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Film / Troop Zero

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‘’Troop Zero’’ is a 2019 family Dramedy starring Viola Davis, Mc Kenna Grace, Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan. The year is 1977 and 12 year-old Christmas Flint is a bright and energetic (yet not especially popular girl) with a deep obsession about outer space. A NASA speaker at the school announced that the local Birdie Scout troops will compete to be able to make something for the Voyager Golden Record to be launched in August. Christmas is deeply excited about this possibility, but the local Birdy scouts refuse to let her join. Undeterred, she assembles her own troop, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits with her father (an unsuccessful lawyer)’s assistant as their den mother. Local scout leader Krystal Massey gives them the designation of Troop Zero as an insult and they find that even getting to compete may be harder than winning.

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  • The '70s: The film takes place in 1977, capturing a lot of the social and technological points of the era.
  • Actor Allusion: When Jim Gaffigan's character first appears, he's not wearing any pants, a reference to a Running Gag in Jim's standup act.
  • Alpha Bitch: Piper the leader of the main Birdie troop is spiteful and snooty, refusing to let Christmas join her troop and stuffing her in a locker. After one particularly bad instance of bullying, Christmas asks why they’re so cruel to her and Piper smugly replies that it's because “I’m at the top, and you're at the bottom."
  • Bare Your Midriff: Smash is seen wearing a shirt that bares her belly button.
  • Brand X: One of the badges involves the Birdie Scouts selling their own branded cookies. May be a small town substitution as the Girl Scouts name gets dropped by a potential customer who refuses their cookies.
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  • Bring My Brown Pants: Christmas has a pants-wetting problem under stress, which contributes to her unpopularity. This is physically shown during the actual Jamboree performance after Christmas wets herself, the rest of Troop 0 also wet themselves in solidarity with her before they finish out their performance.
  • Chase Scene: A very minor one when Christmas chases after Hell-No with Hell-No's sash before they devolve into laughter when Christmas catches up with Hell-No. Hell-No even remarks that nobody had ever chased her before.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": “Hell-No” Price, Smash and The Boss aren’t called by their real names by anyone.
  • Expy Coexistence: The Girl Scouts are mentioned to exist, but the Birdie Scouts are essentially the same thing.
  • Food Fight: Happens between Troop 5 and Troop 0 when Christmas is ready to try baking to finally earn her own badge.
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  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: Piper, the leader of Troop 5, takes on this mantle along with the entire group as they bully Troop Zero then portray themselves as sweet and innocent in public under the direction of Miss Massey.
  • Graceful Loser: Christmas’s father The Boss is notorious for never winning a single court case but strives to always be dignified about losing and shake hands with his opponents.Christmas and the others also manage this.
  • I Miss Mom: Christmas has a bad case of grief about her dead mother.
  • Informed Attribute: Christmas describes Smash as a Gasshole (with a planetary pun) in her opening scene but she only farts or burps a couple of times throughout the movie.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Mrs. Massey keeps saying “Just playing” after an insult.
  • Karma Houdini: Piper and her troop never suffer any comeuppance for their vicious bullying actions.
  • Loophole Abuse: At the end of the movie, The Boss steps in as den mother after Rayleen is kicked out by Ms. Janney over a past arrest, saying there’s no law that the den mothers have to be female.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Every time the girls reach some achievement required to compete, Ms. Massey hands out something else.
  • Pals with Jesus: One-eyed nine-year-old Anne-Claire apparently either plays this straight or has schizophrenia, being a local evangelist before and after joining the troop and sometimes talking out loud, asking Jesus for advice before making a decision and acting like she hears him.
  • Pet the Dog: Ms. Massey ultimately does show a bit of approval for the troop by the end.
  • Small Reference Pools: Toyed with some but Christmas remarks about watching The Outer Limits at home, one of the more well-known Science Fiction television shows of that time period.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: The town of Wiggly set in 1977 Georgia gets this treatment.
  • The Quiet One: Smash has almost no dialogue.
  • Tragic Drop Out: The Boss's secretary Miss Rayleen has a decent amount of sadness about never making it to law school herself.
  • Transparent Closet: The character of Joseph is played up like this with the town largely suspecting but not outright saying. Joseph seems to show acceptance of himself being different than others but it's uncertain whether he's aware of any sexuality given his age.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Played with. Troop Zero does lose, but the NASA rep notices that they showed a spirit of space exploration and lets them record on the record too.
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