A {{comedy}} by the Greek playwright {{Aristophanes}}. It is OlderThanFeudalism, having first been performed in 411 BC, and (as such) is one of the oldest scripts still in use today.

The play takes place during UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar, when Athens and Sparta were embroiled in a hard, sweaty, nasty conflict. Lysistrata, an Athenian woman who is sick of all this war nonsense, manages to convince a large group of women from several city-states (including Sparta) to come together for a meeting, wherein she proposes a dramatic tactic: they (the women) should swear a vow to bring about the end of the war by refusing to have sex with their men until there is peace. As a more practical measure they seize hold of the root of the war effort: the Acropolis, which contains Athens' treasury. The menfolk laugh at the absurdity of this idea: in Ancient Greece, AllWomenAreLustful, and indeed Lysistrata and her friend Calonice must constantly prevent their co-conspirators from sneaking out to, shall we say, [[UnusualEuphemism engage enemy forces]]. With the women's resolve shown to be firm and upstanding, the menfolk, their ability to make war now wilted and slumping, and tormented by [[RagingStiffie enormous, err, burdens]], agree to work out a peace treaty. Celebration ensues.

And if you think that the previous summary was full of hot and steamy innuendo, you should be aware that the play itself is a hell of a lot raunchier. We're not joking about the burdens: the costumes for male characters include a GagPenis. Oh, and, the vow sworn by the women includes very explicit detail of what they are forswearing, such as agreeing not to "[[HeadTiltinglyKinky crouch like the lioness on the cheese grater]]" (No, we don't know what that means either. It's been lost to the mists of time. All we have from the historical record is a menu from a Greek brothel, on which this position is [[ComicSutra the most expensive act you can purchase from a prostitute]]. Imaginations, start your engines).

This is the TropeNamer for the LysistrataGambit, a more X-rated version of ExiledToTheCouch. And, if it's performed by a cast with enough balls to do it justice, it is still side-splittingly funny today.

Because translations often reflect the spirit of their own era, some of them include rather bizarre euphemisms and dated-sounding dialogue.
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!! ''Lysistrata'' by Aristophanes provides examples of:
* AccentAdaptation: often necessary when actually producing this play--and, indeed, many ancient Greek plays, as they frequently include accent-based humor. British English translations tend to use Scots accents for the Spartans; US translations have been known to use Texas accents.
** The Germaine Greer adaptation specifically states that each of the four Cleaning Women (characters added by Greer, essentially the Chorus/voice of the people) has a specific dialect with which they speak. The dialogue in the script is written in the respective dialects used at the time of original production, but Greer says that the dialects my be changed at the director's will and any colloquialisms may be changed to fit the accent.
* AllMenArePerverts
* AllWomenAreLustful: Consider how much ''difficulty'' the women have committing to their LysistrataGambit, as opposed to modern-day uses of that trope where the woman often treats it like it's no effort for her at all.
* BatteringRam: The women barricade themselves in the Acropolis and vowed to withhold sex from their husbands. So we get a scene where the much-deprived men of Athens [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything grab a big trunk of wood and ram it against the doors of the Acropolis again and again]], desperately trying to force their way inside...
* DancePartyEnding
* DirtyOldMan
* DirtyOldWoman
* DistractedByTheSexy: To really thrust the point home, Lysistrata invites a voluptuous woman named "Reconciliation" to the peace negotiations. Then ''maps the territories in dispute on her body.''
* DoubleEntendre: How many? Why, all of them, of course!
* FreudianSlip: While mapping out the territories with Reconciliation and they talk about a Long Wall, someone says Long Legs.
* GagPenis: The male actors are supposed to wear fake oversized phalluses just to drive home their, er, frustration.
** It should be noted that unlike in modern culture where size equates to virility, in Ancient Greek culture the size of your member correlates to how much control you have over your sexual urges. You can guess what this implies about the men in the play.
* GreekChorus: Composed primarily of the aforementioned Dirty Old People.
** In the Germaine Greer adaptation, the Cleaning Women and the Senators are essentially this.
* HighSchoolAU: The Broadway musical comedy ''Lysistrata Jones'' which places the action at "Athens University" and the conflict surrounding a college basketball team.
* LuckyTranslation: Several dirty jokes from the original Greek work just as well for modern audiences, provided they're given the obvious translation.
** At a meeting of the women, Lampito's tardiness is noted by the rest -- of course she's late, because Spartan women ''never'' come on time.
** At one point, Lysistrata admits that [[AllWomenAreLustful the women aren't finding the sex strike any easier than the men are]]. The faithful woman to whom she speaks cries out "Zeus help us!", to which Lysistrata winces and says [[GagPenis there's no need to get HIM involved in this]]. At least one translator has rendered the conversation thusly: "...''We'' want to get laid, too." "By Zeus!" "No, not by ''him!''"
* LysistrataGambit: TropeNamer. UnbuiltTrope as well, since the women clearly have trouble withholding their urges while more modern versions of the trope show it as effortless.
* MeaningfulName: Lysistrata (Λυσιστράτη) means "army-disbander".
* MoodWhiplash: Take into consideration why this was considered a comedy in Aristophanes' time: Women weren't considered citizens, coming in after poor citizens and before slaves. Hellenic comedies were meant to display ideas that were ridiculous, and this play's was the idea that a group of women could take over Greece's government. Women were also basically the property of men--first their fathers, then their husbands.
** And this standard persisted to the early modern period of Europe (1400-1800).
** Uber-feminist Germaine Greer's adaptation creates even more mood whiplash by contrasting the silly, child-like Society Women (the group to which Lysistrata belongs) with the poor, working-class Cleaning Women. In particular, the character of Katina has had her husband, father-in-law, and brother (all the men in her life that she relies on and who would normally support her) all taken off to fight in the war, and are probably dead (it's implied that the wealthy men who are serving don't see any fighting--only the working-class men). Then, her mother-in-law dies, leaving Katina by herself on the farm. Unable to run the farm on her own, Katina escapes with a group fleeing the fighting, and along the way, prematurely gives birth, and the baby dies. This is all before the play. During the play, she's nearly raped (with implications that she may have been raped before, prior to leaving the farm). Looking at things realistically, Katina's only option, having no men to support her, is probably to become a prostitute.
* OrAreYouJustHappyToSeeMe: Perhaps the UrExample, as said by the Magistrate: "But look, you are hiding a lance under your clothes, surely."
* RagingStiffie: All the guys end up with these.
* SexComedy
* SkinshipGrope: Lysistrata uses this to, ahem, "size up" the attractions with which one of the Spartan women will be able to tempt her menfolk.
-->Lampito: La! you are feeling me as if I were a beast for sacrifice.
* {{Tomboy}}: Lampito, the Spartan woman, especially compared her Athenian counterparts. There's at least one version where she's played by a man. There were only 2 male actors, and she is played by the Spartan Actor, who is far more masculine.
** TruthInTelevision: Spartan women were the only women in Greece who were allowed to take part in public exercise along with men. They also used to crop their hair short (though ironically, this made them look ''less'' like Spartan men, who'd grow their hair out in the belief that this would make them stronger.)
* UnresolvedSexualTension: To the ''extreme''.
* VolleyingInsults
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