YMMV / 300

These. Are. YMMV. Items!

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The movie was a massive hit in Greece and cultural neighbor Cyprus, probably because it depicted Greeks as total badasses.
    • It's also extremely popular with the European Far-Right for less wholesome reasons.
  • Gratuitous Special Effects: This movie makes heavy use of prosthetics, Green Screen and lots of CGI. The same battle was depicted in the movie The Three Hundred Spartans decades earlier with little more than fancy costumes and prop swords. The comic is comparatively more realistic with its visuals.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • An in-story example: "We will fight in the shade."
    • Also, the movie did that to The Man Who Saves the World due to Leonidas having a very similar appearance to the main villain in that film.
    • It's hard to take many previous works with the phrase "This is madness!" seriously anymore due to the 300 film.
    • Leonidas isn't the only Spartan with an affinity for making gods bleed. Then again, he's not the only character from a Zack Snyder movie to do so either.
    • Leonidas' most well-remembered line "This Is Sparta!" is this when you realize that another warrior character played by Gerard Butler has a son who's known for starting the movie with "This is Berk."
  • Ho Yay: This movie might have been called Ho Yay: The Motion Picture. In fact, real life Spartans in the Agoge were encouraged to have a relationship with an older master who will train them. In some cases, girls had to shave themselves bald so that they could look like boys and get married.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Shoots through the roof during battle scenes.
  • Memetic Badass: While the Spartans were already commonly regarded by historians as one of the most badass civilizations in all of history, this movie, also making bored high school history students interested in a quaint little city state that they would not even know existed in the first place, exaggerated the idea further that the Spartans were really a race of hypermuscular Supermen who can each kill millions by themselves while wearing only underwear. It's like applying Chuck Norris Facts to an entire ancient city.
    • Spartans don't need armour. Their abs are harder.
  • Memetic Molester: Xerxes. The Spartans also suffer from this as well due to all the massive Ho Yay Fanservice they provide, and the historical fact that Spartans tolerated active homosexuality while living in communal barracks.
  • Memetic Mutation: Being a Large Ham, Leonidas has transformed into a Fountain of Memes.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If Theron didn't cross it by using Persian money to bribe the ephors into warning Leonidas against going to war against Persia during an imminent religious holiday, he definitely did so by raping Gorgo and attempting to out her as an adulteress at the Senate meeting the next day.
  • Narm: We could also call this Narm: The Motion Picture, what with every single actor on a 100% scenery diet.
    • The Spartans literally fighting a technologically and numerically superior Continental Empire of a million nations (with MONSTERS and Ninja Zombie Supersoldiers) while wearing only briefs. If that's not Testosterone Poisoning, I don't know what else is.
    • One of Xerxes executioners looks like he came out directly from either Diablo or Warcraft.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A number of lines from the movie are actually from Herodotus, including "fight in the shade" and "Tonight, we dine in Hades" (Hades is short for "Hades's kingdom", the underworld, which was where all afterlives were, for Ancient Greeks). The Spartan epitaph planted by the side of the road is actually still visible as a marker from the Classical period:
    Go tell the Spartans, passer by,
    That here, by Spartan law, we lie.
    • Queen Gorgo also apparently said "Only Spartan women give birth to real men." Though this is believed to have been said to another Greek, not to a Persian Messenger.
    • The Spartan Way: The real life Spartans literally made this trope. However, real life Spartans didn't go to war naked; they were portrayed that way because in ancient Greece, muscular nakedness was a symbol of heroism.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Michael Fassbender plays Stelios. This movie came out a few years before his first truly famous roles so many people never really registered that it was him in this one.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • The movie Spartans get hit by this heavily, with the actions of the real Spartans used to attack them due to Values Dissonance (killing imperfect children is the work of a devil today, in ancient times it could have been the difference between food stores lasting the winter or running out partway through, among other things) and all of their actions painted in the worst light possible.
    • In universe and from the other end, the Persians also get this for the inverse reasons.
  • Signature Scene: Repeat after me: This. Is. SPARTA!!!
  • Strawman Has a Point: When the Persian herald confronts the Greeks building a wall from dead bodies and screams that they are barbarians, it's hard to argue that he isn't somewhat justified in his horror and rage.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The finale: the camera pans across the horizon and shows that the sacrifice of Leonidas and his brave 300 has inspired thirty thousand Greeks to fight against tyranny.
    • The final scenes of the movie, particularly when Delios says "Should any free soul come across this place, in all of the countless centuries yet to be, may all of our voices whisper to you from the ageless stone: Go tell the Spartans, passerby. That here, by Spartan law, we lie."
    • Another scene that deserves mention is the one where Leonidas is leaving Queen Gorgo for the last time. As Delios narrates with solemn dignity: "Goodbye my love. He doesn't say it. There's no room for softness, not in Sparta. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard. Only the strong."
    • And that tearjerker inspires another tearjerker near the end, when Leonidas, peppered with arrows, the only Spartan left standing as his comrades die around him, raises himself up, and declares his love for Gorgo just before the final rain of arrows fall.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Most of Tyler Bates's score were derived from other works such as Titus, to the point that Warner Bros. not only apologized and resolved their mistake, but they also posted a note on later releases that the music was "derived from preexisting compositions not authored by Tyler Bates."
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Complicated again, as the film was made during The War On Terror, which Frank Miller supports, but the original comic was written a decade earlier. This has lead to such a bad Misaimed Fandom that a March 2007 press conference saw director Zack Snyder asked by a reporter whether King Leonidas was meant to be George W Bush or Osama bin Laden. Original author Frank Miller claims that his comic to a large degree was inspired by the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which is often considered to be a metaphor for the Cold War. Whether such a message was intended or not is far from clear.