[[caption-width-right:350:[[TrainingMontage Gonna fly now!]]]]
->'''Rocky Balboa:''' There ain't nothin' over till it's over.\\
'''Mason Dixon:''' Where's that from, the '80s?\\
'''Rocky Balboa:''' That's probably the '70s.
-->-- ''Rocky Balboa''

A series of six movies set around boxing's favorite {{underdog|sNeverLose}}, "The Italian Stallion" Rocky Balboa.

The idea for the first film was inspired when Creator/SylvesterStallone, then a down-on-his-luck-actor, went to see a Muhammad Ali bout against Chuck Wepner. Wepner was a tough fighter with a lot of heart but little skill and a bad record, and he was most famous for frequently bleeding profusely during his bouts. The bout was intended to be a breather -- an exhibition for Ali after his [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome unbelievable (and hardfought) victory]] over George Foreman less than six months earlier -- but to the astonishment of all, Wepner managed to knock Ali down in the ninth round (video replays showed it was actually more of a trip; Wepner happened to be standing on Ali's foot when the blow landed, which caused Ali to lose his balance when he tried to move).

Although an incensed Ali made Wepner pay dearly for that -- and eventually knocked Wepner down and out for the only time in his career -- the roar of the crowd as an [[TheEveryman Everyman]] knocked down the greatest athlete in his sport inspired Stallone, who went home and spent the next few days writing furiously nearly around the clock. The end result? '''''Rocky''''' was born. (Though that's slightly mythologized too. When Stallone was asked how he managed to write the screenplay in three days, he replied "I didn't write the screenplay in three days, I wrote ''a'' screenplay in three days," the shooting script was heavily workshopped.)

[[folder:List of Films]]
The first film opens with Rocky "The Italian Stallion" Balboa as a DumbIsGood hero in Philadelphia, trying to make a living by boxing in seedy clubs and collecting money for a LoanShark (although he seems rather more gentle about it than most mob enforcers). 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 a real-life {{Meganekko}} girl, Adrian.

Everything changes, however, when reigning heavyweight champion Apollo Creed sees his next opponent back out of an upcoming match and has to pick a replacement on short notice. He ends up picking Rocky ''just because he liked his nickname "The Italian Stallion"'', giving Rocky a chance to make it to the big time for the first time in his life. No-one seems to treat him as a serious contender, but Rocky is determined not to let this opportunity go to waste, 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. The film was a box-office smash and an underdog movie that ended up winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing in 1976. It was later [[ScreenToStageAdaptation adapted as a musical]] which first premiered in Germany in 2012 to good reviews and will be making its Broadway debut in 2014.

Notably, Rocky ''loses'' the climactic boxing match; it goes to the scorecards, with Creed having the better judges' scores. But he proves his determination by remaining on his feet all the way through the final round.

!!''Rocky II''
After the success of the first film, sequels naturally began to come along. In ''Rocky II'', Apollo Creed isn't happy about leaving the ring with a guy like Rocky going toe-to-toe with him, and he demands a rematch to prove his superiority. Rocky declines, however, as he already felt he accomplished what he set out to do with the first fight. Much of the film deals with both the benefits and drawbacks to the fight -- Rocky is unable to manage his newfound fame and loses most of the money he earned from opportunities afterwards, and Apollo's career is in turmoil from backlash against his win against the underdog. Ultimately, both men need the fight for personal and practical reasons, and they eventually schedule a rematch. Another subplot shows Rocky marrying Adrian and the troubled birth of their son. This film also contains the famous scene in which Rocky, repeating his iconic run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is followed by a growing crowd of fans and onlookers (a scene that in real life took 800 extras). Unlike the first film, Rocky defeats Apollo this time, either a SugarWiki/CrowningMomentOfAwesome or a LostAesop depending on who you talk to.

!!''Rocky III''
At this point, the series had become less about the characters and more of a showcase of an interesting or unique opponent for Rocky to fight. Five years after the fight at the end of the previous film, Rocky has become the heavyweight champion and a major celebrity. Another young up-and-comer, [[MeaningfulName Clubber Lang]] (played by the inimitable Creator/MrT) wants a shot at him, though, and the film contrasts Rocky's newfound cockiness with Clubber's intensity (a reversal of Rocky and Apollo's roles in the first film). Rocky loses his fight against the better-trained Lang just as [[spoiler: his beloved mentor, Mickey, passes away]] -- which leads to Apollo Creed offering to become Rocky's trainer. Apollo initially makes the offer just to get back at Lang, but over the course of their training, he and Rocky bond and become close friends. Rocky wins against Clubber in a rematch, and the film ends with a final match between Apollo and Rocky, though now only as a friendly spar. This film also spawned the legendary song [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Eye of the Tiger"]], performed by Survivor.

!!''Rocky IV''
Rocky is pitted against Russian super-athlete Ivan Drago in a heavily ColdWar themed film, which mostly revolves around the two fights with Drago. In the first, the once-again retired Rocky coaches Apollo for an exhibition match with Drago [[spoiler: that leads to Drago killing Apollo in the ring]]. In the second, Rocky uses good ol' fashioned patriotism to beat down the cold-hearted Russian [[spoiler: as an act of revenge]]. While the film is not as well regarded critically (or by the fanbase) as the previous three, it is the highest grossing film in the series, and numerous fans and critics consider this film's TrainingMontage to be the best directed one of the series. It also spawned a pair of CrowningMusicOfAwesome songs -- namely "Burning Heart", performed by Survivor, and "War", performed by Vince Dicola -- though neither of them ''quite'' managed to surpass "Eye Of The Tiger" in the [[PopculturalOsmosis public consciousness]]. JamesRolfe said it best when he said "real men like Rocky IV!"

In the final numbered film in the series, which picks up directly from the previous film, Rocky is forced to retire when he learns he has brain damage from the fight with Drago; additionally, the manager put in charge of his fortune lost most of the fortune Rocky had accumulated over the years, thus leading to him retiring to his old working-class neighborhood (again) and his wife returning to her job at the pet store (again; [[{{Sequelitis}} notice a pattern?]]). Working at Mickey's old gym (which Rocky now owns thanks to his son technically assuming ownership as Mickey wishes), Rocky tries to train a young up and comer named Tommy Gunn, which ruins his relationship with his own son Robert. Tommy [[spoiler: quickly turns to TheDarkSide, however, when he becomes frustrated at being seen only as Rocky's student and not as a fighter in his own right; Gunn falls in with a [[LawyerFriendlyCameo Don King ersatz]] who takes over his management, giving him the title bouts and money he's been craving. The film leads into Rocky having a street fight with Tommy, which Rocky wins despite his age and lack of practice.]] The film, expected to be the centerpiece of the holiday season of 1990, was knocked out early by sleeper hit ''HomeAlone'' and was the worst reviewed (and worst performing) film of the series. The franchise appeared to have effectively ended on a low note, and stayed that way for sixteen years (even SylvesterStallone [[CanonDiscontinuity disowned this film and does not consider this film to actually exist]]), until...

!!''Rocky Balboa''
Finally, in a largely successful attempt to salvage the original story and resolve any hanging threads (and because Stallone likes revisiting his old movie franchises), the sixth and final film -- ''Rocky Balboa'' -- was released, thirty years after the first. Despite the cynics joking about "[[Film/{{Spaceballs}} Rocky Five... Thousand]]", the film was more of a return to the original film's focus on an engaging character story -- and it ended up being a surprise hit.

Despite [[spoiler: [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome losing Adrian to cancer]] some years prior]] and having a strained relationship (at best) with his son, Rocky has something of a good life -- he has become a living landmark in Philadelphia, [[BrickJoke running his]] [[Music/WeirdAlYankovic own restaurant]] and telling boxing stories to his customers. Over in the boxing world, current reigning heavyweight champion [[PunnyName Mason]] "[[IncrediblyLamePun The Line]]" [[StealthPun Dixon]] is disliked by pundits and fans alike for his [[BoringInvincibleHero easy fights finished in the first round]]. When a realistic computer simulation pits Dixon against an in-his-prime Balboa -- with Dixon ''losing'' -- publicists see a goldmine of an opportunity in an exhibition match between Rocky and Dixon to improve their client's image. Rocky is unsure of accepting the challenge because of his age and his relationship with his son, but he eventually accepts out of a desire to have one last great fight and rid himself of all of his inner demons. The film was intended to be the true ending to the franchise, serving as a coda to the series -- it even ended with a tribute to the longtime fans of the series by showing them running up the famous steps themselves. ''Rocky Balboa'' found critical and commercial success, and between it and ''Rambo'', the film briefly revitalized Stallone's lagging career.

A character sheet can now be found [[Characters/{{Rocky}} here]].

There were also a handful of video games that were made based on the series. The most notable, and faithful is ''Rocky Legends'' on the PS2 and X-Box, and the last game so far is ''Rocky'' for the Playstation Portable.

There is a new SpinOff film in the works called ''Creed''. It will be focusing on Apollo Creed's son, Adonis Creed, who was born into wealth and decided to become a fighter, with Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as Rocky, who is to be his trainer. Ryan Coogler will write and direct the film, and his ''Film/FruitvaleStation'' star Creator/MichaelBJordan will play Creed. The film will be released on November 25th, 2015.

!!This film series contains examples of:
* AdaptationExpansion: Rocky Legends on X-Box and PS2 makes light on the smaller details for Apollo, Lang, and Drago. Apollo fought Duke right before he decided to retire and train him. Lang was in prison when they held a boxing match prison event, before Lang would be released to pursue his own boxing career. Drago was a USSR soldier before being hand picked to become a fighter.
** Also, depending on which version of the game you get, the PS2 version has Paulie as a playable character, and the X-Box version gives us Ludmilla Drago as a playable character as well.
* AlternateContinuity: In Rocky Legends, it is possible to play through Ivan Drago's campaign and [[spoiler: defeat Rocky in the exhibition match.]]
** Apollo Creed's campaign ends with him confident of his victory over ''Rocky'' and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahwy__XwZQ4 indifferent to the idea of a rematch]], negating the premise of ''Rocky II'' and the subsequent sequels. It's entirely possible for Apollo to win this fight with an early knockout, denying Rocky the chance to "go the distance".
** Averted with the other two campaigns. Rocky's matches with Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang go straight to the rematch, and the final fight with [[spoiler: Tommy Gunn]] takes place on the streets, like the fifth movie. Respectively, Apollo and Clubber's campaigns end with their first match against Rocky.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Rocky is this for Apollo.
* AmericanDream: Apollo alludes to it during the preparation of his stunt bout in the first movie, reasoning that giving an opportunity to an Italian-American boxer is very fitting.
* [[PhysicsGoof Artistic License - Physics]]: Ivan Drago has a measured punching pressure of over 2000 psi. Considering the average size of someone's fist, this would equate to roughly '''15000 pounds of force'''.
** Granted, Ivan Drago does not have "average sized" fists, so it could be anywhere from 8000-15000 pounds of force, depending on how big Creator/DolphLundgren's hands are (proportional to his height, or tiny for such a large man, respectively).
* ArtisticLicenseSports: In both rules (fighting after the bell) and tactics.
** Rocky and his opponents usually have massively swollen eyes or are badly cut and pouring buckets of blood by the end of a fight. In real-life boxing, if swelling or a cut interferes with a boxer's sight and isn't able to be controlled by the boxer's cornermen, then, depending on the severity, it may well result in a technical knockout. That said, the decision to stop the fight is often made by the referee and/or ring doctor, and some will let the action go for longer than others.
** Then there's the actual boxing, which is less of a boxing match (they might want to try keeping the gloves up, for a change) and more of a take-turns-getting-clean-roundhouses-to-the-face matches. (Aside from the final film, which does strive for realism.)
** The fighting after the bell type mayhem which may even involve the cornermen of both fighters does happen on occasion when things get too heated or a referee loses control of the fight. See the mid-fight skirmish during the Floyd Mayweather/Zab Judah fight for an example. That said, you're generally less likely to see it in a high profile real life bout than what one would assume from watching Rocky fights, and in real life it will generally result in the boxers being penalized and losing points. Losing said points can cost a fighter a match that goes the distance, or result in a disqualification.
* AscendedExtra: Lil' Marie (the one who told Rocky "Screw you, creepo!") makes a return in the final film and receives a much bigger part.
* AscendedFanboy: One of the fight commentators in ''Rocky Balboa'' mentioned with some glee that he grew up watching Rocky and never expected to be at one of his matches.
* AttackAttackAttack: Rocky's boxing style.
** In ''Rocky V'', so is Tommy Gunn's.
* AutobotsRockOut: "Going the Distance" from the first film, "Eye of the Tiger" from Rocky III, and "War" from Rocky IV all count. "Going the Distance" mixes in OrchestralBombing, while "War" plays this trope [[UpToEleven bombastically straight]].
* AwesomeMcCoolName: Apollo Creed.
* BackForTheFinale: Paulie, Duke, Robert (Rocky Jr.), and even lil' Marie and Spider Rico all reunite with Rocky in ''Rocky Balboa''.
** If it weren't for certain complications, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago would have reappeared as well. Carl Weathers [[spoiler: wanted to appear as Creed himself, but [[KilledOffForReal for obvious reasons]], Stallone denied that.]]
* BeautifulAllAlong: Played straight with Adrian in the first film.
* BlondGuysAreEvil / BlondesAreEvil: Ivan and Ludmilla Drago's matching hair cuts. Although, they're technically not evil. They just happen to be apathetic and stern.
* BloodKnight: Ivan is revealed to be one when he knocks his Soviet handler on his ass. As this is the first time Drago has shown something resembling respect for an opponent, this is something of a PetTheDog moment.
-->"I fight to win for '''me'''! For '''''ME!!'''''"
* BreakUpToMakeUp: Rocky is strongly discouraged from fighting again by Adrian, especially once she becomes pregnant. One coma later, and Adrian is now his biggest supporter. What did they put in those meds?
* BookEnds: The series begins and ends with [[spoiler:Rocky technically losing, but still winning a moral victory]].
* BroadStrokes: ''Rocky V'' is the only film not referred to in ''Rocky Balboa'', but some light elements such as concern over Rocky's health and his return to poverty remained.
** Except for the brief, almost too fast to see flash on "Get up, you son of a bitch, 'cause Mickey loves ya!"
** And there's the reference to Rocky and his son being the "home team", which is the only explicit CallBack to ''Rocky V''.
** Both ''Rocky V'' and ''Rocky Balboa'' have a joke where Rocky and Robert play fight, only for Rocky to make a joke about being brittle.
** Paulie is missing a tooth in ''Rocky Balboa'', likely because it was knocked out when Tommy Gunn decked him in ''Rocky V''.
* CaliforniaDoubling: At least in the first movie, what's portrayed as The Spectrum is actually the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
** This trope is largely averted though. The vast majority of the first movie was filmed in Philadelphia and the city and movie are still synonomous with each other in many ways.
* TheCameo: There are a truly astounding number of cameos from boxers or people involved in boxing. Just a few examples include Joe Frazier being introduced before the fight in ''Rocky'' (and he and Apollo trade insults and threats just as Frazier and Ali did), the legendary Roberto Duran having a brief appearance as a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFG6Do4IcuQ sparring partner in Rocky II]] (where he seems to thoroughly enjoy pushing around and bullying Stallone), sports announcer [[AsHimself Brent Mussberger]] in Rocky II, artists known for painting boxing pictures have appearances as ring announcers, boxing commentators play well, boxing commentators, and nearly all of Stallone's family have had at least cameos, and sometimes actual roles. Mike Tyson even got a cameo before the climactic fight in ''Rocky Balboa''!
* CaptainErsatz[=/=]NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Rocky Balboa = Rocky Marciano mixed with Joe Frazier and inspired by Chuck Wepner.
** Apollo Creed = Muhammad Ali. The real Ali even [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3g7kclmm0I appeared on stage with Stallone at the Oscars]], and once said he wished he had thought of Creed's nickname, "The Master of Disaster".
** Clubber Lang = The young George Foreman. He is sometimes viewed as a Mike Tyson analogue by contemporary audiences, given the similar personalities, but the third movie hit theaters several years before Tyson first turned pro.
** Mason Dixon = Has elements of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Mike Tyson, and Middleweight/Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. Stallone tried to convince Jones himself to play Dixon, but negotiations with Jones fell through. Eventually Stallone enlisted Antonio Tarver, another boxer and a Light Heavyweight champion. Funnily enough, Tarver also defeated Jones in real life when Jones returned to fighting as a Light Heavyweight after capturing the Heavyweight title.
** George Washington Duke = Don King.
** Tommy Gunn = Mike Tyson. Both were young and talented fighters who came from rough upbringings and abandoned the men who made them successes in favor of greedy businessmen. Although in Tyson's case, Cus D'Amato died instead of being abandoned.
** Ivan Drago = Max Schmeling. Schmeling was a German boxer who fought Joe Louis in two fights that were seen as conflicts between the United States and Nazi Germany, the same way Drago's fights with Apollo and Rocky were Cold War conflicts. And like Schmeling, Drago dramatically won the first fight and received a vicious beating in the second, the major difference being Joe Louis was avenging his previous loss instead of the death of a friend. Max Baer, another fighter from the same era as Louis and Schmeling, may have been another influence, as Baer killed a man in the ring in a rather similar manner to how [[spoiler: Drago killed Apollo]].
* CareerEndingInjury: Rocky's eye injury in ''Rocky II'' and his brain damage in ''Rocky V''. Both injuries were supposed to retire him, but were ignored by subsequent movies.
* TheCastShowoff: Burt Young is a successful painter in his spare time, which is why Paulie is shown painting while on break in the meat-packing plant.
* CasualtyInTheRing: [[spoiler: Apollo in ''IV'']].
* ChampionsOnTheInside
* ColorMotif: ''III'' puts a twist on Rocky's signature colors. In the previous movie, he wore black trunks with gold stripes. After he becomes champion, finds success, and loses his edge, he switches to flashy gold trunks with black stripes, as well as gold gloves and yellow shoes.
* CombatPragmatist: The southpaw trick. Subverted in ''II'': Despite having only three minutes to go and Apollo about to retain his title, Rocky refuses to switch up his moves. "No tricks." [[spoiler:Rocky then [[DoubleSubversion ignores his own rule]] when he finishes the fight with a string of huge lefts to knock out Apollo.]]
* ContrivedCoincidence: How Apollo decided to give Rocky a shot instead of any other fighter in the world: when reading a list of local fighters, he decided that he liked Rocky's ring nickname.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler: Ivan Drago versus Apollo Creed.]]
* DeathSeeker: An interpretation of [[spoiler: Apollo Creed in ''Rocky IV''. He's fed up with retirement and growing old gracefully, and wants to go out fighting like a warrior.]]
** Sadly, this seems to be TruthInTelevision way too much. There are far too many boxers who either make ill-advised comebacks long after they ended their initial career, or fighters who simply refuse to retire and continue fighting far past their best. Apollo's comeback is based in part off of Muhammad Ali's tragic comeback fight after nearly two years out of the ring to face champion Larry Holmes, who was at the peak of his own powers. That fight saw Ali take a beating so savage that by the 10th round, Holmes (himself a former Ali sparring partner) was begging the referee to stop the fight. Although Ali showed some early symptoms of Parkinson's before that bout, many believe that the Holmes fight may have accelerated the progress and added to the severity of his condition.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Apollo Creed after the end of ''Rocky II''.
** Also in ''Rocky V'', the bullies that Robert eventually stood up to.
* {{Determinator}}:
** The essence of Rocky's fighting style.
** Apollo and Clubber are this in II and III, respectively, as both are obsessed with beating Rocky.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Towards Adrian, Rocky is this to a T.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: For Mr T. While his persona and well known "Pity the fool" catchphrase were first popularized in Rocky III, the movie as Mr T hitting on Rocky's wife to antagonize. Far removed from the Mr T who would become well known for telling kids to stay in school and don't do drugs.
* FailOSuckyname: No, honestly, ''Thunderlips''? FacePalm.
* FakeShemp: All of Rocky's flashback footage to his fights against Creed in ''Rocky Balboa'' used a stand-in for Carl Weathers; while Mr. T & Creator/DolphLundgren gave their permission for Stallone to use archive footage of them from their movies, Weathers apparently wanted to be in the movie (despite his character [[spoiler:dying]] in ''Rocky IV''). Stallone refused, so Weathers wouldn't allow his likeness to be used, forcing them to use a lookalike.
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: in the first movie, Rocky's collecting for a local loan shark. In the fifth movie, he's making ends meet at a gym.
** It was actually Mickey's gym, which Mickey had given to Rocky's son in his will (effectively giving it to Rocky, as Robert is still a minor in ''V''; the arrangement also shielded the gym from Rocky's creditors as it is property being held in trust for a minor). So Rocky wasn't ''entirely'' out in the cold -- he owns a business directly suited to his talents and is in a position to market it ''very'' effectively just on his name alone. He's not as rich as he was, but he's not exactly back to square one either.
* FightingSeries
* {{Flanderization}}: In ''Rocky'', Apollo Creed's patriotism is for show. He denies that his "underdog" idea is patriotic and insists that it is intelligent. In ''Rocky IV'', he puts on a similar song-and-dance routine, but this time, it is a genuine expression of extreme patriotism, a quality not before seen in Apollo. It's possible that the increased ColdWar tension of the 1980s (and/or fighting a Soviet as opposed to other Americans) brought it out in him.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In ''IV'', at the end of the first round of the fight between Rocky and Drago, you can see Duke fighting Drago's trainer.
** In ''III'', during the pre-fight interview, Paulie is peeking out over Rocky's shoulder and waving at the camera.
* FurAndLoathing: Not ''III'', which was made in 1982, but ''V'', where the only furs were worn by the corrupt manager, and a woman who seemed to be a gold digger.
* TheGlassesComeOff: Adrian in the first film.
* GenerationXerox: When Rocky meets Little Marie in ''Balboa'' for the first time since the first Rocky movie, a younger woman shows up trying to get Rocky to buy a round of beer for her friends. When Rocky tries to tell said woman that one of her "friends", a rude man a few years shy of being as old as Rocky; is taking advantage of her, she reacts with the same attitude Marie herself used to react. However when the fight between Rocky and Mason is being broadcasted in the bar they hang out in, the woman takes Rocky's warning to heart and tells off the man.
* GeniusBruiser: Rocky himself, though not particularly well-educated, is extremely streetwise (he wouldn't have lasted long as Gazzo's collector otherwise) and has a natural talent for assessing a boxer's strengths and weaknesses during a bout. He's able to successfully throw off Apollo's rhythm to win the title in ''II'' by switching from right to left-handed punches; and in ''III'' he notes that Clubber, while more physically powerful than Rocky, tires quickly and can't go more than a few rounds. These achievements are even more remarkable considering that ''Rocky is usually getting the crap knocked out of him'' when he's making these assessments.
** Mickey also qualifies. Although we never see Mickey actually fight, he is a good judge of boxing talent and has enough business savvy to recognize when Rocky is getting played (or when he's been able to seize the main chance).
** Apollo Creed can sniff out a chance to sell an event like a shark can smell blood. He's more than savvy enough to grab every chance to make himself a dollar and can play a crowd like a fiddle. While not the strongest fighter, he was also clearly the most skilled.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: In ''Rocky III'', Rocky had Paulie cut his gloves off during the Boxer vs Wrestler match so he can use his barefists against the clearly more powerful, Thunderlips.
** Mentioned in ''Rocky V''; despite being a trained boxer, Rocky was also a former mob-enforcer and knew how to act as a street fighter. [[spoiler: Tommy Gunn's new manager, Duke, berates him for expecting to use the same skills in a street fight.]]
-->'''Rocky:''' "My ring's outside."
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: In rewrites to the "Rocky Balboa" script, it's fairly clear that the writers didn't know what direction to take Mason Dixon's character. Throughout the movie, he pinballs back and forth between a egotistical athlete looking out for his legacy, to an honest boxer fed up with the chicanery and politics in the boxing promotion world, to a primadonna with no respect whatsoever for Rocky and his accomplishments.
* HeroicResolve
* HesBack: Pretty much, all of ''Rocky III''.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Rocky and Paulie's relationship grows into this over the course of the series. By the final movie, each one is really the only person left whom the other can truly open up to.
* HistoricalInJoke: A blink and you'll miss it one in Rocky V: when trying to recruit Rocky to come out of retirement and fight current champ Union Cane, George Washington Duke (a Don King CaptainErsatz) mentions that he wants to set the fight in Tokyo. In real life, Mike Tyson's first defeat at the hands of Buster Douglas came in a bout promoted by Don King and took place in the Tokyodome a mere 10 months before the film opened.
* HollywoodHealing
* HotBlooded: Apollo, Duke, and Clubber.
* HuskyRusskie: Ivan Drago in ''Rocky IV''.
* HypocriticalHumor: In ''Rocky III'' when they go to Apollo's old gym in L.A., full of African-American boxers:
-->Paulie: [referring to African-Americans ] I don't like these people.
-->'''Rocky:''' You don't like em'? Well maybe they don't like you either Paulie.
-->'''Paulie:'''(taken aback) What'd I do to them?
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Played straight and subverted in Rocky II. Rocky is right-handed, but he fights left-handed by preference. The 'secret weapon' he spends a lot of time practicing is learning to fight right-handed until the last round, when he switches back and upsets Apollo's rhythm enough to win the fight.
* ImpendingClashShot: ''Film/RockyIII'' ends with Rocky and Apollo about to punch each other in an unofficial match either to see who'd win or just for the sport.
* ImprovisedTraining: Tenderizing the beef.
** Also, the entire training sequence in ''Rocky IV''. Rocky has to train for his fight without the benefit of sparring, so instead, he hardens himself up in the Russian winter as best he can instead.
*** The Russians also "improvise" a bit of training. With juice.
* 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.
* InelegantBlubbering: Rocky in ''Rocky III'', just after [[spoiler: Mick dies.]]
* InformedJudaism: Mickey. There is no hint of this [[spoiler: until his funeral.]]
** His last name, Goldmill, ''might'' be a hint, but a Jewish surname is not necessarily an indication of being an active Jew either religiously or culturally.
** Considering he's based on Rocky Marciano's trainer, who was a small foul-mouthed jewish man, it's becomes more than a little obvious.
* InternationalShowdownByProxy: ''Rocky IV''.
* InvincibleHero: Mason Dixon in ''Balboa''. The exhibition fight against Rocky goes down largely because Dixon's winning streak against perceived weak opposition has boxing fans bored.
** Apollo Creed before fighting Rocky. Nobody had gone the distance with him or even knocked him down.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Apollo Creed. Though cocky and arrogant, he's also an awesome {{badass}} and gradually becomes more likable and protagonistic throughout the series without losing his edge, [[spoiler:culminating in a sympathetic tragic death]].
** Mason Dixon shows this, particularly towards the end of ''Balboa''. He's a jerk who only fights weaklings and has a large ego, but during (and especially after) the fight, he shows the utmost respect for Rocky.
*** To be fair to Dixon, it's not like he hand-picks easy opponents; in fact, he's kind of depressed because he thinks there's no-one out there to fight ''except'' weaklings. Until he met Rocky, he'd never really been challenged in the ring. Having a large ego is acceptable under the circumstances.
* KarmaHoudini: Ivan Drago's karma for [[spoiler:killing Apollo]] is to... lose a boxing match.
** Rocky's crooked accountant (unseen in the movie) who squandered all his fortune on bad business deals, disappeared, and left him broke in ''Rocky V''.
** An unfilmed scene written for ''Rocky Balboa'' would have shown Ivan Drago crippled in a respirator after years of steroids abuse.
*** In in an interview, Stallone gave his preferred fates for several characters, including Drago sinking into alcoholism in his disgrace, and ultimately killing himself.
* KickTheDog: Ivan Drago's [[spoiler: indifferent reaction that he killed Apollo without any remorse.]]
* KingpinInHisGym: Rocky's major opponents got their own {{Training Montage}}s, which often told viewers something about their character: Clubber Lang's dungeon-like basement emphasized his monstrosity while Ivan Drago's almost clinical routines (and his steroid use) showed his lack of "heart."
* LightningBruiser: Most of the boxers. Rocky becomes this in ''Rocky III'' under the tutelage of Apollo, but has aged into a MightyGlacier in the sixth movie.
* LoanShark: Gazzo, who Rocky works for as an enforcer in the first movie and Paulie works for in the second.
* LonelyAtTheTop: Mason Dixon. He's without a doubt the most talented boxer in his generation, but gets no respect from his fans, the media, or even his publicists and managers. He has no real friends or peers other than his entourage and his former manager, whom he was pushed to leave behind as he moved forward.
** In ''Rocky V'', this is the ultimate fate of [[spoiler: Tommy Gunn. He's made it to the top, became world heavyweight champion, and got all the money he could have asked for, including a hot girl. Unfortunately for him, no body really respects the guy, especially after he chose to dump and forget about Rocky Balboa (the man who trained him into the talented boxer he was), was criticized for not having a real challenge, and he practically sold his soul to GW Duke, who was only using him to hopefully profit off of a match between him and Balboa, which Gunn himself destroyed any hope of that with a punch at Rocky's friend, Paulie. After the fight, he was disowned by GW Duke (who warned him that he's finished if he lost) is seen getting arrested after a humiliating defeat, and will likely lose it all over again.]]
* TheLostLenore: Adrian as of ''RockyBalboa''. Even years after her death, Rocky is shown to still be taking the loss very hard.
* {{Lzherusskie}}: ''Rocky IV''. Drago is played by a Swede, his wife is played by a Danish woman, and Koloff is played by an American.
* MadeOfIron: Rocky himself can take loads of punishment, and still dish a lot in return.
** Surprisingly, even Paulie himself can take a few good hits.
* ManlyTears: Sure to be found on any list of top "Guy Cry" movies.
* MasterApprenticeChain: Mickey Goldmill > Rocky Balboa > Tommy Gunn [[spoiler: (who later turns on Rocky in one of the classic plotlines associated with this trope)]].
** According to a recent article of Stallone reprising his role in ''Creed'', the chain may be reconstructed (if ''Rocky V'' is ignored).
* {{Meganekko}}: Adrian, Rocky's love interest. Even after she loses the glasses and starts doing her hair, she retains the sweet shyness inherent in the character type.
* MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong: Literal example with a variation in ''Rocky IV'' where most of Rocky's training is done ''against'' the harsh Russian rural winter while Ivan Drago uses a modern, confortable gymnasium.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago.
* 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"?]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In IV, Apollo's showboating and attempted intimidation of Drago by exposing him to a ridiculously overblown introduction -- complete with James Brown -- arguably results in the Russians intimidating Rocky during the match in Russia, with the incredibly dramatic Soviet anthem and portrait of Drago being unveiled.
** Also in IV, the atmosphere is positive in the beginning. Apollo and Drago will just have a demonstration match, trying to improve the relation between the US and the USSR. However, Apollo is constantly mocking the abilities of Drago, while he has limited knowledge about Drago at that point. This annoys and ultimately enrages Drago and his party, resulting in a hostile atmosphere. Subsequently, Drago does not hold anything back in their fight.
** In ''Rocky V'', Paulie seemed to have been tricked into signing power of attorney over to their accountant.
*** In the same film, Rocky [[spoiler: nearly tore his family apart thanks to his obsession with training and managing Tommy Gunn]].
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: George Washington Duke wanted Tommy Gunn to get Rocky out of retirement and into a fight so he can profit off Rocky's name. Tommy then dashed all chances by pushing Rocky's BerserkButton by punching Paulie out.]]
* 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.
** A subtle one right before Apollo fights Drago, where he tries to intimidate him by slamming down on his fists from above and Drago's hands ''don't move an millimetre''.
** The same thing happens in IV after a Drago knockdown, when Rocky sulks into the corner, gets to his knees, puts his mouthpiece back in, and stands up. Drago's face says "What else do I have to do for him to stay down?!"
** Happens almost the exact same way again, in towards the end of the final film; after Rocky takes a particularly hard fall, he rises with the support of everyone who's backed him (including the memories of both Adrian ''and'' Mickey) ...when he gets up bearing a picture perfect "I'm not done yet" face, Dixon backs up a step with an equally perfect "how the ''hell'' did you get up" look.
* OldMaster: Mickey is the boxing equivalent of the classic martial arts film ''sensei'' to Rocky.
** [[spoiler: Once Mickey dies,]] Apollo steps in as the BigBrotherMentor version for ''Rocky III'' and ''IV''. Apollo may or may not be older than Rocky (Carl Weathers is actually about a year and a half ''younger'' than Sylvester Stallone), but he is certainly more experienced as a professional-level boxer, so the trope holds.
** Rocky, when he is OlderAndWiser himself in ''Rocky V'', attempts to be this to Tommy Gunn[[spoiler:, but [[RageAgainstTheMentor it doesn't go nearly as well]] through no fault of Rocky's. He gave his best effort, but [[SocietyMarchesOn the sport, and particularly the corruption at its top levels, had passed him by since he stepped out of the ring]], and Gunn didn't have the sense to realize that Rocky (unlike George Washington Duke) sincerely had his best interests in mind.]]
* OpposingSportsTeam: All of Rocky's opponents except Apollo Creed and Mason Dixon fall into this -- and even Creed seems to show some of the traits in ''Rocky II'' and ''Rocky IV'' (towards Drago).
** Dixon is arguably an example of playing with this trope. In-universe, he is seen as such, as his extreme talent has made him an unsympathetic wrecking ball whose fights are never even close - yet put up against Rocky, with a broken hand and completely out of shape, he proves as much a {{Determinator}} as the titular underdog and wins the respect of the crowd in doing so.
* OurFounder: Philadelphia unveiled a Rocky statue on the museum steps, which was seen in ''III''. Paulie later comments on the statue being taken down, which also happened in real life (it was moved to the base of the steps).
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Rocky regularly gets pitted against opponents who tower over him.
* PowerOfLove: "Adrian!"
* PrettyInMink: In III, Adrian gets a couple furs. Even spoofed in a short review of the films.
-->"Rocky gets his [[Pinball/{{Rocky}} own pinball games]]. Pet Store Lady starts wearing fur coats."
* ProductPlacement: Nike in ''RockyIII''. You see the [[http://antsj.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/nike_swoosh.gif swoosh]] everywhere in that movie.
** Then in ''RockyIV'', everyone (including the Soviets!) wears Adidas sportswear.
* ProtagonistTitle
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: In the first round of their fight, Rocky can't seem to even faze Drago, who actually smiles at Rocky after letting Rocky pound away at his midsection to no apparent effect.
** Rocky himself is on the receiving end in the climax of his rematch with Clubber Lang in part ''III'''s [[SugarWiki/CrowningMomentOfAwesome CMoA]] as he {{no sell}}s the increasingly panicking and frustrated Lang's devastating blows. Unlike many other examples of this trope, though, it's not a result of Rocky being tough enough to NoSell Lang's punches, which are clearly shown to be devastating; Lang was just too tired at this point to swing with full force.
* PunnyName: Tommy Gunn, Mason "The Line" Dixon.
* RatedMForManly
* RawEggsMakeYouStronger: The famous "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhkdLHSKo9s egg drinking scene]]" is the TropeMaker.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: the simulated match between Rocky and Dixon was based on the "Super Fight" between Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. Rocky ends up owning a restaurant, like former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey did.
** Also, ''Rocky Balboa'' centers around a retired Rocky who still wants to fight but is simply laughed at by most people due to his age and is called "overrated" by an analyst. He has to fight to get his license, and when he actually gets in his last fight and starts to kick a little ass, his son says "Everyone thought this was a joke, including me. Now nobody's laughing." This could be seen to mirror Stallone's own troubles in his character, as he's grown old and become something of a joke for his cheesy movies to many people, who may have forgotten that he once made a great movie. Rocky's struggle to get his license mirrors Stallone's struggles to get the movie made, and his attempt at making another Rocky movie was seen as a joke by most people until they saw the movie and (mostly) realized it was a good movie.
** Stallone's son '''not''' playing Robert Jr. as he had in Rocky V was done to avert this trope. Robert Jr. makes a big deal about how he's only ever had a career because he's Rocky's son, and nobody looks at him as anything else. Stallone did not want audiences to think this of his son, and refused to let him reprise the role.
*** Actually Sage himself said he wouldn't have anything to do with it. "No more Rocky for me" is an exact quote when he spoke of turning the role down.
** ''Rocky III'' opens with Rocky becoming a rich and famous celebrity, appearing on magazine covers, doing commercials, meeting presidents, and going on ''TheMuppetShow''(!), just like Stallone in real life.
*** In fact, the Muppet Show clip shown was actual footage from Stallone's own guest appearance on that series. Jim Henson redubbed Kermit's voice to say Rocky's name instead of Stallone's.
*** Much of the merchandise shown in the opening montage was in fact available in real life, most notably the pinball machine bearing Rocky's name.
** Stallone has generally said that every film was written to parallel some period of his life, just with acting switched out for boxing.
** ''Rocky II'' features the comedown from his moral victory. He quickly burns through his money and he has nothing to fall back on. In the end he is forced to go back to one sure thing he has, which could possibly cripple him. This mirror's Stallone's inability to maintain the momentum from the first movie and develop a stable career outside of ''Rocky'', leading to him creating a sequel.
** This even applies to the first film, as 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.
* ReCut: There exist a director's cut of ''Rocky V'' online, with some key differences.
** A few key things in the final scene
*** [[spoiler: Rocky was more reluctant to fight Tommy, despite instigating the fight, only because he still cares for the guy.]]
*** [[spoiler: After Rocky gives Tommy quite a beat down, he offers him his hand, where Tommy practically [[GracefulLoser accepted his defeat]] and [[HeelFaceTurn ended the fight on good terms with Rocky.]] He even starts getting the respect he always wanted.]]
*** [[spoiler: Rocky doesn't punch Duke in the face. However, he still denied him the satisfaction of profiting off a fight with him when taking Tommy on. It's also safe to say that Tommy knew better by this point.]]
* RedemptionQuest: The premise of both Rocky and Apollo in numerous films. [[spoiler:Apollo's own quest ends with his ''[[RedemptionEqualsDeath death]]'' after his match with Drago.]]
** In a sense, the first three films are Mickey's quest as well: he was a good fighter, but not good enough to win a title in his own right. He sees Rocky's natural boxing talent and feels Rocky is throwing away a gift Mickey never had by not pushing hard enough. Rocky [[RageAgainstTheMentor doesn't take too well to Mickey's criticism]] but ultimately comes around and fulfills his mentor and father figure's quest:
-->'''Rocky''' (to Mickey): "At least you ''had'' a prime! I never had no prime!"
* RetiredBadass:
** Mickey at first, Rocky in later pictures.
** Apollo becomes one after losing the title; his trainer, Duke, is also a retired boxer.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: The franchise has never been shy about borrowing from real life boxing and translating it to the screen. For example:
** 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.
** Real life: Joe Frazier, a tough boxer from Philadelphia famous for his left hook, who did his roadwork in the city (including the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and used meat carcasses as makeshift punchbags, reached the pinnacle of his career with victory over the quick, brash and charismatic Muhammad Ali. Frazier then faced the hard-hitting (but relatively unheralded) George Foreman, and was knocked out in two rounds. A year later Foreman faced Ali, and in that bout Ali made a tactical decision mid-fight to stop using his famous HitAndRunTactics, and instead adopted the [[StoneWall rope-a-dope strategy]] of lying on the ropes and absorbing punishment. Foreman exhausts himself trying to KO Ali, and Ali then knocks him out. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ2G2wU3Cm0&t=2m0s Link]])
*** Rocky III: Rocky Balboa, a tough boxer from Philadelphia famous for his left hook, does his roadwork in the city (including the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and uses meat carcasses as makeshift punchbags, reaches the pinnacle of his career with victory over the quick, brash and charismatic Apollo Creed. He then decides to defend his title against hard hitting slugger Clubber Lang, and is knocked out in two rounds. Afterward, Apollo Creed, (who is the analogue for Muhammad Ali) trains Rocky to fight in a different way, mirroring Apollo's own style. Rocky begins well with boxing, HitAndRunTactics, but when Lang finds a way to start getting to him, Rocky makes a mid-fight switch, starts using StoneWall defense to defend against the worst of Lang's punches while taunting Lang for his inability to knock him out. Lang exhausts himself trying to KO Rocky, and Rocky knocks him out. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZhn6v9mHvc Link]])
** Real life: Mike Tyson, a young delinquent from a broken home, shows boxing talent and is taken in by legendary trainer Cus D'Amato, who eventually goes so far to adopt Tyson. Tyson begins cutting a swath through professional boxing, gaining notice because of how quickly and brutally he knocks out his competition, but D'Amato dies before Tyson captures the heavyweight title. After D'Amato's death, sleazy and unprincipled promoter Don King gets Tyson to break with the management team D'Amato left behind to look after Tyson by convincing Tyson that he'd make more money with King and that Tyson's management team was stealing from him. (They weren't, they were investing for his retirement.) This begins leading Tyson down a road to ruin.
*** Rocky V: Tommy Gunn, a young delinquent from a broken home, seeks out legendary retired boxer Rocky Balboa, and eventually gets Rocky to be his trainer. Eventually, Tommy is taken in like a member of the family. Tommy soon gains media attention by cutting a swath through the heavyweight ranks with quick knockouts, but he also gains the attention of sleazy and unprincipled boxing promoter George Washington Duke. Tommy, frustrated that Rocky insists on progressing Tommy's career at a slow and steady pace rather than going for the title shot, is seduced away by Duke, who promises him a title shot and more money than Rocky could get him. This sets Tommy up to go down the wrong path.
** Just compare these speeches from Cus D'Amato, Mike Tyson's trainer, and adoptive father, ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QACELH3www&t=2m45s link]]) and Rocky's flashback of Mickey from Rocky V. ([[http://youtu.be/vmj2s6uYuEs?t=2m18s Link]])
* RobotBuddy: Paulie gets one for a birthday present in ''Rocky IV'' "because he doesn't have any friends" (ouch). He later teaches it to sound and act like a devoted RobotGirl (ew). Pretty much a rolling BigLippedAlligatorMoment throughout the whole movie. RogerEbert has some fun making light of the fact Rocky is somehow in possession of some advanced artificial intelligence.
* RuleOfPool: In ''Rocky III'', Balboa pulls a full clothed Paulie into the pool during the training montage.
* ScaryBlackMan: Creator/MrT's character Clubber Lang in the third movie.
* 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. [[spoiler:He also loses in a split decision to Mason Dixon, but even Dixon seems to acknowledge that Rocky was the real winner of that match.]]
* SheCleansUpNicely: Adrian in the sequels, who goes from {{Meganekko}} to a more traditional beauty as the Balboas live the good life.
* ShoutOut: Numerous ones to real boxing, including various boxers (including Roberto Duran) being part of various training sessions or having cameos.
* SimpleYetAwesome: In ''Rocky Balboa'', Duke's gameplan for Rocky's training. Since Rocky can no longer match an opponent's speed, and his body's no longer fit for his previous hard-running cardio, then the focus of training and beating Mason is simple: pure, raw power.
-->'''Duke''': Let's start building some hurtin' bombs!
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: In the X-Box version of Rocky Legends, Ludmilla Drago is a playable character, making her the only boxer in the Rocky universe (at least in this game) where there is female boxer present.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Rocky entering the ring with Dixon to the jingle of "High Hopes."
-->'''Paulie:''' I like [[FrankSinatra Sinatra]].
* SpecialGuest: James Brown singing "Living in America" before the bout between Apollo and Drago in Las Vegas.
* TantrumThrowing: In a fit of anger, Rocky throws a helmet at his statue. Paulie impotently throws a liquor bottle at a [[Pinball/{{Rocky}} "ROCKY" pinball machine]] during an drunken fit of resentment, feeling like Rocky has left him out in the midst of his success.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp
* ThemeTuneCameo: A high school marching band plays "Gonna Fly Now" at Rocky's statue unveiling ceremony in ''RockyIII''. Later on a lounge band performing at Rocky's public training plays the theme. An annoyed Mickey yells "Shut up back there! Change your tune."
* ThrowItIn: An in-universe example. When Rocky is training to fight Clubber Lang, he gets a kiss on the cheek by one of his fans while Mickey is trying to motivate him. After Mickey shoves said fan away he improvises his speech a little without skipping a beat.
--> '''Mickey:''' Get outta here! Will ya? This is like fighting in a zoo. This is a zoo, you know? Is that the way you train for Clubber? He ain't gonna kiss ya! He gonna kill ya! Ya know that?
* TimeCompressionMontage
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: [[spoiler: Both Rocky and Paulie feel this way about Adrian in ''Rocky Balboa.'' A deleted scene even has Paulie breaking down and saying it should have been him who died.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Paulie''': (sobbing) Why didn't I die instead of my sister? I miss my sister, Rocky, I miss her! She never hurt nobody, Rocky!]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Rocky''': I know.]]
* TradeYourPassionForGlory: The TropeNamer.
* TrainingFromHell: The films are some of the most famous users of the training montage of all time, so it's natural there'd be elements of this. Most notable are Rocky IV, where Rocky toughens up doing heavy work in a rural Russian winter, and Rocky III, where Lang is shown to do his training alone in a dim, slightly-hellish basement, using his own rage to increase his drive.
* TrainingMontage: Former TropeNamer when under the name "Gonna Fly Now Montage".
** It's pretty much the TropeCodifier for this too (and possibly the TropeMaker as well).
* UnderdogsNeverLose: [[spoiler: Averted in the first and last movies where a moral victory is deemed to be more significant (in the first, Rocky going the distance with Apollo, in the last, Rocky ridding himself of his demons), but aside from that,]] if you're an in-story underdog, it's physically impossible for you to lose in the Rocky universe. Even the antagonist benefits from this in ''Rocky III''.
** No such luck for the challengers Rocky knocks out before meeting Lang; they also avert the trope.
** Apollo vs. Drago arguably plays it straight and subverts it at the same time. Drago had imposing height & reach and was clearly in better shape than the long-retired Apollo, so any objective viewer would back him to win the match. Most Americans, though, (including Apollo himself) would instead peg the beloved ex-champion for an easy win against the amateur foreigner.
** Whenever someone tells Rocky in a movie "You can't win!", he's going to win. Sometimes not the first fight (as the case in III), but he will.
* 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.
* VillainHasAPoint: Multiple cases of it.
** In ''Rocky III'', Clubber Lang is outraged that Rocky won't allow him a shot at the heavyweight championship title and publicly accuses him of only ever taking easy matches. He's actually right: it turns out Mickey has quietly been refusing all challenges to the title except those he knows Rocky can beat.
** As the Soviets themselves mention in ''Rocky IV'', Apollo isn't in proper condition to beat someone of Drago's physique and single-minded determination, and that he could learn a painful lesson attempting to fight Drago. [[spoiler:Apollo's stubborn refusal to give up or let Rock throw in the towel gets him killed in the ring.]]
** Also regarding the Apollo-Drago bout, Ludmilla shames the Americans for trying to turn the match into a [[InternationalShowdownByProxy personal/political matter]], which is accurate -- when Drago, the neutral (if self-assured) party, is raised into the ring, he gets mercilessly booed as if he's a ForeignWrestlingHeel, whereas [[PatrioticFervor Apollo enters on a giant bull sculpture to deafening cheers and James Brown himself singing "Living in America"]]. [[spoiler:After the Apollo's death, she hints that they've been receiving hate mail and death threats, undoubtedly stoked by the way the American media covered the story and Apollo and company hyped it.]]
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: Apollo's trademark ring getup, and the one he's wearing [[spoiler: when slain by the Russkie from Hell, Drago. Rocky wears his friend's boxing shorts to symbolically avenge him -- and the U.S.A.]]
--> '''Rocky''' (upon seeing Apollo's outfit for the first time): "He looks like a flag!"
* WellDoneSonGuy: Robert feels that Rocky sees him this way and resents his father; in reality (ultimately acknowledged by both men), it's a consequence of Rocky's difficulties in communicating with his son (possibly as a consequence of Rocky's [[AbusiveParents less-than-desirable]] upbringing, hinted at in the first movie).
* WhateverHappenedToTheMouse: Tony Gazzo, the LoanShark from ''Rocky I and II'', is never seen again after the second film. Though in ''Rocky III'', Paulie is unemployed, and Gazzo is briefly mentioned in ''Rocky V'', and in a deleted scene of ''Rocky Balboa
** On that matter, what about Apollo Creed's family? Despite [[spoiler: Apollo dying in ''Rocky IV'']], they never got any more screen time since. The only amount of screen time they had since ''Rocky II''.
*** Although the spin off film in the works may finally give them the spot light they could use.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: ''Rocky Balboa'' has two, one given by Rocky to the athletic board after they refuse his boxing license despite passing all the medical tests they put him through. The second was given to his son when Rocky Jr. calls him out for supposedly seeking the spotlight, where Rocky explains that we can't and shouldn't blame others for our problems.
* WorthyOpponent: There are shades of it in many of the films, often with Rocky being the WorthyOpponent in question. It's most apparent in ''Rocky Balboa,'' where the current champ, Mason Dixon, is suffering from this; he's so talented at boxing that he made rising to the championship look easy, and his popularity is suffering because the public won't believe he's not being handfed easy fights when he steamrolls everybody dumb enough to climb into a ring with him.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Adrian's speech to Rocky in ''III''.
-->''"We need '''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis GREASY! FAST! SPEED!!!]]'''''"''