Meet Dean. Dean works as a server at a restaurant called Shenaniganz. This morning his mom told him about a guy he went to high school with who took all the same honors courses he did, and how this guy just graduated with a Bachelor's in electrical engineering. Cue the angst.
Meet Monty. Monty works as a server at a restaurant called Shenaniganz. This morning he found out that the 17-year-old hostess, Natasha, will be turning 18 in exactly one week. Since Monty is a proud pervert, he proclaims that he doesn't have much time left. But first, he has a special job today.
Meet Mitch. Today is Mitch's first day training as a server at a restaurant called Shenaniganz. During the film, we will follow Mitch around as Monty acclimates him to work at this restaurant. Which involves a lot of frontal male nudity. And for some reason, nobody will let him finish a single sentence.
Meet Calvin, who is working a double for a girl he likes, Raddimus and Danielle, a cook and a bartender who are having relationship issues, Naomi, a waitress with SEVERE anger management issues, and Bishop, the dishwasher/therapist/historian/Cloud Cuckoolander, and the other employees of Shenaniganz as they go through a Day in the Life.
Waiting... is a 2005 film starring Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris, David Koechner, Luis Guzmán, and Chi McBride as the employees of a restaurant called Shenaniganz while they fight boredom and adulthood with their antics. The film depicts an only slight exaggeration of what working in a restaurant is like, as all restaurant employees will admit. Unless they have become managers.
A direct-to-video sequel entitled Still Waiting... was made in 2009. About half the principals of the first movie returned; they lost Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, David Koechner, and Justin Long (apart from an uncredited cameo which he later admitted to being "truly embarrassed" for doing), but added Adam Carolla.
This film provides examples of:
- Almighty Janitor: Bishop, the dishwasher who gives psychological advice to the rest of the staff.
- Angst: Of the existential sort. It drives the movie.
- Atomic F-Bomb: Technically an Atomic GD-Bomb: Naomi drops one after impatiently watching Dan fumble around trying to plate a pair of entrees.
- Audience Surrogate: Mitch.
- Always Someone Better: than Dean which triggers the angst which drives his plot.
- Between My Legs: Naomi.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Naomi. Nice in public, nasty in private.
- Cool Big Bro: Raddimus is a rather odd version of this to Mitch. As a result Raddimus isn't called out in Mitch's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and Raddimus overjoyed when he realizes it was partially a Batman Gambit.
- Cool Old Guy: Bishop is this (well, he's older than them at least) to the rest of the staff.
- The elderly customer slipping into senility is this to Monty.
- Day in the Life: With the exception of the party shown during the opening credits, the whole film takes place over the course of a single day, most of which is during a single dinner shift at the restaurant.
- Deadpan Snarker: Monty. A given, being that he's portrayed by Ryan Reynolds.
- Epiphany Therapy:
- Averted. Calvin feels much better after Bishop walks him through a mental exercise about peeing in a public restroom, but Bishop then goes on to outline a therapy plan, involving repeating that exercise every night, and then slowly working him up to the stalls. Too bad Calvin isn't listening.
- Also averted with Naomi, who tells Bishop to "WASH THE FUCKING DISHES AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Naomi. It takes very little to piss her off. It's suggested by Monty that her anger issues are the result of working at Shenaniganz for a long time.
- Happy Ending Override: In the sequel, Justin Long has a cameo at the end, wherein he reveals that he came back to Shenaniganz and is now a district manager, thus rendering his happy ending from the first film meaningless.
- Hate Sink: Since there really is No Antagonist apart from the misery of the waitstaff's lives, both the corporate bureaucracy and general drudgery, the "biatch" with the steak was there to put a face to it and serve as a target for their wrath.
- Hope Spot: Dean, desperate for a way out of his dead-end waiting job, impresses a group of businessmen enough that one gives Dean his card and invites him to apply to work for him. Dean is thrilled for a moment until he looks at the card and finds out that the business is another restaurant.
- I Ate WHAT?!: The "biatch" diner is given a "special" steak when she demands a new one. Remember, folks: Don't piss off the waitstaff.
- Insane Troll Logic: Monty claims he is allowed to have sex with under-age girls because he wasn't there when the laws were made.
- Ironic Echo: "You [obviously] need it more than I do." Dean first says it maliciously to a redneck, then it's said to Dean by an old classmate in a sympathetic, yet condescending way.
- Jail Bait Wait: Something that Monty does not adhere to. At least until the end of the film, when he decides he'll wait until Natasha's 18th birthday before sleeping with her.
- Jerkass: One extremely bitchy customer, who learns the hard way not to insult people who handle her food.
- Kitschy-Themed Restaurant: Shenaniganz is perhaps the most complete example of this trope, seeing as its existence is the entire premise of the movie.
- Magical Negro: Bishop.
- Naïve Newcomer: Mitch. A flashback scene also shows that Monty was once this.
- One-Word Title
- Only Sane Employee: Dean, though Mitch might fit this more than him.
- The Oner: A spectacular example, with the camera passing through the entire restaurant during the dinner rush, taking a few stops along the way to show each cast member at work. One of the featurettes on the DVD has the crew talking about how difficult the shot was to get right.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: One near the end...by the otherwise voiceless Mitch.
- Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: The restaurant staff get pissed off by a mean female client who complains about her steak and gravy, and so they give a cooking lesson on how to "fix" the order. As Dan stated, "Don't FUCK with the people that handle your food".
- Rube Goldberg Device: That big collage of hodge-podge actually turns out to be one, which is demonstrated after the credits.
- The name of the restaurant Shenaniganz is a reference to Super Troopers. Shenaniganz was mentioned as a Restaurant that officer Rodney Farva liked to eat at complete with goofy shit on the wall.
- A young guy named Mitch being taken under a veteran's wing...perhaps a Dazed and Confused reference? Or Real Genius?
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Naomi.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: In a flashback scene, Monty and his mother spend dinner hurling insults across the table at one another.
- Suddenly Shouting: Naomi. A lot.
- Those Two Guys: Nicholas and Theodore, the stoner busboys.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: One of the few main characters to return for the sequel, Calvin, is a smug, womanizing asshole the whole movie because he took Monty's and a misogynistic website's terrible advice to heart and becomes a manager for a Hooter's ripoff wing place.
- Truth in Television:
- The notion that if you piss off your waitstaff they will mess with your orders is all too true. A 20/20 special titled "True Confessions" has a segment about waitstaff messing with orders of customers who piss them off. With one instance of the waitstaff playing hockey with a piece of meat that was later served to a customer. The segment even makes reference to this movie.
- Nearly anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant can tell you that the characters in the film are very true to life, and has likely worked with a real-life equivalent to all of them.
- While promoting the movie, Dane Cook frequently told stories about his time in the restaurant business and some of the horrible things he himself did to food. He mentioned one horrible customer pissed him off, so when he was mixing her drink, he didn't use a straw.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: No pun intended, there are many, many subplots going on. In fact, the audience can pretty much choose who the main character is and what the main plot is.
- The Voiceless: Mitch. Not by his choice, mind you, but he just keeps getting interrupted Foghorn Leghorn style until his rant at the end of the movie.
- Although the scene he has with Raddimus shows him playing this trope willingly. Since it's generally a run down of "The Game", Mitch is too freaked out to talk.