¡Three Amigos!

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Dusty Bottoms: No, we will not die like dogs! We will fight like lions! Because we are...
Dusty Bottoms, Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander: The Three Amigos!

¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 John Landis comedy film starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short as a trio of actors who are hired to protect a small Mexican village from bandits, Magnificent Seven-style -- the villagers don't realize they're just actors, and the Amigos don't realize it's for real until it's too late. Hilarity Ensues.

Distinct from the trope called Three Amigos.


Tropes used in ¡Three Amigos! include:
  • Actually Pretty Funny / Dying Moment of Awesome: El Guapo manages to get in a last shot (literally!), and giggles before dying, "That was a pretty good trick, too, no?"
  • Affably Evil: El Guapo may not be much to look at, but he treats his men as equals for the most part. He's actually a really likable, articulate guy, too, except for the whole pillaging thing.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: The actors playing the Amigos completely misunderstand a desperate plea for help as an offer to make a personal appearance with one of the biggest actors to come out of Mexico.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Bandito-filled Mexican bar where the protagonists perform the "My Little Buttercup" number.
  • Bandito: The villains. Thick Mexican accents, sombreros, ponchos, bandoleers of ammunition. Thick mustaches and stubble.
  • Becoming the Boast: Ned brags about flying a biplane. When the other Amigos need him to fly them to safety, he admits that it was actually his stunt double who was a pilot. But he flies the plane anyway.
  • Becoming the Mask: Three washed-up actors must decide to live their lives in obscurity or become their characters for real. Guess which they pick?
  • Benevolent Boss: El Guapo - he even loves the sweater that his men get him for his birthday. An example only to his underlings, though.
  • Big "Shut Up!"

Lucky Day: Not so fast, El Guapo! Or I'll fill you so full of lead, you'll be using your dick for a pencil.
El Guapo: What do you mean?
Lucky Day: I don't know.
Jefe: I think he means that if you...
El Guapo: SHUT UP!

  • Bilingual Bonus: "El Guapo" means "The Handsome One," revealing El Guapo's vain, villainous personality. "Jefe" means "Boss," as he's apparently the overseer of the bandits and second only to El Guapo. The village's name, Santo Poco, means "Little Saint," a riff on the Mexican custom for naming locations after saints, and of course the village's size.
  • Bling Bling Bang: The Amigos' movie costumes are sequin-encrusted mariachi outfits, despite the fact their characters are supposed to be heroes of the common man. In the characters' backstories, they're altruistic nobles.
  • Broken Pedestal: The German quick draw artist idolized Ned's gun skills, but then learned about trick photography. Ned denies ever using it...and proves it.
  • But Now I Must Go: The Amigos pull this one at the end of the movie because their characters in their Show Within a Show always did it.
  • Captain Obvious: "My guess is that this is the singing bush." This statement does come after a few minutes of trying to ask a bush whether or not it was the singing bush (it refused to answer because it was singing).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: After being dangerously incompetent for the first 80% or so of the movie, the amigos suddenly display not only Improbable Aiming Skills, but Improbable Quick Draw Skills and Improbable Knife Outline skills, followed shortly thereafter by Improbable Biplane-Flying Skills. The buildup to the event emphasized their incompetence, making it that much more awesome (and funny).
  • Dissimile: "In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous guy who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Amigo Salute concludes with the heroes turning their heads to the side and coughing, like they're getting a hernia exam.
    • Along with the pelvic thrust.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: The German is obsessed with the art of the quickdraw, and demands a shootout with his childhood film idol Ned.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The Amigos do this while they think they're "putting on a show" with El Guapo.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe. According to the German, The Three Amigos are very popular in Germany. The German particularly worshiped Ned when he was a kid and was his inspiration to learn the quick-draw. This led to Fan Disillusionment after the German learned about Hollywood trickery and wrongly assumed Ned couldn't really shoot that fast.
  • He's Dead, Jim: When Dusty Bottoms accidentally shoots the Invisible Swordsman.
  • Homemade Sweater From Hell: Subverted. El Guapo's banditos give him one as a birthday gift. He likes it so much, he wears it around his neck for the rest of the film.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: The Amigos, feeling heroic, are brought back to earth when a young villager asks Dusty Bottoms if he can have Dusty's watch when he's dead. Played with at the end; Dusty, alive and well, gives the boy his watch anyway.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: El Guapo kidnaps Carmen and it's made abundantly clear what he intends to do with her. However, he rejects Jefe's suggestion of simply forcing her and prefers to wait until she's willing...or he'll kill her. And, yes, this is all played for laughs.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: El Guapo's men while fighting the villagers.
  • Indy Ploy: The Amigos' plan to rescue Carmen.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: After crossing the Line in the Sand, the Amigos carry out their twirling-gun salutes from the movies to steel themselves up with Heroic Resolve: but Dusty's gun goes off in its holster first.
  • Keep the Reward: Invoked in-universe. The Three Amigos always refuse their reward in the films. The villagers count on the trope being used, as they offer a reward they can't afford.
  • Last Breath Bullet: El Guapo knows some pretty good tricks too.
  • Line in the Sand: Drawn by Ned.
  • Lost in a Crowd: The heroes use a trick from one of their movies to distract the bad guys once they learn the townspeople can sew. El Guapo & Co find themselves trying to keep track of dozens of Amigos.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: The Amigos must train the villagers to defend their village against the dirty outlaws.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The instructions for summoning the Invisible Swordsman specifically state to fire your gun in the air after saying the magic words. Dusty fires his off to the side, accidentally killing the Invisible Swordsman.
  • Nobody Here But Us Birds: "Lookuphere, lookuphere, lookuphere!"
  • No Name Given: The German.
  • Overly Long Gag: "We are the Three A-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-MIGOS!"
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Dusty doesn't even bother to cover his face when infiltrating El Guapo's birthday party. It actually works for a while.
  • Riding Into the Sunset: The title characters, at the end of the movie.
  • Rousing Speech: Lucky Day's "El Guapo" speech.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When attacked by a horde of Amigos during the battle of Santo Poco, El Guapo's men desert him.
  • Show Within a Show: The footage we see of an actual Three Amigos silent film.
  • So Once Again the Day Is Saved: The Amigos themselves give the summation in their films, and feel the need to do it again when they become real life heroes.
  • South of the Border: The setting.
  • Telegraph Gag STOP: The Amigos receive a telegram from Mexico. The telegraph operator charges by the letter so the villager had to trim the message to the absolute bare essentials, instead of saying "Put on a show of force" it became "Put on a show" and the message becomes very vague. The Amigos themselves confuse a "Stop" in the message for a STOP and think that "the infamous El Guapo" sent the message, as well as think "infamous" means "extremely famous" instead of "famous for doing bad things."

Telegram: Three Amigos, Hollywood, California. You are very great. One hundred thousand pesos to come to Santa Poco. Put on show. Stop the infamous El Guapo.

  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: The Amigos parlay the villagers exceptional sewing skills into a humiliating defeat for El Guapo.
  • Turn Your Head and Cough: The final part of the Amigo's salute involves them turning their heads and coughing, simultaneous with a forward hip thrust.
  • Wicked Cultured: El Guapo loves using big words and following intellectual pursuits like photography.