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Film / The Mask

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"It's party time! P-A-R-T—Y? Because I GOTTA!"


Ah, yes... The Mask, a fun little Jim Carrey romp from 1994. It's one of his works from early on in his A-list film career, specifically his first film to arrive in theaters after Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. It's built on slapstick comedy and Jim Carrey contorting his face a little more than usual, and turned out to be very popular. It is based, Film of the Book style, on the comic book of the same name. Well, sort of. The original is not harmless slapstick, fitting much better in the comedy horror genre.

The story of the film follows twenty-something Edge City banker Stanley Ipkiss as he finds a magical mask, endowed with the powers of the Norse Trickster God Loki, which effectively makes the wearer completely immune to absolutely everything, and capable of practically anything. In Stanley's case, this manifests as gaining the Reality Warper abilities of his beloved classic Tex Avery characters (stretching, shapeshifting, bouncing back from Amusing Injuries, and the like). While not quite reaching With Great Power Comes Great Insanity levels, he does use it to get back at the people that bullied the shy reserved nice guy Stanley, and to woo nightclub-singer Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz in her feature-film debut). When other less savory individuals get hold of it, the results are not so amusing.

Following the success of this film was a well-received (and often very naughty) Saturday morning animated adaptation in 1995, which lasted until 1997.

It had a Carrey-less pseudo-sequel, Son of the Mask, in 2005, which starred Jamie Kennedy and a CGI baby. Unfortunately, it disappointed and let down fans and critics hard with its disturbing CGI, below-average acting and poor attempts at humor.

Not to be confused with Mask, a 1980s drama about a young man with a facial deformity and his family, the '60s Canadian horror film The Mask, or the toy-based cartoon M.A.S.K..

Somebody trope me!

  • 555: Mrs. Kellaway's phone number, as shown in the picture of her which the cops find in the Mask's possession, is 555-9371.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The Mask sealing the gate to Landfill Park is a great example of this trope. He does it to keep Kellaway and Doyle inside... only to turn and find the rest of the police on the same side of the wall as him! It also doesn't do such a good job at keeping Kellaway and Doyle locked inside either; the pair simply climb over the wall.
  • Absurdly-Long Limousine: In one of several homages to Tex Avery, who often used this gag, the title character arrives at the Coco Bongo club in such a car. Yes, it is a real limousine.
  • Actually Quite Catchy: During The Mask's "Cuban Pete" song and dance number, police detective Doyle (who's supposed to be trying to catch The Mask) starts dancing along with the music. His boss Lieutenant Kellaway tells him "Start dancing and I'll blow your brains out."
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The Mask itself. In the comic books, it is deliberately malevolent and corrupting and compels its wearers to commit atrocity after atrocity with the immense power it gives them, before they die and it goes to its next "master". In the film it simply removes all inhibitions, letting the wearer do whatever they want to. This is why Stanley Ipkiss becomes a wisecracking mischief-maker, but the villain lets loose with all of his evil.
    • The same can be said for Stanley Ipkiss himself. In the film, he's a lovable loser with a lot of nevertheless redeeming qualities who ultimately learns to stop relying on The Mask to solve his problems, rises to the occasion, and gets the girl. In the comics, he's a right-wing lunatic who uses The Mask as his personal hitman to kill those who wronged him for increasingly trivial reasons (such as suffocating his elementary school teacher), goes on a violent rampage against the police, and is ultimately shot and killed by his girlfriend.
    • The Mask is a good-hearted cartoonish man who decided to become a gangster at first to get respect and fear into people knowing that Stanley was bullied by some of these people, however after seeing Tina at the Coco Bongo and how much of a good person she is to him and Stanley, he decided at the end of the film to become a superhero from now on after meeting with Dorian Tyrell and stays that way in the sequel animated series, which shows him having fun but also doing his job as a superhero as well.
  • The Alleged Car: "The Loaner" Stanley receives from the mechanics, a 1951 Studebaker Champion that is rusting, and as demonstrated when Stanley kicks it in anger, falling to pieces. It is pretty much the reason why Stanley ends up finding the Mask in the river, by stalling right in the middle of the bridge.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Discussed trope. Stanley connects with Peggy when he reveals he sent a letter to her advice column bemoaning his lack of a dating life. It seems at first that Peggy is going to exhibit this trope when she wants to meet the Mask, but it turns out she betrays Stanley in order to keep her condo. Although Tina was seduced by the Mask, she winds up falling in love with Ipkiss (albeit his experience with the Mask having made him more confident). Notably, in the animated series, Tina's vanished entirely and Peggy is a regular visitor to Stanley's apartment.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Dr. Newman has a theory that people wear metaphorical masks to conceal who they truly are, or their Id, a Freudian concept.
  • All Therapists Are Muggles: The psychiatrist doesn't believe that the mask could have any supernatural properties. The mask fails to work when demonstrated. This is because it only works at night.
  • Almost Kiss: Stanley and Tina twice: once while he's in jail, and again right after he rescues her from Dorian Tyrell.
  • And Starring: "Introducing Cameron Diaz" which worked out pretty well as her career took off shortly after this movie.
  • Anti-Hero: Stanley fits the classical Greek definition of the term. The Mask himself is probably an Unscrupulous Hero. Even though he isn't as violent as most anti-heroes, he's still willing to do many unheroic things with little regard for those around him. Both Stanley and his Mask persona graduate to full (and in the Mask's case, very weird) hero status by the end of the film.
  • Affably Evil: The Mask is this at first, as he decides to become a gangster instead of a superhero, going after those who mistreat Stanley like those mechanics and robbing a bank just so he can get inside the Coco Bongo, but he is friendly, polite, sweet and nice towards Tina who — though she prefers Stanley — clearly likes him because of these things, and he is a saint as well compered to Dorian Tyrell. At the end of the film he drops the evil part and plays the "affable" part straight, deciding to become a superhero.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Stanley apologizes to Kellaway while making him his captive in order to get out of the police station to save Tina and stop Dorian.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played straight and inverted in the same scene. While emptying The Mask's pockets in the park, the police find a pair of "funny eyeball glasses", to which The Mask acts as if they are incriminating ("I've never seen those before in my life."), but when a bazooka is extracted, he calmly states "I have a permit for that."
  • Ascended Extra: Stanley Ipkiss. In the comics, he was killed off at the end of the first story arc, but he became the main character of the movie and cartoon in the adaptations.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Stanley is an avid watcher of Golden Age cartoons, and as such, they seem to be a subconscious go-to for the masked persona's antics.
  • Asshole Victim: Niko. He tries shooting at Dorian's Superpowered Evil Side, only to get his own bullets spat back out at him.
    • Non-fatal example on the two mechanics. The Mask shoves two exhaust pipes up their butts after they tried to cheat Stanley on the price. It's implied they regularly did this to other customers.
  • Ass Shove: Stanley uses The Mask's powers to get back at his shady car mechanics by shoving exhaust pipes up their anuses.
  • Attention-Deficit Disciple: Happens with all the cops joining in. Invoked, too, when the lieutenant in charge tells his subordinate: "You start dancing, I'll blow your brains out."
  • Bag of Holding: The Mask's pockets while being frisked by the police.
  • "Bang!" Flag Gun: The Mask whips out lethal-looking weapons to intimidate the goons, and the guns are revealed to be these after they run away.
  • Bank Robbery: Dorian sends his men to break into Edge City Savings, only for the Mask to beat them there.
  • Bat Deduction: Kellaway immediately deduces that Stanley is The Mask after finding a piece of Stanley's pajamas at a crime scene, which had been blown off The Mask's zoot suit and reverted to Stan's clothes.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The deleted prologue shows us that Leif Erikson discovered America and never came back just to get rid of the Mask.
  • Beneath the Mask: Although it doesn't get played straight (it just happens literally), this trope is one of the major themes of the movie. As laid out by the psychiatrist, everyone wears social masks hiding who they really are underneath. Putting on the supernatural artifact causes the wearer to tear off their mask and embody their id. This means that Stanley becomes The Mask by removing his social mask, though, ironically, to do so, he puts a real mask on. In the end, he has to take off this mask, and in doing so, finds a balance for himself. This still holds true for Dorian as well, since the mask that the artifact rips away is his pretenses of being a classy old-school-style mobster with a legitimate business and a sense of fair play. He becomes a blunt, brutal, thoughtless thug who kills for fun and can't think beyond his next step in getting what he wants.
  • Berserk Board Barricade: The eponymous hero races out of the park, closes the doors, boards them shut, chains them shut, and for good measure, locks the door. The rest of the police force is right behind him the entire time.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: Tina is the impossibly gorgeous girlfriend of a mobster and a criminal accomplice. Peggy is a modest, struggling journalist who would like to have a man in her life. Later, Peggy sells Stanley to said mobster for money to pay for a nice apartment, and Tina breaks up with him and ends up with Stanley after he saves her life as the Mask. Notably, it's effectively switched back in the cartoon continuity.
  • BFG: Two of them. But they turn out to be full of Bang Flag Guns. While being frisked down by police, one of the agents retrieves a bazooka from the Mask's Hammerspace. The Mask claims that he has a permit for that.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When the police interrupt The Mask's French seduction of Tina, he responds with a Foreign Cuss Word: "Merde!", French for "Shit!"
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Mask shoves exhaust pipes up the asses of crooked mechanics, robs a bank, disturbs a police investigation, and takes control of people's bodies without their consent, but he shows genuine care, love, compassion, and kindness to those who are nice to him and he is The Hero of the film who is fighting against Dorian who is the big bad and saves everyone from him and his goons. Dorian is a sociopath and will kill anyone who dares to make a stand against him like Tina the woman that the Mask and Stanley both love.
  • Black Comedy Rape: The Mask shoves exhaust pipes up some crooked mechanics' asses for cheating him as Stanley.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The Doctor is the leader of the team of criminals that Dorian Tyrell sends to rob the bank. He is mortally wounded by polic gunfire during the robbery and is the first named character to die in the movie.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In the scene where the title character is dodging enemy fire, at a certain point he becomes a gunslinger, and loses his gun to an incoming bullet, right before his "dying at the enemy's arms" routine.
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: While the title character is in the park with Tina smoking a cigarette, he uses his magical powers to blow a smoke heart and then blows a smoke arrow (from his nose) to shoot through it.
  • Blown Across the Room: When Dorian (in his Mask-enhanced form) shoots bullets out of his mouth and kills Niko, Niko is thrown into the air and several feet backward.
  • Bomb Disposal: The title character disposes of a bomb by swallowing it and letting it explode inside him.
  • Bond One-Liner: The Mask drops two of them over the course of the film.
    • The first is played for laughs — after smashing the alarm clock that had escaped from his pockets, The Mask says "Ssssnooze!"
    • The second comes after Dorian gets flushed — "You were good, kid, real good. But as long as I'm around, you'll always be second best, see?"
  • Born in the Theater: Stanley is a fan of old cartoons (particularly Looney Tunes and Tex Avery) so a lot of the jokes and gags he pulls have shades of this. In one scene he goes through an overly dramatic death scene, after which he's immediately handed an Oscar and a silhouette audience stands up and cheers. The other characters in the scene aren't freaked out by this; heck, Dorian even smooths his hair down and stands up a tad straighter, though he looks confused too.
  • Bound and Gagged: During the climax, Tina is tied to a post in the Coco Bongo club by her ex-boyfriend Dorian Tyrell next to a bomb that will blow up the entire club and kill her.
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: The animated alarm clock spews a few cogs and springs just before The Mask smashes it with a giant hammer.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: During the Extended Disarming. The harmless items end with a bazooka and a signed picture of Kellaway's wife.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The Mask looks and speaks to the viewers multiple times. Considering he's basically a living Tex Avery creation, it makes sense.
    • The theater audience (shown using shadows at the bottom of the screen) applaud him for his 'acting', and Dorian and his goon, realizing they're on screen, awkwardly fix their hair.
  • Breakout Character: Stanley Ipkiss, merely a one-shot character from the original comics who lasted for about the same story arc he got introduced in, became the star in the movie and since then became directly associated with The Mask, changing the original premise of the comic in which The Mask itself is what matters no matter who's the one wearing it.
    • Also, Peggy Brandt, who was killed in a deleted scene, ends up as Stanley's confidant and the closest thing to a romantic partner for him in the cartoon series.
  • Bring It: The title character to some robbers, and Dorian Tyrell to his boss Niko during their final confrontation.
  • Bullet Dancing: After Dorian and his accomplices stop The Mask and Tina's dancing in Coco Bongo, one of the henchmen tries to shoot The Mask, but The Mask manages to avoid the bullets using his elastic body and shapeshifting ability, before he got "shot for real" (pretending).
  • Bullet Seed: Dorian Tyrell while wearing the mask, with actual bullets. Which were just fired into his chest. They even sound like a semi-automatic as he spits them.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ipkiss in the opening scenes. Fobbed off by a date (whether or not her excuse that a friend was visiting was true), subject to crooked mechanics, and humiliated at the Coco Bongo nightclub.
  • Canon Foreigner: Almost everyone. Only Stanley and Kellaway came from the comics.
  • Captain Obvious: Well spotted, Doyle.
    Doyle: I missed him.
    Kellaway: (glares at Doyle, then turns to leave) C'mon. We ALL missed him.
  • Cardiovascular Love: The living-cartoon title character has his heart-symbol pounding out of his chest when watching Cameron Diaz's character sing at a nightclub.
  • Carnival of Killers: Pretty-boy gangster Dorian Tyrell promises $50,000 to whoever can kill the title character (no mean feat, since the green-faced creature is practically immortal).
  • Cartridges in Flight: Tyrell spits bullets that his body absorbed after being shot, to kill his Bad Boss Niko. Given that the eponymous mask's explicit power is to grant Toon Physics to its wearer, it's an extremely rare instance of this being a Justified Trope.
  • Casanova Wannabe: The Mask himself fits this trope when he gets carried away on his date with Tina. Unlike Stanley, who's too shy and reserved, the Mask tends to come on a bit too strong though he does win Tina over eventually of course because of his sweet nature toward her.
  • Catch and Return: While wearing the Mask, Dorian absorbs all the bullets that Niko fires on him, with no ill effects, and shoots them back to him through his mouth. This kills Niko.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The police arrive after The Mask has disposed of Dorian Tyrell.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Another obvious power of The Mask. He does it by either spinning or changing as the camera cuts away from him.
  • The Chanteuse: Tina, as the main star of the Coco Bongo.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • The Mask has "Ssssmokin'!" and "Somebody stop me!"
    • Kellaway's is an angry "Doyle!"
  • Charity Ball: The Casino Night version, which is then broken into by the Mask-wearing Dorian and his goons as part of his vengeance on Niko.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Milo's ability to find Stanley's keys and to fetch the frisbee comes in handy when he has to break his owner out of prison, and then when he has to recover the Mask from Dorian's goons.
  • Civvie Spandex: The film version creates normal clothes to wear, but they're usually clothes from The Forties or thereabouts.
  • *Click* Hello: When Stanley tries to stealthily foil Dorian at the nightclub:
    Stanley: [hiding under a casino table and lining up his gun towards Dorian] This is the moment of truth. When a man shows what he's really made of—
    [gun comes into frame, cocked at his head]
    Stanley: Crap.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Stanley tosses the Mask out a window, only for it to boomerang back onto his bed. At the end of the film, he manages to throw it into the river with no side effects, but then Milo dives in and fetches it.
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: Downplayed. The Mask unlocks a seemingly absolute power for its wearer and disinhibits them; while it doesn't make him evil, it does make him wacky and impulsive. (unlike in the source comic).
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Played straight. Whoever wears the Mask is only limited by his own will and imagination.
  • Clueless Deputy: Doyle again. In one scene, Kellaway tries to relay to Doyle that Stanley's secretly holding him at gunpoint. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
    Doyle: Hey, Lieutenant, where are you taking Ipkiss?
    Kellaway: Ixnay! Ehay's otgay an ungay! (Stanley jabs the gun into his side) OW!
    Doyle: Oh, I get it! Pig Latin, right? [thinks] Eesay... ouyay... aterlay!
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: As Stanley Ipkiss is fleeing the police, Peggy Brandt pulls up in her car and tells him to get in. Subverted, however, as her reason for doing so is to take him to Dorian and collect on the reward on him.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Stanley pays some lip service to this trope, pondering becoming a Super Hero. "But first..." Cue him rushing off to Ripley Auto Finishing to get some rather painful revenge on the mechanics that ripped him off.
  • Cool Mask: The movie is about a mask that turns whoever wears it into the physical avatar of the Trickster God Loki.
  • Cow Tools: Parodied when Doyle and another cop are frisking an under-arrest Stanley Ipkiss (in his Mask persona) while an increasingly exasperated Lieutenant Kellaway looks on. The cops name each item they pull from Ipkiss's (surprisingly deep) pockets — and then Doyle pulls from the left pocket the commonly seen squeeze toy for stressed people of a clown whose eyes, nose and ears bug out when it's squeezed. Doyle — who isn't the brightest bulb in the Edge City police department — looks at it blankly for two seconds and then says "I don't know."
  • Cradling Your Kill: The movie parodies Pietà Plagiarism and this trope when Stanley is shot by Darien's goons and collapses into one of the stunned henchman's arms. Stanley coughs out, "Hold me closer, Ed, it's getting dark," and rambles on until he appears to have died. The henchman, moved, starts weeping. The movie then Breaks the Fourth Wall as an audience appears in the foreground. Stanley cries, "You love me, you really love me!" and accepts an Oscar award as the villains in the shot look on self-consciously and smooth their hair. Stanley is unharmed and escapes moments later.
  • Cranky Landlord: Landlady in this case, Mrs. Peenman, who makes life miserable for poor Stanley.
  • Crapsack World: Edge City. Just to top it off, the city landfill is apparently adjacent to the city park.
  • Crashing Dreams: Stanley has a dream of the night he was at the Coco Bongo, only he is suave and confident with a nice Porsche and dressed cleanly. Most significantly, in this dream Tina was more openly attracted to him, and instead of him taking off, he flirts with Tina and signals for her to come to him. She does so, but as the two end up in each other's arms, just as their lips are slightly brushing against each other, Tina suddenly grabs Stanley's head and starts licking his ear repeatedly, sadly forcing Stanley to wake up to realize it was all a dream and that his dog Milo is licking his ear.
  • Crowd Song: The Mask magics the entire Edge City police force into singing "Cuban Pete" with him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Stanley could be seen as this at the end. The Mask can be seen as this at first due to the fact that he's wacky and over the top but he's a very powerful Reality Warper so, therefore, he can do whatever he wants with anyone if he wishes to. Thankfully, he's a good-hearted person and is essentially harmless, so therefore people are very lucky when they decided to be idiots or jerks towards him or both.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: An infamous deleted scene was going to have the Big Bad kill Peggy by crushing her to death using a printing press instead of Stanley after the latter is forced to give up the titular Mask so that the villain can become the Mask himself. Peggy then emerges out of the printing press as a newspaper written entirely in red ink, has a picture of her screaming, and is entitled "Reporter Killed in Freak Accident." Notably, since it's a deleted scene, in the cartoon, she's still alive and has made up with Stanley.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: The tiny horn the title character uses to blow out the motorist's windows. Crosses over with Loud of War and Glass-Shattering Sound.
  • Damsel in Distress: Tina. Although she is able to get Dorian to take off the mask and then kick it to Stanley, which leads to the battle being won.
  • Dance Line: Happens between the Mask and the cops as the "Cuban Pete" scene changes into a conga.
  • The Darkness Before Death: Parodied. While the title character is performing his award-winning death scene, he says "Hold me, Ed... It's getting dark".
  • Deducing the Secret Identity: After Lieutenant Mitch Kellaway arrests Dorian Tyrell at hid nightclub, the Coco Bongo, he begins to suspect that Stanley Ipkiss is the Mask when he finds a piece of Stanley's pajamas that was shot off during a fight with Tyrell the night before. However, at the end of the film, thanks to Tyrell stealing the mask from Stanley and uses to it attack the Coco Bongo and kill his boss, Niko, the Mayor of Edge City, who was present at the night club, concludes that was Tyrell the whole time while praising Stanley as a hero for saving everyone, thus preventing Kellaway from arresting Stanley.
  • A Dick in Name: The bank manager, the son of the owner and in Charlie's words "a rich little creep", is Mr. Dickey.
  • Diesel Punk: Edge City is a world that is in equal parts the 1940s (when the cartoons the Mask copies were made) and the 1990s; there is modern technology, but the title character is a zoot-suited ladies man anti-hero, the buildings wouldn't look out of place in an old gangster movie, and the soundtrack is a swanky neo-swing.
  • Dinner Deformation: The title character swallows a bomb, and the resulting explosion only gives him a fiery belch.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The destruction of the "Loaner" is a contained version of that. The car breaks, Stanley goes to check on it, gets burned and kicks the car in frustration... and it breaks down piece by piece.
  • Disproportionate Retribution
    • The Ass Shove applied to the mechanics. Though given that their Establishing Character Moment implies they scam all their customers like they do Stanley they don't draw much sympathy. And it's still kinder than what happens to them in the comic.
      Mechanic: Sign right here, and press down hard.
      Ipkiss: There's no price.
      Mechanic: There will be.
    • What happens after a driver almost runs over the Mask and starts honking at him. He survives, however.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: This is why Tina is sent to open an account at the Edge City Bank — Stanley and Charlie are so startled by her they don't notice her purse has a camera in it, as her boyfriend Dorian is checking the path to the bank vault.
  • Distressed Damsel: Tina during the final confrontation at the Coco Bongo, which she spends either at gunpoint or tied up. Even so, she manages to distract Dorian, convince him to take off the Mask, and then kicks it away so Stanley can recover it.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: By The Mask, when he pulls two gigantic cartoonish guns on Dorian's henchmen.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Stanley falls in love with Tina after meeting her at the bank. Since she's played by Cameron Diaz, we can hardly fault him.
  • Eat the Bomb: With only a few seconds left, the Mask eats the dynamite left by Dorian next to Tina's feet, eliminating it with no ill effects.
    "That's a spicy meat-a ball!"
  • Embarrassing Pyjamas: Stanley Ipkiss has this kind of pajamas. Lampshaded by Lt. Kellaway when he interrogates Ipkiss about an incident just outside his door last night. It becomes a Chekhov's Gun when Kellaway finds a piece of the pajamas at a crime scene, and thus deduces Stanley is The Mask (the piece ended up there because it was blown off The Mask's zoot suit and reverted to Stan's clothes).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of Dorian's men is wary when a storm cloud is forming above his boss as he's about to put on the mask.
    "Boss... be careful."
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Mask, in contrast to how in the comics he's called "Big Head".
  • Everyone Looks Sexier if French: Stanley plays this up when he meets Tina in the park as the Mask.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: To wit — "Je te ador! Je te any door! Shut ze window, I don't care!"
  • Evil Counterpart: "Dorian Mask", who is very much ugly looking and uses the Mask's cartoon-like powers for evil, to "Stanley Mask", who is a (almost) harmless good-hearted person who is very easy looking and uses the Mask's cartoon-like powers for good and to also have fun as well.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Milo senses something is amiss with the Mask the moment he sees it. Later he recognizes that the only way out of danger (a gangster had him by the hind legs) was to put it on.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Dorian Tyrell's voice drops a few octaves while wearing the Mask. Judging by the deleted scene Dorian appears in, his voice originally sounded even deeper.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Dorian's coup against his former boss, the gangster Niko.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Stanley (under duress) explains how the mask works to Dorian: "You just... put it on!"
  • Extended Disarming: Parodied in the scene where Kellaway's men frisk The Mask down at the park.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The Mask moves at superhuman speeds, shapeshifts repeatedly, transforms a balloon into a functioning machine gun, voluntarily freezes and unfreezes his own body while still remaining fully conscious, defies the laws of gravity, and survives being shot in the head at point-blank range without the slightest sign of injury, all of which is either caught on camera or is seen clearly by multiple eyewitnesses. Despite this, it takes half the movie before anyone even considers the possibility that he's not just a mundane criminal wearing an ordinary green mask.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Mask swallows a bundle of explosives with no side effects.
  • Eye Poke: Stanley Ipkiss does this to Dorian Tyrell during their fight and yields one of the funniest moments in the film.
    Dorian: I'm gonna take you apart!
    Stanley: Well, I hope you can enjoy the victory with ONE FRIGGIN' EYE! (POKE)
  • Eye Pop: Three times in the movie: once in his apartment building, once in the Coco Bongo club, and finally when confronted by a lot of cops with guns.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Peggy turns Stanley over to Tyrell. Becomes a Heel–Face Turn in the cartoon continuity.
  • Face Palm: Dorian pinches the bridge of his nose during The Mask's overly dramatic "death" scene.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Stanley's attempt to put on the mask during the day in front of Dr. Neumann.
  • Fan Sequel: The Mask Strikes Back by GM Finney Productions and Smigiel Productions. It was highly anticipated and liked by many fans of The Mask.
  • Fanservice: Every scene Cameron Diaz is in. Particularly her entrance and the nightclub scene where she appears to be channeling Jessica Rabbit. According to the DVD commentary, they kept trying different bras in her first scene trying to get as much cleavage as possible.
  • Final Speech: Parodied during the title character's "death" scene, straight out of a Bugs Bunny routine, complete with some Shout Outs:
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: After The Mask swallows the bomb and it goes off.
  • Flat "What": Stanley, to Peggy just before Dorian shows up.
  • Foot Popping: A slight variation, Tina's shoes fly off when The Mask first kisses her during "Hey Pachuco".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "Get the keys, Milo!"
    • Stanley, after being reprimanded by his landlady for watching cartoons too loudly, apathetically flicks to a TV show with Dr. Neuman who describes the metaphorical social mask suppressing the Id. Guess what the titular mask itself enables for those who wear it?
    • When receiving word that the Mask's fingerprints found at the bank are a match for Stanley's, Kellaway tells the communications officer to have the SWAT team on standby. "If this guy's half as bad as he's supposed to be, we're gonna have a full dance card." Well, he was right about one thing; there was dancing involved.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Dorian has his men drop Stanley at the police station with a green, rubber mask. Stanley actually is the Mask, but he isn't the true villain and Dorian has his own reasons for turning Stanley in.
  • Funny Background Event
    • During The Mask's faux Oscar speech, the villains do their best to look presentable for the camera.
    • When the criminals begin to take hostages in the Coco Bongo, Stanley's cranky landlady scolds the thugs for talking back to the mayor as they're being rounded up. She's later seen escorted out of the building by a policeman while complaining about the rude criminals.
    • When Ipkiss yells back at his boss, two police officers in the background seem to be laughing at the scene unfolding.
  • Gangsta Style: One of Dorian's thugs shoots the Mask this way.
  • Getting the Boot: Charlie Schumaker takes Stanley Ipkiss to the Coco Bongo. Unfortunately, he goes in without making sure Stanley comes with him, and when Stanley tries to get past the bouncer, he picks him up, takes him to the curb and drops him on the pavement.
  • The Ghost: Loki, the Norse god of mischief. It's very strongly hinted that the mask was created by Loki as an instrument of trickery against mortals, but the god himself is never seen (until the sequel, anyway).
  • Grin of Audacity: Ipkiss tends to wear a more overjoyed, confident version of this. The anticipation isn't of effort, but of immense fun. By the end of the film, Ipkiss wears it a couple of times to signify he Took a Level in Badass.
  • Golf Clubbing: Niko threatens Dorian with this after giving him a week to leave the city:
    Niko: After that, I'll use your empty little skull to break in my new 9-iron.
  • Groin Attack: Stanley Ipkiss gets kneed in the groin when he's too forward with would-be girlfriend Tina in Landfill Park. However, because he's wearing the titular artifact, it doesn't even slow him down: "[high pitched voice] She is so coy! [normal voice] I love it!"
  • Gun Twirling: As The Mask, Stanley twirls about a dozen weapons — in each hand.
  • Hammerspace: Where everything the Mask uses comes from. Including an actual mallet.
  • Hand Signals: Dorian Tyrell uses one to have his men stop firing.
  • Harmless Freezing: The Mask literally freezes (after being ordered to "Freeze!" by Lt. Kellaway) and thaws himself out seconds later with no ill effect. Justified in that he's basically a cartoon character.
    Kellaway: FREEZE!
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Tina's intro clearly shows her as this, complete with slow-motion Hair Flip, as bank employees Charlie and Stanley can hardly do anything but stare, mouths agape. This is being done deliberately by the villains, as a Distracted by the Sexy ploy.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: This happens to the title character while he's watching Tina Carlyle sing at the Coco Bongo Club.
  • Heist Clash: Dorian's crew wants to break into Edge City Savings, only to find out that the Mask came there first. As the Mask runs off with the money, the police shows up, leading to a shoot out that costs Dorian's second-in-command his life.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Stanley has a very loyal Jack Russell Terrier, Milo.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The Mask, when worn by Ipkiss — he even prefers to injure instead of kill and is a genuine hero despite his quirks. When worn by the Big Bad, not so much (once shot by his boss, he cartoonishly spits the bullets back like a machine gun).
  • Hero Insurance: Stanley breaks out of a jail cell, assaults an officer, steals his gun, kidnaps another officer at gunpoint and steals his car, yet receives no punishment. Even worse, he committed the crime he was held for and there was evidence of him doing so. The trope is justified because the mayor thinks Stanley is a hero who was framed by Dorian. Plus, many of those things Stanley committed weren't entirely his fault, and he had to escape from the cell to save Tina and stop Dorian.
    Mayor: Dorian Tyrell was "The Mask." I saw it with my own eyes.
  • How Did That Get in There?: While being frisked by the police, the Mask says he's never before seen the pair of funny-eyeball glasses that come out of his pocket. The bazooka, on the other hand: "I have a permit for that."
  • Hyperspace Arsenal Stanley, as the Mask, pulls out a double handful of guns to scare off some punks. They turn out to be BANG Flag Guns. Complete with Gun Twirling!
  • Hyperspace Mallet: In one scene, the title character pulls an enormous mallet out of his pocket in order to smash an alarm clock.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Stanley's friend Charlie after he says, "Officers, arrest those men!"
  • Iconic Outfit: The Mask's banana-yellow zoot suit and hat, which was based on a suit Jim Carrey's mom made for him when he first did stand-up.
  • I Lied: Tyrell, after Peggy sells Stanley out for money.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: The powers and how they manifest is directly based on the wearer's personality and imagination.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Parodied. The Mask, dressed like a cowboy, is shot in the chest and falls into the shooter's arms, overly dramatically telling him he's "so cold" while coughing, and saying his last wishes before dying dramatically. He then receives an Oscar for his performance, while the shooter starts weeping.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Three or more cops fire at Stanley as he gets into Peggy's car. Not only do they not hit him, but the only thing they manage to hit is one of her taillights, despite her proximity and the fact that her window is open. Averted in the third Mask scene, the bullets DO hit, but the Mask is invulnerable, so he just shrugs it off.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Stanley's pajamas, to the extent that Kellaway deduces that he is the title character when he finds a piece of them at the Coco Bongo after The Mask's run-in with Tyrell's men.
    "There can't be two idiots with pajamas like these!"
  • Incoming Ham: Every time Stanley becomes the Mask, it's accompanied by one of those.
    (first) S-s-s-smokin!
    (second) Hold on, Sugar. Daddy's got a sweet tooth tonight!
    (third) Hello, cherie. We meet again! Is it fate? Is it meant to be? It is written in the stars... that we are destined to fraternize? I'd like to think so! Ha ha ha!
    (fourth) Did you miss me? I guess not!
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Dorian's crew tie Tina to a palm tree and leave a timed dynamite bomb next to her. They appear to have used this type solely so that the Mask could very impressively swallow it whole.
  • In Love with the Gangster's Girl: Stanley Ipkiss falls in love with Tina, the girlfriend of Dorian the gangster. It results in a big showdown between the two of them, once Ipkiss gets the mask back. And it's Tina who decides she likes Stanley enough to leave Dorian, rather than Stanley trying to take Tina away.
  • In Name Only: While inspired by Issue #0 of The Mask, by starring Stanley Ipkiss, sharing many scenes and lines of dialogue, and featuring Lt. Kellaway, it is a comedic romp instead of the ultra-violent comic where the title character used his cartoon physics to commit grisly murders.
  • Instant Soprano: After Tina knees his nads, The Mask squeakily comments "She is so coy"... before a normal-voiced "I LOVE IT!"
  • Invisible Holes: After the Mask is shot by Tyrell's men, he takes a drink and the liquid sprays out of the bullet holes. "Did you miss me? I guess not!"
  • Involuntary Dance: The title character sings the "Cuban Pete" song and everyone in the audience (mostly composed of cops aiming their weapons at him) starts dancing (except for Lieutenant Kellaway).
  • It Amused Me: The only possible reason why Stanley, while wearing the mask, decides to rob a bank to finance a night on the town. As a powerful reality warper, he could simply conjure the money into existence, but he instead decides to clean out the bank where he works. Better yet, he doesn't even spend it all, stashing the money in his closet.
  • I Want Them Alive!: Dorian Tyrell puts up fifty thousand dollars to anyone who can bring him The Mask before the police do.
  • Jaw Drop: The title character when he sees Tina in the club. Along with an Eye Pop.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Mask is a genuine troublemaker, shoves pipes into the bottoms of mechanics and even robs a bank but he does care about Tina and is in love with her. Despite deciding to become a gangster at first The Mask decides to become a superhero in the end.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Peggy Brandt, because they deleted the scene where she was killed.
    • Ipkiss himself. Most of the crimes he commits as the Mask end up getting pinned on Dorian Tyrell.
  • Keep It Foreign: Stanley's French accent when he tries to seduce Tina awkwardly while disguising in an Onion Jack switched to Italian in the movie's French dub.
  • Large Ham: The Mask, as his delivery, his facial expressions, even his clothes are as over the top possible. Stanley is subdued, although he also goes full-on ham at times, such as when yelling at his boss and punching Tyrell in the face.
  • Last Kiss: Tina makes a Last Request of Dorian Tyrell for one.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Mask's Oscar scene and apparent asides to the audience.
  • Leit Motif: The Mask itself has not one, not two, but THREE separate themes depending on the mood. There's a mysterious, mystical theme that plays during scenes with the Mask by itself to show it to have otherworldly properties. There's an upbeat, jazzy tune that plays whenever Ipkiss puts on the Mask, showing how fun and wacky it can be. And finally, there's a more foreboding tune that's heavy on brass to show the Mask's dark side.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Stanley in the final act without the mask.
    Stanley: Milo, you stay here and be a good boy... Daddy's gonna have to go kick some ass.
    Kellaway: (to himself once Stanley leaves) ...He's a dead man.
  • Life of the Party: The Mask, when he dances with Tina in the club, even giving the band matching zoot suits.
  • Lighter and Softer: In the original comic, Stanley starts out as a half-decent guy, but quickly degenerates into a Jerkass Psycho Killer under the Mask's influence. The Mask in the comic has an actual personality, and talks to (and through, when it's being worn) its "owner", and no one appears to be able to wear the Mask without being corrupted. The film also allows victims of the Mask's shenanigans to get off with Amusing Injuries for the most part, whereas in the comics, the actions might be amusing but the injuries most certainly are not.
  • Live-Action Cartoon: The Mask acts like an old-timey zany cartoon character, seemingly inspired by Tex Avery cartoons and contemporaries which Stanley is shown to be a fan of.
  • Living a Double Life: During daytime, Stanley Ipkiss is an insecure bank clerk who can't catch a break. At night, he is The Mask, a green-faced mischief-maker who wows crowds with his outrageous antics.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Parodied, where after a shootout, The Mask stumbles over to the man that shot him, and dramatically enacts several death scenes one after another, while the shooter blubbers.
  • Loss of Inhibitions: The Mask of Loki removes the inhibitions of the wearer after transforming them, causing them to do whatever they want. Stanley Ipkiss becomes a mischievous troublemaker while still retaining all of his empathy and morals while the Big Bad unleashes all of his inner evil.
  • Love Can Make You Gonk: This happens in a scene that pays homage to Tex Avery.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Tina and Stanley start out this way. However, she soon figures out that Stanley IS the Mask, making the issue moot, and it's implied she liked Stanley's Nice Guy personality more than the Mask's more outgoing persona more in the first place.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: After a few nights of wearing the Mask, Stanley Ipkiss can't stand living a normal life and begins doing things like threatening to call the IRS when his boss attempts to give him a hard time.
  • Magic Countdown: The bomb counter is wildly inconsistent, and probably should have exploded at least twice in intervening scenes based on the last count.
  • Magic Prerequisite: The Mask only works at night. If you put it on during the day, nothing happens. This is handwaved by saying Loki was a night god. The somewhat canon animated series said it was the Mask messing with Stanley.
  • Mask of Power: It brings your innermost fantasies to life! If you're a little repressed and a hopeless romantic, it turns you into a good-hearted love-crazy wild man. If you're a sociopathic mobster... then everyone's in big trouble.
  • May It Never Happen Again: Stanley Ipkiss uses a magic mask to become his alter ego "The Mask". It makes him go crazy and gets into trouble with the law. In the end, Stanley throws the mask into the sea so he can never use it again.
  • Meaningful Name: Pull up to the club in "The Loaner" and you'll probably be a loner yourself on the way home.
  • Mistaken for Insane: After Stanley's wild night with the eponymous mask, he visits Dr. Arthur Neuman, a psychologist who wrote a book about metaphorical masks. Stanley puts the mask on in front of him but nothing happens (it's implied that the mask only works at night). He tries dancing around to maybe "jump-start" the mask, but Neuman tells him he's not equipped to treat mentally-ill people and to get out of his office.
  • Money Slap: The Mask enters a nightclub called the Coco Bongo, he was stopped by a security guard. He throws some dollar bills, in which he had stolen from a bank in the last scene, at the guard's face. The Mask enters the Coco Bongo as the customers outside catch the money.
  • Money to Throw Away: The Mask does this to get into the club.
    Bouncer: Are you on the list?
    Mask: No, but I believe my friends are, perhaps you've heard of them. (ka-ching!) Franklin, Grant, and... J-J-J-Jackson?
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: While wearing the Mask, Milo goes from a friendly dog to one with a mouthful of big vicious-looking fangs.
  • Mugging the Monster: A street gang tries this with The Mask. Bad idea. In a deleted scene, they originally robbed Stanley.
  • The Music Meister: The Mask is surrounded by police, so he starts singing a rumba number and the policemen start singing and dancing along, to their great surprise.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The look on Peggy's face after Dorian forces Stanley to tell him how the mask works and then puts it on practically screams this.
  • Mythology Gag: The scenes with the balloon animals/Tommy gun and of attacking the jerkass auto mechanics were from the comic, albeit severely toned down to just a humiliating beating.
  • Necktie Leash: Tina Carlyle compliments Stanley Ipkiss' tie when they first meet, pulling and stroking it suggestively. He responds that "it's a power tie. It's supposed to make me feel... powerful," while his body language reveals that at the moment, intimidated by her sexuality, he's feeling anything but.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Stanley, a fan of the Tex Avery cartoons, decides to become a gangster as The Mask; wanting to instill fear and respect into the people who bullied him. Though he initially gets up to criminal mischief like robbing a bank and attacking some thugs, he later becomes a hero when he stops Dorian and his gang from blowing up the Coco Bongo.
  • Nepotism: Stanley's boss at the bank, whom Charlie says got his position because his father owns it.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: Dorian Tyrell sends his minions to rob a bank. Later on, one of them shows up unexpectedly and is somewhat unresponsive to Tyrell's questions. It turns out that another minion is upstairs dying from gunshot wounds. Somewhat justified in that Dorian is in public at the time, and you don't want to openly discuss a dying bank robber in your place where it's even remotely possible that someone might overhear — mobsters quickly learn to never discuss crimes if they're not 100% certain there are no listeners or bugs.
    Tyrell: Why are you here?
    Minion: There's trouble. You better come upstairs.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Used constantly for comedic effect. It's Toon Physics, so the Rule of Funny greatly applies here.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: Stanley Ipkiss for most of the movie. Stanley even wrote a letter about this to Peggy's advice column.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The mask basically grants its wearer this; both Stanley and Tyrell shrug off gunshots. Stanley even eats a bunch of dynamite sticks without any ill effects.
  • No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: Stanley Ipkiss's buddy Charlie goes in, with babes on his arms... Ipkiss is stopped because "he's not on the list".
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Stanley delivers a massive one to Dorian in the finale, punching him in the face a whopping twenty eight times.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: At the end of the movie, Stanley tosses the Mask into the river. Both Charlie and Milo immediately jump in after it.
  • No Name Given: Averted. Lt. Kellaway's first name was never said in the original comics or in the film's dialog, but it is given in the credits. It's Mitch.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Milo the dog, who at first misunderstands the command to "Get the keys", picking up the cheese from the guard's sandwich before bringing the keys Stanley uses to escape from the jail cell.
  • Not on the List: The Mask shows how having certain vouchers with pictures of Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Jackson can overcome that difficulty.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Apparently, Peggy at least partially agreed to hand Stanley over to Dorian only if he swore not to hurt him, and is genuinely shocked when Tyrell has him dangled over a letter press. Notably, it's Peggy who almost ends up in the press... if it wasn't for it getting cut.
  • Novelization: Two — an adult novelization by Steve Perry (not THAT Steve Perry), and a Junior Novelization by Madeline Dorr.
  • Office Golf: The head Mobster in The Mask keeps a golf bag on hand. To show his dissatisfaction with ex-right-hand-man Dorian Tyrell, he drives a ball off of the guy's face. He also doesn't just putt in his office; he actually has a driving range simulator.
  • Off Like a Shot: The Mask, when not leaving in a hurricane. Most notably, right after he decides "I better make a little stop" and goes to rob the bank.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Tyrell's henchmen after The Mask pulls out his multiguns. Every single one of them is a "Bang!" Flag Gun.
    • Also the street gang when The Mask finishes making his last balloon sculpture — a Tommy Gun.
    • When The Mask barricades the Landfill Park gate to escape from Kellaway and Doyle he turns around to find SWAT, a helicopter, and dozens of cops right behind him, and is so terrified that his eyes, skull, and tongue leap out of his face as he screams.
    • The Mask says it when a police officer pulls out a picture of Kellaway's wife.
    • Tina, when she sees that Dorian is bringing dynamite into the club.
  • One Last Smoke: Dorian Tyrell gives one to the mortally wounded Doctor, who dies before Dorian can light it.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Dorian's right-hand man, The Doctor.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: For like five seconds, Stanley convinces himself of this. Then Kellaway knocks on the door, and Stanley opens it to see Ms. Peenman screeching at a hole in the floor that the Mask made with his Hyperspace Mallet.
    Stanley: This is... impossible!
    Kellaway: Those pajamas are impossible. This actually happened!
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: Stanley's and Dorian's use of the Mask are significantly different. Stanley takes full advantage of the Mask's reality-warping magic for creative Toon Physics and assumes a number of colorful and energetic personas. By contrast, Dorian relies entirely on brute force with his most innovative use of the mask being when he absorbs the bullets from Niko's gun and shoots them back at him.
  • Oscar Bait: Parodied during The Masks "death scene" at the Coco Bongo where he pretends to have been shot by one of Dorian's mooks, and plays it up for all it's worth.
  • Painful Transformation: Putting on the Mask is implied to be quite painful, as the wearer's face changes shape though taking it off seems to be less painful.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Charlie does this to Tina's coat that she gave him.
  • Pet Gets the Keys: Stanley's dog Milo's ability to fetch his master's keys comes in handy when he has to climb the wall into jail and sneak the keys off the sleeping policeman to break Stanley out — though he at first misunderstands the command, going for the policeman's sandwich.
    Stanley: Not the cheese, the keys!
  • Pig Latin: Kellaway and Doyle outside the police station.
    Doyle: Where are you taking Ipkiss?
    Kellaway: Ixnay! Ehay's otgay an ungay. [Stanley jabs his gun on Kellaway's back] OW!
    Doyle: I get it. Pig Latin, right? Eesay ouyay aterlay.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Stanley Ipkiss does it twice: he knocks out the cop guarding his jail cell with his own gun in order to escape and takes out a mook offscreen by hitting him with the cop's gun while infiltrating the Coco Bongo club.
  • Police Are Useless: Except for Kellaway, the Edge City PD is pretty incompetent across the board. One standout moment (not counting the massive conga line to the sound of "Cuban Pete", or Doyle in general) is when Stanley witnesses Tina being abducted just outside the window of his prison cell. He tries to alert the guard sitting right in front of him, but he's too lazy to do anything and just thinks Stanley is trying to talk his way out.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Takes the main characters from #0 and #1 of The Mask, the basic premise, and some moments, mostly comedic ones (Stanley taking revenge on thugs and mechanics, being Squashed Flat on a road, and realizing he could be a superhero "but first..."; The Mask note  doing balloon tricks) to rework it into a zany comedy instead of the gory Black Comedy of the original. The Mask being a comedic gangster who then becomes a superhero works a lot better as well along with being harmless since his comic counterpart is anything but harmless.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Hold on to your lug nuts! It's time for an overhaul!"
  • Product Placement: Not in the films itself, but the original VHS release had a Pop-Secret popcorn ad; the latter had a promotional deal featuring The Mask on their packages. And, of another stripe:
    Space Ghost: Only ten seconds? I only get ten seconds to tell people about my interview with Jim Carrey after the move? What? We're on now?! Uh, Space Ghost, Jim Carrey, right after the movie!
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Ipkiss unleashes rapid punches in the Big Bad's face. He stops for a second, panting, and gasps "I'm winning!" in an amazed voice. The Big Bad immediately seizes the initiative.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Stanley's dog Milo does this the first time Stanley turns into the title character.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: The Mask accepts an Oscar for a hammy performance as an audience applauds "Shadowrama"-style.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Stanley Ipkiss does this in to Dorian when fighting against him in the movie's climax.
  • Reality Warper: What the mask is apparently able to do: break physical laws.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Played with; Stanley is a good guy and therefore as The Mask is Fun Personified and uses his powers largely for personal amusement (he does get a little payback in on the side, though). Dorian is a bad guy so as The Mask he's a vaguely demonic Humanoid Abomination who abuses his powers for revenge and murder.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the criminal Dorian Tyrell puts on the magical mask of Loki and his massively evil hidden dark side comes out, his eyes become red.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Mask's modus operandi, doing things like deliberately smashing through the front window after robbing the bank, when there's no sign of how he got in, and starting a dance number with the police in order to escape when they do corner him, as well as pinning everything on Dorian, meaning Stanley effectively gets away almost scot-free for everything The Mask did.
  • Relocating the Explosion: At the climax, in order to take care of a bomb that has only a few seconds left on the timer before it explodes inside a nightclub with the Love Interest Tina Carlyle tied up next to it, the titular character rushes over and eats it, using the Mask's powers to swallow it comically and have it explode inside his belly with no ill effects other than having a brief gastrointestinal episode.
    The Mask: [burps out a blast of fire] That's a spicy meat-a-ball!
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Mask ruins Dorian's bank heist and dances with Tina at the Coco Bongo. At this point, Dorian's boss Niko has become aware of Dorian's plan to overthrow him and has given him a week to leave town. Rather than cut his losses and flee, Dorian pools all his resources to find the Mask and get his revenge.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Peggy's deleted death scene has Tyrell not approving her backstabbing ways and throwing her in a press. Notably, the cartoon uses the fact it was cut to have her be alive and well (and Stanley's closest ally).
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: When The Mask is trying to sneak past his landlady's door. An annoying alarm clock comes out of his pocket and he silences it by whacking it with a croquet mallet after missing twice.
  • Roadside Wave: Stanley outside of the Coco Bongo club, just after the bouncers tossed him out — but right before he meets Tina again.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: In a way, as the Mask basically puts a cartoon in real life (only depicted through computer graphics).
  • Rubber-Hose Limbs: The Mask, during the "Hey Pachuco" dance number.
  • Rubber Orifice: The titular character is able to Eat the Bomb as large as his head and save Tina by stretching his jaw.
  • Rule of Three: "Ssssmokin'!" is said three times over the course of the movie. For literal starters, it's the very first thing the Mask says. The second time is during his dance with Tina at the Coco Bongo Club. The third time, it's Stanley's exultant response to Tina's kiss, reflecting how far he's come as a person. It's also the film's last line.
  • Rummage Fail: The main character accidentally pulls a condom out of his pocket. This was decided it was funny enough to Throw It In!. In a different scene a pair of cops are searching the Mask's pockets, and pull out such items as a bike horn, a bowling pin, a rubber chicken and a bazooka. Justified in that his whole demeanor is based on cartoons.
  • Running Gag: Milo has something in his mouth (Frisbee, keys) which he refuses to let go when Stanley tells him to drop them.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • The first film makes out that Odin banished Loki into a mask, from Valhalla, due to his mischievousness. Such a thing never happened (the closest is that Loki was banished from the company of the gods for many other reasons that culminated in duping Hodir into killing Baldur). Nor was Valhalla the home of the Norse Gods, Odin in particular had many other residences in Asgard. A more accurate statement would have been to say that Odin banished him from Asgard (a mildly accurate statement, at least).
    • Loki appears in the sequel, and more or less angrily says that the guy who said this was full of shit. The same film also makes the statement that Loki is Odin's biological son rather than his blood brother (the Marvel Comics trap), though.
    • He's also not a "night god", though Trickster God is a fair description.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Tina Carlyle for Stanley. To the point that the movie has to reveal that the other half of the Betty and Veronica dichotomy was The Mole for the Big Bad in order to find a good, non-sexual reason why Stanley should prefer her in the end.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Played with — when the club bouncer asks if Stanley is on the list to get in, Stanley responds "Nooooo, but I believe my friends are, perhaps you know them?" He holds up two wads of cash and throws them into the air as a distraction, walking in as the crowd swarms the bouncer to get the cash.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Stanley uses his powers to rob a bank, woo the girl of his dreams, and take revenge on people who cheated him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Evil really depends on the wearer, but the Mask was sealed inside a casket off the coast of North America for several centuries, and the movie implies the mask is actually the imprisoned Loki.
  • Secret Chaser: Lt. Mitch Kellaway is both this and the Inspector Javert. Stanley does do illegal things with the mask, such as robbing a bank (he just happened to do so just in front of the goons), so it's justified.
  • Sexual Euphemism: When the Mask meets Tina Carlyle in the park, he tries to seduce her by saying (in an outrageous French accent) "I will spread your pate" and "I will dip my ladle in your vichyssoise".
  • Shooting Superman: When Milo puts on the Mask, one of Tyrell's men tries to shoot him despite having clearly seen how pointless that was when Niko shot Dorian while the latter was wearing the Mask.
  • Shout-Out
  • Sickly Green Glow: The title artifact sometimes shines right before being worn, a big example of this.
  • Signs of Disrepair: Once Stanley Ipkiss puts on the enchanted mask and gets its power, one of the first things he does is get revenge on Ripley Auto-Finishing, the auto repair shop that ripped him off earlier in the movie — aside from literally shoving carburetors up the asses of the mechanics, he vandalizes their sign to read "RIP OFF".
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Two of them: Tina, and it's hinted at when it comes to Peggy. But, of course, First Girl Wins... Of course, in the cartoon, Tina disappears...
  • Smart Cop, Dumb Cop: Lieutenant Kellaway is quite intelligent and quick to figure things out. His partner Doyle is mentally slow and unperceptive.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: The Mask does this on a cartoon bike horn after using it to destroy every window on a man's car.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Stanley Ipkiss himself, who did not survive in the comics.
    • The two mechanics in the comics die horribly by Big Head's hands. Here they live, instead the Mask gave them humiliating injuries, via sticking car exhaust pipes where the sun don't shine.
    • Peggy Brandt, who is killed... in a cut scene, so is able to turn up alive in the cartoon.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: The title character and Tina do a dance number together in the club without any practice. Justified because of the Mask's magical abilities. Not to mention a big dance number with a squad of police. At one point a woman doing a solo manages to express with her eyes that she's just as confused by this development as anyone else, and is rather freaked out by the fact that her body is doing this without her say-so.
  • Squashed Flat: The title character, after jumping out a window.
    The Mask: (peels himself up off the street) Look ma! I'm roadkill! Ha ha ha!
  • Sssssnake Talk: The Mask mentions his catchphrase in this fashion: "Sssssmokiiiinnnnnn'!"
  • Standard Police Motto: Used by Stanley on a cop to get him to help save Tina. Doesn't work.
  • Stock Money Bag: The Mask bursts out of Edge City Bank hauling two of these... right as Dorian's goons were about to break in and rob the place. Later on, they appear at the Coco Bongo's charity casino, probably as props.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: Tina in the climax. The Mask solves it by eating the thing.
  • The Starscream: Dorian Tyrell, to Niko. He kills him and would have taken over his operation (and who knows what else) if it wasn't for Stanley's intervention.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: The titular character does this to a SWAT team that is going after him.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: Stanley Ipkiss finds the mask of Loki and becomes a green headed man called The Mask who at first becomes a gangster with a good heart who then becomes a superhero at the end of the film.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Donning the Mask unleashes a person's Super-Powered Chaotic Side. However, when it is wielded by the villain, he becomes even more of a monster.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Lieutenant Kellaway, who is just trying to do his job against a man who has been disturbing the peace and robbing banks.
  • Tagline: The promotional material for the movie had two different ones.
    • "Stanley Ipkiss is not the man he used to be"
    • "From Zero to Hero"
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Near the openings, Stanley Ipkiss buys the tickets of a show to invite a work colleague. The young woman lies that her best friend is in town, knowing that Stanley would generously give her the tickets and she would go to the show with someone she actually likes.
  • Tempting Fate: Not even two seconds before Stanley is literally dropped off at the police station by Dorian's goons (Bound and Gagged, no less!), we get this exchange:
    Doyle: Something'll turn up.
    Kellaway: Sure, Stanley Ipkiss is gonna fall right into my lap!
  • That Poor Cat: After The Mask throws away a Tommy gun, said soundbite plays.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: The Mask says this after repeatedly slapping police officers Kellway and Doyle.
  • That Was Not a Dream: After Stanley wakes up the next morning after first putting on the mask, he initially dismisses the whole thing as a dream, and that he should "lay off the cartoons". It isn't until Lieutenant Kellaway comes knocking on his door, and he sees the aftermath of the Mask's run-in with Mrs. Peenman in the hallway, that he realizes what happened last night was very real.
    Stanley: This is… impossible
    Kellaway: Those pajamas are impossible, this actually happened.
  • This Banana is Armed: After being chased by some muggers, the Mask pulls out a carny routine and makes balloon animals. His last one is not an animal but a Tommy gun... which turns into a real submachine gun, which he opens fire with to terrify the muggers into running.
  • This Was His True Form: When a piece of the Mask's tie is shot off at the Coco Bongo, it reverts into the pajamas Stanley was wearing when he transformed. This convinces Kellaway that the Mask is Stanley, since they have a distinctive pattern.
  • Time Bomb: The bundle of explosives, which The Mask disposes of by swallowing it.
  • Timmy in a Well: Stanley and Milo's communication. Though the dog misunderstands him ("not the cheese, the keys!").
  • Tombstone Teeth: In a comedic case, then-masked Stanley has the same oversized brick-shaped teeth from the comics, which make him more cartoonish and zany (Jim Carrey even made an effort to learn to talk with the dentures so they'd appear full-time).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Very soon after Stanley robs the bank as the Mask before Dorian's men could, the police arrive in response to the alarm. Despite the fact that they themselves hadn't done anything illegal, Sweet Eddie and Freeze start shooting at the cops who naturally return fire, mortally wounding Freeze. He does make it back to the Coco Bongo hideout, but dies soon after.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire climax of the film — Stanley without the Mask breaks out of jail, cold cocks the guard, takes the detective who was hounding him hostage and walks out of the precinct (pretending to be his prisoner and pleading his innocence!). He then arrives at the club, knocks out ANOTHER guard, takes ANOTHER gun and faces off with Evil Mask. All this from the meek "Nice Guys Finish Last" banker. Oh yeah that's a level of Badass alright. This is after shouting down his boss in epic fashion after the money-swindler tries to chew him out for being late. Definitely a step up from earlier in the movie.
  • Toon Physics: The Mask's Reality Warping operates on this.
  • Torture for Fun and Information: Big Bad Tyrell shows up at the hideout of a rival mob boss, Niko (for whom he is ostensibly The Dragon at this point). Niko has his mooks hold Tyrell down and places a golf tee in his mouth. Three guesses what happens next, and the first two don't count.
  • Transformation Trinket: The green mask of Loki. Put it in and it turns the wearer into a cartoonish hero (or villain) with reality-warping superpowers.
  • Transformation Trauma: Surprisingly, this is NOT from the original comic, where the Mask just slips on and off. In the movie, it looks incredibly painful.
  • Trickster God: The titular mask is supposedly the trapped form of Norse god Loki. Whoever puts on the mask is transformed into an over-the-top version of their "inner selves", with Reality Warper powers.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Stanley's escape from the police station.
  • Trouser Space: When the Mask is searched by some policemen, they extract all kinds of crazy stuff from his trouser pockets, including a bazooka ("I have a permit for that") and a framed portrait of the lead detective's wife.
  • Troll: The Mask is a living embodiment. Just imagine him smiling with a more stretched smile, saying "Problem?" or "lol u mad?", and going "TROLOLOLOLOL" instead of his strange laughter, and you've got yourself a textbook troll. He even makes troll science real!
  • Un-Paused: The title superhero responds to a order to "Freeze!" by doing exactly that — stopping dead in midair, covered in icicles. When told by the exasperated cop to "Unfreeze" (because otherwise he can't obey a further order to put his hands up), he finishes his leap and gets tackled by the cops.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • The Mask's Pepe Le Pew impersonation. "Our love is like a red red rose, and I am a little thorny!"
    • "Kiss me, mah dear, and Ah will reveal mah croissant, Ah will spread your paté, Ah will dip mah ladle in your vichyssoise!" (Groin Attack ensues)
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Aside from Dorian, people seem more interested in Stanley's crimes as The Mask than his blatant Reality Warper powers. For instance the cops are seemingly unfazed when they frisk him and pull dozens of items from his pockets larger than the pockets, and a group of muggers are happy to receive balloon animals from the man they were just mugging who has just changed clothes and produced a cane and podium from nowhere.
  • Urine Trouble: Milo wearing the mask urinates on one of Dorian's henchmen.
  • The Vamp: Played with. On the surface, it seems Tina's this trope as she was only using Stanley's friendliness to infiltrate the bank Dorian and the gang were planning to rob. At the same time, Peggy Brandt seemed to honestly like Stanley. It later turns out to be the opposite as Tina is a nice girl really and is only around Dorian out of fear while Peggy is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who wanted the $50,000 bounty on The Mask so she wouldn't lose her condo. She even mentions this trope by name when Dorian arrives.
    Peggy: What took you guys so long? I've been vamping here for 20 minutes!
    • Peggy, however, snaps right back to honestly liking Stanley in the cartoon and Tina is nowhere to be found.
  • Vertigo Effect: Employed on Stanley and Charlie as they watch Tina enter their bank, to show how much of a Head-Turning Beauty she is.
  • Vikings In America: A deleted scene showed that Leif Erikson brought the Mask to America, in an attempt to get it as far away from home as possible.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: It's not exactly saccharine, but the amoral and frankly psychopathic Dorian Tyrell would still be a scary villain in a much more adult-oriented film.
  • Villainous Friendship: Dorian and The Doctor, the only person Dorian is jovial with. He takes it hard when he sees The Doctor mortally wounded, tries to comfort him with One Last Smoke, and flies into a rage when he dies.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: What makes Lt. Kellaway an antagonist in this film? Accurately sleuthing out the identity of the culprit of a major bank heist and being kind of a jerk about it. Of course, he has no way of knowing that the Mask is a magical manifestation and Stanley has no control over his actions.
  • Visual Pun: His first spin is in front of a couch with a pillow with a picture of Taz (Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil) on it.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Mask himself, along with other objects (turning a balloon Tommy gun into a real one, for example).
  • Wait Here: When Stanley Ipkiss is about to enter the Coco Bongo and confront Dorian Tyrell, he tells his dog Milo to stay in the police car where it's safe. Of course Milo disobeys, follows him and saves the day.
  • Wallet Moths: In this case, a pocket moth. This leads the Mask to rob the bank.
  • Wannabe Line: The Coco Bongo has a huge crowd of people waiting outside, but the Mask manages to get in by making a Big Entrance in a comically large limo and just bribing the bouncer by throwing a huge sum of money into the air.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Peggy Brandt, who seems to disappear from the main action towards the end. In a deleted scene, we saw her death: Dorian Tyrell caught her trying to sneak off with her money, at which point he threw her into a newspaper machine. This being "The Mask," her death was cartoonish: an "extra edition" came out of the machine, printed in red ink. Peggy's visibly pained face was on the front page, along with the accompanying headline. Course, since it was deleted... She's perfectly fine.
  • Wheel o' Feet: While in his The Mask form, Stanley Ipkiss's legs spin like wheels while running from the police in Landfill Park. Justified, as the Mask is a Reality Warper powered by a Trickster God and Stanley himself — whose desires are given form by the Mask — is a cartoon lover.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: A subversion as the villain actually has a good reason for not just shooting the hero — Dorian has Stanley captive but gives him over to the police, effectively killing two birds with one stone: the cops leave him alone and he gets rid of Stanley for good.
  • Wild Take: The Mask does this several times. The most notable ones being when he sees Tina performing at the Coco Bongo club and another one that he does after seeing the police outside the park. The first one combines an Eye Pop, a Jaw Drop and an Overly-Long Tongue. The second one details both an Eye Pop and his entire skull popping out of his head.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Stanley and Milo when they don the mask. This is apparently the way the mask functions. The only ones that are immune to this are those who already are insane, since Dorian is still basically the same person, just an even bigger dick.
  • Wolf Whistle: It's actually brought up in the film that hero Stanley Ipkiss is a huge fan of Tex Avery's cartoons. After donning Loki's mask, he goes to see Tina Carlyle at the Coco Bongo Club and pays tribute to Red Hot Riding Hood by transforming into a green wolf, complete with whistle.
  • Working the Same Case: An example with criminals. Dorian was planning on robbing Stanley's bank but the Mask hits it first, leading to a brief exchange.
  • World of Weirdness: Best-fitting trope to describe how everyone just goes along with Stanley being "a guy in a big green mask" and totally ignoring the fact that he can turn into an ice statue and cartoon wolf, make people sing with him and pull cannons out of his pockets.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Stanley Ipkiss is not only not tried for the crimes he committed in order to take down the Big Bad (breaking out of custody, stealing a car, stealing a gun, holding a police officer hostage), he is also not tried for a bank robbery he committed much earlier under the influence of the titular mask, and which could probably be linked to him. Justified in that a large number of local dignitaries saw him take down the Big Bad, and are explicitly stated to be willing to look the other way. Also justified in that the Big Bad was also wearing the mask that influenced Ipkiss to do the above in the first place, in public in front of witnesses. Everyone just assumes that he was responsible for the above as well, and that Ipkiss was set up.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Happens to Stanley Ipkiss in the movie when he becomes the eponymous Mask for the very first time.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Peggy gives a speech of this variety to Stanley. And despite it immediately leading to her Face–Heel Turn reveal, and the fact that she didn't mean a single word of it, in the end... she was right. And hilariously, in the cartoon, she meant it.
    Peggy: Look, I don't know what's happening to you, Stanley... but I do know this; that letter that you sent my column? That was from a guy with more guts... and more heart, than any of the creeps that I've met in this city. Whatever that mask is... you don't need it. You, Stanley Ipkiss, are already all you'll ever need to be.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Peggy to Dorian, re: Stanley as he's grabbed by thugs and threatened:
    Peggy: You said you wouldn't hurt him!
    Tyrell: I Lied.
  • You Taste Delicious:
    • While Stanley is with Tina, she suddenly starts licking his ear. Then he wakes up and discovers that it was a dream, and his dog Milo is licking him.
    • Dorian also later nearly does that to Tina in his Mask form, when he tries to kiss her. Complete with bifurcated tongue.


The Mask Eats the Bomb

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / EatTheBomb

Media sources: