[[quoteright:241:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HaroldandMaudePoster_2107.JPG]]

->"A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. ''Reach'' out. Take a ''chance''. Get ''hurt'' even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.''
->-- '''Maude'''

'''''Harold and Maude''''' is a 1971 film by Hal Ashby which follows the exploits of Harold, a teenager whose primary interests include attending random funerals, driving around in a hearse and staging gory and over-the-top suicides for his domineering mother. He meets a sparky 79 year-old woman named Maude who shares his interest in attending funerals, and though apparently his diametric opposite, finds a kindred spirit in her.

The film is now predominantly remembered for its MayDecemberRomance as well as a memorable soundtrack by Cat Stevens, who worked closely with director Ashby. However, it has gone on to secure itself a place as a classic RomanticComedy, and has gone on to influence people such as Creator/WesAnderson, the Farrelly Brothers and other purveyors of cinematic quirk.

Not to be confused with just ''{{Maude}}'', and unrelated to ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle''.

----
!!This Film Contains Examples of:
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Harold's psychologist seems to think that Harold's MayDecemberRomance is a variation on the Oedipus complex.
* BigWhat: [[spoiler:Harold's reaction to the fact that Maude just poisoned herself and will die shortly.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Maude kills herself, but Harold learns a lesson about living.]]
* BlackComedy: The biggest laughs come from a series of staged suicides.
* BungledSuicide: Inverted: Harold's staged suicide attempts throughout the film are ''very'' well executed.
* ChaseScene: Maude and the motorcycle cop.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Sunshine's reaction to Harold's hara kiri performance.
* CoolCar: Harold's hearse. Both the Superior-bodied '59 Cadillac and the home-converted Jaguar E-Type.
* CoolLoser: Harold.
* CoolOldLady: Good old car-stealing, hookah-smoking, murder-staging Maude.
* CreatorCameo: The conspicuous, lanky bearded man at the amusement park is none other than Hal Ashby.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: At one point, Maude essentially hands Harold a giant wood carving of her vagina and tells him to feel around. (Harold tries performing cunnilingus on it.)
* DramaticDrop: Harold's mom, after discovering that he he has ruined his third and final date.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Maude could show [[TheDukesOfHazzard the ol' Duke boys]] a thing or two about reckless driving.
* EmoTeen: Harold is notable for being an emo teenager [[UnbuiltTrope back before emo was even a thing]].
* FlippingTheBird: Harold does this at one point behind his mother's back, both figuratively when he [[spoiler:reassembles the Jaguar she replaces his hearse with into another hearse]], then literally immediately after showing her.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Various lines by Maude imply that she will [[spoiler:commit suicide on her 80th birthday]].
* FreakyIsCool: When Harold Met Maude.
* HaraKiri: "Do you... ''enjoy'' knives?"
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies: Maude herself at the end.]]
* LonersAreFreaks: Harold likes staging his own suicides. That doesn't necessarily make him a freak, though.
* [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Manic Pixie Dream Woman]]: Maude, right down to the casual attitude towards theft. [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Age shall not wither her nor custom stale her infinite variety.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: The big one, and an extremely rare gender-flipped variant.
* MyBelovedSmother: To his credit, Harold fights his mother every step of the way.
* MysteriousPast: Maude. It's implied that she's a holocaust survivor from Austria, but other than that details are scant.
* NameAndName
* NightmareFetishist: Harold is on the milder end of the "fetishism" scale, and somewhere in the middle with the nightmares.
* NothingLeftToDoButDie: [[spoiler:Maude attempts suicide on her 80th birthday since, in her own words, "75 is too early but by 85 you're just marking time"]].
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Maude uses this as her first defense against the police.
* OppositesAttract: He's a death-obsessed loner EmoTeen from a smothering, meaningless upper-class existence. She's a life-obsessed octogenarian from a poor background. [[TheyFightCrime They perpetuate crime.]]
* PopStarComposer: Cat Stevens.
* TheReveal:
** Maude telling Harold that [[spoiler:she'll be dead by midnight.]]
** Maude's reason for hatred of authority: [[spoiler:she's a Holocaust survivor.]]
* RomanticComedy
* RunningGag: Harold's suicide "attempts" and that he seems to always be wearing the same outfit as his psychologist.
* SkeletonKey: Maude carries a keyring of them that she uses to drive off in whatever vehicle she chooses. (At one point they ride off on a cop's motorcycle.)
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: Harold and Maude at the carnival -> fireworks -> [[spoiler:Harold and Maude in bed the next morning]].
* SpringtimeForHitler: Harold continues [[spoiler: doing his wacky suicide attempts]] every time his mother sets him up on a blind date in order to drive them off. This doesn't work at all with Sunshine the actress, who not only admires his performance, she joins in and starts doing ''[[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Romeo and Juliet]]'' in a [[BadBadActing hamtastic, terrible way]].
* SuicideAsComedy: It plays Harold's regular apparent suicides for dark humour.
* SuicideIsPainless:
** Harold's suicide stagings. Subverted again and again and again and again... [[spoiler:and again.]]
** [[spoiler:Maude thinks that dying before eighty would be too early, but dying after eighty would be overstaying. She poisons herself.]]
* SunnySunflowerDisposition: Maude.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened with Sunshine? She and Harold had a lot in common, maybe they hit it off?
----