The Mummy Trilogy

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Oh I hate mummies!"

The Mummy trilogy is a trilogy of movies that features mummies. (1999, 2001, 2008) There is also an animated series (2001-2003).

The first movie was a loose remake of the original film. Instead of being straight horror, it was more of an action-adventure with a dash of comedy. It featured actors Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and John Hannah. They played Rick O'Connell, Evelyn Carnahan, and Jonathan Carnahan, respectively and their quest was to find ancient artifacts and treasure. They end up, as a result, having to stop an awakened mummy named Imhotep.

Ultimately the movies owe more to Indiana Jones than anything else, however they are very Genre Savvy and just run with it, making for effective light entertainment.

The sequel, The Mummy Returns, featured Jonathan Carnahan, the now-married Rick and Evelyn and their inquisitive son Alex. Imhotep returns, tries to steal a magical army from the Scorpion King, who was portrayed by Dwayne Johnson, give or take some Special Effects Failures.

During the long wait for a third, we got a Spin-Off/Prequel known as The Scorpion King. It had The Rock fight Egyptians and sorcerers and stuff like that. The Scorpion King itself got a direct-to-DVD-pre-prequel, The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior.

The third movie, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, was not as well received. Stephen Sommers neither wrote nor directed it. It had Rachel Weisz replaced with Maria Bello. Imhotep was gone in favor of a new villain played by Jet Li. And there are yetis. Who kick field goals. On the other hand, it had a scene where the villain tears his own face off and throws it at someone. And King Ghidorah.

Most recently, The Scorpion King got a second sequel that is due to be released in early 2012 on video. This time, however, it's a sequel to the first Scorpion King film making it a sequel to a prequel(To the original Scorpion King) of the prologue of a sequel (The Mummy Returns). Is your head hurting yet?

Not to be confused with the aforementioned 1932 film featuring Boris Karloff as Imhotep, or the 1959 Hammer Horror film featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, or the 1969 Egyptian art film more usually called The Night of Counting the Years (which Martin Scorsese once mentioned really liking).

Tropes used in The Mummy Trilogy include:
  • Actor Allusion: After a mostly-regenerated Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) kisses a sleeping Evy the lower half of his face rots away.
  • Adrenaline Makeover
    • Evy goes from retiring Hot Librarian to Action Girl.
    • Rick goes from self-absorbed ne'er-do-well to proper Action Hero Love Interest.
    • Even Jonathan, the comic relief, manages to hold his own several times when challenged, including by Meela.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Kind of. None of them were trained archaeologists; Evy was a librarian, and they had the most experience dealing with Imhotep beside. Ironically, Evy's slacker/con-artist/PluckyComicRelief brother Jonathan is the only one with any kind of background in archaeology.
    • By the beginning of the second movie, however, they are running their own full scale digs. The films also take place in the early days of archaeology when training wasn't as important as the personal funds to go tomb hunting.
  • Adventurer Outfit
  • Ancient Egypt: The source of the plots for two out of three of the films.
  • And I Must Scream: Imhotep's fate prior to his release by the main protagonists. His tongue was cut out, he was wrapped in bandages to the point of immobilization, and was then locked in a sarcophagus with a bunch of flesh-eating scarabs. To be eaten alive. Repeatedly.
  • Animated Adaptation: There was an Animated series on KidsWB that lasted two seasons.
  • Anti-Villain: The Dragon Emperor's living minions Yang and Choi. Their country has been locked in a vicious civil war for years, and it seems like the only man who can unite China is the one who started it in the first place. Made especially so by their very heroic deaths: Choi tries to pull Yang out of machinery while Yang yells at her to save herself, not unlike Rick telling Evelyn to save herself previously.
    • Imhotep himself is also a big qualifier. All he wanted was to be reunited with his former lover. At the climax of the second movie he willingly falls into the Hell pit, after realizing Ankh Su-Namun had abandoned him. He does drain the life out of the four unfortunate victims who opened the chest...but that was part of the curse. It wasn't anything personal. He gives a weak smile at Rick and Evelyn, showing he obviously envies their love.
  • Artistic License Physics: In the second film when the jets on the sides of the dirigible are activated there is no drag on the balloon itself.
    • And the balloon somehow manages to rise immediately after being soaked with probably many hundreds of pounds of water.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Ardeth Bay appears to say the same sentence three times. Granted, he changes intonations. In case you're interested, he says "The desert will kill him".
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Whomever slays the Scorpion King with the Sceptre of Osiris automatically gains the authority to command the Army of Anubis.
  • Author Appeal: The Mummy is Stephen Sommers' favorite movie and worked for years to get a crack of making his own version of it. This is the result.
  • Back from the Dead: There's quite a list.
    • Imhotep Twice. In fact, Rick lampshades this in Dragon Emperor

Rick: I've put down more mummies than you have!
Alex: Dad, you've only put down one mummy!
Rick: Yeah, same mummy: twice! [emphatic two-fingered hand gestures]

    • Ankh-Su-Namun
    • The Scorpion King
    • The Dragon Emperor. Let's just say it's a prerequisite for the villains in these things, huh?
    • Evy
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Evy and Rick in Dragon Emperor, first with rifles, then pistols, then swiped swords, until eventually they're exhausted, leaning back to back to keep each other standing up.
  • Badass: Ardeth and Rick. Mostly Ardeth.
  • Badass Bookworm: Evelyn has this in spades.
  • Bald of Evil: Imhotep
  • The Baroness: Choi
  • Battle Couple: Rick and Evy as of the second movie.
  • Because Destiny Says So: the Medji tattoo on O'Connel's wrist in the second movie. The tattoo was there in the first movie as well, visible in a few scenes. Just no big deal was made about it.
  • Big OMG: O'Connel's reaction to the sandwall.
  • Big No: One particularly notable one happens at the end of "The Mummy Returns" where Imhotep runs into shot, poses, then screams. Rick and Evelyn both get more meaningful ones when they see each other in mortal danger.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In Universe in The Mummy: Beni Gabor can apparently pray in several different languages, so any available gods passing can hear.
    • In Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor is when the title villain's Teracotta Warriors emptied a barrage of arrows into an opposing army of heroic skeletons. This naturally had no effect on the already dead targets, and one of the undead says in perfect and completely un-subtitled Chinese to his comrade "Your head's over here."
  • Blunt Yes

Dr. Bey: We are part of an ancient secret society. For over three thousand years we have guarded the City of the Dead. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the High Priest Imhotep from being reborn into this world.
Ardeth Bay: Now, because of you, we have failed.
Evelyn: And you think this justifies the killing of innocent people?
Dr. Bey: To stop this creature? Let me think...
Ardeth and Dr. Bey: YES!

    • Or later in the film:

(mummies rise from the floor)
Rick: Who the hell're these guys?
Ardeth: Priests... Imhotep's priests!
Rick: 'k then.
(More Dakka ensues)

Rick: (Upon stabbing the Scorpion King) Go to hell! and take your friends with you!

    • Amusingly, he actually meant what he was saying, as killing the King gave him control over the undead army, or in this case, the authority to banish it.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In the real-world 1930's, six shooters shot six times. In fact the fixed-frame revolvers they were using had to be loaded and unloaded one shot at a time. In the film you get a full twelve shots with one of those bad boys.
    • Weirdly enough it also contains a notable inversion in the opening shootout. Rick draws twin Colt M1911s, fires about four shots and they both run dry (slides locked back and all) he throws them aside and draws two more Colt .45s. A strange case of Limited Magazines.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Alex, in the second movie
  • Brick Joke: Jonathan hides in a sarcophagus in the museum and makes one of the mummies pop out to scare Evy. Later on when they open Imhotep's sarcophagus his mummy pops out at them and Evy yells "I hate it when these things do that!"
  • Britain Is Only London
  • Broken Aesop: "Where is your honor?" Says Rick to Shihuangdi "Fight me like a man!" -- As his son creeps up behind the emperor to stab the man in the back.
    • He was probably referring to the Emperor's use of magic.
  • Bug Buzz: The sounds the scarabs make are seriously scary, especially when closing in on somebody.
  • Call Back: The hieroglyphic that Evy tells Jonathan about in the first film is the same one Jonathan tells Alex in the second.
  • Card-Carrying Villain
    • The Dragon Emperor
    • In The Mummy Returns, the Scorpion King was as well, though the spinoff expanded him into a heroic role, making his actions in Returns seem rather out of character.
  • Cat Fight: Evelyn/Nifirtiri vs. Ankh-Su-Namun
  • Cats Are Magic: At one point in The Mummy, a normal cat is able to ward off Imhotep because "cats are the guardians of the underworld". This is exploited only the once, because Imhotep completes his regeneration soon after and becomes immune to whatever the cat would supposedly have done to him.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In The Mummy Returns, Jonathan enters the movie carrying a scepter, and the scene plays out as though it's merely a random trinket he pilfered away like usual. Then Hafez draws attention to it by taking it with great respect and exclaiming "It can't be!" and it's forgotten for the rest of the movie until the end... It turns out to be the ceremonial spear needed to slay the Scorpion King.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Jonathan and Alex are established early on as learning how to read hieroglyphics. This eventually pops up after Evy dies and they need to resurrect her using the Book of the Dead... written in hieroglyphics.
    • Jonathan picks the key that opens seemingly every locked Egyptian artifact in existence out of Rick's pocket before the start of the first movie, then swipes it again out of Imhotep's robes during a struggle near the end.
    • Evelyn taught Jonathan to pronounce the symbol that is shaped like a stork near the end of The Mummy. In The Mummy Returns, Alex was stuck at the same symbol, and Jonathan proudly taught him how to pronounce it.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe
  • Close on Title: The Mummy Returns does this.
  • Cool Pet: If a falcon isn't a Cool Pet, I don't know what is.
  • Collapsing Lair: Every movie has one.
  • Crossover Cosmology
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Evy reads from a book that sets off the events of the first movie, and that conveniently prevents the production company from having to pay more actors.
  • Curse Cut Short: When The museum curator is going to burn Evy

Evy: You Bas-

  • Cursed with Awesome: Imhotep, whose punishment for having an affair with the Pharoah's favorite wife, killing the Pharaoh, and trying to raise the dead is to be eaten alive by scarabs. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, once the scarabs are done and he comes back he has all the powers of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rick, Evy, and Jonathan all have their moments.
  • Death by Materialism: In the first film, Beni
    • Also the prison warden, who steals a wall decoration that's actually a live scarab beetle...which burrows into his skull.
  • Death as Comedy: A scene in the second movie where Jonathan leads a guy to be killed by pygmy mummies.
  • Death Seeker: Winston. A pilot who survived the war, when all his buddies died in glorious combat. In fact, when the heroes recruit his assistance against Imhotep, and tell him point blank that he'll probably die as everyone else who got involved has died, he sounds downright giddy
  • Didn’t Think Things Through: What gets four different treasure hunters killed…they ended up cursing themselves because they got greedy…and they ended up having their life drained by Imhotep.
  • Dieselpunk: Like walking into a stylish pulp novel 1930s!
  • Dirty Coward: Anck Su Namun in the second movie. First, she stabs and kills Evelyn (she gets better, however) when her guard is down, then draws sais on an unarmed Jonathan (who still manages to hold her off well enough regardless); ultimately, when both her and Evelyn see their loved ones in mortal danger, she blindly flees while Evelyn charges forward. She’s still a better person than Baltuz Hafez, though.
  • Disaster Dominoes: by Evy in the first, then Alex in the second - proving it runs In the Blood.
  • Disposable Pilot: This happens in the first movie, to the old ennui-ridden war pilot, but then is averted in the second.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The American Egyptologist tells Evy "You must not read from the book!" She does anyway. In the second film, whoever disturbs this chest will drink from the Nile. Evy disturbs it anyway, because "that doesn't sound too bad." Subverted in that both of these messages are delivered after she's already done what she wasn't supposed to. Though in fairness, she probably could have spotted the "drink from the Nile" thing sooner than she did.
  • Eagle Land: The Americans in the first film, oh so very much. It's Lampshaded a bit, though. The split is that Rick is the only Type One American. All the others were various shades of Type Two.
  • Elemental Powers: The Emperor in the third film, and they make sure to establish that he uses the Chinese, rather than western, elements.
  • Elite Mooks/ Superpowered Mooks: The four palace guards
  • Everybody Hates Hades -- or rather, Anubis.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: If only Hafez knew that. He wants to unleash Imhotep in the hope that he can stop the Scorpion King, not taking into account that no matter who wins it will be an evil undead. It works about as well as you'd expect.
  • Eye Scream
    • In the first movie, when Imhotep is accidentally released he is a rotting corpse, without eyes. Guess how he gets them... not to mention the "My eyes! My eyes!" screams.
    • When the boat is attacked, Evy uses a candle to the eye as self-defense.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Ardeth Bay
  • Fake Nationality: Almost nothing but Fake Nationalities. Rachel Weisz really is English, Jet Li actually was born in China, and all the 'American cowboys' are played by Americans, but nobody who played an Egyptian character was actually Egyptian, or even Arab or African. Oded Fehr is Israeli, Arnold Vosloo is South African, Patricia Velasquez is Venezuelan, and Dwayne Johnson is an American--of Samoan and African heritage, mind you. O'Connell's actor is Canadian American, Jonathan's is Scottish, Beni (who is supposed to be Hungarian), is played by an Irish-American guy from Chicago. From the third movie we have Maria Bello (American), Michelle Yeoh (Malaysian) and Russel Wong (American).
  • Fan Service: The likely reason for Arnold Voosloo spending the last half hour of the first part a Walking Shirtless Scene. And not just a shirtless scene. Dude was running around in what basically amounted to ancient Egyptian boxers.
    • Evy in her clingy nightgown, and in the flashback Evy's previous incarnation and Anck Su Namun having a girlfight in bikinis.
    • Anck Su Namun's first appearance is in strategically placed cloth and body paint.
    • Aversion: In the first film, when the boat sinks and everybody comes ashore, Evy's gown was alegedly so sheer that she appeared completely naked. To keep the film's rating around PG-13, Stephen Sommers ordered a full gown be edited in, much to the annoyance of some of the producers.
  • Finger Wag: Imhotep does this to Alex O'Connell in The Mummy Returns.
  • Flash Back: see also Ancient Egypt.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Anck Su Namun wears a feather boa when invading the O'Connell's home. As well as a Feather Boa Constrictor.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The four Americans in the first film: O'Connell is choleric, while Henderson is sanguine, Daniels is melancholic, and Burns is phlegmatic.
  • Fridge Logic: How did Imhotep control the Nile waters when he only had power over the sands of Egypt? He utilized the sand in the Nile and brought the water along for the ride.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Rick to Alex in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Rick: Alexander Rupert O'Connell, you get on the back of this horse, this instant!

  • Genre Blindness: Jonathan shouldn't have openly stated he was moving to Peru because there were no mummies there.
  • Genre Savvy
    • Evelyn near the end of the first film.

Evelyn: You know, sniveling little cowards like you always get their comeuppance.
Beni: <Laughs> ...Really?
Evelyn: Yes. Always.

    • Rick by the second film.

Evelyn: He only awakens once every 5,000 years.
Rick: Right. And if someone doesn't kill him, then he's gonna wipe out the world.
Evelyn: How did you know?
Rick: I didn't, but that's always the story.
Evelyn: The last known expedition to actually reach Ahm Shere was sent by Ramses the Fourth over 3,000 years ago. He sent over a thousand men.
Rick: And none of them was ever seen again.
Evelyn: How did you know?
Rick: I didn't, but that's always the story.

    • Invoked again in the third, when leaving the museum Rick mention that the emperor "will get stronger as they wait to defeat him" with no one explaining it to them.
  • George Lucas Throwback / Reconstruction : Of the classic 1930s Universal horror movies (especially The Mummy) and old Lost World adventure flicks.
  • Get It Off Me!: An utterly nightmare inducing example can be found in The Mummy, where a species of flesh-eating scarab beetles exists to protect artifacts and tombs, and attack as individuals or swarms.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the chase sequence in Shanghai, Jonathan has this priceless reaction to his burning backside:

Jonathan: Ah! My ass is on fire! My ass is on fire! Spank my ass. Spank my ass!

  • Girls' Night Out Episode: In the Animated Adaptation
  • Groin Attack:
    • This is ultimately how Beni escapes from Rick shortly after being interrogated.
    • When Ankh Su-Namun casts aside her daggers during Evy's flashback from the second film, they stick in the groins of a pair of statues nearby.
  • Guns Akimbo: The preferred method of combat in the O'Connell family.
  • Hand in the Hole: Hafez does this in The Mummy Returns. It does not go well for him.
  • Happily Married: Rick and Evy as of the second movie.
  • He Clean Up Nicely: Evy has this reaction the first time she sees Rick clean-shaven and dressed tastefully after bailing him out of prison.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: The trilogy is basically a pastiche of Hong Kong Action cinema conventions attached to a 1930's Pulp-Novel, with this genre being the most obvious homage in the first two movies.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Zi Yuan (who had already sacrificed her immortality to raise General Ming's army) allows the Emperor to mortally wound her with his sword in order to get back the dagger that can kill him.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The CG Scorpion King is voiced by Max Cavalera, former lead singer of Sepultura.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The Real Life Imhothep was one of the most respected Egyptians who ever lived, the first engineer and architect, inventor of modern medicine (Thousands of years before Hippocrates) a pretty unambiguous GoodChancellor, and deified after his death (something normally reserved only for the greatest pharaohs). He's the Big Bad of the first two movies.
    • Except that real Imhotep lived long before the reign of Seti I, so this would have been just some guy named after him.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: More like "hero's brother-in-law stole my double-decker bus."
  • Hot Shounen Mom:
    • Evy in 'The Mummy Returns' and Evy in 'Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'.
    • Michelle Yeoh as Zi Yuan.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • When they first learn that Imhotep is afraid of cats, do they offer the nearest urchin some cash to round up some cats? Why, no, why would we want to protect ourselves with the only thing we know of that works?
      • To be fair, they find this out too late to really put it to use; it stops working after he's fully regenerated, and the heroes only manage to make use of any cats once before that happens, though it does save their lives.
    • The Medjai's big plan to keep 'The Evil' sealed beneath the sands for all of eternity. Good in theory, except they left the book necessary for his revival where just anyone could find it. You'd think, that given the task they were charged with, they would've kept the book in their possession at all times so that it could never be used rather than left someplace where anyone could get to it if they found Imhotep's resting place.
      • No, no, no I'll do you one better: Why in the hell would you USE this technique in the first place? Yes it's a horrific way to die, but there are a lot of those. And if anyone figures out a way to bring him back, he'll be capable of destroying the world? That seems to be punishing the world more than him. Good Lord, there have to be easier/less apocalyptic ways to punish a dude.
    • The scene in the sequel with the ritual is a huge Idiot Ball for Ardeth. He goes all the way to England, makes it into the museum before the ritual is over, and doesn't even try to shoot Hafez until after the ritual is over. This after saying in the first movie that he would kill innocent people that got too close to raising Imhotep. I'd think people that deliberately dig Imhotep up are pretty far from innocent. (Oh, and he even helps Hafez's mooks pull Imhotep up.)
He references Anck Su Namun's reincarnation and how she knew things that no living person should know, when asked about why he didn't stop that. Presumably, he was holding back in order to find out more... and waited just a little bit too long.
    • Also the men he had on hand were a little outnumbered by Hafez's.
  • Ironic Echo: In The Mummy, Jonathan needs Evy's help translating a hieroglyph in order to complete a spell; in The Mummy Returns, Alex needs Jonathan's help translating the same hieroglyph in a different spell. And in both cases, the second party is in mortal peril whilst helping. Even better, both of them are under mortal peril from a one on one fight with Anck Su Namun.
  • I Should Write a Book About This
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time: Rick says this about his first kiss with Evy, since he was about to be hanged. He seems surprised when she takes offense.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Rick O'Conner interrogates Beni for information about Imhotep's plan by shoving him just inches away from a ceiling fan.
    • In The Mummy Returns he also grabs Ardeth and shoves him into a post to yell "What the hell are you doing here?" at him. Granted, Evy had just been kidnapped, but it seems a bit harsh of a way to treat your known ally.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Anck Su Namun didn't last long after her "Heel Heel Turn".
    • Beni Gabor's greed comes back to bite him. In scarab form.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Evy kisses Imhotep in order to break his concentration so the sandstorm he's creating to kill the heroes disperses.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
  • Last Request
  • Lead the Target
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the third film, when we meet Maria Bello as Evy, she refers to a character in her novel based on her and Rick's adventures as being "a completely different person."
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Jonathan may be a ridiculously greedy, swindling Plucky Comic Relief, but he is also a crack shot with a winchester rifle, a skilled pickpocket, and disturbingly competent with a book of ancient spells.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Evy.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Awesomely subverted in the first movie; when the heroes finally "kill" Imhotep, the whole place starts coming down on them. It was actually Beni's fault, leading to his Karmic Death.
  • "London, England" Syndrome: Because apparently we can't figure out that yes, this is the Cairo in Egypt.
  • MacGuffin
    • The Mummy: the Book of the Living and the Book of the Dead, not to mention the canopic jars.
    • The Mummy Returns: The bracelet on Alex
  • Meganekko: Evy, for not goddamn long enough in the first movie.
  • More Dakka: Ardeth prefers the Thompson.
  • Morality Pet: Jonathan's a greedy bastard, but he does seem to care about his little sister.
  • Mortality Ensues: It turns out that the companion book to the Book of the Dead doesn't kill the Big Bad when read from. What it does is remove his immortality, allowing him to be killed like a mortal.
  • Mr. Exposition: For the first half of the sequel, Ardeth is made of this trope. If he's talking, odds are he's giving exposition.
  • Mummy
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The Arc Words of the first movie.
  • Nerd Glasses: Worn by Evy in the beginning of the first film, and shed for good not long after - which is odd because contacts didn't exist in the 1930's.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep is no longer causing the plagues of Egypt, but he's seemed to pick up a few new tricks like Telekinesis.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Evy reading from the Book of the Dead: nice job awakening it!
  • Night of the Living Mooks:
    • The Scorpion King's army.
    • the counter-undead raised to fight the Dragon Emperor
  • Oh Crap: Plenty of instances. For example, Ardeth and the Medjai have just defeated the Army of Anubis at great cost to their forces. They cheer. But that was only the first wave. Cue the entire horizon turning black as the unfathomable hordes of Anubis warriors blanket the sands. To be fair to poor Ardeth, though, he took it rather well, all things considered.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • It's not than noticeable at first, but once you know that the actor playing Jonathan is actually Scottish, you can't not hear his natural accent peaking through.
    • Also, Anck Su Namun seems has a small problem with this in the first half of the second movie, that is, until the real Anck Su Namun gets resurrected, when she only speaks Ancient Egyptian. The creators consulted a historian to make the Egyptian an approximate representation of what Ancient Egyptian sounded like.
  • The Order: The Medjai, whose job appears to be guarding all the potentially world-ending crap the ancient Egyptians left lying around. We mostly only see Ardeth Bey in the first movie (other members are present but they aren't really given lines), but they get upgraded to The Cavalry in the second, so they can Hold the Line against Anubis' army.
  • The Other Darrin: Rachel Weisz, replaced by Maria Bello in the third movie.
  • Past Life Memories: In the second film, Evy keeps having flashes of insights and memories that make her think she's hallucinating. It turns out, they're memories of her past life in ancient Egypt.
  • Please Wake Up
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Used by Rick dispatching the Scorpion King ("Go to hell, and take your friends with you!") and Emperor Han ("Now you can rule... in hell!").
  • Present Company Excluded:

Jonathan: And when those damn yanks go to sleep, no offense,
Rick: None taken.
Jon: We'll dig our way up and steal that book right out from under them.
Rick: Are you sure you can find this secret compartment thing?
Evy: Oh, yes, if those beastly Americans haven't beaten us to it, no offense.
Rick: None taken.

  • Pretty in Mink: In the third movie, there were a few fox wraps, in addition to the winter coats in the mountains.
  • Promethean Punishment: Imhotep's being mummified alive in a sarcophagus full of scarabs because he got with the Pharaoh's woman. In reality, not that bad a punishment because he gets Cursed with Awesome and can return from death with very little help from stupid people. Meanwhile, his punishers spend the rest of their lives (as do all of their descendants) keeping him cooped up. Clearly, the punishment was worth it!
  • Punctuated Pounding: Rick in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, when gunning down the Emperor's troops at the Great Wall

Rick: I * bang!* Really * bang!* Hate * bang!* Mummies! * bang!*

  • Rearing Horse: Ardeth's horse at the end of The Mummy Returns.
  • Red Shirt: In the first movie, anyone in the expedition that isn't one of the three leads. Even more so in the second where Imhotep's mooks actually wear red!
  • Refuge in Cool
  • The Renfield
    • Beni, in the first movie.
    • Imhotep, after a fashion, in the second.
  • The Remake: the first one, anyway, was a re-imagining of the original black and white horror classic.
  • Removable Turret Gun: the protagonists pluck the mounted machinegun from the plane before it sinks into the quicksand.
    • Justified as the gun in case is a regular infantry light machine gun.
  • Retcon: The first movie made it fairly clear that the Pharaoh was an Asshole Victim at best, who treated his wives like objects. When the sequel made him Evie's previous incarnation's father, he suddenly became a sweet, kindly old man who adored his lead wife and treated her like, well, a queen. Basically a canon case of reinterpreting the villains to make them worse and lionizing a Jerkass.
  • Romance-Inducing Smudge: Inverted in The Mummy, where Imhotep's romance with Anck Su Namun leads him to smear her body paint.
  • Rule of Scary: Sure scarabs don't really dig under people's skin and eat them from the inside out...but it's just so scary.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Imhotep was an actual historical figure.
    • It's possible the Imhotep of the movies was named after this man (in-universe). Both were highly-regarded priests.
The historical Imhotep was also an architect. He was the designer of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, the tomb of the Pharaoh Djoser, and thus the inventor of the Egyptian pyramid.
      • Some theories contend that Imhotep was the Biblical Joseph.
    • Also, there were two ancient Egyptian rulers who had each claimed the title of Scorpion King. One was named Osiris Scorpion; this troper forgets who the other one was.
    • Also applies to the prologue of The Mummy Returns. Anubis is not an evil god, not by a long shot. The closest thing late Egyptian mythology had to an evil god would probably be Seth, the villain of the Osirian cult and formerly a benign god in his own right; before Set there was Apep, the Immortal Serpent who would battle Ra every night for all eternity, explaining the shift between day and night. Then again, Rule of Cool is in full effect, and Anubis is certainly one of the cooler gods: he essentially was a dying man's best friend, keeping carrion beasts away from your corpse, was present at the Opening of the Mouth ceremony marking a dead soul's entrance into the afterlife, and admitted the worthy into paradise. All around a pretty swell guy, and doesn't fall under Evil Is Cool by any stretch of the imagination. Oh well, everybody hates Anubis.
    • In the prologue to the second movie, Scorpion King offers his soul to Anubis in exchange for glorious life. The idea of selling a soul to an evil power (which Anubis isn't) is a purely folk Christian concept (it's not even Christian proper as Satan does not rule the damned). To make it more ridiculous, the offer itself had no sense as all deceased were destined to meet Anubis. You had to cross the desert after death first, to reach Anubis and have your soul deemed worthy. Not all made it through the trip, since there was dangers to be met on the way.
    • Imhotep is scared by cats in the movie due to the claim that cats are the guardians of the doors of the the Egyptian underworld. While there are a few cat deities in Egyptian mythology (one of them (Sekhmet) is actually pretty terrifying), they were associated with other aspects, to be specific, war, disease, hunting, fertility, and motherly love, it would have made much more sense to have him be afraid of snakes, since most of the deities assigned with duties like punishing the damned in the afterlife were horrific snakes, such as Khetti, or the servants of Seker, who's job was essentially to punish people like Imhotep. Plus, then Imhotep would have had an excuse to say "Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?" as a Shout-Out.
  • Say Your Prayers: Beni's prayers are played humorously, as he prays to several gods in several different languages before praying in Hebrew actually winds up saving him, because its a language Imhotep understands.
  • Scary Black Man: Lock-nah, who is also the first named villian to die. Averted with Izzy.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is set in China.
  • Sequel Hook: The third movie ends with John resolving to move to Peru. As he drives off, "Mummies were later discovered in Peru" appears on the screen.
  • Sequel Escalation: The first film was mostly an adventure film in the spirit of Indiana Jones but works on the same level as a comedy. The sequels were still tongue-in-cheek but had more chase scenes and action scenes with entire supernatural armies being raised.
  • Shooting Superman: People will not stop shooting Imhotep even though he is Immune to Bullets. Even after Ardeth has told people "No mortal weapons can harm that creature!" they shoot Imhotep. At least they slow him down. Probably also a case of When All You Have Is a Hammer.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story: In-universe example, Imhotep's life. In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep sees what True Love is really like. He'd sacrificed everything, his position, his mortality, and his soul for Ankh Su-Namun, and she abandoned him when the chips were down. Then he got to watch Evy race to Rick's side in his moment of need. To top it off, while he was begging Ankh-Su-Namun to save him, his enemy was begging his beloved to save herself — and she refused, insisting on trying to help him. With this came the realization that his sacrifice and suffering had been pointless and empty, and he let go of the ledge.
  • Shout-Out: When they first meet and Rick is in prison, Jonathan claims to Rick that he's a man preaching Christianity in Egypt and introduces Evy as his sister (although she actually is). Given Steven Sommers' reported love of old adventure movies, this is almost certainly a reference to The African Queen.
  • Sidekick: Jonathan. Similarly, Izzy in the second film, who is a cowardly sidekick who is black (and not, mercifully, a Black Cowardly Sidekick).
  • Soft Water: In the second movie. When they "drink the Nile" they aren't crushed into the wall behind them, and the airship is later pushed by the wall of water rather than harmed.
  • Spanner in the Works: The people who sealed the Emperor away in the third film put his mummy in a statue, the idea being that anyone who tries to raise him would instead raise a eunuch, which was in the coffin as decoy. This plan almost works... till the mummy raising water is accidently splashed on the emperor's statue.
  • Spinning Out of Here: In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep starts spinning and then turns into a whirlwind to travel.
  • Spin-Off: The Scorpion King'
  • Spirited Young Lady: Evelyn.
  • The Swarm: Scarabs
  • Stripperiffic: Anck Su Namun, in her Ancient Egyptian life, wore a net, body paint, and nothing else. This is probably Truth in Television with regards to Ancient Egypt.
    • The "Ancient Egyptian bikinis" Anck Su Namun and Nefertiri wear in their fight scene flashback deserve a mention since those outfits are highly impractical for an incredibly violent fight complete with acrobatics.
  • Taken for Granite: Proably the most horrific origin story of the Terracotta Warriors ever conceived. Explains why every face is unique...
    • Imhotep somehow became trapped in a block of Amber after his defeat in the first movie.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • "No harm ever came from reading a book."
    • Done again in Returns and summarily lampshaded.

Evy: It's just a chest. No harm ever came from opening a chest.
Rick: Yeah, and "no harm ever came from reading a book". Remember how that one went?

    • Also done in the ending of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Jonathan states that he's moving to Peru after selling his bar to a Russian pilot, and states that at least that place doesn't have mummies. A narrative quote then appears stating that after his arrival, mummies were discovered in Peru.
    • Who could forget this little gem:

Rick: You're gonna get yours Beni!!! YOU'RE GONNA GET YOURS!!!!
Beni: Oh like I never heard that before!!!

      • Then later on:

Evy: You know nasty little fellows like you always get their comeuppance.
Beni: Hehehe.....They do?
Evy: Always.

Rick: Honey... What are you doing? These guys don't use doors!

  • The Undead: The mummies, duh.
  • This Is Sparta: "IT OPENS! UP! INTO! A SPEAR!"
  • This Way to Certain Death
  • Throw-Away Guns
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: If you're Ardeth Bey, Throwing Your Sword From Horseback At Things With A Specific Weak Point Always Works.
    • The Dragon Emperor throwing his sword at Rick. Although being able to make it fly around on a whim it probably helped.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of The Dead and the Book of the Living. The Book of the Living gives power over the living and can take life, the Book of the Dead gives power over the dead and can give it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Alex in the second film. Given who his parents are, all of the ancient traps and cursed objects they've encountered and that the Temple they found the Bracelet in immediately self-destructed upon its removal... what made him think that putting the damn thing on his arm was at all safe?!
  • Translator Microbes: Briefly in the second film, Imhotep uses his re-emerging powers to be able to converse with Alex in English. Its likely the reason he doesn't do this all the time is because most of his minions (and enemies) already speak Egyptian and he urgently needed the information from Alex to lead him to Ahm Shere.
  • Twain's Observation on Originality: The third Mummy film merrily hits every action/adventure movie trope right on the mark. Nothing in the movie is a surprise, but it's not a bad film for it.
  • Two-Fisted Tales
  • Two-Part Trilogy: Inverted. The first two movies focused on Egyptian Mythology and the resurrected Imhotep. The third is a stand-alone adventure about the dragon emperor.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Imhotep's curse rendered him terrified of cats. It Makes Sense in Context, though, given that cats are the guardians of the underworld, a place which he surely does not wish to return.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yang and Choi. They resurrected the Dragon Emperor only so they could end China's civil war.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome??: Rick lighting a match by striking it against Ardeth Bey's stubble. Especially considering what he did with that match.
  • What's an X Like You Doing In a Y Like This?:

Evelyn (completely drunk): "You're wondering, 'What is a place like me doing in a girl like this?"
Rick: "Yeah, something like that."

  • What Have We Done? Said by the Egyptologist during the locust swarm heralding Imhotep's rebirth: as the full weight of the situation dawns upon him.
  • White Egyptians: The Ancient Egyptian characters are played by obviously white actors: Imhotep, Anck Su Namun, the Pharaoh and so on.
    • Except not. Anck Su Namun is played by Patricia Velasquez, A Venezuelan woman with strong Amerindian heritage. Her mother is from the Wayuu tribe. Can't speak for the actors of the other characters, though.
    • Imhotep is played by Arnold Vosloo, who is South African.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Lin in the third movie, once she realizes that she's in love with Alex. Her mother took care of that problem.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Watch for bugs. I hate bugs." Guess what gets him.
    • Also, Imhotep for cats due to the whole "guardians of the underworld" thing. Too bad this is only used in a rather throwaway manner.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The Mummy Returns heavily hyped up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's role in the film. He ended up being a minor character at best.
    • Especially funny with an Entertainment Weekly cover focused on The Rock, with Brendan Fraser Out of Focus on the side and looking downright pissed about it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Jonathan in the second movie, who sucker punches Anck Su Namun at one point. He seemed just as shocked at what he did as she was, however.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Alex could not possibly be eight years old in 1933, because his parents didn't meet until 1926. Someone who was eight in 1933 would be born in 1925. And there's no indication he's an adopted child or a child one of them already had; it seems more like they ignored the Three Years Later card in the first movie and went with the whole thing happening in 1923. Possibly it is the year that was miscalculated. One of the Hafez's henchmen says that he heard about "one American who resurrected Imhotep nine years ago".
  • You!:
    • Imhotep to Rick in The Mummy Returns, when the two meet just after Imhotep's re-awakening.
    • In The Mummy, Evelyn exclaims "You" to Ardeth when he turns up in the Cairo Museum.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Without the stock phrase exchange, but in the first movie, Imhotep promises to spare the rest of the party if Evy comes with him so that he can perform the ritual. Naturally, once she's in hand, he orders his followers to kill the rest of them. Of course, the rest of the group had made it extremely clear they planned to follow and try to stop the ritual, so not attacking them would have been fairly silly.
  • Zombie Gait:
    • Imhotep's enthralled in the first movie. Lampshaded, somewhat, by Jonathan, who shambled along with them to avoid their wrath.
    • Averted with the actual mummies, though; they all move almost as quickly as people and Imhotep can move considerably faster. Given a This Is Reality in the Animated Adaptation; a friend of Alex's who reads too many comics says he thought mummies were slow, and Alex tells him "This one isn't!"