->''"For official purposes, these children do not exist."''

The ''CHERUB Series'' is a British series about teenage spies, in the same vein as ''Literature/AlexRider'' and ''Literature/YoungBond''. It centres around a secret organisation, only known as CHERUB, which takes young orphans (usually not older than about twelve, depending on how young they look) and trains them to become spies. The organisation has been in existence since shortly after UsefulNotes/WW2, and at the time of the books, it has several hundred agents.

The main characters are James Adams, a JerkWithAHeartOfGold and a deliberate parody of Franchise/JamesBond, and his [[SiblingYinYang more mature and responsible little sister,]] Lauren Adams. Other CHERUB agents and staff also play a major role throughout the series.

The series can be considered something of a deconstruction of the teenage spy series, as it takes great care to consider the repercussions of the Cherubs being teenagers, and hence not always particularly responsible.

It is also notable for its use of fairly realistic criminals, having drug-dealers, arms-smugglers and animal-rights terrorists instead of the SuperVillain opponents of ''Literature/AlexRider'' and ''Literature/YoungBond''.

'''First series:'''
# ''The Recruit''
# ''Class A'' (''[[MarketBasedTitle The Dealer]]'' in the USA)
# ''Maximum Security''
# ''The Killing''
# ''Divine Madness''
# ''Man vs Beast''
# ''The Fall''
# ''Mad Dogs''
# ''The Sleepwalker''
# ''The General''
# ''Brigands M.C.''
# ''Shadow Wave''

'''Second Series:'''
# ''People's Republic''
# ''Guardian Angel''
# ''Black Friday''

There is also a spin-off series, ''Literature/HendersonsBoys'', that is set during UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, and follows the adventures of the organanization that would become the predecessor to CHERUB.

A second series has begun, set several years after the end of the first series, featuring mostly all-new characters, though a few from the first series show up every so often.

Casting for a movie version is under way. It is not known which book, or how many, will be adapted.

!!This series provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Lauren's dad, who beat her up more than once.
* TheAce: Dave Moss.
* ActionGirl: Most of the female leads. All cherubs are trained to be superb martial artists and have gun training.
* AKA47: The infamous Glock 9, though this was an author mistake instead of being on purpose
* AffablyEvil: Many of the villains, most notably Keith Moore of ''Class A''.
** Jane Oxford is very cordial to James when they talk.
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels: This is arguably the central plot device of ''Brigands M.C'' and the first part of ''Shadow Wave''. Both books depict biker culture as consisting almost exclusively of [[BadassBiker thugs]] like the Brigands (FictionalCounterpart to the Hell Angels) and their allied and rival gangs.
* AlternateTimeline: Robert Muchamore wrote three possible futures for James (available on [[http://www.cherubcampus.com/extras/bonus-stories.aspx the website]]). They consist of James becoming either TheCasanova, a family man, or [[spoiler:the Chairman of CHERUB.]] Given the fact that [[spoiler:James returns to CHERUB as a mission controller in ''Black Friday'', the third option is the most likely]].
* AnimalWrongsGroup: The AFM (in ''Man vs Beast'').
* ArmsDealer: A favorite villain of the CHERUB series, which is not surprising considering Britain's opinion regarding guns:
** Jane Oxford in ''Maximum Security'' is an International Arms Merchant.
** Dennis Obidin from ''The Fall'' is a Former Red With Rockets for Sale.
** The Führer and many of his associates in ''Brigands M.C.'' and ''Shadow Wave'' are Gangland Gun Runners.
** In ''Shadow Wave ''Tan Abdullah is a Minister of Defense looking to import weapons from Britain.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Bruce Norris.
* AscendedExtra: Kazakov in the Aramov trilogy.
* AuthorAppeal: UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball is frequently mentioned, and even plays a central roll in ''Mad Dogs.'' Several characters, including the main character James, are huge fans of [[UsefulNotes/BritishFootyTeams Arsenal]], reflecting Robert Muchamore's own personal fanaticism for the Gunners. At one point, James almost [[FootballHooligans starts a fight with fans of an opposing team.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolName: Dante Welsh. He didn't pick his first name, he was actually born Dante.
* BadassBiker: See the AllBikersAreHellsAngels entry. Also, James poses an a BadassBiker in order to infiltrate the Brigands. The act is helped by the fact that he really is a Badass and he really does like motor bikes.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: Irena Aramov is the leader of the Aramov clan, the bad guys of the second series. She is actually a [[AntiVillain nice old lady]], who is all too willing to help Ethan and his mother. The real antagonist is Irena's son, [[DragonWithAnAgenda Leonid]].
* BecomingTheMask: Defied in ''Divine Madness'' - James, Lauren and Dana start to infiltrate a cult and, once they've left, immediately realize that they were enjoying themselves way too much. The expert they talk to reassures them that now they've seen how it works and can recognize the techniques, it'll be much easier to not succumb in the future.
* BeneathSuspicion: The whole point of CHERUB children.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't ever say anything bad about James's mother.
** Don't ever hurt or insult Lauren, either. James is appalled when Lauren mentions wanting to see her abusive father, who's in prison.
* BigBad: Of each book:
** ''The Recruit'': [[WesternTerrorists Brian "Bungle" Evans]]
** ''Class A'': [[WhiteGangBangers Keith Moore]]
** ''Maximum Security'': [[ArmsDealer Jane Oxford]]
** ''The Killing'': [[BigBadWannabe Leon Tarasov]]
** ''Divine Madness'': [[ChurchOfHappyology Susie Regan]]
** ''Man vs. Beast'': [[AnimalWrongsGroup Rhiannon Carter]]
** ''The Fall'': [[DirtyCommunists Denis Obidin]]
** ''Mad Dogs'': [[WhiteGangBangers Sasha Thompson]] [[BigBadEnsemble and]] [[TheYardies DeShawn "Major Dee" Andrews]]
** ''The Sleepwalker'': [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Hassam bin Hassam]]
** ''The General'': NoAntagonist
** ''Brigands M.C.'': [[ThoseWackyNazis Ralph "The Fuhrer" Donnington]]
** ''Shadow Wave'': [[CorruptPolitician Tan Abdullah]]
** ''Aramov'': [[EvilUncle Leonid Aramov]]
* BigBadWannabe: Leon Tarasov from ''The Killing'' is a small time crook who got a lucky break. He finds himself out of his depth in the big leagues, [[HarmlessVillain which means he poses little threat by CHERUB standards]].
* BittersweetEnding: ''The Sleepwalker''. The bad guy is killed, but his son [[spoiler:lost his mother, and it turns out that he can't join CHERUB because he sleepwalks and sleeptalks, so he ends up living with Mac, who lost his wife, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in the plane crash.]]
* BrilliantButLazy: Ning starts off as this- unlike her friends, who are all obsessed with doing as well as they can in school, Ning wants to sleep in and be a rock star.
* UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem: The major characters are for the most part all British school kids, so features of the education system like A-levels and GCSE exams play an important role.
* UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish: Books written by a Briton, for Britons, about Britons, so you can expect pretty much everything to be UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish, even when depicting Australians, and sometimes even when depicting Americans.
* BruiserWithASoftCenter: Bruce again; as hardcore as he seems, he still goes to bed with a little blue teddy bear.
* BoardingSchool: CHERUB Campus is something of a boarding school, in that the students all live on Campus. However, because they are all orphans, Campus is their full time home, not just a place that their parents ship them off to during most of the year. It is also not particularly snobbish, posh or upper class in its culture, even if it is rather well funded and well equipped.
* BookDumb: James is good with numbers, but he's not so good at essays.
* TheBusCameBack: [[spoiler:James returns in ''Black Friday''.]]
* CardboardPrison: The juvenile maximum-security facility in ''Maximum Security''. James escapes with a literal piece of cardboard, exploiting a real security flaw. The scary thing is, two guards who were in on it ''weren't actually needed'', they were just there to guarantee success.
* TheCartel: Appears in ''Class A''.
* ChurchOfHappyology: The Survivors in ''Divine Madness''.
* CIAEvilFBIGood: Inverted. Intelligence agents tend to be brave heroes doing a tough job with minimal causalities. Regular police - except those who work with the Intelligence Services of course - are usually stupid, arrogant, [[PoliceBrutality violent]] and [[PoliceAreUseless generally in need of a good kicking]].
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Robert Muchamore's entire writing career seems to be built on averting that trope. His kids almost always have some degree of [[HormoneAddledTeenager lust]], [[KidsAreCruel sadism]], [[MouthyKid sarcasm, disrespect to authority, and profanity.]]
* ChildrenForcedToKill: In ''Class A'', James shoots and accidentally kills a gang member in self defense, and is later shown to need counselling, and in ''Divine Madness'', Dana is forced to help with the murder of two (adult) Intelligence agents. There are also several near misses over the course of the series.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Multiple examples.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: In-universe. CHERUB agents wear different colour shirts to indicate their rank. Even visitors have to wear a specific colour (orange). The most distinguished kids get black shirts, and earning your black shirt is a very big deal to the agents.
* CuteBruiser: Cherubs train in advance martial arts from a very young age.
* ChildSoldiers: Cherubs are intended to be more spies than soldiers, but they do get weapons training and tactical training.
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: James almost falls for this in ''Class A'' and ''Brigands M.C''. It doesn't help that his mother was the shoplifting ring leader and James has strong chav tendencies.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Generally, the first series of books gets darker and edgier as it progresses, this is partially because the protagonists are also aging and thus are not only allowed on more dangerous missions but also have to deal with the typical social problems (e.g. sex) as they arise.
* DeathByOriginStory: The cherubs are all required to be orphaned or abandoned with no family members likely to turn up and claim them. This trope strikes main characters James and Lauren, as their mother dies just chapters into the first book and Lauren's father is sent to jail for smuggling cigarettes after hitting Lauren.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild: Lauren Adams pulls this act a few times in the early books when she is young enough to get away with it.
* DetectiveMole: [[spoiler:Michael Patel, who is a DirtyCop, tampered with evidence to cover up a murder that he committed]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: In ''The Killing'', Kerry dumps James, who subsequently takes out his anger on a kid nearby who laughs at him. Horrible? Certainly yes, but James nearly gets killed for it and all of his friends turn against him, because the kid he thumped had a particularly tragic and horrible backstory. But keep in mind, James didn't have a clue who the kid was and had no idea about his past. And all his friends act like he went looking for that kid in particular to thump, when it was just random bad luck.
* DrillSergeantNasty:
** Mr. Large, especially after Lauren attacks him. He gets called out on it later by James and his subordinates, who point out that he's gone way too far with bullying Lauren.
** Kazakov seems to have taken over the role, especially [[spoiler:after Mr. Large is forced to resign]]. Unlike Large, though, Kazakov actually knows when enough is enough.
* EatingLunchAlone: James has to do that at one point when he is being temporarily shunned by his friends.
* EcoTerrorist: The Help Earth! group, which first appears in ''The Recruit'' where they plan to make an attack on a conference between several major oil executives. They return in ''Divine Madness'' where they destroy Natural Gas facilities for ChurchOfHappyology The Survivors.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: Used as a tactic a few times.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: While "evil" may be pushing it, many of the antagonists have families which they clearly care about because outside of their criminal activities, they're just normal people. CHERUB [[ExploitedTrope exploits]] this fact by having their agents befriend their targets' children and by extension, the targets themselves.
* EverybodyWasKungFuFighting: All the cherubs know martial arts, some better than others.
* EverybodyHasLotsOfSex: Pretty much all the teens above the age of 16 (legal age for the UK) and even a few under. The obsession with teenage sexuality makes one wonder if Robert Muchamore is merely playing to the audience and trying to be realistic, or if there is some AuthorAppeal going on.
* EverybodyHatesMathematics: Averted. James loves maths.
* FakingAndEntering: A favorite tactic of CHERUB, where house searches and planting bugs are disguised as burglaries or vandalism perpetrated by [[TeensAreMonsters teenage hooligans]].
* [[spoiler:FirstGirlWins: At the end of the series, James and Kerry wind up together, and it's implied he even gets his act together, as although Kerry thinks he cheated on her during college, he never did]]. Seemingly enforced, too. [[spoiler:They break up about four times in the first few books, and ''The General'' begins with James and Dana as a couple and Kerry is together with Bruce. Of course, Dana actually cheated on James, leaving him single. And Bruce and Kerry's break-up is shown in only a single throwaway line at the end. Geez, Muchamore, way to show subtlety.]]
* FoodFight: A major food fight in one of the books gets several characters in trouble.
* {{Foil}}: Keith "Junior" Moore Jr (from ''Class A'' and ''Mad Dogs'') is this for James Adams. Like James, he is the son of a successful criminal (Keith Moore Sr is a cocaine dealer, while Gwen Choke ran a shoplifting ring). In ''Mad Dogs'', Junior is trying to cling on to the title gang, like James did before joining CHERUB. Like James, this gets him arrested, though Junior gets arrested because after being rejected by said gang, he tries to strike off on his own in the most stupid way possible, unlike James who was betrayed by his fellow gang members. Bruce outright says that Junior is what James would be if he hadn't joined CHERUB.
* FreeRangeChildren: CHERUB agents have adult supervision, but are often given a long leash and are allowed to get away with a lot, both during missions and on Campus.
* FunWithAcronyms: CHERUB stands for [[spoiler:Charles Henderson's Espionage Research Unit B]].
* FurAndLoathing: The most notable example is in ''Shadow Wave'' where one of the characters is a fur wearing RichBitch fashion model and wife of a corrupt politician. Of course, Lauren, being a vegan, has this attitude toward leather as well.
* GadgeteerGenius: Terry Campbell, director of the CHERUB Technical Department.
* GayAesop: James gradually learns to become more tolerant of [[spoiler:Kyle's homosexuality.]]
* GenerationXerox: The second series has only one character who is original (Ryan), with Alfie as the Arsenal-loving KidAnova with an impulsive streak (like James) and Ning as the girl from Asia strong enough to fight any of the boys (like Kerry).
* GeniusBruiser: You have to be one just to be a CHERUB.
* GetIntoJailFree: In one of the books, James' assignment is to go undercover in a [[TitleDrop maximum security]] juvenile prison and engineer the escape of himself and one of the juvenile inmates. The plan is that the inmate he is helping them escape will lead them to his fugitive mother, a wanted international black market arms dealer. He does this by posing as a juvenile with a felony record, which is faked by the FBI.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Two girls makeout at a WildTeenParty in ''Brigands M.C.'', much to the delight of some of the [[AllMenArePerverts teenage boys]].
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: CHERUB is obviously fictional, and MI-5 is frequently depicted in a fictionalized way.
* TheGoodOldBritishComp: The series depicts several schools, but pretty much all of them follow the common stereotypes described in this trope. Some are bad enough to qualify as an InnerCitySchool.
* GoodWithNumbers: James, who basically has a calculator in his head.
* GranolaGirl: Lauren Adams.
* GreatEscape: In ''Maximum Security'', James's assignment is to [[TheInfiltration go undercover in]] an Arizona [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons maximum security juvenile prison]] and engineer the escape of himself and one of the inmates. The fact that the FBI and one of the prison guards is supporting him makes the escape a lot easier.
* HarmfulToMinors: Too many examples to list, but perhaps the worst involves a young child seeing his entire family brutally murdered.
* HiddenWire: A favorite tool of CHERUB.
* HomeBase: CHERUB Campus, which also serves as MissionControl.
* InfantImmortality: Despite being a series about children being put in dangerous situations, none of them actually get killed. It gets mentioned once that only about four CHERUB agents have ever actually died on a mission over the course of CHERUB's entire history.
** It has to be mentioned that this only seems to apply to the major characters- ''The Sleepwalker'' opens with a chapter describing a plane crash which kills everyone on board from the perspective of a young boy, and it's mentioned in ''Divine Madness'' that dozens of children were killed by explosives during the Australian army's final assault on the Ark.
** The closest we get is [[spoiler:Gabrielle]], who is stabbed in ''Mad Dogs'' and nearly dies.
* TheInfiltration: Another favorite tactic of CHERUB, and the central plot device of many of the CHERUB books.
* InsistentTerminology: There is a ''Ukrainian'' character named Yosyp Kazakov. Call him Russian, and you'll get an earful and a half (if you're lucky).
* InTheBlood: [[MagnificentBastard Irena Aramov]] wants this. Unfortunately, Leonid is a psychopath with no cunning, Josef is an idiot, and Galenka wants nothing to do with the family business.
* ItAmusedMe / ForTheEvulz: Jane Oxford in ''Maximum Security'' is one of the FBI's most wanted and amassed assets worth more than 1.4 billion dollars over the course of thirty years from theft of military technology. She couldn't care less about the money or the notoriety though, she did it purely for the thrill of the chase.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: [=McEwen=] seems to like them.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: James. As prickish as he is, he accepts and acknowledges his mistakes and faults and does try to be a good person.
* JustAKid: The entire point of CHERUB is that no one will suspect them because they are JustAKid.
-->''A terrorist doesn't let strangers into her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB.''
* JustPlaneWrong: An F-16 is depicted taking off from an aircraft carrier, even though F-16's are not naval aircraft.
* KidsAreCruel: No shortage of bullies.
* KidHero: James and most of the other CHERUB agents.
* KilledOffForReal: The first (and only) protagonist death in the series: [[spoiler:Kazakov, shot in ''Black Friday'']].
* KnightOfCerebus:
** Michael Patel from book 4, ''The Killing''. He is the first antagonist not to be portrayed in a sympathetic or likeable light, and is therefore lacking in any redeeming qualities. [[spoiler:He is also a corrupt police officer who can and will murder anyone who is on to him.]]
** Hassam Bin Hassam from ''The Sleepwalker'' is abusive towards his wife and son [[spoiler:murdering the former]] and makes a fortune from reselling shoddy plane parts, which can cause plane crashes. He is also a hypocrite who preaches that his son must respect his heritage, but is happy to ignore it himself. [[spoiler:Hassam is one of the few villains to be killed off instead of arrested, pulling a SuicideByCop after [[MoralEventHorizon taking his son hostage and having him subsequently freed by a CHERUB agent]].]]
** Leonid Aramov, a psychopathic brute who shows no remorse about killing children.
* KungFuKid: All CHERUB agents train in advanced martial arts and many would qualify, though [[Creator/BruceLee Bruce]] [[Creator/ChuckNorris Norris]] is the one most noted for his martial arts talent.
* LittleMissBadass: Lauren, Kerry and many of the other female CHERUB agents.
* LittleMissConArtist: Again, CHERUB agents are trained to be this.
** Lauren takes the cake with her on-campus disciplinary record for scheming and plotting, as well as some moments in her missions.
* LivingMacGuffin: Ethan Aramov. CHERUB wants him to take down the Aramov clan, Irena seemingly wants him and his mother to take over after she dies, and Leonid just wants him dead.
* LondonGangster: Several of the bad guys, including the Keith Moore Gang in ''Class A'' and the titular gang of ''Mad Dogs'' fit this trope, though some of them are not actually from London proper.
* LowerClassLout: Quite a few of the teens display chavlike characteristics.
* TheMafiya: ''The Fall'' features organized Russian crime in both of its major plots. James targets a high level Russian [[FormerRegimePersonnel oligarch]] believed to be [[ArmsDealer selling weapons and military technology to rogue states]]. Lauren targets Russian [[SexSlave human trafficking]].
* MeaningfulName and MeaningfulRename: Justified because CHERUB agents get to pick their own new name when they become agents and again when they leave CHERUB. For example, Mr. Large is very tall and muscular, and the CHERUB agent most obsessed with martial arts in the series is named [[Creator/BruceLee Bruce]] [[Creator/ChuckNorris Norris]]. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Shadow Wave'' by journalist Hugh Verhoeven who, after seeing Bruce's combat capabilities, remarks "Bruce Norris, eh? I take it that name's no coincidence?"
* MissionBriefing: Almost every mission includes a lengthy written mission briefing. While the mission briefings will not [[ThisPageWillSelfDestruct self destruct]], agents are not allowed to remove them from MissionControl, a rule that James does not always follow.
* MistakenForCheating: In ''Brigands MC'', Dante Scott is introduced as an old friend of Lauren's from training, who was on a mission for three years. Lauren is naturally overjoyed to see him, but her boyfriend, Rat, gets very jealous and accuses her of cheating on him (she wasn't).
** The end notes of ''Shadow Wave'' say that James did not cheat on Kerry in his first year at university (she hadn't yet retired from CHERUB yet), though she suspected otherwise.
* MuggedForDisguise: This technique is used in ''Maximum Security'' against prison guards during a jail break.
* MurderDotCom: In ''Man vs Beast'', an [[AnimalWrongsGroup extremist animal rights group]] attempts to kill a TV chef by making him drink a very dangerous cleaning liquid and then broadcasting that over the Internet for everyone to watch. [[spoiler:The chef lives, but it's a very close thing and he's got lasting damage from the effects.]]
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: conversed, as Bruce asks for some little cards he can leave with people informing them who just beat them up.
* NeatFreak: Kyle Blueman.
* NeighbourhoodFriendlyGangsters: {{Subverted}} by many of the enemy gangs. Keith Moore's Gang in ''Class A'' is associated with a boxing club. The "notorious underworld figure" Sasha Thompson is allowed to run a neighbourhood football club, complete with teams for children. Also, the titular motorcycle gang in ''Brigands M.C.'' has redeveloped their clubhouse into a popular strip of restaurant, shops and apartments. However, the subversion comes in that none of these groups are above genuine criminal activity like racketeering, selling drugs and murder, and they're the bad guys.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Averted in ''Divine Madness'' when [[AnimalWrongsGroup Help Earth!]] bombs natural gas facilities, because the explosion will be clean.
* OnlySaneMan: From the perspective of the [[BigScrewedUpFamily Aramov clan]], Galenka Aramov. Mostly because she put as much distance between herself and Kyrgyzstan as possible.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: CHERUB agents pretend to be these while on missions, and in most ways are much like any other teenagers.
* ParentalAbandonment: This trope is a job requirement for CHERUB agents. They must all be either [[ConvenientlyAnOrphan orphans]] with no known living family members that can assume guardianship, [[DoorstopBaby abandoned children]], or they must have some other situation that prevents their parents from being involved in their lives.
* PerkyGoth: Lauren Adams sometimes (but not always) shows characteristics of this.
* PoliceBrutality: Michael Patel in ''The Killing''.
* QuestionableConsent: [[spoiler:James ends up sleeping with the daughter of one of the villains in ''Mad Dogs''. While he normally wouldn't turn down an attractive, willing girl, he wasn't particularly keen on sleeping with this one in particular, and the circumstances make it worse- he's having a bath, and she walks in, starts taking her clothes off and makes it clear that no is not one of his options]].
* {{Reconstruction}}: Of the child spy genre after ''Literature/AlexRider'' [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] it. Every mission is approved by an ethics board, and most of them are monitored by an adult mission controller who comes with the spies as supervision.
* RedPillBluePill: Discussed- James says to Dante that as much as cherubs love going on missions, he thinks that if they were given the choice to return to their normal lives, most of them would go for it. (Depressingly, one has to remember that their normal lives would probably involve having living parents/families again.)
* RefugeInAudacity: Michael Patel tends to go overboard when arresting perps. In one instance, he deliberately slams James' head into the top of his police car's door. Patel is smart enough to know that he can get away with any accusations of police brutality by dismissing the claims as racism against an ethnic cop, causing the case to boil down to a policeman's word against a criminal's. This gives him the perfect cover to keep doing it.
* RememberTheNewGuy: Dante is introduced in the penultimate book of the first series, but he hasn't even been mentioned up until that point because he's been on a mission that's lasted over three years. He also gets retconned into Lauren's basic training, which doesn't help.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun: In ''Mad Dogs'', Sash Thompson is dismissive of our James until he finds out that he was the one who burned Crazy Joe's car back in ''Class A''.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: Not quite. CHERUB agents must retire when they become adults (or, in essence, when they grow too much to pass as a child), but if a retired agent becomes a security risk by leaking secrets about CHERUB, [[TheMenInBlack CHERUB security]] will [[DeadlyEuphemism take care of the problem]].
* RomanticFalseLead: [[spoiler:Bruce to Kerry. They get together, only to enforce FirstGirlWins with James, they break up off-screen and James is only told of this in the last, throwaway line of ''The General''.]]
* RRatedOpening: ''Brigands M.C.'' so very much. The prologue has [[spoiler:a younger Dante witness his entire family being brutally murdered in front of him, barely managing to escape with his baby sister, who hits her head and almost dies herself.]] There's so much {{gorn}}, it's a wonder Muchamore got away with it.
* SarcasticConfession: In ''The Killing'', James tells a woman in at a laundromat about CHERUB:
---> "You know, I can't really talk to you," James grinned. "You see, I'm a secret agent. I work for an undercover organisation called CHERUB and if I told you any more, I'd have to kill you." "You don't have to be so bloody sarcastic," the woman said sourly, crossing her arms as she stormed off in a huff.
* SchoolIsForLosers: James and any number of other teenage characters have this attitude, though in James's case it is somewhat modified in that he actually enjoys and does well at math, physics and Russian. He is just bad and lazy when it comes to [[BookDumb anything involving lots of reading and writing]]. In spite of his attitude, he ends the series with an improbable number of really high [[UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem A-levels.]]
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Because this is the UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem, all the English schools depicted require uniforms. CHERUB Campus even has uniforms, though they consist of [[MildlyMilitary military style trousers and boots]] worn with t-shirts that are [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience colored according to the rank of the agent]]- orange for a new kid who hasn't officially joined yet, red for a much younger kid who's too young to start training, blue for an agent in training, grey for a basic agent, navy for a relatively senior agent and black for the most accomplished and senior agents.
* ShaggyDogStory: The plot of ''Maximum Security'' was started by the theft of a shipment of experimental Buddy missiles, which were linked to the antagonist of the story. While the antagonist ''is'' captured in the end, it's not clear if she did steal them and they are never recovered.
* ShoePhone: For the most part, the focus on exotic spy gadgets disguised as ordinary object is averted. CHERUB agents do have enhanced capabilities on some of the technology, such as their mobile phones, but rarely something really strange. One favorite gadget of many of the fans is the "lock gun," but this is actually a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap_gun real life technology]] that is not disguised as anything else.
* SleazyPolitician: Tam Abdullah in ''Shadow Wave''.
* TheSpymaster: Mac, the Chairman of CHERUB. And then Zara, once Mac retires.
* SpySchool: CHERUB Campus is a spy school, but for the most part it works like any other [[UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem British school]] in terms of classes, teachers, subject, assignments, exams, etc. The biggest difference is that some additional subjects such as martial arts and infiltration skills are also taught, and at the age of 10 students go through [[TrainingFromHell basic training]] before they can become fully qualified [[TeenSuperspy agents.]]
* {{Sting}}: Being a book series, CHERUB does not have a soundtrack, but in ''Shadow Wave'' Dante spoofs this trope by saying "Dun, dun dunnnn!" after an announcement that a [[GiantWallOfWateryDoom tsunami]] will arrive in a few minutes.
* SimulatedUrbanCombatArea: CHERUB has access to SAS urban training sites and uses them for their own training in ''The Killing''.
* SpyFiction: Well, obviously.
* TakeAThirdOption: Described early on as Lauren's favourite way of doing things.
* TakeThat:
-->'''John Jones:''' "What did you get [from the mall?]"
-->'''Rat:''' "Books mostly. I got a new copy of ''Literature/OliverTwist'' and four other Charles Dickens novels. Plus that ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' book that Dana raved about at the hospital."
-->'''John Jones:''' "Pretty brave attempting ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''. Never managed to plough through it all myself."
** And later, when James tries to read it, the end notes say that he's a hundred pages in, but can't find it in him to tell Dana that he thinks it's boring.
* TeamMom: Because of the young age of the agents, most of the female staff has to play this role at one point or another, particularly Zara Asker, who starts out the series as [[TheHandler a CHERUB mission controller]] and [[spoiler:is later promoted to [[TheSpymaster CHERUB Chairwoman]].]]
* TeensAreMonsters: There is no shortage of [[UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish chavs and yobs]] among the UsefulNotes/CouncilEstate wastelands depicted, not to mention teenage drug dealers, drug users, gangsters etc. Even many of the "good guy" CHERUB agents show a bad streak sometimes.
* TeenGenius: James is a mathematical genius- ask him a maths question and he can do it in his head in about five seconds.
* TeenSuperspy: The entire point of CHERUB.
* TermsOfEndangerment: Mr Large calls trainee cherubs 'cupcakes' or 'muffins' a lot.
* TheHandler: This role is filled on missions by CHERUB mission controllers. CHERUB handlers are not responsible for running operations, but instead act as {{Parental Substitute}}s.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted. James sees therapists on a regular basis (though usually off screen) to deal with some of the traumatic experiences he goes through, and some of his [[HairTriggerTemper anger management issues]]. Other characters are sometime sent to counseling.
* TotallyRadical: Robert Muchamore tries hard to get the slang right, but sometimes messes up, particularly in his earlier books. For example, his fans at [=CherubForums.com=] complained about him having teen characters use the word "dude."
** Attractive girls are always described as "fit".
* TrackingDevice: Another common CHERUB tool.
* TrainingFromHell: Basic training and other aspects of CHERUB training, even to the point that DrillSergeantNasty does things to 10 year olds that would get a RealLife military drill sergeant fired for hazing.
* TookALevelInBadass: All the cherubs do this after the aforementioned TrainingFromHell.
* TrojanPrisoner: In ''Maximum Security'' James Adams becomes a prisoner in order to break someone out of prison.
* TwinSwitch: One of the bonus stories, aptly named "The Switch", has nearly identical twins Connor and Callum switch places as part of a mission. The fact that RealLife twins are rarely perfectly identical is acknowledged, and a makeup artist is used to make the two boys look even more alike.
* {{Tsundere}}: Kerry.
* TVTeen: Averted in a big way.
* UsefulBook: Subverted in ''The Recruit'', when James and Kerry lighten their packs during the final basic training exercise and decide to leave behind a hefty tome that they later realize was meant to be used as toilet paper during their jungle trek.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: Pretty much the entire point of the series. Teenagers deal with the normal pressures of teen school and social life on top of their challenging missions.
* WesternTerrorists: All the actual terrorists depicted in the series are Western terrorists, including the eco-terrorist group Help Earth! (FictionalCounterpart to Earth First!) and the Animal Freedom Militia (FictionalCounterpart to the Animal Liberation Front). [[spoiler:In ''The Sleepwalker'' it appears that a plane might have been destroyed by Muslim terrorists, however it turns out that the real villain is really just a CorruptCorporateExecutive that was selling shoddy parts to the airliners.]]
* WhiteGangBangers: Keith More's Gang, the Mad Dogs, and The Brigands.
* WildTeenParty: Multiple examples.
* WitnessProtection: [[spoiler:Dante joins CHERUB in part as a means of witness protection, though instead of just living his life in fear and hiding, CHERUB turns him into a TeenSuperspy]].
* TheYardies: The Slasher Boys, a Jamaican gang, in featured in ''Mad Dogs'', though the term "Yardies" is never used.
* YoungEntrepreneur: Kyle, who always has an ethically challenged scheme to make money, usually selling counterfeit merchandise and illegal copies of DVD's, games and other media.
* YourCheatingHeart:
** James and a number of other character do this, sometimes more than once. In fact, James is almost (but not quite) qualifies as a KidAnova, in that he hooks up with a different girl almost every mission, in spite of having a girlfriend back on Campus.
** [[spoiler:Michael and Dana cheat on Gabrielle and James respectively in ''The General''. James is particularly pissed off because he did his best to be a good boyfriend, and Gabrielle's heart is basically broken into a billion pieces. Dana points out later that James hardly has room to talk, but even so, one has to feel sorry for Gabrielle, especially given how close she and Michael were.]]