11 Things to Look for the Next Time You Watch Caddyshack

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! But was it actually in the hole? Here are a few things to look out for the next time you watch the Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield golf classic, Caddyshack.

1. THE GOPHER KNOWS WHERE HE’S GOING.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

During the opening credits, the pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club can be seen tunneling under the fairways and greens, ruining the golf course as he goes along. In one of the shots, the path the gopher takes is visible by darker grass before he even gets there.

The low-budget special effects can be chalked up to the fact that the gopher wasn’t added until after the movie wrapped. The producers suggested they increase the role of the gopher, turning it into the narrative through-line that tied the film's bits together, so the hastily thrown together puppet and pathways were included later.

2. NEBRASKA LOOKS GORGEOUS THIS TIME OF YEAR.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

The fictional Bushwood Country Club was actually Rolling Hills Country Club (now Grande Oaks) in Davie, Florida, and was inspired by the Indian Hill Country Club in the Chicago suburbs where Murray and his brothers were caddies growing up. But it’s supposed to take place in Nebraska in the actual movie.

The geographical conundrum gets more complicated as palm trees can be seen in the scene where Danny eats and jumps out of the window behind his house to head to work. Of course, Nebraska doesn’t have palm trees.

3. CARL SPACKLER AND LOU LOOMIS ARE BROTHERS.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

Loomis, the Caddyshack’s manager and the only character to utter the title of the movie, is played by Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, who is also one of the movie’s co-writers. Doyle-Murray and co-screenwriter Douglas Kenney (who co-wrote the film with director Harold Ramis) initially pitched the movie as “Animal House on a golf course.”

The character of Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), who sets out to win the caddie tournament scholarship, was actually based on Doyle-Murray’s older brother Ed, who won a similar golf prize when they were young.

4. THE STORM ISN’T MUCH OF A STORM.

During the fateful (and hilarious “Rat Farts”) storm where Spackler caddies for Bishop Pickering, the wind and rain nearly blow the two characters over—but it’s a bit of movie trickery at work. You can see trees in the background standing perfectly still, giving away the wind machine effect causing the “storm."

5. THE JUDGE CHANGES TIES WITHOUT US KNOWING.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) is quite the stylish golfer. Judge Smails (Ted Knight) is not. Maybe that’s why when Czervik gets into an argument with Smails in the clubhouse causing the judge to try to choke him, Smails is wearing one tie.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

But when they move to the judge’s office with Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Czervik challenges him to a golf bet, the judge is wearing a completely different tie.

6. CARL HUNTS GOPHERS ALL DAY AND NIGHT.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

During the nighttime party scene at the club, where Czervik makes fun of the judge, Spackler is outside with his gun hunting the gopher. As he moves from tree to tree, you can see that these scenes were shot during the day—even though Spackler is trying to corner the gopher at night.

7. THE INFAMOUS POOL SCENE WOULDN’T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE.

When some pranksters at Bushwood drop a Baby Ruth candy bar into the pool—a scene that was culled from the Murray kids' real-life high school exploits—it causes some mistaken fecal-related mayhem for the unfortunate swimmers.

The candy floats around on the top of the water, only to make Spackler drain the pool and take a bite for himself. But even though the Murray brothers grafted their own hijinks onto the screen, it wouldn’t happen exactly how it did in the movie. Baby Ruth bars don’t float.

8. AL CZERVIK IS AN UNORTHODOX BOATER.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

When Czervik is buzzing around on his boat and ruins Judge Smails’ own boat launch before almost running over someone in a row boat, the footage is splashing toward the bow of the boat instead of away, meaning the footage is being played in reverse for some reason.

9. THE CADDIES SWAP SHIRTS.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

Czervik’s wake isn’t the only puzzling reverse seen in Caddyshack. During the big golf bet game, employees, club members, and other caddies are seen sneaking in between trees to spot the action. The logos on their t-shirts are in reverse.

It’s possible Ramis—in his first directorial gig—shot the actors sneaking one way, and realized it didn’t match up with the continuity of the direction of the golf game and simply flipped the film to make it seem like everyone was going in the same direction.

10. ONE CADDIE DOESN’T LIKE THE CAMERA VERY MUCH.

A screen shot from 'Caddyshack' (1980)
Warner Home Video

During the scene where Smails, Czervik, and Webb sit at the snack hut and make the $80,000 bet, Motormouth, the caddie in the green and white striped shirt, flips the bird to the camera. He can also be seen giving the NSFW gesture while holding the pin flag on the 18th hole while Danny makes his fateful putt.

11. THE ENDING BREAKS ALL THE RULES OF BETTING.

During the end scene, when Dr. Beeper and Judge Smails are on the final hole of the match against Ty Webb and Danny Noonan, the game is all squared up and all the young caddie needs to do is sink his putt to tie the match. But Czervik offers Smails a double-or-nothing bet. Even though the judge accepts those terms, he shouldn’t have taken that bet: He technically stood to make $40,000 or simply walk away with no money out of his pocket. Instead he risks $80,000 to potentially make another $40,000 on a game he didn’t lose.

The Very Real Events That Inspired Game of Thrones's Red Wedding

Peter Graham's After the Massacre of Glencoe
Peter Graham's After the Massacre of Glencoe
Peter Graham, Google Cultural Institute, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Ask any Game of Thrones fan to cite a few of the show's most shocking moments, and the so-called "Red Wedding" from season 3's "The Rains of Castamere" episode will likely be at the top of their list. The events that unfolded during the episode shocked fans because of their brutality, but what might be even more surprising to know is that the episode was based on very real events.

Author George R.R. Martin has said that the inspiration for the matrimonial bloodbath is based on two dark events in Scottish history: the Black Dinner of 1440 and 1692's Massacre of Glencoe. “No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad, or worse,” Martin told Entertainment Weekly in 2013. And he’s absolutely right. See for yourself.

The Massacre of Glencoe

The West Highland Way in 2005, view from the summit of the Devil's Staircase looking south over the east end of Glen Coe, towards Buachaille Etive Mòr with Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh beyond
Colin Souza, Edited by Dave Souza, CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

In 1691, all Scottish clans were called upon to renounce the deposed King of Scotland, James VII, and swear allegiance to King William of Orange (of William and Mary fame). The chief of each clan had until January 1, 1692, to provide a signed document swearing an oath to William. The Highland Clan MacDonald had two things working against them here. First of all, the Secretary of State, John Dalrymple, was a Lowlander who loathed Clan MacDonald. Secondly, Clan MacDonald had already sworn an oath to James VII and had to wait on him to send word that they were free to break that oath.

Unfortunately, it was December 28 before a messenger arrived with this all-important letter from the former king. That gave Maclain, the chief of the MacDonald clan, just three days to get the newly-signed oath to the Secretary of State.

Maclain was detained for days when he went through Inveraray, the town of the rival Clan Campbell, but still managed to deliver the oath, albeit several days late. The Secretary of State’s legal team wasn't interested in late documents. They rejected the MacDonalds's sworn allegiance to William, and set plans in place to cut the clan down, “root and branch.”

In late January or early February, 120 men under the command of Captain Robert Campbell arrived at the MacDonalds's in Glencoe, claiming to need shelter because a nearby fort was full. The MacDonalds offered their hospitality, as was custom, and the soldiers stayed there for nearly two weeks before Captain Drummond arrived with instructions to “put all to the sword under seventy.”

After playing cards with their victims and wishing them goodnight, the soldiers waited until the MacDonalds were asleep ... then murdered as many men as they could manage. In all, 38 people—some still in their beds—were killed. At least 40 women and children escaped, but fleeing into a blizzard blowing outside as their houses burned down meant that they all died of exposure.

The massacre was considered especially awful because it was “Slaughter Under Trust.” To this day, the door at Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe has a sign on the door that says "No hawkers or Campbells."

The Black Dinner

In November of 1440, the newly-appointed 6th Earl of Douglas, who was just 16, and his little brother David, were invited to join the 10-year-old King of Scotland, James II, for dinner at Edinburgh Castle. But it wasn’t the young King who had invited the Douglas brothers. The invitation had been issued by Sir William Crichton, Chancellor of Scotland, who feared that the Black Douglas (there was another clan called the Red Douglas) were growing too powerful.

As legend has it, the children were all getting along marvelously, enjoying food, entertainment and talking until the end of the dinner, when the head of a black bull was dropped on the table, symbolizing the death of the Black Douglas. The two young Douglases were dragged outside, given a mock trial, found guilty of high treason, and beheaded. It’s said that the Earl pleaded for his brother to be killed first so that the younger boy wouldn’t have to witness his older brother’s beheading.

Sir Walter Scott wrote this of the horrific event:

"Edinburgh Castle, toune and towre,
God grant thou sink for sin!
And that e'en for the black dinner
Earl Douglas gat therein."

This article has been updated for 2019.

15 Game of Thrones Products Every Fan Needs

Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

Though Game of Thrones might be coming to its official end, that doesn’t mean that your fandom can’t—or won’t—carry on. Whether you’re a years-long defender of House Stark or have been rooting for House Targaryen since the beginning, there’s a candle, collectible pin, coffee mug, card game, and pretty much anything else you can imagine with your name (and preferred sigil) on it.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire Book Series; $46

Bantam's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' book series

Bantam, Amazon

If you’ve never read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the series is based, plenty more Westerosi drama awaits. And just because you’ve seen every episode of the series 10 times doesn’t mean you know which way the books will turn. (The TV show diverged from their narrative a long time ago—and dozens of the characters who have been killed off on your television screen are still alive and well in the books.) Plus, as Martin has yet to complete the series, you may just catch up in time for the newest book.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Map Marker Wine Stopper Set; $50

Nobody solves a problem like Tyrion Lannister … and his thought process usually includes copious amounts of wine (Dornish if you’ve got it). Something tells us you’re going need some vino yourself to get through the giant, hour-long hole left in your Sunday nights once Game of Thrones officially ends. Make sure you don’t let a drop of it go to waste by keeping one of these six wine stoppers—each one carved to represent the sigil of the most noble houses in the Seven Kingdoms—handy.

Buy it: HBO Shop or BoxLunch

3. Winterfell Coffee Mug; $25

If coffee is more your speed—we get it: the night is dark and full of terrors—this simple-yet-elegant Winterfell mug is an easy way to communicate to your co-workers why you’re typically a little bleary-eyed on Monday mornings.

Buy it: HBO Shop

4. Hodor Door Stop; $12

A 3D-printed Hodor door stop, inspired by 'Game of Thrones'

3D Cauldron, Amazon

An important part of being a Game of Thrones fan is accepting that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have no problem killing off your favorite characters, often in brutal ways. One of the series’ most memorable deaths was that of Hodor, Bran Stark’s personal mode of transport, who we loved despite the fact that the only word he ever uttered for six seasons was “Hodor”—and who we loved even more when, in the final moments of his life, we learned why that was the case. Pay tribute to the gentle giant, and his backstory, with this 3D-printed door stop.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Tarot Card Deck; $25

A 'Game of Thrones' tarot card deck, from Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books, Amazon

Channel your inner Maggy the Frog and see what the future holds for you and your loved ones (your enemies, too, if the mood strikes you) with Chronicle Books’s gorgeously packaged tarot card deck. The tarot tradition and Game of Thrones mythology blend seamlessly together in this box of goodies, which includes an instruction book and illustrated cards featuring your favorite characters and most beloved scenes from the show.

Buy it: Amazon or Chronicle Books

6. Fire and Blood Candle; $12

Mad Queen or not, show that you still stand behind the Mother of Dragons by filling your home with this House Targaryen-inspired votive candle. Best of all: Just wait to see the look on the faces of your guests when they ask “Mmmm … what’s that smell?” If you’d prefer not to answer with “fire and blood—doesn’t it smell delicious?,” there are other scents available: one called "Moon of My Life My Sun and Stars," another called "Be a Dragon," and one inspired by the Iron Throne itself (which must smell like victory).

Buy it: HBO Shop

7. Clue: Game of Thrones; $50

Margaery Tyrell with the battle axe in Cersei’s bedchambers. Rewrite the rules—and brutal deaths—of Game of Thrones with this special edition of the classic board game, which tasks you with figuring out who murdered whom, using what weapon, and where the incident took place. A double-sided playing board lets you choose whether you want to set the game in The Red Keep or Meereen.

Buy it: HBO Shop or BoxLunch

8. Game of Thrones Monopoly; $24

'Game of Thrones Monopoly' game board

Hasbro, Amazon

Who wants to be the Lord or Lady of Winterfell when you can become the preeminent real estate mogul of all the Seven Kingdoms? This special-edition Monopoly board puts a distinctly Westerosian twist on the classic game, with silver tokens to represent the sigils of each of the main houses and a card holder that plays the series’ haunting score whenever you press it.

Buy it: Amazon or Best Buy

9. House Stark Hoodie; $60

If you really wanted to dress like a Stark, you’d have a master blacksmith on hand to help customize your armor—or at least turn your IKEA rug into a luxurious cape. If you’re far less crafty, there’s always this full-zip hoodie featuring an embroidered direwolf on the front and an outlined illustration of the same on the back. The minimalist design is a way to show your fandom in a way that, to the untrained eye, might just look like you’re a fan of wolves. But the rest of us will know better. And approve.

Buy it: ThinkGeek

10. Deluxe Iron Throne Funko Pop! Set; $130

Funko's Iron Throne Pop! set of five

Funko, HBO Shop

Though it seems unlikely that a few of these characters will ever sit on the Iron Throne (either because they’re dead or have gone mad), a fan can always hope. And buying them as part of this five-piece set is an easy way to collect them all. If you don’t see your favorite character here, Amazon has got plenty more squat-headed figures to choose from, including Arya, Brienne of Tarth, Rhaegal (poor Rhaegal), and Ghost (poor Ghost). If you ever happen upon a headless Ned Stark Pop!, grab it; this hard-to-find figure can sell for more than $2000 on eBay.

Buy it: HBO Shop

11. Iron Throne Bookend; $60

After devoting more than eight years of your life to seeing Game of Thrones all the way through, maybe it’s you who deserves the Iron Throne. You can’t sit on this 7.5-inch replica, the base of which features sigils from all the noble houses, but you can show off your fancy George R.R. Martin book collection … or all that dragon fan fiction you’ve been working on.

Buy it: Best Buy or the HBO Shop

12. Game of Thrones Music Box; $13

'Game of Thrones' music box

Shenzhen Youtang Trade Co., Amazon

Channel your inner Arya by psyching yourself up with the iconic Game of Thrones theme song whenever you feel the need to hear it with this hand-cranked music box.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Iron Throne Tankard; $70

Show your guests who's boss at your next dinner party—or raucous feast—as you take your place at the head of the table and guzzle your mead (or giant's milk—we don't judge) from this Iron Throne-themed tankard, completed with sword handle.

Buy it: HBO Shop

14. Game of Thrones Socks; $8

It gets cold in the North. Keep your tootsies warm with this six-pack of stylish ankle-cut socks.

Buy it: Target

15. Living Language Dothraki; $16

A copy of the Living Language Dothraki language course

Living Language, Amazon

By now, you've surely learned at least a handful of common Dothraki words and phrases. But if you wan to become fluent in the (fictional) language, this language course is one way to do it. Now: Finne zhavvorsa anni?

Buy it: Amazon

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