[[caption-width-right:300:I have a cunning plan...]]

->''"I am a fully rounded human being, with a degree from the university of life, a diploma from the {{school of hard knocks}}, and three gold stars from the kindergarten of getting the shit kicked out of me."''
-->-- '''Captain Edmund Blackadder''', ''Blackadder Goes Forth''

A tastefully vicious collection of [[BritCom British comedies]], all centering around various generations of the Blackadder family as embodied in its sole visible member, Edmund -- a cynical, snide, and outright caustic British nobleman (he'd be a DeadpanSnarker if he could just stop sneering) who never seems to succeed at most of his schemes, but never quite loses either (except usually at the end, where he dies horribly or wins spectacularly). Each Edmund in each generation is aided by a BumblingSidekick in the shape of his corresponding Baldrick, an ignorant and filthy manservant and dogsbody of unhealthy habits and preoccupations. His typical {{foil}} is a classic UpperClassTwit of far higher social station than his own, whom he is forced to serve hand and foot.

Series one, written by Creator/RowanAtkinson and Richard Curtis, featured Blackadder as a hapless loser, Baldrick as his more cunning servant, and a series of Shakespearean in-jokes. Much of the humour was reliant on the sort of rubber-faced comic buffoonery Atkinson would later use in ''Series/MrBean''. The show had lots of expensive location footage but was not a ratings success. Nonetheless it was recommissioned for a second series (albeit with a drastically reduced budget), which, after a change of direction, and writers, GrewTheBeard (literally in the lead character's case) and became extremely well-loved. The show was a smash hit from its second season onwards. Seasons two to four saw Creator/BenElton replacing Atkinson on the writing team, the Blackadder character [[{{Retool}} repurposed]] as the DeadpanSnarker, and a greater emphasis on clever dialogue, running gags, and historical subversion. The retooled show became a comedy institution, although it has resisted several attempts at revival.

One of the most impressive aspects of the show was the subtle differences between the various incarnations of Blackadder: The ambitious but spineless Black Adder, the dashing but impulsive Lord Blackadder, the cool and ruthless E. Blackadder Esq and the weary, rather less evil, but more witty and intelligent Captain Blackadder all had much in common character-wise, but were recognisably different people. A similar variation can be seen in the Baldricks ([[RuleOfFunny for some reason]], each incarnation was lower in social order than the previous).

Besides the great writing, ''Blackadder'''s success rests on the shoulders of stars Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson, whose comic instincts combine to produce some of the most delightfully snarky wit that has ever been seen on television. A similarly skilled supporting cast, including Creator/BrianBlessed, Creator/PeterCook (in the first series), Miranda Richardson, Creator/HughLaurie, Tim [=McInnerny=], Creator/RikMayall, and Creator/StephenFry just added to the pleasure and the outrage.

!!!The original four series of ''Blackadder'' are:

* ''The Black Adder'' (1983). An alternate history set during the period of the UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses.
* ''Blackadder II'' (1986). [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Elizabethan]] London.
* ''Blackadder the Third'' (1987). During the [[RegencyEngland Regency]] Period.
* ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' (1989). UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, in the trenches of the Western Front.

!!!There were also several one-shot ''Blackadder'' specials:

* ''Blackadder: The Cavalier Years'' (1988). A UsefulNotes/ComicRelief special (aired on the first-ever Red Nose Day, 5 February 1988; Richard Curtis founded the charity with Lenny Henry) set during the UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar.
* ''Blackadder's Christmas Carol'' (1988). An AffectionateParody of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', which was (obviously) a [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas special]] set (naturally) in VictorianLondon.
* ''Blackadder Back & Forth'' (2000). The 21st Century Blackadder and Baldrick trip through time in a time machine.

In addition, "a Blackadder" is a go-to character for a quick skit in UK [[VarietyShow variety specials]], especially ones for the Royal Family for some reason. Versions of the character have been involved in the ''Royal Variety Performance'', the Golden Jubilee ''Party at the Palace'', and the Gala Events for Prince Charles's 50th and 60th birthdays, amongst other appearances. A comic book version had a significant plot thread in the 1991 ''UsefulNotes/ComicRelief Comic''.

There exists an unaired pilot episode of the first series, which can with some luck be found floating around on the internet. It featured Prince Black Adder as a [[DeadpanSnarker sneering snarker]] and Baldrick as the idiot dogsbody the fans came to know from series two onwards (albeit not played by [[TheOtherDarrin Tony Robinson]]); unfortunately this direction was not kept, and instead the characters were rewritten and the humour based on physical SlapStick. Several jokes and scenes of the unaired pilot were recycled in various first series episodes.

Came second in ''Series/BritainsBestSitcom''.

[[Recap/{{Blackadder}} Recap]] still under construction, help will be much appreciated.

See also ''Series/FawltyTowers'', which was the show's main influence and the main reason why [[ToughActToFollow it wasn't set in contemporary times]].


[[folder:Tropes Present Across the Series]]
* TheAce: Lord Flashheart
** In multiple senses, in that the Lord Flashheart of the Fourth installment of the series, or more properly, Squadron Commander the Lord Flashheart, is also an AcePilot.
* AlternateHistory:
** Most noticeably with ''The Black Adder'', which depicts Henry Tudor as losing in the Battle of Bosworth Field, and Richard IV ruling for the next 13 years, before the eventual Henry VII rewrites the history books to scrub out Richard IV's reign.
** Downplayed with ''Blackadder II'' and ''Blackadder the Third'', which does mostly follow the real path of history, albeit with a humorous spin on things. However, two major differences from real history are that [[spoiler:Elizabeth I and the soon-to-be-George IV both got killed and replaced by Prince Ludwig and Mr. Blackadder respectively]].
** ''Blackadder: The Cavalier Years'' for the most part follows the lead of the second and third series in putting a humorous spin on the English Civil War and the execution of Charles I, but ends by implying that [[spoiler:the baby that in real-life became Charles II after the Restoration will end up being killed thanks to Blackadder's treachery, presumably meaning that Blackadder must have found a peasant baby to replace him.]]
** Averted by ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' which, with only two exceptions -- Manfred von Richtoven and Field Marshall Haig -- deals entirely with fictional characters and events within the larger setting of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. The sole difference between the events of the show and real-world history would be that von Richtoven got [[spoiler:shot and apparently killed by Flashheart in 1917, rather than getting killed when his plane was shot down in 1918.]]
** Turned UpToEleven by ''Blackadder Back & Forth'', which gives us ''two'' alternate histories; one after Blackadder's first trip through time, in which the French conquered the UK in the 19th century, and one after Blackadder knows that he can change the present, in which the Blackadder dynasty has been in power for centuries.
* AllThereInTheManual: The dvd "Blackadder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition" comes with Baldrick's family tree. There is an insane amount simply called "Baldrick" that begs the question if the various Baldrick's are all related to each other via father to son.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Many, many examples per ''episode'', to say nothing of the show's overall track record. But hey, RuleOfFunny, people! Plus, ''The Black Adder'' can explain away its inaccuracies as Henry Tudor doing a lousy job of rewriting history (and, at a stretch, you could say that [[spoiler:Prince Ludwig as]] Elizabeth I and [[spoiler:Blackadder as]] George IV did something similar for the second and third series).
** Eliminating all artifacts from a 13-year reign would be a difficult trick to say the least. One of the reasons we know of the extremely obscure Roman emperor Elagabalus, who was declared ''damnatio memoriae'' and whose name was expunged thoroughly from official histories of the Empire, is because coinage with their face and name on it survives to the present day. And Elagabalus reigned for a mere ''three'' years.
** In the very last episode of the fourth series, averted. The viewers know that World War I ended in 1918, so, when Capt. Darling thinks the war has finally ended, mentioning the year 1917, it becomes clear that the characters are doomed.
* AssShove: Used as a threat a few times:
** In ''Blackadder II'', the [[SinisterMinister Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells]] threatens to put a red-hot poker up Edmund's arse if Edmund doesn't repay the £1,000 debt he owes him.
** In ''Blackadder the Third'', among other threats from literary men, Creator/SamuelTaylorColeridge says that he will see the person who loses the manuscript of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary hanged by his hair and with an Oriental disembowelling cutlass thrust up his behind.
*** In the same series, Prince George worries that he'll be "debagged and radished" for non-payment of debts to a social club.
-->'''Blackadder:''' Radished, sir?\\
'''George:''' Yes, they pull your breeches down and push a large radish right up your...\\
'''Blackadder:''' Yes, yes, yes, alright sir. There's no need to hammer it home.\\
'''George:''' As a matter of fact, they do often have to...\\
'''Blackadder:''' No! No!
* TheBadGuyWins:
** The first series ''starts'' with the bad guy, Henry Tudor having effectively won already. Although he loses the Battle of Bosworth Field in the first episode, he eventually ends up claiming the throne thirteen years later after [[spoiler:Percy accidentally poisons the royal family to death]], then for the real kicker he rewrites the history books to erase Richard IV's reign altogether.
** ''Blackadder II'' ends with [[spoiler:Creator/HughLaurie killing everyone]] in TheStinger.
** ''Blackadder the Third'' ends with [[spoiler:[[VillainProtagonist the most ruthless and evil of Blackadders]] usurping the identity of Prince Regent]].
** ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' ends with [[spoiler: all the main cast members falling victim to the madness of modern war, the real villain of this instalment. And to Melchett's questionable strategies.]] In contrast to the second and the third series, the ending ''isn't'' PlayedForLaughs.
** ''Blackadder Back and Forth'' had the modern incarnation of Blackadder manipulate history via time travel [[spoiler: to become King of the United Kingdom and making Baldrick his (puppet) Prime Minister]].
** ''Blackadder: The Cavalier Years'' ends with Blackadder [[spoiler:defecting to the Roundheads and ratting out both Baldrick and that baby that in real-life grew up to be Charles II]].
** ''Blackadder's Christmas Carol'' may very well combine the most extreme example along with a subversion: It ends with [[spoiler: the uncharacteristically kind-hearted Ebenezer Blackadder realizing that, if he adopts the evil and selfish ways of his ancestors, his descendants will one day RULE THE UNIVERSE. The subversion comes however when he loses the chance of a lifetime to become rich and powerful precisely because of becoming THAT callous. So its a win for the Blackadder family in one of the ultimate examples of this trope but a loss for Ebenezer himself.]]
* BadNewsInAGoodWay
* BandagedFace
* BawdySong: Several examples in certain episodes, from the second season onwards.
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Captain Blackadder from ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' is the only incarnation who isn't a friend/relative of a government figure. However, he did save Field Marshall Haig from a mango-wielding pygmy at Mboto Gorge. The intro to ''Blackadder: Back & Forth'' lampshades this with a montage of various incarnations throughout history, including an archer (accidentally) slaying King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, one (Australian) Desert Rat giving the bird to UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill behind his back and another gagging behind UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher giving a speech.
* BestialityIsDepraved: A running gag across all four series.
** "Lord Melchett, Lord Melchett, intelligent and deep. / Lord Melchett, Lord Melchett, a shame about the sheep!"
*** Becomes "BAAAAA!!!" by ''Goes Forth''.
* BritishBrevity: Consists of four series of six episodes each, plus the occasional special.
* BlackComedy: Murders, executions, torture and various other nastiness are consistently used as the source of comedy.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Miranda Richardson's characters between season 2 and 4
** Amy Hardwood (season 3, blonde)
** Mary Fletcher (season 4, brunette)
** Queenie (season 2, redhead)
* BuffySpeak: Several times. (Chronologically, shouldn't this be called [=BlackadderSpeak=]?)
** ''Blackadder II'' -- Edmund is trying to avoid drinking because he CantHoldHisLiquor.
--->'''Melchett:''' You twist and you turn like a... twisty-turny thing.
*** Stephen Fry admitted in the 2008 documentary ''Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga'' that this line was a ThrowItIn on his part.
** ''Blackadder the Third'' -- Edmund is attempting to bring the dim-witted Prince up to speed on the state of the nation.
--->'''Edmund:''' Disease and deprivation stalk our land like... two giant stalking things.
* BumblingSidekick: Baldrick is a well-loved example of the trope (and indeed the former TropeNamer), appearing from the second and subsequent series.
* ButtMonkey: Baldrick is probably the most obvious, but Percy, George, Darling and Edmund himself all fit the bill in some way as well.
-->Blackadder, Blackadder -- nothing goes as planned!\\
Blackadder, Blackadder -- life deals him a bum hand!
* {{Butlerspace}}: Baldrick does this occasionally in the first season (in which he's a HypercompetentSidekick instead of the [[BumblingSidekick bumbling]] [[ThePigPen slob]] of [[CharacterizationMarchesOn later episodes]]). At one point he emerges from a decorative suit of armour that Edmund happens to be walking past, just as he's needed.
* TheCasanova: Flashheart.
* CatchPhrase:
** Baldrick: "I have a [[ZanyScheme cunning plan]]..."
** Melchett: "BAAAAA!"
** Blackadder: "Oh, God!" and, "...well, quite."
** Queenie: "Who's Queen?" and "Shut up Nursie!"
** George: "Hurrah!"
** Flashheart: "Woof!"
** Lady Whiteadder: "Wicked child!"
* TheChainOfHarm: Discussed (and simultaneously played out) in ''Blackadder III'':
-->'''Blackadder:''' It is the way of the world, Baldrick: the abused always kick downwards. I am annoyed, and so I kick the cat; the cat ''[terrified squeaking]'' pounces on the mouse; and, finally, the mouse...\\
'''Baldrick:''' ''[jumps in pain]'' Ahh!!\\
'''Blackadder:''' ... bites you on the behind.\\
'''Baldrick:''' And what do I do?\\
'''Blackadder:''' Nothing. You are [[ButtMonkey last in God's great chain, Baldrick]]. Unless, of course, there's an earwig around here that you'd like to victimise.
* CharlieChaplinShoutOut: In one episode of the fourth season Edmund is the only one who despises Chaplin, who is quite popular with all the other recruits. [[spoiler:Near the end of the episode he is forced to project Chaplin movies for the other soldiers]].
** This was something of an InJoke as Rowan Atkinson is a big Charlie Chaplin fan.
* CharacterActionTitle: ''Goes Forth''.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: As already mentioned, Blackadder was far less competent in the first series whereas Baldrick was far more intelligent. To a point, anyway; if you really look at Prince Edmund, you already start to see flashes of personality that would define his descendants (mostly in "Born to Be King", which was adapted from the pilot, in which the characters' personalities were much more in line with that of later series; Edmund's snarkiest lines are direct lifts from the pilot).
* CommediaDellArte: Edmund starts out as a ''Capitano'' character, but Series 2 {{Retool}}s him as a ''Brighella''. Baldrick is ''Arlecchino'' throughout, and Percy is a ''Pierrot''.
* ContemptCrossfire:
** In the second series, Blackadder has nothing but contempt for Lord Melchett for his constant sucking up to the Queen. Melchett hates him right back, constantly scheming to get Blackadder in trouble with the Queen, but must take great care that the PsychopathicWomanchild not decapitate him on a whim either.
** ''Blackadder Goes Forth'': Captain Blackadder finds himself with an antagonistic relationship with Captain Darling, who abuses his position under General Melchett to make Blackadder's life miserable (and is constantly belittled by Blackadder), but he's ignored and mistreated by the general in turn. It's a sign of just how badly they know they're screwed in the final episode when Darling is volunteered for the big push and neither of them snarks at the other.
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch:
** Various examples, especially in the first two series, such as the (latest) Archbishop of Canterbury dying because [[spoiler: a soldier bowed to him, "forgetting" that his helmet had a metre-long spike on it]], or Edmund's predecessor as Chief Executioner, [[spoiler: whose death was apparently a bureaucratic error, though Queenie seems to know more about it than she's letting on]]. Fantasised, though not acted out, by Edmund Blackadder III, when he asks "Baldrick, does it have to be this way? Our valued friendship ending with me cutting you up into strips and telling the prince that you walked over a very sharp cattle grid in an extremely heavy hat?"
** In the first episode of series three, Blackadder replaces the voter for Dunny-on-the-Wold after he "very sadly, accidentally, brutally cut his head off while combing his hair". Previously, the announcer (Vincent Hanna, [[IdenticalGrandson great-great-great-grandfather of the 20th century broadcaster]]) mentioned that Blackadder is also taking over the returning officer's role after he "accidentally, brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving".
* CunningLikeAFox:
** A line from ''Goes Fourth'' provides the current page quote:
--->'''Blackadder:''' As cunning as the fox that's just been appointed professor of cunning at Oxford University?
** Which gets a CallBack in ''Back & Forth'':
--->'''Baldrick:''' Is it as cunning as [[NotHyperbole that fox]] what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has since moved on, and is now working for the UN at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Blackadder in the second and subsequent seasons; also, Melchett in the second series and Darling in the fourth.
** Prince Edmund did show signs of this in the first series.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance:
** Often the show observes differences in social attitudes during the period, relative to the modern day. For example, in "Bells" Blackadder perceives his suspected homosexuality as a disease and goes to great lengths to cure it.
** Meanwhile in "Dish and Dishonesty", the "Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party" candidate (modelled on the real-life Monster Raving Loonies) has the "crazy" idea of abolishing slavery.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** Often. Nearly all Blackadders have unpleasant reactions to people they find somewhat irritating. Queenie has ordered executions for celebrating Christmas (and then changing her mind and ordering them for those who don't give her impressive enough gifts). The first Edmund's scepticism of witchcraft also got him accused and tried (and almost burned) for it by a corrupt "witchsmeller".
** Captain Blackadder was tried in a kangaroo court and sentenced to face the firing squad. His crime? He shot and ate General Melchett's favourite carrier pigeon.
*** [[ZigzaggedTrope Zig-zagged]], as the actual reason he was arrested was because shooting carrier pigeons was declared a court martial offence due to "communications problems" (actually Blackadder simply ignoring orders) -- however, it becomes immediately clear at the trial that all Melchett cares about is the pigeon.
--->'''Melchett:''' The charge before us is that the Flanders Pigeon Murderer did deliberately, callously, and with beastliness of forethought murder a lovely, innocent pigeon. [dismissively] And disobeyed some orders as well.
* TheDitz: Baldrick
* DownerEnding: Every series, [[spoiler: except the third one, and possibly the second if you don't count TheStinger]].
** The [[spoiler: third series]] is also up for debate. See TheBadGuyWins for details.
* DynamicAkimbo: The title character mocks this trope when some actors teach the [[UpperClassTwit Prince Regent]] to stand thus while giving a RousingSpeech.
-->'''Keanrick:''' Why, your very posture tells me, "Here is a man of true greatness."\\
'''Blackadder:''' Either that or "Here are my genitals, please kick them."
* EconomyCast: Verging on MinimalistCast even; Blackadder and Baldrick are the main characters, the supporting character cast is small, and there is occasionally an addition to the cast for the episode.
* TheEvilPrince: Prince Edmund. [[spoiler:Mr Blackadder went on to become this also, after his opportunistically usurping Prince George at the end of series three]].
* FamousLastWords: A couple.
** [[spoiler:The Black Adder]]: "And now, at last, I shall be King of E--"
** [[spoiler:Lord Topper, the Scarlet Pimpernel]]: "Let me just jump into this corner first."
** [[spoiler:The Original Prince George]]: "I'm not dead! You see, I had a cigarillo box too! ...Oh damn, I must have left it on the dresser."
** [[spoiler:The Red Baron]]: see EvilGloating
** [[spoiler:Captain Blackadder]]: "Good luck, everyone." (Although it's almost "Baldrick, you're mincemeat!")
* TheFightingNarcissist -- Lord Flashheart.
* FloweryInsults: Edmund proves to be creative at this. For instance: "Baldrick, if a hungry cannibal were to crack open your skull, I doubt there'd be enough brains in there to cover a small water biscuit."
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four Blackadders epitomise these types. The first is Sanguine, the second Phlegmatic, the third Choleric and the fourth Melancholic.
* GenerationalSaga
* InsaneTrollLogic: The thinking behind many of Baldrick's "cunning plans".
* HighTurnoverRate:
** Archbishop of Canterbury in the first series, Lord High Executioner in the second. And you can probably guess who gets both those jobs, just after the HighTurnoverRate is commented on in detail.
--->'''[[TheRival Melchett]]:''' ''[unrolls scroll]'' List of candidates for the position of Lord High Executioner: Lord Blackadder... ''[rolls up scroll]''
** Also, Royal Flying Corps pilots, as discussed in the fourth instalment. They are called "Twenty Minuters" because, on average, they only last twenty minutes, to the horror of Capt. Blackadder who was trying to escape trenches by transferring to the Flying Corps.
* HistoricalBeautyUpdate: Discussed on the trope page.
* HistoricalInJoke: The entire premise of the show (particularly the first series) with many references helpfully explained on the [=DVD=] collection for those of us unfamiliar with British history. The best of these is the final episode of the third series, which explains why the moronic Prince George is remembered by history as a man of wit and character.
* HollywoodHistory: Mostly played for laughs -- the first two series had enough history-based humour to prove the producers are well informed, after all. ''Blackadder the Third'' had a lot of AnachronismStew with respect to the order of events in the Napoleonic Wars (and every notable 18th century writer alive and writing at the same time).
* IdenticalGrandson: Prince Edmund, Lord Blackadder, E. Blackadder Esq, Captain E. Blackadder and [[spoiler: King Edmund Blackadder III]].
** Also true for the Baldricks.
** Possibly true for Prince George and Lieutenant George.
** Also the Melchetts, Percys, Flashhearts and Kate (aka Bob).
** Many different incarnations of the main characters appear in the specials as well. Over the course of the series there have been eleven versions of Blackadder (including [=MacAdder=]), ten Baldricks, five Georges, three Queenies, five Melchetts, two Percys, three Darlings, three Flashhearts, two Bobs, two Nursies, three Mrs. Migginses (mentioned) and numerous possible links between characters (for example Percy and Darling, Melchett and Wellington etc.)
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Titles of series 2 episodes are one word long and pertain to the subject of the episode in question ("Bells" as in wedding bells, "Chains" referring to imprisonment); series 3 uses TheNounAndTheNoun (to reference ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' and ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', which are set in the same era) -- for example "Dish and Dishonesty"; series 4 gives all bar one its titles military ranks with double meanings -- "Private Plane," "Major Star," "General Hospital," etc- the exception being "Goodbyeee...", the last one, named after a popular UsefulNotes/WorldWarI song and referencing the episode's famous DownerEnding.
* JustLikeRobinHood: Parodied briefly.
* KillEmAll: Played for laughs in the finales of series 1 and 2, then [[spoiler:played [[DramaBombFinale tragically straight]] in the finale of season 4]].
* LargeHam: Creator/BrianBlessed in series one, Creator/TomBaker in series 2, [[Radio/RoundTheHorne Hugh Paddick]] and Creator/KennethConnor in series 3 (as a pair of actors, no less), Rik Mayall and Creator/StephenFry elsewhere. The French Ambassador in series 3 counts as well.
* ManipulativeBastard -- Blackadder himself.
* {{Malaproper}}: Baldrick and George, on occasion.
* NeedleInAStackOfNeedles
* NegativeContinuity: Humour is much more important than continuity (particularly between episodes), especially when you've already more or less ignored any inconvenient history, but even then there are strange moments.
* NotSoFakePropWeapon
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Amy Hardwood and Nurse Mary Fletcher-Brown, and possibly Queenie (all played by Miranda Richardson).
* OddlySmallOrganization: In ''Blackadder II'', the Queen appears to have only three courtiers; in ''Blackadder the Third'', the Prince Regent has an apparent staff of two; and in ''Blackadder Goes Forth'', Captain Blackadder has only two men under his command. In the latter case, the full number of men under Captain Blackadder's command is revealed in the final episode, although even then it is rather small.
** These were mainly caused by the show lacking the budget to do the organisations justice so a suspension of disbelief is required. This is particularly evident in ''Back & Forth'' where they finally had the money to show Queenie's throne room and court in its entirety.
** The opening credits of "Goes Forth" at least shows Captain Blackadder at the head of a large platoon of soldiers as they're parading, and other soldiers in the trench are often referred to in conversation. It's almost a dead cert that, by the time they go over the top, the daily attrition of trench warfare had reduced his command to those unlucky few.
* OneDoseFitsAll: Parodied in the first series, where [[spoiler:one of the seven plotters]] doesn't die of poisoned wine, has another, then dies.
* OnlySaneMan: One of the main reasons why Blackadder is so easy to like despite his UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist and VillainProtagonist tendencies is that he's usually one of if not the only person around who is a reasonably sensible and not completely insane human being. Even the original Blackadder, who was noticeably less intelligent than his descendants, was smart enough to notice how utterly stupid and nonsensical the medieval witch-hunts were.
** The effect of Blackadder being the Only Sane Man was done via the dramatic equivalent of an optical illusion on the part of Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. After what everyone felt had been a not entirely successful first season, Elton suggested making Baldrick less intelligent and Blackadder more. But since a highly intelligent protagonist doesn't necessarily make for great comedy (because such a protagonist will be too smart to let him or herself get into potentially comic situations), they decided to make Baldrick ''epically'' stupid. This made it possible for Blackadder to do stupid things -- like delegate executions to Percy, or carelessly eat a random carrier pigeon -- because no matter how stupidly Blackadder behaved, Baldrick was always on hand to make him look intelligent by comparison.
* OverwhelmingException: The series like to play this trope for laughs in multiple different iterations and specials. For example, in ''Blackadder Goes Forth'', when being advised how details to a secret operation must be kept very close, the question is posed who exactly will know these details, and we get this exchange:
-->'''Melchett:''' You and me, Darling, obviously. Field Marshal Haig, Field Marshal Haig's wife, all Field Marshal Haig's wife's friends, their families, their families' servants, their families' servants' tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the mess the other day called Bernard.\\
'''Blackadder:''' Quite so, sir, only myself and the rest of the English-speaking world is to know.
* ThePigPen: Baldrick
* RantInducingSlight: Doesn't usually take much of a slight. The most notable example is probably that following Edmund being stripped of his titles in the last episode of series one.
* RearrangeTheSong: Each season uses a different arrangement of the same basic theme. The opening credits of the first season and the closing credits of the second season have lyrics, otherwise it's instrumental. (The closing credits of the third season have lyrics of a sort, even if it is just repetition of the word "Blackadder").
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: How each series ends.
** Except Series 3, which ends with only Prince George dead, and King George (who is as mad as a spoon) thinking Blackadder is Prince George (and several other prominent people also thinking this, or at least willing to play along since it means not having an idiot as regent and future king).
* RunningGag: Many.
** "[Person] / [something] is the most [adjective] [thing] since [humorously exaggerated comparison]."
** "[[CatchPhrase I have a cunning plan...]]."
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: The seasons in relation to each other are Level 0 (Non-Linear Installments), the only similarities being the basic premise of "Blackadder surrounded by idiots" (and not even that considering the first season). However, the episodes within a season can be from Levels 1-2.
* TheStinger: Used in every episode of ''The Black Adder'' except for "Born to be King," and then memorably after the last episode of ''Blackadder 2''.
* SurroundedByIdiots: '''[[UpToEleven EDMUND]]'''.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: George for Percy. YMMV of whether or not he became more of an example as time went by. In Season 3, Prince George being Edmund's boss made the dynamic somewhat different, but season 4's Lt George was closer to Percy. Richard Curtis described Prince George thus:
-->'''Richard Curtis''': We took Percy, who hadn't been clever, and scooped out the final teaspoonful of brains, and presented Hugh Laurie.
** There are subtle differences between Percy and Lt George. Where Percy is arrogant, Lt George is blithe; where Percy is smug, Lt George is blandly complacent; where Percy is insecure and fears Blackadder's wrath, Lt George isn't scared of Blackadder and doesn't really understand him at all.
*** Captain Darling in season 4 is what Percy would be like if Percy weren't desperate for Blackadder's approval.
* TalksLikeASimile: Edmund often uses elaborate similes.
* TimeTravel: ''Blackadder Back & Forth''
** ''Blackadder's Christmas Carol'' has no actual travel, but does show peeks into the past and future.
* TokenEvilTeammate: The self-serving Blackadders are usually this. However, the one in Goes Fourth is more a Token Jerk Teammate as he's [[ALighterShadeOfBlack far less evil]] than his predecessors and the evil flag has been taken over by the sociopathic and incompetent [[GeneralRipper General]] [[GeneralFailure Melchett]].
* TooDumbToLive: Everyone who isn't Edmund. Edmund himself is more like [[TooDumbToLive Too]] SurroundedByIdiots [[TooDumbToLive to live]]: He is accidentally poisoned by Percy in Series 1; no-one is able to see through Ludvig's Queenie disguise in Series 2, not even the real Queenie; and in Series 4 he has his commanding officers like [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Field Marshall Haig]] and Melchett, who believe that the best strategy is to climb over the top and "walk very slowly towards the enemy". A strategy which has already failed at least fourteen times, no less. (Sadly TruthInTelevision, of course)
** In Series 1, even Blackadder is TooDumbToLive. [[spoiler: He recruits the most evil men in the entire kingdom to help him overthrow his father and seize the throne for himself, and then is entirely surprised when they turn on him to loot everything for themselves and try to brutally kill him. He actually survives that, and is the only one in the room who DOESN'T drink the poisoned wine in the toast to his survival, then when everyone else dies (and leaves him as King of England, which he has been scheming to become for the entire series) he decides to test the wine for poison by drinking it HIMSELF]].
* TookALevelInDumbass: Baldrick between series one and two.
* TookALevelInKindness:
** In ''Blackadder the Third'', Prince George is an obnoxious, piggish and over-sexed moron. In ''Blackadder Goes Forth'', Lieutenant George is more of a naive and SpoiledSweet ManChild.
** Blackadder himself get this. Unlike his power-hungry ancestors, Captain Edmund Blackadder just wants to get out of the trenches and not die.
* UniversalAdaptorCast: ''Back & Forth'' makes it explicit that there are analogues of the main cast throughout all of history.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Particularly the series three Blackadder, who is a thief and a murderer several times over by the ending.
** In season two, no one -- including the balladeer -- cares about him much:
--->Blackadder, Blackadder -- his life was almost done!\\
Blackadder, Blackadder -- who gives a toss? No one!
* UpperClassTwit: Several, most notably Lord Percy Percy [second season] and Prince Regent George (the future George IV) [third season]. Not that Percy's series 1 ancestor is any better, as he appears to be quite a bonehead.
* VillainProtagonist: Played with in Edmund, although only the third really qualifies as a full-time one.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Blackadder to Percy in the first two series. Prince Edmund treated Percy-Percy more like his personal suck-up and sycophant rather than friend and went as far as trying to stab him once due to being driven nuts by his (greater) stupidity. Lord Edmund doesn't even require Lord Percy's toadying and would rather avoid him completely, but Percy's insistence to treat him as his best friend and hang out with him makes Edmund try to make the best out of the situation, by taking advantage of Percy in every way possible (primarily financially).
* WorldOfHam: The franchise is a good who's-who of great British scenery-chewers.
* WorldOfSnark: The shallowness, stupidity and downright arrogance of the world around him make Blackadder's hijinks as a VillainProtagonist [[KickTheSonOfABitch particularly satisfying]]
* ZanyScheme: Blackadder tends to have one for every occasion. Baldrick also cooks all sorts of these up... problem is, with his intelligence, most of them border on the ridiculous (such as in series 3's "Nob and Nobility", where he suggests to Edmund that they wait until their heads have been cut off by French revolutionaries before they make an escape, in the manner of a headless chicken). His series 1 plans were perfectly feasible and at times even brilliant. That said though, Edmund does take him up on one plan in series 4. Percy also had his share of these in the first two series.
** Sometimes the situation is shown as being so desperate that Blackadder is forced to resort to one of Baldrick's plans due to the lack of any other alternative (for example, trying to rewrite in only two nights the dictionary which took Samuel Johnson ten years to write).
** Blackadder's main objective over the course of each series always relates very much to the time in which he lives. In the first series (medieval times) he wants to take over the throne. In the second (Elizabethan) he is trying to at best wed Queen Elizabeth or at least earn her favour. In the third (the Industrial Revolution) he wants to make more money and in the fourth (World War I) he just wants to get out of the trenches.


[[folder:Tropes Present in ''The Black Adder'']]
* AbhorrentAdmirer: The Spanish Infanta in "The Queen of Spain's Beard".
* AccidentalMisnaming: The King has a habit of calling Edmund by different names (Occasionally (read: deliberately and OnceAnEpisode) forgetting Edmund's his son at all). The King finally calls him Edmund in the last episode [[spoiler:after he wakes from his torture-induced coma]], leading to this exchange:
-->'''King Richard:''' Edmund!\\
'''Edmund:''' Father, you called me Edmund!\\
'''King Richard:''' Sorry, Edgar.
* AintTooProudToBeg: Edmund, finding himself on the losing end of a duel, tries to bribe his aggressor with all his possessions into sparing his life ("you can have my wigs! My wigs for formal occasions, my wigs for private occasions...").
* AlasPoorVillain: Prince Edmund.
* AltarDiplomacy: In [[Recap/BlackadderS1E4TheQueenOfSpainsBeard "The Queen of Spain's Beard"]] Edmund is first betrothed to the Spanish Infanta and later is married off to a princess of Hungary[[note]]who is only eight years old -- and which, oddly, was TruthInTelevision[[/note]] because of his father King Richard's political machinations.
* AskAStupidQuestion: An early hint of the future Blackadder wit is seen when Prince Edmund trots out the castle gate on his horse.
-->'''Old Man/Retired Morris Dancer:''' Going on a journey, my lord?\\
'''Prince Edmund:''' No, I thought I'd stand around here all day and talk to you.
* AtrociousAlias: Edmund's original choice of "The Black Vegetable".
* BaitAndSwitchComparison: A variant in "The Queen of Spain's Beard."
-->'''King Richard:''' ''[[[ItMakesSenseInContext pointing at Harry's genitals to teach him about diplomacy]]]'' What's that for?\\
'''Harry:''' Well, a couple of things.\\
'''King Richard:''' Correct, and one of those things is?\\
'''Harry:''' Best not mentioned, really.\\
'''King Richard:''' Right, and the other is fornication!
* BastardBastard: It's heavily implied that Edmund is the illegitimate offspring of the Queen and a Scottish duke.
* BraggingThemeTune: The theme is a parody of this trope. Although it does say how wonderful Blackadder is, it does seem like the truth slips out.
--> Black Adder, Black Adder, with many a cunning plan!\\
Black Adder, Black Adder, you horrid little man!
* BrickJoke: When trying to get out of his arranged marriage to the Infanta, Blackadder takes Baldrick's suggestion that he pretend to [[IncompatibleOrientation "prefer the company of men"]], as does the Earl of Doncaster. He does this by dressing up and acting CampGay. Later, his father sees him like this and greets him with "Morning, Doncaster!". Even the peasant whose wife he tries to marry tells his wife that Edmund isn't the Prince, he's the Earl of Doncaster.
** A bit of a meta-joke, as Brian Blessed is from Doncaster.
** At the start of the first episode, St. Ralph the Liar is mentioned as one of the greatest liars in history who are still outdone by Henry VII. Later in the same episode, it turns out that the battle takes place on Ralph the Liar's Day.
* BurnTheWitch: "Witchsmeller Pursuivant"
* CatchPhrase: King Richard IV's "'''[[Creator/BrianBlessed CHISWICK!!]] [[LargeHam FRESH HORSES!!]]'''"
* CharacterDevelopment: While still not quite the quick-witted DeadpanSnarker of series 2 onward, Prince Edmund appears a bit more savvy and sarcastic in the latter episodes of the series.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: On the eve of the Battle of Bosworth Hill.
-->'''(the future) Richard IV:''' [[NoIndoorVoice EDNA! FIGHT YOU WITH US ON THE MORROW?]]\\
'''Edmund:''' Oh, goodness me, no. No, I'll be fighting with the enemy!\\
''[awkward silence]''\\
'''Richard III:''' You're not putting him anywhere near me, are you?
* CarnivalOfKillers: The "six most evil men in England" in "The Black Seal".
* DeadStarWalking: Creator/PeterCook as Richard III in the first episode.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: It's not as crippling a TearJerker as the end of the fourth series, but the ending of the first series is still sad. Funny, but sad at the same time]].
* DramaticUnmask: Subverted in "The Black Seal", where an old and unkempt man Edmund has been travelling with transforms, apparently by magic, into a tall, striking nobleman with fine clothes and powerful-looking facial hair, asking if Edmund recognises him. Edmund does not. The man then reaches up and removes two fake-looking bushy eyebrows, revealing... two completely identical bushy eyebrows. Edmund immediately recognises him as Philip of Burgundy... The HAWK!
* TheDungAges
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** To those familiar with the later series ''The Black Adder'' may seem a little odd. This include the [[CharacterizationMarchesOn different characterisation]], the larger ensemble of characters, differences in the writing (Creator/BenElton replaced Creator/RowanAtkinson as writer from ''Blackadder II'' onwards), as well as the significantly larger budget which allowed large sets, crowd scenes and location shooting. The later seasons would focus more on dialogue and characterisation. Other, minor differences include each episode having a ColdOpen, usage of supernatural elements, and the characters frequently speaking in a pseudo-Shakespearian manner instead of the modern English used elsewhere. Also, this one had more of an ensemble cast. It's a bit of a shock to fans of later series to see that Tony Robinson is not actually mentioned in the opening credits but Baldrick was more of a supporting character here and it was only really from ''Blackadder II'' onwards that he was promoted to second lead.
** {{Subverted}} when the original pilot resurfaced. The original Edmund ''was'' the DeadpanSnarker we all know and love, and the original Baldrick (not portrayed by Creator/TonyRobinson) ''was'' a BumblingSidekick. [[RunningGag Percy... is Percy]].
* EvilCostumeSwitch: Edmund adopts his [[EvilWearsBlack trademark black outfit]] once he decides to become the Black Adder.
* EvilVersusEvil: Edmund v The Witchsmeller Pursuivant and Edmund v Philip "The Hawk" of Burgundy.
** EvilerThanThou: Edmund accidentally points out that "The Hawk" is more evil than him, prompting his cohorts to switch sides due to his impressive resume.
* FauxYay: Blackadder attempts this in "The Queen of Spain's Beard".
* FelonyMisdemeanor: In "The Archbishop", Baldrick shows off a range of priced curses signed by ecclesiastical figures, the cheapest of which reads "Dear Enemy, I curse you, and I hope something slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head".
* GagPenis: Edmund's comically-oversized "Black Russian" codpiece.
* GladIThoughtOfIt: Done by Edmund a couple of times in "The Foretelling".
* GroinAttack: Lord Yeovil in "The Foretelling": "Ah, yes, groin job!" (even though this obviously didn't actually happen).
* HistoricalInJoke / UpToEleven: In "The Archbishop", at one point Baldrick mentions a high-level exemption of sin paper is signed by "both Popes" -- which at first seems like an UpToEleven joke, but around this point in history there really ''were'' two Popes (in Rome and in Avignon) due to the Great Schism. Then a true example of UpToEleven appears in the epilogue, in which the abbess mentions that another document is signed by "all three Popes!" (There was a brief period in history where there were three Popes, but not at the point the series was set).
** In "The Black Seal" Philip of Burgundy locks Prince Edmund in a jail cell with a bunch of snails, and Edmund is absolutely terrified for some reason. There are actually a number of medieval manuscripts that have knights battling snails illustrated in them. It's something of a mystery because no scholar is sure about what it means, whether symbolic, or a joke ("look at the silly knight battling something as harmless as a snail"), or perhaps just a medieval meme with no central origin.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Baldrick
* ImmuneToDrugs: Sean the Irish Bastard in "The Black Seal", it takes ''two'' shots of deadly poison to put him down.
-->"It's got a bit of a sting in its tail!"
* KangarooCourt: Edmund's trial by the Witchsmeller Pursuivant is this UpToEleven. Where to begin: Edmund's entire case is thrown out when the Witchsmeller convinces Prince Harry that they should ignore the testimony of a witch pleading for his life, Percy -- who is defending Edmund -- is accused of being a witch and is also ignored, and when Baldrick counters the Witchsmeller's assertion that carrots grow on trees, the Witchsmeller uses his knowledge of carrots to 'prove' Baldrick is a witch as well. He then produces a signed confession by a horse, an old woman Edmund has never met and an obvious poodle that he claims is Edmund's son. It is almost fitting to the ridiculousness of the situation that our heroes apparently escape with [[AssPull hitherto unused and never mentioned again magical powers of teleportation]].
** The ending reveals that this was the work of the Queen, actually being a real witch.
** It is implied that the Witchsmeller Pursuivant was really a witch himself, as when he is killed the king recovers from his illness and everything goes back to normal (for them) -- or possibly Edmund's mother, who likely ended the spell to keep Edmund from being thought guilty still.
* LargeHam: Frank Finlay as the Witchsmeller Pursuivant.
** Plus '''Creator/{{BRIAN BLESSED}}''', as usual.
** Rik Mayall as Mad Gerald.
* LaserGuidedKarma: The Witchsmeller Pursuivant falsely accuses countless innocents of witchcraft and burns them alive. He ends up burned alive himself, thanks to ''actual'' witchcraft that he completely missed.
* LegionOfDoom: For the end of the first series, Blackadder gathers ''"the six most evil men in all England!"'' And then they promptly betray him when they learn from Edmund just how much of a big villain The Hawk / Philip of Burgundy is.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: To ''[[TheBlackArrow The Black]]'' '''''[[TheBlackArrow Arrow]]''''', an adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson also set in the Wars of the Roses.
* MagnificentSeven: Inverted in "The Black Seal" as Edmund gathers the six most evil men in England (plus himself) to take over the kingdom. And then they end up siding with Edmund's enemy, The Hawk / Philip of Burgundy.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: The most expensive curse Baldrick has for sale ends with "may your head fall off at an inopportune moment".
* TheMiddleAges: The setting of the first series. (See also TheLateMiddleAges)
* OffWithHisHead: In the first episode Edmund beheads Richard III, mistaking him for a horse thief.
* OutOfContextEavesdropping: A couple of drunken templars overhear the king talking to his wife saying how satisfied he is with the current Archbishop, and won't ever again have to say "will no one rid me of this TurbulentPriest?" Unfortunately they only hear that last part where he's quoting himself, so they go off to slay the Archbishop to get in the king's good graces.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: In "The Archbishop", Edmund tries to avoid taking his latest job. [[Creators/BrianBlessed Richard IV]], [[NoIndoorVoice whose usual target volume is "drown out nearby jet engines"]], very calmly and quietly tells Edmund that if he tries to weasel out of this, "I will do to you what God did to the sodomites". [[TranquilFury It's much more effective]].
* ParentalFavoritism: Richard IV is so comically biased in favor of his oldest son Harry that he usually doesnt remember that Edmund exists. When he DOES remember, he treats him like something he scraped off his boot, and makes no secret about what he thinks of his sniveling toad of a son.
* PetTheDog: Edmund reading a bedtime story to his child wife at the end of "The Queen of Spain's Beard".
* PlayingGertrude: Creator/BrianBlessed, of all people. Although 19 years older than Creator/RowanAtkinson, Blessed was only 7 years older than Robert East who played his elder son Prince Harry. Elspet Gray playing the queen was a mere 14 years older than East.
* PokeThePoodle: The cheapest example of a curse sold by the Church in "The Archbishop" is "Dear enemy, I curse you, and I hope that something slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head".
* PrecisionFStrike: Edmund gives one to Baldrick when they're about to be burned at the stake in "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant". Though in some versions the swear is apparently censored by a cough.
-->'''Baldrick:''' My Lord, I have a cunning plan.\\
'''Edmund:''' Oh, fuck off, Baldrick!
* PrincelingRivalry: A central theme in this series is Edmund constantly scheming to get out of the shadow of his more popular older brother, Harry, Prince of Wales, the heir to the throne of England, which is ridiculously one-sided since Harry doesn't get a single clue.
* {{Retcon}}: What Henry VII did once he took power: erased all record of Richard IV's reign.
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: Richard IV was telling the story of Henry II accidentally ordering the murder of Thomas Becket to his wife to contrast the situation there with how happy he is with the current Archbishop, and a couple of Mooks overheard and decided to "help". The two of them [[TableSpace sitting at opposite ends of a very long table]] contributed to the misunderstanding. He initially said "Never again will I have to say 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?'" (he had in fact had several of the previous archbishops murdered), but had to repeat the last bit.
* RoboticTortureDevice: In the final episode, the Hawk straps Edmund into one of these, which ends up cutting off his ears, his hands, grinding into his crotch, trepanning his skull and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking tickling his armpits]].
* RunningGag: The messenger boy mimicking Edmund's gestures.
* ShoutOut: Edmund's child bride in "The Queen of Spain's Beard" is called [[Franchise/StarWars Princess Leia]], and has a rather familiar hairstyle.
** One might be reminded of [[Theatre/KingLear another story]] involving a BastardBastard named Edmund.
* SinisterMinister: Edmund himself in "The Archbishop", and Friar Bellows in "The Black Seal".
* SmugSnake: Prince Edmund, although his smugness tends to evaporate quickly when his schemes (inevitably) go wrong.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: Toward the end of "The Queen of Spain's Beard".
* StylisticSuck: ''[[ShowWithinAShow The Death of the Scotsman]]'', a play that Edmund has hurriedly edited to provide a role for [=MacAngus=], leading to a Scottish protagonist in an Egyptian setting. It becomes extra terrible when [[spoiler:Edmund himself crashes the proceedings to clumsily stab [=MacAngus=] with a fake dagger]].
-->Tutankhamen [=McPherson=], you come not a whit too soon,\\
For is this not the weather fair, or this the Ides of June?
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Edmund, when asked by his father about Richard III's death.
-->'''Edmund:''' Well...I wouldn't know, really...I was nowhere near him at the time...I just heard from someone that he'd, uh...uh...I mean, I don't even know ''where'' he was killed...I was completely on the opposite side of the field...I was nowhere near the cottage...not that there was a cottage...it was the river...but then I wouldn't know, of course, because I wasn't there...but, apparently, some fool cut his head off!...or, at least, killed him in some way...perhaps...took an ear off, or something...yes, in fact, I think he was only wounded...uh...or was that somebody else?...yes, I think it was...why, he wasn't even wounded!...why, did someone say he was dead?
* TimeSkip: In "The Black Seal", Edmund is trapped in a dungeon with an insane old man who laughs maniacally after Edmund asks if there's a way out. We are shown a cue card reading "Twelve Months Later". And the man is [[OverlyLongGag still laughing]].
* TitleDrop: Parodied in the first episode when Edmund decides to take the name of The Black... Vegetable! Fortunately Baldrick suggests a better title for the series [=/=] his Lord.
* TranslatorBuddy: The Spanish Infanta's translator (Jim Broadbent), who provides a few cheap gags.
** First among them, his name, Don Speekingleesh.
* TheUnfavorite: Edmund in comparison to his (''far'' more virtuous) brother Harry.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: [[UpperClassTwit Prince Harry]] somehow completely fails to notice that the Witchsmeller Pursuivant is on fire, until the flames cover about 100% of his body and his screaming has risen to a fairly loud volume.
* VideoInsideFilmOutside
* TheVillainSucksSong: You horrid little man!
* WeirdCurrency: One opening scene in the first series claimed that "the egg replaced the worm as the lowest form of currency".
** While making plans to sell absolvments and curses, Baldrick mentions that the cheapest of each is "half an egg" and "a pebble" respectively.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Edmund is convinced he's a MagnificentBastard pulling off brilliant plots, unaware he's an idiot who everyone treats as a joke.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Averted for the most part; while this occasionally tends to be seen on signs and other bits of writing, most dialogue is in modern-day English. However, the characters do often speak in a cod-Shakespearian manner, especially Richard III in the first episode.

[[folder:Tropes Present in ''Blackadder II'']]
* AbsurdlyDedicatedWorker: Parodied in the first episode when Blackadder fires Baldrick in favor of [[SweetPollyOliver Bob]].
--> '''Edmund:''' Well, Bob, welcome on board. Sorry Baldrick, any reason why you are still here?\\
'''Baldrick:''' Euh .. I've got nowhere to go, my lord.\\
'''Edmund:''' O surely you will be allowed to starve to death in one of the royal parks.\\
'''Baldrick:''' I've been in your service since I was two and a half, my lord.\\
'''Edmund:''' Well that is the why I am so utterly sick of the sight of you.\\
'''Baldrick:''' Couldn't I just stay here and do the same job but for no wages?\\
'''Edmund:''' Well, you know where you will have to live.\\
'''Baldrick:''' In the gutter.\\
'''Edmund:''' Yes. And you'll have to work a bit harder too.\\
'''Baldrick:''' Of course, my lord.\\
'''Edmund:''' All right. Go and get Bob's stuff in and chuck your filthy muck out into the street.\\
'''Baldrick:''' God bless you, sweet master!
* AdmiringTheAbomination: The Bishop of Bath and Wells, after learning the sordid details of Edmund's frame-up job.
-->"Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the church?"
* AlcoholHic: Pretty much everyone ends up drunk in "Beer" -- including the Balladeer, who hiccups during his song at the end.
* AllDevouringBlackHoleLoanSharks: The bank of the Black Monks of Saint Herod: "Banking with a smile and a stab".
* AnythingThatMoves: The baby-eating bishop of Bath and Wells will "do anything to anything": animal, vegetable, even ''mineral''.
** Lord Flashheart isn't exactly selective.
--->'''Flashheart:''' ''[to Baldrick]'' Thanks, bridesmaid, like the beard! Gives me something to '''hang on to'''!
--->'''Flashheart:''' Nursie! I like it! [[ChubbyChaser Firm and fruity!]] Am I pleased to see you, or did I just put a ''canoe'' in my pocket! ''Down'', boy, '''down'''!
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: In "Head", Nursie mentions how she put ointment on Queenie's sister after her head was cut off. Except that would have been Mary I of England, who was not beheaded, but died of natural causes. The one who was beheaded was her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. However, it's very possible that Nursie just got the two mixed up, especially since Ludwig correctly says in "Chains" that it was Mary, Queen of Scots who lost her head.
* AudienceMurmurs: Parodied in "Potato". Everyone on the ship is panicking / arguing except Creator/TomBaker, who is clearly saying "Rhubarb!" over and over again.
* AxCrazy: Queenie enjoys beheading everyone and anyone for the slimmest of reasons. She just has other people do the beheading for her.
* BaitAndSwitch: Repeatedly throughout "Bells," with Edmund implying he'd love for Percy to be his best man only to supply another name at the last minute; Queenie isn't having any of that, with her screeching at Edmund until he actually puts the offer on the table for Percy.
** Raleigh does one in "Potato":
--->'''Sir Walter''': To my mind, there is only one seafarer with few enough marbles to attempt that journey.
--->'''Edmund''': Ah yes, and who is that?
--->'''Sir Walter''': Why, Rum, of course. Captain Redbeard Rum.
--->'''Edmund''': Well done. Just testing. And where would I find him on a Tuesday?
--->'''Sir Walter''': Well, if I remember his habits, he's usually up the Old Sea Dog.
--->'''Edmund''': Ah yes, and where is the Old Sea Dog?
--->'''Sir Walter''': Well, on Tuesdays he's normally in bed with the Captain.
* BawdySong: Several examples in "Beer", all of which are also {{Drunken Song}}s.
-->See the little goblin\\
See his little feet\\
And his little nosey-wose\\
Isn't the goblin sweet?
** YES!
* BestialityIsDepraved / NoodleIncident
-->Lord Melchett, Lord Melchett -- intelligent and deep.\\
Lord Melchett, Lord Melchett -- a shame about the sheep!
* BoldExplorer: In "Potato", the bold explorer Sir Walter Raleigh returns in triumph to England, which makes Blackadder jealous, so when Sir Walter says that even he wouldn't attempt to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, Blackadder tells the court that he's going to do just that. Of course, Blackadder isn't actually bold; his plan is to sail to France and hide out, then return and ''claim'' to have sailed around the Cape. Unfortunately, the ship captain he picked for his expedition isn't capable of making it even as far as France -- [[spoiler: they wind up in ''[[LandDownunder Australia]]'', returning with a boomerang for the Queen]].
* BuffySpeak
** Notably in "Beer":
--->'''Lord Melchett:''' ''[in regards to Edmund's constant leaving-and-entering]'' You twist and turn like a... twisty-turny thing!
** In "Money", Edmund (usually a master of similes) says: "The grave opens up before me like a... big hole in the ground." He is very depressed at the time.
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Edmund, in "Beer"
-->Blackadder couldn't hold his beer;\\
The art of boozing he has not mastered.
* ChasedOffIntoTheSunset: A CouchGag during the ClosingCredits shows the minstrel singing the theme song irritating Blackadder, Blackadder chasing him, and finally catching and drowning him.
* ChewToy: Baldrick obviously, but also Percy, which is a bit of a {{Woobie}} since he is sincerely a good friend of exceptional loyalty. Everyone (especially Edmund) is this to Queenie, too.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Nursie. Queenie, too, and also Percy to a certain extent.
* CouchGag: Three per episode: In the opening credits, the episode title is accompanied by the object to which it refers. In the closing credits, the theme song has different lyrics and the minstrel accosts Edmund in different ways, although the last one ("Chains") has Edmund finally catch the bugger and drown him.
* CurseCutShort: In "Beer":
-->'''Lady Whiteadder:''' Luck! Sounds almost exactly like f-- ''[episode ends]''
* DespairSpeech: A very short one, which is also a ShoutOut to ''Theatre/RichardII'':
-->'''Percy:''' Then you are doomed. Alas. For God's sake, let us sit upon the carpet and tell sad stories.
* DryCrusader: The Whiteadders are strictly opposed to alcohol -- at least until the end of the episode.
* EatsBabies: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells]].
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Nursie. Since her real name is Bernard, it's understandable.
* EveryoneIsSatanInHell: The Whiteadders ''are'' this trope, in its in-universe form. They may be getting better, now that Lord Whiteadder has broken his vow of silence and they've both discovered the joys of being drunk.
* EvilVersusEvil: Edmund v Prince Ludwig the Indestructible.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: a classic example.
-->'''Percy:''' Wait a minute. That's not Farrow, that's Ponsonby.\\
'''Blackadder:''' By Jove, we're saved. Baldrick cut off the wrong head and Lord Farrow is alive and we're saved. And when the queen comes back from her meeting with Ponsonby... OH GOD!
* {{Expy}}: The greatest painter in London, bearded, self-described genius, Leonardo [[Creator/LeonardoDaVinci Acropolis]]. Blackadder hires him to paint some porn.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: In "Head", Blackadder has accidentally had Lord Farrow executed (or so he thinks) ''before'' his wife is supposed to meet him one last time, so is forced to impersonate him by putting a bag over his head. In a meeting with Lady Farrow beforehand, he tries to prepare her for this by saying her husband has 'changed', which she takes to mean he's been tortured:
-->'''Lady Farrow:''' What have you done to him?!\\
'''Blackadder:''' We have put... ''[DramaticPause]'' ...a bag over his head!
* FieryRedhead: Queenie.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: The Bishop of Bath and Wells already has an appointment with Molly the Inexpensive Prostitute and freely admits that he is a colossal pervert who will do anything ''to'' anything, "animal, vegetable, or mineral," but his flock is none the wiser. So Blackadder drugs him and has him painted in a rather lewd position with [[spoiler:poor, poor Percy]], then uses it as blackmail to get out of his loan.
-->"And it's so beautifully framed... which is funny, because that's what you've just been."
* FreudianExcuse: Prince Ludwig wants to TakeOverTheWorld because he was bullied at school.
* FreudianSlipperySlope: Blackadder greeting his wealthy aunt and uncle in "Beer" (though it's likely he was doing it on purpose to less-than-subtly drop hints that he wanted to discuss his inheritance):
-->"Well, I hope you had a pleasant inheritance...Did I say 'inheritance'? I meant journey... If you'd just like to help yourself to a legacy... a chair."
* FriendshipMoment: Hilariously subverted in "Money": Percy loyally offers his life savings to get Blackadder out of debt, only to have Blackadder casually reveal that he has long since stolen and spent the savings in question. And even BALDRICK was in on it.
* TheFundamentalist: Lord and Lady Whiteadder, Edmund's Puritan relatives.
* GenderBlenderName: Besides Kate, whose name is short for Bob, there's also Nursie and her sisters, with names like Bernard and Basil.
* GilliganCut: Well, Gilligan's Doorway, at least. In "Chains" Edmund remarks to the Queen how only an idiot would allow himself to get distracted by a foreigner asking a question, be knocked on the head, and abducted for ransom. Naturally, this exact sequence of events occurs when Edmund leaves her throne room.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: ''Blackadder II'' features Queen Elizabeth I as a petulant schoolgirl -- a petulant schoolgirl with power of life and death over the whole of the Kingdom of England. Oddly enough, this portrayal actually seems much more in line with her half-sister Mary I, who was rather free with ordering executions. Not for nothing was she nicknamed Bloody Mary. Then again, fobbing off her worst flaws on a hated relative sounds entirely in-character for Queenie...
* GroinAttack:
** Twice in "Bells": Blackadder kicks Percy down there, and shortly afterwards, Percy shoots Baldrick with an arrow.
** Also part of the plan Blackadder and Melchett use to escape their German captors in "Chains."
--->'''Blackadder:''' Trust me to get the hard one!
* HaveYouComeToGloat: In "Head", the gang finds out that Lord Farrow (whom Edmund is trying to impersonate) was missing an arm. He sends Percy to speak with Lady Farrow and find out ''which'' arm, but the only idea Percy can come up with is a SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay test to prove that she's not just a "gloater" pretending to be a relative so she can mock the condemned man.
-->'''Blackadder:''' "Gloaters"...you really are a prat, aren't you Percy?
* HelloSailor: The episode "Potato" is ''full'' of jokes about gay sailors, because it revolves around explorers and sea voyages. In "Money," Baldrick winds up being pimped out to sailors down at the docks.
* HenpeckedHusband: Lord Whiteadder appears to be this, considering that he has to sit on a spike instead of a chair -- and Lady Whiteadder in turn sits on ''him'' -- and seems to approve of things that his wife considers the work of Satan. One can imagine that he took his vow of silence just to give his wife fewer excuses to slap him around.
* IncomingHam:
** The opening of "Money":
--->'''Edmund:''' ''[to Baldrick, who has just been kicked through a door]'' Yes, Baldrick, what is it now?\\
'''Baldrick:''' It's that priest, he says he still wants to see you.\\
'''Blackadder:''' And did you mention the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells?\\
'''Baldrick:''' Yes, my Lord.\\
'''Blackadder:''' And what did he say?\\
'''Bishop:''' ''[from offscreen]'' He said "I '''AM''' the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells!"
** Lord Flashheart's entrance to Blackadder's wedding, where he sets off a bomb, swings in, takes the bride, chucks another bomb and promptly leaves.
* InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike: Edmund falls prey to the English-Spanish "embarrassed is tener vergüenza but embarazada means pregnant" while under interrogation by the Spanish Inquisition torturer in "Chains".
* InsultBackfire: In "Beer", two incidents involving Lady Whiteadder:
-->'''Lady Whiteadder:''' Has anyone ever told you you're a giggling imbecile?\\
'''Lord Percy Percy:''' ''[completely nonchalant]'' Oh yes.\\
'''Lady Whiteadder:''' ... good.
* InsultMisfire
-->'''Edmund:''' Oh, shove off you old trout.\\
'''Lady Whiteadder:''' How dare you speak to my husband like that!
* JumpingTheGenderBarrier: Edmund with Bob.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Prince Ludwig gets away with at least two counts of RapeByDeception, kidnapping Edumnd and Melchett for ransom, killing the entire main cast and overthrowing the British throne.]]
* LameComeback: "Better a 'lapdog to a slip of a girl' than a... ''git''!" Ironically, the sailor is actually impressed by this.
* LargeHam: The bishop of Bath and Wells.
* LaughingAtYourOwnJokes: in the episode "Beer", one of Edmund's drinking buddies constantly cracks himself up by repeating things that "sound a bit rude." Sample:
-->'''Edmund:''' Well, well, get stuck in, boys.\\
'''Partridge:''' 'Stuck in'! Way-hey! Get it?\\
'''Monk:''' No...\\
'''Partridge:''' Well, it sounds a bit rude, doesn't it! 'Stuck ''in!'''
* LoveAtFirstSight: Blackadder and Bob are smitten with each other the instant she walks in the door.
* MathematiciansAnswer: From the opening of "Head," when Edmund is trying to teach Baldrick how to count:
-->'''Edmund:''' Now, let's say I have two beans. If I add two more beans to those, what do I have?\\
'''Baldrick:''' Some beans.\\
'''Edmund:''' ... yes... and no.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: In "Bells", the Wise Woman's three solutions to Blackadder's problem are 1) Kill Bob, 2) Kill yourself, or 3) [[LargeHam KILL EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!]]
* NamesTheSame: Referenced in-universe. Mr Ploppy and Mistress Ploppy are not married or related in any way, but have the same name by pure coincidence. Baldrick then offers to change his name to Ploppy "if it'll make things easier" on Edmund. For the rest of the episode, Mr. Ploppy refers to Baldrick as "Young Ploppy". And of course, Ploppy's father Daddy Ploppy, AKA "Ploppy the Slopper".
* NeverLiveItDown: In-universe, when Blackadder discovers Melchett slept with Prince Ludwig, who was disguised as a Sheep.
--> '''Blackadder:''' Baa!
* NoIndoorVoice: Flashheart, Captain Rum and the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
* NoodleImplements: Averted with Blackadder's plan to get out of debt in "Money":
--> '''Blackadder:''' All I need is some feathers, a dress, some oil, an easel, some sleeping draught, lots of paper, a prostitute and the best portrait painter in England!
** Turns out he drugged the Bishop, put him in a compromising position, painted the scene, and used it to blackmail the Bishop.
* NoodleIncident: In Potato it is revealed a horse was elected Pope. The details of this vibrant, dynamic and exciting Papacy has sadly been lost to history. (Of course, this is coming from Baldrick, who may not be a reliable source.)
* NotAnAct: Blackadder has had a man executed prematurely without anyone knowing, but the man's wife begs the queen for one last meeting. Blackadder is forced to impersonate him lest ''he'' get the chop, and does so with a bag over his head, insisting on Baldrick only allowing them two minutes. Blackadder manages to impersonate the husband to the point where she starts to go down on him, which of course is the moment an unusually-competent Baldrick comes in to declare that their time's up. Blackadder's "No it isn't" is entirely heartfelt.
* OffWithHisHead: Standard procedure for traitors, heretics, and anyone who mildly annoys the Queen--she frequently threatens to behead her courtiers. The episode "Head" has Blackadder serving as Lord High Executioner, and he jams as many beheadings as he can at the start and the end of the week to have Wednesday off.
* OhCrap: Twice from Edmund in "Head," first when Queenie decides to visit a man Blackadder had executed ("if she sees his head on a pike, she'll realize... he's deeeeaaaaad!") and shortly after when we learn that Baldrick actually had another man killed, whom Queenie then wants to see ("when she comes back from seeing him... oh, God!").
* OneNoteCook: Mrs Ploppy, in "Head".
-->'''Mrs Ploppy:''' I'm the last meal cook, sir. The prisoners may ask me for what they fancy for their last meal.\\
'''Blackadder:''' And you cook for them what they desire.\\
'''Mrs. Ploppy:''' Oh, yes, sir. Provided they ask for sausages. Otherwise, they tend to get a tiny bit disappointed. Sausage is all I got.
* OnlySaneMan: Along with Blackadder, Melchett also tends to steer towards this, obviously humouring Queenie throughout the series. He's still considerably more loopy, however, especially once we learn about a [[NoodleIncident past affair]] involving a [[BestialityIsDepraved sheep]]... that [[TheReveal wasn't quite]] [[{{Squick}} as it seemed]].
* PimpedOutDress: Queenie's.
* PlotHole: In "Head", after Farrow's execution, Percy describes him as a tall man with a loud, clear voice, which we later learn is a more-or-less accurate description of Lord Farrow. However, it's later revealed that the man who was executed wasn't Farrow, but Ponsonby, who is a small man with one leg and a speech impediment. Percy couldn't possibly have seen the man he described at the execution.
* [[PsychopathicManchild Psychopathic Womanchild]]: Queenie
* {{Retool}}: The first series with the clever Blackadder and the stupid Baldrick. Percy remains just the same.
* TheRival: Lord Melchet is Blackadder's r
* RoyalBrat: Queenie.
* RunningGag: Nursie going on about anecdotes in Queenie's childhood (usually embarrassing ones about being toilet trained) before being told to shut up.
* SadisticChoice: Prince Ludwig in "Chains" offers Queenie one of these, forcing her to pay a vast sum on the last ransom she'll ever make to free either Edmund or Melchett. She chooses [[spoiler:a costume party]].
* ShapedLikeItself:
** When Blackadder asks the Young Crone how to find the Wise Woman in "Bells":
--->'''Young Crone:''' Two things must ye know about the Wise Woman! First...[[MundaneMadeAwesome she is...a woman!]] And second, she is...\\
'''Blackadder:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Wise?]]\\
'''Young Crone:''' You do know her then?
** Again in "Money," when Percy attempts to use alchemy to create gold but ends up with a lump of green something. Quote the Blackadder: "I don't to be pedantic or anything, but the colour of gold... is gold. That's why it's called gold."
** Another in "Potato" is when Percy announces that Mrs. Miggins is going to bake a commemorative pie in the shape of an enormous pie.
* ShoutOut:
** In "Bells", Blackadder says "Come, Theatre/KissMeKate!"
** Also, in "Bells", it seems like giving Nursie the real name "Bernard" is to set up the joke "Oh, shut up, Bernard," which everyone at the time of airing (1986) would have recognized as a reference to ''Series/YesMinister''.
** The snake crawling across the table in the opening credits, apart from being a VisualPun on "Blackadder", may also be a parody of ''Series/IClaudius'''s opening titles.
* SinisterMinister: The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells.
* SmokingHotSex: In "Bells", after "Bob" reveals her actual gender by flashing her boobs at Edmund, we jump ahead to two minutes later...and they're sitting together smoking old-time churchwarden pipes.
* SpeechImpediment: Partial meta example -- Rowan Atkinson has a stutter, especially having trouble with words that begin with hard consonants such as "Bob". This gives us his wonderful plosive pronunciation of "Bob'''b'''".
* SpoofAesop: The closing ballads occasionally fall into this category with such valuable pieces of advice as 'Don't borrow money from a homicidal omnisexual bishop' and 'Don't try and take over the throne of England'.
* SpottingTheThread: When Prince Ludwig, something of a master of disguise, tries to infiltrate Queen Elizabeth's dress party disguised as Nursie dressed as a cow. He is found out because his costume is too good; Nursie has some... interesting interpretations of how a cow should look.
** To quote: "Prince Ludwig is a master of disguise, while Nursie is an insane old woman with an udder fixation."
* {{The Stinger}}: The final episode of the season reveals that [[spoiler: Prince Ludwig had disguised himself as the Queen to KillEmAll and usurp her place]].
* SweetPollyOliver: "Bob"
* SweetOnPollyOliver: Edmund towards "Bob".
* TakeThat: Blackadder discovers Australia; no one cares. Even the minstrel singing during the end credits says he discovered "bugger all".
* TapOnTheHead: "Chains" begins with a rash of kidnappings that all have some German fellow saying "excuse me, meister" so that his partner can hit the victim over the head.
* TwoTimerDate: Blackadder's attempt to hold simultaneous parties in "Beer".
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: It is later revealed that Baldrick has executed Ponsonby in place of Farrow, so Edmund must then [[CrowningMomentOfFunny impersonate Ponsonby with...]]. [[PaperThinDisguise a bag on his head. And a lisp. Hopping]]. So, when Edmund was impersonating the actually-alive Farrow, where was he if not in his cell?
** If they thought Farrow was Ponsonby and vice versa, presumably at the time, Farrow was in Ponsonby's cell.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Flashheart, depending on your definition of 'wholesome'.
* WorldofPun: This season forward, really.
-->'''Baldrick:''' Will you be wanting me to cut anything off? An arm or a leg?\\
'''Blackadder:''' Oh, good lord no -- a little prick should do.\\
'''Baldrick:''' Oh well my lord, I am your bondsman and must obey. ''[stabs at crotch]''\\
'''Blackadder:''' Oh for god's sake, Baldric, I meant a little prick on your finger.\\
'''Baldrick:''' I haven't got one there.

[[folder:Tropes Present in ''Blackadder the Third'']]
* AllJustADream: Blackadder wakes up to find that Dr. Johnson is about to arrive and find out his dictionary has been burned. Then Dr. Johnson comes in an announces that he didn't like the dictionary after all and that he is ''glad'' to find out it has been destroyed. Things start getting surreal when Blackadder's aunt appears out of nowhere and Baldrick starts wearing a dog mask, until Blackadder realises that "It's all a bloody dream!" Cut to Blackadder waking up and finding out that Dr. Johnson is still arriving and the dictionary has still been burned.
* AllPartOfTheShow: Prince George believes that an anarchist throwing a bomb at him is part of a play. Then again, he usually thinks the events on stage are real and regularly orders actors arrested for murder.
* AnachronismStew: The series is set in the Regency era (18111820) yet features UsefulNotes/WilliamPittTheYounger who died in 1806 (and was actually 24 when he was elected); Creator/SamuelJohnson finishing his dictionary, which happened in 1755; the French Revolution (1790s); planning the Battle of Trafalgar, which was in 1805; and ending slavery as a radical idea even though it was done in England itself (but not the rest of the empire) in 1772.
** Also the pervasiveness of powdered wigs; Pitt had actually instituted a tax on them in the 1780s that combined with a few other factors to kill the fashion. Portraits of George IV actually stand out for his clearly displayed short, brown curly hair (which was a main [[TheDandy dandy]] fashion of the Era).
** And a more obvious example: Dr. Samuel Johnson refers to Edmund's HerCodeNameWasMarySue book ''Edmund: A Butler's Tale'' as a "huge '''rollercoaster''' of a novel".
* {{Antidisestablishmentarianism}}: Blackadder tells the Prince Regent he'll be back before the Prince can say it. Naturally he's right.
* AsHimself: Vincent Hanna, who was at the time a political correspondent at the BBC, appears as a fictionalised version of himself, presenting the coverage of the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election. He is credited "as his own great-great grandfather".
* [[AtomicFBomb Atomic D-Bomb]]: When Edmund finds out that Baldrick was made a Lord at the Prince Regent's request, after Edmund strongly suggested himself for that honour.
-->'''Mr. Blackadder:''' Sir, might I let loose a short, violent exclamation?\\
'''The Prince Regent:''' Certainly.\\
'''Mr. Blackadder:''' '''[[SuddenlyShouting DAAAAAAAMN!]]''' Thank you, sir.
* BawdySong:
-->Harold the horny hunter\\
Had an enormous horn...
* BeleagueredAssistant: Blackadder, as the Prince Regent's butler.
* BigNo: In "Ink And Incapability", [[spoiler:they didn't burn the dictionary as they thought. They burnt Blackadder's book, a novel that would have made him a millionaire.]] When Baldrick reveals this, Blackadder excuses himself and lets out one of these.
-->'''Blackadder''': [''from outside''] OH, GOD, NO!
* BombThrowingAnarchists: In "Sense and Senility".
* BookSafe: The title sequence has Blackadder pursuing books in a library, finally retrieving a legal volume that turns out to contain a paperback RomanceNovel within. (In each episode it's [[CouchGag a different book bearing the title of that particular episode]].)
* BottomlessMagazines: Amy's flintlock pistol [[RuleOfFunny never seems to need reloading]] in "Amy and Amiability".
* BuffySpeak:
** Blackadder: "Disease and depravation stalk our land like... two giant... ''stalking'' things." Also: "We're about as similar as two completely dis-similar things in a pod."
** In "Ink And Incapability", Baldrick describes the dictionary as "the big papery thing tied up with string" and Dr. Johnson as "the batey fellow in the black coat who just left". Blackadder follows up with saying that "the booted bony thing with five toes on the end of my leg will soon connect sharply with the soft dangly collection of objects in your trousers!"
* TheCameo: Vincent Hanna, a reporter known for his coverage of by-elections, appears as his own ancestor, covering a by-election.
* CaptainMorganPose: The actors teach The Prince Regent to do a pose while they are training him in public speaking, though he fails utterly.
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: The returning officer and lone voter in Dunny-on-the-Wold [[BlatantLies apparently]] died, respectively, from accidentally brutally cutting his head off while combing his hair, and accidentally brutally stabbing himself in the stomach while shaving.
* CouchGag: The book Edmund finds in the opening sequence differs each episode, with the cover having the episode's title and an illustration pertaining to it as well.
* CreatorCameo: The anarchist who attempts to assassinate Prince George in "Sense and Senility" is played by series co-writer Ben Elton.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: "Baldrick, believe me. Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and ''all'' his hellish instruments of death, will be a ''picnic'' compared to five minutes with me... and ''this pencil''... if we cannot replace this dictionary."
* DeathBySex: [[spoiler:Prince George]] in "Duel and Duality", despite Blackadder's best efforts to prevent it.
* DisguisedInDrag: In "Nob and Nobility", [[spoiler:the Scarlet Pimpernel disguises himself as Madame Guillotine to rescue Edmund and Baldrick from the French embassy. It ends badly for him, as Edmund poisons him before he can reveal his identity.]]
* DopeSlap: UsefulNotes/TheDukeOfWellington (Creator/StephenFry) does this incessantly to George (having switched roles with Blackadder to escape the Duke's wrath).
* DramaticDrop: Blackadder thinks he's been found out and drops a tray he's carrying. When it turns out he hasn't been discovered, [[RewindGag the tray zips back up]].
* DreamSequence: In "Ink and Incapability"
--> '''Blackadder:''' Baldrick, who gave you permission to turn into an Alsatian?!
* DudeNotIronic:
-->'''Blackadder:''' Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?\\
'''Baldrick:''' Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.
* DuelToTheDeath: "Duel and Duality" is a convoluted attempt to prevent the Prince from having to fight one with Wellington after he slept with Wellington's nieces.
* ElectionDayEpisode: "Dish and Dishonesty" is about a by-election in an obscure rotten borough that Blackadder and the Prince Regent have managed to gain control of, putting forward Baldrick as their candidate as someone who can be relied on to vote as the Prince desires. The sole voter in the borough is one E. Blackadder, following the unfortunate accidental beheading of the previous voter.
* ElectionNight: "Dish and Dishonesty" features one of the definitive parodies of TV election coverage.
* MrFanservice: Hugh Laurie in make-up and tights has been known to make a lot of straight women (and a few lesbians) perk up.
* FacePalm: Blackadder, when [[spoiler:Lord Topper]] reveals his disguise.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: Going hand-in-hand with the ElectionNight trope (above), the episode "Dish and Dishonesty" uses these, too, in its parody of British election conventions. After the constituent of rotten borough Dunny-on-the-Wold (consisting of nothing more than a tiny plot of land, many farm animals and only one voter) suddenly died, Prince Regent and Blackadder decide to run Baldrick as their own candidate and tip Parliament in their favor. Baldrick runs on behalf of the "Adder Party", a name which becomes much more appropriate when it turns out that Blackadder was both the borough's Returning Officer and lone voter after both died in freak "accidents". Other fictitious parties on the ballot included "Keep Royalty White, Rat Catching and Safe Sewage Residents' Party" and the "Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party" (whose party line stands for "the compulsory serving of asparagus at breakfast, free corsets for the under-fives and [[TheTriple the abolition of slavery]]" -- though the last one was just put in as a joke).
** The last two are a ShoutOut to two real minor perennial candidates at British elections at the time the show was broadcast -- Bill Boaks, who usually stood as something like "Democratic Monarchist Road Safety White Resident", and Screaming Lord Sutch of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (which, in their heyday of the 70s and 80s, proposed ludicrous policies. By the 2010s, a couple of them had actually been proposed and enacted by the government -- [[HilariousInHindsight much like the reference to the abolition of slavery was implied to be]]).
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Amy Hardwood comes to Blackadder's attention by spending lots of money, but then it turns out her family's stone broke. Where did all that cash come from?
* GenderBlenderName: Blackadder's cousin [=MacAdder=] named his daughter Angus.
* GroinAttack: Blackadder tells Baldrick that if he doesn't tell him where the dictionary is, he will give him one of these, using BuffySpeak.
* HaveAGayOldTime: When Blackadder suggests the Prince marry to get more money, he objects, starting by saying he's "a gay bachelor".
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue:
** Blackadder's novel ''Edmund: A Butler's Tale'' sounds like this, based on what he tells Baldrick about it.
** Baldrick's novel (or "Magnificent Octopus") also has elements of this: "Once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick, [[spoiler: who lived happily ever after]]."
* HopeSpot: In "Ink and Incapability", when Samuel Johnson tells Edmund that he wasn't happy with the dictionary and is glad that it was destroyed. Shame it's AllJustADream.
* HumanInterestStory: Made fun of in "Dish and Dishonesty" as Blackadder reveals to Prince George of bad news he saw in the morning papers.
-->'''Blackadder:''' Sir, if I may return to this urgent matter, I read fearful news in this morning's paper.\\
'''Prince George:''' Oh no. Not another little cat caught up in a tree!
* IdenticalGrandson: In addition to the previously mentioned usage, this series features Blackadder's Scottish cousin [[ViolentGlaswegian MacAdder]], played by Atkinson in a [[WigDressAccent curly red wig, a kilt and a deliberately bad accent]] and Vincent Hanna playing "his own great great great grandfather".
* ImAHumanitarian: Seems implied by the French revolutionary in "Nob and Nobility", who mentions that he murdered the previous ambassador and turned him into pâté.
** In "Sense and Senility", Edmund tells George that his subjects are so poor that they're forced to have kids to provide a cheaper alternative to Christmas turkey. (Doubles as a ShoutOut to ''Literature/AModestProposal''.)
* InformedAttribute: Done deliberately -- Blackadder and Baldrick both reference Prince George's disgusting obesity -- as the historical figure indeed was -- even though he's played by the lanky Hugh Laurie.
* InterClassRomance: From the episode "Amy and Amiability":
-->'''Hardwood:''' Can it be possibly true? Surely love has never crossed such boundaries of class? ''[clutches Amy's hand]''\\
'''Amy:''' But what about you and Mum?\\
'''Hardwood:''' Well, yes I grant thee when I first met her I was the farmer's son and she was just the lass who ate the dung, but that was an exception.\\
'''Amy:''' And Aunty Dot and Uncle Ted.\\
'''Hardwood:''' Yes, yes; all right, he was a pig poker and she was the Duchess of Argyle, but--\\
'''Amy:''' And Aunty Ruth and Uncle Isiah; she was a milkmaid and he was--\\
'''Hardwood:''' The Pope! Yes, yes, all right.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: The abolition of slavery.
* ItsNotPornItsArt: Keanrick and Mossop's play--''The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and His Enormously-Bosomed Wife.''
-->'''Blackadder:''' A philosophical work, then.\\
'''Mossop:''' Indeed yes, sir. The violence of the murder and the vastness of the bosom are ''entirely'' justified, artistically.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** During the episode 'Duel and Duality'.
--->'''Blackadder:''' I want to be remembered when I'm dead. I want books written about me. I want songs sung about me. And then, hundreds of years from now, I want episodes of my life to be played out weekly at half past nine by [[Creator/RowanAtkinson some great heroic actor of the age]].\\
'''Baldrick:''' Yeah, and I could be played by [[SelfDeprecation some tiny tit in a beard]].\\
'''Blackadder:''' Quite.
** And in 'Amy and Amiability':
--->'''Blackadder:''' What a way to die. Shot by a [[VillainousCrossdresser transvestite]] on an unrealistic [[WhoShotJFK grassy knoll]].
* LegacyOfService: The Baldricks to the Blackadders.
* LifesWorkRuined: DoubleSubverted in "Ink and Incapability" in a very odd way. [[spoiler: It turns out that Dr Johnson's dictionary was never burned at all, despite what Blackadder and Baldrick spent most of the episode believing; the book that was burned was in fact ''Blackadder's'' novel, which both he and Johnson thought was a masterpiece]]. The dictionary then [[spoiler: gets burned by Baldrick while he's making a fire]].
* {{Luvvies}}: Actors Keanrick and Mossop act this way. Apart from calling each other 'dear' and 'love' they're also incredibly pompous and are more interested in patronage, self-promotion, and the rather hideous play they wrote.
* MajoredInWesternHypocrisy: The Great Khan of Mongolia and the Duke of Wellington were at Eton together (much to the chagrin of the Prince Regent, who had intended to attempt to escape the Duke's wrath there.)
* MagnumOpus: In "Ink and Incapability," Blackadder spends seven years writing ''Edmund: A Butler's Tale'', "a giant rollercoaster of a novel in four hundred sizzling chapters, a searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in," and describes it as his magnum opus. (Followed immediately by a parody in which Baldrick produces his "magnificent octopus": "Once upon a time, there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick, and he lived happily ever after." Baldrick doesn't like long books, y'see.) And Samuel Johnson agrees that Blackadder's book is a masterpiece, pronouncing it the only book superior to his dictionary. A pity he's the only person besides Blackadder who ever gets to read it before a misunderstanding leads Baldrick to throw it on the fire...
* MuggingTheMonster: For the actors in "Sense and Senility", it turns out that bullying and patronising the butler of the Prince Regent's household -- who, as it turns out, is more than capable of convincing the incredibly credulous Prince Regent that they're anarchists and traitors seeking to murder him -- was a spectacularly bad idea.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: France's most vicious woman, Madame Guillotine.
* {{Neologizer}}: Blackadder becomes one for a short while in order to confuse Doctor Johnson, who is boasting about having written the first English dictionary and that he has taken care to include every English word.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: A fatal example of this occurs in the last episode, when [[spoiler:Prince George]] screws up Blackadder's plan to save his life by blabbing about the whole thing in front of the Duke of Wellington, who intended to kill him. Wellington doesn't actually believe him, but gets so pissed off at the fact that [[spoiler:the Prince, who is disguised as Blackadder and vice-versa]] is acting disrespectfully to his "master" that he whips out his pistol and shoots him dead.
** Also in "Nob and Nobility", where Edmund [[spoiler:accidentally fatally poisons the disguised Scarlet Pimpernel, who has come to rescue him and Baldrick.]]
* NobilityMarriesMoney: The episode "Amy and Amiability" was headed in this direction. Prince George, who has been accumulating huge gambling debts, attempted to marry the daughter of a wealthy industrialist for her money.
* NoJustNoReaction: Not exactly, but it's the sentiment when George worries about being "radished" at the Naughty Hellfire Club for non-payment of debts. They take a large radish [[AssShove and shove it up]]--Blackadder interrupts at this point and mutters "there's no need to hammer it home."
-->'''George:''' [[LiteralMinded As a matter of fact, they do often]]--\\
'''Blackadder:''' ''[angrily]'' No, NO!
* NotQuiteDead: Turns out George has a cigarillo case just where he was shot. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, he left it at the dresser]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Amy Hardwood, who pretends to be an airheaded and child-like woman, but is actually a ruthless highwayman.]]
** In "Nob and Nobility", [[spoiler:Topper and Smedley]] act like two {{Upper Class Twit}}s, but turn out to be [[spoiler: Literature/TheScarletPimpernel]].
* OhCrap:
** Blackadder when Baldrick [[spoiler:appears to have burnt the dictionary.]]
** Blackadder at the end of "Nob and Nobility" [[spoiler:when Frou Frou is revealed as Topper in disguise.]]
* OmnicidalManiac: [=MacAdder=].
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Baldrick's poem about Prince George is unusually witty for the Baldrick of the third season.
** Also this snippet:
-->'''Baldrick''': Yes, but my cousin also says that portraits nowadays are painted to a romanticised ideal rather than the idiosyncratic features of the subject in question.\\
'''Blackadder''': Then your cousin clearly has a much larger vocabulary than you.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: Contrafribularites, anispeptic, frasmotic, compunctuous and pericombobulation.
** Plus interphrastically, pendigestatery, interludicule, velocitous, and extramuralization.
** [[spoiler:Sausage? '''SAUSAGE!''']].
** Oh, and [[spoiler:aardvark]].
* PhonyNewscast: Vincent Hanna (a BBC election correspondent at the time of filming) appears as "his own great-great-grandfather", reporting on the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election for The Country Gentleman's Pig Fertilizer Gazette. This is treated exactly as a TV broadcast (although he is broadcasting out of the window to the crowd), even though it's set in the 18th century.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: One plot in 'Dish and Dishonesty' revolves around Edmund getting the Member of Parliament with the worst attendance record -- Sir Talbot Buxomley, MP for Dunny-on-the-Wold -- to turn up to work and vote in the Prince Regent's (read: Edmund's) favour. Edmund recalls that the one time Sir Talbot did manage to attend the House of Commons "He passed water in The Great Hall and passed out in the Speaker's chair." [[note]]It would have been better if he'd done it the other way round. Sleeping in Parliament, even in debates, was not uncommon right up until it was televised in the 1980s (and for a short time afterwards. The Speaker's chair, meanwhile is equipped with a chamber pot and curtains to accommodate exactly the need in which Sir Talbot found himself. Admittedly it's intended for the use of the Speaker, without whose presence Parliament can't sit but still.[[/note]]
* PlayingCyrano: Blackadder acts as this to Prince George in "Amy and Amiability", although he thinks she's disgustingly twee [[spoiler:until he finds out she's the Shadow]].
* PocketProtector: Parodied in "Duel and Duality," in which [[spoiler:a cigarillo case stops a ''cannonball'']].
** And parodied again when shortly afterwards [[spoiler: Prince George]] also gets shot, seems to die, wakes up shouting he also has one... then realizes he left his on the dresser. [[RuleOfPerception THEN he dies]].
* RecordNeedleScratch: The end of "Duel and Duality".
* RegencyEngland: With some ArtisticLicense taken (inaccuracies are detailed in the DVD extras).
* RevengeOfTheSequel: Anachronistically suggested to tease Dr Johnson: ''Dictionary 2: The Return of the Killer Dictionaries''.
* RewindGag: Blackadder thinks he's been found out and [[DramaticDrop drops a tray he's carrying]]. When it turns out he hasn't been discovered, the tray zips back up.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Lord Topper and Lord Smedley[[spoiler: -- The Scarlet Pimpernel]].
* RightBehindMe: In "Sense and Senility", Blackadder has finally had enough of the Prince's stupidity and leaves (with, of course, a parting insult for Baldrick). After he walks out Baldrick mutters "Goodbye, you lazy, big-nosed, rubber-faced bastard." He slowly looks up just as Blackadder re-enters the room, having been in earshot the whole time.
* RoyalBrat: Prince George
* SamusIsAGirl: [[spoiler:And the Shadow is Amy Hardwood. Combined with VocalDissonance, as she does a very convincing deep masculine voice.]]
* TheScottishTrope: "Sense and Senility": the two actors have to perform a silly, overly-long superstitious ritual to exorcise evil spirits whenever Blackadder says "Macbeth". Exactly how the ritual goes is [[SeriousBusiness a subject of hot debate in the fandom]] as {{Angrish}} makes the words unclear: one suggestion is "Aargh! Hot potato, orchestra scores, Puck will make amends (HONK!)"
** This is accompanied by a brief game of patty-cake, spinning their arms like wheels, and then honking each others' noses; as the episode progresses, Mossop starts whining and gingerly petting his nose.
* SequentialSymptomSyndrome: In "Nob and Nobility", someone [[spoiler: (The Scarlet Pimpernel)]] takes a suicide pill and recites his own symptoms as he experiences them. Hilariously, he didn't realise that he had taken it, and was completely unaware of the symptoms, himself.
** It was probably the forgetfulness.
* ServileSnarker: Blackadder the Third ''embodies'' this.
* ShoutOut:
** To Jonathan Swift's ''Literature/AModestProposal'' in the segment where Prince George and Blackadder are discussing poverty in "Sense and Senility".
** Keenick and Mossop's extremely violent play full of gore and cheesecake titillation involves a character named [[Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968 "Prince Romero"]].
** Blackadder's false account of his adventures in France includes breaking into Robespierre's bedroom to leave a box of chocolates and an insulting note. At the time of the original broadcast, a series of well-known TV advertisements for chocolate featured a James Bond CaptainErsatz going to enormous lengths to leave the product in his lady love's bedroom.
* StarsAreSouls: Baldrick seems to believe this when George dies. Of course, he [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} also believes]] in a giant pink pixie in the sky.
-->'''Baldrick:''' There's a new star in the heavens tonight. Another freckle on the nose of the giant pixie.
* StupidBoss / TooDumbToLive: Prince George actually seems [[UpToEleven dumber]] than Baldrick, who considers him "a clot". Also too dumb to live are Topper and Smedley; Blackadder even lampshades the stupidity of accepting wine from someone who thinks you are about to torture or disgrace him.
* StylisticSuck: All the lines we hear from ''The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and His Enormously-Bosomed Wife'' (and, presumably, the rest of the play as well) are implausible {{gorn}} dressed up in awful iambic pentameter.
* SwappedRoles: "Duel and Duality"
-->'''George:''' It's just like that story, ah, "The Prince and the Porpoise".\\
'''Blackadder:''' "...and the ''Pauper''", sir.\\
'''George:''' Oh, yes, yes. [[SustainedMisunderstanding "The Prince and the Porpoise and the Pauper"]].
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Everything Amy Harwood says when doing her fluffy bunny act comes out like this. InUniverse, both Edmund and the Prince are suitably nauseated.
* TooIncompetentToOperateABlanket: Prince George, when trying to clothe himself.
* TooMuchInformation: Blackadder has this reaction when Prince George tries to explain what "radishing" entails in "Amy and Amiability".
* UnaccustomedAsIAmToPublicSpeaking: Parodied by George.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Edmund's Scottish cousin [=MacAdder=], in "Duel and Duality".
* UpperClassTwit: Prince George, who [[CaptainErsatz has more than a few similarities]] to [[Series/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster]]. The fact that they're both played by Creator/HughLaurie helps. However, George is far ''[[UpToEleven less]]'' intelligent than Wooster, and far, far less likeable.
** Lord Topper and Lord Smedley in the episode "Nob and Nobility" [[spoiler:subvert this by being the civilian identities of the Scarlet Pimpernel.]]
* VillainProtagonist: Mr E. Blackadder, who murders several people to fix an election, has two innocent actors executed for treason over petty insults, kills the Scarlet Pimpernel, who saved several lives, just to keep his own name clean, and violently abuses his good-natured dogsbody. Sure, one can perhaps manage some sympathy for him given that he's tied to a position as lowly butler to an idiot prince, but he's still willing to go out of his way to ensure that the prince (who he clearly knows is unfit to rule the country) keeps his position simply to ensure he doesn't lose his own job. In the Christmas special he robs an innocent old woman of the gifts that the Prince gave her.

[[folder:Tropes Present in ''Blackadder Goes Forth'']]
* ActuallyPrettyFunny:
** In "Corporal Punishment":
--->'''Blackadder:''' So, Counsel, with that summing up in mind, what are my chances, do you think?\\
'''George:''' Well, not good I'm afraid. As far as I can see from the evidence, you're as guilty as a puppy sitting beside a pile of poo.\\
'''Blackadder:''' ''[bitterly]'' ...Charming.
** While it's not intentional, Blackadder is mighty amused when Melchett says his new girlfriend (actually George in drag) has "[[InnocentInnuendo more spunk than most girls]]".
* AmoralAttorney: Blackadder wants to hire a very good one for his court-martial.
-->'''Edmund:''' I remember Massingbird's most famous case -- the Case of the Bloody Knife. A man was found next to a murdered body. He had the knife in his hand, thirteen witnesses had seen him stab the victim and when the police picked him up he said to them, 'I'm glad I killed the bastard'. Massingbird not only got him acquitted, he got him knighted in the New Year's Honour's list and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood washed out of his jacket.
* AnachronismStew : In "General Hospital" Blackadder refers to the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Hull. University College, Hull was not founded until 1927 and did not become the University of Hull until 1954. Then again, it ''was'' a trick statement of sorts...
--> '''Melchett:''' That's right, Oxford's a complete dump!
** The name 'Kevin' would have been ''very'' unusual for an Englishman born presumably in the 1880s like Captain Darling. At the time, and until quite deep into the 20th century it was mostly confined to Ireland or Irish emigre communities.
* AnalogyBackfire: For Darling, when trying to convince Blackadder that he is not a spy in ''General Hospital'':
-->'''Darling:''' ...I'm as British as Queen Victoria!\\
'''Blackadder:''' So, your father's German, you're half-German and you married a German?[[note]]In fact, although Queen Victoria was indeed half-German, it was her mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld who was German. Her father Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, while a fourth-generation German immigrant, was English by birth, upbringing and culture, though his father was German noble from the Welfen Dynasty, who was also King of Hanover, while his mother was a German princess from Mecklenburg. [[/note]]
* ArmchairMilitary: Melchett, and also Darling -- until the last episode.
** It's notable that Darling enjoys his easy assignment and is trying to get an even easier one in the Royal Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "The blood, the noise, the endless ''poetry''!"
** "Went to one of the great universities, I suppose. Oxford...Cambridge...Hull." [[spoiler: This turned out to be a test. I mean, [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Oxford's a complete dump!]]]]
** Blackadder's description of Charlie Chaplin's films: "About as funny as getting an arrow through the neck and discovering there's a gas bill tied to it."
** Inverted in "Corporal Punishment" where Melchett opens the court-martial of Blackadder by ranting at length about how he shot Melchett's prized pigeon, Speckled Jim, and then lists the most serious charge (disobeying orders) as an afterthought.
* AttackAttackAttack: Any time [[https://youtu.be/rblfKREj50o a plan for the war is discussed]], it's [[WeHaveReserves invariably this]].
-->'''Blackadder''': It's the same plan we used last time. And the ''seventeen times'' before that.\\
'''Melchett''': E-e-ex''actly''! And that is what is so brilliant about it! It'll catch the watchful Hun totally off-guard. Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time.
* AttractiveBentGender: When George disguises himself as Georgina, not only does Melchett fall in love with him, but he becomes quite a successful primadonna.
** Also, HoYay: [[https://youtu.be/b4uFmg-pLDY George doesn't seem to mind much that Melchett fell in love with him]].
--->'''George''': I know it's a mess, sir, but you see, he got me squippy! Then when he looked into my eyes and said, "Chipmunk, I love you-"\\
'''Blackadder''': ''Chipmunk''?!
* BadassMustache: General Melchett is hardly a badass, but damn if his lip-cover isn't an impressive specimen!
* BaitTheDog: Melchett has a habit of doing this. While he seems amusing and likable at first, he turns out to really be TheSociopath who is too wrapped up in his fantasy world that WarIsGlorious to see that he is sending countless men to their deaths, [[spoiler:including those of the main characters themselves]], showing how little he really cares about any of them.
* BawdySong: Melchett and George's version of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".
-->Row, row, row your punt,\\
Gently down the stream!\\
Belts off, trousers down!\\
Isn't life a scream?!\\
* BigBad: General Melchett is the personal antagonist for the story, throughout he continues coming up with appalling plans and insane troll logic that costs countless lives of the soldiers and [[spoiler:which seems to kill all the protagonists]]. Also in episode 2 he tries to get Blackadder killed in a kangaroo court over him shooting his dead pigeon.
* BlackComedy / GallowsHumor: The firing squad could be said to be overly jovial about their job. The whole series is full of this... which is apropos, given the situation.
* BloodKnight: Flashheart
* BolivianArmyEnding
* BreatherEpisode: "Major Star", with Edmund staging a relief show. The previous episode, "Corporal Punishment" had him facing a court-martial for shooting a pigeon (almost being executed) and the following, "Private Plane" revolved around Blackadder and Baldrick being captured by the RedBaron.
* ButtMonkey: Three butt monkeys, actually. Capt. Darling is butt monkey to Capt. Blackadder and Gen. Melchett, Blackadder is butt monkey to Melchett, and Baldrick is butt monkey to Blackadder.
* {{Callback}} In 'Private Plane' Flashheart says that the only qualification for being a navigator is 'knowing your arse from your elbow' to which Blackadder replies 'That rules Baldrick out'. Later on Baldrick says they should join the airforce as its better than 'just sitting around here on our elbows'.
* CharacterTics: '''[[LargeHam BEEEEEHHHHHHHHH!]]'''
** Captain Kevin Darling's eye-twitch was such a part of his character that Tim [=McInnerny=] had trouble getting rid of it when shooting was finished.
* ChargeIntoCombatCut: One of the most famous examples of this trope, in which the scene fades from Blackadder and co. charging over the trench to [[spoiler:a field full of poppies]].
* ChekhovsGun: Baldrick's LethalChef tendecies are mentioned early on in "Captain Cook", and when Baldrick mentions them again near the end, it gives Blackadder a EurekaMoment and he uses them to get himself, George and Baldrick out of the big push.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: In the final episode, Darling begs Melchett not to send him to the front lines because he doesn't want to die; Melchett just thinks Darling is getting sentimental and saying "I'll miss you too much". Of course, considering [[KillEmAll what happens next]], "comical" might not be the [[MoodWhiplash right word]]...
** On a brighter note, when Blackadder is looking for a female act for he show, he suddenly remembers and summons Bob (who had disguised herself, very poorly as a man). George chimes in "Of course, Bob! Can ''you'' think of anyone to be in Blackadder's show?"
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: Blackadder is captured by the Germans, where they plan to take him away from the battlefield and force him to teach home economics to German schoolgirls. Needless to say he's not best pleased about Flashheart turning up and hauling him back to the trenches.
* CreatorInJoke: In "General Hospital", Blackadder says that he tricked [[spoiler:Nurse Mary]] by naming three great universities (Oxford, Cambridge and Hull), when in fact only two of them are great. Melchett responds "Quite -- Oxford's a complete dump!" Rowan Atkinson attended Oxford[[note]] As did Tim [=McInnerny=] (Darling) and series writer Richard Curtis[[/note]], while Stephen Fry attended Cambridge [[note]] As did Hugh Laurie (George) and series producer John Lloyd[[/note]], the two universities having a centuries-long rivalry.
* CreditsGag: Every member of the production crew is given made up ranks and serial numbers.
* CueCardPause: In "Corporal Punishment", George runs afoul of this with his summation.
* DisguisedInDrag: George, in "Major Star", leading to AttractiveBentGender when Melchett falls for "Georgina".
* DisproportionateRetribution: While shooting pigeons is a court-martial offence, Melchett takes the issue UpToEleven, labeling Edmund as "The Flanders Pigeon Murderer".
* DistinctionWithoutADifference: "No, George, it's not a ''good old'' service revolver, it's a ''brand-new'' service revolver, which I did not order."
* DramaBombFinale: In a rare highly successful example at the very end of season four.
* DownerEnding: Series four finale; even more remarkable is that the [[KillEmAll same basic ending]] was played for laughs in series one and two. RealitySubtext is to blame for the MoodWhiplash. To put it into perspective, it aired 10 days before Remembrance Sunday with no complaints whatsoever. (Well, almost none -- one woman wrote to the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Times Radio Times]]'' to ask why a comedy would want to show people the terrible things that happened, reminding her of her own husband. Another woman wrote in to ''Points of View'' thanking them for such a beautiful tribute. Ben Elton's uncle, who was a refugee from Nazi Germany and deeply supportive of the British Armed Forces, also gave his nephew an earful, but changed his mind and apologized after he saw the second half of the episode, something he hadn't done when it first aired). Though the original ending planned, as seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbR9-etyN6I here]], wasn't nearly as dramatic or moving -- general consensus is that it was a good thing they changed it.
* DumbassHasAPoint: Baldrick asks why the war started in the first place, and then asks why everybody doesn't just pack up and go home, as they clearly aren't accomplishing anything in the trenches, other than a lot of people getting killed. Even Blackadder's wit fails him, and he is unable to give an answer.
* EntertaininglyWrong: Blackadder deducing [[spoiler:Nurse Mary]] is a German spy. His reasoning is perfectly sound and the suspect had already admitted to using ObfuscatingStupidity in front of others. Unfortunately for them both the true 'spy' was someone else altogether: [[spoiler:Mary was completely innocent; it was George sending apparently not-properly-censored letters to his German uncle all along.]]
* EveryoneHasStandards:
** Even Flashheart is disgusted by Darling's refusal to rescue Blackadder in "Private Plane", so he [[KickTheSonOfABitch headbutts him and knocks him out]].
** Melchett may be the BigBad and TheNeidermeyer, but he won't tolerate Blackadder being rude to a lady, as he puts it, when Blackadder accuses [[spoiler:Nurse Mary]] of being a German spy. [[spoiler:She isn't.]]
* EvilGloating: But terminated gloriously.
-->'''Baron von Richthoven:''' Ah, and Lord Flashheart! This is indeed an honour! Finally the two greatest gentlemen flyers in the world meet! Two men of honour, who have jousted together in the cloud-strewn glory of the skies... face to face at last! How often have I rehearsed this moment of destiny in my dreams! The valour we two encapsulate, the unspoken nobility of our comradeship, the-- ''({{BOOM HEADSHOT}})''\\
'''Flashheart:''' '''[[TakeThat WHAT A POOF!]]'''
* ExactWords: In "Captain Cook", Blackadder and his men are sent into No Man's Land to draw enemy troop dispositions. When George remarks that it's too dark to see, Blackadder [[EurekaMoment realizes]] that they can just make anything up and get themselves out of danger. He encourages George to "use [his] imagination"...which results in a picture that's light on arms factories but has plenty of elephants.
* FailedASpotCheck: In "General Hospital", Edmund deduces that [[spoiler: Nurse Fletcher]] is a German spy through clever deception and tests, such as asking a trick question about well known english universities[[note]]Oxford and Cambridge are perhaps the most popular universities in the UK, while Hull didn't even have a university until 1927[[/note]], and that George made him aware of the suspect's knowledge of the german language with how they help him translate his letters for his german uncle. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, his deduction was incorrect, partially because he failed to question why a British soldier would need his letters [[TooDumbToLive containing important details on military operations]] translated into german in the first place.]]
* GeniusDitz: Exploited in "Captain Cook". George himself even says that painting was the only thing he was ever really good at, and he wasn't lying. When you can get ''Blackadder'' of all people to appreciate and even compliment your efforts, you're doing something right. Blackadder uses George's artistic talents to try and get out of the trenches by attempting to pass off George's painting as his own. Thanks to Melchett, it works, [[BaitTheDog but only briefly]].
* GivenNameReveal: In their last scene together, Melchett addresses Darling as [[spoiler:Kevin]].
* GreaterScopeVillain : The Germany Military Alliance
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Based on what we see from the germans, they're not any worse than the allies.
* HangingJudge: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett becomes one in a military court. He's completely ready to have Blackadder shot for shooting '''his''' prize pigeon.
* HeadDesk: Blackadder's reaction to Baldrick's, quite literally, [[ImplausibleDeniability denying everything]] -- including [[TheDitz that his name was Baldrick]].
* HehHehYouSaidX: When sussing out a spy, General Melchett is dismayed to hear [[https://youtu.be/QeF1JO7Ki8E that Captain Darling had pooh-poohed Blackadder's abilities]].
-->'''Melchett''': I knew a Major, got pooh-poohed. Made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error. 'Cause it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers. Who pooh-poohed ''their'' pooh-poohs! In the end we had to disband the regiment! Morale totally destroyed! [[OverlyLongGag By pooh-pooh]].
* HeroicBSOD: George, after he bungles Blackadder's court martial and gets him sentenced to firing squad.
* HopeSpot: The final episode is one series of these after another. First, there's Blackadder's decision to feign madness by putting underpants on his head and sticking pencils up his nose: he's absolutely convinced that this will work. Then, when this is foiled by Melchett's overheard remark that he hopes Blackadder hasn't just decided to feign madness by putting underpants on his head and stuck pencils up his nose, Blackadder realises that he can call in a favour from Haig, whose life he saved during the Boer War. This Hope Spot lasts until he actually calls Haig, and Haig agrees to save his life; [[spoiler: he duly advises Blackadder to put underpants on his head and stick pencils up his nose. "They'll think you're mad. There, favour returned."]]
** In the last moments, just before being sent over the top, all the guns go quiet, and George, Baldrick and Darling all assume that the war must have ended:
-->'''Darling''': Thank God! We lived through it! The Great War, 1914 to [[WhamLine 1917]]!
* HopeSproutsEternal: The ending.
* IAteWhat: In the last episode, Blackadder learns that the "coffee" he's been drinking for years was just hot mud sweetened with Baldrick's dandruff. His reaction is one of mild annoyance, at most.
* ImplausibleDeniability: Spoofed in "Corporal Punishment". As his BumblingSidekick Baldrick is being called to the stand to testify in Captain Blackadder's trial, Blackadder tells him to "deny everything." First question:
-->'''George:''' ''[as Blackadder's attorney]'' You are Private Baldrick?\\
'''Baldrick:''' No!\\
'''George:''' ...Oh. Um... But you are Captain Blackadder's batman?\\
'''Baldrick:''' No!\\
'''Blackadder:''' ''[{{headdesk}}]''\\
'''George:''' Come on, Baldrick, can't you be a bit more helpful? It's me!\\
'''Baldrick:''' No, it isn't!
* InsaneTrollLogic: Anything Melchett says to justify his tactics.
-->'''Blackadder:''' It's the same plan that we used last time, and the seventeen times before that.\\
'''Melchett:''' E-E-Exactly! And that is what so brilliant about it! We will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard! Doing precisely what we have done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time! There is however one small problem.
** Blackadder does this when interrogating potential spy suspects.
---> Edmund: I asked if he'd been to one of the great universities: Oxford, Cambridge, or Hull... you failed to spot that only two of those are great universities.
--->Edmund: The first rule ... is to suspect everyone... I shall be asking myself pretty searching questions later on... What is the colour of the Queen of England's favourite hat?
* IOweYouMyLife: Apparently Blackadder had saved Field Marshal Haig's life at Mboto Gorge and was told to call if he ever needed a favour. Unfortunately, when he does so to try and get out of the Big Push in "Goodbyeee", the best Haig can do is to suggest he feign insanity... which Blackadder had already tried to no avail. It should also be pointed out that Blackadder "saved" him from a "pygmy woman with a sharp mango".
* IWillFightSomeMoreForever
* IWantMyMommy: When Captain Blackadder and Baldrick are in the hands of the Germans:
-->'''Baldrick:''' I want my mum.\\
'''Blackadder:''' Yes, a maternally outraged gorilla would be a useful ally.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Blackadder, to a very slight extent. He's still not remotely a nice person, but he can bring himself to feel sympathy for Darling and wish the others good luck in the final episode.
** Despite being a soldier, he is the only Blackadder in the four seasons ''not'' to commit murder -- unless you count Speckled Jim. Though it is mentioned that he has done in the past, at Mboto Gorge. According to Darling, they "massacred the peace-loving pygmies of the Upper Volta and stole all their fruit."
** He also seems genuinely horrified when he learns he's sent an innocent woman to the firing squad in "General Hospital"; hard to imagine his heartless Regency ancestor being so shaken.
** He is genuinely complimentary regarding George's painting ability too (though planning to use it for his own ends). Sincere compliments from a Blackadder are as rare as something very rare indeed.
--->'''Blackadder:''' George! These are brilliant! Why didn't you tell us about these before?\\
'''George:''' Well, you know, one doesn't want to blow one's own trumpet.\\
'''Blackadder:''' ''[impressed]'' You might at least have told us you ''had'' a trumpet.
** It's worth noting that this Blackadder, in contrast with his forebears, is uninterested in scheming his way to power or wealth. He's merely trying to [[SeriesGoal save himself]]. [[spoiler:Too bad FailureIsTheOnlyOption]].
* KangarooCourt: Blackadder's court martial in "Corporal Punishment" was this. The judge and prosecutor both have clear conflicts of interest in the trial, to the point where the judge is actually called to testify for the prosecution, while Blackadder's defence attorney (George) gets fined £50 for turning up. Surprisingly, though, [[spoiler: the Minister of War realizes that the whole trial was a farce, and reverses the decision]].
* KickTheDog: A three-layered version of it that happened in the past. When George was six, he got a rabbit called Flossie. Melchett first set his dog on Flossie, then ran him over with his car, and finally shot him.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Flashheart is hardly the nicest of men, but [[EveryoneHasStandards even he is disgusted]] by Darling's refusal to rescue Blackadder after he crashes his plane, so he headbutts Darling and knocks him out.
* LamePunReaction: Blackadder manages a look of unparalleled contempt while his own firing squad are providing such gems as assuring him that they ''aim'' to please.
* LethalChef: Baldrick. Most of his recipes that don't involve rat, involve the bodily outputs of various animals. In his defence on one point, Blackadder's unit hasn't had coffee since 1915, forcing Baldrick to improvise with mud.
* MadBrass / GeneralFailure: General "Insanity" Melchett.
** Also Field Marshall Haig, seen knocking toy soldiers into a trench, then sweeping them up into a dustpan and dumping them on the floor.
* MilesGloriosus: George is very gung-ho about the war and can't wait for the "big push" and the chance to give the Huns what for... until the end of the final episode, when he realizes he doesn't want to die.
* TheMole: "General Hospital" involves the search for a German spy who's apparently leaking battle plans from a field hospital. [[spoiler:It actually turns out that patient George is inadvertently doing this in letters to his Uncle Hermann in Munich]].
* MoodWhiplash: The finale.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Blackadder is horrified when he realizes he has just sent an innocent woman to be killed by a firing squad under the mistaken assumption she was a German spy. Cue him and Darling rushing out to stop the execution. We never find out whether it was stopped in time.]]
* NoIndoorVoice: Flashheart.
* NoodleIncident: Blackadder presents one at the end of "Captain Cook": namely, how ''did'' Baldrick get so much "custard" (vomit) out of such a small cat? We'll never know.
* NoSell: When Melchett doesn't fall for Blackadder's "insanity" ploy [[spoiler:, it becomes clear that things are ''not'' going to end well]].
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Briefly attempted by Blackadder in "Goodbyeee", until he overhears Melchett tell the others that he had to shoot an entire platoon for pulling the same stunt. Of course, as he trenchantly observes at the end, it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. "[[WorldGoneMad I mean, who would have noticed another madman around here?]]"
* ObfuscatingStupidity: George might be an example of this, as in "Private Plane" he demonstrates a distressing combination of wooden-headed stupidity and remarkably keen insight.
-->'''Melchett:''' Do you remember what happened to Flossie?\\
'''George:''' You shot him.\\
'''Melchett:''' That's right. It was the kindest thing to do after he'd been run over by that car.\\
'''George:''' By your car, sir.\\
'''Melchett:''' Yes, by my car, but that too was an act of mercy when you remember that that dog had been set on him.\\
'''George:''' Your dog, sir.
** An example that further drives the point home is in the final episode, where George's bubbly nature shows the biggest cracks seen in the entire series when he realizes that he's the only one of his friends still alive after joining the army, and that he's genuinely terrified of going over the top.
-->'''George:''' I'm...scared, sir.
** Nurse Mary, in "General Hospital", uses a mild version of this. ("My fluffy-bunny act", as she calls it.)
* OhCrap:
** Captain Darling's face when he realises Melchett is sending him to the Front, just in time for a major offensive. Melchett, of course, only thinks that Darling is reluctant to leave him, even when Darling gets down on his knees and just about begs.
** And then there's the scene where Blackadder is in court and he realises who the judge is...
-->'''Blackadder:''' I wouldn't be too confident if I were you. Any reasonably impartial judge is bound to let me off.\\
'''Darling:''' Well, absolutely...\\
'''Blackadder:''' Who is the judge by the way?\\
'''[[LargeHam Melchett]]:''' [[IncomingHam BAAAAAH!]]\\
'''Blackadder:''' ...I'm dead.
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Men]]: Captain Blackadder and Captain Darling. Also Nurse Mary.
* OperationBlank: Operation ''Certain Death''.
* OverrankedSoldier: General Melchett, as an exaggeration of the "lions led by donkeys" stereotype of the British Army during the war. He's incompetent and frankly quite mad.
* PervyPatdown: Blackadder accuses Captain Darling of this when Darling frisks him during the MoleHunt episode.
-->'''Blackadder''': So in the name of security, sir, everyone who enters the room has to have his bottom fondled by this drooling pervert?
-->'''Darling:''' I'm only doing my job, Blackadder.\\
'''Blackadder:''' How convenient that your job is also your ''hobby''.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** In the final episode.
--->'''Darling:''' Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says: "Bugger".
** Averted in the same episode with a NarrativeProfanityFilter:
--->'''Edmund:''' ''[after learning that Haig was completely useless in getting him out of the trenches]'' ...I think the phrase rhymes with "clucking bell".
* PunBasedTitle: It is, after all, the ''fourth'' series.
** As well as the [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming episode titles]], which play on various military ranks (except "Goodbyeee").
* PuppyDogEyes: Hugh Laurie seems to have a particular talent for looking like a beaten-down puppy. "Permission for lip to wobble, sir."
* RecursiveCrossdressing: Bob, in "Major Star".
* ReducedToRatburgers: Part of the reason that Baldrick is a LethalChef is down to the fact supplies of actual food are becoming more and more scarce. For example, they haven't had coffee for 18 months or sugar since 1915, so Baldrick makes do with mud and dandruff. Most of his actual dishes really are rat with sauteéd (The rat is shaved and drowned in a puddle, before being cooked under a lightbulb and strategically eaten near a latrine) or fricasseed rat (Same as sauteéing, only with a bigger rat) being two of his signature dishes along with rat-au-van (A rat that's been run over by a van).
* {{Retraux}}: The closing credits, presented as an old newsreel film.
* RunningGag: The use of [[UnfortunateNames "Darling"]] in lines addressed to Darling never seems to get old.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Blackadder tries and fails to do this several times. He tries to desert in "Major Star" after learning the Russians have pulled out of the war due to the Revolution, only to run straight into Melchett, who ironically asks for his help in shooting some deserters later.
* SecondFaceSmoke: Nurse Mary does this to Blackadder.
* ShoutOut: The NoodleIncident where Blackadder saved Field Marshal Haig's life from a native armed with a sharp slice of mango. This may refer to the ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch "Self-Defense Against Fresh Fruit".
** General Melchett attended Cambridge with [[Creator/HughLaurie George's]] [[IdenticalGrandson Uncle]] [[Series/JeevesAndWooster Bertie]].
** "Corporal Punishment" strongly evokes the Joseph Losey film ''King and Country'', almost to the point of being a WholePlotReference (though Tom Courtenay's character didn't murder a pigeon).
* SomethingThatBeginsWithBoring: Which ends rather unusually.
-->'''George:''' I hear with my little ear something beginning with 'B'.\\
'''Blackadder:''' What?\\
'''George:''' Bomb.\\
'''Blackadder:''' I can't hear a bomb.\\
'''George:''' Listen very carefully.\\
''[the faint whistling of a bomb can be heard]''\\
'''Blackadder:''' Ah, yes...\\
* SmokingHotSex: Blackadder and Nurse Mary, in "General Hospital".
-->'''Blackadder:''' I only smoke cigarettes after making love. So, back in England I'm a twenty-a-day man.
* SmugSnake: Captain Darling.
* SoldiersAtTheRear: Darling is happy to be General Melchett's aide-de-camp because that way he doesn't have to be in the trenches. In the last episode he gets sent there anyway.
* SuddenDownerEnding: ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' is set in the trenches of WWI, and the writers didn't want to be accused of making light of one of the most tragic moments in British history, so the last episode [[spoiler: becomes steadily more serious and sombre as all of the characters but General Melchett (and he's quite oblivious to sending Darling to his doom) are ordered over the top in what is assumed to be a suicide charge. While the cast are all shown to have died in ''The Black Adder'' and ''Blackadder II'', this time it's not played for comedy at all]].
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "We haven't received any messages and Captain Blackadder definitely did not eat this delicious plump breasted pigeon."
* SweetPollyOliver: Bob, in "Major Star". Subverted in that absolutely no-one but the General is remotely fooled, and in a later episode she is wearing a female uniform and openly sleeping with Flashheart despite still using the identity.
* TakeThat: Blackadder tells George that he finds Creator/CharlieChaplin's films "about as funny as getting an arrow through the neck and discovering there's a gas bill tied to it". Which is even more HilariousInHindsight, given the obvious debt that Creator/RowanAtkinson's [[Series/MrBean subsequent series]] owed to Chaplin's brand of humour.
** Given that Chaplin gets his own back at the end of the episode (by agreeing to free distribution of his films among the British Army on the proviso that Blackadder is the projectionist), this may be more an affectionate homage than anything else -- every other character ''loves'' Charlie Chaplin.
** It's also a running joke throughout all the series that Blackadder ''hates'' any character considered by modern day to be a genius; Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, Samuel Johnson, etc.
* TimeForPlanB: Every episode.
* TelegraphGagSTOP: In "Major Star", used as a joke by Blackadder to insult Creator/CharlieChaplin, and in the same episode Chaplin takes revenge in the same format.
-->'''Captain Blackadder:''' Yes... take down a telegram, Bob. To Mr. Charlie Chaplin, Sennett Studios, Hollywood, California. Congrats STOP Have found only person in world less funny than you STOP Name Baldrick STOP Signed E. Blackadder STOP Oh, and put a P.S.: please, please, please STOP\\
'''Captain Darling:''' We received a telegram from Mr Chaplin himself at Sennett Studios: Twice nightly filming of my films in trenches: excellent idea STOP But must insist that E. Blackadder be projectionist STOP P.S. Don't let him ever... STOP.
* UnfortunateItemSwap:
** In "Corporal Punishment", Blackadder writes two letters -- one asking George for a sponge bag, another asking the brilliant lawyer Hugh Massingbird for legal aid. Of course, Baldrick gets the letters mixed up.
** A more fortunate version occurs later that episode, when Baldrick delivers George's letter to his mum to Blackadder instead; reading the letter tells Edmund that George's uncle has just been appointed Minister of War, which they try to use to get Edmund pardoned.
* UnfortunateNames: Captain Darling. The creators said that as soon as they came up with the name for him, he went from a totally empty character to one who'd been steeped in a lifetime's worth of bitterness and resentment from being called "darling" by everyone. Blackadder takes great pleasure in doing this himself, except in the final episode when Darling has been sent to join them in the trenches and Edmund actually calls him "Captain" respectfully.
* {{Unishment}}: Baron von Richtoven's threat to force Blackadder out of the trenches and into a German girls' school for the rest of the war is designed to be unbearable for an honourable Brit. Of course, Blackadder isn't one of those.
** UnwantedRescue: Unfortunately for Blackadder and Baldrick, George and Flashheart soon turn up to "save" them. Flashheart actually works out that they were trying to get away from the front and forces them both to come with him.
* VerbalTic: General Melchett's trademark "Baa!" has been variously attributed to madness, asthma and an ancestor's illicit relationship with Flossie the sheep. Creator/StephenFry has said it really originated from his imagining that Melchett had haemorrhoids and would yell out every time he sat down or got up.
* WarIsHell: Blackadder's main goal in this series, as opposed to the power grabbing his ancestors have attempted, is simply to survive the war by getting out of the trenches. The final episode really hammers the point home, especially with the TearJerker DownerEnding.
* WhamLine:
** At the very end:
--->'''Darling:''' I say, listen -- our guns have stopped.\\
'''George:''' You don't think...\\
'''Baldrick:''' Maybe the war's over? Maybe it's peace.\\
'''Darling:''' Thank God. We lived through it. The Great War, 1914 to 19[[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle 17]].
** In the scene just prior:
--->'''George:''' Well, really, this is brave, splendid and noble... Sir?\\
'''Blackadder:''' Yes, Lieutenant?\\
'''George:''' I'm... scared, sir.
** Indeed, the MoodWhiplash of the final episode can be pinpointed to Blackadder's exchange with Darling.
--->'''Blackadder:''' How are you feeling, Darling?\\
'''Darling:''' Erm, not all that good, Blackadder. Rather hoped I'd get through [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI the whole show]]; go back to work at [[StealthInsult Pratt]] & Sons; [[UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} keep wicket]] for the Croydon gentlemen; [[MyGirlBackHome marry Doris...]]
* WhosOnFirst: Captain Darling gets this a lot. In particular, "Major Star" has a scene where General Melchett is rehearsing what he's going to say to his current crush (who's actually George in a dress) in front of Captain Darling, repeatedly referring to "Georgina" as "darling".
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] after a wise decision by [[AcePilot Lord]] [[CombatPragmatist Flashheart]] in response to [[RedBaron Baron]] [[NaziNobleman von Richtofen]]'s near ruining of his BigDamnHeroes moment before he recognizes Flashheart:
-->'''Baron von Richtofen:''' Ah, and the [[WorthyOpponent Lord Flashheart! This is indeed an honour]] . . . . [[{{Monologuing}} Finally the two greatest gentleman flyers in the world meet! Two men of honour, who have jousted together in the cloud-strewn glory of the skies! Face-to-face at last]]. [[JustBetweenYouAndMe How often I have rehearsed this moment of destiny in my dreams]] ...the vanities we encapsulate, [[EnemyMine the unspoken nobility of our comradeship]]--\\
'''[[KilledMidSentence BANG]]'''\\
'''Flashheart:''' What a poof!
* WorthyOpponent: The Red Baron thinks Flashheart is one. Flashheart [[NoNonsenseNemesis does not agree]].
* UnexpectedlyDarkEpisode: The final episode ends with Edmund, Baldrick, George, and Darling [[spoiler:being sent over the trench, which was made clear over the series to be a death sentence that Edmund desperately wants to avoid. They are strongly implied to have been killed.]]
* YourBrainWontBeMuchOfAMeal: Referenced in the ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' episode "Captain Cook", with cannibals this time.
-->'''Edmund:''' Your brain's so minute, Baldrick, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn't be enough to cover a small water biscuit.

[[folder:Tropes Present in the Specials]]
* AchievementsInIgnorance: Baldrick, who is unable to read, managed to build a ''working'' time machine according to Leonardo da Vinci's exact specifications.
* AlmostDeadGuy: Played deliberately as part of Edmund's plan to travel back to the present in ''Blackadder: Back & Forth'', ''almost'' drowning Baldrick [[RefugeInAudacity just long enough for his life to flash before his eyes]] (along with the memories of the original configurations of the time machine).
* AndThisIsFor: In ''Back and Forth'', one of Blackadder's kicks to Shakespeare is for the Kenneth Branagh version of ''Hamlet''.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Ebenezer Blackadder's niece Millicent.
* BeingGoodSucks: ''Oh boy!'' Everyone and their mother is exploiting Ebenezer in ''Christmas Carol''.
* BookEnds: Blackadder [[spoiler: becomes king at the end of ''Blackadder: Back and Forth'']]. The entire series began with [[spoiler: this being his primary objective]].
* ButterflyOfDoom: ''Blackadder: Back & Forth'' is all about this.
** In a way, [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]] due to the directness and magnitude of the various "butterflies" -- usually Blackadder accidentally killing a famous historical figure, leading to no one knowing who that person was in the present, and undoing any of their accomplishments (albeit it absurdly over-the-top fashion).
* CallBack:
** In ''Blackadder Back & Forth'' Baldrick references Blackadder's "CunningLikeAFox" line from ''Goes Fourth'', revealing that said fox has apparently since moved even further up in the world.
** In the same film, Blackadder's appearance, personality and social standing are all consciously modelled after the ''Blackadder II'' incarnation of the character, who is generally considered the most iconic of the four television Blackadders.
** In ''The Cavalier Years'', Baldrick gets a job as an executioner, just like his Elizabethan ancestor in "Head".
* CanisLatinicus: Melchett's Roman incarnation renders his usual "Beeeeh!" catchphrase as "Beeeeeh-us."
* TheCavalierYears
* CreditsGag: In ''Back in Forth'', the dinosaur is played by "Tyrannosaurus Rex" and the Scottish Hordes are played by "Hordes of Scots."
* DecapitationPresentation: ''Cavalier Years'': Baldrick's cunning plan to substitute a pumpkin instead of a head sort of fell apart when this moment came.
* EvilLaugh: Nursie delivers one after Melchett gets his death warrant.
* EvilOverlord: Queen Asphyxia in the future of ''Christmas Carol'' is a female example.
* ExtremeDoormat: Actually Blackadder himself in ''Christmas Carol'', starting off as kindly generous soul (who is naturally endlessly exploited for charity). A visit from a Christmas Spirit inadvertently reveals his legacy will be destroyed due to his meekness, leading him to become an even crueller schemer than his ancestors.
* EyepatchOfPower: The ruthless Admiral Blackadder wears one in ''Back and Forth''.
* FanDisservice: Both Blackadder and Baldrick in SpaceOpera GoGoEnslavement gear in the two alternate futures of ''Christmas Carol''. And the modern day Baldrick in ''Back and Forth'' wearing his novelty plastic apron.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:In ''Blackadder Back And Forth'', Lady Elizabeth and George remarking that "You can't see something that's already happened!" "Unless you're on the lavatory." foreshadows Baldrick's cunning plan to get himself and Blackadder back to 1999, where Blackadder almost drowns Baldrick in the toilet so his life will flash before his eyes, causing him to remember the position of the knobs and levers when they first set off, and enable him to get them home.]]
* FourStarBadass: One future Blackadder is the ruthless and brilliant Admiral of a thinly-disguised version of [[Franchise/StarWars the Empire]]. [[spoiler: He seizes power]].
* GeniusDitz: ''Back & Forth'''s Baldrick embodies this trope far more than any previous Baldrick. He's dumb as a post, but somehow manages to build ''a working time machine''. It's worth mentioning that he was tasked with building a ''fake'' time machine.
* GoGoEnslavement: In the far-future segment of ''Christmas Carol'', Blackadder and Baldrick wear nothing but a leather speedo and a leash when they're slaves.
* GrandFinale: ''Blackadder Back & Forth'' is written as being this to the whole series, with the idea of any further entries being humorously {{Jossed}} in the end credits with the line "''Blackadder Back & Forth 2''... coming Summer 3000!"
* HotConsort: Marian in ''Blackadder Back & Forth'', to [[spoiler: King Edmund III]]. To be expected, given she's Kate Moss.
* IHatePastMe: Averted in ''Blackadder's Christmas Carol''; Ebenezer Blackadder is absolutely delighted to see the sort of underhanded behaviour in which his Elizabethan and Regency ancestors engaged to get ahead.
* LargeHam: RobbieColtrane as the Ghost in ''Christmas Carol'', Creator/StephenFry, as usual, in ''The Cavalier Years''. Creator/RikMayall as Lord Flashheart- er, Robin Hood in ''Back and Forth''.
* NakedApron: Baldrick serves dinner in ''Blackadder Back & Forth'' while wearing an apron patterned like a maid uniform. [[FanDisservice And nothing under it]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In ''The Cavalier Years'', Stephen Fry's portrayal of Charles I is a thinly-veiled-if-at-all-veiled impression of [[UsefulNotes/TheBritishRoyalFamily Prince Charles]].
* NotHyperbole: The CallBack in ''Back & Forth'' to Edmund's "CunningLikeAFox" line from ''Goes Fourth'' implies that the original was not in fact a metaphor.
* ProductPlacement: Subverted in ''Blackadder Back & Forth''. Time-traveller Edmund tries to present Elizabeth I with a Tesco Clubcard, which, to no-one's surprise, turns out to be a ludicrously pointless gift in the Renaissance. DoubleSubverted when he then wins her and her court's favour with another brand name product (namely Polo mints).
* ShakespeareInFiction: Edmund meets him in the Elizabethan era in ''Blackadder: Back & Forth'' [[spoiler:and proceeds to kick the crap out of him for all the boring literature classes in school]].
* ShoutOut:
** One of Queen Asphyxia's court in ''Christmas Carol'' looks like Nursie's head grafted onto a knock-off [[Series/DoctorWho Dalek]].
** In ''Blackadder Back & Forth'' the brief space battle is between two [[Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury Earth Defence Directorate]] starfighters and a Draconian fighter.
** The time machine in the movie is also roughly the size and shape of the TARDIS [[BiggerOnTheInside on the outside, anyway]], if it were made in the Renaissance period.
** The PresentDay version of George has the surname "Tufton-Bufton", which is a reference to ''Magazine/PrivateEye'''s generic upper-class reactionary, Sir Bufton Tufton MP.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Subverted with Baldrick in ''Christmas Carol''. He can't write, read or count, but he's smart enough to question Ebenezer's StupidGood behavor and points out that the freeloaders (especially the obese orphans) don't need what Ebenezer gives them.
* SpringtimeForHitler: Baldrick, tasked with building a fake time machine, somehow ends up building a real one.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Even if they weren't played by the same actor, Robin Hood would still be noticeably Flashheart-esque.
* SwitchToEnglish: Inverted in Back and Forth. The Roman-era characters all speak in English...until Melchett compliments them for practising the language, and switches to Latin.
* TeleFrag: The time-machine arrives at the Battle of Waterloo, right above the Duke of Wellington, squashing him flat.
* ThrowTheDogABone: Things finally end happily for (one descendant of) Edmund and Baldrick in ''Blackadder: Back & Forth'' as they alter time and history for fame and fortune. In ''Christmas Carol'', a more distant descendent conquers the universe.
* UnusualEuphemism: Queen Asphyxia flirting with Admiral Blackadder in ''Christmas Carol'': "You have most pleasantly wibbled my frusset-pouch."
* VerbalBackspace: In ''The Cavalier Years'':
-->'''Blackadder''': Have you ever known me to lie to the king?\\
'''Baldrick''': Yes.\\
''(Blackadder is suddenly pointing a sharp-looking knife at his throat)''\\
'''Baldrick''': ...No.
* YetAnotherChristmasCarol: An inversion and parody. Indeed, when Ebenezer Blackadder, the [[WhiteSheep only good and friendly member of the Blackadder bloodline]] (and also an ExtremeDoormat), sees that his descendant would rule all of the universe if he became a spiteful miser like his ancestors (instead of being a slave to future Baldrick, which would happen if he were to remain kind and generous), he lampshades it gleefully:
-->'''Ebenezer:''' [[SpoofAesop Bad guys have all the fun]].