Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Whole Nine Yards

Go To

The Whole Nine Yards is a 2000 Mafia comedy, directed by Jonathan Lynn.

Nicolas "Oz" Oseransky (Matthew Perry) is a dentist living and working in Montreal. His life is miserable: his wife (Rosanna Arquette) and mother-in-law hate him, and he's broke thanks to the debts he's inherited from his deceased father-in-law. Then Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), a hitman hiding out from the mob, moves in next door. Hilarity Ensues.

The film received a sequel, The Whole Ten Yards, in 2004.


The original film and its sequel provide examples of:

  • Acronym Confusion: In the sequel, Lazlo Gogolak often makes mistakes about idioms and terms and hates it when people correct him. For example, he thinks that a DUI and an IUD are the same thing.
  • Affably Evil: Franky Figgs and Jimmy.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Exaggerated by Kevin Pollak as Janni Gogolak to great comedic effect; includes unconventional contractions, randomly emphasized letters, and swapped consonants.
    Janni: Don't b'long.
    Oz: Don't blong?
    Janni: Don't be long.
    • Pollak's tone really sells Janni's annoyance at having to repeat himself.
    • Makes even less sense after the sequel reveals that he grew up in the States.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Jimmy offers Jill her first kill—Janni Gogolak and his Mooks.
  • Berserk Button: Jimmy has two—putting mayonnaise on a burger and adultery. Who knew?
    • Three: he hates fathers that are rude to or in front of their children.
    • Lazlo Gogolak dislikes being corrected.
  • Avenging the Villain: Lazlo Gogolak gets out of prison and immediately starts planning revenge on his son's killers.
    • Also, Oz's new receptionist turns out to be Frankie Figgs's sister, looking for his killer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jill is a rare case of one not being treated as an antagonist in any way. After all, her original motive was to pose as Oz's assistant in order to kill him. However, he turned out to be so likable that she found she couldn't go through with it — especially for someone as unpleasant as Oz's wife.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bloodless Carnage: Oddly enough, several people are shot in this film but don't bleed.
  • Boy Meets Girl: A very atypical version for Oz and Cynthia.
  • Calling Card: The reason for Jimmy's nickname is his penchant to leave a tulip on his targets' bodies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Jill's first scene, she's seen having an intense whispered conversation into a phone. Nothing comes of it for 40+ minutes, until we find out that this was where she told Oz's wife that she wasn't going through with the hit on Oz.
    • The first patient we see Oz with turns out to be important to Oz's plan to save Cynthia.
  • Chekhov's Skill: It turns out that Oz's job is more useful than for making jokes about dentists being suicidal— the only way to wipe his debt clean with both the mobsters and Jimmy is to replace the dead cop's dental records with a copy of Jimmy's and burn all the bodies.
    • Except, in the sequel, Lazlo Gogolak quickly puts 2 and 2 together and comes after Oz.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When he's not being spastic, Oz is pretty deadpan. Then again, what else would you expect from Matthew Perry?
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Given Oz's straitlaced nature towards the topic, it isn't hard for Jill to figure out.
    Jill': So, did you do it? Did you do what I told you to do?
    Oz: No, no. I'm not gonna answer that!
    Jill: So you did?! I can tell. You had sex!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Things get ugly when Jimmy tells the chef he doesn't want mayonnaise on his burger.
    Jimmy: I'm gonna send this back and ask for another one, but if you put mayonnaise on it I'm gonna come to your house, chop your legs off, set your house on fire, and watch as you drag your bloody stumps through the door.
    • The threat (minus the burger part) is actually word-for-word from a message Bruce Willis left for Matthew Perry. Due to a slight miscommunication, Bruce was under the impression that Matthew Perry was dragging his feet signing on to the movie. So he called him and left a message explaining that he needed to sign on to the movie, or Bruce would...well, see the above. When the director found out, he found it sufficiently hilarious that he had it added to the script.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Jill invokes this to help with dispatching some Professional Killers.
  • Divorce Requires Death: Played (sort of) for laughs. The mobster wants to murder his wife because divorce is a sin for Catholics.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Used to hold a dead man onto a dental scanner.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Sophie (Oz's wife)'s accent is rather strong ("Ooooh, zexy!").
  • Fanservice: The nude scenes with Jill.
  • Femme Fatale: Jill after finding out about Jimmy has this added to her character, but with the seductive aspect downplayed (and not directed towards the protagonist).
  • Friends All Along: Jimmy and Frankie Figgs, except instead of acting like strangers, they act like they want to kill each other.
  • Gilligan Cut: An "immediate" variation - Jimmy tells Frankie Jill "has definite potential" as she's walking away, and she immediately trips on the grass, yelps, and falls over.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Both; Oz's fling with Jimmy's wife Cynthia is depicted as tender and affectionate on both their parts, and turns into a real relationship. However, Oz's wife Sophie squeezing one off with the hitman she hires to kill Oz is depicted as debauched — especially as the hitman is actually a cop. Also Played With by Jimmy, who rejects sleeping with Sophie to both his and Oz's amusement and is very particular about what's good and what's bad, made all the weirder by the immorality of his profession — he is pissed that Oz "shtupped" Cynthia in Chicago. Please note that he was going to kill Cynthia.
  • Hate Sink: Oz's wife. Openly hates her husband, saddled him with all the debt her father racked up with tax fraud and loan sharks, repeatedly (tries) to hire assassins to kill him (and two of them refuse because they like Oz much more than her), cheats on him to seduce one such assassin into doing it, and through it all is just a generally unpleasant and selfish human being. That the professional mafia members in the film all come off as more likeable and sympathetic people than her should say something.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Jimmy and Jill give Oz and Cynthia one million dollars of the contract money provided that they get married. Aw.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Played With. Jimmy is very friendly to Oz, even after finding out that Oz's wife Sophie is trying to rat him out to the Gogolak gang. However, he also has no problem with killing anyone who gets in his way, and is livid when he learns that Oz slept with Cynthia — despite his plans to kill her. Jill is a pretty straightforward one, to the point that she choked on killing someone as Endearingly Dorky as Oz for someone as unpleasant as Sophie.
  • Identification by Dental Records: Jimmy tries to put Oz's skills as a dentist to good use.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Oz finds out Jill was hired to kill him when she's gushing to Jimmy about it right in front of him.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Franky Figgs uses this on Oz. It works.
  • The Klutz: Oz. At various points, he spins around, runs into Frankie and falls over, smashes into a glass door, tries to sit on a stack of items as they slowly collapse under him, and almost flips over backwards putting his feet on his desk.
  • Meet Cute: A very interesting subversion with Oz and Cynthia. He's up to his neck in hitmen and death but still finds her beautiful and compellingly strong.
  • Mooks: Being a mob boss and all, Janni always has men around him.
  • N+1 Sequel Title
  • Odd Couple: A hitman and a dentist.
  • Only Sane Man: Oz. Cynthia is the Only Sane Woman.
  • Properly Paranoid: Cynthia gives Oz grief in the sequel for installing state-of-the-art home protection systems and greeting all guests with a gun. He also wants to build a moat around the house and drops to the ground if a balloon pops nearby. Then, one night, Lazlo Gogolak and the Hungarian mob show up in his house, completely subverting the alarm system.
  • Recycled Premise: Mob boss coming to kill Jimmy, Jimmy and company scheming to take the boss' money, married men having trouble in their relationships, and Oz' assistant is actually an assassin or would-be assassin. Quick, are we talking about the original, or the sequel?
  • Retired Badass: In the sequel, Jimmy is happy to settle down with Jill in a house on the Mexican coast and be a househusband. He spends his days cleaning, cooking, and taking care of his chickens (all of whom have names). Oz is incredulous when he arrives, and can't believe what he sees (although the first thing he sees is Jimmy emptying a submachinegun clip in his direction). The whole thing was a gambit by Jimmy and Cynthia to take all of Lazlo's money.
  • Rich Bitch: Oz's wife acts like one and so does her mother, despite the fact it caused Oz' father-in-law and now Oz to be drowning in debt.
  • Running Gag: Oz's beeper scaring the crap out of him because it usually goes off in high-stress situations. For bonus points, it's a really crappy one — he has it set to "vibrate" but it's still so ridiculously loud that it going "beep" would be less attention-grabbing.
    Cynthia: It's your beeper.
    Oz: I know.
    • The characters' annoyance at having mayonnaise put on their burgers.
    • Dentists apparently have a high suicide rate.
    • Both Janni and Lazlo like to pretend to have the same likes as others only to immediately deny it.
  • Scary Black Man: Franky Figgs, who is scary but oddly pleasant until he sucker punches Oz in the gut.
  • Secret Test of Character: Jill performs one on Cynthia before offering her the wedding present.
  • Sexless Marriage
    Cynthia: I haven't had sex in five years.
    Oz: Neither have I. *beat* I've been married.
  • Shout-Out: Jimmy at one point describes Nicholas as "the Great and Powerful Oz."
  • Spit Take: On "ten million dollars."
  • Tattooed Crook: Jimmy has a tattoo of his favorite flower (for which is is nicknamed) and Calling Card on his arm. This is how Oz recognizes him (from a newspaper article).
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Frankie says this after going through the pockets of a guy who showed up at the ambushed ambush of Janni with a gun... and finds a police badge.
    ...Now ain't this some shit?
  • Title Drop: After summing up Jimmy's Tontine plan.
  • Tontine: The MacGuffin isn't quite a literal tontine, but it has the effect of one.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: In the first one the guy assassin Oz' wife hires after Jill failed is actually a cop who was recording their conversations. He gets killed because he went to try and stop the hit on Jimmy by Janni by Jimmy.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Oz. Later Lampshaded by Cynthia when she comes by to see him.
    Cynthia: (standing very close to him) Have you vomited recently?
    Oz: Just a minute ago. I was about to brush my teeth.
    Cynthia: (moves away) I'll wait.
  • Yandere: Jill is this to Jimmy.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Jill's proposed idea to Oz to make his life suck a little less.

Alternative Title(s): The Whole Ten Yards


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: