To look at him, you'd think that Johnny Maxwell is just an ordinary twelve-year-old. But weird stuff keeps happening to him. Of course, you could blame these Trying Times -- his parents are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce -- but really, the kinds of things we're talking about aren't part of a normal kid's routine. I mean, what would you do if...

...the aliens in your favorite video game surrendered instead of shooting back? At first, Johnny and his friends think it's part of the programming. But this scenario isn't in the manual. Then Johnny starts having incredibly lifelike dreams -- where he's at the controls of a starfighter, and the alien fleet, hanging in space before him, is waiting for him to lead them safely home. As hard as it was trying to save Mankind from the Galactic Hordes, it's even harder trying to save the Galactic Hordes from Mankind. But hey, it's only a game, isn't it?

...Or if you started seeing the dead -- just as their cemetery was about to be demolished? Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). But Johnny can, and he's got bad news for them: the town council wants to sell the cemetery and put up an office complex. But the dead have learned a thing or two from Johnny, and they're not going to take it lying down, especially since tomorrow is Halloween...

...And what if your local bag lady turned out to be a time traveler? Johnny and his friends discover Mrs. Tachyon semi-conscious in an alley. It seems there's more to Mrs. Tachyon than a squeaky wire cart and a bunch of mysterious black bags. Somehow this wizened little woman holds the key to different times and different eras-including the Blitz of 1941. Suddenly ''now'' isn't the safe place Johnny thought it was as he finds himself bound up more and more with ''then''...

The ''Johnny Maxwell Trilogy'' is a series of three books comprising ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', ''Johnny and the Dead'' and ''Johnny and the Bomb'', written by Creator/TerryPratchett. It concerns the adventures of Johnny Maxwell and his friends, Wobbler, Bigmac, Yo-less, and Kirsty, as they deal with whatever weird thing the Universe throws at them this week. ''Only You Can Save Mankind'' has been adapted for radio, the other two for TV (''The Dead'' for ITV in 1995 and ''The Bomb'' for TheBBC in 2006). There's also been a [[AllMusicalsAreAdaptations stage musical]] of ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', with accompanying soundtrack CD.

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!!Johnny Maxwell Trilogy contains examples of the following tropes:

* ActionGirl: Kirsty.
* AcePilot: Kirsty.
* TheAce: Kirsty (duh.)
** Deconstructed: Despite being good at anything she turns her hand to, her arrogance and aloofness kept her friendless until she met Johnny.
* AirVentPassageway: Johnny and the Captain in ''Only You Can Save Mankind''. Subversion, the Captain complains about it being hard to navigate.
* AlmostFamousName: A running joke in ''Johnny and the Dead'' in regard to the local cemetery. For instance, Einstein is buried there -- not AlbertEinstein the physicist, but Solomon Einstein the taxidermist.
* BadassBookworm: Kirsty isn't just brainy -- she also knows karate.
* BedsheetGhost: A pink bedsheet. With flowers.
-->'''Wobbler''': What are you, a gay ghost?
* BerserkButton: Try and call Kirsty "little lady". See what happens.
* BlackAndNerdy: Yo-less
* BlackBestFriend: Yo-less again.
* BlitzEvacuees: One of them [[spoiler: turns out to be Wobbler's grandfather.]]
* ButterflyOfDoom: Both played straight and subverted.
* CanonWelding: The shop from ''Literature/{{Truckers}}'' has been relocated to Blackbury.
* ChangedMyJumper: Perhaps it would have been a better idea to keep it on.
* TheChosenOne: Johnny. Pretty much by the process of elimination.
* CityOfAdventure: Blackbury.
* CommonalityConnection: Kirsty thinks she has this with the alien captain who is female; Johnny, trying to recruit her support, does not mention that she's wrong about sexism being the captain's problem because it's a matriarchial species.
* CondensationClue: Wobbler writes down the license plate number of some thugs' van by huffing on a car window and using his fingertip, then keeps huffing on it so it'll remain visible.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Kirsty.
* ConversationalTroping: If TV Tropes existed in the Johnnyverse, all five of the main characters would be regulars.
* CopyProtection: [[TruthInTelevision Utterly ineffective.]]
* CrazyPrepared: For a while Johnny kept a bucket of water in his room in case he [[SpontaneousHumanCombustion spontaneously combusted]].
* TheCrocIsTicking: Mrs. Tachyon's squeaky-wheeled shopping cart
* CulturalRebel: Yo-Less
* DefensiveFailure: That's what the Gunnery officer ''thought'' would happen.
* TheDeterminator: Kirsty, because anyone calling her {{plucky|Girl}} would live to regret it.
* DueToTheDead
* EasyEvangelism: Averted. Here is Johnny trying to teach Kirsty about nonviolent approaches:
-->'''Kirsty''': Do you know, there was an African tribe once whose nearest word for 'enemy' was 'a friend we haven't met yet'?
-->'''Johnny''': Right. That's how...
-->'''Kirsty''': But they were all killed and eaten in eighteen hundred and two. Except for those who were sold as slaves. The last one died in Mississippi in eighteen sixty-four, and he was ''very upset''.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Kirsty doesn't like her name. Or any of the other names she comes up with after a week or so.
* ExpospeakGag: The Captain's food order, which includes such delights as "pressed wheat extractions treated with sucrose". [[spoiler:Breakfast cereal.]]
* ExtravertedNerd: Yo-less.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Johnny
** TheLancer: Kirsty
** TheBigGuy: Big Mac
** TheSmartGuy: Yo-less
** TheChick: Wobbler (because Kirsty point-blank refuses to fill this role).
* FlatEarthAtheist: William Stickers.
* AFriendInNeed
* FruitCart: Lampshaded.
* FurAndLoathing: Subverted. Kirsty was noted for calling on old ladies for wearing fur, but she [[PrettyInMink puts on a fur coat]] as a disguise going back in time.
* TheGameComeToLife: The plot of ''Only You Can Save Mankind''.
* GenreSavvy: [[ConversationalTroping Continual references to movies]] make it clear the kids have some idea of what to expect.
* GetBackToTheFuture: Wobbler gets stranded in the forties by a GrandfatherParadox which the rest of the kids then have to repair.
* GhostAmnesia: The living need to remember. The dead need to forget.
* GoodWithNumbers: Bigmac has a natural ability at mathematics, which distresses him because "[[TallPoppySyndrome he tries really hard to be a big thicko]]".
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: Happens to the ghost of the communist William Stickers in ''Johnny and the Dead''.
* HomelessPigeonPerson: Mrs. Tachyon and Guilty
* IHaveManyNames: Kirsty can't seem to make up her mind on what names she likes.
* ImMrFuturePopCultureReference: Yo-less' friends explain his presence to the Forties people in ''Johnny and the Bomb'' as him being a foreign prince -- "Prince {{Sega}}, all the way from Creator/{{Nintendo}}".
* ImplacableMan: the Screewee Empire are genuinely fearful of the protagonist's ability to keep coming back every time they kill him.
* InsufferableGenius: Kirsty.
* InventorOfTheMundane: [[spoiler: Wobbler]] is left in the past, unable to return to his time due to a paradox. While taking TheSlowPath, he uses his knowledge of the present to "invent" fast food restaurants.
* ItsForABook: The universal "out" for getting grownups to let you do things: "I'm doing a project on it."
* IWishItWereReal: Nobody made any wishes, but the aliens still gained some semblance of reality.
* JiveTurkey: Yo-less gets his nickname because he ''isn't'' one, and never says "yo".
* KillHimAlready: Johnny and the Gunnery Officer.
* LetsMeetTheMeat: A variation is discussed, Yo-less doesn't trust ice cream that wants you to eat other ice cream.
* LittleMissBadass: Kirsty.
* MagneticMedium: Johnny.
* {{Malaproper}}: Often comes from Johnny's supporting cast.
* MediumAwareness: A big part of ''Only You Can Save Mankind''.
* MeaningfulName: Mrs. Tachyon. Tachyons are theoretical particles that appear to move faster than the speed of light; according to general relativity, they're actually moving slower than light, but backwards in time...
* TheMenInBlack: Referenced several times.
* MrImagination: Johnny, to the point that his imaginations spills over into the real world.
* MurphysBullet: Of all the places to hit...
* {{Nerd}}: All four boys aren't even allowed to be nerds because they're not cool enough.
* NamesakeGag: In ''Johnny and the Dead'', [[StrangeMindsThinkAlike two unconnected people]] think that the telephone was invented by Sir Humphrey Telephone.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: Johnny successfully avoided his past self. Very lucky for him and his lamp.
* TheNicknamer: Johnny is the "official nickname generator".
* NighInvulnerability: Johnny and his Thousand Extra Lives.
* TheNineties: The books were written and (TimeTravel aside) set at this time.
* NoodleIncident: Johnny found the Loch Ness Monster in his goldfish pond, discovered a lost city behind Tescos and found a cave which may have had a wizard sleeping in it. We don't get told much more.
** The 'lost city behind Tesco' bit might be a reference to the Nomes series. Especially since this was later retconned as taking place in Blackbury.
* NoOSHACompliance: The alien spaceships after Kirsty gets there become quite dirty.
* NotAGame: War, that is. ''Only You Can Save Mankind'' goes into it several times.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: It seems in-between their adventures the heroes are quite bored for most of the time.
* TheOneGuy: Gunnery Officer.
* TheOnlyOne: Inverted. The players of the video game respawn, while the aliens are KilledOffForReal. Also, you're not the only one who can save mankind, and mankind isn't really in that much danger - the aliens are.
* OopNorth: Blackbury
* OpeningScroll: Parodied, and described as "the bit [the developers of the titular computer game] stole from ''StarWars''".
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: And resent the term.
* OldSchoolDogfight: Though the spaceships in ''Only You Can Save Mankind'' have a few missiles, most of the work has to be done by guns.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Bigmac, Wobbler, and Yo-less. Though we do eventually find out Wobbler and Bigmac's names.
* OrWasItADream: It seems Johnny's adventures are taking place in between his own imagination and the real world. Although Kirsty and her [[spoiler: pickled onion]] point towards the latter.
** WordOfGod [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/johnny-and-the-bomb.html sums it up]]: "Is what happens in the books real? Yes. Does it all happen in Johnny's head? Yes."
* PaintingTheMedium: Kirsty can pronounce ''italics'' [and brackets].
* PatrioticFervour: Bigmac in ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', which is set during the First Gulf War. His attempts to inspire it among the other boys, especially Johnny, aren't successful.
* PoliceAreUseless: not only do they get in the way, but they fail to get in the way very successfully.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: averted in a scene in which a shopkeeper in 1941 uses a racial insult to refer to Yo-less. He is about as impressed as you'd expect.
* PunnyName: [[http://blog.debiles-grinsen.de/?p=39 William Stickers]].
* RealityWarper: Johnny when in a state of extreme stress.
* ResignedToTheCall: Johnny. As contrasted with Kirsty, who tends to [[JumpedAtTheCall Jump At The Call]].
* RiddleForTheAges: We never find out what United Amalgamated Consolidated Holdings actually ''does''.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: The plot of ''Johnny and the Dead'' comes straight from a contemporary scandal when Westminster Council sold three cemetaries for 5p each.
* SchrodingersButterfly: At one point in ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', Johnny briefly becomes uncertain whether he's a boy who's having recurring dreams about being a space pilot or a space pilot who's having recurring dreams about being a boy.
* SeinfeldianConversation: While discussing the possibility of TeleFrag (see below), they use the example of your body being teleported into occupying the same area as a fridge, and then get sidetracked by arguing about whether you can say a fridge is made up of 'fridge atoms' or 'fridge molecules' or not.
* SeriousBusiness: The entire series revolves around Johnny taking a serious look at things other people dismiss as unimportant. Also, Kirsty takes ''everything'' seriously.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: The Captain trying to talk about Earth food. "Pressed wheat extractions treated with sucrose" indeed. [[spoiler:Breakfast cereal.]]
* ShootEmUp: ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', the game-within-the-book, is this, which makes negotiation difficult - "they don't make joysticks with a Don't Fire button".
* ShoutOut: Quite a few: [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/only-you-can-save-mankind.html]], [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/johnny-and-the-dead.html]], [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/johnny-and-the-bomb.html]].
** Sergeant Comely is very well known for having locked himself with his own handcuff and being part of the Blackbury [[Discworld/LordsAndLadies Morris men]].
** Mrs. Tachyon would like you to know [[Discworld/FeetOfClay MILLENNIUM HAND AND SHRIMP!]]
** The dark-robed boatman who collects one of the dead at the end of the second book [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: sounds awfully familiar ]]
.
* ShroudedInMyth
* SmartGuy: Kirsty. Yo-less sometimes fills in.
* SoapBoxSadie: Kirsty is a ruthlessly efficient version.
* SoleSurvivor: Only one of the "Blackbury Pals" made it home from WorldWarOne.
* SpaceFighter: In ''Only You Can Save Mankind''
* SpaceIsNoisy: Johnny finds out that space has a background noise, a low frequency hum. But since that part of the book may or may not take place in his dreams, it cannot be taken at face value. [[MindScrew Maybe.]]
** Wouldn't this be just the background hum of the gaming system instead?
* StealthPun: Johnny's sometime nickname, revealed in ''Only You Can Save Mankind'', is "Rubber". For those unfamiliar with British slang, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar a "rubber johnny" is a condom.]]
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: In ''Johnny and the Dead'', both Bigmac and the Dead come up with the idea that the telephone might have been [[NamesakeGag invented by Sir Humphrey Telephone]].
* SubliminalSeduction: Wobbler once returned a Music/CliffRichard single, claiming that when he played it backwards he could hear messages about staying in school and going to church.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: In ''Johnny and the Bomb'', Wobbler is unconvinced by Bigmac's claim that he doesn't know a thing, especially not about burgers.
* TalkativeLoon: Mrs. Tachyon.
* TalkingInYourDreams
* TeleFrag: It is theorized that occupying the same place as a solid object might be a very bad idea.
* TheTetrisEffect: Johnny initially believes his starfighter dreams are merely an example of this.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Johnny is shocked to find this is the case after a street is bombed; the victims are offered a SpotOfTea and start picking up the rubble almost immediately.
* TimeTravel:
** Both ForWantOfANail and InSpiteOfANail.
** HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: After giving it some thought, they decide not to kill Hitler after all
** ImMrFuturePopCultureReference: Yo-less is Prince Sega all the way from Nintendo.
** NewspaperDating
** OntologicalInertia: Present but not absolute.
** RippleEffectProofMemory: But only for Johnny [[spoiler: and Kirsty]]
** RubberBandHistory: To a degree.
** SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Present.
** TheSlowPath: [[spoiler: Wobbler]]
** TimelineAlteringMacGuffin: Averted.
** TimeMachine: A shopping trolley of all things.
** TimeMaster: [[spoiler: Johnny, but only for a little while.]]
** TimePolice: Referenced but averted.
** TimeTravelersAreSpies: Both Bigmac and Wobbler get mistaken for spies.
** TheTimeTravellersDilemma: A brief concern soon forgotten.
** TimeTravelTenseTrouble
** TimeTravelForFunAndProfit: [[spoiler: Wobbler opens a fast-food restaurant after being trapped in the past.]] Also whenever someone gives Mrs Tachyon a coin, she goes to whatever date is printed on it to spend it, getting the maximum value for money, e.g. if a 10p given in the '90s is dated 1961, it can be spent as 2 shillings or 24pence in 1961.
** UnstuckInTime: Mrs. Tachyon's mind.
* TokenGirl: Kirsty absolutely refuses to fit this trope, instead referring to the others as "four token boys".
* TwoDSpace: Defied when Kirsty ''doesn't'' fly like this.
* UrbanFantasy.
* VanInBlack: One chases Johnny and Kirsty.
* WalkingTechbane: Wobbler, half the time.
* WeirdnessCensor: People find it difficult to notice anything amiss, even when it's staring them right in the face. Johnny's complete lack of one is a major factor in the books.
* WeirdnessMagnet: Johnny.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Gunnery Captain is initially this, before turning AxCrazy. Kirsty can sometimes get carried away as well.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Perhaps the entire point of ''Only You Can Save Mankind''
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: An accusation leveled at Kirsty by Johnny.
* WinToExit: More accurately, "Exit To Win". The 'Border' that the Screewee must cross is revealed to be [[spoiler:a giant screen with the words "{{GAME OVER}}" on it.]]
* WithDueRespect
* YouGoGirl: Kirsty.
* YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever: Yo-less and his "fridge molecules". (Fridge Molecule Logic?) The former trope name is pretty much Kirsty's reaction to this.
* YourMindMakesItReal: averted.
** Though hinted at, in the SchrodingersButterfly scene.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: The goldfish Adolf and Stalin, who had offspring.

!!The TV adaptations additionally contains examples of the following tropes:

* AccidentalKiss: Kirsty gets overexcited and kisses Johnny.
* SexySoakedShirt: Kirsty's clothes get wet in ''Johnny And The Bomb''. As if she wasn't upset enough about having to wear a [[BerserkButton frock.]]
* {{Weenalized}}: In the ''Johnny and the Bomb'' Kirsty is sweet on Johnny, though the book never explicitly stated such a thing.

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