Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Slammin' Salmon

Go To
"You must dominate the swordfish. Only then can you sauté it."
The Champ, after punching a living swordfish in the head.

The fifth film by Broken Lizard, directed by Kevin Heffernan.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion "Slammin'" Cleon Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan) is the owner of one of Miami's most popular seafood restaurants, dubbed "The Slammin' Salmon." When he racks up a $20,000 gambling debt to the Yakuza, he tells the restaurants manager, Rich (Kevin Heffernan), that they need to take in twenty grand in one night, since his own extravagant lifestyle has left him unable to pay. Hoping to motivate the wait staff (and avoid the Champ's wrath), Rich begins offering prizes out of his own pocket to whoever the top seller is by the end of the night. When this does not work as well as expected. The Champ issues his own ultimatum: whoever is the lowest seller by the end of the night is getting a "broken rib sandwich." The staff then begins to one-up and sabotage each other hoping to come out on top.

The wait staff includes: Nuts (Jay Chandresekhar), a heavily medicated man, who becomes "Zongo" when he doesn't take his meds; Connor (Steve Lemme), a former waiter who has returned after a failed acting career; Donnie Kinogie (Paul Soter), busboy-turned-waiter in order to meet the Champ's demands; Guy Metdrapedes (Eric Stolhanske), the most arrogant and underhanded of them all; Tara (Cobie Smulders), who is working her way through med school; and Mia (April Bowlby), who is saving to enroll in a ballet academy.

Provides Examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: The Champ calls Donnie "Dave 2", and pronounces Metdrapedes as "Meat Drapes."
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Champ proudly boasts that he overcame his fear of the dark.
    • At the end of the movie, Guy is duct-taped to a punching bag as punishment for coming in last place. A woman suffered a similar fate at the hands of Balrog.
  • Always Identical Twins: Dave and Donnie are identical twins played by a single actor using classic split screens and body doubles.
  • As Himself: Morgan Fairchild as Morgan Fairchild
  • Asshole Victim: Guy gets the "broken rib sandwich" at the end. But he’s been a total prick the whole time, so he has it coming.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Champ; once, when an opponent cheap-shotted him, he punched him so hard it caused his skull to splatter.
  • Bad Boss: Even before his ultimatum, the wait staff lived in a constant state of fear of the Champ's wrath.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted for laughs with Mia. While she spends the first part of the evening exploiting her looks for big checks and tips, once her face is scalded she gets more and more repulsive for the rest of the evening.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Tara gives one to Donnie after he gives her the table that wins her the contest. Unfortunately, it's Dave pretending to be him.
  • The Brute: The Champ. Dear God, the CHAMP.
  • The Cameo: The film features small roles for Morgan Fairchild, Lance Henriksen, Will Forte, Olivia Munn and Sendhil Ramamurthy.
  • Catchphrase: WHATEVER MOTHERFUCKER, for whenever someone corrects the Champ's malapropisms.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The horse The Champ rides into the restaurant.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Horace, the customer who Guy passes off to Donnie.
  • The Chew Toy: Mia. First she has boiling soup accidentally tossed in her face, then has a fireball go off in her face. And that's just the beginning.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: The Champ racked up his gambling debt playing Japan's number-one new sport — albino hunting.
    "Catch and release. Strictly for sport."
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": With the exception of his sister, no-one calls the Champ by his given name.
  • Extreme Doormat: Rich lets the champ walk all over him. His toast at Rich's wedding to his sister was nothing but gloating over what a puss he is.
  • Foreign Queasine: The Champ meets with a Japanese businessman who is interested in marketing a candy bar with a salmon center.
  • For the Lulz:
    • Connor telling Donnie that every time he breaks something, he has to do a shot of liquor.
    • Dave getting Donnie promoted to Waiter on his first night while extremely drunk, just so he'll get his ass kicked when he inevitably loses.
  • Hollywood Psych: When Nuts misses his medication time, he at first begins to exhibit signs of OCD. As the night goes on, he becomes more and more deranged.
  • Hope Spot: It looks like Mia will pull ahead for the win when she gets the last table of the night - pro football players, who order an appetizer of two T-bone steaks each. And then Guy comes along.
  • Humiliation Conga: Connor has returned to a lowly server position after his grand exit to become a TV star. The night starts with his first table recognizing him from "somewhere" and gets worse and worse until his former cast mates show up for dinner, with his replacement in tow.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Dave wears his chef outfit while Donnie wears the wait staff uniform. Donnie is further ID'd with blue lips after Connor starts making him drink Blue Curaçao. Which is the first hint that it's actually Dave participating in the Big Damn Kiss at the end.
    Donnie: We're identical twins, sir.
    Champ: Oh, so is that why you wear the blue lipstick?
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Poor Mia gets scalded, beat up, and set on fire.
  • Jerkass:
    • Guy at times.
    • The Champ all the time.
    • Nutella when she stiffs Tara for a tip.
    • The customer at the very beginning who treats Rich like crap because his girlfriend's fish is too rare.
  • Malaproper: The Champ. He doesn't like being corrected.
  • Naked People Are Funny: When Nuts goes completely off the deep end as Zongo, he misplaces his pants and wanders around the restaurant with his butt hanging out.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The Champ is clearly Mike Tyson with a sprinkle of George Foreman.
    • Another character is a TV executive specializing in crime shows, named Dick Lobo. He's a thinly veiled take on Dick Wolf. Lobo is Spanish for "wolf."
  • Noodle Incident: The manager of the spa is reluctant to book The Champ because his last visit ended with his pet kangaroo defecating in the kitchen. Rich informs him that the kangaroo will not be a problem, because the champ killed it during a sparring session.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname
    Donnie: So why do they call you "Nuts?"
    Nuts: Because I'm crazy.
    Donnie: [chuckles] You don't look crazy.
    Nuts: Oh, I'm insane.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: As time winds down, Donnie discovers he is currently in last place and attempts to make a run for it. The Champ intercepts him outside.
    Champ: "Let me tell you a little story, Dave 2, before you get back to work. Back when I was training for the Dispute in Beirut, I used to run 10 miles a day with a baby camel strapped to my back. So you can see why I find it so bemusing that you'd think you can run from me."
  • Sanity Slippage: Due to Daylight Savings Time, Nuts misses his medication time by an hour, and slowly morphs into "Zongo."
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Donnie is meek and kind, while Dave is loud and abusive with a nasty mean streak.
  • Punny Name: "Slammin' the salmon" is a euphemism for masturbation.
  • Running Gag: Connor keeps denying that he got a nose job after quitting, but a flashback reveals that he did have a larger nose, and getting it fixed is what got him fired from his acting gig.
  • Scary Black Man: It is Michael Clark Duncan.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: The Champ.
    Champ: I am so sorry, but her soupface scared the shit out of me. My voice is not that high.
  • Shout-Out: "Strawberry daiquiris are for closers!!" is a reference to "Coffee is for closers!" form Glengarry Glen Ross.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Connor and Mia used to "hook up" before he quit. He assumes their still on for it, and she slaps him when he follows her into the freezer expecting a quickly. She then starts making out with him, and then promptly returns to beating on him.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: When Dave is referred to as Donnie's older brother, Donnie scowls and points out that he is eight hours older.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Donnie and Dave.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: The Champ owes the Yakuza a debt of $20,000. It's later revealed that he actually owes them 20,000 Yen, and he just thought that yen and dollars were equal in value.
  • Twin Switch: Dave poses as Donnie when Tara gives him a Big Damn Kiss at the end.. She figures it out when he starts getting too into it.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Portly Rich is married to Champ's insanely hot sister. The rest of the staff can't wrap their heads around how he ended up with her.
  • You Have Failed Me: It's implied that this is what's in store for whoever loses The Champ's contest.