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YMMV / Billy Madison

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Was Carl trying to get Billy to be president because he knew he'd be the real power behind Madison Hotels and knew that if Eric took charge, he'd be powerless?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • There is a solitary musical sequence in the middle of the movie containing several of the film's characters.
    • Additionally, the "Schlopppy Joes" scene. Even with vaguely dramatic music playing in the background, it adds nothing to the plot.
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    • Billy dancing to "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" on the stairs.
  • Critical Dissonance: Like many of Adam Sandler's movies, this movie was slammed hard by critics, but was a huge hit with audiences.
  • Ear Worm: The quote "O'Doyle rules!"
    • The Stroke by Billy Squire
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Chris Farley as the bus driver.
  • Fridge Horror: Eric pulls a gun out over a question he couldn't answer. He had to have been carrying that around with the intent to use it and the odds of having to defend himself didn't look that high. In other words, Eric would shoot up a school just to get what he wants!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Eric bringing a gun into a school and threatening an entire auditorium is wildly uncomfortable post-Collumbine and remains so as more and more school shoot-ups continue to occur throughout the 21st century.
    • The dodgeball scene becomes less funny when you find out that Adam Sandler actually did throw dodgeballs at those kids, and their reactions to getting hit were genuine. The director has said that she had to cut away after the kids started crying.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Billy says that he likes Donkey Kong more than Mortal Kombat, only to be told that "Donkey Kong sucks!". 20 years later, we got a Donkey Kong that not even Billy Madison would root for.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Pretty much every line in the film. If you grew up in The '90s, you can probably quote this film line-for-line. Special mentions go to "O'Doyle Rules!" "Shampoo is better/No, conditioner is better," "Nudie magazine day" and, of course, the whole "I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul" monologue.
    • The latter became popular to put after Sarah Palin quotes during the 2008 presidential election.
    • There is a particular demographic who will, upon hearing the word "chlorophyll", will either reply, or think, "Chlorophyll? More like BOROPHYLL."
    • Madison sitting among his younger classmates is often used by people making fun of themselves looking forward to something that's targeted at kids.
    • The principal's Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard speech is a goldmine for those who want to tell off stupid people in real life.
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    • Fans of sports video maker Urinating Tree have this movie to thank for Billy's scream of "YOU BLEW IT!"
  • Moment of Awesome/Funny: The principal/contest host's reply to Billy's answer about the Industrial Revolution (see the quote on the main page). So awesome/hilarious, in fact, that a bankruptcy judge used that very quote to a defendant in real life!
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Eric tries to shoot Billy. After the Principal intervenes, he tries to shoot Veronica For the Evulz.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The O'Doyle family's car got slid by a banana peel, fell of a cliff and died.
  • The Scrappy: The entire O'Doyle family.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While the "man-child who has to prove himself" comedy today is extremely played out and is getting close to being a Dead Horse Trope, in the early 90s, this premise was actually considered a risky venture due to its untested appeal. And while Adam Sandler today is known for these things, this was his first lead role (aside from a movie he (and likely many others) would like you to forget ever existed), so his bankability and brand of humor were unknowns. The studio was unsure how much faith to even place in the film until test audiences loved it.
  • Signature Line: O'Doyle rules!
  • Strawman Has a Point: Eric is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and sleazy Jerkass who merely wants to run Madison Hotels. However, he is right when he points out that the company's fifty-thousand employees are not likely to have jobs for very long if the president makes his drunkard son (who only graduated because his father bribed his teachers) president of the company. Note, though, that before Billy strikes a deal to graduate legitimately, this actually does temporarily convince Billy's father to hand the reins over to Eric. It's also noteworthy that, after some Character Development, Billy himself concludes that he's not cut out for the management of a large company and turns it over to Carl, who is both competent and not a Jerkass.


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