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Film: The Hunger Games
May the odds be ever in your favor!

"A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained."
President Snow

The feature film adaption of the book of the same name, released in March 2012.

In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to kill their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch.

The film is directed by Gary Ross, and stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Stanley Tucci as Caesar and Donald Sutherland as President Snow.

Adaptations for the remaining novels are also under development. The Catching Fire movie was released in November 2013, and Mockingjay is being split into two films to release in 2014 and 2015.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: It is shown in the film that Peeta's mother at the very least is abusive. She is shown to be yelling at him, presumably for burning bread. The other indicator is that she told him that District 12 might have a winner, and it is more telling that his response is "She wasn't talking about me."
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Rare non-human example: In the book Prim's cat Buttercup was described as very scrawny and ugly, but in the movie when we see him he looks like an average cat.
    • Some critics have also labeled the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as an example of this, as Lawrence was considered by some to be too "robust" for someone who supposedly lives on the edge of starvation. However, in the books Katniss is described as being a hunter and physically active (out of necessity) so one would expect her to have more of a frame (same with Peeta, described in the book and movie as being quite strong). In addition, the original book has Katniss stuffing her face with food every chance she gets at the Capitol, in part out of stated intention to gain body mass before the game begins. Jennifer Lawrence has also stated that she refuses to starve her body in any way for the sake of a role.
  • Adaptational Curves: When Jennifer Lawrence was chosen to play the lead, enraged fans almost immediately complained that she was too voluptuous to play Katniss Everdeen, for whom being perpetually underfed was a defining trait.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the book, Katniss gets her pin from Madge. Madge wasn't in the movie, so it was a gift from Greasy Sae. (The movie also adds the story points of Katniss giving Prim the pin and then Prim giving it back to her after the reaping; in the book, Madge visits Katniss after the reaping and gives her the pin.)
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Haymitch is described as having dark hair, typical of the Seam. In the film version, he is blonde.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Since the book is written in first person from Katniss' perspective, the film adds scenes in the control room of the Hunger Games arena and President Snow's garden to give more information about the world where the story takes place.
    • Also, after Rue dies, the film depicts District 11 going into a riot in reaction to Katniss' impromptu funeral for Rue and salute to them. This is also some Foreshadowing for the revolts which begin in Catching Fire.
    • The film also allows you to see Gale's reaction to Katniss and Peeta in the games.
    • The film also shows the explanation for the rule change to allow two tributes from the same district to win. Haymitch is able to convince Seneca Crane to change the rules to distract people from the District 11 riots.
    • We also get a scene of Haymitch watching Katniss being trapped and wounded, then schmoozing with some Capitol bigwigs to send her the healing cream.
    • We see Seneca being forced to commit suicide, which is actually a reference to an implied event in the second novel, Catching Fire, although the novel suggests he was executed.
    • The District 6 boy that Cato gets into a fight with while training is named Jason.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the movie, we never find out the symbolic significance of the mockingjay, nor what the Muttations are made out of (in the book, it appeared to be dead tributes mixed with wolf.) Losing the first person perspective also means we lose Katniss's thoughts and motivations.
    • The original concept art for individual Muttations was in fact based on facial features of the actors playing dead tributes. This was dropped for various reasons.
    • Katniss and Gale's conversation about how many times their names are in the bowl is not given direct explanation like it was in the book — it's explained in Katniss's parting words to Primrose, but it's easily missed.
  • Adaptation Induced Plot Hole: The mockingjay pin's significant Back Story is Adapted Out along with Katniss' best friend Madge Undersee.
  • Advertised Extra: Liam Hemsworth as Gale received a lot of press for having a larger role in the subsequent movies. However in THIS movie, he only speaks in two scenes and is The Voiceless in his other scenes.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Katniss trying to heal Peeta's wounds after Cato stabbed him with a sword.
  • Age Lift: Two examples: Firstly, Cinna, described as a young man in the book, is played by a much older Lenny Kravitz. Secondly, in an instance of inverted Dawson Casting, the character of Clove, heavily implied to be 18 in the book, is stated to be 15 in the film, as she is played by then-14-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman.
  • The Alcoholic: Haymitch.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Cato. In the book, he's portrayed as a psycho Blood Knight who enjoys killing other tributes right down to when he dies. Here, he's more or less the same... until he's about to die. We then learn that his motives were to bring honor and respect for him and his District. He was also a career tribute, meaning that he was trained to kill from a very young age, and likely had no choice in the matter. Killing was all he knew. Combining all of these, plus his behavior at the end, implies that he was craving respect and recognition from people, which, in turn, implies that he was abused, neglected, unappreciated, ignored, or possibly all of the above. This may show that he feels the only way to be loved is to win. What's even sadder is, that assumption may have been true.
    Cato: Oh no, I can still do this. I can still do this. One... more... kill. It's the only thing I know how to do... to bring pride to my District.
    • Foxface wasn't really a villain in the book, mostly just being a parasite on the Careers, stealing their food and generally being sneaky. In the movie, we have a scene between her and Katniss where they bump into each other while running from the slaughter at the Cornucopia, look at each other in terror for a second, then silently run off in separate directions. This makes her seem a bit more like Katniss herself. Katniss even seems glum when finding out that Foxface is dead, and from a rather random death too.
    • As in the original book (and possibly even moreso here), Glimmer in her death scene.
    • To a certain extent, Seneca Crane. The character seemed to possess a certain degree of honor and fair play judging by his awarding Katniss points and there's something poignant about the scene where he's given a Sadistic Choice wherein his death occurs either way - especially since, like most Capitol citizens, he appeared to be more conditioned into his way of thinking than genuinely evil.
  • All There in the Manual: Some people's names are never mentioned, but you can tell who they are supposed to be. Simultaneously inverted, with some characters in this film being called by names that weren't revealed until the second book.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The people of the Capitol, especially compared to the drab tones shown in the Districts.
  • Ascended Extra: Seneca Crane, Caesar Flickerman and Claudius Templesmith have a lot more to do, with the movie showing scenes that Katniss is not present for. President Snow also has much more to do than he did in the novel but as the Big Bad of the series, this was necessary.
  • Aside Glance: Haymitch sends Katniss some soup to feed Peeta with. Enclosed is the note, "You call that a kiss?", referring to a kiss on the cheek she gave Peeta earlier. Katniss promptly pulls this trope, though in the context of the film this doesn't break the fourth wall as she's aware her every action is being televised.
  • As You Know: The sportscaster scenes are this. Information about the Games provided by Katniss' narration in the book is provided by them here, such as Caesar explaining the Tracker Jackers to the audience. Seeing as first-time viewers would be small children, one assumes talking about an engineered species of creatures that's never found in the city is for the benefit of the target audience, namely the Capitol viewers.
  • Beard of Evil: Seneca wears a Weird Beard with immaculately trimmed curlicues that is opulent, silly and sinister all at once.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Due to medical treatments, Katniss's swollen Tracker Jacker stings completely vanish in the next scene. The cut she receives on her face all but vanishes in the next scene as well. For all the time she spends sleeping outside and fighting to the death, she still looks great by the end.
    • This goes for the other female Tributes too on the whole — even little Rue looks rather perfectly coiffured and clean, for a twelve-year-old surviving in the woods. In life Glimmer also looks salon-perfect — but the trope is averted by the state of her dead body after the tracker-jackers kill her.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Due to letting two tributes win in the 74th Hunger Games, Seneca is given the option to commit suicide by eating some nightlock berries, whereas he was tortured and killed in the book. Which, given the context, is an example of Death by Irony.
    • The decision by Peeta and Katniss to commit to a suicide pact rather than forcing one or the other to kill also qualifies.
  • Big Heroic Run: Played straight and subverted. Katniss runs to save Rue when she's caught in the Career's net trap, and then runs to find Peeta later on when she hears the gong signalling a Tribute death (which wasn't his).
  • Big "NO!": When Katniss volunteers, Prim has several.
  • Bitch Alert: The actress playing Glimmer manages to convey this just through the condescending smirk she gives Peeta when he's training.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Rue dies midway through the film, and Thresh is the next-to-last to fall. Lampshaded earlier in the film when Rue is shown having the worst odds of survival, 60-1, though she ultimately survives for most of the game.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted. While the film does resort to quick-flash editing and shaky cam during the action sequences, you do get to see more blood and gory wounds than you expect in a PG-13 film. The film also makes use of Gory Discretion Shot to limit the carnage, though if you're watching this in the UK and it's the 12 certificate version, expect a lot of blood and scenes of bloodshed to be digitally altered.
  • Border Patrol: Katniss tries to get as far away from the action as she can at the beginning, only for a Gamemaster-initiated forest fire to drive her back to the centre of the arena after she unintentionally gets too close to the boundaries. For added points, they keep it up long enough to drive her to the alliance of Careers, so she'll get killed.
  • Boring Yet Practical: The trainers stress that learning wilderness survival can give you at least as much an edge of winning as combat. In addition, Haymitch stresses really hard to Katniss that she must not bolt for the weapons at the start, but make for high ground and water right away. Katniss goes halfway by getting a backpack of wilderness survival gear, and that proves all she needs to start with, and through sheer luck, inadvertently gets a knife from Clove.
  • Braids of Action: Katniss wears her hair like this whenever she hunts, trains and participates in the Games.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Katniss imitates Effie Trinket's "May the odds be ever in your favor" in the beginning.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Right before the bloodbath ends and the cannon signaling deaths is sounded, Katniss watches a black and blue butterfly fly away
  • Call Back: Snow explains to Seneca why the Hunger Games needs a champion, and why it isn't simply an annual public execution. Peeta buys this at the end, asking Katniss to kill him so that District 12 will have their champion. Katniss, by now, realizes that she would do far more good as a martyr, and tells Peeta there doesn't need to be a champion at all.
  • Casting Gag: Both Josh Hutcherson and Alexander Ludvig starred in movies with AnnaSophia Robb. In other words, Jess is fighting Leslie's brother.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Haymitch tells Peeta not to start a fire as it's a good way to get killed. Later in the film a girl does just that and you can guess the outcome. Katniss and Rue then exploit this with decoy fires in a bid to destroy the career alliance's stockpile.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The mockingjay pin and nightlock berries.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Katniss' hunting skills (via Gale's remark that she "practically lives in the forest") and familiarity with surviving in the wild.
    • Katniss is told early on in training that the Careers can be very arrogant. It comes back to bite them when Clove decides to torture and mock Katniss instead of killing her, which leads to Thresh overhearing that Rue was killed, so he kills Clove in retaliation.
    • Peeta's camouflage skills and strength.
    • Rue stealing a knife from one of the competitors and hiding in the rafters while they fight during training comes back later in the game.
    • Early on in the game, Katniss sees a girl get killed after lighting a fire in the forest (which led the Careers to her position). She later uses the same tactic to draw the Careers away from their supplies.
    • Cato showcases his ability to swiftly break necks after one of his partners fails to protect the food supply. At the climax he threatens to use it again on Peeta.
    • Katniss shoots an apple out of a roasted pig's mouth. She later shoots a sack of apples to set off the alliance's mines.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The jackets of the tributes while in the arena.
    • District 1 - Avocado Green
    • District 2 - Rust Red
    • District 3 - Mustard Yellow
    • District 4 - Seastorm Green
    • District 5 - Plum Red
    • District 6 - Tomato Red
    • District 7 - Russet Brown
    • District 8 - Goldenrod Yellow
    • District 9 - Bottle Green
    • District 10 - Foie Gras Grey
    • District 11 - Chocolate Brown
    • District 12 - Coal Black
  • Cool Train: The maglev that takes Katniss and Peeta from District 12 to Capitol. Unlike modern-day maglevs, this one hovers high above the tracks and appears to be flying on its own. It's also equipped with all the amenities for the tributes and their retinue.
    Effie Trinket: 200 miles an hour and you can't feel a thing.
  • Cue the Sun: Invoked by the Gamemasters, who can control the ambient lighting.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: After outfighting Katniss, Clove gets completely overpowered and killed by Thresh.
  • Deadly Game: The Hunger Games themselves.
  • Death by Irony: Foxface is one of the most literal cases. Foxface's strategy in the game is stealing food from other competitors to survive. She is frequently credited for being very clever for this. That very skill is what leads to her death when she unknowingly steals poison berries from Peeta. The irony? Had Peeta tried to intentionally leave them as a trap, she probably wouldn't have eaten them. It's a case where someone incredibly smart is brought down by overestimating the intelligence of her competitors.
  • Decade Dissonance: Particularly highlighted in the film. The Districts, especially the "lower" ones like 11 and 12 look straight out of The Fifties at best, if not the Great Depression or even the 19th Century. It's no wonder then that those from there tend to be awestruck by how modern the Capitol is.
  • Declaration of Protection: Katniss to Prim. Then, to Rue. Finally to Peeta. Two out of three ain't bad...
  • Demoted to Extra: Greasy Sae, Buttercup and Katniss' prep team. In addition, while the District 4 tributes weren't even important enough to get names in the book, the entire District gets demoted from being a Career District.
  • Dies Wide Shut: Several tributes. Glimmer may be the creepiest example, given the condition the tracker jackers left her in.
  • The Ditz: Glimmer - for a Career, anyway.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are constant reminders of the influence of reality television on the setting, such as the sponsors.
    • The District 11 riots resemble the civil rights put downs.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Just like in the books, Haymitch is pretty drunk when he first meets the latest set of kids he'll have to prepare to fight to the death. Unlike in the books, it's not a formal agreement he makes with Katniss and Peeta that keeps him out of the bar. The film makes a clear point of displaying how he sobers up only after it becomes clear to him that Katniss and Peeta have a legitimate chance of surviving the games (and on several occasions he is reminded that tributes and children from other districts actually see being recruited for the games as a good thing, even fun).
  • Due to the Dead: Katniss does this with Rue, inspiring a riot in her district 11. The male District 11 tribute saves and spares Katniss in deference to this as well, and also savagely kills one of the Careers who gloated about it while attempting to kill Katniss moments before.
    • Averted with Glimmer. Katniss, already starting to suffer from tracker jacker venom, wastes no time prying what she needs for her opponent's cold, dead hands and leaves her there without so much as a word. Given that they were enemies while the above death was that of a friend, it's perfectly understandable.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The ending isn't even necessarily that happy; Katniss and Peeta survive the Games together and are going back to their district, but they now have a mortal enemy in President Snow.
    • Bittersweet Ending: Katniss not only survives the Games but succeeds in saving Peeta as well. On the other hand, every other Tribute died, and Katniss has made an enemy in President Snow, a situation which forces her to maintain the appearance of her relationship with Peeta in spite of her own conflicted feelings. She is also noticeably colder in demeanor, with something akin to a thousand yard stare after experiencing (and dealing out) so much death.
      • Let's just say that there is a sequel coming.
  • Environmental Symbolism: The sun sets almost instantly in the forest as the Muttations attack, and immediately rises after Cato dies, reinforcing the fact that it's the endgame. The Gamemakers control literally everything inside the Arena.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Done mockingly by Katniss after shooting an arrow at the gamemakers, who had been ignoring her archery display in favor of food and smalltalk.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Or wasps, rather. Genetically engineered wasps with hallucinogenic venom that can potentially be fatal, if the entire hive doesn't Zerg Rush you into oblivion first.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Driven home more in the film than the book, where we can see the Gamemakers controlling everything, up to making burning trees fall on command.
  • Evil Gloating: Clove taunts Katniss about Rue's death instead of just killing her... and unfortunately, Rue's fellow District 11 tribute was listening.
    • Inverted by Cato's rant at the end, which gives Peeta enough time to gain the upper hand, although Cato's intent appears to be to force Katniss to shoot him instead.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The Gamemasters' control room, to a ludicrous degree.
  • Fade to White: From Rue's perspective as she dies.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Katniss destroys the Careers' supplies from much closer than she did in the book, and is quite visible in the composition of shots focusing on Cato in the middle of his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The film has its share of this. The tracker jackers are probably the worst.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: On the one hand, Capitol law enforcement gets black automatic rifles, while on the other hand no guns are allowed in the arena, probably to prevent Katniss from simply wasting every opposing force and ending the story in ten minutes.
    • Archery and firearm proficiency are not mutually inclusive talents. Just ask the rare person who has tried their hand at mastering both, particularly by competition standards.
    • Like the books, it's justified in that it's in the interest of Panem's powers-that-be that the Districts lack the means to actually shoot back at them.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Five-Bad Band: The Career Tributes' group
  • Fixing The Game: The people in charge of the games aren't above manipulating them in the same way the ground isn't above the sky. That Seneca doesn't manipulate them to Snow's desired ends is what results in Seneca's death.
  • Floral Theme Naming: See Meaningful Name below.
  • Follow the Leader: Early advertising emphasized the rather minor Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle and strongly resembled posters for Twilight, probably to exploit the huge overlap between the two fandoms. However, those involved with the films as well as hardcore fans generally reject this view. Questions of "Team Gale or Team Peeta?" are often answered with "Team Katniss."
  • Game Breaker: In-Universe. The hoard of supplies (including weapons, food and general items) the Careers were guarding would presumably have kept them well-fed and armed for quite some time. Katniss uses this to her advantage and destroys the stockpile.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Foxface and Prim. Peeta also recalls Katniss as a child with two braids instead of the one she wears now.
    • Inverted with Glimmer who still manages to be pretty intimidating despite having them though hers are worn looser than the other two.
  • Glass Cannon: Katniss is deadly with a bow but when it comes to close combat she very quickly gets into trouble.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Zig-Zagged throughout: most violent shots are shown, but this is noticeably played straight towards the very end of the film. Cato's eviscerated body nearly comes into view, but the camera cuts away before we can see anything. Also zig-zagged during the bloodbath in the beginning of the Games. While we're shown scattered, jerky shots of various tributes fighting and getting taken down, we don't see them actually being killed. For the most part it's just splatters of blood or very quick shots of the death blows.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Katniss is a skilled archer, while Peeta is a wrestler whose main skill is physical strength. The rest of the Tributes fall into this as well with the exception of Marvel, whose skill with thrown spears is his hallmark (and the method behind his only on-screen kill).
  • Hangover Sensitivity: When Katniss and Peeta meet Haymitch for the first time, he's more interested in continuing his drinking than giving advice, to the point of going back to his room.
  • Heel Realization: Cato realizes before his death that he spent his entire life being bred to be a pawn in the Capitol's scheme and even if he wins he is just a source of entertainment. Unfortunately, he then decides that he can still get one last kill in, which sort of negates the sympathy the first part was trying to invoke.
  • Held Gaze: Katniss and Peeta do this frequently between themselves as a means of subtly creating romantic tension before anything truly happens between the two in the games.
  • Heroic BSOD: Katniss after Rue's death.
  • Hope Is Scary: According to President Snow, who explains to Seneca why giving the Districts "a little hope" is a more effective means of control than simply rounding up 24 children every year and executing them. Too MUCH hope, however, is dangerous.
  • Hope Spot: Invoked by Haymitch, convincing Seneca to change the Game's rules. "Give them something to root for: young love." This backfires horribly for Seneca.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • In the book, the yellow dress that Katniss wears at her final interview was supposed to be girlish and understated with a high, modest cut. In the movie, while not designed to overtly flaunt sex appeal, the dress's design is more mature than what's described in the book.
    • Inverted with Glimmer's dress. In the book, she's described as wearing a translucent golden dress. However, in the movie, she girlishly bounces out on stage in a puffy white dress.
      • It was short as hell though.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Katniss has a rather distressed reaction when she thought Peeta consumed the nightlock berries.
    Katniss: Damn you Peeta, damn you!
  • Huge Girl Tiny Guy: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) at 5'9", is four inches taller than 5'5'' Josh Hutcherson (Peeta).
  • Idiot Ball: The Career tributes fail to spot a deadly threat that Rue notices from further distance and all go to sleep in the same turn without a sentry, in a kill or be killed scenario. This is quickly exploited against them.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Katniss' sadness over Rue's death leads her to go to great lengths to protect Peeta.
  • Impairment Shot: Almost every time Katniss is injured during the games.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Averted; Effie and everyone in the Capitol wear clothes and make-up that are hilariously hideous to us, but are accepted as hallmarks of the high culture and fashion of the Capitol that simply never make it out to the districts.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Obvious considering the subject matter, but made more apparent in the film: a number of the dead tributes are very clearly not even old enough to be in high school and get the same bloody deaths as everyone else.
  • Informed Ability: The Career tributes are trained for years, yet they ignore basic survival stuff such as the use of sentries and are prone to Failed a Spot Check. This incompetence is handwaved/paired in-story with their arrogance.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Several, namely; Katniss and Rue, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch, Rue and Thresh, Gale and Prim.
  • It Gets Easier: Clearly indicated in those tributes who seem to have no difficulty at all in killing people. Referenced by Peeta's concerns before the game begins about becoming a killer. Also, while Katniss is heard stating her uncertainty about shooting something that isn't an animal, by the end she is able to put an arrow into Cato without blinking an eye.
  • Jerk Jock: Careers, the Tributes from Districts 1 and 2, come off this way due to their district's practice of training children specifically to volunteer for the Hunger Games. As a result, they are far more likely to win than Tributes from other districts. Although, their arrogance is a flaw that can be used against them.
  • Jitter Cam: Used quite a lot. Probably to be as violent as they can without an R rating, as it's hard to see anything gruesome with the camera moving around so quickly. The camera becomes "queasy cam" outside of the Capitol or during the games, and "normal cam" within the Capitol or when the focus is on it. A nice touch to show how formal the Capitol appears to be to the general population.
  • Jump Scare: When the muttation leaps out at Peeta.
  • Killer Game Master: Seneca and the rest of his staff gleefully manipulate the environment to make a good show, but they at least don't try to directly kill the participants. Until the endgame, that is, where they start unleashing ravenous hounds to kill off the people they don't want winning.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Rue.
  • Knife Nut: Clove.
  • Large Ham: Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, and Elizabeth Banks as Effie.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Katniss is only shown with her hair down when she is at her most vulnerable.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Or nightlock berries for Seneca.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Peacekeepers wear pristine-white helmets and armor. Capitol, the heart of the decadent Panem, is an imposing Shining City. Even the rooms in the participant's rooms have bright white crystalline lights.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The Tributes, by necessity, wear their uniforms for the entirety of the game. Seneca Crane wears the same weird vest the whole time.
  • Love at First Sight: Peeta says this about Katniss during his appearance on Flickerman's show as part of a gambit to increase popularity for both of them and gain more sponsors. Whether or not he actually means it is the real question.
    • He does.
  • Make Up Is Evil: The residents of the capital tend toward heavy make-up.
  • Meaningful Name: "Panem" means "bread," which is a reference to the Roman phrase "Bread and Circuses," which are the ways that a tyranny can keep its population under control. People from the capital have Roman names, another reference to the trope. Peeta the baker's name sounds like "pita," a type of bread. You could predict Seneca Crane's fate if you know anything about his namesake, the Roman Seneca the Younger. He was also forced to commit suicide by his superior, Emperor Nero.
    • Floral Theme Naming: Katniss is named after a plant that is also called "arrowhead," referring to her weapon of choice. "Primrose" means "eternal love". "Rue" means "regret," referring to Kat's regret over her death.
  • Mentor: Haymitch Abernathy.
  • Mercy Kill: In the film, Cato actually screams "Please!" to be mercy killed by Katniss. And his ordeal didn't last 20 hours, unlike the book.
  • Monster Sob Story: Cato gets one in before their death.
  • Mushroom Samba: When Katniss is stung by the poisonous Tracker Jackers. This is admittedly Lighter and Softer than the book's presentation of the events.
  • Mood Dissonance: The Reaping - with no music, the tension from the names being called, the horror of hearing Prim's name being called and Effie Trinket practically bouncing with excitement.
  • Neck Snap: Cato does this to the boy from District 3.
  • Nice Hat: There would be a lot of these in the Capitol, but they are deliberately pushed into Impossibly Tacky Clothes territory instead.
  • No Escape but Down: When Katniss uses the Tracker Jackers to draw off the Careers, she ends up falling out of the tree while trying to rapidly climb down it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Katniss watches footage showing one of the previous winners, who beat his final opponent to death with a brick.
  • Obstacle Exposition: When Seneca and the game controllers decide on what obstacles to use to deter contestants or bring them together (the forest fire, the Muttations).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Just like the novel, you never really get to see Thresh in action. Pretty weird too, considering he was hyped as one of the stronger competitors. Onscreen, however, he kills Clove in just one move, and she's absolutely terrified of him.
  • Oh, Crap: When Prim is chosen, there's a brief shot of the horrified Katniss making a face that can only be described as D:
  • One-Woman Wail: During the opening scenes, ethereal vocalizations play as we see an impoverished District 12. Fans of the Halo franchise will find the tune suspiciously similar.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Elizabeth Banks has some noticeable slips as Effie. It's harder to tell, but Liam Hemsworth's Australian also comes out.
    • Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence also slip into their Kentucky drawls at times, particularly in the "I want to die as myself" scene. Interestingly this could actually be considered an inversion of this trope since, while the District 12 accent is never fully described in the book, it does have notably Appalachian features (Haymitch's use of "Sweetheart" for example) and Wild Mass Guessing actually favours Kentucky as District 12's location. Woody Harrelson slips a lot of his Texas drawl in there as well, but then, he's one of those actors who's known for not really having any accent other than their own
      • No need to guess about where District 12 is; in Chapter 3, just after Katniss and Peeta get on the tribute train, it specifies: "In school, they tell us the Capitol was built in a place once called the Rockies. District 12 was in a region known as Appalachia." Its main product is coal, as the case in Kentucky and West Virginia, both smack in the middle of Appalachia. So a Kentucky/West Virginia accent is right on the money (and might be a deliberate part of the filmmakers' casting choice).
      • Worth considering is the movie was filmed in North Carolina, which is part of the south. It probably didn't help the actors when off stage everyone outside was talking with the southern accents the actors shared already.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: After Rue's death, Katniss attempts to scratch off the scabs she suffered during the forest fire escape in a manic state, along with Rue's blood. Trope applies because Katniss had just killed Marvel.
  • Pet the Dog: In return for Katniss giving Rue a decent burial, Thresh spares her life and kills her attacker, though he warns the offer is only good once.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: 5'5" Josh Hutcherson as the very strong Peeta. Also, the even smaller Isabelle Fuhrman as Clove.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • For the most part, the movie stays very true to the book, leading to a run time of of two hours and twenty-two minutes, but to keep it from being longer some things had to be cut, most notably the character of Madge and the girl Katniss didn't save reappearing as an Avox. Katniss' search for water, the District 3 boy's digging up and reactivating the mines for the Careers and Cato's death scene were also significantly shortened and Peeta gets to keep his leg.
  • President Evil: Guess who.
  • Sacrificial Lamb/Lion: Several tributes are seen being threatened/killed both on-screen and off, such as the curly-haired teenager who hides in the Cornucopia before getting sliced by Cato when he tries to escape. Rue and Foxface could also be a case of this.
  • The Scream: Katniss, after she fails to protect Rue.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!/Moving The Goal Posts: The Gamemasters announce that two people can live if they're from the same district, then revoke it at the end when two actually manage to fill that condition. Katniss showed them up by threatening suicide with Peeta, forcing them to make good on the original promise so they'd have someone to crown a victor instead of a martyr.
  • Sequel Hook: Even if you didn't know the book had sequels, the end of the film makes it perfectly clear that there's more to come.
  • She Had A Name: Thresh forces Clove to say Rue's name moments before killing her, presumably to reinforce Katniss' earlier humanization of her.
  • Shining City: The Capitol. This is, however, a case of Light Is Not Good (see above).
  • Ship Tease: Glimmer and Cato are seen cuddling while they sleep.
    • Katniss, urged on by Haymitch, uses this trope for all it's worth during the later parts of the game by pretending to fall in love with Peeta in order to gain sponsors.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The "Star crossed lovers" and the use of the Romeo and Juliet theme as the Mockingjay signal.
  • Show Within a Show: The Hunger Games themselves.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Katniss to Peeta, when he got sick. But you do not get points for guessing this.
  • Slave to PR: In-universe. Tributes must do several things during training and the actual game (impress the judges, achieve a high training score, make a good impression on Flickerman's show) in order to receive sponsorships and items to assist them. Katniss decides to play with the rules (via her training stunt where she shoots the apple out of a roast pig) and gets the highest Tribute ranking (11 out of 12) and more assistance during the game.
  • Smarmy Host: Caesar Flickerman, complete with slicked-back hair, blindingly-white teeth, and over-the-top glad-handing.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Peeta's leg remains intact at the end of the film.
  • The Spartan Way: Implied with District 2.
  • Take a Third Option: When Katniss and Peeta decide to take the poison berries to kill themselves rather than one having to kill the other.
  • Technology Porn: The room where the overseers "modify" the game has some incredible animation.
  • Tempting Fate: Katniss tells Prim she won't be picked for the Hunger Games due to the fact she only has one ticket...suffice to say we know what happens next.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Katniss' brief breakdown after paying tribute to Rue could in part be due to her having directly killed someone (Marvel) for the first time.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Katniss makes fun of Cato with this. After he proves incapable of hitting her with a bow from a measly distance, she claims he should try throwing his sword instead.
  • Title Drop
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Katniss, safely hidden in a tree, watches a Tribute learn a cardinal rule about stealth in hostile territory the hard way: under no circumstances do you make a camp fire: you'll be too easy for the enemy to spot.
    • Clove, rather than just killing Katniss, starts gloating about how her group killed Rue. Thresh happens to be listening, and it ends badly for Clove.
  • Too Clever by Half: Foxface dies because, lacking the know-how to forage food from the forest for herself, she relies on stealth to observe and steal from other Tributes - meaning that she doesn't recognize nightlock berries and, assuming them to be safe because Peeta collected them, inadvertently poisons herself with them.
    • While this is true for the book, an early shot during the training sequence indicates that Foxface actually had a higher knowledge of the fauna in the area than the other tributes. In fact, the addition of this shot carries the implication that she committed suicide rather than dying at the hands of, or killing, the other tributes. The fact that the Nightlock berries were out in the open had to have set off some warning bells as well, if she were clever enough to avoid the other tributes without being detected after all this time.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Katniss tracks a blood trail leading out to the riverbank, and discovers a camouflaged (and injured) Peeta.
  • Training Montage
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Snow and Seneca have a discussion on this in regards to Seneca giving Katniss such a high rating. Seneca says that people like an underdog. Snow, however, does not. His following explanation about the manipulative properties of the Hope Spot suggests that he prefers the Career tributes to win, because they treat it like a game (thus reinforcing the idea that it's not a horrible spectacle of death and violence). True volunteers like Katniss or normal tributes aren't as predictable.
  • Villainous Breakdown: A minor one from the heavily-wounded Cato, who snaps at the Capitol audience for seeing his impending death as entertainment and lapses into the realization that all he knows how to do is kill people. Then he snaps out of it and decides he can take Peeta with him.
    • Also, Clove has one just before Thresh kills her, screaming frantically for Cato.
  • Villains Out Shopping: What does President Snow do when he's not busy being a dictator? Tend to his rose garden.
  • The Voiceless: Foxface maybe says a word or two during her interview with Caesar, but this is out of focus so it's hard to tell.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Seneca Crane.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Katniss and Peeta, the last survivors, are told that the rule that allowed them to win together has been revoked, so one has to kill the other. Katniss decides to have both herself and Peeta eat the nightlock berries, denying the Games their champion and giving District 12 two martyrs instead. Doing so forces Seneca to decide between letting them both win or letting there be no champion, thus stoking further civil unrest. Seneca chooses the former, and is then forced to offer himself as the final casualty of the Games.
  • You Have Failed Me: Snow to Seneca, for allowing Peeta and Katniss to get the better of him and force him to spare them both. Cato also does this to the District 3 boy standing guard after Katniss sets off the mines and destroys all the food.
  • World of Ham: The Capitol when the cameras are on. Not that natives Effie and Caesar aren't overblown while off the spotlight as well...

    Creator/Dayo OkeniyiRevolution
The Cabin in the WoodsNebula AwardJohn Carter
The Cabin in the WoodsHugo AwardThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The GrotesqueImageSource/Live-Action FilmsDeadly Game
The Human CentipedeFilms of the 2010sThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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