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Film / The Banana Splits

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"One-banana, two-banana, three-banana, gore! Not the four guys you know and love..."

The Banana Splits is a Made-for-TV Movie based on the 1960s series The Banana Splits, making a Genre Shift from comedy to horror. It was released digitally on August 13, 2019, on Blu-Ray and DVD on August 27, 2019, and premiered on Syfy October 12, 2019.

The official summary is as follows: "A boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth, and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom, and their new pals safely escape?"

The trailer can be found here.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Mom: Beth takes this role to protect her children.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Needless to say, the 1968 versions of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky would never, ever, ever, ever, ever do any of the horrifying things their 2019 movie counterparts did. Although Snorky escapes this as the Token Good Teammate.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite being the Split who’s the most predominant on the cover, Bingo has the least amount of screen time- most of the killing is done by Fleegle and Drooper, and Snorky gets a small subplot. Bingo only does two things by himself during the events of the film and is damaged after the second one, only showing up for the climax of the film to fight Snorky.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Drooper uses an aerosol can and Andy’s dropped and lit cigar to do this to Jonathan.
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  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Due to errors in their programming, the Banana Splits take the phrase "The show must go on" a little too seriously...
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Harley is very immature for his age, is always "in his own little world" according to his brother, believes in fairies, only has one friend (possibly two by the end), and is seen as weird by the other kids in school.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Andy’s fate when Drooper and Fleegle perform the “banana split” on him.
  • And Show It to You: During the Snorky vs. Bingo fight, Bingo reaches into Snorky's chest and rips out a piece of machinery. While not a literal heart, it's blatantly heart-shaped, is leaking fluid, and a heartbeat sound effect plays as it gets torn out.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Harley is a fan of the In-Universe Banana Splits show, and he gets to see them live for his birthday.
  • Asshole Victim: Stevie, Mitch, and Andy. In fact, most of people whose deaths we see are justified by them being total dicks ( Thadd being the most notable exception.)
  • Audible Sharpness: Harley's extendable wand makes this sound whenever it extends. It's actually sharp enough to impale straight through Drooper’s head during the final battle!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice. The first time, Bingo manages to get Beth in a chokehold while in his Jungle, only for Austin to come back and get him off her, allowing Beth to shove Bingo off the rafters to the ground below. The second time in the final battle, only Drooper is left standing, but he gets the upper hand over both Austin and Beth. Harley returns, throwing Beth the extendible wand he received earlier. Stabbing it through Drooper's head is enough to finally bring him down.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The children are saved, Austin and Beth are starting a relationship, and the Banana Splits have been destroyed. However, Poppy has been driven insane from the events and she drives off with the remains of the Banana Splits who all may not be out of commission after all.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Needless to say, The Banana Splits Show was definitely not this violent.
  • Bond One-Liner: Fleegle after sawing Thadd in half, says, "Ta-daaaaaaa!"
  • Bullying a Dragon: Stevie's nasty behavior towards the Splits makes him the first person to die.
  • Canon Foreigner: There wasn't a character named Stevie in the original 1968 series nor was there a fifth female member of the Banana Splits, an owl named Hooty.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Within moments of meeting Paige, Austin tries to get her number, only to immediately retract it after realizing how awkward it sounded. At the end of the film, he asks again and manages to get it.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The extendable wand Austin gives Harley for his birthday is used to take out Drooper at the end.
    • In a villainous example, Rebecca complains early on about one of the prop hammers not being big enough. Drooper later kills her with that very same hammer.
  • Dance Party Ending: Harley notes that every episode of the show ends with the "Rock Out" choice when Andy lands on the "Banana Split" choice on the Wheel of Endings before his death. Also happens over the credits, with the Splits dancing to the theme song.
  • Darker and Edgier: Taking a kid-friendly (if a bit weird) show and turning it into a bloody horror movie? It doesn't get darker and edgier than that.
  • Dark Reprise: A lower-pitched version of the show's theme song plays in the second half of the trailer.
  • Drop the Hammer: How Drooper kills Rebecca.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The movie ends with Poppy, having lost her marbles and fully embraced the role of Hooty, escaping in a Banana Buggy with the remains of the Banana Splits, casually running over and killing Mitch, and laughing maniacally the whole time.
  • Eye Scream: One person gets killed by having Bingo's drumsticks shoved through his eyes.
  • Forced to Watch: Poppy is forced to watch while Thadd is sawed in half. The trauma from this is what eventually causes her Sanity Slippage later.
  • For the Evulz: Andy cancels the Banana Splits Show for no reason beyond it being "old and lame", despite it seemingly still being popular with audiences.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Andy is seen puffing on a cigar to establish that he's a sleazy asshole in a position of authority.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Fleegle does the "saw a man in half" magic trick - with a real saw, and gory results.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Stevie is the token human of the Banana Splits television series. A rude, lazy, selfish alcoholic, Stevie sexually harasses Paige and torments the animatronics with the knowledge that their show was to be cancelled before becoming the first to fall victim to their killing spree when a lollipop prop is lodged down his throat.
    • Andy is the studio executive of Taft Studios who was indirectly responsible for the Splits' spree by cancelling the show for no other reason than considering it boring, and wanting to do something "cool and edgy" — essentially putting multiple people out of a job all on a selfish whim. He gets the worst death at the hands of the animatronics when he gets tied to the new Wheel of Endings and won the "banana split".
    • Mitch is the husband of Beth Williams and the father of Austin and Harley. Irritated that his wife was giving his sons more attention, he has an affair with a coworker (not to mention being smugly dismissive of Austin and joking about how Harley came within a hair's breadth of being run over), and when she finds out, he gets all huffy and acts like the affair is all Beth's fault. Of course, he gets ran over by Snorky's Banana Buggy. Twice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Bingo has the survivors cornered at the climax, Snorky comes out of nowhere to fight him and save the survivors, killing Bingo but not before Bingo pulls a And Show It to You.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Rebecca manages to finish the Sloppy Time course alive, only for Drooper to be waiting at the end with a hammer to finish her off.
    • Mitch manages to find the gate attendant and begs him for help, but one of the Splits decapitated him off-screen. Mitch shakes his shoulder to get his attention, and his head falls clean off.
  • Hostile Animatronics: The Splits go from being people in costumes to being animatronics. Naturally, this trope comes into play.
  • Infant Immortality: Played With. While the Splits never attack any children, it's pointed out that their ultimate plan (kill all the adults and chain all the children to the seats, so they can watch their show forever) will ultimately lead to their deaths via starvation or dehydration. Presumably, the Splits (being robots) didn't know that humans need food to survive. In terms of storytelling, however, the trope is played straight- all of the children, including Harley and Zoe, survive the events of the film.
  • Laughing Mad: Poppy at the end, as she drives away with the remains of the Banana Splits.
  • Lightmare Fuel: While the horror is played straight, the ridiculousness of the premise itself and dashes of Black Comedy make for a movie that's as genuinely scary as it is twistedly funny.
  • Long Runner: The show has apparently been running for nearly 40 years in the universe of the movie.
  • Monster Sob Story: Losing their show, and being told that they're going to be ripped apart for use at a theme park, is what causes the Banana Splits to go berserk.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Stevie is a nice and friendly character on the show (if a little creepy, due to being a grown man playing what seems to be a child character), but behind the scenes he's a complete jerk, as well as an alcoholic. His awful behavior makes him the first person to die when the Banana Splits go haywire.
  • Off-Model: The costumes used for the Splits are different than that of the original series. Most visibly, Fleegle isn't as furry as he is in the original.
  • Off with His Head!: The gate attendant gets his head lopped off by one of the Banana Splits.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Mitch is chased by one of the Banana Buggies early on. Despite being next to a waist-high wall that the car wouldn't possibly be able to get over, he never tries to climb up to get away, not that it would have made much of a difference, as seen when he reaches the security guard.
  • Periphery Demographic: In-Universe, Thadd and Poppy are huge fans of the Banana Splits show, and end up being the only adults in the audience who aren't accompanied by their kids.
  • Reality Ensues: So, Beth finds out that Mitch has been cheating on her with his assistant, and not only that, but he's been nothing but smug and dismissive to their children and, when confronted on his infidelity, acts like the affair was all Beth's fault because she wasn't paying enough attention to him. So, when Mitch returns to her at the end of the movie declaring that he still loves her, what does Beth do? What any sane person would: she punches his lights out and declares that she wants a divorce.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: After Stevie’s Bullying a Dragon moment, Drooper's eyes glow red, showing that things are going to start going to Hell.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Karl goes insane during the film, for reasons never explained. Maybe he was already insane to start off with, but still.
    • After Fleegle forces her to witness Thadd's murder, Poppy completely loses it, killing Karl and escaping with the broken remains of the Banana Splits at the end.
  • The Scrappy: In-universe, both the audience and the crew hate Stevie, which is really understandable.
  • Show Within a Show: The Banana Splits Show is presented as one in the context of the film.
  • Stage Dad: Jonathan, whose main reason for attending the show is to get his daughter an acting job. He gets killed, and his daughter chooses to quit acting in the end.
  • Subverted Kids Show: The Banana Splits show is a popular kids show In-Universe. Then the bodies start piling up...
  • Token Good Teammate: Snorky is the only animatronic that doesn't kill anybody over the course of the film, and helps Harley to escape by sneaking him a set of keys.
  • Token Human: Stevie.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The routine that Jonathan has Parker do for Rebecca involves her singing a pretty risqué song. Rebecca is quick to stop it, calling the whole thing "disturbing".
  • Unexplained Recovery: Earlier in the film, Bingo gets thrown off a catwalk and is badly damaged (he's still clearly alive, but too broken to even walk). Later on, he returns just fine with no explanationnote . It's possible that Poppy had something to do with it.
  • The Voiceless: Like the original show, Snorky never speaks. Unlike the original show, he only makes his honking noises a few times throughout the whole movie.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Early on, it's revealed that Mitch is cheating on Beth with his assistant.


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