[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cf3f61a815cfafb599c07ec308655d22.jpg]]

[[TheOneWith The one]] that started it all.

''Rocky'' is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Creator/SylvesterStallone.

Rocky Balboa is a DumbIsGood everyman scraping out a living on the streets of Philadelphia, making money as a collector for a LoanShark and by boxing in seedy clubs as "The Italian Stallion". He has nothing else on his mind other than trying to inspire some kids from the neighborhood to set themselves straight and being a DoggedNiceGuy suitor to the ShrinkingViolet Adrian, who works at a local pet store.

However, everything changes for Rocky when reigning World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed suddenly has to find a replacement opponent for his next bout on short notice. Apollo decides to give the exhibition match to a local underdog as a publicity stunt, and picks Rocky ''just because he likes the sound of his nickname''. No-one seems to treat Rocky as a serious contender, but Rocky is determined not to let the opportunity go to waste and steps up to show the world that he "ain't some bum from the neighbourhood".

Viewers who have come to associate the ''Rocky'' films specifically with the action-packed fights might be surprised to learn upon viewing this film that it focuses mostly on the characters, their relationships and lives, and the sudden possibility to make a new and better life.

''Rocky'' was the highest-grossing film of 1976. The film was nominated for ten Oscars and won three: Best Picture, Director and Editing. Stallone was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

It was later [[ScreenToStageAdaptation adapted as a musical]] which first premiered in Germany in 2012 to good reviews and made its Broadway debut in 2014.

----
!!This film has the examples of:

* BeautifulAllAlong: Played straight with Adrian in the first film.
* CaliforniaDoubling:
** Downplayed in the first movie: what's portrayed as The Spectrum is actually the Los Angeles Sports Arena. However the vast majority of it was filmed in Philadelphia and the city and movie are still synonymous with each other in many ways.
* {{Cameo}}: Real life heavyweight champion Joe Frazier cameos as himself to promote the fight between Apollo and Rocky.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Towards Adrian, Rocky is this to a T.
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: Rocky's collecting for a local loan shark.
* TheGlassesComeOff: Adrian in the first film.
* ImprovisedTraining: Tenderizing the beef.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: After Paulie teases Rocky about having sex with Adrian, Rocky responds by beating the crap out of a side of beef while Paulie looks on very nervously. When Rocky leaves, he pulls off his flask and has a drink. [[WordOfGod Stallone]] said it was the first time Paulie saw that his buddy wasn't just a sweet guy and could be a very dangerous person to anger.
* NiceHat:
** Rocky's got one in the first movie.
** Adrian has a new hat which she wears to the fight, but it gets knocked off or something when she runs up to see him after it's over. [[BrickJoke His response upon seeing her is, "Where's your hat"?]]
* OhCrap:
** Apollo does a somewhat understated version of this towards the end of his fight with Rocky in the first film, when he gets up for the last time in the 14th round. Apollo's already celebrating, and Rocky drags himself to his feet and is all "Come on!" Apollo looks at Rocky like "You've ''got'' to be kidding me."
** Apollo gets this in the very first round, in which Rocky knocks him down. It's the first time ''anybody'' has done that to him. It's this moment that he realizes that Rocky is treating this exhibition match like a real fight.
-->'''Duke:''' He doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn ''fight''!
* RawEggsMakeYouStronger: The famous "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhkdLHSKo9s egg drinking scene]]" is the TropeMaker.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Stallone was an utter {{Determinator}} as a screenwriter, never giving up on trying to get one sold no matter how many were turned down, until he had over thirty failed scripts to his name by the time United Artists bought ''Rocky''. This is mirrored in Rocky's own "going the distance" victory.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines:
** Real life: A journeyman boxer named Chuck Wepner (who has never made enough money from the game to train full time for a bout) gets picked for a fight against controversial, charismatic, and overconfident champion Muhammad Ali. Wepner shocks audiences when he scores a not quite legit knockdown against Ali, who proceeds to extract revenge by knocking Wepner out in the last round.
** ''Rocky I'': Rocky Balboa, a journeyman boxer who has never made much money in the game (to the point where his main job is a mafia debt collector) gets picked to fight against controversial, charismatic, and overconfident champion Apollo Creed. Rocky immediately does better than expected, knocking Creed down in round 1, Creed almost knocks Rocky out in the next to last round, and wins a close decision victory.
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: In the first film, Rocky ''loses'' the match. His victory comes from lasting as long as he does against a seasoned champ, and moreso considering the previous record against Apollo was three rounds.
* VictoryPose: Rocky raises his arms at the end of the training montages and does a little boxing ''dance'' after climbing the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs. He also does it at the end of a bout. [[http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/the-rocky-statue-and-the-rocky-steps/ His statue at Philadelphia recreates it]] and the saga ends with an uplifting [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45NMjKE_myA montage of anonymous Philadelphians doing it]] during the credits.

----