Series / The 100

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Survival isn't who you are. It's who you become. note 

"Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things."
Bellamy Blake

The 100 (pronounced "The Hundred") is an American post-apocalyptic drama series airing on The CW. It is based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan. The series premiered on March 19, 2014, following Arrow.

Ninety-seven years prior to the start of the series, Earth was devastated by a nuclear war, killing all inhabitants and washing the planet in radiation. The only survivors of the human race were residents of twelve space stations, which were later combined into a single massive station called The Ark.

As the series begins, one hundred juvenile offenders are sent down to Earth on a special mission to determine whether or not it has become safe to inhabit again. If they survive the mission, they will be cleared of their crimes. However, many of the youth have mixed feelings about helping the society that threw them away, despite the fact that said society is deteriorating faster than its highers-up would like the general population to believe. Further complicating matters is the revelation that — despite what the Ark previously believed — the 100 are not alone on Earth.

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Tropes present in this series:

  • Accidental Murder:
    • When their radios do not work, the 100 launch flares in the hopes that the Ark will see them and realize that they are alive. Unfortunately the flares land in a Grounder village and burn it down, which the Grounders take as an act of war.
    • In "Thirteen", Titus planned to kill Clarke and frame Murphy for the act, but wound up shooting Lexa instead.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them:
    • After the 100 are joined by other members from the Ark, they are absorbed back into the official political structure headed by the Chancellor. Clarke, however, retains a position of power due to her history and influence with the Grounders. It culminates in a standoff in season two, where she speaks the line "You might be the Chancellor, but I'm in charge". In season three, her reputation as Wanheda, "The Commander of Death", continues to give her elevated standing with the Grounders and the Ark.
    • Season two introduces the the mysterious figure of "The Commander", who rules over all the Grounders. Though it is initially implied to be the older Gustus, it is actually Lexa, a teenager who has already been in command for years.
  • Action Girl:
    • The Grounders do not appear to have any assigned gender roles, and women are trained as warriors and leaders alongside the men.
      • Anya is the first Grounder leader encountered by the 100, she is a leader of the Woods Clan and is the first recurring antagonist of the series.
      • Indra is the commander of the Woods Clan, who is hostile to the Ark but becomes a valued ally as they work together.
      • Lexa is the Grounder Commander, who heads the Twelve Clans.
      • Octavia is mentored by Indra in the second season, learning Grounder ways and how to fight.
    • Major Byrne was was a member of the Guard on the Ark, and becomes one of the combat/security leaders after the Ark returns to Earth. When the Ark begins to form an alliance with the Grounders she is involved as a military advisor and Clarke's bodyguard.
  • Action Survivor: None of the 100 know anything about Earth and very few know anything about combat. Those who survive do so by slowly learning how to fight.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: When Kane tries make contact with the Grounder Commander in order to negotiate peace between them and the Ark survivors, the large warrior Gustus locks him in a cage with Jaha and a Grounder slave woman. Jaha and Kane debate over how they can convince Gustus that their desire for peace is genuine, unaware that the slave woman in the cell with them is actually Lexa, the true Grounder Commander, who was scoping them out to see if they really did want peace. Gustus was actually her trusted lieutenant.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The books focus on little else besides the 100; the show does more worldbuilding by lending focus to the adults on the Ark and the Mountain Men, and goes deeper into Grounder culture.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • From "The Colony" in the books to "The Ark" on the show.
    • People who survived the nuclear winter are called "Earthborn" in the books while the show calls them "Grounders."
  • Adapted Out: Glass and her storyline are not present in the series, which focuses on Wells, Clarke, Bellamy (the other 3 POVs) and the rest of the 100. Conversely, a bunch of Canon Foreigners were created. Other characters to be cut from the novels include Thalia, Luke, Lilly, Asher, and Graham.
  • After the End: 97 years after a nuclear war that spanned the globe. The Ark is a conglomeration of twelve space stations that were in orbit around Earth at the time, and to the knowledge its inhabitants they were the only survivors. However, there are large populations of humans still on the planet which have developed their own societies after the destruction.
  • Alien Blood: Some of the Grounders have pitch black blood, after which they are called Nightbloods. It marks them as being eligible to become the next Commander.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: On The Ark, all crimes are punishable by death unless you are under eighteen years of age. Juveniles are held in solitary confinement until their eighteenth birthday, whereupon a trial is held to determine if they should be executed or allowed to re-enter Ark society. This is for population control purposes, as there is limited life support on The Ark.
  • Alliterative Name: A recurring theme with Callie Cartwig, Bellamy Blake, Jasper Jordan and Raven Reyes.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Gina has been stabbed by a Grounder who activates a self-destruct in Mount Weather, but manages to tell Raven to get the deactivation code so that she can turn off the self-destruct. Though Raven does get the code, Gina has bled out in the intervening seconds and died before she could deactivate the self-destruct.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Though the Grounders are revealed to be much more complicated than as first appears, both they and the 100 regard the Reapers as unreachable murderous monsters. The Reapers are ultimately revealed to be Grounders harvested by the Mountain Men, turned feral by way of a Fantastic Drug.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: The 100 are a mess after Bellamy takes the reins and declares that they can do "whatever [they] want, whenever [they] want." It takes Wells' and Charlotte's deaths and Murphy's exile to make them realize they need laws.
  • And Starring: "With Isaiah Washington And Henry Ian Cusick"
  • Anyone Can Die: This show really isn't shy about killing characters, no matter how beloved.
  • Apocalypse How: Caused by a nuclear war. The effect was "Planetary/Societal Collapse" for Earth and "Societal Disruption" for the Ark.
  • The Ark: The last bastion for the survivors of the nuclear winter. At least that's what they thought.
  • Artifact Title: In the first season, the realpolitik of the Ark and the struggles of its higher-ups was a secondary storyline to that of the titular 100 surviving on Earth. The third season focuses more on exclusively on politics, worldbuilding, and war engineered by the Ark and Grounder leaders, with the surviving members of the 100 (except for Clarke and, to a lesser extent, Bellamy) getting put Out of Focus.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The Stinger for the end of the second season revealed that an AI was waiting for Jaha since he brought her a nuke unwittingly when he landed.
  • Artistic License Biology: The second season introduces the Mountain Men, who are unable to metabolize the radiation outside their mountain home. They break out in instantaneous lesions and bleeding wounds when exposed to radiation, which are treated with blood transfusions from Grounders or members of the Ark. The blood transfusions not only prevent further damage, but heal what has already occurred. They then move on to bone marrow transplants from Ark members to cure their radiation weakness.
  • Artistic License Engineering: In the second season, Jaha descends to the ground using a nuclear missile. We can assume that it wasn't specifically converted into a shuttle because the warhead is still inside, yet it has a braking parachute and enough internal room for Jaha to climb aboard.
  • Ass in Ambassador: In season three, the Ice Nation has become belligerent and intends to break the Grounder Coalition; their ambassador's are condescending and hostile to the other Grounder tribes and the Sky People. One of them gets himself defenestrated for his arrogance, but that has no tempering effect on the others.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Though the Grounders believe that their Commanders are chosen through Born-Again Immortality and are selected by the spirits of previous Commanders, they need to prove that they are worthy of retaining that power after they are in the position. Gustus, Lexa's bodyguard, fears that if she shows any weakness she will be deposed and killed by her own people.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Raven is very self-confident when it comes to her engineering skills. When Bellamy points out that the bridge she intends to destroy has survived nuclear war and one hundred years of weather, she is undaunted.
    Raven: It won't survive me.
    • In the second season, despite the resumption of political rule by the Ark survivors, Clarke retains her power from her influence with the Grounders.
    Clarke: You may be the chancellor but I am in charge.
    • In the third season, when Lexa is prodded as to who she will select to be her champion in her trial of combat:
    Lexa: I am the Commander. No one fights for me.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jasper starts season three in a depressed funk with a goatee, in stark contrast from the preceding seasons where his clean-shaven face emphasized his innocence.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: When Lexa has fallen asleep on her couch in the opening of "Bitter Harvest", Clarke sits across from her and sketches a portrait of her sleeping.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted - When characters get into fights they receive large lacerations, bruises and other damage that cover their faces. They also get muddy, greasy, and generally disgusting over the course of living and fighting in a forest. Whenever anyone gets wounded the effects remain for the next several episodes.
  • Beneath Notice: At the start of season three, Clarke is hiding in the wilderness and avoiding both Arkadia and the Grounder Coalition. Since she is living as a normal Grounder, speaking Trigedasleng and hunting for her own food, occasionally exchanging animal meat and skin for goods at a trading post, nobody thinks that she might be the person everybody is looking for. Roan sees through the disguise and captures her regardless.
  • Better The Devil You Know: Chancellor Jaha is perfectly willing to accept the Ark's code of laws which require the execution of all criminals over age eighteen, even those who have committed minor crimes. That said, Abigail, whose husband was executed under Jaha's administration because he knew too much, says she prefers having Jaha in power over Kane and even risks being executed herself to keep him alive.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Bellamy and Octavia's relationship in spades. Bellamy's one redeeming character trait before Character Development is his care and protection towards Octavia (and even then, he was overprotective). His protection of Charlotte is also suggested to be due to his big brother instinct.
  • Biological Weapons Solve Everything: The Grounders send Murphy back to the 100 after infecting him with a virus to leave them all feverish and weak when they invade in the morning. It doesn't quite work, but only through quick thinking on the 100's part.
  • Bi the Way: Clarke is initially attracted to Finn, one of the boys sent down with her from the Ark, but begins to grow close to Lexa, the Grounder Commander, during the second season. No characters in the series find it necessary to comment on the gender of either love interest.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Ark enforces draconian laws which execute offenders for even minor offenses and the 100 commit numerous acts of war against the Grounders through self-centered ignorance, and the Grounders have a warrior culture that endorses grueling torture as execution and wholesale slaughter in combat, but both sides are at least willing to talk about a potential peace between them. The Mountain Men, however, engage in sadistic medical experiments upon the innocent and will not even discuss potential alternatives, not hesitating even when a peaceful solution is literally shouted into their faces. And in season three we are introduced to A.L.I.E., an artificial intelligence who Jaha has aligned with, shepherding the citizens of Arkadia to the "City of Light," a rumored promised land for all survivors, which amounts to a device that literally hardwires a person's brain into feeling absolutely no pain, physical or otherwise, wiping entire sections of memory and essentially turning people into drones for A.L.I.E. and Jaha. Raven tries to fight the control... And is promptly subjected to a Mind Rape courtesy of A.L.I.E., who tortures her with the memories of her surgery, Finn's death, and being drilled for bone marrow by the Mountain Men.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: The virus the Grounders send the 100 has people bleeding from the eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Bloody Horror: After discovering Clarke's plan to kill her, Nia has Ontari cut her own hand and cover Clarke's face with her blood. Clarke is still covered in her blood in the following scene, shocked by the event and by the color of the blood as well, as Ontari is a "Nightblood".
  • Body-Count Competition: Grounders keep track of their kills through scars/tattoos on their body, often bragging about them. Niylah observes in surprise that Clarke does not have any tally marks on her back, but Clarke responds that there is not enough room.
  • Bookends: Clarke starts and ends the first season alone, locked in an empty room with a painting of the night sky.
  • Born-Again Immortality: The Grounders note  believe this is what happens to their Commanders: when they die their spirits choose the next Commander and are reborn. "Thirteen" reveals that this works using the A.L.I.E. 2.0 chip which is implanted in each Commander's brainstem and passed on from one Commander to the next.
  • Boxed Crook: All 100 of the juveniles sent to Earth. If they succeed in their mission to Earth (read: survive, thus proving the habitability of the planet), then they will be pardoned for their crimes.
  • Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: While the Grounders are the antagonists throughout much of the series, their conflicts with the Sky People come as much from mutual misunderstandings as innate hostility. Meanwhile, the high-tech Mountain Men are willing to perform horrendous experiments and murder teenagers so that they themselves can go outside.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Reapers, who are Grounders forcibly given a drug to turn them feral.
  • Bury Your Gays: It is after her sex scene with Clarke that Lexa is killed. Doubles as Death by Sex.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: The entire surviving human population is descended from the astronauts who were living on space stations at the time of the nuclear war...or so they thought. Turns out Earth is a bit more populated.
  • California Doubling: The series is filmed in Vancouver, despite being set on the east coast of the United States, primarily in Virginia and the territory surrounding Washington, D.C.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: The Grounders believe that if you kill someone you absorb their power. This is the main reason why there is a price on Clarke's head at the start of season three; as Wanheda, the Commander of Death, absorbing her strength would change the balance of power amongst the Grounders.
  • Canon Foreigner: The rest of the 100 that aren't Wells, Clarke, Octavia, and Bellamy were not identified by name in the book, let alone given personalities.
  • The Chains of Commanding:
    • A running theme of the series is that the job of "leader" is not an easy one: Sometimes you have to do things that go against everything you stand for in order to protect your people. Jaha had to execute people on The Ark just to ensure Population Control and conserve dwindling resources, which clearly took a toll on him. Kane, a Well-Intentioned Extremist, had to deal with the guilt of knowing that the people he had killed didn't need to die. Clarke, The Medic and an All-Loving Hero, could not handle the strain of being forced to kill in defense of The 100 and left Camp Jaha for parts unknown because of it.
    • In season three the concept gets an explicit discussion between Clarke and Lexa when they both wonder if, someday, they might not be able to lead their own individual lives without needing to worry about the needs of their people as well.
  • Challenging the Chief: There is a variation of the trope in season three; Nia of the Ice Nation challenges Lexa's position as the Grounder Commander and selects her son to fight Lexa in a Trial by Combat. However, neither Nia nor Roan can become the new Commander if Lexa is defeated, the title will instead descend onto one of the Nightbloods. Nia hopes that Ontari, an Ice Nation Nightblood, will become the new Commander.
  • The Champion: Deconstructing the concept of the Champion is a recurring theme throughout the series, as Champions often perform morally ambiguous or directly-amoral actions for the protection of the one being championed. In each instance, the one being championed resents having the responsibility being placed on them for the actions of the Champion, or opposes the Champion's actions directly. Every Championed pair either learns to leave that dynamic behind, or is destroyed by it.
  • Character Development:
    • Clarke goes from a naive All-Loving Hero into a Pragmatic Hero willing to do morally ambiguous things to survive.
    • Bellamy starts as a selfish anarchist whose one redeeming trait is his care for Octavia, but grows into a dependable leader who genuinely cares about the others.
    • Finn begins the series as a charming, devil-may-care rebel but becomes The Conscience of the group, before descending into obsession in season two.
    • Octavia is impulsive, spontaneous, and rebellious, but matures considerably into someone willing to put her life on the line for those she loves.
    • Kane's initial characterization focuses on his willingness to do whatever pragmatic action was required in order to safeguard the Ark, but he gradually learns that a more caring approach can have even more beneficial results.
    • Jasper is awkward and dorky at the beginning, but is forced to grow up considerably in season two after becoming the de facto leader of the 47 survivors in the Mountain. The events of the second season finale were especially hard on him. The scene where Raven gives him back his goggles (which he'd been without for the entirety of the season due to being in Mount Weather) is supposed to symbolize how much he's changed.
    • Raven's character development focuses on how she starts to depend less on Finn and more on herself.
    • Murphy returns from his exile as a violent sociopath, but throughout season two he learns to appreciate the help of others and skills he can offer them in turn.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • The 100 torture Lincoln when they are trying to find the cure for a poison. He refuses to break under the direct pain, but gives up the cure when he sees Octavia infect herself in front of him.
    • When the Grounders captured Murphy, they tortured him from information about the 100's camp. He later tells the 100 that he gave up everything he knew.
    • Lexa relates to Clarke a story about the death of her girlfriend in the backstory, who was kidnapped and tortured by a rival clan who thought she knew Lexa's secrets.
  • Cold Equation:
    • With only four months left of life support for the Ark's current population, the option is quickly raised to "reduce" the population to buy time to repair it. it is determined that three hundred people need to be removed in order for the remainder to have sufficient oxygen to survive. The original plan was for there to be an "accident" in crew quarters, but when the general population learned of the danger, three hundred people volunteered so that their families could live.
    • The Ark only has a single dropship ready to return to Earth, and it can only hold 700 people. The Ark's total population is over 2,000; who gets to go? The question is rendered moot when the dropship is stolen after a failed coup d'etat, and crashes during its atmospheric entry.
  • Con Lang: Trigedasleng, the other language spoken by the Grounders, which seems to be at least partially based on English. The creator of the language says that it is derived from English, specifically from codes used by survivors to identify if someone was friend or foe. If you understood the words you were presumably a member of the group; it then developed into a language of its own with distinct rules.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: When Cage is ordering the Ark prisoners killed for their blood and bone marrow, Kane tells him that this is not necessary. When Cage ignores him, Kane screams how they can donate bone marrow, there is no need to continue the slaughter.
  • Cradling Your Kill: In "Thirteen", Titus accidentally shot Lexa while attempting to kill Clarke. Horrified at his actions, he helped carry her to a bed for treatment and cradled her afterwards.
  • Crapsack World: The Ark is barely maintaining long-term life support, to the point where population control is in effect, adult criminals are executed regardless of the severity of the crime, and in times of emergency people are culled to reduce the load on the systems. Earth, while habitable, is a dangerous place even before the 100 discover that it is already inhabited by people who regard them as invaders. Survival — for those who manage to survive — often comes at the cost of great personal sacrifice and/or committing horrible acts against other people when their attempts to survive come into conflict with yours.
  • Cruel Mercy: When Lexa holds Emerson prisoner, she offers Clarke the final decision on his fate: Death or banishment. Emerson taunts her over the situation, reveling in the fact that though he will die, Clarke will have to live with her demons haunting her for years. Clarke decides to spare his life in order to help break the Cycle of Revenge which is threatening to lead to all-out war between Arkadia and the Grounders, but she also makes it clear that she knows this is worse for Emerson since now he has to live with his demons for the rest of his life.
    "May you live forever".
  • Culture Clash: A large part of the conflict between Grounders and Sky People involves this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Bellamy's rescue team vs. Grounders. A group of juveniles up against hardened warriors born and raised in a hostile and lethal forest on the Grounders own territory. The rescue party is slaughtered almost to a man.
    • Octavia tries to go up against a seasoned Grounder warrior in "Survival of the Fittest." The end result is...not pretty. Fortunately for Octavia, her determination and spirit merited her training to improve her skills.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • The source of the continuing conflict between the Grounders and the Sky People. Their initials conflicts came from mutual misunderstandings that lead to violence, and each side retaliated (Or were associated with retaliations by rogue members) in an ongoing cycle that outstripped any peace negotiations.
    • The cycle got an explicit discussion in the third season when the Grounders and Arkadia seem ready to finally embark on their all-out war. After Pike launches an attack which kills three hundred Grounders that had been nearby to protect Arkadia, Clarke asks Lexa to simply forgo revenge. She admits that there is no justification or excuse for what has passed, but points out that no matter how justified retaliation will be it will only lead to more revenge, and the only way for Lexa to create peace is to decide not to participate. Lexa accepts and decides to break the cycle of revenge.
  • Dare to Be Badass: After she was wounded during the Arkadia attack on her army, Indra was physically debilitated and regarded herself as weak. When Octavia asked for her help and was rejected, Octavia dared her to either waste away or stand up and take her revenge.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Spacewalker" focuses on Finn and Raven, showing part of why Raven is so devoted to him.
  • A Death in the Limelight: The episode "Thirteen" takes place entirely in the Grounder capital Polis, with no scenes set in Arkadia. It gives more screen time to Lexa and Titus, and reconnects Murphy to the Polis/Arkadia plot. Lexa is shot and killed by Titus, who hoped to kill Clarke and frame Murphy for the murder in an attempt to spur Lexa to declare war on Arkadia.
  • Death by Sex: Lexa is killed in the scene immediately following her sex scene.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: One Grounder punishment for particular crimes is for a criminal to be staked out in the open, then for every one of the victims or relations to give a single cut until death.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Finn returns as a hallucination after Clarke mercy kills him.
  • Decapitation Presentation: After the Ice Nation killed Costia to strike at Lexa, they had her severed head delivered to Lexa's bed.
  • Dehumanization: Mount Weather turns people in to cannibalistic animals they call Reapers.
  • Demonic Possession: A.L.I.E. possesses Raven and uses her body as a her own.
  • Destination Defenestration: Lexa tosses the Ice Nation ambassador off the high Grounder tower when the Ice Nation belligerence becomes too transparent.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Clarke held Lexa and comforted her as she died.
  • Divide and Conquer: The Mountain Men recognize that the danger comes from the union of Clarke's motivation and planning with Lexa's numbers and martial might, so they work to split the alliance between the Ark and the Grounders. They succeed in splitting them apart, but without the luxury of a dominant position Clarke is forced to kill the entire Mountain population instead of allowing the civilians to survive unharmed as she had originally planned.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Through the back half of season two, Clarke emphasizes to Lexa and the Grounders that their war with the Mountain is against its leaders and its policies: They will not slaughter its entire population. Once the engagement begins in earnest, she repeatedly asks their leaders to stand down or surrender instead of forcing her to kill them all. The Mountain refuses to negotiate, and she is forced to kill everybody.
  • Don't Split Us Up: When Bellamy's sister, Octavia, is arrested, he volunteers to be exiled with her so they won't be separated.
  • Downer Ending: The season 2 finale. Mount Weather releases their Grounder prisoners so Lexa takes her army and goes home, leaving Clarke high and dry. Clarke is forced into an escalating duel of wills with Cage Wallace, which eventually leads her to flood the mountain with radiation and kill all within, including Maya. The remaining Ark crew finally return home but Clarke can't bring herself to join them. In the B-plot, Jaha discovers that the nuclear warhead from the missile he rode to the ground has fallen into the possession of the insane A.I. that started the nuclear war in the first place.
    Clarke: I tried to be the good guy.
    Abby: Maybe there are no good guys.
  • The Dreaded: The "Reapers", a breed of Grounder so terrifying that even Anya and her tribe of hardened warriors don't dare venture into the tunnels that the Reapers call home.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: "Bitter Harvest" opens with Lexa being woken from her sleep by a nightmare of the deaths of the previous Commanders. Clarke assures that it was just Bad Dreams, but Lexa believes that it is a warning from the Commanders: They believe she is betraying their legacy.
  • Driven to Suicide: Pre-teen Charlotte (the youngest of the young convicts sent to Earth), guilt-ridden over having killed Wells in a misguided attempt to quiet her inner demons and unwilling to be the cause of any more bloodletting, averts Infant Immortality by jumping off a cliff to her death.
  • Dropped After the Pilot: In the pilot, Abigail had a best friend called Callie Cartwig who was an important enough member of the Ark that she could act as liaison between the rulers and the people and speak on the council's behalf, and openly confronted Kane. She isn't even mentioned passed the first episode due to budgetary reasons, and Word of God is the character was executed offscreen.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Ontari forces Murphy into having sex with her, which is taken lightly due to his sarcastic tone.
  • Duel to the Death:
    • Phase 2 of the Cerberus Program involves two Grounders killing each other for another dose of the Psycho Serum, which they're addicted to. Those that kill the loser go on to become Reapers.
    • According to the laws of the Grounder Coalition, only a unanimous vote by the ambassadors or death can remove the Commander. When Queen Nia is unable to secure all thirteen votes, she challenges Lexa instead, choosing her son Roan as Champion to fight in her stead in single combat with Lexa. Lexa wins the fight, but instead of delivering the killing stroke against Roan she turns and hurls her spear into Nia on the sidelines.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • The full Ark funeral prayer is "In peace, may you leave the shore. In love, may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels, until our final journey to the ground. May we meet again." It is often shortened to simply "May we meet again" as a traditional farewell between two people who are unsure if they will ever reunite.
    • The Grounder society is so wound up in combat that they only acknowledge an end to fighting when somebody dies: Their death prayer/blessing is "Your fight is over". Clarke's use of the phrase in a show of respect is one of the first things to get Lexa's notice that she is more than just a 'normal' member of Sky Crew.
    • The Ark has a tradition of 'speaking' for the dead in a memorial service, where friends and loved ones of the deceased say a brief statement and leave an item of significance behind. When a memorial service is for multiple people, they are called up one after the others.
    • During his drunken depression in the beginning of the third season, Jasper stole the urn with Finn's ashes and took it back to the original camp the 100 had made around their dropship. What he ultimately intended to do with them is unknown, as he was extremely drunk at the time, passed out soon after his arrival, and accidentally spilled the urn after an argument with Monty. After the spill he collapsed to the ground in tears.
  • Dwindling Party:
    • The 100 don't number a hundred for very long, much to the chagrin of their leaders. They were actually "the 98" within the first twenty minutes of the show. The producers have joked that by the end of the first season, they should be called "The 50". In the first season finale, Bellamy notes that 18 people have died out of the population of 102...and that's before the battle with the Grounders. In the second season, they have the additional threat of the Mountain Men wanting their ability to withstand radiation to contend with. By the second season finale 48 of the original 102 are left according to the staff.
    • The band of followers Jaha takes with him to find the City of Light. By the second season finale's end, only he and Murphy are still alive.
      • This is acknowledged by Abby in season 3 when only Jaha returns.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • Clarke's mother directly had a hand in her father's death and Clarke herself spending a year in solitary confinement for simply knowing what her dad knew.
    • Bellamy and Octavia's mother kept Octavia hidden under the floor of their quarters for years. When this was found out, she was executed, Octavia was imprisoned, and Bellamy lost his spot on the guard.
    • Raven's situation is not too expounded upon, but it's mentioned that her mother was an alcoholic and neglectful and that it's somehow messed up enough that she considers Finn the only family she has.
    • Murphy had two loving parents until his father got floated stealing medicine for Murphy's illness and his mother spent the rest of her life blaming him.
  • Dystopia: The Ark isn't a great place to live, what with harsh laws and the tight restrictions on resources and population, but it's mostly just a matter of trying to survive on limited resources. It's still not without reason that the kids are happy to be left to their own resources on Earth.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Discussed during Season 2. Lexa believes that Love Is a Weakness and that Clarke should follow her example if she wants to be an effective leader. Clarke tries and comes to the conclusion that closing yourself off to all feelings is pointless.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Dolls or toys are sometimes found and focused upon in pre-war ruins, calling to mind the children's death. The second season finale has the soccer ball that some of the Mountain Men children were seen playing with - in the scene where they have all died from radiation, it makes a reappearance at the very edge of the screen, hinting at the children's corpses just beyond it.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Clarke works with Anya to escape Mount Weather in "Reapercussions," and despite their conflict throughout the escape Anya agrees to propose an alliance to the Grounder Commander against the greater danger of the Mountain. Anya is mistaken for an attacker by Ark security personnel and killed before she can do so.
    • Camp Jaha and the Grounders are mistrustful of each other, but are willing to work together to take down Mount Weather because they both have people trapped inside. The Grounders break the alliance when they make a separate deal with Mount Weather.
    • Queen Nia of the Ice Nation allies herself with Emerson, Last of the Mountain Men in order to go after Clarke and the Coalition.
  • Eternal English: After a hundred years of mutual isolation, the Sky People, Grounders and Mountain Men can all understand each other perfectly fine in English, although the Grounders do have their own Con Lang as well.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Averted, despite the characters believing it to be the case. Despite talks about how "everything" is toxic on Earth, plants and animals do not seem to be any more or less dangerous than the natural flora and fauna of the real world. By the second season the Sky People have learned how to naturally survive.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Even the strictly controlled dystopia of the Ark is reluctant to kill children, holding them until they are eighteen to receive a trial then.
    • Murphy has shown himself to be a general Jerkass, who is quite comfortable with cold-blooded murder when he's not out being the local bully. But even he seems horrified when Finn wants to attack a village, starts threatening them, and especially when he starts killing them. Murphy even tries to convince him to just leave on a few occasions. Likewise later when Jaha sacrifices their companion to keep him and Murphy un-eaten.
    • The President of Mount Weather, for all that he appears to be somewhat shady and cagey, does refuse to countenance forcing the teenagers in the complex to be experimented on.
  • Exact Time to Failure: In Season 2, one of the Mountain Men is kept alive to deliver a message by foot to Mount Weather. He is given 6 hours of oxygen to make an 8-hour walk.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Finn and Clarke were talking about how her friend Wells betrayed her.
    Finn: Are you sure Wells told his dad?
    Clarke: He's the only person I told.
    Finn: But is he the only person who knew?
    [Clarke stops to think for a moment. The only other person who knew was... her mother.]
  • Facial Markings: The Grounders bear both facial tattoos and heavy makeup around their eyes. Their exact meanings have not been revealed, but they seem to indicate origins of clans and ranks within them.
  • Faking the Dead: Removing the wristband monitors makes the wearer appear to be dead as far as the people back on the Ark know. After the landing, Bellamy wants to make it appear that The 100 all died so the Ark won't send anybody else down, leaving them free to live by their own (lack of) rules.
  • Family of Choice: Because of their time on the ground away from the adults in space and the hardships they undertook to survive, the 100 become fiercely protective of each other and consider each other family.
  • Fanservice: The initial episodes had Octavia frequently in revealing (Or no) clothing as she reveled in being free on Earth, but this aspect was dropped from the show before the end of the first season. All characters are dirty, wounded and swathed in armor and makeup as required by their station.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Mutants are shunned in Grounder society, traditionally killed in infancy. If a parent chooses not to kill the child they must be exiled from the community.
    • The Mountain Men see the Grounders as animals.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Grounders are increasingly looking like the First Nations, especially in relation to the would-be colonizers from the Ark.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The Grounders do not have any technology resembling firearms, not even primitive explosives. Season two reveals that this is enforced by the Mountain Men; they destroy the entire village of any Grounder who so much as touches a gun, so the Grounders live in superstitious dread.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Due to All Crimes Are Equal, the tiniest misdemeanor is the same under the law as cold-blooded murder. However, although they are punished equally by the law, society hasn't come to view misdemeanors as death-worthy offenses and instead resents the laws, at best accepting them as a brutal necessity.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: During the pilot, five of the main cast, Clarke, Octavia, Jasper, Monty and Finn go off to Mount Weather to get food and supplies. During this hike, Jasper saves Octavia from being killed by a snake and then, after he tries to show off his courage, gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. The other four (except Octavia because she's injured from the snake) plus Bellamy go to save him. This results in them all becoming close friends.
  • First Episode Spoiler: The reason the 100 were sent to Earth is because the Ark is dying, a fact those in charge are trying to keep from the general populace. The Earth is also not as empty as they Ark had believed.
  • Five-Man Band: Usually the 100 will split into this.
  • For Your Own Good: A recurring theme in the Grounder story-arcs is Lexa's loyal subordinates believing that her working with the Sky Crew will bring about her own destruction, so they attempt to trick her into breaking away.
    • Gustus, Lexa's bodyguard and close confidant, poisoned himself in an attempt to frame Raven as attempting to assassinate Lexa. He feared that working with the Sky Crew would lead to a weakening of Lexa's position and risk her death, and he wanted to preemptively destroy any potential alliance so that she would be safe. His plan was exposed and, in Grounder custom, he is tortured to death.
    • Titus, the Flamekeeper and Lexa's teacher and advisor as Commander, opposes Lexa's admission of Arkadia as the thirteenth clan and argues strenuously against all of Lexa's attempts to forge a peace. He believes that such actions will only weaken her position and lead to her death at the hands of her own people and the fracturing of the Grounder Coalition, so he does everything he can to push her to a more violent path. Ultimately, he attempts to murder Clarke and frame Murphy for the deed so that Lexa will be spurred to vengeance against Arkadia, but he accidentally kills Lexa instead.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The first part of season 2. By the fifth episode, they've converged.
    • Clarke escaping Mount Weather along with Anya, leaving the rest of the surviving 100 behind. After Clarke makes it back to Camp Jaha, scenes with Jasper, Monty, and Miller fill in this plotline.
    • Bellamy, Murphy, and Finn searching for Clarke and the others.
    • Abby and Kane struggling to lead Camp Jaha.
    • Octavia trying to find Lincoln and the others, coming into conflict with Grounders.
    • Jaha crashlanding on Earth after being left behind in "We Are Grounders pt. 2" and making it back to his people.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Pausing shots of the drawings present in Clarke's drug-induced hallucination in "Day Trip" show future developments like the Polis skyscraper and the "backpack" A.L.I.E. is contained in.
  • Friend or Idol Decision:
    • There is a possible truce between the Grounders and Camp Jaha in order to deal with Mount Weather. But, to solidify it, the Grounders want Finn to die for killing all of the innocent people at the village. Clarke chooses the alliance.
    • At the climax of season two, Cage offers Lexa a deal: He will let all of the Grounder prisoners be released in return for her abandoning the Sky People. Lexa chooses her duty to her people—even though she's obviously in pain, and official commentary says she had genuinely fallen in love with Clarke.
  • Future Slang: Averted. Slang doesn't appear to have evolved much at all during the last 97 years. A single exception is the term "floated"; used to refer to spacing, it has come to be a catch-all term for being killed that persists even after returning to Earth.
  • Genocide Dilemma: The end of the second season comes down to a question of whether Clarke will kill the entire population of Mount Weather, including those who aided her friends, or allow the Mountain Men to kill her friends. She and Bellamy ultimately go through with it, killing off the entirety of the Mountain Men population.
  • Gilded Cage: How Clarke sees Mount Weather, contrasting Jasper's view of it: They have great facilities, they are cared for, and the president actually seems like a pretty stand-up guy, except that the 100 are not allowed to leave and Clarke fears that they have an ulterior motive. Ultimately, the Mountain Men begin to kill the Sky People to harvest their blood and bone marrow.
  • Give Me a Sword: While engaged in a Duel to the Death with Lexa, Roan's sword is taken away and used against him. Without a weapon of his own, he runs up to one of the guards overseeing the event, punches him across the face, and takes his spear to use.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Raven is very jealous after she risks her life to come down Earth to find Finn, only to find that he has slept with Clarke and continues to prioritise his feelings for her. This isn't helped by people repeatedly drawing attention to it.
    • The trope is downplayed in season two, as Monty is noticeably irritated that the budding romance between Jasper and Maya is driving a wedge between Jasper and Monty's old friendship.
  • Hair Contrast Duo: Blonde, idealistic, caring Clarke with, well, pretty much everyone she interacts with at first, especially her more pragmatic mother and the older, moodier Bellamy. After she has made the damning moral compromises at the end of season two, her hair has been artificially darkened at the start of season three.
  • Hereditary Republic: The Wallace family has held the Presidency of Mount Weather for three generations.
  • He Knows Too Much: Clarke's father was executed because he found out that The Ark was running out of life support systems and tried to go public with the information.
  • History Repeats: "Unity Day" in the first season revealed that the twelve space stations only came together to form the Ark after a thirteenth station had already been destroyed; in season three, the Arkadian settlement is offered a chance to join the Twelve Tribes in the Grounder coalition. Clarke explicitly states that they have a choice of either becoming the thirteen tribe or being the thirteenth station again. The Arkadian leaders defy a repeat of history and choose to join the coalition.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Grounder Coalition is made up of 12 Clans, but the only ones that get any development or screen-time are the Woods Clan (The Tree People or Trikru) and the Ice Nation (Azgeda). Of the other 10, the only ones who even have a name are the Boat People.
  • Human Resources: Season two reveals that the Mountain Men have used Grounder blood to treat their weaknesses to radiation, and in season two begin to harvest bone marrow from the Sky People as well.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Clarke punctures Atom's jugular to spare him a more drawn-out death after he's burned so badly by acidic fog that he can barely move and is begging to die.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Multiple people on the Ark claim they alone are doing what must be done. Kane uses it to justify ordering Abby's execution for breaking a minor law to save Chancellor Jaha, while she says she did what she had to do to save Jaha so Kane would not become Chancellor. This becomes a recurring theme throughout the series as multiple characters on all sides of the conflict find themselves forced to unfortunate actions.
    President Wallace: None of us has a choice anymore.
  • I Have No Son:
    • When Octavia chooses to stay and help Bellamy rather than retreat with the rest of the Grounders, Indra says that she is no longer her second.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In "Thirteen", Titus attempts to kill Clarke and uses a gun in the hopes of framing the Sky Crew. Since the Grounders have no firearms he is unfamiliar with its use, and when he is firing wildly he kills Lexa instead.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: When Bellamy sides with Pike over Kane, Clarke believes that if she can reach him she can convince him that peace with the Grounders is the best option. She pleads with him not to turn into somebody who believes that war is the better option and to work together to find a solution for everybody. Bellamy refuses her call, claiming this is who he always ways, and that his better actions with Clarke and Octavia were when he was acting out of character.
  • The Immune:
    • The Grounders and the Ark-survivors are able to live on the surface because they had adapted over time, with natural selection ensuring that immune grounders passed it on and the Ark-survivors grew up with solar radiation, which is even stronger. The people who live in the underground base didn't, so any exposure to the outside world could kill them.
    • Octavia, Jasper, and Finn are immune to the virus the Grounders send to weaken the camp.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: A grounder sets a dramatically ticking bomb in Mount Weather.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Not even kids are safe on the Death World. Preteen Charlotte is Driven to Suicide and young Artigas is shown to be one of the victims of the Grounder massacre. Bellamy is notably conflicted about killing off the innocent kids in Mount Weather, but he and Clarke end up doing it to keep the Sky People safe.
  • Info Dump: The pilot starts with a rather massive one that manages to load the main backstory into a couple of minutes of narration and As You Know conversations.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Murphy and Jaha on their journey in season 2. They do grow closer, but it's also happening in the middle of Jaha's Sanity Slippage.
  • Intimate Artistry: In the opening scene of the episode "Bitter Harvest", Clarke sketched a portrait of Lexa as she slept. The sketching shows both Clarke's growing feelings for Lexa and also Clarke's general acceptance of Grounder living, as she hasn't done art since before being sent to the ground. After she awakes, Lexa discovers the drawing.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: The Grounders force this on Jaha and Kane, with the ultimatum that both of them will die if they refuse. They resist for two days, instead discussing how to broker peace. Turns out to have been a Secret Test of Character by Lexa, who had posed as a slave girl in the same cell in order to decide whether their desire for peace was genuine.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • In the second episode, Murphy chides Wells for thinking that 'the rules' do not apply to him. Wells responds with Murphy's own philosophy: "I thought you said there are no rules."
    • In the third episode, 'slaying demons' is used to refer to facing fears and overcoming obstacles. Charlotte takes the wrong lesson from this and, as she kills Wells, repeats "I have to slay my demons."
    • "Murphy's Law": "The less you know, the better."
    • "I Am Become Death" has the single word "Bygones." Though spoken by the same person in each case, the context is radically different as Murphy at first says that he has forgiven the 100 for his aborted hanging, but then proceeds to murder his antagonists anyway.
    • In "Coup de Grace": "You have to trust that I know what's right for us."
    • Just before taking Jasper away to harvest, Doctor Tsing says to the teens "I want you to know, you're very special to us." When she is afterwards dying from radiation poisoning, Jasper and other members of the 100 stand over her and repeat the words.
    • In "Blood Must Have Blood, Part 2", Lincoln injects Cage with the same drug used to turn Lincoln into a Reaper. As Cage dies, Lincoln says "the first dose is the worst, " the same thing Cage said when he first dosed Lincoln.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "Murphy's Law", Murphy is brutally beaten and nearly hanged for a murder he didn't commit because Clarke made the accusation loudly and publicly without considering the consequences. Afterwards, when Murphy wants to execute the actual murderer, even Clarke realizes that she should have handled the entire situation more quietly from the beginning.
  • Just a Kid: The adults of Camp Jaha repeatedly dismiss Clarke, Bellamy, Finn, Raven, etc. and insist on enforcing their way of doing things, despite the 100 knowing more about Earth by the time they arrived, because they're "just kids".
  • Just for Pun: The survivors of the Ark rename their settlement on Earth as "Arkadia"
  • Kangaroo Court: The Commander of the Grounders allows them to put Finn on trial, but expects they will condemn him to death because of his crime.
  • Karmic Death: Finale of season two. Cage dies from the very drug he used to turn Grounders into Reapers, and the very syringe he was about to inject Lincoln with. The event even comes with an Ironic Echo.
  • Klingon Promotion: Discussed in season three when Nia, the Queen of the Ice Nation, has challenged Lexa's authority as the Grounder Commander. When she selects her son Roan to fight Lexa in Trial by Combat, Clarke approaches him and tries to persuade him to kill his mother instead and thus become King. Roan considers it, but declines because he knows that the Ice Nation would never forgive him or accept him as their King in that situation. He does, however, offer to help Clarke kill her instead. Nia survives Clarke's assassination attempt, but during the fight between Lexa and Roan, Lexa spares Roan and kills Nia on the sidelines. She then declares Roan King of the Ice Nation.
  • Last of His Kind: As of season 3, Emerson, Last of the Mountain Men, is the Sole Survivor of the people of Mount Weather.
  • Last Request: As she dies accidentally at his hand, Lexa makes Titus swear that he will never again try to harm Clarke. He agrees and swears to it.
  • Layman's Terms: Abby pulls one of these with Raven in "Fog of War" while they listen to jammed radio frequencies.
    Abby: That sounds clear to you?
    Raven: Will be once I crack the encryption.
    Abby: English, Raven. What does that mean?
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The First Commander began the process of uniting the Grounder Tribes in the city of Polis, created the original Nightbloods, and upon her death her spirit chose her successor, who in turn chooses the next Commander as the chain continues down. "Thirteen" reveals that the First Commander was Becca, the technology innovator who created A.L.I.E., the AI which ended the world. Becca had been living aboard the space station Polaris trying to create a new AI to repair the damage and save the world, and fled to Earth when others on her station learned her connection to A.L.I.E. She used her blood to store information and passed it on to the Grounders she encountered, and the successful AI she developed is implanted in each successive Commander.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Kane's mother is the leader of the small religious sect on the Ark which cares for a sole tree through offerings of water, which he finds embarrassing and tries to distance himself from. Despite having earlier claimed to have forgotten their prayers when she asked him to transport their tree to the ground, when she is wounded by the bombing on the Ark Kane recites the prayer over her as she dies, causing her to smile before the end.
  • Light Is Not Good: Our first glimpse of Mount Weather is in an all-white room, with Clarke in an all-white outfit. Everything is cleaner and more orderly than the Grounders, and the people are more polite. They are, however, the driving villain of the second season, whom even the Grounders fear and hate.
  • Living Is More Than Surviving: A repeated theme throughout the show, and explicitly discussed by Clarke and Lexa. Lexa takes the position that survival is the most important issue in life, while Clarke takes the position that people as people deserve more. Ultimately, Clarke convinces Lexa that they do deserve more than just survival.
  • Machine Worship: Jaha and the City of Light followers toward ALIE.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Abby uses a shock stick to restart Lincoln's heart.
  • Make an Example of Them: "Thirteen" reveals that the original thirteenth space station did not refuse to join the other twelve stations to form the Ark, but rather the American space station decided to destroy it as an example to the others that they would need to accept draconian measures if they were to survive. The fact that the station had appeared to be refusing to join the Ark because of internal events gave a very good excuse.
  • Mauve Shirt: Initially the series focuses on the main cast trying to lead the 100, so some minor delinquents are given a bit of personality before their inevitable doom. Lampshaded by Myles, who comments that he and the main cast don't really hang out much. He's offed later in the same episode.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • In "The Calm", Jaha informs Kane that the actions he took to help the survivors of the Exodus ship disaster were against the law. Kane responds that a wise man once told him that you have to know when not to follow the law, a Call Back to Jaha and Kane's conversation in the Pilot.
    • The phrase "May we meet again" is used frequently by the Arkers, in both temporary-but-uncertain goodbyes and as last rites to the dead. Lexa repeats the Ark phrase to Clarke in "Blood Must Have Blood, Part 1" echoing Clarke's use of the Grounder rites over Finn in "Remember Me".
    • From the season two finale, "Blood Must Have Blood, Part 2":
      • Clarke had told Bellamy that "[he] did good" with the 100 in "We Are Grounders." Kane tells him this again after the Arkers are freed.
      • The phrase "good guys" — in an earlier episode, Abby chides Clarke by telling to remember that they're the good guys. After Clarke's actions in this episode, she tells her mother that she tried, and Abby tells her, "Maybe there are no good guys."
      • Bellamy tells Clarke that if she wants forgiveness for irradiating Mount Weather and killing everyone inside, he's willing to forgive her — a direct parallel to their conversation in "Day Trip" where Clarke forgives him for indirectly causing the Culling. When Clarke refuses, she says "I bear it, so they don't have to", the same thing President Wallace said to her earlier in the episode.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The "Ark". As in Noah's Ark.
    • One of the episodes is titled "Murphy's Law".
    • In Classical Mythology, Cerberus was guard dog to the Underworld. The "Cerberus Project" involves creating Reapers out of strong Grounders so that the Grounders will fear Mount Weather.
    • The episode "Day Trip". Aside from two characters going on a journey, it also features everyone getting high.
  • Medical Horror: The terror of the final episodes from season two comes from the Mountain Men harvesting bone marrow from the 100, cutting them apart and draining them dry.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • It is the general policy of the Grounders to kill any Reaper's that they manage to capture, since they know of no way to reverse what was done to them. This extends to when the Reaper was a close friend or loved one, as they consider this a mercy instead of living as Reaper.
    • Clarke kills kills Finn to spare him from a slow death by torture; this angers both the Grounders (Who wanted to see him suffer) and Raven (Who wanted to save him).
  • Mood Whiplash: When Bellamy, Octavia, and two guards are scoping out the old parking garage, the guard Scott finds a wind-up music box. It plays "Carol Of The Bells", and the two guards smile and enjoy the toy when they are set upon by two Reapers. The music keeps eerily playing as Bellamy and Octavia discover the Reapers finishing the job.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Discussed and debated when Finn massacres a Grounder village in his search for Clarke. Many attempts are made to justify his actions as because he "didn't know" and "meant well", but these excuses fall flat each time compared to the number of the dead. Ultimately, he surrenders to Grounder justice because is no justification for his actions, and no amount of Us vs. Them thinking can create one.
    • Discussed in "Bitter Harvest", after Clarke has pleaded with Lexa to simply forgo war against Arkadia in order to break the cycle of violence between them. When she still asks for vengeance against Emerson of Mount Weather, Lexa explicitly asks her if Clarke's speeches about mercy only apply to her own people and nobody else. Clarke ultimately chooses to forgo vengeance herself in order to help support the overall peace.
  • Mushroom Samba: In "Day Trip" nearly everyone eats these nuts with hallucinogenic properties and starts tripping out.
  • Mutants: Present thanks to the extreme radiation post-nuclear fallout altering the genetic structure of some organisms. Their existence is established in the pilot, where the characters meet a deer with two heads. Among humans, mutants are ostracized and looked down upon.
  • The Mutiny: Diana Sidney takes over the exodus ship and sabotages the Ark after trying to kill the council.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Kane's reaction when he realizes that there was no need to have 320 people kill themselves.
    • Said verbaitm by Alie's creator, Becca, when she watches from the space station as Alie causes nuclear war to cover Earth.
    • Raven, when she realizes that Alie's way of "removing the pain" means she no longer remembers the feelings she had for Finn and how much he meant to her.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: In the beginning of season 1, Bellamy tries to stop his younger sister from flirting with any of the people on the Ground, specifically Finn.
  • The Needs of the Many: A recurring conflict — is sacrificing a few people for the greater good of everyone else the right way to go about it?
    • Kane thinks so, and gives the go-signal for what comes to be known as "The Culling" — 320 people killed to buy more time. He later realizes he was very wrong about this.
    • Jaha initially seemed reluctant to believe so, but states as much in "Survival of the Fittest."
    • The reason Tsing is so willing to perform unethical experiments is that continued research will help the Mountain Men return to their proper home.
    • Clarke is adamant about protecting everybody and thus doesn't want to hand over Finn to the Grounders and pushes for the rescue of the 47 in Mount Weather despite the costs.
  • The Neutral Zone: Played with in season three during the conflict between the Grounders and Arkadia. Lexa wishes to prevent an all-out war between the two people, but cannot allow Arkadia's repeated acts of aggression to go completely unanswered, so she enacts a five-mile quarantine surrounding Arkadia. She will not allow the Grounder armies to attack the settlement, but any member of Sky Crew who leaves the boundary will be killed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Experimenting with the wristbands made every one of them short out.
    • Bellamy tells Charlotte she needs to slay her demons when she's awake in order to stop her nightmares. Later, she sees Clarke perform a Mercy Kill by stabbing the carotid artery. She murders Wells using the same technique she saw Clarke use, and says it's to slay her demons, given that Wells reminds her of his father, who killed both of her parents.
    • Several of the actions of the teenagers on the ground exacerbate the conflict between them and the Grounders, often on the basis of incomplete or wrong information. Most egregious is Finn failing to stop and consider any alternatives once he has his mind made up that the Grounders have kidnapped Clarke, even amid mounting evidence that they haven't.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Clarke insists on going back for Jasper once they realize he's alive. Finn rightly points out that they're likely to lose more people saving him, but decides to help when she won't be dissuaded.
  • No Periods, Period: The lack of the 100 dealing with any menstrual cycles while stranded on the ground without any supplies is explained in season three: Fertility inhibitors prevent both pregnancy and menstrual cycles, and people discuss removing them at the start of this season.
  • The Nose Knows: Ontari is able to smell the poison on Clarke's sleeve that she intends to use on Nia from across the room.
  • The Notable Numeral: The 100. It's supposed to be the number of dropped criminals, but Bellamy makes the drop as well, Raven follows soon after, and there aren't a hundred of them anymore.
  • Not So Different:
    • When the 100 learn that the Grounders are coming at them with an all-out attack, Bellamy motivates them by saying that they are Grounders as well: They have learned to fight and survive on the ground. During the battle itself, however, Clarke has to step forward and say that they are not Grounders: She does not want them to descend to savagery in the name of self-defense.
    • Abby says the line verbatim after she witnesses Lexa execute Gustus for his attempt to sabotage the Grounder/Ark alliance. Whether she meant the government's willingness to use draconian measures to enforce their authority, or the people's willingness to accept those draconian punishments to do the right thing, she did not clarify.
    • When Abby and Kane are trapped under rubble for most of "Resurrection" following Mount Weather's missile attack in the previous episode, they gradually realise that the tough choice Clarke had to make was like the life-or-death choices they had to make on the Ark. She knew the attack was coming and could have warned them, but if she had then Mount Weather would have figured out they had someone (Bellamy) inside who was working for them. She sacrificed a small number of lives for the greater victory.
    • Foreshadowed and implied throughout the beginning of season three, "Thirteen" reveals that the Grounders and the Sky Crew have a historical connection leading back the formation of the Ark and the First Commander.
  • Not So Similar: After Bellamy motivates the 100 in the face of a Grounder attack by explaining that after learning to fight and survive they are Grounders as well, Clarke steps forward and says that they are not Grounders. She does not want them to descend to savagery in the name of self-defense.
  • Nuclear Nasty: One of the threats of a post-nuclear-apocalypse Earth. The first animal seen is a beautiful buck grazing in the forest-and then it turns and we see it has part of a second head growing out of its first. Mutant humans are also present, often with physical deformations such as extreme syndactyly or a deformed mouth.
  • Occupiers out of Our Country: The very beginning of the conflict between the Grounders and the Ark stems from the Ark "invading" Grounder territory when they sent the 100 onto their land and promised more to follow.
  • Oh Crap!:
    Clarke: We're not alone.
    • Said word-for-word by Jasper in "Join or Die" after he and Octavia drink from the Grounders' vial...and then she passes out.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Both Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey let their regular Australian tones peek through briefly in "Thirteen" (Taylor when Clarke says "Stop" in one scene, Debnam-Carey more noticeably when Lexa is shouting at Titus later on).
  • Open Secret: Maya states everyone in Mount Weather knew that the Grounders were being harvested for the sake of their blood. Only the Ark kids didn't.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Bellamy and Octavia are the only siblings seen, and their being siblings is given special weight considering no one on the Ark is allowed to have more than one kid.
  • Only One Name: All the grounders; surnames don't seem to exist among them anymore.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: According to supplemental material, the Grounder Con Lang started as a series of code-words used after the initial nuclear war to distinguish who was or was not a member of their particular group. Over the following century it developed into a fully developed language which the Grounders use alongside English.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: "Float" (The term for an execution by spacing, which has become a catch-all term for "kill") is often used in the place the the 'f'-word for swearing.
    Clarke: Go float yourself!
  • Peace Conference: Finn tries to organize one between the Grounders and The 100 to prevent violence from escalating once people from the Ark arrive. Both sides brought weapons as a matter of security, and Jasper believed that the Grounders were planning an attack and shot first, putting the two sides at war.
  • Peaceful in Death
    • It is general Grounder tradition to bid farewell at death with "Your fight is over", recognizing that the deceased are finished with the hardships and struggles of the world. Whether the specific dying person peacefully accepts these wishes varies depending on the circumstances.
    • As she lies dying, Lexa speaks the phrase "My fight is over" (Emphasis added) to show that she is accepting of what is happening.
  • Plot Armor:
    • In the S1 finale when it's decided the entire Ark would be sent down to the ground, but it was likely only one section of the station would survive. Naturally, it's the only section with named characters.
    • The Mount Weather missile attack doesn't manage to kill any of the named characters.
    • Jaha's band of followers dwindles over the course of Season 2, leaving just him and the other major character in it, Murphy, alive.
  • Population Control: By the Ark's laws, people are only allowed to have one child, the medical resources allowed for saving a single life are strictly limited, and even minor criminals over eighteen are executed instead of imprisoned to conserve resources. Being an illegal child is just as illegal as having one. If the population is still too high to be sustained, then even innocent people can be executed.
  • The Promised Land: The City of Light, a supposed utopia for all outcasts. No one is really sure if it even exists, and the road towards it is dangerous.
  • Promoted to Love Interest:
    • Inverted. In the books, Wells and Clarke were in a relationship prior to his betrayal of her parents; in the show Wells clearly likes her but is offed before anything can come of it.
    • Inverted with Bellamy and Clarke, who get together fairly quickly in the books but show no explicit romantic interest in each other in the show despite clearly sharing a very strong bond.
  • Psycho Serum: The Mountain Men turn strong Grounders into the psychotic, murderous Reapers by injecting them with such a drug. They become so addicted to it that they're willing to kill others in order for another dosage.
  • Punny Name: Some of the episode titles. 'Inclement Weather' and 'Day Trip' stand out.
  • Race Against the Clock: Raven and Sinclair have to race to get the code to defuse the bomb placed in Mount W Eather.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: President Wallace, the former leader of the Mountain Men, gives one of these to his son (Who has taken over Mount Weather and kept his dad confined):
    You've killed us. One week in office, and you've managed to turn neighbor against neighbor, you've made the outsiders hate us more than they already did, you lost our outer defenses, and now a door that hasn't been breached in 97 years is going to fall, and an army of savages is going to flood these halls, killing every last one of us. While it doesn't happen quite that way, the ex-President turns out to be right.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jaha and Kane for the Ark Survivors, and the president for the Mountain Men.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The show starts as Lord of the Flies AFTER THE END! AND COED! Though it quickly moves away from this premise.
  • Red Baron: As a consequence of the events of season 2, the Grounders take to calling Clarke "Wanheda", which means "The Commander of Death". Another epithet that she gains is "Mountain Slayer".
  • Redemption Rejection: When Murphy returned from his exile, he seemed to be on the path of redeeming his character, with some even accepting him back, but then he decides to go on a revenge killing spree instead.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Inverted. In the books, Wells is revealed to be half-brother to Bellamy and Octavia, but this is unmentioned and unexplored in the series.
  • Remember the New Guy: Season three introduces a few new characters in the time skip, whom the core cast are already familiar with as friends or family from back on the Ark.
  • The Remnant: The Mountain Men have been revealed as one for the U.S. Government/Military, based out of Mount Weather.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • After Murphy regains the trust of the 100, he ruins it all by going on a revenge spree against the people who wronged him. He convinced himself that he would become the leader after killing Bellamy; his plan goes less than spectacularly.
    • When the Ark and the Grounders are preparing for their final attack on Mount Weather, Clarke is worried that in their rage the Grounders might decide to slaughter the entire population when given the opportunity, including even the children and the people who have actively aided them. The Grounders actually strike a deal with Mount Weather and abandon the Ark to face them alone.
  • Rousseau Was Right: One of the themes of the show is that many of the "villains" are basically good people stuck in wretched situations and forced to make tough decisions. Listing them:
    • Bellamy shot Jaha so he could come to Earth and look after his sister Octavia, and while he does put innocent lives at risk in an effort to save himself he also looks out for The 100 and tries to keep them alive.
    • Jaha has had a lot of people executed and he risked The 100's lives sending them to Earth, but it was all in the name of ensuring humanity's survival. Also, he's a Reasonable Authority Figure who tries to avoid unnecessary killing.
    • Kane plays a big role in the execution of 320 innocent Ark residents, but he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to keep the human race alive. The realization that the aforementioned execution was unnecessary is a huge My God, What Have I Done? moment for him.
    • The Grounders attacked and killed members of The 100, but it was because they believed that The 100 were invaders, a belief that was "confirmed" in their minds when the flares that The 100 used to signal The Ark came back to the surface and burned down a Grounder village.
  • Royal Blood: Some Grounders have black blood, for which they are termed "Nightbloods". Grounder tradition has the Nightbloods identified as potential successors to the Commander, and one of them will arise to the position with the death of the current Commander.
  • Scenery Porn: Earth looks pretty damn good for a planet that was devastated by nuclear war, and the series isn't shy about showing off the awesome scenery.
  • The Scream: Used in epsiode 3x12 with Harper's scream bleeding into the intro credits.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: To do so risks becoming a Heroic Sacrifice under the Ark's laws, but a near-certain death sentence doesn't stop Abby from using as much blood as necessary to save Chancellor Jaha's life. Chancellor Jaha then pardons her even though she's technically guilty. Jaha later tells Kane that knowing when not to follow the law is an important part of being Chancellor.
  • Secret Test of Character: Gustus, posing as the Grounder Commander, locks Kane and Jaha in a cell with a Grounder slave woman and explains that they must fight to the death, with the survivor allowed to offer him the Ark's offer of surrender. The slave woman is actually Lexa, who wished to see how Kane and Jaha would react and whether or not their professed desire for peace was genuine.
  • Self-Harm: After A.L.I.E. possesses Raven, she forces her host to make deep gashes along her arms
  • Sex for Services: Seems to be a common (though illegal) way to trade for favors with what limited resources they have on the Ark.
    • Bellamy's mother did this so she knew when to hide Octavia, as well as to secure Bellamy a spot on the Guard.
    • Suggested of Raven when she needs a part to complete an illegal space lifeboat.
    Nygel: I owe a favor to the chief of electrical, and he's got a thing for tough, pretty girls like you.
  • Sex for Solace:
    • After being confronted with Clarke and Finn's relationship, Raven sleeps with Bellamy to take her mind off Finn and Clarke being out together.
    • In the beginning of season three, Clarke sleeps with Niylah as part of her ongoing efforts to cope with her guilt and despair over the end of season two.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Near the end of the second season, Lincoln is held hostage by a Mountain Men sniper. It's a sign of how far Clarke's gone from her All-Loving Hero beginnings that she simply shoots at the sniper's center mass through Lincoln's shoulder. Lincoln just congratulates her on her good aim and goes to get patched up.
  • Shoot the Messenger: When a pair of Grounders are sent to Arkadia to inform them of the blockade that encircles the settlement, they explain that the blockade will be lifted if Arkadia turns Pike over to them for punishment for his actions. After Pike refuses, Bellamy shoots both Grounders when they warned him to do what was right for his people.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the season finale, one of the 100s shout "Game over, man!"
    • Ricky Whittle's character was only known as Grounder until he revealed his name to be Lincoln, which so happened to be the name of the character he played on an episode of NCIS in 2013.
  • Shrouded in Myth: A mere three months after the final battle at Mount Weather is all it takes to turn Clarke into a fearsome boogeyman among the Grounder tribes, known as "the Commander of Death".
  • Significant Sketchbook: The series opens with an introduction to Clarke's artistic inclination, but during the constant conflict she is not able to indulge her hobby after being sent to the ground. Once she begins to settle into Polis, she begins to keep a collection of sketches, including one of Lexa drawn while she was asleep.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Wells catches a lot of flak because people hate his father for enforcing the Ark's draconian laws. It gets him killed in the third episode.
  • Six Student Clique: Clarke (Head), Bellamy and Miller (Muscle), Jasper and Monty (Quirk), Finn and Harper (Pretty One), Raven and Wells (Smart One), and Octavia and Murphy (Wild One).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The series proper is started with the discovery that the Ark's life support is failing, and a large number of its people need to be removed from the population in order to extend their existing air for long enough to repair the system. The Council believes that the population cannot be told of this information since it would lead to panic and unrest, while some of its members believe that the people deserve to know regardless. The Council's original plan was to have an "accident" to buy themselves the necessary time, but when the population does learn of this news, instead of rioting enough people volunteer to be culled in order to ensure the survival of their loved ones.
  • So Proud of You: When Indra said that Octavia had become part of the Trikru, Octavia's eyes glowed with the first acceptance she had ever known in her life.
  • Spiteful Spit: When Clarke and Lexa come face-to-face for the first time in the third season, Clarke spits at Lexa and has to be dragged out of the room ranting threats. Lexa is visibly hurt, as she had hoped for a better reunion.
  • Sting: The tension of most dramatic revelations in the series are underscored by the Inception-style BWAAAAA horn.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: When A.L.I.E. possesses Raven, she forces her to injure herself.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Averted; in "Thirteen", when Titus is firing a gun wildly due to his unfamiliarity with firearms, he accidentally hits Lexa with one of his stray shots.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: The idea of "culling" three hundred people from the Ark's population is proposed because they believe that the Earth is uninhabitable and they have no other options given the breakdown in the Ark's life support. As the 100 and audience learns at the start of the first episode, the Earth is habitable and there is no need for the culling at all.
  • Super Breeding Program: The original plan that Mount Weather had for the 49 kids were to insert them into the gene pool.
  • Take a Third Option: Given the deciding vote on whether to "cull" 300 innocent citizens to buy time to save the Ark, Chancellor Jaha chooses to abstain so the resulting tie will force a revote in ten days, giving Abby until then to prove the Earth is habitable or they will have to kill them.
  • Take Back Your Gift: Raven returns the pendant Finn made for her when she finds out that he is in love with Clarke.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Abby asks her friend Callie to watch over Clarke for her when she thinks she's about to be executed.
  • Taking the Heat: Finn took the blame for Raven's illegal spacewalk, because he (as a juvenile) would only be imprisoned while Raven (as an adult) would have been floated.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Lexa believes that the previous Commanders speak to her in her dreams.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Too much freedom leads to the kids going a little wild. Then they found themselves against the Grounders.
  • Teenage Wasteland: And how! The 100 consist of a hundred teenage juvenile offenders sent down to Earth's surface with absolutely no adult supervision. There was supposed to be a guard, but he was replaced by Bellamy, who is only a few years older. It takes them less than ten minutes to start taking off the wristbands that are monitoring their vital signs and less than a day to declare that their new motto is "Whatever the hell we want, whenever the hell we want." This doesn't last all that long, though — they are forced to get more organized and disciplined as the harsh realities of survival make themselves known.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • In the early episodes, any collaboration with Clarke and Bellamy. They outright disliked each other then, but were willing to put the rest of the 100 above that. Later, it grows into genuine teamwork.
    • The alliance between the Grounders and the survivors of the Ark. There's rampant mistrust on both sides, but both want to take down the Mountain Men.
    • A constant component of any pairing when someone has to work with Murphy.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Several of the teenagers are named after famous science fiction writers:
    • Grounders have historically themed names.
      • Lincoln's village was built around the Lincoln memorial.
      • Lexa is a name derived from Alexander.
      • Gustus is also a derivative of Augustus.
      • Octavia's eligibility for both the historical and sci-fi name themes might be a nod to her dabbling in both cultures.
  • There Are No Therapists
    • Jasper suffers from PTSD caused by a near-death experience and is unable to get help due to the only medical professional having no knowledge of treating mental illnesses
    • Finn suffers from PTSD as well, and without being able to get help he subsequently gets sentenced to death for his crimes relating to his mental illness
  • They Do: Though their feelings for each other are apparent, Clarke and Lexa's actions throughout the second season and the beginning of the third are driven by the needs of their people, and they are thrown together and driven apart by circumstance and their own conflicting goals. In "Thirteen", they finally both admit their feelings for each other irrespective of the needs of their people. Lexa is killed following their love scene.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: The back half of season two alternates between the Mount Weather crew and the rest of the Sky People trying to find a way to save them, but adds Jaha and Murphy's quest for the City of Light to the mix. It's geographically removed (as it's them trekking across unfamiliar terrain) and has little in common with the other two plots...until the season two stinger.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    Octavia: "We're back, bitches!"
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Clarke, a few times in the episode that comes right after killing Finn
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: "Floating," the preferred form of execution, consists of putting a person into an airlock and ejecting them from the outer door.
  • Time Skip: Season 3 starts precisely 84 days after the events of the season 2 finale.
  • Title by Number: Though they are also referred to as "The 100" in-story.
  • Title Drop: 'The 100' is mentioned on a regular basis. Some of the episode titles too, e.g. 'We Are Grounders' is part of Bellamy's speech in said episode.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Let's just say it's easy to see why Jaha considers most of the Hundred expendable. Frequently Clarke or Wells pointing out what they need to do merits nothing but contempt from the rest of the Hundred.
  • Torture Always Works: Averted twice, the series seems to stick with the real-life conclusion that torture is an ineffective means of information extraction.
    • Lincoln did not reveal the poison antidote when the 100 were torturing him, it was only when Octavia poisoned herself that he gave the information to save her life.
    • Finn tortures a Grounder for Clarke's whereabouts, and the Grounder gives them a trail leading to a Grounder village. He had had absolutely no knowledge of Clarke at all, and had sent them to the village because he had a personal grudge against its inhabitants and hoped Finn would serve as his revenge.
  • Trash the Set: The Season one finale sees both regular sets utterly destroyed: The Ark is brought down, and the Hundred's camp is thoroughly incinerated.
  • Tragic Monster: The cannibalistic and savage Reapers turn out to be a whole tribe of these. Season two reveals that they are former Grounder captives, who due to being physically fit were turned into Warrior\Slaves by Mount Weather experiments to be used as both weapons, hunters and gatherers against their will.
  • Trial by Combat: At the start of season three, Lexa's position as Grounder Commander is tenuous due to her perceived weakness. Nia, Queen of the Ice Nation, challenges her authority, naming her son Roan as her champion. Lexa also has the legal right to a champion, but since the underlying point is that her strength is in question she chooses to face the challenge herself.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Just about every teenage male shown-it comes with the territory of being a juvenile offender in a dystopian future.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The first season alternates between the 100 trying to survive on the ground and the adults on the Ark trying to survive in space.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm:
  • Underground City: The Mountain Men live in a military base underneath a mountain converted to something of this sort.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Pretty much everyone on the show since they're mainly in survival mode.
  • Villain Has a Point: In season three, Clarke and Bellamy are arguing about the oncoming war between Arkadia and the Grounders. During the argument, Bellamy points out the moral and practical errors that Clarke had made which lead them to that point. Instead of countering the argument, Clarke can only apologize in tears, because she had made mistakes.
  • Weakened by the Light: The outside world in general but especially sunlight is a death sentence for the Mountain Men since they've lost their ability to metabolize radiation after a hundred years of living underground.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Said by Bellamy when they needed the antidote from the Grounder. The only one he gives it up to is Octavia, when she takes the poison herself.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "We Are Grounders": The Ark falls to the Earth, uniting the political plotlines of the adults with the survival story of the 100, and the Mountain Men are introduced to the story as a new adversary even more dangerous than the Grounders.
    • "Spacewalker": Finn surrenders to Grounder justice, and the rest of the Ark survivors allow his execution in order to solidify peace between themselves and the Grounders. Clarke herself performs a Mercy Kill to spare him a drawn-out death by torture, and allows it in order to unite the two people against the looming threat of Mount Weather.
    • "Blood Must Have Blood": The Grounders betray the Sky People in the conflict with Mount Weather, ultimately forcing Clarke and Bellamy to irradiate Mount Weather and kill off its population. Jaha and Murphy discover the City of Light, only to stumble upon the AI that ended the world the first time.
    • "Thirteen": Murphy realizes that the city of Polis was founded by members of the thirteenth space station, Polaris, and the audience is shown the events via flashback. Lexa is accidentally shot by Titus as he tried to kill Clarke, killing her, and it is revealed that the Spirit of the Commander which the Grounders have spoken of is actually an AI which is transferred from one Commander to the next and was programmed to help rebuild the world after the nuclear war.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Bellamy calls Clarke out for not keeping her mouth shut about the knowledge of Wells' killer, as this ultimately led to Charlotte's suicide.
    • When Clarke meets with the leader of the Grounders to try and arrange a peace treaty, the Grounder rightly points out that some of the 100's actions could be construed as acts of war (such as capturing and torturing Lincoln). We also learn that the flares used to signal the Ark burned down a Grounder encampment.
    • Clarke and Bellamy deliver a joint one to Abigail for abandoning Finn and Murphy after they went out to rescue Clarke and killing off Anya, the only Grounder willing to work for peace between the two sides.
    • Raven to Clarke after Finn is mercy-killed. This is mostly due to Raven's grief, as she later realises there was no other way.
  • World of Snark: On a planet populated entirely by teenagers, this is pretty much a given.
  • Worst Aid: The show flip-flops on this. There are episodes where attention is drawn to the correct treatment of various injuries (e.g. leaving a knife in the wound until proper care is available) since Abigail is The Medic and Clarke studied under. In other episodes, they happily transfuse blood of unknown donors and recipients, push arrows through wounds and so on.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/The100