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Film / Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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Short Round: What is "Sankara"?
Indy: Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 adventure film, the second entry in the Indiana Jones film series, and a prequel to the previous film Raiders of the Lost Ark (making it the first in terms of narrative chronology). It is directed by Steven Spielberg, with the screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz and the story written by George Lucas.

The prologue sees Indy (Harrison Ford) getting into some trouble in mid-1930s Shanghai, and nearly dying from poisoning when one of his clients tries to double-cross him. He escapes with his two sidekicks Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) aboard a plane but they crash in the Himalayas. The main plot then begins when they arrive at a village in India, and the inhabitants tell them an evil cult stole a sacred stone from them and kidnapped their children for slave labor. Indy then sets out to retrieve the stones and free the children from the cult's grip.

The film also stars Amrish Puri as Mola Ram, Roshan Seth as Chattar Lal and Philip Stone as Captain Philip Blumburtt. Along with the first Gremlins film, Temple of Doom is largely responsible for the creation of the PG-13 rating.

The film's story is followed in production order by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

"Indiana Jones and the Tropes of Doom":

  • '80s Hair: Willie's hair is quite a bit more 1984 than 1935 — check out that perm, and later on, those bangs! Apparently, she's so fashion-conscious that she's fifty years ahead of her time!
  • Aborted Arc: There were still two Shankara Stones hidden beneath Pankot Palace. Their recovery is left hanging by the end of the film (especially with all but one of the found three lost).
  • Action Prologue: The skirmish in Shanghai with Indy, Willie, and Short Round escaping Chinese gangsters.
  • Actor Allusion: Indy chases after a small group of mooks, only to encounter a larger group of mooks and run away from them screaming.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Kali is portrayed as basically the God of Evil. In the actual mythology, while she is the goddess of destruction she is not considered evil for the most part. Ironically Shiva (portrayed as the God of Good) is also a deity of destruction.
  • Agony of the Feet: Indy uses his boot-clad feet as brakes to slow down the runaway mine cart that he, Shorty, and Willie are escaping in before it crashes into the barricade at the end of the tracks. The frictional heat sets his clothing on fire and leaves him jumping around in pain and crying for water to put it out.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The dinner scene is infamous as it appears to portray a crude stereotype of Indian cuisine (and perhaps non-Western dietary practices generally). However, the novelization makes it clear that the point was to provide the first clue that something was amiss at Pankot, and that Chattar Lal wanted to horrify the trio and the British officer in an attempt to get rid of them. We also get some information on Short Round's background, plus the fact that he thinks that one of the elephants is the reincarnation of his dead brother.
    • According to the novelization, Short Round's real name is "Wan Li".
  • Almost Kiss: The Big Damn Kiss between Willie and Indy at the end gets delayed when the elephant spouts water in their faces.
  • And I Must Scream: One victim of the Black Sleep of the Kali Ma describes it as a nightmare from which you can't wake up and to which death is preferable.
  • And Show It to You: Mola Ram pulls out the heart of a sacrifice victim and holds it for everyone to see.
  • And Starring: The cast roll here ends with "and introducing Ke Huy Quan as Short Round".
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Indy, getting tired of Willie's complaints while the ceiling trap is descending on him, emphasizes his command for her to "Do it! Now!" with a fist shake.
  • Arc Words: "Fortune and Glory".
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: In the scene where Indy bursts into Willie's room looking for more hitmen and for the secret entrance to Kali's temple, Willie is at first coquettishly alarmed by the aggressive demeanour of Indiana ("Be—be gentle with me!"), then confused and finally disappointed.
    Willie: I'm right here!
  • Artistic License: The film derives entirely from pulp fiction (like all Indiana Jones films), but even then almost everything about its portrayal of India is dated and outlandish: Serving live eels to human diners is a good way to get yourself charged with homicide, as raw eel blood is toxic to people. Pretty much all the banquet's "delicacies" are complete nonsense, and entirely made up by the screenwriters based on how gross Lucas and Spielberg found their suggestions. Indian cuisine is largely vegetarian, and non-vegetarian Hindus — like most non-vegetarian people full stop — would never consume live animals.note  Then again, the whole thing is actually a ploy intended to get rid of Indy and the British officer without attracting attention.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Indy tells Willie that the "birds" she is seeing are giant, vampire bats. Vampire bats are both small and from the Americas. Those are fruit bats. Although Willie was annoying him, so it is possible Indy only said that to scare her.
    • The "crocodiles" in the bridge scene at the climax of the film are recognizably American alligators, not crocodiles.
  • Artistic License – Geography: There are some conflicting sources regarding the 'exact' location of the fictional province of Pankot. However, none of the listed locations are anywhere near any actual volcanic activity in India, past or present. To have a hidden temple and mine full of lava pits is highly unlikely.
  • Artistic License – History: The Thuggee Cult died out in the 1850s, yet this film takes place in the 1930s and presents the arrival of a British regiment (or rather, an Indian Army regiment led by a British officer) at the end as The Cavalry. Small wonder it was banned in India. The film is inspired by Gunga Din which likewise took place in an earlier period. (The movie does refer to the Thuggees as having been originally wiped out "a hundred years ago", implying that the movie's Thuggees are meant to be interpreted as a fictional resurgence.)
  • Artistic License – Physics: The Thuggee perform human sacrifice by plunging a cage with the victim inside into lava, which is then winched back to the surface, with the victim completely gone. This is unrealistic for a number of reasons. Lava isn't hot enough to reduce bones to ash, but would probably have melted the cage, or would definitely at least have softened it to the point where it would have lost its structure.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • Every single thing to do with Hinduism. In fact, what the movie gets right about Hinduism or India can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Though to be fair to the film, most of the Hindu characters are explicitly shown to be members of the villainous Thuggee cult, making them as much of an accurate representation of Hinduism as the Peoples Temple was to Christianity.
    • One of the most egregious errors is that Shiva and Kali are set up as gods of good and evil respectively, while in Hinduism they are both unambiguously good, and in Bengali Hindu tradition, they're husband and wife.
    • Kali worship is a perfectly benign activity as opposed to the demonic rituals portrayed in the film, and the real-life Thuggees were never so diabolically evil. The only record of the Thuggee cult is that of the English governor William Sleeman who captured the original group, and some historians argue that he considerably exaggerated their presence and activity to boost his career. The little that we know of Thuggee suggests an organized group of highwaymen who robbed travellers and killed them by strangling them with a rumal (a special handkerchief/scarf), an ersatz-Aztec cult interested in human sacrifice they were not. In fact, the word "Thug" in North India now refers to a swindler or con-man rather than a violent goon or murderer.
    • Mola Ram claims that when he succeeds in his Evil Plan they will take down Allah, the Hebrew God and the Christian God, evidently not realising that all three are the same being. Admittedly, being a Hindu (and a thoroughly blaspheming one at that), he might just be ignorant of other faiths.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Only Mola Ram (who is played by an Indian actor) speaks Hindi. The movie was shot in Sri Lanka, and all extras speak Sinhalese as a result.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The opening has a Giant Mook ceremoniously banging a gong with his mallet in a ritual manner, pan to a flaming dragon... and out comes out a Lady in Red sparkling sequined dress, launching into a Mandarin "Anything Goes".
  • Ballroom Blitz: The movie starts out at a fancy dinner event in Shanghai which eventually escalates into a gunfight.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Mola Ram does the whole heart-pulled-out-of-chest-alive thing.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him:
    • Both Indy and the Maharajah get mind-controlled by the Thuggee, and are brought out of it when Short Round burns them with a torch.
    • Subverted with Willie out of the lava pit, Willie slaps him thinking he's still under the Black Sleep before Indy tells her it's really him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Indiana cries for water as he has set his shoes on fire while stopping the mine cart with his feet. Cue a big incoming flood triggered by Mola Ram. Played for Laughs.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: So much between Indy and Willie.
  • Belly-Scraping Flight: A suspenseful moment when the faltering plane touches a peak in the Himalayas.
  • Big "NO!": Willie during the Crowd Hockey scene when a bucket of ice is dumped on the floor, preventing her from finding the diamond. She also lets out several as she's lowered to her doom in the lava pit.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Maharajah of Pankot is called 'Zalim' which means evil in Hindi. Fitting, as he is a bad guy. But only because his second-in-command was feeding him mind-control juice.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Indy shoving his hand into Willie's dress and basically groping her while he searches for the antidote that she grabbed is played for laughs, despite her struggling and squealing in protest, all of which he ignores.
  • Bloody Horror:
    • The scene where Mola Ram forces his hand into a victim's chest, removes his heart, and it's still beating after.
    • Also the scene in which the Thuggee guard is dragged into the rock crusher, leaving a huge smear of blood on the roller.
  • Book Ends: The village is grim and dismal when the trio arrives. As well, Willie is irritated by Short Round and keeps pulling away from him and is rude to the inhabitants. At the end, the village is lush and colorful, Willie makes the required gestures of respect to the elder, and is now fond of Shorty.
  • Bowdlerized: For its UK release, about one minute of violence and gore was cut in order to secure a PG rating rather than a 15 (the 12 rating wouldn't be introduced until 1989, and 12A until 2002). There was also some drama about the rating in the US. The uncut version was finally released on Blu-ray in 2012 with a 12 rating. Detailed 'Cutting Edge' background and comparison video via GNC Films
  • Brain Food: Indy and his friends are treated to "chilled monkey brains" as they are visiting the Pankot Palace.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Anyone opposed to Mola Ram: The maharaja, many of the slaves, and even Indy. Possibly Chatter Lal as well. Don't drink the kool-aid around Mola Ram. Hell, the novelization and shooting script both had even Mola Ram waking up from brainwashing when he grips the Sankara Stone at the end. And then the poor guy falls to the crocodiles (cut from the movie both because it seemed too cruel and it begged the question of who brainwashed him?).
  • Brick Joke: Indy goes for his gun to deal with two sword-wielding guards, only to find it not in his holster because Willie lost it out the window all the way back in the Action Prologue.
  • Broken Lever of Doom: When Short Round tries to pull the breaks on their mine cart, the lever breaks leaving the cart to become a Runaway Train.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: The gloriously over-the-top cover of the title song from Anything Goes that kicks off the film.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: When Chen shoots Wu Han, he times the shot with a set of champagne bottles being uncorked.
  • The Cameo: Dan Aykroyd appears in the beginning of the film as Weber, as payback for Spielberg's cameo in The Blues Brothers.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out: Two of these:
  • Car Cushion: Slight subversion in the beginning. The car is their means of escape.
  • Carrying the Antidote: Lao Che is chivalrous enough to swindle and poison Indiana in a reversible way.
  • Category Traitor: Jones accuses Mola Ram of betraying Shiva — a deity that neither of them worship, but it mattered to the ancient text about the Sankara stones ("Follow in the footsteps of Shiva. Do not betray his truth."). Bizarrely, it's the one decent piece of Hinduism in the movie. Kali is Shiva's bride and both are part of the same over-deity. Mola Ram is a blasphemer on a big-big scale.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Blumburtt and his troops at the end of the film. Lampshaded by Willie and only partially late since they neutralize the threat of the Thuggee archers, killing several and forcing the rest to flee.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Willie throws away Indy's gun. Later on he's confronted by two swordsmen, reaches for his gun and... oops!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Captain Blumburtt of the 11th Poona Rifles.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Indy fluently shifts into Chinese while arguing with Short Round over which of them is cheating more at cards. He later uses the same language to warn the boy that he is going to cut the bridge without alerting Mola Ram and his Mooks.
    • Indy, being an Omniglot, knew enough Hindi to activate the Stones by uttering an incantation:
      Indy: You betrayed Shiva! Thum Shiva Ke Vishwasth Karthe Ho!
  • Childless Dystopia: The village, initially.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Both Indy and the Chief Guard use whatever Improvised Weapons they can reach to get the upper hand on the other. In fact, Indy very nearly manages to kill the guard with a pick before the Maharajah intervenes.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Perhaps expected with Indy, but blatantly abused to the point of comedy with Short Round, a ten-year-old kid who is able to One-Hit KO entire gangs of muscular Thuggee cultists.
  • Content Warning: One American poster featured the phrase "This film may be too intense for younger children" at the bottom corner (The poster for Jaws also had that same inscription). Judging by the subsequent controversy, it's obvious that parents did not heed that warning.
  • Contrived Coincidence: An escaped child slave makes it all the way back to Mayapore on the exact same night that Indy and his companions arrived at the village and agreed to seek out the sacred stone, and carries with him a vital clue to guide Indy. (Then again, this could add credence to the village elder's belief that everything about Indy arriving at the village is by Shiva's design.)
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Zig-zagged. It's averted when the first sacrificial victim bursts into flames well before plunging into the lava pit (his heart, which Mola Ram holds onto the entire time, starts smoking even before that happens). Then it's played straight when Willie is in the exact same situation, and again during the mine cart chase tug-of-war in the lava cavern.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Indy fights a big Thuggee on one that leads to a rock crusher.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Short Round covers his eyes at the end to avoid having to witness Indy and Willie's Big Damn Kiss.
  • Creator Cameo: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy all have cameos at the airfield. Kennedy also appears as one of the dancers in Willie Scott's number at Club Obi Wan.
  • Crowd Hockey: The film's opening shootout at Club Obi Wan has Indy and Willie respectively chasing the antidote and a giant diamond all over the place while fleeing customers kick both objects around. Willie loses track of the diamond in a spilled bucket of ice, but does end up with the antidote.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: That poor sacrifice victim, not only does he have has heart torn out (and is somehow still alive), he is then slowly lowered into a pit of lava until the flames roast him alive. As if this weren't horrible enough, he is praying for his life the whole time.
  • Cult: The Thuggee. Religion of Evil.
  • Culture Chop Suey: The historical Thuggee cult is rather lacking in actual documentary evidence, but the little that exist is drastically differentnote  from what is seen in the film. It instead draws inspiration from Aztec, African and Carribean rituals, folklore and hearsay.
    • Mola Ram's Human Sacrifice to "Kali" has more in common with Aztec rituals than anything in Indian myth and history. Mola Ram's outfit has more in common with stereotypical clothes worn by Shamanic priests from Africa and Latin American countries, most notable the shrunken head that he keeps hanging by his side. The Voodoo Doll used by the possessed Little Maharaja to attack Indiana Jones is actually from European witchcraft (although wrongly associated with The Theme Park Version of the Haitian Voudou religion). The Red Pentagram worn by Chattar Lal would make Aleister Crowley jealous.
    • Likewise the film's depiction of India is a melange of different and highly divergent Indian traditions. Since the film was shot in Sri Lanka, some of the extras actually speak Sinhalese. Geographically, the plane that carried Indy, Short Round and Willie was marked to be flying on the Northern border and Indy dives down a snowscape implied to be the Himalayan range, but the village he arrives in is more central Indian than North Indian. Kali worship is associated with Bengal and definitely not considered any Satanic figure.
  • Darker and Edgier: George Lucas attributes it to the fact that he was going through a divorce and he was in a really dark mood at the time. Steven Spielberg was coming off E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and wanted to do something a little less family friendly.
  • Darkest Hour: Indiana Jones is brainwashed by Mola Ram and joins the Thuggees, Willie Scott is made a sacrifice to Kali, and Short Round is enslaved and toiling in the catacombs with all the other kidnapped kids, basically meaning that it was all over for the world, non-Thuggee religions and our heroes… that is until Short Round destroys the chains on him and escapes!
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: The kidnapped children have this reaction after escaping from the tunnels where they've been held prisoner.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Chen manages to fire off one shot from his revolver as he dies from the flaming skewer Indy throws into his chest.
  • Descending Ceiling: When Indiana and Short Round investigate a Secret Underground Passage, they end up getting trapped in a room and unwittingly activate a Booby Trap involving a descending ceiling with Spikes of Doom.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Kids rather than girls, but Short Round takes on the Maharaja himself.
  • Disney Villain Death: Mola Ram falls into a river, and we see crocodiles chewing up his clothing afterward.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: According to Short Round, Indiana isn't nuts, he's crazy.
  • Doomed by Canon: Indy's romance with Willie, considering he's single again by the first film, freeing him to reignite his relationship with Marion.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The titular Temple of Doom.
  • Door Focus:
    • When Indiana closes the door of the airplane, the camera shot reveals the airplane belongs to Lao Che.
    • A basic element of the Indy Hat Roll performed later.
  • Dub Name Change: In the French dub of the film, Short Round is known as "Demi-Lune" (which translates to "Half Moon").
  • Eaten Alive: The suspension bridge at the film's climax is already high enough up to kill anyone that falls off it, but even if they do survive, they get to experience first-hand what it's like to be torn apart and chewed up by hungry crocodiles.
  • Empathic Environment: When Indy first arrives at the Indian Village, it's desolate and lifeless. The sun is blotted out by thick clouds, the villagers barely have any food due to a drought and their children are missing. When Indy brings back the Sankara stones and their children, their village is full of life. Lampshaded by the Shaman.
    Shaman: We know you are coming back, when life returned to our village.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: This film played a large role in giving Kali the same reputation as the Greek God of Death in the Anglosphere. In Hinduism, Kali is a popular deity who represents transformation and transience, and the power to face most of life's challenges with strength. Here she's transformed into a Satanic figure against all traditions of existing Hinduism in India.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Nearly every scene in the film is totally tense and filled with peril. Plane crash lands in India, the jungle is filled with vampire bats, monkeys, snakes and elephants. Limited diet, monkey brains, snakes and eels are there for your liking. Then you have underground caverns filled with sulphur, hot lava, crazed cultists, narrow mine carts, a rickety wooden bridge over a river of crocodiles.
  • Evil Laugh: The Chinese gangster Lao Che and his son seem to be fond of it. Mola Ram makes a chilling evil laugh when the sacrifice victim burns in the lava.
  • Faceless Goons: The two Thuggee mooks Indy encounters by the Rope Bridge have their faces covered in black veils.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Indy doesn't realize he's on a plane belonging to Lao Che.
  • Faint in Shock: Willie passes out when offered chilled monkey brains.
  • Fake Shemp: Harrison Ford injured his back during filming, and was out for several weeks. To continue production Spielberg used Ford's stuntman Vic Armstrong to perform the action sequences (even the simpler ones Ford could do) from behind and Harrison later filmed a few token close-ups.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Indy finds himself in a cockpit trying to land the faltering plane in the Himalayas after the pilots escaped via parachutes.
  • Familiar Soundtrack, Foreign Lyrics: The opening nightclub performance features Cole Porter's song "Anything Goes" in Mandarin (except for putting the Title Drop in Gratuitous English).
  • Fatal MacGuffin: The Sankara stones are not lethal to most people, but Mola Ram discovers that their sacred touch burns him, which causes him to plummet to his doom when he tries to catch one while hanging off a cliff.. Indy himself gives up the stone to the village that originally owned it rather than returning it to a museum for his "fortune and glory."
  • Fate Worse than Death: One of the children hopes to die before the Thuggee turn him into a Kali Ma: "I pray to Shiva, 'Let me die.' But I do not. the evil of Kali take me." Another child describes it as being "alive, but like a nightmare."
  • Faux Fluency:
    • The opening "Anything Goes" number. It seems they did have a Mandarin translation of the Cole Porter song, but Kate Capshaw butchered the pronunciation. Since Mandarin is a tonal language, this effectively turned it into gibberish. Here's a Chinese speaker's best guess at a translation.
    • The actor playing the village Shaman spoke no English, so delivered his lines by phonetically mimicking Spielberg, who was prompting him off-camera. His long pauses are not for dramatic effect, but simply because he is waiting to receive his next line.
  • Feminine Leg Swish: Willie Scott is laying in bed, wearing a pair of silk pajamas, absently kicking her legs back and forth as she waits for Indy to come to her. It showcases a bit of her Womanchild tendencies. She grows irate as Indy fails to put in an appearance. Of course, the audience knows it's because he's currently fighting off a cult member trying to strangle him with a garrote.
  • Fingore:
    • The Kali statues outside of Pankot Palace had necklaces of real human fingers. A rather blatant warning that the Thuggee were active in the area.
    • Lao Che's son Kao Kan lost one of his fingers in a failed attempt to steal Nurachi's ashes from Indy.
  • Five-Aces Cheater: Both Indy and Short Round cheat while playing cards in the jungle.
  • Flaying Alive: A pair of flayed human skins serve as background decoration in the Temple.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: When weaponless Indy faces two Thuggee mooks by the Rope Bridge, he uses one of them as a puppet to fight with his sword against the other mook.
  • Foreign Queasine: "Ahh. Chilled monkey brains!" —Not to mention the appetizer course of giant beetles, live eels inside a posed snake corpse, eyeball soup...turned out it was a Batman Gambit to try to encourage both the British and Indy's party to leave; it obviously failed miserably. The novelization highlights the banquet menu as a tipoff that all is not well in Pankot, as Hindus would never eat such food, and further that not even a "normal" bad guy would serve something so depraved.
  • Foreshadowing: When Chattar Lal meets the trio at Pankot Palace, he puts a friendly arm around Short Round's shoulders and ushers him in first. As an agent of the Thuggee, he wants to keep Shorty in good spirits as long as possible before sending him to the mines.
  • Funny Background Event: Eagle-eyed viewers during the dinner scene might notice that, for some reason, the Prime Minister is making a silly-looking bucktoothed grin when they bring out the plate of beetles.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There were originally five Sankara Stones. The Thuggee have found three of them and are searching for the last two in order to rule the world.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Thuggee operate from within Pankot Palace and have brainwashed the Maharaja and Prime Minister to do their bidding.
  • Groin Attack: Right after freeing Indy from the Black Sleep of Kali Ma, Short Round manages to down a Thugee by kicking him in the nads.
  • Ground by Gears: At the end of Indiana's fight with a Giant Mook, the villain is dragged into a giant rock crusher by his scarf and squashed to death.
  • Hand in the Hole: Indy and Short Round are going to get crushed to death in the trap full of bugs because Willie doesn't want to stick her hand in the dark hole to release the trap. It's a subversion, though, because it's not the dark hole that creeps her out. It's the fact that the hole is literally crawling with bugs of all types. And she picks the wrong hole at first as Indiana's hand points out.
  • Hanging Around: Indy dispatches the Thuggee mook sent to kill him by snaring his whip around the man's neck and tossing the free end up into the ceiling fan. The mook is hoisted off his feet and quickly dies from either strangulation or a broken neck.
  • Hard Head: When Mola Ram falls to his death, he slams his head into the cliff-face, but he doesn't seem to notice, given his uninterrupted scream.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: The villain attempts to snatch the heart from the left side of Indy's chest. It's hinted, however, that this may be hypnotic imagery rather than the heart being ripped out.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The assassin in Indy's room at Pankot Palace pulls this off in a pretty frightening way.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: During the final confrontation against Mola Ram and the Thugees on the rope bridge, Indy manages to convey his plan to sever the bridge (with everyone on it) to his Chinese sidekick Short Round, using Mandarin.
    Indy: Xiao zi, zhuo zhu sheng zi!note 
  • High-Dive Escape: Indy and Willie escape the opening Ballroom Blitz by jumping out a window and down a series of canopies until they drop right into the getaway car.
  • High-Speed Train Reroute: During the mine cart chase, one set of Thuggee... thugs shoots a switch to get themselves onto a safer track.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: As far as the movie is concerned, Shiva is God and Kali is Satan. Someone apparently didn't realize that Kali happens to be Shiva's wife, at least in another of her aspects (Parvathi).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Indy leads a slave revolt where the Thuggee slavers are killed by the chains, picks and rocks used and gathered by the child slaves.
  • Hollywood Driving: When Short Round acts as a Getaway Driver for Indy, he turns his head to the backseat for an extended amount of time.
  • Holy Burns Evil: A rare example of Holy burning a non-supernatural being. Shiva is just that angry at Mola Ram's blasphemous crimes.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: The Sankara Stones are harmless enough if treated with care and respect. Even an unbeliever like Indy can manage it. Disrespect them, though, as Mola Ram does, and you will not escape unscathed.
  • Homage Derailment: There's a Call-Back (technically a Call-Forward, since this movie takes place before Raiders) to one of the first movie's scenes, where Indy is confronted by a swordsman and he just shoots him dead. This time, he's faced with two swordsmen. Indy smirks and reaches for his gun... and realizes he doesn't have one anymore because Willie lost it back in Shanghai.
  • Hope Spot: As the final confrontration on the bridge begins, Mola Ram's taken Willie and Short Round hostage. Indy threatens to drop the Shankara Stones into the river below if Mola Ram doesn't let his friends go. The Thugees instantly halt their approach and Mola Ram becomes visibly worried. Willie start grinning smugly, rightly thinking Indy's checkmated Mola Ram... only for all their hopes to be quickly dashed by this classic rebuttal:
    Mola Ram: Hahaha! Drop them, Doctor Jones! They will be found! YOU WON'T! HAHAHA! GE NA!!
  • Human Sacrifice: The Thuggee indulge in this, sacrificing unfortunate souls to Kali by ripping out their hearts and then lowering their bodies into a boiling pit.
  • Hungry Jungle: Played for laughs when Willie gets frightened by a series of animals of the jungle like a bat, an owl and an iguana.
  • I Broke a Nail: Willie Scott breaks her nail... twice. And her concern about breaking her nails is placed in contrast to the serious situation that Indy finds himself in, whether it be losing his gun or about to be squashed by a death trap.
  • Idiot Ball: When Indiana discovers the mine and throws a rock against a guard, revealing his presence and alerting the Thuggees, but it turns out he was surrounded already, other mooks were sneaking from behind.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!:
    • A slight variation, the first task assigned to "evil" Indiana is the sacrifice of Willie.
    • Used by Indy when he pretends he's about to throw Short Round into the lava pit as a feint against the Thuggee on the dais.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Willie trying to talk Indy out of dropping her into the lava pit:
    "Please snap out of it. You're not one of them. Please come back to us."
  • I'll Kill You!: Short Round threatens a large Mook to make him release Indy.
    Short Round: Drop him down! I kill you! Drop him down!
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of Lao Che's son Chen.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Mola Ram's archers are useless. For that matter, they don't do any better with guns, although they at least have the excuse that Indy's gang is moving in those scenes.
  • Indy Escape: Indy and his companions have to escape a rushing torrent of water coming down the mine shaft.
  • Indy Hat Roll: Trope Namer, done after escaping from the room with the descending spikes.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: When Willie's elephant knocks her off its back with a gush of water and she falls into the river, she pitches a hissy fit complete with some really childish tears.
  • Inspiration Nod: In the opening scene Indy is dressed similarly to James Bond in Goldfinger. It comes full circle in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Sean Connery stars as Indy's literal father.
  • Ironic Echo: Indy calls for water when he sets his shoes on fire stopping the minecart. A second later he's shouting the same phrase to warn against the rushing torrent of water coming down the mine shaft.
  • It's Personal: One of Lao Che's sons tries to shoot Indy for injuring his brother (when he tried to steal the artifact without paying).
    Lao Che: You have insulted my son.
    Indy: No. You have insulted me. [sees Lao's son glare at him, even showing his injured hand] I spared his life.
  • Jump Scare: A short while after Indy leaves Short Round and Willie to retrieve the stones, a Thuggee guard suddenly appears towards them with a menacing scream.
  • Just Desserts: The final fight occurs over the bridge of a river full of crocodiles. Mola Ram and a couple of mooks get eaten by them.
  • Kids Driving Cars: Indy has Short Round act as a getaway driver for his meeting with Lao Che. Short Round's age isn't given in the film, but his actor (Ke Huy Quan) was twelve when the movie came out. He ties boxes around his feet to operate the pedals of the car.
  • Killer Outfit: While fighting Indiana Jones, the Giant Mook's sash is caught in the rock crusher and he's pulled to his doom.
  • Kill It with Fire: Turns out to be the cure for the Black Sleep.
  • Ladder Tipping: Short Round tips a ladder to get rid of a mook who chases after him in the mines.
  • Last-Name Basis: Short Round mostly refers to Indy as "Dr. Jones", due to having a lot of respect for him.
    Indy: Willie, Willie. What is that, short for something?
    Willie: Willie is my professional name, Indiana.
    Shorty: Hey lady, you call him "Dr. Jones"!
    Indy: My professional name.
  • The Lava Caves of New York: The underground cavern of the palace just happens to have a direct line to the Earth's crust and hot magma flowing out. While there are (dormant) volcanoes in India, they are primarily located 'south' of New Delhi, not Northeast as Pankot is placed.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The titular Temple of Doom. The arcade and Nintendo adaptations take this to great extremes.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Indy doing the unthinkable and cutting the bridge hundreds of feet up over a river filled with man-eating crocodiles, surrounded on either side by a group of armed Thugees.
  • Logo Joke: Cutting from the Paramount logo to a fake mountain on the set of Willie's nightclub act.
  • MacGuffin Melee: The lounge scene, where Jones, Willie Scott, and Lao Che's goons fight over a diamond and the antidote to the poison Jones drank.
  • Malaproper: Willie calling mummies mommies doubles as Establishing Character Moment for Dumb Blonde.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Indiana thinks a wide string of coincidences brought him to the village. The villagers think Shiva sent him.
  • Meaningful Name: Willie Scott's first name is, rather aptly, a nod to the Wilhelm Scream.
  • Men of Sherwood: The British riflemen who act as The Cavalry kill several Mooks without losing anyone. Only their leader gets named and listed in the credits.
  • Mighty Whitey: Indiana Jones is anointed by the village head as a saviour sent by Shiva to rescue the villagers from the Thuggee. Indy also rescues a bunch of child slaves and liberates them. Likewise, the finale has the British officer leading a contingent of Indian Army troops to arrive as The Cavalry to repel the Thuggee.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Vampire bats are native to the Americas. Of course, the "vampire bats" seen in the film are actually fruit bats, hence their size.
    • The "crocodiles" that devour the Mooks and Mola Ram are actually American alligators.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Short Round escapes just as the large Thuggee was approaching.
  • Mistaken Age: Willie assumes the Maharaja is an adult.
  • Mood Dissonance:
    • There's a scene where Indy and Short Round are trapped in a room with a Descending Ceiling and filled with spikes. In order to free them, Willie has to reach into a hole filled to the brim with bugs. Scary, but thanks to Indy and Willie both freaking out, it's also hilarious.
    • Willie Scott's Busby Berkeley-esque performance of "Anything Goes" in Chinese tops the film off.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Short Round accidentally locks Indiana and himself in a trap room after unknowingly stepping on a floor switch. Indiana then tells him to just stand by the wall so he won't accidentally step on other switches. He does as told, but accidentally presses in a wall switch that triggers the crushing spike trap. After reversing the trap, Willie accidentally triggers it again.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Indiana Jones was ready for his nocturnal activities and not really too eager to investigate much before a hitman is sent against him.
  • Noisy Nature: One scene had enough wildlife sounds to supply a trip to the zoo.
    [A tiger roars in the distance]
    Willie: Omigod, what else is out there?
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: In the foreign translations, Willie's screaming is often left undubbed. Curiously, there is an exception where her screams are dubbed, during the scene where the group camps for the night on the way to Pankot Palace. The most likely answer for this is that Willie screaming and the others talking ended up on the same audio track, so the dialogue could not be removed without also erasing the screaming.
  • Noodle Incident: During dinner at Pankot Palace, Chattar Lal brings up a grave-robbing incident in Honduras which Indy claims was greatly exaggerated by the press, and another one where Indiana was threatened with the loss of something very dear to him if he ever returned to a particular Sultan's realm. Lal thinks it was Indy's head, then his hands, and Indy corrects him:
    Indy: No, it wasn't my hands, it was my... my misunderstanding.
  • Noose Catch: A variant when Indy wraps one end of his whip around a mook's neck and the other end around a ceiling fan. Instead of getting hanged by falling, the mook gets hanged when the fan yanks him upward and breaks his neck.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The only thing blocking off the lava cavern in the mines is a set of flimsy wooden barricades, and most of the cart track ties in there have crumbled away.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: After being attacked by an assassin in his room, Indy goes to Willie's room to search for the Secret Underground Passage that the assassin entered from. But Willie mistakenly believes that Indy showed up at her room so that he could make love to her. Willie spends the next few moments offering herself to Indy while he ignores her in his search for the passage.
  • Not Himself: Indy, for a short time, under the effects of the Thuggees' drug.
  • Not My Driver: The plane Indy, Short Round, and Willie board to escape Shanghai mobster Lao Che is owned by Lao Che, so he promptly signals the pilots to parachute out and let the plane crash.
  • Not Quite Dead: Indy thinks he has finished off the villain who assaulted him during the Rollercoaster Mine scene, but the guy comes back from a dead angle.
  • Novelization: The film was novelised by James Khan. More details here.
  • Oddball in the Series: In many ways. It's the only film where Indy isn't shown teaching at his university at any point (although it is mentioned), and it's the only one that uses the poster font in the opening credits. This is the only Indy film so far where the major villains were non-white. In past and future films, while some of the minor mooks may have been people of color, the major enemies have been either Nazis or evil Russians. It's also the only film in which Indy plays an active part in killing off the Big Bad at the end.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Indy actually lets out a little yelp of terror when he realizes there are more Thuggees charging towards him. Also when he realized he doesn't have his gun.
    • This is Wille's facial expression for much of the film.
    • The plane's fuel is empty and is about to crash into the mountains.
      Indy: I think we got a big problem.
    • "Indy, cover your heart! Cover your heart!!"
    • Mola Ram when he sees Indy climbing up after him on the rope bridge after attempting to knock him off.
  • Ominous Adversarial Amusement: After Indy takes a drink, Lao Che makes a demand.
    Lao Che: And now, you give me the diamond.
    Indy: Are you trying to develop a sense of humor, or am I going deaf? [Chao holds up a vial]
    Willie: What's that?
    Lao Che: Antidote.
    Indy: To what?
    Lao Che: The poison you just drank, Dr. Jones. [his sons start laughing]
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: Indy to Short Round by the Indian village:
    "Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory."
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • When he first appears, at the dinner scene, the young Maharajah speaks with a very plummy RP accent. However, much later on, after Shorty has beaten him up, he comes out with "Please leesten! To git out, you mast tek de lift tunnal!", in some sort of "ethnic" (Indian?) accent. Well, he was Brainwashed and Crazy before.
    • Willie's Missouri drawl tends to slip back in when she gets really mad. (Kate Capshaw is really from there.)
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Chen, Lao Che's son, gets fatally wounded when Indy skewers him alive with a pigeon flambé for killing his friend Wu Han. Lao Che, of course, doesn't seem to mind.
  • Papa Wolf: Indy is enraged when the Maharaja whips Short Round, even though he's being whipped himself and can only shout "Leave him alone, you bastards!" Between that and the other enslaved children, the Thugee are arguably the only enemies that Indy fought with more fury than he did later against the Nazis.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: Indy fighting the Thuggee Guard on the Conveyor Belt o' Doom while at the same time Short Round takes on the Maharaja.
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: There is such a shot at the start of a Car Chase. Short Round acts as a getaway driver for Indy. He is only a 13-year-old kid so he has boxes tied around his feet to operate the pedals of the car.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Short Round gets booed by two corpses in the Secret Underground Passage.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Short Round tearfully tells Indy that he loves him as he's preparing to burn him with a torch to undo the brainwashing. Given that he calls the older adventurer his best friend almost immediately after (and their relationship also resembles a father/son bond), it's clear he meant a non-sexual type of love.
  • Post-Adventure Adventure: The movie opens with the title adventurer meeting with a man in a Shanghai nightclub. It turns out that he's just come back from a quest to find the remains of the first emperor of the Manchu Dynasty and the man he's meeting with hired him to find them. The man then betrays Indiana and the resulting altercation sends him to a village in India where he's asked to help with their problem.
  • The Precarious Ledge: After the mine-cart chase scene, Indy and his companions wind up on a narrow ledge that runs past the shaft's opening. Water cascading from the mine causes parts of the cliff wall to cave in or be penetrated by broken wooden beams, forcing the three further along the ledge to avoid the debris.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the rope bridge scene, Indy gives an "Oh, shit!".
  • Prepare to Die: Meeting-with-deities styled with, "Prepare to meet Kali, in Hell!"
  • Prequel: The film takes place a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark, but the only indication is the date at the start of the film.
  • Production Throwback: The scene where Chattar Lal meets Indy and Willie outside Pankot Palace is virtually identical (down to the camera angles) to the scene where Lando Calrissian meets Han and Leia outside Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Psychic Surgery: Mola Ram removed the hearts of his sacrifices this way, without killing them.
  • Punched Across the Room: When liberating the children from the diamond mine, Indy encounters a supervisor. After giving him a Death Glare, Indiana punches the guy so hard, he slides a few metres over gravel, being only stopped when bumping into a boulder.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Indy and Short Round are stuck in a room trap with a descending ceiling and spikes, and Willie is freaking out because she has to reach into a hole filled with bugs to pull a lever and save them.
    Indy: Willie! WE! are GOING! to DIE!
  • Raised Hand of Survival: Indy's raised hand appearing from below the cliff is the first sign of him having survived the collapsed rope bridge.
  • Ready for Lovemaking:
    • Played for Laughs, where Indy and Willie have an argument over their Belligerent Sexual Tension. Each one is certain that the other is hot for them (and they're both right), but their egos won't allow either to "submit". Thus, they retire to their individual rooms and the audience is treated to a montage as they prepare themselves for a wild night of raunchy sex, only to (angrily) realize that neither one is biting. Then, the trope is played its straightest after Indy is almost assassinated in his room and barges into Willie's to check for another assassin, with Willie reclining on the bed, positively giddy to see a crazed Indy bursting her door down, sexily cooing "Oh... Indy...!"
    • When Indy grabs the breasts of a statue (to push to reveal a secret entrance), Willie snarks, gesturing to her own breasts, "Hey, I'm right here!"
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Thuggees all wear black and red robes and black turbans. Mola Ram goes even further by having a red and black tattoo (or possibly war paint) on his head.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Indy's solution to being cornered in the middle of a rope bridge with enemies approaching on both sides: cut the bridge. Even Mola Ram is shocked.
  • Revolting Rescue: Willy is quite displeased to learn the only way to save Indy and Short Round from a Death Trap is by pulling a release mechanism located in a slimy crevice covered in bugs. They end up crawling all over her during the attempt.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Trope Codifier, almost every minecart ride in any media is a reference to the famous scene here.
  • Rope Bridge: A pretty iconic example during the climax of the film.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Downplayed. Indy, Willie and Short Round are given food when they come to the village. Willie refuses it at first, Indy says that they have been given more food than the villagers get in a week. So, Willie's natural reaction is to give it back so the villagers can eat. Indy summarizes that she is just insulting [the villagers] and embarrassing him in the process. After Willie reluctantly eats, the village elder is a lot more friendly.
  • Save the Villain: When The Head Thuggee Guard is getting pulled into the rock crusher, he desperately reaches for a rope, attached to a pulley. Indiana grabs the rope as well... trying to save him despite the fact the guy just tried to kill Indy the same way. Of course, the guard is too heavy (and the pull proves too great) that it lifts Indy instead of pulling the guard free. Not that Indy is too broken up over it.
  • Saved by Canon: Being a prequel to Raiders, Indy's survival is guaranteed.
  • Say Your Prayers: The unfortunate sacrifice victim begins babbling them as soon as he's strapped into the cage.
  • Say My Name: Willie shouts "SHORTY !!!" when the latter almost falls in the crocodiles-infested river.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Indy discovers a path from Willie's room into the mines.
  • Self-Plagiarism: The gag of Indy chasing a henchman only to retreat from an army of them was reworked from A New Hope.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Subverted. Willie wears Indiana's tuxedo after they escape from the nightclub, but it's not post-coital, there simply isn't anything else for her to wear. It still looks very good on her, though.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The nightclub from the prologue is called "Club Obi-Wan".
    • Many to Gunga Din (from the Thuggee plot to minor details and iconic scenes such as the bridge) to the point it can be considered its Spiritual Successor. Read
    • The footage of the giant bats as Jones and his entourage pass through the jungle on their way to Pankot Palace is taken from The Bridge on the River Kwai. Spielberg pays homage to David Lean, the man who inspired him to become a director.
    • The names Pankot and Mayapore are taken from the 1960s-70s "Raj Quartet" novels by Paul Scott, of whom writers Willard Huyk and Gloria Katz are fans.
    • The name of Short Round is a Homage to Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet where the American GI protagonist befriends a Korean boy during the Korean War and gives him the same nickname.
    • The opening musical number is Spielberg's spoof of Busby Berkeley musicals of the early 30s, namely the number "Shanghai Lil" from Footlight Parade which has the same element of Chinoiserie and Shanghai setting.
    • The scene where Indy wakes up and discovers the plane's pilot has disappeared is straight out of Lost Horizon.
  • Shrunken Head: Mola Ram's ceremonial headdress is crowned with what looks like one of these.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: A good one from Mola Ram, calling Indy's bluff to drop the Sankara Stones in the river: "Drop them, Dr. Jones! They will be found! YOU WON'T! [in Hindi] GET HIM!"
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Willie after being saved by the no-longer-evil Indiana.
  • Slasher Smile: Mola Ram and the brainwashed maharaja make these.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: In a franchise wherein the primary antagonists are Nazis, Mola-Ram is still agreed to be the single most evil onscreen antagonist, as he gleefully kidnaps a village of innocent children to mine for diamonds to fund the Kali-Ma cult's war to Take Over the World.
  • Slave Liberation: After Indy rescues Willie from being sacrificed, he sets out to free all the child slaves.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Indiana's drink is poisoned by Lao Che.
  • Spikes of Doom: Indy and Short Round get caught in just such a trap.
  • Spiteful Spit: Willie to evil-Indiana before he lowers her into the lave pit.
  • Stand-In Portrait: The Thuggee who ambushes Indy in his room eludes detection by pretending to be one of the guards in the wall painting.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Not only does Indy resist Mola Ram's attempt to tear out his heart by pushing his hand back, he also forces Mola Ram to punch himself in the face.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Regular treatment for the child slaves and given to Short Round and to Indiana, with his own whip.
  • Temple of Doom: Trope Namer. Although for what it's worth, the words "Temple of Doom" only appear in the title, and the eponymous locale is never referred to as such in any dialogue.
  • Tempting Apple: Willie is disgusted by the dinner served at the temple and refuses to eat, despite being obviously hungry. Retiring for the night, the Belligerent Sexual Tension her Willie and Indy is heightened by Indy appearing with a big juicy apple that Willie devours with lust.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • After they drop down from the plane in a rubber dinghy and more or less safely land on a mountain slope, Indy comments on how well it turned out for them. Cue the rubber dinghy going over a cliff and down a raft.
    • Short Round wants to demonstrate the sturdiness of the Rope Bridge to Willie by wildly jumping around on it. Guess what happens next.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: After Indy gets out of the Black Sleep of Kali, as he and Short Round start kicking some Thuggee butt. Another example would be when Indy gains the upper hand during the fight with the slave driver after Short Round stopped the Maharajah from using the Voodoo Doll on Indy.
  • This Cannot Be!: Willie when she is about to be sacrificed.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • Played deadly serious; when Indy is caught by the Thuggee guards and is chained up, the lead Thuggee (played by Pat Roach) brandishes Indy's bullwhip to use on him. Indy's face says it all.
    • Willie's reaction when she realizes that Indy is gonna cut the Rope Bridge.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Or rather "Princedom with a Dark Secret", tucked away in a remote corner of The Raj. The secret in question is that a Religion of Evil has bewitched the local rulers and enslaved children from a nearby village to mine for the film's MacGuffin.
  • Travel Montage: Used to show the heroes' flight across China and into the Himalayas.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Lao Che and his henchmen.
  • Uncertain Doom: The last we see of Chattar Lal, he gets stuck under the wheel in the sacrificial chamber, then starts crawling away after Indy and Shorty pull it off him. His fate is left unclear; originally he was planned to suffer a Disney Villain Death by being thrown into the lava pit.
  • Understatement: "I'm not going to have anything nice to say about this place when I get back!"
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Lao Che is ultimately this to Mola Ram's crusade. Double-crossing Indy in the prologue sets off the chain of events that strands Indy in India and pits him against the Thugees for control of the Shankara Stones.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Willie stores the antidote there.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Mola Ram escapes through a trap door after Willie's sacrifice is thwarted.
  • Voodoo Doll: The young Maharajah uses one to cripple Indy as he's busy fighting with the Giant Mook, requiring Short Round to step in and save Indy from certain head-squishing death.
  • Water Wake-up In the opening scene, Indy tries to wake himself from the numbing effect of the poison by pouring a glass of champagne into his face.
  • We Have Reserves:
    • On the broken bridge, Mola Ram pushes one of his own men off in his attempts to make Indy fall.
    • Earlier, Mola Ram floods the tunnels, which would certainly kill the four minecarts of Thuggees pursuing Indy.
  • We've Got Company:
    • Line said by Short Round when he notices the Shangai mob chasing their car in the Action Prologue.
    • Said again by Indy during the Rollercoaster Mine chase when he sees the Thuggee mooks approaching in their mine carts.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Indy and the others are outnumbered enough to hold from stopping the torturous sacrifice of an adult. Whipping a little kid with the same numbers however, that's going too far.
  • Where's My Gun?: Indy is confronted by a massive Thuggee swordsman and cockily reaches for his revolver (in a Call-Forward to the famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark). However, his smile vanishes when his hand pats his empty holster. He lost it earlier during the car chase with Lao Che's men, when he handed it to Willie, who of course dropped it out the window (to be fair, this is because it was very hot and she couldn't hold it), causing him to scream this trope at her.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Willie freaks out about the wildlife, not to mention being annoyed about an elephant that keeps nudging her with its trunk. Then a snake slithers onto her and she casually throws it aside while Indy has frozen in terror, thinking it's the elephant again.
    • Subverted during the dinner scene with "Snake Surprise". The snake itself is dead, and what are commonly mistaken to be snakes crawling out of the body are actually eels, so Indy is unfazed.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • The two thugs that work for Lao Che. Instead of simply shooting Indy while he was sleeping on the plane, they instead plot a collision course into a mountain and then parachute from the plane. This is even more stupid when you realise that they're just parachuted into the middle of the Himalayas! Where the hell were they planning on going after landing halfway up a mountain?! note 
    • Subverted when Indiana is about to pull his "revolver defeats swordsman" routine from the previous movie, but he is lacking the gun. He resorts to Good Old Fisticuffs and then proceeds to use his whip.
  • Wilhelm Scream: Three times - first in the club when a serving cart smashes into the orchestra, second when one of Lao Che's mooks is shot by Indy during the car chase, and finally at the end when Mola Ram is getting eaten by alligators.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: To be expected, as this is an Indiana Jones movie. But a few notable examples:
    • The raft escape. The thing doesn't flip over during the whole fall (which MythBusters demonstrated it would), the landings don't hurt everyone aboard or throw them clear, and the raft doesn't burst on impact after the spectacular fall or get shredded during the toboggan-style slide down the mountain.
    • If The Maharajah was planning to have Indy killed, why send a single assassin? He had a palace of guards at his disposal.
    • Fire breaks the Black Sleep? Seems like this might cause a lot of problems, given the Temple of Doom is in a lava-oozing cave network, with lots of torches around. Indeed, in the novelization, this is how Short Round learns — a guard is burned by a spurt of lava and starts to snap out of it just before he's led away by other guards, no doubt to be drugged again.
    • Willie Scott would have certainly burned to death, that close to the lava. Yet she's absolutely unhurt.
    • Many, many, many times, the minecarts (in all instances) would have gone off the rails. That track layout was not practical to carry the minecarts.
    • The fact that Indy stops a runaway minecart by using his feet as brakes and still even has feet, let alone being able to run for his life on them soon after.
    • The pressure of the water from the collapsed storage tank is WAY too powerful by the time it reaches the end of the mine cart tracks, given the distance it covered and the lava it certainly encountered (boiling away and/or filling up the empty space under the tracks).
  • Worth It: The warm smile Indy wore on his face as blew his cover to save a slave child from being whipped to death; there was not a trace of regret for saving the boy's life on his brave grizzled face, even as Mola Ram threatened him with torture.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Thuggees. Especially that one who viciously whips Short Round. Indy (under the brainwashing) strikes Short Round when he tries to help him.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Mola Ram chose not to rip Willie's heart out. But he'd rather have it broken by Indy's supposed betrayal.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Indy busts out a double drop kick on the Thuggee foreman. It did not work.
  • You Can Keep Her!: Lao Che's reaction to Indy holding his moll (Willie) at fork point.
  • You No Take Candle: Short Round talks this way. Especially egregious in the case where he mixes advanced grammar with a beginner's word omission.
    "Dr. Jones! I keep telling you, you listen me more, you live longer."
  • You're Insane!:
    • "What a vivid imagination..."
    • Later:
      Short Round: Hang on, lady. We're going for a ride!
      Willie: Oh my God... Oh my GOD! Is he nuts?!
      Short Round: He no nuts, he CRAZY!!!

Alternative Title(s): Temple Of Doom


Indy's Determined Look

Indy puts on a determined facial expression before going to town with a slaver.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeterminedExpression

Media sources: