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Film / Zombieland: Double Tap

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Nut up or shut up a second time.
"You can imagine how thrilled we were to crack the zombie code. But life is about more than just survival. Ever since we were evicted from our normal lives, I've been searching for a place to put down roots. My old pal Tallahassee has the saying 'Go big or go home'. I mean, that's not his signature phrase, but it did give me an idea. Why not go big and go home?"

Zombieland: Double Tap is a 2019 Horror Comedy film and the sequel to 2009's Zombieland, directed once again by Ruben Fleischer. It was released on 18 October 2019, around the anniversary of the first film's release.

Ten years after the events of the first film, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) settle down in the White House. However, after frustrations split the group, Little Rock runs away with pacifist hippie musician Berkeley (Avan Jogia). The others travel to the American heartland to get her back, and deal with evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family along the way.

In addition to the above, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch also appear.

Previews: Trailer, Red Band Trailer.

Trope up, or shut up:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Nevada officially joins the family after showing up for a Big Damn Heroes moment in their fight with the T800's.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: Dumb Blonde Madison pronounces Babylon like the words "baby lawn."
  • Acrofatic: Any fat zombie that is NOT a Homer zombie runs like an Olympic athlete.
  • Agony of the Feet: To Tallahassee's pained dismay, Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes are too small for him. To add insult to injury, they're a perfect fit for Columbus.
  • All for Nothing: The survivors spent quite a while fighting for an RV to use as their main source of transportation. Then they get a flat tire as soon as they attempt to exit out of the area it was parked in and are forced back into the minivan.
  • Allo Historical Allusion: The zombie outbreak began in 2009 but Maddison came up with the concept of Uber, earning her a It Will Never Catch On reaction from the rest of the cast and Berkeley refers to his and Little Rock's generation as "Gen Z". The term didn't exist in 2009 but it makes sense that a generation who grew up in a Zombie Apocalypse would call themselves that.
  • Alternate History: The film firmly establishes that the zombie outbreak began in 2009. Obama is confirmed to have been president when the outbreak began (a 'Hope' poster is still up in the White House) and when Madison suggests the concept of Ubernote  it is reacted to with a It Will Never Catch On from Tallahassee and Wichita. Additionally, Garfield 3 was scheduled to come out before the outbreak as shown on a background poster and in The Stinger.
  • And Starring: Emma Stone gets this billing for Double Tap, as a result of her rise into one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the decade between the two films.
  • Apocalyptic Logistics: Ramped up from the first film considering it's been ten years since the zombie outbreak and electricity and cars are still in working order. Lampshaded when Madison explains that she lived in a freezer for a decade and kept expecting the electricity to run out; Columbus marvels at how the dams still manage to provide energy.
  • Artistic License – Cars: The presidential limousine, also known as "the Beast" is effectively a tank on wheels. While it might look like a normal limo, it is capable of withstanding heavy weapons up to and including a direct hit from a Stinger missile. The monster truck might be able to leave a dent, but there's no way it could destroy it outright just by parking on top of it.
  • As Himself: The Stinger shows entertainment reporters Al Roker, Grace Randolph (known for Beyond the Trailer), Josh Horowitz and Lili Estefan playing as themselves interviewing Bill Murray in promotion of Garfield 3 before they are all turned into zombies who Murray kills.
  • Betty and Veronica: Personality-wise, Nice Girl Madison has the traits of a Betty and Jerk with a Heart of Gold Wichita serves as the Veronica to Columbus's Archie. However, Madison is also the mysterious newcomer, while Wichita and Columbus have been together for ten years.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as the core four begin their It Has Been an Honor moment, Nevada shows up driving Big Fat Death and starts killing zombies.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Madison's reaction to learning that Babylon has no guns... long after it's been established that they need to plan around this.
  • Blatant Lies: Albuquerque claims that the zombie bite on his arm is actually a tattoo... a highly realistic-looking tattoo of a zombie bite.
  • Body Horror: Zombie transformation is shown not to be pretty to say that least, as it causes the victim to start violently vomiting, their skin to turn rotten, and their speech to be reduced to incoherent snarling, and the whole sequence looks quite painful. Madison's allergic reaction is also pretty horrible to look at to the point where the rest of the group thought she was turning.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A scientist takes shelter from a "Hawking" zombie in a room where the door has a retina scanner. The zombie rips out an eye from another scientist and holds it up to the scanner, opening the door and killing the scientist.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Tallahasee would much rather drive the Beast, an RV, or even a monster truck, but circumstances always force him to fall back on the minivan. It ends up being the most reliable car the group could ever hope for and it only meets its end when Tallahasee decides to blow it up in an act of personal catharsis.
    • Madison pepper sprays a zombie at one point. It's enough to give Wichita an opening to shoot it.
    • The people in Babylon start dropping items onto the zombies below them. With over 100 feet to gain momentum, everything they drop from that height grievously injuries a zombie if it doesn't die.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Columbus directly addresses the viewer again.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Wichita and Columbus sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom and Wichita requests that the portrait of Abraham Lincoln be "blindfolded" so he wouldn't appear to be watching them sleep. The portrait gets significant attention again when Madison sleeps with Columbus, with one of the post-it notes used to "blindfold" Lincoln falling off.
    • During the Christmas party, Tallahassee had cut up a Presidential portrait to use as wrapping paper. Later, when Wichita returns to the White House and speaks with Columbus, you can see the painting in the background still cut up with a giant square hole in it.
    • Tallahassee declares that it takes "a real man to drive a pink Cadillac". At the end of the film, where it's implied Columbus married Wichita and Tallahassee married Nevada, he's driving a pink Cadillac into the sunset.
    • When looking at alternatives for transportation, Columbus spots an ice cream truck which he adamantly refuses to take due to his fear of clowns. It later shows up driven by a very much alive Madison after the group thought she had been turned into a zombie.
    • As Tallahassee and Columbus are traversing the abandoned mall, they pass a poster for a fictional Garfield 3 in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment. The Stinger is about Day Zero for Zombieland happening during a press junket at the same mall for the Garfield sequel.
  • Buffy Speak: After Tallahassee shoots a zombie 9 times, instead of "Double Tap" the rule that pops up settles on "9-uple".
  • Call-Back:
    • In the first film, Little Rock displayed Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure due to being understandably too young to have absorbed enough before the Zombie Apocalypse. Here, she continues that streak when Berkeley woos her by singing pre-existing hit songs that he passes off as his own original work, which she believes. Eventually subverted in the climax where Little Rock calls Berkeley out when he describes himself as a songwriter, pointing out that even twelve-year-olds know who Bob Dylan is.
    • Columbus (and his counterpart Flagstaff) still throws alcohol out of the glass before pretending to drink it.
    • Columbus' fear of clowns comes back when he refuses to drive a van decorated in clowns.
    • There is a subtle one to the "Don't be a hero" rule when Albuquerque and Flagstaff attempt to show Tallahassee and Columbus "how it's done" by taking on a group of T-800s on their own. While they manage to take them all down, they get bitten and turned, not only proving Columbus retroactively right but also the "Don't be afraid to ask for help" rule right.
    • The montage ride to Babylon is one for the first film's ride to Los Angeles in terms of style and editing.
    • During the fight with Albequerque and Flagstaff turned into T-800s, Columbus and Tallahassee once again work together with the "don't swing, don't swing... swing!" combo to get Tallahassee to decapitate a zombie chasing Columbus. This time, though, the zombie is more advanced and also ducks away from the swing.
    • The opening credits for this film opens with "Master of Puppets" by Metallica. In the previous film, Metallica's music is also used to open it, with "For Whom The Bell Tolls" being the song of choice.
    • Tallahassee's hate of mini-vans carries over into this film Here he kicks one mirror in an attempt to damage it and fails, kicks the second mirror and succeeds at damaging it, and finally finishes off the mini-van with much relief expressed by using a hand grenade).
    • When Madison asks if she's pretty, Columbus says yes, "Like apartment 406 pretty". In the initial Zombie outbreak, the girl in Apartment 406 was both pretty and the first zombie he killed.
  • Celebrity Paradox: White Men Can't Jump is shown to exist in the film's universe on Wesley Snipes's pardon. The same movie also co-starred Tallahassee's actor, Woody Harrelson.
  • Car Fu: Nevada mows down hordes of zombies with the Big Fat Death monster truck when she comes to rescue the heroes.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As a Christmas present, Tallahassee gives Little Rock the Colt .45 that Elvis gave to Nixon during their famous meeting, which she's immediately annoyed by. In the finale, she uses the Colt to kill the remaining zombies still clinging to Tallahassee as he's holding on for dear life above Babylon's tower.
    • The Monster Truck also counts, as it first appears as a minor item as a form of transportation for the doppelgangers, and used later on by Nevada to save the protagonists.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Berkley mistakes Tallahassee angrily repeating his name after they're introduced as meaning that Tallahasse is from Berkley too, and marvels about what the odds of that are.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Downplayed, the first appearance of a T-800 showed them as exceptionally agile, able to Dodge the Bullet a few times before absorbing entire clips of ammo. While the characters know now to resort to heavier tactics, their later threat is more due to being in close-quarters or in a large crowd than strictly their strength and durability, but still go down comparatively easier than the first one.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Columbus briefly mentions 406 while rambling about how attractive Madison is.
    • Nevada reminds Columbus (and the audience) of the time Columbus killed Bill Murray.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: Tallahassee tells Little Rock, "Don't do anything I wouldn't not do."
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Like the previous film, this zombie apocalypse is very cozy, especially compared to other zombie fiction. The heroes are generally in little danger, and battles against zombies are usually just an excuse to show off sweet zombie kills, to the point that Columbus continues to give out "Zombie Kill of the ____" awards. They're never short on food or resources, never worry about other survivors trying to steal from them, and don't have to worry about gasoline or other scavenged resources running bad.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: While Madison thinking pepper-spray is in any way effective against zombies comes across as her just being an idiot, she later uses it to great effect on one going for Wichita as she struggles to reload her gun.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Tallahassee wields a crowbar on the White House lawn, bashing in zombie skulls with it.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Tallahassee has been trying to foster a father/daughter relationship with Little Rock, so when he finds out that she left with a New-Age Retro Hippie from Berkeley, he flips out in a rage over it.
  • Death from Above: During the battle against the zombie horde, Madison and Berkeley start dropping things onto the zombies with startling accuracy.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Downplayed in that Hawking zombies and Ninja zombies (which are shown in the prologue) do show up, but they rarely pose a major threat to the protagonists.
  • Deus ex Machina: During the climax - while the main quartet's plan to bait the rushing T-800s works and they are able to blow up a large number of them with a jury-rigged diesel bomb, there are simply way more of them than they anticipated, and the four admit that they're making their last stand, taking one last moment to have a group hug. Then Nevada rolls up in Big Bad Death, clearing a path so they can escape.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Posters for Garfield 3: Flabby Tabby can be seen in the abandoned mall. The Stinger reveals it would be released just as the Zombie Apocalypse broke out.
  • Dirty Coward: The Babylon people, having melted their guns to trade in for their peace necklaces, responds to a zombie horde approaching by declaring to run away as their solution. Columbus will have none of it, declaring he's Tired of Running.
  • Distant Prologue: The gang arriving at the White House at the beginning of the movie is implied to take place at least four years before the rest of the movie, as evidenced by them celebrating Little Rock’s 18th birthday while there.
  • The Ditz: Madison, despite being found in the Washington D.C. area, is a pretty brainless airhead smacking strongly of Valley Girl.
    Columbus: “She’s a living, thinking being... a living being..."
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The population of Babylon are complete pacifists, and they prohibit the use of weapons of any kind, including guns. When survivors approach the area, they confiscate their weapons and melt them. Considering its the Zombie Apocalypse, it is a wonder how they survived so long.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • Madison stays in the Pinkberry freezer because it keeps zombies out. She did try to turn it off but could never find the switch. She understandably thought the power would just run out eventually, and wears winter clothes to handle the cold in it.
    • She is aghast that Babylon has no guns at all.
    • Madison and Berkeley are the first to start throwing things off Babylon's tower to kill zombies.
  • Elite Zombie: The zombies have started evolving, and of course, Columbus has started classifying them.
    • Homers are stupid even by zombie standards, if anything they are an inversion. We see one try to bite a statue during wintertime, get its tongue stuck on it and tear it off and another is more preoccupied by a butterfly than the protagonists. Columbus even says don't waste a bullet on it. It is telling that of the three introduced in Columbus's narration, the Homer is the only one to fail to get the human and is killed itself. Notably, all Homers are overweight as well.
    • Hawkings have a measure of intelligence (we see one figuring out how to do a Borrowed Biometric Bypass). Another climbs a ladder.
    • Ninjas are stealthy and get the jump on people. They can do this because they are smart enough to not attack directly and they don't make the animalistic snarls other zombies do. One catches a man by silently running through the halls around him and tackling him from the side when he's convinced he's alone. Another has the tactical sense to crawl under an RV and try to bite someone's foot.
    • We are later introduced to T-800s (named "Bolts" by Albuquerque and Flagstaff, after the Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt), which are much stronger, faster and smarter than normal zombies; it's speculated that they emerged on the Great Plains, where all that running through the vast flat expanses toughened them up.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Tallahassee dons a white Elvis Presley jumpsuit.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Madison is a stereotypical dumb blonde and her fubar with the nut allergy is a perfect picture of "Too Dumb to Live". She still thinks that the Babylon commune is dumber than she is with its Suicidal Pacifism.
  • Fake Mixed Race: Invoked and Played for Laughs. Tallahassee has started claiming Blackfoot ancestry, to which Columbus just hilariously rolls his eyes. It does, however, inspire Tallahassee to lead a Great Zombie Jump in imitation of the Plains Indians' buffalo jumps.
  • Family of Choice: Columbus' narration says that the gang has become a family of sorts.
    "Welcome to Zombieland. Life is about more than just survival. We were a family. Dysfunctional, sure, but what family isn’t?"
  • Fat Idiot: The Homer zombies are fatter than the average zombie and a lot dumber, getting distracted by butterflies and statues to the point that Columbus says it isn't worth wasting shots.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Tallahassee charges a zombie and tackles it in the movie's opening credits.
  • Foreshadowing: The trippy psychedelic music playing over the introduction to Babylon is The Brian Jonestown Massacre's "Panic in Babylon," foreshadowing the impending disaster there.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Little Rock admits they forgot they had a gun on them until a key moment because of how much weed they've smoked.
  • Freudian Threat: "Keep talking like this and I can arrange so neither of you ever use my driveway again".
  • Funny Background Event: While celebrating after Albequerque and Flagstaff took out a group of T-800 zombies, Flagstaff and Columbus are playing Magic: The Gathering.
  • Gatling Good: Tallahassee mounts a minigun on top of the Presidential limo, AKA the Beast. Sadly, he never gets a chance to use it.
  • Girls Like Musicians: Little Rock runs away with Berkeley, a New-Age Retro Hippie-type musician. She swoons over his guitar-playing and the songs he claims he writes for her. After the final battle, presumably his charm has worn off and she dumps him, saying "even twelve-year-olds know who Bob Dylan is".
  • Given Name Reveal: Played with given the name convention of the 'verse. Nevada refuses to give a city name at first. But by the end of the film, she named a county, leading Tallahassee to correctly guess her city is Reno.
  • Groin Attack: Columbus tries to throw a hacky sack at a zombie, but misses and it hits Tallahassee in the groin. Tallahassee yells at him for it.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Tallahassee is slowly turning into one, although in his defense he has a lot of stressors throughout the film (Little Rock growing up and then running off, Columbus wangsting about Wichita, being stuck driving a minivan, and his interactions with the Babylon hippies, Madison and Albuquerque).
  • Guns Akimbo: Tallahassee is forced to take out a T-800 the group encounters by emptying both guns at it.
  • Hate Sink: Albuquerque is Tallahassee’s less likable Expy who runs over his Beast mobile with his own monster truck and gives him attitude about it, apologizing with very little sincerity and also being a romantic rival to him for Nevada as well. When T-800 zombies show up, Albuquerque disregards the others to handle it himself with his associate Flagstaff (Columbus’s expy). Though he treats Flagstaff well enough, Albuquerque, when it’s discovered he was bitten, is quick to turn against Flagstaff and reveal he was bitten too before they both turn to T-800s and try to kill the others.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Nevada, Flagstaff and Albuquerque have clearly had their share of adventures over the last few years.
    • Possibly the scientists in the lab with the Borrowed Biometric Bypass, given that they were outside and said technology could have let them be working on something against the zombies.
  • Hidden Depths: Madison is The Ditz and somewhat difficult to be around for that reason, with Tallahassee believing she will just be The Load. But she did manage to survive the zombies by herself for years and proves to be more helpful than anyone expected, if not still rather annoying.
  • Idiot Ball: Little Rock runs away by herself from her sister and their makeshift family because she wants to hang out with someone her own age. She's so smitten with Berkeley at one point she doesn't notice zombies following their car.
  • Immodest Orgasm: There's some loud screaming while Columbus and Madison have sex.
  • Ironic Echo: Flagstaff quips "Hasta la vista, baby!" just before he and Albuquerque volunteer to take down the zombies that followed them to the safe house. He's on the receiving end of this exact one-liner just before he got shot in the head for turning into a T-800 zombie.
  • It Can Think: Certain zombies are capable of being intelligent enough that they're able to bypass regular tactics such as a biometric door. Such zombies are dubbed "Hawkings" by the group.
  • It Will Never Catch On: A unique example because this idea will not have the chance to catch on in the Zombieland universe, where society stopped in 2009. Madison explains an idea she had before the apocalypse, about a ride-sharing Internet service; essentially she has invented Uber. Everyone else laughs about it being unfeasible for safety reasons.
  • Large Ham: Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is this throughout most of the movie.
  • Last-Name Basis: Again, played with regarding the naming convention of the 'verse - Nevada regularly calls Columbus and Tallahassee "Ohio" and "Florida" respectively.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Flagstaff is much more cautious about using brand names for his Commandments for some reason.
    • Tallahassee's "nut up or shut up" Catchphrase begins catching flak for being "2009" as well as becoming tiresome. His attempts at new catchphrases only end up getting ridiculed as well.
  • Location Theme Naming: Like the first film, everyone is named after places in America. This film introduces Berkeley, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Madison, and Nevada (as she clarifies, actually Reno, making it consistent with the others' city names).
  • Logo Joke: The Columbia Pictures logo becomes infested with two zombies. The Torch Lady suddenly springs into action, bludgeoning each of them with her torch and returning to her position with a "hmph". When the first zombie is whacked, he falls on the stairs, and the second's blood is splattered on the logo's 'C'.
  • Men of Sherwood: The hippie residents of Babylon are pacifistic and Too Dumb to Live for the most part, but they perform their limited role in the climax (forming a corridor with shields to herd the charging zombies to the edge or a roof where they'll fall to their deaths) surprisingly well and without losing anyone.
  • Mercy Kill: Columbus has to shoot a seemingly turned Madison in the woods, and it's treated as this. Subverted when it turns out that he didn't shoot her, and she appears again later none the worse for wear.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Madison is seemingly bitten by a zombie, and begins to show signs of turning on the car ride to Graceland with symptoms like gagging, vomiting, and her skin turning rotten. Turns out it was just a weird allergic reaction to some nuts she accidentally ate.
  • Mistaken for Disease: Inverted. When Madison undergoes an allergic reaction to having eaten some peanuts, the gang ends up thinking that she's been bitten and is undergoing a zombification. It is only thanks to Columbus being ultimately unable to actually shoot her and choosing to instead shoot right above her head to scare her off that she is able to survive to later explain what was actually going on.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • "Zombie Kill of the Year" is an Italian man toppling the Leaning Tower of Pisa onto a trio of zombies.
    • Tallahassee is heartbroken when he and Columbus reach Graceland only to find that it had burned down.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Berkeley, a hippie that Little Rock becomes interested in. She asks him if he has weed, and it seems to annoy him as he asks her if he looks like the kind of guy who has weed (he does)... then he pulls out a full bag of it. Tallahassee doesn't like this, as for him hippies are just good to be beaten the shit out of. Berkeley later brings Little Rock to the settlement of Babylon, which is filled with them.
  • Newscaster Cameo: A variation. During The Stinger, newscaster Al Roker sits down for an interview with Bill Murray, only to turn into a zombie that Murray has to deal with.
  • No Antagonist: A downplayed example. Albuquerque, Berkeley, and the people of Babylon all have goals that put them temporarily at odds with the main characters, and some of them are arrogant or selfish, but there's surprisingly little human-on-human violence in the film.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Nevada does this to Columbus by cursing the man responsible for Bill Murray's death. It's implied that Little Rock told her and that she is messing with him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Nevada reveals that not only has news of Bill Murray's death spread across Zombieland but also became a euphemism ("pulling a Murray") for mistaking regular people for zombies and killing them, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Columbus become very uneasy, especially when Nevada promises to avenge Murray if she ever found out who killed him.
  • Older Than They Look: Columbus is 36 years old, yet he still hasn't aged since the first film.
  • One-Hit Polykill: In the opening credits, Wichita shoots a zombie through the head and into the zombie behind it.
  • The Oner: Tallahassee and Columbus vs the zombified Albuquerque and Flagstaff.
  • Only in It for the Money: In a mid-credits scene, Bill Murray is promoting Garfield 3 and was asked why he did the movie. His response was that drugs are expensive.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Tallahassee and Albuquerque hate each other on sight. Subverted with Columbus and Flagstaff, as they get along better (although they do argue about the former's rules vs. the latter's "Commandments").
  • Overly Long Hug: Columbus is the first human contact Madison has had in years, so she has trouble letting go of him when she first hugs him in the mall. They later sleep together.
  • Pair the Spares: Madison and Berkeley, having both been dumped by the end of the film, share a kiss at the end.
  • Pet the Dog: Wichita does not like Madison, but earnestly thanks her for pepper-spraying a zombie when Wichita's gun jams.
  • Pink Means Feminine:
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Tallahassee changes the Presidential limo into a battle car he calls "the Beast". So first Little Rock and Wichita steal it, and when he's finally reunited with The Beast, it gets crushed by a monster truck.
  • Produce Pelting: One item the people of Babylon drop on the zombies below is watermelons.
  • Product Placement: As Wichita reunites with Colombus and Tallahassee, they drink Mountain Dew while having a conversation.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: This movie is practically one of the worst offenders of this trope. It's been 10 years since the zombie plague began, yet there is still working electricity (something that Columbus lampshades), cars with functioning parts and fuel, food long past their expiration dates, buildings still in neat condition and supplies are still plentiful. While the inside of the White House looks like it was untouched by the apocalypse, the Eclipse is now covered with tall grass.
  • Recruit the Muggles: The group manages to defeat the zombie horde with the help of the Babylon community, who use themselves as barricades to lure the zombies off the tower.
  • Rescue Sex: When Columbus takes Madison to his room, she comes on to him. Having only just met her and still trying to get over Wichita, Columbus hesitates, only to give in when she bluntly admits that she only wants to do it since she's been alone in a freezer for ten years.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Madison having an allergic reaction rather than a zombie bite is more obvious when you notice that the ninja bites her on her shoe rather than her ankle or shin.
  • Right Through the Wall: Madison, summed up by Tallahassee as "Nutting up, definitely not shutting up."
  • Rousseau Was Right: One of the newest rules established in this film is "Don't be afraid to ask for help." While the cool zombie kills are still there, a lot of them in this film are done with the intent to protect and save the lives of other survivors.
  • Running Gag:
    • The minivan that Tallahasee is forced to drive instead of more awesome vehicles.
    • The guy in Babylon who, in spite of the rule on no group sex, keeps wanting group sex.
    • Tallahassee still paints a number 3 on any ride he considers cool enough. The minivan does not qualify.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Bill Murray's publicist freaks out and runs off pretty quick upon seeing signs Roker is a zombie, while Bill still seems a bit confused by this.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • Zombie Kill of the Week gets upgraded into Zombie Kill of the Year (dropping the Leaning Tower of Pisa onto a trio of zombies) and later Century (Tallahassee leading a Great Buffalo Jump of hundreds of zombies off the roof of Babylon's tower).
    • Zombies have become more dangerous in the sequel to provide a greater challenge for the protagonists.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Similar Squad:
    • Tallahassee and Columbus end up meeting Albuquerque and Flagstaff, two survivors who are almost identical to them, much to the bafflement of Wichita. Tallahassee and his counterpart take an instant dislike to each other, and Wichita wonders if she's hallucinating. Unfortunately, both of them end up getting bit by zombies and have to be taken out.
    • Nevada herself is a counterpart of Wichita, in that she is a leader of sorts to her two male allies, is the most emotionally and psychologically mature of her group, and gets along with her group surprisingly well. Neither she, Wichita nor anyone else notice the resemblance.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Tallahassee kills the majority of the horde of T-800s by using himself as bait to trick them into jumping off the top of Babylon.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: The opening montage shows a character who appears to be one of these being attacked by a Hawking zombie that figured out how to pull a Borrowed Biometric Bypass.
  • Stealth Insult: Albuquerque calls the Elvis-dressed Tallahassee 'Little Elvis', which according to him implies that Tallahassee is either not very great at being an impersonator or that he (Albuquerque) would do a better Elvis impersonation.
  • The Stinger: To make up for the fact that he killed Bill Murray in the previous film, Columbus shows Day Zero of Zombieland, which happened to start during a press junket for a Garfield 3. Newcaster Al Roker becomes a zombie among many others, and Murray gets to have a few crazy zombie kills of his own, all set to "I'm Alright".
  • Suicidal Pacifism: The Babylon community absolutely refuses to have guns inside of its walls, even ordering any newcomers to hand theirs away and melting them to make Peace symbol necklaces. In the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. With a humongous bunch of the absolute worst kind of zombie sub-species shambling nearby. And they like to party so loud that they haven't attracted the attention of a massive horde only through sheer dumb luck... until the film's climax. It screams Too Dumb to Live so loudly that even a bimbo like Madison can see it, screaming out a Big "WHAT?!" when she hears about it.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The T-800 zombies are this—in addition to taking much more punishment to put down, once they pick their prey, they continue to pursue it until either the prey goes down or they do. This is turned against them in the finale, when Tallahassee gets them to lock onto him and then hang from a crane several hundred feet up, leading the zombies to run after him and fall to their destruction.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Columbus and Wichita have this after their falling out.
  • Tilting Tower of Pisa: Zombie Kill Of The Year is earned by a man who topples the Tower onto some zombies he'd baited with mannequins.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Madison almost dies from a severe nut allergy which causes others to think she's a zombie. It was her trail mix that got this started and she can be seen picking out and eating almonds individually in the scene. When asked, she claimed "I thought trail mix was vegan." She should be dead twice over, once from anaphylaxis and once from being shot by paranoid zombie survivors. Her survival is pure luck.
    • Not only do the survivors of Babylon say no to guns, they practically ring the dinner bell to all zombies in the surrounding area with their brightly lit tower, loud music and worst of all, launching fireworks. If Columbus' group wasn't there, they would have been dinner.
    • Inverted with the Homer zombies. Being monumentally stupid makes them less likely to be targeted by people, since nobody wants to waste ammunition on a non-threat. They can still stupidly kill themselves, however.
  • Together in Death: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock resign themselves to this fate when they're unarmed and surrounded by zombies.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: During the road trip, Wichita plays the Tomboy (sarcastic Action Girl dressed in dark clothes) to Madison's Girly Girl (flouncy ditzy Valley Girl dressed in pink).
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Downplayed. They are unable to make the pacifist hippie residents of Babylon good fighters due to a lack of time and resources, but the group manages to mobilize them to form an effective barricade while they deal with the zombies.
  • The Triple: The reveal that Madison is alive is done by three utterances of You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!, though it becomes a Quadruple once Tallahassee adds "You've got to be fucking kidding me!".
  • Unexplained Recovery: Madison's turning into a zombie turns out to actually have been a weirdly excessive allergic reaction to eating nuts. Even then, it's not explained how she recovered from having a reaction strong enough to cause her to start vomiting and her skin to start changing color.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Tallahassee's slapped-together plan to deal with the zombie horde approaching Babylon is explained, so it doesn't work as well as the group hoped. On the other hand, his premeditated Great Zombie Jump, which was only alluded to in the prep montage, was a resounding success.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Once Flagstaff and Albuquerque arrive, the first and Tallahassee argue about Nevada's 'parking space' in a way that makes Columbus lampshade that they're not talking about car room.
  • Valley Girl: Madison seemingly embodies many of the stereotypes associated with this trope.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A common symptom of a human about to turn into a zombie. Or a human with a bad nut allergy.
  • The White House: The White House is derelict, with vegetation having grown on the outside. The gang decides to dwell there for some time.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Tallahassee gets completely annoyed by a T-800 that keeps getting up after getting shot.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • When Columbus first introduced ninja and Hawking zombies, these new zombies are shown to be very dangerous. Yet, when the group encounter them, they kill them albeit with a little difficulty but not close enough to get them killed.
    • Downplayed. The first T-800 the gang face was able to dodge two bullets almost absentmindedly, survive two shots to the head and nearly bit Tallahassee after being shot a dozen more times, finally being put down after he crushes its skull under his boot. This is meant to set the tone for how much of a threat they are compared to the regular zombies that the gang have been shooting for the past ten years.
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: Tallahassee insinuates that this is how Madison has survived the zombie apocalypse so far.
    "You know why she's still alive? Because zombies eat brains, and she ain't got any!"
  • Zombie Infectee:
    • Subverted with Madison, who appears to turn in the car, but it turns out to be an excessive allergic reaction. She turns up alive later on.
    • Played straight with Albuquerque and Flagstaff, who deny being bitten before turning into zombies.


Video Example(s):



Hawkings are a type of zombie notable for being smarter than usual zombies, capable of figuring out obstacles that normal zombies cannot.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / EliteZombie

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