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->''"They've got the power, they've got the weapons. All we've got is a Rasta, a wally, and a bearded avocado."''

''Maid Marian And Her Merry Men'' was a children's SitCom made by Creator/TheBBC, based on RobinHood and written by Tony Robinson, who also played the Sheriff. Calling it [[LighterAndSofter a kids' version of]] ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' is trite and obvious but also, to a certain extent, true. Only much more surreal.

The concept was that Robin wasn't a noble outlaw hero at all, but a clueless yuppie who had inadvertently got involved with the revolutionary schemes of Maid Marian, presented here as the real brains behind the operation. Joining them were Little Ron (a violent dwarf), Rabies (a large and very stupid peasant) and Barrington (a Rasta, despite Rastafarianism not existing yet). Much to Marian's exasperation, none of them were particularly reliable, least of all Robin, who spent most of his time designing their outfits (except when he started believing the hype and thinking he ''was'' the leader).

Prince John, technically the leader of the forces of oppression (or "Ye Baddies", as the credits had it), was usually portrayed as an unstable raving lunatic, leaving the actual scheming to his [[TheDragon Dragon]], the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff's two {{Mooks}}, Gary and Graeme, were almost as stupid as Rabies.

Since Marian and the Sheriff were the only intelligent people within walking distance (the villagers were just as bad), they were usually the only ones the other felt they could talk sensibly with, even though they were on opposing sides. Somehow, this never made the Sheriff look like a PunchClockVillain; he was just biding his time until he could catch the whole gang.

Later series added two new Baddies: Rotten Rose Scargill, Marian's RivalTurnedEvil with a crush on Robin, and Guy of Gisbourne, John's childlike, and borderline deranged, nephew.


* ActionGirl
* AnticlimacticParent: Marian never admitted to her mother that she was an outlaw. This leads the main characters to keep up the charade of being The Merry Dentists. However, when Marian is captured her mum leads the rescue effort and ultimately reveals she has her own geriatric gang of outlaws.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: The show a very good example of the second kind. The show featured a considerable amount of slapstick (mostly mess), though almost no actual violence, but Maid Marian herself is practically never a victim, even when all of the rest of her band are. The worst that happened to her was a bucket of water, once. Admittedly Rose once got paint poured over her, but then Rose is a villain (the trope seems to apply slightly less strongly to female villains).
** Except in the first episode of series 4 where she was pelted with mud while her and Rose were tied up together thanks to Guy. Of course, that was nothing compared to what happened to two of the bad guys that episode as the Merry Men had set up a maze specifically designed to get them CoveredInGunge. However, Marian also received the maze's final big gungeing, it happened off-screen but we did get to see the aftermath IIRC.
* BigBad: King John
* BritainIsOnlyLondon: Averted, with the series being possibly the only example of Britain is Only Nottinghamshire. Throughout the course of ''Maid Marian'' there is a grand total of three locations: Nottingham Castle (apparently the most important place in England, as the king lives there), Worksop and Sherwood Forest. Justified, as sitcoms generally work better over limited spaces.
* CardCarryingVillain: The Sheriff (whose hobbies include lying, cheating and poking small children with sticks) and Prince John.
* CatchPhrase:
** "UNDERSTAAAND?!" (King John as coda to his latest threat to do something nasty if the Sheriff fails in carrying out his orders.)
** "Wait a minute!" (The Sheriff's most-used phrase when he has an idea or notices that something's off. Often followed up by "Wait a minute!")
* CelebrityImpersonator: Parodied in an episode where they discover there is a celebrity impersonator of RobinHood, whom the Sheriff hires to frame Robin. That's right, professional celebrity impersonators in TheDungAges.
* ComedicSociopathy: Since this was a kids' show, never actually shown, although there were plenty of threats of it happening (mostly from John to the Sheriff, or from the Sheriff to Gary & Graeme).
* CoolOldLady: Gladys
* CoveredInGunge: This tended to happen to people a lot
* CrowdSong: At least OnceAnEpisode, often with LampshadeHanging.
* DidYouGetANewHaircut: Marian ''did'' get a new haircut, but when she asked the boys if they noticed anything different about her, Barrington replied "Yeah, your bum's getting a bit big. You ought to diet." (Rabies: "What colour?") At the end of episode, when Marian is CoveredInGunge, Rabies asks if she's had her hair done again.
* TheDitz: Guy of Gisbourne.
* DreadlockRasta: Barrington. Specifically described as a Rasta on several occasions, despite living centuries before Rastafarianism existed. He sometimes acts as a sort of narrator for the ongoing events.
* TheDungAges: Mud is seen as both a currency and a dietary staple.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first season is the only one with a complete story arc (beginning with the band forming and ending with the return of Richard). It also has more references to familiar stories of Robin Hood; later on, as the characters developed, the series became less of a Robin Hood parody and more of a sitcom with a Robin Hood theme.
** In the first episode, the Sheriff displays a childish sadism that would be more typical of King John in later episodes -- the later Sheriff typically acts villainous out of fear (for what the King might do to him), greed (for what he personally can get out of a situation) or sheer annoyance from being SurroundedByIdiots rather than gleeful ForTheEvulz.
** Episode 1 also depicts Nottingham Castle as being more heavily populated than usual: we see a doorman and there is a mention of torturers in the prison; later in the series, it appears that all of the castle's duties are handled by Gary, Graeme and the Sheriff. In the same episode, the Sheriff also makes references to a "Mrs. Nottingham," but there's no indication anywhere else in the series that he's married or has any sort of family.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Sometimes even the Sheriff was disgusted by some of King John's characteristics.
--> '''King John:''' I will do such disgusting things to you that even the torturers will say "UUUUGH!" and ask to leave the room!
* EveryoneMeetsEveryone: The first episode is even called "How The Gang Got Together".
* FakeUltimateHero: Robin Hood was mistaken for being the leader of the merry men, even though it was Marian.
* FiveManBand: While the Merry Men do fit the traditional roles of the FiveManBand, they tend to swap around the roles a little depending on the situation and story. In fact, the only character who sticks to one role is Little Ron, who's TheBigGuy.
** TheLeader: Marian takes up this role. She's the unquestioned leader of the gang, even if people occasionally think Robin is.
** TheLancer: Barrington, who's laid-back, easy-going and usually the closest thing to a second-in-command the Merry Men have -- though sometimes Robin, who gets more starring roles, fulfils the role.
** TheBigGuy: Little Ron's the toughest and scrappiest of the group. Though Rabies is the physically biggest and strongest and will often share the role of TheBigGuy with Little Ron.
** TheSmartGuy: Marian is definitely the smartest of the group, but on occasion Barrington will play TheSmartGuy.
** TheChick: Robin. He's cowardly, ineffectual, and self-centered, but he's also the friendliest and most soft-hearted. And occasionally GentleGiant Rabies, who's very sweet-natured and loving, plays this role.
* TheFool: Robin. Actually, most of the cast...
* FourthWallPsych: During the 'telethon' in the episode "Little Brown Noses".
* GentleGiant: Rabies
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: King John gets this treatment, as per usual for Robin Hood adaptations, but in this case it also happens to Richard I. The two monarchs are portrayed as being as bad as each other, the only difference that Richard is more popular - and so goes about his evil in a smug, swaggering manner, as opposed to John's shady bullying.
* HypercompetentSidekick: The show features one in each camp, the titular heroine to Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Both double as the Only Sane (Wo)man of their respective sides.
* ImportantHaircut: Marian cuts her hair at the beginning of series four, in an attempt to look tougher. The DVD commentary states that the actress had cut her hair for a play in between seasons, and didn't have time to grow it again.
* JiveTurkey: Barrington. Gladys, on occasion.
* KangarooCourt: King John's idea of justice involves having the charges read out to him and then immediately shouting "Guilty!" {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Barrington, who winks at the fourth wall while giving ironic praise for the English judicial system.
* KeepAway: Used as a spoof of Rugby. Just to add to the spoof, they're using an actual egg. With ''running commentary'' by Graeme.
* LargeHam: John, who is something of a Creator/BrianBlessed {{expy}}, sans beard.
* LimitedWardrobe: Most of the characters, though Marian and the Merry Men get two wardrobe upgrades -- after the third episode of the first series they begin dressing mainly in green to "coordinate with the trees," and from the second season on their outfits have become more detailed, distinct and individual. The one exception to the trope is Robin, who has ''lots'' of outfits, and from the second season onwards [[UnlimitedWardrobe seldom wears the same one two episodes in a row]].
* MedievalMorons: Similarly present here, where Marian and the Sheriff are the only characters with two brain cells to rub together.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Garry and Graeme. They're inept to the point Marian and co quite like them when they're not pursuing them on Nottingham's orders.
* NamesakeGag: The episode "A Game Called John" revolves around the invention of a game that involves moving balls around on a cloth-covered table, which is named in honour of Prince John until he decides he doesn't want it and gives it away, with all naming rights, to a random peasant -- whose name turns out to be Snooker.
* NotSoDifferent: Both the Sheriff and Marian are far more intelligent than the idiots surrounding them and easily frustrated and exasperated by their stupidity.
* OnlySaneMan: Marian for Ye Goodies and the Sheriff for Ye Baddies.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: For all Marian's preaching about being [[LaResistance freedom fighters]] the merry men mainly spend their time doing school activities and dysfunctional flat sharing. Lampshaded by Little Ron.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Subverted, everyone expects Richard the Lionheart to reclaim his kingdom and sort everything out but he turns out to be John's Just As Evil Twin.
* PurelyAestheticEra: Virtually everything that happens. Despite being set in TheDungAges, it still manages to have (among many other examples) a Rastafarian (identified as such), a telethon, belief in space aliens and sell-by date laws. One episode contains numerous references to Music/PaulMcCartney and his then-wife Linda.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Rotten Rose.
* ShoutOut:
** "Hang on! We're playing [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Chronic The Hedgehog]]! It's the first time we've ever got up to level four! And he hasn't been zapped by the crabs once!"
** In the same episode, Robin is [=DM=]ing live action ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', and devises the Maze of Mystery. Which, for some reason, involves him [[Series/TheCrystalMaze shaving his head, wearing a leopard-print coat, and playing the harmonica]].
** In the episode "The White-ish Knight", the mysterious knight gets his own theme tune which goes "Aah-ah, aah-ah, the White-ish Knight", in a way not completely dissimilar to Music/{{Clannad}}'s ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'' theme.
* SilentTreatment: Near the end of the episode "Tunnel Vision", Gary and Graeme decide to express their dissatisfaction with the mess the Sheriff got them into by collectively ignoring him. The Sheriff has coincidentally just come into possession of an artifact claimed to make its owner invisible, and thus is led to believe that the artifact actually works.
* StalkerWithACrush. Rose again.
* StockholmSyndrome: King John's torture victims are horrified by the idea of leaving the torture chamber and going to live in the world with all its stress and fast carts and modern technology (like pointy sticks).
* TerribleTrio: The Sheriff, Gary and Graeme.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Gary and Graeme.
* TickleTorture: Happens in the first episode
* UpperClassTwit: Robin.
* VisualPun: In one episode, the Sheriff is collecting taxes. This includes a large carpet (the carpet tacks) and a small mint (the Tic Tax).
** "Don't forget the VAT!" (value added tax)
* YouMeanXMas: Invoked and parodied. The Sheriff of Nottingham and his henchmen, Gary and Graeme, invent a public holiday called "Bloopy" in order to get out of trouble with King John, and every single cynical thing ever said about Christmas applies to Bloopy as well.