In Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Tara Reid watches a shiver of sharks attack a NASA rocket. "How can they survive in space?" she screams. Ian Ziering's character, aptly named Fin, brings up a good point: "How could they survive in a tornado?"
If you thought SyFy's cheesy franchise couldn't get more absurd, this weekend's Sharknado: The 4th Awakens came to prove it could be delightfully dumber and even more painfully addicting. There were pop culture references and throwbacks galore, several more chainsaws, and an almost innumerable variety of destructive tornadoes. Below, a recap of the most ridiculous highlights from the latest chapter in this breathtaking saga:
(Warning: Substantial spoilers for the Sharknado movies, especially The 4th Awakens, follow.)
Lil' Gil thought his mom was a shark
At the very end of Oh Hell No!, space debris (kinda) crushed April (Reid). Fin's (Ziering) newborn son emerged from the shark that swallowed them whole without seeing or meeting his mother. In The 4th Awakens, set five years later, Lil' Gil, now a bit grown up, legit thought his mom was that shark. It was the dumbest and most heartbreaking part of the entire movie, but it set up a nice surprise.
Carrot Top played Fin's Uber Driver
As is tradition, there were plenty of celebrity cameos, including Erika Girardi, Seth Rollins, and David Faustino. One of the first, and most memorable, was Scott Thompson, aka Carrot Top. The redheaded stand-up's appearance is brief, but he's around long enough to make half a dozen Vegas jokes -- and a drunk driving one.
A Chippendales dancer subdued a shark with his penis
Real thing that happened.
Matt had a parachute wedding
Well, he tried. Gone are the days when Charles Hittinger played Fin's elder son. Last night it was Hannah Montana's Cody Linley, and Dr. Drew officiated his airborne nuptials before everybody almost died on the family Vegas meet-up.
Fin went surfing with his car, I think?
At one point, pro surfer-turned-national 'nado whisperer Fin used the doors of a plummeting car to maneuver himself and his daughter-in-law (Imani Hakim) from the top of a casino onto a neon twister. Then he drove the car down said twister and onto the street in perfect timing. Then everyone watching said, Cool... wait, what?
"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
You bet this was a real quote from the movie.
Fin commandeered the boat from the Treasure Island hotel
And used the helm as a giant shuriken after crashing into a "sharkberg." Other iconic Vegas victims included the Stratosphere, the Bellagio -- whose water show became a game of whack-a-shark -- and the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign (R.I.P.).
Gary Busey turned Tara Reid into Iron Woman
This time around April became a cross between Iron Woman, the Bionic Woman, and Inspector Gadget. Turns out she survived Oh Hell No!, and her dad (Busey) made her full cyborg, complete with Terminator quotes and slightly better parenting skills.
They blew up the Grand Canyon?
Comedian Tommy Davidson played the forward-thinking billionaire in charge of something called Astro-X, the massive tech company positioned at the forefront of this movie's "plot" that uses revolutionary energy systems to manipulate the atmosphere and prevent vortexes. Anyway, in one scene, he blew up Arizona's national park to stop a massive flood. See ya.
There was so much f*cking Google Glass
So all the Astro-X employees could provide 'nado updates via Google Plus. Just kidding, but if you ever wondered what happened to this lost piece of tech, look no further.
The Gary The Shark commercials were surreal and outstanding
Amid the wild 4th Awakens set pieces, SyFy gave viewers a string of Total Wireless spots that chronicled the evolution of a Sharknado villain-turned-good guy. (Watch one above, and more here.) Inspiring, right?
There were so many new 'nadoes
Gilbert Gottfried played a stormchaser who summed the widespread variety up best: "The storm has been rushing through Texas; it hit an oil field, creating an oilnado; the oilnado exploded, creating a firenado; the firenado hit an electrical plant, creating a lightningnado." There were also bouldernadoes, sandnadoes, cownadoes, hailnadoes, lavanadoes, and, at the very end, a nuclearnado, the biggest and baddest yet.
"It wouldn't be Texas without a chainsaw massacre."
Another real quote -- declared by Caroline Williams, of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 fame, while standing next to Dog the Bounty Hunter. (Cartman not included.)
There was a Lavalantula crossover
Steve Guttenberg, from one of SyFy's other infamous sagas, dropped by to donate a special car at one point. The implications of this are great: is there really a SyFy cinematic universe? Will there one day be a Lavalantulanado, starring Kobe Bryant for some reason? One hopes, one prays.
Letterman's old pal Paul Shaffer was looking for work
If anybody knows of any jobs.
There were finally a ton of Wizard of Oz references
This movie, which took place all over Tornado Alley after a surprise sandstorm picked up sharks and moved east from Vegas, was full of them. Yes, they squeeze in Dorothy's "Kansas" quote. There was also a yellow-brick-road shout-out. And most elaborate of all, Stacey Dash showed up as the Wicked Mayor of Chicago to die under a house after calling Chicago a state.
A whale swallowed a bunch of sharks that swallowed Fin and his crazy mech suit
For Shepards, life comes at you fast.
There was a shark defibrillator
Nova showed up riding the Eiffel Tower like a hoverboard
Audiences might have missed Cassie Scerbo's character since she was away in France. But she capped Sharknado 4, after the nukenado had been cooled, with the best teaser possible: looks like there's room for another sequel! Maybe it'll be in Paris, to finally quench director Anthony C. Ferrante's desire for a more foreign location? Like Lil Wayne, who will hopefully be in one of these soon, once said, Life's a beach, he's just playin' in the sand.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.