Big Trouble

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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A novel by Dave Barry. Set in Miami, the novel satirizes the Crime and Punishment genre in fiction. While the novel starts out as a Slice of Life look into the daily business of various quirky characters, things soon take a turn for drama with the introduction of Russian arms dealers and a suitcase nuke.

The book was turned into a movie in 2001, but the release was delayed almost a year because of the events of September 11th and the film plot dealing with hoodlums hijacking a plane. The Movie stars Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore, Johnny Knoxville, Dennis Farina, Janeane Garofalo, Patrick Warburton, Zooey Deschanel, and Ben Foster. Also features memorable appearances by Omar Epps, Jason Lee, and Andy Richter.

Tropes used in Big Trouble include:

"It's a garbage disposal."

  • Intercourse with You: "I Want Your Sex Pootie" by the Seminal Fluids.
  • Jerkass: Arthur Herk, "one of the few Floridians who was not confused when he voted for Pat Buchanan."
  • Like Brother and Sister: The way Matt and Jenny feel about each other in the end.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Meaningful Name: Would-be manly man Jack Pendick.
  • Mood Whiplash: After Snake takes several main characters hostage, their plight is suddenly played completely straight and gets pretty disturbing when he starts threatening rape. These threats don't happen in The Movie.
  • Mnogo Nukes Other: The suitcase bomb.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Subverted.
  • Only in Florida: The hitmen mention how certain things they encounter in Miami (like rapid, crazy-scary Gator fans) are found Only in Florida.
  • Our Product Sucks: Played with. One character's in advertising and designs a logo for a beer company called Hammerhead. He puts a picture of a Hammerhead with a caption saying, "Ugly Fish. Good Beer." (In The Movie, this was changed to an eel.) The client hates it, and the ad changes to a more traditional beer commercial with models.
  • Phony Veteran: Snake and Eddie, for brief and unsuccessful busking.
  • Police Are Useless: Or at least Officer Walter Kramitz is (in the movie more than the book).
  • Professional Killer: Henry and Leonard.
  • Running Gag: Many.
    • "Was that a goat?"
    • The Annoyed Radio Host and the Gator Fan will be speaking anytime the radio turns on.
    • Elliot drives a Geo. And it will be noted/mocked constantly.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: A couple are driving by arguing on whether or not they should move away from Florida. Then they encounter Kramitz and Herk chained to an entertainment center, Kramitz yelling at Herk that his dog is not Elizabeth Dole, nor does she want to eat his soul.
  • Sex for Product: Elliot and his ad for Hammerhead turns into this. "You have a guy in a boat with a girl, she's in a bikini, she has big tits, they're on a boat, and they're getting hammered! With Hammerhead! The feeling of this ad is, somebody's gonna get laid! In the background swimming around is a shark! The girl has REALLY big tits!" Poorly photoshopped-in really big tits, as it turns out, not that the client can tell.
  • Take That: Snake shoots a television that's playing a Jerry Springer episode. Another character comments that it's about time.
  • Taught by Television: One of the feds learned a lot from the Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel.
  • Toad Licking: Why Arthur spends a significant portion of the book believing that a politician's wife wants to eat his soul. (Technically it was an Accidental Kiss, but the effect's the same.)
  • Those Two Bad Guys
  • Too Soon: The long-delayed movie as explained above.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often: Puggy is paid to do this.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue
  • Worthy Opponent: The Enemy Toad, to Roger.
  • Write Who You Know: Elliot, as a character, pretty much is Dave Barry, or at least the public image that he projects in his columns.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The book pokes fun at Elliot for driving a Kia. The movie changed this to an already-out-of-production Geo.