Wayne's World is a 1992 comedy film, starring Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, hosts of the Aurora, Illinois-based cable access television show Wayne's World. The film was adapted from a sketch of the same name on NBC's Saturday Night Live.
The film grossed $121.6 million in its theatrical run, placing it as the eighth highest-grossing film of 1992 and the highest-grossing film ever based on a Saturday Night Live skit. It was directed by Penelope Spheeris, with Myers co-writing the script.
The film also featured Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle, Brian Doyle-Murray, Robert Patrick (spoofing his role in Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Ed O'Neill, Ione Skye, Meat Loaf, and Alice Cooper.
The movie follows the adventures of Wayne and Garth, the co-hosts of a cable access show, in their quest for fame and fortune, battling a crooked network executive who tries to undermine both their control over their show and Wayne's attempts to woo Cassandra Wong (Tia Carrere), a rock singer and bassist who also seeks to make her fortune in show business.
Wayne's World received mostly positive reviews upon release and was commercially successful (just like every Saturday Night Live-based film up through Ladies' Man). It was followed by Wayne's World 2 (1993), which featured Christopher Walken as record producer Bobby Cahn. The second film was a modest box office hit. It earned about 48 million dollars in the United States market, where it was the 28th most successful film of its year. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Wayne's World the 41st greatest comedy film of all time.
- Adaptation Distillation: What do you mean it was based on Saturday Night Live sketch?
- Adaptation Expansion
- An Aesop: Mocked in the Mega-Happy Ending.
- The Alleged Car: Garth's "mirthmobile," a sky blue AMC Pacer with flames rather inappropriately painted on the sides.
- Almighty Janitor: Chris Farley plays a security guard with an uncanny ability to supply exposition.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: It seems like a gag made up for the film, but some music stores actually had "NO STAIRWAY" signs before the movie came out due to the number of people who would test out their guitars with that song.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Garth’s speech is stilted, his eating habits are interesting at best (if it’s red and fruity, he’ll eat it), he goes off on incredibly strange and awkward tangents, and he spends hours tinkering and creating things like robotic hands and electrified cattle prods. These characteristics may come off as sweet and quirky the first time you watch the films, but when you really think about it...
- Asian Gal with White Guy: Cassandra, especially by the sequel, where she's evidently only interested in marrying a white American man.
- Audio Erotica: Handsome Dan's voice is so sexy that Wayne and Garth assume he's a lady's man. He turns out to be Harry Shearer.
- Badass Bookworm: Shock-rocker Alice Cooper surprises Wayne and Garth in the first film by being extremely well-spoken and educated. According to those who have met Alice Cooper in real-life, this is a case of Truth in Television.
- Be All My Sins Remembered: Parodied in, "We're not worthy!"
- Beat Still My Heart/...And Show It to You: When one of the patrons of the doughnut shop complains about being laid off, Glenn (Ed O'Neill) says that he should "...find the guy that did it, rip out his still-beating heart, and then hold it in front of his face, so he can see how black it is before he dies!" The patron decides to simply file a grievance with the union. The world is, after all, a twisted place.
- Bite the Wax Tadpole: Wayne (Mike Myers) encourages Benjamin (Rob Lowe) to order the "Cream of Sum Yung Gai" at the Asian takeaway.
- Biting the Hand Humor: Wayne doesn't pull any punches in mocking his sponsor, Noah Vanderhoff. It gets him fired.
- Bland-Name Product: The film's fictional Stan Mikita's Donuts is a stand-in for ubiquitous Canadian restaurant Tim Horton's Donuts. Mikita and Horton are both Hockey Hall-of-Famers. Horton played for Toronto, actor-writer Mike Myers' hometown; Mikita played his entire NHL career in Chicago, an hour from Wayne's hometown of Aurora.
- Bowdlerise: The NES version of Wayne's World toned down the language from the movie. One example (even discussed by The Angry Video Game Nerd) had Wayne and Garth say that they're going to see "the Lousy Beetles," whereas they said they're seeing "the Shitty Beetles" in the film.
- Brass Balls: When Wayne kicks Cassandra's father in the nuts in a kung-fu duel, a pair of two Chinese medicine balls (made of metal, of course) fall out.
- Brick Joke: In the sequel Wayne encounters a group of men early on engaged in setting up their lampshaded Fruit Carts and moving their Sheet of Glass back and forth across the street. It gets forgotten only to pop up later during the Chase Scene.
- Butt Monkey: Garth.
- Cantonese Love Rip Taylor: According to Cassandra.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: "No Stairway? Denied!"
- The Cast Showoff: Dana Carvey really did play Garth's incredible drum solo.
- Chekhov's Gun: The helpful security guard.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Old Man Withers, who is introduced early on; this comes to fruition in the Scooby Doo Ending.
- Chroma Key: The blue screen, also known as a magical portal through time and space to such glamorous locations as New York City, Hawaii, Texas, and... Delaware. "Hi... I'm in Delaware."
- Classically-Trained Extra: Lampshaded in the sequel. A gas station attendant is removed for being a terrible actor... and replaced by Charlton Heston. He is so awesome that Wayne is reduced to tears.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The better we get to know Del Preston in Wayne's World 2, the more evident it becomes that he is completely off his rocker. Garth calls him out on it during the meeting to discuss stage crew positioning for Waynestock.
Del Preston: Alright, ladies and gentlemen. It takes two people to run a concert: one back stage, and one out front. One man alone cannot do this. Wayne, you will run the backstage team. Milton, you are my liaison between Wayne's backstage team and Garth's front-stage team which includes myself in the booth. To the left and right of the stage are machine gun nests armed with M-60 Brownings. Now these babies tend to heat up so make sure you shoot in 3-second bursts. In the event of capture I will personally distribute these cyanide capsules to be placed under the tongue like so. Any questions?
Garth: Yes, I have a question: When did you turn into a nutbar?
- Coolest Club Ever: The Gasworks in the first film, and Komrades in the sequel.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Noah Vanderhoff in WW, and Bobby Cahn in WW2.
- Creator Worship: "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
- Did You Just Have Sex?: Garth emerges all grown up and content after losing his virginity.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Parodied in the "Scooby-Doo Ending" of Waynes World, where it's revealed that Ben is really Old Man Withers, the amusement park owner who Wayne spoke to for five seconds near the beginning of the film. Probably an Affectionate Parody of how, in older Scooby-Doo episodes, the perpetrator was often introduced the exact same way.
- Dream Sequence
- Executive Meddling: What the antagonist does to Wayne's show.
- Fade to Black: Lampshade Hanging by Garth:
Garth I can't believe they did that!
Garth: Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played girl bunny?
Wayne: [pauses to consider] No. [laughs] No!
Garth: Neither did I. I was just asking.
- Follow the Leader: The first movie's success inspired the productions of all succeeding Saturday Night Live movies.
- Funny Background Event: In the second movie, after Wayne & Garth crowd-surf to the front of an Aerosmith concert, they are shortly followed by a pizza-delivery boy, a refrigerator, and a goat.
- Fun with Subtitles: In the first film, Wayne learns Cantonese to impress Cassandra. He begins the conversation speaking what sounds believably like the subtitles. Over time, the words he says get shorter, while the subtitles get longer. By the end, Wayne is sat there looking bored as the subtitles continue without his intervention.
- Fur Bikini: When Cassandra was trying to film a video.
- Gay Bar Reveal: Happens in Wayne's World 2 when Wayne and his friends (who coincidentally are wearing disguises that make them look just like The Village People) hide in a bar called "The Tool Box" while fleeing from the Big Bad.
- Genre Savvy: Wayne and Garth, revealed in their discussions with the camera. Garth in particular has reservations about signing a contract due to a Twilight Zone episode, though the episode in question doesn't actually exist.
- Give Geeks a Chance: In Wayne's World 2, the sexy blonde bombshell Honey Hornée falls for the shy, nerdy Garth and seduces him. But later in the film we find out that she wants him to kill her husband, causing Garth to flee in terror
- Glove Snap: When the Big Bad is being "searched for drugs".
- Heel Face Turn: Russell, before the end, and Benjamin in the "Mega Happy Ending."
- Hell-Bent for Leather: The outfit that Cassandra wears to the Aerosmith concert in Wayne's World 2.
- Hidden Depths: Alice Cooper and his knowledge of American history. There's a little Reality Subtext here as Alice Cooper his a big history buff in real life.
- Hypocritical Humor: Wayne and Garth talk about why selling out is wrong... while at the same time making Product Placement after Product Placement.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Wayne opens a door featuring ninjas training. He admits that they don't factor into the plot at all, he "just always wanted to open a door to a room where people are being trained like in a James Bond movie".
- The Jimmy Hart Version: The producers were only able to secure the rights to "Stairway To Heaven" for the original theatrical run. This is why the version you hear Wayne playing on DVD or video sounds absolutely nothing like "Stairway".
- Lampshade Hanging: There's a lot of meta-humor, such as when Wayne remarks that the security guard seemed conveniently helpful.
- Left the Background Music On: In the Shout-Out to The Graduate, Simon and Garfunkel cut out when the car travels through a tunnel.
- Lip Lock: All of Wayne's conversations with Cassandra's father are (badly) dubbed, even with Wayne speaking English.
- "London, England" Syndrome: Del Preston's exact address is "London, England".
- Lampshaded, as they manage to find his house immediately with that address.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: After Garth loses his virginity, he acts noticeably more self-confident and macho.
Garth: *Speaking in an uncharacteristically manly, confident voice* Good morning, darling! I trust you slept well? I hope I wasn't too much of an animal for you.
Honey: Come, hold me.
Garth: You know I will! *Blows bubbles from a toy pipe* Party on!
- Meganekko: Garth.
- Metalhead: Wayne and Garth themselves, as well as several of the supporting characters.
- Mistaken for Gay: In the sequel, Wayne & Co. are conducting surveillance on Cassandra, disguised as a construction worker, traffic cop, biker, and sailor. When they're spotted, they retreat, and hide from Christopher Walken in a gay bar.
- Multiple Endings: A Downer Ending, a Scooby Doo Ending (it was Old Man Withers, the guy who runs the haunted amusement park) and a Mega-Happy Ending. The sequel replaces the Scooby Doo ending with a Thelma & Louise ending. The scene cuts to the happy ending as Wayne and Garth drive off a cliff into the Grand Canyon.
- The Munchausen: Del Preston, the greatest roadie who has ever lived. He's worked with every great rock band, he's been all over the world, and he's got no shortage of stories from his career.
Del Preston: There I am in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at three o'clock in the morning looking for one thousand brown M&M's to fill brandy glass or Ozzy Osbourne wouldn't go on stage that night. So Jeff Beck pops his head around the door and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So we go, and it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby breaking into this little sweet shop, right? So instead of a guard dog they've got this great big bloody Bengal tiger. Well, I managed to take care of the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son... that's a different story altogether: I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really. But sure enough I got the M&M's and Ozzy went on stage and did a great job.
- No Fourth Wall: A hallmark of the films. Wayne and Garth speak directly to the camera and comment on the progress of the film throughout. Wayne claims than only he and Garth are allowed to talk to the camera, but many other characters end up doing so throughout the film. Some university/college courses actually examine the film's use of the audience as a separate character.
- Fridge Brilliance if you think about it. The format of the original sketch is Wayne and Garth speaking directly to the audience. The movie really is an extended version of the sketch (rather than taking the characters and building a completely new story around them as occurred with most SNL adaptations).
- Noodle Incident: Glenn's crime of passion: "I'd never done a crazy thing in my life before that night. Why is it, if a man kills another man in the heat of battle, it's called heroic? Yet if he kills a man in the heat of passion, it's called murder?"
- Not Listening to Me, Are You?: When the boys give an interview to a local radio DJ, they discover he's more interested in loading tapes than actually listening...so they start calling him names, and he's completely oblivious to their joking around.
- One-Hour Work Week: Wayne admits to having held a variety of dead-end jobs, which he never seems to work. The trope is justified in the first film by the fact that Wayne's World is quickly picked up in the first act, allowing Wayne and Garth to develop it professionally.
- As a matter of fact, Wayne merely says that he's held a number of "Joe Jobs" over the years... he never says he has one at the moment.
- One-Scene Wonder: Both in-universe and out. Charlton Heston shows up in one scene when the actor who's supposed to be delivering a line isn't up to snuff. His performance in the scene reduces Wayne to tears.
- Oscar Bait: Played with in a scene where Wayne gives a "tearful" speech (after splashing water on his eyes so it looks like he was crying) apologizing to Cassandra, culminating in a wail of, "I NEVER LEARNED TO READ!" The words "Oscar Clip" flash at the bottom of the screen.
- The Other Darrin: The Trope Namers is Discussed Trope, which is when Wayne realized that both actors were named "Dick", and their last names combined equal "Sergeant York," an honored military officer and among the most decorated American soldiers in World War I.
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: After Wayne erupts into a total Jerkass (see What the Hell, Hero? below) and ditches him during a live taping of the titular show, Garth dumps him. Their make up leads directly into Wayne hatching the plan to defeat the Big Bad.
- Product Placement: Mocked in this scene.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: In the second film, the famous roadie recounts beating a father and son to death with their own shoes, which is apparently justified to some of the other metalheads because, "Ozzy went on that night, and he put on a great show!"
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Stacy the "Psycho-Hose-Beast". The Psycho theme even plays when Wayne sees her at a party.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Wayne (red) and Garth (blue).
- Remember the New Guy?: Milton (Chris Farley) in the sequel.
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Wayne vs. Benjamin.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: "Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played Girl Bunny?"
- She's Got Legs: Stacy is described as having "Very nice legs, but no self-esteem."
- Shout-Out: The series is littered with them, especially in the sequel: Jim Morrison and the "weird naked Indian" are references to The Doors. Wayne driving the Alfa Romeo Spider to Simon and Garfunkel music and breaking up a wedding are references to The Graduate. Ralph Brown plays basically the same character as he did in Withnail and I. The character refer to a number of works by name, such as Scooby Doo and Thelma and Louise.
- Paired with The Mountains of Illinois, (literally) as The Graduate Parody uses the same church, which is on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and mountains and palm trees can be scene clearly when they catch the bus.
- Also, the sequel has shout-outs not only to the Woodstock festival itself, but especially to the Martin Scorsese film.
- Smug Snake: Benjamin Kane in the first movie, and Bobby Cahn in the sequel.
- Spaghetti Kiss: Garth, in the sequel, except with red rope licorice.
- Spin-Off: The movie is an example of a segment spinoff. Wayne's World was originally a reoccurring sketch on Saturday Night Live.
- Struggling Broadcaster: Broadcast regulators usually required CATV operators keep one channel open for "local access" but typically didn't care whether anyone actually watched the No Budget local programming on that channel.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: In-Universe example; this is how Wayne reacts to the Executive Meddling of the show in the first movie.
- This Trope Is Bleep: "... and then the handle will break off and you'll have to get a doctor to pull it out again!"
- You kiss your mother with that mouth?!
- Trade Your Passion for Glory
- Translation: "Yes": Taken to ridiculous lengths.
- What the Hell, Hero?: As Wayne begins to slide into Jerkass territory, he delivers an angry tirade at the camera, prompting it to turn away and abandon him. Wayne instantly realizes his mistake and resumes his heroic role. He even apologies to the audience for it.
- Wicked Cultured: Benjamin.
- You Look Familiar: Chris Farley has a cameo in the first film as a security guard (who provides a lot of seemingly useless information); in the second film, he plays a member of Wayne's crew named Milton.