YMMV: Indiana Jones

For the Atari 2600 game Raiders of the Lost Ark , see here.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: In Temple of Doom, Willie briefly has a near-moment, where she's almost sacrificed in a horrific way, by a brainwashed Indy no less. Unfortunately, after surviving it, she goes right back into Damsel Scrappy mode, and the audience's pity dissapears.
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: However she manages to crawl out of that area twice, once during the mine cart chase scene one mook attempts to strangle Jones from behind. Willie (in a moment of inspiration) makes herself useful by punching said mook square in the face, sending him flying. She later helps Short Round prevent Mola Ram's escape by stepping on his hands (repeatedly) as he tried to climb pasted them.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Indy a true-blue hero? Is he a Blood Knight trying to break out of the humdrum existence of a university professor? Or is he a underdeveloped manchild trying to live out the adolescent fantasies of youth with a "secret identity"?
    • Most likely all three.
    • A good number of fans take Marcus Brody's deterioration in competence and death before the start of the fourth movie as evidence that he had a condition (say, Alzheimer's) chipping away at his cognitive abilities. Then there's the whole "once got lost in his own musuem" thing, and the fact that he only acts incompetent when out of his comfort zone (which never happened in the first movie). Indy fully expected him to get captured in the 3rd film, and admits he lied his ass off about how competent Marcus really was.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Given Temple of Doom's portrayal of India, it comes as no surprise as to why it is not well received and was once banned in that country. To a lesser extent, many Russians had similar feelings in regard to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • Angst? What Angst?: In The Last Crusade, Elsa is severely traumatized, screaming her head off, as Donovan dies right in front of her eyes, from something she deliberately did to him no less, and yet in the next scene she acts as if nothing happened.
  • Broken Base:
    • Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Some people say it is total crap, others say it was fun but not up to Indiana Jones standards, some liked the acting and characters but not the writing, some liked it all except for the Gainax Ending, Shia LaBeouf blames himself and his monkey-swinging Tarzan act, and then there are those that hold it as being better than Temple of Doom but not up to the standards of the "Nazi" movies. Really, it isn't broken so much as shattered into thousands of pieces.
    • Temple of Doom gets this, too. It mostly comes down to whether Kate Capshaw was too annoying for the movie to be enjoyable. It also comes down to whether the Gorn was too much.
  • Complete Monster: What with kidnapping countless Indian children, working them to death, and eventually brainwashing them into the cult of Kali, Mola Ram is easily the most evil villain in the series. A series where most of the villains are Nazis.
    • When you put it that way, it makes complete sense. Being not only a member but the leader of an evil cult and one with ambitions to rule the world, Mola Ram was competing with Adolf Hitler in the pantheon of Indy villains. The movies had to make him do some seriously monstrous stuff to show the audience that yes, this is just as much the kind of guy you don't want to see with a supernatural power source, as the villains in the first movie.
  • Contested Sequel: Crystal Skull. Temple of Doom, on a lesser extent.
  • Crazy Awesome: Hardly needs to be said in Henry Jones Sr.'s case. The man took out fighter plane with an umbrella and a flock of seagulls. While quoting Charlemagne.
  • Critical Dissonance: A different case than usual: Critics generally gave Crystal Skull good to great reviews, while the fans were the ones that hated it.
    • Temple of Doom gets enough flack that its Rotten Tomatoes score of 85% might surprise some people.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The John Williams theme is now the adventure theme.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Willie Scott, natch. After a badass boisterous Hard-Drinking Party Girl like Marion, it's hard for some fans to accept that not every woman's cut out for the adventure shtick.
  • Draco In A Leather Dress : Irina Spalko is one of the rare female examples. In her defense, she does have some genuine AntiVillain-ish character traits but not enough to fully qualify for the trope.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Henry Jones Sr.
    • For many a little Asian boy in the 1980s, Short Round was the ONLY positive and heroic Asian role model he could relate to.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Irina Spalko.
    • Elsa from The Last Crusade. Holy hell, that woman was gorgeous.
  • First Installment Wins: Of all the Indiana Jones works, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the one whose actual plot you're most likely to remember.
    • Unless it's The Last Crusade, because of the quest for the Grail and Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr. But having said that, Crusade is the most well-remembered of the sequels largely because of its faithfulness in tone to the original.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The use of improbable escapes to get Indy out of danger. While the original trilogy was always fondly remembered for its masterful action choreography, some of the more egregious escapes were affectionately mocked by fans. Case in point: Indy somehow hitching a ride on a Nazi submarine in Raiders of the Lost Ark without drowning, and surviving falling out of a plane in an inflatable raft in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Both were widely derided as ridiculous, but few people thought they were bad enough to spoil good action movies. But when Indy survived a nuclear explosion in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by hiding in a refrigerator, it was widely held up by critics as one of the worst moments of the film, and many fans believed that it finally stretched the audience's suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: From Raiders: There's a big snake in the plane!
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misblamed: Much like Star Wars, expect any of the blame for problems to get thrown squarely at George Lucas and no one else.
  • The Scrappy: Willie, Short Round, and Mutt. It should be noted, however, that both Short Round and Mutt have both proven themselves to be highly skilled in combat, among other useful talents, Northern-Style Kung Fu, fencing, and so forth. Perhaps for this reason, Short Round is more of a Base Breaker, being a Scrappy to some and an Ensemble Darkhorse to others.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Elsa and Henry Sr. canonically have this relationship, with Henry Sr. using this exact phrase to describe it.
  • Special Effect Failure: Prevented by, of all people, the MPAA in Raiders. The model of Belloq's head which explodes during the film's climax can be seen in the behind-the-scenes footage of the DVD, and was laughably unconvincing. However, the MPAA objected to the blood and brain fragments that could be seen after the explosion, and so the film makers obscured the sequence by superimposing flames over the footage... which had the side-effect of covering up the model's deficiencies and making the scene look pretty convincing!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: According to some people, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had plenty of this.
  • Values Dissonance: Whether the series is a horrific affront to the field of archaeology or not gets debated by the experts themselves. Ultimately, they generally conclude that while Indy isn't exactly great as an archaeologist, the films shouldn't exactly be faulted for being inaccurate, considering the perception of the field has changed greatly since the film came out.
    • Values Resonance: That being said, many archaeologists have praised the series for bringing the field to public light and encouraging people to get interested in it, if in a clumsy way.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: That bridge in The Last Crusade, the leap of faith. You don't even see it until the camera pans and throws it off kilter!
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Temple of Doom, along with Gremlins, which was produced by Spielberg, were dark enough to lead to the creation of the PG-13 rating.