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"You call this 'archaeology'?"
—Henry Jones Sr.
A series of films (and Expanded Universe) produced by famous directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, which were inspired by the 1930s cliffhanger serials, and which (re)popularized the Adventurer Archaeologist. Armed with little more than a bullwhip and attitude ("little more" in this case meaning a .455 Webley), Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) discovers long-lost MacGuffins, fights Those Wacky Nazis over them and makes love to the Girl of the Week. With the fourth film, produced 20 years later, the Homage shifts to include 50's creature and sci-fi films.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a TV series produced by George Lucas in the early 1990s. Initially taking the form of hour-long episodes, the show chronicled the adventures of Indy as a young man, principally at the ages of 10 (as played by Corey Carrier) and 16-up (as played by Sean Patrick Flanery). The Carrier episodes focus on Indy touring the globe alongside his parents as part of a world lecture tour given by his father, while the Flanery episodes primarily deal with Indy’s service in World War One (in just about every theater!). In each episode, Indy would meet some famous person from the early 20th century, and learn some sort of moral lesson (yes, Lucas very openly intended the series as edutainment). Notably, the show aired in a very Anachronic Order, with Carrier's and Flanery's episodes often alternating. Each episode was also initially introduced by a 93-year old Indy with an Eyepatch of Power. One episode however, had a bearded Harrison Ford introduce the adventure.
George Lucas prided Young Indy on managing a Film-level quality production on a television budget, helped by revolutions in digital technology, and he has said that the show was partly a test to see how far he could take the later Star Wars prequels. Also like Star Wars, the series was subject to subsequent furious re-editing by Lucas, the new cuts first showing up during re-airings in the late '90s. This re-cut version, which is the only one currently available on DVD, is known as The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. The Adventures combines the Chronicles episodes into two-hour tele-movies, two shows per film (often in a quite different, and much more strictly chronological, order than in the original airings). Notably, none of the Old Indy bookends are featured in the Adventures (though Harrison Ford's cameo survived the cuts).
The franchise is also fondly remembed for the two Lucas Arts adventure games it spawned: an adaptation of The Last Crusade in 1989, and an original cinematic adventure story, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in 1992. The latter had the Fan Nickname of Indy 4 for many years, creating speculation that it would be made into a film.
Three platformer-style adventure games followed, Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures in 1994, Infernal Machine in 1999, and Emperor's Tomb in 2003. In 2008, LEGO Indiana Jones was released, covering the events of the entire film series, but using characters and settings made entirely of virtual LEGO blocks, of course. Another Video Game, Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings, was released in 2009.
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye", a dark ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has you boarding Jeeps. You get, depending on which path isn't occupied, tons of gold/a drink from the Fountain of Youth/sight into the future, so long as you don't look into the eyes of a giant gold head of a god. Someone, of course, looks, and you're on your way through a cave full of lava, snakes, and traps. The ride could fit anywhere into the Continuity, really. A similar ride is at Tokyo Disney Sea, Temple of the Crystal Skull, changing to a South American setting with a sinister Crystal Skull and wind effects replacing the fire and lava. Finally, there's Disneyland Paris' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril rollercoaster, which was notably once set to send the cars going backwards for several years.
While Walt Disney World didn't get their own Indiana Jones ride, Hollywood Studios DID get the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!", a live action stunt show with massive sets that shows their own take on famous scenes from Raiders: the temple adventure from the intro, the Cairo marketplace and kidnapping of Marion (complete with an exploding truck), and the fight scene on, in, and around a Nazi airplane. This show is completely non-canon as it's dressed up as a "film shoot" of Raiders with the stunt performers claiming to be the actual stunt doubles for the actors. The show includes audience participation (including audience members being taken as "extras" for the Cairo scene), pyrotechnics, various physical stunts, and demonstrations of how different stunts are performed.
Between the games, the TV show, the ride and the movies, Indiana Jones has become one of THE most popular and recognizable characters in a hundred years. Indeed, if adventure has a name...
Works with their own trope pages
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
- Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures
- Indiana Jones and The Infernal Machine
- Indiana Jones and The Emperors Tomb
- Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings
- Lego Indiana Jones
- Action Girl: Marion Ravenwood in Raiders and in Crystal Skull.
- Action Survivor: Indy.
- His father Henry also starts like that.
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- Adventurer Outfit
- Adventure Duo: Indy and Marion in Raiders and Crystal Skull.
- Agent Scully: In Crystal Skull, Indy is a big skeptic about the existence of alien races, and in Raiders, considers the Ark of the Covenant nothing but a fancy gold box, until the end when he insists that he and Marion avert their eyes.
- Alas, Poor Villain: It’s possible to feel sorry for the Indiana Jones villains considering how nasty their deaths are. The notable exception is Mola Ram, given how evil he was.
- All Myths Are True: The basic premise of every installment.
- Ancient Tradition
- Artifact Collection Agency: Implied by the size of the Secret Government Warehouse in both Raiders and Skull.
- Artifact of Death: The main MacGuffins in three of the four films: the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail if you take it from its resting place, the false Grails, and the Crystal Skull. However, it's worth noting that having pure motives appears to get you out of being harmed by any of them: Indy uses the Grail to cure his father, and suffers no ill effects, while Elsa tries taking it for her own glory and dies for it. The Shankara stones are similar: they only actually do harm to Mola Ram, while they bring the Indian village to its former life.
- Badass: Indy, unless it involves snakes.
- Badass Beard: Indy (in the TV series), Sallah and Henry.
- Badass Bookworm: Indy and his father.
- Badass Family: The Joneses.
- Badass Grandpa: Henry Jones, Sr. in The Last Crusade, and Henry Jones, Jr. in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, though neither were technically grandparents at the time.
- That they knew of.
- Bald of Evil: Mola Ram. Also Pat Roach, who had the Bald of Evil (the mechanic in Raiders) AND the Beard of Evil (the head Thuggee in Temple of Doom)!
- Bamboo Technology
- The Baroness: Elsa Schneider from The Last Crusade and Irina Spalko from Crystal Skull.
- Batman Cold Open: Every film.
- Battle Couple: Indy and Marion, more or less.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Almost once a movie. Because Belloq, Elsa, Walter Donovan, and Irina Spalko got exactly what they wanted, hysterical screams of terror notwithstanding. Mola Ram is the only one who seemed to be messing with powers that he actually did understand, and even he ended up guffing it up in the end. Lampshaded by Indy in Crystal Skull when he tells Irina "Careful, you may get exactly what you wish for."
- Played for laughs in Temple of Doom, where Indy, after having stopped a mining cart with his foot and resulting in his boot smoking, hops on his good foot and cries out "Water! Water!". Mere seconds later...
- Berserk Button:
- "I HATE SNAKES, JOCK, I HATE 'EM!!!"
- Don't hurt or threaten kids when Dr Jones is around.
- Do NOT call Indy "Junior".
- Big Bad Friend: Happens at least twice.
- Blow Gun: Used in the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and then again in the tomb sequence of Crystal Skull.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Sallah, the big, bearded guy with the bellowing laugh, whose size and strength makes him quite a formidable foe in a one-on-one fight.
- Booby Trap: Indy encounters them all the time. Most famously in the beginning of Raiders.
- Bound and Gagged: Marion in the tent in Raiders, and again in Crystal Skull.
- Bow Ties Are Cool: If you're going to teach at Princeton, you'd better look the part. Henry Jones and Marcus Brody are also fond of wearing these.
- Cataclysm Climax: In The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Fate of Atlantis.
- Character Development: Jones is noticeably more mature and less greedy by the time of the The Last Crusade, especially when compared with his shady treasure hunter in the chronologically earliest Temple of Doom. It goes even further when you watch the Young Indy series.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase
- Chased by Angry Natives: Are you kidding? Jones likely teaches this to his freshman class.
- Chick Magnet: Indy, both in-universe and out.
- Clothes Make the Legend: Indy's fedora never comes off, except at dramatic moments, and you can bet he'll be back to get it if it does. This was even made part of the movie pitch.
- Combat Pragmatist: Indy, who illustrates the page with a famous scene.
- Continuity Nod:
- The Ark of the Covenant can be seen from inside a broken crate during the warehouse fight in the 4th movie. In fact, the Ark's Letimotif plays throughout that scene.
- The third movie has Indy and Elsa Schneider seeing a painting of the Ark, which Indy identifies (complete with a few notes from the Leitmotif of the Ark added to the soundtrack).
Elsa: What's that?
- An almost identical exchange takes place between Indy and Sophia in the Fate of Atlantis game.
- Also one to the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles where young Indy is kidnapped by Pancho Villa.
- In Raiders, Indiana Jones escapes pursuit from the Nazis by hiding the truck he was driving, along with the Ark in it, in an alcove of a crowded market place, which is immediately hidden by his friends to blend into the rest of the surroundings. Later in the third film, undoubtedly having learned from Indy, the Nazis play this trick in reverse to capture Marcus Brody.
- Cool Old Guy: Henry Jones Sr. in the third, Indy himself in the fourth.
- And the Grail Knight stayed in a small cavern with only one book for centuries to guard a magic cup.
- Cool Horse: Ridden by Indy. The white one from Raiders and the black one from The Last Crusade.
- Crossover Cosmology: Through artifacts, there's pretty hard evidence that at least that both the Hindu gods and the Judaic God are actual entities. Not to mention the interdimensional beings, too.
- Plot complexities aside, even Indy's parting words to the second film's villain -- "Prepare to meet Kali, in Hell!"—are a fairly concise example of this trope.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: These two videos chronicle the many (214!) deaths that occur in the films. Some of them are far from pleasant.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Indy hides the truck carrying the Ark of the Covenant by disguising it as a Cairo fruit stand (Raiders of the Lost Ark). The Nazis, not to be fooled a second time, kidnap Brody by luring him into a truck that's disguised as a building (The Last Crusade).
- David Versus Goliath: Every time Indy fights the Giant Mook of the situation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most characters who appear in the series, especially Indy and Henry.
Henry: Those people are trying to kill us!
- Deadly Fireworks Display: All of the movies except Temple of Doom.
- Death by Materialism: The main villain of three movies, save for Temple, is killed when they try to use the artifact in question.
- Death Course
- Disappearing Box
- Disney Villain Death: All four films.
- Distinctive Appearances: That's exactly why he has his fedora. During the creation of the character, the concept artists found that the fedora added a highly distinct look, silhouette, and appearance to the character. Indy could be in a crowded room with his back towards the audience (as he usually is when he's introduced in some of the movies) and he'd still stand out heroically. As well, the fedora allowed the character to be visible from further away such as during the bridge scene in Temple of Doom. On a more critical analysis, the fedora also marks the transition from Henry Jones Jr to Indiana Jones, and it's also a great way to hide the transition from Harrison Ford to Harrison Ford's Stunt Double. This is also why most scenes have him wearing the hat except when he's being just a teacher—him taking it off would be like going back to his secret identity.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Appears in several of the movies, and is poked fun at in Last Crusade, where Indy dons the ill-fitting outfit of a conductor aboard a Zeppelin.
- Durable Deathtrap: In every single movie.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: A traitor monkey in the first, chilled monkey brains in the second... and then the one that fits the trope the most, Mutt's Tarzan scene in the fourth.
- Everybody Smokes
- Expanded Universe: And how!! A TV series, comics, video games, novels, young novels, make your own adventure novels, theme park rides... And according to LucasArts, everything is Canon.
- Expy: Avoided in the films. As one of Indy's characteristics was to be a Chick Magnet and as a result to have a new love interest in each movie, Spielberg and Lucas made their best effort to make any new girl as different as possible from the previous one. Kate Capshaw even had to dye her natural brown hair blonde to play Distressed Damsel Willie Scott in Temple of Doom, as the also brown-haired Karen Allen had played Action Girl Marion Ravenwood in Raiders.
- Willie and Elsa are actually Expies of Lucas's original concept for the love interest of Raiders as a "Marlene Dietrich-type German lady singer/double agent". Willie is a singer and dancer; Elsa is German [Austrian] and a double agent (though loyal to the wrong side, unlike the girl Lucas first envisioned).
- Played straight in the expanded universe however, where Sophia Hapgood has evolved gradually into a fake Marion Ravenwood with psychic powers. In the Dark Horse comic Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient (which is basically a retelling of Temple of Doom with elements of Raiders in it) she doesn't even have psychic powers anymore. There is also an Expy of Short Round in this comic, Khamal, which is different only in that he is Lebanese instead of Chinese and a Knife Nut rather than a Kung Fu fighter.
- Janice Le Roi from the "Tomb of the Gods" comics ends up being an Expy of all three love interests from the films: she's streetwise and tough as nails (Marion), she's VERY fond of the high life (Willie), and at one point she works with the Nazi Ahnenerbe agents to meet her own ends (Ilsa).
- In the TV series episode Palestine, October 1917, that takes place in the Middle East during World War One, Indiana is helped in a mission by a local agent that is very much like Sallah. He is not however, as revealed by being named Kazim in the credits.
- Yet the head of the Sword Brotherhood in the third film was named Kazim... Interesting?
- Family-Unfriendly Death: At least one in every film. Usually the Giant Mook, and the big bads.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: The first two films would be rated PG-13 nowadays, and even then would still skirt the R rating. Raiders had to make a few cuts to avoid that, and Temple of Doom was one of the driving factors for the MPAA to create PG-13 in the first place.
- Fanfare: The main theme is actually a mix of two fanfares the John Williams wrote. It was suggested he just combine them.
- Franchise Driven Retitling: You may have noticed above a shift in the names. Once the franchise's popularity was secured, a franchise wide titling pattern of "Indiana Jones and the..." was introduced. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was later renamed to "Indiana Jones and the Raiders Of The Lost Ark".
- Generation Xerox: Indy receives his scar on the chin through his trademark weapon The Whip, and Mutt receives his scar on his right cheek through his trademark weapon The Sword.
- This is the entire reason that Mutt's character was a greaser. He was originally supposed to be a geek, but it was decided that it would be better if he was a Rebel Without a Cause, so Indiana would have an idea of what his father had to put up with when raising him.
- Genre Savvy: Even if what he does is basically a throwback to adventure serials, Indy is oftentimes fully aware of what NOT to do in a given situation, unless it just can't be avoided.
- Giant Mook: Several. In the first three movies, all were played by the same actor, Pat "Bomber" Roach.
- Girl of the Week: Played straight in the original films, but averted by Crystal Skull.
- Glove Slap
- Good Is Old-Fashioned
- Grave Robbing: Hey, it's part of the job.
- The Great Depression
- Hollywood Torches: In both Raiders and The Last Crusade.
- Hot Dad: Indy for much of the female audience in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and surprisingly enough, Henry Jones the First in The Last Crusade, seeing as that was the year he was voted sexiest man alive!
- Iconic Logo
- I Know Karate: The kick-focused Northern-Style Kung-Fu to be exact, practiced by Short Round in Temple of Doom'.' The same style was also used by Indy himself briefly on the South-China seas in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Uniform across the franchise; whether it's natives, Thuggees, Nazis, or Russians, they can't hit the broad side of a barn if Indy is standing in front of it.
- Interesting Situation Duel: At least one per film: the flying wing fight in Raiders, the rock crusher fight in Temple, the tank fight in Crusade, and the sword fight on top of moving jeeps in Crystal Skull.
- Intimidation Demonstration: Pops up in several of the films.
- The famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana faces the Master Swordsman has the swordsman demonstrating just how skilled he is by throwing his scimitar from one hand to the other, and then spinning it in his hands.
- There was a similar scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Indy faced off against two swordsmen. They did some brief sword spinning as well, as you can see here.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The coarse-and-cynical Indy is nevertheless kind and honorable.
- Jungle Opera: Most of the films have elements of this.
- Just a Flesh Wound
- Large Ham: John Rhys-Davies and Cate Blanchett.
- Leitmotif: The Ark of the Covenant's ominous leitmotif gets a cameo in The Last Crusade when we see a carving of the Ark on a crypt wall, and again in Crystal Skull, when we glimpse the actual Ark in the warehouse.
- In Crystal Skull when Indy looks at a picture of his dead father and mentions him again at the end, the "Keeper of the Grail" theme from Last Crusade that represents Henry Sr., plays.
- Logo Joke: Each film begins with a Match Cut from the Paramount logo to a mountain.
- Made of Iron: Indy throughout the series, especially in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, when he survives a nuclear test detonation by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. Also, the Mechanic in Raiders, who shrugs off a direct punch to the face and a Groin Attack from Indy.
- Malevolent Architecture: In every single movie.
- Memetic Sex God: Indy in-universe.
- Mood Whiplash: Most of the scenes that aren't horrifying are amusing.
- Mr. Fanservice: Harrison Ford. Oh so very much.
- Mugged for Disguise: Several Dressing as the Enemy examples.
- Nerds Are Sexy: When he is not killing Nazis or searching for magnificent items that always end up killing someone, he is a teacher of Archeology and encourages people not to follow the same "field work". If you get right down to it Indy is one of the worlds first heroic action nerds.
- Never Bring a Knife to A Gun Fight: Not even a big one you can swing around really well.
- Indy also gives Mutt this advice in Kingdom.
- Nice Hat: Indy's trademark Fedora. The fact that Indy miraculously keeps the same hat throughout all his adventures is ultimately lampshaded in the third film.
- It's in the Smithsonian.
- Belloq, Thot and Mola Ram are fond of their hats, too. (The latter wears an animal skull adorned with Badass Long Hair).
- Not My Driver
- Omniglot: It isn't prominent in the films, but in the expanded universe, Indy has supposedly picked up twenty-seven languages while wandering around the world. Belloq appears to speak even more, and mocks Indy because he doesn't speak the obscure tribal language of the Hovitos.
- Piggybacking on Hitler: Indy villains just love to do this.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: For a "Professor", Indy doesn't get around to teaching all that much. Lampshaded in Crystal Skull.
- Reality Subtext: Indiana was the name of George Lucas' dog, who was also the inspiration for Chewbacca. The third film reveals that Henry Jones Jr. chose his nickname after his own dog.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: From The Raiders, Indy who suffers a serious snakes pohbia must face thousands of poison snakes who inhabited the Well of Souls.
- Hilariously done in the Crystal Skull, where Indy is forced to hang on to a
snake"rope" to get out of a quicksand pit.
- Hilariously done in the Crystal Skull, where Indy is forced to hang on to a
- Rule of Three
- Running Gag: Late actor/stuntman Pat Roach appeared in all three of the original films, sometimes in multiple roles, where his characters usually meet an untimely demise.
- Indy's snake phobia.
- Say My Name: Count the number of times that the bad guys scream "JOOOOOONES!" And all the times Indy's friends and allies yell "Indy!", or in Henry Sr.'s case, "Junior!".
- And it's Henry Sr.'s gentle, insistent "Indiana" that saves Indy from Death by Materialism.
- Scenery Porn: The Young Indiana Jones TV series loves to linger nostalgically on famous landmarks as establishing shots for the country of the week Indy is adventuring in. The series was intended to be semi-educational in nature. The films also do this to present the glamorous, exotic locales frequented by a globe-trotting adventurer.
- Schmuck Bait: The MacGuffin artifact usually turns out to be long-lost for a reason. You know the bit about All Myths Are True? It also applies to curses, supernatural monsters, and divine wrath. Marcus lampshades the Ark's dubious rapport, for instance, about 10 minutes into Raiders.
- Sallah also lampshades this in Raiders:
Sallah: Indy, there's something that troubles me... The Ark. If it is there in Tanis, then it is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this Earth.
- Secret Government Warehouse: The ending of Raiders has one of the most famous examples. Revisited in Crystal skull
- Sesquipedalian Smith: Indiana Jones.
- Shirtless Scene: Indy gets one per movie.
- Stock Scream: All the films use the Wilhelm Scream at some point.
- Temple of Doom: Once Per Episode.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The villains of the Raiders and The Last Crusade.
- Incidentally, this almost partly killed the franchise. After the harrowing and humbling experience of filming Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg decided he could no longer in good conscience use Nazis as stock pulp villains as in Raiders and The Last Crusade.
- Timeshifted Actor: Teenaged Indy is played by River Phoenix in The Last Crusade. The TV series had several actors play Indy at various ages.
- Took a Level In Badass: Marcus Brody. Though in the first movie he lamented that if he was as young as Indy he would have went on his adventure. Though most people who seen Crusade have labeled him a clumsy oaf that got lost in his own museum; he was willing to put his complaint in Raiders aside to help Indy rescue Henry. He even had enough cojones to knock a Nazi out with an Artillery shell.
- Travel Montage: The famous map scenes that appeared in all of the films.
- Treasure Map
- Tribute to Fido: Indiana Jones is named after George Lucas's dog Indiana. There is also an in-universe example that reflects the Real Life situation: in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it is shown that the character chose the nickname "Indiana" after his family's dog.
- Trilogy Creep: The Riding Into the Sunset was meant to close the trilogy as well. But fans insisted on a fourth—which only started production after Lucas, Spielberg and Ford agreed to.
- Truth in Television: In the first, third, and fourth films, the Nazis (and in the case of the Fourth film, the Soviets) attempted to harness various mythological artifacts to take over the world. Records have shown that the Nazis and the Soviets were both fascinated with the supernatural/the occult, although the latter was more focused on trying to harness psychic abilities than magic.
- Tsundere: Marion Ravenwood all the way. She goes from yelling at Indy, to dreamily sighing when he leaves to blow up a Soviet transport.
- Willie may also qualify.
- Two-Fisted Tales
- Wallpaper Camouflage
- We Have Ways of Making You Talk
- Whip And Gun: There was actually a fight sequence intended. Word of God says that Harrison Ford had dysentery that day and asked "Why don't I just shoot him?" They thought about it and decided to give it a shot, but were going to film the fight later anyway. The first take was so good, Spielberg said "Print it!" and the rest is history.
- In the "Making of Indiana Jones" book producer Howard Kanzanjian said they actually had two cuts of the movie. One with the Indy fighting the swordsman with the whip(preferred by Lucas) and another version with the Indy shooting him(Spielberg). They left it to the test preview to decide which to use. The audience reaction to Indy shooting was so great that that became the final version.
- Indy tried to subvert it again/beforehand in Temple of Doom but forgot that he lost his gun earlier in the movie.
- A similar situation happened in "Staff of Kings". Though instead of losing the gun, it was out of bullets when he tried shooting "the dragon".
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Indy is afraid of snakes, Indy's dad is afraid of rats and Mutt of scorpions. Of course, this means they all encounter the subject of their debilitating phobias again and again in a series of contrived coincidences. Mind you, is Mutt's reaction to the scorpion a genuine fear of scorpions, or the normal person's reaction to seeing a massive scorpion?
- Henry Sr.'s fear of rats could come just from his being a Medieval historian and knowing the "Black Death" that ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages was caused by fleas on rats brought by ships from China.
- World War II: Leading up to it, at least. Indy's military service during the war is also referenced in the fourth film.