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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/monty_python_and_the_holy_grail.jpg]]

->''"[[SurrealHumor If we built this large wooden badger...]]"''

After the success of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' in the UK and US, the six Ambassadors of Anarchy got the right to make films. This 1974 effort was their second go-round (after 1972's ''And Now for Something Completely Different'', which featured redone versions of several sketches from ''Circus'') and one of their most famous and oft-quoted.

A complete skewering of [[KingArthur the Arthurian legend]], it tells the story of King Arthur and his attempt to build a court at Camelot (which is, of course, a silly place). Once he assembles his crew (off-screen, mostly), he has a vision of God (or a reasonable drawing of same by Creator/TerryGilliam based on a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._G._Grace famous cricket player]]), informing him that to cement his name in immortality, he must seek [[PublicDomainArtifact the Holy Grail]] -- the cup used at the Last Supper of Christ, and which caught his blood after the crucifixion. After a long and roundabout search which leads them to the far corners of the Kingdom and past idiosyncratic knights, the world's oldest harem, and a [[KillerRabbit very nasty rabbit]], they discover the Grail is supposedly located in a very old castle, which has fallen into the hands of those heathen enemies -- the French.

Those nasty taunting bastards.

Full of random quips, hilarious stand-alone scenes, and the type of comedic anarchy and anticlimax that practically ''defines'' British comedy even to this day, the movie was a low-budget success story and has become a CultClassic over time. It also reveals Creator/MichaelPalin's versatility, as he plays something like 10 roles over the course of the film. He's not alone, of course; the majority of people and about 80% of the lines are from the Pythonites, leading to some interesting blocking and directing decisions. (Watch Lancelot's helmet.)

Or, if you want to be "artsy" about it, see Eric Idle's [[TheMusical Broadway]] adaptation: ''{{Spamalot}}''!

Just a side note -- because Terry Jones is, in fact, an Arthurian scholar, this happens to be not just the funniest but the [[ShownTheirWork most accurate film adaptation]] of Malory's ''Literature/LeMorteDArthur'' [[HilariousInHindsight ever made]]. Some of the humor, in fact, is derived from typical Pythonian spins on events and characterizations from the original tales.

%% The tropes that a work named is trivia and belongs on the Trivia tab.
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!! Bring out your tropes!

* AbnormalAmmo:
** The cow and large wooden rabbit the French fling at the English knights (catapulting animals was a legitimate strategy for fending off invaders back then, but they were usually dead animals meant to spread disease, not actual livestock). The French can do this too, with less preparation.
--->"Fetchez la vache!"
** The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: King Arthur can cut through the BlackKnight's armour and limbs with ease.
* AccentUponTheWrongSyllable: The Knights of the Round Table, whose shows are formidABLE, but many times are given [[PainfulRhyme rhymes that are quite unsingABLE]].
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: A meta example. According to the Pythons, early audiences viewing the battle against the Black Knight reacted with silence for the first couple of minutes, supposedly shocked by the violent nature of the scene. Then as they realized the joke - that he was showing no pain - they started to laugh.
* AffectionateParody: Terry Jones is an Arthurian scholar and knew a lot of the source material.
* AllWomenAreLustful: Castle Anthrax, where the vile temptresses threaten to take Galahad's purity, despite the fact that he doesn't mind.
* AlmostDeadGuy: Subverted constantly.
** The "plague victim" who protests that he is not dead. However, both his "caretaker" and the cart bearer eventually have had enough of his whining and kill him anyway.
** The RunningGag of people getting shot, stabbed, or otherwise injured, and people mourning over them as if they are giving a FinalSpeech, only for them to protest that they are "getting better".
** With his dying breath, Joseph of Aramathea '''carves''' a message on a cave wall.
--->'''King Arthur:''' If he was ''dying'', he wouldn't bother to ''carve'' "Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!," he'd just ''say'' it!\\
'''Sir Galahad:''' Perhaps he was dictating.\\
'''King Arthur:''' Oh, shut up.
*** The whole gag ends up subverted when the Castle is revealed to actually be named Arrrrrrgh.
* AluminumChristmasTrees
** Launching/dropping dead animals and other nasty things was a real tactic in siege warfare.
** Those guys in the monks robes who walk around chanting in Latin and hitting themselves in the face with boards? They were called flagellants. Compared to what some of the actual flagellent sects did to themselves, their behavior, as odd as it is, is ''extremely mild.''
** There actually were [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_conquest_of_England French living in England]], though not at the time King Arthur lived.
* AmusingInjuries: The Black Knight's limbs being lopped off in his duel with King Arthur.
-->You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!
* AnarchyIsChaos: Intentionally averted when King Arthur comes across an anarcho-syndicalist commune of literal mud farmers. They are decidedly non-violent, particularly when compared to Arthur himself, but they are extremely irritating, screaming "oppression" when... Arthur grabs one of them in annoyance. May be an example of the Pythons having [[ShownTheirWork shown their knowledge about left-wing politics]] and a subtle TakeThat at the many leftists who espoused such views in TheSeventies UK.
* AscendedExtra: Sir Bedevere is a fairly minor character of Arthurian legend, but in this movie he's one of Arthur's three continuous companions.
* [[AuthorExistenceFailure Animator Existence Failure]]: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] and played for laughs, as the characters are only saved from the Legendary Black Beast of AAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!! when the animator suffers a fatal heart attack, and [[NoOntologicalInertia the cartoon peril is no more.]]
* {{Anticlimax}}
** [[spoiler:The surprise ending to the British attack on the French castle]]. The reason why they didn't go through with the whole fight is because they ran out of money and time, and couldn't film the whole thing. So they just [[spoiler:said "Everyone went to jail".]] Some people consider it a [[{{Pun}} cop-out]].
*** Including Eric Idle's daughter. From the documentary "Monty Python: Almost the Truth":
-->'''Eric Idle:''' I ended the Holy Grail because we didn't have an end for that either. I said "Why don't we have the police arrest them, put their hand over the camera." My daughter '''hates''' me for that! She says, "It's the shittiest ending of a movie ever! I hate you dad!"
** The Death of the [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh]] may count.
* ApocalypticLog: The message carved by Joseph of Aramathea giving the Grail's location.
* ArrangedMarriage: Prince Herbert's father wants him to marry a princess because her father owns the biggest tracts of open land in Britain, never mind Herbert's objections. Sir Lancelot comes to rescue Herbert because he thinks he's a DistressedDamsel.
* ArtisticLicenseLogic: The ignorance of the people of the era is PlayedForLaughs in the witch scene, where they fall for a classic AssociationFallacy.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: A man announcing himself as the "King of the Britons" and "Defeater of the Saxons" would never have concluded with "Sovereign of all England." The reason a Briton would have been fighting the Saxons in the first place would be to prevent the establishment of "England," which means "Land of the Anglo-Saxons."
* AscendedToCarnivorism: The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog
* AsHimself: As part of one of the many fourth wall-breaking jokes, Creator/TerryGilliam is very quickly seen as "the animator of the movie" - which is, himself - suffering a fatal heart attack.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: You didn't think that was ''real'' Swedish, did you? Seriously? We're disappointed in you.
* AttackAttackRetreatRetreat
** Where Arthur's Battle Cry quickly breaks down into a rather disorderly call for retreat: "Run Awaaay!", when the French counterattack by launching farm animals at the attackers.
** The tactic used against the killer rabbit.
* BadassAdorable: The KillerRabbit.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: See them all [[http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0071853/crazycredits here]].
* TheBard: Sir Robin's minstrels, one of whom sings "[[http://www.metrolyrics.com/brave-sir-robin-ran-away-lyrics-monty-python.html Brave Sir Robin Ran Away]]".
* BedsheetLadder: Prince Herbert's escape attempt.
* BetterThanItSoundsFilm: "King Arthur's tale is filmed on an extremely low budget, and the plot goes off in random directions."
* BewitchedAmphibians:
-->"She turned me into a newt!"\\
"A ''newt?''"\\
[=*=]{{beat}}*\\
"I got better."
* BilingualBonus: The French knights at the castle will speak French, only to have to repeat themselves in English when their fellow Frenchman fail to understand.
-->"C'est un lapin!"
-->"Hmm?"
-->"It's a rabbit!"
-->"Ah, un lapin!"
-->"Allons-y!"
-->"Hmm?"
-->"Let's go!"
-->"Ah, allons-y!"
* BlackKnight: King Arthur encounters one.
* BloodyHilarious: Seeing a knight get dismembered, but him being too stubborn to admit it.
* BlowingARaspberry: The French Knight, each time he confronts King Arthur and his knights.
* {{Boomstick}}: Wielded by Tim the Enchanter in his first scene (right before the confrontation with the Rabbit of Caerbannog).
* BreakingTheFourthWall
** In one scene, (cut from the original theatrical version, but reinstated for TV and video) Dingo turns and talks to the audience, before being admonished by various cast members who aren't involved in the scene.
*** "GET ON WITH IT!!"
** "Look! There's the old man from Scene 24!"
** Patsy: *when referring to Camelot* "It's only a model"[[note]]SHHH!!!![[/note]]
* BrickJoke:
** The swallow joke ("African or European?") comes up at least twice after the initial scene. The narrator goes on about how many swallows'-flight away Arthur and Bedevere are from Galahad and Lancelot, and the counter-question that allows Arthur to pass the Bridge of Death. Bedevere is also introduced with a coconut tied to a bird, though it's a dove instead of a swallow.
** The above joke went even further in the script, but the final BrickJoke had to be cut out because of the movie's low budget. The Pythons originally wanted the movie to end with an ''epic'' payoff for the "swallows with coconuts" joke, where Arthur's army would have [[StormingTheCastle stormed the Castle Aaaaargh]] and been aided at the last minute by [[TheCavalry a flock of swallows dropping coconuts on the French knights]]. Naturally, they didn't have quite enough cash to pull that off, and ended the movie with [[GainaxEnding the cops arresting everyone]] instead.
** After Launcelot "saves" him from Castle Anthrax, Galahad accuses Launcelot of being gay, which he denies. Subsequently, we see Launcelot rush to a castle to rescue a "damsel" who turns out to be the very effeminate Prince Herbert -- who [[DeliberatelyDistressedDamsel already had an escape plan]]. So not-gay, [[RatedMForManly ostentatiously-hyper-masculine]] Launcelot ends up answering the personal ad of a young feminine guy who [[NotDistractedByTheSexy isn't at all interested]] in marrying a girl with big breasts.
** The Book of Armaments, as read by Brother Maynard, expressly forbids counting to 5. Unfortunately, Arthur keeps getting [[RunningGag 3 and 5 mixed up]], and technically ''does'' count to 5.
** The murder of the historian, and the ending.
** The credits. All of the credits guys were sacked, meaning there were no end credits.
* BrownNote: The Knights Who Say "Ni". Later King Arthur uses the sacred word "Ni" himself. And the evil word: [[spoiler:"it"]].
* BurnTheWitch: The villagers seek permission to burn an accused witch from Sir Bedevere.
* CatchPhrase: King Arthur's "Oh, shut up!", "'''''Jesus''''' Christ!", and "Run away!"
* CelibateHero: Sir Galahad, though [[CasanovaWannabe not for lack of trying]]. He might have succeeded if it wasn't for that meddling Launcelot.
-->'''Launcelot:''' We were in the nick of time! You were in great peril.
-->'''Galahad:''' I don't think I was.
-->'''Launcelot:''' Yes you were, you were in terrible peril!
-->'''Galahad:''' Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
-->'''Launcelot:''' No, it's too perilous.
-->'''Galahad:''' It's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can!
-->'''Launcelot:''' No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on!
-->'''Galahad:''' Oh, let me have just a ''little bit'' of peril?
-->'''Launcelot:''' No. It's unhealthy.
-->'''Galahad:''' ...Bet you're gay.
-->'''Launcelot:''' Am not!
* ChandelierSwing: Sir Lancelot attempts one, but gets stuck and has to ask for someone to give him a push.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Inverted. The French are constantly getting the drop on the English knights.
* ChekhovsGag: Several; the debate about swallows is foremost.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Halfway through the film, a historian appears to summarize the next part of the plot and [[spoiler:is murdered]]. Later, Arthur, Sir Bedevere, and Sir Lancelot are stopped on their quest and [[spoiler:arrested for his murder]].
** Arthur's overheard information about swallows and coconuts. [[ItMakesSenseInContext Used to launch someone off a bridge]].
* ChosenOne: Subverted and discussed. An anarcho-syndicalist peasant doesn't see what's so special about being chosen.
--> "Listen. Strange women layin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government!"
* CoconutSuperpowers: Caused by the movie having NoBudget.
** The horses are just the serfs following their knight, clapping two halves of a coconut together.
** When the knights are hurled from the Bridge of Death, the actor is just crouched down, and then standing up real fast.
* CollectibleCardGame: One was made, and was one of the early games to [[FromClonesToGenre break away]] from the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' mold.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment
** The Knights of Ni and King Arthur using the BrownNote "Ni!" to hurt people.
** Apparently the punishment for lighting the "Grail-shaped" beacon at the Castle Anthrax is for the offender to be tied to the bed and spanked. And after the spanking, the oral sex!
* {{Corpsing}}: During the "Burn the Witch" scene, a scythe-wielding peasant (Eric Idle) bites into his scythe to keep himself from cracking up.
* CreditsGag / CaptionHumor
** "Swedish" subtitles
** [[RichardNixon Richard M. Nixon]]
** Mse
** [[EverythingsBetterWithLlamas llamas]]
** Mass firings, which [[spoiler:carries on into the end credits. (Or lack thereof.)]]
* CrashingThroughTheHarem: Sir Galahad fights his way through a forest in a storm until he finds Castle Anthrax, which has a Grail-shaped beacon overhead. He bangs on the door, and when it opens he falls inside. He meets several young women, one of whom tells him that the castle contains eight score young blondes and brunettes, all between 16 and 19. As Sir Galahad escapes from two naughty female doctors, he enters a room filled with the aforementioned eight score young women. Just as he decides to stay, some of the other knights "rescue" him and get him to continue the Grail quest. He then proceeds to [[StopHelpingMe call them gay]].
* CrosscastRole: In a rarity for Monty Python there's only one example of this in the whole film, namely the very minor character of Dennis's mother, who is played by Terry Jones. Even the Pythons comment on this on the DVD commentary, and surmise that since they could afford an actual cast for the first time, they just naturally hired real women to play the women in the film.
* CrypticConversation: Scene 24.
* DarkAgeEurope: It takes place in the Dark Ages in England with Frenchmen for some reason...
-->'''Bedevere:''' [[OrphanedPunchline And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.]]
* DeathByLookingUp: The servant crushed by the "Trojan Rabbit".
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Lancelot tries to take out the French castle using this technique.
** The marks in the castle's masonry from John Cleese's blade remain to this very day.
* DefiedTrope: The King of Swamp Castle is ''not'' having any musical numbers if he can help it. (Unfortunately for him, he can't stop a CrowdSong.)
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
-->'''Brother Maynard:''' Three is the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four thou shalt not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is ''right out.''
** This sounds exactly like an oral tradition (where repetition helped cement things in memory) that got transcribed exactly when it got written down. See above about Terry Jones being a history geek.
** Parts of the Book of Armaments bear an uncanny resemblance to the Athanasian Creed, which affirms the Christian doctrine of the Trinity in agonising detail; to quote just a tiny section:
--->"...and yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God..."
* DerailedForDetails: In the opening scene, King Arthur's attempt to summon the Lord of the local castle derails into a discussion of how exactly King Arthur acquired a coconut shell in Medieval England, and ends with an argument over the migratory patterns of swallows. This even turns up later in a BrickJoke.
* DerangedAnimation: The various intercut scenes, like with the [[EldritchAbomination Black Beast of AAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!]], are animated in Creator/TerryGilliam's signature deranged style.
** The UsefulNotes/BluRay extras contain even more examples, newly restored, that didn't make it into the final film.
* {{Determinator}}: Deconstructed, figuratively and literally, by the Black Knight scene. [[WordOfGod Cleese even said]] he based it on a school lesson in never surrendering, that Cleese found rather ridiculous (as it was about a Greco-Roman wrestler who died in the ring rather than lose the match).
* DiabolusExMachina: The ending where Arthur's army [[spoiler:is arrested by modern-day police]].
* DidntThinkThisThrough: The complete failure of the Trojan Rabbit plan.
* DispenseWithThePleasantries: God to King Arthur.
-->'''God:''' Arthur! Arthur, King of the Britons! Oh, don't grovel! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.\\
'''Arthur:''' Sorry--\\
'''God:''' And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone it's "sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you doing now!?\\
'''Arthur:''' I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.\\
'''God:''' Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms -- they're so depressing. Now knock it off!
* DistressedDude: The Swamp Prince is in need of rescuing. Lancelot thinks he's a DistressedDamsel.
* DopeSlap: King Arthur to Sir Bedevere and the King of Swamp Castle to Prince Herbert.
* DoubleEntendre: "She's rich, she's beautiful, she's got huuuuge... ''(suggestive gesture)'' tracts of land."
* DoubleTake: The French soldier when he sees the Trojan Rabbit.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Arthur gets arrested by (modern-day) police officers in connection with a trans-temporal murder committed by an entirely different person earlier in the film. The climactic battle with the French never happens.]]
* TheDulcineaEffect: Subverted.
-->'''Lancelot:''' O Fair One, behold your humble servant Sir Lancelot of Camelot. I have come in answer to your mess-- oh, I'm terribly sorry!
* TheDungAges: Remember, Arthurian scholar. This was actually one of the first movies to show that conditions back then weren't like what they showed you in the movies. The corpse collector is able to identify Arthur as a king ''specifically because'' "he hasn't got [[PrecisionFStrike shit]] all over him."
* DwindlingParty: Thanks in no small part to the Bridge of Death.
* DyingClue: [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: "He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the castle of [=AAA Aaaaaaargh=]." ]]
Of course, it turns out the castle is actually called "[=AAAAaaaaaargh=]".
* DynamicEntry: Sir Lancelot does this in "The Tale Of Sir Lancelot". See StormingTheCastle below.
* EatDirtCheap: Parodied. The Constitutional Peasants are seen gathering dirt and filth in the same way one would harvest crops.
* EatTheDog: Robin's minstrels. AndThereWasMuchRejoicing ([[FlatJoy Yay]]).
* EveryoneJoinTheParty: At the end, hundreds of soldiers show up literally out of nowhere.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: Sir Bedevere discovers that while his plan was tactically sound, he has missed an important step in its preparation.
-->'''King Arthur''' ''(after watching the French roll the Trojan Rabbit into their fortress):'' What happens next?\\
'''Bedevere:''' Well, now, uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French by surprise -- not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!\\
'''King Arthur''' ''(glancing over at Launcelot and Galahad, still standing nearby):'' ...''Who'' leaps out?\\
'''Bedevere''' ''(hesitantly):'' Uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I, uh, leap out of the rabbit, uh, and, uh.... ''(looks at the other knights, who are facepalming)'' l-look, if we built this large wooden badger...
* EyeScream: The Green Knight gets the Black Knight's sword through the eye-slot of his helmet. Cue HighPressureBlood.
* FacePalm: Upon recognizing a glaring flaw in the Trojan Rabbit plan.
* FakeOutOpening: In a DVD release.
* FantasyForbiddingFather: Or at least Break-Into-Musical-Numbers-Forbidding Father.
* FearIsTheAppropriateResponse: Arthur and his remaining knights run away when the evil bunny kills some of them off.
* {{Feelies}}: At least one edition of the DVD has instructions on the back to use the DVD case to play along with the chanting monks. By holding it firmly in both hands and smashing it into your face...
* FeelsNoPain: The Black Knight is apparently completely immune, and even oblivious, to the pain and blood loss from his severed limbs.
* FetchQuest: The Knights who say "Ni" send the protagonists on a quest for a shrubbery for no apparent reason.
-->'''King Arthur:''' O Knights of Ni. We have brought you your shrubbery. May we go now?
* FilmTheHand: The last scene in the movie is a policeman blocking the camera.
* FindersRulers: Arthur's claim to royalty lies in him possessing {{Excalibur}}.
* FlatJoy: Yay. *waves a flag*
* FocalLength: Z-axis compression while Lancelot is running toward the camera.
* FootnoteFever / FunWithSubtitles: The opening credits (as referenced by the latter page).
* FrenchJerk: Those insult-slinging guards.
* FunnyForeigner: The French castle guard.
-->'''Frenchman:''' [[LampshadeHanging I'm French! Why do you zink I have zis outrrrrageous accent, you silly king-a?!]]
-->'''Frenchman:''' I fart in your general direction! [[YourMom Your mother was a hamster]] and your father smelt of elderberries!
* GagBoobs: Referenced. ''Huge''... [[DoubleEntendre tracts of land.]]
* GagSub: The opening credits and those on a DVD release.
** For the record, the DVD GagSub is actually entirely composed of lines from Creator/WilliamShakespeare's HenryIV Part 2. It's marketed on the DVD as being "For People Who Did Not Like The Film." [[spoiler: Only it isn't HenryIV. It's just the film's lines put into more Shakespearean terms.]]
*** [[spoiler: Actually, all the lines are FROM HenryIV. They're just not in Shakespeare's order, and some are just fragments of lines, chosen to fit the lines actually spoken in the film.]]
%%* GenericistGovernment
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The Dreaded Black Beast of Aaaaargh, although we don't think it's from space.
* GirlInTheTower: Parodied. First, it's a guy, and it only gets worse from there.
* {{God}}: Shows up, badly animated and cranky, to give the Knights a sacred quest. [[GodIsGood Turns out not to be a fan of grovelling or of depressing religious psalms.]]
* GroinAttack: The Black Knight does it to the Green Knight while fighting him.
%%* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: The Swamp Castle guards.
%%* HairRaisingHare: The Killer Rabbit of Caerbanog.
%%* HandSignals:
%%* HavingABlast: Tim the Enchanter.
%%* HiccupHijinks: A guard in the first "Prince Herbert" scene.
* HairRaisingHare: The Killer Rabbit.
* HiddenInPlainSight: [[spoiler: When Arthur first encounters the French, they tell him that they already have a grail. At the end of the film, Arthur approaches the exact same castle...but from the water side across the lake, to find the Frenchmen still in residence. The fact that he doesn't realise it's the same castle until the Frenchman pokes his head over the wall is the joke.]]
* HighPressureBlood
** King Arthur's duel with the Black Knight.
** The scene with the Killer Rabbit.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** The bridge-keeper attempts to invoke three questions before letting them cross (which are relatively easy... If you aren't indecisive). If they fail (either by not knowing one of the others or simply being indecisive with one of the questions), they are hurled down a fiery crevice. When Arthur gets his turn, specifically when he gets to the third question (about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow), Arthur actually asks for clarification as to whether he meant an unladen ''African'' swallow or an unladen ''European'' swallow. The bridgekeeper then admits he doesn't even know, with predictable results.
** The Knights of the Round Table when the French taunters catapult the Trojan Rabbit at them.
* HolyHandGrenade: The TropeNamer.
* HollywoodTactics: Go, Sir Lancelot, you [[SociopathicHero psychotic berk]]! Chop that castle down with your sword! Justified, though, in that this was how Lancelot ''actually acted'' in Malory and other early sources. "Mentally unstable berserker prone to stress-induced fugue states" doesn't even ''begin'' to cover him.
** Rather more specifically, this scene is a parody of the rescue of Guenevere near the end of Morte d' Arthur.
* HollywoodTorches: Appear during the Camelot, Castle Anthrax, Swamp Castle and Cave of Caerbannog sequences.
* HugoAward: Nominated for Best [[HilariousInHindsight Dramatic]] Presentation in 1976.
* ImAHumanitarian: Robin's minstrels.
-->''And they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels, AndThereWasMuchRejoicing.'' 'Yaaaaay'
** It's a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_Minstrels pun.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: The three knights impaled to a tree with a lance by the three-headed knight.
* ImplausibleDeniability
** "It's just a flesh wound."
** "... I got better."
* ImpossibleTask: "You must chop down the mightiest tree in the forest... [[WithThisHerring with a herring!]]"
* ImprobableAimingSkills: The Black Knight throws his sword right through the eye-slot of the Green Knight's helmet.
* IncessantMusicMadness: Sir Robin eventually reacts this way to his minstrels, though it has more to do with their lyrics than the quality of their singing.
* InformedAbility: The minstrels gushing about Sir Robin's bravery.
* InherentlyFunnyWords
** Ni!
** "A newt?" (As opposed to, say, a cat.)
** Mse. Majestic perhaps, but very funny.
* InsaneTrollLogic: Bedevere's faultless chain of reasoning leading to the conviction of the witch. And in true Monty Python fashion, it works! Also, one of the tracks on the soundtrack album is an alleged philosophy professor analyzing the very thing. He concludes that sex is better than logic.
%%* {{Intermission}}
* InvisibleBackupBand: Pops up whenever Herbert mentions wanting to sing.
* IWantSong: {{Defied|Trope}}. The lord of Swamp Castle keeps stopping his son from doing it until a later scene, which turns into a CrowdSong.
* JustAStupidAccent: John Cleese's taunting Frenchman [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]]. Further played with when one of the French knights actually does speak French (or uses commonly known French words), and the other Frenchmen don't understand a word.
-->'''Frenchman #1:''' C'est un cadeau!\\
'''Frenchman #2:''' Huh?\\
'''Frenchman #1:''' It's a present!\\
'''Frenchman #2:''' Oh! Oui, un cadeau!\\
'''Frenchman #1:''' Oui! Oui! Allons-y!\\
'''Frenchman #2:''' What?\\
'''Frenchman #1:''' Let's go.\\
'''Frenchman #2:''' Oh!
%%* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: The Black Knight to King Arthur after Arthur cuts his arms off.
* KingArthur: As the movie is a parody of the Arthurian mythos, King Arthur is, predictably, the main character.
%%* KingOfAllCosmos: God.
* KinkySpanking: The women in Castle Anthrax [[InvokedTrope try to get Sir Galahad to spank them]] for luring him in. Unfortunately Sir Lancelot thinks it's "too perilous".
* LadyLand: Castle Anthrax.
%%* LeeroyJenkins: Sir Lancelot.
%%* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Prince Herbert and his father.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand
** "Stop that, stop that! You're not going to do a song while I'm here."
** "We apologize for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked."
*** We apologize again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking those people who were sacked have just been sacked.
* ALightInTheDistance: Castle Anthrax's Grail-shaped beacon.
* LighterAndSofter: The Trojan Horse is [[AdaptationDecay adapted]] to the Trojan Rabbit. When that fails, it is [[RecursiveAdaptation re-adapted]] into the Trojan Badger.
* LiteralMinded: Prince Herbert's guards are so literal in their interpretation of their orders that they allow Herbert to engineer his rescue because in the process he never does anything they were told to keep him from doing.
%%* LordErrorProne: Lancelot when he's StormingTheCastle.
%%* LoudOfWar: "Ni! Ni!"
%%* LovableCoward: Sir Robin.
%%* LyricalDissonance: The "Brave Sir Robin" song.
* MadeOfPlasticine: How easily King Arthur hacks off the Black Knight's limbs.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: The Black Knight (four times), as well as Launcelot's faithful squire Concorde ("Message for you, sir!")
* MedievalMorons: Both used and subverted. Also, provided this trope's page image.
* MediumAwareness: Prince Herbert's father when the prince is about to start singing.
* MediumBlending: Like ''Flying Circus'', the movie switches from live-action to Creator/TerryGilliam's DerangedAnimation.
* MilesGloriosus: "Brave" Sir Robin, who has a troupe of troubadours to follow him about and sing of his praises. Unfortunately he runs away at the first sign of danger, and they incorporate his cowardice into their song....
%%* MilkyWhiteEyes
%%* MinskyPickup: The Camelot song.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: FridgeLogic shows that [[spoiler: the police were in the wrong to cart off Arthur and his men as suspected murderers of A Famous Historian. The knight who killed him]] ''[[spoiler: rode a real horse.]]''
%%* MissionFromGod
* MistakenForGay:
-->'''Galahad:''' Bet you're gay!\\
'''Lancelot:''' ... No I'm not.
** This, however, becomes subverted in ''{{Spamalot}}'', where Lancelot really ''is'' gay.
** In the screenplay on the DVD, the other knights look knowingly at Lancelot.
* MonsterMunch: Sirs Bors, Gawain, and Ector, three {{Red Shirt}}s who show up after the TimeSkip following the Knights of Ni scene, exist entirely to be killed by the KillerRabbit.
* MultipleHeadCase: The three-headed giant whose heads bicker amongst themselves.
* TheMusical: ''{{Spamalot}}''
* NeverSayThatAgain: Ni!
** Turned around on the knights, later. [[spoiler:They are drained of their will by the word "it".]]
*** Oddly enough, the knight says it at the top of the scene with no harm done, but then hits himself with it for damage during the fadeout.
* NoEnding: Mainly because they couldn't think of one. [[spoiler:Arthur and his knights prepare to storm the French castle, and are then promptly arrested by the police for the murder of a historian killed by Lancelot halfway through the film.]]
* NoodleImplements: Using sheep's bladders to prevent earthquakes somehow.
* NoPartyLikeADonnerParty:
-->''In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_Minstrels minstrels]], and there was much rejoicing.''
* OffWithHisHead: The knight Bors has his head bitten off by the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
* OminousLatinChanting: The flagellant monks, while hitting themselves on the head.
* OnlyAFleshWound: The TropeNamer--but subverted. King Arthur chops the Black Knight's sword arm off to end the fight quickly and thus avoid having to kill him. When the knight insists on fighting one-armed, he chops off the other one; then one leg; then the other. At this point, the knight is clearly bleeding out and will probably die, but he's talking as if nothing had happened at all.
* OnlySaneMan: Arthur. He's not necessarily ''brilliant,'' but he's a capable and smart leader, a capable sword fighter, confident, assertive, and the only one without a severe emotional problem of some sort.
* OnlySixFaces: For self-evident reasons.
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: Parodied in the Bridge of Death scene. The old man guarding it asks three questions; the first two are harmless, but the third one can be either another harmless one or a tricky piece of trivia nobody is assumed to know off-hand. Get any of them wrong or show hesitation and you're launched into the abyss below. [[spoiler:This goes for the bridge keeper as well.]]
* OohMeAccentsSlipping:
** John Cleese's faux-French accent slips into his British one momentarily [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs#t=01m45s during the French Taunting scene]].
** Cleese inverts this during his scenes as Tim the Enchanter, whose accent suddenly becomes much thicker between his first meeting with the knights and the scenes at the Cave of Caerbannog.
* OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank: The Black Knight sequence.
* OverlyLongGag
** The Swamp Castle scene.
** In a deleted scene with Zoot (which does still appear in several versions of the movie) and within several other scenes throughout the film. Note of course that in most instances, the Overly-Long Gag is itself an intentional RunningGag and a LampshadeHanging.
* PainfulRhyme: [[invoked]]The "Camelot" song is built around these, and it's even lampshaded:
-->''We're Knights of the Round Table, our shows are for-mid-able\\
But many times, we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able...''
* PaintingTheFourthWall: Done literally with the title card in Sir Lancelot's segment.
* ThePigPen: The villagers compared to Arthur, since "...he hasn't got shit all over him."
* PoirotSpeak: The Frenchman.
* PrayerOfMalice: Parodied; the heroes pray for God not only to defeat their enemies, but to "blow them to tiny bits, ''in Thy Mercy''".
* PublicDomainArtifact: The Holy Grail, but the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is treated as one.
* QuoteMine: So much so, that it's experienced HypeBacklash in the last few years.
* RedShirt: Bors, Gawain and Ector. They appear suddenly and without introduction before The Rabbit of Caerbannog and they are promptly dispatched. (Of course, in Malory and the Vulgate Cycle these are three of Arthur's most prominent knights - Terry Jones having a bit of fun with the traditions again?)
** If you watch closely, you'll see that two of them do appear earlier - they're the knights who help Lancelot "rescue" Galahad. Those two aren't named, but you can tell it's them because they have the same heraldry as the knights in the Rabbit scene.
* RewritingReality: The knights escape a cartoon monster when the animator dies of a heart attack.
* RiddleMeThis
* RopeBridge: Subverted, in that it doesn't break.
** Graham Chapman got so drunk, he was absolutely terrified this would happen. So a stunt double ripped off his clothes and strutted across the bridge. You might notice how strangely determined the guy looks when doing this.
* RuleOfFunny: The driving force behind all technology in the movie. Why else would the French have their catapults already aimed at the Britons, but unloaded? How else would one explain the existence of the HolyHandGrenade? Okay, the movie ''thrives'' on this trope.
* RuleOfThree
** The counting of the Holy Hand Grenade. "Five is right out."
** Subverted with the castles. The third castle in the swamp fared even worse than the first two. But the fourth one '''stayed up'''.
** Further subverted in a scene cut from the ending sequence: The old man from scene 24 appears -- for a third time, of course -- as Arthur is about to board the boat to the Grail castle and intones, "He who would cross the Sea of Fate must answer these questions twenty-and-eight." Arthur just picks him up and throws him in the water before getting into the boat.
** Arthur [[RunningGag constantly confuses]] "five" for "three". It happens again at the Bridge of Death.
---> "[We've lost] Gawain, Ector, and Bors, that's five..."
** The three questions in the Bridge of Death skit.
* RunningGag: Swallows and coconuts come up way too often in this movie, as do people not dying and the number three.
** Every time Arthur prays, he gets hit with something.
** Arthur keeps getting 3 and 5 mixed up.
* ScareChord: During the Knights Who Say Ni scene.
* ScoobyStack: The French knights make this formation before stepping out to investigate the Trojan Rabbit.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: When brave Sir Robin encounters a three-headed giant, he chickens out. His minstrel keeps singing about it, much to his annoyance. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYFefppqEtE Listen to the Tale of how Brave Sir Robin ran away]].
-->'''Sir Robin's minstrel:''' Brave Sir Robin ran away./Bravely ran away away./When danger reared it's ugly head,/He bravely turned his tail and fled./Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about/And gallantly he chickened out./Bravely taking to his feet,/He beat a very brave retreat.
* SeinfeldianConversation: Lots of it, especially the coconuts argument.
* ShaggyDogStory
* ShapedLikeItself: The historian's name is given as 'A Famous Historian'.
* ShoutOut:
** The Trojan Rabbit (Trojan Horse) and Lancelot's squire Concorde (the jet), among others.
** Also, Lancelot thanks the Bridgekeeper as he passes the Bridge of Death by saying "Thank you. Thankyouverymuch." in the same vein of ElvisPresley.
** The flagellation, the witch burning scene, and the mock-Swedish subtitles are all shout-outs to ''Film/TheSeventhSeal''.
* ShownTheirWork: See above.
* SiegeEngines: Both Arthur's army at the end of the movie and the French knights.
* SmokeOut: A Smoke In when Tim the Enchanter teleports from a distant mountaintop.
* SomedayThisWillComeInHandy: The ChekhovsGun Arthur overhears.
--> '''Bedevere:''' How do you know so much about swallows?
* SomewhereAMammalogistIsCrying: Tim the Enchanter refers to the Killer Rabbit as a "''bad-tempered rodent''". Rabbits are ''not'' rodents!
* SophisticatedAsHell
** Brother Maynard reading the Holy Hand Grenade instructions.
-->'''Brother Maynard:''' ... who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.
** An anarcho-syndicalist peasant.
-->'''Peasant:''' You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
* StealthPun: The ending. [[spoiler: It's a cop-out.]]
** Describing a woman as having "large tracts of land" accompanied by hand gestures indicating she has a large chest. The potential bride is described as having property, which, given the era, she would not have owned outright, but would have made up her dowry, to go to her husband upon marriage. Thus she was literally "well-endowed." Of course it today's language a woman is "well-endowed" if she has a large chest.
* TheStinger: Aversion -- a black screen and two minutes and forty seconds of repetitive organ music.
* StoneWall: Parodied with the Black Knight. He has all his limbs chopped off, yet [[OnlyAFleshWound still boasts that he's invincible]].
** After all, 'tis only a flesh wound!
* StopWorshippingMe: God is visibly annoyed with Arthur's and the Knights' slavish reverence.
* StormingTheCastle: Three times: when they try to storm the French castle early on, when Lancelot attacks the castle by himself and when Arthur's army charges the French-controlled Grail castle at the climax.
** Lancelot storms Anthrax to save Galahad from "almost certain temptation", and Swamp Castle to save the distressed... prince.
* StuffBlowingUp: Tim the Enchanter, to the point of interrupting the knights mid-sentence for no purpose but pyrotechnics.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: "You make me sad."
* ThatPoorCat: Subverted, in that the cat is on-screen every time someone makes it complain.
* ThatWasTheLastEntry: Parodied with the inscription about the Castle of [=AAAAaaaaaargh=].
* TheseQuestionsThree: Named for the TrollBridge scene, which didn't just parody this, it [[ZigZaggingTrope zig zagged]] it (including in a DeletedScene). Heck, just referencing this would be enough for a trope on its own. The first two questions are constant: "What is your name?" and "What is your [[TheQuest quest]]?". After that, he'll often ask "What is your favourite colour?" but he's just as likely to throw curveballs like "[[UnexpectedlyObscureAnswer What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?]]," or "What is the capital of Assyria?"
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: The Black Knight kills the Green Knight by throwing his sword through his helm's ''eye slot''.
* TimePassesMontage: The seasons passing segment, subverted in that the seasons are deliberately mixed up by the end.
* TrojanHorse: Trojan ''Rabbit'', actually.
* TrollBridge: The Bridge of Death scene.
* TropeOverdosed: Yes and No. Given that this movie was the TropeNamer for many of the listed tropes on this page, ''Monty Python And The Holy Grail'' is only [[SeinfeldisUnfunny trope-overdosed in retrospect]]. Back when the movie premiered (in 1975), it mainly was 91 minutes of (often ground-breaking) weirdness.
* TrustMeImADoctor: Both Doctor Piglet and Doctor Winston try to assure Sir Galahad that they are doctors during his stay at Castle Anthrax.
** Well, they've had basic medical training.
* UnexplainedRecovery: From the "Burn the witch" scene, although it's also as likely that the peasant was lying in the first place about getting cursed.
** Despite an unpleasant "splat" sound effect after falling out of the tower, Prince Herbert shows up at his wedding none the worse for wear. He does intend to explain this recovery (in song, natch), but sadly, we don't get to hear the best part.
* UnstoppableRage: Lancelot when he's StormingTheCastle.
* UnusualEuphemism: The Swamp King wants Herbert to marry a woman so he can inherit her father's property, but the son is unwilling. He tries to convince him with a couple of reasons, ending off with the fact that she has "huge... tracts of land," with a gesture that is less suggestive of real estate and more suggestive of womanly curves.
--> "Let me sample a little peril"
* UnwantedRescue: Sir Galahad from Castle Anthrax.
* VagueAge: The girls of Castle Anthrax are "all between the ages of 16 and 19".
* VerbalTic:
** The Knights Who Say "[=NI=]!"
** King Arthur has a tendency to say five when he actually means three.
* WanderingMinstrel: Brave, brave Sir Robin's got a bunch.
* WeaksauceWeakness: The Knights Who Say "NI!" have one too - dreading the use of [[spoiler:the word "it"]].
* WeaponsGradeVocabulary: Ni!
** Turned around on the knights, later. [[spoiler:They are drained of their will by the word "it".]] Oddly enough, the knight says it at the top of the scene with no harm done, but then hits himself with it for damage during the fadeout.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Subverted by the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
* WhiteBunny: The Rabbit of Caerbannog.
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: The killer bunny of Caerbannog is defeated with a hand grenade once it is established that the rabbit can [[CurbStompBattle kill the knights]] [[NoSell easily]] in close-quarters combat.
* WorldShapes: Believed to be banana-shaped, at least by Bedevere.
* YourMom: This famous oft-quoted insult. Now considered a {{shibboleth}} to get into many Ren Faires.
-->'''French Knight:''' I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal-food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
* YouShallNotPass: "None shall pass!"

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''"Now go away or this page shall taunt you a second time-a."''
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