%% Zero Context Example entries are NOT allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
When Thomas wakes up, all he knows is his name and the fact that he can't see a thing. When he's released, things only get stranger. Thomas finds himself in the Glade, a walled-in sanctuary in a giant maze that [[MobileMaze rearranges itself every night]]. Outside are walls without exits, a cliff jump to nowhere, and disgusting creatures called grievers. Inside, there is only a population of boys who remember only their names, who have struggled every day for two years to find a way out.

The next day, a girl arrives in the Glade for the first time. Her name is Theresa and she's in a coma. Who is she? Why is she there? Why does Thomas feel so drawn to her? And more importantly, will any of them ever escape?

''The Maze Runner'' is a novel series written by James Dashner. It currently consists of five books and a supplementary material:
* ''The Maze Runner'' (October 6, 2009) \\
Tells the Phase One of the Trial. Thomas and his fellow Gladers work to find a way to escape the Maze and learn the truth of whoever is responsible for their predicament.
* ''The Scorch Trials'' (September 18, 2010) \\
Tells the Phase Two of the Trial. The Gladers go through the unforgiving landscape of the Scorch in order to reach the "Safe Haven".
* ''The Death Cure'' (October 11, 2011) \\
Thomas and five of his friends escape from the WICKED compound and as a result must evade relentless capture. They learn of a rebellious organization who has realized the futility of WICKED's experimentation and wants to shut them down for good.
* ''The Kill Order'' (August 14, 2012) \\
Set thirteen years before the events of the first book, it tells the story of Mark, a teenager who survives the radiation event and the initial onslaught of the Flare virus.
* ''The Maze Runner Files'' (January 1, 2013) \\
A companion book that mostly explains what happens behind-the-scenes in WICKED. It is divided into three sections.
* ''The Fever Code'' (September 27, 2016) \\
Chronicles Thomas' life after WICKED took him but before he was sent into the Maze. It is told within the span of about ten years.

A film franchise started in 2014, with TheFilmOfTheBook. For more information on the films, click '''[[Film/TheMazeRunnerSeries here]]'''.
!!The Books Provide Examples Of:
%% * ActionGirl: Every major female character.
* AdamAndEvePlot: [[spoiler:The ending. Out of the entire human race, only a select few are able to resist the influence of the Flare virus. They are thus humanity's last hope to rebuild the Earth. However, that last few actually number several hundreds, which is far more realistic than the usual application of this trope]].
* AdultsAreUseless: Well, to their credit, the adults did relieve the effects of the initial Flare radiation, but they were also responsible for [[spoiler: the release of the Flare virus, which affected the world even more than the radiation did.]] And somehow they still believe that with their great minds everything could be returned the way they were. [[spoiler: So they do the experiments, subjecting hundreds of innocent children into horrific and meaningless tests that destroy them psychologically and physically, only to dispose of them if they don't serve right. All the while patronizing them as severe as possible]]. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard It backfires on them]] by the end of the trilogy: [[spoiler: most of the Immunes are children and teenagers because they were born during or after the spread of the virus. Only a handful of adults, like Jorge, get the immunity and are allowed to enter the Safe Haven. Everyone else is condemned to the hellish life of the rest of the Earth.]]
%%* AfterTheEnd
* AlternativeCalendar: The series is set so far in the future that the calendar year has to be reset to one, although the months, days, and 24-hour clock remain intact. The "[[GreatOffscreenWar War of 2020]]" is mentioned, so it can be assumed that the original year count stopped at 2020 at the earliest. The Flare radiation happened in 217, while the release of the Flare virus was in 219. The main trilogy is set in 232.
* AmnesiacHero: Every Glader comes up in the Box with their memories completely wiped by WICKED, save for their name. While they are able to get some of their memories of the outside world back during the Changing after being stung by a Griever, those who go through it forget almost everything soon after, and itís implied that thatís [[CrapsackWorld for the best.]] [[spoiler: In ''The Death Cure'', the remaining Gladers are given the choice to have their memories returned; however, Thomas, Minho, and Newt refuse.]]
* AnchoredShip: Thomas and Teresa. They both clearly have a strong connection towards each other, and when she arrives Thomas basically acts like they're already in a relationship. However, there was never any confirmation on Teresa's part save for a few kisses here and there, with dubious meanings. Add to that the fact that they're constantly trying to stay alive and being manipulated by WICKED, this ship had problems taking off from the beginning.
* AnyoneCanDie: No one is safe in the series, not even the main characters that the readers would expect have PlotArmor to go with. The first book kills off [[spoiler:the TagalongKid and the youngest Glader, Chuck]], and the third book -- ''The Death Cure'' kills off [[spoiler:one of the main sidekicks, Newt, and a LoveInterest, Teresa]]. Then there's the first prequel, ''The Kill Order'', which sees the deaths of [[spoiler:''the entire main cast'' (Mark, Alec, Trina, and Lana), with the only surviving major character (Deedee/Teresa) being only introduced two thirds of way to the novel]].
* ApocalypseHow: The series turns out to be set after a Class 2 one of these: [[spoiler:A combination of Solar Flares and a virus, collectively known as the Flare, has wiped out civilization outside a few tiny bases, leaving the world a barely-habitable wasteland roamed by the AxCrazy [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Cranks]], with some parts having been scoured of all life.]]
* ApocalypticLog: Both the "Confidential Files" and "Recovered Correspondences" entries in ''The Maze Runner Files'' are formatted like this. Chancellor Anderson's last letter, written in jumbled letters ([[{{Fingore}} he lost three of his fingers]]) and containing a message to [[spoiler: let the Immunes live free]] is a notable case.
* ArcWords: ''WICKED is good.''
* AxCrazy: Due to the Flare being a HatePlague of sorts, those who are infected with it begin to show symptoms of paranoia, hallucination, and extreme, unwarranted violence: as they descend into madness and eventually pass [[DespairEventHorizon the Gone]], they become insane shells of their former selves, gruesomely attacking anything that moves and even resorting to cannibalism.
* BashBrothers: Thomas and Minho. As the two really work well with each other during fights.
%% ** To a lesser extent, Thomas and Newt as well.
* BerserkerRage: In ''The Scorch Trials'', [[spoiler:after getting fried by lightning and kick around by Jorge, Minho snaps and mercilessly beats on him till Thomas gets him to stop]].
* BigBad:
** [[DragonInChief Assistant Director Janson]], better known as "the Rat-Man", is the primary antagonist of the series.
** Gally more or less serves as this in the first book, where WICKED is monitoring things off-screen for the majority of the book. It's more explicit in [[FilmOfTheBook the movie]].
%% * BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Minho, along with the other Gladers and Jorge, in ''The Scorch Trials''.]]
* BittersweetEnding:
** [[spoiler:By the end of ''The Death Cure'', many of the characters from the first book are dead (including Chuck, Teresa and Newt), there's no cure for the Flare and the Immunes will inherit the Earth. Thomas, Minho, Brenda, Jorge and the 200 Immunes begin rebuilding civilization in a safe place far from the Scorch]].
** The prequel ''The Kill Order'' also ends this way. [[spoiler:Mark, Alec, Trina, and Lana all die over the course of the story, but at least they manage to transfer Deedee to the PFC base in Alaska, where she would be safe. However, the following book reveals that Deedee really is Teresa, whom we all know bite the dust in the long run, downsiding their achievements a bit]].
* BodyHorror: The Changing a.k.a the effects of the Griever sting. Green-ish black veins all over your body, blood shot eyes, blackened lips and gums, along with a distorted voice and general pain so great it makes you pass out.
* BungledSuicide: [[spoiler:Itís revealed in ''The Death Cure'' that Newt tried to kill himself by jumping off one of the Walls some time before Thomasís arrival. He survived, but broke his leg, hence his permanent limp.]]
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Lots. Medics are called "Med-Jacks", butchers are called "Slicers", etc.
* CassandraTruth: Gally repeatedly tells everyone that Thomas is not to be trusted, and that he probably has something to do with them all being stuck in the maze. Obviously, considering that Gallyís proven himself to be a {{Jerkass}} with a mean streak, most of the Gladers ignore him. [[spoiler:Itís later revealed that he and Teresa were actually the ones in charge of building and designing the Maze project.]]
* TheCavalry: [[spoiler:Chancellor Paige]] is this [[spoiler:at the end of ''The Death Cure''. [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure She finally sees that WICKED has gone too far]] and implements [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere her plan]] to get the rest of the Immunes away to safety so that the human race can survive, which she begins by rescuing Thomas from an imminent cranioectomy. Notably, until ''The Fever Code'', Paige herself [[TheGhost never appears in person in the series]]]].
* CentralTheme: Running. [[spoiler: The protagonists don't get to properly stop and sit down until the end of ''The Death Cure'']].
* ChildhoodFriends: [[spoiler:This is what Thomas, Teresa and Aris are revealed to be, having grown up together under WICKED's care]]. Somewhat retconned in ''The Fever Code'' as [[spoiler: Aris and his fellow Elite Rachel didn't start to get closer with Thomas and Teresa until they were about 14, when Paige called them to coordinate handling the Purge.]]
* ClosedCircle: ''The Maze Runner'' features a place called the Glade. A bunch of teenagers are trapped in it with no memory of their lives before they woke up there. The Doors open at dawn and close at dusk, but only lead to a giant maze with no way out. Better yet, the Maze changes every night while the doors are closed. Oh, and if you're in the Maze at night, giant metal monsters attack you.
%% ** ''The Scorch Trials'', starts with yet another closed circle.
%% * ColdBloodedTorture: In ''The Scorch Trials'', Thomas gets this in the Scorch from a group of girls after they take him hostage.
* CrapsackWorld: The world is crawling with those infected with the Flare and even those not infected have proven themselves to be just as nasty. Nearly everybody is willing to kill the protagonists (and everybody else) and there's nearly nothing in the way of plant life either.
%% * DeadpanSnarker:
%% ** Minho.
%% ** While not as immediately noticeable, Newt also goes into SarcasmMode plenty of times.
%% ** And Thomas picks it up from them.
* DespairEventHorizon: After getting stung by a Griever and recovering some of his memories, Alby completely loses hope, knowing just what the world outside the Maze is like.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Chuck dies in Thomas' arms.]]
* DoomedHometown: ''The Kill Order'' opens with Mark living peacefully in a small Appalachian village with the other survivors of the Flare. No guess that it's going to meet a grisly end, if only so Mark can go outside his comfort zone.
* DoubleStandard:
** InUniverse. Group B, made up of a group of girls who had their own maze journey, are quick to flaunt the fact that they rescued more people and killed more Grievers than the stupid ugly boys. The fact of the matter is that they were given much better equipment to do it with, not to mention actual supplies for the Scorch Trials.
** Teresa's manner makes it obvious that she considers herself smarter than most of the men around her, by default. Although in her case, that's very much in-character.
* DwindlingParty: Near the end of ''The Maze Runner'' the Grievers settle on a pattern of taking someone every day. ''The Scorch Trials'' continues the trend with more diverse death-dealing implements.
* EldritchAbomination: The Grievers are small versions. Half mechanical, half organic killing machines. All mysteriously and frighteningly lethal. They represent the reality-bending phenomena surrounding the maze; their patterns are unknowable and their presence constant. Meeting one ''will'' result in the danger of painful death.
* TheEndingChangesEverything: Ava Paige's epilogue in ''The Death Cure'' shows that [[spoiler:she is still devoted to WICKED's cause, even after having turned on most of them. She altered WICKED's mission objectives in a way that put her on the protagonists' side, though, and she was genuinely sorry for some of the things she did. The same epilogue also implies that Brenda and Jorge were following her orders to the end.]]
* FallenStatesOfAmerica: The United States collapsed shortly after the radiation hit. Or at least just the government; some cities work independently and provide refuge only if the people can show identification that they are not infected. Denver is mentioned in ''The Death Cure'' to be the largest and possibly one of the last ones. ''The Kill Order'' has Asheville, but by the time Mark and company reach there, it is on the final stages of desertion.
* FightingFromTheInside:
** At the end of the first book, after they escape the Maze, Gally (who had disappeared quite some time before) [[spoiler:ends up shooting Chuck.]] In ''The Death Cure'', itís revealed that [[spoiler:it was all a trial created by WICKED, which had been controlling both Gally and Chuck the entire time. Gally had considered Chuck like a brother to him, and ended up going at least partially insane from grief after the fact.]]
** In the third book, [[spoiler: Newt is infected with [[HatePlague the Flare]]; due to having been mentally overstimulated by all of the tests over the preceding few years, the diseaseís progression speeds up to the point where heís teetering on the edge of the Gone by five days. While he tries to fight the symptoms (aggression, paranoia, sudden violence) as the disease progresses in an effort to keep his friends safe, he eventually succumbs, and Thomas has to MercyKill him.]]
%% * FourTemperamentEnsemble:
%% ** Thomas: [[color:black: Melancholic]]
%% ** Minho: [[color:gold: Choleric]]
%% ** Brenda: [[color:red: Sanguine]]
%% ** Jorge: [[color:green: Phlegmatic]]
* FunWithAcronyms:
** WICKED, [[spoiler:'''W'''orld '''I'''n '''C'''atastrophe: '''K'''illzone '''E'''xperiment '''D'''epartment. Where Killzone is a malapropism for the mind-brain construct]].
** FIRE, [[spoiler:'''F'''lare '''I'''nformation '''R'''ecovery '''E'''ndeavor]].
* FutureSlang: The series is riddled with this. "Shanks," "Slinthead," "Greenie," and "Slim it" being prominent examples, with [[spoiler:Group B]] being implied to have their own.
* GeniusBruiser: The Runners, who are quick thinking cartographers who make maps while running marathons and have to stand a fighting chance against [[{{EldritchAbomination}} The Grievers]]. At a point before the main story, Thomas himself counted; he was a child prodigy [[spoiler:leading WICKED after the Purge of the first batch of Creators]], as well as extraordinarily fit and a decent fighter, as proven throughout the series.
* GoodAllAlong: [[spoiler: Chancellor Kevin Anderson in ''The Fever Code''. Despite Thomas demonizing all of WICKED executives with the exception of Doctor Paige, Anderson is pragmatic and only wants to search for a cure to the extent that it will be resolved quickly. When he finds out that it will take too long to find a cure before the Flare hits them all, he tries to stop the Test from moving beyond Phase One. Unfortunately, [[ManipulativeBastard Paige]] learns about it and uses an unwitting Thomas to dispose of him, then uses his account to write a letter "designating" her as his successor, as she wants the Test to continue.]]
* {{Gorn}}: While the first book isnít all that bad in terms of blood and gore (as a result of, until the very end, the only threat being the occasional Griever), once the second and third book come around and [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Cranks]] start showing up, the characters start experiencing loads of straight-out-of-a-horror-movie gore. In particular are some of the rather gruesome deaths and neardeaths: [[spoiler: being repeatedly stabbed in the chest, a molten silver ''thing'' ripping someoneís face and hair off, someone being shot point-blank in the head and their blood spraying onto their attacker, someone being horribly mangled by falling debris, et ceteraÖ]]
* GreaterScopeVillain:
** Chancellor Paige, the head of all the mess that is WICKED. [[spoiler:Eventually, though, the cruelty of that position gets to her and she decides to cut their losses and stop torturing people for a cure that might never come]].
** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters in ''The Kill Order'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the [=VC321xb47=] virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and committing suicide to prevent it spreading over as her last act of redemption]].
* HeelFaceTurn: ''The Death Cure'':
** [[spoiler:Gally turns from being Thomas' adversary into steadfast helper after he escapes from WICKED's custody and joins the Right Arm. It seems that this in part fueled by [[TheAtoner his regret for being directed to kill Chuck]]]].
** [[spoiler:Ava Paige, who realizes the errors of her ways and the fact that no cure for the Flare virus will ever be found. She decides to become a BigGood and gets Thomas and the Immunes to head for the paradise she has prepared for them, free from the Flare virus]].
%% * HeroicBSOD: Thomas has several over the course of the series. [[spoiler:Possibly his biggest one is when he believes Theresa betrayed him]].
* TheHeroDies: ''The Kill Order'' [[spoiler: kills off Mark, the narrator, at the end of Chapter 67]].
* HeroicSacrifice: At least two characters do this to protect [[spoiler:Thomas]].
** ''The Maze Runner'' has [[spoiler:Chuck TakingTheBullet for Thomas from Gally]].
** ''The Death Cure'' has [[spoiler:Teresa]] dying while saving [[spoiler:Thomas from falling debris as they try to escape WICKED for the last time]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Minho and Alby. As the latter puts it, "He's [Minho] the only one who can boss me around like that."
%% ** Possibly Newt and Alby. [[spoiler: Well, before Alby died, anyway.]]
* HowWeGotHere: ''The Fever Code'' essentially explains what happened in Thomas' life pre-Trials and why he ends up having to enter the Maze. [[spoiler: It even ends with Thomas being drugged and placed into the elevator, ready to be sent into the Glade. For added measure, the author attached the first two chapters of the first novel just to make it clear.]]
* IAmWho: Thomas and Theresa actually [[spoiler:helped design the Maze that they're trapped in]].
* ICannotSelfTerminate: While some of the Cranks in earlier stages seem horribly miserable and afraid of their impending FateWorseThanDeath, none of them ever commit suicide, and some are mentioned to have been administered a MercyKill by their loved ones. [[spoiler: In ''The Death Cure'', after Newt finds out he has the Flare, the literal first thing he does is write a note to Thomas begging him to kill him; as [[SanitySlippage the disease progresses,]] Newt repeatedly asks Thomas to put him out of his misery. [[TearJerker Thomas eventually complies.]] ]]
* IdiotBall: According to ''The Death Cure'', the Coalition government that [[spoiler:released the Flare didn't seem to realize that sometimes viruses ''mutate.'' Weren't these supposed to be the world's top scientists and biologists? Did they just forget that this happens? '''Especially''' considering radiation is a prime source of viral mutation, such as the intense solar radiation that the Earth was being subjected to? What did they think was going to happen?]]
* TheImmune: In ''The Death Cure'', turns out [[spoiler:most of the Gladers]] and [[spoiler:Brenda and Jorge, along with a very small percentage of the world's population called [[{{ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin}} "Immunes"]]]] are immune to the Flare. [[spoiler:Well, most of the Gladers except for Newt]]. In fact, being this is why [[spoiler:most of the Gladers were picked by WICKED in the first place, because they wanted to research their brains to find a cure]].
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: [[spoiler: While Thomas never mentions to Brenda that his group calls themselves Gladers, she ends up mentioning it in casual conversation. This foreshadows the fact that she and Jorge had actually been working for WICKED all along; she most likely knows the term because she heard them call themselves that while she monitored the Maze.]]
* InformedAbility: The Gladers are picked for their intelligence from their childhood, though few of them actually show any real genius other than setting up a system of order in the Glade. The best real example is sort of roundabout, but Minho and Thomas coordinate battle tactics and formations on the fly during firefights despite never having used guns before. Otherwise, they're of average outlook and just above-average intelligence.
* IntergenerationalFriendship:
** Jorge gets along well with many people much younger than him in age, including Brenda and Thomas. In the case of Brenda, he might as well be [[ParentalSubstitute a father figure]], as she already lost hers in a horrific manner.
** In ''The Kill Order'', Mark and Trina with Alec and Lana turn into a makeshift family after the Flare took away their family.
** ''The Fever Code'' reveals that Thomas has a pretty good understanding with Ava Paige, compared to his lukewarm-to-terrible relationship with pretty much other adults in the WICKED compound. [[spoiler: That is, until he discovers that she is whitewashing herself from her crimes.]]
%% * JigsawPuzzlePlot: Sometimes in ''The Scorch Trials''. [[spoiler: Jorge and Brenda's early characterization is more or less jettisoned with the explanation that WICKED forced them to play certain parts to test the protagonists]].
* KlingonPromotion: Officially, the Chancellor and all other executives of WICKED can be Purged once they are certain to be infected with the virus. Ava Paige ascended to her position this way, when her predecessor, Kevin Anderson, slowly turned into a Crank and absent mindedly bit three of his fingers. [[spoiler: Something that she is responsible for, as she wanted to get rid of him and continue the tests.]]
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Every Glader has had all his memories of his life before the Glade erased, save for their names.
%% * LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Thomas and Teresa argue like this all the time.
* LoveTriangle: While Thomasís original love interest is Teresa, he ends up growing closer to Brenda in the second book [[spoiler:after being separated from Teresa for an extended period of time, and finding out that she had betrayed him. He eventually ends up with Brenda, partially due to him never forgiving Teresa for what she had done and partially because of the girlís [[DroppedABridgeOnHim sudden death]] at the end of ''Death Cure''.]]
* MaybeEverAfter: In ''The Death Cure'', [[spoiler:Thomas' romantic arc with Brenda has this kind of ending. The series is closed with them HoldingHands while WatchingTheSunset in the safe haven, but there's nothing confirming that they're hooking up, although they might. But then, Thomas ''is'' still grieving for the loss of his friends, particularly Teresa]].
* MeaningfulRename: [[spoiler: Every subject of WICKED goes through renaming to remove all of their connections to their previous lives. The names are often taken from famous figures, either scientific or religious, with the idea that the children are hoped to achieve great success.]]
** [[spoiler: Stephen > Thomas]]
** [[spoiler: Deedee > Teresa Agnes]]
** [[spoiler: Toby > Frypan]]
** [[spoiler: Elizabeth > Sonya]]
%% * MeetCute: Thomas, meet Theresa.
%% * MadnessMantra: Several of the Cranks get stuck repeating these. "Rose took my nose, I suppose" is probably the most creative.
* MercyKill: In ''The Death Cure'', [[spoiler:Newt]] gives a note to [[spoiler:Thomas]], telling him not to read it until the time was right. The note begs for his death. Finally, [[spoiler:Thomas shoots a desperate Newt on his request]].
* MobileMaze: All the main characters are trapped in a small, protected area called the Glade, which is inside a giant maze that rearranges itself every night.
* TheMole: At the end of ''The Scorch Trials'', Thomas finds out that [[spoiler:Teresa and Aris has been working for WICKED all along. And Brenda. And Jorge. [[DiabolusExMachina And, uh..., it seems that WICKED can control anyone wherever they like as long as they have the control chips inserted into their brains]]. Naturally, this makes Thomas suffer from a ''very serious'' trust issue for the rest of the series]].
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: The Gladers' names are [[spoiler:not their real names, but names based on scientists and inventors and such that were planted in their memories]].
** Thomas is named after Thomas Edison.
** Newt is named after Sir Isaac Newton.
** Gally is named after Galileo Galilei.
** Alby is named after Albert Einstein.
** Chuck is named after Charles Darwin.
** Teresa is named after Mother Teresa. Her surname Agnes came from Mother Teresa's real name, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. The fact that she is named after a religious figure, whom the general public is less informed than scientific ones, is lampshaded in ''The Scorch Trials'' when Thomas cannot deduce whom Teresa is named after.
** Aris is named after Aristotle.
** Harriet is named after Harriet Tubman.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast:
** W. I. C. K. E. D. It doesn't stand for anything good, either: [[spoiler:"World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department."]]
** The Right Arm from ''The Death Cure''. It's a rebel organization devoted to fighting WICKED.
%% * NoOneGetsLeftBehind: In ''The Death Cure'', this is why [[spoiler:Thomas]] doesn't want to [[spoiler:kill Newt after he gets the Flare.]]
* OhCrap: Several moments; the best example is when [[spoiler: the wall that protects the Gladers from Grievers doesn't close one night, leaving them easy prey.]] Another good example is in the final book [[spoiler:when Thomas realizes that the [[{{WellIntentionedExtremist}} Right Arm]] is going to blow up the WICKED headquarters. While he, his friends, and the rest of the Immunes [[{{OutruntheFireball}} are still inside it.]]]]
%% * TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: [[spoiler:WICKED used to have one, but they all elected to commit suicide before they succumbed to the Flare, leaving Chancellor Paige, Thomas, and Theresa more or less in charge. The various scientists working the project act as one.]]
* OntologicalMystery:
** ''The Maze Runner'' has the main protagonists trapped in a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin maze]].
** ''The Scorch Trials'', is about them trapped in the deserts of a future Earth.
* ThePlague: The disease known as the Flare. [[spoiler:It was released by certain governments as a population control virus so that there would be less overflow to deal with in the aftermath of the super-solar flare strike on the Earth. [[DidntSeeThatComing Unfortunately, it targeted everyone.]]]]
* PlagueZombie: Those who contract [[MindVirus the]] [[HatePlague Flare]] eventually turn into insane, animalistic virus carriers called [[NotUsingTheZWord Cranks]] that donít have many distinguishing traits from regular old zombies.
* PreemptiveApology: In the Scorch, Teresa apologizes to Thomas in advance for [[spoiler:betraying, torturing, and attempting to kill him - we later learn that WICKED had promised that both she and Thomas would be safe if she played along. Needless of her motives, Thomas never fully accepts the apology.]]
* ThePromisedLand: The "Safe Haven", the main goal of the Gladers in ''The Scorch Trials''. Supposedly, they would receive a cure for the Flare there. [[spoiler:It seems to be a cop-out when all they find at the end is [[ExactWords a flag with "Safe Haven" written on it]], but ''The Death Cure'' reveals that WICKED ''does'' have a safe haven, although it's not a true reward for the Gladers. Chancellor Paige only reveals it when she's really certain that no cure for the Flare virus will ever be found]].
%% * ProperlyParanoid: Thomas and Minho are totally justified in being this, and it has saved their lives on a few occasions.
* PsychicLink: Thomas and Teresa can communicate with each other in their heads, even when Teresa is in a coma or unconscious. ''The Scorch Trials'' introduces Aris, [[spoiler:Teresaís Group B Counterpart]] who could do the same with a girl called Rachel, and even with Thomas, which makes the latter feel uncomfortable. [[spoiler:Brenda momentarily does the same thing to Thomas, warning him that things are gonna get worse. It's revealed in ''The Death Cure'' that this is the effect of technology implanted within their heads that can also be hacked into, cut off, or removed entirely]].
* TheReveal: There are a series of reveals throughout the books that, when strung together, give a coherent version of the backstory. [[spoiler: Sometime in the past, a solar flare intense enough to make it through our atmosphere caught the earth, frying it between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. The resulting rampant destitution made relief attempts almost impossible, so to lessen the burden some genius came up with the [[SarcasmMode incredibly smart plan]] to release a [[DepopulationBomb population control disease]] so there would be less people to deal with. The virus, soon to be known as the Flare, mutated into a HatePlague that almost the entire Earthís population caught. In order to combat it, the world's governments formed WICKED, tasked with finding a cure. WICKEDís approach was to brain-map the immune and try to transfer that immunity to the public. Unfortunately, the brain-mapping required would be ridiculously detailed and ultimately impossible. The first two novels in their entirety were stress tests used to remotely map the protagonistís brain patterns. The Maze, the Grievers, and the Scorch were all governed by WICKEDís [[SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology ridiculously advanced structural- and bio-engineering]], in an attempt to create the blueprint for a cure, that will require the brain of the Final Candidate to (maybe) be made a reality. Meanwhile, the "quarantined" cities are succumbing to infection due to corruption and selfishness]].
* SacrificialLion: In contrast to [[spoiler:the death of [[SacrificialLamb Chuck]] ]] at the end of the first book, [[spoiler: Thomas being forced to MercyKill an infected Newt in the third book is this in that it is the first of several deaths at the end of ''The Death Cure'', establishing that if things were already bad, theyíre going to get much worse in the final few chapters. Which they do, although the ending manages to be reasonably happy.]]
* TheSavageSouth:
** The Scorch. It is a wasteland full of crumbling structures and dilapidated environs that sustain nobody, except for the Cranks. It is also implied to be located in Mexico.
** In general, the Flare radiation hit the tropics hard. Most areas there were turned into desert virtually overnight due to the climate changing like crazy.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: In ''The Maze Runner'', Thomas, despite everyone telling him that Rule Number One of the Glade is to never go out at night, runs out while the gates are closing to help Minho and Alby.
* ShootTheDog: In ''The Death Cure'', after a rather painfully sad amount of buildup, Thomas is forced to [[spoiler:[[MercyKill shoot Newt]], his best friend, to save him from fully becoming a Crank]].
* SolarFlareDisaster: [[spoiler:Solar flares and a pandemic that followed led the the demise of civilization, save for a few bases here and there]].
* SouthOfTheBorder: The Scorch is implied to be located in post-apocalyptic Mexico.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Everything that happened in the first two books [[spoiler:had been planned by WICKED, all as part of their experiment on the protagonists. Come the third book, when Thomas, Minho, Newt, Jorge, and Brenda escape WICKED on a stolen Berg and meet up with [[LaResistance the Right Arm]] to try and take the organization down, they finally get in on some Spanner action and foil their plans.]]
%% * StrappedToAnOperatingTable: [[spoiler:Thomas in ''The Death Cure'' when [[{{FunWithAcronyms}} WICKED]] is trying to [[{{Squick}} remove his brain.]]]]
* SunkenCity: New York City has become one post-Flare. In ''The Kill Order'', Mark often flashes back to living in a skyscraper, because the city was flooded with scorching water after the solar flares melted the ice caps.
%% * SympathyForTheDevil: In a way, Thomas feels this way towards Gally in the end.
* TechnicallyLivingZombie: While [[PlagueZombie Cranks]] are not Ďzombiesí in the sense of Ďmonsters that have died and risen againí, the Flare has eaten away so much of their mental capacity that they have been reduced to animalistic creatures with a taste for human flesh - basically, zombies.
* TeenGenius: While all of the Gladers were selected for the Maze trials partially due to their high intellect, Thomas and Teresa take the cake [[spoiler: due to being the ones who quite literally designed the Maze itself.]] Itís somewhat of an InformedAbility, in that throughout the books the Gladers act like teenagers of fairly normal intellect while making decisions and attempting tasks.
* TomatoSurprise: ''The Fever Code'' has two epic ones:
** [[spoiler: Sonya, the co-leader of Group B, is Newt's younger sister.]]
** [[spoiler:Deedee, the little 5-year-old girl from ''The Kill Order'' who is shunned by people from her village for being an Immune? She's ''Teresa''. This is not a secret to anyone in-universe by this point, as she already told Thomas long ago.]]
* TooDumbToLive: In ''The Death Cure'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:the Flare was created by world governments as a method of population control, which begs the question of why they would release a deadly, contagious virus if they didn't have a cure for it first?]]
* TrueCompanions: Thomas, Chuck, Newt and Minho. They're always there for each other, even at the worst of times.
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll: In his introduction/DynamicEntry in ''The Scorch Trials'', Jorge pulls this off in front of the Gladers, possibly to highlight how insane heís becoming due to being an early-stage Crank. [[spoiler: Except that itís all an act, and heís been Immune the whole timeÖ]]
%% * UnresolvedSexualTension: Thomas and Brenda. [[spoiler:They may or may not be in a relationship by the end of the series]].
* UnusualEuphemism: The Gladers have several of these. "Klunk" means "feces," "shank" means "guy," and "shuck" is just an all-purpose euphemism.
* VillainOverride: [[spoiler:Thanks to the chips in all the subject's brains, WICKED can take control of them whenever they please. The subjects do seem to have some ability of resisting, but not for long. Gally gets taken control of at the end of "The Maze Runner" forcing him to kill Chuck. In "The Scorch Trials" Teresa is taken control of for a short time. Itís revealed in "The Death Cure" that WICKED took control of Chuck, casting doubt on whether his {{heroic sacrifice}} to save Thomas was genuine or not]].
* VillainousBreakdown: At the end of the third book, A.D. Janson gets a major one [[spoiler:during his fight with Thomas, partially because the Gladers have escaped and his plans have been foiled, and partially because he is becoming increasingly more deranged due to having contracted [[HatePlague the Flare]] sometime earlier.]]
* ViralTransformation: Cranks, zombielike victims of the Flare, end up becoming more and more undead-like in physical appearance as they spiral into madness. Specifically, their hair and some of their teeth fall out, gashes and patches of blood appear on their skin, and black veins begin to snake down their limbs. [[spoiler: Newt gets the symptoms rather severely when he becomes a Crank in ''The Death Cure''.]]
* TheVirus: The Flare, a MindVirus that drives one mad and turns those infected into animalistic, raging zombies. [[spoiler:It was originally released by world governments after the solar flares as a means of population control, but it mutated and spread uncontrollably...]]
* WatchingTheSunset: [[spoiler:The main trilogy ends this way, featuring Thomas and Brenda HoldingHands. It signifies that after all the running that Thomas has to endure throughout the series, he can finally sit down and get some rest]].
* WelcomeEpisode: The first several chapters of ''The Maze Runner'' start with Thomas having amnesia and being unkindly welcome by the surviving group in the Maze.
* WhamEpisode: Around Chapter 17 of ''The Maze Runner'', when [[spoiler:Thomas jumps into the Maze with Alby and Minho. Alby has been stung by a Griever, and the doors to the Glade shut behind them, trapping the three boys for the night. The previous chapters weren't exactly pretty, but things get ''bad'' at this point]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Understandably, most characters have a negative view of the Cranks, but some take it UpToEleven and lump them all together as wild animals, when only those who pass the Gone can be classified as such.
* WhatTheHellHero: At one point in ''The Scorch Trials'', [[spoiler:Teresa psychologically and physically tortures Thomas to a severe extent, because WICKED had requested her to do so, and she believed it was for the best]]. When Thomas recovers from the ordeal, he is understandably angry at Teresa, especially since she didn't try to find another way to go about things, as Thomas and his friends had on many occasions. Teresa believes she has nothing to apologize for, due to her being ordered to the make the hard choice between letting WICKED murder him, or hurting him emotionally herself. She gets annoyed at Thomas because he resents the way she treated him. Teresa acts like nothing happened and tries to continue their budding young romance, even kissing Thomas to shut him up. Thomas calls her out on her behavior [[spoiler: and is completely turned off to her for the rest of the series]].
%% * TheWomenAreSafeWithUs: Alby takes steps to ensure this as soon as Teresa comes out of the box.
And remember, ''WICKED is good.''