Indiana always had a troubled history with his father, Henry Jones, also an archaeologist with a life long dream of finding the location of
. This obsession drove a wedge between father and son, and the two have hardly spoken to each other for years. But then, Henry mysteriously disappears while seemingly on the cusp of a major research breakthrough. Now, Indy has to find his father and the Grail, while keeping
from once again getting their hands on an artifact that could make them all-powerful.
saw the potential of a prequel series. He would soon develop and produce
As for the movie series, though the original intent was five films, Spielberg and Lucas would decide to just end the series here - feeling it was best to go out on a high note and cap off a trilogy. Obviously,
was released nineteen years later.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Multiple examples.
- Action Duo: Indy and Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery).
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Indy and his dad's conversation in the zeppelin.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Henry Sr. actually chuckles at his son's quip.
Henry: I'm as human as the next man.
Indiana: Dad, I was the next man!
- Adventure Archaeologist: Jones Sr. is shocked to see his son ruthlessly gun down Nazi soldiers and is bewildered by their constant brushes with death, but eventually gets into the swing of things.
- Affably Evil: Walter Donovan, until he shoots Henry Sr., making him Faux Affably Evil.
- Age Cut: The transition between young Indy receiving the Fedora to Indy on the boat.
- The Ageless: Drinking from the Holy Grail grants this - so long as the Grail remain inside the tomb.
- An Aesop: There's a running theme of unconventional solutions to problems, as embodied by Henry Jones. This kind of thinking does Indy well when he has to get the Grail alone - Donovan's terrible fate comes about from choosing an obvious flashy Grail rather than actually thinking it through. There's also a theme of self-reliance: Indy and Henry work hard for everything they get, while the bad guys' entire plan is basically "get the Joneses to do it, then steal the results". This again backfires on Donovan when he relies on Elsa to choose the Grail rather than thinking for himself.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Indy and Henry may have a strained relationship, but in the end they'd do anything to protect one and other. Indy went as far as nearly feeding a man, whom he thought killed his father to a boat propeller. Whilst Henry tried to save him from falling, when he tried to get the grail.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Indy tries desperately to save Elsa when she falls into the chasm at the end of the film. And he's genuinely distraught when she falls to her death.
- All There in the Manual: In the Novelization, it's revealed what Elsa said in her sleep that made Henry realize she was a Nazi - she apparently moaned "Mein Führer."
- Aluminium Christmas Trees:
- Many in power in Nazi Germany were interested in finding mythical Christian artifacts like the Holy Grail and in archaeology, but only as a means to validate their racial beliefsnote .
- Hatay was a real country in 1938. It disappeared in 1939 and is now part of Turkey.
- Ancient Order of Protectors: The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword.
- Arch-Enemy: Panama Hat recognises Indiana as an adult, implying they've butted heads a few more times while he was growing up.
- Artifact of Death: Any of the False Grails.
- Artistic License – Cars: The King of Hatay's Description Porn of the Rolls Royce he's given (donated by an American traitor).
Rolls-Royce Phantom two. 4.3 litre, 30 horsepower, six cylinder engine, with Stromberg downdraft carburetor, can go from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in 12.5 seconds. And I even like the color.
- For one, it's not a Phantom II, it's a smaller, cheaper 20/25 hp, and that description is wrong for either car (the Phantom II had a 7.7 L engine and a twin jet downdraft carb made by Rolls, the 20/25 hp a 3.7 L six cylinder with an SU type carb), the power rating is wrong for both (the 20/25 hp was rated at 25 for taxation purposes, but actual power output is closer to 70 HP, while the Phantom II was never given a power rating. The 20/25 went from 0-100 in 14.5 seconds. The description does match the 25/30, which did have a 4.3 L engine with a Stromberg downdraft carb rated at 30 HP.
- The motorcycles used to chase Indy are 1977 Honda XL 500s. Just about nothing was done to make them resemble BMWs.
- Though it stretches the definition of "car", the tank used by the Germans appears to be a mock-up of a Tank Mark VIII, an Anglo-American design that only saw service with the US Army. There's no clear reason why the Germans or anyone else would have one in the Middle East.
- The tank is explained as being owned by the King of Hatay, who had it modified with a turret, and given to the Germans in exchange for the Rolls Royce, detailed above.
- There were no Kübelwagens in 1938. Ferdinand Porsche wouldn't develop them unto 1940. Also, the two seen in the film are given to the Nazis by the Hatayan sultan along with the tank and trucks (they have the Hatayan symbol on them). This is likewise impossible, as Germany never exported the Kübelwagen.
- Artistic License – Geography: Underground catacombs in Venice. Think about that for just a few moments. In case you couldn't figure it out, Venice is built on water.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: The driver of Kübelwagen that crashes into the tank. He's the only one in it, so how he expected to help is anyone's guess.
- The fighter pilots chasing Indy and Henry. They fire randomly in every direction, even when Indy's plan is nowhere near in sight.
- Author Appeal: The Joneses having Parental Issues, a recurring motif for Steven Spielberg.
- Back for the Finale: Sallah, who previously aided Indy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, turns up midway through this film and helps the heroes until the climax.
- Bait and Switch: In the opening sequence, two teenaged Boy Scouts seem to stumble upon a certain fedora-wearing archaeologist at work, until he turns towards the audience and we see it isn't Harrison Ford, with the date (1912) revealed and one Boy Scout calling the other "Indiana".
- Balcony Escape: Done by Indy.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT call Indy "Junior".
- Big Bad: Walter Donovan and Elsa Schneider
- Bigger Bad: Donovan and Dr. Schneider are working for the German Government. In fact, the Bigger Bad in person does meet with a stunned Indy. Hilarity Ensues.
- Bilingual Bonus: During the tank fight, one Nazi comments to Indy getting beat up by saying, "The American, he fights like a woman!" Then Indy hits him in the head with the periscope he was looking through.
- Blatant Lies: While trying to to shoot the fighter planes, Jones Senior machine-guns the tail off their own aircraft.
Indiana/Henry Jr.: Dad! Are we hit?
Henry Sr.: More or less... (fake gravitas) Son I'm sorry, they got us.
- Book Burning: The scene in Berlin
- Bookcase Passage: Fireplace subtype and descending stairs variation.
- Bowel Breaking Bricks: Near the end of the climactic tank fight sequence, almost everyone, including Donovan, Elsa, Brody, Henry Jones, Sr., and (probably) a handful of Nazis have abandoned the tank, which is now careening towards the edge of a very, very steep cliff. The only two people who are still oblivious to this fact are Indy and SS Colonel Vogel, who are locked in a rather vicious, back-and-forth fistfight. When they do manage to realize it (with seconds to spare), Indy's trademark fedora is whipped off the back of his head by a strong and sudden gust of wind as the camera focuses on his Oh, Crap face.
- California Doubling: Most of the movie was filmed in England and Spain, where precisely none of it takes place. The biggest exception is Venice and even then most of the Venice boat chase was filmed in England. Also, Petra is apparently where the Grail resides.
- Call Back: Henry Sr. muses while perusing his Grail diary, "May he who illuminated this... illuminate me." He later states he was seeking "illumination" at the end.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Indy gives two very hard-hitting examples. First, as he argues with his father about traveling to Berlin to get the Grail diary.
Indy: This is an obsession, Dad. I never understood it. Never. Neither did Mom.
- And later, aboard the zeppelin:
Henry Sr.: Actually, I was a wonderful father.
Indy: (incredulously) When?
Henry Sr.: Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework? No, I respected your privacy and I taught you self-reliance.
Indy: What you taught me, was that I was less important to you than people that have been dead for several hundred years and in other countries. And I learned it so well, that we've hardly spoken for twenty years.
- Captain Obvious: Indiana's father.
Henry: These people are trying to kill us!
Indy: I know, Dad!!!
- Cassandra Truth: During a tense confrontation, Indy is told to surrender or else Elsa dies. Henry tells him its a bluff, as Elsa's a Nazi herself.
Elsa: You should have listened to your father.
- Donovan warns Indy to not trust anybody. Including himself, it seems.
- Casting Gag: Sean Connery was cast because Steven Spielberg and George Lucas thought the only man who could play Indy's father was James Bond, and because the whole franchise was born out of Spielberg's desire to direct a James Bond movie — so in every sense of the word, James Bond is the father of Indiana Jones.
- Several actors in the film were in Bond films before. Julian Glover (Donovan) was Bond villain Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only; John-Rhys Davies (Sallah, who had been in the first film, granted) was KGB General Pushkin in The Living Daylights, and Alison Doody (Elsa) was Jenny Flex in A View to a Kill. Michael Byrne was cast much later in a small role in Tomorrow Never Dies (the Navy commander).
- Not a gag, but Julian Glover (Donovan) and Michael Sheard (Hitler) were both in The Empire Strikes Back (also Lucasfilm, of course). Glover was General Veers, commander of the ground forces assigned to Vader's Super Star Destroyer Executor, who led the assault on Hoth. Sheard played Admiral "You Have Failed Me For The Last Time" Ozzel. The General tried to talk Vader out of killing him, so this is the second time that Glover had tried to prolong Sheard's life (well, save that Donovan wants the Grail for himself).
- This isn't the first crusade that Julian Glover's character was involved in. He appeared in the Doctor Who episode aptly titled "The Crusade"
- Catch Phrase:
Indiana Jones: "Don't call me Junior!"
Henry Jones Sr.: This is intolerable!"
- Chair Reveal: Donovan in the castle.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase/The Last Title: The title.
- Chekhov's Gun: Henry's umbrella he keeps carrying in his suitcase throughout the journey eventually proves to be very useful against incoming Nazi fighter planes.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Elsa was after the Grail and the Grail alone.
- City of Canals: Venice itself.
- Continuity Nod: In the Venice catacombs, Indy identifies a painting on the wall as a representation of the Ark of the Covenant.
Elsa: Are you sure?
- During this exchange, the Ark's theme music is briefly heard.
- Comically Missing the Point: First Elsa, when driving the boat :
Indy: Are you crazy?! Don't go between them!
Elsa: Go between them?! Are you crazy?!
- Later, during the dogfight:
Indiana: Dad! Eleven o'clock!
Henry: (checks his watch) What happens at eleven o'clock?
- Contrived Coincidence: As a teenager, Indy used a whip for the first time, giving him his chin scar, gets his fear of snakes, and his signature fedora all in the same day.
- Convenient Escape Boat: Subverted and inverted.
- Cool Train: A young Indy fights mooks aboard a circus train, complete with wild animals.
- Correlation Causation Gag: In the library scene, Indy tries to break into a secret passage, causing loud echoes...coincidentally in time with a librarian stamping books. At one point, the librarian sets the stamp down and just looks at it.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Donovan appears to be the savviest person in the series, right up until he trusts a double-agent — as though he didn't have a small army of people on hand to test it for him.
- Deadfoot Leadfoot: The tank operator.
- Dead Hat Shot: In the intro.
- Deadpan Snarker: Henry Sr. is great at this.
Henry Jones Sr.: Our situation has not improved.
- Death by Materialism: Elsa, when she is hanging over the fissure created, she tries to grab the grail, ignores Indiana's pleas to give him her other hand and winds up falling to her death for her greed.
- Description Cut: With Brody.
- Description Porn: The sultan wanting the Rolls-Royce.
- Did Not Get the Girl: The only movie in the series where this happens.
- Disappeared Dad: Well, it's the motivation for Indy to chase after the Grail, but even when they were in the same house, they had no relationship. Especially after Indy's mother and Henry's wife passed away.
- Disney Villain Death: Averted with SS Colonel Vogel; we see his corpse hitting the ground and the tank rolling on him.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In-Universe much of his teaching scene revolves around discouraging his fellow students from going on the same adventures he did.
- The Dragon: SS colonel Vogel.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Henry couldn't see that the way he was treating his son would drive a wedge between them.
- Due to the Dead: Indiana treats bones and tombs in the catacombs without any care.
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures: After Elsa crosses the seal.
- Elderly Immortal: The Knight guarding the Grail. He is clearly into old age and admits to being past his prime, but drinking from it has kept him alive for centuries.
- Establishing Character Moment: Two for Henry. The opening sees him so invested in his Grail diary that he ignores the fact that Indy has the Cross of Coronado. When Indy is rescuing him from Castle Brunwald, he brains Indy over the head with a vase, thinking him to be a Nazi (who came in through the window), and is immediately more concerned about the vase than Indy's head.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Elsa may be working for the bad guys, but she definitely does not approve of book burning and anti-intellectualism.
Elsa: I believe in the Grail, not the Swastika!
Indy: You stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything the Grail stands for; who gives a damn what you think!?
- There's also the look on her face when Donovan shoots Henry Sr.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Donovan only cares about finding the Grail for the promise of immortal life, which is why he deserves his Karmic Death. Elsa only cares about the Grail as an archaeological find, which is why she ignores the Knight's warning that the cup cannot leave the temple.
- Evil Cripple: Panama Hat walks with a limp by 1938.
- Fake Aristocrat: Indy tries to gain entry to the German castle where his father is being held by pretending to be Lord Clarence MacDonald. The castle's butler doesn't buy it.
- Fake Platform: Tiles that don't spell out Jehovah (with an I) are fake and will drop you into a deep pit.
- Femme Fatale: Dr. Elsa Schneider, after she stops pretending to be a Damsel in Distress.
- First Name Basis: At the end Indiana's father addresses him by name for the first time, having spent the entire movie calling him "Junior".
- Flanderization / The Fool: Marcus Brody.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: After Indiana loses during his first attempt to retrieve an artifact Fedora tells him "You lost today kid. That doesn't mean you have to like it", a catchphrase Indiana used in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Foreshadowing: Multiple examples.
- When young Indy comes home, there's a shot held on the dog seeing him arrive, which seems to be a pointless reaction shot. It's later revealed the dog is Indiana, whom Henry nicknamed himself after.
- There is also a subtle yet noticeable length in which the camera focuses on Donovan pouring a drink toasting to Long-Life for Indy and himself, foreshadowing with cruel irony the nature of his final demise.
- When Indy meets Donovan, he's told "We're only one step away" from finding the Grail, to which Indy says "That's usually where the ground falls out underneath you.". Towards the end, when Elsa attempts to take the Grail out of the temple, it makes the whole temple collapse, and ground fell beneath her.
- There is also the pitfall trap in which stepping on the wrong letter while spelling God's name will cause the ground to fall out from beneath you.
- "Archeology is the search for fact, not truth. If it's Truth you're interested in, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is just down the hall. So forget any ideas you have about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot. Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research and reading. We cannot afford to take mythology at face value." They spend about five minutes in a library (though Dr. Jones Sr. had spent most of his life researching the Grail) and spend the rest of the film doing the opposite of everything Dr. Jones said not to. Indy's own argument is subverted in a Venetian library when an X, the Roman numeral "10," does indeed mark "the spot." Then marked on Richard's grave. After a while, Indy gives a silent shrug every time an X appears, achieving Brick Joke status.
- Elsa telling Indy he has his father's eyes. Initially, it can be taken as a casual remark on family resemblance, but then it's revealed just how well she knows Indy's dad's eyes...
- Friend or Idol Decision: Twice, with Elsa then Indy.
- Gender Misdirection: The first meeting with Elsa.
- Genre Blindness: Indy's a lot less Genre Savvy compared to the other films. Henry Sr. called him out over his idiocy in bringing the Grail diary to the place where he was being held hostage.
- He does, however, wisely tear a few pages out, making the diary useless without them.
- He also misses a huge red flag when Elsa is taken hostage at gunpoint and urges Indy to surrender to her captor. No Damsel in Distress that's actually on the hero's side ever does that, and what's worse, his Genre Savvy dad is right there with him, warning Indy that it's a setup.
- Giant Mook: Recurring supporting actor Pat "Bomber" Roach as an S.S. officer, though his fight scene was cut.
- Gilligan Cut: Indy brags that Marcus Brody can blend into any crowd, no matter where he is. Immediately cut to Marcus wandering around the Very Proper British Man asking idiotic questions and standing out like a sore thumb.
- Groupie Brigade: While in Berlin to retrieve the Grail diary, Indy gets tangled up in a mob of Nazis who are members of Hitler's fan club.
- Hand Signals: After Colonel Vogel gives a "move forward" signal, a World War I era tank rolls into sight.
- Hard Head: Indy knocks out quite a few Nazis with his bare hands, yet in the same movie getting hit with the (fake) Priceless Ming Vase only stuns him for a moment.
- Healing Potion: Water placed in the Holy Grail will heal the wounds of and even grant immortality to anyone who drinks it.
- Heel-Face Turn: Elsa. Indy's speech in Berlin seemed to influence her thinking. Unfortunately, she could not get rid of her Fatal Flaw, remaining obsessed with the Holy Grail until her demise.
- Holy Is Not Safe: The Holy Grail is protected by a number of lethal traps, including dozens of Fake Grails. Drinking from a Fake Grail causes a horrible death by Rapid Aging.
- Hollywood Torches: Indy created one from a bone, rags and petroleum while exploring the catacombs under Venice.
- Indy Ploy: Lampshaded by Boy Scout Indiana as he descends to the excavation site.
Other scout: What, what are you gonna do?
Indy: I don't know. I'll think of something.
- He says it again when he and Elsa are trying to figure out how to get into Brunwald Castle.
- Hypocritical Humor: On a meta-level. Indy is stunned that his father actually slept with Elsa, saying "It's disgraceful. You're old enough to be her father—her grandfather!". Harrison Ford is 24 years older than Alison Doody, and as mentioned in Playing Gertrude, Sean Connery is only 12 years older than Ford, so they're both old enough to be her father.
- Improvised Weapon: A flagpole, a fountain pen, and an umbrella are all used for dispatching various mooks.
- Is It Always Like This?: Indy's father asks him this as they're escaping from Castle Brunwald.
- It Belongs in a Museum: Trope Namer. Indy says it to "Panama Hat" regarding the Cross of Coronado. Twice. The second time, he gets it thrown back at him (see Self-Deprecation, below).
- It's the Only Way to Be Sure / Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword will do anything to safeguard the Grail's location, including setting fire to and completely destroying the knight's tomb.
- Just Plane Wrong:
- The biplane Indy and his father fly from the zeppelin is a Tiger Moth RAF trainer. It's unlikely the Luftwaffe would have a British biplane as, although there were trade agreements, they had a decent selection of their own planes to choose from.
- Indy and his father take a zeppelin flight from Berlin. Zeppelins only departed from Frankfurt and Friedrichshafen, not Berlin. Further, its designation is D-138. All zeppelins designations were "D-LZ (number)", and even if this is meant to be consistent with real zeppelins, no zeppelins were built past the D-LZ130 Graf Zeppelin II, and commercial passenger zeppelin travel ceased after the Hindenburg disaster.
- A borderline example is the fighter plane that chases Indy in the biplane is a postwar Swiss Pilatus P-2 trainer. The P-2 was based on the Arado Ar-96, a German trainer and while it may seem odd for a trainer to be used, many were armed with MG 17s and bomb racks for armaments training, meaning their use may have been the result of a training unit being the closest when the orders came down the chain of command.
That said, it attempts to follow Indy and his father into a tunnel, but unfortunately the tunnel is just slightly too narrow for the plane, resulting in its wings getting sheared off. Then, through some miraculous act of momentum, the plane, sliding on its belly, actually manages to overtake the car it is chasing and exit through the other side of the tunnel before conveniently exploding. Apparently it was customary back then to coat the roadway within tunnels with vaseline.
- Karmic Death: Both Walter Donovan and Dr. Elsa Schneider die because of their overwhelming desire for the Grail. Indy himself almost suffers the same fate for the same reason, but his father's intervention saves him.
- Kick the Dog: The Nazis' attempted bribe to the ruler of Hatay of a large chest of gold and silver objects 'donated' by "some of the most prominent families in Germany". This being the Nazis, it's not hard to guess who they were taken from.
- It was originally explicitly stated. A last-minute Bowdlerization removed the adjective "Jewish" from the description of said donors.
- Lampshade Hanging: Henry directly calls out how the film treats his profession.
"You call this archaeology?"
- Also, when Indy and Henry Sr. are being pursued by Nazi airplanes:
Henry: I think they're trying to kill us!
Indy: I KNOW, DAD!
Henry: Well, this is a new experience for me.
Indy: *rolls eyes* It happens to me all the time. Come on!
- Land in the Saddle: Indy tries this one in the prologue sequence. The horse moves. The mooks chasing him repeat the process, but with a truck.
- Leap of Faith: Referred to by name, as Indy has to jump into what looks like a bottomless pit onto a very narrow bit of land painted to identical to the environs.
- Lecture As Exposition: Amusingly subverted. Indiana gives a lecture, but he spends all his time warning his students that the Adventurer Archaeologist trope is never true to life. Then, of course, he promptly goes on to spend the rest of the film doing exactly that, right down to X Marks The Spot.
- Lighter and Softer: The film is more adventurous and light-hearted than the previous Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
- Literal-Minded: When escaping the fighter planes in a biplane.
Indiana: Dad! Eleven o'clock!
Henry: (checks his watch) What happens at eleven o'clock?
Indiana: (annoyed and points in the directions of his left) TWELVE! ELEVEN! TEN! ELEVEN O'CLOCK! FIRE!!!
- The Load: Henry Jones, Sr. (originally). He gets better.
- Love Interest Traitor: Elsa Schneider. She genuinely loved Indy (and...uh...Indy's dad too, apparently), but she's single-mindedly obsessed with getting her hands on the Holy Grail to the point of working with Nazis. It ultimately costs Elsa her life.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Subverted when Indy literally hands Hitler the book explaining everything about the Holy Grail, its location, and how to retrieve it safely. Hitler has absolutely no idea of the book's significance, and mistakes Indy for an autograph hunter.
- Make Them Rot: The Big Bad falls victim to this by choosing the wrong Grail to drink from.
- May-December Romance: Indiana calls Henry out when he realizes they both slept with Elsa.
Indiana: It's disgraceful, you're old enough to be her... her grandfather.
- Meaningful Name: Colonel Vogel's name is German for bird. Fittingly, he gets thrown out of a zeppelin by Indy, and later goes off a cliff in his tank.
- A Minor Kidroduction: Boy Scout Indiana in Utah, 1912. Then the film Age Cuts from River Phoenix to Harrison Ford, under the fedora hat.
- The Mole: Dr. Elsa Schneider and Walter Donovan, who are actually working with the Nazis. Word of God is that Donovan was a double mole and Elsa seems perfectly willing to be one as well once she's actually holding immortality.
- Motorcycle Jousting: Indiana Jones charges a Nazi motorcyclist using a flagpole as an improvised lance.
- Mugged for Disguise: Once again, Indy beats up a Nazi for his uniform, but unlike Raiders, he gets a perfect fit from the start. Later, he beats up a zeppelin concierge for his uniform, but similar to Raiders, it's a tight fit.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Elsa is crying during the anti-intellectual book burning at the Nazi rally.
- Nameless Narrative: In the flashback opening, the looters who steal the Cross of Coronado are credited simply as "Fedora" and "Panama Hat". (The former is addressed as Garth by one of his cronies.)
- Needle in a Stack of Needles: The Holy Grail is hidden amongst other grails, and Indy must figure out which of them is the true Grail.
- Never My Fault: Jones Sr. refuses to believe that the almost non-existent relationship between himself and his son is his fault.
- Newspaper Thin Disguise: Henry Sr. subverts this at the Berlin airport, then plays it straight aboard the zeppelin during Colonel Vogel's search. Unfortunately, Vogel sees right through this.
- No MacGuffin, No Winner: At the end neither Indy nor the Nazis have the Grail. It's left on the ledge inside the crack in the floor and presumably recovered by the Grail guardian and put back with the false Grails after the end of the movie.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Elsa Schneider states explicitly that she does not actually support or care for the Nazis' ideals, but rather only allied with them just to locate the Grail. Ditto with Walter Donovan.
- Indy tells Elsa that she chose her allies willingly, so it doesn't matter what her ideals are - they're already corrupted by the Nazis. Of course, Indy says it more succinctly:
Elsa: Is that what you think of me? I believe in the Grail, not the swastika!
Yet you stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything the Grail stands for. Who gives a damn
what you think?!
- Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying over You: The film has Indy apparently falling of a cliff with a tank, the group with him leans over to see the tank hit the ground and not notice him crawling up a set of vines a few feet down. Indy notices the group mourning him and leans over himself to see what they're looking at only for the group to notice him soon after.
- Not So Different: While never spoken aloud it's definitely in the subtext that Indy may be closer to his father's mindset and personality than he may be willing to admit. The opening flashback shows a very young Indy chasing after the Cross of Coronado, and he would remain obsessed with finding it for years, and when he wasn't chasing after the Cross he was chasing after other important artifacts. Indy's pursuit of the Cross along with his pursuit of similar artifacts clearly mirrors his father's obsession with finding the Holy Grail, the difference being that Indy chased after multiple artifacts during his life while his father's obsession with the Holy Grail was more singular.
- Off with His Head!: One of the Grail traps.
- Oh, Crap: During the tank fight, Indy notices that the tank is about to go over a cliff — and his hat falls off for the first time in the series. After he reaches safety, the hat is deposited next to him by the wind. Indy is also stunned when he finds himself face-to-face with Adolf Hitler himself.
- When Henry Jones Sr. attempts to use Indiana's zippo lighter to burn through the ropes tying them up, he accidentally drops it, setting the whole room on fire.
- A really, really, really near tragic example when Henry Jones Sr. and co think that Indy has fallen to his death with the tank as it went over the cliff. As the crushing realization sinks in that his only son is dead (or so he thinks) Henry Sr. is visibly devastated and laments that he never told his son "anything" (presumably that he loved him). Fortunately, Indy turns up alive and well.
- Older Than They Look: The knight guarding the Grail is more than 700 years old. He gained immortality by regularly drinking water from the Grail.
- Omniglot: Jones tries to pretend that Marcus is also one of these... it's just that his familiarity is limited to dead languages.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, as a few jokes come from the fact that both Indy and Henry can be referred to as "(Dr.) Jones".
Donovan: Colonel! Jones is getting away!
Vogel: (having just captured Henry) I think not, Herr Donovan.
Donovan: Not that Jones, the other Jones!
- Only the Worthy May Pass: One way of interpreting how to get past the three trials to reach the Grail. It definitely applies to the fourth and final trial of figuring out which cup in the Grail room is the real one. Donovan, being neither a scholar nor a True Believer, is expecting a gaudy cup fit for a King of Kings, while both Indy and Elsa know the True Grail would be fit for a Carpenter's Son.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: The Grail Knight just happens to always be sitting or standing in a pillar of pale blue light, while most of the environment around him is orangish-brown.
- Origins Cold Open: the opening sequence of young Indiana trying to save the Cross of Coronado from tomb robbers shows us how he developed his Indy Ploy skills, picked up the use of the whip, developed his fear of snakes, and where he got that cool hat.
- Parental Neglect: It's established early in the film that Indy's dad was not exactly a warm, loving parent.
- The Pen Is Mightier: Marcus utters the whole phrase after Henry uses the ink of his pen against one Nazi.
- Perspective Magic: The "leap of faith" scene.
- Pinball Projectile: The tank driver is killed by an errant bullet that ricochets off several surfaces before hitting him in the forehead.
- Pistol-Whipping: Marcus Brody is knocked out by a pistol wielded by a member of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword.
- Playing Gertrude: Sean Connery, who played Indy's father, is just 12 years older than Harrison Ford.
- This is actually pointed out in a funny moment during Harrison Ford's interview on Inside the Actors Studio.
James Lipton: If my math is right, Sean Connery would have been a father when he was twelve.
Harrison Ford:(laughing) But you know Sean. He could do it.
- Plot Parallel: As Spielberg describes it, the search for the father IS the search for the Holy Grail.
- Plummet Perspective: Subverted. The Holy Grail didn't fall far — but it might as well have.
- Poor Communication Kills: Indiana and Elsa during the boat chase.
Indy: Are you crazy?! Don't go between them!
Elsa: Go between them?! Are you crazy?!
- Priceless Ming Vase: It turned out to be fake. But Henry can only tell after he breaks it.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Holy Grail.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Colonel Vogel does this to Indiana Jones by threatening to shoot Elsa Schneider. It was a bad move.
- The Radio Dies First: Indy sabotages the zeppelin's radio to prevent Vogel from ordering it turned around. It's only partly successful, as the zeppelin eventually turns around because the radio is dead.
- Ransacked Room: Happens twice, one of which was Invoked.
- Rapid Aging: The fate of anyone who drinks from the wrong grail.
- Rapid Hair Growth: The Big Bad drinks from a false Holy Grail and suffers from Rapid Aging, including having the hair on his head grow very quickly. Watch it here.
- Reality Has No Subtitles: Colonel Vogel ordering the chest of golden objects to be brought forward.
- Refuge in Audacity: How could Indy get away with punching a Nazi officer on a zeppelin in the middle of Germany? "No ticket."
- Indy gets caught up in a book burning ceremony with the diary the Nazis have been desperate to get their hands on, and then he bumps right into Adolf Hitler himself. What does he do? Hands over the diary so Hitler can autograph it.
- Riding into the Sunset: Indy, his father, Sallah, and Marcus at the end of the film.
- Rule of Symbolism: While Indy reads the grail tablet at Donovan's place, Donovan pours some champagne into champagne glasses.
- Rule of Three: Subverted. Henry has found clues to three tests guarding the Grail and recorded them in his diary, but when Indy gets past them all, he finds a previously-unmentioned fourth: finding the true Grail among a sea of copies.
- Running Gag: After Indy says, "X never ever marks the spot", everything has X marking the spot.
- Samus is a Girl: Indy and Marcus are a little surprised to see that Dr. Schneider is, in fact, Dr. Elsa Schneider. To their credit, not too surprised.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: The SS-Standartenführer utters orders and other screams of horror and rage in a very high pitch.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Indy has liberated the Cross of Coronado (although not in the most legal way), but is told by the sheriff to hand it back to Panama Hat.
- Secret Legacy: Indy followed in his father's footsteps without even knowing.
- Self-Deprecation: When grown-up Indy tells Panama Hat that the Cross of Coronado "belongs in a museum", Panama Hat says "So do you!" Indy is a character in a 1989 movie who's a Genre Throwback to 1930s action heroes.
- Self-Destructing Security: The Holy Grail is protected by many layers of secrets, guards and traps. The final resort, however, is that the Grail can never pass beyond "The Great Seal". Doing so results in the entire place self destructing and the Grail being lost forever.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Henry Sr. gives a brilliant one to Nazi Colonel Vogel.
Vogel: Tell me about the book, this miserable little diary of yours. We have the map; the book is useless. And yet you come all the way back to Berlin to get it. Why? (slaps Henry with his glove) What are you hiding? (slap!) What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?
(Henry catches Vogel's hand before he can slap him.)
Henry: It tells me that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them!
- Smug Snake: Donovan.
- Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: A Nazi fighter plane does this to Indy and his father as they're escaping by car.
- Stealth Pun: When Indy and Henry Sr. argue over traveling to Berlin to get the Grail diary or going to Iskenderun to save Marcus, they're at a literal crossroads, with the road sign shaped like a cross.
- Water taken from the Holy Grail grants immortality and can heal wounds. Considering whose cup it used to belong to, it's probably safe to say that the cup is a way to make real holy water.
- Storming the Castle: Castle Brunwald.
- Swarm of Rats: As seen in the catacombs under Venice.
- Take My Hand: At the end of the film, Indy says it to Elsa and later Indy's father says it to him.
- Tank Goodness: The Germans use a tank to escort their convoy in Hatay. Unusually for this trope, the tank has multiple smaller guns, including a pair of sponson mounts on the sides, rather than a single turreted BFG. Amusingly, the tank in question appears to be a Tank Mark VIII, which served with the US Army and nobody else.
- Tanks, but No Tanks: Although a WW1 model with the guns in side sponson mounts, the Hataian tank also has a turret because hey, that's what tanks have, right?
- Tap on the Head: Multiple examples.
- Technically a Smile: Elsa's smile after Donovan drinks from the Grail is about as non-smile a smile can get.
- Tempting Fate: A classic of the series' humor.
- After they just drove trough the burning remains of a crashed plane:
Henry: Well, they don't come any closer than that! (A bomb promptly tears up a huge crater right in front of their car.)
- When observing the Nazis in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon:
Henry: What are you doing? Get down!
Indy: Dad, we're well out of range.
BANG [Whistle of incoming artillery shell) BOOM! [Sallah's car is hit by the shell and explodes]
Indy: Shooting me won't get you anywhere.
Donovan: You know something, Doctor Jones ? You're absolutely right. (shoots Henry)
- Temple of Doom: The Temple of the Grail is full of traps that take a lot of knowledge to pass, and has a tricky test at the end.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- In the end, Elsa ignores the knight's warning about taking the Holy Grail beyond the crossed seal, when Indiana's demands her not to move across seal, she doesn't listen and triggers the collapse of the whole temple. Finally, when she is hanging over the fissure created, she tries to grab the grail, ignores Indiana's pleas to give him her other hand and winds up falling to her death for her greed. The trope image of Death by Materialism.
- Took a Level in Badass: Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery) is initially portrayed as a Grumpy Old Man with discomfort and lack of experience in Indy's adventures (he sets the room on fire, he shoots the tail of his own plane with the machine gun, etc.). But moreover he reveals his hidden skills, becoming more like his son and evolving into a Badass Grandpa — he manages to crash a Nazi airplane by making a flock of seagulls fly into the air, he blinds a Nazi soldier with ink from his pen and he even blows away a whole truckload of enemies.
- Treacherous Advisor: Both Walter Donovan and Dr. Elsa Schneider would qualify.
- Treasure Map: The Grail diary.
- Understatement: "He chose...poorly."
- Vague Age: Alison Doody was 22 when Crusade was filmed, and while Dr. Elsa Schneider has no onscreen age, she has to be at least thirty.
- Visual Pun: While walking through the Venice catacombs, Indy stops to say "Oh, rats" and we pan down to see swarms of rats.
- We Named the Monkey Jack: Indiana turns out to be the dog's name, which was also George Lucas' malmute's name.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: A major source of friction between the Joneses Sr. and Jr. is that Sr. wasn't around much when Indy was a kid.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: To bring the Grail diary to a castle full of Nazis...
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In addition to learning why Indy is afraid of snakes, we learn that his father is afraid of rats.
Henry: I wish I could have been there!
Indiana: There were rats, dad.
Indiana: Big ones.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Indy swapping hats with Elsa and posing as a Scottish art collector to trick his way into Castle Brunwald.
- Worthy Adversary: In the Young Indy intro, the bandit Fedora sees this in Indy. At the very end, when the Sheriff makes Indy hand over the cross back to Panama Hat, Fedora graduates to Stealth Mentor. (See the Heartwarming Moments page for details.)
- Wrestler in All of Us: Indy gets suplexed by a Nazi mook during the tank chase scene. Said mook uses a German suplex, which is quite fitting.
- Written-In Infirmity: Harrison Ford's chin scar, originating from an auto accident, is explained as coming from Indy's first experience using a whip, slashing his chin accidentally.
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Indy believes he can reach the Grail if he just reaches a little further... and then his father, who spent Indy's whole life calling him "Junior", says "Indiana. Indiana. Let it go." And that convinces him.
- You Dirty Rat: Swarms of these fill Venice's catacombs. Henry Jones Sr. fears them, just like his son fears snakes.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: A milder version of the Trope. The Grail Knight assumed Indiana was there to take his place after "vanquishing" him in combat. Mildly tear jerking in that the poor Knight was exhausted and ready to die for some well-earned peace of mind.
- Though considering that the grail ended up in the middle of a chasm, the knight won't be able to drink out of it anymore.
- You Look Familiar: Ronald Lacey, who played Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark, appears uncredited as Heinrich Himmler at the book burning. Incidentally, Michael Sheard, who plays Hitler, was the runner-up to play Toht.
- You Were Trying Too Hard: While Indy and Henry Sr. are escaping from Castle Brunwald, Indy looks everywhere in a room to find a switch to reveal some sort of exit.
Henry: I find that if I just sit down to think...
(he sits down on a chair, which leans back and opens a stairwell which Indy falls into)
Indy: (yelling) Dad!
Henry: ...the solution presents itself!