"We're men We're men in tights, Always on guard, Defending the people's rights!"
— The Merry Men
Really, it was only a matter of time before Mel Brooks turned his sights on the venerable legend of Robin Hood and completely shredded it (again - see When Things Were Rotten). This anachronistic, irreverent romp through one of the best-known tales of the Western world runs roughshod over classic and modern adaptations alike, aiming most of its quips at Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves version but getting in a good many jabs at the classic Errol FlynnThe Adventures of Robin Hood as well.And unlike some other Robin Hoods, this one has an English accent! (Instead of an Australian, New Zealand, or American one, that is. It Will Never Catch On.)
This movie contains examples of:
Abhorrent Admirer: Latrine. Even her cardboard picture of Rottingham ends up cringing.
Angrish: The Sheriff of Rottingham, numerous times. Normally, he just transposes two words ("Over that boy hand"), or swaps syllables of words ("Struckey has loxed again"), or a little Pronoun Trouble ("I'll pay for this!") when mildly annoyed. But watching Robin and Marian kiss at the ball causes him to rant out the following sentence with every single word out of order.
KING ILLEGAL FOREST TO PIG WILD KILL IN IT A IS!!!
Cool and Unusual Punishment: As punishment for his treachery, King Richard names all the toilets in England after Prince John. Then he has him locked in the Tower of London. "Make him part of the tour."
Possibly justified in that younger audiences might not have seen Blazing Saddles.
Double Entendre: "People call me 'Little John'. But, in real life, between you and me, I ain't so little."
Droit du Seigneur: At the end, King Richard objects to the wedding of Robin and Marian on the basis that "I have not yet kissed the bride!" Less extreme than the usual example of this trope, but the same principle.
Robin Hood: Blinkin, listen to me. They've taken the castle! Blinkin: I thought it felt a bit drafty. Cor, this never would have happened if your father was alive. Robin Hood: He's dead? Blinkin: Yes. Robin Hood: And my mother? Blinkin: She died of pneumonia while... oh, you were away... Robin Hood: My brothers? Blinkin: They were all killed by the plague. Robin Hood: [sounding a little sadder] My dog, Pongo? Blinkin: Run over by a carriage. Robin Hood: [sounding a little more hopeful] My goldfish, Goldie? Blinkin: Eaten by the cat. Robin Hood: [on the verge of tears] My cat? Blinkin: Choked on the goldfish. [beat] Blinkin: Oh, it's good to be home, ain't it, Master Robin?
Sheriff of Rottingham: I challenge you... to a duel! (Sheriff slaps Robin Hood across the face with his glove. Robin then grabs a gauntlet from a suit of armor and slaps the Sheriff back, flooring him.) Robin Hood: I accept!
Honor Before Reason: Robin decides to fight Little John to cross the bridge, even though, as Ahchoo points out, it "ain't exactly the Mississippi." Robin insists that it's "the principle of the thing."
Incessant Music Madness: Prince John calls for the knights to stop Robin and his men. About 50 men in suits of armor start marching into the room from all sides, the clanging of their armor getting louder and louder and louder. After several minutes of this, Prince John, who has taken refuge under a table and is holding his ears, says, "I hope this is worth THE NOISE!!!"
Achoo: You don't have to do this. Look...this ain't exactly the Mississippi. (Jumping across for emphasis) I'm on one side... I'm on the other side! I'm on the east bank... I'm on the west bank! It is not that critical.
Knighting: One of the few things played straight. Robin Hood gets knighted by King Richard after the climax.
Land In The Saddle: Marian leaps from a balcony onto her horse. When her large lady-in-waiting attempts to do the same, her horse dodges. Given that she cracks the stones the horse was previously standing on, you can't blame the horse.
Brunhilde: Fahrvergkügel! If I vas you, I vould never do zat again! Any qvestions? (horse shakes its head) Gut.
Large Ham: King Richard. This should come as no shock, though, being played by Patrick Stewart. Prior to him, the Sheriff handles the rest of the movie's hamminess; more than half his lines are either intensely sinister whispers or resounding shouts.
Left the Background Music On: When Robin sings "The Night is Young" to Marian, some of the Merry Men join in as the background music. Marian keeps turning her head every time they pitch in, wondering where it's coming from.
Misplaced Wildlife: Like everything else in the movie, intentional and played for laughs. The 12th Century Fox that they use to send a messagenote i.e. a pun on "to fax" is a grey fox, which aren't native to England. To add to the absurdity, it makes the sound of a dolphin as it runs off. The "happy little bluebird" isn't a native species, either.
During the brawl at the feast, Blinkin gives Robin a drink, and as he downs it, he carries on a swordfight in this vein.
Offing The Annoyance: Almost invoked when a mime annoys the Sheriff to the point that he just shouts 'Kill him!', before he's stopped by Prince John, who says 'You know, a mime is a terrible thing to waste.'
Raging Stiffie: Robin's painful method of discovering Marian wears a chastity belt ("clang!"). Played for Laughs in a later scene where the scabbard of Robin's sword rises and creates a suggestive shadow.
Reading Ahead in the Script: When Lucky Lucha bests Robin, during Prince John's archery contest, by splitting his arrow. Robin literally pulls out the movie's script and quickly flips through it, 'til he finds where it says he gets another shot. Prince John and the Sheriff of Rottingham, along with the rest of the cast, consult their own copies and see that he's right. Cue Robin's "Patriot Arrow".
Running Gag: Robin lapsing into long-winded speeches, him and Maid Marian being prevented from kissing, people mistaking Achoo's name for a sneeze, the Sheriff's dyslexia, Prince John's mole moving around his face......
Shaggy Dog Story: Robin is revealed about midway through the film that he has the key to Maid Marian's chastity belt. By the end of the film, after defeating the Sheriff of Rottingham and marrying Maid Marian, when he and Marian finally prepare to do the deed, it turns out his key doesn't work... Apparently it wasn't the real key. Or Rottingham's attempts to break the lock open messed it up. Or Marian just spent too long in the bath. They decided to just call the locksmith.
Shotgun Wedding: Marian volunteers for one with Rottingham to save Robin from the gallows. Later, Rabbi Tuckman seems to think that Robin's gotten Marian pregnant (it's actually to get Brumhilde to quit cockblocking):
Rabbi: Married in a hurry! Please invite me to the bris.
Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Parodied: the Sheriff of Rottingham slaps Robin with a glove to challenge him to a duel, and Robin counters with an actual gauntlet by way of accepting the challenge. Rottingham then lays out the terms of the duel, which happen to include calling in a whole mess of guards.
Throw It In: The part where Achoo pumps up his sneakers during a fight came about because Dave Chapelle happened to be wearing the shoes on set along with his costume. At first, Mel Brooks pointed out that they were somewhat anachronistic, but decided to make a joke about it.