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"Remember kid, crime... doesn't... pay."
—Mr. Kelly - a.k.a. "Johnny Dangerously"
Johnny Dangerously is a comedic film produced by Twentieth Century Fox in 1984, and is primarily an Affectionate Parody of gangster movies set in Prohibition-Era New York City. The title character is played by Michael Keaton, portraying a youth who joins an organized crime gang in order to raise money in order to pay for medical proceedures for his ailing mother. The movie begins its light-natured path with an Animated Credits Opening featuring images of Manhattan locales set to "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "This Is The Life". We are introduced to the owner "Kelly's Pet Shop," Mr. Kelly, who apprehends a would-be thief and, after being treated to a tough-guy attitude, begins to tell the tale of his own past... the criminal known as "Johnny Dangerously."
- Amoral Attorney - the D.A.
- Baby Carriage - One of the would-be assassins of Johnny is hiding in a baby carriage.
- Bag of Holding - Ma Kelly's purse
- Big Applesauce - "Lil... This ain't Chicago... we're in New York."
- Blinding Camera Flash: Johnny gets photographed repeatedly and then promptly walks into the wall he can't see anymore.
- Bomb Whistle - There is a scene actually involving a bomb dropped from a plane on the casino of his enemy, Roman Maronie. Followed by an explosion.
- Book Safe - ammo for Johnny's jail-breaking machine gun.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Johnny speaks directly to the children in the audience about the importance of not smoking.
- The wavering "flashback" effect when Johnny starts talking about his past life, which both characters on screen notice.
- Broken Aesop - "Crime doesn't pay." Cue his fancy suit, chauffeured car, and elegantly dressed wife. "Well, it paid a little."
- Bull Seeing Red - the D.A.'s death - in a commercial.
- Cain and Abel - the "brother versus brother" story line.
- Catch Phrase - Vermin, used multiple times in the form "You shouldn't do something bad to me. My family member did that to me once." (long pause with index finger extended for emphasis) "Once."
Danny Vermin: You shouldn't grab me, Johnny. My mother grabbed me once. Once.
- The Chanteuse: Lil.
- Chekhov's Gun - "Oh, Johnny, I love shelf paper."
- Also, Dundee's cigarette case with the bullet dent (see Pocket Protector below).
- Clark Kenting - everybody knows that Johnny Kelly is Johnny Dangerously except his mother and brother.
- Cluster F-Bomb- averted, due to Roman Maronie's mispronunciations.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon - Roman Moronie threatening Mr. Dundee.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!
- Deadly Prank - Young Danny Vermin , while selling newspapers on a street corner produces a pair of large scissors from his paper bag to cut the leash from between a seeing-eye dog and a blind man, who is hit be a car off camera, then returns to work.
- Deliberately Monochrome - the beginning of the flashback is B/W documentary footage with narration. When the movie's new action begins the film remains in B/W, then transitions into color to indicate the film will be remaining in the past for some time.
- Dog Latin - "Post-Meridian, anti-Meridian, Uncle Meridian, and all the little Meridians."
- Don't Tell Mama - parodied, since to everyone but Johnny's mother it's painfully clear that he's a mob boss.
- Every Car Is a Pinto - averted. Tommy's car has its brakes cut and tumbles down a hill dramatically, but does not explode.
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
- Fan Service - When Tommy visits Johnny's apartment.
"I'm sorry Johnny, I just don't have the tits for it ... I mean... heart."
- Flashback Effects - the entire movie takes place during a flashback, illustrating the story Mr. Kelly is telling the would-be thief he caught trying to steal a puppy from his pet store.
Thief: What the Hell's goin' on?!
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers - Lil's nightgown.
- Game Show - "Play Ball"
- Gosh Dang It to Heck - "Fargin' bastiges."
- Averted here in that he really is trying to swear, but his accent is so thick that the words come out a mess.
- Gossip Evolution - Word goes around — but doesn't necessarily stay the same.
Prisoner: I didn't say that.
Lil: "Do you realize your last name is an adverb?"
- Hand Cannon - Danny Vermin's .88 Magnum. "It shoots through schools."
- Heroes Want Redheads
- IKEA Weaponry - On the way to the electric chair, as part of the Prison Break, below
- Ineffectual Death Threats - Moronie to Dundee during an almost-execution.
- Instant Messenger Pigeon - Polly
- Johnny McCoolname - It's right there.
- Luxury Prison Suite - Johnny's prison-striped three-piece suit.
- MacGuffin - "Whoever has my cigarette case bumped-off the Commissioner."
- Malaproper - Roman Moronie. He'd have given the movie a hard R rating for language if the miserable corksoaker could pronounce a word of it correctly, that fargin icehole.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin - played with. Johnny has to scare his little brother Tommy away from the free-wheelin' life of sex - complete with an Army VD film - so that Tommy will stay in law school. Meanwhile, Johnny is surrounded by beautiful dames and has no problem scoring on first dates:
Dundee (as fireworks go off in the distance): Hey! Sounds like Johnny's getting laid!
- Meaningful Name
- And "Dangerously," although he did pick it himself.
- Medium Awareness - 1935
- Mr. Exposition - The Pope, and the neighborhood, explain how Johnny's family doesn't know he's a gangster.
- Non-Fatal Explosions - Happens to both Moronie and Dundee at the hands of the other.
- Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters
- Oblivious Younger Sibling - Both Johnny's Brother and Mother.
- Pie-Eyed: The animated segment does this, as it's done in a 30's art style.
- Pocket Protector - Dundee's cigarette case once saved him from an assassination attempt, and it has the bullet dent to prove it. It ends up saving Tommy's life in the end.
- Polly Wants a Microphone - Polly
- The Pope - As played by Dom deLuise
- Pretty in Mink - Lil wears a white fox wrap at the end as part of spoofing the moral.
- The Reveal - "Johnny Dangerously is Tommy Kelly's brother." Of course, we all know that (as does all of Johnny's old neighbourhood), but the other main characters don't, even Danny Vermin, who used to beat up a kid named Johnny Kelly, and who recognizes Johnny when he joins the gang .
- The Roaring Twenties: When the movie is set.
- Robot Me - Moronie's murdering gift sent to Dundee's office, with postage due.
- Scare'Em Straight - E.S.S. video
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up - Danny Vermin (minus the schoolyard). Although his .88 Magnum shoots through them.
- Shout-Out - "These are a few of my favorite things."
- Sitting Sexy on a Piano - Lil Sheridan, while singing in a nightclub.
- Something Else Also Rises - "Sounds like Johnny's gettin' laid."
- Spinning Paper - the activities of the police and D.A.'s office are indicated with front-page newspaper headlines.
- The paper simply slides up to view when revealing the outcome of Moronie's trial.
- Thematic Theme Tune - "Weird Al" Yankovic's "This is the Life" over the opening credits explains how it feels to be filthy rich. The song "Dangerously" sung by Lil' later in the movie could be this, but it is less about Johnny Dangerously than it is about Lil's lust for him.
- Train Problem - during Roman Moronie's trial.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment - When Lil arrives with Johnny's bail money.
- Walk and Talk: Parodied and lampshaded when Johnny and Lil go on a walk... and talk. After a very long time, they stop, look around and realize they must have left the city hours ago and are now out in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere.
Johnny: "Where the hell are we?"