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Film / The Room

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"The Room is a menagerie of conveniences, contrivances, and clichés with ridiculous characters whose motivations change every few minutes, sets that look like they belong in a sixties episode of Doctor Who, and writing and dialogue SO bad that it makes crap like Transformers seem like Pulp Fiction in comparison. And you know what? It's fucking glorious!"

I DID NAHT HIT HER, IT'S NAHT TRUE! IT'S BOWLSCHIT, I DID NAHT HIT HER! I DID NAAAHT— Oh hai, troper. Let's describe The Room here, huh?

The Room is a 2003 "romantic drama" film by unlikely amateur filmmaker Tommy Wiseau. It is ostensibly about a man, Johnny, played by Wiseau, tortured by the betrayal of his "future wife" Lisa (Juliette Danielle) and his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero), who are having an affair.

It was made on a budget of $6 millionnote , yet the only major locales where most of the movie takes place are the eponymous room, a different room and a rooftop, punctuated with Stock Footage establishing shots of San Francisco to spice things up, a car, a park, two alleyways, a café and a 19-second scene in a flower shop. A lion's share of the budget went into the production itself, as Wiseau decided to shoot the film in both 35mm film and digital side-by-side. He also purchased the cameras, instead of renting them as film productions usually do.note 

The film was theatrically released only in Los Angeles for Oscar Bait purposes and was advertised by a single vague billboard, consisting entirely of Wiseau's face staring down at visitors in the area. The billboard remained in place for years before being covered over, long after the film was out of theaters, and residents wondered what the heck "The Room" was — which helped contribute to its cult status as word of mouth spread about how downright bizarre it is.

The Room continues to be screened in L.A. and other cities, becoming a cult phenomenon of sorts. Showings include interactive affairs à la The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which are often accompanied with guests throwing plastic spoons at the film (which has a recurring spoon motif), blurting the film's dialogue back at the characters, tossing footballs (themes of touch football are explored in the film) and dressing up as their favorite character.

It was exposed to a national audience for the first time by [adult swim] on April Fools' Day 2009. Wiseau was also the focus of a Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! episode which aired immediately after the 2009 showing, causing Adult Swim fans to refer to it as The Tim and Eric Movie. A RiffTrax commentary for the film was released the same year, and RedLetterMedia followed with its own commentary track. The Nostalgia Critic and Obscurus Lupa also reviewed it in 2010, and were immediately forced by Wiseau Films to take the reviews down due to alleged copyright infringement.note  There is also a Flash game tribute to the film here, and Kickstarter funded a May 2015 live show as well.

Two books have been written about the film. In 2013, Greg Sestero, in cooperation with Tom Bissell, wrote The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, a book detailing not only the making of the film but also his long and troubled friendship with Wiseau. Said book has been adapted into a film, The Disaster Artist, directed by and starring James Franco as Wiseau, with his younger brother Dave Franco as Sestero. Philip Haldiman, who played Denny, wrote a comic book called My Big Break, the first part of which covers his audition.

In 2018, Robyn Paris, who played a minor character in the film, launched a comedy webseries called The Room Actors: Where Are They Now, featuring fellow former actors of the film (including the aforementioned Haldiman) and following their (fictional) lives 15 years later. Needless to say, the experience has marked them deeply − and hilariously.

Not to be confused with Room by Emma Donoghue,note  The Room by Harold Pinter (which isn't quite as awkward), The Room, a Hubert Selby Jr. novel, The Room, a college film by Doug Walker, The Room, a 2012 mobile puzzle game, and definitely not with Silent Hill 4: The Room. Also not to be confused with The Room (2019).

You are troping me apart, Lisa!

  • 24-Hour Party People: Johnny and Lisa have a Limited Social Circle consisting of the small rotating group of Mark, Claudette, Denny, Michelle, Mike and Peter (who isn't at the party). At Johnny's birthday party, this circle has almost doubled, populated by an additional five people (four extras and Steven) we've never seen before. Later party scenes even include guests who weren't there when the party started, as several of the extras walked off in disgust during the shoot. Johnny describes them as "all his friends."
  • 555: Just before Johnny comes home with roses for Lisa, she orders pizza and gives his phone number as 555-4828.
  • Aborted Arc: The film is mostly made of B-plots that go nowhere: Denny's drug problem and his debt to Chris-R, Claudette's breast cancer and mortgage, Peter and Mark's feud, etc. According to Sestero, Carolyn Minnott (Claudette's actress) did ask Wiseau several times whether the breast cancer would come up again, only to be told that "it's a twist", and eventually just went along with it.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Screen-to-Stage Adaptation, which adds new characters (Travis, Claudette's lover, and Scott, Denny's friend), and a few improvised scenes. Wiseauinvoked says that the play is canon to the mythology of The Room.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Johnny is in love with Lisa. Denny also has a crush on her. But Lisa wants Mark. But Mark only wants her for the sex. But Lisa's okay with that, because she wants Johnny to be jealous...
  • All There in the Script: According to the credits, the guy catching Lisa and Mark is named Steven.
  • Anatomically Impossible Sex: During the first sex scene, Johnny is so high up on Lisa it looks as though he is having sex with her belly button. During filming, the cast and crew noted this, but Tommy remained insistent.
  • Anger Montage: Quite possibly one of the wimpiest, most half-hearted Anger Montages in the history of film, right at the end, culminating with Johnny tossing a television set through his window. In many ways, the scene mirrors similar scenes from Citizen Kane and Pink Floyd — The Wall.
  • Angry Collar Grab:
    • Denny yells "You're not my fucking mother!" at Claudette, provoking her to start yanking his shirt collar.
    • Later, Mark grabs Peter by his jacket during their heated argument on the rooftop and shakes him hard.
  • Appliance Defenestration: During his Anger Montage, Johnny hurls a TV out of a window.
  • April Fools' Day: [adult swim] had airings of this film as an April Fools prank for three years straight — and seemed to be going at it for a fourth time, only for the tables to be turned on viewers who were not expecting a revival of Toonami. The broadcast actually opened with TOM watching The Room.
  • Artifact Title: The earliest incarnation of the script was a stage play, which indeed only took place in a single room.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Johnny left Chris-R's gun lying in an unlocked box on the floor.
  • As You Know:
    • Claudette reminds Lisa that she has known Johnny for over five years.
    • An inversion; when Mike and Johnny meet up in the alleyway, Mike tells Johnny about when Lisa and Claudette walked in on him and Michelle having sex... only it's the audience who already knows this, not Johnny.
    • Johnny and Mark are best friends; we're told this around five times. In this case, it's rather inverted, as it's unlikely anyone would deduce this merely by watching, considering what a hilariously bad friend Mark actually is.
  • Ate His Gun: Johnny ultimately commits suicide this way at the end of the movie.
  • Audience Participation: At the movie's The Rocky Horror Picture Show-style screenings, audiences are actively encouraged to vocally express their abject revulsion, even by Wiseau himself. This includes:
    • Saying the most famous lines alongside the film:
      "I'm tired, I'm wasted, I love you darling!"
      "I did not hit her, it's not true, it's bullshit, I didn't hit her, I did naaaaht. Oh hai Mark."
      "You are tearing me apart, Lisa!"
      "Cheep cheep cheep!"
    • Hurling plastic spoons at the screen whenever the photo frame with the stock photo of a spoon is on screen.
    • Impromptu games of football in the aisles each time a similarly incomprehensible football game starts on screen. Or shouting "Sports!" every time somebody catches the football.
    • Telling characters to close the door whenever they leave it open.
    • Chanting "Go! Go! Go!" at the start of every panning shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, and cheering if it makes it to the end.
    • Saying "O hai ____!" at the entrance of every character.
      • Except for Steven, who should have "Who are you?" said after each line.
    • Applauding when Claudette says what the audience is thinking: "What are these characters doing here?"
    • Saying "Boop!" or "CANCER!" every time Claudette boops Lisa's nose.
    • Screaming in disgust at Lisa's neck bulging against her dress.
    • "I mean, the candles (WHAT CANDLES?), the music (WHAT MUSIC?), the sexy dress (WHAT SEXY DRESS?)..."
  • Author Appeal:
    • Wiseau enjoys Skinemax-style love scenes set to cheesy slow jams, as there are several.
    • Johnny's hissy fits through the film channel three of Wiseau's biggest cinematic idols — Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Orson Welles. His famous "You are tearing me APART!" exclamation is a reference to Dean's identical line in Rebel Without a Cause, of all things, and his final anguished tantrum and destruction of his house is a direct reference to the similar (but rather better) scene in Welles' Citizen Kane.
    • When asked in the DVD director's interview why there are so many scenes of characters playing catch with a football, Wiseau simply responds that football is fun.
    • Wiseau is a proud San Francisco resident and sees it as the ideal American city. Hence the numerous and drawn out establishing shots of the city and its landmarks throughout the film.
  • Author Tract: Cast members have alleged that Lisa represents what Wiseau thinks of women, while Lisa's actress in particular believes she represents how the entire world has mistreated Wiseau. In The Disaster Artist, Sestero says she represents a real woman Wiseau was involved in a relationship with who "betrayed him many times."
    Mark: Oh man, I just can't figure women out. Sometimes they're just too smart. Sometimes they're just flat-out stupid. Other times they're just evil.
  • Betty and Veronica: Johnny as the Betty to Mark's Veronica for Lisa. Johnny is a laid-back, plain guy (and that's probably generous to describe Wiseau), while Mark has the good looks to convincingly pull off a "bad boy" image.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Johnny and Mark save Denny when Chris-R threatens him.
  • Big "WHY?!":
    • Johnny's dramatic outburst during his meltdown: "Why, Lisa? Why? Why?"
    • Denny at the end while mourning over Johnny's corpse.
  • Blatant Lies: Lisa telling Claudette that Johnny got drunk and hit her is said with long pauses, shifty eye movements and a monotone voice.
  • Brick Joke: If this were a comedy, Tommy hearing Lisa saying in his head "Don't worry, everything will be all right" before he commits suicide, shooting himself in the head, would be a perfect Brick Joke.note 
  • Broken Aesop: Wiseau claims the message of the film is "If a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live". It doesn't work out given his character Johnny says the line in the context of Denny confessing his love for Lisa, Johnny's fiancee. Not helping that Lisa's affair with Mark is what drives Johnny to kill himself.
  • Broken Record: Lisa has the same scene with Claudette five times, and the way she seduces Mark is played out exactly the same way (with Mark being surprised every time).
  • Busman's Holiday: Peter the psychologist. He is always playing psychologist to his friends (though the dialogue jumps from him actually being their psychologist to just a friend being roped into giving them advice).
  • Captain Obvious: Characters have a tendency to randomly blurt out things that are blatantly obvious. For instance, Chris-R is flatly described as a dangerous man with a gun immediately after a scene that clearly displayed this without need for extra dialogue. It's like Wiseau misheard Show, Don't Tell as "Show, then tell."
  • Cassandra Truth: A rather bizarre version. After Mark tells Johnny a story about a woman he knew who was viciously beaten by a boyfriend who found out she was cheating, Johnny chuckles and says "what a story", as if he thinks Mark is lying.
  • Catchphrase: One of the major themes is the constant repetition of a certain few lines of dialogue by various characters. They include:
    • "O hai, X!" This is used by all characters, and in such a way that they all seem constantly surprised to see each other show up.
    • "Everything will be fine" and "Don't worry about it." For whatever reason or reasons, no one really wants to confront the seriousness of anything that's going on in the story, from doomed marriages to cancer.
    • "It's an awkward situation."
    • Various characters state that Mark is Johnny's best friend.
    • Johnny is a wonderful person.
    • "[She is/You are] my future wife." Why he doesn't use "fiancée" is never explained in-universe.note 
    • "Thaatz the eyedeeah!" Wiseau loves saying this in his trademark heavy accent.
    • "You owe me one."
    • "Let's go hooome."
    • "I don't wanna talk about it."
    • Mark repeats "What's going on?" every time Lisa tries to sleep with him.
    • "I have to go." Even if the character just arrived.
    • And, on the same note, "I'm very busy", even if they're clearly not doing anything, as most of them are.
    • "Haaaaah?"
    • "Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep!"
  • Character Development: Mostly averted. The only characters who change during the film are Denny, who comes to terms with his feelings for Lisa via a "heartfelt" conversation with Johnny, and Lisa herself, who becomes increasingly unpleasant as time goes on, eventually flaunting her affair and making up a pregnancy to needle Johnny. Mark shaves his beard at one point, and the same amount of attention is paid to this as many an Important Haircut... but it doesn't mean anything. AT ALL.
    • An argument could be made that Johnny and Mark finally break free of Lisa, except neither seems natural.
  • Character Shilling:
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gun that Mark takes off Chris-R somehow winds up in Johnny's possession. Apparently. Due to a goof, the model changes from a Smith & Wesson 5906 to a Beretta 92.
  • Chocolate of Romance: A random scene (like much of the film) has Lisa's friend Michelle and her boyfriend Mike sneak into Johnny's house for some romantic time. Mike brings a box of chocolate for the occasion.
    Mike: Did you, uh, know that chocolate is the symbol of love.
    Michelle: Mmm... feed me.
  • The Coats Are Off: Johnny whips off his blazer before launching himself at Mark after finding out the truth.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: After being caught having sex in Johnny and Lisa's apartment, Mike and Michelle flee. But Mike realizes he forgot his underwear. Under the guise of having forgotten his book, he grabs the underwear from behind Claudette. Well, Claudette, she saw it sticking out of his pocket, she pulls it out, and she's showing everybody his underwear.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Johnny manages to take so long to work out Mark and Lisa are having an affair that even when he walks in on them slow dancing and stroking each other, he still doesn't get it straight away.
    Mark: I have a girl, I mean, she's very attractive, she's getting married, it's driving me crazy.
    Johnny: Can I meet her?
    Mark: I don't think so. It's ... it's an awkward situation.
    Johnny: You mean she's too old, or you think I will take her away from you?
  • Consolation Backfire: After Johnny's suicide, Lisa, leaning against Mark, sobs, "Johnny's dead, but I still have you, right?" This is a little too soon after Johnny's death for Mark (they're standing over his still warm corpse), and he recoils in disgust, saying that she doesn't "have him".
  • Couple Theme Naming: Johnny's friends Mike and Michelle.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Johnny kills himself. However, Mark rejects Lisa for good.
    Lisa: I lost him, but I still have you, right? Right?
    Mark: You don't have me. You'll NEVER have me.note 
    Lisa: Mark, we're free to be together. I love you.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: As part of the Ask a Stupid Question... and Captain Obvious examples above, characters sometimes make statements that are utterly redundant. When Lisa asks if Johnny got a promotion, Johnny glumly responds "Nah" only for Lisa to ask the same basic question again inexplicably.
  • Died on Their Birthday: The final scenes take place at a birthday party for Johnny. After learning about the infidelity between his girlfriend Lisa and his friend Mark, Johnny kicks everyone out, trashes his apartment, and finally commits suicide by gunshot.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Chris-R holds Denny at gunpoint after he finds out Denny doesn't have the drug money he wants. Thank God Johnny and Mark were there to save Denny!
  • Dissonant Laughter: And how:
    Mark: Yeah, man, you'll never know. People are very strange these days. I used to know a girl; she had a dozen guys. One of them found out about it ... beat her up so bad she ended up at a hospital on Guerrero Street.
    Johnny: Ha, ha, ha. What a story, Mark.
  • Double Standard: Mark continually blames Lisa for seducing him and betraying his best friend Johnny. Everyone else seems to feel the blame falls solely on Lisa, as well.
  • Downer Ending: Johnny discovers Lisa's affair, ransacks his own apartment, and kills himself. The film ends with Lisa, Mark, and Denny variously screaming at each other and crying. Additionally, we can assume that both Denny and Lisa are likely doomed, because Johnny was paying their bills. Really, the only bright spot in the ending is that Lisa gets her comeuppance and, according to Wiseau later on, Claudette overcomes her cancer.
  • Dramatic Irony: Johnny kindly (and very suddenly) sets aside his anger over Lisa's false accusation of domestic violencenote  to lend a sympathetic ear to Mark as he talks about his girl problems. Johnny hasn't a clue that the girl Mark mentions he's seeing is Lisa.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Denny almost gets killed by Chris-R because of his "drug money". Later, Mark attempts to kill Peter while high on marijuana.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mark nearly shoves Peter over the edge of the roof, and is forgiven almost instantly in an awkward fashion.
  • Establishing Shot: This is almost San Francisco Eiffel Tower Effect: The Movie, with shots of the Golden Gate Bridge (both day and night), a cable car, multiple showings of the Palace of Fine Arts and the Alamo Square Painted Ladies houses (i.e. the Full House houses), Grace Cathedral, shots of the Transamerica Pyramid in the skyline, and a scene filmed in Golden Gate Park. It seems that Wiseau really wanted us to fall in love with the location as well as the film itself. Making things painful is that the establishing shots — of the same skyline, mind you — get longer and longer til the final one takes about a minute.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Lisa tells Johnny she's pregnant, and later in the same scene, confesses she made it up "to make things interesting". Like many other things, the subplot is never mentioned again.
  • Female Gaze: It's definitely there to look at, that's for sure. According to The Disaster Artist, this was the reason behind the gratuitous close-up of Wiseau's bare ass. He was inspired by a film where Brad Pitt did it, and claimed "we have to show my ass or the movie won't sell". The reception can be painfully, painfully subjective.
  • Flashback Cut: When Johnny goes bonkers and trashes the apartment, he has swift flashbacks to moments with Lisa, which adds to his torment.
  • Flat Character: Due to a lack of characterization and an abundance of bad writing, very few, if any, characters have any effective personality traits or Character Development that make them well-rounded characters. Sestero personally described Mark as a character "without a head or tail".
  • Flowers of Romance: Johnny buys flowers for Lisa (roses, to be precise), since they're engaged and he cares about making her happy. Said flowers are also present in their intimate scenes.
  • Foreshadowing: "I Will", played over an early sex scene, features the line "I will stand in the way of a bullet".
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Attempted, but most plotlines become aborted.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Johnny is highly emotional and dependent (Melancholic), Lisa cares only for her own endeavors and little for Johnny (Choleric), Mark is generally kind but unwilling to own up to his affair with Lisa (Phlegmatic), and Denny is very childlike and naïve (Sanguine). They all actually do a great job of showing off the negative aspects of their respective temperaments.
  • Gargle Blaster: Half Scotch, half vodka, served neat. Scotchka! (This is often preceded by a chant of "Scotchka!" from viewers.)
  • Genre Shift: The film seems to go through an unintentional one, contributing to its general weirdness. There are so many gratuitous sex scenes in the first half (set to cheesy synthesized pop music, natch) that the film could easily be mistaken for softcore porn; even the whole infidelity plot initially just comes off as an excuse to make Lisa have sex with two different men. But around the 45-minute mark, the sex starts to fade away, while the story just gets more ridiculously complex, becoming a straight romantic melodrama.
  • Get Out!:
    Johnny (to Mark): Don't touch me, mothafawker. Get out!
    • And then after Lisa is gone: "Get out. Get out! GET OUT OF MY LIFE!"
    • And then Mark to Lisa after Johnny dies: "GET OUT OF MY LIFE, YOU BITCH!"note 
    • And then Denny to Lisa and Mark after Johnny dies: "Leave us! Just leave! Both of you!"
  • Girlfriend in Canada: After Denny says he's in love with Lisa (!), he then mentions he has eyes on some girl in school. This is never brought up again.
  • Hammerspace: Continuity problems often cause characters to suddenly gain and lose objects between cuts.
    • Denny loses his apple after walking up the stairs to jump on Johnny's and Lisa's bed.
    • Lisa suddenly produces a vase for Johnny's flowers.
    • After overhearing Lisa tell her mother about her affair, Johnny walks immediately over to his phone and sets down a tape recorder he wasn't carrying so he can hook it up to the phone.
    • After cajoling Johnny into drinking with her, Lisa reenters the room from the entrance, carrying two glasses and a bottle of vodka.
    • In the original script, a scene opens with Lisa talking to Claudette on the phone and ends with her walking Claudette to the door, meaning Lisa pulled her mother out of Hammerspace.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: This otherwise low-budget film apparently sprang for the rights to use this song. Or maybe just took a gamble on it, because it's not listed in the credits (as most films prior to September 22, 2015 had). Worth noting is that this is in the film, however, Wiseau refused to pay for licensing the Bon Jovi songs that he initially wanted the love scenes set to, which led to the infamous R&B soundtrack. This isn't the only thing he blows money on at another scene's expense.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Mike seems to mention his relationship with Michelle at nearly every opportunity, at one point flatly saying "I have to go see Michelle... to make out with her" to his friends (making it sound like he'd scheduled an appointment to make out with her) before leaving.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Mark and Lisa keep seeming to change between intended sympathetic characters and Jerkasses, especially Lisa. Also, Lisa's friend Michelle. Is she supportive of Lisa cheating on Johnny or not? Make up your mind, Wiseau!note 
  • The Hero Dies: Johnny is Driven to Suicide by his fiancée's infidelity with his best friend.
  • Heroic Build: The film manages simultaneously to invert and avert this trope. The two most muscular people in the film, Mark and Chris-R, are by and large the antagonists whereas the (so-called) protagonist, Johnny, doesn't really embody this example, either (especially when we see him mostly naked).
  • Hollywood Giftwrap: The red dress Johnny gives Lisa in the beginning of the film is wrapped this way.
  • Hollywood Law:
    • Chris-R is never actually arrested, yet Johnny and Mark "take him to jail" in about four minutes.
    • Johnny apparently gets to keep Chris-R's gun after he gets carted off to jail, eventually using it to commit suicide. Nobody ever considers that it's an important piece of evidence that the police might want to take a look at.note 
  • Hong Kong Dub: Exaggerated since this is the original version, but Wiseau's dialogue as Johnny is often overdubbed, hardly ever matching his Mouth Flaps.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Johnny begins a scene visibly(?) frustrated over the accusations of him hitting Lisa and gets upset when Mark even asks him about it. In this very same scene, Mark tells him about a woman who ended up in a hospital as a result of domestic violence and Johnny finds this amusing.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: It's easier to identify the main character as Tommy Wiseau rather than "Johnny".
  • Ice-Cream Koan: A lot of the film's attempts at "poignant" dialogue come off as this, but the most standout example is Johnny responding to Denny's question of what movie he wants to see with "Don't plan too much, it may not come out right."
  • Idealized Sex: The first sex scene. From the cheesy music and the rose petals everywhere, it's clear that it's intended to be a wonderful romantic, erotic moment.
  • I Have This Friend: During Mark's "Do you think girls like to cheat like guys do" dialog with Johnny, it's quite obvious that Mark is asking Johnny if he knows his girlfriend is having an affair with him. He denies it has anything to do with himself and is just about "a friend".
  • Important Haircut: Some attention is given to Mark shaving his beard off partway through, although it's not at all clear what, if anything, this is supposed to signify.note  Given that, after that point, he appears to accept his affair with Lisa, after complete and utter confusion each time she lures him into sex, it could be argued that Mark's shave was a variation on Bald of Evil, since he's more of an asshole without the beard.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: After Lisa's affair with Mark comes out in the open, Johnny storms into the bathroom after their fight. Lisa then has the gall to call Mark on her phone while Johnny's in earshot (although this was more out of spite than anything else).
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Lisa suggests to Johnny to have drink after the bad news about his promotion not being given.
  • Informed Ability:
    • Johnny is supposed to be an excellent banker, despite his limited English and vampiric appearance.
    • Lisa says she's in "the computer business", whatever that means, but is never shown doing anything resembling work. On the other hand, she's also supposedly unable to financially support herself. At one point, she kicks out Claudette because she says a client is coming over. This was possibly inserted as justification for how she can have a job and yet spend all day lounging around the apartment.
    • Lisa supposedly is a master seductress who gets into Mark's pants via candles, a sexy dress and soft music. Absolutely none of those traits or items is present.
  • Informed Attractiveness: The main characters state how beautiful and sexy Lisa is almost ad nauseam. There's even a side character whose only audible line is "Lisa looks hot tonight." To make matters worse, he says it to a woman who's possibly his date/wife.
  • Informed Flaw: Lisa complains that Johnny is "boring" the first time she talks with her mother. Johnny has a number of flaws (probably unintentional, see below), but being boring definitely isn't one of them.
  • Informed Kindness: Johnny is, ostensibly, an emotionally fragile Nice Guy. This shilling is kind of undermined by his laughing at domestic abuse that landed someone in the hospital.
  • Interrupted Intimacy:
    • Claudette and Lisa walk in on Mike and Michelle making out on the couch.
    • Later echoed by Michelle interrupting Lisa and Mark in the same spot.
  • Ironic Echo: "You just a chicken. CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP!"
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: An indirect example.
    Lisa: He [Johnny] didn't get his promotion. And he got drunk last night. And he hit me.
    Claudette: Johnny doesn't drink!
  • Kubrick Stare: The official poster. The fact Wiseau is slightly cross-eyed makes it less than threatening, though still kind of creepy.
  • Kudzu Plot: Every plot thread (except for the main one) gets brought up in one scene, then forgotten by the rest. See Aborted Arc above for more details. Even the main plot just kinda ends with no real sense of resolution.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Averted. In the alley scene, Mike gives Johnny a detailed description of when Claudette and Lisa walked in on him and Michelle having sex. Despite the fact that the audience already saw the scene play out earlier in the movie, and Mike's retelling added no new information (though it did provide some goofy mugging and the infamous "me underwears" line). It's another example of Wiseau's bizarre "show, then tell" method of storytelling.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Probably unintentionally. When Claudette discovers Mike and Michelle, who are introduced as they inexplicably come into the apartment to make out and eat chocolate, she asks, "What are these characters doing here?" The audience is probably wondering the exact same thing.
    • This exchange:
      Lisa: I miss you.
      Mark: What are you talking about? I just saw you.
    • Peter's final scene before vanishing entirely is the tuxedo football game in the alley. When he falls over, he makes a disgusted face into the camera and says, "That's it, I'm done."
    • Steven, who replaces Peter, is an unexpected character at the birthday party, and becomes outraged at the other characters, as if he were an audience member who had enough and walked into the film The Purple Rose of Cairo-style to chew them out.
    • In a more literal example, when Johnny knocks over a picture frame in the final scenes, it falls toward the screen and lands on the camera.
  • Left the Background Music On: When Lisa first seduces Mark, the latter mentions "the music", which implies that Lisa actually set up the background music before opening the door.
  • Locked in the Bathroom: Johnny locks himself in the bathroom after his birthday party when he discovers his girlfriend and best friend have been having an affair.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • Mike and Michelle make out on the couch in Johnny's apartment.
    • Mark and Lisa have sex on the staircase, of all places.
  • May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?: Denny comes over to borrow exactly this (plus a few other items). Getting him into the scene accomplishes literally nothing, leading to the oft-repeated Audience Participation line of "FUCK OFF, DENNY!"invoked
  • Melodrama: Ostensibly, although in spite of all the terrible things in the film, such as drug addiction, cancer and infidelity, it's only at the end that anyone seems really bothered by anything that's happened.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Truly wild example — "You are tearing me apart, Lisa!"
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Mike falling against some bins is apparently a life-threatening injury, if his and everybody else's reactions are anything to go by. He limps off supported by Mark, who asks if he wants to see a doctor, even though he only got some minor bruising at worst.
  • Mood Whiplash: Thanks to Wiseau's dialogue and direction, viewers are never sure where a scene is going. For example, Johnny enters the rooftop in the middle of a tirade about being accused of domestic abuse, only to become abruptly cheerful upon seeing Mark.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Inverted. Denny is apparently 16 to 18 years old, but he acts and dresses like a (very weird) kid most of the time. It's worth noting that the actor, Philip Haldiman, was 26 at the time of filming, making him the third-oldest cast member, although he didn't look it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's implied that Mark is horrified that he ended up causing Johnny to commit suicide, and is calling out Lisa for having just as much of a part in it.
  • Necktie Headband: Lisa sports one when she and Johnny get very drunk on Scotchka before their second love scene.
  • Never Trust a Title: The Room. Despite the title, the characters are neither trapped in a room nor is there anything particularly strange about their apartment. According to Wiseau,invoked the title refers to a person's Happy Place, which only makes sense for about three seconds. According to Sestero (Oh hai, Mark), it was supposed to be a play that all takes place in the same room, to save money on sets. He just never changed the title when transitioning to screen.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Averted, there are quite a few lingering shots of Lisa's breasts, including the nipples. Even when Johnny has his suicidal tantrum.
  • No Full Name Given: Everybody except for Claudette's unseen friend Shirley Hamilton. The closest thing anyone actually has to a last name is "Chris-R".
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: "You're just a chicken! Cheeeeeep-cheep-cheep-cheep-cheep-cheeeeep!"
  • Non Sequitur:
    • "Anyway, how is your sex life?"
    • This exchange, where Mark is trying to steer the conversation away from Johnny and Lisa's relationship problems:
      Peter: People are people. Sometimes they just can't see their own faults.
      Mark: Yeah, I'm thinking of moving into a bigger place, man. I'm making some good money.
  • Novelization:
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation:
    • Lisa is in "the computer business", which could mean anything. Of course, the only thing we see Lisa do is lounge around Johnny's apartment, so it's bordering on Informed Ability.
    • All we learn about Mark's job is that he's making some good money (see above). The first time Lisa calls him, he says he's busy, though whether that has anything to do with his job is ambiguous, especially as when he says this, he's sitting in a parked car, in casual dress. For all we know, he's waiting for his pot dealer. Sestero has said that - in his mind, at least - Mark might be an undercover cop, which could tenuously explain why he keeps his weed hidden inside a brick on the apartment roof and his line "It's clear", which Sestero thought sounded like cop lingo.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Most of Johnny's dialogue in the rooftop scene consists of him telling Mark what a trusted friend he is and how Lisa would never cheat on him.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Johnny comes from work, then apparently never goes back again, given that he spends day after day playing with Mark and Denny. Maybe that was meant to be a weekend.
  • One-Steve Limit: Mark and Denny's never-seen girlfriends are named Betty and Elizabeth, respectively. Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth. And so is Lisa.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Johnny's failure to be promoted can be interpreted as what inspires Lisa to begin the affair in earnest.
  • The Place: The eponymous room, where most scenes take place.
  • Please Wake Up: Both Mark and Denny say this to Johnny, after his suicide. Made ridiculous by the fact that Johnny has a bullet in his brain, his blood is spreading out beneath him and he clearly isn't going to wake up anytime soon.
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: Johnny has everything at the start of the film: wealth, a large group of friends, and his engagement to Lisa. If not for her infidelity with Johnny's friend Mark, there wouldn't be a plot to speak of.
  • Product Placement: There are a few shots of the Disney Store toward the end, for whatever reason.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I like you. Very much. Lover. Boy." followed by "Forget. About Johnny."
  • Rage Against the Reflection: At one point during his wimpy BSoD, Johnny smashes a mirror.
  • Random Events Plot: Nothing that occurs between the second sex scene and Johnny's birthday party has any effect on the story, leading to numerous Left Hanging and What Happened to the Mouse? moments.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Sestero's book reveals what many always suspected: large portions of the film (such as a cheating fiancée, the bank being unwilling to cash a check from out of state, and a few of the "weirdos" encountered at the Bay to Breakers run) are based on things that happened to Wiseau. He also claims that a lot of what Mark says is "Tommy-altered" versions of stuff he said to him.
  • Remember the New Guy?: With about 20 minutes left, a new character, Steven (whose name is mentioned only in the credits), suddenly appears and becomes deeply involved in the plot. Presumably, we're not supposed to notice that he suddenly appeared from nowhere without an introduction. Word of God is that Steven is supposed to be a replacement for the psychologist character Peter (whose actor left the production), but the audience is given no hint of this; indeed, Steven looks nothing like Peter. In Sestero's book, he wonders why Peter's lines in the party scene weren't given to an already-established character, like Mike or Denny.
  • Right Through His Pants: Sestero originally refused the role because the love scenes made him uncomfortable. Wiseau compromised by allowing him to wear jeans for the scene on the stairs and a Modesty Bedsheet for the bedroom scene.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: When Chris-R shows up on the roof and puts a gun to Denny's head demanding his drug money. The scene where Mark tries to push Peter off the roof for a couple seconds is a borderline example, as it lasts all of five seconds and is dropped even quicker than the Chris-R scene.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: There have been several, but the "official" adaptation is The Room: Live, in which Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero reprise their roles from the film.
  • Sex Dressed: When his romantic session with Michelle gets interrupted, Mike hastily puts on his sweater backward and inside out.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man:
    • Johnny, Mark, Denny, and Peter in the scene where they're all wearing tuxedos. They're doing a wedding rehearsal, but... no one mentioned anything about a wedding!
    • Johnny's regular suit is probably supposed to come off like this, and also makes sense since he's supposed to be a banker. However, it's so ill-fitting and disheveled (which is also an apt description of the man wearing it), that he instead looks like a guy you would avoid sitting next to on the bus.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Johnny's "Why, Lisa?!" tantrum and destruction of his house is a direct reference to the similar (but rather better) scene in Citizen Kane.
    • The shot of Johnny tossing a TV out his window during his tantrum, and the subsequent shot of it hitting the ground, mirror Pink's tantrum in Pink FloydThe Wall.
    • Wiseau's use of the sentence "You are tearing me APART!" is a reference to Rebel Without a Cause, of all things.
    • Some people believe that the "I feel like I'm sitting on an atomic bomb" line is a shout-out to the famous sequence in Dr. Strangelove.
    • According to The Disaster Artist, Mark was named for the lead actor from The Talented Mr. Ripley: "Mark Damon".
  • Show, Don't Tell: Because of Wiseau's... filmmaking inclinations, this film is a major violator of this rule. We are told, repeatedly, that Johnny is "a nice guy", but we find him laughing at a domestic abuse story at one point in the film. Anything we need to know about a character is told to us point blank, usually awkwardly.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The rooftop is Johnny's and Mark's favorite place to hang out.
  • Skewed Priorities: After Mark tries to kill Peter, Peter seems more concerned by the fact that Mark smokes weed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • [Creepy music] Lisa: Do you want me to order a pizza?
    • One long establishing shot of the Bay Bridge sounds like it goes with an Agatha Christie mystery.
    • After Johnny's dramatic suicide, the credits start rolling to an incredibly cheesy R&B softcore song ("You Are My Rose") that played during the second sex scene.
  • Spear Carrier: "Lisa looks hot tonight."
  • Spell My Name with an S: The name's "Denny", not "Danny". It doesn't help that Lisa calls him "Denny Boy" at one point, and it sometimes sounds like she's calling him "Dinny", which is another nickname for the name "Dennis". He's even called "Danny" in the beginning.
  • Spin-Off: Wiseau plans on creating a novelization of The Room.
  • Spiritual Successor: Wiseau's pilot for his sitcom The Neighbors. Both are set in an apartment complex, but while The Room focused on one group of tenants, The Neighbors focuses on several. Both also involve an obsession with sports (footballs for one, basketballs for another) and Wiseau's character has a catchphrase ("Oh, hai X" and "What a day!" respectively). The Neighbors also features someone watching The Room on TV.
  • Stock Footage: They used clips of the first sex scene in the second. Allegedly, Juliette Danielle (the actress playing Lisa) refused to let Wiseau near her to film another one. The truth is that Wiseau loved the footage of himself having sex so much that he wrote a second sex scene into the script so he could use the footage as much as possible. Indeed, the only concession he gave to his editor in the entire editing process was to reduce the length of the first sex scene, which he originally intended to run, via repeated footage, for six minutes straight.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The actor playing Peter the psychiatrist had to leave production for another gig, and his scenes weren't done by the deadline (Wiseau had prioritized the "football in tuxes" scene over the scenes at the birthday party), so Wiseau went and cast a new actor to play Peter, then changed the name of the character to Steven, then ditched the suit-and-glasses look for the character, so that Steven became a random friend who shows up for the remaining 19 minutes with no introduction and delivers an impassioned, if hammy, performance, as though he's already deeply invested in what's going on. It probably would have made more sense to give those lines to an already-established character, such as Mike.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Johnny's tantrum at the end of the film includes him picking up a television set and throwing it out a window.
  • Tempting Fate: "I'm so happy I have you as my best friend. And I love Lisa so much."
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Seemingly, every scene has a line or two of dialogue where a character just flat-out states how they feel about something.
    • "You are tearing me apart, Lisa!"
    • "I'm so happy I have you as my best friend, and I love Lisa so much."
  • Theme Initials: Mark, Mike and Michelle. Mike and Michelle is also a borderline One-Steve Limit aversion, since Michelle is the feminine form of Michel, the French version of Michael.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "In a few minutes, bitch!" said by Johnny while weeping in the bathroom.
    Lisa: Who are you calling a bitch?note 
    Johnny: You and your stupid mother!
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The wonderful and giving All-Loving Hero gets betrayed by his best friend and his future wife. It's too much for him to take.
    "I'm fed up with this WARULD!"
  • The Topic of Cancer: Lisa's mother brings up her cancer once. No one ever speaks of it again.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The two-minute-long trailer (included on home media releases) spoils every plot twist except for Johnny's suicide. And if that were the weirdest thing about it...
  • Trivial Title: The action doesn't all happen in one room, and there's nothing special about Johnny's living room or bedroom, or about any other rooms featured.
  • Two-Timing with the Bestie: A central plot point of the film is when Lisa, Johnny's fiancée, sleeps with Mark, Johnny's best friend. When Johnny finds out about it, he becomes so heartbroken that, by the end of the film, he kills himself.
  • The Unfair Sex: As written, it's a complete inversion. The narrative is supposed to be that Johnny is a faithful, wonderful, giving partner and Lisa doesn't appreciate him at all and starts cheating on him for no other reason than that she's bored. Mark is a hapless victim of this beautiful conniving seductress. The casting and performances undermine the script's intentions.
  • Updated Re-release: Wiseau claimed to have been working on converting the film to 3D for theatrical release in 2012. As nothing new on the matter had been reported by the end of 2016, this is probably not happening.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish:
    • Thank you, Mr. Wiseau, for helpfully showing us the film is taking place in San Francisco every five minutes — and oddly, each successive shot gets longer and longer. This has led to an Audience Participation bit where every time an Establishing Shot is shown, the audience shouts "Meanwhile, in San Francisco..."
    • We are reminded the following every five minutes or so: Johnny is a wonderful person, Mark is Johnny's best friend, and Lisa is beautiful.
  • Voodoo Shark: The Chris-R scene, which apparently exists only to give Johnny a gun, raises far more questions than it answers. Why does the adopted child of a banker who funds his every whim need to sell drugs to make ends meet? If the dealer's going to jail, why don't the police need his gun for evidence? Why the hell didn't Mark just get rid of it if they didn't? And why couldn't Johnny simply have a gun, given his (presumed) ability to legally own one? Especially ridiculous because Wiseau originally wanted the scene to have a dramatic shot of the gun falling off the rooftop, so even the one storytelling function the scene does have may be accidental.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Many plot threads are left dangling or are forgotten immediately after they're introduced:
    • Claudette casually mentions her cancer to a dismissive Lisa early in the film, but it is never mentioned again and Claudette becomes preoccupied with other, more trivial matters.
    • The drug subplot vanishes immediately after the scene ends, seemingly serving only to introduce the gun, although see Voodoo Shark as to why even this is suspect.
    • The four main male characters all dress up in tuxedos to take wedding photos (presumably, it's never made clear why they're all in tuxes), but promptly abandon that notion to play a game of catch in the street.
    • Peter finds out about Mark and Lisa's affair, but the only scene that Peter appears in after that is another pointless football scene, so nothing ever comes of it. This is partly an instance of Real Life Writes the Plot, though, since Peter's actor, Kyle Vogt, had to leave production before his scenes were finished, hence the sudden introduction of Steven at the party.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Johnny, very memorably so. Wiseau uses his own accent, which defies identification. He claims to be from New Orleans and to have spent his early life in France, but it's nothing like either one.note 
  • Wimp Fight: Mark and Johnny's "fight" during the latter's birthday party is this, with schoolyard shoving and intertwining of bodies, and Johnny's invokedbad chicken imitations undermine what (very) little drama there is left.
  • Wine Is Classy: At Johnny's birthday party, nearly everyone has one in their hand, including Denny, who is a minor.
  • You Can Say That Again: Mark's response to Tommy's "What a story, Mark!" line.
  • You Know What They Say: " blind."
  • You Owe Me: "I want to talk, right now. You owe me one anyway."
  • Your Mom:
    Lisa: You can come out now, Johnny, she's gone.
    Johnny: In a few minutes, bitch.
    Lisa: Who are you calling a bitch?
    Johnny: You and your stupid mother.
  • You're Not My Father: "You're not my fucking mother!" says Denny to Claudette after the incident with Chris-R.

Ha ha ha, what a story, Tropers. Anyway, how's your sex life?