Video Game: Tales of Monkey Island aka: Talesof Monkey Island
I've sailed the seven seas in search of archaic charms and curiosities; I've raided the sunken smelters of Popgowatu for the finest of tools; and I've worked by candlelight in the yawing quarters of my ship to forge together the raw materials into the finest of blades, all to finally put a bloody end to my undead rival and stealer of spouse. It is now that this sword is more than just a sword; it is a covenant! I'm not exactly sure what that word means, but it sounds right. The seas will sleep soundly tonight, for LeChuck's time is up!
—Excerpted from The Memoirs of Guybrush Threepwood: The Monkey Island Years
Tales of Monkey Island is a 2009 video game, developed by Telltale Games. It is a five-part episodic game and the fifth in the Monkey Island series. The game begins at the conclusion of Guybrush's latest, unseen adventure - the player guides him as he once again defeats LeChuck with an improvised piece of voodoo weaponry, only to turn the villain human again, release his concentrated evil as "The Pox of LeChuck" (which infects Guybrush's own hand) and maroon himself on Flotsam Island. All in the first chapter!The original creator Ron Gilbert returns to the saga as a consultant, 17 years after his final work in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. He is credited as "Visiting Professor of Monkeyology"Not to be confused with the early 80s adventure series Tales of the Gold Monkey.The character sheet with its related tropes is located here.
The Ace: Santino, being so handsome that even the decidedly heterosexual Coronado De Cava took the time to write at length about how gorgeous he was, in addition to being super-talented at everything you care to name. Too bad he's dead.
Agree to Disagree: During the swordfight with Morgan at the beginning of Chapter 2, Guybrush tries using this exchange:
Guybrush: Can't we just agree to disagree? Morgan: Not gonna happen.
Ahem: Done a few times throughout the game. There is one part in Chapter 5 when, after Guybrush thanks Morgan for opening the Crossroads, she gives out an "ahem", which, in the subtitles, is stated as "*clears throat*".
Ambiguous Gender: The Merfolk in chapter 2. The gender for two of the three on-screen samples is suggested, but never stated outright. Their leader is classified as male at one point by Elaine, but even that does not stop it from remaining ambiguous.
Word of God says that even after Reginald Van Winslow falls in love with the female-ish Anemone, "her" gender is supposed to be a mystery - including to him.
American Accents/Deep South: In Chapter 5, the Thief in the Crossroads speaks in a deep voice with some sort of Southern Hillbilly accent. And he seems to have some Southern hospitality, despite the fact that he is a thief from the start.
And I Must Scream: If the after-credits sequence of Episode 5 is to be believed, LeChuck, who's basically trapped as an ethereal goop. He can scream, but nobody except the Voodoo Lady is likely to do anything about it.
Before that, in Chapter 1, Guybrush raises his Cutlass of Kaflu and says, "This is for the monkeys, LeChuck!" before his Pox-infected hand goes out of control, making him unable to kill the human LeChuck.
And Your Little Dog Too: Parodied in Chapter 1, when the Marquis De Singe is defeated by Guybrush and leaves, promising to have revenge on him, "and [his] little hand, too!"
Angrish: Hemlock mutters like this in Chapter 4 when Guybrush says he has "no more questions" and Judge Grindstump orders Hemlock to sit back down.
Jacques the Monkey can understand human language, especially when the Marquis De Singe and Guybrush talk to him, which is evident in Chapters 1 and 4. Morgan can talk to monkeys too, though she claims to only speak "a little monkey".
Guybrush learns to communicate with manatees in chapter three.
An Arm and a Leg: In Chapter 2, Guybrush loses his left hand in a swordfight with Morgan LeFlay.
Armed with Canon: In Tales, follow the career of the Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma, particularly from the end of Chapter 2 to the start of Chapter 3. Sean Vanaman (the writer of Chapter 3) admits there was some friendly infighting on the team.
Art Imitates Art: In Chapter 1, there is a Desingeograph of the "Vitruvian Pirate", which Guybrush calls "Pirate Da Vinci", on the Illuminopictoscreen; this "Vitruvian Pirate" is definitely a spoof of Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci.
In Chapter 4, the provocative painting of Chieftain Beluga hanging above W.P. Grindstump in Club 41 is most likely a parody of the 1636 painting Danaë by Rembrandt.
Near the end of Chapter 5, while Morgan stabs LeChuck after Guybrush has trapped him, Elaine gives the villain one by stabbing him with the Cutlass of Kaflu... let's just say... right in the fundament! And this is an E10+ rated game, too!
Previously subverted near the end of Chapter 1: when the player tries to use the ancient weather vane on De Singe while he's in the messed up idol, Guybrush will say, "Oh, I'd love to, but I'm pretty sure that De Singe doesn't have the necessary... slots."
At the Crossroads: With crossroads being the place of burial for the wings of society, pirates go to the Crossroads when they die.
Attending Your Own Wake: In Chapter 5, Guybrush's ghost can gain attendance to his own wake by going to Club 41 before the plot requires him to.
Big Sleep: Almost averted at the end of Chapter 4, when the mortally wounded Guybrush's eyes open wide in a blank stare at a saddened Elaine (almost in a Dies Wide Open position), but then gently close as he collapses and "falls asleep" with his mouth open.
Big "WHAT?!": Shouted by the Voodoo Lady in Chapter 1 when Guybrush tells her about the botched up ritual. Also shouted by Guybrush and LeChuck a few times in Chapter 5.
"Singe" is French for monkey. See also Brick Joke below. Guybrush even refers to De Singe as "De Monkey" at one point.
The name of deceased journalist Pistalibre and his journal discovered in Chapter 4 is derived from the Spanish words "pista libre", meaning "free clue".
And in Chapter 2, the name of the bait coupon for "gusanos de destino" translates from Spanish to "worms of destiny".
In Chapter 3, after extracting the formula from Guybrush's Poxed hand, De Singe becomes joyous, then mutters to himself in French, "La mort est tuée..." (albeit without the "é") which, when translated, means "Death is killed." This becomes a key plot point for De Singe in Chapter 4, and later for Guybrush in Chapter 5 when he repossesses his decaying corpse and keeps himself "alive" with the Spirit Gum.
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Subverted by the Mermaids and Mermen. All merfolk look pretty much the same to us Humans, and there's no external dimorphism between sexes (both are pretty and feminine-looking, and have androgynous voices). Things tend to get squicky when Human men mistake Mermen for their female counterparts.
Bloodless Carnage: Especially evident in chapter 4, when a couple of people get impaled but the swords stay clean.
Blowing a Raspberry: Defendant Guybrush does this when Defense Attorney Guybrush tries asking him(self), "What's your impression of the plaintiff's case?"
Bond Villain Stupidity: Zigzagged. The main villain of chapter 5 gloats that he is too powerful to be beaten, but encourages Guybrush to waste his time trying anyways. By the end of the chapter, LeChuck basically states that he's learned from his mistakes and begins trying to kill Guybrush in a more direct manner.
Guybrush Threepwood goes to open a closet, which the Voodoo Lady yells for him not to open before adding, "It's where I keep my... unmentionables." Guybrush shudders, and the closet from then on is named "The Scariest Closet in the World."
Also, when the Voodoo Lady apparently goes into too much detail about a previous romantic relationship with De Cava, Guybrush covers his ears and blocks her out between "[her] supple-" and "-like a volcano!"
In Chapter 4, if Guybrush tells Judge Grindstump "I want a change of venue!":
Guybrush: Your honor, I'd like to request a change of venue! Grindstump: Where to? Guybrush: Oh, how about back at your place... just you, me, a jug of grog, a loaf of bread, and some scandalous legal briefs... Grindstump:[gets ticked off] CAPTAIN THREEPWOOD WILL TERMINATE HIS CLUMSY AND OFF-PUTTING ATTEMPTS TO SEDUCE THIS COURT AT ONCE! ARRRR!
And in Chapter 5:
Demon Bride Elaine: How dare you!! I have a wedding ceremony to plan, a dress to pick out, a reception to arrange and some bridesmaids to slaughter! I don't have time for this!
Breaking the Cutie: A real number is done on the happy-go-lucky Guybrush from chapter 2 onwards. First he loses his hand along with his wedding ring, is betrayed twice (possibly three times) by his close friends, breaks down in grief after watching Morgan die, nearly suffers a Heroic BSOD when Elaine becomes LeChuck's demon bride and is on the recieving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from the main villain. By the end of chapter five, he's in too much physical pain to joke any more.
The first game has Guybrush state "half the people I know are called Guybrush." The brick comes crashing down in Chapter 4 when he explains to Bosun Krebbs that she had attempted to carry out revenge on the wrong Guybrush Threepwood. Apparently he even gets his mail.
Early in Chapter 1, Guybrush gains entrance to Club 41 and is told that all probationary members have to wear blindfolds inside the club, so he puts one on and promptly gets involved in a bar fight. Late in Chapter 5, when Guybrush goes back to Club 41 and retrieves the blindfold for use in a voodoo recipe, he learns that the whole "all probationary members have to wear blindfolds inside the club" thing was just a joke on the bouncer's part.
In Chapter 4, Morgan does this when she tells Guybrush that the Marquis De Singe, with the ridiculous French accent, wants to study his "unique strain of Pox."
Before that, in Chapter 1, Guybrush does this ridiculous French accent when dipping Pink Pajama Pierre into a vat of ink: "Sacré bleu! Eez zis ze end of Pink... Pajama... Pierre? Glug!"
But Thou Must: When Elaine asks you to work with LeChuck in chapter two, you get a whole dictionary of the various forms of "No", but every time Elaine just looks at Guybrush with puppy eyes and asks him with an increasingly sweet voice until your only dialog option left is "...Fine."
But Wait, There's More!: Spoken by LeChuck in Chapter 4, when, after confessing to the court that he was the one who spread the Pox of LeChuck, he has something else (i.e., the Voodoo Lady's diary) to show to the court.
By the Lights of Their Eyes: One of the buttons on De Singe's Auto-Trepanation Helmet in Chapter 4 causes the entire "laboratorium" to go dark temporarily, with only Guybrush's eyes visible when he says, "Ack! I'm blind!" Thankfully the lights turn back on.
Prisons in Monkey Island games are never renowned for their security, but the prize must go to the Flotsam Island Jail in Chapter 4: to get out, Guybrush simply tells Hardtack he wants to see his lawyer — which happens to be Guybrush himself. Guybrush can then get into a fight with himself, and request to be let out, as his client is assaulting him. Hardtack, the guard, buys it hook, line, and sinker.
A certain jail cell in Chapter 5 has a very obvious tunnel that can be used to escape. The hard part is staying in his body long enough to use it...
Casual Kink: Guybrush's throwaway line in episode one about Elaine getting cranky if tied up for too long. That said, it's very possible that he was simply referring to their past adventures and not to any kind of kink at all.
In Chapter 5, if you examine the fishnet before Guybrush can pick it up, he'll remark that Elaine sometimes wears fishnets for him on his birthday.
Catchphrase Interruptus: Guybrush tries to say, "You Fight Like a Cow!", but then gets interrupted throughout the game. The first time is at the beginning of Chapter 1, when he gets interrupted by Elaine; the second is at the beginning of Chapter 2, when Morgan cuts off his hand before he can finish; and the third is in Chapter 4, when both Guybrush and the human LeChuck start saying the catchphrase at the same time, but both stop themselves before they can finish, then look at each other and laugh.
Cat Fight: Between Elaine and Morgan in Episode 4.
Cerebus Syndrome: The series has always been "funny characters in a serious plot" to a certain extent, but Tales has been steadily ramping up the drama, especially with the Wham Episode that is Part Four. The games are still funny, though.
Plenty of items are used in at least two different puzzles. The Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma goes the extra mile, though. He's used for an important puzzle in Chapter 1, used for two puzzles, in two very different ways, in Chapter 2, lost in Chapter 3, seemingly destroyed for good in Chapter 4, and then used for one last puzzle in Chapter 5, despite all that's happened to it. Handy little hunk of fool's gold, isn't he?
The hook is the most used item in the game, to the point where it is basically a glorified "pick up" and "open" command. Guybrush can open almost every lock he encounters with it. By the time he finds a mysterious voodoo chest, he wonders himself if it can really be this easy all the time.
Civilian Villain: After LeChuck gets transformed into a human, he appears to turn over a new leaf. Guybrush still doesn't trust him, though, despite Elaine's urges for him to let bygones be bygones. Finally, once things come to a head, LeChuck tries it with the voodoo.
Compressed Vice: If Van Winslow had been as obsessive about the map in Chapter 1 as he was in later chapters, then Guybrush would have never been able to solve its final puzzle!
Continuity Nod: It's unusual to see this trope in practice in this series, but Tales likes it. There are several references to previous Monkey Island games, particularly in a lot of optional dialogue in part 4. Example: ask Elaine to vouch for your character, and she'll give a long list of your deeds. Just don't expect her to emphasize the positive, as heavily Poxed as she is.
Also, in Chapter 3, Guybrush calls La Esponja Grande "La Esponja Gordo", with "gordo" being another Spanish word roughly meaning "big", but it also means "fat", while he talks with De Cava, and later calls the same sponge he finds "La Esponja Pequeño" ("the small sponge"); and in Chapter 4 he addresses it as "Señor Esponja Not-So-Grande". In these cases, "gordo" and "pequeño" are incorrectly used in the masculine, while "señor" is used in the masculine, though the Spanish word for "sponge" is a feminine noun. The proper adjectives for the sponge should have been called "gorda" and "pequeña", while the proper noun title should have been called "Señorita Esponja Not-So-Grande", since the title "señorita" is Spanish for "Miss", which is a title for a young woman.
Guybrush:[to the MerLeader] Actually, there is one thing. I sorta caused this Pox and I need Esponja Grande to fix that. Especially now. Elaine:[under the influence of the Pox] What do you mean by that, you worthless piece of *cough cough cough* ooh, excuse me.
Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Almost every pirate that has been infected by the Pox of LeChuck will make these pointless death threats almost all the time whenever Guybrush ticks them off. There are a few times whenever Guybrush himself gets ticked off, like in Chapter 2, for example, when LeChuck is too busy looking at one Summoning Artifact he has gotten:
Guybrush: Now listen here, ya fleshy sack of chum, you'd better be handin' over that golden sea turtle or I'll be handin' ya yer liver on the pointy end of me hook!
Another example is in Chapter 3, when Morgan refuses to help Guybrush prove to De Cava that he's married:
Winslow:[under the influence of the Pox] Listen here, you poor excuse for a prissy privateer! Any more lip out of you, and the Captain'll be sending yer carcass on a tour of the small intestine!
And in Chapter 4, any threats that Judge Grindstump utters whenever Guybrush gets him angry turn into Funny Moments, like, for example:
Dance of Romance: Elaine does it with Guybrush in Chapter 4, although it is parodied as a "Freaky Waltz of Attempted Rape".
Dangerously Genre Savvy: LeChuck just impales Guybrush, rather than go for an overtly elaborate Death Trap. Possibly foreshadowed in a way, in the second episode, when he says that if he wanted to kill Guybrush, he would just throw him off a cliff.
Darker and Edgier: Currently, Tales seems destined to become the darkest entry in the series, as Guybrush got his hand cut off, a character dies, and there's another character that dies in the game, and that's... Guybrush. Also, the more "adult" jokes are much more frequent and overt than they were in the previous games, as opposed to the usual fourth-wall breaking humour.
Darkest Hour: By the start of Chapter 5, Guybrush and Morgan are dead along with most new characters, the Screaming Narwhal is adrift at sea, Flotsom Island and Spinner Cay are badly damaged, LeChuck has essentially become a demon pirate god and Elaine has become his demon bride. A truly dark hour indeed!
Stan: Great! Celebrity merchandise is always a good investment, especially if you suspect that the celebrity in question is about to become a wind chime in the gallows! NOTHING sells like dead celebrities.
Dead Person Conversation: Happens in the living world in Chapter 5 from the time that Guybrush (as a ghost) has opened up the rips in the Crossroads up to the time that he manages to repossess his own corpse.
Deep-Fried Whatever: According to W.P. Grindstump, one of the food items that the Flotsam Island Ladies' Night Buffet Table will include is the "Deep-Fried Petit Fours".note In case you didn't know, a "petit four" is a small cake confection generally eaten at the end of a meal or served as part of a large buffet or dessert.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Chapter 3, De Cava needs 100,000 larvae to escape, and they can only be produced one at a time. However, it is possible to "grind" the grubs until you actually do get all 100,000(!) that it would take to "solve" the missing cochlea puzzle, and the game even has specialized dialogue for some of the steps (specifically, the 50,000th, 99, 900th, and 100,000th grubs). Then the game skips ahead to where you would've been by solving it the intended way (and the other characters treat you as if you did). For the record, this task would take at least seventy days without breaks to accomplish.
Development Gag: According to the commentary, episode 1's bar fight had to get trimmed down to an offscreen cutscene in order to fit the episode in the Wii's 40 MB size limit. As a result, the bar was named Club 41 as in the 41st MB of content.
In Chapter 4, Morgan LeFlay falls in a slump after whispering to Guybrush about LeChuck and dies with her eyes half open. Guybrush closes her eyes.
Averted at the end of the same chapter, when the mortally wounded Guybrush's eyes open wide in a blank stare at a saddened Elaine, but then gently close as he collapses and "falls asleep" with his mouth open.
Does He Have a Cousin?: Said by Anemone in Chapter 2 when talking about Winslow after repairing the mast of the Screaming Narwhal. This indicates the start of Anemone's relationship with Winslow, which later blossoms in Chapter 5.
Does This Make Me Look Fat?: One of the silver trophies in the PS3 version of the game is labeled: "Does This Corpse Make Me Look Fat?"
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Chapter 4, after Guybrush gives D'Oro the glass eye, the latter gives him his own map as evidence. Guybrush asks how the map got here, to which D'Oro replies that he smuggled it in his "let's say... mouth". This map smuggling in the "let's say... mouth" could be a reference to something drug-related, but rather in the lines of "I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin".
The closet then renames itself "The Scariest Closet in the World".
Dying Alone: Defied twice in Chapter 4: once when LeChuck fatally stabs Morgan in De Singe's laboratory and leaves her alone to die, yet she lives long enough for De Singe to discover the incident before he leaves, and for Guybrush to discover and hold her in her final moments as Jacques the Monkey sadly watches; and once at the end of the chapter, when it appears that LeChuck would leave Guybrush alone to die after stabbing him, with only Elaine right by his side, but then the villain returns as a transformed Demon Pirate at the last second to taunt him and watch him die in the arms of his grieving wife.
Dying Clue: Parodied in Chapter 4, when Morgan LeFlay's rather lengthy dying speech (unheard by the player) is completely misunderstood by Guybrush, leading him to think that the Marquis De Singe killed her instead of LeChuck.
Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes losing a hand, thwarting a pirate siege, being eaten alive by a manatee, losing several allies including Morgan LeFlay, seeing his wife turned into LeChuck's demon bride, and dying, coming back as a zombie, and seemingly sacrificing his only chance at returning to life - but Guybrush manages to defeat LeChuck once and for all, cure the Pox, thwart the Marquis de Singe, and return to life with his loving wife.
Electric Instant Gratification: Jacques the monkey in episode 1. The commentaries state that funnily enough, they did it like that to get the ESRB to approve it - "See, we're not torturing the monkey; he's enjoying it!"
Enhance Button: Parodied in Chapter 1: Guybrush is using an analog optical telescope, and asks his first mate Winslow to "enhance the upper right quadrant" — Winslow just turns the telescope to increase the zoom. Guybrush then asks for "full enhancement", and Winslow holds up a second telescope at the end of the first one.
Epic Fail: Parodied in Chapter 3: at one time when Guybrush guesses the answer to one of De Cava's three-out-of-six questions wrong, Morgan rolls her eyes and says, "Fail," in a Shout-Out to the "FAIL" meme. (Even De Cava says "Failure!" when the question is guessed wrong.) However, this trope (and imminent death) is averted as many times as possible, when De Cava will always repeat the same first series of the three questions thanks to the repeated pleadings from Guybrush.
Evil All Along: LeChuck. From the moment that Guybrush Threepwood inadvertently turns him into a human who acts like a Harmless Villain and helps out on Guybrush and Elaine from Chapter 2 up to Chapter 4 (all the while wearing his charmingbelt buckle), then kills Guybrush in a clever ambush as soon as our hero cures everyone of the Pox of LeChuck; Elaine sees that "with or without all that voodoo, [LeChuck is] still nothing but an evil sack of scumm".
Evil Sounds Deep: LeChuck in his human form. Subverted/inverted at first in Chapters 2-4, when he acts like a good guy, but then doubly subverted at the very end of Chapter 4, when he kills Guybrush before regaining his voodoo powers.
All of these bits of dialogue are foreshadowing what happens in Chapters 4 and 5, when LeChuck brutally murders Guybrush by running him through with the Cutlass of Kaflu and then gains his voodoo powers from La Esponja Grande, which he then uses to turn a willing Elaine into his demon bride. And when Guybrush returns as a zombie later on, LeChuck tells him that he only wanted him "alive to see me marry Elaine."
Guybrush: I've told you a million times, LeChuck, I'm already married to—
LeChuck: "Till DEATH do you part," Threepwood! And that part has already been taken care of!
However, all of these are finally subverted when Guybrush returns Elaine to normal, destroys LeChuck with help from her and Morgan LeFlay, and eventually returns to life at the end of Chapter 5.
Eye Cam: Used at the end of Chapter 4, when Guybrush slowly opens his eyes and sees a close-up of Elaine's hand on both his normal hand and his Hook Hand, then moves to a blurry vision of LeChuck walking to the Wind Control Device to absorb the voodoo powers from La Esponja Grande, then turns back to focus on her head and face, as our hero discovers for certain that he is about to die from his fatal stab wounds.
Fauxshadow: Guybrush’s Who Would Be Stupid Enough moment suggests he’ll lose the other wedding ring, but he doesn’t. True, his soul separates from his body for a while, but does that really count as losing the ring?
Actually, at the beginning of Chapter 4, the ring is taken away from him along with La Esponja Grande as he goes on trial, and they will remain in the court's possession until he clears himself of all charges. Does that really count as losing the ring too?
The Ferry Man: In Chapter 5, when Guybrush arrives at the Crossroads Gateway as a Ghost Pirate, he encounters a skeletal Ferryman with a gold tooth who keeps his boat clean and bears a slight resemblance to the Lost Welshman; except that this Ferryman needs to be paid with "the golden eyes of everlasting sleep", i.e., two gold coins that are placed on the eyes of the dead, so that he can ferry arriving souls to the Center of the Crossroads (just like in Greek mythology), after which he'll no longer appear once his journey is complete.
Fingore: Morgan snaps one of De Singe's fingers in chapter 4, just so that he'll stop bothering her, and is rather taken aback when the broken finger instantly heals itself.
For Science!: The Marquis De Singe will exclaim this when asked about a Vole-Powered Generator in his lab.
Four Is Death: This may be a coincidence or unintentional, but Chapter 4 seems to be the very embodiment of death itself, especially when its eerie-sounding title, "The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood", foreshadows its premonition that Guybrush will die, with a bit of Fridge Brilliance. And it's a little eerie when the scene on Flotsam is night-themed, indicating that night is very deathly. And out of the five charges that Guybrush faces and manages to clear, only four are civil ones that carry the death penalty, as indicated in the court briefs.
Also in Chapter 4, death happens not just to Guybrush, but to four of the characters that he has met on or near Flotsam Island. In Chapter 1, he is first met by Davey Nipperkin before encountering the Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma and the Marquis De Singe, and at the end of the chapter, the fourth character he encounters in person (though unidentified until Chapter 2) is Morgan LeFlay, who is also the first supporting character to die in Chapter 4. He would either witness or hear of three more deaths (Nipperkin, the Pyrite Parrot, De Singe) before he himself would be slain at the end of said chapter. Oh, and the four wind idols that he has rearranged in Chapter 1 are very helpful once again in destroying De Singe in the Wind Control Device, powering up La Esponja Grande and curing the Pox of LeChuck in Chapter 4, while they also indicate that something bad (and fatal) may happen.
What sets up the death-themed Chapter 4 is this: out of the five characters in the body count in this chapter, only four of them are human (Morgan, Nipperkin, De Singe, Guybrush); and out of the same five characters, we only get to see four of them get killed on-screen (only Nipperkin's death is off-screen). And to add to the finishing touches, Guybrush himself is the fourth and last human character to die on-screen at the end of this chapter! So this trope itself wasn't kidding: Four IS death all around in Chapter 4!
Friend to All Living Things: Morgan LeFlay. Not only does she like monkeys, but she also loves cute parrots, especially one that is made of pyrite, which she says she'll keep as a souvenir once she's done with Guybrush.
It is revealed in Chapter 3 that Santino even loves bugs, as discussed by Moose.
Funny Background Event: During the Brotherhood chase in Chapter 3, while Guybrush is asking Morgan for help, you can see Noogie suddenly stop while raising his wooden sword in the air before collapsing, and Guybrush running and passing through him before he gets up and rejoins the chase. So funny.
Near the end of Chapter 4, though not a funny background event, while LeChuck shouts and laughs in glee, "LECHUCK! Arr, this name-shouting is jolly good fun!", you can see the wounded Guybrush sitting against the encased wind idol in pain in the background before Elaine runs up to him, kneels down, and desperately tries reviving him by holding him close to her. So touching.
Gambit Roulette: Elaine's plan in Tales can be summed up as this because too much of it relies on coincidence. Guybrush even has the option to lampshade this in the epilogue.
Double Entendre: Oh yeah, this game has got many of them: from Guybrush's aforementioned asking LeChuck to release Elaine to trying to show stolen items to someone ("I generally don't rub my booty in the faces of those I've stolen it from.") to looking at the cans in a shack on Roe Island ("Nice cans. I mean... nice CANS!") to repeatedly attempting to steal an empty treasure chest (Trenchfoot: "You just keep your hands off my chest." Guybrush: "Not a problem. In fact, I can guarantee I won't be touching a single part of your body!") to Guybrush recalling his previous events in the Flotsam Jungle with the Feast for the Senses menu ("No more listening to bees and birds and boars for THIS Mighty Pirate™!") to LeChuck attempting to have La Esponja Grande and Elaine all to himself after killing Guybrush ("But I be willin' to share my booty, if ye catch me drift...") to Guybrush looking at the seaweed containing the locket as a ghost ("The motion of my ocean isn't enough to jostle this seaweed.") to LeChuck's response to Elaine telling Guybrush what to do with the cannon on LeChuck's ship ("You can light my cannon later!"). That's probably a LOT of double entendres!
Ghost Pirate: Guybrush himself becomes one after being slain by LeChuck, but later finds a way to repossess his own body, and he's returned to normal at the end of the final chapter.
Glamour/Instant Allegiance Artifact: LeChuck's belt buckle is a sort of a mix between the two when he wears it while he is human, acting like a Harmless Villain and making people believe that LeChuck has made a Heel-Face Turn. However, in Chapter 2, Guybrush acts suspicious about LeChuck, as does Elaine, and they both take turns keeping an eye on the villain's motives which they believe may be suspicious rather than helping him. Unfortunately, in Chapters 3 and 4, Elaine succumbs to the Pox of LeChuck, making her unable to concentrate on his motives; and by the time that LeChuck becomes a Big Damn Hero in saving Guybrush and winning him over to the villain's side, Guybrush's mind becomes too clouded to concentrate on LeChuck's villainous deeds, which ultimately leads to his fataldownfall by the time he cures everyone of the voodoo Pox at the end of Chapter 4.
Guile Hero: Elaine. She laid down an intricate master plan, used her charm back in chapter 2 to make sure Guybrush would play his part in said plan, and repeatedly engaged in swordplay and (in one case) naval warfare to help move things along.
Hanging Judge: The Right Honorable Judge Wallace P. Grindstump once he catches the Pox. Still, apart from his uncontrollable shouting, he's fairly reasonable for being a bloodthirsty voodoo-pox-stricken pirate judge presiding over a court filled with an equally bloodthristy, pox-stricken audience of pirates. He is also very friendly and relaxed at his second job as the owner of club 41.
Chieftain Beluga: Guybrush, sink his ship! McGillicutty: I'll deal with you later, Stinkwood! I think old fin-face here wants another dip in the drink! HA ha ha ha harr! Chieftain Beluga: Here we go again. [s/he is lowered into the water]
Hero Killer: LeChuck. After being turned human, he proceeds to fatally stab Morgan LeFlay with her own blade in Chapter 4 and then save Guybrush's life from the gallows... only to brutally murder him with the Cutlass of Kaflu not long after.
Heroic BSOD: Guybrush suffers a brief one in the fifth episode when it appears as if his wife has abandoned him for his arch-nemesis.
Heroic Sacrifice: An unusually low-key example happens in the final episode when Morgan LeFlay sacrifices her remaining thread of life to allow Guybrush to open the portal to the world of the living. She claims that what she's actually sacrificing is her reputation as a pirate hunter, but it's obvious from the look on her face as she walks away that she knows she's just given up any hope of being fully restored to life.
Hidden Eyes: Moose in Chapter 3. His eyes are hidden behind his hair, which is why you never see them.
Hook Hand: Guybrush's newly acquired one is the most useful tool in the game.
I Drank What?: Downplayed a bit: In Chapter 3, Moose drinks the manatee ichor (kind of a bloodlike fluid or discharge) and, surprisingly, it doesn't sicken Moose at all (though Guybrush and Morgan do seem kind of grossed out by it). He even tells Guybrush that the orange ichor (which has "a bubbly effervescence with a tangy palette") has been pure and unfiltered since he got hooked on it when he and the other crew members of De Cava landed in the belly of the manatee. Moose adds that the other ichor, the yellow bile, is acidic and hazardous to the digestive system when drunk. Since De Cava only likes the orange ichor, Guybrush can trick him into drinking the yellow bile served on a mug for one of the key expressions in a Pirate Face-Off.
Guybrush: If you did anything to hurt Elaine while I was gone, I swear I'll—
LeChuck: The only thing I did to Elaine was to pull her from the freezing water along with a bunch of wet, screaming monkeys!
Guybrush:[smiles] Actually, that kinda sounds like our honeymoon!
I Have You Now, My Pretty: Averted when a weakened De Singe chases and corners Guybrush's Poxed hand at the Vaycaylian Wind Control Device and says, "Aha! I have you now, my pretty!" before the hand pushes him into the device with a Wilhelm Scream in Chapter 4.
Guybrush: I love the smell of treasure in the morning!
I Meant to Do That: Guybrush says this in Chapter 1 after he has caught the Desingeograph of his Poxed hand with his feet and flips it onto the picture bucket near the Illuminopictoscreen. Even though he says that as if he were doing it by accident, it is all a part to escape from the operating table in De Singe's laboratory.
Improbable Weapon User: In Chapter 5, W.P. Grindstump can even throw a freaking cash register at Guybrush to crush him if he revives as a zombie (that is, unless he surrenders)!
In Medias Res: The first episode opens with Guybrush confronting LeChuck at the end of an alleged epic adventure. See also Noodle Incident below.
In the Back: Inverted near the end of Chapter 4: Not only does LeChuck (figuratively) stab Guybrush in the back in a clever ambush attack, but he (literally) stabs Guybrush in the chest... with the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu that is powerful enough to kill him, if not instantly!
Incredible Shrinking Pirate: In Chapter 4, Guybrush uses one of the buttons on De Singe's Auto-Trepanation Helmet and gets shrunk a bit smaller than the size of a lab vole for a bit before growing back to normal size.
Informal Eulogy: At the very end of Chapter 4, when Guybrush dies from his mortal wounds and Elaine becomes enraged and points her sword at LeChuck:
LeChuck: Out of respect for the newly-deceased, I feel I should point out that you wave your sword like a dairy farmer.
Intangibility: Subverted at first in Chapter 5, when Guybrush can still touch and pick up the items as a Ghost Pirate in the Crossroads of the afterlife; but when he returns to the living world, it becomes Double Subverted when he tries touching the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu, only to find that he can't touch it (or any other item) or even pick it up while in the living world (he needs to get back in his own body in order to do that).
Interspecies Romance/Mermaid Problem: The scene in Chapter 2 when the MerLeader plants a kiss on Guybrush after the rescue is kind of... Squicky, and Guybrush responds nervously with "How about a reward instead?"
And in Chapter 5, Guybrush discovers that Winslow and Anemone (a merperson) are in a relationship, and wonders aloud "how that works... logistically."
It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Throughout the entire game, the Marquis De Singe (and Joaquin D'Oro) pronounces his own name as "deh SANJ" (with the short "a" sound in "apple"), and the Voodoo Lady and Hemlock McGee pronounce the name as "day SAHNJ" (with the "a" pronunciation in "father"). Guybrush and Morgan LeFlay, on the other hand, pronounce De Singe's name poorly, coming out only as "deh SIHNJ", like the word "SIHN-jee" without the "ee", or like the English word "singe". It's possible this may have been them pulling a Malicious Misnaming with him, though. The correct pronunciation, incidentally, is how he says it himself, and it means "of Monkey" (not "of the Monkey", that would be "du Singe") in French.
Tales also has every single character pronounce "La Esponja Grande" with "esponja" pronounced with a J sound (es-pon-JA). Not until the very end of the final episode does Elaine FINALLY say "Actually, it's pronounced 'es-pon-HA' with an 'H' sound at the end?"
And of those who pronounce the word "Caribbean" as "CA-ri-BEE-an", only Morgan pronounces it as "cuh-RIH-bee-an".
Guybrush: Oh, come on, that doesn't even sound like "Threepwood."
It's a Long Story: Near the end of Chapter 4, Guybrush says this to Elaine after curing her and everyone else of the Pox of LeChuck, and she doesn't remember how she got here or why her mouth tastes like coleslaw. He also says that he'll explain once they figure how to get out of the clamshell traps. LeChuck's arrival unfortunately turns it into "Your Princess Is in Another Castle!"
It's the Only Way: Spoken by Zombie Guybrush to a surprised Morgan near the end of Chapter 5, when he takes out his last shred of life and tosses it into the rip to close up the Crossroads, trapping the Pirate God LeChuck and allowing her and Elaine to use the Coup de Grâce on him simultaneously.
Before that, De Cava says this in Chapter 3 when he says he's weaving the husks of Manatee Throat Grubs for an artificial cochlea, unaware that the actual cochlea had been stolen by his own crew during the time they were in the manatee.
It's What I Do: Guybrush says this to Morgan in Chapter 3 when she doesn't believe that he can talk to De Cava's crew for the manatee cochlea and she just wants to attack them for it.
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Though not narrated by voice or words, the game's opening does take place on a dark and stormy night in the Rock of Gelato.
I Will Show You X: There are a few examples of this when Elaine is poxed and fighting De Singe near the end of Chapter 4: "I've got yer juicy strain right here, bucko!" "I'll give you some piddlin' firkins!" "I'll show you who's done for!" and "I'll spread you to the four corners!!"
I Wished You Were Dead: Sort of: At the end of Chapter 4, as Elaine is sharing her Last Kiss with the fatally wounded Guybrush, LeChuck taunts him by saying, "Aren't you dead yet? I've got wedding plans to make!" As if on cue, Guybrush dies in her arms and leaves her heartbroken and angry. Cue the Informal Eulogy.
Played with in Chapter 5, when Guybrush (as a zombie) confronts LeChuck, who tells him, "I do wish you hadn't made such a pest of yourself. I wanted you alive to see me marry Elaine!"
J'accuse: Spoken by Guybrush while showing Jacques the Monkey to the court during Hemlock's case in Chapter 4.
Kangaroo Court: Guybrush is tried by one in chapter four. But then, what did you expect of Pirate Court?
Pirate Court or not, is there any justification in attempting to sentence someone to death by keelhauling before they've been charged with anything?
Yes, if they all have been infected by a powerful Hate Plague that makes them mad.
Kill 'em All: Out of all the new characters you meet in the storyline, only Van Winslow, Anenome, Bugeye and Judge Grindstump definitely survive until the end of episode 5. It's heavily implied that absolutely all of the other characters you meet in the game are killed. Yes, this is indeed a dark tale.
Other than that, also in Chapter 4, the only "cutie" that the Marquis De Singe has "killed" is the Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma, which he uses as a test subject for the Jus de Vie in the Vaycaylian Wind Control Device in front of Guybrush and Elaine.
Also, Noogie in Chapter 3. He is so Adorkable when he plays the bongos and has a date with Morgan LeFlay despite his glasses. After the betrayal, capture, and interrogation, however, Noogie disappears. Guybrush can ask Bugeye what happened to Noogie during the ship battle for La Esponja Grande, and Bugeye can reply that Noogie "went to a quiet farm upstate", meaning, of course, that he is killed off-screen. You can even find his grave in the afterlife in Episode 5. Poor Noogie.
Knight of Cerebus: LeChuck at the end of episode 4. Rather than try to kill Guybrush with some ridiculously convoluted scheme such as turning him into a chair or shrinking him, he just walks up and stabs him. It's also something of a weird Moral Event Horizon, because it looks like the over-the-top, almost endearing LeChuck from the first four games is now gone for good.
The voodoo doll at the end of the second game has shades of this, too. If anything, it's that game that introduced the idea of a scary LeChuck, which Curse and Escape (and Screaming Narwhal) abandoned. The whole "Human LeChuck" routine is almost a way for Telltale to bring that menace back to the rotting bugger.
As of Episode 5, LeChuck seems to have finally found a balance between being silly and being menacing and goes back and forth between the two with ease.
Amazingly, he manages to top himself in the very next episode, The Siege of Spinner Cay, after receiving a book of 101 Fish Jokes from the Vaycaylian Tetra (many of which also qualify):
Guybrush: I hope it doesn't keep me in stitches or I might need a ... Sturgeon! Tetra: I hate you now.
Large Ham: Where to start? Most notably there's LeChuck, Judge Grindstump, any character voiced by Roger L. Jackson (Such as Winslow, and Hemlock "FEED 'IM TO THE JUNGLE BEAST!!!" McGee), and, while she didn't have a very big role in Curse, Alexandra Boyd brings the house down in Tales with every line as poxed Elaine and as Demon-Bride Elaine.
The Crossroads thief actually encourages you to pull this on him. Guybrush doesn't have to finish a sentence before the thief pretends to be fooled long enough for Guybrush to steal something. It is a sort of thief paradise, after all.
In Chapter 2, Guybrush does this when he tries showing Morgan the Pyrite Parrot, and she says that since the parrot is cute, she'll take it as a souvenir after she kills Guybrush.
In Chapter 4, when Stan asks, "No hard feelings over all those various civil and criminal charges?" Guybrush replies, "Water under the bridge!" before raising his hook and continuing, "A bridge with a fast-talking shyster-slash-salesman dangling from it," causing Stan to gulp in fear.
Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Parodied with Guybrush in his Grand Theft Me of the Voodoo Lady, for a short time in Chapter 3. He even jiggles her earrings and plays with his breasts if the player sits around for a few minutes!
Masochist's Meal: W.P. Grindstump is the proud owner of a Fugu Jolokia Pepper. He won it by being able to place his tongue on the outer skin of the pepper for a full 10 seconds, and now offers a challenge for anyone who would place their tongue on the pepper for a full 11 seconds! No mean feat, as not only is the pepper spicy beyond all sanity, even on the outer skin (wheras most real-life peppers have their heat in the juice or seeds), but it is also hot temperature-wise to the tongue, to the point that Guybrush's skin nearly burns when he tries touching the pepper with his good hand; he needs to numb up his tongue if he wants to win the challenge.
Master of Unlocking: From Chapter 2 of Tales onward, Guybrush can use his Hook Hand as a lockpick to unlock doors and treasure chests. Of course, there are only a few items that can't be unlocked by his hook alone, and that is in the final chapter.
Meaningful Name: The Fugu Jolokia above takes its name from the Bhut Jolokia, an actual pepper, and fugu, the Japanese pufferfish - which is poisonous.
Mêlée à Trois: In Part 5, there's a brief insult/cheerup swordfight between Guybrush, Morgan, and another pirate.
Men Don't Cry: Narrowly averted in Chapter 4, when Guybrush feels so deeply grieved at the death of Morgan LeFlay that it's almost like he is silently weeping, though his Manly Tears may be invisible.
Guybrush: Sooo... you say you're human now, huh? Well, [snaps his finger] let's just see what happens when I ...PULL OFF YOUR MASK!! [jumps at LeChuck's face] LeChuck: Owwch!! Guybrush, stop that! [pushes him off] Guybrush:[understands] Huh. Okay... maybe you are human. I still don't like you. LeChuck: Be that as it may, we still must work together to retrieve this Summoning Artifact!
Mistaken for Murderer: In Chapter 4, as Guybrush starts his "Feast for the Senses" quest, he sees De Singe exit his "laboratorium" in distress, indicating that something is going on in the lab. On entering, he finds the lab in a total mess, and Morgan lying on the floor, stabbed by her own Blade of Dragotta. Before she dies, she whispers her last words as a warning, unheard by the player and misheard by Guybrush, leading him to believe that De Singe killed her. When he later confronts De Singe before tossing La Esponja Grande into the Wind Control Device while testing it, Guybrush can blame him for the atrocious act of murder, to which De Singe can imply that he didn't kill her by spouting out clues that can be helpful to the player but not to Guybrush ("Of course I ran out of my lab! There was blood all over the floor instead of being packed neatly in vials where it belongs!" and "Ooh, the Mighty Pirate™ thinks I murdered his friend! However will I live with the shame?"). It is not until both De Singe and Guybrush are killed (the former by the latter, the latter by LeChuck) or until Guybrush meets up with Morgan in the Crossroads that he realizes that the LeChuck who killed him is the same Big Bad who killed her during Guybrush's "criminal charge" trial as well. Oops.
Mouth Cam: Two of them (in the mouths of manatees), both in Chapter 3: one when Guybrush is approaching the cave guarded by a female manatee, and one near the end of the chapter, as the Giant Manatee approaches to swallow De Cava and his crew in the Howler Monkey.
MST: At the end of Lair of the Leviathan, Murray starts poking fun at certain names and snarking about the length of the credits.
Musical Nod: Blink and you'll miss it, but the diving music in Chapter 3 (also used in the pulling of the lion's paw from the Jungle Beast in Chapter 4) is a quieter version of the "Captain Kate's Boat Dive" music from Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
In Chapter 2, when Guybrush moves the fish barrel over to the other side of the mainmast of the Screaming Narwhal and then scares the seagull, it files up and picks up a (literal) Red Herring, which is reminiscent of the seagull playing with the red herring outside the Scumm Bar's kitchen in The Secret of Monkey Island. Also, Guybrush can use the fish eggs with his hook hand and catch another red herring at the fishing well in Spoon Isle.
When Guybrush reaches for the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu as a zombie during the Chapter 5 cutscene, he says "Pappapisshu" instead of "Youch".
In Chapter 5, Guybrush puts on a pot as a helmet before getting fired out of a cannon.
Hardtack the Pirate / Bailiff mentions weird slaw cravings whilst under the influence of the Pox and Elaine mentions her mouth tasting like it after she snaps out of the curse; this is a reference to a Funny Moment Cutscene from The Curse of Monkey Island
LeChuck: "Burn down every island in the Caribbean if you have to, but bring me my bride! AND MORE SLAW! Curse those villains. They never give you enough slaw with these value meals!"
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Chapter 1, LeChuck botches up Guybrush's voodoo spell for the Cutlass of Kaflu, leaving our hero scrambling for substitutions and trying to perfect the Cutlass to destroy LeChuck; only, instead of destroying him, it causes LeChuck to spread his voodoo pox across the Gulf of Melange and turns him into a seeminglyharmlesshuman. Nice job!
And that is not all, as this is followed by Guybrush being asked by the Voodoo Lady to search for the legendary MacGuffin Esponja Grande and his eventually finding the sponge and using it to absorb and remove the pox from everyone in Chapter 4, curing them completely, so that LeChuck can obtain it for himself, killing Guybrush in the process. Nice job curing everyone and getting yourself killed, Guybrush.
And in Chapter 5, when Guybrush (as a Ghost Pirate) finds a spell so he can escape the Crossroads and return to the living world, he opens up the rip in the Crossroads and inadvertently (along with LeChuck's hypnotized monkeys) lets the villain use La Esponja Grande to harness the voodoo power from the Crossroads, creating other rips and becoming the Demon Pirate God of the Caribbean who turns a willing Elaine into his demon bride. Nice job making LeChuck more evil, Guybrush! However, creating other rips lets Guybrush find a way to repossess his own corpse and shrink the sponge in order to free Elaine from LeChuck's influence. So nice job negating your breaking it and averting the destruction, Guybrush.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The final battle with Pirate God LeChuck is brutal, and just painful to watch. He basically plays with Guybrush like a rag doll, trying to kill him in horrifyingly direct and painful ways. Throwing him from the ship's crow's nest, keelhauling him multiple times, throwing him into the quarters so hard the door is blown off its hinges, and punching him so hard that he ends up in the crow's nest again. And Guybrush is a zombie andcan't even die. What truly sells the horror of the whole sequence is Guybrush's voice. You can tell just how much pain he's truly in just by hearing the way his voice constantly breaks, and the weary way he tries to describe things. He's so spent, so exhausted, and in so much pain that he can't even quip. A Guybrush who can't make jokes is a sad thing indeed.
This beatdown will continue uninterrupted if you, the player, don't figure out a way to stop it. Given that this is an adventure game, finding the solution takes time and it's just heart wrenching to hear Guybrush's voice full of pain then being forced to return to the beating when something you try isn't successful. The longer it takes to solve the puzzle the worse it gets.
Noodle Incident: Tales was jokingly called the sixth game by developers but fans took the joke a bit too seriously... Regardless, all that happened before it is brushed aside.
All we know about the events preceding Tales comes from Guybrush's offhand comment that, sometime before the game started, LeChuck returned to life as a "killer walrus."
The beginning of the Launch of the Screaming Narwhal is probably the result of said "missing game". It definitely has all the trappings of the end of a Monkey Island game: Elaine captured, LeChuck executing his latest evil plan, and Guybrush hastily substituting ingredients for a voodoo spell to get rid of him yet again. The only difference being that the voodoo substitutions make the spell go more horribly wrong than usual, kicking off the plot of Tales.
Nuns Are Spooky: In Chapter 3, there is a picture of Sister Agnes, a nun with a creepy face, which is what Noogie is afraid of.
Obfuscating Stupidity: LeChuck's stupidity about the clam shell puzzle in Chapter 2 hides the fact that he's actually still fully evil, and planning for Guybrush to recover La Esponja Grande.
Off with His Head!: Parodied twice in Chapter 3: once when Guybrush does this using Morgan's Blade of Dragotta to replace Santino's head with Murray while Moose is distracted; and once when Guybrush, in an attempt to extract information from the Brotherhood about the Tongue of the Manatee, uses the blade again to slice off "Santino's head", making Murray fly off the skeleton and into the water below.
Only discussed in Chapter 4, when Bosun Kathryn Krebbs repeatedly shouts out, "Off with his head!", "Off with your head!", and "Off with her head!"
Oh Crap: Done marvelously in Chapter 4 ("Oh, grog nuts!") That phrase WILL go through your head when LeChuck casually reveals that he has been Evil All Along, right before stabbing Guybrush through the gut.
Morgan LeFlay gets one in Chapter 2 when she realises that she's about to be knocked overboard.
Oh, No... Not Again!: In Chapter 5, Guybrush will say, "Not again," and get dispossessed if he keeps trying to escape from jail using the secret passageway without the Spirit Gum.
Also, during the Battle in the Rain in Chapter 1, when Guybrush botches up the recipe for the Cutlass of Kaflu due to LeChuck's meddling by breaking the bottle of root beer, Elaine sighs and says, "And now we're going to die. Again. Heh. Wonderful."
Once for Yes, Twice for No: Discussed in Chapter 2: When Elaine says that she can't leave Spinner Cay with Guybrush, he can say, "Why? Does someone have a cannon to your head? Blink twice if the answer is 'yes.'"
Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: In the PS3 version, one of the bronze trophies obtained in Chapter 1 (when Guybrush sees the effects of the Pox of LeChuck on the inhabitants) is labeled, "Is That a Pox on Your Face, or Are You Just Angry to See Me?"
Organ Autonomy: Guybrush's Pox-infected hand slaps him around, actively thwarts his attempts to explore and solve puzzles, and kills the Marquis de Singe for taking advantage of it.
Our Ghosts Are Different: Guybrush’s tipoff to ghosthood is the return of his severed hand. He has to go through some figurative hoops to return to the land of the living, where he can’t manipulate any objects that he didn’t bring with him.
Our Zombies Are Different: The Voodoo Lady says that “zombie” is not the best word for what Guybrush becomes. He does act pretty much the same as in life, except for a variant of a Zombie Gait.
Overly Long Name: D'Oro's full name is "Joaquin Jocinto De Meara Alphonso D'Oro".
Paper Tiger: Bugeye is a bald, tattooed pirate who disrespects the main character and generally talks tough. But once you need to get information out of him, you find that the slightest bit of pressure will make him squeal.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: This is finally averted in The Siege of Spinner Cay: McGillicutty and his crew are pirates incarnate, who pillage, fire cannons, bury treasure, lay siege to innocent ports, drown people, threaten Guybrush repeatedly, and cook.
One must remember that they do this under the influence of The Corruption...
Although it's stated that unlike a lot of the characters, McGillicutty's crew openly welcomed the Pox, even going as far as to try and destroy its cure. The Pox may have made them more piratey, but they're still pirates anyway.
Poke the Poodle: In The Siege of Spinner Cay, Captain McGillicutty captures the Merfolk Ruler and threatens to drown him/her if he/she refuses to reveal the secret ritual words to summon the sea creatures that leads to La Esponja Grande. It works about as well as you would expect.
It's kind of hinted at that the Pox completely addled McGillicutty's mind. But it's still hilarious hearing the Merfolk ruler insisting that it wouldn't work.
Portal Network: The various rips in the Crossroads that appear on LeChuck's ship, Club 41, a raft atop the Manatee Mating Grounds in the ocean, and a secluded island somewhere in the Gulf of Melange.
Rock-Paper-Scissors: Parodied in Chapter 5, when Reginald Van Winslow has been working on a game he calls "Rock, Paper, Fountain Pen", and describes to Guybrush how the game is played: "Well, paper beats rock. And then the player must shame the paper into defeat by filling it full of lewd phrases using the pen.".
Rouge Angles of Satin/Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: The game's subtitles often do these with typos in them throughout its chapters, especially with its improper use of hyphens or with the letters or words or punctuation marks or hyphens missing. The biggest subtitle blunder is evident in Chapter 2, where the subtitles are riddled with So. Many. Typos! It's even hard to make out the words that are often misspelled (either with an extra letter or with one or both letters missing), have a LOT of mispunctuation and miscapitalization, and don't match what the characters' voices are saying, like (for example) "Marquee DeSinge Marquis De Singe", "burry bury", "snivvelin sniveling", "mits mitts", "treasue treasure", "pervious previous", and a LOT of misspellings of "merfolk", "mermaid", "merman", "merperson" and "merpeople". Also, the biggest blunders are many words in the subtitles that don't match what the person's voice says, like, for example, Trenchfoot's subtitles repeatedly saying "I have" when his voice clearly says "I've got".
Also, Roe Island seems to be suffering a case of all lowercase letters instead of capital letters when examined items change their names (Example: "Photograph" becomes "almost kinda sweet photo of DeCava [sic] and the Voodoo Lady", "Journals" become "poems no one wants to read", "Sketch" becomes "disturbing sketch of a young Voodoo Lady", "Cot" becomes "disgusting cot", etc.).
Spell My Name with an S: Even there are a few names that everyone is confused about: the names "MerLeader" ("Mer-Leader", "Merleader" "Mer Leader", etc.), "Vaycaylian" ("Vacaylian", "Vaycalian", "Vacalian"), "De Singe" ("DeSinge"), "De Cava" ("DeCava"), Morgan LeFlay ("Le Flay" in Chapter 1, "LaFlay" in Chapter 2), and "Esponja" in "La Esponja Grande" ("Esponge", "Esponga").
Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: This game has examples of this in Chapter 2 (Guybrush: [as he fires a cannon] "KABOOM! Ah, I never get tired of that!") and in Chapter 5 ("Sigh.").
Say My Name: In Chapter 1, when a blunder with the Cutlass of Kaflu ends with the fuse being unintentionally lit in Elaine's ship:
Elaine: Guybrush? [monkey does a Face Palm before the fuse hits the gunpowder barrel and blows them all sky-high]
And at the end of Chapter 4 when LeChuck runs Guybrush through.
LeChuck: LECHUCK! *laughs* Arr, this name-shouting is jolly good fun!
Scrolling Text: This is the first time we actually see scrolling subtitle text that accompanies the voices in a Monkey Island game, be it fast or slow. Sometimes words in the subtitle text start appearing before a character says them almost at the exact same time the subtitle finishes, which is apparent in some scenes in Chapter 4.
LeChuck: Does Elaine know about Morgan, Guybrush? Elaine: [looks at LeChuck] What? LeChuck: [turns to Elaine] That sultry sea-minx had it for Threepwood! Her corsair sailed for only him! [turns back to Guybrush, smiling] A pity I had to kill her! But now they can kindle their love [turns angry] in hell! [punches Guybrush]
Sequel Hook: Plenty! The game intentionally leaves a few loose ends hanging around, and brings up a few at the very end. Ghost Pirate-Hunter Morgan LeFlay, what the Voodoo Lady plans to do with the remains of LeChuck, and the Voodoo Lady's true motivations come to mind. There's plenty of material to cook up another sequel... or at least fuel a metric ton of fanfic.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Near the end of Chapter 4, when Guybrush asks De Singe what he's doing with the Vaycaylian Wind Control Device (before attempting to toss La Esponja Grande into the device), De Singe replies, "You see, using my handbuilt Harpsichronitron, in conjunction with my Oscimoligrophiscope to seek out a resonant frequency with the Vaycaylian Climatiphone, I hope to anatomize living tissue on a macroscopic basis!" Guybrush, however, becomes clueless and can ask De Singe to repeat with the purposes of all this machinery, and De Singe can translate that he's using the piano device ("this machine") to make the Wind Control Device ("that machine") "smash people into a fine powder," which, of course, causes Guybrush to say, "Hey, that's not very nice!"
Also, in "Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay", Guybrush has another meaning to "You Suck!":
Guybrush: My assessment of your cannon-operating skills, not to mention your personal appearance, odor and intelligence, is that you are unmistakably inferior in each of those criteria.
Shout-Out: Clicking on some stone pillars will prompt Guybrush to point out that he doesn't have the jacket or fedora required to decode the symbols engraved on it.
When you inexplicably have to roll some cheese against a rock Guybrush does a Wallace impression (Telltale also released an episodic adventure series based on Wallace & Gromit).
Also in Episode 1, you meet a pirate who has become a glassblower. In Ultima V, in Buccaneer's Den, there's a pirate named Sven, who used to be a glassblower.
Speaking of him, he gives you an "unbreakable" glass tube shaped like a "U". A U-Tube, if you will. He and Guybrush can both be made to muse about how nobody seems interested in their U-Tube offerings.
In Chapter 2, when Guybrush has Hardtack and Trenchfoot try to guess a number, the two numbers that both of them guess wrongly are a reference to the Arc Numbers, with Hardtack's guessing number 27 either a reference to the curse for musicians who have died at the age of 27 (Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and, most recently, Amy Winehouse) or a reference to a well-known "Weird Al" Yankovic in-joke; and Trenchfoot's guessing number 42 a reference to the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in the 1979 novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
In Chapter 3, the Brotherhood leaves a severed seahorse head in a bed as a warning to Guybrush not to betray them. As a bonus Shout-Out, when Guybrush (apparently) sees it, he cries out "Seabiscuit!" — then proceeds to pick up and munch on a biscuit.
Also in Episode 5, the Voodoo Lady manifests in the Crossroads as a scuttle of crabs. This is very likely a reference to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, where Tia Dalma does the same thing after she has her powers as Calypso restored. What makes this especially interesting is that Pirates Of The Caribbean was inspired by the earlier Monkey Island games, and Tia Dalma is a reference to the Voodoo Lady. Which means she references the person who was inspired by her.
Similarly, Morgan having read about Guybrush's exploits and learning that the real person is quite different indeed, like Elizabeth and Jack Sparrow in the first movie.
Also, in Chapter 2, Elaine shouts out, "Hoist yer colors, ya mangy sea dogs!" This quote is a reference to the song, "Hoist the Colours", the main theme of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End; and it's derived from the phrase "hoist the colors high", referring to the custom of raising the flag on a ship.
Also, in Chapter 3, Guybrush demanding a vote from Bugeye and getting into a Poxed rage gives a nod to when Bruce Banner would get angry so much that he would transform into the Incredible Hulk in his self-titled comic book series.
And LeChuck's speech to Elaine up to the point when Morgan stabs him in the end of Chapter 5 is a parody of Old Man Waterfall's Sedgwick Speech in an episode of Futurama.
Chapter 5, traveling between the material world and the afterlife through rips in space, which connect the afterlife to previously visited locations? Didn't Loom end the same way?
In Chapter 5, when asked about the Voodoo lady, Grindstump replies that "That witch is nothing but trouble with a capital T, and that rhymes with V, and that stands for Voodoo."
At the beginning of the intro to Chapter 2, the Voodoo Lady quotes England's deposed king Edward IV's words to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (a.k.a. just Warwick), before the former is taken captive in Henry VI Part 3: "What fates impose, that men must needs abide; / It boots not to resist both wind and tide" (IV.iii). Only her subtitle got it right ("needs"), while her voice got it wrong ("need").
In Chapter 4, if the player has Guybrush use one of the severed legs on the altar without dipping it in sugar water, he will quote a few lines in a spoof of "Alas, poor Yorick" from Hamlet (V.i) (this is done in the PS3 version in order to net the player a "Guybrush Goes Classy" silver trophy).
Speaking of PS3 trophies, there are a few trophies that are shout-outs too ("What's in a Name?" from the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet (II.ii), and "Adieu, Adieu..." which is a reference to Hamlet's father's written line, "Adieu, adieu, remember me," from Hamlet (I.v)).
In Chapter 5, Morgan stabs LeChuck and calls him a "bunch-backed toad", which is taken from the line from Richard III, in which Queen Margaret, widow of King Henry VI, curses Queen Elizabeth (wife of King Edward IV) with: "The day will come that thou shalt wish for me / To help thee curse that poisonous bunch-backed toad" (I.iii).
Show Some Leg: In Chapter 4, Bosun Kathryn Krebbs testifies against Guybrush and, in the midst of her testimony, pulls her legs to the top of the witness stand, distratcting the Wolf Whistling crowd with the "nacho sauce burn" on her Poxed leg (which turns out to be a mixture of hot fluids that she concocted up in order to take revenge on the wrong Guybrush Threepwood).
Showdown at High Noon: Parodied in Chapter 1: After Guybrush has rearranged the mysterious wind idol near the Vaycaylian Wind Control Device, De Singe arrives with a rifle and demands that Guybrush surrender his Poxed hand. A brief period of staring silence follows, complete with close-ups of both Guybrush's and De Singe's faces in a style parody of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly before the former breaks the silence with "Make me!", and the latter pulls out the rifle and shoots him sky-high. Of course, Guybrush is still alive when he lands on the ground and gets up.
Of course, some fans may not have believed that that was really going to happen and so didn't regard the title as a spoiler. There's also the fact that it's technically a subversion, since the use of the phrase 'Trial and Execution' would suggest the multiple death penalties Guybrush faces for his court charges, which he is cleared of. Of course, that makes it a double subversion when he's killed later.
Spoof Aesop: In episode 4, you have to help a plant that literally has a lion's paw stuck in its thorn.
Staring Contest: In Chapter 2, Guybrush places Hardtack and Trenchfoot into a staring contest, into which our hero can distract the pirate duo into looking behind them so he can place the Pyrite Parrot into the treasure chest, in hopes that he can find where they'll bury it along with one of the Summoning Artifacts later.
Stay with Me Until I Die: In Chapter 4, after Guybrush is stabbed in the chest by LeChuck's Cutlass of Kaflu, Elaine becomes distressed and runs to Guybrush's side, cradles him and stays with him until he breathes his last (ensuring that he at least doesn't die alone), even going so far as to reject LeChuck's advances and watch him regain his voodoo powers from La Esponja Grande and become the demon pirate once again. (Funny thing is that Guybrush never asks her to stay with him until the end, though she tries reviving him and he barely regains consciousness as he mumbles "Is that you, mother? I washed my hands..." and later asks her in his final words to destroy LeChuck for him, a vow she tearfully accepts.)
Stealth Pun: In Chapter 1, "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal", one Gaffer Crimpdigit makes glass unicorns. But, he wishes he could make something "that really speaks to" seafaring pirates. Did we mention the episode is called "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal"?
Sticky Situation: Near the end of Chapter 1, when Guybrush's demonic hand acts up and prevents him from telling Winslow what to do, Guybrush cleverly devises a way to stop the situation by opening up the tar barrel and trapping his hand in sticky tar (he even says, "That's what I call a sticky situation!" while looking at the tar puddle again).
Stiff Upper Lip: Winslow doesn't make much of a fuss about paying to repair the mast repeatedly (probably because it means he gets to see Anemone), having to put up with the Pox, getting shipwrecked, and so forth. All he asks is that you please use the map....
Stock Scream: The Marquis De Singe's final squeal before his molecular dissection is a Wilhelm scream cut off halfway through.
Stop Saying That!: In Chapter 3, Guybrush uses the Tongue of the Manatee to help the Giant Manatee find love, and when they arrive at the manatee cave to meet the female in the manatee language:
Giant Manatee: (Um... hi.) [no response, then turns to Guybrush] (This is a bad idea.) Guybrush:[repeats] (This is satisfactory.) Giant Manatee:[annoyed] (Stop saying that.)
Strapped to an Operating Table: In Chapter 1, Guybrush Threepwood gets strapped to an operating table by the Marquis De Singe, who attempts to cut off Guybrush's Poxed hand, and our hero must use his limited movement ability (and the Marquis' helper monkey Jacques) to escape.
The Strength of Ten Men: The human LeChuck exhibits this strength to pull out the Wise Turtle Summoning Artifact in Chapter 2. He even lampshades this when he tells Guybrush, "Elaine seems to think I have the strength of ten men!"
If Guybrush tries returning to LeChuck's ship as a ghost, Elaine will repeatedly spray root beer at our hero and force him back into the Crossroads, making it pure Nightmare Fuel.
Summoning Artifact: There are three of them in Chapter 2, all of which can be combined into one Summoning Ball Artifact used to summon the Sea Creatures to help Guybrush find the alleged resting place of La Esponja Grande. And it's no wonder that McGillicutty and his crew want the artifacts so they can stay with being Poxed that way once they destroy the magical voodoo sponge.
Summoning Ritual: This one consists of the ritual words that only the MerLeader knows in order to summon the Sea Creatures with the Summoning Artifacts. When recited, it sounds more like the words of a dog's game of "Go Fetch".
Super Not-Drowning Skills: Guybrush can hold his breath for ten minutes. Of course, he’s in even less danger when he's a ghost or undead.
Tarot Troubles: At the start of most chapters, when the Voodoo Lady does a recap this way.
The Teasers: This is the first Monkey Island game to have playable cold openings in five chapters... sort of. Chapter 1, for example, has a playable intro that can be accomplished with help from instructions before the main title starts. Chapter 3 has a VERY long playable cold opening consisting of a few tasks and an "Answer the question" minigame before the chapter's title starts. Chapter 4, on the other hand, only has the shortest playable cold opening, where you only have to select a topic before the chapter's title starts.
Each episode begins with the continuation of the Cliff Hanger Guybrush was placed in at the end of the last chapter. Only after solving the immediate crisis do the title cards play.
Tempting Fate: In the climax of Chapter 5, when Elaine is trying to kill LeChuck by using the Cutlass of Kaflu, we get this exchange as he steps through the rip in the Crossroads:
LeChuck: Ha ha ha! You see!? You can temporarily destroy my body, Elaine, but you cannot damage me spirit! *a ghostly Morgan promptly stabs him with a ghost sword*OW, my spirit!
Timmmm-Boing?: Shouted out by Guybrush in Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, when he manages to push the rubber tree down to the ground with help from Trenchfoot's digging for "treasure".
Time Master: LeChuck near the end of Chapter 5. When he sees the Vaycaylian warriors throwing their javelins at him at Winslow's order, the villain uses his voodoo power to make Time Stand Still for those outside of LeChuck's ship, making the entirety of the ship seem more like a parody of Year Inside, Hour Outside. Strangely enough, the Crossroads (and Morgan LeFlay for that matter) don't seem to be affected by the voodoo time freeze.
A possible explanation for that is found in Chapter 1; the Voodoo Lady mentions that the Crossroads are the source of all voodoo power (or something like that), and as such are probably immune to voodoo being used as a weapon against them.
To Be Continued: Appears at the end of Chapters 1-4, with each one describing the title of the next chapter.
Unfinished Business: In the first half of Chapter 5, Mighty Ghost Pirate Guybrush needs to find a way to return to the living world from the Crossroads (he even lampshades this when he talks to Morgan, also a ghost); once he finds a way, he realizes that he can't destroy LeChuck or save Elaine this way in the living world, so he needs to repossess his corpse to finish what he started.
Unholy Matrimony: LeChuck tries to do this in Chapter 5, using his Voodoo powers from La Esponja Grande and the Crossroads to turn Elaine into a Demon Bride/Goddess like himself which makes her turn evil. It's all a plan by Elaine, to allow Guybrush to save her and defeat LeChuck later.
Before that, it is discussed at the end of Chapter 4, when, after LeChuck breaks free from prison and saves Guybrush and Elaine after the cure of the Pox of LeChuck, he tells our hero that "it was the only way to win Elaine's hand in unholy matrimony"... getting him confused and allowing LeChuck to make a clever, fatal ambush on him.
Unusual Eyebrows: Gaffer Crimpdigit has no eyebrows as a result of one accident while on his glassblowing job. He even lampshades this a few times in Chapter 1.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Despite the rarity of ghosts in the land of the living, no one seems surprised or alarmed when Guybrush appears as one.
Walk, Don't Swim: Sort of downplayed in Chapter 3, when Guybrush moves his legs around as he slowly walks in the Manatee Mating Grounds at the bottom of the ocean, but when the player tries making him run, he swims with a dog paddle. Later justified in Chapter 5, when he can not only walk as a ghost, but he can run instead of swimming like he could while he was alive.
We Can Rule Together: LeChuck does this to Elaine after fatally stabbing Guybrush and telling her about his playful acts of "kindness":
LeChuck: I know you've developed feelings for me... join me as my demon bride and together we'll lay a bloody siege to the very heart of voodoo itself! Elaine: Go to hell, LeChuck. LeChuck: Well, you can't say I didn't try... Looks like we'll be doing this with all that voodoo...
She finally accepts that offer in Chapter 5... but only when she needs to hold the untouchable (for humans) Cutlass of Kaflu in order to destroy LeChuck once she is returned to normal.
The body count: Guybrush Threepwood, Morgan LeFlay, the Marquis De Singe, Davey Nipperkin (off-screen), and even the Pyrite Parrot of Petaluma! This episode also verifies that McGillicutty didn't survive Episode 2. The only deaths described outside this episode are Noogie (died off-screen by the end of Episode 3) and the three pirates who tried to mug LeChuck back in episode 2 (you meet them again in the land of the dead).
What Does This Button Do?: At the beginning of Chapter 3, De Cava wonders what the button on the locket does after Guybrush has handed said trinket over to him. It turns out that pressing the button initiates the Voodoo Lady's Grand Theft Me of De Cava as she tells Guybrush his next mission.
What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never revealed who moved/stole Morgan's body in Episode 4 (The Voodoo Lady and LeChuck were both in prison at the time) or why they did it. Presumably, this was intentional as the ending of Episode 5 left obvious sequel hints.
Although it should be noted that LeChuck was the one who killed Morgan, after which he cleared Guybrush's name and was himself imprisoned, and he breaks out again later to meet up with Guybrush and Elaine at the Wind Control Device. Also, Guybrush later discovers a hole in the wall of the Voodoo Lady's cell that she used to escape LeChuck. They both had the means to get to Morgan's body, we just don't know which one or why.
Two other "mice" that don't get resolution are a weird machine in the Voodoo Lady's shack in episode 1 (Guybrush even mentions it among other stuff in there he hadn't had a chance to use yet in episode 4) and Guybrush's poxed hand, though the commentaries explain a bit about that one: they had it skitter off into the woods because they didn't want to show it become a non-living severed hand when La Esponja reabsorbed the pox, and they point out that eagle-eyed players will see it in the Voodoo Lady's possession during the final stinger.
Who Are You Calling Names?: In Chapter 3, when Bugeye's voice says, "What say you, digested SCUMM™?", one of the topics the player can choose as a response is, "Hey, who you calling SCUMM™, Geppetto?"
And in Chapter 4, when Guybrush tries breaking up a fight between Morgan and a Poxed Elaine:
Guybrush: Can't you two just work it out over a nice grogatini? Morgan: THE Guybrush Threepwood is buying me a drink? Elaine: Over your dead body, trollop! Morgan: Who are you calling trollop, Schooner-Mom?! Guybrush:[embarrassed] Oh boy.
Guybrush: Aw, come on. Who's absent-minded enough to lose TWO wedding rings? Pyrite Parrot: *Squawk* It's me, Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate! Guybrush: Shut up, you!
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted in Chapter 4: LeChuck outright stabs Guybrush through the chest. In Chapter 5, Zombie Guybrush says that LeChuck never tried to kill him so brazenly before. LeChuck admits that not simply killing Guybrush was the biggest mistake he ever made.
Womb Level: Chapter 3 is almost 2/3 of this, spent inside the belly of the giant manatee that Guybrush and the entire Screaming Narwhal were swallowed by at the end of Chapter 2.
Word Schmord: Appears a few times in a few conversations in Chapters 1 and 5.
Worst Whatever Ever: Guybrush upon examining the shrunken heads in the Voodoo Lady's shack in Chapter 1: "Worst. Air freshener. Ever."
Wrong Turn at Alcatraz: In Chapter 3, Guybrush can choose this pun after he and Morgan are asked, "What say you, digested SCUMM™?"
Xanatos Speed Chess: Elaine does this when she gives Guybrush her wedding ring in Episode 2 of Tales (the original plan had been for Guybrush to use his own ring; Morgan ruined that), though you don't know that she was invoking this trope until Episode 5.
The X of Y: This game not only has this themed title (Tales of Monkey Island), but all of its five chapters have the same themed titles as well, though Chapter 4's title is more like "The X and X of Y".
You ALL Look Familiar: Many of the minor characters noticeably use the same character base model (either "short, fat guy" or "tall, skinny guy") but tweaked in a small way.
You Got Spunk: In Chapter 1, after Guybrush completes the three pirate newsmaking tasks, Davey Nipperkin becomes impressed and says, "You know, Threepwood, you've got spunk. Pirate spunk." Guybrush: "Ew."
You Talkin' to Me?: In Chapter 3, Guybrush can choose this quote after he and Morgan are asked, "What say you, digested SCUMM™?"
You're Cute When You're Angry: In the PS3 version of Chapter 2, when Guybrush gets Morgan LeFlay angry by repeatedly checking out the mast while battling her on the Screaming Narwhal, one of the bronze trophies that the player is awarded is "She's Cute When She's Angry".
You're Insane!: One of the topics in Chapter 2 has this when McGillicutty plans to destroy La Esponja Grande in order for him to remain Poxed along with his crew forever:
Guybrush: You're mad! Mad, I say!
Your Mom: Guybrush has a rather ingenious one near the end of episode 2:
Your mama's so fat, it's probably a serious health risk for her. She might want to visit a physician about that.
Guybrush (as Defense Attorney): Where were you the night of August 15?
Guybrush (as witness): I was on a date - with your wife! (cue Guybrush beating himself up)
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Chapter 4 seems to wrap everything up...until you realize there's a fifth chapter. It involves getting killed and wandering around the afterlife which includes several rehashed elements disguised as portals. Naturally, you have to enter the real world, return to your body and face the Big Bad again at the end.