A series of novels written by Eoin Colfer
Originally, the tale of an Irish pubescent evil genius
and his efforts to acquire money and power
by exploiting the secret underground world
living beneath the world
using both magic and advanced supertechnology.
In later books in the series, he becomes a more benevolent fellow, working cooperatively with the fairies to curtail human mischief. The series takes cues from suspense, action
crime films, and James Bond
-esque spy movies and transplants them into a modern fantasy setting
The series contains eight novels, the final one having been released on July 10th, 2012.
- Artemis Fowl (2001)
- Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (2002)
- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (2003)
- Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (2005)
- Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (2006)
- Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (2008)
- Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (2010)
- Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (2012)
There are also two short stories that are available in the companion book The Artemis Fowl Files
, and four graphic novels that appear to form a different canon to the prose (there were other less obvious changes
, but one is listed under Race Lift
A film adaptation
was announced after being stuck in Development Hell
. It will be produced by Walt Disney Pictures
and The Weinstein Company
Provides examples Of:
- All Trolls Are Different: In this case, ten-feet-tall gorilla-ish tunnel-dwelling monstrosities with poisonous tusks. And dreadlocks.
- Almost Out of Oxygen: In the second book and again in the seventh.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Goblins and trolls, although the latter are mostly portrayed as just animals, and the former is incredibly, incredibly stupid. They're directly stated to be as smart as rats.
- Strangely averted with the demons, as only Leon Abbot is shown to be actively evil and willing to use magic to brainwash others.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: An odd case. After recovering from his mind-wipe, Artemis sees that he was regressing to his old criminal ways, as he had predicted he would. After all, his character growth was a result of his experiences with the People...so removing all memory of his experiences with them takes away all the good it did him. Holly is visibly nervous when he brings this up because she knows how terrifyingly amoral he used to be.
- Amnesiac Resonance: After Artemis's mind-wipe, he admires a painting, The Faerie Thief. He acknowledges that the fairy in the painting can't enter a human dwelling without permission (one of the laws fairies live by), then wonders how and why he knew that. Later, when an assassination attempt against him fails, he recognises the blue light from the incident as a Blue Rinse, a fairy superweapon similar to a bio-bomb.
- Anachronism Stew: In The Time Paradox, Artemis goes back to two years before the first book (which was published in 2001, and uses human technology from that time). Yet, the young Artemis has a mobile phone that can be used to surf on the Internet, be connected to a beamer, has a blacklight to test money and an X-ray scanner. He uses his laptop to send a video message to every Extinctionist's phone, and all of them can watch it. Also, Kronski pays Artemis in bills of 500€, while the euro hadn't come into use (as a physical currency) until a few years later.
- Ancient Astronauts: The reason Artemis translates the fairy language so easily is that it is similar to Ancient Egyptian and Artemis theorizes this is because the Egyptians borrowed it from the fairies.
- Annoying Younger Siblings:
- As of book 6, Myles and Beckett Fowl.
- Juliet to Butler in the first book, before she Took a Level in Badass.
- Grub Kelp to his superior officer Trouble. Corporal Grub has a bad habit of forgetting that Trouble is "Captain" while they're on duty; even when he remembers, he seems to think that "Mummy says" trumps rank. At his best he needs cajoling; at his worst he gives the impression that "Mummy says" is the reason such an utter liability is even allowed in the LEP, let alone on the squad of a Captain in good standing like his brother.
- Another Story for Another Time: The first book's narrator has this as a catchphrase, with the stories eventually becoming sideplots in later books.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Holly, briefly, in the first book when Fowl Manor is bio-bombed and it appears that No One Could Survive That. Root and Mulch mutually on separate occasions.
- Anti-Villain: Artemis Fowl, before he became the hero. Likewise with Butler, who's just doing his duty.
- Cultural Posturing: Various fairy characters are fond of reminding Artemis how advanced fairy technology is compared to the "Mudman" equivalent. Unless it's technology that Artemis himself developed after meeting the fairies and reverse-engineering their gadgets. He even impressed Foaly by packing his 3D projection kit, which doubles as a user interface, into a briefcase.
- Cultural Translation:
- The US edition of The Time Paradox, has proudly Irish Artemis start referring to his mother as 'Mom' after making an emotional breakthrough. She gains the title 'Mum' in the UK edition, but even that may be a version of this trope, as she's referred to indirectly as the very Irish "Mam" in the first book.
- The second book, Artemis Fowl and The Arctic Incident, had a line in which Artemis predicts he will be attracted to Holly when he reaches puberty that was removed from US editions. They needn't have bothered, since he was right, and you couldn't have hidden it in TTP without rewriting half the book.
- Cute Bruiser: Juliet Butler.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Artemis is such a mega genius that he could easily make many millions of dollars as an inventor — and, in fact, he does. The Arctic Incident says that he holds several patents and is designing a Dublin opera house. He does crime in order to make billions. And, you know, for the challenge. He also writes romance novels for pocket change - because he figured out the formula for writing the perfect romance novel, naturally.
- Da Chief: Julius Root. Then he gets gibbed. Ark Sool takes the position afterwards, but after he reveals his true nature, he's replaced by Trouble Kelp.
- Damsel in Distress: Jayjay the lemur.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Holly, at least in the novels.
- Dastardly Whiplash: Mocked:
Butler: Focus, Artemis, one dastardly crime at the time.
Artemis Fowl: Dastardly, Butler? Dastardly? Honestly, we are not cartoon characters. I do not have a villainous laugh or an eyepatch.
- Dead Guy Junior: Sort of: A curious case in Jayjay the lemur (short for "Julius junior") is indirectly named after Commander Root, who isn't dead the moment they choose the name, but is in the future that Artemis and Holly come from.
- Deadpan Snarker: so many. Artemis, Foaly, Holly, and Mulch (and occasionally Juliet) enjoy trading sarcastic statements. Mulch lampshades it in the narration of the fifth book:
Their little band of adventurers needed another smart-ass like they needed ten years of bad luck.
- Demonic Possession: Opal's possession of Angeline Fowl seems to go beyond mere mesmer.
- It's played even straighter in Last Guardian.
- Development Hell: (Apparently someone wants to make a movie with Jason Statham as Butler.)
- Diabolical Mastermind: Artemis sees himself as such, especially in book one.
- Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Most of the first book takes place from Christmas Eve to before dawn on Christmas Day. This doesn't get mentioned until the last page (Not counting the epilogue).
- Die Hard With Fairies: Word of God says so.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Implied in Book 1:
Juliet was the only person alive who laughed at him [Butler] with embarrassing regularity. Most other people did it once. Just once.
- Doctor's Orders: The Corrupt Corporate Executive's doctors are very much aware of his Mafia connections, so they give medical advice very politely.
- Does This Remind You of Anything??: The ending to The Eternity Code is suspiciously similar to that of Dead to Rights, which came out a year earlier.
- Don't Tell Mama: Artemis really doesn't want his mother to know what's going on, even if she suspects he takes after his father.
- Drives Like Crazy: Mulch Diggums:
Holly: What on earth were you doing, Mulch? The computer says you came all the way down here in first gear.
Mulch: There are gears?
- Mulch's driving technique is described earlier in the book as being "focus on the wheel and the pedals, and ignore everything else." He also assumed the shuttle had an automatic transmission.
- And in The Eternity Code, he scoffs at Juliet when she points out to him that he can't reach the brakes.
- And as of The Lost Colony Doodah Day:
Mulch: This close! We came this close to being incinerated. Give me your gun Holly, I'm going to shoot him.
- Easter Egg: The "gnommish" coded messages running along the pages of some of the books and hidden in certain cover designs. They're a bit weird. They claim you're a long-lost fairy police officer, for one...
- Eat Dirt Cheap: The dwarves.
- Embarrassing First Name: In The Lost Colony Abbot, the Big Bad of the demons, was named after a character from a book taken from the human world, as were all demons when they come of age. His true demon name is N'zall, which means "little horn" in the demon language.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Artemis Fowl, multiple times, starting from asking Holly to heal his mother in book one.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even at his worst, Artemis won't stand for mistreatment of the environment. He also won't kill people. Lemurs, maybe, but not people. When Holly compares Artemis to the villain Jon Spiro, Artemis uses this fact as his defense.
- In the first book, Cudgeon isn't pleased by his foul-mouthed subordinates.
- Everyone Owns A Mac: Take a drink for every Apple reference in the books. Good examples are Artemis's iBook, and the line in The Time Paradox about Foaly sucking information from the Apple Mac.
- Evil Albino: Kronski seems to be this. He is described as having nearly transparent white skin and purple eyes. Since some forms of albinism manifest with purple eyes, and Eoin Colfer is not known for giving his humans odd eye colors, it suggests he may be albino.
- Evil Genius: One per book, two in book six. Artemis in book 1, Opal Koboi in book 2, Jon Spiro in book 3, Opal Koboi again in book 4, Minerva in book 5, Young Artemis and Opal Koboi AGAIN in book 6, Turnball Root in book 7, Opal Koboi AGAIN AGAIN in book 8.
- Evil Poacher/Egomaniac Hunter: The Extinctionists.
- Evil Plan: Each book really. The first one is staged by Artemis himself when he was a Villain Protagonist. "Capture a fairy and ransom them." Simple enough, right? Except he had to find one first, get their book, translate it, and then find a fairy that was worth ransoming.
- Exotic Entree: The Extinctionists from Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox enjoy rendering endangered species extinct... and that, of course, includes dining on highly endangered or outright extinct species.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Invoked in Book eight. A dwarf realises that he's only seconds away from being murdered by Opal, so he decides to go out with flair by making his last words an insult. "I always thought you'd be taller. Plus your hips are wobbly."
- Extended Disarming: Well, not disarming, but near the start of Book 1, Artemis lists all of Butler's weapons hidden on his person.
Artemis: Let me fill you in on the weapons status. I am unarmed. But Butler here, my ... ah ... butler, has a Sig Sauer in his shoulder holster, two shrike throwing knives in his boots, a derringer two-shot up his sleeve, garrotte wire in his watch, and three stun grenades concealed in various pockets. Anything else, Butler?
Butler: The cosh, sir.
Artemis: Oh, yes. A good old ball-bearing cosh stuffed down his shirt.
- He then goes on to say that Butler could kill someone in a hundred different ways without his weapons.
- Eye Scream: The iris cam. Pure genius, but it sparks when changing the settings.
- The Fair Folk: "The People" Arrogant, and annoyed with the Mud People, yes.
- Fairy Companion: Played with: Artemis facetiously refers to Holly as "my fairy friend" at one point, but she is far too Badass to fit the trope.
- Fake Memories: Foaly explains that the mind will naturally create false memories to fill the gaps left by a mind-wipe
- Fartillery: Never stand directly behind a dwarf. Trust us on this one.
- Fantastic Racism: The fairies are prejudiced against humans. This is presented as partly justified in the sense that, to some extent, Humans Are the Real Monsters, but to some extent it's obviously a product of the fairies' recognisably human limitations of perspective. The main reason cited is how unecological human actions are, but a favorite complaint is also how disgusting it's human toilets are indoors. The fairy races are also intolerant of each other, but with at least one being Always Chaotic Evil, it's not surprising.
- As of The Atlantis Complex, we see Turnball Root commenting on how the fairies are wasting resources to the point of throwing away something that would have only taken a dab of silicon gel to fix. The fact that it's also a mastercomputer of a space probe makes this an example of bad security as well.
- Fanservice: Both graphic novels released so far have found an excuse to put Holly in a somewhat... revealing light. The scenes in question were both in the original books, though.
- Fiction 500: He's #3 on the 2011 list, behind only Carlisle Cullen and Scrooge McDuck.
- Find the Cure: The Time Paradox: the only cure for Angeline Fowl's disease is the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur - The catch? Silky sifakas went extinct eight years ago. Artemis himself made sure of that.
- Finger in a Barrel: A variation in the first book. Mulch is being attacked by a gang of goblins, and their ringleader summons a fireball and then inhales it up his nostrils, with the intention of breathing fire over Mulch. Mulch responds by jamming his thumbs up the goblin's nostrils; he gets his thumbs burned, but the goblin's innards take most of the damage.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Various characters find themselves growing closer through all their adventures and misadventures.
- Artemis and Holly are the prime example, seeing as how they've gradually gone from enemies to allies by necessity to somewhat-trusted companions to actual friends to closer friends.
- Artemis and Butler, at first, were just 'the closest thing' each had to a friend. By the end of book 2 and all that had happened, Artemis realized that he truly respected Butler. And by book 3, Artemis was willing to go through a great ordeal to save his life.
- Holly and Mulch, of all people, became close enough for him to join her as her partner when she quit the LEP and became a private detective.
- First Time Feeling:
- In The Time Paradox, Holly restores Damon Kronski's sense of smell in a particularly fowl smelling Souk, which reduces him to writhing on the floor, clawing at his nose.
- Artemis realising for the first time during the Opal Deception that yes, he has friends.
- Five-Man Band:
- Five-Token Band: Turnball's gang is the Fairy equivalent: One elf, one sprite, one dwarf, one gnome, one goblin.
- Forgot About the Mind Reader: Opal Koboi has her none-too-bright henchmen convinced to the point of paranoia that she can read minds, simply by turning on them at random and shrieking "I heard that!" One henchman tests her by thinking treasonous thoughts at her as loudly as possible.
Henchman (thinking): Holly Short is prettier than you.
Opal Koboi: Don't stare at me like that, it's bad for my skin.
- Four Is Death: Invoked in the entire run of The Atlantis Complex. Caused by the titular magical malady.
- Foreshadowing: In The Last Guardian, when Gobdaw Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, causing him to Go Out with a Smile, Artemis wonders if, when he dies, will he do the same. And then...
- Friendly Enemy: Artemis and Holly start off this way.
- Friendship Moment: Many across the series from Holly and Artemis especially, but the ones that stand out are Artemis giving Holly the chance to say goodbye to Commander Root and in the last book, Artemis realizing that yes, he would go to the ends of the Earth (and below it) for Holly.
- Fun with Acronyms: "LEP recon", the Lower Elements Police reconnaissance unit.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Foaly.
- Gambit Pileup:
- The first book starts simple enough, Fowl faction vs LEP recon in a hostage situation. Then Mulch has his own agenda, Cudgeon has his own agenda, Holly's agenda shifts away from Root's agenda, and then there's a troll.
- In The Time Paradox, Artemis versus Opal. One particular example: When he takes off in the Cessna, it looks as though they are all trying to make a break for it... but then Opal uses her thermal imager to see there is only one passenger. She guesses it is a decoy... but then notices Artemis is concealing the lemur's body heat under his shirt. That's what he wanted her to see.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: An odd example; the faerie language is apparently a language of symbols, but for all the codes at the bottom of the book, each symbol is translated directly to an English letter.
- Gasshole: Mulch Diggums, and the dwarves in general.
- Gender-Blender Name: The title character (sort of; "Artemis" as a human name is genderless). He also claims to write romance novels under the name Violet Tsirblou in an inversion of Moustache de Plume.
- Genius Bruiser: Butler may not quite equal his employer in heist-planning, but he's still pretty damn smart and outstrips him in several other fields.
- Genre-Busting: An international espionage/science-fiction/crime thriller with a teen protagonist. And fairies.
- Gentleman Thief: Artemis executes elaborate heists for the challenge and, after book one, seems to pick targets that he feels deserve it.
- George Jetson Job Security: At one point in the first book, Artemis' mother demands that he fire a maid that displeased her. Artemis agrees to, then offers to hire Butler's sister Juliet as a replacement, which is approved. Since Juliet was the maid in question (Something Mrs Fowl was not capable of realizing given her mental state for much of the book), this resulted in no actual change to the status quo.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- In the sixth book, while it did fit the language-obsessed character, a particular quote seemed to be directed as much at the readers as at the other characters:
"I think we all know what D'Arvit means," said Nol, "But hurkk is not English."
- Artemis totally just flipped off Abbot.
Artemis Fowl grinned right back at him and pointed his index finger at the sky. Actually, it was his middle finger, due to the time tunnel switch.
- Giant Squid: Artemis is attacked by one in The Atlantis Complex
- A Glass in the Hand: When Artemis enrages Gobdaw in Last Guardian, Gobdaw responds by snapping a martini glass and trying to attack Artemis with the sharp end of the stem.
- Go Out with a Smile: Julius Root.
- Green Aesop: The series teems with these, some more subtle than others. As of book five, environmental issues have not featured in the main plot, but the fairy people are quick to criticize humanity's lack of respect for nature and Artemis tends to agree with them in an Even Evil Has Standards sort of way. Book six, The Time Paradox, brings this front and center with the main plot focusing on an endangered lemur. Even the Easter Egg codes in some of the books are somewhat Anviliciously pro-green.
There were less objectionable ways to get oil by-products, thought Artemis.
- The seventh book opens with Artemis unveiling his plan to end global warming.
- Comes to a head at the eighth book with practically all modern technology being destroyed ('cause of Opal, by proxy) and green technologies replacing them.
- Grey and Gray Morality: In the first book, an argument could easily be made for either side being the "good guys".
- In the case of Artemis himself, well... on one hand, he is an unashamedly greedy criminal (which his future self readily admits). On the other, he does have some standards, feels some guilt over his plan, and given the set of values that his father gave him, he certainly doesn't think he's doing the "wrong" thing so much as following a twisted sort of "God-helps-those-who-help-themselves" mentality. Plus, two of his less explicit reasons for his kidnapping plot were to heal his mother and raise more money to try and find his father.
- In the case of the LEP, some of them did some very questionable things, such as sending a troll into a house where it would be a danger to everyone, including the hostage. Many of them, including characters who were opposed to the troll idea, were later willing to kill several innocent bystanders (Fowl's mother and Juliet along with all of the wildlife) to take out Fowl and ensure that he wouldn't exploit the fairy world in the future. (Recovering the ransom was just a bonus.)
- Grudging Thank You: Artemis to Holly at the end of book 2 and Butler to Holly in the first book.
- Healing Hands: Any creature with magic can do it, though skill is a factor.
- Heel-Face Turn: Artemis, sort of. His father too, after he's recovered, thanks to Holly's meddling.
- Heroic Willpower
- Strong-minded individuals can put up some resistance to fairy mesmer.
- This is also the main reason Artemis's atoms don't get randomly scattered through the time stream due to his multiple travels through it—"willpower," or at least intense focus and preservation of self, was stated to save him.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Artemis and Butler.
- Hey, You!: It marks a turning point in their relationship when Holly finally calls Artemis by his first name instead of "Fowl" (or "Mudboy"), and (much later) calling him "Arty". Likewise, when Artemis first calls his mother "Mum" instead of the more formal "Mother."
- Hijacked by Ganon: In Artemis Fowl and The Time Paradox, the apparent villain-of-the-day (or yesterday) Damon Kronski turns out to be the pawn of Opal Koboi.
- Holding Hands: Artemis and Holly do this in The Time Paradox.
- Hollywood Chameleon: Discussed. When Artemis learns that Foaly named his Cham-foil invention in honor of the chameleon's signature color-changing ability, he wonders whether or not Foaly is aware that chameleons choose their color based on mood rather than as a means of camouflage.
- Hope Spot: A crushing one near the end of The Last Guardian, when Artemis tries to escape the Berserker Gate before it activates and kills him. He manages to jump out of the crater and begins to pass through the magical barrier. Holly is holding his hand, pulling him through, and Artemis thinks that a new life is ahead of him as an ambassador between humans and the People. And then the Gate kicks in and Artemis is dragged back in the crater. Butler doesn't make it to pull him out. Of course, it was only a Disney Death, but still...
- Horse of a Different Color: Book eight mentions that fairies once used trolls as steeds in times of war. Mulch figures out the secret and rides a troll into battle against the berserkers.
- How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: Stopping time.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: According to the fairies, mostly regarding our treatment of the environment. In practice, Artemis is merely Affably Evil (if that). Though other human antagonists would definitely count. Jon Spiro in the third book and The Extinctionists in the sixth book. The Extinctionists, however The Man Behind the Man turns out to be a fairy plot. It dies down as the series eventually, though reluctantly, concedes that both humans and fairies can be pretty bastardy.
- Humans Are Warriors: During The Opal Deception, a kidnapped Holly and Artemis are taken to an abandoned theme park. Artemis sees some mannequins in a gift-shop window that are dressed up as humans, in various warlike poses.
- Hypocritical Humor: From The Time Paradox:
Opal Koboi: (meditating) Peace be within me, tolerance all around me, forgiveness in my path. Now, Mervall, tell me where the filthy human is so that I may feed him his organs.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Artemis gains a few Darker and Edgier points when he manipulates Holly 's feelings for her dead mother to agree to cure his own.
- If I Can't Have You: Young Artemis to Artemis about Jayjay in The Time Paradox.
- I Hate Past Me: Comes to the forefront in The Time Paradox.
- I'll Kill You!: Loafers in Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code, after he finally has enough of Mulch's taunting:
Loafers: I'LL KILL YOU! YOU'LL BE MY NEXT TATTOO! YOU'LL BE MY NEXT TATTOO!
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Although not immortal, fairies can only have one child every twenty years; humanity's faster reproduction is actually the main reason it was able to more-or-less take the world from them.
- Insecurity Camera: Help along Artemis to bust Spiro's ass.
- Insistent Terminology: Artemis would like everyone to remember that the silky sifaka is a lemur, not a monkey.
- Insufferable Genius: Artemis, Foaly.
- Internal Affairs: Ark Sool.
- Interspecies Romance:
- Artemis and Holly. Well. Sort of.
- In The Atlantis Complex, Turnball Root's love for Leonor is what motivates him.
- Also, Orion, who has a thing for Holly, and claims Artemis does as well.
- Intrinsic Vow: Mesmer, Butler ordered to kill Holly, the "body refuses to keep functioning" version.
- Invisibility: An ability of most faries, except demons, needed to maintain The Masquerade.
- Invisibility Cloak: Foaly creates an invention called Cam Foil to make the wearer of it invisible. It's more technological than Harry Potter cloaks, which serves some problems, such as it shorts out in rain and is not invisible to a camera. Also, the circuitry can be easily crushed and the wearer appears as a slight haze, so is still noticeable.
- Involuntary Charity Donation: Happens to Jon Spiro, who gets 90% of his billions donated to Amnesty International. Artemis had intended to keep the lot for himself, but got hit by a sudden attack of conscience and satisfied himself with a 10% "Finder's Fee".
- Ironic Echo: In Book 1:
Holly: Stay back, human. You don't know what you're dealing with.
Artemis: I believe it's time to let our diminutive friends know exactly who they're dealing with.
- Ironic Echo Cut: From The Opal Deception - "No one could pretend to be in a coma for over a year. Surely not. A fairy would have to be totally obsessed. ... ... Chapter 1: Totally Obsessed"
- Is The Answer To This Question "Yes"?: At one point in the first book, they're watching a tape and Root asks Foaly if he can zoom in on Artemis' face. Foaly responds, "Can a dwarf steal the web from under a spider?" Root replies "yes", and Foaly says that it was a rhetorical question.
- I Want Them Alive: Spiro and Opal.
- I Was Never Here: The Camera Spoofing as above.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Fairy mesmer. It even includes the classic 'wave of the hand'.
- Jumped at the Call: Artemis sought the call out and kidnapped it. Orion is a bit more traditional.
Orion: Artemis never paid attention during self-defense lessons. I, however, always knew this day would come.
- Karmic Thief: At one point, Artemis Fowl chooses to focus his efforts solely on stealing from the wealthy and corrupt. However, he explicitly says he is not aiming to be Just Like Robin Hood
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Turnball Root to Holly in Atlantis Complex.
- Killed Off for Real:
- Commander Root. Although he gets a Time Travel cameo in The Time Paradox.
- Commander Raine Vinyaya also gets it in The Atlantis Complex. Clearly, this is not a good rank for the LEP.
- Lady of War: Holly Short.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Fairy technology can do this, but it's costly and labour-intensive. Used on a random Mafia goon and Artemis after The Eternity Code.
- Last of His Kind: Jayjay, the silky sifaka lemur. Not for long, because Foaly is going to clone more.
- Legacy of Service: The Butlers have been serving the Fowls for so long that they were the origin of the word butler. The earliest known interaction between the two was the Third Crusade.
- Left the Background Music On: In TLC, where Minerva is being held captive, she thinks that the situation is as tense as possible, and there's even theme music playing. Then she realizes the music is actually the Big Bad's cell phone ringing.
- Leprechaun: Actually LEPrecon: the Lower Elements Police reconnaissance unit. The stereotypical human view of Leprechauns is a source of significant embarrassment for the elves. And Recon are actually the source of that stereotype, if the multiple references to "the top hat and shillelagh days" in the first book are anything to go by.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Time travel and a violation of Never the Selves Shall Meet result in Artemis facing off against Artemis - and, for the first time, facing Butler as an opponent.
- Literal Surveillance Bug: The ARClights, genetically engineered dragonflies carrying biotech cameras, created by Foaly.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Artemis Fowl, book one. He spends all his time watching computer terminals for news of his father and caring for his insane mother.
- Longer-Than-Life Sentence: Mulch Diggums got a total of 300 years for his burglaries against "Mudmen"; subverted as fairies live very long.
- Loophole Abuse: In one of Holly's combat simulation exams, she beat an insurmountable number of enemies by shooting the projector. As they didn't have any rules against that, they had to let her pass.
- Also the way she passed her LEPrecon exam. Despite the exam being interrupted by his brother Turnball and Holly saving his life, Julius Root says Holly failed because she didn't follow his orders. Then Holly shoots him with her paintball gun, because Root said the one sure way to pass was shooting him before he could shoot her (which nobody had managed in a century).
- Lucky Translation: Trouble Kelp is called Truba in official Russian translation. It does sound similar as far as translation goes, and even though its main meaning is "pipe", its second meaning is "a disastrous situation"
- Luxury Prison Suite: Turnball Root manages to get one of these, receiving each item as a reward for selling out his former comrades
- Mad Lib Thriller Title: Every novel beginning with book two has one.
- Magical Computer: The Cube. Literally. Will do anything for you. Starting with hacking military satellites (human or fairy), and everything between that and diagnosing any medical conditions you have.
- Magical Database: In Foaly's case, this might be a literal description.
- Magic Knight: Demons in Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony are divided into two castes: ordinary demons develop no magical power, but metamorphosise into monstrous forms when they come of age, while warlocks develop magical talent instead of muscle. Demon warlord Leon Abbott managed to steal some magical power from a warlock when he interrupted a spellcasting ritual and caused a freak accident, and uses the stolen magic to secretly bewitch the rest of demonkind into serving him.
- Masquerade: Fairies are real!
- McGuffin: Jayjay, the world's last silky sifaka lemur.
- Meaningful Name: Multiple characters.
- Mega Corp.: Koboi Industries, prior to Opal's incarceration, had many legitimate enterprises that manufactured "everything from weapon parts to medical equipment" and even ran illegal front companies that sold obsolete fairy technology to humans. This allows Opal to cripple both human and fairy technology when she murders her past self and causes the majority of Koboi technology to violently annihilate itself.
- Memory Gambit: The Eternity Code and The Opal Deception.
- Mercy Lead: Kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums is recruited for so many LEP missions - despite his official criminal status - that he practically receives a salary in Mercy Leads.
- Military Maverick: LEPrecon Captain Holly Short tends to ignore the order to stand down and wait for reinforcements. As such, Root keeps screaming.
- Mind Screw: The Atlantis Complex, if you can't keep track of the number of times the narrative changes to a scene taking place a few hours earlier or later.
- Moustache de Plume: Inverted. Artemis says that he writes romance novels under the name Violet Tsirblou.
- Must Be Invited: Any species capable of magic. Forcing your way in without an invitation is a good way to loose the entire contents of your stomach, and repeat offenses cause loss of spellcasting.
- Myopic Architecture: Butler destroys an ancient stone doorway because it's much weaker than the modern armored door. Also Mulch Diggums gets through the floor of an otherwise secure area.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Nº1 is intellectual and gentle at heart, but all the other demons he grew up with were "hit first, question later" Blood Knights overflowing with machismo. After years of trying to fit in, this (and some hypnotic prodding) lead him to leave the island. Turns out, though, that he's not like the rest because he's the first warlock to appear in ages, and warlocks just don't have the same bloodlust that most demons do.
- Narrator All Along: Holly Short is revealed to be the narrator of the series at the end of The Last Guardian:
Holly: "It all began in Ho Chi Minh City one summer."
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Juliet grows up wanting nothing more than to duplicate her brother's accomplishments as a bodyguard and live up to the family name. Book 3 has her coming to terms with this attitude. Unfortunately for Juliet fans, her refusal of the bodyguard profession and conscious attempt to level in Badass means joining a lucha libre troupe in Mexico and disappearing for the next three books. This is subverted with Opal Koboi because even though her father was successful and she entered the technology field too, he never encouraged or helped her in any way and basically wanted her to stay in the kitchen. Also, her company eventually puts his company out of business.
- Averted with Holly. She's actually the first female LEP Recon officer, and this is a large part of book 1.
- Never Going Back To Prison: In the short story "LEPRecon", Turnball Root decides he would rather kill himself by swallowing a Tunnel Blue spider than let his brother Julius incarcerate him.
- Never Hurt an Innocent
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: The Time Paradox. Ideally they wouldn't have, if everything had gone according to plan....
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Dwarves. Seriously, at least one new one per book, kinda like Silver Age Superman. Along the course of the series, we learn that they can: tunnel by eating through earth, fire a devastating barrage of digested rocks/mud/whatever they just dug through, propel themselves underwater and ignore the bends because of intestinal bacteria, have saliva that works as a healing balm, can cling to walls if dehydrated, have glow-in-the-dark spit, which can also solidify to trap enemies AND contains a sedative capable of knocking people out (how exactly is only explained as far as Mulch's comment that "You didn't fall asleep because I didn't do your head"), have prehensile beards/antennae (very handy lockpicks/emergency automatic surgical needles)....
- Lampshaded. "Even the dwarves don't know most of their abilities,"
- In The Last Guardian, the present day Opal is able to detect the existence of the past Opal existing simultaneously in her head.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In Book 1, Artemis is a fairy-kidnapping Gadgeteer Genius mastermind at the head of a criminal empire.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jon Spiro seems a lot like a very jerky version of Donald Trump. note
- No Eye in Magic: The fairy 'Mesmer' ability, which - with direct eye-contact - allows the fairy to hypnotize and control a person. Reflective lenses such as shades will block it (and, on one memorable occasion, mirror-surfaced contact-lenses are used to covertly block a Mesmer), but it CAN be conveyed across video-link, albeit at a significant power-loss. (Strong-willed people can shrug off Mesmer if it's by video. With direct eye-contact, the best you can hope for is to resist violently enough to die rather than carry out the commands of your fairy master).
- Non-Action Guy: Artemis is brains, not brawn, and frequently regrets his lack of physical fitness and coordination when he is forced to take an active role in things. Foaly is more successful in avoiding the action; his involvement rarely requires him to leave his computers.
- Non Sequitur Thud:
- When Artemis wakes up from being knocked out by Butler in the sixth book.
Artemis: Sell the Phonetix shares!
- Note to Self: The laser disc.
- Not Me This Time: In "The Arctic Incident," Holly and Root assume it's Artemis behind the B'wa Kell golbin smugglings, but after they kidnap him to find out, it turns out not to be the case.
- During The Atlantis Complex, Foaly suspects Opal is behind the latest plot to destroy Haven. As it's an odd numbered book it's Turnball Root.
- Obi-Wan Moment: The last act of Julius Root before Koboi blows a hole in his chest is to smile at Holly and wish her well.
- Obstacle Exposition: Happens in every book, sometimes more than once. All that advanced fairy tech seems designed to create Mission: Impossible security system scenarios.
- Oddly Small Organisation: Artemis' criminal empire pretty much consists entirely of himself and Butler. After his father's disappearance, Artemis apparently scaled back the family operations to only one's which he could oversee personally (almost entirely grand larceny and fraud), and heavily invests the profits from these (although he does make great use from his family's and Butler's vast network of contacts).
- Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: The People's sim-...everything.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Well, the only one we see is a Techno Wizard and Insufferable Genius, and pretty much the only person who can understand his Techno Babble is Artemis. It is mentioned, however, that most centaurs are like this: without magic, but very intelligent (though Foaly presumably still qualifies as genius).
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted. They have a digestive tunneling system, unhinging jaw, glowing spit, jet pack flatulence, suction cup skin, and more.
- Our Elves Are Better: Some sort of weird halfway-house between the Tolkien elves and old elves.
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Our Goblins Are Different: They are lizardfolk, they are the only ones who are able to use fireballs, and they are the stupidest sentient race on the planet.
- Our Hero Is Dead: Holly's "death" in The Lost Colony is a textbook example - although the fact that she isn't the title character might give less jaded readers momentary pause.
- Artemis pulls this as part of his gambit in The Last Guardian.
- Out-Gambitted: In the Opal Deception, Artemis does this to Opal in spectacular fashion.
- Outrun the Fireball:
- In Book 1, Commander Root is nearly killed by Artemis with a remote bomb. Commander Root, being a fairy, has to use his training to recognize the symbols... numbers... getting smaller... a countdown!
- In Book 4, The Opal Deception, Holly, after seeing a bio-bomb detonate in Artemis's hotel room, has to try and stop another one from detonating and killing her, as Artemis got out safely. She covers it with her LEP helmet, but the helmet crashes away and she has to outrun the deadly blue light.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Butler and Holly are both significantly above average intelligence. They just have the bad luck to live in the same world as Artemis and Foaly.
- Pardon My Klingon: "D'Arvit!" Lampshaded in the first book.
There is no point in translating that, as we'd have to censor it.
- Parental Abandonment: Artemis's father is missing, presumed dead, while his mother is crazy. They both get better.
- Pet The Endangered Lemur: Artemis has mellowed some since book 1.
- Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: The fairies use neutrino charges to blow stuff up at one point.
- Plasma Cannon: Koboi labs and Police Plaza have automated plasma cannons with stun settings.
- Prehensile Hair: Mulch Diggums's beard hair, which can also serve as handy custom lockpicks.
- Prompting Nudge: Near the end of The Arctic Incident, Butler gives Artemis a nudge to prompt him to thank Holly for saving his parents.
- Punny Name:
- All over the place, most notably in The Last Guardian with the pirate duo Salton Finnacre and J'Heez Nunyan and the Chinese Warrior Yezwi Khan.
- The dwarf engineer in The Last Guardian is named Kolin Ozkopy.
- Artemis himself is fond of using these as pseudonyms. He published some romance novels under the name Violet Tsirblou ("violets are blue...") and submitted articles to psychology journals under the names "C. Niall DeMencha" and "Sir E. Brum". Also, the way Artemis makes a point of mentioning when he used a pseudonym can be seen as Lampshade Hanging.
- Put on a Bus: Juliet joined a wrestling team, and Minerva wasn't even mentioned in Time Paradox.
- Race Lift: Holly Short and elves in general are described as brown-skinned and, except for the pointy ears, able to pass as short humans in the books, but the graphic novels give her skin as fair as Artemis's. More subtly, the Butler siblings are described as noticeably part-Asian in the books, Butler passing easily for Chinese at one point despite being blue-eyed and terrifyingly tall. It's not noticeable in the graphic novels at all, to the point Juliet looks like a palette swap of Angeline.
- Real Aard Fictional Character: Mulch Diggums, finding the life of a (rich) law-abiding citizen in the human world to be unbearably boring, soon resorts to kleptomania, stealing Oscars from (fictional) Hollywood stars.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Butler is a Le Cordon Bleu chef and enjoys old romance movies (his favourite is "Some Like It Hot"; tell anyone and he'll hunt you down); Artemis writes poetry and classical music, enjoys opera, theatre, and has designed an opera house.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Word of God describes the series as "Die Hard WITH FAIRIES!"
- Reed Richards Is Useless: As part of the long-running environmentalism anvils the Fairies never provide (willingly or unwillingly) technology that would help prevent humanity from polluting.
- Re Lex: The fairy language appears to be a Re Lex of English with Irish influences.
- Replacement Flat Character: Artemis becomes a more decent person as the books go on, so The Lost Colony adds Minerva Paradiso who's doing nearly the same thing as Artemis in the first book. The younger Artemis they meet while travelling back in time in The Time Paradox also counts.
- Retcon: A minor one involving the story of how Foaly met his wife Caballine. In The Lost Colony, the two met because Caballine was a fan of one of Foaly's inventions. In The Last Guardian, the two met because Caballine was mistaken for a bank robber by Foaly's software and was thrown in jail, with Foaly having to apologize in person.
- Retroactive Preparation: In The Time Paradox Artemis and Holly are locked in the trunk of a car and decide that later on they'll go back in time and ask Mulch Diggums to come rescue them. Soon after, Mulch breaks open the trunk. They try something similar later on in the book, but realize that it only works once.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Happnes to Mulch in Book one. He tries to sweet-talk some goblins by claiming to sympathise with them, only to find out that the only thing they hate more than a dwarf is a traitor to his own kind.
- Ridiculously Difficult Route: In The Arctic Incident, Artemis and his friends are trying to find a way inside Koboi Labs. The good news is, Mulch has a cousin who worked as a contractor during the labs' construction, and they discovered an underground fissure that leads straight to the labs' foundations. The bad news is, the fissure opens and shuts periodically as it expands and contracts with heat from the Earth's core, it will only be wide enough for their shuttle to navigate safely for three minutes at a time, and it's at it's widest for a few moments right before the next magma flare.
- Rival Science Teams: Foaly and Opal.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Lili Frond, descendant of the first king of the People, works in the LEP.
- Rule of Cool
- Running Gag
- In Book 7, bivouacs.
- In Book 6, people referring to the lemur as a monkey.
- Artemis's lack of physical fitness and his repeatedly broken promises that if he can just survive this scrape, he'll start hitting the gym.
- Running on All Fours: Goblins.
- Sadistic Choice: The beginning of The Opal Deception Opal forces Holly to choose between saving Commander Root and Artemis, then compounds the sadism by offering her a false third option. To add even more insult to injury, Opal didn't give Holly enough time to save Artemis even if Holly had left immediately.
- Science Is Wrong: Subverted. Human understanding of certain scientific concepts is wrong, but only because human observations are limited by the fact that magic is actively hidden from "Mudmen." The scientific method is still a-okay.
- Scientifically Understandable Sorcery: Artemis states that magic is just an energy that can control other energies.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: "Illegal tends to be faster." - Butler, books 2 and 4.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Holly Short gets in trouble because of this on quite a regular basis.
"Have you ever actually followed an order?"
- Sherlock Scan: Artemis can pull this off.
- Shiny New Barbados: What Opal promises her henchmen in The Opal Deception.
- Ship Tease: Holly kissing Artemis in Book 6 and more.
- Artemis hugs Holly to activate a weight-sensitive panel to open a locked door.
- They have to undress down to underwear and then hold hands in order to Time Travel. N°1 makes a parting shot about pronouncing them "man and elf". Then, when they arrive in the past, Artemis is aged and Holly rejuvenated to the point where their age disparity disappears. For bonus points, thinking about this disturbs Holly. That almost crosses the line from Ship Tease to Unresolved Sexual Tension.
- For the non-Artolly shippers, Book 7 reveals that Holly and Trouble Kelp went on at least one date.
- Also in Book 7, Orion. While he usually spends time pointing out how much he loves Holly, he also lets it slip early on that Artemis also has similar feelings, but chooses to hide them.
- Book five covers the time period in which Artemis experiences puberty. Being Artemis, the enormous mass of new-found emotions and hormones is little more than an annoyance, but, also, being Artemis, he has no trouble mentioning this annoyance whenever he was distracted by a pretty face. This also just happened to be the book in which Minerva- essentially a slightly younger, Distaff Counterpart to Artemis Fowl- heavily features. Furthermore, he actually mentioned feeling attraction towards her, specifically. And yet, beyond these passing mentions, the matter comes up roughly twice: once when they get along incredibly well on the phone, which lasts about twenty seconds, since they are currently attempting to ruin each other's plans, and again towards the end at Minerva's side when she is revealed to have been thinking about Artemis in an admiring sense.
- The Last Guardian has the scene where Artemis and Holly attempt to out maneuver each other to save them from performing a Heroic Sacrifice . Quelle suprise, Artemis wins, but the scene wouldn't be out of place in a romantic drama with more traditional love interests.
- He kisses her goodbye, too. And when he comes back to life he and Holly are left in a field of roses. Ahem.
- Shout-Out: See ShoutOut.Artemis Fowl.
- The Slow Path: Inverted in The Lost Colony. They return three years after they left. No. 1 was worried it would have been more.
- Played for Laughs in The Last Guardian, where Foaly uses the power of a van whose communication system has his personality to set off a time-stop; what takes five seconds for him is five years for the van.
Foaly's van: I missed you so much, dude! Did we win?
Foaly: Yes we did...dude.
- Smart People Play Chess: One of Artemis' covers was a chess prodigy. The guard, also a chessmaster (not that kind), didn't believe it, and challenged him to a game. Artemis beat him in six moves.
- Smug Snake: Jon Spiro
- The Smurfette Principle: Deconstructed like whoa in the first book, when Holly point-blank asks Root if he's harder on her because she's a girl. He admits it, and then points out that she's the first female in Recon, and needs to set an example. It's also worth noting that the only other female up for the job Holly considers a 'bimbo'.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: An aversion is discussed - in the epilogue of the first book, the person profiling Artemis theorizes that the reason he wanted Holly to heal his mother was not due to filial affection, but because social services was about to figure out that his father was missing and his mother was not functional, and he needed a way to keep them from designating him a ward of the state and sending him to a foster home.
- Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: How they defeat Opal Koboi the second time.
- Space Whale Aesop: Save the Earth or you'll kill the fairies!
- Sphere of Destruction: Biobombs. They explode in a (usually) sphere of light and kills everything within range, although they can be contained by Time Stops, which have a pentagonal base.
- Spoiler Opening: If you know how to read Gnommish, the first page of The Last Guardian says The Last Will and Testament of Artemis Fowl. This comes up in English in the third act.
- Stable Time Loop: More or less. The Time Paradox has so many piled on one another it'll make your head spin. Even just planning to do something when he got back to the future made it retroactive fact, allowing him to reap the benefits before actually doing so. Even more, Artemis's obsession with fairies in the first book is the result of residual memories from his future self, in which he learned about fairies and his own involvement with them, after a Mind Wipe.
- Completely defied in The Last Guardian.
- Staged Shooting: During the rescue operation in book 2.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Holly to Artemis in book one, even mentioned by name at one point.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Not really. Artemis just wakes up on one. Occurs for real in The Time Paradox.
- Super Cell Reception: Artemis once received a text message in the Arctic. Sent from a laptop inside the Earth. One could speculate that the fairies have set up underground Internet and cell phone service providers... but it was Artemis' own laptop, so it probably ran on a plain old human-run ISP. Then again, it was Gadgeteer Genius Foaly at the keyboard, though Artemis himself notes that it should have been impossible for him to receive the message.
- The story adheres more to actual physics when, asked if they can send a reply, Artemis nonchalantly quips, "Certainly. Just give me six months, some specialized equipment and three miles of steel girder." Foaly himself mentions how hard it was to patch into the human networks.
- The Last Guardian mentions that all fairy communications halted because the human satellites they were piggybacking on fell from orbit. They probably just install devices to block signals of human origin and use the full capacity of the human tech to their own benefit. Artemis, being Artemis, would have found unblocking the device child's play.
- Swiss Bank Account: Artemis Fowl has several, though probably not as many as when he was still (moderately) evil. A couple of villains (most notably in The Eternity Code) also had Swiss Bank Accounts, ripe for Artemis to dig his fingers into.
- Take That: Colfer can be utterly ruthless in his description of civilian fairies in the first book.
- A particularly noteworthy example is Dr. J. Argon, a pastiche of celebrity doctors as well as psychologists in general. Colfer also makes a rather deliberate note in the first book that Argon is "a psychologist from below the United States".
- A short one at politicans in general: "Cudgeon was doing what politicans did best: trying to duck responsibility."
- Techno Wizard: Foaly, and Artemis himself to a lesser extent.
- Technology Marches On: A fair amount of Fairy technology and equipment considered superior to the human variety at the start of the series by either the characters or the author have become decidedly less so as the years have gone by. Notable examples include wrist GPS, wafer-thin laptop computers and the iris-cam. Several Future Soldier Programs currently in development will almost certainly make the original LEP Recon jumpsuit the next casualty.
- Teen Genius: Artemis, of course. And Minerva, who managed to calculate when and where demons will show up on Earth, without having ever seen the fairy book. Although she did have Queffor(sharing a body with Abbot) to give her the calculations for it.
- Teen Superspy: Artemis is one, albeit self-employed. No government agencies for him - Artemis has the style and the gadgets. Juliet is another, and even joins a SWAT team in The Eternity Code.
- Terrible Artist: Mulch's "helpful" diagrams in The Arctic Incident.
- Theme Music Power-Up: It may be a series of novels, but Artemis occasionally invokes this trope in his head.
- In the first book, when he finally acquires his metric ton of gold from the People, he imagines that somewhere, the 1812 Overture is playing.
- In The Eternity Code when Artemis meets Spiro on the airfield, he thinks that some music would be perfect for this situation.
- And then in The Time Paradox, when he needs to think some mental music to clear his head, he thinks to himself: Plotting music, I need plotting music.
- More literally in The Time Paradox when composing a symphony in his head stops his atoms being scattered.
- Theme Naming: Most of the fairies have nature and plant-themed names.
- This Is Reality: In book seven Artemis Fowl gains a psychosis. Foaly's response is to invoke this trope.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Sometimes time travel forces a stable time loop but then at others allows paradoxes with no explanation for why given.
- Title Drop:
- Book 2, The Arctic Incident, is retroactively title-dropped in book 4.
"Holly studied her trigger finger. A faint scar circled its base where it had been severed during the Arctic incident."
- Dropped quite a few times in Book 6.
- The Atlantis Complex also repeatedly mentions, well, Atlantis Complex.
- Too Clever by Half: Artemis.
- Translator Microbes: Fairies are able to converse in all languages, including dolphin and dog. This is explained as being partly one of the benefits of fairy magic, and partly because fairies were the first creatures to develop language, and all other languages are at least partly based on Gnommish as a result.
- Trope Namer: An in-universe example: we're told Butler's family is so highly regarded, the profession was named after them.
- Tunnel King: Mulch Diggums
- Turn in Your Badge: Root keeps threatening Holly with this, especially after being seen by a toddler.
- Ultimate Job Security: Invoked by Foaly. He designed most of his tech so that if anyone but he tried to operate it, a hidden virus would "bring it crashing down around their pointy ears". Needless to say, he abuses this situation by talking down to and making cracks about his superiors, knowing full well that even suspending him would greatly handicap the whole organisation.
- Universal Driver's License:
- Fish smuggler Doodah Day can allegedly drive any vehicle, be it human, fairy or otherwise.
- Mulch has jacked several hundred kinds of vehicles and drove only with "The gas and the steering wheel". He even managed to outrun a pair of missiles in first gear.
- Unmanly Secret: Butler, Artemis Fowl's six-foot-plus One-Man Army and Battle Butler, likes watching romantic comedies, though he will never admit this to anyone.
- Unreliable Narrator: Lampshaded. The first book is framed as part of a report by Argon. "Details are 94% accurate, 6% unavoidable extrapolation."
- Urban Fantasy: Elves, goblins, and faries using assault rifles and jetpacks.
- Vancian Magic: Everyone with magic has a certain amount that they have available for use. When they run out, they have to go through an arduous ritual to replenish it. Also, the mesmer uses up decidedly less power than the other magics... unless you need to heal the villain's chronic lack of smell.
- Vetinari Job Security: Invoked by Foaly; if anyone but him tries to use his computer, it crashes. He can still have his pay docked, though.
- Villain Protagonist: Artemis in book one, not so villainous later on.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Spiro in Book 3, after Artemis not only escapes from him, but calls the SWAT team, steals the Cube, and basically screws Spiro over after he had everything he could ever want in his hands.
- Kronski suffers a particularly spectacular one
- The entirety of The Last Guardian is one for Opal, not that she was particularly stable to begin with.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Foaly in his role as Mission Control.
- Volleying Insults: Mulch and Foaly in particular enjoy trading gibes.
- Waking Non Sequitur: Foaly gets one in The Atlantis Complex.
- Wall Crawl: One of the dwarves’ adaptation is the ability to absorb moisture through their pores, which enlarge when dehydrated. While this is useful if you are trapped in a cave in, Mulch makes use of their suction-cup pores to scale glass buildings.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Animal fat.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: In Book 7, the predominant sentiment of anyone dealing with Orion. Played for every ounce of humor and pain it's worth.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Minerva. At the end of book 5, she is stated to have spent the last 3 years obsessing over, and waiting for, Artemis. She hasn't been mentioned since.
- Winged Humanoid: played with - except for sprites, fairies' "wings" are actually jetpacks.
- Wise Beyond His Years: Artemis.
- Wistful Amnesia: Artemis post-mindwipe. Then he shows his former self when he discovers contact lenses he made to cheat the mesmer. As of The Time Paradox, Artemis being interested in fairies in the first book is actually due to this.
- Witch Species: Many of the fairy races in are this.
- With Due Respect: In The Atlantis Complex, Holly tells Foaly that the guidelines which suggest that in her situation she should retreat to a safe distance and construct a bivouac are "with respect... a pile of troll weevils." Foaly, who helped to write those guidelines, asks if she actually knows what respect means.
- World of No Grandparents: Mostly. Artemis' grandfather gets a nod in The Atlantis Complex, it's mentioned in the first book that his maternal grandfather died when he was two, and Angelina thinks Artemis is her father-in-law at one point. But that's about it.
- World of Snark: Is there anyone in this series who doesn't snark around, outside of Pex and Chips?
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In The Time Paradox, Artemis and Holly are sent back eight years in time. But in The Last Guardian, it is mentioned multiple times that past!Opal has been removed from her timeline five years ago. It seems Eoin Colfer forgot to add the three 'skipped' years from The Lost Colony in TLC.
- Xanatos Gambit: In the first book. After abducting Holly, Artemis notices she has a tracer on her wrist so he does some quick soldering and gluing to place a tin camera inside. If it works then great, but if it doesn't, its still off Holly and all he loses is an advantage he never expected to have in the first place.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Not only can Artemis come up with new plans on the fly, he can calculate their probability of success.
Foaly: "Do you realize he had less than a minute to come up with this plan to save Butler's life? That's one smart Mud Boy."
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: During The Time Paradox Artemis and Holly spend about three days in the past, whilst for Foaly and No.1 it's ten seconds. This is played for laughs at the end of the book. Doubles as Leaning on the Fourth Wall as the reader leaves Foaly beginning to count to ten, sees the whole of Holly and Artemis's journey and "returns" when he says it was the longest ten seconds of his life.
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious
- Bodyguard etiquette demands that Butler never reveals his first name to Artemis to keep their relationship professional. He reveals it in book 3, after he's been shot and believes himself to be dying - it's 'Domovoi', a slavic word meaning 'guardian spirit'.
- If Holly calls Commander Root 'Julius', it means she's about to disobey an order or do something else that will annoy him.
- In The Opal Deception, Mulch only refers to the Atlantean sea-elf Vishby by his real name once, when he's imploring him to flee a submarine moments before it gets crushed by immense water pressure. The rest of the time he uses the demeaning nickname 'Fishboy'.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In book seven we have the text:
Turnball's smile never wavered, and he kept it bright by promising himself that he would dispose of this fool the second he was no longer of any use.
- Your Mom: Butler distracts some men in the first book by insulting some men and saying that their mothers must be so proud.
The stranger had crossed a sacred line. He had mentioned the men's mothers. Nothing could get him out of a beating now, not even the fact that he was obviously a simpleton. Albeit a simpleton with good vocabulary.