Follow TV Tropes


Film / 30 Minutes or Less

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

30 Minutes or Less is an action-Black Comedy, starring Jesse Eisenberg (Nick Davis), Aziz Ansari (Chet Flanning), Danny McBride (Dwayne Mikowlski), and Nick Swardson (Travis Cord), Dilshad Vadsaria (Kate Flanning), Michael Peña (Chango), Bianca Kajlich (Juicy) 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:

  • Blatant Lies: Dwayne to a pedestrian after the car chase: "Good. I hope they catch them."
  • 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.
    • Advertisement:
    • 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.
  • 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": Dwayne's dad is called Jerry, but everyone calls him "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.
  • 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:
  • 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.
    • If taken as canon a Deleted Scene (one that also explains how Dwayne opened the salon) shows that Nick, Chet and Kate did get away with most of the money and the boys are living in a fancy hotel while Kate takes her position at the Four Seasons.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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.
    • If taken as canon a deleted scene shows that Nick, Chet and Kate did get away with most of the money and the boys are living in a fancy hotel while Kate takes her position at the Four Seasons.
  • Spiteful Spit: Duane to The Major's new truck.
  • 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.
  • Threat Backfire: The reason why Dwayne and Travis decide to kidnap Kate. Once they call Nick to tell him where to go drop the money, Nick is so fed up from all he's had to endure during the day (and is pretty sure that they won't give him the disarm code) that he tells them where to shove it.
    Nick? If I die, I die, but at least I die rich, asshole! [ends call]
  • 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.
  • 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.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: