->''"Someone's taking all of these stories, and making them reality."''
-->-- '''Natalie'''

''Urban Legend'' is a 1998 SlasherMovie starring Creator/JaredLeto, Creator/AliciaWitt, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Creator/MichaelRosenbaum and Loretta Devine.

After the vitality boost given by the success of ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'', slashers returned to mainstream media and [[FollowTheLeader followers were sure to follow]]. ''Urban Legend'' is one of those followers, along with ''Film/IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer'' and ''Film/{{Valentine}}''.

The movie and its sequels ''Film/UrbanLegendsFinalCut'' and ''Film/UrbanLegendsBloodyMary'' all share a similar premise: someone is killing young adults, taking cues from well-known [[UrbanLegends urban legends]].
!!These examples happened to someone who knows someone you know:

* AdultsAreUseless: [[PoliceAreUseless And cops too]]. Averted by the campus police officer Reese Wilson, who represents both. She actually lampshades this trope:
-->'''Reese Wilson:''' You know what really chaps my hide? The way you pledged an oath to serve and protect -- and then you don't give a rat's ass when something really happens!
* AlliterativeName: Brenda Bates. [[spoiler:A possible reference to [[Film/{{Psycho}} Norman Bates]]...which fits perfectly]].
* AnAxeToGrind: The killer prefers an ax. [[spoiler:And as it later turns out, she fits the [[WomanScorned other sense]] [[{{Revenge}} of the phrase]] as well]].
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Michelle, Tosh, Damon, Parker, and the Dean.]]
%%* AxCrazy: The killer most definitely is.
* BestialityIsDepraved:
-->(Reese tells him that Damon is missing)
-->'''Dean Adams''': Missing? He's not missing! It's the weekend. He's most likely shacked up in some motel with a girl. Or a guy... farm animal... whatever! Weren't you ever eighteen?
-->'''Reese''': Not that kind of eighteen.
* BookEnds: The film ends as it started after opening credits, with a group of people discussing urban legends.
* CannotSpitItOut: In the film's opening, a gas station attendant tries to warn Michelle Mancini about the killer in her backseat but is unable to do this due to his stuttering.
* CarCushion: Damon drops into one.
%%* CrustyCaretaker: Pendleton University's janitor.
%%* CuteAndPsycho: [[spoiler:Brenda]]
* DangerTakesABackseat: The killer hides in the backseat of a car. Twice.
%%* DeathByMocking: Damon
* DeathBySex: Given the fact that she is the sluttiest girl of Pendleton University, it was inevitable for Tosh.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Brenda, the killer, not only gets away but is implied to have successfully killed everyone in the sequel.]]
* EvilAllAlong: The killer is revealed to be [[spoiler:Natalie's best friend, Brenda.]]
* EvilGloating: The killer enjoys taunting Natalie after each killing and during TheReveal.
* {{Expy}}: Most of the cast qualifies as Expies for characters from Scream-
** Natalie is obviously very much inspired by [[FinalGirl Sidney Prescott.]]
** Paul is [[IntrepidReporter Gale Weathers]], as both are reporters who initially take advantage of the killing sprees to help their careers before having a change of heart and helping solve them.
** Reese is [[PoliceAreUseless Dewey]], a seemingly inefficient but ultimately dedicated and surprisingly competent comic relief cop
*** In addition, [[spoiler: these three are the survivors of the movie, much like the Scream trio. Maybe.]]
** Of the others, Parker would be Stu and Tatum would be Sasha.
* FalseFriend: [[spoiler:Brenda is revealed to be this to Natalie.]]
* FinalGirl: [[spoiler:In the finale, Brenda has Natalie at her mercy, but she fights back and ultimately survives]].
%%* {{Goth}}: Tosh
* InTheHood: Killer dresses in a hooded parka.
%%* JumpScare: Plenty to go around.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Brenda is presumed dead after a climatic crash, but the final scene reveals she is very much alive and, due to her being presumed dead, seems to have gotten away with everything. And as revealed in the sequel, got a job as a nurse, of all things. She also asserts in the ending that the story was told incorrectly, and ''Final Cut'' claims she killed eight students. Ultimately, [[TheBadGuyWins she likely won]].]]
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:It's implied that Brenda succeeded in killing Natalie and Paul. Essentially confirmed in ''Final Cut'', where Reese says eight college students died. It'd be 6 if Paul and Natalie lived.]]
* MakeOutPoint: Damon tries to score with Natalie at one. Then the killer shows up and kills him.
%%* MenacingStroll
* MicrowaveTheDog: The killer does this to Hootie the dog in order to draw one of the victims out to kill him.
* MistakenForMurderer: In the opening scene, a woman mistakes a gas station attendant for this (or a rapist; it's not entirely clear) when he was really trying to warn her about the murderer [[spoiler:hiding in the backseat of her car]].
* MyCarHatesMe: Damon's car pulls this when he is being attacked.
* OffWithHisHead: Done, but not shown.
* OhCrap: [[spoiler:Natalie during the film's conclusion at Stanley Hall, upon realizing who Brenda really is.]]
* OrganTheft: This is one of the murder methods the killer plans to use. Of course, the killer admits that they are not too good at anatomy and will probably just grab the first major organ they see.
%%* PeekABooCorpse: Natalie runs into a row of these.
%%* ReallyGetsAround: Tosh
* RedHerring:
** [[spoiler:The Stanley Hall massacre of 1973]].
** Not to mention that two prominent horror film killers have roles. Professor Wexler is one early on. Not only was he [[spoiler:the sole survivor of the aforementioned Stanley Hall incident]], he frightens students in his class by describing two well-known urban legends, one of them reenacted by the killer later for a murder, and the fact that he's portrayed by [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Robert Englund]] doesn't help him avoid suspicion. [[spoiler:However, Wexler himself is later a victim.]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Natalie and Michelle had played a prank by blinking the headlights of their car to an unsuspecting driver, disorienting and accidentally killing him. The same driver turns out to be Brenda's beloved fiancé whose death had caused her to snap.]]
%%* SassyBlackWoman: Reese
%%* SchoolNewspaperNewsHound: Paul
* {{Tagline}}: "It happened to someone who knows someone you know. You're next."
* UnreliableNarrator: The ending reveals that the events of the film have become an urban legend at the school, and it's implied that the person telling the story is this. See [[Fridge/UrbanLegend Fridge Brilliance]] for more.