Characters: Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Adaptational Heroism: Rob Tapert has commented that they actively removed the Jerkass qualities from the myths to make Herc a down-to-Earth Nice Guy.
- Ancient Grome: Uses his Roman name, instead of Greek.
- The Ace
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Big Good: Many episodes point out how Herc is the hero, inspiring and protecting others.Zeus: You're the champion of mankind in a world that's frequently not fair and always not easy. The people know they can count on you.
- A later Xena crossover had Zeus admit that when push comes to shove, the Greeks hold Hercules in higher regard than the Olympians themselves."He has done something that we gods have tried and failed to accomplish. He's earned humanity's love in every gesture... except fear."
- A later Xena crossover had Zeus admit that when push comes to shove, the Greeks hold Hercules in higher regard than the Olympians themselves.
- Blue Oni: To Iolaus' Red Oni.
- Call to Agriculture: After marrying Deianeira, he settled down as a farmer—only going on adventures when absolutely necessary.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Seems like every time he runs into Zeus he does this.
- Celibate Hero: Herc actually had three serious relationships during the show, a previous one with Nemesis and a few other serious prospects. Not too shabby, but that's nothing compared to the many women he's turned down.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Despair Event Horizon: The death of his wife and kids at the beginning of the series. In Season 3, the death of Serena.
- Friend to All Children
- Genius Bruiser
- The Hero
- Heroes Love Dogs: He and his family had a pet dog. Also, in the Underworld TV-Movie, he saves the day by treating Cerberus as a dog instead of a monster.
- Humble Hero
- I Am Not My Father: And how.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Martial Pacifist
- My Greatest Failure: Being unable to protect his family from Hera."And I made some wrong turns, but I finally realized I had to do something with my life that would have made my wife and children proud."
- Papa Wolf
- Pungeon Master
- Sins of Our Fathers: Being Zeus' son, Hercules usually has to deal with anyone with an ax to grind—almost always Hera.Hercules: That's between you and Zeus.
Hera: No, you're what's between us! But if you die a horrible death, maybe he'll think twice next time his eyes start to wander—before he fathers any more half-mortal mongrels like you.
- Comes up also in "Web of Desire":Arachne: You'll pay for your father's crime.
Hercules: What else is new?
- Comes up also in "Web of Desire":
- Unwitting Pawn: To Dahak in "Faith" and the later Norse gods two-parter.
- We Help the Helpless
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He grew up desperately wanting to meet his dad. Even after all the problems and fighting, Herc admits he still has a blind spot when it comes to giving him second chances."The reason I didn't tell you about my relationship with my father is just that—there isn't one to talk about. He had the heavens and Earth on his shoulders. He didn't have time to think or care about me."
- World's Strongest Man: although just how strong he was varied according to the needs of the plot.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
- Ascended Extra: Was meant to be a one-off friend in Amazon Women whose death furthered the plot. However, Michael Hurst so impressed the producers that they changed the ending to leave Iolaus alive. The only reason Iolaus doesn't appear in the next three movies is because they were written before the change was made. Iolaus returned in the fifth movie and was a recurring character in the first two seasons before becoming a regular in Season 3.
- Back from the Dead: Died four separate times, but Hercules always found a way to bring him back. These repeated developments became causes for laughter among the crew and even got lampshaded in a few episodes.
- Badass Normal
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Dark and Troubled Past: Was a thief that got into trouble a lot and ran away from home.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fake Guest Star: The first two seasons.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Autolycus
- Genius Bruiser: Not to Herc's level, but when he takes the time to think his actions through, he comes up with some very clever plans.
- I Owe You My Life: Credits Herc with helping turn his life around.
- The Lancer
- Lightning Bruiser
- Odd Friendship: With Aphrodite.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: A recurring theme in the series. Iolaus is skilled, resourceful, and a kickass fighter. He is not, however, a super-strong demigod, so he sometimes winds up as this. Sometimes he is angry about it ("Pride Comes Before A Brawl" and "The Warrior Princess"), or introspective ("A Star To Guide Them"), or very aware of it ("Medea Culpa"), or it is used to mess with his head ("Redemption")."Look, I'm no oracle. There are a lot of things I don't understand, but from the first day I met you, I just knew that you were destined for something the rest of us could only dream about! People like me and Jason—normal people, we'll be lucky if our names are even mentioned in the same breath as yours. And that is not always easy to live with."
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Season 3.
- Red Oni: To Hercules' Blue Oni.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Xena in "The Warrior Princess."
- We Help the Helpless
- With This Herring: He uses fish quite often literally.
- Cool Old Lady
- Face Death with Dignity: In "Twilight," she knows her time is limited, but spends the day doing what she would normally do. Before dying, she says she has no regrets.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies peacefully in "Twilight."
- Mama Bear
- May-December Romance: With Jason, though it started off as a December-December Romance.
- Never Mess with Granny: So, you think Alcmene is just a helpless old woman without her demigod son to protect her? Think again.
- Parental Substitute: To Iolaus.
- So Proud of You: Often towards Hercules.
- Alpha Bitch: Though she became more lovable after her first appearance.
- Character Development: Started out as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing but gradually became more likeable. Was also The Ditz and while that never went entirely away it did lessen.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted.
- Hidden Depths: In "Reign Of Terror," she's devastated when a mortal friend of Hercules' is going to die."He respected me... for what he saw beneath the surface."
- Love Goddess: Share this role with her son Cupid.
- Noodle Incident: According to "The Apple," she owes Hercules a favor.
- Obfuscating Stupidity:Hercules: I know you. You're smarter than you let on.
- Odd Friendship: With Iolaus and Gabrielle.
- Proud Beauty
- Took a Level in Kindness
- Totally Radical
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: She falls for Hephaestus, the supposedly ugly god, because he sees her as more than a sex object.
- Valley Girl: Seems to be the inspiration for her voice and speech patterns.
- Ancient Grome: Like his uncle, uses his Roman name.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Quite literally where a curse from Hera makes him transform into a monster following a jealous fit.
- When You Coming Home, Mom?: Admits to some resentment that his mother is always busy elsewhere unless she needs him to do something for her.
- Winged Humanoid
- Composite Character: She's actually a combination of Hercule's first wife Megara (being his first wife, and murdered by Hera however Megara was indirectly killed by her in the myths,where Hera kills Deineira directly in the show)and Deianeira from the myths (the name, and the run in with the centaur)
- Killed Off for Real
- Demonization: He inadvertently does this to Hercules in "What's In A Name?" He takes his brother's identity to impress a woman, but her warlord step-father starts touting that he has the son of Zeus on his side.
- Overshadowed by Awesome
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: In "What's In A Name?", part of his problem is that he thinks Alcmene loves him less just for not being Hercules. He gets over it, though.
- Adaptational Heroism: They keep his leaving Medea for another woman, but the implication is that he had a formal divorce and didn't do so lightly. He is also devastated by what happened to his children (with dialogue implying he witnessed it) and trying to make up for what has happened.
- The Alcoholic: In his first appearance. He gets over it and is never seen drinking again.
- Ascended Extra: After appearing a few times, he was reworked into Hercules' other best friend for Young Hercules.
- Badass Normal: Not the leader of the Argonauts for nothing.
- Continuity Snarl: Started off as the king of Argos and a contemporary of Amphitryon (Alcmene's first husband). In his next appearance, he was the king of Corinth. In Season 4, he was retconned into only being a couple of years older than Hercules.
- Heroic BSOD: In his first appearance, he's a broken man following Medea murdering their children.
- May-December Romance: With Alcmene, though it started off as a December-December Romance.
- My Greatest Failure: Blames himself for Medea murdering their children.
Serena / The Golden Hind.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife
- Brought Down to Normal: Was eventually turned into a human girl.
- Cute Monster Girl
- Interspecies Romance: With Hercules.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: When a mortal touches her. It would later be revealed that Ares did this to her to keep her under his control.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: She's half deer in the lower part.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: Her blood can kill a god.
- White Mage: As Serena
- Blue and Orange Morality
- Brought Down to Normal: In "Reunions," he gives up his godhood to save Alcemene's soul.Hera: You've always been so captivated by your precious mortals. Let's see how you like living as one of them! You're a mortal now."
- The Casanova
- Foil: Contrary to the distant and aloof image of philandering Zeus, Odin is shown to be more involved in the lives of both his family and the mortals under his care. He cares for all theme, dislikes abuses of power, and has a good relationship with his wife.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: He truly cares for humanity, but he rarely interferes with the other Olympians that cause trouble.
- Manipulative Bastard: At times, such as the finale.
- Parental Favoritism: For all of their issues, there is no doubt that Hercules is his favorite child.
- Parental Neglect: Hercules is the most obvious example of this treatment, but Zeus' other children have noted he does the same to them.
- So Proud of You: Often towards Hercules, even when Hercules mortally wounded him while protecting Xena and her baby."Hercules, you have never disappointed me... especially today."
- Top God
- Big Bad
- Evil Matriarch
- The Artifact: She becomes less prominent of an antagonist midway through season 3 in favor of Ares, and doesn't even appear in season 5 or 6 until Back for the Finale yet the opening narration continues to treat as the Big Bad of the entire series.
- The Faceless: She initially appeared as a pair of eyes in the sky and usually with a voice. In "Reunions," she finally appears in human form.
- Heel-Face Turn: In the finale, she finally accepts the fact that Zeus' infidelity is not Hercules' fault, and puts her anger towards him to rest.
- Jerkass God
- Peacock Girl
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In "Reunions," Hercules traps her in the Abyss of Tartarus. She gets out in "Full Circle."
- Wicked Stepmother
- The Woman Behind The Man: She directs men, monsters and everything in-between after Hercules. Unlike the other gods, she very rarely faces him in person.
- Woman Scorned"I vowed to reclaim my dignity, Hercules, the day you were born. And unlike some people, I keep my promises!"
- Would Hurt a Child
- Big Bad: The first half of Season 5.
- Bigger Bad: During Xena's third season."Dahak is the blind force behind every evil will."
- Dangerously Genre Savvy
- Deal with the Devil: With Iolaus and others before him.
- Demonic Possession: Of Iolaus.
- Demonization: Taking advantage of Herc's lengthy absence, he manages to convince many in Greece that the half-god has gone insane and driven the Olympians away.
- The Dreaded
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has regard for his daughter Hope, even saving her from certain death.
- God of Evil
- Kill the God: He wiped out the Sumerian gods as part of a plan to enter the world. He also schemed to bring about Ragnarök and wipe out the Norse gods. The Olympians were so terrified of him that they fled before he made his way to Greece.
- The Man Behind the Man: For Loki in the Norse gods "two-parter."
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He waged a devastating conflict against the Titans to seize control of Earth. He lost and was banished, but the conflict was so debilitating that the Olympians were able to rise up and overthrow the Titans shortly afterward.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He was banished to another realm by the Titans. A number of plots here and earlier on Xena were to find a way to free himself.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: When he meets Iolaus, he takes the form of his father, then Nebula and finally Hercules. He then proceeds to wear Iolaus down with guilt and regret to make him agree to a Deal with the Devil.
- Thanatos Gambit: His ultimate plan is to have Hercules kill him while possessing Iolaus. This would send him back into his realm, but also condemn Iolaus to the same fate. Having the Big Good do this would shatter an already weakened balance between good and evil, plunging the world into chaos. (Whether Dahak would be outright dead or just come back was never made clear.)
- Villain with Good Publicity: His worldwide cult is full of people who think he's what's best for the world. During Season 5, he pretends to be Iolaus and claims to have taken ambrosia to ward off an insane, god-hunting Hercules. By the time Hercules makes it back to Greece, the "god of light" has many willing followers.
- Xanatos Gambit: As he explains to Hercules, all he needed was the sacrifice of a warrior heart to enter the world. He would've settled for Nebula, but Iolaus worked out just fine.
- He wants his Thanatos Gambit to succeed, but if Hercules doesn't play along, Dahak will just "take the whole world soul by soul."
- Catch Phrase: "Wait a minute! Wait a minute!"
- Claustrophobia: Hinted at in "Unchained Heart" as the reason he freezes up.
- Cowardly Lion: Though often spooked, he always ultimately stands by Hercules to help out however he can.
- Get Rich Quick Scheme
- Honest John's Dealership
- Kavorka Man: Just ask the 50 Daughters of King Thespius
- Large Ham: Being a fairly campy show, most of the characters fit the bill now and then, but Salmoneus runs on this trope.
- The Load: He can't fight, so the best he can do is offer moral support. In "Unchained Heart" he actually freezes up during a crisis, though he feels very bad about it. The few times he's forced into combat (like in "Outcast") have him relying on trickery and potshots.
- Lovable Coward
- Out of Focus: A very prominent recurring character in the first two seasons, Salmoneus started making fewer appearances in Season 3, only two in Season 4 and just one in Season 5.
- Screams Like a Little Girl
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Autolycus
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: When Hercules first met him, Salmoneus was a toga salesman. He had many different jobs since in order to strike it rich.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Love On The Rocks."
- Ascended Extra: A one-off in Season 4's "Stranger In A Strange World," he became Herc's partner in the second half of Season 5.
- Butt Monkey: The Sovereign's personal one.
- Cowardly Lion
- Dark and Troubled Past: Described his life in Other World as a nightmare he thought he'd never escape. Given that he was under the thumb of the Sovereign, we can believe it.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Hidden Depths:Hercules: Before we met, you saw yourself as a jester, so that's what you were. I saw you as a hero who didn't know it yet. Once you saw yourself that way, too; well, that's what you became. We are who we perceive ourselves to be.
- I Owe You My Life: To Herc.
- Lovable Coward
- Never My Fault: In "Stranger And Stranger," he blames Herc for the bad things that have happened to him since they last met. Iolaus 2 later admits he wasn't willing to own up.
- Odd Friendship: With Aphrodite.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Lampshaded in "Just Passing Through."Hercules: There were times that Iolaus thought he was living in my shadow.
Iolaus 2: And now I'm living in his.
- Took a Level in Badass: "Love On The Rocks," where he takes on a group of villains by himself.
- Weak, but Skilled: He lacks Iolaus' fighting prowess, but he has impressive acrobatic abilities.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Her preferred method of killing people was to rip out their hearts.
- Distaff Counterpart
- Evil Counterpart: A super-strong half-god, but one that enforced her gods' will instead of opposed it.
- Fiery Redhead
- Heel-Face Turn
- I Have Your Daughter: Part of the reason she served Cernunnos was because he had their daughter.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She walks out on Hercules because an oracle told her that while he would honor their marriage vows no matter what, Greece would suffer without him and that thought would continuously torment him.
- My Greatest Failure: Not being there to protect the Druids from Dahak.
- Not So Different: Though the comparison is made after she becomes good.Mabon: You were raised a half-god among mortals, she a half-mortal among gods. Similar wounds cause similar scars. What heals one wound—
Hercules: Heals another.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: She killed the old Druid of Justice, which made her the new Druid of Justice. This turned out to be the Druids' elaborate Batman Gambit.Mabon: Who better to restore justice to the land than the one who took it away?