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Film / The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Don’t dream it, be it.

''"I would likenote , if I maynote , to take younote  on a strange journey...note "

I see you shiver with antici-. . . note . . .

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical film written by Richard O'Brien and directed by Jim Sharman. It's most famous for still being played in theatres all over the world once a week, and for having a fanbase that dresses up, throws stuff at the screen, re-enacts the scenes and generally indulges in Audience Participation. The film is based on the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show, also by Richard O'Brien (who played Riff Raff both in its original staging and this film).

The story: Brad Majorsnote  and Janet Weissnote  are two lovely, naive virgins from Dentonnote , U.S.A., who get engaged and drive off to tell Dr. Scott, their former teacher. However, on the way there, they get a flat tire and find themselves outside a stereotypical Haunted Castle ("It's probably a hunting lodge for rich weirdos"note )... and that's where things get really, really, reeaaaaaaaaalllly weird.

They meet the servants, handyman Riff-Raff and his "most beautiful note  sister," Magenta the domestic note , and groupie Columbia, who live with Dr. Frank-N-Furter... a "Sweet" Transvestite Mad Scientist, to be specific (from Transsexual, Transylvania). After being stripped down to their underwear, they are invited up to Frank-N-Furter's lab where he unveils his creation — the Brainless Beauty Rocky Horror.

They are interrupted by biker/ex-delivery boy Eddie, Columbia's lover, whom Frank-N-Furter had kept in the deep-freeze. Brad and Janet are then shown to separate rooms, and Frank-N-Furter seduces the two in exactly the same manner; first entering their separate rooms in a Paper-Thin Disguise, then using his considerable charm and, well, skills, plus the fact they're both horny. Both victims are horrified afterwards, and Janet wanders the castle till she finds Rocky (cowering from Riff Raff, who's been tormenting him). Realizing she's been cheated on by Brad, she takes an interest in the monster...

At this point, Dr. Scott appears looking for his nephew Eddie, and Janet and Rocky are found together. Frank-N-Furter invites them all to dinner...

There is a pseudo-sequel, Shock Treatment (1981), focusing on the bizarre turns Brad and Janet's lives take upon their return to Denton after their adventure in Rocky Horror, but it was not as well-received as its predecessor. Its makers also weren't happy with how it turned out, due to many compromises made during its production, such as character recastings and a drastically cut budget. It also never really took off as an Audience Participation show due to its bigger cast of characters. It was released in 2006 on DVD, but the quality of the transfer isn't much better than the VHS tape or LaserDisc that preceded it.

There have been several remake attempts, none of which went anywhere, until it was announced that Fox was making a two-hour TV special set for fall of 2016. The special has some pretty good names attached, including Laverne Cox starring as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. as well as Tim Curry himself taking up the role of the Criminologist. That special, titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, premiered October 20, 2016.

a different set of tropes

  • Accidental Adultery: Both Janet and Brad cheat on one another when they are seduced by Dr. Frank-N-Furter, when he gets into bed with each of them, disguised as the other.
  • Acme Products: A close up of one of the speakers in Frank's lab shows that it has "ACME SOUND" stencilled inside it.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • Some music from the original show was cut for the film, including a whole song for Brad ("Once in a While") and a verse or two from other songs. Also, the original character of Rocky had actual dialogue and personality, and was aware that he was created to be a living sex toy... and hated it.
    • The narrator being made into a "criminologist" in the film, giving a reason for why he knows about the story's events.
  • Adaptation Title Change: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is based on the stage musical called The Rocky Horror Show.
  • An Aesop: The closest thing the film has to one is "Some things aren't for everyone", in relation to the outrageous sexual lifestyles introduced to Brad and Janet. During and after the floor show, Brad shows discomfort and feelings of violation, but Janet is empowered and feels enlightened by the sexual mayhem she's been through. Through this, the film offers no judgment, but seems to advocate for exploration regardless of outcome.
  • Affectionate Parody: Twice over: the film itself spoofs horror/sci-fi, and the audience participation grew from the initial fans being familiar enough with it — especially all the dramatic pauses — that they saw opportunities for verbal callbacks to tease the characters.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Denton is a fictional town, but the newspaper Janet uses to shield herself from the rain is The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's local paper, suggesting that Denton is in Northeast Ohio.
  • All There in the Script: The original shooting script gives us some information that's not in the movie;
    • The workers in the church actually were Frank and co. in disguise, while the wedding guests and Frank's party guests are different sets of characters played by the same actors.
    • Frank's guests are Transylvanian secret agents stationed all over Earth.
  • All Women Are Lustful: During "Touch-A Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me", Columbia and Magenta fool around with one another and look on hungrily as Janet seduces Rocky.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Riff-Raff has to clarify: when he says "we return to Transylvania", that doesn't mean Frank has to be alive for it.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The stage version plays this straight but the movie has Brad and Janet listening to Richard Nixon's resignation on the radio which would set it in 1974, but the badge on Brad's jacket in that same scene proclaims him to be a member of the class of 1962.
  • American Gothic Couple: "Riff-Raff" and "Magenta" pose as the couple in front of the arched church doors during the song "Dammit Janet", after the wedding of Betty and Ralph. At the end, when they reveal their alien identities, the pitchfork has turned into a trident-shaped raygun. The painting can also be briefly seen on a wall in the castle.
  • And I Must Scream: Brad, Janet, Columbia and Rocky being Medusad by Frank and being forced to sing and dance for him during the floor show — though one could argue Janet isn't exactly being forced to sing her part.
  • And You Were There: During the Wedding scene, much of the bridal party is made up of actors who later become the Transylvanians, of note are: Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien), Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and of course, Doctor Frank N Furter (Tim Curry) in the back, nearest the church. Tim Curry actually turns away from the camera, apparently so he won't be as recognised, but, if you attend a Shadow Cast, they tend to comment on their appearance, with lines like, "Even a Virgin recognises Dr. Frank," and, "Hey, Frank, Riff's front! Hey, Riff, Frank's back!"
    • In an inter-movie And You Were There, several cast members from Rocky Horror portray similar characters in the non-canon Shock Treatment.
    • The play starts and ends with a faux cinema worker who's usually played by the same actress as Magenta.
  • Angels Pose: Footage from the European Tour in 2003 shows Columbia, Riff Raff, and Magenta striking this pose at the end of “Sweet Transvestite”.
  • Art Imitates Art: There are enough references to art that it has its own folder on the Shout Out page.
  • Ascended Meme/Ascended Fanon: Many stage revivals not only encourage callouts, but incorporate some, such as mixing in the "2, 4, 6, 8, show us how you masturbate" callout to The Time Warp.
  • Aside Glance: Frank does it a couple of times during "Sweet Transvestite", with the lines "You look like you're both pretty groovy" (he really doesn't think they look like they're both pretty groovy) and "You got caught with a flat, well.. how 'bout that?" (hey, nobody mentioned anything about a flat tire!)
  • Audience Participation: The gold standard. The audience at a showing of Rocky Horror will have some sort of response (mostly yelled comments, sometimes actions to match) to virtually every line or action in the film; at this point the cult phenomenon of Rocky Horror is far more about the audience participation than the film itself. Most theaters will give you a bag of items to be used during the movie (most getting thrown).
    • Inverted audience participation. Where the cast will make callbacks to the audience's callbacks. For example, there's a callback where people poke fun at Dr. Frank-N-Furter standing at attention by depicting him as a Drill Sergeant Nasty. Rocky will be variously referred to as a Marine through the rest of the film.
    • When they tried to stage the musical in the US, of course the audience yelled the callbacks. Apparently, in the first performance, they were studiously ignored until Frank N Furter got to "antici..." "SAY IT!" The actor then snapped back with "bait me, why don't you?", and promptly continued on with the song.
    • Furthermore, new callbacks are invented all the time. A Halloween 2010 viewing added "Ten points from Gryffindor!" after Frank admonished Rocky that "That's no way to behave after your first day out!"
      • Likewise, after Fight Club, a popular call back following the revelation of Eddie's corpse has been, "HIS NAME WAS ROBERT PAULSON! HIS NAME WAS ROBERT PAULSON!"
      • Many older callbacks get updated references but otherwise remain the same. For example, when Riff-Raff shows Brad and Janet the skeleton near the start of the film, it's customary to shout out "SHOW US" and the name of whatever celebrity has most recently died. Bonus points if it's someone people really liked, especially if they had an early or especially tragic death.
      • Take Thats are common, usually involving Magenta's name, or dead things. A few:
    "DESCRIBE [widely disliked celebrity]!" "A weakling / Weighing 98 pounds..."
    "DESCRIBE [said celebrity]'S PERIOD!" "Magenta..."
    "SHOW US [recently dead celebrity]!" [Riff Raff reveals a skeleton.]
    "HEY! LET'S GO SEE [current popular movie]! "Huh! I'VE seen it!"
    "WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT [person in the news/recent film/show/this audience]?" "I think we can do better than that!"
    [when Rocky finally dies and crashes into the pool] "LOOK! IT'S THE STEVE IRWIN SCHOOL OF SWIMMING!"
    Some get fired back at the audience: "WHAT THE FUCK IS AN 'UNT'?"
    ...And that's more than you'll ever see!"
    • For this reason, it's a good idea to watch the movie once by yourself before you go to a midnight screening—because at the midnight screening, you may not be able to hear any of it. The (extremely loud) audience commentary is not funny unless you've had the opportunity to actually hear the dialogue and music at some point, and in Shadowcasts, it's much better to see what the live-action cast is doing when you have everything memorized.
    • On the other hand, in a venue where the film has been running for long enough to develop a crowd of regulars as well as a live shadowcast, the discipline of the audience can be astonishing. It truly does seem like an interactive experience.
  • Babies Ever After: It's not obvious unless you look at scans of her police statement but Janet's pregnant. This was supposed to be explored in potential sequels.
  • Backing Away Slowly: An example takes place as Brad and Janet back away from Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia, and the other Transylvanians while they sing "The Time Warp".
  • Bed Trick: Dr. Frank-N-Further seduces both Brad and Janet while disguised as them. His disguises fall off but he still succeeds.
  • Belly Buttonless: Rocky.
  • Big Electric Switch: The Medusa Transducer has one that Frank pulls to turn people into statues. There's another one on the stage to reverse it.
  • Big "NO!": Frank as he is executed by Riff Raff and Magenta for his mistreatment of them.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Eddie is killed shortly after Rocky is born.
  • Bittersweet Ending: One way to interpret the ending (even more so if one ignores the quasi-sequel, Shock Treatment concerning Brad & Janet's marriage). It's up to the viewer... Will Brad & Janet recover from this and grow with their newfound lack of naiveite and prudishness or will they be messed up forever? Though the lines of "Super Heroes" and "Science Fiction Double Feature (Reprise)" seem grim... their fate isn't written in stone, the villain (Frank) has been defeated (by getting killed) and the three principal "good guy" figures (Brad, Janet and the Doctor) are still alive (albeit a bit shaken). Apart from perhaps an existential crisis and a re-thinking of personal views concerning sexuality, they'll hopefully be fine.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: This interchange that leads to Brad, Janet, Columbia, and Dr. Scott refusing to eat anymore.
    Dr. Scott: We came here to discuss Eddie.
    Columbia: Eddie?!?
    Frank N. Furter: (after threatening Columbia with an electric knife)note  That's a rather tender subjectnote . Another slice, anyone?
  • Black Comedy Rape: The seductions of Brad and Janet are all played completely for laughs.
  • Blatant Lies:
  • Bowdlerise: FUSE Network (the so-called "Extreme Network") edits out almost all instances of male-on-male innuendo. The Glee version also had some edits (justified In-Universe, because Mr. Schuester had to make it appropriate for a high school play).
  • Book Ends: Both the musical and film open with the song "Science Fiction Double Feature" and close with its reprise. The movie takes this further by beginning with a set of floating lips singing in a black void, while the movie ends with the Criminologist's globe shining in the darkness when he leaves his room.
    • In the musical, the first act starts with the wedding of Ralph Hapshatt and Betty Monroe, and ends with the "wedding" of Rocky and Frank.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The formulas on the wall of Frank's lab end with a shopping list for flour, eggs, bread, sugar and two hypodermic needles.note 
  • Break the Cutie: Janet and Columbia both fit this trope. Brad may as well.
    • Columbia especially. She starts out as a perfectly happy, tap-dancing groupie who's in love with Frank. Then her boyfriend Eddie comes back from deep freeze on a motorcycle, and she gets to be happy for all of one song before Frank attacks and kills Eddie with an ice pick. She's then forced to attend a dinner hosted by Frank, during which she both accidentally cannibalizes Eddie and gets betrayed by her best friend, who helped cook him. She gets to deliver a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but is then Taken for Granite. When she realizes that Riff-Raff is going to kill Frank, the reason that she's here in the first place, she screams, getting her killed.
  • Briefs Boasting: Frank certainly has a thing for briefs.
  • Building of Adventure: Mostly set in a Haunted Castle with a ballroom, swimming pool and Mad Scientist Laboratory. The fact that the castle is also a spaceship helps.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: In variation, after Riff Raff lets Frank know that Rocky has run off while Frank is seducing Brad:
    Frank: Co-ming! note 
  • The Cameo: Photographer Koo Stark appears as a bridesmaid.
  • Camera Abuse: Dr. Frank N. Furter does a Food Slap by tossing a drink right into the camera during "Sweet Transvestite".
  • Camp: If the film were any campier, midnight screenings would include RV hookups.
  • Captain Obvious: Riff Raff notices Brad and Janet are soaked. Given that it's raining outside.
    Riff Raff: You are wet. note 
    Janet:'s raining. note 
  • Catchphrase: In the audience participation, "Thank you!", "SAME THING!", "Fuck (noun)!", "ASSHOLE!", "SLUT!", and "Where's your fucking neck?"
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Only a name drop, when Dr. Frank N. Furter says of his newly-finished creation Rocky that "he carries the Charles Atlas seal of approval". Near the end of the movie, it does take quite a number of shots from Riff Raff's "anti-matter laser" to bring down Rocky. In the original musical, the song "I Can Make You A Man" and its reprise were both originally called "Charles Atlas". However, it bears mentioning that the trope is only dubiously in play, since Rocky did not in fact become strong through exercise. It's more of a Literal Metaphor, since one of Atlas' slogans is "Let me prove that in just 7 days, I can make YOU a new man!"
  • Christianity is Catholic: Starts with a wedding at the "Denton Episcopal Church" which was the "Denton Catholic Church" in the shooting script.
  • Closed Circle: Heroes driving, flat tire, flat spare tire, rain coming down, thundering, spooky castle, Mad Scientist, critical phase of scientific breakthrough, heroes can't get away and then don't want to get away and then can't get away again, and everything goes horribly wrong. Yup, textbook case... naturally, since it's a parody of exactly those kind of stories.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The castle. And its inhabitants. And everything that happens in it. Justified since they're extraterrestrials and the castle is actually a spaceship from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania.
  • Collapsing Lair: Brad, Janet and Dr Scott have escaped the castle at the end before it blasts off into space.
  • Collectible Card Game: Fantasy Trading Card Co. released a set of 60 trading cards in 1980.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: This movie had a condensed three-part comic book adaptation by KevinVanHook that also included a section of popular (at the time) callbacks used in Audience Participation screenings.
  • Commedia dell'Arte: The cast fit this pretty well, for the most part:
    • Brad and Janet are the Lovers.
    • Eddie makes a passing Arlecchino.
    • Columbia, fittingly, is a Colombina.
    • Frank-N-Furter has elements of both The Captain (obviously "not from around here," interested in Anything That Moves) and Pantalone (abusive of Eddie, his Arlecchino, hints of a relationship with Columbia.)
    • Riff Raff is a dead giveaway as the Pulcinella, hunchback and all.
    • The Criminologist is perfect as the Doctor.
    • The others are a bit of a stretch — presumably Rocky as the Pierrot, Magenta as the Brighella, and Dr. Scott as the Tartaglia.
  • Contrived Coincidence: What are the odds that Brad and Janet would leave to see their former teacher Dr. Scott, only to get stranded in a castle, where Dr. Scott will eventually turn up, searching for his nephew? Lampshaded though, as Frank quickly suspects that Brad and Janet were sent in by Scott to investigate, although Scott denies that.
  • Cool Starship: Though dilapidated, you have to admit a spaceship that looks like a gothic castle is pretty cool.
  • Cover Album;
    • The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show, released in 2003 and featuring the songs covered by various Punk Rock bands, serves as this for both the film and the original play:
      • "Science Fiction/Double Feature" by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
      • "Dammit, Janet" by Love Equals Death
      • "Over at the Frankenstein Place" by the Alkaline Trio
      • "The Time Warp" by The Groovie Ghoulies
      • "Sweet Transvestite" by Apocalypse Hoboken
      • "The Sword of Damocles" by The Independents
      • "I Can Make You a Man" by Pansy Division
      • "Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul)" by The Phenomenauts
      • "I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)" by The Secretions
      • "Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me" by The Chubbies
      • "Once in a While" by Big D and the Kids Table
      • "Eddie's Teddy" by Swingin' Utters
      • "Planet, Schmanet, Janet" by Tsunami Bomb
      • "Rose Tint My World/Floor Show" by Luckie Strike
      • "Fanfare/Don't Dream It" by Stunt Monkey
      • "Wild and Untamed Thing" by Gametime
      • "I'm Going Home" by The Migranes
      • "Super Heroes" by Ruth's Hat
      • "Science Fiction Double Feature (Reprise)" by The Ataris
    • The Glee episode, "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" covered a lot of the songs and an album was released with the same name as the episode.
  • Creepy Monotone: Riff Raff talks with an unsettling, Igor-esque speech pattern. Magenta as well during much of the Time Warp.
  • Cross-Dressing Voice: The lips at the start belong to Patricia Quinn with Richard O'Brien's voice dubbed.
  • Cultural Translation: The Audience Participation naturally varies from country to country, at least in part, featuring local references, e.g.:
    Janet: Oh! If only we hadn't made this journey... if only the car hadn't broken down... if only we were amongst friends... Or sane persons!
    Israeli audience: Day dayenu, day dayenu...
  • Dance Sensation: "Let's do the Time Warp again!" It's interesting to note that Richard O'Brien has said that he wrote that song as a bit of a parody of a Dance Sensation.
  • Dark Reprise: Of "Science Fiction Double Feature" at the end.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Dr. Frank-N-Furter pulls back the table cloths to reveal Eddie's decomposing and devoured corpse inside of a glass coffin to the guests.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Frank was sexually involved with pretty much everyone in the manor at some point, sometimes killing them when he's done.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Frank's comments in the play imply the Sonic Transducer is a sort of teleporter that disassembles people until he wants to reassemble them later on instead of turning them to stone like in the movie.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Out of context, Frank's song, "I'm Going Home" is a beautiful and melancholy song. In context? It's really fucking eerie.
  • Doctor von Turncoat: Implied with Dr. Scott.
    Frank: Go on, Dr. Scott. Or should I say... Doctor von Scott?note 
    Brad: Just what exactly are you implying?!note 
    • Oddly enough, in the original stage show, Frank himself had a stereotypical German accent (Most likely to go with the classic Mad Scientist genre). However, this was quickly dropped and Frank ended up with the smooth British accent we all know and love today.
    • Frank's laboratory costume references the Nazis with a pink triangle symbol, which Nazis used as a label on the clothing of imprisoned homosexuals (and those accused of being such).
  • The Dog Bites Back: Magenta betrays Frank after realizing that he has no plans to go back to Transsexual anytime soon, while Riff Raff betrays him because he was jealous of Frank for taking all the credit for making Rocky, even though HE did most of the work.
  • Downer Ending: Columbia, Frank, and Rocky are dead, Janet and Brad are shaken at best and traumatized at worst, and by the way, we're all just a bunch of insects adrift in a meaningless void.
    • The sequel, Shock Treatment, implies that Brad and Janet's marriage never quite recovered from the experience.
      • Then again, Shock Treatment isn't necessarily considered a direct sequel and more an odd quasi-sequel / alternate-continuity thing and is often subject to Fanon Discontinuity by fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thus, the fate of Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott is ambiguous and the first film is more of a Bittersweet Ending... at least they survived while Frank (the villain) gets killed. The worse they get is a bit of inner discombobulation of their personal worldviews.
  • Dropped-in Speech Clip: In the opening, Nixon's resignation speech can be heard on the radio while Brad and Janet are driving. This is also featured in the original play.
  • Dull Surprise: During "Dammit Janet", Riff-Raff, Columbia and Magenta deadpan their chorus deliberately. (eg, "Oh, Brad").
  • DVD Bonus Content: Highlighting "Special Features" and pressing left on the 25th anniversary edition will reveal the secret Monochrome to Color version.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • During "Dammit Janet", you can see Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Tim Curry, and Little Nell in the church, and yes, they're all supposed to be Frank and co. in disguise. In his files, the Criminologist has circled Curry and O'Brien, with a great big arrow pointing to the former.
    • Most of the wedding guests are clearly recognisable as the Transylvanian party guests at the Frankenstein Place. Particularly obvious are Henry Woolf (who plays the official wedding photographer) and Christopher Biggins (clearly seen running at the front of the pack seeing off Ralph and Betty's car). While this was fully intended to be clever, it was also done to reduce costs.
  • Easter Egg: The Rocky Horror Picture Show has several actual Easter eggs hidden in the scenery.
    • It's rumored Rocky Horror actually started the concept of Easter Eggs. And did so by having an Easter egg hunt on the set, and some of those that weren't found made their way into the film. How much truth there is to this rumor is debatable.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: Good luck with that plan, Brad and Janet.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • This is ostensibly the reason Riff Raff and Magenta turn on Frank — "Your mission is a failure/Your lifestyle's too extreme..."note 
    • Magenta is visibly disturbed after Riff Raff shoots Frank and Rocky.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who seduces both Janet and her fiancée Brad. And Rocky who attracts both the attention of Janet and his creator Frank.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Except for Riff, Dr. Scott, and the Criminologistnote , every major character has at least one heterosexual and one homosexual encounter in the film or in the Backstory, though in some cases this is indicated only briefly.
    • Originally, while intoxicated, Richard O'Brien had come up with the idea that while Frank was out chasing down Rocky, Riff would get some action with Brad. Upon coming to his senses after the filming of this scene, Richard O'Brien demanded it to be cut and never mentioned.
    • And Riff-Raff becomes furious when he remarks that Frank and Rocky didn't like him, although he seems fairly calm during the rest of the scene. One could reasonably infer that he had feelings for Frank and/or Rocky. Of course, there's that whole Brother–Sister Incest going on with Riff-Raff to begin with...
      • As well as the subtext from the original play (cut for the movie) that the process of creating and animating Rocky was almost entirely Riff Raff's work, and Frank was stealing both the credit for and the fruits of Riff's labor.
  • Everytown, America: Dentonnote .
  • Expospeak Gag: A "sonic transducer" is a microphone.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Mostly takes place in one night apart from opening with a wedding that afternoon.
  • Faint in Shock:
    • Janet Weissnote  faints when she sees Frank N. Furter for the first time.
    • Parodied during "The Time Warp" and "Sweet Transvestite," when Janet Weiss faints three times during the songs. Perhaps all the pelvic thrusting was too scandalous for her.
  • Fan Disservice: Dr. Scott during the floor show. An old man. In fishnet stockings and heels.
  • Fanservice: Depends on your sexuality, but "Rose Tints My World" is almost guaranteed to turn someone on. Whether it's Columbia's cleavage popping out of her corset, Rocky's pelvic thrusts against a feather boa, Brad acting all flustered and stretching his leg while belting his heart out, or Janet's moaning, lip-biting, seductive stare right into the camera.
  • Fictional Flag: Dr. Frank's castle has the Transexual, Transylvania flag with a lightning bolt in it. Although the country is more of a planet since Frank and his servants are aliens.
  • Film Comic: An extremely rare, out of print "Movie Novel" by Richard J. Anobile.
  • Formal Full Array of Cutlery: The dinner scene gives everyone between four and seven of each utensil for a meal with only one dish.note 
    • Word of God says that Jim Sharman did this to show that Frank and Riff Raff are aliens trying to imitate a human dinner party and failing miserably.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The main Transylvanians. Frank is Choleric, Riff is Melancholic, Magenta is Phlegmatic, and Columbia is Sanguine.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Brad hadn't forgotten the spare tire, him and Janet wouldn't have had to stop and shelter themselves from the rain inside the mysterious castle.
  • Free-Love Future: The planet Transexual seems to be this if Frank's behaviour is anything to go by.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Looking at scans of police statements from The Criminologist's book gives us more information, like Janet and Dr Scott's middle names and the fact that Janet is pregnant.
  • Freudian Slip: When Dr. Scott arrives at the castle, Riff Raff lets slip of his extraterrestrial nature before being corrected by Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
    Riff Raff: You know this earthling? This person?
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Brad and Janet sing "Dammit Janet" in a church, completely oblivious to a child-sized coffin being carried out in the background.
  • Funny Background Event: Take a look at Frank's expression as Janet sings "God bless Lili St. Cyr"
    • The deleted song, "Once in a While". While Brad's singing his heart out, Frank's conked out in a postcoital snooze behind him, still clad in Janet's nightgown.
  • Gainax Ending: It's an understatement to say the film is weird from the start, but around the Floor Show things go straight to eleven, as a completely out-of-nowhere (even for Rocky Horror) burlesque cross-dressing number descends into random swimming, and then it's revealed Frank-n-Furter, Riff-Raff, and Magenta are all aliens from Planet Transsexual in the Galaxy of Transylvania, the latter whom kill Frank-n-Furter and leave Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott in the dust as the mansion takes off into space. The Criminologist reaffirms that we're just insects adrift in a meaningless void of time and space, and the movie ends.
  • Genius Cripple: Dr. Scott, who easily outwits Dr. Frank-N-Furter and helps rescue Janet and Brad with his knowledge of machinery and electricity (peculiarly spaceships).
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Parodied.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Whomever sent him from Planet Transsexual of the Transylvania Galaxy by default. According to the unmade sequel, it was his mother.
  • Hair-Trigger Sound Effect: despite a number of common group shout outs, nothing approaches this trope quite like Brad note  and Janet note .
  • Haunted Castle: The movie's mostly set in one that turns out to be a spaceship.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: In a castle where Everyone Is Bi and have been sexually intimate with one another, Magenta and Columbia have a moment together while spying on Janet through the cameras, though unlike the others they don't kiss or have sex on-screen. Although whether or not they actually had sex is ambiguous.
  • Homesickness Hymn: "I'm Going Home" has Dr. Frank-N-Furter attempt to explain his actions earlier in the story and gain some sympathy by singing about his desire to return to his home planet of Transsexual, and stay forever. However, it's never fully clear if he's being sincere or is just hamming it up as per usual.
  • Human Aliens: Frank, Magenta, Riff Raff, and all the other Transylvanians look like human beings.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Reveal of Eddie's fate, thanks to Frank. note 
  • Hypocrite:
    • Brad and Janet are both outraged at each other's infidelity.
    • Frank goes berserk and tries to kill Janet after she sleeps with Rocky. This after he's tricked both Brad and Janet into sleeping with him. He even brags about it and feels Janet up while threatening her in "Planet Schmanet Janet".
    • Riff-Raff deems Frank's lifestyle "too extreme" and uses this as reason to execute him. Do recall that Riff-Raff is in an incestuous relationship with his sister.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: The Reveal of Eddie's corpse, showing the group had been snacking on him the entire time. Frank does drop a hint when he tells Dr. Scott that Eddie's whereabouts are "a rather tender subject". Columbia seems to be the only one who picks up on this right away and quietly excuses herself to go to the next room and shriek in despair (although you do briefly see Brad throwing his fork down in confused disgust before the reveal).
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: "Let's Do the Time Warp Again!" is filled with drug and addiction metaphors, despite just being about a Dance Sensation.
    Riff-Raff: I remember doing the Time Warp / Drinking those moments when / The blackness would hit me. / And the void would be calling.
    Chorus: Let's do the Time Warp again!
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: After Brad asks if he can use the phone, Frank smirks into the camera and comments on Brad and Jane getting a flat tire, even though Brad never mentioned it. Though Brad doesn't pick up on this.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: The Criminologist sums it up at the end.
    And crawling note , on the planet's face
    note Some insects, note called the Human Race
    note Lost in time note and lost in space note 
    Chorus: Meaning...
  • Instrumentals: An instrumental version of "Time Warp" plays over the end credits.
  • Intermission: Being a musical, most productions of the stage show are two acts with a short intermission. (See Book Ends above.)
  • Karma Houdini: Riff-Raff and Magenta.
  • Jealous Romantic Witness: Janet is an emotional wreck when she sees post-coitus footage of Brad and Frank, devastated that Brad would betray her like that. Brad is, in turn, horrified when he finds her naked with Rocky, and their relationship is implied to be unstable for the rest of the film. Brad's reaction is nothing compared to Frank's, though, who flies into a jealous rage when he realizes that Janet and Rocky are into each-other.
  • Just for Pun: The majority of the callbacks.
  • Large Ham: Several, with a lot of Curry.
    • Magenta hamming it up to an uncomfortable Brad and Janet just as "Let's Do The Time Warp Again". "You're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, WE'RE ALL LUCKY!!!" note 
    • Columbia calling out for her lover Eddie during his performance of "Hot Patootie". "EDDIE!!!"
    • Riff-Raff shouting his words as he prepares to kill Dr. Frank-N-Furter. "A laser made of pure antimatter!" note 
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The minions' reactions to Rocky after his unveiling.
    Riff Raff: He's a credit to your genius, master.
    Magenta: A triumph of your will.
    Columbia: He's okay.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The music that plays during the main menu of the Blu-ray is the reprise of "Science Fiction/Double Feature", where the lyrics describe the ending. There are also several fake movie posters that give away several of the plot points. For instance, there is one poster entitled They Came from Outer Space, which not only spoils the plot twist that Frank, Riff and Magenta are aliens, but the poster also shows a picture of Rocky carrying Frank's dead body in his arms.
  • Left It In: We hear a solitary beep when Frank runs his finger down Rocky's chest during "I Can Make You A Man", this was caused by somebody accidentally hitting a synthesizer and wasn't edited out.
  • A Light in the Distance: "There's a light... over at the Frankenstein place".
  • Lightning Reveal: When Brad and Janet are on the castle's doorstep, a flash of lightning reveals a row of parked motorcycles. Implied to be the ones they saw emerge from a dead end a few minutes before.
  • Logo Joke: The 20th Century Fox fanfare is played on a piano rather than by a full orchestra. According to Richard O'Brien in the DVD commentary, the sequence originally was going to be normal, and the piano version of the fanfare was to be played at the movie's climax, just before Frankie started singing "Wild & Untamed Thing".
    • They originally wanted to put a giant 20th Century Fox logo on the stage at the end with Magenta and Columbia using wires to move cardboard searchlights, but Fox wouldn’t let them use it which led to them using the now famous RKO tower instead.
    • The stuffed eagle in the hall is a reference to the Republic Pictures logo.
    • The Transylvanian lightning bolt symbol is based on the lightning bolts from the RKO logo.
    • The stained-glass image of the Atlas Pose in the window of the bridal sweet is a nod to the Anglo-Amalgamted Productions logo.
    • The stuffed snarling cat in the hall is a reference to the MGM lion.
    • Magenta banging the gong to announce dinner is a reference to the man banging a gong in The Rank Organisation logo.
    • The lighted globe in The Criminologist's office at the end is based on the Universal logo.
    • Columbia herself is a reference to the logo of the studio of the same name, complete with both having short, red hair.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Besides the scene where Ralph and Betty Hapschatt are walking out of their wedding together, a portion of Mendelssohn is played at the end of "I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)" during the scene when Dr. Frank N. Furter walks down the aisle to his "bridal chamber" with his creation/spouse Rocky as the Transylvanians shower the "newlywed" couple with confetti.
  • "London, England" Syndrome: A lot of characters sing about being from Transylvania, but this turns out to be the name of the galaxy they come from rather than the Romanian region.
  • Long Runner: It entered the midnight circuit in 1976 and has never been officially withdrawn from theaters, making it the longest theatrical release in film history.
  • Lost Aesop: The film deliberately leaves it ambiguous as whether or not Brad and Janet's new-found sexualities have left them worse or better off. Stage shows often flop either way, usually by having Brad and Janet turning away from each other (in shame or anger) during the final song.
    • Notably, in the 2015 broadcast of the stage play, Brad and Janet initially turn away from each other, but ultimately run back into each others' arms and leave the stage together, hinting at a more hopeful future for them.
    The Criminologist: And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space... and meaning.
  • Love Triangle: It's implied that one of these may have happened involving Frank, Eddie and Columbia.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "The Sword of Damocles" and "Eddie's Teddy" are pretty upbeat, for a song about Rocky having an immediate existential crisis under a domineering psychopath and a rebellious youth getting abducted and gruesomely killed, respectively.
  • Lyric Swap: Not present on most prints, but "Science Fiction — Double Feature Reprise" at the end of the film swaps the classic SF movie lyrics from the title sequence tune for lyrics that summarize the movie.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Frank's lab is full of big electric switches and octagonal monitors. The tank that Rocky is born in is the same one from The Revenge of Frankenstein. The device that Frank ultimately manipulates to bring Rocky to life is actually a paint mixer.
  • Mass Teleportation: At the end of the movie Brad, Janet and Dr Scott have to leave the castle before Riff Raff teleports it back to the planet Transexual.
  • The Master: Dr. Frank-N-Furter who runs the mysterious castle and all his servants and guests are loyal to him. Brad and Janet are both amazed and frightened when they meet him.
  • Metaphorical Marriage: Dr. Frank N. Furter's escorting his creation/spouse Rocky to their "bridal chamber" at the end of "I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)" is played out as a wedding, as a portion of Mendelssohn is played at the end of the song while the Transylvanians shower the "newlywed" couple with confetti during their walk down the aisle together.
  • Mind Screw: Everything that happens inside the castle once Brad and Janet enter, and up to eleven after the reveal that Dr.Frank-N-Furter and his guests are extraterrestrials from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania.
  • Mind Screwdriver: The original play, The Rocky Horror Show, paces out its exposition a little more neatly, by making it clear that everyone but Brad and Janet are otherworldy.
  • Minion Shipping: Riff Raff and Magenta. It's implied that Columbia and Eddie were together too.
  • Mirror Character: Richard O'Brien has stated that Riff Raff and Frank are very similar to one another. In fact, the only real differences between the two is that Frank is more outgoing and flamboyant while Riff is more reserved and introverted. That...and Riff is less likely to seduce people. But, both are intelligent, scheming, easily jealous, and willing to kill others in blind rage.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several. One fun performance of "Hot Patootie" ends with Eddie being murdered by Frank.
  • Mocking Sing-Song:
    • In the Audience Participation album for this movie, a member of the audience goes "nya nya nya nya nya" after Frank N. Furter uses the "sonic transducer" to freeze Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott so that they couldn't move their feet (or wheels)note  in the laboratory.
    • It's also common to poorly warble 'MEOW MEOW MEOW' during 'I'm Going Home' or poorly mimic doo-wop "ooh wee ooh"s during "Time Warp" and "Hot Patootie".
  • Monochrome to Color: An early script starts off in black and white as a nod to The Wizard of Oz. The first thing we'd see in color would be Frank's lips with everything else would change after "Sweet Transvestite" and go back to black and white during "Superheroes". The 25th anniversary DVD has the Oz recut which starts in black and white and switches to colour when Riff Raff opens the ballroom door during the Time Warp.
  • MST: The Audience Participation for which the show is famous started off when an audience member did this and the rest joined in.
  • The Musical: One of the more famous ones.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Let's just say who's coming to dinner is more than expected.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: The planet Transsexual is implied to be this with Frank seducing Anything That Moves and heavy Incest Subtext between Riff Raff and his sister, Magenta. The script for the unmade sequel The Revenge Of The Old Queen confirms this with casual sex being common, including Parental Incest.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The castle was extremely dilapidated during filming. Susan Sarandon caught the flu due to rain getting in and the room that Riff Raff was singing from in Over at The Frankenstein Place had no floor.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Frank, sleeping with Brad and Janet. Janet actually does enjoy it immensely; Brad's a tad more guilty, but still asks Frank-n-Furter to not tell Janet...
  • Not of This Earth: In the play, Doctor Scott tries to distract Brad from realizing that Frank has outed him as Nazi by pointing out that a nearby machine (varies what it is. Usually a refrigerator or a flask) is made of a metal that is not of this Earth and probably from another planet.
  • The Nudifier: Frank's Medusa Transducer Machine not only turns people to stone, but causes any clothes they're wearing at the moment to fall off their (now-marble) bodies. Presumably this is because Greco-Roman statues wearing clothes would look ridiculous, even though Frank does redress them in the same clothes that he wears, with the exception of Dr. Scott, who is redressed in much of his old clothes, with only his pants and shoes replaced by fishnets and heels.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Brad and Janet first see Frank-N-Furter.
    • When Eddie sees Frank coming at him with an ax to murder him.
    • When Janet and Rocky are discovered by Frank, Brad and Dr. Scott post-coital.
    • When Brad, Janet, Dr. Scott and Columbia realize they're unwittingly being served Eddie's corpse for dinner.
    • When Dr. Scott reveals that he has Eddie's message of help and that he knows that Frank and the inhabitants of the castle are really extra-terrestrials.
    • When Frank pulls the switch and Janet, Brad and Dr. Scott cannot move their feet/wheels to escape.
  • One Crazy Night: Brad and Janet's car breaks down on their way to see the professor who introduced them. They go to a nearby castle to use the phonenote  and...things...happen.
  • Opening Chorus:"Science Fiction\Double Feature" both opens and closes the musical.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: When their car breaks down, Brad and Janet stop at a castle and ask to use the phone. The castle is inhabited by an insane alien scientist who seduces, turns to stone and brain washes them.
  • The Peeping Tom: Riff Raff and Magenta spy on Brad and Janet while she's entering their guest rooms for the night. Later, Later, Magenta and Columbia spy on Janet as she seduces Rocky during "Touch-A Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me".
  • Perilous Play: During the climax , Frank N. Furter forces Brad, Janet, Rocky, and Columbia to perform in a floor show with him.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Rocky and Frank-N-Furter, before Rocky goes into rage mode.note 
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy; Brad and Janet's bedrooms are lit with blue and pink lights respectively.note 
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: Much of Brad and Janet's character development and subsequent descent into Translyvanian-induced insanity happens after Frank-N-Furter sleeps with both Brad and Janet.
  • Plot-Sensitive Button: When the lever to the Medusa machine is pulled, whoever Frank happens to nod at will turn to stone.
  • Portal Cut: In the shooting script when the castle teleports away, parts of it are left behind in a crater. Such as broken objects from the lab and parts of Eddie's coffin.
    • An unused idea for a sequel was to have the swimming pool left behind as a hole in the ground with Frank's and Rocky's bodies floating in it.
  • Power Crystal: In the play, before he and Magenta teleport the castle home Riff Raff says "Activate the transit crystal!".
  • The Power of Lust: Frank uses people's desire for pleasure — usually honing in on their sexuality — to corrupt them into doing what he wants, so as to fulfil his own lusts. The Power of Lust, however, ultimately causes his downfall in the ending where his subordinates mutiny against him for being "too extreme" and kill him. Meanwhile, the two characters who were virgins at the start of the story are traumatized, changed forever.
  • Protective Charm: Humorously implied at the very start of the film, when the disembodied lips singing "Science Fiction Double Feature" are seemingly driven away by a cross, which turns out to be atop the steeple of the church where the wedding is taking place.note 
  • Pun: The Sweet Transvestite from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy Transylvania.note 
  • Punny Name:
    • Dr. Frank-N-Furter, especially considering the pre-Time Warp appetizers. Lampshaded with a bad Pun when the characters call him a "hot dog" during "Planet Schmanet Janet".
    • Janet sings that the Doctor's lust is "sincere" during the floor show, then sings about Lili St. Cyr as the last line of "Don't Dream It".
    • Janet Weiss's name is a double Stealth Pun, since it's a German name which is pronounced much like the English "vice" and means "white" no less, a traditional virgin color. She's a virgin, and spends most of the movie wandering around in white underwear.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Frank makes Rocky and takes him to bed almost straight away.
  • Quirky Town: Richard O'Brien's experiences as a teenager in 1950s Hamilton and Tauranga in New Zealand were the inspiration for him to write this.
  • Raised Lighter Tribute: Done during Audience Participation in the song "Over At The Frankenstein Place", with the cue being "There's a light..."
    • Most shadowcasts performing today request that you keep actual lighters safely in your pocket, in favor of glowsticks or turning up the light on your cellphone, as they're far less likely to cause an actual theater fire.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Columbia gives one to Frank N. Furter later in the movie, pointing out how he just uses people for pleasure and then abandons them with nothing in return.
    Columbia: My God! I can't stand any more of this!note  First you spurn me for Eddie, and then you throw him off like an old overcoat for Rocky! You chew people up and then you spit them out again! I loved you...note  Do you hear me? I loved you! And what did it get me? Yeah, I'll tell you: a big nothing!note  You're like a sponge, you take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion! Yeah, well, I've had enough!note  You're gonna choose between me and Rocky, so named 'cause of the rocks in his head!note 
  • Rebuilt Set: The "Time Warp" was filmed in the actual ballroom in the Oakley Court castle they filmed in but the ballroom from the floorshow at the end was built in the studio so they could put in a swimming pool.
  • Revised Ending: The United States cut omits the songs "Super Heroes" and the Dark Reprise of "Science Fiction Double Feature" due to 20th Century Fox thinking they were too depressing. We still see Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott crawling around singing "Super Heroes" but we hear The Criminologist's closing Fauxlosophic Narration dubbed over it.
  • Rocky Roll Call: The Trope Namer. Janet, Dr. Scott, Brad, Rocky and Frank cross paths through some manner or other, resulting in them just saying each other's names.
    "Janet!" "Dr. Scott!" "Janet!" "Brad!" "Rocky!"note  Three times. Audiences like to scream "BULLWINKLE!" or "AUDIENCE!"note  after. note 
  • Round Table Shot: The shooting script would have done this between Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott during "Super-Heroes" and having it speed up until it blurred into The Criminologist's globe but the finished movie had the camera move away while the whole image spun.
  • Rule of Symbolism: A number of things follow this rule. For example, it's no coincidence that Dr. Scott, who opposes the overly sexual Frank-N-Furter, is paralyzed from the legs down, or that the bulk of the cast is reborn in Frank's image for the floor show.
  • Sanity Slippage Song;
    • "Rose Tint My World" is the characters admitting that Frank has broken them and they're now just living for sexual pleasure.
    • "I'm Going Home", Richard O'Brien says in the commentary that Frank hallucinates the audience that fades in.
  • Say My Name:
    • The aforementioned Rocky Roll Call.
    • "YOU'D BETTER NOT TRY TO HURT HERRRR, FRANK FURTER!" Continued somewhat by Riff-Raff in the ending, where he dramatically belts out Frank's name as he comes to kill him.
  • Screwball Comedy: Played with in that it features a straightlaced couple being seduced by a transsexual man.
  • Script-Reading Doors: The freezer that Eddie's trapped in opens for no reason so that he can ride out on his motorcycle and sing "Hot Patootie". Richard O'Brien notes this in the commentary and regrets not having Frank accidentally hitting a button or something.
    • In the original stage play, Columbia is shown accidentally opening the freezer door, and discovering Eddie.
  • Secondary Character Title: Extra points for sounding like a Word Salad Title, rather than anything to do with the characters at all, to people who aren't very familiar with the fact that Rocky's last name actually is "Horror". This isn't helped by the end credits being the only place to refer to it as his surname (the original play referred to it in dialogue).
  • Secret Handshake: Riff Raff and Magenta's "elbow sex" gesture.
  • Secret Passage: In the shooting script, Riff and Magenta leave Frank's lab through one before the Floor Show.
  • Seduction Lyric: There's a lot of indirect or direct seduction all over the place, of course, but special mention has to go to "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me", in which the newly deflowered Janet simply declares her enthusiasm for sex to Rocky — who, in truth, probably wouldn't understand anything more complicated.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Brad and Janet are dressed in reasonable attire when they first arrive, Brad in a coat, sweater and slacks and Janet in a dress. On the other side of the spectrum, there's Frank-N-Furter, who's best known for being in a corset, fishnets and heels.
  • Sex Is Liberation: Played with. It is unclear if being freed from their inhibitions has helped or hurt the human characters.
  • Sigil Spam: The Transylvanian lightning bolt symbol appears on their clothes, flags and some of Frank's equipment. Seems to be based on the RKO Pictures logo and the aliens from Plan 9 from Outer Space having lightning bolt emblems on their uniforms.
  • Silliness Switch: The DVD release has an audience participation mode that tells you when to interact with the movie and how.
  • Sistine Steal: Frank has a version of the "Creation Of Adam" at the bottom of his swimming pool. note 
  • Slasher Smile: Dr. Frank N Furter sports one before he kills Eddie with a pick axe.
  • Small Universe After All: The Transylvanians don't come from the Romanian province, they're from the galaxy of Transylvania.
  • Smoking Hot Sex:
    • Brad, after getting laid by Frank in the movie. note 
    • Janet and Rocky.
    • And even Magenta and Columbia, although whether or not they actually had sex is ambiguous. (Although audiences seem to agree that they did. note note note )
  • Speculative Fiction LGBT: It's the story of a straight couple being seduced by a crossdressing alien scientist.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • What's for dinner? Meatloaf, again.note 
    • The transducer turns the cast into nude, stone statues — which of course can't talk. What else has Frank made that has its body on display and can't talk? Rocky.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Columbia and possibly Rocky, although Rocky especially might instead be Too Dumb to Live. Even after Frank discards her for Eddie and then Rocky, kills her boyfriend and serves him for dinner, Columbia is still devoted to Frank. The final scenes reveal that Rocky cares deeply for Frank, even though (or maybe because) he chains him up in their 'bridal suite' and he has half of Eddy's brain.
  • A Storm Is Coming: There's thunder in the background during "Dammit, Janet", and then the Criminologist invokes the trope directly: "It's true, there were dark storm clouds — note  heavy, black, and pendulous — towards which they were driving..."
  • Stuka Scream: Heard twice. When the electromagnet pulls Dr. Scott's wheelchair down the ramp and again when the RKO tower falls into the swimming pool.
  • Stylistic Suck: Set designer Brian Thompson based the pink tiles in Frank's lab on ones from a sleazy hotel bathroom in Amsterdam. He thought they looked awful, but were the kind of thing Frank would like.
  • Tag Line: From the trailer: "Let there be... LIPS".
  • Taken for Granite: The "Medusa" switch that's conveniently installed on Rocky's life-bringer machine thing turns people into statues (classical naked marble statues, at that). It also has a reversal switch, so.
  • Taxidermy Terror: There's a few stuffed animals around the castle, the commentary says that Frank doesn't know what else to do with Earth animals.
  • Tempting Fate: "It's all right, Janet. Everything's going to be all right". Then Frank appears and Janet faints.
  • Teleportation: The Sonic Transducer. It's implied to be able to send people to other planets and through time.
  • Theme Song Reveal: The Blu-ray menu plays the Dark Reprise of "Science Fiction/Double Feature" from the movie's end credits and gives major spoilers.
  • Tick Tock Terror: Parodied during the intro for the song "The Time Warp". As the large, coffin-shaped clock in the Frankenstein Place's foyer begins to chime the hour, the ghoulish servant Riff-Raff opens the cover to reveal a dusty human skeleton inside. Brad and Janet recoil in horror as Riff-Raff sings that "time is fleeting..."
  • Tired After the Song: At the end of the "Time Warp" number, everyone collapses to the floor.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Brad lampshades in his police statement that it's strange that he and Janet didn't notice a coffin being carried out during "Dammit Janet".
  • Villains Want Mercy: Frank-N-Furter tries to desperately to get Riff Raff and Magenta to take pity on him in the ending. It doesn't work, and Riff Raff kills him.note 
    • Riff even asks for it verbatim when Frank is whipping him in the elevator.note 
  • Visible Boom Mic;
    • A reflection of one appears in the car windshield when Ralph and Betty drive off after their wedding.
    • After Betty and Ralph leave and Brad and Janet are talking, we see the tip of it and it's shadow broadcast on the church wall.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the original stage shows, Curry originally played Frank with a German accent. He quit after a few shows, as he decided it was easier to just use his normal accent. Also, compare the original stage version of "Time Warp" to the more well-known film version. Can you believe that's O'Brien and Quinn in both versions?
  • "What Now?" Ending: The movie ends with Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott crawling around in the mud, feeling empty now that Frank has sexually awakened them and then died. It then fades to The Criminologist's office where he gives a Fauxlosophic Narration about humanity being lost in meaning.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The movie doesn't outright say which of the 18 Dentons in America Brad and Janet live in, but Janet is seen reading the Plain Dealer (a Cleveland newspaper) with a headline about Ohio utilities, and the Rocky Horror Scrapbook includes a clipped questionnaire that shows Janet's address as 10 Main Street, Denton, Ohio.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: According to the scans of the police statements, Janet is pregnant. And it's unknown if Brad, Frank or Rocky is the father.
  • Womanliness as Pathos: In addition to the villain being a rather feminine transvestite whose love for constant, responsibility-free sex leads him to manipulate, murder, cheat, rape, and abuse those around him, his actions also cause the heroine, Janet, to start some drama of her own. In discovering her sexuality, she cheats on Brad with both Frank and, more importantly, Rocky- the one person who Frank doesn't want anyone else to sleep with. Frank jealously attacks Janet afterward, and in trying to protect her, Brad and Dr. Scott both get turned to stone. In the end, while Janet is feeling freed, Brad is a broken mess, and it's left ambiguous whether or not her newfound sexual freedom is a good thing- it certainly wasn't one for the other characters, who suffered directly and indirectly because of both her and Frank.
  • Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Brad takes a wrong turn at a fork in the road leading him and Janet to a dead end, getting a flat tire, and having to seek shelter in Frank N. Furter's castle.
  • X Meets Y: In a 2018 interview with the Daily Express, Richard O'Brien said The Rocky Horror Show was like a combination of Carry On and Hammer Horror.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Rocky Horror Show


Winston Jerome

On top of being a Tyler Perry satire, Winston Jerome borrows a lot from Dr. Frank N' Furter, being a crossdressing, cultish sex-maniac with a passionate singing voice.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / Expy

Media sources: