Series: Young Hercules

In an age of light and darkness, Zeus, king of the gods, rules the universe. He had a son: young Hercules! Half-god, half-man, young Hercules longs to find his place in the world, the father he's never known, and what it means to be a hero. Before the man became legend, before the legend became myth came the greatest story of all! Young Hercules!

A spin-off/prequel series of Hercules The Legendary Journeys about Hercules, Iolaus, and Jason's teenage adventures that ran back for one season in 1998-1999, airing 50 episodes. One of the executive producers was Sam Raimi.

It starred Ryan Gosling as the titular Hercules, with Dean O'Gorman as Iolaus.

The entire series is available on Hulu. In 2015, Shout! Factory released the series on DVD.


This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Contrary to his claims, Bacchus is never seen seeking his revenge against Hercules and no such event was ever referenced in the parent series.
  • Academy of Adventure: Cheiron's Academy
  • Adorkable: Hephaestus. Hercules, Jason and Iolaus all have thier own moments
  • An Aesop: Considering the series aired on FOX Kids, this was a given.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Zeus forbid the gods from killing each other. Extending the rule to include Hercules is the only thing keeping Ares and the like from killing him.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "The Skeptic," a new student refuses to believe the gods exist.
  • Ascended Extra: Strife, who only appeared in six episodes of the parent series, appeared far more often.
    • Jason also counts as well. When the pilot movie was produced, Jason had only appeared in about four episodes up to that point. Here he's a main character.
  • Bad Ass Normal: Iolaus, Jason and Lilith.
  • Bad Bad Acting: Hercules and friends have found an Ares lookalike, and need to convince Strife and Discord he's the real thing.
    Jason: Don't hit Hercules or I will hurt you...no don't throw me backwards Ares!
    Ares: (to Discord) You are insolent, and disobedient...and naughty!
And later
Jason: Oh no it's Ares! (cringing badly)
  • Big Bad: Ares.
  • Big Brother Bully: Ares mainly, but Apollo also causes trouble in one episode.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Averted. Ares and Discord are siblings and while the parent series shows them in a sexual relationship, that is obviously downplayed here.
  • Butt Monkey: Strife.
  • California Doubling: Filmed in New Zealand, set in ancient Greece.
  • Classical Mythology: Superficially.
  • Clear Their Name: "Ares On Trial." Ares is accused of breaking Zeus' rule about no god trying to kill Hercules. Who does he get to defend him? Hercules.
  • Continuity Nod: The pilot movie ends with Hercules and Iolaus musing over the possibility of a three-headed monster. In Hercules And The Amazon Women (their first appearance airdate-wise), the duo fight a hydra, which grows three heads.
  • Evil Counterpart: Lucius to Hercules.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Hercules' quest to meet his father face-to-face, especially as HTLJ showed their first offical meeting. Subverted, though, in the last episode in which a character Hercules encountered turned out to be Zeus in disguise. So, Hercules did meet his father; he just didn't know it at the time.
    • To say nothing of the gods' plots to kill Hercules.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Hercules, Iolaus, and (to a lesser extent) Jason.
    • Towards the end of the season, Herculs and Theseus.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Hercules is half-god, half-mortal.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Kora starts serving a new foreign drink that she describes as heated beans strained through water (in other words, coffee) with milk added. Hercules is rather put off by that unflattering description and is further unsettled when he notices that Kora is incredibly jittery from drinking so much of it.
  • Jerkass Gods: Almost every god that Hercules regularly interacts with fit this trope. Hephaestus is the only subversion. He has his bad moments, but he is genuinely one of Hercules' friends.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Stated by Hephaestus himself to be the reason hes such an incredible inventor. He has the ability to see what anything can become, their potential
  • King of the Gods: Zeus.
  • Mr. Fanservice: And how. Just look at the three main characters.
  • My Greatest Failure: In "Teacher's Pests," Hercules and Jason discover that Fiducius's much and praised son actually washed out of the Academy and ran away.
    Fiducius: He was a good boy once, good student. Made me proud. Then he started getting into scrapes—small ones at first. I went easy on him, covered for him, let him get away with things. He got wilder and wilder, uncontrollable. I didn't know what to do with him. One day, he just ran away. You wonder why I'm so hard on you boys? It's because I don't want the same thing to happen to you. I don't want to let you down the way I did him.
  • Mythology Gag: The pilot movie ends with Hercules and Iolaus discussing the possibility of fighting a three-headed monster. They do years later in Hercules And The Amazon Women, the first TV-Movie.
  • Nice Guy: Hephaestus. Hes the only god that has no desire whatsoever to harm Hercules or his friends. Hercules is this as well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Regularly, the heroes would have to get themselves out of a situation that they got themselves into in the first place. To be fair, they are younger and less experienced.
  • Opening Narration: See the page quote.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Iphicles is mentioned in the Pilot Movie as having run away from home out of frustration over being in Herc's shadow.
  • Pygmalion Plot: "My Fair Lilth," in which the guys try to pass Lilth off as a princess to help get Jason out of an arranged marriage.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Cheiron
  • Sadly Mythtaken: If you know what franchise this series is a part of, you already know the answer.
  • Ship Tease: Hercules and Cyane
  • Shirtless Scene: Hercules got one shirtless scene. And he wasn't the only one. Iolaus (played by the lovely and talented Dean O'Gorman) had at least three, and Jason (played by the equally-if-not-moreso lovely and talented Chris Conrad)...well, it's easier to find episodes where he isn't shirtless, really.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Not only between Hercules and Ares but many of Hercules' half siblings as well. Everyone just wants to impress Dad.
    • With the notable exemption of Hephaestus
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ares and Hephaestus
  • The Smurfette Principle: In the pilot movie, Yvenna. In the series proper, Lilth.
  • Spinoff Babies: Well, teenagers.
  • Stern Teacher: Fiducius
  • Terrible Trio: Ares, Strife, and Discord.
  • Thieves' Guild: Iolaus was part of a bandit group.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Guess who...
  • War God: Ares.
  • Warrior Prince: Jason.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Hercules' main goal in this series is to meet his father and be acknowledged. It's kind of subverted, though, as viewers are well-aware that Zeus knows who Hercules is and even considers him his favorite child.
    • Hephaestus initially was this for Hera, but he grew out of it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Though the movie provided an explanation why he wasn't around, some found it odd that Iphicles never made an appearance on the show or was even mentioned.
  • You Look Familiar: Michael "Iolaus" Hurst appears as a peddler in the pilot movie.