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"Somewhere in the universe, there must be something better than man..."
George Taylor's reason for leaving Earth, as related to fellow astronaut Landon.

A media franchise based on the French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle consisting of seven movies in three continuities, a live-action series, and an animated series.

Original novel

  • Alien Among Us: This with Ulysse observing the simian society from the view point of lab animal.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted. They speak their own language. Ulysse has to learn it.
  • Apocalypse How
  • Artistic Licence Biology: After living a few months among savage humans, the old scientific genius Professor Antelle loses his memory, his speech, and even his conscience, becoming totally animal-like like the others… that's a bit radical.
    • Put electrodes on a woman's head, stimulate specific areas of her brain, and she will awaken memories of what her ancestors said ten thousand years ago. No, really!
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Apes do this to their human captives when caging them.
  • Caught in a Snare: Ulysse after escaping being shot by gorilla hunters ends up being caught in a net strung throughout a section of the jungle.
  • Child Prodigy: Sirius as he was already talking at only a few months time. He helped teach his mother raise herself from a beast.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Nova is mostly this when it comes to Ulysse interacting to Zira.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Nova and Ulysse are forced into this by the apes when they begin a study of human sex.
  • Constantly Curious: Nova is fascinated with the strange humans. After her tribe dragged them to their camp, she continued to follow them from a distance. When they were hungry she gathered food for them and later helped them build nests. She was very attached to Ulysse and was interested in learning how to smile and continued to learn from him.
  • Cry Cute: Nova having at last learned to express her emotions cries when she sees Earth.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Besides killing men and women in the jungle and taking pictures of their corpses, she-apes dig hair from the women. Like feathers they take a lock and pin it to their hats.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: When Nova attempts to build a ladder to reach a food basket by following Ulysse she accidentally causes it to fall.
  • Cute Mute: Nova.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The gorillas extract the bodies they collected from the drive proceed to furnish the bodies into three rows. To make it less gruesome rearrange the limbs and smooth out the hair of their prey. They proceed to then sit on the bodies or place their feet on the kill as a photographer documents the scene.
  • Ditto Aliens: To most of the apes, the differences between an individual man and another do not strike them.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The "stock exchange" scene. It certainly looks nothing like reality.
  • Endangered Species: Man on Soror is in this predicament. Despite them outnumbering the apes on the planet, the latter's population is on the increase while their's is in decline. This is mostly due to the hunts organized by the gorillas who capture men and women for researchers but also like to indulge in shooting. Ten thousand years ago the apes were in the same boat and the ancient humans took them in as pets.
  • Electric Torture: Men and woman held captive at the Institute are subjected to varying degrees shocks that stimulate parts of the body. In one experiment the entire half of a woman's goes into violent jerking as she sleeps.
  • Emotionless Girl: Nova is unable to produce facial expressions at the beginning of the book but eventually learns at the end.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Nova and her tribe despite their lack of clothes move through the trees easily. Feeling little or no fatigue while the Earth men have their feet bleeding and exhausted.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The she-apes after smoothing out the hair of the kill especially the women's. They proceed to cut locks from a specimen and pin them to their hats like feathers.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Zira versus Nova
  • Gag Boobs: When Nova is first introduced they are jutting right at the explorers from Earth. Later after the hunt the gorillas make a presentation of their trophies. The scene includes three rows of bodies; both men and women alternately laid on their backs side by side like deer. The middle row containing women whose numbers side by side created a long line golden breasts..
  • Genetic Memory: Plays with this trope.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Ulysse and his comrades suffer this. After putting back their clothes on, it agitates Nova's tribe and they attack them, more specifically the men's clothes until they are naked as they are. In the movie though this is what happens.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: When he was assigned to mate with Nova by the apes, Ulysse refused as it was humiliating. Though he finds Nova attracted it takes a scene where Nova is bundled away to Ulysse's neighbor who begins the mating ritual. Thankfully this is enough to convince Ulysse he wants Nova back before the other man touches her.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Several experiments in the Encephalic Section are focused on the body's reaction to electrical current. The apes assure the protagonist that they are safe but the sight in unnerving that causes the subject to convulse violently.
  • Hates Being Touched: Nova only like to engage in physical contact when he permits it. She allowed herself to sleep with Ulysse in his nest. After being caught by the apes, Ulysse attempts to embrace her only raise her hands like claws.
  • Human Aliens: The humans on Soror resemble their counterparts on Earth, though mentally they behave live beasts.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Subverted. Soror's humans before being overwhelmed by the apes, aren't so much depicted as bastards (although they do nasty experiments on them, but so do the apes afterwards) than a decadent species no more fit to survive natural selection, with a "mental idleness" and a total incapacity to organize and resist against the rise of the apes. Ulysse lampshades that a race that submitted and resigned itself so pitifully easily might as well be replaced by a "more noble race".
  • Humans Are Ugly: When Ulysse and Zira are about to kiss she pushes him away and confesses that she cannot do it as he is too ugly.
  • Human Doorstop: Author Levain's corpse is used as cushion by a she-ape while taking a picture.
  • Identical Stranger: A young girl that resembles Nova in the Encephalic Section.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Nova and Ulysse started out as bed-mates in a nest. Later after be sold to a research institute they became mates. Ulysse never considered her as a woman only as an animal but eventually comes to regard her as a soul mate.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The men and women are Soror are golden skinned handsome specimens of humanity.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Nova never wears clothes, nor do any of Soror's humans.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Ulysse and Nova's first night in bed together counts as this. Both lovers seemed to get something on, as there was a lot of physical interaction but no sex. However what killed the moment was the gorilla hunters creating a din in the jungle and the terror of being hunted.
  • Interspecies Romance: Depends if you consider Soror's humans as a different species.
  • Invisible Subtle Difference: Despite humans, at least to apes of looking the same, the gorilla hunters are still able to make a distinction between the more aesthetic-looking specimens. Ulysse and Nova was sorted among a group of handsome men and women who were elite lookers in the tribe.
  • Killer Space Monkey: The apes on Soror and later Earth.
  • Kissing in a Tree: In the park ape lovers are seen doing this and make love in the foliage of a tree
  • Licked by the Dog: Nova after awakening beside Ulysse in their nest licks her nest mate and he does the same.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Nova displays this while in captivity, observing Ulysse and his action it motivates her to imitate him. Even when he rebukes her in favor of the intellectual Zira she still continues to seek his approval. After he is released from his cell, it only drives her to be recognized by her former mate. When Ulysse tries teaching the men in the Institute how to speak Nova shows the most promise, saying her name before he even asks. Later after she becomes pregnant with his child and becomes a mother she is closer to a rational being than beast. her condition improves after escaping Soror and journey to Earth becoming a true lady.
  • Love Triangle: Nova, Zira and Ulysse.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Mostly these experiments involve the brain and Helius has his own section that he is in charge of.
    • Forgets to Eat: A man who is unable to recognize his favorite food and slowly starves. A nurse is forced to plunge his face in a trough that prompts him to eat. Others rendered artificially blind.
    • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: A young mother after an experiment is unable to recognize her own child and constantly pushes it away.
    • Lobotomy: The Institute had intelligent man before Ulysse. He was able trained to a great degree to accomplish many things. However the apes lobotomized him and now has become the most stupidest man.
  • Mama Bear: Nova upon giving birth to Sirius senses that her child is under some threat and when her cage opens readies her nails like claws.
  • Mating Dance: The humans of Soror have this dance similar to birds in which the women stands in the center as the man moves in an ever decreasing circle before copulating.
  • Medieval Stasis: The ape society has been stagnant for at least ten thousands of years due to their imitative nature.
  • Meaningful Name: Justified. The humans called her Nova because they thought she was beautiful.
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Humans on Soror are referred as men.
  • Message in a Bottle: The Framing Device is two scientists finding the story in a bottle floating in space.
  • Monster Progenitor: Sirius the son of Ulysse and Nova. The apes feared him as he was able to talk and cry like an intelligent ape. They fear he represented a new species.
  • Murderous Thighs: Nova uses them to kill a chimp.
  • Naked Camouflage: Ulysse after he convinces Zira he is an intelligent man brings him out of the Institute on a leash. He is adverse to waking in public without clothes but Zira states he would look ridiculous and draw unwanted attention. When he walks out in the ape city, pedestrians do stare at him with only a curious glance but no more. This is not due to his nudity but that he is a man. His presence evokes the same reaction as a exotic animal with adults taking it in stride while children gather around him in a crows. Thanks to this guise Ulysse explores and learns more about simian culture without too much trouble.
  • Nubile Savage: Nova.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: When Nova meets Ulysse and his friends by the pool of water.
  • People Zoo: Ulysse visits a Sororian zoo where he finds his mentor interned there as part of an exhibit dedicated to man.
  • Playing with Syringes: The young chimpanzee scientist Helius conducts experiments of humans of all ages in the name of science.
  • Public Exposure: The naked bodies of men and women are photographed by the apes as part of their kill.
    • Nova served as a model for Ulysse when he drew a picture of her in their cage.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Nova from a platonic pet to a mother and wife for Ulysse.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: Professor Antelle's expedition being stranded by the primitive humans destroy their equipment and shuttle. Later it was found by the apes who guessed it to be extraterrestrial in origin. The last surviving member of the expedition is strand and held captive but later regains his freedom and also leaves the planet.
  • She's Got Legs: Nova used her legs to choke Hector the pet chimpanzee. Later by encircling a tree with her thighs she climbed to gather fruit for the Earthmen.
  • Skinny Dipping: The astronauts from Earth find a pool in the jungles where they enjoy the water in their birthday suits. There they also encounter Nova who is likewise naked. After they accidentally scare her off the astronauts return to the pool where Nova has brought her entire tribe and the group engages in play with the strange men.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: : Zaius refusing to admit Ulysse is an intelligent man, maintaining that he was a trained man that had escaped captivity previously.
  • Swapped Roles: A lady animal tamer found herself caged and made to perform tricks; a medical researcher used as a lab animal, etc.
  • The Grand Hunt: The aristocratic ape hunters massacring Nova's colony fits this trope.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Nova originally hated Zira but eventually got over her hate and came to trust Zira.
  • The Power of Love: Nova coming from a animal to a woman due to her attachment to Ulysse.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Ulysse being strangely intelligent man, would have had his brain dissected. Thankfully Zira blocked any attempts by Zaius to do so.
  • Triang Relations: There was subtle indication that Arthur Levain was attracted to Nova upon first seeing her. Both he and Ulysse were the ones to insist pursuing a dialogue with her more for personal reasons than scientific. He was envious when seeing Nova assist Ulysse in building a nest together. Becoming vexed he went to sleep at the point with his back towards them. He never had a chance to woe her as he is later killed off by a hunter.
  • Trophy Room: Not so much as a trophy room but a hunting lodge and a display of game after a hunt. After the apes finish killing and capturing the members of the human colony the main character was dwelling in the survivors are brought to the lodge where the she-apes are waiting for their male counterparts to decorate the game.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The apes originally were an endangered species on Soror, until the Sororians took them in as servants resulting in a population boom. Eventually they humans began to regress and the apes mentally evolved to match their masters. The change in regime was gradual, some humans beginning to notice that the apes were opposing their treatment and began giving orders. Most choose to retreat to camps outside the cities and towns. Others found their roles reversed, them becoming animals to the apes. The camps were also raided, but instead of firearms the apes committed one last insult to their former masters using whips.
  • Twist Ending: Completely different from the movies. The scientists who are reading the human's diary turn out to be apes. After finishing their read, they scoff at the notion that a human would ever be that intelligent.
  • Wham! Line: Ulysse's last line. "It is a gorilla".
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me?: Ulysse has this question though his ape friends believe that the baby will just be any other human child Soror.
  • Women Are Wiser: Nova appears to prove this as she displayed more intelligence. The apes also seem to think so, given Helius's brain experiment in making a woman repeat her ancestors' testimonies.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Ulysse by his own worlds states that the women in Nova's tribe are all beautiful but none rival her.
  • You Must Be Cold: Nova invites herself into Ulysse's nest snuggling against him providing him warmth.

Original film series

Planet of the Apes (1968)

A team of astronauts flies into space at near light speed. They are influenced by time dilation: eighteen months for them is over two thousand years for the Earth. They crash onto a mysterious, seemingly desolate planet (losing the sole female on the crew in the process), specifically into a dead lake; this loses them their spacecraft and most of their supplies.

On this planet, there is a mute race of human-like creates, treated as animals by a race of sentient English-speaking apes. Caught in the middle of an ambush between Ape and Man, one of the astronauts is killed, another lobotomized and a third, George Taylor, is shot in the throat, which renders him mute like the other men. He is among the captured men, and taken back to the apes' mostly pre-industrial city. As the talking ape civilisation learn that Taylor, "Bright Eyes" to them, can (eventually) speak and write, they put him on trial for heresy against the ape civilisation's sacred scrolls.

Notable for the famous Earth All Along ending: Taylor escapes from the apes, finding a new life with his love Nova, and eventually discovers the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. He realized that Man destroyed himself, sent society back to the Stone Age, and allowed the apes to conquer.

This movie contains examples of

  • Apes Speaking English: It should have been Taylor's first clue...
  • After the End: as revealed at the end of the movie.
  • Agent Mulder: Zira.
  • Agent Scully: Cornelius.
  • All-Star Cast
  • Anti-Hero: Taylor is a misanthropic, rather vicious Jerkass. However, he is not without sympathetic traits, such as his affection for Nova and his disgust with Landon's lobotomy. He also seems disappointed that the apes are no better than humans.
  • Anti-Villain: Doctor Zaius can be ruthless when pressed though he has fundementally good intentions as he seeks to prevent humanity from causing another appocalpyse and is at least reasonable enough to try and talk Taylor into making a false confession in exchange for his safety.
  • Arc Words: "Somewhere in the universe, there must be something better than man..."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Tell me, Dr. Zaius, why would an ape make a human doll that can talk?"
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: the Trope Namer.
  • Apocalypse How: "You maniacs! You blew it all up!"
  • Big Applesauce: The end of the film, which lets Taylor know where he really is.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Technically (in more ways than one) averted, but Dodge didn't live up to his name.
  • Characteristic Trope: The Planet of the Apes Ending.
  • The Constant: the Statue of Liberty.
  • Cryonics Failure: Stewart's death while in Human Popsicle state.
  • Cute Mute: Nova.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Taylor, even when mute. Also Cornelius.
  • Dead Guy on Display: This is what happened to Dodge.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The ending.
  • Downer Ending: In a nutshell.
  • Earth All Along: The former Trope Namer.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The whole series, really.
  • Evolutionary Levels: the apes' evolution to intelligence in a couple of thousand years. RetConned in the sequels.
  • Fantastic Racism: The way apes hate humans. For good reason...
    • Ape society seems clearly divided between chimp, gorilla, and orangutan.
      • There's a story that during film production the cast would segregate themselves by the ape costumes they wore.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Taylor finds Landon lobotomized by the apes.
    • Taylor himself becomes more desperate to escape after learning that he himself is scheduled to be not only lobotomized, but also stands to lose his two best friends (and I don't mean Dodge and Landon).
  • Forbidden Zone: a really notable example.
  • Franchise Zombie: The sequels and TV shows. Both the second and third movie were intended to be the last in the series (5 were made).
  • Fridge Logic: The chronometer showing Earth time is still working after the rest of the ship's power fails (in plot terms, Taylor has to see it immediately before he leaves the ship).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There were concerns that censors would object to Taylor's cry of "God damn you all to hell!" The problem was avoided when the producers and Heston explained that the phrase was not an expletive. Rather, Taylor was, literally, calling on God to damn the human race for destroying civilization.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen
  • Hollywood Science: Averted. This movie shows a great deal of respect and knowledge of science, far more than would be expected from Hollywood.
    • Nevertheless, the series still portrays gorillas as violent brutes and chimpanzees as pacifists (chimpanzees are probably the most violent of the non-human ape species, and gorillas are generally reclusive and peaceful unless forced to defend themselves), either because they Did Not Do the Research or because Primatology Marched On.
      • Perhaps this was why the Big Bad of Tim Burton's remake was a chimp, and The Dragon (a gorilla) ended up pulling a Heel Face Turn.
        • Apparently Thade was originally going to be an albino gorilla, but Rick Baker told Burton that chimps are meaner.
  • Human Popsicle: The four astronauts.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Taylor feels this way at the beginning, but after meeting the apes, he changes his mind. Then comes the ending.
  • Humans Are Morons: Unlike other examples of this in Speculative Fiction, this is one example where humanity is less civilized than the apes, as opposed to usually being the slightly more civilized ones. This is because humanity managed to blow itself to damn near the brink of extinction, losing its civilized qualities in the process.
  • Idiot Ball: Most characters hold it at one point or another. Especially Taylor trying to prove to the apes that he is an intelligent being takes ridiculously long due to one blunder after another. Had he just motioned for Dr. Zira's notepad right away and shown immediately that he could write, things would've been that much simpler.
    • He tried to do just that, they just didn't understand him.
      • Not very well, though. He could have done something like pretend to write on his hand so they knew what he meant.
        • Cornelius says 'human see! human do!' when Zira says he's trying to speak. They would have just asumed he was mindlessly copying the apes writing.
  • In Name Only: adaptation of the novel.
    • The only characters from the novel are Zaius, Zira, Cornelius, and Nova.
    • Pierre Boule was apparently impressed enough with the adaptation that he submitted his own proposal for a sequel titled Planet of the Men, which would've ended with the humans taking over the planet and ultimately turning Dr. Zaius into a zoo exhibit.
  • Irony: In the first movie, Taylor wonders if there's a sentient race out there that's "better than man." It turns out most of the Apes are hardly any better than the humans they claim to be superior to.
    • Taylor starts off as a cynical misanthrope who couldn't wait to get away from the human race. By the halfway point of the movie, he's forced to become humanity's vocal proponent. And then the ending reveals he was right about humans being bastards all along.
  • Kangaroo Court: Zira and Cornelius vs. the ape government.
  • Killer Space Monkey: The apes, and the gorillas in particular. Until the truth is revealed at the end.
  • Large Ham: Charlton Heston ("It's a MAAAAAAADHOOOOUSE!!!")
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The religious myth held by the apes in the first movie turns out to be a distorted version of Caesar's rebellion and the human war that allowed apes to come to power as depicted in the sequels.
  • Low Culture, High Tech
  • Monumental Damage: The Statue of Liberty.
  • Motherly Scientist: Chimpanzee Zira, notable psychologist and zoologist, calls Taylor "Bright Eyes", at least until he manages to write his own name, to her surprise. She ends up kissing him goodbye - even though, as she tells him, "You're so damned ugly."
  • Meaningful Name: Brutally played with with Dodge.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: The Three Wise Judges.
    • Meant to be a private gag for the film crew, but Executive Meddling meant the shot stayed in the movie.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the "What have you done" variant.
  • Nubile Savage: Nova.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The ape society was originally going to be more technologically advanced, akin to the book it was based on, but it proved too expensive and the ape society was made more primitive to cut costs.
  • Really 700 Years Old: When Taylor, Landon, and Dodge leave Earth, it is 1978. When they crash-land on the planet, about 2,000 years have passed (Taylor says that Landon is now 2,031 years old), and they still look like they're in their mid-30's/-40's. Given a rather snarky lampshade by Taylor.
  • Schizo-Tech: The objects in the ape society have varied levels of technology.
    • Possibly deliberately invoked by the orangutans. It is shown repeatedly that Dr. Zaius is hell-bent on eliminating any trace of ANYTHING that doesn't mesh with the apes' doctrine of law. The implication is that the orangutans possess far greater knowledge of the technology of man than is generally known,[1] and are deliberately thwarting the advance of certain fields of science in order to prevent the apes from becoming the same self-destructive mess mankind became.
    • The real reason behind this was that the production crew did not have the money to build the super-advanced civilization the apes had in the books.
  • Shout-Out: To Animal Farm. When asked if he knows why all apes were created equal, Taylor replies that "some apes seem to be more equal than others."
  • The Smart Guy: Dodge, for the brief time we knew him. Landon says that he'd walk naked into a live volcano if it meant he could learn something that no one else knew.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Delivered as only Moses can say it. All together now: GOD! DAMN! YOU! ALL! TO! HELL!
  • Time Dilation: Taylor's crew ages 18 months while 2006 years have passed outside.
  • Tomato Surprise: the Planet of the Apes Ending.
  • Twist Ending: the Planet of the Apes Ending.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: When the movie starts out, the year on the ship's onboard calendar reads 1978. When they crash-land on the titular planet, it's 3972.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Viewers are expected to understand the subtleties, such as slowly making new discoveries and realizing that apes' cruelty towards humans represents our monstrous, self-destructive acts.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Zaius, according to Alternate Character Interpretation. In any case, he obviously already knows what Taylor would discover in the ending.

 Dr. Zaius: All my life I've awaited your coming and dreaded it. Like death itself.

Taylor: Why? I've terrified you from the first, Doctor. I still do. You're afraid of me and you hate me. Why?

Dr. Zaius: Because you're a man! And you're right, I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself.

Taylor: What evidence? There were no weapons in that cave.

Dr. Zaius: The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago.

Taylor: That still doesn't give me the why. A planet where apes evolved from men? There's got to be an answer.

Dr. Zaius: Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find.

  • What Might Have Been: Scenes were scripted and filmed revealing, near the end, that Nova was pregnant with Taylor's child. The scenes were cut out of the final print, as it was felt that they changed the focus of the ending, leaving the door open to a sequel Heston didn't want (but got anyway).
  • You Fail Biology Forever: the ship with the protagonist is sent into space to colonize a new planet. That's why it contains three males and one female. D'oh!
    • Also, portraying gorillas as warlike and violent, chimpanzees as reserved and rational, and orangutans as wise and social. Gorillas are very gentle and docile animals while chimps have been known to exterminate other tribes, including the infants, to take the females and food. Orangutans have a completely anti-social society; males leave upon puberty and live on their own, attacking anyone that comes into their territory.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

A fellow astronaut, Brent, is sent to find Taylor and rescue him... and somehow also falls in the Planet of the Apes. He first finds Taylor's girl Nova, and with her discovers in a cave a former New York subway station, realizing where he is. The station leads to an Underground Lair inhabited by mutant humans with psychic powers, who have already imprisoned Taylor, and cultivate a "Divine Bomb". When the apes decide to invade the Forbidden Zone and then find the mutants' lair... well, the trope examples below show it's catastrophic.

This movie contains examples of

Escape From The Planet of the Apes

Taylor's spaceship crashes in 1970's Earth. Inside, are three talking apes - Zira and Cornelius, along with another scientist, Dr. Milo. Milo is killed by a non-civilized gorilla, and this prompts a pregnant Zira to baptize her son "Milo". Considering the dangers of talking apes, the US Military starts chasing them, prompting Zira, Cornelius, and Milo to get hidden in Armando (Ricardo Montalban)'s circus.

This movie contains examples of

  • Berserk Button: Apes, when called "monkeys".
  • Fainting: Zira, due to her pregnancy.
  • Fridge Logic: The humans learn that in the future, apes will talk and treat humans like animals. So they want to prevent Cornelius and Zira from having descendants as their descendants would probably be talking apes. They fail. But does this mean that Cornelius and Zira are their own ancestors?
    • No, because the origin story they told (of an ape slave who one day said to humans what had been said to him a thousand times over - "no") is different from what came to be after they traveled back in time - their son Milo/Caesar became the savior of the apes instead.
    • Probably not. Other chimps evolve by the time of the next film, after all.
    • And their son, Milo who becomes Caesar in that next film loses his son by the time of the fifth and final Ape movie. It doesn't say he and his wife had more children.
      • On another point, it strains credibility (to say the least) that Dr. Milo would be able to raise Taylor's ship from the lakebed, refit its blown hatches and get it working again, just in time to escape the Earth's destruction. Of course, without that rather huge implausibility there'd be no movie, so...
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Mister Roark now manages a circus.
  • Little No: "On an historic day, which is commemorated by my species and fully documented in the Sacred Scrolls, there came Aldo. He did not grunt. He articulated. He spoke a word which had been spoken to him time without number by humans. He said, 'No'."
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: The unassuming chimp baby that was the first to be born in a circus sitting in a cage, saying "Mama".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: Hasslein's obsession with killing Zira's baby merely ensures that nobody notices Zira had switched babies with another chimp mother at Armando's circus.
    • Openly referenced in the movie by the President, played by William Windom, who refuses at first to sign off on aborting Zira's pregnancy, and directly cites Herod's murder of innocent children as a reason.
  • Red Shirt: Dr. Milo—although in fairness, his death wasn't actually meant to happen until much later in the film. The actor had trouble working with the makeup prosthetics however, and the character's death was bought forward.
  • Sequel Hook: the ending scene was meant to simply connect this movie to the future. Executive Meddling led to more movies.
    • After his experience being forced to write this sequel after Beneath (which was written with as final a Downer Ending as could be done), screenwriter Paul Dehn wrote the ending of Escape as both a link to the future storyarc and with enough wiggle room to squeeze in another movie if the studio wanted it.
  • Time Travel
  • Together in Death: Cornelius and Zira.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Otto Hasslein; he believes the only way to prevent the fall of mankind (and by extension, the destruction of Earth) is to kill the apes and their child.

Conquest Of The Planet of the Apes

20 years have passed. During them, cats and dogs died of a mysterious disease, and apes became both household pets and servants for mankind. The United States became oppressive and fascist in culture, of uniformed classes and castes, based upon ape slave labour. And Milo, now known as Caesar, is a horseback rider in Armando's circus.

This movie contains examples of

  • Does This Remind You of Anything??: The movie was filmed just as The Sixties were ending, but with the streets still filled with violent riots over Vietnam and Civil Rights.
  • Driven to Suicide: Armando.
  • Executive Meddling: The original ending had the apes slaughtering all the human characters (even MacDonald, who was one of the good guys) after Ceasar announces that, once humanity had nearly wiped itself out in an inevitable nuclear war, apes would step in and take over, subjugating whoever was left. Studio objections led to a partially re-shot ending, where (following a Little No from Lisa), Caesar reconsiders and instead says that, while the apes would still take over, they'd treat humans with some measure of compassion.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Played very straight with how the humans fight the apes, no matter how bad things get for the humans, they never go to anything more dangerous than riot police with rifles and shotguns.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Who knew Khan was such a nice guy?
  • Identical Grandson: Roddy McDowall plays Ceasar here, and in all the follow-ups.
  • Meaningful Name: Caesar.

 Breck: Caesar. A king.


 Caesar: Tonight, we have seen... the birth... of the Planet of the Apes!


Battle For The Planet of the Apes

Set after a nuclear holocaust in 1993.

This movie contains examples of

  • After the End: The apes are in charge because humanity somehow managed to nuke themselves after the events of Conquest.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The Trope Namer. Cruelly subverted in the film by Aldo.
  • Big Bad: Aldo
  • Bittersweet Ending: The apes and the non-mutant humans seem to be reconciled, but Caesar was forced to kill Aldo, violating the most important of his society's laws, because Aldo murdered Caesar's son.
  • Book Ends: Begins and ends with the Lawgiver telling the story to ape and human children.
  • The Cameo: John Huston as The Lawgiver.
  • Director's Cut: The extended version included in the Legacy Collection improves the film considerably.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are treated as second class citizens at best by the apes for most of the film.
  • Foreshadowing: Everything involving Mendez.
  • General Ripper: Kolp and Aldo.
  • Meaningful Name: Mandemus, possibly. His names sounds like the legal term mandamus, which involves a writ commanding somebody to perform a certain action. Possibly appropriate, since his job in the film is acting as Caesar's conscience and guarding the Ape City armory.
  • Nuke'Em: Kolp's contingency plan.
  • N-Word Privileges: An ape can say "no" to another ape, but a human may never say "no" to an ape.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Virgil.
  • Papa Wolf: Caesar. Too late for anything but revenge, however.
  • Sour Supporter: Mendez is this to Kolp.

The 2001 remake

An astronaut, Leo (Mark Wahlberg), works in a space station where genetically enhanced apes have been trained to pilot space pods, to search and study a strange electromagnetic storm phenomenon. When it's found a chimpanzee flies into it and after his signal's cut, Leo chases it in another pod against orders, to save the chimp. The storm makes him travel in time, after which he crashes on the planet below, encounters some humans and is captured by highly evolved apes. He is enslaved with the rest of the humans. He is tortured by the apes until one (Helena Bonham Carter) takes pity on him and helps the humans escape. He goes to the apes' Forbidden Zone Calima to discover the crashed space station, which apparently has been there for thousands of years. There, the hero plays a recording made by the ship crew, which tells they decided to go after Leo, crashed, and the apes rebelled and killed most of them. An army of apes attacks and the astronaut responds by hitting them with the fuel from the station's tanks. When the ape army recovers, a large battle occurs until the original chimp returns in its space pod. It remembers Leo and shows affection towards him; the apes revere it as a God, thus they stop fighting and treat the humans fairly. Having achieved peace and become a hero, the astronaut decides to return home through the same electric spacestorm. He goes back to Earth... and discovers the civilization he used to know is now inhabited by talking apes.

This movie contains example of

  • Actor Allusion: Charlton Heston is an ape, and Linda Harrison (Nova) also cameos.
    • Charlton Heston's character bemoaning the human invention of guns (keep in mind this was near the end of Heston's tenure as president of the National Rifle Association).
  • All-Star Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Kris Kristofferson.
  • All There in the Manual: The ending only makes sense if you read the explanation on the movie's website.
  • All There in the Script: Most humans of the planet end up not being named on-screen.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Oberon reports.
  • Cargo Cult: Leo's chimp is confused with the apes' God, Semos.
  • Continuity Nod: So, Zaius, you go from being Minister of Science, proclaiming that apes and humans have nothing in common biologically, declaring that the principles of science and theology work side-by-side, and those who go against it are instant heretics to a senator who constantly reminds those of humanity's destructive nature? No wonder Thade closely followed, and even amplified, your ideals.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: Leo flies to earth from wherever the space station was in that tiny little spaceship. It can't have been very far in that ship with no toilet or way to get up and move around - or that craft could really book it.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The ape's religion. Though unlike Jesus, Semos is belligerent...
  • Development Hell: The film was announced as early as 1988, and people such as Peter Jackson, Chris Columbus, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were involved before it started to take off in 1999.
  • Dull Surprise: Leo doesn't seem nearly as surprised to be on a planet of talking apes as you'd think he would.
  • Fridge Logic: The humans and the apes are descended from the crew of the space station. Where did the horses come from?
  • Gainax Ending: It is pretty vague, although not necessarily in a bad way. Not in a good one, either.
  • General Ripper: Thade.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Kris Kristofferson is one of the fugitive humans.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Leo pays absolutely no attention at all to the drop dead gorgeous Daena.
    • Subverted with Interspecies Romance: Leo and the female ape Ari are clearly attracted to each other, and he kisses her.
  • Kick the Dog: General Thade knocks the human-friendly (and unevolved) chimp Pericles against a wall, breaking the chimp's leg; thus cowed, Pericles crawls pathetically back into the safety of his cage.
  • Mythology Gag: Senator Nado's wife is named Nova, and Thade's father is named Zaius. Thade's father, (Charleton Heston in a cameo) repeated Taylor's famous "damn you all to hell..." line as he lay dying.
  • Negative Space Wedgie
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Leo's search for his chimp causes both the deaths of his workmates and the creation of the ape society.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nice job, Thade. Pericles was seeing seen as the arrival of apes' god, Semos. Now that you that you wounded him, your "friend" Attar felt betrayed and refused to give you any more help when you needed it.
  • Now Do It Again Backwards: Going through a storm pushes you ahead in time, and going through it again in the opposite direction...
  • Nubile Savage: Daena
  • Obviously Evil: Seriously, just look at Thade's face and listen to his voice.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse
  • Rock Beats Laser: A technologically advanced society is implied to be inferior to a simple, agrarian one.
  • Science Is Bad: Just one example: genetically enhancing apes to make them more suitable for work makes them later rebellious.
  • Shout-Out:

 Attar: Take your stinkin' paws of me, you damn dirty HUMAN![2]

Thade's father: Damn them. God Damn them all... to hell.

  • Shown Their Work: The evolved apes certainly look more like real apes do than in the original, especially the orangutans.
  • The Cameo: Linda Harrison (Nova) as a human slave; Charlton Heston as Thade's father.
  • Time Travel
  • Turned Against Their Masters
  • Villainous Breakdown: Thade degenerates into a screeching beast.
  • What Could Have Been: While in Development Hell, several people were attached at various points and vastly different scripts were considered. Had the project been greenlighted at any moment between 1988 and 1999, the movie would have been completely different from Burton's version (except for the apes' makeup: Rick Baker was practically attached from beginning to end). To recapitulate:
    • Adam Rifkin's idea (1988): An alternate sequel to the first film, set centuries later, where the Apes have a Romanesque civilization and use humans as slave labor. A descendant of Taylor played by either Tom Cruise or Charlie Sheen would lead a human revolt.
    • Peter Jackson's idea (1989): Similar to the above, but with the Ape civilization being analogous to The Renaissance and The Hero being a half human, half ape hybrid that a da Vinci-like old chimp played by Roddy McDowall would hide from the Orangutan Inquisition.
    • Terry Hayes' script, based on an outline by Oliver Stone (1994): A gritty reboot with little to nothing in common with the films or the novel, where a scientist played by Arnold Schwarzenegger travels back in time to One Million BC to find the cure of a plague that is decimating mankind and finds himself in the middle of a war between primitive humans and far more advanced, gorilla-like hominids. It got as far as to get a $100 million budget confirmed and Phillip Noyce attached as director before being cancelled when Hayes refused to introduce more comedy.
    • Sam Hamm's script, in collaboration with Chris Columbus (1995): A closer movie to Pierre Boulle's novel, where Schwarzenegger would play an astronaut instead, and the apes lived indeed in a different planet and had a highly-advanced civilization. Almost all of it, however, would be either taken from once advanced ancient humans from the same planet that had wipped themselves out in a war in the distant past, or from TV transmisions from Earth that the orangutans had caught in secret before introducing all the advancements featured as if they were their own inventions, in order to justify their privileged status.
    • James Cameron's idea (1996): An Alternate History of the original saga, where the orangutans had been overthrown by the chimpanzees prior to Taylor's arrival and developed as a result a more advanced civilization. It would begin with original footage from the first film before introducing a second astronaut landing years later, and culminate with the new protagonist meeting Taylor (played by Charlton Heston, of course), now the old founder and leader of a tribe of intelligent humans.
    • Tim Burton's take itself went through different rewrites, having originally an Ari that was an "ape princess" rather than the daughter of a senator, Thade as an albino gorilla, Limbo making an emotional Heel Face Turn instead of remaining a jerk, and Leo crashlanding in New York during his return to Earth instead of in Washington, D.C.
  • You Fail Biology Forever: Done intentionally in the case of female apes. In order to make them seem more attractive, they were given eyebrows, something real apes do not have.
    • And human-sized breasts, evident when the female ape is being "sexy" for the Senator Nado.
      • Note that female apes do have breasts, just not as "perky" as human females.

2011 reboot

See Rise of the Planet of the Apes.


  • Adaptation Distillation: The Hungarian comic book adaptation.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The film adaptations do this sometimes, especially based on deleted scenes.
  • Area 51
  • Brains In Jars: The Gestalt Mind, leader of the Inheritors, is made up of five brains, with one of them being the biggest.
  • Canon Welding: The comics, the timeline in Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes magazine #11, and the subsequent Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definite Chronology try to fit all the series of the franchise in one universe. With varying success.
  • Crossover: Believe it or not, there was an Alien Nation/Planet of the Apes crossover comic.
  • Expanded Universe
  • Expy: The Ape Supremacists are like the Dragoons from the TV series.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the comics, Hasslein realized the ape-ruled future was his fault. He created the space-drive for the mission led by Taylor in hopes of a better future, but it has created a Predestination Paradox which caused the end of human civilization, the rise of the apes, and the destruction of the world. He took it upon himself to prevent the dark future he caused, by killing Zira's baby and the apes themselves to prevent them from having another child.
  • Servant Race: Mutant Drones.

TV series

  • Aliens Speaking English: Strictly speaking, this goes for the humans. After a thousand years, linguistic drift should have made their English near-incomprehensible to the apes and other humans.
  • All There in the Manual: The only clue we have about how the series might have ended comes from a series of spots shot for the TV movies, "hosted" by Galen. Apparently, Burke and Virdon escaped, although we don't know if they made it back to 1980. Here's the final spot.
  • Apocalyptic Log: "The Legacy."
  • Arc Words: "Friend."
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Galen suffers from this.
  • Bread and Circuses: Prefect Barlow uses the gladiator games to keep the village quiet.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Gorillas (black and purple), chimpanzees (green), orangutans (orange).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Burke.
  • The Determinator: Virdon. He's going to get home, no matter how many idiot balls he needs to carry along the way.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Dragoons, a group of masked apes killing humans.
  • Downer Ending: At the end of "The Deception," the Dragoons have been dismantled and their leader taken away for trial. However, it seems clear that nobody else will be prosecuted, even though all of them are accessories to the murder of at least one human. Fauna goes on living with her uncle, who admits that he covered up the murder of his brother Lucian. And, unusually for this series, Fauna isn't cured of her prejudice against humans at the end. Though Virdon inspired her to be more open-minded.
  • Dull Surprise: Most of the apes accept the idea of time-traveling humans with remarkable calm.
  • Edited for Syndication: Some of the hour long episodes were edited together for local tv reruns as two hour 'movies'.
  • Enemy Mine: "The Trap," "The Tyrant."
  • Expy: Galen (Cornelius).
    • Urko (Ursus and Aldo).
  • Fantastic Caste System: Lampshaded in "The Tyrant." Gorillas do army and police work; chimpanzees are doctors and bureaucrats; and the orangutans control upper-level slots in government, education, and religion.
  • Fantastic Racism: All apes vs. humans, but also chimpanzees vs. gorillas vs. orangutans.
  • Farm Boy: Virdon.
  • Gilligan Cut: Galen, refusing to learn how to fly a makeshift glider, declares, "I put my foot down!" Cut to Galen putting his foot down as he learns to fly a makeshift glider.
  • Gladiator Games: "The Gladiators".
  • Happiness in Slavery: Many of the humans accept their inferiority without question. Tolar in "The Gladiators" is fully loyal to his prefect.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tolar in "The Gladiators."
  • The Heretic: One of Galen's many, many problems.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Urko is Spock's dad.
  • Joisey: In the pilot, Burke mentions he grew up in Jersey City, NJ.
  • Lost Technology: All of human civilization, basically. Zaius has some grenades in his office, which serve as mementos of the human capacity for destruction.
  • Made for TV Movie
  • Malevolent Masked Men Apes: "Deception".
  • Meaningful Name: Galen, who is genuinely intrigued by human history and technological accomplishments, is named after one of the great scientists of antiquity. He passes himself off as a scientist in "The Gladiators."
  • Missing Episode: "The Liberator" didn't air in the United States during the original run.
  • Monkeys on a Typewriter: Comic inversion in "The Gladiators." Prefect Barlow suggests that if you give "fifty humans" enough paint, they'll ultimately manage to create the apes' own great works of art.
  • Nepotism: In the pilot, Galen tells Zaius point-blank that he deserves a job because of Zaius' previous connections with his family.
  • Only Sane Man: Burke, as far as he's concerned.
  • Pet the Dog: Prefect Barlow's behavior at the end of both "The Gladiators" and "The Race."
  • Power Trio: Burke, Virdon, Galen.
  • Prequel: Set over eight centuries before the first film.
  • Propaganda Machine: Even though another set of astronauts landed a decade before the series begins, according to the pilot, the High Council has successfully turned them into tall tales.
  • Retcon: In addition to humans speaking, burying their dead with headstones, and the like, the apes treat them as inferior but sentient creatures, rather than as lower animals. Prefect Barlow, for example, proudly displays a human-made portrait of himself in "The Gladiators."
  • Science Is Bad: Why Zaius is working to keep knowledge about human technology secret.
  • Status Quo Is God: Burke and Virdon make zero progress towards their goal.
  • Stock Footage: The gorilla signalmen are the most obvious example.
  • Theme Naming: Many of the chimpanzees have classical names, like Augustus, Galen, and Lucian.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Burke and Virdon began their mission in 1980.
  • What Could Have Been: Urko was originally named Ursus (from Beneath), then Urso.
    • He would also have a son named Zonda.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The computer disc.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "The Cure," instead of being deferential to Virdon as usual, Galen sharply dresses him down twice: first for opening up to a village girl about their real origins, then for having a guilt complex about a possible plague epidemic.

Return to the Planet of the Apes

Occupying its own continuity, yet clearly drawing aspects from the first two films, Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series that was produced in the 1970s. In the year 1979, a small space shuttle with a three man crew is launched as part of an experiment in relativity, achieving a speed where one hundred years and multiple days goes past in almost no time at all for them. But then their ship develops a malfunction and goes blasting towards an alien planet, hurtling rapidly through time to the point that, when they crash-land in a lake, over 2000 years have passed for them. Setting out in hopes of finding civilisation, they discover themselves on a strange world of caveman-like humans and advanced, intelligent apes... which are not too welcoming towards the intelligent humans.

  • Blue Eyes: The nickname Zira calls astronaut Bill Hudson.
  • Continuity Nod: The series is full of Shout Outs to Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Cornelius and Zira the Chimpanzee are scientists with respect for humans, Dr. Zaius the Orangutan is a lawkeeper hoping to kill the space travelers to avoid the destruction of the Ape society, Nova the savage woman... Nova even has the dogtags of Brent, the main character from Beneath.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The desert region (obviously a Shout-Out to the Forbidden Zone) where the astronauts first land; out of nowhere, an avalanche, fire, and earthquake all appear in their turn, with both the fire and the earthquake vanishing without a sign they were there after destroying the astronauts' survival packs and swallowing Judy Franklin, respectively.
  • Fantastic Racism: The apes look down on humans in general as being little better then animals, but General Urko was champing at the bit to exterminate all humans before the space travelers landed.
  • Nubile Savage: Nova
  • Screwed by the Network: The series was cancelled partway through the creation of its fourteenth episode, meaning only the first thirteen were ever aired.
  • Token Trio: Bill Hudson (white male), Jeff Allen (black male), and Judy Franklin (white female) in the initial crew, then Bill, Jeff, and Nova for the series proper, until Judy came back.

Video Games

  1. which Zaius himself confirms to Taylor near the end
  2. It's also the first line in the film spoken by an ape, where the original line was the first thing Taylor actually said to an ape in the original film.