The movie begins with Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) standing in front of his Preston, Idaho home, waiting for the bus to take him to high school. He's dressed in a t-shirt and jeans with worn-out moon boots that he wears throughout the movie. As the bus pulls up, he lets out a long sigh. Napoleon is the only high school student on a bus full of little kids. He sits in the back and one of the kids asks him what he's going to do today. "Whatever I feel like doing, Gosh!" He then pulls an action figure tied to some fishing line from his binder, throws it out the window while holding the fishing line and proceeds to watch as the figure bounces along behind the bus.
At school, Napoleon has to give a current event. "Last week, Japanese scientists placed explosives at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water," he begins. He then explains how Nessie (our underwater ally) was saved by the Nessie alliance and Scotland's local wizards. After telling the jocks in gym class that he spent last summer hunting wolverines in Alaska, a bully beats him up. He heads to the nurse's office: "Hey, could I use your guys's phone for a sec". "Is there anything wrong?" "I don't feel very good." Napoleon calls home and the phone is answered by his wimpy 32 year old brother Kip (Aaron Ruell). "Is Grandma there?" "No, she's getting her hair done." "Will you do me a favor then? Can you bring me my chapstick?" "No, Napoleon". "But my lips hurt real bad!" Kip hangs up. "Idiot!" says Napoleon.
Next, Napoleon sees the principal talking to Pedro Sanchez (Efren Ramirez). "Hey, is that a new kid or something?" Napoleon takes Pedro to his locker. He asks if Pedro rides the bus to school. "No, I ride my bike". "What kind of bike is it?" "It's a sledgehammer." "Dang!" Pedro shows Napoleon his bike, complete with shocks and pegs. "Lucky!" says Napoleon, "Do you ever take it off any sweet jumps?" We next see Pedro taking the bike off a small homemade jump. "You got like 3 feet of air that time," says Napoleon. "Can I try it really quick?" Napoleon then attempts the jump and crashes painfully.
Back at home, Grandma asks Napoleon how school was. "Worst day of my life, what do you think?" Grandma tells Napoleon and Kip she is leaving and will be back the next day. Napoleon accuses Kip of eating all the chips. "Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day, besides, we both know I'm training to become a cage fighter". "Since when, Kip, you have the worst reflexes of all time." "Try and hit me Napoleon". "Such an idiot!" says Napoleon. Napoleon tries to hit Kip and Kip blocks him. The doorbell rings. "I'll go get it says Napoleon." As he turns towards the door, he slaps the unsuspecting Kip upside the head.
At the door is Deb (Tina Majorino). She hands Napoleon a photo of a blonde woman and asks "Would you like to look like this?" "This is a girl" says Napoleon. Deb says she's offering a discount on "glamour shots". She then offers some homemade handicrafts. "Would you like some boondoggle keychains? A must for this season's fashion." "I already made like infinity of those at scout camp," says Napoleon. Deb asks if anyone else is home because she is trying to earn money for college. Kip says, "your mom goes to college" and Deb runs off embarassed, leaving all her stuff on Napoleon's porch. Meanwhile, Kip was watching TV and saw an add for a free lesson from Rex Kwon Do's self defense. Napoleon goes to feed Tina (the Llama). When he gets back, Kip asks Napoleon to pull him into town. Napoleon gets on his 10-speed and pulls Kip who is wearing roller blades. They go to a free Rex Kwon Do lesson. Rex asks for a volunteer and proceeds to beat up on Kip and insult Napoleon. It's 300 dollars for an 8 week course. "That place was a rip-off," says Kip as Napoleon pulls him home.
The next day, Napoleon packs up Deb's stuff to take to school. As he's waiting for the bus, their friend Lyle shows up because Grandma told him they were running out of steak. He shoots a cow point blank just as the bus with all the little kids on it pulls up. At school, Napoleon is part of the "Happy Hands Club", a sign-language club and they are performing a sign-language version of "The Rose". It kind of defies description--you just have to see it. At lunch, Napoleon is talking to Pedro. He asks Pedro if he's going to eat his "tots". Pedro says no. Napoleon takes Pedro's tots and puts them in his pocket. He then points to Deb and asks Pedro, "Do you dare me to go talk to her?" "Sure" says Pedro. Napoleon goes over to Deb. "I see you're drinking 1%. Is that because you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to. Well, I have all your equipment in my locker. You should probably come get it because I can't fit my numchucks in there anymore." Napoleon gives Deb back her stuff and she gives him one of her boondoggle keychains. Later, in class, Napoleon reaches into his pocket and starts eating one of the tots. The bully says, "Napoleon, give me some of your tots." "No, go find your own," says Napoleon. "Come on, give me some of your tots." "No, I didn't get to eat anything today." The bully kicks his pocket and ruins the tots. "Gross!" says Napoleon.
At gym, Napoleon asks Pedro if he's met anyone to ask to the dance. He says he's going to ask Summer Wheatley (Haylie Duff). "How the heck are you going to do that?" asks Napoleon. "I'll build her a cake or something". Next we see Grandma who is riding a 4-wheeler at the sand dunes. She goes over a bump and crashes. Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) gets a call on his cell phone. Grandma broke her coccyx and asks him to watch Napoleon and Kip. As Napoleon is feeding Tina ("Tina! Come get some ham!"), Rico drives up in his van. Napoleon isn't happy to see him but Kip doesn't seem to mind. Rico asks them if they want to see his video. He's been taking videos of himself pretending to be quarterback and throwing footballs. "What do you think," he asks. "It's pretty cool, I guess," says Kip. "This is pretty much the worst video ever made," says Napoleon.
Rico and Kip are having lunch at a diner. Kip asks him if he and Tami are still together. "No," says Rico. "She's jealous--says I'm living too much in '82--I dumped her." Kip tells Rico about his girlfriend, LaFawnduh, that he met online. "We chat a couple of hours a day, so I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious." Kip then adds that she has sandy blonde hair and a nice face, but he's "T.O.'ed" because she hasn't sent him a full body shot yet. Rico then tells Kip he has a plan to make some "mula" selling tupperware. "That sounds pretty good," says Kip.
We cut to Napoleon and Pedro hiding in the grass across from Summer's house. "Go for it," says Napoleon. Pedro runs across the street and deposits a cake which says "Pedro "heart" Summer" on it. He rings the doorbell and then he and Napoleon escape on Pedro's sledgehammer. Summer comes out and gets the cake. Back at the Dynamite house, Kip and Rico are talking and eating steaks. Rico says that if the coach had put him in back in '82, they would have taken state. Back then, he says, he could throw a pigskin a quarter mile. Just then, Napoleon and Pedro ride up. "Watch this," says Rico. He grabs Kip's steak and nails Napoleon right in the face with it. "What are you doing?" yells Napoleon. "That's what I'm talking about," says Kip. Rico says he wishes he could go back. He asks Kip if he's ever run across time travel on the internet. "Easy," says Kip, "I've already looked into it for myself."
The next day, Napoleon is playing tetherball, trying to impress the chicks. Summer comes over and asks if Pedro is around. Napoleon hasn't seen him. "Could you give him this," she says, handing him a piece of paper. Napoleon asks summer if she wants to play him. She shakes her head. He opens up the piece of paper and it says "No!" After school, Napoleon is drawing in his notebook while sitting on the steps waiting for a ride. Deb sits next to him and asks him what he's drawing. "A Liger." "What's a Liger?" "It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed." Meanwhile, Kip and Rico are planning their business strategy. They go to a bowling alley (Kip has bumpers on his turn). Rico says they need to get photos to make them look official. We next see them at Deb's photo studio. She has Rico sit down, ease his fist under his chin, and then imagine he's weightless surrounded by tiny little seahorses. "This is looking really good," says Deb. "You can say that again," says Kip.
Back at school, Napoleon asks Pedro where he's been. "I was sick," he says. Napoleon tells Pedro that Summer said no. "What about that other girl?" asks Pedro. "What other girl?" "The one who left all that crap on your porch." "You mean Deb?" "Yes. I asked her too." "What!?" says Napoleon. Deb comes in and hands Pedro a note that says "Yes!" "Well no one's going to go with me," says Napoleon. "Did you ask anyone," says Pedro? "No, but who would? I don't even have any good skills." "What do you mean?" "You know, like numchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." "Aren't you pretty good at drawing animals and warriors?" "Pretty much the best that I know of," says Napoleon. "Why don't you draw a picture of the girl you want to ask and give it to her for a present or something?" "That's a pretty good idea."
Back at home, Napoleon gets out a yearbook and draws a very unflattering picture of Trisha Stevens. He then takes it over to her house and gives it to her mother. Uncle Rico is there making a tupperware sale. He tells Trisha's mother that Napoleon gets beat up and still wets the bed. Trisha is horrified when she sees the picture, but her mother forces her to go to the dance with Napoleon. Back at Napoleon's house, Napoleon has Kip in a headlock, and asks him what the heck Uncle Rico was doing at his "girlfriend's" house. "I'm making some sweet mula with Uncle Rico," says Kip. Uncle Rico gets home and they brag to him about how much money they're making. "It looks like you don't have a job," Rico says to Napoleon.
We next see Napoleon with three other kids at a farmhouse. They're asked to move hundreds of hens into new cages. Afterwards, they have sandwiches and egg-juice. Napoleon gags on the egg-juice. At home, he's counting his money with Pedro. "Six dollars. That's like a dollar an hour." He gets a call from Trisha saying she can go with him to the dance. "Who was that," asks Pedro. "My woman I'm taking to the dance," says Napoleon. "You should probably get a suit," says Pedro. Cut to Pedro and Napoleon staring at a reddish-brown polyester suit. "What do you think of that one?" asks Napoleon. "It's nice," says Pedro. "Yeah, it's pretty sweet," says Napoloen. "It's incredible. It's awesome." Next scene shows Napoleon walking proudly down the street in his new suit. He asks Uncle Rico for a ride to the dance. Rico has to make a delivery first. Napoleon waits in the car while Rico goes to finalize the sale. They're at a little house in the middle of nowhere. Rico doesn't come back for a long time. Finally, Napoleon gets out and runs off down the road. It's five minutes before he's supposed to pick up Trisha. Fortunately, along come Pedro's cousins. They're big tough-looking guys in a jacked-up convertable. They take Napoleon and Trisha to the dance.
At the dance ("Forever Young" by Alphaville playing in the background), Napoleon goes to the bathroom and Trisha leaves with Summer and her date, ditching Napoleon. When Napoleon gets back, he sees Pedro and Deb. "Are you guys having a killer time?" he asks. Pedro lets Napoleon dance with Deb. They dance to "Time after Time" by Cyndi Lauper. "Are you and Pedro getting really serious?" asks Napoleon. "No, we're just friends." She tells Napoleon she could do a personal glamor shot for him sometime if he wants. At the dance, Pedro sees a sign advertising elections for class president. The next day, he asks Napoleon if he thinks people will vote for him. "Heck yes, I'd vote for you." "Like, what are my skills?" "Well, you have a sweet bike, and you're really good at hooking up with chicks, and you're the only guy in school with a mustache." "That's true," says Pedro. "If I can win, you can be my secretary." "Sweet!" says Napoleon.
Next, Pedro and Napoleon are competing in a Future Farmers of America competition. Napoleon correctly identifies one glass of milk as containing bleach and another as coming from a cow that got into an onion patch. He wins a medal. So does Pedro. Later, Pedro and Napoleon are watching as Summer Wheatley hands out flyers advertising "Summer for president". Pedro is feeling hot and goes home. Summer's boyfriend Don comes up to Napoleon and asks him to vote for Summer. Napoleon says he's voting for Pedro. He then asks Don for one of his "Vote for summer" buttons. Napoleon throws the button down the hallway and runs off. After school, Napoleon visits Pedro. Pedro was so hot that he shaved all his hair off. They go see Deb who has some wigs. Napoleon and Deb both reach for the same wig at the same time and their hands touch briefly. Napoleon pulls his hand away and says sorry.
Back at Napoleon's house, there's a strange contraption on the table. It's a time machine Rico and Kip ordered online. Napoleon tries it out. He has to stick a big metal rod between his legs. When he turns it on, it practically electrocutes him. "It's a piece of crap. It doesn't work," says Napoleon. "I could have told you that," says Rico who emerges from the other room wincing from the pain in his groin. Rico and Napoleon go to the store and Rico embarasses him in front of Summer Wheatley who works there as a clerk, telling Napoleon to go pick up some diapers for him and his brother.
The next day, Napoleon and Pedro arrive early at school. Napoleon is wearing a "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt. They put "Vote for Pedro" flyers all over the school, on top of Summer's flyers. They pass out Deb's boondoggle keychains to arriving students. Napoleon sees a scrawny kid getting beat up by the bully. He goes over and gives him a keychain, saying "Pedro offers you his protection." We next see the scrawny kid getting his bike when the bully tries to take it from him. Pedro's cousins pull up in their car with "Vote 4 Pedro" newly painted on the door. They give the bully the evil eye and the bully runs away.
We then see a bunch of students hitting a pinata that looks like Summer Wheatley. Pedro gets called into the principal's office because of the pinata and has to take down his flyers, but he can still run for president. Rico and Kip are back at the diner discussing a new product. Kip says he'll need some time off because Lafawnduh is coming to town.
Kip is waiting at the bus station with a cardboard sign that says "Lafawnduh". He doesn't know what she looks like. A tall shapely black woman steps off the bus, drops her luggage and runs to Kip giving him a big hug and kiss.
We see Rico driving down the street where Trisha and Summer are walking. He hands them some flyers and asks Trisha to give some to her mom. They are for the new product, "Bust Must Plus", herbal breast enhancers.
The next day Napoleon finds his locker plastered with the "Bust Must Plus" flyers. Cut to Rico driving his van when an orange explodes on his windshield. He jumps out of the van to see Napoleon who pelts him with another orange. Rico tackles Napoleon. Napoleon says that everyone at school thinks he's an idiot because of Rico. Napoleon elbows Rico hard in the ribs and then makes his escape, landing face first on the other side of the fence before running off.
Back to Kip and Lafawnduh. They are sharing a milkshake at a picnic table. Lafawnduh winks at Kip and pulls out a gawdy necklace and puts it on him. He slips his foot (still wearing a dirty sock) out of his shoe and starts playing footsie with her under the table. Napoleon is at a goodwill shop. He buys a video, "D-Qwon's Dance Grooves." Meanwhile Uncle Rico goes to Deb's glamour studio and tells her Napoleon told him she'd be interested in Bust Must Plus, handing her a flyer. Back at home, Napoleon puts in the video and the voice asks, "Are you ready to get your groove on?" "Yes," says Napoleon. Napoloen comes to get a drink. He is all sweaty and spills red gatorade on himself. Then he sees Lafawnduh. "Who are you?" he asks. "I'm Lafawnduh. I'm waiting for Kip. Why are you so sweaty?" "I've been practicing ... some dance moves." Lafawnduh throws Napoleon a tape her cousin made. "You might like this," she says. Kip shows up looking ridiculous. He's wearing a black jacket, black doo-rag, and the gawdy necklace. "Lafawnduh is THE best thing that has ever happened to me," he says to Napoleon. "I'm 100% sure that she's my soul mate. Napoleon, I'm sure there's a babe out there for you. Peace out." Napoleon is practicing some more dance moves when the phone rings. It's Deb. She is calling to tell him he's a shallow friend. "What the heck are you even talking about?" yells Napoleon. She tells him she doesn't need herbal enhancements and hangs up. Napoleon runs outside where Rico is videotaping himself throwing footballs again. Napoleon tells him that Grandma just called to tell him to leave because she's sick of him ruining everyone's lives and eating all their steak. Rico says he's not going anywhere. "Get off my property or I'll call the cops on you," says Napoleon. "Go ahead," says Rico. "Maybe I will, Gosh!" says Napoleon. Instead he calls Pedro. "Deb pretty much hates me by now," he says. "Do you have anything to give her?" asks Pedro. "Not unless she likes fish. Have you figured out what you're going to say in your speech tomorrow?" "Yes, but not all of it." "Just tell them if they vote for you all their wildest dreams will come true."
The next day is election day. Napoleon wears his "Vote for Pedro" shirt and has a walkman with Lafawnduh's tape in it. Summer gives her speech first. "Vote for me and it will be summer all year long". Then she does a dance with a few other girls (from the Happy Hands Club) to Backstreet Boys' "Larger than Life". Backstage a woman tells Pedro his skit had better be good. "A flippin' skit? Why didn't anyone tell us about this?" asks Napoleon. Pedro goes to give his speech. He doesn't have much to say. He suggests they have some Holy Santos brought to the school for good luck and that they improve the FFA activities. He then says, "if you vote for me all your wildest dreams will come true." Backstage, Napoleon makes a decision. He gives Lafawnduh's tape to the A/V guy. The principal announces it's time for Pedro's skit. Napoleon goes out on stage. He's alone with his jeans, moonboots, and his "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt. The music starts and Napoleon starts dancing. He's good. In fact he's great. Unfortunately this is another part of the movie that really just defies description. You have to see it. Napoleon dances all over the stage and when the music ends, he runs off. The crowd is silent. Then they all leap to their feet, applauding. Pedro wins the election.
At the end, Napoleon is seen walking across town with something wrapped in aluminum foil. Grandma has returned. Napoleon watches Kip and Lafawnduh get on a bus. He ends up at the school playground playing tetherball. Deb approaches him. "I caught you a delicious bass," says Napoleon. "You wanna play me?" Deb nods and they play a game as we hear "The Promise" (by When in Rome) and the credits roll.
EXTRA SCENE: There's an extra scene that got added after the credits. It starts with the words, "2 months later". We see a wedding. Lyle (the guy who shot the cow) is giving the couple advice, telling them that whenever they have an argument, they should take a walk and all the fresh air will keep them healthy. Then we see the couple. It's Kip and Lafawnduh. Everyone is there except for Napoleon. They take their vows and Kip starts to sing a sappy song that he's written for the occasion. Then we see Napoleon riding up on a horse. He looks like he's out of control. The theme from "The Man from Snowy River" is playing in the background. Napoleon finally gets to the wedding party. "I just finished taming this honeymoon stallion for you guys." Kip and Lafawnduh ride off into the sunset. "Lucky!" says Napoleon.
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