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[[caption-width-right:300:''[[Music/MenAtWork Livin' in a land down under. With Immortan Joe and Toecutter.]]'']]

->''"My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember the Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."''
-->-- '''The Narrator''' (OpeningMonologue), ''[[Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior Mad Max 2]]''

''Mad Max'' is a series of films that constitute the most famous things to come out of UsefulNotes/{{Australia}} since kangaroos and sexy women with accents. Created by Creator/GeorgeMiller, the original series stars Creator/MelGibson in his Australian accent as the title character "Mad" Max Rockatansky. It is one of the most famous film franchises to come out of the UsefulNotes/AustralianNewWave.

The first film, ''Mad Max'', is set [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture "A Few Years From Now"]] at a time where [[TerminallyDependentSociety scarcity of oil]] is [[JustBeforeTheEnd beginning to cause the collapse of civilization]] -- law and order is barely holding on within the towns while the highways are controlled by the outlaw gangs. Max Rockatansky is a Main Force Patrol cop, held in high regard by his boss and peers, with a happy home with his wife and young son -- until run-ins with the motorcycle gang led by the villainous charismatic [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Toecutter]] cause his life to fall apart. Max famously goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge at the film's climax, but by the end he has lost everything. Made with practically no money and released in 1979, the film was surprisingly successful in Australia and around the world to the point where it was in ''The Guinness Book of World Records'' for decades as the most profitable film ever made. However, it was barely noticed in America, where it was only given limited release and all the characters' voices had been dubbed with American accents [[ExecutiveMeddling because distributors thought]] the audience [[ViewersAreMorons wouldn't understand what they were saying]].

The second film, ''Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior'' (originally released as ''Mad Max 2'', retitled ''The Road Warrior'' in America), follows Max into the [[AfterTheEnd anarchic Wasteland that used to be Australia]], where a few years later he is now WalkingTheEarth with his PostApocalypticDog in his CoolCar. He runs into a small ragtag group of survivors occupying an isolated oil refinery, who are surrounded and terrorized by a vicious gang of biker bandits led by the mysterious masked Lord Humungus. After at first resisting their pleas for him to help them, Max ends up assisting them in their plan for escape to the north, exorcising some of his own personal demons. Released in 1981, the film is almost unanimously regarded as better than the first -- in America, where it was renamed so that people wouldn't realize it was a sequel, it was a surprise hit. ''Mad Max 2'', a.k.a. ''The Road Warrior'', is the film that made Mad Max (and Mel Gibson) famous worldwide.

The third film, ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'', is the first one to be set unambiguously AfterTheEnd in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Max gets stuck in the midst of a power struggle in a MerchantCity, and ends up as a messiah to a tribe of children. Released in 1985, this film was an American co-production and a DolledUpInstallment: the original idea centered around a man encountering a post-apocalyptic society of wild children, before George Miller decided to have Mad Max be that man.

The fourth film, ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', was released in 2015 after thirty years in DevelopmentHell, and is set an ambiguous amount of time after ''Beyond Thunderdome''. Now something closer to "society" has crawled from the ruins of the old world: there are landed tribes, and alliances, and tyrants at the helm once more. Creator/TomHardy takes over the role of Max, who teams up with the elite Imperator Furiosa, played by Creator/CharlizeTheron. She's on a mission to help a group of women fleeing across the Wasteland from the Immortan Joe, the tyrannical warlord leader of the massive human colony known as "the Citadel." Production was delayed by higher-than-normal amounts of rainfall around [[UsefulNotes/AustralianStatesAndTerritories Broken Hill]] that made the area too green, so filming moved to Namibia. George Miller and ''Fury Road'' co-writer Brendan [=McCarthy=] already have sequels written, the first of which is titled ''Mad Max: The Wasteland''.

''Fury Road'' has a four-issue miniseries from Creator/VertigoComics written by George Miller, Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton, serving as a prelude to the events of the movie, spotlighting Immortan Joe, Nux, Furiosa and Max, while officially placing the events of ''Fury Road'' after ''Beyond Thunderdome''. The graphic novel collection also includes the story of the War Rig.

A video game called ''Mad Max'' developed and published by Mindscape was released in 1990 for the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem. Minscape also developed a sequel based on ''Beyond Thunderdome'' but the lost rights so specific references to ''Mad Max'' were removed and the title was changed to ''VideoGame/{{Outlander}}''.

A video game called ''VideoGame/{{Mad Max|2015}}'' by the developers of the ''VideoGame/JustCause'' games was released on September 1, 2015 for PC, UsefulNotes/XboxOne, and UsefulNotes/PlayStation4. It was originally announced as a tie-in game to ''Fury Road'', then was said to be an alt-universe standalone game, but was ultimately revealed to be something of a hybrid between the two. The plot is that Max was attacked by Scabrous Scrotus, one of Immortan Joe's sons, and has his beloved V8 Interceptor stolen for parts and he ends up working with Chumbucket, a deformed mechanic/blackfinger. Chumbucket sees Max as an Angel sent by the god Combustion to help him complete his car, the Magnum Opus. Max simply sees Chumbucket as a means of getting a replacement vehicle so that he can finally reach an area of the Wasteland called the Plains of Silence and find peace in a world gone mad.

Character sheet for the film series can be found [[Characters/MadMax here]].

'''''Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior'', ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'', ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', and the 2015 ''VideoGame/MadMax2015'' game have their own pages. Put tropes applying to them there.'''

!!The ''Mad Max'' series provides examples of:


[[folder:Series-wide tropes]]

* AerithAndBob: Though there's probably more Aeriths than Bobs at this point, and the number of people that have normal names seems to decrease each film.
* AfterTheEnd: ''Beyond Thunderdome'' and ''Fury Road''; The original is JustBeforeTheEnd while ''Mad Max 2'' is set during the end after society has generally collapsed but before an all-out nuclear war.
* AntiHero: Max begins on the more brutal end of the scale, but slides toward the idealistic side in subsequent films.
* ApocalypseHow: Society is barely holding together in the first film, arguably making it a case of [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 0}} Class 0]]. The nuclear exchange alluded to in the second film brings about a gradually worsening [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 2}} Class 2]] between ''Road Warrior'' and ''Fury Road''.
* ApocalypticLogistics: The whole premise behind the films is the collapse of civilization brought on by Post Peak Oil, yet one character flies a plane, and some other characters are seen driving cars (that are not powered by methane).
* TheApunkalypse: The hair, clothing, and facepaint of many of the gangs [[TropeCodifier codify the trope]], especially in ''Mad Max 2'' & ''Beyond Thunderdome''.
* ArtisticLicenseCars: The Pursuit Special's supercharger shouldn't be able to be turned on and off. Turning it on like that would usually destroy the engine.
* TheAtoner: Max, for the family he failed to save. Furiosa from ''Fury Road'' for reasons that are not mentioned; presumably whatever atrocities she committed in order to [[FromNobodyToNightmare rise from captive to the rank of Imperator]].
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Max Rockatansky, who was named such as a reference to physician and pathologist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_von_Rokitansky Carl von Rokitansky]]. This is a nod to George Miller's history as an [=ER=] surgeon.
* BadassDriver: Filled with so many examples that even your run-of-the-mill mook qualifies. But Max, in particular, stands out as one of the biggest not just in the movies but in the entire film medium.
* BittersweetEnding: Every movie has Max surviving [[spoiler:but not always winning, or even staying with the group he rescues that move on to rebuild.]]
* BodyHorror: The films showcase a fair bit of horrific injuries and medical conditions, presumably inspired by Miller's medical training and emergency room experience.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: Because society has decayed to the point where new ammunition for guns is no longer manufactured, the primary WeaponOfChoice in the wasteland appears to be the humble crossbow. Ammunition is apparently readily available and, probably, more importantly, is reusable. However, the reload time is appalling, as shown by the turbaned warrior in the final chase scene in ''The Road Warrior''.
* CarFu: The franchise holds a 10th-degree black belt.
* CentralTheme: ''The Road Warrior'', ''Beyond Thunderdome'', and ''Fury Road'' all center around Max trying to rediscovery his humanity.
* ChasteHero: Max lost his beloved wife in the 1979 first film. Since then, the closest he's come to showing on-screen romantic interest in anyone has been [[CrowningMomentofHeartwarming holding an injured woman's hand]] [[{{Squick}} while he gives her a blood transfusion from his own vein.]]
* CoolCar: Many of them, but of particular note is Max's Pursuit Special, featured in the first, second and fourth films. Creator/GeorgeMiller likened it to the Trigger to Max's Creator/RoyRogers.
* CrapsackWorld: All four films, in increasing severity.
* DieselPunk: Most of transportation and it's style gradually devolved into this over spin of four films with ''Fury Road'' showing it's coolest.
* EpicMovie: Taken as a whole, the original trilogy could be viewed as this, as it presents the full circle of Max's struggle with the apocalypse and his own personal demons. The fourth is this on the other front - the imagery is epic, even if there's not as much plot (particularly for Max).
* FallenHero: It all revolves around a former cop turned AntiHero.
* {{Fanservice}}: The first two movies are blatant fanservice for revheads. Not like that's a bad thing...
* FolkHero: The third and fourth movies are presented as legends told generations after the fact. Just another tale of the man they call Max.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the first movie one of the many crimes Toecutter's gang is doing is stealing gas from a Tanker truck. The fight over Gasoline and Oil becomes a major plot point in The Road Warrior.
* GenreBusting: It's probably easier to say the movies are their own genre. You can read them as either [[NewOldWest westerns with post-apocalyptic wastelands and cars replacing deserts and horses,]] (''The Road Warrior'') or LowFantasy with cars (''Fury Road'').
* HobbesWasRight: Nihilistic violence is pretty much the norm and pretty much the only instances of organized society reemerging are gangs who have reached a point where they can start codifying their barbarity. The only people who try to maintain some sort of decent society are powerless victims. The good guys still win, so there's still a sense that Rousseau is still better, but usually they can only win by relying on Max, who's a natural survivalist.
* HollywoodHealing: Averted. Max's arm and leg in ''The Road Warrior'' are still in bad shape from his confrontation with Bubba and Toecutter, and his eye in ''Beyond Thunderdome'' is still healed from the climax of ''The Road Warrior''. George Miller, the director, was a practicing emergency room physician before he became a director.
* IconicOutfit: Max's leathers, particularly as they appear in the second film, is considered the definitive post-apocalyptic ensemble to the point that it's appeared in some form or another in every ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' game.
* ImplacableMan: Max, Humungus, Rictus Erectus, and Blaster. [[spoiler: The last is a subversion.]]
* InAWorld: The original trailers played this trope straight.
* IneffectualLoner: Despite his best efforts to keep to himself, Max always winds up allying with/helping out/getting saved by the victimized good guys.
* LandDownUnder: All of the films are at least partially filmed filmed in Australia, and the setting is in the outback.
* LargeHam: Everyone in the first two movies save Mad Max himself (outstanding are [[EvilIsHammy villains]] such as Toecutter and Humungus). The fourth follows the EvilIsHammy trend with all the War Boys.
* LighterAndSofter: Before you say ''Beyond Thunderdome'', ''Mad Max 2'' is this to the terminally grim ''Mad Max''.
* LockedIntoStrangeness: Over the course of the second and third films, Max's sideburns become increasingly faded, presumably from the horrors he has witnessed or the great stress he is always under to survive. What with the apocalypse and all...
* MalevolentMaskedMen: Lord Humongous and Immortan Joe.
* NegativeContinuity: Downplayed, as there are a few consistent elements across all the films (Max is/was a cop, oil wars led to nuclear wars led to the apocalypse, some props like Max's jacket and the Pursuit Special), but in general the series doesn't concern itself greatly with continuity. Very much an intentional trope, as George Miller has said he doesn't think of the Mad Max movies as a single story, but rather as a series of legends about a mythological figure named Max; and much like real myths and legends, there's often contradiction and inconsistency.
** A key example is Max's iconic Pursuit Special, which is constantly associated with him in the popular imagination but which is [[spoiler:destroyed in '''both''' ''The Road Warrior'' and ''Fury Road'']].
* NewOldWest: All of the films have structures similar to Westerns, with motorcycle gangs and post-apocalyptic marauders taking the place of Western banditos.
* NoBloodForPhlebotinum: The CentralTheme of the entire series; before the Apocalypse, wars were waged mainly for control of petroleum supplies. Afterwards, "Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice."
** George Miller was actually [[http://www.craveonline.com/site/837957-sxsw-2015-interview-george-miller-on-mad-max-fury-road-and-the-apocalypse/2 inspired]] to [[ArtImitatesLife start]] the series by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis 1973 oil crisis;]]
--->I remember it really stuck in my mind, in a very peaceful city like Melbourne, our southern capital, or some city, it took ten days after a severe oil shortage for the first shot to be fired. And I thought, what if it went on? That was one of the things when we did the first Mad Max.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: From ''The Road Warrior'' on, Max doesn't care about the plights of the people he comes across, and only helps them because it's advantageous (at least, at first).
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: In the second and third films, the vast majority of characters go only by some pseudonym. Lord Humungus, Papagallo, Toadie, [=MasterBlaster=], Auntie Entity, Ironbar, Pig-Killer, Toecutter, etc. By ''Fury Road'', most people's real names are so weird that they don't need nicknames.
* PlethoraOfMistakes: A ''key'' element of Miller's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnOrinHibsc direction.]] Central to every action scene throughout the series, and unlike pretty much everything like it in action movies, is that action is ''chaos.'' In a normal action movie, the hero and/or villain will repeatedly pull off some death-defying stunt simply to move the plot along, and when one finally fails, the sequence ends. Throughout the Mad Max films, both Max's opponents and even ''Max himself'' will flub a dangerous situation -- and get hurt, hurt their allies, or just plain ''die'' -- only for the sequence to continue onwards. Max wins repeatedly not because he is a better fighter or driver, but simply because he knows how to screw up and maintain enough focus to ''survive'' the screw-up.
* PostApunkalypticArmor: The second and third film relied a lot on this trope. It seems that after the world collapsed, the gangs had the lion's share of leftover [[HellBentForLeather leather]], [[SpikesOfVillainy spikes]], [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs spiked leather]], [[MalevolentMaskedMen scary masks and helmets]], bits of metal, and strips of animal hide. The good people are usually stuck wearing cloth and rags. Even Max has patched his leather jacket up with a shoulder pad from some kind of sports armour. The fourth film continues this trend, though with a bit more in the way of combat gear.
* PostPeakOil: It is the cause of the collapse of society following the first film.
* ProtagonistTitle: All four films have the phrase "Mad Max" in the title.
* PyrrhicVictory: At the end of each movie, Max has won the fight but lost ''everything'' he had. After the first film, the people that Max has helped always go on to better lives, leaving him behind. By ''Fury Road'', it seems that Max will always depart after the job is done even if he doesn't need to, much like a wandering gunslinger departing into the sunset.
* RatedMForManly: To the point even when the manly women of ''Fury Road'' appear, it's still testosterone heavy.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: George Miller has stated that the physical injuries he observed during his stint as a medical doctor would look more plausible if set in a post-apocalyptic setting. And co-writer James [=McCausland=] was inspired by his observations of the 1973 oil crisis on Australian motorists, who would resort to violence towards anyone who tried to jump the petrol queues.
* RunningGag: Every time Max manages to get his hands on shotgun shells, they always turn out to be duds.
* SawedOffShotgun: Max's signature weapon. The original script for the first movie reveals he made it by modifying one of the MFP's VG Bentley shotguns.
* ScavengerWorld: TropeCodifier.
* SceneryPorn:
** The movies have desert landscapes that can be pretty to look at before the explosions and flying car debris kick in.
** ''Fury Road'' amplifies this due with modern HD cameras and special effects and a new filming location in Namibia. (along with CG backdrops to ensure it still looked like Australia) Massive, sprawling deserts, huge cliff faces and canyons, and a dust storm so enormous it has its own internal weather.
* SerialEscalation: Each film has been bigger, more violent, and just all around ''more'' than the last. The first one is a story about a cop JustBeforeTheEnd, with impressive car stunts. The second is a western action movie and also the TropeCodifier and a contender for MostTriumphantExample of TheApunkalypse, even more car stunts, and an excellent car chase. The fourth is about 65% car chases, distilled into almost pure action, with everything about the previous movies taken UpToEleven.
* ShroudedInMyth: Max. George Miller stated all of the films were stories being told about Max, hence the inconsistent canon. (It also could explain the YouLookFamiliar of cast members returning in different roles.)
* SignificantDoubleCasting: Hugh Keays-Byrne, the actor who portrayed the cruel and tyrannical Toecutter in the original film, came back to the series 30 years later to play the similarly characterized Immortan Joe in ''Fury Road''.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: While others can see this as more cynical or nihilistic, the overall spirit of the series actually can be more on the idealistic end of the scale.
* SpoilerCover: In video releases, the packaging revealed that [[spoiler:Max's family are killed]] in the first film, and [[spoiler:the fuel was in the bus, not the tanker]] in the second film. Both events happen late in the films.
* TheSilentBob: Max, to varying degrees. In ''The Road Warrior,'' he only has sixteen lines. In ''Fury Road,'' it's more plot-relevant, as he's been isolated for so long that he's almost literally forgotten how to speak.
* StillWearingTheOldColors: Max starts off wearing his MFP uniform for most of the first film, donning it for his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, possibly in order to keep innocents out of his way and gain access to the MFP's equipment. In the second film, he continues to wear the uniform, though it's in tatters and his badge is gone. In the third film, it's damaged further and he loses the jacket in the final battle.
* SupportingProtagonist: Max, from ''The Road Warrior'' on. He's the titular character and the focus of the films, but he's never the hero of the story, instead showing up as a hired hand for the real hero (''a la'' Han Solo in ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars: A New Hope]]'').
* TropeCodifier: Of the post-apocalyptic genre, particularly TheApunkalypse. Pretty much every post-apocalyptic work to come since ''The Road Warrior'' has had some influence from ''Mad Max''.
* TwoPartTrilogy: ''The Road Warrior'' and ''Beyond Thunderdome'' are almost completely different from the first ''Mad Max'' film, to the point where the sequels are rarely ever labelled Mad Max 2 or 3, and if collectors editions of the trilogy are made, only the last two movies are included. Although the recent UsefulNotes/BluRay collection does indeed include all three movies. On the other hand, much of the fandom considers only the first two movies to be this trope.
* UrbanHellscape: The original film took place in a collapsing civilization, where motorized gangs terrorized the highways. After the loss of his family, Max Rockatansky becomes a ruthless VigilanteMan bent on revenge. The later films in the ''Franchise/MadMax'' franchise moved the setting to AfterTheEnd, and became the TropeMaker of TheApunkalypse. If nothing else, this film can be credited with melding the two genres.
* WalkTheEarth: Max's fate.
* WorldBuilding: One could argue that the world that George Miller created is the real star of the movies. Each movie contributes to this creation in their own way and through different eyes and methods. ''Fury Road'' became especially notable for building its part of the world with [[ShowDontTell an almost complete lack of exposition]].
* WorldOfBadass: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that being a post-apocalyptic world, anyone who survives needs to be badass!
* WorldOfHam: Most of the [[EvilIsHammy villains]] enjoy ChewingTheScenery, as many of them are either AxCrazy or are posturing for their followers.


[[folder:''Mad Max'' (1979)]]
* TenMinuteRetirement: Subverted; Fifi says, "Again?" when Max hands in his notice, but on realizing he's serious tells him to take a couple of weeks holiday instead. Max does return, but only to steal his car for a RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* AceCustom: Max's own Pursuit Special was built for him to entice him to stay with the MFP, but he ends up stealing it.
* ActionPrologue: The film opens with the Nightrider's escape from custody and the MFP's inept pursuit, culminating in Max taking up the case.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Goose arrives at the car chase just in time to crash his motorbike with everyone else, breaking his leg in the process.
-->'''Civilian:''' What happened?
-->'''Goose:''' ''(laughing)'' I don't know, mate. I just got here myself.
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels: [[EverybodyOwnsAFord And ride Kawasakis]]
* AllThereInTheManual: Max's line "May, call The Dark One" after Jessie is chased through the woods and the man they take [[AnArmAndALeg Cundallini's severed hand]] to after they find it hanging from the van. Originally, he was Max's partner and May Swaisey's husband (you can still see "M. Rockatansky" and "The Dark One" on the Interceptor's fender). [[RealLifeWritesThePlot He is supposed to be played by an aboriginal actor who later cancelled the contract]].
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The theme song for the Japanese version is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxdApcipP4o "Rollin' in the Night"]] by Akira Kushida.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: The "Anarchie Road" sign is a vandalised version of a real sign with the real name on it - the real name is "Anakie", it actually is that road (the film was largely made on the south-western outskirts of Melbourne) and Anakie is pronounced exactly the same way as Anarchy.
* ArtisticLicenseCars: The biker gang runs a Chevrolet Impala off the road and proceed to terrorize the couple riding inside. As they smash up the Impala, brownish water gushes out of the radiator - but no steam shoots out. The driver was gunning it to get away from the bikers so that radiator should have been running hot!
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Max's son can be seen ''playing with his service revolver''.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Goose in the beginning is Max's best friend. A NiceGuy who likes to share stories of his adventures on the MFP. When Johnny The Boy, a rapist gets off on a technicality, he flips out nearly killing the man with his bare hands, prompting Max and Fifi to hold him back.
* BigBad: Toecutter, the leader of the biker gang.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Max gets his revenge, but is now an empty shell of a man who cares about nothing.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Averted. Even if it is before the collapse of society, characters never fire more than two rounds in any one go.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Johnny's lighter.
** Max's Holden Sandman's fan belt (though being stabbed in the radiator with a piece of the fence didn't help).
** The last of the V8's (the duck's guts).
* CoolCar: Max's Pursuit Special, "last of the V8 Interceptors."
* DepravedBisexual: The bikers have distinctly homoerotic overtones, but still find time to stalk Max's wife, and are strongly implied to have gang-raped both a man and a woman whose car they assaulted.
* DespairEventHorizon:
** The Nightrider breaks down sobbing shortly before he crashes and it's implied his death spree is caused by his inability to deal with societal collapse.
** Max's boss reaches this after Johnny the Boy walks free:
--> ''From now on, you boys can do what you like out there, so long as the paperwork's clean.''
** Max himself after the bikers attack his family. It takes him up until towards the end of ''Mad Max 2'' to regain some of his humanity.
* TheDeterminator: Roop, who insists on chasing the Nightrider in an increasingly wrecked vehicle. All he gets is his partner permanently disabled.
* DirtyCoward:
** The Nightrider who opens the film leading the cops on a wild chase is ultimate shown to be this after all his bluster and bragging when he plays chicken with Max - only to find that Max isn't the incompetent pushover that the other cops were and breaks down in tears as Max chases him down.
** The Toecutter when faced with Max, having gunned down [[TheDragon Bubba]], snarls and flees the scene.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Johnny the Boy's view on being egged to [[spoiler:killing Jim Goose by setting him on fire in a wrecked truck]].
* DissonantSerenity: Our hero's EstablishingCharacterMoment. As the Nightrider taunts him over the radio after the massive pile-up, Max calmly pulls on his gloves and starts up his vehicle, slowly pulling out onto the highway.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: After his colleagues have had a mass pile-up, the Nightrider gleefully taunts Max over the radio as the audience is treated to a montage of Max calmly starting up his Pursuit Special.
* DodgeByBraking: The Nightrider avoiding a blast from Roop's double-barreled shotgun.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Nightrider, as shown when he hits the brakes.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Toecutter harasses Jessie by licking the ice cream cone she's holding in a very suggestive manner.
* ADogNamedDog: The dog that Max buys during his trip with his family isn't named.
* TheDragon: Bubba Zanetti to Toecutter. It's somewhat understated, but the only time the bikers ever manage a decent attempt to kill Max is when Zanetti[[spoiler: sets a trap, shoots him in the knee, and tries to run him down.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The series as a whole is largely remembered for being the TropeCodifier of the AfterTheEnd ScavengerWorld setting, complete with its DesertPunk aesthetic. This film, however, takes place before the apocalypse that follows. Though crime runs rampant and the police force is stretched to breaking, society is still very much intact.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Bubba Zanetti regards Johnny the Boy with disdain for being a drug-addicted little weasel who is implied to only be kept around as Toecutter's male lover. Meanwhile, Johnny freaks out and tries to refuse when Toecutter attempts to make him burn Goose alive in his crashed car. And the only time Nightrider's girlfriend seems to be concerned about the carnage he is causing is when he nearly runs over a toddler.
* EverybodyOwnsAFord: All the bikes were provided by Kawasaki and all the patrol cars (except the March Hare) are Ford Falcons bought from the Victoria Police Department. [[CoolCar The Pursuit Special]] is a Ford Falcon coupé with a massive supercharger blower and a fascia added to the front.
* EyePop: Nightrider and Toecutter the moment they see what's coming to them.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Toecutter, when he helps Jessie load the wagon and opens the door for her.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: When Bubba Zanetti first meets the Station Master, two of the other gang members walk into the background - One of them admires a stuffed elephant hanging from the ceiling of a garage, the other obligingly cuts the string it's hanging from with his knife.
* GameOfChicken: Occurs in the ActionPrologue, when Max finally comes face to face with the Nightrider.
* GoryDiscretionShot: When Max rushes to see the Goose in hospital, we see Goose's charred arm slide out from under the sheet. The camera (fortunately) cuts to Max's face as he pulls the sheet back, and his horrified reaction says it all.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Max becomes a hard and bitter man by the end of the film due to his battles with criminals. He quits the force because he's scared this will happen.
-->'''Max:''' Any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, a terminal psychotic, except that I've got this bronze badge that says that [[DesignatedHero I'm one of the good guys]].
** After Max steals the Interceptor, the dispatcher lists him as a potential Code 3. The same code that was applied to the Nightrider at the beginning of the movie.
* HeartbrokenBadass: Max is the poster boy for this at the end of the movie.
* HissBeforeFleeing: Toecutter does this, after [[spoiler:Max kills Bubba]].
* HollywoodPoliceDrivingAcademy: All the members of the Main Force Patrol appear to have graduated from the Australian branch.
* HomoeroticSubtext:
** Johnny the Boy is obviously the biker gang's boy toy. At one point, Toecutter asserts his authority over him by making him suck the barrel of his shotgun, telling him, "Keep your sweet, sweet, mouth shut!"
** The antics of the rest of the gang often have homoerotic overtones. The first thing Cundalini and Mudguts do after getting off their bikes is start sensuously dancing in the middle of the street.
** The police chief, whose nickname is Fifi, dresses like a HardGay {{Leatherman}} on the job.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Early in the film there is a brief shot of two road signs. They read: "Anarchie" (Anarchy), and "Bedlam".
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit:
** Yes, Max is wearing black leather in the scorching hot Australian Outback. This is apparently supposed to help in crashes, but Max never rides a motorcycle. It's implied that due to the shortage of MFP officers and poor funding, all those employed there rotate between driving the pursuit Interceptors and riding the police motorcycles. Also, a cut scene was to show Max and Goose having a friendly drag race, with Max on Goose's motorcycle and Goose in Max's Interceptor.
** All the MFP officers wear the same leather outfits, even Fifi. It may just be the standard uniform in a culture where physical violence against the police is common.
* ImprobableAimingSkills:
** [[TheDragon Bubba Zanetti]] kneecaps Max with a single well-aimed pistol shot at long range.
** When the gang was setting an ambush for Goose, one of the members (standing on a hill) throws a wheel rim underhand up into the air, and it lands square in the middle of his windshield.
* InfantImmortality: Played straight only in ''The Road Warrior'' - every other film, including the LighterAndSofter ''Beyond Thunderdome'', has a child or infant die.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: An angry Max confronts a mechanic for information regarding Toecutter's gang. [[TemptingFate The Mechanic rebuffs him]], prompting [[WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk Mad Max to shove the man under the car he was working on and lower the jack causing the car to crush the man.]] He talked afterwards.
* JustBeforeTheEnd: In contrast to the sequels, as the film takes place as civilization is breaking down.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Not content to simply kill Johnny the Boy outright once he corners him, Max ankle-cuffs the sniveling little bastard to a wrecked truck (similar to what what he and the Toecutter did to Goose) where Johnny was stealing the boots of the dead driver (whom he may or may not have killed), sets the car to explode once enough gas builds up to the lighter and leaves Johnny with a hacksaw and two options before the car explodes - hack through the cuffs (which would take ten minutes) or [[LifeOrLimbDecision hack through his ankle]] (which would take five minutes).
* {{Leatherman}}:
** Fifi Macaffee, Max's police chief.
** The exact phrase is used by the nightclub singer during her torch song to Goose.
* LifeOrLimbDecision: The probable TropeCodifier: Max handcuffs Johnny to the car whose gas tank he set up to explode before giving him the saw and telling him that it will be quicker to saw his foot off than to saw through the handcuffs. It's particularly cruel because if you watch the movie closely you'll notice that it doesn't matter which choice the cuffed bad guy makes, there isn't time for him to do either: From speech to explosion is about 3 minutes tops. That said, it could be just movie timeónot like it even matters, he'd bleed to death before he could possibly find anyone to treat the wound.
* MamaBear: Jessie pulls this twice. First, she walks straight past Toecutter, who is mockingly opening doors for her, and calmly puts Sprog in the backseat before kicking Toecutter and getting her son out of there. The second time, she is unarmed, in shock, and hopelessly outnumbered by the biker gang that's chased her, killed her puppy, and now kidnapped her son. She stands her ground until reinforcements arrive.
-->'''Jessie''': I want my baby.
* MoodWhiplash: The Nightrider is reduced from psychotic glee to blubbering fear after losing his GameOfChicken with Max. Justified as he is high on drugs.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Mae Swayze, the shotgun wielding old woman from the first film, manages to hold up the entire biker gang and unsuccessfully makes a stand against them when Jessie is run down by them.
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: The Goose is happily telling a fellow diner a story about a recent chase that ended in a crash:
-->'''Goose''': "...and by the time we got to him, he was just sitting there trying to scream with his face ripped off."
-->The other diner puts down his fork.
-->'''Goose''': What's the matter?
-->'''Diner''': Not hungry, am I?
* NoNameGiven: His and Jessie's son is never called any name. He's just called "sprog", an Australian term for baby.
* OddlySmallOrganization:
** The MFP seems to only have about half a dozen officers patrolling the highways. They're implied to be a hugely underfunded police force, where officers are forced to use whatever weapons come to hand and restrain prisoners with shackles.
** This is even more apparent in MFP headquarters, which we only see staffed by Fifi, the mechanic, and an [[TheVoice off-screen female dispatch officer]]. The building itself is a looted ruin.
* OhCrap:
** A split-second shot of Nightrider's bugged-out eyes as his car careens into an obstruction is an unusually disturbing example.
** The Toecutter has time to rip off his goggles to reveal a similar look before being hit by a truck.
** A MassOhCrap happens when a [[BabyCarriage baby leaves his carriage]] and wanders out into the path of three onrushing Interceptors. A DisasterDominoes pile-up ensues.
** Jessie escaped the gang in the woods, and is recovering on the couch. [[AdultFear Then she realizes the baby is outside]]. [[spoiler:The gang already has him.]]
* OnlyAFleshWound: Averted. Max gets shot in the knee, rendering him with a limp and leg brace for the rest of the series.
* PetTheDog: Toecutter of all people. Before he starts harassing Jessie, he has the decency to open the back door of her car, so she could place her child in the back seat.
* PostClimaxConfrontation: Inverted. After dealing with Toecutter and Bubba, Max takes out Johnny, the remaining member of the biker gang.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: [=FiFi=], Max's police captain. He is friendly with his officers, gives Max some time off when he tries to quit to think it over and tries his hardest to keep his men around despite dwindling resources and increasingly dangerous working conditions.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: At the end of the film, with Max taking out Toecutter's biker gang..
* RousingSpeech
-->'''Fifi:''' They say people don't believe in heroes anymore. Well damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give them back their heroes!\\
'''Max:''' Ah, Fif. Do you really expect me to go for that crap?\\
'''Fifi:''' You gotta admit I sounded good there for a minute, huh?
* SadisticChoice: Forcing Johnny to pick between sawing the handcuffs, which would take ten minutes, or sawing off his foot, which would take five, while cuffed to a car that's about to explode.
* SafeDrivingAesop: The movie was intended to be a warning about consequences of dangerous driving. The hoons and rev-heads who saw it left feeling that [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing their lifestyle had been validated.]]
* SameLanguageDub: The movie was dubbed with American voice actors for the initial U.S. release, as the original actors' Australian accents and colloquialisms were deemed too opaque. Gibson provided his own dubbing, since he was born in America and could recall his old accent when needed.
* SedgwickSpeech:
-->'''Toecutter:''' [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Quit toying, Bubba!]]\\
'''Bubba Zanetti:''' Easy! [[TemptingFate I know what I'm doing]].\\
(''Bubba Zanetti then gets a shotgun round to the chest when he finally circles around to finish Max off'')
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: In video releases, the packaging revealed that [[spoiler:Max's family are killed]].
* TranquilFury: Max displays this during his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The movie starts with the words "A Few Years From Now..."
* TheVoice: The female police dispatcher. Those with a keen ear can hear that she is broadcasting [[WorldBuilding insights into the movie's verse]], such as the slang "Bronze" for MFP officers is discouraged by the MFP itself and it's stated that Max's use of the [[CoolCar Pursuit Special]] is unauthorized and that he may be a threat.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Once Max quits the force around halfway through the first movie, Fifi, Roop and Charlie are never seen again. Several fans claim to have seen an alternative broadcast cut of the film at some time, which included an extra scene in which Toecutter's gang attack the MFP headquarters and kill all the survivors. However, this footage has [[MissingEpisode yet to be found]] and may be an urban legend. In contrast, the first Fury Road comic book shows that Roop and Charlie became soldiers in Immortan Joe's army.
** Contrary to popular belief, Max's wife doesn't die in the film. After listing her catastrophic injuries, her doctor nonetheless states that she's "salvageable." Because we never see her after the attack and the film ends immediately after Max goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, her fate is left uncertain. She's certainly dead by the sequel, however.
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Toecutter's accent [[OohMeAccentsSlipping changes in every scene]]. Invoked by his actor Hugh Keays-Byrne to [[TropesAreTools make Toecutter sound more insane]].
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: Max is told that his V8 Interceptor was salvaged from various cars. Fifi is then seen listening in on Max enthusing over his new car, and it's revealed that Fifi had the car built to keep Max from retiring. The bureaucrat with him is not happy over the cost.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Johnny the Boy lies on the side of the road in order to draw Max out of his car so Bubba and the Toecutter can kill him. The only reason it doesn't succeed is because Bubba gets overconfident after he shoots Max's leg out and gets on the business end of Max's shotgun.
* YouShallNotPass: Subverted. Mae tries to hold off the bikers with her shotgun in the first film before Jessie and Sprog are run down. She misses.

-> ''"The future belongs to the mad."''