[[caption-width-right:300:"Never durst poet touch a pen to write, until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs."]]
->''And why anyone should say that ''Love's Labour's Lost'' is a bad play, the Lord He knoweth; for to my mind it is one of the most ''réussi'' things of its kind ever made ... it is all pure [[FairyTale fairy-tale]]; and some of the loveliest lines in the lyrical-witty mode ever written.''

''Love's Labour's Lost'' is one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's earliest plays, possibly his first comedy. The King of Navarre and his attendant lords make a vow to devote themselves to scholarship and put away interest in women for three years--just before the Princess of France and her attendant ladies arrive for a visit. HilarityEnsues.

It's not among Shakespeare's most popular plays. This may be largely due to the style, which has been described as "flamboyantly intellectual", full of wordplay and references to contemporary scholarly interests, many of which have not dated well. The script is 90% poetry and jokes and 10% plot. Also, for a romantic comedy it has a romantically-unsatisfying ending, with all the lovers separated, to (maybe) be reunited in the future.

This latter point probably fed the popularity of the rumor/theory (depending on your view) that Shakespeare wrote a now-lost sequel titled ''Love's Labour's Won''[[note]]at least two records exist of a "Love's Labour's Won" by Shakespeare, though it's also speculated this may be an alternative title of an existing work, usually thought to be either ''Much Ado About Nothing'', ''The Taming of the Shrew'', or ''The Merchant of Venice''[[/note]].

There was a film adaptation in 2000, directed by and starring Creator/KennethBranagh as well as Nathan Lane, Allesandro Nivolla, Alicia Silverstone, Creator/TimothySpall, and Adrian Lester.
!!''Love's Labour's Lost'' provides examples of:

* AllThereInTheScript: Ferdinand, King of Navarre. Who's never actually called "Ferdinand" except in dialogue tags and stage directions, so you can watch the entire play and never find out his first name.
* AltumVidetur: Used ''frequently'' (mostly from Holofernes), often with a GeniusBonus or two. (In fact, all those obscure references--meant for its target audience of Elizabethan college students--have lead to the play's obscurity in modern times, as it's rarely chosen by directors for performance.) Moth lampshades this trope:
-->"They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps."
%%* BetaCouple: And a Gamma, and a Delta, and an Epsilon, and... "More sacks to the mill!"
%%* CaptainObvious: Don Armado.
* ChekhovsGun: Berowne mentions in Act I scene 1 that the Princess's father is "decrepit, sick, and bedrid." His illness never comes up again until he dies a few minutes from the end and screws up everything.
%%* CoolOldGuy: Boyet (although, like all Elizabethan [[CoolOldGuy Cool Old Guys]], also something of a DirtyOldMan)
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Nearly every word spoken by Don Armado, Holofernes and Nathaniel. ''Especially'' Don Armado. Some scholars view this as evidence of the influence of the euphuistic style of John Lyly, the first English novelist and a dramatist in his own right.
* GetTheeToANunnery: There are about four puns on the word "light", the most obscure of which is probably the implication that a "light woman" is promiscuous. Knowing the different meanings makes the argument between Katherine and Rosaline at the beginning of Act 5, Scene 2 funnier, but also hints at cattiness.
%%* HurricaneOfPuns
* ImAManICantHelpIt: In his EstablishingCharacterMoment at the beginning, Berowne gives a whole speech about this as his "excuse" for possibly breaking his oath. As he predicts, this trope turns out to be true of all the other guys in the play as well.
* IWillWaitForYou: None of the lovers end up together at the end of the play, but they each promise that they will wait for each other for a year.
%%* LoveLetterLunacy: Played for laughs.
* {{Malaproper}}: Costard does not know what "remuneration" means, thinking it's a specific value.
%%* MilesGloriosus: Don Armado
* MoodWhiplash: Right at the end, with the announcement of the death of the King of France.
%%* MouthyKid: Moth.
%%* NoLovesIntersect
* PaperThinDisguise: The princess and her ladies don't believe for a second that the King and his followers are Muscovites.
* PurpleProse: Don Armado writes and speaks in a combination of this trope, AltumVidetur and DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment. It's an incredible thing to behold. As mentioned above, this is possibly an allusion to euphuism, a patterned prose style popularized by John Lyly in the 1580s.
%%* RashEquilibrium
* SequelHook: the lost play ''Love's Labours Won.'' Although if ''Series/DoctorWho'' is right about it, we're better off not knowing...
%%* ServileSnarker: Moth to Don Armado.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness:
** Particularly Don Armado and Holofernes.
** Costard [[SmartBall has a moment]], too. The fact that he knows the word "Honorificabilitudinitatibus"--and ''can say it correctly''--calls his "[[TheFool bumbling, uneducated country guy]]" status [[ObfuscatingStupidity somewhat into question.]]
%%* ShowWithinAShow: The "Nine Worthies"
* SpoilerTitle: Wait, you mean all the courting didn't work out? Who could have seen that coming?
%%* TreeCover
* WeddingsForEveryone: Averted. The play is a comedy, which means technically it has to end with weddings, except everyone wants to get married and can't for completely non-tragedy reasons.
!!The 2000 film adaptation provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: Most of the original play was cut.
* BelatedHappyEnding: The lovers farewell each other at the end of the original play, but the film continues after this with a silent newsreel footage montage of the characters undergoing World War II, and after the war is over, it is shown that most of the characters have survived and all of the lovers are happily re-united.
* BetaCouple: This adaptation adds to the five couples of the original play a Zeta couple in Nathanial and Holofernia.
* CallBack: In the last newsreel at the end of the film, we see Costard carrying his bag with him while running into the street. He did the same thing earlier in the film just before asking the King about the word "remuneration".
* ChromaticArrangement: Each of the four main couples has an associated color for the woman's dress and the man's buttonhole ribbon or tie: red for the King and the Princess, blue for Berowne and Rosaline, green for Longaville and Maria, and orange for Dumaine and Katherine.
* CrowdSong: "No Business Like Show Business"
* DeathByAdaptation: Boyet is shown being killed in action during the epilogue; everyone else is reunited afterwards.
* {{Exposition}}: Done in the form of a newsreel several times throughout the movie, in order to cover some of the information cut from the original play.
* FastForwardToReunion: This is added to Shakespeare's original play; the lovers' parting is followed by a montage of the characters experiencing World War II before being joyfully reunited after the war.
* FinalLoveDuet: "They Can't Take That Away from Me"
* GenderFlip: Holofernes is transformed into Holofernia, played by Geraldine [=McEwan=].
* HakunaMatata: "I'd Rather Charleston"
* TheMusical: Featuring songs from classic 1930s musicals, which can be found [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0182295/soundtrack here]].
%%* PragmaticAdaptation: See AdaptationDistillation.
* SettingUpdate: UsefulNotes/WorldWarII
* WorldOfHam: Done on purpose, as a sendup of classic musicals and screwball comedies from the 1930s.