%% If you're about to add the words "Trope Namer" to this page, READ THIS FIRST.
%% This is the trope page. It's for talking about how the work provides examples of tropes.
%% The page for talking about how the work named some tropes is the Trivia page.
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%% Saying it's the trope namer says nothing about how it's an example of the trope,
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%% (For instance, The Princess Bride named the trope "You Keep Using That Word",
%% but isn't an example of the trope.)


''"As a matter of fact, everything Morgenstern wrote is historically accurate; read any decent book on Florinese history."''

A 1973 book by Creator/WilliamGoldman, ''The Princess Bride'' is about the trials of true love in the Renaissance European nation of Florin. The story stars Buttercup, a simple yet incredibly beautiful farmgirl, and Westley, the farmhand she enjoys ordering around. Although they realize that they share the incredibly rare thing called "true love", fate conspires to keep them apart, as Westley is lost at sea.

Five years later, Prince Humperdinck, who rules Florin in place of his elderly and doddering father, decides to celebrate the kingdom's 500th anniversary by marrying Buttercup, who is now the most beautiful woman in the world. Buttercup, knowing that the Prince is well within his rights and believing she can never love again anyway, reluctantly agrees.

In a plot against the throne, Buttercup is kidnapped by the criminal trio The Sicilian Crowd (so called because two's company and three's a crowd), consisting of Vizzini (the mastermind), Fezzik (the dumb muscle) and Inigo Montoya (the world's greatest fencer, traveling to avenge his father) -- but their steps are hampered by a mysterious man in black who seems determined to stop them at all costs. The subsequent adventures are madcap, iconic and brilliant.

The book uses a FramingDevice with the author [[AdaptationDistillation "abridging"]] an older story in order to turn a very satirical (and rather cynical) adult novel by the Florinese author S. Morgenstern into the adventure tale for children [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis that he remembers his father reading to him as a kid]].

It was later adapted by the author into a well-known [[Film/ThePrincessBride film of the same name]].

The new edition published for the book's 25th anniversary included additional commentary (including some remarks on the film), and a rather confusing preview chapter from a projected sequel, ''Buttercup's Baby'', which implicitly references Goldman's unrelated novel ''Control''.

The even newer edition for the 30th anniversary contains additional commentary about the film, as well as everything contained in the 25th anniversary edition, resulting in three forewords. One more foreword and the 'Good Parts' version will be thicker than Morgenstern's original version!
!!''The Princess Bride'' provides examples of:

* AbridgedForChildren: This is the in-story reason Mr. Goldman abridged ''The Princess Bride''. He wanted his kids to enjoy it, and there was far too much boring stuff. However, he did leave in all the torture and death (though he ''does'' warn us about what's coming at one point, telling us that this isn't ''Curious George Uses The Potty''). Mr. Goldman's (in-story) father's Good Parts abridgment fits the trope more accurately. He tried to leave out the scary parts until he was called on it.
* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: The Man in Black has been building up an immunity to iocaine powder for several years.
* AdaptationDistillation: In-universe. The[[note]]non-existent[[/note]] original book that the story was told from was a long, boring political satire that the narrator distilled into just the good parts for his son.
* AffablyEvil: Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen are quite nice, even when they are torturing you or planning your murder, so much so that when Humperdinck loses his composure, it comes as a genuine shock.
* AffectionateNickname: Humperdinck calls Queen Bella "Evil Stepmother," or E.S. for short, because the only stepmothers he knew where the [[WickedStepmother evil ones]] from fairy tales. And yes, it ''is'' an affectionate nickname; he's quite fond of her.
* AffectionateParody: Pulls off the tricky balancing act between joyful appreciation and subtle (and not so subtle) parody.
* TheAlcoholic: Inigo pre- and post-Vizzini.
* AltarDiplomacy: The ailing King and Queen of Florin want to marry Prince Humperdinck to the Princess of Guilder to forge an alliance between the two rival countries. Humperdinck breaks off the engagement when it turns out during a banquet that his fiancee is [[BaldWomen congenitally bald]], and comments that he'd always planned to just conquer Guilder instead.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Goldman hangs a lampshade on this in the framing story, complaining that he had to argue with his editors about Max and Valerie being "too Jewish" for a medieval fantasy story -- as though crotchety Jews were invented in the Catskills in 1952. He also relates a similar battle he went through with the "bifocals" line in ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'', fighting a studio executive who didn't know and didn't care that Ben Franklin invented bifocals nearly a century before the movie's period.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Prince Humperdinck is the only character [[NotDistractedByTheSexy not swayed by Buttercup's beauty]]. He just views her as a political tool to convince his country to go to war.
* AnachronismStew: The setting is "before Europe", yet "after America" and before the invention of the word "glamour." Also, there is a mention of Australia being populated entirely by criminals, and Westley is described as wearing blue jeans. Oh, and stew is older than everything, except taxes. In-universe William Goldman states that this drove his editor bonkers, and had to explain that S. Morgenstern was being satirical (and put them in to let a savvy reader know the story's fiction).
** Interestingly enough, there ''was'' a period of time that could be said to be "after America" and "before Europe"; specifically, the 1500s, between the discovery of the Americas, and the Thirty Years War (which started in 1618), which so redefined the terms of the relations of states that it has been claimed to be the beginning of "Modern European History". Although even if we accept this, the fact that Australia wasn't colonised by the British (and thus the convicts) until 1788 still throws a spanner into the timeline.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: The ScarpiaUltimatum version. If the "Dread Pirate Roberts" does not respond to the messages that Humperdinck purports to send, Buttercup must marry him.
* ArrangedMarriage: Buttercup to Prince Humperdinck. She goes along with it because she believes Westley to be dead.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Played straight with Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen; the King, however, is merely senile, and the Queen is the most beloved person in the kingdom.
* AsHimself: Played with. The in-universe William Goldman has a son. The real Goldman only has daughters.
* AsYouKnow
** [[PerfectPoison Iocaine]] comes from Australia, as "everyone knows". [[note]]There is, of course, no such thing in reality. Meaning iocaine, not Australia.[[/note]]
* AuthorFilibuster: Parodied; the original version[[note]]which does not in fact exist[[/note]] was apparently riddled with these, but the 'editor' didn't realize until adulthood because his father only told him 'the good bits' as a child. The editor promptly cuts all of them from his annotation, as they apparently completely bog the novel down in irrelevant minutiae and pompous tangents, but his descriptions of them are entertaining in their own right -- for example, the editorial on the removal of chapter 3: 56 and a half pages of Buttercup packing her luggage.
* BadNewsInAGoodWay: How Westley tries to present their unavoidable escape into the Fire Swamp to Buttercup. It doesn't quite work.
* BaldWomen: Prince Humperdinck briefly considers marrying a princess of Guilder, but angrily rejects her after a sudden breeze blows off the hat she wears and reveals her to be bald.
* BatOutOfHell: The Zoo of Death has King Bats, which are "[[TyphoidMary healthy carriers]]" of rabies. Fezzik is [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes terrified of them]], and justifiably so.
* BattleOfWits: Vizzini and the Man in Black engage in a contest of wits involving poisoned wine, with a hilarious use of IKnowYouKnowIKnow.
* BestServedCold: Inigo's quest for vengeance against the "six-fingered man" who killed his father, which began when he was eleven.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: When Buttercup escapes the Sicilian Crowd's boat, swimming into shark-infested waters, Vizzini tells her that if she cries out, they'll find her and she'll die painlessly. But she resolves not to make a peep, ready to die as shark kibble rather than assassin bait.
* TheBigDamnKiss: For Westley and Buttercup's first kiss, the narrative goes on at length about how, since the accidental invention of the kiss, people have been divided over what mathematical equation will best describe the perfect kiss; however, there have been five throughout history that everyone agrees "deserve full marks." The narrative then declares, "Well, this one left them ''all'' behind."
* TheBigGuy: Fezzik. It's been his condition since childhood; when his father tried to teach him to box in order to defend himself against his mean schoolmates, Fezzik accidentally broke his father's jaw. When he boxed for sport, he found single opponents to lack any challenge, so he would fight entire groups at a time.
* BigGuyRodeo: The Man in Black does this to Fezzik. It works, too; according to Fezzik, it's because he's got used to fighting crowds (battling gangs for local charities—that kind of thing) and is out of practice with one-on-one duels.
* BigThinShortTrio: Fezzik, Inigo, and Vizzini respectively.
* BitsOfMeKeepPassingOut: Inverted and PlayedForLaughs as it takes a while for Miracle Max's cure to fully take effect on Westley, and Inigo and Fezzik have to carry him around while StormingTheCastle as bits of him are "waking up" one at a time.
* BolivianArmyEnding: The end of the novel explores the logical aftermath of the heroes' escape. Inigo's injury worsens and the entire army of Florin is after them. [[spoiler:They survive, though.]]
* BorschtBelt: Max and Valerie. InUniverse William Goldman always puzzled why S. Morgenstern wrote them as such, though he notes that with a name like "Simon Morgenstern", it was WriteWhatYouKnow.[[note]]Though it made casting Billy Crystal and Carol Kane in the roles easy.[[/note]]
* TheBrute: Subverted. Fezzik is really quite a nice guy. He does end up serving on a Brute Squad, though.
* BullyingADragon: Vizzinni actually ''physically'' threatens Fezzik, which will gives one an idea of just how cowed Fezzik is by him.
* BuyThemOff: Inigo insists that Rugen offer money and power in exchange for his life, just to see him beg.
* CatchPhrase:
** Inigo: "JustForFun/{{Hello}}, MyNameIsInigoMontoya. YouKilledMyFather. PrepareToDie."
** Westley: "[[SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay As You Wish]]"
** Vizzini: "[[YouKeepUsingThatWord Inconceivable!]]"
** "True love is the greatest thing in the world, except for cough drops." It's repeated multiple times by characters at multiple levels of reality, as if everyone knows this is self-evidently true.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: Fezzik's holocaust cloak, which he uses to obtain an ingredient for Miracle Max's pill, proves useful while StormingTheCastle.
* CliffHanger: No, not the Cliffs of Insanity. Seems S. Morgenstern was fond of these (note ''Buttercup's Baby'' as well.)
* ColdBloodedTorture: Rugen has spent decades developing The Machine as the perfect torture device, and is almost childishly eager to try it out on Westley. Humperdinck prefers a more direct approach.
* ConfessionDeferred: Inigo trying to convince Miracle Max to work cheap:
--->'''Inigo:''' This is noble, sir. His wife is... crippled. His children are on the brink of starvation.\\
'''Miracle Max:''' Are ''you'' a rotten liar.\\
'''Inigo:''' I need him to help avenge my father, murdered these twenty years.\\
'''Miracle Max:''' Your first story was better.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Played straight, but it only works for Fezzik, and with a caveat. In his past, Fezzik used to fight people one-on-one for money. Audiences got bored of the [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomp battles]] so Fezzik started taking on more and more people; and found that if he changed his strategy a little bit, it wasn't much harder than fighting single people. During his fight with the Man in Black, Fezzik realizes that his years of fighting groups have left him confused as to how to fight one person. He adjusts his strategy, but by that point, it's too late.
* ContemptibleCover: There exists a mass-market paperback edition that came out about two years after the book's first release in 1973. [[http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Princess-Bride.jpg The cover art]] depicts a nearly-nude woman surrounded by skulls, snakes, tentacles and other horrifying objects. Apparently, not only did the artist not read the book beforehand, he must not have even seen a ''plot summary''.
* CoolHorse: Prince Humperdinck breeds white horses, which Fezzik steals to facilitate the heroes' escape.
* CoolMask: The Man in Black wears one as part of his Dread Pirate Roberts getup. It's just terribly comfortable!
* CostumePorn: Spoofed, with the narrator describing how he cut from the "original version" entire chapters describing Buttercup's wardrobe.
* CruelMercy: In his ToThePain speech, Westley offers to allow Humperdinck to retain his ears, so he can hear the cries of children and wailing of women at his hideous appearance.
* DamselInDistress: With two exceptions -- jumping off the boat and pushing the Dread Pirate Roberts down a hill -- Buttercup takes [[NeutralFemale no assertive action]] in her own defense. This is particularly evident in the Fire Swamp where she fails to assist Westley in any way.
* DashingHispanic: Inigo Montoya has the handsomeness and the swashbuckling down pat. His apparent failure at his life quest has left him despondent and alcoholic, however.
* DeadpanSnarker: When he isn't professing his undying love to Buttercup, Westley is being very sarcastic with her. Especially in regards to her [[DumbBlonde (lack of) intelligence.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Inigo in his fight with Count Rugen. Stabbed repeatedly and still keeps coming.
* {{Discontinuity}}: The entire faily tale was supposed to be completely fictional, but later anniversary editions of the book have forwards in which William Goldman goes to Florin and Guilder to visit the exact places where events took place - which have become popular tourist spots. [[invoked]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: It's implied that Humperdinck's main motive for wanting a war with Guilder is outrage that Guilder would offer him a bald princess as a bride (nevermind that it was Florin that sought the marriage with Guilder and not the other way around).
* TheDragon: Count Rugen is Humperdinck's second in command and his co-conspirator. During the final showdown, however, Rugen [[DirtyCoward fails rather badly at his job]].
* DramaticIrony: Inigo has spent years training himself in the art of the sword, learning from every master he could, completely, single-mindedly focused on hunting down his nemesis so that they can engage in a FinalBattle... which barely even happens. They cross blades a couple of times, and then, before Inigo can finish cutting out Rugen's heart, the man just drops dead from fright.
* TheDreaded: The Dread Pirate Roberts, notorious for being a terrifying scourge of the high seas who takes no prisoners.
* DreamingTheTruth: Buttercup and the Ancient Booer, who accuses her of giving up TrueLove for a marriage of convenience.
* ElectricTorture: Count Rugen's Machine uses suction for torture in a manner highly analogous to the more common electric shock variant.
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: The Impressive Clergyman speaks with a truly mind-boggling accent.
* EmptyRoomPsych: The fifth level of Count Rugen's Zoo of Death, which is bereft of any of the horrific monsters of the previous two levels, just to lull invaders into a false sense of security so that they fall prey to the deadly spider in the door handle. This backfires, though, by freaking Inigo and Fezzik out so much that they smash the door down.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Humperdinck can't marry a commoner, so Buttercup gets ennobled. The story explains how she had to attend royalty school for three years, and was given the title of Princess of Hammersmith ("a little lump of land attached to Lotharon's holdings").
* EvilAlbino: The Keeper of the Zoo of Death. However, he's more of a PunchClockVillain -- he even offers to perform a MercyKill on Westley before Count Rugen can get to use the Machine on him.
* TheEvilPrince: Humperdinck is the prince of Florin and schemes to instigate a war with neighboring Guilder so he can usurp control of both kingdoms.
* ExactlyWhatIAimedAt: Vizzini instructs Fezzik to pick up a rock and smash The Man In Black's head in. Fezzik decides it's too unsporting, and smashes a rock right near his head, informing the Man in Black that he ''could'' have smashed his head in but wanted to give his opponent a fighting chance. The Man in Black believes him.
* ExploitedImmunity: Vizzini and the Man in Black are playing PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo; the Man in Black puts poison in both glasses, having spent years [[AcquiredPoisonImmunity developing a tolerance]] to the poison being used.
* ExtraDigits: Count Rugen's six fingers.
* FairytaleWeddingDress
* FingertipDrugAnalysis: Parodied.
-->'''Man in Black''': What you do not smell is called Iocaine powder. It is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid and is among the more deadly poisons known to man.\\
'''Humperdinck''' ''(sniffing the vial, later)'': Iocaine! I'd bet my life on it.
* FracturedFairyTale: In the FramingStory, the original work wasn't a fairy tale at all but rather a dull historical treatise, which the narrator cut down to "the good bits". This leaves plenty of room for parody among the standard fairy tale tropes.
* FramingDevice: The novel is framed as an abridged version of a much larger original work which the narrator had read to him as a child.
* FreshClue: Prince Humperdinck is an expert tracker, and manages to correctly interpret Wesley's adventures while rescuing Buttercup:
-->"Iocane. I'd bet my life on it. And there are the princess's footprints. She is alive, or was an hour ago. If she is otherwise when I find her, I shall be very put out."
* GentleGiant: Fezzik is happiest when he's just making up rhymes with his buddy Inigo. He has no ill will towards people, but fights because it's the only thing he knows how to do well.
* GetItOverWith: After being defeated in a duel, Inigo asks the Man in Black to kill him quickly, so he won't have to live with the shame. The Man in Black denies this request, but he does knock him unconscious.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Inigo has a scar on each cheek, given to him as a child by the "six-fingered man" for daring to defy him. Inigo returns the favor when he confronts Count Rugen at the end.
* GoodStepmother: Prince Humperdinck calls his stepmother evil because supposedly, all fairy tale stepmothers are; in reality she's very nice and the most beloved person in the kingdom, perhaps second only to Buttercup.
* GreenEyedEpiphany: Buttercup realizes she's in love with Westley because Countess Rugen has the visible hots for him.
* HairstyleMalfunction: A potential bride for Humperdinck visits, bringing along her hugely famous collection of hats. Unfortunately for her, a high breeze blows through the dining hall while she's there and her hat comes off to reveal her (heretofore hidden) baldness. Humperdinck decides to go to war with her country for no other reason than his embarrassment and outrage at being offered a bald princess (despite the fact that the princess visited to be examined as a potential bride on his invitation).
* HappilyEverAfter: The version that the narrator's father told him ends with a happily-ever-after. As an adult, he learns that the actual book leaves it a bit more open-ended.
* HeelFaceTurn: Inigo and Fezzik are only hirelings, with no real malice in their hearts, but after the Man in Black defeats both of them, they seek him out: Fezzik to give his life purpose and Inigo because he wants help with his revenge quest.
* HenpeckedHusband:
** Buttercup's father.
** And the fictional version of William Goldman himself.
** Also Miracle Max, to an extent.
-->'''Valerie''': Liar! Liar! LIIIAAAAAR!
* HeroicAmbidexterity: Both Inigo Montoya and Westley are right-handed, but have trained their left hands so much they can beat most other swordsmen even when fighting with their off-hands. This enables them to fight a left-handed duel against each other, with neither of them realizing that their opponent is only feigning to be left-handed (hence the TropeNamer for IAmNotLeftHanded.)
* HeroicSecondWind: A gut stab and two shoulder wounds aren't enough to bring Inigo down.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Inigo and Fezzik seem to be this. Also, in Inigo's BackStory, this is the kind of relationship between his father, Domingo Montoya, and Domingo's best friend Yeste.
* HomeSweetHome: Westley wants to settle down with Buttercup after making his fortune in the world.
* HonoraryPrincess: Some people complained when Buttercup got engaged to Humperdinck, saying that only a Princess can get engaged to a Prince. So the court made her Princess of Hammersmith. Hammersmith is just a little lump of land at the back of the kingdom. Utterly pointless, it's unlikely she set foot in the place at any point.
* HypocriticalHumor: The novel mentions removing sections of the original text that were boring and unsuitable for children... in the midst of a section of text that is boring and unsuitable for children.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Inigo, being a master swordsman, has taken to deliberately handicapping himself by fighting left-handed so that fights with inferior opponents won't be too easy. When the Man in Black turns out to be a stronger opponent than he expected, he reveals the ruse and switches back to using his right hand -- and then the Man in Black does the same thing.
* IDontPayYouToThink: Vizzini tells Fezzik "You were not hired for your brains!"
* IceQueen[=/=]DefrostingIceQueen: Buttercup goes from one to the other and back again throughout the story. She starts out cold, then defrosts when she realizes she's in love with Westley, then freezes up again after he's murdered by pirates, then defrosts ''again'' when he shows up. When Humperdinck catches them coming out of the Fire Swamp, she agrees to leave with him to save Westley's life, freezing up once more with despair, but later thaws when she realizes she made a huge mistake.
* IGaveMyWord: Played straight by Inigo as Westley is trying to climb the Cliffs of Insanity. Twisted around when Prince Humperdinck promises not to hurt Westley if Buttercup goes quietly ("''You'' (meaning Count Rugen) will do the actual tormenting; ''I'' will only spectate"), but ultimately subverted when Humperdinck [[spoiler: mostly]] kills Westley himself.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: Subverted. Vizzini's hammy "...so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me! But you would have counted on my thinking that, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you!..." speech is just stalling for time, as the Man in Black points out, trying to goad out a reaction that will betray which goblet has poison in it.
* IncendiaryExponent: Since they only have two able fighters against eighty guards, the plan for StormingTheCastle involves setting Fezzik on fire (he's wearing a holocaust cloak, which keeps him safe) in order to frighten them off.
* InterClassRomance: Buttercup gets made princess of a tiny area so that Prince Humperdinck can marry her. This also puts her socially above Westley, who used to work as her father's farmhand before becoming a pirate.
* IronicEcho:
** Prince Humperdinck declares, "I swear it will be done," to Buttercup's demand that he send messages to the "Dread Pirate Roberts", knowing full well that Westley is in his dungeon. Count Rugen echoes it back to him immediately thereafter.
** Inigo swearing on his father's soul not to attack the Man in Black until he finishes climbing, versus Yellin swearing on his mother's soul that he didn't have any gate key.
* KarmaHoudini: Played with regarding Prince Humperdinck. He suffers no physical harm at all in the final confrontation, but his reputation lies in ruins and his cowardice is revealed. Yellin does free him soon afterward, whereupon he manages to make one last bid to prevent Wesley from escaping, but thanks to a fortuitous intervention by a certain pirate crew, even that fails.
* KingOnHisDeathbed: Prince Humperdinck's father is supposedly near death, and does die in Buttercup's dream sequence.
* LegacyCharacter: The original Dread Pirate Roberts retired and passed on the name to one of his associates; this developed into a tradition of which Westley is the latest recipient. When he rescues Buttercup, he states his intention to pass on the title himself.
* LifeIsntFair:
** A major theme of the book, and the subject of at least one plot-interrupting AuthorFilibuster. As the very last lines of the book state, "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."
** A similar sentiment is the line in both book and movie (though in very different contexts):
--->"Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: See AuthorFilibuster -- the supposed original version of the book is, in fact, nonexistent.
* LivingLegend: The Dread Pirate Roberts is a mythical pirate. Fezzik earns a reputation as a brawler whose arms are completely tireless. Prince Humperdinck can hunt ''anything'' down.
* LookBehindYou: Vizzini does this at the conclusion of his IKnowYouKnowIKnow filibuster to distract the Man in Black from his PoisonChaliceSwitcheroo.
* MarryForLove: Westley wants to marry Buttercup, and the virtue of "true love" is noised about by a lot of people, but there are practical matters involved like the lack of any money. So he goes off to seek his fortune, leaving Buttercup to fall into an ArrangedMarriage.
* MetafictionalDevice: Used, lampshaded and parodied ''everywhere.'' The "original" book doesn't actually exist as a discrete piece of literature, and serves as a prop for (in-story) Goldman to play off for additional humor.
* MexicanStandoff: Vizzini holds Buttercup hostage at knifepoint as a hedge against the Man in Black's obvious physical superiority. They choose a battle of wits as an alternative to violence.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Inigo and Fezzik. They follow Vizzini's orders, but they can't hide the fact that they're really pretty nice guys.
* MrFanservice: Buttercup starts noticing how hot "Farm Boy's" bod is. Westley later says he got ripped so that she would notice him. There's a ''reason'' the TagLine for the book is "A Hot Fairy Tale".
* TheNapoleon: Vizzini is hilariously short and resents any mention of the fact.
* NeutralFemale: Buttercup is useless until the end, where she manages to [[spoiler: drive off the ''entire Brute Squad'' by standing up in the saddle and declaring, "[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: [[Punctuated For Emphasis I -- am -- the -- queeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!! ]]
* NeverBareheaded: Princess Noreena of Guilder is never seen without one of her many hats. After a sudden breeze blows one off, it turns out [[BaldWomen she has good reason]].
* NeverSayThatAgain:
** Miracle Max cannot stand the sound of Humperdinck's name. "Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!"
** Also, Count Rugen, to Inigo's YouKilledMyFather PrepareToDie mantra: "Stop ''saying'' that!"
* NiceHat: Princess Noreena of Guilder has hundreds of hats, described in the unabridged book in excruciating detail for three pages. They're all extravagant and very useful for hiding her bald head.
* NoEnding: The narrator points out that the escape is not the end and leaves the ultimate fate of the heroes ambiguous, with lots of LampshadeHanging.
* NothingIsScarier: The last level of the Zoo of Death is a long, dark hallway, entirely devoid of the horrific beasts of the other levels. The idea is to lure the intruders into a false sense of security so that they are bitten by the ''extremely'' venomous spider hidden in the doorknob at the end. Inigo finds the apparent lack of beasts and traps even more worrisome than the previous two levels, and Fezzik is so terrified of what's going on that he bursts through the door at the end -- without touching the handle, squashing the spider in the process.
* OurHeroIsDead: Humperdinck kills Westley in Rugen's Machine for having the audacity to hold Buttercup's TrueLove. [[OnlyMostlyDead He gets better.]]
* OutGambitted: Vizzini counts on his ability to improvise an IKnowYouKnowIKnow speech to confuse the Man in Black and distract him from the PoisonChaliceSwitcheroo. He fails to anticipate that the Man in Black would not set up the scenario in the first place if he had any chance of losing.
* {{Padding}}: [[invoked]] The reason for the "Good Parts" version. One entire chapter was devoted to the wedding preparation -- with PurpleProse describing ''everything''. It apparently makes [[GiftedlyBad Amanda McKittrick Ros]] look succinct.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: While describing his experiences with and as the Dread Pirate Roberts, Westley very carefully omits any mention of the unsavory acts he must have committed as said pirate.
* PersonWithTheClothing: The Man in Black.
* PetRat: The goons hired by Prince Humperdinck, whose job is to clear out the Thieves' Quarter. Not to mention Vizzini and his crew.
* {{Pirate}}: The Dread Pirate Roberts, to be precise.
* PistolWhipping: The Man in Black whacks Inigo with the butt of his sword to [[TapOnTheHead knock him out]] so he can't interfere.
* PlotHole: Lampshaded repeatedly, to the point where the amount of events that don't make any practical sense other than to drive S. Morgenstern's plot becomes something of a running joke.
* PlotPoweredStamina: Fezzik's arms never get tired, which comes in handy when he has to climb the Cliffs of Insanity with three people on his back.
* PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo: Vizzini's gambit in the battle of wits is to distract the Man in Black and switch the goblets. If the Man in Black is willing to drink from his own cup, then he's just poisoned himself. Except it doesn't work, because [[AcquiredPoisonImmunity both goblets were poisoned]].
* {{Postmodernism}}: Trying to sort out the metatextual structure of the book is enough to make your head spin. In the book Goldman claims he first encountered the original novel (which doesn't exist) when his father read it to him as a kid. he found it terribly boring, and after he read it himself as an adult he still found it terribly boring but with plenty of good bits so he decided to make an abridged version where he left out all the boring bits. Narrator-Goldman repeatedly interjects during the book, briefly describing what happened during the boring parts he left out. At the end of the book [[spoiler:it suddenly stops just before the final resolution, where Goldman says he's not sure what happened next, but he says he ''thinks'' there was a happy ending.]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: "I want Domingo Montoya back, '''''you son-of-a-bitch!'''''"
* PrepositionalPhraseEqualsCoolness: The Cliffs of Insanity, the Man in Black, the Rodents of Unusual Size, and the Zoo of Death, just to name a few.
* PressurePoint: Vizzini uses a Vulcan Neck Pinch on Buttercup.
* PretextForWar: Humperdinck sets up Buttercup to be so beloved of the Florinese people that her "kidnapping by agents of Guilder" will enrage them enough to support a war.
* PrinceCharmless: Humperdinck clearly believes himself to be witty, handsome, and clever. And he is indeed perfectly courteous to Buttercup, but never shows her the slightest sign of love.
* PsychoForHire: Count Tyrone Rugen is unfailingly polite but has devoted his entire life to the study of pain and has invented the greatest torture machine in history.
* PhysicalScarsPsychologicalScars: Inigo Montoya has a scar on each cheek given to him by the man who killed his father which serves to strengthen his drive for revenge.
* PunchClockVillain: Inigo and Fezzik; the Albino.
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: Westley does this to Fezzik, who very kindly lets him get some strikes in so that he can feel he's doing well.
* QuicksandSucks: Except it's not quicksand. The stuff Buttercup falls into in the book is called 'snow sand,' and is rather like baby powder in consistency. As the narrative explains, quicksand is wet and kills by drowning, while snow sand is dry and powdery and kills by suffocation.
* RagsToRoyalty: Buttercup is elevated from a back-country farm girl to a princess by royal decree.
* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Readers Are Geniuses]]: Invoked. The original text (which doesn't exist) was a political satire that required the reader to have several university degrees to find funny instead of boring. This is the fun parts boiled out of that.
* ReadingIsCoolAesop
* RedRightHand: Count Rugen has six fingers on his right hand, identifying him as the man who killed Inigo's father.
* RememberedTooLate: Max remembers after the heroes leave that the potion will only make Westley fully fit for 40 minutes.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: When Yellin tries to resign because he can't find the rumored saboteurs from Guilder, Humperdinck (who needs a regent in Guilder after the war, only trusts Yellin and Rugen, and knows Rugen is too busy with "his stupid Pain Primer") promptly tells him what's really going on and what planted evidence he should find later.
--->'''Humperdinck:''' I do ''not'' accept your resignation, you ''are'' doing a capable job, there is ''no'' plot, ''I'' shall slaughter the Queen myself this very evening, ''you'' shall run Guilder for me after the war, now get back on your feet.
* ResurrectionSickness: Max explains that he can definitely have the tongue and brain working, and with luck maybe a slow walk. That's about it.
* {{Revenge}}: Inigo's motivation is to get vengeance on the six-fingered man who killed his father.
* RhymesOnADime: Fezzik has a genius for spontaneous rhyming, much to Vizzini's annoyance.
* RoboticTortureDevice: Rugen's "Machine", which applies the principles of suction to "suck out years of a person's life".
* ScarecrowSolution: "The Dread Pirate Roberts" rig that Fezzik wears to terrify the Florinese soldiers guarding the castle gate.
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Prince Humperdinck can "track a hawk on a cloudy day" and demonstrates this skill by not only perfectly retracing the steps of the Man in Black's duel with Inigo, but identifying the odorless, colorless, tasteless iocane powder.
* ScheherezadeGambit: Westley's relationship with the previous Dread Pirate Roberts is that he will "most likely kill him in the morning". He says this for a number of years before finally becoming fast friends.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Inigo sweetens his revenge by offering [[spoiler: Rugen]] false hope.
--> '''Inigo:''' Offer me money... Power... Anything I ask for.\\
'''[[spoiler: Rugen]]:''' Anything. Please.\\
'''Inigo:''' I want Domingo Montoya, you son of a bitch.
* SecretTest: When Westley rescues Buttercup, his True Love, from her kidnappers, he doesn't reveal his true identity, in the hope of finding out whether she still loves him or not.
* SentencedToDownUnder: Vizzini references this during his BatDeduction. He calls Australia a nation populated entirely by criminals.
* SlaveToPR: The Dread Pirate Roberts works ''hard'' to maintain his reputation as a murderous bastard. You don't have to fight as often if people surrender their valuables in order to avoid certain death.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Buttercup. Her beauty is enough to get her promoted to future queen, except the Prince threatens to kill her if she refuses. And [[spoiler: he's planning to kill her anyway.]] In fact, if she were slightly less beautiful, the whole conflict wouldn't have happened.
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: Roberts saying "[[spoiler:As you wish]]", reveals himself to be [[spoiler:Westley.]]
* SoWhatDoWeDoNow: [[spoiler: Inigo gets his revenge, but he spent all his adult life in pursuit of it. What should he do?[[note]]Westley recommends piracy, suggesting that Inigo would make a great Dread Pirate Roberts.[[/note]]]]
* SparingTheAces: The Man in Black would no sooner kill a genius than shatter a stained glass window.
* SpidersAreScary: In the Zoo of Death, there's a decoy door to the bottom level with a green handle. Said handle is the home of a green-speckled recluse, one of the most deadly spiders on Earth. That way, if an intruder comes in with the intent of freeing one of Humperdinck's prisoners, they'll suffer a fatal bite. [[spoiler:It ends up being [[{{anticlimax}} killed without ceremony]] when an impatient Fezzik breaks down the door and Inigo unknowingly steps on the startled spider]].
** Another dangerous spider in the Zoo of death is the Shrieking Tarantula, although it's only briefly mentioned by the narration.
* SpinOff: ''The Silent Gondoliers'', another Goldman novel supposedly adapted from an original by S. Morgenstern.
* StopSayingThat: Count Rugen, verbatim, to Inigo Montoya.
* StormingTheCastle: "Think it'll work?" "It'll take a miracle."
* SuccessionCrisis: The whole thing gets started when Prince Humperdinck learns that his father is dying and he has to marry to produce an heir. [[spoiler:FALSE.]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: In the framing story, to reassure the boy, who was not GenreSavvy.
--> "She does not get eaten by the sharks at this time," my father said.\\
... but I'll tell you the truth: I was getting a little too involved and I was glad he told me. I mean, when you're a kid you don't think, Well since the book's called ''The Princess Bride'' and since we're barely into it, obviously the author's not about to make shark kibble of his leading lady.
:::Subverted, in that she never ''does'' get eaten by sharks.
* SwordFight: The duel between Inigo and the Man in Black.
* TapOnTheHead: The Dread Pirate Roberts to Inigo (swordhilt) and Fezzik (stranglehold), Count Rugen to Westley (swordhilt), and Fezzik to the albino (fist).
* TerribleTrio: Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik are either an example of this or ThreeAmigos. Because Vizzini is a cad, but Fezzik and Inigo are mostly good, but on the other hand Inigo and Fezzik both help to kidnap Buttercup and, oh never mind! Later becomes heroic when someone gets slapped with iocaine powder.
* ThemeNaming: Florin and Guilder are different names for the same medieval European coin. Currency with those names is still in use today.
* ThickerThanWater
* ThreateningShark: Buttercup tries to swim away from Vizzini, so he excites the sharks.
* TrueCraftsman: Domingo Montoya has the highest standards for himself and the swords he makes. He could be wealthy and renowned, but he doesn't want to make swords that will only be trophies for stupid elites. He is ecstatic at the prospect of making a sword for a six-fingered master fighter - but changes his mind when the six-fingered man sees only a product to buy, not a work of art. Domingo leaves his final sword - and a masterpiece of steel - to his son, Inigo.
* TryAndFollow: The Fire Swamp ''and'' the Cliffs of Insanity.
* UnInstallment: The "reunion scene". When Buttercup and Westley are reunited, there's an editor's note explaining that for one reason and another the book doesn't include a detailed depiction of their reunion, but you can write in to the publisher to be sent a copy. People who did write in instead received a letter explaining that the Morgenstern estate had frowned on this, and the publisher needed to keep in good with the Morgenstern estate to avoid messing up the film rights/the US's trade ties with Florin/Goldman's chances of being allowed to "adapt" the sequel (the letter was updated from time to time with a new excuse). The then-current text of the letter was included in the 25th Anniversary Edition.
* UnreliableNarrator: Goldman portrays himself as one in the book's foreword. He then sets out to prove it, quite successfully. He also portrays Morgenstern as an unreliable narrator. And his father (who read him the book as a child).
** To wit: Narrator Goldman talks about a wife and kid he doesn't have in real life (not to mention as saying the story is actually satirical non-fiction). Narrator Morgenstern says that the story happened before Europe but after America. Narrator Father never informed his son that the story came from a historical text and he skipped over all the (lengthy) boring parts)
* VillainousBreakdown: As Inigo refuses to die, and slowly gains the upper hand on Rugen in their duel, Rugen first becomes shaken, then demands that Inigo "Stop saying that!"
* WallSlump: Inigo has a famous one after Rugen stabs him... several times.
* WhamLine:
** [[spoiler:"As you wish!"]] as Roberts tumbles down the hillside.
** Humperdinck is presented as a JerkAss for claiming Buttercup as a trophy wife -- though he seems sincerely concerned that Guilder kidnapped her and plans to kill her -- and later imprisoning Westley to get him out of the way. Then he reveals that he was behind Buttercup's abduction all along, and was trying to frame Guilder for it, and will instead murder her on the wedding night and frame Guilder for ''that'' instead.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Fezzik is terrified of two things: being alone, and king bats.
* WickedStepmother: Utterly averted with Queen Bella, who has an excellent relationship with her stepson the Prince. Humperdinck calls her "Evil Stepmother" (or E.S. for short), but entirely in jest.
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Buttercup -- though at first she's only in the top twenty. The first couple of chapters are in fact a lengthy parody of the trope, as the narrator somehow has access to a list of "Who was the most beautiful woman in the world at any given time," and on what qualifications, pays careful attention to Buttercup's rise through the ranks, and even gives anecdotes on what happened to the ''previous'' holders of the title (in order: chocolate, smallpox, and [[SelfFulfillingProphecy wrinkles brought on by worrying about how to hold on to the title of "World's Most Beautiful Woman.]]") In the end, despite the beauticians working on her while she's Humperdinck's fiance, it's her maturity and sadness that puts her over the top.
* YourEyesCanDeceiveYou: Part of Inigo's training.

!!The released portion of ''Buttercup's Baby'' provides examples of:
* AffectionateNickname: Buttercup and Westley's daughter Waverly refers to Fezzik as "Shade".
* AuthorFilibuster: Parodied, as in ''The Princess Bride'', with S. Morgenstern's digressions. After a huge buildup to a fight, the conclusion is a perfunctory few sentences mixed in with several pages about the positive qualities of a certain type of tree. Goldman explains that Morgenstern had a large monetary stake involving these trees, and used the book as an opportunity to make them more popular.
** It's also played with, in that Goldman's removal of these in ''The Princess Bride'' is said to be a point of contention with Morgenstern's estate about letting him 'abridge' ''Buttercup's Baby''; apparently, the estate considers these the most important parts of the book.
* BelatedHappyEnding: ''Buttercup's Baby'' resolves the open ending of ''The Princess Bride''.
* BigGuyFatalitySyndrome: It's BigGuy Fezzik who throws himself over an enormous cliff to save Waverly, who is Buttercup and Westley's daughter.