YMMV / Rocky

Works in this franchise with their own pages:


  • Accidental Innuendo: Rocky's special training routine in the first film consists of him "beating his meat."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Rocky can come across as quite a pushy jerk towards Adrian in the movie's first half. First of all, his complaints to Paulie about getting no response to his bad jokes feels very much like modern day complaints about "friendzoning." Then she only goes on a date with him because Paulie bullies her into it, which Rocky has no problem going along with. Then he spends the whole date blathering on about himself, rarely seeming to care if Adrian has anything to add to the conversation. Finally, she repeatedly tries to beg off going into his apartment, only for Rocky to refuse to take no for an answer and keep badgering her until she gives in. This is supposedly all justified by her being shy, and Rocky just wanting to bring her out of her shell for what she really wants, which he somehow knows.
  • Awesome Ego: Creed is one of the best boxers in the world and knows it, his fights are always given hype like you wouldn't believe (see Big Lipped Alligator Moment). His ego winds up biting him in the ass twice though; first when he plays around with Rocky at the start of the first movie instead of really preparing, and secondly in Rocky IV when he challenges Drago in spite of being much older and assuming Drago was less skilled than he turned out to be.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: THE EYE OF THE TIIIIIIIIIGERRRRRR!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Apollo Creed's nameless trainer in the first film gets an expanded role in all the subsequent ones, including getting a name (Duke). He ends up being the only character/actor other than Stallone and Burt Young to appear in all six films.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Watching the growing relationship between Rocky and Apollo takes on a whole new dimension knowing Rocky will end up mentoring Apollo's son.
  • He Really Can Act: A lot of younger viewers who only know Stallone from action movies, where he (competently) plays very similar archetypes, are rather surprised at his brilliant performance in Rocky.
  • Ho Yay/Foe Yay: Apollo and Rocky. The third film's training montage includes them hugging while splashing through the ocean, and Apollo lends Rocky his old shorts.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first movie, Rocky walks lil' Marie home. What was one thing he asks her? "Do you have a boyfriend?" Granted, it was in the context of him encouraging her to stick with only good people, but it's funny when you see how Marie and Rocky interact in Rocky Balboa, including her pecking a kiss on the lips.
    • During Apollo’s showboating before the fight, Rocky says "Is he talking to me?", sounding quite similar to Robert De Niro’s rather more famous delivery of "Are you talking to me?" in the film’s Best Picture opponent Taxi Driver.
    • Rocky explaining why he became a boxer with "Because I can't sing or dance" became pretty ironic when the story was made into a Broadway musical. And yes, that line was included.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Paulie, Paulie, Paulie. Best summarised by Rocky in Creed.
    Rocky: "Paulie was my best friend, but he wasn't so friendly."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Any big, strong, Russian character with a mean streak (or just a flat-out desire to win) will have Ivan Drago's famous line "I must break you" tied to them at one point or another.
    • I PITY THE FOOL!
    • "ADRIAAAAAAAAAN!" (And let's not forget the smaller meme: YO ADRIAN, I DID IT!!!)
    • Yer a BUM Rakkko.
    • IF I CAN CHANGE, THEN YOU CAN CHANGE... THAT MEANS EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!!!
    • The steps. Just,...just the steps.
    • He'll kill ya Rock! He's a wwwrrrrecking machine!
    • You're gonna eat lightning and crap thunder!
    • The Training Montage is also getting popular...
    • The concept of the movie itself. Calling anything a Rocky moment, a Rocky story, or what have you, is pretty much synonymous with an underdog story. Rocky is a Trope Codifier for the underdog.
    • A heartwarming example. Rocky's speech to his son in the sixth film. People have been known to send it to a friend or family member that's feeling down, anxiety, or going through some kind of depression. The scene's been reputed to be a good motivation starter.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: There are a variety of different Rocky games. Some mediocre, and some that just cries this trope.
  • Reality Subtext: The unexpected success of the first movie, which made a star out of Stallone, mirrors the actual plot of the movie, and subsequently winning the Best Picture Oscar.
  • Sequelitis: The franchise was widely accused of this, becoming a frequent source of mockery as the series progressed. Averted by Rocky Balboa.
    • Even more averted by Creed which, as of November 2015, has a tomatometer score of 92%. That's easily the second highest in the series, and only a single point behind the original.
  • Squick: The eggs.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Ultimately subverted. A retrospective of the entire series points out how it can get pretty disturbing how you're asked over and over to root for a white guy to beat up various black guys. Having said that...
    • All three of Rocky's African American rivals are portrayed as well spoken, intelligent, and charismatic individuals. Apollo and Mason have their own story arcs that parallel Rocky's, and Clubber (the only one who is an out-and-out villain) is no worse than the white Ivan Drago or Tommy Gunn.
    • Apollo is the biggest aversion. He's a Self-Made Man who proposes the exhibition match that kick-starts the plot in I, his desire for a rematch is what leads to Rocky becoming the heavyweight champ in II, he trains Rocky to help beat Clubber and reclaim his title in III, his death drives the plot of IV, and his son takes over as the main character of the series in Creed. In short, five out of seven movies happen because of Apollo. He even handwaves the racial issue in the original film, dismissing the significance of an interracial boxing match.
      • It's also worth mentioning that Apollo's trainer Duke becomes Rocky's trainer after Mickey and Apollo pass away, leading him to victory against Drago and a narrow loss to Mason.
    • Rocky's win/loss record against his African American opponents isn't great, either. He loses his first matches against Apollo and Clubber, he never wins against Mason, and it's revealed in Creed that Apollo won their second rematch. That's four losses, two wins. By contrast, he never lost to Drago or Tommy Gunn.
    • In his legendary 2013 rant in Philadelphia, comedian Bill Burr, in the middle of ripping everything Philly related, pointed out that Rocky, a fictional character, had a statue and was widely celebrated as a Philadelphia icon, while Joe Frazier, a real life World Champion Boxer from Philly, didn't, and was basically ignored. Even worse, Frazier also normally ran the up the art museum steps as part of his running workout.
      • “Fuckin’ Rocky is your hero? The whole pride of your city is built around a guy who doesn’t even exist. Joe Frazier is from there, but he’s black so you can’t fucking deal with him. So you make a fuckin’ statue for some three foot fuckin’ Italian…”

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/ROCKY