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Small Details You Missed In Impractical Jokers: The Movie

Since 2011, the boys of Impractical Jokers have produced dozens of hours of self-humiliating improv cringe comedy, amassing a cult of loyal viewers in the process. Nine years and multiple world tours after their debut, Brian "Q" Quinn, James "Murr" Murray, Sal "Ja'Crispy" Vulcano and Joe Gatto are now appearing in theaters in Impractical Jokers: The Movie. It's part reality, part fiction, and altogether strange. But it's also the culmination of everything the comedy troupe has ever wanted.

After over 200 episodes, the show has organically created a pretty large number of running gags, many of which inevitably found their way to the big screen. Loyal viewers probably caught most of these weird and obscure references to the show and its long history, but here are a few dives into Impractical Jokers history, both shallow and deep, in case you missed them.


Even casual viewers of Impractical Jokers know that the show focuses almost entirely on its four charming stars who have known each other since childhood, but fans truly in the know understand that The Tenderloins, as the quartet is sometimes known, have a fifth member, and his name is Larry.

Often screamed at, but never seen, Larry is the go-to name for a guy who always seems to be missing. He's to blame for the circumstances surrounding a number of challenges, and even though nobody knows what he actually looks like, or where to find him, his presence is known. First mentioned in season one, the concept of "Larry" is based on a real member of the crew who's apparently so kind and soft-spoken that it's ironically hilarious to shout at him. Larry makes his latest non-appearance twice in The Movie.

Larry's first non-cameo is a reference found on Q's license plates, which read LRY G8VP. The second time Larry is mentioned is after the group feints their way past security at a Paula Abdul concert... by pretending to be even higher-level security. Just as they sneak through the doors, Q announces on a walkie talkie that they've taken the arena. The response from the other end? "Where's Larry?" Not coincidentally, that was also the name of their 2015 tour.

Not quite Staten Island

The entire setup of Impractical Jokers : The Movie takes place on Staten Island in 1992, depicting an imaginary scenario involving a Paula Abdul concert that the Jokers experienced in their later teens. While the teenage Jokers are played, rather amusingly, by their aging selves in the film, their Staten Island isn't all it seems.

Director Chris Henchy revealed in an interview with SI Live that it was prohibitively expensive to film in Staten Island itself, and had to resort to finding streets in cheaper locations that were simply Staten Island-ish. Fortunately, the scenes that were shot authentically feature some of the Jokers' most iconic locations. During these moments, you'll spot Monsignor Farrell High School, where the boys all went to school together, and later returned for a lie detector punishment focused on Murr. You'll also see Ladder Co. 86, where Q once served as a firefighter before moving on to become a TV big shot.

Calling the ballbag

It's a word that basically means nothing and everything, but when the boys are excitedly discussing the nature of having exceptional testicular fortitude, and a willingness to face unpleasant and difficult situations head on, the word "ballbag" is thrown around a lot.

Sure, it's kinda funny on its surface, but it's also a distinct callback to one specific Impractical Jokers episode, where it makes its one and only memorable appearance. While acting as wall climbing instructors during a challenge appropriately called "Repeat After Me," each one of the Jokers must get their wall-climbing student to repeat a bizarre phrase or word given to them by the other Jokers. While Murr tried and failed to have his student repeat "I'm going to die!" and Q also failed to get his student to repeat "lumpenproletariat," Joe succeeded in getting his student to repeat "ballbag" not once, but twice.

The return of Stanley Merkel

While you'd expect the Jokers' many recurring characters to make appearances in their big screen debut, only a single callback to a previous persona could be found. It wasn't Tony Gunk, Q's weirdly overconfident private eye, and it wasn't Joe's Captain Fatbelly — both of whom are so beloved that they got their own action figures. Instead, it was Murr's quiet and strange Stanley Merkel, who originated as the winning costume in a "creep-off" competition filmed by the Jokers for their 2016 Santiago Sent Us tour.

Not happy to just leave the overly gentle, nerdy man in a video clip only seen by tour attendees, Murr brought the character back for the TV show, during a costume change competition in which the Jokers had to return to the same receptionist multiple times without getting recognized, accomplished through the aid of ridiculous costumes. Stanley returned once again in Impractical Jokers: The Movie as a random stranger who shows up to sit on Santa's lap in the middle of a shopping mall during the summer. Santa, of course, is played by Sal.

Prussian Kissing Devil

The Jokers are known to wear shirts that promote their own personal interests on the Impractical Jokers TV show. Joe often wears a shirt that says "Be Kind" as part of his involvement in anti-bullying campaigns, and Sal seems to never take off his Wu-Tang tee.

And while Q can often be seen wearing shirts that refer to his various pop culture loves like Rick and Morty, many of his shirts also refer to his podcast, Tell 'Em Steve Dave, which he runs with Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson of Comic Book Men fame. In Impractical Jokers: The Movie, it's an especially deep cut into TESD lore: a shirt that says "Prussian Kissing Devil," which was discussed in depth during the 313th episode of the podcast. Allegedly, the Prussian Kissing Devil was a strange sculptural head that Q attempted to buy during his Thanksgiving break in rural Pennsylvania with his family. Strangeness ensued, and the head found its way into TESD lore, and eventually onto a t-shirt.

Raising Kane

The Jokers have attracted a pretty impressive celebrity following, and their famous fanbase appears on their TV show often. Celebrities they've been fans of since their own childhoods make appearances on Impractical Jokers pretty regularly, and they're hard to miss, from Rosie O'Donnell, to Danica McKellar, to Gary Busey's multiple strange skits. In Impractical Jokers: The Movie, however, things get weird. While the boys play semi-fictionalized versions of themselves, their real-life friends are employed as some of the characters that surround them.

Strangest is Casey Jost, a producer of the show and host of Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes, who appears here as Sam, a close companion, or possibly handler, of Paula Abdul. He's easy to spot. Not quite as easy to spot is Kane Hodder, the hulking actor who plays Paula Abdul's bodyguard later in the movie. He's also one of the actors who's played Jason in the Friday the 13th series, and it's probably no coincidence. It's well known that Q is a huge fan of horror, even wearing a Friday the 13th hoodie during some challenges.

Sal vs. the hotel

It's an easy joke, but while the Jokers are checking into their last hotel of the movie, Sal finds himself locked out of his room. It's part of a long, long legacy of Sal being miserable while on tour in less-than-awesome hotels, as seen most prominently in the Practically Live special, and mentioned more than a few times in Sal's stand-up routine.

During the Jokers' live shows, Joe has taken credit for tampering with Sal's hotel room numerous times, making Sal's experiences even worse. The most terrifying tale involves Joe using the bathroom, not flushing, and running the hot shower on full blast, so that the effects of Joe's evacuated bowels are inescapable throughout the steamy hotel room. It's an especially heinous situation for a proven germaphobe. Sal also runs an Instagram account which is very populated with photos from the unpleasant rooms he stays in while on tour, which are generally hideous views out onto neighboring rooftops.

Employee of the month

While most of the Jokers' parents have appeared in multiple episodes (as well as the Jokers' movie) in various capacities, Joe Gatto's parents never showed up for one simple reason: they've both passed away. Fortunately, it's a subject that Joe can still joke about in multiple episodes. During one waiting room challenge, where the Jokers all have to get each other to laugh in order to achieve victory, Joe indicates that he's leaving to go retrieve his parents. He returns with a pair of plastic skeletons.

In what's perhaps the most touching hidden detail in the entire movie, Joe brought his mother back one more time. In a June 2019 Instagram post, he revealed that he used his late mother's picture on an Employee of the Month plaque hidden in the movie.