main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Characters: The Princess Bride

In The Story

Westley/ The Dread Pirate Roberts

Cary Elwes

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: To iocaine powder.
  • Back from the Dead: Thanks to the Miracle Pill.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Inverted and Played for Laughs 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 Storming the Castle as bits him are "waking up" one at a time.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: "Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End." Made ironic when the kid insists on skipping or editing all the kissy stuff at first but starts enjoying it by the end (film only).
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: During his duel with Inigo Montoya, the Man in Black throws his sword. It spins end over end and impales itself in the ground point first.
  • British Accents: Cary Elwes uses his native Ah Pea accent in the role.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Damn you, Rugen.
  • Cool Mask: As the Man in Black.
    Fezzik: Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?
    Man in Black: No, it's just that they are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Before he reveals to Buttercup that he is indeed Westley, he occasionally snarks at her. Later he starts snarking at Humperdinck. Also, the whole conversation while he's climbing the Cliffs of Insanity.
    Inigo: Hello there! Slow going?
    Westley: Look, I don't mean to be rude, but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.
    Inigo: Right, right. Sorry.
    Westley: Thank you.
    Inigo: I do not suppose you could-a speed things up?
    Westley: Look, if you're in such a hurry, you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do.
    Inigo: I could do that. I have got some more rope up here. But I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around up here to kill you.
    Westley: That does put a damper on our relationship.
    Inigo: But... I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.
    Westley: That's very comforting. But I'm afraid you'll just have to wait.
    Inigo: I hate waiting. Could I give you my word as a Spaniard?
    Westley: No good. I've known too many Spaniards.
    Inigo: Is there no way you trust me?
    Westley: Nothing comes to mind.
  • Death Is Cheap
  • Farmboy: Starts out as one.
  • Genre Savvy
  • Guile Hero
  • Good Is Not Nice: Thanks to his perceived abandonment by Buttercup. Even after he finds out he was wrong, he's on the bitter and snarky side.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He is almost made of gold, he's so good.
  • The Hero
  • I Am Not Left-Handed either.
  • Lady and Knight: Or Lady and Pirate, whatever.
  • Living Legend
  • Master Swordsman: Can fight Montoya to a standstill.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Dread Pirate Roberts.
  • Only Mostly Dead: The Trope Namer!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Westley <-> Dread Pirate Roberts. It's amazing Buttercup takes so long to realize it. It also qualifies as Clark Kenting, although the book depicts him wearing a more complete disguise. Also, Buttercup had no reason to expect Westley to be alive, so she wasn't looking for him.
  • Passing the Torch: In the film, Westley asks Inigo if he's ever considered piracy, implying that he will pass on the title of Dread Pirate Roberts to be with Buttercup.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Mostly due to the reputation of the Dread Pirate Roberts, when merchants realize he is approaching, they give up immediately, sparing Westley from the fight. Although a popular fanon joke is that prior to reuniting with Buttercup, he spent several years raping and pillaging and spreading terror.
  • Pretty Boy: Oh yes. Cary Elwes is decidedly hot as Westley, especially compared to his later roles in Liar Liar and Twister, where he plays goofy/jerkass characters respectively.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Drop. Your. Sword.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Westley is very weak after taking the Miracle Pill.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: His relationship with the previous Dread Pirate Roberts.
  • The Scream: While in Count Rugen's death machine. Inigo and Fezzik find him because of it.
  • Secret Test: The Man in Black doesn't reveal his true identity to Buttercup after he rescues her in hopes of finding out whether she still loves him.
  • Something Only They Would Say: "As you wish," meaning "I love you." Former Trope Namer.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Westley/Wesley.
  • To the Pain: Trope Namer
    Westley: "To the pain means that the first thing you lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists, next your nose... The next thing you lose will be your left eye, followed by your right... Your ears you keep, and I'll tell you why: so that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish; every babe that weeps at your approach; every woman who cries out, 'Dear God! What is that thing?' will echo in your perfect ears. That is what 'to the pain' means; it means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery, forever."
  • Unable To Support A Wife: Why Westley went to seek his fortune.
  • Wham Line: "As you wish" while falling down the hillside.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The famous Inigo/Westley duel, but with compliments and discussion of swordfighting tactics instead of insults. (In most DVD editions, that chapter is titled "The Chatty Duelists.")


Robin Wright

  • Arranged Marriage: To Prince Humperdinck.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: "Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End." Made ironic when the kid insists on skipping or editing all the kissy stuff at first but starts enjoying it by the end.
  • Catapult Nightmare: In the movie.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: After being untied.
  • Damsel in Distress: She's especially useless in the fight with the ROUS. C'mon, swing that branch, don't just jab with it like a pool cue! Or pick up Westley's sword, or something.
  • Dreaming The Truth: The Ancient Booer.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Buttercup gets promoted to princess, because she was born a commoner but Humperdinck wants to marry her. The book explains how she had to attend royalty school for three years, and was given the title of Princess of Hammersmith (which was part of the Florinese property but nobody ever paid attention to it) because the Prince couldn't marry a commoner.
  • Everything's Even Worse With Sharks: In the book, Buttercup tries to swim away from Vizzini, so he excites the sharks. In the movie, it was changed to the shrieking eels.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Naturally.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: In the book, the reason she realizes her love for Westley is because the Countess Rugen has the visible hots for him.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • Ice Queen/Defrosting Ice Queen: She flip-flops between these two throughout the book: In the beginning she was an Ice Queen, then defrosts after she realizes her love for Westley. She freezes up again after Westley's reported demise, then defrosts after realizing that he's still alive.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Regarding the movie: Princess Buttercup, while pretty, is far from the "most beautiful woman in the world". Then again, there are casting difficulties involved in finding a woman who could pass for the most beautiful woman in the world; not to mention the budget difficulties of paying her, and the possibility - indeed, the likelihood - that the most beautiful woman in the world can't act.
  • Job Title: Her precise function in the story, at least as far as Humperdinck is concerned, is to be a princess and a bride. And a murder victim.
  • Lady and Knight
  • Marry for Love
  • Neutral Female: Buttercup is hilariously useless, at least until the end (of the book) when she manages to drive off the Brute squad by using her (false) authority as the Queen.
  • Only One Name
  • Pressure Point: Fezzik uses a Vulcan Nerve Pinch on Buttercup. In the book Vizzini does it.
  • The Power of Love
    Buttercup: "You can't hurt me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords. And when I say you are a coward, that is only because you are the slimiest weakling ever to crawl the earth."
  • Quicksand Sucks
  • Rags to Royalty
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Her beauty is enough to get her promoted to future queen, except the Prince threatens to kill her if she refuses. And he's planning to kill her anyway. In fact, if she were slightly less beautiful, the whole conflict wouldn't have happened.
    • Slightly averted in the book, where he originally had every intention of going through with the marriage, until he came up with the plot to frame Guilder. He specifically says to Count Rugen that he wants a wife who is so insanely beautiful that the whole world will be jealous, which is why Rugen shows him Buttercup in the first place.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Both of Buttercup's parents (who are not in the movie) are hilariously ugly. Lampshaded when it's said they don't know how they managed to produce such a beautiful child.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: The book even explains how she became the worlds most beautiful woman.

Inigo Montoya

Mandy Patinkin


Andre the Giant


Wallace Shawn

Prince Humperdinck

Chris Sarandon

Count Rugen

Christopher Guest

Miracle Max and his wife Valerie

Billy Crystal and Carol Kane

  • Alchemy Is Magic
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Described by Billy Crystal (Max) as a pair of "Jewish trolls".
    And so here the point is, if Max and Valerie sound Jewish, why shouldn’t they? You think a guy named Simon Morgenstern was Irish Catholic? Funny thing — Morgenstern’s folks were named Max and Valerie and his father was a doctor.
  • Berserk Button: Mentioning Prince Humperdinck's name will drive Max up the wall.
  • Cool Old Guy: Max.
  • Cool Old Lady: Valerie.
  • Happily Married: Not so obvious in the movie, but the book implies as much—for example, explaining that when Max calls Valerie "witch" it's in fact a term of endearment and part of their whole act.
    Valerie: I'm not a witch! I'm your wife!
  • Henpecked Husband: Max.
    Valerie: LIAR! LIAR! LIIAAAAR!

The Albino

Mel Smith

  • Evil Albino
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Parodied. He says his first line with an extreme rasp... then he clears his throat and speaks with a clear voice and a slight cockney accent for the rest of the film.
  • The Igor
  • Punch Clock Villain: He seems to enjoy his job in the film a little more, though. In the book he's very timid and feels deeply sorry for Westley, offering to poison him to put him out of his misery.

The Impressive Clergyman

Peter Cook

Outside The Story

The Kid

Fred Savage

  • He's Just Hiding: Invoked.
    The Boy: "Wait, what did Fezzik mean, 'He's dead?' I mean he didn't mean dead. Westley's only faking, right?"
  • Ill Boy: His grandfather comes to read him the story because he's been extremely sick.
  • No Name Given
    • Though if the book's anything to go by, his name is William Goldman.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After his grandfather tells him that Buttercup doesn't get eaten by eels, he vehemently denies he was nervous about it, instead stating he was 'concerned'.

The Grandfather

Peter Falk

Prince of Persia: The Sands of TimeCharacterSheets/Live-Action FilmsPrisoners

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy