Creator/TomClancy's most famous series of novels, which focus mainly on CIA analyst Jack Ryan and, to a lesser extent, CIA field operative John Clark. Four of them have been adapted into movies, one is connected to a series of video games, and one film, ''Film/JackRyanShadowRecruit'', is a reboot of the universe taking some items from the books but not based on any specific novel. Among fans, this continuity is often referred to as the "Ryanverse."

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[[folder: The Jack Ryan series (arranged by publication order) ]]

[[index]]
* ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'' -- Clancy's first published novel, featuring a rogue prototype Soviet nuclear missile submarine. Ryan is the man on the spot to assist its officers with their plan to defect to the United States. Made into [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober a feature film]] with Alec Baldwin.
* ''Literature/PatriotGames'' -- Ex-Marine Jack Ryan, an American tourist in London, rescues the Prince of Wales from [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles Irish terrorists]] and comes to the attention of both the IRA and the CIA. [[Film/PatriotGames This was the second book to be filmed]], with Creator/HarrisonFord as Ryan.
* ''Literature/TheCardinalOfTheKremlin'' -- America's top agent in the Soviet Union is compromised, just as he comes into possession of plans for a system that could change the UsefulNotes/ColdWar nuclear stalemate forever. Ryan must play a dangerous mind game against the head of the KGB to rescue the agent, with the balance of power in the Soviet government at stake.
* ''Literature/ClearAndPresentDanger'' -- A rogue adviser to the President launches a covert and illegal war on the Columbian narcotics industry, and Ryan must rescue the soldiers before they are abandoned to their fate. The [[Film/ClearAndPresentDanger third film from the series]] and the second to star Creator/HarrisonFord.
* ''Literature/TheSumOfAllFears'' -- Arab terrorists get their hands on a nuclear bomb and try to set it off within the United States, and a burned out Ryan is the OnlySaneMan in a dangerously paranoid U.S. administration. Loosely adapted into [[Film/TheSumOfAllFears the fourth film]] as a sort of reboot, featuring Creator/BenAffleck as a newbie Ryan, with the Arabs swapped for Neo-Nazis.
* ''Literature/WithoutRemorse'' -- The {{backstory}} of {{Badass}} CIA operative John Clark, who goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against a vicious drug gang following the murder of his girlfriend.
* ''Literature/DebtOfHonor'' -- After an economic crisis, [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld Japan decides to launch a new war of territorial acquisition]]. Ryan must help his country figure out how to fight back on two fronts: economic and military, with a navy dangerously drawn down by past presidents.
* ''Literature/ExecutiveOrders'' -- The war with Japan is over, at a terrible cost. Meanwhile, Iran, sensing weakness in the badly damaged U.S. government, embarks on a campaign of terrorism and biological warfare in an attempt to unify the Muslim world by force. Not only is Ryan's leadership ability called into question like never before, but he and his family have once again become targets of a ruthless and powerful enemy.
* ''Literature/RainbowSix'' -- {{Badass}} Clark forms an international paramilitary counterterrorism force, with his future son-in-law and Junior Badass Domingo "Ding" Chavez tapped to lead it into action. Little do they suspect that they'll be facing an enemy within their own country. Adapted into [[VideoGame/RainbowSix a series of video games]].
* ''Literature/TheBearAndTheDragon'' -- China, facing an economic and political crisis, [[ChinaTakesOverTheWorld decides to invade Russia.]] The U.S. must cement a friendship with its once-greatest foe to fight off the aggressor. But what will Ryan do when the threat turns nuclear?
* ''Literature/RedRabbit'' -- Ryan, a new CIA analyst, must assist in locating a Soviet defector with information about a KGB plot to assassinate UsefulNotes/ThePope.
* ''Literature/TeethOfTheTiger'' -- In the world after Ryan's departure from government, there are new terrorist threats. Ryan's son, also named Jack, joins a Black Ops group dedicated to attacking them on their own turf.
* ''Literature/DeadOrAlive'' -- The further adventures of Jack Ryan Jr. and his fellow counterterrorists of "The Campus". Also, the elder Ryan comes to the reluctant decision to run for office again.
* ''Literature/LockedOn'' -- Jack Ryan Junior and the Campus continue their anti-terrorist mission as Jack Ryan Senior runs for President again.
* ''Literature/ThreatVector'' -- Jack Ryan Junior and the Campus realize someone is on to them as Jack Ryan Senior faces the Chinese once again.
* ''Literature/CommandAuthority'' -- A new strongman has arisen in Russia, and his rise to power is based on a decades-old dark secret--with President Jack Ryan holding the key. This was the last novel completed by Clancy before he passed away on October 1st, 2013. It was released posthumously in December 2013.
* ''Literature/SupportAndDefend'' -- The first book released after Clancy's passing, it is focused on Dom Caruso and his mission to find the people responsible for killing his friend. That mission leads him to a man with enough information to destroy American intelligence efforts hunted by the FBI, Hezbollah, the Iranians, and the Russians.
* ''Literature/FullForceAndEffect'' -- The North Koreans have discovered valuable minerals in the Hermit Kingdom, and their new leader sees it as a way to finally succeed in giving North Korea The Bomb, and by extension, a chance at becoming a major power.
* ''Literature/UnderFire'' -- Unlike the first two post-Clancy novels, this is written by Grant Blackwood, who collaborated with Tom in ''Literature/DeadOrAlive''. This focuses on Jack Junior as he digs deeper into an old friend's cryptic message.
* ''Literature/CommanderInChief'' -- Written by Mark Greaney, who authored ''Literature/SupportAndDefend'' and ''Literature/FullForceAndEffect'', this focuses on Jack Senior as he finds himself isolated from the international community through the machinations of Russian President Volodin.
[[/index]]

!!These novels provide examples of:

* ActionDuo: Clark and Chavez.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: A fairly standard plot, especially in later novels, although very explicitly averted in ''Clear and Present Danger'', ''The Sum of all Fears'', and '' Rainbow Six''.
* AnonymousRinger:
** The American President prior to 1988 is never identified by name until Clancy manages to clear the backlog of RealLife Presidents and starts dropping in his own, starting with Bob Fowler. In later novels, however, Reagan and George H. W. Bush are referred to by name, and the Clinton scandal is alluded to.
** On the British side, Prince Charles and Margaret Thatcher are also referred to only referred to by title, though Tony Blair does get first-named in ''The Bear and the Dragon''.
** While Clancy had admitted that his books are something of an allegory to real life, this tendency does cause some of his books to contain some considerable continuity errors, such as [[spoiler: the assassination attempt on [[UsefulNotes/ThePope John Paul II]] being in 1982 instead of 1981]] in ''Red Rabbit'', or Ronald Reagan running for reelection in 1988 in ''Clear and Present Danger'' (though in the second case it may well be Walter Mondale who defeated Reagan in 1984).
* AntiVillain: Depending on context, the KGB or the whole U.S.S.R. before their becoming the Russian Federation and the resultant HeelFaceTurn.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory:
** At one point Cliff Rutledge says that the USA has the longest continual stable government in the world, which is a fairly dubious statement. Whilst the various criteria can be subjectively defined for various ends, many would argue that there are several "continual stable governments" that have existed for longer - the UK has maintained a constitutional monarchy, with various constitutional revisions down the years, since 1707, for example. That said, what Rutledge means is slightly unclear, he could be talking about the USA being the oldest Republic or democracy, both of which are rather more defensible positions.
** Given the time between publications of his novels, "time" for the characters gets stretched out as events in RealLife occur. For instance, Ryan leaves government service around 1992 in ''The Sum of All Fears'', but somehow spends only two years on vacation until ''Debt of Honor'', which takes places in 1996, and [[spoiler:serves as President]] for another year or two up until 2001-ish between ''Executive Orders'' and ''The Bear and the Dragon''.
** More conventionally, Clancy sometimes uses up-and-coming data/speculation when discussing weapons that are going to be fielded in the near-future, which ends up falling flat when it turns out incorrectly. For instance, in ''Debt of Honor'' it is mentioned that the next ship in line after ''John Stennis'' is going to be the ''United States'', which was the name for ''Harry S. Truman'' when she was laid down, but changed afterwards.
** The F-22, whose first production models are rolled out for ''Debt of Honor'' is referred to as the Rapier. The nickname was later changed to Raptor.
* AuthorFilibuster: Dotted about the series, generally reflecting a conservative position -- for example, reducing the military budget is ''never'' presented as a good idea, America has "the best healthcare system in the world", GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion, the death penalty and sometimes downright vigilantism are presented positively, and economic cooperation with China is strategically unsound. The series generally doesn't suffer from it however.
* {{Badass}}:
** John Clark, especially in ''Without Remorse.'' In later novels he downplays it a lot and is a reasonably ShellShockedVeteran.
** Ding Chavez is a more typical one, but this is downplayed [[CharacterDevelopment as he matures]].
** Jack Ryan, ironically, seems to be a {{Deconstruction}} of this. Sure, he does get some badassery, but he suffers PTSD, injury, and totally realistic angst and pangs of conscience almost immediately afterwards.
** Gennady Iosifovich Bondarenko is Russia's resident ColonelBadass ([[spoiler: later FourStarBadass]]) - from personally commanding the [[spoiler: defense of the Soviet laser base]] in ''The Cardinal Of The Kremlin'' to being the right claw of the bear in ''The Bear and the Dragon'', if Mother Russia needs some dirty, dangerous work done, Gennady is in the thick of it. Also a GeniusBruiser, being the designer of a laser-communication system and one of the smartest commanders in the series.
** The US Secret Service is definitely a WorldOfBadass, especially Andrea Price and the service Grandfather, Donnie "Don" Russell.
* BadassArmy: America (and to lesser extents other good guys) are portrayed as commanding one, though America seems to get the lion's share.
* BadassBookworm: Jack Ryan, especially in the movies.
* BerserkButton: Most of the central characters have one.
** For John Clark it's drugs. Anything and everything about them pisses him off to no end. After reading ''Without Remorse'' it's not hard to understand why.
** For Jack Ryan, it's harming his family or insulting his integrity. [[spoiler:After he becomes president, harming Americans can be added to the list.]]
* BlackBestFriend: Robby Jackson rarely fails to have stories about his childhood in Alabama with his preacher father, or his time flying Tomcats for the Navy.
* ColdSniper: Played straight, inverted, and {{deconstructed}} in different novels.
* CombatPragmatist: Consistently present throughout all of the novels. In the words of several of the commanders in various books, "'Fair' means that I bring all of my men back home alive. Fuck the others."
* CommieLand:
** The USSR itself serves as the setting for some scenes, with a significant focus in ''The Cardinal in the Kremlin''. Some other scenes throughout the series occur in Soviet client states.
** The Peoples Republic of China, in ''The Bear and the Dragon'', gets a good bit of focus, as the main antagonists of the book.
* ContinuityNod: All over the novels and some of the games.
* CoolBoat: You might think every US naval vessel was this, given the amount of loving description Clancy visits on them.
* CrazyPrepared: The U.S. military, which makes plans for literally every conceivable military scenario. Probably TruthInTelevision. To keep things interesting, a spanner is usually thrown in the works to keep them from being overpowering (The Navy is too drawn down to effectively fight Japan, a biological attack renders most of the US Army unable to deploy, their own supply line to the front is a single train-track, etc).
* CrushingHandshake: Skip Tyler, Jack Ryan's good friend, was described as giving overly powerful handshakes of the DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength variety.
* CurbStompBattle: American military forces versus just about anybody else, from ''Debt of Honor'' onwards. Clark and Chavez versus their various opponents.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: It's mentioned a few times that Cathy Ryan's father has never forgiven Jack for quitting his financial sector job to become a teacher (and later a CIA analyst).
* DefeatMeansFriendship: One of the rare examples of this trope occurring on a national level, as the post-Cold War period eventually ends up with America's foremost strategic partner being ''Russia''.
* DirtyCommunists: Played more or less straight until ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin'', but completely turned on its head afterwards, to the point where the Russian Federation actually becomes a NATO member nation in ''The Bear and the Dragon''.
* DiscussedTrope: Clancy loves to discuss the tropes related to RealityIsUnrealistic, largely via characters commenting on how people expect various aspects of police and spycraft to work because they saw it in a movie.
* {{Doorstopper}}: With a few exceptions like ''The Hunt for Red October'' and ''Red Rabbit'', Ryanverse novels tend to be on the long side.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Robby Jackson has a tendency to handle his car with the same... panache, you might say, as he does his F-14.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim:
** In ''The Teeth of the Tiger'', [[spoiler:Robby Jackson is said to have become president in his own right and then been assassinated by a member of the KKK]]. This happens between books and is only barely mentioned in passing. Some of the newer books have tried to make this more meaningful by having it be one of the primary motivations for Jack running for president again, but still...
** Also applies to [[spoiler:Bob Ritter, who was an important character in the early Jack Ryan novels until he resigned from the CIA at the end of ''Clear and Present Danger''. In ''Dead or Alive'' it's mentioned that Bob Ritter died of cancer a few years prior.]]
* DrugsAreBad: Played straight when Ryan asks for a Presidential pardon for Clark and as soon as he mentions that the people Clark murdered were drug dealers, it's a slam dunk.
* DumbMuscle: Occasionally invoked by government officials regarding their bodyguards/[=SPOs=]. They (and the Marines) are usually characterized as "knuckle draggers," though in the case of the Secret Service, most if not all of them have at least a college degree and, in the case of Andrea Price, a Masters.
* {{Eagleland}}: The first flavor, although both versions are [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] frequently. More specifically, Clancy generally differentiates between the types, generally casting the 'good guys' as Type 1, and Type 2s are generally frowned upon, to say the least.
* EliteArmy: Generally invoked regarding the United States armed forces.
* EvilCounterpart: The Ghost Ship is this to The Campus.
* {{Expy}}:
** Gennady Iosefovich Bondarenko, who, in an inversion from the other examples from ''Literature/RedStormRising'', is an expy of General Alekseyev.
** Although Tom Clancy has never confirmed it, most readers believe that the character of Ed Kealty is an expy of real life US Senator Ted Kennedy. Both of them are Democratic senators from New England, both of them have liberal political views, both come from wealthy families, and both have been involved in sex scandals.
** General Secretary of the CPSU Andrey Ily'ch Narmonov is a very obvious expy of Mikhail Gorbachev.
** The Emir is an obvious expy of {{UsefulNotes/Osama Bin Laden}}.
** Valeri Volodin from ''Command Authority'' is {{UsefulNotes/Vladimir Putin}} in all but name.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Scott Adler's negotiation sessions with America's enemies always inevitably fail despite his skill; they have to, otherwise the United States military wouldn't get the chance to strut their stuff.
* FeedTheMole: Used in several of the novels. In particular, the "canary trap" is a tool used by CIA to identify possible leakers by producing several slightly different copies of the same document, and using that to identify which copy is being leaked and narrow down the possible suspects.
* GenerationXerox: Jack Ryan, Jr. joins the CIA like his father, while Sally goes to medical school like her mother.
* GeniusBruiser: John Kelly is, by most standards, a physically imposing man, and has demonstrated his strength multiple times, but, despite having only a high-school level education, has impressive analytical ability and can think on his feet (which is what prompted Ritter to hire him). During his tour in Vietnam, he was nominated for Officer Candidate School on at least three separate occasions, and has since then garnered enough knowledge to discuss subjects with ''college professors'' in their areas of expertise. He also speaks at least four languages fluently enough to pass as a native speaker. By ''Rainbow Six'', he holds the rank of a simulated Major General.
* GenreSavvy: John Clark is this. He even frequently lampshades it.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard:
** John Clark gets one when the President of the United States pardons him.
** It goes UpToEleven in ''The Teeth of the Tiger'', in which the ex-President has issued preemptive pardons to all of the Black Ops operatives with blanks for names, dates, and offenses committed. The dubious legality of this is lampshaded by the man in charge.
* GildedCage: The White House, and more metaphorically the presidency itself, is identified as one by [[spoiler: President Ryan]] after he realizes the full implications of the place.
* HappilyMarried: Jack and Cathy Ryan, Robbie and Cecilia Jackson, John and Sandra Clark.
* HotSubOnSubAction: More subs attack each other in Clancy's novels than in the entire history of naval warfare. On the other hand, most of these novels are premised on the UsefulNotes/ColdWar heating up a bit, so it's entirely justified: after the '60s, that kind of sub-to-sub combat was not only possible but likely given that NATO and Warsaw Pact subs were constantly on one another's tails.
* HypercompetentSidekick:
** Jack Ryan made a career our of this, serving as deputy director (intelligence), and later Central Intelligence, in the CIA, National Security Adviser, and [[spoiler:Vice President of the United States]]. It becomes something of a minor plot point in ''Executive Orders'' when [[spoiler:other world leaders don't respect him as the new American president because they don't believ he has what it takes to actually lead. They are proven to be oh so wrong by the end.]]
** Arnie Van Damm is this to Presidents Fowler, Durling, and [[spoiler:Ryan]].
* IAmNotLeftHanded: When the North Carolina National Guard goes to the NTC for training exercises against the 11th ACR, they don't let on that they have IVIS training. Regular Army units go to the NTC and get their asses handed to them in engagement after engagement (that's the point). The National Guard detachment completely decimates the 11th in their ''first'' engagement. The General in charge of the NTC is ''not'' happy with him men.
* InterserviceRivalry: All over the place. CIA vs. FBI, FBI vs. Secret Service, KGB vs. GRU, etc.
* IssueDrift: The [=RyanVerse=] novels have grown more politically focused over time, reflecting Clancy's conservative (and occasionally libertarian) viewpoints.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeFashionable: In ''Patriot Games'', Cathy Ryan has Jack buy some rather nice English suits. It's extended on and commented on throughout many of the subsequent novels.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Just look at how many books there are in the series. Each one introduces more into the mix.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The magic assassination drug used by The Campus agents in ''Teeth of the Tiger'' is supposed to make it look like the victim died of natural causes. Later, after being hit with this drug one poor sap gets run over by a streetcar, further disguising that it was a hit and not an accident.
* ManlyTears: Both Ryan and Clark aren't afraid to cry when they need to; [[spoiler:Ryan when he promises to take care of Zimmer's family for him, Kelly upon realization that Pam lied to protect him to the very end, Clark upon meeting Oreza twenty years after faking his own death, both Clark and Chavez upon the birth of John Conor Chavez.]]
* NoNameGiven: The U.S. President in the early novels is never given a name, instead being referred to simply as 'the President'. It gets rather ridiculous in later novels after the election of Bob Fowler when characters refer to him but still just call him 'the one Fowler beat'.
* NoPartyGiven:
** Trent and Fellows's parties are not explicitly named, even though it's quite obvious that Trent is a liberal and Fellows is a conservative. Ditto for Fowler and Durling, who belong to the same party as Fellows.
** Ryan himself claims no particular party, until [[spoiler:he runs again for the Presidency as a Republican]] in ''Locked On''.
* ANuclearError: Averted; Clancy's discussion of the political conditions surrounding the deployment of nuclear weapons is very accurate.
* OddFriendship: Representatives Alan Trent (a gay Democrat from Massachusetts) and Sam Fellows (a Mormon Republican from Arizona), both members of the House Select Intelligence Committee, who were introduced in ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin''. Later in the series, the oddness of the friendship is explicitly commented upon.
* OfficialPresidentialTransport: The series occasionally has scenes set aboard the real Air Force One. Being a techno-thriller series, Clancy goes into more technical detail than most depictions of the aircraft.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Often averted. Gunshot wounds incapacitate and kill or nearly kill several protagonists.
* OnlySaneMan - Arnold van Damm seems to serve as one for Jack Ryan, especially in regards to toning down Jack's idealism by tempering it with knowledge the real world is not nearly as ideal. May even serve as a meta example by lampshading how Clancy's own views, even in his own literary universe, don't completely work out as they were intended.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent - [[spoiler:Jack Ryan]] seems to be a mix of President Iron and Personable, whereas [[spoiler:Ed Kealty]] is shown as President Playboy, Scheming, and Strawman. Incidentally, between ''Executive Orders'' and ''The Bear and the Dragon'', [[spoiler:Ryan's election platform largely comes off as selling himself as Jack Ryan, Regular Guy]].
* PayEvilUntoEvil: ''Teeth of the Tiger''.
* PerfectPoison: The succinylcholine used in ''Teeth of the Tiger''. It kills by simulating a heart attack via muscular paralysis, and is rapidly eliminated from the bloodstream, leaving no traces of what killed its victim.
* PrettyInMink: Cathy Ryan has a mink coat she wears to some political galas.
* {{Qurac}}: Surprisingly, given the subject matter, Averted. Clancy seems fairly cognizant of the region and its people. In Debt of Honor, he mentions that Iraq can get pretty cold in the winter.
* RedScare: Until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the events in ''The Sum of All Fears'', UsefulNotes/ColdWar tensions between the US and its allies and the Soviet Union are a significant part of the overall plot.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun: Done with both Clark and Ryan (and to a lesser extent, Ding Chavez). For Ryan, few will ever pass up the opportunity to remark upon the time he dealt with the ULA invasion of his home in ''Patriot Games''. Clark's list is rather longer, ranging from [[spoiler:picking up KGB Chairman Gerasimov's family in ''Cardinal of the Kremlin'', to rescuing former Japanese Prime Minister Koga in ''Debt of Honor'', to guiding the bombs to kill Ayatollah Daryaei in ''Executive Orders'']].
* ReportingNames: While their more formal designations are usually given at least once, generally Soviet hardware is usually referred to by its NATO reporting name.
* ResetButton: This appears to have been pushed, as noted above in the UsefulNotes/ArabIsraeliConflict entry, in the two most recent Ryanverse books, ''Teeth of the Tiger'' and ''Dead or Alive'' (much more obviously so in the latter case, since in order to be able to incorporate 9/11 and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars into his plot, Clancy pretty much had to do away with the events of ''Executive Orders''. This also applies to the US/Russian relationship.)
* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Jack Ryan on several occasions -- as he points out, he's an intelligence ''analyst'', not a spy, but keeps getting forced into the role by being on the spot.
* ShootOutTheLock: Defied -- in several novels it's pointed out that this does ''not'' work in real life. In most cases, the shooter has to use several more bullets and messily destroy the lock mechanism to open the door.
* ShownTheirWork: Considering that Clancy was an insurance salesman with no prior military experience before becoming an author, a lot of the details included in his works (particularly the earlier books, before he started licensing his own name out to other authors), gained from purely open sources, occasionally to the discomfort of government agencies whose job is to protect classified information that he inadvertently managed to derive from publicly available information. In fact, the descriptions of submarine warfare in ''The Hunt For Red October'' are so realistic that it has become one of the only fictional works to appear on the U.S. Naval Academy's recommended reading list.
* ShrineToSelf: Several military characters are shown to have this attitude. It's called the "I Love Me" wall.
* TheSmartGuy: Ron Jones, from his first appearance in ''Red October'', is characterized as one of these; by ''Sum of All Fears'' has a doctorate from Caltech, and continues to prove his smartness well into ''Debt of Honor''.
* SmokingIsCool: Largely averted. While Ryan was a former smoker (and occasionally fell back into the habit after [[spoiler:becoming President]]), most of the actual badasses don't smoke, with the US Army Rangers and Rainbow being specifically singled out at various times. The occasional military personnel does smoke, but Clancy makes it fairly clear that they do so as a stress reliever.
* SociopathicSoldier: Soviet KGB troops tend to get this treatment, as distinct from the Red Army's soldiers. Even the Red Army soldiers show their disdain for their green-shoulder-board-wearing comrades. This is TruthInTelevision; following Stalin's use of the KGB to purge the ranks of the Red Army, many soldiers in the Red Army viewed the KGB with distrust and suspicion.
* TheSpymaster: Bob Ritter is the CIA's Deputy Director (Operations), meaning that he is the man who oversees all of the CIA's human intelligence assets and field operations.
* SpyFiction: The Stale Beer variety. Given a LampshadeHanging on multiple occasions by John Clark. "Larson, [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall if this were a movie]], you'd be a blonde with big tits and a loose blouse." In TheFilmOfTheBook, the above is averted.
* SpySchool: Several references are made throughout the series to "The Farm", a CIA training facility in Virginia[[note]]Specifically, Camp Peary. For obvious reasons, the CIA has never confirmed, denied or spoken about the existence of a CIA training facility there[[/note]]. In some of the latter books Clark is shown teaching some classes there.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Fought tooth and nail, but ultimately victorious in favor of real world progression. Many of Jack Ryan's, and others', accomplishments are undone or nullified within the next book or two.
** In ''Executive Orders'', Saddam Hussein is assassinated and his top generals tuck tail and run, allowing Iran to take over and form the United Islamic Republic. By the time the inevitable war rolls around, the UIR is forming ties with many other would-be member states. But at the conclusion of the novel, Iran and Iraq split perfectly into their pre-union borders and no mention of Islamic unification is ever made again.
** In ''Debt of Honor'', Japan and America go from traditional allies to being at war, ending with America victorious and both countries back to being BFF in the next book. After [[spoiler:Jack Ryan]] ascends to the presidency, he makes several changes to policy, including how to prosecute the War on Drugs, simplifying the tax code, encouraging common people to aspire to Congress as opposed to traditional politician, and so on. By ''The Bear and the Dragon'', those common people he helped elect are becoming more and more influenced by the Washington power culture and forgetting their roots. And by ''Teeth of the Tiger'', almost all of his revolutionary policies have either been nullified or blunted by the next president, despite their overwhelming popularity.
** A good chunk of the plot of ''A Sum of All Fears'' is devoted to a plan to achieve peace in the Middle East. Jack Ryan devises a plan that brings together many of the world's foremost Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders to form the Jerusalem Treaty, which holds even through the largest Islamic terrorist event in history. However, a few throwaway lines in ''Teeth of the Tiger'' mention that the treaty eventually fell apart and things went back to the status quo.
** The whole point of ''Cardinal of the Kremlin'' is America's efforts to get a hold of the Russian plans for an anti-ballistic missile laser weapon while keeping the Russians from getting the American plans for a similar system (and vice versa from the perspective of the Russians). In ''The Bear and the Dragon'', it gets mentioned that despite the info the CIA provided on the Russian system, they were never able to build a laser powerful enough to shoot down [=ICBM=]s, allowing the Chinese nuclear arsenal to remain a threat.
** A major plot point in ''The Bear and the Dragon'' is the CIA was able to get access to the private records of a Chinese Politboro member about what went on in their meetings, allowing them to know what China's leadership decided on in their meetings within a day of them making the decisions. In ''Threat Vector'' it gets mentioned that the Politboro member in question died a few months after the events of that book, rendering their source useless and leaving the US government in the dark as to what the new Chinese Politboro is up to.
** In ''The Bear and the Dragon'' Russia becomes a NATO member and has acquired the resources to attempt to revitalize their economy and bring their nation into the 21st century. In ''Command Authority'', Russia is still a mess, and Grushavoy's successor withdraws from NATO and starts on a plan to revert Russia back into the USSR.
* StrawmanPolitical: Clancy makes regular use of strawman liberals, pacifists, and environmentalists throughout his novels. The rare aversions (such as Arnie van Damm) are generally refreshingly honest and as even-handed as one might expect.
* TakeThat: Clancy takes the opportunity in several of his novels to note that none of the things that happen in Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels would ever pass muster in reality; in Clancy's own words, Fleming was a ''failed'' British spy. Pot shots are also taken at NBC and environmentalists in ''Executive Orders'' and ''Rainbow Six''. Occasionally, Clancy's author filibusters (see above) can veer into this territory.
* TearYourFaceOff: Multiple books feature somewhat graphic descriptions of a well-placed headshot plastering someone's face against a wall.
* {{Technobabble}}: Clancy's lengthy, loving descriptions of exactly how military technology works can occupy whole chapters. A typical example can be found in ''Sum of All Fears'', where a chapter is given over to describing how a thermonuclear bomb detonates. However, the process is plot-relevant, as the engineer who designed it didn't complete a step needed to ensure the detonation was as powerful as intended, providing a crucial clue that prevents all-out war.
* TechnologyPorn: Lots of equipment, especially military technology, gets long, lovingly detailed descriptions.
* TitleDrop: Done in most of his novels, with a few exceptions[[note]]''Without Remorse'', ''Cardinal of the Kremlin'' and ''The Bear and the Dragon'' are the only ones that don't[[/note]].
* TookALevelInDumbass: Almost all of Clancy's villains do this at one point or another in most of his books after ''The Sum Of All Fears''.
* TranquilFury: John Clark is master of this. He makes a CIA deputy director damn near piss his pants in fear without even raising his voice and while still speaking respectfully.
* UnreliableNarrator: Clancy writes a lot of enemy plotting from their POV (as the protagonists rarely meet the antagonists directly). As said enemy plotters are frequently ideological and/or mentally unbalanced, their assessment of an operation can differ radically from what it will or could actually achieve.


!!Film adaptations with their own trope pages include:

* ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'' (1990)
* ''Film/PatriotGames'' (1992)
* ''Film/ClearAndPresentDanger'' (1994)
* ''Film/TheSumOfAllFears'' (2002)

!! Film based on the series, but not an adaptation of any specific work:
* ''Film/JackRyanShadowRecruit'' (2013)

!!The other film adaptations provide examples of:

* AdaptationDyeJob: In the books Cathy Ryan is a blue-eyed blonde, while nearly all the actresses who've played her have been brunettes.
* BadassBookworm: Jack Ryan, even more than in the books.
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