In the late '90s, the Spice Girls were everywhere. The pop girl group from the UK included Victoria Adams ("Posh Spice", later known as Victoria Beckham), Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice"), Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), Melanie Chisholm ("Sporty Spice") and Geri Halliwell ("Ginger Spice"). They practically defined the term "overnight success", so when the idea arose to make a film based on their success, it was almost immediately given the green light. In late 1997, Spice World was released.
Spice World bounces back and forth between being a by-the-numbers ripoff of A Hard Day's Night, a self-spoof, and a harsh satire of the Spice Girls and their culture. Ultimately, the production as a whole is just so disjointed, it doesn't seem to really matter.
This film provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion:
- Meat Loaf's character saying "he would do anything for [the Girls] but he won't do that."
- Roger Moore's character saying "There's no need for any stirring" as he is shaking a martini.
- Victoria snarking that Geri should remove her top to awaken a young boy from a coma could be seen as one to Geri Halliwell's stint as a topless model.
- As Himself: Sir Elton John, in a scene that... has no point except that he's there, really. Bob Geldof and Jonathan Ross also play themselves in the movie.
- Brick Joke: The bomb.
- Calvinball: Mel B. doesn't really know how to play chess.Geri: Check!
Mel B: What d'you mean, "check"?
Geri: I mean, check; my bishop's got your king.
Mel B: Where?
Geri: There! You've either got to move it in front, or move it out of the way.
Mel B: Well I'll move that fairground horse to there. Sort that out!
Geri: You can't do that!
Mel B: Says who?
Geri: Says Mr. Chess! It's been in the rules for thousands of years!
Mel B: Well I'm gonna break the rules and set this little fairground horse free amongst all these little square fields, like that. (moves her piece randomly all around the board) There!Geri: I'm gonna slap you in a minute!
- Camp: The whole movie runs on it along with nonsense.
- Compliment Backfire: On purpose—Jools Holland tells them "Okay, girls, that was absolutely perfect without... really being any good at all."
- Department of Redundancy Department: During a scene where Victoria is dressing:Posh: It's always the same. I never know what to wear.Sporty: It must be so hard for you, Victoria. I mean, trying to decide whether to wear the little Gucci dress, the little Gucci dress, or... the little Gucci dress.Posh: Exactly.Baby: I know, why don't you wear the little Gucci dress?Posh: That's a good idea. Thanks, Emma.
- Dream Sequence: Quite a few. Who would have imagined them (all) actually becoming mothers?
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Mr. Step. Well, kinda. ("DON'T GIVE ME ANY OF THAT JULIE ANDREWS HILLTOP CLAPTRAP!")
- Driven to Suicide: Clifford, almost, played for laughs. He despairs when the burned-out girls storm off after an argument and nearly don't turn up for a huge concert:Clifford: Okay. So this is the plan. The band starts up, the fans go wild, the lights come on, and I walk center stage...and hang myself.
- Drives Like Crazy: Victoria hijacks the bus to drive the girls to the concert. She almost hits two nuns in a car.Sunday drivers! It's only Saturday!
- Flashback Effect: When the girls wind up going their separate ways after an argument with their manager, their minds are shown going back to the exact same moment. Imagine them once being too nervous to perform for only two people! (It's "Wannabe," but with all of the other four following Mel B's lead on the chorus.)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Despite the film's apparent Uncertain Audience, it likely had more children seeing it so...
- When delivering Nicola's baby, Geri says the first thing she has to do is put her legs together. Mel B remarks "It's a bit late. She should have done that nine months ago"
- One of the aliens grabs Mel B's boobs when he meets her.
- When chatting to one of their topless back-up dancers, Emma is rattling off a list of all the cuddly toys she has on her bed. At the end of this list she says, "so you see there's just not enough room for you, mate."
- The girls allude that Clifford needs to get laid.
- Victoria snarks that Geri should remove her top to get a young boy out of his coma.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Emma, being the girliest of the group, has quite a few.In my bed, I've got two teddies, I've got a rabbit, I've got two dollies, and one Susan, she's got a bad eye...and then I've got a green giraffe which I won at a fair, he was the only one left, I felt really sorry for him... then there's Buzz, Woody, the alien, and then I've got a fluffy pink hot water bottle. So, there's just not enough room for you, mate!
- Hollywood Nerd: Ginger is implied to be this; she's shown reading when she's off by herself, and has what the other Girls consider to be an annoying habit of dropping random trivia facts into the conversation.
- Ice-Cream Koan: The Chief is given to very strange idioms, which Clifford always agrees with:Chief: When the rabbit of chaos is pursued by the ferret of disorder through the fields of anarchy, it is time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness. Whether they're clean or not.
- Jukebox Musical: Musical numbers occur, both performed, and background as the girls ready themselves for their Single Serving Concert.
- Lampshade Hanging: All over the place, especially in the sequence where Clifford meets with some Hollywood guys to discuss a potential film starring the girls, all of which have ludicrous plots.Clifford: I think it stinks.Graydon: Of course it stinks! But it's a start!
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: That scene between the movie guys and Clifford, to whom they are narrating part of another pitch, starts leaning into Reality Warper territory when the story they're pitching in the final act starts happening to the girls, culminating in the setup for the Bus Bomb Brick Joke mentioned above.Writer: But then, just when you think they're safe, they discover the bomb.Exec: What bomb?(cue Emma screaming upon discovering the bomb)Writer: That bomb.(cue all the girls screaming overdramatically over the bomb)Exec: WHY?!Writer: (exasperatedly) Those are the rules.
- Merchandise-Driven: The film was made to cash in on the Spice Girls, hawking their albums, concerts, and other merchandise.
- In-universe, when a movie for the "Spice Force 5" is pitched, they end the pitch with "THINK OF THE MERCHANDISING!"
- "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Spoofed in Mel C's intro.
- Obvious Pregnancy: Nicola, who goes into labor in a nightclub.
- Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: While Victoria (Posh Spice) is driving the Spice Bus, near the end of the movie, she repeatedly floors and brakes the bus in stiletto sandals to get to the concert in time.
- Please Wake Up: "AND I'M VICTORIA, MALCOLM!"
- Quote Mining: Tabloid journalists quote one of the girls asking, "is the Pope Catholic?" in order to show off just how stupid they are. They conveniently leave out the detail about it being a rhetorical question.
- Rule of CoolGraydon: And then suddenly, they're on top of the bus!
Graydon: The rules!
- Something That Begins with "Boring": While waiting for Nicola's baby to be born, Ginger spies with her bionic eye something beginning with H. (It's "hospital.")Victoria: (utterly disgusted and tired) Shut up, Geri.
- The Stoic: Posh, who rarely smiles.
- Stylistic Suck: Although many will tell you that the entire movie sucks, the movie contains an intentional example; during the description of the frantic bus drive across London, a shot of the bus jumping the rising platform of Tower Bridge is rendered with a toy bus and a shoddy replica of the bridge to assuage one of the executive's worries that it would be too expensive otherwise.
- Wabbit Film: The lead mentions A Hard Day's Night, but the execution is more Head, a Random Events Plot filled with weird sequences (not all of them being fantasies!).
- You Need to Get Laid: The Girls feel this way about their uptight manager, and say so behind his back.
- Your Mom: Clifford and the Italian director guy, exchange a few of these, although they're actually just saying "your mother" without any verb attached.