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File:Billy madison poster.jpg
"...Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
The Principal

Billy Madison is a 1995 Comedy film starring Adam Sandler as a rich slacker who must go Back to School, starting with first grade, all the way through high school, in order to inherit his father's company. He falls in love with Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson), his beautiful teacher, along the way. Hilarity Ensues.



Tropes include:

  • Adult Child: Billy.
  • Accidental Pervert: Billy purposefully initiates such an experience with his teacher Veronica, blaming the accident on a bumpy bus ride in the hope that she'll think it's this. Of course, he's just being a regular pervert.
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • The overweight homosexual principal has a crush on Billy.
    • So does Juanita, the Madisons' maid.
    • And Billy himself is this from Veronica's perspective.
  • Alliterative Name: Veronica Vaughn, the first of Adam's "V-name" girlfriends.
  • Annoying Laugh: Eric's "weasel laugh."
  • Author Appeal: Adam Sandler is a huge Professional Wrestling fan in Real Life.
  • Back to School: The basic premise. Hell, he even sings a little song about it.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Ahahahahahaha--SHUT UP!!!!!
  • Brick Joke: During the bus ride to the farm, the bus driver throws a Banana Peel out the window and onto the highway. Much later in the film, a car driven by the Jerkass O'Doyle family veers off course after going over the peel and plunges over a cliff.
    • "Hey, kids, it's me! I bet you thought that I was dead! But when I fell over I just broke my leg and got a hemorrhage in my head!"
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The moderator of the Academic Decathlon suggests that Billy's soul deserves to be damned to Hell for giving a blatantly incorrect answer. Billy even does a Lampshade Hanging, pointing out that the moderator's reaction was a bit excessive.
    • Then again, Billy's answer really was just that stupid.
      • (FYI, "may God have mercy on your soul" is traditionally what a judge says when sentencing someone to death.)
  • Catch Phrase: "O'Doyle rules!"
  • Character Development: On the way, Billy grows more mature, apologizing for his bad behavior and genuinely cleaning up his act.
  • Character Filibuster: Subverted and parodied. Billy is required to give one of these describing how a work of literature reflects the changes the Industrial Revolution had on the modern novel as part of the climactic general knowledge quiz. He elects to compare the Industrial Revolution to a children's story called "The Puppy Who Lost His Way," and the scene cuts to the ending of the seemingly inspirational and well-informed monologue he gives on the subject. Then Billy turns to the headmaster to find out how he did, and the response is the quote at the top of the page.
  • Character Witness: Billy apologized to an old classmate he used to bully in school. That same former classmate comes back at the end of the film to save Billy from the villain.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "The Puppy Who Lost His Way".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Aforementioned classmate, who had become a real gunman in meantime. He's seen crossing Billy off of a hit list after they make peace.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Billy most of the time, but practically every character in the movie during the bizarre Big Lipped Alligator Moment where they're all singing or dancing. ("Do you have any more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum?")
    • Do you have any more gum?
    • Billy's first grade teacher indulges in some rather odd habits when her class is outside playing dodgeball.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: This being an Adam Sandler picture, there's heaps and heaps of it. Billy sees a clown on stilts topple over and laughs his head off, even though the actor in the clown makeup has cut open his lip and broken his leg. He later reacts with hilarity when his arch-nemesis, Eric, is burning to death (but it's an Imagine Spot, so he gets better). A story about a professional wrestler killing an opponent by sitting on his head is played for laughs, as is a secretary being violently knocked into a coma. But the best (er, worst) example has to concern the O'Doyles, a family of stereotypically Irish-American louts (milky skin, freckles, ginger hair, you know the drill...) whose sole function in the movie is to act like a Jerkass to Billy at various plot points. Billy ultimately gets his revenge when a car carrying the entire O'Doyle family skids wildly after zipping over a banana peel on the highway and plunges over a cliff; every single O'Doyle is killed.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Veronica, although she's stern rather than genuinely mean.
  • Disco Dan: When Billy shows up for his first day of high school, he arrives in a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, blaring "The Stroke" by Billy Squier loudly over the radio and wearing a denim jacket with a REO Speedwagon t-shirt. Since this movie was released in the mid-90s when alternative rock and hip-hop were the dominant genres of music, Billy's attempt to look cool backfires big time.
  • Disney Death: The clown at Billy's party, who comes back to life just to take part in a musical number.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: There's a giant penguin, whose status as real or just a figment of Billy's imagination is unclear, but a nemesis of Billy nonetheless.
  • Fan Disservice: We're suckered into thinking we're going to see Veronica Vaughn strip herself to the waist, but instead the one performing the striptease is the disgustingly fat male bus driver. Played by Chris Farley. Ick.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Lampshaded in the musical scene:

 "Veronica, I thank you/for beating the shit out of me!"

  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: "He just called the shit 'poop'!"
  • Ha Ha Ha No: "Ahahahahahaha shut up!"
  • Having a Gay Old Time: In-universe: Veronica has to teach her class with a short story called "My Sister Fanny," and just lets them all giggle a bit and get it out of their system first. Billy doesn't get it, but then it turns out the story is on page 69 of their book.
  • Hot Teacher: Veronica Vaughn
  • I Have Boobs - You Must Obey!: Billy's tutor's way of motivating him.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Part of the main plot.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Billy and the kids from Veronica's class.
    • Billy is also friends with one of his father's executives, Carl, who is one of the few people who actually believes in Billy.
  • Jerkass: The villain, but also Billy, especially in the beginning of the film.
    • And the entire O'Doyle clan.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Billy, to an extent.
  • Karma Houdini: The incident where Billy grabs Veronica's breast. For an adult man, that's sexual assault and she could have easily reported him to the police.
    • Shit, even Billy realizes this. So, natch, he requires a double-dare before he'll go through with it.
    • But he still got away with it. That's the point.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The entire O'Doyle family. They drive off a cliff, chanting their Catch Phrase all the while.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Virtually all the characters at the end of the movie.
  • Large Ham: Adam Sandler doesn't merely chew scenery; he eats this movie alive.
  • Man Child: Billy Madison, of course.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Veronica. Especially when she tackles Billy in the fountain in a white shirt.
    • Lampshaded when she sings the line "Don't I have a nice rack?" during the musical number.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Revolting Blob, anyone?
  • Pair the Spares: Taken to its logical extreme at the end of the movie (including the penguin).
  • Paste Eater: Billy eats the paste of glue in his first-grade class.
  • Product Placement: Done very blatantly early on with Triscuits featuring in the first conversation between Carl and Eric; it's worth noting that Bradley Whitford seems less than enthusiastic about having to plug the "delicious Triscuit crackers".
    • Billy sure loves his Snack Pack. He would trade his remaining banana for a kid's remaining Snack Pack.
  • Reason You Suck Speech: Billy is on the receiving end of a legendary one after giving an stupid answer during the academic decathalon at the end.

 Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Billy: Okay, a simple "wrong" would have been fine.


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