We've all seen them. The posters featuring the unlucky Average Joe protagonist, usually in a compromising position, set against a white background. The title will be written in big, bold, red letters, almost always typeset in either Futura or Impact. Add touches of green to the poster, and it becomes a Christmas comedy film.
This is used frequently for adult comedies, although it's becoming increasingly more popular for movies aimed at children as well, which sometimes makes it difficult to determine the movie's target age group. A somewhat classier version exists for romantic comedies aimed at a female audience. They share the white background and the unlucky protagonist(s), but the title font is usually Times New Roman, Helvetica or something similar. Use of this format seems to have declined since the late 2000s, and it may be on the way to becoming a Discredited Trope thanks to some notable offenders that use this style tainting the audience's expectations.
No relation to White and Red and Eerie All Over. See also Orange/Blue Contrast for another trend in movie poster design.
- 17 Again (2009) has Zac Efron walking on a white background with the title in red.
- Every American Pie movie, possibly the Trope Codifier, features all the characters crammed together on a white background with a bold red title above them.
- Some Ant-Man posters feature the title character in his suit superimposed against a giant red A with a white background, highlighting that the film is more comedic than other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Other versions have a more conventional Floating Head Syndrome layout.
- Are We There Yet?: One poster featured Ice Cube looking frustrated, surrounded by his screaming kids, against a white background with red lettering above them. A family comedy example.
- Cheaper by the Dozen (2003): Another family comedy example, most posters feature Steve Martin and the many actors who play his children, superimposed against a white background with red letters. Gets across that the movie is about a large family without giving too much else away.
- Daddy Day Care: Another family comedy example, the title features a prone Eddie Murphy lying on a white background while being crushed by both the title and a pile of mischievous children. Gets across the main premise of a man struggling to care for children.
- Date Movie: The poster features the film's main cast of characters posing against a white background, with the film's title in red above them. Most Seltzer and Friedberg follow the same format.
- Some Deadpool print ads featured the title character making snarky poses against a white background, with red letters. The poster format serves to highlight that the film is a comedy despite having a superhero as the main character. Other posters featured a more conventional action movie design.
- The Dinner Game: Another early example. In most versions of the poster, the giant red title letters takes up most of the screen, while full-body shots of the two main characters are superimposed on top.
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story: Lots of different versions, but all feature either Ben Stiller or Vince Vaughn (supporting characters optional), the two leads, staring at the camera looking determined while holding a dodgeball against a white background, highlighting that this is a movie where dodgeball is Serious Business.
- Epic Movie: Like the Date Movie above, features all the main characters making silly faces against a red title and white background. It's hard to derive much about the film's premise from the poster alone, but the faces and poster format guarantee that this is a comedy.
- Fun with Dick and Jane: The 2005 remake poster features Jim Carrey, the lead, (some versions also include his co-star) running around zanily against a white background next to a red title, highlighting that this is a movie about a happy idiot.
- Good Luck Chuck
- The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
- I Love You, Man
- Lilo & Stitch's original theatrical release poster, although its protagonist is anything but an Average Joe, the film itself is actually a comedy-drama instead of a straight comedy, and the logo uses an original font.
- Little Man
- The Lizzie McGuire Movie
- The Long Weekend
- Love Actually
- Made of Honor
- Malibu's Most Wanted
- Monk provides a TV version of this trope
- My Super Ex-Girlfriend
- Not Another Teen Movie: Though as a spoof of the very genre well-known for this trope, it's hard to know if this example is played straight or itself a parody.
- The Proposal
- Random Assault is a podcast version
- Spy Hard
- The Spy Next Door
- What Happens in Vegas
- World's Greatest Dad
- You Again
- You, Me and Dupree
Parodies/Discussion of this Phenomenon:
- The Wedding Bride from How I Met Your Mother.
- Parodied by CollegeHumor with Big Red Text.
- I Hate Everything mentions it in his review of Not Cool.