Pirates of the Caribbean is a Disney film franchise based on a theme park rideof the same name, centering around the adventures of pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. The series is famous for originally being thought a terrible idea, only to surprise everyone with its huge success.The film series consists of:
Abnormal Ammo: In the first movie, after tossing most of their cannonballs and excess weight overboard in a failed attempt to lighten the Interceptor and evade the Black Pearl in shallower waters, Will orders the crew to load their cannons with "everything ... anything we have left". This is known as "langridge", a real combat tactic utilizing whatever nails, screws, chunks of wood, broken glass, and other useless bits are left over after fixing and maintaining a ship. Mister Gibbs even uses the term. (Usually it's what you did when you wanted to take out the other guys but keep their ship). Ammunition specially designed to do this is called "grape shot", and consists of many, many tiny iron balls. Although using an undead monkey as ammo may have been pushing the trope beyond Truth in Television. And at several points throughout the films, two cannonballs chained together are. This is Truth in Television as well, as chain shot was designed to cripple a ship by doing a merry number on its rigging or even the mast. Barbossa grabs a set before making port in At World's End to use as a gavel calling the Brethren Court to order.
Action Girl: Elizabeth Swann and Angelica. Played with in the first movie when Elizabeth tries to grab a sword to fight off Pintel and Ragetti and can't pull it out of the decoration it's built into. But by Dead Man's Chest, she's all about this trope.
Adaptation Expansion: Based on a theme park ride that had no story or characters to speak of, albeit a fan favorite theme park ride that's been popular since the '60s. It has since become a case of recursive adaptation: the ride now features Captain Jack Sparrow.
First film: 17th-century curled wigs, 18th-century panniered skirts, 19th-century teacups and, strangely, the young Elizabeth saying "okay"!note "Okay" is older than many people think — there are arguably recorded uses as early as 1790 — but that's still fifty years after the film is set. Elizabeth's corset, while women wore garments that looked like that, would have been technologically impossible to tie so tight it made her ill (no whaleboning yet and without steel eyelets the lace-holes would have torn when she sat down). Oh, and Port Royal was destroyed in an earthquake in 1692 (and subsequently rebuilt, but not as the bustling metropolis seen in the movies). And it wasn't a clean, proper little English town. (A deleted scene reveals their Port Royal is only civilized from the sheltered, upper-class perspective.)
Second film: Lord Cutler Beckett's flagship HMS Endeavour.
Third film: Until the mid-early 19th century Singapore was a fairly minor fishing village. There's a teddy bear at the end; they weren't introduced until the 20th century.
Fourth film: The Navy vessel bears the current Union Flag (with a red saltire for Ireland), which was not used until 1801 (when the Kingdom of Ireland joined the Union). This is particularly odd, since the first movie(set several years earlier) used the correct flag. The appearance of King George II sets the film no later than 1760. The fleet also uses the Blue Ensign, which denotes Atlantic, Pacific and East Indies stations. The correct flag would be the Red Ensign, which denotes West Indies. Also it features Blackbeard as a pirate and Barbossa as a British privateer. Blackbeard didn't become a pirate until after Britain outlawed the practice of privateering.
Animal Theme Naming: Present in the leads- Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann. "Will Turner" is a bit more obscure, but is also the name of a real-life English ornithologist, and a tern is a seabird. The missionary in the fourth film is named Philip Swift.
A bit of Shown Their Work — the 'jaywalking' elements really were hanging crimes at the time, part of what was referred to as the 'Bloody Code'. ('Impersonating a cleric' sounds harmless, but it was the basis of scams like fraudulent marriage and bogus charity collecting. Clergymen also had a certain amount of legal immunity, which some men would falsely claim for.) Furthermore, impersonating a cleric of the Catholic Church remains an offense incurring automatic excommunication to this day, on the grounds that doing so maliciously endangers the souls of others with invalid Confessions and Communions.
Jack Sparrow's rapidly sinking dinghy at the start of the first film is impossible. Even if a ship could be uniformly sunk like that, its momentum would certainly tip it forward.
The stunt with the upturned boat in the first film would not work. While you could overturn a boat and float it across the water, you could not drag it underwater like a poor-man's submarine unless you were both inhumanly strong and incredibly heavy.
Neither the Dauntless nor the Interceptor in the first film could be crewed by only two men in real life even once they are under sail. Lt Gillette even specifically mentions this in relation to the Dauntless when Jack and Will are trying to steal it, though it's still treated as if they'll be fine as long as someone does the work for them, when they most certainly would not.
The HMS Endeavour is shown as being overwhelmed by two frigates. In reality, a first-rate ship-of-the-line like the Endeavour could turn both into matchsticks with ease (aside from the fact that one of the frigates is an unsinkable Ghost Ship), even if they attacked at once. This example, however, is justified; the Endeavour did not shoot back because Beckett was too deep in his Villainous Breakdown to react and his underlings lacked the presence of mind to respond until the Endeavour was already finished.
Full-rigged sailing ships cannot be steered simply by spinning the wheel like a car. It takes a lot of trimming of sails, etc. for even a small course change. Though the memorable scene where Jack sweeps Will off the deck with the Interceptor's boom shows at least some awareness of how the helm actually works. (The boom itself would have stayed in the same place- it's the rest of the ship that's turned. Allegedly.)
The Maelstrom Battle in its entirety, but at least the Dutchman has the excuse of being magic. The Pearl would have filled with water and sunk with its gunports open. Of course, given the Pearl itself was raised by the Dutchman and impossibly fast for its size, one could charitably use A Wizard Did It as an excuse for both.
Artistic License – History: No one would simply have hanged captured pirates without a semblance of a trial, such as at the beginning of the third filmnote Unless there were mass kangaroo courts held in Port Royal....
Back from the Dead: Nearly every major character in the series has been killed at some point, but Barbossa, Jack, and Will are the ones who get to come back from their deaths. See Killed Off for Real below for the ones that didn't.
Jack: Four of you've tried to kill me! One of you succeeded.
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The crew of the Dutchman in the wake of Norrington's Heroic Sacrifice as Elizabeth's crew makes their getaway. And in On Stranger Tides by the Spanish navy with the intention to destroy the Fountain of Youth.
During the final battle in Curse of the Black Pearl.
In On Stranger Tides, when Captain Teague shoots the redcoat who had cornered Jack. Though this isn't quite played straight, as the smoke and flash from the actual shot is clearly visible in the background. It's only really a proper bait-and-switch from Jack's POV.
Balancing Death's Books: Jack tries this on Davy Jones in Dead Man's Chest. Doesn't exactly work out, but at least it buys him some time. In On Stranger Tides, this is how the Fountain of Youth works: to gain extra life from it, there must be a designated victim for the life to come from.
Jack through nearly all of Curse of the Black Pearl. Once he sees the medallion and is shown proof that the curse is real, his entire role in the film is hatching a plot to kill Barbossa and get his ship back. His initial idea backfires horribly when Will doesn't cooperate, but rather than give up, Jack just keeps adjusting his plans to fit new developments until he manages a successful execution without interference.
In the fourth movie, Angelica has Philip apparently killed in front of Syrena in an attempt to make her cry. She knows Syrena's "too tough" to do so under those circumstances, but crying tears of joy when she later finds out that the man she's fallen in love with is still alive, however...
Also in the fourth movie, Barbossa's entire convoluted plan counts: In order to get his revenge on Blackbeard for sinking the Pearl, he joins up with the King's navy as a privateer, uses his well-trained crew and the King's considerable resources to travel to the Fountain of Youth, then takes his revenge on Blackbeard, claims Blackbeard's ship and crew, and uses them to return to piracy.
Battle Couple: Elizabeth and Will in the third film. Taken to ludicrous extremes when the two actually get married during a balls-out ship-boarding sword/gun fight.
Will: Elizabeth! Marry me!
Elizabeth: I don't think now's the best time!
[a bit later]
Elizabeth: Barbossa! Marry us! Barbossa: I'M A LITTLE BUSY AT THE MOMENT!
Jack and Angelica in the fourth film. It doesn't end well.
Battle Interrupting Shout: Frequently. For instance, in On Stranger Tides, Jack halts a row between Blackbeard's and Barbossa's crews to point out that none of them have any real quarrel with one another even if their leaders do. This sways exactly one pirate, while everyone else goes back to fighting.
Bootstrap seeing Will get stabbed by Davy Jones. He then proceeds to tackle Jones in a flying rage, allowing Captain Jack to use Will's hand to stab Davy's heart.
This seems to be Captain Teague's reaction to anyone who questions the Pirates' Code or proposes they ignore it for the sake of their own interests. An unfortunate Mook of one of the Pirate Lords learned this the hard way.
In the fourth film, Jack lunges for Barbossa's throat and has to be restrained when he learns that the Black Pearl has sunk while Barbossa was its captain.
Will and Elizabeth in At World's End, after their marriage at sea. Surrounded by an epic battle, trading blows while exchanging vows, and culminating in an Orbital Kiss a few minutes before Will is killed and comes back from the dead. EPIC.
In On Stranger Tides, the fateful kiss, at the end, between Philip and Syrena.
The Big Damn Kiss on the edge of the sea at the end of the first and third movie, while the camera goes up and out.
Sao Feng and one member of Davy Jones' crew speak both English and Cantonese.
The French-speaking sailor who rows Will out to Pelegosto is telling Will he won't take him any further.
In On Stranger Tides, Angelica curses pretty colorfully at Jack in fluent Spanish.
The two guys who find Jack's hat in Dead Man's Chest are speaking Turkish, although it is hard to understand all of it from the accent that many non-Turkish people have when speaking it.
Black and Gray Morality: The first film started out as White and Gray vs. Black morality, since Jack was the only morally ambiguous character, but by the end of the third film, everyone has an angle and is willing to screw most anyone over for it. (With the possible exception of the monkey. He was apparently only in it because he missed Jack.) The only character who can truly be called evil, however, is Cutler Beckett, who Ted Elliott describes as "a guy who just wants to sell more cheeseburgers when you get right down to it. How evil is that?" The tradition of At World's End continues in On Stranger Tides. Blackbeard is pure evil, Philip is the Token Good Teammate, the Spaniard is a more ruthless version of Commodore Norrington, and everyone else is screwing everyone else over for the prize.
Boarding Party: Several boardings by means of swinging ropes, and one less conventional boarding: walking out to the ship in question. Also less conventional is Davy Jones and crew's ability to teleport between ships, which apparently has a fairly narrow minimum and maximum range.
Barbossa gets the Pearl back at the end of the third movie, as Jack sails off in a dinghy.
Listen to the song Elizabeth sings (as a child) at the beginning of the first movie, and Jack singing at the end of the third. Seem familiar?
Even more applicable to what Elizabeth's son is singing in the third film's Stinger, as he's about the same age his mom was at the start.
The first time we meet piratical Mr. Gibbs, Jack is waking him with a bucket of water. At the close of At World's End, Mr. Gibbs is once again, passed out and Jack wakes him with a cup of... Grog?
In the first film, it's mentioned that Jack was marooned on a remote island by Barbossa with only a pistol with a single shot. In the fourth film, Jack does the exact same thing to Angelica.
In the first film, Elizabeth's first encounter has her giving Barbossa Will's surname as her own, to which he responds by excitedly repeating it to the whole crew: "Miss TURNER..." When they part company for the final time in At World's End, he respectfully (and a touch affectionately) greets her as " Mrs.Turner," after she has become Will's wife.
Similarly, in the first film the pirates ready a boat to take Elizabeth to Isla de Muerta, saying "your chariot awaits, Highness" as a sarcastic and condescending remark. By the time of the third film, Elizabeth is elected Pirate King, and Gibbs says this line quite earnestly as he presents a boat for her.
Breakout Character: Jack Sparrow. note "Captain" Jack Sparrow. And how. In the original film, Will is the supposed to be the star (he's The Hero of the Hero's Journey) and continues to be the access character throughout the next two, but Jack not only stole the show, he made off with the franchise! (Pirate.) They even added him (or at least animatronic duplicates) to the original Disneyland/ Disneyworld Pirates of the Caribbean rides.
Break the Cutie: several times, the films appear to be headed this way with regards to Elizabeth, only for the trope to be turned on its ear, especially in the third film.
In the beginning of the first film, Will Turner is working on a sword to present to the governor, who remarks on its unique quality. In the third film, James Norrington stabs Davy Jones with the same weapon, who then calmly removes it and remarks, "mmm... nice sword." Later, Jones uses the exact same sword to stab its creator, Will Turner.
Former Commodore Norrington introduces his story to Gibbs in Dead Man's Chest as "Same as you, just a chapter behind." At the end of the scene, once he's been knocked out by Man!Elizabeth, he's heaved into the pigsty, where Gibbs woke up at the end of Curse of the Black Pearl, making him truly just a chapter behind Gibbs.
Captain Teague summons a dog to bring the key for the Pirate Codex book (the dog itself is a bit of a Brick Joke, showing up out of nowhere after appearances in the first two movies). When Pintel and Ragetti wonder aloud how the dog managed to get there, Teague responds, "Sea turtles, mate."
When Jack and Elizabeth are marooned on a desert island during the rising action of Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth burns all the rum that smugglers have stored there to attract the Navy's attention, prompting Jack to ask "Why isthe rum gone?" for the first time. In Dead Man's Chest, Elizabeth (dressed as a man) and Norrington arrive at the dock where the Pearl is moored, and Jack and Gibbs begin to talk to Elizabeth without realizing who she is. When she reveals herself, the following happens:
Jack: Elizabeth?! (aside, to Gibbs) Hide the rum.
Which quickly becomes a Brick Joke of its own when the crew meets up with Jack in At World's End, and Cotton's parrot cries "Hide the rum!"
Broad Strokes: The films' plotlines are a gumbo of different nautical legends.
"Goodbye, Poppet." Perhaps the most tear-inducing callback ever.
First film: Elizabeth says she's Elizabeth Turner, because her maid convinced her the pirates wanted to kidnap the governor's daughter. They happen to be looking for Bootstrap Turner's child. The last thing Barbossa says to her in the third film is "Mrs. Turner", seeing as she's married Will.
On Stranger Tides is filled with these to the first movie, in different subtle sorts of ways that you have to have an eagle eye to spot.
In the first movie, Jack was charged with "impersonating an officer of the Royal navy" and "impersonating a cleric of the Church of England". On Stranger Tides opens with Jack impersonating a judge. A judge by the name of Smith. Perhaps he might go by 'Smithy' on occasion?
Jack gives his compass to Mr. Gibbs telling him it will lead him to freedom. In the first movie, Jack tells Elizabeth that what the Black Pearl really is is freedom. Cut to the end of On Stranger Tides and Mr Gibbs is sitting on a beach with the Black Pearl in a bottle, waiting for Jack.
The cut on Angelica's hand looks just like the cuts the characters in Curse of the Black Pearl get to bleed on the medallions.
In At World's End, one of the patrons of Sao Feng's bathhouse can be seen with barnacles littered across his face, neck, and across his arms, just like a Red Shirt crew member of the Flying Dutchman.
Likewise, the Sequel Hook at the end of the film is a Call Back to the various accounts of Barbossa's mutiny prior to Curse of the Black Pearl.
While visiting Elizabeth in her jail cell in Dead Man's Chest, Governor Swann leans on one of the candelabras next to him. He then trips, proceeding to break a piece of said candelabra, in a similar fashion to Will's introductory scene in Curse of the Black Pearl, where he inspects one of the candelabras in Governor Swann's mansion, but accidentally breaks a piece of it.
Captain Ersatz: Many Monkey Island fans believe that Barbossa in the first film and Davy Jones in the sequels are ersatzen of LeChuck, Tia Dalma is the Voodoo Lady, and Will Turner may also derive from Guybrush Threepwood, regardless of whether anyone involved in the films has ever known anything about Monkey Island. (It has been reported that Ted Elliott worked on a proposed Monkey Island film some time before becoming co-writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean series). It's also worth noting that Monkey Island derived inspiration from both the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and the original On Stranger Tides novel.
As if hammering this home, Philip from On Stranger Tides has an ever closer resemblance to Guybrush.
Subverted — when Elizabeth attempts to defend herself with one of the swords displayed above the mantle, she finds it is permanently attached to its decorative shield. Played straight with Elizabeth's bedwarmer; she uses it to dump hot coals on the pirates invading her room. Also Jack Sparrow's confiscated effects, including his one-shot pistol and curious compass, all serving a vital purpose. The compass gains even more importance in the second film. Used again in the second movie in Tia Dalma's shack (the locket and the boots). In the third movie, Raghetti's wooden eye turns out to be Barbossa's Piece Of Eight. Jack's own Piece of Eight is debatable, being present in the first two movies before the sequels were even written.
Subverted again with the jar of dirt. Jack ends up breaking it.
The knife Bootstrap Bill gives to Will is the same one that he uses to carve out Will's heart after Davy Jones is killed.
Chekhov's Lecture: Near the beginning of Curse of the Black Pearl, Will shows Jack how to break out of a prison cell by applying the right leverage to the hinges, something which comes in handy in At World's End when Jack is imprisoned in the brig of the Flying Dutchman.
Chekhov's Skill: Elizabeth's childhood obsession with pirates comes in handy a few times. In The Curse of the Black Pearl, her knowledge of the Pirate Code allows her to negotiate a Parley with Barbossa and her knowledge of piracy and sailing in general inspires her last-second stunt while the Interceptor is being pursued by the Pearl. In At World's End she becomes a Pirate Lord, and then Pirate King. She also inspires the troops with a speech about the power of piracy.
Chewing the Scenery: It may be easier to list who isn't. Special mention has to go to Geoffery Rush, who looks like he's having an absolute blast in every scene.
The small sword that Will Turner makes for Norrington. Everyone who comes into contact with itagrees that it is, indeed, nice. This gets one nameless British marine killed as he picks up the sword in the middle of a battle and spends the same requisite amount of time staring at it rapturously before Davy Jones shows up, kills him and retrieves the sword.
Blackbeard's sword, which controls the rigging of the Queen Anne's Revenge, and can apparently control the rigging of other ships as well. It also controlled the wind when pointed, as shown at the end when Barbossa lets down the sails with it, then throws the boat forward by the wind, catching everyone off guard, including Barbossa. Before duelling Blackbeard he claims the sword is nothing to fear away from the Revenge.
It seems as if the only redeeming quality of working on the Flying Dutchman under the command of Davy Jones is that you get a really kick-ass sword. Just look at Hadras's.
Corporate Warfare: The East India Company are the antagonists of the second and third films in their war on piracy.
In the first film Jack Sparrow and Will Turner steal a ship by pretending to attempt to steal another ship, one larger and far more complicated, so that the Navy will come up with the smaller and easier to manage vessel already rigged for sailing. During a later argument Jack nearly flings Will into the ocean, but lets him live because just two people crewing the ship is cutting it close as it is.
In the second film it's inverted. The Black Pearl's crew is imprisoned in two halves, and one pirate blurts out that the ship can make do with a crew of just six, prompting a race by both halves to escape first. Later on Jack hires a ton of unqualified surplus sailors not because the ship needs them but because he needs 99 souls to give to Davy Jones in exchange for his own soul going free.
Governor Swann in the second film, with visible evidence that they were fastened too tight.
Jack in the third film, right after he's shoved into Beckett's cabin. (We don't actually see the cuffs before removal, but since he's a prisoner it's strongly implied he had 'em.)
Cursed with Awesome: Literally for Barbossa's crew, in the first movie. And Will in the finale of At World's End. Although Jack views it more as Blessed with Suck due to the absence of port... er, making port.
In the first movie, Jack delivered a formidable one when he shot and killed Barbossa. It's all the more effective since, up 'til that moment, the generally-cheerful pirate hadn't sported any expressions remotely like it.◊
Davy Jones has a killer stare when he snarls "Do you fear death?" Everybody takes him seriously.
The look one of Sao Feng's bath attendants gives Beckett's Dragon after he shoots the other(the insinuation being they were sisters) should've incinerated the man, by all rights.
Captain Teague has a mighty fearsome one that cows the entire Brethren Court when it's suggested in his presence that they won't keep to the Code.
Will: You want me to find this? Jack: No. You want you to find this. Because the finding of this finds you incapacitorially finding and/or locating in your discovering the detecting of a way to save your dolly belle ol' what's-her-face. Savvy?
Also Dead Man's Chest:
Jack: You want to do what you want to do because you want it.
On Stranger Tides:
Jack: There is a girl. A female. Of the opposite sex.
Deserted Island: Jack is marooned on one, twice, the second time with Elizabeth. Fortunately, he escaped off-screen (subverted in that he explains how he did it). The titular Dead Man's Chest is housed on another.
Distracted By The Shiny: If he didn't take the time to rummage through every nook and cranny for things that could be of value, Jack would have made a lot more effective escape attempts. But he is a pirate...
When Barbossa calls the brawling Pirate Court to order, he steps onto the table with a pistol in one hand and, curiously, chain shot in the other. During his speech, we get a shot of Jack peering through his legs, where you can clearly see a pair of huge, cast-iron balls.
Dressed to Plunder: They put their own spin on the costumes, but it still hits the major notes: parrot, beards, eyepatches, hats, bandanas, everything short of a hook. Barbossa even gets a peg leg in the fourth movie.
The Drunken Sailor: Virtually everyone, unless all the rum is gone. Though, in interviews, the scriptwriters revealed Jack's inebriation is usually an act; he fakes being tipsy to throw his (numerous) enemies off their guard.
Dying Moment of Awesome - Becket's death could be viewed as this. He calmly turns and walks down the stairs (AS THEY ARE EXPLODING BEHIND HIM, casually trailing his hand along the railing. Before coming to a stop, looking at the camera and accepting death. Most seem to see this as Becket being in denial over what has happened and is happening. Most deaths somewhat count in some shape: Jack dies going in a Mano-A-Mano with the Goddamn Kraken, Jones perishes in the middle of a massive whirpool battle while kicking dogs all around, etc
Earn Your Happy Ending: According to Word of God, Will is freed from his curse during the Post-Credits scene because Elizabeth remained faithful to him. Also, Philip and Syrena in the 4th movie. And boy, did they earn it.
End of an Age: The films are set at the end of the golden age of piracy. Several times through all three films, characters make note of how difficult it's become to make a living as a pirate, with no sign of the change slowing down. Though possibly somewhat averted at the end of the third movie, with Calypso being returned to her proper place as goddess of the sea. And it's obvious in the fourth movie that if an end is coming to the age of piracy and sea magic, Blackbeard never got the memo.
Enemy Mine. When your protagonists and antagonists have the same goals and profession, good and bad are "a matter of perspective":
In Curse of The Black Pearl, Will and then Norrington both end up having to make deals with Jack (who they hate) to track down Barbossa, and Barbossa makes a deal with Jack (he hates Jack, too) after finding out Norrington is waiting off shore to ambush them.
A variation in Dead Man's Chest, where during a three-way sword-fight between Will, Jack and Norrington, as the latter is curb-stomping Jack for all of the misfortune he's endured since the last film, Jack points out that since Will freed Jack from jail, convinced Norrington to let him go, and got Elizabeth, that makes Will more responsible. Norrington pauses for a moment to consider this, turns and immediately begins attacking Will instead.
In At World's End, Barbossa feigns Enemy Mine at first to cover up his true motive, the fact that he needs to call to order the Brethren Court just to get their Pieces of Eight, which he needs to free Calypso, who brought him back, else she'll withdraw her power and let him die again. But by the end, Barbossa plays the trope straight.
Also, the Brethren Court seems to be made up of rival Lords who can't stand each other and will break out in a fist-fight at the slightest provocation. They're only united by a common enemy.
Also #2: Jack cooks up a plan with Will, who had betrayed Jack to Beckett earlier, because Will wants to stab Jones' heart to free Bootstrap and Jack wants to stab Jones' heart and become immortal.
In the fourth film, Jack and Barbossa briefly team up to screw over Blackbeard.
And in the fourth film, the entrance to the Fountain of Youth provides ample opportunity for characters to rise up ominously through the mist. Happened with both Barbossa, to Blackbeard and the Spanish, to everyone.
Bosun, Maccus, Mercer and "Quartermaster" are Evil Counterparts to Gibbs.
In the first film's commentary, Barbossa is called "the dark side of Jack Sparrow" by Ted and Terry.
Also, in the fourth film, Blackbeard is arguably this to Barbossa.
Evil Plan: Each movie involves a villain seeking a treasure but the specifics vary widely.
Evil Versus Evil: The third movie especially. Jones hates working for Beckett and Mercer, rebelling at the earliest opportunity; Norrington does a Heel-Face Turn about midway through after realizing how evil Beckett really is. Not to mention Tia Dalma and Sao Feng's roles in the story.
Expanded Universe: The movies have spawned a number of novels, short films, comics, and games.
Fainting: Elizabeth does this three times in the first two films. The first instance is genuine (see Of Corset Hurts), and sets the plot into motion. The second is faked, and accomplishes its purpose. The third is also faked, and is completely ignored (seems you've shot your bolt, Liz).
The Flying Dutchman is equipped with a pair of forward facing gatling cannons. Not bad for a time when all firearms were still loaded manually through the muzzle one shot at a time.
The aforementioned flame throwers on the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Flanderization: The series, originally an Affectionate Parody and homage to the pirate genre, became a parody of itself after the first film, when all the character traits, quirks, and set-pieces that were more subtle in the first film were turned up to eleven, and subject to relentless self-referencing.
Flirting Under Fire: In At World's End, Elizabeth and Will get married under fire, and even share a kiss.
In Dead Man's chest, the sailor's mention of the long pork on the island of Peligostos, which we learn later on is home to a cannibal tribe.
Where we find Jack, believed to be a god by island natives who attempt to release him from his human form. Tia Dalma is later revealed to be the sea goddess Calypso, and released from her human form.
When discussing the story of Davy Jones' tragic love, the pirates can't agree on whether it was the sea he fell in love with or a woman tameless as the sea. Tia Dalma tells them that both versions are true, for they are one and the same. And during the same visit to Tia Dialma, you can see : Barbossa's boots and the heart medallion which forms a pair with Davy Jones'
In Stranger Tides, the pub where not-Jack actually Anjelica is hiding is named The Captain's Daughter.
In the same film, Blackbeard describes Angelica as "a fitting last sight for a doomed soul".
Davy Jones and Tia Dalma can't; Will and Elizabeth manage to.
Evidently, Jack also forgave Elizabeth for abandoning him to be eaten by the Kraken. He could easily have treated her the same when the Flying Dutchman started to flounder; instead he unhesitatingly rescued her.
The last love scene between Syrena and Philip has him asking her forgiveness for him getting her captured.
Fountain of Youth: The original Fountain of Youth, purportedly discovered by Ponce de León, is mentioned as a Sequel Hook at the end of the third movie, and is a central plot elemental of the fourth. Unlike most depictions, its use involves Human Sacrifice.
Genre Deconstruction: Of the pirate/swashbuckler genre. None of the pirates are shown in a truly positive light. Sparrow may not be killing indiscriminately but that's because he would prefer to con and swindle people instead. When he's up against someone he truly hates(Barbossa), he doesn't hesitate to go for the kill.
These films generally end with a hook for the next film in the franchise. Angelica tries to use this to her advantage in On Stranger Tides when pitching possible new adventures to Jack to prevent him from deserting her, all of which Jack can see through.
Earlier in Tides Jack Sparrow attempts to take a map from the hands of Juan Ponce de León's corpse, curious as to why the Spaniards didn't take it for themselves, Barbossa stops him as it appears Juan isn't quite dead.
Gibbs, being a superstitious old salt, knows how to stay alive.
One of the Spaniard's men's first reaction to seeing a tree suddenly bending is "The prisoner is escaping."
Pintel and Ragetti also show traits of this trope.
When Jack is brought to the palace in On Stranger Tides, George II and his guards consider it perfectly safe to unchain him, since there's no way he could possibly escape. When Barbossa - who knows Jack rather better - arrives, he immediately asks why Jack isn't in chains, only to have his objection dismissed. Naturally, Jack pulls off a characteristically implausible escape moments later.
Note Jack clearly stating that four of his rescuers have tried to kill him in the past: Elizabeth, Will and Barbossa in the classic way and Tia Dalma, in a sexual way. There are also many hidden sexual innuendos throughout the trilogy; it may be rated PG-13, but it's still a Disney film.
Barbossa's remarks about "pleasurable company".
The "mine's bigger" scenes in the third movie where Jack and Barbossa try to outdo each other in seemingly innocent and trivial things, like who has a bigger scope.
At the end of the third movie when Jack is bragging to a couple of wenches about how big it (the Black Pearl) is and how it might be frightening at first but they can both have a ride on it. Then when they get to the docks, one of them remarks, "Is that it?" while the other says "It's not very big".
"You took advantage of our hospitality last time, it holds fair now you return the favour", and Barbossa tosses Elizabeth to his men who begin pawing at her.
In the fourth film, Jack stating that he "support(s) the missionary's (Philip) position."
Also in the fourth:
Gibbs: (to Jack) I thought you were hell-bent of finding the Fountain of Youth?
Jack: I'm still bent! Hellishly so!
Angelica: How is it we can never meet without you pointing something at me?
Jack also slips in a masturbation joke when he says, "My eyesight's as good as ever, just so you know" in reference to the Black Spot on his hand. (Could also be a syphilis joke- while the Black Spot doesn't look like a syphilis lesion, they usually appeared much like that in art of the day, probably because they would be covered with black stick-on patches)
In the third film, Beckett finds his way to Shipwreck with Jack's compass, which Will gave Beckett, so naturally, Barbossa assumes Will's the one who betrayed them. Beckett says Will is "merely the tool of your betrayal" and singles Jack out as it's grand architect. Will says he acted alone. And Jack says, "Listen to the tool." The grin on Jack's face says it all.
"Waste not." That one was particularly creepy.
There's also this from the fourth film:
Angelica: I was innocent in the ways of men! Jack: You demonstrated a lot of technique for someone I supposedly corrupted.
This exchange in the second film as the crew are entering Tia Dalma's shack:
Gibbs: Watch your back.
Jack: It's my front I'm worried about.
There were a couple of Get Thee to a Nunnery moments throughout the film slipped in for this purpose. There was Tia Dalma's introduction:
Will Turner: You know me? Tia Dalma: You want to know me. Jack Sparrow: There'll be no knowing here!
And then Jack's exchange with Angelica, which hinted at an actual nunnery pun:
Angelica: What were you doing in a Spanish convent, anyway? Jack: Mistook it for a brothel. Honest mistake.
The fourth film contains several zombie (of the Voodoo variety) pirates.
Good Is Boring: More a case of Lawful Good Is Boring; the stoic Norrington has the most to offer as a potential suitor(high ranking naval officer, good breeding, stability), but Elizabeth is drawn to the more hot-headed Will, who is an orphaned blacksmith of a lower social order.
Gorgeous Period Dress: Since the movies revolve around pirates, there isn't much of this flavor, but if you pay attention, the movies include a surprisingly great amount of pimped out dresses. Elizabeth dresses like this in the first two movies, before she Took a Level in Badass. And while we're on the subject, Norrington's uniform got pimped when he got promoted to admiral between the second and third movies. A bit more of this in the fourth film, which includes some scenes of British and Spanish court officials and dress-uniformed officers.
The Curse Of The Black Pearl required the crew of The Black Pearl to track down 882 pieces of Aztec gold to break their curse. As the film starts, though, they've already found them all but one, and they get that one inside the first hour.
The Nine Pieces of Eight are needed to assemble the Pirate Lords and complete the spell in At World's End. This actually becomes a plot point as a reason not to kill Jack.
The keys to the Fountain of Youth in On Stranger Tides.
In Dead Man's Chest, Jack freefalls what looks like several hundred feet down a canyon and lands little more than dazed at the bottom. We're expected to believe that falling through a few flimsy rope bridges on the way down slowed him up enough.
In the fourth film, Jack is exceptionally leery of jumping off a cliff in order to get the silver chalices. It takes Blackbeard threatening to shoot Angelica and one of the zombies throwing the Jack voodoo doll over the ledge to get him to jump.
Grin of Audacity: "Now bring me that horizon!". Captain Jack Sparrow is very excited he got his ship back. Of course there's a lot more of those throughout the trilogy: it's a swasbucking action show about pirates, what did you expect?
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Any time any of the following are onscreen at the same time: Barbossa, Jack Sparrow, Captain Teague, Davy Jones, Elizabeth (in the third movie), Angelica and Blackbeard (in the fourth).
Handwave: In-universe example. Whenever something improbable happens, the character insists Sea Turtles were involved
Jack claimed to escape the island Barbossa marooned him on by creating a raft made of sea turtles. He actually bartered his way onto a smuggler's vessel when they landed to pick up their rum cache.
When Will arives on the island where Davy Jones stashed his heart and Jack asked how he got there, he replied, "Sea Turtles! I strapped a pair of them to my feet!" He was hiding on the Flying Dutchman.
The dog that carries the keys to the written version of the Pirate Code. Pintel and Ragetti ask where it came from and Teague says, "Sea turtles, mate." Word of God is that the Dog really did escape the island with sea turtles.
Hat of Authority: Generally, a pirate's hat size indicates his or her authority among the crew (with regional variations for the international pirates, such as Sri Sumbaji's turban). In Dead Man's Chest, Sparrow offers to buy Barbossa a "big floppy hat" as part of the deal to be 'commodore' of a pirate fleet.
Pintel and Ragetti (the paired comic relief pirates)
Held Gaze: Will and Elizabeth of have this quite regularly between them in the first movie and the sequel as their romance blossoms. Philip and Syrena have a lot of gaze-holding going on in On Stranger Tides.
Heroic BSOD: Norrington in the first and second movies.
Heroic Sacrifice: Both played straight and subverted: Norrington as a straight example in the third film and Jack as a subversion in the second (as Elizabeth rightly doubts his courage and "helps him" act appropriately), as well as Norrington also subverting it - or at least playing with it - by taking the empty Dead Man's Chest and running off, commanding the others to abandon him while never letting on that he has the heart of Davy Jones. As a result, he does legitimately save them from danger, but he also gains an excellent excuse to escape with his ill-gotten gains.
Home Field Advantage: Davy Jones can move through the Flying Dutchman at will, while Blackbeard or rather, whoever has his sword can manipulate the Queen Anne's Revenge and, if Barbossa's exposition is to be believed, any other ships they encounter, at will.
In the second movie, Elizabeth lures Jack into kissing her, but this is to allow her plans of chaining Jack against a nearby mast, so the Kraken kills only him, and not all the crew.
In the fourth film's London Chase Scene, Jack takes cover inside a wealthy older lady's carriage, and immediately leans over to smooch her behind the ear before resuming his escape. She's apparently not displeased by this event... until she realizes that he's just fled with her jewelled earring in his mouth!
Honor Among Thieves: Toyed with constantly. The pirates' code is supposed to enforce this notion, but it's viewed as only "guidelines" when it suits them.
Honor Before Reason: At first, just Will, and to a lesser extent Norrington. Later on, even Jack embodies this trope. In Jack's case, though, it's hard to tell where (and whether) he's using reason in the first place.
Will: So that's the reason for the... you know. Gibbs:Reason's got nothin' to do with it.
Gibbs: Not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island, where lies Shipwreck Cove and the town of Shipwreck! Jack: You know, for all that pirates are clever clogs, we are a terribly unimaginative lot when it comes to naming things.
I Have You Now, My Pretty: Elizabeth gets this from all over, or is at least threatened with it, most prominently in the third movie.
Immortality Seeker: Jack, and Blackbeard. Which is the plot of the fourth movie. Subverted with Barbossa and the crew of the Black Pearl before the first movie; they didn't want immortality, but oh boy did they get it.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The British Royal Navy sailors are kind of useless at their jobs in the films. They become a little competent in At World's End but become useless again in the fourth film.
Improv: Half of Depp's lines, in the first film at least.
In Name Only: Despite buying the rights to the Tim Powers novel, On Stranger Tides has almost nothing in common with it aside from a few very general (and very public domain) similarities, such as Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth. Owing to the movie's savage critical reception, Disney probably could've stood to lift a lot more from the book.
Jones: You've been captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years. That was our agreement. Sparrow: Technically I was only captain for two years before I was viciously mutinied upon. Jones: Then you were a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless. Or have you not introduced yourself all these years as "Captain Jack Sparrow"?
Also, in the first movie:
Will: We're going to steal that ship? Jack Sparrow:Commandeer. We're going to commandeer that ship; nautical term.
And in the 4th movie:
"You are Jack Sparrow?"
beat "There should be a Captain in there somewhere."
When Cutler Beckett mentions Jack Sparrow (sans "Captain") in front of Will and Elizabeth, they both spontaneously blurt out "Captain".
Another one worth mentioning is Mr. Mercer's introductory line, "Evening, Guv'nor." A common British colloquialism, when uttered with snarky, stoic pride, that masks a Slasher Smile, is made even more ironic at the fact that he just caught Governor Swann attempting to flee Port Royal in the middle of the night.
An early one from the first film: Elizabeth's "You may tell the captain that I am disinclined to acquiesce to his request."
Bootstrap's grungy knife as well. It seems an odd gift, but Bootstrap gives it to Will as if he knows he will need it and may never see him again. Will assumes he needs it to stab the heart. Ironic in hindsight.
Will is one of the few characters to use this trope to his advantage. Though in his case, Barbossa didn't know it was specifically Will he needed alive until he told him.
Lord Beckett's motive for reining in Davy Jones, in the first part of At World's End. Jones had been exterminating the crews of the pirate ships he attacked; Beckett couldn't have that. "I need prisoners to interrogate. This tends to work better if they're alive."
Kangaroo Court: The trials in the third and fourth movies are hinted to be this.
Karma Houdini: Barbossa in the fourth movie. Not so much in the first.
Cutler Beckett earns the ignominious honor of being the first Disney villain to kill a child, onscreen. In the first scene of the third movie, no less.
Davy Jones kills dozens of innocent people in attempting to track down Will and Jack, though which one hits as most insidious - the innocent foreigners who merely chance upon Jack's hat or the trading crew with the stern captain we actually come to know somewhat - remains to be seen.
For specific moments, there is also him ordering the defiant crewman who spurned his offer of crewmanship killed immediately and, in a rage, having the survivors of the aforementioned trading ship slaughtered wholesale without even offering them the chance to take his wretched bargain.
There's another example from Beckett later. To ensure Jones's loyalty (and to make sure he wouldn't turn against them), Beckett forced and ordered him to kill The Kraken. Judging from his reaction, Jones was quite attached to the giant ship-eating monster, with Beckett even referring to it as his "pet".
Blackbeard. Gleefully so. Subverted when he appears to kill Philip, but only uses poison to knock him out. Said subversion is the justified by his using Philip to get Syrena's tear.
Barbossa in the fourth film. When his ship and crew are being swarmed by mermaids, he refuses to help or even recognize their plight, passing it off as "seagulls nesting" when the officers point out their crew's screams of terror. Admittedly, it's not like he could have actually saved them, but it was still pretty cold.
"Someone make a note of that man's bravery."
Killed Off for Real: Norrington, Beckett, Governor Swann, Sao Feng, Davy Jones, and the poor Kraken. Debatable whether or not Tia Dalma fits the bill. Many assume that Tia Dalma was killed, but that Calypso ascended. And now Blackbeard. Although you can never know with him.
Kiss of Death: Elizabeth and Jack in Dead Man's Chest. Elizabeth and Sao Feng in At World's End. Elizabeth and Norrington in At World's End. Elizabeth and Will in At World's End. Those who got kissed by Elizabeth all died by Davy Jones's hands (directly or indirectly).
Knight, Knave and Squire: In the first movie, Jack is the Knave, Will is the Knight and Elizabeth is the Squire. A defining moment of both Jack and Will's characters is during the sword fight between the two. By the second movie, the dynamic is more or less dropped and they all become Knaves, especially in the third.
Elizabeth alternates between understated and quite loud (mostly in the second and the third movies).
Leave Behind a Pistol: Barbossa inflicts this on Jack twice, only for him to escape both times. Flipped around in the fourth movie when Jack leaves Angelica on an island, although he leaves them an easier way out.
"Besides, this is a well-traveled trade route. You can signal a passing ship - or you can just bite the proverbial bullet, as it were."
Lost in Translation: The Italian version of the first movie was titled "La Maledizione Della Prima Luna" ("The Curse of the First Moon"), which is completely unrelated to the plot. Particularly ominous because the Black Pearl is not just some random cursed piece of jewelry, but an actual cursed ship.
In a slightly roundabout way; it's pretty much a given that Will's love for Elizabeth is what leads him to accept his new duties of ferrying the souls of the dead on the Flying Dutchman. This frees the crew from the corruption that Jones had caused with his actions and they also seem to lose their mindless bloodlust.
Angelica attempts to do this for Blackbeard. But he's a bad man.
Love Triangle: Love Quadrangle between Will, Jack, Norrington and Elizabeth.
In the second film, Isla de Muerta is wiped off the proverbial map by a hurricane. Invoked by Lord Beckett, who believes in the supernatural, but sees progress and expansion as the overriding force in the world.
Further invoked by Beckett in At World's End as he doesn't bat an eye to anything on the Flying Dutchman and forces Davy Jones to dispose of the Kraken. Defied by the pirates, who release Calypso specifically so expansion and progress by man across the seas will be more difficult.
Cutler Beckett: This is no longer your world, Jones. The immaterial has become... immaterial.
In On Stranger Tides, defied by Blackbeard, but invoked by the Spanish, whose actual goal is to destroy the Fountain of Youth, not use it.
Malignant Plot Tumor: Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company. The company is more-or-less mentioned in passing in the first film, before becoming much more of a threat in the following two films. By the time At World's End rolls around, the combined threat of Beckett and Jones was enough to ultimately unite the world's pirate forces, who up until then were crossing and betraying each other on a regular basis.
Meaningful Echo: "You are different. Are you not?" Said first by Syrena to Philip when she explains why she saved him during the mermaid attack; later said by Philip to Syrena when he explains why he came to save her after Blackbeard had tied her up in an attempt to get one of her tears.
Pintel saying "Goodbye, Poppet", and Barbossa saying "Farewell, Mrs. Turner" as Elizabeth walked away from the crew of the Black Pearl for the final time in At World's End definitely counts.
All three of the main characters have names related to birds: Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann being the most obvious. Will Turner, on the other hand, shares the exact same name as a British scientist who studied birds, much like James Bond. There's also a seabird called a tern. The missionary in the fourth film also counts- his full name is Philip Swift, and a swift is a songbird.
Tia Dalma's name is an anagram for Dalmatia, a famous haven for pirates.
Barbossa's name is rather close to Barbarossa, another famous pirate, and is a mangled version of the Latin for "Beard of Bones".
'Norrington' may be (consciously or otherwise) more or less a compound name of Nelson and Wellington (both commanders were a little young for this period, but it's close; the character- at least in his first appearance- has had a career more like Admiral Nelson's, but is more like General Wellington in personality.)
Syrena is Greek for "siren" and, in the movie, is pronounced as the Spanish word for mermaid, "sirena." (Could count as a Bilingual Bonus). Which made the Spanish dub sound like "The mermaid's name will be... Mermaid".
Membership Token: In the first film, the cursed gold coins, in the third film, the nine Pieces of Eight.
After rescuing Jack in At World's End, the crew quickly devolves into one of these over who gets the Pearl and who gets the map. Just about every main character starts pointing a pair of pistols at different characters, Pintel and Ragetti join in because everyone else is, and pistols change targets about a dozen times over the course of the standoff. Then finally, someone fires... only for it to fail. Cue everyone pulling their triggers and failing. Turns out that all the guns had gotten waterlogged after the fall off the Inevitable Waterfall. That defuses the situation pretty quickly.
Will, Norrington, and Jack over the Dead Man's Chest.
Jack, Angelica, and Scrum over the mermaid's tear.
Mobile Shrubbery: One rather successful instance with a canoe, and another much less successful one with a potted plant.
More Dakka: The Dauntless and the Endeavour bristle with around 100 guns. After all, they are classed as first-rate ships-of-the-line - the navy's most powerful warship class.
In the final scene where Beckett commands an attack against the Black Pearl, see the Endeavour's massive array of guns (as the ship sails by) and be scared. Too bad its commander didn't return fire even when he knew he had the upper hand in armament.
The Flying Dutchman has a very heavy armament for a standard Fluyt (the ship it's based on), mounting 36 pounders (very few warships carried guns that big). Of course, her triple guns add to this trope.
Several instances, most importantly the pre-Curse of the Black Pearl one which cost Sparrow his Black Pearl.
In On Stranger Tides, Jack attempts to incite a mutiny aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. After this insurrection fails spectacularly, Jack claimed he did it just to gain an audience with the until-then-unseen Blackbeard.
Mythology Gag: When Jack and Barbossa find Ponce, he's a skeleton lying on a bed surrounded by treasure examining a jewel with a magnifying glass, reminiscent of the Captain's Quarters in the introduction segment of the original ride.
In the first film, when Jack is captured by the Port Royal guards and is undergoing his Heroic BSOD in his jail cell, a group of recently-detained pirates are trying to coax the guard dog into giving them the keys. Jack, in a gloriously snarky allusion to the original ride, tries to convince the pirates to give up. In the following exchange, however, we can see that it has no effect whatsoever:
Jack: You can keep doing that forever, that dog is never going to move. Red Shirt Pirate #1: Well, excuse me if we haven't resigned ourselves to the gallows just yet. (Jack leans his head back, smirking from ear to ear)
Jack's hat is one of his most important possessions, to the point of being a plot point in the second movie (see the main entry for details).
Jack seals a deal with his Affably EvilLarge Ham nemesis with an offer of... well, which trope are we talking about, here? It's even what Jack uses to cap off the deal. It works in lieu of 25% of Jack's loot.
Will gets a Swashbuckler hat with a really gigantic feather at the end of the first film, which gets in Jack's face as he attempts to escape, prompting Jack to declare, "Will... nice hat!" as his parting adieu.
Barbossa loses his Nice Hat when he becomes a privateer, but gets a new one when he reverts to being a true pirate (as he'd probably intended to from the start).
Davy Jones' hat curves up into little devil horns, making his silhouette even scarier.
Jack is recaptured because he enlisted the Navy's help to save Will. And in a karmic turnabout, Norrington decides that this is unjust, gives him a Mercy Lead after the first movie's over, and loses his ship and his commission because of it. Man.
Philip the Missionary, the only unambiguously good and decent human being in the entire fourth movie, is basically the plot's punching bag, firmly setting the deeply-cynical tone of the film and the (supposed) new trilogy.
To get the ship out from the bottle in On Stranger Tides, Jack will need: "a crossbow, an hourglass, three goats, and one of us will need to learn to play the trumpet, and the other will need to do this (wiggles fingers)".
Just what sort of run-in are Beckett and Jack referring to, when they talk about "each leaving his mark on the other"? We do know how Beckett marked Jack; Cutler made the above statement whilst displaying the metal 'P' he used to brand Jack as a pirate. Sparrow's mark on Beckett, however, was never explained- the look on Beckett's face when Will asked about it suggests it's a touchy subject. (See the WMG list for a couple fan theories.)
The "trick we perfected in new Guinea" Gibbs uses to take care of the guards on board the Queen Anne's Revenge in On Stranger Tides.
He mistook it for a brothel. It was a usual practice for some Spanish kings (namely Philip III and Philip IV) to send their former lovers to convents once they got them pregnant. So, it was not so strange to find some hot women in convents.
Not just royal mistresses- it was a valid way of getting rid of any unmarried woman who had somehow disgraced herself. They also sometimes incorporated girls' schools.
"... And then they made me their chief."
"... impersonating a clergyman of the Church of England..."
Towards the end of the first movie when Jack shoots Barbossa and Barbossa thinks that Jack wasted his shot. Clever viewers can tell from Jack's cold, steely glare that this is not the case; it's the one time in the entire movie that he's not doing something eccentric.
Elizabeth:Whose side is Jack on? Will:At the moment?
Jack gets one at the climax of At World's End when Jones stabs Will through the heart and Jack, who has has his self-serving objective literally in the palm of his hand, goes from cruelly gloating over his imminent victory to looking mind-screwed by despair, almost HBSODing. It's brief, but is big enough to make his sacrifice afterward make perfect sense without hefty foreshadowing.
Order Versus Chaos: In the first movie, there is no particular moral component to the sides — the three major players are the ruthless Barbossa, the largely self-interested Jack and Norrington, while Will and Elizabeth are mostly neutral. The second and third movie side more fully with Chaos, as all the protagonists become fairly chaotic, while the role as main villain is taken over by Cutler Becket.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Inverted. Elizabeth gets into all sorts of trouble throughout the trilogy for forgetting that most of the people she hangs out with (a) are not particularly nice, (b) want to get paid, and (c) have no interest in fighting or dying in a noble fashion because of (a) & (b).
In Dead Man's Chest, Cutler Beckett sends Will to offer Jack Sparrow a Letter of Marque in exchange for his compass.
Barbossa becomes one in On Stranger Tides, after encountering Blackbeard, who deprives him of both the Black Pearl and his leg. He "sold out" to the Crown only to get a chance to make even with his nemesis, and he tears his letter of marque at the end.
Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The pillage and burn parts, at least; no raping takes place — these are Disney movies, after all.
Reality Ensues: The first film ends with Will Turner making a daring broad-daylight rescue of Jack Sparrow as he's about to be hanged. The second film opens with Will Turner having been arrested for it.
Red Shirts: Incredibly Lame Puns aside, you can write off nearly every English sailor and soldier that appears, even officers and characters with speaking parts. In fact, starting from Dead Man's Chest near any seafaring character who isn't one of the main eight or nine major characters is liable to be dead by the end of whatever movie they're in.
Red Shirt Army: The crew of the Back Pearl - especially in "Dead Man's Chest" (where the entire crew is killed except for the same handful of people twice), but continued onward in "At World's End." At least twice (the ends of the third and fourth movies) these two trends coincide and the surviving British join the surviving pirates, but towards the ends of every movie the pirate crews are usually so diminished they should be unable to sail their vessels. This is lampshaded in "Dead Man's Chest" while Will is leading the crew to escape a deadly situation.
Will: "Come on! We'll need all hands to man the Pearl!"
Crewman: "Acually, you won't need everyone! About six will do." (immediately after, the crewman and everyone but six of the crew is killed all at once).
Should at least be averted with the Dauntless in the first film, as most of those killed appear to be marines, who wouldn't actually be involved in sailing the ship (in most circumstances they would defend the ship and provide small arms fire in a fight, and subdue any mutiny.)
Sadly Mythtaken: Tons of examples, but mostly because the real legends behind the series' plotlines are tossed aside in favor of the Rule of Cool.
Sailor's Ponytail: Most sailors and pirates sports a ponytail that is often worn by swashbucklers.
Savage Piercings: The tribe that captures Jack in Dead Man's Chest and Blackbeard's zombies in On Stranger Tides.
Scoundrel Code: The Pirates' Code (Or Pirata Codex) is a patently silly version, since freedom from authority is one of the main reasons for being a pirate in the first place. This is probably why they are rarely hesitant to stray from it, so long as Captain Teague isn't in the room.
"The code's more like guidelines, than actual rules."
The idea of a Pirate Code isn't entirely silly, as every pirate ship did have rules- the 'ship's articles', and strict ones at that ('Black Bart' Roberts' rules included a strict 10pm bedtime for anyone who was not on watch), just in order to function (you can't sail a tallship if you're not organised). These were, however, written specifically for each individual ship (sometimes extending to the crew's behaviour ashore), not to the whole trade.
The most important part of the Articles was the table spelling out what percentage of the treasure each pirate received. This often also included a "worker's comp" system specifying a certain amount of gold for a lost hand, leg, eye, etc.
Sequel Escalation: The second and particularly the third movie featured more and more insanely over-the-top CGI and action sequences, epic plotlines and 300-million budgets. The fourth movie, however, was intentionally scaled back, returning to the more modest and character-driven style of the first film.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Played with in Jack's/Barbossa's crew; all of them speak like this, including the captains themselves, but it doesn't always indicate intelligence.
Barbossa: I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request. (beat) Means no.
The setup where the new captain of the pirate ship keeps a pet named after the captain he mutinied against. Are we talking about Barbossa and his monkey named "Jack", or Long John Silver and his parrot "Cap'n Flint"?
In On Stranger Tides, the reason Blackbeard seeks the fountain is because he receives a warning about a one legged-man, in this case Barbossa.
The musical locket owned by the villain (Jones) with an identical one owned by a good guy with a history with the villain (Tia Dalma, aka Calypso)? Straight from For a Few Dollars More, though the relationship between the corresponding characters is quite different.
The scene in the first movie, with the upper class lady getting rid of the alcohol after the lower-class wild man got drunk and started singing the previous night while they're stranded together? Yeah, happened in more than just this movie.
In AWE, one of the Boats Of Deceased Souls contains two identical, stoic-faced little girls- rather reminiscent of the Creepy Twins in The Shining.
In the fourth film, Blackbeard remarks on how he has to shoot one of his own crew every so often, so they don't forget who he is. This line was also used in the Tim PowersOn Stranger Tides novel, but is allegedly (according to the 18th-century book A General History of the Pyrates by "Captain Charles Johnson") a real-life quote from Blackbeard, after he shot Israel Hands (a Real Life crew member whose name Stevenson stole for Treasure Island) in the leg for no apparent reason.
At the end of On Stranger Tides, Jack quips to Mr. Gibbs 'It's a pirate's life for me, mate', like the song that plays in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
In a scene in Stranger Tides, Jack and Angelica threaten each other with meat hooks.
In On Stranger Tides, when Syrena's glass coffin breaks, she is forced to walk on land. Her tail changes to legs, and every step causes her agonizing pain. These details are obviously borrowed from Andersen's fairy tale.
The scene in On Stranger Tides where Jack blows up the lighthouse is very similar to Ezio's destruction of Borgia towers in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
The Fountain of Youth looks suspiciously like the Guardian of Forever, surrounding scenery (and fog!) included.
The scene of pirates walking along the seabed with an air-filled upside-down boat held over them is based on an incident in The Crimson Pirate, a 1952 pirate flick with a similar tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Beckett's world map painted on a wall recalls the opening of The Sea Hawk, an Errol Flynn movie also featuring a monkey sidekick.
Peter Pan in The Curse of the Black Pearl: In the very first scene, Governor Swann's costume looks exactly like Captain Hook. Also, in the final fight, Jack cuts off some of the feathers on Barbossa's hat, just like Peter does to Hook.
Snow White in The Curse of the Black Pearl: When Elizabeth refuses Barbossa's apple, believing it's poisoned.
Spinoff Babies: Disney has been publishing a line of pre-teen-orientated novels about Jack's teenage years since 2006.
Stealth Pun: Davy Jones' heart was locked in a locker…which can also be called a chest—his chest.
The Stinger: All four films feature an extra scene after the final credits.
Strolling Through the Chaos: Lord Cutler Beckett's death scene in the third movie was very much the serious version. He's walking down the stairs, which are blowing up behind him with chunks of wood flying around, when he finally dies.
Jack does this in the second movie. After the fight starts, the man starts wandering aimlessly through the pub, randomly trying on people's hats to replace the one he lost at the beginning of the movie. He narrowly avoids getting injured in some spectacularly funny ways (such as ducking to get a dropped hat off the floor and avoiding a flying bottle that smashes on the wall above him).
Summer Blockbuster: The whole franchise, with the 2nd and 4th becoming two of only a handful of films to cross the Billion-dollar mark, making this franchise the first to have more than one movie to have earned a Billion worldwide.
Talking Your Way Out: What can't Jack bribe, negotiate, trick or otherwise "parley" his way out of? Thanks to Elizabeth, a kraken's lunch menu, apparently.
Beckett has a brilliantly-executed villainous BSOD in the third movie, walking down from the quarterdeck in slow motion while his ship is being shot to pieces around him, saying his Catch Phrase: "It's just...good business..."
Barbossa's in the first movie is nicely understated. The apple may be a bit much, though.
Blackbeard when Jack reveals that he gave the the chalice with the mermaid's tear to Angelica instead of him.
Villain Decay: Davy Jones, the most feared being of the seven seas, is (somewhat awkwardly for him, at least) demoted to The Dragon to the stuffed-shirt, civilized Brits in the third film by their possession of his heart, who unaccountably maintain their insistence in the triumph of reason over superstition while ordering Jones around. He gets his thunder back at the climax though- a fair bit of the final battle is him Kicking Dogs, being Badass, or a combination thereof.
Barbossa, sort of. Very intentional in the fourth movie, although undone by the end of the film, which sees him return to his proper badassery.
Visual Pun: In the first movie, Jack is attempting to pick a lock with a bone. It's a skeleton key.
And in the third, Davy Jones' Locker is filled with crustaceans that normally appear as stones, or in other words, "Rock Crabs".
Jack and Barbossa begin to show shades of this in On Stranger Tides.
Voice for the Voiceless: The pirate Cotton had his tongue cut out, so he taught his parrot to speak for him. It speaks entirely in nautical Stock Phrases, though, so the pirates then have to interpret what the parrot says. Gibbs mentions that "nobody's yet figured how" he taught the parrot to do that in the first place.
Weapon Stomp: In Dead Man's Chest, Elizabeth goes for the rifle, only for Jack to stomp on it. He then kicks it up so he could be the one to fire it. Norrington also did this with one of Davy Jones' Mooks.
Also done in On Stranger Tides during Jack's attempted mutiny, which fails regardless.
From Curse Of The Black Pearl: "You'd best start believin' in ghost stories, Miss Turner. Yer in one!
Elizabeth: (after kissing Jack) "It's you (the Kraken) wants, don't you see?" She then proceeds to chain him to ship so he can't run away.
A rare example of a closing Wham Line: "So tell me, what's become of my ship?"
When called upon to cast his vote for the Pirate King, after all the others have voted for themselves, as expected, Jack hesitates for a moment and answers: "Elizabeth Swann." Elizabeth is shocked, and the other Pirate Lords are not very happy with Jack.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Zoe Saldana (Anamaria) was unable to resume her role in the second film, but her character's disappearance was never explained to ever-wondering viewers. See the WMG list for a couple theories.
Stabbing Davy Jones's heart will make the person who did it become immortal. Will wants to do this, which is bad in his father's eyes as he will choose his fiancée over his father. Not to mention the whole step on land once every 10 years, and having to ferry souls to the afterlife or be turned into a fishman. Teague knows his son well enough to realize this is part of what Jack's planning, and gives him hell about it.
"It's not just about living forever, Jackie. The trick is living with yourself forever."
In the fourth film it turns out that Blackbeard is the only character who honestly wants the Fountain's promised immortality for himself. Angelica wants it to prolong her time with her father; the Spanish want to destroy the Fountain, to protect God's exclusive right to dispense eternal life; King George's men, not realizing this, want to stop the Spanish king from claiming immortality; and Barbossa really only wants revenge on Blackbeard. Even Jack decides he'd really rather be remembered forever than actually live that long.
Jack: Oh, it's a pirate's life for me. Savvy?
Barbossa and his men had this in spades in the first film. Justified because their cursed state made them live forver, but prevented them from experiencing any of the pleasures of being alive. (They couldn't eat, drink, feel the breeze, etc.) That'd be a pretty lousy way to spend eternity.
In deleted scenes from the first, Jack is the last immortal pirate cursed by the Aztec gold, but unlike Barbossa and his mutinous crew, actually starts to enjoy the god's curse. Its only after contemplating his immortality would make life utterly mundane and have no challenge, does he reluctantly undo his curse.
Subverted in At World's End. Calypso fits this trope to a T, but in all technicality she started the whole thing in the first place.
Angelica in On Stranger Tides, who Jack seduced in the past and then left behind. Things don't get any better when Jack uses the chalices to give a dying Angelica immortality rather than her father Blackbeard—whose life is sacrificed for hers—and then maroons her on an island with nothing but a pistol with a single bullet.
Xanatos Gambit: two straight examples: Jack Sparrow allowed himself to be shackled in the first movie so he could use them to take Elizabeth hostage: Either they let him escape or she becomes a distraction for his escape. Then taking one of the Azetc coins: Barbossa can no longer win because he himself cannot be killed, but once Will dispells the curse, he can finish Barbossa off with his pistol.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Jack. Although, how much of it he actually plans is up to personal interpretation.
In the first film, the second he learns Will's full name, he takes about five seconds to make the plan to kill Barbossa. And throughout the entire film, he has to constantly adjust, re-adjust, and re-re-adjust his plans to account for Will screwing things up.
The Brethren Court meeting is a game of Gambit Speed Chess between Barbossa and Jack using whatever resources they have, culminating in the climax of the film.