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File:Littlemisssunshine.jpg

Dark, dysfunctional and wildly hilarious family comedy about a Road Trip, directed by husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

Seven-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) wants to participate in the titular beauty pageant located all the way in California. So her parents, brother, uncle and grandfather all drive her there in the only transportation they have: a broken down bus that's already coming apart. All sorts of misadventures and complications occur along the way, involving Nietzsche, Proust, a stripper routine and a dead body.

Richard (Greg Kinnear), the father, is an aspiring but failing motivational speaker who has plunged all his time and money into his Nine Steps program. His wife Sheryl (Toni Collette) is a homemaker and mother of Olive and Dwayne (Paul Dano). Dwayne is a brooding teenager with an obsession with Nietzsche, who's taken a vow of silence until he achieves his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot. Olive is a precocious little girl with a close relationship to her grandfather. Grandpa (Alan Arkin) is a dirty, debauched old man with a sharp sense of humor and irony. Rounding out the clan is Sheryl's brother, Frank (Steve Carell), a bitterly sarcastic scholar who just tried to commit suicide over losing his job and the man he loves.

It's a touching and sweet film, with a very sinister edge, and became a huge hit with artsy critics and casual film fans alike.

Not to be confused with a certain yellow character from the Mr. Men series.

Tropes used in Little Miss Sunshine include:
  • Actor Allusion: Sheryl tells her daughter "look at me" when the latter gets upset and needs someone to talk to. When else has she done that to her kid?
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: The pageant.
  • Atomic F-Bomb : Dwayne. To elaborate, he wants to fly in the Air Force, and has sworn not to talk until he does. He does very well with his vow, until he finds out he's colorblind, and won't be allowed to fly. He starts flailing out in the back of the van, jumps out while it's still moving, runs several yards away, and curls down into a small ball, before letting out a resounding "FUCK!" and bursting into tears.
  • The Alleged Car: Their VW bus.
  • Badass Grandpa: Take a wild guess.
  • Banned From Argo: The pageant holders inform Olive's family that they won't press charges for their behavior during Olive's talent act, on the condition that they never enter her in another Little Miss pageant in the state of California. Ever again. Subverted though, in that the family's reaction to the news more or less amounted to "That's fine by us!"
  • Beauty Contest: At the end, also a major souce of Squick.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Dwayne tries to prevent Olive from competing in a contest that he views as oversexualized and demeaning to girls.
  • Big Word Shout: "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!"
  • Black Comedy
  • Break the Motivational Speaker: Happens to Richard, the father, though not by people he's speaking to, but by the agent who was supposed to get him a book deal.
  • Brutal Honesty: Dwayne supplies some of this, knowing Olive won't win the competition.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The porn magazines.
    • Also the eye tests Olive picks up at the hospital.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Dwayne: "You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work... Fuck that. And fuck the Air Force Academy. If I want to fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest."
    • And of course, Grandpa:

  "Every night it's the fucking chicken! Holy God Almighty! Is it possible just once we could get something to eat for dinner around here that's not the goddamned fucking chicken?"

  Frank: Who is that? Nietzsche? So you stopped talking because of Friedrich Nietzsche? ...Far out.

 Grandpa: Look, I know you are a homo and all, but maybe you can appreciate this. You go to one of those places, there's four women for every guy. Can you imagine what that's like?

Frank: You must have been very busy.

Grandpa: Ho oh. I had second degree burns on my johnson, I kid you not.

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