- Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Joanne Sellar
- Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Genres: Drama
- Actors: John C Reilly, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, April Grace, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H Macy, Alfred Molina, Jason Robards, Melora Walters
In an introduction three events are described (by an uncredited Ricky Jay) showing coincidences. The events, which are well-known urban legends in the universe of the film, are as follows:
Forthright police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance at the home of a woman named Marcie (Cleo King). He finds a body in her closet, but when the other police officers arrive they pay little attention to his report on the situation. A young boy, Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) offers to help Jim with the case by performing a self-penned rap. Dixon claims that in the words of the rap he told Jim who committed the murder, but, thinking the boy is just joking, Jim ignores him.
Former TV producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is in the final stages of cancer, and is being cared for by a nurse, Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his young trophy wife Linda (Julianne Moore) is out collecting prescriptions for a strong dose of liquid morphine that will end his pain. Earl mentions to Phil that he has an estranged son and asks him to find him, saying his name is Frank Mackey. Phil, aware that Mackey is the author of the “Seduce And Destroy” self-help system for men, orders in some pornographic magazines, hoping to find a phone number for his self-help system in there. Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) is giving a seminar to an audience of men, instructing them how they can manipulate women into “sleeping” with them. As his seminar breaks for lunch, a reporter named Gwenovier (April Grace) takes him aside to interview him. He is initially very confident in his interview, but tells Gwenovier that his father is dead.
Just then, frogs suddenly start to rain from the sky. As Rose drives through the rain of frogs, she crashes her car outside Claudia’s apartment and runs in fear to a reconciliation with her daughter. As Jimmy is about to kill himself, the frogs fall through his skylight and cause him instead to shoot the TV, meaning his house begins to catch fire – whether he survives is never made clear (though in the original script, his body is later seen being removed from the house). The frogs cause Donnie to fall from the pole, smashing his teeth, eliminating his need for braces. The rain of frogs abruptly ceases with a final incongruous object – Jim’s gun falls from the sky and lands right in front of him. Jim helps Donnie replace the money and to forgive himself – Jim chooses to act in forgiveness, rather than in duty, which would have compelled him to arrest Donnie. Having been given the liquid morphine by Phil, Earl dies as Frank watches (the two of them perhaps finally reconciled). Frank then goes to the hospital to see Linda, who is making a gradual recovery. Stanley goes to his father and tells him that he needs to be nicer to him. Rick curtly responds by telling Stanley to go to bed. The film ends as, the next morning, Jim goes to visit Claudia. He talks to her, telling her that he wants to be honest with her as she told him to, and he wants to make things work out between them. She breaks the fourth wall and smiles at the camera.