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Headscratchers / Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Headscratchers for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. New entries on the bottom.

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  • This strip gave me a gripe with the misuse of this.
    • And that's one of the few areas where I disagree with that comic. Sure, if people are obnoxious, that's annoying, but just because the humor quality of the movie has changed over time for many is no reason to begrudge them that humor.
    • Not for nothing, the alt-text kinda seemed like something Holden Caulfield would say.


    Bedevere's voice 

  • Why does Bedevere's voice suddenly become higher-pitched after their first encounter with the French Knights? And why does Tim the Enchanter's accent become much thicker between the two scenes that he appears in?
    • because they thought they could get away with it.
    • This is a Python film and you're bothered by accents?
    • Perhaps, as Tim gets closer to the rabbit, he gets more nervous, and because of this his accent gets thicker.


  • It's always bugged me that Galahad gets yelled at for suggesting that the author of the "Castle Aaaaaagghh" carving was dictating. It's much more sensible than what everyone else was saying.
    • Maybe that was the joke?
    • He was Completely Missing the Point, which is how stupid Arthur found the whole thing; none of them were as interested in such details as he.


  • Why do people sometimes call this movie Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail (search/quest/whatever)? That's not its freaking name!!
    • Linkara calls it Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail in his end credits for some reason, but that bugs me too. I think it's because you can then shorten it to Quest for the Holy Grail the same way you might Life of Brian or Meaning of Life. For some reason, just calling it Holy Grail seems weird.
    • Technically those were "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's Meaning of Life," so following that convention this movie would be "And the Holy Grail."
    • I sometimes call it "Monty Grail".
    • The Pc game based on the film is called Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail, so maybe that's where it came from.
    • If itnote  helps, me and my friends do call it Holy Grail.
    • They're just misremembering what it's called. It's by Monty Python, the characters are on a quest, it's for the Holy Grail, so they just forget that the movie doesn't actually have the word "Quest" in the title. It happens.

    Black Beast 

  • Why do they call it the Black Beast of Arrrggghhh when it's clearly green?
    • Perhaps they mean "black" more in the sense of "evil" than the color.
    • They're in a cave without a lot of light, so they probably wouldn't see more than its eyes from their point of view.
    • "It's black!" "No, it's green!" "No, it's AAAAAAARRRRRRGH!"
    • Good PR. Would you want to go by "the green beast"?
    • The animator realized his mistake after having already drawn most of the sequence. The shock and embarrassment caused him to have a heart attack.
    • This.

    Tim versus the Rabbit 

  • Why didn't Tim The Enchanter just point at the original Killer Rabbit and blast it to crispy smithereens?
    • Judging by the way he was laughing I'd guess he enjoys watching clueless knights get slaughtered.
    • Well, it did take a Holy Hand Grenade to take it out. Perhaps it's a demonic rabbit that can only be killed by holy artifacts, hence, Tim couldn't do a thing to it.
    • He's being a wuss. He'd rather not even be around the thing. It's irrational fear.
    • Hardly irrational. Look at the bones!
    • In fact the Rabbit was Tim's pet, he'd raised it to be able to take on a group of knights like this, to make it a test for their worthiness. As they'd been prepared enough to bring the Holy Hand Grenade, they passed his test.
  • Here are 2 other reasons:
    • 1. He ran out of pyrotechnics.
    • 2. He knew that the rabbit would simply dodge the fireball and bite his head off.
  • Rule Of Funny. That's all.
  • Or he just doesn't care. He doesn't need to get past it, everyone else does, so why should he bother? It's not like they reward him for the information.
    • We only ever see Tim conjure up explosions from a distance, or as an accompaniment to his apparating. He may be really bad at aiming his power at things as small and mobile as a rabbit, as opposed to immobile rocky peaks.

    The Scales and the Witch 
  • Why did the scales have to be unbalanced? One falls down and other goes up when they're free and empty, which means the witch doesn't weigh as much as a duck. When I noticed this, it ruined the magnificent scene of the witch trial.
    • Because the whole point of that scene is it's all bullshit? How did you miss that?
    • I missed that because I was too busy laughing, thinking it's about the absurdity of a witch weighing the same as a duck, not about the bullshitness and Kangaroo Courtness of the trial.
    • But listen to the witch as she's led away: she says "it's a fair cop." Apparently, as ridiculous as Bedevere's methods are, she was a witch after all (the PC game runs with that part of the joke even more, with her repeatedly saying "I'm not a witch, I'm not a witch," only to immediately perform one supernatural trick after another).
    • I listened to her. She is being sarcastic. I keep seeing this brought up, and I don't understand why people don't get that.
    • I imagine that people don't get it partly because the joke actually is (or, I'd imagine, is supposed to be, at least; this does tend to depend on how you're interpreting the way Connie Booth says those lines), that she's not being sarcastic, and actually is a witch. It's a play on the silliness of medieval tests against women suspected of being witches, many of which are so ludicrously unfair that the woman's pretty much dead either way. This takes such tests, expands them to utterly ludicrous logical extremes, and then in typical Python fashion the payoff is that the absurd logic is actually entirely justified; the joke isn't just that medieval witch-hunt tests are bullshit, but that in the world of the movie they're accurate bullshit.
    • No, no it's not. Because, if you'll remember, the scales are very clearly wrong. The second they take her off the scales, the scales are ludicrously off balance, so even if the "she weighs as much as a duck, therefore she's a witch" was true, she didn't weigh the same as a duck. She's being sarcastic and saying the whole thing is bullshit, QED, end of story.
    • Of course the duck's side fell when she got out - the duck was still in it. Watch the scene again - you can see it in there as Arthur knights Bedevere. They're never shown to be "free and empty."
    • I figured she calls it fair because she gets more of a chance than most suspected witches did or, heck, just someone who attempts to not kill her outright.
    • Any imbalance in the scales can be easily explained by the fact that they're a crappy prop made for what looks to have been about 50p for a low-budget British comedy and it was probably the best they could get them in the time and resources they had. And Connie Booth's tone can probably be explained by the fact that she was at that point, to be entirely frank, not the best actress in the world. In keeping with typical Pythonesque logic and humour (which takes ludicrous logic to absurd extremes but plays them entirely straight), the joke is clearly supposed to be that in this universe, witches do weigh the same as ducks, and she says "it's a fair cop" because she's been found out. And even if it isn't, frankly this interpretation seems a lot more surreal, offbeat, absurd and in-keeping with the overall work of the Pythons.
      • The camera lingers to focus on the scales being wrong. That's not some accidental crappiness of the prop, that's the movie deliberately, obviously saying, "this whole trial was a complete sham performed by morons because the scales are ridiculously off balance."
    • Personally, I considered it to be among the same lines of "Accurate Bullshit Universe". She's not actually a witch, but was rather just another stupid peasant. Bedevere's witch-trial logic made sense to everyone there, including her, so when she seemed to weigh as much as a duck (even if she didn't), it was pretty much "Well, I guess I'm a witch. Bummer."

     The biggest and most obvious headscratcher 
  • What the hell IS the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?!?
    • About 24 miles per hour. Someone worked it out.
    • Do you mean African or European?
      • I don't know—AAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHH!!!!!!!

     Coconuts in England 
  • How was King Arthur able to get coconuts in Mercia, a temperate zone, when coconuts are found in tropical zones?
    • They migrated. Or were carried by swallows.
    • What, a five-ounce bird carrying a one-pound coconut?
    • It could grip it by the husk.
    • In the Burn the Witch scene, you can see Bedevere tying coconuts on to a swallow! Maybe he picked them up during the Crusades and brought them back to England?
    • The Crusades hadn't happened yet in the 10th century. At least in real life... admittedly, this is some kind of alternate history where King Arthur lived in the 10th century instead of the 5th or 6th.
    • If people of the setting even know what coconuts look like, there's presumably some way for them to get there.


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