main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Demolition Man
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The naked woman who pops up on John Spartan's video screen in his apartment. He's just as confused, too. The novelization indicates the purpose of the scene is to demonstrate to him that video-calling is the norm in the future.
    • At least the surface dwellers of San Angeles aren't entirely squeaky clean.
  • Complete Monster: Simon Phoenix starts by taking 20 people hostage, who die because of a misjudging of the cop John Spartan - which is later revealed to be Phoenix's calculation to trick Spartan into taking a part of the responsibility. They were all dead before Spartan arrived. The body count of those hostages was actually 30 as Phoenix planned it for his perverse amusement. In 2032, he indulges in his freedom to be a maniac and spread chaos again, setting free a dozen of the worst criminals of the 20th century, one of them Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • Ear Worm: Apparently in the future, the only music that exists are commercial jingles. Apparently, Armor Hot Dogs is the most popular. (This is likely because real music might offend someone, or stir up emotions that are taboo in the new society.)
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Looking through the Cryo-Prison inmate list, Phoenix exclaims "Jeffrey Dahmer? I love that guy!" In 1994, Dahmer was bludgeoned to death in prison; the line was subsequently cut from a number of broadcasts.
    • The name "Scott Peterson" comes up during Huxley's access of the parole hearings. Guess what happens in 2003?
    • Spartan crashes the 1970 442 through the floor of an Oldsmobile dealership in 2032, Oldsmobile was discontinued by GM in 2004.
  • Ham and Cheese: Wesley Snipes gleefully chewing the scenery as Simon Phoenix.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Arnold Schwarzenegger is briefly mentioned as a former President, with Huxley explaining that his popularity forced an amendment to the Constitution to allow him to run. Now, Schwarzenegger is a former governor of California, and there is a serious and fairly popular movement to amend the Constitution to allow him to run for President.
    • When Spartan steals the Oldmobile 442, the elevator crashes up into an Oldsmobile Dealership.
    • Spartan is horrified when he learns that they've banned table salt. Guess what New York state is trying to ban?
    • One of Phoenix's charges is tax evasion (it shows up when they bring up all his charges). Snipes was later convicted of, you guessed it, tax evasion.
    • Gamers may find it difficult to hear the name John Spartan, Prisoner 117 without thinking of John-117 the SPARTAN-II Super Soldier of Halo.
    • The plot: the most powerful man in a modern city hires the most Ax-Crazy/psychotic criminal around to take down their most powerful enemy, only for them to turn against him, killing him and disposing of his body in a fire. The criminal then calls upon all other criminals to wreak utter havoc upon the city. Also a close description of the The Dark Knight
    • Stallone played a maverick cop set in a highly restrictive world with many many laws. A place Judge Dredd might feel right at home in, who Stallone would play two years later. Further to this, Spartan's car uses a substance very similar to riot foam as a safety device.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Edgar Friendly speech, regarded by most as the best part of the movie.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The year 2032 before Phoenix shows up that is.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The 3DO game is definitely an example, judging by The Spoony One's review.
  • Protagonist Title Fallacy: Inverted, as "Demolition Man" is indeed the protagonist's Red Baron, but many viewers believe Phoenix is the Demolition Man, going so far as to call any blond-haired black guy a "Demolition Man" in Homage.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Free will and freedom of choice are necessary for society.
  • Special Effects Failure: When the future cop car was jumping through the * S A P D * sign, the letters and symbols were each engraved on a separate plate of glass. Just before the car hits it, all but one of the plates are pre-broken; the unbroken one has a broken one on the other side of it, making it obvious it wasn't the car that did it.
    • While it's more Makeup Failure, but keep an eye on Phoenix's Heterochromia. Several times in the film his blue and brown eye noticeably switch sides between shots.
    • When Simon's hideout is blown up at the beginning, you can clearly hear people in the background cheering at this extraordinary demolition. note 
  • What an Idiot: The fact that they have loaded weapons in the museum or Cocteau unaware that Phoenix could order someone else to kill him.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy