American Pie

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
American pie.jpg

This one time, at band camp...


American Pie is a 1999 teen comedy film directed by Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz, and written by Adam Herz. It was the first film to be directed by the Weitz brothers, and the first film in the American Pie series. The film was a box-office hit and spawned three direct sequels: American Pie 2 (2001), American Wedding (2003), and American Reunion (2012).

The film concentrates on four boys who make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. The title of the film refers to a scene in the film in which the lead character is caught masturbating with a pie after previously being told that blowjobs feel "like warm apple pie".

The film ranked 49th on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" list, and ranked 22nd on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted American Pie the 6th greatest comedy film of all time.

Following the American Pie trilogy chronicling the courtship and marriage of characters Jim Levenstein and Michelle Flaherty, the American Pie name became a brand name in a manner similar to the National Lampoon film series for a number of direct to video spin off films: American Pie Presents: Band Camp (2005), American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile (2006), American Pie Presents: Beta House (2007) and American Pie: Book of Love (2009).

American Reunion, a fourth installment with the entire primary cast of the first two films reprising their roles was released in 2012.

Not to be confused with the ultra-famous Don McLean song.

Tropes used in American Pie include:
  • Actor Allusion: In her cameo in American Reunion Jessica announces that "I'm a lesbian now." Natasha Lyonne has been out of the closet for many years.
  • Aggressive-Submissive: Jim pursues Michelle, but she ends up the dominant one in their sex scene.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The Big Quest for four of the male characters is getting laid.
    • Also an aversion, simultaneously. It is strongly implied that the only reason they want to get laid is because everyone expects to get laid in high school, and those who don't are considered losers by boys. Which actually brings us right back to All Men Are Perverts. Definitely subverted at the end, though, when all four of the male characters realize that getting laid is not as important as finding someone special. Waitaminit, and then they all get laid anyway. Aw, hell.
    • Subverted with Oz, who didn't feel the need to brag about it like the other guys.
      • Subverted even harder with Oz in the fourth movie, when he is way too dull to keep up with his adventurous girlfriend.
    • Also somewhat averted in that most of the girls are perverts too. Michelle most of all.
      • Speaking of, Jim played it straightest of all. He thought it was cool that Michelle used him.
  • American Title
  • An Aesop: The first movie - although involving the original goal of having sex by Prom - turned more into a focus on establishing long-lasting relationships. Odd inversion from the usual teen fare.
    • The latest installment in the American Pie Presents series follows this all the way through.
    • Reunion deals with the pull between old high school glory and the need to mature and be an adult, and ultimately decides that it's up to the individual of which to embrace, or if they want to find a compromise.
  • Ass Shove: Michelle does this to Jim with a trumpet as a form of sex play in American Pie 2.
  • Auto Erotica: Finch and Stifler's mom at the end of the second movie.
  • Banned in China: Malaysia, actually.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: For a brief moment in the second movie, Stifler and Jessica entertained the idea that this might just be the reason for the animosity between them.
  • Between My Legs: Showing Jim's reaction through Nadia's legs.
  • Black Comedy Rape: The aftermath of Stifler's visit to a sex addicts' meeting (where he was looking to pick up chicks).
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Stifler, though he mellows, and ultimately settles as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in American Wedding.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Michelle's stories from band camp. First, a whole bunch of annoying stories, then one about Spin the Bottle, and then one about using her flute to make her sing.
  • Breakout Character: Steve Stifler and the entire Stifler family basically has become synonymous with the entire franchise.
    • Jim's dad fits this too. He appears in all of the movies, including the Spin-Offs. Each time there's something new revealed about his past, eventually coming to reveal that he was basically the creator of the Bible from the first movie
    • Finally there is Michelle. It's easy to forget because her scenes are so memorable but she doesn't have much actual screentime in the original film. It is only the second film on that turns her from a near One-Scene Wonder into an actual character.
  • Brick Joke: In the third film during the bachelor party, the police stripper asks the guys if they want her and the other stripper to make out, but before Stifler can excitedly say yes, he remembers what happened with the "lesbians" of the last movie, so he says "Fuck no."
  • Bumbling Dad: Jim's dad, aka Eugene Levy, the most awesome movie dad ever.
  • Call Back: The poster for American Reunion looks almost exactly like the one for the first movie.
    • Also in the latest trailer, Jim's in his old room and pulls out the dirty magazines his dad gave to him way back in the first film.
    • American Reunion is a Call Back movie. It ends with the gang having hot dogs at the same hot dog restaurant that the first movie ended at.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Reunion effectively ignores the spin-offs in its first ten minutes -- Stifler never went into directing porn movies, and while Michelle and Jim do have a son, he's far too young to be the one mentioned in the spinoff series.
  • Cargo Ship: Both in-universe:
    • "This one time, at band camp..."
    • Ahem... the pie.
      • In the first movie, a girl mentions that Sherman once tried to screw a grapefruit.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: In the first movie, we have the pie scene. In the second movie, Jim mistakes superglue for lube and glues himself to... himself. And his other hand to the porn movie he was wanking to.
    • Also, the intro to the first movie involves Jim's parents walking in while he's trying to watch a scrambled porno. A tube sock preserves what little dignity he has left.
      • And again in the second movie when Jim's parents come to visit him on the college campus only to walk in just as he having sex with a girl. Doesn't help that said girl's parents suddenly show up too.
    • And the third movie had Jim and Stifler getting caught engaging in what appeared to be bestiality, and Stifler having sex with Jim's grandmother.
      • And again in the intro to the third movie, Jim's Dad interrupts Michelle giving Jim head under the table. In a restaurant.
    • Eric Stifler, Naked Mile, Grandmother. That is all.
    • Pretty much all of the movies start with this.
    • The fourth movie has Jim getting caught jerking off by his son and shutting his laptop on his dick, then walking into the bathroom finding Michelle masturbating in the bathtub.
  • Casanova Wannabe: The Sherminator
  • Celebrity Cameo: Among other people, the members of Blink-182 watch Jim and Nadia's webcast in the first film.
  • Cringe Comedy
  • Character Development: Oddly for a teen franchise, the bullying jock Steve Stifler slowly turns into a protagonist through this trope.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: American Pie: Beta House offers a morally ambiguous example in an early scene.
    • In Reunion Nadia accidentally walks in on Jim and Michelle having sex in the music room.
  • Concert Kiss: Jason Biggs and Michelle in the second movie.
  • Cool Old Guy: And how'. Eugene Levy and Noah Levenstein DEFINES this
  • Covert Pervert: Michelle.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Socks. Webcams. Flutes. Superglue. Discuss.
    • The titular pie.
  • Dawson Casting: Alyson Hannigan was 24 when filming the first film. Seann William Scott was 22. They play 17-to-18-year-olds.
    • The main four-man band generally averts this; they were 18-20 to start. (Jason Biggs 20, Chris Klein 19, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Thomas Ian Nicholas 18)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jessica
  • Demoted to Extra: Kevin Myers in the third movie, displaced by Stifler.
    • In Reunion, many side characters who had a more prominent roles in the first movie, such as Jessica, only get brief cameos during the actual reunion. Vicky is not sidelined quite so much but still has notably less screentime than in the first two films.
  • Destructo-Nookie: In Reunion Jim and Michelle have one in the music room after making up with each other.
  • Direct to Video: The fourth movie onward.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Stifler gets back at Finch's rumor of beating him up by putting a laxative in his drink, knowing he has a phobia of using the school bathroom. Stifler leads him to an open bathroom, which ends up being the girls bathroom, and he is humiliated by his peers upon exiting.
    • Reunion has the guys being splashed by jetskis after confronting some teenage boys who were stealing bikini tops. Stifler's revenge was to take a dump in their cooler full of beer and then destroy their jetskis. The others call him out on this, but he insists it's fair since they got splashed.
  • Don't Try This At Home: A young man who imitated the infamous pie scene burned...* ahem* himself, badly.
  • Doting Parent: Say what you will about Mr Levenstein, but he really does care about Jim.
  • Double Entendre: Thanks to that one time at band camp we get this:

"Jenny, where did you put my clarinet?"
"Oh, I think I stuck it in your box."

    • All over the place in Reunion.

"Get off!"
"I'm about to!"


"Jim, don't you wanna come?"

  • Europeans Are Kinky: the Czech exchange student Nadia is one of the best-known examples of this trope.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The directors insisted on having a monkey somewhere, since a movie with a monkey was automatically twice as good as the same movie without a monkey.
  • Faux Yay: In the second movie, two girls start making out in order to have fun with a trio of male spectators.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Hero: Jim
    • The Lancer: Stifler
    • The Smart Guy: Finch
    • The Big Guy: Oz
    • The Chick: Kevin
      • Odd in that Kevin is generally portrayed as being the leader of the guys, but he's also the most concerned with things like keeping traditions, staying together and so forth. He also tends to be the only one no one ever has a problem with.
  • Flanderization: Stifler's Jerk Jock antics are turned Up to Eleven in the 3rd film. It doesn't help that he's in almost every scene.
  • Foreign Fanservice: Nadia, the exchange student from the first movie.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
    • Sanguine: Jim
    • Choleric: Kevin
    • Melancholic: Finch
    • Phlegmatic: Oz
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Stifler is more antagonist in the first movie, but is squarely this in the second, and makes an effort to redeem himself in American Wedding.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Guess what MILF stands for.
  • Gay Bar Reveal: In the third film, the bar where Stifler shows off his dancing skills in American Pie 3. This being Stifler, he didn't realize which kind of bar it was until the others told him to look around and pay attention. "Oh. My. GOD!".
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: A huge scene in the second movie is based entirely around this, to the point that people randomly listening over two-way radios are getting into it.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Nadia, who seems to fetishize nerds.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Sex Bible.
  • Guy-On-Guy Is Hot: Re the aforementioned scene in the second movie, the sexy girls only agree to perform lesbian acts with each other if three of the guys perform homoerotic acts with each other in return. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Sherman in the first movie.
  • Hot Mom: Stifler's mom is the reason we have the term MILF, certainly the Trope Codifier for the acronym.
    • Also, Finch's mom in American Reunion.
  • Hypocrite: Michelle's sister Cadence in the third film. She becomes angry with Stifler when she overhears his very crude comments to Finch about what he plans to do with her...except that it's hard to take her serious when two minutes earlier she invited him to a linen closet with obvious intentions, and said to Michelle shortly after she arrived that she had broken up with her boyfriend and was looking for someone to have fun with at the wedding.
  • I Am Not Spock: Examples.

Jason Biggs (Jim, the dude who fucked a pie [Lampshaded in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back])
Seann William Scott (Stifler, the dude who drank semen beer, gets peed on and throws the wildest parties)
Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler's Mom, the MILF)

  • I Ate What??: In American Wedding, Stifler is waiting for a ring-eating dog to defecate. When he gets it, the bride's mother mistakes it for a chocolate truffle and Stifler prevents her from eating it by... you know.
    • This is a running gag with Stifler. In the first film, the incident with Kevin's beer. In the second one, he drinks piss thinking it's champagne.
    • The third one is actually his official Jerk with a Heart of Gold moment, as the first two were his Laser-Guided Karma being the Jerk Jock, but the third act he did intentionally to get the ring and prevent Michelle's mother from eating feces. Roger Ebert called it a rather noble act (and also nauseating).
  • I Banged Your Mom
  • Informed Attractiveness: Stifler's mom. Actress Jennifer Coolidge was even able to play a Hollywood Homely character a couple of years later in Legally Blonde with the only real visual change being a marginally less flattering haircut.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Nadia.
    • Kara in American Reunion.
  • Insult Backfire: The final exchanges between Stifler & Finch in American Wedding

Finch: Grandmother Fucker.
Stifler: Yeah? Well, you're a Mother Fucker!
Finch: [Proudly] Yes I am.

    • Comes back in Reunion when Finch and Stifler reunite (Finch is wearing a scarf).

Stifler: So, finally come out of the closet?
Finch: How is your mom, by the way?

  • Jerkass: Steve Stifler starts out as this, but after some Character Development, he turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • In Reunion, we have AJ and Dr. Ron, both asshole boyfriends to Kara and Heather, respectively; and Oz’s girlfriend Mia, who is a female version.
  • Jerk Jock: Again, Stifler. In the first film he plays on the high school lacrosse team.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Perhaps the most famous movie example happens to Jim. Twice. In as many minutes.
    • Gender flipped in Beta House.
  • Latin Lover: Oz spends 2 worried about his girlfriend living in a house of them while on Study Abroad.
  • Laxative Prank: It's played on Finch.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: American Wedding. One of the most squick-tastic scenes in an entire series full of them.
  • Love Epiphany
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: But the core four male characters are, and they're desperately trying to fix this because of this trope. In The Book of Love it's basically the same thing.
    • Stifler and all of his relatives fit this trope. Except for Eric Stifler, but that is changed at the end of The Naked Mile
  • Market-Based Title: American Wedding and American Reunion are known as American Pie: The Wedding and American Pie: The Reunion respectively in Britain.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The Reunion trailer showing Stifler asking two girls on a beach where the thief who took their tops went.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Stifler's mom.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Every movie in the main franchise has at least one.
    • Nadia in the original American Pie.
    • The sexy neighbor girls in American Pie 2.
    • The two strippers on American Wedding.
    • Mia and Kara in American Reunion.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: "And this one time, at band camp..."
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: In Reunion Stifler's boss continually calls him "Staphler".
  • No Name Given: Finch's mom, MILF Guy #2 (John Cho is still billed only as this in the fourth film).
  • Noodle Incident: The band camp story turns into one of these in the broadcast TV edit of the first movie.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: This happens to Jim when Michelle ditches him after some post-prom nookie, because she didn't want to put him through the awkwardness of saying goodbye.
  • Oh Crap: Edgar in "Beta House", when the fat guy's girlfriend walks up in a sheep costume, and proceeds to make him ejaculate, losing the Greek Olympiad.
  • One-Scene Wonder: John Cho as the MILF guy.
  • A Party - Also Known as an Orgy: Just about any party in the series.
  • Perverted Character Sweet Actor: In real life, Sean William Scott is the exact opposite of Stiffler, personality-wise. He was deathly shy when it came to talking to girls in high school and was 30 years old when he had his first serious relationship.
  • Playing Gertrude: Jennifer Coolidge, who plays Stifler's Mom, is only thirteen years older than Sean William Scott.
  • Poor Man's Porn: Jim gets caught by his parents looking at scrambled porn.
  • Porn Stash: Subverted.
  • The Pornomancer: If Stifler's claims in American Reunion are true, then he's had sex with a significant percentage of the girls he went to high school with.
  • Power Walk: The guys entering the reunion dance in Wedding.
  • Product Placement: In the third movie, every major character drives a then-new Toyota. In Michigan.
  • Put on a Bus: Oz, Vickie, Jessica, Sherman, and Heather are absent from American Wedding.
    • Almost everyone returns in Reunion, except Jim's mom, who is dead
  • Quest for Sex
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Stifler gives one to his boss in Reunion, saying that even though he has money, he's still a loser...who's poorly-endowed.
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: The first film is a notable instance of doing it well.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Several never before mentioned classmates turn up out of the blue in Reunion such as Selena (Michelle's Band Camp bff), Loni 'Blowjob' Lipstein (a former... intimate of Stifler) and Mitch and Adam (members of the lacrosse team and good buddies with Stifler and presumably Oz.)
  • Right Through His Pants: Mocked in the first movie, when Jim is trying to watch porn while avoiding looking at the male star.
  • Road Apples: A later stage of the wedding ring rescue in American Wedding.
  • Rule of Three: Used as a sex indicator in the second movie, and the "Band camp" line in the first.
  • Running Gag: The two primary ones are having all movies open with the protagonist (Jim in the theatrical films and whoever leads in the DTV films) caught in an awkward sexual moment. See Caught with Your Pants Down above.
    • The second running gag is Stifler ingesting some bodily substance.
  • Say My Name: The femdom scene between Jim and Michelle at the end of the first movie.
  • Sensual Slavs: Nadia, again.
  • Sequel Gap: If you ignore the direct-to-video sequels, American Reunion is the first with the original cast in 10 years.
  • Sequel Non Entity: Chris in the third movie. Word of God says they simply had nothing for him to do, so the character just wasn't included.
    • Cadence is neither seen nor mentioned in American Reunion.
  • Sex Comedy
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: The whole point of the first movie.
  • She's All Grown Up: How Jim sees Kara, the girl next door he used to babysit.
  • Shout-Out: In the first movie, to The Graduate. You know the scene.

Stifler's mom (with Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" in the background): Mr. Finch, are you trying to seduce me?