Film / Young Frankenstein

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"Life! Life! Do you hear me?! Give my creation... LIIIIIIIFE!!!"

Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder's loving parody of the classic Universal Horror films of the 1930s. Appearing in 1974, gorgeously shot in black and white using laboratory props from the original Frankenstein and starring a cast of brilliant comedic actors all at the very height of their talents, it is generally regarded as one of the funniest and most quotable movies ever made.

Wilder is Frederick Frankenstein ("That's Fronkensteen!"), grandson of the infamous mad scientist, who is determined to distance himself from the family legacy. When he inherits the family estate in Transylvania, he goes to inspect the property, where he encounters a household staff including the hunchbacked servant Igor (Marty Feldman) who insists on having his name pronounced "Eye-gor", nubile assistant Inga (Teri Garr), and mirthless housekeeper Frau Blücher (*WHINNY*) (Cloris Leachman). Discovering his grandfather's laboratory and private journals, Frederick becomes similarly obsessed with the idea of re-animating the dead, and with Igor's assistance steals the corpse of a recently-hanged criminal; he then assigns Igor with stealing the preserved brain of "scientist and saint" Hans Delbrück, but an accident leads to the brain's destruction and forces Igor to substitute an abnormal brain without Frederick's knowledge. The creature (Peter Boyle) is animated and proves to be uncontrollably violent, and then Frau Blücher, (*WHINNY*) who was Victor Frankenstein's lover, sets him free...

It is reported that the cast and crew had so much fun making this movie that they added in extra scenes just to keep it going.

In 2003, this movie was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance. Two other works by Mel Brooks share this honor, The Producers and Blazing Saddles. Young Frankenstein was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2007, albeit less successfully than The Producers a few years earlier.

And, since it keeps coming up, "Blücher" (*Whinny*) is not the German word for "glue"; it's just a common misconception.

The Market-Based Title for the film in Italy, France and Germany, Frankenstein Junior, is NOT To Be Confused With the actual Frankenstein Jr.


That's TROPE-EN-STEEN!:

  • Acting Unnatural: Igor begins to shamelessly flirt with Frankenstein's fiancee Elizabeth. Then Frankenstein walks up.
    Igor (whispers to Elizabeth): Say nothing. Act casual. (leans against wagon and aimlessly looks around)
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: One interpretation of what Igor's "dear old dad" was referring to when Igor apparently spent too much time in the bathroom.
    • A possible interpretation of what the couple(s) are arguing about during the train scenes - see Bilingual Bonus below.
  • Affectionate Parody: As noted, 1930s horror movies. Heavy emphasis on "affectionate," too.
  • Alliterative Name: Frederick Frankenstein, of course.
  • Amusing Injuries: Fredrick gets two: one when he accidentally sticks a scalpel in his leg during a lecture and again when he attempts to block the bookcase door with his body.
  • And Call Him "George"!: The Monster, a little girl and a seesaw. The result is of course a lot more humorous than the equivalent scene in the original movie.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: It's only in their first scene together that Elizabeth says "Not on the lips," to Freddy, and the reason is that she doesn't want her makeup smudged. She doesn't seem to want to be touched anywhere, lest she mess up her hair, her nails, her dress, etc. In the end she and Frederick say goodbye by shaking elbows. She even flinches when he blows her a kiss. And right after all that... the train rolls past and she's enveloped in a billowing cloud of black smoke.
  • Artificial Limbs: Inspector Kemp's wooden arm. Igor's hump could qualify, since it may not even be real.
  • Aside Glance: By Igor several times, and a couple of times by the Monster.
  • Asshole Victim: The policeman who torments the Monster while he's chained up and helpless. It's almost a relief when the Monster throttles him a moment later.
  • Berserk Button: Mentioning Frederick's relation to a famous cuckoo is not a good idea. He's also not tolerant of mistakes, like putting in Abby Normal's brain.
    Frankenstein: Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven-and-half-foot-long... fifty-four-inch-wide... GORILLA?!? (proceeds to throttle Igor)
  • Big Electric Switch: Multiple examples on the laboratory equipment.
    But I'm not going to be the first.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed/The Immodest Orgasm: Upon finding the Monster's enormous Schwanzstüke, there's "Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found yooou!"
  • Bilingual Bonus: As Frederick travels to Transylvania, there are two sets of arguing couples, one on each of both trains we see. The two couples that argue have exactly the same conversation, the first in English, the second in German.
    "(Harry/Hans), he was at it again last night."
    "What do you want me to do about it?"
    "Every night?!?"
    "Let him, let him!"
  • Black Comedy Rape: Elizabeth gets raped by the Monster. Then it turns out she enjoys his enormous Schwanzstüke and happily has more sex with him.
    "All right— seven always has been my lucky number!"
  • Blatant Lies: Frederick says to Igor "I will NOT be angry" ...and after the former admits that he supplied an abnormal brain, immediately tries to strangle him.
  • Blind and the Beast: The films parodies the blind-man scene in Bride of Frankenstein. Look carefully at this blind man, though: that's a young Gene Hackman. Gene plays it utterly straight. Even with the comedy gags, this one is still a touching scene.
  • Blind Mistake: The blind man does a lot of harm to the Monster. First he pours scalding-hot soup in the Monster's lap, then he smashes the Monster's mug full of wine, and finally he lights the Monster's thumb on fire.
  • Bluffing the Authorities: There's a scene where a cop happens upon Dr Frankenstein and Igor in the middle of grave robbing. They cover up the bodies in their cart, but one arm sticks out awkwardly, so Frankenstein has to lean against the cart just right to convince the cop it's his arm.
  • Bookcase Passage/Book Safe: Subverted when Frederick tries to open a secret door by moving a likely-looking book. He then inadvertently learns it's actually triggered by a candle-holder.
    Inga: Put ze candle back!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Igor in general. But especially in the "Quiet dignity and grace" scene.
    • Continued no less shamelessly in The Musical. Frederick, after the big number where his ancestors confront him over denying his heritage: "My relatives were crazy... so crazy... but boy could they dance!"
  • Bullying a Dragon: The prison guard when he discovers that the Monster is afraid of fire. Here's a piece of advice: If you're going to taunt a 7-foot tall, super-strong monster with anger issues, don't do so within arm's reach.
  • The Cameo: Gene Hackman as the blind man.
  • The Chew Toy: For a monster, The Monster has a string of painful things happen to him, especially caused by the blind hermit.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Completely deliberate.
  • Cobweb Jungle: In the passage leading to Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory and the laboratory itself.
  • Corpsing: Was understandably a problem throughout the shoot. In several scenes you can see Gene Wilder is just barely holding it together.
    • It's one of the rare films where the crew had issues with corpsing—the "baggage" scene made them laugh so hard that it ruined takes.
      • It actually saved one scene in the film! Brooks agreed that the "Puttin' On The Ritz" scene would only remain if he saw how much it made people laugh. He told the crew that, if they started chuckling, to cover their mouths with a handkerchief. Come the day of their shoot, there was not an uncovered mouth in the room and the scene stayed.
  • Creator Cameo: He never appears on screen (directly), but Mel Brooks provides off-screen voices in three places. According to Brooks, this was one of Gene Wilder's requests - that Brooks not appear onscreen in a cameo designed to break the fourth wall.
    • He does the howl of the "werewolf" as Frederick, Igor and Inga travel to the castle.
    • He provides the flashback voice of the original Dr. Frankenstein, as the main trio looks over the dusty equipment.
    • He ad-libbed the That Poor Cat screech when Frederick accidentally throws a dart out the window.
    • Brooks also 'appears' as one of the gargoyles of the castle, which was modeled after him.
  • Creating Life Is Bad: Completely averted. The problem is that Igor got "Abby Normal"'s brain for the monster, not that bringing him to life was inherently wrong.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: A scowling portrait of Victor Frankenstein is highly visible in Fredrick's room. When Frederick finds his grandfather's instructions and decides to continue his work, a lightning-illuminated close-up shows the portrait looking very pleased.
  • Creepy Housekeeper: Frau Blücher (*WHINNY!*) is the quintessential creepy housekeeper: as you may notice, every time her name is mentioned, horses rear in fear. Also, in regards to Victor Frankenstein: "He... vas... my... BOYFRIEND!"
  • Cue the Rain: You know how people tell you to keep going until you hit Rock Bottom? Well, this film demonstrates why.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: "PUH'IN ON DA REEEEEEEETZ!"
  • Dead Man's Chest: Frankenstein and Igor are trying to hide a body in a wagon, but the arm is still sticking out when someone comes along. Frankenstein places himself in such a way as to pretend the arm is his, and Hilarity Ensues.
    "You're chilled to the bone!"
    • And in a more Visual Pun, the film opens with a (very) dead skeleton clutching a chest.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Elizabeth, although it's more a case of getting hit with a blowtorch.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: To better parody the original Frankenstein movies. (This was so important to the filmmakers that they took the project to 20th Century Fox after originally conscripted studio Columbia balked at the prospect of it being in black-and-white.)
    • "In black and white! No offense." — Mel Brooks, narrating the film's trailer.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Frederick accepts his initial failure with quiet dignity and grace.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Averted — during the Walk This Way scene, Igor shows Frederick what he means. It doesn't ruin the joke at all, though. Supposedly, this gag was the inspiration for the Aerosmith song of the same name.
    • In point of fact, it worked so well, it's something of a Running Gag for Mel Brooks. It shows up in most (if not all) of his films. The walk is different, but the joke is always the same.
  • Einstein Hair: Frederick has it.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kemp has one. The funny thing is how he must wear a monocle over it.
  • Expy: Inspector Kemp is one for Inspector Krogh from the Son of Frankenstein.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Igor managed to miss that the brain he selected to be placed in a seven and a half foot tall gorilla was labeled "Abnormal". If that wasn't enough, the sign also read "Do not use this brain!"
  • Fictional Document: How I Did It by Victor Frankenstein.
  • Foreign Cuss Word:
    • "He would have an enormous Schwanzstücke!"
    • "Wuff!"
  • Frankenstein's Monster: This one has his head attached with zippers instead of bolts. It's also a single corpse with a different brain installed instead of a full Mix-and-Match Man.
  • Fresh Clue: When the main trio follow mysterious violin music into a secret room, they find a cigar smoldering in an ashtray.
  • Freudian Slip: Frederick introduces his fiance to Inga as his "financier", then hastily corrects himself.
  • Funny Background Event: Most scenes with Igor have him mugging or doing something strange in the background.
  • Gag Boobs: "What knockers!" Subverted. Dr. Frankenstein is talking about the actual knockers. On the doors.
  • Gag Penis: The Monster's enormous Schwanzstüke, mentioned three times.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: So many Double Entendres and sex references, but all subtly enough to get away with a PG rating, although it was released before PG-13 was established - it probably would have qualified for that rating had it existed at the time.
    • In the UK it originally received a AA rating(14 and over without adult accompaniment). On its first release on video it received a 15 and then received a massive downgrade to PG in 2000.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Frederick's great-grandfather's work was DOO-DOO!
  • Grave Clouds: Parodied when Dr. Frankenstein and Igor are digging up a body. After a most unfortunate comment by Igor ("Could be worse...Could be raining"), it starts to rain.
  • Grave Robbing: Dittos for how they got the corpse.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: How I Did It, by Victor Frankenstein
  • Groin Attack: Frederick does this to a volunteer to demonstrate the effect of shutting down a group of nerves. (Temporarily. Poor fellow.)
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Inga, espcially in The Musical. "Listen To Your Heart" helps her calm down Frederick; this performance by Sutton Foster as Inga also allows for this.
  • Hair-Trigger Sound Effect: (*beat*) BLUCHER! *whinny* *grins*
  • Heir Club for Men: Double Subversion. In a deleted scene from the film, we see the official reading of the Baron's will, which Frederick cannot attend. In the will, the Baron leaves everything to two cousins (one male, one female), a niece, a nephew, and a "bosom friend" and her daughter, in equal shares - unless, in the unlikely event that his great-grandson Frederick (only 10 at the time of the will's creation) chooses to go into medicine, and becomes a respected expert in his field of study. Needless to say, the attending members of the family are not pleased to discover that the reason Frederick is absent is his prior obligation to give a lecture called "Functional Areas of the Cerebrum with Relation to the Skull."
    • Played straight however, in that the Baron gives everything to Frederick, without thinking to bequeath anything to his granddaughter, Frederick's mother.
  • High-Class Glass: Kemp's monocle is memorably paired with an eyepatch. That he wears over the same eye.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Monster and Elizabeth.
  • Hollywood Torches: Outside Castle Frankenstein. Done deliberately.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After what seems to be the failed attempt at resurrecting the dead, Frederick states that it is better to accept both loss and success with "quiet dignity and grace," then promptly loses his shit and takes out his frustration on the monster, choking and hitting the corpse all while screaming incoherently; all of this is lampshaded by Igor who just repeats Frederick's "quiet dignity and grace" line.
  • Identical Grandson: The Frankensteins. Also Igor as well, probably.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: "Iff I could just giff you a little peace!" (Frankenstein moans.)
  • The Igor: Heavily, heavily parodied by Marty Feldman. So much that he's the Trope Namer.
    • As well as Christopher Fitzgerald originally in The Musical. He takes it Up to Eleven when Igor leads the village in "Transylvania Mania" to distract them from the Monster's moaning—and it gets worked into the number, with Frederick and Inga joining in.
  • Instant Sedation: The unnamed sedative that Inga uses on the monster knocks it out within seconds. But first Frederick has to instruct her to use it through charades because he's being throttled by the monster.
  • Instant Thunder: Could be worse. Could be raining.
  • Insufferable Genius: Frederick has his moments.
  • In the Blood: "Des-ti-ny! Des-ti-ny! No es-caping that for me!"
    • Also something of a subversion; Frederick is doing just fine escaping the family tradition (aside from a hamtastic moment in his lecture on neurobiology) until his great-grandfather's will and then his "servant" Frau Blücher (*WHINNY*) railroad him into it.
    • The Musical also has "Join the Family Business" as a number where the ghosts of Victor Von Frankenstein and other ancestors iron that point home.
  • Iris Out: There is an Iris In effect when Elizabethwakes up in the cave.
  • It Is Pronounced Fronken-STEEN: An extended gag with Frederick and Igor.
    Igor: Dr. Frankenstein…
    Frankenstein: Fronken-steen.
    (beat)
    Igor: You’re putting me on.
    Frankenstein: No, it’s pronounced Fronkensteen.
    Igor: Do you also say Froderick?
    Frankenstein: No… Frederick.
    Igor: Well, why isn’t it Froderick Fronkensteen?
    Frankenstein: It isn’t. It’s Frederick Fronkensteen.
    Igor: I see.
    Frankenstein: You must be Igor (pronounces it as Eeee-gor).
    Igor: No, it’s pronounced EYE-gor.
    Frankenstein: But they told me it was EE-gor.
    Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren’t they?
    • Frederick reverses himself, proudly taking on the traditional pronunciation when he starts working on the monster.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Deliberately, this being a Mel Brooks film. The movie takes place in Transylvania (located in Romania), but the townsfolk generally have bad German or Cockney accents. Kemp's is so terrible that his own countrymen have trouble understanding him.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After the horses Running Gag is established, Igor stays around, listening intently, and says, "... Blücher." (*WHINNY*) Then grins with satisfaction.
  • Large Ham:
    • Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein.
    • Marty Feldman as Igor could also count, as he's clearly having fun as Igor (EYE-gor).
    • Kenneth Mars as Inspector Kemp.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Frederick to I-gor upon learning about "Abby Normal"'s brain.
    Frederick: Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven-and-half-foot-long.. fifty-four-inch-wide.. GORILLA?!?
  • Locked into Strangeness: Elizabeth's white streak and hairdo after being abducted by the Monster. Also a homage to Bride of Frankenstein, naturally.
  • The Madness Place: Frederick enters this state after reading Victor's instructive book, and while creating his monster, though it fizzles out after the experiment seems to fail. A deleted scene shows it can be induced by the family lullaby.
  • Mad Scientist: Frederick eventually lives up to this trope fully as part of his Character Development-with one critical difference from his forebears, he recognizes the consequences of his actions and actually attempts to mitigate them.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Frederick find the old grandad's laboratory hidden in the castle.
  • Mondegreen: Likely intentional, given the movie's director. The last word in the following sentence could be heard as "chat" or "shit":
    Kemp: I think the thing for me to do is to pay a visit to young Frankenstein, und to have a nice, quiet schet.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Frau Blücher (*WHINNY*) is able to calm the Monster down by playing the violin. Later, it is used to lure him to capture.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gene Wilder gets one. On the DVD commentary, Brooks says this was to keep the film in the structure of classic Yiddish theater, where act two always ends with either "What have I done?" or "She's pregnant!"
  • Mythology Gag: The book "How I Did It". In the original Frankenstein novel, we never do hear any details of just how the monster was brought to life. All the stuff with the lightning and stolen brains was added in later adaptations. Some of the lines he reads from the book are taken directly from the novel, however.
    • A subtle one occurs when Frederick announces that he and his creature will make the greatest contribution to science "since the creation of fire". The full title of the original book was Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Prometheus being the Greek Titan who brought fire to mankind.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Just saying "Frau Blücher" (*WHINNY*) causes horses to rear up in fright. Just the name; the woman's actual presence doesn't bother them at all.
  • Neck Lift: The Monster, to the police officer tormenting him.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: "SEDAGIVE!?!"
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Most of the villagers in Transylvania. (Strangely, one exception is a young boy.)
  • No Matter How Much I Beg:
    • "..I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one?! HA-HA-HA-HA!!''"
    • "OPEN THIS GODDAMN DOOR OR I'LL KICK YOUR ROTTEN HEADS IN!!!"
    • "MOMMY!!"
  • Nuclear Candle: Subtly parodied with candelabra-bearing Frau Blücher's (*WHINNY*) comment "Stay close to the candles, the staircase can be treacherous." None of the candles are in fact lit.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: During final preparations to reanimate the monster, Igor is up on the roof.
    Frederick: Now tie off the kites and hurry down as fast as you can.
    Igor: What's the hurry?
    Frederick: There's a possibility of electrocution! Do you understand?
    Igor: [looks down through the skylight]
    Frederick: I say: There's a possibility of electrocution! Do you understand?!
    Igor: [now stepping in from offscreen next to Frederick] I understand, I understand! Why are you shouting?
    [Frederick looks back up at the skylight and does a double take]
    Frederick: Did you...Did you tie off the kites?
    Igor: Of course.
  • On One Condition: A deleted scene explains how Frederick inherited the estate of his very distant and disliked great-grandfather: said Baron Frankenstein had left his estate to his much closer relatives, naming each of them specifically, to be divided up evenly, unless Frederick had of his own choosing become a doctor and achieved some esteem in his field. As this had indeed happened, all the money and property went to him. The idea was that the Baron wanted to give his inheritance to someone who would have some chance of erasing the stain on his family name.
    • Frederick also had to meet the terms before the day Baron Frankenstein would become one hundred years old. Said Baron Frankenstein left instructions that his will was not to be read until then.
  • Parlor Games: Charades are used to inefficiently get an important point across.
  • Parody Assistance: Props were recycled from the 1931 version of Frankenstein. Done not to save money but as an homage to the original film. It actually cost them quite a bit to use them.
  • Passed-Over Inheritance: Baron Frankenstein had closer relations than a distant great-grandson but they got nothing because he felt Frederick redeemed the family name by becoming a respected doctor.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Igor whacks one piece of machinery that doesn't turn off with the rest.
  • Personality Swap: Done partially and deliberately.
  • Pig Latin: "Ixnay on the ottenray!"
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Kemp: Und now, let us all go back to my place for a little spongecake, und a little vine, und - (his wooden arm pops off) - Ah, shit!
  • Pretty in Mink: Socialite Elizabeth has a few furs. Inga gets to wear a silver fox cape during the ill-fated presentation of the monster.
  • Produce Pelting: During Frederick and the Monster's performance. Definitely a parody of the trope, as the posh, well-to-do looking men pull the rotten cabbages straight out of their dress suits.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Numerous examples, such as when Frederick tells the Monster, "You are not evil. You. Are. GOOD!"
  • Punny Name: "Abby someone... Abby Normal".
  • Rabble Rouser:
    • At a town meeting one of the townspeople tries to stir up a lynch mob against the newest Baron Frankenstein.
    Townsman: He's a Frankenstein! And they're all alike. It's in their blood. They can't 'elp it. All those scientists, they're all alike. They say they're working for us. What they really want is to rule the world!
    • Later on Inspector Kemp (an authority figure who had earlier argued against violence) changes his mind.
    Kemp: A riot is an ugly thing. Und I think that it is just about time that we had one!
  • Reluctant Monster: The Monster even more than the original
  • Repeat After Me: "Walk this way." And the line inspired Aerosmith's song.
  • Retraux: Brooks went through a lot of effort to make the film look as close to a 1930s production as possible. The most obvious aspect of this is being black and white. Brooks initially worked with Columbia Studios as the production company, but soon took the film to Fox because Columbia insisted on filming in colour.
  • Reverse Polarity: Apparently this is the ultimate secret to raising the dead. Either that or Victor plugged his equipment in backwards at first, the scene isn't clear.
  • Robbing the Dead: In the first scene, a ledger is taken from the coffin of the late Beaufort von Frankenstein. A deleted scene shows this is actually part of reading his will, which he made unnecessarily complicated just to mess with people.
  • Rock Bottom: Frederick Frankenstein and Igor are digging up a grave.
    Frankenstein: What a filthy job!
    Igor: Could be worse.
    Frankenstein: How?
    Igor: Could be raining.
    (Thunderclap. Torrents of rain.)
  • Roll in the Hay: Inga invites Fronkenstein "to roll in ze hay" with her. She means it literally.
  • Running Gag: BLÜCHER! *WHINNY!*
    • Igor's hump always changing positions between shots.
  • Scary Stitches: Spoofed with the Monster, who uses zippers instead.
  • The Scottish Trope: "Blücher!" ''*WHINNY!*''
  • Science Is Bad: Subverted. Fredrick wants to avoid really new fields out of fear of becoming the latest example of this in his lineage, but unlike his namesake actually treats the monster with respect, care, and eventually puts himself at risk to repair his brain, leading the monster to become a normal, friendly member of society.
  • Seesaw Catapult: While wandering the countryside, the monster meets a little girl and plays with her. They get on a teeter-totter and when the monster sits down on it, the little girl is flung through the air and miraculously lands on the bed in her bedroom, to the relief of her parents.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "It's Frahnk-en-steen!"
  • Shaggy Search Technique: "Put - the candle - back!" Part of the parody is that Dr. Frankenstein was using legitimate means to search for it before the trope kicked in
  • Shaming the Mob: The Monster himself does it, with a speech mostly cribbed out of Shelley's original book.
  • The Shill: Mr. Hilltop, the human guinea pig whom Dr. Frankenstein claims to have never met, receives an extra dollar for his assistance.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: When Frederick's train pulls in, he asks a shoeshine boy, "Pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania Station?" The boy replies "Ja, ja. Track 29. Oh, can I give you a shine?" This is a Shout-Out to the 1941 song "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
  • Shout-Out: To Groucho Marx and Glenn Miller, among others.
  • Silly Will: The aged Baron Beaufort von Frankenstein leaves instructions that his estate shall be given to his distant great-grandson rather than shared among a cadre of mooching relatives if said great-grandson has become a respected doctor of his own accord. One of the relatives tries to pass this clause off as insanity but the executor reminded her that civilization is based on law. The scene was removed from the final film.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: first, Frederick and Inga. Later, Elizabeth and the Monster.
    • The Musical gave the song "Deep Love" where Elizabeth sings about it, and the Monster also reprises the song in "Finale Ultimo" and proposes to her in his version. She accepts.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The somber musical score is squarely at odds with the screwball tone of the film, yet somehow works perfectly well.
    • Mel intentionally kept the fact that the film was a comedy secret from the composer, resulting in serious music to a seriously funny movie.
  • Stand-In Head: Igor pretends to be one of the heads in the lab in order to surprise Inga and Frankenstein.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Igor. It's never explained how he got down so easily from the top of the lab to Frederick's side and why his hump always changes positions
  • Sting: "Call it a... hunch! Ba-dump tsch!"
  • Stock Sound Effects: Castle Thunder, repeatedly throughout the movie.
    • Also a Shout-Out, given that the stock thunder sound effect used in movies for decades was created for the original Frankenstein.
  • Tempting Fate: Go back until you reach Rock Bottom.
  • That Poor Cat: Hit with a dart.
    • Bonus points for being a Throw It In! moment Mel Brooks improvised while shooting the scene.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Parodied; as the monster tries to climb up the castle, Frederick keeps Igor and Inga from helping him, saying "He wants to do it himself!" The monster's expression might as well be saying "No I don't, help me!"
  • Thunder Equals Downpour: Go back until you reach Rock Bottom.
  • Title Drop: It's hard to catch thanks to Kemp's accent slurring the sentence, but it's there:
    Inspector Kemp: Und... ve had better cunfeeeerm de fect that yung Fronkenshtein ish indeed... vallowing in his grandfadder's footshtops!
    • The song "Join the Family Business" in The Musical ends in a very blatant one. "Do not make a fuss!/There's nothing to discuss/You must be one of us,/young Fraaaankensteeeiiin!"
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "A riot is an ugly thing. Und, I think that it's just about time that we had vun!!"
    • Also an Ironic Echo, since he'd earlier solemnly cautioned the townspeople about the dangers of a riot. ... Well, as solemnly as he could with that accent.
    • They turn out to be an incredibly reasonable example. When they storm the laboratory only to be confronted by the newly intelligent Monster they... accept him with open arms and then leave without incident.
  • To The Bat Noun: "To the lumberyard!!"
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Frederick has a hard time since his fiancee is so "delicate".
  • The Unintelligible: Inspector Kemp borders on this, even with his fellow countrymen. (See Title Drop above.)
    • The Monster also qualifies before Frederick gives him some of his intelligence. The Musical uses this for effect for two numbers:
      • "Transylvania Mania" has Igor, Frederick and Inga trying to cover up The Monster's musical moaning with the song and later, the village joins in as well as a trombone.
      • "Puttin' On The Ritz" has The Monster do a scat-singing solo, showing he knows the tune even if he can't say the words.
  • Tuckerisation:
    • The Gasthaus, or guest house at the beginning of the riot scene is Gasthaus Gruskoff, named after producer Michael Gruskoff.
    • The name on the third brain when Igor makes his selection is that of the movie's assistant property master, Charles Sertin.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Schwanzstucker", which is semi-accurate Yiddish; "schwanz" is indeed a word used to refer to the male member.
  • Video Will: Frederick Frankenstein's great-grandfather left a recorded message in an actual record. Turns into Broken Record, where, after the news of their not getting any inheritance has been relayed, the will gets stuck on the unfortunate phrase - "Up yours... Up yours... Up yours..."
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While most of the movie's antagonists are played as silly, one policeman who tormented The Monster with his fear of fire is notably played very seriously. (It's implied that he does it For the Evulz.) This is jarring compared to the light-heartedness of the rest of the film, though it helps to establish him as an Asshole Victim.
  • The Von Trope Family: Frederick's great-grandfather, Baron von Frankenstein.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Elizabeth faints when the monster kidnaps her (we only hear her scream from offscreen, but then see the monster carrying her in classic horror movie style) and is visually upset when she wakes up in a cave.
  • Walk This Way: Igor convinces Frederick to follow him down a set of stairs in his hunched over gait. Frederick's expression makes it clear that he can't believe he was convinced to do that.
  • Wham Line: Frankenstein is almost finished giving half of his mind to the monster when the rioters burst in to kill him. It looks like he was a minute too late...
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: At the beginning and end of the movie.
    • A very subtle gag - if you count them, the clock actually strikes thirteen!
  • Whole Plot Reference: The film is specifically a parody of Son of Frankenstein more than any other movie. The inspector with the wooden arm and the part where he talks with Frankenstein while playing darts are a direct lift.
  • Wipe: Some scene transitions happen via left-to-right linear wipe.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The Monster's creation.
  • You Just Had to Say It: A silent one occurs following the exchange listed above under Rock Bottom, when Frederick turns to stare at Igor...
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Between the good doctor and Inspector Kemp:
    Inspector Kemp: Then I may give the villagers your complete assurance that you have no interest whatsoever in continuing your grandfather's work?
    Monster: (in background) MMMMMMM!
    Inspector Kemp: May I take that for a yes?
    Frederick: ...Mmm.

Tropes specific to the musical:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Lampshaded by Frederick when he's about to be hanged. It appears to be subverted after the doctor is actually hanged, but Elizabeth returning and the monster using his intelligence to save Frederick saves the day.
    Isn't there anyone who could save me at the last second?!
  • Dark Reprise: "Frederick's Soliloquy" has the same tune as "Life, Life" (where Frederick is trying to coax Fate to let the Monster he's assembled live), but the village is about to hang him, and here he's accepted who he finally is without regrets. The newly-intelligent Monster realizes the hanged Frederick is unconscious, not dead, and is able to revive him.
  • Gag Penis: In addition to the monster's enormous Schwanzstüke, the late Victor von Frankenstein once won a three-legged race all by himself.
  • Here We Go Again: In the final number of the musical, Frederick is approached by a Dracula Expy inquiring about the castle. Frederick says it isn't for sale. He's planning to live there, because:
    I'm going to join the family business,
    Learn the family trade,
    Make another monster,
    Make the world afraid!
    We can take a hayride when we're on our honeymoon,
    And make the Son of Frankenstein, the sequel's coming soon!
    • And in the finale:
      Together again til the next time
      We're mighty glad that you came
      Like Byron and Shelley
      Like pickles and deli
      Like ping-pong and paddles
      Maybe next year, Blazing Saddles!!
  • "He Vas" Song": Frau Blücher (*WHINNY*)has a song about Victor in the Musical, complete with Evil Laugh and vamping by Andrea Martin for "He Vas My Boyfriend." Doubles as a Villain Song as she hints he wasn't too nice a guy other than the sex.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: From "Listen To Your Heart"
    As for Immanuel Kant, all the girls in town knew that Kant, kouldn't.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: "The Happiest Town in Town"
  • Real Joke Name: Frederick claims to have once been a Wiffenpoof while at Yale during "Together Again". Strange as it may seem to anyone who didn't go to an Ivy League school, the Wiffenpoofs are a real student a capella chorus group based at Yale University.
  • Reprise Medley: "Finale Ultimo".
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Implied in a Getting Crap Past the Radar line in "Please Don't Touch Me"
    Elizabeth: Oh, Frederick, I know you're a virgin.
    Frederick: Yes, science has always come first.
    Elizabeth: And as every guy in New York knows, I come first too.
  • Tempting Fate: "I may just be the village idiot, but what are the odds of a New York doctor ever coming to Transylvania?"
  • Trauma Button: Because of what happened to him back at the lab, the monster is terrifies of fire. It also sends him into a violent frenzy.

...Blücher! (*WHINNY*)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/YoungFrankenstein