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Monkey Business is a 1931 comedy film by the legendary Marx Brothers.

Much of the story takes place upon a cruise liner bound for America. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo play as four stowaways, who spend much of the journey trying to avoid the captain and his first mate. During and after the journey, the four become involved with an ongoing dispute between rivaling gangs, which the four brothers solve in their own way. Much Hilarity Ensues.

Like Duck Soup, Monkey Business is much more anarchic and gag driven than later movies like A Night at the Opera, which heavily feature romance and, well, plots.


Tropes featured include:

  • The Family for the Whole Family
  • Punch and Judy: Harpo gets mixed up in a show.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "You're a woman who's been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you'll have to stay in the garage all night."
    • Funny Aneurysm Moment: Thelma Todd died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 1935, found dead in a locked garage with a running vehicle. Circumstances were suspicious enough (she had blood on her face as if she had been struck) that it's been thought she was murdered.
  • What an Idiot!: One of the mob leaders arms Harpo and Chico.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Harpo infiltrates a Punch and Judy show in progress, and starts controlling and imitating the puppets...so what happened to whoever was controlling them before he got involved?
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