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Fanfic / Cheating Death: Those That Lived

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"To cheat death is to survive in almost impossible odds. Seventy three tributes did it before Katniss and Peeta ever set foot in the arena. Whether they were brave, scared, vicious, insane or simply got lucky they all have a story to tell and all such tales, one per Victor, can be found within. Let it be shown how they made their mark on Panem in their own unique ways."

Cheating Death: Those That Lived is CragmiteBlaster's take on a certain The Victors Project, a fanfic about the seventy-three The Hunger Games victors before Katniss and Peeta stepped foot in their arena.

The stories of those victors are told in present-day Panem, while Katniss and Peeta are browsing "The Walk of Victors" on the way to a remembrance party hosted by President Paylor.

The Cheating Death universe also includes the following side fics:

Tropes from those stories will also be included here.

Beware of unmarked spoilers!

Tropes in Cheating Death:

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  • AB Negative: Enobaria's blood type, which prevents her from being cured of the venom from the scorpion mutt that stung her during her Games and leaves her permanently Ax-Crazy.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • The Courts treated their daughter Mascara as their Trophy Child and encouraged her to be violent so that she could win the Hunger Games, instead of trying to get her some help for her mental health problems.
    • In the Second Quarter Quell, the father of Rake Finster from Eleven "always said he hated [his] worthless hide".
  • Accidental Murder:
    • In the First Hunger Games, the very first kill was caused by Sophie's crossbow going off with its arrow/bolt impaling Jakki, the girl from Seven.
    • A few Victors win the Games without ever intending to kill their remaining opponents even as a Mercy Kill, although their official kill tallies aren't empty.
      • Chassis causes a mine collapse that kills several tributes by angrily kicking a support beam during a rant (although earlier, he also stabbed a Career tribute during the bloodbath).
      • Wiress's arena is set near a dam that she causes to spill other water toward the remaining tributes, killing them, but she claims that she was just curious about what the buttons did.
      • The pacifistic Bentley is determined to win without any kills, but accidentally causes an avalanche that buries the Career pack with the vibrations of his rapping.
      • Spud accidentally grabs another tribute's coat and throws him over a cliff while wildly grabbing for something to break his fall after he slips.
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • Pliny. When her Games started, she nabbed as many supplies as she could, ran into the Cornucopia, hid herself in one of the chests and basically slept there for days. Because the Cornucopia is designed to be indestructible, the Gamemakers were unable to kill her themselves or draw her out, and she hid herself too well for any of the other tributes to find her. Ultimately, she ends up sleeping for the entire Games, only waking up in time to encounter the last tribute, who is dying from severe blood loss thanks to his severed arm, and asks her to Mercy Kill him.
    • For the first several days of his Games, Chaff manages to survive and even kill other tributes this way. He kills the District Five and Eight male tributes by trying to forcibly clothe the former and distracting the latter while he was climbing up a cliff by admonishing him for doing it unsupervised.
    • Wattzon invokes this with his tribute (and eventual Victor) Arendellian Spinner III. Suffering from schizophrenia, Arendellian has no idea what the Hunger Games are and just thinks she's on vacation. When she's about to enter the arena, Wattzon, knowing she won't understand what the Games are, instead tells her that she's playing a holo game and that she should stay on her launchpad until the gong sounds, and then run away and stay away from the other 'players' until the trumpets sound. Thanks to a number of other factors, it works, and Arendellian ends up winning the Games by doing exactly that, her only kill being in self-defense after she accidentally stumbles upon the last-surviving Career.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Laurel is forced to eat poisonous weeds in her home district to sustain herself before she was reaped. It helps her during the Hunger Games, where she manages to feed the Career pack poisonous stew that she also has to eat.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In Johanna's chapter, it's revealed that even President Snow is terrified by the thought of his granddaughter Rhonda having to enter the Capitol Games, to the point of begging for her to be spared. Johanna responds by showing him No Sympathy, gleefully rubbing Rhonda's impending death in his face, laughing at his fear, throwing the fact that he'd had her entire family killed back in his face, and calling him her favourite cuss word.
  • All-Loving Hero: To finish off the collection, Cupid of the Capitol Games preaches love and chooses to be kind above all else. He allied himself with other children who were perceived to be weak or doomed, doesn't judge based on people's ancestry and relations, forgave those who hurt or killed his allies in his Games, and is by far the only Victor to have a 'pacifist run', not even Mercy Kills like Pliny's solo kill. It is acknowledged in-universe that his pacifism symbolizes the start of a new Panem that isn't built on the horrors of violence, war, and slaughter.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • Both Dollar and her family are alienated from District One society over their beliefs in zombies. Dollar is said to look scruffy when compared to the rest of her peers at Gaudy High, while the locals claim to deny knowing let alone living near her family.
    • Rhyder is alienated by the rest of the tributes during his Hunger Games, forcing him to solo it. The Careers don't appreciate having a kid with them, while the outliers resent him because his father (Baron) started the Career tribute system.
  • Almighty Mom: A rare two-parent example. Spool manages to fool all of Panem with the Twin Switch he made with his brother Tag, except for three people: his future wife Lammy (thanks to Impostor Forgot One Detail), and his parents, who figured out what their sons did within an hour of the reaping. When Spool gets home, said parents have no issues grounding him for a month, even though he had just won the Hunger Games.
  • Animal Motifs: Mizar is given imagery of a mouse throughout his chapter. He's a shy boy who hid during the rebellion, doesn't say much to other people, and avoids conflict for most of his time in the arena. The nicknames he's given such as "mouse boy" are also tied to that animal.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin:
    • Pi Orbit from Three (22nd Games) was Reaped alongside her twin brother, Wire. And it all goes downhill from there.
    • Subverted for Numi, whose twin sister Nuvi was initially said to be missing in action during the Rebellion, but was later stated to have survived in the epilogue.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Snag dedicates the last page of his journal, a farewell letter written to all his friends and family as he believed he would never make it home with his handicaps, to his crush Paisley Wendell. In the last page, he confesses his love and apologizes for never telling her sooner. Thankfully, this ends happily with his victory, allowing him to return home and finally go out with her. They remain Happily Married to present day.
    • Bear and Gwenith admit their feelings each other and share a Last Kiss in the Mentor Control Room after the Katniss fires the arrow into the Quarter Quell arena's forcefield, when they are going to split up with Bear choosing to make a Last Stand and hold off the Peacekeepers while Gwenith joins Haymitch in starting the rebellion. Bear ends up being gunned down with the other mentors that stayed, while Gwenith survived but laments how they never acted on their feelings sooner.
  • Arc Words: Throughout Olga's Games, she recites the crimes against the Capitol that each district committed during the Dark Days whenever she cut down a representative of said district, in the structure of, "In the Dark Days [...] This is where rebellion led them."
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The members of the Flawless Estate don't mind sending their children to death, in hopes of receiving a Victor that would improve their status.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Dollar cuts off her left hand in her Games after it was bitten by a Zombified fellow Tribute.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In 24 Tributes: The Howling Islands, Clawdette (the District Two girl) screamed from a siren mutt pinning her to the ground, the cuts received from the siren, and the siren's bad breath.
    Clawdette screamed. She screamed from the weight of the mutt. She screamed from the agony of the cuts. She screamed from the overpowering stench of fish forced into her nose.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In-Universe:
    • Crystal was a huge fan of the Hunger Games, having gone on an "adventure" to ask Runa to sign her Victor's action figure and made several notebooks' worth of notes on the iterations she watched, and was even described as a "Victor fangirl" in the text.
    • Numi is a passionate rapper and regarded Bentley, who won his Games by rapping, as her idol. Then he mentors her for her Games.
  • Ass Shove: During the proto-academy days, after Cadbury Velvet breaks her arm for the sixth time, Peridot "makes a note to take [his] sword and later shove it up his ass, as baseless and classless as the act might be". She proceeds to act on this during their final showdown in the 8th Hunger Games, which is described to be "perhaps the single most humiliating death of the entire first two decades of the Hunger Games".
  • Attention Whore: Tabbock, District Nine's last Victor, relishes the spotlight. This is most evident in his magic show and how he directly addresses the audience during his Games. He even enjoys being publicly whipped as a child for misbehaving, because it means people are watching him.
  • Bad Boss: Grizelda, the Head Gamemaker during Annie's Games and Seneca Crane's predecessor, was said to have "had a habit of poisoning workers who didn't reach her extreme standards of work and cruelty".
  • Badass Family: Baron Overwhill, Runa Peace, and their son Rhyder Overwhill. How badass are they? Baron and Runa are the first and second Victors of District Two respectively, with Baron being the first Career and Runa's win making District Two the first District to have more than one winner. As for Rhyder, he won his Games at 14 (his parents won theirs at 18), and did so despite plenty of rigging designed to stack the odds against him.
  • Badass Pacifist: Cupid Sol, the Victor of the Final Games (featuring Capitol children), won without making a single kill, or hurting anyone at all.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: Blight uses a sponsored sack to capture a tracker jacker nest, which he throws at the Careers during the finale. It kills the District One tributes and the District Two girl, while injuring both himself and the District Two boy.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Implied with Grunnix Hastings and his pets. The story doesn't go into detail about his exact deeds, but what Finnick asks to the public while spilling his secrets has them vomiting in their houses.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Bronze is seen kicking the corpse of Angus after he wins the 19th Hunger Games. It disgusts the outlying districts and prompts Isobel to start the Victors' rebellion against the Capitol.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It's implied that Bear fell in love with Gwenith because she was the one person who was consistently nice to him and never held his past against him.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • Implied with Amp, Honorius's District partner. She jumps off the tribute building during the pre-Games events and dies, leading to the Capitol to install a forcefield in later Games.
    • Chev chooses to poison himself with nightlock during the finale of his Games instead of letting Olga kill him, since he knows about Olga's vow to kill one person from each district.
    • The District Twelve girl during the 23rd Hunger Games opts to jump to her death from the cliffs over letting the Careers kill her.
    • 24 Tributes: The Howling Island reveals that Ratchet Park (the District Three girl) jumped into her electrical trap instead of letting the Careers kill her.
    • Cooper and Mini, a pair of 12-year-olds, jumped to their deaths from the roof of the prison-arena, because they were afraid of dying to Mascara.
    • After his capture by the Capitol during the Rebellion, Honorius has the last laugh by swallowing a nightlock pill he had hidden in his false teeth. He even left a note for Snow taunting him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
    • Downplayed with Fir. She tells a lot of jokes and act as comic relief for the audience, but manages to take on her final opponent and become Victor of the 9th Hunger Games.
    • Pasture is from a family of Cloudcuckoolanders, but is famed for having the highest kill-count of the Hunger Games Victors... all carried out with a shoe.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Crown and Harp save Crimson during the Rebellion before Bronze could rape her again.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break:
    • Snag was Reaped for the 34th Games on his 14th birthday.
    • Laurel's District partner, Omi, was Reaped for the 36th Games the day he turned 12, i.e. the very first day he was eligible for the Reaping.
    • Finnick won the 65th Games on his 14th birthday, but that day also marked the start of his life as a Victor when he got dragged into the Sex Slave trade barely a month later. Oh, and his 16th birthday was spent with Grunnix Hastings.
  • Blackmail: The Head Gamemaker of Snag's Games, Hessian Leblanc, got his position by blackmailing at least one of his opponents.
  • Black Comedy: Neon's chapter is filled with this, with him being a pervert who manages to sexually harass every single girl-tribute in his Games, and proceeds to be chased around by all twelve girls throughout those Games to the point that he developed severe gynophobia as a result.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In Chapter 54, Jack is mockingly offended by Blight referring to his victory as "cheating".
    Jack: Cheating is such an ugly word. I prefer to claim I took a few... creative liberties.
  • Blood Knight:
    • The District One tributes of the 50th Hunger Games are seen roaring about refusing to give mercy to their opponents.
    • Lyme becomes one when she's hypnotized by Tabbock. She bullies the outlying tributes, enjoys brutalizing five tributes during the Bloodbath, and is called a "true monster" by the District One tributes.
  • Blood Lust: Mascara has an obsession with blood since her childhood, from being fascinated with blood after smashing a glass on a noble during a birthday party to making a "blood angel" in her arena.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Mercy, Honorius, Ron, Stallion, Jack, Tide, and Bear are all last seen about to fight with mutts or peacekeepers during the Rebellion. According to later chapters, none of those seven characters survive.
  • Bond One-Liner: "I'm breaking up with you." Said by Porter to Fisher after she drowns him in a mud puddle in the arena.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Multiple of Finnick's... ahem, patrons were stated to use bondage during their sessions, e.g. artificial webbing, whips, cuffs, etc.
  • Bookends: The Victor of the First Hunger Games is Mizar Aldjoy from District Nine and the Victor of the final Hunger Games is Cupid Sol from Team 9.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Olga was described to have short hair and is skilled in swordplay, knife fighting, battleaxes, hand-to-hand combat, parkour, acrobatics, etc.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Lyme is hypnotized by Tabbock at Olga's request into becoming a ruthless killing machine because she didn't fit the mold of Olga's ideal of a District Two Victor. After that, Lyme has herself re-hypnotized so that instead of slaughtering people, she becomes even more rebellious than before at the snap of the fingers.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Olga spends most of the story as a ruthless fanatic who turns up her nose at the outlier districts, defends the Capitol's evil acts, and can't stand it when anyone defies her. The final chapters reveal that she's been left a broken, weeping shell who's fully aware of how she wasted her life in the service of evil, a realization that is driven in when she learns that the Games staff have often rigged the Games against the tributes Olga devoted her life into making loyal volunteers because they find that rigid loyalty boring — including her nephew, Boris.
    • Chaff starts out as a aloof perfectionist and Teacher's Pet (although he has some Pet the Dog moments early on, like freeing the bugs at the edible insects station). He drives everyone crazy by doing things like being a Grammar Nazi to President Snow, lecturing his District partner for not using silverware, lecturing the training center staff for leaving a single piece of trash on the ground, and complaining about his training score. One Hunger Games later, and Chaff is a jaded, one-handed alcoholic and new rebel recruit.
    • Neon Erg is a budding sexual predator who is willing to kill in the Games and is confident that he'll win. Then, all of the girls in the arena team up against him, he only survives by a fluke, and he's reduced to a frazzled alcoholic who's completely terrified by any woman he lays eyes on.
    • Enobaria starts off as a snooty, haughty, and spoiled noblewoman who takes every opportunity to bully and belittle her maid Malachite, even on national TV. Then she gets stung by a scorpion mutt. The venom doesn't kill her, but it affects her brain, causing her to become Ax-Crazy. The Capitol tries to cure her after her victory, but because of her blood type, the effects are irreversible. Within a couple of months she drives away all her friends and accidentally kills her parents, and her chapter ends with her on her knees, begging for the aforementioned Malachite (at this point the only person from her old life that has yet to be abandon her) to stay.
  • Broken Pedestal: Olga's once-staunch patriotism dies a brutal, painful death when, after killing Rook, the Gamemakers' documents he stole reveal that almost all her 'ideal' tributes (including her nephew Boris) were actively sabotaged during their Games and marked for death because the Gamemakers found the loyalty Olga drilled into them "boring". The final nail in the coffin is learning from Finnick's revenge broadcast that her patriotic father was killed by Snow, and ultimately, this disillusionment plays into her decision to vote in favor of a Capitol Games.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
  • Brick Joke: During a sword duel with Peridot, Cash mocks her by asking if her parents are related. While not a House Royalty member, guess who Mascara's parents are?
  • The Bully:
    • Bear used to be this before his Games, but eventually grows to regret this and turns over a new leaf after winning his Games.
    • Among the Second Quarter Quell tributes, Jill Ndesu from Seven was described to be "loud, crass and known for bullying people much younger than her as an excuse to 'prepare for the Games'". She ends up getting stabbed to death by the youngest tribute in her Games, Guppy Charles from Four.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dollar often takes her belief in zombies to an extreme degree. However, her belief ensures that she's competent with weapons and that she's in good shape so she can defend herself from zombies. Those skills then help her earn the the title of strongest female at Gaudy High as of the 32nd Hunger Games, and thus the title of tribute for that competition.
  • Bury Your Disabled: Both subverted and played straight, depending on the Games in question. Naturally, it's more difficult to win the Games with a disability, but it's not flat-out impossible. Skill, ingenuity, and especially pure, dumb luck (which, in the Games, is synonymous with Gamemaker stupidity) can carry a disabled tribute to victory.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The Gaudy family are considered "millionaires among billionaires" around the time the Flawless Estate starts training their children as Careers. When Peridot shoves her sword up Cadbury's ass, the Gaudys become the most prestigious house while the Velvets become the laughingstock of the Estate.
    • Pi (22nd Hunger Games) is seen as a Sore Loser in the eyes of the Capitol, because of her tendency to break down when her tributes (also her family members) die in the Hunger Games. Justified from the Capitol's perspective, there will always be more Hunger Games for her to "win".
    • Wattzon (55th Hunger Games) is constantly mocked in his childhood, making him the misanthropist he was by the time of the reaping. When he's reaped, he's jeered by the rest of District Five.
  • Cage Fighting: In the epilogue, it's revealed Enobaria became a successful cage fighter under the pseudonym "The Tooth Bitch" to satiate her Blood Knight tendencies.
  • Canon Immigrant: Of a sort. Two of the Victors, Spool and Lammy, are actually characters the author used for two SYOT stories.
  • Captain's Log: Honorius's Hunger Games is told from the perspective of a journal found in his basement following the Second Rebellion.
  • Category Traitor: In the Second Quarter Quell, Bartel joins the Career Pack, which Jill and Leaf, two of his district partners, regard as treachery. They proceed to have a shouting match over this the night before the Games.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Part of Dollar's zombie apocalypse survival training discusses how if a zombie bites someone in the extremities, they will have to amputate the infected limb in question to avoid becoming a zombie themself. Dollar ultimately acts on what she learnt in her Games after an infected fellow tribute bites her left hand, which has most certainly contributed to her survival.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The catapult is this to Rook, when he sees the Ones launching the District Twelve boy from it. After allying with Socket and helping her make it to the final two, he launches her into the forcefield using the catapult to help fulfill her dreams of flying.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the chapter of the First Quarter Quell, Mizar expresses relief that his niece isn't eligible for being reaped until the year after. Three years later, the aforementioned niece, Teff, is reaped and becomes the Victor of the 28th Games.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: The 16th Hunger Games takes place in a volcano. It explodes on the 4th day, which greatly reduces the arena size and confines the remaining four tributes to two square miles' worth of land.
  • Cincinnatus: On at least two occasions, minor Gamemakers temporarily take the position of Head Gamemaker for one year after a disastrous Hunger Games to make the next Games go smoothly, then step down and return to their previous position.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • The Gallows family has some extremely strange traditions, and Pasture in particular carries it all in stride to honour said traditions in her Games.
      One would be forgiven for having to stop, stare and question if Pasture's family weren't just a hallucination bought on by a concussion. They were quite unlike anything else in Panem when all was said and done. Even Dollar's zombie survivalist family seemed to be at least a few steps behind when it came to sheer kookiness.
      Having come to Panem from the 'old country' shortly before the Dark Days, the Gallows clan had bought along a particularly large brand of bizarre traditions with them, each one seemingly more ridiculous than the last.
      Clams were considered to be fine pets despite the notable lack of them in District Ten.
      The motto of the family was 'The soil knows all'.
      It was socially acceptable to eat grass.
      Barbers were the manliest and most respected of people.
      Unicycles were to be ridden before bikes.
      Meat of various types and qualities was hung around at Capitolmas.
      Eels being stuffed down one's pants was a sign of forgiveness.
      All of this together inevitably meant that most people in Ten would make a solid effort to avoid dealing with Pasture and her family. Their grand farmland, though well cared for and fairly successful all things considered, was simply deemed to be a land of madness.
    • Chaff before, during, and probably even after his Games. There's really no other way to describe a Bothering by the Book Control Freak Rules Lawyer who took pride in his position as a Hall Monitor to the point he considered it to be a reason why he would survive the Games, and whose Skewed Priorities reached a point where he made his first kill trying to put clothes on the nudist tribute from District Five.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Bear and Seeder tried to be this to Chaff during his Games, only to fail completely and utterly. They progressively get more and more exasperated at his antics as his Games go on, especially at the fact that he's still alive despite them, until they eventually sink into disbelief at the fact that he's actually going to win.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Several Capitolites who purchased Finnick's company over the years were killed as a result of being tortured by other Capitolites during Finnick's broadcast revenge, e.g. Fabius Westwing.
  • Combat Medic: In the epilogue, it is said that Katniss went on to train and become a nurse after Prim's death in the Rebellion, as part of the "family trade". It doesn't diminish her status and skill as a hunter or a Hunger Games Victor, though.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During a sword duel against Cash while deciding who goes into the 8th Games, Peridot kicks her in the groin and makes a few strikes to her neck after Cash taunts her parents.
    Peridot: Nobody said we couldn't fight dirty if it would help. If only one can live, might as well do anything it takes.
  • Compensating for Something: Implied in Porter's chapter, where two of the Career boys started arguing on Day 2 of training "over who had a bigger sword while one random outlier was unable to hold back a faint snicker".
  • Contrived Coincidence: At the end of Gwenith's chapter, all three members of the Girl Posse that tricked her into volunteering for the Games were reaped for the subsequent three after hers and die Undignified Deaths despite her best efforts to save them. Even though the story claims it to be a coincidence, the chances of that happening are so astronomically low that one suspects riggage had to be involved. Considering that the girl they tricked Gwenith into volunteering for was Mizar's sister (who was almost certainly rigged into the Games herself), it's very likely there was.
  • Cool Aunt: When Plum is rigged into the Second Quarter Quell, she's mentored by her aunt Seeder. Seeder spends most of her time taking care of her after Plum gets a headache from eating the Capitolian food.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Every single District Six Victory consists of this.
    • Chassis brought down the arena with one kick. He was the only tribute that survived — because he had a metal bucket for a helmet.
    • Porsche carefully studied the train tracks of the arena, tricked the Gamemakers into calling a feast for the Career pack by constantly stealing their supplies (using her camouflage skills to hide within their camp), and rerouted several trains straight into the feast — and the Career pack.
    • Bentley managed to survive all the way to the Top 4 without killing anyone, rapping his way into the Capitol's hearts and winning sponsors (a rarity for outlier districts such as District Six). He won because he caused an avalanche that killed his last three competitors... by complete accident.
    • Numi tricked the criminal alliance and Career pack into riding sabotaged minecarts along a set of rails that only she knew the safe path through, then ran around on a car tyre and took out the last Career standing.
  • Crazy Survivalist: The Dettwieller family from District One are Crazy-Prepared and a bit paranoid for the Zombie Apocalypse, with Dollar being seen as the "best" in the family. The rest of District One regards them as an embarrassment to the district.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Played for Laughs when President Orion has to bribe Dollar to tell a lie about her arena, and her price is that he establish a zombie-fighting branch of the Peacekeepers even though there aren't any actual zombies outside of Dollar's arena.
  • Creepy Uncle: Gender-Inverted. Among the many secrets Finnick reveals during his broadcast, one of them is that his first "patron", Aracuna Blaze, is sexually attracted to children under 15 and is implied to have sexually assaulted people of that age, up and including her own niece.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Cleopatra, the District One girl, is stung alive to death by tracker jackers during the 13th Hunger Games.
    • All three of Vercingetorix's allies are given one in the arena. The unnamed District One boy is cut open by the District Ten boy, Macey is cut from head-to-toe by the District Six tributes, and Amethyst is raped before Linen murders her.
    • President Orion dies one at the end of the 36th Hunger Games, where his innards are dissolved over a span of ten hours.
    • All six of the Careers during the 40th Hunger Games die in horrific traps set by Lammy, from punji stick traps to being set on fire alive, to being sent face-first into a patch of sap and dying after pulling their own face off.
    • Vuller from the 42nd Hunger Games dies after a tracker jacker nest falls directly on his head.
    • Tabbock inflicts this on each and every one of his victims in his Games:
      • The District Four boy, Bodhi, dies from having an Ace of Spades card tear right through his neck before the countdown is even up. His blood was described to "pou[r] out of his open neck like a fountain".
      • The unnamed District Seven girl is killed with the Saw a Woman in Half trick played in the most literal sense, earning the ire of all of District Seven.
      • The unnamed District Ten boy has ten-thousand helium balloons tied around his neck, so much that he floats up into the air, chokes to death from the balloon strings, and has his corpse splatter onto the ground when the balloons pop.
      • The District Eight boy, Ripford (whom Tabbock temporarily allied with), was force-fed a mixture of Coca Cola and experimental Mentos until he combusted all over the alleyway.
      • The District One boy, Lionel, failed to escape from Tabbock's "Disappearing Box" in the 'final battle' and was set alight by a fire device, turned into a Human Pincushion via three dozen poisonous darts fired from two dart cannons (provided by the Gamemakers), and to top it all off, squashed by a piano, naturally resulting in his demise.
    • Anyone who falls into Lothar's trap during the 68th Hunger Games is bound to be slowly cut to death. Or in the case of the unnamed District Two girl, have her face cut off.
    • Rancis Winger, a funk rocker, was reportedly waterboarded using corrosive acid by fans of the Four Mutts P-Pop group because he was revealed to have hired a hitman to kill off his competition.
    • Any Gamemaker who fails at their duties is thrown into a woodchipper that President Orion owns. Snow reuses it for his Gamemakers after he becomes president, and Paylor also makes use of it to execute Snow's ministers and any remaining Gamemakers once she's made interim president following the Second Rebellion.
    • Logger gets an absolutely well-deserved one: he's beaten half to death, left tied to a tree, and just when he thinks he can escape, wolf mutts are set on him and he's eaten alive.
  • Country Matters: Johanna's favourite insult, to the point that her chapter is a list of seven times she called someone that.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • In Fir's Games (the 9th Games), bows and arrows were the only weapons provided, but even the Careers lacked the skill to use them, presumably because they specialized in other weapons and had barely if ever trained with bows and arrows.
    • This is a general trend present in most Careers — Careers tend to have little to no knowledge of survival skills and techniques. This was a key part of Duke’s victory, as the three remaining Careers were suffering from starvation and dehydration when Duke found them, which meant he could take them out easily.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Laurel has Acquired Poison Immunity from eating poisonous plants around District Nine to avoid starvation. In the arena (filled with poisonous plants), this helps her because she is threatened into identifying edible plants for the Careers and taste-testing the food she made to ensure that she didn't poison them, and she takes this opportunity to take down the Career pack from the inside out as they don't have the advantage of poison immunity.

  • Dead Guy Junior: Arendellian Spinner III shares a name with two of her relatives of the same name, both of whom died in previous Hunger Games.
    Her family and neighbours, in their more superstitious moments, wondered if it was the girl's name that had brought about some sort of a curse. The name 'Arendellian' seemed to just attract bad luck because both her relatives who had the name were reaped for past Games and ended up dead.
    The first Arendellian was eaten by sharks at the very end of the Eleventh Games.
    The second Arendellian had her eyes torn out and got stabbed a grand total of seventeen times in the Forty Seventh Games.
  • Death by Irony: Tabbock's death in the third Quarter Quell: he's drowned by Peeta after a botched attempt to attack him during the Bloodbath, and his body sinks beneath the waves. Lampshaded by Katniss as such:
    "Ironic too. You made the magician disappear."
  • Death Dealer: Tabbock kills the District Four boy, Bodhi, before the gong rings using an Ace of Spades card.
  • Death from Above:
    • During the 7th Hunger Games, Sword dies after Runa jumps from above and slams him twenty times against the concrete wall.
    • This plays out again in the 39th Hunger Games — Flash from Three dies after Rhyder jumps on him from above and punches him several times in the neck.
  • Death Seeker: In Laurel's Games, Satyr, the boy from Seven, was the only person unbothered by the vicious Career pack of that year because he became this after his family all died in the particularly cold winter preceding the 36th Games. He ends up dying at the hands of the District One girl to shield his District partner.
  • Death World: Similar to the arena for the Second Quarter Quell, the arena for the 36th Games (Laurel's Games) was a tropical island filled to the brim with poisonous flora. Laurel, having Acquired Poison Immunity, takes full advantage of this by taking down the Career pack from the inside, but quite literally at that.
  • Decided by One Vote: The Victors' vote for or against a Capitol Games is decided by Olga's vote.
  • Deliberate Under-Performance: Dragon Batofel deliberately sabotages himself throughout the 27th Hunger Games (such as by taking a nap during training rather than displaying any skills and walking instead of running in the arena) just so that his ultimate victory will feel more impressive. His chapter is even titled "10 Ways Dragon Batofel Made The Hunger Games Much Harder Than They Really Needed To Be".
  • Depraved Bisexual: In Finnick's chapter, Capitol citizen Elmira Washington purchased his company along with Crimson and Numi.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Gamemakers often times let their greed and ambition override their common sense, which is lampshaded repeatedly by the narrative. Special mention goes to Hessian Blanc, who decided the best way to make an "explosive" Games is to make things literally explosive and replace all the traditional weapons with hand grenades. As expected by anyone who bothered to think it through for more than two seconds, all it took was one detonating near the rest to create a massive blast that ended up slaughtering the majority of the tributes before the Games were even five minutes in.
  • Died on Their Birthday:
    • Snag was Reaped for the 34th Games on his 14th birthday.
    • Laurel's District partner, Omi, was Reaped for the 36th Games the day he turned 12, i.e. the very first day he was eligible for the Reaping.
  • Dirty Coward: Logger Barlow from District Seven was explicitly portrayed as this, through his lack of dignity as well as willingness to do anything to go home, including cutting 12-year-old Bloom Nakamura to pieces without hesitation until she "was hardly recognisable anymore". This later comes back to bite him, with lethal consequences.
  • Disability Immunity: Teff's deafness keeps her from being hypnotized and lured to her death by the song of a siren mutt. This lets her win her Games, as the Career pack had no such immunity.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Chev from Six refused to let Olga fulfill her vow of killing a tribute from each district by committing suicide. Olga responded by telling her students at the Academy to always kill tributes from District Six first in retribution, for many, many years to come.
    • Jack wins the Hunger Games thanks to smuggling a Peacekeeper's taser into the arena. Orion has Fir's Parental Substitute, Montgomery, killed in retribution due to how he's not allowed to touch the Victors.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: A rare undesired instance of this trope happens to Platinum as the seventh-ranked District One female tribute for the 44th Hunger Games, and she only ranks that high because thirteen girls ahead of her dropped out due to being disgusted by the events of the 43rd Hunger Games. All of the ten highest-ranking tributes are considered to be volunteers and Platinum has no desire to actually compete in the Hunger Games, but she's forced to when the six higher-ranking girls are all hospitalized, arrested, or get pregnant during the weeks leading up to the 44th Hunger Games (which Platinum only wins by a fluke).
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Peridot has been taunted and harassed by her district partner, Cadbury, while growing up. After Cadbury falls into her trap, she shoves a sword with her family crest up his ass.
    • Crimson Flanders is the first victim of the Victors' Prostitution Ring because of Bronze's lust towards her. After Crown incapacitates Bronze, Crimson cuts off his penis, hammers stakes into his hands and feet, and sets him on fire.
    • Crown Martins is arguably another example, as Bronze refused to mentor him and effectively left him for dead. He proves instrumental in finally taking down Bronze once and for all.
    • After spending years being bought by wealthy Capitolites, being violated in far too many ways, witnessing plenty of depravity, and hearing plenty of tales of depravity, Finnick finally gets to spill every single secret he managed to pry out of them, toppling the people and plunging the city that had exploited him and MANY other Victors for so very long.
    • The Capitol Games can be seen as this near the end of the story from a District's perspective. Justified because it's not only twenty-four Capitolite children entering the arena — with twelve of them being forced to boot, but the sponsorship uses a "points" system, and the Districts can refuse to sponsor. It's also an invoked trope, because Paylor only authorized the Games in order to stop all the vigilante attacks on the normal Capitolites.
  • Domestic Abuse: Porter's ex-boyfriend, Fisher, was abusive to her, which eventually motivated her to secretly flee to District Five to escape him. Unfortunately, they met again when both were Reaped for the 38th Hunger Games...
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Mags' full name is Magnolia but would very much prefer it if you didn't call her that, thank you very much.
    District Four Escort: (at the Reaping) Magnolia Flanagan.
    Mags: My name is Mags, get it right[,] shiny.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Canon mentions that sixteen Victors died before the Third Quarter Quell, which CragmiteBlaster follows during the story. Subverted with Librae due to her only being presumed dead, and it is stated that she eventually returned to District Four as a surfing instructor and later became the leader of District Fifteen (exploration, located on the Hawai'ian islands where she washed up).
    • Pliny and Fir both die of old age, making Johanna the only living female Victor in her district by the time Snow announces the Quarter Quell twist.
    • Duke is killed by a rabid fanboy reenacting the Hunger Games with Capitolian children, fulfilling the requirement of Haymitch being the only living District Twelve Victor at the time of the 74th Hunger Games.
    • Vercingetorix is also killed by that rabid fanboy, fulfilling the requirement that the First Quarter Quell Victor must die before the Third Quarter Quell.
    • All the Victors who died in the Third Quarter Quell are naturally this — Cashmere, Gloss, Brutus, Wiress, Mags, Arendellian, Neon, Porsche, Bentley, Blight, Cecelia, Woof, Laurel, Tabbock, Pasture, Skinner, Seeder, and Chaff.
    • 12-year-old Bloom dies during the 61st Hunger Games, as canon states that 14-year-old Finnick was the youngest Victor.
    • During Boulder's chapter, District One is mentioned to be hoping for back-to-back victories. Canon mentions that the only time it's ever occurred is with Cashmere and Gloss, who won't be around until decades later.
    • Every other tribute featured in the Games of a canonical Victor is obviously this.
    • Anyone who finished reading the main story before reading 24 Tributes will know that Teff and Spool obviously win the 28th and 42nd Hunger Games respectively.
    • As Annie Cresta's District Partner, Swell's doomed to getting his head chopped off.
    • A villainous example: by the time the 74th Hunger Games rolls around, Snow is President, not Orion.
  • Doorstopper: The story has long chapters and, at 600,815 words (counting author's notes), it is almost as long as its fanfiction inspiration The Victors Project (itself a Doorstopper) and the original The Hunger Games trilogy combined.
  • The Dreaded: There is usually at least one of these for each Game (usually in the Career pack), but Linen, or as he is more commonly known, "The Beast From District Eight", proves to be an especially sinister one during the first Quarter Quell.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • In the 1st Games, Sal, the 12-year-old boy from Eleven, killed himself in front of Mizar after witnessing the Cornucopia Bloodbath that killed 18 tributes.
    • Pi Orbit grabbed some live wires to electrocute herself following the First Quarter Quell, after she lost all of her siblings to the Hunger Games and failed to save her assigned mentees.
    • In the Second Quarter Quell, Winch Macowi from District Five learnt from Crimson about why "old, fat and gross" Capitol men were interested in her, and decided to step off of the tribute pedestal a second too early because "she'd rather die than become a sex object for nasty Capitol men for the rest of her life".
    • Yohan hangs himself in the Victors' Purge, with a note saying he deserved it.
    • During the Capitol Games, one Tribute's mother hangs herself for sending her son to his fate.
  • Due to the Dead: According to the epilogue, several of the surviving Victors of the Second Rebellion often paid their respects to past tributes in their own ways, most prominently Peeta visiting the memorials built from destroyed arenas with flowers and baked goods and Haymitch writing Cheating Death in honour of his fellow Victors, dead or alive.
  • Dwindling Party: The Career pack in Lammy's Games were picked off one by one after they had killed every single other Outlier left.
  • Dying Declaration of Hate: Bear's district partner, Crow, told him with her dying breath that she didn't forgive him for stealing her younger brother's food, which caused him to starve to death, and that she hated him.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Befitting a Blood Knight like himself, Dragon's last moment of glory is to take out a hundred mutts during the Rebellion before ultimately succumbing to his wounds.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Jacinth is one of the nobles who trains as a Career before the 8th Hunger Games and is cut out for being too young. He keeps training and becomes Crystal's district partner for the 14th Hunger Games.
    • While their names aren't mentioned, Tide, Crown, and Vercingetorix make appearances in Pi's chapter. Tide is the person who kills Pi's older siblings, Crown checks up on Pi's wellbeing during his Victory Tour, and a description of Vercingetorix's activity in the arena can be seen in one of the "now" sections of the chapter.
    • On a somewhat meta level, Castor and Pollux from Mockingjay are introduced in Neon's chapter, where they were two of the captives Ajax took to make his own Hunger Games, who were saved by Duke.
    • Numi, Spud and Cupid are all introduced in Finnick's chapter. Numi is bought with Crimson and Finnick for one encounter, while Spud's Hunger Games are being played on a television while Finnick is being sold. Cupid is mentioned at the end of his chapter as one of the victims of the rampant destruction that followed Finnick's broadcast, with his home and parents being burnt to the ground by arsonists.
    • Ron makes an appearance in Augustus's chapter, where he makes it to the final two and manages to kill Lothar. Justified because Augustus's chapter is all about mentoring tributes.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Applies to basically every surviving Victor, but Crimson and Wattzon are especially poignant examples.
    • After decades of being exploited by the Capitol (and Bronze) as a Sex Slave in order to keep her family alive, Crimson gives Bronze a well-deserved Cruel and Unusual Death, survives the rebellion, gets revenge on the Capitol via Capitol Punishment, and spends the rest of her life reconnecting with her remaining family members.
  • Elective Mute: Porter is diagnosed with selective mutism when she's 18.
  • Enemy Mine: In Neon's Games, all twelve girls survive the Bloodbath and band together in spite of them being already pit against each other in a Deadly Game. Justified because they all have one thing in common: hatred for Neon because of his perverted pre-Games behaviour.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In spite of Bear being The Bully before his Games, he loved his mother dearly and when Maximus from District Two taunted him about her, it doesn't end well for him.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The First Quarter Quell. While some Districts voted in tributes that had decent shots of winning, the majority used it as an opportunity to vote in the worst of their troublemakers, including but not limited to a cannibal, an arsonist, and a rapist. In the opening Bloodbath, the usual Career Pack gets ripped to pieces by a larger alliance of these psychopaths, who team up in order to have some 'fun' in the arena, and by the end of the first day, the traumatized survivors (eventual Victor Vercingetorix and his District One ally Amethyst) no longer really care about winning, with the former promising to protect the latter and even kill himself if it came down to the two of them at the end. After he fails, he hits the Despair Event Horizon and only fights to win because otherwise it'll leave one of the psychopaths free to continue their rampage all over again. Katniss and Peeta both note that this is probably one of, if not the only Hunger Games where Outlier Districts (including their Victors) wanted a Career to win.
    • This happens again during Ron's Games. Initially he planned on dying after a trigger-happy peacekeeper shot the brother he volunteered for, only to change his mind after befriending two of the other tributes and deciding to ally with them so one of them could make it home. After they both die, he resigns himself to dying again, only for Finnick to convince him to try to win anyway in their memories. However, what really causes him to cast off his death wish is learning the other finalist, Lothar, is a Serial Killer who had already murdered dozens of people before he was reaped and is responsible for the deaths of half the tributes, including Ron's two allies and his district partner Algae. At that point, Ron realizes he has to win, otherwise Lothar will be free to continue terrorizing the citizens of Panem with impunity.
    • Many of the Victors who voted for the Capitol Games are openly horrified at many of the tributes that end up being reaped, among which include a legless boy and a blind girl.
  • Epistolary Novel: Cecelia's chapter is told from the journal entries of her fellow orphan and herself.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Zig-Zagging Trope.
    • Anchor hails from a family of debt collectors — though they were mostly run out of the industry by the Peacekeepers — and is strongly disliked by the other Victors... not for his family's history, but for impaling his District partner, Dolphin, In the Back with a Look Behind You trick because she was "too powerful to keep around", even though they had been friends and training partners since they were young.note 
    • His uncle, Sharky Huxley, plays this straight as his hounding after Tide drove her to volunteer for the Games to pay off her debts, and is overall the main antagonist of the first sections of her chapter.
  • Excrement Statement: Lyme pisses on the charred ash of what was once Olga's desk after rebels carpet bomb Machete High.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After Paylor says she have a plan for calming the Districts, it doesn't take long for Peeta to realize the plan is to have Coin's idea of a Games with Capitol children.
  • Expy: Has a few from The Victors Project:
    • Olga appears to be one for Boudicca, being an extreme Loyalist who turned the District Two training academy into what Katniss and the readers know... and ended up acknowledging their mistakes and regretting their actions after the Second Rebellion.
    • Crown appears to be one for Abram despite coming from One instead of Nine. Both are overweight candy-makers who thrive well in their desert arenas and use a rock inside a shirt as a makeshift bolas during the finale. Following their exit from their respective arenas, they both contribute heavily to the Victors' Rebellion.
    • The First Quarter Quell District Eight boy, Linen, is as much of a rapist as TVP's District Eight tribute for the same Games, down to the tattoos of each girl they violated. The main differences are that TVP's tribute was unnamed and had violated fewer people than Linen.
    • The District Three boy of the 47th Hunger Games (in Cheating Death) is one for the District Two boy of the 26th Hunger Games (in TVP). They both get their hands on oxygen tanks when near a fire and die from the corresponding explosions.
    • Winch Macowi is this to Sparrow Flaherty, with both being female tributes who learnt about Victor prostitution from their respective mentors (Crimson for Winch, Vera for Sparrow) and chose to die in the Bloodbath of the Second Quarter Quell to avoid such a fate. The primary two differences as we know of between the two are their Districts of origin (Winch is from Five while Sparrow is from Seven) and how they choose to die (Winch by stepping off the pedestals, Sparrow by running head-long into the Bloodbath).
    • Paige Murphy could also be one for Cotton Rivers, being a District Eight female Victor who blew herself up to buy time for the other Victors to escape after the Third Quarter Quell.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Pretty much everyone could tell Spool had it bad for Lammy. Mizar even wrote in his final letter that they should get married.
    • Likewise, everyone knows that Bear and Gwenith have a thing for each other. Unlike Spool and Lammy however, they never gathered up the courage to act on their feelings until the last possible moment.
  • Eye Scream: Gwenith loses an eye sometime during the stretch of war after the Third Quarter Quell, but she deems it a small price to pay for Rebel victory.
  • Fake Weakness:
    • Lammy pretends to be a crybaby during the pre-Games. She cries uncontrollably when she's reaped and when the Careers taunt her during training. It also fools her district partner, Hare, who thinks that she'd die during the Bloodbath.
    • As per canon, Johanna does the same.
  • Family Extermination:
  • Family Theme Naming:
    • Vercingtorix has a niece named Comengetorix — they're both Robot Wars robots created by the same team.
    • From the Batofel family, Dragon has a sister (and district partner) named Wyrm.
    • From the Dettwieller family, Dollar's youngest sister is her only named sibling, being named Cent.
  • Fat Bastard: President Orion was described to be a "tubby tyrant" on more than one occasion.
  • "Five Things" Fic: Some of the chapters follow this format, including:
    • Runa, and the ten blessings she learned from her now-late grandfather.
    • Woof, and the eight times he did as he was told.
    • Dragon, and the eight times he made his time in the arena harder.
    • Seeder, and the six graded moments of her life.
    • Tabbock, and the five magic tricks he did while in the arena.
    • Chaff, and the one-hundred rules he broke as a tribute.
    • Brutus, on the nine Victors from Two and how he made each one happy (plus the time he made President Snow mad).
    • Blight, on the five times he was stung by tracker jackers.
    • Finnick, on the eight times he was sold and the eight secrets he used to get his revenge.
    • Augustus, on the eight times he mentored a tribute.
    • Johanna, on the seven times she called someone a "cunt".
  • Fantastic Racism: Many Capitolites display very blatant discrimination against people from the Districts, often calling them savages. Districts One and Two are also quite discriminatory against other Districts, referring to them derisively as "Outliers".
  • Fatal Flaw: Comengetorix Hartwright is a powerful leader and is the strongest tribute among her district, as Olga personally chose to mentor her. Her downfall is that she's too trusting and is betrayed by Treasure when turning her back in the late stages of the 50th Hunger Games.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: President Orion, the "tubby tyrant", makes it a capital offense to call him fat.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The District Two Victors in Brutus's chapter mentions a "Super Smash Victors" with Chassis as a playable character.
  • Fictional Document: The epilogue reveals that Cheating Death was written by Haymitch in-universe as a coping mechanism, and became a nation-wide bestseller in Panem.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: In the 58th Games, Yohan Fairbane was the foolish, carefree electric guitarist brother to Meryl's responsible, talented, award-winning sister. Deconstructed after Yohan accidentally kills Meryl by recklessly running her over while taking a joyride with a Jeep they (read: Meryl) fixed. He ends up a bitter, self-loathing recluse on suicide watch because while they were in the Hunger Games, Meryl's death can only be blamed on his complete recklessness and lack of responsibility.
    Meryl was talented and multi-skilled. It was all too easy for her to rapidly gain new skills and know exactly what to do to survive. She'd quickly gotten her head around first aid, survival skills and weapons such as spears and harpoons.
    Yohan, meanwhile, just goofed off and sat around with his guitar. He hardly seemed to care about anything going on around him that wasn't his own specific interest. It earned plenty of ire from his sister several times a day, a shouting match breaking out more than a few times.
    She demanded he work hard and train because his life depended on it. She screamed at him to get off his ass and put some effort into work for once.
    Yohan simply strummed a few tunes and said he saw no reason to try when, as had been the case for so many years, his genius sister would just help him out of any situation he got himself into. He knew she loved him enough to not abando[n] him to death.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A brilliantly done example: when looking at District Two's Victors, one would notice that very few of their Victors win by adhering to Olga's idea of what a tribute should be. As we find out in the Victor Party chapter, that's because the Gamemakers kept rigging the Games against the ones that did.
    • In Haymitch's chapter, Snag has an awful feeling that one of his daughters would be Reaped. His prediction comes true 11 years later when his youngest, Bloom, is Reaped (Snag was described to almost have a heart attack on the Reaping stage)... and receives a Cruel and Unusual Death courtesy of her district partner.
    • Wattzon notices that Trevy suddenly became silent on the hovercraft ride to the arena. It's later revealed that wasn't the real Trevy; he had swapped places with an Avox before the Games began.
    • An easily-missed line from Seeder during Chaff's chapter becomes very significant towards the end of the story.
      Seeder: Wouldn't mind seeing a Capitol Games set in their massive garbage dump at the city limits...
  • For Want Of A Nail:
    • Played slightly for laughs in Chapter 75 during the vote for and against the Capitol Games, where the chapter ends with a list of surviving Victors, their stances towards the proposed Capitol Games and their reasoning behind the vote. The list ends with Librae being listed as stranded in Hawaii, but it also notes that had she been there, she would have voted no and tied the vote.
    • Two nails are noted for being pivotal for making the Mockingjay Rebellion possible. One is Mizar helping a young boy from District Twelve that he came across during his Victory Tour, and another is Wattzon's victory allowing a young mother who bet on it to collect a massive payout and save the life of her young daughter with a cure for the cancer that was ravaging her. The boy is Ashford Everdeen, Katniss and Prim's grandfather, and the girl is Effie Trinket, the District Twelve escort who drew Prim's name from the reaping bowl, causing Katniss to volunteer for her sister in her place and set everything into motion.
  • Freudian Excuse: Heavily implied from Haymitch's chapter, where Mizar tells Gwenith about a smallpox outbreak in Thirteen that killed off Alma Coin's family, which left her "feeling hopeless" and "not the same anymore".note 
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Openly acknowledged by Olga, who notes that being hoodwinked and brainwashed by the Capitol doesn't excuse the part she played for causing so many deaths in the Hunger Games. However, she also notes that while she did make those choices of her own volition, it also doesn't excuse the Capitol for manipulating her into believing those decisions were for the greater good, nor for all their other crimes, including starting the Hunger Games to begin with.
  • Friend to All Children: Mercy Gregor is very protective of young children. She was horrified when all the tributes Reaped for her Games turned out to be 12 years old due to in-universe Executive Meddling, broke the taboo of District Two allying with District Six, and gave her life to protect orphans from reaper mutts during the Rebellion.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Fifty-Seventh Hunger Games in a nutshell. To wit:
    • First, training for the tributes is difficult due to a heat wave that hit the Capitol that year, with barely any of them having the energy to do anything, leading to no one, not even the Careers, scoring over a nine.
    • The interviews similarly go south for the same reason, with the heat being too distracting for any of the tributes to sell themselves to the audience.
    • Then there's the arena, which had the opposite problem but the same effect, being located in Alaska — the tributes are simply too cold to do anything, leading to a Cornucopia Bloodbath of four deaths.
    • However, the biggest blunder by far is the Gamemakers underestimating the strength of the blizzard machines, leading to them accidentally knocking out the hovercraft that flies above the arena and killing everyone onboard. With the Capitol unable to send in a new hovercraft, that leaves the tributes entirely on their own, with no sponsorship gifts coming. Again, with things being so cold, the tributes are unable to do anything, with most just trying to find ways to keep warm as much as possible and even calling truces so they can huddle up together. Pluto, District Two's male tribute, is the only one who keeps searching out other tributes to kill, and that's only because he's desperate for sponsorship gifts (not knowing that there's none coming). After he dies, fighting in the Games ends entirely and the rest of the tributes besides the eventual Victor end up freezing to death.
    • The final touch is the Victor: Arendellian Spinner III, a schizophrenic girl who usually exists on a different plane from everyone else and Hates Being Touched. She only survives because her racist stylist stuck her into a straitjacket in revenge for her scratching him in hopes of getting her killed, and the jacket instead helped her keep warm in the arena. Not even being able to get a half-decent Victor (by Capitol standards) out of the mess is the final nail in the coffin for Snow, who does everything he can from that point on to pretend the Fifty-Seventh Hunger Games never happened.

  • The Gambling Addict: Tide has been addicted to gambling since she was twelve, where she bet over Isobel winning the Games (and is proven correct). It lands her in debt, with one unsuccessful bet prompting her to volunteer for the Hunger Games in hopes of avoiding time in debtor's prison. Upon winning the Hunger Games, she runs a betting ring on the District Four reapings and the Games overall, alienating her from the rest of her home district.
  • Generation Xerox: Rhyder's mother, Runa, was reaped as a District Two tribute, is thrown into a concrete maze, and kills one tribute from above (her district partner, Sword). Rhyder is also reaped (although it's rigged), is thrown into a maze-like structure of anthills, and also kills a tribute from above (Flash, the District Three boy).
  • Genius Bruiser: Dragon Batofel has a "powerful, well-trained body", but he's a strategic (albeit kind of crazy) tribute and none of the other District Two victors can beat him at chess.
  • Genre Savvy: Shunt Gaspar notes how the Games act as a form of entertainment for the Capitol and that they'll try to keep the "main characters" alive longer than the people who don't entertain them.
  • Girl Posse: Three popular girls in District Nine trick a disfigured classmate into volunteering for the Hunger Games by acting like they're all going to raise their hands to, and find the whole thing hilarious. After Gwenith Rosebud becomes Victor, they're reaped in subsequent Hunger Games, where they each suffer from an Undignified Death.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Peridot is described to be a proper lady who has immaculate hair and has a fondness for candy. This doesn't stop her from appreciating comic books.
  • Got Volunteered: Prior to the 41st Hunger Games, Caviar McCloud was named tribute for his district because he drew straws with a number of other undisclosed candidates and lost. Justified because his district partner is Mascara and no one wanted to be in the arena with the "district psychopath".
  • Guile Hero:
    • While it's true that she did get some help from sponsors due to her physical appearance, Crimson used her wits to not only weaken and derail the Career pack, but also defend herself from the crocodile mutts by electrifying her whip using the forcefield.
    • After being told by his mother to "fight smart", Rhyder uses a combination of trickery and out-of-the-box thinking to survive in his arena, despite Snow trying to rig the Games against him.
    • Spool also wins his Games that way, figuring out where to obtain water early on in the Games, keeping himself and his ally well-fed, screwing the Career alliance over, and stringing the boy from One along.
  • Guinness Episode: While being put into the position of achieving the record is not by choice, Cupid achieves his goal of being a Victor with no kills to his name, essentially making a 'pacifist run'. In the process, he also breaks another record: youngest Victor ever, being thirteen years old compared to Finnick's fourteen.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: District Seven's second victor, Fir, is the amnesia daughter of refugees who left District Thirteen, but the narrative explicitly notes that no one ever finds the bodies of her parents or the evidence that would have revealed her origins.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Honorius is punched in the eye by Gizmo. Honorius alludes it to his jealousy after learning that he (Honorius) has the best test results in District Three following the Dark Days.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The arena of the 55th Games (Wattzon's) is circular and divided into two halves — one side is a frozen forest with lakes and glaciers, and the other side is "a scorched wasteland of steam geysers, lava and endless fire".
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Cupid is described to have golden hair and is an All-Loving Hero and an Actual Pacifist for the entirety of his Games.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: President Orion immediately screams when he finds out that Pliny is missing, calling for her to have her arms both broken if she's in a restricted area. He also flips out when he finds that Pliny survived the Bloodbath by running into the Cornucopia, finding a chest, and sleeping in it. And when Pliny becomes Victor, he immediately destroys ten out of his twelve rooms after discovering that she has no living family members who he could harm.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Tabbock performs the Saw a Woman in Half trick with the District Seven girl in his arena to get her supplies, except he uses an actual hacksaw and the trick was done dead-seriously without gimmicks.
  • Handicapped Badass: Several Hunger Games' Victors were disabled and/or had serious health conditions that could have prevented them from winning their Games.
    • Crystal McCree from District One was diagnosed with a heart condition, but volunteered to prove that she could do better than the past tributes from District One who died in their Games.
    • Deliberately invoked by Dragon, who breaks one of his arms so he can win while at a disadvantage and have bragging rights.
    • Teff Withers from District Nine was completely deaf.
    • Zig-zagged with Snag Nakamura from District Seven. He has cystic fibrosis, but he's one of the few to survive past the Bloodbath (let alone the first night) and is the only person who escapes with minor injuries due heading in the other direction as part of a Great Way to Go. The only reason he survives that Bloodbath with minor injuries is that the Cornucopia weapons were grenades due to the Head Gamemaker being blinded by greed to follow Orion's instructions on wanting an "explosive" Games. During the finale, he's physically weaker than his final opponent, but manages to kill him without managing to walk, but only because his opponent collapsed on him due to his burns.
  • Happily Married:
    • Before the 38th Games began, the Head Gamemaker married all the district pairs to each other, and Porter and her now-husband Dezz end up being Sickeningly Sweethearts for the rest of their days (as do the Eights and arguably the Ones).
    • After her Games, Porter proceeded to become an ordained minister and marries Watts Hickory and Khloe Teethling, two of the District Five tributes for the Second Quarter Quell, to each other at their request.
    • The few Victors that did get married often remain so. District Two's first Victors Baron and Runa often were thought of as Sickeningly Sweethearts by their more hardened fellow Victors and President Snow. Snag and his longtime crush Paisley Wendell got married and maintained a happy relationship even to the present day. Spool and Lammy qualify as well, although they were not actually married until the story's end, they more or less acted like a married couple, with Caesar noting on one occasion of commentary that they were affectionate as ever.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Wattzon hates everyone equally due to his past of being universally hated in District Five. He tells everyone in District Five when reaped that he hates them as well, tells the Careers to stop wasting their time mocking him because he heard their insults already, unsuccessfully tries to shoo Trevy away, and thinks that Capitolians have disgusting mannerisms. Subverted when he meets Eunicia and Effie during his Victor party, because they reassure him that everyone doesn't hate him.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Bronze is an arrogant and despicable Victor. He has no redeeming qualities and is hated by the rest of the victors, particularly for his role in starting the Victors' prostitution ring.
    • Logger is Hated by All for being a Dirty Coward, by brutally killing his twelve-year-old District partner (Snag's youngest daughter) without hesitation. His chapter is even contrasted with brave, well-liked Librae's heroism and he is ultimately remembered as "a coward and a traitor, nothing more".
  • Hates Being Touched: Arendellian Spinner III despises being touched, to the point that if it were someone she was unfamiliar with (e.g. Capitolites), she would react violently in response.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Right before the 44th Hunger Games, the girl directly ahead of Platinum in the District One ratings goes into a coma after a truly massive ice cream binge when her boyfriend dumps her.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Crown is a Supreme Chef, and is rather chubby from enjoying the fruits of his work. His mentor comments the lard means he has fat reserves to burn against starvation, he gains the District Twelve tributes as his allies when he offers to cook for them, sponsors helped him in the arena because they enjoyed watching him cooking, and he poisons the District Two female tribute when she cannot resist the temptation to eat a candy he filled with acid.
    • Porsche is a Master of Disguise that gave a bad fright to the judges when she blended in her surroundings so perfectly they couldn't even see her there. She actually manages to hide in the Careers' camp when in the arena, covering herself with paint and playing possum.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Pliny's reaping fact is that she was caught sleeping on-the-job at the sawmill at least seventeen times per month. She also spends most of the pre-Games sleeping, before spending most of her time in the arena sleeping in the Cornucopia. After her Games, she was diagnosed with severe narcolepsy.
  • The Hedonist: Deconstructed with Bronze after he's crowned Victor. He enjoys gourmet food, fine wine, party drugs, sex with different women, and "all the worst of temptations". Those vices take a toll on him at the time of the Second Rebellion where it's heavily implied that he's out of shape. It helps Crown subdue him one minute-and-a-half into a fight.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Bear Redfoot was The Bully when he went into the Games, but was confronted with learning the consequences of his actions (e.g. being told that his district partner's younger brother starved to death after he stole his food) during his training period and his Games. Throughout said Games, he goes through a massive Break the Haughty sequence and vows to become a better man after his victory. And he does, by reading up on psychology and acting as an unofficial therapist to other Victors, and mentoring Seeder to victory.
    • Augustus Braun starts out as a cocky, selfish, and unrepentant Career tribute who killed a 12-year-old in the arena. After eight years of mentoring, he's disillusioned and broken by the deaths of his tributes, the 3rd Quarter Quell twist, and gradual feelings of empathy for his fellow mentors and their tributes. The Second Rebellion catches him completely off-guard, but as the rebel mentors run for it and plan to fight the Capitol, Augustus asks to come with them, and ultimately loses his life Taking the Bullet for Rhyder.
    • Several of the Peacekeepers of District Seven (dubbed "Fir's boys") save Snag and his family, protecting them while they hid out deep in the forest.
    • Several tributes in the Capitol Games start out as kids who've been fans of watching District kids kill each other for years and have few compunctions about committing murder to save themselves in the arena. However, several of them show better sides during the Games. Goldie's only act of violence in the Games is to nonfatally beat up someone who attacked her best friend Ponty. Ponty is moved by Cupid's appeal to pacifism when she reluctantly prepares to attack him and Melodie, and instead becomes their ally. Even Miles Templesmith, who starts out as a fairly unpleasant guy, spends his last moments warning Cupid to run for his life.
  • Heel Realization: Many of the people watching the Capitol Games have this due to being on the other side of the coin, realizing the Games have and always will be wrong.
  • The Hermit:
    • Museida tries to avoid people, even avoiding Mizar and Pliny when they try to talk to him during his after party. Peeta mentions in the present-day that Museida doesn't leave his house outside of the yearly reapings.
    • Lyme becomes one following her Hunger Games where she's described to be the quietest and most reclusive Victor among the District Two Victors.
    • Skinner lives alone on the outskirts of District Ten and prefers hunting Mutts to socializing with humans. Even after he wins the 69th Hunger Games, he only maintains a cursory presence in the victor's village and mostly goes back to being a hermit at his old haunts.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • There is one instance of a tribute besides a Victor surviving and escaping, when a suicidal Avox he befriends goes into the arena disguised as him while the tribute escapes.
    • Jack, Teff, Stallion, Ron, Honorius, Tide, and Bear stay behind in the mentors' room to hold off the Peacekeepers after Katniss shoots the arrow at the forcefield.
    • Paige blows herself up in hopes of buying time for Augustus, Rhyder, Gwenith, and Haymitch after they escape the mentors' room.
    • Mercy charges into the fray to save orphans from being attacked by reaper mutts during the Rebellion.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Pi is mocked among the Capitol for being a sore loser, due to her breakdowns over losing her tributes (her family members) quickly in the Hunger Games.
    • Mascara is forever known as a psychopath in the districts. Even her home district makes it clear to future tributes to not reenact her actions, no matter how cruel they have to be. And while it's true that Mascara isn't exactly a heroic figure, she remains somewhat sympathetic in the story due to the unfortunate circumstances that surrounded her family and childhood and that she could have been a better person had she received any help or mental health support.
  • High Turnover Rate:
    • The position of Head Gamemaker is not known for its job security. If even one thing about the Games displeases the President enough, the blame falls on the Head Gamemaker's shoulders, quickly followed by (usually painful) execution. In fact, the only named Head Gamemakers known not to have suffered a You Have Failed Me-fate are Bartimus Bronx (who pulled a Cincinnatus routine), the controlling and vindictive Head Gamemaker for Bear's Games (Ronnigan Dratt)note , Paris Cobble (who Thinks Like a Romance Novel), Crane's predecessor Grizelda (who instead dies after her secrets are exposed by Finnick on live television), and Odysseus Toot, who managed a string of (perceived) successful Games by sheer dumb luck, with any faults falling on the shoulders of others. Understandably, he quit while he was ahead and retired from the position after his fifth Hunger Games.
    • This goes for the position of Gamemaker in general, really. If the blunder is really bad, the President won't just go for the Head Gamemaker but for the entire staff under them as well. Considering how many are killed over the course of the story, it makes one wonder why any of the Capitolites still want the job.
  • Homage:
    • The author mentions that Crystal is a parody of Indiana Jones, "complete with bullwhip and fedora".
    • Porter's chapter is written in the style of BattleBlock Theater. The author later admits that he regrets writing the chapter in that way.
  • Hufflepuff House: Districts Eight, Nine, and Twelve all have decent numbers of prominent victors, but not many details are given about the Districts themselves in comparison to everywhere else in the nation. It's justified with Twelve, since the main characters of canon, Katniss and Peeta, are from there, so anyone who has read the books or even just watched the films would already be familiar with what the district is like.
  • Human Shield: While fleeing from the Capitol during the Rebellion, Ron ties loyalist victor Anchor to his back as a human shield, with Anchor being hit by dozens of shots that were meant for Ron.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Skinner Alecto spends his life hunting dangerous muttations that threaten the people of District Ten, and enjoys both the thrill of the hunt and the sense of satisfaction in keeping District Ten safe. He kills tens of thousands of Mutts during his lifetime, many of them in the 69th Hunger Games. In the 3rd Quarter Quell, he's actually delighted to be pitted against a grotesque Mutt that's considered to be invincible, and which he wounded but failed to kill during the 69th Hunger Games. This ends in a Mutual Kill.
    Skinner: If this is how it has to end...If this is the final hunt I'll be taking part in...I can't think of a better conclusion to it all, old friend.
  • Hunter Trapper: Lammy and her dad hunt and trap to feed themselves and make money before she's reaped for the 40th Hunger Games, and she wins using Trap Master strategies.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Multiple chapters mention that a few wealthy Capitol thrill-seekers make a sport out of "district hunting", when they travel outside of the Capitol to hunt and kill citizens of the the Districts. One of them is "volunteered" for the Capitol Games.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Librae wins her Games by weaponizing her surfboard, that is, by strapping three spikes she got from sponsors to her surfboard then using said spikes to impale Beauty from One.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • After Dollar announces to Panem during the tribute parade that they should prepare for an undisclosed zombie outbreak, one of the academy heads drank themselves into a week-long coma due to the embarrassment she brought on her district.
    • The escort for District One as of the 41st Hunger Games needed two bottles of wine over the train ride due to Mascara's destructive behaviour stressing them out.
    • In Bear and Seeder's commentary over Chaff's Games, both of them repeatedly declare that they need a drink to get through his Skewed Priorities antics inside and outside the arena.
  • I Want My Mommy!: In the 43rd Games, Lionel, the District One boy, was noted to have "sobbed for his mother" just before being brutally murdered by a combination of mechanisms from failing to escape Tabbock's "Disappearing Box".
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • The District Ten girl in the First Quarter Quell is voted in for being a cannibal, where she's seen eating the District Seven girl in-arena. Her actions disgust the Capitol and prompts the Gamemakers to induce an earthquake that would drop her into a pool of acid.
    • As per canon, Titus from Six (in Spud's Games) is one as well, where he's killed in an avalanche because the Capitol would rather not have him as a Victor.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: While being chased by an alliance made up of girls he sexually harassed, Neon yells out, "Why am I being punished? It's not my fault all girls are hot!" This pisses off his pursuers even more.
  • Imaginary Friend: Arendellian Spinner III is schizophrenic and has long, heartfelt conversations with her nonexistent friend, Aaron.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Pasture Gallows from District Ten is famous for killing twelve tributes in her Games with a shoe.
  • Incompatible Orientation: During the 38th Hunger Games, each pair of District partners were arranged to be married to each other as a twist. However, the duo from District Three were... not attracted to each other.
    There were […] awkward couples like the Threes where, during a late night talk, both had a good laugh over the fact that they were both gay and called the whole thing ridiculous, content to just act like it did not exist.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Porsche was noted to streak from time to time, and her debut to the Gamemakers via training session involved her painting herself into a statue naked because "skin is easier to paint than clothing".
  • Insane Equals Violent: Deconstructed. Victor and Princess Court's daughter, Mascara, is severely mentally ill, and although she could have received treatment for it and lived a somewhat normal life, her parents refuse to accept the offers for treatment and instead encourage her to partake in violent behaviours to "train" her to become a Victor.
    Most parents would be terrified of their offspring displaying such violent tendencies and incredible unstable behaviour.
    Victor and Princess, along with the rest of the Courts, encouraged it and applauded every single meltdown or incident. Their idea, of course, was to make Mascara as absolutely destructive as she could possibly be. The more vicious and sadistic the girl was able to be, the more likely she would emerge as a victor once she entered the arena.
    All letters about Mascara's psychosis and various other ailments were burnt and any medication that happened to be mailed to the manor in an attempt to help the young psychopath — or save the rest of One from her, either was fine — were swiftly disposed of.
  • Insult Backfire: Indirectly so in Chaff's chapter.
    #93: Yelling out for the whole nation to hear, that Pride slept with the Head Gamemaker's wife in hopes of getting him attacked by mutts will not work.
    B.R: They're both into polyamory. That means literally nothing to them even if Pride actually did.
  • The Intern: Coriolanus Snow is introduced as a intern for the financial department of the Capitol who fetches coffee and does undisclosed tasks involving money. Bronze helps him get a position as a personal assistant for Orion as of the 29th Hunger Games.
  • In-Universe Nickname:
    • Museida is known as "hermit crab" according to Peeta.
    • Runa is known as the "mammoth girl" among her peers at Overwhill Academy.
    • Platinum is known as "the vomit girl" among the Capitol due to her tendency to throw up as a stress response.
  • Irony: Hoss accuses Rhyder of being a Careernote  — yet despite being from District Ten, he acts far more like one than Rhyder ever does, attempting to kill Rhyder in a painfully drawn-out way.
  • Karmic Death: Numi's winning kill is in the way the victim killed her District Partner.
  • Kill It with Fire: How Cecelia won her Games: She used twigs, dry leaves, and sap from the arenanote  to make highly flammable balls, set them down everywhere, then waited until the weather conditions were right and lit a patch of grass, setting the entire arena ablaze. She manages to kill eight tributes this way, the most of any tribute in her Games, and it takes the Gamemakers several days to put out the fires.
  • Killed Offscreen: The last thing we hear about Amethyst during the 25th Hunger Games is that she's pressed down by Linen. Crown runs away from the room in fear while Peridot is unable to gaze at the screen afterwards.
  • Kill Tally: Each Victor (save for Katniss and Peeta) has a stats sheet that includes their kill count, along with their age, gender, and district. Even if their chapter doesn't focus on their in-arena time such as Finnick and Augustus, their stats sheet are still included at the start.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: What Vercingetorix comes off as during his Games. Thanks to the twist of the First Quarter Quell, several of the outlier tributes are far more depraved than usual and make even the brutal Careers sick, even more so when they ally with each other to improve their chances of wreaking their sadistic enjoyment on the other tributes. By the end of the first day, he no longer cares about winning the Games, just making sure his ally Amethyst is safe and finding some way to get rid of the "psycho alliance". While he fails to protect Amethyst, he does avenge her by killing off the alliance with some help from the District Three male tribute, and is probably the only Victor (let alone Career) to leave his Games a genuine hero.
  • Lady Land: Justified with Neon's Games. All of the girls survive the Bloodbath while none of the boys other than Neon do, and since Neon managed to piss off all twelve girls by being perverted towards every one of them, the girls all form an alliance with each other to chase him down and kill him.
  • Land Down Under: Invoked with the arena for Crown's Games. It's rocky and red, with the hot sun beating down and only a few bushes and cacti here and there for cover. The arena also features kangaroo mutts and cassowaries — though the cacti and coyotes suggest elements of The Wild West.
  • Landslide Election: For the First Quarter Quell, the districts are ordered to vote for their tributes and they have three months to do so. District Eight's tributesnote  are so hated that the District knows exactly who to vote for and wraps up their voting within one day. District Two also tries to organize a completely unanimous vote for their most formidable two tributes due to Olga's influence, but Rook votes for two wimpy pre-teen kids just to annoy Olga.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: There are plenty of examples present.
    • Elias Overwhill — a man who'd spent decades aiding the Capitol — ends up being wiped from history and assassinated after he tries and fails to kill his own grandson in the arena.
    • The Grim — President Snow's personal hitman, who'd assassinated one of the Victors and said Victor's girlfriend — ends up being brutally killed himself by another Victor scant years later.
    • A double whammy for Bronze Marley, who set up the system of Victor prostitution in order to get away with raping a fellow Victor, causing many other Victors to suffer. First, his role in establishing the system of Victor prostitution is exposed on television by Finnick, someone who suffered greatly from said system. Then, he's taken down by the very same Victor that he'd refused to mentor and always called a disgrace. Finally, he's mutilated and set ablaze by the very same Victor who he'd raped all those years ago.
    • Logger Barlow was a Victor who, among other things, repaid his district partner by torturing her to death, willingly collaborated with the Capitol, and was responsible for killing Johanna Mason's family, all to save his own skin. He ends up being beaten by a group that included the eldest sister of his district partner, tied to a tree, and eaten by a pack of wolf mutts.
    • Olga Machete was fanatically loyal to District Two, insisting that her tributes conform to a rigid image of what a tribute should be (to the point of dismissing several Victors because they didn't win "the right way"), and told her tributes to always kill the ones from District Six first after Chev of District Six (from her Games) decided it was Better to Die than Be Killed. This single-handedly tanked the chances of District Six winning (to the point where surviving beyond the Bloodbath was a rarity, and they didn't get any Victors until the 31st Hunger Games, a full 21 years later). Karma bites her square in the ass when she finds out that the Capitol she loved and trusted so much had killed her father, she had indirectly condemned many of the tributes she had mentored to death thanks to her insistence on rigid loyalty causing the Gamemakers to rig the Games against them (including her own nephew Boris), and she's essentially thrown most of her life away in service to an evil regime. She is left a weeping, broken shell, and dedicates the rest of her life to helping the youth of her District.
    • A District-wide one: District Five treated one of their Victors (Wattzon Holmes) incredibly poorly all his life, ostracizing and mocking him at every turn, turning him into a bitter, misanthropic shell by the time he becomes a Victor. Naturally, once the only things tying him to said District — namely, mentoring tributes and taking care of his surrogate little sister Arendellian — are gone, he leaves with his husband and joins his friend in District Nine, effectively leaving District Five with only one Victor.
    • The Courts resorted to incest to produce Mascara Court, encouraging all her violent tendencies and refusing to get her the help that she needed, all in hopes of producing a Victor. After Mascara dies, they're thrown out of Victor's Village, as they no longer have any right to live there now that their Victor is dead. With the loss of their fortune due to excessive partying and the lack of heirs, on top of a ruined reputation for creating a monster, the family ends up dying out before the Second Quarter Quell, their names forever shamed.
    • Invoked with the Capitol Games. The only reason Paylor even brings it up is because many in the Districts feel the Capitol got off too lightly after the Rebellion and are staging vigilante attacks on many of its citizens. In letting them suffer a Hunger Games from the perspective of the Districts by having Capitol children reaped for it, it'll satisfy the bloodlust of the vengeful citizens enough to stop most of the attacks, along with forcing the general population of the Capitol to finally accept that the Games were wrong. Ultimately, it is that reasoning that sways Haymitch, Wattzon, and Olga into voting for the Capitol Games.
    • Relating to the above example, Numi and Snag are given tributes to mentor for the Capitol Games that are a lot like them when they were in the Games: Numi's tribute Belle is an aspiring rapper who is a huge fan of Numi, and Snag's tribute Victor is a legless boy. Both feel as if this is karma punishing them for voting for the Games for the sake of vengeance, especially since both tributes end up dying in the Cornucopia Bloodbath.
  • Last Kiss: After decades of Unresolved Sexual Tension, Bear and Gwenith finally admit they love each other and share their first and last kiss in the Mentor Room before separating. Bear is staying behind to help hold off the Peacekeepers, while Gwenith is fleeing with Haymitch to help jumpstart the Rebellion.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The Fifty-Seventh Hunger Games are such a disaster that Snow refuses to acknowledge they ever happened for the rest of his life, to the point that he doesn't bother stationing anyone to watch over the arena, like he does with the others. This backfires when Trevy and his gang use it to hide out themselves and Wattzon during the Second Rebellion.
  • Level Ate: Paige's arena is a massive beehive where all of the honey and honeycomb is edible, which most of the tributes are unfortunately never aware of and eventually start starving to death as a result. Caesar Flickerman remarks on the irony of this.
    In his commentary Caesar gravely called it almost like being locked in a supermarket over the weekend and starving to death.
  • Limited Loadout: Any Hunger Games where the tributes are only allowed to use one kind of weapon. These Games are rarely popular, for a variety of reasons: the first time they did it was with bows and arrows, which made the Games boring because none of the tributes, not even the Careers, were proficient with that weapon. The second time they do it, this time with hand grenades, it backfires and causes the Games to end too early.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Woof Casino has a learning disorder that makes him feel unable to act without receiving orders. Once he gets orders, though, he takes them to the extreme. He volunteers when his disabled younger brother is reaped, not so much out of love and affection, but because he interprets the pleas to "save me" as a command. When his mentor orders him to "learn everything", he goes to every training station in the gymnasium, picking up the skills to earn a training score of 11. This takes a darker turn when his last opponent in the arena mutters, "Aw, fuck me." Then, after his victory, Duke Saint-Rose tells Woof to "Stop obeying everybody's damn orders" and he does that without a second's pause.
    • Blinded by greed, Hessian Leblanc responded to the President's orders for an "explosive" Hunger Games by only supplying hand grenades as weapons at the Cornucopia, which ends just as well as you'd expect. Deconstructed when Hessian ends up getting executed painfully over this blunder.
  • Loan Shark: Anchor comes from a family of debt collectors and these, with his uncle being Sharky Huxley.
  • Loony Fan: During the 48th Games, Pliny and Vercingetorix are kidnapped by one named Ajax, who wants to make his own Hunger Games with Capitol children. Why? Because he was a huge fan of Pliny and thought that she never had the chance to show her actual killing skills. When the two Victors refuse to comply, he shoots at them, killing Vergingetorix and Duke, who found them and died by Taking the Bullet for Pliny.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Porter Tripp was born in District Four but lives in District Five. After her victory, the Capitol decides to screw with District Five by giving District Four all of the food and other prizes due to Porter being on the records as one of District Four's citizens.
    • The Capitol bans Victors from sponsoring their own tributes. It doesn't stop Crystal from using her girlfriend Harp to sponsor anything her tribute needs, as Harp isn't bound to the rules like she is. Or Jack from robbing a bank, passing the money to his contacts, and having it sent back through the approved channels.
  • Lovable Coward: Platinum is a rare Played for Drama example, being a mediocre Career trainee who goes into the Hunger Games after an unwanted Disqualification-Induced Victory in the academy ranking system. She spends quite a bit of time during or before the Games vomiting, crying, screaming, or running, but she is a kind person who has a lot to be genuinely afraid of, feels terrible about her one kill, and perseveres through a brutal six weeks of isolation, injury, and near-starvation before her Victory by Endurance.
  • Love Freak: Cupid was described to be "fixated on love", much like his namesake. During his Games, he utilizes his Shipper on Deck tendencies in a bet to have his mentor, Spool, and Lammy get married if he won. At the same time, in a more indirect way, his kindness and pacifistic beliefs can be seen as a projection of love as well, just not in a romantic sense.
  • Lovely Assistant: As part of Tabbock's magic show before the Second Quarter Quell, Teff is forced to act as an assistant. She doesn't enjoy the outfit she has to wear as part of it and grumbles when Tabbock tries to attempt a trick with knives.
  • Make Sure He's Dead:
    • Lyme slits Balthazar's neck during the finale...and his arms, legs, crotch, and gut four to five times just to ensure that he's dead.
    • Ron stabs Lothar's corpse with his knife and a broken bottle after the latter's cannon sounded.
  • Man of the City: Mizar and Bear (the first victors of District Nine and Eleven respectively) spend most of their lives devoting themselves to philanthropic efforts to help the poor and suffering in their district, as well as rebel activities meant to end their suffering and oppression at the hands of The Capitol. Due to his past as a ruthless bully, it takes a long time before Bear's neighbors appreciate his efforts, but Mizar is pretty beloved by his neighbors. Both of them also work hard to help and comfort the tributes under their care (although they are hardly unique in that respect).
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Most District residents have names that pertain towards their District's industry.
    • Sharky Huxley has this three ways. Other than him being a Loan Shark from the fishing district, the surname Huxley can mean "inhospitable place", and he threatens to send those that owe him money (e.g. Tide) to debtors' prison, where the prisoners are said to be horribly mistreated.
    • Arendellian Spinner III survives her Games when almost everyone else freezes to death. Guess the cold never bothered her anyway.
  • Memetic Loser: In-universe, Wattzon gains a reputation for being the "most useless tribute" where he's memed by the public.
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe within the Capitol.
    • Implied with Boulder being drop-kicked by the District Eleven boy. Olga mentions that the video of him is constantly replayed and that she's super sick of it.
    • The 34th Hunger Games is known as "#GrenadeGate" on social media.
    • Platinum (as "#VomitGirl") also trends on social media due to her stressed-induced vomiting.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Pliny's solo kill was from feeding the last tribute poison because he was already mortally wounded.
    • In the First Quarter Quell, before the "psychopath" alliance can torture the District Four girl and "brutalize [her] into a pile of gore", Vercingetorix throws a spear to "steal their kill" and give her a painless death.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: In-universe. Chaff's canyon arena contains plants that "do not make sense" in that sort of environment, which Chaff scolds the Gamemakers for.
  • Mistaken for Badass:
    • When Arendellian III is forced to wear a straitjacket in the arena, Dragon thinks that she's deliberately and willingly trying to win the Games without using her hands and praises her as the ultimate badass. This ends up saving Wattzon's life, as after Arendellian III dies in the Third Quarter Quell, Dragon takes him to a bar to toast her — meaning that neither of them were in the mentoring room when Katniss broke the arena.
    • Chaff's Fearless Fool, Neat Freak tendencies make him clean up the blood in an area where a tribute died. Everyone who sees him leaves him alone due to feeling he can't possibly be that stupid and must have a cunning trap nearby.
    • Odysseus Toot goes through a Punch-Clock Villain, non-action version of the trope. He serves as the Head Gamemaker for multiple Games that spiral rapidly out of control. However, each time, President Snow is satisfied with the outcome and seems to think that Toot is The Chessmaster and is doing it all on purpose.
  • Mood Whiplash: After Spool shares a tender moment with his brother Tag after his Games, Tag sheepishly informs him that their parents found out about the Twin Switch an hour after he left for the Capitol, so he's grounded.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Shunt, the first Victor from Five, started out as an aspiring fantasy writer and used his imagination as a coping mechanism in the arena. As a Victor, he publishes several fantasy novels.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Implied to be the case for Olga, who has a Russian name, can speak at least a little Russian (according to Rhyder's chapter), and is skilled in multiple combat-related disciplines. The main deviation from this trope is that Russia likely no longer exists as of the time of the Hunger Games, but from what we know, it's possible that she's of Russian descent nevertheless.
  • Motor Mouth: Crown talks about a lot of stuff at a fast pace, without taking the time to pace himself or take breaks. It annoys Peridot and Crystal, overstimulates Harp, drives the edible plants instructor insane, and hurts Mortimer. Crown's victory also prompts the Capitol to learn speed talk so they can understand what he's saying. Subverted during the Victors' Party where Crown admits that he doesn't talk like that in normal situations, after messing with Katniss. Double subverted where he reverts back to his usual talking speed when trying to vote against the Capitol Hunger Games.
    Crown: We have quite a lot of gummies in stock and like you are totally gonna love them ever so much I mean really it's like no contest that we've got the best gummies in One with all of them handmade by me actually. We have gummy snakes, gummy worms, gummy elephants, gummy tributes, gummy Orions, nutty gummies, fruity gummies, soda gummies and for the strange folk who have cash and don't need questioning we've got a wide array of blood gummies raging from prices of one cap to ten caps though for a refined lady like you I'd imagine something like mint gummies are more your thing you know?
  • Murder by Mistake: During Snow's Klingon Promotion scheme, he has one glass of poisoned champagne sent to rebellious victor Isobel Sparks to remove the threat she poses. She's using the bathroom at the time, and her mentor, Shunt Gaspar, drinks the poison champagne instead.
  • Mutual Kill:
    • Following the 41st Hunger Games, Mascara and a Professional Killer sent by Snow both die from their injuries caused by a prolonged fight.
    • Logger's erstwhile allies and last two opponents, the female Career tributes from Districts One and Two, stab each other through the heart as they fight while Logger lies wounded nearby. This ends up making him the Victor, much to his District's anger due to his Dirty Coward actions.
    • During the 75th Hunger Games, Skinner Alecto and the mutt known as "The Beast" kill each other.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: After being stung by a tracker jacker in his first day in the arena, Blight calls out to the Gamemakers:
    "Ha, was that all you guys had?" Blight asked as he set on his way not long after that. "My Grandma hit me harder than that when I was a baby!"
    Blight did not actually have a Grandma, she having passed before he was even born, but nobody needed to know this.
    All that was needed to be known was how [the Gamemakers] had plenty more still to dish out. They always had more.
  • Mysterious Past: Fir from Seven was found in the forest one day without her memory and was placed in District Seven for care as a result, and when she arrived at the Capitol for the Hunger Games, the Capitolites were left extremely confused.
    As with the year prior there were live interviews. It had been a massive hit the first time and the crowd wanted more, especially since nobles Coin and Cash [from One] would be present. But this time there was a bigger draw to the interviews.
    Where had the amnesiac girl c[o]me from?
    Bets were made all across the board as to her origin... and no money was lost nor won as the answer was never able to be worked out. It was truly a mystery for the ages. Hunger Games historians would be known to occasionally check into therapy, driven mad by the unsolvable mystery of this girl who just turned up one day.
    • Subverted at the end of her chapter, where the author reveals her pre-amnesia backstory — her parents were entertainers who escaped from District Thirteen and lived as nomads until they died of nightlock poisoning.
  • Myth Arc: The "pacifist run", AKA winning the Hunger Games without killing a single other tribute. Multiple Victors throughout the story attempt to complete a pacifist run only to fail for one reason or another, symbolizing how Panem is still a war-torn, oppressive state. Therefore, Cupid finally managing to accomplish a pacifist run in the very last Games symbolizes that the era of the Hunger Games is over and that an era of peace between the Capitol and the Districts has finally begun.
  • Mythology Gag: In this story, District Four has no official tribute-training academy like Districts One and Two do, so they don't always have volunteers like those districts, and all their Careers are people who trained for the Games on their own. That means that there are several times throughout the story where District Four isn't a part of the Career pack. This is a nod to the films, where they Adapted Out District Four's status as a Career district.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Klink Briar from District Five was a proud nudist and remained undressed as much as possible. Chaff was not amused by this, to the point that in the process of trying to force Klink into getting re-dressednote , he strangled the boy with underwear.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • All of the unnamed Victors shown in Catching Fire are given names. For example, the District Five female is named Arendellian Spinner III.
    • Most of the named Victors who don't have last names are given those of their actors. Averted with Gloss and Cashmere, and Cecelia, whose surnames are "Lord" and "Mog" respectively.
    • Foxface is named Finch.
    • The unnamed District Four boy during the 74th Hunger Games is named "Urchin".
    • The unnamed Victor who scored a three is named Spud Munroe.
    • Haymitch's final opponent is named Treasure Romantic.
    • President Snow's granddaughter is named Rhonda.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Gwenith is a kind-hearted woman who does not seek vengeance in any sort of manner. She still tries to save Maraline, Kernelly, and Norette when they're all reaped in subsequent Hunger Games, despite them tricking her into volunteering for her Hunger Games. Because of her personality, Mizar chooses to make her the leader of the Second Rebellion instead of Haymitch or Coin. After she's confirmed to be alive and is asked to vote on if there should be a Capitol Hunger Games, she votes against it because she believes that kindness should be prioritized over hatred and sadism.
    • Harp is an innocent girl who cannot conceive the idea of being mean. She takes care of Crystal after she's starts using a wheelchair, uses her money to help Crystal's tributes in the arena, comforts Crimson after she and Crown rescues her from Bronze while in District Twelve, and declares that she'd vote against the Capitol Games if she could.
    • Among the District Two Victors, Brutus is altruistic and deeply cares about his peers. He's seen cheering up a crying Mercy, grabbing things on high shelves for Boulder, distracting Rook from the Capitolians so he can have some space, and even sacrificing his life for Rhyder after he's reaped for the 3rd Quarter Quell.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Baron's victory prompts his father to let his district train children for the Hunger Games, which has children volunteering for fame, fortune, and to simply kill others. In District One, it also inspires members of the Flawless Estate to train their children for the sake of fame. Baron breaks down often when he learns this.
    • Laurel's strategy during her Hunger Games was to feed poisonous stew to the Careers (while eating some of it herself) due to being made captive by them. Snow takes notes from her strategy and poisons his enemies while consuming some of the poison himself.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • After Bronze is seen kicking the corpse of the District Ten boy, it prompts Isobel to start a rebellion among the Victors. Her movement helps her gain allies and support in District Thirteen, who later set off the rebellion once Katniss fires the arrow at the arena following the 75th Hunger Games.
    • After Arendellian III scratches her stylist Elroy due to her hatred for being touched, Elroy sends her out into the freezing-cold arena in a straitjacket as revenge... which helps protect her from the cold of the Alaskan north and leaves her the last one standing. Naturally, displeased at having a crazy girl as a Victor instead of the Career Victor he wanted, Snow sends Elroy into the woodchipper as punishment.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When the reactors in his sector smoke, Wattzon shuts off all the power in it. He later learns that the power also shut off the electronic doors, which trapped a coworker in some noxious gas and incapitates them for the rest of their lives.
  • No Name Given: In a majority of the Hunger Games iterations, only "important" tributes like their rival/worst enemy and District partner are named. For example, in Neon's Games, the only named tributes were Ivette (his District partner) and Chickadee (the girl from Ten).
    • However, this is fully averted in Haymitch's chapter, where each of the tributes are named and given some characterization in a section dedicated to their District and in their death listings.
  • Noodle Implements: Finnick's sessions have reportedly involved the use of these, including chilli sauce and a telephone during Annie's Games, and carrots and bananas with Kollax Yewter, the Minister of Law.
  • Noodle Incident: Dragon once ate a thousand eggs for breakfast because Boulder said more than a hundred is dangerous.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted.
    • Chaff is selected as tribute by mistake. There are five Chaff Mitchells of reaping age in District Eleven, but he's the first to step forward and isn't permitted to protest when he notices the others making themselves scarce. To add insult to injury, it turns out that the name on the reaping slip was really Chuff Mitchell, and the escort read it wrong.
    • There have been at least two girls named Chickadee from District Ten who have been killed in the Hunger Games, one in the 48th Games (Neon's), and another in the Second Quarter Quell (Haymitch's).
    • At least two girls named Honda have been Reaped for the Games and died, one from the 34th Games (Snag's), and one in the 46th Games (Mercy's), the latter being named 'Honda Garret'.
  • O.C. Stand-in:
    • All of the Victors introduced in Catching Fire are given their own stories of how they won their Hunger Games.
    • Lyme's story is also told, which also addresses why she joined the rebellion.
    • The boy who scored a three is identified as Spud Munroe, a District Eleven boy who became Victor because the Capitol preferred him over Titus.
  • Odd Friendship: A handful of Career district victors have been seen making alliances with some outliers after leaving the pack (both voluntarily and involuntarily).
    • Crystal makes an alliance with the District Five tributes after she's shunted out of the Career pack for her heart problems.
    • Rook makes an alliance with Socket, the District Three girl, due to his hatred of crowds and his agreement to give Socket a painless death once they reach the final two.
    • Crown makes an alliance with the District Twelve tributes after he's kicked from the Career pack over his lack of training. Justified because Crown sees them as the hungriest tributes while watching the recaps.
    • Vercingetorix makes an alliance with Duracell in the arena after he loses his Career allies. They hatch a plan where Vercingetorix would lure other opponents into traps that Duracell makes.
    • Outside of the arena, Wattzon (an out-of-shape Straw Loser and the only outlier of the trio), Dragon (a reality-challenged Adrenaline Junkie), and Augustus "The Cavalier Career" Braun have wildly different temperaments and backgrounds but get along well and often engage in Drowning My Sorrows together. This doubles as an Intergenerational Friendship, since Dragon is about thirty years older than Wattzon and forty years older than Augustus.
  • Off the Wagon: Bentley from Six turns away from morphling to mentor Numi, his biggest fan, after she convinces him to forgive himself for accidentally killing three tributes while rapping in his Games.
  • Offing the Offspring/Til Murder Do Us Part: Just after Cashmere's Games, President Snow poisoned the tea of his wife, Agnes, his daughter, Silver, and his son-in-law, Dionysus (or Dionysius?) because he thought they were getting too ambitious and were a threat to his power.
  • Older Than They Look: By the time of the 73nd Hunger Games, Crimson is sixty-two but still looks "young and perky" through forced Capitol surgeries.
  • One Degree of Separation:
    • Anchor's uncle is Sharky Huxley, a man whom Tide owed money to, and those latter events caused Tide to volunteer for her Games.
    • In the Cheating Death universe, Augustus Braun is Glimmer's uncle.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Baron only self-trains and volunteers for the Hunger Games so he can earn the money needed to treat his mother's lung infection.
    • Tide self-trains and volunteers for the Hunger Games so she can earn the money needed to pay off her gambling debts (and thus avoid prison).
    • Tabbock hypnotizes Lyme for a twenty-thousand cap payment from Olga. He doesn't care about his tributes living past the Bloodbath, just the money.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Careers during the 28th Hunger Games are known by nicknames given by Teff rather than their real names. Justified because it's a first-person narrative from Teff's perspective. Subverted in both:
    • One of Mizar's post-Games journal entries at the end of the chapter, where we learn the real name of "Knifey" (the District Four boy Teff killed during the Bloodbath): Wave with 24 Tributes: The Howling Island revealing his last name to be Igliak.
    • 24 Tributes: The Howling Island, where the other five Careers' names are revealed: Admirable Hop for "Biggie" (the District One boy), Lotus Gallahan for "Leggy" (the District One girl), Panzer Jones for "Swordy" (the District Two boy), Clawdette Fall for "Speary" (the District Two girl), and Pearl Pinto for "Punchy" (the District Four girl).
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • Platinum's daughter was forced to volunteer for the 69th Hunger Games. She dies to the sand sharks after one of her allies shove her while trying to get away. It's what made her vote for the Capitol Games.
    • Snag also votes for the Capitol Games after his daughter was reaped and killed.

  • Pædo Hunt: In Finnick's chapter, when Aracuna Blaze's "secrets" of being sexually attracted to children under 15 and sexually assaulting her own niece are revealed, the Capitol makes it very clear that they do not approve of such behaviour.
    It was a horrible secret, one that had the Capitol unable to look away from the screen. Some were terrified as to what may be said about them, others who had never taken part in such things wanted to know what had been going on right under their noses.
    Aracuna was not part of either group. Not when some of her neighbours were already trying to break into her apartment and tear her apart.
    She took a perfect swan dive off of her balcony.
    Pity the fall didn't kill her, if only barely. But the small crowd below kicking and beating her did the job just fine a minute or two later.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • The Peacekeeper Montgomery Tiberius found Fir in the woods one day with his patrol and quickly grew fond of her. Following the 9th Hunger Games, Fir was officially adopted by Montgomery to seal the deal.
      Montgomery: (to Fir after her Reaping; "uncharacteristically forlorn") Peacekeepers aren't supposed to have any family. But, you've always been something of a daughter to me. Be safe.
      (Fir hugs Montgomery)
      Fir: (smiling) You've always been like a daddy to me. I'll come back and tell even more puns than ever before.
      Montgomery: (smirking lightly) See to it that you do. That's an order, and you cannot disobey a Peacekeeper's orders.
    • Mizar offers to become one to Gwenith after he learns that she wants her friends, Shrimp and Prongs back. She accepts, where he also offers to talk to the girls who tricked her into volunteering, where she declines because she knows she's too good for that.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Olga was raised from birth by her father (a Dark Days veteran) to love and support the Capitol. She shows it in the arena by not only attempting to kill one person from each district, but also reading out their home district's crime(s) during the Dark Days. Subverted near the end of the story, where she realizes what the Capitol has done to everyone, particularly to her father and her nephew, Boris.
    Olga: In the Dark Days numerous factories were detonated by those in Three, leaving innocents slain and all the technology blessed upon both Capitol and District lost to time. This is where rebellion led them.
  • Perspective Flip:
    • Pliny and Cashmere's stories are told from the perspectives of the current presidents (Orion and Snow) at the time.
    • Duke and Vercingetorix's stories are told from the perspectives of all of the living mentors at the time.
    • Most of Beetee's story is told from the perspective of twelve different gamblers who are fixated with betting on a single district from 1-12.
    • Half of Wattzon's chapter is told from the perspective of Euncia Trinket, who is betting on him so she can get the funds to treat her daughter Effie's cancer.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: During the 48th Hunger Games, all twelve of the girl-tributes survive the Bloodbath and band together to chase Neon down and murk him for being perverted towards all of them.
  • Pet the Dog: Dirty Coward and "District traitor" Logger has one (minor) moment of decency and compassion when Fir is on her deathbed. He doesn't join the others in keeping her company as she dies, but he does come by to look at her body and summon someone to take it away, while appearing subdued (although that could partially be discomfort from being around people who hate him).
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse:
    • Isobel is 5' tall ("to match her District", according to Rock from Two) and is a karate master with enough skill to win the 18th Hunger Games.
    • Boulder Atherston is 3'4" (just over a metre) tall due to his dwarfism, yet becomes Victor of the 21st Hunger Games.
  • Platonic Prostitution: A variant occasionally occurs when Finnick gets pimped out. A very, very small number of the people who purchase him from Snow merely want to be seen in his presence and kiss him (and one teenager is too shy to even do that) and don't make him have sex with them. While it's noted this isn't fundamentally any better than those who sleep with Finnick, that doesn't stop him from treating these appointments as a break.
  • Powerful Pick: In spite of him being a child of merchants (and not miners) and having had no experience with using it, Duke from District Twelve got a pickaxe at the Cornucopia during his Games and proceeded to use it throughout, taking to it "like a fish to water". He uses it to kill the Career pack, hunger and thirst having removed much of their advantages.
  • The Prankster: Rhyder has a knack for pranks as seen before and after his victory. He sends Elias crashing using tripwire, made Olga slip on a banana peel, and planned on putting a bucket of water on top of Snow's office door following his victory.
  • Prison Rape: Alluded to and defied in Tide's chapter, as she would rather gamble with her life to pay off her gambling debts than be a victim to "being violated" in debtors prison like other women imprisoned there.
  • Prone to Tears: Crimson Flanders spends most of her time crying after winning the 29th Hunger Games. Very few people know the story behind this, namely that she is the first victim of the Victor Sex Slave system.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Dettwieller family are extremely paranoid about the Zombie Apocalypse and are well-rehearsed in Resident Evil... but Dollar's training pays off when her arena turns out to be an accurate recreation of Raccoon City from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
  • Psycho Ex-Boyfriend: In the 38th Games, Fisher is this to Porter.
    He wanted to win, of course, but more than that he wanted Porter back... right before he cut her open for leaving him behind.
  • Pungeon Master: Fir from Seven is infamous for these, to the point that after her Interview, puns were outlawed in the Capitol for the next five years.
  • Punny Name:
    • Pi Orbit is a play on "pi orbital", an organic chemistry bond.
    • Crimson Flanders surprisingly has this, as demonstrated when Bronze threatens her into becoming a Sex Slave and becomes the first to purchase her company.
    • Platinum Twist is a play on a jewelry style.
  • Pyromaniac:
    • In the First Quarter Quell, the District Five boy is one, voted in for being considered the most unbearable hooligan who caused danger to the slums or the power plants.
    • Cecelia's Hidden Depths under her Team Mom persona, and ultimately what wins her the Games. Interestingly, it's implied that she already knew she was a pyromaniac before she was reaped, and her status as Team Mom to her orphanage caused her to suppress it. Being in the Games allowed her to finally indulge her impulses.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In a game show where children kill other children, raping your opponents is frowned upon by the Districts.
    • Woof gets plenty of flack for (unintentionally) raping Valour after he says, "Aw, fuck me" in the arena. Duke calls him out during the afterparty for his actions, before calling him out for following everyone else's orders without thinking for himself.
    • The District Eight boy during the 25th Hunger Games, Linen, outright rapes Amethyst before murdering her. Peridot looks at Woof and asks if he taught his tribute that.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • During the finale of the 23rd Hunger Games, Tide's district partner, Skipper, calls Tide out over volunteering for the sake of money. When Tide gains the advantage over him, Skipper asks her if she actually thinks that she won't make more bets that would put her in debt again. It rolls off Tide like a water on a duck, and proves to be completely correct.
    • Marvin from Five gives Neon one in the Second Quarter Quell over his incompetence.
      Marvin Groke was wholly unprepared thanks to Neon's useless mentoring and made sure to call him out for his entire time in the Games... two minutes and three seconds before Treasure slit his throat.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Elias Overwhill recruited cadets for his training academy starting with the 6th Hunger Games. Runa was one of them, where she was living in a destitute town by the time she was scouted.
  • Red Baron: Several victors have bold or intimidating nicknames.
    • The 49th Hunger Games takes place in a muddy arena, and its victor, Brutus, is called "The Mudman of the 49th".
    • Augustus is known as "The Cavalier Career", as in All There in the Manual canon.
    • Anchor is referred to as "The Shark of the Fifty Second [Hunger Games]" at least once.
    • Skinner's chapter refers to the four District Ten victors as "The Stampeder" (Stallion), "The Trapper" (Lammy), "The Walloper" (Pasture), and "The Hunter" (Skinner).
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Chaff repeatedly lectures the Capitol, the Gamemakers, the Peacekeepers, his fellow tributes, etc. on practically everything that he perceives to be "rule-breaking" or offensive throughout his Games. However, the Gamemakers decided to keep him around because the Capitol audience found his antics hilarious.
    • Porsche disguised herself as a golden statue for her Gamemakers' session during the training period, surprising them.note 
  • Related in the Adaptation: The District Four male tribute in Katniss and Peeta's Games (who died in the Cornucopia Bloodbath) was Finnick's nephew, and it's all but stated his reaping was rigged, much like the relatives of other Victors.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: In-Universe with a few Gamemakers, which also includes death!
    • A few of the Gamemakers responsible for creating the siren mutt during the 28th Hunger Games — which the Victor, the deaf Teff, has Disability Immunity to — are executed.
    • All of the Gamemakers involved in creating the G-Virus syringe are executed, with Loretta being hanged for forty minutes.
    • The Head Gamemaker of the 26th Hunger Games is executed because the sewer setting caused most of the tributes to die from infected wounds.
    • Every Gamemaker in the 31st Hunger Games gets executed after Chassis somehow manages to destroy the entire arena in one kick.
    • Hessian is executed for replacing all of the weapons with grenades in Snag's Games, which ends up being a disaster when a shaky tribute drops one at the Cornucopia, causing a massive explosion that leaves most of the tributes dead and the rest severely injured.
    • The unnamed Head Gamemaker of the 44th Hunger Games is hanged over the arena mishap that had Platinum "exiting" the arena.
    • The Head Gamemaker of the 57th Hunger Games was executed with his children for the arena being so cold nobody could do anything and the hovercraft being destroyed due to the blizzards, leading to no sponsors being able to help.
    • Charlie Juniper is executed with her entire family for making Titus into a cannibal just because she had a petty grudge against District Six.
  • Royal Brat:
    • Discussed by Peridot to Olga, following the death of Awesome during the 11th Hunger Games. Makes sense because she has seen their behaviour during training, and that they're portrayed to be arrogant and snobby to others.
      Peridot: ...I never liked that boy. If you were a noble in One and grew up in the Flawless Estate you'd get it. I prefer mentoring non-nobles, myself.
    • Jacinth is also one, where he's described to be arrogant and once nearly killed Peridot by putting rat poison in her soup.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Whispers of the wind are used to signify the dead acknowledging the living.
  • Run or Die: Dollar has this reaction to seeing Claudia inject herself with the G Virus in the zombie arena. She does face the muttation that used to be Claudia later on, but only after getting a really powerful weapon.
    Dollar: She just injected herself with the G Virus! Attacking is futile right now, run for your life!
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Snag's oldest three daughters (Acre, Sunset, and Petals) are triplets.
  • Saved by Canon:
    • Snow is predestined to survive being poisoned by Isobel Sparks (District Five's second victor) during the 38th Hunger Games.
    • All the Victors known to have survived the Second Rebellion also count as this.
  • Scandalgate: Social media dubs the 34th Hunger Games #GrenadeGate due to how the disastrous inclusion of hand grenades at the Cornucopia cause an explosion that kills almost every tribute with no suspense or fighting.
  • Scars are Forever: Downplayed. Lyme gives Tabbock a black eye that never fully faded away over his role in hypnotizing her into volunteering for the Fifty-First Hunger Games.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Dirty Coward Logger Barlow emits "the most high pitched scream in the past eight years of the Games" while fleeing from the Bloodbath.
    • After the Bloodbath for the 48th Hunger Games, the girls Neon has sexually harassed team up to castrate and kill him. Neon runs for it while screaming "like a little kid who had just inhaled helium".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After the events of the 56th Games, Odysseus decides to retire as Head Gamemamker due to the stress he gained from the last few Games spiraling out of control.
  • Seen It All: Become a Victor and mentor enough tributes, and you'll be surprised at how much you can learn to stomach.
    #59: Complaining about all the split blood and how there should've been a mop added to the Cornucopia to aid in cleaning it all up achieves nothing.
    B.R: It was hardly the worst Bloodbath. Most victors say their own is, but really the First Games had the worst one.
    S.H: It really says something that this bloodbath, one where two tributes had their heads smashed a pipe and another had their kidneys torn out, wasn't the worst.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Ron Stafford volunteers as tribute to save his brother during the 68th Hunger Games, and at that stage in the Games, even if he wins, he'll be exposed to a lot of danger and hardship in the coming years even if he survives to be crowned victor. Minutes later, his brother is shot by a trigger-happy peacekeeper while approaching Ron to say goodbye. Ron is understandably distraught and bitter about this. It's later played with, when it's revealed that Lothar, the tribute Ron kills to win the Games, is a Serial Killer — if Ron hadn't volunteered, there's a good chance his brother would've died to Lothar in a Cruel and Unusual Death and that the latter would've won the Games, allowing him to continue his rampage across Panem with impunity. All things considered, dying quickly to a Peacekeeper's bullet is hardly the worst thing that could've happened to Ron's brother.
  • Serendipitous Survival:
    • How Snag wins his Games. The Gamemakers stuff the Cornucopia with only grenades as weapons. Snag, being stuck in a wheelchair due to his cystic fibrosis, is the only one not to head in the direction of the Cornucopia since he figures he's dead either way, and heads towards the forest at the foot of the steep hill the tributes were launched to for his pride's sake, so he won't be the first one killed. This allows him to avoid the massive explosion that outright kills sixteen of the tributes and severely injures the rest after Honda, the female tribute of District Six, who is suffering from severe withdrawal, accidentally drops the grenade she was going to use on the boy from District One onto the ground near the rest of pile.
    • Arendellian is arguably an even bigger example, because she doesn't even know what the Hunger Games are. Being schizophrenic, she just thinks she's on vacation. Thanks to some timely thinking on Wattzon's end (namely, telling her that she's about to play a holo-game where she needs to keep away from the other players), and some other external factors (an ice-cold arena that she's able to keep warm in thanks to the straitjacket her racist stylist put on her and the destruction of the ship that was supposed to drop sponsor gifts for the tributes), she avoids the worst of the conditions that the other Tributes are suffering and survives her Games long enough to win without any real effort on her part.
  • Serial Rapist: Linen from Eight in the First Quarter Quell was voted in within a day for 'catching' twelve girls, and proceeds to make Amethyst from One the 13th on the list.
  • Series Continuity Error: A relatively minor one. In Bear's chapter, Katniss claims that there are nineteen victors left besides her and Peeta, while Chapter 74 makes it clear that it's actually nineteen victors including her and Peeta (plus one who is presumed dead but turns up alive). In-Universe, this might be hand-waved by Katniss having misheard whoever told her about the surviving characters.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many Victors were left with severe trauma/PTSD after winning their Games.
    Mizar Aldjoy: (in a personal memo) Teff suffers from terrible nightmares. She can't handle darkness of any sort anymore. If her night light isn't on she freaks out. She always snacks between meals, afraid of starving to death. I fear that these problems will only keep hurting my niece for the rest of her life.
  • Ship Tease: Gwenith and Bear. Gwenith is the first of the Victors to reach out to Bear after he wins his Games, not even bringing up the fact that he killed one of her tributes. While Bear refuses, he later regrets turning it down, and later chapters show they did develop a strong friendship. At the Victor Party, Gwenith admits the two of them had a thing for each other, and neither of them taking the chance to act on it before Bear was killed during the Victor Purge remains her greatest regret.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cupid has had multiple celebrity romance fixations and is renowned in certain circles for it. After the Capitol Games, the epilogue mentions that he continues to run it.
    Cupid, much like his namesake, was fixated on love. More than anything he loved love when it happened on TV. He'd had his own vlog show all about romance and shipping since he was ten and had a few thousand subscribers, all of whom were just as eager to talk about couples as he was.
    Couples in the Hunger Games were no exception to this.
  • Shoe Slap: Those who offend the Gallows family's honour and traditions are to be beat to death with a shoe. 12 of the tributes from Pasture's Games can testify to being on the receiving end of this.
  • Show Within a Show: Panem is a fan of the Romantic Comedy sitcom, Fiona and Lawrence, which is the most popular show besides the Hunger Games and possibly one of the longest-running television shows in Panemnote . Following the Second Rebellion, Spool becomes the new actor of Lawrence after the old actor died during that rebellion.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The fanfic has several references to The Victors Project. Examples include Snag's district partner being dressed as a tree elfnote , Blight babbling about "strawberries of friendship"note  when he's stung by tracker jackers, and the escort not pretending that Bloom's reaping wasn't a fixnote . More minor references include a female tribute learning about Victor prostitution from her mentor and choosing to die in the Bloodbath of the Second Quarter Quellnote , a pyromaniac Outliernote , a District One Victor being responsible for the Victors prostitution ringnote , a Serial Rapist from District Eight being Reaped into the First Quarter Quell, Finnick's chapter covering his revenge over Capitol broadcast in Mockingjay and the subsequent fallout, etc.
    • Fir's birth name is Atom Madoka.
    • After Crystal overrides her, it's mentioned that Harp didn't like "the Hungry Games"note  anyway.
    • The 18th Hunger Games has District Two tributes named Rock and Roll.
    • While commenting about her life, Katniss asks Peeta about how the Life of Pi was.
    • Dragon and Wyrm's surname is Batofelnote .
    • Bronze calls Crimson a "stupid sexy Flanders" while trying to rape her.
    • Mascara is dressed in a princess gown with fake blood for the tribute parade. She's also seen singing "never mind the darkness" while in the arena.
    • It's not unusual to hear a Career say something among the lines of, "That was pretty brutal even by my standards" when seeing someone deal a very nasty kill.
    • Speaking of Futurama, it's mentioned that Bronze stayed in the Capitol after Platinum's victory. Harp and Crystal assumed it meant "blackjack and hookers, probably without the blackjack".
    • During the 42nd Hunger Games, Vuller says, "Oh boy, here we go killing again!".
    • While in the Capitol for the 47th Hunger Games, the tabloid journalists find Rook punching and kicking a vending machine for a drink.
    • While in the Capitol for the Second Quarter Quell, Boot and Patric (the District Eight boys) are seen playing a Capitolian trading card game that is eerily similar to Yu-Gi-Oh!.
      Patric: I use my Dark Magician to take out your District Savage! You must then take two hundred life points of damage!
      Boot: Oh, you'd like that wouldn't you? (flips card) I'm playing the Zombie Career trap card. You just lost two turns and your District Savage now works for me!
    • Vercingtorix has a niece named Comengetorix.
    • District Five is said to have a variety of accidents, including the occasional arrow to the knee.
    • One of the things to survive the Dark Days is Dora the Explorer, which is still a popular children's television show in the Capitol. During his Games, Chaff sings the theme song in order to help distract him from the pain of having just been shot in the ass by an arrow.
    • Another thing that apparently survived the Dark Days and is still very much popular in the Capitol is Donkey Kong. Chaff imitates the titular gorilla during the climax of his Games by rolling large rocks down the slopes towards the other remaining tributes while jumping around and making gorilla noises, much to the embarrassment of his mentors.
    • Pasture Gallows is a more lethal, female version of Rolf from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Her final duel with Tandarick is a shot-for-shot remake of Rolf's duel with Eddy in "Dueling Eds", just with shoes as weapons instead of fish.
    • The lyrics of Bentley's songs are from the Volume 1 Soundtrack of RWBY.
    • Librae's voyage to defeat the Peacekeeper Pirates includes several lines of dialogue lifted verbatim from Muppet Treasure Island.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: After the Capitol Games, all the destroyed arenas from the Games are made into memorials dedicated to all the fallen Tributes.
  • Signature Scent: In the Second Quarter Quell, Chickadee from Ten is described to have "a scent of blood always following her around".
  • Single Line of Descent: The Flawless Estate contains District One's 12 richest and most powerful families, but seven of those families only have a single heir or heiress and most of those lone heirs or heiresses kill each other while training for the Games or successfully become tributes but then die (one wins and a few who are of the right age and survive training don't become tributes for one reason or another). Houses Goldclaw, Fragrance, Platinum, Court, and Royalty have multiple children, but at least two of them still go extinct. Both Royalty kids compete in the same Games and neither comes home, while the older Court siblings commit Brother–Sister Incest to turn out a new heiress, who becomes a victor but then is so unstable that Snow has her killed.
  • Sins of the Father: 'Capitol Punishment', aka the Capitol Games, had twelve of its tributes being relatives of prominent pre-Rebellion figures who committed atrocities against the Districts, with the most well-known one being President Snow's granddaughter, named Rhonda in this fic. The other twelve were all from various walks of society from the Capitol.
  • Skewed Priorities: Chaff is characterized by this throughout his Games to be as much of a rule-follower as he could be, which results in things like this:
    #59: Complaining about all the [spilt] blood and how there should've been a mop added to the Cornucopia to aid in cleaning it all up achieves nothing.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: By the time of the 11th Hunger Games, Museida is one to both Mags and her district partner Marlin, where he tells them if they're 100% dead or not depending on what skills they already know.
    Museida: What can you do? I can't help you if you cannot even help yourselves. Skills, now.
    Marlin: Brute strength, swimming, fishing, intimidation and harpoons-
    Museida: You're dead. (turning to Mags) What can you do?
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Mizar took pity on a young boy from District Twelve during his Victory Tour and gave him a kind word and five hundred Caps, enough for him to survive the winter and not starve to death. That young boy grew up to be Katniss Everdeen's paternal grandfather, Ashford.
    • Laurel's chapter concludes with listing how she impacted the fate of Panem in spite of her 'unflashy' Victory and her quick death in the Third Quarter Quell, from influencing Tabbock to win with "the hands down most flashy, fancy and amazing finale they'd ever seen", to inspiring Snow to use poison against his enemies while ingesting the same poison (and surviving through Acquired Poison Immunity), to teaching Pasture about poisons that allowed her to weaken Brutus enough to let Peeta kill him during the Third Quarter Quell and let the Second Rebellion begin, etc.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Bronze gradually becomes one following his victory according to the author. He treats "unworthy" tributes as an afterthought, doesn't care much for the deaths of his tributes (and encourages Augustus to do so), and starts the prostitution ring.
    • Tabbock lacks empathy when it comes to people in pain and treats the Hunger Games as if it's a show. It's also implied that he also doesn't care for the deaths of his tributes, plus Mizar tells Gwenith not to trust him when handing off information about the Victors' Rebellion before he dies of cancer.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Pasture is not a, but the Daughter of a Shepherd, thank you very much.
    Pasture: I have the strength of a thousand generations behind me! I've worked hard every day of my life! I eat plenty of meat! I'm-
    Tandarick (District Two male tribute): (scoffing) A daughter of a shepherd?
    Pasture: (bellowing) No! Are you slow in the upstairs, he-who-cries? I am THE daughter of a shepherd!
  • Spin-Offspring: Downplayed. Baron and Runa's son is briefly mentioned during the latter's section of the 25th Hunger Games chapter. The son grows up to be a teenage boy named Rhyder, who is given his own chapter after his grandfather (on orders of President Snow) rigs him into the Hunger Games.
  • Spoiled Brat: Enobaria is the haughty heiress of the Golding family and is immensely entitled, treating her maid, Malachite like dirt until she would rather have anyone win the Games than Enobaria.
  • Stage Magician: Tabbock has a knack for deception and tricks. He takes on the persona of a stage magician when he's named tribute of the 43rd Hunger Games, where his interview is a magic show, his in-arena kills after themed after magic tricks, and he's given a magic hat, cape, and wand by the Gamemakers as a gift to look the part for his final trick (a "disappearing box"). He also does magic tricks during his Victor's party and was paid by Olga to hypnotize Lyme into volunteering for the Hunger Games.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Porter and Dezz from District Five were this before Katniss and Peeta, with both of them being Reaped. The Capitol even allowed them to get married before the Games began, only for Dezz to lose his life.
  • Stepford Smiler/Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Librae is a cheery surfer gal who hides a lot of trauma behind her smiles. The District Four Escort at the time, Tuti, is one of the few people to know about her more somber side.
      Librae: My parents were too smart and got careless just once. The Capitol had them killed. I figure if I just act dumb then I'll be safe. I already act pretty crazy so it's not hard to pull it off. Though, since I'm here anyway... whoops.
    • Caesar Flickerman is also one following the 58th Games. He starts to feel that every year gets harder to get to know tributes and watch them die and be forgotten. As his own personal rebellion, since his position is too high to leave or do anything too drastic, he actively makes every tribute shine as best as he can. It is this secret caring for the tributes that spares him from execution after the Rebellion. He is also finally able to act openly somber during the Capitol Games and is seen very tired after years of pretending to be the energetic host.
  • Sticky Fingers: Jack Tylos from District Seven revels in being a "master thief". His skills range from picking pockets to robbing banks, and he's never caught after reaching adulthood except when he wants to be caught. It starts as a way for him to keep himself fed on the streets of District Seven, and then to win the Hunger Games when he smuggles a stolen taser into the arena. Later in life, he hides stolen weapons around Victor hangouts for them to use against the Capitol when the Rebellion comes. When one of the children of his fellow victor Snag is reaped, the largest bank in the Capitol is robbed by a mysterious figure who makes a clean getaway, with Snag realizing that Jack did it to get sponsor money for his daughter.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • In multiple iterations of the Hunger Games, a tribute or more kill themselves by setting off the mines around the tribute pedestals. These include the pair from District Five in Beetee's Games, having been "suicidal after years of suffering", and Winch (also from Five) in the Second Quarter Quell, to avoid falling to the Sex Slave fate of Victors if she won.
    • The Head Gamemaker of Snag's Games receives the order from President Orion to make the next Games "explosive", and he responds by only supplying hand grenades at the Cornucopia... and naturally, most of the tributes get blown up or fatally injured by the collective explosive power of over a thousand grenades being set off at once by a single grenade being accidentally dropped just before the Bloodbath.
    • During the 47th Hunger Games, the unnamed District Two boy is sponsored a grenade. He throws it into the window above a toilet stall of where the District Twelve girl was hiding. It explodes and kills her.
  • Stunned Silence: Everyone at the Victor Party does this when Spool reveals about his switch, then a bigger one occurs when Olga arrives.
  • Surfer Dude: The surfer faction of District Four consists of these, with Librae being the most prominent one. It helps that the fic implies District Four is located on the West Coast of Panem through Librae being washed ashore to the Hawai'ian islands during a secret mission where she was presumed dead.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: While training for the Games, Peridot certainly thought this of the rest of the Flawless Estate children, thinking it's a waste of time for everyone to bully and attempt to murder each other before even entering the arena. She even gets spat at and her arm broken for suggesting they stop acting like "savages".
  • Tabloid Melodrama: Wiress's chapter is told from the perspective of a tabloid called "Games Galore".
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • During the 48th Hunger Games,Duke makes a final sprint at Ajax, a deranged fan, to save Pliny after she's kidnapped to partake in a "mock" Hunger Games.
    • During the Second Rebellion, Augustus takes a sniper shot for Rhyder, who ultimately survives the war.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Subverted with Pasture, who was targeted by the Careers in the Third Quarter Quell... though not out of hatred or jealousy of her strength and power, but rather because they considered her a genuine threat to their survival.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink:
    • Mags makes some fish soup for the Careers which she makes them think that it's from one of their mentors. Then she pours boat fuel into the the soup, which kills three out of the four Careers who ate it.
    • Crown creates a lollipop that replaces honey with corrosive acid. Felicia eats one and it causes lethal damage to her digestive system.
    • Laurel deliberately makes a soup for the Careers that's made out of poisonous plants, since their arena (an island) is full of them. Unlike them, she's able to stomach them due to having to rely on eating poisonous plants back in her home district.
    • To ensure that Rhyder is rigged into the Hunger Games, Snow has Elias spike all of the drinks of potential District Two male candidates while blaming it on bad meat from District Ten.
  • Team Mom: Cecelia was this to the other orphans at the care home she grew up in, with multiple of said orphans calling her "Mama Cecelia".
  • Teen Genius: Crimson has a flawless 100% record in terms of grades, and one of the major contributing factors to her victory is her intelligence.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In Bear and Seeder's commentary on Chaff's Games:
      #62: Lecturing the gamemakers for using non-recyclable plastic water bottles... just... why?!
      B.R: Whatever next, scolding them for not adding plants that are accurate to the arena's terrain?
      S.H: Don't jinx it.
      #63: Scolding the gamemakers for adding plants that do not make sense in a canyon sort of arena makes you look like a know-it-all prat.
      B.R: Don't even say it[,] Seeder.
      S.H: Well, only since you asked so nicely.
    • After Arendellian's Games, Wattzon promises her she would never have to go through that again. She would later be reaped and killed in the Third Quarter Quell.
    • The District One boy chases Spud down in his Games and yells to the Gamemakers to get a cannon ready. Unfortunately, the Gamemakers made a blunder that caused him to slip into an icy lake and die, when they intended to kill Spud... though one would argue that they did have to get a cannon ready for that one.
    • When Spool reveals his true identity at the Victor Party, he believes nothing can top that surprise. Cue the last surviving Victor at the party being revealed to be Olga.
  • Terrified of Germs: Stallion from Ten preferred to work at a local library because of this... and when his arena turns out to be a grimy sewer maze, well, he became "The Stampeder" in his frenzy for soap and conditioner.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Usually comes up when a close relative of a Victor is reaped for the Games; more likely than not they were rigged into them, either to punish the Victor or just as a reminder to the rest that they're still at the Capitol's mercy.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Many of the Victors experience this feeling, naturally as part of the Hunger Games. Two notable examples are Museida and Bentley.
    • Museida (3rd Games) isolated himself from the other Victors because he felt that he wasn't like them, having killed five tributes while Mizar and Pliny only killed one when their Games were down to the final two.
    • Bentley (District Six male Morphling) preaches pacifism in his raps and was intending to go win without killing. However, his rapping that he does to prove his underground identity (with boom boxes sponsored, no less!) triggers an avalanche that buries the last three tributes. Even though it was an accident, the fact that his raps, which preached pacifism, caused the deaths of three people haunts him deeply. This leads to his morphling addiction.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Mizar says this just before the First Quarter Quell begins. Justified because the vast majority of the outlying tributes are psychopaths.
  • Toilet Humour: Downplayed with Fir. While explaining her role as comedic relief for the 9th Hunger Games, it's mentioned that she made a joke about the Twos' bodily functions.
    Fir just made a joke about [Thor and Terrapin from Two] being number Two and asking if that's why they smelt bad.
  • Tomboyish Name: Olga's middle name is Mars, like the Roman god of war.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Subverted. Chaff's chapter is a basically a list of things he did during his Games that, by all rights, should've gotten him killed, but ultimately didn't.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Beetee's chapter features a gambler whose sole purpose in life seems to be gorging herself on bread. She's barely able to tear herself away from plates of bread for long enough to bet on or sponsor District Nine tributes, which she does as a way of thanking them for gathering the wheat that makes her favorite food.
  • Trampled Underfoot: A weaponized version occurs when Stallion kills his opponents by knocking them down and running over their chests, crushing their vital organs (albeit possibly by accident).
  • Trap Master:
    • Despite being fourteen, Lammy Phyronix is able to survive entirely off the arena for nearly 3 weeks, and rigs up traps to kill off whole Career Pack on her own once she's the only Outlier left — all without having seen them after the first 15 minutes of her Games (or any other Tribute for the matter). This, combined with being underestimated by everyone (even her own district partner) after pretending to be weak, lets her win her Games. Justified because her father, Jerry Phyronix, is a mutt hunter who taught her the skills needed to survive.
    • Crazy Survivalist Dollar rigs her train cabin with lots of snares and other traps.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Tide's backstory before she decided to train and volunteer for the Hunger Games. She racked up an undisclosed amount of caps in debt to a point where it would send her to debtors' prison if not paid within weeks. The first-hand accounts of what happens to women in such prisons make the Hunger Games more desirable to her.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Most of the Districts regard killing one's own District partnernote  as betrayal. This is one of the reasons that hated Victors like Logger from Seven are looked down upon.
  • Trophy Child: Mascara Court was raised to be a Victor for her parents. After she won her Games, her parents utilized her status to attend high-class parties rather than being concerned for her mental illness.
    They saw Mascara the victor, not Mascara the mentally ill girl needing help.
    In fact, they hardly saw her at all. Too many parties to attend for them to think of the daughter who had served her one purpose. The[y] honestly weren't sure what to do with her aside parade her around.
  • Twin Switch: Invoked by Spool, who pretends to be his identical twin Tag during the Hunger Games, because Tag started having an asthma attack on the Reaping stage and Spool missed the opportunity to volunteer. It took until after the Second Rebellion for the truth to finally come to light. In 24 Tributes: The Acidic Forest, it is revealed that by a Contrived Coincidence, Spool's ally from Twelve, Orinoco, was also secretly replaced by his twin Ozzy throughout the Games, in the exact same way that Spool replaced Tag.
  • Tyke Bomb:
    • District One and Two has their usual training academies to train children into killers, known as Gaudy High and Overwhill Academy (later known as Machete Ridge following the 39th Hunger Games) respectively.
    • Olga was trained in combat and parkour by her father before she entered her arena.
    • Mascara has been training for the Hunger Games since she could walk, though justified in her case as her parents raised her to be a Trophy Child with no regard to her mental health.
    • Downplayed with Baron, Crystal, and Tide as the three of them self-trained without being members of their respective training academies. Baron runs laps around his district and uses rocks as weights, Crystal relied on public sessions from Gaudy High and exercise DVDs, and Tide excercises and practices using a trident in her houseboat.
  • Undignified Death: Just before the Interviews of the 26th Games, Mortimer Minch, the original Smarmy Host of the Games, dies of "ass cancer between his cheeks".
  • Unexpected Successor: In a sense, Platinum qualifies due to a strange series of events and coincidences that thrust her out to become the Volunteer for District One in the 44th Games.
    Per the rules in place ever since the Thirty Seventh Hunger Games, all of the overall top ten scorers of each academy year were considered to be volunteers for the Games. The top rank was, of course, first in line. Second was a back-up just in case the selected volunteer was unable to take part and third was the back-up for the back-up.
    At most only the third back-up had ever been needed. Platinum had no reason to assume that anything would be any different as she sauntered into the reaping square, shooting teasing looks towards the boys she passed. She was sexy and she knew it.
    She was also seventh in line for the role.
    This was where the trouble began. After Mascara's horrific performance in the Games a few years ago there had been a sudden mass walk-out of several girls from the career academy. It had all been too much for the youths to take. It was too sick, too real. Several girls who left as a result of seeing the long dead psychopath in action were around the same skill level of Platinum, some slightly better, therefore unintentionally moving her from what wouldn't been twentieth on the list up to seventh.
    Just enough to seal her fate. The chosen volunteer had discovered she was pregnant, and her love for her unborn child instantly outweighed her desire to win the Hunger Games. The second volunteer broke her leg after falling down the stairs. The third volunteer had contracted a nasty case of the flu and was estimated to not recover for at least three weeks. The fourth volunteer had gotten into a car accident and, while alive, had broken both her legs and four of her ribs. The fifth volunteer had gotten herself arrested for illegal possession of particularly funky, hard hitting morph[l]ing. Meanwhile, the sixth volunteer had entered a coma after an ice cream binge following being dumped by her boyfriend.
    This was all it took for Platinum to become first in line to volunteer and be told of this mere minutes before the reaping began. When a small girl who seemed to be having issues breathing made her way to the stage Platinum uttered the famous words.
    "I volunteer!"
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Logger's District partner Bloom saves him from dying of dehydration. Logger repays that by cutting her to pieces to save his own sorry hide. This cowardice and treachery earns him the hatred of everyone in District Seven and later on, practically everyone else in Panem. It also earns him a well-deserved Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Underestimating Badassery: A recurring trope throughout.
    • Boulder Atherston is 3'4", and hardly any of the districts take him seriously. He's very chill, casual, friendly and easygoing (a far cry from the intimidating behavior displayed by other Careers). He's squarely at the bottom of the Career pack, his district partner Xarrax having been Zerg Rushed to death by seven outliers. Boulder proves to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve, first using his stealth and scavenging abilities to keep himself from being dropped out of the pack, then deliberately letting another tribute escape after said tribute killed one of his packmates, and finally killing his last opponent by setting off a miniatre rockslide above his head, winning the 20th Games.
    • One year, the Careers are tormenting the weaker tributes as usual, and zeroed in on a pudgy 14-year-old from District Ten by the name of Lammy Phyronix — constantly belittling her, repeatedly likening her to a 'fat pig' both before and during the Games, and writing her off as a non-threat that they could easily kill. This proves to be a big mistake: said 14-year-old happens to be the daughter of a famous trapper, and has all the skills she needs to live off the arena and rig up lethal traps, letting her slowly pick off the entire Career pack — all without having seen another tribute after first launching into the arena.
    • Another year, District Ten's female tribute was from a family known for being incredibly kooky, causing her to be dismissed as just a crazy hillbilly. Pasture Gallows would go on to live up to her surname, killing a record-breaking 12 tributes by walloping them with a shoe.
    • Rhyder Overwhill was reaped at 14 for a Games with the odds rigged against him — though he had plenty of sponsors due to his parents Baron and Runa (both being Victors, and the first two Victors of District Two to boot), all of his gifts were delayed, and the Gamemakers targeted him with their traps while ignoring the other tributes. While President Snow and Elias Overwhill anticipated Rhyder's parents training him in case he was rigged into taking part in the Games, they thought Rhyder's young age, their meddling, and his earning the enmity of practically every other tribute due to his father being the original Career would be enough to ensure his death. Unfortunately for the two, they underestimated Rhyder's capabilities (especially his skill at climbing), ingenuity, and tenacity, resulting in Rhyder becoming the second-youngest Victor in the history of the Hunger Games, Snow failing to use his death to send his intended message, and Elias Overwhill being written out of history and unceremoniously executed.
  • Un-person: Cold-hearted collaborator and Glory Seeker Elias Overwhill, the founder of District Two's Career academy, fails in his efforts to get Rhyder, his own grandson, killed in the arena as part of a gambit to threaten the families of the victors. The Capitol promptly rewrites history and renames the Overwhill Academy to make it seem as if he never existed. Then Snow has him killed. It's hard to feel sorry for him.
    He would be an unperson for his failure. He would die and be forgotten, recalled only as deja vu of somebody else or simply discarded as a bad dream. His one failure invalidated his entire life of fascism and brutality.
  • Veteran Instructor: Implied and involuntary for the District Two Victors. Rhyder is required to take the Machete Ridge cadets on cross-country runs and climbing trips.
  • Victory by Endurance:
    • During the final battle of the 4th Hunger Games, both Baron and Parka are bleeding on the sand. Parka dies first, making Baron the Victor.
    • Seeder wins by running for about an hour until the two Career tributes chasing her both get their wounds infected from all of the dirt in the arena and die while Seeder lies a few feet away from one of them, too tired to move.
    • Laurel wins after her last opponent, the girl from Eleven, succumbs to an infected wound.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often:
    • Hessian Leblanc was stated to have utilized "a few rigged voting stations" to get his spot as the Head Gamemaker... not that he ended up having the position for very long.
    • After it got out that Chaff was wrongfully reaped, the Capitol promptly rigged next year's Games so the tributes reaped were all twelve-year-olds.
    • In the Second Quarter Quell, Seeder's niece Plum is said to be this, which Seeder laments.
      Of all people it was her. With only four slips in the reaping bowl and others having dozens, some even more than ninety, it was still her.
      Seeder knew riggage when she saw it.
    • This is actually very common among Victor relatives. Many of those who are of reaping age are often rigged into the Games, sometimes because the Victor did something to displease the Capitol, but most of the time just to remind the Victors that they are still at the Capitol's mercy.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Baron trains for the Games so that, as a victor, he can get the medicine to save his sick mother. After this gives birth to the Career system, he feels a great deal of guilt and wonders if it was a fair trade to give his mother another twenty years of life at the cost of hundreds of teenagers being turned into killers or sadistically killed in the arena.
  • We Do Not Know Each Other: Chaff's antics eventually leads to Planter, his District Partner, flat-out pretending she doesn't know him. Even Bear and Seeder found that impressive, in a sad, beleaguered kind of way. Similarly, Mags acts this way with her District Partner Marlin after he causes uproars in the Capitol for being openly critical.
  • We Help the Helpless: Following the Second Hunger Games where he has to start mentoring tributes, Mizar decides to be a friend to the poor and those who can't help themselves. In addition to mentoring tributes to victory, he opens his home to homeless people (including Laurel), leaves money lying around for anyone in poverty, and is also seen to give money to a starving child during his victory.
  • Weight Woe: Paige is diagnosed to have both anorexia and bulimia. She's unable to eat more than half of a meal her mother makes for her, angers her escort by not eating (who then calls her a "skeleton"), and hyperventilates when she starts eating part of the honeycomb arena.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Mascara was raised to be a Trophy Child by her parents to win the Hunger Games, which caused her to become this.
    Nobody who saw her as an actual person was there to see her asking if she could have her mama and papa back yet, mumbling almost inaudibly about wanting them to be proud of her.
    Not that she really knew what proudness was.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the 17th Hunger Games, Career tribute Rook Valiant takes some supplies, wanders away from his pack, and walks toward the girl from District Three. His mentor, Olga, thinks he's about to make a kill, only to get a very rude awakening about just how much her tribute cares for the Career Alliance, as he made a secret alliance with that girl.
      Rook: I got the stuff. They suspect nothing. Any wounds at all?
    • When Gwenith Rosebud is tricked into volunteering for the 13th Hunger Games and freaks out, most people stare at her awkwardly, but one person, her mentor, feels something very different, something that makes him put all of his effort into saving her.
      He stares in wonder because she just saved his sister from being thrown into the arena.
    • The party of the surviving victors seems like just a nice way of revealing who's still alive and what they'll do next. Then President Paylor drops this bombshell.
      Paylor: We are going to have a revote. A continuation of Coin's proposal. Should there be a Hunger Games with Capitol children?
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue notes how the fallen Victors died along with the final fates of the 21 who lived:
    • Olga spent her last years teaching the youth of Two about virtues and how very wrong the old regime was.
    • Gwenith used her remaining time to make individual memorials for every tribute and Victor of the Games. When that was done, she focused on two ventures. The first was helping those who bullied for birth defects and deformities like herself. The second was to fulfill a childhood dream of hers and become mayor of District Nine. She was voted in unanimously.
    • Crown continued to run his candy club, which expanded over time. Each shift would end with him and Harp holding a moment of silence for Crystal. Eventually Platinum handed him a statue of Crystal made from her namesake, which he displayed at the main entrance of the club for all time.
    • Crimson reunited with her family and spent the rest of her life learning about them.
    • Snag, now no longer confined to a wheelchair, took part in a sponsored marathon for people who couldn't walk like he did. He completed it, and now spends his days with his family, working on a poetry anthology, and playing hover ball.
    • Librae returned to District Four to become a surfing instructor. She eventually became leader of the new District Fifteen, the District of Exploration, which was established where Hawaii once was.
    • Beetee regained his ability to walk and dedicated his life to providing technological advances for the nation. In his spare time, he could be found in District Ten playing golf.
    • Rhyder, as the son of the first Career, took it upon himself to help the career cadets from Two and One make something of themselves. He succeed, and ensured all of them found work and purpose in a nation without Games.
    • Lammy trapped and eliminated all remaining dangerous mutts in the nation. But she wasn't done there. It took a lot of research, but she eventually created a genetic formula to make harmless mutts that could act as pets and therapy animals.
    • Spool became a famous TV star thanks to his silver tongue and charm. While he had many roles, his favorite one would always be Lammy's husband and Cupid's father.
    • Platinum adjusted to her new prosthetic leg and duties on the council for Panem. She provided many humanity services and improvements for District One, along with care for those born in unfortunate conditions like Mascara. When asked why she cares so much for the youth of One, she answered in a way only she knew how: showing the picture in her locket of her with her late daughter Spinel.
    • Haymitch discovered during his recovery he was a good writer, and created a book telling the story of all the Victors, alive or dead. The book, "Cheating Death", became a national best-seller in Panem.
    • Wattzon, sick of District Five, moved to District Nine with his husband to be with Trevy. The two friends are now co-owners of a theme park.
    • Enobaria become a champion cage fighter under the pseudonym "The Tooth Bitch" with many titles under her belt. Although she was banned from half the tournaments after her signature move left many of her opponents in the emergency room.
    • Spud returned home to District Eleven to live a quiet life as a farmer. Shockingly, he and Johanna ended up together.
    • Annie got over most of her trauma and became head of post delivery in District Four along with raising her son Sinbad. Rumor has it she's going to petition for a District Sixteen dedicated to postal service.
    • Johanna joined up efforts to explore the world outside Panem, which would pave the way to District Fifteen's creation. Her contributions would lead to Panem discovering the country of France was rebuilt as Ovum.
    • Numi discovered her twin sister was alive to her relief and continued her rap career. Along with the wide amount of topics to cover, she would always rap to advocate pacifism in honor of Bentley. She also made sure to pay respects to her Capitol tribute Belle.
    • Katniss returned to District Twelve with Peeta, content to live a quiet life. She eventually decided to become a nurse like her sister was planning to do, and started a family with Peeta.
    • Peeta, on the other hand, became a talented baker once District Twelve was rebuilt after the firebombs. In his spare time, he would visit the destroyed arena memorials. He always made sure to leave offerings at the memorial for the 74th Hunger Games Arena.
    • Cupid became a celebrity following his win of no kills and gave peace talks across the nation when not attending school. In the meantime, he got his blog back up and it was more popular than ever. He lived a happy life with his new parents.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Chaff, several times. After getting cut by one of the other tributes, he spends over forty minutes loudly listing out all of his problems. The only reason he isn't killed is because the Career pack is on the other side of the arena while the other outliers assume he's luring them in for some kind of trap. Later on, after he indirectly kills the District Eight male tribute, he spends over an hour dolling the tribute's dead body up. Despite being wide open, nobody attacks him because, again, they assume he's got some kind of trap laid out. Bear and Seeder both know better.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Honorius keeps freaking out when he sees a bat flutter at night. Justified because in the arena, he saw Gauntlet being Eaten Alive due to his blood tasting better.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: This happens surprisingly often, although often with some slight variant of the normal formula.
    • Pliny sleeps through training and most of the Games, and her one kill is a Mercy Kill. When the trumpets sound for her victory, she's utterly shocked and confused. The Capitol audiences loathe her, but there's nothing they can do about it.
    • Paige does kill one other tribute in a panicky fight, but spends the last few days of the game sealed off in a cave while Mutts kills the other remaining tributes.
    • Downplayed with Chassis. He does knife a Career tribute during a fight at the Cornucopia, but he wins by making a Dismissive Kick that accidentally destroys a support beam (the arena is a giant mine) and causes a cave-in that kills everyone but him, because he has a metal bucket as a helmet to protect him and create an air bubble to avoid suffocation.
    • Similarly downplayed with Platinum. She unintentionally stabs the boy from District Eleven during the Bloodbath, but her survival is attributed to her being stuck in a pit formed by a falling crystal in the cavern arena that happened to be "outside" of her arena and never being discovered by anyone, and having rationed sufficient food and water from the Cornucopia and a fallen tribute whose corpse fell into her pit to outlast everyone else.
    • Bentley Corduroy spends the 54th Hunger Games running from the Career Alliance and playing rap music. He technically gets three kills when his music starts a lethal avalanche in the finale, but it's a freak accident.
    • Wattzon Holmes spends most of the 55th Hunger Games being a Death Seeker and lays in one spot, waiting his inevitable fate. Eventually, when there was one other left, Wattzon ran away from the boy long enough for the other to collapse in exhaustion due to his metal armor making him suffer from dehydration. From there, Wattzon simply kicks the pained boy into the lava below.
    • Arendellian Spinner III spends the 57th Hunger Games hiding, not sure what's going on. Her one kill is either self-defense or an accident, and after that, all she does is avoid freezing to death longer than anyone else.
    • Spud Munroe wins the 66th Hunger Games simply by avoiding other tributes, save for one who falls through a frozen lake while chasing him. It comes down to Spud and an insane cannibal who defeats Spud in every single possible simulation, so the Gamemakers kill the cannibal in an avalanche and reluctantly crown Spud by default. He does throw the boy from Seven over a cliff early on, but this is a complete accident which occurs when he trips as the boy attacks him and accidentally grabs at his jacket, pulling him to the edge of the cliff.
    • Skinner Alecto gets an unusually action-packed version of this in the 69th Hunger Games. He does do a lot of fighting and killing, it's just that absolutely none of it is directed at the other tributes, but he still outlives all of them. He kills thousands of Mutts in the arena, but his only two human kills are a Mercy Kill and a possible accident (a Career steps between him and a Mutt mid-battle). In the climax, he focuses on trying to kill the biggest and toughest Mutt in history while ignoring his last remaining opponent (who is accidentally killed by the Mutt).
    • Cupid, the victor of the Capitol Games, doesn't kill or injure a single other tribute. He wins by dodging when his last opponent lunges at him, and the guy ends up falling into a deadly device, completely by accident.
  • Wood Chipper of Doom: Any Gamemaker who fails at their duties is thrown into a woodchipper that President Orion owns]]. Snow reuses it for his Gamemakers after he becomes president, and Paylor also makes use of it to execute Snow's ministers and any remaining Gamemakers once she's made interim president following the Second Rebellion.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Rook sees Socket as one when they make it to the final two. He calls her a "credit to Three" and a "fine second-placer", before holding up his deal of giving her a painless death by sending her flying into the forcefield.
    • In Laurel's Games, Sinbad, the District Four convict-boy, considers Laurel's plan to poison the Careers' food (he escaped their fate by stopping to add pepper to his soup) "not bad", and is said to have "something close to respect in his eyes" as Laurel kills him.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • While technically the Tributes are all between ages 12 and 18 (or possibly 19 at most), older Tributes are often forced into killing younger competitors in the Hunger Games, with Careers being a lot more willing to kill 12- and 13-year-olds. Logger is especially hated for this, specifically because he killed his 12-year-old District partner (Snag's daughter, no less), just to save his own skin from the Careers.
    • Snow is also perfectly willing to off Head Gamemakers' families, including their children, if they have done a significant mistake in their Games. Odysseus Toot has an occasion of fearing his children would be killed for his perceived blunders; the entire family of Charlie Juniper — the Head Gamemaker for the 66th Games with the cannibalistic Titus — was killed, including a set of newborn triplets.
  • You Have Failed Me: After his grandson (Rhyder) wins the Hunger Games despite rigging him into it, Elias Overwhill is told in a phone call that he'd be written out of history before "The Grim" kills him in five minutes.
  • You Remind Me of X: Sociopathic Hate Sink Bronze tells Augustus that he reminds Bronze of himself. Augustus's reaction is a sign of how much much Character Development "The Cavalier Career" has undergone since his victory.
    Only a few years ago Augustus would have beamed in pride to hear such a thing from Bronze. But not anymore. Suddenly the idea of being like Bronze was legitimately terrifying.
  • You Are Grounded!: After winning his Games, Spool is grounded for a month when he returns home to District Eight. The reason why is that his parents figured out the Twin Switch he pulled with his brother Tag not long after he left for the Capitol — and while they might be proud and relieved that their son survived, his actions also could've gotten the entire family killed if the Capitol ever found out the truth.
  • Young Entrepreneur:
    • Crown is seen running a candy store and operating a candy pushcart (complete with paperwork) at the age of 18.
    • Blight runs a tracker jacker removal company at 16. He's named one of the richest youths in Seven.

"In spite of everything I still believe, deep down, humans really aren't bad."
Mizar Aldjoy