Kaamelott is a French series that originally replaced another successful series, Caméra Café, but soon became even more popular. It was created and written by Alexandre Astier and broadcast on French channel M6 since 2004. The show's four first seasons (called "livres", French for "books") were composed of short episodes (about 3 and a half minutes each.) Early seasons consisted of humorous depictions of daily life at King Arthur's court and of the knights' ineffective quest for the Holy Grail; but as the author grew more self-confident, it got spiced by more and more continuity (including Retcon at some point), half-serious story arcs. The fifth season then had longer episodes (7 minutes) and a Darker and Edgier tone.
The sixth season aired in October 2009; it depicts Arthur's youth in Rome, partly filmed using the sets of Rome in Cinecittà). Alexandre Astier also planned to make at least one theatrical movie to conclude the series, but the project is stuck in Development Hell due to a lack of funds.
Has a character sheet.
- Achievements in Ignorance: While messing around in Merlin's laboratory, Perceval and Karadoc come up with a potion that gives them silly high-pitched voices... and makes them invulnerable.
- Agony of the Feet:
- At the end of "Séli et les Rongeurs", Séli, chasing a mouse with a heavy mallet, hits Karadoc right on the foot.
- In "L'Assemblée des rois, 2ème partie", Grüdü hits the weaponmaster's foot with the handle of his axe, making him hop away while ranting.
- All Just a Dream: The whole episode "Dream On".
- All Men Are Perverts: Zig-Zagged: While Arthur certainly has no problem with keeping up to four official mistresses, he's the only one to seem interested in sex. Karadoc reluctantly agrees because kids need to be made somehow (but refuses to learn how to French- [well, Roman-] kiss), Lancelot is saving himself for Guenièvre (to the point that he doesn't know how to do the deed once with the woman he loves), and Perceval is completely innocent (or completely idiotic). Léodagan is apparently faithful, though Séli worries that with Arthur's philandering he might start acting differently.
- Altum Videtur:
- King Loth is very fond of meaningless Latin quotes, and lampshades it.Loth: Tempora mori, tempora mundis recorda. There. That, for example, doesn't mean anything, but it has an effect as if it did.
- Some episode titles are in Latin — including every one of Livre VI (fittingly, as they mostly take place in Ancient Rome).
- King Loth is very fond of meaningless Latin quotes, and lampshades it.
- Anachronism Stew: Gleefully embraced.
- Romans and Huns and Vikings and Saxons and Burgonds and Moors and Picts and Byzantines... all trying to invade Great Britain.
- Venec knows an Egyptian architect who specializes in building pyramids.
- The Knights of the Round Table are often displayed in full plate armor, used in the 15th century, while the story takes place in the 5th century.
- Perceval throws away the Holy Shroud and the nails of the Holy Cross. Arthur and Father Blaise are stunned.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: After Yvain accidentally causes people to believe Léodagan and Séli are dead (turns out there's a difference between "the Elephant of Cameliard" and "the Orphan of Cameliard"), Arthur gets a great deal of messages asking about their deaths, most of them quite gleeful.
- Angrish: The weaponmaster is once reduced to (the French version of) this during an argument with Grüdü.
- Animal Assassin: Grüdü the bodyguard fears a scorpion attack on the king, given that a Roman Imperator has been murdered like that.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Aelis, the first time she meets Arthur. He instead suggests she'd become a mistress... but she almost threatens to rape him.Arthur: I'm warning you: if you touch me, I'll scream.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Arthur, to the Lady of the Lake (see the Our Gods Are Different entry below); also, in Livre VI, one that is never answered, about the arranged marriage between Arthur and Guenièvre. ("And if the chap doesn't manage to pull the sword out of the stone, is the marriage still happening?")
- Arranged Marriage: Arthur and Guenièvre. Arthur makes it perfectly clear that he has married her for purely political reasons.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- Almost literally in Livre II, episode "Le Terroriste":Lancelot: And what are the grounds for your incarceration?
Fearmac: Terrorism and insects possession.
Lancelot: "Insects possession"?
Fearmac: Yeah, at the time I had lice...
- In Livre VI, during a war council, right after everyone acknowledges that Loth tried to betray them, he justifies himself with a philosophical speech. Léodagan slowly walks away, then comes back with a spiked hammer.Léodagan: [calmly] I am willing to forgive you for your attempted coups, your crooked schemes, your bogus alliances and everything else... However, if you don't shut up right now, and for good, [points the hammer] I'll use this to flatten your balls.
- Almost literally in Livre II, episode "Le Terroriste":
- Awesome, but Impractical: Léodagan's obsession with Siege Engines is pointed out in several episodes:
- "La Baliste I&II": In the first episode, Léodagan gets a massive ballista built in the middle of the courtyard. So big, in fact, that it won't fit through the gate, and he hits on the idea of demolishing the gate so the ballista can go through (the alternative being to raise the gate by about 35 feet). Then he mentions he's getting an onager built, has a moment of realization and rushes off to find the engineer to tell him to build it outside. In the second, he's ordered another, smaller ballista built that can be fired from inside the courtyard... except the first one's still in the way, so they still can't fire them.
- "Le Mangonneau": Yes, a mangonel does hurl 200-pound rocks over 300 cubits awaynote , but you need thirteen people just to operate a single one, it shoots once every two hours, you need three or four test shots to get the range right (during which 8 hours the enemy doesn't stop moving), it's horribly expensive (Arthur thinks owning 8 is excessive, Léodagan reveals he's already put in an order for 25) and of course it's a siege engine, so using it for defense is tricky.Calogrenant: We're not even besieging anybody!
Léodagan: Then maybe it's time we got to it!
- Awful Wedded Life:
- A variation with Léodagan and Séli, in that they're just as horrible to each other as they are to others, and they often agree on certain subjects, like getting their children high positions in Arthur's court. They disagree on the rest, and Léodagan is actually more likely to side with his son-in-law than his wife on most of them.
- Arthur's wedding with Guenièvre, mostly because Arthur refuses to touch her, belittles her often and gets annoyed by her more clueless moments. She got tired of it too and doesn't hide her resentment.
- Badass Boast: Méléagant (essentially Chaos made human) has a nice one in the beginning of Livre V.Méléagant: Me, when I have nothing to do here anymore, I retire... Not one drop of water, not one ray of sunshine. I dry up from head to toe into a small corpse under a heap of leaves... Seasons come and go and ignore me... And then, one day, the raven says it's heard in the distance someone who begins to cry again. "Guenièvre! Guenièvre!" So I open one eye, I crawl, eating snow, licking stagnant water... And my enemies shudder, for when they see me drink, they know I have come back.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Yvain and Gauvain, wearing absolutely ludicrous flower and bee costumes, rehearse a play for the spring festival. Bohort, of course, thinks it's great; Arthur looks like he's thinking maybe setting a guy on fire (Léodagan's suggestion for the entertainment) wasn't such a bad idea.
- Bad Liar:
- Arthur seems to have this trait. He gets all flustered and stumbling on his words when he tries to lie. It still works on the most naïve characters, like Perceval and Karadoc, or Guenièvre — though even she isn't always fooled.
- Léodagan too. Being so used to Brutal Honesty, his rare attempts at lying are very unconvincing (notably, once when trying to prevent Bohort from freaking out). Most of the time, he just gives up and bluntly speaks his mind.
- The Bartender: The innkeeper.
- Bear Trap: Séli once tries to stop Karadoc's nightly raids on the kitchen with some of these. It doesn't work. Karadoc even adds a few so that no-one would bother him while he's stuffing himself in his room.
- Beat: Quite possibly the most used gag on the show, usually with Arthur unable to respond to whatever abysmally stupid comment was just made except by staring and sighing.
- Bed Trick:
- As with the original Arthurian legends, this is how Arthur was conceived, Pendragon using Merlin's Polymorphic Potion to take the appearance of Gorlay since he lusted after his wife, Ygerne. Arthur is dubious about the story, however, since to his knowledge Merlin is hardly able to cook anything, least a Polymorphic Potion.
- Lancelot is shown asking Merlin for one such potion, but backs down when asked who he wants to be.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Father Blaise is Kaamelott's priest, scribe and archivist. While he's good enough at the first two, the archives are a complete mess... and are apparently his main responsibility.
- Beleaguered Boss: Most of the comedy comes from King Arthur trying his best to keep his knights on the quest for the Holy Grail and defend Britain from invaders. Unfortunately, he's Surrounded by Idiots above (the gods never give him a clear and precise definition of what the Grail is or even looks like, the Lady of the Lake keeps sending him on quests for useless junk), below (the peasants revolt every other week or take Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to livestock-poisoning levels), and at his level (the knights all have their own idea of what actually constitutes chivalrous behavior, and those who're actually competent in combat can be counted on one hand that's been in an industrial accident).Arthur: Lord, I shall devote myself entirely to the noble quest with which You have honored me. But with the team of dumbasses I'm stuck with, we're not out of the brambles yet.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't get between Karadoc and food. Or let good food go to waste. Or try to sell him bad food.
- The weaponmaster is extremely touchy about his father having only one leg.
- Invoked when the weaponsmaster tells Bohort to find some kind of war cry (to help him fight and not be such a coward. Cue Bohort running at the enemy shouting "MISCREANTS!!" at the top of his lungs.
- Letting Guenièvre realize there isn't any marzipan left, after she ate it all, is NOT a good idea.
- The things you won't survive if you do/say them in front of Father Blaise: peeing on the Chapel's wall, being Perceval telling a story, singing/whistling/playing something that is not a fourth, a fifth or a unison.
- Call Arthur "The Cornwall Boar". Go ahead. We'll Pass the Popcorn.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Bohort is generally the most spineless and well-meaning of the knights, always willing to provide excuses for their behavior (and once actually trying to cover for them), but even he can sling mud on occasion.
- In one case, when attempting to compose a song with Yvain (with a badly-tuned guitar), he admits that the harmonies were a little off, but doesn't think the instrument is to blame (his eyes darting at Yvain).
- In another:Arthur: You're telling me our only hope is Merlin?
Bohort: WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
- Guenièvre of all people manages to take out two people by complete surprise wielding a broom.
- The innkeeper's almost entirely blind to Perceval and Karadoc's faults, claiming the patronage of Knights of the Round Table gives his establishment a certain amount of class (by his own admission, he mostly serves bums). Then he sees their combined tab is worth more than the value of the entire inn (including the land it's built on).
- Bohort is generally the most spineless and well-meaning of the knights, always willing to provide excuses for their behavior (and once actually trying to cover for them), but even he can sling mud on occasion.
- BFS: Father Blaise is seen waving one around when there are people outside pissing on the chapel.
- Big Damn Heroes: In Livre V, Anna tries to convince Arthur to intercede with Léodagan for Loth and her. When he refuses, she has Loth zap him and puts a knife to his throat. Then Guenièvre bashes the both of them on the head with a stick. Arthur can only stare.
- Big Eater:
- Karadoc. Just to put it in perspective, for those who don't know the show: in an episode, Arthur asks Karadoc how many meals he eats in a day. The answer? If you count daytime meals and night snacks, Karadoc has eleven meals a day. Eleven. He also keeps enough food in his bed to last a week (and on one occasion, a live pig).
- Although Karadoc is the obvious one, the other characters are no slouches. An ordinary three-hour lunch can involve two different meat dishes, poultry, cheeses... The weaponmaster, who keeps himself fit on dried fruits and water, pokes fun at their eating their own weight in meat three times a day or having the same diet as a bear and then being surprised that they don't feel up to the afternoon sword training.
- When chieftains have meetings at Kaamelott, two boars per person is considered a plausible average (there might be some who only eat one, so they can pass it to those who eat three).
- One episode sees Perceval and Karadoc at the tavern saying the don't want anything, having just eaten/feeling queasy. The innkeeper says they can't stay without ordering, so they shrug and order three roast chickens. Each.
- Inverted in the pilot, where the knights (including Karadoc) complain that there's too much meat on the menu (two legs of deer per person).
- Bilingual Bonus: The episode "Le Code de Chevalerie" ("The Code of Chivalry") shows Arthur fighting dissension among his knights, because of a translation of the Code; the episode ends on Perceval asking whether they have some rights, only to be answered with Père Blaise reading the untranslated "Gaelic" text. What he's reading ("Qui sor mon cors mete flaele,/ S'onques fors cil qui m'ot pucele/ Out m'amistié encor nul jor!") is actually ancient French; an extract from Béroul's Tristan. So not only is Arthur keeping the Code obscure, the text used as the new Code of Chivalry may actually not be a legislative text ''at all'' (and would explain why there are articles like days off on the eve of a full moon or breaks during battles).
- Biological Mashup: After discovering he has the title "the Boar of Cornwall" despite his name meaning "bear" ("sanglier" and "ours" respectively), Arthur orders Father Blaise to change it. He does not consider Arthur "half boar, half-bear" to be an improvement.
- Blatant Lies: In "L'abstinent", Arthur goes to great lengths to hide to his wife that he has sex with his mistresses. Even when she finds him and the twins naked and panting.
- Bookends: The unofficial pilot for the series was a Short Film titled Dies iræ. The last episode of Livre VI, closing the TV series, is titled "Dies iræ".
- Brick Joke: Kadoc's introductory episode mentions he never sleeps. In season VI, Arthur shares a room with the rest of the Semi-Crunchy Clan, and we see Kadoc sitting at a table, still awake.
- Brutal Honesty:
- Léodagan. All the time. Case in point: Séli says he never learned to say "thank you" in Pict (her mother tongue), he counters that since he says "thank you" period, he's not about to learn it in a different language.
- Elias of Kelliwic'h isn't shy about the truth either, especially toward Merlin.
- Lancelot in the episode where he leaves, toward Arthur.
- No-one has any problem with calling people morons to their faces in-universe.
- In one episode, Arthur and Guenièvre drink a Truth Serum intended for Léodagan. For the rest of the afternoon, they talk to each other with deadpan honesty ("Do you love me?" "No." "Oh. I love you. I think..."), and while Guenièvre breaks down in the evening, Arthur gets around it by claiming it was a befuddlement potion.
- On that topic, Arthur and Guenièvre to each other, many times, when they argue.
- Buffy Speak: Perceval thinks dubbing could have a more appropriate name, like "knighterization".
- Bullying a Dragon: The Witch Hunter whom, because of his religious fanaticism and his hatred toward magic, throughout the show attacks and/or tries to coerce/intimidate both Arthur and Merlin. Granted, the first is the most tolerant and liberal king in the world, and the latter is a rather Inept Mage. Yet, bullying someone in charge of a country, invested of a holy mission by the gods, or a man with freaking magic powers is still a spectacularly bad idea.
- Burn the Witch!: The Witch Hunter (le Répurgateur)'s shtick. To the point that everybody he accuses of witchcraft would end up at the stake if Arthur doesn't put a stop to it. In a pilot episode, he tries this on Arthur himself (after Arthur points out he uses a magic sword), naturally resulting in the Witch Hunter ending at the stake himself. (Too bad Arthur didn't follow up with actually burning him.)
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: King Loth is so used to backstabbing his allies, when accused of betrayal in a prequel episode, rather than denying he readily admits that he probably did, since it looks very much like his style — even though he doesn't remember this particular instance.
- By "No", I Mean "Yes": Frequently done out of sarcasm, clumsiness, or plain stupidity. Also, King Loth is particularly proficient in it, considering no sane person would trust his statements at face value.Loth: [fed up, having to explain something for the umpteenth time] I don't want to rush to the Stone in order to unsheath Excalibur; I fear people might see me as power-hungry.
Dagonet: [candid] You're not power-hungry?
Loth: [same tone] I am; I just have trouble living with it.
- Calvin Ball:
- Perceval is fond of totally unplayable games like "Contre-sirop" (Counter-syrup), "Raitournelle" (Raitornello), The Pélican (which involves filing a hundred artichokes from the smoothest to roughest), and anything with lots of dice.
- There's one other characters play, called Owl's Ass. Rules Not Included.
- One episode feature a ball game with chaotic and obscure rules, (only Bohort seem to know them and is used as a judge, meaning he can't play) that look like Calvin Ball.
- Cannot Cross Running Water: Mocked in Livre V, where Gauvain and Yvain believe that ordinary wolves cannot cross a stream of running water. The druid Merlin is prompt to call them on their idiocy.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Merlin. Arthur asks the wizard to show him how bad he is at telling jokes; it's more painful than expected.Arthur: You told me you sucked, but this is distressing, there's nothing to laugh about.
- Card-Carrying Villain:
If you wanted to seduce other people's wives, you should have been a knight!
- Oddly enough, Lancelot of all people is forever making references to the fact that he intends to sleep with the wife of a high-ranking man in Kaamelott. But seeing as everyone else thinks he's gay (and Guenièvre is oblivious to his attraction for her), they completely brush it off.
- Loth once admitted he is behind almost every schemes and low blows in Britain for the last decades.
- Early in the series, Karadoc teaches Perceval his very personal strategy to avoid looking like a idiot when he doesn't understand what he's told or a complicated word shows up: answering a non-committal "That ain't wrong..." and letting his interlocutor assume he understood just fine. Given Perceval's utter stupidity, he uses it quite often... Expect it at least once in any conversation he has with anyone smarter than him (i.e. basically everyone).
- It doesn't take much for Bohort to state, "Nous allons tous mourir !" ("We're all going to die!")
- "C'est de la merde." ("This is shit."), can be heard from Karadoc several times, when he gets to taste some bad food.
- Léodagan's favorite method of dealing with problems is pointing three catapults at it.
- Cerebus Retcon: Arthur refusing to sleep with his wife for the entire series turns out to be because he swore to the love of his life, who he secretly married (she was already married to another man), that he wouldn't consummate it. She allowed him to take mistresses, though.
- Cerebus Syndrome: When Lancelot left Arthur because of the blatant incompetence of the Round Table, the tone began to change, and at the end of the fourth season, everyone was warned that the fifth season would be Darker and Edgier. This trope is indeed called "Effet Kaamelott" in the French section of the Wiki.
- Chekhov's Gun: In Livre VI, when Arthur discovers a dagger under his tutor's pillow, and then when, during the preparation of a party at Villa Aconia, the urban militia is not allowed to search her room. At first, it only shows the viewer that Aconia may be more than a tutor. It reappears later, when Arthur has to kill an Ostrogoth chief during the party to be promoted Dux Bellorum, while Glausia forbade weapons in the villa. That dagger was first seen in the first season's episode "La Coccinelle de Madenn" (Madenn's Ladybug).
- The Chosen Zero: In one episode, the kingdom runs into a problem that only Merlin can solve. So Arthur says, "Wait a minute, are you telling me our last hope is Merlin?" Cue concerned looks between all characters and Bohort saying it: "We're all gonna die!"
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
- King Loth. "I have just one question: When are we betraying?" Let's see; Season 3: he explains during the end of said season to Sir Dagonet how he associated with Lancelot when he seceded, and how he is the one financing him, while trying to recruit Dagonet for a coup against Arthur. Season 4: After openly backing Lancelot's rebellion up during the whole season, he betrays him in a dastardly way in the end (taking back his men; removing every evidence of his involvement) after Arthur rescued Guenièvre, when it is obvious that Lancelot will fail. Season 5: Starts the season by coming all the way to Kaamelott to plead his cause to Arthur. Follows up by trying to unsheath Excalibur from the stone. Finishes the season by trying to zap Arthur with his magic lightning ring. Even Season 6, in addition to the quote, shows he started plotting against Arthur during the latter's wedding, and even goes as far as trying to backstab his fellow Briton kings while they are fighting the Romans. No wonder he's hated by everyone.
- Léodagan himself is an opportunistic bastard, although he doesn't betray his allies out of principle like Loth. In one episode, it's discovered he one of the backers in a plot to assassinate Arthur, but it turns out it was years earlier and he'd entirely forgotten about it by then.
- Perceval, although it is suggested that he might be The Fool, and eventually Messianic Archetype.
- Pellinore (Perceval's adoptive father) is another serious hardcase.
- In fact, in this show, Cloudcuckoolander works a bit like Deadpan Snarker: there are characters who are always like this (Perceval, Karadoc, Kadoc, Hervé de Rinel too), and the rest of the cast who get into that territory on some occasions (yes, even Arthur, in an episode).
- Color-Coded Characters: The Knights of the Round Table:
- Arthur — brownish red;
- Léodagan — navy blue;
- Lancelot — white;
- Karadoc (plus his brother and his wife) — red;
- Perceval — light blue;
- Bohort — green;
- Calogrenant — dark green;
- Yvain and Gauvain — brown.
- Combat Commentator: Yvain likes to indulge into commenting the fights during tourney, despite his own martial skills being rather lacking.
- Comically Missing the Point: Happens quite often.
- If we have to quote one — Arthur in "La Pâte d'Amandes" ("Marzipan"), answering Guenièvre's Berserk Button:Guenièvre: [hysterical] But before that, my life was crap, you understand!!! Greeting the chief-of-this, the king-of-that; always polite, always pretty... Symbol of the Briton Nation... There must be some compensations to all those bullshit! Always got to care of something, especially you because you got "responsibilties", AND WHO TAKES CARE OF ME IN THAT TIME?? WELL YES, now that there's no marzipan anymore, I'm milling around, I AM ON EEEEEDGE!!! [sobbing]... I've got no friends, no hobbies... Since you don't touch me, I can sit on the facts of love, figuratively speaking, so I buried myself in marzipan... And when I look at you, and I see the way you treat me, I think I better go from here to Rome by foot to get some marzipan because it's actually the best thing that ever happened to me...
Arthur: [thoughtful] I don't think that you're really the "Symbol of the Briton Nation"...
- From another episode, where there are more knights than there are seats around the Table:Arthur: [having explained this to Perceval] And from this, you deduce...
Perceval: Uh... That not only we need to give him some space, but we also need to find him a chair.
- And later, when it turns out Perceval is a chosen one:Guenièvre: What is it this time?
Arthur: Do you think someone can be a complete dumbass and still have an exceptional destiny?
Guenièvre: [offended] You mean me?
- In the pilot, the knights have a brainwave regarding the Grail: since they can't find the damn thing anywhere, they'll just make one (to start with; if it meets Arthur's approval, they can start mass-production).
- If we have to quote one — Arthur in "La Pâte d'Amandes" ("Marzipan"), answering Guenièvre's Berserk Button:
- The Comically Serious:
- Father Blaise
- Sallustius in Livre VI.
- Cool Gate:
- One appears in "Stargate". Unfortunately, instead of leading from the throne room to some hellish world populated by the fiercest creatures in Creation, it leads to outside, next to the chicken coop.
- In "Stargate II", it leads to a desert planet with Binary Suns, with a Laser Blade sword.
- "The Transport Arch" has one that looks vaguely magical (they hauled Merlin along to check, but being Merlin...). Instead of leading to the demonic planes as they feared, it leads to somewhere in northwestern North America.
- Cool Helmet: Inverted and parodied — the knights avoid putting on their helmets as much as possible, because it make them look stupid (even more than usual, as Perceval is called upon to demonstrate in "Spangelhelm").Perceval: Why me?
Léodagan: Because on you it's even more obvious.
- Cool Sword: Excalibur, a longsword that catches on fire when wielded by a person with an exceptional destiny. Only by such a person, mind.The Weaponmaster: [holding a non-flaming Excalibur] You know, this is honestly kind of insulting.
- The Corrupter: Méléagant. Who or what he is stays unclear, but it is hinted he's incredibly ancient. With a mix of guile and carefully used magic powers, he works at corrupting Lancelot even further than he already was, and push a depressive King Arthur toward suicide.
- Culture Justifies Anything: A Carmélide custom consists of the victorious chieftain having his way with the defeated chieftain's eldest daughter. Léodagan forces Arthur into that position (if the king can just throw away the bits of clan culture he doesn't like, there's no reason for the federated clans to listen to him), Arthur tries to negotiate his way out of it with the chieftain's daughter, who's not having any of it and threatens to jump Arthur herself.
- Daylight Horror: Méléagant's creepiest moment comes when he hijacks a seer from outside her tent, wearing a Black Cloak in broad daylight.
- Deadpan Snarker: Arthur; Léodagan; Loth; Séli; Galessin... To be honest, those five are just the most regular; almost every character of the series gets some snarky lines. Even Lancelot.
- Death of the Old Gods: The Lady of the Lake is both a servant of the Celtic pantheon and of "the one god", implying the former is in fact welcoming the rise of Christianity. Merlin, on the other hand, is less than thrilled.
- Dedication: The last episode of the series was dedicated to French actor Louis de Funès. The final scene uses the music of one of his movies, Jo.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance:
- Even though Arthur is very ahead of his time, this trope is sometimes used to remind the viewers that no, despite the way they're talking, the protagonists are not modern people in fancy costumes, but really Fifth Century barbarians.Loth: Kids, those days, they read, they read... end result: they're still virgins at ten.
- One episode has Arthur discussing various upcoming executions. Léodagan thinks burning them alive is still good, while the breaking wheel is a family event (everyone brings their staff and gets their turn beating the condemned to death), Lancelot supports drawing and quartering (it's more suspenseful, you don't know whether the arms or legs will come off first), as Arthur floats the idea of abolishing the death penalty. Everyone, including Lancelot, looks at him like he's crazy.
- Even though Arthur is very ahead of his time, this trope is sometimes used to remind the viewers that no, despite the way they're talking, the protagonists are not modern people in fancy costumes, but really Fifth Century barbarians.
- Demoted to Extra:
- Morgane. She is normally the King's half-sister but is reduced to a Psychopomp in the series, who shows up only twice. Her usual role in Arthurian mythos (Arthur's sister and Mordred's mother) is taken by Anna (Arthur's other half-sister and Gawain's mother).
- Galahad (a knight who found the Grail in Arthurian mythos and is Lancelot's son) sole mention comes from a list of knights whose names start with G.
- Department of Redundancy Department: A "Rock Stone" that turns sand into water (along with the Philosopher's Stone, the Moonstone...).
- Disguised in Drag: Grüdü is once disguised as "the most beautiful woman in Kaamelott" to trick Attila. Goes well beyond Paper-Thin Disguise, and yet the Hun is still fooled, to Grüdü's dismay.
- Dissonant Serenity: Léodagan is at his worst when he isn't yelling. Case in point: Yvain and Gauvain (on watchtower duty) have lit the signal fire to warn of an approaching fleet of Viking drakkars. When Bohort and Léodagan arrive, Bohort screams that they're all going to die, Léodagan tells him to shut up and wants to know why the signal was sent so late: the catapults won't have time to arrive, meaning they're going to have to fight the Vikings hand-to-hand on the beach. Bohort screams that they're all going to die, Léodagan tells him to shut up, than asks for a pigeon to summon the army. The 'Vains inform him they let all the pigeons free so as not to have to clean up their crap. Bohort screams that they're all going to die, Léodagan... makes a "welp" face and nods emphatically.
- The Ditz:
- Guenièvre, though she has some moments of brilliance.
- Most especially Kadoc, Hervé de Rinel, and the Burgundian King.
- Double Standard: Elias shows up to demand a sacrifice (Guenièvre) to appease a wolf spirit, Lancelot emphatically refuses. Arthur calls out Lancelot for it.Arthur: You and your principles are starting to piss me off! What, a single woman is intolerable but we can bump off ten dudes a day?
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Léodagan claims Arthur needs to respect the Carmélide custom of victorious chieftains raping the eldest daughter of the loser. Arthur figures he can just tell the girl to pretend, but it turns out the girl took her older sister's place hoping to get herself a man a step above the usual Dung Ages warrior. Then when Arthur suggest he make her an official mistress and get on with it later and she pulls out a knife...Arthur: I'm warning you: touch me and I'll scream.
- Dramatic Irony:
- There are plenty of jokes and Traitor Shots with Lancelot planning to elope with the queen, but everyone (including Arthur and Guenièvre) remain oblivious.
- "Aux Yeux de Tous II" has the Lady of the Lake appear to everyone but Arthur. Naturally, he acts with exactly the same "who's he talking to" incomprehension the others usually show him.
- Dream Within a Dream: "Dream On", after showing several characters awakening from their nightmares, has Perceval find the Grail... and lose it. The dreamer is revealed to be Arthur, who notices that Guenièvre starts kissing her way down his arm, and wakes up for real.
- Driven to Suicide:
- Arthur, when convinced by Méléagant's manipulations that he'll never have children.
- Lancelot is about to do so, prompting Méléagant to teleport offscreen and interrupt him.
- Dub Name Change: Subverted in that it's the original and not a dub, but of course, all the characters have the French version of their name. Guinevere/Guenièvre, Bors/Bohort, Leodagrance/Léodagan, Percival/Perceval, Gwaine/Gauvain, Ygraine/Ygerne... Karadoc is a dated translation of Galahad, however many doubt it'd be him, especially considering that Percival and he are the same age. Of course, the genealogy changes are fully embraced. Averted with some characters like Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, Uther, the Lady of the Lake (Vivian) or King Loth whose names are the same in both English and French, if pronounced differently.
- Dumbass Has a Point:
- Perceval; for all his foolishness, he can sometimes prove surprisingly insightful. Even Léodagan admits it once (about celebrating the birth of Alexander the Great):Perceval: What do we care about a guy who's been dead for centuries?
Léodagan: This is going to sound weird, but... I rather agree with him.
- Also, Merlin, while being a gigantic Cloudcuckoolander, can be this at times:Arthur: Come on, hurry the hell up and heal me up, I told you we're getting trounced!
Merlin: [visibly in a massive daze] You just inoculated me with half a bottle of sedative, how am I supposed to hurry up??
- While eating with his parents and Arthur is off at the wifeswap ceremony, Yvain wonders what will become of his parents once they're no longer the king's in-laws. Léodagan and Séli both get Oh, Crap! expressions and haul ass for the ceremony.
- Perceval; for all his foolishness, he can sometimes prove surprisingly insightful. Even Léodagan admits it once (about celebrating the birth of Alexander the Great):
- The Dung Ages: Arthur is one of the rare few in the series remotely concerned about personal hygiene. Some supporting characters have never taken a bath in their lives, and are in fact unacquainted with the very concept. "Saponides et détergents" has Arthur force Roparhz and Guethenoc to take a bath ("Why'd they put a watering trough inside?" "And upstairs too?") so they'll be presentable for a delegation to the Roman emperor. Roparhz reveals he's been wearing the same shirt for fifteen years (without removing it), and later we're told that after changing the bathwater three times it's still black with a layer of grease.
- Dungeon Crawling: Several of the earlier episodes are typical underground explorations, with plenty spoofs of RPGs. The series' author is an avowed RPGer (notably, of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay).
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- The Dies iræ pilot movie has several notable differences: Yvain's actor is a servant, the cook is a more prominent character, the characters (Karadoc included) complain about having too much meat in their diet...
- In the following pilot episodes, Angharad was as stupid as Perceval, if not moreso.
- Yvain used to be able to use big words, a trait that disappeared over time.
- Ear Worm: In-universe example with "À la volette". Just like Arthur, now every fan remembers this traditional French song. Because it stays.
- Elemental Embodiment: In Livre VI, some of the celestial "Ladies" we see debating over the fate of Arthur and Britannia are such; besides the Lady of the Lake, who's obviously linked to water, there is the Lady of Stones, the Lady of Wood and the Lady of Flames.
- Embarrassing Superpower: An accident in Merlin's lab gives Arthur and Léodagan constant Glowing Eyes (white for Arthur, pink for Léodagan) that don't do anything and stay on at night, excluding them from an upcoming stealth mission. Léodagan preemptively tells the other knights that any comment concerning the color is strongly discouraged.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
- The weaponmaster ("le maître d'armes")
- The innkeeper ("le tavernier")
- The witch hunter ("le Répurgateur")
- The legal advisor ("le Jurisconsulte")
- Evil Sounds Deep: Méléagant. Ooh boy, Méléagant.
- Excalibur in the Stone: Yes, in this version of the Arthurian myths, the sword Arthur pulled from the stone always was Excalibur. The exact details of this event are told in Livre VI, the prequel season. He can also put it back in the stone, letting anyone in the Realm to try pulling it out — and by their failure, remind the people that he's The Chosen One of the gods. Notably, Perceval is the only knight not to make the attempt, but tell off Karadoc for trying.
- Eye Catch: The early seasons, having the shortest episodes, had two broadcast side-by-side and separated by an eye catch (without commercial). Those were mostly short gags or scenes from the pilot episodes or Dies iræ. One was original, though: Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone and stumbling into a pond as a result. This scene ends up being retconned by the final season (where the sword is on a mountaintop), and thus non-canon.
- Face Palm: Often. Mostly when Perceval opens his mouth.
- Arthur once faints when Perceval claims he has successfully carried out a mission. This is the case, although he forgot what the medallion he'd recovered actually did. When kept in a locked room overnight, it turns everything else in the room into gas. Locked rooms like Kaamelott's treasury...
- Perceval once faints when Arthur gave him a compliment. Arthur has to bring him back to repeatedly slapping him while yelling "Wake up! You are a disgrace!"
- Fast-Forward Gag: Used at least twice, the first time being a clear Shout-Out to The Benny Hill Show.
- Hervé de Rinel. At first, he was the least talkative Knight of the Round Table. Then, in Livre III, he became quite an idiot. Then, in Livre IV and V, he became so idiotic that even the chief of the Medieval Morons came to see Arthur and tell him that "Life is too hard for someone like him..."
- Karadoc, even though he is already quite damaged, still manages to get this.
- In-Universe with the weaponmaster. Since he eats very little meat, a lot of vegetables and water (see Big Eater), other characters have started going on about how he lives on seeds. He doesn't take kindly to that accusation.
- Merlin's incompetence grew with the series from a less-than-stellar magician who was (sometimes) able to conjure a spell (albeit not always at the best moment) to a guy unable to boil water.
- In season 6, we see Bohort call someone out for being a Dirty Coward. Bohort, the man who's afraid of pheasants and rabbits.
- Flat "What.": A lot. REALLY a lot.
- Foreshadowing: In season 5, after Arthur has put Excalibur back in the stone, he comes back to find Queen Guenièvre complaining that he is not the King anymore, since he doesn't have the magic sword, so he must sleep in another room and another bed, and she will appoint the new King, according to the law. This leads to Arthur replying that, yes, he is still the King, until either someone else pulls the sword out of the stone, or he cannot do it himself. Not only this, but it also foreshadows the moment later in that season, when he refuses to pull it out, there's no King anymore, and everyone is wondering who shall rule. Guenièvre already gave the answer: she will be the one appointing the King (and she will choose her dad, without being influenced).
- Food Fight:
- Between Arthur, Karadoc and Perceval with spoiled cottage cheese.
- One of Perceval and Karadoc's "training methods" involves fighting with salami nunchucks, another the theoretical aspect of fighting with fennel◊ (turns out you don't grab it by the stalk and bludgeon people with it, you grab the round part and stab with the stalk).
- Freudian Trio: The main leaders of the kingdom:
- Arthur — Ego
- Lancelot — Superego (sometimes replaced by Bohort)
- Léodagan — Id
- Funetik Aksent: Any transcription of the Burgundian king's lines ends up with this.
- Fun with Homophones:
- A bit of fun is to expect every time the Huns are discussed (since in French, it sounds like "un", i.e. "a/an" or "one").
- Angles are another barbarian tribe trying to invade Britannia... not the angles of the map. Surprisingly, Perceval is the one to point this out... which leads Arthur to point out that yes, they are, but in this case they aren't.
- A conversation with Karadoc goes in circles after it turns out he gets confused by the use of rams and scorpions on the battlefield.
- Degrees, being used for both angles and temperatures, also confuse Perceval.
- The Burgundian king pretty much farts as punctuation.
- Karadoc is also often described as such.
- Genius Ditz: Perceval; unfortunately he is too much of a ditz to have his talent with numbers be put to any use.
- Genre Savvy: Father Blaise, and, to some extend, Arthur and the other knights.Father Blaise: [after being asked why he notes everything] To fit you into the legend! May I point out to you that between your dead horses and your ill horses, I have a legend to write!
- Get Out:
- In Dies iræ, the knights have a lengthy discussion on their Grail prototype before they start mass production, then ask the king for his opinion. After taking a deep breath, we get this.Arthur: Piss off.
[the knights run off]
Get the hell out of here, you bunch of jackoffs! Run faster! And you'd better get to work, you hear? The next one to bring me a prototype, a flowerpot, or his nana's chamber pot, I'm sending him to guard sheeps in the Highlands, got it?!
- Guethenoc asks Roparzh over to discuss their latest grievances with the king. Roparzh arrives late, Guethenoc points this out, tempers heat up, and Guethenoc tells Roparzh to piss off. In the first 30 seconds of the episode.
- In Dies iræ, the knights have a lengthy discussion on their Grail prototype before they start mass production, then ask the king for his opinion. After taking a deep breath, we get this.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Played with. Bohort's wife is summoned to Kaamelott, but Bohort maintains that she arrived very late at night, after everyone went to bed, and has retired to her chambers with seasickness — which is why nobody may see her. Turns out he's telling the truth.
- Giver of Lame Names:
- Gauvain especially. "Knight of the Pancreas", indeed.Gauvain: First, we're joyful. Second, we travel by foot. Therefore, I suggest an appropriate nickname... The Gay Ramblers.
- As for Yvain, he once went around calling himself "The Orphan of Cameliard" (see And There Was Much Rejoicing), after the big grey animal with a really long nose.
- Perceval and Karadoc form their own independent clan. Karadoc wants to call it the Crunchy clan/clan of the crunchies, but Perceval thinks it is a bit too much, so they go with the Semi-Crunchy clan.
- Gauvain especially. "Knight of the Pancreas", indeed.
- Global Ignorance: A lot of characters besides Arthur.
- Hervé de Rinel, after a grand tour of Britannia, concludes that the island is round (and produces a map as proof). Worse than that is when he adds, to be more convincing, "I went around it twice to be sure!"
- Séli has basically no idea of geography: she doesn't know where Aquitaine, the Pyrénées, or Burdigalanote are.
- And then there's Robyn:Robyn: But wait, isn't there a common border between Britain and Byzantium?
- Perceval somehow manages to go around introducing himself as "Provençal le Gaulois" (Provençal the Gaul) instead of "Perceval le Gallois" (Percival of Wales).Arthur: Doesn't even know his own name.
- Glowing Eyes: Arthur and Léodagan are afflicted by this for a while after Merlin misfired a spell (to make plants grow...). Léodagan especially isn't happy about the pinkish glow of his eyes.
- Government Conspiracy: Parodied in the episode "Silbury Hill II", with Arthur and Co. trying to hide an alien visitation (maybe).
- Grievous Harm with a Body: While complaining about the enormous appetites, drunken singing and lack of manners of the clan chieftains Kaamelott is hosting, Séli adds:
- The Guards Must Be Crazy:
- According to Arthur, all the guards in the Kaamelott castle are either stupid, drunk, sleeping at their posts, or all of the above. After having to fight to the death with an assassin that sneaked into the castle, he swears out loud that they have some serious drill training ahead in their future.
- Not that having some of the Knights of the Round Table commanding them is any better. Once, the guards were too busy playing games with Karadoc and Perceval at the tavern that they missed a band of brigands invading town. And Bohort tried (poorly) to cover for them!
- The Weaponmaster and Grüdü guarding the front door are so busy arguing with each other on who should be guarding the back door, they completely miss a bunch of rebels sneaking inside behind their backs.
- Hanging Judge: Léodagan, Minister of Justice. He also burns people at the stake — in his defense, that's considered entertainment.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: An entire episode ("Spangenhelm") is dedicated to this trope (along with an aversion of Cool Helmet). Knights look like idiots wearing it and refuse so.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Léodagan
- Hire the Critic: At the end of Livre VI, Arthur forgives Lancelot, recognizing he's literally the only one with a chance of keeping the kingdom in working order, and gives him the authority to do so. Unfortunately, Méléagant pops back up and possesses Lancelot right after, so Arthur needs to flee for his life.
- Historical In-Joke:
- Calogrenant, the king of Caledonia (Scotland), shows up with his butt wrapped in a quilted bedcover because his armor has rusted from a fall in a puddle. However the rules of the Round Table specify that every knight must show up properly dressed OR dressed in his country's traditional garb. Thus, the improper but convenient improvised quilted bedcover skirt retroactively becomes the official costume of Caledonia.
- Also, when Karadoc invents the croque-monsieurnote .
- Honest John's Dealership: Venec can provide you anything for really decent prices.
- How We Got Here: Two in one for Livre VI. Eight episodes out of nine are about how Arthur became king of Britain and recruited his knights, and the first begins In Medias Res with a fight at Villa Aconia and gradually explains what led to it.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Perceval introducing his magically created clone: "Don't know why, but he's a real dumbass."
- When Bohort describes his brother Lionnel as a complete coward. The looks on the faces of the other knights say it all. Turns out he's right — compared to Lionnel, Bohort is downright badass.
- Implied Answer: After a series of nighttime murders near the king's bedroom, Lancelot says he's glad he hired a bodyguard to protect the king for the peace conference. Arthur asks how far back that was (about four weeks ago) and when the murders started (about a month ago). Cue dawning realization on Lancelot's face.
- I'm Standing Right Here: Subverted; while the characters are absolutely not averse to insulting each other to each other's faces, they never actually complain (goes hand-in-hand with the Dysfunction Junction and Brutal Honesty nature of the show).
- Inept Mage: Merlin. He once tries to cast a spell to make plants grow, and ends up giving Arthur and Léodagan brightly glowing eyes. He tries to explain it via Not That Kind of Mage, as he's a druid: supposedly all his nature-aligned powers take a sharp dive when there's a roof over his head, i.e. in his laboratory. However, his talent as a druid is dubious as well: he can't even read the Druidic language, for starters.
- Infant Immortality: Averted offscreen. One first season episode shows Arthur got a peasant girl pregnant, however it didn't survive long.
- In My Language, That Sounds Like...: The Burgundian king seems to find some Briton words inherently funny, notably "biography".
- Insistent Terminology:
- Livre V — "Don't call me 'Sire'."
- Don't call either Arthur and Anna "brother" or "sister" without specifying "half-" before.
- Invisibility Cloak: Played with. Merlin is unable to turn people invisible, but got around it by designing invisibility panes, which makes anyone hiding behind them invisible. Just make sure you remember where you put them.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: Merlin, as a druid, can turn into various animals. However, he doesn't control it much and follows whatever animal spirit governs the week.
- Ironic Echo: At the beginning of the first episode of Livre VI, the Roman aide-de-camp tells his troops, "Hey, guys, guess what we're eating tonight? Hare." At the end, when Léodagan is made chieftain, he roars, "Hey, guys, guess what we're eating tonight? ROMANS!"
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Karadoc and Perceval once have a fight when Perceval tells Karadoc he's stupider than he is fat. Karadoc replies that he's just as much the one as the other.
- It Will Never Catch On:
- The episode "L'Interprète" has the following discussion:Father Blaise: Oh, I wanted to ask you: How did you get into the Burgundian culture?
Interpreter: [surprised] The Burgundian culture? I didn't even know there was one. No, I wanted to study Modern Greek, but it was all taken; the only languages left were Burgundian or English. English! But that's even less widespread.
- In another episode, when Merlin tries out "modern medicine" instead of magical healing, Arthur tells him it will never catch on. Though that's understandable, considering the best Merlin could come up with was throwing salt in an open wound....
- The episode "L'Interprète" has the following discussion:
- I Want Grandkids: Séli (and Léodagan, to a much lesser degree). Here, it's for a self-serving reason: If their daughter produces the heir to Britain, the family's position is guaranteed. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle is that neither Arthur nor Guenièvre has any interest in the other, yet Séli keeps buying fertility potions.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- For all Arthur's in-laws' (and others) annoying questions on when they can expect an heir, there being one would solve quite a few problems.
- Léodagan's obsession with building watchtowers all along the beaches (Arthur says he doesn't want to invest in construction at the moment) makes sense considering how often invaders from the continent end up landing on Britain. Of course, having the watchtowers isn't enough; Yvain and Gauvain demonstrate the need for competent guards as well, who don't sleep until noon with the shutters closed or let the messenger pigeons free so they don't have to clean up their crap...
- Elias of Kelliwic'h is one of the most shamelessly obnoxious, self-centered, unlawful and disruptive character ever written; yet in the many situation where he is confronting the ineptitude of Merlin, it's hard not to agree with him. Especially in cases where Arthur is forcing them to work together, willfully ignoring the (obvious) power and competence gap between them.
- Kavorka Man: Arthur. He has a wife, seven mistresses, and several other affairs along the series. Yet he is a never-smiling, impatient, rude, average-looking jerk. His success is often attributed to his status, but he even had affairs before being the king. However, he does treat ladies with respect, takes baths, and the fact that he is the Only Sane Man in the show helps a lot.
- Large Ham:
- Élie Semoun as the Witch Hunter.
- The weaponmaster, whenever in training mode.
- The Burgundian king.
- Lawful Stupid: Grüdü (yes, the Viking barbarian reared by polar bears) can follow orders to the exclusion of common sense. For example, when he and the weaponsmaster are guarding the front gate, no-one is guarding the back gate. If he goes to guard it, that's dereliction of duty. If the weaponsmaster goes, he's a deserter. While they argue semantics, the assassins slip in unimpeded (through the front gate).
- A Lesson Learned Too Well: After Mevanwi gets Karadoc named regent, she tells him he should start imitating Arthur (such as reforming the political system, notably on how much power the queen can wield). So he does just that... by taking baths with mistresses (he doesn't quite seem to get the concept of a mistress either).
- Lethal Chef: SéliSéli: Well, I cooked something that's not too shabby: some kind of tart, with onions, cabbage, celery and spices.
[they taste it]
Bohort: [embarassed] It's... interesting...
Arthur: The more interesting part being: how do you manage to cook something that foul with normal ingredients.
Séli: [shocked] Foul???
Bohort: Well, you can say it's... um, a peculiar taste...
Arthur: It's incredible, it's like eating dirt, and cow dung, and gravel, it smells like a henhouse, but it really is celery and onions. It's amazing.
- Logic Bomb: Arthur once takes advantage of Grüdü's Lawful Stupid nature, in an attempt to have the clingy bodyguard give him some space. Grüdü is sworn to brutally waste anybody threatening the king; when Arthur puts a knife under his own throat and asks Grüdü what he's gonna do, the bodyguard has a breakdown. Arthur relents, however, before he goes berserk.
- Loophole Abuse:
- Arthur gets out of having to duel Karadoc (for having stolen his wife) by invoking an obscure tradition of "spousal exchange" from Vannes (where Karadoc comes from). Karadoc, who wasn't eager for the duel either (he believed the fight was too one-sided in his favor), is thrilled by this.
- Séli and the Jurisconsult in Livre V; the latter tries to extort privileges (namely "bed and meals" at the expense of Kaamelott) from the former by pointing out that as a "magistrate", he is supposed to be legally considered a "distinguished guest". Séli's reaction? Ordering a full plate of stale crusts of bread for him ("We're supposed to give you "bed & meals", nowhere it is said that it should be good meals.") and removing the pillows and blankets of his bed. ("You got the bed, right? Then pillows and blankets aren't mandatory.")
- Arthur attempts this on his zealous Viking bodyguard by putting a dagger on his own throat. It fails since Grüdü is about to have a nervous breakdown and go berserk over it.
- Lovable Coward: Everybody except Arthur, Lancelot, and Léodagan. Bohort stands out as the most acute case.
- Love Ruins the Realm:
- Does it ever. Despite multiple warnings (including a seer who goes into a trance to tell him not to do it) not to sleep with another knight's wife, Arthur still goes ahead with it.
- The sixth season reveals this was the case from the very beginning: Arthur's Sexless Marriage was due to him swearing to the love of his life that he wouldn't touch his wife in an Arranged Marriage.
- Perceval and Karadoc's dialogues are hilarious when they try to use big words.Karadoc: [to Arthur, through the door of his bedroom] We are wily-nilly used by you to achieve on an end!
Karadoc: We are willy-nilly used by you to achieve on an end!
Arthur: [opening the door, thoughtful] You are unwillingly used by me to achieve my ends?
Karadoc: Oh yeah, that's better...
Perceval: The turn of phrase is more gradual...
Arthur: ... Clearer?
Perceval: Clearer, yeah.
Arthur: [half-proud, half-amused] Did you notice that I understand you better and better?
Perceval: Yes, that's what I was just thinking about right now.
Karadoc: Quicker and quicker, at least.
Perceval: It's more spindly!
Arthur: ... More fluent?
- The Burgundian king has no idea of what he's saying, including such gems as "the flower in the bouquet withers... and is never reborn!", "I appreciate fruits in syrup", "Not change plate for the cheese!" and "strong in apples". He also starts sniggering at "biography".
- Perceval and Karadoc's dialogues are hilarious when they try to use big words.
- Manipulative Bastard:
- Also, Mevanwi is a Manipulative Bitch.
- Master of None: Merlin explains that most druids specialize in healing one type of animal, which is why he can't heal Perceval's horse. When asked what animal he specializes in, he answers that he's more of a generalist... just not with horses.
- Medieval Morons: From the peasants to the knights. It's even the reason Lancelot left the Table.
- Midnight Snack: Karadoc often sneaks to the kitchen in the middle of the night, as do other characters. In one episode, Séli tries putting traps to prevent this, as there's a big feast coming up. Too bad Karadoc already took the food to his room, and mined the way there with more bear traps...
- Mistaken for Gay:
- Bohort (Bors), who was thought to be gay by the audience until the writer showed him married in one episode, just because he was tired of this assumption. Of course, given the number of times this joke was used and the way the characters reacted to it, he has only himself to blame.
- Lancelot in-verse. First because he doesn't show any interest in women aside from the queen, and second because he once shared a bed with Bohort (the latter was scared by a storm.)
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Grüdü has a nightmare about a creature that's half scorpion, half bear, and half scorpion again.
- Mutually Unequal Relationship: Several characters believe themselves useful members of society, despite being some variation of The Millstone. Despite being told how useless they are to their faces, it just bounces off, and any self-awareness they might have is gone by the end of the episode.
- Naked People Are Funny: Several bath scenes, including one with Karadoc (thankfully using Hand-or-Object Underwear).
- Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: After the pope commands Arthur to build a cathedral, they turn to Venec, who has an Egyptian architect whose previous work was in pyramids, a sweet deal for a large amount of pine, and leftover statues from a whorehouse. Sadly, Britain will not see the first pyramid-shaped pine cathedral/brothel, as they're out of funds.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering:
- The Knights of the Round Table on an average day. Arthur once manages to steer a heated discussion from Léodagan refusing to pave the roads in his kingdom by making a Rousing Speech that leads to a Misfit Mobilization Moment as the Knights of the Round Table, finally united in their Quest for the Holy Grail, set off... only for one to point out that they can't really get anything done near Léodagan's kingdom, seeing as the roads aren't paved... Arthur just slumps back down in his seat as the exact same argument starts again.
- The assembly of the Kings of Logres, once every four years, is even worse.Hoël: [slamming the table] You're the worst bunch of slackers of the whole Celtic World!
Loth: I won't ever come back, let it be said, I'll do it, I'll stay home, shit, I've had enough...
Léodagan: [pointing toward Arthur] We already have one governing like a woman, we aren't going to start a collection, right?
Arthur: I'll give you fifteen days of hard labor, you'll see if it feels womanly!
- In Livre VI, the council of the "Ladies", even though they are divine beings, is shown to be just as bad as the mortals.
- In the pilot, Artuh's meeting to discuss the Grail is repeatedly interrupted by the cook barging, demanding to know who's going to prepare the green beans for lunch. Cut to each Knight of the Round Table having his own pile of beans.
- Not That Kind of Mage: Merlin often claims that the reason he's an Inept Mage is that he's a druid — stuff like having a roof over his head (for his laboratory) cuts his powers by half. However, it's also seen that he's not that great a druid either (he can't read Druidic, for starters).
- Not the Intended Use: Arthur points out the "crown" worn by Léodagan and Karadoc is, in fact, a fruit bowl.
- Oblivious Mockery:
- Arthur calls the weaponmaster "son of a one-legged man", unaware that it's his personal Berserk Button (despite being told to insult him). He counters about the one time Arthur's father fell asleep in a barn and a goat took a shit on him. Mutual No-Holds-Barred Beatdown ensues.
- A later episode has him congratulate Arthur on his strength of character: the kingdom is going to the dogs, the Grail is no closer today than it was at the beginning, but he keeps going. This sends Arthur into the same depressive state as the weaponmaster.
- Karadoc has difficulty believing Arthur would want to sleep with Mevanwi, resulting in one of the best-deserved (accidental) put-downs on the show.Karadoc: This duel is completely stupid.
Mevanwi: It's to defend my honor, you think I'm not worth it?
Karadoc: Worth it, worth it, you're not worth me killing the king, be serious!
Karadoc: He's the king, he's got duties, and now he's going to get himself killed over some broad.
Mevanwi: Some broad?
Karadoc: Yeah, he's fantasizing about you, he's imagining all kinds of things about you... If he knew you better he wouldn't be in such a state.
- Lancelot, alone with the queen, tells her about how some people don't take mistresses, instead choosing a one woman, marrying her, and loving only her until they are parted by death. Guenièvre laughs and says "Yes, but we're civilized over here! Can you imagine, a man with only one woman for life?"
- Obnoxious In-Laws:
- Arguments between Arthur and his family-in-law are common. Unusually, Léodagan often sides with Arthur against his wife.
- Averted, to Arthur's horror, when his Beloved Smother and aunt get along just fine with his mother-in-law.
- Only Sane Man: Arthur, and (in his own opinion) Lancelot. Only intelligent man, on the other hand...
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Excalibur only lights up when held by someone with an exceptional destiny, and will always comes back to The Chosen One. Unless stuck in the stone, in which case only the rightful King of Britain can pull it out.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Well, hard to tell, since they're heard but not seen. Still, from Arthur and Léodagan's account, they're quite numerous, and they like gold.
- Our Gods Are Different: Played with. The series is creatively ambiguous about which gods, if any, exist. Arthur has formally converted to Christianity for the sake of convenience but isn't much of a believer (in fact, he prays to Mars at one point), and retains an overtly pagan druid on his payroll. It's even lampshaded by Arthur when the Lady of the Lake tries to make Arthur feel guilty for praying to Mars.Arthur: Praying to Mars?? [laughs] Praying to Mars...
Arthur: ... Yeah, Maybe. So What?
Lady of the Lake: Are you kidding me?? You're praying to a Roman god! May I remind you, for your information, that you're quite committed to a quest in the name of the One God...
Arthur: Because the One God is Celtic?
Lady of the Lake: [bewildered] Huh... Hmm... Well, he's the One.
Arthur: Yeah, right. And you, with your orange hair and your skin as white as a dairyman's crap, you're not Celtic?
Lady of the Lake: Yes, at first...
Arthur: [sharply] "At first"? What, you're working part-time with the ones, part-time with the others? Religion is a mess. Admit it and let me pray to whoever I want. Doesn't prevent me from searching for your damn Grail, anyway.
- Our Trolls Are Different: One is killed offscreen by Lancelot, and we learn it has acid blood.
- Overzealous Underling: Grüdü (Arthur's viking bodyguard) has a surefire method of ensuring no assassins can reach the king: murder anyone who passes near the king's bedroom (be it a servant who's just coming to light the candles or a knight of the Round Table) or gets near the king (such as, say, the king's current bedmate). Arthur tries to pull a Logic Bomb on him by holding a dagger to his own throat, but quickly stops as he sees Grüdü about to go berserk.
- Parrot Exposition: The Burgond king, once he "learns" to speak Briton, does this a lot. Arthur once manages to broker a peace treaty between Kaamelott, the Burgonds and their Viking allies by telling the Viking the Burgond agreed to give him his lands.Sven: And... he agrees?
Burgond King: He agrees!
- Also works as a Historical In-Joke, as this probably refers to the creation of the Duchy of Normandy
- Perp Sweating: Bohort is subjected to this from Blaise and Arthur in episode "Le Donneur" ("The Snitch"), as he's trying to cover up Perceval and Karadoc's latest blunder.
- The Pig Pen:
- Most of the peasants, since it's The Dung Ages. Arthur forces Those Two Guys to take a bath at one point:Arthur: So what's the water look like?
Guethenoc: Still black, and there's a layer of grease floating on it.
- Among the knights, Karadoc stands out. Mevanwi once threatens to break up with him if he doesn't start taking baths. Once he figures out that he can eat while in the water, he agrees that he can maybe take one or two baths a year.
- Most of the peasants, since it's The Dung Ages. Arthur forces Those Two Guys to take a bath at one point:
- The amateur short movie Dies iræ, produced with most of the original cast before any TV series was considered.
- As well as ten standalone episodes, created to test the format; they are more or less part of the Canon, although there were a few casting changes before the series proper.
- Platonic Prostitution: Perceval in episode "L'Habitué". He has been seeing the same prostitute for a long time now, but only for talking. What we hear him tell the prostitute is one of the most heartwarming moments of the show.
- Poke the Poodle: Bohort's "insults".
- Prequel: Save for the last episode, all of Livre VI.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Invoked by Venec, who doesn't attack people he has done business with (and will likely do business with again); he will rob them on occasions, though.
- The Ankou.
- And Morgane for heroes like Arthur. Although she is a bit early...
- Public Domain Characters: Most of the cast, though with considerable differences with the originals.
- Quip to Black: A rare inversion. Most episodes end with a beat, a black screen and a one-liner (either snarky or absurd). For example:[Karadoc and Perceval are drunk in the tavern, with Perceval passed out on the table]
Karadoc: Sir Perceval?
[Perceval suddenly rises up]
Perceval: INDEPENDANT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALES!!!
[beat and fade to black]
Perceval: Fuck, there's a woodpecker in my head, is that normal?
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Knights of the Round Table. God, where do we start? Perceval, Karadoc, Bohort, Gauvain, Yvain, Léodagan, Hervé de Rinel, Lancelot, Galessin...
- The Rain Man: Perceval
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: The first four seasons. The later two reduced the jokes per minute (and the total amount of comedy, for that matter).
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: There are a few during the series, but the scene of the Round Table in "The Return of the King" (in Livre V) is often considered a raging, liberating, howling-at-the-moon Moment of Awesome by the fans, considering whom it is given to. Context: by some improbable twists of fate, Karadoc (who, in Livre V, is that kind of character), has been crowned king by his wife Mevanwi. Then, when Arthur came back from a quest, during the Round Table meeting, he and Perceval invite Arthur, and give a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to every knight in attendance, and to Arthur in particular (they don't know the purpose of Arthur's quest, i.e. find out if he's got children somewhere). A speech to which Arthur replies with one of his own, delivered in one of the calmest voice ever, with a bittersweet music in the background.Karadoc: Sir Arthur is back from a quest; maybe he can say something about it?
Perceval: Come on, at least tell us if it was successful, don't be shy.
Arthur: [sighs] ... No, it wasn't.
Karadoc: Okay... No Comment...
Perceval: [sarcastic] I can see that there have been some major achievements, this week, again. What did you heroes do, apart from scratching your own feet?
Léodagan: You know what "we heroes" have to say to that?
Perceval: Yeah, right... When it comes to being unpleasant, you're proficient.
Karadoc: No, it's okay, do nothing. Finding the Grail will be a piece of cake...
Perceval: It's not that difficult to put some effort in it...
Karadoc: [getting angry] Sir Arthur, apparently you traveled across the whole country by foot; don't you think you could have taken a look? No no, me myself an me, always, always, always!!!
Perceval: [disappointed] You really didn't bring anything back? Not even a small clue?
[Arthur shakes his head]
Karadoc: [sarcastic] Well done, then. Everyone else? Any news?
Perceval: [thumps the table] I can't believe it! You think you can fool us?!
Karadoc: I'm warning you...
Arthur: [interrupts] I did build a stronghold, at least.
Perceval: ... What?
Arthur: [very calmly, with a put out look] For the Grail. I did build a stronghold. Kaamelott, they call it. I sought and hired knights in the whole kingdom; in Caledonia, in Carmelid, in Gaunes, in Vannes, in Wales; I ordered a big table, to have the knights sitting together; I ordered it round, to prevent having a knight sitting in a corner, or at the end of it; it was complicated, so I tried to explain what was the Grail, to make sure everyone understand; it was hard, so I tried to laugh, to make sure nobody got bored; I failed; [stares at Karadoc and Perceval] but I don't want anyone to say that I did nothing. Because it's not true.
Perceval: [embarrassed] Come on Sire, you know you must not take what we say seriously; you know that we are fools...
Arthur: [nods, depressed] Stop calling me Sire.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Not quite a running gag, but it happens a few times.
- In one of the pilot episodes, "Les Funérailles d'Ulfin", Arthur is attending the funeral of an elderly noble... only to have the "dead guy" waking up (just as the pyre is being lighted) and asking what's going on. When he makes an unfortunate comment, Arthur is very tempted to put him back in the grave.
- In Livre I, "La Mort le Roy Artu", Father Blaise endeavors to have tourists visiting Kaamelott to bring some money to the coffers. The visit of the castle ends up with... the tomb of King Arthur. Because it's solemn. Arthur is rather bothered by this; Blaise thus changes it to... visiting the tomb of Queen Guenièvre.Lancelot: Perceval, what are you doing here?
Perceval: I'm taking the tour.
Arthur: What tour? You live here, you complete moron!
Perceval: Yeah, but they take you places I've never seen! Apparently we can visit your tomb, that's got to be worth looking at.
- Episode "Always" of Livre II is all about the characters reacting (and getting all philosophical) over the report of Perceval's death. Turns out he just has been very sick, and shows up at the end.Arthur: But you're not dead, you bastard?!
- A bard once announces the funeral of King Loth. As it happens, you shouldn't listen to everything bards sing.
- Léodagan and Séli are once believed to be dead by their kingdom of Carmélide, And There Was Much Rejoicing. When Léodagan learns that it was caused by Yvain's latest poor choice of a moniker (he was going for "the Elephant of Cameliard", but got it mixed up with "Orphan"), he is not amused.
- Lancelot makes his reappearance in a rather sinister fashion:Guenièvre: I thought you were dead?
Lancelot: Not yet, not quite.
- Retcon: Quite a few, since the first Livre was just a succession of funny episodes without any plot. Those are always minor details, though.
- Riddle Me This: Attempted by Merlin against Elias, but backfires when Merlin chooses stupid riddles and/or makes mistakes.Merlin: [to Elias, in a solemn tone] What is small... and chestnut brown?
Elias: [deadpan] A chestnut.
Merlin: [shocked, to Arthur and Lancelot] Damn, the bastard's good.
- Ring of Power:
- Arthur's ring of weapon control. A gift from the Roman Emperor.
- Loth's power to throw lightning seems to come from a ring too.
- Running Gag:
- Léodagan ordering siege engines even when they are unnecessary/useless, or trying to set up a watchtower network against sea invasions. The latter pays off in the fourth season, where Yvain and Gauvain manning the tower is a recurring subplot.
- The Lady of the Lake offering pointless advice and being unable to be seen or heard by anyone except Arthur — and Perceval being completely unable to grasp this.
- Perceval's stories always involving old people.
- Arthur being interrupted every time he sings the pavane "Belle qui tiens ma vie".
- [Character searching a word, asking to Arthur] > [Arthur suggesting the right word] > "Nah, [said word], that's [something that has nothing to do with the subject at hand], isn't it?"
- Sarcasm-Blind: Perceval and Karadoc[after Perceval tells him that he's going to relate his last adventure]
Arthur: I imagine that this really will be epic, once more.
Perceval: Well, no, I guess that this will be quite lame.
- Say My Name: Can happen. Notably, that one time Arthur finds a string of sausages in his bath...Arthur: KARADOOOOOC!
- Seer: Prisca. She admits she's a fraud to Arthur, except the gods use her as a conduit for a prophecy (and she remains unaware anything happened)...
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Prominent throughout the show. Most of the humor involves characters of the Arthurian legends involved in day-to-day routines, with dialogue to match.
- Serious Business:
- Father Blaise is not happy with the introduction of the tritone (a.k.a. diabolus in musica) in religious music.Father Blaise: The next person I catch whistling a pagan interval, I'M REPORTING HIM TO THE POPE!!!
- Also, Venec once screws up and is left with an unsaleable shipment of unaged goat cheese that was left out in the sun. Karadoc asks to look at it, since he might have a use for it... and goes ballistic when he sees it. When Venec asks how much Karadoc will give for it, Karadoc just stares, and Perceval tells Venec that he'd better leave, right now.
- Father Blaise is not happy with the introduction of the tritone (a.k.a. diabolus in musica) in religious music.
- Servile Snarker:
- Angharad, Arthur and Guenièvre's maid.
- Drusilla, Aconia's servant in the Rome prequel.
- Sex Is Cool: Usually completely averted.
- The main character, Arthur, cheats so many times on his wife with numerous mistresses or one-night stands that he would be considered a lecher nowadays. Everytime his relationships are evoked, it becomes a source of comical relief or even humiliation for him or his wife. Oh, and of course, the only woman he doesn't touch at all is his wife.
- When it comes to the rest of the knights, five of them are seen with a wife throughout the show: Léodagan, who seems to be quite faithful (emphasis on the quite); Bohort, who live away from his wife and took a vow of chastity; Karadoc, who considers sex to be "something necessary to make children, and that's it"; Lancelot (once he eloped with Guenièvre), who doesn't even know how to make love theoretically; and King Loth, who never mentions his wife without the word "bitch", or other synonyms.
- And, last but not least, the only time in the show that a sexual intercourse is not shown in a funny way (Arthur and Mevanwi) is the point where the show gets Darker and Edgier.
- Sexless Marriage: Arthur & Guenièvre; Bohort & Berlewen to a point (he claims to have children). Karadoc doesn't view sex has anything other than an obligation and even admitted to his wife he doesn't like seeing her naked that much.
- Shaky P.O.V. Cam: The minotaur in a pilot episode.
- Shell Game: Perceval, thanks to his Idiot Savant status, never loses at this game.
- Shock and Awe: King Loth can throw lightning.
- Short-Lived Leadership:
- Léodagan gets his daughter Guenièvre to name him as regent during Arthur's absence, removing the scheming Mevanwi from power. Unfortunately, she sleeps with the legislator to find the document approving Léodagan's position and destroys it, meaning the regent-naming decision reverts to the queen (which, technically, means Mevanwi). She puts her dumbass husband Karadoc in power the next day.
- The Roman Empire is flanderized into offing its emperors in increasingly sadistic ways, including putting a scorpion in his bed.Arthur: They're in a coup d'etat dynamic right now.
Leodagan: Forget "dynamic", it's a national pastime.
- Caius (the commander of the last remaining Roman encampment) often gets invited for lunch and political discussions:Arthur: Rome is finished, everyone can tell.
Léoodagan: What's your emperor's name again?
Caius:' Romulus Augustus.
Léodagan: Yeah, that's it, and how old is he?
Caius: Eleven and a half.
Léodagan: One hell of an international superpower right there!
Caius: Yeah, but he's really mature for his age.
Léodagan: But seriously, you don't think it's weird that you're led by a ten-year old?
Caius: Eh, we give him less than two months before he gets his throat cut. Right now there's two putsches a year in Rome.
- Shout-Out: A lot.
- Two episodes are named "Stargate"...
- In one of them, Perceval explains that the Earth is round and that, if someone spins around it backwards at the speed of light, he'll travel back in time.
- The other one features a lightsaber from a desert planet with several moons.
- Also, an episode called "The Phantom Menace".
- Another has Arthur visiting central Europe, gets bitten in the neck by a local, and gets all moody, grows long fangs and cellos start playing in the background whenever he talks.
- A guy called Robyn, fighting for the poor...
- In Livre IV, there's an episode with a dialogue between Arthur and Lancelot copied on the one in Heat.
- Venec, slave trader (among other activities), explains in an episode that he owns an Egyptian architect. He also mentions he had to give three gladiators to get him at Glastonbury fair. Glastonbury is a town which is heavily related to the Arthurian Myths: it is possibly the location of the Isle of Avalon, and King Arthur's grave was "found" in the Glastonbury Abbey (a story made-up by Henry the Second).
- Two for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The equivalent of the inquisitor is called the Witch Hunter ("Le Répurgateur"). And one episode even mentions a dungeon full of Skavens.
- In Livre V, the episode where Arthur comes back to Kaamelott is called "The Return of the King"...
- Actually, there is a quite a lot of episodes with a "shouting" title. Without quoting those above, we can find: "Angels & Demons", "All the World's Mornings" (a french novel which inspired a movie with Gérard Depardieu), "Alone in the Dark", "Double Dragon", "Life Is Beautiful", "Dream On", "GoodFellas", "Arthur in Love"... and many, many others.
- Two episodes are named "Stargate"...
- Small Name, Big Ego: Perceval and Karadoc. To the point that, in some occasions, they manage to brag about how they epically failed a mission as if it was a victory.
- Smug Snake: King Loth; Léodagan. They are quite power-hungry and sure that they would do a better job than Arthur, even though everyone tells them they'll be no Britain left if they take the crown.
- Special Effects Failure: In-universe examples:
- One example is the In-Name-Only druid Merlin. He is supposed to set off a fireball, (which he couldn't if his life depended on it) and, well, fails to do so.
- Merlin also explains that he can summon lightningbolts... it's just a lot easier to do during a thunderstorm.
- Reversed (or maybe inverted) in an episode featuring Merlin's long-time rival Elias of Kelliwic'h. As Elias threatens Merlin and King Arthur, his magical staff begins to glow eerily, prompting everyone in the room to take cover. Elias is initially puzzled by their reaction, then explains that, "Oh no, no, it always does this when I lift my arm. It's just for show."
- Merlin once tries to cast a confusion spell during a battle, but he needs a shark tooth, which Perceval and Karadoc have been sent to get. Four hours later at the tavern, they get it into their heads that the tooth itself is cursed and throw it in the fire. Merlin casts the spell with a ferret's tooth instead, and the resulting missile is so pathetic the enemy army trips over itself with laughter, allowing Kaamelott to attack and claim victory.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Roparzh and Guethenoc are forever at each other's throats. Problem being, they appear to be the largest landowners in the kingdom, so every time they poison each other's herds or burn each other's fields, there's a famine.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Not in the show itself, but one series of ad breaks uses, of all things, the theme for Game of Thrones.
- Spin-Off: The Comic-Book Adaptation; seven albums thus far.
- Spirit Advisor: The Lady of the Lake to Arthur. Though she's not very good at it....
- The Starscream: More or less averted with Léodagan, who doesn't make any particular effort to overthrow Arthur. Though he does love to antagonize him in every way possible, such as suggesting a skaven-killing expedition in total darkness (Arthur's afraid of the dark) or forcing him to conform to misogynistic traditions he doesn't like. There were one or two assassination attempts he was in on, but that was a while ago. Once Arthur abdicates, however, he instantly sets himself up as king of Britain.
- Stealth Insult: Although there usually is nothing "stealthy" about those, Arthur has a nice one in his face-off with Lancelot when they talk about the latter's defection:Lancelot: Someone once told me: "A true knight doesn't keep anything close to him if he couldn't abandon it within five minutes."
Arthur: [deadpan] You never keep anything close to you, then?
- Stopped Reading Too Soon: Arthur goes to Merlin to ask for an energizing potion because he's feeling down lately. Merlin looks for the potion and tells him to drink it. Arthur asks if he's sure, Merlin replies that yes, it says "one" on the label for "in one go" — except the label is in Druidic, which Merlin has trouble reading. Then as Arthur downs it, Merlin deciphers the word after that, which is "drop". Arthur spends the rest of the episode overexcited until the prospect of bedding his wife comes up, which cures him completely.
- Strategy Schmategy: Arthur, when he is playing with the Burgundian King at a strategy game which he doesn't know any rules.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Played for Laughs, with Attila and the Burgundian King, and also Perceval.
- Super Gullible: Arthur is repeatedly able to convince the chieftains of enemy tribes to go away thanks to this trope.
- In one case, he tells a Viking king allied with the Burgundian king that the latter is giving up all his lands to the former (the Burgundian doesn't speak their language and tends to repeat what he just heard because it sounds funny to him) with this exchange:Arthur: I'll give you the entire Burgundy territory.
Sven: You wha...? And... he agrees with this?
Burgundian King: HE AGREES WITH THIS!
- In another instance, the Burgundian king is attacking the castle of Kaamelott, when Attila the Hun suddenly shows up. Arthur then tells the latter that the former is in fact here as his ally, despite the latter screaming "Attila! Attila!" in a panic and Arthur yelling at him to shut up before he screws everything up. Attila seems to fall for it, though it remains unclear if he did attack.
- And in another where the Mongol horde of Attila shows up again (all two of them), and Arthur convinces Attila that the castle doesn't contain anything of value at all, to the point where Attila's demands kept going lower (at one point demanding the table linen, but Bohort refuses). In the end he demands the queen, gets Arthur's Ax-Crazy bodyguard Grüdü in obvious drag, and accepts "her" as the real deal.
- In one case, he tells a Viking king allied with the Burgundian king that the latter is giving up all his lands to the former (the Burgundian doesn't speak their language and tends to repeat what he just heard because it sounds funny to him) with this exchange:
- Surrounded by Idiots: A great deal. One of the major problems is that everyone considers themselves smarter than the others, no matter their actual level of intelligence.
- Take Our Word for It:
- Live version. Almost every battle only shows the commanders of the Briton army crying about the total inefficiency of their troops.
- Also, the series not having a big special-effect budget, monsters (dragons, goblins, minotaur, giant snake...) are just described or heard (or already dead), but carefully stay off-screen. Averted in the comic books, which sometimes show the monsters the show only talked about.
- The Teetotaler: The weaponmaster
- Thieves' Guild: Downplayed: Venec just keeps a notebook of what his boys stole where and when so the owners can buy it back. When Excalibur goes missing, Arthur gets out of it by pointing out that Venec is messing with the gods and liable to be cursed over several generations.
- Those Two Guys:
- Karadoc and Perceval.
- Roparzh and Guethenoc.
- Yvain and Gauvain.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Half of the Knights of the Round Table are just plain incompetent.
- The peasants also qualify, since they tend to revolt just for the sake of it. Although they are aware of the idiocy of revolting without knowing why, and one episode even focuses on them trying to find a good reason.
- Also, the Witch Hunter, who, because of his fanaticism against magic, manages to physically attack Arthur twice: in one of the pilots, because Arthur's usage of Excalibur qualify as "magic usage" ("which is forbidden!"); and in Livre IV, when he demands Excalibur from Arthur because a magic sword given by Pagan Gods would be most useful to fight heretics. He ends up tied to his own stake.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Séli was originally at least somewhat supportive of her son's non-combative leanings. Nowadays she's just as supportive of him as her husband.
- Torture Always Works: Léodagan's deep belief.
- Torture Technician: While Arthur doesn't employ one, Venec tries to sell him a variety of progressively more hideous mechanical torture devices, as every ruler needs them (Léodagan heartily agrees). Arthur, who is against torture, declines... but The Stinger shows him using one to freak out Guenièvre.
- Tranquil Fury: Léodagan is a mean, quick-tempered bastard at his best. When he starts speaking in a calm, matter-of-fact voice, it's a cue that you should start running.
- Translation Convention:
- Occasionally averted. A summit with the Burgundian King required an interpreter (although it seems to be mostly gibberish). Also Played With, since after that episode, we learn that the Burgundian King took some lessons in Arthur's language. Though what he says still doesn't make any sense.
- Father Blaise occasionally speaks Latin (and "Gaelic" — actually ancient French — in one episode); neither the audience nor the other characters are meant to understand what he's saying.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: When two wizards are about to duel (in any way), they must announce the complete titles and honors of the other.Merlin: Elias de Kelliwi'ch; Great Enchanter of the North, Caller of the Caledonian Wolves, Slayer of the Snow Dragon, Creator of the Potion of Omnipotence, Seer of...
Arthur: [interrupts] Enough! You don't need to spout off his entire resume, do you?
Merlin: It's a wizard thing; it's how we greet each other...
Elias: Merlin; Enchanter of Britain, Defeater of the Winchester Weasel, Creator of the Potion of Curing Ingrown Nails, Author of the scroll Druidism for Old Folks...
Merlin: [interrupts] Yeah, alright, alright. [to Arthur] You were right, it's gonna take forever.
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Played straight with Azilis and Tumet (but averted when Arthur can't stand to be kissed by Guenièvre and Démetra at once).
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: A very short-lived one by Léodagan, complete with New Era Speech, that only lasts long enough for Mévanwi to use a loophole to set up Karadoc as king.
- Useless Useful Spell: Merlin manages to create the Moonstone, which turns goat's meat into water. He later comes up with a stone that turns lead into water. Fresh water, so there's that.Arthur: What's with you and water? We're not in the Sahel...
- Vampire Episode: The episode "La morsure du Dace" ("The Dacian's Bite") has Arthur, coming back from a trip to Dacia (which include actual Transylvania), and complaining that a local had bitten him. He demonstrates gradual vampiric traits until Merlin can give him a potion that reverse the effects, although it'll take him three days.Arthur: Three days? Can't you do anything right now?
Merlin: Well, right now, I'd need to drive a stake through your heart, and then I'd cut your head. It's your choice....
- Vetinari Job Security: When Arthur steps down from the throne of Britain, the knights find out handling the kingdom is more work that they can handle. It's noted he's actually done it once or twice before, reclaiming the sword every time and proving himself the rightful king.
- Villain Decay: Done in a single episode to Attila the Hun. When he first shows up, Bohort is of course panicked, but after finding out there's only two of them, Attilla's demands get continually smaller, with the cast refusing them for ever-pettier reasons (Bohort gets in on the action, refusing to give up finely made bedsheets).
- Waking Non Sequitur: At the end of episode "L'Ivresse" ("Drunkenness"), Perceval, after passing out drunk on a tavern table, suddenly raises his head and shouts "Independent Wales!" at the top of his lungs. And then he complains there's a woodpecker in his skull.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lancelot at the end of the sixth season.
- What the Fu Are You Doing?: Karadoc and Perceval's "fighting techniques", all the time.Arthur: [to Perceval and Karadoc] What you're doing is important, especially to someone like me, with a tendency towards depression. It's systematically stupid, but always unexpected.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The kingdom of Carmélide could be anywhere in Britain (even Brittany in some works) in Arthurian legends; this one is somewhere near Hadrian's Wall.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Guenièvre has an irrational fear of birds.
- Arthur isn't fond of snakes, although he denies it.
- Yvain is very scared of wasps and bees.
- You All Meet in an Inn: Karadoc and Perceval recruit their whole new clan in an inn, which becomes their "headquarters". Not surprising, since they're working there to pay over their huge debt to the innkeeper.
- You Fight Like a Cow: The weaponmaster's favorite schtick.
- You Keep Using That Word: Perceval is forever using words with little to no relation to what he's trying to say, such as "psychological" for "agricultural".
- You Need to Get Laid: Arthur, about the (virgin) Lancelot. Without realizing he just escaped a death-by-Lancelot, who lusts after Arthur's wife.
- Your Other Left:
- A recurring problem for Perceval; he can't ever tell right from left. He once calls himself a "southpaw"... while drawing his sword with the right hand.Perceval: So what are they called?
Perceval: Wait, northpaw doesn't mean anything, you want me to look like an idiot?
- Also a problem for Grüdü, as shown during a visit of a labyrinth.
- A recurring problem for Perceval; he can't ever tell right from left. He once calls himself a "southpaw"... while drawing his sword with the right hand.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Bohort, at the end of Livre V, pulls a Go Through Me to stop Lancelot from killing Arthur. Lancelot just bashes his head against a wall and passes anyway.
The Comic-Book Adaptation provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Several plots are expanded on from TV episodes (the Giant Snake from Shadow Lake, the Transport Seats...).
- Anti-Advice: In "The Basilisk's Lair", Perceval explains his system for determining which lever to pull: Since Karadoc systematically gives stupid suggestions, he'll go with the opposite of what Karadoc says.
- Crown of Horns: The Necromancer in the first album has a skull with immense deer horns (probably from a Megaloceros) as a helmet. In the end, Perceval seizes it and wears it at the Round Table.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Averted; the Viking chieftain chooses a scythe over a pair of kutars to assassinate Arthur, but doesn't get to use it.
- Failed a Spot Check: Karadoc and Perceval are rather oblivious as a general rule, but in Le Serpent géant du lac de l'Ombre ("The Giant Snake from Shadow Lake"), they take it to a whole new level. While rowing on the title lake in search of the eponymous giant snake, a huge coil of said monster rises above the water behind them... and they don't notice. Then its tail strikes their boat, and they wonder if they hit a rock. Finally, a stronger tail lash capsizes their boat and sends both in the water. Their conclusion? There's no giant snake in this damn lake, they're just wasting their time.
- Give Chase with Angry Natives: In L'Armée du Nécromant, Arthur and co. are climbing to the top of a mountain to defeat an evil Necromancer. Along the way, they come across a gigantic Rodent of Unusual Size, fortunately asleep. When things go wrong at the summit, they slide back down on improvised sleds, hurling stones at the rat as they pass. When the pursuing Necromancer arrives, the rat is awake and angry, and proceeds to eat him.
- Hair-Trigger Avalanche: In L'Armée du Nécromant, the knights are caught in an avalanche while fighting a horde of zombies in the mountains. At first they think it was from Merlin casting a spell, but in fact it was because Karadoc and Perceval were yelling while charging into the fray.
- Mouth Cam: We get such a shot in the first album, when Karadoc and Perceval are pursued by a big, undead skeleton sabertooth tiger.
- Our Liches Are Different: The Necromancer from the first album, L'Armée du Nécromant ("The Necromancer's Army").
- Series Continuity Error: Séli is (in one episode) mentioned to be a Pict. Yet when an army of Picts show up and kidnap Guenièvre in the seventh album, she has no idea who they are.
- Sinister Scythe: The Viking chieftain in the second album decides to wield one against Arthur.
- Stock Ness Monster: The Giant Snake from Shadow Lake. Alluded in one episode (where Perceval and Karadoc triumph over an eel), and seen in the fifth album.
- Turn Undead: Featured in L'Armée du Nécromant. The knights going on a mission to investigate a surge of zombies, they bring Father Blaise with them, on the principle that priests are supposed to have powers against The Undead. However, Blaise never tried this before, and all his attempts fail. Except at a critical moment toward the end, after hours of prayer, where he obliterates a group of giant zombies, almost accidentally (and fries his holy symbol in the process).
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Here, "Why Did It Have to Be Rats with Pigeon Wings?", in the sixth album. Guenièvre is already afraid of birds, but those things are much worse.
C'est pas faux.