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  • Acceptable Targets: The Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.) are all famous Hollywood actors with delusions of grandeur that use their reputations and acting ability to influence world politics. The directors did this because they believe that actors are some of the most narcissistic people out there. Their use of puppets instead of actual people being under the assumption that it would be easier than working with professional actors (there are only about ten voice actors in the entire movie, most of whom are in bit roles; the majority of characters are voiced by Parker and Stone, again).
    Alec Baldwin: What the world needs is an international advisory committee who truly understands global politics. Namely: us.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: After Team America gets captured, Spottswoode considers blowing up the team's captured vehicles to take out Kim Jong-Il, even if it also results in the deaths of Joe, Lisa, Sarah and Chris. Is this a harsh but necessary decision for the sake of The Needs of the Many, or proof that Spottswoode still thinks he can solve all his problems by blowing them up?
  • Anvilicious: Dicks (hawks) are necessary because assholes (general threats to people) need to be fucked (dealt with) before they shit on (blow up) everything, but pussies (doves) can get full of shit too, becoming assholes. Pussies are necessary because without them, dicks "fuck too much (There Is No Kill Like Overkill) or fuck when it isn't appropriate (Disproportionate Retribution)." In short, extremism is bad, m'kay?
    • In political terms: "dicks" = conservatives; "pussies" = liberals; "assholes" = rogue states/extremists/terrorists.
    • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: A more positive way of looking at it is "violence is bad, of course, but promoting peace and diplomacy to people who are just too violent or self-righteous to be reasoned with just leaves you helpless, so it is at times quite necessary. The trick is to know when and where it is necessary to use it, and in what amounts, and to not get too attached to it."
      • Another way to see it is that virtue isn't enough to provide world peace; you need actual skills and experience to achieve it. Violence isn't always the answer but it's necessary when there are no other options, especially when that threat refuses to listen. If you solely focus on virtue and the greater good, it allows people to manipulate you.
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    • Less ambiguously, the movie very openly mocks actors with public political causes as out of touch, narcissistic idiots who don't know what they are talking about.
  • Awesome Music: Harry Gregson-Williams deliberately scored the film completely straight, as if it was a real action movie, to help sell the satire. It works perfectly in the movie, but out of context, the score is genuinely exciting and rousing.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The film's stereotypes of foreigners are so ridiculously hilarious it's impossible to take them seriously. Particularly their attempt to make Gary look Middle-Eastern, which just involved slapping on some badly-applied cosmetics to make his skin darker and fake hair in a spotty fashion. Sails through flawlessly.
      • And actors, too—Matt Damon's Pokémon Speak sticks out in particular.
    • Matt and Trey made the sex scene as dirty as possible, dirtier than they wanted it to be knowing the MPAA would want them to cut stuff out of it.
    • The scene where a very drunk Gary vomits outside the bar. Starts out at "small amount", then moves up to "disgusting but realistic", then graduates up to "large amounts", then "absurdly large amounts", then finally settling for "high pressure projectile vomiting at the camera and a puddle of the stuff at least 5 meters across". Don't forget the dramatic music.
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    • Before prepping him for a mission, Spottswoode warns Gary that he will probably want to kill himself if captured...but instead of a Cyanide Pill, he gives Gary a hammer.
    • Chris's reason for hating actors. A young man getting gang-raped by a bunch of actors? Horrifying and disgusting. The actors being in costume for Cats and only ever referred to by their character names? Hilariously absurd.
  • Designated Hero: Team America themselves are a parody of this trope. They think of themselves as righteous combatants of terrorists when in actuality, they end up causing just as much damage. This is likely the point though.
  • Fan Disservice: The uncut version of the puppet sex scene gets very... gross. (See Below)
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans refuse to acknowledge the uncut sex scene ever existed, due to its inclusion of scat and urination, which, even by the movie's own standards, is just fucking disturbing...
  • Faux Symbolism: The icon for Team America is an eagle with its beak enclosed around the entire earth. Yummy.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Done deliberately, all of the "brawls" in the movie are just puppets ineffectually slapping at each other. According to Parker and Stone, the puppeteers were actually good enough to do realistic fight scenes, but the duo had the crew make the puppet fights look as half-assed as possible both because more realistic movements would have been uncomfortably distracting and it was funnier if the fights looked like shit.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The opening scenes in Paris, in which a group of terrorists open fire on random citizens, are a lot less funny after a real-life terrorist attack occurred in Paris on November 14th, 2015.
    • Gary's brother died when he fell into the gorilla enclosure in a zoo, and the gorillas beat him to death. On the 28th of May, 2016, a similar incident happened in Real Life - resulting in the gorilla, named Harambe, getting shot by the zookeepers to save the child's life.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie did well overseas, ostensibly from audiences who didn't realize they were being made fun of right alongside Americans.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The song "End of an Act" eviscerates Ben Affleck and praises Cuba Gooding Jr. based on their work in Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor. The film was made in 2004, when Affleck was in the middle of his career slump and Gooding still living off the high of his Jerry Maguire Oscar win. Now, Affleck has made a significant comeback with his directorial works Gone Baby Gone and The Town (the latter of which also received praise for his performance) while Cuba is doing straight to DVD schlock after appearing in disasters like Norbit and Daddy Day Camp.
    • Also, Kim Jong-Il's death is finally starting to make sense, but the only difference is that it's just too bad that American dicks never fucked that asshole to begin with.
      • The main character's name is Gary Johnston. Eight years later, the Libertarian Presidential candidate was named Gary Johnson. Seeing how the filmmakers are known for their Libertarian viewpoints, they more than likely voted for a guy who almost had the exact same name as one of their own characters.
    • The film came back into the limelight a bit ten years later, when Kim Jong-Il's son proved to have a much thinner skin about being mocked by a Hollywood film.
    • The "Dicks, pussies and assholes" speech is basically a more profane version of the "Sheep, sheepdogs and wolves" speech from American Sniper.
      • For that matter, Guardians of the Galaxy has a scene where Peter Quill seems to mix up the definition of "Dicks" and "A(ss)holes" as defined by this movie, saying that he and his team are "A-holes" but "not 100% dicks."
    • This advertisement for Amazon Echo, which features a very familiar-looking puppet....
    • A deleted scene has Chris arguing with the character about whether one is being manipulated by the real villains of the piece. At one point they both yell at each other "No YOU'RE the puppet!"
    • During Chris's fight with Samuel L. Jackson, Jackson remarks "Come on! Stop trying to hit me and hit me!" This was years before the incident where Jackson was mistaken for Laurence Fishburne, who originally said that line.
    • Chris's traumatic experience with the actors from Cats comes across as both funnier and more fitting if you imagine them looking like the "weirdly horny" versions from the infamous 2019 movie adaptation.
    • Team America gets banned from France after accidentally destroying the Eiffel Tower (among other landmarks) while preventing a terrorist attack. Five years later, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra had the Joes stop COBRA from carrying out a terrorist attack in Paris, but not before COBRA destroys the Eiffel Tower... with the exact same result of France kicking the Joes out.
  • Homegrown Hero: Is played for laughs, with Americans doing their part to stop a North-Korean/Arabian conspiracy from Paris to Egypt.
  • Ho Yay: The film's aesop essentially boils down to "dicks should fuck assholes instead of pussies".
  • Informed Wrongness: Gary being treated like a “traitor” for giving up acting and abandoning Team America, even though it was out of retaliation for Team America’s incompetence and warmongering that resulted in the explosion of the Panama Canal.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • "I'm So Ronery" and "You Are Useless Arec Bardwin" are sad enough that you might actually feel a bit of pity for Kim Jong-Il (the character, not the actual person obviously).
    • Chris is incredibly unpleasant to Gary, just for being an actor, even blaming him for things that weren't his fault. That said, being gang-raped by actors is an undeniably traumatic experience.
  • Les Yay: Sarah is very close to Lisa, and has a photo of the two of them in the cockpit of her fighter plane. It's easy to conclude that she isn't mad at Lisa for taking the guy she liked, but for choosing Gary over her.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • 'Mericah, FUCK YEAH!
    • SURPRISE, COCKFAGS!
    • MATT DAMON! The real Matt Damon has said he gets this constantly (including from other celebrities like Josh Brolin).
      • English DJ Scott Mills actually adopted this into his show, and listeners who had never seen the film thought he came up with it. When Chris Moyles (who presents a different show on the same station) was discussing a Matt Damon movie shortly afterwards, they referenced the joke, and people texted in accusing him of stealing the joke from Mills. Moyles remarked that the joke was from Team America and pointed out that the film was several years old at that point.
    • I'm so ronery.
      • This has gone full-on to the point of becoming its own slang: The Engrish term became used to disparage extreme antisocial Otaku who look down on "real-world" relationships, and evolved to mock Perverse Sexual Lust among Periphery Demographics in general.
    • "I am serious. This is my serious face."
    • "Derka derka... Muhammad jihad."
    • "Arec Bardrin."
    • Gary vomiting has become a popular reaction gif.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales:
    • Many fans are in the US government and foreign policy field, and as explained in Misaimed Fandom below, many Americans love the theme song, "America, Fuck Yeah!".
    • There's even word that Kim Jong Il himself saw this film and was tickled by it, saying something along the lines of "This is a very funny movie." On the other hand, there's also word he wasn't impressed and tried to convince the Czech Republic to ban the film (for what it's worth, this is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter).
    • Hans Blix apparently found his portrayal so hysterical that he referenced it in a lecture. He also said he was disappointed that he couldn't buy the puppet of himself from the crew.
    • Most of the actors that were parodied loved it, and just about all of those actors stated for the record that they wish Parker and Stone had contacted them so they could voice themselves acting like pussies.
      • Alec Baldwin cracked up when his daughter's classmates quoted Kim Jong Il's, "You are useress to me, Arec Bardwin!"
      • George Clooney said that he would have been insulted had he not been included in the film.
      • In fact, the only one of the film's targets who seems to have taken it personally is Sean Penn, who wrote Parker and Stone a very angry letter (telling them just how angry he was) after the film's release.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • The above derka derka, is today typically used in real life to disparage South Asians or Arabs.
    • The theme song, "America, Fuck Yeah!", ironically gets a lot of use from people who spout pro-American rhetoric, despite the song lampooning/parodying their nationalistic views.
  • Narm Charm:
    • "I'm So Ronery" is surprisingly touching.
    • The aftermath of blowing up the Panama Canal, where all the puppets are floating "dead" in the water with sombre music playing, is a bit of a mood whiplash from them screaming "NO ME GUSTA!!!"
    • "That's okay... I feel a little bit like dying," and, the sad rendition of "America Fuck Yeah!" that follows it.
    • Chris telling Gary about the time he was sexually abused by the cast of Cats. Sure, the sight of a puppet dropping some nonsensical-sounding names may undercut the gravity of the situation, but you feel for him nonetheless.
    • The entire "Dicks, Pussies and Assholes" speech works as an Intended Audience Reaction example of this. It should be utterly ridiculous but the emotion, the music, and surprisingly appropriate metaphors make it work so well, you'd be forgiven for forgetting Gary is just quoting the drunken ramblings of that bum from the bar.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The graphic violence can sometimes border on this.
    • A special mention goes to the incredibly disturbing uncut sex scene between Gary and Lisa, which actually borders on Nightmare Fuel. The less said about that, the better...
    • Gary puking everywhere after getting himself seriously drunk also counts.
  • Never Live It Down: Matt Damon's portrayal — being capable of saying only his own name. Though he found it funny (and wished he could have done the voice work), fans — especially one known as KSI — still bring it up at every chance.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Kim Jong Il revealing his whole plan to create chaos and violence is surprisingly sinister.
    Kim Jong Il: Congratulations, Team America. You have stopped NOTHING.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jeremy Shada (AKA Finn the Human) as Jean Francois—a little boy seen in the opening Paris sequence.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • You can clearly see the marionette strings. This was done so the movie could get extremely violent and graphic without squicking the audience. Also because it's just funnier that way.
    • In-Universe, the "expert makeover" of Gary looks like Ash Face along with severe burns passing for a "beard".
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Gerry Anderson himself said this movie was what he wished the Live Action Thunderbirds movie was like. The only thing he disapproved of was the gross parts — it meant that kids couldn't watch it.
  • Uncanny Valley: Seriously, just look at the main page's image and you'll see. The faces are very unsettling. It may explain the directorial decision to leave the strings visible, to stop the marionettes looking too human.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Much of the humor is directed against targets like Michael Moore, Kim Jong-il, the films of Michael Bay, anti-war celebrity activists like George Clooney and Sean Penn, and America's gung-ho behavior in The War on Terror, all of which were political and cultural touchstones of the year (2004) when the film came out. Now that America's (mostly) left Iraq and terrorism has faded from the agenda (until ISIS came along), it can feel rather dated, especially with Kim Jong-il's death in December 2011.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Even for something that looks bad on purpose, the puppeteering is very impressive (it's arguably more impressive that they were made to look bad on purpose) and the sets and practical effects are phenomenal. Some have even said that some parts don't look bad enough to be funny!

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