Follow TV Tropes


Film / Susie Q

Go To

Susie Q is a 1996 Made-for-TV Movie about the ghost of a girl killed in a car crash who helps a grieving teenage boy get over the death of his father, all while trying to mend the legal and financial troubles of her own parents after her death.

This movie contains examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Several times Susie expresses irritation that her corset obviously isn't helping to improve her cleavage.
  • Bookends: in the opening scenes of the movie, Susie's boyfriend Johnny Angel gives her a charm bracelet. Finding this bracelet is how Zach can see her - and in the final scenes Susie gives it to Zach, "For luck".
  • Boy Meets Ghoul
  • Catchphrase: "Jeepers!" for Susie, which wears on Zach's nerves after a day on Susie-induced troubles.
    Zach: "Oh, GOD, if you say that one more time!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Zach and Teri's mother, Penny, is a news reporter and anchorwoman at the local branch of a tv station. After failing to get the legal papers, Zach and Teri race to the station to get Penny to report the facts of the Quinn's situation on a live news report just a few hours before the deadline.
  • Advertisement:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Zach finds Susie's bracelet, making him able to communicate with her, less than two weeks before the forty-year deadline on the legal papers that can fix her parent's financial problems runs out.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Roger Kovich.
  • Flashback: Zach can hardly throw a basketball without envisioning the night his father died. Remembering his mother's grief and tears caused him to abandon the game altogether.
  • Genre Savvy: Teri has obviously seen more than a few haunted house movies; when she starts to suspect Susie's presence, she asks Penny, "Mom, did we get a really good deal on this house? Like, a REALLY good deal?"
  • Here We Go Again!: Zach's expression at the end of the movie when he meets Maggie.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Teri uses this to help steal documents from the bank that Susie needs.
  • Advertisement:
  • Hopeless with Tech: Susie is 40 years behind current technology; the only thing stopping her from marching to the bank and taking the files she needs are the fact that they are all digital and she has no idea how to use a computer.
  • Identical Grandson: Lampshaded by Zach, who is still trying to deny Susie is a ghost after finding out she died, and tries to invoke this trope as another explanation. Susie is quick to shoot him down.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: After noticing that Zach keeps cutting her off to talk with a pretty girl, Susie pulls off most of her party dress to reveal a lot more skin in a frustrated attempt at getting his attention. The results fall flat (literally, in part) because Zach is still too shocked to be dealing with a ghost to notice the sex appeal.
  • Invisible to Normals: No one but Zach can see or hear Susie, which ends up making him look like a crazy person talking to himself more often than not.
  • I See Dead People: Thanks to finding Susie's bracelet, Zach is able to see and hear the dead girl.
  • It's All My Fault: Susie was supposed to take care of the papers for her grandpa that would have gotten the money for her family's house squared away but died before getting around to do so. When her family is forced out and into a trailer, she blames herself.
    • It's one of the reasons she and Zach connect so quickly; Zach (wrongly, but understandably) feels this way about his father's death
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Having died in her party dress after a car crash, the ghostly Susie spends the entire story wearing the same dress. Though she customizes it a bit.
  • Jerk Jock: Ray Kovich, son of Roger, is the basketball team captain and frequently throws his weight around. That Zach is a far better player than him makes him envious and even more of a jerk.
  • Lovable Jock: Zach was this, before his father died, reportedly being one of the best high-school basketball players in the country. He's still a nice guy, but is refusing to be a jock anymore.
  • Mr. Exposition: The janitor, who went to school with Susie, is able to help clue Zach in on what's going on by explaining the car crash that killed Susie.
  • Pink Means Feminine: For the dance, Suzie not only wears an evening dress for the first time in years, according to her mother, but it's also pink.
  • Poltergeist: Susie effectively becomes one after Zach refuses to help her, going to his mother's TV news station studio and wrecking all kinds of ghostly trouble until he agrees to aid her.
  • Pop Culture Osmosis: Susie's nickname, Susie Q, isn't just a shortening of 'Susan Quinn', it's after the song of the same name, which conveniently plays over the opening credits as Susie gets ready for the Winter Formal. When she introduces herself to Zach, she says "Susie Q - like the song?", but he has no idea what she's talking about, since the song is now several decades old.
  • Pretty in Mink: Susie is given a white fur wrap by her mother to wear to the dance.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Not the cops, but the producer on Penny's news show. In the climax of the movie, Zach and Teri burst into the news station during the live broadcast, slam the sheet of paper with their handwritten copy in front of their mother, and beg her to read it, NOW! (It's the only chance of getting the word out about Roger Kovic's defrauding of the Quinn's before the deadline) The producer comes over, skims the copy, asks Zach and Teri (a teenager and a kid) if they can prove it, and gives the go ahead for the broadcast of the allegations.
  • Replacement Goldfish: At the end, Zach meets Maggie, who may or may not be the reincarnation of Susie.
  • Rich Jerk: Ray Kovich. His father's even worse.
  • Shout-Out: Susie Q and Johnny Angel's death is ripped right out of a Teenage Death Song. A genre of music which first became popular during TheFifties, the same period that they died.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Zach feels responsible for his dad's death (his car crashed on the way to watch Zach's championship game), and thus, when the film opens, has sworn to never play again. Susie helps him get over this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The corrupt cop has loaded guns just sitting there in the open.
  • Unfinished Business: Why Susie's still around. She needs to fulfill the mission her grandfather gave her the night she died but which she forgot, especially since she has since figured out that it was one of the main reasons for her parent's financial misfortune.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Susie's ailing grandfather. On the night of the Winter Formal, he asks Susie to get something of his for her mother - which turns out to be a copy of the legal papers proving her grandfather, once a highly savvy businessman, owns a large chunk of the town including the Quinn's house. Susie is in such a hurry to get to the dance that she doesn't remember her grandfather's request until halfway to the school, and makes her boyfriend stop the car - in the middle of the bridge, which is why they're in such a disastrous position when the joyriding teens crash into them. If Susie's grandfather had remembered to tell his daughter and son in law about the investments and the papers while he was in good health, the whole mess with the Quinn's financial situation - and possibly even Susie's death - would have been avoided back in The '50s.
  • You Can See Me?: Word for word this is what Susie says after realizing Zach can see her, which freaks her out as much as it does him.