The show as a whole has:
- Ear Worm: The theme song, in all its incarnations.
- Fanon Discontinuity: It's rare, but there are some fans who disregard The Black Adder due to how out of step it is with the following incarnations. A slightly more common viewpoint is that the Blackadder lineage died with Captain Blackadder at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth, and that Blackadder Back & Forth never happened.note Yet another is that The Stinger at the end of Series 2 never happened, as many fans thought it too contrived, out of character, and just plain not funny, as well as requiring Prince Ludwig to have survived being run through the chest and struck with a hatchet with 16th century medicine.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The first series' pilot opens with a darkly comic depiction of the Battle of Bosworth Field and even has a scene where Edmund takes one look at the fighting and decides to run away, all played for laughs. The final episode also deals with war but plays it completely straight, and this time Blackadder doesn't get away.
- Growing the Beard: Many fans prefer the seasons after the Re Tool. The first season has its laughs, but it's just not as much fun watching a screwball doofus and his two moron friends as it is watching a wicked snarker and his two moron friends. However, if nothing else, the first season would still be required watching purely on the strength of BRIAN BLESSED's definitively hammy performance (in fact, it's the source of the current image and caption on his page).
- Incidentally, Blackadder gains a literal beard in the second season, the first one after said Re Tool.
- Nausea Fuel: Occasional. Usually provided by Baldrick.
- Seasonal Rot: Inverted for the most part. The Black Adder is generally felt to be pretty average, Blackadder II awesome, Blackadder the Third either slightly better or slightly worse than the previous series (depending on whether or not Blackadder is too much of a Villain Protagonist), and Blackadder Goes Forth the best of all.
The Black Adder has:
- Crazy Awesome: King Richard IV. A crazy and over-the-top Blood Knight who goes to war (and sometimes against his allies) just for the hell of it and is implied to have killed several thousand Turks with a fruit knife. Being played by BRIAN BLESSED certainly helps.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The ending theme
- Ensemble Darkhorse: King Richard IV, due to his characteristically over the top performance.
- Fan Nickname: The nameless King played by John Savident in the original, unaired pilot has been nicknamed King Frederick I by fans, in reference to Savident's most well-known role.
- I Am Not Shazam: Inverted. Other characters rarely call Prince Edmund "Blackadder".
- Memetic Mutation:
- "Or as shall I be known... THE BLACK... Vegetable."
- "CHISWICK! FRESH HORSES!!"
- "As our good lord said: Love thy neighbour as thyself. Unless he's turkish. In which case, kill the bastard!"
- Retroactive Recognition: Harry Potter fans may be shocked to find a young Horace Slugthorn as Don Speekingleesh, translator to the Infanta.
- What an Idiot: Edmund, in the final episode, samples the wine even after seeing everyone else in court drop instantly dead from it.
Blackadder II has:
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene in "Bells" where Blackadder falls in love with "Bob", which suddenly turns into a love song album commercial, for no discernible reason.
- Well, I can think of one.
- Evil Is Sexy: Lord Blackadder.
- Fridge Brilliance: Prince Ludwig permanently impersonating Queen Elizabeth nicely explains the whole virgin queen thing.
- Also, Prince Ludwig is very likely an ancestor of Prince George (George IV) from Blackadder the third. George IV's great grandfather was Georg Ludwig of Germany. Which explains the uncanny resemblance (both are played by Hugh Laurie)
- Growing the Beard: According to popular opinion, this is the season where it happened.
- Quite literally. The original Black Adder is beardless, while the Elizabethan version is bearded, as well as more interesting, although Blackadders of the third and fourth installments are also beardless.
- Ho Yay:
Lord Flashheart, Lord FlashheartI wish you were the starLord Flashheart, Lord FlashheartYou're sexier by far!
- A little gem from the balladeer at the end of "Bells"
- Moments earlier, Blackadder was jilted at the altar (His fiancee ran away with Flashheart), so he now must marry his bridesmaid, who in fact is Baldrick, who agrees with the idea.
- Memetic Mutation: YOUR BOTTOM WILL WISH IT HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!
- Nightmare Fuel: The Stinger to the "Chains" episode probably qualifies.
- After the credits, we hear a tolling bell and eerie wind noises (from the intro to Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend") as the camera pans over the murdered, wide-eyed bodies of Edmund, Percy, Queenie, Nursie, Baldrick, and Melchett. We then see Queenie there, alive and well, before she turns to the camera, gives a chuckle in a strange voice and says, in the master of disguise Prince Ludwig's voice, "Now this is a disguise I'm really going to enjoy. If I could just get the voice right." A more creepy than funny end to the series.
- One-Scene Wonder: The fandom loves Lord Flashheart. So does the balladeer (see the entry for Ho Yay).
- The Woobie: Lord Percy Percy. Despite being constantly insulted by Lord Blackadder, he would do anything for him and sees his insults as nothing more than his friend being witty.
Blackadder the Third has:
- Acceptable Targets:
Blackadder: Criminal record?Baldrick: Absolutely not.Blackadder: Oh, come on, Baldrick, you're going to be an MP, for God's sake!Blackadder: You mean they actually rehearse? I thought they just got drunk, stuck on a silly hat and trusted to luck.
- Nothing like repeatedly insulting the French.
- And the Welsh. Really, this season is quite merciless.
- Ditto Germans.
- Politicians too:
Blackadder: Well, you could appoint him a high court judge.George: Is he qualified?Blackadder: He's a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool.George: Sounds a bit overqualified!
- Judges too:
- Anyone else who isn't Edmund Blackadder.
- Cant Unhear It: If you've seen "Ink and Incapability", try reading any writings or quotes from Dr Samuel Johnson without doing it in Robbie Coltrane's voice.
- Cargo Ship: Lord Sod-off Baldrick has a relationship with his turnip.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Blackadder in "Dual and Duality": "A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child... But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn."
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The ending of "Nob and Nobility" has Baldrick elevated to being a lord over Blackadder, much to the latter's annoyance. In 2013, Baldrick's actor Tony Robinson was knighted, while Rowan Atkinson "only" got a CBE.
- Lawful Evil: Although Edmund claims that his only loyalty is towards himself and that he is incredibly ruthless and cold, only the latter is completely true as he demonstrates a great deal of loyalty for his boss, despite the fact that his boss is incredibly stupid and that he (Blackadder) could manipulate him into giving up all of his (The Prince) money and power to him. He even risks his own life for him. But abandons The Prince after he is mortally wounded. Making him a Type III Lawful Evil character.
- Magnificent Bastard: This series's Blackadder is a prime example, certainly the most outright evil and manipulative of the dynasty. The only one who not only doesn't die at the end of his series, but actually achieves his goals. The one in Blackadder: Back & Forth does too, admittedly, but he had a time machine - Blackadder the Third's Blackadder did it with just his cunning and wit.
- Memetic Mutation: The "Macbeth" scene from "Sense and Senility"
Blackadder Goes Forth has:
- Anvilicious: The show has been criticized by its over-the-top anti-war message.
- This is despite the fact, that if you actually watch the season, it's more "anti war for stupid reasons and while in war don't do stupid things" than "anti war."
- Awesome Ego: Lord Flashheart could potentially be the poster boy of this trope.
- Crazy Awesome: Lord Flashheart, more so than his Elizabethan Fake Ultimate Hero incarnation.
- Critical Dissonance: While fans consider it as the best incarnation, many critics in retrospective have panned its overtly pacifist stance.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Lord Flashheart. His role is greatly expanded from his previous incarnation's, but he still only appears in one episode.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Blackadder flirting with Nurse Mary.
Blackadder: Yes, why not? When this madness is finished, perhaps we could go cycling together. Take a trip to the Old Swan at Henley and go for a walk in the woods.
- Given that nowadays there's a heightened awareness of hate crimes, Flash shooting the Red Baron in cold blood and then yelling a homophobic insult at his corpse is pretty awkward to watch. Not that it wasn't in character.
- The line "Cancel the state funeral, tell the King to stop blubbing, Flash is NOT DEAD!" may be a bit more difficult to laugh at now that Rik Mayall, who played Lord Flashheart, has passed away.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The episode "Major Star" revolved around Edmund's dislike of Chaplin
- Ho Yay: "Baldrick, I love you. I want to kiss your cherry lips and nibble at your shell-like ears."
- Jerkass Woobie: Captains Blackadder and Darling.
- Memetic Mutation: An internet meme shows Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie, but not as their respective signature characters, but instead as Capt. Blackadder and Lt. George respectively.
- "YOU SHOT MY 'SPECKLED JIM'?!"
- Moral Event Horizon: Comedy or not, by the end you are not going to like General Melchett.
- Older Than They Think: Much of the anti-war themes, tropes, and character archetypes relating to World War I (or the Great War, if you prefer) are present in the British war comic series written by Pat Mills and drawn by Joe Colquhoun, "Charley's War."
- Tear Jerker: Highly unusual for a comedy series, but the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth cannot fail to bring tears to anyone's eyes. In fact, the Tear Jerker page on this show is nothing but moments from said episode.
- It aired on Remembrance Sunday with no complaints. Such is its power.
- It's made all the more heartrending in the audio only version, where, since you can't see them, you have to imagine them going over the top, and as the sad reprise of the main theme is happening, you can hear a line each uttered by a character earlier in the episode; George: "We've had some good times, we've had some damn lovely good laughs.", Baldrick: "I thought it was going to be such fun, too.", Darling: "But sir, I don't want to...", and Blackadder himself: "Good luck, everyone...".
- Tough Act to Follow: Part of the reason why a fifth series was never made, as nearly everyone involved realized that there was simply no way they could top the final moments of this series, and that critics would be merciless if they fell short. Sure enough, when Back and Forth was eventually released, one of the primary complaints was that it cheapened the ending of Goes Forth.
The Specials has:
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: It's played for laughs, but let be honest. Blackadder Christmas Carol shows how easily altruists can get exploited by freeloaders.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Hugh Laurie's appalling attempt at an American accent in Christmas Carol, given his later role as House.
- Squick: The visions in Christmas Carol shows at one point Baldrick in a speedo.
Blackadder: And I end up wearing Baldrick's posing pouch.