9 Classic Movies That Are Spoofed in 'Wet Hot American Summer' Reboot (VIDEOS)

wet hot american summerChances are you've already finished binge-watching Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp by now -- which means you're probably stuck with a serious case of cinematic déjà vu. And for good reason: The series borrows freely from many of the classic flicks we grew up with!


Indeed, the show (and the original movie) is sort of one big homage to the teen movie genre (particularly those involving summer camps); so much so that even amateur cinephiles should be able to spot the none-too-subtle film references peppered throughout. But just in case some of them went by too fast for you to catch, we combed through for some of the most unmistakably familiar moments and traced them back to their celluloid roots. How many of these did you miss?

1. Meatballs

The preeminent camp movie served as inspiration for WHAS on multiple levels, but one of the most obvious is the plot line involving Coop (Michael Showalter) taking the curly-haired misfit Kevin under his wing (much like Bill Murray's character in Meatballs mentoring the awkward outsider Rudy).

2. Dirty Dancing

Who can forget that iconic lift at the end of Dirty Dancing? Even Patrick Swayze's and Jennifer Grey's characters had a tough time perfecting the showstopping move -- so it's no surprise that Andy (Paul Rudd) couldn't quite swing it in Camp Firewood's big musical, Electro City.

3. The Outsiders

How did the members of Camp Firewood get ready to rumble? By watching Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders, apparently. WHAS character J.J. (Zak Orth) even quotes Matt Dillon's Dallas in the scene, saying: "You don't have a rumble without me!"

More from The Stir: 10 Movies NOT to Watch Before You Send Your Kids to Camp

4. Little Darlings

If Victor (Ken Marino) and Neil (Joe Lo Truglio)'s sex bet seemed familiar to you, then chances are you've seen Little Darlings, that classic camp movie from 1980 starring Kristy McNichol, Tatum O'Neal, and Matt Dillon. (McNichol's and Dillon's characters do indeed go all the way, but McNichol still loses the bet because she doesn't tell.)

5. Animal House

Much like the snobby prepsters from Camp Tiger Claw antagonized the middle class kids at Camp Firewood, the rich jerks from the Omega house were out to ruin the lives of the Alpha Betas. From the looks of his performance, Josh Charles (Blake in WHAS) watched the following scene a whole lot:

6. Willy Wonka

A direct nod to Gene Wilder's unforgettable entrance in the beginning of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, John Slattery as Claude seems to be setting up his audience for the same sort of trick -- start off hobbling, end with a stunning somersault -- except it doesn't end quite so well for Slattery.

7. Revenge of the Nerds 

If Kevin and Drew's burping contest seemed like something you've seen a million times before ("I'm the f*ckin' burp king of Westchester!"), it's not just because boys do that all the time IRL -- it's also because a belching contest featured prominently in '80s classic Revenge of the Nerds.

8. Toxic Avenger

The concept of toxic waste turning plain old people into monsters -- and/or talking cans of vegetables, as in the case of Mitch (H. Jon Benjamin) -- showed up in plenty an '80's movie, most notably Toxic Avenger

9. Almost Famous

More than one of the plot lines in WHAS echo story lines from Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical hit: For one thing, Elizabeth Banks's undercover rock journalist is similar to the teenage "Crowe" character in Almost Famous; for another, Chris Pine's Eric on the roof is a direct throwback to Russell in Almost Famous screaming "I am a golden god!" from on high (rumored to be a Robert Plant quote, originally). 

Kinda makes you want to rewatch the whole thing, right?? Nostalgia for the win!


Image via Netflix

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