[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gladiator-2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?-] [[note]][[WesternAnimation/RobotChicken No. Do a little dance for us.]][[/note]]]]

-> ''"[[MyNameIsInigoMontoya My name is]] [[AwesomeMcCoolname Maximus Decimus Meridius]], [[TheMagnificent commander of the armies of the north, general of the Felix Legions]]. [[UndyingLoyalty Loyal servant]] [[TheGoodKing to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius]]. [[StuffedIntoTheFridge Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife.]] [[BadassBoast And I will have my]] [[{{Revenge}} vengeance]], [[AllBlueEntry in this life or the next]]."''

In AncientRome, General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Creator/RussellCrowe) is named heir to the ailing Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Creator/RichardHarris), who wishes that Rome be [[GoodRepublicEvilEmpire restored to a republic]] with the Senate ruling as the representative of the people. The Emperor's son, Commodus (Creator/JoaquinPhoenix), is not a happy camper: he [[SelfMadeOrphan murders his father]], declares himself to be the new Emperor, and orders that Maximus be killed when the general refuses to pledge loyalty to him. Maximus escapes his fate, but unfortunately for him, his wife and young son do not. Maximus swears to [[{{Revenge}} avenge]] [[DueToTheDead their deaths]] and [[DeathSeeker join them soon after]]; wandering around the countryside, he is soon found and brought into slavery. Maximus is trained as a [[GladiatorGames gladiator]] by his captors, and he successfully wins the crowd's approval in his first few performances; this allows Maximus to travel to Rome and compete in gladiatorial battles arranged by Commodus. Maximus soon wins Rome's approval -- to the point where he begins to become more popular amongst the people than Commodus -- and begins to plan his revenge...

''Gladiator'', released in 2000, is known for [[GenreRelaunch reviving]] the epic movie genre, great action sequences, and all-around general badassery; it was also a huge hit for Creator/RidleyScott. Though Scott didn't win the Oscar for Best Director, the film itself took home many others -- including the all-important Best Picture -- and earned Creator/RussellCrowe his first Oscar.

This film is not to be confused with the proto-superheroic 1930 book ''Literature/{{Gladiator}}'', the TV gameshow ''Series/{{Gladiators}}'', or the general trope GladiatorGames. ''Gladiator'' follows the same period of history and takes similar liberties with its plot as the 1964 film ''The Fall Of The Roman Empire.''
----
!!The movie has examples of:

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Many examples, especially between Maximus and, variously, Marcus Aurelius, Proximo, Juba, and Lucilla. Arguably it is the skillful use and execution of these scenes that allows this to transcend being a great action movie and become an epic masterpiece.
* AloneWithPrisonerPloy: When Lucilla arrives at Maximus' cell, she tells him "rich matrons pay well to be pleasured by the bravest champions". He has been chained up in preparation for her visit. In fact she's there to tell him there is a growing conspiracy against Commodus, and to ask him to meet a politician who's involved.
* AluminumChristmasTrees:
** Commodus deciding to fight a gladiator in the arena looks like a plot device to let Maximus get his revenge. The historical Commodus ''did'' actually fight in gladiator contests, although it isn't how he died.
** The writers planned to have a scene with popular gladiators endorsing products, which happened historically, but it was decided that audiences would think it was unrealistic.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Commodus tells his father, Emperor Marcus Aurelius, that while he doesn't have the traditional virtues of Wisdom, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, he does have Courage ("Perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are many kinds of courage..." -- and in truth, he's actually a pretty good fighter, he just never saw real battle), and Ambition, which drives him to excel. He then murders his father and assumes the Imperial throne for himself. This is especially {{Anvilicious}}, considering that Marcus Aurelius was going to hand power over to General Maximus ''specifically because'' Maximus didn't want to rule.
* AnachronismStew
* AncientRome
* AnnoyingArrows: Averted. The barbarians that got hit with arrows in the opening battle tended to stay down, as they should have. Played straight with the barbarian's arrows against the Romans, since all the arrows were stopped by the Roman ''testudo'' formation.
* AntiVillain: Quintus
* ArmorIsUseless: Maximus cuts through body armor with his swords, even though it would have probably protected them better in RealLife.
* ArrowsOnFire: Used in the opening battle.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory:
** At one point, Rome is described as being founded as a Republic, and numerous characters refer to plans to turn it back into a republic for the people. Rome was actually founded as a kingdom, only becoming a republic later on. WordOfGod is that Roman history was ''not'' re-written for the film, but that these statements were incorrect within the film itself, reflecting how the [[UnreliableNarrator characters themselves preferred to see history]].
** The real life Commodus was not incestous towards his sister at all[[note]]indeed according to the (notoriously unreliable) ''Augustan History'', Lucilla was the only one of his sisters that he ''didn't'' climb into bed with[[/note]], and her exile and execution was purely for trying to plot his assassination.
** Lucilla was executed by Commodus (she tried to assassinate him) in 182 AD, predeceasing him by a full decade.
** Marcus Aurelius was eager to have Commodus take over, Commodus was strangled in his bath after a 13-year rule, and power did not transfer to the Senate after his death.
** In-universe, Scipio Africanus and his citizen-levy legions would have had an apoplectic fit if they seen later generations characterise them as the chariot riding, archery using, "home team" gladiators for the sake of historical gloss on a, to them, vulgar execution (Republican era gladiator fights of Scipio's era were generally not to the death). If anything, the fitout of Maximus' men was far closer to Roman Republican legions than the "home team."
** Germania was ''never'' conquered by Rome. Not for want of trying, either.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Maximus Decimus Meridius is an example of an AwesomeMcCoolname with actual justification due to the Roman system of ''cognomina'', or titles/official nicknames. His given name is Decimus (at one point his family name is given as Aelius), Maximus was a common ''cognomen'' used by many other RealLife renowned Roman commanders, and Meridius probably refers either to past conquests in the South or his Spanish heritage (technically the names are in the wrong order, and should be Decimus Aelius Maximus Meridius). In English, he would possibly be [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Decimus the Great, Conqueror of the South]].
* BadassBeard: Maximus grows one [[BeardOfSorrow when his family is killed]].
* BadassBoast / RousingSpeech / VerbalBusinessCard: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions,[[note]]the plural is historically inaccurate[[/note]] loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
* BandOfBrothers: Maximus' legion is implied to be this.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Heavily subverted. Maximus' wounds are shown in their full ugliness as they heal. His grief at the sight of his wife and son's bodies also has physical components and isn't dignified in the least.
* BestServedCold
* BigBad: Commodus.
* TheBigGuy: Hagen, the German whom Proximo uses to test new fighters. He's a class three as despite his physical prowess (Maximus aside, he's pretty much the last person you want to fight in the arena), he's actually a perfectly friendly, candid guy. He'd probably be an outright GentleGiant except that he's, well, a gladiator.
* BilingualBonus:
** Maximus' names for the two horses on his breastplate translate to [[TheLoneRanger "Silver"]] and [[RoyRogers "Trigger"]].
** "You have a great name" ("Maximus" literally translates to "very great")
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Maximus is a brave, noble veteran who initially wants to make Rome a [[GoodRepublicEvilEmpire republic]] again and later wishes to avenge the murder of his wife and son. Commodus is an insane, patricidal megalomaniac with a Caligula complex.
* BlackBestFriend: Juba to Maximus.
* BoisterousBruiser: Hagen.
* BookEnds: In the beginning, Maximus imagines himself strolling through his farm's fields, and in the end, [[spoiler:he sees himself strolling through the fields of Elysium, reuniting with his family.]]
* BreadAndCircuses: Commodus' policy, with a literal example shown inside the Colosseum. Deconstructed in the extended version; it's discussed that Commodus is selling off Rome's grain stores to pay for the games, which will result in starvation in the near future.
* BringMyBrownPants: The scribe wets himself as he and the other gladiators are about to enter a fight in the Zucchabar arena. With good cause, as in a deleted scene he emphatically points out that he's got zero combat experience and is very aware he'll die soon.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Evil Emperor Commodus lusts after his sister Lucilla and makes an aborted attempt to seduce her, while she is appropriately horrified. When he catches her supporting Maximus' cause, he declares that he's going to impregnate her to bear a new dynasty of his progeny; he's more TheCaligula than ''even the historical Caligula'' (or at least the possibly biased accounts of the guy). That and threatening her son make a good KickTheDog moment.
* BittersweetEnding: Of the "mostly good" kind. [[spoiler:Most of the gladiator school is wiped out and the survivors are imprisoned, but they are eventually released. Maximus defeats Commodus in a duel, ensures Rome will become a republic, and dies of his wounds. However, he is seen reunited with his family in Elysium.]] This is mirrored just afterwards, when Juba returns to an empty Colosseum to [[spoiler:bury Maximus' figurines, and says "I will see you again. But not yet. Not yet."]]
* TheBrute: Tigris of Gaul
* TheCaligula: The Roman emperor Commodus. Commodus wasn't as bad in real life as he was in either this film or The Fall of the Roman Empire, but he still wasn't the sort of [[SarcasmMode monarch you'd take home to mother]] - he thought he was the reincarnation of Hercules, fought as a gladiator in the arena, and is best-known for ending the "Five Good Emperors". He also ordered one of his slaves to be burned alive for making his bath too cold. Yikes. He'd spent most of his reign just doing whatever he fancied, and having a grand old time -- it wasn't until there were several attempts on his life (one involving his sister) that he really kicked into gear and became a tyrannical dictator.
* CallToAgriculture: "Maximus the Farmer!" This was TruthInTelevision for a lot of Roman statesmen and generals. Farming was considered one of the most laudable and noble occupations for a Roman man to undertake.
** This is also a reference to Cincinnatus, one of the great Roman generals and dictators[[note]]Which, to the Romans, simply meant power invested in one man, rather than a group, and was not a bad thing at all[[/note]]. He was called to serve as dictator during an invasion of the Empire, served quite well for several years, and then, when the threat had passed, he stepped down and went back to farming. Then they did it ''again'', calling him back, and again, after the threat had passed, he stepped down and went back to farming.
* CallingTheOldManOut: All Commodus wanted was [[DeadlyHug a hug]]. And the empire...
* TheCameo: '''[[BrianBlessed BRIAN BLESSED]]''' appears as an audience member in The Colosseum.
* ChainedHeat: Combined with BackToBackBadasses in Maximus' first gladiator-battle.
* ChewingTheScenery:
** "AM I NOT MERCIFUL!?"
** "Are you not entertained!? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?"
* {{Cincinnatus}}: Maximus. After long years of slogging through the north, conquering for Rome, he just wanted to go home to his family and farm, even when he realized he was being offered total power in Rome, and that, Aurelius said, was why it had to be him to steward the Empire until it could be a Republic again.
* ClassicVillain: Commodus, representing Ambition and Envy.
* CompositeCharacter: Maximus, compared to real life. There was a general, Pertinax, who was a friend of Marcus Aurelius and succeeded Commodus, and there was a gladiator, Narcissus, who assassinated Commodus (actually his own master at arms; he murdered him at home, in his bath).
* ConspicuousCG: Not in the movie per se, but this was the reason there are tigers in the movie as opposed to rhinoceros in the script. They couldn't find any trained rhinoceros (if such thing exist), so they tried to use CGI ones, but the result wasn't up to par, so they opted for tigers instead. The rough tests of the CGI rhinos can be seen on the DVD.
* CripplingTheCompetition: Commodus restrains and stabs Maximus just prior to their final, climactic arena duel in order to gain the upper hand during the fight.
* CrusadingWidower: Maximus.
* DarkIsNotEvil[=/=]LightIsNotGood: For the final battle, Maximus is wearing black armor, and Commodus wears white. Interestingly, ancient Rome had rather different associations for these colors. Black was the color of joy and festivity, which probably explains why Commodus, the dissolute playboy emperor, is usually seen wearing it. White, though, was associated with the elderly, authority figures[[note]]the English word for "someone running for office", candidate, comes from the Latin word for white. Roman office-seekers wore white togas to the elections[[/note]]... [[ForeShadowing and the dead.]]
* DarkIsEvil: In one scene Commodus's robe is totally black.
* DashingHispanic: Rather than Spanish, he is technically Hispanic (as in someone from the ancient Roman province of Hispania, which is now Spain), and he is played by an Australian actor speaking TheQueensLatin, but Maximus Decimus Meridius is pretty {{Badass}}.
* DeadlyHug: How Commodus comes to power.
* DefeatingTheUndefeatable: Maximus is put in a fight with the only undefeated gladiator, Tigris of Gaul. And beats him.
* DespairEventHorizon
* {{Determinator}}: Both Maximus and Commodus
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: [[spoiler:At the end, there's a few brief shots of Maximus in a field, walking towards his family in Elysium.]]
-->'''Maximus:''' ''[to his soldiers]'' If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:The Praetorian Guard repay Commodus' repeated dog-kicking by sheathing their swords in the final confrontation, basically saying "fuck this guy, let him sleep in the bed he made!" This makes even more sense with a deleted scene where Commodus executes two praetorians as scapegoats when Maximus turns up alive. The Praetorian commander vehemently protests the execution, but is forced to personally give the execution order himself.]]
* DoomedMoralVictor: Maximus becomes a darling of the public, kills the emperor in a duel and [[spoiler:dies afterwards. He was already mortally wounded by the Emperor just before they entered the arena. It was meant to be more of a fancy execution than a duel, in order to discredit the hero and bolster the strength of the Emperor. The evil Emperor still loses.]]
* TheDragon: Quintus to Commodus
* DrivenByEnvy: Commodus. Also Quintus.
* DualWielding: [[RetiredBadass Tigris of Gaul]] fights with a sword in one hand and an axe in the other.
* EliteMooks: Praetorians
* EpicFlail: A common gladiator weapon. One spiky-haired RedShirt ends up [[HaveANiceDeath catching one full on in the gob]] in the first gladiator battle of the movie.
* EpicMovie
* TheEvilPrince: Commodus, though he had something of an excuse: his father, rather than passing on emperorship to him, as had become commonplace (at least in the world of the movie: in Imperial Rome, it was relatively common for an Emperor to choose an adoptive heir as opposed to a blood one; look at Julius, Augustus and Marcus Aurelius himself), was going to give it to Maximus, who in turn was going to use it to put power back into the hands of the Senate and restore the Republic.
* EvilUncle: Commodus to Lucius, though he [[AffablyEvil treats him nicely enough]].
* EvilVirtues: Commodus believed his virtues were just as good as the ones of a traditional ruler.
* FakeShemp: An infamous example. Oliver Reed died before filming all his scenes as Proximo, so they used shadows, CGI, and creative re-editing of already-shot scenes, along with some stock footage, to finish filming and rewrote several important scenes that would have been otherwise unfilmable.
* MrFanservice
* {{Flynning}}: This is ''almost'' lampshaded; in the gladiator training camp scene, the instructor tells the student, "this is how you fight", and starts showing him the "Pirate Halves" move. Justified - gladiators were essentially entertainers, as well as fighters. Maximus, a former professional soldier, was actually told off for being too efficient as he naturally went straight for the killing move.
* FreudianExcuse: Commodus explains, prior to killing his dad, that all he wanted was a little love and a warm hug...and what he would have done to get it.
* {{Foil}}: Noble, humble, wise Maximus and insanely [[AmbitionIsEvil ambitious]] Commodus. Maximus' bosses also count: Noble Emperor Marcus Aurelius and ex-slave-turned-fight-promoter Proximo.
* GameBreakingInjury: Double subversion. [[spoiler: Maximus is stabbed before his battle with Commodus, but manages to defeat Commodus ''and'' give a last order before dying.]]
* GenreBlind: Old Marcus Aurelius, of all people. Telling your immoral son you're naming another as your heir with no witnesses around or record of your decision.... yeah....
* GiveMeASword: Both ways; Maximus gets one without asking while Commodus is left to fend for himself.
* GladiatorGames
* GladiatorRevolt
* TheGoodKing: Marcus Aurelius
* GoodRepublicEvilEmpire: The good guys are hoping to turn the Roman Empire back into a Republic by giving more power to the Senate. The bad guy wants to get rid of the Senate altogether. Historically speaking, no one planned to make Rome a republic again, especially since the last five emperors had been both good and competent guys. And in fact it took 300 years for the Roman Empire to openly acknowledge that the Republic ''had'' ended an a monarchy had formed. Nor was there ever any serious prospect of abolishing the Senate; while centuries later its power would be diminished to the point of being purely ceremonial, the Roman Senate actually ''outlasted'' the (Western) Roman Empire and the ByzantineEmpire (Eastern Roman Empire) had its own Senate last until the 1400s.
* GrimUpNorth: Germania is a cold, harsh place filled with violent barbarians.
* GroupieBrigade: When Maximus and the other gladiators are lead into the Colosseum, they're mobbed by a group of scantily-clad women with obvious admiration and intentions towards them, one of them even grabs Maximus and whispers "I want you" in his ear until a guard pulls her off.
* AHandfulForAnEye: At the beginning of the one on one duel against Tigris surrounded by tigers. The opponent kicks dirt/gravel/dust into Maximus's face.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:''The entire Praetorian Guard'', Quintus in particular.]] Something of a bit of TruthInTelevision, given [[spoiler:the Praetorians had a reputation for [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder deposing and assassinating Emperors]], although the real-life Commodus supposedly maintained the loyalty of the Guard until the end of his reign.]]
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies: Maximus himself at the end.]]
* HeroesLoveDogs: As pointed out in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19183_6-tricks-movies-use-to-make-sure-you-root-right-guy.html this]] Cracked article, the German peasants at the start of the movie are a RagtagBunchOfMisfits fighting against the all-powerful invading Romans in an attempt to protect their own land. Problem is, the movie wants you to root for the ''Romans,'' because that's the side Maximus is on. Solution? Give them a dog.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Lucilla. The real life Lucilla was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Commodus and ''[[TheStarscream replace]]'' him with herself and her husband. She failed and was executed.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Commodus is not as bad in history as this movie would make you think. See above for the HollywoodHistory.
* HollywoodTactics:
** [[ArrowsOnFire Flaming arrows]] are used in the opening battle, although it appears that they are used mainly for their psychological effect
** Any Roman legion breaking ranks during a battle as shown in the film would have been decimated; Roman soldiers were taught to fight as part of a shield-wall and given very little individual combat training. In a loose melee as depicted in the battle, the barbarians would have had the upper hand.
* HumiliationConga: [[spoiler: Commodus is disarmed and [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown battered]] by a man he's clearly just injured, his own general turns against him and then he's slowly, painfully killed by his own stiletto knife to the neck. By the [[http://s13.postimg.org/phfar83ev/Commodus_Death.jpg look on his face]], [[VillainousBreakdown he doesn't even care anymore]].]]
* IdiotBall:
** Lucilla telling her son about Maximus, but not telling him to keep his mouth shut about it.
** Marcus Aurelius gets handed one right before he decides to tell his evil ambitious son in private that he won't be Emperor.
** Maximus not being more tactful and pledging his loyalty to Commodus so he could plot against him from within.
* ImplacableMan: Maximus foils Commodus' plot to have him killed by killing ALL the [[PraetorianGuard praetorians]] sent to kill him.
* ImprovisedWeaponUser: Several instances. From Hagen making a flail simile out of [[{{Squick}} a severed hand still attached to the end of a binding chain]] to Juba using a helmet as a pummeling weapon.
* InadequateInheritor: The emperor favored Maximus over Commodus because he considered his son too corrupt for the job, wanting instead a humble reformer to take the helm. Pity one of his son's "virtues" was [[AmbitionIsEvil Ambition]].
* ItsPersonal
* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: A rare ''non-gun'' example: "Sometimes the frost makes the blade stick."
* JerkassHasAPoint: When justifying the murder of his father, Commodus states to his sister that "If father had had his way, the Empire would have torn itself apart." A glance at Roman history shows that this very well could (and probably would) have been the case, resulting in civil war, at the very least between those wanting an Emperor and those wanting a Republic, if not even more fragmented than that.
* KingpinInHisGym: Commodus is shown practicing his swordsmanship against multiple opponents, showing that wealth and power have ''not'' made him soft. This holds true to the real Commodus, who was supposedly very good in the Colosseum... although he tended to fight men with training weapons while using real ones himself.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Discussed in the opening scene, regarding the Germans (who were, it's worth mentioning, ultimately never conquered by the Romans);
-->'''Quintus:''' A people should know when they're conquered.
-->'''Maximus:''' Would you, Quintus? [[{{Foreshadowing}} Would I?]]
* LaResistance
* TheLastDance: [[spoiler:Maximus' last fight]].
* MadeASlave
* ManipulativeBastard: Commodus.
* TheMentor: Both Marcus Aurelius and Proximo are this to Maximus.
* MilesToGoBeforeISleep: Maximus will happily join his wife and son in the afterlife, just as soon as he avenges them.
* MurderByInaction: After Maximus disarms Commodus in the arena, Commodus immediately starts demanding one of the surrounding Praetorian Guard to give him a sword. If he hadn't recently and publicly dishonored his own royal guards, they might have.
* [[MyMasterRightOrWrong My Emperor Right or Wrong]]: Quintus. [[spoiler:Subverted gloriously in the ending.]]
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: See the quote at the top of the page.
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: Commodus.
* NostalgiaHeaven: The ending.
* NotSoDifferent: Commodus actually says this one verbatim to Maximus.
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont: [[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible With a frost-stuck sword, no less.]]
* OffTheRails: Maximus manages to derail a gladiatorial reenactment of a battle (that his side should have lost). It's even {{lampshaded}} by Commodus.
* OhCrap:
** The look on Commodus' face when he realises who "The Spaniard" is.
** Maximus gets a brief and relatively stunted one in the beginning when he's taken by surprise by a charging, angry German with a big axe. Who is screaming. And on fire.
* OlderHeroVsYoungerVillain: Maximus and Commodus, respectively.
* OneWomanWail: Possibly the modern TropeCodifier.
* PostRapeTaunt: Commodus to Maximus, describing how his men raped his wife.
* PostVictoryCollapse: Maximus after defeating Commodus in the FinalBattle.
* PrettyInMink: The capes Maximus and Lucilla wore in the first act. But then, they are in [[GrimUpNorth Germania]].
* PraetorianGuard: The real deal.
* TheQueensLatin: The entire cast used British accents, despite its three main stars being from New Zealand (Creator/RussellCrowe), America (Creator/JoaquinPhoenix) and Denmark (Connie Nielsen).
* RatedMForManly
* TheRedBaron: "The Spaniard".
* RefusalOfTheCall: All Maximus wanted to do was go back to his farm!
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: When Maximus chews out the arena for actually being ''[[StunnedSilence shocked]]'' by his carnage.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Proximo originally had a larger role, but unfortunately Oliver Reed [[ActorExistenceFailure died midway through production]].
* RelativeButton: Except with less of the beatdown effect and instead just provoking Maximus' ImplacableMan. Commodus cements his MoralEventHorizon by casually bringing up Maximus' wife's gang-rape and the crucifixion of his son in front of the [[PraetorianGuard Praetorian Guards]].
* RetiredBadass:
** Proximo, once the greatest gladiator in Rome, who was freed by Marcus Aurelius himself.
** Tigris of Gaul, another (younger) retired gladiator [[DefeatingTheUndefeatable who had never been defeated,]] brought back by special dispensation of Commodus in an attempt to kill Maximus.
* RousingSpeech:
** "Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again."
** "Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers; what we do in life, echoes in eternity."
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler:Hagen dies during Maximus' escape attempt.]]
* SanitySlippage: Commodus goes through this.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: Roman Emperor Commodus performs one of these ''[[VillainousIncest against his own sister Lucilla]]'' near the end. He tries to come on to her earlier in the film, but when she is exposed for conspiring against him with his political enemies Maximus and Senator Gracchus, he decides to give her a "merciful" fate. She has to become his consort, and Commodus takes away her son and threatens to kill the boy if she refuses or takes her own life to spite him. His demand even includes Lucilla having to carry his child so he can establish an eternal dynasty of "pure-blooded" Emperors.
* SelfMadeOrphan
* SexSlave: [[spoiler:Towards the end, Commodus forces ''his own sister'' to be this to him, threatening her son's (and his nephew's) life if she refuses.]]
* ASimplePlan
** Maximus just wanted to go home but the emperor needed his help one more time.
** Marcus Aurelius just wanted to make Rome a republic again but his scheming son killed him.
** Commodus just wanted to assume absolute power but Maximus came back.
* SingleStrokeBattle: When Maximus fights his executors, this happens with the man on the horse.
* SissyVillain: Commodus.
* SleazyPolitician: Senator Falco
* SlouchOfVillainy: Commodus gives several prime examples of this trope, especially on his thrones.
* SpikedWheels: The Chariots in one battle. They're sharp, scary and highly effective, as some unfortunate fighters find out.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Film/{{Spartacus}}''.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge
-->''[[KickTheDog "They tell me your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife moaned like a whore when they ravished her... again... and again... and again."]]''
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy: In-universe example when the Colosseum stages a historical re-enactment of the Battle of Carthage with a few dozen men.
* SwordAndSandal: Reinvigorated the genre.
* TactfulTranslation: Done with a sort of GallowsHumor when Maximus "translates" the Germanic Tribes [[ShootTheMessenger killing his messenger]] as "They say no".
* TakeThatKiss: [[spoiler:Commodus, after fatally stabbing Maximus.]]
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: Shortly after Maximus is discovered to still be alive by Commodus, he is served some gruel the next day by the gladiator's cook. Juba shakes his head in disapproval, as if anticipating Maximus being poisoned. Hagen then takes a spoonful of the food, eats it, then begins choking on it. It then becomes subverted as he starts laughing, revealing that the food is safe to eat.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: "It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed." It makes sense when you consider how melodramatic Commodus was.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Maximus has a driving, forceful orchestral battle theme only heard twice, once on the German battlefield and once in the Colosseum. In both moments he is leading armies to victory like a true front-line general.
* ThousandYearReign: That is how long Commodus wants his incestuous line to last, when he thinks he's won completely.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks:
** Maximus throws his sword and kills a Praetorian Guard from about twenty meters away in order to escape execution. Being the smart guy he is, he kept a backup sword to deal with the remaining Praetorian.
** Subverted later when he throws a sword into a ''crowd of people'' during the "Are you not entertained?!" scene and injures... [[DieChairDie a coffee table.]]
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:Maximus, though since the protagonist was dying from poison and internal bleeding, this may or may not have been a hallucination.]]
* TranquilFury: Maximus embodies this.
* TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard: The page quote.
* {{Understatement}}: "Commodus is not a moral man..."
* UndyingLoyalty: Maximus certainly inspires this in people. See his squire Cicero and Hagen.
* UnwittingPawn: Lucilla's son is used by Commodus a lot with him never noticing.
* VillainousIncest: One-sided, with Commodus lusting after his sister.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of these to Commodus. If you've read this page you'll know how well that turns out.
* WhyWontYouDie: Commodus asks Maximus this after Maximus makes it through a match which was blatantly set against him.
-->'''Commodus:''' What am I going to do with you? You simply won't... die. Are we so different, you and I? You take life when you have to... as I do.
-->'''Maximus:''' I have only one more life to take. Then it is done.
* WinTheCrowd: The TropeNamer, InUniverse. Proximo says this to Maximus about what it takes to be the greatest gladiator.
* WinYourFreedom: {{Subverted}}. Maximus [[DeathSeeker doesn't intend to leave alive]].
* WouldYouLikeToKnowHowTheyDied: In one of Commodus' more brutal KickTheDog moments.
* YouBastard:
** Maximus pulled this on his audience, and [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou perhaps the viewers by extension.]]
-->'''Maximus:''' Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?!
** Proximo later discusses the same topic when instructing Maximus:
-->'''Proximo:''' Thrust this into another man's flesh, and they will applaud and love you for that. You may even begin to love them for that.
* YouCanBarelyStand: Commodus stabs Maximus before facing him in the arena. Maximus, a seasoned general mind you, proves to be able to defeat the reasonably skilled but nonetheless inferior Commodus, [[spoiler:but dies from bleeding afterwards.]]
* YouShallNotPass: The other gladiators try to do this as Maximus attempts to flee. [[spoiler:Hagen dies during the battle.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: According to one script/art book, Commodus is supposed to be nineteen. This was the age his RealLife counterpart ascended to the throne. But unlike the film character, [[SarcasmMode he blessed the Roman people with his just and wise rule]] for ''twelve years'' before meeting his death.

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