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"Someone's taking all of these stories, and making them reality."
—Natalie in the first film
After the vitality boost given by the success of Scream, Slasher Movies returned to mainstream media and followers were sure to follow. The Urban Legend series was one of those followers, along with I Know What You Did Last Summer and Valentine.
The movies share a similar premise; someone is killing young adults, taking cues from well-known Urban Legends. In first two films (1998's Urban Legend and 2000's Urban Legends: Final Cut), murders were done by traditional masked killers. In the third one (the 2005 Direct to DVD release Urban Legends: Bloody Mary), murders were committed by an actual urban legend character.
These examples happened to someone who knows someone you know:
- Adults Are Useless: And cops too.
- The latter is actually lampshaded by Reese Wilson, the main cop (well, campus police officer) in the first movie:
Reese Wilson: You know what really chaps my hide? The way you pledged an oath to serve and protect — and then you don't give a rat's ass when something really happens!
- Anything That Moves: Damon in the first film has this reputation.
(Reese told him that Damon is missing)
- An Axe to Grind: The killer of the first film prefers an axe. And as it later turns out, she fits the other sense of the phrase as well.
- Bad Bad Acting: Sandra in the second film. She was supposedly so bad that she couldn't make it in a porn film.
- Body Horror: Heather's death in the third film recreates the UL of a spider laying it's eggs on sleeping person's cheek.
- Call Back: First film ends as it started after opening credits, group of people discussing urban legends.
- Can't Spit It Out: In the first film's opening, a gas station attendant tries to warn Melanie about the killer in her backseat but is unable to do this due to his stuttering.
- Car Cushion: Damon drops into one in the first film.
- Continuity Nod: Urban legend murders of the first two films are mentioned in the third film.
- Crusty Caretaker: Pendleton University's janitor in the first film.
- Cute and Psycho: Brenda in the first film
- Danger Takes a Backseat: In the first film, killer hides in the backseat of a car. Twice.
- Date Rape Averted: Bloody Mary's backstory involves this in the third film....
- Deadly Prank: Ends up kicking off the plot of the first movie. Natalie and her friends play a prank involving an urban legend that ends up getting a guy killed. His girlfriend Brenda is not pleased.
- Dead Man's Chest: ...but then she is accidentally killed and put in here.
- Death by Mocking: Damon in the first film.
- Death by Sex: Given the fact that she is the sluttiest girl of Pendleton University, it was inevitable for Tosh.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: David in Bloody Mary.
- Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo
- Evil Teacher: Prof. Solomon in the first sequel.
- Final Girl: Natalie in the first film. May in the second.
- Foreshadowing: Brenda's placement in the original poster subtly hints that she is the killer.
- Granola Girl: Grace in third film.
- Goth: Tosh in the first film.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Bloody Mary kills Buck with a broken bottle.
- Groin Attack
- In the Hood: Killer of the first film dresses in a hooded parka.
- Make-Out Point: Damon tries to score with Natalie at one. Then the killer shows up and kills him.
- Menacing Stroll: Killers of the first two films move like this.
- Mirror Scare
- Mistaken for Murderer: In the opening scene of the first film, a woman mistakes a gas station attendant for this (or a rapist, it's not entirely clear), when he was really trying to warn her about the murderer hiding in the back seat of her car.
- My Car Hates Me: Damon's car in the first film.
- Off with His Head: Done, but not shown in the first movie.
- Organ Theft: Brenda plans to remove one of Natalie's kidneys to keep up with the urban legend inspired kills.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Natalie runs into a row of these in the first film. So does Amy in the second film.
- Reality Is Unrealistic:
- Really Gets Around: Tosh in the first film.
- Red Headed Heroine-Natalie in the first film.
- Red Herring: Stanley Hall massacre of 1973 in the first film.
- Not to mention two prominent horror film killers play roles in the first film.
- Revenge by Proxy: Both killers in the first two films have this motivation.
- Room Full of Crazy: In the third film, Grace has a room full of drawings based on urban legends.
- Sarcastic Clapping
- Sassy Black Woman: Reese on the first two films.
- School Newspaper Newshound: Paul in the first film.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Plot of the third film.
- Slumber Party: Main characters of the third film are having one in the opening.
- Stringy Haired Ghost Girl: Bloody Mary, though you can see her face fine.
- Trilogy Creep: A film called Ghosts of Goldfield was originally going to be released as the fourth Urban Legends film, but it was decided at the last minute to release it independently.
- Toilet Humor: Third film has a farting dog.
- Villain Team-Up: Teased at the end of Final Cut, when it's revealed Brenda is working at the facility Professor Solomon is placed in.
- Window Pain