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54 thoughts we had while rewatching Splash

By Riley Silverman

This month, the Daryl Hannah mermaid comedy Splash, from director Ron Howard and co-starring Tom Hanks, turns 35 years old! With such a momentous anniversary, plus a gender-swapped remake with Channing Tatum as a Magic Mermike on the way, it seemed like a perfect time to sit down and re-experience a childhood rom-com. Here are 54 thoughts we had while re-experiencing Splash.

1. I’m already a bit sad because I forgot John Candy was in this and man do I miss that guy.

2. What the heck does “Wooly Bully” have to do with a mermaid? She’s neither!

3. Clint Howard definitely has a cameo in this, right?

4. Is this little Peeping Tom kid supposed to be young Tom Hanks? Little Peeping Tom Hanks? Oh thank god, no, it’s little John Candy.

5. Whoa, actual little Tom Hanks just stared forlornly into the water and jumped from the booze cruise boat. This is a dark opening for this magical rom-com.

6. Is little John Candy really using the chaos of this to score some more upskirt peeks? I mean he’s a creep for sure but I guess an impressive opportunist?

7. But, like, what does a kid his age even want to look up these skirts for anyway? This feels like such a weird choice. I’m really creeped out by the room full of adult male writers in the early ‘80s who decided this prepubescent kid being a whimsical pervert was a great gag.

8. Why does the mermaid have pierced ears? Is there a Claire’s Accessories or a tattoo parlor under the sea?

9. Whoa, bro, way to rescue little Tom Hanks and (sea) salt his game.

10. Regular size John Candy (Freddie) looks like the script just described him as “Eighties Asshole” and he ran with it.

11. He’s bragging about being printed in Penthouse Forum. Do you get it? He’s a perv!

12. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of Tom Hanks’ "yelly" performances. It really brings me back.

13. I guess having Tom Hanks’ ex only exist on the other end of a phone line is one way to save on hiring an actress.


15. Even when Tom Hanks is playing a bit more of a jerk than he usually does, he’s charming and fun to watch. He literally can’t play unlikable.

16. I really miss the ‘80s style of comedy movies with just random nonsensical jokes, like a cab driver who just lets Tom Hanks smash against the glass a few times.

17. Eugene Levy is playing the most like his Schitt’s Creek character of any role I’ve ever seen him play: smart guy who is easily annoyed instead of the nerdy, horny yet oddly prudish dork we're so familiar with in the American Pie series.

18. I’m amazed at how many people in this movie are just jerks for no reason. Is that because it's the '80s?

19. Wait, why is Daryl Hannah’s hair dry if she just came out of the ocean? This movie is so unrealistic.

20. “Vista” as a fake credit card name. Clever. Remember their slogan? Vista, it’s in some places you would enjoy being.

21. Ain’t that the luck, you’re just minding your business under the sea and you don’t have your camera ready when that mermaid finally comes by.

22. This running gag about Tom Hanks’ secretary being struck by lightning is the weirdest thing in this movie about a mermaid starring a guy with a complete creep of a brother.

23. I’m glad there are so many accents in this movie so we know it takes place on the east coast.

24. I want to say all these guys going bananas because of the naked woman is unrealistic but … *guttural sigh*

25. Why do these grocery store owners look like a gang of Guys and Dolls-era mobsters?

26. Tom Hanks has moved beyond BDE into JBAME (Just Banged a Mermaid Energy).

27. Oh! I forgot about Daryl Hannah wearing a suit in this movie. This is actually hotter than when she was just walking around naked.

28. You set a mermaid down in front of the TV for just a few hours and already she’s sucked into the consumerist machine. 

29. Wait, how did she learn how to tie a tie?

30. This movie just threw shade at Annie Hall and I’m here for it. (But, you know, leave Diane Keaton out of it.)

31. “She doesn’t speak English at all.” “Hello Allen, how was your day?” — Look, this movie is full of telegraphed jokes but they land!

32. So Madison the mermaid remembers Allen as a kid. Do mermaids imprint and mate for life or something? This movie is far too lax on its mermaid universe building!

33. I can’t imagine the family dynamic that would produce both Freddie and Allen.

34. I just realized that Freddie is smoking a cigarette while he works out. God, the ‘80s were weird.

35. Oh Madison, you gave a guy a fountain just for a random gift? You’re really screwing yourself for when his birthday comes around. How do you top that?

36. I forgot this movie has a whole elaborate subplot where Eugene Levy tries to get Madison wet so she turns back into a mermaid. Talk about committing to a double entendre.

37. Sure, it’s weird to eat a lobster inside its own shell but I’ve definitely started in on some frozen Girl Scout Cookies before they’d thawed enough so Madison, I get you, girl.

38. Allen just casually tosses out that he’d be chill if Madison were trans, so, hey, good on you, movie from 1984.

39. Allen proposed to Madison after three dates and is being snippy because she said no. Has this been a lesbian movie this whole time?

40. People almost being hit by cars is a strangely frequent repeated trope in this movie.

41. The big dinner with the president couldn’t be more of a casual throwaway plot. Also, straight up: Whatever happened with those grocery gangsters?

42. Disappointed in the lack of security around the president that allows Eugene Levy to just infiltrate the kitchen staff.

43. I forgot this movie takes a really intense turn once Eugene Levy actually sprays Madison with the water.

44. ”Is it true that she’s also seeing Burt Reynolds?” is such a perfect ridiculous line. Oh, the '80s!

45. Wait, this whole time we’ve been rooting for Tom Hanks and it turns out he’s some sort of fish bigot?

46. How is this guy still making fun of Eugene Levy for believing in mythological creatures when he’s got a literal mermaid in a tank a mere ten feet away?

47. The third act of this movie is like The Shape of Water in 20 minutes. It’s as if someone said, “Hey, what if we did that but with tits?” and then time traveled to make it happen. *goes to look at the writers credits* Okay, I think that someone was "Babaloo Mandel." No way that guy doesn’t have access to time travel.

48. How did any kid in the ‘80s ever leave the Natural History Museum once this movie taught them there was a secret military base?

49. The mortal enemy of all mermaids: Traffic.

50. The soldiers just flipped a cab that wouldn’t move, it’s like a Mentos commercial but for martial law.

51. This is a pretty beautiful coral reef for the Hudson River. Where’s all the gangster bodies?

52. I guess the government just shrugs now and decides they’ll never find a mermaid again and calls the whole search off, right?

53. Underground mermaid city, best Aquaman prequel ever.

54. Hey, Clint Howard did have a cameo as a wedding guest! Called it!