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Series: The 100
From l-r Octavia, Finn, Clarke, Jasper, Bellamy, and Monty

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

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. At least that's what everyone believes. They're wrong 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.

Fast-forward to the present day: One-hundred convicted 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'll be cleared of their crimes. However, many of the youth have mixed feelings about helping the society that threw them away.

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Tropes present in this series:

  • Accidental Murder: The flares they sent up to signal the Ark burned down one of the villages of Lincoln's people by accident.
  • The Ace: Raven Reyes, youngest mechanical engineer the Arc has seen in 52 years.
  • Action Girl: Anya. Clarke and Octavia by the first season finale.
  • After the End
  • All Crimes Are Equal: On The Ark, all crimes are punishable by death unless you're under eighteen years of age. This is for population control purposes, as there is limited life support on The Ark.
  • Alliterative Name: Bellamy Blake, Raven Reyes.
  • Almighty Janitor: Bellamy Blake.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Though the Grounders are revealed to be much more complicated than as first appears, both they and the 100 so far seem to regard the Reapers this way.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 1 in regards to the Ark. At least a 2 on the surface. Caused by a nuclear war.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Charlotte apologizes before stabbing Wells and, as he dies, tearfully explains that she has to "slay her demons" to stop her nightmares of his father having her parents executed.
  • Asshole Victim: While Murphy is innocent of Well's murder, he definitely had it coming when the rest of the group tries to lynch him given his sadistic behavior. Of course, he's pissed off when they deem it okay to kill him, but they're unwilling to do the same with a little girl.
  • Better The Devil You Know: Chancellor Jaha willingly allows the execution of all criminals over age eighteen, even those who have committed minor crimes (and in some cases, none at all). 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.
  • Biological Weapons Solve Everything: The Grounders send Murphy after infecting him with a virus to leave them all feverish and weak as they invade and kill them in the morning.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Wells is the first recurring character to die.
  • Book Ends: Clarke starts and ends the first season alone, locked in an empty room with a painting of the night sky.
  • 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.
  • Broken Ace: Raven by "We Are Grounders, Part Two". By the time the episode begins Raven has already been shot in the spine by Murphy and is losing blood while desperately trying to stay alive long enough to help save the remaining 100. She laments to Clarke at always having been best at and picked first for everything on the Arc, only to end up on the ground rejected by the person she loves and unable to even feel her legs.
  • Broken Bird: Clarke by "Contents Under Pressure". Her best friend was murdered right after she'd discovered her mother was responsible for the death of her father. She's had to resort to torture to get answers, had her heart broken by her love interest's dishonesty, and had her fundamental moral beliefs shaken.
  • Brutal Honesty: Chancellor Jaha outright admits to the 100 that the reason they were chosen for this mission was that their crimes made them expendable.
  • Butt Monkey: Wells gets a lot of hate for his father's actions, even though he never did anything wrong. He's also earned the hatred of Clarke, even though he didn't actually turn in her father. He also gets killed by Charlotte.
  • 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.
  • Character Development: Most of the core characters undergo this to a high degree.
  • Children Are Innocent: Zig-zagged with Charlotte who murders Wells in cold blood but seems to have very little understanding of the consequences of what she has done.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What The 100 resort to in order to try and get the antidote to the poison for Finn.
  • 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. There are only enough drop ships for 700 people and there are over 2000 on the Ark. So who gets to go on?
  • 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. No surprise what happened next..
  • Death by Adaptation: Wells is murdered by Charlotte in the third episode; in the book, he's a major protagonist.
  • Death World: Earth might not be as radioactive as feared, but between the deadly weather, hostile wildlife, even more hostile locals, and each other, it's not a very safe place for The 100 to live.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "Murphy's Law", Murphy harasses a kid that needed water before he can continue working. Later the kid was among the others who demanded Murphy's execution. He even ties a gag around his mouth. In "I Am Become Death", Murphy gets him back by killing him.
  • 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.
  • Driven to Suicide: Charlotte, after hiding the fact that she killed Wells, nearly gets Murphy hanged and he tries to kill Clarke to get to her. She jumps off a cliff to her death.
  • Dwindling Party: The 100 don't number a hundred for very long. To give you an idea, the producers have joked that by the end of the first season, they should be called "The 50".
    • They're not kidding either. By the time of "His Sister's Keeper" (S01E06), 10 days after the drop, they've lost an average of one person per day. Oh, and they're now at war with the Grounders.
  • 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.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Post-apocalyptic Earth is like this. Lampshaded in "Earth Kills":
    Wells: Alcohol is toxic.
    Finn: This is Earth. Everything is toxic.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even the strictly controlled dystopia of the Ark is reluctant to kill children. It'll lock them up until eighteen and then execute them if their trial doesn't go well, and it'll use them as lab rats to determine if Earth is habitable again, but they are at least given something of a chance.
    • In "Murphy's Law", they had no problem with killing Murphy when he's believed to have killed Wells. But it's justified, considering the way he treats everyone. But when Charlotte confessed, they wouldn't kill her, which pissed off Murphy.
  • The Exile: Murphy.
  • 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.]
  • Fanservice: First episode in, and we have Octavia taking off her pants and shoes, to jump into a lake for a swim. Doesn't end well.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Grounders are increasingly looking like the First Nations, especially in relation to the would-be colonizers from the Ark.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Future Slang: Averted. Slang doesn't appear to have evolved much at all during the last 97 years. A notable exception is the term "floated" used to refer to spacing.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Even the best characters like Abby and Clarke have their flaws, while Kane and Bellamy, the main villains, are both Well-Intentioned Extremists. Interestingly however both their Dragons are substantially nastier than they are.
  • 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 it.
  • Hidden Depths: In "His Sister's Keeper", Bellamy resents Octavia for her birth, and blames her for their mother ending up getting floated.
  • 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.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted bigtime when preteen Charlotte is Driven to Suicide.
  • 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.
  • In Vino Veritas: When Clarke gets drunk on a found bottle of whiskey, all her anger towards Wells really comes out.
  • Ironic Echo: In the second episode: "I thought you said there are no rules."
    • In the third: "I have to slay my demons."
    • "I Am Become Death" has "Bygones." Though spoken by the same person in each case, the context is radically different.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Diana was the one behind the head guard orchestrating Jaha's murder.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: The "Ark". As in Noah's Ark.
  • Mercy Kill: Clarke punctures Adam'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.
  • Mushroom Samba: In "Day Trip" nearly everyone eats these nuts with hallucinogenic properties and starts tripping out.
  • The Mutiny: Diana Sidney takes over the exodus ship and sabotages the Ark after trying to kill the council.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Experimenting with the wristbands made every one of them short out.
    • Bellamy calls Clarke out for not keeping her mouth shut about the knowledge of Wells' killer. This ultimately led to Charlotte's suicide.
    • 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
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Justified by a tiny population living on limited resources. It's more surprising that they still have denim left than that the kids are wearing patched denim jackets.
  • 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.
  • The Notable Numeral: The 100. It's supposed to be the number of dropped criminals, but Bellamy makes the drop as well, and aren't a hundred of them anymore.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap:
    Clarke: We're not alone.
  • Peace Conference: Finn tries to organize one between the Grounders and The 100 to prevent violence from escalating once people from the Ark arrive. It failed as both sides brought weapons and Jasper shot prematurely, putting them at war.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: The Mountain Men make quick work of any opposition in the finale. Given that they're remnants of the U.S. Government/Military armed with state-of-the-art technology, neither the 100 or Grounders really stood a chance.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's Lord of the Flies AFTER THE END! AND COED! (Pretty Little Liars in space, also.)
  • Redemption Rejection: Murphy 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.
  • The Remnant: The Mountain Men have been revealed as one for the U.S. Government/Military, based out of Mount Weather.
    • Anya's group may also be this as they seem to be part of a larger group with a quasi-military structure. Tristan refers to them as a "unit" and their ultimate leader is referred to as "The Commander".
  • 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. To be fair, he convinced himself that he would become the leader after killing Bellamy. His plan goes less than spectacularly.
  • Rousseau Was Right: One of the themes of the show is that many of the "villains" are basically good people 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.
    • Diana arranges a mutiny against Jaha and risks Abby's life, but it's to give the workers, who are normally pushed aside in favor of the Council and the guard, a chance to go to Earth.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take a Third Option: Given the deciding vote on whether to "cull" 209 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 Care of the Kids: Abby asks her friend Callie to watch over Clarke for her when she thinks she's about to be executed.
  • Teens Are Monsters
  • 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."
  • The Ark
  • 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.
  • Title by Number: Though they are also referred to as "The 100" in-story.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Wells' decision to go with the lawful side of the equation resulted in his turning in Clarke's father, a decision which Clarke hates him for. Or so he claimed. It was actually Clarke's mother who chose to uphold the law and turn in Clarke's father, and Wells wanted to spare Clarke that knowledge.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Just about every teenage male shown-it comes with the territory of being a juvenile offender in a dystopian future.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Pretty much everyone on the show since they're mainly in survival mode.
  • 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:
    • "Unity Day" ended with the Exodus ship being hijacked by Diana and crashing into the ground before exploding with Clarke's mother on-board and a Peace Conference Finn tried to set up with the Grounders ended with war being declared. In addition, because of the ship's premature launch, the Ark will be shutting down and killing everyone on-board.
    • "We Are Grounders" The Ark falls down on Earth, the Hundred destroy their own camp to repel a Grounder attack, Mount Weather has been operational all along, and they kidnapped (at least) Clarke and Monty.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: 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.
  • World of Snark: On a planet populated entirely by teenagers, this is pretty much a given.
  • You Killed My Father: By proxy, nearly everyone has a grudge against Wells because Chancellor Jaha had their parents thrown out of an airlock. It gets him killed.
  • You Make Me Sic: Wells's response to getting a death threat carved into the wall of the drop ship?
    Wells: You spelled 'die' wrong, geniuses.

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