YMMV / Pirates of the Caribbean

Works in this franchise with their own YMMV pages:

  • Adaptation Displacement: After complaints from patrons wondering where Jack was, the original theme park rides, which were always among Disney's most popular attractions, were modified to include elements from the films.
    • Disney actually purposely tried to invoke this with the marketing for the original film by making almost no mention that it was a Disney film, as they were worried that the Disney connection would make older demographics not take the movie seriously and avoid seeing it.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There's various ways to interpret Norrington. Some see him as a bastard Inspector Javert who was only trying to save his own hide and honor, some see him as The Woobie who got way more punches than he deserved and did what any other reasonable human would have done in his situation. Those are the most popular, there's also handful of other points of view.
    • And so is Cutler Beckett. Many people see him as a Complete Monster (see below), while some consider him as a Hero Antagonist who wants the best for England, and tries to remove the evil of piracy, who are the real villains in their interpretation (and to be fair pirates were not exactly nice people in real life). Though, this does require one to overlook his criminal takeover of Fort Royal, his numerous murders and his implied involvement in the slave trade, as well as the fact that his stated reasons for his actions are that it's all "just good business".
    • And then there's Captain Jack Sparrow - is he really a Lovable Rogue, Crazy Awesome rebel and Genius Ditz, or a deceptively evil man who manipulates the goodwill of others, even if he is the lesser of two evils when compared to someone like Barbossa? One of Beckett's mooks in the third film even asks out loud "Do you think he plans it out or does he just make it up as he goes along?"
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Jack and his jar of dirt.
    • By the fourth film's end it is made very clear that though Captain Jack Sparrow may love rum, the company of women (and men), and the freedom to do whatever he damn well pleases... there is only one thing that truly, genuinely, has his heart...and that...is his beloved Black Pearl.
  • Complete Monster: Cutler Beckett of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End; Blackbeard of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • Contested Sequel: It's a consensus that First Installment Wins, but the qualities of the following four are widely disputed.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Both Captains of the Black Pearl get a lot of this. Jack's father too. It's in the genes.
      Lord Cutler Beckett: You're mad!
      Captain Jack Sparrow: Thank goodness for that, because if I wasn't, this would probably never work.
    • And then Barbossa steers his ship deeper into a maelstrom while singing a pirate song. Pure Crazy, Pure Awesome.
  • Cult Classic: The original theme park ride.
    • The now discontinued MMORPG has a small, but dedicated fanbase. So much so, there's even an ongoing project to recreate it!
  • Die for Our Ship: Willabeth vs. Sparrabeth is Serious Business.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Barbossa to the point that he becomes the Token Evil Teammate at the end of the second movie.
    • Davy Jones due to his deliciously hammy villainy and Cry for the Devil backstory.
    • Even Cutler Beckett and Captain Salazar for those who agree that all pirates are evil and should be killed.
  • Dry Docking: The YKKTW for the trope was even called "Stay Away From Jack Sparrow!"
  • Ear Worm: All of Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt's music is pretty catchy, but two tunes stand supreme: "He's a Pirate", the de facto theme song of the movies and "Hoist the Colours" from the beginning of third movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Norrington, helped by him suffering a lot.
    • Lieutenants Gillette and Groves (the latter not even being named in film) are very popular among the Yaoi Fangirl population.
    • Barbossa in the third film went from "Love to Hate" villain to "love to watch" Anti-Hero.
    • Anamaria, who some even believe made a better Pirate Girl than Elizabeth would in At World's End.
    • Mercer, Lord Beckett's second-in-command.
    • The fandom seems to have taken a shine to the Spaniard from On Stranger Tides despite (or perhaps because of) his limited screen-time.
    • Davy Jones, aka Cthulhu in a pirate costume. His lover Tia Dalma is also well-liked for being incredibly badass and brings out a more sympathetic side of him.
  • Evil Is Cool: Barbossa, Davy Jones, Cutler Beckett, Blackbeard and Salazar all have their cool moments, and thus all have their fans.
  • First Installment Wins: The first film is the most well loved film among both fans and critics. Some go as far as to say it's the only good film in the entire series.
  • Foe Yay: Jack and... well, everybody. Partly Johnny Depp, Jack Sparrow's actor's fault, since he confirmed that Jack is bisexual.
    • Elizabeth with every major male character. Even her relationship with Will could qualify at a few points in the third film.
  • Fountain of Memes: Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?
  • Ho Yay: Yaoi Fangirls around the world see it, at least. Jack and Will, Jack and Norrington, and more.
    • Even one professional movie critic saw it:
      [The first movie] so wraps you — okay, me — up in its aching yearning for the rash and the adventurous and the romantic that you — okay, I — let out a little gasp of frustration every time Orlando Bloom fails to kiss Keira Knightly, or Johnny Depp fails to kiss Keira Knightley, or Johnny Depp fails to kiss Orlando Bloom. God, somebody kiss anybody, I just can't stand the anticipation anymore.
    • Jack and Beckett was rather blatant, especially in the extended version of their "The Thing You Want Most" scene in AWE. Beckett sounds more sad than angry, which hints that it was something a bit more than a betrayal against the company. Beckett also, several times, tries not to laugh, or laugh too hard at Jack's antics, almost like he doesn't want to be lulled into the sense that everything is still okay between them. In addition, this is one of the only scenes were Beckett spends the majority of it not looking at the person he's talking to.
    • Pintel and Ragetti. Even the latter's actor during the second movie stated he thought the characters were a gay couple. It must be the pink shirt.
  • Iron Woobie: Norrington, who is beaten a lot in a trilogy-wide Humiliation Conga before being killed.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Pearl pitched Jack against a crew of undead pirates. Chest pitched Jack against a crew of underwater monster pirates. End pitched Jack against vicious pirate hunters. Tides pitched Jack again against a crew of undead pirates. Tales pitches Jack against vicious, undead, underwater monster pirate hunters.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Davy Jones. He's ruthless, but only got that way due to a broken (and later removed...) heart.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Captain Jack Sparrow is quite a good guy by pirate standards, but he's still got just enough of a treacherous streak to qualify for this. Wouldn't want things to get boring, after all. Jack is one of those characters who really puts the "magnificent" in this trope.
    • Barbossa is a contender too. Back in Curse of the Black Pearl, when Elizabeth tries to get him to stop attacking the city he says "I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request." and keeps her hostage. Later when he sends her an invitation to dinner, she tries to Ironic Echo him:
      Elizabeth: You may tell your captain that I'm disinclined to acquiesce to his request.
      Pintel: He said you'd say that, and he also said that if that's the case you'll be dining with the crew. And you'll be naked.
    • As is Lord Cutler Beckett in Dead Man's Chest, before he gets worse in the next film.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • More Popular Spin-off: It was based on a theme park ride after all. (Albeit Disney's cult favorite theme park ride.) When Dead Man's Chest came out, the attraction was updated to feature Jack, Barbossa and Davy Jones.
  • One True Threesome: Jack/Will/Elizabeth is quite popular, and supported by the film's Love Triangle.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Anamaria. Hey, kids! It's Neytiri! Or Nyota Uhura! And Gamora!
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: It is rumored that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley's decisions not to reprise their respective roles for On Stranger Tides, as well as their Creator Backlash bordering on Old Shame dispositions toward the characters, stem from the romance story which took over the trilogy, rather than the characters themselves.
    • The subplot between Philip and Syrena in On Stranger Tides grinds the film to a stop each time they appear. To its credit, it remains a subplot.
    • It happens again with Henry and Carina in Dead Men Tell No Tales. This franchise clearly doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to this trope.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Given that they're in the title and all the focus is on them, the fans can be forgiven for cheering for the pirates and wanting them to win. While granted most of them are Lovable Rogues and very little piracy is actually shown, they are still pirates, who were obviously quite nasty people. In Curse of the Black Pearl, Norrington and the Royal Navy are at worst Anti-Villains, making it easy to cheer for them instead of (or at least along with) Jack and Will.
    • There are quite a few people who sympathize with The East India Trading Company. Many of their fans forget that Beckett fighting against pirates wasn't Order Versus Chaos; it was removing the competition, as he did a lot of piracy and murder himself.
    • The film's writers mention they intentionally wrote Captain Barbossa as an Anti-Villain throughout the first movie, given his singular goal is to end the ten-year-long curse that has plagued him and his crew. Throughout the film they wanted to give the audience the impression that despite being the antagonist, he might not actually be a bad guy. This is why Barbossa's scene where he explains the torment of the curse to Elizabeth was constantly being rewritten and added to by both the writers and Geoffrey Rush to get it perfect. It definitely shows.
  • Sequelitis: As demonstrated by decaying critic reviews.
  • Shipping: Contains every imaginable type of ship. Trope Codifier for "shipping" as a verb!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The addition of elements from the movies to the original rides has resulted in quite the Broken Base. Even BEFORE the movies existed, there were fans outraged over the differences between the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom versions. The Paris version seems to get some acclaim for its more cynical interpretation of the ride, though.
    • When it was announced that the auction scene was going to be changed, more fans were outraged that such an iconic scene was going to be made "politically correct".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Anamaria, a Pirate Girl portrayed by Zoe Saldana, ended up as this due to the character only appearing in Curse of the Black Pearl. This is despite the fact that the movie ended with Anamaria still as a part of the Black Pearl crew after stepping aside to let Jack Sparrow become the captain again. It was later explained by Saldana herself that she chose not to come back to the franchise because she didn't have a good experience working on the pirate sets.
    • Many felt this way about James Norrington in At World's End where he was pushed to the background despite his character taking an interesting turn by becoming a crewmember of the Black Pearl in Dead Man's Chest.
    • Technically it's a ship, but the Queen Anne's Revenge counts. Blackbeard's (later Barbossa's) flagship, it has a massive flamethrower and can be magically controlled with the captain's sword. The flamethrower is used twice in On Stranger Tides for relatively mundane purposes and not at all in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Despite being one of the most epic ships in the series, it has yet to be used in a naval battle.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • There's just something strange about Calypso, mostly when she grows and starts speaking jibberish.
    • Also Bootstrap Bill, practically a living piece of the Dutchman's wall. Jack hallucinates himself in this same way too.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The effects for all supernatural people are pretty spectacular, but the standout is Davy Jones; an entirely mo-capped CGI character so realistic many reviewers genuinely thought Bill Nighy was wearing absurdly elaborate prosthetics.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: The first film, Curse of the Black Pearl, states very clearly at least twice that Will, played by lean, smooth pretty boy Orlando Bloom, is the spitting image of his father, Bootstrap Bill Turner. In the second and third films, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, Boostrap Bill is played by big, stocky, craggy faced Stellan Skarsgård. What, they couldn't find an actor who at least matched Bloom's physicality?
  • Win Back the Crowd: As the movies seemed to get progressively worse, many fans became discouraged to see the fifth. However when trailers revealed that Will and Elizabeth were returning, a lot of fans sang praises while others became dismayed as they felt obligated to see it.