The Three Stooges: The Movie has examples of:
- Accidental Hero: The trio in the whole plot.
- Age Lift: Larry, when it comes to being portrayed by the 41-year-old Sean Hayes. To a viewer, he looks older than both Moe and Curly.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Averted with the lion, whose balls are even used in a joke.
- Balloonacy: Played straight when a little girl gets lifted by a bunch of balloons.
- Big Damn Movie: In a sense. The Stooges leave their home to raise up the money to save it. During the movie, a murder plot is involved. Something that one wouldn't expect much in the original shorts.
- The Big Guy: Curly is the fattest and tallest of the Stooges. In this movie, it's taken Up to Eleven, mostly because his actor Will Sasso is 6'3", dwarfing the original Curly's height of 5'5''
- Brick Joke: This film has a lot.
- The arrow Larry shoots.
- "Donut remover".
- The sledgehammer in the bucket.
- The lion seen on TV.
- The policeman who had his chest ironed.
- Curly eating lobster with "pesto-bismol".
- "I told you there's too much iron in the water!"
- Bloodless Carnage: Mac was hit by the bus and run over by a street cleaner, and yet not a single ounce of blood. Although he later shows a little blood after he was mauled by the lion.
- Butt-Monkey: Mac. He gets hit by a bus, sucked into a floor cleaner, stomped by a kid on a pogo stick, hit by Larry's arrow, was stuck in a full body cast, got blasted by dynamite, attacked by a lion in the zoo, and much more.
- Sister Mary-Menglele could also count.
- The Cameo: This movie has Jennifer Hudson, Isaiah Mustafa!... and Jersey Shore?
- Chekhov's Gun: The seed money of $72, which the Stooges use to open up their Salmon farm.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Teddy in the movie. His father, too.
- Crosscast Role: One of the nuns is Larry David.
- Deadpan Snarker: Normally, this role belongs to Larry, but Moe takes it here. That said, he did have his moments in the original shorts as well.
- Disguised in Drag: While Larry disguises as the doctor, Moe and Curly disguise as respectively as brunette and blonde nurse.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: The Stooges were told to fix the bell to the orphanage last week. Ending up with Larry pulling its tag off with the bell falling on Sister Mary-Menglele's head.
- Do Not Try This at Home: The movie ends with this message from two guys who are most definitely Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Definitely.
- Downer Ending: Narrowly averted in the ending.
- Fish out of Water: The Stooges never left the orphanage until they were adults and had no knowledge of things like iPhones, Facebook and Twitter.
- Literally when they farm salmon...on a golf course!
- Groin Attack: A lion gets hit in the balls by a flying peanut (as a result of Curly and Larry trying to save a Dolphin when they accidentally clog its blowhole with said peanut). What follows is it mauls Mac in a blind and hurt rage.
- Homage: The film somewhat serves as this. With many references to previous shorts and three actors as the titular trio...
- Ill Girl: Murph in the first act. She reveals to have had metal poisoning.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Sister Mary-Menglele had every right to say the Stooges were responsible for causing several repercussions at the orphanage throughout the past 30 years from their constant stupidity and to say it was their fault.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Moe. It's even a crucial part of the Stooges' lifelong friendship when it's revealed that Moe sacrificed having a family of his own unless they took Larry and Curly in also.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: A girl is clinging to balloons and floating to the ceiling, and Larry gets the idea to take a shotgun off a wall rack to pop the balloons. Moe takes it from him, chides him for his 'gun safety' and hits him with a buttstroke causing the gun to go off. It was already loaded on the wall.
- The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay: On the floor of the building Larry and Curly were looking in, they see a variety of punny tenants' names such as "Proba, Keister & Wince, Proctologists" and "Ditcher, Quick and Hyde, Divorce Lawyers", before arriving at the law offices of "Kickem, Harter & Indagroyne".
- The Movie
- Mythology Gag:
- "Oh, my neck!" (Moe slaps it back in place) "How do ya feel now?" "Alright!" "That's good!" (Moe slaps him)
- The orphanage was founded in 1934, which was the year the signature trio started their line of shorts.
- The plot with the Stooges saving an orphanage, done once in their infamous video game.
- The Stooges' old friend from the orphanage Teddy is a reference to Ted Healy whom created the three characters for the vaudeville stage and played the straight man to their antics on stage and in their first short Soup to Nuts.
- The scene where the Stooges escape with a fire hose, they plummet to the ground, then bounce off a shade and land on a person; which references the ending in "3 Dumb Clucks".
- Moe and Larry use Curly as a battering ram in one scene, which also references a scene from the aforementioned "3 Dumb Clucks" short.
- The slap/poke fight from the short "Three Little Beers" is recreated in a deleted scene with the Stooges at Teddy's anniversary party.
- At the end of the climax, Nippy utters Shemp's signature hyperventilating wimper ("Eeeb-beeb-beeb-beeb-beeb-beeb-beeb-beeb-beeb").
- The Napoleon: Moe is the shortest (and meanest) of the Stooges. In fact, it's more noticeable here than in the original shorts as the actors playing them are much taller than the originals (example: Moe was 5'4 while Chris Diamantopoulos (the actor playing him) is 5'9", taller than the original but still the shortest of the current actorsnote )
- Naughty Nuns: Kate Upton as Sister Bernice.
- Nuns Are Funny: Especially Sister Mary-Mengele played by Larry David (in drag!).
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: After shaking the cops, Larry blames Moe for everything he did, whereas Moe decides to have them leave as he finds them as dead weight.
- Offscreen Crash: Averted with regards to Mac being pushed in front of a bus, however the screen test version of the same scene (included on the DVD/Blu-ray) has an off-camera crash.
Moe: Now look what you did.
- Prior to Moe destroying the saw's teeth with Curly's head.
Curly: It's not my fault. It was a chain reaction on the saw. See, saw. Nyuk, nyuk.
Moe: Oh, a punster, eh?
Larry: "Uh-oh. Is that Sister Mary-Mengele?"
- After Larry pulls out the tag that unhooks the bell from the top.
Curly: "I dunno, but the face rings a bell!"
Moe: "Remind me to gouge your eyeballs out later."
- Larry even makes one after Moe dunks Curly's head into the lobster tank, pulling him out with the lobster clinging to his ears.
- Race Lift: Here, the Stooges are no longer Jewish, at least not knowing it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mother Superior.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Larry gives one to Moe and blames him for everything he's put them through. Leading to the demise of their friendship.Larry: You were the cause of all of our problems since day one.
Moe: How do you figure?
Larry: You shoulda gone to lived with Teddy's folks back when they wanted to adopt you!
Curly: Yeah, that way, you coulda come back and helped us all out.
Larry: But no! The great, powerful Moe is too lazy to squeegee the pool.
Moe: Now, you don't know what you're talkin' about.
Larry: Oh, no? Why do you think we never got another shot at gettin' adopted again? It's because when ya messed it up that day, ya messed it up for all of us.
- Saving the Orphanage: The whole story involves them engaging in a series of wacky schemes to raise enough money to save the orphanage they grew up in (and still live in since nobody would adopt them.) They technically fail as the orphanage gets condemned...except they later find out their actions on Jersey Shore led to the nuns getting an advance on a reality show, thus giving them the money to build a luxury orphanage next door.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Their signature "run away from conflict" shtick originated from the shorts.
- The Stooges have a run in with the head nurse Moe called "Bulldog" in the hospital to find Mac.
- They soon get chased by two policemen when being found.
- The policemen find them again when the Stooges run their salmon farm on a golf course.
- Even when they get spotted by Lydia and Mac when they crash the anniversary party.
- The movie ends with the Stooges running off on horses after accidentally sending Sister Mary-Mangele into the pool.
- The Stooges have a run in with the head nurse Moe called "Bulldog" in the hospital to find Mac.
- Shmuck Bait: "Do Not Remove".
- Shout-Out: The movie squeezes in a few.
- Jennifer Hudson as a black nun who can sing.
- Moe calls a stuffy English butler 'Threepio'.
- GEICO gets referenced twice.
Mary-Mengele: I saved 15% on my car insurance.
- Once when the Stooges tend to an unconscious Mary-Mengele.
Larry: Why isn't she in a hospital?
- When Larry and Curly return to the orphanage and discover an ill Murph.
Mother Superior: Well...
Mary-Mengele: I'll tell you why. Because we don't have any medical insurance.
Larry: You should get some. Just call that little green alligator guy.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Lydia and the female cast members of Jersey Shore engaging in the Stooge-like antics.
- Spoiled Sweet: Zig-zagged regarding Teddy. Despite being adopted by rich parents he tends to be a nice guy. But at the end, it turns out he resents the nuns because his father had made him go to boarding school and so he refuses to help them save the orphanage, but then he returns at the end to adopt Murph and Peezer, revealing that he's also rescued Peez's brother from the foster system.
- Straight Man: Moe, in this movie.
- Take That!:
Lydia: "Those three idiots [the Stooges] are here!"
- Moe fits in perfectly with the 'cast' of Jersey Shore. He ends up abusing them from slapping the male cast members to burning Snooki's tongue with a hair curler at one point.
- At one point, the following exchange happens:
Mac: "The Kardashian girls?"
- Curly accidentally staples the head of a guy who's already got several piercings. He's only slightly miffed.
- Tinkle in the Eye: The diaper changing scene half way through the movie, babies start urinating on the stooges, prompting them to squirt one another with the babies. Granted, it's meant to parody the original "Pie In The Face" routine the trio use to pull off but it doesn't work so well...
- True Companions: A major plot element between the Stooges. Teddy even sums it up.Teddy: You're happy with yourselves and with each other; it's a real blessing.
- Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Curly's rat, Nippy.Mother Superior: "Oh, boys and their rodents."
- Visual Pun: "Plus, we have smoked salmon."note
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The Stooges, like in the original shorts.
"The point is,this movie's all about fun and games, so please play safe at home. Thank you."