The Hangover

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You ready to let the dogs out?

The Hangover (2009) is a comedy film directed by Todd Phillips (the maker of Old School and Starsky and Hutch). Four guys drive to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, and the bulk of the film deals with three of the friends (Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, and Zack Galifinakis) trying to remember the events of the previous night while trying to track down the fourth - the groom - using clues they have on their person. Hilarity Ensues.

The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), making it the first live-action "pure" comedy -- one that was not a musical or a comedy/drama -- to win the award since 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire.

In 2011 The Hangover: Part II was released; it follows the three members of "The Wolfpack" from the first film as they wake up from another crazy night - this time, in Bangkok. The status of this film was in doubt due to a Frivolous Lawsuit over the use of Mike Tyson's tattoo by Helms, but Warner successfully got the lawsuit dismissed, and the film opened as scheduled.


Tropes used in The Hangover include:
  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Inverted with Melissa who is shrill and dominating over Stu, and even implied to have beat him twice over (when Stu actually calls her out on her unfair treatment her reaction is along the lines of a "yeah, so what?"). However while it is Played for Laughs she is acknowledged as unpleasant by the rest of the cast and arguably the most pleasing aspect of the climax is Stu breaking up with her in a rather magnificent (yet slightly befuddled) manner.
  • Accidental Marriage: Because you can't have a party in Vegas without somebody taking a spontaneous trip down the aisle.
  • Adult Child/Psychopathic Manchild: Alan. While he's meek around adults he doesn't have any problem picking fights with children, which we hope is the reason he's not allowed near schools. He's also a Jonas Brothers fan.

Stu: Don't let the beard fool you, he's a child.

    • He did try to pick a fight with an old man for looking at his dad's car.
    • The sequel has a Flash Back sequence from Alan's perspective - It turns out that he sees himself, Doug, Phil, Stu and Chow (and only those 5!) as children.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Obviously.
  • Animeland: When a naked, angry Asian man jumps out of the trunk of the car, Alan instantly tries to calm him down by saying that he hates Godzilla too.
    • If you pay attention to Chow's face, it can become a Crowning Moment of Funny: he leaves because he's just so confused by the Godzilla line.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Among the first clues that Stu's girl really isn't right for him is that she won't let him kiss her on the lips.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Phil pretty much doesn't give a rat's ass about the kids in his class.
  • Arc Words: In the sequel, "Bangkok has him now" in relation to Teddy.

Phil: It happened again.
Tracy: Seriously, what is wrong with you three?

    • When the guys wake up and realize that they had another wild night, their initial reactions provide several call backs to the waking up in the first film, such as Stu asking about his teeth after Phil and Alan's shocked reactions to his new tattoo; and Alan immediately being asked if he roofied them again; and once they realize Stu's future brother-in-law is missing, one of the first places they check for him is the roof.
    • Chow jumps out of an icebox and, once again, begins beating on the three guys in the sequel. Thankfully this time he is clothed.
  • The Cameo: Mike Tyson as himself. Also Carrot Top and Wayne Newton during the end credits photo montage.
  • Camp Gay/Camp Straight: Mr. Chow is a subversion, actually. He's been married to a woman for fifteen years.
  • The Cast Showoff: Ed Helms and his piano playing. And, in the sequel, his guitar playing.
  • Catch Phrase: Phil says "No shit it's X" often enough during the course of the movie for it to count as one.
    • Phil also says "No, this is good!" every time they remember something terrible from the night before. Stu eventually calls him on it.
    • Alan: "That's classic!"
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The mattress.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Or his ring, in this case. As soon as the Holocaust ring is introduced, you know something is going to happen to it. Stu uses it when he gets married to a hooker.
    • Also, the "This Door Locks Behind You" sign on the door to the roof was a pretty obvious sign that somebody was getting locked up there at some point - though by the time they found Doug, it had long been forgotten.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Card-counting.
  • Chew Toy: Phil is tased, clawed by the tiger, cracked across the face with a crowbar, is sitting on the side of the car which gets t-boned, and we never do find out how he ended up in hospital.
    • The end credits are the best clue. There was an altercation involving Wayne Newton.
    • In the sequel, he even gets shot in the arm.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Alan is the king of this trope.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Todd Phillips is the man they walk in on going down on his girlfriend in the elevator.
  • Control Freak: Melissa. She checks Stu's credit card statements, beats him if he protests her abusive treatment, and calls to check on his location frequently.
  • Cool Car: You'll never see a finer example of a 1969 Mercedes-Benz convertible on film. Too bad they gradually smash the shit out of it as the movie goes on.
  • Country Matters: Phil refers to Melissa as "a cunt" in the sequel...not that we can blame him.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: In the form of a tiger, although they put it in there.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: "Hey Phil, look! [laughs heartily] He's jacking his little weenus!"
    • Phil chuckles before turning away, and Stu actually laughs out loud before putting on an "offended" face and telling Alan to knock it off.
    • Subverted in the second film, with Phil and Stu's initial reaction being along the lines of Dude, Not Funny to Alan using a plastic bottle to simulate an erection, but when a monkey starts nibbling on it, everybody bursts out laughing.
  • Disney Death: Chow in the second movie.
  • The Ditz: Jade plays this during Alan's second blackjack haul.
  • Domestic Abuser: Melissa.

Phil: You know she beats him, right?
Stu: Hey - that was...twice! And I was out of line.

Alan: [With childlike glee in his voice] Ooooh, it's a monkey!

  • Extreme Doormat: Stu, who actually makes excuses for Melissa abusing and cheating on him.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Alan's naked ass. When we thought it couldn't get any worse than that, a wrinkled, overweight old man gets a physical exam in front of the heroes, and we're subjected to a shot of his backside as well.
    • Even worse - his dick being sucked by an elderly woman in the credits.
    • Mr. Chow popping out of the trunk, totally naked, his already small penis obscured by a lion's-mane of pubic hair... which happens again in the sequel.
  • Fan Service: Phil waking up without a shirt on. Also when he wears that black suit.
    • Heather Graham whipping her tit out. Also all the naked women in the photos that play over the credits.
    • The numerous shots of women in their bikinis at the pool.
  • Filk Song: Stu turns Billy Joel's "Allentown" into "Alan Town" ("Well, we're living here in Alantown, and he's driven our lives into the ground...").
  • Fingore: Teddy loses a finger (all in good fun though, as he was playing five-finger fillet with a bowie knife and after severing the finger on a misaimed thrust the group plays with the detached digit).
  • Finish Him!: The male cop screams this while goading a kid to taser Alan.
  • Flanderization: Alan in the sequel. It's like they ramped up his random bouts of silly insanity to actual dangerous insanity.
  • Flat Character: Teddy from the sequel. He shares the same purpose that Doug did in the original, except Doug was at least given some sort of personality.
    • Nearly every female character as well. Most of them solely seem to exist as objects or to be total shrews to the main characters.
  • The Fool: Alan.
  • Foot Focus: The "hangover" portion of The Hangover opens with a tracking shot of a women's bare feet as she strolls out of the guy's trashed hotel room.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Alan is Sanguine, Phil is Choleric, Stu is Melancholic and Doug is Phlegmatic.
  • Freudian Trio: Alan (id), Phil (ego) and Stu (superego).
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Both films.
  • Funny Background Event: In the sequel, after Alan runs the speedboat aground & it eventually comes to a stop to the side of the wedding, he can be seen dropping the anchor on dry land.
  • Genre Savvy: When the guys go to retrieve their car from the impound Stu says "Ten to one odds the car is beat to shit! Like fucked up beyond all recognition." Inverted when the car turns out to be in perfect condition, though this changes later on.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: That blowjob in the credits montage really pushes the R rating.
    • Of course it was blurred and you could hardly see anyway.
      • It was also fake. The filmmakers were warned in advance that if it was real, the film would get an automatic NC-17 rating.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Alan.

Phil: GOD DAMN IT!
Alan: GOSH DARN IT!
Phil: SHIT!
Alan: SHOOT!

Phil: Don't you have to be really smart to count cards?
Alan: Oh yeah? Someone should tell that to Rain Man. He nearly bankrupt Vegas and he was a "ruh-TARD."

  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Jade, who also doubles as a Single Mom Stripper.
  • Hope Spot: When the three amigos win their $80,000 back and are celebrating that they'll now get Doug back. Then the trade happens...
    • In the sequel, Kingsley uses Teddy as insurance that the guys get Chow to complete their "business transaction". Then when the deal happens it turns out those guys don't actually have Ted, it was just a sting operation and Chow gets arrested.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Alan. "The drug dealer who gave me roofies seemed like a real straight shooter!"
    • The drug dealer (a.k.a. "Black Doug"), turned out to actually be a pretty benevolent guy, but still...
  • How We Got Here: Pretty much the whole movie, after Phil calls Doug's fiance.
    • And again in the sequel.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Ambiguously Gay Mr. Chow referring to the heroes as "gayboys". Inverted when we find out that Chow in fact has a wife.
    • Not sure it counts. We saw him having sex with a fat woman during the credits photo montage.
    • In the sequel, Mike Tyson tells Stu that he should have his tattoo removed. As in, the exact same tattoo that Tyson has on his face.
    • Maybe because he didn't want someone going about with the same tattoo he has? Could be a shout out to the legal trouble that said tattoo caused in real life.
  • I Don't Like You and You Don't Like Me: Midway through the sequel, Stu's father-in-law-to-be says that he's never told Stu, but he doesn't like him. Stu sheepishly responds that he already knew that.
  • I'm a Doctor Not a Tour Guide: Spoken by the doctor that treated Phil.
  • Insistent Terminology: Alan's man-purse:

It's not a purse, it's a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.

    • Inverted later by Mr. Chow:

It's not a satchel! It's a purse!!

    • Also Stu calling himself a doctor when both Phil and the doctor who examined Phil tell him he's "really only a dentist."
    • "It was a bartender!"
      • And he didn't even cum inside her!
  • Instant Win Condition: Despite all the terrible, terrible consequences of all their activities in Vegas, when the main characters find Doug and return him (mostly) on time to the wedding, that's it, conflict over.
    • Of course, they did blackmail the cops into letting them go without jail time or any records (but not without hilarious results), Mike Tyson forgives them for the tiger incident, Jade acknowledges the marriage as stupid and allows Stu to leave, and the Triads/Yakuza/Whatever the Hell a Korean Mafia is Called only wanted the money.
    • They even ended up winning 80,000 dollars that Doug managed to hold on to.
    • That money probably went to cover the damage to the hotel room.
      • And the car.
      • And possibly an "I'm sorry" gift for Doug's new bride.
  • Insult Backfire: Alan is literally too stupid to insult.
  • It Got Worse: Every time it looks like they've got a handle on what they did, something even worse makes itself known.
    • This is definitely in force for the sequel, with almost everything that occurs being something that happened in the first film ramped Up to Eleven.
  • Jerkass: Phil, Melissa, and Stu's father-in-law.
  • Just Keep Driving: When they are taking the tiger back to Mike Tyson's house and they hit the bus, then stop the car in the middle of the road. None of the other vehicles bother to stop.
  • Large Ham: Alan, along with Stu and Leslie Chow.
  • Living Prop: Stephanie, Phil's wife, has one line in each film and is never named on screen. This applies even more so in the sequel where she spends her brief screentime hovering silently at Phil's shoulder, and her one line comes amidst several characters speaking at the same time when Alan runs a speedboat aground and everyone is checking to make sure the guys are okay.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Singing a rap song during a wedding? Fine. Maintaining its sexually explicit lyrics, f-word and all? Hilarious.
  • Made of Iron: Alan appears to be this. He takes a stun gun to the face, a crowbar to the face, and a Mike Tyson punch to the face, all within one day.
    • In the sequel all three guys are repeatedly beaten with a long stick of bamboo by a monk, and Phil gets shot in the friggin' arm but manages to get by fine with a few $6 stitches. Made of iron, indeed.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Mr. Chow in both movies, transgender strippers in the sequel.
  • Mexican Standoff: Chow always ends up in one of these. He met his wife at one.
  • The Millstone: Alan.
  • Naked on Arrival
  • Naked People Are Funny: And dangerous.
  • Noodle Incident: Oh so subverted. At first it looks like the events of last night couldn't ever be anything but this, but by the end of the movie, the characters have a pretty good idea of what they did, and it lives up.
    • But they never get to know where they found the chicken (a popular theory is that they tried to feed it to the tiger) or how the chair ended up on fire.
    • And it's never been explained why Alan can't be within 200 feet of an elementary school or a Chuck E. Cheese, though this could be because he picks fights with children (see Adult Child above) - I hope.
      • "What are you talking about? I've found a baby before."
      • Zach Galifinakis says in the DVD commentary that Alan innocently tried to play with some children which of course looked suspicious to parents. It was all just a misunderstanding.
      • Alternatively, Alan did make an offhanded comment about getting caught masturbating on an airplane. Regardless of whether or not there were children around, that would get you registered as a sex offender, which in turn would keep you away from schools and other places kids frequent.
    • In the second film, the guys somehow managed to start a riot, which brought out the police and left part of Bangkok in ruins.
  • Notable Original Music: "Stu's Song".
    • What do tigers dream of, when they take a little tiger snooze...?
      • Extra props for pronouncing "striped" as "stri-ped".
    • The sequel gives us "Alantown", a parody of the Billy Joel song "Allentown", again sung by Stu.
  • Not Quite Dead: Chow in the sequel.
  • Oh Crap: "Is that Alan driving the speedboat?"
  • One-Scene Wonder: Lisa, the receptionist at the Caesar's Palace. Helps that she's also hot.
    • In the sequel, Mike Tyson.
  • One Steve Limit: An important plot point is that there are two characters named Doug - a drug dealer who sold the roofies to Alan, and the lost groom. They wind up inadvertently rescuing the first Doug, who inspires a Eureka Moment, which leads to them finding Doug on the roof.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Phil is shot in the arm. Only grazes him and leads to 8 stitches, but he makes sure to point out that had the bullet gone a little to the left, it would've killed him.
  • Only Sane Man: Doug, and to a lesser extent, Phil.
    • Stu would qualify if not for his tendency to completely flip out over (sometimes) minor things.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: The password to Chow's overseas bank account is Baloney1.

Chow: Well, it used to be just baloney, but then they started making you add number.
Kingsley: Fuckin' annoying...

  • Pet the Dog: Phil's relationship with Alan.
  • Photo Montage: Happens during the credits of both films to show what happened during their respective nights.
  • Plot Armor: Among other things, how Doug survived spending 36 hours on the roof of a Vegas hotel without water and minimal shade.
    • How Teddy survived in an elevator for about the same time, with no food or water and a cut off finger
  • Power Walk: The three get one when they are hitting the casino, put into a more comedic light.
  • The Rainman: Alan, it seems.
  • Recycled in Bangkok: The Hangover: Part II - Phil, Stu & Alan get hammered two days before Stu's wedding, somehow wind up in Bangkok, and lose Stu's fiancee's 16 year old brother in the process.
  • Red Herring: You'd really think that Alan's comment about not being allowed within 200 feet of schools or Chuck-E-Cheeses was going to come back to haunt them later in the movie.
    • Stu's missing tooth might count. It seemed like it would be just as much of a clue as all the other weird stuff they found, but it turns out it doesn't have any relevance to finding Doug, Stu just pulled it out himself for a dare.
    • Not mention when they hear the banging in the trunk.
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: Some of the first movie (see Fan Disservice)... and A LOT of the second (one of the main gripes critics and fans had).
  • Rule of Three: Director Todd Phillips has stated he'd be interested in making a third & final film, to round the series out as a trilogy.
  • Running Gag: "He was a bartender!"
    • "You're a Dentist, not a doctor."
  • Scandalgate: Mike Tyson's tattoo artist threatened to block the release of the sequel after he claimed copyright over the facial tattoo Stu gets in the movie; this was dubbed "Tattoogate" by the media.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The Hangover: Part II takes place in Thailand and includes the characters lampshading the fact that the same circumstances happened in a foreign country.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Nearly the entire movie, considering where Doug really was.
    • Subverted. Imagine how screwed up everything would have been if they had found Doug instantly and just left. Jade, the Koreans, Tyson, the cops... everyone would have been after them.
    • Played straighter in the sequel - Teddy was in the elevator on his way to get ice for his severed finger, when the power went out a minute after Phil & Alan woke up. If the trio had figured that out there & then before going back to the resort, they would've just needed to explain Stu's tattoo & get Teddy to a hospital, instead of getting dragged into Chow's dealings.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Alan in the second film as the guys are walking through the airport.
  • Ship Sinking: The sequel killed off the Stu/Jade ship.
  • Shout-Out: The wedding singer is the same one from Phillips' Old School and Starsky and Hutch.
  • Signature Style: The Dan Band.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: By the end of the film, Alan's taken to mimicking Phil. When Phil realizes this, as they wait for Stu so they can leave, his expression looks like a non-verbal Flat What.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Kingsley in the second film.
  • Skewed Priorities: Alan frequently has these, whether it's being offended by Stu using foul language or being forced at gunpoint to give up a monkey.
  • The Smurfette Principle: All three lead characters are male and most secondary characters with substantial screentime such Doug, Mr. Chou and Teddy are male too. The first film has more of a female presence since Jade (Heather Graham's character) gets a fairly big supporting role but her counterpart in the sequel appears in only one scene and the only other female characters with more than a couple of lines are Tracy and Lauren.
  • Strictly Formula: The sequel is pretty much the same exact thing. IN THAILAND!
  • Stylistic Suck: Mike Tyson's singing can only be described as this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the sequel, Lauren's (Stu's fiancee) father gives a speech at the rehearsal dinner that essentially amounts to him insulting Stu & comparing him to dull, flavorless rice. At the end of the film, Stu inverts this & gives a "The Reason I Don't Suck" Speech.
    • Stu also gives one of these to Melissa at the end of the first film, much to Phil's delight.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The DVD commercial points out the One Steve Limit.
    • TV ads that ran the week the sequel was released featured heavily the "Time in a Bottle" elevator scene, so when Chow dies 30 minutes in, you're pretty sure it's not going to stick.
  • The Tyson Zone: In the sequel, the Trope Namer asks to see the photos of the Wolf Pack's wild night by saying "I'm Mike Tyson. Nothing surprises me." And he still reacts to the pictures with a Mother F-Bomb.
  • Up to Eleven: The sequel takes nearly everything from the first film and makes it even crazier.
  • Villain Protagonist: Leslie Chow, at least in the sequel.
  • Viva Las Vegas: Trope Exemplar, but also Deconstructed since it shows the consequences of a night out on the town.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Three of them, although one's a still photo during the end credits and another is in black and white so only one is really Squicky.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After Alan almost navigates them into a semi truck on the freeway while they're driving to Vegas.

Alan: "That was awesome!"
Doug: "That was NOT awesome, what is wrong with you?!"

  • Watch the Paint Job: Since the Mercedes is The Precious Precious Car, of course it'll be wrecked beyond recognition.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Averted with the camera. It explains how every thing else happened... sort of.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The main characters spend the whole movie trying to figure out the answer to this question. The answer? Everything you can do in Vegas, and then some.
    • And in Part II it happens again, but in Bangkok.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Some viewers were preoccupied the entire movie with just the mystery of the chickens (which is never really resolved), a very minor detail.
    • We also never truly find out what landed Phil in the hospital.
      • In the credits, he's slapped by the tiger.
    • We never find out where the sword stuck into the couch came from either.
    • In the theatrical edit, there's also the matter of the trashed Mercedes. The Unrated version adds a scene just before Alan finds the camera, which reveals the car is a wedding gift to Doug & Tracy from Tracy's parents.
    • We never find out what happened to Jade, Stu's first wife. She disappears at the end of the first film and is barely mentioned in the sequel.
      • Stu was returning the following week to sign the divorce papers, and go on a real date. Presumably, things just didn't work out - Remember that Stu remarks near the beginning of the sequel that he's still seeing a psychiatrist because of what happened in Vegas.
  • Where It All Began: The guys finally find Doug on the hotel roof, where the whole night started.
    • In fact, they really had all the clues they needed within a few minutes of figuring out he was gone.
  • Word of Asexuality: Alan (according to Director Todd Phillips, Alan will never get married, either).
  • X Meets Y: Very Bad Things meets Superbad.
  • You Look Familiar: Bryan Callen played Eddie in the first film, and returned as the owner of the strip club featured in the sequel. Due to make up, the characters don't look the same, but sound the same.
  • You Say Tomato: Alan pronounces "ree-tard" as "rhe-taard". And in the sequel he pronounces "Thailand" as "Thigh-land".