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The first movie provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Displacement: Before the film was made, there was actually a picture book by Croatian artist Milan Trenc.
  • Awesome Music: In the UK release, the end credits feature McFly's 'Friday Night. And they even shot a music video for the song spoofing the movie. Alan Silvestri's scores for the series are worth a listen as well.
  • Critical Research Failure: Gus shouting “Piledriver” as he jumps down and elbow drops Larry. That… Is not at all what a Piledriver is.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
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    • Jed and Octavius originally had minor roles in the first film, but after test screenings they proved so popular reshoots gave them a larger presence.
    • Ahkmenrah for being a gorgeous looking Nice Guy especially to Larry as well as for being snarky and hilarious and being played by Rami Malek (who is ethnically Egyptian).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This isn't the last time where Pioneer Founders are having conflict against the Roman Legion.
    • Patrick Gallagher played Attila the Hun who is mostly antagonistic to Larry in the first half of the film; 15 years later, he voiced Khotun Khan in Ghost of Tsushima.
    • Paul Rudd here plays a minor role as the stably-employed stepfather to the struggling protagonist's kid. This gets flipped on its head in Ant-Man, where Rudd plays the struggling protagonist dealing with his own kid's more stably-employed stepfather.
  • Ho Yay: A lot of characters, but most noticeable with Jedediah and Octavius - lampshaded with a Shout-Out to Brokeback Mountain.
    Jedediah: "I ain't quittin' you!"
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    • In the sequel - no, they weren't really going to kiss, but yeah...
    • It didn't help when the sand in the hourglass was suffocating Jedidiah, and he was trying to tell Octavius about how their relationship progressed "from enemies to friends and some stuff that will make you cry." Subtle.
    • Octavius' "Just stay alive! I Will Find You!" before running to get help for Jedediah.
      Steve Coogan (who plays Octavius): There was a certain kind of subtext, what those of a discerning view might read as a subtle homoerotic subtext. If those people read that into it I certainly wouldn't argue with it... Yes, Octavius has a certain fascination with Jedediah because, of course, he wouldn't meet people as irreverent as that in the world of the Roman Empire. I think people were a bit more formal in their behaviour, so that slightly gauche, throwaway attitude that goes with being a cowboy fascinates Octavius, and he finds it quite alluring.
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    • Then in the third film, when the tablet is corroding and the exhibits are dying, Jedidiah and Octavius attempt to die whilst Holding Hands.
  • Memetic Mutation: The caveman that ends up outside the museum during sunrise and turning into dust is seen as proof that the fingersnap effects of Thanos was ahead of its time.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Rami Malek, best known for his role as Elliot in Mr. Robot, plays Ahkmenrah. This trope became amplified even more after Malek played Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in that film. The comments section for this video compilation of Ahk's scenes shows a few people living this trope out.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Theodore Roosevelt is played by Robin Williams? Hey, it worked.

The first sequel Battle of the Smithsonian provides examples of:

  • Awesome Music: The Jonas Brothers' "Come Fly With Me" in the end credits is a bop.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Let's be honest, this movie is mostly remembered for Amy Adams' fine ass in Painted-On Pants as Amelia Earhart.
  • Critical Dissonance: While not hated, the films elicited a ho-hum from critics while audiences loved them.
  • Critical Research Failure: The combination to the tablet is the value of pi. Ancient Egyptians had no concept of pi. Nor decimal notation, for that matter. That was invented in India a millennia later. Also, the Albert Einstein bobblehead describes pi as "3.14159265, to be exact," when it's actually an irrational number whose decimals continue forever with no pattern. Apparently, Word of God is that the tablet's combination can be changed, meaning Ahkmenrah changed the combination at some point.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The sailor from V-J Day in Times Square is remembered fondly despite appearing for less than a minute solely because he was immediately willing to defend Larry after hearing he was from Brooklyn.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Darth Vader's cameo has become this when Disney purchased Star Wars in 2012 and eventually 20th Century Fox, seven years later.
  • Idiot Plot: Whenever Larry manages to get the tablet, and is subsequently attacked or chased by Kamunrah's supporters, it never occurs to him to just turn the tablet's panels to render them lifeless again. He already knows that Cecil did this in the previous film, and has no reason to believe that it wouldn't work in this situation.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Boom! Boom! Fiya powa!"
    • Custer mispronouncing Sacajawea's name over and over.
    • "We're Americans! We don't plan, We do!"
    • "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it!"
    • "ITT, bro? Intent To Touch?"
    • I am ______, and I have come BACK! TO LIFE!
    • "It was shorter in Egyptian."

The second sequel Secret of the Tomb provides examples of:

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Teddy being among the New York exhibits dying near the end foreshadows Robin Willams' untimely death. Not only that, Teddy losing the ability to properly move himself (due to his body becoming wax again), is eerily similar to Robin's diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (which he hadn't disclosed to the public, but was likely aware of during filming).
    • Also for Mickey Rooney, who makes a reappearance. However, unlike his two colleagues, he's wheelchair bound and quite obviously suffering from mild dementia or Alzheimers. Mickey died of natural causes shortly before the film's release.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Teddy Roosevelt saying goodbye to Larry is lent a ton of extra poignancy from being Robin Williams' last onscreen appearance.
    Smile my boy; it's sunrise.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the scenes in the film has Jedediah (played by Owen Wilson) and Octavius running away from the Pompeii volcano eruption diorama come to life. Years later, Owen Wilson would find himself in a similar situation in Loki (2021), time-traveling with Loki to Pompeii just before the volcano nearby erupts.
  • Idiot Plot: Not as much as the second, but it's a little strange that the tablet somehow never was hit by moonlight before the movie began proper.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Roman Statues shambling around are quite frightening as the scene seems to have been taken straight out of a zombie movie with how they are missing limbs and stumbling about. So is Akhmenrah rapidly reverting into an undead human-mummy-zombie hybrid near the end.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Alice Eve and especially Hugh Jackman as themselves.
  • Tear Jerker: The fact that this was among the final films of both Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams. Both actors received a dedication in the film proper.

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