[[quoteright:287:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HerculesCoverArt.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:287:''[[GreekChorus Zero-to-hero, just like that!]]'']]

'''''Hercules''''' is entry #35 of the DisneyAnimatedCanon, released in 1997.

After Zeus fights and sends the Titans to the Underworld, he becomes the ruler of Mount Olympus, home of all Greek gods. Hades is sent to rule the underworld, but he makes plans to throw Zeus out of Mount Olympus with the Titans' help. The three Fates warn him that his plans would be endangered if Hercules, Zeus and Hera's newborn child, is still around by the time he tries to take over Mount Olympus. Hades sends his minions Pain and Panic to turn Hercules into a mortal and kill him, but they fail in their attempt and leave him on earth with his divine strength to be raised as a human. Hercules grows up but later learns he is the son of Gods, and in order to return to Mt. Olympus he must turn into a "true hero".

While the film is considerably {{Bowdleri|se}}zed from the original myths, there [[PragmaticAdaptation really was no alternative]] if you want to make a family film out of GreekMythology. The result was a widely praised ([[AmericansHateTingle except in Greece]]) film, which is considered by many to be one of the [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Canon's]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments funniest installments]] along with ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' and ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. Plus, it's one of the only times EveryoneHatesHades hasn't ruined a work, mainly due to how [[LaughablyEvil funny]] he is. For myth buffs, keep the MST3KMantra in mind, and you'll find a solid, [[RuleOfFunny funny]] film with a lot of literal [[MythologyGag Mythology Gags]] that show that they did, in fact, [[ShownTheirWork do the research]]- they just couldn't make said research work in a G-rated family film without bumping the rating up a few notches. That said, the film is arguably the most ParentalBonus-laden film in Disney history; after all, in what other animated film is [[Theatre/OedipusRex Oedipus]] mentioned as a passing gag?

Unfortunately, due to a combination of following two divisive films in the canon and still not being up to snuff with the earlier Renaissance installments, it was only a modest success at the box office - audiences felt it was [[ItsTheSameSoItSucks too samey]] to Musker and Clement's last film, ''Aladdin''. This, however, didn't stop it from being [[{{RecurringLocation}} featured heavily]] in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series, with Colliseum battles in the first installment, and a more full plot centering around the Olympus Coliseum and the Underworld in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. To date, it was only absent in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', though it didn't stop its battle music from appearing in [[{{MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers}} Country of the Musketeers]].

Over a year after its release, the film [[RecycledTheSeries spawned a cartoon]] that ran both in syndication and on Disney's One Saturday Morning on Creator/{{ABC}}, from 1998 to 1999. It was a Midquel series that presented Herc's life in High School and had him hanging out with fellow Greek characters Icarus and Cassandra. It also presented a plot hole in that Hades was still trying to get him killed, despite the fact that in the movie he didn't know Herc was still alive until he was an adult, but that didn't seem to matter much to the viewers.

----
!!This animated film and its television spinoff provide examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Original Film]]
* AbusivePrecursors: The Titans, the portrayal of which was in some ways very close to ancient Greek Theology (ancient beings defeated by Zeus and imprisoned in the Underworld, their powers were very broad as well) and in some ways very different (the original Titans were deities NotSoDifferent from the Olympians and the parents of several of them, rather than near mindless elemental monsters).
* AdaptationalHeroism: As well as Adaptional Maternity, Hera. In the original myth, Hera was Hercules' step-mother and main antagonist.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Hades was not an enemy of Hercules in the original myths.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: One of the lyrics for "Zero to Hero" is "and this perfect package packed a pair of pretty pecs!"
* {{Adorkable}}: Herc himself fits this, especially as a youngster. Even as an adult, he's still sorta awkward.
* AdultFear: Surprising? Check Zeus and Hera's reaction when they discover baby Hercules is no longer in his crib and they have to watch another couple raise him from afar at the beginning.
* AlienBlood: The Hydra's blood is green.
* AllAnimalsAreDogs: Pegasus acts more like a dog with wings than a horse, especially when he's younger.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Hercules is a {{Cute Clumsy G|irl}}uy with SuperStrength. Guess how well it goes...
* AlmostKiss: Hercules and Meg when the latter is trying to seduce the former.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: [[spoiler: Double-Subverted. Hades offers a deal for Hercules to give up his strength for 24 hours in exchange for Megara's freedom and to promise that she will be safe from harm. He's aware that Hades plans to do something nasty but Hades pressures him into it.]]
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: The Gods, being gods, are different colors and all of them glow.
* AnachronismStew
* AncientGrome:
** Gladiators and Roman numerals are mentioned in a few places.
** The name of the hero is "Her'''cu'''les" (the Latinization), not "Her'''ak'''les", yet the gods are given their Greek names. Ironically the Greek "Herakles" makes more sense in this version, as it means "Glory of Hera", and considering that in this adaptation Hera is both his actual mother, and a loving and supporting one, the name would make far more sense than in the original myth, where she hated his guts and tried to have him killed repeatedly. Sadly the Latin Hercules is much more well known, and Disney would have received [[{{Pun}} ungodly]] amounts of [[CriticalResearchFailure complaints from people who thought they were spelling it wrong.]]
* AwardBaitSong: "Go the Distance".
* BerserkButton:
** Don't use Hercules merchandise around Hades. If you do, don't say [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjQKeIgchYY&feature=related "Thirsty?"]]
** Don't mention Achilles' heel to Phil.
* BeyondTheImpossible: ReconstructedTrope. It's impossible to kill a god; no ifs, ands or buts. However, it ''is'' possible to remove their divinity and then kill them once they are no longer a god.
-->'''Hades:''' Pain, Panic, got a little riddle for ya. How do you kill a god?\\
'''Pain:''' I do not... know?\\
'''Panic:''' Ya can't... cause... they're immortal?\\
'''Hades:''' Bingo! So first you gotta make the little sunspot... '''mortal'''.
* BigApplesauce: Thebes. Try to list all the similarities between it and New York (it's even called The Big Olive, as an obvious riff on The Big Apple, for example).
* BigBookOfWar: Phil's oft-quoted rules of conduct and engagement for heroes-in-training.
* BigBad: Hades. He's gathering an army so he can take over Olympus.
* BigFriendlyDog: Pegasus, who was a gift to Hercules from his father at birth. Described by Zeus as having the heart of a horse and "the brain of a bird", he [[AllAnimalsAreDogs acts pretty dog-like]] throughout the movie. Besides the flying, Hercules and Phil get their faces licked by him several times throughout the movie.
* BigGood: Zeus is the benevolent TopGod and Hercules' father.
* BigNo: Done by Hercules [[spoiler:when Meg is crushed]], by Zeus after baby Herc is kidnapped from Olympus, and [[spoiler:by Hades when Herc saves Meg's soul from the River Styx.]]
* BilingualBonus: "Someone call IX-I-I!"
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Hercules, Zeus and Hera become purely good. Hades becomes purely evil. In the original myths they were a lot more morally ambiguous. The only grey character in the movie is Meg. This is one side effect of being HijackedByJesus.
* BlessedWithSuck:
** Herc's super-strength, when combined with an adolescent's typical clumsiness.
** Megara's apparent immortality, while she's Hades' slave.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Zeus strikes Phil with some [[HarmlessElectrocution harmless]] lightning when he refuses to train Hercules. Phil changes his mind.
* BondVillainStupidity: It's never properly explained why Hades doesn't just open a can of divine whoopass on Hercules himself. He's clearly shown to be powerful enough and seemingly immune to any physical attack Hercules can throw at him while he's still mortal. It's possible that Zeus would intervene if he did. Hades knew he could never beat Zeus without the aid of the Titans so he has to send his monsters out to fight him instead and risk the chance of Herc beating them.
* BoundAndGagged: Meg during Hades' deal with Hercules to symbolize her enslavement. As well as to keep Meg from telling Hercules the truth.
* {{Bowdlerise}}:
** A major example of bowdlerising from Greek mythology; for example, besides a total change of Hades' personality, Hercules is the son of Zeus ''and'' Hera.
** In European and several other cuts, the hydra's blood is replaced with purple smoke.
** When Phil beats up that one civilian for making fun of his training of Achilles, he says "I'm gonna wipe that freaking grin off your face!" For television broadcasts, "freaking" is changed to "stupid".
* BookEnds: During the beginning of the movie after Pain and Panic kidnap Hercules, turn Him mortal, and then try and fail to kill Him. Panic runs around worrying that "He's not gonna be happy when He finds out about this." Pain says "You mean if He finds out" Panic: "If! If is good!" They have a similar conversation after [[spoiler:Hercules punches Hades into The River Styx.]]
* BorrowedCatchPhrase: While still on a high after his date with Meg, Herc jokes with Phil some, even mimicing his voice.
-->'''Hercules:''' Hey I got two words for ya: Duck!
* BreakTheCutie / BrokenBird: Megara. She pledged service to Hades to save an old boyfriend's life - only to have said boyfriend run after another girl shortly afterwards. Plus, she's implied to [[RapeAsBackstory have had some run-ins]] with boys who don't understand the word "no". ''OUCH''.
* BreatherEpisode: Between the [[DarkerAndEdgier heavier themes]] of ''Disney/TheLionKing'', ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', and ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' and preceding more darker films in ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' and ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', this film is a LighterAndSofter comedy with a tone similar to ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}''. This is emphasised in the opening, when the serious narration is cut off by the muses, who proceed to give the movie a more lighthearted musical opening.
* BrickJoke: "If. If is good."
* BullyingADragon: During Herc's teen years, the other kids mock him and call him "Jerkules", and the townspeople in general call him a freak and disaster because of his SuperStrength. Luckily for them, they are in a G-rated Disney movie and Hercules is a kind-hearted and sweet-natured guy, as opposed to the Hercules of the actual myths, who was known for A) being ''extremely'' hot-tempered and B) using his strength against those who angered him, often with lethal results for the mortals involved.
* BurningWithAnger: Hades, ''literally.'' He goes from blue to bright red flames. When he loses it completely, his whole head and arms become ''fountains'' of fire.
* CallBack: During the beginning of the movie after Pain and Panic abduct Hercules, turn him mortal, and then try and fail to kill him. Panic runs around saying "He's not gonna be happy when he finds out about this!", to which Pain responds "You mean IF he finds out." Panic is calmed by this, saying "IF! If is good!" [[spoiler:They have the same conversation after Hercules punches Hades into The River Styx.]]
* CainAndAbel: Zeus and Hades are brothers and the later is trying to usurp and imprison the former.
* CassandraTruth: Phil, after he overhears part of a conversation between Meg and Hades, catches on that Meg isn't to be trusted and tries to warn Hercules. The lovesick Herc will have none of it.
* TheChessmaster: Hades [[ChessMotifs has a literal chessboard]] for planing his take over of Olympus. Several scenes during "Zero to Hero" even have him sitting at a chessboard, pushing various pieces (naturally, shaped like various mythological monsters) toward Herc.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Herc rushes off to help people as soon as he hears about it. A double subversion in that he's doing heroic deeds to regain his godhood, but later realizes that he should be doing good for good's sake.
* CloseCallHaircut: During the training montage, Pegasus ducks to narrowly dodge a badly-aimed sword, which gives him something like a flattop.
* CompositeCharacter: The Fates have a lot of the Gray sisters about them (see SadlyMythtaken).
* ConspicuousCG: The Hydra still looks pretty CG despite advanced cell shading simulation techniques being applied.
* ContraltoOfDanger: Megara has a sultry, husky voice, atypical of both Disney female Love Interests in general and female characters in the movie. She's also working for Hades (albeit unwillingly), and at one point tries to seduce Herc into revealing his weaknesses, though she ends up falling for him instead.
* CreditsGag: Hades gets one more SugarWiki/{{Funny Moment|s}} as the Disney castle comes up.
* CrushingHandshake: Happens when Hercules shakes Phil's hand. Herc is so excited to meet his mentor that he [[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength forgets to be careful]] with his SuperStrength.
* CurseEscapeClause:
** If Hercules proves himself worthy, he can rejoin the gods.
** Thanks to ExactWords, Hercules can get out of his deal of giving up his strength to Hades in exchange for Meg's release: [[spoiler:Hades simply promised that "no harm" would come to Meg, so when she [[DivingSave pushes him out of the way of the falling pillar]], thus bringing her to harm (and [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificing her life]]), the deal is broken and Herc gets his strength back]].
* CurtainCamouflage: "What could be behind curtain number one?" His little sandeled toes are even poking out under it.
* CutSong: Hercules had a ballad called "Shooting Star", and there was an alternate, slower song for Meg called "I Can't Believe My Heart."
* DamselInDistress: {{Lampshaded}}:
-->'''Hercules:''' Aren't you a damsel in distress?\\
'''Megara:''' I'm a damsel, I'm in distress, I can handle it. Have a nice day!
* DeadpanSnarker: Phil, Megara, Hades... There's lot of snark in this movie.
* DealWithTheDevil:
** Megara sold her soul to save her boyfriend... who promptly dumped her.
** Hercules gave up his SuperStrength to set Meg free. Cue invasion of Thebes by a giant cyclops.
* DespairEventHorizon: Hercules comes close to this after giving up his strength to save Meg from Hades, only to have Hades reveal that Meg was working for him all along. Herc is fully prepared to commit suicide by giant cyclops until Phil comes back and gives him a pep talk. Meg's HeroicSacrifice also helps to pull him out of it.
* DeathByCameo: Sort of. Scar makes a cameo [[NemeanSkinning as the skin of the Nemean Lion Hercules wears]] for a vase-painting shoot. This is also an in-joke to the fact that both Herc and Scar are animated by Andreas Deja, as well as a clever little CallBack to ''Disney/TheLionKing'' itself: when Mufasa asks what he should do with Scar near the beginning of the film, Zazu suggests that he "would make a very handsome throw-rug".
* DeathsHourglass: This film has one with the Fate Sisters and the threads of life: if the thread of life gets cut, said person dies, and their listless soul ends up on the River Styx.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Megara again. Hercules melts the ice created by her jerkass former boyfriend.
* DisasterDominoes: Young Herc's market scene involves a lot of stone pillars, one of which he ends up crashing into, causing the rest to topple over likewise.
* {{Disneyfication}}: There's quite a bit of it going on, but the most glaringly obvious was that Herc's original BigBad was Hera because he was the product of Zeus' adultery with a mortal. If they didn't remove/change that part, how on Earth would the script as a whole pass?
* DisneyDeath:
** In the middle of the film, it happens ''twice'' in the same scene during the epic fight between Hercules and the Hydra; once the audience within the film thinks he's swallowed, the next time they think he's crushed.
** Megara. She is literally crushed by a pillar before Hercules lifts it up to free her, and as he returns after saving Mount Olympus, we see her [[DeathsHourglass thread of life]] get cut and her hand goes limp. This is one of the rare times Disney has ever shown an actual dead body on screen, as Herc weeps over her pale, limp, lifeless, and yet totally undamaged corpse, cradling it in his arms.
* DisneyVillainDeath:
** As a god, Hades can't die, [[spoiler:but he is defeated by being punched into the River Styx, where the souls of the dead dogpile on him. He can't fall to his death, so he falls ''into'' a bunch of other people's.]]
** Played straight with the Cyclops, who is pushed over a cliff by Hercules.
* DivingSave: Meg pushes Hercules out of the way of a falling pillar.
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength: Before his training with Phil, Hercules' SuperStrength caused him trouble. Even afterwards he has some trouble with it.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Aphrodite. Makes sense, as she's the Goddess of Beauty.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** Hades and Megara's interaction makes you think of an abusive boyfriend with a girlfriend who is having trouble getting away from him.
--->'''Hades:''' Meg, my sweet, my flower, my little '''nut''' ''Meg''.
** His FauxAffablyEvil personality also mimicks her gay best friend trying to console her about her issues with men.
* DramaticDrop: Meg drops a vase when Hades offers her soul and freedom in exchange for [[GoSeduceMyArchnemesis seducing Hercules]] into revealing [[AchillesHeel his weakness]].
* TheDulcineaEffect: Invoked and justified. According to Phil, it ''is'' a hero's job to save a DamselInDistress.
* EaglelandOsmosis: PlayedForLaughs, and adds a GeniusBonus.
-->"SOMEBODY CALL IX I I !"
* EatenAlive: Hercules. The hydra eats him. It's clear he's still alive because A) he cuts off its head from inside and B) the film's only about halfway through.
* ElementalPowers:
** The Titans:
--->'''[[DishingOutDirt Rock Titan]]:''' CRUSH ZEUS!\\
'''[[AnIcePerson Ice Titan]]:''' [[KillItWithIce FREEZE HIM!]]\\
'''[[MagmaMan Lava Titan]]:''' [[ImMelting MELT ZEUS!]]\\
'''[[BlowYouAway Tornado Titan]]:''' BLOW HIM AWAY!\\
'''Hades:''' [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Uh, guys? Olympus would be]] ''[[TheExitIsThatWay that]]'' [[TheExitIsThatWay way]].\\
(''{{beat}}'')\\
'''Titans: '''[[LargeHam ZEEEEEUUUUUSSS!!!]]
** Then there's Zeus' [[ShockAndAwe thunderbolts.]] "''Now'' watch your old man work!"
* EverybodyHatesHades: Disney got something right here but heavily exaggerated. Hades certainly wasn't the BigBad like in this film but he wasn't regarded with the same amount of respect as his siblings.[[labelnote:note]]See the article.[[/labelnote]] On the other hand, the fans ''love'' him.
* TheExitIsThatWay: Or rather, Mt. Olympus.
* EvilPlan: Hades is of the TakeOverTheWorld variety, because he doesn't like ruling in Hades.
* {{Expy}}:
** The Muses are very reminiscent of the three black chorus girls from Menken and Ashman's non-Disney musical, ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors''.
** Also, compare the Fates to the witches in [[TheFilmOfTheBook Disney's version of]] ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron''. Then again, [[WordOfGod the author of]] the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'' said that the Witches of Morva were based on the Fates, so it may have been a MythologyGag (no pun intended).
* FailedASpotCheck: Hades is the god of ''death''. How could he not know Hercules, the son of his most hated enemy, wasn't in the underworld?
* FanGirl: Crowds of them. Everywhere. "I'VE GOT HIS SWEAT BAND!"
* FaunsAndSatyrs: Obviously, Phil the Satyr. His appearance is of the later renaissance version, but his nymph-chasing, wise cracking bad looks are in fact taken straight from classical depictions of satyrs.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Hades again. His casual buddy talk is a veneer for viciousness.
* FingerSnapLighter: Hades (because he is made, in part, of fire).
%%* FinishingEachOthersSentences
* TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest: Megara, as a result of her slime of an ex-boyfriend, is turned off of love entirely.
* FiveBadBand: Hades and his minions.
** BigBad: [[SatanicArchetype Hades]]. He's the one causing the problems.
** CoDragons: [[PunchClockVillain Pain and Panic]]. They're the ones Hades calls upon the most.
** EvilGenius: [[BlindSeer The Fates]]. Theyknow everything and provide Hades with vital information.
** TheBrute: [[AttackofTheFiftyFootWhatever The Titans]]. They are giant hulking monsters who provide the muscle for their boss.
** DarkChick: [[BrokenBird Megara]]. She's the most neutral of the group, and the one who [[spoiler:ultimately betrays them]].
* FlamingHair: Hades is rocking the fiery hair do. He even proves the picture for the FlamingHair page.
* FogFeet: Hades' robes dissolve into wisps of smoke.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: When the two "boys" are "trapped", you can hear a slight hissing at the end of their last under-rock sentence.
* FramingDevice: The parts with the Muses, which involves their likenesses coming to life in a modern-day museum and [[InteractiveNarrator interrupting Charlton Heston]].
* FreezeFrameBonus: When we see Hercules' palace and the five girls climbing the gates, if you're quick one of them can be identified as Megara with her dress hitched up. Furthermore only four girls swarm him while Meg waits behind the door.
* FriendlyAddressPrivileges: Megara plays with this trope:
-->'''Megara:''' Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least they would if I had any friends.
* GenreSavvy: [[spoiler:Hades at the end is offered Hercules's life for Meg's. It occurs to the car-dealer-type villain that it's maybe just a little too good to be true -- but he's not given much time to think about it.]]
* GodOfEvil: Hades is portrayed as one, contrary to Greek Mythology and more in line with a Christian line of thought. See SatanicArchetype.
* TheGodsMustBeLazy: Played straight and inverted.
** Zeus singlehandedly defeated and imprisoned the Titans in the prologue.
** Zeus ''[[BoltOfDivineRetribution persuades]]'' Phil to take Hercules on as a student.
** Hades reveals himself as one behind the release of the Titans and their assault on Olympus [[TheUsurper seeking to usurp]] the [[TopGod king of gods from his throne]]. Yet in the climax all the gods are ''not'' in the underworld, and are ''not'' proceeding to kick Hades' ass.
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: When Hercules announces to a small crowd of distressed people that he's a hero, one of the men realizes the "goat man", Phil, that's with him trained Achilles. Phil tries to beat him up and ends up biting his toga, revealing white underwear with red spots. This may qualify Phil under the AllAnimalsAreDogs trope since that's a very dog thing of him to do.
* GoSeduceMyArchnemesis: After Hercules kicks the collective asses of every monster Hades sends at him, he decides to send Meg in to seduce him in order to find out what his weakness is. Predictably, she falls in love with him instead. However, this provides Hades with the answer he wanted in the first place.
-->'''Hades:''' Meg, listen. Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of your freedom, fluttering away, ''forever''!\\
'''Meg:''' I don't care, I'm not going to help you hurt him!\\
'''Hades:''' [sighs] I can't believe you're getting all worked up over some ''guy''.\\
'''Meg:''' This one is different. He's strong, he's caring, he would never do anything to hurt me...\\
'''Hades:''' He's a guy!\\
'''Meg:''' (''smugly'') Besides, O Oneness, you can't beat him. He has no weaknesses! He's gonna...\\
(''she turns and sees [[ExplainExplainOhCrap Hades smirking at her]]'')\\
'''Hades:''' [[GenreSavvy I think he does, Meg]]. [[IHaveYourWife I truly think he does]].
* GospelRevivalNumber: Basically, anything that the Muses touch. Charlton Heston didn't stand a chance.
* GradeSystemSnark: When Hercules defeats the River Guardian and sends him flying (with just a headbutt!) to rescue Meg, Phil loudly says several congratulatory remarks, ending with, "Not bad, kid!" This is directly followed by him muttering underneath his breath, "Not what I had in mind, but not bad."
* GreekChorus: Literally! The movie is narrated by the Greek Muses who take part in the story, sort of.
* GroupieBrigade: One follows Hercules after his fame explodes.
* HalfHeartedHenchman: Anyone working for Hades.
** Pain and Panic are clearly with Hades because they are terrified of him. They have no problem lying to him, and after Hercules punches him into The River Styx they clearly do not miss him. Panic is only worried about how angry Hades will be.
** Meg is only working for Hades because she sold her soul, and is paying off a debt. Once she falls in love with Hercules she turns on him.
* HairTriggerTemper: Hades, who over the course of the movie has constant difficulty keeping his smooth demeanor with his generally-annoyed-at-everything attitude leading to a tendency to snap into a rage at the slightest provocation. Minor explosions are common, major meltdowns are a sight to behold. Bonus points for having his hair literally go off when he gets angry.
* HappilyMarried: Unlike the mythology, Zeus and Hera are quite happy together. Hercules' human parents qualify as well.
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: After James Woods was cast, the script was essentially re-written to allow for his ad-libbing. Most of the dialogue between Hades and Megara was simply made up. According to one commentary they pulled the pages containing most of Hades' dialogue out and threw it away.
* HeroicBSOD: Hercules, after Hades convinces him to give up his strength for Meg's freedom and safety, and ''then'' revealing that Meg was working for him all along. It has such a profound effect on him that he doesn't even attempt to fight back against the Cyclops, [[HeroicSecondWind until Phil's pep talk.]]
* HeroicBuild: Hercules, following his training with Phil. Just look at the picture at the top of this page!
* HeroicSacrifice: Twice, from each side of the LoveInterest relationship: first Meg pushes a falling pillar out of the way to save Hercules [[spoiler:(thus [[CurseEscapeClause abrogating Hades' deal]] in which [[ExactWords he said he wouldn't hurt her]], and giving Herc his strength back)]] and costing her her life, then Herc gives up his life to Hades to rescue Meg's soul [[spoiler:(an act of such selfless heroism it restores his godhood)]].
* HijackedByJesus: Zeus has become a GrandpaGod, Hades a SatanicArchetype, and Hercules a stand-in for Jesus.
* HoldYourHippogriffs:
** "Holy [[labelnote:Hera!]] Heavens/Hell![[/labelnote]]"
** Thebes is called the "{{Big| Applesauce}} [[labelnote:Olive]][[BigApplesauce Apple]][[/labelnote]]."
** "Wanna buy a [[labelnote:sundial?]] watch?[[/labelnote]]"
** "Somebody call [[labelnote:IX-I-I!]] 9-1-1![[/labelnote]]"
** "Keep your [[labelnote:toga]] pants[[/labelnote]] on, pal!"
** "This is the honest-to-[[labelnote:Zeus]] God[[/labelnote]] truth..."
** "Is this an audience or [[labelnote:a mosaic?]] an oil painting?[[/labelnote]]"
** "That's it, I'm moving to [[labelnote:Sparta!]] Canada![[/labelnote]]"
** "He's just another [[labelnote:chariot]][[AmbulanceChaser ambulance]][[/labelnote]] [[AmbulanceChaser chaser]]."
** "...but I could see through ''that'' in a [[labelnote:Peloponnesian]] New York[[/labelnote]] minute."
* HonestJohnsDealership:
** The man who tries to sell sundials to Herc.
** James Woods modeled Hades after a used-car salesman.
* HoneyTrap:
-->'''Megara:''' Wonderboy is hitting every curve you throw at him.\\
'''Hades:''' Oh, yeah... I wonder if maybe I haven't been throwing the ''right curves'' at him...
* HorsingAround: Pegasus is usually gentle with Herc. Megara, on the other hand...
* HydraProblem: Yup. "Will you forget the head-slicing thing!?"
* HypocriticalHumor: Done to [[EverybodyHatesHades show how out of favor Hades is with the other gods.]] He introduces himself with a lame joke that meets with no response; as he leaves, Zeus cracks a similarly lame joke, and everyone bursts into laughter.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: Between Hades and the Fates because the Fates know ''everything'' and feel a need to remind Hades because he explains things to them.
* ImpossibleHourglassFigure: Four of the Muses and Aphrodite -- especially Aphrodite given that she's the goddess of love and has a waist so tiny she could wrap one hand around. It's sort of explained by the fact that they're goddesses. Artemis and Megara have HartmanHips.
* IncrediblyLongNote: "Go the Distance" holds "belong" for a long time at the end.
* InkSuitActor:
** Short, portly Danny [=DeVito=] as the short, portly Philoctetes.
** Hermes, who shares the same features and trademark shades of his voice actor Paul Shaffer, best known as David Letterman's bandleader.
* InNameOnly: See SadlyMythtaken for how the film differs in so many ways from the original myth.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: "And they slapped his face on every vase! On every ''VAHSE''!"
* IWantSong: "Go the Distance", which also became an AwardBaitSong, focuses on Hercules' desire for acceptance.
* KaleidoscopeHair: Hades's hair turns from blue to bright orange whenever he is angry. Since his hair is made of fire, this is justified. %%There's no need to be pedantic about fire temperatures. We don't want conversations on the main page.
* KavorkaMan: Phil at the end, [[spoiler:since Aphrodite kisses him.]]
* KillItThroughItsStomach: When the Hydra swallows Herc, it looks pretty satisfied with itself, until it gives a confused look moments before Hercules decapitates it from the inside. [[spoiler:However, this isn't enough to kill it.]]
* KubrickStare: Herc's SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome ensues.
* LargeHam:
** Hades. Being a Disney villain, it's not unexpected at all.
** Also Zeus: "I NEED MORE ''THUNDERBOLTS''!!!"
* LaughablyEvil: [[BigBad Hades]] is a DeadpanSnarker and general comedian, who is voiced by James Woods. [[WordOfGod The crew of the movie said]] that Hades ''was'' going to be dark, scary, and menacing, but Woods took a different route than the other auditions and the original plan, and they loved it so much they rewrote the character and, by extension, the script.
* LetsGetDangerous: Zeus. On his free time, he's a loving father and husband, spends time joking with everyone and attempts to be a good big bro for Hades; in fact, he's ''much'' more lovable than the original Zeus, but once the Titans attack and Hades proved to be a backstabber, we quickly see where Hercules' strength come from and ''why'' you don't mess with the King of the Gods.
* LighterAndSofter: The take on Greek mythology present in the film, in addition to being SadlyMythtaken, is ''much'' lighter and more family-friendly. Without it, the film would have turned out an R-Rating. It also applies in the context of DisneyAnimatedCanon. Of the '90s Disney movies, this film was considerably lighter and more of a slapstick comedy, especially compared to its [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] and more [[EpicMovie epic]] predecessors (''Disney/TheLionKing'', ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'') and successors (''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'').
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Portrayed positively here.
-->'''Megara:''' People always do crazy things when they're in love.
* MeaningfulEcho: "'''If'''. 'If' is good."
* MeaningfulName: Pain and Panic. Pain [[ChewToy is constantly subjected to pain]], and as for Panic, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin he does just that: panic]].
* MentorsNewHope: The song below is about Hercules serving as Phil's last chance to train a true hero.
* MickeyMousing: The coda for "One Last Hope". It seems that, as in ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'', [[InvertedTrope the animators took their cue from the music]].
* MidwordRhyme: In the Spanish dub.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: It's very easy to miss, but thousands of people start dying horribly once Hades releases the Titans.
* MinionMaracas: Happens repeatedly to Pain and Panic.
* MomentKiller: Phil is quite skilled at doing this. He has a megaphone.
* MortalityEnsues:
** At the beginning when Pain and Panic make Baby!Hercules drink the mortality potion.
** [[spoiler:At the end when Hercules gives up his reinstated godhood to live on Earth with Meg.]]
* MsFanservice: Megara.
* MuggleFosterParents: Hercules' human parents.
* MultipleHeadCase: The Hydra, while trying to eat Herc, accidentally attacks the other heads or knocks into them. The heads themselves also fight over which one gets to eat him. Justified that it only had one head a few minutes ago -- growing extra heads takes some getting used to, you know...
* [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone My Gods, What Have I Done?]]: Herc gets this [[spoiler:after he hits Phil]]. He's very shocked at himself for lashing out.
* MythologyGag: Aptly enough; despite many changes to the actual myths, there are more than a few references to them outside the main plot.
** The Mythological Hercules is best known[[note]](besides for killing his wife in a goddess-induced fit of madness)[[/note]] for performing the Twelve Labors, all of which are referenced in the film, most of them in the "Zero to Hero" segment.
*** The first labor, the slaying of the Nemean Lion, is changed from a lion that terrorized the town of Nemea to a monster that Hades sends. Hercules is later shown wearing its pelt (as he is usually depicted in the myths), and the lion's skin looks remarkably like [[Disney/TheLionKing Scar's]].
*** The second labor is the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra; obviously this is referenced by the massive Hydra battle (although it comes before the lion and is not in Lake Lerna, as it is in the myths, and is sent by Hades instead of Hera). In some (often the more detailed versions) of the myth the Hydra had at least one immortal head so Hercules had to finish it by burying it under a large rock. In the movie Hercules defeats the Hydra by burying it under several large rocks.
*** The fourth labor is to capture a the Erymanthian Boar, which is alternately said to get its name from where it lives, Mt. Erymanthos, or from Erymanthus, Apollo's son who was blinded by Aphrodite (or, in fewer accounts, Artemis) when he saw her bathing, which led him to send said boar to attack her. A large boar shows up in the "Zero to Hero" as another monster that Hades sends.
*** The fifth labor is mentioned in passing as Augeas having a problem with his stables that Hercules is expected to help with.
*** The sixth labor is to slay the man-eating Stymphalian birds, which are likely referenced by the large bird shown in passing as being a monster Hercules defeated in "Zero to Hero".
*** The eighth labor, in which Hercules [[FiveFingerDiscount steals]] the mares of Diomedes, unaware that [[HellishHorse they had gone mad due to an excess of]] ''[[HumanResources human flesh]]'' in their diet, is cut from the family-friendly film for obvious reasons.
*** The ninth labor is mentioned by Phil as having to get a girdle from some Amazons.
*** The eleventh labor does not appear in the movie, but is referenced in the series, where Adonis is cursed by Gaia and needs the golden apples of Hesperides to be cured, which Hercules gets Atlas to pick for him, just as he does in the original myth.
*** The twelfth labor appears at the end of the movie; Hercules was challenged to tame Cerberus, and appears riding him into the Underworld in the finale.
*** The third, seventh, and tenth labors are the only ones that have no mention in the film.
** In fact, if you count name drops and people in crowd scenes, it's almost a constant stream of references to Greek mythology.
** There's plenty to other Disney movies too:
*** From ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'', we get Zeus's wedge-shaped beard, a blue centaur, pudgy Bacchus and a scene of Hephaestus hammering at Zeus's lightning bolts. In addition, Hercules defeats the Cyclops the same way MickeyMouse defeated the giant in ''Disney/BraveLittleTailor''.
*** One of the smallest ones is the blue centaur Hercules battles to save Meg in their first scene together. His name, Nessus, is said exactly once, and in passing, to boot. In Greek mythology, Nessus was a centaur killed by Hercules who tricked Deianeira (Hercules' wife) into using his blood as poison to kill her husband.
* NervousWreck: [[MeaningfulName Panic]].
* NonSequiturThud: When Phil tries to whisk Hercules back to training after finding he was playing hooky with Meg:
-->'''Phil:''' (''gets smacked off of Pegasus by a tree branch and lands on his skull behind bench, raises arm in protest, slurred'') That's '''''IT!''''' Next time, '''''I'm''''' driving... (''arm collapses'')
* NotWearingTights: Hercules is portrayed as this; unsurprising, considering that the Greek demigods are arguably the earliest forms of the {{Superhero}} archetype.
* NouveauRiche: Hercules gets rich and famous after his victory in Thebes, as "Zero to Hero" describes. The house he buys for his human parents is ''huge''.
* ObliviousGuiltSlinging: This exchange between Meg and Hercules after Hades has sent her to find out his weakness.
-->'''Hercules:''' [[IJustWantToBeNormal You know, when I was younger, I would have given anything to be like everyone else.]]\\
'''Megara:''' (''scoffs'') You wanted to be petty and dishonest?\\
'''Hercules:''' People aren't like that.\\
'''Megara:''' Yes they are.\\
'''Hercules:''' ''You're'' not like that.
* OffModel:
** Hercules will frequently suffer ClothingDamage to his tunic, only for it to be repaired by the next frame. Most obviously when he's attacked by his fangirls -- one strap of his tunic comes down, in the next frame it's fixed and in the next it's the other shoulder down.
** The river in the Underworld before Hercules jumps in. First he's able to dip his hand into the water. A few frames later, he jumps off a precipice to get into the river.
* OffhandBackhand: Done by Herc to Hades near the end.
* OhCrap The look on the Hydra's faces when Herc triggers the rock slide.
* OhMyGods: {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* OrpheanRescue / [[ToHellAndBack To Hades and Back]]: [[spoiler:Hercules travels to the Underworld in order to rescue Meg's spirit and reunite it with her body, thus getting his godhood back.]]
* PapaWolf: Zeus tries to be this, but it is to no avail the first try.
* PantyShot: Rare male example, as Hercules has a really, really short toga.
* ParentalAbandonment: One of the only films in the entire Disney canon to avert this trope and avert it ''hard''. Herc not only has his immortal parents watching from on high, he has a pair of mortal adoptive parents who love him very much.
* ParentalBonus: It's a Disney film; what did you expect?
* {{Pegasus}}: A gift for Hercules on his birthday.
* PhosphorEssence: The gods glow. At the end, [[spoiler:Hercules starts glowing when he regains godhood]].
* PhysicalGod: It's Greek Mythology, what do you expect?
* PietaPlagiarism: This is played twice: [[spoiler:once when Hercules cradles Meg's corpse in his arms, and once when he, restored to godhood, holds her listless spirit.]]
* PigLatin:
-->'''Herc:''' (''meeting the Hydra'') Uh, Phil? What do you call that thing?\\
'''Phil:''' {{Two words|ObviousTrope}}: '''AM-SCRAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!'''
* PragmaticAdaptation: Not much choice when you adapt ClassicalMythology into an animated family film.
* PragmaticVillainy: Hades' main reason for wanting Hercules dead is a prophecy says he's TheChosenOne who'd defeat his scheme. Otherwise he'd have left him alone. Ironic that his attempts created a SelfFulfillingProphecy.
* PrincelingRivalry: The central conflict of the story involves Hades' scheme to supplant his brother Zeus, and become supreme ruler of Olympus, Tartarus and all the Earth in between. [[BrainsEvilBrawnGood Zeus is the strongest god and older brother, while Hades is a scheming younger brother.]]
* PropheciesRhymeAllTheTime: {{Lampshaded}}:
-->'''Fates:''' In 18 years, precisely, the planets will align, ever so nicely...\\
'''Hades:''' [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage Oy]], ''verse''.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "I've got 24 hours to get rid of this ''bozo'', or the scheme I've been setting up for 18 years goes up in smoke, and ''you. Are wearing. His. MERCHANDISE!?!''"
* RedHeadedHero: Herc has red hair and is TheProtagonist of the film and midquel TV series.
* RefusingParadise: [[spoiler:At the end, Hercules chooses to remain on Earth with Meg instead of returning to Olympus.]]
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: ''Hercules'' is considered a lower point in this era.
* RescueIntroduction: Hercules meets Megara when rescuing her from a monstrous centaur.
* RoaringRampageOfRescue: Herc storms the underworld to bring Meg back.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The Titans go on one of these against Zeus after being released from the vault he locked them in.
* RuleOfFunny: Why isn't Phil a pile of dust from the lightning? Because it's funnier to see him with ash-face instead.
* RunningGag: "Two words -- (insert three [or more or less] words -- in a place where two words could have been used)."[[label]]Interestingly, when Phil says "I am retired”, the Greek translation is "Είμαι συνταξιούχος," which is indeed two words.[[/label]]
* SadlyMythtaken:
** Anyone familiar with the original myth knows what they're in for ''literally thirty seconds into the film'':
--->'''Muse:''' Will you listen to him? He's making this story sound like some ''Greek Tragedy''!
** The Fates in the movie seem to have more in common with the three Grey Sisters, most notably including the single eye among them.
** The original nine Muses are condensed to five.
** The hydra starts out with one head -- and it wasn't even recognizable as a hydra [[RedRightHand until it grew many heads.]]
** Hera is Hercules' ''mother''. It wouldn't be very parent-friendly to say "He's the son of Zeus and some mortal chick that Zeus knocked up."
** Philoctetes was never a satyr ''or'' heavily involved in the Hercules myths (his only claim to fame with the half-god was lighting his funeral pyre and gaining his bow and arrows as a reward, although he was one of Hercules' lovers in some accounts).
** [[HijackedByJesus Hades was never a]] GodOfEvil in the religions of Ancient Greece and only dealt with Hercules a couple of times (such as his Trial to retrieve Cerberus). Hades was more the custodian of the afterlife and a TrueNeutral whose only concern was [[BalancingDeathsBooks balancing the books]] and was AboveGoodAndEvil most of the time.
** Megara was never assaulted by Nessus (that would be Herc's ''second'' wife, Deianeira; Megara was killed by ''Herc himself'' after Hera made him loopy).
** [[HandicappedBadass Hephaestus]] is capable of using his legs. He does, however, have a missing leg (complete with stone prosthesis).
** The prophecy concerning Herc and the Titans is actually the Gigantomachy, rather than a Titanomachy 2.0.
** The Titans weren't just random elemental monsters -- one of them was even Zeus' father.
** Zeus didn't fight the Titans alone. In the original myth most of his siblings participated in the war.
** Pegasus wasn't born from a cloud; he sprang forth from Medusa's neck after Perseus chopped it off, but this is not kid appropriate.
** Hephaestus didn't make Zeus' thunderbolts. Those were the product of Cyclops Titans that didn't oppose him in the war.
** Several references are made to Achilles and the Trojan War. In myth, Hercules predated said war by three generations.
** Phil refuses to believe that Hercules is Zeus' son. Perseus, who he claims to have trained, was also Zeus' son.
* SassyBlackWoman: All five of the Muses; however, Thalia, the short plump one, seems sassier than most.
* SatanicArchetype: Hades, the ancient Greek lord of the underworld, as depicted in this film. He acts a lot more like a cartoon Satan than how he's depicted in the old myths. His brother Zeus is essentially the GrandpaGod, as Hades' scheme is to rebel against him and take over Mount Olympus, i.e. Heaven.
* SayMyNameTrailer: Though the last one is Hades saying "Jerkules" (but with the voice of one of Herc's mocking classmates, from the collapsing agora scene).
* SceneryPorn: Mount Olympus and Hades (The Underworld, not the villain) simply look ''amazing''.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Titans. Zeus imprisons them all beneath the ocean with lightning bolts, but when the planets align, Hades is able to release them. [[spoiler: Hercules uses the Tornado Titan to suck the other Titans in, then throws them all into space where they explode.]]
* ShoutOut:
** One of the Muses' sculpture incarnations during "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" should look ''very'' familiar to fans of the Haunted Mansion ride at the Ride/DisneyThemeParks.
** Hades, just before the fight between Hercules and the Hydra: "[[BattleCry Let's get ready to RUMBLE!]]"
** And Hades again:
--->'''Hades:''' [[Series/ILoveLucy Zeusy, I'm hoooooome!]]
** Followed by:
--->'''Hades:''' [[Series/TheTonightShow You are correct, sir!]]
** The hydra looks like Mohawk the Gremlin from ''Gremlins 2: The New Batch.''
** The Muses themselves are ''very'' similar to Alan Menken's ''[[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors other]]'' [[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors famous]] GreekChorus.
** Don't forget the lion skin Hercules wears in one scene -- it's [[Disney/TheLionKing Scar]]! [[BrickJoke Quite possibly to the specific line Zazu says to Mufasa. "He'd make a very handsome throw-rug."]]
** There's also the [[Film/TheKarateKid Mr. Miyagi]]-esque bit of the training montage.
** The maiden in the constellation getting her [[Creator/MarilynMonroe skirt]] [[Film/TheSevenYearItch blown]] [[MarilynManeuver upwards]].
** There is a sign that says "Over 5,000,000,000 and 1 served", a nod to the [=McDonald's=] Corporation.
** Herc's origin story bears a striking similarity to the backstory of Franchise/{{Superman}}.
** The female pegasus that Pain and Panic disguise themselves as to lure Pegasus away resembles a Franchise/MyLittlePony, right down to having a symbol (in this case a heart) on its flank.
** A seductress is sent to find out a seemingly invincible hero's weakness, and he then loses his superhuman strength due to her betrayal... just like {{Samson}} and Delilah!
* ShownTheirWork: The sheer number of references to ''real'' Ancient Greek Religion makes it clear that the writers ''did'', in fact, do the research.
* ShutUpHannibal: Hercules does this to Hades by [[TalkToTheFist punching him in the face]] when the latter tries to go back on his second deal.
* SilkHidingSteel: Though crossed with FemmeFatale and BrokenBird, Meg fullfills the trope in her ability to manipulate and her HeroicSacrifice inner steel.
* SlaveMooks: Meg (by contract) and Pain and Panic (implied) to Hades.
* TheSnarkKnight: "Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least, they would if I had any friends."
* SoulCuttingBlade: The Fates' scissors.
* SoreLoser: Hades does ''not'' like being denied any sort of victory.
-->'''Hades:''' We were SO CLOOOOSSSSE!!! So close, but we trip at the finish line! Why? Because [[spoiler:that little nut, Meg]], had to go all ''noble''!
** And then Hades ''really'' loses it when the River Styx doesn't do Hercules in when he saves Meg's soul (after he had told him he would be dead before he can reach her).
--->'''Hades:''' [[ThisCannotBe This is impossible!]] You can't alive! You'd have to be a...\\
'''Pain and Panic:''' [[IronicEcho A god??]]\\
'''Hades:''' ''(flaming up)'' [[BigNo NNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!]] Hercules, you can't do this me! You can't-- ''(Hercules punches him in the face, silencing him briefly) Okay, well, I deserved that.
* StealthPun
** Gospel is a genre related to praise and worship of a higher power. What better way to augment the story of Hercules than with a set of {{Gospel Revival Number}}s? Also referenced in the TitleDrop of the Muses' (three-part) opening number, "That's the ''gospel'' truth."
** While fighting the Satyr, Herc lost his sword and grabbed a fish by mistake. He pulled out a swordfish!
* TheStinger: Stick around after the credits and hear the lamentations of Hades.
* SupernormalBindings: After Hades assaults Olympus, the gods are shown being led away in chains, which vanish rather than fall off after Herc cuts them.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Hades and to a lower extent, Phil. Both of them groan by the intelligence of the people around them.
* TalkToTheFist: Done to Hades by Hercules when the former tries to reneg on their second deal. Overlaps with ShutUpHannibal.
* TailorMadePrison: The Titans are imprisoned in an undersea vault.
* TerribleTrio: Hades and his minions Pain and Panic.
* TermsOfEndangerment: Hades: "Meg, my sweet, my flower, my little ''nut'' Meg."
* ThisCannotBe: See the second SoreLoser example above.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Pain and Panic.
* TotallyRadical:
** They gave Meg, one of the more complicated and interesting Disney love interests, dialogue like "Been there, done that" and "Don't ''even'' go there." It... hasn't aged well. [[FridgeBrilliance Meg has served time in the Underworld so her slang may be somewhat out-of-date.]]
** Phil also mentions having "been [[InnocentInnuendo around the block before]] with blockheads just like you" to Hercules. He ''means'' he's trained people like Herc already, but... well, [[AnythingThatMoves he's a satyr]], and [[HoYay it's Ancient Greece]].
* TooDumbToLive: You are fighting a giant serpent. You chop off its head, and three more grow back. What do you do next?
-->'''Phil:''' Will you forget the head-slicing thing?!
* {{Tsundere}}: Megara is an easy example. Look at "(I Won't Say) I'm In Love" for a perfect example of a tsuntsun-to-deredere switch.
* TwoWordsObviousTrope: Phil loves them. Sadly, his math is a bit off.
** Right before TrainingMontage, during the song, it looks like the trope is about to be played straight with the lines "Askin' me to jump into the fray/My answer is two words:" setting it to rhyme with something like "No way." Then he's [[ButThouMust zapped by lightning.]]
-->'''Phil:''' (''charred and smoking'') O-kay.
** The Latin Spanish dub is funnier because it was the only time he actually got the count right.
* UngratefulBastard: Meg's former lover. She gave Hades her soul for him, and he repays her ''by running off with someone else.''
* UseYourHead: "Not bad! Not exactly what I had in mind, but not bad."
* VanillaEdition: This became one of the first four movies in the Disney Animated Canon to receive a DVD release.[[note]]Its DVD came out one week after the initial release of ''Pinocchio'', and the same day that ''101 Dalmatians'' and ''Mulan'' made their DVD debuts.[[/note]] Unfortunately, the disc contains only a non-anamorphic presentation of the movie, a making-of featurette that runs less than 10 minutes, and a Ricky Martin music video for the Spanish version of "Go the Distance." A second DVD release made literally no improvement to the picture or the extras. The Blu-Ray has vastly improved picture and sound, but just one additional bonus feature: a sing along of "Zero to Hero".
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Most viewers are amused that Phil says he's going to say only "two words -- I am retired!" which in English is of course three words, but the joke beneath the joke is that the equivalent phrase in Greek is ''Είμαι συνταξιούχος'' -- which actually ''is'' only two words.
* VillainousBreakdown: Hilariously after [[spoiler:Hercules survives the River Styx and frees Meg's soul from Hades]] where the god resorts to fast talk so fast it's hard to understand him while getting his face bashed in.
* VisualPun: Phil says "I get the greenhorn!" while his horns are covered in green olives.
* WelcomeToTheBigCity: Hercules' arrival in Thebes. "Wanna buy a sundial?"
* WhatTheHellHero: [[spoiler:Phil calls out Hercules for being too distracted by love to see that Meg is using him. Hercules takes a flying leap to avoid the hint, takes his rage out on Phil and disowns him as his trainer, leaving Phil to mumble one last admonishment and leave him to his darkest hour.]]
* WinYourFreedom: Megara.
-->'''Hades:''' You give me the key to bringing down Wonderbreath and I will give you the thing you want most in the cosmos... ''your freedom''."
* WorldOfSnark: The only other Disney Canon entry that rivals this film in the amount of {{Deadpan Snarker}}s is ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''.
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage: Phil and Hades. We're aware that that doesn't really make any sense. [[RuleOfFunny Most of us don't care]].
* YouGotSpunk:
-->'''Nessus the centaur:''' (''to Meg'') I like 'em ''fiery''.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Blue, fiery hair.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: The film begins with Hercules's birth, and the Fates inform Hades that he can release the Titans in 18 years.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TV Series]]
* AdaptiveAbility:
** A non-combat version applies to Icarus, which allows him to adjust to new situations (unless he's very jealous, and then acts irrational). Sometimes based on RuleOfFunny -- the Zeus-a-palooza had him enjoying himself while with tacky stuff around him. Icarus even takes it UpToEleven when he portrays ''Hades'' for a one-man show, making Hades wonder "Do I really sound like that?"
** A combat version applies to Hercules when he had the ''Aladdin'' crossover: realizing Jafar and Hades wanted them to rush at each other without knowing the truth (they were set up to believe each one took the best fried of the other), Hercules know they can't blindly rush into the Underworld to save Abu and Icarus without a plan. Phil smiles, "YES! He CAN be taught!" [[spoiler:Herc dons Aladdin's clothes and rides Carpet, while Al rides Pegasus while wearing armor that easily falls off to let him be agile again. Once Herc is "trapped in stone" he breaks out to reveal his armor.]]
* AnAesop: About OnceAnEpisode.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Icarus idolizes Cassandra, who couldn't care less.
* AllMythsAreTrue: The Greek gods rule over Greece and later Rome when the Romans put out an ad for gods. The Egyptian gods rule Egypt and come to Rome after reading said ad but demands that the Romans demolish the Coliseum to make way for pyramids, causing the Romans to go for the Mediterranean Olympians who understand their culture better. Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland are also shown to be ruled by the Norse gods.
* AlphaBitch: Adonis is a rare male example.
* AscendedExtra: A number of gods appeared as background characters in the original movie, but didn't speak or even get identified (it was just easy to tell who they were). Nearly all of them show up in the series, with the same character designs, in expanded supporting roles.
* BalefulPolymorph: The obligatory appearance by Circe in the ongoing cartoon of Disney's Hercules featured the personality polymorph, complete with Icarus, the resident weirdo, becoming a platypus (and Adonis becoming a peacock.)
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Most of the episodes dumped Hercules into various Greek myths, such as replacing Phaeton (Apollo's son, who failed miserably at driving the sun chariot) and facing the Minotaur alongside Theseus (which he actually did in some versions of the myths). Thus, Hercules became responsible for practically everything in Greek mythology before he even became famous. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* BerserkButton: As revealed in ''Aladdin'' crossover, Hercules HATES being called "Jerkules". True to movie form, he's also not going to be too happy if you hurt the people he cares about.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Herc has this toward Icarus. For instance in "Hercules and the Grim Avenger", Herc briefly goes anti-hero when the Minotaur's destructiveness [[ItsPersonal injures him.]]
* BloodKnight: Nemesis, demi-goddess of vengeance. It comes with the territory.
* BootCampEpisode: The series has Herc and Icarus infiltrate Spartan Military Academy to save Adonis, who has to go through basic training in accordance to family tradition. Ironically, {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Icarus warms up to the military lifestyle.
* BrainlessBeauty: Helen of Troy. 1000 ships weren't launched for her intelligence after all.
* BullyingADragon: Adonis regularly antagonizes Hercules, and occasionally other gods and beings more than capable of killing him. Hercules is too good to do anything to him, but Gaea nearly kills him for disrespect and Zeus [[HarmlessElectrocution smites him twice]].
* TheCameo:
** In "Hercules and the Bacchanal", [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ursula]] can be seen at the convention Phil goes to.
** Sebastian and one of Ursula's eels appears in the Atlantis episode.
* CassandraTruth: With the Trope Namer being a main character, this is a given.
-->'''Cassandra:''' I joke and they listen. But if I foresee a shower of boiling lead, no-one even puts on an umbrella.
** Averted at times, however. In "Hercules and the Big Lie", Icarus not only believes her vision that he will FindTheCure, but also he asks her to give him directions.
* CastingGag:
** A recurring villain on the show was Echidna "the mother of all monsters" voice by Kathy Lee Gifford. In one episode, Hercules accidentally used one of Zeus's thunderbolts to destroy the mountain imprisoning her husband Typhoeus, voiced by her old talk show partner, Regis Philbin.
** Creator/MervGriffin appears as a gryphon with a talk show.
** "Hercules and the Dream Date" has a guest character in Galatea, Hercules' date for the Aphrodesia Dance, who's [[ClingyJealousGirl completely obsessed with him]]. Galatea was voiced by Creator/JenniferAniston, who was dating Tate Donovan at the time.
* ClipShow: "Hercules and the Yearbook" and "Hercules and the Big Show".
* CloserThanTheyAppear: In "Hercules and the Gorgon", Hercules's shield says, "Objects are closer ''[[RougeAnglesOfSatin then]]'' they appear".
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Icarus. Maybe all that exposure to the Sun fried his brains somewhat (and that's putting it mildly)?
* TheCowl: Theseus faces the Minotaur as the "Grim Avenger", complete with costume, faux-Franchise/{{Batman}} voice, secret hideout, and [[ThirdPersonPerson constantly referring to himself in the third person.]] (In the movie, Theseus was stated to be one of Phil's long-gone pupils.)
* CrazyJealousGuy:
** Hephaestus whenever Hades starts hitting on his fiance Aphrodite. After the first beating Hades learned to book quickly whenever he shows up again.
** Icarus hates it when any other guy starts looking at Cassandra.
* {{Crossover}}: With the earlier Disney series ''Westernanimation/AladdinTheSeries''. It contained an example of LetsYouAndHimFight.
* CrossoverCosmology:
** Hercules encounters Egyptian and Norse gods. The Olympian gods also become Roman gods[[note]]Notably, Bacchus is never referred to as Dionysus at all[[/note]], they even like their new Roman names (except Hades, see ShoutOut). The Fates [[CrowningMomentOfFunny also moonlight as the Norns]].
** It's also possible for a dead Arab ''genie'' to go to the Greek underworld. (Then again, it being possible for genies to die at all is a deviation from mythology.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Electra. [[spoiler:Yeah, she produces furies from her rage, but she's not using them to attack anyone]], it's just a natural consequence.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Cassandra hardly said anything that ''wasn't'' droll and sarcastic.
** Hades as well, once again.
** Adonis, Aphrodite, and Medusa all have their moments.
* DescriptionCut: In "Hercules and the Parents Weekend", a monster captured some of the parents. Adonis' Dad said he was probably taking "swift and decisive" action. Cut to the next scene showing Adonis decided to have himself crowned the next King of Thrace.
* DidntSeeThatComing: The Fates (and likely everyone else) in "Hercules and the Big Sink".
* DumbassHasAPoint: Icarus in "Hercules and the Gorgon". When Hercules gets upset that Medusa is a Gorgon and calls her a "freak", Icarus calls him out.
-->'''Icarus:''' Well, well, the hero's too good to have a freak for a friend. What you gonna do? Get rid of her, stick her head in a purse? What are you gonna do then? Get rid of all the freaks? Freaks who flew too close to the sun?!
* EnemyMine: When Athena and Ares see '''both''' Athenians and Spartans are going to be eaten, they work together during the "War Games".
* ExactWords: When a monster is attacking the school:
-->'''Adonis:''' [[BigDamnHeroes There will be no feasting on flesh today.]] [[PreAsskickingOneLiner Instead, you shall taste my blade.]]\\
(''hands his sword to a lackey'')\\
'''Adonis:''' Here. Make him taste my blade.
* FertileFeet: Aphrodite when she makes her entrance, complete with theme song.
* FindTheCure: Icarus sets off to do this in "Hercules and the Big Lie", after he hears that Herc has Catastrophia.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: PlayedForLaughs when Circe hypnotizes Bob the Narrator to stop him from pointing out how evil and manipulative she is and switch it so that he's complimenting her.
-->'''Bob:''' Mysterious, dangerous, cunning, evil (''Circe points her scepter at him'') gorgeous, lovely, beautiful!\\
'''Thalia:''' Uhh, Bobby? You okay? I've never seen you like this now! Of course, I've never seen you at all...
* FriendToAllLivingThings: PlayedForLaughs with Artemis who just can't catch a break from animals' affections.
* FunWithAcronyms: The People's Order of Titan Liberators or P.O.O.T.L's (pronounced "poodles") from "Hercules and the Hostage Crisis".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** One episode has a NoodleIncident of which it's said, "She lost her left buttock."
** In "Hercules and the Big Lie", when Icarus is searching for the flower that can cure the disease Catastrophia, he utters the phrase "pluck and run."
** In "Hercules and the Underworld Takeover", Athena and Ares are having one of their characteristic arguments, and Athena dismisses Ares, saying, "oh, go polish your spear." Younger viewers are unlikely to think anything of it, as it makes logical sense with Ares being the god of War, but since Athena hates Ares and means it as an insult, an unfriendly double entendre is apparent.
** "Hercules and the Drama Festival" has Icarus mess up a line as Hades with "Ladies and gentlemen, dwellers of the nether regions.".
** In "Hercules and the Visit from Zeus," Hermes off-handedly mentions that "Hepheastus is after Athena again" with a bouquet assumedly Hepheastus wants delivered to Athena. Now attentive viewers would note that in previous episodes, Aphrodite mentioned she was engaged to Hepheastus...
* GodlySidestep: At the end of one episode, Zeus is about to give the meaning of life on a chat show. However, they run out of airtime just before he states it.
* GoneHorriblyRight: In "Hercules and the Dream Date" (essentially a retelling of the Pygmalion myth), Herc asks Aphrodite to make Galatea "crazy about [him]." She quickly turns into an ultra-possessive nightmare.
* GoodIsNotNice: Cassandra is cynical and rude sometimes, but she's at most a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* GorgeousGorgon: Medusa. She's green with snakes for hair, but is adorable once you get past that. Hercules even dated her once.
* HappilyAdopted: Emphasized in the TV series; it's Herc's mortal parents who show up at school for a Parents' Day thing.
* HateSink: Frequently Adonis as the real villains tend to be too funny to hate.
* HeIsNotMyBoyfriend: What Cassandra says about Icarus.
* HeroInsurance: There's a lot of property damage involved in battles, but it's always rebuilt. Deconstructed in "Hercules and the Falling Stars", when Hercules and Orion demolish so many buildings fighting constellations even the jaded townspeople find it out of line.
--> '''Phil''':You trashed four city-states in three hours. [[WhatTheHellHero You think that's heroic?]]
* HeWillComeForMe: The kidnapped Icarus and Abu tell Hades and Jafar that Herc and Aladdin will come to save them. Unfortunately, their respective heroes [[LetsYouAndHimFight attempting a rescue]] was what the villains had in mind.
* HighSchoolAU: Although the series is in the same universe ([[ContinuitySnarl ostensibly]]) as the original movie, it ''is'' a High School AU of ClassicalMythology in general.
* HypocriticalHumor: In the Circe episode, Adonis mocks Icarus for having only lasted as Circe's boyfriend five minutes, despite the fact that ''he'' only lasted three seconds.
* IcarusAllusion: Icarus himself appears. Naturally, he has a permanent tan and lightning bolt-shaped hair (except when he, Herc and Adonis are drafted to the Spartan Army; Icarus gets a crewcut and starts going gung-ho).
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder: In "Hercules and the Green-Eyed Monster", when Hercules was asked to put some sense into Icarus, he said he was "a demigod, not a miracle worker".
* InTheStyleOf: "Hercules and the Golden Touch" is a ''Film/JamesBond'' spoof.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: Trivia. "Actually, it's 'try-VEE-ah'." FridgeBrilliance sets in when you realize that [[BilingualBonus 'tri' means three, and 'via' means street or way]]. Trivia is mentioned as also being the god of where three streets meet.
* ItsAllMyFault: Hercules in "Hercules and the Big Lie" when Icarus puts himself in danger to FindTheCure for Catastrophia. Played with when he adds to Cassandra that it's also partly ''her'' fault.
* {{Jerkass}}: Adonis. He can't qualify as a JerkJock if he's too lazy to play sports. Some episodes portray him as a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, though not much.
* JerkAssGods: Aveted for the most part with this being Disney. The worst traits of the gods are either played down or written out all together. The closest would be Nemesis, Ares and Hades. Nemesis is only doing her job. Ares is close to being a JerkJock, but too ineffectual and not mean enough. Hades is about the only one and his smooth persona covers up much of his jerkiness.
* KavorkaMan: Ajax.
* KidAppealCharacter: Icarus.
* KickTheSonOfABitch:
** In "Hercules and the Prince of Thrace", Adonis gets this courtesy of GaiasVengeance. Gaia herself curses Adonis with death for disturbing her slumber. Given how he forced his workers to dig despite the warning, how he treats his servants, and how he bullies Hercules, who's to say he didn't deserve this fate?
** Adonis is on the receiving end of this again by Circe turning him into a Peacock.
* KryptoniteFactor: The Cronus Stone is this. Bonus points for the stone's resemblance to Kryptonite.
* LargeHam: Hades. Also Icarus when getting into character ''as'' Hades for the Drama Festival.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Several episodes used the water of the Lethe river, which causes memory loss, as a plot device. One such episode even involved Hercules meeting a younger Megara, with the episode ending on them losing their memories of each other.
* LovableAlphaBitch: Helen, so very much.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: During the ''Aladdin'' crossover, Al calls him "Jerkules" during their fight. "You know, everyone thinks they're being clever when they call me that..."
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In a series where everyone is a teenager going through the learning process, this is pretty much inevitable.
* NoIndoorVoice: Icarus tends to speak in loud, energetic tones.
* NotSoDifferent: Aladdin and Hercules realize that they're both heroes trying to protect their friends, although not before spending much of the episode fighting each other.
* OhCrap:
** Aladdin gives out this expression in the ''Aladdin'' crossover when he realizes that he and Hercules made a big mistake in fighting each other.
** He gets this earlier when [[PunchPunchPunchUhOh he tries swing-kicking Herc off Pegasus, only to find that it has no effect.]]
* OldSuperhero: Achilles' death was [[{{Retcon}} retconned]] so that when his heel was hit he was instead crippled, and we see him as a weakened old man.
* OpponentSwitch: Hades sends Jafar after Hercules, only for Jafar to admit he isn't used to dealing with SuperStrength. Amused that Jafar's enemy is only a "clever mortal", Hades sends his minions after Aladdin.
-->'''Jafar:''' Well, that was indeed worth a chuckle, but I couldn't help but notice that Aladdin IS STILL ALIVE!
-->'''Hades:''' [[GracefulLoser You win.]] The kid is trickier than I thought.
* ParentalBonus: It's DISNEY.
-->(Glass case next to Zeus's throne holding Thunderbolts): "In Case of Insurgency Break Glass" (also a ContinuityNod)
* PluckyComicRelief: Icarus was included to make and do zany things for laughs.
* PragmaticVillainy: Hades' is further shown in the crossover with ''Aladdin''. Here Hades doesn't take it ''personally'' when Aladdin first defeats Pain and Panic. Needless to say Jafar was shocked:
-->'''Jafar:''' That's it? Aladdin ''humiliated'' you! Don't you want your {{revenge}}?\\
'''Hades:''' How about I ''[[TakeOverTheWorld rule the cosmos]]'' first, and ''then'' I'll take it?
* PsychoactivePowers: Electra summons the Furies when angry... [[DisproportionateRetribution usually when someone disagrees with her anti-establishment views.]]
* RealMenWearPink: "Hercules and The Muse Of Dance" has Hercules learn ballet. He enjoys it, but he has to prove its [[DanceBattler usefulness in combat]] before Phil lets him dance in the recital.
* RebelliousSpirit: Electra is very anti-establishment, but Zeus only knows exactly what that is or what her real issues with it are (she and the kids like her are a TakeThat at Goths). All we know is she's happy they get detention, hates heroes as "enforcers of the established order" and can command Furies to appear whenever she's mad, leading them to attack those who annoy her.
* RiddlingSphinx: The Sphinx is a quizmaster, voiced by game show host Wink Martindale. His riddle was "What does a man do standing up, a woman sitting down, and a dog on three legs?" The answer is [[spoiler:shake hands]].[[note]]This is a reference to the induction ceremony for the Turtle Club, a real-life BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats, where the inductee is given a series of supposedly lewd riddles and has to give the correct, family-friendly answer to each one.[[/note]]
* SadlyMythtaken: Aside from the usual stuff, a number of gods that weren't in the movie make appearances some using their Roman names (Bacchus, who was Dionysus in Greece, and Cupid, who was Eros). In particular the god Trivia stands out, presented here as a god of useless knowledge, where Trivia was actually the Roman name for the goddess Hecate, who makes a separate appearance of her own in the series. The only thing they got right was that he was the god of where three roads meet, which is among Hecate's schticks. As for the issue of the title character's name, this got inverted when they managed to sneak in the name ''Herakles'' during one episode.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Adonis may be a jerk, but he's such a sissy, that he actually screams like a girl.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: "Hercules and the Big Kiss" has Cassandra end up having to kiss Icarus awake. He was put into the magical sleep because of her efforts to avert a vision that showed her kissing him.
* SeriesContinuityError: Although the series takes place during the time period when Hercules is training with Phil, Hades seems to be already aware of him and actively trying to kill him. In the movie, Hades doesn't learn that Hercules is still alive until shortly after Hercules finishes his training. Course you could say this is an AlternateContinuity. It ''was'' the Muses who were telling the story after all and they may have embellished a little to compress the story. Think of the series as the untold tales the movie couldn't cover.
* ShipTease: Bacchus kisses the muse Thalia on the cheek in "Hercules and the Bacchanal".
* ShoutOut:
** So, so many.
--->'''Hades:''' They named me "'''PLUTO'''"?! [[BitingTheHandHumor What kind of a]] MickeyMouse name is "Pluto"?! I wouldn't even name my ''dog'' [[WesternAnimation/PlutoThePup "Pluto"]]!
** In "Hercules and the Dream Date", Cassandra tells Herc [[Film/{{Terminator}} "Come with me if you want to live."]]
** The Grim Avenger episode is a reference to the Worlds Finest comic books with Theseus as TheCowl stand in for Batman and Hercules as TheCape stand in for Superman. The Minotaur plays the role of TheJoker. Theseus even has a rich playboy civilian identity. The Norse Mythology episode is a reference to the fights in Marvel between Thor and Hercules. They were both written by Greg Weisman who's a big comic book fan.
* ShownTheirWork: The writers seemed incredibly keen on parodying and satirizing Greek mythology.
* SiblingRivalry: Athena and Ares are an infamous example in-universe.
* SnarkKnight: Cassandra never stops snarking, but she's still heroic when she needs to be.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Tragically, in GreekMythology, Icarus, son of Daedalus, flew too close to the sun using artificial wings of wax and feathers, and fell to his death. It's mentioned that he ''did'' fly too close to the sun, thus the hairstyle and (purportedly) the general loopiness. (The opening of the TV cartoon had him "flaming out" and being caught by Herc and Pegasus.) He also says he "learned his lesson" and uses the wings for more lower-level gliding.
* StrawFeminist: Tempest has her moments. It's understandable since she's an Amazonian princess.
* SuperheroesWearTights: When Hercules learns how to dance, Cassandra sees the future and says that thanks to him, all heroes will wear tights.
* SuperStrength: In both the movie and TV series, Hercules has shown to be a ''very'' strong being, just like the original. He can lift anvils as if they were nothing and wreck pillars with his ''bare hands''.
* ThreeAmigos: Hercules, Cassandra and Icarus ([[FreudianTrio Ego, Superego and Id]], BigThinShortTrio, NiceMeanAndInBetween).
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Cassandra and Helen.
* ValleyGirl: Aphrodite talks like this.
* TakeMyHand: Icarus does this to Hercules after he falls into a river in "Hercules and the Gorgon". Herc can't grab his hand and goes over the InevitableWaterfall.
* TheVamp: Circe manages to seduce the narrator in her EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* VillainSong:
** Hades' "My Town".
** Circe's "One Good Man" could be seen as one, too.
* WeaponJr: One episode has Hercules training with a "junior javelin" despite wanting to use a real one. [[spoiler:At the end, Athena offers him any weapon in existance to beat the villain with. Having learned his lesson he asks for the training weapon, wins and turns down the offer of an actual javelin from the woman he impressed.]]
* WeirdSun: The sun is on a chariot driven by Apollo.
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