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Title Card: This is the story of the Specials...
Title Card: ...The 6th or 7th greatest superhero team in the world.
Title Card: They have spent many a day fighting natural disasters and battling supervillains.
Title Card: This is not one of those days.
A (2000) comedy film about the sixth (or seventh) greatest superhero team in the world. The movie follows the events of several days during which no major world-shaking events occur, instead focusing on the various team members' lives. During the course of the film a new member joins the team, a line of toys based on the Specials is unveiled, and long-festering conflicts within the team come to a head.
This film contains examples of:
- Achilles Heel: Ms. Indestructible's eyes.
- Adaptation Decay: The line of action figures in the movie.
- All Lesbians Want Kids: Power Chick's mothering of Alien Orphan.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Minute Man says this is one of the team's rules He's proved wrong.
- Ascended Fangirl: Nightbird was a huge fan of the team before she joined.
- Atlas Pose: U.S. Bill in the "Who Are the Specials?" mockumentary
- Badass Normal: Mr. Smart's super power is...being really smart.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Averted by Deadly Girl, who uses her creepy powers for good; invoked and averted by Amok, who is a former villain with suitably villainous powers, but is now a hero.
- Break the Cutie: Nearly happens to Nightbird, but is mostly averted.
- Bold Inflation: The Strobe
- Berserk Button: Minute Man is somewhat sensitive to the proper pronunciation of his codename.
- Likewise, please don't try to remove US Bill's mask. He's rather sensitive about keeping his identity secret.
- Butch Lesbian: Power Chick. Somehow Amok manages to miss this until she has to tell him outright.
- The Cape: The Strobe thinks he is.
- Chekhov's Gun: Ms. Indestructible's eyes.
- Civvie Spandex/Coat, Hat, Mask: Most of the Specials wear costumes made from the kinds of items you can find in a costume or fabric store.
- Chest Insignia: The Strobe, U.S. Bill, The Weevil
- Coconut Superpowers: The characters' powers are more discussed than demonstrated, although the V-Formation Team Shot at the very end (see the photo above) shows some of them in use.
- Code Name: Played straight.
- Conspicuous CGI: Power Chick during the V-Formation Team Shot.
- Comes Great Responsibility: The Strobe lectures on this at the first meeting.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: "If I wanted to, I could cut your head off, and then do some intricate welding and slicing with your guts!"
- Day in the Life: Though not a completely routine day, there are no world saving heroics going on.
- Deadpan Snarker: Deadly Girl
- Death By Origin Story: Stretchie Boy's demise in "Who Are the Specials?" could be considered an example of this.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: Minute Man and Deadly Girl
- The Ditz: U.S. Bill
- Domino Mask: Nightbird, U.S. Bill, The Weevil
- Dumb Muscle: U.S. Bill -- who is not just dumb, but clearly mentally disabled.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Completely and utterly averted with the Specials' headquarters, which is the suburban home of The Strobe and Ms. Indestructible.
- Evil Costume Switch: The Weevil
- Evil Is Sexy: Again, Deadly Girl.
- Executive Meddling: The obvious cause of the... discrepancies between the Specials and their toy counterparts.
- Face Heel Turn: The Weevil
- Fridge Horror: Nightbird's power: she lays eggs, each of which supposedly contains a "trick" (i.e., knock-out gas or explosives). The horror comes in when you think about how this would work in a fight, and remember what part of the body eggs usually come...
- Hand Blast: The Mighty Strobe has this. Amok has something similar, except their source is more random, due to a slight case of power incontinence, meaning they can sometimes come out his dick.
- Heel Face Turn: Albeit offscreen and in the Backstory: Amok was a villain before joining the Specials.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: At least half the cast, including Jordan Ladd, Rob Lowe, Thomas Haden Church, Paget Brewster, Kelly Coffield, Jamie Kennedy, Sean Gunn, Judy Greer, John Doe and Melissa Joan Hart.
- Hive Mind: Eight
- Informed Ability: We never see most of the team's powers, and even the Team Shot at the end suggests more than displays them.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Minute Man needs to repeatedly point out that his codename is pronounced "MY-NEWT man", as in tiny, not "MIH-NITT man", as in sixty seconds.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Amok is a lewd, crude jerk, but in the end he is one of the most vocal proponents of keeping the team together.
- Judy Greer: Deadly Girl.
- Kubrick Stare: Deadly Girl (natch)
- Merchandise-Driven: Spoofed and Played for Laughs at the launch party scene.
- Mockumentary: "Who Are the Specials?"
- Moe: Nightbird.
- Naive Newcomer: Nightbird.
- Noodle Incident: The movie is full of these; the Pterodactyls, the anal slugs (it's a pretty good one), the Colossal Blister, Amok and the Scabies (not Scurvy) incident, and why Deadly Girl's action figure is not available in Vermont.
- Not Wearing Tights: Mr. Smart
- Perky Goth: Mostly averted. Deadly Girl is only seen to be perky when she's insulting someone, or after her tryst with Minute Man.
- Poke the Poodle: Back in his days as a villain, Amok's big evil plan was to give people scabies (and not scurvy, as previously thought).
- Precision F-Strike: "But in the meantime, get off my fucking lawn, whore."
- Race Lift: "He's a Special, just for me!"
- The Reveal: After dancing around it for almost the entire movie, Nightbird's power is finally revealed minutes before the end of the movie.
- Secret Identity: Played straight by U.S. Bill to the point of parody, averted by all the other Specials.
- The Smart Guy: Mr. Smart, naturally.
- Smug Super: The "Great" Strobe
- Something Person: Deadly Girl, Minute Man, Power Chick, Zip Boy.
- Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Averted -- the Specials' costumes are mostly mundane fabrics.
- Spontaneous Choreography: The dance on stage at the club.
- Straw Feminist: Sunshine Grrrll and arguably the other seven members of the Femme Five:
Sunlight Grrrll: The Femme Five. I'm here to ask you to join.
Deadly Girl: Well, then you'd be the Femme Six.
Sunlight Grrrll: There are already eight of us. Traditional counting is an oppressive patriarchal tool.
- Stripperiffic: The closest thing in this movie is Deadly Girl's costume. But ho-ly FUCK!
- Super-Hero Speciation: Played straight.
- Take That: The audio commentary confirms that Weevil's be-nippled costume at the end is a swipe at Batman and Robin.
- Third Person Person: The Strobe on occasion.
- V-Formation Team Shot: The final moments of the film.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Alien Orphan's power.
- Welcome Episode: The beginning of the film is spent introducing Nightbird (and the audience) to the Specials. Subverted in that there isn't all that much to see which is really spectacular, and the tour is given by U.S. Bill, who is clearly mentally handicapped.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Discussed by Nightbird and Minute Man.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Subverted. The Specials' HQ is an ordinary suburban home with all that implies about its furnishings, and only acquires a wide-screen HD TV in the final minutes of the movie.
- You Are Number Six: Eight
- Your Cheating Heart: Ms. Indestructible cheats on her husband, The Strobe, with The Weevil.