YMMV / The Rocky Horror Picture Show


  • Adaptation Displacement: In America at least, hardly anyone has heard of the Musical/Stageshow. However it's pretty popular in the UK.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Depending on which fanfic you read, Dr. Frank N Furter is either A.) An abusive, psychotic, heartless jerk who only manipulates and hurts (both physically and emotionally) other people for his own personal amusement or B.) A misunderstood person who only acts the way he does due to some mysterious past tragedy.
    • Likewise, are Riff Raff & Magenta an evil brother/sister duo plotting Frank's downfall, or are they merely the victims of Frank's abuse and their actions are completely justified? Fanfics will vary greatly on the answer.
    • There are also plenty of fics where Columbia's personality ranges from bubbly and full of energy all the time, to always in tears and constantly depressed. Fan fic writers can't seem to make their minds up.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Sing along, now, everybody: "I'm just a sweet transvestite..."
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The only thing that could keep "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul" from being a BLAM is the fact that the dinner scene calls back to it. With little or no warning, Meat Loaf rides out of a walk-in freezer on a motorcycle, sings a song, and gets murdered. That's about as BLAM-tastic as it can get.
    • In the original play, Eddie is mentioned by Columbia before Riff & Magenta (and the Phantoms) else tells them to keep quiet...Which foreshadows Eddie's inevitable appearance, musical number, and death. However, this foreshadowing (for some reason) was cut from the film causing Eddie's appearance and musical number to be totally out-of-nowhere. It's a bizarre case of the character's scene being a BLAM, yet having the character being important to the plot. The 2016 film remake, however, shows Eddie riding a motorcycle in the way of Brad and Janet driving their car in the pouring rain in the night.
  • Broken Base:
    • In recent years, there's been a divide over the Audience Participation - while older fans defend it as integral to the fandom, a lot of newcomers complain that it has created a hostile environment. There is also an increasing awareness that all the thrown objects mean that theater employees have to stay late to clean up, which is driving smaller theaters to cancel the midnight showings.
    • The film's place in the canon of queer cinema has also come into question in recent years as trans individuals become more prominent in the LGBT community; there are many gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who say that the film helped them become more comfortable with themselves, but there are also many trans individuals who argue that the film is a painful reminder that society sees them as sick or perverted. Not helping things is Richard O'Brien's apparent belief that transgender individuals all occupy a third gender.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: It's not often that a pansexual transvestite murdering a 1950's motorcyclist is hilarious.
  • Cult Classic: Typically cited by reviewers as the definitive example of a cult film.
  • Designated Hero: Brad and Janet, literally, in the opening credits. There's a reason that they're respectively called "Asshole" and "Slut" by riffers.
  • Director Displacement: The movie is more often associated with creator and writer, Richard O'Brien rather than director, Jim Sharman.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Kids, don't have lots of sex, or you might end up in a fabulous musical. It's ultimately left up to the audience if Brad and Janet embracing their desires has left them broken. (This is less ambiguous if one accepts Shock Treatment as canon, as they definitely start that film as broken, and it is only over the course of that film that they relearn how to be functional people.)
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Many fans try to present Riff Raff and Magenta as being far more worthy of pity than they are in the film. Yes, the same Riff Raff and Magenta who kill Rocky, Frank, and Columbia out of pure spite.
    • Likewise, Frank gets the same treatment the same way. Um, since when are we supposed to feel sorry for the guy who tricked two innocent people into having sex with him, brutally murdered a guy from whom he removed half a brain (said half-of-brain was used to make Rocky, BTW) and then tricked said people he had sex with into eating the remains of the guy he murdered? The only aspect of Frank that anyone should feel sympathy towards is the fact that he's batshit insane. His final song, "I'm Going Home", is a very desperate attempt to get people to feel sorry for him. The fact that it doesn't work and he gets killed anyway speaks volumes about the character.
  • Ear Worm: Half of the songs featured fall under this trope, but perhaps most famously, Time Warp, which was ranked and voted 338 out of 2006 songs featured in the Triple M Essential 2006 Countdown.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Riff Raff and Columbia are neck-in-neck for fan favorite, next to Frank himself.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Frank is sexy. This can be attested to by every fan of this movie.
    • It's not just the movie version either- Rob Morton Fowler's portrayal of Frank in the recent European tour starts at sexy and goes straight into bishonen-beautiful.
    • Riff-Raff and Magenta both have large fan bases, and not without reason.
  • Foe Yay: Riff Raff/Frank-N-Furter slash fanfics exist.
  • Genius Bonus: "Sonic Transducer" means "microphone or speaker".
  • Hype Backlash: This movie is one acquired taste.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Rocky is only call Rocky Horror in the credits and the comic book. The movie just calls him Rocky.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Frank is the single most common one, but Columbia, Magenta, and Riff Raff are have their fair share of ships.
  • Les Yay: Magenta and Columbia.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Brad! Just kidding. It's Frank... mostly when he's manipulating others for his own amusement. He's able to get away with his actions too, until Riff Raff turns on him.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Its Cult Classic status and rabid fandom are also well-known.
    • "I got pneumonia." note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Riff Raff's coldblooded murder of Columbia.
  • Narm Charm: The movie is ridiculously camp and that's why people love it.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Meat Loaf's role as Eddie in Rocky Horror. He bursts out of a freezer (on a motorcycle, of course), sings a song, and is not seen or heard from again. Until the dinner guests realize that he's become the main course. "Meatloaf again?!"
  • Retroactive Recognition: Among the principal musicians who performed the music for the film is the keyboardist Rabbit, who would later become the touring keyboardist for The Who.
  • So Bad, It's Good: This movie is a textbook deliberate case of this. The plot (such as it is) is very like "Manos" The Hands of Fate (probably unintentional, given "Manos"'s cliched plot and utter obscurity until MST3K found it) with vast galloping amounts of homoerotica thrown in. The characters were, for the most part, based on those of the Bulgakov novel The Master and Margarita - itself a modern masterpiece, partly because all of its failed drama is deliberate. Richard O'Brien intentionally made it this way, as a tribute to the campy sci-fi films of the 50s & 60s (as evidenced by the opening number Science Fiction/Double Feature)
  • Special Effect Failure: Just one of its many charms.
    • The one real offender is probably the corpse of Eddie under the dinner table, which is pretty obviously a mannequin. It could easily have been avoided if they just had Meat Loaf there in corpse make-up.
      • You can see the wires pulling Dr Scott's wheelchair up the stairs on his way to the zen room and when the castle blasts off at the end the real castle is visible through the smoke.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: How most fans felt about the TV adaptation.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It might have been funnier to leave Columbia as a statue. She's treated so poorly throughout the film that getting turned to stone seems like a fitting end to her torment. Of course, that would have meant sacrificing her contribution to the floor show.
  • Vindicated by History: Originally critically panned, now a Cult Classic.
  • The Woobie: Poor Rocky, who appears to be only slightly smarter than your average house pet, goes through a lot of grief in one night without having any idea why. Most fans sympathize very strongly with Columbia, who really gets treated like dirt.

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