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Film / Meet the Spartans

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A 2008 movie by Seltzer and Friedberg. It is their fifth movie, and it parodies 300 and Meet the Parents.


  • Bad Boss: Xerxes ends up killing several of his own men during the Final Battle in his attempt to defeat Leonidas as Xerxestron.
  • Bearded Baby: In the prologue, it is shown that Leonidas represents the ideal Spartan as a baby (and thus will not be thrown into the pile where rejected babies are discarded) because he had abs, facial hair, and the voice of an adult man.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Leonidas promised to his men and to Xerxes himself that the latter, a God-King, would fall. At the end of the Final Battle Xerxes does indeed fall...right on top of Leonidas and his remaining men.
  • Big Bad: Xerxes, who leads the Persian forces and is the one behind the rest of his army's actions.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Jokes about the most recent deaths of celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith.
    • A recurring theme is violence against children. Not over-the-top ridiculous violence or violence for the sake of social commentary... just plain, down-to-earth violence. People are expected to laugh at kids having chairs broken over their backs?
  • Celebrity Casualty: In the This! Is! Sparta! scene parody has a number of real life celebrities knocked down into the well after the Persian emissary, starting with Britney Spears.
  • Combining Mecha: During the Final Battle, Xerxes ends up combining with a car, courtesy of a Transformer cube, and becomes Xerxestron.
  • Covers Always Lie: The film is called "Meet the Spartans", though the movie really has nothing to do with Meet the Parents even in parody form.
  • Dirty Old Man: The Ephors, as usual. Though they go a step beyond their original selves by giggling at how Leonidas' battle plan involving the pass resembles "backstage at an Elton John concert".
  • Distracting Disambiguation:
    Commander: I hope you're all ready, because today is the day we DIIIIIE!
    Everyone: YE— Wait, wha...?
    Commander: Urgh, today is the day they die, that's what I meant to say...
  • Fake Muscles: Being a parody of 300, most of the actors playing the Spartans have obviously painted-on six-packs, Kevin Sorbo being the exception (being Hercules helps).
  • Fat Bastard: Xerxes, who is rather portly and is shown to be a very dangerous individual.
  • Hero Killer: Xerxes, who manages to kill the Captain and eventually Leonidas and the remaining Spartans.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Xerxes is ultimately defeated thanks to his own Xerxestron transformation...Which for some reason was only powered by a plug socket rather than a battery, ultimately causing himself to get powered down and fall...right on top of Leonidas and the remaining Spartans.
  • Humongous Mecha: Xerxestron, a giant transformer robot that the King of Persia uses. It even has a TV screen on its chest playing Chris Crocker's Britney Spears rant, for no reason. To bad it requires a power cord.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Was called Spartatouille (pronounced "Sparta-too-eee") in France.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: The credits roll over a rendition of "I Will Survive" by everyone who had appeared in the film, even those who got minute-long cameos at best, with the backdrop of it being performed on American Idol for the judges.
  • Name-Tron: Xerxestron, the end result of Xerxes using a Transformer cube on himself and a car.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Xerxes is a subversion. During the Final Battle, having been fed up with his own men being massacred by Leonidas and the Spartans, Xerxes personally kills the Captain with a spear to the chest. And, after Leonidas massacres more Persian soldiers, Xerxes decides to confront Leonidas personally by using a Transformer cube to combine himself with a car and become Xerxestron.
  • Off with His Head!: The Captain's son is decapitated, and his headless body gives a "peace out" gesture before it falls.
  • Onrushing Army: Parodied when the Spartans and the Persians charge at each other, and collide in the middle, falling to the ground.
  • Overly-Long Gag: They parody the famous "This is Sparta" scene from 300 by... having their Leonidas equivalent kick about ten more people into the well in succession.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: A sequence which parodies Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, complete with jerky movement and weapon pickups. You have to give them credit for averting Pac Man Fever...
  • Take That!: Numerous ones in the scene involving the Pit of Death.
    • Britney Spears' 2007 breakdown is portrayed as her not understanding why everyone's getting on her case, while revealing she likes to feed her baby fried breast milk and claiming she got her entire outfit from a Mexican woman in an alleyway.
    • Kevin Federline is depicted as only relying on Britney for palimony.
    • Their depiction of Sanjaya Malakar is a truly dreadful singer who insists he's not gay as he falls into the pit.
    • In response to having two of the three contemporary American Idol judges give him a poor score on his kicking Sanjaya into the pit (Paula Abdul of course gives a generic statement about how he moved her before clapping for him), Leonidas upends their table into the pit, taking them with it.
      • Simon Cowell says he's seen better kicks from a geriatric donkey, then clarifies he's not talking about Paula.
    • Ryan Seacrest's response to seeing the above is to piss his pants while sobbing.
  • Taking You with Me: While Xerxestron ultimately gets himself defeated thanks to his own transformation, he ends up taking down Leonidas, the remaining Spartans, and even some of his own Persian soldiers, with him.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: During the dance off Leonidas slides on his head only to split it open. Everyone groans trooper-like, but Leonidas simply gets back up, snaps his neck in place and says to his opponent, "You got served!"