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Film / 30 Minutes or Less

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From left to right: Chet, Nick, Dwayne, and Travis.

30 Minutes or Less is an action-comedy, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, and Nick Swardson, and directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also did Zombieland.

Two slackers named Dwayne and Travis want to make a hundred-thousand dollars quickly so they can hire an assassin to kill Dwayne's father, the Major, and get his inheritance money. Eventually, they come up with a sensible idea: order a pizza, have it delivered, kidnap the pizza man, strap a bomb to his chest, and force him to rob a bank or the bomb will detonate. The unfortunate delivery man, Nick, teams up with his best friend Chet, whom he recently had a falling out with when he confessed that he had slept with Chet's sister, to get the job done.

The plot resembles the Real Life story of Brian Wells, who was killed when the bomb was detonated. However, the producers deny having prior knowledge of this incident.


List of tropes that appear in 30 Minutes or Less:

  • Affably Evil: Chongo the assassin.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Dwayne lets Nick drive off with the money in order to make sure Travis is okay after his flamethrower explodes.
  • Back from the Dead: Dwayne, Travis and The Major
  • Badass Grandpa: The Major has a pen-gun and isn't afraid to use it.
  • Bank Robbery
  • Black Comedy
  • Blatant Lies: Dwayne to a pedestrian after the car chase: "Good. I hope they catch them."
  • Brick Joke:
    • "That's what she said."
    • Blue dye
    • Nick and Chet pretending to be hispanic
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Nick mentions a new laser pointer he bought Chet. During the climax, Chet uses it to trick Dwayne and Travis into thinking Nick's got a sniper backing him up so that they can escape.
    • Kate mentions early on that she lives very close to the pizza place Nick works at. Later, Nick takes advantage of the short distance to sneak off to talk to her while Chet thinks he's in the restaurant.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Many characters, but Dwayne in particular.
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  • Drives Like Crazy: Nick
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the money ends up being booby-trapped, Nick and Chet get out alive and Nick confessed his love to Kate.
    • The post credits scene shows that Dwayne, Travis, and the Major survived and started their own successful tanning salon business.
  • Everybody Lives: In the end, the only person who dies is Chongo the assassin.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Major
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Travis has one of these.
  • Good All Along: After Chongo decides to kill Duane, he breaks into his house and runs into The Major. The Major refuses to tell Chongo where Duane is, even after being told Chongo was hired by Duane to kill him. The Major's pretty much just your basic, fed-up-dad-with-layabout-son type of character, he's just more mean about it because he's a retired Marine.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Chet.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Chet and Kate, which is what makes Nick wanting to sleep with Kate even creepier to Chet.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Travis is a bit smarter than Dwayne. While Dwayne can "think like a millionaire", Travis is the one who comes up with the bomb idea, reconnaissance, and kidnapping Kate.
  • Indy Ploy: They have ten hours before the bomb goes off, but that's still a pretty small amount of time Chet and Nick have to come up with a way to rob a bank. Which they successfully pull off.
  • Inseries Nickname: Chongo calls himself "The Satanic Hispanic."
  • Jerkass: Chongo, Juici, The Major, Nick at first, and especially Dwayne.
  • Karma Houdini: Dwayne and Travis don't get the money, but they survive their injuries, and even manage to open up their tanning salon/prostitution ring.
    • Nick & Chet get away with robbing a bank.
      • Well they don't get caught or identified but they ended up with only an ink bag... which will likely get them busted and with the bomb destroyed they have little evidence proving they were coerced, but they still got away scot free for stealing their neighbors car and trashing it.
    • Juci, who came up with the idea of murdering The Major in the first place and who actually does try and kill Chet and Nick also gets away scot free and without even the severe injuries the other surviving bad guys end up with.
  • Kill It with Fire: Chongo's demise.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The Major. Post credits reveal he survived, though he's in a wheelchair.
  • Manchild: Chet calls Nick this. Played straight with Dwayne.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Travis isn't comfortable with the idea of killing The Major, or of people actually getting hurt in their attempt to get the money. On the other hand, he doesn't hesitate to kill Chongo, albeit in self-defense.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Juici
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Chet's feelings about Nick dating his sister. It dosen't stop Nick from confessing his love to her or kissing her towards the end.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: "You just brought a gun to a bomb fight, officer!"
  • Product Placement: Nissan must have paid a lot of money to show off that nicely restored Datsun.
    • Also Arby's and 5-Hour Energy drinks.
    • All laptops seem to be Sony Vaio.
  • Race Against Time
  • Redemption Equals Death: Averted actually. Pre-credits, Travis who seems to be the only antagonist with anything resembling a conscience was the only one who apparently survived. Post credits, Dwayne also survived and begun to actually start doing something with his life.
  • Sadist Teacher: Chet has shades of this.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The money that all of the characters had been fighting for during the entire length of the film was rendered useless the moment it was taken out of the bank due to a hidden dye bomb. However, nobody figures this out until they actually open the case at the end of the film.
  • Spiteful Spit: Duane to The Major's new truck.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Michael Peña as Chingo
  • The Stinger: Dwayne, Travis and The Major all survived their injuries and started a tanning salon/prostitution ring together. Dwayne also got Juici.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Nick and Chet being mistaken for hispanic.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: Plot being... well, being strapped to a bomb. And then being ordered to rob a bank or else be allowed to explode.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: The customers at Vito's Pizza love to abuse this trope. Unfortunately for Nick, customers tend to abuse this policy from calling from places that make such a time-frame nearly impossible. Though he does manage to sucker younger customers into giving him the money anyway.
  • Those Two Guys: Dwayne and Travis.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dwayne. Travis is a little smarter but not by much.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: One of the TV Spots includes Nick trying to tell Dwayne to pull over because the bomb's in his van, before it explodes.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: With the emphasis in "Unsympathetic".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chet and Nick give this to each other multiple times, with Chet angry about Nick sleeping with his sister and Nick angry about Chet telling someone about Nick's mom having an affair, which led to word of it spreading around and leading to Nick's parents splitting up.
    • Travis later gives this to Dwayne, while changing the codes on the remote detonator, after Dwayne plans on cutting his losses and blowing Nick up.


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