The Injuries of Indiana Jones, Cataloged

Whether Nazis, Communists, or Thuggees, Indiana Jones fights them all, and he gets his share of bruises and beatings. But just how much damage does he take in the course of his adventures? How many concussions has the great archeologist suffered while fighting the most evil of evil jerks around? We kept track. Here’s a handy movie-by-movie summary.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark

In his introduction, Indiana Jones travels the globe to keep Nazis from getting their hands on the fabled Ark of the Covenant. From getting shot (the only time he ever gets shot in the movies!) to duking it out with a giant of a man, Indy takes more damage here than in any of the other films. Luckily, he has the tough-as-nails Marion there to kiss all the boo-boos that Indy gained through his four battles.

Indy’s Most Painful Injury:
This is hard to say for sure, but the gunshot is the likely answer. While it looks like it may only be a flesh wound, Indy repeatedly gets punched in it, and he is clearly in a great deal of pain each time.

Indy’s Lifelong Injury:
Indy almost certainly ends up with a concussion when a Nazi thug throws him headfirst into the stone bar during the brawl at Marion’s place. Concussions are a serious problem for Indy.

When Indy Should Have Died:
Indy crawls across the bottom of a moving truck over a dirt road, then gets dragged behind it for a good ten seconds. Somehow he escapes without even ripping his clothes when in reality this would have ripped the flesh from his body. It isn’t clear how Indy survives holding onto a submarine for a few hours while it is submerged either. Or how he knows to keep his eyes closed when the Ark is opened. Either of those would have killed him.

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

From China to India, Indy puts his life on the line not just for lost relics, but for the children of the village of Mayaport who have been taken as slaves by a Thuggee cult. This time Indy is helped out by his young sidekick Short Round and the endlessly annoying love interest Willie as he goes through five battles involving a voodoo doll, a rock crusher, and a falling bridge.

Indy’s Most Painful Injury:
While Indy suffers a lot of damage in this one, the voodoo doll appears to be the most painful. Each time the little jerk kid stabs the Indy doll, our guy screams and loses his motor functions.

Indy’s Lifelong Injury:
The voodoo doll doesn’t appear to leave any lasting damage, but a big Thuggee hitting Indy across the face with a large rock certainly did. There’s no escaping a concussion with this one.

When Indy Should Have Died:
Indy, along with Short Round and Willie, jumps out of a plane, using an inflatable life raft as a parachute as he falls at least a hundred yards to the ground. That ground happens to be the side of a mountain, which the gang sleds down without injury. They all should have had broken bones and internal bleeding and died slowly on the side of the mountain, their bodies never found.

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

In a journey that starts with the search for Indy’s dad and ends with the Jones boys finding the Holy Grail, our hero actually makes it out of this one pretty well. He has seven fistfights — a record for the series — and, apart from one on a tank, he does OK for himself.

Indy’s Most Painful Injury:
During the fight on the tank, Indy gets his face pushed onto the moving treads, which leaves him with a nasty looking gash on his cheek.

Indy’s Lifelong Injury:
Thanks to his drinking from the Holy Grail, Indy walks out of this adventure with no lasting injuries! We do see how he got the iconic chin scar when he was 13, though: he hit himself with a whip. Indy also learns that he slept with the same Nazi spy his dad slept with, so that could do some long-term psychological harm.

When Indy Should Have Died:
It is unclear how Indy got off the tank before it went over a cliff and exploded. That should have killed him. Earlier in the movie, Indy falls down a flight of stone stairs in a castle. Hard to imagine that wouldn’t have left him with some serious bruises, if not a broken neck.

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Old man Indy goes on (maybe) one more adventure, this time teaming up with his son and the long-absent and sorely missed Marion. From a nuclear test site in New Mexico to the jungles of South America, Indy does the least amount of travel, and gets into the fewest scrapes — just four battles — as he searches for a UFO.

Indy’s Most Painful Injury:
During a fight with a big Commie surrounded by fire ants, Indy’s arm gets wrenched back, causing him to cry out in pain. Compared to his other adventures, he does OK here.

Indy’s Lifelong Injury:
None. Indy walks away pretty much untouched.

When Indy Should Have Died:
Indy hides inside a refrigerator to escape death by nuclear explosion. The fridge, propelled by the explosion, bounces at least 13 times. Being a fridge, it has no cushioning, so Indy should have been killed. If he survived the bouncing, the radiation would have killed him within hours.


Derek Faraci lives in a refrigerator in Farmington Hills, Mich.
Graphics by Ben Colin Cloutier