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YMMV / The Love Bug

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  • Awesome Music: From The Love Bug, the introductory montage of a demolition derby (from the film Fireball 500) set to a medley of Johann Strauss II's "Tik Tak Polka" and the overture to "Die Fledermaus".
    • The entirety of the score from the 1997 remake could be considered this. Composed by the late Shirley Walker, the music of this film gives the franchise a more melancholic, dramatic and even at times dark tone. Among the tracks that stand out are probably the main theme as well as the Horace the Hate Bug theme.
  • Fair for Its Day: As noted below in Values Dissonance, the humor surrounding Mr. Wu and Chinese culture comes across as offensive nowadays. However, the movie notably averts Asian Speekee Engrish and Wu proves to be a Reasonable Authority Figure and Team Dad for the heroes.
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  • First Installment Wins: While Herbie Rides Again has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score among the 4 classic films (80% versus The Love Bug's 75%), the first film, The Love Bug, is by far the most beloved.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Tennessee's speech about machines. Particularly this line: "we take machines and stuff 'em full of information until they're smarter than we are".
    • Herbie's attempted suicide in the first film. In Herbie Goes Bananas, he gets thrown off the Sun Princess by Captain Blythe for the ruckus he caused aboard the ship. On the upside, he lives to tell the tale.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first film, Mr. Wu's full name is Tang Wu, which means in Chinese, his name is Wu Tang.
    • An early trailer for Disney Blu-Ray Discs suggested that Herbie: Fully Loaded would become Herbie's first movie to receive a BD release. From 2014-'15, the Disney Movie Club unveiled exclusive Blu-Ray Discs of all of Herbie's movies except Fully Loaded.
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    • In the first film, after Jim tells Tennessee that he'll be racing with Herbie, Tennesee says "Oh, boy, won't Herbie love that! Le Mans! Monte Carlo!". The third film has Herbie racing in Monte Carlo, but alas, Tennessee wasn't there to see it.
    • In the first film, Thorndyke questions Herbie's success by loudly shouting "There's more going on here than meets the eye!" (Made even better by how Bumblebee's alt mode is most famously a Volkswagon Beetle.)
  • Love to Hate: David Tomlinson as the villainous Peter Thorndyke. Not just the antics he gets up to, almost every line of dialogue ranges from entertainingly dry wit to Suddenly SHOUTING!.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Thorndyke crosses it when he sabotages Herbie at Riverside and steals victory from Douglas. Hawk seems to have made a living crossing the line just to serve his own ego, but takes it a step farther when he nearly demolishes the firehouse with Mrs. Steinmetz and Mr. Judson still inside.
  • Narm Charm: Dean Jones singing the theme song to Herbie The Matchmaker. It's cheesy, it's corny, but damn it, it's Herbie!
    • The film series as a whole. Who would have thought a film involving a man coaxing a car out of suicide would seriously work? How about one where a car has to babysit a little pickpocket through Central America? It just works!
  • Never Live It Down: If there is one thing anybody remembers about the otherwise forgettable Fully Loaded, it was the bizarre news before the film's release that CGI was used to tone down Lindsay Lohan's distractingly-large breasts.
  • Sequelitis: Each sequel proved less and less successful as time passed, but Herbie Goes Bananas kept Herbie on the lot for the next 25 years before his next big-screen appearance.
  • Special Effect Failure: The 53 gumball on Herbie's door is absent in the original film's "balancing" scene. It was a conscious choice: the bottom of the door had to be cropped so the car could clear the ground to do the stunt, which including the number would have called attention to. An odd example in that it isn't conspicuous in the film itself (it's excusable for the time period and barely noticeable in the scene itself), but a still from the scene was heavily circulated promotion and merchandising of the film, even continuing to be used when the movie was released on video.
    • The 1997 film contains quite a bit of CG, mostly involving Horace. It also shows up in some of Herbie's stunts, and the reveal of Simon's factory. Fully Loaded also makes use of heavy (and heavily dated) CGI for much of Herbie's actions outside of simple driving, such as the rail surf and the turnaround at the end of the film.
    • And, of course, the ever ubiquitous Driving a Desk shots.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Jason Torchinsky, a writer for Jalopnik, found out that George Bruns, the first film's composer, may have ripped Herbie's theme song from an obscure John Barry track titled "High Grass". Listen for yourselves!
  • Uncanny Valley: Horace and its CG facial expressions.
    • Ditto with Herbie in Herbie: Fully Loaded, even in some scenes that could have been done with practical effects.
    • Herbie trying to woo Giselle in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. His flashing yellow headlights, flapping trunk door and soot-covered "face" make him look positively insane. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't do much for Giselle either.
    • You were also unnerved by the blue eyes that Herbie had on the movie collection image on the Film page, weren't you?
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Tennessee's "safety tip" for making coffee with a blow torch is "always wear asbestos gloves when you make coffee this way." The health risks associated with asbestos wouldn't identified until the 70s.
    • A lot of the humor involving Mr. Wu and Chinese culture; while the character is portrayed positively, it still comes off as somewhat insensitive by today's standards.
    • The scene where Herbie traps Carole at the drive in combines this with Harsher in Hindsight. Imagine you're watching this play out in real life. A car pulls up at a restaurant with a man and a woman inside. The woman wants out but can't get the door open. She becomes more and more frantic, begging and pleading the people on the outside to free her, but no one will help. The only other woman around, the waitress, not only won't even take a second to try and open the door, but scolds her for making a scene. Then she suggests to the man a more private spot where the police don't bother people. Would you assume that the cheeky little car is trying to play matchmaker, or would you think that the guy rigged the door and that this woman has every right to be petrified? Considering that infamous murderer Ted Bundy really did own a white VW beetle...Ouch. Although, when they're at Seabreeze Point, the police officer does ask Carol whether she was being harassed by Jim.


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