%%* {{Anvilicious}}
* CompleteMonster:
** Darphus is the former second in command of Xena before her HeelFaceTurn. Darphus earns Xena's disfavor by sacking innocent villages and slaughtering women and children [[ForTheEvulz for fun.]] When Xena objects, Darphus stages a [[TheStarscream coup on her]] after trying to force her to murder a baby. When Xena survives the gauntlet to leave the army, Darphus tries to have her killed anyways. After being killed by Xena, Darphus is [[BackFromTheDead revived by Ares]] and carries on a brutal campaign of slaughter where he also has care of Ares' monstrous pet. Darphus feeds innocent victims to said monster and shows no hesitation in killing his own men as well just for displeasing him.
** [[NamesToRunAwayFrom Mayhem]] from season 4ís "Prodigal Sister" is the leader of a renegade band of Amazons that routinely terrorizes the countryside in Greece and massacres entire villages, except for the little girls she turns into her weapons. Most Amazons who did raids would go for minimal loss of life, and are appalled by Mayhem's actions. She personally [WouldHurtAChild blinds Ruun]], (just after killing his parents and kidnapping his sister who she turns into a mindless killing machine) who's only five years old. Fast forward years later, when most of the renegade Amazons have rejoined the Amazonian Nation, Mayhem still leads raids which RapePillageAndBurn entire villages for fun. When confronted by Hercules, she laughs off that her actions will lead to an Amazon Civil War which will be crushed by the outside world. And finally, when confronted on what she did to Ruun and his sister Siri after she is beaten by Hercules she flat out says [[ItsAllABoutMe "So what, I turned her into the greatest Amazonian Warrior!"]]
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Even people who don't care for the show seem to agree that the title theme is this.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Iolaus for reasons stated in AscendedExtra on the main page. Autolycus and Salmoneus also became fan-favorites.
** Xena, who got popular enough to her own spinoff series that actually surpassed this on in popularity.
* GrowingTheBeard: The fifth season brought a more serialized (and at points, darker) approach to storytelling than previously, as well as giving the main cast members wider acting opportunities. The season also benefited from Kevin Sorbo having fully recovered from medical problems that prompted lessened roles the previous season. Both Sorbo and Hurst have spoken highly of Season 5, citing the energy that Kurtzman and Orci brought in as showrunners.
* HarsherInHindsight: In the ''Amazon Women'' TV-Movie, while talking about Iolaus' impending wedding, Hercules off-handedly brags that he might get a wife or two himself one day. His two marriages ended very badly, and he did not take any of that well.
* HilariousInHindsight: In "Les Contemptibles," Michael Hurst's French character suggests calling their LaResistance group "[[Franchise/PowerRangers the Powerful Rangers]]." When ''Power Rangers'' production was moved down to New Zealand, a number of local ''Hercules''/''Xena'' actors obtained various roles, including Michael "[[Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm Vexacus]]" Hurst himself.
** In "Porkules," [[Creator/BruceCampbell Autolycus]] argues with a talkative, intelligent parrot. Became kind of a staple of [[Series/JackOfAllTrades another series]] starring Campbell.
** In "Two Men And A Baby," Discord places Iolaus and Nemesis in a trap to fall their deaths. It starts out as a SadisticChoice for Hercules, but he manages to pull off [[TakingAThirdOption a third option]] to save both his heroic sidekick and LoveInterest. Sounds like [[Film/SpiderMan another production]] that Creator/SamRaimi would be involved with.
* HoYay: Herc and Iolaus aren't quite as explicit as Xena and Gabrielle (not that this is saying much), but have you ''read'' some of the FanFiction?
** Hell, have you read ''[[OlderThanTheyThink the original myth]]''?
** Hercules and Iolaus are pretty damn prominent in the HoYay department ''without'' the fanfic. For example, every time Iolaus dies, Hercules is at first grief-stricken (insert BigNo) and then he immediately goes to whatever Underworld is nearest to get him back. Iolaus' death in season 5 puts him in the biggest HeroicBSOD ''ever'', with him not eating, sleeping or shaving for 3 days, and then him getting angry at the fact that Nebula and Iolaus were together and that ''her'' grief isn't as great as his, and then, after failing to get him back from the Underworld, he ''gives up helping people entirely'' and takes Nebula's ship for a suicide run into a storm screaming "I don't care anymore!" The fact that Iolaus' death is more damaging and painful for Herc than the deaths of both Serena and ''his own family'', moving him to nigh suicidal depression and making him say that he never wants to go back to Greece again is pretty damn suspicious.
*** And then, when [[spoiler:Dahak]] traps Iolaus inside his own dead body and won't let him move on, he comes to try to seduce him into opening his heart to him. First he tries the form of Iolaus' father to try to make Iolaus think he is in the Elesian fields. And then he tries a number of forms to appeal to him. First he tries Nebula with "is this what you want, lover?" And then tries ''Hercules'', which he stays in. The entire sequence is so full of subtext that even writers of ''Xena'' would be applauding. YMMV whether you consider Hercules going ''inside Iolaus'' [[spoiler:when he's trying to exorcise Dahak]] means anything.
*** Afterwards, when Herc takes Iolaus' double to Iolaus' grave (yeah, bringing Iolaus' double back from another universe in order to partner up with him doesn't look suspicious...), Iolaus' double says "I'll leave you to spend some time alone with him" and Herc says "I've had hundreds of those." However you interpret that, it at the very least means he has come back to Iolaus' grave a ridiculous number of times.
** Even in the earlier, campy series, there are constant references to how close they are. They are always "partners", each "part of each other", and even at one point when Iolaus goes off for a quick one-night stand with a sex friend of his, Aphrodite quips "what, you and Herc don't do that for each other?" with both of them just smiling knowingly. Even Iolaus' long list of short one-night-stands with women but never any real relationships looks suspicious (and Hercules has no casual sex whatsoever, and no real relationships until ''after'' Iolaus is dead and he's grieved).
*** Then there's this in season 4:
----> '''Nebula''': Quite a firm handshake between you two.
----> '''Iolaus''': Yeah, so?
----> '''Nebula''': So I think it's great.
----> '''Iolaus''': Well I'm glad you approve.
----> '''Nebula''': Yeah. So, how long you two've been together?
----> '''Iolaus''': We've been ''partners'' since we were kids.
----> '''Nebula''': Oh, "partners."
* MemeticMutation: A clip of the Sovereign [[{{Narm}} Narm-tastically]] shouting "DISAPPOINTED!!" has achieved some popularity, particularly among LetsPlay/ProtonJon's fanbase.
* MoralEventHorizon: The murder of Hercules' family was this for Hera. Before, their antagonistic relationship was more like business as usual. Afterwards, it became personal.
** As far as Hercules is concerned, Zeus arguably has two of these - 1) for not stopping what happened to Herc's family (he was having an affair at the time), and later 2) for not stopping Serena from being killed. Both cases involved members of Zeus' pantheon waging a war on Hercules and Zeus not keeping them in line despite opposing what they do.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Hercules' daughter Ilia grew up to be [[Series/PowerRangersRPM Ranger Operator Series Yellow]].
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Some of the earlier CGI and blue screen effects have ''not'' aged well. (To be fair, the budget wasn't exactly high.) Hilariously, [[SelfDeprecation this was referenced]] in "For Those of You Just Joining Us":
-->'''Ares:''' What about those cheesy blue screen effects? They look so fake.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: Hercules often chastises people for their sacrifices and blind worship, telling them that the Olympians don't care about their suffering and won't help them regardless of what they do. He's usually right in that regard, but sometimes he's faced with everyday, good people that aren't lucky enough to be half-god. From ''Circle of Fire'':
-->"It's easy for you to go around disrespecting the gods! There'll always be a place at the table for you up on Mount Olympus, but we're at the gods' mercy! Our faith, our sacrifices is all that stand between us and death!"
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: A late episode has Zeus raise Hercules to full godhood after [[spoiler: the death of his mother]]. When Hercules finally confronts him over some odd behavior Zeus admits that he did this because [[spoiler: he wanted Hercules to protect him from the other gods]]. After Hera is banished to Tartarus this plot point is never brought up again and we never see much to suggest that the [[spoiler: other gods are considering getting rid of him]].
** I don't think it would be a problem afterwords. It would take all the gods including Hera to confidently overthrow Zeus. She was one of the most powerful so without her they did not have the raw power. Her getting thrown into Tartarus would have scared the others into falling back in line. Finally, the gods quarrel with each other as Zeus. Without a strong leader to unite them they could not get their act together to do anything to Hera.
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