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Film / That's My Boy

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Han Solo: You know what I do remember? You making me drive you home from the beach because you got too drunk.
Donny: It makes sense to me. When somebody's hammered, they have another guy drive home.
Han Solo: I WAS EIGHT!!!.

That's My Boy is a 2012 comedy film starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. The film centers on the character of Donny Berger (Sandler), a 12-year-old who becomes a national celebrity in the year 1984 after it's discovered that he's in a sexual relationship with his hot 22-year-old teacher, Mary McGarricle. Mary becomes pregnant from the affair, causing Donny to become a very young single father after she is sentenced to 30 years in prison. Flash forward to present day, where Donny is a washed-up loser who spends most of his time hanging out at the local strip club and is facing prison time for tax evasion (having not paid his taxes since the early 1990s). When he learns that his millionaire son, Han Solo Berger (Samberg) is getting married, he makes a deal with a reality TV show host to reunite Han Solo with his mother so that he'll have enough money to avoid going to jail. But first, Donny must make amends with his son, whom he has not spoken to in years.


This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Father: Donny sires a child at 12.
  • Abusive Parents: Donny's father who is shown to have punched Donny in the face and called him a dumbass after he accidentally impregnates his teacher. It is even implied that he did not support Donny in raising his new grandson. This is Played for Laughs.
  • Adam Westing: In the film Vanilla Ice is portrayed as a washed-up rapper who now works as a fry cook at an ice skating rink, while in real life he's a successful house flipper and motocross racer who has made considerable amounts of money from both endeavors. His supervisor is Todd Bridges, who's also playing himself in an exaggeration of the washed-up celebrity/child star stereotype.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Donny first appeared in the 1999 audio skit by Adam Sandler called The Psychotic Legend of Uncle Donnie.
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  • The Alcoholic: Donny almost always has a beer in his hand, and stashes bottles and cans of Budweiser everywhere.
  • Alliterative Name: Mary McGarricle
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Donny is this to Han.
  • Anachronism Stew: The beginning scene of the film is dated 1984, but you can see a student carrying an ALF lunch box. ALF wasn't on the air until 1986.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Donny named his son Todd "Han Solo". So that way it sound cool that his full name would actually be Han Solo Berger.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Han claims that being a former fat kid raised on junk food gave him diabetes. In reality, type 1 diabetes isn't caused by a person's lifestyle at all and type 2 diabetes is reversible.
    • As Cinematic Excrement pointed out, if Han was so drunk he mistook an inanimate mannequin for his fiancé, he'd be far too drunk to have an erection, let alone ejaculate on said mannequin.
  • Artistic License – Law: The maximum sentence for statutory rape in real life is 12 years, far less than Mary's 30 year sentence.
  • Artistic License – Military: Deliberately invoked with Chad. His uniforms are a mixup of Marine Corps duty uniform, Army camo and rank devices, and completely fake insignia. He also talks about a "service revolver" (which the US Military hasn't had since 1912) and "emptying the clip" (any real Soldier or Marine knows the difference between a clip and a magazine). It turns out that he's lying about being a Marine, gets away with it for most of the movie because neither Donny nor Todd/Han know any better, and is in fact a Modern Jazz dancer. Who bangs his sister.
  • As Himself: Vanilla Ice, and Todd Bridges.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Todd was on his way to having this with Jamie. Thankfully Donny prevented it from happening.
  • The Bartender: Champale's daughter, Brie, works as the bartender in Donny's favorite strip club.
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: Donny goes to the hotel to confront Jamie on her cheating and discovers that she and her brother Chad are having sex in the hotel.
  • Between My Legs: Seen when Grandma Delores seduces Donny.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Inverted. Jamie says that Chad is half the size of Han but is a much better lover. Then again, he's probably had years of practice doing what she likes.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Todd yells out two in a row at the wedding in reaction to the news that his fiancée cheated on him with her own brother.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jamie at first seems like a sweet, if somewhat neurotic girl. As the film goes on we learn that she is shrill and controlling towards Han, and then we learn that she's having an affair with her own brother.
  • Bowdlerize: When aired on FX channel, the film does a great job at censoring some of the scenes and changing the dialogue.
  • Brick Joke: Father McNally prohibits texting, phone calls, Skyping and Angry Birds in his church. Later in the film, the replacement pastor is on his phone, grumbling "Oh, stupid bird! Come on, fly!"
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Han carries an extra pair of underwear at all times after soiling himself as a child. Later in the film ,he soils himself again after being tazed.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Donny discovers that Han's fiancée Jamie is having an affair with her younger brother. He tells Han, who calls off the wedding.
  • Canon Immigrant: Doctor Shakalu from Grandma's Boy (2006) became Father Shakalu in this movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early in the film Donny bets $20 on a fat man running the Boston Marathon, whose odds of winning are 8000-to-1. At the end of the film the fat man wins the marathon, causing Donny to win $160,000 and pay off his debt to the IRS.
  • Child by Rape: Played for Laughs, as Han was conceived by an inappropriate relationship between a 12-year-old child and his 22-year-old teacher.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Donny may be a washed up has-been tv star who sleeps around with a lot of women, but he still respects women. Even telling Teddy to show some respect to the strippers at the strip club.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: A rather disproportionate amount of them, with 156 uses in total.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandma Delores. While she is trendy, helpful and open-minded...
    • Dirty Old Woman: ...she's also not above having sex with a friend of her grandson.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Donny spends one entire evening doing this to Grandma Delores.
  • Disco Dan: Donny still dresses likes it's the 1980s, and he still has a cassette tape player in his car (along with a large collection of mix tapes from 80s bands like Van Halen and Def Leppard).
  • Dirty Kid: Donny Berger boasted about being experienced in all forms of sex when he was 12. And that was before his teacher Mary McGarricle gave him a lesson or two.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Played with. While Miss McGarricle herself is imprisoned for her crimes, Donny is cheered on by the school for having sex with his teacher and enjoys the experience, and the movie itself portrays the relationship as genuinely and mutually loving, and Donny himself claims as a grown man that it's the best thing that ever happened to him.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite his bad attitude, Chad has a soft spot for his mother and later on, he is practically begging Jamie and Donny not to tell her about his incestuous relationship with Jamie, and when the secret is later revealed during the wedding, he tries to convince Helen that Jamie was the one who pushed him into it and asks his mother if he's still her "little soldier".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Donny, who has no regrets about sleeping with his teacher as an underage boy, is shocked and disgusted by Jamie and Chad's incestuous relationship.
    • He willingly goes with the "put money on a fat marathon runner and hope he wins" plan and it ends up being a good move, but even he realizes the chances of it working are slim, and that he should find a plan to fall back on if that falls through.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Han Solo Berger. He later had it changed to the far more normal-sounding Todd Peterson. He takes back his original name when he and his dad make up.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Han's entire back is covered by a New Kids On The Block tattoo.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Vanilla Ice now works the snack bar at an ice skating rink.
  • Family Disunion: All of the Martin family and the wedding guests are horrified to learn of Jamie and Chad's incestuous relationship.
  • Faint in Shock: At the wedding, one of the guests faints in her chair when she learns about the Martin siblings' incestuous relationship from Han.
  • Fanboy: Donny likes Star Wars so much that he named his son after Han Solo. Also, Donny's accountant is a die-hard New England Patriots fan.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • One of Donny's only friends is Champale, an obese, middle-aged stripper.
    • Donny's Gag Penis whenever it hangs out. At one point he playfully fights with his son and it smacks him in the face.
    • 90-year-old grandma Delores. Wrinkly skin. In her 1920s swimsuit seducing Donny.
    • A drunk Todd having sex with a dressmaker's mannequin (mistaking it for his fiancee) and vomiting and ejaculating on the wedding dress.
    • Jamie naked in a hotel room, riding her younger brother Chad.
  • Fanservice: Played with. While it doesn't change the fact that she's in a Sick and Wrong invokedsexual affair with a 12-year-old, Donny's teacher is physically attractive with a seductive voice.
    • A montage of some of the exotic dancers at the bar Bacon N Legs which Donny frequently visits.
    • Milo Ventimiglia gets a few shirtless scenes.
  • Golddigger: Jamie is revealed to be this as she brags to Donny that she's going to be a very rich woman once she married Todd.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Donny is an expert at using a beer bottle as an improvised weapon, and never fails to knock his target unconscious.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Donny Berger loves to party and drink beer.
  • Hidden Depths: For all his many flaws, Donny is actually really good with big numbers; a trait he passed onto Todd/Han Solo.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The after effects of Han being raised by an irresponsible 12-year-old are played largely for laughs.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Champale, who seems to honestly care for Donny's well-being.
  • Hot for Teacher: 12-year-old Donny Berger is heavily attraced to Miss McGarricle . The film's conflict is kicked off when he learns she reciprocates his feelings.
  • Hypocrite: Jamie is disgusted when she learns that Han is the result of an underage boy having an affair with his teacher... despite the fact that she's involved in an incestuous relationship with her own brother. Lampshaded by Donny.
    • Jamie refuses to have sex with her fiancée before their wedding, but is not above screwing her own brother the night before the wedding.
  • I Banged Your Mom: At one point during the Time Skip, Donny slept with Vanilla Ice's mother, and Ice still resents him for it years later. They eventually make amends.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: Donny finds an old picture of Grandma Dolores in her youth, where she's shown to have been an attractive young woman. This ends up influencing his later decision to sleep with the older Dolores.
  • Idiotic Partner Confession: When Donny tries to stop the wedding, Chad threatens Donny with the fact that Jamie can still cancel that check she wrote him anytime and lets slip of the $50,000 check Jamie bribed him with (in order to keep quiet of Chad's incestuous relationship with Jamie). Jamie tries to silence him but it's too late.
  • I Have Just One Thing to Say: "All right, you know what? You are an imbecilic, immature, asinine, childish, caveman-like, hairy-knuckled, single-chromosomal, obnoxious, uneducated, ignorant asshole...who I would like to fuck hard and long!"
  • Immodest Orgasm: Jamie, loud enough for Donny to locate her in the hotel she's staying at.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Jamie drops one to Donny, defending her incestuous relationship with her younger brother, Chad.
    Jamie: It's what good-looking people do! They have sex with other good-looking people! Just that one of those particular good-looking people happens to be my little brother...
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Jamie and Chad are in the middle of having sex when Donny busts in on them.
    • A young Donny and his teacher get caught having sex on a piano.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: The movie starts in 1984, and when the relationship between Donny and Mary is shown, they play a Van Halen song from the're probably expecting it to be "Hot for Teacher"note , right? Nope, it uses "And the Cradle Will Rock"! Which was foreshadowing the conception of Han.
  • Jerk Jock: Chad.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although Donny was a lousy parent to Han, it was more out of ignorance than anything else. He genuinely cares about his son and wants him to be happy.
  • Jerks Use Body Spray: Invoked when Donny asks Todd if he has any Axe:
    Todd: No, Donny, I don't have any Axe body spray because I'm not a fucking douchebag.
    Donny: That's a douchebag thing? When did that become a douchebag thing?
  • Kavorka Man: Donny Berger is as sleazy, unattractive and unkempt in appearance as a former celebrity comes to be. And yet he still manages to seduce women (Mrs. McGarricle, Grandma Delores, a 30-something female masseuse, 20-something female guests, Vanilla Ice's mom, etc.) with little to no trouble.
  • Kidanova: After getting caught having sex with his teacher McGarricle, 12-year-old Donny is praised by his school and goes on to become a hollywood star. From his teen years onwards, all sorts of older women, even grandmothers, wanted to have a go at him.
  • Kick the Dog: When Jamie gets caught having sex with her younger brother Chad, she argues to Donny that she has sex with other good-looking people. Basically saying that she does not find her fiancée Todd to be attractive.
  • Likes Older Women: Donny, proclaiming at 13 years old that he's into women, has a forbidden relationship with his hot teacher Ms. McGarricle (even up to the present day) and manages to have sex with Grandma Delores.
  • Love Forgives All but Lust: Todd forgives Jamie for sleeping around with a bunch of people but her sleeping with her younger brother is quite the deal breaker for him.
  • Manchild: Donny.
  • Made-for-TV Movie: An in-universe example. Donny's life was the subject of a television movie called The Donny Berger Story.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: A 12 year old Donny and Ms. McGarricle get caught having sex on a noisy piano during a school pep rally.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Perhaps one of the more depraved examples. The prologue, set in 1984, shows 12y/o Donny having an affair with his teacher.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Double Subverted. When Donny hears Jamie talking on the phone with someone and it sounds like an affair, he calls her out on it at her wedding rehearsal dinner with her family. Jamie insists that it was just an innocent private conversation with Steve Goldstein from the new yorker. Donny feels bad and goes to make up for it. Then it turns out Jamie really was cheating... with her brother.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Lampshaded, Discussed and Averted. After catching them in bed together, Donny asks Jamie if Chad is at least adopted, or at her step-brother or something. Jamie and Chad's shocked silence confirms to Donny that they're indeed full-blooded siblings having an incestuous affair.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Jamie tries to pull this one on Donny when he catches her in the middle of sleeping with her brother. It doesn't work, and it's exactly what it looks like.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Han's brawl with Father McNally is one of these until Donny intervenes.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on Jamie and Chad's faces when Donny shows up at the wedding to voice his objections. Also the same look on their faces when they're caught together in the hotel by Donny the night before.
  • Only Sane Man: The judge in the courtroom lampshades this, as she and the authorities and child protective services were the only people at the time who reacted appropriately to 12-year-old Donny Berger and his teacher's relationship with disgust.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with when Donny catches Jamie on the phone with a man named Steve, hinting that she may be having an affair with Todd's boss. She claims she was actually speaking to Steve Goldstein, the Boston Herald wedding reporter, and wanted to keep the call a secret because Todd hates being on the papers. Averted with Andy Samberg as Todd Peterson/Han Solo Berger and Todd Bridges as himself.
  • Papa Wolf: Donny when he knocks out Jamie when she's about to knife Todd.
  • Phony Veteran: Just one of the many reasons why Chad is despicable. Turns out Chad is not really a Marine but one in disguise so that way his parents don't find out he is a modern jazz dancer.
  • Poor Man's Porn: In one scene, Donny has A Date with Rosie Palms over a pair of photographs of Grandma Delores; one as a young woman in a vintage swimsuit, and one from the present day as an elderly woman.
  • The Pornomancer: Donny. The fact that he had an affair with his attractive teacher when he was only 12 years old causes many of the male characters in the movie to view him as a sex god. He also seems to have little difficulty hooking up with other women, such as Grandma Delores and the manager at the Men's Spa.
  • Present-Day Past: In the 1984 flashback, one of Donny's friends has an ALF lunchbox. Alf didn't come out until 1986.
  • Product Placement: Donny is seldom seen without a bottle or can of Budweiser (and the label is always facing toward the camera). Also, one of the film's gags references the "Wassup!" Bud Light commercials from the late 1990s.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: In the universe of this movie, the abuse and neglect Han suffered as a result of being raised by Donnie are apparently forgiven because Donnie still sincerely loves him.
  • Puppy Love: It's implied that Jamie and Chad have been having an incestuous relationship since childhood.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Grandma Delores has sex with Donny and Vanilla Ice in the same night. Possibly at the same time.
    • Jamie, who had sex with Han's boss just so he could get a promotion and isn't above sleeping with her own brother.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After dumping his golddigging fiancée Jamie, Todd starts a relationship with nice girl stripper/dancer Brie at the end.
  • Romantic False Lead: Jamie turns out to be this for Todd.
  • Rule of Three: Donny hitting people with a bottle.
  • Running Gag: Every time Donny doesn't spill his beer.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jamie has no choice but to confess to Todd her awful secret in front of everyone she knows at the altar or else Donny will tell it to everyone for her.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Jamie attempts to bribe Donny with enough money to keep him out of jail as long as he keeps quiet about her affair with Chad. But in the end, Donny decides that he'd rather go to jail than let his son marry somebody like Jamie.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: After being caught with her brother Chad in the hotel, Jamie's more than willing to pay Donny a $50,000 check to keep his mouth shut about the incestuous affair before her wedding.
  • Ship Tease: Todd and Brie bond at his bachelor party at Bacon N' Legs.
  • Situational Sexuality: Implied when a now middle-aged Ms. McGarricle power walks toward Donny and Todd as female inmates and guards ogle her hard and she waves at them affectionately.
  • Skewed Priorities: After they're caught, Chad tries to reason with Donny telling him that he knows the situation between him and Jamie is wrong but he would never carry on with a married woman and that he's got "better morals than that". Donny points out that adultery, while still looked down upon, is not nearly as big an issue as incest. Chad panics after this, fearing that their taboo relationship will be exposed.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Donny somehow raised his son as a teenager while his mother is in jail.
  • Squick: In-Universe reaction when Donny, Todd and the entire Martin family find out that Jamie has been sleeping with her brother Chad.
    • Also when people find out that Donny impregnated his teacher when he was 12. Though most people thought he was a celebrity for accomplishing so, the judge is the only one who appropriately thinks it's wrong.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The negative after effects of Donny's irresponsible parenting virtually come to no one's surprise since he was far from full emotional or psychological maturity when he fathered Han Solo.
    • Though Donny is cheered on by the school and becomes a minor celebrity for having a relationship with his teacher, Miss McGarricle herself became a social pariah and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for taking advantage of an underage boy.
    • Because Donny was a young father with little to no knowledge of how to properly take care of a baby, let alone nourish one, he ends up feeding the kid snack cakes and lollipops for breakfast every day. This results in Han becoming morbidly obese at a young age and developing type 2 diabetes.
    • When Donny demands that Jamie confess to Todd about her incestuous relationship with her own brother, she whispers it in Todd's ear to save herself from saying it publicly. Todd is so shocked and disgusted by the revelation that he suddenly blurts it out loud, so all the wedding-goers hear it anyway.
  • Tap on the Head: Donny delivers a few of these during the film.
  • Tempting Fate: Todd to his fiancee Jamie when she is forced to confess her big secret at the alter: "Babe, it's okay. You can tell me. How bad can it be?". Bad is an understatement.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: After Todd whacks Chad with a bottle, he has the perfect rejoinder. "At ease, bitch!"
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels!: Donny's reaction to finding Jamie in bed with her younger brother Chad in the hotel room. Later, Todd and everyone's reaction at the wedding is this to the news about Jamie and Chad's incestuous relationship.
  • Timeshifted Actor: The young version of Mary McGarricle is played by Eva Amurri Martino. The middle-aged version of the character is played by Martino's real-life mother, Susan Sarandon.
  • Title Drop: Donny says "That's my boy" a couple of times. Todd even says "I hate you, Dad!" which was the film's original title.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Chad. He doesn't know anything about being a Marine. He insists he wouldn't carry on with a married woman, even though Jamie is still engaged to be married to Todd. He is unaware of the taboo nature regarding his incestuous relationship with his sister Jamie and when Donny spells it out for him, he panics. He still continues to have sex with Jamie, all the while begging her not to tell their relatives about their "secret tickle time". Then he poses for the picture Donny snaps of them together in bed he uses as blackmail.
    • Add Mrs. McGarricle to that as well. What did she think was going to happen when she and Donny had sex on stage at a school assembly...while laying against the very noisy piano?
    • Jamie could have gotten away with it too, if she didn't scream from her orgasms loud enough for Donny to locate her in the hotel.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: 12 year old Donny Berger hitting on his teacher, bragging about handjobs and other sexual acts (though all a ruse as he was a virgin), willingly having a sexual relationship with his teacher, and becoming a father at age 12.
    • Jamie and Chad's incestuous relationship is implied to have started when they were at a very young age if Chad's line about their "secret tickle time" is any implication.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Chad calls having sex with Jamie 'their secret tickle time'.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jamie tries to attack Todd with a cake knife at the end, only to be knocked out by Donny. Chad tries to do the same after they knock out Jamie only he gets punched out too.
  • Villainous Incest: Siblings Chad and Jamie Martin are a pair of rich privileged brats who have sex with each other and don't care about who gets hurt.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A drunken Han Solo pukes on Jamie's wedding dress after his bachelor party. Also, Donny throws up after discovering Jamie and Chad's incestuous relationship.
  • Vulgar Humor: Constant cussing, nonstop crude sexual content involving masturbation, oral sex, semen, penis size, incest, even statutory rape among other things, and urine and vomit gags to top it all off. Yup, this movie's got it all. Not surprising since it's an Adam Sandler movie.
  • Wham Line: Todd mutters a few lines just before seeing Chad emerge from the bed with Jamie.
    Donny: Am I right, Mr. Steve Goldstein—? (Beat) Wait... are you ser...? What am I seeing? With each other? Am I...? This is... Is he your stepbrother, at least? Or adopted, or something? No reply, so it's real. Oh my God!
    • In-universe. Everyone is shocked with the discovery of incest between the Martin siblings after Jamie reluctantly tells Todd her big secret.
    Todd: (after Jamie whispers in his ear) WHAT?!...WHAT?! AGH! You fucked your brother?! (Cue gasps, looks of disgust, and some fainting from the wedding guests).
  • Wham Shot: Donny breaking into the hotel room to find Jamie having sex with her younger brother. Of all people.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Donny doesn't hit women but he's fine with hitting Jamie on the head with a beer bottle. Lampshaded by Donny, who immediately points out that he wouldn't ordinarily do that, but he felt justified considering she was trying to kill his son.
  • "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: This movie is about a father attempting to win the approval of his son.