Pirates of the Caribbean
Based on a theme park ride -- a course initially considered dubious both by film-goers and by fans of the ride -- The Curse of the Black Pearl was a swashbuckling film which returned pirates to the big screen. After its spectacular success, sequels were made.
The Curse of the Black Pearl begins when Will Turner, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, is found by a ship carrying his future love interest, Elizabeth, who takes a medallion from him. Eight years later, Will is a blacksmith in Port Royal. The pirate captain, Jack Sparrow, arrives in a crowning entrance high on the mast of a sinking... dinghy, only to be arrested after a fateful run-in with Will and Elizabeth. That night, the town is attacked by more pirates, but Elizabeth persuades them to call off the attack in exchange for the medallion.
The pirates, led by Captain Barbossa, sail off with Elizabeth and tell her the Backstory. They have been cursed for stealing Aztec gold, doomed to forever exist as undead creatures who can not gain satisfaction from eating, drinking, or even the simple pleasure of a warm breeze; even the final peace of death is denied to them. Now they must collect all the coins and return them, along with blood from each pirate. Since Will turns out to be the son of their missing crewmember, this means they need his blood.
Jack Sparrow, Will, Elizabeth, the pirates, and Elizabeth's military fiance Norrington, a Royal Navy commodore, all converge on the island, double crossing each other along the way. After a final battle, the curse is broken, Barbossa is killed, Will and Elizabeth are together, and Jack goes free, given a day's head start by Norrington.
Dead Man's Chest begins with the arrival of Cutler Beckett, who blackmails Will into hunting Jack and his magic compass. Cutler's ultimate target is the chest containing the heart of Davy Jones, captain of The Flying Dutchman and immortal lord of the oceans who controls the dreaded monstrous Kraken. Holding the heart will allow Beckett to control Davy Jones, and hence all the seas of the world.
Will is soon held prisoner on the Dutchman, where he meets his mutated father who is a slave to Davy Jones, while Jack, Elizabeth and a disgraced Norrington hunt the chest holding the heart. When they find it, Will, freshly escaped from the Dutchman, turns up with the magic key needed to open the chest, and Davy Jones in hot pursuit.
After a climactic battle, Jack is swallowed alive by the Kraken and Norrington gets the heart, which he presents to Cutler, setting up the sequel.
At World's End, the third installment, chronicles the adventures of Will, Elizabeth, and a newly resurrected Captain Barbossa in their journey to retrieve Jack from the afterlife. It resolves with the final showdown between the forces of Cutler Beckett (now with Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman as their flagship), and the assembled pirate forces of the world, with an angry sea goddess thrown into the mix.
The fourth installment, On Stranger Tides (Suggested By the novel of the same name, which was also an inspiration for the Monkey Island series) sees Captain Jack unwillingly joining forces with the notorious Blackbeard to seek out the Fountain of Youth, racing the English navy (led by Barbossa, who has turned Privateer) and the Spanish (who have found a map made by Juan Ponce de Leon). The situation is complicated by the presence of Angelica, a woman from Captain Jack's past (who, unlike all the other women in his past, still seems to mean something to him).
Plans for a fifth and sixth film, possibly filmed back-to-back, are currently being considered. With certain actors, Depp included, being told to set aside a decent amount of time in the near future, more sequels seem certain.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- Abnormal Ammo:
- In the first movie, after tossing their cannonballs and excess weight overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship and evade the Black Pearl in shallower waters, Will orders the Interceptor's crew to load their cannons with "everything... anything we have left". This is known as "langridge", a real combat tactic utilizing whatever nails, screws, chunks of wood, broken glass, and other useless bits are left over after fixing and maintaining a ship. Mister Gibbs even uses the term. (Usually it's what you did when you wanted to take out the other guys but keep their ship). Ammunition specially designed to do this is called "grape shot", and consists of many, many tiny iron balls.
- Using an undead monkey as ammo may have been pushing the trope beyond Truth in Television...
- At several points, there are cannons that fire two balls chained together. This is Truth in Television as well, as chain shot was designed to cripple a ship by destroying the mast.
- Adaptation Expansion: Based on a theme park ride, albeit Disney's fan favorite theme park ride since the '60s. It has since become a case of recursive adaptation: the ride now features Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Agent Peacock: Jack Sparrow.
- All Myths Are True: All pirate myths at least. Word of God says that the series is set in a sort of mythological Earth, where all of the sea's urban legends are real.
- All Take and No Give: "Take what you can!" "Give nothing back!"
- All There in the Manual:
- Anachronism Stew: Too many to list completely, but here's a quick rundown:
- First film: 17th-century curled wigs, 18th-century panniered skirts, 19th-century teacups and, strangely, the young Elizabeth saying "okay"! Oh, and Port Royal was destroyed in an earthquake in 1692 (and subsequently rebuilt, but not as the bustling metropolis seen in the movies). And it wasn't a clean, proper little English town (a deleted scene reveals their Port Royal is only civilized from the sheltered, upper-class perspective).
- Second film: Lord Cutler Beckett's flagship HMS Endeavour.
- Third film: Until the mid-early 19th century Singapore was a fairly minor fishing village. There's a teddy bear at the end.
- Fourth film: The Navy vessel bears the current Union Flag (with a red saltire for Ireland), which was not used until 1801 (when the Kingdom of Ireland joined the Union). The appearance of King George II sets the film no later than 1760.
- This is slightly odd, seeing as in the first one (and probably the second and third as well; I specifically remember seeing it in the first though) used the correct flag. I suppose that's what happens when you have a new director...
- Also it features Blackbeard as a pirate and Barbossa as a British privateer. Blackbeard didn't become a pirate until after Britain outlawed the practice of privateering.
- The whole series, given the presence of cursed pirates, undead, and other mysticism, smacks of Alternate Universe/Alternate History.
- Animal Theme Naming: Present in the leads- Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann. And William Turner was the name of a 16th century naturalist who did extensive studies of birds.
- And, of course, 'turner' is actually found in the name of a bird species in its own right - the Turner's Eremomela (Eremomela turneri).
- Arc Words:
- "Bloody Pirates."
- "Hoist the Colours."
- "Part of the ship, part of the crew."
- "The Dutchman must always have a captain."
- "A touch... of destiny."
- "Mermaids are tough."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
Jack: Shoot him, cut out his tongue, then shoot his tongue. And trim that scraggly beard.
- "...arson; kidnapping; perjury; piracy; pilfering; depravity, general lawlessness... impersonating an officer of the Royal navy; impersonating a cleric of the Church of England..."
- "You are charged with piracy, treason, and the theft of a hairy, well-used right leg!"
- Artistic License Ships: The amount of this in the films could fill a small book. A quick rundown:
- Neither the Dauntless nor the Interceptor in the first film can be crewed by two men in real life. Hilarious in Hindsight because Lt Groves specifically mentions this is relation to the Dauntless
- Jack Sparrow's rapidly sinking ship at the start of the first film is impossible.
- The HMS Endeavour is shown as being overwhelmed by two frigates. In reality, a first-rate ship-of-the-line like the Endeavour could turn both into matchsticks with ease, even if they attacked at once.
- The East India Trading Company had no authority in the West Indies. The name is a clue.
- The stunt near the start of the first film, with the upturned boat would not work.
- Full-rigged sailing ships cannot be steered simply by spinning the wheel like a car. It takes a lot of trimming of sails etc for even a small course change.
- The Maelstrom Battle. How do the ships avoid water entering their gunports and sinking them in seconds?
- The seamanship during that battle is impossible.
- Even Evil Has Standards, and even the Royal Navy would not simply have hanged captured pirates without a semblance of a trial, such as at the beginning of the first film.
- An Axe to Grind
- Awesome McCoolname: Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Back from the Dead: Nearly every major character in the series has been killed at some point. But Barbossa, Jack, and Will are the ones who get to come back from their deaths. See Killed Off for Real below for the ones that didn't.
- Bad Guy Bar: Tortuga and the Captain's Daughter. Inverted in that pirates are the good...er...not-so-bad guys in this world.
- Bait and Switch Gunshot:
- During the final battle in Curse of the Black Pearl.
- In On Stranger Tides, when Captain Teague shoots the redcoat who had cornered Jack.
- Though this isn't quite played straight, as the smoke and flash from the actual shot is clearly visible in the background. It's only really a proper bait-and-switch from Jack's POV.
- Balancing Death's Books:
- Jack tries this on Davy Jones in Dead Man's Chest. Doesn't exactly work out, but at least it buys him some time.
- In On Stranger Tides, this is how the Fountain of Youth works: to gain extra life from it, there must be a designated victim for the life to come from.
- Batman Gambit:
- Jack through nearly all of Curse of the Black Pearl. Once he sees the medallion and is shown proof that the curse is real, his entire role in the film is hatching a plot to kill Barbossa and get his ship back. His initial idea backfires horribly when Will doesn't cooperate, but rather than give up, Jack just keeps adjusting his plans to fit new developments until he manages a successful execution without interference.
- In the fourth movie, Angelica has Philip apparently killed in front of Syrena in an attempt to make her cry. She knows Syrena's "too tough" to do so under those circumstances, but crying tears of joy when she later finds out that the man she's fallen in love with is still alive, however...
- Also in the fourth movie, Barbossa's entire convoluted plan counts: In order to get his revenge on Blackbeard for sinking the Pearl, he joins up with the King's navy as a privateer, uses his well-trained crew and the King's considerable resources to travel to the Fountain of Youth, then takes his revenge on Blackbeard, claims Blackbeard's ship and crew, and uses them to return to piracy.
- Jack's Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo at the end of On Stranger Tides.
- Battle Couple: Elizabeth and Will in the third film. Taken to ludicrous extremes when the two actually get married during a balls-out ship-boarding sword/gun fight.
Will:Elizabeth! Marry me!
- Jack and Angelica in the fourth film. It doesn't end well.
- Battle-Interrupting Shout: Frequently. For instance, in On Stranger Tides, he halts a row between Blackbeard's and Barbossa's crews to point out that none of them have any real quarrel with one another even if their leaders do. This sways exactly one pirate, while everyone else goes back to fighting.
- Berserk Button:
- Bootstrap seeing Will get stabbed by Davy Jones. He then proceeds to tackle Jones in a flying rage, allowing Captain Jack and Will to stab Davy's heart.
- This seems to be Captain Teague's reaction to anyone who questions the Pirates' Code or proposes they ignore it for the sake of their own interests. An unfortunate Mook of one of the Pirate Lords learned this the hard way.
- In the fourth film, Jack lunges for Barbossa's throat and has to be restrained when he learns that the Black Pearl has sunk while Barbossa was its captain.
- Falling victim to any one of Jack's Indy Ploys, or plans, or Batman Gambits will be a surefire way to set the unwilling victim off.
- Betty and Veronica: Or rather "Brian and Vincent", with Will as the Brian and Jack as the Vincent with Norrigton supplying the Third Option Love Interest.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: Nearly every naval battle throughout the first three films. Averted in On Stranger Tides, when a seemingly-pending engagement against the Spanish fleet fails to occur.
- Big Bad: Cutler Beckett for the first trilogy.
- The Big Damn Kiss:
- Will and Elizabeth in At World's End, after their marriage at sea. Surrounded by an epic battle, trading blows while exchanging vows, and culminating in an Orbital Kiss a few minutes before Will is killed and comes back from the dead. EPIC.
- In On Stranger Tides, the fateful kiss, at the end, between Philip and Syrena.
- The Big Damn Kiss on the edge of the sea at the end of the first and third movie, while the camera goes up and out.
- The Big Damn Kiss between Liz and Jack at the end of the second film.
- Subverted at the end of On Stranger Tides, when one is about to happen between Jack and Angelica, until Jack turns and mutters "I need to go."
- Big Damn Villains: The crew of the Dutchman in the wake of Norrington's Heroic Sacrifice as Elizabeth's crew makes their getaway.
- Done in On Stranger Tides by the Spanish navy with the intention to destroy the Fountain of Youth.
- Big Scary Black Man: Captain Barbossa's Bo'sun in Curse of the Black Pearl- he's even got ritual scars and terrible teeth. Also, one of Blackbeard's zombie officers in On Stranger Tides.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Sao Feng and one member of Davy Jones' crew have lines in Cantonese.
- The French-speaking sailor who rows Will out to Pelegosto telling Will he won't take him any further.
- In On Stranger Tides, Angelica curses pretty colorfully at Jack in fluent Spanish (not surprising, seeing as Penelope Cruz is a genuine Badass Spaniard).
- Biological Mashup: Davy Jones' fishy crew.
- Black and Gray Morality: The first film started out as White and Gray vs. Black morality, since Jack was the only morally ambiguous character, but by the end of the third film, everyone has an angle and is willing to screw most anyone over for it. (With the possible exception of the monkey. He was apparently only in it because he missed Jack.) The only character who can truly be called evil, however, is Cutler Beckett, who Ted Elliott describes as "a guy who just wants to sell more cheeseburgers when you get right down to it. How evil is that?"
- The tradition of At World's End continues in On Stranger Tides. Blackbeard is pure evil, Philip is the Token Good Teammate, the Spaniard is a more ruthless version of Commodore Norrington, and everyone else is screwing everyone else over for the prize.
- Boarding Party: Several boardings by means of swinging ropes, and one less conventional boarding: walking out to the ship in question. Also less conventional is Davy Jones and crew's ability to teleport between ships, which apparently has a fairly narrow minimum and maximum range.
- Book Ends:
- Barbossa gets the Pearl back at the end of the third movie, as Jack sails off in a dinghy.
- Listen to the song Elizabeth sings (as a child) at the beginning of the first movie, and Jack singing at the end of the third. Seem familiar?
- Even more applicable to what Elizabeth's son is singing in the third film's Stinger, as he's about the same age his mom was at the start.
- The first time we meet piratical Mr. Gibbs, Jack is waking him with a bucket of water. At the close of At World's End, Mr. Gibbs is once again, passed out and Jack wakes him with a cup of... Grog?
- In the first film, it's mentioned that Jack was marooned on a remote island by Barbossa with only a pistol with a single shot. In the fourth film, Jack does the exact same thing to Angelica.
- Breakout Character: Jack Sparrow.  And how. In the original film, Will is the supposed to be the star (he's The Hero of the Heros Journey) and continues to be the access character throughout the next two, but Jack not only stole the show, he made off with the franchise! (Pirate.) They even added him (or at least animatronic duplicates) to the original Disneyland/Disneyworld Pirates of the Caribbean rides.
- Brick Joke:
- In the beginning first film, Will Turner is working on a sword to present to the governor, who remarks on its unique quality. In the third film, James Norrington stabs Davy Jones with the same weapon, who then calmly removes it and remarks, "mmm... nice sword." Later, Davy Jones uses the exact same sword to stab its creator, Will Turner.
- Former Commodore Norrington introduces his story to Gibbs in Dead Man's Chest as "Same as you, just a chapter behind." At the end of the scene, once he's been knocked out by Man!Elizabeth, he's heaved into the pigsty, where Gibbs woke up at the end of Curse of the Black Pearl, making him truly just a chapter behind Gibbs.
- Captain Teague summons a dog to bring the key for the Pirate Codex book (the dog itself is a bit of a brick joke, showing up out of nowhere after appearances in the first two movies). When Pintel and Ragetti wonder aloud how the dog managed to get there, Teague responds, "Sea turtles, mate."
- Broad Strokes: The films' plotlines are a gumbo of different nautical legends.
- Call Back:
- "Goodbye, Poppet." Perhaps the most tear-inducing callback ever.
- First film: Elizabeth says she's Elizabeth Turner, to keep the pirates from kidnapping the governor's daughter. They happen to be looking for Bootstrap Turner's child. The last thing Barbossa says to her in the third film is "Miss Turner", seeing as she's married Will.
- On Stranger Tides is filled with these to the first movie, in different subtle sorts of ways that you have to have an eagle eye to spot.
- In the first movie, Jack was charged with "impersonating an officer of the Royal navy" and "impersonating a cleric of the Church of England". On Stranger Tides opens with Jack impersonating a judge. A Judge by the name of Smith. Perhaps he might go by 'Smithy' on occasion?
- Jack gives his compass to Mr. Gibbs telling him it will lead him to freedom. In the first movie, Jack tells Elizabeth that what the Black Pearl really is is freedom. Cut to the end of On Stranger Tides and Mr Gibbs is sitting on a beach with the Black Pearl in a bottle, waiting for Jack.
- The cut on Angelica's hand looks just like the cuts the characters in Curse of the Black Pearl get to bleed on the medallions.
- In At World's End, one of the patrons of Sao Fang's bathhouse can be seen with barnacles littered across his face, neck, and across his arms, just like a Red Shirt crew member of The Flying Dutchman.
- While visiting Elizabeth in her jail cell in Dead Man's Chest, Governor Swan leans on one of the candelabras next to him. He then trips, proceeding to break a piece of said candelabra, in a similar fashion to Will's introductory scene in Curse of the Black Pearl, where he inspects one of the candelabras in Governor Swann's mansion, but accidentally breaks a piece of it.
- Captain Ersatz: Many Monkey Island fans believe that Barbossa in the first film and Davy Jones in the sequels are ersatzen of LeChuck, Tia Dalma is the Voodoo Lady, and Will Turner may also derive from Guybrush Threepwood, regardless of whether anyone involved in the films has ever known anything about Monkey Island. (It has been reported that Ted Elliott worked on a proposed Monkey Island film some time before becoming co-writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean series). It's also worth noting that Monkey Island derived inspiration from both the original Pirates of the Caribbean' ride, and the original On Stranger Tides novel.
- As if hammering this home, Philip from On Stranger Tides has an ever closer resemblance to Guybrush.
- The Cat Came Back/Clingy MacGuffin: Norrington's sword returns to its rightful owner.
- Catch Phrase: Several.
- Jack Sparrow: "This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow", "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow!", "It's Captain; Captain Jack Sparrow", "Savvy?", "But why is the rum gone?!"
- Davy Jones: "Do you fear death?" (there's a much longer poetic verse after it that he doesn't use after the first time).
- Cutler Beckett: "It's just good business."
- Pintel: "Hello, Poppet."
- Caught in a Snare:
- Will, early in the second movie.
- Most of Blackbeard's crew when they attempt a mutiny in On Stranger Tides.
- Character Development:
- Chekhov MIA: Will's father, Bootstrap Bill Turner.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Subverted -- when Elizabeth attempts to defend herself with one of the swords displayed above the mantle, she finds it is permanently attached to its decorative shield. Played straight with Elizabeth's bedwarmer; she uses it to dump hot coals on the pirates invading her room. Also Jack Sparrow's confiscated effects, including his one-shot pistol and curious compass, all serving a vital purpose. The compass gains even more importance in the second film. Used again in the second movie in Tia Dalma's shack (the locket and the boots). In the third movie, Ragetti's wooden eye turns out to be Barbossa's Piece Of Eight. Jack's own Piece of Eight is debatable, being present in the first two movies before the sequels were even written.
- The knife Bootstrap Bill gives to will is the same one that Will uses to kill Davy Jones.
- Chewing the Scenery: It may be easier to list who isn't.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Just about every character.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Anamaria. Although, for some reason, Jack is wearing her belt in the sequels.
- Combat by Champion:
- Basically the climax of the third movie; the Black Pearl for the pirates, vs. the Flying Dutchman for the EITC.
- Jack actually proposes that Barbossa and Blackbeard do this while the pirates and troops stand back and lay bets, in the fourth film. The suggestion doesn't go down so well.
- Combat Pragmatist:
- Jack Sparrow, along with most of the more intelligent pirate characters. Perhaps best summed up by this exchange from the first film, when Jack uses a gun to win a sword fight:
Will: You cheated!
- Astonishingly, also Commodore Norrington, to some extent. He kicked Will in the chest, kicked sand in Will's face and tripped Jack during the fight over the key.
- Barbossa is not above punching/kicking people during a sword fight.
- Combat Tentacles: The Kraken, obviously, and also the ones on Davy Jones' face and the rigging of Blackbeard's ship.
- Continuity Creep: The second film contains a few fun nods to some throwaway lines and fan-favorite comedic scenes from the original. The third contains nods to what seems like all of them. See also Chekhov's Gun above.
- Continuity Nod: In the fourth film, Barbossa is eating apples by fork and knife aboard the British ship he is captaining. Apples can be seen as his Trademark Favorite Food.
- Cool Boat:
- The Black Pearl.
- The Flying Dutchman.
- The Endeavour.
- The Interceptor.
- Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge from the fourth film.
- Cool Sword:
- The small sword that Will Turner makes for Norrington. Everyone who comes into contact with it agrees that it is, indeed, nice. This gets one nameless British marine killed as he picks up the sword in the middle of a battle and spends the same requisite amount of time staring at it rapturously before Davy Jones shows up, kills him and retrieves the sword.
- Blackbeard's sword, which controls the rigging of the Queen Anne's Revenge, and can apparently control the rigging of other ships as well. It also controlled the wind when pointed, as shown at the end when Barbossa lets down the sails with it, then throws the boat forward by the wind, catching everyone off guard, including Barbossa. Before dueling Blackbeard he claims the sword is nothing to fear away from the Revenge.
- It seems as if the only redeeming quality of working on the Flying Dutchman under the command of Davy Jones is that you get a really kick-ass sword. Just look at Hadras's.
- Crew of One: Subverted and lampshaded in the first film.
- In the second movie, someone even states "you don't need everyone, six would do."
- Cryptic Conversation: 90% of what Tia Dalma says is this.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists:
- Governor Swann in the second film.
- Jack in the third film, right after he's shoved into Beckett's cabin (we don't actually see the cuffs before removal, but since he's a prisoner it's strongly implied he had 'em).
- Cursed with Awesome:
- Literally for Barbossa's crew, in the first movie.
- Will in the finale of At World's End. Although Jack views it more as Blessed with Suck due to the absence of port... er, making port.
- Deal with the Devil: Will makes one with Jack in the first film. "Spring me from this cell and I will take you to the Black Pearl and your bonny lass."
- In the second film, Jack is revealed to have made one with Davy Jones to float the Black Pearl earlier. "You owe me a soul, and its time to pay up."
- In the third film, it's kinda hard to tell who's supposed to be the devil and who the mortal sucker.
- Death Glare:
- In the first movie, Jack delivered a formidable one when he shot and killed Barbossa. It's all the more effective since, up 'til that moment, the generally-cheerful pirate hadn't sported any expressions remotely like it.
- Davy Jones has a killer stare when he snarls "Do you fear death?" Everybody takes him seriously.
- The look one of Sao Feng's bath attendants gives Beckett's Dragon after he shoots the other should've incinerated the man, by all rights.
- Captain Teague has a mighty fearsome one that cows the entire Brethren Court when it's suggested in his presence that they won't keep to the Code.
- Death Is Cheap:
- Jack (who was retrieved from Davy Jones' Locker).
- Will (who was made captain of the Flying Dutchman after being killed by and then killing Jones).
- Bootstrap (who was sent to the bottom of the ocean while undead).
- Barbossa (whom Tia Dalma resurrected).
- So common, in fact, that Tia Dalma has to justify the aversion with Governor Swann. "Him at peace."
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- Dead Man's Chest:
Will: You want me to find this?
- On Stranger Tides:
Jack: There is a girl. A female. Of the opposite sex.
- Deserted Island:
- Jack is marooned on one, twice, the second time with Elizabeth. Fortunately, he escaped off-screen (subverted in that he explains how he did it).
- The titular Dead Man's Chest is housed on another.
- Distracted By the Shiny: If he didn't take the time to stop rummaging through every nook and cranny for things that could be of value, Jack would have made a lot more effective escape attempts.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- When Barbossa calls the brawling Pirate Court to order, he steps onto the table with a pistol in one hand and, curiously, chain shot in the other. During his speech, we get a shot of Jack peering through his legs, where you can clearly see a pair of huge, cast-iron balls.
- On Stranger Tides is about an adventurous scoundrel who must form an uneasy alliance with his foes in a race to find the secret key to immortality.
- And then the Big Bad chose... poorly.
- Drop the Hammer
- The Drunken Sailor: Virtually everyone, unless all the rum is gone. Though, in interviews, the scriptwriters revealed Jack's inebriation is usually an act; he fakes being tipsy to throw his (numerous) enemies off their guard.
- Duel of Seduction:
- Elizabeth and Jack.
- Jack and Angelica in the fourth film.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: According to Word of God, Will is freed from his curse during the Post-Credits scene because Elizabeth remained faithful to him.
- Also, Philip and Syrena in the fourth movie. And boy, did they earn it.
- End of an Age: The films are set at the end of the golden age of piracy. Several times through all three films, characters make note of how difficult it's become to make a living as a pirate, with no sign of the change slowing down.
- Though possibly somewhat averted at the end of the third movie, with Calypso being returned to her proper place as goddess of the sea. And it's obvious in the fourth movie that if an end is coming to the age of piracy and sea magic, Blackbeard never got the memo.
- Enemy Mine. When your protagonists and antagonists have the same goals and profession, good and bad are "a matter of perspective":
- In Curse of the Black Pearl, Will and then Norrington both end up having to make deals with Jack (who they hate) to track down Barbossa, and Barbossa makes a deal with Jack (he hates Jack, too) after finding out Norrington is waiting off shore to ambush them.
- A variation in Dead Man's Chest, where during a three-way sword-fight between Will, Jack and Norrington, as the latter is curb-stomping Jack for all of the misfortune he's endured since the last film, Jack points out that since Will; freed him from jail, convinced Norrington to let him go, and took Elizabeth for himself, that makes him more responsible. Norrington pauses for a moment to consider this, turns and immediately begins attacking Will instead.
Norrington: Unfortunately Mr Turner... he's right!
- In At World's End, Barbossa feigns Enemy Mine at first to cover up his true motive, the fact that he needs to call to order the Brethren Court just to get their Pieces of Eight, which he needs to free Calypso, who brought him back, else she'll withdraw her power and let him die again. But by the end, Barbossa plays the trope straight.
- Also, the Brethren Court seems to be made up of rival Lords who can't stand each other and will break out in a fist-fight at the slightest provocation. They're only united by a common enemy.
- Also #2: Jack cooks up a plan with Will, who had betrayed Jack to Beckett earlier, because Will wants to stab Jones' heart to free Bootstrap and Jack wants to stab Jones' heart and become immortal.
- Also, the Brethren Court seems to be made up of rival Lords who can't stand each other and will break out in a fist-fight at the slightest provocation. They're only united by a common enemy.
- In the fourth film, Jack and Barbossa briefly team up to screw over Blackbeard.
- In At World's End, Barbossa feigns Enemy Mine at first to cover up his true motive, the fact that he needs to call to order the Brethren Court just to get their Pieces of Eight, which he needs to free Calypso, who brought him back, else she'll withdraw her power and let him die again. But by the end, Barbossa plays the trope straight.
- Enemy Rising Behind: The Kraken.
- And in the fourth film, the entrance to the Fountain of Youth provides ample opportunity for characters to rise up ominously through the mist. Happened with both Barbossa, to Blackbeard and the Spanish, to everyone.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Zombie pirate monkeys.
- Evil Counterpart:
- Pintel and Ragetti vs. Mullroy and Murtogg in the first film.
- Barbossa vs. Davy Jones and Jack vs. Beckett (his old nemesis) in the third.
- Bosun, Maccus, Mercer and "Quartermaster" are Evil Counterparts to Gibbs.
- In the first film's commentary, Barbossa is called "the dark side of Jack Sparrow" by Ted and Terry.
- Also, in the fourth film, Blackbeard is arguably this to Barbossa.
- Fainting: Elizabeth does this three times in the first two films. The first instance is genuine (see Of Corset Hurts below), and sets the plot into motion. The second is faked, and accomplishes its purpose. The third is also faked, and is completely ignored (seems you've shot your bolt, Liz).
- Fantastic Romance: A lot. See also Interspecies Romance.
- Davy Jones and the goddess Calypso in the second and the third movie.
- Will after removing his heart and becoming the captain of the Flying Dutchman and Elizabeth at the end of the third movie.
- Philip and Syrena in the fourth film.
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon:
- The Flying Dutchman is equipped with a pair of forward facing gatling cannons. Not bad for a time when cannons were still loaded manually.
- The aforementioned flame throwers on the Queen Anne's Revenge.
- Flirting Under Fire: In At World's End, Elizabeth and Will get married under fire, and even share a kiss.
- Flying Dutchman: Rather literally in the case of Davy Jones.
- Flynning: holy crap.
- In Dead Man's chest, the sailor's mention of the long pork on the island of Peligostos, which we learn later on is home to a cannibal tribe.
- Where we find Jack, believed to be a god by island natives who attempt to release him from his human form. Tia Dalma is later revealed to be the sea goddess Calypso, and released from her human form.
- In Stranger Tides, the pub where not-Jack actually Anjelica is hiding is named The Captain's Daughter.
- In Dead Man's chest, the sailor's mention of the long pork on the island of Peligostos, which we learn later on is home to a cannibal tribe.
- Davy Jones and Tia Dalma can't; Will and Elizabeth manage to.
- Evidently, Jack also forgave Elizabeth for abandoning him to be eaten by the Kraken. He could easily have treated her the same when the Flying Dutchman started to flounder; instead he unhesitatingly rescued her.
- The last love scene between Syrena and Philip has him asking her forgiveness for him getting her captured.
- Fountain of Youth: The original Fountain of Youth, purportedly discovered by Ponce de León, is mentioned as a Sequel Hook at the end of the third movie, and is a central plot elemental of the fourth. Unlike most depictions, its use involves Human Sacrifice.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Jack = Sanguine; Will = Choleric; Barbossa = Melancholic; Elizabeth = Phlegmatic. Although a case could be made that Will and Elizabeth switch places in the end -- conveniently in Will's case, given his change of profession in the end: from one associated with fire (Choleric) to water (Phlegmatic). And Elizabeth's corresponding change of profession (more Choleric to say the least).
- A Friend in Need: Jack, when it really matters. He sacrificed his chance at immortality to save Will's life. And then he does it again to save Angelica.
- Gatling Good: The Triple Guns on the Flying Dutchman.
- Genre Deconstruction: Of the pirate/swashbuckler genre. None of the pirates are shown in a truly positive light. Sparrow may not prefer killing indiscriminately but that's because he would prefer to con and swindle people instead.
- Genre, savvy?:
- These films generally end with a hook for the next film in the franchise. Angelica tries to use this to her advantage in On Stranger Tides when pitching possible new adventures to Jack to prevent him from deserting her, all of which Jack can see through.
- Earlier in On Stranger Tides, Jack Sparrow attempts to take a map from the hands of Juan Ponce de León's corpse, curious as to why the Spaniards didn't take it for themselves, Barbossa stops him as it appears Juan isn't quite dead.
- Gibbs, being a superstitious old salt, knows how to stay alive.
- One of the Spaniard's men's first reaction to seeing a tree suddenly bending is "The prisoner is escaping."
- Pintel and Ragetti also show traits of this trope.
- When Jack is brought to the palace in On Stranger Tides, George II and his guards consider it perfectly safe to unchain him, since there's no way he could possibly escape. When Barbossa - who knows Jack rather better - arrives, he immediately asks why Jack isn't in chains, only to have his objection dismissed. Naturally, Jack pulls off a characteristically implausible escape moments later.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Note Jack clearly stating that four of his rescuers have tried to kill him in the past: Elizabeth, Will and Barbossa in the classic way and Tia Dalma, in a sexual way. There are also many hidden sexual innuendos throughout the trilogy; it may be rated PG-13, but it's still a Disney film.
- "You took advantage of our hospitality last time, it holds fair now you return the favor", and Barbossa tosses Elizabeth to his men who begin pawing at her.
- In the fourth film, Jack stating that he "support(s) the missionary's (Philip) position."
- Also in the fourth film:
Gibbs:(to Jack) I thought you were hell-bent of finding the Fountain of Youth?
- Jack also slips in a masturbation joke when he says, "My eyesight's as good as ever, just so you know" in reference to the Black Spot on his hand.
- In the third film, Beckett finds his way to Shipwreck with Jack's compass, which Will gave Beckett, so naturally, Barbossa assumes Will's the one who betrayed them. Beckett says Will is "merely the tool of your betrayal" and singles Jack out as it's grand architect. Will says he acted alone. And Jack says, "Listen to the tool." The grin on Jack's face says it all.
- "Waste not." That one was particularly creepy.
- We also get this exchange from Curse of the Black Pearl, after Annamaria joins their crew. Note that both Will and Gibbs take a few seconds to reflect upon Jack's viewpoint, as well (not really, this is just part of a Running Gag throughout the film of other characters straining to see whatever Jack sees when he stares randomly off into the middle distance during some form of pronouncement).
Gibbs: No, no, no, no, no, it's frightful bad luck to bring a woman aboard.
- This exchange in the second film as the crew are entering Tia Dalma's shack:
Gibbs: Watch your back.
- There were a couple of Get Thee to a Nunnery moments throughout the film slipped in for this purpose. There was Tia Dalma's introduction:
Will Turner: You know me?
- Ghost Pirate:
- The villains of the first movie.
- Davy Jones and his crew are the Biological Mashup version.
- The fourth film contains several zombie (of the Voodoo variety) pirates.
- Good Is Boring
- Gorgeous Period Dress:
- Since the movies revolve around pirates, there isn't much of this flavor, but if you pay attention, the movies include a surprisingly great amount of pimped out dresses. Elizabeth is guilty of this in the first two movies, before she Took a Level in Badass. And while we're on the subject, Norrington's uniform got pimped when he got promoted to admiral between the second and third movies.
- A bit more of this in the fourth film, which includes some scenes of British and Spanish court officials and dress-uniformed officers.
- Gotta Catch Them All:
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress:
- In Dead Man's Chest, Jack free-falls what looks like several hundred feet down a canyon and lands little more than dazed at the bottom. We're expected to believe that falling through a few flimsy rope bridges on the way down slowed him up enough.
- In the fourth film, Jack is exceptionally leery of jumping off a cliff in order to get the silver chalices. It takes Blackbeard threatening to shoot Angelica and one of the zombies throwing the Jack voodoo doll over the ledge to get him to jump.
- Grin of Audacity: "Now bring me that horizon!". Captain Jack Sparrow is very excited he got his ship back. Of course there's a lot more of those throughout the trilogy: it's a swashbuckling action show about pirates, what did you expect?
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Any time any of the following are onscreen at the same time: Barbossa, Jack Sparrow, Captain Teague, Davy Jones, Elizabeth (in the third movie), Angelica and Blackbeard (in the fourth movie).
- Hand Wave: In-universe example. Whenever something improbable happens, the character insists Sea Turtles were involved
- Jack claimed to escape the island Barbosas marooned him on by creating a raft made of sea turtles he actually bartered his way onto a smuggler's vessel with someone else's rum cache.
- When Will arrives on the island where Davy Jones stashed his heart and Jack asked how he got there, he replied, "Sea Turtles! I strapped a pair of them to my feet!" He was hiding on the Flying Dutchman.
- The dog that carries the written version of the Pirate Code. Pintel and Ragetti ask where it came from and Teague says "Sea turtles, mate."
- Heel Face Return:
- Pintel and Ragetti (the paired comic relief pirates).
- Held Gaze:
- Will and Elizabeth of have this quite regularly between them in the first movie and the sequel as their romance blossoms.
- Philip and Syrena have a lot of gaze-holding going on in On Stranger Tides.
- Heroic BSOD:
- Norrington in the second movie.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both played straight and subverted: Norrington as a straight example in the third film and Jack as a subversion in the second (as Elizabeth rightly doubts his courage and "helps him" act appropriately).
- Hilarious Outtakes: The first three movies include these on their DVDs. It seems probable the forth shall, too.
- It does.
- Hollywood Voodoo:
- Tia Dalma.
- Honey Trap:
- In the second movie, Elizabeth lures Jack into kissing her, but this is to allow her plans of chaining Jack against a nearby mast, so the Kraken kills only him, and not all the crew.
- In the fourth film's London Chase Scene, Jack takes cover inside a wealthy older lady's carriage, and immediately leans over to smooch her behind the ear before resuming his escape. She's apparently not displeased by this event... until she realizes that he's just fled with her jeweled earring in his mouth!
- Honor Among Thieves: Toyed with constantly. The pirates' code is supposed to enforce this notion, but it's viewed as only "guidelines" when it suits them.
- Honor Before Reason: At first, just Will, and to a lesser extent Norrington. Later on, even Jack embodies this trope. In Jack's case, though, it's hard to tell where (and whether) he's using reason in the first place.
Will: So that's the reason for the... you know.
- Hooks and Crooks
- Humanity Ensues
- Hypocritical Humor: Where to start? Probably with Jack.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Isla De La Muerta; Shipwreck Cove.
Gibbs: Not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island, where lies Shipwreck Cove and the town of Shipwreck!
- Immortality Seeker: Jack. Which is the plot of the fourth movie.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap
- I'm Not Hungry
- Improv: Half of Depp's lines, in the first film at least.
- Improvised Weapon: Will uses a red-hot poker as an impromptu sword midway through his duel with Jack in the first film.
- In the fourth film, Jack knocks down several Spanish soldiers, while armed only with a coconut on the end of a rope.
- Incoming Ham:
- Jack Sparrow's and Davy Jones's grand entrances in the first and second films establish their mystique.
- Davy Jones even provides one for the (not so articulate) Kraken:
"Let no joyful voice be heard! Let no man look up at the sky with hope! And let this day be cursed by we who ready to wake... the KRAKEN!"
- While he starts out a little understated, you know Blackbeard's about to unleash when he first enters.
- Indy Ploy: Most of Jack's plans, though he maintains a certain Gambit Roulette mystique about them just to keep people on their toes.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests
- Inferred Massacre:
- In Dead Man's Chest, it's strongly implied this happened to most of the Pearl's crewmen, when Will Turner finds Cotton's parrot, and it squawks "Don't eat me!"
- In On Stranger Tides, from Barbossa's account of the Pearl's capture, the audience can assume that Jack, Barbossa, Gibbs, and Jack the Monkey are the only survivors left of the Pearl's crew. Granted, Jack the Monkey was alive aboard the bottled Pearl, but he's immortal anyway.
- We also see Cotton's Parrot, which might mean that the rest of the crew is still alive on it. Or that the parrot survived on its own.
- Insistent Terminology: Captain Jack Sparrow.
Jack: There should be a "Captain" in there somewhere.
- Interesting Situation Duel: Several.
- In Curse of the Black Pearl, Sparrow and Turner's first-meeting fight in the blacksmith's shop. Also Jack and Barbossa's clash in the treasure cave, with the tactical use of immortality.
- In Dead Man's Chest, Jack, Will and Norrington's three-way sword-fight on Isla Cruces, which moves from beach to bell-tower to runaway mill-wheel.
- In At World's End, Jack and Davy Jones' battle in the rigging.
- In On Stranger Tides, Jack fighting a duplicate of himself, which turns out to be Angelica in disguise.
- Interspecies Romance: A lot. See also Fantastic Romance.
- Davy Jones and the goddess Calypso in the second and the third movie.
- Philip (human) and Syrena (mermaid) from On Stranger Tides.
- Ironic Echo: Several, especially in the third film. "The Dutchman must have a captain."
- One is even twisted into a Brick Joke when Pintel asks "Why is all but the rum gone?" , only to be told by Gibbs that the rum was gone.
- Another one worth mentioning is Mr. Mercer's introductory line, "Evening, Guv'nor." A common British colloquialism, when uttered with snarky, stoic pride, that masks a Slasher Smile, is made even more ironic at the fact that he just caught Governor Swann attempting to flee Port Royal in the middle of the night.
- An early one from the first film: Elizabeth's "You may tell the captain that I am disinclined to acquiesce to his request."
- It May Help You on Your Quest:
- Jack's jar of dirt.
Jack: Is the... jar of dirt going to help?
- The Nine Pieces of Eight. The Pirate Lords were, to a man, skint broke.
Pintel: Those are nine pieces of junk!
- Bootstrap's grungy knife as well. It seems an odd gift, but Bootstrap gives it to Will as if he knows he will need it and may never see him again. Will assumes he needs it to stab the heart. Ironic in hindsight.
- It's the Journey That Counts: Discussed and paraphrased in every movie.
- It Was a Gift: Commodore Norrington's sword; Bootstrap's knife.
- I Want Them Alive:
- Will is one of the few characters to use this trope to his advantage. Though in his case, Barbossa didn't know it was specifically Will he needed alive until he told him.
- Lord Beckett's motive for reining in Davy Jones, in the first part of At World's End. Jones had been exterminating the crews of the pirate ships he attacked; Beckett couldn't have that. "I need prisoners to interrogate. This tends to work better if they're alive."
- Kangaroo Court: The trials in the third and fourth movies are hinted to be this.
- Karma Houdini: Barbossa in the fourth movie. Not so much in the first movie.
- Karmic Transformation: Davy Jones, prior to the events of the movies.
- Kick the Dog:
- Cutler Beckett earns the ignominious honor of being the first Disney villain to kill a child, onscreen. In the first scene of the third movie, no less.
- There's another example from Beckett later. To ensure Jones's loyalty (and to make sure he wouldn't turn against them), Beckett forced and ordered him to kill The Kraken. Judging from his reaction, Jones was quite attached to the giant ship-eating monster, with Beckett even referring to it as his "pet".
- Blackbeard. Gleefully so. Subverted when he appears to kill Philip, but only uses poison to knock him out. Said subversion is the Justified by his using Philip to get Syrena's tear.
- Barbossa in the fourth film. When his ship and crew are being swarmed by mermaids, he refuses to help or even recognize their plight, passing it off as "seagulls nesting" when the officers point out their crew's screams of terror. Admittedly, it's not like he could have actually saved them, but it was still pretty cold.
- "Someone make a note of that man's bravery."
- Killed Off for Real: Norrington, Beckett, Governor Swann, Sao Feng, Davy Jones, and the poor Kraken. Debatable whether or not Tia Dalma fits the bill. Many assume that Tia Dalma was killed, but that Calypso ascended. And now Blackbeard. Although you can never know with him.
- Kiss of Death: Elizabeth and Jack in Dead Man's Chest. Elizabeth and Sao Feng in At World's End. Elizabeth and Norrington in At World's End. Elizabeth and Will in At World's End. Those who got kissed by Elizabeth all died by Davy Jones's hands (directly or indirectly).
- Knight, Knave, and Squire: In the first movie, Jack is the Knave, Will is the Knight and Elizabeth is the Squire. A defining moment of both Jack and Will's characters is during the sword fight between the two. By the second movie, the dynamic is more or less dropped and they all become Knaves, especially in the third movie.
- Large Ham: Many.
- Jack Sparrow himself.
- Barbossa all the way, who looks like he's having an absolute blast whenever he shows up.
- Davy Jones, helped by the weird accent and enunciation.
- Elizabeth alternates between understated and quite loud (mostly in the second and the third movies).
- Leave Behind a Pistol
- Lodged Blade Reveal: In the first movie, Barbosa does this with the knife Elizabeth used on him. Also doubles as The Reveal of the Black Pearl's curse. He then does this again at the end of the movie. This is The Reveal for the fact that Jack is now cursed.
- Lost in Translation: The Italian version of the first movie was titled "La Maledizione Della Prima Luna" ("The Curse of the First Moon"), which is completely unrelated to the plot. Particularly ominous because the Black Pearl is not just some random cursed piece of jewelry, but an actual cursed ship.
- Love Redeems:
- In a slightly roundabout way; it's pretty much a given that Will's love for Elizabeth is what leads him to accept his new duties of ferrying the souls of the dead on the Flying Dutchman. This frees the crew from the corruption that Jones had caused with his actions and they also seem to lose their mindless blood-lust.
- Angelica attempts to do this for Blackbeard. But he's a bad man.
- Love Triangle: Love Quadrangle between Will, Jack, Norrington and Elizabeth.
- Lunatic Loophole: Jack rides a wave of them throughout the series.
- MacGuffin: Several in each movie, usually with Jack's compass or the Black Pearl coming into play at some point.
- Curse of the Black Pearl had the last piece of Aztec gold and the blood of William Turner.
- Dead Man's Chest had the Chest and the key to unlock it.
- At World's End had Calypso and the Nine Pieces of Eight.
- On Stranger Tides had the chalices of Ponce de León and a mermaid's tear.
- Jack also becomes one between Dead Man's Chest and the first portion of At World's End.
- Madness Mantra: "Part of the ship, part of the crew." Repeated by Davy Jones' crew near the end of the third film and, earlier, by Bill Turner when he fully joined Jones' crew.
- Magic A Is Magic A: The entire series is built around this trope, in accordance with pirate superstition and lore. Or rather, the writers made a concordance out of pirate superstition and lore.
- The Magic Goes Away: Zigzagged across the series:
- In the second film, Isla de Muerta is wiped off the proverbial map by a hurricane. Invoked by Lord Beckett, who believes in the supernatural, but sees progress and expansion as the overriding force in the world.
- Further invoked by Beckett in At World's End as he doesn't bat an eye to anything on the Flying Dutchman and forces Davy Jones to dispose of the Kraken. Defied by the pirates, who release Calypso specifically so expansion and progress by man across the seas will be more difficult.
Cutler Beckett: This is no longer your world, Jones. The immaterial has become... immaterial.
- In On Stranger Tides, defied by Blackbeard, but invoked by the Spanish, whose actual goal is to destroy the Fountain of Youth, not use it.
- Malignant Plot Tumor: Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company. The company is more-or-less mentioned in passing in the first film, before becoming much more of a threat in the following two films. By the time At World's End rolls around, the combined threat of Beckett and Jones was enough to ultimately unite the world's pirate forces, who up until then were crossing and betraying each other on a regular basis.
- Meaningful Echo: "You are different. Are you not?" Said first by Syrena to Philip when she explains why she saved him during the mermaid attack; later said by Philip to Syrena when he explains why he came to save her after Blackbeard had tied her up in an attempt to get one of her tears.
- Pintel saying "Goodbye, Poppet", and Barbossa saying "Farewell, Mrs. Turner" as Elizabeth walked away from the crew of the Black Pearl for the final time in At World's End definitely counts.
- Meaningful Name:
- All three of the main characters have names related to birds: Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann being the most obvious. Will Turner, on the other hand, shares the exact same name as a British scientist who studied birds, much like James Bond.
- Tia Dalma's name is an anagram for Dalmatia, a famous haven for pirates.
- Barbossa's name is rather close to Barbarossa, another famous pirate.
- Syrena is Greek for "siren" and, in the movie, is pronounced as the Spanish word for mermaid, "sirena" (could count as a Bilingual Bonus).
- Which made the Spanish dub sound like "The mermaid's name will be... Mermaid".
- Membership Token: In the first film, the cursed gold coins, in the third film, the nine Pieces of Eight.
- Memento MacGuffin:
- Mexican Standoff:
- After rescuing Jack in At World's End, the crew quickly devolves into one of these over who gets the Pearl and who gets the map. Just about every main character starts pointing a pair of pistols at different characters, Pintel and Ragetti join in because everyone else is, and pistols change targets about a dozen times over the course of the standoff. Then finally, someone fires... only for it to fail. Cue everyone pulling their triggers and failing. Turns out that all the guns had gotten waterlogged after the fall off the Inevitable Waterfall. That defuses the situation pretty quickly.
- Will, Norrington, and Jack over the Dead Man's Chest.
- Jack, Angelica, and Scrum over the mermaid's tear.
- Mobile Shrubbery: One rather successful instance with a canoe, and another much less successful one with a potted plant.
- The Mountains of Illinois:
- Port Royal was not built on a cliff. Jamaica has plenty of cliffs, but not anywhere near the site of Port Royal.
- Singapore isn't mountainous.
- My the waterfalls and mountains of the Florida Everglades are beautiful. Here's what the place really looks like.
- Who says they're in Florida? It could have been some other island in the Caribbean, after all no one has found the Fountain of Youth in Florida have they?
- Mr. Fanservice: Pretty much the entire male cast, excepting perhaps some of the minor characters.
- The Mutiny:
- Several instances, most importantly the pre-Curse of the Black Pearl one which cost Sparrow his Black Pearl.
- In On Stranger Tides, Jack attempts to incite a mutiny aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. After this insurrection fails spectacularly, Jack claimed he did it just to gain an audience with the until-then-unseen Blackbeard.
- Mythology Gag: When Jack and Barbossa find Ponce, he's a skeleton lying on a bed surrounded by treasure examining a jewel with a magnifying glass, reminiscent of the Captain's Quarters in the introduction segment of the original ride.
- In the first film, when Jack is captured by the Port Royal guards and is undergoing his Heroic BSOD in his jail cell, a group of recently-detained pirates are trying to coax the guard dog into giving them the keys. Jack, in a gloriously snarky allusion to the original ride, tries to convince the pirates to give up. In the following exchange, however, we can see that it has no effect whatsoever:
Jack: You can keep doing that forever, that dog is never going to move.
- Nautical Knockout: Jack intentionally does this to Will in the first movie.
- Nice Hat: Apparently, the only way to be a truly Badass Pirate is to have a really nice hat.
- Jack's hat is one of his most important possessions, to the point of being a plot point in the second movie (see the main entry for details).
- Jack seals a deal with his Affably Evil Large Ham nemesis with an offer of... well, which trope are we talking about, here? It's even what Jack uses to cap off the deal. It works in lieu of 25% of Jack's loot.
- Will gets a Swashbuckler hat with a really gigantic feather at the end of the first film, which gets in Jack's face as he attempts to escape, prompting Jack to declare, "Will... nice hat!" as his parting adieu.
- Barbossa loses his Nice Hat when he becomes a privateer, but gets a new one when he reverts to being a true pirate (as he'd probably intended to from the start).
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- Jack is recaptured because he enlisted the Navy's help to save Will. And in a karmic turnabout, Norrington decides that this is unjust, gives him a Mercy Lead after the first movie's over, and loses his ship and his commission because of it. Man.
- Philip the Missionary, the only unambiguously good and decent human being in the entire fourth movie, is basically the plot's punching bag, firmly setting the deeply-cynical tone of the film and the (supposed) new trilogy.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine:
- Noodle Implements:
- To get the ship out from the bottle in On Stranger Tides, Jack will need: "a crossbow, an hourglass, three goats, and one of us will need to learn to play the trumpet, and the other will need to do this (wiggles fingers)".
- Noodle Incident:
- "Clearly you have never been to Singapore."
- Just what sort of run-in are Beckett and Jack referring to, when they talk about "each leaving his mark on the other"? We do know how Beckett marked Jack; Cutler made the above statement whilst displaying the metal 'P' he used to brand Jack as a pirate. Sparrow's mark on Beckett, however, was never explained- the look on Beckett's face when Will asked about it suggests it's a touchy subject (see the WMG list for a couple fan theories).
- The "trick we perfected in new Guinea" Gibbs uses to take care of the guards on board the Queen Anne's Revenge in On Stranger Tides.
- Jack has a conspicuous new scar in On Stranger Tides; a small red X on his right cheekbone. Such a distinct shape suggests a deliberate infliction, but no explanation is given for it.
- "What were you doing in a Spanish convent?"
- He mistook it for a brothel. It was a usual practice for some Spanish kings (namely Philip III and Philip IV) to send their former lovers to convents once they got them pregnant. So, it was not so strange to find some hot women in convents.
- Not just royal mistresses- it was a valid way of getting rid of any unmarried woman who had somehow disgraced herself.
- Not-So-Safe Harbor:
- Port Royal.
- Shipwreck Cove.
- Oh Crap:
- In Curse of the Black Pearl, Barbossa's expression upon realising he's about to die is pretty comical, if you're in a cruel mood ("I feel... cold.")
- When Jack finds himself surrounded by hungry natives in Dead Man's Chest, he gives a dry, "Oh, bugger."
- Likewise, Bootstrap's realizing that he was fighting over control of the mooring line with his son upon the Flying Dutchman.
- Jack's reaction upon seeing the Flying Dutchman's guns:
Jack: ... Hardtostarboard...
- A minor example, but just watch Jack's expression change during At World's End when Barbossa calls for Captain Teague.
- In On Stranger Tides, the mutineers when Blackbeard makes his appearance.
- When Jack Sparrow looks out at the water to see a massive swarm of mermaids swimming towards everyone.
- Blackbeard upon being told he drank from the wrong chalice.
- Once an Episode: Every movie has a stinger and mentions parley.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- Towards the end of the first movie, when Jack shoots Barbossa and Barbossa thinks that Jack wasted his shot. Clever viewers can tell from Jack's cold, steely glare that this is not the case; it's the one time in the entire movie that he's not doing something eccentric.
- Speaking of Jack acting OOC; it can be hard to tell what is and isn't out of character for a guy whose methods are so mercurial. The only certainty is that anything he does is (virtually) always with the ultimate goal of furthering his own interests.
Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
- Jack gets one at the climax of At World's End when Jones stabs Will through the heart and Jack, who has has his self-serving objective literally in the palm of his hand, goes from cruelly gloating over his imminent victory to looking mind-screwed by despair, almost HBSODing. It's brief, but is big enough to make his sacrifice afterward make perfect sense without hefty foreshadowing.
- Order Versus Chaos: In the first movie, there is no particular moral component to the sides -- the three major players are the ruthless Barbossa, the largely self-interested Jack and Norrington, while Will and Elizabeth are mostly neutral. The second and third movie side more fully with Chaos, as all the protagonists become fairly chaotic, while the role as main villain is taken over by Cutler Becket.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Aztec gold piece and Bootstrap's carving knife are both taken from Will who kept them as mementos from his left-for-(un)dead father. Their ultimate purpose becomes Harsher in Hindsight.
- Outlaw Town: Shipwreck and Dry Tortugas.
- The Plan:
- It's lampshaded in the third movie that a major part of Jack's mystique is if he somehow plans every detail in advance[ or just wings it.
- It can be argued that the entire third movie is a series of interlocking plans, because although all of the plans (except Jack's) are straightforward, they interact in unexpected ways.
- The wild shifting is lampshaded in On Stranger Tides.
- Phrase Catcher: "Sea Turtles".
- Pimped-Out Dress:
- Pirate Parrot: and monkey too. Then they join forces to defeat evil using explosives.
- Pirates: Take a wild guess.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Inverted. Elizabeth gets into all sorts of trouble throughout the trilogy for forgetting that most of the people she hangs out with (a) are not particularly nice, (b) want to get paid, and (c) have no interest in fighting or dying in a noble fashion because of (a) and (b).
- Plot Armor:
- Barbossa is killed, but by the next movie is Back from the Dead.
- Of course when Jack is killed off and the sequel was inevitable, they had no intention of killing off their fan favorite character.
- Plot Coupon: You need the map... To get the key... to open the chest... to stab the heart... with the knife your old man gave you (you hope).
- Plucky Comic Relief: Pintel and Ragetti.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Mr. Cotton's pet parrot (actually a macaw) doesn't just talk; it speaks on behalf of its owner. See Voice for The Voiceless below.
- Port Town:
- Port Royal.
- Power Walk:
- A particularly badass one occurs in the third movie, as Jack, Elizabeth and Barbossa approach the Parlay.
- Barbossa's crew manages an even more badass one in the first movie, when they walk along the bottom of the sea to ambush the Dauntless.
- Barbossa himself does it walking to his new ship, Queen Anne's Revenge. With a peg leg to boot!
- Prisoner of Zenda Exit: Jack. Repeatedly.
- In Dead Man's Chest, Cutler Beckett sends Will to offer Jack Sparrow a Letter of Marque in exchange for his compass.
- Barbossa becomes one in On Stranger Tides, after encountering Blackbeard, who deprives him of both the Black Pearl and his leg. He "sold out" to the Crown only to get a chance to make even with his nemesis, and he tears his letter of marque at the end.
- Public Execution:
- What Will rescues Jack from at the end of the first movie.
- The third Pirates of the Caribbean film starts out with a mass public hanging of citizens thought to be involved with pirates, notably including a young boy amongst the victims.
- Bunches of people show up for the trial and (presumed) subsequent hanging of one Captain Jack Sparrow in the opening of On Stranger Tides.
- Rage Judo: Captain Jack Sparrow, naturally.
- Rape, Pillage and Burn: The pillage and burn parts, at least; no raping takes place -- these are Disney movies, after all.
- Reality Ensues: The first film ends with Will Turner making a daring broad-daylight rescue of Jack Sparrow as he's about to be hanged. The second film opens with Will Turner having been arrested for it.
- Red Shirts: Incredibly Lame Puns aside, you can write off nearly every English sailor and soldier that appears, even officers and characters with speaking parts. Also, towards the ends of every movie the pirate crews are usually so diminished they should be unable to sail their vessels. At least twice (the ends of the third and fourth movies) these two trends coincide and the surviving British join the surviving pirates.
- Refuge in Audacity: Most of what Jack Sparrow does.
- Most of the humor derived from the Pirate Court scene in At World's End.
- Right Under Their Noses
- Roll Your Arrrrs-ah:
Barbossa: What ARRR you doing?
- Running Gag:
- "Sea turtles, mate."
- *slap* "Not sure I deserved that."
- The rum.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Tons of examples, but mostly because the real legends behind the series' plotlines are tossed aside in favor of the Rule of Cool.
- Savage Piercings: The tribe that captures Jack in Dead Man's Chest and Blackbeard's zombies in On Stranger Tides.
- Scoundrel Code: The Pirates' Code is a patently silly version, since freedom from authority is one of the main reasons for being a pirate in the first place. This is probably why they are rarely hesitant to stray from it, so long as Captain Teague isn't in the room.
- Sequel Escalation: The second and particularly the third movie featured more and more insanely over-the-top CGI and action sequences, epic plotlines and 300-million budgets. The fourth movie, however, was intentionally scaled back, returning to the more modest and character-driven style of the first film.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Played with in Jack's/Barbossa's crew; all of them speak like this, including the captains themselves, but it doesn't always indicate intelligence.
Barbossa: I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request. (Beat) Means no.
- The first film contains numerous highly specific shout-outs to the theme park ride on which the film is loosely based.
- The ending of Dead Man's Chest has Will rowing in a coffin to a skull-shaped hut in a swamp, in a scene that's an almost exact duplicate of a scene in Monkey Island, although the writers insist they've never heard of it.
- There are a number of references to Treasure Island, including:
- Depp's role as the Jerk with a Heart of Gold mentor.
- The setup where the new captain of the pirate ship keeps a pet named after the captain he mutinied against. Are we talking about Barbosa and his monkey named "Jack", or Long John Silver and his parrot "Cap'n Flint"?
- In On Stranger Tides, the reason Blackbeard seeks the fountain is because he receives a warning about a one legged-man, in this case Barbossa.
- The Power Walk scene from the  is a Shout-Out to Sergio Leone westerns, complete with The Jimmy Hart Version of Ennio Morricone's music and a close up on The Good, The Bad... and The Ugly (Davy Jones, who winks at the camera).
- The musical locket owned by the villain (Jones) with an identical one owned by a good guy with a history with the villain (Tia Dalma, aka Calypso)? Straight from For a Few Dollars More, though the relationship between the corresponding characters is quite different.
- The scene in the first movie, with the upper class lady getting rid of the alcohol after the lower-class wild man got drunk and started singing the previous night while they're stranded together? Yeah, happened in more than just this movie.
- In At World's End, one of the Boats Of Deceased Souls contains two identical, stoic-faced little girls- rather reminiscent of the Creepy Twins in The Shining.
- Sparrow's ad-libbed "And then they made me their chief" was a running gag Orphaned Punchline from The Goon Show, of which Depp is a fan.
- In the fourth film, Blackbeard remarks on how he has to shoot one of his own crew every so often, so they don't forget who he is. This line is a direct reference to the Tim Powers On Stranger Tides novel, in which Blackbeard justified shooting Isreal Hands (a Real Life crew member) in the knee this way.
- At the end of On Stranger Tides, Jack quips to Mr. Gibbs 'It's a pirate's life for me, mate', like the song that plays in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
- In a scene in On Stranger Tides, Jack and Angelica threaten each other with meat hooks.
- In On Stranger Tides, when Syrena's glass coffin breaks, she is forced to walk on land. Her tail changes to legs, and every step causes her agonizing pain. These details are obviously borrowed from Andersen's fairy tale.
- The scene in On Stranger Tides where Jack blows up the lighthouse is very similar to Ezio's destruction of Borgia towers in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
- The climax of On Stranger Tides evokes recollection of a dilemma from another adventure film.
- The Fountain of Youth looks suspiciously like the Guardian of Forever, surrounding scenery (and fog!) included.
- The scene of pirates walking along the seabed with an air-filled upside-down boat held over them is based on an incident in The Crimson Pirate, a 1952 pirate flick with a similar tongue-in-cheek attitude.
- Shrouded in Myth:
Imprisoned Pirate: The Black Pearl has been stalking these waters for nearly ten years. Leaves no survivors!
- Slash Fic: At one point the number of hits on Google for "Sparrabeth", "Willabeth", and "Norrabeth" combined were less than the number of hits for "Sparrington". You may now go bleach your brain.
- Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: Barbossa is Affably Evil, Davy Jones is Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, Beckett is a Complete Monster, Blackbeard is a bigger Complete Monster.
- So Long, Suckers!: Jack's famous line "You will always remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow", and nicely lampshaded in the end.
- Sorting Algorithm of Villain Threat: Barbossa < Jones < Beckett.
- Broken with Blackbeard.
- Spinoff Babies: Disney has been publishing a line of preteen-orientated novels about Jack's teenage years since 2006.
- The Stinger: All four films feature an extra scene after the final credits.
- Strolling Through the Chaos: Lord Cutler Beckett's death scene in the third movie was very much the serious version. He's walking down the stairs, which are blowing up behind him with chunks of wood flying around, when he finally dies.
- Jack does this in the second movie. After the fight starts, the man starts wandering aimlessly through the pub, randomly trying on people's hats to replace the one he lost at the beginning of the movie. He narrowly avoids getting injured in some spectacularly funny ways (such as ducking to get a dropped hat off the floor and avoiding a flying bottle that smashes on the wall above him).
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix:
- Summer Blockbuster: The whole franchise, with the second and fourth becoming two of only a handful of films to cross the Billion-dollar mark, making this franchise the first to have more than one movie to have earned a Billion worldwide.
- Talking Your Way Out: What can't Jack bribe, negotiate, trick or otherwise "parley" his way out of? Thanks to Elizabeth, a kraken's lunch menu, apparently.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Barbossa and Blackbeard in particular.
- Those Two Guys: In two flavors! Pirate and Navy!
- Trademark Favorite Food: Barbossa and apples.
- Unrequited Love: Norrington = Stuffy Brit. Will = Orlando Bloom. Hmm... time to grow a beard.
- Uptown Girl: The first three films have Elizabeth Swann (the Governor's daughter) and Will Turner (blacksmith's apprentice).
- Villainous BSOD:
- Davey Jones tried to avoid this by removing his heart.
- Beckett has a brilliantly-executed villainous BSOD in the third movie, walking down from the quarterdeck in slow motion while his ship is being shot to pieces around him, saying his Catch Phrase: "It's just... good business..."
- Barbossa's in the first movie is nicely understated. The apple may be a bit much, though.
- Blackbeard when Jack reveals that he gave the the chalice with the mermaid's tear to Angelica instead of him.
- Visual Pun: In the first movie, Jack is attempting to pick a lock with a bone. It's a skeleton key.
- And in the third movie, Davy Jones' Locker is filled with crustaceans that normally appear as stones, or in other words, "Rock Crabs".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Jack Sparrow and Will Turner are Type 2.
- Jack and Barbossa begin to show shades of this in On Stranger Tides.
- Voice for The Voiceless: The pirate Cotton had his tongue cut out, so he taught his parrot to speak for him. It speaks entirely in nautical Stock Phrases, though, so the pirates then have to interpret what the parrot says. Gibbs mentions that "nobody's yet figured how" he taught the parrot to do that in the first place.
- Weapon Stomp: In Dead Man's Chest, Elizabeth goes for the rifle, only for Jack to stomp on it. He then kicks it up so he could be the one to fire it. Norrington also did this with one of Davy Jones' Mooks.
- Also done in On Stranger Tides during Jack's attempted mutiny, which fails regardless.
- Wham! Line:
- A rare example of a closing Wham Line: "So tell me, what's become of my ship?"
- "The Dutchman must have a captain."
- When called upon to cast his vote for the Pirate King, after all the others have voted for themselves, as expected, Jack hesitates for a moment and answers: "Elizabeth Swann". Elizabeth is shocked, and the other Pirate Lords are not very happy with Jack.
- Elizabeth: (after kissing Jack) "It's you (the Kraken) wants, don't you see?" She then proceeds to chain him to ship so he can't run away.
- From Curse of the Black Pearl: "You'd best start believin' in ghost stories, Miss Turner. Yer in one!
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Anamaria's actress could not reprise her role in the second film, but her character's disappearance was never explained to ever-wondering viewers. See the WMG list for a couple theories.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?:
- Stabbing Davy Jones's heart will make the person who did it become immortal. Will wants to do this, which is bad in his father's eyes as he will choose his fiancée over his father. Not to mention the whole step on land once every 10 years, and having to ferry souls to the afterlife or be turned into a fishman.
"It's not just about living forever, Jackie. The trick is living with yourself forever."
- In the fourth film, it turns out that Blackbeard is the only character who honestly wants the Fountain's promised immortality for himself. Angelica wants it to prolong her time with her father; the Spanish want to destroy the Fountain, to protect God's exclusive right to dispense eternal life; King George's men, not realizing this, want to stop the Spanish king from claiming immortality; and Barbossa really only wants revenge on Blackbeard. Even Jack decides he'd really rather be remembered forever than actually live that long.
- Will They or Won't They?
- Woman Scorned:
- Subverted in At World's End. Calypso fits this trope to a T, but in all technicality she started the whole thing in the first place.
- Angelica in On Stranger Tides, who Jack seduced in the past and then left behind. Things don't get any better when Jack uses the chalices to give a dying Angelica immortality rather than her father Blackbeard--whose life is sacrificed for hers--and then maroons her on an island with nothing but a pistol with a single bullet.
- Wooden Ships and Iron Men: At least as far as visual aesthetics go.
- World of Ham: Aside from Orlando Bloom and Blackbeard, everyone is hamming up accordingly to such a project.
- And even they have their moments.
- World of Snark
- Wretched Hive: Tortuga.
- Xanatos Gambit: Two straight examples: Jack Sparrow allowed himself to be shackled in the first movie so he could use them to take Elizabeth hostage: Either they let him escape or she becomes a distraction for his escape. Then taking one of the Azetc coins: Barbosaa can no longer win because he himself cannot be killed, but once Will dispells the curse, he can finish Barbosa off with his pistol.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Almost every fight scene. "You're not a eunuch, are you?"
The Curse of the Black Pearl
- An Aesop: Just because a man is an outlaw doesn't mean he isn't a good person in his own ways.
Murtogg: But why aren't we doing... what Mr. Sparrow said we should do? With the cannons and all?
- As You Know: First movie, "You're the Governor's Daughter."
- Catchphrase Interruptus: The only time Jack ever finishes his Catch Phrase "You will always remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!" is when he actually gets captured.
Norrington: "Well, I'm sure you will remember this as the day that Captain Jack Sparrow almost escaped."
Pintel: Damn to the depths whatever man invented parley!
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Will's sword throwing is first used to stop Jack from escaping, but at the end he saves Jack from the gallows with it. Although this looks like it would be a Chekhov's Skill, Will's skill at throwing swords was part of the screenplay before the scene at the gallows was even created.
- Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: "We know you're 'ere, poppet..."
- Crowd Hockey: Ragetti's eye.
- Dem Bones: The Black Pearl was really run by a skeleton crew under Barbossa.
- Derelict Graveyard
- Establishing Character Moment: Jack Sparrow heroically sailing his sunken boat into port (physics be damned), and getting on the dock without breaking stride.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It is said that "the Black Pearl is crewed by the damned and captained by a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out."
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Swann has one. Things don't go to plan.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: During the scene where the crew of the Pearl is kidnapping Elizabeth out of her father's mansion.
- Gilligan Cut: Used with Elizabeth's would-be Rousing Speech in the first movie.
- Go Through Me: Elizabeth and Will to Jack.
- He's Dead, Jim: Barbossa, as he is shot through the chest, says "I feel... cold" and collapses.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...:
"I expect the man who made this sword would put the same care and dedication into every aspect of his life."
- Improvised Zipline: Captain Jack Sparrow did this with the chain on his handcuffs.
- Mayincatec: The cursed Aztec gold is in a chest decorated with an illustration of an Inca god, as pointed out by Ruy Platt in Cracked.com's 27 Movie Details That Research Proves Are B.S..
- Meaningful Echo: Jack says to Will "you can accept that your father was a pirate, and a good man, or you can't." At the end of the film this exchange occurs about Jack.
Swann: "He's a pirate."
- Mercy Lead: At the end of the film, Norrington grants the escaped Jack a day's head start.
- Misplaced Names Poster: This poster for the first movie.
- Mortality Ensues: This happens to Barbossa at the worst possible time; Will drops the final gold piece into the cursed treasure chest just after Sparrow blows a fatal hole in Barbossa's chest with a pistol, removing the curse and causing Barbossa to bleed out.
- Myopic Architecture: And that, my friends, is why one shouldn't build prison cells with half-pin hinges.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pirate zombies.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: The scene where Elizabeth is forced to dine either with Barbossa or with the crew and she reluctantly decides to dine with Barbossa.
- Of Corset Hurts: Elizabeth complains mightily when trussed up in a corset for Norrington's ceremony...
- Of Corsets Sexy: But one can't deny it gives her some excellent cleavage.
- In the audio commentary Keira Knightley says her cleavage was painted on.
- Ominous Fog: Follows the cursed Black Pearl around.
- Orphaned Punchline: "...And then they made me their chief."
- Powder Trail: How the cursed Black Pearl crew destroys the Interceptor.
- The Power of Blood: The blood of those who took coins from the Chest of Cortez (or that of their children)is required in order to end the curse.
- Precision F-Strike:
Will: Barbossa you lying bastard!
- Props for slipping that into a Disney movie. Oh, and also using the word "strumpet". And "eunuch". And... just the way that Jack is, feels like it shouldn't be in a Disney movie.
- Promethean Punishment: Steal the Aztec Gold and you'll become immortal and impossible to kill (downside: but you won't enjoy a moment of it).
- Sarcastic Confession: Jack.
Well, then, I confess. It is my intention to commandeer one of these ships, pick up a crew in Tortuga, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer my weaselly black guts out.
- Sense Loss Sadness: Barbossa's motivation to undo the curse.
- Shout-Out: Several very nice ones to pirate films, and to Disney movies as well:
- Squick: In-universe example when Jack finds out that Cotton has no tongue.
- Stepping Stone Sword: Will throws a sword under Jack's feet to save him from a hanging.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Norrington. He's definitely not the bad guy, and is pursuing Jack out of duty and orders. Jack is, after all a pirate, and piracy was a huge threat to settlements.
- Tactful Translation: Played for laughs when Barbossa "translates" his comments for Elizabeth. It can be argued that Elizabeth's look of confusion is merely the result of Barbossa speaking so eloquently seconds after asking her to use smaller words that the "humble pirates" can understand, and his translation is not for her, but his own crew, who also seem confused.
- Tell Me About My Father: Will.
- Undead Author: With regards to the Pearl.
Jack: No survivors? Then where do the stories come from, I wonder?
- Using You All Along: As Jack is bargaining with Barbossa for Will's life, and to destroy the men of the Dauntless (more or less), plus getting to sail the Pearl again as captain, Will bursts out "You've been planning this from the beginning!"
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Elizabeth stores the Aztec gold piece.
- Walk the Plank: To be marooned on a Desert Island... twice.
- Walk, Don't Swim: The strategy used by the undead pirates to reach Norrington's ship undetected.
- Who Are You?: From Barbossa to Will Turner. It features a mild subversion, with Jack trying very hard to keep Will from answering, since it will derail his plans.
- Worthy Opponent: Naval officer Lt. Groves seems to hold this view of Captain Sparrow. At the least, he openly admires the pirate's ingenuity. "That's got to be the best pirate I've ever seen!"
Dead Man's Chest
- Artificial Limbs: Davy Jones has two legs as a human, but his mutated form turns one of them into a lobster/crab leg that evokes the image of the stereotypical pirate peg leg. While we're at it, his lobster claw hand evokes the image of the stereotypical pirate hook hand.
- Attack! Attack! Retreat! Retreat!: In the trailer:
Will: We can't leave without him! (sees Jack being chased by natives) Never mind, let's go!
- Attack of the Monster Appendage: The Kraken is the "whole body seen later" example.
- Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Well, it's a boat, and there's a kiss, but the gist of it is, Will sees Elizabeth kiss Jack and proceeds to act like a teenage girl afterwards.
- Big No: Bootstrap yells this before the Kraken is summoned to destroy the ship Will has escaped on.
- Black Spot: Jack receives one at the beginning of the film.
- Camera Abuse: A subtle example. As Jack is sailing away from the Island of the Pelegostos and is giving his standard farewell speech, the wave that smacks Jack in the face and cuts his sentence also manages to hit the camera as well.
- Charge Into Combat Cut: When Jack Sparrow charges the Kraken with sabre in hand.
- Chased by Angry Natives
- Dead Man's Chest Naturally.
- Deal with the Devil: How Jack originally raised the Black Pearl (nee Wicked Wench) from a watery grave. He reneged on his end of the bargain, then Rules Lawyered his way out of Davy Jones' clutches.
- Elite Mook: Agents of the East India Co. We only see one of them (Mercer) but Jack "vanished from under the eyes of seven agents of the East India Company" and this is listed as an impressive feat.
- Flaming Sword: Will sets his sword on fire with some oil from a lantern in an attempt to ward off the zombies.
- Foil: In a more tragic example, Davy Jones and Calypso whilst in Tia Dalma's body. Davy Jones has become the embodiment of an evil monster, having an Eldritch Abomination of a body, abandoning all emotions and developing a convincing range of reactions, both facial and verbal; and taking delight in putting the lost souls he captures through torment and pain. Tia Dalma, however, has retained all her emotions, and will not hesitate to help those in need, and does not require a steep price in return.
- Forbidden Zone: The island of the Peligostos. They make the most delicious long pork. Their ride dumps Will overboard to get there.
- Give Me a Sword: Done repeatedly in one scene with three heroes and two swords between them.
- God Guise: The cannibal island at the beginning of the movie believe Jack Sparrow to be a god.
- Heel Faith Turn: Discussed and Played for Laughs. In their first scene in the movie, Pintel and Ragetti talk about how they are going to read The Bible and become "good men". They revert to their piratical ways pretty soon.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Peligostos.
- The trader that pointed Will to the island as well, judging by the longpork comment.
- Kiss of Distraction: Elizabeth on Jack in order to shackle him to the deck of the Pearl.
- Last Stand: "Hello, beastie!" Jack's futile, but irrefutably courageous, charge towards the Kraken.
- Leitmotif: Davy Jones takes the inspiration for his from a music box, all minor keys.
- Life Isn't Fair:
Davy Jones: Life is cruel! Why should the afterlife be any different?
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Jack's motive for wanting to stab Davy Jones's heart.
- MacGuffin Melee: A long extended sequence in the middle of the movie involved this, as almost all of the regulars competed for control of the chest containing Davy Jones' heart.
- Meat Moss: The interior of the Flying Dutchman is a sea-themed variant of this. Crewmen of the Dutchman are fated to meld into the walls after spending enough time on the ship.
- Mega Corp: The East India Trading Co.
- Mood Whiplash: The end of the film, particularly Elizabeth kissing Jack.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: And how.
- Percussive Prevention: Elizabeth to Norrington. Though she missed the boat on 'preventing him from doing something stupid' like starting a massive Bar Brawl, she managed to stop the others from killing him.
- The Reveal: The resurrected Captain Barbossa at the end.
- Say My Name:
"DAMN YOU, JACK... SSSSSPPPPAAAAAAAAAARRROOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!"
- Skyward Scream: Davy Jones. See Say My Name, above.
- Tempting Fate: "Actually, you don't need everyone. About six of us will do. (Beat) Ohhh, dear..."
- This Is Gonna Suck: Jack's reaction to being eaten by the Kraken, among other insalubrious things.
- Tribal Carry: Will Turner is brought into the village trussed to a pole like game, and Jack Sparrow spends a few minutes running away from the locals whilst tied to a rotisserie skewer.
- A Truce While We Gawk: The pirates momentarily pause battle to watch the strange sight of the mill wheel go by.
- Vagina Dentata: The Kraken's mouth (symbolically, rather than literally, obviously).
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Norrington in Dead Man's Chest.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Peligostos.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: The two Red Shirt fishermen who stumble upon Jack's hat, and, subsequently, become the Kraken's first victims. It sounds vaguely Russian, but it is too difficult to tell since it is spoken at such a fast pace.
- DVD subtitles imply that it's meant to be Turkish.
- Wheel of Pain: The kraken-summoning machine.
At World's End
- Aggressive Negotiations: This is played with. One pirate shoots another for questioning the pirate code. However, nothing really major happens--the dead pirate is a nobody, and none of the assembled pirates really want a fight to break out at their meeting.
- Ass Shove: Hinted at with a really big gun.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: For the King of the Brethren Court, Captain Elizabeth Swan.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: For all his selfishness and scheming, you've got to "Awww" at the look on Jack's face when Will gets stabbed.
- Beat Still My Heart: Davy Jones' heart (and Will's, at the end).
- Big Book of War: The Pirate's Code. Amusingly, the actual book itself is apparently only a few pages of actual code -- the rest is discussion on what the code should be.
- Bowel-Breaking Bricks: Pintel and Ragetti each grab a cannonball, planning to drop them on the bodies floating in the water while escaping Davey Jones' Locker. As they're about to, they see Tia Dalma standing there. The camera cuts to their lower bodies, as they drop the cannonballs in a way that resembles this trope.
- Brought Down to Normal: The sea goddess Calypso (Tia Dalma).
- Celeb Crush: As part of their Batman Gambit, the pirates must enact a ritual involving words spoken as if to a lover, but the pirates are Large Hams who've never known a love they didn't pay for... except one:
Ragetti: [whispers tenderly] Calypso... I release you from your human bonds.
- Chekhov's Skill: Jack escapes from the Dutchman's jail using the same trick that Will used in the first film to free him.
- Clipped-Wing Angel: Calypso's transformation.
- Cosmopolitan Council: The Court of the Brethren.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Death By Unrequited Love.
- Denouement: After the credits.
- Descriptive Ville: Lampshaded.
Gibbs: Look alive, and keep a weather eye! Not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island, where lies Shipwreck Cove and the town of Shipwreck.
Beckett: (preparing to violate his deal with Sparrow by attacking the Pearl) It's nothing personal, Jack. It's just good business.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: James Norrington stabbing Davy Jones with his final breath instead of accepting his offer.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The Nine Pieces of Eight turn out to be the missing ingredients in a spell to free Calypso.
- Disney Villain Death: After getting stabbed in the heart, Davy Jones falls over the side of the ship and plummets into the maelstrom during the final battle.
- The Dog Bites Back: Davy Jones.
- Dragon Lady: Mistress Ching.
- Dynamic Entry: Jack's cannonball stunt, except no one gets hurt in the process and it doubles as a Dynamic Exit.
- Emergency Transformation: Will.
- Epic Movie
- Exposed to the Elements: The journey to Davy Jones' Locker features the crew sailing through a frozen ocean. One unnamed chinese crewmember's foot is frozen through, to the point that he accidentally snaps his big toe off. The rest of the crew are still wearing the same clothes they had in Singapore, yet suffer no ill effects apart from Pintel and Ragetti shivering.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Davy Jones does this when facing off against Jack, Barbossa, and Elizabeth on the sandbar.
- Five Second Foreshadowing:"If he's not with you, and he's not with us...who's he with?"
- Flat What: Elizabeth, when Jack uses his vote to make her the Pirate King.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Pirate Lord, Diego De Leon, in the "Hoist The Colours" scene, appears to have a flag very reminiscent of Blackbeard's real-life flag. (However, in On Stranger Tides Blackbeard's flag is different.)
- Gambit Pileup: Comes to a head in the movie; see Chronic Backstabbing Disorder above.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: from the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas, using the Nine Pieces of Eight.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Norrington's reason for Heroic Sacrifice.
- Keystone Army: The enormous Imperial Armada Beckett brought with him to annihilate the pirates: they all turn tail and run when the Endeavour is sunk, despite it being heavily implied that they vastly outnumber the entire pirate fleet. May simply be a case of Lazy Backup. On the other hand, they were up against the Black Pearl, which was pretty infamous at the time for her actions, as well as the Flying Dutchman, all at once. Especially the Dutchman, who would probably have made it a curbstomp battle given how everyone keeps saying "Control the Dutchman, control the seas."
- Lazy Backup: The final battle. The Black Pearl faces down the Flying Dutchman, and then Beckett's Endeavour, without any help from the pirate armada assembled behind them. Justified because the maelstrom prevented other ships from intervening. And once again, when the Dutchman does its Heel Face Turn.
- In the second case, Beckett's much-larger armada may have scarpered because the situation had just gotten too weird to cope with.
- The rest of Beckett's fleet may have been put off by the return of a ship that had just been shot to pieces and sunk down a whirlpool, suddenly repaired and now fighting for the enemy.
- Love Makes You Evil: Davy Jones. When Calypso breaks his heart, he says to hell with all of it and shirks his rightful duties, which leads to him and his crew becoming corrupted and inhuman.
- Married At Sea: Elizabeth and Will get married by Barbossa in the middle of the climactic battle.
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: One after Elizabeth's Rousing Speech drives all the pirate crews to truly fight for their way of life. They raise their banners and prepare for the fight.
- Mistaken for Special Guest: Elizabeth for Calypso in the third film, turning her into a Living MacGuffin for a brief round of pirate negotiations.
- Non-Indicative Name: The Nine Pieces of Eight. In more ways than one.
- Nothing Personal: Beckett uses those exact words as he prepares to renege on his agreement with Sparrow.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Kraken is killed offscreen, with only a throwaway comment and a scene where they find the body afterward.
- Orbital Kiss: At the climax while That One Theme plays.
- Pet the Dog: A quick one for Davy Jones: seeing incoming cannon fire, he throws himself on Mercer to protect him from the blast. The fact that he quickly remembers he hates the man and promptly chokes him to death just reinforces the fact that he would have protected any member of his crew in the same way.
- Power High: When Tia Dalma is released from her human form and regains her godly powers by becoming Calypso, she makes a familiar expression that makes her enjoyment very evident.
- Prepare to Die: "I shall pry the chest away from your cold, dead fingers."
- Rash Equilibrium: Throughout the movie.
- Redemption Equals Death: For poor James Norrington.
- Rescued From Purgatory: Saving Jack.
- Rousing Speech: A truly moving, awesome one.
Captain Barbossa: Revenge won't bring your father back, Miss Swann, and it's not something I'm intending to die for.
- Saharan Shipwreck
- She Is the King: Elizabeth Swann, Pirate King. They're just giving the bloody title away!
- Slasher Smile: Tia Dalma sports one in Singapore.
- Someone Has to Do It: "The Dutchman must have a captain."
- Tension-Cutting Laughter: During the Mexican Standoff mentioned above, after a minute goes by they all start laughing... but then they remember that, yes, they do all have people to threaten.
- The Last Horse Crosses the Finish Line: When Tia Dalma uses her sand crabs to locate and bring Jack back to the crew of the Black Pearl. Needless to say, it takes a while for Witty Jack to figure out that his ship was suddenly ferried, without effort, across Davy Jones' Locker, after he himself was trying his damndest to pull it across to pull it over that same hill with a piece of rope. It takes even longer for him to realize that the ship is moving at breakneck speed, and he will soon be left behind if he does not catch up.
- The Unintelligible: Calypso, when in 50 foot giant form, rains unintelligible things at the pirates after they set her free. Word of God says that she's cursing them, and basically telling them to go fuck themselves.
- Vapor Wear: After an Extended Disarming sequence in the third movie while in Singapore, Swann is left wearing only a shirt. One of the fellow pirates, who is hiding under the floorboards, gets a peep up her dress and informs his friend. During the interval, however, Swann has moved forward, resulting in the other guy getting an eyeful of the privates of one of Sao Feng's male group.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Those familiar with ocean weather patterns get an Oh Crap moment when two captains facing off both claim the wind is on their side. Cue the maelstrom.
- Visual Innuendo: The feud of "biggus" scopes between Sparrow and Barbossa
- Wartime Wedding: Will and Elizabeth not only get married in the middle of a war, but in the middle of a battle. On a pirate ship.
On Stranger Tides
- Actually Pretty Funny: One of Blackbeard's zombified officers laughs at Jack's "Missionary's Position" quip. Which gives said Missionary the distraction he needs to help Syrena.
- Adipose Rex: King George II.
- Amazon Brigade: The mermaids.[context?]
- Ambiguous Situation: The fate of Philip. Syrena pulls him into the water, but we never find out what happened to him. She claims to be able to cure him, and earlier it's said that a mermaid's kiss prevents drowning, but all we have to go on is her word and rumors? Is she reverting to man-eating, or was she genuine in her claims?
- It appears he survived, as his eyes are still open and he's seen swimming alongside her.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: During an escape sequence, Jack finds himself in a carriage opposite an older woman who looks startled and terrified. He leans over and nibbles the woman's ear, then ducks out of the carriage, to which she utters "That's it?" in a disappointed tone.
- Then finds out too late that he nibbled off her earring in the process.
- Artificial Limbs: This wouldn't be a proper pirate movie series without at least one wooden leg. It shows up in On Stranger Tides, attached to Barbossa. Kind of appropriate, since he's the most stereotypical (yarr!) pirate of the bunch.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: While the file goes to great lengths to preserve the illusion of topless mermaids in several scenes Syrena's upper chest is visible, and the actress is wearing a skin suit (making the Godiva Hair potentially more sexual than just showing their body.)
- Beauty Equals Goodness: The preacher seems to think so, mooning over the mermaid's beauty and that she must thus be one of God's creatures.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: According to On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard was a voodoo sorcerer, and survived for many years past the battle that history records as his death.
- Behind the Black: The film has some issues with this in the early chase scenes. For example, there is a part where Jack is being chased down a set of stairs by several British soldiers. He reaches the bottom. The camera cuts to the soldiers who then reach the bottom and run down the hall. Cut to Jack hiding behind a table at the bottom of the stairs. Even given that the soldier closest to him in pursuit turned away for a second to yell for back-up, it's highly improbable he could have hidden there without the soldiers seeing him do it.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The mermaids - for such sexy, harmless-looking creatures, they sure are vicious.
- California Doubling: Location shooting on the previous films was in the real Caribbean. To keep the budget lower, this one was mostly in Hawaii, with some scenes also in Puerto Rico and... California.
- And Greenwich, London.
- The Cameo: Judi Dench.
- The Corrupter: Angelica claimed that Jack was this towards her.
- Death Equals Redemption: As Jack says, maybe for Blackbeard.
- Dirty Old Woman: The old lady that Jack fondles in the London carriage.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: According to Barbossa, Blackbeard captured the Black Pearl and likely killed her crew. Pintel, Ragetti, Cotton, Marty? All probably dead.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Angelica poses as Jack because he was the only (male) pirate she thought she could pass for.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Philip towards Syrena.
- And Syrena towards Philip as well. She reveals that the reason she saved Philip during the mermaid attack was because she noticed that he was "different".
- Ermine Cape Effect: George II.
- Equivalent Exchange: The fountain will only give you youth if you take the years off of someone else. Someone has to die.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The quartermaster of the Queen Anne's Revenge is never addressed as anything but "Quartermaster".
- Likewise the gunner, though Gunner (Or Gunnar) is an actual name as well.
- Hometown Nickname: The Spanish commander is simply called the Spaniard.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: The cook. Forced to row out in a longboat until the Revenge turns his way and literally opens fire for several seconds. Then he gets blasted again for good measure.
- Blackbeard's death.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge has flamethrowers.
- Godiva Hair: Syrena the mermaid.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck: Blackbeard's Last Words to Jack Sparrow are "Trickster!" and "Devil!".
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Penélope Cruz. Thank God for elastic corsets and puffy shirts. (The scene where her character seeks clemency by claiming to be pregnant may have been added as Reality Subtext.)
- Historical Domain Character: It features Blackbeard, with smaller appearances by King George II of England and some of his ministers, and a brief cameo by King Ferdinand VI of Spain.
- Hotter and Sexier: To the franchise and Disney in general; it's the very first Disney film to mention sexual content (though not in those words) in the MPAA's reason for giving it a PG-13 rating.
- In That Order: The mermaids will take you to the bottom of the sea, drown you, then eat you. Sometimes, however, they will do it the other way around.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Theodore Groves.
- Kangaroo Court: Strongly implied to be what Gibbs' trial was intended to be before Jack Sparrow posed as a judge and gave him a life sentence instead.
- Left the Background Music On: Invoked - Scrum is playing a particularly authentic Spanish tune when Jack and Angelica dance.
- Legendary Impostor: As the movie begins, there's a rumour going around London that Captain Jack Sparrow is hiring a crew. This comes as news to Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Life or Limb Decision: How Barbossa lost his leg.
- Logo Joke: The flag at the top of the Disney castle Vanity Plate is replaced with the flag of Blackbeard's ship, the fireworks are replaced with cannon fire (or rather, just given a dull white color), and mermaids appear in the river that runs through the castle.
- Love At First Sight: Possibly between Philip and Syrena.
- Mermaid Problem: Averted. The mermaids are heavily implied to be mammals, not fish, given that they have lungs and need to breathe to live, and their tails are horizontal, which is indicative of aquatic mammals, not vertical, indicative of fish (not uncommon in media portrayals of mermaids, however - see Our Mermaids Are Different). On top of this, the Mermaid Problem is solved by Syrena having her tail turn into legs when she is taken completely out of water, if only temporarily.
- Mission from God: Well, for him, as far as the Spaniards are concerned.
- Motive Misidentification: The Spanish aren't looking for the Fountain of Youth to attain immortality. They wish to destroy this place of pagan sorcery in the name of God.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Philip, when he realizes that Syrena was pulling him to safety, not attacking him, when he captured her.
- Naughty Nuns: Angelica was about to take her vows, when Jack arrived. He was there because he'd mistaken the convent for a brothel. Honest mistake.
- No Name Given: The Spaniard.
- Noodle Implements: Jack rattles off a number of these in his plan to restore the Black Pearl.
- Not Me This Time: Jack Sparrow is believed to be trying to locate a ship to find the Fountain of Youth, as well as recruiting a crew. Turns out that it was Angelica, a former flame of Sparrow, disguised as him.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The Mermaid theme.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: They're freaking spooky, and man-killers.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Blackbeard's officers are the Voodoo type; mindlessly obedient to their 'creator', with no interest in eating anyone.
- Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Bonus points for using actual chalices. Jack tricks Blackbeard into downing the life-draining chalice under the pretense that it's the one that grants life, knowing he values his own life over that of his daughter.
- Poisoned Weapons: The vengeful Barbossa coats his sword with tree frog venom, so if he so much as scratches Blackbeard he'll be dead within minutes. Unlikely as it may seem, this ploy is Truth In Television.
- Positive Discrimination: The Spaniards are almost ridiculously flawless and bold hero-types, unswerving and incapable of being tempted, working with amazing precision and utter respect for their foes.
"Someone make a note of that man's bravery."
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Jack: "Oh I understand everything. Except that wig." Spectacular escape ensues.
- Proof I Am Not Bluffing: Blackbeard tries to coerce Jack into helping him by threatening to shoot his love interest, who happens to be Blackbeard's daughter. When Jack calls him out on it, Blackbeard orders the Quartermaster to bring him six pistols, four unloaded. Jack gets the message fairly quickly. After he leaves, Angelica asks Blackbeard if he knew which guns were loaded. His answer is a not-very-reassuring "Of course, my love."
- And then handed her the compass, possibly implying he did.
- Record Needle Scratch: Even though the actual sound isn't used, the effect of this trope is definitely present at the end of the movie.
- Redemption Equals Death: Philip. Maybe.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Jack relates the Real Life myth about how Blackbeard's body swam three times around a ship after being decapitated to Blackbeard, who doesn't deign to explain how come he's still alive.
- Revival Loophole: After hearing a prophecy that says he's going to meet his end at Barbossa's hands, Blackbeard figures You Can't Fight Fate and rather than trying to avert or avoid the prophecy, he starts searching for the Fountain of Youth so that he can use it to heal himself after it inevitably does happen. It would have worked, had Jack not pulled a Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo.
- Shown Their Work: A lot of stuff in this movie is very well-researched. For example, historical accounts of the real-world Blackbeard do mention him never showing his face to the crew, singeing his own beard to inspire terror, and possibly indulging in sorcery.
- Soft Water: Twice in this movie.
- Stealth Hi Bye: Captain Teague.
- Suggested By: This movie is officially "suggested by" the novel On Stranger Tides.
- Take That: (Apparently) in-universe example regarding a dilapidated lighthouse with its whale-oil reservoir intact:
Blackbeard: Can you get it to work?
- Throw a Barrel At It: Angelica and Jack fight each other in a room full of barrels in the forth film. The barrels are quickly utilized as potential weapons during the fight.
- Tree Buchet: Jack launches himself from palm tree to palm tree to get across the Spaniards' encampment and escape.
- Trilogy Creep
- Unwitting Pawn: Philip, who rushes back to Syrena as soon as he regains consciousness.... and thus rewards Blackbeard with Syrena's tear and gets her tied up to die.
- Voodoo Doll: Blackbeard has one of Jack.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Jack and his first mate discuss this trope at the end of the movie. Jack feels that the thrill of death encourages one to live to the fullest. He also speculates he may live forever in history as the man who discovered the Fountain of Youth.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Blackbeard compliments Philip's capture of Syrena with a hearty "Well done, sailor", this trope is written all over Philip's face.
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Yeah, that was kinda weird, but we're back in da club...
- "Okay" is older than many people think -- there are arguably recorded uses as early as 1790 -- but that's still fifty years after the film is set.
- "Captain Jack Sparrow.