Tropic Thunder

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Tropic Thunder is a 2008 film starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. as a group of prima donna actors making a Vietnam War film when their fed-up writer and director decide to abandon them in the middle of the jungle, forcing them to fight their way out.

Directed by Ben Stiller. Written by Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen.
You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.
It's Les Grossman. He throws these words around. "Crisis," "explosion," "not rolling," "fired." These are just words.

Kirk Lazarus[edit]

  • I know who I am! I'm a dude playing a dude, disguised as another dude! You a dude who don't know what dude he is.

Tugg Speedman[edit]

  • [as Simple Jack] Goodbye Momma! Now you can have ice cream in heaven! I'll see you tonight when I go to bed, in my head movies. But this head movie makes my eyes rain!

Les Grossman[edit]

  • [incensed at Flaming Dragon's demands] Okay, Flaming Dragon. Fuckface. First, take a big step back... and literally FUCK YOUR OWN FACE! Now, I don't know what kind of pan-Pacific bullshit power play you're trying to pull here, but Asia, Jack, is my territory. So whatever you're thinking, you'd better think again. Otherwise I'm gonna have to head down there and I will rain down an ungodly fucking firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the fucking United Nations and get a fucking binding resolution to keep me from fucking destroying you. I am talking scorched earth, motherfucker! I will massacre you! I WILL FUCK YOU UP! [hangs up; to assistant] Find out who that was.


Damien: Crisis meeting? What does that mean, exactly? I mean, you know, are we in a crisis?
Rob: He's the head of the studio. He's reaching out. We're 10,000 miles away. He just wants a little face-time.
Damien: I know. It's just you said he called it a crisis meeting. So, you know...
Rob: It's Les Grossman. He throws these words around. "Crisis," "explosion," "not rolling," "fired." These are just words.

[The Tropic Thunder production crew have a video conference with studio exec Les Grossman]
Les Grossman: I see you. I see you. I see you. Which one of you fuckfaces is Damien Cockburn?
Damien Cockburn: Uh, that's me, sir. It's an honor to finally meet you. Get some face time.
Grossman: And who here is the key grip? [the key grip raises his hand] You? You! Hit that director in the face, really fucking hard!
Key Grip: [reluctantly walks over to Damien] Sorry, man. [punches him in the face]
Grossman: This is all your fault, you Limey fuck! You shit the money-bed, my friend.

Les Grossman: The universe is talking to us right now. You just gotta listen.
[Grossman plays "Low" by Flo Rida in his music player, and he and Slolom begin dancing. Pecker is confused.]
Grossman: See, this is the good part, Pecker. This is when the job gets fun.
Rob Slolom: Mmm, yeah.
Grossman: Ask, and you shall receive.
Slolom: All right!
Grossman: You play ball, we play ball. [Slolom nods. Grossman begins dancing like he's slapping ass.] I know you want the goodies. Mmm!
Slolom: Welcome to the goodie room.
Grossman: You payin' attention? 'Cuz I'm talkin' G5, Pecker. That's how you're gonna roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boi. Oh yeah. Playa. Playa. Big dick playa.
Slolom: Swingin' past your knees.
Grossman: Big dick, baby.
Slolom: Yup.
[Grossman stops the music.]
Grossman: Or, you can grow a conscience in the next five minutes and see where that takes you.
[Pecker stands up and faces Grossman.]
Rick "Pecker" Peck: Let me get this straight. You want me to let my client of fifteen years, one of my best friends, die in the jungle alone for some money and a G5.
Grossman: Yes.
Pecker: A G5 airplane.
Grossman: Yes. And lots of money. Playa.... [Grossman starts the music again, and he and Slolom start dancing again.]
Slolom: Yeah! Smack it up, flip up, rub it down, hoo!!

[Lazarus and the gang are preparing their options for infiltrating the Flaming Dragon camp]
Jeff Portnoy: So, what's the plan, man? You gonna talk Vietnamese to those dudes?
Kirk Lazarus: No, no. Mandarin Chinese. What I can tell, it's what they're speaking down there.
Portnoy: How the hell do you know Chinese?
Lazarus: Land of Silk and Money with Gong Li. Second Globe, third Oscar. I prepped for that one by working in a Beijing textile factory for eight months.

[Cody and Tayback are tied to a post in the Flaming Dragon compound]
Cody: Dude, dude, what the hell is going on here? Where are we?
Four-Leaf Tayback: I have no idea, I've never been outside the States.
Cody: Wait what?! Are you fucking kidding me?! Did you make this whole goddamn thing up?! Dude you weren't even in the fucking service?!
Tayback: Yes! Of course! Coast Guard!
Cody: Coast Guard.
Tayback: Sanitation Department.
Cody: Oh my God! You're a fucking garbage man! Dammit! F.L. Tayback lies to me and the whole goddamn U.S. of A.
Tayback: I wrote the book as a tribute! I'm a patriot.
Cody: Yeah, you're the Milli Vanilli of patriots okay? You lied about fighting in the Vietnam War. It's like - It's like punching the American flag in the face goddammit! God, to think I believed you!
Tayback: Writers lie all the time!
Cody: [a guard bursts in] Can I be tied to another post please?

Speedman: I don’t believe you people!
Lazarus: Huh! What do you mean, “you people”? [silence]
Chino: What do YOU mean, “you people”!?
Lazarus: HUH?
Sandusky: I... I think what, uh, Tugg means is, “you people”, “you actors”.
[Kirk, Alpa, Kevin, and Jeff start yelling due to the frustration of being lost in the jungle, until Tugg fires his prop gun to calm everyone down]
Speedman: Chill! Alright? Just chill it! Now, let’s go get those Vietcongs.
Chino: Vietcong!
Speedman: What?
Chino: It’s “Vietcong”, there’s no ‘s’, it’s already plural. You wouldn’t say “Chineses."

Alpa Chino: And why am I in this movie? Maybe I just knew I had to represent. Cause they one good part in it for a black man and they gave it to Crocodile Dundee.
Kirk Lazarus: Pump your brakes, kid. That man's a national treasure.
Chino: I just wanted to throw another shrimp on your Barbie.
Lazarus: That shit ain't funny.
Chino: I'm just fucking with you, Kangaroo Jack. I'm sorry if a dingo ate yo baby.
Lazarus: You know that's a true story? Lady lost her kid. You about to cross a fucking line.
Kevin Sandusky: Hey guys could we just cool it...
Chino: You know what, fuck that, I'm sick of this koala-hunting nigga- [Kirk slaps Alpa. Alpa tries to punch Kirk but Kirk grabs his fist and pulls him in and hugs him.]
Lazarus: For 400 years, that word has kept us down.
Chino: [confused]...what the fuck!?
Lazarus: Took a whole lot of tryin, just to get up that hill, but now we up in the big leagues...
Chino: [Breaks away from Kirk] That's the theme songs from The Jeffersons. You really need help!
Lazarus: Just cause it's a theme song doesn't mean it's not true.

Speedman: You know, there were times when I was doing Jack that I actually felt retarded, like really retarded. I mean, I brushed my teeth retarded, I rode the bus retarded.
Lazarus: Damn.
Speedman: In a weird way, I had to sort of just free myself up to believe that it was okay to be stupid or dumb.
Lazarus: To be a moron.
Speedman: Yeah.
Lazarus: To be moronical.
Speedman: Exactly, to be a moron.
Lazarus: An imbecile.
Speedman: Yeah.
Lazarus: Like the dumbest motherfucker that ever lived.
Speedman: When I was playing the character.
Lazarus: When you was the character.
Speedman: Yeah, as Jack, definitely.
Lazarus: Jack, stupid ass Jack. Trying to come back from that.
Speedman: In a weird way it was almost like I had to sort of fool my mind into believing that it wasn't retarded, and by the end of the whole thing, I was like, "Wait a minute, I flushed so much out, how am I gonna jumpstart it up again?" It's just like... Right?
Lazarus: You was farting in bathtubs and laughing your ass off. Yeah. But Simple Jack thought he was smart, or rather, didn't think he was retarded, so you can't afford to play retarded, being a smart actor. Playing a guy who ain't smart but thinks he is, that's tricky.
Speedman: Hm. Tricky.
Lazarus: It's like working with mercury. It's high science, man. It's an art form.
Speedman: Yeah.
Lazarus: You an artist.
Speedman: Hm. That's what we do, right? Yeah.
Lazarus: Hats off for going there, especially knowing how the Academy is about that shit.
Speedman: About what?
Lazarus: You're serious? You don't know? Everybody knows you never go full retard.
Speedman: What do you mean?
Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man, looked retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks, cheat at cards. Autistic, sure. Not retarded. Then you got Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes, retarded, maybe, braces on his legs, But he charmed the pants off Nixon, and he won a Ping-Pong competition. That ain't retarded. [theatrical cut only] Peter Sellers, Being There. Infantile, yes, retarded, no. [director's cut only] And he was a goddamn war hero. You know any retarded war heroes? [both cuts] [silence] You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

Studio Executive Rob Slolom: Wow. Eight Oscars, 400 million dollars at the box office, and you saved Tugg Speedman's career.
Les Grossman: I couldn't have done it without you.
Slolom: Really?
Grossman: No, dickhead. Of course I could. A nutless monkey could do your job. Now, go get drunk and take credit at all the parties.
Slolom: I wouldn't do that.
Grossman: Ah... joking.
Slolom: Ah, there he is! Funny. You're a funny guy.
Grossman: Yeah. But seriously, a nutless monkey could do your job.


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