Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Caroline's just a wee bit tipsy.

A 2008 coming-of-age film starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings as the titular characters. Nick is the sole straight member of a Queercore band, The Jerk Offs. His girlfriend Tris recently dumped him (after cheating on him for much of their relationship their entire relationship), but he's still obsessed with her. Norah is the daughter of a record producer, an intellectual free spirit with a love of indie music. When the two meet by chance at a local New York club, Norah feels a connection. Nick... is too busy missing Tris to notice.

Nick and Norah spend most of the night together, alone and with friends, in search of a secret concert by a legendary indie band. What happens along the way could change the lives and perspectives of them both, forever.

The movie is remarkable for a quirky soundtrack comprised mostly of indie rock and several interesting side characters. In addition to Nick and Norah, we meet the other members of The Jerk Offs (Thom and Dev), Nick's ex Tris, Norah's best friend Caroline, and Beefy Guy.

Think of it as American Graffiti for the newest generation, with a very different set of music and indisputably much, much worse cars. Or a late-teenage version of Before Sunrise.

Based off a book by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, which is also the subject of the Unshelved Book Club here.

Tropes used in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist include:
  • Adaptation Decay: The book was more focused on the characterization of Nick and Norah, leaving the whirlwind tour of New York City covered in the last few chapters. Nick, while still not over Tris, was far more assertive and aggressive than Michael Cera's portrayal.
    • It's Michael Cera, what do you expect?
    • The best example of this:

Nick: *to Norah's Ex Tal* Dude, Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Get the fuck out of my car.

    • The novel in general was a little dirtier and grittier than the film.
  • The Alcoholic: Caroline, to a degree.
  • The Alleged Car: Nick's Yugo, obviously.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tris, even more so in the movie than the book. In the book, she deliberately shows up at Nick's gig, though it's left ambiguous as to whether she genuinely enjoys his music, or is there to throw him off his game. She's humanized a lot more in the book, being the one to bail Norah out during a pregnancy scare. She buys Norah the test, and treats her to Starbucks to calm her nerves when the test returns negative.
    • Tris's characterization in the film leads to a modest Moment of Awesome for Nick: during a rather smug attempt to re-seduce him, he instead drives away, leaving her indignant on the New York streets at 4 a.m. while wiping away her lipstick mark on his windshield with the wipers. While the morality of doing that to a teenage girl is questionable (and justly so), by this point in the film, this troper was so disgusted with her that it was hard not to feel she had it coming. Besides, she shows up near the end, with her pride the only thing bruised.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti
  • Big Applesauce
  • Brainy Brunette: Norah, who was accepted to Brown.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Caroline. But she had been drinking since about 4:30 in the afternoon.
  • Coming of Age Story: The premise of the film.
  • Concert Climax: The secret show of Where's Fluffy, which is also a MacGuffin Location.
  • Creator Cameo: Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan, the writers of the book, are at the table next to Nick and Norah at the diner.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: The Port Authority bus terminal toilet. And oh god, the bubblegum...
  • Drag Queen: Christmas themed, at that...
  • Drunken Master: Caroline works out the location of the band before anyone else, despite being really drunk.
  • Follow That Car!: "Follow that van!"
  • Gave Up Too Soon/Missed Him by That Much: At the bus terminal, looking for Caroline.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Norah calls Thom, Dev, and Lothario a "fistful of assholes" while they're arguing about a new name for their band -- both of the band members like the name. The movie is unclear on whether or not they kept their regular name or changed it to "Fistful of Assholes".
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Nick and Norah. Especially considering Norah had never had an orgasm before.
  • Had the Silly Thing In Reverse: Nick lets Norah drive his Yugo, and after showing off her "awesome" driving skills, she parks by the curb. When Nick comments on how far away from the curb she is, she goes to reverse closer to the curb and ends up driving forward... into a fire hydrant.
  • Hipster: Let's be honest here -- the entire main cast of characters is composed solely of hipsters.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Lothario/Beefy Guy.
  • Ivy League for Everyone
  • Joisey
  • The Load: Caroline.
  • The Modest Orgasm: Norah.
  • Right Through His Pants: Both of theirs, in fact! Some reviews stated that the largely clothed protagonists indicated it was a portrayal of mutual masturbation, which is in fact, a more realistic portrayal of what a couple of fooling-around teenagers might be doing rather than full-on intercourse.
  • Romantic False Lead: Tris and Tal.
  • Running Gag: With an emphasis on the "gag" part. See if you can follow every mouth (and not mouth) That Gum goes into.
  • Scenery Porn
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Norah is a mild case, ditching the sports bra and gaining a jacket.
  • Shout-Out: To The Thin Man.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Where they finally find Caroline.