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YMMV: Starship Troopers
Works with their own YMMV pages:

The franchise in general:

  • Fanon Discontinuity: The more devoted fans of the book hate the movies. Of course, the reverse is sometimes true as well...

The Novel:

  • Crosses the Line Twice: The time bomb that announces it's a time bomb and reads off its own countdown is hilarious. Even Rico winces over it, as he's dropping it. It is described as a terror weapon. It isn't intended to kill the enemy, its purpose is to scare the shit out of them.
  • Internet Backdraft: The merits and validity of the Terran Federation's political system.
  • Jerkass Has a Point / Strawman Has a Point: Even readers who disagree with the book's heavy-handed political statements are likely to find the book thought-provoking based on how, exactly, they disagree.
  • Mary Suetopia: The society in the novel was also a sort of Mary Suetopia, based on Heinlein's later conservative ideals. Of course, the films subvert this into a Straw Dystopia, but not an actualized one. The book did preach a "military democracy" (a completely nonsensical contradiction in terms, given that every military throughout history has operated through a hierarchical structure and not through popular vote) that utilized corporal punishment for crimes, and capital punishment (not just for murder but other major violent crimes) even with insane persons; the given rationale for the society was that "it works," using only the fictitious evidence of the book itself, while scorning all 20th century conventions as "primitive myths" which were naturally proven wrong by "advanced scientific proofs" of Heinlein's Suetopian future-world, such as the supposed need to corporeally punish dogs in order to housebreak them (which, you will note, most dog experts agree is a terrible idea, these days). That section was comparing never or barely disciplining a puppy for messing in the house, then shooting it as an adult when it continued its misbehavior, to comparative behavior in not punishing juvenile delinquents and then executing the people when they became adults and continued their crimes. (Though seriously, who shoots their dog over peeing on the rug?)
  • Spiritual Licensee: Suffice to say every Space Marine Bug War franchise can claim a link to Starship Troopers.
    • Aliens is often considered to be the most faithful adaptation of Starship Troopers ever made, due to the various similarities. Now, on the flip side, the Space Marines of Aliens themselves were the inspiration for other Space Marines, such as the ones in the film of Starship Troopers.
    • Halo owes a lot to ST, especially with the armor and ODST's drop pods. Its spinoff game Halo 3: ODST featuring those shock troopers fighting the Drones.
    • Starcraft has plenty of references to and points of inspiration from ST as well.
    • Space Marines in powered armour fighting large bugs? Warhammer 40,000.

The Films:

  • Adaptation Displacement: For better or for worse, more people (especially young people) are familiar with the film than they are the novel.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Distilled into a single act, no less - the asteroid that destroyed Buenos Aires was claimed by the Propaganda Machine to have been launched by the aliens... but there's no evidence aside from the claim made on the news to back this up. It wouldn't be the first time a freak accident was used to inspire people to go to war.
    • Along the same lines Paul Verhoeven has commented on how based the Propaganda segments were modeled after those played in historical authoritarian regimes during wartime and also how he set up the Bugs to be clearly superior in every way to the humans opposing them. Combining the two together can imply that the Surprisingly Happy Ending portrayed in the final Propaganda cut scene is simply a case of the Government trying to hide the Awful Truth of the probable defeat.
  • Anvilicious: Paul Verhoeven knows of no other way to present a message.
    • Though for some people the message is still lost, and the movie appears to be a gung-ho sci-fi romp in which War is Awesome.
  • Awesome Moment: Amazingly enough, from the second film: Sgt. Rake's Roaring Rampage of Revenge after suffering an Orifice Invasion from a Puppeteer Parasite and shooting herself up with a ridiculous amount of adrenaline.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Cliché Storm: A force five hurricane, especially the death scenes.
  • Critical Research Failure: In arguing for why Violence Really Is the Answer, both a student and his teacher early in the film seems to be under the impression that the city of Hiroshima ceased to exist entirely after the end of World War II. Some fan theories suggest that it did.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Although Paul Verhoeven's film is partly a comedy, it is very dark comedy that suggests that humans are as animalistic as any other creature in outer space. Although the genocidal alien bugs are clearly the bad guys, the humans have become arrogant and brutal in the course of fighting them. Condemned criminals are executed on live TV, computer websites pump users full of overbearing propaganda reminiscent of World War II newsreels, schoolchildren are encouraged to gleefully stomp on helpless insects in a form of Fantastic Racism, people are denied citizenship rights if they do not serve in the military, the drill sergeant at the infantry boot camp is a bully (okay, sometimes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold) who seems to enjoy physically humiliating both male and female recruits, soldiers are punched in the face for uttering mildly rude remarks, and the protagonist is at one point stripped to the waist and receives 10 lashes across his bare back in full view of the entire camp as punishment for accidentally causing a comrade's death.
  • Ear Worm: There's a good reason why Sky Marshal Omar Anoke's song "It's a Good Day to Die" in the third movie is such a hit...
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: In the DVD commentary, director Paul Verhoeven says fans wanted Carmen to die and Johnny to end up with Dizzy, proving that it isn't only fans who have preferred couples. Considering that in the original book Dizzy is male and Johnny and Carmen have at most a one-night stand together, this wouldn't have been such a bad change compared to most of the rest of the changes Verhoeven actually did make.
  • First Installment Wins: Really, the sequels were nowhere near as good as the first.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-Universe example in the first movie: the recruitment commercial with the cute, eight year old kid in uniform saying, "I'm doing my part, too!" and everyone laughs. Cut to the last battle in the movie where Johnny and Ace command a squadron of Child Soldiers, not much older than that first kid, and it's not funny anymore...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: NFL wideout Jerome Simpson actually pulled off the Flip 6-3 hole. In the same uniform, no less!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Would you like to know more?"
    • "They sucked his brains out."
    • "The [X] cannot do [Y], IF YOU DISABLE HIS HAND!"
  • Misaimed Fandom: Despite the fact that Paul Verhoeven is anti-war and anti-fascism (likely from having bombs dropped by the Allies in his backyard as a child when aiming at fascists), people will accuse him from now until judgment day that the movie glorifies war, fascism, and blind, jingoistic patriotism. To think Paul Verhoeven made the mistake of being too subtle.
    • This Misaimed Fandom gets an In-Universe example in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. The paranoid, racist, warmongering Homeland Security agent tells Neil Patrick Harris that Starship Troopers inspired him to get into his line of work.
    • This expands to the creators of the sequel as well, who clearly missed out the implication that the Arachnids were the real good guys who were being provoked by the xenophobic and jingoistic humans, and portrayed the humans as the lesser evil.
    • Critics lambasted the fact that the characters were flat and uninteresting. According to Paul Verhoeven, he was aiming for 90210 IN SPACE! because the entire film was a propaganda film.
  • Misaimed Marketing: A toyline was released by Galoob in 1997. Yes, a toyline based on an R-rated film that has lots of blood, gore, political satire, and nudity.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A lot of people were rooting for the Bugs. In the first movie this might have been the filmmakers' intention, but in the sequels the Federation were supposed to be the good guys (or at least the lesser evil) and audiences still found a bunch of giant cockroaches to be more sympathetic. If you're reading the subtext that the Federation are Villain Protagonists, it becomes Rooting For The Empire regardless of which side you're rooting for.
  • The Scrappy: Carmen, so much so that in the DVD commentary, the director recalls that after test screenings, the survey cards were filled with comments like "kill the bitch!" and "kill the slut!"
  • Sequelitis: All of them except Invasion.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Badass of the Week.com explains best:
    "Luckily, the script writers realized what they were working with and wrote some of the cheesiest, most badass dialogue in any movie ever. I don't know how they did it, but every single line in the movie is completely corny but awesome at the same time. This results in the audience getting a good laugh in the fifteen minutes of the movie when people aren't getting their arms ripped off or aliens aren't being exploded into pieces and spewing green fluid all over the place."
  • Special Effects Failure: The sequels to the original, and "Marauder" to "Hero of The Federation" (though only because "Hero" bought back Tippett Studio for the bugs)... Additionally, since the majority of the bugs were created via CGI, and thus, were never on set for the actors to aim at, the troopers often end up pointing their rifles over the bugs' heads during the battle sequences.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • For the first film, the death of Michael Ironside's character, Lt. Rasczak. His agonized "you know what to do" just before Rico is forced to shoot him doesn't make it any easier.
    • Dizzy's death, even if you hated her and are a Rico/Carmen shipper, it's still horrible to watch.
    • The whole live-fire training fiasco, you can tell the flogging had nothing to do with Rico's resignation, it was because he felt like he'd let down a member of his team.
    • Zander's death, yes he was a tool, and basically the guy responsible for Rico and Carmen's temporary falling-out. But I wouldn't wish what happened to him on anybody.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The opinion of the novel's fans.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: It is not necessarily a bad movie, but most of the main cast doesn't seem to realize that it is actually a parodic take on military jingoism. In fact, Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown seem to be the only people who know what kind of movie they're in. Neil Patrick Harris might also have realized.
    • Harris definitely did; In one of the tie-in magazines, he actively states that his character was becoming this 'dark little fascist' by the time the film ends.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The script is an entirely intentional affront to Heinlein. But every single Bug is Crazy Awesomely cool.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, and Neil Patrick Harris playing Argentinean high schoolers... Verhoeven aimed for a Do Not Do This Cool Thing-baiting feel with the casting, going for stupidly beautiful people who would be far more at home in a soap opera — and then not telling them the film was a satire, leaving them to play their roles deadly serious.
    • Given the other elements of political/social commentary in the film - i.e. the blatant lies perpetuated in saying the Bugs dropped a meteor on Buenos Aires to justify the ongoing war, it's also very likely that these incredibly white teenagers with their Latin-American names were a commentary on American expansionism.

The Video Game:

The OVA:


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