main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
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.
  • Awesome Music: All over the place, especially "Sweet Transvestite".
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Sing along, now, everybody: "I'm just a sweet transvestite..."
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Arguably Hot Patootie- Bless My Soul and maybe Time Warp
    • 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.
    • Subverted with Eddie, since it ends up being pretty plot relevant.
    • 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 a bizarre case of the character's scene being a BLAM, yet having the character being important to the plot.
    • Three words: The Zen Room.
  • Bizarro Movie
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The entire movie skirts over the line again and again and again, going from offensive to hilarious to offensive to hilarious again!
    • The callouts, however, mock you for ever thinking there was a line in the first place.
  • Cult Classic: Typically cited by reviewers as the definitive example of a cult film.
  • Designated Hero: Brad, literally, in the opening credits.
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: Despite being the main characters of the film, and despite having a decent fanbase, Brad & Janet are nowhere near as popular as Frank, Riff Raff, Columbia, or Magenta.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Frank-N-Furter, Riff Raff and Magenta in particular tend to fall victim to this within the fandom.
    • The refrain from "Eddie" tries to paint the titular character in this light.
      "When Eddie said he didn't like his Teddie you knew he was a no good kid / but when he threatened your life with a switchblade knife!"
      Frank: What a guy!
      Janet: Makes you cry!
      Dr. Scott: Unt I did!note 
      AP#1: What the fuck's an "Unt"?!
      AP#2: Three fourths of a Cunt!note 
  • Ear Worm: Pretty much half of the songs featured fall under this trope. Seriously, try reciting the moves to the Time Warp.
    • It's just a jump to the left...
  • 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 pretty much 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.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Frank, of course. (Incredibly Lame Pun, Stealth Pun, and Historical Injoke rolled into one. I slay me with my cleverness.
    • Actually, Frank, Magenta, Columbia and Riff Raff (and very often Janet as well) are ALL very common ship launchers! Just take a few moments to look through the many fanfics!
  • 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: "Let's do the Time Warp Agaaaaain!"
    • Its Cult Classic status and rabid fandom are also well-known.
  • Narm Charm
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Frank-N-Furter is sexy and somewhat creepy. Frank-N-Furter with a crazed smile on his face as hacks some poor guy (Eddie) to death is downright terrifying.
    • A slightly more subtle example involving Frank is that he's more than willing to turn two innocent humans (IE: Asshole and Slut), his own creation (IE: Rocky), and his groupie (IE: Columbia) into mindless sex-slaves and forces them to perform a stage show against their own will.
      • Even more subtle yet creepier is during Frank's final song "I'm Going Home", we see the sudden appearance of a crowded audience cheering him on and he tearfully absorbs all the attention as if craving the "love" (for lack of a better term) they're giving him. Cue after the song.... and it's implied that the audience is nothing more than a figment of Frank's imagination. It helps to show just how crazy Frank really is and is quite eerie to that effect.
    • While the Floor Show is fun, when it's Brad's turn to sing his share of "Rose Tint My World," he trips and falls all the way to the bottom of Uncanny Valley with his incredibly robotic movements, especially his disturbing facial expressions when he says/sings "...WHOA! Here it comes again!"
    • The Criminologist's final speech before the credits roll can be a little unnerving, especially given his intense stare and the foreboding music.
  • 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?!"
  • Relationship Sue: There are, believe it or not (though, seriously, it's true) several Rocky Horror Picture Show fanfics that involve Dr. Frank N Furter finding his true love...often a female Mary Sue. Yes, that Dr. Frank N Furter.
  • Sympathetic Sue: Seriously, at least 73% of all Rocky Horror fanfics try to make Riff Raff and Magenta far more pitiful than they are in the film. Yes, the same Riff Raff and Magenta who kill Rocky, Frank, and Columbia out of pure spite.
    • In the play, Frank was the only one killed out of spite. Columbia dove in front of the first shot, while Rocky attempted to attack Riff in his grief. And in the film, Columbia is more killed by accident than out of spite like Frank and Rocky are.
    • Likewise, there are quite a few fanfics that portray Frank in 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.
      • It's likely due to the fact that Frank's 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.
  • Tearjerker: For some it's Frank's death.
    "On the day, I went away...
    • Let's not forget Columbia, the most sympathetic character.
      • Enough so that "Bedroom Scenes," a Rocky fan-film, devoted more than half of its twenty-minute length to just letting Columbia speak for herself, for once. (The rest of the time is devoted to letting Magenta speak, period.)
    • And the Bolivian Army Ending granted to Brad and Janet...
      • Not unless the police shot them after taking their statements.note 
    • After Rocky and Frank fall into the pool, Magenta turns to Riff Raff,saying "I thought you liked them! They liked you.." to which he screams "THEY DIDN'T LIKE ME! They never liked me!" At first most find this outburst as funny, until Riff Raff turns back towards the screen and you can see a tear rolling down his cheek.
  • Too Cool to Live: Eddie, literally, in Frank's book.
  • Special Effect Failure: Just one of its many charms.
  • 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.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy