. Jordan then appears in his Tune Squad jersey, asking, "Can I go home, now?"
  • Take That!:
  • Tempting Fate: "Too bad you can't practice getting taller, boys!" And then...
    • "I'm gonna personally guarantee that no one will bother you." Just then, the Nerdlucks' spaceship flew by.
  • Theme Naming: Four of the Nerdlucks had different names in the pre-production stages, which were all related to "zero". Their names were initially Zilch (Pound), Null (Bang), Nada (Nawt) and Void (Blanko). The only Nerdluck whose name went unchanged was Bupkus, and his name means "nothing" in Yiddish. As Monstars, all of them have zeroes on their uniforms.
  • This Means Warpaint: Tweety Pie daubs on eye black in the locker room during the Lock-and-Load Montage before the Ultimate Game.
  • Token White: Shawn Bradley is the only white player whose talent is stolen. This is something Bill Murray brings up when talking with Michael about his own chances in the NBA.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The itty-bitty Nerdlucks use the stolen NBA talent to become ginormous Monstars.
    • Most of Looney Tunes' Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains pull off rather awesome moves in this film (Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and Wile. E Coyote). The highlight for these three is Wile E. getting Bupkus with a basketfull of explosives, followed by Elmer and Yosemite going Pulp Fiction on Bupkus.
    • And His Airness goes from Badass Normal to Empowered Badass Normal once he learns how to harness Toon Physics.
  • Toon Town: The Looney Tunes have their own in the center of the Earth. No, really. And it's accessed through a portal resembling the classic Looney Tunes opening/closing title cards with the Warner Bros. Pictures logo in the center.
    • Interestingly enough, portions of their Tooniverse also extend into deep reaches of space what with the animated alien creatures and all.
  • Transformation Sequence: Nerdlucks becoming the Monstars.
  • Understatement: "Eh, I think we may need a little help."
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Monstars' style of play — and the 'Toons retaliation. Also, the real-life NBA stars who visited the set to play with Jordan... the on-court action was brutal. Marvin doesn't call a single foul against either team in the entire game, despite blatant hits with intent to injure and flagrant tampering with the court.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The alien kid who complains about Swackhammer's theme park.
  • Vocal Dissonance: When Hubie the mouse takes over the role of sports commentator, his voice suddenly becomes sonorous.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: As noted in the opening, the film covers Michael Jordan's retirement from basketball in favor of baseball and ends with him returning to basketball. In real life, these events took place, but the Looney Tunes and the Nerdlucks are added to the film as Gumps.
  • Wager Slave: What the Looney Tunes— and later, Michael Jordan— are in danger of becoming if they lose the Big Game.
  • Whoosh in Front of the Camera: While filming the celebration scene, one of the green-screen actors inadvertently crossed in front of Michael Jordan. This was fixed in editing by having Daffy Duck ride a champagne bottle past the camera.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In a third-person sort of way. When the basketball players consult a psychic to find out what happened to their talents, she delivers an accurate summary of the events of the film, including Michael Jordan being kidnapped by furry creatures to play basketball against talent-stealing aliens. The basketball players immediately dismiss this scenario as ridiculous and walk out on her.
  • The Worf Effect: When Yosemite Sam tries to fight the aliens and gets zapped, all of the rest of the Looney Tunes immediately surrender.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pound tries to belly-flop on Lola and crush her at one point. In addition, none of the Monstars have any problem dogpiling Granny at one point.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After being flicked into a wall by one of the Monstars, Tweety turns on the water works to get Michael to stand up for him and the other toons.
  • You Didn't Ask: When Jordan finds out that Cartoon Physics apply to Real World people as well in Tune-land.
    Jordan: Ten seconds to go? Thanks for telling me... Doc.

Bugs: Well, dat's all, Folks.
Porky: Hey, th-th-that's my line! A-th-th-th—
Daffy: Stand aside, Bub! Let a star do this! THAT'S ALL, F—
Nerdlucks: That's all, Folks!
Michael Jordan: Can I go home now?


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