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1995 comedy about a trio of Drag Queens on a road trip to compete in a national pageant. If this sounds familiar at all, that's because The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was released in the previous year, with a similar premise and equally-unwieldy name. However, while Priscilla was steeped in realism, To Wong Foo opts for the Rule of Funny. That is, we never see the men out of drag even though they're not Transsexual (female pronouns are used for the sake of convenience), and the people they encounter don't know they're men at first.

Female impersonators and close friends Vida Bohemme (the late Patrick Swayze) and Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes... yes, that Wesley Snipes) tie for a state-level drag pageant and win a trip to Hollywood to compete in the national. On their way backstage, they run into competitor Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo), distraught that she lost. Seeing a diamond in the rough, charitable Vida manages to convince Noxie to take Chi-Chi with them to Hollywood while teaching her the ways of drag. To pay Chi-Chi's way, the girls sell their plane tickets (something else that doesn't thrill Noxie) for an old but stylish convertible and embark on their 2,000-mile journey.

About halfway through the trip and following some minor episodes, the girls are pulled over in the Midwest by a racist sheriff. He insults Noxie and Chi-Chi and tries to rape Vida, who punches him out just as he realizes something isn't right. The girls flee, thinking him dead. A few hours later their car breaks down on the road, and Chi-Chi hitches a ride to the nearest town. However, the mechanic has to order the necessary parts which won't be in for a couple days, leaving the girls stuck in "Gay Hell" with the Not Quite Dead but quite humiliated sheriff on their trail.

Swayze and Leguizamo were nominated for Golden Globes, and the film remains a guilty pleasure, especially for gay men who were kids when it was released.

Contains the following tropes:

  • Agent Peacock: Vida and Noxie do some asswhoopin'
  • The Alleged Car: The yellow Cadillac, which doubles with Cool Car. It was chosen for its glamour rather than functionality, a decision that later comes back to haunt them when it breaks in the middle of "Gay Hell".
  • As You Know: Noxie gives a quick rundown of different genderqueer types, which Chi-Chi already knows for the most part, so it seemed more like the explanation was for viewers.
    • It's possible the in-universe explanation is that Chi-Chi often claims to know something when really she has no clue, so it's Noxie's way of bringing her down a peg through patronizing.
  • Attempted Rape: First attempted with Vida (or at least a molestation), and later with Chi-Chi vs. some roughnecks.
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Sheriff Dollard is beguiled by Vida (at first), and Chi Chi manages to woo Bobby Ray.
  • Avengers Assemble: The various drag queens getting ready for the pageant in the movie's opening credits.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Chi-Chi winning the pageant at the end.
  • Bad Cop, Incompetent Cop: Sheriff Dollard.
  • Badass Boast: Chi Chi delivers two at once:

 Chi Chi: I'm the Latina Marilyn Monroe. I got more legs than a bucket of chicken!

 Vida: Girls, sometimes it just takes a fairy.

 Vida: Virgil's beating up Carol Ann

Noxie: (unconcerned) Most likely

Vida: We have to help her!

Noxie: Oh no no no. You see Vida, there are times when you help people and then there are times when if you help people you end up being killed. So you don't help people!.

  • Sour Supporter: Noxie to Vida
  • Spicy Latina: Chi Chi.
  • Strawberry Shorthand: The town's distinguishing tradition (and one of the things that perks the trio up) is their Strawberry Social -- "We all bake strawberry pies and bring them to the center of town, then we eat the pies...and then we go home." The queens convince them to go all out and try and range of strawberry themes and dress in glorious bright red.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: John Leguizamo in drag.
  • Tap on the Head: It's worse than that. Vida simply shoves Sheriff Dollard, and he's out like a light.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Vida (The Mother), Noxie (The Seductress Bitchy) and Chi-Chi (The Child Drag Princess).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Chi Chi and Noxeema don't exactly hit it off. Before long, Chi Chi has stirred up bad blood with Vida, also.
  • Title Drop: The movie's title comes from an autograph Vida swipes from a ritzy Chinese bistro. We never find out who Wong Foo is, but he and Ms. Newmar are given a totemic reverence throughout the movie.
  • Token Trio: White Vida, black Noxeema, and Hispanic Chi-Chi. The movie tries to counter Vida being the leader (though she's the only one who ever drives the car) by giving the other girls' plots ample screentime and Wesley Snipes top billing, but the implication is still there.
    • Lampshaded throughout the movie, as Noxie and Chi-Chi accuse Vida of being a meddling white woman, Vida and Noxie make constant reference to Chi-Chi's "latin mess," and at one point Noxie claims to be Jesse Jackson's daughter.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Noxie and Chi-Chi as gay men of color.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Sheriff Dullard reacts in the worst possible way when he finds out Vida is a man, but the townsfolk...not so much. They're fooled but eventually figure it out on their own, and accept the girls all the same.
  • Volleying Insults: Vida and Chi-Chi start isulting each other and it probably would go all night like that if they weren't interrupted by Virgil's beating Carol Ann.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Oh, Vida.
  • World of Ham
  • Wrench Wench: Carol Ann fixes the girls' Cadillac showing that she's not just a Housewife.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The DQ's take a detour to see Vida's home. An old woman, presumably her mother, sees her and rolls her eyes before walking back into the house, prompting a minor Heroic BSOD in Vida.
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