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I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.—Chip Douglas, The Cable Guy
After his girlfriend flips out and gives him the boot, Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) gets the very last thing he needed to fill the new void: an incredibly bizarre cable installer named Chip (Jim Carrey) who latches on and insinuates himself into Steven's life. To his credit, Chip does lots of favors for Steven, up to and including helping him win back his girlfriend Robin Harris (Leslie Mann), but his odd, off-putting and sometimes illicit behavior (including buying Steven a prostitute and then making it up to him by beating the crap out of Robin's date, and later getting him an overelaborate entertainment system via "connections"... which ends up being stolen) proves too much to take and Steven eventually has to tell him to take a hike. Things quickly turn sour after that, and Steven finds out just how weird his "pal" really is when Chip begins stalking him and pulling various strings to try and ruin his life.
Has since picked up something of a following.
- Anti-Villain: Chip is a creepy obsessive stalker, but only because he's really lonely.
- Ax Crazy: Chip Douglas
- Battle in the Rain
- Black Comedy: One of the reasons the film flopped. At the time, Carrey was known for his wacky characters, and audiences were not prepared to see him as a creepy stalker.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Chip.
- Creator Cameo: Ben Stiller plays twin brothers Sam & Stan Sweet.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Chip to Robin's date in the men's room.
- Disney Villain Death: Averted.
- Former Child Star: The Sweet twins.
- Go Mad From the Isolation: Loneliness has not been good for Chip's mental health.
- Freudian Excuse: Chips mother was so neglectful that he was practically raised by television.
- Here We Go Again: Hey, am I really your buddy?
- Ho Yay: Though Chip just desperately wants to be friends with Steven, there are shades of this about his longing.
- I Have Many Names: His name isn't really Chip Douglas. Or Larry Tate. Or Ricky Ricardo. Or George Jetson. Or even The Big Ragu.
- I Just Want to Have Friends/I Just Want to Be Loved: Chip's driving motivation.
- Large Ham: Chip, though it's no surprise since he's played by Jim Carrey.
- One-Book Author: This is Lou Holtz Jr.'s only screenwriting credit, but his original script was heavily rewritten by Judd Apatow (who was denied credit by the Writer's Guild).
- Prison Rape: Based on their come-on lines to Stephen, it's implied the other prisoners want to do this.
- ~Screw The Rules, I Have Connections!~: For a guy desperate for friendship, Chip has a lot of people at his disposal.
- Shout-Out: The movie references several movies and shows, such as Waterworld and Star Trek.
- Stalker with a Crush: Chip Douglas
- Themed Aliases: Chip uses the names of TV characters as aliases. See I Have Many Names above.
- The Un-Reveal: We never find out if Sweet was found guilty.
- Nor the name of The Cable Guy.
- Why Do You Hate the Dog?: Deconstructed in that Chip is actually a villainous Stalker with a Crush.
- Window Love: Chip tries to get Steven to do this. He refuses.