YMMV / Jack Ryan

  • Complete Monster: Henry Tucker and Sean Miller.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Robby Jackson is said to have become president in his own right and then assassinated by a member of the KKK. This happens between books and is only barely mentioned in passing. Some of the newer books have tried to make this more meaningful by having it be one of the primary motivations for Jack running for president again, but still...
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: John Clark, who is probably Tom Clancy's most popular character (even moreso than Jack Ryan).
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the opening chapters of Command Authority, a Russian operative says that the Russian President Volodin will order the Russian military to invade Ukraine and annex the Crimean peninsula. The novel was published in December of 2013. Three months later, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, using similar methodology to the book invasion (imported "protesters" used as a causus belli).
    • A big one here: Clancy was going to write how terrorists hijack planes and fly them into buildings, but his editor rejected it for being too farfetched. Clancy was actually interviewed immediately after the 9/11 attacks where he brought the idea up with one of his general friends. When asked if the idea had ever been considered the general thought and basically said, "No Tom, I don't think it had, but at our next meeting it will be."
  • Iron Woobie: John Clark and Cas Podulski.
  • Jerkass Woobie: J. Robert Fowler isn't a particularly likeable character but it's hard not to feel sorry for him when you take into account what happens to him.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Though Clancy points out in his afterword to The Sum of All Fears that he specifically changed a lot of details on creating a nuclear bomb, he also points out that the information necessary to do so is public knowledge, and not terribly difficult to acquire.
  • Science Marches On: Several books set Twenty Minutes into the Future make use of proposed weapons systems that never went into production, or never existed in the first place.
  • Sequelitis: Ever since the end of the U.S.S.R as convenient baddies and as the books' discussion of US Politics, some feel the books have become more of a platform for Clancy's conservatism, at the expense of story.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In Executive Orders, one of the criticisms Ed Kealty levels at Jack Ryan's administration is Ryan's appointment of old friends to positions of power within the federal government, IE Ed Foley as CIA director, George Winston as Secretary of the Treasury, and Dan Murray as FBI director. Now, from the reader's perspective, we know that Ryan is appointing them because they are highly competent, but from an outsider's position it does look a hell of a lot like nepotism, especially Murray's jump in rank over other, higher ranked assistant directors.