The third game in the Monkey Island series, The Curse of Monkey Island was released in 1997, six years after the previous installment, LeChuck's Revenge. With two of the three fathers of the series, Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, no longer working for LucasArts, and the third, Tim Schafer, being busy with other projects, no one was really around to explain the infamous ambiguous ending of LeChuck's Revenge, so the company decided to go with a Cuckoo Nest interpretation of it.
Curse starts off with Guybrush, adrift in a bumper car after escaping LeChuck's spell and his "Carnival of the Damned", arriving in the harbor of Plunder Island, just in time to save the island (and Elaine) from attack by LeChuck and his undead pirates. LeChuck is slain yet again, and Guybrush proposes to Elaine using a ring he found in the hold of LeChuck's ship. Unfortunately, said ring turns out to be cursed, and Elaine is turned into a golden statue. Guybrush's new mission is to lift the curse on Elaine and return her to normal (and defeat LeChuck again when the evil pirate once again comes back from the dead, this time as a fiery demon).
This game marks LucasArts' final use of the SCUMM engine note . This game also marks the first appearance of Murray, the franchise's Ensemble Dark Horse.
This game provides examples of:
- Absurd Phobia: This is the first game to mention Guybrush's fear of porcelain.
- Accidental Misnaming: Or possibly Malicious Misnaming: Madame Xima, whom Guybrush calls "Madame Eczema" if he reads her name on the plaque.
- Action Girl: Elaine Marley is definitely one, if her Blasting It Out of Their Hands moment below is anything to go by.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Many of the insults being hurled about, such as Bloodnose the Pirate/Wally's threats during the prologue. "Ye scabrous swab!" "Ye steaming soufflé!"
- Agony of the Feet: Because of the holes in his shoes, Guybrush suffers this when trying to cross the Brimstone Beach. LeChuck later exploits this.
- All Balloons Have Helium: One puzzle requires a helium balloon and bubblegum.
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: Caber tossing is the real Scottish sport of heaving tree trunks. Unlike in the game, the objective is not to hurl it as far as one can, but about launching it so the tree rotates and reverses itself in the air and lands on its opposite end, with points awarded based on the achieved perpendicularity to the ground and landing direction.
- Amusement Park of Doom: The Carnival of the Damned, LeChuck's base of operations on Monkey Island. Zigzagged, as it's a popular tourist attraction and if LeChuck himself isn't trying to kill you and you manage not to get shanghaied into his army of the dead, it's apparently a lot of fun.
- Anachronism Stew: As usual, the game goes out of its way to throw in blatant, gratuitous modern technology, references to pop culture that doesn't exist, and history that hasn't happened yet, with plenty of Lampshade Hanging throughout.Guybrush: It smells like something's burning. Must be that shoddy 17th-century electrical wiring.
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Overlapping with Tempting Fate.Captain Rottingham: If you're a mighty pirate, then I'm bald.
- And Starring: The first credit after the main title of this game says, "STARRING: Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood".
- And Then What?: Mr. Fossey doesn't know what to do after tarring and feathering Guybrush.Guybrush: So what do I do now?
Mr. Fossey: Hmm... I don't know. We've never done this before. Aren't you humiliated?
Guybrush: I guess so, but no more than usual.
Mr. Fossey: Well, just get lost then.
- Angst? What Angst?: Invoked and Played for Laughs with Stan, who has been locked up in a coffin for three months note yet brushes it off like it's no big deal.
- Apothecary Alligator: The Voodoo Lady has a stuffed alligator whose tongue you have to pull to summon her.
- Appease the Volcano God: Parodied. Sherman, the lactose-intolerant god of Mount Acidophilus, the volcano on Blood Island, is tended to by a tribe of vegetarian cannibals (the same ones from the first game). Naturally Guybrush has to mess with the sensitive volcano. How? With an offering of nacho cheese which causes a catastrophic eruption.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- Wally explaining the audio books-on-parrot.Wally: All the key phrases are in there. "Blow the man down!" "Shiver me timbers!" "Who's a pretty bird?"
- The signs near the path to Danjer Cove.Danjer Cove.
Danjer! Do not enter!
Plunder Island Naturalist Society Nature Trail.
- Wally is so tough, he can stuff Davy Jones in his locker, survive a flogging with a cat-o-nine-tails for thirty minutes (or three cats-of-five-tails for eighteen), and drink milk straight from the carton.
- Wally explaining the audio books-on-parrot.
- Art-Shifted Sequel: Given that it came out 6 years after the previous game, it's not a surprise that the graphics changed, but how. The game had a larger resolution and a cartoony art style and interface that calls to mind the likes of Broken Sword and Full Throttle.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Subverted. Apparently, Slappy Cromwell's given name Rex Fortune, Adventure Seeker didn't have star quality.
- Bad Liar: Whoever wrote the Big Whoop brochures.Visit Big Whoop for an eternity of pain and torment, I mean fun and laughter.
- Badass Bookworm: Averted. Bloodnose the Pirate tries to play himself off as this, but he's utterly pathetic. That said he does have a gun, forcing you to talk him into defeat.
- Bag of Spilling:
- Guybrush begins the game with only one item in your inventory: a pair of helium-filled balloons. Presumably these are the same balloons acquired in the endgame of Monkey Island 2, but everything else from that game has been lost (including his beard, which is lampshaded).
- Midway through the second chapter as well: Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit, which sucks almost all of Guybrush's recently discovered loot right through his pants.Guybrush: Now there's an odd sensation...
- Played straight between chapters where some of the items that no longer have a use are lost. Some other items with no function, bizarrely, remain in the inventory.
- Bang, Bang, BANG: During the ship combat sections, the increasingly powerful cannons get louder; the basic starting cannons sound akin to a bottle being uncorked, while the Destructo-Matic T47 is hilariously and exaggeratedly loud.
- Bald of Evil:
- Captain Rottingham, who starts off with a full head of hair so long and immaculately curled it looks more like a 17th Century wig, gets his hair chopped off by Haggis after Guybrush plants some lice on the comb he's using. He was already a French Jerk, but after that he specifically seeks out Guybrush's ship and robs him, stealing the map to Blood Island. He's the Arc Villain for Part III.
- The Lost Welshman says that Blood Island smuggler King André is a man "as ruthless as he is bald".
- Berate and Switch: When you cheat to beat Van Helgen at the banjo duel, he'll sputter about how you're just a filthy cheat who shot his banjo... which must mean you are a pirate and therefore worthy to serve as his captain.
- BFG: The Destructo-Matic T47 Armor-Piercing Carnage-Delivery System with Auto-Loading and Fax Modem.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: The Barbery Coast barbers: musclebound, bare-chested Haggis, rail-thin Edward, and short-and-squat Bill.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands:
- Happens in the intro, when LeChuck raises his sword to kill Guybrush and Guybrush's future-wife Elaine shoots the sword out of LeChuck's hand. Bonus points for A) firing from the fort, which was a good fifty meters away, B) using a musket (though not really an option) which are notorious for their poor accuracy at range. And C) blowing out the smoke from the barrel.
- Also happens when you duel Edward Van Helgen with pistols. He wins every time.
- Blatant Lies: The 3D acceleration setting in the options menu. It's toggleable but as expected does absolutely nothing. The game is entirely 2D — even the CG ship battle minigame in Part III uses pre-rendered sprites.
- Bound and Gagged: Elaine and Wally are both tied up with gags in their mouths at the Carnival of the Damned during the endgame.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- In Part II, even though it's always daytime in Puerto Pollo, the clocktower above the Long John Silver Center for the Performing Arts is a real-time system clock that is built in for your computer, telling you at what time you played the game and keeping track of your current, local civil time. At each hour, the clock chimes in a bit of LeChuck's Theme followed by the chime of the hour number, and about 30 minutes after each hour, the same bit of LeChuck's theme plays, but without the chime of the hour number. Even interesting is that when Guybrush examines the clock tower, he will say what current time will be in the Caribbean Standard Time in hours, minutes and seconds, whether in morning, afternoon and night, acting like a speaking clock on the phone at the time of day service. Complete with a "Beep."
- Also, when Guybrush speaks with Palido Domingo and asks him how long he's been lying in Brimstone Beach trying to get a tan, Palido will tell him he's been there since seven months prior to the current month and date on your computer clock. If you asked him in August, for example, he'll say, "Since January." Ask him in January, however, and he'll not only say, "Since June," but he will also wish Guybrush a Happy New Year! Weird!
- "It just occurred to me that mixing medicine and alcohol is a really stupid and possibly lethal thing to do. If I were a real person instead of a lovably inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels... I wouldn't even consider it. Skoal!"
- And after Guybrush passes out:Mort: Funny, I didn't think you could die in LucasArts adventure games.
Griswold: Maybe they're trying something different.
- Haggis describes the importance of using hand lotion to avoid chafing while repairing ships. Guybrush turns to face the camera:Guybrush: Wow! If I were doing a history report on pirates and I included that fact I would get an A+. We're talkin' GUARANTEED A+. And that A+ just might get you into the college of your choice. Think about it.
- Brick Joke: Early on in the story, Elaine is about to punch Guybrush when she suddenly turns to gold. Guess what happens the instant she's returned to normal.
- Also, throughout the game there's some instances where Guybrush will attempt a distraction by yelling "Look! A three-headed monkey!", and a mechanical three-headed monkey makes an appearance in the game's last chapter. Guybrush even lampshades it with "I knew it'd turn up sooner or later!"
- At one point, you have the opportunity to read a poster left by the Plunder Island Naturalist Society note that teaches you the word "pappapisshu" (native Plunder Islander for "yowch"). If you do this, Guybrush (and everyone) will use the word instead of "yowch" for the rest of the game. Don't read it, and they'll continue to say "yowch" instead.
- On Blood Island, Griswold mentions a moody performer who "suffered for his art" in clear reference to Slappy Cromwell.
- Buried Alive: Invoked by Guybrush to access a crypt. In a Call-Back he encounters Stan in said crypt, who was trapped inside a coffin by Guybrush in the previous game.
- But Thou Must!:
- Guybrush joins a poker game with a group of pirates who are obviously going to cheat, and no matter what 'you' pick, he'll say "Of course I trust you".
- When Minnie asks if you're attached, you get multiple ways to say "yes" - and a single "no" response, but if you choose it, Guybrush will still say "yes".
- He is asked early on by the Voodoo Lady if he wants to see pictures of some voodoo children. All of the selectable responses are of him being horrified and loathing it, but he will always say "Perhaps...later."
- Mr. Fossey lets Guybrush choose between getting tarred and feathered and walking the plank. Guybrush refuses to pick either option, so Mr. Fossey forces him to walk the plank. Of course, you need to get tarred and feathered if you want to proceed through the game.
- When Guybrush gets to choose a prize from Dinghy Dog's carnival game, he can only take the toy anchor. If you choose Murray, Guybrush refuses out of fear, and if you choose anything else, Dinghy Dog stops you by Moving the Goalposts.
- Luckless cartographer Wally turns out to have lived through the explosion that destroyed LeChuck's fortress in Revenge. He is also once again strung up in a death trap, forgotten about, and seemingly blown up.
- Stan is alive and well — and still sealed in the coffin Guybrush nailed him into years earlier on another island. You have to let him out to proceed, and no, there's no explanation how he survived. He quickly starts up a life insurance business in the same crypt, and naturally committing insurance fraud is the object of a puzzle.
- The Monkey Island cannibals return, having relocated to Blood Island and apparently gone vegetarian in the interim, and they even remember how Guybrush tricked them into giving up their Oracular Head of the navigator in exchange for a brochure about "getting ahead in navigating", but it's all in the past.
- Cannibal Clan: Subverted — they've gone vegetarian. The Monkey Island cannibals from Secret return, now living on Blood Island, where they worship a lactose-intolerant volcano god and make sacrifices of tofu. Lemonhead is now their leader (or their leader has taken Lemonhead's mask for himself — the Special Edition of Secret gives them the same voice actor), and Red Skull and Sharptooth have replaced their giant animated masks with a banana and a pineapple.
- Captain Colorbeard: Blondebeard, a retired pirate who now runs a diner on Plunder Island.
- Coincidental Accidental Disguise: Tar + feathers = El Pollo Diablo.
- Comedy as a Weapon: The results of sword fights are based entirely on insults and puns.
- Continuity Nod:
- Guybrush is still selling these fine leather jackets.
- When the ghost of Minnie Goodsoup (who has a thing for pirates) coyly asks Guybrush what he does for a living, he hastily answers "Flooring inspector". This is a nod to the first game, where the lookout on Mêlée Island tells Guybrush. "You wanna be a pirate? You look more like a flooring inspector!"
- Guybrush uses the "Look Behind You! A three-headed monkey!" trick several times.
- Edward van Helgen mentions that he and his fellow barber pirates used to have a fourth member named Dominique, a reference to the Spy Speak gag from the first game ("Do you have a cousin named Sven?" "No, but I once had a barber named Dominique").
- If you try to interact with the spittoon on Blood Island, Guybrush responds that he doesn't need to carry spit around anymore ("I've grown past that stage."), referencing the need to collect Largo LaGrande's spit for a voodoo doll in the previous game.
- If you examine the cannonballs in part I or the cork in part IV, Guybrush will say "Nice cannonballs" or "Nice cork", just like in the previous game where he says "Nice (object)" to just about anything he sees.
- The ride in the final chapter has dioramas of Monkey Island and LeChuck's Dungeon.
- Guybrush once again says "Could you please stop that annoying swinging?" to the imprisoned Wally.
- Mêlée Island had doors that teleport you to different parts of the town. Similar doors can be found in Puerto Pollo.
- Guybrush can purchase a zombie pirate toy from King André, and it looks exactly like LeChuck's sprite from Monkey Island 2.
- The tiki lights outside the hotel are the same as the ones seen in the Booty Boutique.
- "Hey, a stump!" Examining the crack in the Goodsoup crypt causes Guybrush to pop up from the inaccessible stump of The Secret of Monkey Island in Mêlée Island (the one that "leads to a series of catacombs" with the often misunderstood joke Insert Disk #absurd_number). The original (now crude by 1997) EGA graphics and SMI-music are used and Guybrush mentions that he feels like he's been here before, maybe in a dream. He's then scared off by "a terrifying horde of stunningly-rendered rabid jaguars". Both are references to the first game's infamous stump joke.
- On a similar note, click on the water below the Blood Island docks enough times and Guybrush will wade in — to what looks an awful lot like the Mêlée Island docks, complete with what looks like the first game's Guybrush, green and floating. Guess he couldn't hold his breath for longer than ten minutes.
- The recipe book from the hotel has recipes for the drinks from the previous game that Guybrush uses to win the distance spitting competition — a mix of Yellow Beard's Baby and a Blue Whale, here called a Phlegm and Tonic — as well as the Bloody Stump, Rum Rogers' Rum Surprise (surprise — it's all rum), and Blondebeard's biscuit recipe.
- LeChuck tells a story about a circus performer who died after getting shot out of a cannon without a helmet. This could be the reason why the Fettucini Brothers insisted on having Guybrush wear a helmet in the first game... or possibly the guy they mentioned having hired before him, also mentioned in MI2.
- Guybrush asks Murray if he can call him Bob. It could be because it's just a funny name, but Bob was also LeChuck's first mate in Secret, a ghostly, skeletal pirate who likewise had a loose grip on his skull, missing the Wedding Finale after dropping it in the bay of lava under Monkey Island. Of course, it also references how a limbless Murray is stuck bobbing in the water.
- Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: Parodied. In the area where Guybrush gets eaten by a snake, the ground is littered with various tools and weapons that would help Guybrush get out of the snake. Unfortunately, he can't reach them from inside the snake. Also a Continuity Nod to the scene in the first game where you're tied to the idol underwater and everything you'd need to cut the rope is just out of reach (as seen in an Easter Egg on Blood Island).
- Cooking Duel: Guybrush must defeat Van Helgen in a banjo duel in order to recruit him. (He has to cheat, of course...)
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In a puzzle where you have to get out of a locked tomb, Murray threatens Mort with this. What punishment, you ask? "I will hide your keys beneath the cushions of your upholstered furniture, and nevermore will you be able to find socks that match!" All in a sinister voice one would expect to use when threatening to destroy the world.
- Creator Career Self-Deprecation: When Guybrush meets the talent agent Palido Domingo:Domingo: I make my living off the hard work and talent of others.
- Cue the Flying Pigs: The intro is laced with these as Guybrush laments in his journal how he's dehydrated and starving while floating across the ocean in a bumper car with nothing but a half-eaten corn dog for nourishment, all while the items he describes float passed him as he mentions them, capped off with him sarcastically wishing for Chicken and Grog, only for a keg of grog to float by with a chicken sitting on top, clucking away.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Most of Murray's dialogue consists of elaborate threats he is in no way capable of carrying out, since he's just a skull who can barely even move without being carried around (although he does get pretty good at rolling and bouncing around and he still follows you from the prologue all the way to the second-to-last chapter). Some of the toy LeChuck's lines are also voluble, decidedly kid-unfriendly taunts.
- Dead Man's Hand: If Guybrush keeps losing against King André and then looking at the losing hands, one of the random comments he'll make is "Aces and eights... that can't be good."
- Death by Despair: Minnie 'Stronie' Goodsoup died of a broken heart after her fiancée left her at the altar. She haunts the Goodsoup crypt as a ghost.
- Death Is the Only Option: Guybrush Threepwood has his destiny told: he will die at Blood island. The fortune teller on the island gives him the death card five times in a row. He ends up Faking the Dead to enter various crypts and is declared Legally Dead. The cards end up being useful, too!
- Developers' Foresight: If you talk to Slappy Cromwell before his performance, he will explain his connection to Blood Island and give you the name of his agent. If you do not talk to him before the performance, he will leave a note on the door with the information you need.
- Diabolical Mastermind: King Andre is the smuggler king of the Caribbean, possibly the world (although when you see him he's just hanging out in a cave with a single goon and a hoard of gold and a shipment of stuffed animals). He keeps slipping into Bond villain cliches, like monologuing about an Evil Plan that involves satellites, inviting Guybrush to a high-stakes poker game for the Blood Island diamond, and laughing in a booming, ominous voice.
- Don't Try This at Home: Before downing a spiked drink, Guybrush breaks the fourth wall long enough to remind players that mixing medicine and alcohol is a stupid and potentially lethal thing to do.
- Dramatic Landfall Shot: Played with in the intro movie, where Guybrush is too absorbed in his journaling to notice he's floated into sight of Plunder Island and the middle of an ongoing ship battle
- Dreadful Musician: When Guybrush auditions for the barbershop quartet, he sings so badly that it apparently causes Edward to suffer a stroke. His choice of songs doesn't help:Guybrush: I'm hooked on you, ba-byyy
But the seas keep us apart
And there ain't no eyepatch big enough
To cover up my broken hearrrt
- Ear Worm: The hook from the actual Monkey Island theme, in-universe. According to Edward van Helgen, it's so catchy that it drove most of the crew of the Obsessivo-Compulsivo to hurl themselves overboard to escape the incessant humming.
- Easter Egg: Several Continuity Nods and Mythology Gags:
- Press Shift+J on the ship-to-ship combat screen to enable lightsaber sounds for the swordfighting battles.
- Examining the giant web in the top-left of the screen in the Mutual of Stan and re-entering the crypt an absurd amount of times will result in a tiny woman attempting to escape from the web, and a spider chasing after her, mirroring a similar scene in The Dig, another LucasArts adventure game.
- Attempting to use the ocean at the beach at Blood Island will eventually result in Guybrush walking in on a scene from The Secret of Monkey Island, where that game's Guybrush has already drowned.
- After being buried in the Goodsoup family crypt, examine the crumbing hole in the wall. Guybrush will stick his head out from behind the stump in the forest from The Secret of Monkey Island, a reference to the 'stump joke' from that game.
- When playing Mega Monkey Mode and trying to find Elaine using the "treasure map" from LeChimp's ship, hitting the buttons in the sequence SE, NW, W, S, E, NE will result in Max's head appearing in the lights on the back wall of the theater.
- Edible Theme Naming: The Goodsoup family members have soup-related first names. There's also a guest at their inn named Charles de Goulash, and rival families named the Van Salads and the Brothschilds, the latter an Incredibly Lame Pun on the real-life Rothschild family. Most importantly, there's "Haggis" McMutton. While "Haggis" is technically a nickname, his real name is "Heart Liver and Kidneys Boiled in the Stomach of the Animal".
- Enormous Engagement Ring: A huge but cursed engagement ring is a part of the central story, which revolves around the main protagonist Guybrush Threepwood's attempt to restore his fiancée after accidentally turning her into a gold statue by giving her said cursed ring.
- Exact Words:
- The hangover cure must contain "the hair of the dog that bit you". In this case they mean actual hair from a not necessarily actual dog. And it must bite you, even if you're not the one intending to take the cure.
- Kenny Falmouth, the kid - ahem - the young enterpreneur who owns the lemonade stand, has a bottomless mug policy. Which means, of course, that the mug does not have a bottom and cannot hold any liquid, so you're paying him for nothing.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- In the introduction, Guybrush, Lost at Sea, mentions several things he could really do with right now, and exactly everything he mentions floats by a few feet away. Moments later, he looks up from writing in his diary to find he's floated into the center of an enormous battle.
- As is common with these types of games, your costars have conveniently poor observational skills as well. If you don't take all five on Madame Xima's death cards on the first go, you can just swipe the rest when she randomly turns for a second and not bother with a distraction. Griswold won't notice you pulling out and clearly reading from the Door Stopper of a book when drilling you on Goodsoup family history. Subverted when you appear to effortlessly swipe the mirror that's right next to him; he'll stop you when you try to leave, even if you deftly replaced it with a cutout of a portrait in a single motion.
- Faking the Dead: Guybrush puts himself into a death-like stupor with a combination of alcohol and a homemade hangover cure. Twice. At least. Insurance Fraud ensues.
- Faux Death: Guybrush ignores the usual warning against combining medicine with alcohol to spike his own drink so that he appears dead so he can be interred in the Goodsoup family crypt. It takes a few tries.
- The Ferryman: There is a ghostly Lost Welshman who needs to be summoned by the lighthouse's light, though he'll need a compass to take Guybrush to Skull Island. (If he was a good navigator, he wouldn't have gotten lost, would he?) Also, sometimes he produces a sandwich from inside his cloak and munches on it.
- Feuding Families: The Goodsoups and the VanSalads, rival hoteliers until the Goodsoups came out on top and the two families intermarried. Didn't really work out for either of them, however, with the Blood Island hotel being the last of the Goodsoup's holdings on a remote island no one's ever heard of since their one attraction, the volcano, stopped erupting.
- Fission Mailed: "Funny. I didn't think you could die in LucasArts adventure games." "Maybe they're trying something different."
- Fluffy the Terrible: Apparently, "the name pirates fear the most" is Edward "Snugglecakes" Van Helgen.
- Fortune Teller: Madame Xima is "a very atmospheric gypsy fortuneteller" — a woman in a babushka scarf who's the Blood Island hotel's only customer before Guybrush shows up. She reads Guybrush's future using the tarot, until Guybrush draws five Death cards in a row. Then she refuses to speak to you, giving you a twitchy Evil Eye until you leave.
- Gender-Blender Name: Parodied when Guybrush comments on Haggis McMutton's unusual name. Apparently, it's only a nickname; his real name is Heart Liver and Kidneys Boiled in the Stomach of the Animal McMutton. Guybrush's response? "Ah, so your parents were expecting a girl?" Haggis answers "Aye."
- Glove Slap: You have to beat Edward Van Helgen in a duel to get him to join Guybrush's crew, and to give him sufficient insult to accept your challenge, you have to find a glove and slap him in the face with it.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played with in this game, making it the only game to get an "Everyone" rating, even though the word "hell" as a place is mentioned a few times (it does say, either in the instruction manual or on the back of the box cover art, that LeChuck's Beard of Evil is made of "pure demonic heckfire").
- Got Me Doing It: In the pirate song, one of the dialogue options will result in Guybrush himself adding a stanza. His expression when the crew breaks into refrain indicates he definitely didn't mean to.
- Grave Humour: Several puzzles are based on faking the death and crypts, so...
- Guide Dang It!: For the most part this trope only really applies to the Mega-Monkey Mode, which is designed to have much harder puzzles than normal difficulty, but even in the normal mode the need to mix medicine and alcohol to proceed in the game threw off some younger gamers, who (ideally) wouldn't drink alcohol and so wouldn't know that mixing medicine and alcohol in real-life can have dire results, with nothing else in the game hinting that you're supposed to do this, unless you pay close attention to the recipe book.
- The Gunslinger:
- Elaine blasts LeChuck's sword out of his hands from a good few hundred yards away. With what appears to be a blunderbuss (notoriously inaccurate, intended for short range), to boot.
- Likewise, recruiting Edward Van Helgen involves challenging him to a duel, with one of the options being pistols at ten paces. He's unbeatable, easily shooting the gun out of Guybrush's hands.
- Even timid little Wally is very quick on the draw, though he never fires.
- Hair of the Dog: "Hair of the dog that bit you" is one of the ingredients in a hangover cure. Though it has to be actual hair from a dog that bit Guybrush, even though the first time he gathers the ingredients for the cure he wasn't the one intending to take it.
- Hand in the Hole: Specifically a parody of a Hand in the Hole scene in The Dig, which played the trope straight and actually did require the solution Guybrush jokingly exclaims in a cheesy Austrian accent, a la Dr. Ludger Brink: "My hand! The circulation is cut off! You'll have to cut it off!"
- Harmless Villain: The dread pirate Bloodnose — actually a post-Stockholm Syndrome Wally the cartographer. He threatens to shoot Guybrush, but he can't bring himself to pull the trigger, and has to admit he's not actually bloodthirsty or hateful or anything. Then he breaks down and cries.Wally: I'm not even — I'm not even unpleasant! (sobs)
Guybrush: Oh, there, there.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]:
- When Guybrush pretends to be a Goodsoup family member, he can choose to call himself Hearty Beef and Potato, Vegetable, P. Hamilton "Split Pea with Ham", or Won-Ton Goodsoup. The name of his choice will then appear on his insurance policy, death certificate, and is mentioned by Griswold.
- Averted when Guybrush is playing poker with King André, who asks you to introduce yourself. You can choose from a list of fake names (including the same you chose when you were pretending to be a Goodsoup family member), but King André knew your real name all along.
- Hideous Hangover Cure: An egg, some pepper, and the hair of the dog that bit you. Literally, the gross, smelly hair of an elderly dog that bit you. Or an amusement park mascot in a Goofy Suit.
- Hollywood Density: Nobody seems to have much trouble moving around a solid gold, life-size statue of an adult woman, which would weight 1 metric ton.
- Hollywood Natives: Subverted. The Monkey Island cannibals reappear, having moved to Blood Island. In keeping with their reluctance to eat Guybrush in the first game out of concerns about their cholesterol, they've now become strict vegetarians, and voice-acting makes them even more yuppie-ish and preppy than they already were.
- Homage: Naval battles and sword duels between the captains directly refer to Sid Meier's Pirates!.
- Honor Before Reason: Haggis's old crew was horribly injured from trying to lift a heavy treasure chest, and a rival captain ended up stealing the chest by using a lever to move it. The crew wasn't willing to do the same because they didn't want to be seen as weak.
- Human Head on the Wall: Mort the gravedigger has four heads mounted on his wall, one of which is human — but don't worry, three of them are fake.
- Hypocritical Humor: In Part V, LeChuck tells Guybrush about how he helped Young Lindy start an advertising firm and become rich, then played a nasty trick on Lindy that rendered him dirt poor, forcing him to get a job at a circus, just like Guybrush did in the first game. (Although, in Guybrush's defense, he at least had a pot to use as a makeshift helmet; whereas Lindy's lack of a helmet apparently caused his death.)Guybrush: No one could be THAT desperate!
- I Am Big Boned: There is one scene when two pirates look at themselves as newly-formed skeletons:(Formerly) Fat Pirate: Hey! What d'ya know? I really am big-boned!
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Danjer Cove, Blood Island, Skull Island, Carnival of the Damned
- Ignoring by Singing: If you don't want to hear LeChuck's explanation of past events, one of the options is for Guybrush to turn his back to him, cover his ears and shout "Lalala, I can't hear you, lalalala..."
- Impossible Shadow Puppets: When escaping from the Goodsoup crypt, Guybrush teams up with Murray to make a shadow puppet of a terrifying hooded monster.
- In Which a Trope Is Described: Par for the course for the series:Part I: The Demise of the Zombie Pirate LeChuck
Part II: The Curse Gets Worse
Part III: Three Sheets to the Wind
Part IV: The Bartender, the Thieves, His Aunt and Her Lover
Part V: Kiss of the Spider Monkey
Part VI: Guybrush Kicks Butt Once Again
- Insistent Terminology: Slappy Cromwell is a thespian, not an actor.
- Interface Screw: After Guybrush consumes a spiked drink, the colors and sound start to get... weird.
- Interface Spoiler: Trying to use any of the useless items found inside the snake will make Guybrush say "That won't help me get out of this snake" instead of the usual "I can't use (item) with that". You lose those items as soon as you get out of the snake.
- Irony: Wharf Rat complains about Dinghy Dog being a glory hound who has it easy compared to him, because it's easy to get kids to want to hang out with a dog while making them love a rat is much harder. The Carnival of the Damned is based on Disneyland, where the rat really is much more popular than the dog.
- Island Base: Skull Island. Even though it looks like a duck.
- Yeah, but if you sorta squint and turn your head it looks like a bunny.
- It Belongs in a Museum: Guybrush can say this to King André regarding the diamond:Guybrush: That diamond belongs in a museum!André: So do post-impressionist paintings, Mister Threepwood. So do post-impressionist paintings.Guybrush: What the heck is that supposed to mean?André: One day... you will understand.
- It Will Never Catch On: Guybrush says this about a "Mobey Dick" poster:Guybrush: It's the poster for some really trashy monster book. Trust me. It'll never sell.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Guybrush can do this on the Cabaña Boy who is keeping him from getting into the Brimstone Beach Club. It almost works.
- Juggling Dangerously: Speare! includes scenes where Slappy Cromwell juggles knives and cannonballs. Guybrush has to get him off the stage by tricking him into dropping the cannonballs.
- Lame Comeback: In addition to the usual default options you are supplied with in sword fights you can use when you don't yet know the proper comeback, due to the rhyming gimmick, every insult also has a unique lame comeback of its own. Typically, it's a total Non Sequitur that just happens to rhyme with the insult.
- Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: There's a lava-powered barbecue on Blood Island. And apparently, the volcano itself is safe enough to stand precariously above the caldera and toast marshmallows.
- Least Rhymable Word: The only way for Guybrush to stop the musical number in Act 2 is to feed his singing crew the line "We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange."
- Lethal Chef: Zigzagged — Cap'n Blondebeard's chicken shop serves biscuits full of maggots, chicken that's either burnt to a crisp or completely raw, and has a dead man sitting at one of the tables... who either washed up on Plunder along with the rest of LeChuck's crew, or was stabbed in the back for not liking the chicken.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to Revenge, there's fewer dark jokes in the game.
- Lighthouse Point: There's a spooky lighthouse on Blood Island.
- Literalist Snarking: During Guybrush's encounter with Bloodnose/Wally, one possible response to his threat of "One more peep out of you, and I'll do ya in!" is a deadpan "Peep" from Guybrush. When he follows this up with "One more word, and I'll let you have it!", you can respond with "Word."
- Lost at Sea: Guybrush is hopelessly adrift in the open ocean in the bumper car in which he escaped from the Carnival of the Damned at the beginning of the game. Subverted — he's actually within spitting distance of Plunder Island, if he'd only look up from recording his memoirs.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: In Monkey Island 2, it's said that Rum Rogers Sr. died in a bathub thanks to his habit of bathing while eating toast. In Curse, LeChuck reveals that he killed him there and made it look like an accident.
- Man in a Kilt: Haggis McMutton is a proud, brave, stereotypical Scotsman, with red hair, a full beard, no shirt, and a kilt.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Again, Haggis McMutton, when his kilt starts getting blown upward in the cutscene storm at the beginning of Part IV, pressing his kilt back between his legs with both hands.
- Meaningful Name: Several characters, most notably Palido Domingo.
- Monster-Shaped Mountain: Parodied, "Skull Island" turns out to have a prominent mountain that's clearly in the shape of a duck. When the ferryman claims it looks like a skull if you squint at it and tilt your head sideways, Guybrush points out that just makes it look like a bunny instead.
- Mood Whiplash: The Puerto Pollo chapter of the game and subsequent ship chapter are very upbeat and humorous. The Blood Island chapter which follows, however, is noticeably darker and more morbid in tone, though it still manages to stay funny with a healthy dose of Black Comedy. Even the cartoony graphics can't disguise the Mood Whiplash.
- Murphy's Bed: It had already claimed at least one victim... Minnie Stronie's long-lost second suitor, Charles deGoulash — who came to Blood Island to woo her away from LeChuck but was trapped in the bed and died there.
- Mythology Gag: Standard for LucasArts at the time, many Easter Eggs and a number of shout-outs are references to Star Wars, made by their parent company Lucasfilm, as well as their previous games.
- Examining the fortress from the Field of Honor in Puerto Pollo will make Guybrush say "Funny. The damage doesn't look as bad from out here."
- When Guybrush tells the Lost Welshman, "I'm not afraid," he replies, "You will be... you will be." The dialogue is lifted from Luke and Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back. And in the second "you will be", he imitates Yoda's voice. In addition, the Lost Welshman himself strongly resembles Bobbin Threadbare, the lead character of Loom, who similarly wears a grey hooded cloak that hides his face.
- In Blondebeard's fried chicken restaurant, there's a skeletal patron (really dead, not undead) who looks like Manny Calavera wearing a button that says "Ask me about Grim Fandango"; itself a shout out to the first game, where Cobb from Loom had a button that said "Ask me about Loom".
- Guybrush is still "selling these fine leather jackets".
- The puzzle with the lights in the theatre eventually results in Max's head appearing on the stage.
- Exiting and entering the crypt an absurd amount of times in a row rewards you with an unsettling Easter Egg; a protagonist from The Dig being devoured by a spider.
- Mort has a book titled Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
- The rollercoaster puzzle at the end of the game is very similar to the Tunnel of Love puzzle in Sam & Max Hit the Road.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Guybrush can introduce himself to King André this way, either under his own name or other aliases; but no matter which other aliases he chooses, André will still call him "Mister Threepwood". This is also how Slappy Cromwell and Cutthroat Bill introduce themselves.Guybrush: Bill? That's your pirate name? Bill?
Bill: ...Cutthroat Bill.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The cursed ring Guybrush gives to Elaine. Guybrush spends three acts undoing that particular screw-up.
- Noodle Incident:
- What exactly happened between LeChuck's Revenge and Curse that left Guybrush floating in the middle of the ocean on a bumper car?
- Guybrush reveals he has a fear of porcelain (which is something of a running gag throughout the rest of the game) and never explains why other than that it's "a long story". Fans speculated that it was because he had a porcelain vase smashed over his head during the off-screen fight with Shinetop in the first game. Sadly, LucasArts shot down that theory.
- If you try to combine the dog hair with the scissors, Guybrush will mention he's avoided dog grooming due to an incident with his aunt's poodle. It's never further elaborated on.
- Making it a Poodle Incident?
- If you try to lick the ice bucket, Guybrush will say: "My tongue might stick. I'm not gonna fall for that one again."
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The Lost Welshman sounds American, just a bit raspy. Most of the pirates outside the dueling sequence don't even bother to Talk Like a Pirate.
- Odd Job Gods: The Blood Island cannibals worship gods responsible for leafy vegetables and tined silverware, with names like Ricky and Myron. Guybrush might just be making it up when it comes to the idols and masks in the village, but the god of the volcano is named Sherman, according to the cannibals themselves.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!: If the player doesn't have Guybrush saw off the plank the first time he boards the Sea Cucumber, and then gets walked off the plank, he will climb on board the ship after sawing off the plank and get this exchange after monkeys surround him again:Mr. Fossey: (irritated) Again with the sneaking on board the ship! I don't know how or why you came back on board... but the next time you walk the plank will be your last!
- Only Sane Man: When Guybrush gets tarred and feathered, Kenny Falmouth of all people is the only person on Plunder Island who actually recognises Guybrush as being just a human who happens to look particularly silly right now. Everyone else (barring Palido Domingo, who simply doesn't take any notice of Guybrush in that state) mistakes him for El Pollo Diablo, and calls for him to be murdered.
- Out of the Frying Pan: Midway through the second chapter, Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit.
- Parasol Parachute: Landing in the cave. Else he'd fall, crash with the rocks and the bottom and splash on the water ...just to surface at the shore seconds later to try again.
- Pepper Sneeze: Required in the last chapter to cause the Demon Pirate LeChuck to sneeze fire on the fuse that will blow him up and seal his fate.
- Pig Latin: Cruff to King André: "Ix-nay on the evil an-play."
- Pirate Song: Three pirates sing a swinging tune called "A Pirate I Was Meant to Be", which is about how they're sure they can help Guybrush because they're great pirates. Guybrush wants them to stop because the song is going on too long, but the pirates find rhymes for all his protests and continue singing, until he tricks them by mentioning an orange.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
- Averted, for the first time in the series. This game has pirates roaming the seas and plundering other ships. Unlike the previous stories there is not an external force (LeChuck, Largo) scaring the grounded sailors.
- Lampshaded nonetheless by Guybrush during the impromptu musical number, to his crew, who spent several minutes whale-watching while the ship was boarded and are now singing a song as the thief gets further and further away with Elaine:Guybrush: You say you're nasty pirates,
Scheming, thieving, bad bushwhackers?
From what I've seen I tell you,
You're not pirates! You're just slackers!
- Playing a Tree: Guybrush apparently played a tree in a kindergarten play. He thinks he did a better job than the prop tree that Slappy Cromwell is using.
- Poke the Poodle:
- Dread Pirate Bloodnose (also known as Wally B. Feed) "drinks milk straight from the carton!"
- Murray, when threatening Mort the Gravedigger into letting him and Guybrush out of the catacombs: "I will hide your keys beneath the cushions of your upholstered furniture, and nevermore will you be able to find socks that match!"
- Politically Incorrect Hero: One of Guybrush's fake Goodsoup aliases is "Won Ton," which he explains by saying his "ancestors were from the Orient." The term "Orient" was already quite outdated and offensive in 1997 when the game was released, though obviously not in the 17th century when it takes place.
- Portrait Painting Peephole: To a larger extent. Guybrush looks through the blank face of a painting and manages to convince the hotel landlord that he's a distant relative because he has the same face as the guy in the painting.
- Powder Trail: Part of a puzzle on Plunder Island involves blowing up a rubber tree with a cask of high-proof rum by lighting the trail of spilled rum with the burning ember that's been in our pocket since the prologue.
- Pronouncing My Name for You: Guybrush misreads Madame Xima's name as "Madame X-ima" (like "eczema"). She corrects him, saying, "ZEE-mah", and he sticks to the correct pronunciation.
- Punny Name Tons of them: The Goodsoups, the VanSalads...
- Quicksand Sucks: Subverted, as Guybrush doesn't totally sink in it, just remains stuck up to his waist.
- But it does suck all the cool stuff he found out of his pants, which is apparently a rather odd sensation.
- Hang out long enough, though, and that chicken on the left starts to go under.
- But it does suck all the cool stuff he found out of his pants, which is apparently a rather odd sensation.
- Rhymes on a Dime:
- The pirates of the Barbery Coast manage to put off work by turning everything Guybrush says into another line of their song — until he pitches them a Least Rhymable Word:Guybrush: We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange...
- Insult swordfighting returns, but seagoing duels are a little different — all your insults and comebacks have to rhyme. Guybrush still has to learn the appropriate retorts by grinding against pirates who already know them, but he also always manages to come up with a rhyming wrong answer on the spot. He puts his experience to good use after the battle against Captain Rottingham:Rottingham: Sacré bleu! I cannot believe it. I have been defeated in battle!
Guybrush: So give me that map, take your ship and skedaddle!
Rottingham: You win! You win! You'll get your map back!
Guybrush: You were doomed from the start, you kleptomaniac!
Rottingham: All right! All right! I give up already!
Guybrush: It's no wonder you lost with a sword so unsteady!
Rottingham: Mercy! I beg you! No more insults! Please!
Guybrush: Your smell and face remind me of moldy old cheese.
- The pirates of the Barbery Coast manage to put off work by turning everything Guybrush says into another line of their song — until he pitches them a Least Rhymable Word:
- Riddle for the Ages: We never find out if El Pollo Diablo is real, or where the legend came from if it wasn't. In a series like this, one might expect it to be the result of a contrived and hilarious misunderstanding, but there's no indication one way or the other.
- In the CMI Strategy Guide, Bill Tiller revealed that El Pollo Diablo was actually real. An abandoned storyline involved a labyrinth underneath Plunder Island, filled with traps and clucks of chickens demanding vengeance on the chicken-eating world. Guybrush would have been captured and tortured there, eventually swearing off white meat for the rest of his life, after which he would have been trained in the sacred Way of Chicken, becoming an elite warrior of the Pollo Knights of the Sith.
- Riding into the Sunset: At the end of the game, just before the credits, a just-married Guybrush and Elaine sail off into the Caribbean sunset as your crew waves you off.
- Running Gag: The recipe book has its own mini running gag. Every recipe, barring the hangover cure, contains cilantro and several contain vermouth. This includes Rum Rogers' Rum Surprise, which otherwise consists entirely of rum.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Guybrush is made Walk the Plank but avoids falling into the sea. Mr. Fossey remarks "That's odd, there was no splash". Guybrush yells "Splash!", which is apparently convincing enough.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Cutthroat Bill's old captain had an uncanny ability to find treasure, so they sailed without a map, with only the captain's senses to guide them. They had to toss away the gold and jewelry that they already had on board, because they were distracting the captain. After two years of sailing, the only treasure they ever found was a pile of gold and jewelry on the bottom of the sea.
- The title of Part 4, "The Bartender, the Thieves, His Aunt, and Her Lover", is a spoof on the film title, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
- Also, the title of Part 5, "Kiss of the Spider Monkey", is a spoof on the title of Manuel Puig's 1973 novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
- Mr. Fossey, who hears voices in his head and interacts with the monkeys at Danjer Cove, is named after American zoologist Dian Fossey, who is known for saving the mountain gorillas from extinction and from poachers in Rwanda, and who met her sudden, untimely demise on December 26, 1985. Most of her life is described in her 1983 bestselling book, Gorillas in the Mist, most of which was made into a motion picture adaptation 5 years later, with Sigourney Weaver as Dian Fossey.
- There's a special scene after the credits, in which they spoof the classic Urban Legend about Walt Disney being kept frozen and buried under his theme park, as LeChuck actually is buried frozen under his theme park, though a father tells the story to his son as a real father would tell Disney's story in real life.
- When Guybrush uses his ventriloquism skills with Captain LeChimp he does a Captain Kirk/William Shatner impersonation, hams, random speech rhythm etc. LeChimp's (a gorilla) golden and purple attire deliberately resembles a Starfleet uniform.
- Guybrush introduces himself to King André in the surname-firstname-surname style of James Bond with a Sean Connery-like accent.
- A later conversation choice references a famous line from Goldfinger, with Guybrush asking, "Do you expect me to talk?" and André replying "No, Mr. Threepwood, I expect you to buy."
- The banjo duel is a family-friendly Homage to Deliverance in which Edward Van Helgen's banjo skills live up to his namesake, Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Later, when Van Helgen claims you shot his banjo (which you did), Guybrush proclaims he can't be sure of that, the shot may have come from "the grassy knoll", referencing the JFK assassination conspiracy (and the movie). Oh, and the building in the background is a book depository.
- When Guybrush drifts between Elaine's fort and LeChuck's ship during the intro, the visual is an homage to a similar event in Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, not the movie).
- The Blood Island cemetery's theme music sounds suspiciously similar to "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead."
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare:
- A character decides to rewrite various Shakespeare plays to better suit the local pirates' tastes, mangling not only famous Shakespeare quotations but entire plotlines, resulting in lines such as "Wherefore art thou treasure, Romeo?", "Spot, ye blasted dog, get out of me bloomin' garbage! Out, damned spot!" and "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him... and his two pals!", said while juggling three skulls (one of them being Murray, of course).
- If you try to use Murray the skull while he's in your inventory, Guybrush will say, "Alas, I can't use Murray with that."
- Shown Their Work: Kenny's shill for his lemonade includes a Long List of actual (and horrific) symptoms of scurvy.
- Snap Back: The game essentially ignores the status of Guybrush's and Elaine's relationship from the previous game — where it was established that their romance had ended on bad terms, and Elaine could barely even stand to speak to him — and resets things to how they were at the end of the first game, with the two being very much in love from the word go this time around. (Of course, Elaine isn't exactly lying when she says that Guybrush is the only man she's ever loved.)
- So Near, Yet So Far: Played with. Initially, the goal is to find a way to cure Elaine's transformation into a statue; however, shortly after Guybrush leaves her behind, she is stolen by pirates (gold statue, see?), and the new goal becomes to find her.
- Solitary Sorceress: Like the previous game, here the Voodoo Lady lives in a swamp some distance from the main town. Subverted in that she has some (unseen) "weird voodoo kids" (Murray's words) who come over to play, cutting out toy voodoo dolls and sticking Murray up one of the wooden stakes forming the archway over the path.
- Some Call Me "Tim": Haggis McMutton's real name is Heart Liver And Kidneys Boiled In The Stomach Of The Animal McMutton. He prefers "Haggis", because his given name is apparently reserved for girls.
- Someday This Will Come in Handy: Guybrush reads in an encyclopedia that "a compass is a magnetized pin floating in a solution." He comments on how useless and random said piece of trivia is. Later, on Blood Island, he has to make a compass for the Lost Welshman.
- Something Else Also Rises: When Wally tells Guybrush and Elaine that the diamond ring the former put on the finger of the latter is cursed, the seahorse floaty Guybrush has around his waist deflates the instant Elaine glares at him in response.
- Spiritual Successor: Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, directed and written by Bill Tiller, lead background artist of Curse.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: For no good reason, when Guybrush enters the barber shop, he spills every details of his quest for the massive diamond. Later the pirate captain having his hair cut at the time comes back to steal Guybrush's map with intent to steal the diamond himself (and to get even with Guybrush for ruining his prized hairstyle).
- Take a Third Option: Van Helgen challenges Guybrush to a duel and allows him the choice of weapons. The solution is to forgo the obviously presented pistols, close the gun case and choose the banjo behind them.
- Taken for Granite: Or in Elaine's case, turned into a gold statue for most of the game by a cursed diamond engagement ring given to her by Guybrush.
- Take That!:
- This subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) jab:
- In the memoir version of the strategy guide, Guybrush says he picks the banjo because to his knowledge no one has ever been killed by a banjo, adding "but after hearing the music of one, many wish they were"
- Talk Like a Pirate: Downplayed, mostly limited to recurring villain LeChuck and the various enemy pirates during Part III. When other characters do talk using typical pirate lingo, part of the joke is how it's juxtaposed with very non-piratey accents and delivery.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: At one point in the game you are required to drug yourself by mixing hangover medicine with alcohol. Guybrush delivers a disclaimer warning players not to do this to the fourth wall.Guybrush: This makes the drink oh so much more appealing.
- Tar and Feathers: Guybrush is tarred and feathered by monkey crew members of a pirate ship. He later uses this to pose as El Pollo Diablo, a giant chicken who has terrorized the area. As Guybrush points out, it's a good thing the pirates forgot to heat the tar first... which causes problems later, as there's no tar left when you need to repair the ship.
- Tarot Troubles: "I've got five Death cards. That can't be good." Gypsy Fortune Teller Madame Xima refuses to talk to you anymore after drawing them for you.
- Ten Paces and Turn: To get a pirate to join your crew you have to engage him in a pistol duel, although only Guybrush moves the ten paces. He'll win every time, so you have to challenge him to a banjo contest instead.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: A Pirate I Was Meant To Be
- Which actually turns into a pseudo-puzzle, where you have to stop the pirates, who all rhyme on a dime, from singing by feeding them the line "We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange."
- Though, really, anyone who skips straight to that line as soon as it pops up just doesn't get the premise of the game.
- The Spanish (or any other foreign language) version of the game doesn't have the pirate song segment. It skips directly to sea navigation, presumably because making a puzzle about rhyming work in each language would be a nightmare.
- Which actually turns into a pseudo-puzzle, where you have to stop the pirates, who all rhyme on a dime, from singing by feeding them the line "We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange."
- The Three Trials: Find a map, a ship, and a crew in Part II; a ring, a diamond and hand lotion in Part IV. Each object demands a lengthy expedition and perilous adventure — yes, even the hand lotion.
- The Unintelligible: The guy on the other end of Blondebeard's walk-thru speaker.
- Traumatic Haircut: Captain Rottingham, the most well-groomed pirate in the Caribbean, quickly loses that title when Guybrush plants lice in his comb and forces his barber to amputate it. Rottingham is... not pleased.
- Together in Death: One of the game's puzzles involves reuniting two dead lovers (a ghost and a skeleton, respectively). When the heartbroken ghost discovers that her lover had never intended to abandon her, their spirits are shown reuniting and then vanishing happily together.
- Tom the Dark Lord: What Murray, the disembodied talking skull, would like to be. He's not really pulling it off.Murray: You may call me Murray! I am a powerful demonic force! I am the harbinger of your doom! And the forces of darkness will applaud me as I STRIDE through the gates of hell, carrying your head on a pike!
Murray: Alright, then, roll! ROLL through the gates of hell! Must you take the fun out of everything?
- Tonight, Someone Dies: The game really, really wants the player to believe that Guybrush is going to kick the bucket, not only by having the Voodoo Lady tell him he's going to die on Blood Island, but also with the fortune teller, who deals him five Death cards.
- Turns out both of them are right, in a manner of speaking. He does indeed die... in the sense that he fakes his death up to five times to get into the Goodsoup Family Crypt.
- Unexplained Recovery: Discussed and zigzagged:Guybrush: No, honest! I was dead for a really long time!
Stan: And you just "got better?"
Guybrush: Well, yes.
- In Stan's defense, he requests legal proof that Guybrush actually died before he acquiesces. Which is reasonable, given that Stan is living proof that you can survive being interred in a coffin for upwards of a year. Which further begs the question of how Stan is still alive after being Buried Alive for all this time. Try not to overthink it. Comes up again in the sequel, where Stan is out of the insurance business, apparently because the rest of his clients killed themselves and became undead just to cash in on their policy.
- Un-Paused: Elaine is gearing up to punch Guybrush right before she turns into a statue. She resumes the punch when unfrozen on Blood Island, before staring in confusion at her surroundings.
- Variable Mix: iMuse at its finest. Depending on the interlocutor the background music would segue smoothly into a remixed version; the Barbery Coast theme would gain an accompaniment of a French Accordion when talking to French Jerk Captain Rottingham, and when on the Sea Cucumber, steel guitar, steel drum, and atmospheric seagulls would be added to a more upbeat version of the Sea Cucumber theme when Mr. Fossey came to harass you.
- Verbal Backpedaling: One exchange between the hero and the villain:Guybrush Threepwood: If I gave you your arm back, what would you do with it?
Murray, The Mighty Demonic Skull: I'd terrorize the South Seas! I'd torture the living! I'd demolish the... er...
Murray: What I meant to say was I'd use it to pet kittens.
Guybrush: (laughs) Nope. You blew it.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Most of the Comedic Sociopathy is optional this time around:
- The paper voodoo dolls in the Voodoo Lady's house actually work... on Mort the gravedigger, a random innocent you haven't even met yet. Guybrush can stab them with any sharp object he has in his inventory purely For the Evulz.
- When Cutthroat Bill starts choking on his jawbreaker after Guybrush slaps him on the back ("Hey there, pal, how's it going?"), Guybrush must slap him again to make him spit it out. There's nothing stopping you from letting him choke for a few minutes, even after his face becomes purple, going out and wandering the island and doing literally every other puzzle before finally coming to Bill's 'rescue'.
- Villain of Another Story: Parodied with King André, who's not only the leader of a ruthless smuggling network that stretches across the Caribbean, but reveals he apparently has some kind of Bond villain-level doomsday plot going on if he's called out on it.Guybrush: Your evil plan will never work, André!
André: But it is flawless! A carefully-placed series of charges laid throughout Blood Island... all controlled by a network of satellites in a geosynchronous orbit... and only one man has access to the master switch.
Cruff: Uh, boss...
André: I am that man, Threepwood, and —
André: Yes, Mister Cruff?
Cruff: Ix-nay on the evil an-play.
André: (Tents his fingers together) ...Ah. Yes. Of course.
- Violation of Common Sense. "Violation of Common Sense, Part III" — as usual for the series, several puzzles are solved by deliberately doing something blatantly nonsensical and dangerous (but funny).Guybrush: It just occurred to me that mixing medicine and alcohol is a really stupid and possibly lethal thing to do. If I were a real person instead of a lovably inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels... I wouldn't even consider it. Skoal!
- Walk, Don't Swim: Guybrush walks along the bottom of the Blood Island lagoon (an Easter Egg/Continuity Nod to the first game) if you insist. In fairness his head is almost above the waterline as it is.
- Wedding Finale: The game ends with Guybrush and Elaine setting sail on their honeymoon cruise.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Guybrush's crew. The barber pirates were still fixing the ship when LeChuck's minions showed up, and the site of the shipwreck wasn't far from the clearing where the skeleton pirates captured Guybrush and Elaine, so why didn't the crew come help? We know they weren't killed, because we see them at Guybrush and Elaine's wedding.
- Wally's fate. This trope may have been invoked intentionally, since Guybrush makes a point of saying that he needs to save Wally and all of the monkey slaves, but then the theme park explodes. It's hard to say though, because other stuff was clearly cut due to Executive Meddling. Guess LucasArts didn't as feel guilty about killing him off this time around.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In Chapter 3, similar to the Swordmaster from the first game, Captain Rottingham has his own set of insults which you'll have to think of the appropriate response to. If Guybrush is unsuccessful in fighting Rottingham, he can still fight other pirates for varying reasons (mostly for practice). It's possible for Guybrush to use Rottingham's insults against them, which they can't answer. They do however, call you out on it.Pirate: No fair! You're using Captain Rottingham's insults!
- What Were You Thinking?: The Voodoo Lady says this to Guybrush, after admitting that he forgot to hide Elaine, who has been transformed into a solid gold statue, and thus is quite at risk on an island full of pirates. Admittedly, Guybrush didn't know that Plunder Island was a pirate commune until the Voodoo Lady herself told him that, but leaving a five-foot gold statue unattended and in open view on a beach was kind of a dumb move.
- Wheel of Pain: Turned by monkeys in the final dungeon.
- Who's Your Daddy?: One of the possible swordfighting insults:"When your father first saw you, he must have been mortified!"
"At least mine can be identified."
- With This Ring: Finagle's Law — when Guybrush proposes Elaine with an expensive-looking diamond ring he just got out of LeChuck's treasure hold, the ring turns out to be cursed and turns Elaine into a golden statue. To break the curse he has to get a ring more expensive than the cursed one and put it in Elaine's hand.
- A Winner Is You: There isn't any real denouement to the plot after defeating LeChuck. As soon as Guybrush springs the final trap on him, the game instantly cuts away to a thirty second scene without any dialogue, that consists of Guybrush and Elaine heading off to their honeymoon, while their friends are waving goodbye. The developers had planned to include more gameplay, but had to cancel after the game threatened to Schedule Slip, so this could be the explanation.
- The X of Y
- You and What Army?: Guybrush can ask "You and what navy?" as one of his options to Wally to talk him into defeat when he threatens to shoot our hero.
- You Fight Like a Cow: The Insult Swordfighting minigame returns... but with a twist: Because the fights take place at sea, the insults and comebacks have to rhyme. Naturally.
- You Fool!: Lemonhead says this after you dump cheese into the caldera of the volcano on Blood Island.Lemonhead: You fool! You've given cheese to a lactose intolerant volcano god! Do you know what this means?! You've brought about the coming of the Divine Dysentery!
- You Must Be This Tall to Ride: When Guybrush is trapped in the Carnival of the Damned, all he has to do to escape is go out through the gate leading to the roller coaster — but the roller coaster has a You Must Be This Tall restriction, and he's also been magically reverted to childhood, so he's too short to be allowed through.
- You're Insane!: There is a scene when smuggler King André believes that the Goodsoup Family Diamond and its energy flowing though it is the key to his power, and you can choose this:Guybrush: You're a madman!
André: Am I mad? Am I? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Is it madness to sit in a cave at the top of a deserted island, accumulating vast amounts of gold and jewels and stuffed animals, stockpiling plunder from across the Caribbean and passing the savings on to you? Is that madness? Or genius?!?
Guybrush: (shrugs) Good point. I take it back.
André: I'm not crazy -- my prices are!
- Your Mom: One of René Rottingham's rhyming swordfight insults is "Your mother wears a toupee!", to which Guybrush can respond, "Oh, that is so cliché!", which is the same response to a pirate's "En garde! Touché!"
- You Got Spunk!:LeChuck: Ooh! The lass has spirit!
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Guybrush's reaction to Van Helgen going solo in the banjo duel and busting out playing that isn't even possible on a banjo.
- You Won't Feel a Thing!: At one point Guybrush needs to get some hair from an old dog:Guybrush: Okay fella, this won't hurt a bit.
Guybrush: Hey, I guess it didn't hurt a bit. He must be shedding.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When Wally threatens to shoot Guybrush, Guybrush reacts with scornful disbelief until Wally breaks down.
- Zip Mode: If you double-click on an exit the game will skip the animation of Guybrush having to physically walk there, which saves a lot of boredom.note