In the Indiana Jones movies whenever his hat is lost he'll always at least try to get it back. He's risked limbs amongst other things in order to make sure he always has it with him. This isn't limited to just the Indiana Jones movies either, sometimes you'll see a character that simply always has a particular object, and will go to very far lengths to keep it on their person.

Is there a reason he loves that hat so much? if so what trope would it fall under?

  • sounds more line an OCD
    – user13267
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


Appropriately, this 'trope' is actually named after Indy himself!

The Indy Hat Roll is a recognized trope: wherein a character will, given enough time (and typically the presence of a slow moving threat) cease their flight to retrieve a seemingly insignificant fallen item. It is often found paired with Just in Time and No One Gets Left Behind.

Indy's fedora is no different, and every adventurer knows you should never leave a good hat behind!

The Last Crusade reveals a history which imbues Indy's hat with sentimental value, however...

  • 2
    It's also his iconic hat. So without the hat he's harder to recognize for the viewer. That's also why cowboys "always" wear cowboy hats, Native Americans feathers, scientist glasses, doctors white coats, etc.
    – invalid_id
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 7:27
  • 9
    Just to clarify, the Indy Hat Roll is getting through a closing door just in time, but I think the OP is actually looking for never leaving an object one holds dear behind.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 11:52
  • @Oliver_C Yes, but I was having some trouble wording it.
    – user56652
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 2:59

The Indy Hat Roll is more of a "last minute grab of something/someone before it is too late" but Indy's Hat itself (and similar objects you mention like it) is probably more an example of a Number One Dime:

The Number One Dime is an item that is in and of itself of little to no interest or usefulness (i.e. it is not a usable weapon), but to the character, it is ridiculously overimportant in a strictly sentimental way.

Indy earns his hat as a child in the introduction to The Last Crusade, when he tries but fails to save the Cross of Coronado from some graverobbers. The lead robber gives him his hat, with the quote "You lost today kid, but it doesn't mean you have to like it..." Thus, the hat is a symbol of Indy's resolve to win, even in the face of overwhelmingly bad odds or previous losses.

Overall, his hat is a Nice Hat:

A discerning hero/villain just can't be seen without their Nice Hat! Harming the nice hat may be akin to kicking the dog, with disastrous results. To show that you mean business, it's important to have style. Enter: the nice hat. It may actually have utility — even conveying special powers — but more often than not it just looks cool, or even just sexy.

In fact, Indy's hat is called out in the film sub-page for Nice Hat:

Indiana Jones' spiffy fedora, which he never leaves behind even when he's about to be crushed by slowly descending doors. Many fans know it simply as "The Hat".

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