[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/demolition-man_8081.jpg]]

->''"Simon Phoenix is an old-fashioned criminal. We need an old-fashioned cop."''
-->-- '''Zachary Lamb'''

A 1993 Creator/SylvesterStallone movie in which he plays [[CowboyCop loose cannon policeman]] John Spartan, who is dedicated to capturing L.A. warlord Simon Phoenix (Creator/WesleySnipes), causing havoc and property destruction each time they face off. This earns Spartan the nickname "[[TitleDrop Demolition Man]]". Their final confrontation goes a little too far, resulting in the deaths of several dozen innocents. Though Phoenix is finally snared in the chaos, ''both'' men are condemned to [[HumanPopsicle cryogenic prison]].

Flash forward 36 years. Phoenix is mysteriously able to escape from the ice prison and set loose in "San Angeles", [[CrapSaccharineWorld a brave new world which is free of guns and crime]]. Phoenix's old-school brutality is unheard of by the wimpy police force of the future, and soon the entire city is at his mercy. Figuring they need an old school police officer to deal with an old school thug, the SAPD thaws out Spartan.

The rest of the film is a blend of FishOutOfTemporalWater comedy and action-adventure which, as the title would indicate, results in a city-wide insurance nightmare. Spartan wouldn't have it any other way.

Not to be confused with the [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 Demo]][[VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic man]], or Creator/AlfredBester's ''Literature/TheDemolishedMan''.

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!!This movie provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Edgar Friendly's lair is located in the San Angeles sewers. Justified because the "Big One of 2010" sunk the old Los Angeles and San Angeles was built on top of it.
* AdamWesting: Edgar Friendly basically ''is'' Creator/DenisLeary in a dirty coat.
* AffablyEvil: Dr. Raymond Cocteau. Friendly, fatherly, cares about the well-being of the utopia he's made... and plans to keep it that way by unleashing criminals like Phoenix on the underground populace that causes problems for his utopia. Lampshaded by Phoenix, who calls him "an evil Mr. Rogers" before having another criminal [=MurderDeathKill=] him.
* AffectionateParody: A subtle one of 80's sci-fi action movies.
* AmbiguousSituation: The city is apparently Dr. Cocteau's personal fiefdom, but we get no indication of what the rest of the world is like or whether his influence reaches beyond that.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Administrative Assistant Bob, in the film. In the novelization he's a eunuch.
* {{Americasia}}: Many San Angelinos are seen in robes and pinned haircuts.
* AndIMustScream: Criminals aren't supposed to be aware of the time spent as a HumanPopsicle. But John spent the time dreaming of the innocents that he didn't save, and seeing his wife pounding on the ice cube he was in. When pressed, Cocteau uncomfortably states that "The side effects of the freezing process are unavoidable".
* AntiClimaxBoss: A variation in-universe, anyway. Dr. Cocteau builds up and clearly views Edgar Friendly to be some kind of terrorist mastermind threat, but when the main characters actually meet him he turns out to basically be a drop-out who just wants to do his own thing without being part of Cocteau's prissy little 'utopia', and at most is simply guilty of leading raids on San Angeles with other outcasts to get food.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The cryoprison uses a system wherein electrical impulses keep muscles from atrophy while prisoners are frozen. However, atrophy is caused by the body intentionally reducing the mass of unused muscles in order to improve efficiency. While cryogenically frozen, atrophy would not occur, so there would be no need to stimulate the muscles. This is doubly egregious when you also consider that electro-stimulation would only prevent atrophy if the body's standard metabolic processes were actively maintaining the stimulated muscles. Since the cons are cryogenically frozen, this wouldn't happen either.
* ArtisticLicenceGunSafety: The museum has displays filled with working guns, ammo for the guns, a loaded cannon that is in no way kept from being used, and laughably useless security in the form of glass that isn't even bulletproof. Arguably invoked, as San Angeles is so pacifistic that the mere idea of stealing these guns is unthinkable to someone of that time. Only a psycho like Phoenix would actually go as far as to steal them.
* AsceticAesthetic: The city of San Angeles has less charm than a hospital waiting room, and physical contact between citizens has become an archaic practice, replacing "fluid exchanges" like kissing and intercourse with VR simulations.
* AskAStupidQuestion: A reporter is tactless enough to ask Spartan how he can feel justified in destroying a mall worth far more than the ransom of the hostages inside, ''right in front'' of one of them. The response from the hostage, who also happens to be a little girl: "Fuck you, lady!"
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Simon Phoenix's plan. Possibly justified, since nobody in San Angeles could stop him.
* ATeamFiring: Used abundantly by both Phoenix and Spartan, but most notably when Phoenix fires an automatic weapon at Spartan while he's confined in a vise, and still doesn't hit him -- although that may have been deliberate, to prolong Spartan's torment. This does backfire, though; Phoenix empties the magazine and finds himself having to devise an alternative method of killing Spartan.
* AutomatedAutomobiles: All 2030s vehicles have autopilots, though manual is still an option. It becomes a plot point when one of the cops is the only one that can drive a stick-shift (but not well) because she watches a lot of old movies. It also leads to a darkly funny OhCrap moment when the police cruiser John is riding([[OutsideRide at the moment]]) takes damage while pursuing Phoenix; the autopilot engages and refuses to disengage even though he can clearly see that it's over a dozen seconds away from crashing if it won't turn or brake. Luckily, the car's safety features are better than the autopilot.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: John Spartan and Simon Phoenix.
* AxCrazy: Phoenix. It's used as a plot point; Spartan noted that someone like Phoenix [[spoiler:wouldn't hesitate to [=MurderDeathKill=] Cocteau, unless there's a [[ManchurianAgent sinister reason]]]].
* BadassBoast: "You're gonna regret this for the rest of your life... both seconds of it!"
* BadassLongcoat: Edgar Friendly's is very long and quite badass.
* BadFuture:
** Los Angeles, 1996, looks as devastated by violence as Sarajevo. Among other things, we see the Hollywood Sign in flames, as well as plenty of large swathes of city are burning. Phoenix's gang members have ''anti-aircraft capabilities'' and it's said that it's too unsafe for commercial airlines to travel into LAX. It's gotten to the point that the police now have to drive around in Humvees instead of Ford Crown Victorias, and at one point in time, Phoenix had to be tracked by satellite surveillance. According to Dr. Cocteau, between 1996 and 2032, it went FromBadToWorse.
** Depending on whether you're the sort of person who prefers freedom to safety, Cocteau's future could easily be considered the "worse" part of that.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Huxley wishes for "some action".
* BeneathTheEarth: Home of everyone who doesn't want to be a part of San Angeles, in the ruins of Los Angeles from the last earthquake.
* BigBad: Simon Phoenix, the ruthless criminal whose escape from the cryoprison and subsequent criminal activities set off the plot.
* BigBadWannabe: Dr. Raymond Cocteau, founder of San Angeles, who is willing to enforce his CrapsaccharineWorld by any means necessary [[spoiler:but is defenseless when the hero Spartan gets the drop on him, and when the much more dangerous Phoenix later kills him by proxy]].
* BigBrotherIsWatching: There are cameras ''everywhere'' in San Angeles, ready to catch a criminal on the move, and its citizens are more than happy to live with it.
* BlackMarketProduce: You can find in the Underground City of the Scraps stuff you can't find on the surface city of San Angeles. Including (otherwise banned) real burgers... just as long as you don't mind not asking what's in them. Still doesn't stop John Spartan reckoning it's the best he's had in years.
* BloodKnight: Averted with Spartan. Despite his reputation as a DestructiveSavior, he doesn't relish in violence. He can distinguish between psychos like Phoenix, and people stealing to feed themselves like Edgar Friendly.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Variant; Huxley doesn't get 90s slang, and neither does anyone else from San Angeles.
* BookEnds
** "Send a maniac to catch a maniac."
** "Is it cold in here, or is it just me?"
** The movie starts and ends with Phoenix and Spartan fighting in a building [[spoiler:full of frozen people, if Phoenix's "cold as Haagen Dazs" line is literal]].
* BorrowedBiometricBypass:
** Phoenix escapes the cryoprison by gouging Warden Smithers' eye out and holding it on a pen for the retinal scanner.
** The SAPD notes that Phoenix is unable to pay for any food or shelter, nor can he mug anyone to get the money, as all transactions are done using the chip implanted in people's hands. Spartan immediately finds a workaround - slice off the hand -- and simply notes that "Let's just hope that he doesn't figure ''that'' one out."
* BorrowedCatchPhrase: John Spartan borrows one of Simon Phoenix's {{Catch Phrase}}s.
-->'''Spartan:''' You forgot to say "Simon says"!
* BothOrderAndChaosAreDangerous: This movie's theme. A cop is brought from the past to enforce order but quickly shows everyone that strict order can be just as evil as absolute chaos. In the end, the two leaders that represent chaos and order find they have to negotiate with each other in order find a good balance.
-->'''Spartan''': [to squeaky-clean San Angeles cop] You need to get a little dirty, and you [to literal underground leader Edgar Friendly] need to get a ''lot'' clean.
* BothSidesHaveAPoint: Both Cocteau's and Friendly's version of San Angeles have their merits, but suffer from being too far on the edges of the OrderVersusChaos dichotomy. Once Cocteau is taken out of the picture, Spartan encourages the two sides to reconcile and find a middle ground.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece:
** Done literally with the firearms by Phoenix and Spartan.
** Edgar Friendly's 1970 Oldsmobile 442 is commandeered by Spartan and Huxley when Phoenix steals their car. In the book, it is explained that civilian cars have severely restricted engines so they can't travel at the same speeds as police vehicles.
* BrickJoke: Set up during the initial confrontation in 1996:
-->'''Spartan:''' Where are they, Phoenix?!\\
'''Phoenix:''' Now where did I put them? I swear, I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached.\\
'''Spartan:''' I'll keep that in mind.
** A subtle one: the prisoner who's up for parole before Phoenix returns as the pianist at Taco Bell.
* CaliforniaCollapse: Semi-averted. Huxley references "THE earthquake", the proverbial super-quake that California is "due for". Rather than explain how it tore a chunk off the coastline, it's implied that it merely destroyed most of the entire San Francisco/Los Angeles area, leading to the creation of the new San Angeles metropolis.
* CarFu: The chase sequence with Phoenix and Spartan near the end.
* CatchPhrase: Simon says...
-->'''Phoenix:''' Simon says BLEED!\\
'''Phoenix:''' Simon says DIE!
* TheCavalryArrivesLate: And useless! They demand that Huxley and Spartan be put under arrest. At least [[spoiler:Friendly's uprising]] has an excuse, being, uh, underground and without vehicles. Not to mention the fact that [[spoiler:Phoenix caused a mess back at their home]]. And the police only turn up because Spartan crashed into the fountain at the front of their HQ.
* CelebrityParadox: When Phoenix steals a gun from a soldier mannequin in the Hall of Violence, he says, "Excuse me, {{Rambo}}, I need to borrow this."
* ChangingClothesIsAFreeAction: Simon Phoenix changes from something that looks like a cross between scrubs and prison fatigues to a pair of overalls and a bright orange mesh shirt (...it was The '90s) between scenes with no explanation while on the run from the cops. Maybe it was part of his cryo-conditioning?
* ChessMaster: Averted with [[spoiler:Dr. Cocteau]]. It turns out he ''sucks'' at being ahead of the game when a real maniac is involved.
* ChekhovsGun
** Phoenix says he'd [[spoiler: lose his head if it wasn't attached.]] Guess how he dies?
** Spartan laments that kissing is illegal because he was a good kisser. After the FinalBattle he plants one on Huxley, from her reaction, he wasn't lying.
* ClusterFBomb: John Spartan to the machine that dispenses fine slips so he can use them as toilet paper, since he doesn't know how the three seashells work.
-->'''Spartan:''' Thanks a lot, you shit-brained, fuck-faced, ball-breaking, duck-fucking pain in the ass. ''[with every swear word, the fine dispenser issues another slip, and the onlooking cops wince]''
-->'''Machine:''' John Spartan, you are fined five credits for violations of the Verbal Morality Statute.
--> ''(Spartan grabs the slips)''
-->'''Spartan:''' So much for the seashells, see you in a few minutes.
* CocaPepsiInc: Taco Bell, the only survivor of the Franchise Wars, is now the only restaurant chain in existence. (In some cuts and localizations of the movie, it's Pizza Hut instead.) Spartan notes that, ironically, whatever they're serving isn't tacos (or pizza).
** Of course not. They went to a ''fancy'' Taco Bell (or Pizza Hut). Meat, spicy foods, and salt are illegal anyway.
* ColdSleepColdFuture: Inverted.
* ComicBookTime: A ridiculous amount of things have happened and been forgotten in just 36 years, but is necessary for the humor and plot.
* ConvectionShmonvection
** In 1996, Phoenix holds a blowtorch inches away from a pool of gasoline, notwithstanding that the fumes are far more flammable than the liquid itself.
** Also a rare example of this trope applied to extreme ''cold'' temperatures: when Spartan is frozen, a computer display lists the temperature of the cryo-blocks at 1 Kelvin (in other words, 1ºC away from ''absolute zero''), yet technicians are shown standing within touching distance of them. And an example of ArtisticLicensePhysics as well. If they were that cold, the air should be freezing onto the surface of the blocks. ''Rapidly.''
* CoolButInefficient: When Simon Phoenix finds an energy gun, it takes 2.6 minutes to reactivate. Also, its firing rate is quite slow, if overpowered. He doesn't actually manage to hit much with it.
* CoolCar
** The awesome (doomed) Oldsmobile 442.
** The novelization specifically refers to one customer at the dealership staring after it and, some innate car-lust of yesteryear stirring and igniting inside him, declares "I want one of ''those''!"
* ComputerizedJudicialSystem
* {{Corpsing}}: During his MotiveRant, Friendly's allies are clearly cracking up. Justified since they're likely just as into it all as he is.
* CowboyCop:
** John Spartan arguably both plays it straight and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs]] it. He's got all the extreme combat skills, the {{Bond One Liner}}s, the trail of destruction in his wake... but he's also uncomfortable with a lot of his reputation, and clearly doesn't love violence for the sake of it. His superiors are none too fond of him, either. He is distinctly bothered with Lenina casting him in this mold, going so far as to sulkily protest that "I just do my job... and things get demolished."
** {{Lampshaded}}. Huxley changes her assessment of Spartan from a "blow-up-the-bad-guy-while-grinning type" to "the moody-gunslinger-who-will-only-draw-when-he-must type."
--->'''Spartan:''' Huxley, enough! This isn't the Wild West. TheWildWest [[TheThemeParkVersion wasn't even the Wild West]]. Hurting people's not a good thing! Well, sometimes it is, but not when it's a bunch of people looking for something to eat!
** Furthermore, going in half-cocked all action movie style at the beginning is partly what gets Spartan frozen in the first place; in originally apprehending Phoenix, he's led into a trap, and people die because of it. [[spoiler: Although he is later revealed to have been framed as they were dead already which is why the heat scans didn't show them, and only Phoenix's gang.]]
** In short, he only operated the way he did because he was operating in a CrapSackWorld and that was what it took to take down the kind of people causing it.
* CrapsackWorld: Los Angeles, 1996. And ''how''. The opening sequence shows the [[MonumentalDamage Hollywood sign on fire]], along with maybe 10% of the entire city, and anti-aircraft fire ''all over the place.''
* CrapsaccharineWorld: San Angeles. Imagine {{Music/Lawrence Welk}} as Big Brother and you have a fuzzy concept of what you're in for.
-->'''Friendly:''' I've seen the future. You know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener"!
** Phoenix, however, seems to be delighted at his new hunting grounds:
-->'''Phoenix:''' All right, gentlemen, let's review. The year is 2032 - that's two-zero-three-two, as in the 21st Century - and I am sorry to say the world has become a pussy-whipped, ''[[Series/TheBradyBunch Brady Bunch]]'' version of itself, run by a bunch of robed sissies.
* CryonicsFailure
** Presumably, a lot of the [=CryoCons=] destroyed in the final battle had their sentences extended permanently, with no hope of parole. It's certainly what happened to [[BigBad Simon Phoenix]], courtesy of John Spartan's boot.
** They'd already had their sentences extended permanently with no hope of parole by Cocteau. The Warden even begins to explain the law that did so before Simon [[ShutUpHannibal shuts down]] his speechifying by just reiterating Warden Smithers' lines in Spanish. However, there might be some exceptions, since we do see another prisoner attending his parole hearing and later playing the piano and singing at Taco Bell / Pizza Hut.
** By the time Spartan and Phoenix have their final showdown, there's really nobody left to thaw...
* CryoPrison: Both Spartan and Phoenix.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The upper crust of San Angeles. The sewer refugees live quite differently.
* {{Cyberpunk}} An interesting example, in which the society is indeed, oppressive, has a totalitarian government and it's overall, a dictatorship, but on the other hand, it's full of Political Correctness that is not "totally bad", per se.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Edgar Friendly is as close as San Angeles has to a real criminal, and all he is doing is fighting for the right for people to eat real food, listen to real music, have real sex and generally make their own choices. Cocteau wants him killed for this.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Simon Phoenix. Of course, he dyed it.
* DeconReconSwitch: The film does this to the Cowboy Cop. LAPD cop John Spartan is so bold and reckless in stopping criminals that his superiors hate him so much (earning him the titular nickname). As he finally takes down psychotic criminal Simon Phoenix in such a destructive manner that led to the deaths of hundreds of hostages (though it's later revealed that Phoenix had killed them earlier), he gets a life sentence in prison alongside Phoenix. Decades later, Phoenix is released into a violence-free society where police officers are so by-the-book (always turning to a handheld device for information) that they are absolutely unable to think for themselves, and Phoenix easily overtakes them. The police decide to release Spartan to stop Phoenix, accepting that a less by-the-book, more intuitive policeman would do better in bringing down an AxCrazy criminal like Phoenix.
* DesignerBabies: It's not made implicit that babies are vat grown to be "better" than normal babies, but the abscence of physical sexual relationships ("Eeewww, disgusting! You mean... fluid transfer?") rather heavily implies that sex is discouraged to avoid the spread of [=STDs=] (Huxley states that [=STDs=] that made AIDS look like a picnic started appearing). However, the world has become such a joyless "nanny state" that another highly plausible reason is Sex Is Evil won to the degree that a less "naughty" way of having children had to be found. Presumably it was also a means of population control. "Abortion is illegal but so is pregnancy without a permit."
* DestructiveSaviour: Heavily lampshaded with Spartan's nickname also being the film's title. It's also one of the reasons why he's put into cryofreeze as well.
* DeweyDefeatsTruman: Phoenix makes a crack about "I ''love'' that guy!" when he finds serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's name on a list of [=CryoCon=]s. The RealLife Dahmer was killed in prison the year after this film was released.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: After Spartan's car crash, Huxley comments that his uniform is in shambles.
-->'''Spartan:''' I can fix it later. All I need is a needle and thread. ({{beat}}) Did I really say that?
* DidntSeeThatComing
** Cocteau reprogrammed Phoenix so that he wouldn't kill him, but didn't anticipate that Phoenix would find an obvious workaround: [[spoiler:have someone else do it]]. Way to not see ''that'' one. Simon lampshades it.
** Cocteau also didn't expect, or have a means to prevent, Simon Phoenix [[spoiler:thawing out a small army of mooks to help him.]]
* DistantPrologue
* DoYouWantToCopulate
* DoubleTake: Spartan does this a few times. First outside the museum when he spots a periscope, and again after getting the topless wrong number.
* DragonInChief: Simon Phoenix is this until he's finally had enough of Dr. Cocteau. While Cocteau is Genre Savvy enough to program Phoenix to be unable to kill him, he neglects to do this for the other criminals Phoenix has released. Oops.
* DramaticGunCock: Averted. They tried this in the museum; we see Spartan reload his shotgun as he walks towards the next room and we get the crescendo, telling us that it's about to get awesome. It culminates in Spartan darting around the corner and snapping his barrel back up... and it falls back down, forcing him to do it manually.
* DystopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Simon Phoenix is a ChaoticEvil mass murderer who wants ultimate freedom just so he can destroy, plunder, and rape as much as he wants. This is the primary conflict with his boss Dr. Cocteau, the [[WellIntentionedExtremist benevolent dictator]] of the San Angeles future society, who represents the UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans side because he wants to [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill preserve peace by suppressing free will]]. Phoenix eventually murders and usurps Cocteau's position to give the people his own ideal society of constant death and chaos.
* DystopianEdict: Anything that is not good for you is bad, and therefore illegal. This includes meat, spicy food, swearing, kissing, etc.
* EarWorm: InUniverse. In the future, the only music that exists are commercial jingles. Armor Hot Dogs is the most popular. (This is likely because [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad real music might offend someone, or stir up emotions that are taboo in the new society]].)
* ElectricInstantGratification
* ElectronicTelepathy: In the future, people use this for having sex. The idea of doing it the normal way disgusts them.
* EternalProhibition: Anything not good for you is outlawed: Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat, bad language, chocolate, uneducational toys, and spicy food. Abortion is also illegal, but so is pregnancy if you don't have a license.
* EvilBrit: Dr. Cocteau, in a way. Although his last name suggests he's French, his actor, Creator/NigelHawthorne, is British.
* EvilCounterpart: Simon Phoenix, a maniac who believes in freedom only so he can create as much violence as possible, vs. Edgar Friendly, an iconoclast who believes personal freedom is the path toward a fairer society.
* EvilIsNotAToy: [[spoiler: Cocteau releases Phoenix to kill Edgar Friendly, gives him combat training, and knowledge on how to hack various computers. He did implant a program in him to keep Phoenix from killing him, but then he decides it's a good idea to let some of Phoenix's gang out, who don't have any restraints to keep them from killing him.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards
** Phoenix invokes this several times on Cocteau, and in the end seems to kill him as much because he detests Cocteau's prissy brand of fascism as much as anything. Made even more explicit in the novelization.
--->'''Phoenix:''' Why the hell did you follow that guy around, anyway?\\
'''Associate Bob:''' Well, sir, you see, he had me... castrated.\\
'''Phoenix:''' Shit! He ''took your balls''?!\\
'''Bob:''' Yes, sir. To limit any aspirations of power I might have.\\
'''Phoenix:''' Well, don't you worry, man, [[PetTheDog I'm gonna get you some new ones]].
** And in the film:
--->'''Cocteau''': Now I'll have carte blanche to create the perfect society. My society. The purity of an [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill ant colony]] and the beauty of a flawless pearl-\\
'''Phoenix''': [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Yeah, but you can't take away people's right to be assholes!]] ...That's who you remind me of. An evil Mr. Rogers. Will you please kill him? (throws gun to {{Mook}}) He's pissing me off.
* EnforcedPlug: For Taco Bell.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Invoked verbally by Spartan during his last fight with Phoenix with the classic line:
-->'''Spartan:''' Is it cold in here, or is it just me?\\
'''Phoenix:''' [[CallBack Good memory.]]
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: Cocteau believes in this. Of course, it means turning Southern California into Sissy Land.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: After Spartan tells the chief that Phoenix will be looking for a gun, the chief responds that such a thought is ridiculous. The only place anyone can even find a gun is in a museum...
* EyeScream: Simon Phoenix [[BorrowedBiometricBypass pulls the eye out of a warden with a pen]] and uses it on an eyescan to escape. We see the moment when the pen nears his eye, and then (after, thankfully, a GoryDiscretionShot), a close-up of the eye getting scanned. We then see the eye still stuck on the pen. Later we see the warden laying on the floor writhing as he dies from, among other injuries, severe eye trauma.
* FacePalm: Spartan has a minor "two fingers to the forehead" facepalm when he hears the 'oldies' station on the radio, which is nothing but old commercial jingles.
-->"Somebody put me back in the fridge..."
* FairCop
* FallingChandelierofDoom
* FalseUtopia
* FanDisservice: The 2032 method of having sex. It's less erotic than a block of wood, and can cause epileptic seizures.
* FanOfThePast: Lenina Huxley collects 20th Century memorabilia; her superior calls it an "addiction" at one point. She rather shamefully admits to Spartan that she had to use not-strictly-legal means to buy some of it.
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Stallone's FetalPositionRebirth. He's naked in it.
** While admitedly they're in no way prominent, Sandra Bullock's yoga pants uniform.
* FanserviceExtra: The nude video call wrong number.
* FantasyGunControl: Guns only exist in a museum in San Angeles. Unsurprisingly, Phoenix and Spartan head straight for it.
* FastFoodNation: Ever since the Fast Food Wars, Taco Bell is the only place to eat (at least in the U.S.).
* FauxAffablyEvil: Simon Phoenix. He seems like a real fun guy to be around. Too bad he's a psychopath who'd probably maim you twice for shits and giggles. Think of Creator/HeathLedger's [[TheJoker Joker]] in the body of [[Film/TheFifthElement Ruby Rhod]].
* FetalPositionRebirth: John Spartan as he's unfrozen from cryosleep.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Spartan and Phoenix; Spartan, especially.
* ForInconveniencePressOne: "Greetings and salutations. Welcome to the emergency line of the San Angeles Police Department. If you would like an automated response, please press '1' now."
* FromBadToWorse:
** The crime situation at the opening of the film was just the start. Los Angeles was apparently leveled by "The Big One" sometime while Spartan was frozen, and it was so bad that they basically just built San Angeles on top of the ruins. And apparently there were two more [=STD=] epidemics as bad as AIDS in the same time frame.
** Phoenix himself. In the beginning of the film, he is just a violent psycho. In the future, he is a violent psycho [[spoiler:who has been programmed with skills in weapon use, urban warfare and other skills, making him even more dangerous.]]
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: In the video of Spartan rescuing a girl.
--> '''Reporter:''' How can you justify destroying a seven million dollar mini-mall, to rescue a girl whose ransom was only twenty-five thousand dollars?\\
'''Rescued girl:''' Fuck ''you'', lady!\\
'''Spartan:''' ''*laughs*'' Good answer.
* FullNameBasis: Everyone in the future refers to each other by their full names.
* FutureImperfect: Apart from [[FanOfThePast 20th-century buff]] Lenina Huxley, the younger officers have no idea what toilet paper is and people think that advertisement jingles are music while real oldies are unknown.
* FutureMusic: AKA {{Top Ten Jingle}}s.
* GenreShift: There's nothing funny about the prologue of the movie, taking place in 1996 in Los Angeles. It gets funnier than hell in 2032 in San Angeles, though.
* GoneHorriblyRight: Cocteau wanted to create the perfect assassin who was smart, strong and resourceful. He implanted these traits in Simon Phoenix. [[spoiler: Phoenix later uses his skills to manipulate Cocteau into thawing out his buddies, whom didn't get the same mind control as him and simply ordered one to kill him.]]
* GoshDarnItToHeck: The light-hearted San Angeles is mostly profanity free, due to swearing being illegal and can cause a fine to anyone who slips it out.
* GotVolunteered: The San Angeles police realize they don't know how to deal with Phoenix, but luckily, the guy who beat him last time is also in the Cryo-Prison. Despite otherwise being a Chessmaster, [[spoiler:Cocteau]] is visibly surprised that they thought outside the box like that, but hides it well enough.
* GraffitiOfTheResistance: The Underground has automatic sprayers for painting the walls in seconds. The government has paint vaporizing devices which can undo the work just as fast.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: In one scene, Simon uses a museum guard not actually as a ''weapon'', but as a tool to break a glass box.
-->'''Guard:''' What seems to be your boggle?\\
'''Phoenix:''' My boggle? Oh, brother. [{{beat}}] Hold on... how much do you weigh?\\
'''Guard:''' Well... I happen to weigh exactly...''[Phoenix grabs him and swings him at the display window]''
* GroinAttack: Lenina Huxley kicks one of Simon Phoenix's goons between his legs in order to escape his grip.
* HadToComeToPrisonToBeACrook: With a sci-fi twist. The prisoners in cryostasis were implanted with behavior modification to give them skills which would make them productive members of society. Phoenix was turned into the perfect criminal. [[RuleOfFunny Spartan learns knitting.]]
* HamToHamCombat: Between Simon Phoenix and Spartan, who is normally reserved but rises to meet Phoenix's ham with his own when they have a confrontation.
* HandCannon: Edgar Friendly's massive double-barrelled pistol.
-->'''Huxley''': We're looking for a murderdeathkiller. Are you going to help us or just bully us with your primitive weapons?\\
''Friendly shrugs and fires his pistol into the ceiling, blowing a massive hole in it.''\\
'''Huxley''': Okay, maybe they're not so primitive.
* HeroInsurance:
--> '''News reporter:''' How can you justify destroying a $7 million mini-mall to rescue a girl whose ransom is only $25,000?\\
'''Girl:''' Fuck ''you'', lady!\\
'''John Spartan:''' Good answer.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard
** Cocteau intended for [[spoiler: Simon Phoenix]] to be his weapon against Edgar Friendly, but ultimately [[spoiler:his weapon [=MurderDeathKill=]s him instead]].
** Phoenix set up an elaborate plan that would send John Spartan to jail with him. Though he had no way of knowing it at the time, if he'd have just let Spartan arrest him, Spartan would have stayed out of the [=CryoPrison=] and would have been an old man when Phoenix got out. He might have even been dead, killed in the Big One of 2010.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Cocteau overestimated Friendly and underestimated Phoenix ''even more''.
* HumanPopsicle: Spartan, Phoenix and the paroled cryo-cons, of course.
* HumansAreMorons: The film provides the unique depiction of a future where humanity has eradicated all the things that make humans [[HumansAreBastards bastards]] but has become more paranoid, inexperienced, and clueless as a trade-off.
* IAmGreatSong: "Demolition Man" by Sting.
* IAteWhat: Subverted, as John finds out he quite likes rat burgers.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: How Cocteau justified his power grab.
** Also how Edgar Friendly sees himself and his role with the Scraps.
** Spartan, too. As he puts it, he just does his job, and things get demolished.
* IKnowMortalKombat: Huxley learned elaborate kicks by watching Jackie Chan movies.
* InnocentInnuendo
** In-universe: Huxley often mangles 20th century sayings into... [[{{Malaproper}} something else]], prompting Spartan to react with irritation/disgust and correct her.
---> '''Huxley''': OK, I'm with you. Let's go blow this guy.\\
'''Spartan''': ''(frustrated groan)'' '''Away!''' Blow this guy '''away'''.\\
''(beat)''\\
'''Huxley''': Whatever.
** Until she manages to do so in an acceptable way.
---> '''John Spartan''': [[TakeThisJobAndShoveIt Take this job ...and shovel it?]] Close enough.
* InstantEmergencyResponse: Kinda. The cops were already on their way, but Phoenix has very good timing in his discovery of the automated swear jar.
-->'''Simon Phoenix:''' Where are the goddamn guns?\\
* BZZT*\\
'''Fine Dispenser:''' You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.\\
'''Simon Phoenix:''' What? Fuck you! ''[Tosses the ticket over his shoulder]''\\
* BZZT*\\
'''Fine Dispenser:''' Your repeated violation of the Verbal Morality Statute has caused me to notify the San Angeles Police Department. Please remain where you are for your reprimand.\\
'''Simon Phoenix:''' Yeah, right. ''[Sirens are immediately heard]'' [[LampshadeHanging Fuckers are fast, too.]]\\
* BZZT*\\
'''Fine Dispenser:''' You are fined...\\
'''Simon Phoenix:''' Beep! ''[crumples the ticket and throws it away]''\\
'''Fine Dispenser:''' ...one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.
* InsultBackfire
-->'''Taco Bell patron''': What would you say if I called you a brutish fossil, symbolic of a decayed era gratefully forgotten?\\
'''John Spartan''': I don't know... thanks?
* IntimidationDemonstration: When John Spartan charges out of the Taco Bell to fight Edgar Friendly's men, one of them approaches him and waves two swords around in an attempt to show him who's boss. Spartan takes him down quickly.
* IWantMyJetpack: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZa3Y1tcKJ4 After Phoenix finds a stash of rifles (in a museum).]]
-->"Wait a minute... this is the future; where are all the phaser guns?"
* IronicEcho
** Spoken by Phoenix before blowing up his fortress in 1996, and later by Spartan during their final fight in the Cryo-Prison:
--->"Is it cold in here, or is it just me?"
** {{Lampshaded}} when Phoenix growls "Good memory."
* {{Irony}}: "We're police officers... ''we're not trained for this kind of violence''."
* IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow: Inverted. The thing with the headsets and possible seizure-inducing flashes freaks Spartan out.
-->'''Huxley''': I thought you wanted to make love!\\
'''Spartan''': Is that what you ''call'' that?!
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Huxley discusses this trope before asking Spartan if he wants to have sex. He readily agrees. It leads to ''something'' with virtual reality headsets that is so different, and disturbing, it freaks him out.
* [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld Japan Takes Over Los Angeles]]: San Angeles has a very Japanese feel, from high society wearing kimonos to computers running everything to the mannerisms of its citizens. After Spartan knits her a jumper Huxley smells it, an Asian trait.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler: Phoenix proxy-killing Cocteau, who went to extreme, disgusting lengths to create a saccharine dystopia.]]
* KnightTemplar: Dr. Cocteau
* LargeHam: Wesley Snipes is definitely enjoying himself as Simon Phoenix.
* LaughablyEvil: Simon Phoenix is evil, but he also has some of the funniest scenes in the movie and is having a grand old time.
* LightIsNotGood: Raymond Cocteau, who dresses in white, speaks calmly to everyone, encourages peace and well-being, and dreams of a utopia without freedom of thought or choice. As a [[BitchInSheepsClothing telling trait of his true nature]], when shown in his private home, he wears a [[DarkIsEvil black robe]] over the white one.
* LiterallyShatteredLives[=/=]OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler: Phoenix in the end, as a result of the contact with cryogenic "seed" and, seconds later, Spartan's boot.]]
* LockDown: Phoenix is locked in the armory after [=MurderDeathKill=]ing (at least) two people in that room. [[LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard This goes about as well as you'd expect.]]
* LongList: Phoenix's "rehab program."
-->'''ComputerVoice''': [[HitAndRunTactics Urban Combatkill]]. [[TortureTechnician Torture Methodology]]. [[HollywoodHacking Computer Override Authority]]. [[{{Robinsonade}} Survival Tactics]]. [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized Terrorism Tactics]]. [[MultiMeleeMaster Weapons Training]]. [[IKnowKarate Martial Arts]]. [[MurderIsTheBestSolution MurderDeathKill]]. [[DemolitionsExpert Explosives Technician]]. [[BloodKnight Violent Behavior]].\\
'''Huxley''': ...This isn't a rehab program.\\
'''Spartan''': ...No kidding.
* LoopholeAbuse: It doesn't take long for Phoenix to realize that [[spoiler:the RestrainingBolt preventing him from offing Cocteau only applies to him specifically. There ain't no rule saying he cannot off Cocteau by proxy. ]]
* MadeOfExplodium: In 2032, when Simon shoves one of the police's nonlethal stun wands into the "gas tank" of a police car. Watching it live, one of the cops notes "That's pure [[{{Technobabble}} capacitance gel]]. . ." On cue, the care explodes. UpToEleven in the beginning of the film, when Simon stabs a knife into 55-gallon drums labeled "C-4", which he later detonates spectacularly with fire from gasoline on the floor (C-4 won't explode when set on fire, and doesn't come in 55-gallon drums).
* MagicalSecurityCam: Spartan watches footage of Phoenix and Cocteau, which is lifted straight from earlier in the film and contains several impossible camera angles and zooms.
* {{Malaproper}}: Lenina Huxley frequently attempts to use 20th century slang, resulting in {{accidental innuendo}}s. [[invoked]]
--> '''Huxley:''' He finally matched his meat. You really licked his ass.\\
'''Spartan:''' That's ''met'' his match, and ''kicked'', ''KICKED'' his ass!\\
\\
'''Huxley:''' Let's go blow this guy!\\
'''Spartan:''' ''Away''. Blow this guy ''away''!\\
'''Huxley:''' ... Whatever!\\
\\
'''Huxley:''' Chief, you can take this job, and you can shovel it.\\
'''Spartan''': ... Close enough.
* ManchurianAgent: The reason Cocteau thaws out Phoenix to begin with. "Don't you have someone to kill? Mr. Edgar Friendly?" Notably, the compulsion doesn't seem to be very strong, as Phoenix only gets down to sniffing out Friendly after being told a second time ''by Cocteau personally'', and even then he seems to arbitrarily give up on that so he can get back to scheming against Cocteau. Indeed, by the time the two do come into conflict, Phoenix puts more emphasis on his archenemy Spartan (who's also in the room) than Friendly.
* MayDecemberRomance: Spartan is in his early 70's (objective time) thanks to cryostasis, and Huxley was in her early 30's at most. Even putting aside the time Spartan was on ice, Stallone is still 18 years Creator/SandraBullock's senior.
* MeaningfulName: John [[ThreeHundred Spartan]] is a mighty warrior. Simon Phoenix is raised from death-like cryo-sleep. [[Literature/BraveNewWorld Lenina Huxley]] lives in the regimented, eugenicised future. Edgar Friendly is [[spoiler:a perfectly nice, reasonable man, if a bit unclean]].
* MentalAffair: Spartan and Huxley, until he realizes that's all there is to it and [[{{Squick}} promptly removes his headgear]].
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Administrative Assistant Bob. Of course, with Phoenix, he has no choice. He would have [=MurderDeathKill=]ed him, too. And Phoenix needs an assistant, anyway.
* MirroredConfrontationShot
* MonumentalDamage: As we swoop over the hell of 1996 Los Angeles, our first sign that this is a world of chaos is that the Hollywood sign is ''[[IncendiaryExponent on fire]]''.
* MotorMouth: Edgar Friendly. Not surprising since it's Creator/DenisLeary.
* NeuralImplanting: Part of cryo-rehab is giving people skills and the desire to use them. Spartan gets knitting, Phoenix gets a ''lot'' of much more useful skills...
-->'''John''': ''I come out of cryo-prison and I'm Betsy-fucking-Ross. Phoenix comes out, he can access computers, operate all vehicles, knows the location of every damn thing in town, and is '''three times stronger than when he went in!''''' ({{Beat}}) ''...[[EurekaMoment Can you get me Phoenix' rehab program?]]''
** Cue LongList.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero
** In 1996, Spartan accidentally destroys Phoenix's lair due to Phoenix lighting gasoline that then came into contact with C4 explosives barrels. The firefighters found dead bodies in the rubble, bodies of the hostages he was trying to save. However, [[spoiler:they were already dead when he arrived to capture Phoenix]].
** Phoenix later states explicitly that [[spoiler:he knew Spartan would use a thermal scan to check for hostages, which is why they were "cold as Haagen-Dazs."]] You'd think that kind of thing would come up during the investigation, but given Spartan's reputation for recklessness, it's clear his superiors seem to have been looking for an excuse to get rid of him.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Simon Phoenix [[spoiler: framed John Spartan and got him locked in cryo prison, thereby unwittingly providing the future SAPD with the only man who could stop him. If he hadn't framed Spartan, best case scenario Spartan is a septuagenarian. More than likely, Spartan would have died when the "real disturbances began", as Cocteau put it, when "civilization tried to destroy itself."]]
* NobodyPoops: Notably averted -- Spartan excuses himself to use the bathroom, starting the RunningGag of the "[[NoodleImplements three seashells]]" that have replaced toilet paper.
* NoodleImplements:
** "You don't know how to use the three seashells?"
** The Franchise Wars that are the reason why all restaurants have been replaced with Taco Bell.
* NoPaperFuture
** Dollars have been replaced by credits, and currency is exchanged through subcutaneous microchips in people's hands. Toilet paper doesn't exist, either.
** Subverted by the swear fine system, which provides a paper receipt every time someone uses harsh language. Swear enough, as Spartan does, and one need not worry about using the seashells.
* NoOSHACompliance: The museum in the 21st century has guns on display that are not only kept fully functional, but also loaded with live ammo.
* NoSexAllowed
** Sex is performed via electronics, since fluid transmission causes horrible diseases (extremely feared in San Angeles, partly because of past STD epidemics) and pregnancy (now illegal without a license).
** Kissing is not allowed either. Presumably, not even a peck on the cheek. Even the word "kiss" disgusts Huxley, like an elementary school student would be disgusted by the word "penis".
** Even ''touch'' is avoided; two characters even give a "high-five" without hand contact. When Spartan gives someone an actual high five, the other guy is visibly revolted by the physical contact. You can hear him exclaiming "Germs!" in disgust, as if he has been instantly contaminated.
* NotMeThisTime: Almost word-for-word, John then tells his superior that Simon rigged the building he was hiding at to blow up.
-->'''Captain Healy:''' Yeah right, like you had nothing to do with it.
* NothingCanStopUsNow: [[spoiler:Phoenix after gathering his old gang together and killing Cocteau.]]
* NothingIsScarier: Think HIV is bad? There have been two even ''worse'' STD epidemics during the 36-year interim called NRS and UBT; the details are not given, but if they were worse than HIV, the fear of sex the society has may well be justified.
* OhCrap: John specifically snaps out an "Oh, hell!" when he hears Phoenix's blaster rifle reach full charge. The look on Cocteau's face when Phoenix tosses a gun to an unrehabbed cryo-con is a suitably epic one as well.
* OrderVersusChaos
** Cocteau is a "benevolent" dictator who has built a future world where anything that can offend or harm anybody is banned and maintaining civil, peaceful coexistence has usurped the value of life in importance, to the point where everything from guns and sex to contact sports and spicy food are banned. Edgar Friendly is an iconoclast leading a gang in the sewers against the Cocteau regime and fights so people have the freedom to eat real food, listen to real music, have real sex and generally make their own choices. Cocteau wants him dead for it.
** Between villains, Cocteau versus Phoenix, a dangerous psychopath who hates rules because they stop him from behaving like a dangerous psychopath. [[spoiler:After he murders Cocteau, he and his unfrozen gang want to turn San Angeles into a lawless hellhole where they rule through might and can commit crimes all day, everyday]].
* OutrunningTheFireball
** Pretty much why Spartan is called the [[TitleDrop Demolition Man]]. It's even lampshaded by his fellow cops, Phoenix and himself.
** At the end, Spartan runs away from the cryoprison as it blows up in flames.
* OutsideContextProblem: Simon Phoenix.
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: While eating a rat burger, and learning what it was made from, Spartan tells the cook that it was "the best burger he'd had in years." Only Huxley knows the context; after thirty years of cryo-suspension and a few days in San Angeles, he can't possibly have ''any'' real meat for decades. Nevertheless, Spartan's praise is sincere, and he finishes the ratburger.
* OverrideCommand: Simon Phoenix tries to activate an electrical anti-graffiti system to zap a cop behind a wall. It detects the policeman and refuses to activate, so Phoenix overrides it with the password [[ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish 7777777]] and skewers the cop. "Lucky Number Seven!"
* ParentheticalSwearing: Dr. Cocteau's dismissive "Be well" to Spartan, after their unpleasant moment at gunpoint. Spartan [[PrecisionFStrike wouldn't mince words]], though...
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish:
** In a downplayed example, the voice password (which is not coded to specific voices) for the restraint chair at the cryo-prison is "Teddy Bear". While hardly something one would expect a hardened criminal to say, it's nevertheless a common phrase that could conceivably come up in conversation, which is rather silly considering these are dangerous felons being interrogated.
** The OverrideCommand for the electric graffiti cleaner is all sevens, with some dashes and dots thrown in.
* PerfectPacifistPeople: Subverted and deconstructed. Due to the lack of crime and war, neither the police nor anyone else have any idea how to take care of Phoenix, and shit hits the fan.
* PercussivePrevention: Spartan knocks Huxley out with a glow rod before going to fight Phoenix at the cryoprison in the climax.
* PoliceAreUseless:
** A variant; the police genuinely do want to do their jobs and protect the citizens, but their society has grown so pacifistic that they honestly have no idea how to actually deal with violent criminals. This is most obvious during the police's first encounter with Phoenix, where the lead officer has to be walked step-by-step by a handheld computer through the process of just ''approaching'' Phoenix - and is completely at a loss when Phoenix disregards his order.
--->"Maniac is imminent; request advice."
** When they try to actually apprehend Phoenix, [[CurbStompBattle it goes downhill from there]].
--->'''Erwin''': We're police officers! We're not trained to handle this kind of violence!
** Even Cocteau doesn't think highly of them, and he's the one that made them that way.
--->'''Cocteau:''' [[SarcasmMode Utmost confidence...]] *scoffs*
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Essentially the entire plot setup. San Angeles is a place where attempting not to offend anybody and maintaining civil, peaceful coexistence has arguably usurped the value of life in importance. San Angeles is what would happen if the people who organize proper workplace behavior seminars [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope had absolute power and went mad with it]].
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Phoenix mocks some Asians at the San Angeles museum.
* PopulationControl: [[ImpliedTrope Implied]]; pregnancy is illegal without a license, and fluids are cleaned and transferred by authorized medical personnel.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: "You're gonna regret this the rest of your life, ''both seconds of it.''"
* PrecisionFStrike: Spartan, of all people, after Cocteau threatens to send him back to Cryo-Prison and told him to "be well".
* PreMortemOneLiner: "Hey, Simon! Heads up!"
* ProductPlacement
** The only existing restaurant chain is Taco Bell, unless you're watching the European version, where it's Pizza Hut. (Taco Bell barely exists outside the USA. Oddly enough, the British version is unchanged; Britain doesn't have Taco Bell, but does have PopCulturalOsmosis.) Spartan is noticeably confused when everyone dresses up. Taco Bell also modified their logo because they liked the version in the film. In some TV versions, the name of the restaurant is unmentioned altogether.
** The first thing Spartan wants after being defrosted is a Marlboro. Too bad smoking is among the things banned.
** John Spartan just happens to crash through the floor of an Oldsmobile dealership... driving a 1970 Oldsmobile 442. Also serves as {{Zeerust}} since Oldsmobile went defunct in 2004, and the movie is set in 2032.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Associate Bob. In the novel, it's revealed he's been castrated for this purpose.
* PsychoForHire: [[spoiler: Phoenix is initially this to Doctor Cocteau but then, like many psycho henchmen, he [[TheStarscream turns the tables]]]].
* PunchClockVillain: Associate Bob. He basically just serves whoever's in power, regardless of their alignment, because that's his job. Appropriate, considering [[TheHumphrey who his]] [[Series/YesMinister boss]] [[Creator/NigelHawthorne is.]]
** Of course in the novelization, Bob [[EunuchsAreEvil doesn't have the balls to stand up to his bosses]].
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom: When Phoenix first attacks the [=SAPD=] officers at the information booth, some try to flee in their car. Phoenix smashes the windshield, grabs one of them by the jacket ''one handed'' and throws him across the street. His strength was tripled during cryosleep by the electrical stimulation meant to keep cons from shriveling up, mentioned briefly when they put Spartan under.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The police uniforms veer dangerously close to this trope, possibly intentionally.
* RagnarokProofing: Friendly's 1970 Oldsmobile works just fine 62 years after it was built, thanks to constant repairs.
* RealMenWearPink: During their ice rehab, the cryocons were programmed with skills to be more productive to society. Spartan was trained in knitting.
* RedAlert: The Chief, surrounded by the police force, calls for a "Defensive Red Alert" when Edgar Friendly and the Scraps start coming. (Spartan chills them out.)
* ReducedToRatburgers: Spartan, who keeps his game face on and continues to chew.
-->"As a matter of fact, [[DamnedByFaintPraise it's the best burger I've had in years.]]"
* RestrainingBolt
** Phoenix is unable to kill [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheMan Cocteau]] (he [[LoopholeAbuse gets around it]] by having one of his goons do it)]].
** The cars also have restraining bolts to prevent them from exceeding the speed limit. When Phoenix has to steal a police car, he repeatedly feeds the computer various crime reports to get it to remove various levels of restriction. In the novel he goes UpToEleven by describing an elaborate situation in which a family is being trapped in a burning house while they're being raped and stolen from, prompting the computer to finally remove the restraint completely. Spartan and Huxley, meanwhile, have commandeered a 1970 Oldsmobile which has no such limitations.
* RipVanTinkle: Spartan has to use the bathroom once he fully got over the freezing.
* RunningGag: The machine which dispenses fine slips for saying bad words. Spartan and Phoenix each notice it the first time, but ignore it thereafter (except when John abuses it to get some toilet paper). The buzz can be heard at all the right points. Gets a lampshaded ending when Spartan shoots one such device, causing it to short out.
* SarcasmMode:
** The initial encounter between Phoenix and the SAPD officers:
--->'''Simon Phoenix''': What's this? Six of you. Such nice, tidy uniforms. Ooh, I'm ''so'' scared!\\
[''the Police Officers look at each other'']\\
'''Simon Phoenix''': What, you guys [[SarcasmBlind don't have sarcasm anymore?]]
** When the police are out of leads on where to find Phoenix, Chief Earle's plan is to simply wait until the next [=MurderDeathKill=] and zero in on that, leading Spartan to sarcastically remark "Nice plan." Nobody gets it, save for Lenina, who snickers.
* SawItInAMovieOnce: How Huxley learned to kick like that. "Jackie Chan movies." It's a ShoutOut to the fact Creator/JackieChan and Stallone are friends - Jackie was originally slated to play the villain, even.
* SawedOffShotgun
** Spartan uses one against Phoenix during the museum fight.
** Friendly's weapon of choice.
* ScaryBlackMan: Simon Phoenix.
* ScaryImpracticalArmor: The Scraps, and the armor that Phoenix wears that was presumably stolen from them, is constructed from scrap materials, most prominently cut up tires. Spartan beats them up just as handily as anyone else, and of course, rubber isn't very bulletproof. It does make some sense, though; Scrap armor is meant to defend against San Angeles cops, who only carry glow rods. Though we're not told exactly how the rods work, it stands to reason a rubber insulator would render them ineffective. The tires would also be very effective against clubs and other blunt weapon attacks.
* SchmuckBait: As John eats the ratburger underground, Lenina tells him, "Just don't ask where the meat comes from." Of course, he immediately does. This doesn't dissuade him from finishing it, though.
* SealedEvilInACan: Practically everyone in the cryo-prison, but Phoenix especially. Cocteau seems to have been planning to open Phoenix's can for some time if he ever had need of someone with his... leanings.
* SeeYouInHell: During their final confrontation, the villain Simon Phoenix battles his nemesis John Spartan. Finally he tells him "I hate cops! Look into my eyes. I'll see you in hell!"
* SexSells: The naked "wrong number" on the videophone.
* ShouldersOfDoom: Simon Phoenix and some of the Scraps.
* ShoutOut
** This film features references to Aldous Huxley's novel, ''Literature/BraveNewWorld'': Lenina Huxley was named after Lenina Crowne (a major character in the novel) and Aldous Huxley, John Spartan is named after John the Savage (on a side note, Chief Earle and later Huxley, called Spartan a savage), and Simon said during the fight at the Museum (before firing his [=AcMag=] gun):
--->'''Simon Phoenix''': It's a brave new world! Sorry, you gotta go!
** And possibly the character "[[Film/BringMeTheHeadOfAlfredoGarcia Alfredo Garcia]]."
** "[[Franchise/StarWars Hey Luke Skywalker, use the force.]]"
** [[Film/{{Scarface 1983}} "Say hello to my little friend!"]]
** "Sorry, Franchise/{{Rambo}}, I'm gonna need these."
** "I know who you remind me of, now! An evil [[Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood Mr. Rogers]]!"
** "Look, I don't need a history lesson. Come on, [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL]], where're the goddamn guns?"
** The movie was named after a 1981 song by Music/ThePolice[[note]](CoveredUp from Music/GraceJones' original, actually)[[/note]], which their former bandleader Sting covered as a solo artist for the movie soundtrack.
** The cryo-crystal used for rapid freezing was inspired by ice-nine from ''[[Literature/CatsCradle Cat's Cradle]]''.
* ShrugTake: Spartan's reaction to the realization that his burger is made of rat.
* ShutUpHannibal: When Warden Smithers has Phoenix brought in for his parole hearing, he explains how the parole system works now, and Phoenix just repeats what he says in Spanish. The Warden screams at him to stop. Simon just smiles.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Edgar Friendly's dirty, gritty freedom-fighters against Dr. Cocteau's relentlessly clean, neat, orderly society.
* SoundEffectBleep: When shown on TV the news report where a girl says "Fuck you lady" is bleeped out, giving a stylistic and unique twist to the trope.
** Simon Phoenix says "BLEEP!" when the swear machine fines him the third time.
* StayInTheKitchen: Near the end of the movie, John Spartan is so determined to confront Simon Phoenix alone that he actually knocks out Huxley out with a stun-stick in order to prevent her from following him. Nevermind the fact that she has proven her value to him many times over, including in a fight just a few minutes earlier where she beat up mooks with her martial arts skills and saved Spartan's life by shooting one who was about to kill him
* StraightEdgeEvil: Cocteau.
* SummonBiggerFish: The future San Angelenos view the release of John Spartan like this. To them he's just as much a criminal as Simon Phoenix and his worldview and behavior is just as alien.
-->"Send a maniac to catch a maniac."
* TheSwearJar: Every time you curse, a machine pops out a ticket. Do it enough, [[DisproportionateRetribution it calls the cops]]. Unless you're already a cop, of course. When Spartan can't figure out the "[[NoodleImplements three]] [[RunningGag seashells]]", he swears at the machine until it gives him enough tickets to use as toilet paper.
* TakeTheWheel: John Spartan to Lenina Huxley while they're pursuing Simon Phoenix.
* TakeAThirdOption: Rather than finding out how the three seashells works, Spartan lets loose a line of swear words, then takes the dispensed tickets to use as toilet paper.
* TechnicalPacifist: While nonviolent, all the San Angelinos are this by default since, as Lenina points out, the society can only exist because of the cryo-prison.
* TerminatorTwosome: Inverted, in that both time-travelling warriors go from the present into the future.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Friendly and his gang are, at best, moderately well-armed hobos who are not much more than irritants. Cocteau logically responds by turning mass-murderer Simon Phoenix into a highly-trained guerrilla warfare expert who is ''even more of a psycho''. This much overkill backfires, naturally.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled, followed immediately by IDidWhatIHadToDo:
-->'''Huxley''': That man has died at my hands.\\
'''Spartan''': It was him or us.\\
'''Huxley''': ...There is that.
* TimePassesMontage: Sort of, after John Spartan is frozen. It's just [[{{Fanservice}} a series of shots of his frozen naked body]].
* TooDumbToLive
** For starters, nobody has any idea how to deal with violent criminals or anything at all that is not perfect and ordered. And secondly, they place loaded guns, including an energy weapon that makes a roughly baseball-sized area explosive, among other things inside a museum behind only glass. Of course, this wasn't expected in a society where everyone is completely non-violent.
** "I told everyone not to come down here! Postmen figured it out! Policemen figured it out! But the goddamn bus drivers just wouldn't listen!"
** Cocteau programmed Phoenix so that he couldn't kill him. [[spoiler:So why the hell didn't he apply that programming to the ''other'' psychos hand-picked by Phoenix? Possibly justified if the process, referred to as "synaptic suggestion" in a throwaway line, takes time to be effective.]]
* TotallyRadical: Lenina often sounds like this to Spartan when she tries to use 20th century slang and Spartan instantly corrects her.
* TrackingChip: As part of Cocteau's master plan, almost everyone in San Angeles had an organic microchip implanted in them. Sensors around the city can determine the exact location of any of them at any time. The Scraps clearly don't have chips implanted, or Cocteau's forces would have hunted them down before the movie started. Of course, it's possible there are no sensors in the underground ruins of Los Angeles, or they're so deep down that the chips can't broadcast a signal to Cocteau. Phoenix is also noted as not having a chip, as he was frozen before the chips were implemented, and Spartan, being frozen at the same time, had one implanted right after being defrosted.
* TrashcanBonfire: Several are visible in the AbsurdlySpaciousSewer where Edgar Friendly's people live.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Southern California became a ''very'' different place, no thanks to a major earthquake and several pandemics - and, of course, Dr. Cocteau's guidance.
* TheUnReveal:
** Huxley starts to explain the 61st Amendment to the Constitution that allowed Austrian-born Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger to become President, but Spartan cuts her off. In the last lines of the movie Huxley whispers the secret of the three seashells to Spartan, who replies "No way! That's ''much'' better than toilet paper!"
** Despite some plans (see the trivia page) and the obvious set-up, the movie never follows up on the fate of [[spoiler:Spartan's daughter]]. The novelization reveals that [[spoiler:she's a Scrap, which both saddens Spartan because of her situation and makes him proud that she's chosen freedom]].
* UndergroundCity: The Scraps, the San Angeles population that doesn't accept Cocteau's rule lives in the underground remains of old Los Angeles below San Angeles' streets. They survive by eating stolen food and rats.
* UpgradeArtifact: The rehabilitation programs that all frozen convicts go through. Spartan learns elite knitting skills, much to his annoyance. Phoenix got hacking skills, terrorist training, and tripled strength (!?) as part of the villain's plan. Numerous martial arts are listed amongst Phoenix's rehab. He's probably simply learned to apply his strength to maximum effect with every move he makes from them.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Subverted, as the "utopia" turns out to be way too passe.
* VideoPhone: Present in the future, naturally. John Spartan even gets a wrong number from a [[{{Fanservice}} topless chick]].
* {{Veganopia}}: If you want red meat in the future, find a hearty-looking rat and a grill.
* VillainBall: Cocteau gets called out on this, [[spoiler:and is promptly dumped in a fire.]]
* VillainCred: Simon Phoenix tries to unfreeze a cryo-prison full of psychotic murderers. When he hears that [[SerialKiller Jeffrey Dahmer]] is among the convicts, he joyfully expresses admiration for the guy.
* VillainsBlendInBetter: Phoenix happily hacks his way into electronic systems and has no trouble finding his way around the city and calling up information on prominent people; meanwhile, Spartan cannot even use a futuristic toilet. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] because... [[spoiler: Phoenix's "rehabilitation program" was altered to give him inside knowledge of computers and hacking in preparation for him being sent to kill Edgar Friendly, which in turn would mean he could easily access maps and personal data, while Spartan's program taught him how to knit.]]
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Dr. Cocteau.
* WaitHere: Before John Spartan enters the museum to confront Simon Phoenix, he tells Lenina Huxley and Alfredo Garcia to wait for him outside so they won't get hurt.
* WalkingDisasterArea: Both John Spartan and Simon Phoenix.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Cocteau tries to get rid of Edgar Friendly, the only thorn in his side and the closest thing San Angeles has to a real criminal, by taking an already psychotic criminal genius and ''making him worse''.
** He's also the one who turned San Angeles into what it currently is.
* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture
** "[=MurderDeathKill=] [=MurderDeathKill=] [=MurderDeathKill=]"
** They also seem to use the word "[=JoyJoy=]" to mean anything good.
** Cocteau talks about having to run the [=CitiGov=]. Probably a ShoutOut to 1984's {{Newspeak}}.
* WhamLine: In 1996, Spartan has just captured Phoenix and removed him from his lair just after Phoenix set explosives to destroy the building. He's being chewed out by his superior, insisting that the hostages Phoenix captured must not be in the rubble because the thermal scan he did only picked up Phoenix and some of his crew. Then:
-->'''Fire Captain:''' Captain, there are bodies everywhere! There must be twenty or thirty of them. Everywhere!
** This leads to another Wham Moment later in the film when Phoenix reveals that they were already dead, and it was a gambit to frame Spartan.
* WhatYearIsThis: Spartan, naturally, asks how long he's been frozen upon getting thawed out.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse
** Phoenix defrosts somewhere between 6 and 80 of his old buddies, [[spoiler: One looks to die in the sewer fight with another one or maybe one killed and one knocked out, another two go down to Spartan and Huxley just as Lenina Huxley shoots and kills one after knocking out another one, and the rest are never seen again, and presumably eliminated when the when the cryo-prison is blown up or get away and maybe cops are at the end on the cryo-prison campus hunting them down like with stun batons drawn and running. In a cut out scene John Spartan kills off more of Simon Phoenix's gang in the cryo-prison building. He also fights the thug who did the work for Simon Phoenix in offing Raymond Cocteau for him played by Jesse "The Body" Ventura. It's not known how he defeats him. In the novelization it's not explain or said what happens to the cryo-con Adam played by Jesse Ventura who did the work for Simon Phoenix in killing Raymond Cocteau. He just disappears when sent by Simon Phoenix after John Spartan and Lenina Huxley and they kill the 3 other cons.]]
** Spartan's closest friend, Zachary Lamb, last appeared in a scene where he drops off Spartan, Huxley, and Garcia before their descent into the Wasteland. He was not seen again. In a deleted scene and the novelization (based on the original shooting script), [[spoiler:Phoenix kills Lamb before taking Huxley's car]].
** John Spartan's daughter is said to be alive, but she's never seen or further explored since Spartan doesn't want to disrupt her utopian life. It's revealed in the novelization that she's retained her freedom and has been living as a Scrap, but this is never shown in the film.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: A rare non robot example. Lenina at first is disgusted at the thought of real sex, or "fluid transfers" as she calls it, in fear of disease and unwanted pregnancy. However when John Spartan gives her a BigDamnKiss at the end she's taken aback by it and wonders if sex in general is as good as that kiss.
-->'''Lenina:''' Are all fluid transfer activities like this?\\
'''Spartan:''' Better.
* YouAreTooLate: [[spoiler:Phoenix killed the hostages before Spartan even arrived; either he'd get away with murder (literally), or Spartan would get framed and imprisoned for his own crime. [[XanatosGambit Either way, he wins]].]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Near the end Simon Phoenix tries to unfreeze all the criminals held in the cry-prison at once to kickstart his new dystopia. He thanks the prison's cryo-stasis technicians for their help, before gunning them all down because he no longer has any use for them.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: Spartan comes to this realization after noticing that Friendly's gang only wanted the food from a truck. Spartan called Cocteau out on this, but he didn't care either way.
* {{Zeerust}}
** TheFuture is [[EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture round]] and chrome.
** There's also an element of this in how Los Angeles is ''depicted'' to have become all round-and-chrome -- the urban unrest the movie depicts, to date, hasn't been ''quite'' as bad as that.
** "You're even better live than on laser disc!"
** 1996 has come and gone without a single cryogenic prison being built, or the Hollywood sign burning down.
** Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison a year after the movie was made (two years before the first setting). So there was no chance of him being released. Of course how he was transferred from Wisconsin to Los Angeles is another question.
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->''Somebody, put me back in the fridge.''
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