A series of films (and Expanded Universe) produced by famous directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, which were inspired by the 1930s cliffhanger serials, and which (re)popularized the Adventurer Archaeologist. Armed with little more than a bullwhip and attitude ("little more" in this case meaning a .455 Webley), Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) discovers long-lost MacGuffins, fights Those Wacky Nazis over them and makes love to the Girl of the Week. With the fourth film, produced 20 years later, the homage shifts to include Dirty Communists, 50's creatures and sci-fi films.There are four films, the first three of which are set before WWII. Lucas and Spielberg are known to be working on a fifth film, which would fit with their original deal with Paramount.The Indiana JonesExpanded Universe consists of the normally expected items: television series, novels, pinballs, and video games, plus the most definitely unusual ride at Disneyland.The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a TV series produced by George Lucas in the early 1990s. Initially taking the form of hour-long episodes, the show chronicled the adventures of Indy as a young man, principally at the ages of 10 (as played by Corey Carrier) and 16-up (as played by Sean Patrick Flanery). The Carrier episodes focus on Indy touring the globe alongside his parents as part of a world lecture tour given by his father, while the Flanery episodes primarily deal with Indy’s service in World War One (in just about every theater!). In each episode, Indy would meet some famous person from the early 20th century, and learn some sort of moral lesson (yes, Lucas very openly intended the series as edutainment). Notably, the show aired in a very Anachronic Order, with Carrier's and Flanery's episodes often alternating. Each episode was also initially introduced by a 93-year old Indy with an eyepatch. One episode however, had a bearded Harrison Ford introduce the adventure.George Lucas prided Young Indy on managing a film-level quality production on a television budget, helped by revolutions in digital technology, and he has said that the show was partly a test to see how far he could take the later Star Warsprequels. Also like Star Wars, the series was subject to subsequent furious re-editing by Lucas, the new cuts first showing up during re-airings in the late '90s. This re-cut version, which is the only one currently available on DVD, is known as The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. The Adventures combines the Chronicles episodes into two-hour tele-movies, two shows per film (often in a quite different, and much more strictly chronological, order than in the original airings). Notably, none of the Old Indy bookends are featured in the Adventures (though Harrison Ford's cameo survived the cuts).The franchise is also fondly remembed for the two LucasArts adventure games it spawned: an adaptation of the third movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, and an original cinematic adventure story, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in 1992. The latter had the Fan Nickname of Indy 4 for many years, creating speculation that it would be made into a film.Three platformer-style adventure games followed, Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures in 1994, Infernal Machine in 1999, and Emperor's Tomb in 2003. In 2008, LEGO Indiana Jones was released, covering the events of the entire film series, but using characters and settings made entirely of virtual LEGO blocks, of course. Another Video Game, Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings, was released in 2009.There have also been two Indypinball machines. The first, Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure, was released by Williams Electronics in 1993, and features twelve scenes from the original trilogy. The second one was released by Stern Pinball in 2008. Named simply Indiana Jones, it focuses on collecting the various artifacts of the films."Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye", a dark ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has you boarding Jeeps. You get, depending on which path isn't occupied, tons of gold/a drink from the Fountain of Youth/sight into the future, so long as you don't look into the eyes of a giant gold head of a god. Someone, of course, looks, and you're on your way through a cave full of lava, snakes, and traps. The ride could fit anywhere into the continuity, really. A similar ride is at Tokyo Disney Sea, Temple of the Crystal Skull, changing to a South American setting with a sinister Crystal Skull and wind effects replacing the fire and lava. Finally, there's Disneyland Paris' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril rollercoaster, which was notably once set to send the cars going backwards for several years.While Walt Disney World didn't get their own Indiana Jones ride, Hollywood Studios DID get the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!", a live action stunt show with massive sets that shows their own take on famous scenes from Raiders: the temple adventure from the intro, the Cairo marketplace and kidnapping of Marion (complete with an exploding truck), and the fight scene on, in, and around a Nazi airplane. This show is completely non-canon as it's dressed up as a "film shoot" of Raiders with the stunt performers claiming to be the actual stunt doubles for the actors. The show includes audience participation (including audience members being taken as "extras" for the Cairo scene), pyrotechnics, various physical stunts, and demonstrations of how different stunts are performed.Between the games, the TV show, the ride and the movies, Indiana Jones has become one of THE most popular and recognizable characters in a hundred years. Indeed, if adventure has a name...
Agent Scully: In Crystal Skull, Indy is a big skeptic about the existence of alien races, and in Raiders, considers the Ark of the Covenant nothing but a fancy gold box, until the end when he insists that he and Marion avert their eyes.
Artifact of Death: The main MacGuffins in three of the four films: the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail if you take it from its resting place, the false Grails, and the Crystal Skull. However, it's worth noting that having pure motives appears to get you out of being harmed by any of them: Indy uses the Grail to cure his father, and suffers no ill effects, while Elsa tries taking it for her own glory and dies for it. The Shankara stones are similar: they only actually do harm to Mola Ram, while they bring the Indian village to its former life.
Audible Sharpness: Indy's bullwhip. Technically, whips in real life have been described to sound like a gunshot when they are cracked, but not to the absurd loudness that the original trilogy, specifically Raiders, makes them out to be.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Almost once a movie. Because Belloq, Elsa, Walter Donovan, and Irina Spalko got exactly what they wanted, hysterical screams of terror notwithstanding. Mola Ram is the only one who seemed to be messing with powers that he actually did understand, and even he ended up guffing it up in the end. Lampshaded by Indy in Crystal Skull when he tells Irina "Careful, you may get exactly what you wish for."
Played for laughs in Temple of Doom, where Indy, after having stopped a mining cart with his foot and resulting in his boot smoking, hops on his good foot and cries out "Water! Water!". Mere seconds later...
Bowties Are Cool: If you're going to teach at Princeton, you'd better look the part. Henry Jones and Marcus Brody are also fond of wearing these.
Cataclysm Climax: In The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Fate of Atlantis.
Character Development: Jones is noticeably more mature and less greedy by the time of the The Last Crusade, especially when compared with his shady treasure hunter in the chronologically earliest Temple of Doom. It goes even further when you watch the Young Indy series.
The Ark of the Covenant can be seen from inside a broken crate during the warehouse fight in the 4th movie. In fact, the Ark's Letimotif plays throughout that scene.
The third movie has Indy and Elsa Schneider seeing a painting of the Ark, which Indy identifies (complete with a few notes from the Leitmotif of the Ark added to the soundtrack).
Elsa: What's that? Indy: Ark of the Covenant. Elsa: Are you sure? Indy: Pretty sure.
An almost identical exchange takes place between Indy and Sophia in the Fate of Atlantis game.
Also one to the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles where young Indy is kidnapped by Pancho Villa.
In Raiders, Indiana Jones escapes pursuit from the Nazis by hiding the truck he was driving, along with the Ark in it, in an alcove of a crowded market place, which is immediately hidden by his friends to blend into the rest of the surroundings. Later in the third film, undoubtedly having learned from Indy, the Nazis play this trick in reverse to capture Marcus Brody.
Cool Horse: Ridden by Indy. The white one from Raiders and the black one from The Last Crusade.
Cool Old Guy: Henry Jones Sr. in the third, Indy himself in the fourth.
And the Grail Knight stayed in a small cavern with only one book for centuries to guard a magic cup.
Crossover Cosmology: In the films alone, Indy has personal experience with an active Judeo-Christian God, active Hindu gods, extraterrestrials, and psychic phenomena.
Cukoloris: Spielberg is particularly fond of using this lighting effect in the Indy movies.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Indy hides the truck carrying the Ark of the Covenant by disguising it as a Cairo fruit stand (Raiders of the Lost Ark). The Nazis, not to be fooled a second time, kidnap Brody by luring him into a truck that's disguised as a building (The Last Crusade).
Distinctive Appearances: That's exactly why he has his fedora. During the creation of the character, the concept artists found that the fedora added a highly distinct look, silhouette, and appearance to the character. Indy could be in a crowded room with his back towards the audience (as he usually is when he's introduced in some of the movies) and he'd still stand out heroically. As well, the fedora allowed the character to be visible from further away such as during the bridge scene in Temple of Doom. On a more critical analysis, the fedora also marks the transition from Henry Jones Jr to Indiana Jones, and it's also a great way to hide the transition from Harrison Ford to Harrison Ford's Stunt Double. This is also why most scenes have him wearing the hat except when he's being just a teacher — him taking it off would be like going back to his secret identity.
Dressing as the Enemy: Appears in several of the movies, and is poked fun at in Raiders, where Indy dons the ill-fitting outfit of a German soldier in the U-boat pen. Then punches out an officer who calls him a disgrace in German and steals his uniform.
Expy: Avoided in the films. As one of Indy's characteristics was to be a Chick Magnet and as a result to have a new love interest in each movie, Spielberg and Lucas made their best effort to make any new girl as different as possible from the previous one. Kate Capshaw even had to dye her natural brown hair blonde to play Distressed Damsel Willie Scott in Temple of Doom, as the also brown-haired Karen Allen had played Action Girl Marion Ravenwood in Raiders.
Willie and Elsa are actually Expies of Lucas's original concept for the love interest of Raiders as a "Marlene Dietrich-type German lady singer/double agent". Willie is a singer and dancer; Elsa is German [Austrian] and a double agent (though loyal to the wrong side, unlike the girl Lucas first envisioned).
Played straight in the expanded universe however, where Sophia Hapgood has evolved gradually into a fake Marion Ravenwood with psychic powers. In the Dark Horse comic Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient (which is basically a retelling of Temple of Doom with elements of Raiders in it) she doesn't even have psychic powers anymore. There is also an Expy of Short Round in this comic, Khamal, which is different only in that he is Lebanese instead of Chinese and a Knife Nut rather than a Kung Fu fighter.
Janice Le Roi from the "Tomb of the Gods" comics ends up being an Expy of all three love interests from the films: she's streetwise and tough as nails (Marion), she's VERY fond of the high life (Willie), and at one point she works with the Nazi Ahnenerbe agents to meet her own ends (Ilsa).
In the TV series episode Palestine, October 1917, that takes place in the Middle East during World War One, Indiana is helped in a mission by a local agent that is very much like Sallah. He is not however, as revealed by being named Kazim in the credits.
Yet the head of the Sword Brotherhood in the third film was named Kazim... Interesting?
Family-Unfriendly Violence: The first two films would be rated PG-13 nowadays, and even then would still skirt the R rating. Raiders had to make a few cuts to avoid that, and Temple of Doom was one of the driving factors for the MPAA to create PG-13 in the first place.
Fanfare: The main theme is actually a mix of two fanfares the John Williams wrote. It was suggested he just combine them.
Franchise-Driven Retitling: You may have noticed above a shift in the names. Once the franchise's popularity was secured, a franchise wide titling pattern of "Indiana Jones and the..." was introduced. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was later renamed to "Indiana Jones and the Raiders Of The Lost Ark".
Also occurs at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Elsa finds herself having to choose between reaching for the grail or letting Indiana pull her up. She decides to reach and falls to her death when her hand slips from its glove. Indy then faces the exact same situation, but is ultimately convinced by his father to "let it go."
Generation Xerox: Indy receives his scar on the chin through his trademark weapon The Whip, and Mutt receives his scar on his right cheek through his trademark weapon The Sword.
This is the entire reason that Mutt's character was a greaser. He was originally supposed to be a geek, but it was decided that it would be better if he was a Rebel Without a Cause, so Indiana would have an idea of what his father had to put up with when raising him.
Genre Savvy: Even if what he does is basically a throwback to adventure serials, Indy is oftentimes fully aware of what NOT to do in a given situation, unless it just can't be avoided.
Giant Mook: Several. In the first three movies, all were played by the same actor, Pat "Bomber" Roach.
Girl of the Week: Played straight in the original films, but averted by Crystal Skull.
I Know Karate: The kick-focused Northern-Style Kung-Fu to be exact, practiced by Short Round in Temple of Doom. The same style was also used by Indy himself briefly on the South-China seas in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
Interesting Situation Duel: At least one per film: the flying wing fight in Raiders, the rock crusher fight in Temple, the tank fight in Crusade, and the sword fight on top of moving jeeps in Crystal Skull.
The famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana faces the Master Swordsman has the swordsman demonstrating just how skilled he is by throwing his scimitar from one hand to the other, and then spinning it in his hands.
Leitmotif: The Ark of the Covenant's ominous leitmotif gets a cameo in The Last Crusade when we see a carving of the Ark on a crypt wall, and again in Crystal Skull, when we glimpse the actual Ark in the warehouse.
In Crystal Skull when Indy looks at a picture of his dead father and mentions him again at the end, the "Keeper of the Grail" theme from Last Crusade that represents Henry Sr., plays.
Literal Cliffhanger: At the end of The Last Crusade, Indy catches Elsa as she's about to fall into a chasm. However, she insists on using a free hand to reach for the grail instead of saving herself. She falls to her death when her hand slips away from Indy's hold.
Made of Iron: Indy throughout the series, especially in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, when he survives a nuclear test detonation by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. Also, the Mechanic in Raiders, who shrugs off a direct punch to the face and a Groin Attack from Indy.
Near Villain Victory: The baddies get what they wanted before the climax in Raiders and Kingdom, in Last Crusade they have the final goal within reach and in Temple they have the upper hand.
Nerds Are Sexy: When he is not killing Nazis or searching for magnificent items that always end up killing someone, he is a teacher of Archeology and encourages people not to follow the same "field work". If you get right down to it Indy is one of the worlds first heroic action nerds.
Omniglot: It isn't prominent in the films, but in the expanded universe, Indy has supposedly picked up twenty-seven languages while wandering around the world. Belloq appears to speak even more, and mocks Indy because he doesn't speak the obscure tribal language of the Hovitos.
Reality Subtext: Indiana was the name of George Lucas' dog, who was also the inspiration for Chewbacca. The third film reveals that Henry Jones Jr. chose his nickname after his own dog.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: From The Raiders, Indy who suffers a serious snakes pohbia must face thousands of poison snakes who inhabited the Well of Souls. 'Hilariously' done in the Crystal Skull, where Indy is forced to hang on to a "rope" (snake) to get out of a quicksand pit.
Revolvers Are Just Better: Indy carries a .45 ACP Smith and Wesson M1917 (which he surrenders to Belloq) and a .455 Webley Smith and Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector in Raiders of the Lost Ark, a .38 Spl Colt Official Police in The Temple of Doom (which Willie drops because the barrel was hot), and a .455 Webley WG Army in both The Last Crusade and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He does, however, carry a Browning Hi-Power, made by John Inglis Co. of Toronto, for when his revolver runs out of ammo or gets lost.
Running Gag: Late actor/stuntman Pat Roach appeared in all three of the original films, sometimes in multiple roles, where his characters usually meet an untimely demise. While Dovchenko in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is played by a different actor, he too plays the role of a brute who dies a gruesome death.
Scenery Porn: The Young Indiana Jones TV series loves to linger nostalgically on famous landmarks as establishing shots for the country of the week Indy is adventuring in. The series was intended to be semi-educational in nature. The films also do this to present the glamorous, exotic locales frequented by a globe-trotting adventurer.
Schmuck Bait: The MacGuffin artifact usually turns out to be long-lost for a reason. You know the bit about All Myths Are True? It also applies to curses, supernatural monsters, and divine wrath. Marcus lampshades the Ark's dubious rapport, for instance, about 10 minutes into Raiders.
Sallah also lampshades this in Raiders:
Sallah: Indy, there's something that troubles me... The Ark. If it is there in Tanis, then it is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this Earth.
Incidentally, this almost partly killed the franchise. After the harrowing and humbling experience of filming Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg decided he could no longer in good conscience use Nazis as stock pulp villains as in Raiders and The Last Crusade. It is also the reason he decided not to make a prequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Timeshifted Actor: Teenaged Indy is played by River Phoenix in The Last Crusade. The TV series had several actors play Indy at various ages.
Took a Level in Badass: Marcus Brody. Though in the first movie he lamented that if he was as young as Indy he would have went on his adventure. Though most people who seen Crusade have labeled him a clumsy oaf that got lost in his own museum; he was willing to put his complaint in Raiders aside to help Indy rescue Henry. He even had enough cojones to knock a Nazi out with an Artillery shell.
Travel Montage: The famous map scenes that appeared in all of the films.
Tribute to Fido: Indiana Jones is named after George Lucas's dog Indiana. There is also an in-universe example that reflects the Real Life situation: in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it is shown that the character chose the nickname "Indiana" after his family's dog.
Trilogy Creep: The Riding into the Sunset was meant to close the trilogy as well. But fans insisted on a fourth — which only started production after Lucas, Spielberg and Ford agreed to.
Truth in Television: In the first, third, and fourth films, the Nazis (and in the case of the Fourth film, the Soviets) attempted to harness various mythological artifacts to take over the world. Records have shown that the Nazis and the Soviets were both fascinated with the supernatural/the occult, although the latter was more focused on trying to harness psychic abilities than magic.
Tsundere: Marion Ravenwood all the way. She goes from yelling at Indy, to dreamily sighing when he leaves to blow up a Soviet transport.
Whip It Good: Indy's iconic weapon/general utility tool is the bullwhip.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Indy is afraid of snakes, Indy's dad is afraid of rats and Mutt of scorpions. Of course, this means they all encounter the subject of their debilitating phobias again and again in a series of contrived coincidences. Mind you, is Mutt's reaction to the scorpion a genuine fear of scorpions, or the normal person's reaction to seeing a massive scorpion?
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, once opened, the Ark of the Covenant seems empty and therefore is thought to be worthless to the Nazis seeking its supposedly divine powers... until the wrath of God comes pouring out of it and utterly destroys the Nazis present.
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Holy Grail is real enough treasure, but it can't be brought out of its resting place without bringing the whole place down around it. Indy's father realizes, at the end, that the real treasure he gained out of the whole mess was, in his words "Illumination" (and, unspoken, the reconciliation of his relationship with Indy).