Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things You Only Notice The Second Time You Watch The Hangover

A group of drunk hooligans rampaging through a major city is a comedic plot that's easy to enjoy. In fact, it may sound like a story we've heard many times before, but The Hangover broke all the molds in 2009. In fact, the Todd Phillips film became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, right up until the record was broken a few years later by The Hangover Part II. Plus, it catapulted its stars to elite status, and it showed us all that Mike Tyson's still got it.

However, if it's been a while since your first watch, there are going to be a slew of Hangover moments you probably missed. After all, the hilarity can actually distract from its super efficient script, one that casts a large web of plot points. This adds a great rewatchability factor to The Hangover — a movie that, despite a few outdated moments, continues to make us laugh our butts off. We recommend plunging into the Wolf Pack's shenanigans once again, if not for a good laugh then to keep an eye out for the things you only notice the second time you watch The Hangover.

Warning — there are spoilers below.

There's an enormous amount of foreshadowing in The Hangover

The opening moments of The Hangover feature a disheveled Phil (Bradley Cooper) explaining to his friend's fiance (Sasha Barrese) that the groom and his crew won't be making it to their wedding. It's a slice of foreshadowing, letting us know we're about to watch some serious mistakes get made. The opening scene isn't the only moment that hints at what lies ahead, though. For example, during those fateful rooftop Jager shots, Phil's speech is preceded by a very purposeful moment showing Stu (Ed Helms) propping the roof's door open, and then the camera pans up to a sign that says "door locks behind you."

The foreshadowing is subtle enough to skate by during the first watch but obvious enough to add layers of enjoyment to any rewatch. Rather than feeling like you're being fed spoilers, it makes you excited about what you already know is coming. When we're introduced to Stu and his controlling girlfriend (Rachael Harris), they have a conversation about their disgust with the strip club environment, and the banter is much more hilarious with the knowledge that Stu marries a stripper later. There's also an entire conversation about counting cards, hinting at how they'll be gathering funds to repay Chow (Ken Jeong) later on. The pacing in the conversation between Doug (Justin Bartha) and his father-in-law (Jeffrey Tambor) regarding the Mercedes is another comedic layer that hits harder the second watch when Doug proclaims that he "will be the only person driving this car."

They wouldn't have had enough time to do everything

The Wolf Pack creates a huge ruckus in Sin City, but watching The Hangover again will create a muddled timeline that doesn't seem plausible. There are only so many places you can be and things you can do in one night. Granted, there aren't any clocks in most of the scenes — after all, this is Las Vegas — so the timeline is opaque, but some details shine through brighter on the second watch.

When the gang rolls into Las Vegas, it's during a quick, dazzling montage of the Strip at dusk, and by the time they exit their Mercedes in front of their hotel, it's dark out. (Even in December – the shortest period of daylight in the year – the sun goes down around 6:00 PM for Nevada.) They go into the hotel villa, are ready to take off in 30 minutes (per Phil's instructions), and then head to the roof for shots. By the time their night begins, we can assume it's at least 7:00 PM, and we're giving the guys plenty of wiggle room because we want them to get into as much trouble as possible. 

The following morning, when piecing together the evening, they discover a valet ticket with a timestamp for 5:15 AM. This means most of the debauchery occurred in about a ten-hour window. That's a tall order, especially when you factor in the time spent at the hospital for Phil's head trauma. It's a physical improbability for them to have done everything shown.

They got a live tiger into a casino passed security

After the rooftop toasting session, a time lapse launches us into the following morning where the camera settles on a ragged Stu lying lifeless against the marble floor. There's an obscene amount of questions thrown at us in the next few minutes, with one of the most alarming being the live tiger nestled in their hotel bathroom. Turns out the tiger belongs to a Mr. Mike Tyson, and their punishment for ending up with the cat is a right hook from the champ.

Tyson and his buddies confront them, make it clear that they want their tiger back, and insist it's the Wolf Pack's responsibility to return it. The trio then manage to sneak a sedated tiger back out through the hotel and slowly make their way to Tyson's mansion. However, we can't imagine the crew was in any state to move so tactfully the night before. In a casino, where someone is always watching, it's an absolute miracle they made their way to the villa with a live tiger in tow. And since sneaking the tiger into the hotel casino seems impossible, there seriously may have been divine intervention involved with the crazy evening this group had in Las Vegas. It's either that or a time vortex teleported them and their jungle cat across the casino floor.

No valet on the planet would park a cop car taken from four drunk guys

The creed that's enveloped most of the service industry is "the customer is always right." We respectfully disagree. There are some customers who don't know ranch dressing is finite. There are also customers who roll up in a police car and stumble out, delirious from a lethal amount of alcohol consumption. 

When Phil, Stu, and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) step out to get their car in the morning, they're surprised to learn that the Mercedes is nowhere to be found. Instead, the valet returns with a Las Vegas Police Department issue vehicle, complete with sirens and a nifty loudspeaker. Now, we know Las Vegas is loosey-goosey when it comes to public disturbances, but we're fairly certain the line is drawn at stealing police cars. We can't imagine a valet on the planet who would've parked that squad car in the hotel garage. Or perhaps the crew happened upon a fresh-faced employee with a naivety to the world about him, and the morning crew didn't see any issues with some officers spending the night in a hotel with their work vehicle parked outside. Either way, our protagonists made it a fair distance before the inept owners of the police car caught up with them.

Bradley Cooper's tiger claw injury is way too tasteful

In order to get the tiger back to Mike Tyson and his cozy tiger-bed, the gang sneaks the animal out through the lobby and places him in the backseat of the Mercedes. It appears that five roofies won't keep several hundred pounds of jungle fury sedated for long because part way through their journey back to Tyson's palace, it awakens from its slumber. A giant paw reaches forward and claws Phil on the neck before the car screeches to a halt and the crew falls out onto the asphalt. Considering all the loose threads created, The Hangover does a great job of avoiding continuity errors, so the rest of the movie shows Phil with claw marks on his neck where he was mauled. 

We didn't notice during our first viewing, but the second time around, those claw marks look remarkably tasteful. It's as though Phil got swiped by a husky house cat. Even a small tiger can have claws that reach lengths of 4 inches. Realistically, a sideswipe from a tiger paw should've lacerated Phil's neck much more severely. Of course, we have to admit, it's a good look. But the list is small when it comes to what doesn't look good on Bradley Cooper.

There was no room left in the cop car when they took the tiger

After Alan recovers from a devastating right hook from Mike Tyson, the crew springs in action to return his precious cat. They first sedate the tiger and then manage to get it into the backseat of the Mercedes. It's no surprise that it takes up the entire back seat — it's the world's biggest cat. And Alan, Stu, and Phil are all squeezed together in front during the first part of their transport. That image helps drive home the implausibility of how they got the tiger to the hotel in the first place. After all, they were in the cop car when the initially grabbed the tiger, and those patrol cars aren't known for their roomy interiors.

The security footage they watch at Mike Tyson's house doesn't help the cause. You can see the tiger taking up the entire back seat of the cop car. There wouldn't have been enough room left in the vehicle, especially considering they still had Doug with them at this point. All four of those goofballs couldn't have possibly squeezed together in the front seat. 

Mr. Chow settled the purse-satchel debate

It may not be your style, but you can't deny that Alan is a trendsetter. He isn't afraid to stand firm on his choices, however bold they may be. It ruffles some feathers as the night begins, though. The mischievous foursome don their most dapper attire for their night in Vegas. Stu even goes as far as placing a blazer over his faded polo shirt. It's a good look but fails to match the sexual appeal of Alan and his "man-purse." The accessory is a source of controversy, and Alan stands proud against Phil's barratement, proclaiming, "It's not a man-purse, it's called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one." A noble hill to die on.

Not everyone in The Hangover agrees with Alan's sentiment, though. A disastrous mix-up occurs when his satchel is swapped with Mr. Chow's identical bag, which is filled with casino chips. You may have stepped out of your first viewing with your own stance, but if you watch again, you'll realize that Mr. Chow firmly ends the debate in his opening dialogue. When Alan proclaims, "It's not a purse, it's a satchel!" Chow stares him dead in the eyes and declares, "It's a purse!" We respect Alan's tenacity, but we're going to let the final say on this matter go to the maniacal, globetrotting renegade with an armed posse behind him.

Director Todd Phillips cameos in The Hangover

Todd Phillips is a director with a career trajectory any Hollywood mogul would envy. Long before he took the reins on 2019's Joker, he broke out of his humble documentarian beginnings when he directed the hilarious Road Trip. Phillips' career really took off with the success of Old School, where he cameoed as the man who arrives at Mitch's (Luke Wilson) house to meet up with his wife for an orgy. The director has cameoed in a few of his other films, as well, and The Hangover is one of them.

Moments after Alan defends his stance on his satchel, the gang steps into an elevator where a creepy man yanked out of a '70s porno quickly removes himself from a sexually promiscuous situation to face forward. That creepy man is Todd Phillips himself. The camera places him dead center on the screen for a few seconds and makes you feel like this is a character who will come into play later, but he never does. It's a humble cameo serving as nothing more than to raise questions that don't need to be raised. However, Phillips reprised this cameo role in The Hangover 3 for a few seconds during a scene involving Mr. Chow parachuting passed a hotel window. 

The Hangover gets started thanks to one minor decision

As the Wolf Pack navigates a hangover sent by Hades himself, they stumble across a seemingly endless list of problems they've created. Fumbling from one oblivious moment to the next creates a majority of the turmoil driving The Hangover's plot forward. The trio exit the hotel to find the police car, then the mattress impaled on a statue, and they go on to the hospital where more bread crumbs are discovered. Let's not forget about Jade (Heather Graham), though, and how a simple decision led to the creation of way more problems than necessary.

Stu wakes up on the hotel floor to the sound of a door shutting behind him. (That makes us wonder how Jade "curled up next to Stu" after her shift, but that's not the point!) The hotel door was shut by Jade on her way to get the gang some morning coffee. If they'd remained in the hotel room for even 15 minutes, then most of the movie wouldn't have happened. Jade would've returned with coffee and been able to fill in most of the memory gaps. They may have even found Doug quicker. Where's the fun in that, though? Plus, hangover mode isn't the time when we do our best critical thinking.

They never put Armor All on the tires of the Mercedes

When Doug's father-in-law, Sid, discovers the group is planning on driving to Las Vegas in a Prius, he reels in disgust, which is understandable when the other option presents itself. The father of the bride offers an alternative mode of transportation in the form of his vintage Mercedes — a glowing, silver beacon of wealth. He attempts to be nonchalant about the car's sentimental value, but his instructions make it clear this car means a lot to him. "Just make sure you put some Armor All on the tires," he instructs Doug. It's safe to say that by the end of this whole ordeal, the crew definitely did not put Armor All on the tires. 

We didn't even notice the first time, but it's bonkers to assume that Sid never sees the damage done to the Mercedes. Even if the car was given to Doug as a wedding gift, there's no chance anyone missed noticing the haggard car at any point. It feels lazy, but in fairness, anything else would open up a huge can of worms. The whole ordeal is winding down by this time anyway, and everyone involved is tired. Let's chalk this one up to blind luck, which is something the Wolf Pack has in spades.